The McBournie Minute: Enough with repackaging Beatles crap

I’ll get to my main point in a bit, but first, don’t expect me to be going anywhere anytime soon. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control just named my hometown, Burlington, Vermont, the healthiest city in the country. Sure, I haven’t truly lived there for the better part of a decade, but hey, I’m healthier than you. Now on to other matters.

Paul McCartney, I have a bone to pick with you, and it’s not even about the fact that you’re looking saggier than usual these days. You too, Yoko Ono. Sure, you got the raw end of the deal and all the blame for splitting up The Beatles, but what you’ve done since then is what I’m here about. Ringo Starr, you’re OK with me. For the most part, you’ve kept to yourself and gone on to do other things like “The No-no Song” and you even recently announced you’re not going to sign autographs anymore.

But for the love of Sgt. Pepper, enough with the Beatles merchandise. Every year, some new form of repackaged Beatles work or book or home movie or biography or television special is released. Don’t act like you’re not behind it.

In 1995, you and ABC had a deal for the latest and greatest biography on the band that defined rock ‘n roll, as played by white people. You even released a couple new songs, one new one played at the end of each part of the special. Sitcoms even scrubbed their theme songs for a week and replaced them with one of your songs. Remember the episode of Boy Meets World where Corey’s dad re-forms his high school band, The Tongues? That was from that week.

The whole television special fiesta cluster-somethingerother was just a front, anyway. It was meant to coincide with the release of The Beatles Anthology. This was supposed to be the complete set of the songs we knew and loved, plus some outtakes and other extra goodies.

A few years back, you release Beatles One, which was of course all of the #1 hits (in the U.S., I assume) on one CD for the first time. Great, thank you. I didn’t know how to download tracks on Audiogalaxy and burn CDs, or at least you assumed I didn’t.

In 2004, a college kid calling himself Danger Mouse released The Grey Album, a mash-up of Jay-Z’s Black Album and the Beatles’ White Album. This was illegal, but got high marks from critics. You promptly had it killed. This one didn’t really affect me. I wasn’t impressed when I heard it, anyway.

Apple Records refused to sell Beatles tracks on iTunes because they don’t charge enough, meanwhile, you put out crap like Let It Be … Naked, some stripped down versions of Beatles songs and Love, a collection of completely remastered and remixed–or something–of the songs we already knew.

And now, there’s a “new” “lost” track that you want to release.

McCartney confirmed he still owned the master tapes, adding that he suspected “the time has come for it to get its moment,” The Observer reported. “I like it because it’s the Beatles free, going off piste,” McCartney said.

Really, John? The time for this 41-year-old, 14-minute long track is Just in Time for the Holidays 2008? I’m not sure what “going off piste” means, but you must think I’m off my piste if you think I’m going to buy that one.

Follow the money, as John Lennon once said. Who stands to gain from all this? It’s you two. Don’t give me crap about Michael Jackson owning the rights to most of the songs. You still make yours through licensing, the record label, and use of your image. You are the ones doing this to us, and I for one am tired of it.

I’m coming for you next, Courtney Love.

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