As we've learned from the previous two Fake Beatles posts in this series, it's very easy to design an album cover calculated to hoodwink consumers into purchasing what they think is a genuine Fab Four long-player but is in actuality a Beatles deception disc. Here's what you need to feature in your artwork:
- The word Beetle or Beat in top-of-the-eyechart-size type, or
- A prominent display of bowl haircuts (can be disembodied), or
- Three to five guys photographed in half-shadow or leaping joyously, or
- The songs "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" prominently billed, or
- Any combination of the above (the more, the deceptive-ier).
But what can a label exec do if he has flim-flam on his mind but has to set his sights a bit more modestly, say, in the 45 rpm sphere, and thus doesn't have the luxury of a picture sleeve to perpetrate his Beatle bamboozle? The answer lies in the three i's: imply, infer and insinuate. Take the following misleading Moptop tactics employed on the following three singles as a lesson in how to circumvent the limitations of the 7-inch format:
Guess Who? Yes, that Guess Who: Later appending an initial The and dumping the question mark, Canada's finest rock combo of the late '60s and early '70s got its interrogative name by attempting to fool folks into believing its admittedly fine 1965 version of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' "Shakin' All Over" was secretly perpetrated by a disguised Beatles. In actuality, Chad Allan and the Expressions, as they were known at the time, tried to drum up a little publicity by intimating that their beat-style wax offering was Liverpool-spawned rather than Winnipeg-crafted. To add to the confusion, the B-side of that release by the hosing hosers is a Beatled-up version of Fab fave artist Arthur Alexander's "Where Have You Been All My Life." But in for a penny, in for a Canadian Tire dollar, they figured, as they retitled the song "Till We Kissed" and swapped its Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil songwriting credit for then–Guess Who frontman Chad Allan's defrauding little name.
The "You Know Who" Group! During the height of Beatlemania, New York producer Bob Gallo wanted a piece of that sweet Beatle dosh, so he released several 45 (as well as a full LP on which four musicians appear on the cover sporting Zorro masks) under the name The "You Know Who" Group! [exclamation theirs] Once again, you were supposed to surmise that the band's conundrum of a moniker pointed to a certain Merseybeat combo traveling incognito — and you'd be wrong, of course. But wait just a mop-headed minute: The twist is that The "You Know Who" Group! was a certain Liverpool beat band famous for its later releases on Apple Records: The Undertakers were a Merseyside group that relocated stateside in 1965, and whom Gallo employed to record several "You Know Who" Group! sessions. To further connect Fake Fabs to Actual Beatles, 'Takers lead singer Jackie Lomax was one of the first signings on Apple, recording the George Harrison composition "Sour Milk Sea" and the LP Is This What You Want? on the Beatles' imprint in 1968.
John & Paul: The artists' names on this 45 illustrate a more unsubtle form of hornswoggle, which the cigar chompers at Hollywood-based Tip Records foisted on a seemingly gullible record-buying public in that magic year of the Beatles Deception Single known as 1965. If anyone thought the sides "People Say" (not the Chiffons hit), backed with "I'm Walkin'" (not the Fats Domino/Ricky Nelson smash), were actually by the John & Paul, well, what's the harm? Nothing is known about the two fellas who perhaps not so coincidentally share their given names with the dominant duo of the Fab Four, yet while a quick listen loudly screams Not The Beatles, it's a catchy couple of tunes nonetheless. Accordingly, we salute John Fonebone and Paul Cowznofski, wherever they are, for their lasting contribution to the field of Beatles deception.
John & Paul: People Say (MP3)