Three Ways: Beatles write about landscapes

By |2013-09-09T08:15:53-07:00September 7, 2013|1967, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Strawberry Fields|

NANCY CARR  *  In the late 60s the Beatles had three strong songwriters (and really, was that fair to other bands?), and thus three distinctive ways of treating the subjects they wrote about—landscapes, love, drugs, etc. (That's without getting into the significant variations within each songwriter's work). This time, I want to consider what Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison saw when they looked at landscapes. Lennon: "Strawberry Fields Forever" (released February 1967) The physical Strawberry Field, in Woolton Inspired by the grounds of the Strawberry Field children's home in Woolton, this song proved so powerful that Lennon's memorial in New York City's Central [...]

Counterpoint on Magical Mystery Tour

By |2014-07-23T11:57:52-07:00January 3, 2013|Uncategorized|

For everyone who loves "Magical Mystery Tour" (the film) or has come to appreciate it over the years, there's someone who still hates it -- Jim DeRogatis, a Chicago critic who broadcasts on NPR's WBEZ, is a case in point. If you're interested in reading his vilification of the movie (and a lot of the album), you can do so here: http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-01/revisiting-one-beatles’-worst-mistakes-104650Here's the executive summary: "Nearly half a century on, the fascinating thing about "Magical Mystery Tour" the film is the rare glimpse it offers into one of the best rock bands of all time at its unaldulterated worst. And make no mistake: [...]

Yet more banging on about Magical Mystery Tour

By |2015-09-01T10:53:04-07:00December 18, 2012|1967, Magical Mystery Tour|

Magical Mystery Tour pie chart, 1967 This blog seemed to go through a phase where every second post was about how awesome Ram was/is. Go back and check the stream; it was amazing. Went on for months. And I support that, not just because Ram is awesome, but because this ol' world of ours is big enough to have one place where Ram-love flows freely, without fear. In that same spirit of being just bleeeaaagggrhhh…without in any way demeaning the White Album!—I present the following. This evening while trying to avoid doing my wife's Bialetti pot, I read this Slate review of [...]

Sgt. Pepper’s and Magical Mystery Tour Live

By |2013-08-13T18:46:41-07:00October 22, 2012|Sgt. Pepper|

Beatles, 1967. This past Friday in Chicago I saw Tributosaurus play all of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Magical Mystery Tour" live, and it was astonishingly great. Hearing the whole thing performed with ALL the instruments originally used—a string section, woodwinds, brass, and a host of Indian instruments—underlined just how rich and rewarding these albums are. The greatest double album the Beatles ever made, in my opinion. Recordings aren't going to do this justice, but here's a clip of "A Day in the Life" that's been posted: http://youtu.be/w4Nv7aIFEjQ Here are a few of my favorite moments from the [...]

BBC Arena: "Magical Mystery Tour Revisited"

By |2014-08-08T12:42:14-07:00October 18, 2012|1967, comedy, Magical Mystery Tour|

The Beatles relaxing during the filming of Magical Mystery Tour, 1967. Oh my god, I enjoyed this documentary on "Magical Mystery Tour." I think you will, too. As I watched the clips, I was reminded of both The Running Jumping Standing Still Film and The Bed-Sitting Room, among other things. MMT uses the same homely vernacular you see in everything from Spike Milligan to The Pythons, and twists it in a lot of the same ways. While it's old hat to compare MMT to Buñuel and the underground, it's maybe fairer (and more interesting) to place it astride the meandering line of British humor as [...]

If you just hang around long enough, everything’s a masterpiece

By |2012-09-26T17:57:00-07:00September 26, 2012|1967|

Yes, even "Magical Mystery Tour."Since I've long and loudly proclaimed my love for the MMT LP, I look forward to any and all hullabaloo regarding the re-release of the film. Here's a piece in The Guardian touting the upcoming Arena programme "Magical Mystery Tour Revisited." (When it is rebroadcast in America, it will of course be "a program.")The apparent angle of the documentary—that MMT was an affectionate send-up of rationing-era Britain—is something that I've always sensed in the film but never had the good sense to write down. This vein was being mined since the group reconvened to record "Strawberry Fields" and "Penny [...]

I’ve got a love-uh-ly bunch of coconuts

By |2014-07-23T11:58:33-07:00August 22, 2012|1967|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  The news comes through this morning that Magical Mystery Tour is to be released in remastered form on DVD and BluRay on October 9 in North America, a day earlier everywhere else. The remaster is more than welcome, with the advertised extras making the Deluxe Edition compulsory for the committed. (I just ordered mine.) There's been talk here of the music, but I don't remember any real discussion of the movie. What do people think of it? Anyone who hasn't seen it? I last saw it several years ago, having purchased a legit VHS edition briefly put out by [...]

Yes, we are perverse

By |2014-12-30T21:42:42-08:00June 19, 2012|comedy, Help|

Not only did we not do the seemingly obligatory "Paul is 70" post, we are going to share with you the following much less well-noted events: "Rishikesh George" made of felt (via Dangerous Minds)-- Rishikesh George by Felt Mistress --as well as the sad news of Victor Spinetti's death. I always feel a slight resentment towards the people of my childhood imagination when they die, but I am trying not to hold it against him. He was 82. Lord knows how old that makes me. Best not to think about it. I met Vic once (that's what people were calling [...]

Starostin on "Magical Mystery Tour"

By |2016-02-19T14:20:48-08:00May 10, 2012|Magical Mystery Tour|

I recently praised George Starostin's "Only Solitaire" review website on a comments thread, and wanted to draw the attention of Hey Dullblog's readers to his blog, which features reviews of new music and revisitings of music discussed on the original, now archived "Only Solitaire" site. The latest review is of "Magical Mystery Tour," and includes much to think on for any Beatles listener. http://only-solitaire.blogspot.com/2012/05/beatles-magical-mystery-tour.html [Background info: George Starostin isn't a professional reviewer, but a Russian linguist, born in 1976, who is a member of the faculty of the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow.] Postscript (added May 12): you can [...]

I have an admission…

By |2014-08-14T00:08:20-07:00November 11, 2010|1967, Magical Mystery Tour|

...I love Magical Mystery Tour. Love love LOVE it. Maybe it was seeing the movie as an impressionable 12-year-old at the Tivoli Theater in St. Louis, wreathed in pot smoke and surrounded by kids from Wash U.; or maybe it's the fact that most of the LP is singalong singles; or maybe it's the shimmery quality of the production (Elliot Smith was trying to recreate the MMT sound in his home studio when he died); or maybe it's the fact that the group still seems to have the "free from touring but still interested in being Beatles" vibe going... For whatever reason(s), [...]

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