`I don't understand you,' said Alice. `It's dreadfully confusing!': A is for Apollo Part5
When all else fails, read the directions.
The cover of Sgt. Pepper was no mere happenstance.
And, not to sound like a "broken record," but there remains a REASON for every person, place, and thing that appears.
The problem was they counted on us being as clever as they. We simply didn't "get it."
Yet, it's all there for us to see. We just need to look.
Pardon the illumination...
MMT is Pepper in a more "visual" form. It borrows from, and answers some. The cover design relates to Pepper in many visual clues. The concept was to take a journey. Visual points of interest discerned. Magicians noting the movements. Clues abound. They ALL point to Pepper. What if you wrote a book and nobody read it? I want to be a paperback writer...
Pardon the intrusion...
The key to this paradigm starts and ends with Sgt. Pepper.
This is why most clues resort back to Pepper in later releases.
The walrus and mentions of Edgar Allen Poe on MMT begs a relook at Sgt. Pepper. Magical MYSTERY Tour was the first attempt to get the public to re-examine the Pepper album.
Yellow Submarine deals with Pepperland and Sgt. Pepper's band.
The "White Album" refers to clues left on Pepper and MMT. (Glass Onion)
How Do You Sleep, "So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise..."
Why the constant Pepper references?
Pepper was designed to tell a story. Every person and item on that cover is a clue unto itself. Think of it as chapters in a book, with Pepper being the whole of the book. Brilliant in its concept, it was lost on the public until late in '69 at the height of the PID rumours. But it was not from lack of trying…
…Ask yourself...why leave clues and offer no resolution? Why leave clues to already existing clues?
Are you up to it?
Ah yes...nice indeed to chat with you again. "Pepper" was never really meant to be a "Beatle" album, per say. Nor was any intended follow-up fitting that particular schematic. "What we have here is failure to communicate." The key to any illusion is misdirection. A few puffs of smoke, and the clever use of a mirror, can conjure the unthinkable. What was meant as a diversion became a separate entity. And, as I have mentioned, great pains were taken to put the train back on the tracks, so to speak. "Pepper" was meant to invoke thought. It was to answer questions not yet asked. It was both a "hello" and "goodbye." It didn't work. "Tour" tried in vain to redirect your attention to the thing that escaped everybody's perception. It didn't work. "Submarine," with its allusions to Sgt. Pepper, sunk as if it had screen doors. Look to these examples to find the missing links. This was our intention.
‘Through the Looking Glass’ is a reversed world where times moves backwards. Let us consider the lyrics to McCartney’s ‘Backwards Traveller’ from Wings’ ‘London Town’ LP.
Hey, Did You Know That I'm
Always Going Back In Time
Rhyming Slang, Auld Lang Syne My Dears
Through The Years
I Am The Backwards Traveller
Ancient Wool Unraveller
Sailing Songs, Wailing On The Moon
And We Were Sailing Songs, Wailing On The Moon
These lyrics could be about ‘Through the Looking Glass’, specifically chapter 5: Wool and Water. Here are some excerpts:
`I don't understand you,' said Alice. `It's dreadfully confusing!'
`That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: `it always makes one a little giddy at first --'
`Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. `I never heard of such a thing!'
`-- but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
Pardon the intrusion... There is more here than meets the kaleidoscope eyes. Is there a need to mention the "looking glass ties" to "Wool and Water"? Is it a waste of time to compare "rocking horse people" to the "Magical Mystery Boy" in MMT? The connections are there. The Walrus, and the egg. The challenge, "Let the fuckers figure this one out."
Apollo is sending us an invitation and our job is to decode this riddle. Well “kaleidoscope eyes”, “looking glass ties” and “rocking horse people” are all lyrics from ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, which we know to be based upon the Wool and Water chapter from ‘Through the Looking Glass’ as Paul McCartney tells us. “John had the title and he had the first verse. It started off very Alice in Wonderland: 'Picture yourself in a boat, on the river …' It's very Alice. Both of us had read the Alice books and always referred to them, we were always talking about 'Jabberwocky' and we knew those more than any other books really. And when psychedelics came in, the heady quality of them was perfect. So we just went along with it. I sat there and wrote it with him: I offered 'cellophane flowers' and 'newspaper taxis' and John replied with 'kaleidoscope eyes'. I remember which was which because we traded words off each other, as we always did ... And in our mind it was an Alice thing, which both of us loved”. [Source]
The Walrus refers to the Walrus and the Carpenter from ‘Through the Looking Glass’ which, along with the Egg-man, is referenced in the post Pepper song ‘I am the Walrus’.
The Egg refers to Humpty Dumpty which is the chapter in ‘Through the Looking Glass’ that follows Wool and Water. In this chapter Humpty provides Alice with a solution to the nonsense poem Jabberwocky. Humpty Dumpty is also what Aleister Crowley quotes to reference Lewis Carroll and the hidden meanings of nursery rhymes.
Wool and Water is a chapter name in ‘Through the Looking Glass’ and is where we find the White Queen talking about ‘living backwards’ and remembering the future in a very Crowleyesque manner. She also talks of things getting better, better, better as Paul McCartney does in both ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Getting Better’. Hunter Davis claims that ‘Getting Better’ was inspired by a comment that was often made by the, temporary, Ringo replacement Jimmy Nichol, which may well be true, but is it a coincidence that it should directly follow ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ on Pepper?
Apollo seems to confirm this link in this post;
Seems that Lewis Carroll's inspiration, usually associated with Lennon's work during the Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour era, extends beyond the obvious and presents itself in places unexpected.
There is a connection with Carroll and McCartney's song, "Hey Jude."
In the "Through the Looking Glass" books, it seems that the White Queen has a habit that when she says the word "better," she repeats it over and over again, each time getting more high pitched and louder until it ends in a squeal. At which time she completely transform herself into a "new creature" or a new location.
"Better, better, better..."
The backwards playing of records was advised as training for magicians by occultist Aleister Crowley, who suggested in his 1913 book ‘Magick (Book 4)’ that an adept "train himself to think backwards by external means", one of which was to "listen to phonograph records, reversed.”
The purpose of Crowley’s instruction to read, walk etc. backwards is to train the mind to reverse backwards to the point of birth and then beyond in order to learn from previous life experiences. It is also an act of ‘remote viewing’. Could one infer it as also being an act of mind-control training?
It is a very similar act to the one Crowley describes in his book ‘Confessions’ about how Edward Kelley and John Dee translated messages using a ‘shew stone’ or obsidian mirror. These ‘Enochian’ messages would appear backwards.
‘We’ll all be Magick Supermen’ is the backward-phrase that appears on the inner groove at the end of Sgt. Pepper. It is a clue that confirms that Pepper is about a mythical journey and ties in with the Nietzsche inspired theme that ‘God is dead’ and marks the arrival of the Ubermensch (Supermen).
Intriguingly, when Crowley first got in touch with the Brothers of the A:.A:. (called, I believe, the Oysters) the password for entry was “there is no god”. [Source]
Returning to Apollo’s riddle, the ‘”Magical Mystery Boy” in MMT’ refers to a scene from the ‘Blue Jay Way’ segment of the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ film in which the viewer sees a scene wherein a seemingly dismembered torso (apparently that of Mal Evans) appears with the words “Magical Mystery Boy” written on his chest.
The scene then cuts to that of children in silhouette riding rocking horses (another Alice in Wonderland theme), hence rocking horse people. People on rocking horses, of course, travel both forwards and backwards, as does a Queen on a chess-board. In ‘Through the Looking Glass’ Alice transforms herself from a pawn into a Queen.
The intent, therefore, is to affirm the importance of the Lewis Carroll, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme to Sgt. Pepper and Apollo is pointing out how the Beatles attempted to redirect attention to these clues that had been missed by the world at large, in their subsequent projects.
Even post Beatle solo projects included potential clues.
George Harrison’s 1998 single ‘When We Was Fab’ features a left-handed bass playing walrus in the video.
It also has a sleeve designed by possible Paul replacement Klaus Voormann and was produced by the back-masking specialist Jeff Lynne.
Which is all slightly strange given that Harrison seemed the least interested of all the Beatles in matters Pepper; “I felt we were just in the studio to make the next record, and Paul was going on about this idea of some fictitious band. That side of it didn't really interest me, other than the title song and the album cover”.
Ringo is pasted onto someone else on a particular album cover. He wasn't too obvious was he?
All just fun? Serious?
A little of both?
Jumpstart the subtle beat of a dialogue? Or keep it going if it's there?
Here Ringo has adopted the role of Klaatu from the film ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’, but for what purpose? Well, in the movie, Klaatu, upon arriving on Earth adopts the identity of a Mr Carpenter. It is both a Walrus and the Carpenter clue and a secret, or hidden, identity clue. An example of the merging of the dual concepts.
Is this why The Carpenters chose to cover a Klaatu song, ‘Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft’?
On the cover to the Ringo record the shadowy occupants of the interplanetary craft seem to be giving the robot, Gort, a little helping hand. Did he need a little push to enter the public stage?
Perhaps there are credible connections between Klaatu/Beatles.
Terry Draper's name keeps "coming up" on a lot of these pages. "Can you pretend" to know the answers?
Why would people who bought "Let It Be" also buy a 50's sci-fi movie? What plausible connection could there be? Why would it even be mentioned? A clue, perhaps?
A possible connection between the Beatles and Klaatu may be found on the B-side of ‘Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft’, in the song ‘Sub-Rosa Subway’. Sub-rosa means under the rose and is used to imply that information is secret, so, in this case it could mean underground secret.
Of perhaps more interest though is the fact that ‘Sub-Rosa Subway’ contains Morse code. In this case spelling out; "From Alfred, heed thy sharpened ear — A message we do bring — Starship appears upon our sphere — Through London's sky come spring."
There is also rumoured to be a segment of Morse code contained within ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, the place where nothing is real. Some claim it spells JL, but this is widely disputed.
Walrus in French translates as Morse. Should we be looking for a translated clue such as Dietrich in German meaning key?
The story unfolds before your eyes and ears for those that connect the dots. Many of you see things that are not there. Much energy spent on ghosts that fail to materialize. Questions asked that lay unanswered which will add a crucial piece of the puzzle. Too many people doing too many things to notice the key that lies at your feet.
Get back to the basics. Tread old ground, for there are truly flowers in the dirt.
Let us break that last post down.
The story unfolds before your eyes and ears for those that connect the dots. The answers can be found contained on the Beatles record covers and within the song’s lyrics.
Many of you see things that are not there. Much energy spent on ghosts that fail to materialize. This pertains to the ‘Paul is Dead’ myth. Many years spent chasing down a wrong alley.
Questions asked that lay unanswered which will add a crucial piece of the puzzle. I take this to mean that many people got close but were diverted elsewhere; stick to Pepper.
Too many people doing too many things to notice the key that lies at your feet. Get back to the basics. Tread old ground, for there are truly flowers in the dirt. Most of Apollo’s flowers in the dirt clues pertain to the Paul / Tara axis as explained through the Apollo and Hyacinthus Greek myth, however, something else does occur to me.
The above flower in the dirt is a star.
It is at the feet of Ringo, aka Richard Starkey. Could the ‘key that lies at your feet’ be a Star Key?
Or, put another way, that the answer to the puzzle is contained within the array of ‘stars’ on the Pepper cover.
A fine job, indeed. The real test comes once the music starts. The cover clues leave no doubt as to "who" is plucking the strings.
The upper corners of the cover depict a familiar beast. What do you make of the bottom ones?
Keep searching the clues on the door.
One in particular is all you need.
Another for further analysis; …The real test comes once the music starts. The cover clues leave no doubt as to "who" is plucking the strings. This is very difficult to answer, however, another Apollo missive may be telling. At the end of the "Strawberry Fields" video, when each is seen through the "strings," whose face is shown last?
The answer to the video question above is Paul McCartney and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ was intended to be an integral part of Pepper, so, presumably relates to the ‘once the music starts’ part. In other words Paul McCartney was the prime mover in the whole ‘concept’.
The upper corners of the cover depict a familiar beast. That would be our friend Aleister Crowley.
What do you make of the bottom ones? Keep searching the clues on the door. One in particular is all you need.
Crowley, the beast, again, only in disguise, lurking behind the do(o)rs. A man we know whose identity is concealed, hidden in plain sight. Behind him the key (Dietrich) and behind her is Lewis Carroll, the ‘one in particular’ that we need. Finally, note that Dietrich appears to have her hand at the RAOB’s ear. “Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song and I’ll try not to sing out of key.” Taken from the lyrics to ‘With a little help from my friends’ where we first meet Billy Shears (Ringo). We are introduced to Billy in the previous song Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Billy Shears is also a man we know who is concealing his identity. He is the front man, much like William Shakespeare is the front man for the works of Sir Francis Bacon. Bacon was also referred to as Apollo.
There may be some analogies to be drawn to Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’; however, we are primarily being drawn into a dream world reminiscent of that described in ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’:
“Let me take you down, cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about….
….Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see….
… Always, no sometimes, think it's me
But you know I know when it's a dream”.
All of which reminds me of an extract from the ‘rumoured’ Mal Evans autobiography, ‘Living The Beatles Legend’.
“It was so unreal and that is why John invented Strawberry Fields, Nothing is real. He said again and again. We didn't really understand it until he showed us what wasn't real in the lyrics. John is a genius a real on[e]. It blew my mind when he played it backwards? What a way to tell a story. Paul really gave him a new direction, a new way of art. Good and bad. Black and white.”
Of course we have to take Iamaphoney’s word for the authenticity of that document and it is, primarily, presented to support his agenda and needs to be seen in the whole (click here for my blog on this).
However, it is clear that ‘Alice’ analogies can be drawn throughout. The Walrus and the Carpenter poem is recited to Alice by the mirror-image twins Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Having done this they draw Alice’s attention to the sleeping Red King and propose that she is a figment of his dream and, should he wake, her existence would end.
We know that the whole tale is actually a figment of one of Alice’s dreams, so, in turn, should she wake up then the Red King, and all the other inhabitants of the looking-glass world, would also cease to exist.
Which scenario is real?
I believe this is at the heart of the riddle. In Paul’s version of Pepper the Beatles become a new band with personas they can adopt at will, hidden in plain sight; they are the Beatles and yet they are not the 'mop-tops'. They are replacements. Was Paul replaced? Ultimately it matters not as he never actually disappears from view.
In John’s looking-glass version of Pepper, nothing is real, the Beatles are still the Beatles but they are playing a game. They are occupying a dream world. They are presenting an alternate reality. To understand this is to grasp the endgame.
Which scenario is real?
This may help to explain why, at different times, both John and Paul were keen to claim the role as the walrus for themselves.
In Magical Mystery Tour Lennon, apparently, is the walrus as he is singing the song; however on the track-list of the accompanying soundtrack underneath ‘I Am the Walrus’ are the words ' "No you're not!" said Little Nicola'.
On ‘Glass Onion’ Lennon sings "now here's another clue for you all—the walrus was Paul.”
On ‘God’ he claims “I was the walrus, but now I am John...and so my friends, you'll just have to carry on. The dream is over.”
Recently on Twitter McCartney posted this;
There does also seem to be a real separation between John and Paul around this time. There may be some real evidence that Paul not only met Yoko before John and her, very, staged introduction took place, but that he may have also slept with her.
This website tells an interesting tale;
On September 1, 1966, the whole sexual politics of The Beatles was transformed by the arrival in Britain of a small 33-year-old woman dressed in black and surrounded by a collection of clay dolls and abstract tinfoil sculptures.
Her name was Yoko Ono.
Not long afterwards, she turned up at McCartney’s home in Cavendish Avenue, talked her way inside, and asked Paul if he had any spare manuscripts of Beatles lyrics ‘or other stuff’ that she could present to her friend, the musician John Cage.
Paul turned her down. Instead, he suggested, she might like to try his old friend and partner, John Lennon.
And that was that – according to the conventional story.
But Yoko, by at least one account, made quite an impression at Cavendish Avenue.
According to this source, a man familiar with the day-to-day lives of The Beatles in 1966, Paul’s gift when he and Yoko went upstairs was of a more select kind than some second hand lyrics sheet.
“Down she came, closely followed by Himself with an ear-splitting grin on his face, giving a wink. It all fitted. People will tell you that they’re incompatible. Not then they weren’t.”
McCartney, it is remembered, was particularly courteous towards his guest at the front door. “They stood there up close, and she took his arm. He was hugging her.” Paul also reportedly showered enormous praise on Yoko’s portfolio.
When Yoko met John, and began the decade’s most spectacular love affair, Lennon made no secret of his feelings.
“He warned me off her,” Paul would recall. “Sort of said, ‘Look, no, no,’ cause he knew I was a bit of a ladies man – I liked the girls, no doubt about that.”
Sadly this account cannot be verified; however, it does bring into question Yoko’s account of having never heard of the Beatles prior to meeting John. It also raises questions about how the Beatles were being manipulated at this time.
Maggie McGivern claims she was with Paul in Paris on 18th September 1966. Maggie McGivern met Paul as a result of working for John Dunbar. The same John Dunbar who organised Yoko’s exhibition at the Indica Gallery in November 1966 where she would meet John Lennon for the first time. The same John Dunbar who was partners at Indica with Barry Miles and Peter Asher, brother of Paul’s then partner, Jane Asher.
We have to assume that Yoko got Paul’s address in London from John Dunbar. If Paul is sleeping with both Yoko and Maggie in September 1966 – the same month many claim he dies – and John Dunbar has a hand, even innocently, in arranging these assignations, then how the hell would Peter, and more importantly, Jane Asher not know about this?
Ultimately she may have simply turned a blind eye, but it demonstrates the influence the Indica crowd, and Robert Fraser, held over Paul McCartney at that time.
We know that McCartney was unhappy that Lennon was perceived as the ‘avant-garde’ Beatle when really it was Paul that had those connections. We know that Paul was unhappy with the decision to stop touring. We know they were both unhappy with being perceived as ‘mop-tops’, we know someone was unhappy with Epstein’s management and had made overtures towards Allen Klein.
Given the intense nature of John’s fledgling relationship with Yoko then any suggestion from Paul that he may have got there first with Yoko may well have soured John and Paul’s friendship irreversibly and permanently.
Perhaps this division is what Apollo is referring to when he points attention to the two’s post Beatles lyrical spat;
Keep in mind the dialogue between John and Paul with "Imagine" and "Ram."
Paul-"Too Many People"
John-"How Do You Sleep"
On the "Ram" album, in the song "Monkberry Moon Delight"
"I know my banana is OLDER than the rest, and my hair is a tangled beretta. So, I leave my pyjamas to BILLY BUDAPEST, and I don't get the gist of your letter."
Is that "graspable" enough?
Frankly I don’t grasp any of the above, however, there is a verse in ‘Too Many People’ that may be telling.
That was your last mistake,
I find my love awake and waiting to be.
Now what can be done for you?
She's waiting for me
I wonder if the last line is a less than subtle reference for John about Yoko.
Anyway, it is clear that by the time of Pepper there is a clear division in the Beatles ranks, one that will fester and grow and, I wonder, if it was a division that was encouraged by the Indica / Fraser crowd? Certainly someone had to intertwine the two separate Pepper themes.
So, just who could have pulled of such a magnificent concept?
“We got artistic people involved. I was very good friends with Robert Fraser, the London art-dealer; a guy with one of the greatest visual eyes that I've ever met. It was a great thrill, being a friend of his at the time, and I took the whole album-cover idea to him. He represented the artist Peter Blake, and he was very good friends with the photographer Michel Cooper. Robert said, 'Let Michael take some pictures. We'll get Peter to do a background, and then we'll collage it all together.'” Paul McCartney.
And, if you wanted an Alice in Wonderland theme, then who better than Peter Blake. In this interview he reveals his Alice themed inspiration. Furthermore, in 1970, he was approached to provide modern illustrations for an updated version of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
At the end of the 1960’s Blake, and his then wife and fellow Pepper collaborator Jann Haworth, founded the Ruralist movement whose paintings were ‘dominated by literary subjects drawn from English literature, particularly the works of William Shakespeare and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Fairies are another key theme with major works devoted to Titania from A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
Paul McCartney once said; “We wanted the whole of Pepper to be so that you could look at the front cover for years, and study all those people and read all the words on the back”.
Well mission accomplished, that is precisely what people have done. That there is an Alice theme that runs through the whole of Pepper is, I believe, evident and Apollo is pointing us toward it. We have playing cards, a la ‘Alice in Wonderland’, in that we have ‘Hearts’, ‘Clubs’ and ‘Diamonds’ on Pepper, though no ‘Spades’; so maybe we have to do the digging?
‘Through the Looking Glass’ begins with a list of ‘Dramatis Personae’ lined up on either side of the chess-board and each of them has some part in the story, similar to the cast on Pepper. But what is the purpose?
There is a chess theme that weaves its way throughout ‘Through the Looking Glass’ and may deem this Ringo Starr comment pertinent; "The biggest memory I have of Sgt. Pepper ... is I learned to play chess". Is this a clue that Sgt. Pepper is a game?
Then we have the fact that in both ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass’ Alice’s adventures are actually dreams. Is there a comparison to be made with the dream like state that LSD induces?
And what are we to make of Apollo’s frequent references to Paul’s replacement? Well in ‘Through the Looking Glass’ Alice replaces Lily as ‘Lily’s too young to play’ and Alice herself undergoes a transformation from pawn to Queen.
There may be some linkage in that McCartney frequently recalls the song ‘Yesterday’ as having come to him, fully formed, within a dream. This was during the time in which he was living with the Asher family and I have suggested in previous posts that this may have been deliberate given Dr Asher’s professional expertise and that the ‘establishment’ seem to have been conducting LSD experiments at this time. Let us not forget that ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ – the place where ‘nothing is real’ – is itself a dream world.
McCartney often refers to himself as being two people, or may comment that, ‘Paul McCartney is this other guy’.
It is possible that these schizophrenic tendencies may be a manifestation of an LSD induced disorder entitled Alice in Wonderland syndrome which is a neurological condition that affects human perception. A sufferer experiences size distortion or other sensory modalities and, whilst I admit this is clearly a long shot, maybe these ‘replacement’ Pauls are merely manifestations of a wider, psychological, disorder.
A is for Apollo