Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand!

Suck My Beatles is honored to present an article from the world renowned artist, author and all around creative and happening guy Danny Gregory. Aside from sharing our views on the FF, Danny is also gifted with the unique ability to talk good and stuff.

Without any further ado:

a tribute to sir paul mccartney

Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand!

by Danny Gregory

London calling, now don’t look at us,
All that phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust.
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing,
‘Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing…

This will be an admittedly biased and flawed meditation. I know that Patti for one will disagree with me right off the bat but here goes:
I fucking hate the Beatles. I have for many years.
I don’t think I did when I first heard them (while chewing Fruit Strip gum on the rug and doing a wooden jigsaw, circa 1964. The song:”I wanna hold your hand”) or, obviously, when I bought my first and only Beatles recording (circa 1972, upon getting my first cassette player. After listening to the enclosed demo tape‘s electronic rendition of Für Elise a few hundred times, I saved up a huge amount of money and bought my first tape: Abbey Road. I can still hear Octopus’ Garden warbling and warping as the batteries wore down).
When did the loathing begin?
I know it was fully set when my stepfather, Mike, said to me, “There are two types of families: those that like the Beatles and those that like the Rolling Stones. We like the Stones, who do you like?” Characteristically pathological as the question was, I had no problem already agreeing that at fourteen, I was on the Stones’ team.
Maybe I sensed fairly early on that The Beatles just simply weren’t cool or genuine or truly rock ‘n roll.
It was due partly to the lads themselves: The matching moptops. The uniforms. The glibness. The saccharine movies. The lack of anger or outrage – all irony and tongue-in-cheekery.
There were their PR contrivances like ‘bigger than Jesus’ or ‘Paul is dead’ or ‘Give Peace a chance’. And the whole Indian Maharishi thing, while interesting in a multicultural, sampling-new-fruit kind of way, was immediately cultified and iconized. Once the Beatles branded enlightenment, it was unlikely that anyone would ever genuinely be able to reach it again and India became awash with hippies and their smelly backpacks.
And how quickly the Fab 4 become tediously bourgeois with MBEs and celebrity wives. Sir Paul — two mincing steps from Elton John, maybe three from Barry Manilow (incidentally, he started painting in his 40s and then had a retrospective and monograph published. The paintings are crap but judge for yourself). John – granted the ‘coolest’ and ‘edgiest’ of the four — filthy rich on Central Park West, gets blown away by a fan and is immediately deified. (And who remembers Brian Jones?) George dies a middle-aged death. Ringo becomes the Gap/Visa/Doritos/Charles Schwab/Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pizza Spokesman, a craven grotesque.

He’s as blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

But the true reason I hate the Beatles isn’t the Beatles. It’s the context of the Beatles.
It’s not the music, it’s how and where I hear the music. It’s the deeply ingrained commercialization of everything they made, the re-re-re-re-release of their hits to great acclaim and hype and jingling cash registers.
It’s Beatlemania. It’s Musak. It’s the Queen. It’s the painted Rolls Royce. It’s Yoko. It’s Linda. It’s the whole idea of Classic Rock (which I always associate with middle-aged men in tinted glasses and those skimpy beards).
It’s the fact that I can easily imagine George W., Laura, Condy and Rummy debating their favorite Beatles song. I can imagine fucking Cheney listening to the Beatles. Can you picture any of them listening to the Stones? (Maybe). But the Pistols? The Clash? The Specials? Skynrd? The Kings of Leon?
Alright, whether you agree with this demented, poorly reasoned rant, I hope you get a larger point:
Art and context are really hard to separate.
Mona Lisa shower curtains. Van Gogh Sunflower beach towels. Ed Hopper mousepads. Picasso coffee mugs. Beethoven’s V doorbells. Outkast cel phone ring tones. They distort what we think of the originals and make it impossible to ever look at it properly again. Even if we are standing in the Louvre, in front of the Giaconda herself, we can’t really see the painting (and I’m not talking about the glare of camera flashes bouncing off her Plexiglas shield). It’s too loaded with baggage. Almost everything in Culture is embalmed in commercialization, intellectualization, exploitation, and post-modern regurgitation.
So we collect rare reissues, B-sides, obscure early works, yearning for authenticity, hoping to see or hear clearly for the first time, to hear the Beatles not as they sound in those grainy, endlessly retreaded clips of the Shea stadium concert or the Sullivan show, but as they might have sounded if you were actually standing there in a cellar in Liverpool or Hamburg in the summer of ‘60.
The more we are given to see, the less we can see. The barrage of advertising, television, web pages, and shop windows, force us more and more to retreat into our skulls, peering through a thick grimy window of associations. Today is yesterday. JF Kerry is JF Kennedy. Bush Jr. is Bush Sr. Britney is Madonna is Marilyn. I say hello, you say goodbye. Nothing is what it is.
The trick is to decontextualize, to see reality for what it actually is, divorced from distorting associations. And what a trick that is. I need to shake my head, slap myself in the face, run my skull under a cold fauce, and be here now.
The more I draw, the more I realize this lesson.
The more I realize this lesson, the more I need to draw.


To learn more about Danny Gregory
visit his site, or better yet take the money you were going to use to pay for the first installment of the complete re-re-re-masterered re-re-re-re-re-released box set #15, and buy one of his books instead.

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10 thoughts on “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand!

  1. jp

    “The trick is to decontextualize”…

    and there it is…the whole idea against all this nonsense.

    good one Bas..

    btw, the new remastered mp3’s came in and I am DELIGHTED with the new version of “Octopus”, you can almost see Ringo’s farts!

  2. Das Post author

    John, Absolutely. I wish I’d written this a couple of years ago instead of wasting all this time.

    I’m so happy the remastered version of Octoppus is so great, now I can finally sleep at night. Bless you sir Ringo!

  3. jp

    soon we can start the neko case site.
    New Yorker said 200,000..the chicago fishwrap, aka tribune, in a review today, said 100,000..that’s almost as many as Octopus..which I think is the name of the new Rush cd btw..I have that one too!!

    there is no new music EVER, that is the rule and I am sticking to it. Join me comrade! iMAGINE THERE’S NO..ETC ETC

  4. Das Post author

    200,000…100,000…whats the difference?
    I’m with you. I’m squinting my eyes and Imagining there ain’t no nuttin.

  5. Paul Baines

    Wow, I couldn’t disagree more. I like both The Beatles and the Stones, born in 1968 I was surrounded by amazing music as a baby onwards. Beatles experimented far better, Stones always produced a better groove, if I could pick and choose I’d say that the Berolling Stoneatles were a classic band. Then again there’s a whole world of music that has learned from and trumped plenty of both of the bands’ greatest individual tracks since..

    Paul Bainess last blog post..Wearable Graffiti By Bleach

  6. Scorpion

    I guess it’s most strange knowing that Paul never, at least late in his career, aged as a “cool” guy. He always held his artistic credibility, but did many things that are quite cringe-worthy. That cool factor kind of dropped a bit. In recent times, though Paul’s cool temperature is red hot. He’s got several artistic and adventurous solo albums, and has also produced a remix album, and avant-garde album under a different moniker that would make the coolest hipster nod in approval. Maybe a Fireman tune or two will make a Coachella appearance as well, it’s nothing too much just out of sight.

  7. Dogshit

    I used to drive thru Vegas to Cali a lot in 2008 to 2010 and saw a sign one day for Ringo and his merry band of whatever group he had going at the time doing a show at some casino for the week and couldn’t help thinking, “WILL IT EVER FUCKING END?!”

    I also thought that I would rather lose 2K in 10 minutes at a Blackjack table and later catch a veneral disease from a hooker, and discover this STD while I was lost in the Nevada desert with no water, than attend this concert. It’s not the pain of Ringo’s concert, it’s the pain of the fans you would be surrounded by for hours.

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