November 9, 2004

Annoying Moment

Probably first in a series. In Paris, sitting in my living room with a group of classical musicians: a cellist, a violinist, and a piano player. Listening to the Beatles. They winced and laughed about how flat the strings were in "Eleanor Rigby." The pianist said, "Amateurs." That was annoying.


Anonymous said...

Great idea to have a series of 'Annoying Moments'. This could actually be a terrific way to monitor what annoys others about human attitude and behaviour. I look forward to reading more.


Natalia said...

But, but... It's the Beatles. It's... Oh.

palmettobug said...

Since this annoyed the crap outta me, I had to look it up. I thought, how can anyone say such a thing, surely the Beatles didn't play the freakin' stings on those songs, they hired classical musicians to do it...

Paul McCartney got "Rigby" from the name of a store and "Eleanor" from actress Eleanor Bron. He liked the name "Eleanor Rigby" because it sounded natural.
"Father Mackenzie" was originally "Father McCartney." Paul decided he didn't want to freak out his dad and picked a name out of the phone book instead.
A string section of 4 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos were used in recording. Paul may have been inspired by the classic composer Vivaldi.
The Beatles didn't play any of the instruments on this. All the music came from the string players, who were hired as session musicians.
The last verse was written in the studio.
There is a gravestone for an Eleanor Rigby in St. Peter's Churchyard in Wooton, England.
This was originally written as "Miss Daisy Hawkins."
The lyrics were brainstormed among The Beatles. In later years, Lennon and McCartney gave different accounts of who contributed more of the words to this.
Microphones were placed very close to the instruments to create an unusual sound.
Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin both had hits with cover versions of this.
Because of the string section, this was difficult to play live, which The Beatles never did. On his 2002 Back In The US tour, Paul McCartney played this without the strings. Keyboards were used to compensate.

Henry Baum said...

Glad for the indignation. I think he was saying the session players were amateurs, but either way. The strings may very well be flat, but that’s not the point, it’s about emotion and soul and good songwriting and...Classical musicians seem to require perfection. They need a dose of punk rock, or just rocknroll. Coolest cover of "Eleanor Rigby" I’ve ever heard is by Booker T and the MG’s, an instrumental. Could be the best cover ever.

I used to be a Beatles fanatic. I have this book called the Beatles Encyclopedia that has every detail you’d ever want to know about them, the most absurd minutiae. At one point I read it religiously. I didn’t listen to anything but the Beatles. Why listen to anything but the best. I’ve moved on from that obsession, though that’s not to say I don’t listen to them often. And I really want John Lennon’s new acoustic record. Also Brian Wilson’s Smile.

xo. war. said...

there's really only one reaosn i like the beatles. nothing is complicated in their music. it just. goes. *shrugs*

xo. war.

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