Tag Archives: Proto-hipsters

Backbeat

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The Fab Four, back when they were the Fab Five

Make a Beatles biopic with absolutely no Beatles music in it. Go on, I dare you.

Getting the Fab Four to grace your movie or TV show, however big your budget, is notoriously difficult. Their manager Neal Aspinall was wary of diluting the brand, and for years Michael Jackson jealously hoarded the back catalogue (I picture him as an etiolated, racially ambiguous dragon crouching in the bowels of Neverland on a crumpled heap of sheet music, occasionally pawing a copy of Lady Madonna and hissing semi-threateningly through his nose). Since Jackson’s untimely/ timely demise (I have no clear idea how old he was, which I’m sure he would have been happy to know), a cover might occasionally slip through the net (The Black Crowes doing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds on the I Am Sam Soundtrack, a bunch of then-unknowns with an unwelcome cameo from Bono in the dull musical Across the Universe). It reportedly took $250,000 and a lot of earnest sweet talking for HBO’s Mad Men to use a snippet of the psychedelic mind bender Tomorrow Never Knows in their final series, and who knows how much for The Social Network to get Baby, You’re a Rich Man playing out over the end titles (worth it).

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