UPDATE: Paul is Dead : 2 - The Crying of McCartney 49 from CryHepZero.
The latest video by grandfatheraleister, Paul is Dead - 24 - The Fireman is Paul, liberally uses footage from one of the last Beatles Cartoon episodes. I watched the original cartoon, which was based on the song “Penny Lane.” This can only be classified as a labor of love because I will never get those eight minutes of my life back.
I should note that as far as I know, other than allowing usage of their songs, the Beatles never exercised any editorial control over the Beatles Cartoon series.
As grandfatheraleister pointed out, the cartoon does have some interesting features. It begins with the boys finding out that the Scotland Yard agent “James Blond” is getting more attention from the girls than the Beatles have been getting. To rectify this the Beatles set off to thwart a crime after Paul overhears some men planning to rob Penny Lane. When the boys arrive in the place called Penny Lane, they run into characters mentioned in the song. They see the barber shop with pictures of every head the barber has had the pleasure to know.
There are even pictures of the famous Beatles, but as always, there is something a little bit different about Paul’s picture.
The other three seem to question Paul’s curious behavior in Penny Lane.
The most intriguing character in Penny Lane is the Fireman with the hourglass. (If we treat Penny Lane as the advance single to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as George Martin does, the hourglass is yet another example of the mundane passage of time that is so significant in all of the songs on the album – See previous post).
The Fireman appears to be a dwarf dressed in red with a five-pointed star on his helmet.
A Red Dwarf is a type of star.
The actor Michael J. Anderson played a dwarf in a red suit in Twin Peaks. His character was known as the Man from Another Place.
The Man from Another Place spoke very strangely. According to wiki: The strange cadence of the Man’s dialogue was achieved by having Michael J. Anderson speak into a recorder. This was then played in reverse, and Anderson was directed to repeat the reversed original. This “reverse-speak” was then reversed again in editing to bring it back to the normal direction. This created the strange rhythm and accentuation that set Cooper’s dream world apart from the real world.
Michael J. Anderson recalls that his reverse-speak was not difficult to master as, coincidentally, he had used it as a secret language with his junior high school friends. David Lynch was unaware of this when he cast Anderson in the part, and even hired a trainer to help Anderson with the enunciations, but when he found out he could already talk backwards so well he canceled the trainer and wrote more and more difficult lines of dialogue for Anderson to read.
For reasons that are not clear to me, Paul torments the Fireman.
The handwriting that appears to be affixed to a glass window is never explained in the cartoon.
Paul and the Fireman begin a cat and mouse game of some kind. Eventually they are both on a collision path.
grandfatheraleister emphasizes the collision in his video.
It was a violent crash.
He is either being helpful or stealing his identity, but Paul’s next objective is to remove the Fireman’s helmet to reveal his full face.
OMG it’s Crowley!
(Apologies in advance for not being able to resist)
Paul now possesses the Fireman’s helmet...on his bottom.
The Beatles continue singing with that strange writing behind them.
The Banker, the Barber and the Fireman all chase Paul until they fall into an open manhole as a result of the tone deaf trumpet player removing the cover. The cartoon ends with the other three Beatles chasing Paul presumably for misinterpreting the plan of the robbers who were actually planning to rob a woman named Penelope Lane. She was saved in the end by James Blond. Then the Fireman emerges from the manhole briefly before falling back down as the credits begin to roll.
Paul has continued to pay homage to the Fireman character of Penny Lane.
In "Penny Lane" Paul sang:
Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
He likes to keep his fire engine clean
It's clean machine
In 1983, Paul released "Pipes of Peace" which included the song "Average Person."
Well, I'm talking to a former engine driver, (driver) trying to find out what he used to do.
Tells me that he always kept his engine (engine) spit and polished up, as good as new.
But he said his only great ambition was to work with lions in a zoo,
oh, to work with lions in a zoo.
Yes, dear, you heard right, told me his ambition was to work with lions every night.
In "Penny Lane" Paul sang:
And then the fireman rushes in from the pouring rain
In 1998, Paul McCartney and Producer Youth released their second CD entitled "The Fireman Rushes."
Now in 2008, Paul just released the song "Lifelong Passion (Sail Away)" under the name Paul McCartney/Fireman. There has been talk of a third Fireman album this fall.