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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WOMAN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with. Stephen Stills wrote that when apparently after breaking up with (singer-songwriter) Judy Collins.

It made sense at the time. But the more one travels and meets those you can pretend to love, it not only gets harder and harder, it becomes pointless- pointless because we only really love one person and the rest are distractions. It’s living a lie and numbing real feelings. It’s about a fear of being alone.

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LOOKING FOR AUDREY HEPBURN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The conversation was about how during, especially the Fifties, so many American actresses somehow adopted very British accents- almost posh. Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn come to mind. I guess it gave them a “class distinction”. But then again, both actresses radiated class.

Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn were different to the all-American goodness of Debbie Reynolds, Doris Day and the more pronounced sexuality of Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak and the smoke rings blown out of the mouth of Lauren Bacall. Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford? Well, they were just tough broads, weren’t they?

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THE END OF THE TANG DYNASTY

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

We decided to extend our stay in Colombo and explore more of the new nightlife that is slowly opening up here. While wondering who were the successful young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka might be came the news that Sir David Tang had passed away at a very youthful 63.

Though not being great friends, we got to know each other through the Remixes of the original recordings by the Shanghai Divas and the passing idea of a Shanghai Tang recording label. To some, David Tang was a somewhat eccentric Chinese gentleman though this eccentricity seemed part of cultivating a personality needed to suit his needs and lifestyle. He moved in very rarefied circles- with actors, actresses, models, Rock stars, royalty, aristocrats, politicians, and, who knows, probably many who were not what they appeared to be. Maybe he knew and just tolerated them. Maybe they were just a sideshow.

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SHINING A LIGHT ON STARSAILOR

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Some of us would have our favourites. There were however those artists who fell under “Global priorities” and “Regional priorities” with all us music executives feeling the heat to come up with those dreaded “numbers” and “chart successes” to be in the good books of Head Office. It wasn’t that different to what goes on today when a major artist like Taylor Swift drops a new record and the spinning goes into overdrive with social media so instrumental in banging home often false messages of success for the gullible and earaches of rumourmongering. Paul might have been “dead” for a while, but music never became a scattergun of tit for tat and open vindictive musical warfare that today has become part of “marketing”.

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ALL THE POTENTIAL OF SRI LANKA: HOW LONG BEFORE IT’S FINALLY REALISED?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It always seems like a good idea: Take a total break from the monotony and autonomy and lobotomy of it all. You can already smell the sand and sea and surf, and images of still to be discovered delights ping pong around your head. But all this is like premature ejaculation. Before that much-needed break becomes a reality, those who wish you the best, and know you’re suffering from burn out, still need that one more job explained, or better yet, done, because, well, as Robert Plant once squealed while grabbing his beloved Percy, they’re dazed and confused.

So, if a professional, one makes the time while the PA calls and asks if you have a visa to enter the country you’re visiting. What visa? As the visa takes 24 hours to be issued, the flight is delayed by a day. Then comes all that time to kill when your flight from Hong Kong to Sri Lanka takes off at 2am. You think, I could have just gone to Macau, or at worst, Discovery Bay. But the latter has recently become the new public toilet for Mainlanders who have invaded their recently found small slice of nirvana.

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BOLLYWOOD AND INDI-ROCK IN MAINLAND CHINA

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

As with love, when it comes to music and finding new homes and futures for it that actually pay for the upkeep, too often we keep going to the same well over and over again and wonder why we’re not an Ed Sheeran, or a Rihanna etc. Well, maybe it’s because there’s no place for variations on a theme or musical copycats unless in one of those cover bands that’s actually trying to be soundalike outfit. Nothing at all against covering music by other artists. Hell, even the first Beatles record was almost made up of covers. And let’s never forget how Chris Cornell made Billie Jean and Nothing Compares 2 U, all his. All it took was a dose of originality.

When it comes to career moves, it’s also about creativity and throwing that net as far as possible and doing some homework. Am certainly not about being a concert promoter and has always been wary of “artist management” in its present incarnation, but because of my days with Universal and EMI Music, longtime contacts get in touch.

The other night, a group of investors from Mainland China got in touch about playing a role in bringing Bollywood to that country along with the type of Judas Priest/Iron Maiden type of heavy guitar-driven hard rock that’s never gone out of fashion in India.

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When Alzheimer’s hits home…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

You start to think when the first tell-tale signs started to show. Was it the repetition for years of the same two jokes about being on a seafood food diet and where she sees food and wants to eat it, or that other one about how mangoes where women go? Was it the much repeated story of the many years my parents waited to have me, their only child, and the hours she was in labour before I decided to pop out- on her birthday- apparently looking like an…eggplant.

The passing away of Glen Campbell recently to Alzheimer’s which leads to full-blown dementia struck home. My mother passed away from this dreadful disease some years ago and it’s always been something I’ve “blocked from view”. But as the feeling of mortality finally grabs you by the balls, you try to retrace your steps for some answers, and, perhaps, redemption.

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GLEN CAMPBELL, THE JIMMY WEBB CONNECTION AND KEEPING ROMANCE ALIVE

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

If I didn’t already love her, then revisiting the music released by Jimmy Webb over the last day made that love that much stronger.

The song stories of Jimmy Webb, my favourite songwriter, and the voice of Glen Campbell came together to create a brand of pop music that was part Tin Pan Alley and equal parts Americana and almost symphonic. It was elegant pop that could not be written on a guitar. Those melodies of Webb’s came from the tunesmith’s heart and soul and piano. As for the words, well, they came from believing in the power of romance even when it’s a long goodbye that lives with you forever.

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