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29th April, 2020

#PaperbackWriter - Revolver

Dear sir or madam, will you read my text?

This piece is from Emanuella, a second generation Brazilian Beatlemaniac and she explains how she felt after listening to Revolver for the first time.


I always like to quote the Nietzschean phrase that art exists in order not to die from the truth. In such hopelessness times, appealing to the sublime and the beautiful is essential.

Every day we deal with much sad news, sometimes we feel so sad that it’s hard to see the little beauties of life remaining, forgotten in a little corner. And when we rescue them it’s joy comparable to finding candy lost in a coat pocket.

That's the joy I had recently, listening to Revolver after a good few months without playing it. And it's always like that: beatlemaniacs share emotions. The feeling explodes in a growing like the chorus of "Please Please Me", so when we realize, we are already super excited.

Edmondo de Amicis once said that we never visit Paris for the first time, it’s always a re-meeting. I think the same for the Beatles. The Eiffel Tour integrates the social imaginary in the same proportion as "Twist And Shout" or "Yellow Submarine". You may not know the name of the monument, in which city it is located; you may not know the name of the song or the band, but it’s been in some corner of your mind.

The first time I heard the whole OF Revolver was in 2001, and I remember it very well. It was my father's vinyl, a 1966’s original. A thick, heavy disc, with a plastic cap.

The count "1, 2, 3, 4" with a cough pause and the following bass line from "Taxman" has already announced: the guys managed how to make an opening as impactful as the Rubber Soul one, until then unbeatable to me (although "Drive My Car" is still my favorite opening).

The song ends, and you're still out of breath, when a dramatic violin arrangement follows: ah, look at all the lonely people. In my melancholic adolescence, the story of Eleanor Rigby ripped deep into my chest. "I'm Only Sleeping" with its inverted solo and its lazy beat was a mixture of identification with the lyrics – tirelessly repeated to justify my frequent lapses in attention – and the happiness because it was one of the few songs I could play on the guitar. Mi minor, la minor, sol, do, si in seventh, very easy.

"Here, There and Everywhere" came as proof that Macca would be the master of silly love songs, from there forever. He already had written "All My Loving", "Michelle", "Eight Days a Week", and now he came with this thing of giving meaning to the movement of the hands, the hair, the story that nobody can deny that there’s something there. It was the description of what couldn't be described. It’s about the things that are here, there and everywhere. Actually nothing is silly here.

"Good Day Sunshine" and "And Your Bird Can Sing" open the B side simply synthetically and are the songs that, first of all, I consider warm. You hear, smile (and if you listen to the Anthology version of "And Your Bird Can Sing" you'll smile and laugh), feel warm and think: how nice that there’s The Beatles in the world.

"Got You Get You Into My Life," another one by Macca, that happy song to whistle when you're falling in love. And "For No One," even though it comes before, you whistle and cry after a loving disappointment. In the ephemeral sentimental of my 15, I whistled both of them.

(Years later, still faithful to the quartet, I still consider any versions as a heresy. With one exception: Caetano Veloso, eight years later, sings "For No One" and shows that yes, you can be profane).

"Tomorrow Never Knows", title from a typical Ringo quote, closes the album, in a psychedelic way and in the daring of being three minutes on the same note. That music with sounds of birds, zithers, inverted solos, which is more or less like Pollock: you find confusing, you don't understand it very well, but inside that chaos you find order, you find calm. And you like it.

The impression I get is that, any time at all, the Beatles arrive with a verse, with a chord, to cheer or to comfort. It's the art giving meaning and joy to the life. If you've read it this far, don't hesitate: listen to the woman says: play the Revolver, give it up in your morning, and when you feel you're having a hard time believing in life, take with you another phrase from George: all things must pass.

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