Tuesday, July 26, 2011
If a cover band of the Beatles in 2010 time-slipped to the world of 1961 (one year before the Beatles debut), this may be what would have happened... This is the story of a controversial manga "I am The Beatles" ("Boku wa Beatles") by Tetsuo Fujii & Kaiji Kawaguchi
In Tokyo in 2010, the Fab Four, a popular Beatles cover band, faced a crisis which threatened to disband them due to conflicting future aspirations among the band members. Rei, on the part of John Lennon, Makoto (Paul McCartney) and Show (George Harrison), quarreled with each other and fell to a subway platform. Konta (Ringo Starr) also fainted with them. When they woke up, they were in 1961 Tokyo.
Makoto made a plan as follows; To play the Beatles' songs as if they were the Fab Four's originals in 1961, before the original Beatles' debut. The idea was that the Beatles would listen to them and then they would make greater songs. Show was hesitant at first but was persuaded by Makoto. They were discovered by a competent female manager like Brian Epstein and released the first single "I Want to Hold Your Hand". When they released their second single, Konta joined the Fab Four. Rei didn't join them because he thought what they were doing was blasphemy to the Beatles.
As they became popular, their manager sent their singles to a UK music producer. Their songs were played on air in the UK. After that, the manager went on a business trip to London for a contract to release records of the Fab Four. Having been asked by Makoto, she went to Liverpool and contacted fans of the Beatles. They told her that the Beatles had stopped singing their songs from the last month because "something shocking had happened," the Fab Four's songs began to play on air from that last month.
All members of the Fab Four were shocked very much and they became conscious of their obligation -to introduce the Beatles songs to the world. (to be continued)
My comment: This is a controversial manga among Japanese beatlemaniacs. Some fans admired the authors' unique idea and detailed description based on abundant data. Other fans think this work is blasphemy to the Beatles.
Some fans, myself included, feel this work is interesting, in particular, for taking up the theme of "a copier's identity". Rei said to Makoto, "When we copy the Beatles perfectly, even their misplaying, we are standing on the furthest point from the Beatles."
All creators might begin their career from copying their favorite artists and gradually adding their originality. But a cover band's aim is to copy other artists perfectly, not to make originality. The audience wants them to do so. Therefore, what is a cover band's identity?
I'm looking forward to what the conclusion of the theme of this work will be.