Thursday, September 20, 2012

A cloudburst doesn't last all day (Hari Georgeson)

I've been catching up on my reading of late. We sent home 22 boxes of stuff from the Middle East and after an eternity (five months) they finally arrived at Wozza's place in August. A few of the boxes contained my stockpiled CDs, DVDs, and books. It was like Christmas at our place!

A lot of the books I had put on the shelf in Al Ain and knew I'd read them when I got home - mainly music books, and mainly large format Beatles related coffee table epics bought at the Dubai Mall.

So far I've made my way through May Pang's Instamatic Lennon - catchy name for her (slight) photograph book; Bob Gruen's John Lennon - The New York Years; Julian Lennon's Beatle's Memorabilia; Chris O'Dell's opportunistic Miss O'Dell; and Fab Four Faq.

The Bob Gruen collection of photos and text is the best of that bunch. Julian's collection of Beatles memorabilia is pretty slight - mainly a collection of Gold Records. It looks good though.

I'm currently working my way through Fab Four Faq 2.0 which concerns the 1970-80 decade of Beatle solo doings, before launching into Olivia Harrison's huge book called George Harrison - Living In The Material World.

The Fab Four Faq 2.0 is a better book than the first volume as it concerns itself with stuff that most Beatle books neglect - the 'what happened next?' stuff of the seventies which is where I really started to collect and appreciate the solo efforts and which, in turn, led me back into the Beatles music.

Ringo's solo efforts are fascinating to consider. I own every single one - that's also fascinating to consider (I also continue to collect every Yoko album). I eventually got to the point where I just had to keep on having them (knowing what I was in for) but it didn't start out that way.

I began with Ringo in 1973 and loved it instantly. Goodnight Vienna and Ringo's Rotogravure also had substantial merits that kept me hooked. From there I backtracked eventually to his first two false starts Sentimental Journey and Beaucoups of Blues. It's clear why Ringo considers his solo career starts with Ringo. After Ringo I've collected every album on its release. Bad Boy severely tested my resolve but I persevered.

His latest album is called Ringo 2012. Smart guy tapping into that feel good Brit feeling that's been so prevalent this year. It's not bad (nothing will ever plumb the depths of Bad Boy) but it's hardly essential.

And yet - when a random track came up on my ipod shuffle the other day it stood out in an unexpectedly pleasant way. And that cheered me up no end. I was made up that the still lovable Ringo is still putting out albums that contain songs that can do that to me.

Cheers Ritchie!

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