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Engrossing Beatles Documentary At Real Art Ways – Hartford Courant

Engrossing Beatles Documentary At Real Art Ways – Hartford Courant

December 02
09:20 2016

The Beatles are Scott Freiman’s passion. The musicologist, who graduated from Yale University in 1984, once taught a Beatles class at his alma mater and took his Beatles lectures on the road. A documentary opening Friday, Dec. 2, at Real Art Ways in Hartford shows Freiman giving his on-stage deconstruction of the 1968 release “The Beatles,” known to posterity as “The White Album.”The doc is a PowerPoint lecture filmed in Pleasantville, N.Y. The static presentation notwithstanding, the film will be irresistible to Beatles obsessives, who want to hear every one of the multiple tracks of each song, and hear how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr took them from idea to finished product. (Freiman doesn’t dissect every song on the 30-track double album, just a sampling.)ADVERTISINGBeatles Collectors Lend Artifacts For ‘Magical History Tour’ At FoxwoodsEven those not fixated with the Fab Four will be charmed by Freiman’s passion, the depth of his knowledge and his behind-the-scenes gossip about the best-selling album of the ’60s. Many factoids are things even casual Beatles fans know already — that Mia Farrow’s sister was “Dear Prudence,” that Ringo quit the band, then rejoined, during the recording — but there are surprises. The original cover art for the album, originally titled “A Doll’s House,” is jarring, a weird intruder into the embedded Beatles iconography. Hearing the isolated track of Eric Clapton’s solo from “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is wonderful.The most engrossing aspect of “Deconstructing the Beatles” is Freiman’s description of the influences behind each song. “Blackbird” was inspired by Bach’s Bourrée in E minor. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was a variation on the cadences of Nigerian conga playing, which Lennon brought to life by slamming it out on a jangle-box piano. “Rocky Raccoon” was a riff on Bob Dylan’s “John Wesley Harding” album. “Lady Madonna” got its beat from an old boogie-woogie tune. It’s bits like that, played side-by-side with The Beatles’ songs, that lend a real appreciation for the multidimensional complexity of The Beatles’ artistry.A look ahead at some things to add to your calendar this week.  More events at ctnow.com/thingstodo.Copyright © 2016, Hartford Courant

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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