Strawberry Fields Morse Code ?

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DrRobert64

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Oct 6, 1994, 10:51:04 AM10/6/94
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In article <1994Sep21.1...@gallant.apple.com>, Keith Smith
<ksm...@apple.com> writes:

People have disagreed with me on this, especially since I quoted the wrong
source, but I read in one of several of those Beatles recording books,
that the code is JL in morse. It's clearer if you listen to a bootleg
unproduced version without all the overdubbing on top. Once again, I am
checking to get the exact author, but when you read something years ago,
searching can be hard to do when so many books exist. However, that does
sound like a Lennon type of thing to do!!

saki

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Oct 6, 1994, 6:51:47 PM10/6/94
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In article <3712so$4...@newsbf01.news.aol.com> drrob...@aol.com
(DrRobert64) writes:

>People have disagreed with me on this, especially since I quoted the wrong
>source, but I read in one of several of those Beatles recording books,
>that the code is JL in morse. It's clearer if you listen to a bootleg
>unproduced version without all the overdubbing on top. Once again, I am
>checking to get the exact author, but when you read something years ago,
>searching can be hard to do when so many books exist. However, that does
>sound like a Lennon type of thing to do!!

But the source for this tale is utterly *wrong*.

The source was J. P. Russell in "The Beatles On Record" (Scribner's,
1982), p. 84. Russell describes two "oddities" about "Strawberry
Fields Forever, one of which "is a Morse code message, tapped out
just after John sings 'Let me take you down...'. The Morse message
consists of two letters, J and L...."

Mr. Russell clearly does not adequately read morse code. There is
no deliberate "j" ( . - - - ) ) or "l" ( . - . . ) at all. Instead
there are some electronic pips which several amateur radio enthusiasts
(our own Bob Clements among them) have read as:

-.- .- -.- - - . .-

where the last dash is considerably extended and there is too
long a space between the first dash and the first dot. This
translates as "KAKTTEA" if you believe it's Morse. If you misread
the spacing, you can pick out a "j" but there's just no "l". Trust
me. I have a Ham license too. :-)

This actually appears to be "intermodulation distortion", as
our Mr. Clements describes it, perhaps from the Mellotron used in
this song or from something on the surface of the Mellotron. The
dits and dahs don't appear to be deliberate, hence the gibberish
when translated. BTW, Mr. Clements used several outtakes of the song
for his analysis as well as Lewisohn, whose studio investigations
reveal no sign of code generators being used as musical accompaniment
to "SFF", nor any verbal chatter about embedding morse code messages
in the song.

Russell's analysis was in error. It's unfortunate that his book
continues to give rise to such speculation.

--
---------------------------------
"Their name liveth for evermore."
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saki (dm...@math.ucla.edu)

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