January 10, 1999


MYSTERY TOUR: After the three Beatles “Anthology” sets and hundreds of bootleg releases, four Mop Top ‘songs’ remain unheard, highly prized and shrouded in mystery - much to the frustration of the most devoted Beatlemaniacs: “Colliding Circles,” “Pink Litmus Paper Shirt,” “Deck Chair” and the politically-charged John Lennon polemic “Left is Right (And Right is Wrong).”

But humorist and Beatles historian Martin Lewis is blowing the cover off the matter in a one-man presentation in which he's confessing to having ‘written’ the songs.

In truth, Lewis only wrote the titles - the songs themselves are merely the matter of fan fantasy.

Lewis says that as a young journalist in London in the early '70s, he was asked to write a story for the British publication Disc about unreleased Beatles tracks. Fearing that the real ones he had came up short, he padded the piece with four titles he'd made up. Years, later he was both thrilled and mortified to find that his Beatles ‘songs’ had worked their way into legend - turning up in supposedly authoritative books on the Fab Four, sought after by bootleg traders and a puzzle to archivists.

Lewis has had plenty of opportunity to come clean, working as a writer in the early ‘70s for former Beatles publicist Derek Taylor, who passed away last year, and as a consultant on various Beatles-related projects. But it wasn't until a recent meeting with his friend, Beatles producer George Martin, that he officially came clean.

“Sir George nearly fell off his chair laughing,” says a proud Lewis.

The show, titled “Great Exploitations!” will be presented Saturday and again Jan. 23 and 30 as part of Solo '99, a festival of one-person shows taking place at the 2100 Square Ft. performance space at 6515 San Vicente Blvd.

- STEVE HOCHMAN


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