Brooke Halpin can be found hosting his Come Together with the Beatles and Brooke Halpin program, or penning fine tomes like Experiencing the Beatles (2017). Right now, Brooke has a special endeavor in the works, hosting the 50th Anniversary screening of Yellow Submarine with Ivor Davis in Malibu. Brooke tells Bob Wilson and Beatles Magazine all about it. “The message of the Beatles Yellow Submarine film is just as relevant today as it was 50 years ago –love conquers evil forces”, opined Brooke. Of course, he was only getting started.
Beatles Magazine: Which Beatle did most of the writing on the song Yellow Submarine, and did they pen it for Ringo specifically?
Brooke Halpin:The song was written primarily by Paul, as a children’s song intended for Ringo. John did collaborate with Paul for the verses and lyrics and even Donovan came up with a few lines.
BM: Was there ever a demo with another Beatle singing lead on the Yellow Submarine track?
BH: Not that I’m aware of.
BM: How did the transition come about where the song was made into the animated film in 1968?
BH: The Beatles had a contractual obligation with United Artists to do another film. The Yellow Submarine song perfectly lent itself to be the basis of the animated film.
BM: Were the Beatles excited about the film at first, and how involved were they in the making of it?
Brooke Halpin: No, they were not. Because of the contract, they had to do another film. They were not involved in the making of the film, but when they saw the completed version, they were pleased with the way it came out.
BM: As an award winning composer and musician yourself, how do you rate the instrumentals (as found on the original American release?
BH: I always thought, and still do, that side two of the album is better than side one. There’s nothing wrong with the Beatles songs on side one, but the songs Yellow Submarine and All You Need is Love had already been released. George’s Only a Northern Song and It’s All Too Much are exciting electronic songs, but were left overs from the Sgt. Pepper sessions. Hey Bulldog is the best song on side one, written for the film, but not included in the original release of the film. Paul’s All Together Now is a great way to end the film, suggesting that ALL people be together. George Martin’s original orchestral score on side two is brilliant and perfectly matches the visual imagery of the film.
BM: What scenes in the film resonate the most with you.
BH: The visuals set to Eleanor Rigby are quite moving. The scene with Jeremy Hilary Boob and the Nowhere Man song are very well done.
BM: What track might be your favorite from the film, and why?
BH: As I had mentioned, Hey Bulldog is my favorite. It’s a driving rocker with a dynamic syncopated piano riff, doubled with Paul’s dominant bass line and George’s piercing lead guitar. George plays one of his best lead guitar solos in this song.
BM: Tell us what happens in Malibu this coming July 8th on the big screen (and in theaters all over the world, too)?
BH: The Malibu Film Society (www.malibufilmsociety.org) will be screening the new remastered Yellow Submarine film on Sunday, July 8th, fifty years to the date it was released in 1968. I, along with author Ivor Davis, will be hosting the film and provide some insights and background on the film. (For discount tickets, use the code FOB – friends of Brooke). We will also be autographing our Beatles books. (Experiencing the Beatles – A Listener’s Companion; Do You Really Know the Beatles-A Quiz Book; The Beatles and Me on Tour.)
BM: Where can fans find your books, and listen to your radio shows?
BH: For my books, it’s best to go to Amazon.com. My radio show, Come Together with the Beatles & Brooke Halpin, airs on Saturdays and Sundays on www.radiomalibu.net and www.wrockradio.com
By Bob Wilson