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Beatlemania continues with Ron Campbell show

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We still live in a yellow submarine: Beatlemania will never die, as ‘60s animator Ron Campbell will demonstrate during his local appearance. - RON CAMPBELL
  • Ron Campbell
  • We still live in a yellow submarine: Beatlemania will never die, as ‘60s animator Ron Campbell will demonstrate during his local appearance.
The Beatles have maintained a ubiquitous presence in media journalism since the days of the British Invasion. And while I’ve been a huge fan of their music all my life, I’m also the first to admit that their ubiquity isn’t always because of their music, but, rather, their marketing legacy. No, people aren’t still buying Beatles wigs, Paul McCartney pillowcases or other Beatles-branded knick-knacks in droves, but the Fab Four continue to occupy a sizable space in the popular consciousness because of that peripheral “Beatlemania” in addition to the strength of their recorded output.
Case in point: The Beatles are back in the spotlight for local music fans, but it’s not because Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band turned 50 in May or because McCartney reached a settlement over copyright to the Beatles’ catalog. This time it’s all about the animated incarnations of the Fab Four.

Ron Campbell, who was an animator on the 1968 film Yellow Submarine and director for The Beatles, a 1960s Saturday morning cartoon series, will be making an appearance at the Modbo and S.P.Q.R. galleries from Aug. 18 to 20, showcasing both his original cartoon Beatles paintings for the show and his new Beatles-themed pop art.

The psychedelic Yellow Submarine animated film, it should be noted, recently marked its own 49th anniversary, so next year’s Record Store Day might feature a few more Blue Meanies than usual.

Incidentally, I don’t think there has been an era since the ’60s when pop musicians have been more frequently incarnated in scripted comedy, except perhaps for Bootsy Collins’ extremely brief 1996 foray into the realm of kids’ animation, The Name Is Bootsy, Baby, which (for the brave amongst us) is viewable on YouTube. I may be alone on this, but I feel the contemporary pop culture scene is really missing out by not having Full of Hell guest on a sitcom, or a Saturday morning cartoon starring Death Grips.

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