I can’t stop driving.
I can’t. Paul McCartney won’t let me.
See, there’s this window at work where I work. And at 5 p.m. the sunlight becomes a laser, and the laser is pointed right at your eyes. And the blind that’s on the window is pathetic and every time you move it, one of the panels falls off. And every time this has happened this week and every time the sun gets in my eyes, my auditory cortex fires off the harmonic whipped butter that is “Sun King.”
They are these random happenstances that often drive my most excellent decisions. And so on Thursday evening as I was squinting and looking forward to six more hours of providing the most excellent technical support in New York State, and as I was looking forward as well to TV and Tequila Thursday, which we shall discuss in this Web space at a later time (Damn You Shonda), I decided that what was needed was an Abbey Road Weekend. So therefore and thereby I declare and confirm as of now.
Rolling Stone rates Abbey Road as the 14th greatest album of all time and Sgt. Pepper’s as the best. I’d flip those rankings.
Abbey Road is the greatest rock and roll album ever recorded.
And that’s why I had to drive by my own house. Because I haven’t yet gotten to The End. Because I haven’t yet heard that curious tribute to the Queen. Or to the queen. Or to Queen. I’m not sure which.
But I’ve got a belly belly full of wine.
I can’t stop my car, but I get to my destination shortly. That is one thing that makes Abbey Road the finest rock and roll album every recorded. It is lush and gorgeous and orchestrated and beautiful. But it is concise.
And as I turn around at Ellen Smith Road, I am so into the album and its end that I sort of cry a little.
This is what makes me cry. Brilliance. Brilliance makes me cry. Not much else does because I do not have many expectations left and so I can no longer get that deeply disappointed or hurt. But when I experience other people doing something that is brilliant and them doing that brilliant thing brilliantly, I cry. And as I’m doing a somewhat illegal u-turn at Ellen Smith Road and as I’m listening to the final strokes of “Medley,” well. Boohoo. Fuck me, right?
Abbey Road is often arranged with this odd syncopation. Choruses do not always fall where one expects them. And yet, if you have listened to the album, you do not ever miss a cue when you are belting it out in the front seat of your automobile. It excels in so many musical areas that it is difficult to identify them all. It has a sense of humor. It excels in musicianship. It is adequately rough and ugly and yet it is beautiful. Its soul is large and throbbing. It includes beautiful orchestration and blues and damned near heavy metal. It utilizes tempo changes more effectively than any recorded work I have ever heard. It is among the evidence that Ringo Starr was a unique drummer and one of the finest on the planet.
There is no recording artist today or yesterday or last week or in 1978 who does not owe a debt to Abbey Road. And especially you, Radiohead. I am certain Thom Yorke has spent a lot of time with this album. Certain of it. He and his band’s sound would not exist without it.
So therefore, I am declaring this an Abbey Road Weekend. Oh yeah. Oh right. Go get one of your copies out and spin it.