NO FREE MUSIC, NO FREE LUNCHES AND NO FREE PASSES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

Looking back to those surreal, weird and right out there days when firmly entrenched in the music industry with many of us making The Wolf of Wall Street look like pussies, there weren’t a helluva lot of executives who actually lived and loved and BREATHED the music, certainly not like pioneers of the industry like Sam Philips, Chris Blackwell, Berry Gordy Jr, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, David Geffen, Ahmet Ertegun, below, and the handful of others.

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THE GRAMMYS: LET’S NOT MAKE A SONG AND DANCE ABOUT IT

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

The Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin etc simply didn’t have a role for a female in their lineup. Yoko and Linda might have had roles in the Beatles just before they finally made the breakup official, but the world was a very different place back in the day.

Not understanding the almost overnight need for women in music today to be recognised more in an archaic awards show like the Grammys, the peculiar thing is that this event has always been dismissed as being more about the past than the present- an old person’s club where winning a Grammy has never been something of great prestige. But in this year of hashtags, sudden memory recall and being angry just about everything there’s around until there’s really nothing more to vent celebrity angst upon, female artists are up in arms because the awards show has supposedly “snubbed” female artists. Really? I mean, really, really? How does Kendrick Lamar feel- and nothing against nice guy Bruno Mars- for not receiving the Grammy for Record Of The Year?

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THE BEATLES: THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR AND TRIP CONTINUES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

And we still Get Back just like Jo Jo though most of us may not be from Arizona. Thanks to Beatle fans around the world uploading rare videos with interviews and sharing their discoveries, we’re finding out more and more about this pretty fab band…and also finding nothing at all. Maybe that’s what keeps the magic of the Beatles alive after all these years- after all these decades: Something new always pops up which then causes a chain reaction of searches on YouTube that can last until Tomorrow Never Knows.

Recently, I was watching a video where George, Paul and Ringo were interviewed reminiscing about some of the tracks they had recorded. George Martin might have been there. None could remember who played guitar on several tracks, or who played bass, and, sometimes, even who was on drums. Let’s not forget that George wasn’t the only “lead guitarist” in the band and Ringo wasn’t the only drummer whereas often Sir Paul and Sir George Martin shared keyboard duties and engineer Geoff Emerick was always in what could be called the final pot pourri mix.

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SIR BARRY GIBB: MUCH MORE THAN A KNIGHTHOOD

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It was when in my first school band that my best friend and band mate Steve had us learn a song called “New York Mining Disaster 1941.” Steve was always one step ahead of anyone else around us when it came to discovering new bands. And at a time when when it was considered “cool” to write songs with somewhat pretentious song titles, there we were learning this song about a mining disaster that wasn’t exactly your straight forward pop song which started with a minor chord and needed some Everley Brothers type harmonies. This, for the rest of us in the band, was our introduction to the Bee Gees- actually brothers Barry and the strangest looking twins in Robin and Maurice backed by two musicians who really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

The song was fine, but at a very image conscious time, the Bee Gees didn’t look cool enough. Too much teeth and really bad hair. One was even losing his hair.

The album cover to their first record was drab, and they weren’t from Swinging London. They were from Australia. And though a few hits by Australian bands passed the test- the Easybeats being one of them- their origins didn’t really help them being accepted by the cool kids.

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THE BEATLES: CREATIVE, SELECTIVE, PRODUCTIVE AND THEIR LAND OF OZ

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The question is, How did they do it, and, maybe even more importantly, what drove them to that space in time and particular place where it really didn’t matter what anyone else thought and whether it would be popular or accepted just as long as they produced what was in their hearts and minds? It really was that simple.

Call it evolution, colour it revolution, but to go from the rudiments of pop to turning what we know as music on its head when deciding that the recording studio was this wonderful musical land of Oz where lived a wise old Wizard who could see where they wanted to go and guide them down that yellow brick road that led to Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and where Tomorrow Never Knows is something that’s been explored and theorised for over four decades, but there really are no answers.

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CANTO POP AND WHY HONG KONG NEEDS THE NEXT SAM HUI

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Believe me, we’re trying to change things around. The question is whether we’ve left it all a little too late and are happy to just coast, because it pays the rent. And as no one’s getting any younger, to many, that’s life’s main priority. Maybe we don’t want to change the world. That’s not our job. Maybe we just want to survive in our own little corner of the world and put on that happy face everyday and try to kid ourselves and everyone else that all is cool.

I might be writing about Hong Kong, but I could be writing about anywhere. I might be writing about music, but I could be writing about any of the arts or any business or even life itself. And music is entertainment and much about life, but it’s also a business. Those days of playing for free for “exposure” should have ended when playing with one’s first school band and performing at tea parties.

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WHEN SPINAL TAP BECOMES REALITY

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

I was speaking to my ex wife last week- yes, it seems a contradiction in terms- about life and how I have outgrown Hong Kong, the people and the kinda stunted lifestyle now led compared to the Wolf Of Wall Street days when living at 1616, four numbers that stood for anything goes and where everything did. Did we care? We were letting the good times rock and roll and doing cartwheels across the floor.

Today, well today, there’s so much out there one needs a filter to remove the crud and clutter. If not, it’s back to taking in strays. Those days are gone forever. So is taking in every event as a predictable show of support when you know what’s going through your head: What am I doing here? Why is what’s going on more Spinal Tap than Spinal Tap, but without the self deprecating sense of humour.

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HONG KONG AND ITS OPEN MIC SESSIONS AND WHEN TO PULL THE PLUG ON THEM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It was raining. And these days one has to almost force one’s self to get out as there’s really nothing much happening in Hong Kong that’s worth making the effort to see or looking for new people to meet. It seems like it’s all been said and done and heard before and the only sensible thing to do is to get away from it all and find a new perspective in life. So, with my friend having made a spicy tofu salad with Chinese spinach, we decided to stay home and watch The Voice, something I hadn’t done in over a year.

I gave up on these television karaoke competitions years ago, but my friend, who still holds onto the dream of being a high powered female music executive, wanted to see some of the talent appearing on this particular night and who she knew.

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GIVE YOURSELF UP TO IMAGINATION

A contemporary fairy tale based on the songs of Hans Ebert and Trevor Carter.

He woke up one day and it was like someone had switched the lights off in his head. He knew he was here, but it was hard getting there and beyond. For some reason, all motivation was gone. Inspiration had decided to pack its bags and leave. And with no inspiration, he knew there’s nothing except as Dylan sang, being stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues again.

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BRIAN JONES AND GEORGE HARRISON: THE VERY DIFFERENT JOURNEYS OF TWO FAVOURITE POP IDOLS

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

There were the Beatles and there were the Stones and then there was George Harrison and there was Brian Jones.

If being completely honest with myself, it was seeing George in “A Day’s Night”, especially in that opening scene when they’re running away from the fans and trips, and then playing his solo on “I Should Have Known Better” that made me a Beatlemaniac.

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