John, Alex, Paul

John, Alex, Paul

Today the Interwebs brought news of the death of the man known as Magic Alex, real name Yanni Alexis Mardas, who was an influential part of the Beatles entourage for several years in the late Sixties. Theoretically an artist and inventor, his main art was that of the put-on, and his biggest invention was the character of Magic Alex.

By all indications he was taking The Beatles for a ride, but his intelligence and charm were such that they didn’t really mind. He must have been very entertaining to have around, constantly coming up with far-out ideas that he would then tap his rich friends to finance. It’s really worth your while to read the whole Wikipedia page on Magic Alex, but this paragraph will give you the flavor:

Mardas allegedly told Lennon about ideas for futuristic electronic devices he was “working on,” which he later denied either promising or discussing: a telephone that responded to its owner’s voice and could identify who was calling, a force field that would surround The Beatles’ homes, an X-ray camera, paint that would make anything invisible, car paint that would change colour by flicking a switch, and wallpaper speakers, which would actually be a part of the wallpaper. Mardas later asked for the V-12 engines from Lennon’s Rolls-Royce and George Harrison’s Ferrari Berlinetta car, so he could build a flying saucer. Mardas also denied making these claims.

He was also involved in The Beatles’ scheme to buy and live on a Greek island — which I already blogged about a few years back, so in the interest of efficiency I will just provide a link — and accompanied them to India when they went to study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In fact he may have been the one who drove a wedge between The Beatles and the Maharishi…but that is a tale for another time. We shall learn more of Magic Alex by and by.