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Thread: It was 50 years ago today...

  1. #1
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    It was 50 years ago today...

    That "Magical Mystery Tour" was released...

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/why-th...han-sgt-pepper

    (I Am The...) walrus
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    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    they're coming to take you away... :)
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    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Who was Semolina Pilchard and why did she climb the Eiffel Tower?
    Bonus points for giving her correct age when she accomplished the feat.
    Al
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    I was very suprising to find that Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever and maybe other songs were composed early in Sgt Pepper days. Similarly A Day in the Life was one of or the first song developed.
    After watching the PBS special of Ron Howards Eight Days a Week followed by Sgt Pepper 50 year anniversary special the evolution and direction of the Beatles makes so much more sense. Independent of the song writing brilliance it summed up by a comment George Harrison made saying they matured snd came of age under an accelerated pace due to the "hot house" of The Beatles. It was interesting to see how the band reinvented itself as Sgt Pepper. The cover showing the Fab Four as former icons.

    Everytime I see these documentaries I learn something new.

  5. #5
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adorshki View Post
    Who was Semolina Pilchard and why did she climb the Eiffel Tower?
    Bonus points for giving her correct age when she accomplished the feat.
    From Songfacts.com:


    • John Lennon wrote this song. As stated in the DVD Composing the Beatles Songbook, John was throwing together nonsense lyrics to mess with the heads of scholars trying to dissect The Beatles songs. They also mention that it's John's answer to Bob Dylan's "getting away with murder" style of songwriting. Lennon told Playboy years later that "I can write that crap too," which is rarely mentioned in relation to this song.
    • Lennon explained the origins of this song in his 1980 Playboy interview: "The first line was written on one acid trip one weekend. The second line was written on the next acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko. Part of it was putting down Hare Krishna. All these people were going on about Hare Krishna, Allen Ginsberg in particular. The reference to 'Element'ry penguin' is the elementary, naive attitude of going around chanting, 'Hare Krishna,' or putting all your faith in any one idol. I was writing obscurely, a la Dylan, in those days."
    • Lennon got the idea for the oblique lyrics when he received a letter from a student who explained that his English teacher was having the class analyze Beatles songs. Lennon answered the letter; his reply was sold as memorabilia at a 1992 auction. >>
    • The voices at the end of the song came from a BBC broadcast of the Shakespeare play King Lear, which John Lennon heard when he turned on the radio while they were working on the song. He decided to mix bits of the broadcast into the song, resulting in some radio static and disjointed bits of dialogue.

      The section of King Lear used came from Act Four, Scene 6, with Oswald saying: "Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse," which comes in at the 3:52 mark. After Oswald dies, we hear this dialogue:

      Edgar: "I know thee well: a serviceable villain, As duteous to the vices of thy mistress As badness would desire."

      Gloucester: "What, is he dead?"

      Edgar: "Sit you down, father. Rest you."
    • The idea for the Walrus came from the poem The Walrus and The Carpenter, which is from the sequel to Alice in Wonderland called Through the Looking-Glass. In his 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon said: "It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist and social system. I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with the Beatles' work. Later, I went back and looked at it and realized that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy. I thought, Oh, s--t, I picked the wrong guy. I should have said, 'I am the carpenter.' But that wouldn't have been the same, would it?"
    • When Lennon decided to write confusing lyrics, he asked his friend Pete Shotton for a nursery rhyme they used to sing. Shotton gave them this rhyme, which Lennon incorporated into the song:

      Yellow matter custard, green slop pie
      All mixed together with a dead dog's eye
      Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick
      Then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick
    • The song's opening line, "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together" is based on the song "Marching To Pretoria," which contains the lyric, "I'm with you and you're with me and we are all together." >>
    • The choir at the end sings "Oompah, oompah, stick it in your jumper" and "Everybody's got one, everybody's got one."
    • This song helped fuel the rumor that Paul McCartney was dead. It's quite a stretch, but theorists found these clues in the lyrics, none of which are substantiated:

      "Waiting for the van to come" means the three remaining Beatles are waiting for a police van to come. "Pretty little policemen in a row" means policemen did show up.

      "Goo goo ga joob" were the final words that Humpty Dumpty said before he fell off the wall and died.

      During the fade, while the choir sings, a voice says "Bury Me" which is what Paul might have said after he died.

      During the fade, we hear someone reciting the death scene from Shakespeare's play "King Lear."

      In addition, a rumor circulated that Walrus was Greek for "corpse" (it isn't) in Greek, so that is what people thought of Paul being the Walrus. Also, in the video, the walrus was the only dark costume.
    • The BBC banned this for the lines "pornographic priestess" and "let your knickers down."
    • This was released as the B-side to "Hello Goodbye," which Paul McCartney wrote. This angered Lennon because he felt this was much better.
    • In The Beatles song "Glass Onion," Lennon sang, "The Walrus was Paul." He got a kick out of how people tried to interpret his lyrics and figure out who the Walrus was.
    • Lennon got the line "Goo Goo Ga Joob" from the book Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce. "Semolina Pilchard" was Detective Sergeant Norman Pilcher, head of the Scotland Yard Drugs Unit. He led the arrests of both John Lennon and Brian Jones et al, before being investigated himself for blackmail and bribery in the '70s. >>
    • Eric Burdon (of Animals and War fame) stated in his biography that he is the Egg Man. It seems he told John Lennon of a sexual experience he was involved in where an egg played a major part. After that, John called him Egg Man.
    • ELO's song "Hello My Old Friend" has an identical form to this - almost the same tune and orchestration but different words. No wonder Jeff Lynne is sometimes referred to as the sixth Beatle.
    • In the Anthology version of this song, they experiment with four octaves in the intro. Also, just before Lennon says, "Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun," Ringo does two hits on snare and floor tom before hitting crash. >>
    • In an episode of The Simpsons, "The Bart Of War," airing May 18, 2003, Bart and Milhouse break into a secret room in the Flanders' household to discover that Ned is a Beatles fanatic. Bart takes a sip from a can of 40-year-old Beatles-themed novelty soda and quotes this song: "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye," while Milhouse takes a trip and sees various Beatles inspired hallucinations. >>
    • Styx covered this song in 2004 and made a music video for it with a cameo from Billy Bob Thornton. They performed it at Eric Clapton's Crossroads benefit that year, and incorporated it into their set lists. Their version appears on their One with Everything DVD. >>
    • After John Lennon went solo, he wrote a song called "God" where he sang, "I was the walrus, but now I am John." >>
    • Artists to cover this song include Guided By Voices, Jackyl, Phil Lesh, Love/Hate, Men Without Hats, Oasis, Oingo Boingo, Spooky Tooth and Styx. The Dead Milkmen recorded a completely different song with the same title in 1987.
    • Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention performed the song as part of their late '70s - early '80s live repertoire, giving it their own comic treatment. It was a favorite of the fans. >>
    • Bono sings this song in the movie Across the Universe, a film centered around the music of The Beatles. In the film, he plays Dr. Robert, also a reference to another Beatles song. >>
    • This was the first song the Beatles recorded after Brian Epstein's death. Engineer Geoff Emerick recalled, "the look of emptiness on their faces when they were playing."
    • John Lennon's "I'm Crying..." lyric came from the Smokey Robinson & the Miracles song "Ooh Baby Baby," where Robinson sings that phrase in the refrain.
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Default's Avatar
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    The Beatles always felt like Broadway show tunes to me. It might be a generational thing, but I was enamored with grittier stuff.
    "Steve, you are a man of many goats."~ capnjuan

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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Default View Post
    The Beatles always felt like Broadway show tunes to me. It might be a generational thing, but I was enamored with grittier stuff.
    Me too. Till I heard Abbey Road for the first time when I was like late 20s. Then i heard something else there...
    I could not stand Pepper. Still not a fan.
    Then years later another friend played me Let It Be.

    I have found it difficult in general to be a rabid Who fan and actually like the Beatles or the Stones. But the Beatles, I have come around to them more and more. John did play some gritty guitar.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member walrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Default View Post
    The Beatles always felt like Broadway show tunes to me. It might be a generational thing, but I was enamored with grittier stuff.
    Assuming I understand your meaning of "grit", it's the old "Paul vs. John" conundrum! So skip Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper altogether!

    Here's my gritty playlist for you - all John - "Twist and Shout", "Money", "Dizzy Miss Lizzie", "She Said She Said", "Revolution", "I'm So Tired", "Come Together", "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", "Dig A Pony".

    If you only have time for one song, listen to "Yer Blues". Preferably turned up loud.

    Here's a great version of "Yer Blues" with Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell. Is this what you mean by "grit"?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iuy-10Ejck4

    Or, skip The Beatles and go right to Lennon's first solo album, "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band". Just him, his guitar, bass and drums. True grit.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    From Songfacts.com
    interesting.
    The Google preview for the Songfacts link makes the Semolina Pilchard ID yet that doesn't appear in the article.
    Al
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  10. #10
    I'm more of Beatles fan now (in my mid-fifties) than in my youth. Same thing with William Shakespeare.....

    The PBS special of Ron Howard's Eight Days a Week was on cable this week. Good stuff.

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