"I went to a place to eat. It said 'breakfast at any time.' So I ordered french toast during the Renaissance". --Steven Wright ... If you are a devotee of time travel, check out this song...

Friday, January 14, 2022

Playhouse Presents: Snodgrass: A Disturbing and Beautiful Beatles Alternate History

My just-published Beatles alternate history story, It's Real Life, is getting some good response. Over in the Steve Hoffman Music Forums, someone (Wildest cat from Montana) recommended that I see a short 2013 movie Snodgrass -- actually a 24-minute episode of a British series of standalone dramas, Playhouse Presents, that ran from 2010-2015.

It's disturbing -- as it should be -- with its story of John Lennon alive in 1991 in Birmingham, England, on the edge of poverty, having left The Beatles in 1962 over an argument which Lennon lost about wanting to do "Love Me Do" rather than "How Do You Do It" (written by Mitch Murray, and in our reality a hit for Gerry and the Pacemakers, after George Martin decided to release "Love Me Do" for the Beatles instead of their recording of Murray's song).  It's disturbing, because it's so good to see Lennon alive, replete with his sardonic outlook, even though he missed out being with The Beatles, who became only a middling band in this story (also sad).

But it's beautiful, because it also poses the question: which is better: to live a fabulously and profoundly important life, cut brutally short by assassination, or live longer in a state of perpetual sarcasm and frustration and poverty.  I'd probably say the latter, because where there's life there's hope, and a chance to succeed.   Without giving away the very ending of the short movie, I'd say that's what the movie is saying, too.

See it for yourself, and see what you think.  I'll also say: good job by Ian Hart as the 51-year-old Lennon, and the movie is an adaptation of a story of the same name by Ian R. MacLeod, published in 1992.  

It's Real Life

alternate history story about The Beatles


Forbes 66 said...

Thanks for posting this Paul! Really quite touching. I can relate because my own career as a rocker lasted from about age 30-35 and I miss it profoundly to this day. I had my chance but the band couldn't keep the dream alive, though I certainly wanted to. There have been some bleak moments since, but there have also been unexpected runs of joy and success in ways I could never have expected then. There wasn't even a word 'podcast' in those days :)


Paul Levinson said...

Thanks for the good comment, Joel. Follow me on Twitter @PaulLev or Facebook (Paul Levinson or Paul Levinson's Music) so we can stay in touch.