The Beatles: Rock Band Cinematic — Annotated

If you haven’t seen the opening cinematic of the upcoming The Beatles: Rock Band, you really ought to. Here’s my attempt at annotation. This is mostly from memory, so please feel free to contribute.

update — contributions have been labeled with initials.
latest update 6-7-09

We start off in Liverpool, with the Fab Four playing at The Cavern Club, the bar in which more or less had their beginnings. As we pan down, we get a lingering glimpse of posters featuring the names of several songs and lyrics.


Hard Days Night (title)
Come Together (title)
Benefit of Mr. Kite (title)
Rocky Raccoon (title)
Maggie mae (title)
The Revolution (title — Revolution #1 and #9)
Carry That Weight (title)
Mr. Moonlight (title)
(MG)

St. Peter’s Parish Church is where Paul met John. (TRB)

Dizzy Miss Lizzy (title)
Twenty Flight Rock (Eddie Cochran song Paul later covered)
The Blackbirds (title)
Blue Jay Way (title)
Maggie Mae and the Word (titles)
The Diamond Buyers (if it makes you feel all right) (lyric, Can’t Buy Me Love)
Jeremy and the ? (character from Yellow Submarine)
(TRB)

Rock & Roll Music (title)
(JK)

The Meanie Blues (reference to the Blue Meanies from the Yellow Submarine movie)
My favorite reference here is “The Semoline Pilchards” (lyric, I Am the Walrus).

Out on to the street in avoidance of throngs of screaming teens (which, if I remember correctly, was the plot of Hard Day’s Night). And, wouldn’t you know it, there’s an Old Brown Shoe (title) in the alley.


The dash includes this shot:

Based on this photo:


Next up, a road featuring Maxwell’s Silver Sundries (song title, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer) and a fireman, who I assume likes to keep his fire engine clean (lyric, Penny Lane). Maxwell Edison was majoring in medicine (lyric), and perhaps thus the Surgery sign. Also look for the lizard outside the window (lyric, “lizard on a window pane”, Happiness is a Warm Gun)

I believe there’s a stack of pennies on the lane (or sidewalk) underneath the fireman. I’m willing to bet the WANTED poster is Bungalow Bill (notice the pith helmet). (TRB)


And poking his head out of the hole in the ground in which he sleeps is Mean Mr. Mustard (title, lyric). (TRB)


Duck into a restaurant, whose menu is surely all references. “Fish and Finger Pies” is from Penny Lane, and Hippy Hippy Shake is a title — tough to read much else, but there’s clearly more. The restaurant lists mostly items from “Savoy Truffle,” but also includes “Honey Pie.” (TRB) “One and One is Two” is a title, as is “Mean Mister Mustard” (above the door). The Grapes was one of the Beatles hangouts.


An Abbey Road (album cover). Where’s Paul cigarette? On the left in the back, the horse with the H blanket is Henry the Horse from “Mr. Kite” (TRB) I think the mailbox on Abbey Road is actually a newspaper vending machine for the paper “What Goes On” (title) (TRB)


And who’s that in the background as they get in the car? It could only be Lovely Rita, meter maid. (title) Without the bag across her shoulder she doesn’t look very much like a military man, but she can give us a wink anytime.


And a gift basket from Strawberry Fields Farm (title) in the car. How nice!

It even includes a green apple, which is the logo for Apple Records. (MG)


Next up, the arrival in the States. Also, a yellow submarine (title, movie) can be seen in the river. (MG)

I’m fairly certain the sound of the plane as it lands is from Back in the USSR.


Note the accurate clothing.

On to the Ed Sullivan show.

and some other venue. (Anyone?) The typewriter’s got to be a Paperback Writer reference, right?
Next up, Shea Stadium.


Shea Stadium signs…
P.S. I Love You (title)
Paul, I Wanna Hold Your Hand (title)
(JK)

And then things get… a little weird. Sgt. Pepper uniforms appear on our favorite moptops.


Note the Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (title) on the left. Can we safely say those are eggmen on the right? (lyric, I Am the Walrus)


Here’s a fellow whose stomach says Goodbye and Hello (title). Is the “stupid bloody Tuesday man”? (lyric, I Am the Walrus)


The piano on the left of this shot is from the promo video from Strawberry Fields Forever. “I think the audio equipment in the English Garden is from the outdoor recording sequence in Help! as well as the silver teapot (Buckingham Palace scene?).” (TRB) Needs verification


Is this a newspaper taxi? (lyric, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds)


There’s a very brief glimpse of the top of the giant drums, which shows they are the drum from the Sgt. Pepper album cover, (JK)


The costumes from I Am the Walrus.



A quick shot of a Blue Meanie (from the Yellow Submarine movie). Are these elementary penguins? (lyric, I Am the Walrus — TRB)



And this last shot of them… so familiar but I’m not sure from what. Anyone?


Perhaps the pose at least comes from this. The order of the boys and color of their pants are correct. (TRB)


The Beatles are riding the elephant god Ganesha: Lord of Success at the end. (TRB)


Fairly certain the last note heard is the second to last note from “Day in the Life”.

Also of note: The game drops on September 9, 2009. Is that a shout out to Revolution 9? (“Number 9… number 9… number 9…”) (MG)

Thanks to Todd, Garv, and Johnny K for excellent contributions.

24 thoughts on “The Beatles: Rock Band Cinematic — Annotated

  1. Anonymous

    In the Blue Meanie shot, I assume those are Elementary Penguins, although I can't tell what they're singing. – Todd

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    OK, now I'm determined.

    Opening posters, I also believe St. Peter's Parish Church is where Paul met John.

    Outside Maxwell's Silver Sundries, Mean Mr. Mustard (sleeps in a hole in the road). But what is the significance of "Surgery" on the building, the WANTED poster and the bag?

    The restaurant lists mostly items from "Savoy Truffle," but also includes "Honey Pie."

    Abbey Road – Henry the Horse from "Mr. Kite" is stuck into the background.

    The end dream-like stuff has a lot of imagery from Magical Mystery Tour and the Strawberry Fields video they made, but a lot of it is over my head . . . for now.

    The end picture is like something out of The Wall or Return of the King. Bizarre and beautiful. – TB

    Reply
  3. Garvey

    TB: just from your description, maybe the surgery refers to "Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine…"

    Also, isn't he arrested later in that song? "something something thirty one, says 'we've got a dirty one'"

    Reply
  4. Alex

    Solid!

    Wasn't Maxwell Edison majoring in medicine?

    I can't tell who's on the wanted poster. Grr…

    That mailbox on the right of the Abbey Road shot isn't in the original. Hmm…

    I forgot to post the pic of the 'Hello goodbye' bellied fellow right before the english garden.

    Reply
  5. Garvey

    here's the text that I can make out from the posters in the beginning:

    Hard days night
    Come together
    Benefit of Mr. Kite
    Cavern club*
    Rocky raccoon
    Maggie mae*
    The revolution
    Carry that weight
    Mr. moonlight*

    *I don't know what these refer to, but they seemed relevent. was the cavern club a real place?

    Reply
  6. Garvey

    Okay, I'm hooked. Here's what I came up with during lunch:

    Had to look this one up: outside The Grapes, the sign says "1 & 1 is 2". Apparently, there's a bootleg song by The Beatles by that title.

    In the Abbey Road shot, there's a black horse. Maybe Dark Horse Records?

    There's a green apple in the Strawberry Fields box – that's the logo for Apple Records.

    Too obvious? The airplane sound immediately preceding Paperback Writer is the opening from Back in the USSR.

    The hello/goodbye guy looks SO familiar to me. any chance he's from The Point?

    I'm worthless after that stuff. I'd bet a lot of it comes from the movies/cartoons, which I've never seen.

    Reply
  7. Garvey

    Okay, one more and I'm done. There's a yellow sub just below the bridges as the lads are landing in NYC.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    UGH. I had another update I was really proud of it and it didn't publish, so I'm trying again.

    By the way, DAMN you guys are good.

    Also on the opening poster:
    Dizzy Miss Lizzy
    Twenty Flight Rock (Eddie Cochran song Paul later covered)
    The Blackbirds
    Blue Jay Way
    Maggie Mae and the Word
    The Diamond Buyers (if it makes you feel all right)
    Jeremy and the ?

    PS – I hate motion blur

    Hey, there's a Bulldog in line outside the Cavern.

    I believe there's a stack of pennies on the lane (or sidewalk) underneath the fireman.

    I'm willing to bet the WANTED poster is Bungalow Bill (notice the pith helmet).

    I think the mailbox on Abbey Road is actually a newspaper vending machine for the paper "What Goes On"

    Any significance to the license plate P334RYF?

    I think the audio equipment in the English Garden is from the outdoor recording sequence in Help! as well as the silver teapot (Buckingham Palace scene?).

    The Beatles are riding the elephant god Ganesha: Lord of Success at the end.

    -TRB

    Reply
  9. Johnny K

    I'm joining the discussion late, but here's what I've got…

    Cavern Posters also list Rock & Roll Music (title)

    On Abbey Road, is the newspaper box for the (London) Daily Mail? (Paperback Writer, "his son is working for the Daily Mail")

    Shea Stadium signs…
    P.S. I Love You
    Paul, I Wanna Hold Your Hand

    At the end, there's a very brief glimpse of the top of the giant drums, which shows they are the drum from the Sgt. Pepper album cover

    Reply
  10. Garvey

    Oh geez. The game drops on September 9, 2009. Is that a shout out to Revolution 9? ("Number 9… number 9… number 9…")

    PS – Check out the website for the people who made this short: http://www.passion-pictures.com. Looks like they made that cartoon for the Chinese Olympics, too.

    Reply
  11. Beers

    Folks. This is a brilliant post and break down of the trailer! Hope you don't mind B.A. but I've linked to this from both my blog and the Nerdaverse (http://nerdaverse.com) site, because I absolutely love what you've done here. Wow. what a trailer.

    Garvey…it makes me sad you don't blog anymore.

    Reply
  12. Garvey

    So on a whim, I google-mapped The Grapes and it turns out that bar's address is actually 25 Mathew, not 23. 23 Mathew, though, is a place called Lennon's Bar: http://www.lennonsbar.com/

    No idea what this means, but I thought it was interesting (and conspiracy-theory-crazy) enough to share.

    Reply
  13. steve baldwin

    Brilliant job of annotation!

    I would add only these two points.

    I think the guy who briefly pops out of the street with a manhole cover on his head during "Hard Days Night" is Leo McKern (from "Help"). He did the same thing in the movie while surveilling The Beatles in pursuit of Ringo's ring.

    As the Beatles play part of "Paperback Writer" prior to their entry into Shea Stadium, notice that a trap door begins to open. This is a direct reference to "Hard Days Night," wherein the actor Wilfred Brambell (Paul's annoying but endearing "grandfather") pops up during both an opera performance and the Beatles' finale. You don't actually see Brambell, but you know what comes next!

    Reply
  14. Drew

    The poster reference is "Jeremy and the Noweheremen"… in Yellow Submarine, Jeremy Boob Phd. is 'the Nowhere Man' to whom they sing that song.

    There's also a poster there for "Punch and Judy's Cafe – the best breakfast in Liverpool". I know that Codman's Theatre was an outdoor puppet show in Liverpool during the 50s that did the traditional 'Punch & Judy' show, but I'm not sure why that fits beside the fact that it was in Liverpool… perhaps the boyscon hung out there?

    The posters also reference "The Quarrymen" (to the right of Twenty Flight Rock). There are clearly other references which are too small or motion blurred to pick out.

    There are also posters on the walls next to the girls waiting outside of the club… something about "Sue" or "Sub" and "of Gold".

    The complete menu outside "The Grapes" includes "Fish & Finger Pies" (Penny Lane), "Honey Pies", "Cream Tangerine Montelimar", "Ginger Sling with a Pineapple Heart", "Coffee Desert" (sic), "Coconut Fudge" and "Savoy Truffle", "Cool Cherry Cream and Nice Apple Tart" (all from 'Savoy Truffle' lyrics) as well as "Hippie Hippie Shakes". The doorframe reads "Mean Mr. Mustard Licensed to Sell Beers Wines Spirits and Ales", and hanging in the doorway is a 'bell' engraved "Michelle" (as in Michelle, ma belle… awful!)

    The "P334RYF" car says "Big Car" on the grille… perhaps a reference to "Drive My Car"? P334RYF is "leet speek" for peearyf, but that doesn't seem to mean anything.

    From the airplane they pass a the dome of St Paul's Cathedral… not sure if that's because it is a London landmark or because it's also the name of a Beatle (or both)

    The back of the amp above the typewriter backstage has the initials "ghF" and "bla" on it, but I'm not sure what that means. That amp is not in the shot when they're leaving via the trapdoor.

    Reply
  15. Anonymous

    I dont think that Ganesha…the elephant(elaborately dressed up here) appears in Yellow Submarine at the end of A northern Song (Paul:Hes ugly,real ugly)…n me thinks the other unidentifiable creatures could be from the sea of Monsters.

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    also, the bag in the same scene with penny lane could be "baby you're a rich man", as it has animal stickers on it. lyric: "you keep all your money in a big brown bag outside a zoo"
    and honey pie could be that, and/or wild honey pie as well

    Reply

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