Lizzie Bravo, Brazilian who sang with the Beatles in ‘Across the Universe’ dies – 10/05/2021 – Illustrated

Lizzie Bravo, who died this Monday (4), aged 70, was one in millions. Singer, she collaborated with names from MPB such as Milton Nascimento and Zé Ramalho, was married and had a daughter with Zé Rodrix and, most fascinating, left her voice in the song “Across the Universe”, by the Beatles.

This story, tells her daughter, who is also singer and actress Marya Bravo, begins in 1967. That year, instead of winning a graduation party at 16, Lizzie preferred to ask her parents for a ticket to London. “The very day she got there, she went to Abbey Road,” says Marya, referring to the studio where the Beatles recorded all their songs.

During her three-year period in the English capital, Lizzie would go practically every day to the studio door, where she would meet with other fans who hung out on the spot. They were dubbed the “apple scruffs” — and, years later, honored by George Harrison in a song by that name, on the guitarist’s first solo album in 1970.

“Lizzie told that, from the outside, she followed the recordings of ‘Sgt Pepper’s’ and ‘Album Branco’, as the sound often leaked out into the street. Because they were there every day, they asked for autographs, took pictures with them, they became familiar faces”, says the daughter.

But the best thing happened in February 1968. Paul McCartney came out of the studio and asked the teenagers sitting in the doorway, “Can either of you sustain a really high note?” Lizzie and an Englishwoman named Gayleen Pease, who died this year, aged 71, volunteered. The song was “Across the Universe,” which John Lennon considers one of the best he’s ever written.

The two spent the day inside singing the chorus “nothing’s gonna change my world”, in a rare situation where the Beatles asked someone from outside the group to collaborate on a song. The production was by the fifth Beatle, George Martin.

This version was released in December 1969, on a charity album by the World Wildlife Fund. Due to the disc’s wildlife theme, bird sounds were added at the beginning and end of the song.

However, for the album “Let It Be” (released in May 1970), producer Phil Spector dropped the voices of Lizzie and Gayleen in addition to the birds, added orchestra and also slowed down the original recording a bit. The new mix was approved by Lennon.

But the Brazilian version was not lost. This is what appears in the duo compilation “Past Masters” and can be listened to on any streaming platform today.

On February 4, 2008, when the original recording was 40 years old, NASA broadcast the song toward the star Polaris, 421 light-years from Earth. Remember that “across the universe” means across space.

Upon returning to Brazil in 1969, Elizabeth Bravo pursued a singing career and, in 1971, gave birth to Marya Bravo, the result of her marriage to Zé Rodrix. One of his most famous compositions was from that year, “Casa no Campo”, re-recorded by Elis Regina, among others. In it, says Marya, Rodrix quotes Lizzie (“the hope of glasses”) and herself (“cool son of a bitch”).

In 2015, Lizzie released her memoirs in the book “From Rio to Abbey Road”. Edited and sold independently (through email [email protected], which the daughter will keep), the hardcover work features around 300 pages and 200 photos, including several alongside the Beatles in the 1960s. Recently, Lizzie was working on translating the work into English, a task that her only daughter now intends to complete.

Lately Lizzie lived with her brother in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. Two weeks ago, she was admitted to undergo a procedure for heart arrhythmia, a congenital disease that she had controlled with medication for decades. He did not recover well from the intervention and died suddenly in the late afternoon of this Monday (4).

About Hrishikesh Bhardwaj

Tv specialist. Falls down a lot. Typical troublemaker. Hipster-friendly advocate. Food fan.

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