October 5, 2018


If there is a cultural axis to the earth, then it certainly shifted on October 5th, 1962. That's the day two of our major cultural touchstones made their first mainstream releases: Bond and The Beatles! It's hard to overstate the impact that both 007 and The Fabs had on our cultural history. And amazingly, the first big-screen 007 movie and the first Beatles single came out on the same day! What followed was the great Spy Boom, a complete re-invention of popular music, the galvanizing of youth, and a British cultural invasion that continues to reverberate today in every Mini Cooper, well-dressed action hero, and new concept album. Bond and The Beatles spawned generations of imitators and incarnations, and each "brand" continues to produce new projects that expand the fan-base. Their iconography represents so many chapters in the changing climate of the 1960s, yet these monumental creations first arrived in such simple packages. Let's take a brief look!

The Beatles first single, Love Me Do/P.S. I Love You, was released on October 5th, 1962. It arrived in the world in a Parlophone striped paper sleeve and a simple silver-on-red company label. Talking about the song before he passed away, John Lennon said, "Love Me Do is Paul's song. He wrote it when he was a teenager. Let me think. I might have helped on the middle eight, but I couldn't swear to it. I do know he had the song around, in Hamburg, even, way, way before we were songwriters" (All We Are Saying/1980). Paul McCartney apparently remembers a more collaborative creation and he went on to tell Barry Miles about the overall importance of the track to the band's launch: "We loved doing it, it was a very interesting thing to try and learn to do, to become songwriters. I think why we eventually got so strong was we wrote so much through our formative period. Love Me Do was our first hit, which ironically is one of the two songs that we control, because when we first signed to EMI they had a publishing company called Ardmore and Beechwood which took the two songs, Love Me Do and PS I Love You, and in doing a deal somewhere along the way we were able to get them back" (Many Years From Now). A 50th anniversary vinyl reissue was planned in 2012, but the album version (without Ringo on drums) was accidentally used. In a flurry of news, EMI recalled all of the records with plans to scrap them. Some copies found their way to collectors before the corrected version was pressed (I had a copy, but sold it). Beatles insider, Bill Harry, wrote a book about the recording of the first record called Love Me Do. Also, check out Hunter Davies' book collecting the letters of John Lennon. Dr. No continues below. Beatles related posts: Paul at 76, Beatles Pac-ManInterview: Fab 4 ManiaThe Beatles: Mission to India, Sgt. Pepper 50thThe Beatles: The Curious CameraRevolver At 50Ringo Rocks At 71Pattie Boyd ExhibitPeter Sellers to John Lennon: UK SatireRingo TributeJohn Lennon RememberedVintage VinylExperimental BeatlesIvan VaughanEssential RingoPaul at 72, Notes Behind the Curtain 1Notes Behind the Curtain 2Notes Behind the Curtain 3Notes Behind the Curtain 41960s OverdriveMake Love in LondonGeorge Martin R.I.P.Tony Sheridan R.I.P.Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Encouragement From YokoMy Experimental Re-Mix & Film with YokoLennon70 Tribute FilmHome MoviesSean Lennon ReleaseGilbert Taylor R.I.P.Atomic ArtLove PieceSean Lennon ScoresSean Lennon Limited EditionFab Fall 2013George HarrisonNew Beatles FashionYellow Submarine 50th.

It was years before author Ian Fleming finally saw his literary creation make it to the big screen. Although "Casino Royale" had been made for TV's Climax in 1954 (starring Barry Nelson and Peter Lorre), it took the combined efforts of producers Salzman and Broccoli, and the creative team of Terrence Young, Richard Maibaum, Peter Hunt, Ken Adam, John Barry, Monty Norman, Syd Cain, Maurice Binder, and Sean Connery to finally bring all the elements into place. Dr. No was eventually chosen as the first story to film and it was released on October 5th, 1962. Despite the success of what became the Bond franchise, building on subsequent films From Russia With Love and, especially, Goldfinger, The UK advance poster, like Love Me Do, arrived in simple attire: black and red titles/graphics on yellow, with a minimal aesthetic that anticipated the Raymond Hawkey designed 007 book covers in the UK. There had been spy movies going back to the beginning of cinema, but Ken Adam's stylized design approach to Dr. No helped to create an atmosphere for the Space Age. Speaking in 2002 with Todd Longwell for the Hollywood Reporter, Adam remarked that his seminal design for the "Tarantula Room" was the result of some resourcefulness late in his schedule: "I think it is one of my favorite sets, because it is so simple and theatrical or stylized. I think it somehow became the basis for some of the later Bond designs and certainly encouraged me to not only stylize Bond films but other films as well with rather simple means. Because this set was an afterthought and I had no money left. I think I had 450 pounds left. So I really had to come up with something very quickly that was very easy to construct and at the same time create a very important effect. It really worked (Longwell)." Adam probably drew from some of his experiences designing bomb shelters in the past to come up with the iconic domed room with asymmetrical ceiling- a reoccurring motif in the Bind film series. Indeed, that set defined the cinematic Bind universe for me. Like that moment Patrick McGoohan's Number 6 enters Number 2's lair in The Prisoner, first-time Bond moviegoers surely knew they were suddenly in unknown territory, both technological and sinister. See Spy Vibe for many James Bond and Ian Fleming posts, including:  Bond at BletchleySpy Vibe's interview with Fergus Fleming, Ian Fleming GraveSE Asian 007Fleming Jamaica BookBond Japanese EditionsFleming Chinese EditionChitty Chitty Bang Bang 50thIan Fleming: Mt. Demon Hell JapanCollecting FlemingLive and Let Die 60thAppropriating Bond Exhibit, The Goldfinger VariationsDouble 007 Book Designs, Double 007 designs IIrare Ian Fleming editionBook Design DopplegangersTurkish Bond designIan Fleming LettersErno GoldfingerNoel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview.

There were, of course, various connections between these two iconic camps, mostly notably: George Martin produced the Goldfinger single with Shirley Bassey, had signed Matt Monroe to EMI (the singer later recorded From Russia With Love), and later worked with Paul McCartney on their music for Live and Let Die. Bond and Beatles films shared cast members -drawing from the many talented performers in the UK at the time- and shared a location in the Les Ambassadeurs club gaming room. Sean Connery quipped about The Beatles in Goldfinger, The Beatles (and composer Ken Thorne) spoofed Bond in the movie Help!, and both Paul McCartney and George Harrison picked up Aston Martin DB5s (George's sold at auction in 2011 for £350,000.00). Ringo Starr would later marry Spy Who Loved Me actress Barbara Bach. And Swinging London just keeps swinging!

On this anniversary of Bond and The Beatles, try to imagine what it was like to be in that first day in 1962, getting this first taste of new artistic creation. Love Me Do and Dr. No must have seemed fresh and exciting, but surely folks would have wondered if these new bands and movies would catch on. One-hit wonders? So just image you are there. You put the needle down on the record... The lights go down in the theater... and a new world begins... Spy Vibers, my new episode of Cocktail Nation radio is live! Also please check out my new book (over 700 pages!) about one of America's most successful cartoonists. Enjoy!

Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Spy Vibe Radio: LiquidatorDiabolik LPFab DressesEurospy Music CollectionBeetle Bailey in West BerlinWhy Mort Walker?Spy Vibe radio: The Beatles Help!, Avengers Critical GuideThe SpotnicksBenny SpiesJames Pond 0017'Satire StonesAnnette Andre BookCat DaySpy Vibe Radio: Get SmartCaine: My GenerationInterview: Ian Ogilvy, ITC Elstree EventHorror of Party BeachSylvie Vartan RenownRingo At 78Dark Shadows StripsSpy Vibe Radio: FlintArchie Batman 66Paul at 76Beatles Pac-ManSpy Vibe Radio: Jerry CottonThe Invaders007 Horowitz Book TourMcGoohan/Prisoner Event at ElstreeThe Prisoner Interviews Vol 1British Underground PressInterview: Fab4 ManiaBond Cocktail BookBond at BletchleySpy SmasherSpy Vibe Radio: Peter GunnAgent Zero MNew Prisoner ComicDr. No Villains Edition,  Spy Vibe Radio: Danger DiabolikDr. No 60thOy-Oy-SevenSpy Vibe Radio (UFO)Cold War Comic StripsThunderball EventMission to IndiaMort Walker Celebration,  Peter Wyngarde CelebrationBatman 66 ExhibitPrisoner Fifty EventIan Fleming Publications 2017-2018Interview: Ed Hulse PulpAvengers Audio DramaInterview: Callan At 50Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private EyesTWA ReturnsSpy Vibe Radio 8Interview: Ryan HeshkaMid-Century Modern SchulzAgent WerewolfMata Hair ExhibitJohnny Sokko 50thInterview: Trina RobbinsEddie IzzardThe Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50thHugh Hefner R.I.P.Jack Good R.I.P.Interview: Shaken Not StirredCallan 50thSpy Vibe Radio 7The Prisoner 50th EventSpy-Fi EventKaho Aso 007Two MillionBo DiddleyCarnaby PopLe Carre EventsBilly Bragg SkiffleElvis 68Jack Kirby The PrisonerCasino Royale ConcertReview: The Prisoner Vol 2Interview: The Prisoner Essential GuideMaud Russell MottisfontSpy Vibe Radio 4Batman GallantsAdam West R.I.P.Village TriangleRoger Moore R.I.P.Spy Vibe Radio 3Sgt Pepper 50thSatanik Kriminal OST60s OverdriveMake Love in LondonSpy Vibe Radio 2Spy Vibe Radio 1James Bond StripsPropaganda MabuseInterview: Police SurgeonXTC Avengers1966 Pep SpiesBatman Book InterviewExclusive Fleming InterviewAvengers Comic StripsRobert Vaughn RIPUNCLE FashionsThunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film GuideLost Avengers FoundThe Callan FileMission Impossible 50thGreen Hornet 50thStar Trek 50thPortmeirion Photography 1Filming the PrisonerGaiman McGinnins ProjectIan Fleming GraveRevolver at 50Karen Romanko InterviewMod Tales 2Umbrella Man: Patrick MacneeNew Beatles FilmThe Curious CameraEsterel Fashion 1966Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview007 Tribute CoversThe Phantom Avon novels returnIan Fleming FestivalArgoman DesignSylvia Anderson R.I.P.Ken Adam R.I.P.George Martin R.I.P.The New Avengers ComicsThe Phantom at 80007 MangaAvengerworld BookDiana Rigg Auto ShowThe Prisoner Audio Drama Review.

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