Thursday, January 12, 2012

Primitive Noise

This idea came from two directions. First, I'm always a Yoko Ono defender. There were character flaws, but you can't say that they were any worse than any of her late husband John's.
And I'm not here to start that debate.
I'm only here to show this wicked cool clip. I was made aware of a treasure trove of Let It Be film outtakes through the latest Lennon biography,
His mention of the scene where Peter Sellers drops in was enough to send me hunting on You Tube.
But my favorite thing that I found was filmed on January 10, 1969.
We all know the famous scene where George and Paul have a very quiet falling out (and what band hasn't jokingly said amongst each other, "I'll play what you want me to play or I won't play at all if you don't want me to play. Whatever it is that pleases you, I'll do it". Which is probably the most awesome thing anyone's ever said in response to Paul McCartney's  extreme annoying-ness during those sessions.
Anyway, George soon packed up, famously said "See you 'round the clubs" and went home.
Lennon half-jokingly suggested "giving Eric (Clapton) a call".
And to blow off steam. The Beatles, minus George, plus Yoko Ono on the microphone, proceeded to kick out some serious, serious noise jams. Paul's up against the amp, Ringo is moving like Keith Moon, John and Yoko are doing their junkie-artist-couple thing, and what a coup to get Paul and Ringo into it. Check it out. (The only thing I'd be embarrassed about is that Yoko keeps screaming "John, John". I'd be embarrassed if my wife just kept screaming "Brian, Brian!" were I in the same position.)




So, that was for real. What comes next is a creation of my mine. 
After reading so many posts on Grateful Dead forums debating the merits of both Donna Godchaux and Ned Lagin, I had an idea. Use the toys on my Mac to make the ultimate duet (strange that it never happened in reality).
First off, my candid opinion of each:

Ned: Though I may not always want to sit through 20 minutes of analog synth noise, I find him to be one of the most fascinating and mysterious characters in the Dead family. That he was accepted (by mostly Jerry and Phil, it would seem, as they still retained avant garde aspirations) is a very cool thing. That he voluntarily erased himself from GD history (as much as possible) is even weirder and cooler. That he was doing what he was doing in front of 30,000 people was way cool. No avant garde electronic noise artiste could ever aspire to that.

Donna: When I was 15, I totally had a crush on Donna in the GD Movie. Then I succumbed to the "Donna Sux" cult, without much thought. A 12 year anti-Dead period followed, and when I delved hardcore back into the band (4 years ago), I reevaluated her. The verdict: she was WILD! That's why the guys loved her! How unfitting would it be if these untrained singers and often sloppy musicians had Emmy Lou Harris with them? Why do you think Joan Baez totally sucked the couple times she sat in with them? Donna was one of the boys! Unpredictable as a Jerry guitar solo (will it suck? will it make us swoon?)

Re-listen to "Cassidy" from ACE or all of Garcia's Cats Under the Stars album. Donna rules!
So I'm firmly pro-Donna now.

Anyway....as I was saying. I made this movie, imagining a crazy, noisy duet between Ned (and Phil) and Donna.
I know, it's a bit of a rush job, but I think it's worth a gander....It was fun to make, and I consulted the Dead forums on Archive.org for some choice Donna off-the-rails moments.

(if you've not taken a look, the intended audience in my Dead-related youtube clips and forums is that of someone who likes a lot of different kinds of pop, punk, classic rock, new wave...but doesn't really get the Dead. My videos are intended to educate a bit. To create a middle ground between the closest-minded Deadhead zealot and the biggest Dead hater. Some have objected to my attempts at humor, but those are exactly the humorless people the jokes aren't intended for.) Anyway,
This video was done as a tribute to the greatness of Ned and Donna, who I think should get a lot more love. Hope you enjoy it at least for a hoot. Again, it was fun to make. Let's hear it for the noise!.

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