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Beatles Craze and 60′s Inspiration

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The fruit in our back garden at the castle are each taking their turn. The concord grapes are at the end of their season and the Japanese persimmon and pomegranate trees are ripening. Elena and I are still enjoying some warm days, but the cooler evenings are starting to nag at our appetites for soups, polenta, and a variety of winter dishes.  The trees are showing very little signs an approaching fall, but regardless if they were, it’s still less of a show than the the one Michigan gives us around this time of year.

I am still working endless hours in front of my computer.  At times the loneliness and stress have weighed on me. Every project is always assigned when the deadline has already passed; therefore, there is never time for a break. On the other hand, I did come to the conclusion that this is no way to live! Therefore, I’ve taken the initiative to have some fun from time to time…  even if it’s a bit inconvenient. So far, this has paid off as I’ve finally realized that stopping to smell the roses once in a while does wonders for the creative juices. I’ve still been able to respect my deadlines and my clients seem to be especially satisfied with my work.

Last Friday evening, I went out on the town with one of my BFFs, Paolo, and his ex-girlfriend Cristina. We started out by going to a bookshop hosting a concert by a man (whose name escapes me) doing a very boring musical performance. He sounded a little like a Paolo Conte want-to-be. If you are unaware of who he is, he’s known for the famous “Via Con Me” song played in many movies such as “French Kiss”, “No Reservations”, and “Mickey Blue Eyes.”  The part of this that really stuck in my mind was the people watching the performance. They each looked as though they were playing parts in a movie or story. First, there was the role of the “coffee house intellectual.”  You know, that gray-haired professor with a scarf draped on the back of his neck on a date with his much younger student. Then there were the girls who sat there with long wavy hair and no makeup who were portraying girls of the “I don’t need be pretty to be attractive” type. And then the married couples in their late 40’s/early 50’s who seem to pride themselves on their intellectual superiority. It was like sitting in a satirical movie scene. I was waiting for Woody Allen to yell, “Cut!” However, that didn’t happen, so the three of us cut out of there and ventured off to check out another event going on down the street.

And what an event it was! We sat in the midst of a crowd that was the polar opposite of the people at the coffee house. Individuals adorned with facial piercing, dread locks, and large pupils in their eyes. There was a band playing called “Beatwins” in a venue called “Lo Sbarco.”  I was particularly impressed with this local group. They sang all Beatles music, but in many cases, they had created their own musical arrangements to the various pieces. The level of professionalism was something rather unique. The quality of the singer’s voice was top notch, the instrumentation was spot on, and judging by how these guys seemed to make a conscious effort to make everything just right, I suspect that it wasn’t a coincidence that the volume of their sound was perfect for the room. The energy during the show was outrageously electric and fun-spirited. I can’t recall the last time I’ve had that much fun.

This week, I’ve even developed a new obsession for fashion designer, Rudy Gernreich. Although he was rather famous for being controversial (for example, he designed the first “monokini”) and having futuristic-looking designs that spanned from the 50’s all of the way to the70’s, we rarely hear of him today. Most people from my generation have no idea who he is, which is a shame because some of the imagery he created is out of this world! I attribute this sudden passion to the fact that I cannot stop listening to Beatles music! Looking at the photographs, would you agree that there is somewhat of a correlation?

rudy gernreich group photo


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.. And of course, the famous “Monokini

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Now I have the urge to watch “A Clockwork Orange.”

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