‘ … and when my mind is wandering, there I will go.’

I found myself stuck in Atlanta traffic earlier this week, crawling down the interstate along with thousands of other frustrated people. To add to my boundless joy, just about every radio station on the dial was playing Christmas songs interspersed with Christmas advertising, which gets old pretty quickly. (It was also odd to be driving around with the convertible roof down in the middle of December. Nice. But odd.)

Anyway, I looked over at the passenger seat and saw a CD that had been left there by one of our daughters. I popped it in, and immediately knew that the rest of the trip would go much better, regardless of traffic. I ended up hearing all of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” album before I got home, and enjoyed every minute of it.

In fact, I was reminded that in this age of digital music and I-Tunes, you can sometimes forget the cumulative power of a carefully crafted album in which the songs resonate with each other, both musically and thematically. Each of the songs on “Sgt. Pepper is great in its own right; heard together without interruption, they approach the sublime.

Here’s one of my favorites, an underappreciated classic:



– Jay Bookman

499 comments Add your comment

josef

December 16th, 2011
4:02 pm

not about to try and pick a fav from that one, so here…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKIKmU1Tc5g

Finn McCool

December 16th, 2011
4:03 pm

Lovely Rita is pretty good too too, too too

1811/0311

December 16th, 2011
4:08 pm

Ah …………… the Beatles ……….. who did more than probably any other group in the world to lead young people into the deadly drug culture.

Jay

December 16th, 2011
4:19 pm

That’s cheating, Josef!

And Scout, glad to see you back among us again, even though that comment would NOT be the first thing to come to mind for most folks.

FYI Jay

December 16th, 2011
4:21 pm

Rumor has it one of your posters (not on all issues, but on the past editorial’s board insistence on supporting a certain school system’s “success” when it was plainly obvious it was built on a house of cards) actually used your Memphis Minnie-Led Zeppelin connection to help give perspective to the Great Flood of 1927

Proving perhaps, that even some of your critics have socially redeeming values.

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
4:25 pm

Super choice from a super album, JB. And you done good if your girls dig them!

My 28 year old also has a deep appreciation for the Beatles, Beach Boys, etc…

It couldn’t get no worse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk0dBZ1meio

josef

December 16th, 2011
4:33 pm

JAY

Well, I does work fer the APS! :-)

And Scout…
Welcome home, you old a33…good to see you back..

TaxPayer

December 16th, 2011
4:33 pm

In memory of one of my aunts who lost this album as a result of John’s infamous statement. Many a good record was burned back in the day.

USMC

December 16th, 2011
4:35 pm

Just when I think Jay Bookman has lost his mind, he has to go out and TRUMP all of the political banter with a masterful work of art that goes beyond words. Great taste Jay! :-)

USMC

December 16th, 2011
4:37 pm

wet wiccan

December 16th, 2011
4:37 pm

Thanks, Jay, the Beatles are always a good choice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPoNH4gidLg

Paul

December 16th, 2011
4:39 pm

Was checking out at the supermarket, said something about the Beatles and the teenage cashier smiled brightly and said “I heard of them, once!”

What can you do besides smile and leave?

Welcome back Scout. Your perspective is…. truly unique.

USMC

December 16th, 2011
4:40 pm

From one Comrade to another, nazdarovya! :-)

One of Jay’s FAVORITES!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHD5nd3QLTg

(you knew it was coming, so I got it outta the way early!)

USMC

December 16th, 2011
4:44 pm

Joe the neo-Mexican

December 16th, 2011
4:45 pm

ironic. I’ve heard that Lennon and McCartney conceived Sgt. Pepper specifically for traffic jams.

Paul

December 16th, 2011
4:45 pm

josef

Been sitting here working and listening to the album. Thanks.

If we’re gonna keep citing albums, it’s gonna be a long time between posts. But if we use Jay’s criteria of albums whose songs build upon one another, here’s a good one. Good instrumentals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkeISPmsrbA&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL023E7E773BE8D909

Paul

December 16th, 2011
4:46 pm

wet wiccan!

Hi!

It’s turning into Old Home Week around here.

Jay

December 16th, 2011
4:47 pm

You’re taking me back to my days in the KGB with that one, USMC.

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
4:47 pm

TaxPayer, check out this album cover.

Todd/Utopia taking a subtle sweep at the Reagan Republicans…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_to_the_Right

Paul, Scout is playing hard to get!

For me, THE Beatles song that changed the world. (Hey, I was only nine!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vZLVJwXP-U&feature=related

Normal

December 16th, 2011
4:47 pm

The Beatles? I got ‘em all 17 box set, plus vinyl,

But my personal favorite single…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCKANiM9tUM

Normal

December 16th, 2011
4:49 pm

Paul

December 16th, 2011
4:50 pm

Saw Paul McCartney a few years ago in concert here. Very little in the way of a warmup band, he was out there almost the whole time, then after the show was over stayed on stage for a half hour, signing stuff, tossing it to the audience, just having a good time.

He’s a classy guy.

Paul

December 16th, 2011
4:52 pm

AmVet

“For me, THE Beatles song that changed the world. (Hey, I was only nine!)”

You were only nine and the line from that song worked for you? Nine! You’re an incredible guy, AmVet. Even before you hit puberty -

wet wiccan

December 16th, 2011
4:52 pm

Hey Paul -

I do show up here every now and then (smile)

Merry Christmas!

FYI Jay

December 16th, 2011
4:54 pm

“You’re taking me back to my days in the KGB with that one, USMC.”

I never knew Jay worked for APS

My fault, he said KGB, which is of course completely different; the KGB being a much more benign organization.

USMC

December 16th, 2011
4:54 pm

“You’re taking me back to my days in the KGB with that one, USMC.”

Touche, JAY! :-)

USMC

December 16th, 2011
4:57 pm

The Song that influenced the Beatles to create Sgt. Pepper’s…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L–cqAI3IUI

Scroll down and read under RECEPTION
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_Sounds

wet wiccan

December 16th, 2011
5:09 pm

I was 10 when the movie A Hard Days Night opened. I remember standing in a line that went all the way down the block from the Orpheum Theater, but it was worth it …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJImvBHeo8Q&feature=related

Thomas

December 16th, 2011
5:10 pm

Hey Jay- how about some relaxing Van Halen some time?

USMC

December 16th, 2011
5:10 pm

As I was..I meant to say that the ALBUM Pet Sounds influenced Sgt. Peppers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfmjuFcR2U8&feature=related

josef

December 16th, 2011
5:11 pm

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
5:12 pm

Normal, it is hard to disagree with that one. It is just so sublime. And like a lot of their songs, I could never figure out what the hell it was really about, but didn’t care!

Paul, it’s not like there was anything else in Podunk, Kansas to knock my socks off!

Here’s an updated version of Please, Please Me.

One of the great joys of my life was seeing Sir Paul at Piedmont Park a couple of year ago.

And I know it is beyond crazy, but going there I knew that grown men and women were going to actually cry when this song played. (And I would probably be one of them.)

Such is the power of the sacrament called music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MWVo1fjRsQ

josef

December 16th, 2011
5:18 pm

Ah! The days…

I was 8 when the Beatles hit…me and my brother grew our hair out…they tried to make us cut it or get thrown out of school…Mama went in the ever mad tigress defending her cubs…the principal says “you don’t mean you let them listen to that?” “I insist!” And she gave them a short concert of her favorite tunes…we stayed in school but Mama wasn’t invited to the parent’s night musical performace! :-)

And Mama, this one’s for you…it was your favorite of all theirs…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9GEjHKn9d8

FYI Jay

December 16th, 2011
5:19 pm

Yes josef, but as long as Maxwell passes the CRCT, he still gets invited to the end of the year pizza party!

USMC

December 16th, 2011
5:20 pm

For when you meet that special woman… :-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ts2U1mkfz4

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
5:23 pm

The phenomenon really is really hard to describe now, isn’t if josef?

I remember circa 1966 me and my best friend Stewart pretending to be John and Paul. We’d imitate their stances as we played our imaginary guitar and bass and lip sync to the songs on the radio. (I played a helluva harmonica!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xuMwfUqJJM

Jm

December 16th, 2011
5:27 pm

Fat bluegrass at variety playhouse tonight

I’ll be there, after a Euclid Ave YC drive by

But you won’t know who I am :)

Seriously fat bluegrass. Seriously :)

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
5:29 pm

Another killer choice at 5:20, USMC.

The mania has obviously never left us. Even after nearly 48 years!

For me one of the great kicks in later life was seeing a Todd Rundgren show in 2004 that truly transformed me. (What can I say? I’m a musical nut!)

While discovering his back catalog, I discovered this little gem that convinced me all of us were in it together back then…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ldLwavOp6E

TaxPayer

December 16th, 2011
5:30 pm

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 16th, 2011
5:31 pm

USMC

December 16th, 2011
5:32 pm

Ironic??? Gues who plays at the Variety tomorrow night, Jay???
http://www.variety-playhouse.com/event/70351/

Jay are you still down at OWS/ATlanta playing on your OUIJA Board????

josef

December 16th, 2011
5:34 pm

Jay

December 16th, 2011
5:36 pm

Wish I had seen that earlier, USMC, I would have given ‘em a plug.

USMC

December 16th, 2011
5:38 pm

“I remember circa 1966 me and my best friend Stewart pretending to be John and Paul. We’d imitate their stances as we played our imaginary guitar and bass and lip sync to the songs on the radio. (I played a helluva harmonica!)”–Amvet

Amvet, That was a great memory to share, thx.

pogo

December 16th, 2011
5:41 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2N2tymDcFo

Kind of describes the whimsical shallowness of us all. The Beatles talent will never be matched.

josef

December 16th, 2011
5:43 pm

common
@ 5:31

:-)

USMC

December 16th, 2011
5:44 pm

“Wish I had seen that earlier, USMC, I would have given ‘em a plug.”

Jay, I don’t want to start scheduling your social life, BUT don’t you think you should grab the Queen and walk down to the Yacht Club for a couple of 420’s and off to the show across the street tomorrow night???

A Day in the Life
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCUeia-nEio

Just a suggestion :-)

Brad Steel

December 16th, 2011
5:47 pm

phu-leez. that phony beatlemania has bitten the dust!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vHvzybkqfo

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 16th, 2011
5:48 pm

Since it’s cold outside (at least for this southern boy) here in Cleveland I’ll just

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq7DGPYzAvg&feature=related

pogo

December 16th, 2011
5:50 pm

Methinks Amvet is the “Utopia” WALRUS!

josef

December 16th, 2011
5:51 pm

godless heathen

December 16th, 2011
5:52 pm

Here’s about my favorite mop-hair song. Very nice video.

http://youtu.be/jz7IjXu0DfQ

Paul

December 16th, 2011
5:53 pm

AmVet

Okay, whew –

I thought you were nine years old and using “Please, please me” as a pickup line for older girls and it actually worked for you1

josef

December 16th, 2011
5:56 pm

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
6:01 pm

Oh Lord no, Paul.

Even though I was intrigued by the beautiful actresses on TV and film, I was years away from knowing the first thing about s-e-x! And even for back then, I was a slow learner! But then the seventies rolled around and it was big time sex, drugs and rock and roll!

pogo, too funny. Loved Lennon and McCartney, of course.

But it was only later that I discovered that it was this Beatle who really spoke to me…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGxvhAiOt-A

out of the blue

December 16th, 2011
6:01 pm

Don’t know if this ones been played? Doubt it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEszO2tOJSA

josef

December 16th, 2011
6:07 pm

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
6:08 pm

Another early one, with that fantastic harmony that made both the boys and girls just melt…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzZdi2z7lHM&feature=related

josef

December 16th, 2011
6:09 pm

blue

good to hear from you of a Friday night…always can depend on you for a deep cut…

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
6:10 pm

wet wiccan

December 16th, 2011
6:14 pm

josef – I clicked on your song for Newt and was expecting to hear The Fool on the Hill (ha ha)!

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
6:16 pm

josef

December 16th, 2011
6:23 pm

wiccan

That’s somebody else… :-)

Soothsayer

December 16th, 2011
6:45 pm

marauder

December 16th, 2011
6:56 pm

The most incredible thing about Peppers is that it was mixed on a 4 track recording machine. The equivalent of producing a state of the art automobile on a Model T assembly line. What a Band

AmVet - A Happy KwanzChristmakkuh to al!

December 16th, 2011
7:04 pm

We were talking
About the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves
Behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth
Then it’s far too late
When they pass away

We were talking
About the love we all could share
When we find it
To try our best to hold it there
With our love, with our love
We could save the world
If they only knew

Try to realize it’s all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you

We were talking
About the love that’s gone so cold
And the people who gain the world
And lose their soul
They don’t know, they can’t see
Are you one of them

When you’ve seen beyond yourself
Then you may find
Peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come
When you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you
we’re all one, and life flows on within you and without you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljnv3KGtcyI

carlosgvv

December 16th, 2011
7:07 pm

Jay, realizing in this day and age of digital music and I-tunes that Sgt. Pepper is still great music is similar to realizing that even when your TV has 200 stations, most of them are trash and high quality is a rare thing indeed.

Normal

December 16th, 2011
7:13 pm

getalife

December 16th, 2011
7:18 pm

Some good writing but too mellow for me. Whenever I see Afghanistan coverage Back in the USSR pops in my head.

For Pea and godless:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuHXXW32gd8

Tom Middleton

December 16th, 2011
7:20 pm

How about an ol’ Tanya Tucker one, Jay. You can probably guess which one without looking. Anyway… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=696keD5bSxA

josef

December 16th, 2011
7:33 pm

Okay, so some country…I was looking for a hook for this one ever since it appeared on you tube…far as I’m concerned, the best country lines ever penned in this one…

“…and all of the songs that I wrote for your birthday, like babies abandoned they lie…” :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwY-aK3awlI

Jay

December 16th, 2011
7:45 pm

And then of course there’s all the “Paul is dead” madness associated with this album. My first but hardly last experience with loopy conspiracy theories.

Tom Middleton

December 16th, 2011
7:45 pm

Jm

December 16th, 2011
7:51 pm

Jammin bluegrass from Chatham county line

Variety playhouse

Awesomeness

Tom Middleton

December 16th, 2011
7:52 pm

josef

December 16th, 2011
7:54 pm

JAY

And we know who buried Paul! :-)

Jm

December 16th, 2011
7:54 pm

Whoops

Less PBR

Soothsayer

December 16th, 2011
7:58 pm

Kamchak

December 16th, 2011
8:10 pm

Jm

December 16th, 2011
8:16 pm

Sooth
Yeah……..

Soothsayer

December 16th, 2011
8:18 pm

Jm: if you like Bluegrass, you can’t be all bad! 8)

Soothsayer

December 16th, 2011
8:19 pm

Great contribution, Kam, loved it!

Finneus MaCooleus

December 16th, 2011
8:22 pm

One Buddy Holly gem I found in the Beatles repertoire:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay8y8MctiOw

Hold me close and tell me how you feel
Tell me love is real
Mm, mm, mm, mm

Words of love you whisper soft and true
Darling I love you
Mm, mm, mm, mm

Let me hear you say
The words I want to hear
Darling when you’re near
Mm, mm, mm, mm

Words of love you whisper soft and true
Darling I love you
Mm, mm, mm, mm
Mm, mm, mm
Mm, mm, mm

Finneus MaCooleus

December 16th, 2011
8:23 pm

get that guitar work down pat and you are like a doctor with a scalpel.

Tom Middleton

December 16th, 2011
8:26 pm

“Christopher Hitchens is dead” -God

Kamchak

December 16th, 2011
8:30 pm

Soothsayer

December 16th, 2011
8:32 pm

theyeshaveit

December 16th, 2011
8:33 pm

Redneck Convert (R---and proud of it

December 16th, 2011
8:36 pm

Well, you know you’re old when old people on this blog start talking about being 9 when they heard the Beatles. Heck, I was going on 22, and I was on a ship pulling into Pearl Harbor when some guy on deck had a transistor radio and was playing a Beatles song. Being on Guam all that time, things were kind of behind over there and this was the first time I heard the group. Of all their songs, I’m kind of partial to this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6j4TGqVl5g

Mick

December 16th, 2011
8:39 pm

Took me awhile to catch up. The beatles, that’s some cosmic force from liverpool . Here’s one dedicated to my best friend Larry who only got 14 years on this earth. We thought this song was pretty damn wicked for its time-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtCxv-EqccI

theyeshaveit

December 16th, 2011
8:39 pm

Kamchak,

That was sweet.

Bruno

December 16th, 2011
8:40 pm

Great Beatles picks everyone. Special shouts to Jay for “Fixing A Hole”, Brother Normal for “Across The Universe”, and Redneck for “Here Comes The Sun”.

Bruno

December 16th, 2011
8:42 pm

We thought this song was pretty damn wicked for its time-

It’s still damn wicked, Mick…..

Soothsayer

December 16th, 2011
8:42 pm

Bruno

December 16th, 2011
8:45 pm

For all of you hitting the “Norwegian Wood” tonight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySg0HWBj6KY

Tom Middleton

December 16th, 2011
8:45 pm

The mountains are rubbing off on you, Kam. Very nice…

josef

December 16th, 2011
8:50 pm

A couple from the Tribe in the spirit of the Season.. (i.e. Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8Kn-ZwtX8w&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sStkm00UODY&feature=related

Curious Observer

December 16th, 2011
8:50 pm

Why is it that every time I hear “Norwegian Wood” I’m reminded of early 19th Century Romantic poet John Keats’ “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”?

theyeshaveit

December 16th, 2011
8:51 pm

Soothsayer

December 16th, 2011
8:52 pm

Redneck: great piece. Too bad George smoked himself to death! ‘Course people didn’t know any better back then.

How about swingin’ by a little later with one of them “suitcases?” I’m runnin’ a little low.