Tuesday, March 24, 2009
RA #2 Flashback
This is the second in a series of occasional reviews of past Rotten Apple videos.
The second Rotten Apple installment begins with Paul McCartney's famous wink from the Beatles Anthology. In the Anthology, Paul, George and Ringo are seated at a table discussing the "Are you getting back together?" question. Rotten Apple 2 picks up right after Paul says, "And yet, with 'Free As A Bird' we somehow did." Paul bites his finger, raises his eyebrows and gives a half of a wink.
The video then abruptly shifts to clips of The Beatles "Hello Goodbye" video. The Beatles did three promotional films for the song, one wearing their Sgt. Pepper outfits, one in regular clothes and one that combined clips and outtakes from both versions. Interestingly, the controversial OPD/OPP arm patch from the album cover is nowhere to be found on Paul's Sgt. Pepper costume. The filming took place on November 10, 1967 at the Saville Theatre, the venue that Beatles manager Brian Epstein had purchased in 1965. Brian died two and a half months before the filming of "Hello Goodbye." The Saville was the site of Jimi Hendrix's famous performance of the song "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" on June 4, 1967, three days after The Beatles' original release. Jimi Hendrix was still performing the song in December of 1967.
The audio from Rotten Apple 2 is from a completely different source. It consists of a partially isolated vocal track from the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise" with a quick "Turn me on dead man" loop added at the very beginning. Isolated snippets from Sgt. Pepper had been appearing at least as early as 1987 when the television special "It Was Twenty Years Ago Today" was shown. The audio of the "Sgt. Pepper Reprise" starts with the vocal more out in front like the mono version, but then the instrumental track drops out completely.
Using captions, Iamaphoney claimed that the isolated vocal included the words "Paul is dead. Really dead." It appears that Iamaphoney superimposed his own captions over pre-existing captions that said basically the same thing.
The most interesting part of the video appears around the 12 second mark where a brief snippet of the visual portion of the Anthology version of "A Day In The Life" is shown. For some unknown reason The Beatles opted to alter the ending of the promotional film for the song "A Day In The Life" when they made the Anthology in 1995. The original version used some downright creepy slow motion effects. The Anthology version inserted a new ending that consisted of the outlined "seating chart" version of the Sgt. Pepper sleeve gradually being replaced by an alteration of the color album cover shot. In the updated version The Beatles opted to mirror two areas of the cover. The placement of two vertical mirrors down the center of Sonny Liston's body and on Donna Dors' left elbow creates some interesting effects, particularly on the red hyacinths at the bottom of the picture. In addition, back in April of 2004, the never intrusive Apollo C. Vermouth told some members of the Nothing Is Real discussion group that a walrus can be found on the cover of Sgt. Pepper if you place a mirror vertically on Diana Dors' elbow. Not everyone sees a walrus, but many do.
The video also features some Sgt. Pepper album cover character animation from the "It Was Twenty Years Ago Today" television special.
The description of the 28-second video says "more reveals." The tags are "paul is dead mccartney iamaphony." The misspelling of his own name suggests that Iamaphoney had not quite established his identity yet. That would undergo a major change eventually, but at the time of Rotten Apple 2, the videos were quite simple and straightforward.
YouTube User breadandcircusfilms has a new upload called Bread and Circus: 8.
Although I believe he will be up to the task, these other video makers are giving Iamaphoney some competition in the quality and originality department. Hopefully he will emerge in April with something compelling.