By the height of beatlemania many fans had completely lost their minds. A combination of bad music played at mind-numbing volumes, media manipulation, and complete global saturation resulted in a state of what could only be called ‘forced retardation.’
The average beatle fan suffered not only a loss of intelligence, but a loss of reality. Beatle blind pilgrims searched desperately for secret messages and salvation on album covers and cereal boxes. A few even went so far as to try finding meaning in their music. Delirium raged and the moptops were suddenly elevated to the status of prophets and snake handlers.
Fans began bringing disabled children to their concerts, convinced that with a word or a gesture the four wise men from Liverpool would heal them. It didn’t end there, mentally and physically handicapped people of all ages were wheeled backstage for a shot at salvation. Thalomide kids with deformed and missing limbs, the blind, people with crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and oxygen tents. Understandably, the only people who didn’t want to be healed by the beatles were the deaf.
These poor misguided people, or spastics as Lennon commonly referred to them, may have pinned their hopes of salvation on the wrong lads.
Ringo: “people would bring in these terrible cases and leave them in our dressing room. They’d go off for tea or whatever, and they would leave them behind. If it got very heavy we would shout, “Mal, cripples!” and that became a saying, even when there were no handicapped people present. If there were any people around we didn’t like, we’d should, “Mal, cripples!” and they’d be escorted out.”
George: “John was allergic to cripples. You could see he had a thing about them; I think it was a fear or something. …We’d come out of the band room to go to the stage and we’d be fighting our way through all these poor unfortunate people.”
John: “When we would open up, every night, instead of seeing kids there, we would see a row full of cripples along the front. When we’d be running through, people would be lying around. It seemed that we were just surrounded by cripples and blind people all the time, and when we would go through corridors they would all be touching us … They’d line them up, and I got the impression The Beatles were being treated as bloody faith healers …”
-source: The Beatles Anthology, pages 142-143
Stepping down from his throne on Mount OhLoveUs in order to grant the mortals of Ireland Online an interview, for the first time he delivered a testament of truth. Basking in the awe of his godlike status, fans of this formidable skin tapper were moved to tears of joy as he entered the hallowed halls of…well, thats not important. It’s rumored that a reporter in attendance accidentally touched his cloak, and began singing in tongues before scribbling words of wisdom in his gilded Sgt Pepper’s notebook. Continue reading →
Occasionally you’ll hear the fab-blind discuss how soulful various songs and albums were.
Usually we just laugh to ourselves when we hear the word beatle and the word soulful in the same sentence, unless the sentence is, ‘The beatle were soulful of crap it was coming out of their mouths!’ We decided to find out exactly what sounds people are mistaking for soul. We came up empty handed.
Our first stop was Fab4Fan’s infamous Rankopedia to see what the consensus is for the most soulful beatles songs. Incredibly, there is no such category. The closest we found was ‘which beatle fan has the brownest nose and emptiest wallet.’ So a few weeks ago we created our own poll, Most Soulful Beatle Songs. Ten thousand opinionated members, and we only got two votes, not a good sign. Searches elsewhere turned up little more than slanted reviews with the word soulful getting battered like a piece of tempura. We’re left to our own devices to get to the bottom of this one.
The problem now becomes, how do you judge soul? Just to clarify, we’re talking about soulful music as opposed to soul music. There doesn’t seem to be any working soul-o-meters these days, they all disappeared with STAX. Lets define it first, and work from there. We can all agree that a fair definition of soulful music is music that is passionately sung and performed, full of both feeling and expression.
Now we need to identify a fair starting point, a point of reference to level the playing field. You can’t just listen to an FF song and decide, ‘yup – thats pretty soulful, way more than Yellow Submarine.’ The only way to do this fairly is to compare two performances of the same song, then we can begin to gauge who’s got the soul going on.
If you’ve ever searched for an excuse to drink on a Monday, today is for you.
Tip back a few yards of your favorite poison and don’t forget to drink to your pals at SMB.
Just be sure to avoid any noxious concoctions like the Brandy Alexander (Brandy and Milk?!?) which Lennon loved so dearly, or you may wind up in the Beatle Ford Clinic. This is a fate far worse than death, which the following video proves conclusively.
This is a clever tactic, a new form of some sort of Gonzo Advertising. Target has not only advertised a product, but simultaneously created a demand for it.
By the end of this thirty second spot you will definitely need to run out for a fresh supply of toilet paper. Talk about squeezing out a winner, they’re shitting gravy!
This is marketing at its finest.
(warning – don’t watch)
You see an ad for food that looks so great that next time you go out you make it a point to pick up some of that delicious looking delicacy. When you sit down to feast, you discover it only vaguely resembles what you saw in the photo or the commercial, and it tastes like the ass end of a mule on laxatives. Continue reading →
In contrast to the previous fan mail, this is the other extreme. The type two are the folks who don’t want us to ‘go be died from kansur,‘ they want us to see the light, and rejoice in the beauty and wonder of the beatles. Do you know what happens if you light a match in a pit full of manure?
What follows is an excellent example of some very basic propaganda methods which are commonly used to bolster and validate the FF‘s reputation and convince the unaware that the beatles were not only the greatest band in history, but demi-gods.
This message primarily uses the techniques of Faulty Logic, Diversion, Repetition and Falsehoods. All of these arguments are completely irrelevant, but we’ll try and go through and point what is going on behind some of these statements. We’ve tried to cover up to the Bob Kulick section, where the formula of spitting out names and distorted facts becomes blatantly obvious. Honestly, we still haven’t made it to the end of this message. If anybody wants to take a crack at some of these facts we’ll update and credit accordingly.
This poor, misguided individual actually seems to believe this drivel. At least they’ve put a lot of time and effort into compiling this message. Unfortunately for her, it may be too late to extinguish that match. Continue reading →
If you haven’t heard about the big upset at the Grammy Awards this week, the beatles won four awards for best…um…the best at being former beatles? Some say the judges have to give out a few every year or else face a firing squad made up of disgruntled billionaire stockholders, and to back this theory up they cite Ringo’s nine awards. Continue reading →
People laughed, people scoffed, but a mere two months after we announced our plans for sending beatle fans into space on the Across the Universe Tour, NASA beat us to the quick by launching phase one for themselves. Hats off, drinks are on us!
Their Beatlefication of the universe project is admittedly slightly more advanced than our original idea. They’ve assured a clear passage for the trip by blasting the dreaded FF ditty at the speed of 186,000 miles per second at the star Polaris. As you undoubtedly know, hearing this song at a mere 33 1/3 RPM is enough to send the typical human into convulsions, at this speed the moptop missile will destroy anything in its path. At least anything with a decent ear or sense of taste, leaving the musically challenged beatlehead to tiptoe through the nebulae unfettered. We have only one criticism of their actions, why didn’t they shoot one of the former beatles into space instead?
A Ghastly side-effect, aside from the request that earthlings all play the song in sympathy with the launch, is the ever-quickening disintegration of the already fragile minds of these poor braindead fools standing in line to go on the trip.
A direct quote from the comments page on NASA’s official site:
How befitting that the music of humanity is sung amongst the music of the spheres; how the sound of a generation past shall rest with generations future; of four young lads from Liverpool, amongst the skiffle and the rock n roll, elevated to the galactic neigbourhood and beyond. RIP John & George Amen Om. Well done NASA. Beatlemania at Polaris in 143 years?
Gee, how thoughtful. How eloquent. Kind of makes you wish for instant global annihilation, don’t it?
While watching the news last night they broke to a commercial. While this isn’t necessarily out of the ordinary, what they were ‘commerting’ was not only equally as horrifying as the news, but far more disturbing. Sandwiched in between death in the Congo and the weather they showed four bloated old corpses in MopTop wigs dressed like they were going to a dork fetish party. They were playing early beatles songs, on early beatle instruments. They even had a drummer with a gigantic honker! The truly unnerving part was when they panned out to the audience watching these wierdos, everyone was clapping….and the place was full! Hopefully they just cut in some stock footage of an audience from a dog show or something less nauseating.
Finally, towards the end of this endless 30 seconds of hell its revealed that RAIN, this make-believe moptop band, is scheduled to play for SEVEN DAYS! IN A ROW! Tickets are $30-70 each and the venue has a seating capacity (who could stand for that garbage) of 3223. A conservative estimate with everybody buying cheap seats gives us $96,690 a night if they sell out the joint, at the end of the week $696,830. Thats a lot of nostalgia. Thats a lot of baby-boomers and beatleheads. Thats a lot of money! (On a completely unrelated note 1 kilo of mustard gas costs $4.15.)
Just when you think the average beatle fan couldn’t get anymore gullible, they start paying to watch pretend time with their imaginary friends. After the show instead of hailing a cab home, most of them will ride Snuffalufagus to their mystical enchanted gardens beneath the sea.
After this came an interview with Jerry Levitan. If you don’t know who this is, you will soon. When this beatle obsessed tongue wagger was 14 years old he managed to tape record an interview with John Lennon. He sat on this tape for over thirty years, got somebody to animate around the audio, and released it as a documentary named I Met The Walrus which is now short-listed for an Oscar.
“I am stunned,” said Levitan of the nomination. Really? Stunned!?! This is the blueprint for instant commercial and critical success, proven countless times over the past thirty years. The formula is as follows.
“One or more Beatles?” -Check!
“Unreleased footage, story or recording?” -Check!
“Slap it together, we’re all gonna be rich.” -Check!
Don’t be afraid to test this, try peeling a potato into the shape of a former beatle and put it on youtube, in a matter of hours you’ll be famous! In fact, lets take this one step further with The John Lennon Angry Banana Baby Interview and see what happens:
Welcome to our newest feature, Fan mail aka: If everybody hates you, you must be doing something right.
We’ve had plenty of requests to share some of the messages received from our more eloquent detractors. After wading through hundreds of emails consisting of variations on the theme, ‘You’se guys are stupids! LOL! How come you not die?ROTLFLMA!‘ We’ve selected a few masterpieces to give you an idea of what the average beatle fan thinks, where they’re coming from, and their opinion of our work. A glimpse into the mind of what we’re up against.
Without further ado, here’s the first letter from our series. This one came to us through our Myspace account. In this young mans defense, he did come around and see a glimmer of light at the end of the FF dungeon.
*Please note: spelling, grammar, and punctuation have been left in their original form. If anyone cares to submit an English translation please get in touch with us via the contact page -Das*
Subject: man you must have a good life
your so fucked up you must cut down the greatist progreshion in music since cave men beat on crap to make drum beats john lennon said that they where beter known than the god not beatler than god and they where more people at that time knew of the beatles than of god so that argument is bull shit the beatles are funier than you tough stop bitching about it george harrison divoted his life to music and did a lot for the world and your a jackass for malesting the cover to let it be. paule micartney is well within the ranks of the best modern conposers dont believe me listine to wings live and let die very carfully then reconsider you opinion. john lennon did more for the anti vietnam movent then other single artist wich probably does not concern you because from the sound of it you are one of thous nazis who like to send americas youth off forcefully tword iminate death because of net picky political crap. mind you he was protesting will the president himself was looking four an excuse to have him deported because he was afraid that john whould potentialy threten the publices opinion on his personal war excuse me i cant call it a war, police action and yes john hade a drug problem but to conplety disrespect one of the world finest musicians because of your bias bullshit especialy sence lennon managed to break his harowin adiction [if you could have enouf self controll to break a harowin adiction i will eat my keyboard] and tell his son he was a smelly hippie you fucking asshole i am two pissed to take the time to talk about ringo right know but if you have a problem with the beatle kicking you ass at life send me a message of all you conplants and i will adress them personaly untill then dont be a your an asshole
A popular joke amongst friends is the old favorite, “Two down, two to go.”
While we can’t help but agree, and laugh, its not quite so easy. This problem goes deeper. If you wanted to stop hearing McCartney’s brain drool the last thing you’d want is for him to be buried six feet under, especially at the hands of a deranged killer. Look what happened to Lennon, one day he’s a fading celebrity, the next day he’s Jesus Christ.
No, to take McCartney’s music and the dreaded FF aural ass stain off the air something greater needs to happen, and the first steps have miraculously begun. We know what you’re thinking, but it’s not the Gary Glitter way. (Incidentally, is it not possible to find a song written by somebody who’s not a twice-convicted pedophile to play at hockey games?).
We spoke briefly of Ringo’s new album, aka: the aural fellatio of Liverpool. How could this tailor-made cash queef not be a huge hit? Its a love song to the city that thinks he walks on water, unfortunately for the short sighted organizers they didn’t realize how warm the water surrounding the man actually is. During an appearance on the BBC talk show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Ringo not only insulted his hometown, but showed visible signs of disgust when asked if he’d ever consider moving back. The fans…didn’t go wild.
Shortly after this he was scheduled to appear on the morning variety show Live with Regis and Kelly to play his new song, and show off his sparkling wit. Instead, he stormed off when asked to cut the length of his song down from its original length of five minutes to something a room full of sentient beings could stomach. No amount of pouting or compromise could get our new hero Michael Gelman (executive producer) to budge. Dave Stewart, co-writer, co-producer, guitarist, bumbling henchman and lackey was miffed, saying the show was, “disrespectful treatment of us as artists. Four minutes seemed like an appropriate amount of time for a former Beatle. Mr. Gelman apparently felt Ringo’s musical legacy should take a back seat to additional banter about the size of Ms. Ripa’s derrière.”
Finally, somebody gets the picture! Lets all pitch in and send Mr. Gelman a bottle of scotch and a bouquet of roses. This artist is of less concern than a talk show hosts ass. What Mr Stewart failed to realize is that not only he trying to piggyback a former beatle, but a former beatle with sub-par material…even for a beatle! McCartney take heed, Your days are numbered.
This is an important first step, the separation of man from myth. For the public to independently make the distinction between ‘beatle’ and ‘former beatle’ is a huge leap. It pinpoints a specific date in time, nullifying every laughable attempt at cashing in on the FF empire since the band self-destructed in 1970. You heard right, thirty-eight years ago!
We’ve been unable to get an interview with Mr. Gelman regarding his laudable decision up to this point, but thats unimportant. We all know what he would say, “No matter how many times you slice a turd you’re going to end up with smaller pieces of turd. If America needs to swallow this crap its has to be in easily digestible chunks. Not many people in our audience could choke down a log of that magnitude.”
Beatlemart is finally putting out something of value, a John Lennon Necktie!
In honor of this historic release we’ve designed a new style of knot to accompany it, the Knot Again. This is destined become an incredibly popular fad, like the ZZTop dance or the pet rock. If you want to be cool like all your FF lovin’ pals, you’d better learn how to do it now.
In the spirit of the season we’ve decided to give back to the community that has given us so much support.
Here’s our first annual free Christmas/Holiday/Season card installment. Give them to your loved ones, give them to your enemies. Give them to the guy at the Burger King Drive-Thru, the liquor store, and the massage parlor. Whatever you do, just give them away!
Our next installment of rare outtakes designed to showcase the beatles technical prowess in the studio is a double treat. Please remain seated, if you pass out from the excitement of this moment its best to stay safe.
Here we have not only takes four and five from the I’m a Loser session, but also a rare video chronicling the event! Yes, for the first time in the history of mankind this groundbreaking video will finally be seen. Once again SMB has come through with the FF goods, you can thank us later.
Thanks to SMB another devious FF plot was recently foiled in London.
Gorringes Auction House put on the auction block a lock of the late beatle John Lennon’s hair. The fab follicles were sold to an unnamed bidder for the hefty sum of $48,000 USD. This isn’t surprising, as just this summer one of Paul McCartney’s shoelaces sold for $20,000 USD. Apparently they were from the very same shoes he didn’t wear on the cover of Abbey Road. Now thats a slice of history.
Well, its that time of year again. The stores are flooded with fresh batches of FF propaganda. The powers that be can now take advantage of this opportunity not only to try and force you to drop money on 30 year old recordings, but also cram as many kids as possible into movie theatres to sit through their latest pea-brained remakes of thirty year old Christmas movies and bombard them with product placements. Continue reading →
Its just been reported that Liverpool has been overrun with cries to build a statue of the so called fifth beatle, Brian Epstein. This is fantastic news, Liverpool hasn’t erected a new statue of the beatles in nearly a month. Austin, Texas has taken advantage of this sculpting lull by putting up its own towering tribute to the FF, a 36 foot version of the band holding their instruments and looking befuddled. What describes Texas better than a gargantuan edifice deifying an ancient pop band from England?
We’ve been getting a lot of flack lately for insinuating that the FF were merely pawns controlled by a gigantic bankroll known only as beatlemart. After many long and heated debates we’ve decided to distance ourselves from this line of investigation. To make it up to the powers that be, we’ve put together a short video apology.
It was once noted that if one billion people were spaced one inch apart they could reach the moon. Six billion people would wrap around the moon and back three times. Its been estimated that the beatles album sales by the year 2000 was 113.5 million copies in the US alone. This figure is very conservative, considering it doesn’t mention singles and considers only RIAA certified releases. By 1965 the band had sold over a million copies of With the beatles and by 1970 it was estimated the band had sold over 500 million records. Its safe to say the actual number is at least 10 times that amount, and thats playing it safe.
If we were to lay all those albums end to end, and four across, they would undoubtedly reach the moon and back. But why come back? Why not stretch out across the universe and see whats out there? There’s still a lot of hidden secrets in the music of the FF (maybe the Walrus wasn’t Paul after all), and what better way to discover them that to take the long and winding road of records?
Our proposal is two tours: I’ll Follow the Sun, or The Sun King Express will take FF fans straight to the center of our solar system where they can march directly into the source of inspiration for so many songs, the sun. Its a long journey, but thankfully for us a one way trip.
The second tour is a little more exciting, because at the rate beatlemart is pumping out album asphalt the trip is guaranteed to be an endless journey into the cosmos. The Lucy in the sky with Diamonds Across the Universe Tour will travel away from the sun and into infinity. Hopefully these travelers won’t encounter any intelligent life during their journey, only other beatle fans. It will get very cold, so be sure to pack your thermal Sgt Peppers jackets for the trip. Don’t worry about oxygen, you’ll be surrounded by a protective aura of love, thats all you need.
Now you can finally revolve around the world the way the world revolves around the beatles. As an added bonus, while your out there be sure to place a star in the new beatles constellation!
In our quest to bring you the only the very best of the beatles, we’ve developed a new method of displaying the technical achievements of the band for all the world to enjoy. Have you ever wished you could have been a fly on the wall during some of those recording sessions? Well thanks to us you can! For the first time in the history of mankind we proudly present the first 12 takes of Help! edited down to the most interesting sections for your listening displeasure. Look for many more interesting collections in the future.
Help! Was written by John Lennon in 1965 while he was undergoing some personal and professional crisis, brought on by the fame of the beatles and his problems with becoming part of the establishment and growing increasingly overwhelmed with his celebrity. It was a cry for help that went unheeded as the beatlemachine hammered the beatles into the studio to record the soundtrack for their second film. John was completely disenchanted with how they had allowed themselves to be sold out, polished up, spit-shined and marketed as teen idols.
In other words:
Help! Went on to be a huge hit as the world ignored his plea and listened to the pretty singing.
Notice how George’s guitar part mysteriously disappears until the last few takes, its almost as though somebody locked him in a broom closet and wouldn’t let him out until he could sort of play it. Sound to me like George Martin could have used some help as well, or at least a few session musicians.
Pretty ironic for a fat lady to choke on a ham sandwich, its given food to satirists for years.
Unfortunately, its not true. Mama Cass Elliot, of Mamas and the Papas fame, died after two sold-out performances at the London Palladium to standing ovations. When she retired to her flat at No.12 at 9 Curzon Place, she suffered heart failure and passed away in her sleep. There was a partially eaten ham sandwich found in her room, which led to the misconception.
It makes you wonder how such a straight story turned into a joke at the expense of the memory of this performer. Even after the coroner declared her death the result of natural causes, and an official report was issued, the legend continued to propagate. Its almost as if somebody was trying to distract the public from a bigger story.
Lets take a look at some random facts.
This wasn’t the only strange incident to occur at flat No.12 at 9 Curzon Place. A little over four years later Keith Moon died in the same room, on the anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death. On Sept 7, 1978 Keith Moon was invited to be Paul McCartney’s guest for the film premiere of The Buddy Holly Story, and after the movie they went to a dinner party. Afterwards he retired to the flat and overdosed on Clomethiazole, a medication taken as part of a program to wean him off alcohol. Thirty-two undissolved pills were found in his stomach.
This unlucky flat was owned by Henry Nilsson, a personal friend of John Lennon. The flat was in close proximity to Apple headquarters and was decorated by a design company owned by Ringo Starr. Keith Moon gave Ringo’s son, Zak, his first professional drum kit. Zak idolized Moon’s playing, and against his fathers wished became a drummer. Later he went on to work on some albums produced by John Entwistle, and finally replace Moon as The Who’s drummer.
According to Pete Townshend, “Keith used to be a kind of musical godfather to him. He gave him his first drum kit, which I think is rather strange. Ringo may have actually given him his first drum kit, but I think Keith gave him the first drum kit that he really wanted. It had nude women on it.”
Nilsson also starred with Moon in a rock’n’roll horror film called ‘Son of Dracula.’ Its known as one of the worst horror-comedy-rock movies ever made, and was produced by Ringo Starr. Ironically, it also starred another ill-fated powerhouse drummer, John Bonham.
Its an odd collection of facts when placed together, and to be completely out of character we aren’t going to draw any conclusions. The mysterious hand of the FF is everywhere, and nowhere.
Starbucks will soon be releasing the John Lennon iTunes video album. Thats right, you can now buy a crappy video with your crappucino! Soon you’ll be able to plop down a measly $25 for a sure-to-be-collectible John Lennon iTunes card that will allow you to download all of John Lennon’s previously released videos.
Finally, you can leave your homes and know at the press of a button, you’ll be able to watch the bespectacled one anytime you need a fix. Whew, what a relief. The company hopes this will also cut down on the cost of dairy as well, because beatleheads will cream in their pants the second they see it.
The release comes hot on the heels of the last FF latte releases, Memory Almost Full, and the only available at Starbucks CD compilation, John Lennon – Remember. Apparently the latter didn’t sell very well due to the title, people read it and remembered they already had seventeen other Lennon Collections. It was still quite popular among the brain-dead, as well as new fans who had never heard of the man (it happened once at a Starbucks in Tristan da Cunha).
This new avenue of revenue is a dream come true for the machine that put the bucks in star. Hit the public when they aren’t awake but still have their wallets open.
Have you ever wondered why beatlemart hasn’t jumped on the Guitar Hero bandwagon yet? Pretty strange considering it involves money going directly into their pockets. Its not as if they haven’t been asked either, the masses are practically down on their hands and knees begging for a song to play along with. Yet for some reason, they keep turning down this easy money…something strange is afoot, and we have the answer.
The powers that be realize that the shrine to George Harrison is built on a very flimsy foundation, the illusion that he was a great guitarist. He may very well have been the best guitarist in the beatles, but his reign as master ends there. We’ll agree he was a capable guitar player, but lets face it: most of his parts were simply paint-by-number embellishments. The beatlemachine knows this, and they want it kept secret. How many books of guitar tablature do you think they’d sell if a three year old laughed at how easy the songs are to play? Besides, the three year olds will most likely despise this music after being forced to listen beatle lullabys.
If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around this, here is a simple test that you can do yourself.
The Guitar Hero Challenge:
1. Choose any FF song with what you consider great guitar work. Better yet, pick three or even five of your favorites.
2. Select a song at random from the list below, this is the songlist for Guitar Hero I. (Guitar Hero II will also work)
3. Compare the two songs, and judge them on the merits of the guitar playing alone. Take into consideration technical ability, speed, originality, melody, technique, or even bitchin’ tone.
Motorhead – “Ace of Spades”
Ozzie Osbourne – “Bark at the Moon”
Audioslave – “Cochise”
Pantera – “Cowboys From Hell”
Cream – “Crossroads”
Sum 41 – “Fat Lip”
Edgar Winter Group – “Frankenstein”
Blue Oyster Cult – “Godzilla”
Burning Brides – “Heart Full of Black”
The Exies – “Hey You”
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Higher Ground”
Joann Jett – “I Love Rock and Roll”
The Ramones – “I Wanna Be Sedated”
Bad Religion – “Infected”
Black Sabbath – “Iron Man”
Queen – “Killer Queen”
Boston – “More Than A Feeling”
Queens of the Stone Age – “No One Knows”
ZZ Top – “Sharp Dressed Man”
Deep Purple – “Smoke on the Water”
Jimi Hendrix – “Spanish Castle Magic”
Incubus – “Stellar”
Megadeth – “Symphony of Destruction”
The Donnas – “Take It Off”
Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
Stevie Ray Vaughn – “Texas Flood”
White Zombie – “Thunderkiss 65”
Helmet – “Unsung”
Judas Priest – “You Got Another Thing Comin”
David Bowie – “Ziggy Stardust”
After reading through this list, can you think of even one song from their entire catalogue to put to the test?
We rest our case.
On April 2, 1968, a young guitarist was invited to sit down and record his first major label solo album in Nashville. This was no ordinary guitarist, this young man began to learn the instrument as soon as he was old enough to hold it, started touring with his fathers country band before age 12, recorded an album of Chet Atkins and Merle Travis songs at age 14. When he was 16 he was invited on stage by Merle Travis himself, who after being upstaged was so impressed by the kid’s musicianship took off his hat and remarked to the crowd, ‘Well folks, tonight there’s a better guitarist in the house than me.’ He went on to master flamenco, jazz and create his own complex and unique style, unequaled to this day.
Occasionally we get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of FF saturation in the world today. When this happens we like to grab an album as far from the banality of mainstream reality as we can get. Luckily, with our music collection it isn’t hard. Straddling the gamut from great lyricists, songwriters, and brilliant musicians to the most hideous outsider crap we’ve been able to acquire, there’s always something worth listening to.
This session was organized by none other than the legendary Chet Atkins, Mister Guitar himself. Upon hearing a tape of this aspiring, unknown player, Chet proclaimed Lenny Breau to be, ‘The Greatest guitarist ever to walk the face of the earth.’ Thats no small praise. For the sessions Chet brought in a successful co-producer named Danny Davis whose previous work helped polish country artists and bring them to a more mainstream, pop audience. Davis made it his goal to commercialize the album in order to get disc jockeys more interested in playing it. As much as he tried to dumb down the music so the beatle-brained public wouldn’t have a seizure upon hearing an original idea, Lenny was not to be tampered with. His mind and playing too free to be confined to the rigid structures of conventional pop.
There’s a lot more truth in a horrible singer playing an out of tune guitar while croaking out inscrutable lyrics than there is in a corporate reach-around. Hell, at least its interesting. Think about whats easier to relate to, four millionaires solving crimes in a Yellow Submarine while singing about love, an acid casualty singing about becoming a vegetable, or Congresswoman Matilda Parker singing about mosquitoes and the dangers of malaria?
Although Lenny disliked rock music and held great disdain for the entire genre, at Davis’s insistence, and not wanting to disappoint his idol and mentor Atkins, he was persuaded to record some popular tunes during the two recording sessions, alongside of his original idea of laying down several originals, and his jazz, country, bebop, flamenco and classical takes on some jazz and country standards.
Several months later when the album was finally released Lenny was shocked to find that so many of the tunes were left off in favour of the more commercial, radio friendly numbers like King of the Road, Monday Monday, and inexplicably, A Hard Days Night. Even so, the flashes of brilliance overshadowed their inclusion.
It was during one of these moments that I grabbed ‘Guitar Sounds’ from the collection and popped it on. As the inspired playing started to slowly melt away the revolting memory of being subjected, against my will and beyond my control, to hearing almost the full Abbey Road album. My stomach began to unclench, my hands began to stop trembling. I was going to make it. Until suddenly…
The album received great critical acclaim, but not even the inclusion of an FF tune could breach the barriers of bad taste built by the beatlemania brigade, and sales were minimal. Nobody cared. A few months later Atkins arranged for another recording, this time in Lenny’s comfort zone; a club in front of an audience of his peers. The choice of material was completely his choice. The result, The Velvet Touch of Lenny Breau…Live!, has been called one of the most important jazz guitar albums ever recorded.
Lenny Breau led a short and tragic life, and although he released many incredible and unprecedented albums, he died penniless and virtually unknown, like most great artists. Conversely, Hootie and the Blowfish and REO Speedwagon both had huge hits covering the beatles. Lenny’s albums are mostly out of print now, while Magical Mystery Tour is still gets pumped out like a clogged toilet.
Anyway, I can’t leave you with that horrid song as the last thing ringing in your head, here’s Lenny playing The Claw by Jerry Reed, from …Live!
This is a clip from the documentary ‘The Genius of Lenny Breau.’ It was filmed during the recording of his first album.
Just when you think you’ve got the answers, I change the questions..
– Rowdy Roddy Piper.
A fitting quote. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, here comes beatle Lullabys. I’m not sure who the intended audience is for this one, my guess its one of two people:
A) The fan who never gets bored of listening to Revolver and ends up staying awake all night basking in beatle blather, working themselves into such a frenzy at the sound of forty year old pop songs that they’re constantly late for work, showing up in their moptop wigs and drooling in a semi-catatonic, FF induced state of delirium. In other words, the average fan in need of a sleep aid.
B) Infants who can’t defend themselves.
I’m hoping the correct answer is A, if not there’s a new form of child abuse on the market just as dangerous as the epidemic of fat diabetic kids in America. This is no different than conditioning children to think that its a good idea to strap bombs to themselves or training them to become child soldiers. Maybe not quite as extreme, but its exactly the same method used.
Conditioning these young minds from infancy that this is not only music, but good music, is basically taking away any freedom of thought these poor kids are entitled to as human beings, programming them to believe that the only option in life is to stand in line with all the other open mouthed gawkers at the trough of the beatles, waiting for the honour of buying the next re-release. This is Burgess’s Ludovico Technique, this is Orwell’s Newspeak, its unspeakable and disgusting abuse of trust and power. I’d rather have my toddler not only breathe second-hand smoke, but smoke two packs a day!
Viva Las Vegas! Step aside Celine Dion, there’s a new freakshow in town.
Cirque Du Soleil, the acrobatic dancing troupe who’ve conquered the world with their unique blend of breathtaking aerial performances, lavish costumes and live music have decided to take it to a new level. Thats right, the $600 million they grossed last year from their shows, combined with the development of TV specials, womens clothing lines, spas and restaurants, just ain’t cutting it.
When you’re a huge entertainment empire and you need some fast cash, just utter the magic word and before you can wiggle your tinsel glittered tootsies the beatlemachine will be there to assist you, for a small fee of course.
The new show is themed around George Martin’s latest offering of refried beatle droppings created specifically for this end, LOVE.
Drawn from the poetry of the lyrics, the show explores the content of the songs as interpreted by innovative performances from a cast of 60 international artists. It must have been a big job trying to explore the deeper meaning behind songs like, I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Octopus’s Garden.
The reviews for this spectacle have been mixed, it seems to depend on either how brainwashed your are, or what your tolerance for pain is. Most of the positive reviews seem to start like this, ‘First, I need to make it clear that I’m a Beatles fan.’ NO, REALLY? The rest of the reviews all use words like, Awful, Terrible, Extremely Disappointed, Didn’t Love, Save your money, Wost show in Vegas, and my personal favorite, As Uninspiring as A Ringo Song.
Remember when kids used to want to run away and join the circus? This ought to cure them of the urge.
I hope this what they meant by what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Morbid curiosity must be eating away at you right now, so here is a sample. Just please be careful and have your mouse hovering over the stop button, we can’t be held responsible for what happens once you decide to watch.
A lot has been said about the originality of the ‘greatest band of all time.’ The influence of their inventions has been felt far and wide, exalted and referenced as groundbreaking and unequaled to this day.
Lets take a look at some of this groundbreaking work, and maybe try put it into perspective.
They were heralded as one of the most original bands ever when they released the song Twist and Shout in 1964. I’m not quite sure just what is so original about recording a cover of an Isley Brothers song. The way they performed it, with all of them singing ‘Whooo!’ at the same time?
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that aside from Brian Epstein inventing a way to shape them into something marketable, the beats pretty much played variations on the same couple of songs and covers until Rubber Soul in ’66, their first original album. Aside from some new instrumentation (George Martin) and their constant use of marijuana, what exactly was so original? It was a bunch of pretty rock songs. The same goes with the groundbreaking Revolver.
This brings us to their piece de resistance, Sgt Pepper. They spent over six months in the studio recording and mixing it, released it in ’67. There was a lot of groundbreaking equipment and technical tricks used in the studio. A lot of elaborate instrumentations and sound effects were used. Some tunes were longer than the average pop song. In the end, they had an interesting collage of songs and sounds based lyrically on drugs, leaky roofs, articles in the newspaper, circus posters, meter maids, corn flake commercials and one about spirituality. Musically they took influences from 30’s music, skiffle, rock and carnivals. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that seems more like using whats at your disposal than inventing anything. They achieved massive commercial and critical success. Whats new?
Lets take a look at something else that was happening at roughly the same time. Don Van Vliet, an up and coming R&B singer, changed his persona to Captain Beefheart and started a group named The Magic Band in ’65. They became quite popular and put out a few early singles covering blues songs to great local success. He began to form his own ideas about what music was and what it should say, and recruiting Ry Cooder on guitar they went in the studio to begin work on their first album, Safe as Milk. This was a bold, delta blues inspired work of poetry and intensity. Shortly afterwards, they were dropped from their label after the song Electricity was considered too negative. Although it didn’t reach commercial success, this album was hailed internationally, finding many fans and supporters.
Although Lennon was hugely impressed with Safe as Milk (note the posters behind him), it appears Beefheart wasn’t quite as taken with him.
Vliet then decided to take the band somewhere new. Holed up in his isolated home drawing on free jazz, sea shanties and blues, he sat down and began to compose on the piano, an instrument he couldn’t play, in order to avoid falling into the traps of convention and theory. He wanted to hear what was in his head, and what was in his head couldn’t conform to anything he’d heard. He ruled his band with an iron fist, demanding 14 hour practice sessions, forcing them to learn impossible chords and timings and live in virtual poverty until the album was complete. At one point he locked guitarist Zoot Horn Rollo in a shed after he was suspected of listening to a beatle song. There was to be no outside influences. He spit fire, bled poetry, lived music and the band honed its teeth for 8 months.
While Howlin’ Wolf was in England trying to wean British blues masters away from their obsession with even bar-counts, Vliet was creating his own musical language and universe. What he came out with polarized the music world, shocking people with its stunning originality and its musical ties to nothing. Its lyrics spoke of the environment, genocide, immigrants, Vietnam Vets, and poverty, among other things. The double album Trout Mask Replica was recorded in Van Vliet’s home over a period of one weekend, as opposed to the five months it took the FF to record their double album, The White Album.
Perhaps an extreme example, but this is originality as an uncompromising force to be reckoned with. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to listen to it, just turn on your radio and you’ll be safe from the threat of ever hearing it, but you do have to acknowledge it. Wanna tell me what the FF did that was so groundbreaking again?
Don Van Vliet, retained that original spark until he retired from the music biz in 1982 after MTV rejected Ice Cream for Crow as being too weird. Also in 1982, the remaining FF continued recording generic safeness; Ringo released Stop and smell the Roses, McCartney was singing duets with Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, and George Harrison released Gone Troppo (I had to look it up too).
I’d never just want to do what everybody else did. I’d be contributing to the sameness of everything.
-Don Van Vliet
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band performing Sure ‘Nuff ‘N Yes I Do from Safe as Milk, live from Cannes in ’68.
Gary Hall (more on this brilliant mind later, please be patient) devised an incredibly simple, yet very effective method for dealing with beatle fans; The Nursery Rhyme Test. In a nutshell, this is intended to quickly place any FF song in context. Ask the obsessed one to play any beatle song at their disposal, and the moment the song finished, sing a line from ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep.’ Have them play another number, then sing a line from ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ Continue until it dawns on the fan that the beatles were not only lyrically inferior, but also melodically inferior, to the standard nursery rhyme.
I’d like to take the Nursery Rhyme analogy one step further.
Breaking news! The fine folks at Saachi and Saachi have done it again, and just in time for Christmas!
Not content to sit back and bask in the glory of their world-renown diaper commercial The beatles are full of Crap, this brilliant ad company has figured out a way to cash in on a dead man and his love for his wife.
Thats right, straight from the hands of the loved one in question, an unreleased private demo of John’s recording of ‘Real Love’ has suddenly found new meaning.
According to the bespectacled prophet of love, the song ‘Girl’ from Rubber Soul was written at a time when he opposed christianity and this song was intended to attack catholic values using a thinly disguised combination of lust and disgust.
I’ve been pouring over this masterpiece and have been having a bit of trouble making the connection. The best I can come up with is that he was trying to attack catholics by forcing them to listen to one of the worst guitar breaks in history. I suppose the two guitars used in this section might represent good, and the playing might represent bad, thus thrusting a satanic world view onto unsuspecting youth, instigating and propelling chaos and disorder…but I think thats giving it a little too much credit.
The reason for mentioning this song is a little more sinister. Prior to McCartney’s Hey Jude debacle, this was another irresponsibly disastrous moment in widespread media manipulation. It was with this song the the FF single-handedly breastified the world.
I’d like to talk a little bit about EWS, or Elvis Worship Syndrome.
You must know the condition. Every family either has or knows somebody who suffers from this malady; yet its treated lightly, ignored, or laughed about behind closed doors. The signs are obvious, but once this fixation takes hold nothing can be done to stop it. Think about that crazy uncle with the big sideburns who proudly displays a giant airbrushed Elvis tapestry in his living room. He has Elvis busts on the porch, Elvis ashtrays, Elvis drinking glasses, Elvis playing cards, Elvis t-shirts, Elvis hats, Elvis pillow cases, Elvis oven mitts, Elvis plates from the Franklin Mint hanging in the dining room…
After your visit you always have a good chuckle thinking about your zany uncle and his kooky obsession. Its just crazy to be so obsessive about anything, let alone a performer who left the great stage 30 years ago. A singer who became so diluted through merchandising and marketing that he started to become a parody of himself while he was still alive. Yet for some reason when you get home and admire the framed, hand-drawn portraits on your wall of the beatles from the cover of the White Album, pop on the latest repackaged album, have drink from your lead paint based Yellow Submarine mug and put on your New York City t-shirt nothing seems odd. In fact, you don’t give it a second thought.
Thats right, The The Punkles are a German band that play punk versions of beatles songs in the style of the Ramones. I may alienate myself from the community by admitting this, but I kind of like this band, or maybe I should say their versions aren’t as nausea inducing as the originals. I only wish they’d been able to find some better material to perform. I can understand wanting to plug-in to the FF cash machine, but show some damn respect to the Ramones!
You guessed it, very soon there will be a beatles hotel opening up in Liverpool called The Hard Day’s Night Hotel.
The $40 million brainchild of Jonathan Davis, a rich bankers son funded by government money, is guaranteed to be a very classy affair.
“There will be subtle and clever references to the Beatles,” said Davies, “But if we have someone staying in the hotel who doesn’t happen to be a Beatles fan then we don’t want to hit them in the face with it. Each of the 110 rooms will have 110 photographs charting the history of the band.”
Good thinking, you wouldn’t want to be too obvious about it. I’m sure lots of innocent tourists will stumble into this Fab Trap seeing the giant guitar logo and have no inkling its a “bouthemed” hotel. Davis invented this word to refer to his endeavor. I’ve invented a word to refer to it as well, retardical.
Big Brother Paul watches on as you are fabulously creeped out. Try not to think about whats in the bathroom.
This isn’t the first beatle themed hotel, believe it or not. Last year fans flocked to the Capitol Tokyu Hotel in Tokyo where the FF stayed in 1966, just to bask in ancient beatle spores. The band only visited Japan once, forty years ago, but dammit, that was enough to have every beatletron with a disposable income zooming across the ocean to get the chance to watch a bunch of dorks in wigs play forty year old songs, while the entire country celebrated this historic event. THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!
In 1977 Rolling Stone Magazine, for its 10th anniversary, crapped out one of the most catastrophic turds ever to be disguised as a TV special in the history of the medium, A Day in the Decade.
You can pinpoint this as the exact moment those fine purveyors of pop culture finally crossed the line, and in fact left any semblance of a line so far in the past that it must be morbid curiosity that keeps this disaster full of Gap ads on the shelves today. That, or the fact that it’s the hippest monthly tabloid fanzine.
Presented here in all its glory is a 15 minute tribute to the beatles that rivals that other great beatles tribute in 1977, The beatles Forever.
Hosted by Ted Neeley, aka: Jesus Christ Superstar, the cast is a fascinating look at who couldn’t get work that year. It opens with a fascinating version of ‘A Day in the Life,’ complete with a re-enactment by Ted of waking up, getting out of bed, sliding down a stripper pole and landing in a neon submarine ( I don’t remember that part of the song).
Don’t worry, its all uphill from this point. There’s mutant strawberry-like creatures groveling before a fake Yogi, a ‘Helter Skelter’ dance number based around some kind of armageddon scenario, Patti Labelle singing ‘Polythene Pam’ from a giant spiderweb, a soulful version of ‘Give Peace a Chance’ sung from the deck of the neon submarine while surrounded by spasmatic Oompa-Loompa looking freaks, a Fake Nixon singing ‘Back in the USSR’ and ‘I’m a Loser’, a Rocky Horror Picture Show version of Birthday, and so much more!
Ever notice how blatantly the entertainment conglomerates force themselves into our lives? Of course you do, how could you miss it? Take Blockbuster and the endless ads hocking the latest made-for-profit-extravaganza. They cater to the lowest common denominator by carrying big budget Hollywood crap. Stock thirty copies of every lame-brained two-hour remake of TV shows that weren’t even watchable when they were first on the air. Just put Will Smith in it boys, team him up with Owen Wilson and an animated condom! It’ll sell!
On top of this, Blockbuster has the right to censor anything in its stores for inappropriate content. This might be alright for a Remake of the Beverly Hillbillies (Goldangit, Granny’s dress is too revealing in that shot!), because you can watch the majority of them with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears and still not miss anything. But in a well made movie movie, you might need to be able to follow the plot without big brother telling you what you’re allowed to see.
Of course this is dependent on who made the film. Its fine to see a naked woman tortured to her grisly death if the film was financed by Disney, but if Lloyd Kaufman was to show a fake melon head full of hamburger and food colouring explode, he’s out of luck. Not that they would carry his films in the first place.
This brings me to my point; Blockbuster is owned by Viacom. Viacom also owns Paramount Pictures, as well as Famous Music, DreamWorks, Republic Pictures, MTV Films, CBS, Nickelodeon Movies, Go Fish Pictures, Comedy Central…I’m not getting carpal tunnel syndrome over this, lets just they ain’t hurting. They also have numerous tie-ins with other conglomerates in industry, media, agriculture, energy and finance.
Now Lets say Viacom wants to make another bajillion dollars so everyone can buy new Range Rovers. First they tell some sap to write a movie about the first thing he finds in the June, 1973 issue of TV Guide. If he doesn’t have one handy he bases it on whatever video game he’s playing. Just make sure that whatever its about somebody can make it into a toy, dammit! Paramount makes the movie. They bombard the airwaves with commercials, put up billboards, the stars get interviewed incessantly on the evening news and we get to discover what kind of tricycle handsome douchebag of the week rode when he was a toddler. Out of nowhere the title track becomes a hit song, and the soundtrack sells like crazy even though the movie hasn’t been released yet.
The next step is to put all the cute little dolls and cups and toys in McDonald’s and Burger King. The Kids lap it up, buy more greasy food, go see the movie and buy more merchandise. These are the folks who pay the salaries of the talking fish and surfing penguins which never seem to get old.
The next time you’re watching the beatle biography of the week, or their bi-weekly incredibly relevant story on the news, remember its not a happy-go-lucky moptop footing the bill for it. The beatles didn’t sell out, they were a pre-packaged commodity that became more popular than the Pet Rock. They may have had something to say, but it was diluted with a bag of beatle hair out of a beatles lunchbox.
Think who the target market is, and who’s holding the gun.
This is really incredible. Its hard to turn away, even though you know what you’re seeing will instantly turn your stomach. I’ve made several emergency trips to the bathroom since making this grisly discovery, and once again I apologize in advance and beg you not to watch or listen to it.
One of the only songs ever to rival the beatles total saturation of the airwaves is Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, also known as the DJ has gone out for a smoke or to take a dump. DJ’s love this song. Its not quite as advantageous as In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which would allow them to run to the all-you-can-eat buffet down on the corner, throw up in a dumpster, and still make it back for a nap before the song ends.
The Beatnix are an Australian beatles tribute band who have combined the worst of both worlds, a beatles medley with Led Zeppelin lyrics. Apparently they are one of the longest running beatle tribute bands out there. Thats quite an impressive achievement, akin to being employee of the month at McDonald’s.
In an renewed effort to puke out regurgitated fluff at the rate of a new release every five seconds, the fine folks at beatleMart have decided to re-release the unwatchable film, Help!
This digitally remastered nightmare comes with 5.1 audio. Thats right, mono recordings like you’ve never heard them before. But wait, there’s more!
Disc two will feature a short documentary on the making, the restoration, and interviews with the crew. Finally you can see how exciting it is to sit in a dark editing suite, and find out what the gaffers and craft services thought about working on this masterpiece. Hopefully they’ll include an interview with the pair of scissors used to edit this monstrosity, I’d like to hear what kind of drugs it was using at the time.
Unfortunately, this will only appeal to the mediocre fans. Real beatleheads will need to drop a hundred bucks for the Help! (Deluxe Edition) Boxed Set. This includes such mandatory table scraps as:
-Lester’s annotated script. Wow! Who the hell is Lester?
-A poster. Great! There’s nothing like hanging up a poster thats been folded and pressed into a 7″ by 5″ rectangle!
-A 60-page booklet of photos and additional notes on the making of the film. I have to admit these are pretty cool. Thanks to our sources we’ve managed to secure one of these photos for you to preview, the FF relaxing with their loved ones, as well as a sample of one of the production notes.
Sure to be a collectors item soon, unlike the poorly planned beatle anthrax. Get your copy today!
Througout history the moustache has adorned the faces of some of the greatest minds, artists, political and military leaders; as well as some of the worlds most infamous and horrendous mass murderers.
Is it any coincidence that these historic individuals all had facial hair?
Its been said in hushed whispers that behind every moustache is member of a secret society, they identify each another and communicate with various strokes, brushes and twirls. This group (which shall remain unnamed) traces its origins back to the time of the Pharoh’s.
After WWII and the fall of Hitler, the moustache immediately fell out of fashion, its power contaminated by an evil and negative energy. The underground society itself shunned its use, changing its methods and biding its time until they were safe to return to the hairy fold. This left the moustache alone and unadornable, seeking out new victims with its siren song of success.
For a while the world was a safer place. That is until the fateful year 1966 when the beatles embarked on recording of Sgt Pepper. At this time John wasn’t contributing many songs, George was silenced , and Ringo was Ringo. This left Paul alone to write the majority of the album. Finally the pressure grew to be too great for the surprised looking one and he began writing songs like When I’m 64. He realized he couldn’t do it by himself. He needed help of the most evil kind.
It was at this time the beatles fell under the spell of the moustache society, seen here draped in the customary ceremonial garbs, complete with pink slippers and the mystical orange fedora with green feather. Its hard to tell from this angle if John and George are performing the twin thumbs ritual of the anus on Paul, of if thats just the way he looks:
Here’s another rare photo, taken shortly after the release of Sgt Pepper the FF is seen sending a secret message. Notice Ringo’s horrified gaze as he realizes what he’s done:
Harnessing this ancient magic the moptops eagerly entered the studio, armed the the teeth. 129 days later, the mission was over and never again would the four wear whiskers at the same time, its power too intense too keep under control.
Even though the FF had shorn its shaggy shackles, the power of the ‘stache still held sway over this release. Critics suddenly lost their minds. The Times critic Kenneth Tynan described Sgt. Pepper as “a decisive moment in the history of Western civilization.” Geoffrey Stokes noted, “listening to the Sgt. Pepper album one thinks not simply of the history of popular music but the history of this century.”
Timothy Leary went as far as to proclaim, “I declare that the beatles are divine messiahs. The wisest, holiest, most effective Avatars that the human race has yet produced. My thesis is a simple one. It is my contention that John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Start are mutants, prototypes of a new young race of laughing Freemen. Evolutionary agents sent by god, endowed with the mysterious power to create a new human species.”
The power was truly out of control. By the thousands people heard this musical incantation and suddenly began to sprout beards, hair grew longer, women grew armpit hair, even ordinary carpets turned into shag rugs seemingly overnight. Burt Reynolds was getting work. Something had to be done.
The few remaining minds of the music community who were unscathed got together realized there wasn’t much time left, and decided there was only course of action. It wasn’t going to be pleasant, and it was going to forever alter the state of music.
To bring the world back from the brink of destruction they choose six soldiers brave and strong enough to absorb and transform the energy, dispersing it into dancing crowds in the form of endorphines, forever muting its effect.
This is how the beatles were responsible for disco.
There’s been a lot of versions recorded of this song since its initial release in 1963, when it was unleashed on America to drive a spasmodic public spasmadic.
Once again in our quest to bring you the best of the best we present the world renown Wing, a fine singer from New Zealand who’s soaring vocals won her international acclaim and a coveted engagement on the show South Park, which can be seen here in its entirety.
The Long and Winding Road was the last number one hit for the beatles in the US, it came from their final album Let It Be. Well, lets just say we wish it was their final album.
This was recorded during the beatles short-lived, lets go back to our roots and stop all this silly studio production phase. The album was originally going to be called Get Back, and they were going to play everything as a stripped down combo like in the olden days.
As you can probably guess, without the studio production the beatles would have been the laughing stocks of the music industry. It took Phil Spector and an arsenal of eighteen violins, four violas, four cellos, three trumpets, three trombones, two guitars, a choir of 14 women, a team of engineers, even special conductors and arrangers to make A long and Winding Road listenable. And thats only one song!
If you think I’m exaggerating, take a quick listen to some live off the floor recordings for yourself.
Make it brief if you value your sanity, and try not to think about the claims that this is the greatest band of all time.
The Long and Winding Road
Some of the highlights include George Harrison storming out of a recording session in disgust and John Lennon constantly mocking McCartney. Harrison felt such pain knowing this film even existed he successfully had it taken out of print in ’81, stipulating it was not be released again until after his death. Thats a good way to deal with your issues, we can all take something from this example. If you ever find yourself at gunpoint in a dark alley, just close your eyes and it will all disappear.
On the positive side, The Long and winding Road is my favorite beatles song. Not because its good, or because I like it, but because when the FF finally broke up one of the six reasons Paul gave for wanting to dissolve the band was what Phil Spector did to try and rescue this song.
Although its been covered by hundreds of artists over the years, the definitive version was recorded by The Roadrunner, with some help from his friend Wile E Coyote (uncredited due to contract negotiations).
Just listen to the passion and urgency brought to this groundbreaking work:
Quick, grab your copy before they’re all gone! Don’t miss a golden opportunity to throw more of your money onto this steaming pile of brilliance. Bugs and Friends Sing the Beatles
On June 5th, 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono joined Frank Zappa and the Mothers of invention on stage for their first and last collaboration. The result was 40 odd minutes of either brilliant musicianship and improvisation, or a small eternity in hell.
J & O appeared that night during the encore as special guests, much to the delight of the unsuspecting crowd. It started out innocently enough with a rocking version of Well (baby please don’t go). This found Lennon in front of the tightest band he’d ever played with, at his side Yoko was in fine form… doing her thing.
After a lengthy improv it became apparent that John was understandably out of his element. After a few attempts to nudge him back to reality, Zappa narrowly avoided a trainwreck and steered the band into some original material before a blues based form was introduced. The brilliant Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, aka Flo and Eddie, took over on vocals and introduced a new lyrical theme for the silver tongued song smith to expand upon, Scumbag. John happily grabbed onto this new word and sang to save his life, while Flo and Eddie draped a potato sack over Yoko.
The good news was Zappa and the Mothers had booked a recording truck for the weekend as they were in the process of making the legendary Fillmore East ’71 album. After the show there was an arrangement made so both parties would have access to the tapes, and they could each release their own mixes of the performance.
And then they all lived happily ever after.
John and Yoko released Some Time in New York City. For the record sleeve they used the album cover from Fillmore East ’71, scribbled all over it, and scrawled in what they thought the songs were. They took writing and publishing credits, stealing the music for profit (if anybody had bought the album, but that’s beside the point).
For the final insult… here’s the story of the from Frank himself:
Its all part of a long line of undocumented theft and disrespect towards the inimitable Zappa who saw through them from the beginning. He released the worlds first concept albumand double album in ’66 with his major label debut Freak Out!.
McCartney owned a copy, and called Zappa to ask permission to use the idea. Expecting to get a drugged out hippie on the phone drooling over his famous moptop, he was instead met with a fiercely intelligent composer and business man who expected to be compensated for his own ideas. Instead of all that fuss, the beatles just stole the idea and claimed it as their own. – This statement is incorrect, see comments, das
Zappa retaliated with the famous We’re Only In It For The Money, an album vilifying hippie pretensions, sporting on the cover a parody of Sgt Peppers.
There’s been countless other violations of trust and utter lack of respect from the FF towards Zappa. We won’t get into everything, but here’s an ironic example:
Zappa recorded a medley of beatles songs, the lyrics were changed to make fun of disgraced TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. The FF had lost control of publishing rights at this time when suddenly, out of nowhere, Michael Jackson jumped out and blocked the songs release! Why? Who knows. Either the idea of adults having sex was too much for him, or the FF mafia had already seized control of his brain.
Here’s a copy of the unreleased, and likely never to be released medley for your listening pleasure. This is Zappa, so be forewarned if you’re the sensitive type:
If you happen to be the curious type, here is unedited concert:
I should say, Bollywood Beatles.
Its been said a copy can never be as good as the original. I believe that to be true, and this is the exception that proves the rule.
I’m not sure the subtitles are accurate, if they are this mystery group has vastly improved the original as it makes a lot more sense this way.
How many of you were unlucky enough to hear the award winning seven hour radio show, Dreaming of the Past (more aptly named Living in the past) which commemorated the 25th anniversary of Lennon’s assassination when it aired last year? It was pretty hard to avoid at least even hearing about it, unless you completely shut off the radio and stopped reading magazines and papers, which isn’t always a bad thing. Especially in a case like this.
To make sure everyone in the universe was aware of this historic broadcast they bombarded the airwaves for over two months prior to the event with sixty second commercials disguised as programs called, A Minute of Lennon.
I’ll agree, its a nice idea to honor the deceased beatle like this, after all he did have a positive message to send out after he left the FF. Lennon has obviously done more for world peace than Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, and even Bob Geldof, yet he still gets so little press these days it’s a miracle we haven’t forgotten his name!
You must be wondering what great humanitarian organizations and peace activists pulled together to produce this incredible testament to the memory of the immortal Lennon.
Well, it was those thoughtful folks at…..AN ADVERTISING AGENCY!
You mean…this was about making money, not honoring the deceased and his gifts to the world? Exploiting the dead for profit? Are there no cosmetic creams left to hustle? Rotgut beer to hawk? Cigarettes for children? Pesticides? Erectile dysfunction pills?
Surely there must be more to this than putting gas in their Range Rovers and vacationing in the French West Indies. Right??
Lets hear if from the horses mouth:
“We try to come up with interesting radio programs that advertisers can leverage. Branded entertainment is something I’m not sure is even happening in Canada. So we’ve created a seven-hour radio special around Lennon.”
If you’re not aware of what branded entertainment is, here’s a quick definition:
It’s hiding ads in material written for a target audience, creating an affinity between the brand and the subject matter. Backwards product placement. Coke doesn’t pay Martin Scorsese to film coke bottles in every scene, they hire some schmuck to write Scorsese a movie where it’s integral to the plot.
In other words: they used John Lennon to sell you cars, donuts and tires.
In regards to the two month shock and wealth campaign, also known as A Minute of Lennon, they had this to say:
“We’re building a long-term, loyal audience over two months through 65 one-minute programs called A Minute of Lennon to keep listeners hooked. Within each 60-second spot is a 30-second audio tag for Toshiba, our title sponsor,”
Other sponsors were Goodyear and of course EMI Music.
Step aside tampons, sneakers and laundry detergent, the shysters found a new way to hock the beatles! Geez, I can’t wait to see what they’ll sell when all the FF are dead!
Once again, if you think I’m making this up go read it for yourself:
John Lennon was inspired to write Good Morning, Good Morning by watching a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Commercial. It made its way onto the hugely popular Sgt Peppers album. He found the catchy jingle irritating enough to make a song from to irritate the entire world.
Another Corn Flake inspired masterpiece came in the form of I am The Walrus.
Listen to this rare outtake as an example of how far Lennon would go to push the public in whatever direction he fancied.
This particular version was scrapped for being much too blatant. Besides, they didn’t hold enough shares in Kellogg’s to make this pitch worthwhile. The beatles had more important things to sell, mainly themselves.
But really, advertising is the only reason this band exists today at all.
Does it strike you at all odd that when the Anthology Volumes 1 & 2 were released a few years back it made headlines internationally? Think about it, the same old shit you already own on cd, plus some outtakes and b-sides that have never been good enough to be released or played on the air to this day. That’s news?
How about the fact that to coincide with this release there was a six hour network TV broadcast on several channels?(available for purchase now) You would have to be an idiot to think this is all coincidence, goodwill, good timing, or even public interest.
It was a six hour infomercial!
If they wanted to sell you a beatle juicer and a beatle butt-plug, you would have bought those too.
This was a merciless, overwhelming assault on the general public for the sole purpose of putting more crap by these fake rock icons on the bestseller shelves. It didn’t start there, and it didn’t stop there. The entire reason for beatlemania in the first place was a well executed, well thought out, multi-billion dollar advertising blitz. Actors were paid to faint during their concerts and help incite the young crowds, their posters were hung in every record store and on every corner, their faces on the cover of every magazine, and when they travelled to the US they were already huge stars. In 1964…..WITHOUT EVEN RELEASING ANYTHING!
THEY HADN’T EVEN BEEN PLAYED ON THE RADIO YET!!!!
BEATLEMANIA WAS CREATED TO SELL MEET THE BEATLES IN AMERICA!
Once again, if you think I’m making this up, here is a copy of the original December 1963 Capitol Records memo for sales managers and regional managers, outlining the initial “Beatles Campaign”. Click to open and read it for yourself, friends.
I especially like the National Record News section on page two, where they describe how they created a magazine to promote the beatles with a four page spread. Here’s the excerpt:
“NATIONAL RECORD NEWS – BEATLE ISSUE” Publicity Director Fred Martin has concocted a simply marvelous vehicle for spreading the Beatle story. It’s a four-page tabloid newspaper which looks deceptively legitimate. But of course it’s our doing, and all it contains is picture after picture and story after story on the Beatles.
You’ll be getting huge quantities of this tabloid. How to exploit it? Send bulk copies to major retailers for distribution to consumers. Offer bulks to jocks for give-away. But most important, make arrangements with local high schoolers to distribute them to fellow students after school (check with George Gerken on those arrangements).
The idea is to get as many copies of this tabloid as possible into the hands of potential Beatle buyers. Don’t, under any circumstances, end up with any large quantities of this tabloid sitting in your back room. They won’t help there!
Unless people wake up, the FF marketing campaign will never stop and the beatles will continue to exist as everybody’s favorite commodity. If you have to listen to them, at least know why you bought the albums. Love. Beatles Naked. Beatles One. Think about it, thats all I ask.
In the words of the immortal John Lennon: “The Queen’s intelligent. It won’t spoil her cornflakes.”
The Royal Mail ground to a halt this month when its workers staged the first nationwide walkout since ’96. As the toll from the strikes mounted, small firms struggled to cope and thousands of missed NHS appointments because hospital letters were stuck at sorting offices, mail order business stocks plummeted, consumers who tried to pay off credit cards and bills by posting cheques were hit by late payment penalties, and an estimated backlog of more than 200 million letters now clog the postal outlets.
The reason for these wildcat strikes seems to revolve around the Governments decision to issue 2007 beatle stamps. It may seem like a mindless way to gouge the ever open wallets of the beatle-brained public, in the process generating some much needed funds to fill the void as more people choose paperless communications, but the reality is far more treacherous. The postal workers knew the deeper truth, and damned if they were going to let it happen again!
Crack open your history books, get a newspaper and a globe, and take a look at the repercussions of what happens when you issue a beatle stamp. The list of countries foolhardy enough to have succumbed to this epidemic is mind-boggling.
Somalia. Angola. Nicaragua. Chad. Zaire. Ghana. War. Unrest. Genocide. Corruption. Crisis. Massacre. Dramatic and horrifying turmoil and upheaval follow these little rectangular papers, causing large scale destruction with a tasty adhesive aftertaste.
So far the valiant postal workers in the UK have stuck to their guns, refusing to abandon dreams of safety, happiness and a world free of the FF menace. They’ve even turned down a pay increase of 6.9 per cent over two years, an extra tea, and the offer of not being treated like ‘slaves.’
Unfortunately, these stamps were issued months ago, so even though we might admire their position, the timing leaves a little to be desired.
It still remains a good lesson for the rest of us:
The beats aren’t licked, until they aren’t licked.
In 1985 Michael Jackson purchased the rights to over two hundred beatle songs, trumping a joint bid by McCartney and Yoko Ono. Almost instantly the intense evil over-powered his gentle mind.
Instead of destroying these vile tracts by throwing them into a live volcano as was his original intention, he hid them away in the darkness of his Neverland dungeon, and just as suddenly as he had surprised the remaining FF with his coup; it was over for this courageous soul.
Succumbing to the call of a deeper and more sinister style of bubblegum pop than he had ever imagined, these songs began to transform him. He secluded himself in the darkness, and as his will grew weaker their power over him became complete. They warped his body and soul, and in the end ultimately slipped out of his grasp and found a way to get back to their dark masters.
This disastrous event didn’t go unnoticed. Fans grew concerned after his mysterious absence from the music scene. When he finally re-emerged due to public pressure, his supporters were horrified. When Jackson was questioned about his surreal deformities he nervously quipped back, ‘it’s a rare skin disease, you’re ignorant.’
Does this story sound familiar? It should.
This age old fable was recently made into a 37 hour movie by Peter Jackson.
Its the story of Smeagol, an unfortunate hobbit who happened upon the ring of the dark lord Sauron. Its malign influence took control, twisted his body and mind and prolonged his life well beyond its natural limits. He descended into the dark caves beneath the Misty Mountains, when he finally emerged he was almost as bad off as Michael Jackson.
The similarities between these two stories are uncanny. Just as every culture has a fable about a flood, every culture also has a tale such as this pervasive evil. Tolkien may have cleaned up his version because the real truth is far too ugly for most people to confront. Mark our words, there will be many more stories like this until the reign of the FF has ended, only then will these dark days come to pass.