Tuesday, December 12, 2017

There's a Fog Upon LA

When the Beatles didn't do it right, they did it lucky.  On Boxing Day (December 26), 1967, Magical Mystery Tour was shown in the UK on BBC2 (an alternate black and white only channel). Critical reaction was so poor that the American Television market lost interest in the project.  The film was not seen stateside until 1974 in a theatrical release through New Line Cinema. Nobody went. Lucky.

Despite the restored and remastered Blu Ray version from last year, Magical Mystery Tour, the film, is only marginally watchable. There are fun moments, it's colorful and the snippets helped pave the way for MTV, but as a whole it's fluff, overly long, and frankly, just too British.  There are those of us who can't get enough Benny Hill and Monty Python or Dr. Who; the rest of us humor them. And so, it was luck. While next to impossible to follow Sgt. Pepper, the film's failure, and the American packaging, gave us an incredible and far superior alternative to the film and EP.  Sometimes it's stepping back and editing that makes the difference. Buy the Blu Ray for the vibrancy in the restoration, watch it once and then turn off the TV and just listen. The 5.1 surround and the stereo mix (remixed and edited by Giles martin and Sam O'Kell at Abbey Road), are the best sounding Beatles available, the sound quality even surpassing that of The Beatles Love.

Blue Jay Way, a street at the top of the Hollywood Hills, was where George rented a home for a brief time in 1966. Over the years the City of Los Angeles stopped replacing the Blue Jay Way Street signs, as they were always being absconded, and simply painted the name on the curb.