Having grown up on ’70s hit radio, for several years I was more familiar with the Beatles’ solo works than with actual Beatles music. John, Paul, George, even Ringo were all having at least moderately sized hit after hit, and I bought many of them on 45.
Once I got to college and became a certified Beatles freak, my fascination didn’t really extend to the solo years. There wasn’t much about the Wings catalog that interested me (though I tend to stand alone in thinking that Back to the Egg was an excellent album). George’s stuff was, for the most part, too far out there for my tastes, and definitely too spiritual in a lot of senses. Ringo? No. A couple of good songs (“It Don’t Come Easy” and “Photograph”), a lot of novelties, and the unforgivable remake of “You’re Sixteen.” (It’s a little hard to imagine that in 1973, when that came out, Ringo was only 33. 33! A young man! But not so young that he should have been singing songs about 16-year-olds. God the ’70s were creeptastic. When for some reason a video was made of the song 5 years later, the love interest was played by a 22-year-old Carrie Fisher, looking vastly younger. Keep up the creep.)
As a documented massive Beatles fan in the 1970s, I have to admit that I feel victim to a bit of the hero worship that went on even in the solo years. I did think of John Lennon as some kind of sage working class hero, as the one who brought the grittiness to the Beatles. I kinda bought into the whole Lennon legend, and when he started making his comeback with “Double Fantasy,” I was as sucked into the story as anyone, and as fascinated by his “opening up” about the decade since he’d left The Beatles. I’ll get to my later feelings about that when I get to that album.
But in the couple of years when I was a Beatlemaniac and John was still alive, I didn’t jump at the chance to get his solo works. I think Danny had some of them, and I still had my 45s, but I was never motivated to get the albums. Time hasn’t really shown that I was wrong.
Still, for some things, there was still that need driven by fandom and the collecting bug. And at some point when I was putting together every Beatles song ever recorded on tapes in the mid-’80s, there was a reissue of what we’ll just call “Two Virgins,” and I thought, okay, I really can’t call myself a Beatles fan without a copy of that. So I bought it (even though the bag lacked the proper die-cut to allow the actual album to show through, and instead faked it). I played it, a time or two. And I put it aside.
The records I haven’t been willing to give a listen to during the course of this project have been few and far between. But here’s one. I’m busy, I have very limited time, and right now as my sweet wife works on something in the kitchen and I type this nonsense, we’re listening to the highly enjoyable first record by Fanny, which will no doubt be followed by the rest of their original discography. In the alternative, I could torture myself listening to a bunch of avant-garde nonsense just because Lennon was able to foist anything on people in 1968. But I’m not gonna do that; as it is, my wife puts up with a lot. We’re listening to Fanny, and moving on down the discography.