Thursday, 29 November 2012

15th March 2004 Part II

" And if aught else great bards beside In sage and solemn tunes have sung, Of turneys, and of trophies hung, Of forests, and enchantments drear, Where more is meant than meets the ear." 

~ John Milton ~
Back to the Coat of Arms now. With a more detailed look into what goes on.

Heraldry is absolutely fascinating. It's been around for 900 years or so. And the language used as the blazon in British heraldry, comes from the Normans and their conquest of England. There's a portion of the populace that believes what appears on a Coat of Arms is meaningless. Nothing symbolic about it at all. I tend to believe these people are just being lazy.

A wide variety of sources had to be used to get to the meaning of Sir George Martin's Coat of Arms, issued on 15th March 2004. Project Gutenberg's The Handbook to English Heraldry, by Charles Boutell. Published 2007.  W. Cecil Wade's "The Symbolisms of Heraldry or A Treatise on the Meanings and Derivations of Armorial Bearings." Published in London in 1898.  The US Air Force Historical Research Agency ...
amongst many other sources. The person that believes a coat of arms is symbolically
meaningless, does not know heraldry. 

This is the Coat of Arms for Botswana. The Zebra was chosen for its neutrality. It is neither black nor white. It can also mean "Uncertainty". Without going into the history of Africa, British and Dutch "occupation" of the country, it seems "symbolism" is not meaningless in the case of Botswana. The Zebra was chosen for a reason. 

A little symbolism and superstition about the Stag Beetle, or Beetles in general. Different cultures. 
'To Beetle': To overhang, to threaten, to jut over. The word seems to have been first used by Shakespear: "or to the dreadful summitof the cliff. That beetles o'er his base into the sea. Hamlet, I, iv. It is formed from the adjective 'beetle-browsed', having prominent or shaggy eyebrows. The derivation of 'beetle' in this use is uncertain, but it probably refers to the tufted antennae which, in some beetles, stand straight out from the head.

Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions/Zolar:
The ancient Egyptians regarded the beetle, or scarab, as symbolic of the sun and of eternal return. Hence, one finds its form on rings, amulets, and talismans.
The beetle is said to be a sign of death should it walk on your shoe or emerge from a shoe placed near the door. Should a beetle enter a room in your home where the family is seated, misfortune is yours, according to a Scottish superstition. Should the beetle be killed the greater the misfortune.Should certain beetles produce a clicking noise while calling their mates, such was regarded as an omen of death to follow soon after. Aristotle believed that beetles arose from putrifying flesh and from dung, near which they were often seen
to gather. In Germany, the stag beetle was symbolic of thunder since it was often found on the oak tree, which is the tree most often struck during a storm. According to a legend in the Hebrides, the burrowing beetle betrayed Christ by describing the path of his flight into Egypt to his pursuers. The dung beetle, however, contradicted this, leading the pursuers astray. Hence, young boys would kill the burrowing beetle, but simply leave the dung beetle on its back, since its lie was for a good cause.
Animal Magick/D.J. Conway
Beetle or Scarab Beetle. This name has been given to members of the family Scarabaeidae of the order Coleoptera. The most famous of these beetles, Scarabaeus sacer, is in Egypt. It is about an inch long and can live for more than two years. The Scarab Beetle has become widely known through the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, who revered it as a symbol of the Sun. It is also called the dung beetle. This little insect rolls a ball of dung to cover the egg it has placed inside. It was an emblem of the Egyptian god Khepera, the god of creation, the Sun, and immortality. The image of the scarabaeus beetle was a common amulet buried with the dead as a source of new life for the heart in the next world. These sacred beetles were carved on all kinds of amulets and seals. Large images of them were worshiped in temples.

During the Middle Ages, the alchemists drew the scarab beetle in the diagrams of the double spiral, which they said led to the center of the universe. In Germany, where scarab worship, in the form ofthe stag beetle, has persisted longest, the equation scarab = Christ was widely accepted. The quintessential German artist, Albrecht Dürer, associated the stag beetle with Christ in various paintings, and produced a famous watercolor of the insect. The Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) did not hesitate to recall the identification scarab = Christ, referring both to St. Ambrose and Psalm 22:6: 

That's symbolism for you. When it comes to heraldry, there is some question as to whether any of it is symbolic at all. In the 12th century, knights were anonymous, so encased in battle armour that no one knew who they were fighting. Henceforth, a coat of arms to identify the knight in question.A simple military function as it were. But in the 13th century this "fashion" was extended to families. They could be personalised, and show heritage. By the 15th century, to stop everyone from using the same symbols and the art form becoming redundant, the language of heraldry was created. It incorporated a very stylised use of French, English and Latin. Still in use today. 
Word on the streets is, during the Victorian Age, everything became symbolic. Whether they were viewing a coat of arms from the Middle Ages, or something being made at the time. This is where there's some dispute whether a Coat of Arms actually means something, or the recipient just likes the colour Blue a lot. Having said that, in the world of heraldry there are those that see it as fashionable, and those that are purist. And you know, go all ranting on about the traditional forms of heraldry aren't being observed in this prestigious and highly stylised form of art and bearing. And some of those symbolic meanings now associated with colours and charges, may be the work of W. Cecil Wade's The Symbolisms of Heraldry or A Treatise on the Meanings and Derivations of Armorial Bearings, published in London in 1898. Can't find much about him on the web in biography, but he's very often quoted. The stuff of legend. 

And if you have a read through about the meaning put into an Air Force Coat of Arms, well ... they take those symbols pretty seriously. It's meant to tell the viewer what the function is of this specific branch, or person. What they do. What their mission is. What they stand for. Their code. It's a very serious business. Have a look:
Using Colors in Emblems The colors of an emblem often have significance but that is always secondary to the symbolism of the emblem. The colors of the Air Force, ultramarine blue and Air Force yellow, should appear in the design; the blue represents “the sky”, the primary theater of Air Force operations, while Air Force yellow represents “the sun” and the excellence required of Air Force personnel. A note of caution, ultramarine blue, while it represents the sky, is not a light blue; an ultramarine blue shield or disk is fairly dark and requires charges of good contrast.

But let's go back to the world of Pop. 


Crest: On a wreath Argent and Azure A House Martin 
proper holding under the sinister wing a Recorder in 
bend sinister mouthpiece downwards Or.


ARGENT: The name derives from Latin argentum, which derives from the Greek 'Αργυρος, translated as silver or white metal. The word argent had the same meaning in Old French blazon, from which it passed into the English language.
Of jewels it is the Pearl.
Of heavenly bodies The Moon.
Of metals Silver
A number of different interpretations abound in regards to this tincture.
Most agree that it symbolises peace and sincerity. A symbol of purity, honour, and virtue. What we'll do is provide that system of Duality that does exist with colours. In a dualistic world Argent can mean: 

GRAY (heraldic ARGENT)
Positive: discretion, humility, maturity, penitence, renunciation, and retrospection
Negative: barrenness, depression, egoism, grief, indifference, inertia, neutralization, old age, and 
SILVER (heraldic ARGENT)
Positive: charity, chastity, clear conscience, faith, moon, innocence, purity, and test of truth.
Negative: blank, cold, ghostly, spectral, and void.
WHITE (also heraldic ARGENT)
Positive: daylight, innocence, perfection, purity, truth, and wisdom. 
Negative: same as for silver above. 

AZUREThe term azure derives from name of the deep blue stone now called lapis lazuli (stone of Lazhward). The word was adopted into Old French by the twelfth century, from which the word passed into use in the blazon of coats of arms.
As an heraldic colour, the word azure simply means "blue". It is one of many concepts with both a French and German word in English, the former being used by the French-speaking nobles following the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and the latter being used by the commoners of Anglo-Saxon stock. In addition to the standard blue tincture called azure, there is a lighter blue sometimes found that is called bleu celeste or "sky blue". Neither azure nor bleu celeste is precisely defined as a particular shade of blue, but azure is consistently depicted in a much darker shade.
Of jewels, The Sapphire
Of heavenly bodies, Jupiter
The planet Jupiter is further associated with the metal tin in traditional alchemical/occultistic lore
BLUE: heraldic ARGENT:
Positive: (light blue/bleu celeste) calm seas, charity, cold, constancy, daylight, devotion, innocence, planet Jupiter, justice, loyalty, piety, sincerity, sky, thinking, and truth.
Negative (dark blue): doubt, discomfort, night, and stormy seas

ORIn heraldryOr (from the French word for gold) is the tincture of gold and, together with argent (silver), belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals". In engravings and line drawings, it may be represented using a field of evenly spaced dots. It is very frequently depicted as yellow, though gold leaf was used in many illuminated manuscripts and more extravagant rolls of arms.

Of jewels, The Topaz
Of heavenly bodies, The Sun
Of metals, Gold

GOLD (heraldic OR) [interchangeable with YELLOW] 
Positive: honor, majesty (royalty), mystic aspects of the sun, riches, and wisdom. 
Negative: idolatry

YELLOW (also heraldic OR)  
Positive: constancy, dissemination, divinity, elevation of mind, excellence, highest values, honor, illumination, intellect, intuition, justice, light, loyalty, magnanimity, riches, ripened grain, sun, supreme wisdom and wisdom. 
Negative: cowardice and treachery

CHARGEIn heraldry, charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of an escutcheon (shield). This may be a geometric design (sometimes called an ordinary) or a symbolic representation of a person, animal, plant, object or other device.

PROPER: Used in blazon to specify that a charge appears in its natural colors. "A zebra 
proper" has the zebra’s characteristic pattern of black and white stripes. 

SINISTER: Dexter and sinister are terms used in heraldry to refer to specific locations in an escutcheon bearing a coat of arms and by extension also to a crest. "Dexter" (Latin for "right") means to the right from the viewpoint of the bearer of the arms, to the left of that of the viewer. "Sinister" (Latin for "left")  means to the left from the viewpoint of the bearer, to the right of that of the viewer. The dexter side is considered the side of greatest honour.
From Ciric's "Heraldika":

Each coat of arms has a right and left (i.e. dexter and sinister) heraldic side, a observed by the person carrying the shield.
He explains how dexter is positive side and that the figures are always turned that way when representing some positive qualities. The figures of, e.g. slain enemies (e.g. dragons, boars) face to sinister. The orientation depends on the story the figure represents. Dexter is also named "masculine" side and sinister "feminine". Also notes that this does not have to be so in Christian coats of arms of modern times. A slanted beams, bendlets and saches going from top sinister to bottom dexter represent coats of arms of bastard children.
SINISTER (etymology): Historically, the left side, and subsequently left-handedness, was considered negative in many cultures. The Latin word sinistra originally meant "left" but took on meanings of "evil" or "unlucky" by the Classical Latin era, and this double meaning survives in European derivatives of Latin, and in the English word "sinister".
Meanings gradually developed from use of these terms in the ancient languages. In many modern European languages, including English, the word for the direction "right" also means "correct" or "proper", and also stands for authority and justice. In most Slavic languages the root prav is used in words carrying meanings of correctness or justice.
So, if you were left-handed or sinister, you were associated with evil. In time, sinister itself meant evil and threatening. EtymOnline said that sinister attained this meaning in the early 15th century. 

One way auspices would use to guess good and bad omens was to watch which direction some auspicious types of birds like ravens, crows or eagles were flying by. These birds were supposed to play the role of messengers of the gods. This was also practiced in Ancient Greece and named οἰωνίζομαι (Ornithomancy). If birds were flying by on your right this was a good omen. On the left (sinistra) that was a bad omen.

BEND SINISTERIn heraldry, a bend is a coloured band running from the upper right corner of the shield to the lower left (from the point of view of a person bearing the shield).bend sinister is a bend which runs in the other direction to a bend. As the shield would have been carried with the design facing outwards from the bearer, the bend sinister would slant in the same direction a sash worn diagonally on the left shoulder. 

An ordinary resembling the Bend is form, but extending from the sinister chief to the dexter base. It is, however, borne in English arms but rarely. It is the belief that Bends sinister were formerly much borne in Scotland, but have generally been changed to dexter bends of late, from a mistaken notion that they always betokened illegitimacy. It is the sinister baton(or diminutive bend couped), which alone conveys this disgrace. In Germany the bend is borne almost as frequently sinister as dexter.

So let's look again at this description:

Crest: On a wreath Argent and Azure A House Martin proper holding under the sinister wing a Recorder in bend sinister mouthpiece downwards Or.

Can you decipher the language of heraldry now? The other colour that appears in this Coat of Arms, but is not mentioned in its blazon, is Sanguine. Sanguine is a stain, or non-standard tincture in heraldry, of a blood-red colour. In the past it was sometimes taken to be equivalent to murrey, but they are now definitely considered two distinct tinctures. It is a brownish red, the colour of arterial blood.
George Martin was made a Knight Bachelor in 1996. Knight Bachelor is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry. Knights Bachelor are the most ancient sort of British knight (the rank existed during the 13th century reign of King Henry III), but Knights Bachelor rank below knights of the various orders. It is generally awarded for public service; amongst its recipients are all male judges of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales

As is customary on the Coat of Arms for a Knight, the visor is open. It's also customary for 
the Knight's helm to be in side profile / dexter with this visor open. George Martin's is not. At present, I'm having a difficult time finding out why this is so. Helm's can appear in many different positions, and if you're a King, the helm is always facing directly forward. All I can tell is, there are certain things that must be done with the helm depending on the recipient. It denotes their rank and bearing. And even with McCartney's Coat of Arms, it is specified it's customary for a Knight to have his helm in this position. I've found images of helms in the same position as Martin's, but no description as to what the distinction is. It's a mystery right now. In other searches, the crest must look aesthetically pleasing atop the helm, which is a consideration as to which way that helm will face. But as is customary with a Knight, Martin's visor is open. Possibly it signifies he is an Esquire or a Gentlemen, as one source specifies these are shown either in full profile, or partial, facing dexter. 

On a wreath Argent and Azure

On a wreath of Positive: Truth & Purity and Negative: Doubt & Stormy Seas (it is Dark Azure) or
Negative: On a wreath of Cold & Void, Doubt & Stormy Seas

A House Martin proper 
A House Martin in its natural colours.

holding under the sinister wing
Holding under its left wing. 
Etymology: Holding under its evil wing

A Recorder in bend sinister mouthpiece downwards Or.
A musical instrument (woodwind), its mouthpiece at the bottom and angled left in reference to the shield, coloured Or representing Positive: Majesty, Wisdom, the Mystic Aspects of the Sun or Negative: Idolatry. 

We know that according to heraldry, holding anything in the dexter is the highest honour. So is sinister as sinister as it seems? Or is this just another pleasantly aesthetic attribute to this Coat of Arms. It may be, as in Ciric's day, that only slain enemies and dragons should face to the left. Right from the beginning of George Martin's Coat of Arms, I'm already receiving mixed messages. If we are to take those messages symbolically, or aesthetically is uncertain. It's when we move on to the next portion of his coat of arms is when it goes all weird. 

Credit: Mike Langman (

Some information about the House Martin.
The Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum), sometimes called the Northern House Martin or, particularly in Europe, just House Martin, is a migratory passerine bird of the swallow family which breeds in Europe, north Africa and temperate Asia; and winters in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical Asia. It feeds on insects which are caught in flight, and it migrates to climates where flying insects are plentiful.

"This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve
By his loved mansionry that the heaven's breath
Smells wooingly here. No jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendant bed and procreant cradle;
Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed
The air is delicate." 

(Macbeth, Act I, scene VI)

Monday, 26 November 2012

I Am Yesterday ... and I Am Today

"I am Yesterday, "and I am Today ; and I have the power to be born a second time. I the hidden Soul create the gods, and I give sepulchral meals to "the divine beings in Amenti and in heaven." 

This is not a theory of my own. It has been floating around the internet for a number of years. When I saw it mentioned, I could not help but think it had some merit to it. My thoughts were to make it into a video, but in the end, sometimes reading something has just as much impact as visualising. 

In a Rubric to one of the versions of the lxivth Chapter of the Theban Recension of the Book of the Dead it is said that the Chapter was "found" during the reign of Semti, that is to say, the Chapter was revised, or edited. or rewritten, or received some kind of literary treatment, during the reign of the fifth king of the 1st Dynasty. If we look at the version of the Chapter to which this Rubric is appended we find this sentence :----"I am Yesterday, "and I am Today ; and I have the power to be born a second time. I the hidden Soul create the gods, and I give sepulchral meals to "the divine beings in Amenti and in heaven." 

So says Osiris.

Shortly after Osiris' return to Egypt, in the twenty-eighth year of his reign, on the seventeenth day of the month of Hathor (late September or November), Seth and 72 conspirators murdered him. 


Paul Is Dead: is it September or November? Both September and November are mentioned as possible dates of his death, each pinpointed to the 11th of the month by various clues. It's then we can look at a timeline and see where Paul McCartney is on the 17th of either month.


September 1966 (10)

05: John Lennon flies to Hanover, Germany 
06: John Lennon begins wearing 'granny' glasses 
14: George and Pattie Harrison travel to India 
15: Paul McCartney watches experimental music in London 
16: John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Brian Epstein meet in Paris 
18: John Lennon travels to Carboneras, Spain 
19: John Lennon films How I Won The War in Spain 
19: George and Pattie Harrison hold a press conference in India 
20: BBC interview with George Harrison 
26: Brian Epstein is hospitalised in London 

We can get all spooky and see that on September 17th, there is no entry, and there is no mention of Paul McCartney after meeting in Paris on the 16th with Epstein and Lennon. If one wants to get spooky.

November 17th, 1966 would have McCartney still in Africa, due to return to England on the 19th. 

Coincidentally, September 17, 1966 marks the 13th and last week in the Top 30 (Billboard) for "Yesterday & Today"

On September 18th, 1966, Lennon goes off to film How I Won the War. How did Set win the war against Osiris? He murdered him, placed him in a trunk and sent him down the nile.

In the mythology of Heliopolis, Set was born of the sky goddess Nut and the earth god Geb.

My mother was of the sky, 
My father was of the earth
But I am of the universe
And you know what it's worth
 ~  Yer Blues ~

WIKI: The cult of Osiris (who was a god chiefly of regeneration and rebirth) had a particularly strong interest in the concept of immortality. Plutarch recounts one version of the myth in which Set (Osiris' brother), along with the Queen of Ethiopia, conspired with 72 accomplices to plot the assassination of Osiris. Set fooled Osiris into getting into a box, which Set then shut, sealed with lead, and threw into the Nile. 

Osiris' wife, Isis, searched for his remains until she finally found him embedded in a tamarind tree trunk, which was holding up the roof of a palace in Byblos on the Phoenician coast. She managed to remove the coffin and open it, but Osiris was already dead.

The image to the left is actually reversed. Paul's hair was truly parting to the left, an attribute associated with "Faul" aka William Campbell, his replacement.

In one version of the myth, she used a spell learned from her father and brought him back to life so he could impregnate her. Afterwards he died again and she hid his body in the desert. Months later, she gave birth to Horus. While she raised Horus, Set was hunting one night and came across the body of Osiris.

Enraged, Set tore the body of Osiris into fourteen pieces and scattered them throughout the land. Isis gathered up all the parts of the body, less the phallus (which was eaten by a catfish) and bandaged them together for a proper burial. The gods were impressed by the devotion of Isis and resurrected Osiris as the god of the underworld. Because of his death and resurrection, Osiris was associated with the flooding and retreating of the Nile and thus with the crops along the Nile valley.

For years I've been hammering on about the point that John Lennon from 1966 to 1968 seemed to only want to talk about water, and things being either yellow or green. If it's not 
upstream it's downstream, if it's not green it's yellow. It begins with Nowhere Man, and continues right on through until "The Beatles", then he rarely if ever mentions these things again (one exception being "Julia" and ocean child)

And as soon as I saw that allusion to Set, and mention of the Nile, the river of all rivers, it made me think instantly of Lennon's constant mention of water for 2 years, and Nowhere Man does appear on "Yesterday & Today". It bears mention that Osiris was depicted as having green skin.

Lennon's Water/Yellow~Green Period:
 All these songs either mention Water and/or the colours Yellow and Green exclusively. Death is also mentioned, and She Said She Said can be included in this period. Death. Water. Yellow. Green. He spoke of little else until "The Beatles" in 1968.

Osiris is also recognized under many different names and guises depending on the time period and the region.Osiris=Apollo=Apollyon=Orion=Dionysus=Nimrod=Pan. And here's an interesting tidbit: the soul of Osiris was worshipped almost as a complete god/entity on it's own, especially in the region of Mendes. This soul was referred to in the feminine aspect. Banebdjed was the name given to Osiris' soul. Banebdjed was pictured as a ram or having a ram's head. A living sacred ram was kept at Mendes and worshipped. Banebdjed was considered to be the father of Horus. Regarding the association of Osiris with the ram, some point back to the shepherd's crook and flail so often associated with Osiris. In case you hadn't made the connection- the 'goat of mendes' is the symbol of the Baphomet, so often associated with dark magick and satanism. Banebdjed was thought to have been accidentally transliterated into the word Baphomet.
So Osiris= Baphomet.
Little is known about the true origin of Baphomet. Oral legend states that as far back as 2500 B.C. a tribe of hunter-gatherers located in the Valley of Shadows, in present day Egypt, were known to worship the God Banebdjedet. Banebdjedet has been described as having the form of a humanoid-goat hybrid, similar to the later deity known as Pan. In fact, it is believed that Pan is an aspect of Baphomet.
According to the legend, Banebdjedet spied a fair maiden named Hatmehit bathing in a stream and immediately fell in love with her. He seduced Hatmehit promising her that he would grant her any wish if she would agree to be his bride. Hatmehit replied that she only wanted to be close to him at which they became fused together resulting in a being of both sexes. Having the head of a goat, the upper-body of a woman and the lower-body of a man, this new God became known as Baphomet.We can see how the Goat became an Iconic figure for the devil in the later Christian Era and How Banebdjedet sounds close to Bahomptmet.
Read more:

Back to the Beatles for a moment: It was said to be Paul McCartney who pushed heavily for the butcher photo to be the cover of 'Yesterday and Today' according to Capitol Records president Alan W. Livingston. Subsequently, considering the replacement cover's cohesiveness with the myth and Paul's continual use of the 'Ram', crook and staff and countless other symbolisms attached to Osiris' many forums, it's plausible to believe that Paul was behind the 'trunk' cover as well.

See also Sir George Martin's Coat of Arms, and it's Badge: A Zebra statant proper supporting with the dexter foreleg over the shoulder an Abbot's Crozier Or. The Abbots Crozier being much like Osiris' Crook (and Flail, as he is seen holding in many depictions.)

I think this, and Paul Is Dead, has some connection. Whether it results in Paul being Osiris, and John being Set, I hazard to guess. Or the implications of this. But if you wanted to link "the occult" to The Beatles, here's a good place to begin. Yesterday ... and Today. 

Saturday, 24 November 2012

15th March, 2004

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time

~ Carry That Weight ~

A Coat of Arms is a pretty big deal. They just don't hand them out to anyone. I mean, I'm not getting one any time soon, and I'm pretty sure anyone who reads this blog now, or in the future won't get one either. They're a big deal. They've been handed out for centuries, and symbolically tell the tale of the bearer. 

What tale is this? Now, if you don't recognise this Coat of Arms, it's okay. It's Sir George Martin's, he who hath recorded The Beatles of infamy. And when you look at it you say, ok. I see Bee(a)tles and a House Martin ~ I get that. Yeah and the Zebra is stripey, kinda like ... the zebra crossing at Abbey Road where George Martin recorded those Beatles. And the House Martin has a recorder in its wing, yeahhhh Martin recorded The Beatles at Abbey Road. Got it. He recorded John, Paul George and ... wait. He recorded Paul, George and Ringo. Wait. There's 4 Beatles but I see only 3. And one's bigger than the other. Maybe there's only 3 because John Lennon had died. But wait. George Harrison was 3 years dead by 2004. So where is the 4th Beatle????

Yeah. The language of heraldry. It's a confusing one. Well, not really. Because everything on a Coat of Arms means something. And they're placed in specific regions for specific purposes to display specific messages about the person receiving this distinction of Empire. 

 Here are the elements which make up Sir George Martin's Coat of Arms:
Arms: Azure on a Fess nebuly Argent between three Stag Beetles Or five Barrulets Sable.
Crest: On a wreath Argent and Azure A House Martin proper holding under the sinister wing a Recorder in bend sinister mouthpiece downwards Or.
Badge: A Zebra statant proper supporting with the dexter foreleg over the shoulder an Abbot's Crozier Or.
Among many other achievements, Sir George Martin was producer to the Beatles. The shield, crest and badge make various more or less explicit references to the group as well as to music and the recording industry in general.

Looks like some foreign language doesn't it. Nebuly? Fess? Barrulets? Sinister? Argent? Statant? Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? What exactly is this foreign language being spoken here. It's a bird on top of a helmet, with a shield of 3 beetles.

Friday, 16 November 2012

MAD Ltd.

"When John Lennon was invited by friend, John Dunbar, to an exhibit at Dunbar’s Indica Gallery in London on November 9, 1966, the intellectually hungry, emotionally restless 26-year-old Beatle reportedly thought the avant-garde show might involve drugs, an orgy, or any of the things that made swingin' London swing. In fact, what was happening at the Indica was a conceptual-art show called Unfinished Paintings and Objects, exhibiting the work of Yoko Ono, a 33-year-old Japanese artist who created things like transparent homes, imaginary music, and "underwear to make you high."

Well. That's how the story goes. That's the way it is, so that's what it will be. But we know different don't we. Well ... we think we do at least, because the very man who met Yoko Ono said in 1971 that he knew about the exhibition a week before it opened, and attended it a night before it opened. Which places his arrival at the doors of the Indica Gallery on the 7th November, 1966. A Monday. Because the International Times, whom Barry Miles served as an editor, thought fit to include in its issues the run date of the exhibition, which was 8th November until 18th November, 1966. It in fact changed to this date, from the originally posted 9th November until the 22nd November in a fortnight. (The International Times was published fortnightly. Unless they were getting raided by the police.)

Barry Miles, Peter Asher, John Dunbar. MAD. Had McCartney, who helped put up the shelves of the Indica Bookshop, and also helped finance the operation been included as a named partner, they might've been known as DAMM. Or even MAID, as any allusion to McCartney's presence with Indica was under the pseudonym Ian Iachimoe. They could even go as Meter Maid if they liked.

Let's go in reverse through these gentlemen's backgrounds. Just to be trendy.

Firstly the D in MAD, John Dunbar. Well, first, let's look at his Father, Robert Dunbar, one time Cultural attaché in Moscow. 

Robert ('Bob') Dunbar (1914-2000), film director, producer, teacher and critic, was a pioneer of the field of film studies in Britain but also worked extensively in the industry in numerous capacities. He was apprenticed to producer Erich Pommer at Germany's Ufa Studios but returned to England when Hitler came to power in 1933. He worked first at Gainsborough studios as an assistant director, then as a production manager at Alexander Korda's London Films, where he assisted Alfred Hitchcock and René Clair; he also worked closely on William Cameron Menzies' film of H.G. Wells' Things to Come (1936).
In 1937, with the near total collapse of British film production, Bob found it increasingly difficult to get work and, two years later, he took off for Hollywood, en route making a detour to Mexico, where he met his future wife, Tatiana, the daughter of elite Russian émigrés. When the second world war broke out, he registered at the British consulate and they married. He was soon seconded to the Ministry of Information, and later moved to the Foreign Office as deputy head of the inter-allied information office in Mexico and the Caribbean. 
In November 1944, Bob was posted to Moscow as a cultural attaché, in charge of press, public and cultural relations at the British embassy. He also edited a newspaper, British Ally. The film director Sergei Eisenstein would frequently dine at the Dunbars' rat-infested flat and, on one occasion, waited in the dark of the kitchen to catch a rodent, which he proudly presented on a covered dish. 
In 1953 he became a producer with Group III, a government-sponsored organisation aimed at nurturing new talent. After a brief period working on comedies at Hammer Films, he produced one of his most successful films The Man Upstairs (1958) starring Richard Attenborough. However, production of British films was becoming increasingly difficult, and he set about teaching at a small art school in South London, which he bought and transformed into the London School of Film Technique. Early students of the LSFT included Mike Leigh, Iain Sinclair and Bill Douglas. In 1974 the School went into liquidation, but it survives today as the London International Film School.
Along with Roy Fowler, Dunbar instigated the BECTU Film History Project, an extensive archival research initiative aiming to preserve oral histories, ephemera, papers and artefacts pertaining to the history of film production in Britain. He also chaired the Journal Committee of the film technicians' union ACTT, of which he was made an honorary member.
 Wow. And when you cant find work in the dried up film industry, you just kind of drift to the Foreign Office as deputy head of the inter-allied information office in Mexico and the Caribbean. And then kind of drift into working directly in Moscow during the final throes of the war with Germany. The country you were expelled from when Hitler came to power. Okay! 

It doesn't mean your son is interested in those sort of things though. In January 2006, Dunbar participated in the International Symposium on LSD in Basel honouring LSD inventor Albert Hofmann on his 100th birthday. With John Hopkins and Barry Miles, Dunbar gave the seminar "LSD and its visual impact".

London, spring 1966. In the unlikely surroundings of St James's - more accustomed to bowler hats and bearskins than new art - a cultural revolution is in progress. Indica, the happening experimental art gallery that is the brainchild of 22-year-old Cambridge graduate John Dunbar, first opened its doors last year. Tonight, it's showtime. 'Swinging London' starts here. The private view has attracted all the right people: Dunbar's wife Marianne Faithfull, Paul McCartney and his girlfriend Jane Asher, Eric Burdon of the Animals, photographer Gered Mankowitz, producer Michael White, John Pearse of the King's Road clothes shop Granny Takes a Trip, a pretty boy called Mark Feld who's about to change his name to Marc Bolan, beat poets, art critics and the in crowd. William Burroughs hates parties but stuck his nose in for a few minutes before retreating to his flat round the corner. The flamboyant art dealer Robert Fraser, in his tight pink suit, and various Ormesby Gores and McKewens represent high society's hip vanguard. The classes are colliding, having fun, taking lots of drugs and using the energy from the social bustle to create art of many kinds.
Guests spill out into the yard with their glasses of white wine. Later, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate will tap on the window for a gossip. And in a matter of months, John Lennon will arrive in a chauffeur-driven Mini at the behest of John Dunbar, who thinks his friend should see the work of a young Japanese artist called Yoko Ono before her show opens.
'It was a wonderful time,' declares Marianne Faithfull today from Paris, in her rich rock'n'roll contralto. 'The opening night of Indica was complete chaos. Everyone was trying to get the place ready - John, Barry Miles [who ran the bookshop side of Indica], Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, our friend David Courts, so many people ... but nobody had thought to clean the lavatory, which was, of course, filthy. I remember I was wearing a beautiful dress and very pale tights, and there I was, on my hands and knees, scrubbing the loo. Because of John, I was very much a part of it all, and I'm so proud that I was.'

Again, Mr.Dunbar and Mr.Miles, you seem to not agree on when this exhibition opened. You have not been paying attention John! Gallery - Bookshop. Communication! But we know John arrived in a chauffeur driven Mini. Before Yoko Ono's show opens. Which would be the 7th November, 1966, as her show opened the next day on the 8th November, 1966 at 2pm in the afternoon. And Polanski was there around 3am that morning while they were still mounting the exhibition. 

Let's move on to Peter Asher. Well, first, his Father.

Richard Alan John Asher, FRCP (3 April 1912, Brighton – 25 April 1969, Marylebone) was an eminent British endocrinologist and haematologist.[3] As the senior physician responsible for the mental observation ward at the Central Middlesex Hospital[4] he described and named Munchausen syndrome in a 1951 article in The Lancet.[5]

Phew! I thought Dunbar's dad had some hefty credentials. Anyway. Digging deeper one finds this Anonymous comment on a blog entitled "Did Something Go Wrong in the 1960's". Anonymous says:

I used to model for Harley Street specialists training med-students at this time, starting in '58 as a 12 year-old. The police, lead by top-cops Joe Simpson and Shirley Becke, used to supply Profs Emanuel Miller and Richard Asher with the drugs they wanted to study, and used me as a guinea-pig! There would be several off-duty coppers present to see the result and work out how to deal with an acid-head.

But the real problem was trying to stop the influx of drugs. I'm guessing here, but the blacks flooding into Britain were finding work hard to find (and not because of colour, there WASN'T any work, half my classmates had no jobs after school in '62) and wrote home to relatives and started-up networks to import drugs and make a living selling that.

Interesting. Because when you start looking up Joe Simpson, this automatically brings up British gangsters The Kray Twins. And when you start looking into any connection the Krays may have had with The Beatles, up comes the suicides of Brian Epstein (Beatles manager) and David Jacobs (Beatles/NEMS lawyer) almost a year apart. Not to mention the suicide of Richard Asher in April 1969. 

Will have to go into Peter Asher himself sometime later, because his story after the Indica brings him to California and the whole country rock scene of the 1970's, coming out of that infamous neighbourhood of Laurel Canyon. Peter was also the one that introduced McCartney to the Process Church of the Final Judgement. It all gets convoluted at this point. 

Barry Miles. Do I dare venture into his past and what it yields? Sure! Why not. ~ have a read. There is very little information about his parents other than what can be found here at present.
The London that Miles dreamed of as a grammar-school boy in the Gloucestershire town of Cirencester was not swinging but static. His parents were working-class folk who knew their place and counselled their arty son on the perils of getting above himself. "My mother used to say: 'You're flying too high, my boy.' Both my parents had been servants in a big country house in Gloucestershire, which had a moat around it and a drawbridge. All my relatives were in service. It was the rural proletariat." He offers his genial laugh. "That's why I love cities so much!"

Well he shares working class roots with McCartney, there's a common ground. Because Dunbar and Asher seem a bit upper middle, upper class. If one sees such things as mattering. 

Shall have to investigate further. Carry on.