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Fifty years ago, The Beatles invaded American culture via television, manufacturing hysteria, minting fandom and even silencing crime. Since that momentous social and creative confluence, the 20th-century band has ceded territory to the 21st-century brand.
Yet The Beatles’ multimedia afterlife has only gained strength, from pop and politics to technology and beyond. Few creative convergences have been as far-reaching, or sounded as revolutionary. Geek The Beatles charts that technocultural influence across the timestream, for geeks and noobs alike.
THERE ARE PLACES I REMEMBER
Starting in 2010, to mark The Beatles’ 50th anniversary, I set out to chronicle the digital evolution of the most influential musical band and brand in history. That was a most convergent year, marking not just the foursome’s 1960 founding, but also the 1970 release of its aptly recombined finale Let It Be and the December 31 legal filing that powered down both The Beatles’ and the decade empowered by their prodigious influence.
And yet, The Beatles’ real-time dissolution has done little to decrease its reach into the future’s evolving tastes, styles and formats, as resilient fandom, scholastics and geekery continues to confirm. Indeed, The Beatles’ expansive avatars continue to overwrite what reality the individual members — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, as well as their plugged-in heirs like Yoko Ono, Dhani Harrison, Sean Lennon and many more — can still claim, even as you read this.
Their continuing mediation in our light-speed digital age spawns far and wide, often in strangeways. A touchstone for strange fandom experiments like The Bee Gees’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, or even Fox’s bizarre WWII-remix All This and World War II.
Immersive virtual fantasies like The Beatles: Rock Band and Cirque Du Soleil’s Love, whose launch in doomed Vegas brought The Beatles diaspora together, perhaps for the last time. But even fake conspiracies like Paul McCartney Really is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison or the zombified Paul is Undead manage to fuse with real-time horrors from fanboys like the Manson Family and Mark David Chapman, the abhorrent fanboy assassin who tragically broke the fourth wall and ended John Lennon’s legendary life as it achieved an uneasy peace.
The dizzying simulations propagate, proliferate and profit. Even Oasis, perhaps the most popular of The Beatles’ musical replicants, is working on its own Beatles film — starring Oasis’ music. Hyperreality philosopher Jean Baudrillard called that the vertigo of information. The goal of Geek The Beatles is to compile that vertigo’s essential and emergent data, for longtime loyalists and new adopters.
Pop’s first experimental feedback on “I Feel Fine.” Backward vocals and proto-hop on “Rain.” World drone and culture jamming on “Tomorrow Never Knows,” whose revolutionary tape loops and machine music is, as I scooped for Wired, being revisited by Paul McCartney. (Perhaps scoring $250,000 large for playing in one episode of Man Men, a metaprogram about advertising, had something to do with that.
The first stadium concert at Shea, a lip-synching clinic in mass communication and hysteria. The first band with its own cartoon show, whose pop and racial stereotyping was eventually retconned and redeemed by its animators in the surreal toon experiment, Yellow Submarine.
The readout goes on. Since that convergent 2010, I’ve filed some hefty Geek The Beatles entries for Morphizm, Wired, HuffPo, CNN and more. I’ve compiled that material here, and will add new material beginning on the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ legendary American download. I’ll dig further in my greater Geek the Beatles project, which will explore the b(r)and’s lasting techocultural impact.
The goal is to memorialize The Beatles’ evolving influence with an arty hardcover and/or multimedia ebook, as well an interactive portal and app sourced from fandom across the universe. Call it a data resource for our internetworked generation in search of historical and cultural strands they can knit into cool knowledge with lasting impact. Interested in joining Geek The Beatles? :: MAKE CONTACT ::
Image courtesy MPL Comunications Ltd./M.J. Kim
McCartney Talks Technoculture, Tape Loops, Digital Libraries, Wikileaks
This is the first part of my two-part interview with The Beatles’ postmodern knight, the right honorable Sir Paul McCartney. The second is below. It was an illuminating technocultural process. Here are the pubs that syndicated our Geek The Beatles pleasure:
Paul McCartney Brings “Tomorrow Never Knows” Back to the Future
Paul McCartney is working on a new project utilizing vintage gear he once used to make tape loops for The Beatles’ landmark track “Tomorrow Never Knows.”
“I’ve dusted off the same two old machines that I used for ‘Tomorrow Never Knows,’” McCartney said during a wide-ranging phone interview.
“We’re having trouble finding spare parts. But my man Eddie Klein, who works in my studio and is an old Abbey Road guy, is a real boffin and has got the machines working again.”
Inspired by the musique concrète of German composer and early electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen, McCartney’s recombined found sounds for “Tomorrow Never Knows” created an aural sensation utterly new to pop music when the song appeared on The Beatles’ epochal 1966 album Revolver.
Combined with The Beatles’ other technical and stylistic experiments — including John Lennon’s transcendental lyricism, engineer Geoff Emerick’s studio innovations, George Harrison’s Eastern drone and Ringo Starr’s proto-hop percussion — “Tomorrow Never Knows” helped plot the coordinates of future music.
The Beatles’ Surreal Magical Mystery Tour Resurrected for Millennials
Some things are better in hindsight — especially things created by The Beatles, who were consistently ahead of their time. For proof look no further than their film Magical Mystery Tour, which did terribly upon its release but could find a more receptive audience in the hipsters of Generation Y.
“What you are about to see is the product of our imaginations,” Paul McCartney says in the reissue trailer (below) for The Beatles’ 1967 film. “And believe me, at this point they’re quite vivid.”
Magical Mystery Tour‘s vividly colorful imagination, out Oct. 9 in a bonus-packed Blu-ray and DVD reboot (and perhaps in theaters near you), has aged into our new century better than originally advertised. Sloppy and surreal, it was hastily made for the masses by four fully altered media titans at the peak of their collective powers. And they were a Fab Four, mind you, who had just decided not to tour among said hysterical masses because political and cultural change had gotten too, for lack of a better term, real. And it bombed.
But the mainstream blowback from its lamely black-and-white, day-after-Christmas airing just generated ever more Beatles geeks. And that is, of course, how their hyperreality machine hums onward. One man’s crap made-for-TV movie becomes another fan’s Pythonesque art trip, and the popular tastes of the ensuing decades makes up the difference. Who’s your Walrus now?
Yellow Submarine Plays Lead On Psychedelic Animation Classics
Reality is beautifully out of joint in The Beatles’ 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine, which augmented the typical cartoonist’s palette with photography, rotoscoping and 3-D sequences.
The pioneering movie, which finds the Fab Four sailing the seas of science, time and nothingness in hopes of saving a utopian world from a bunch of oppressive haters called the Blue Meanies, serves as a great example of a genre that gave animators free rein to explore the outer reaches of psychedelia.
Once unforgivably out of print but screening now at theaters and available now as a digitally restored DVD, Blu-ray and iTunes download, Yellow Submarine was directed by George Dunning and produced by Al Brodax, who had spent the previous three years helming madcap cartoon series The Beatles.
Yellow Submarine appealed to toon-happy kids as well as adults tripping on cannabis, LSD and expanding liberties. It quickly became, as its chief illustrator Heinz Edelmann explains in the painstakingly remastered film’s audio commentary, the first non-Disney animated feature that didn’t pull its studio down with it. “The history of animation up until then was the history of studios folding under the weight of an animated feature,” said Edelmann, who died in 2009.
Yellow Submarine also opened the doors of perception for many of the animated psychedelic experiments in the gallery above. Even The Beatles, who were descending into bitter dissolution and didn’t even record their voices for the film, were ultimately swayed by its animated ambition. And they weren’t alone.
“As a fan of animation and as a filmmaker, I tip my hat to the artists of Yellow Submarine,” Disney and Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter writes in an essay accompanying a bonus 16-page booklet, which shares space with the making-of documentary “Mod Odyssey,” cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes photos, collectible stickers and more. “[Their] revolutionary work helped pave the way for the fantastically diverse world of animation that we all enjoy today.”
In 2010, John Lennon’s fanboy assassin Mark David Chapman (at right) was up for parole in August before the October that The Beatles’ rebel founder and critic (would have) turned 70. I wrote this Geek The Beatles feature for Wired in protest of Chapman’s parole. Although it was read and spread, I’m not sure if it had any effect on the board’s decision to keep Chapman’s dumpy mortal coil locked inside Attica. I hope it did.
Decades ago, Chapman fired four shots into Lennon’s frail mortal coil, erasing one of global culture’s most complicated saints. Overburdened, reality splintered into viral replications across media, slowly replacing reality along the way. Decades from now, our children will turn to these hyperreal mediations for elusive truths, only to be faced with competing fictions.
It is these assassination simulations my Wired essay analyzed, in the digital age’s shorter format. A proper Geek The Beatles book book would delve deeper, and still hopefully hold together after ventures into the darker realms of conspiracy theory and sci-fi. (Yes, Lennon’s assassination even has its cosmological consequences.)
Because Lennon’s epochal twin anniversaries now spiral forever through proliferating media reproductions. Its alternately sublime and horrific strands remind us that Lennon’s premeditated murder, like his profound life, has been monetized without exhaustion. And shadowed by annihilation.
Decades Later, Let It Be’s Recombined Reality Programming Still Bites
Let It Be, released May 8, 1970, shortly after the band members called it quits and transformed The Beatles from a dysfunctional band into a fully functioning multimedia brand. The songs on what became the group’s last official full-length album were vault-raided and controversially remixed by mad producer Phil Spector from a heap of discarded and bitterly divided sessions, and featured little to no input from band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
A Beatles documentary, released a week after the album, was similarly retconned, conceived as a “bioscopic experience” that would help sequence the genes for the intrusive reality television we take for granted in the 21st century. In the last gasp of the optimistic but lethal ’60s, however, reality film killed the pop radio stars.
“By the time we got to Let It Be, we couldn’t play the game anymore,” Lennon said in the exhaustive biographical series The Beatles Anthology. “We’d come to a point where it was no longer creating magic, and the camera being in the room with us made us aware of that. It was a phony situation.”
The original concept for the Let It Be film would sell instantly today: Inconspicuous but ever-present cameras document the greatest pop band of all time as it composes, rehearses and then performs and records its next album in front of a live audience. “You can glide in with your cameras,” an earnest but frustrated McCartney said in the film. “Go places that TV cameras don’t go.”
But the film bowed to the Beatles’ momentous reality: The band, like the decade that it so thoroughly informed, was finished.
John Lennon: Working Class Mythmaker
Even The Beatles’ individual members proved to be nearly as mythic and fragile as their hive mind. Their initially fearless leader John Lennon, born in Liverpool and assassinated in New York, remains an innovative and uncompromising artist, as well as an epicenter of controversy. His mysterious life and death swirls with iterations. The controversial comics compilation The Beatles even envisions Lennon as an interstellar spirit peeking in on his terrestrial life as it unfolds. That includes Richard Nixon’s paranoid power play to push Lennon out of New York, as documented in The U.S. vs. John Lennon, and the hail of bullets from an estranged Beatles fanboy and evangelical hypocrite. I wrote the mythmaker a birthday essay.
Martin Scorsese Documents George Harrision’s Material World
From mashing Eastern sonics and philosophy into The Beatles to bankrolling Monty Python’s biblical satire Life of Brian, George Harrison was a cultural and spiritual innovator on par with his legendary British bandmates. That’s the thesis of Martin Scorsese’s poignant two-part documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, debuting stateside Oct. 5 and 6 on HBO.
Previewed in the trailer below, which appeared on Harrison’s official site earlier this week, Living in the Material World explores the so-called quiet Beatle‘s storied career using previously unseen archival materials and movies, as well as revealing interviews with Paul McCartney, Terry Gilliam, Eric Clapton and more. Across the pond, Scorsese’s documentary lands a DVD and Blu-ray release Oct. 10, including a deluxe package featuring a 96-page book and a CD of unreleased Harrison tracks.
The late, great Harrison’s surviving wife Olivia — mother of The Prisoner disciple and The Beatles: Rock Band evangelist Dhani Harrison, as well as the prime mover behind The Beatles’ mind-wiping Love collaboration with Cirque du Soleil — is also releasing a companion compilation of the same name (pictured above) featuring photos, diaries and other memorabilia in concert with the documentary. It’s a polyvalent homage to Harrison’s influence, which ranges across media and culture.
Norwegian Wood Mashes Beatles, Radiohead, Revolution
Beatles geeks, Occupy populists and postmodern fiction nerds should merge sweetly, and sourly, in Norwegian Wood, director Tran Anh Hung’s adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s 1987 novel.
It’s a windswept tone poem to Japan’s turbulent but liberating ’60s, set to a hypnotic score from Radiohead’s innovative guitarist Jonny Greenwood, which meshes quite magically in the trailer below with John Lennon’s coded ode to desire and detachment.
Inspired by the jangle of Bob Dylan, the Rubber Soul song “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” is a cinematic blessing in these days of faltering Beatles cover songs in film.
Can thenewno2 “Make It Home” From Liam Lynch’s Skeleton-Filled Sci-Fi Nightmare?
Dhani Harrison’s dread zeppelin is led through a puzzling digital dreamscape in thenewno2‘s new video for “Make It Home.”
In the video, embedded above, delivery boy Harrison’s airborne airstream is bedeviled by raiding skeletons during a hallucinogenic head-trip to what looks like a drop-off with a cybernetic demigod.
Directed by Liam Lynch — whose cult productions like The Sifl and Olly Show, Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny and especially the hysterical video for Dan Deacon’s “Drinking Out of Cups” skew similarly strange — “Make It Home” is a nice slice of lo-fi sci-fi.
But what it all really means, man, is a mystery to Harrison, the Prisoner-inspired architect of thenewno2′s trip-pop sound.
“Liam saw the whole thing as a dream,” Harrison told Wired. “He said he enjoyed making it, because he never made a dream into something you can see in real life. I said, ‘Yeah, that sounds mental, let’s do it.’ I trust him.”
Grant Morrison Gives John Lennon a Chance
Grant Morrison, comics’ hardest-working visionary, grabs a guitar given to him by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way and bangs out a conscientious rocker inspired by the Beatles’ legendary leader.
That’s a lot for one video (above), but every bit of it really happened.
Shot last week at Hollywood’s Meltdown Comics during a post-Comic-Con International stop to promote his new book Supergods, the reel shows off Morrison’s gift for both music and magic. It was during a magic ritual designed to contact the spirit of John Lennon that Morrison claims he first dreamed up the tune, Morrison said.
“I decided to treat John Lennon as a god,” Morrison told the Meltdown crowd, explaining how he created a circle around his Beatles’ albums, donned a paisley shirt and Beatle boots and experienced a vision of Lennon. The ritual was summarily immortalized in Morrison’s so-far unfilmable epic The Invisibles (at right), which itself allegedly inspired The Wachowski Brothers’ Matrix franchise.
It’s a cool back-story for a cool song, which nicely shows off the otherwise soft-spoken Morrison’s growling pipes. And it’s not a bad bit of Lennon homage either, with world-weary lyrics like Keep taking the pills/Keep reading the books/Keep looking for signs that somebody loves you butting up against hopeful advice like One and one and one makes two/If you really want it to/Talking ’bout love.
The Best Album Art of All Time
As with pretty much everything the band did, The Beatles set a trend, this time for LP covers, with the release of 1966′s Revolver. Employing the illustrations of their pal Klaus Voorman and the photography of Robert Whitaker, Revolver ushered in the psychedelic era with force. Its name was even agreed upon while all four members worked on a psychedelic painting.
But The Beatles’ influential 1967 record Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band blew minds wide open. The Grammy-winning cover was created by art champion and director Robert Fraser, and married the work of designers Peter Blake and Jann Haworth with more than 70 artists, writers, thinkers and figures influential to The Beatles. The Beatles themselves appeared alongside simulations of themselves, a nod to the death of Hard Day’s Night–fueled Beatlemania. The cover, which included cutouts for mustaches and badges, eventually warranted its own legend for disciples who just love to Geek The Beatles. The whole epochal art project proved about 100 times more expensive than any cover made before. Its influence has been immeasurable.
By the time The Beatles got to their last proper album, 1969′s Abbey Road, they stripped themselves entirely of simulations and presented four friends parting at the road responsible for pop music’s most memorable sonics. And even that self-referential maneuver started a trend: Bands, including the naked Red Hot Chili Peppers, similarly walked across roads in ironic homage. Baby, that’s art.
Dhani Harrison Honors Father George, Faces Fear of Missing Out
Dhani Harrison is trying to live in the moment.
“I’m all about trying to reduce my level of ADD,” Harrison recently said to me by phone.
That’s easier said than done. On Tuesday, the technopathic Harrison‘s collective thenewno2 released a self-titled EP (streaming at left) on his own label HOT Records Ltd. The band also has a full-length album, due in February, that sonically explores the internet age’s manic fear of missing out.
Harrison’s also weighed down by his participation in, and subsequent promotion of, Martin Scorsese’s poignant four-hour documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, arriving Oct. 5 and 6 in two parts on HBO, and his mother Olivia Harrison’s companion photo book of the same name also released Tuesday, both of which mark the 10-year anniversary of the late, great Beatle‘s passing.
If that wasn’t enough, Harrison’s also been hard at work on a 360-degree photographic iPad and iPhone app mapping his father’s massive guitar collection to each axe’s history for Harrison and Beatles geeks and scholars.
It’s no wonder Harrison’s attention is divided, but these pursuits do not look like the work of a mind-wiped distraction drone looking for some headspace. Rather, they paint the talented Harrison as a man with a revolving band — which is inspired by Patrick McGoohan’s timeless spy-fi The Prisoner — who seems quite nicely in tune with his light-speed time.
Thenewno2 Brings Sci-Fi Sounds to Secret KCRW Show
SANTA MONICA, California — It was only a matter of time before someone dropped a sample from The Prisoner.
During a secret show here last week, Dhani Harrison managed to lead his trip-pop collective thenewno2 through a whole song — the opening stomper “Station” from the band’s new full-length thefearofmissingout — before working in a nod to Patrick McGoohan’s surreally influential spy-fi TV series. A sample of the late actor’s inimitable growl — “I am not a number” — played before “Wide Awake,” another track from thenewno2′s sophomore album.
The penchant for geeky in-jokes comes naturally for Harrison (a quote from Time Bandits found its way into the mix on the opening number). The musician’s late, great father George Harrison was in a band you may have heard of. Yet Harrison has emerged from the shadow of The Beatles by latching onto his own generation’s cross-genre outliers, like DJ Shadow and Radiohead.
The Prisoner: An All-Star Appreciation
Patrick McGoohan’s stunning spy-fi series The Prisoner only lasted 17 episodes before sadly disappearing in 1969. But its revolutionary mix of geopolitics, sci-fi and psychedelia has influenced not just television, but also music, comics, film and more.
It even made a deep impression on the most influential band of all time.
“Before Magical Mystery Tour, the Beatles were going to do another full movie like Help! and it was all going to be based on The Prisoner,” Dhani Harrison, son of Beatles guitarist George Harrison, told me in October, before his own Prisoner-inspired band thenewno2 kicked off its inaugural North American tour. “They were going to be in a movie written and directed by Patrick McGoohan in the same vein as The Prisoner, because they thought it was one of the best series ever. They were so into his psychedelic weirdness.”
Unfortunately, the Beatles project ultimately fell through. But not before McGoohan inspired the Fab Four to do something that they never did again. “What came of it was the [Prisoner] episode ‘Fall Out’ featuring ‘All You Need Is Love,’” Harrison said. It was the only time a Beatles song was licensed to a TV show.
SXSW 2011 Preview: Yoko Ono/Sean Lennon
Sonic signature: Born and raised in Japan but schooled, if you will, in New York’s flourishing art scene, SXSW speaker Yoko Ono helped John Lennon produce immortal anthems like “Give Peace a Chance” and stunning albums like Imagine, as well as formulate the pair’s peace and art activism throughout the early ’70s. Her solo efforts helped recode avant-garde, alternative and dance music in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and she has since worked with or been covered by everyone from Elvis Costello and The Flaming Lips to Cat Power, Peaches and DJ Spooky. (Check out Spiritualized’s heavy reboot of Double Fantasy’s “Walking on Thin Ice” below for more on Ono’s renewable resourcefulness.)
“At the risk of being even more blasphemous than making porn for God, I believe that Ono is a more significant and interesting and original artist than John Lennon, and would in fact rate her in my top 10 favorite living artists in any genre,” conceptual artist and frequent Wired contributor Jonathon Keats told Wired.com by e-mail, right before we passed out from the shock. “Her instruction paintings in particular seem to me to be the ultimate redemption of art through the negation of all it had previously been and had been expected to be: the logical conclusion of Dada and its antidote.”
Now appearing: While she won’t be performing at SXSW, she will chat about her life’s work — and, inevitably, John Lennon’s legacy — Friday morning at the Austin Convention Center.
See also: Sean Lennon. Ono’s son performs Saturday night with Charlotte Kemp-Muhl as The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (below), whose 2010 debut album, Acoustic Sessions, concerned itself with dark matter, Schroedinger’s cat and robot empaths. Lennon’s appearance is part of his Chimera Music showcase, which features artists from the label and is capped with a 1 a.m. performance by Ono.
SXSW 2011 Preview: Ringo Deathstarr
Sonic signature: Is it karma that head-trip noisemaker Ringo Deathstarr is playing the same SXSW festival featuring John Lennon’s soulmate Yoko Ono as a keynote speaker? Who cares? The band name mashes The Beatles and Star Wars, so we’re in.
“I think The Beatles did the most mentally to us,” Texas-bred vocalist and guitarist Elliott Frazier told Wired.com. “But super-duper Star Wars fans we are not. We like the films OK.”
The Beatles might have warped Ringo Deathstarr’s fragile mind, but the band sounds like it leaped screaming out of My Bloody Valentine’s blown amps. Check out the free MP3 of “So High” at left and the video for “Imagine Hearts” below: The former recalls MBV’s Ecstasy and Wine compilation while the latter is a dead ringer for Loveless’ “Only Shallow.” Perhaps that’s why Ringo Deathstarr’s music has been called starrgaze?
“We just used starrgaze from some old local paper review,” Frazier said. “But we put some more energy and versatility into what we are doing, I think. We’re not singing every song the same, or having the same sound on every song.”
iTunes Downloads The Beatles’ Greatest Hits
How’s this for postmodern circularity? In 1967, The Beatles created Apple Corps as an outlet for their multimedia production, way before getting into a decades-long lawsuit party with Steve Jobs’ Apple Inc. Now that the iPhone maker has taken over both Main Street and Wall Street, the band’s legendary catalog has sold millions of albums and songs on iTunes, raking in even more in revenue.
5 Beatles: Rock Band Tunes We’re Ready to Rock, 5 We’ll Miss
Patient Rock Band players’ long wait for songs by The Beatles ends Wednesday when the special version of the game hits store shelves. But some Fab Four fans are going to have to wait a little longer to play the tunes they love.
In solidarity with both camps, we’ve drafted lists celebrating the sonic strengths and weaknesses of The Beatles: Rock Band. We’ve named the top five tunes we simply can’t wait to perform as well as the top five we seriously wish made the cut for the game (or its post-release downloads, to be rolled out starting in October).
What’s the hold-up on the holdouts?
“We want to have all The Beatles’ music,” Harmonix spokesman John Drake told Total Video Games in July, “and try to deliver it to you as best we can in these digestible chunks.”
Don’t worry, John, we can take bigger chunks. Chuck them all at us. You’ll still make millions.
5 Audio Atrocities to Throw Down a Sonic Black Hole
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by various artists
This infamous slice of forgettable musical history has a dual honor: It is also one of the worst movies ever made.
There are two stunning tunes on this homage to The Beatles’ finest musical effort: Aerosmith’s raunchy cover of “Come Together” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s version of “Got to Get You Into My Life.” But the rest of this double-album soundtrack is simply terrible.
As stand-ins for the Fab Four, The Bee Gees accomplished one thing only when this two-headed hydra was released in the late ’70s: making the world miss The Beatles more than ever. George Burns turns “Fixing a Hole” into an accidental Dr. Demento parody, while Dianne Steinberg and Stargard almost make you wish “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” never existed. Steve Martin, at the peak of his powers, makes “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” a dud, while “Long and Winding Road,” already teetering on the cheese precipice, is fully knocked over thanks to the Brothers Gibb and … Toto.
Come to think of it: A sonic black hole might not do the trick on this one. Anyone have a mind-wipe machine handy?