September 14, 2021

"I think he had an idea in his head of what he wanted it to sound like, but he couldn't describe it. He couldn't express it. And he was waiting for somebody to bring it out of the air."

Said Shiela Bromberg, whose obituary I blogged 3 days ago

The quote appears in the center of the interview embedded below, which a reader called to my attention.

Bromberg was the harpist on The Beatles' "She's Leaving Home." The "he" is Paul McCartney: 


ADDED: If you love Ringo, be sure to watch the video through to the end.

22 comments:

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Nice!

gilbar said...

Our Professor, confusingly said...
ADDED: If you love Ringo

HELLO?! How, Exactly, would we NOT Love Ringo?

Jeff Weimer said...

It's hysterical they caught Ringo on that song - he sang it.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's hysterical they caught Ringo on that song - he sang it."

I think he was singing all the words but she jumped forward to the chorus.

William said...

She talks and looked and looks exactly the way a harp player should look and speak. Don't be misled by that unfortunate stereotype Harpo Marx promulgated. Harp players are elegant and refined. They don't have tattoos or wear leopard skin leotards.

BUMBLE BEE said...

His All Star Band concerts are NOT to be missed.

Aggie said...

Ringo's lookin' good.

Kassaar said...

One year later Alan Civil, acclaimed musician, played the French horn solo in the wonderful For No One for a fee of £52.50, which in 1968 amounted to $126.

tds said...

Ringo doesn't seem to age at all. He must be drinking teen blood

Kai Akker said...

"Nice to meet you for the first time ever" -- Ringo did not care for those Sgt Pepper sessions!

Mary Beth said...

Ringo was the first Beatle I loved. I still have my "Act Naturally" 45. I was 5-years-old when it came out.

LA_Bob said...

That was a real pleasure.

And it shows the problem of being an untrained musician with great talent. You can't quite express what runs through your head. McCartney published a symphonic piece sometime in the 90's, I think. I had heard a bit of it and was intrigued. A friend bought me the whole thing, and I was...disappointed. Someone else had to write and orchestrate "his" music.

A Christine McVie or Elton John, people who actually had classical training, would do so much better.

On the other hand, "Silly Love Songs" from 1976 is loaded with counterpoint, unusual in pop songs, and it's really good.

Joe Smith said...

Harrison was the best musician (or at leas the one I'd rather listen to), but Ringo is the one I'd want to have beer with...

Joe Smith said...

'She talks and looked and looks exactly the way a harp player should look and speak.'

But she was kind of a cutie back in the day : )

Lem said...

"I think he was singing all the words but she jumped forward to the chorus."

He called it out in the end calling it "the short version".

Conrad said...

Let's please refrain from any digs at Harpo Marx. Harpo Marx undoubtedly did more to popularize the harp than anyone else in history. And how can someone possibly claim that "stereotyped" the image of a harpist when nobody (to my knowledge) who plays the harp in an orchestra or any other performance setting has ever adopted his look?

Harpo was an incredibly accomplished performer for someone who was completely self-taught. Of course, he could never have had the career that the lady in the video had because he lacked the technical proficiency and his style of playing was completely his own. He once tried to take a lesson from a serious harpist but gave up in frustration when he realized that the teacher was using the lesson to try to figure out how HE (Harpo) was playing. And even if you're not a big fan of the harp -- and who is? -- Harpo's musical numbers in the Marx Brothers films are completely mesmerizing. You can actually observe that the extras on set were at times spellbound by his performances. He was a great entertainer and a great man.

rightguy said...

"She's Leaving Home" is the Beatle track that Leonard Bernstein admired the most.

bwebster said...

This song came up on my playlist just this morning while I was walking our sweet dog MJ. Great find. Still my favorite album ever, and I'm old enough to have bought it when it first came out.

Limited blogger said...

Nice lady.

I love the back stories to how the hits were made.

effinayright said...

I'll never forget sitting in the main terminal at the LA airport back in 1981 or so, and hearing a young woman with a harp on an elevated center stage play "Stairway to Heaven."

And she looked elegant and refined playing it.

madAsHell said...

Ya know......I play some guitar, I study the Beatles, and I'm always interested in the background story. I'm kinda getting the sense that all four of the Beatles were all-round good guys.

I think the Stones suffered much of the same!!

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I'm coming to this late but: "bring it out of the air." The book of Muriel Spark essays is called "The Informed Air," and the editor says this:

"What is the 'informed' air'? It is something in the air, a feeling. It is only air, but with something not concrete in it, intangible there--a muse? Perhaps. Anyway it was a phrase that Muriel Spark used to explain how things come to us, to our minds. How things come about. Out of the air. A kind of invisible Ariel or Puck. That certain, or almost certain feeling of something's existence that most artists know when creating. It must be there. How else did they think of it?"

Classical musical training can stifle creativity and innovation: the ability to improvise has to be learned, and some classical teachers probably regard it as vulgar. Many pop and rock writers had an obvious gift for tunes, but their work may have suffered from a lack of training or discipline. Randy Newman, Laura Nyro, Carole King, Jimmy Webb, some better known as singers than others, knew a lot about music.