Tag Archives: Abbey Road

Don’t Pass Me By

Well I broke down and bought the remastered White Album, Abbey Road and Sgt Pepper. When at Target the other day I saw they had the best price and after obsessing about it, I decided to bite the bullet and get some.

The White Album was listed at $18.99 which is cheaper than what I paid for it 10 years ago, close to $30.00. If you’re a cashier at Target, if there is no one on your line you have to stand in front of the registers and tell people that you’re open.

At the register (#9) it was marked down to $16.99 and then the cashier applied a $5.00 gift card, knocking the price down to $12.58. At that price I also picked up Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper. And those were $13.99, at the register- $11.98 and the $5.00 gift card was applied to that as well so it was too good a deal to resist.

I was so excited about it that I told Rand and Chaz about it. And they do sound better. The CD’s. Rand and Chaz sounded the same. The records have more of a warm feeling, full sound- not flat like before. And I’m no audiophile.

That was basically the highpoint of the day. It’s been a better day than yesterday.

Online I sent the fat geezer from England who was giving me a hard time yesterday to the Spam folder never to be heard from again. I stopped by Tunes to check out their price and everything was a few dollars more for the remastered Beatles CD’s.

I called up my brother Frank, just to check in, to let him know about the Target prices. I was feeling pretty good, walked along the new walkway between Hoboken and Jersey City. They were setting up for the official opening with Governor Jon Corzine making a speech.

On the way home I had to get some juice and butter substitute and I got a call from Frank. I told him how the Target deal went down. He had mentioned earlier about how he would like a mono copy and I told him then that it wasn’t for individual sale, only as part of the $300.00 boxed set.

He said his friend Alex got it for $100.00 and I sort of disputed that. Outside the supermarket, in a good mood, last day of summer he mentions again how he’d like a mono copy. I said his friend Alex could burn a copy for him I’m sure, but I myself wouldn’t expect one from Alex since I’m not Alex’s friend.

Once again I get accused of being antagonistic. I tell him that I’m not antagonistic, I don’t appreciate being called antagonistic like he did on September 9 when the Beatles stuff came out again.

I was quite happy and thrilled and trying to share that happiness with him but he’s not having any of it either then or now. I told him it would probably be best to end this conversation right then and there since it’s going to a bad place and I didn’t want to go there.

I do my shopping and come home excited to hear the Beatles stuff. I feel a little bad, especially when I open my emails and there are 2 links that Frank sent. One was an R. Stevie Moore thing covering Elton John’s Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself and the other was this fabled rapid share list of the Beatles remastered from WFMU.

I decided to call him back and thank him for the links. I try to explain how I am feeling and during that he tries to interrupt me but I don’t let him. ‘Oh it’s all about you,’ he says. I tell him I am trying to tell him what is going on. He’s a bit put off that I didn’t enjoy a link he sent regarding an off shoot of Arcade Fire. I tell him I haven’t listened to Arcade Fire since May 2007 when I had my meltdown at their Radio City show.

I respect him, even admire him but what’s the point when there doesn’t seem to be any respect coming my way? He had another call and I told him to call me back if he wanted to. He hasn’t.

Now that’s the Junior side of the day.

The Senior side is about my father who died 10 years ago today. It’s hard to write positive things about my father. He did put a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and food on the table but he also ran a tight ship, kept us in line by browbeating us or actually beating us.

He was 40 years older than me and I don’t think we ever really got along. There was never any moments of a hug and saying I love you.

Growing up I disliked him so much that I indented an X on his face in a picture of him and his siblings. He did try to make a connection I guess, but talking to a 15 year old boy like he was 5 years old wasn’t the way to do it.

I didn’t like the way he treated everyone in my family and wanted him out of my life, the sooner the better.

But that would never happen, even after abandoning my mother in Cape May and driving back to Lodi after my mother jokingly said when having after dinner cocktails at some restaurant ‘that she was fine and didn’t need his money’.

He decided to teach her a lesson by deserting her, my mother. He felt totally justified in this.

After my mother passed away in 1991, I was living in a bad situation and he was as well after losing his wife that I thought we could both help each other out. Everyone warned me about moving back to Lodi but I saw a side of him I had never seen before.

Loss and grief.

I was working in Hoboken and taking a bus to Manhattan and then a bus to Hoboken. It was a job and I had no other options.

One morning as I was getting ready to go to work, I used his deodorant. He must have seen me doing it and he says, ‘I don’t know what diseases you have, but don’t use my things!’ I could not wait to get away from him, I would be happy if I had never saw him again.

I lived with him for 3 months in Lodi and didn’t speak to him from 1991 to 1998. Before that I didn’t speak to him after kicking his pregnant daughter out of the house for a couple of years, until my mother passed away.

But of course he was around. At Xmas eve dinners at Brian & Karen’s my brothers would try to get me to wish him a Merry Christmas. I had done it before and each time I would be rebuffed. And once again I went up to him hand out for a hand shake and he would look the other way. I told my brothers that I am tired of being the ‘better man’.

To others he could be quite the charmer, but to me he was a mean, petty and vindictive man and I do not miss him at all. I didn’t like him and thought he was an idiot. I’m sure he felt the same way about me.

In fact, I don’t think I really became an adult (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) until he died. Bill notices my lack of self confidence and my zero self esteem, and has figured out where that came from.

It was oddly reassuring to hear from my cousin Jackie that he didn’t realize how bad things were under his Uncle Francis’ roof until after he died. It was good to get some sort of recognition of neglect.

So here I am 10 years later, butting heads with his son with the same name.

I simply cannot win with anyone named Francis Xavier.

But I will always give Junior another chance.

An hour or so later.

Just got back from a walk around Hoboken after dinner. Enjoyed a cigar, listening to the iPod. Thinking about my father and that classic line from Paul Westerberg from the Replacements, ‘He might be a father but he sure ain’t a dad’. That sums up a lot.

I recalled when I was living with my father and during a lull in our stormy relationship we went out to dinner. He was going on about how his mother, my grandmother, treated him like a prince and my mother treated him like a prince. What a princely life he had.

The thing is, around that time Jim Mastro and Meghan Taylor had thier first daughter Lily. Now Jim and Meghan weren’t selfish at all and when Lily came into their lives Lily became the center of all tings Jim and Meghan, as it should be.

I couldn’t (or can’t) help but compare my father to Frank & Elaine and their daughters, Anne & Rex with Earl and Brian and Karen with their 3 kids and how their lives revolved around their children, like Jim and Meghan. But no one would be most the important in my father’s life, except my father. It struck me as odd and made me realize that we were in competition with my father for my mother’s affection.

We lost of course since we weren’t the breadwinners.

He said and did some truly rotten things. But he was my father and he put food on the table, clothes on our backs and put a roof over our heads.

So for that I will say ‘Thank you’.

Her Majesty

Today has been a day unlike any other. This morning just before noon I was sitting at the computer, planning my day when I heard what sounded like an explosion.

Didn’t hear anything after that so I didn’t think too much about it. A few minutes later, I was looking at Hoboken 411 when it was announced there was an twin engine plane in a collision with a helicopter over the Hudson River.

I texted Julio as well as Rand & Lisa. Julio didn’t know anything about, he was in West New York, Rand & Lisa think they heard the explosion.

Julio and I had walked around that area last night talking about how nice it would be to live in the upper reaches of Hoboken, but he had discussed it with Stine a few weeks ago and they agreed that yes it was nice, but too noisy what with all the helicopters going up and down.

It’s quite noisy across the Hudson River from the west 30th street heliport. There are helicopters going in and out all day long.

I wanted to put Bill on one of those helicopters a few years ago for a birthday present. It was something like $100 for 3 minutes flying over Manhattan but I put that idea on the back burner and soon forgot about it.

The heliport is used also by celebrities flying into Manhattan from various airports or the Hamptons. I saw Penny Marshall leaving the heliport a few years ago when I was riding along the Manhattan bike path.

The reports are saying that there were no survivors, 9 people dead. It’s also been reported that a wing from the twin engine plane landed on a roof at the campus of Stevens Tech.

It’s been a messed up week, outside of my world.

There was that loser asshole who went to that gym outside of Pittsburgh and turned out the lights and started shooting a room full of women who were doing an aerobics workout.

He claimed that he was rejected so many times by women (30 million by his count). How many women did he reject, that weren’t up to his standards? What a scumbag.

He left a trail, his plotting for a year or two about how he was going to kill some women. What a fucking loser. I hope that the maggots and worms don’t have anything to do with him, too bitter. Let him rot.

There was some good that also happened this week, Judge Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed to be an associate justice for the Supreme Court, and was sworn in this morning.

Bill and I watched it, afterwards, Bill let out a loud ‘Boricua!’, signifying that he and Judge Sonia Sotomayor are both Puerto Rican.

And today, or rather this morning in London, crowds of people showed up to celebrate the photo shoot for the cover of the Beatles Abbey Road. It was 40 years ago today, Iain Macmillan set up a step ladder and had the Fabs on the zebra crossing a few times.

It was over in 10 minutes, then they went back to disliking each other.

I also went into the office today and did 2 hours of work for Greg Stevens. It was nice, no one else was there. If I can continue helping out Greg Stevens, this is the way I would like to do it.

You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)

Tuesday today. Let’s see, Bill woke me up again this morning at 6:50 which was fine. I was out of bed and doing my thing. Bill is off to his sleep apnea test tonight which leaves me solo. Not such a bad thing, though the bed will be emptier than it should.

Looking forward to President Obama’s press conference tonight. Still a refreshing thing to see and hear a world leader speak so intelligently and with authority. For some reason the right wing nuts have been going off on the fact that Obama reads from a teleprompter. What the fuck is that about?

I know the previous President, you know, the door knob, had difficulty pronouncing nuclear correctly, but all they could do is complain that Obama reads from a teleprompter? What? Did they think Bush was talking off the top of his soft skull?

They also have been complaining that Obama is busy multi-tasking. I know, that’s not right, especially since the door knob before him had difficulty watching TV and eating pretzels.

Yesterday was a busy Facebook day. Last night I was posting with a few other people, specifically Pat Longo. Nice guy, friends with my brother Frank and other WFMU types. Pat doesn’t like the Beatles. Says they’re overrated.

I can see how he might say that though I obviously don’t agree. For me, my love for the Beatles, isn’t just the music. It’s the whole cultural phenomenon that started 45 years ago and continues to this day.

They still sell plenty of records and books, and soon they’ll be on Guitar Hero or perhaps Rock Band. I don’t know, I’m not a gamer. For the seven years that they were active, they were in my eyes, four of the coolest people on the planet. Clothes, hair, & attitude still resonates. I know, I’m biased.

I love playing their songs on guitar and singing along. I’ve read their books, from badly written biographies to trainspotters writing about every recording session to the smallest detail. Moms and dads and kids liked them and still do.

I was devastated when John was murdered, and was very upset when George was attacked by an intruder and I cried when he passed away a year or so later. I shed a tear or two seeing Paul live at Madison Square Garden in 2005, and smiled sweetly when I saw Ringo do a morning set at Bryant Park for Good Morning America.

I think they were and still are amazing. There were moments that I resented them for casting such a large shadow on everything that came afterwards. The resentment was momentary and faded away and still I loved them. They probably resented the shadow that they had created and were forced to live in. Still, they weren’t going hungry.

I think one of the first musical memories I had was of my brother Frank playing Strawberry Fields Forever and when it faded out and in at the end he turned out the light in his bedroom and scared me. Strawberry Fields Forever makes for a better musical memory than Winchester Cathedral which could actually be the first song I actually recognized.

I owe my Beatles fixation to my brother Frank who gave me my first Beatles LP as a consolation for not taking me to see the bicentennial fireworks like he had promised. It was Abbey Road, their last album. Which in a way makes sense for me since I tend to do things backwards.

I started collecting their records, looking for the original Capitol Records rainbow edged albums, or releases on the Apple label, buying import singles with songs I never heard before, like The Ballad of John & Yoko.

Side note: one of the reasons that I took the job at McMann and Tate aka Wolff Olins was because they helped design the Apple Records label back in 1968. And that didn’t go so well for me 38 years later.

I just figured out a few weeks ago that John, Paul, George & Ringo, which I’m sure you know is sometimes how they’re mentioned, is the order that the band was formed. Maybe it was obvious, maybe I’m a dunce.

From July 5 1976 until December 9 1980 I felt I might have a chance of seeing the four of them perform again, or at least release a record. We know how that turned out.

But I still play them, I’m still enthralled, and I’m still a Beatles fan, and you know you should be glad. Yeah yeah yeah!

4th of July

Today is the fourth of July. The country is 232 years old. Or at least the Declaration of Independence was stated on this day. Actual independence didn’t happen until a number of years later. In 1976 was the bicentennial. A major event. My father was working in the World Trade Center at the time and a few months before, there was a plan to have a party in the offices so we could watch the tall ships and the fireworks from on high.

That was the plan until rumors started floating around about how gangs were going to be roaming the streets mugging the deep influx of tourists. That scared my father enough so that we spent July 4th in the backyard of 13 Riverview Avenue in Lodi, which despite what you may have heard is not the same thing.

My brother Frank had promised to take me to see the fireworks that night. He was at a party with his wife Elaine though and didn’t show up. There were plenty of firecrackers to keep me amused. My brother Brian wound up with me in the back seat of his car while him and his buddy Eddie drove around River Road in Fort Lee that night where I heard the fireworks going off overhead, not actually able to see them due to the tree tops blocking the view.

It wasn’t that bad, I still got back home and met up with my friends. I stole a pack of Marlboro’s from my mother and got caught but was let go when I explained it would be easier to light a firecracker with a cigarette rather than using matches or lighters. Somehow that worked and I walked away with a hard pack of Marlboro’s in my pocket. That’s probably when I started smoking.

Me and my friends whiled away the remaining bicentennial hours blowing up whatever we could. My sister Annemarie worked in a hospital at that time and gave us all warnings about people in the emergency rooms due to playing with fireworks, so we were careful, though a firecracker did go off in my hand, leaving my thumb and index finger numb for a few hours.

My brother Frank tried to make up for his absence the next day and gave me a copy of Abbey Road which is the first Beatles album I ever owned. I forgave him and soon got every much into the Beatles.

This year, it’s been overcast and muggy. Rained a bit today. Hoboken is like a ghost town today. I rode around, wound up by Battery Park. Bill was spending time with his mother, didn’t make it down there. I rode around, the streets crowded with tourists everywhere as well as Statues of Liberty.

The Feelies sounded great, but I couldn’t see them. I wound up outside the park and listened. Brenda was saying thank you after each song, I wonder if her mother asked her to. I was bored and decided to ride back to the Path train, taking it to Exchange Place and riding home from there.

Not much else going on today. Bill’s staying at his mother’s apartment since the fireworks will be going off 100 yards from her bedroom window. Here’s some pics.

The fans

A Klaus Nomi Statue of Liberty

The Feelies somewhere in the trees

Taking Liberties

The way in is the way out

Mennonites at the Path train!

Careful with those fireworks and have a happy Fourth of July!