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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

January 10, 2006

Bronzed Gods of the 60s

One of my xmas presents was
The Beatles: 365 Days, a doorstep-thick collection of images from the Getty archive, notable for mostly being lesser-known shots, outtakes from sessions that yielded the images we've all seen a million times.

I'm about halfway through. Each image is captioned as to the time and place it was taken, and it's a good way of re-presenting the old story, and astonishing me all over again with how fucking hard they were worked in their brief stay on this earth.

The most striking thing, for me, is to see The Beatles standing next to other people, whether they be members of the press (visible through a smoky haze), or their young fans, or the shoulder-rubbing liggers of the 60s scene. Because in many of these shots, what astonishes most is that The Beatles appear god-like, bronzed, healthy, beautiful, even while all around them looked ordinary, spotty, freckled, and crap. Even the other slebs, the so-called beautiful people, look ordinary by today's standards, but the fabs look buffed, shiny, and wondrous. Even Ringo.

To unleash their looks on an unsuspecting world was strange enough, but to back it up with obviously superior output was queer indeed.

Anyway, it's a nice book if you like that kind of thing. The format is crap, though, because it's too heavy and the pages are not easy to view, and too many of the pictures are portrait rather than landscape mode, so you're forever twisting this heavy object around to have a look. So, a smack in the mouth for the book designer.

Top shot so far: Ringo in his hospital sick bed either just before or just after a tonsillectomy: smoking a fag. Priceless.


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