Monday, May 26, 2008

Der Doppelgänger

The idea of a double or impersonator has been employed by just about every writer of fiction at one time or another. Actors play dual roles or have stand-ins all the time. The question is: Have the Beatles had more than their share of allusions to the double?

There are real doubles in Beatles history. They had stunt doubles for the skiing scenes in the movie, "Help."



I'm surprised that grandfatheraleister/joshblue33 hasn't used that image in any video yet. He must love the hand signals.

More recently, Paul McCartney used a "look-a-like" in his video for Dance Tonight. He was used mainly for testing lighting etc., but there actually was a shot of him in the video itself...from the knees down.


Going back to "Help," there is a scene where the other Beatles impersonate Ringo in order to trap the thugs who are trying to kidnap him.

But after 1966, the examples of Beatle Doubles rose dramatically. We have two sets of Beatles on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.



The Magical Mystery Tour film gave us not only the Beatles on the bus, but also the 4 or 5 magicians beyond the blue horizon.



Yellow Submarine's plot involved the Beatles passing for the original Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

We can also include the Beatles seeing themselves as they passed through the sea of time, as well as the two Paul's on the submarine for no apparent reason.

The poster in the White Album contains the picture that most PID enthusiasts believe is Paul's imposter before plastic surgery.


The solo years are also filled with references to doubles. In the 1971 film "Imagine" (not to be confused with the 1988 Andrew Solt documentary) John is seen on the toilet after the song "Crippled Inside." After a flush, he and Yoko walk to the window and say good morning to another John and Yoko who are having tea below.

Ringo Starr's 1978 Television Special was based on The Prince and the Pauper and featured Ringo in a dual role as himself and a "nerd" named Ognir Rrats.

The backwards name and the plot line with a pop star being replaced by a look-a-like would raise a few eyebrows anyway, but the cameo by George Harrison makes it even more compelling. Harrison's bit is one of the funniest parts of the show. When a reporter asks George why Ringo is being chased by the police, his response is "Well, a fireman wouldn't chase you would he?" In the end, Ringo is reunited with his double and switches places just in time for his big concert.


Paul McCartney is the prize winner for the most doubles. Again, you see multiple versions of rock stars all the time in videos, but has Paul had more than his share? There are several Pauls in Coming Up.

For the "Goodnight Tonight" video, you have this guy on bass...


...and this guy on percussion...

McCartney did the double thing again with his recent "Ever Present Past" video.

We know about all of the McCartney alter egos on record (e.g. Percy Thrillington, Country Hams, Fireman, etc.) but there is also an example of a picture sleeve replacement. If you bought the Ferry Aid charity single "Let It Be" it might have come in a sleeve with this Paul McCartney on the top left.

But on your next trip to the record shop you could have purchased that same single with a different Paul McCartney on the sleeve.


The subject of Rotten Apple video 61 was the Red Square Press Conference. In it, Paul appears to be asked, "Are you a natural or double?"

Even with consideration for the language barrier that is an odd way to ask the question that we are interpreting to mean, "Are you the real Paul McCartney?" But let's assume that our interpretation is correct. We also know that Iamaphoney is not always honest with his editing. However, I have the source video, and while there was some editing done in other parts of it, I can tell you that Paul's response to the "natural or double" question, "That's a secret, I can't tell you" was shown exactly the same as in the original. So, unless we are wrong about the meaning of the question, we have to score one for Iamaphoney.

14 comments:

paulie said...

which source do you have?

there is a fake source beeing passed on the internet.
if you read the original interview, they ask him about what he talked about with President Putin. Paul answers: "I can't tell you .. it's a secret." Then laughs, and says that they talked about music etc.

the phoney is editing a lot ;-)

Anonymous said...

When I see the Coming Up clip , always i wonder myself why the young mccartney (beatles era) hold the hofner bass in some strange way?

Pablo

Jude said...

Iamaphoney didn't edit that portion of the interview himself. It was already edited when he took it from another PID video.

Tafultong said...

Paulie, are you sure about that? I had my copy long before Iamaphoney had it. Where would I find that transcript?

Tafultong said...

Jude,
I have very little Iamaphoney inside information, but I happen to know on this one that Iamaphoney received an unedited clip from the Russian documentary and that the "natural or double" portion was cut into the Rotten Apple video exactly as it was in my copy. What I don't know is if the video had been tampered with before that point.

Maybe paulie can tell us more about that.

Jude said...

Tafultong: That very well may be the case, but the clip had actually surfaced earlier on an Italian YouTube channel. Where it's real or not is up for debate, but I'm pretty sure Iamaphoney didn't edit that question in there.

Tafultong said...

Jude,

I agree. It's such a weird sequence anyway with the manipulation of the Sgt. Pepper cover, etc. I also wonder what compelled Paul to come back to the make to make a "Baaaaah" sound.

It just seems to me that if paulie is right (and he very well could be) about the Putin question, the "that's a secret" response would have fit in just as well with the Rotten Apple videos.

Anonymous said...

I was reading a book on Macca earlier this year, and remembered the online interview Macca did for his album "Rushes" under the non de plume' "Fireman", I watched it online unsure if there is still a copy. Also came across the old newspaper story of Justin Newton, boxer, losing his son Billy in a Toys R' Us store to have Paul/Faul/whoever pick him up and saw he was the most beautiful boy.

Paulie said...

here is the original interview:
http://www.beatles.ru/special/moscow/article.asp?article_id=252

It's in russian, but this is the part:

Q: Sir Paul, say please, about what did you today did you talk with President Putin?

Paul (by hypocritical- excited tone): It's a secret, I can't tell you .(general laughter)


Here is a crappy babelfish translation:

http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-home&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.beatles.ru%2Fspecial%2Fmoscow%2Farticle.asp%3Farticle_id%3D252&lp=ru_en&btnTrUrl=Translate


BTW: I agree that IAAP took the piece from this older russian PID video that is on youtube. but there has to be the original news source somewhere...

Tafultong said...

paulie,

Very helpful. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

what is up with paul's red nose in MMT? i know i'm probably missing an obvious explanation, but it's something i've always found sort of odd.

Anonymous said...

The red nose points to Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer, a symbol of death in the Balkans.

Tafultong said...

Anonymous said...

The red nose points to Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer, a symbol of death in the Balkans.

In some places they're brown, you know.

Actually, I have never heard anything definitive on Paul's red nose. People speculated that it implied that Paul was drunk on the night of the accident. Or Maybe, since the project was so loose anyway, there was a make up case and Paul randomly thought the red would look good on his nose.

It's like the chalkboard behind them in the MMT magician scenes. Maybe they put random "magical-looking" writing on the board just to make the set look better or maybe the writing actually means something.

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