Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The new video "Paul Is Dead - 33" by grandfatheraleister features scenes from "The Big Lebowski," "Tin Men" and "Capricorn One." It also features lots of Volkswagens.
Grandfatheraleister certainly has a fixation with these German cars, but it seems that movie directors do as well. The Beatles made one particular Volkswagen famous by putting it on the cover of Abbey Road with a license plate that would engender years and years of speculation.
The license tag on the famous Volkswagen was "LMW 28IF." Why 28If? Paul's age would have been 27 at the time of the release of Abbey Road. The most common reason offered by PID theorists is that if you include time in the womb the way those "Eastern Religions" do, then Paul would theoretically have been 28 years old. That excuse never worked for me. In fact, I felt that if one did actually believe that Paul was dead, it was more plausible that the conspirators simply got the date wrong because the real Paul wasn't around to correct them. Another possibility that I have never seen mentioned anywhere was that if the Beatles were intending to release "Get Back" in 1969, the following album would probably be held back until 1970 and thus, Paul's age would have been 28 by then. History tells us that the Beatles knew that "Get Back" would remain in the can when they commenced recording of Abbey Road, but they still could have expected a mid 1970 release date for some other reason.
When an outtake picture of George Harrison from the Abbey Road cover session appeared in a Rotten Apple video, I thought that Iamaphoney was trying to show that the original license plate on the Volkswagen was different from the one that appeared on the album cover. That would certainly be strong evidence that the content of the plate was intentional.
However, I now believe that what we are seeing is pixelation, a distortion caused by the enlarging of the picture. If you take the LMW 28IF license plate and blow it up, you get a similar result.
No matter how well loved the Volkswagen Beetle was (and they were loved---just ask anybody that ever owned one) there have always been stories about its association with one of the most hated people in human history, Adolf Hitler. There are even rumors that Hitler himself designed the car, but that appears to be an exaggeration.
Hitler met with automotive designer Ferdinand Porsche in 1933 and charged Porsche with creating the new car. The chancellor required that the Volkswagen carry two adults and three children, go up to 60 miles per hour, get at least 33 miles per gallon, and cost only 1,000 reichsmarks. Hitler may also have named the car the Beetle.
As I mentioned previously, Sgt. Pepper cover designer, Peter Blake, says that Hitler was on the cover of the album, just not visible because he was behind the Beatles. [The irony of the phrase Hitler was behind the Beatles (Beetle) is not lost on me] Outtakes from the photo session show Hitler off to the extreme right looking more like a supervisor than a discarded prop.
After his death in 1945 and the fall of the Third Reich, it didn't take long for Hitler to become a curiosity. I'm not sure why the Beatles intended to have his image on the cover of Sgt. Pepper. Perhaps it was just John's tendency to want to stir up trouble. I am also not sure why Hitler would be in the background of this picture of George Harrison, Olivia Harrison and Larry Legs Smith that was not intended for public consumption.
Certainly by the mid 1960s Hitler became to some the butt of jokes. In fact, comedian Lenny Bruce did a routine called "Adolf Hitler and the M.C.A." The piece is based around the idea of Hitler being recruited by a talent agency in search of a dictator. In the piece, Lenny Bruce mentions former child star and talent scout Bobby Breen.
Where can you find Lenny Bruce and Bobby Breen together? The cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, of course.
While Hitler may be a joke to some, he is a fascination to others. This was true in the 1960s and it is true today if the large quantity of documentaries on the History Channel is any indication. One of the key points in this surge of interest has been Hitler's involvement with the occult.
I find it unsettling that the Beatles would want Hitler's presence on the album that has become the focal point of the Summer of Love. Was this interest just a joke to create controversy or was this an indication that the Beatles were much more involved in occult practices than people realized? With its own belief system and rituals, the Occult bears some things in common with organized religion. Joseph Campbell suggested that many religious people take the metaphor of mythology and mistake it for literal truth. I wonder if the same can be said for those who engage in occult practices.
That being the case, I can't help but wonder what is really going on the gathering below.