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When Art Met Pop
Commissioned by Illustrators Ireland, an exhibition in the Grand Social will pay tribute to The Beatles – and their extraordinary legacy of great songs.
Colm O Hare, 23 Oct 2012
“I got ‘Help’ and I thought ‘What do you do with that?’ In my situation I saw it as a cry for help rather than the jaunty toe-tapper we’re all familiar with. So I approached it that way.”
The Beatles and their estate are notoriously protective of the brand – did he have to seek permission from say, Apple Records or any of the remaining Beatles to stage the project?
“We’re not using anything of theirs, apart from the song titles. There’s no copyright issue. It was suggested to me to get in touch with them. I’m not so sure. My hope for the show is that it will travel, initially in Ireland and hopefully to the UK. The works are for sale on the night. We also went to a company called Fire, which does high end print work. Even if stuff sells, we’ll have a high-quality copy which can be used for the exhibition.”
Today FM’s Paul McCloone was one of the broadcasters asked to submit a couple of favourite Beatles song for the project. “It’s an interesting idea, especially when you think that The Beatles were the first band to encompass the arts and to elevate pop music to that level,” he muses. “It’s such a rich topic: the music, the look, the personality of the band and what it all led to. So yeah, it’s kind of apposite that in the year of their 50th birthday of their first recording that something like this should happen. Anything to get music fans into art and to get art fans into the Beatles,,, it can’t be a bad thing.”
McCloone chose ‘Hey Bulldog’ and ‘Lady Madonna’. “I love ‘Lady Madonna’. I think it’s in their top three singles and is just such a great example of McCartney knocking out a great song with a wee bit of controversy. ‘Hey Bulldog’ is a Lennon song with an amazing riff… They were always breaking new ground. They were geniuses.”
For McCloone, The Beatles’ influence will always be there and not just in terms of the music. “They will not go away. I’ve just been talking to friend of mine about Magical Mystery Tour, which is a kind of an art film and we were wondering, ‘How long is this going to go on for?’ Probably as long as jazz or even Michelangelo or something like that.”