After 37 Beatles presentations (including last night's), I find I'm usually asked the same questions afterwards: How did you get interested in the Beatles? How musically educated were the band members? What's your favorite album/song? But every once in a while I get a new question that nobody had previously asked. Yesterday a woman asked if I ever listen to the Beatles music just for fun. And while that's certainly how I got started with my Beatles research and analysis, I can't say I listen for pleasure much any more. I've listened to all of their songs so many times that it's like I have their complete recorded output in my head already. If I want to hear the song, I just think it. Of course, when analyzing the music I need to hear the actual sounds to make sure I have things correctly, but in terms of casual listening I'm much more likely to turn the radio to the local country or rap station than the oldies station - and I'm more like to play a Fun. [yes, their name officially contains the period at the end] album than a Beatles one.
I also got a back stage glimpse at the Fremont Public Library's expansion wing after the program concluded, which will eventually house part of the library's permanent circulating collection but at present is set up for their book sale on the weekend of June 14-15. Thousands of items - including many baseball books that particularly interested me - are set up and ready for the sale, in addition to a rather large model train display. I wish I could make it down there for the sale!
Today's program will be "Let Me Take You Down: The History of 'Strawberry Fields Forever'" at the Kenosha Public Library's Southwest Branch (7979 38th Avenue, Kenosha, WI). The program will trace the development of the iconic Beatles song from John Lennon's conception in September 1966 through commercial release in February 1967. Unlike other Beatles tracks, the growth of 'Strawberry' is particularly well documented. From very rough early drafts, Lennon's demo for the other three Beatles, and through the band's official takes in the recording studio, this documentation provides a clear and fascinating step-by-step process of evolution culminating in what is certainly one of the best songs the Beatles (or any band) ever recorded.