Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Good Night

Richard Furnstein: Who is that friendly man in the clouds? He has the saddest eyes but the sweetest voice. The backdrop is painted, all soft tones and twisting branches. A frog jumps into a lake with a silent squelch. Look it's a doe! She just winked at us! What a wonderful world this is. I barely remember the terrifying abyss of "Revolution 9" now. I'm afloat on a makeshift raft and Ringo is telling me to ease off to sleep. The sun keeps creeping through the branches. I can feel the warm rays creep into the corners of my closed eyes. There's some quiet splashing happening near my feet. Do tadpoles leap? You'll get your wish soon enough, Ringo!

Robert Bunter: That’s it, Ritchie. Happiness is a warm bed. Just drift off into the land of clouds and pedestrian string arrangements. A chorus of buttery-smooth professional singers have been hired at a moderate expense, fresh from recording a radio advert for Gloanburg’s Noteworthy Crisps (“Now available in plain or brown flavor choices!”); they’re singing to you. Close your eyes and get swept away. Don’t look too closely at the dewy fawn or you might find the truth in its eyes; pay no attention to the improbable curves of the branches, which seem to suggest a non-random malevolent pattern. The universe is unfolding within a great and unknowable plan; everything has been arranged for your benefit. This pleasant fancy world might seem artificial, but it’s nothing to get hung about. Let the day’s cares drift silently away as your extremities slowly succumb to insensate numbness. Nothing is real. The gentle boatman will ferry you across the unknown waters of Lethe, the stream of Oblivion. Your blood is getting cold. You should have listened to the urgent warnings of “Glass Onion” and “Savoy Truffle” and “I’m So Tired,” but it’s too late for that now. Sweet dreams, Ritchie. You’ve just been tricked into dying by The Beatles.  

Sweet dreams. You've just been tricked into dying by The Beatles.

Richard Furnstein: Fair enough. We've been through a lot together, The Beatles. Thank you for making a bunch of great records, including at least 9 excellent solo recordings. I loved your movies and your officially licensed beach towels and John's books. Thanks for encouraging me to get into Indian food and Harry Nilsson. I guess it's time that the sun in my face turns out its light.

Wait, psych your mind. There's a lot of living left to do. I assume they'll release the Esher demos on 180 gram vinyl eventually. And what about "Carnival of Light"? Will that finally be released at some point? Will Dhani ever release a killer solo album? What about the Beatlemaniacal '12 convention? I hear Hugh McKracken is going to sign this year. No thanks sweet reaper Ringo, I ain't ready for that great milking barn in the sky yet. There's too much left to do and see here.

Robert Bunter: Ha, you passed the test. It turns out it was one of those Willie Wonka/King Solomon deals. The listener who ultimately embraced life was the true mother of the chocolate baby all along, because she wouldn’t “let it be” cut in half. Don’t you see, Ritchie? There was never any “magic ticket.” The magic was inside you, all along. It was you the whole time! The scales have dropped from your eyes. Smile and wave goodbye to the fading phosphorimage of the death deer and the large-nosed boatman. The White Album is over and you’re back to the real world. What’s next? 1969 and the Yellow Submarine soundtrack LP! Lots of comforting bright colors and joyful singalongs; no more creepy, saccharine George Martin string arrangements which are evocative of untimely death (note to self: avoid listening to side two of Yellow Submarine soundtrack LP).

Richard Furnstein: Wait, so we're not going to write up "Sea of Monsters" in a future installment? I have some heavy theories on that one.

1 comment:

  1. In my view (and my best friend's also - we have a similar set up to yours in that we talk about little else than the Beatles, and have done for 30 years) is that GM's production totally spoils this tune. For sure, there is a dark and deathly pallor to the 'over-lush' arrangement, but it spoils what is essentially THE great 'lost' Lennon song. I demand the full studio version of Ringo accompanied by a simple piano part - stark and beautiful - that allows the song to stand alone as one of John's finest late period pieces. I also demand Carnival of Light and a remastered and expanded version of the Get Back movie. Please