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The John Lennon Series
by Jude Southerland Kessler

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Comment? Question?

Reference Library: Anthology Pre-history

From: (Richard Hanson)
Subject: Re: Anthology-What is it?
Date: Tue, 08 Aug 1995 22:24:35 GMT (Jameson Swain) wrote:

I have a quick question. What is anthology, and where can I get it when it comes out?


"Anthology" is the name of a film and album that the Beatles intended to make in 1967. This project was abandoned, and the Beatles released "Magical Mystery Tour" instead. The whole "Anthology" idea has been keep quiet because the Beatles later disowned the whole project. Now, however, there are plans to reissue this material.

To give you a little background information:-

"Anthology" derives from the phrase "Ant Hology", and the project was so named because in 1967 Ringo had become very interested in ants as a hobby. Ringo had several big glass cases containing ants' nests, and he would show his intriguing ant collection to everyone who visited his home. The other Beatles also procured their own ant colonies, and George boasted a special ant's nest containing Asian ants, which he had bought whilst the Beatles were in India.

George Martin, the Beatles' producer, later described this stage in the Beatles development as their "Ants and Awful Wordplay" period, and he generally tried to persuade the Beatles that the project wasn't worthwhile.

For two months, however, the Beatles devoted most of their time to the "Anthology" project. At one point, they decided to change their name from "the Beatles" to "the Ants", and John said in an interview, "I have always liked ants, ask Mimi." In the same interview, John caused some controversy when he remarked, "Ants are more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - ants or Christianity." A few days later John apologised, and said that he merely meant that there were many more ants in the world than Christians. Paul started to wander around barefoot because he said that he felt this gave him an affinity with all the ants below ground. "Anyway sandals get smelly," he added whimsically.

Some friends said that the Beatles (alias the Ants) were under the influence of drugs, particularly when it was announced that the Beatles were re-recording some of their famous songs to adapt their lyrics to the Beatles' new theme of ant-ism. The Beatles re-recorded the following tracks:

    "I Want To Hold Your Ant"
    "Ant, Buy Me Love"
    the demonstrative "You, Ant, Do That!"
    "Ant, I Love Her"
    the eerie "Ant Naturally"
    "Ant Time At All"
    "Ant (Go To Him)"
    "I'll Cry Insect"

They also recorded a new song which has never been officially released:

    "Where's The Nest Mary Jane?"

Finally the Beatles unanimously decided to scrap the whole project. "The end was probably in sight," said Ringo, "when one day I got stung several times by the little bug***s. A week later, after some more incidents, I chucked them all out of my house into my garden, which is just where they belong."


Now it seems that "Anthology" may still see the light of day after all.

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