Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Not to jinx, but to encourage. . .

I feel, I feel, I feeeeeeeel like I'm coming through. After not having been able to write more than a few words (and then in role of editor), I wrote three songs, this afternoon.

No, I didn't. That's such a lie. What a liar I am!

What I did, actually, was to write the lyrics for three of Chris' songs. One I had most of, already, and was sort've. . . finalizing, I guess. One I had pieces of, and got in order (and wrote another verse for). One--the long one, the daunting one, the spunky one, for which I had not previously had a word, on which I could not muster a thought, let alone a line or verse--I wrote in its entirety.

And it is fun. I am so, so pleased--which is saying a lot, since I have a long and sordid history as a horrid detractor of myself. They need work in that I need to be more comfortable singing them than I am while he's playing them, and it's good to practice together, but.. they're.. . I like them. Goodness, that song is fun to sing. One of the others is fun, too. And the last--it's pretty. It's working. And Chris likes them all. Which is important, since it's his music. That makes us officially musical collaborators.

Which is, by the way, pretty hot.

Speaking of hot musical collaboration, and inspiration to write:

"I'd love to turn you on. . ."

Chris and I have been absolutely ploughing through the Beatles Anthology, which he found for us because he is fantastic. We just finished the 6th segment, which includes the making of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. In particular, Paul (and George Martin, too, come to think) talk about the writing and production of "A Day in the Life."

Now, I was raised on the Beatles. And as far as explicit lyrics and raunchiness go, I would hands down say the Eagles and Jimmy Buffet (also formative) had it over them. My adoration for the Beatles was consequently deep and pure and utterly innocent.

And it wasn't 'til I was probably 19 or so that I caught wind of the strange and elusive beast, Beatles slash. I don't remember if it was before or after that, though, that I really, really listened to "Run For Your Life," from Rubber Soul (an album I'd had and loved since I was about nine). I mean, I'd heard it and knew it, but I mean really, really listened. And realized that it was rough sex in vocal form.

Delete several paragraphs of rampant pornographic waxing here on the general subject of sexuality (mostly mine) as related to the Beatles.


In short, through this and that, I've come out of that nonsense about them being innocent. The drugs weren't a surprise, but it was harder, about the raunch. I'm seeing it, finally--seeing the sexuality in the show, understanding. The tens of thousands of girls who screamed when they leaned in inches from one another, heads together, mouths at the same mic, and sang high harmonies together didn't just like the music. I can barely keep my chair, now, and yes, the harmony is part of it, but it's not all.

And it's even occasionally in the lyrics. I hadn't noticed. "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw?" was too obvious to ignore, but the Beatles were subtle. I'd heard "A Day in the Life" a thousand times, and heard--and sung along with more often than not--the line "I'd love to turn you on" as it halts and sighs and pulses long, and assumed they either didn't mean it that way, or that it just didn't mean that then. It was the 60's, after all, a time of innocence.

I'm not sure how I managed that. It has to do with knowing it from before I was able to understand, I think.

And here was Paul, talking about writing with John, making music with him, waving off any claim of professionalism--he was, he said, a big fan of John's, and that it wasn't calmly joining to write, no--they were excited by what each the other was doing. "I can't wait to get my hands on that one!" and so forth. And there was something missing, in "A Day in the Life," he said. And when that line came up--he sang it in the interview, soft--it was it. And Paul has a way of looking naughty and knowing, you know. Turning his face just aside while looking forward, and lifting his eyebrows while lowering his eyelids and parting his lips, holding his body very, very still.

It was in the lingo, at the time, he said. Everyone knew it, he said, but no one had put it on an album, yet, dared to. "Do it! Put that in, write that down!" he repeated himself, sounding breathless and excited and sly. And I see it.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney, still eager to get their hands on one another's work, still meshing and collaborating, sitting close across over a keyboard, thrilling, when one of them looks up and sighs a non-sequitur, sings to the other, "I'd love to turn. . . you. . . on. . . "

And the other whispers, "Yes!"


Doc Nagel said...

I still don't think that's what they meant by "I'd love to turn you on." But that's as may be. There's still an awful lot of sex happening in the Beatles. Er, no, with the Beatles. No, no, that's not it. I mean the Beatles, the Beatles...

Doc Nagel said...

And oh, by the way, Lauren's lyrics are splendid. I suppose we'll start playing this stuff in front of actual people soon, which is daunting and scary, at least the first time.

Lulu--Back in Town said...

And I still think that even if "turning on" is a pot reference, "turn you on" means seduce and get hot. Even if the method/aim is pushing a joint on. Active, forward--even if it's drugs instead of sex, per se. It's still sexual.

For instance: Zach would never pass me the bong with "I want to turn you on." Admittedly, 40 years later. But. . . I get the feeling it would still be more appropriate to say, "Turn on" or "I'd love you to turn on" than "I'd love to turn you on." I'm the one doing the turning, rather than the drug, that way, y'know?

. . . And thank you. I love you. And the UPS guy's already heard, he was an actual person!