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Vandalising a Beatles shrine.

I do remember reading in a Lennon interview from years ago that he did not want to relive the Beatles mania and play Beatle golden-oldies like a fat Elvis.  You know, I can’t help but think that John of all people would love the revisionist history found in the Vegas show.   It is the irony of all ironies that the LOVE show landed in Vegas.  I do think that Lennon himself would admit that Vegas has changed from the Vegas of thirty years ago. 

With this new album, and yes, I consider it an official Beatles-cannon release, it’s like we’re all part of the inside joke.  We’ve all been through the magical trip with the history of the group. The remixing and the remashing that the show and its accompanying soundtrack have produced were right up Lennon’s all ala tape loops and backwards speak. 

I don’t think that he would’ve minded playing with the group’s past to create something old yet new.  Yesterday and today have come together to produce something different.  What this little rant boils down to, is that The Beatles legacy and recorded history is not something to be kept under lock and key.  It is not a museum piece to be dusted off by audiophiles every once in a while to argue over which mix is the definitive mix…and on and on.  The Beatles recorded legacy is something that they are allowed to play with, and we are allowed to participate in with the luxury of history I suppose. 

I wouldn’t call the new LOVE album as a vandalism of the group’s past, much like the wall at Abbey Road, nor would I call it a greatest hits, fat Elvis rehash. I call it a revitalization of a group that we love.  With that, this album is the perfect catalyst to re-introduce the Beatles into the digital 21st century.  I personally don’t mind a little of creative advertising is used to promote the groups’s latest offering.  I mean didn’t they paint the Abbey Road wall red before when the “1” album was released.  I think the hullabaloo is the fact that, as Beatle fans, we are dealing with a small case of revisionist history.

Here’s what we’ve read.

Like the Beatles’ White Album, the walls of the Abbey Road studios present a clean face to the world, inviting graffitists to post trite and sentimental tributes. The walls get whitewashed every few weeks to make way for fresh outpourings in what has become a fixture on the London tourist trail, akin to visiting the Great Wall in Beijing and climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The visit involves a ritual that begins with scribbling ‘John Lives’ in Japanese or Korean on the wall and ends with a smirking re-enactment of the LP cover pose on the adjacent zebra crossing.

This week, however, the walls of Abbey Road have been painted in the garish livery of Love, a Beatles remix album created by producer George Martin for the Cirque du Soleil dance show. Setting aside ethical considerations of messing with music when two of its creators are dead and unable to object and a third is cash hungry for his divorce, splashing the walls of Abbey Road in orange and red insults the hundreds who daily visit the shrine, seeking an authentic Beatles communion. Using Abbey Road as a tacky advertising site is an act of corporate vandalism that damages an important London attraction. I was unable to get any kind of response to my objection from EMI, which owns the building. But the City of Westminster and the Mayor of London have a duty to protect our streets against commercial flyposting and they must take action against this brazen defacement of an important rock shrine.

Source: Scena Online


4 Responses

  1. Hi! I completely agree with you that John would’ve “Love”d the Vegas show. When I saw the short flim clip on TV,and saw Ringo bouncing up and down in his seat in excitement during “Octapus’ Garden”,you knew it was right.Each missing Beatle had their closest soulmate at the premiere performance.With Giles and George Martin guiding things,well,let’s just say it was (is)in good hands! It figures that my VCR was only showing it was recording the TV when indeed,I was separated from my husband.The cat stood on the remote,and it took days to figure out what was pushed.I was in tears when I saw it wasn’t on film.It was unbelievable.Just the small bit I saw.

  2. Hi,me again!(no surprise) As for the Abbey Road Studios,I feel it is so unfair of those in charge,to “adjust”what is a shrine.Orange and Red?? ORANGE & RED??? Please,I’m in the U.S. and the mental picture I am getting right now,(and I’ve had NO sleep!) is unbelievable!! Please,if anyone in the U.K. can get info on how the U.S. fans can help,who to write or email,please let us know.PLEASE! The white was so beautiful………Visitors have a right to leave a small piece of themselves there.Maybe if they tastefully put a smaller area aside for fans,something.I just can’t believe this.SHOCK is the word……………….

  3. Its great to read a piece from a real audiophile like yourself. The revisionist theory line is right on the button. The fat Elvis references really hammer home the message of John and what he was all about. So what if its a Vegas show. Its cool that Love is playing the same place we laughed at for so long. I’m getting used to the idea and accept your catalyst hypothesis. Humble pie doesn’t come into it. “Luxury of history I suppose”; indeed!

  4. We believe John would like it because we like to believe that John would believe what we believe. We could be deluding ourselves, because The Beatles haven’t existed for 35+ years. This project was approved by Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, George Martin & Son, Ringo and George’s estate. These entities are not The Beatles, and it’s quite hard to “IMAGINE” that “the Living John” would’ve approved.

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