The White Album & Charles Manson

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.
The Modernist

Postby The Modernist » 08 Nov 2004, 21:36

Erm wrote:
Maryann wrote:....the song itself bothered me back in 1993 when i saw Paul in concert and he used it as a backdrop to show awful images of animals being slaughtered and tested on....


That sounds like a cracking gig! I'm not big on Macca, but he may be more of a showman than I realised.


Maybe Maryann went to see Throbbing Gristle by mistake. They're easy to mix up.

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Postby Snarfyguy » 08 Nov 2004, 21:43

When I saw The Butthole Surfers in '87 they had films of *really* gruesome surgery as a backdrop. I didn't like it.
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no one

Postby no one » 08 Nov 2004, 21:50

i love the Butthole Surfers :D i had no idea they did stuff like that, though.......was there a point, or was it just them trying to be even more weird and shocking?


and yeah, Erm, it was disturbing at the time......everyone around me was turning and looking at each other as if to say "what the fuck??"........there was not one sound coming from the crowd, until the song ended and Paul came on stage, playing (i can't remember which song he opened with) .......the rest of the concert was AWESOME, though.......all i could say about it afterwards was that i could finally go to my grave a happy woman, having breathed the same air as a Beatle :lol: .......i got to see him again in 2000, so you can just shoot me and bury me any time you want now

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Postby Snarfyguy » 08 Nov 2004, 23:45

Maryann wrote:i love the Butthole Surfers :D i had no idea they did stuff like that, though.......was there a point, or was it just them trying to be even more weird and shocking?


Yeah, the latter I think. I just found it to be gratuitous.
Jimbo wrote:Look, all I know is pretty much what I get from Robert Parry over at Consortium News.

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Postby Wolfman Raph » 09 Nov 2004, 09:05

My first encounter with Revolution 9 was in a... pub. Yes. A "rock" pub; of course. It was circa 1974, I was 16, I asked a glass of beer and heard that sound. In that context, it didn't scare me at all. I was just a bit amazed. I wanted to look cool and I had already read about German rock (not yet called Krautrock at that time) so I asked the waiter: "What's that? Faust? Can? Neu!"? How stoopid I felt when he answered scornufully to the teenager I was then: "The Beatles". And me, very low, "Oh!".

I bought "The Beatles" in 1977 only. Apart from their very first albums, it was the last "great" Beatles album I discovered.

In Belgium, we had known about Charles Manson, of course. But for some reason, I didn't know anything about the words painted with blood, "pigs", "helter skelter" and the like.

So when the needle reached Helter Skelter, I had no préjugé about it. And THIS song scared me almost to death, without warning. I mean, I had heard very violent songs before. It was 1977, after all. And I had swallowed "Raw Power" a couple of years before. But there was something, er, wrong with Helter Skelter. Its violence was, how to say that?, kind of forced, non natural, subhuman, abnormal. With its false endings and no track limitations on the vinyl, I didn't know at all when that mess would stop. I used to hang on the sheet with the lyrics to tell myself that the side would end with a Harrison song, and I counted on it to comfort me. But Helter Skelter seemed to last for long (in fact, no more than 4:30) so I feared Long Long Long would be only one minute long. It appeared not to be, but it also happened that it was not a comfortable song at all! Probably the gloomiest song Harrison ever recorded.

Then after that trauma, side 4. Apart from the enjoyable Revolution 1, it was another traumatic experience. Honey Pie is light and funny, but Savoy Truffle is another sinister blow. Cry Baby Cry is a nightmarish nursery rhyme. And then that eight minutes long block!

Like on side 3, even the last track, Good Night, is not a relief at all. It looks like Revolution 9 has infected all its neighbours and that you can't hear them apart without thinking ("oh, Rev 9 is about to come" or "I still have the sounds of Rev 9 in my head even when Ringo starts singing").

I think the Rev 9 virus has even affected the whole Disc 2 (for once, there's the same feeling on vinyl and on CD), Helter Skelter being the warning sign of something very very wrong.

Of course, it all sounded worse when I learned, years later :oops: , that Manson had probably lived the same feeling as me. Fortunately, I still haven't killed nobody...
We can't go on forever with suspicious minds

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Postby & » 09 Apr 2005, 05:06

John Mc wrote:Of course 'Let it be' also certainly has a spectre hovering over it...


spector, you mean :)

i was practically raised on the beatles, and the one album i really didn't like till i hit my teens was the white album.

barring 'back in the u.s.s.r.'

there was always something twisted about it, it wasn't straight pop and it wasn't straight rock, and half the time it sounded like music being heard from a great distance, muffled and vaguely distorted, like hearing something while throwing up in the toilet bowl.
the description is quite recent of course, but i always had the feeling that there was something wrong about the record, something odd, distorted, off, something ill.

maybe it's the first experience i had with a 'raw' sounding beatles record (hell, as a kid, 'rubber soul' was my favourite most times)... but this record just piled up the oddities as it winded on.

it's not the heavy handed deliberate darkness of the doors, of course; it's a more inherent sort of feeling of sickness. or a malfunction in my brain.
it has enough pretty things to make for a good pop listen... martha my dear, i will etc, but these only accentuate the heavier, darker bits.

and 'helter skelter' was the worst. the deliberate pounding with mccartney sniggering and the whole thing made sort of more harmful with the baby sweet beatle backing vocal 'aaaaaaaahs'.

and from then on, i couldn't listen to the record till the end till i was at least thirteen or so.
i mean 'long, long, long' is supposed to be a tender ballad... and it still just sounds disconcerting to me.

oh, and the manson murders had no effect on this at all.

i'm sorry again for my recent long winded posts. just letting you folks know what i thought of this when i first heard it.

and also... this is probably my favourite record of all time.
"You're a rude and ignorant individual and I hope you get no sleep tonight." - Sir John Coan

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Postby Phenomenal Cat » 12 Apr 2005, 14:10

angshu wrote:i'm sorry again for my recent long winded posts. just letting you folks know what i thought of this when i first heard it.

and also... this is probably my favourite record of all time.


No worries. I agree with much of what you said. I didn't take in the whole of the White Album until I was out of my teens, mostly because it was so disconcerting. The Manson connection didn't help.

Great post.
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