One of the most common complaints about Iamaphoney videos is the apparent linking of Paul with dark concepts such as Satanism and the occult. This has led some to argue that Iamaphoney is out to destroy Paul McCartney's image or even worse, do harm to him.
One viewer of the Rotten Apple series expressed these concerns directly to Iamaphoney and received a surprising answer. The creator of the Rotten Apple Series wrote: "I love the man who calls himself Paul. I dont [sic] want anyone to get crazy ideas." Iamaphoney also said, "Im [sic] just showing what Paul is showing. I didnt [sic] invent this. It is all in his art, you know."
You really have to use some imagination and some powers of observation to find Satanic references in the "art" of the Beatles and Paul McCartney, but some people seem to be finding them in unexpected places. Paul never wrote a song called 666, but he wrote one called 222 and another called 444.
A YouTube user named dunskie recently discovered one of the most subtle references to the devil on record. Actually it wasn't even on the "record." This tidbit didn't appear until Mark Lewisohn was given unprecedented access to the Beatles recordings and session notes in the late 1980s for his book, "The Beatles Recording Sessions." There were 14 session musicians who added the strings and brass to the song "Martha My Dear" on Friday, the 4th of October, 1968. If you Google any of the musicians on that list of 14 players, you can find other credits, except for one. The one musician who seems to have no other claim to fame aside from playing on "Martha My Dear" is violinist Lou Sofier. YouTuber dunskie suggested that the similarity in sound to "Lucifer" may not be an accident.
It is always possible that a violinist who played on the record made up a pseudonym on the spot. Maybe a famous classical or jazz musician didn't want his name on the session sheet of a pop group recording. That would explain not only the lack of other references to this Lou Sofier, but also the reason for the rather dark pun.
The song "Martha My Dear" has always been thought of as an ode to Paul's English sheepdog Martha, but other interpretations exist. Author Steve Turner and others have suggested that the song might contain some slight digs at McCartney girlfriend Jane Asher as this was about the time that their relationship was coming to an end. According to the Wikipedia entry for the song, "McCartney has also said, cryptically, that the song is about his 'muse'—the voice in his head that tells him what words and music to write." Wiki credits Steve Turner's "A Hard Days Write" as the source of that quote, but it was not in my copy of the book. Perhaps it was taken from an updated edition.
Either way, dunskie suggests that the song is about Paul's muse and that the "inspiration" in question could be something or someone from the dark side. He shares his observations in a video called "THE BEATLES-Martha My Dear- Lou Soufier/Sofier-Violin." There certainly are some parallels between the idea of inspiration from Lucifer and Aleister Crowley's automatic writing. Crowley maintained that "The Book of the Law" was dictated to him by an otherworldly being named Aiwass.
If Paul was in fact giving the devil subtle credit for being his "inspiration," it is interesting that he chose the violin as the instrumental credit. Didn't that well known "beast" from the Christian perspective, Nero, play that same instrument?
As previously stated, I could not find any other references to a musician named Lou Sofier. However, a reference to Lou Sofier was pointed out to me by videomaker extraordinaire grandfatheraleister. It appeared, believe it or not, in the Beatles Cartoon Series back in 1965. In the episode for the song "Help," the lads are in Paris, France for a fashion show. The villain who stole the fashion patterns was named something like "Jacques Lou Sofier."
Granted it could also be "Jack Le Zipper," a play on words for "Jack the Ripper." But, if you listen for the former, you might hear it that way. The spirit of the message is probably good enough for the devil, who I'm told is highly sensitive to subtle tributes. Notice that the man in the picture above who is shown right after the phrase in question (approximately 1:35 in the video) is making the NUMBER 9 with his hands. If you watch the rest of the cartoon episode, you will find a checkerboard design, Paul inside a triangle pyramid, John Lennon in a dartboard bulls eye, Paul kicking the bucket, and the word "clang" which also happened to be the name of a character in the movie "Help." Wow, this is nearly enough to make Joseph Niezgoda write another book!
Strong arguments have been made against those trying to exaggerate the association between the Beatles and Aleister Crowley. PID theorists and fundamentalist Christians with an ax to grind against the Beatles have both used this association to support some outrageous claims. However, Crowley was on the cover of Sgt. Pepper. In Rotten Apple 44, after such a theory was discussed by Jarvtronics at "Nothing Is Real," Iamaphoney suggested that Crowley appeared twice on the cover. (See previous post)
Funnily enough, a website called U.S. Grand Lodge, Ordo Templi Orientis says "The Beatles included [Aleister Crowley] on the 'people we like' cover of Sergeant Pepper's not once but twice—the second photo was reportedly dropped as Crowley too closely resembled Paul McCartney." I think the image below is the one to which they were referring.
And the next image, found in the Mark Lewisohn book, "The Beatles Recording Sessions," strongly supports the claim that the Beatles did intend to put that other picture of Crowley on the Sgt. Pepper cover.
Yes, that is the younger Crowley in that crowd.
One more reference to the "beast" which should make the list of most subtle on record may or may not be the single "Hey Jude." According to my U.S. copy of the 45, the Beatles' longest single clocks in a 7:11. However, several "Nothing Is Real" members in a thread last year challenged the accuracy of the information on the label.
In a world of analog tape, adjustable speed variation, instrument tuning, vinyl record pressing, belt driven turntables and other potential inaccuracies, it is probably impossible to get a perfect read on the exact timing of the "Hey Jude" 45 rpm record. The person who wrote the Wikipedia entry for the song must have tried and came up with 7:05. Another person interested in accuracy was Alan W. Pollack, author of the highly respected and often cited "Notes On" series, who came up with 7:07. This leaves open the possibility that the actual time of "Hey Jude" could have been 7:06.
While it would not be accepted by any school teacher I have met, it is not completely outside the realm of creative logical thought to interpret the time 7 minutes and 6 seconds (7:06) to be equal to 6 minutes plus 66 seconds. Only some of the most divergent thinkers at NIR could come up with something like that, and only the devil himself would get a tribute that subtle.
Thanks to all the friends who contributed insights that wound up in this article.