Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Grow Old With Me

There are artists like William Butler Yeats, the great Irish poet, who painstakingly made his work look easy when in reality he would suffer over each word. Everything published was a masterpiece, everything else left alone, hidden away. Woody Allen, conversely, directed films like Annie Hall, Manhattan and Paris After Midnight that are darn near perfect for their genre, yet as quintessential as these films are, others, too many to mention, are simply awful, mediocre at best. It's simply a different philosophical approach to artistry.

Such was the case with Lennon. Lennon would, like Yeats, make something seem easy, flawless, and he'd hide everything else away. Yoko, instead, and I am not passing Yoko-judgment here, has subsequently released everything John ever wrote. I suppose there are some shopping lists in there, as well.

Not everything should have been released, and yet, if we don't treat what was like canon and only as a tidbit of history, I'm okay. Nothing was taken away from Pet Sounds when Capitol, 40 years later, released the alternate takes and snippets, the edited sequences and the things that didn't work.

The Beatles Anthology was an exhaustive work and documentary that bears it all. Though critics were cautious at best, when "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love" were released in 1995 and 1996, at least for a day or so, I was an emotional wreck. (Understand that I cried when the new Star Wars trailer came out.)

Nonetheless, there was a new single for Anthology 1, another for Anthology 2, but none for Anthology 3. No single was ever release although Yoko had released two other songs for the project.

On his latest LP, What's My Name, Ringo has released the Lennon track, "Grow Old With Me," with Paul McCartney on bass and backing vocals. The video here is a mash-up of a 1980 Lennon demo recorded in Bermuda with the track released on Ringo's new LP. It's not Beatles, it's certainly not of the quality of "Free As a Bird" or "Real Love," but it is the closest thing left of anything even remotely Beatles, even if it is a forgery. Treat it as such, but close your eyes - there is some Beatles in there. 

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