9-9-09 marks the start of Beatlemania 2009. The Fab Four has been reduced to the Fab Two but they are determined to make sure the mystery tour lasts another 40 years.
The entire remastered Beatles catalogue (available at 7-Eleven, Starbucks, and Whole Foods), a dedicated Rock Band game, and boatloads of merchandise all land in stores. “Back to the Future” director Robert Zemeckis and Disney have announced plans to remake the group’s ’68 animated movie “Yellow Submarine” just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. It’s a marketing orgy years in the making and gives new meaning to the word “Revolver.” The Beatles keep coming back.
In reality, the never-ending Beatles marketing campaign hasn’t stopped since Paul McCartney filed for his Beatles divorce in 1970. The band’s company, Apple Corps, has been the keeper of the band’s name, music, image and legacy. Unfortunately, Apple Corps doesn’t call all of the shots. Nearly all of the songs written by Lennon/McCartney are controlled by the music publishing company Sony/ATV (co-owned by the Michael Jackson Family Trust) and The Beatles former label, EMI shares ownership of the recordings. Each has a say – and a stake in Beatles, Inc.
Surprisingly, this three-way marriage has managed to protect the Beatles’ brand with largely good taste. In fact, The Beatles have arguably guarded their legacy with the highest standards of any musical act in history (action figures and bobble head dolls aside). However, there have been some notable missteps and questionable alliances from both the band and the individual members
The first Beatles sacrilege was committed in 1987 when Nike used “Revolution” to advertise their Nike Air shoes. The Beatles label, EMI apparently licensed the recording without permission from Apple Corps. The Beatles sued Nike, the label, and the ad firm for $15 million. A statement from their attorney said, “The Beatles position is that they don’t sing jingles to peddle sneakers, beer, pantyhose, or anything else. Their position is that they wrote and recorded these songs as artists and not as pitchmen for any product.” …
I agree. Keep the Beatles songs forever out of commercials.
PS. If you like the Beatles, and space, be sure to check out Klaatu. Some people thought they were the Beatles when they released their first album Hope. John Woloschuk is a musical genius with a great voice. He also worked with RUSH (another favorite of mine) on Fly By Night.
(Be sure to hit the HQ button to hear the best sound in Youtube.)