A Special Edition of The Ruffian
This is such a great read Ian. You don't always want to read things that make you nod, agree with everything, and go "yes, yes. exactly this. yes" but your analysis chimed very deeply. So thank you.
It's delightful, as a longtime denizen of the endlessly deep and meandering Beatles rabbit warren, to read so many original and acute observations. I loved this piece.
Ian, you captured it so well. At first it watching was magical. Here we were with the lads themselves. Making. Then it got tedious. Because that's the creative process. Suffering for the fun of it. Thank you for taking such great care in writing this. You eloquently magnified many special moments. Ordinary lads doing extraordinary things.
This is excellent - psychologically acute, and deeply knowledgeable about the band and the 60s culture. I'm glad you brought up George Saunders' 'A Swim in a Pond in the Rain' which I've just finished and which I found equally insightful and life-affirming. Your note that the humour was central to Beatles' ethos was spot-on and reminded me of Clive James' comment that 'humour is just common sense, dancing' - whch seems to me to capture the band's down-to-earth-ness and its sense of fun. Thanks.
I wonder whether they talked about Hamburg as much during sessions prior to this. They’d been so busy with touring up through Revolver, and experimenting after that, they probably didn’t have time to let the memories flood back until the Get Back sessions. I think they were very nostalgic for that time. John said as much in one of his interviews.
Also, I needed this: “Art involves a kind of conjuring trick in which the artist conceals her false starts, her procrastination, her self-doubts, her confusion, behind the finished article.” I’m working on a follow-up to my first published novel and have been dealing with all of those things. I feel a bit better now.