www.nme.com Lord Of The Ringo: Why The Beatles’ Lord Of The Rings movie would’ve been crap Mark Beaumont Jul 31, 2018 Credit: Getty
The Beatles wanted to make a film of Lord Of The Rings in 1969. Here's why it would've been rubbish.
Imagine if there’d been a Beatles film in which a mystical evil cult chased the Fab Four through a variety of exotic landscapes to steal a ring with magical powers which has inadvertently fallen into their hands. Well guess what, there was one – it was called Help!, and it was hardly Citizen Kane. So why on earth, when United Artists acquired the film rights for JRR Tolkein’s magnum opus for $250,000 in 1969, would The Beatles want to star in it, as Louis Theroux reminded Twitter today? As Tolkein himself anticipated, in deciding not to grant the Fabs permission to film his story, it would’ve been a disaster, and here’s why.
Stanley Kubrick was hardly known for his action films
The Beatles’ choice for director was Kubrick, not a director famed for his hi-octane fantasy action epics and then busy filming the moon landings (shhh) between 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange. So it probably would’ve been full of slow, lingering and perfectly framed parades of orcs, visceral ultraviolence against blameless elves and ten-minute psychedelic trips inside the mind of Sauron every time someone slipped the One Ring on. Although the weird YouTube bot who made the film below begs to differ.
It might have ended up as an animated opera
According to Heinz Edelmann, the designer and art director of Yellow Submarine, he floated the idea of an animated adaptation imaged as “a kind of opera” in the style of Disney’s Fantasia. Which raises the spectre of hordes of blue meanies marching out of Mordor led by a clown-faced Saruman. And if you’re a dedicated LOTR lore-head fuming over the plot inaccuracies in that last sentence, this would’ve been a movie most definitely not for you.
It would’ve destroyed ‘Abbey Road’
Since filming would have started soon after the completion of ‘Abbey Road’, chances are the band would’ve held back some of that album’s songs for the LotR project. So we’d have had battle scenes playing out to the tune of “bang bang, Gimli’s silver axe-head”, and Gandalf The White’s entering to a sassy blues strut and John growling “here come old Gandalf, he got Balrog gumboots…”
George’s Gandalf would never have fought the Balrog
Picture the scene – George as Gandalf facing off against a furious Balrog on a sliver of a bridge across a bottomless cavern, determined to protect the fleeing Fellowship. He raises his sitar, gives the Balrog a polite nod and steps aside muttering “all things must pass”. Entire film ruined.
Ringo and Paul would’ve made Frodo and Sam far too cheery
The whole film would’ve consisted of Ringo and Paul, as intrepid brothers-in-arms Frodo and Samwise, defusing all of the drama with an endless stream of cheeky wisecracks. “I went out with a Legolas once.” “What happened?” “She went to pieces.” “Boromir!” “But what will you hear with?” And so on.
Everyone was on far too many drugs
There was no way we’d have avoided several lengthy, acid-addled nightmare fantasy sequences involving John’s Gollum hissing “my precious!” over and over again in the middle of a surrealist collage of ballet dancing ring-wraiths and Mount Doom growing teeth. Or a Middle Earth-wide cabaret dance routine at the end. Have you seen The Magical Mystery Tour? Basically that in jerkins.
www.telegraph.co.uk Sir Paul McCartney 'misremembers' writing 'In My Life' – it was really John Lennon, says Harvard analysis By Sarah Knapton, science editor 29 JULY 2018 Paul McCartney and John Lennon at the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards held at the Dorchester, London in September 1964 CREDIT: WILLIAM VANDERSON HULTON ARCHIVE It has been a long and winding road, but academics may have finally solved the dispute over who wrote the melody for The Beatles’ song ‘In My Life.’ The track has always been attributed to John Lennon on the sleeve notes of The Beatles’ 1965 album Rubber Soul. Yet Sir Paul McCartney has long claimed that he actually penned the melody, telling the music writer and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini in the 1970s: ‘Those were the words John wrote, and I wrote the tune to it. That was a great one.’ Now US and Canadian researchers have concluded that Sir Paul probably ‘misremembers’, because the song bears all the musical hallmarks of Lennon. Mark Glickman, senior lecturer in statistics at Harvard University, and Jason Brown, Professor of Mathematics at Dalhousie University, created a computer model which broke down Lennon and McCartney songs into 149 different components to determine the musical fingerprints of each songwriter. Rubber Soul was released in 1965 CREDIT: PA And they discovered that, stylistically, there is less than one in 50 chance of Sir Paul having written the music to ‘In My Life.’ “We wondered whether you could use data analysis techniques to try to figure out what was going on in the song to distinguish whether it was by one or the other," said Dr Glickman. “The basic idea is to convert a song into a set of different data structures that are amenable for establishing a signature of a song using a quantitative approach. Think of decomposing a colour into its constituent components of red, green and blue with different weights attached. “The probability that 'In My Life' was written by McCartney is .018. Which basically means it's pretty convincingly a Lennon song. McCartney misremembers.” ‘In My Life,’ is ranked 23 on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Lennon wrote the lyrics in reminiscence of his childhood years, with the original version based on a regular bus journey he took which passed Penny Lane and the Salvation Army children’s home Strawberry Field. However he later reworked the song to be a broader look back at his youth. The original lyrics to In My Life, which are now housed at the British Library CREDIT: WIKIPEDIA CREATIVE COMMONS Sir Paul claimed to have set Lennon’s lyrics to music, after being inspired by songs by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. Yet up to his death Lennon said only the ‘middle-eight’ and harmonies were Sir Paul's work. For the study researchers ‘decomposed’ Beatles’ songs written between 1962 and 1966, analysing features such as frequency of chords, chord transitions, melodic notes and pitch. They found a major distinction. While the pitch of Sir Paul’s songs was complex and varied, Lennon’s did not change much at all. "Consider the Lennon song, 'Help!'" added Dr Glickman. "It basically goes, 'When I was younger, so much younger than today,' where the pitch doesn't change very much. “It stays at the same note repeatedly, and only changes in short steps. Whereas with Paul McCartney, you take a song like 'Michelle.’' In terms of pitch, it's all over the place." The research showed the styles of Lennon and McCartney are noticeably different CREDIT: HULTON ARCHIVE FOX PHOTOS However, although Sir Paul has lost the attribution of one song, it appears he has gained another. The song "The Word," from the same album, which is attributed to Lennon, is almost certainly by McCartney, the researchers have concluded. A spokesman for Sir Paul McCartney said the singer would not be responding to the study.
Disputed Beatles songs
When McCartney and Lennon began writing together as teenagers, they agreed that all songs should be credited to both.
However after Lennon left The Beatles in 1969 each claimed to have written more of some songs.
Help! - Lennon claimed to have written the song entirely, but McCartney has estimated he wrote around one third of the melody.
Eleanor Rigby - In 1985 McCartney said had Lennon had contributed about ‘half a line’ to the lyrics, although Lennon said he wrote 70 per cent.
Ticket to Ride - McCartney claimed he and Lennon sat down and wrote the song together, but Lennon claimed Sir Paul only wrote the drum section.
And Your Bird Can Sing - While the song is entirely attributed to Lennon, McCartney claims to have helped with some of the lyrics.
ultimateclassicrock.com STUDY SAYS PAUL MCCARTNEY ‘MISREMEMBERS’ WRITING ‘IN MY LIFE’ MUSIC ROB SMITH 30 JULY 2018 Hulton Archive, Getty Images In Many Years From Now, Barry Miles’ 1997 biography of Paul McCartney, the Beatle recalled writing the melody for a set of John Lennon lyrics that eventually became “In My Life,” the immortal meditation on memory that Lennon sang on Rubber Soul. Now, a pair of academics claims that statistical analysis proves there is less than a one in 50 chance of McCartney having written the music to the song. “As I recall, he didn’t have a tune to it,” McCartney told Miles. “I said, ‘Well, you haven’t got a tune, let me just go and work on it.’ And I went down to the half-landing, where John had a mellotron, and I sat there and put together a tune. … I recall writing the whole melody. And it actually does sound very like me, if you analyze it.” Harvard’s senior lecturer in statistics Mark Glickman and Jason Brown, professor of mathematics at Dalhousie University, did analyze it, and they disagree with Macca’s memory. As NME reports, the pair used Beatles songs written between 1962 and 1966 for comparison to “In My Life,” analyzing melodies and chord transitions and frequency. These became data points they used to examine “In My Life” and to determine whether the music was written by one or the other musician. “The basic idea is to convert a song into a set of different data structures that are amenable for establishing a signature of a song using a quantitative approach,” Dr. Glickman said. “Think of decomposing a color into its constituent components of red, green and blue with different weights attached. ... The probability that ‘In My Life’ was written by McCartney is .018,” he concluded. “Which basically means it’s pretty convincingly a Lennon song. McCartney misremembers.”
This assessment is in line with how Lennon remembered writing the song, with some assistance from McCartney, but not nearly as much as McCartney recalls. “Now, Paul helped write the middle-eight melody,” Lennon told writer David Scheff. “The whole lyrics were already written before Paul had even heard it. In ‘In My Life,’ his contribution melodically was the harmony and the middle eight itself.” The middle eight in “In My Life” includes producer George Martin’s piano solo, which many mistake for a harpsichord. McCartney has offered no response to the study’s findings. He is preparing for the release of his new album, Egypt Station, on Sept. 7, and a tour in support of the record.