Memo: Wear Your Beatles T-shirt to Work Day

Jun 25, 2012 by

(Matt)

My 5-week old son has absolutely no respect for anyone’s sleep schedule.  Seriously, he doesn’t give a shit in the least bit.  He sleeps half the day, only periodically at night, and then rises crying for someone to feed him and change his shit and piss soiled diaper.  Today for example, he thought it would be cute to greet the day at 5:45 AM.   My wife had already been up with him while the rest of the world was sleeping, so I took the morning shift.

I fail miserably at any simple routine task before 8:00 AM.  Today was no different.  Half asleep with an infant thrown over my shoulder like a fucking duffel bag, I managed my way to the kitchen with him screaming directly in my ear to me to prepare his breakfast.  Lacking any patience, he was extremely disappointed with my unwillingness to pick up my pace.  So he showed his displeasure by belting out even louder cries.  I was not awake enough to be affected by the loud noises carrying through our home from this 11 pound human.  I opened the fridge, grabbed a plastic pouch of breast milk and searched for a bottle.   The bottle has three components for assembly – the cup to hold the milk, the plastic nipple, and the thing to secure the nipple to cup.  This took me five minutes to put together.  (Maybe longer – who knows for certain)

My son, belly full, was now content and drifted back to sleep like a heroin addict.   Few shots of espresso, a shower, and running behind to make it to work on time, I went to my closet throw on a pair of jeans and grabbed for the first t-shirt I laid my eyes on.

It was this one.

 Unbeknownst to me, as I made my way to the office, today was the unofficial “Wear Your Beatles T-shirt to Work” day.  That’s at least what I thought as I passed by Alan’s cubical and noticed that he had his Beatles t-shirt on as well.  No other coworker besides Alan and I participated in the event.

So in honor of this special day, I would like to offer up two videos for your viewing and listening pleasure.  The first one is a 1965 performance of the song, We Can Work It Out.  Released as a single along with Day TripperWe Can Work It Out was a collaborative effort by both Paul and John, which became less frequent as the years progressed.  Obviously a great song, but the video also shows the two band mates clearly enjoying each other presence; which also became less frequent as the years went on.

The video is an immense favorite with my daughter right now.  A nightly viewing of this video has been added to the bedtime routine over the course of the past week, along with reading a book to her.  She smiles along watching the video as Paul tries his best to keep it together as John tries like hell to crack him up.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN-Ee7uXKYo

The last video I would like to share stems from a period of time representative of the shirt I wore today.  Off the album Let It Be,  and another song which both John and Paul wrote together – I’ve Got a Feeling.

Enjoy, and happy “Wear Your Beatles T-shirt to Work” day!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTNbhoHaVvE

(Alan)

If you remember, when I posted this piece after the birth of Matt’s son Vincent, I told the world the reason my wife and I didn’t have a second baby was because we were too lazy.  Its mornings like Matt had today that solidify that decision was the correct one for us.  If it were me, I’d still be at home right now trying to get the boy fed.

However, while we recognize our laziness on the child front, we still manage to take on new projects that try our patience and test our ability to correctly get out of bed in the morning.

Case in point:  for Ali’s birthday this year, I got her a chicken coop.  She’s wanted chickens for years, we have the land for it, and I love eggs; easy decision right?  The chicks showed up yesterday around noon.  My wife and son left the bedroom we are keeping them in exactly twice after that.  When I poked my head in to see how things were going, my wife and son were covered in chicks and she exclaimed “it’s the cutest place on earth in here, that’s how it is!”  Indeed, it was.

Fast forward to bedtime and things are a little different.  Chicks are still definitely very cute, but it became obvious that sleep was going to be difficult.  Baby chicks need their environment to be 95 degrees Fahrenheit during week one.  We have them in their little brooder with a very hot, very bright infrared heat lamp.  The benefits are that it keeps the chicks warm, and the red light is apparently more soothing than white, which keeps them less stressed, which means they won’t peck each other to death.  That’s a good thing; no one wants to wake up to baby chick carnage.

The negatives are that the light is very bright and hot.  It’s funny that this is supposedly what the chicks need, because our room looks like the inside of a rotisserie cooker and feels just as hot.  I’m pretty sure I was awakened by the sound of my own skin crisping up last night.  To make matters worse, the way we positioned the brooder, the light is pointing right at our fan, so turning the fan on to chill the room down really just circulated hot air, adding the feeling of being cooked on high convection heat.

All this is to say that while I was not dealing with a hungry infant, I was dealing with my own issues as I stumbled around the room trying to figure out what in the hell I was going to wear this morning.  I, like Matt, settled on a Beatles t-shirt.  This one to be more specific:

 

Matt walked by my desk and informed me we had stumbled into the now official, “Wear Your Beatles Shirt to Work Day”, so of course we had to post some videos.  I’ve chosen Happiness is a Warm Gun.

I rediscovered the Beatles when I was 15 years old while going through a stack of my mom’s old albums.  It started with Rubber Soul and ended with me buying everything my mom didn’t already have on vinyl.  While revolver is my favorite, I think the White Album is the best of the group, and this song really sums it up for me.  It’s schizophrenic, weird, and manages to combine those soothing Beatles harmonies with disturbing imagery and John’s soulfully rocking wail.  I’m sure that many of my teenage year neighbors wish this song had never been created; it would have saved them from having to hear me try and nail that perfect falsetto at the end of the song while outside washing my parents’ cars.

What we know for sure about the song is that it was really parts of three different songs.  Lennon said that the song was a “Rock and Roll history”.  He took the title from a gun magazine and was amazed and horrified at the American passion for guns.  He also said that he wrote it in the beginning of his relationship with Yoko and was highly sexualized at the time; so there are plenty of sexual references as well.  He said more than once that the song was not about heroin, but that won’t stop people from thinking that’s what the song is about, and there certainly is a fair amount of imagery that could easily be seen as heroin references.  This is from a guy who also said “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” wasn’t about LSD.

Lennon has said that he never shot up heroin; he snorted it when he did it.  That doesn’t mean he wasn’t familiar with the imagery and how well it worked with the song.  It’s pretty tough to listen to this song and not think it has something to do with both sex and drugs; with the “history of rock and roll” element, you have the three classic components for a great song. Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll, hell yeah!  Add in the syncopated rhythms, constant time changes, and contrasting sound textures, and you really have one hell of a song.  A nice bonus feature is this is one of the few songs on the album where the whole band really worked as a team to get the sound right, this coming in the middle of their most contentious album recordings.

I hope you enjoy national “Wear Your Beatles Shirt to Work Day”, we sure did!

 

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