Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reading about Early 1970 in Early 2011

I have certainly reported on several Bob Dylan books in Bruce's Journal, but I don't recall reporting on any books about the Beatles although I have purchased and read many of them over the years.  Many detail how the group formed in Liverpool, how Beatlemania came to America, and how the group split up in the late 1960s.  There are also biographies of the individual Beatles.

Rodriguez, Robert, and Stuart Shea. Fab Four Faq 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years, 1970-1980. New York: Backbeat Books, 2010

I purchased the above book for the Amazon Kindle somewhat blindly since I was not familiar with its authors.  I was pleasantly surprised to read how this book details the relationships among the 4 Beatles from the breakup until the murder of  John Lennon.  For example, the authors talk about how George Harrison help Ringo start his solo career.  Rodriguez and Shea discuss a song written by Richard Starkey titled Early 1970.  I don't know if it was released as a 45, but it was not in the Joel Whitburn Top Pop books of records that charted in the Billboard Top 100 hits.  Here are the lyrics:

Lives on a farm, got plenty of charm, beep, beep.
He's got no cows but he's sure got a whole lotta sheep.
And brand new wife and a family,
And when he comes to town,
I wonder if he'll play with me.

Laying in bed, watching tv, cookie!
With his mama by his side, she's japanese.
They scream and they cried, now they're free,
And when he comes to town,
I know he's gonna play with me.

He's a long-haired, cross-legged guitar picker, um-um.
With his long-legged lady in the garden picking daisies for his soup.
A forty acre house he doesn't see,
'Cause he's always in town
Playing for you with me.

I play guitar, a - d - e.
I don't play bass 'cause that's too hard for me.
I play the piano if it's in c.
And when i go to town i wanna see all three,
And when i go to town i wanna see all three,
And when i go to town i wanna see all three

Ringo concludes by saying that he wants to see all three.  It is open to interpretation if he wanted to see all three together.  Did he want a Beatles reunion?

I am only about 15% through the book, so perhaps I'll comment more later.

1 comment:

Fab Four FAQ 2.0 said...

Hi Bruce -

Thanks for the kind words about my book (I should point out that 2.0 was written by me alone, while the first Fab Four FAQ was co-written by myself and Mr. Shea).

To answer your question: "Early 1970" was the B-side to the "It Don't Come Easy" single and was issued in the spring of 1971 - about a year after the group broke up. Hence, "Early 1970" expressed Ringo's wish, in the wake of the split, that the three could get past their differences and at least be friends again.

After the acrimonious dissolution, exacerbated by Paul's lawsuit against the other three to free himself of his common ties with them in Apple (in order to rid himself of Allen Klein), things were at an all time low.

Ever the optimist, Ringo worked the hardest to stay on good terms with all of them, and eventually did work on solo albums produced by all three of his ex-bandmates.

"Early 1970" represented a characteristically self-effacing effort to facilitate a thaw by openly stating how much he needed the others.


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