Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Revisionism hits the Beatles...again.

In yet another case of asinine revisionism, the forthcoming repackaging of Beatles material will feature an edited photo on the cover.

"Record company bosses have decided to erase evidence of Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Paul McCartney smoking from the compilation LP 'Capitol Albums Volume 2', which is to be re-released on April 3. Cigarettes have vanished from the bandmembers' hands, as well as two of the drummer's fingers which were holding the offending object."

First of all, what Photoshop hack cut of Ringo's fingers? How hard is it to erase a cigarette really? If you don't think it can be a near seamless edit, look at what else has been done with the Beatles and their cigarettes before.

As recently as 1996, when the Beatles second "reunion" single "Real Love" was released, the cover featured a '60s era picture of the lads in which Ringo appears to be making a really half-assed Peace Sign. Or is he?

No...Ringo was holding a cigarette in the original picture. The powers that be decided it just wouldn't be right for people to think that a rock and roll musician would ever hold or smoke a cigarette.

A similar incident occurred with poster versions of the famous Abbey Road album cover. On the album cover, Paul is clearly holding a cigarette in his right hand, but in poster size prints of the cover, the cigarette is gone.

This kind of revisionism is so irritating because it is just so pointless. The Beatles were smokers! They took a lot of drugs, drank a lot of liquor and had a lot of pre-marital sex! George Harrison died of cancer possibly related to smoking. Excising cigarettes from pictures of the Beatles doesn't change any of that! This PC nonsense is nothing new but what purpose does it really serve? I don't think a picture of Ringo smoking will be the pivotal factor in a kid deciding to start smoking. That usually comes from a little closer to home. In fact, most of the "fragile youths" that must be protected from themselves probably don't really have a clue who the Beatles are let alone that they partook of the evil tobacco. Instead these kids are going to think that Ringo only had eight fingers. Sigh...


Stacy said...

You're right, it is not that hard to remove a cigarette from a photo. Chopping off someone's fingers is a clear display of a Photoshop hack.

katielady said...

Kids these days....

I doubt they'd even NOTICE the ciggy in the first place! Who really looks that closely at what someone is holding in an album cover?