It used to be that Beatles songs were not allowed in popular movies or on TV shows. The Beatles’ former manager, the late Neil Aspinall, wouldn’t permit their classic tunes to be sullie by passing fancies.
After Aspinall died, there was a bit of a softening in the approach. “Baby You’re a Rich Man” turned up in “The Social Network.” I reported that producers had to pay a million bucks to get it.
But now, all of a sudden, the Beatles are slowly crossing into the mainstream.
Last night, Monty Python great Eric Idle, an old friend of the group, performed “Love Me Do” on the insipid game show. Idle was dressed as a hedgehog. (I hope he was paid a fortune.) Idle commented that he had to get Paul McCartney’s permission. McCartney replied, “Just tell me when it’s on so I know when not to watch.” Ha ha.
Today there’s a new trailer for Alejandro Innaritu’s “Bardo,” coming from Netflix. The trailer is set to the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.”
Netflix has deep pockets, and it’s possible they cut a deal for “Walrus” at Sony Music Publishing when they also picked up the Beatles’ song “Glass Onion” for the new “Knives Out” movie. The whole Rian Johnson film is themed around a Glass Onion, and he’s said in interviews that he got the idea from the Beatles song. In the movie, you don’t hear it, though, until the moment the movie has it climactic end.
So far, all three of these songs are from the lesser group of Beatles tunes. Let’s hope we’re never going to hear the big hits used this way. But with 251 Lennon-McCartney collaborations, there are plenty more that might pop up. (How about “I’ll Be Back” at the end of a horror film?)
Here’s Eric Idle on “The Masked Singer” followed by the Innaritu trailer.