Monday, June 13, 2016

"The Magic Circle: On The Beatles, Pop Art, Art-Rock and Records" by Jan Tumlir (Onomatopee)

ISBN: 978-94-91677-43-4 Onomatopee

The Magic Circle: On The Beatles, Pop Art, Art-Rock and Records” by Jan Tumlir (Onomatopee)

Like it or not, The Beatles will always be the dividing line between acceptance and non-acceptance.  Those who hate The Fab Four, do so, just because they exist.  In a way, the issue is brought up in Yukio Mishima’s novel “The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.” Not specifically mind you, but the fact that the main character had to destroy and burn down the Golden Pavillion, because it such an iconic beauty, that he felt it restricted his life.  The Anti-Beatle people I suspect, feel the same way.   Not me, by the way.  I love the band.  Although I have to admit that I really don’t listen to them that much anymore, because their music is pretty much etched into my DNA.  I can just look at a Beatles album cover, and the melodies come right into my head via eyesight straight to the brain.  Jan Tumlir’s book on the later Beatle works and its culture sort of works in that same frame of mind.  It is a culture that one can’t escape from, and here, in great detail, he approaches the Beatle world via the visual arts as well as how they are placed in our world culturally.  

For instance, it is fascinating when Tunlir writes about the Beatle album covers from Sgt. Pepper to the so-called “White Album.” It’s fascinating how Peter Blake and Jann Haworth’s design for the Pepper cover is totally maximum but the White Album, designed by Richard Hamilton, is totally minimal.  It’s interesting to look at The Beatles music and product, and how in-tuned they were with the arts of the time.  In a sense, all roads led to the Beatles.  Tunlir uses John, George, Paul & Ringo as signs or sign posts to a culture that expanded, and yet, very important to its local (Liverpool, America) region.  Which in turn becomes the world. 

- Tosh Berman

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