Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Ladders

According to Keith Badman in his book, "The Beatles After The Break-Up," Klaus Voorman and his wife Christine quietly left their home on March 20, 1971 to move into George Harrison's Friar Park mansion. The Daily Mail had reported that morning that the bass guitarist had met with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr the night before to discuss plans to record an album together.

In the same book, the entry for July 11, 1971 contains this quote from Ringo from Melody Maker: "I'll be in a group with John and George and Klaus and call it the Ladders or whatever you want to call it, but I don't think it would be called The Beatles." - Ringo.

Although the story caught fire and made worldwide news, the closest thing that ever came to a Ladders recording was the song "I'm the Greatest" on the "Ringo" album. The fifth Ladder, Billy Preston joined on that recording.

John Lennon had a tendency to look toward his wife when naming bands (e.g. Plastic Ono Band, Grapefruit) so it wouldn't be surprising if the often told story of their first meeting when John climbed a ladder, looked through a spyglass and saw the word "Yes" was the inspiration for the name "Ladders."

But the ladder concept was something John and Yoko would return to often, especially in the early 1970's. In October 1971, the WNET broadcast "Freetime," a trek with John and Yoko through various conceptual experiences, included a segment where audience members were given helmets and invited to climb to the top of a ladder and fly. There was also a ladder sequence during the track "How" in John and Yoko's 1971 Imagine movie.

We shouldn't forget that the ladder is a powerful religious symbol. Doris Troy's Apple single Jacob's Ladder refers to Genesis 28:11-19.

In a dream, Jacob sees "a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!" The ladder motif is common in many religions according to Peter Levenda in his book "Stairway to Heaven." (See related YouTube video where Levenda claims that there are seven levels. Where have I heard that before?) Actually Levenda ties the seven levels to the star cluster known as the Big Dipper or Ursa Major. Where have I heard that before?

This discussion of ladders would not be complete without a tip of the hat to Apollo C. Vermouth who repeatedly suggested that we look to Sgt. Pepper for answers.

On the cover of Sgt. Pepper we see Sigmund Freud, who believed that climbing a ladder in a dream was symbolic of the sexual act. Neo-Freudian dream interpreters have added that descending on a ladder through a fire may symbolize purification or overcommitment to something or someone. Sigmund Freud's grandson, Clement was on the cover of "Band On The Run."

Another character on the Sgt. Pepper cover composed a poem called "The Ladder." The poem quotes the Bible from Psalm 24:7 and Luke 15:18. It contains the line, "O may the Four avail me." It contains another line that says, "Dire chaos; see ! these new-fledged wings." It speaks of an "arrow" and a "shaft of fading fire."

The author of "The Ladder" was Aleister Crowley.

I realize that the last thing some people wanted was another Crowley connection. Let me just suggest that although Crowley must be part of the story, I don't think that he is any more significant than many if not all of the characters on the Sgt. Pepper cover.

Yoko Ono is still a fan of ladders

Yoko Says: Ladders aren't just things for standing on while you remove wallpaper, they are steps that take you one bit closer to the sky.

Some new videos have appeared recently, one of which may ask the question, "Paul, why the long face?"

The Ressurection Of Paul Mccartney - Part 1
by WilliamShearsCampbel
The Ressurection Of Paul Mccartney - Part 2 by WilliamShearsCampbel

And it appears that BreadandCircusFilms is going to keep tweaking Episode Seven until they get it right. It seems they felt the Obelisks sequence dragged.

Special thanks for the help on this post. You know who you are.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Revolution Revelation

UPDATE 2: Within hours of changing the words from "seems legit" to "is legit" people started questioning the authenticity of this new found recording of Revolution. One person even went as far as to suggest it was not only phony but Phoney.

UPDATE: Psssst. Don't assume the links won't work. Whenever I find another copy of it, I change the links. I can say no more.

Chills, goosebumps and all them other wonder drugs! This previously unheard 10:47 version of Revolution is legit (maybe).

The Beatles Revolution 1 Take 20 Rare Unreleased 11min version

Here's another one.

We've heard some of this in a recording that was unfortunately ruined by Yoko's talking, but this version is clean. Many of the sounds in this take turned up in the final mix of Revolution 9. This is incredible hearing these sounds in isolation...and no less scary!

The Yoko talking version has appeared on a couple of bootlegs. It even made its way into the soundtrack of an experimental film by Cheryl Donegan from 2005 called "Old, Temporary."

But this new recording even has some Beatle experts buzzing. See the article linked below:
The Beatles: A fascinating, 10-minute 'Revolution' mysteriously appears

Get this while you can, folks. It doesn't get any better than this.

Up from Under the Radar

Some well hidden person with a keen sense of the absurd and a slight English spelling deficit has been pumping out videos for several months dealing with some of the more colorful Paul replacement theories. I haven't watched all 25 videos yet (17 of which were uploaded yesterday according to YouTube), but I am getting the sense that they support the theory that everyone in the world other than yourself is actually the same person in various disguises. You know, that might not be all that crazy.

Enjoy the work of Beatlepaulwindow

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Paranormal State

It is a real rarity to find a picture of three Beatles in one place after 1969, but some do exist. There is the famous picture of Paul, George, Ringo and their wives at Ringo's and Barbara's 1981 wedding, which recently made the news when it went on tour as part of the National Portrait Gallery's Family Album Exhibition.

Here is a full color shot from the same event borrowed from

The same three were photographed together at Eric Clapton's wedding in 1979.

The Beatles Anthology in 1995 provided the best opportunity for the "Threetles" to be photographed. This is one of the lesser known shots.

This might be the last picture ever taken of the Threetles from the year 2000.

But there are two pictures in particular where some divine intervention may have taken place. While shooting pictures for the Beatles Anthology, a white peacock happened to wander into the shot. Paul reportedly remarked, "That's John. Spooky, eh? It was like John was hanging around. We felt that all through the recording."

John's son, Julian, was spooked himself recently when he attended an Australian Aboriginal ceremony for his "Whaledreamers" film project and was handed a white feather by a tribal chief. According to Julian, John had promised him that if he died, a white feather would be a sign of his presence.

Another ghostly image was spotted by the WogBlog the other day. Back at Eric Clapton's wedding in 1979, Linda McCartney took a shot of Paul, George and Ringo with their old skiffle mentor Lonnie Donegan. Despite all of Linda's photographic experience and top of the line equipment, an apparent accidental double exposure occurred. Yes, it was just a coincidence, unless of course there is no such thing as an accident and no such thing as a coincidence. Yes, that's Paul McCartney on the least that is who it is supposed to be...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Emitt Rhodes

In 1970, the same year that the album "McCartney" was released, another homemade eponymous album appeared by a new artist named Emitt Rhodes. Emitt wrote all the songs, played all the instruments and even nearly cracked the top 40 with the catchy single, "Fresh As A Daisy." Critics and fans alike wondered where this terrific singer/songwriter came from (Hawthorne, California actually) despite the fact that he had kicked around in some recording bands over the previous few years and had even appeared on American Television's "The Hollywood Palace" as the front man for the Merry-Go-Round.

You can download the entire Merry-Go-Round clip complete with an introduction by Don Knotts at The Merry-Go-Round also appeared as performers and contestants on The Dating Game!

After the initial "Paul Is Dead" hysteria calmed down in 1970, Emitt's self-titled solo album enjoyed a brief time in the Beatles mystery spotlight. An east coast disc jockey named Barry Richards stated that Emitt Rhodes "could be the Beatles." He played the entire Emitt Rhodes album on his show and commented, "He sounds so much like the Beatles, it's unreal." Then to add to fuel to the fire, Richards said, "Now I heard about the stolen Beatle tapes, which supposedly happened about a year ago." The next thing you know, the phone lines lit up and Richards had enough of a response to convince ABC/Dunhill Records to make Emitt available for not only an on-air interview, but also a local television appearance.

In the phone interview, Emitt showed admiration for the Beatles by proclaiming, "They were the biggest influence on my music, I would imagine." Rhodes told Richards that he had done two albums, one with the Merry-Go-Round and one solo, which had not yet been released. Prophetically, Richards responded, "I'm sure [the solo album] will come out now." A&M wasted no time releasing "Emitt Rhodes - The American Dream," creating all kinds of confusion in the record buying public and putting an end to the success of the ABC/Dunhill album. Emitt was put in the awful position of having two albums competing with each other. Showing the Beatles influence, one of the tracks on "The American Dream" called "Let's All Sing" features Emitt singing "All we are saying is give peace a chance" during the fadeout.

In one interesting exchange, Richards suggested that the song "Live Till You Die" had "some reference to McCartney," which Rhodes quickly denied. He also said he read in "Melody Maker" that Rhodes gave guitar lessons to Paul McCartney. Rhodes responded with a laugh. In a particularly macabre attempt to infuse Rhodes into a Beatles mystery, Richards asked if there was a picture of a body on the back of the album. Rhodes said it was actually a piano. Richards also tried to draw a link between a tree on the Emitt Rhodes album cover and a tree on the Abbey Road cover. Later that week, Rhodes filmed two solo performances for Barry Richards' television show. He also did a new in-studio interview. By that time, Emitt was sick of discussing the Beatles associations. When Richards stumbled over his words while trying to formulate a question about a link between the Beatles and the Merry-Go-Round, Rhodes simply said, "Then let's skip it."

Emitt's followup album "Mirror" (featuring the song "Birthday Lady") failed to produce the interest of his self-titled album. To make matters worse for the fledgling artist, Rhodes signed a contract with ABC/Dunhill that was impossible to fulfill, and by 1973, he saw his career go down the tubes. His last album, "Farewell to Paradise" showed his frustration with the music business. Although he has continued to be involved in the production side of music, we have heard very little from Emitt Rhodes, the artist since 1973.

An unreleased song from 1980 appeared on the Varese Sarabande Records compilation "Listen, Listen The Best of Emitt Rhodes."

He has worked with several artists including Ray Paul, who got him to take the stage again and enlisted his help in recording the McCartney song "Oh Woman, Oh Why" for "Coming Up: Independent Artists Pay Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney."

In the late 1990s, it looked like Emitt Rhodes was going to take a second crack at the music business with a planned solo album on Rocktopia Records, home of former Righteous Brother Bill Medley. Personal issues delayed the album and the record company went broke before it was ever released. The picture below came from the Rocktopia Records website.

He worked with Jim Boggia, who was the subject of a recent post here. In fact after completing that post, I went back and listened to my complete Emitt Rhodes collection back to front. Emitt Rhodes could possibly be my favorite recording artist after the Beatles, but he is NOT The Beatles. His voice is distinctive and easily distinguishable from McCartney's voice. But like the Beatles, Emitt had a way of crafting melodies that stayed with you.

Emitt is still around, still making music, just not releasing it. He is interested in the mathematics of music and reads physics books. When a young fan called him on the phone a few years ago, Emitt queried him on the Pythagorean Theorem before agreeing to discuss anything about music.

There are a couple websites around chronicling the music and life of Emitt Rhodes, but there have been very few updates recently. The Emitt Rhodes Music Site was maintained by Kevin Ryan, who went on to write the book, "Recording The Beatles." There is also a fan myspace site that has not been updated in several months.

Still, every few months a new "Emitt Rhodes is recording a new album" rumor surfaces. The latest one has him being backed by a slightly country-tinged band. There doesn't seem to be any definitive information about it, but it was good to see a picture of Emitt in a recording studio from 2008 on Joel Larson's webpage. Joel was most notably the drummer of the Grassroots and Lee Michaels, but he also backed Emitt in the Merry-Go-Round. That's Emitt on the far right.

It is a crime that his outstanding voice and songwriting skills have been silent all of these years. We miss you, Emitt.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Let's Rock!

UPDATE: Another new fringe video - Episode Seven by breadandcircusfilms has been revised and extended.

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are planning to appear together at the David Lynch Foundation Benefit Concert on April 4, 2009 at Radio City Music Hall. Steve Marinucci of said that this information came from "informed sources."

Yes, it is always difficult to put much stock in "informed sources" but Steve does have a good track record on these things. There is nothing yet on the Official David Lynch Foundation page about this addition. The Foundation supports Transcendental Meditation and seeks to "change the world overnight" by promoting "Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace." In a related bit of good news, that gum you like is going to come back in style.

Some new videos have been released along the fringes, and the emphasis continues to be on John Lennon:

The Walrus
by CultureBat

Glass Onion

Dakota (sneak preview) by YouKnowMyName231

This next item comes from left field:

Here, there and everywhere - Rotten Apples 3 by dark66horse

I am not sure where exactly this next item fits, but I am told it does. At any rate it is quite good.

The Dandelion Chain by SongMuseum

I really think Iamaphoney needs to come and join this party.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Unreal Phonies?

Two minor characters in our little mystery have been asserting themselves lately with some interesting results.

Late last year, S3ANL3NN0N joined the fray of YouTube phony-Phonies with videos that borrowed from the Rotten Apple Series. Iamaphoney of course has released re-edits under a bunch of different accounts, and so it is difficult to tell if we are dealing with an Iamaphoney alias or an independent person. The S3ANL3NN0N videos don't seem to use the same style of editing as the Iamaphoney videos, but they certainly seem to use the same footage and music. There is a much greater emphasis on John Lennon, but the Rotten Apple Series seems to be moving in that direction too. I don't think that these videos are part of the Rotten Apple group, but I was surprised by a shadowy figure that a perceptive reader noticed on the right side of the screen a couple seconds into a recent video called "Get Back."

The John emphasis continues with the most recent video entitled, "So let it out."

Miles Denton Oliver, aka Miles Deo (Miles Miles Denton Oliver?), aka Mr. Oliver, aka Uncle Miles has entered a new phase after the exiguous Project Petticoat. My earliest memory of Miles was his initial appearance at the Nothing Is Real Forum with claims of a (censored) note containing clues to a Manson family secret (See previous blog entry).

Miles, in his current incarnation as CultureBat has produced a couple interesting videos.

The Fireman is no mason
The LOVE Case

Is Miles hinting that his secret note had more pages?

Some perceptive Grammy Awards watcher at Nothing is Real captured this glaring error on the broadcast during the list of music people who died in 2008. I hope they didn't get that photograph from Apple.

Uh, that's not Neil Aspinall. That's Mal Evans, who died in 1976 at the hands of the Los Angeles Police who believed he was threatening them with a gun. Although excerpts from his diary were published in 2005, his book "Living the Beatles Legend" has never been released. Boy, if any of us were conspiracy buffs we could have a field day with that one.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sign of the Times

In yet another sign of a struggling economy, it appears that the talking stick has been given the walking stick. The keeper of a blog called (TPF) has apparently been laid off. The blogger, who called himself Ian Iachamoe, first became noticed as a follower of the blogs of former McCartney publicist Geoff Baker, where he left the occasional cryptic comment. Iachamoe also followed the Tafultong blog, which at this point is only a placeholder for after the revelation. Now Iachamoe follows no one. The word "poof" comes to mind.

His avatar looked something like this:

The blog originally listed as its web page, but later changed it to the Iamaphoney YouTube page. Ian Iachamoe's blog also claimed a Facebook page attributed to Iamaphoney, but I believe that is now gone as well.

The only blog entry on the now defunct thephoneyfigure blog was as follows:

Soon Your Minds Will Be Blown
TPF has been given the talking-stick.
The Fireman Himself won´t be able to open His mind at this level.
His decision is that TPF might be able to answer some of your questions.

I was intrigued by that message and decided to write The Rotten Apple Army via YouTube to ask if thephoneyfigure was to be taken seriously. The response I received was upbeat and optimistic about the Iamaphoney plan for 2009, but it failed to address my question. There was certainly no denial of the legitimacy of Ian Iachamoe.

In a related note, Geoff Baker seems to have clammed up as well. He had recently deleted his Diary of a Madman blog only to resurrect it a few days later with entirely new content. He had been publishing his novel in parts on the blog, but then killed it in favor of clever social commentary. His spin on the recent controversy regarding Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was hilarious. But now the blog is empty again. Let's hope we hear from Geoff again soon. He had also recently taken an interest in the Iamaphoney phenomenon. It would be helpful to have Geoff around to debunk some of the rumors that have arisen as a result of the Rotten Apple series. He was particularly opposed to the idea of Paul McCartney's alleged interest in Aleister Crowley.

It's a shame that there was no Iamaphoney activity to coincide with Paul's appearance on the Grammy Awards. He has not logged in to YouTube in a few days, so that means that there were no distasteful background changes related to recent fires in the news. Quoting the John Lennon film, "How I Won the War" I should add, "That's a relief."

There is a new video that borrows heavily from Iamaphoney, but suggests that "There is only one Paul McCartney." Check out "Get Back" by S3ANL3NN0N.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 8, 2009

No Grammy for Paul

Paul McCartney will perform at the Grammy Awards tonight with a little help from Dave Grohl.

Some people complained that you couldn't really hear Grohl at their last joint appearance in Liverpool. Maybe they will turn his mic on this time.

We'll also keep checking YouTube to see if Iamaphoney releases anything tonight as suggested by the numerical "90020802" on his home page.

UPDATE: MikeNL suggested that the date actually refers to August 2, 2009. That would be an awfully long advance notice, so I'll still be checking tonight.

If Iamaphoney doesn't come through, we at least have the latest entry by Iamafunny to enjoy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kaleidoscope Eyes

I have never felt that any book should cost $500. It broke my heart when Derek Taylor's autobiography, "FIFTY YEARS ADRIFT (IN AN OPEN-NECKED SHIRT)" was released by Genesis Publications with a hefty price tag. George Harrison released "I Me Mine" in an expensive format, but at least he later offered a cheap version for regular people who don't require their books to be personally signed and printed on jewelry. Genesis Publications always did a great job with their high class books, but the exclusivity always bothered me. I don't think a standard version would have had any impact on sales, but unfortunately, many Beatles-related books have only been released as toys for the rich. I would settle for a trade paperback version of the Genesis Published "Blinds and Shutters" featuring the photographs of Michael Cooper, the person who shot the front cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." I'm sure somebody will buy it with its $750 price tag, but it won't be me.

Well, Curvebender Publications has now released one of those books that I will never get my hands on called "Kaleidoscope Eyes."

The book features a collection of photographs by Henry Grossman taken during the Sgt. Pepper sessions on a day that The Beatles were recording "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." The book covers just one of the 129 days that The Beatles spent recording their most mysterious album, but I'm sure it offers rare insights. Tragically, "Kaleidoscope Eyes" is limited to 1,967 copies and sells for $495. It contains 250 black and white photographs taken that evening and most of them have never been published. Even this small glimpse dispels some of the myths we have heard about Sgt. Pepper. Although Paul suggested in the Anthology that he didn't remember George turning up for the sessions, it appears that George was actively involved on this one.

In fact, there are several shots taken of John, George, and Ringo. We have heard many times that Paul added his groundbreaking melodic bass parts later in the recording process, and the pictures of the other three seem to support that story.

In a brief YouTube movie in support of the release, Grossman recounts a story of Paul arriving to the studio excited to share a piano part that he had developed for the song. He very well could have been referring to the fabulous introduction of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" that transformed John's "one note" melody to the beautiful phrase that caused George Martin to comment that Beethoven wouldn't have minded having a melody like that to work with. So much for John's theory that Paul would subconsciously sabotage his songs...

The pictures also testify to the presence of Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans. You have to wonder how much creative input each of them contributed over the years to the music of the Beatles. Did either of them get enough credit for their contributions to Sgt. Pepper?

Beatles insiders have always maintained that both Neil and Mal were men of integrity who stayed loyal to the Beatles until the day they died. The Rotten Apple series seems to strongly suggest that someone broke ranks. The Rotten Apple Army has promised an "eye-opening 2009." We shall see...

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Original Iamaphoney Alternative

The Rotten Apple series has produced a bundle of imitators, but none as enduring and endearing as YouKnowMyName231. People were shouting the praises of this Iamaphoney alternative since his videos started appearing in late 2007. Despite the similarity of subject matter, viewers of the YouKnowMyName231 videos were commenting on their uplifting quality at the same time that Iamaphoney was being characterized as a satanist, Manson follower, Crowley disciple, serial killer groupie, and pyromaniac.

Then in August of 2008, YouKnowMyName231's fake identity merged with JohnCharles2007's fake identity.

JohnCharles2007 was the name of a frequent commenter on the Rotten Apple series. His comments were often critical, but always insightful and challenging. The comments stopped after the release of the 6:32 epic video Revelation (part 1) #21.

It is likely that the name "JohnCharles" was inspired by the birth certificate of John Lennon's first son, although it is extremely unlikely that the real person behind the JohnCharles persona is Julian Lennon. Despite his annoying habit of deleting and revising his videos, I consider myself a fan of his work. And I have an inkling that if I were to construct a list of people with whom I would like to sit down for a few beers and conversation, you-know-who would be on that list, as would many of the others featured (sometimes by more than one alias) in the Revelation (part 1) #21 video.

has just released an extended and re-edited version of the video Revelation #3 (Understudy). He has done some things on this one to help his viewers connect the dots.

There is a great new clip on YouTube that falls neatly into the "I don't get it, so it must be evil" category. Check out Paul and Stella McCartney by heyricky.

I found the link on the AbbeyRd Beatles News Page. The clip is from the BBC special "Stella's Story," directed by Geoff Wonfor. More information can be found in Steve Marinucci's Examiner piece. Incidentally the soundtrack of this clip first appeared as a bonus track on a collection called "Medium Rare."

There is also a new slide show with the usual forward and backwards soundtrack from sunssoul: Writing on the Wall.

UPDATE: Bread & Circus: Episode 7 by breadandcircusfilms