The Hamilton Mall no longer houses a store that primarily sells music, but its rock 'n' roll spirit returns next weekend.
Radio station WTKU-FM 98.3 and the mall team up to host the "Kool 98.3 Rock Art Show & Sale" from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 10. The rock art show is free. Among the show's highlights will be original Beatles cartoon paintings by Ron Campbell, who was the director of the Beatles TV cartoon series and an animator for the feature film "Yellow Submarine."
Campbell, an Australia native, was living in that country when he developed a relationship with Al Brodax, a TV producer with King Features. It was Brodax who asked Campbell if he wanted to work on an animated TV series about the Beatles. Campbell couldn't understand why anyone would want to do a show about insects.
"He (Brodax) said, 'No, no, no, this isn't the beetles. This is the Beatles, the English rock and roll band.' I hadn't heard of them," said Campbell, now 73.
Brodax would send the scripts and the voice recordings from New York to Australia, where a team of animators, inkers and painters would work on them. Campbell created storyboards that illustrated what happened in the episodes based on the scripts and voice tracks. They would work on multiple episodes at once because it took six or seven months to send a work print, a cut negative, a music track and a voice track back to New York.
"He would send us the music track, not the whole track, just the songs the Beatles had permitted him to use," said Campbell about Brodax.
The Beatles cartoon series was in the very early days of cartoons being made specifically for television, Campbell said. The budget was very low. Nobody knew how to make money off of it, and nobody knew the industry would build into what it is today, Campbell said.
Campbell's work on the animated Beatles TV series, which is not currently available on DVD, led to him being hired for "Yellow Submarine."
"In 1968, I couldn't possibly predict that it would be the iconic film that it was. In 1968, I knew there was something remarkably different about the film that I recognized at the time, the fabulous music of the Beatles that was in the film ... and the magnificent design of Heinz Edelmann," Campbell said.
The movie was digitally restored for a DVD and Blu-Ray re-release in June.
After the two Beatles projects, Campbell worked on many famous cartoons, including "The Smurfs," "Flintstones," "Jetsons," "Scooby-Doo," "Winnie The Pooh," "Rugrats" and the adult cartoon "Duckman." Campbell retired in Arizona after a 50-year career.
Campbell creates original pop-art paintings based on the films and cartoons he worked on. It is these works that will be sold this upcoming weekend.
Kool 98.3 brought the idea of the rock art show and sale to the Hamilton Mall. Paul Kelly, vice president of broadcast operations at Kool 98.3, said the art show features all the artists his station plays.
"Basically, it's the Kool 98.3 playlist come to life visually right before your eyes. All our most-played artists will be represented," Kelly said.
Contact Vincent Jackson:
KOOL 98.3 Rock Art Show & Sale
Held 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Hamilton Mall, first level, Mays Landing. The rock art show is free.