Posted by: suek2001 | June 2, 2017

“Give us a wink and make me think of you..”

I was perusing the Facebook Live app..and saw some youngish guy sing ” With a Little Help from My Friends”….his voice wasn’t anything remarkable  but his southpaw guitar work was really good….

Then I realized why he was playing it….the Beatles album ..Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band is about to turn 50….and all the fanfare that will go with it. Spotify has a remastered, two disc version of the classic LP for streaming….and PBS has a special on the making of the album…and all the rock journalists will pontificate the meaning..and the baby boomers will once again embrace a memory from their musical culture.

I like Sgt. Pepper…but I don’t love it…the album cover is cool..(although Alistair Crowley’s face creeps me out) but I rarely listen to the album…the opening two songs get a lot of airplay on Classic Rock stations..and the Lennon/McCartney classic “A Day in the Life” is a bit overplayed..(when Taylor Hicks screeched the song on American Idol about ten years ago, it meant it was time to retire the song)..

As a personal preference…the album “Abbey Road” is my favorite..from start to finish..although “Rubber Soul” is close behind…I listen to those a whole lot more than “Pepper”…

To be fair…compared to Usher’s “DJ’s got us falling in Love Again” or The “Weekend’s , “I Can’t Feel My Face”…”Pepper” is close to Shakespeare…

I’ll never forget when I first hear Sgt. Pepper from start to finish…It was in the mid 1980’s….John Denver’s career was in a record low..;he had put out two albums that did absolutely nothing for me…and as a die-hard fan, I felt lost for a time….(even started listening to James Taylor for awhile..but that faded too)

I was in high school…probably about 15 years old…went for a weekend visit to Miami Beach with a group called Young Life. I loved this group..with a message of Christ’s love being open to all…and allowing kids to have fun at the beach..what’s not to love? Still, the weird thing about this trip was all the music I was exposed too..Midnight dances on the beach to Buddy Holly…Daytime volleyball games to Whitesnake (I still love the song “Slow and Easy” all these years later)..and then Beastie Boys “License to Ill” playing randomly…(I still love “Brass Monkey” too)…

So after a memorable weekend…we all piled into a couple of vans and prepared for the three hour drive across Alligator Alley from Miami to Fort Myers….and Robert Passcato pulls out his boom box….I tried to get Robert’s attention all weekend…He was easily the cutest guy on that whole trip…and yet, I got nowhere…but his music collection was great….

Robert’s boombox played the Sgt. Pepper album all the way home….and I liked it..but didn’t really get it…I loved “Getting Better” and “She’s Leaving Home”..was totally confused by “Within You Wthout You” and delighted to hear the original “When I’m Sixty-Four”…(John Denver had a great cover of it..I was familiar with that one)…and adored “Lovely Rita”….the rest of the album didn’t grab me…and I didn’t really seek to own it later…I loved the Beatles at the time, but I liked their earlier stuff…

I would get sidetracked in my Beatles love, when I heard the Kingston Trio for the first time in 1987….and that would send me on a musical journey that brought joy…and tight family relations for years to come…that still thrive today…

I would give Sgt. Pepper another shot a few years ago..and found that “Within You and Without You” and “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite” to be super groovy tunes..and quite possibly my favorite…..although “Lovely Rita” remains a favorite..simply because of one line that I interpreted to be a bit dirty…and that made me smile…

—–“Got the bill and Rita paid it

took her home and nearly made it”

All these years later, that line still still gets me…So, the album that came out 50 years ago still means something…and for me, it means a time capsule to the mid 1980’s..when life was a lot simpler and less scary…and less sad….Young Life still thrives…Robert Pascatto is either a CPA or lawyer…I can’t recall…so we never did connect on any level….and I moved to Minnesota and live in one of the greatest cities in the world…and dream of going to to the Kingston Trio Fantasy Camp….

..and life flows within you and without you….and the music still lives…so shall we close this out with a bit Paul McCartney doing a version of Lovely Rita..





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