In the seats: Aspen store to feature Beatles movie

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – The animation is colorful and otherworldly, the plot captures the psychedelic era’s silliness, and the music represents The Beatles at their campiest.

The 1968 film “Yellow Submarine” will be featured from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Two Old Hippies, 111 S. Monarch St. in Aspen. Coffee and doughnuts will be served.

When it was released, “Yellow Submarine” was a hit with audiences and critics alike. Running 89 minutes, it sparked widespread interest in animation as a serious art form. Though the characters have the same names, likenesses and public personas of the actual members of the Fab Four during the height of Flower Power, The Beatles themselves did not provide voice-overs for the film.

The singalong tunes, actually written and performed by the famous band, and the animation that perfectly captures the flavor of the times, make it all better. “Yellow Submarine” boasts a wide range of songs from the Lennon-McCartney catalogue, including the title track (actually released on the album “Revolver,” two years before the film’s release). Even the crankiest cynic is forced to smile upon hearing the happy-go-luckiness of songs like “All Together Now,” “When I’m Sixty-Four” and “All You Need is Love.”

The film also boasts a healthy dose of The Beatles’ serious, poignant and mystical musical sides: “Eleanor Rigby,” “Nowhere Man” and “Lucy in the Sky in the Diamonds” are featured prominently amid a backdrop of lush images. The dialogue is filled with references to several other compositions by the band, and throughout the film, snippets of other Beatles tunes come into play.

Paul McCartney wrote the song “Yellow Submarine” as a vehicle for drummer Ringo Starr, with a little help from fellow Beatle John Lennon and the great ’60s artist Donovan.

“I was thinking of it as a song for Ringo, which it eventually turned out to be, so I wrote it as not too rangey in the vocal, then started making a story, sort of an ancient mariner telling the young kids where he’d lived,” McCartney said in one interview. “The lyrics got more and more obscure as it goes on, but the chorus, melody and verses are mine. The song began as being about different colored submarines but evolved to include only a yellow one.”

In another interview, he said, “It’s a happy place, that’s all. …We were trying to write a children’s song. That was the basic idea. And there’s nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children’s song.”

Carolyn Formica, manager of Two Old Hippies’ Aspen location, said the viewing will be casual and played over the store’s monitors. Adults and kids are welcome.

“It’s going to be fun,” she said.


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