Thursday, 30 October 2008

Rock Band signs The Beatles?


THE Beatles have licensed songs to MTV Networks' Rock Band videogame series, people familiar with the matter said.

The development is a coup for MTV, a unit of Viacom, in its battle with rival Activision for supremacy in the world of rock-music video games.

The deal, due for announcement today by MTV and the band's own Apple Corps, makes the Beatles the latest and biggest major band to license its songs to a music-oriented videogame, joining Aerosmith, Metallica, AC/DC and others.

Rock Band and Activision's Guitar Hero have engaged in heated competition over exclusive rights to use music by major acts.

The games Rock Band and Guitar Hero let players use miniature plastic game controllers, shaped like musical instruments, to play along with recorded rock and pop songs to test the players’ level of skill.

The game publishers have entered a handful of multi-million dollar licensing agreements with some of the biggest names in the business.

The Beatles represent by far the biggest prize yet in the category. Not only do they have the best-selling album catalogue of any band, they have not yet licensed their music for sale by download services such as Apple's iTunes Store.

Apple Corps and MTV are hosting a press conference at 10 EST in New York City today to announce what they call "an exclusive agreement to develop (an) unprecedented global music project."

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Kansas City: More footage

Bamiyan Shiff recently reminded us that the newly discovered 8mm footage from the Kansas City concert on 17th September 1964 is not the first of it's kind from that particular concert. There's another 8mm silent color film floating around, and 58 seconds of it was included on Picture Perfect's "Eye of the Hurricane" DVD a few years back. It looks as if it's shot from closer to the stage than the new one we posted the other day.


The Kansas City Press Conference:

DEREK TAYLOR: "The Beatles."

(the Kansas City press applauds as they walk out)

RINGO: "We are gathered here today..."

GEORGE: "How d'ya do."

PAUL: "Afternoon."

DEREK TAYLOR: (to the reporters) "When you're ready, put your hand up."

Q: "In light of the splendid offer, that was mentioned a few moments ago by Mister Taylor, of $150,000... Do you plan to perform a little longer than a half-hour?"

PAUL: (pause) "Just extra well."

(laughter)

Q: "I'll direct my question to Paul. Have the receptions in the United States been what you expected them to be, or had hoped for?"

PAUL: "They've been better, actually. Somebody said they'd be good but these have been marvelous, you know. Fantastic."

Q: "What has it been, about your reception...?"

PAUL: "The bigness of them. The largeness."

JOHN: "The emenseness."

GEORGE: "The magnitude."

PAUL: "Multitude-a-ness-es. (pause) Wonderful."

Q: "Is there any place in America that you wanted to see but did not get a chance to?"

JOHN: "New Orleans is one of them."

FEMALE: "Ringo?"

RINGO: (quickly and loudly) "YES??"

(laughter)

FEMALE: "Would you ever date a fan?"

RINGO: "Yes. I have done. (pause) Honestly."

Q: "I'd like to know, do you fellas hear what you're playing when the screams go on, and how do you keep going together?"

JOHN: "It sounds louder to people who haven't been to the shows before. We're immune, you know."

Q: "Do you do much rehearsing on your tours?"

PAUL: "No. We only rehearse the new numbers when we change the act, actually."

Q: "You have inspired Beatle hair-dos, and do you enjoy and appreciate seeing these styles on other people?"

RINGO: "It's quite good. It's nice. We always change when we see someone else with them."

Q: "Do you plan to change your hairstyle..."

RINGO: "Not our hair, just our clothes. We don't plan to change these. No."

Q: "Are you concerned about the poll in Britain which indicates that a group called the Rolling Stones..."

BEATLES: (suddenly, jokingly) "Wooo!! Wooo!!"

(laughter)

RINGO: "There's MANY polls, you know, and they just won one of them."

GEORGE: "And they won that one last year, as well."

JOHN: "They won it last year too, that one. You know, I mean, that's THEIR poll."

(chuckles)

JOHN: "It doesn't make any difference."

RINGO: (jokingly) "We own the paper."

(laughter)

Q: "John, there have been a recent anti-smoking reports. Are you trying to give up smoking?"

JOHN: "No, I've never even thought of it, you know. When you gotta go, you gotta go."

(chuckles)

Q: "Do you have any open public statement about American police?"

BEATLES: "No."

PAUL: "Private secret statements."

JOHN: "Not when we're playing, anyway."

Q: "Are you writing any new songs while on this tour?"

PAUL: "John and I have written two since we've been here."

Q: "Where do you do it? On the plane, or..."

PAUL: "We did it in Atlantic City, actually. Plus the two here."

Q: "What's the most annoying thing that is bothering you on the whole tour?"

PAUL: "Hmm."

JOHN: "I keep forgetting. There's one thing..."

RINGO: "I think not being able to see the fans at the airport."

PAUL: "Too much security."

RINGO: "You know, we just get... The plane goes to the far end of the field and then we just get put in the car, and away we go without seeing anybody."

JOHN: "Away we go."

RINGO: "So blame them, you see. It's not us, it's them."

Q: "George, what prompted you to throw that scotch and coke at the reporter?"

GEORGE: "Well, he was a very nasty young man."

(laughter)

RINGO: "OLD man."

Q: "How so?"

GEORGE: "Well, he had been told to leave the place, anyway, you see. And he insisted on jumping and trying to take pictures. And we couldn't see, as it was, without some idiot flashing in front of us. So I thought I'd... (pause) baptise him."

(laughter)

Q: "It's assumed that you will sing for quite some time yet, but what do you plan to do after..."

GEORGE: "...the bubble bursts."

PAUL: "Nobody's made any plans, but John and I will probably... (laughs) Ooo, we have this one every day, you know. John and I will probably carry on songwriting. And then George will go into basketball."

GEORGE: "Or rollerskating. I haven't decided yet."

(laughter)

FEMALE: "Ringo, would you show us your grey hair?"

RINGO: "No."

(laughter)

JOHN: "Only if you show him yours."

RINGO: "I'm not messing it all up, you see. And we're on telly. You gotta look nice."

Q: "What do you do about barber shops when you're on tour?"

JOHN: "We never go to them"

GEORGE: "We never do anything about them when we're not on tour."

PAUL: "We don't even think about them."

Q: "Is this the highest guarantee you've had in the United States?"

JOHN: "Yes, I think so."

RINGO: "Is it, Derek?"

DEREK TAYLOR: "Yes."

PAUL: "Very high."

DEREK TAYLOR: "Highest-ever in the world, we're told."

Q: "Back to the hair-do... What care and treatment does the hair get?"

PAUL: "A bit of combing."

JOHN: "Washed and combed."

PAUL: "A bit of washing."

RINGO: "Nothing special."

GEORGE: "No treatment. We never put any hair oil on it, because it makes it go funny, you see... makes MINE go funny."

PAUL: "Makes everyone's go funny."

Q: "It was rumored all over town a couple days ago that you all had tried to get reservations at one of the hotels in Springfield and you were turned down repeatedly. Is this true?"

PAUL: "No."

JOHN: "We don't make 'em anyway, and the ones that have turned us down, well, it's their privelege."

GEORGE: "And we're not going to Springfield anyway."

(laughter)

Q: "What is one question you would like to be asked at a press conference that probably nobody has ever asked?"

JOHN: "Can't think of one."

RINGO: "No."

GEORGE: "I think everything's been asked."

Q: "George, what ever became of the car wreck that you had in London?"

GEORGE: "Oh, it wasn't a wreck. I only just tapped into some fella and knocked the headlamp in. But you see, the further away you are the worse the damage appears. I mean, over here the car was a write-off, but actually it wasn't. And it was fixed within three days."

Q: "Did you have to pay anything?"

GEORGE: "No. The other fella's insurance company paid 'cuz it was his fault. (pause) I'm a GOOD driver."

Q: "We wondered, are you considering making America your home? Would you consider that?"

BEATLES: "No."

PAUL: "'Cuz England's our home, you know. We like the place, but not to live here."

(John whistles the patriotic tune of 'Rule, Britannia!')

Q: "Is there any other city in particular that you've enjoyed visiting?"

JOHN & RINGO: "New York."

RINGO & PAUL: "Hollywood."

PAUL: "Los Angeles."

Q: "Have you got a favorite entertainer or author?"

JOHN: "We like a lot of people."

RINGO: "There's a lot."

PAUL: "American soul groups... (pause) and Sophie Tucker."

Q: "You gentlemen play cards between performances. What kind are you playing?"

PAUL: "Poker."

RINGO: "Poker and Crazy Eights."

(laughter)

RINGO: "I haven't won YET."

Q: "I'd like to ask Paul how his feud with Walter Winchell is doing?"

PAUL: "It's not a feud, he's just soft, you know."

(laughter)

PAUL: "I give up, you know. I'm not talking to him."

Q: "How much of the hysteria that greets you do you feel is real, and how much is pretended by the little girls that adore you?"

JOHN: "You can't tell. It doesn't matter."

PAUL: "There's a lot of it that the papers, you know, help create that's probably not real. But there's also a lot, I think..."

Q: "The name Beatles, why did you choose that?"

PAUL: "John thought of it."

JOHN: "I just thought of it, you know. There's no reason, same as you pick a name for anything, really."

Q: "John, how does your wife feel about girls screaming and running after you?"

JOHN: "She knows they'll never catch me."

(laughter)

Q: "Paul, how did you enjoy the vacation to the Virgin Islands?"

PAUL: "It was nice, thanks."

Q: "I heard Ringo was having trouble with his throat. Is it alright now?"

RINGO: "Yes, thank you. It's fine now. I haven't had any trouble for the last two months."

Q: "Have you ever measured your hair to see whose is the longest?"

BEATLES: "No!"

GEORGE: "I think mine is anyway, 'cuz it grows faster than the others."

JOHN: "I'm usually a close second."

Q: "Ringo, are you going to have your tonsils taken out? And have you had that offer yet from the girl to send the tonsils to her?"

RINGO: "Yeah."

(laughter)

RINGO: "I'm gonna have 'em out. And we got the telegram, but I don't think I'll give 'em to her."

JOHN: "We're gonna auction 'em off."

(laughter)

PAUL: "Oooo, that's disgusting."

Q: "We'd like to know if there was ever any truth to the rumor, John, that you might leave the group?"

JOHN: "No. I don't know where it started. It just sort of appeared somewhere."

Q: "Did you make any new records with Capitol while you were in Hollywood?"

JOHN & RINGO: "No."

PAUL: "We did do an album (1964 Hollywood Bowl, live) but it was only for a souvenier."

GEORGE: "Not for general release."

PAUL: "Not for sale. It was so TERRIBLE, that's why."

(laughter)

Q: "After you return home, where will your next tour take you?"

GEORGE: "Around Britain."

RINGO: "We do a month's tour of Britain."

YOUNG GIRL: "Paul, how do you feel about reports which say you're conceited?"

PAUL: (laughs) "Yeah..."

RINGO, JOHN & GEORGE: "They're true."

(laughter)

PAUL: (laughing) "Thank you, chaps."

Q: "Is there anything you wanted to do in Kansas City on your visit here that you didn't get a chance to do? Anything in particular that you wanted to see, or anyone that you wanted to visit, by any chance?"

JOHN: "No, I didn't hear about anybody that we know, so..."

Q: "Mister Truman?"

JOHN: "Not particularly, no."

(laughter)

Q: "Have you bought any clothes in the United States, or is everything you wear from England?"

RINGO: "This is American."

PAUL: "I bought four shirts."

JOHN: "This is! A fella described it on the radio yesterday as a typical Liverpool dockers outfit."

PAUL: (laughs)

JOHN: "I got it at Key West."

Q: "Do you ever wear a tie?"

JOHN: "Me? Yeah, when I can find it."

(laughter)

YOUNG GIRL: "After all this is over which will you miss more, the fans or the money?"

(laughter)

JOHN: "Well, we'll still have the money, so we'll miss the fans. They'll be the ones that have gone. The money will still be there."

Q: "I'm with Variety."

PAUL: "Really?"

JOHN: "Good for you."

Q: "I'm sure you've got some supporting acts with you, but I can't find out from anybody who they are."

BEATLES: "Tonight?"

JOHN: "The same acts that have been with us everywhere."

PAUL: "The Exciters, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry."

GEORGE: "Bill Black Combo."

JOHN & GEORGE: "Jackie DeShannon."

JOHN: "And that's it."

Q: "Another English group is going to play Kansas City. The Dave Clark Five."

RINGO: "We know 'em."

(laughter)

Q: "How did they come out in the poll?"

JOHN: "Which poll? The one..."

RINGO: "The Melody Maker one, you're talking about? A British one?"

PAUL: "They didn't win, you know."

JOHN: "It varies from each musical paper, how they sold and, sort of, readership. So the votes go one way or another almost every year."

Q: "Did you talk with Charlie Finley when he was in San Francisco?"

JOHN: "We haven't met him, I beleive."

GEORGE: "I met him this morning."

PAUL: "I met him last night."

GEORGE: "And Brian Epstein was the only one who saw him, I think, in San Francisco."

Q: "He said he was very fond of you men."

RINGO: "Oh. We're fond of HIM, now."

(laughter)

Q: "What do you call your famed sound? Rock and Roll?"

JOHN: "WE call it Rock and Roll, you know."

PAUL: "Roughly."

JOHN: "A lot of people call it all sorts of things. But we call it Rock and Roll."

Q: "Ringo, what do you do when you're confined in your hotel rooms all the time?"

RINGO: "We just sit 'round, watch telly, or radio, or play cards or something. Or talk... We even talk to each other."

(laughter)

YOUNG GIRL: "How much does the United States government get from what you earn?"

RINGO & JOHN: "NOTHING!"

JOHN: "Heh, heh, heh."

(laughter)

Q: "What about the British governement?"

RINGO: "The British government are getting..."

JOHN: "Oh, they're getting a LOT !!"

RINGO: "We'll end up with ten dollars when we get home."

Q: "With your return to America this time, have you been asked to reappear on Ed SUllivan's program?"

RINGO: "I believe so, yes. I'm not sure about that."

JOHN: "I don't think we've got time, though."

DEREK TAYLOR: "Uhh, yes you were. Hopefully fit it in yet."

RINGO: "Well, there WON'T be time, now."

Q: "You were talking earlier that the two of you might continue on, and the rest... you break up the act. Is there a date set for this that you are going to break up?"

PAUL: "No, all I meant was that, if we DO break up... He asked when we do break up, which, it's gotta happen... that John and I will probably carry on songwriting. We didn't mean singing or anything."

Q: "How long do you think it will be before it does happen?"

PAUL: "No idea, really. Could happen tomorrow, you know. (chuckling) After the Kansas City date."

(laughter)

Q: "We hear and want to know if you're going to the Playboy club tonight."

RINGO & JOHN: "No."

JOHN: "We're leaving after the show, I think."

Q: "When you were in Florida before, did you talk with Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali) and how well do you know him?"

JOHN: "We only met him the once for that sort of publicity stunt which he came off best at."

(laughter)

PAUL: "It was organized by the newspapers down there. They asked us to come along. He's a good fella, though, isn't he."

Q: "Do you like baseball?"

JOHN: "Not particularly."

(reporters comically overreact with gasps at John's response)

PAUL: "Oooooo. Very good game, Mister Finley! Very nice!"

(laughter)

JOHN: "Only on T.V."

RINGO: (loudly) "Oh dear!"

PAUL: (jokingly) "Great game!"

RINGO: "No it does, you know. You throw the ball, and then another ten minutes you have a cigarette and throw another ball."

Q: "Is it true Charlie Finley asked you to wear kelly green and gold baseball outfits?"

(Beatles laugh)

BEATLES: "No!"

GEORGE: "Not true. We wouldn't wear 'em, anyway. Not even for 300,000."

Q: "Has it been decided about your next picture?"

GEORGE: "It's been decided on the date. I think it's supposed to be next February, but nothing else has been decided. No title, no script."

JOHN: (giggling) "No script, no nothing."

GEORGE: "No other people draftin' it."

Q: "Would any of you care to give us any of your views... I don't mean to be smart by this... on anything on religion or politics?"

JOHN: "Well, we're not interested in either."

PAUL: "No."

RINGO: "That's about it."

Q: "Would you consider, or is it being planned, that a movie will be made of your whole life? The 'Pool, Cavern Club..."

JOHN: "They couldn't put that kind of thing on the screen."

(laughter)

JOHN: (giggling) "Not yet, anyway."

Q: "One of you, I can't remember which one, said you didn't like politics. It was like beer -- you didn't like the taste. Yet when you were in Chicago, you made the comment if you were going to be for anyone in the Presidential election, you'd be for L.B.J."

JOHN: "We didn't. We said Eisenhouer."

(laughter)

Q: "What about in your own country? You're going back to a general election campaign over there..."

RINGO: "We're not going to vote over there. I don't know enough about it, but I'm not votin'."

PAUL: "None of us do, you know."

RINGO: "I don't follow it."

JOHN: "If I can find out which one takes the least tax, I'll vote for them."

Q: "In New Orleans you met with Fats Domino. Can you tell me how the meeting came about and what occured?"

JOHN: "Uhh, Frogman Henry said he'd try and arrange for us to meet him, 'cuz we've always liked him. And he brought him 'round with a friend of his..."

PAUL: "They found him..."

JOHN: "...in a store for about an hour, and had a couple of shots taken for his kids."

PAUL: "...found him getting groceries in a store, or something."

JOHN: "Had a sing-song with him."

' Q: "Paul, is it true you lost your driver's license, and how did you do it, if it's true?"

PAUL: "Yeah, uhh, I lost it a year ago. I just got it back now, actually. Speeding, three times. If they catch you three times, you lose it. Got caught."

RINGO: "Wasn't fast enough."

Q: "Why did you want to go to New Orleans? What about the town?"

JOHN: "Well, the clubs and that."

RINGO: "You just hear about all..."

JOHN: "To hear the sounds, man."

Q: "The music?"

PAUL: "Yeah."

RINGO: "You know, it's all good clubs and that."

Q: "Ringo, what do you think of Jayne Mansfield?"

RINGO: "She's a drag."

(crowd hoots and gasps at Ringo's response)

JOHN: (joking disbelief) "Ringo...!!"

GEORGE: "I second him."

DEREK TAYLOR: "It's a word D - R - A - G and it means simply a bore."

JOHN: "It's an American word."

Q: "What about Mamie Van Doren? She was..."

GEORGE: "We never met her. (pause) Her publicity agent wasn't as good as Jayne Mansfield's."

Q: "What os your reaction to these girls who come up to your hotel room and tear up sheets and anything you've disgarded, or the cigarette butts that you leave around?"

JOHN: "Well, they do it after we leave. It's alright, you know, if the hotel manager doesn't mind."

RINGO: "Not if they come up there rippin' 'em while we're still asleep."

(laughter)

Q: "With all these girls chasing you all over the world, who is probably the most exciting woman you've met throughout the world?"

JOHN: "Ringo's mother is pretty hot."

(laughter)

JOHN: "Only joking, Elsie!"

Q: "Do you like American cigarettes and which ones are your favorites"

GEORGE: (not seriously) "Yeah, we like American cigarettes and we smoke filters."

PAUL: "Ho, ho!"

GEORGE: "But we're not advertising anybody's cigarettes unless they're gonna give us a few million free."

(laughter)

Q: "Do you do anything for free at all?"

JOHN: "Yeah. Our charity shows. That's about all."

Q: "I'd like to ask George... I heard in the Lafayette Hotel in Atlantic City, a girl had climbed eight stories on the side of the building, jumped in the window and grabbed you in your night clothes."

GEORGE: "No, it's untrue. I heard a noise in the next room, but it was just policeman chasing her around. And she jumped on Ringo, actually."

(laughter)

JOHN: "Remember? When that bird was running 'round the room."

RINGO: "I was chasin' her."

(laughter)

Q: "How many of your records have been sold?"

JOHN: "We were told 83 or 85."

RINGO: "85."

Q: "Million?"

JOHN & PAUL: "Yeah."

JOHN: "It's amazing, isn't it."

(laughter)

RINGO: "And we're still touring."

JOHN: "We hear them every day on the radio."

Q: "What do you do with all the money that you make?"

GEORGE: "I'm going to change all mine into cents, fill up a room and dive in it."

Q: "I'm just curious, just how MUCH money have you made?"

PAUL: "None of us know yet."

RINGO: "We don't know yet."

JOHN: "A LOT!"

PAUL: "Our accountant just deals with it, you know."

RINGO: "We can't find HIM at the moment."

(laughter)

Q: "Everywhere you go you get tons of gifts, some good and some bad. Whatever becomes of all this?"

RINGO: "Some of them get shipped to England. If we get cakes and that, we try and get the fella who is promoting the show to give 'em to hospitals, because we can't eat all that cake."

Q: "How about jewelry?"

RINGO: "Well, I've got a caseful, man, if you want to route through it, and see what you like."

Q: "Do you haev any extensive musical training?"

PAUL: "None of us can read or write music."

RINGO: "We're all self-taught."

PAUL: "We've all been to school, you know, I mean... orindary educations."

Q: "Which of you do you consider the best singer, or the best musician?"

JOHN: "Ringo."

RINGO: "Well, I think John's the best."

JOHN: "No, I think you."

RINGO: "No, John."

GEORGE: "We don't consider it."

RINGO: "No, I don't think ANY of us are very good."

(laughter)

Q: "John, there's a report you speak German. How fluent?"

JOHN: "Enough to get 'round in the Reeperbahn in Hamburg."

(chuckles)

Q: "With all the traveling that you've had, is there any place in the world that you'd like to return to?"

JOHN: "Britain."

GEORGE: "England."

JOHN: "I'd like to return there."

Q: "On times off, I've read, that you visit children's hospitals. Have you visited any in America?"

RINGO: "No."

JOHN: "We've never visited one at all."

Q: "Well, there's a picture of you in one?"

JOHN: "Where?"

Q: "In a children's hospital."

JOHN: "We've never been to one."

GEORGE: "Oh, we have. While we were making a film, they brought up a lot of orphans to see us."

PAUL: "It was at Easter."

RINGO: "We didn't go there. They..."

PAUL: "We don't normally have TIME."

GEORGE: "We went to one hospital, I think, ages ago. And some girl had hitch-hiked to see us."

PAUL: "Oh yeah."

JOHN: "Yeah, that's right."

GEORGE: "And somebody stabbed her on the way."

JOHN: "That's right, yes. It's true."

Q: "With all your world travels, when do you have time for social activites?"

GEORGE: "When we're not touring. We don't tour all the time."

RINGO: "We don't tour all year 'round, you know."

JOHN: "We tour about half the year."

Q: "As idols of rather impressionable youngsters, do you ever feel a heavy responsibility."

JOHN & RINGO: "No."

JOHN: "Only towards the press. It's the only time we watch it."

Q: "Are you as closely guarded in England as you are here?"

JOHN & RINGO: "On tour."

RINGO: "When we're not on tour they just leave us alone."

Q: "What do you think of the American press?"

PAUL: "They're quite fair."

RINGO: "They're all nice."

JOHN: (jokingly) "Except for you!"

RINGO & PAUL: (giggling) "Except for you."

JOHN: (giggling) "Can't stand YOU anymore."

(laughter)

YOUNG GIRL: "Paul, I saw a picture of your father and I notice that he has thinning hair."

PAUL: "Mmm-hmm."

RINGO: "But he's 65, what do you expect!"

(laughter)

YOUNG GIRL: "When you're hair starts thinning, what will you do?"

PAUL: (laughs) "Let it thin, you know."

GEORGE: "Grow a beard."


Source: Transcribed by the Beatles Ultimate Experience website from audio copy of the press conference

1963 Promo Postcards

The Beatles: Promotional Postcards 1963

The Fab Four were hot stuff in Great Britain in 1963, and these are just a few of the promotional postcards from that year, as released by NEMS Enterprises, Parlophone Records and others. The Beatles toured Britain several times over this year (as well as visiting Sweden and Jersey), which gave fans excellent opportunities to collect autographs on their postcards. The Beatles always carried with them several cards, in case some of the autograph hunters didn't have a piece of paper for them to sign. You may use this collage as a desktop wallpaper, the size is 1162 x 864 pixels.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The Beatles in Kansas City


Previously unseen footage of The Beatles playing an unscheduled gig during their first tour of America has been found lying in a drawer after 44 years.
The colour, but silent, film was recorded covertly at the concert in Kansas in 1964 and is believed to be the only recording of the 31 minute gig.
Fan Drew Dimmel, who is now selling the roll of 8mm film reel at a British auction house, was 15 when he went to see the band in his home city.
Lot 330:
Rare footage from a 8mm colour film reel from September 17th 1964, unscheduled gig on the Beatles first tour of the USA. Approx 2 min long. Silent.
When confirmation was announced on my local “rock” station, WHB,that tickets were going on sale to see The Beatles, live, at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City (Missouri)…I persuaded my Dad to drive me down to the ticket booth at the park and bought 2 field-level tickets, paying $6.50 apiece…one for my little brother and one for me. I was 15 and he was 12 and we already had a rock quartet. I played bass and he was my drummer.
On the evening of September 17, 1964, twenty thousand of us gathered at Municipal Stadium to hear the Beatles, who were paid the, then unheard of fee of $150,000 for the 31-minute concert. Mr. Finley, owner of the city’s baseball team and Municipal Stadiums major client, had initially offered Beatle manager Brian Epstein $50,000 but was turned down. He increased his bid to $100,000 and, again, Mr. Epstein declined. Finally, when Mr. Finley raised his offer to a record-breaking $150,000 – the highest sum of money ever paid a band for a single performance at that time – Brian Epstein accepted.
But what was truly UNHEARD OF: the turnout at the performance was nearly 15, 000 below the venue’s maximum capacity. Throughout their inaugural tour of the United States, the Beatles attracted “capacity crowds” at every concert…except for the Children’s Mercy Hospital benefit held in Kansas City (the one and only Beatles concert ever performed here). The crowd
of 20,207 was just over half of Municipal Stadium’s estimated capacity of 35,000 with seats installed on the field.
The low attendance wasn’t because Kansas City residents disliked the Beatles; rather, the Beatles were caught in the crossfire of local animosity toward “Charles O. Finley”. Finley, owner of The Kansas City Athletics Baseball Team since 1960, guaranteed the payment of $150,000 out of his own pocket, regardless of ticket sales. Finley rationalized the concert with the slogan, “Today’s Beatles Fans Are Tomorrow’s Baseball Fans.” Instead of building frenzy and hype for the popular rock band, the local media (especially The Kansas City Star) viewed boycotting the Beatles as a way to protest Finley’s With widespread resentment toward Finley fuelling the boycott, a shortage of Beatles ticket sales cost Finley $40,000…in addition to a $25,000 minimum donation that he pledged to local Children’s Mercy Hospital in the event that the concert did not earn a profit. But the boycott didn’t prevent true fans from attending the show. The fans themselves delighted in witnessing the live performance of 12 hits of the Beatles including Ticket to Ride, Can’t Buy Me Love, and A Hard Day’s Night.
My brother and I arrived an hour before the show, dressed in suits and ties, sporting trench-coats and polished shoes. My father agreed to lend me his brand new “colour” regular-8mm movie camera for the evening. I was going to stand in front of the stage and film the show but, when the lights dimmed a policemen told us to find our seats.
We then heard a voice said “Hey aren’t you Charlie’s boys?” From inside the press barrier (in the orchestra pit) a local reporter who knew my father recognized my brother and me. “See you got a camera there” he observed. “If you want to trust ME with it, I’ll see if I can get some shots of the show for you” he said. “No guarantees.” I thanked him and obediently handed my Dads brand new movie camera to a total stranger! We found our seats and music started!!
The Beatles were preceded in the show by opening acts Bill Black’s Combo, The Exciters, Clarence “Frogman” Henry and Jackie DeShannon. The others were all great…but the evening belonged to John, Paul, George and Ringo.
When the Beatles finally took the stage, they opened with their version of “Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey”. Everyone loved it!
“Of course, no one got movies of the Fab Four last night…that was strictly prohibited “stated the radio jock. No one had mentioned the ban on motion picture cameras at the show. I filmed police, promoters. NO ONE SAID A WORD ABOUT MY MOVIE.
I took the film to our local camera store, making no mention of its contents, and waited for them to develop it. Paying the $4.00 developing fee, I went straight home, checked to see that images on the little reel were The Beatles, opened the drawer of our old desk, placed it in the bottom of the drawer…and there it’s been for the last half of a century. We cleared out my parent’s estate 2 months ago. And there I discovered it…at the bottom of the old drawer, still lying in it’s original photolab box with “Beatles 1964” on the back of the box where I’d feverishly scrawled it in blue ballpoint pen…the one and only motion picture, in existence, of the one and only concert the Beatles would ever perform in Kansas City.
When Paul McCartney returned to play in Kansas City in 1993, he did exactly like the first time, he played the song again for the only time on the 1993 tour! This performance was recorded and was included on the Paul Is Live album.


The sale will be held on November 4.
Link to auction site


There's a CD with the Beatles press conference and photos etc from Kansas City available over at Amazon:

Kampuchea Revisited


Concerts for the People of Kampuchea was a series of concerts organized by Paul McCartney at the request of the UN and their children's organization Unicef. Originally, Kurt Waldheim approached Paul to ask for a Beatles reunion concert in aid of the victims of war-thorn Cambodia, a country which recently had changed the international spelling of their name to Kampuchea. The idea of a Beatles reunion didn't appeal to Paul and the others, but Paul organized a series of concerts at the Hammersmith Odeon in London featuring Queen, The Clash, The Pretenders, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings and others in aid of the charity.
Wings had just completed their 1979 UK Tour, and were going to tour Japan in January 1980. Paul was arrested with cannabis at the airport in Japan and put in jail, the tour was cancelled, the band disbanded and thus the Kampuchea concert was to become Wings' final performance.
Rumours were ripe during the night of the Wings performance that George, Ringo and John was to appear alongside Paul, speculations that compere Billy Connolly did nothing to qualm. But it was never to be.
The event was recorded and filmed, and an album with highlights was released in 1981. It was never released as a CD. A bootleg LP with an audience recording of the full Wings concert appeared as "Cold Turkey for Kampuchea". The TV-film was also just compiled of highlights, and was shown on TV in various countries worldwide. The contents of the film varied from country to country. It was never released on video cassette or DVD. Apparantly, japanese television has recently re-broadcast the film - and the inevitable bootleg DVD has appeared.

The full Wings concert had this setlist:

1. Got To Get You Into My Life (included in japanese re-broadcast)
2. Getting Closer
3. Every Night (included in japanese re-broadcast)
4. Again And Again And Again
5. I've Had Enough
6. No Words
7. Cook Of The House
8. Old Siam Sir
9. Maybe I'm Amazed
10. The Fool on the Hill
11. Hot As Sun
12. Spin It On
13. Twenty Flight Rock
14. Go Now
15. Arrow Through Me
16. Coming Up (included in japanese re-broadcast)
17. Goodnight Tonight
18. Yesterday
19. Mull of Kintyre
20. Band On The Run

Wings also appeared as part of the All-star band "Rockestra", who performed:

1. Rockestra Theme
2. Let It Be (included in japanese re-broadcast)
3. Lucille (included in japanese re-broadcast)
4. Rockestra Theme (again) (included in japanese re-broadcast)

Not
included on the japanese re-broadcast was Getting Closer and Arrow Through Me, who both appeared as snippets in a rare early eighties british broadcast.

Pete Best in The Beatles' footsteps

On the 25th of October 1963, John, Paul, George and Ringo were in Sweden. Karlstad, to be precise and they stayed at the hotel "Stadshotellet", and played at the venue Sunsta Läroverk.
It took him 45 years, but this 25th of October, Pete Best played there as well. Pete, of course, was The Beatles' drummer for two years, until he was replaced by Ringo Starr just before The Beatles started their recording career in the autumn of 1962.
Here's a swedish news report about the event, including an interview with Pete.



The occasion was the swedish Beatles fan convention. Pete used the opportunity to launch his new CD for the european market. The album "Hayman's Green" has already been released in the USA, where the Pete Best Band just came back from.
It seems that the consensus in Pete's circle is that he was fired by Brian Epstein because Brian wanted to exclude Pete's mother Mona Best as the Beatles' booking agent. He wanted to run things by himself and 'Mo' was in the way. To get rid of her he had to get rid of Pete.
The cover of "Hayman's Green" is, in a way, Pete getting back at the Beatles' Anthology 1 album cover. Take a look:

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Les Beatles en Europe plus

Purple Chick Live - Les Beatles en Europe plus
Another release in the Purple Chick Live series, this is volume 7 and documents concerts in Paris and Rome in June 1965, Blackpool in July and throws in the audio from the Ed Sullivan Show in August - the day before Shea!

Torrent link

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

More Wings from 1972


I've always believed the caption on these videos, "1973", but upon viewing a few Wings videos lately, I now believe that they are from the concert in Den Haag on August 21st, 1972. Why? Because Paul's hair is too short for 1973! Anyway Den Haag seems to have been professionally filmed by several cameras and made into a concert film. It may have been scrapped either because of the James Paul McCartney TV Special, or because Denny Seiwell and Henry had quit before the film was finished from the editing room. The success of "Band on the run" may also have prompted Paul into focusing on the "new" Wings.

The only professionally released stuff from the 1972 tour of Europe has been these two incomplete video clips (included on the 1986 VHS video "The Paul McCartney Special", not on DVD) and "The Mess" (Live from Den Haag), which was originally released on the B-side of the "My Love" single in 1973.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Wings in sync


Wings in Njårdhallen - Photo and video: Åsmund Tynning
video
Thanks to my good friend IWAX, here is the 16mm film of Wings in Norway 1972 synched to sound.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Ringo has enough mail


Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has stunned fans by warning that he will never sign his autograph again. The 68-year-old rocker revealed his disappointing news to fans in a video clip on his website. He told fans: "After the 20th of October please do not send fan mail to any address you have. "Nothing will be signed after the 20th of October. If that is the date on the envelope, it's gonna be tossed."

Here's my take: "Brush with Greatness" is the 18th episode from the second season of The Simpsons. The episode was first shown on April 11, 1991. In that episode, Ringo was still answering mail from 1966, notably one letter from Marge Simpson. Now, 17 years on, he may have caught up on his backlog of mail to such an extent that he is fast approaching the date when he will have enough mail to last him for the rest of his expected lifespan. And that date has now been announced. He's just too kind! He knows that he won't live long enough to be able to answer mail that is sent after the 20th of October 2008, and lets us know.


But seriously: George and Paul stopped signing stuff sent by mail in the eighties, while Ringo still continued signing everything. Now he's being critizised for having the decency to tell his fans that he's discontinuing this practice. Come on, and stop the hassle!

DVD review: Resynched


The Beatles Resynched

Around The Beatles
Features the Beatles acting in a very silly Shakespearean spoof of the Interlude section of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” They perform complete versions of “Twist and Shout,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Can't Buy Me Love” and "Shout". They also perform a medley of “Love Me Do,” “Please Please Me,” “From Me To You,” “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.

Resynchronized to the original studio recordings that the Beatles made especially for this TV-show, this brings in new clarity to the performance and loses the screaming audience. The synch job is flawless, the mistakes we see on the screen are when The Beatles themselves miss a line or three. Sourced from two different editions of the Around The Beatles Special, most of the concert footage has been sourced probably from "Ready Steady Go! Special Edition: The Beatles Live" from the 80's video cassette. The Shakespeare segment is presented in black and white on this DVD. The other artists from Around The Beatles are not included in this presentation.

The Beatles at Shea Stadium

The Beatles at Shea Stadium film was produced by Sullivan Productions, Inc.,
NEMS Enterprises Ltd., and the Beatles company Subafilms Ltd. The project utilized twelve cameras to capture the mayhem and mass hysteria that was Beatlemania in America in 1965. With overdubs recorded by the Beatles in London in January 1966 to cover audio problems throughout the concert recording, the documentary aired in the United States in 1966 on the ABC television network. In May 2007, a recording of the entire show sourced from the actual in-line stadium public address system surfaced. The recording offers the actual Beatles performance unaltered by overdubs and sweetening. This audio recording has been synchronized here to film footage from the TV broadcast. The complete Beatles concert is included, featuring these songs: “Twist and Shout, ” “She's a Woman,” “I Feel Fine,” “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “Ticket to Ride,” “Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby,” “Can't Buy Me Love,” “Baby's in Black”, “Act Naturally,” “A Hard Day's Night,” “Help!” and “I'm Down”.

This has been a case of using the audio as a basis and synching footage to this audio, not the other way around - and a good job at that. Audience shots and locker room footage has been used to fill in the missing gaps, especially on the two songs that were never part of the original TV broadcast, "She's A Woman" and "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby". It's maybe a bit annoying to see the same audience shots over and over, your mileage may vary. The video used is consistant in quality throughout, and seems to be taken from the Darthdisc ABC Master version. The other artists and the pre-concert footage from The Beatles Shea Stadium are not included in this presentation. During the credits, the audio is from an interview with John Lennon about the concert.
The DVD finishes with three songs as "raw stereo extracts" from the Around The Beatles Special.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Norwegian Singles: I Want To Hold Your Hand


I Want To Hold Your Hand / This Boy was released as a single in Norway in November 1963, hot on the heels of the smash hit "She Loves You". I Want To Hold Your Hand is like no other norwegian Beatles single, because it was released in a danish picture sleeve. Instead of the familiar "10 Topper" singles list on the back, it has the danish equivalent "Top 10" as well as an ad for record players. 



When the single was resurrected with a 1966 reprint, order was restored. They changed the colour of the lines from the old red ones to blue, and the back restores a "10 Topper" list, starting with the 1966 release "Michelle"/"Girl". This cover is extremely rare, while the earlier version with the danish sleeve is easy to come by.



Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Wings Over Oslo

I have just been sent a DVD with a transfer of 29 seconds of silent colour 16mm film footage of the Wings concert in Oslo on the 9th of August, 1972. The image shown above is from that film.
I'm having the film dubbed at the moment, and I will be showing it at the Beatles festival here in Norway later this month.
Since no bootlegs have appeared from this particular concert, I'm using sound from various other venues on that tour for the presentation.  

Norwegian singles: She Loves You

Probably safe to say that this single is what started Beatlemania here in Norway. It was the fourth Beatles single to be released over here, but it took off like a rocket. Kids everywhere were screaming the Yeah Yeah Yeah's after this. And the performance on the swedish Drop In TV-show helped a lot.
The letters for the name of the band and the song titles were designed by a norwegian illustrator of "cowboy" pocket books. 


This single is found in several editions with different shades of green, but by far the rarest is the red one.

The red She Loves You is one of those 1966 re-releases. Even if we call them 1966 editions, they may have been pressed at any time between 1966 and 1969. Notice that this is not just an adjustment in the colour departement, but the image of the Beatles' heads peeping out from behind a door is more clearly defined, with lighter shades in their hair. This image was used on several of the early norwegian Beatles singles. The original green She Loves You singles had red Parlophone labels while the red edition has black labels in the new (post 1965) style.


The copy depicted above was sold in an internet auction and brought the seller a whooping NOK 20.500 (£2.000 or roughly $4.000). The earlier green sleeve pressings typically sells for around NOK 500 (£50 or $100). A single without a sleeve is almost worthless.
 

This 1963 souvenir programme from a Beatles concert may be where the norwegian singles manufacturer got the image used on several of those early singles. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Norwegian singles: All My Loving


Starting a series of Beatles records from Norway, I thought I'd focus on differences between editions. 
The Beatles' and other EMI records were distributed in Norway by a company called Carl M. Iversen A/S,until early 1969, when a norwegian subsidiary of EMI was set up as "EMI Norsk A/S".
All norwegian Beatles singles were released in picture sleeves. Norway followed the UK Parlophone R-series, but in addition ND (norwegian catalogue number prefix), SD (swedish cat. no.),  DK (danish cat. no.) were released, usually on the Odeon label.   As you may gather, the scandinavian countries cooperated across the borders.  Even two releases used the UK export series prefix DP.  Still, all of these were manufactured in Norway. 
Some singles were continuously reprinted due to popular demand, and in 1966, several of the old singles were given a new release, often with small differences on the cover.
Very often, norwegian singles were issued with Black/white/+ one extra colour on the sleeve. The extra colour varies between singles, but also within the different editions of one single.
There are also several minor colour variations within each colour, due to uneven printing technique. 
The most common rear side of the sleeve is an advert for other EMI singles, under the heading "10 Topper".   



Like this one, SD 5958 "All My Loving"/"I Saw Her Standing There". There are at least four collectible variations of this 45. This was the seventh Beatles single to be released in Norway, some time in March 1964. 

The variation depicted above is the rare 1966-reprint of the single. Note that while earlier editions seem to have the catalogue number and the "I Saw Her Standing There" title written by typewriter, this has been replaced in 1966 by another typeface. Also, while all other variations of this single has the record "Under Mexicos sol" advertised as the first "10 Topper" on the back, this one has "Yesterday".



Another phenomenon that seems to appear is the "carbon copy"-cover. These covers appear to look as if the manufacturers have just photocopied an original and used this as a basis to print new sleeves. Below is an example of this single in such a sleeve.