How long has it been since you saw a good old fashioned human sacrifice? TOO LONG YOU SAY well watch this:
That’s the Muppets desecrating ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’, which is exactly one half of today’s offering. The Beatlebots, unwilling to do things by halves, jam the first two songs of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band together exactly as they are on the album. Will they confound expectations by not performing it dressed as the titular band, in a bandstand surrounded by victorian-looking people just like in the film?
For any fans of old horror monsters and/or the stylings of Roy Thomas, here’s a three pager I originally wrote for the horror issue of Solar Wind, that finally found a home in Duke Etrange’s World Of Weird. Art by Brian Coyle.
Full images under the cut…
Whatever happened to this series? Work happened, and continues to happen. This is the crunch time for about three seperate projects, with a fourth waiting in the wings. Expect forward progress on TMIGEM to be glacial, two a week or less – but it WILL get finished. At some point.
In the meantime, goodbye touring, hello great whacking doses of LSD!
That’s not the Beatles, but Beyond, a chirpy Japanese pop combo with some kind of fun fetish. But even they can’t get away from the song’s central brand – the image of that big yellow sub, made famous by the cartoon – and neither can the Beatlebots, as we’ll see in this special warming-up-to-it-again edition.
The final tour song… ever! And it was actually the final tour song for the Beatles in real life, according to the in-game factoids. (Well, almost. But it was definitely the last song they played that was written by them.)
This was the only even faintly decent cover version of ‘Paperback Writer’ I could find – Gershon Kingsley, from his album ‘Music To Moog By’. That said, there’s something ill-fitting about ‘Paperback Writer’ devolving into a psychedelic wilderness over the course of the song.
Time to get political with ‘Taxman’:
That’s Junior Parker’s ultra-slow, ultra-mellow version, a chuckling drawl (“Aw, now this is awful…”) that makes it clear that Junior is having a whale of a time lounging in the shoes of the man to whom all monies flow. He’s recasting the callous bureaucrat as some kind of blaxploitational Kingpin Of Crime, divorcing the song completely from one cultural milieu – what does Junior Parker care about the Wilson government? – and plugging it into a completely different one, with frankly gorgeous results.
Great stuff! Not relevent, though. Let’s get back to the Beatlebots.
Well, after a week of hard conventioneering, I’m back in the saddle to talk about ‘Drive My Car’.
Soothing stuff and fun to play, as I remember. I bashed this one out before I left, in the hope that I’d have time to write a column on it while I was away, but even after I got back on Wednesday I was still too dead to do more than gaze listlessly at it. Even now, I’m just going to cobble together some random thoughts and hope I can pull myself together enough to keep the momentum up until Budokan ends, the sessions start and things really get crazy. Anyway, a few spoilers:
SPOILER: There is no car.
There are still those, even in the dying days of the Noughties, who deride Rock Band and its ilk as ‘fake’. Well, here’s NES-rock group ‘I Fight Dragons’ doing their chiptune-heavy cover version of ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’, played on a PC-friendly flash clone of Guitar Hero.
So someone’s playing a let’s-pretend version of a let’s-pretend version of the guitar, pretending to play a cover version of a song by a band – probably a hipster band, ugh - who play with Nintendos instead of real instruments. We’re down the rabbit hole of inauthenticity here and I LOVE IT. Suck it, Grandad! Suck it in HELL!
Welcome to Budokan.
The boys are obviously exhausted, the microphones don’t work properly, Ringo looks ready to top himself right there and the haircuts have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. Offstage, all sorts of trouble is brewing – the ‘bigger than Jesus’ comment, increasing tensions within the group, an album cover where the band smilingly cavort amidst bloody hunks of butchered meat and baby dolls – and history tells us that the Beatles are on the brink of Tourpocalypse.
As a result, that’s got to be the worst performance of ‘Day Tripper’ I’ve ever seen. Beatlebots to the rescue!
Whoops! The next song on the list isn’t ‘She Loves You’ after all, it’s the far less interesting ‘I Feel Fine’.
Still, it’s a nice rocking groove, as the Ventures here prove.
That’s Nellie McKay’s version of ‘If I Needed Someone’, which by a strange coincidence is what the Beatlebots plough onto in their historic Shea Stadium gig.