A Sailor in Hamburg (1&2)
by Steven McCabe
The quiet sailor watches the Beatles play in the Kaiserkeller bar in 1960.
He listens to a song in time out of sync
composed for the Abbey Road album
A song born for the future –
in the silence of crystal stars.
He listens above the open sea
climbing a ladder made of coal
rising from the depths –
into a structure
aimed into the obsidian sky.
Your piece certainly contains a very powerful series of visual cues, and it prompts me to imagine scenarios to explain it, but I can’t link the sailor/Beatles to what I see in the image. Admittedly I don’t know much about the Beatles so perhaps I’m missing something obvious that hidden in the artwork. Lol. On an entirely personal interpretation, I conjure up some kind of voodoo Haitian nightclub.
Hi Tiege, It might have helped if I’d mentioned the song from Abbey Road I had in mind – I Want You (She’s So Heavy) which I thought was on the White Album and was surprised to find otherwise. Pretty much a carnival of sound ranging from _____ to _____. Maybe one of my favourite Beatles songs (out of so many favourites) but, heavy – yes, like a primal hallucination. I had a conversation a few days ago with a former music-industry guy who mentioned the famous story of Astrid cutting the Beatles’ hair (in Germany)…Perhaps Hamburg in 1960 was floating around my mind. The top of the white figure’s ‘head’ (see the nose in profile?) is shaped such a way I think sailor’s hat… hence, ‘the Port of Hamburg…’ The drawing (ink + digital) didn’t start off to be a sailor or the dimensions he experienced. I was using a drawing tablet & shading with a chalky texture & that shape (sailor hat imagery) naturally occurred. Voila!