PDA

View Full Version : Meet the Beatles expert who started a 30-year hoax


beatlemethisbeatlemethat
Jun 06, 2001, 05:39 PM
By Edna Gundersen
USA TODAY


Beatles fanatics have stalked four unreleased songs for the past 30 years. Colliding Circles and the polemic Left Is Right (And Right Is Wrong) are attributed to John Lennon. George Harrison penned Pink Litmus Paper Shirt. And Paul McCartney composed Deck Chair, a vaudeville number akin to Honey Pie.

Conspiracy-minded Fab Four fans suspect the coveted tunes are accruing value in a vault until another Anthology sequel is unleashed.

Do you want to know a secret? The prized rarities don't exist. They never did -- except in the imagination of a teenage prankster who became a leading Beatles scholar.

Martin Lewis, host of the annual bicoastal Beatlefest conventions and a consultant on The Beatles' Anthology and Live at the BBC projects, will 'fess up to the hoax at the New York premiere of his one-man autobiographical show, Great Exploitations!, Wednesday at P.S.122 in New York.

It's not the first time he's come clean. He confessed two years ago at a similar show in Los Angeles but was ignored by die-hards immersed in the arcane underground of bootleg trading, who are still hunting for the phantom tracks.

''To my shock and horror, many Beatles fans refused to believe me,'' Lewis says. ''People told me, 'Your confession is a hoax. I know someone who's got those songs.' I'm letting the cat out of the bag again -- there are no songs.''

The legend grew from a Beatles bootleg discography Lewis compiled in 1971 for British magazine Disc. Concerned that the factual list lacked surprises, he inserted titles of songs he'd composed at 14. Lewis confides, ''They were dreadful songs with lines like 'The cauliflower purée lies broken on the ceiling.' I was a fervent fan trying to be a Beatle.''

Aware that Apple Records regularly denied the existence of unreleased Beatles songs, Lewis felt his mythical history tour was safe.

''I thought, it's only a piece of paper,'' he says. ''I knew Apple wouldn't say, 'Those other songs don't exist, and these four definitely don't exist.' ''

The Fib Four spread across the universe, cropping up in articles, biographies and, later, Web sites and chat room debates. Lewis was stunned to discover his practical joke masquerading as scholarly research in respected Beatles tomes. ''All these authors unwittingly became part of a monstrous prank,'' Lewis says. ''Some people have added filigree, like 'John played clarinet on this one.' Once the titles appeared in a kosher book, everyone assumed these four bogus songs were real.''

Lewis decided to go public with his mischief after confessing to Beatles producer George Martin, who ''roared with laughter and said he wished he had a penny for every time someone asked about those songs.''


------------------
Peace, http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/heart.gif and Beatles,
Stefanie

Beatle Me This, Beatle Me That (http://www.beatlemethisbeatlemethat.com/)

//0-0\\//0-0\\//0-0\\
"After all is said and done, you can't go pleasing everyone, so screw it"
--John Lennon

Catswalk
Jun 06, 2001, 11:19 PM
Thanks for posting that. I had read Martin Lewis' website some time ago. It's good that you posted it so everyone will know.

------------------

Lynner
Jun 07, 2001, 04:58 AM
Martin Lewis is a trip. We somehow end up chatting with him for a bit every year at Beatlefest. Fairly nice guy, with an ego the size of North America! http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/smile.gif

------------------

Rellevart
Jun 07, 2001, 05:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By Lynner:
Martin Lewis is a trip. We somehow end up chatting with him for a bit every year at Beatlefest. Fairly nice guy, with an ego the size of North America! http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/smile.gif

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh no. That's not NEARLY big enough. http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/smile.gif He's fun to make fun of - he's so BOMBASTIC! Everything is this BIG HUGE EXTRAVAGANZA when Martin is around. But he really needs to cool it with the "opportunity knocks" schtick....


------------------
Hey, don't you know that I'm....always going back in time....

HMVNipper
Jun 07, 2001, 05:46 AM
Ummm...can I just say that Martin Lewis annoys me? Ego the size of North America is right -- someone on another list I belong to said he was "a legend in his own mind." Pleasant enough guy, but only if he thinks you can do something for him...otherwise he won't even give you the time of day.

Why am I not surprised that he's behind that hoax?

http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/bouncing2.gif

------------------
Rooftop Sessions - The Finest In Beatles-Related Fiction. June 2001 Issue up now! About.com BEST OF THE NET, April 2001! www.rooftopsessions.com (http://www.rooftopsessions.com)

Rellevart
Jun 07, 2001, 06:41 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By HMVNipper:
Pleasant enough guy, but only if he thinks you can do something for him...otherwise he won't even give you the time of day.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is SO true. We had a big group of about 12 of us in the hotel bar at Beatlefest and ML walks in and booms "It's always SO WONDERFUL to see you people. You simply MUST come to Los Angeles! It would make Beatlefest SO much BETTER!" (imagine dramatic arm flailing during this speech to enhance the effect)

One of my friends says "Ok Martin! Are you buying the airline tickets?" Martin then says "HAHAHAHA. Well, I must go." Typical ML encounter, no? http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/images/icons/smile.gif

And HMV - he annoys me too, but he also amuses me in some strange twisted way....



------------------
Hey, don't you know that I'm....always going back in time....

Jerry
Jun 08, 2001, 09:37 AM
I thought "Colliding Circles" turned out to be a Harrison tune called "Circles" that didn't turn up until his LP 'Gone Troppo'? The Beatles did an acoustic version of it when they practiced songs for the White Album. It's on all the bootlegs.

------------------
Webmaster - BeatleLinks.net (http://www.beatlelinks.net)

Tim
Jun 15, 2001, 09:03 PM
The one good thing about Martin Lewis is his campaign to get brian in the Hall of Fame. I signed the petition.

------------------
Tim
http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/churchill.gif

Catswalk
Jun 17, 2001, 07:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By Tim:
The one good thing about Martin Lewis is his campaign to get brian in the Hall of Fame. I signed the petition.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hello Tim,

Glad you mentioned that petition for Brian because I signed it too!

About Martin Lewis--------he sounds like a modern day "Murray The K" (baby).

------------------

HMVNipper
Jun 17, 2001, 02:10 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By Catswalk:
Hello Tim,

Glad you mentioned that petition for Brian because I signed it too!

About Martin Lewis--------he sounds like a modern day "Murray The K" (baby).

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I signed Martin's petition too, and I do believe Brian SHOULD be in the HoF...they have a category for Non-Performers, after all.

However...one of the things I can't stand about Martin is his penchant for using information to his own benefit while making life miserable for other people...one of the things he did was make a lot of personal contacts at A&E Networks when they were working on a Biography episode about Brian Epstein, and then, when the episode didn't portray Brian's death to his satisfaction (he felt it implied the death was a suicide, not an accident -- but that had NOTHING to do with A&E, since the program was produced by the BBC) organized a barrage of nasty phone calls to the very people he had contacted there. He and his cronies managed to make life a living hell for a bunch of people at A&E for several weeks, including my husband, who had given Martin his card at Beatlefest, by threatening boycotts and other actions. I just don't like or trust the man...

http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/musicnotes.gif
------------------
Rooftop Sessions - The Finest In Beatles-Related Fiction. June 2001 Issue up now! About.com BEST OF THE NET, April 2001! www.rooftopsessions.com (http://www.rooftopsessions.com)

[This Message Has Been Edited By HMVNipper On June 17, 2001 03:11 PM]

[This Message Has Been Edited By HMVNipper On June 17, 2001 03:13 PM]

bearkat77
Jun 17, 2001, 07:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By Tim:
The one good thing about Martin Lewis is his campaign to get brian in the Hall of Fame. I signed the petition.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can't remember if I've signed that petition or not. What's the link? We might even get a few more members from here to sign as well.

------------------
http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/cat.gif
Bearkat77's Beatlemaniac Page (http://bearkat77.www9.50megs.com)
Bearkat77's Tribute to John Lennon (http://bearkatjl.50megs.com)
Bearkat77's Tribute to Ringo Starr (http://bearkatrs.50megs.com)

Tim
Jun 17, 2001, 08:08 PM
http://www.martinlewis.com/cgi-bin/petition.cgi

------------------
Tim
http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/churchill.gif

bearkat77
Jun 17, 2001, 10:24 PM
Thanks again, Tim! http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/thumbsup.gif

------------------
http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/cat.gif
Bearkat77's Beatlemaniac Page (http://bearkat77.www9.50megs.com)
Bearkat77's Tribute to John Lennon (http://bearkatjl.50megs.com)
Bearkat77's Tribute to Ringo Starr (http://bearkatrs.50megs.com)

darkhorse
Jun 17, 2001, 11:25 PM
I thought the whole thing was very funny.

------------------
"You either kiss the future or the past goodbye
We could fly so high..."

mindgames
Jun 18, 2001, 06:15 AM
http://www.beatlelinks.net/ubb/smilies/cool3.gif Just signed it.

------------------
This week, the Beatles greatest hits album, "1", is at number sixty on the USA album charts. "Wingspan: Hits and History" by Paul McCartney is at number twenty-seven.