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
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!)
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
at one of these 'Beatle conventionals')!
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)!
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
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.
THERE NOW' as some stoner rock group once said a very, very
long time ago...
view both these... 'mysterious' films, please click on the
On The Road with Robert Pirsig DVD
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)
is the MOQ DVD
('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!
MYSTERY TOUR SPECIAL FEATURES:
Paul McCartney (as mentioned above!)
Making of Magical Mystery Tour (19m 05s) - Features
interviews with Paul and Ringo, along with other cast
members and crew. Includes unseen footage.
the actor (2m 30s) - Ringo reflecting on his role in
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.
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.
Goodbye’ (3m 24s), as featured in Top of the Pops
Dream (2m 50s) - A scene directed by John featuring
Nat Jackley and not included in the original
Cutler – ‘I’m Going In A Field’ (2m 35s) -
Ivor performs ‘I'm Going In A Field’, in a field
– ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ (1m 53s).