Friday, June 01, 2007

It was 40 years ago today

...that the Beatles released their album "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" an album that may have set the world of popular music on fire but strangely did nothing for me, even stranger given the entry for yesterday in which I described everything that The Beatles did for six years in the 1960's as being "hugely influential".

I don't know why the album never really grabbed my attention but I think the fact that we didn't have a record player in our house until 1969 may have had something to do with it , that and the fact that from a commercial singles chart point of view it didn't contain very many tracks to get hammered to death on the radio.

Four tracks were released from the album, the title track "Sgt Pepper", "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "When I'm 64" and "A Day in the Life" and to be perfectly honest, with the exception of the title track, in anyones anthology of The Beatles they would be anonymous tracks.

So it was two years later that I first heard the album in its entirety when I borrowed it from a friend at school, by which time it had been written into folklore but by which time my musical tastes had moved on somewhat and The Beatles were old hat, hence the fact that the album that everyone speaks of as defining a generation did nothing to define me.

1967 was a strange year, "the summer of love" and all that jazz and artists like Scott McKenzie and Procul Harem are the stand-out musical memories for me although two Beatles chart singles which were recorded during the Sgt Peppers sessions but never included on the album, "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" had made a bigger impact in the early months of '67, both tracks were forced out on single early in the recording sessions by EMI as they had not had a Beatles single in the charts for six months prior to that and were obviously getting a bit short in the bank account by then - a fact that emphasises the extremely important relevance of the singles music chart in that era, album success was nice but you made your money and your fame through the singles charts.

And of course there is a link to Leeds directly from the title track of the Sgt Peppers album...

For the benefit of Mr. Kite
there will be a show tonight on trampoline
The Hendersons will all be there
late of Pablo Fanques'fair, what a scene

Not spotted it ?

You need to be a nerd to know this and such a nerd was interviewed on Radio Leeds today. Pablo Fanques was a real person, not his real name, that was William Darby, but he was a real person and a real fairground proprietor int he 1800's, in fact he was the first black fairground owner in the country and it was while the Pablo Fanques fair was resident in the Headrow in Leeds that his wife died and was buried in Harehills cemetry.

So now you know.

I never fail to amaze myself at the crap and trivia that can be stored in my brain, such a shame that the storage space cannot be given over to important things though.

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