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THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Dear Prudence


Won't you come out to play.


I didn't know it was a real person, a real story, about Mia Farrow's sister who wanted to reach enlightenment faster than anybody else so she stayed inside meditating for three weeks straight. John and George were enlisted to help her see the light, the one outdoors.


We knew "Revolution," the fast version, it had been a hit.


Everything else on the White Album was brand new.


And I know the double LP by heart, but in honor of the Beatles streaming I pulled it up.


And was stunned how it was sui generis, and jetted me back to what once was.


The song I remember hearing first was "Rocky Raccoon." Driving around in my friend Mike's brand new Plymouth, well, his parents' brand new Plymouth, three in front and three in back, we heard it on the radio in Hartford, Connecticut. I think "Rocky" is still my favorite song on the LP.


Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.


But that kept changing.


For a long time there it was "Mother Nature's Son." Have you heard John Denver's cover, from the album with "Rocky Mountain High"? It's pretty good.


And then there's the double punch killer at the end of side two, "I Will" and "Julia," both quiet and heartfelt, amazing how those are the songs that penetrate you most.


And speaking of side-enders, there was Harrison's "Long, Long, Long" on side three. It presaged what was to come a couple of years hence, on "All Things Must Pass."


But when I finally got the album for Hanukkah, my favorite song was the opener, "Back In The U.S.S.R." It winked at the Beach Boys and I was the biggest Beach Boys fan, it's why I live in Southern California, I wanted a piece of the free and easy lifestyle, where you're outdoors more than in and where you were educated and who your parents are just isn't relevant. I'd come home from school every day and drop the needle on "Back In The U.S.S.R." and would feel fulfilled. Funny how music inspires you, makes you feel it'll all work out. It's a link to a better world, where you're understood and accepted.


And I'd lift the needle over and over again, but not always fast enough, so I'd start to hear "Dear Prudence," which segued so subtly from that tear of an opening track.


And no one talked about it even though everybody knew it, most discussion was about "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" And it wasn't long before we had to hear "Birthday" incessantly. But when I bought the CDs, back at the tail end of the eighties, it was "Dear Prudence" that stuck out.


"Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?"


I knew a Patience, she was married to Ken Scott, a blur of a person who got the assembled multitude in motion back when I used to work for Rod Smallwood, but I never knew a Prudence, that was a name for books.


"The sun is up, the sky is blue"


It wasn't today in L.A. It was raining cats and dogs. That's how it goes here, it's either the end of the world or misting. And I liked it, I was allowed to be introspective. But usually in SoCal the sun is up and the sky is blue and when you walk out the front door you're inspired.


"It's beautiful and so are you"


The meaning changes so much when you know it's a real person. Lennon's complimenting her, he wants her to believe it.


"The wind is low, the birds will sing
That you are part of everything"


And you are. Individuals rule this world. Your power is unlimited. If you just believe in yourself and stop worrying where you are in the pecking order, something I find it so hard to do.


Life is for living. And I've got to do more of that. I love being connected, I love the access to information, but it's when I disconnect and have an adventure that I feel fully alive.


And it's these adventures that are inspirational, that mold a life and form the foundation of art. That's why we loved the Beatles, they were so human. Sure, they used electric guitars, but it's like they set off on a journey and were sending back aural postcards that fascinated and intrigued us, that we couldn't stop studying, we wanted to go on the journey too.


Life catches you off guard. You can stay on the path, do what you're supposed to, dot all the i's and t's, but when you least expect it life will sneak up and reveal itself to you, like when you hear "Dear Prudence."