Amoeblog

"Rain"/"Paperback Writer" Mystery Solved!

Posted by Miss Ess, September 2, 2009 11:29am | Post a Comment
Unlike some bloggers, I don't welcome or dream of dental surgery and/or visits to the dentist...

When I was a child, I was also particularly sensitive to teeth and their appearance. Chipping my teeth was up there as one of my worst fears for myself, and I'd often (for no real reason) vividly imagine the feeling of the moment of impact as my tooth hit something and broke (crazy, I know). It's still up there as far as things I'd like to avoid, to tell the truth...

Anyway, back then I was also an avid, constant viewer of the documentary The Compleat Beatles, in which clips of the videos for "Rain" and "Paperback Writer" are shown.




Seem like great videos, right? Cutting edge for 1966 too! But did you notice a little something amiss??

Imagine my trauma when watching these videos as a kid: My hero, Paul McCartney showed up missing a sizeable chunk of his front left tooth! It was awful. I had seen footage of him beyond the year 1966 and knew it had been fixed somewhere down the line, but I was gripped by curiosity and the need to know what had caused this most famous man to lose a good bit of his tooth in the heightened midst of his fame! It kept me up nights in my young life! I was about 8 years old (and the internet was a long ways off).

Much later in life, when I was in high school, my curiosity was at last satisfied when I read Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn's Complete Beatles Chronicle, literally a day by day account of what The Beatles were up to through their entire career...(I was a scholarly child, especially when it came to The Beatles). Finally, I could rest: I found out McCartney had been in a moped accident in which he broke his front tooth a few months before the videos were shot. The tooth was fixed soon after.

There, now you can all sleep at night.

The Beatles Part 4

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2009 10:41am | Post a Comment
We are kicking off the celebration in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! We present to you today the final segment of The Beatles' biography. Also, this week will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! You can begin with Part One of the fabled band's history if you missed it by clicking right here; then check out Part Two right here; and finally, Part Three. Now, without further ado, Part Four:

beatles maharishi mahesh yogi

DISORDER, FINAL TRIUMPHS, AND DISSOLUTION
magical mystery tour
In the late summer of 1967, at the behest of George Harrison, The Beatles traveled to Bangor, Wales, for a retreat sponsored by the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, an organization founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an India-born self-styled guru and teacher of the spiritual discipline of transcendental meditation. It was there, on Aug. 27, that the musicians received a phone call from London: Brian Epstein – who had grown increasingly uncertain about The Beatles’ future and unhappy in his closeted gay lifestyle -- had died, at the age of 32, from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills mixed with alcohol.

Continue reading...

The Beatles Part 3

Posted by Amoebite, August 26, 2009 01:00pm | Post a Comment

We are kicking off the celebration in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! Each Wednesday until September 2, we will present a segment of The Beatles' biography. Then, the week of September 2-9 will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! You can begin with Part One of the fabled band's history if you missed it by clicking right here; then check out last week's Part Two right here. Now, we are on to Part Three:
 

beatles 1964

BEATLEMANIA HITS THE US

It was now Brian Epstein’s job to break The Beatles in America, the world’s largest music market. To date, it had beenintroducing the beatles vee jay a frustrating task. Capitol Records, EMI’s American arm, had declined to release the group’s records, pointing to US listeners’ historic indifference to English acts. The band’s material had instead been licensed to American independent labels – Vee-Jay, Swan, and Tollie – without any measurable sales.

But Epstein’s acumen and a propitious confluence of events reversed the band’s stateside fortunes. In November 1963, Epstein convinced Ed Sullivan, host of the top-rated TV variety show in the US, to book The Beatles for four appearances in early 1964, after Sullivan had witnessed a frenzied mob of Beatlemaniacs at London’s Heathrow Airport during a overseas trip.

Continue reading...

The Beatles Pt 2

Posted by Amoebite, August 19, 2009 10:54am | Post a Comment
We are kicking off the celebration in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! Each Wednesday until September 2, we will present a segment of The Beatles' biography. Then, the week of September 2-9 will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! You can begin with last week's Part One of the fabled band's history if you missed it by clicking right here. Otherwise, we are on to Part Two:

HAMBURG APPRENTICESHIP


beatles hamburg

The rechristened group took a major step towards professionalism in 1960 with the acquisition of Liverpool promoter and club owner Allan Williams as their manager. Williams had co-promoted shows with Larry Parnes, the powerful, insidious London-based manager of such unlikely-named teen idols as Billy Fury and Tommy Steele. He arranged an audition for The Silver Beetles (which now included drummer Tommy Moore) before Parnes, who hired the group for a tour of Scotland backing one of Parnes’ lesser charges, the third-tier singer Johnny Gentle. They returned from the chaotic spring trek broke and bedraggled, but schooled in the verities of lifebeatles hamburg on the rock ‘n’ roll motorway.

In the summer of 1960, a chance meeting between Williams and a German club owner opened an opportunity for his group – now permanently known as The Beatles – to play a run of shows at a venue in Hamburg. Then minus a drummer and desperate for the employment, the band quickly drafted the handsome, diffident son of Casbah owner Mona Best, Pete Best, whose band The Blackjacks was in the process of dissolving. In August 1960, the quintet set forth on a fateful ferry voyage to the continent.

Continue reading...

The evolution of the music video, part II (1950s - 1960s)

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 6, 2009 01:45pm | Post a Comment
As persuasively and incontestably argued in The evolution of the music video, part I  (1890s - 1940s), the music video began not in the '80s, as is often wrongly assumed, but the '90s... the 1890s (if we accept the basic concept of videos being one stand-alone work of one song/one visual). From the humble sound experiments at the dawn of the celluloid age through the artistic flowering of Soundies, many musical promos were created of high historical and artistic importance. In the 1950s and '60s, videos moved from bars and clubs to the living room, as television became the new venue for music promotion.

Cineboxes, Scopitones and Color-Sonics
According to the Quixotic Internet Accuracy Project, the term "music video" was coined by DJ (VJ?) J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson in 1959. That year, the Cinebox hit the scene, essentially following in the footsteps of Soundies by manufacturing videos for what was essentially a jukebox with a visual component. In 1965, the Cinebox was re-branded the Colorama in the US. The following year it was again re-branded, this time as the Cinejukebox.


   









Scopitones followed Cineboxes, hitting the French market in 1960 and making their way to the US in 1964. The similar Color-sonics followed in 1966.

 













 

Canada was a pioneer in moving the music video from various video jukeboxes to the television. Singalong Jubilee debuted in 1961 on the CBC, 23 years before the debut of Much. In addition to featuring musicians playing in the studios, artists were also filmed on location. The show was based in Halifax. Music videos proved an ideal alternative to a punishing journey across the vast, frozen wastelands of the north just to play a song or two before returning home. Sadly, I can't find any videos from the program.

As we've now seen, music videos were around for 61 years before The Beatles got in on the act. And yet, many still insist that they invented the music video. As the Fab Four began to make studio-enhanced psychedelia that was difficult to come anywhere near re-creating on stage, they stopped touring and relied on music videos as the main way of promoting their music, perhaps giving rise to the myth of their having had a hand in the format's creation. Many of their peers followed suit, often engaging in the lighthearted shenanigans apparently so popular with English teenagers of the 1960s. The Doors, including as they did a couple of film students, were generally more dour.





































Australia, like Canada, is characterized by tiny outposts of humanity spread across an enormous, unforgiving countryside. Following the Canadians' lead, Australia did more to establish television as the venue for music videos than any other country. With the UK and US millions of miles away, the Australians ended up regularly making their own videos for songs by bands unwilling to cross the globe. By 1966, Australian bands regularly made videos for their new releases. That year, The Black Diamonds (after encountering bushfires and blizzards in their attempts to tour) became the first "country" band to sign to a major without having set foot in the capital. A year later, The Masters Apprentices made a color video, which was just showing off, because Australia successfully resisted conversion to color TV until 1975.

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