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This has been a very Beatle-y year. We marked the 50th anniversary of Revolver and their last full concert at Candlestick Park. Then there was the release of the new Ron Howard film Eight Days a Week that celebrated the touring years. The Beatles has such a significant impact on popular culture that we can expect the next few years to be Beatle-y as well. 50th anniversary celebrations of events from ’67-70 will be commonplace. Expect a media onslaught when we reach the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper next June.
Still, this year’s focus on Beatle history has allowed me to indulge in a few esoteric aspects of Beatle fandom. For instance, I’ve been building a playlist of Beatles covers. I don’t expect this project to have an end but it currently has over 700 songs.
Another has been to listen to Beatle parodies. The first SotW is the National Lampoon’s John Lennon parody, “Magical Misery Tour” aka “Genius is Pain.”
This song is a riot but if you’re offended by the “f” word, skip it! It was written by Tony Hendra (lyrics) and Chris Cerf (music). Hendra had the clever idea to take actual quotes from the famous Lennon Rolling Stone interview with Jann Wenner and set them to music. Brilliant!!! And that’s Melissa Manchester playing the role of Yoko at the end.
The greatest Beatles parody of all was the movie/soundtrack called All You Need is Cash by the Rutles. The 14 Beatle parody songs contained within were written by Neil Innes, formerly of Monty Python and The Bonzo Dog Band. You should check them all out but today I’ll treat you to the take-off on “Help” – the Rutles song “Ouch!.”
Of course there are other Beatles parodies worth checking out. In fact the Prince of Parody, “Weird Al” Yankovic, has done three himself – Generic Blues (Yer Blues), Pac-man (Taxman) and Gee I’m a Nerd (Free as a Bird).
Part of the charm that fueled Beatlemania was the Fab Four’s good natured irreverence. It’s only fair then that they take a little bit of their own medicine.
Enjoy… until next week.