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RE: (TV) Ray / Marc /Ziggy

It is perhaps interesting to note that Tom Verlaine never really cared that much about the Beatles; he much prefered The Stones, The Byrds (or even Petulia Clark!):

Tom V. (Option Magazine Sept./Oct. 1987):  "...I remember in the '60s, I never really liked the Beatles, I liked some Rolling Stones...this guy in some classical magazine had written this piece because, in the '60s, it had become very fashionalbe for sort of "high brow" music lovers to call the Beatles melodic geniuses. Glenn Gould didn't agree at all. He just said that because it was so well-orchestrated, and George Martin was doing all the stuff, he said they had a couple of good melodies. But they were nothing as good as Petula Clark. You know who she was, "Downtown" and "I Know A Place", and all those other songs. He more or less pointed to the fact that all her things were produced, written and arranged by this guy Tony Hatch.
"And I had to agree with him immediately because the melodies of these Pet Clark songs were like really great, really soaring and joyous, much stronger and more memorable than the Beatles songs. To come out and say that there was a sort of genius behind Pet Clark, especially for a man who is, in a sense, in the upper echelons of the classical music world, is really quite a brave thing to do in a way. There are pop critics who wouldn't consider Pet Clark anything but a sort of pop singer. But if you get her greatest hits album, these songs, the melodies on them, the arrangements on them are just great, amazing actually, considering the kind of happier pop tunes of the day are nowhere near as good as those are. It could be looked at as incredibly naive. The lyric content is, like a song called "Downtown" where all the lights are bright, this young person with this incredible idealization toward the city and going there. It's unambivalent, that's what I like about it. Rather than!
 naivete, I like unambivalent songs, statements. But I can't say I'm a Pet Clark fan."

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Monica Kendrick [SMTP:mkendrick@chicagoreader.com]
> Sent:	Monday, May 22, 2000 9:21 PM
> To:	tv@obbard.com
> Subject:	Re: (TV) Ray / Marc /Ziggy
> >OK, Monica.  I'll grant you "Get Back In Line."  I forgot all about "Get Back
> >In Line."
> >
> >Plus, I was, as my beloved Mott the Hoople so aptly put it, "Born Late '58,"
> >and, so, much more susceptible to Beatlemania than a child of the (late)
> >sixties might be.  For me, they're on some exalted level above critical
> >analysis.  Let me put it this way -- a recent screening of the newly-remixed,
> >surround-sound Yellow Submarine movie moved me almost to tears.  (I actually
> >remember being disappointed I was too young to see them at Shea, and I
> >remember watching them on Ed Sullivan.)
> Well, I can certainly relate to that--it's kind of like how I feel about
> Television! (tho' I did catch their reunion tour).
> When it gets to the level of what moves one person and what doesn't move
> another, there's not too much point in arguing. The Beatles never did it
> for me, but I'm not going to try to cut them down too much to someone who
> -did- feel it.
> Since we're on the personal-confession level now, I have to 'fess that the
> Kinks were (and are) my -dad's- favorite band of all time; "Sunny
> Afternoon" is the first pop song I can recall hearing, and there's some
> dispute in my family over whether or not I was actually named after
> "Monica" from _Village Green Preservation Society_. The timing _is_ right,
> and that album _was_ apparently in VERY heavy rotation round about the time
> my naming was an issue....he says yes when he feels like teasing me (We are
> all aware that the song is about a prostitute). Considering he named our
> beloved dog after a Stones song ("Angie") and he liked them just a little
> bit less than the Kinks, I am inclined to believe that the song _was_ my> 
> real namesake, he just doesn't like to admit it. Although he and I have
> always had our passionate disagreements about music as well as agreements,
> there's no doubt that hearing that music at a _very_ early age certainly,
> um, primed the pump. (Beefheart was another fave, imagine what -that- did
> to shape me....I got a good essay about the _Grow Fins_ set out of it, but
> I know it goes much deeper than that).
> >
> >Plus, let's say I'm of the ethnic persuasion to be not particularly amused by
> >Ray's little ditty "When I Turn Off the Living Room Light" on "Great Lost..."
> >Leading me to believe that our Mister Davies, though gifted, is not one of the
> >world's great thinkers.  (Unless his intent here was to offend all women and
> >Jews in his audience.  I could hardly imagine John Lennon being involved in a
> >similar gaffe.)
> Well, there's that allegation that they're singing "Baby you're a rich fag
> Jew" on at least one of the "Baby You're a Rich Man" choruses (it was a
> directed dig at...Epstein, could it have been?) but no one's -proved- that
> that I know of. And I don't think Lennon -intended- to offend a whole slew
> of Christians (at least not at the time) but he certainly did.
> Of course also, some of the "Apeman" lyrics aren't the
> most...um....culturally sensitive lines ever penned either, now are they?
> Point.
> >
> >So on balance, if it isn't painfully obvious already, let me say that I
> >(sometimes) LOVE the Kinks.  (Even if I can't reconstruct the exact order of
> >their 60s output on a moment's notice.)  But better than the Beatles?  Geez.
> >
> Well, at this point it -is- a matter of taste. I know which of the two I
> like listening to more, on the average. But since we've both revealed it's
> a -childhood- thing, I don't think critical armwrestling is gonna get us
> anywhere. It's an agree-to-disagree thing, though I stand by my point that
> the Beatles don't necessarily mean as much or the same thing to those of us
> who missed the 'cultural phenomenon' aspect.
> Monica
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