Saturday, March 15, 2008

Free Association Game 1 - Another Lily

Lili Marleen was a hit in both the German and English language for the German-born actress/singer Marlene Dietrich, who plays the part of Shanghai Lily in a movie called “Shanghai Express” and is pictured on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band standing next to George Harrison, who sang “Living in the Material World” and who produced a movie called “Shanghai Surprise” starring Madonna who sang “We are living in a material world and I am a material girl” and paid several tributes to Marlene Dietrich during her musical career. Dietrich also starred in a movie called Blue Angel which was also the name of a nightclub in Liverpool that was opened by one time Beatles manager Alan Williams and is the place where Pete Best auditioned to become a member of the Beatles. In that film Dietrich performs the song “Falling in Love Again” which was also performed by the Beatles and Pete Best at the Star Club in Germany among other places. Dietrich also starred in a film called “The Devil is a Woman” which for all I know could have been the inspiration of the Ringo Starr song “Devil Woman.” After turning down an invitation to join the Nazi Party in the late 1930s, she went on to record Anti-Nazi songs including Lili Marleen, a song that became popular on both sides during World War II. So Lili Marleen can join our other Lillies such as Lily Gray, who was killed by the beast 666 according to her tombstone, and Lily Evans who might have had possession of Iamaphoney’s suitcase at one time. A version of Lili Marleen also showed up on the Official Various Artists Soundtrack to the “Magic Christian” movie which starred Ringo Starr and featured songs by the Apple band Badfinger including “Come and Get It” which was written and produced by Paul McCartney and “Carry On Til Tomorrow” which was produced and arranged by the husband of Lily Evans, the cover of which serves as the background for Iamaphoney’s MaIEvans YouTube page.

Footnote: Marlene Dietrich's role as Lola in "The Blue Angel" has inspired several parodies including Danny Kaye (in drag) as Fraulein Lilli in On the Double and Madeline Kahn as Lili von Schtupp in Blazing Saddles.


65if2007 said...

*****Dietrich also starred in a movie called Blue Angel which was also the name of a nightclub in Liverpool that was opened by one time Beatles manager Alan Williams and is the place where Pete Best auditioned to become a member of the Beatles.*****

From the Magical Mystery Tour:

"Well, you know, when I saw your first film..."

"Oh yes..."

"I...I really thought you had something...Wasn't it Blue Lady...Lady in Blue...something like that...?"

Thanks to RockXLight for posting that excerpt from MMT as Part 2 of his "Rather Unfresh Apple" series.

Anonymous said...

Splendid sleuthery! Whether or not it has any bearing on the ultimate solution to this mystery, it was an absolute delight to read.

I wonder if a similar post could be made on some of the Milly's tangled up in the Beatles' story?

Aside from Heather "Milly" McCartney, there is Millie Sutcliffe (Stu's Mother) and Paul's Aunt Milly (namesake of Paul & Heather's daughter Beatrice Milly McCartney).

Aside from some lingering strangeness over Stu's death (and more of Paul's foggy recollections over Stu's actual role in the band at the time), there's probably not much to this.

I will say I am a bit curious about Paul's "Only Mama Knows" and "Your Mother Should Know" though...

Might the "airport town" in "Only Mama Knows" refer to Paul & Mal's 1966 Africa trip?

(Also, I actually think "Your Mother Should Know," unassuming as it is, might show some evidence of the Beatles' backmasking experimentation- played backwards, the chorus is fairly easily discerned as "Your...mother should know me. (repeated, then) I'd ask my mother now to be sure. Da da da da (etc.)")

Free association is fun!

Anonymous said...

...I forgot an important tidbit:

The new baby's middle name Milly is a tribute to Sir Paul's late aunt - one of his dad's sisters - who helped bring him up when mum Mary died.

Macca tot was named after Heather's mum His brother Mike's pop band The Scaffold, which also featured Scouse poet Roger McGough, wrote their Number One chart hit Lily the Pink in honor of Aunt Milly. It described her as, "The Saviour of the human race." Milly used to take the ferry across the River Mersey from her Wirral home to help bring up budding Beatle Paul and Mike.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

...more anagrams...


Tafultong said...

"Splendid sleuthery!"

Wow, thank you! It was a joy to both research and write. The "Milly" thing is a good idea, but I think you covered most of it. If I find any other connections I will post them. I'll tell you however, you can't go wrong if you start with the Sgt. Pepper cover. It remains the flagship of PID and just about everything else.