Tag Archives: John Lennon

Something familiar and Fab lurks with Blac Rabbit

Two gentlemen singing in harmony to create a fantastic melody in a song titled “Eight Days a Week”. That was John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and it happened on many songs for a decade. Yet I’m not talking about John and Paul in this case. I’m talking about a duo who can be seen in the act at subway stations in the New York area.

It was by chance I crossed a friend who posted a video of Blac Rabbit performing on Facebook. It’s pretty common to cross gentlemen from all over doing covers of Beatles work and sounding pretty good. This was different. This was John and Paul…at least in this writer’s opinion as well as others who cross them in the New York subway stations.

The Blac Rabbit website doesn’t seem to feature an “About” page to give up facts about these guys. Their Facebook page isn’t much more informative on the “about” section there, either. It was through a news article by a New York TV station that I found out that they are twin brothers, Amiri and Rahiem Taylor.

They began busking to make some pocket money, and found a receptive audience on the subway with their Beatles covers. The brothers say they’re continuing to perform on the subway while performing original music at venues across the city.

I also found out that they do have an about page on their website (yeah, slight me for that because I couldn’t find the damn thing myself):

Born and raised in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, identical twin brothers Amiri and Rahiem Taylor do not make the type of music that their borough of origin is usually associated with.  Growing up surrounded by hip hop culture and all it’s glory, the Taylor brothers had more exposure in their house to pop, funk and soul music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  So naturally when they began writing songs in high school, they decided “why not learn from arguably the greatest song writing duo of all time?” and proceeded to teach themselves how to play guitar and write songs based off of the Beatles.  After high school they formed Blac Rabbit, bringing in former metal and church drummer Patrick Jones, followed by resident shredder Josh Lugo on bass (and sometimes guitar) to play their original psychedelic rock tunes.

They do their own music? Oh, yeah… Their own stuff can be found on SoundCloud while YouTube can show you more o their performances as well as their original stuff. Here’s one of their songs, just to whet your appetite:

With their harmony and abilities, it piques my curiosity where the group can go with their stuff. As someone who was drenched in the music of the same era as the Taylor duo, I know that can inspire rather grandly. It’s what their creativity brings that remains to be seen.

I also hope they go beyond New York. Let that be a memo to the Tampa Bay club scene in St. Pete, Ybor City and beyond in the Tampa Bay area: Lure these guys here.  Could you imagine what that’d lure to your establishments? Just where in the area they’d end up performing in a busker spot remains to be seen but it’s not like we’re totally lacking on such locations. Ybor City, Pier 60, the West Plaza before a Lightning game. That’s just a shred of potential spots.

There is a question that remains though: Hass Sir Paul McCartney had someone tell him about this pair yet? Cover acts are not uncommon, but this is different. The Taylor duo and Blac Rabbit seem to have something “Fab” going on.

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Macho meh

A couple of years ago, I wore a chin goatee on the norm… Sorta liked it. Sorta got annoyed trying to keep it at a good length and not let it end up becoming a goat/troll thing (I do not want to do the Lou Albano thing).

As things have been lately, I just get lazy and had let my face fill up with hair and then decide to shave… repeat x times and flirt with various ideas.

Well, the other day I started going through one of my Beatles Anthology CD cases and came across some of the Sgt. Pepper era John Lennon photos (specifically from the Strawberry Fields Forever video shoot). I realized my hair was a comparable length and my stubble was growing in once again. I decided to take a chance… I decided to risk it all….

I shaved under my lip and my chin and started growing handlebars.

And I’ve actually been out in public with this thing. Can you believe it?

Fortunatley I don’t have a picture to show you, but to be honest — it’s probably not going to be around long enough to turn into Paul Teutul’s massive handlebars.

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The Martyr's of Rock and Roll…

I was taking a Zogby poll the other day and a question surfaced within the poll that actually made me freeze and think long and hard before I cast my vote. It’s soemthing that can come up in idle conversation at any time and you might throw out an immediate answer but I took this question real serious…

What dead rockstar best epitomizes the spirit of rock and roll

Jim Morrison (The Doors)
John Lennon (the Beatles)
Janis Joplin
Jimi Hendrix
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Freddie Mercury (Queen)
Duane Allman (The Alman Brothers)
Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)
Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead)
Frank Zappa
Buddy Holly
Ronnie Van Zandt (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Elvis

It really mad eme stop and think — I’m not sure why. I mean, the first thought i had was Lennon but John — for all the good he gave to the world as a musician just didn’t feel like the guy who represented Rock in life and death. One could say Elvis but he didn’t liv efast and die young…

I thought of Jim Morrison and his glory days that people remember him for and Jimi Hendrix and how he was the genius on guitar that everyoen strives to be. I thought of Kurt Cobain who wrote and sang, lived fast and died young leaving the beautiful corpse — and how his insecurity (a traight with almost all musicians) was a profound attribute to his personality.

Just who best eptomizes Rock?

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OK, I'll bite… Which Beatles are YOU?

Bah these online quizes….

humbug — you just got to take cartain ones:

ter>Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

What Beatle are you?

John Lennon

You enjoy poetry, painting & a fine wine. A lover not a fighter.

Personality Test Results

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A Day In The Life — 24 Years to the Grave…

Sorry for the lack of updates — besides being tied down with Chantilly Lace work I have been hit hard with computer hardware problems which have basically rendered my computer trash.

I was focusing on this today – the computer problems… And focusing on things going on around me here at home… When it really hit me what today was… I happened to be channel surfing at the time and Imagine: John Lennon showed up on the screen and I felt like I was committing blesphamy….

I hadn’t forgotten. I had just dismissed things… And the documentary really threw me back into realizing the relevance of the day and the significance of what was lost.

Rest in peace, John Ono Lennon. Rest in peace.

In My Life (Lennon/McCartney)

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

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Would Lennon have looked like this today?

You be the judge.

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Retrograde

I’ve been in the dumps the last couple of days… I meanh really down and jus tlost what to do and hwo to live. I feel trapped, I feel without a purpose and I can’t exactly find reasons to push myself. Sure, I am doing great with my recovery and I am making headway almost every day…

But it’s that purpose that I am lacking. It’s apersonal connection that I’m lacking. Every time I think I found something, it turns out to be nothing. Every time someone else thinks they have found something in me, I get repelled.

SO I’m really low perosnally… And just trying to make it… And yet I’ve found an excuse for why I feel like this. I’ve been reading my Astrology lately )which I swore off last year because it made me think of other Libras) and I’m taking comfort in knowing a certain Astrological condition is upon us.

Mercury is going Retrograde.

Now what is the relevance of this? Things feel like they are goign backwards. Communications are snarled up and things are shitty, at best in terms of startingstuff. I always associate Mercury going Retrograde with something negative as it was outinely painted as so in a biography I read about John Lennon.

Maybe I’m just desperate for an excuse?

Maybe I’m just desperate for an answer?

Maybe I’m just desperate for a clue?

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Backbeat

I used to own Backbeat back before I went to DVD in 1998. I started a VHS ban when I bought my DVD player in 1998 and that basically shut me out of watching my Backbeat video. Polygram Entertainment didn’t have the movie on DVD until just last year…

Well, I have it right now — rented it form Netflix.

I can go into detail about the synopsis of the film but that’s not exactly what I want to talk about. What I wanted to talk about because of a scene that just passed was John Lennon and how not only the movie portrayed him but how I know him from what I read… How different he is from myself but how much of the same he is too.

I’m into astrology a bit and I like Libras from what I have encountered. I know I can fight with Aries, I know I can have a good time with Gemini’s and Pisces’s, but it’s Libra’s that I can most identify with… I feel sort of a kinship with them even though we come from different backgrounds and different trains of thought in life – it all comes back to certain underlying personality traits to me.

John’s a Libra — Born 2 days after myself — well, but 39 years before me…

At any rate – there is a rage in Lennon in this portrayal by Ian Hart (who does an absolutely superb job. He looks like Lennon as a teen in the famous Wooten-Fete photograph) which coverts up known facts about Lennon – his insecurity, his troubled past. John’s father left him when he was young, his mother left him as well — dropping him with his Aunt Mimi.. She (John’s mother – who was immortalized in the Beatles song Julia) was later killed when she was hit by a car. John often covered this sense John’s anguish – his loneliness — is displayed well by Hart, especially in the face of the possibility of losing best friend Stuart Sutcliffe to a local girl (world famous photographer Astrid Kirchherr). The slow lose of Stu to love drives Lennon mad.

How many times have we all be jealous of losing someone to the world?

How many times have you been jealous having someone move on in life when you ant very much for them to stay?

I can identify with that quit ewell… But this isn’t the first movie that I could identify with one of the characters….

And to take John’s send off to Stuart and Astrid at the end of the movie:

Love me tender…. Love me sweet…. Never let me go…. Yiou’ve made my life complete, and I love you so…(followed by a “fuck it, lets go” )

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Poetic Meanings — just found out

You know, I was just going through something or other on the web and I came across a little factoid that just hit me a certain way that made me laugh and think at the same time about a poem I wrote a few years ago (song Poem) and how true the lyric is, in a sad way…

The song-poem was Java Jungle which I wrote at Palm Harbor’s “Java Jungle” coffee shop years ago when I was still very much a lyricist and poet. The song is just rambling verse that makes sense to me and probably me alone in some of it’s meanings but has a little niftiness to itself… if you can find the rhyme scheme and what could have been the beat or what the music could have turned into with the song…

At any rate, I’m going to post the lyrics now – then I will tell you more about that “ironic and funny” little meaning I didn’t intend that I just found out about…

Java Jungle

Sally-man say:
“Who led the way,
“Across the Great Red Sea?”
Way back,
The long way back,
Back home

Tell Mom and Dad
That I’m going mad
Sitting here on the porch
Deep toking’ a dead roach
Fabulon

And Mickey and Brand,
Across the great land
Living at the center of life
Metropolitan life

Ju-Ju-Ju-Ju-Juniper chaos,
Had a little seance
To find her kindred soul
(Only she’d be so bold)

Cold hard wind, yeah
It’s stained with sin, yeah
Only known as the doldrums

The silence hums

Play on

Easter day
Saint Jude’s Parade
Lennon Lad,
Lennon Lad,
Lennon Lad
The kingdom’s your to have

Silence abounds

© 1997 John P. Fontana

So what’s the big deal? Well, I could break down the meaning of each stanza and verse to you but some of it is boring and some of it – as I already alluded to — should make sense only to me (Mickey and Brand across the great land, for instance, is a reference to friends of mine who used to come down to be with family here in Florida, I would see them every summer).

The lyric that I found funny is one of the closing lines… I talk about Easter Day and St. Jude’s Parade and then make a reference to “Lennon Lad”. This is all talking about Julian Lennon. “Jude” being direct reference to “Hey, Jude” which was written by Paul McCartney for Julian during the time John Lennon was divorcing Cynthia Lennon.

The entire line was actually supposed to be reference to St. Crispian’s Day, I believe I had seen Renaissance Man not very long before I had written this poem and I was very fond of Shakespeare at the time after a year of his works being passed on to me through Ms. Ciccone at East Lake High School.

Well, St. Jude got worked in there and the reference to Julian was made — “The kingdom’s yours to have” and silence abounds… That’s saying that Julian could have easily followed John Lennon’s footsteps and gone to the top of Rock and Roll but failed to do so… Of course, Julian is still involved with music and still battles demons involved with his father and his childhood… That being said, there are reason the kingdom was never entirely inherited by him or by Sean Ono Lennon for that matter.

The ironic – funny twist that I keep making reference to is St. Jude. I didn’t know who St., Jude was nor did I ever think to find out… I just threw the name out there for the rhyme and for the reference (Jude, Jules, Julian) and only recently (reading another Rick Reilly article) found out who St. Jude is:

The Patron Saint of Lost causes.

So, Lennon Lad, the kingdom may be yours to have but from what the Java Jungle tells you, it’s a lost cause trying to inherit it…

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I Will

Back a few years ago, I went ahead and bought The White Album (this was before I lost my hearing) and tried to make heads and tails of it. It was a lot of songs I had never heard before and some of them to this day I have not heard. My main reason for buying the album wasn’t because I heard it was the prime CD at the time for some rockers (which it was, oddly) but becasue of the Paul Is Dead clues that came with the album and certain songs on it (Back in the USSR, Obladi-Oblada).

There was one song I listened to – it was a ballad by John Lennon, which seemed sort of odd because this was John we are talking about, that he wrote to Yoko (everything he was writing at the time went to Yoko) that I found appealing in it’s simplicity and it’s melody. Yet I had the song play in my head sometimes with people I liked or about people I liked and things either didn’t work out or they fell apart. I started to blame the song – does that sound crazy or what? It’s not like any given song can curse a relationship or something like that…

Yet I still blamed the song and if I ever started thinking of it I would shun it from my mind because I took it as a kiss of death for things and oddly enough it seemed to be.

Yet I think of the lyrics now and look at the words themselves and think to my life and wonder if the reason things didn’t work out was because the past girls didn’t fit what the lyrics said? Or maybe I’m thinking too much if I have a song on my mind with people anyway?

What happens with someone who comes into my life does fit the lyrics and my thoughts mirror those of lyrics? I’ve been wondering that when the song popped into my head earlier this week… I haven’t fought it off like in the past. Maybe that explains the current? Then again, maybe I just need a bit of Faith to understand that song lyrics don’t influence the course of life and that I should just let things play out?

I Will (Lennon/McCartney)

Who knows how long I’ve loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to–I will.

For if I ever saw you
I didn’t catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same.

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we’re together
Love you when we’re apart.

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
You know I will
I will.

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