Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Penny Lane Beatles Cartoon

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
very strange

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.


Anonymous said...

You got all that from a CARTOON!!
A cartoon THEY weren't even INVOLVED IN!!!

First, let me say, you're a braver man than I am.... just for sitting through the whole cartoon.
Second, I wondered if, in the end, it's like Robert Anton Wilson said, "You can connect ANYTHING with ANYTHING!!"

Stay sane,
Your pal, Vince.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I second Vince and Robert Anton Wilson. The latest offerings from the IAAP imitators suggest their creators are likely just a bunch of stoner film students.

The thing that initially interested me about IAAP was that he seemed to have some sort of actual, physical, documentary evidence (Mal's manuscript or something else- maybe that fragment MilesDeo found out in the desert was part of it) in his possession that would finally explain the PID mystery.

Apparently we were supposed to get more of a revelation out of that briefcase than we did (MikeyNL has said as much). Whatever this revelation was either completely eluded 65if or, upon its discovery, made him abandon the game altogether, in disgust.

Connecting PID with these tired old conspiracies (not to mention only tangentially-related cartoons) really diminishes the impact of the series overall. Your blog remains a must-read, Tafultong, this doesn't reflect on you- but I do find myself fast-forwarding through these latest vids to see if they're actually presenting anything worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Miles' little piece of wood... C'mon. I wonder how long it took him to paint it.

Anonymous said...

That thing still has me puzzled. Is Miles Deo part of the IAAP crew, and just playing the role of their adversary? Here he comes out with an actual fragment of "evidence" and it's met with general apathy. Something doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

re: R.A. Wilson (& IAAP's PID-game)

"For the majority, self-contemplation became self-regard, and merry detachment degenerated into the sort of nihilistic game-playing epitomised by the sordid Discordian philosophy of the Illuminatus trilogy (Shea and Wilson 1975) in which all the cryptic cross-references ever to have entranced a drugged mind are melded into one enormous political intrigue. It is interesting to compare its paranoiac conspiracy-theory mentality with that of Charles Manson as documented by Bugliosi and Gentry (1974)."

Revolution in the head - Ian MacDonald (1994)

Anonymous said...

BTW very funny fade of crowley

Anonymous said...

Most of the King Features cartoons were farmed out to Korea because they worked cheaper than American animators. Their hack work is evident in the atrocious Popeye cartoons King Features made as well. You'd have to contact one of those artists in Korea to find out what the scrawl is but most likely it's just jumbled up English letters that are not meant to distract from the action in the foreground. Considering how crappy King Features cartoons are, I wish there was something in the background of interest!

MikeNL said...

awesome post, really!!!

Anonymous said...

happy birthday for me

floyding said...

happy birthday faul!

Anonymous said...

The R.A.Wilson comments reminded me of his 'Masks of the Illuminati' book, wherein a potential Crowleyite initiate is told to meditate upon the secret meanings of the letters "I.N.R.I."

Given the Beatles' hidden "L.O.V.E." hand signs on the Pepper cover, and going beyond the ritual postures that have already been pointed out, I wondered if those jibberish semaphore letters on the HELP! cover might still be decoded somehow.

I'm not sure they can be. I was mildly intrigued, however, to discover that:

Shifting the letters "NVUJ" 13 places gives you "AIHW" (Aiwass?)...and 9 places gives you the jumbled letters for "MALE"

This is probably useless info, but I'm bored and thought I'd share.

Anonymous said...

Now that the Crying of Lot 49 is being brought into all this, are we going to start hearing rumors about (former EMItes) Radiohead? They use the trystero trumpet and related imagery all over the place!

Happy birthday Paul, whoever you really are.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Macca, wherever you are now.

Anonymous said...

Living thebea†les legend - 2nd suitcase

Anonymous said...

the cartoon dissolve is funny. what about the fellow who plays the baddie in help, tho?

he also pops up with a manhole on his noggin. he'd make a fine mister crowley, i say.

Anonymous said...


: )

Goodnight everybody


Anonymous said...

WHAT worked?

what are you talking about gfa?

Anonymous said...

The Past Inside the Present