Monday, September 14, 2009


I'm about to review a television programme, but don't analyse the review. Whenever I watch TV on a Saturday night I'm *rather the worse for wear* and a lot of the facts and details tend to be forgotten and replaced by a soup of wine, detritus and confusion. Still, I'm sure that you'll appreciate that I'm looking at the, er, bigger picture here.

The documentary I was watching was trying to persuade us that Mikhail Gorbachev was not responsible for Perestroika or Glasnost the fall of the Iron Curtain. The real catalysts for change were BEATLES.

At the moment BEATLES are being forced back into our lives because their albums have been re-mastered and there is some sort of BEATLES video game to introduce a new generation to a lifetime of buying endless reissues of BEATLES product. This documentary is part of a BEATLES Decade on BBC4. For the next ten years, BBC4 will show nothing but earnest BEATLES documentaries.

In this programme, we were informed that young people in Russia couldn't get enough of the swinging pill poppin' moptops until well into the 1980's.

Apparently, Russians didn't have any sort of fun before 1963, and even that was limited to Leonid Brezhnev singing at the Kremlin's annual booze-up in celebration of increased crop yield figures.

Well, that's complete bullshit for starters. Can you think of anyone in the world less likely to have a knees up and break into song than Comrade Brezhnev?

Hmm, perhaps he would do a couple of hours of Nico songs accompanied by a harmonium.

BEATLES music was forbidden in the USSR, so soldiers would bring back recordings of their songs from Radio Luxembourg. As a result of this, most Russians assume that BEATLES songs fade out at regular intervals, and have made a cult figure of Horace Batchelor from Keynsham in Bristol.

Some of this music found its way onto flexi discs. These were rescued from bins behind hospitals and had been used for X-rays.

According to the narrator, BEATLES songs were recorded onto Uncle Sergei's Lung.

Uncle Sergei's Lung were a thrashy and useless band who distributed music on cassette in 1982 and they were much praised by John Peel for about a fortnight because he always backed hopeless cases.

A black market flourished as BEATLES flexi discs were exchanged.

Someone on a street corner would whisper the following to shady looking potential customers;

"Pssst ... you want to get THE SHAKES???? You want to ROCK AND ROLL????"

If the customer nodded their head in compliance, the salesman would retrieve a flexi disc from his sleeve and the customer would pass over 500,000,000,000,000,000 roubles.

To love BEATLES was an expensive business.

Many of the long term BEATLES fans who were interviewed were obviously as mad as arseholes.

In a boring footnote, I will add my own experience of BEATLES IN EAST EUROPEAN COLD WAR YEARS.

On my one and only visit to my dad's homeland in Croatia, I ended up sat in the corner of my auntie's dark, one storey farmhouse in a remote village, listening to my dad and several relatives and friends gabbling away in Serbo-Croat for hours.

My dad hadn't bothered to teach me any Serbo-Croat. He didn't bother to translate any of the conversation he was having because he was kind and considerate like that.

As I sat in the corner feeling as if I might as well be watching Martian Cinema through 3D glasses, I noticed that the wallpaper in the farmhouse featured a recurring motif of a scene from the Yellow Submarine film.

My sixty year old auntie had plastered the wall with BEATLES.

That is how all pervading BEATLES were.

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I'm normally quite ratted when Saturday night TV comes around. It's the only way to cope with it.
Apparently Tito was a secret Ringo fetishist and lived on cornflakes and baked beans on toast like his hero.

He was also known to speak in LSD influenced tongues, although it may actually have been Serbo Croat.
They only like the beatles because they wrote a song about them.
Beatles wallpaper, wow! Music really is the universal language. On the one hand, I'm amazed at the persistence of the fans for sneaking in and spreading Beatles music. On the other, I'm disgusted that they went digging through hospital trash--Gah! Don't they know what kind of ghastly and diseased things they dump in hospital trash!?!

I can't wait for Xmas, when the documentaries will attribute the fall of Communism to Santa Claus!
I have it on good authority that they were selling that wallpaper off cheap at GUM in 1969.
Or was it Gum they were selling off cheap in a yellow submarine?
All this regurgitated Beatles shite is getting a bit tedious isn't it?

I like to have a 6 pack of stella on a Saturday night and watch "Your 100 Greatest Drum Solos". Preferably "on Ice" and "Revisited".
Haven't seen the BEATLES rock Russia prog yet Bettster - in fact, not sure I need to having read your incisive critique - but I can say that the BEATLES remaster sound absolutely stonking.

If you want a *real* laugh and to find out the limits of true BEATLES-inflicted insanity, go and visit the Steve Hoffman forums. There you'll meet people who are so infatuated with the band that they rushed whom with their brand new stereo *and* mono BEATLES boxsets to....wait for it....wait for it.... load them onto their computers and *analyse* *the* *waveforms*

(The vinyl *still* comes out better, apparently...

Cheerio comrade,


p.s. w.v. FAABFOURSKI (Uncanny, eh?)

p.p.s. Top George song post title B.

p.p.p.s.: I love you
I've always suspected Morton Swipe makes up his "wv"'s for comedic effect - and now I'm certain!

(I can't tell you how funny my own wv is now.)
I recall everything Western as being fab ('scuze the pun) and exclusive in Iron Curtained Hungary. All the kids in the neighburhood there wanted me to bring them Beatles music, gold chains and chewing gum next time I visited.
All you need is Wodtka!
The Brezh really put the "rad" in Komrade eh? I am suspicious about his chestful of medals..he would have had to have lived for about 900 years to have participated in all of those...oh never mind.

Oddly enough I was mentioning the other day to Istvanski that the Baby Boomers are stone-cold-deaf now and re-mastering the bloody things is pointless. 35 years of listening to our vinyl at "11" has taken it's toll.

This Repeatles ressurgence has all the earmarks of a Cult. Enough I say.
History is written by the conquerers. Jesus would have prolly fizzled into obscurity without Constantine..and I was going to add Paul McPostle but that would be too confusing...

*skips ahead to Rocky Raccoon..

so how Fab would these Four Liverpudullians have been without George Martin..
he was the genius!
Boz - I dread the day when I have to give up being ratted on a Saturday night :(

Garfer - he had a tendency to wear Sergeant Pepper style dressy uniforms too, and was in favour of free love ( ... well, let's just say that he put it about a bit).

Billy - too true. I wonder what Russians' favourite James Bond film is?

Eroswings -yeah, the idea of searching through hospital bins freaks me out. Just think. Dirty syringes! Used dressings! I can't think of anything I'd like to do less.

Kaz - I couldn't have coped with having Yellow Submarine wallpaper. It would have seriously affected my mental development. Having Pinky & Perky bedroom wallpaper was disturbing enough for me.
Rog - only a hundred greatest drum solos? My favourite Saturday night programme is Dermot O'Leary's Top 500 Big Brother Outtakes.

Morton S - there's some bloke on Twitter who has been waxing poetical about ever one of the Beatles' remastered songs in a very *enthusiastic* way and he says that the only miracles he has encountered in his lifetime have been Buddhism and The Beatles. What, no Ocean Colour Scene? All u need iz luv.

Rog - my wv is octopssss grdin

Istvanski - I don't remember Yugoslavia being Fab Four crazy in 1983 (unless my auntie with the wallpaper was a secret Ringo obsessive). The number one hit at the time was a hideous, yodelled Europop song called Julie which thankfully didn't make a mark in Britain.

Donn WD40 - the re-masters seem to be aimed at young people so that they can be trained to appreciate the *magic* of The Beatles and keep on buying more and more Beatles product for the next fifty years while ignoring anything new that's made by people of their own generation. I'm sure that Abbey Road and Rubber Soul will be pumped into residential homes in a few years to the complete indifference of the deaf/confused patients.
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