Vern's Verbal Vibe

Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of folk 'n' roll: spirit-filled sad songs made better.

November 17, 2006

Hello, Strawberry Piggies Forever in my Life

Wow! Just heard the "Strawberry Fields Forever" mash-up from Love, the forthcoming Beatles' compilation. Fab Four traditionalists—an oxymoron in my book, but they do exist—are screaming "heresy!" already, I'm sure. But judging from this audacious track, I think it's brilliant.

For the record (heh heh), I speak as a Beatlemaniac, not a mash-up connoisseur. Sure, I've heard the odd one; some are okay, some terrible, but I'm not opposed to the idea on principle. Why would I be? My musical heroes—including The Beatles themselves—thought nothing of backwards tapes, found sounds, loops, electronic effects, etc. All in a day's work to them. Mash-ups are merely the latest example of studio-as-instrument.

Of course, it helps when you start with the greatest song ever recorded. For all its sublime qualities, "Strawberry Fields Forever" is more than a heightened aesthetic experience: for me, it's nothing short of divine revelation. (Now, stop laughing. Yes, YOU—I'm talking to you. Stick with me for a minute.)

My first hearing (at twelve) triggered a mystical experience. By the time Ringo's drums came thundering out of that fake fade-out, I knew ... I was bathed in ... the spirit. I didn't call it "God," but one certainly could. And before you ask—yes, you snickering at the back—this on nothing stronger than chocolate milk. Not bad for a pop song, I'd say.

Love comes out this Tuesday. It'll make a fitting Christmas gift for Leilani, my beloved spirit guide. The hard part will be waiting till then to play it.


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