After getting a pep talk from his imaginary friend, a childlike version of Adolf Hitler played by Waititi himself, young Nazi Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) takes to the streets, enthusiastically heiling everyone he sees. Then the opening credits run over scenes of Germany in the throes of Nazi fervor set to The Beatles’ German-language version of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand.’
‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey,’ a John Lennon track from Side Three of 1968’s “White Album,” is distinctive for boasting the band’s longest-ever song title and not much else. But it does rock, and the instrumentation is spot on (listen to Paul’s wicked bass line).
Listening to the opening lines of this simple pop track (“Imagine I’m in love with you”), it’s hard to believe John Lennon would be singing “Imagine there’s no heaven” just eight years later. These guys lived a lifetime in less than a decade.
With me as their father, it’s impossible for my girls to have escaped The Beatles during their formative years. I sang both of them to bed with ‘Blackbird’ and ‘In My Life,’ regaled them with the A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack, and just this year took them to the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil performance of LOVE.
But Fiona expanded her Beatles education on her own through theme episodes of Glee, which she has streamed extensively on Netflix.
The producers had free rein to cull recordings from the entire Beatles catalog, both released and unreleased, and twist it all together into something new. The result is a brilliant mash-up of familiar songs made fresh, and an eye-popping performance I was luck enough to see performed in Las Vegas this past summer.
What does that mean, exactly? A song that depicts a character who resembles me in some way? Or a song that espouses an idea or emotion I’ve thought or felt? I’m leaning toward the latter interpretation.
In an alternate universe, the Fab Four would be our overall winners. They lost to Elvis Costello in the semi-finals after an influx of Costello votes from a fan site, and otherwise would likely have won. Had they advanced to the finals, I’d give them pretty good odds against Billy Joel.