March 13 - Beatles K-hole

On my one day off I chose to get up at 4am.
I listened to the White Album in mono.
In the midday I blogged 1,700 words about The Beatles.
Then in the afternoon I attempted to watch The Beatles Anthology.
I only have a VHS cassette of its original broadcast on ABC in 1995.
But I seem to have misplaced it.
So I dug up an old VHS dub of Beatlemania: The Movie.
Beatlemania was a Broadway show in the 70's.
Four men that maybe look a little like The Beatles dress up as the Fab Four and play their music.
It was America's way of forcing the Beatles reunion that it is was so desperate for.
The Broadway show did well, so they made a movie of it in 1981.
I first saw this at age 13, the very beginning of my Beatles curiosity.
I loved it.
Somehow I acquired a second VCR for a moment and dubbed the rented Blockbuster tape.
This violated FBI laws and Interpol and all sorts of copyrights.
But I really needed to study the pretend Beatles over and over again.
I watched it for the first time in probably ten years today.

I had forgotten how kooky and "arty" it is.
* Throughout the movie, headlines scroll across the screen:
Dustin Hoffman Scores In The Graduate
Women Demand Equal Pay For Equal Work
Dylan Wrecks Motorcycle
* Between songs they splice in footage from Nixon, MLK, LBJ, and Nichols and May.
* During "If I Fell" they use incongruous civil rights race riots footage.
* In "A Day In The Life" and "Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds" actors with early 80's haircuts portray late 60's burnouts passing around a joint.
* Also "Lucy In The Sky" features psychedelic negative film, quick zooms into a woman's back bleeding copiously, and John Lennon pointing a gun at the camera and shooting the viewer to end the song.
* Lots of the performances look (and sound) like future karaoke videos. In particular, "Strawberry Fields" with its multi-color, slo-mo, upside down trampoline artists flipping about in Hare Krishna jumpers. And "We Can Work It Out," which showcases a contemporary dance piece at a train station.
* Pro-wrestlers labeled MOM, DAD, GRANDPA, SON, etc fight it out during "Get Back."
* "Fool On The Hill" is used to manipulate us with archival footage of pollution.
* "Hey Jude" uses lots of provocative footage of bombs being dropped on towns, cops beating up hippies, famine, and a slowly burning US flag. Good thing "Ringo" put towels over his tom toms for this one.
* "Let It Be" contains an exhaustingly long zoom of an analog pixel to reveal a huge Woodstock-esque crowd. As if to say: We are The Baby Boomers! We are The Greatest Generation Ever! Our ideals are pure! It's a new decade of quick, easy greed! Let's usher in a never-ending, pat-ourselves-on-the-back nostalgia about being The Greatest Generation Ever! Play "Whiter Shade Of Pale!"

As for the Beatlemaniacs:
* Tom Teeley (George) best resembles Tom Selleck, who was not in The Beatles.
* Mitch Weissman (Paul)'s "Long And Winding Road" beard doesn't match the rest of the haircut.
* Ralph Castelli (Ringo)'s shout of "I got blisters on my fingers" is authentic, because Ringo was born in Queens and still talks in that thick New York accent.
* David Leon (John). Poor David Leon. Having to portray Lennon right after his murder. You would think they could've gotten a better wig.

I think these guys are still doing this stuff on cruise ships and summer festivals.
Good for them.
I spent the entire day on the couch.

It sounds like this day should be a loss.
But at no time today did I get mad.
I think it's because I didn't leave the apartment, and avoided the douchebaggery of St. Patrick's Day in Chicago.

Verdict: Win

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