Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Iamaphoney and the Shakespeare letter


I have just come across an image on Iamaphoneys website; thewingedbeatle.com, on a page entitled Its .

How long this page, and indeed image, has been there I do not know, however, it is mighty interesting. 



The images are from the letters page of the Beatles Monthly Magazine, though from what month and year I do not know, and concern the extract of a Shakespeare play that appears at the end of "I am the walrus".

According to Wikipedia; "The dramatic reading in the mix is a few lines of Shakespeare's King Lear (Act IV, Scene VI), which were added to the song direct from an AM radio Lennon was fiddling with that happened to be receiving the broadcast of the play on the BBC Third Programme. The excerpt begins at Act IV, Sc vi,II lines 224-25, most pointedly (given Lennon's problematic history with his own father) where the disguised Edgar talks to his estranged and maliciously blinded father the Earl of Gloucester: Glo: "Now good sir, what are you? Edg: A most poor man, made tame to fortune's blows." Edgar then kills Oswald the steward of Goneril (who cries out "Slave, thou has't slain me"). Edgar describes the dead Oswald in words heard in the song's coda as a "serviceable villain." Gloucester asks "What, is he dead?" and Edgar replies "Sit ye down father rest you." 

Now, this Shakespeare clue is well known in PID circles and has been discussed before, but to me it is fantastic that IAAP gives us this little gem without comment or fanfare. I guess I am guilty of looking for clues that perpetuate my own beliefs about PID, but, this confirmation, in an official Beatles publicity organ, has to be taken seriously.

The Beatles Monthly Book, or, Beatles Monthly Magazine was produced by the publisher Sean O' Mahony of Beat Publications Ltd between August 1963 and December 1969. O' Mahony would contribute articles under the pseudnym Johnny Dean as would the Beatles press officer Tony Barrow, who wrote using his middle names Frederick James, as did Mal Evans and  Neil Aspinall who, of course, used his wonderful nom de plume, Billy Shepherd. 

After the publication ceased it would reappear from May 1976 until September 1982 when all 77 original issues were republished. After that the magazine continued with original content until January 2003. The letters from Bealtle people section was edited by Johnny Dean (O'Mahony) and Billy Shepherd (Aspinall) and, guessing from the fact that the heading is now 'more recent letters from Beatle people', I assume this comes from one of the later magazines with the newer content.

I would love to know the date of this magazine so if anybody knows please do drop me a line. Given that the PID rumours only began in September 1969 and this publication ceased in that December there would have little time for it to have been in that print run. So, logic suggests, it appeared somewhere between October 1982 and January 2003. 

Given Neil Aspinall's involvement in the Beatles Monthly Magazine and, in my opinion, his connection with Iamaphoney (please see blog piece here) this is yet another tantalising clue he has chosen to bring to public attention, especially given the inference that the Beatles perpetuated the whole thing.

As Johnny Rotten once said; "ever get the feeling youv'e been cheated?"