Roll Up for the Magical Beatles Marketing Tour

By | September 10, 2009

Yellow Submarine9-9-09 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.” …

via Shawn Amos: Roll Up for the Magical Beatles Marketing Tour.

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.)

One thought on “Roll Up for the Magical Beatles Marketing Tour

  1. tomdegan

    I realize that the times we live in are just too damned weird to focus any degree of attention on a rock ‘n’ roll band that released its final recording forty-years-ago last month – two of whose members are gone from our midst. Think about it. In 1969, at the height of all that was going on then, any columnist who would have devoted a entire page to the greatness of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra would have been laughed out of the business. But this isn’t just any band we’re talking about here. With the exception of the President’s address to a joint session of Congress last night, I didn’t spend much time yesterday focusing on affairs of state. September 9, 2009 belonged to the Beatles.

    Yesterday marked the long-awaited release of a box set containing all fourteen albums recorded by the Fab Four between the years 1962 and 1970. What makes this package different from what has previously been available is the fact that the engineers at EMI (the studio in London where they did most of their work) have digitally remastered the recordings from the original multi-track tapes. It was like listening to them for the first time all over again. The Beatles have never sounded better – I didn’t even think that was possible!

    Let me attempt the impossible and sum up the Beatles’ message in one sentence: We are the makers of our own dreams. That works for me.

    Dream. Dream away.

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

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