Minor Iamaphoney Update at the bottom of this post...
The new video "All Together Now" gives those who haven't seen "Love" a glimpse of the spectacular show, and those who were lucky to catch the show in Vegas a reason to relive the experience. But, it is the compelling subplots within the documentary that make this DVD worth having. You get to watch Dominic Champagne approach the enormous task of directing this production, which was virgin territory in terms of staging and sound.
You can feel Champagne's anxiety as he prepares for the first time Mr. McCartney visits to see how the production is going. And you are happy for him when Paul completely puts him at ease immediately and soaks up the entire production with wide-eyed enthusiasm. Ringo Starr was an immediate supporter as well as he challenged Giles Martin to get even wilder with the remixes of the Beatles tracks. In fact, it was Olivia and Yoko who put the most pressure on the team. Olivia's intervention was more understandable since this entire project was George Harrison's idea. But it was a bit unsettling to see Yoko frantically scribbling down pages of notes about what she wanted changed. The conclusion drawn by those who had put so much into the show was "She hates it." In fairness, Yoko did have a point with the one argument that you see unfold on camera. She was offended by the sleaziness of the dance routine for "Come Together." Yoko, quite accurately said, "'Come Together' is not a sleazy song."
There is a great moment when Dhani Harrison reacts to the gigantic smile he sees from his lookalike dad on the projection screen. Another great moment is when we see George Martin sitting back in his surround sound chair in the huge theater absolutely loving what he is hearing. It was also fun to see the sound control room. On the wall behind the elaborate equipment was a Beatles Poster from the 1968 Mad Day Out Session. On the counter in between all of the monitors like an icon overseeing the production was an open gatefold cover of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
The Bonus Features of the DVD are excellent. One item in particular features Giles Martin and his dad sitting in front of a mixer and going through some of the various tracks that made up "Love." It is obvious that Giles was the creative force behind all of the remixes. And as he goes through the "I took that from here and put it there" explanations of several of the tracks, you'll be compelled to hit the pause button and pull out your Beatles CDs.
I think this DVD will be enjoyed by all Beatles fans, even the ones who still don't understand the concept of mixing the Beatles, Vegas and Cirque du Soliel.
The other new Beatles DVD, "Magical Mystery Tour Memories" is a simple documentary not unlike those you see in discount bins, but there are two key differences. This one is focused on one particular period in Beatles history and the interviews are of much higher quality than the usual cheaply made Beatles DVD.
The show is hosted by the always entertaining Victor Spinetti. Other guests include Michael McCartney and Spencer Davis. The DVD contains the sparse amount of Magical Mystery Tour home footage that exists, along with some still pictures. Video collectors have probably seen most, if not all of it before, but the participants do a good job of providing context for the images.
One of the more interesting comments in the documentary came from Michael McCartney, who revealed that there was some seriously dangerous driving going on during the racing scene and that he was worried that some vehicles might roll over on some of the quick turns.
My favorite part is when Victor Spinnetti reenacts his famous nonsense talking scene. The camera alternates between Spinnetti's recreation and Michael McCartney's humorous imitation of the same event.
It is worth the effort to find this video, which for some reason seems to be having trouble making it into stores. However, it is widely available to order online.
And finally, Maccaspan2008 has provided a preview consisting of snippets of each song on the new Fireman Album, "Electric Arguments." NPR recently called Paul's upcoming release "inspired," and these clips reinforce that assessment.
In other news, you have this:
Minor Iamaphoney Update:Regarding sigil magic, I never felt that this was at the center of the Rotten Apple series, but I have always wondered about the meaning of the item below, which appeared in a few videos: