"Beatle" by the late Trip Shakespeare is one of the most inventive Beatle's tributes I've heard. It contains bits of "Taxman," "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," "Hey Bulldog," "Birthday" and even the trademark "Hoos" that John, Paul and George made girls go crazy with when they first hit the scene. And then there are so many other Beatle elements, which become less hidden with repeated listening.
Sure, my description makes it sound totally derivative—and, in the most essential ways, it is—but the vocal melody and lyrics are totally original. It's a little slice of 80's College Rock that feels both lively and sinister with lyrics like "let me crawl into your brain/let me crawl up in yourmind/be now bewitched, bewildered, bothered and wise/I will be a Beatle in your mind." The goal is not to BE the Beatles. It's to be "a Beatle in her mind."
In a way, Trip Shakespeare was tuning into most musicians desire's of seducing women with their music like the rock and roll legends they—and every other musician—were inspired by.
"Beatle" was originally released on the band's 1986 independant release Applehead Man, several year before they were signed to A&M Records. The studio version feels somewhat hollow and listless. When you hear it—and see it— live, however, you can really see why so many people in the midwest went crazy for these guys. Great stage presence.
Check out Elaine Harris who plays drums standing up! Oh and of course, there's young future Grammy Winner Dan Wilson on the right, alternating between guitar, backing vocals and piano.
"Beatle" by Trip Shakespeare (live at historic First Ave., Minneapolis, MN, 1989)
"Beatle" by Trip Shakespeare (Applehead Man)
Applehead Man (P.S. "Stop The Winter" and "Necklace" are two of my favorites. Think Red Hot Chili Peppers mixed with REM/B-52s)