A yellow submarine at the Oceanographic Museum in Monte Carlo

Topics wrote last week about the famous Beatles song, Yellow Submarine.

We were amusing ourselves with a discussion about the song’s meaning.

Was it about a mental asylum or some kind of marijuana metaphor? 

Paul McCartney set us straight, contacting Topics to assert that he was sick and tired of having to answer questions about the meaning of his songs, especially Yellow Submarine.

The truth is, he didn’t really contact us. But it’d be pretty cool if he did. It’d be even cooler if John Lennon contacted us. That’s crossing the line a bit, isn’t it?

Here at Topics, we’ve also been calling for stories about Aussies overseas. 

Former NBN news anchor Ray Dineen killed two birds with one stone, sending us a story about a yellow submarine and an overseas trip.

He and wife Cheryl saw this yellow submarine outside the Oceanographic Museum in Monte Carlo.

“The display is right near the Octopus's Garden,” Ray said.

Of course it is. There was no word on whether any strawberry fields were nearby.

Anyhow, it turns out that the museum’s yellow submarine was once used by Jacques Cousteau. And apparently it was built in 1966, the same year the Beatles song was released.

Is this somehow linked to the meaning of the song? Sorry Paul, we can’t help it.

Send your stories of Aussies overseas to topics@theherald.com.au.

Brushes with Fame

Howard Keel starred in musicals in the 1950s and the TV series Dallas.

Howard Keel starred in musicals in the 1950s and the TV series Dallas.

Kahibah’s Daphne Hughes said she entered a competition many years ago for a chance to meet Howard Keel.

“He had been my screen idol in the 1950s, especially in Annie Get Your Gun, singing The Girl That I Marry,” Daphne said.

“As luck had it I won.”

She took along an LP cover of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which was a musical that also starred Keel.

When she arrived, she was escorted to his dressing room.

“After a hearty introduction, we spent about 15 minutes chatting and he autographed the record cover,” she said.

“He was a lot older, but definitely hadn't lost any of his charm.”

Send your stories of brushes with fame to topics@theherald.com.au.

Tea with the Queen

Queen Elizabeth having a good old giggle with the Duchess of Cambridge.

Queen Elizabeth having a good old giggle with the Duchess of Cambridge.

Back in the 1960s, Waratah West’s Fred Saunders was a member of the Newcastle Ship Lovers Society. 

He recalled that one of the society’s members had a cousin who had been married to Howard Hughes.

Hughes was a famous pilot, film director and businessman. 

That’s a nice little brush with fame, Fred. And whoever this woman was, she was in good company.

The women in Hughes’s life over the years included Katherine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Gina Lollobrigida, Elizabeth Taylor, Lana Turner, Olivia de Havilland, Ava Gardner, Jane Greer, Jean Harlow and many many more. 

Fred told us another story about a friend who was originally from Canada.

Back in the early 1950s, when The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were visiting Canada, they asked to see a real Canadian farm.

“His parents’ farm was chosen,” Fred said.

“The royals wanted nothing done to the farm, they wanted to see it as it was. The only thing that happened was a dry driveway was put down to get to the farm.

“He has a photo album of the visit, with him as a 19- or 20-year-old. The Queen even had afternoon tea there. Now that is a brush with celebrities.”