Up Periscope Yellow by Al Brodax
Author Al Brodax came from the background of hack cartoon production for King Features. Most notably, he'd been responsible for hundreds of Popeye shorts, all cranked out on low budgets with the cheapest overseas animation available.
Then he got enthused by the Beatles famous Ed Sullivan debut, and finagled his way into getting a contract to produce a 30 minute weekly Beatle cartoon show. Before you even get to the main storyline, the opening chapter explaining the creation of the now repressed Beatles cartoon series is worth the price of the book to any serious Beatle fan.
Beatle business people (Epstein) were not entirely pleased with the cheaply conceived and made series, but Brodax managed to get the contract to make an animated film about the yellow submarine- which they could count off as a movie owed under contract to the studio. Cheap lured them in again.
The bulk of the book gives the producer's detailed personal account of the development and production of the Yellow Submarine movie. They started out restrained by the fairly sharp handicap of a very modest budget for a feature length and quality animation, but it seems that otherwise the suits were reasonably respectful and mostly hands off. Apparently, the production staff had created enough of an aura of doing something special early on to draw some deference.
It took me really quite a long time to read this book. This seems somewhat odd, in that it is not real long or difficult. It's succint and very conversational and readable.
I think it took me so long to read because I found myself studying it, trying to understand all the personnae and divisions of labor, and the writing process. (Brodax was also co-screenwriter.)
For the spice, Brodax has some good Beatle stories to throw in. The best one involved John Lennon purposely taking him to a really bad, pretentious French restaraunt which apparently literally sold them watered down ketchup as tomato soup. It's a really good John Lennon story. He and George both made trips to the production studios to show enthusiasm and support for the project.
But they sure stiffed Brodax where it counted: the songs. They were contractually obligated to produce four new songs for the movie. They gave them four of the least interesting songs ever to bear the Beatle name, the lowest scraps. "Hey Bulldog" was so-so, and way the best. Listening again, "It's All Too Much" is just absolute crap. There's no song there.
Brodax got the dregs there, but then he also got to recycle among their best previously released songs, most strikingly "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" which he made a big centerpiece.
If you're a Beatles fan, and most certainly if you're a fan of the Yellow Submarine movie, then you should defiiteldy read this book. It gives a well presented history of the processes and persons that resulted in the movie so many know and love. It's unlikely that you'll ever hear this story told more authoritatively.
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BEATLES PICTURE COLLECTION - 100 pages PAGE 1 PAGE 2 PAGE 3 PAGE 4 PAGE 5 PAGE 6 PAGE 7 PAGE 8 PAGE 9 PAGE 10 PAGE 11 PAGE 12 PAGE 13 PAGE 14 PAGE 15 PAGE 16 PAGE 17 PAGE 18 PAGE 19 PAGE 20 PAGE 21 PAGE 22 PAGE 23 PAGE 24 PAGE 25 PAGE 26 PAGE 27 PAGE 28 PAGE 29 PAGE 30 PAGE 31 PAGE 32 PAGE 33 PAGE 34 PAGE 35 PAGE 36 PAGE 37 PAGE 38 PAGE 39 PAGE 40 PAGE 41 PAGE 42 PAGE 43 PAGE 44 PAGE 45 PAGE 46 PAGE 47 PAGE 48 PAGE 49 PAGE 50 PAGE 51 PAGE 52 PAGE 53 PAGE 54 PAGE 55 PAGE 56 PAGE 57 PAGE 58 PAGE 59 PAGE 60 PAGE 61 PAGE 62 PAGE 63 PAGE 64 PAGE 65 PAGE 66 PAGE 67 PAGE 68 PAGE 69 PAGE 70 PAGE 71 PAGE 72 PAGE 73 PAGE 74 PAGE 75 PAGE 76 PAGE 77 PAGE 78 PAGE 79 PAGE 80 PAGE 81 PAGE 82 PAGE 83 PAGE 84 PAGE 85 PAGE 86 PAGE 87 PAGE 88 PAGE 89 PAGE 90 PAGE 91 PAGE 92 PAGE 93 PAGE 94 PAGE 95 PAGE 96 PAGE 97 PAGE 98 PAGE 99 PAGE 100
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