You Can't Do That - Nadia Ackerman

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One of Lennon’s semi-autobiographical songs, “You Can’t Do That” had a disturbing lyric contradicted the genial tone with its tense threats, sexual paranoia and nagging, dragging groove. The song’s jealousy theme was re-visited in other Lennon compositions, such as "Run for Your Life”, When I Get Home, and "Jealous Guy".

The brutal sexism of mid 60’s Britain is very easy to understand.

Working class men had it almost as bad as working class women in Northern England. Low educational opportunities, high unemployment, bad diet and poor health prospects.

Who was going to pay for all this?

The woman of course.

In Lennon’s day unreported violence against women was certainly higher than it is now. The black eye covered with makeup. The make-up sex after the black eye were both common in 1960’s Liverpool and beyond.

This song reflects that attitude.

Lennon’s favorite singer Harry Nilsson covered the tune on his first album, Pandemonium Shadow Show as a tribute to The Beatles’ music in general. It is performed at a slower tempo, and throughout the song lines from other Beatles songs are sung in counterpoint, ending with the line "Strawberry Beatles Forever."

The Ukulele version features multi-media artist Nadia Ackerman. I will be heading down to her exhibition at The Cell on April 26th where some of her drawings will be on show. Soon after she will be touring Australia promoting her album “The Ocean Master” while making a documentary about her relationship with Australia and the past.

Lazy she is not.


‘I know that one day I’ll see the shimmering of your full sails blowing like a symphony carried by the wind’ – My Ship, The Ocean Master
Nadia Ackerman doesn’t just write songs, she channels them. ‘They just happen to me,’ says the Australian-born, New York-based singer, songwriter and artist. ‘I can be doing anything and I’ll be hit with one. They stick to me until I can sit down at the piano and download them. And when the songs come out, they’re fully formed – words, tunes, arrangements, everything.’

Nadia’s music, however, doesn’t manifest itself out of thin air. Almost all of her songs are an emotionally resonate retelling of her past. This fact is no more apparent than on her soon to be released second album The Ocean Master. Following on from the success of her debut record The Circus is Back in Town, this next installment evokes memories of a childhood spent by the sea on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Her experiences during this time – the trials and tribulations of com- ing of age compounded by a plethora of personal tragedies and triumphs – continue to inform her music.

Born to Africaans parents, Nadia began singing from her crib at the age of three, serenading her parents with ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ and ‘The Mull of Kintyre’ with perfect pitch and a lisp. This wasn’t surprising given her pedigree – her mother, Tess, was a lead soprano opera singer in Cape Town, while her late father Peter had an extraordinary ear for harmony and could play any instrument he turned his hand to. It was her father who first recognized and nurtured Nadia’s exceptional talent.

Since leaving high school, Nadia has worked her way around the world with performances on morn- ing broadcasts in Australia and hotel contracts in Asia to singing backing vocals at Carnegie Hall with likes of Sting, Billy Joel, Shirley Bassey, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga and James Taylor (just to name a few). Although she spent years studying and performing jazz, in mid-2006 her own songs started to pop into her head. Since then, Nadia hasn’t looked back. Today she has a catalogue of over 300 compositions ready and waiting, while more are being jotted down almost daily.

Her projects, however, do not end here. Nadia is the current voice for the UPS ‘That’s logis- tics’ campaign, Iams Dog Food, JCPenney Angel Christmas and she can also be heard on The Barnes And Noble Nook Commercial with Jane Lynch. She remains an in-demand backing vocalist. She’s also recently produced and released Up Up Up – Songs for Felicity Vol 1– an outstanding compilation album featuring Donna Lewis and Robbie Dupree and many more, which she pioneered to help raise awareness for Autism and the Son Rise program.

And if this isn’t enough, Nadia is a talented artist too – her artwork appears on her album covers and gift cards, and she’s currently in the process of publishing a series of gift books that marry her musical talents with her gift for illustration. Called ‘A Sung Story’, the first release is due early this year. Fresh of the press…Nadia just signed with Major Independent Label, Spectra Records. Her sophomore album "The Ocean Master" will be released in stores throughout the USA and Canada March 6, 2012.

April 3rd 2012 Nadia once again joined Sting, James Taylor, Meryl Streep, Elton John and many more at Carnegie Hall for the Bi Annual Rainforest Concert hosted by Sting and Trudie Styler.


from A Hard Days Night, released August 14, 2012
Ukulele Version #53 recorded April 18 2012

Nadia Ackerman: Vocals
David Barratt: Ukulele and everything else

Produced by David Barratt at The Abattoir Of Good Taste

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Every Tuesday from January 20, 2009 until July 31, 2012 The Beatles Complete On Ukulele released a new recording of a Beatles song* featuring a ukulele sung by a different artist.

These albums are a compilation of those recordings.

*we consider a Beatles song to be one of the 185 original compositions released by The Beatles between 1962 and 1970.
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