Why are there 6 comedians on the cover of Stg. Pepper’s? They are Lenny Bruce, Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, W.C. Fields, Tommy Handley, and Max Miller. In this post I will look at the reason these 6 gentlemen were put on the cover.
A Funny Press Interview of The Beatles in The US (1964)
Funny Pictures of The Beatles
funny moments i took from the beatles movie; A Hard Days Night
Scene from Help!
The Beatles Funny Clips and Outtakes (Part 1)
The Beatles * Wildcat* (funny)
again, some of the most funny/interesting pictures of the Beatles, under the song Wildcat by Ratatat, you’ll see who is the wildcat
During this long series on the Beatles it has become quite evident that there were reasons why certain writers, artists, poets, painters, scientists, athletes, models, actors, religious leaders, musicians, comedians, and philosophers were put on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and that is the Beatles had made it to the top of the world but they were still searching for purpose and lasting meaning for their lives. They felt they were in the same boat as those pictured on the cover and so they called it appropriately Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In his article “Philosophy and its Effect on Society Robert A. Sungenis, notes that all these individuals “are all viewing the burial scene of the Beatles, which, in the framework we are using here, represents the passing of idealistic innocence and the failure to find a rational answer and meaning to life, an answer to love, purpose, significance and morals. They instead were leaping into the irrational, whether it was by drugs, the occult, suicide, or the bizarre.”
We have discovered that many of these individuals on the cover have even taken a Kierkegaardian leap into the area of nonreason in order to find meaning for their lives and that is the reason I have included the 27 minute episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted, ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.”
How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)
the making of sgt. pepper’s lonely hearts club band
compiled video of The making of sgt. peppers lonely hearts club band from maccalennon.
(Actually it has come to my attention that Jann Haworth and her husband Peter Blake picked out the specific comedians that appeared on the cover and that none of the Beatles had any comedians on their lists.)
Paul McCartney said at the 16:45 mark in the above video concerning the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s:
Everything about the album will be imagined from the perspective of these people. It doesn’t have to be us. It doesn’t have to be the kind of song you want to write. It can be the kind of song they would like to write.
What Paul was saying is very simple. There was a calculated effort to put people on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album for certain reasons and they wanted to address their concerns in the music. It is easy to see from the videos and pictures at the beginning of this post that the Beatles loved humor and I think they wanted to probe deeper into the subject of comedy in order to see if it unlocked the door of true meaning in life. The song GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING is filled with humor at the end of the song. Wikipedia noted:
“Good Morning Good Morning” is a song written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and recorded by the Beatles, featured on their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Inspiration for the song came to Lennon from a television commercial for Kellogg‘s Corn Flakes. Another reference to contemporary television was the lyric “It’s time for tea and Meet the Wife“, referring to the BBC sitcom.
Why are there 6 comedians on the cover of Stg. Pepper’s? They are Lenny Bruce, Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, W.C. Fields, Tommy Handley, and Max Miller. (Wikipedia noted also that Germán Valdés “Tin Tan”, Mexican comedian, was originally intended to appear on the cover, but at the last moment he declined and instead he gave the Metepec tree of life seen in the picture after Ringo Starr accepted the offer.)
Just like King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes the Beatles were looking for any place they could find a possible meaning for their lives and LAUGHTER was one of the places they looked. The Beatles loved laughing. Just look at all of their movies and many of their interviews too.
Did the Beatles find a lasting satisfaction in their search in the area of LAUGHTER? King Solomon was the wisest king who ever lived and he wrote in Ecclesiastes 2:2, “I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” (2:2). I recently wrote the famous stand-up comic Doug Stanhope concerning what Solomon had to say about his search for the meaning of life and below is that letter. In the letter I also reveal Solomon’s final conclusion which is found at the end of the Book of Ecclesiastes. After that you will find information on all the comedians that were picked to be on the cover of Stg. Pepper’s.
Doug Stanhope on John Stossel
December 22, 2014
Dear Mr. Stanhope,
Like you I am a great admirer of John Stossell, Milton Friedman and Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute. I blog about these guys often at http://www.thedailyhatch.org. Since my son Hunter has been trying his hand at stand up, I also have been going to a lot of comedy clubs lately.
Hunter is always using just original material from his own life and that involves the constant study of life itself. The absurdities inside life are always being carefully examined.
Since I have lived and worked in Little Rock many years, I used to run into Bill Clinton quite a lot in downtown Little Rock. It was quite remarkable to me when he chose to emphasize that the small town of Hope was his home town even though he had only lived there 3 or 4 years. Of course, he did so because of the power of the word “HOPE.” I wanted to talk to you about three men and the subject of nihilism: You are the first man and the 2nd is the Bass player DAVE HOPE of the 1970’s rock band Kansas and King Solomon of Israel who wrote Richard Dawkins’ favorite book of the Bible which is Ecclesiastes. There is a thread of nihilism that can be compared in these three men’s stories. Ironically, nihilism is the opposite of HOPE and two of these guys have the word HOPE in their names.
From sex to religion, nothing’s off-topic for the fearless comedian. Posted December 12th, 2012, 1:12 PM by Andy Hunsaker
Last year, on Louis C.K.’s breakout hit series “Louie,” Doug Stanhope played Eddie, an old friend and peer of Louie’s who hadn’t found any success in comedy, nor any happiness in life. Sharing Louie’s low tolerance for bull$#!@, Eddie confided in him that he was just passing through town on his way to Boston, where he would do his final show before killing himself. Every argument Louie tries to muster to convince him otherwise is quickly and brutally shot down, and eventually, he has to just acquiesce to Eddie’s intentions and bid him farewell. With a strong performance from both men, they destroyed the common wisdom that suicide should never be a viable option.
The more viscerally affecting part of that episode is that Eddie doesn’t seem all that far removed from Stanhope himself, aside from the quality of his comedy. Stanhope’s stage persona is a nihilistic man who has to blind himself on alcohol and drugs to enjoy any small part of the bleak, unending hellscape of existence, but as he often says, he’s funnier when he’s drunk, which means he’s not blinding himself at all.
So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he (the individual) dies, or that man (as a whole) dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then you realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person – religiously or psychologically or existentially – the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying. As the famous artist Paul Gauguin wrote on his last painting shortly before he tried to commit suicide: “Whence come we? What are we? Whither do we go?” The answers are nowhere, nothing, and nowhere. The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:
On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.79
One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.
In the Book of Ecclesiastes what are all of the 6 “L” words that Solomon looked into? He looked into learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). IRONICALLY, YOU HAVE MADE ALL SIX OF THESE BUTTS OF YOUR NIHILISTIC JOKES!!!
Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” This puts him in the same place that you find yourself.
You are an atheist and you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.
FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future. (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)
These two verses below take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.
Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)
Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “ Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”
Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too. None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.
In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.
“All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”
Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:
“On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).
Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida. IT IS TRULY IRONIC THAT TWO MEN WITH THE WORD “HOPE” IN THEIR NAMES HAVE SUCH DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO THE 3 PROBLEMS THAT MAN MUST FACE IN ECCLESIASTES.
YOU believe three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life. FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, DAVE HOPE believes death is not the end and the Christian can face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.
Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”
The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.
I wanted to accomplish two things today. First, I wanted to point out to you that if you stay with the atheistic humanist worldview then the nihilism that you embrace is the only logical conclusion to come to. Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years ago that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.
You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.
Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.
Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicle, of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets. 10. Cyrus Cylinder, 11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E., 12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription, 13. The Pilate Inscription, 14. Caiaphas Ossuary, 14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2, 14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,
You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:
(part 1 ten minutes)
(part 2 ten minutes)
Kansas – Dust In The Wind
Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009
Music video by Kansas performing Dust In The Wind. (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
Today we look at the comedians featured on the cover of Stg. Pepper’s. Below is Stan Laurel with the black hat and Oliver Hardy with the yellow hat.
ITMA (Film Extract 1943) Tommy Handley
Tommy Handley in an extract from the 1943 featrure film ITMA (It’s That Man Again)
More info to follow soon
Jim’s close-up of this part of the cover includes the best views so far of Aldous Huxley (to the left of Dylan Thomas), Wallace Berman (next to Tony Curtis) and, beside him, Tommy Handley (with cap) and Dr. David Livingstone (moustache). Below them are the partially-obscured Tyrone Power and the equally-elusive Larry Bell:
|Born||Thomas Reginald Handley
17 January 1892
Toxteth Park, Liverpool,Lancashire, England, UK
|Died||9 January 1949 (aged 56)
London, England, UK
Cause of death
Thomas Reginald “Tommy” Handley (17 January 1892 – 9 January 1949) was a British comedian, mainly known for the BBC radio programme ITMA (“It’s That Man Again”). He was born at Toxteth Park,Liverpool in Lancashire.
He served with a kite balloon section of the Royal Naval Air Service during World War I and went on to work in variety, and in the infancy of radio became known as a regular broadcaster. He worked with people such as Arthur Askey and Bob Monkhouse, and wrote many radio scripts, but it is the BBC comedy series ITMA for which he is best known, and which itself became known for a number of catchphrases, some of which entered popular vocabulary. He later starred in the ITMA film in 1942 and in Time Flies in 1944.
In later years, he suffered with high blood pressure, the result of his driving commitment to ITMA, and died suddenly on 9 January 1949 from a brain haemorrhage, eight days before his 57th birthday. He was cremated and his ashes placed in the rhododenron bed at Golders Green Crematorium.
In a eulogy at his memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Bishop of London, John W.C. Wand, said that “[h]e was one whose genius transmuted the copper of our common experience into the gold of exquisite foolery. His raillery was without cynicism, and his satire without malice”.
W.C. Fields: Behind The Laughter (Part 1/2)
A documentary on W.C. Fields from 1994 that aired on the biography channel. Narrated by Peter Graves.
It is entertaining and informative, but the conflict with Fields and his father is overstressed and not exactly accurate. Mr. Dukenfield did indeed see his son perform and they had already reconciled by the time The Great Man was in his early 20’s.
W.C. Fields: Behind The Laughter (Part 2/2)
Lenny Bruce on Stg. Pepper’s cover:
Beatle Brunch Remembers
A famous comedian once said, “Lenny Bruce’s legacy is freedom of speech and telling it as it is, getting your life and putting it out on the table, telling everyone about it.”
“I rode with him in a taxi once, only for a mile and a half. Seemed like it took a couple of months” – Bob Dylan
“Lenny Bruce died from an overdose of police” – Phil Spector
Lenny Bruce is one of the celebrities immortalized on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and when we received a call from Lenny’s daughter, Kitty, to help promote her project, “Lenny’s House”, we thought … how neat is this?
Lenny Bruce was the mentor of many comics and celebrities who began their entertainment career during the 50s and 60s. He was extremely controversial for his time (and who wasn’t during the 60s?). It wasn’t until many years later when George Carlin was able to publicize similar “LB material.” He was the only person ever granted a posthumous pardon in New York state’s history. Governor Pataki claimed his act was “a declaration of New York’s commitment to upholding the First Amendment.”
So we tip our hat to Kitty Bruce and hope a few Brunchers might bid on a few items up for auction October 13, 2009. We know Yoko donated something special of John’s. And please, Let It Be known that any one appearing on any of our favorite Beatles albums is a friend of ours.
For more about Lenny’s House go to www.LennyBruceOfficial.com
Stg. Pepper’s was released on June 1, 1967, which was 10 months after the death of Lenny Bruce from a drug overdose. As a comedian Lenny Bruce was a leading satirist, social commentator, member of the Beat Generation, Free speech activist, and he an advocate of the Sexual revolution as seen in these videos below with Hugh Hefner.
Ask Hef Anything: On Lenny Bruce
Lenny Bruce on Playboy’s Penthouse (Part 1)
Lenny Bruce’s Incisive Ramblings
Playboy’s Penthouse TV Show
Airdate: October 24, 1959
Lenny Bruce – The difference between men & women
Laurel and Hardy: Living Famously. Part 1.
BBC documentary from November 2003.
Featuring contributions from Lucille Hardy, Marvin Hatley, Simon Louvish, John McCabe, Spike Milligan, Glenn Mitchell, Hal Roach, Norman Wisdom.
Laurel and Hardy: Living Famously. Part 2.
Laurel and Hardy: Living Famously. Part 3.
Laurel and Hardy: Living Famously. Part 4.
Laurel and Hardy: Living Famously. Part 5.
Laurel and Hardy: Living Famously. Part 6.
Laurel and Hardy: Living Famously. Part 7.
Laurel & Hardy – European Tour 1947 (Video Compilation Montage – England, France, Sweden)
Last footage from Laurel & Hardy ever! In 1956!
Laurel & Hardy – Great Guns
The series of posts that I start today will help you identify all the caricatured people from various cartoons.
The first cartoon will be Tex Avery’s “Hollywood Steps Out“, so let’s begin!
The Three Stooges (Curly Howard, Larry Fine and Moe Howard)
Max Miller – 40 minutes BBC Documentary
Max Miller – 40 minutes BBC Documentary 1989 – I Like the Girls Who Do – written and presented by Gerald Scarfe
Thomas Henry Sargent (21 November 1894 — 7 May 1963), best known by his stage name Max Miller and also known as ‘The Cheeky Chappie’, was a British front-cloth comedian who was probably the greatest stand-up comedian of his generation. He made films, toured in revues and music hall, and sang and recorded songs, some of which he wrote. He was known for his flamboyant suits, his wicked charm, and his risqué jokes which often got him into trouble with the censors.
The great British comedian Max Miller performing his signature song ‘Mary From The Dairy’ (from the film ‘Hoots Mon’ 1940).
Bronze statue of Miller at the
Pavilion Gardens, Brighton
|Birth name||Thomas Henry Sargent|
|Born||21 November 1894
Hereford Street, Brighton, Sussex
|Died||7 May 1963 (aged 68)
25 Burlington Street, Brighton,Sussex
|Spouse||Frances Kathleen Marsh|
Thomas Henry Sargent (21 November 1894 – 7 May 1963), best known by his stage name Max Miller and also known as ‘The Cheeky Chappie’, was a British comedian who was widely regarded as the greatest stand-up comedian of his generation. He made films, toured in revues and music hall, and sang and recorded songs, some of which he wrote. He was known for his flamboyant suits, his wicked charm, and his risqué jokes which often got him into trouble with the censors.
In 1932 he made his first recording, Confessions of a Cheeky Chappie, on the Broadcast Twelve Records label. After this initial success, he was wooed by HMV and made a number of records for them. In 1953 he changed to Philips and then to Pye.
Miller was given a cameo role in the film The Good Companions. In it he played the part of a music publisher selling a song to a pianist, played by John Gielgud. Although he was not credited for his role, his three-minute debut was impressive, got him noticed and led to his making a further 13 films working up from small parts to starring roles. Considered his best film, Educated Evans (1936), which was based on an Edgar Wallace story and filmed by Warner Bros., has been lost. His last but one film wasHoots Mon! (1940). He played the part of a southern English comedian called Harry Hawkins. In the film there is a scene in which Harry Hawkins appears on the stage in a variety theatre. The act is Miller’s, and the sequence is the only one in existence giving us an idea of his stage act. It is invariably included in any documentary made about him.
Miller’s act on a variety bill usually lasted between 20 and 30 minutes. It would begin with the orchestra playing his signature tune, Mary from the Dairy. A spotlight aimed on the curtain by the wings would anticipate his appearance. There would be excitement in the audience. He would sometimes wait for up to 10 seconds until he appeared leading to resounding applause, walk to the microphone and just stand there in his costume, a gloriously colourful suit with plus-fours, a kipper tie, trilby and co-respondent shoes and wait for the laughter to begin.
Although Miller’s material was risqué, he never swore on stage and disapproved of those who did. He used double entendre and when telling a joke would often leave out the last word or words for the audience to complete.
His act would be punctuated by songs, sentimental songs like My Old Mum or comic songs such as Twin Sisters. Sometimes he would accompany himself on guitar or entertain with a soft shoe shuffle. He wrote and co-wrote a number of songs.
He was very much a Southern English comedian. He preferred being booked in theatres in London or the south, so he could return to his beloved Brighton after a show. But in 1932 he embarked on his only overseas tour, when he sailed to Cape Town to appear in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa.
After a number of years as a solo act in variety, he appeared in George Black’s wartime revue Haw Haw! at the Holborn Empire from December 1939 to July 1940. George Black’s next revue Apple Sauce opened in August 1940 at the Holborn Empire co-starring Vera Lynn. After the theatre was bombed, the show transferred to the London Palladium where it ran until November 1941. After that Miller was back touring in variety and broke all records as the highest paid variety artist, earning £1,025 in a single week at the Coventry Hippodrome in February, 1943.
In 1947, he topped the bill in Bernard Delfont presents International Variety at the London Casino. In his review of the show, Lionel Hale, theatre critic of the Daily Mail, described Miller as the “Gold of the music hall”.
By Elvis Costello
My absolute favorite albums are Rubber Soul and Revolver. On both records you can hear references to other music — R&B, Dylan, psychedelia — but it’s not done in a way that is obvious or dates the records. When you picked up Revolver, you knew it was something different. Heck, they are wearing sunglasses indoors in the picture on the back of the cover and not even looking at the camera . . . and the music was so strange and yet so vivid. If I had to pick a favorite song from those albums, it would be “And Your Bird Can Sing” . . . no, “Girl” . . . no, “For No One” . . . and so on, and so on. . . .
Their breakup album, Let It Be, contains songs both gorgeous and jagged. I suppose ambition and human frailty creeps into every group, but they delivered some incredible performances. I remember going to Leicester Square and seeing the film of Let It Be in 1970. I left with a melancholy feeling.
‘Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)’
Recorded: October 12 and 21, 1965
Released: December 6, 1965
Not released as a single
“Norwegian Wood” had a timeless rock & roll inspiration: sex. As Lennon put it bluntly, “I was trying to write about an affair without letting me wife know I was writing about an affair. I was writing from my experiences, girls’ flats, things like that.” Graced by Harrison’s sitar, “Norwegian Wood” was a huge step forward for the Beatles, continuing their move into more introspective songwriting influenced by Bob Dylan.
Lennon begins with a couplet that flips the usual rock & roll bravado: “I once had a girl/Or should I say, she once had me.” He recounts a late-night fling with a worldly urban woman, one who lives in her own pad, has her own career and invites gentlemen up for wine. She is very different from the love interests in early Beatles’ songs.
As McCartney later explained, it was popular for Swinging London girls to decorate their homes with Norwegian pine. “So it was a little parody really on those kinds of girls who when you’d go to their flat there would be a lot of Norwegian wood,” he told biographer Barry Miles. “It was pine really, cheap pine. But it’s not as good a title, ‘Cheap Pine,’ baby.”
Even if it’s a tale of a fling with a mod groupie, it’s a strikingly adult one, from the London milieu to the way Lennon spends the night at her place (and wakes up in the bathtub). Lennon is the one who gets pursued and seduced, sitting nervously on her rug until she announces, “It’s time for bed.” Given all the oblique wordplay, Cynthia Lennon was hardly the only listener puzzled. When he wakes up alone the next morning, he lights a fire — does that mean he burns the girl’s house down? Lennon never revealed the solution to this mystery; McCartney has endorsed the arson theory.
Although Lennon claimed in 1980 that “Norwegian Wood” was “my song completely,” he told Rolling Stone a decade earlier that “Paul helped with the middle eight, to give credit where it’s due.” According to McCartney, Lennon came to him with just a first verse: “That was all he had, no title, no nothing.”
Harrison’s sitar debut was the song’s most distinctive feature — yet it came from a moment of spontaneous studio experimentation. As Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970, “George had just got the sitar, and I said, ‘Could you play this piece?’ . . . He was not sure whether he could play it yet, because he hadn’t done much on the sitar, but he was willing to have a go.”
Harrison first spotted the sitar on the set of the band’s second movie, Help!, where Indian musicians were playing Beatles covers in a restaurant scene. Intrigued, he bought a sitar and “messed around” with it, eventually studying with sitar master Ravi Shankar. Harrison also became interested in Eastern religion and philosophy, which would become a lifelong pursuit.
Looking back in the 1990s, Harrison described the sitar on “Norwegian Wood” as “very rudimentary. I didn’t know how to tune it properly, and it was a very cheap sitar to begin with.” But “that was the environment in the band,” he pointed out, “everybody was very open to bringing in new ideas. We were listening to all sorts of things — Stockhausen, avant-garde — and most of it made its way onto our records.”
“Norwegian Wood” was swiftly recognized as a creative breakthrough. Brian Jones paid tribute with his sitar riff in the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black,” and Dylan did a sly parody on Blonde on Blonde, “4th Time Around,” which he played for Lennon in person. “I was very paranoid about that,” Lennon confessed to Rolling Stone in 1968. He was already sensitive because the other Beatles were “taking the mickey out of him” for copying Dylan, and he was afraid Dylan was ridiculing him with “4th Time Around.” “He said, ‘What do you think?’ I said I didn’t like it.” Although Lennon said he later appreciated the song, he did stop wearing his peaked “Dylan cap.”
Appears On: Rubber Soul
‘A Hard Day’s Night’
Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: April 16, 1964
Released: June 26, 1964
13 weeks; no. 1
“A Hard Day’s Night” opens with the most famous chord in all of rock & roll: a radiant burst of 12-string guitar evoking the chaos and euphoria of Beatlemania at its height. The sunlight in that chord, the exhilaration of the Beatles’ performance and the title’s sigh of exhaustion make “A Hard Day’s Night” a movie in itself, a compact documentary of the Beatles’ meteoric rise.
“In those days, the beginnings and endings of songs were things I tended to organize,” said George Martin. “We needed something striking, to be a sudden jerk into the song.” At the session, Lennon played around with some fingerings for the opening chord. “It was by chance that he struck the right one,” said Martin. “We knew it when we heard it.” (In a February 2001 interview, Harrison said the chord is an “F with a G on top, but you’ll have to ask Paul about the bass note to get the proper story.” McCartney played a high D.)
The title came from a throwaway crack from Starr. “We were working all day and then into the night,” he recalled, “[and] I came out thinking it was still day and said, ‘It’s been a hard day,’ and noticing it was dark, ‘ . . . ‘s night!'” When Lennon passed the remark on to director Richard Lester, it instantly became the film’s title. All they had to do was write a song to go with it. “John and I were always looking for titles,” said McCartney. “Once you’ve got a good title, you are halfway there. With ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ you’ve almost captured them.”
Lennon wrote the song the night before the session — he scrawled the lyrics on the back of a birthday card for his son, Julian, who had just turned one — and the group cut it in a breakneck three hours. The biggest issue was Harrison’s solo: A take that surfaced on a bootleg in the 1980s features him fumbling over his strings, losing his timing and missing notes. But by the time the session wrapped at 10 that night, he had sculpted one of his most memorable solos — a sterling upward run played twice and capped with a circular flourish, with the church-bell chime of his guitar echoed on piano by Martin. “George would spend a lot of time working out solos,” said Geoff Emerick. “Everything was a little bit harder for him, nothing quite came easily.”
Harrison also played the striking fade-out, a ringing guitar arpeggio that was also a Martin inspiration. “Again, that’s film writing,” Martin said. “I was stressing to them the importance of making the song fit, not actually finishing it but dangling on so that you’re into the next mood.”
Appears On: A Hard Day’s Night
‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’
Recorded: September 5 and 6, 1968
Released: November 25, 1968
Not released as a single
The lyrics for “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” George Harrison’s first truly great Beatles song, began as an accident — but a deliberate one. Harrison composed most of the music during the Beatles’ February-April 1968 trip to Rishikesh, India, but wrote its words after the band returned to England. Inspired by the relativism principle of the I Ching, Harrison pulled a book off a shelf in his parents’ house, opened it to an arbitrary page and wrote a lyric around the first words he saw, which turned out to be the phrase “gently weeps.” (Its source might have been Coates Kinney’s much-anthologized 1849 poem “Rain on the Roof,” which includes the lines “And the melancholy darkness/Gently weeps in rainy tears.”)
Even though the band had recorded Harrison songs on six previous albums, the guitarist still had trouble getting John Lennon and Paul McCartney to take his contributions seriously. Lennon, for his part, later noted that “there was an embarrassing period where [George’s] songs weren’t that good and nobody wanted to say anything, but we all worked on them.”
The initial studio recording of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” from July 25th, 1968 (later included on Anthology 3), was a subdued, nearly solo acoustic piece with an extra verse at the end, very much along the lines of Harrison’s original demo. A second version, with the full band (Lennon playing organ), was recorded on August 16th and September 3rd and 5th; it eventually incorporated tape-speed trickery, maracas and a backward guitar solo that never quite yielded the “weeping” sound Harrison was looking for.
Producer George Martin had left for a monthlong vacation before the band began working on a third, electric version on September 5th, with Lennon on lead guitar and Ringo Starr contributing a heavy, lurching rhythm. That arrangement didn’t quite come together, either. “They weren’t taking it seriously,” Harrison later remembered. “I went home that night thinking, ‘Well, that’s a shame,’ because I knew the song was pretty good.”
The next day, Harrison was giving Eric Clapton a ride from Surrey into London, when Harrison figured out how to make his bandmates focus on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”: He asked the Cream guitarist to play on it. Clapton initially declined. “‘Nobody [else] ever plays on Beatles records,'” Harrison recalled Clapton arguing. But Harrison replied, “Look, it’s my song. I want you to play on it.” (A few months earlier, Clapton had joined Harrison, McCartney and Starr to record Jackie Lomax’s version of the Harrison composition “Sour Milk Sea.”)
With the famous guest in the studio, the other Beatles got down to business — McCartney’s harmonies sound particularly inspired. As Harrison put it, “It’s interesting to see how nicely people behave when you bring a guest in, because they don’t really want everybody to know that they’re so bitchy.” Clapton’s flickering filigrees and spectacular, lyrical solo brought the whole thing together, and it was finished that night. “It’s lovely, plaintive,” Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone in 2002. “Only a guitar player could write that. I love that song.”
Clapton became one of Harrison’s closest friends — as well as his potential replacement. When Harrison briefly quit the Beatles during the Let It Be sessions, Lennon’s response was to snap, “If he doesn’t come back by Tuesday, we’ll just get Clapton.”
Appears On: The Beatles
Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: July 21-23, 25, 29 and 30, 1969
Released: October 1, 1969
16 weeks; no. 1
“Come Together” originated as a campaign slogan for Timothy Leary, who was running for governor of California against Ronald Reagan in the 1970 election. The LSD guru and his wife, Rosemary, were invited to Montreal for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Bed-In” in June 1969, and they sang along on the recording of “Give Peace a Chance” (and were given a shout-out in the lyrics). Lennon asked Leary if there was anything he could do to help his candidacy.
“The Learys wanted me to write them a campaign song,” Lennon told Rolling Stone, “and their slogan was ‘Come together.'” He knocked out what he called “a chant-along thing,” and Leary took the demo tape home and aired it on some radio stations.
But Lennon decided that he wanted to do something else with the lyric he had started, rather than finish the Leary campaign song. “I never got around to it, and I ended up writing ‘Come Together’ instead,” he said. When he brought his new song in for the Abbey Road sessions, it was much faster than the final version and more obviously modeled on Chuck Berry’s “You Can’t Catch Me” — the opening line, “Here come old flat-top,” is a direct lift from Berry’s 1956 recording. (Shortly after the release of Abbey Road, Berry’s publisher charged the Beatles with copyright infringement; the case was settled in 1973, with Lennon agreeing to record three songs owned by the company — two Berry songs on the Rock ‘n’ Roll album and Lee Dorsey’s “Ya Ya” on Walls and Bridges.)
Paul McCartney had a few suggestions for how to improve the song, as he recalled in The Beatles Anthology: “I said, ‘Let’s slow it down with a swampy bass-and-drums vibe.’ I came up with a bass line, and it all flowed from there.” Lennon said that the “over me” break at the end of the chorus began as an Elvis parody. The lyrics are a rapid-fire pileup of puns, in-jokes and what he called “gobbledygook” that he made up in the studio. The message was clear when he cried out at the end of the second verse, “One thing I can tell you is you got to be free.” But for Lennon, the hypnotic rhythm was the most important thing: “It was a funky record — it’s one of my favorite Beatles tracks. It’s funky, it’s bluesy, and I’m singing it pretty well.”
After the antagonism of Let It Be, it was almost impossible to imagine the band returning to this sort of creative collaboration. “If I had to pick one song that showed the four disparate talents of the boys and the ways they combined to make a great sound, I would choose ‘Come Together,'” George Martin said. “The original song is good, and with John’s voice it’s better. Then Paul has this idea for this great little riff. And Ringo hears that and does a drum thing that fits in, and that establishes a pattern that John leapt upon and did the [“shoot me”] part. And then there’s George’s guitar at the end. The four of them became much, much better than the individual components.”
“Come Together” was the final flicker of this rejuvenated spirit: It was the last song all four Beatles cut together.
Appears On: Abbey Road
‘Let It Be’
Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: January 25, 26 and 31, April 30, 1969; January 4, 1970
Released: March 11, 1970
14 weeks; no. 1
Channeling the church-born soul of Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney started writing “Let It Be” in 1968, during the White Album sessions. (Aretha’s cover of the song was released before the Beatles’ version.) McCartney’s opening lines — “When I find myself in times of trouble/Mother Mary comes to me” — were based on a dream in which his own late mother, Mary, offered solace, assuring him that everything would turn out fine. “I’m not sure if she used the words ‘Let it be,'” McCartney said, “but that was the gist of her advice.”
At that point, the Beatles were in their own time of trouble. A month of on-camera rehearsal and live recording had been intended to energize the bandmates and return them to their beat-combo roots. (They had pushed George Martin into the background: “I don’t want any of your production shit,” John Lennon told him. “We want this to be an honest album.”) Instead, it was a miserable experience, during which the petty arguments of previous albums turned into open hostility. Lennon wasn’t crazy about “Let It Be”; he poked fun at the song’s earnestness in the studio, asking, “Are we supposed to giggle in the solo?” But the band worked for days on the song, recording the basic track at Apple Studios on January 31st, 1969.
After wrapping up the filmed sessions that day, the Beatles turned a mountain of tapes over to engineer Glyn Johns to assemble into an album, tentatively titled Get Back. George Harrison didn’t like his solo on the version of “Let It Be” that Johns picked, so he replaced his part with a new take, in which his guitar was run through a rotating Leslie organ speaker. That solo, with its distinctive warbling tone, ended up on the single.
At the beginning of 1970 — almost a year after the initial recording — McCartney, Harrison and Starr convened to do touch-up work on a few songs from a year earlier, including “Let It Be.” (Lennon, who had effectively quit the Beatles after the recording of Abbey Road, was in Denmark with Yoko Ono.) McCartney replaced John’s bass part with his own, Harrison recorded another guitar solo (the one used on the album mix), a brass section scored by Martin was added, and Harrison and Paul and Linda McCartney sang backup vocals.
Lennon had been impressed with producer Phil Spector’s work on his “Instant Karma!” single, and in March 1970, he and Beatles manager Allen Klein called in Spector to work on the January 1969 tapes. “He was given the shittiest load of badly recorded shit with a lousy feeling to it ever, and he made something out of it,” said Lennon. Spector did the LP mix of the title track (after the single had already been released) and is credited with producing it, although it’s mixed from the same tape as the single. McCartney later declared that Spector’s version “sounded terrible.”
Johns said he preferred his spare mix of the song, the one done before “Spector puked all over it.” Spector called the atmosphere between band members a “war zone” and felt he’d done the best he could under the circumstances. “If it’s shitty, I’m going to get blamed for it,” he said. “If it’s a success, it’s the Beatles.”
“Let It Be” was released on March 11th, 1970. A month later, on April 10th, McCartney took the occasion of the release of his first solo album to announce that the Beatles had broken up.
Appears On: Let It Be and Past Masters
H. C. Westermann is the featured artist today:
H.C.Westermann’s art below:
In the pictures there’s a couple of images I particularly enjoyed. Like (above)H.C. Westerman‘s ‘A Human Condition (1964)’: a small closet in the shape of a crucifix, that looks like a coffin, with a lid that despite the hinges and a doorknob, by construction, is impossible to open.
American Death Ship on the Equator
at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago plate glass, copper, amaranth (purpleheart), pine, plywood, solder, putty and brass
ca. 14 x 37 x 13 in.
The Henry and Gilda Buchbinder Family Collection, Chicago
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (January 2013)|
|H. C. Westermann|
|Born||December 11, 1922
Los Angeles, California
|Died||November 3, 1981 (aged 58)
|Education||School of the Art Institute of Chicago|
|Known for||Printmaking, Sculpture|
H. C. Westermann (Horace Clifford “Cliff” Westermann) (December 11, 1922 – November 3, 1981) was an American printmaker and sculptor whose art constituted a scathing commentary on militarism andmaterialism. His sculptures frequently incorporated traditional carpentry and marquetry techniques.
Westermann worked in logging camps as a rail worker in the Pacific Northwest. During World War II he served as a gunner in the U.S. Marine Corps on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, witnessing numerous kamikaze attacks and the sinking of several ships. He toured the Far East as an acrobat with the United Service Organization, and enrolled in The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947.
In 1950, Westermann re-enlisted in the Marines for service in the Korean War. After his discharge, he returned to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and completed his studies in fine art. The psychological effects of his wartime experiences were an underlying theme in his work.
Working as a handyman as a young adult and noticing little interest in quality workmanship on the part of his clients, Westermann took to making objects at home for his own satisfaction.
Westermann resisted providing interpretation of his works of art. In one interview, when asked what an object meant, Westermann replied “It puzzles me too.”
He was given a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1978.
Beatles -Sgt. Pepper’s- album cover Mysteries and Secrets 1/4 : Pascal Gauthier
The Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is one of the best selling albums in the world with over 32 million copies sold. It was officially released in 1967 and not without controversy. I guess they used that controversy as a tool for popularity. Here are two quotes I found about controversy ; Seldes, Gilbert ; “All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.” Hazlitt, William ; “When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.” The Sgt. Pepper’s album cover is no exception to controversy and mystery. Its filled with hidden messages and secrets. Everything was carefully calculated and placed strategically to create the myth it now is.
Every personalities on the cover were people the Beatles admired as their personal heroes. They also said they would of liked to have all these people in the audience : ” I asked them to make lists of people they would like to have in the audience at this imaginary concert.” Peter Blake (designed the cover).
For the part 1 of my study I will show you who all these personalities are. I’ve numbered each of them to make it easier for you.
Top row :
(1) Sri Yukteswar Giri (Hindu guru), (2) Aleister Crowley (occultist), (3) Mae West(actress), (4) Lenny Bruce (comedian), (5) Karlheinz Stockhausen (composer), (6) W. C. Fields (comedian/actor),(7) Carl Gustav Jung (psychiatrist), (8) Edgar Allan Poe (writer), (9) Fred Astaire (actor/dancer), (10) Richard Merkin (artist), (11) The Vargas Girl (by artist Alberto Vargas), (12) Huntz Hall (actor), (13) Simon Rodia (designer and builder of the Watts Towers), (14) Bob Dylan (singer/songwriter)
(15) Aubrey Beardsley (illustrator), (16) Sir Robert Peel (19th century British Prime Minister), (17) Aldous Huxley (writer), (18) Dylan Thomas (poet), (19) Terry Southern(writer), (20) Dion (singer), (21) Tony Curtis (actor), (22) Wallace Berman (artist), (23)Tommy Handley (comedian), (24) Marilyn Monroe (actress), (25) William S. Burroughs(writer), (26) Sri Mahavatar Babaji (Hindu guru), (27) Stan Laurel (actor/comedian), (28)Richard Lindner (artist), (29) Oliver Hardy (actor/comedian), (30) Karl Marx (political philosopher), (31) H. G. Wells (writer), (32) Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (Hindu guru),
(33)Either Sigmund Freud (psychiatrist) according to wikipedia or James Joyce according to many – (barely visible) ; (update)Thanks to Sergey (RimS) the mysterie is solved, the person is in fact James Joyce as you can se below.
(34) Anonymous (hairdresser’s wax dummy)
Third row: (35) Stuart Sutcliffe (artist/former Beatle), (36) Anonymous (hairdresser’s wax dummy), (37) Max Miller (comedian), (38) A “Petty Girl” (by artist George Petty), (39)Marlon Brando (actor), (40) Tom Mix (actor), (41) Oscar Wilde (writer), (42) Tyrone Power(actor), (43) Larry Bell (artist), (44) Dr. David Livingstone (missionary/explorer), (45)Johnny Weissmuller (Olympic swimmer/Tarzan actor), (46) Stephen Crane (writer) – barely visible ;
(47) Issy Bonn (comedian), (48) George Bernard Shaw (playwright), (49)H. C. Westermann (sculptor), (50) Albert Stubbins (football player), (51) Sri Lahiri Mahasaya(guru), (52) Lewis Carroll (writer), (53) T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”),
Front row: (54) Wax model of Sonny Liston (boxer), (55) A “Petty Girl” (by George Petty), (56) Wax model of George Harrison, (57) Wax model of John Lennon,(58) Shirley Temple (child actress) – barely visible;
(62) John Lennon, (63) Ringo Starr, (64) Paul McCartney, (65)George Harrison, (66)Bobby Breen (singer), (67) Marlene Dietrich (actress/singer), (68) Legionnaire from theOrder of the Buffalos, (69) Diana Dors (actress), (70) (Shirley Temple Again. So now you are familiar with the personalities on the album cover. Remember everyone is there because they are heroes for the Beatles, so maybe you want to really check in to these people. Try to figure out why each is considered as such.
On my next post ( part 2 of this study) I will talk about the people who were originally suposed to appear on the cover, and were eventually cut out for number of reasons. And we will cover the hidden images and other mysteries of this fascinating album.
Till then Good day folks !