My friend Jeff was a Beatles junkie.
He had all the Beatle albums and of course solo albums by all 4 of the Beatles. He had everything. He bought Beatles 45’s on Apple Records and a few bootlegs as well, back in the day when you couldn’t just download them. In particular I recall he sent me a taped copy a Paul McCartney live album that was very close to the “Wings – Wings Over America” album. He listened to it in the background of one of his tapes to me. It was called “Paul McCartney – Live In The U.S.” I believe.
Jeff also loved to draw and create things to send to me. There were tapes with Beatles on them
A Paul McCartney box to hold some tapes that he sent (including the “Live In The U.S.” bootleg dub)
And he also sent a wallet with a newspaper clipping of The Beatles in it with the instructions to never remove it. I never have.
There was also this very nice pencil drawing of the Beatles he did. Suitable for framing and will end up in the music man cave one day.
Before Jeff moved to Denver, somewhere on the UW Michigan campus, we found ourselves, with another of Jeff’s friends (sorry can’t remember who) going to see a double feature of Beatle films. I don’t recall what the first one was, possibly “A Hard Day’s Night”, but the second was “Let It Be”.
The first thing I recall was thinking that the footage of the band in the recording studio was interesting since, like when you are at the grocery store and you run into one of your teachers, you realize that they are people too. Seeing the songs take shape as the film went on and how they worked together and sometimes apart was a great insight to the band. They had fun, they fought, they collaborated and made a record that we will never forget.
The rooftop concert was the latter part of the film and it gave me a whole new vision of the album, seeing it performed. The spontaneity and fun of it all is better with the vision of the people passing on the street trying to figure out what was going on and the boys being goofy and also knowing that this was the end of the line. It was very cool. I was glad Jeff invited me. It probably helped shape the way I think of The Beatles even today.
The other thing I recall is how we were singing throughout the movie! When a song started Jeff would look at us with that “I know this song!” face and sing right along with the movie. Several times the people around us would SSShhh us. We would stop for a while, but the Beatle fan in Jeff would not allow silent reverie at this event. The guy had to sing, and we joined him when he started up. He tried to control it, and we weren’t the only ones… but I remember the SSShhh’s clearly.
Balancing his inner glee and conforming to social norms was a razors edge.
The reason all these things have come to mind recently was because Joey was wandering around singing “Yellow Submarine” the other day. They were singing it for a school program.
It made me pine for Beatle movies.
I loved “Yellow Submarine”.
The music was great, the animation Monty Python-esque and it was a treat to watch as a kid. I think it’s about time I play that one for Joey. Now that he is “aware” of The Beatles he might dig it even more.
I’ll have to also get “The Point” too. That was another great animated movie with music by Harry Nilsson.
What about Ralph Bakshi’s “Wizards”!
That one blew our collective minds when we saw it at the theater! Remember that one Jeff?
What I think about now is that Joey is almost the age Jeff and I were when we met. Crazy I know.
The whole world of music has changed in many many ways. No one makes films like “Yellow Submarine” anymore. Animated films based on a band and their songs? Concert films maybe, documentaries perhaps, but what movie has featured a band just being crazy and playing their songs in say the last 10 years.
The Kiss TV movie does NOT count.
I’d like to see Pearl Jam make a light hearted film where they get split up in a series of misadventures and try and make it across country to a gig for a charity event. Throw in a few cameos from other bands and you got yourself a movie!