UK hardback edition




Other papers on this website:

Key selections from the 1993 AHP transcript

The 1993 AHP transcript-Part 1

The 1993 AHP Transcript-Part 2

The 1993 AHP Transcript-Part 3

The 1993 AHP Transcript-Part 4

David Granger's Aesthetics Paper

PhD Commentary

An Open Letter to Sam Harris

Art & the MOQ by Robert Pirsig

An Introduction to
 Robert Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality

Khoo Hock Aun's Paper

An MOQ Summary by Robert Pirsig

David Buchanan's Art & Morality Paper

Pirsig Annotations on Copleston

Gavin Gee-Clough's "Brisbane Winter" Paper 

 Henry Gurr's MOQ presentation


Sneddon Thesis

- Part One


Sneddon Thesis - Part Two

David Buchanan's 2006 Paper

Observer Interview

The MOQ & Time

The MOQ & Education

Pirsig & Pragmatism

Chai at the Lazy Lounge



















An Open Letter to Paul McCartney

Dr Anthony McWatt


   June 2013  





I have just heard Paul McCartney's commentary to the new 'Magical Mystery Tour' DVD. Well, I enjoyed it even if it's not everyone's 'cup of tea'! In fact, it's been a... 'mystery to me' why the Commentary version hasn't been shown on the BBC yet! Maybe they are too busy counting their money?!

What's with the cynicism, Dr McWatt? Well, that's exactly what Robert Pirsig - MY mentor - observed even before we embarked on the film version of his Zen book in 2006 - 39 years after MMT... (I thought I'd mention this little fact just in case some viewers thought Mr McCartney was being a little cynical at the end of his commentary. I can assure you – as an independent film maker - he was not!)



'Getting back' to the film in question (!), I thought it was especially cool to obtain that Dr Strangelove footage (it's not what you know but who...), the comment about the Walrus mask being swapped between the band members in MMT was interesting (it was to prevent fans working out who is the real Walrus!) and it was good to hear the background of many of the old time British actors (such as Nat Jackley and Victor Spinetti).  'Your mother should know' some of these even if they are well beyond your era and mine (with exception of Victor - a lovely guy who I was fortunate to meet once at one of these 'Beatle conventionals')!  

The lack of a clapperboard for MMT rang a rather large bell with me too (I didn't see one of those contraptions on our filming excursion across the States - a tripod was about as technical as we got).  So it's no wonder it took the Fabs about ten times longer to edit MMT as it should have done.  For a start, it was nearly impossible to sync film footage with a soundtrack (as Ken Kesey found!) in the non-digital SixTiEs without a clapperboard to reference the start of each sequence!  No matter.  The Fabs did manage to edit MMT eventually in time for the BBC (and tea) on Boxing Day 1967 and all within the same year that they recorded the music and shot the footage.  Well done boys (and Roy 'I can do miracles' Benson - their film editor)!  


On the Road in 2006 with Gav, Dave and the Brave Rebecca!

Finally, as the person usually 'blamed' for 'directing' the film 'On The Road with Robert Pirsig' (which - in my defence - did win the Wirral Film Documentary Award in 2009 – a great achievement that even eluded Orson Welles, Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock!!!), I think EVERYONE ARTISTICALLY MINDED should make a 'Magical Mystery Tour' project in their lifetime!

You might lose half your 'cast' - like I did - by the end of it ('they didn't ask - I didn't tell them!') but, if you meet the type of folks that we did on the road, you'll have so much FUN (and, of course, 'FUN is the one thing that money can't buy').  Jack Kerouac - you have a lot to answer for!   (So do you Ken Kesey!)  Also, don't worry too much about square (to use the 'hip' term) organizations such as the BBC and funding; if you really want to do it, you'll get it done. The money will come from somewhere! 'Sometimes I play the film maker and sometimes I play the FOOL!'

And as someone who has been listening to the Magical Mystery Tour EP since the early 1970s (we didn't have the LP version way back then in Merrie England...), even I didn't catch that particular reference - though I suppose the track 'The Fool on the Hill' is rather a LARGE clue in this regard. Next lifetime maybe...

No matter, thank you
PaUl 'THe FoOl' McCarTney & ApPle FiLmS, for the new MMT DVD.  What an improvement on the old 'Avenue One' version (Usual conversation about the latter: 'Is that a bootleg, Ant?'  'No, believe me, it isn't'...).  And for anyone who has got this far into this ramble, very best luck with your own project! Don't hesitate, just do it. 

'BE THERE NOW' as some stoner rock group once said a very, very long time ago...


To view both these... 'mysterious' films, please click on the following links:







The On The Road with Robert Pirsig DVD



This was the winner of the 2009 Wirral Film Festival - Documentary Section! 


'It is truly a first class piece of work, deserving of a wide audience, which I hope it receives. Pirsig comes across as a truly enlightened being --- insightful, yet humble, unassuming, down to earth. [He's kept] center focus, as is right. The side-bar comments of others, the scenery, and the judiciously chosen music (at least per my taste) all enhance that focus. Splendid!'


Professor Ron DiSanto, April 3rd 2009



This DVD is for sale at $29.99 (or the euro or sterling equivalent)








This is the MOQ DVD Boxset ('the one with the jazzy cover!' - Bob) which contains the "On The Road with Robert Pirsig" film mentioned above plus "The MOQ at Oxford" &  the "On The Road with John Sutherland" DVDs.



The Boxset is for sale at $69/£40 for all regions.  Postage & packing free! 










The new Magical Mystery Tour” DVD





Director’s Commentary – 

by Paul McCartney (as mentioned above!)


And also: 


The Making of Magical Mystery Tour (19m 05s) - Features interviews with Paul and Ringo, along with other cast members and crew. Includes unseen footage. 


Ringo the actor (2m 30s) - Ringo reflecting on his role in the film. 


Meet The Supporting Cast (11m 27s) - A feature on the background and careers of Nat Jackley, Jessie Robins, Ivor Cutler, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Victor Spinetti, George Claydon, and Derek Royle. 


‘Your Mother Should Know’ (2m 35s) ‘Blue Jay Way’ (3m 53s) ‘The Fool On The Hill’ (3m 05s). These are three new edits of these performances all featuring footage not seen in the original film. 


‘Hello Goodbye’ (3m 24s), as featured in Top of the Pops 1967.


Nat's Dream (2m 50s) - A scene directed by John featuring Nat Jackley and not included in the original film. 


Ivor Cutler – ‘I’m Going In A Field’ (2m 35s) - Ivor performs ‘I'm Going In A Field’, in a field surprizingly enough!


Traffic – ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ (1m 53s).