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Poetry and Music - Allen Ginsberg and Paul McCartney -- "Ballad of the Skeletons"

This amazing link will be surprising to many people -- people who are confident that they know the Beatles and believe they possess a fundamental knowledge of the workings behind the group and the dynamic personalities that made up the group.  Honestly, I am a Beatle scholar and have to admit -- the existence of this work was a very pleasant surprise to me recently.

This link will also surprise most officianados of the Beat generation - students of Ginsberg and Kerouac and Burroughs -- lovers of "Howl" and "On the Road".  Such vital activity from "Howl" author Allen Ginsberg only a few years before his death - should have received more play - the world should know.

For most, the Beatles organic image projects John Lennon as the artistic, inspirational, political and controversial "way out" leader of the group - the member responsible for their maturation and direction when the days of "the Fab Four" and the "4 boys from Liverpool" were over.  Who can blame them?  With breakthrough poetic lyrics from early Dylan influenced pieces like "Tommorrow Never Knows" and into "I am the Walrus" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Strawberry Fields Forever", then "Come Together" and "The Ballad of John and Yoko" and finally "Imagine" -- it is widely considered that John Lennon was the spark that lit the creative fire and inspired change.

He was.  But he was definitely not alone.

The reason for the Beatles greatness are numerous.  The list includes:

  • Youthful vitality
  • Timing - on the scene at a global spiritual low
  • Songwriting prowess
  • 4 incredible talents gathered together by chance
  • 4 remarkable personalities
  • Excellent management -- recognizing the talent and exposing it
  • Humor
  • Musical Prowess
But the Beatles paved the way, influenced by the likes of legendary black blues performers, R & B giants like Little Richard, early Rock and Roll heroes like Elvis, Country, Rockabilly like Jerry Lee Lewis - the Beatles paved the way for change and cultural awareness and the idea that "creativity is cool".

Yes, John Lennon as the way-out Beatle did have a tremendous influence, for that is his legacy.  But so did Paul McCartney.  Paul was perhaps even MORE into absorbing the art around the London scene than John, but, restricted by his intense professionalism and image consciousness and professionalism, he focused on maintaining the "Rock Combo" he helped create.  He brought his influences of art, painting, poetry, music inward to John and George and Ringo during his alone time, party time with them, and most importantly -- into to their intense recording and creative sessions in the studio at Abbey Road.

The weird tape loops and backwards things and odd sounds found on Revolver onward - were the result of Paul's experiments in his home studio on Cavendish, a few blocks away from the Abbey Road studio.  Far from his preferred outward image of being "handsome, smiley and cutesy".  Paul was perhaps the creative force musically - in the studio - and this is the result of his heavy involvement in the London art scene.

These clips show Paul's openness to creativity and Poetry (he has his own Poetry anthology by the way) - and this should not really be a surprise - John himself has said that Paul was a very creative driving force "on an Intellectual level mainly" and that he is widely misunderstood.

Watch the amazing American Poet Allen Ginsberg recite his political masterpiece "The Ballad of The Skeletons" -- first live with Paul on stage -- Paul is amazing with Ginsberg, who was amazing -- ad-libbing a basic intense shuffle to accentuate the intensity of the Poem, and then a superb studio piece recorded with Pauls band shortly there after with some entertaining and stimulating video.

Watch them both, they are both entertaining!

Here is the original live version:

And here is the studio version:

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