googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Visual Music Part 5

Visual Music Part 5

    The holidays always reminds me of The Beatles. Back when I was a kid, a baby really, Christmas time was when Capitol Records could be counted on to release a new Beatles album. Even if it was a compilation such as The Beatles Story. I also got the treat of a special Beatle single that was recorded as a holiday gift to their fan club members but inevitably ended up on the radio airwaves. These singles weren’t songs, per se, but a Christmas greeting which allowed the zany side of the fab four to come out. Beatle songs also mixed very well with Christmas carols as any new material was guaranteed to be played to death no matter the season. December is also the month in which some little worm shot John Lennon in the back five times in front of his wife in the name of Christ.
    The Beatles, of course, were perhaps the best proponents of the kind of art rock, that is, visual art set to music and music set to visuals. And arguably their crowning achievement in this regards and one of their most lasting and influential contributions to rock and roll is the motion picture, Yellow Submarine.
    Al Brodax, an animation producer working for King Features, a division of the Hearst organization, called The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, the day after he saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. From that phone call came The Beatles’ animated television series which ran for three years. During that time Brian Epstein had made a deal with United Artists for The Beatles to make three movies. They made A Hard Day’s Night and Help but wanted to go to India to study Transcendental Meditation with the Mararishi Mahesh Yogi rather than fulfill their commitment for the third film. Brodax suggested to The Beatles and UA that their next film could be an animated one which would fulfill their contract yet wouldn’t require their active participation. The resulting masterpiece, Yellow Submarine, filled the void created by the absence of  Beatle tours after 1966 and added an impressive selection of images to The Beatles’ visual catalog. Even the yellow submarines of the submarine ride at Disneyland can’t help but remind true fans of the fab four and the Blue Meanies, along with the caricatures of the lads from the film, are available today as toys, lunch boxes, stickers, posters and an impressive assortment of cheap souvenirs. A whole Beatles alternative cartoon universe has been created which still contributes to the Beatles’ legend and wealth but has required from the start very little effort from the band members themselves. In fact, the visual component of The Beatles has been such an important part that even Beatle tribute acts such as the original Beatlemania show incorporated large screen multimedia projection to complete the illusion. The Beatles, more than any other rock and roll band, created a sound which in turn created images in the mind’s eye.
    How much is missed of The Beatles experience by those unfortunate enough to not be able to see what The Beatles had to show us as well as hear what they had to say? Even today, the new generation of Beatle Tribute acts consider the visual aspect important enough to not only add the requisite costumes, including the colorfully gaudy Sargent Pepper outfits, but also psychedelic light effects and in the case of a premiere Beatle act such as Revolution or Tim Piper’s John Lennon tribute, Working Class Heroes
, video projected multimedia backdrops which makes these shows a complete sensory experience rather than just another cover band.
What do you say?  Please leave a comment below.

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  1. Interesting perspective. Now they are making a new version of Yellow Submarine. Are the Beatles going to become fictional characters in the future?

  2. As far as I know the Beatles are already fictional characters. I "saw" Paul MacCartney & Wings' 1974 "Wings Over America Tour" and I could not swear the tiny yellow dot I saw on the stage of the Forum was actually Paul MacCartney. It could have been one of the animatronic dogs in the Beagles at Chuck E. Cheese's for all I know.

  3. Oh yeah? Ringo waved at me once. It was a Saturday morning on Sunset Blvd. and I was the only one walking down the street. I was carrying a sculpture and I noticed the lone car stopped at the light had the passenger with his window rolled down and he was staring at me. I looked over and it was Ringo. I couldn't wave as my arms were full but I smiled and he waved back a little Ringo wave. Cool.