I was interested to read John Blakemore’s piece (Campaign, 1 December)
on the heavily hyped Beatles Anthology series.
The marketing of Beatlemania is well and truly underway and Anthology is
just the beginning. Four CDs of ‘previously unreleased’ material,
videos, books, interminable TV interviews and - who knows - even a
Beatles reunion concert, are all waiting in the wings. There is even the
ghoulish prospect of John Lennon and Freddie Mercury battling from
beyond the grave for the coveted Christmas number one spot.
We are in danger of being overwhelmed by an orgy of media manipulated
Beatles nostalgia. But how good were they really?
For me, the Beatles lost it the day I came home from school and found my
Mum singing along to I am the Walrus as she was preparing our tea.
I still remember the feeling of betrayal as I sat there sullenly toying
with a fish finger. That day, I vowed my allegiance to that other
supergroup of the time, whose penchant for cross-dressing and seducing
nubile lovelies with Mars bars seemed to be infinitely more in keeping
with my own subversive ambitions in life.
More seriously, though, theories abound as to the real motivation behind
the current Beatles revival. There is pompous talk of the Beatles and
their musical legacy to the nation and the world. There is even cynical
talk of George being down to his last pounds 10 million.
A more generous view is that the three remaining Beatles genuinely
believe that, 25 years on, they can still turn on the old magic and
rekindle the excitement of yesteryear.
Time, however, can be an unforgiving master and they would perhaps have
done better to remember John Lennon’s memorable observation that ‘Life
is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’. For now,
I’m prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt.
David Kisilevsky, Leo Burnett, London WC2