Adam Zero's ramblings and rants on popular music, culture, politics, folklore, religion and related skullduggery.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

John and Paul Dump George and Ringo

Here's a question for alternative universe ponderers. Ringo quits during the White Album. Only in this universe he never comes back. Pauls does the drumming until a replacement is found. Who is it? I don't know--haven't figure that out yet.

George also quits, feeling slighted by the lack of input of his songs.

John talks a distracted Eric Clapton into subbing for a band now called the Lennon & McCartney Experience. Or the Lenna-Macca-Expa, for short.

John and Paul are able to pursue side projects: John does his Heavy Breathing released in 1969 and Paul offers the public Granny Pinched Me on My Arse the following year.

Meanwhile, Ringo starts a two-drummer band with erstwhile Beatle Pete Best. While their recording success is limited, they becomes an opening act for Elvis in Vegas. Ringo is reported to say, "El was always bigger than the Beatles."

George, meanwhile, takes up ostrich-farming as means to offer the world a low-fat white meat that tastes as good as chicken. Although this endeavor fails, he does popularize the sport of ostrich-polo (particularly in South Africa). He continues to dabble in music releasing a solo album every ten to fifteen years.

Lenna-Macca-Expa finally disbands in the late-70s as a disco album bombs. Macca, however, has been saving all his money and buys the Beatles catalogue out from under an outraged Lennon. McCartney then goes back and rerecords every album in the Beatles catalogue--with McCartney playing every instrument and singing every part. This keeps him busy through the mid-90s--preventing him from recording a lot of crap.

Lennon finds happiness, not in the arms of Yoko Ono, but making and flying ultralight airplanes. He designs his own fourteen-winged plane out of tissue paper and balsa wood and tries to regain fame in 1980 by making the first transatlantic solo flight in an ultralight aircraft. He takes off from Long Island, but abruptly crashes on Montauk Point, putting an end to "the dream" forever.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Holy Roller Stones

I've turned my attention lately to the Rolling Stones, particularly their seminal 1968 album Beggar's Banquet. The title itself reveals the Christian influence--referring to Christ's parable regarding the Father who was giving a banquet and when noone showed, he invited the beggars from the street.

Here are the other hidden Christian messages in the songs:

1. "Sympathy For The Devil": God in his infinite wisdom and mercy forgives the devil for his misguided deeds--He knows that deep down the devil is just a little boy who never received enough love and attention. "Every cop is a criminal/and every sinner a saint" is an explicit reference to St. Paul, who as Saul was first a persecutor of early Christianity.

2. "No Expectations": "I've got no expectations to come this way again"--because I expect to be raptured. I hope I'm not driving at the time or look out!

3. "Dear Doctor": Having given up his worldly lust after an altar rejection by a girl "like a bow-legged sow" (clearly an unclean animal), the singer has a spiritual rebirth putting his hands in control of the Doctor Jesus Christ.

4. "Parachute Woman": While this seems a straighforward song about worldliness and lust, in fact, the song is a subtle ode to spiritual communion between the lover and his Beloved, God, or his female stand-in, the Virgin Mary. The woman has a parachute clearly because she is descending from heaven. The Blessed Virgin of the Paratroopers was often pictured this way during the dark days of World War II.

5. "Jig-Saw Puzzle": Life is like a jig-saw puzzle of meaningless pieces, until God steps into your life and starts to put the pieces together for you. Oh, look, it's a picture of a donkey!

6. "Street Fighting Man": Little bit of sectarianism here, in the form of Anglican Protestantism vs. French Catholicism. While Frenchie is marching and charging up the streets of Paris, unchecked by an indifferent Vatican, sleepy London town is benefitting from the wise spiritual guidance of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, by the way, really "digs" this rock-and/or-roll "youth music."

7. "Prodigal Son": What more can be said. Straight out of the New Testament. Come home, sweet prodigal, your bedsheets are clean and we're even gonna roast a fatted calf for you. It sure beats living like a filthy, dumpster-diving hippie!

8. "Stray Cat Blues": This song shows the protecting/nurturing role of big brother for homeless runaway teenage girls. Rather than exploit the underage girls, the singer offers to let them come upstairs and share his bed, in a strictly platonic manner. As he clearly indicates, "it ain't no hanging matter/ain't no capital crime." I'm sure he'll sleep on the floor and in the morning, it's one call to Mother and those prodigal gals will be on the first train home.

9. "Factory Girl": A true inspirational message that Divine Love is no respecter of persons. So what if the factory girl's zip is broken and she gets into a playful tussle with the girls--God loves her for the healthy proletarian she is. And the singer sees that inner beauty. And guess what they make at that factory? Plastic Baby Jesuses for manger scenes!

10. Salt Of The Earth: Jesus' people! One line can seem misleading: "Let's drink to the good and the evil." But what the line actually means is: "Let's drink to the good and let's drink to the evil, because that means the good will perform good works in converting the evil to good." The song praises such worthies as: 1) the "common foot soldier"--clearly an onward Christian soldier marching off to war; and 2) the "stay at home voter" who is not fooled by the wiles of Caesar and prefers to stay home and memorize the Book of Common Prayer. Finally the song offers us the "choice of cancer or polio"--whichever will increase our suffering and get us to Heaven sooner.

Beggar's Banquet--perhaps the first true "Christian Rock" album. Forget Kali's tongue, the satanic mish-mash and the Altamont murder, these guys are the Lord's band. They make U2 look like a ragged bunch of raging heathens.