ANYONE ELSE SEARCHING FOR THE INNER LIGHT?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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“The more one travels, the less one knows”. George Harrison sang that line on “The Inner Light” about how life flows within you and without you. It was one of those token Harrison songs that had to be included somewhere and ended up as the throwaway B Side to the Beatles’ hit single “Lady Madonna”.

Here was this meditative raga based track with George singing about something very spiritual. I didn’t get it and, probably like most, just ignored it. But as one grows older, the song has taken on a new relevance.

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MUSIC: NEXT STOP: ASIA

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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When one of the very very very few people you respect and with a globally proven track record writes to say, “The music industry has never been in such a mess”, one not only listens, there’s a certain sense of vindication- that what you have been saying and questioning for years isn’t just talk from Sleepy Hollow and how so many have allowed themselves to be bamboozled for so long that they’re utterly burnt out, desperately clutching at straws and believing this is taking them somewhere. Please.

Social media might be a nice place to show off that you’ve made yourself a nice salad and show some happy snaps from a holiday, but as platforms to market and sell music, especially if an unknown, please don’t embarrass yourself by uploading mawkish self-promotional jive on Facebook and Instagram even if you’re wearing a hibiscus behind your ear and wobbling trying to stay in tune. All this does is highlight the terminal deficiencies when it comes to having actual talent.

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WHY IT’S GOT TO BE MUCH MORE THAN SOME SONGS AND LOOKING AT THE CHINA ENTERTAINMENT MARKET WITH THOSE WHO REALLY KNOW IT

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Writing this with a repeat of Britain’s Got Talent flickering in the background and some random Spotify Playlist playing what could be described as “coffee shop music” while thinking about one particular well-known name dropping music blogger who is clueless about the world outside of America writing incessantly about embracing new technology and The New, but then goes on and on about the need for artists to tour and how touring gave the Grateful Dead their loyal Deadheads shows just how unfocused, hypocritical and confusing trying to make a career out of music has become. All the excitement and enthusiasm seems to have been sucked out and replaced with bland clutter and speaking in the vagaries of circles.

Trying to make a livelihood out of music today is almost an impossibility. Or so it seems. To those who’ve worked in music companies run as successful businesses by visionaries like Ahmet Ertegun and Chris Blackwell and grown up watching, and even getting to know, unknown artists become legends, it’s easy to come across being know-it-all windbags and dreadful bores in the process.

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WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? WHAT’S MUSIC SAYING TO YOU

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It probably started with Chris Cornell: Slowing down an uptempo song and giving it a new twist just as he did with his amazing version of “Billie Jean”.

Michael Jackson and producer Quincy Jones had given the world a slice of slick, danceable pop aided by a hugely important music video during those early days of MTV which helped enormously in breaking a black artist into the mainstream consciousness when Sony Chairman at the time- Walter Yetnikoff, below, played hardball with the new music channel: Put “Billie Jean” on Heavy Rotation or else you don’t get any other video by Sony artists- Springsteen, Journey, Billy Joel, Cindi Lauper etc etc.

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THE OSCARS AND THE PHONINESS OF IT ALL

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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I fretted for a few hours that I wouldn’t be able to see the Oscars. The person with me told me to exhale and then bitch slapped me into reality about how I was being a lemming and just doing something I have always done because of some pre-conditioned state going back to when I was dating and trying to figure out the marriage thing.

In the end, my PA told me the Oscars was on terrestrial television and which somehow calmed the beast within. “Happy now?” asked my friend as she casually walked towards the kitchenette au naturelle and made herself some breakfast. She might have called me a baby. Or something else.

She’s anti establishment and very anti Hollywood. Frankly, she’s anti American- all the showbiz afflicting the country and how it’s always only about them and damn the rest of the world.

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MISSIONARY SHOES AND BIBLE BLUES (A SONG CYCLE)

It might have not gone according to plan and with no Happy Ever After, but the time spent together when the bells rang out and the music chimed in perfect harmony will always be there.

You were the girl with the missionary shoes, short brown hair and bible rules, and I was the Saint and sinner sent your way.

Messengers have a strange way of appearing when least expected. And so, there we were building an existence in the Lost And Found.

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THE LOWELL GEORGE JOURNEY OF LIFE AND LIGHT

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Sometimes things happen for a reason- not often, but when they’re special things that reset your thinking and help bring about some form of clarity, it’s no doubt coming from some higher power without tripping over that unforgiving ninth step.

The night before I had seen someone I had known for around a decade have a meltdown. It was the alcohol talking mixed with anger, frustration and desperation. When after years of trying and with still nothing to show for it and all those wasted years trying to be what you hoped to hell you’d be with nothing to show for it, something snaps.

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NO FREE MUSIC, NO FREE LUNCHES AND NO FREE PASSES

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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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
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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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