Saturday, August 09, 2008

Isorski Joins the 21st Century and Digs Podcasting

They may be old news for Internet savvy peeps, but I have recently discovered the coolness of podcasts, or in short, 30 - 60 minute audio programs downloaded to your iPod or whatever and listened to later.

They are like custom radio programs I can listen to while running, commuting, watering the flippin' plants, etc.

I get most of mine via iTunes, but there are tons of other sites that offer them. Some are set up as subscriptions - so every time I open iTunes, the program checks to see if there are new Podcasts in that series, and if so, automatically downloads them.

Two John Lennon related podcast series I have been digging are:

The Lost Lennon Tapes

I remember hearing these in the 80s when Westwood One first ran them - I think it was every Sunday night. I wasn't a big fan. Too many commercials and frankly a bit too much hype.

But I am enjoying them a lot now, without the commercials. There are lots of interviews, outtakes, studio run throughs and info I had never heard before (and I am a pretty big Beatles fanatic, so that's a tall order).

It covers everything from Lennon's childhood through the Beatles, and of course early and late solo eras. And - thankfully - when they play a song, you hear the whole thing. Not just a little snip with the host yapping over it. Most of the versions and outakes I had never heard before - not even on the Beatles Anthology series or the Lennon Anthology that has four discs of outakes and demos! Very cool.

If you Google the series, you learn that there were loads of episodes. Only the first 27 are available (free) from iTunes and I am trying to figure out how to get my hands on the rest. They are really fascinating if you are interested in Lennon and/or The Beatles.

The Rolling Stone Lennon Interviews

This is a five-part free series on iTunes, and is the complete audio from the legendary interview between Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner and Lennon in 1970, right before he put out his first solo album, Plastic Ono Band. This is Lennon's first true solo album, a raw release that smashed the Beatles myth with songs like Mother, God, I Found Out and Love. This album, along with 1971's Imagine, are his two must-have solo CDs until 1980's Double Fantasy.

The Wenner interview is really killer for a number of reasons. You hear a very pissed off Lennon, stinging from the trauma within The Beatles - they had only officially announced the breakup months earlier (and Paul did it, even though Lennon quit first).

Also, despite not wanting to 'play the game' anymore or be part of the big music business machine, he still is struggling over what song to issue as the single from the Plastic Ono Band album. Wenner thinks it ought to be Mother, and Lennon seems to agree. But the song is so intense, you can tell he is afraid of alienating people and is leaning towards the Beatle-esque and more positive song Love.

You hear what Lennon thinks about Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road (he doesn't like them) and how competitive he is with the other Beatles, Dylan and...well, pretty much anyone else. He says that The Beatles were pretty much finished as a group by the time they got signed. You can tell he doesn't really care for or about any Beatles tunes besides his own and even there he dislikes most of his work with the band.

You can also get the transcribed printed version at Amazon.com but it's more poignant to actually hear it.

Later, Lennon mellowed out and mended fences with the other Beatles but he is royally hurt, pissed and disillusioned in this interview, which by the way was a huge coup for Rolling Stone and Wenner and helped to put the magazine on the map.

There are other podcasts I am checking out and will post about them later. But these two will keep you busy for a week or two, and will fill in many, many gaps in your Beatles and Lennon knowledge if you want it...

1 comment:

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I love podcasts but hadn't found these! Thanks, I'm a huge Lennon fan. Will go download now!!