In Richard Linklater's 12 years in the making masterpiece Boyhood, Ethan Hawke's Mason Sr. gives his son The Black Album, a compilation he put together of songs from the post-Beatles solo careers of John, Paul, Ringo and George. Now, you can listen to that album.
Hawke, now a "BuzzFeed Contributor," shared with the site the liner notes he wrote for the album. Hawke first wrote these for his daughter, the real life recipient of The Black Album, but then reworked for the purposes of the movie. The notes themselves are passionate and meandering, a rumination on the sadness that brought John and Paul together and the band's breakup. He begins:
There’s this thing that happens when you listen to too much of the solo stuff separately — too much Lennon: suddenly there’s a little too much self-involvement in the room; too much Paul and it can become sentimental — let’s face it, borderline goofy; too much George: I mean, we all have our spiritual side but it’s only interesting for about six minutes, ya know? Ringo: He’s funny, irreverent, and cool, but he can’t sing — he had a bunch of hits in the ’70s (even more than Lennon) but you aren’t gonna go home and crank up a Ringo Starr album start to finish, you’re just not gonna do that. When you mix up their work, though, when you put them side by side and let them flow — they elevate each other, and you start to hear it: T H E B E A T L E S.
The notes end on a sweet sentiment:
Maybe the lesson is: Love doesn’t last, but the music love creates just might.
Your mom and I couldn’t make love last, but you are the music, my man.
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love…”
I love you. Happy birthday.
BuzzFeed has the entire track list—three discs' worth. The Black Album begins with "Band on the Run" from Paul McCartney & Wings and ends with McCartney's "And I Love Her (Live on MTV Unplugged)." Along the way it hits on a variety of selections from other members of the Fab Four.