Friday, April 29, 2011

In The Real World * another song reference

I was chatting with a friend today about The Beatles. He was wondering what the tattoo meant on my calf. The tattoo reads "in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make." It was a tattoo that I got with my daughter over Christmas and thought it was an ample example of what the Beatles meant and a wonderful way to say good bye. And then we got to chatting about the legacy of The Beatles.

In January of 1994, while at KSHE, I had the extreme pleasure of having Alan Parsons give me a tour of Abbey Road Studios. Yes, those Abbey Road studios and yes, THAT Alan Parsons. I sat at the piano Paul sat at during Let It Be, went to pee in the bathroom where they peed. It was pretty incredible.

For some reason in your life, there are people you hit it off. Whatever it is, there is a something that makes personalities mingle instead of clash. And for some weird reason, Alan Parsons and I hit it off. It could have been he loved KSHE for the previous air play, or maybe he was impressed with the wife, whatever, but after the tour he asked us if we'd like to go down the street for " a bit of tea." It was about noon on Saturday and it was a bit chilly in London, so a brisk walk felt pretty good. Alan is about 6' 5" tall and people know who he is. We were greeted warmly by the owner of the coffee shop, "any friend of Alan's is a friend of ours." We proceeded to grab a table, order a hot beverage and he pretty much answered just about any question we had about The Beatles, Pink Floyd, himself or whatever.

We found out that his son and David Gilmour's son played "football" together in school. One of the things I wanted to know was about the end of the Beatles and what really happened. His response was something like this. Let It Be was done and ready to go. It portrayed the Beatles in an awful light. Pissy, and pretty edgy through out the whole process. It was pretty evident that the writing was on the wall and it was obvious the band got pretty tired of each other and was on "life support". He said he couldn't remember if John called Paul or Paul called John, but the conversation was ...'how many songs do you have?" The thought was, if they were going to go out, it shouldn't be with "Let It Be". Each one knew George had a couple of tunes (boy did he) and they figured out something for Ringo to do. With the songs in hand, away they went and the whole thing was done quickly and painlessly. So, in Alan Parsons's words as well as I remember them, is what happened. While indeed, Let It Be was released after Abbey Road, Abbey Road IS the end. According to him, anyway.

Maybe that's why Abbey Road is my favorite by them. It's goodbye, the coda, the swan song, the end. Thank you and good night.

We sat and chatted for about an hour and he also let me a bit behind the scenes of the epic Waters/Gilmour struggle. Apparently, during "The Wall" sessions, it got real bad with physical altercations between the two. I think he was in the Gilmour camp more than Waters. I also asked him how he ended up where he did. "It was my turn" he said when I asked him how did he get to be on the technical end of The Beatles. " All of the engineers were on the rotating system in the studio, we were assigned whatever project was next." "Lucky for me, I got The Beatles and more importantly, I saw George Martin in action." Wow. He was next on the list. Heavenly intervention. He was/is a lovely man. He is very cordial and very warm and spent an hour or two putting up with "Randy from KSHE". One of the chances I've had in this life to do something no one else has done. Listen to and watch Alan Parsons at home in Abbey Road. We had to sign in when we got there, so somewhere, there's my name at Abbey Road.

Unfortunately, I have misplaced the pictures that were taken (they are in this house, I know, because I saw them about 5 years ago), but, do have this nugget....

it says.. "to Ann and Randy with best wishes on your visit to Abbey Road on 22.1.94. Alan Parsons"

About two years later, Alan came to St. Louis on a concert tour and we hooked up for a phone interview while he was in town. We chatted for a bit and off air, he said there were stage passes in my name at the box office. He allowed me to bring him on stage ( he canned his intro that night just for me) and afterward, we had a marvelous talk. He let me in on a secret. The Saturday we had the tour, Paul, Ringo and George were putting the final touches on the Anthology Works in the studio above us. "You could have run into one of them in the loo, that would have been fun, huh?" Talk about pissing all over yourself. Yeah, that would have been fun.

I have always been a fan of Alan Parsons' music. From "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" to "I, Robot" and on through, I thought his stuff was intelligent, well crafted, well produced and well done. Abbey Road (and the whole London experience) was the shit. It was an absolute incredible three days in London and those three hours in Abbey Road. It was hard to breathe, it was so cool.

I will find those pictures someday, I know it.

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