Beatles nuts hijack NASA..

At least Paul McCartney is being appropriately light-hearted about this – “Send my love to the aliens”, indeed. Yoko Ono is.. well, being Yoko Ono. On the 50th anniversary of its founding, NASA, in their wisdom, have decided to transmit The Beatles’ 1968 song “Across the Universe”.. across the universe. Or, at least, towards the North Star, Polaris. Why Polaris? Because it’s there – 431 light-years there. Nothing scientific about any of it, btw, even though they’re using the Deep Space Network on its 45th anniversary to also mark the 50th anniversay of the launch of Explorer 1. Of course, if they were being serious they’d transmit something intelligible. [And possibly more upbeat? – Ed] ANYhoo.. this isn’t the original, but the combination is entertaining/interesting/fun* [* delete as appropriate]

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  • perci

    Is star-gazing the same as spacing-out? Discuss 😉

  • Foreign Correspondent

    Oi, Across the Universe is a great Beatles´ song. Great cover version of it by Rufus Wainwright (much better than most of his own songs. IMHO)

  • Off topic alert!

    I’m sure everyone knows this story:
    When eminent biologist and author Lewis Thomas was asked what message he would choose to send from Earth into outer space in the Voyager spacecraft, he answered, “I would send the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach.” After a pause, he added, “But that would be boasting.”

    Then again, Thomas was no new-earther:
    “I am a member of a fragile species, still new to the earth, the youngest creatures of any scale, here only a few moments as evolutionary time is measured, a juvenile species, a child of a species. We are only tentatively set in place, error-prone, at risk of fumbling, in real danger at the moment of leaving behind only a thin layer of our fossils . . .” [The Fragile Species, 1992]

  • Pete Baker

    Oi, Foreign Correspondent.

    Whether or not ‘Across the Universe’ is “a great Beatles’ song” is, of course, an entirely subjective opinion.

    Whether the transmission of it ‘across the universe’ is in any way justifiable or scientific is not.

    Oh, and Rufus’ cover is less interesting that the one used in the original post ;op

  • Dewi

    Real shame – any passing aliens won’t be impressed. The song that directly led to the break-up of the Beatles IMHO. Mcartney so fed up at all Lennon’s diferent plans for it that I think he just got up and left.

    Now this is what they should have sent – I Will – 67 takes for 1 minute 48 of utter magic with Mcartney singing the bass line and Lennon and Starr on the bongo drums. God I wish they had filmed the White Album sessions:
    = and an American pal of mine Derkman
    (“Revolution in the Head” by the sadely lamented Ian Macdonald – astonishing bit of popular scholarship – highly recommended for musical geeks ,or The Beatles Day by Day: A Chronology Mark Lewishohn for the more factually minded (like it’s what they did every day for 30 odd years!!!))

  • Dec

    Whilst transmitting Slovenian Industrial music to the entire universe may not be a particularly good idea, this is the definitive cover (IMO).

  • Dewi

    Laibach not really Slovenian Dec – they are from Jupiter – it’s worked already !

  • Dewi

    Wonderful Beatles Cover on Youtube Don’t let me down

  • Major premiss:
    Sexual intercourse began
    In nineteen sixty-three
    (Which was rather late for me)—
    Between the end of the Chatterley ban
    And the Beatles’ first LP.
    Phil Larkin about).

    Minor premiss:
    “If you remember the Sixties, you weren’t really there” (Anon., but claimed by many).

    Which gives us three separate phases (and I was there, and I do remember).

    Look, early Beatles was music for dancing round your handbag (it got better, but not much). Real lads started to stiffen their arteries on the Stones, before going onto the real hard stuff.

    On which note, let me add to my previous post by reminding all Sluggerdom that the Little Green Men of Alpha Ursae Minoris may already have collected our earlier package: the (in)famous and epicene Voyager Golden Record. To the credit of EMI, the Beatles did not get on board: Carl Sagan (the Butt-Head Astronomer himself) wanted Here Comes the Sun from Abbey Road, but couldn’t crack the copyright. Chuck Berry (Johnny B. Goode), Louis Armstrong and the Hot Seven (Melancholy Blues) and Blind Willie Johnson did make it to spacial immortality. That’s three out of three for me: can’t be bad.

    Not to be totally unfair to Sagan, he did do Pale Blue Dot, which should be 5½ minutes (plus credits) of essential poetry and viewing for all, especially young-earthers and similar fabulists. In doing so, perhaps note that the “corrupt politician” seems suspiciously like President Josiah Bartlet.

  • barcas

    “431 light years – there”. Who knows, there may be no “there” there when the get there.

  • Rory

    It is quite clever really to send a Beatle’s track “out there” when you come to think of it.

    Imagine a recruiting sergeant on an alien planet attempting to attract recruits to invade Earth by playing this track :

    “Shit man, I ain’t going down there, listen to them old jive-ass muffas.

    “Man, cain’t we be invading somewhere they got some Jerry Lee, some Sam Cooke, some Otis, man. Some shit like that”.

    Big saving in NASA Alien-attack defence budget. No need to fund Will Smith’s salary.