Monday, 17 November 2014

The Beatles in Wonderland - A is for Apollo



The Beatles in Wonderland: A is for Apollo Part4

Duality is what we are exploring; Yin and Yang, black and white, Lennon and McCartney. So, if McCartney devised Pepper and its "CONCEPT" of a parody of a satire of a band that never existed then it was Lennon who fathered the Lewis Carroll inspired Alice in Wonderland theme that snakes its way through the Beatles post-‘66 output like a Hookah smoking caterpillar.


Which is not to say that McCartney was not also equally as bewitched by all things Alice having been gifted a set of Alice in Wonderland statuettes by his brother Mike, which would become engrained in Maggie McGivern’s memory, and which graced the cover of the Beatles single ‘The ballad of John and Yoko’.




Indeed, it has been said, although not substantiated, that Paul became so obsessed with the Tarot path he built a literal Tarot zigzag path in his garden at Cavendish Avenue and put these statuettes at the nodes. It would certainly fit with Miss McGivern’s tale of the statues and the meditation dome.


Perhaps it would be pertinent to point out at this point that present on the cover of Pepper is a ‘tree of life’.
It may also explain why Iamaphoney sometimes used a Tarot tree of life image in some of his videos.

The Tarot journey – which I don’t confess to understand – may also play a significant part in the Sgt. Pepper schematic with various characters possibly being symbolic representations of the individuals represented in the Tarot deck of major arcana cards. Like Alice in her adventures Sgt. Pepper does seem to represent a journey. According to this site; ‘The Fool's Journey is a metaphor for the journey through life. Each major arcana card stands for a stage on that journey - an experience that a person must incorporate to realize his wholeness’.

We can see from the image above that John was interested in a book entitled ‘Doctrine of Kabbalism’ by one Elbert Benjamine who was an occultist who started the Church Of Light. The document is interesting because we can see John listing the running order for Sgt. Pepper on the same scrap, meaning it must date from the same period.


And so we have progressed quite quickly to a scenario in which the Beatles, and their associates, are being immersed in the study of many esoteric concepts. Perhaps they wish to share these secrets, perhaps they wish to initiate us, the masses? Is Sgt. Pepper really designed to be an occult initiation ceremony? Are we, merely by listening and observing the cover, being endowed with secret knowledge and hidden wisdom?


I guess I had better provide some sort of evidence.


Pardon the intrusion...

Keeping in mind the somewhat sinister origins of many of the "Mother Goose" nursery rhymes, you may find the following read interesting enough to reconsider the song "Cry Baby Cry"…..

….Here is how "coded messages" were being sent via harmless "nursery rhymes."


Apollo


Apollo is analogising about how simple messages can be hidden in plain sight, in this case in children’s nursery rhymes. 


In the example above my take is this; 'Sing a song of sixpence' was a CODED message to entice unemployed, or would-be, pirates to join up with Blackbeard's ship with the promise of sixpence a day in pay. 'Cry Baby Cry' has a lyrical style similar to that of 'Sing a song of sixpence', therefore, Apollo was urging us to also see 'Cry Baby Cry' as a CODED message. The outro to 'Cry Baby Cry' features the short 'Can you take me back?' segment written by McCartney. Apollo wants us to believe that McCartney, having left the band, is seeking to return.


In his work, ‘Magick, Book 4’, Aleister Crowley includes a chapter purporting to illuminate the Qabalistic (Kabbalistic) significance of Mother Goose nursery rhymes. When recalling Humpty Dumpty, for instance, he recommends the occult authority "Ludovicus Carolus" -- better known as Lewis Carroll.


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty got a great fall;
All the king's horses
And all the king's men
Couldn't set up Humpty Dumpty again.

This is so simple as hardly to require explanation. Humpty Dumpty is of course the Egg of Spirit, and the wall is the Abyss -- his "fall" is therefore the descent of spirit into matter; and it is only too painfully familiar to us that all the king's horses and all his men cannot restore us to the height. Only the King Himself can do that!
But one can hardly comment upon a theme which has been so fruitfully treated by Ludovicus Carolus, that most holy illuminated man of God. His masterly treatment of the identity of the three reciprocating paths of Daleth, Teth, and Pe, is one of the most wonderful passages in the Holy Qabalah. His resolution of what we take to be the bond of slavery into very love, the embroidered neckband of honour bestowed upon us by the King himself, is one of the most sublime passages in this class of literature.


Daleth, Teth, and Pe are the three horizontal paths of the Tarot tree of life. 


It is of note that Crowley refers to Ludovicus Carolus, which is a Latinised version of Lewis Carroll (Carroll’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). Carroll is also referred to as an ‘illuminated man’. So was Carroll also a Freemason? There is some online suggestion to say he was, but nothing conclusive. I have also read claims that he was a Rosicrucian, but again, nothing conclusive; however, apropos of nothing in particular, the son of a Mason is in England called a Lewis and many of the esteemed cast that grace the cover of Pepper had fathers who were Masons.


Humpty Dumpty is a character in Carroll’s book ‘Through the Looking Glass’. It has been suggested that Carroll when writing Humpty Dumpty was alluding to the death of King Richard III – the hunchback King who died in battle after receiving numerous bodily blows and wounds, hence he couldn’t be put back together again –and this website claims that “a 16th century collection of manuscripts that once contained the Shakespeare plays, Richard II and Richard III, names Francis Bacon as their author?”


So, as I suggest in ‘The Sgt Pepper Code’, we have this loop through Bacon, Crowley and Carroll that reappears time and again on Sgt. Pepper. It may also help explain why this egg shaped trophy appears on the Pepper cover.
Is this another of the ‘flowers in the dirt’ that Apollo so frequently references? Is it a clue that Pepper is an egg-hunt? Is it also an allusion that Sgt. Pepper had other, hidden, writers and collaborators? Mal Evans would certainly attest to this; if he was still alive.


It is interesting that Crowley is pointing us in the direction of Lewis Carroll and his work. Crowley recommended both ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, and ‘Through the Looking Glass’, as essential reading for students of the A:.A:. when he describes them as being “Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah.”


But why should he make such a recommendation? Frankly, I do not know, however, for our purposes it is certainly useful to see it as a reference to searching out hidden meanings contained within stories.


It is for this reason that I believe Edgar Allen Poe is included on the Sgt. Pepper cover.


There may seem to be several references to Edgar Allen Poe spanning several albums.

Poe is known to place ciphers in his works for the reader to solve. The most famous being "The Gold Bug." Some works of his put the clues in plain sight as a tease to the readers. It is not a stretch to believe that this was an inspiration to place clues in the pictures and lyrics of the Beatles.

Poe is seen amongst the crowd on the Sgt. Pepper cover.

Poe is mentioned in the song "I am the Walrus."

Poe may have been the inspiration for the song "Blackbird." His famous work "The Raven" comes to mind. And, during the track "Revolution #9" the word "Eldorado" is heard. Poe penned a poem titled "Eldorado." I will post that post haste.

Poe's own death has been a mystery of sorts as well. One version has him being intoxicated and kidnapped, forced by his kidnappers to place votes in different districts during an election.

His already ill health and added exhaustion caused his early death. Might that sound somewhat familiar?

One story concerning just one person found on the Sgt. Pepper cover. Many more to discover.

"There's nothing you can see that isn't shown."

"It's easy."
Apollo


Perhaps the message below spells out best the nature of the Poe inclusion?


Greetings mate. You caught me at a good time. As for the "POE" connection, it serves more as a "blueprint" than an actual code. Although many can be sussed. Same as Carroll, it serves the purpose to seek new ways of "seeing" what is there. There's nothing you can see that isn't shown. You just need to know what you're looking for. Then it will all make sense. Kind of shines a new light on the subject. Many have actually hit the mark, but refused to accept the conclusions.

Apollo


So, there we have it:  As for the "POE" connection, it serves more as a "blueprint" than an actual code. No need then to analyse every line of ‘The Gold-Bug’ looking for clues or ciphers. Apollo is merely telling us that similar clues and ciphers appear on Sgt. Pepper.


There is, however, another interesting aside; quite possibly purely coincidental, but interesting nevertheless.


…during the track "Revolution #9" the word "Eldorado" is heard. Poe penned a poem titled "Eldorado."…


‘Eldorado’ is also the name of an ELO single and album (the album features ‘Wizard of Oz’ imagery on its cover. ‘The Wizard of Oz’, like ‘Alice in Wonderland’, has long been associated with mind-control techniques). The ‘Eldorado’ track has been accused of containing the reversed message "He is the nasty one - Christ you're infernal - It is said we're dead men - Everyone who has the mark will live". 
Jeff Lynne from ELO has said that the track is about a man who wakes from a dream world – Eldorado – and upon waking realises the dream world is better than the real one and wishes to return there. This, I feel, has ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ connotations.


"Turned out nice again, mother."

Apollo


Quite possibly this is the most cryptic of all the Apolloisms. Until, that is, we analyse it. "Turned out nice again, mother" was the catchphrase of George Formby (a British cinema star of the ‘40’s and ‘50’s who the Beatles would have been familiar with from their childhoods) and was included as a reversed message on the end of the ‘Free as a bird’ single.  When this reversed message is played forwards it becomes ‘made by John Lennon’. 


Which is nice, but not earth-shattering, until we consider the ‘coincidence’ that Formby starred in a film called ‘George in Civvy Street’ that contains an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ dream sequence and that the producer for ‘Free as a bird’ was ELO’s Jeff Lynne! So, Jeff, the back-masking expert, is inserting an Alice clue into the Beatles’ ‘90’s output.


Both the ‘Alice’ books were based around her experiences whilst dreaming and here Apollo is pointing us, in a very convoluted and roundabout way, to yet another Alice reference.


Points to ponder...

Ever wonder about the multiple references to our old friend, Edgar Allen Poe?

As well as developing codes and ciphers embedded in his works, an art well noticed and used in later Beatle releases. He also has a fascinating connection on the Sgt. Pepper with another "face" there as well.

Terry Southern wrote the book, "Dr Strangelove". He is featured on the cover as well. In the 1964 movie of the same name, the code used as the disarming of the bomb was "Purity of Essence" and "Peace on Earth."

Or, simply POE.

The reason it is in all caps in the MMT lyric sheet.

This movie was directed by one Stanley Kubrick, whose discarded aerial footage was used during the song "Flying" on the MMT movie. A song that holds a special footnote as being the only Beatle song credited to all four as writers.

Lets recap...

Edgar Allen Poe appears with Terry Southern on the Sgt. Pepper cover.

Edgar Allen Poe is mentioned in the song "I am the Walrus" from the MMT album.

The "walrus" appears on the Sgt. Pepper cover with help from a handy mirror, much the same as the drum skin clue.

Southern writes the book "Dr Strangelove" which within its pages gives the disarm code for the bomb as "POE" which stands for "Peace on Earth" and "Purity of Essence."

"Dr Strangelove" is directed by Stanley Kubrick, whose unused aerial footage is used in the MMT movie during the song "Flying" whose writing credits were Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr. The ONLY time all four shared a writing credit on a song.

Do you see a pattern here?

There’s NOTHING you can SEE that isn't SHOWN...it's easy!

Apollo


I can’t see that it is easy, but nevertheless, we know that Poe liked to inserts codes into his work whilst Kubrick also liked to embed hidden meanings into his. In Kubrick’s ‘Dr Strangelove’ Peter Sellers plays multiple roles – just as the Beatles do on Pepper. We are looking for a code that follows that pattern.
 
The code we are searching for here is in pictorial form, it is a rebus. Wikipedia states that “A rebus is an allusional device that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words”. If we ignore, momentarily, the hidden RAOB character we can see Lewis CARROLL, Marlene DIETRICH, Shirley TEMPLE and Diana DORS in an orderly queue. Dietrich, Temple and Dors are all actresses and, therefore, are not necessarily what, or whom, they seem to be. 


Dietrich in German means skeleton key – a key that can open any lock – therefore we are left with CARROLL – KEY – TEMPLE – DOORS. Or possibly just CARROLL = KEY.


If Lewis Carroll is the key then this is quite possibly a clue to the use of a mirror. After all Lewis Carroll wrote ‘Through the Looking Glass’ and a looking-glass is a mirror.

Apollo tells us that by using a mirror on the Sgt. Pepper cover the Walrus appears.

Points to ponder...

So many of the supposed "clues" found on MMT seem to point back towards Sgt. Pepper.

Case in point:

Hidden on the Pepper cover is a WALRUS.

Using your trusty mirror, place it vertically touching Diana Dors left elbow.

See him?

Yet, this "clue" pre-dates any mention in Beatle lore of a walrus. That would come on the following release, MMT….

Apollo
The Walrus and the Carpenter - who looks remarkably like the RAOB Legionnaire

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.

Apollo


Which is where the RAOB character comes in. Here is what Apollo had to say about the RAOB Legionnaire and possible Crowley double;


This particular fellow is the member of the Royal Antediluvian Order of the Buffaloes (R.A.O.B.). This group is known for the charitable acts they engage in to further the "pursuit of brotherhood." When one thinks of the countless numbers of individuals to choose from for the cover of Sgt. Pepper, it makes one wonder why those who appear were the "chosen ones."


His inclusion is certainly odd. However, he does fulfil certain criteria; he is a door-keeper whose identity is hidden and he does bear a remarkable similarity to the Carpenter? 


Consider also that the waxwork Diana Dors also seems to have oyster shells supporting her breasts. 


So, when the mirror is applied we have the Walrus, the Carpenter and the four oysters. A particular stanza from the Walrus and the Carpenter poem reads;


But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.


If we read the four young Oysters as being the Beatles then this could possibly be a reference to their treatment since achieving fame. In the poem the Oysters are lured from the sea by the Walrus and the Carpenter and they are eaten. The Beatles feel as though they have been consumed by the music industry. Is that why the walrus on the Pepper cover seems to be devouring the doll?


Still not convinced? Let us try looking again at the hidden meanings of ‘Sing a song of Sixpence’ and ‘Cry Baby Cry’. Both songs (as, indeed, does Lennon’s ‘Cleanup Time’) reference the King and Queen;


The confusion being the King and Queen. One represents Eppie, the other is George.

The "children" are most certainly the "lads." The context of the "seance" being put on for a "lark" was to cover for ones "death." The "duke" was Bill.

Apollo


Here Apollo is referencing the lyrics to ‘Cry Baby Cry’ – which was influenced by ‘Sixpence’ – and he implies that the King represents the record company (George Martin – Parlophone/EMI) whilst the Queen is Epstein. 

If we accept Apollo’s interpretation and then remember that Kings and Queens are key components on a chess-board then it becomes possible to see this as another ‘Through the Looking Glass’ clue. If we maintain the analogy of the King as the record company and the Queen as artist management then we could draw a parallel between the King and Queen and the Walrus and the Carpenter.


“I still have no idea who chose some of those people. I think Peter Blake put a lot more of the confusing people in there. It was just a broad spectrum of people. The ones I wanted were people I admired. I didn't put anybody on there because I didn't like them (unlike some people...).” George Harrison – Beatles Anthology.


So in searching through the symbolism on Pepper what is the allegory that we are meant to understand?


Well if Carroll is the key to Sgt. Pepper and upon understanding that that represents the ‘looking-glass’ themed clue that, in turn, denotes that we are to apply a mirror to the Pepper cover to reveal the Walrus and the Carpenter, then we discover that that is the allegory: the Walrus and the Carpenter.


The Walrus and the Carpenter represent (as do the King and Queen in the ‘Cry Baby Cry’ lyrics) the Beatles record company and management, both seeking to devour the band. Once they have lured the four young oysters (the Beatles) they know they will then be able to lure the remaining oysters (the fans), who will be equally consumed.


Sgt. Pepper, therefore, is a reversed, backward, journey that illustrates how the Beatles (via the inclusion of their younger selves - the waxwork Beatles) have been lured blindly into a fantasy, dream world whereby they become the adored and worshipped new gods, or figureheads, for the baby boomer generation. It is an LSD hewn dystopia forged from the big-business driven and capitalist led ideology that surrounded the Beatles and that so concerned John Lennon.


Pardon the intrusion...

Let's see...The band on the cover was not the band on the record, but merely several lads in suits, made to look somewhat Beatle-ish, but appearing to look nothing like the Beatles themselves, which the band playing on the record could have pulled off if they had worn suits and had a picture taken and used it on the cover.

Quick...drink the Kool-Aid.

Apollo


THE band on the record, those dressed in the outlandish, garish military garb, are the storytellers, the actors, the NEW Beatles, the ILLUMINATED Beatles. They are wise now to the ways of the world and their journey is complete. Sgt. Pepper is their invitation for you to join them. The band in suits - the waxwork Beatles - are the dummies that conformed to the ‘mop-top’ commercial constraints. This band no longer exists. The Beatles will no longer conform.


Which all sounds a lot like McCartney’s initial idea; “We would be Sgt. Pepper's band, and for the whole of the album we'd pretend to be someone else. So, when John walked up to the microphone to sing, it wouldn't be the new John Lennon vocal, it would be whoever he was in this new group, his fantasy character. It liberated you - you could do anything when you got to the mike or on your guitar, because it wasn't you”.


So, what was Lennon’s input to the Pepper concept?


Although concept is perhaps an incorrect term, certainly for Lennon; “Sgt. Pepper is called the first concept album, but it doesn't go anywhere. All my contributions to the album have absolutely nothing to do with this idea of Sgt. Pepper and his band; but it works, because we said it worked, and that's how the album appeared. But it was not put together as it sounds, except for Sgt. Pepper introducing Billy Shears, and the so-called reprise. Every other song could have been on any other album” he said.


So, what was his muse? When talking about ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ John said this. “The images were from Alice in Wonderland. It was Alice in the boat. She is buying an egg and it turns into Humpty-Dumpty. The woman serving in the shop turns into a sheep, and the next minute they're rowing in a rowing boat somewhere - and I was visualising that. There was also the image of the female who would someday come save me - 'a girl with kaleidoscope eyes' who would come out of the sky. It's not an acid song”.


So it would appear that, in essence, we have the fusing of two ideas; McCartney’s "CONCEPT" of a parody of a satire of a band that never existed, merged with Lennon’s Alice inspired wonderland. It is through the Walrus and the Carpenter, John Lennon’s mid-sixties reading materials and the understanding of the related Pepper clues, that both schematics are blended.


However, if we accept that Sgt. Pepper is filled with subtle clues, pictorial codes, hidden meanings and obscure allegories then we must also accept that some are incredibly difficult to find. Indeed, if the Walrus and the Carpenter are what you are meant to discover behind the ‘Temple-Do(o)rs’ then it is an extremely obtuse clue.


Is the walrus even deliberate? To embed a walrus into a palm-tree that only becomes visible when a mirror is applied to a certain point of the record cover does seem, on the face of it, somewhat preposterous. 


However, Peter Blake said; "It's a retouched photograph. In the original photo the blue paper behind them, which represented the sky, was slightly bumpy so it was retouched. And there was an artificial palm-tree on the right-hand side which was rather gloomy, so it was completely retouched and then became a rather badly painted palm-tree. It was all done by a professional re-toucher but not very sympathetically.”


I accept that the above statement does not constitute proof, but nevertheless, the mere fact it was professionally re-touched does lend some credence to the fact that it was deliberate and that the walrus was purposely embedded.


So, given that you need a mirror to find it, is it even a clue? Well it is, but only when you realise that the direction of travel on this journey is backwards. It is backwards because we are meant to be seeing events via the other side of the looking-glass, hence all is reversed. There is no mention of the walrus on Pepper and yet he is there, hidden, obscured, only to be revealed subsequently when the rest of the clues have been revealed. 


Points to ponder...

So many of the supposed "clues" found on MMT seem to point back towards Sgt. Pepper.

Case in point:

Hidden on the Pepper cover is a WALRUS.

Using your trusty mirror, place it vertically touching Diana Dors left elbow.

See him?

Yet, this "clue" pre-dates any mention in Beatle lore of a walrus. That would come on the following release, MMT.

Compare the two covers to each other.

On each cover the lads are dressed in costumes, each related, but different.

Both covers depict them as "another" band.

They both show them standing behind a banner. To the rear are a collection of stars; people on Pepper, actual star shapes on MMT.

Both albums feature a reference to Edgar Allen Poe, and our pesky friend, the Walrus.

Apollo


If we were meant to deduce these meanings from Pepper it seems we failed – nobody found the walrus – we would need later Beatles product to complete this quest. 


As part of the Beatles Anthology series a video was produced for ‘A Day in the Life’ which featured the Pepper cover.





Curiously they have mirrored either end of the cover image to reveal the walrus. They are diverting us back to a looking-glass clue that had been missed.


A is for Apollo