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'The Ethereal Connection: a Synthesis of U2 and The Beatles' and Coldplay?


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I am just curious how many on this message board know about this. Basically it was a U2 fan that came up with it, and it's quite interesting.


Below is an interview from Interference.com (similar to Coldplaying.com but for U2 fans). And after the interview is a link to the website where he talks about the connection, but Coldplay is never mentioned on the Theetherealconnection.com. Coldplay is only mentioned in the interview below with the creator.


Also note while reading this, it took place a year before Viva La Vida was released.


Anyway, here it is...



Interview: Moises Szarf, ‘The Ethereal Connection: a Synthesis of U2 and The Beatles’

April 2, 2007


By Mark Reed




Moises Szarf has an unusual idea. One not many people may necessarily agree with (some people think he’s a bit … odd, which is understandable). His hypothesis is that the eight-year career of The Beatles matches the 30 or so years of U2 in both style and content.


“The Ethereal Connection: a Synthesis of U2 and The Beatles” is the website he uses to posit this idea: a vast, and sometimes confusing archive of theories and explorations. It is neither easy to understand or explain.


Over several months, Interference engaged in dialog with Szarf to explore and understand the theory and ideas of the site. What is clear, is that Szarf’s work in its current incarnation is not easily digestible; rock ‘n’ roll is a process with three phases, each phase represented by a specific band, and sometimes, it gets complicated.


So here we are today, one year and half later, finally, bringing this to a closure in the form of an interview because two recent events have brought a sense of urgency to this matter:


-U2 recording their next album at Abbey Road studios.

-Brian Eno is producing Coldplay’s next album.


I know it seems confusing at first, but let’s have a little patience and hear it from Szarf directly.


Moises, what are you proposing with your hypothesis? What is its central aspect?


The main idea is that “rock ‘n’ roll is a process with a purpose.” It is something that had a beginning and, if everything goes well, will have an ending, and in between, a progression takes places. So if rock ‘n’ roll is a process, Elvis was the Big Bang, and from then on, it started to evolve. The first part of the process was carried by The Beatles career, then after their split, rock ‘n’ roll became grandiose and perhaps lost its vision; but then, punk injected new air, giving breathing room for U2 to emerge in a place when an idea doesn’t necessarily need musical competence to express itself. U2 is the Second Band carrying the second part of the process, after which a Third Band, will take the process to its conclusion.


I believe that everything has purpose in this world, and rock ‘n’ roll shouldn’t be an exception—the highest purpose of rock ‘n’ roll is to change the world. I mean, let’s face it, consciously or unconsciously, that is what we have been aiming at since the first chord rang in Chuck Berry’s guitar. Even in the most carnal stage when rock ‘n’ roll seemed to be a mere gut reaction to the status quo, there were messianic overtones


From the first humanitarian concert, the one for Bangladesh organized by George Harrison, up to the RED campaign, rock ‘n’ roll’s humanitarian efforts have become smarter and smarter, but my suggestion is that we are still far away from doing what we really need to do, though definitely heading there. And we will be there when the Third Band concludes their career.


Who is the Third Band? Do they exist already?


Yes, Coldplay.


Why Coldplay?


Several reasons. First, the music is great. Second, the band has certain moral. Third, we are considering rock ‘n’ roll as a massive phenomenon, and Coldplay is definitely taking on the responsibility of embracing the massive scale. And fourth, the career of the Third Band, as was the case with the First and Second, has to develop progressively from album to album, and it is at this point that what is currently happening with Brian Eno producing the band. Artistically, Coldplay is obviously at the same transition point that U2 were from “War” into “The Unforgettable Fire.”


What about other bands that have been very important for rock ‘n’ roll but are not included in your scheme? Why you make no mention of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd or more frequent ones like Nirvana or Radiohead, for example, or even more, what about Bob Dylan?


With respect to the other bands that you mentioned, and many others more, what I would say is the following: If we see rock ‘n’ roll as a whole, and we incorporate the notion that it’s purpose is to make a definitive contribution for the balancing of our planet, the Three Bands—The Beatles, U2, and Coldplay—would be the main parts of that purposeful whole, and they would be the central ones, the Spinal Chord, the Heart, and the Brain, let’s say, and the other rock bands that you mentioned would be other important parts like the stomach, the reproductive organs, the lungs, the kidneys, or the ladder; vital organs needed for the body to survive, but not the central ones.


Your website is a chronological comparison of similarities between the album covers of The Beatles and U2, which actually, is seen by many people as a stretch of the imagination.


A stretch of the imagination is kind in comparison to some other qualifications that my website has received, and I understand it, it is not something that is easy to swallow. They have to be seen as a whole, it’s easy to dismiss them if you isolate every comparison, but if you consider them in conjunction, a broad picture starts to emerge. I had an encounter with a good friend in which we decided to relate to each other the histories of our favorite bands, his The Beatles, mine U2, using the album covers arranged chronologically as guides, and when he got to the “Sgt. Pepper” period, what he was describing was the same experience I was having at that precise moment with “Achtung Baby” and “Zooropa.” That encounter happened 13 years ago in Venezuela, and it has to be understood that Anglican pop culture, even though very relevant there, it’s not as accessible as here, so even though I had heard of The Beatles, and I knew they were the greatest, I wasn’t aware of the scope of their career. Later I compared the covers of “Achtung Baby” and “Sgt. Pepper,” and the rest is history. It’s about interpreting the art of our spiritual leaders like holy scripture, the difference is that we won’t use it to make war and weapons, but to increase peace and understanding. No rifles, guitars.


So if Coldplay is the Third Band are you already looking into connections between their album covers and the ones of The Beatles and U2.


You bet I am, and I would say I have found very interesting and meaningful ones, that actually are really encouraging. In fact every one is invited to do the same and pass along their findings. That is why I have called my hypothesis “a Synthesis of U2 and The Beatles” There is a thesis, then in opposition, there is an anthithesis, and the factor that brings the two opposites together is the synthesis. So the role of Coldplay’s album covers is to be a bridge between the ones of The Beatles and U2. Actually, even though not even one time their name is mentioned in my website,the journey is setup as prayer for Coldplay, a prayer for their success, because if they are able to go full circle in the same way as The Beatles and U2 did, the rock ‘n’ roll process would be arriving to the point of the fulfillment of its purpose. It will actually be the end of something, but at the same time the beginning of something else.


But wait a minute, let’s say you are right, and Coldplay reads this interview, wouldn’t they be discouraged to keep on going, or worst wouldn’t they just fuck off on all of this just because a bunch of people is expecting them to make the next album cover with certain traits that would have to match with a predetermined Beatles or U2 album, wouldn’t that be boring, or predictable?


Well for example let’s look at what is happening with Coldplay at the moment. Brian Eno is producing their fourth album, and many people have already noticed how similar that is to what U2 did for their fourth album as well. Coldplay is looking for a leap, a significant evolutonary step in their music, like U2 did with “The Unforgettable Fire.” So in one way you can see that as copying U2, but it’s not. The key I believe is for Coldplay to follow their heart, that is the only guarantee of a great album, an unexpected album, despite all the predictability factors involved. And the same applies to the album covers. If an album cover is the reflection of the music which in turn is the reflection of the artist, and the band sticks to that without filtering through any preconceptions, I can almost guarantee that, in Coldplay’s case, their album covers will have meaningful avenues of interpretation with the ones of The Beatles and U2. But as everything, there are pre-determined progressions, forms, patterns, that cannot be avoided, the challenge is to fill the ever-present patterns with new influxes of spirit, every time. And I believe that Coldplay and Brian Eno understand that very well.


Previously you commented on the fact that you think rock ‘n’ roll’s humanitarian efforts have evolved over time, from the Bangladesh concert up to the current RED campaign, but that they are not yet where they should be yet, what do you mean by that?


The humanitarian efforts are exactly where they should be at the moment, what I am saying is that at some point in the future they will need to evolve further to incorporate a higher knowledge, because what happens? Let’s take the example of Live Aid. It was an amazing event, but it is now known that the money raised for Ethiopia was a drop in the sea of what was needed. I strongly believe that we are headed in the right direction, that it is always worth it to have compassion and justice, and we should always increase it. What makes us different from animals, is that we are able to produce that same fine material that is produced when we die, during our lifetime, through voluntary suffering, and I am referring the kind of suffering that inner work produces, which is the suffering of going against the tide, which is risky and it hurts. The key of balancing the planet is not in saving lives but in increasing inner work while we save lives. The great thing about rock ‘n’ roll is that if it is taken collectively, it is clear that it has been an “awakener” for a very large number of people, and it’s currently awakening to it’s own purpose and fate. I am considering rock ‘n’ roll as a living being, as an individual, and we are all part of it. And of course that not everybody within the rock ‘n’ roll community will agree to this, many will see it as the most ridiculous thing ever proposed, but that’s the the way it is.


So if what you are saying is accurate, when the Third Band concludes their career all of this will sink in. That will be the moment in which it will actually starts to take place.


Another process might start right away. It sounds messianic because it is messianic, The Beatles were messianic, U2 is messianic, and Coldplay is messianic. Three chords and the truth, its’s the the trinity of rock ‘n’ roll, right?


And what happens between now and then?


U2 releases its next album, at some point disintegrates, and Coldplay goes on. I mean, do you picture U2 extending their careers a la Rolling Stones. Perhaps, who knows? Personally I wouldn’t like to see a 58 year-old Bono jumping on the stage like teenager, and I don’t think that I am less of a U2 fan for that, I just think it doesn’t fit with them.


How does the fact that U2 recently recorded at Abbey Road relates to your hypothesis?


If you take the journey in my website you will go through a chronogical comparison which seeks to equate the career of the Beatles with the one of U2, comparing each of their albums in their order of release. Chronologically, “Let it Be” is compared to “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” and “Abbey Road,” the last Beatles album, will be compared to next U2 album, so the fact that they started to seed the soil for it in Abbey Road is very significant in regards to my proposition. I mean, what at this moment made them do that. Why now? Why not before or after? Perhaps it’s what they needed in order to get it going, to be in that holy peace of ground, to receive that influence. It’s so palpable in “Window in The Skies,” and I believe it will be palpable in the whole album, which they say will be a departure, and I believe it will be similar to the departure The Beatles achieved from “Let it Be” into “Abbey Road.” I mean “Let it Be,” which was originally called “Get Back” was a return to their roots, in the same way as “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” was for U2, so, in synch, an “Abbey Road” kind of leap will take place for the next U2 album.


Any other predictions for the future?


Perhaps. Coldplay’s next album will be the first one in which a picture of them will appear on the cover?


For more information, please visit http://www.theetherealconnection.com



Location of the interview here...



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