Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

On Why I'm A Marxist-Leninist - Part the First

Sorry, typo. Marxist-Leninist.

On Why I'm A Martinist-Lennonist

John would've turned 70 today. Imagine. [This post was supposed to go out on October 9. At this rate, it will never get done, so splitting and publishing.]

I love the Beatles. I don't know why this is. I do know when it roughly started. In 1995, The Beatles Anthology documentary came out. It was even shown on DD Metro. I didn't know who the hell The Beatles were; the sum total of my exposure to Western pop music up until that point consisted of Jim Reeves (does anyone even remember this guy and how big he was in India), thanks to some LPs my dad had saved, Boney M from Juristic Person knows where, the "Yesterday Once More" song by The Carpenters, and Matilda by Harry Belafonte. The reason I know this so precisely is because that was literally the 4 western pop things I'd ever heard with any level of seriousness.

Then this anthology thing came along and my neighbour, who was from the metropolis of Nellore, kept running off to the common room in the evenings. I tagged along, mainly to find out what sort of band penetrates through SPB and Ghantasala into the very recesses of outer Nellore.

I was spellbound. I think it's the documentary that did me in. Just watching those boys from Liverpool first turn into scarecrows in a Hamburg cellar, and then into musicians, and then stars, and then musicians again, oh it was magic.

The Nellore fellow had a cassette with him that was doing the rounds in those days, a black cover "Top 20" thing. Borrowed the cassette, borrowed a Walkman from a Hyderabad fellow and just guzzled. After this staggering breakthrough, I learned to like The Doors, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and some other suchlike bands, mainly because that's what the fellows whose rooms we got drunk in (Venkataramanav vodka in steel tumblers with water from the hostel mess) would play.

Can't say any of that made a lasting impression, some of it is still nice, but it doesn't grab by the collar and shake the way the Beatles did. The Beatles, and oddly enough, Itzhak Perelman playing The Four Seasons, were the only two things that offered any sort of transcendental musical sustenance.