The White Album: 40 Years Later

As the year draws to a close many of us spend time reflecting on the year, and our own past(s). As 2008 draws to a close it is a time to look back and celebrate a year, and usher in a new beginning.  Many times we are caught looking back to a time of yesteryear.  For some, it’s a way to relish a past that we were not able to experience first-hand.

In this way we are able to celebrate a collected past and come together.  This year, we celebrate the storied and varied anniversary of the Beatles’ White Album.  While I, personally, was not around to experience it first-hand this essay allows me to relive the magic once again.

As we look towards the time of year where the white stuff is flying in the air for some, we look back at the panorama of rock and roll that is The Beatles’ White Album.

Special thanks to John Kays for sending me the link to his wonderful article.

Here’s what we’ve read.

1968 was a year of dramatic change. A few of those pivotal events were: the Tet Offensive, the Paris war protests in May, the killing of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, as well as a blossoming partnership between John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I will link a helpful timeline of 1968 for you, so that you can gain a working knowledge of events for that turbulent year. The Beatles` White Album, which turned forty a few weeks ago, was a quintessential reflection of that era; I still remember that day (11/25/`68) clearly as if it was yesterday. This double album contains, by way of kinetic expression in pop song, much of the energy of 1968.

Now rewind the fragile reel tape back to the day. Just a week before a comment from a colleague at Jesuit Prep piqued my interest, “Did you hear John, that a new Beatles` album is set for release next week?” I got in gear and did some yard work to earn ‘record money’ and also rolled some quarters, dimes, and nickels in anticipation of B-Day. I was fidgety for several days, and invented ways in my mind that the new songs might possibly sound. I reviewed all of the older records so that I would be well oiled to make accurate assessments for the new release. This was a Standard Operating Procedure of that day.

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