Monday, July 23, 2007

The Beatles & Sgt. Pepper's 40 years after.

I have read that more or less 1.000.000 books on the Beatles have been written. It's correct to think that almost everything and much more has been yet written on them. A post about the Beatles has, for sure, some ridiculous taste. It's useless, maybe. But there are coincidencies. Celebrations. Historical dates. Unique events. The 1st of June 1967, exactly 40 years ago, was released the album that according to many is the real Fab Four's masterpiece: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. There are albums that are boring just after the third time you have played them. Others become really legendary. And, as in this case, after few decades they could be named "best album ever". Check out Rolling Stone in 2004.

It's incredible to still talk about this recording after 4 decades. I have listened to discuss about it for all my life. I feel like this record is even part of my own life. But the very strange thing is that I have never listened this album! Until some days ago. Obviously during my life I have heard some tunes from it here and there. I would be a liar to tell that I have never listened Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The real truth is that I have heard and read so much about Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to be sure to know it without even listen it.

At the end I have decided to do like St. Thomas did and verify with my own ears if this album is really so important or not. I can't tell if this is the "best album ever" or not but for sure this one is really incredible. It's not about the fact that this is one of the first concept album. It's not about the fact that it justify in some way the (ab)use of drugs (Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds or fixing a hole). I'm just talking about the music. Only the music. And the words. It's crazy. It's a modern sounding album even today. It sounds new and extremely powerful. It sounds at the same time so familiar and as something never heard before. But, above all, it completly sweeps away the idea of the "good boys" Beatles. Only a healthy madness mixed up with a deep sense of rebellion (and a good amount of drugs) can help an artist to produce such a masterpiece.

I'm quite sure I have listened the album 5 times in a row before putting down the earphones. I can't find the words to describe the strange chill felt just after having realized that this music is 40 years old !!! I understand how brave is anyone who has published any kind of music after this date: 1 June of 1967. To have such a benchmark could be really scaring and demotivating for any musician.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

100 to Delhi

100 to Delhi. It's self explaining: it means 100 kilometers to reach Delhi. This simple text message has kick started my imagination just a couple of days ago. For sure that's enough to start dreaming. The word Delhi itself is enough to ignite wonderful fantasies. India. Magic India. A world apart. Made with contrast. Full of glam and rich in culture. Cradle of the civilization and probably, according to someone, the place where everything has started. The number zero. The chess game. Just to tell some.

100 to Delhi. I think it's probably one of the most exciting message I have ever received. A friend sent it to me exactly 100 km "only" from Delhi. The truth is that this trip is almost a never ending one in India. Together with a previous text message this one sounds even more ridiculous: "...I'm on a taxi 280 km from Delhi. In 10 hours my plane leaves. Not so sure I'll get it". To analyze to simple phrases, filtered with out everyday experience, could make us smile. Probably we just cannot understand. Such a distance in the "civilized" part of the world can be done in a couple of hours. In India the only certain thing is that nothing is certain! Even 10 hours couldn't be enough to cover such a distance.

100 to Delhi. Any time I read it I think about this friend of mine. The overloaded backpack. The dust. The bloody heat. The sweat. The screams driven by the tension. An Indian cab-driver smiling for my friend's fear. He simply doesn't understand him. He sweetly smiles while moving the big head showing his few teeth and the white big eyes. The joy in the deep of the heart of the western guy. After all in just few hours everything will be so sad. Because he will miss the plane that should takes him home. Or maybe because he will get it. Leaving besides him all the magic of this land and its people.

100 to Delhi. 100.000.000 between East and West.