Tag Archives | the beatles

The Beatles in Spain

A few weeks ago Mary-Lou and yours truly made a real effort to wake up on a Sunday morning to do cultural things rather than spend the day in bed wondering if that last beer was really necessary. We went to see an exhibition called The Beatles in Spain, and let me tell you, it was worth waking up for. 
Mary-Lou, some Spanish gentlemen and the Beatles 
Unlike every Beatles exhibition I’ve ever seen, this one doesn’t feature some toilet paper Ringo used when he was 15 or George Harrison’s first condom. Instead, it focuses on the cultural impact that the band had in 1960s Spain, a country that was ideologically and culturally about a century behind the rest of Europe.

cracking design

Apart from Spanish editions of Beatles records, there were also records by Spanish bands who, taking advantage of The Beatles’ success, used their image, name and/or songs in order to sell more copies. Some of these were hilarious and I can’t wait to listen to them.

Christian World: The Beatles, a fatal symbol for our youth?

The representation of The Beatles in the Spanish press is also pretty funny. There is an abundance of magazine covers featuring the fab four, as well as newspaper and magazine comics (all of them making a reference to their hair and how wild they are) and teenage press.

It’s pretty fascinating how their hair alone could be such a symbol of rebellion and modernity, especially when you consider that a similar haircut is now favoured by members of the Spanish conservative party. Ah, the irony of history.
“official” merchandising with spelling mistakes
Another thing that I find amazing is how song titles were often translated into Spanish, sometimes with really funny results. In fact, my mother owns Beatles sheet music from the 70s with all the lyrics in Spanish. I think this might be the root of Spain’s general inability to speak English. 
The exhibition takes place in Zaragoza’s Centro de Historia until the beginning of August. 

Lennon Wall (Prague)

When I planned my trip to Prague last February I was quite shocked to find there was a monument called Lennon Wall. Was there a connection between the Beatles and Prague that my 20 years as a Beatles fan missed? No, not really, but there was indeed a connection between Lennon’s message and the political climate in Eastern Europe at the time.
The Communist regime considered the figure of John Lennon to be a subversive one. Not only was he a hugely influential figure from the West, which automatically made him an enemy, but his messages of peace and freedom were considered to be threatening to the government’s ideals. His music was forbidden and some people were even sent to prison for playing it.
Of course this prohibition worked to make John Lennon even more of a hero to young liberals at the time, and his death further elevated him to the status of a spiritual guide of sorts. You know how it is with young ones, you just have to ban something to make it even more appealing. Upon his death exactly 30 years ago today, somebody dared to challenge the authorities by drawing John Lennon’s face on this wall, and others followed adding Beatles lyrics and other Lennon-related images. Despite the placement of a guard and surveillance cameras, and attempts to repaint the wall, the Lennon wall has continued to be covered in graffiti and has come to represent a monument to anti-communist sentiments and freedom of speech.
The wall is constantly changing as Lennon fans and assholes alike add their own interpretations to the wall, from amazing drawings to Limp Bizkit graffitis. It’s a shame that there is always some asshole to ruin a nice memorial (see my annoyance at Oscar Wilde’s tomb). A quick google image search reveals that the wall has indeed seen better times, but it still has its charm. I think it’s great that these things are kept as a reminder of our recent history.

Nowhere Boy (Sam Taylor-Wood, 2009)

What better day to share some Nowhere Boy screencaps than John Lennon’s 70th birthday. As a lifelong Beatles fan, I devour (and enjoy) every film about them, regardless of its quality.
Nowhere Boy is often described as a film about John Lennon’s childhood, but that’s not what it is. It’s more of an account of his relationship with his mother and the beginning of his involvement in music. Despite the story being a bit too familiar and a bit too focused on Julia for my taste, it was nicely filmed and featured nice clothes and interiors and a John Lennon slightly more attractive than the real one. Freud would have loved this film. The relationship between John and Julia is so intense that one can’t help but see incestuous undertones in it. To top it off, the actor who plays John Lennon fell in love with the director (23 years his senior) during filming and they now have a child together.

Look at little Paul! haha

Moving on, my giveaway ended today. The winner of the flower girl collage was Chani from Blanc et Caramel, and the mystery package goes to Laura from Make Do And Mend. Congratulations to you both and thank-you to everybody who took part. Stay tuned because I’ll be hosting another giveaway next week!


Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes