Oddity of the Day: The Beatles Never Broke Up

BeatlesIn the immortal words of Jerry O’Connell, imagine if you could travel to parallel worlds. The same year, the same Earth, but everything else is different. Imagine a world where the Soviets rule America, or where ketchup is purple and the Beatles still exist.

Such a story was told by a man calling himself James Richards, who launched a website in 2009 detailing his journey into a parallel world – and he brought back evidence of his bizarre trip.

First, let’s look at his story.

On Sept. 9, 2009 I experienced something that I still am having trouble believing happened to me.  I came into the possession of a cassette tape containing a Beatles album that was never released. In fact, not only was it never released but it was recorded many years after they broke up (and no I’m not talking about Klaatu).

More about the story of Klaatu, a mysterious band mistakenly believed to be the Beatles in the 1970s, can be read in this in-depth article about the site. Which you should wait to read until after you read this post. Please?

Now this is where the story becomes slightly more unbelievable and it is almost embarrassing to attempt to explain the incident to you for fear of viewing me as completely absurd. I must assure you, I am not insane or on drugs, and hopefully the audio from this tape will be enough proof that there is more than we think out there…

“Slightly more unbelievable”.

I live in Livermore California but on Sept 9 I was driving home…I had my dog with me and I didn’t have any plans for the day so I decided to take a drive through a place called Del Puerto Canyon just west of Turlock…A ways into the canyon my dog starting acting like she needed to use the restroom. So I pulled over to the first available parking area to the side of the road and let her out while I stretched. At first I didn’t notice, but then I heard the barking from 30 yards away…my dog was chasing a rabbit…They already had about a 40 yard head start so I had to really book it. The uneven ground and soft dirt patches made it difficult to run and it wasn’t very far into the chase I had stepped in a rabbit hole, fell and knocked myself unconscious.

When I woke up I was in a room with some furniture and electronics in it. I was taken care of with a bandage on my head but I still felt uneasy about the situation because where I fell and hit my head was in a very rural unpopulated area with no houses, and outside the window of the room I was in I could hear traffic.

He discovers that he and his dog were saved by a man, who then shares the explanation for how he found him:

“About 20 feet away from where I found you” he replied. I told him that couldn’t be possible because there were no houses within at least 20 miles from where I last remember being. He then told me that what he was going to say next will be very shocking and unbelievable, and that if he didn’t actually experience it himself then he wouldn’t believe it. He took a look at the machine near the window and looked back at me and said he transported me into parallel Earth. He said he traveled to our Earth dimension and found me knocked out in the blazing heat with nobody around to help me out. Normally he said he doesn’t take outsiders through a portal but in my case he thought I needed urgent help.

So…there are houses in this random valley in the other dimension? Or did he just shift universes in the desert for absolutely no reason?

I immediately started asking questions about traveling to parallel worlds, since all I knew about the topic was you tube videos of Michio Kaku.

You know this site’s from 2009 when Michio Kaku is the go-to popular scientist and not Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Also: “you tube”?

Apparently in his world a Parallel Travel machine can be purchased quite easily, while not cheap, its pretty popular even though the machine can be dangerous enough to cause death.

So on this alternate Earth, crossing over between dimensions is a common hobby. He goes on to say that, in his universe, the government funded parallel universe travel machines instead of space travel.

Since there are an infinite amount of Earths in other dimensions, only a small amount have been explored.The problem with exploring unknown dimensions is the chance you will die somehow once you walk through the portal doorway. He told me that people die from falling (if the ground isn’t close enough to where the portal opens), die from drowning (there are worlds covered in water, hard to reopen a portal underwater), die from fire, atmospheric issues…he said in order for people to avoid this they would have to know that there would be similar ground in the dimension they were traveling to. So his government began to research worlds that were “safe” to transport to, even creating public spots where people could choose a menu of worlds to go to that were all safe.

In a parallel world where people don’t test what’s on the other side of their portal before merrily jumping through, the government places regulations on parallel universe travel. I’m sure this world has Libertarians who rage about the government telling them where they can and can’t open a portal, and all of them inevitably open a portal 5,000 feet above the ocean and plummet to their deaths.

The man, whose name is Jonas, goes on to say that industries have sprung up around parallel dimension travel. For example, tour guides, scouts and agencies that let people pay to live in another world. He also says that many parallel Earths are untouched paradises where humanity never evolved, and people have ruined these. Anyway, HOW ABOUT MUSIC?

We talked about a lot of things, it was interesting to see what similarities and differences we had between worlds. Foods, culture, TV, technology… we covered a lot. We also started talking about music, which was an interesting topic because there were many of the same bands between our worlds that existed, including The Beatles. When their name got brought up Jonas mentioned that his brother just got back from seeing them perform at a concert recently, which I gave a weird look to and said “you mean they are still together?”, and he said yea. I then told him about how they broke up in our world and that John & George passed away, apparently in his world they are all alive, healthy and on tour still.

Indeed, when casually discussing familiar bands from my era I too would bring up one that broke up forty years ago.

Jonas goes to fetch a Beatles album. Here we learn that his world still relies on cassettes, as CDs never arose. As Jonas only has one real album, Jonas and JAMES RICHARDS listen to bootleg mixtapes burnt for him by an “upper school” girlfriend. Our intrepid traveler asks for a copy of one of the tapes, only for Jonas to predictably tell him:

“No, you are not to take anything with you back to your world. No pictures, no souvenirs, no tapes, NOTHING.”

So our hero then…

Of course I am not the type of person to go through all of this parallel world stuff and not grab something to prove the outrageous story of my experience.

WHAT DID HE JUST SAY? Congrats on destroying the Multiverse, buddy.

He waits for Jonas to go to the door, and then swipes one of the tapes.

When he came back inside I said I was kind of hungry…so he then took me in the other room and fed me. For the most part the food tasted like ours but was different product names and colors. The purple ketchup was the strangest.

He’s in a world with working dimensional travel machines, so he swipes a Beatles mixtape and marvels at purple ketchup. Our narrator is the worst Jerry O’Connell since Jerry O’Connell.

After eating, RICHARDS, JAMES passes through the portal and returns home, Beatles tape in hand. He invites us to share any similar experiences…and then he lets us listen to the album.

tapecassetThe peculiar brilliance of James Definitelymyrealname Richards’ work is that he delivers. It’s easy to dismiss that story. Extremely easy, in fact. There are few things easier than dismissing that story as crazy bullshit. But the fact that you can listen to every track of the album makes you pause. It is possible?

Alas, no. The album is a slick mashup of various Beatles solo work, demos and other material. But even that carries its own beautiful justification. If the Beatles never broke up, why wouldn’t their work as the Beatles involve elements from their solo work? They’d be the same people, after all. Why wouldn’t they have some of the same ideas? Of course, they probably would have thought of a few new ideas as well.

thebeatlesneverbrokeup.com is a wonderful oddity. It’s a site that exists to give a bizarre backstory to someone’s Beatles mashup, or perhaps it’s an atypically elaborate hoax. Or perhaps it’s the account of a man who really did travel dimensions, to a strange universe of deadly interdimensional travel, purple ketchup and late-2000s Beatles tours. It’s not, it’s the first two, it’s not the third one at all, but imagine a world where…