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tedglart  tedglart is offline
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The Beatles Tarot


Many thanks for all of your responses, especially to Jolie Amethyst, who managed to confirm every single one of our worst fears, and thus save us a lot of work. We may print up a few decks for our own amusement, but essentially I think we can consider the project "indefinitely shelved".
Drawing slightly altered versions of the photo-collages is a practical option, but I think this deck is a rare case where photographs work better. After all, we "know" the Beatles through photographs. A drawn likeness somehow puts the image at a slight remove from the physical world, mythologising it perhaps, which doesn't seem appropriate treatment for living beings, especially 4 such grounded, humorous, working-class blokes. Who actually prefers the "Yellow Submarine" cartoon to the sight of our heroes eating sandwiches in "Hard Day's Night"? But the surrealistic blending of multiple images somehow helps the Fab Four escape some of the restrictions of dull quotidian reality. Gives it a slightly psychedelic feel too.
As for your questions about the organisation of the deck, I can only say that we approached each card with the coressponding Rider-Waite-Smith image in mind, sometimes to mirror it, often to ironically subvert some aspect of our beloved model. The music that makes up the sky on the Fool card is part of the actual sheet music of the song "Fool on the Hill" and the dog is Martha, Paul's sheepdog. There are dozens of photos of friends and lovers of the Beatles sprinkled throughout the deck and many references to important historical events in their lives. We had hoped to make the deck a virtual compendium of Beatle-lore and include a splendid companion book pointing out the details. The current version is a very basic prototype. Often the jokes are obscure linguistic puns. The Nine of Swords merely simplifies the geometrical shapes of the RWS card. We had hoped to create suggestive poetic links between our deck and the RWS rather make another clone. But admittedly in its current state some of the connections are too loose. Most people know the RWS meanings for each card and shouldn't have to work too hard to make sense of The Beatles Tarot on first acquaintance.
Please write to us again if you have any other ideas or questions.
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jolie_amethyst  jolie_amethyst is offline
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I wouldn't dismiss the idea of drawing (or painting) your collages *too* quickly. Again...I don't know for certain how much you can get away with on the derivative front, and that's worth potentially checking. But what I do know is that while photo collage decks are certainly popular, there are a LOT of people who don't like them, and DO like well done drawings or paintings of people instead. I'm not talking Yellow Submarine cartoonish either--though I'll admit THAT would be interesting too.

I can really see how drawing or digitally painting those same collages could very well give the deck a much more cohesive feel, because you then would have a unified style across all the cards. The problem with a lot of collage decks for me is that you lose some of that sense of styling because you have the work of several photographers, often with very different styles & lighting. And here, with the different time periods shown (early Beatles versus late), having those images redrawn in the same style could bring the whole thing into one very neat package. I have a friend who does this all the time with her digital paintings...by the time she's done, you wouldn't know she started from a bunch of photographs from stock agencies!

If from a copyright standpoint, redrawing the images is OK (please please please check before assuming such a thing is salable, I simply don't know how much difference it would have to be), then you might just have a potentially viable product. Obviously that still leaves the trademark issue on the name. (My husband suggested "The Four Lads from Liverpool Tarot" LOL...ooh, wait, the "Imagine Tarot"? "Yesterday's Tarot"? Hmmm...) But if it really was different enough, it could work. Worth trying on one card, maybe, just to see how it looks?

I keep getting flashes of these cards redone in black and white pencil style sketches, for what that's worth. They're really lovely looking...wish I was better at drawing so I could show you what I'm seeing!
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Luna-Ocean  Luna-Ocean is offline
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I agree with Jolie and what Blue-fusion had said about the use of collage and also making it into line drawings wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea? i would like to see it done more in the same way like the ''Yellow Submarine cartoon,'' i always remember when i first watched that and how that whole multiple use of psychedelic colours had been used, especially if you could add that same effect into the Tarot imagery?
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sabrina77  sabrina77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luna-Ocean View Post
I agree with Jolie and what Blue-fusion had said about the use of collage and also making it into line drawings wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea? i would like to see it done more in the same way like the ''Yellow Submarine cartoon,'' i always remember when i first watched that and how that whole multiple use of psychedelic colours had been used, especially if you could add that same effect into the Tarot imagery?
This. I would love a yellow submarine inspired one.
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Luna-Ocean  Luna-Ocean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrina77 View Post
This. I would love a yellow submarine inspired one.
It would be super great, The Fab Four Tarot.
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tedglart  tedglart is offline
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Beatles Tarot


Jolie Amethyst's idea of simply approaching the "people" dealing with the Beatles empire seems the simplest, safest, and best. My friend who did the artwork is a superb draughtsman but is involved in too many other projects to consider painting or drawing reproductions of the current images. That kind of care would require that we craft the symbolic content of the cards with corresponding meticulousness, as someone like Robert Place does for example. But we kind of like the sloppy scattergun unpredictability of the collage approach. There's something very 1960's about it.
"blue fusion" suggests a title for the deck that doesn't mention the word "Beatles" to avoid possible legal challenges. How about "The Unofficial Bootleg Beatles Tarot"? I'm only half-joking.
The "Devil" card (XV) features the nude John and Yoko cover from their "Two Virgins" album. Apparently this was banned in stores by the English censors until the album was shelved on the racks in a protective brown paper bag! In our fantasy complete deck we imagined issuing the deck in a box that contained little souvenirs like the inserts in the original Sgt. Pepper allbum. Card XV would have it's own little brown paper wrapper. The Devil we know and the Devil we don't know?
When I have a little more time I'll go through some of the cards and explain the rationale behind some of the images. We may even open up a Facebook page so that it will be easier for people to post comments and suggestions about individual cards. At the moment we are just playing around with the idea. There are lots of issues we haven't resolved yet to our satisfaction. No, we're not considering a Rolling Stones deck.
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Luna-Ocean  Luna-Ocean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post

I saw some of the cards on Facebook and Wordpress, and they look intriguing. Can you tell us something about them, like what directed you to draw the cards that way, did you connect specific songs to certain cards, etc (Fool on the Hill! The Inner Light for the Hermit! Tomorrow Never Knows for the Devil!). Is that Ravi Shankar on the Hierophant?
I've also seen all the cards on wordpress and like closrapexa i really like the style of each the card, i like the Wheel of fortune and Temperance imagery used these are a few of my favorites in the deck.
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tedglart  tedglart is offline
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Beatles Tarot - facebook page


For those who are interested to ask questions and make suggestions about individual cards, there is a Beatles Tarot Facebook page with the opportunity to post your contributions. The deck is very much a work in progress so please feel free to post your comments. Bear in mind that the collage technique is very limiting, so it is not always possible to make precise alterations to the images.
The deck designer is a walking encyclopedia of Beatles-lore but would be happy to incorporate interesting details from photos he is not aware of that you send him. For me, one thing missing from the deck at the moment is an image of screaming fans. Their passion (Wands?) is surely a big part of the Beatles story. Perhaps they deserve to be on a Major card. The World? I wish I could find that photo of all those weeping teenage girls reaching through the bars (which surely resemble "wands") at Buckingham Palace when the Beatles collected their OBEs. Or am I thinking of their first arrival at the airport in the US?
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This is from their last concert (well, except the rooftop concert) at Candlestick Park.

http://images.wolfgangsvault.com/ima...0831-03-FP.jpg

But I would really rather have a discussion about the deck here, where other like-minded people can join in, rather than export it to Facebook.
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Rhapsodin  Rhapsodin is offline
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Likewise. I wasn't willing to agree to Faceache's T&C so won't open an account.

It didn't meet my T&C.
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