Friday, 30 September 2011

Hamburg revisited

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first professional recording sessions in Hamburg, here comes a reiissue of said recordings in a deluxe package from Time Life. THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS: 50th Anniversary Edition, is released to stores November 8th. The 2-CD set comes with a specially-designed book that is a historical trove of concert and intimate photos taken by Astrid Kirchherr and others who were with The Beatles during the early days of their career. The book also includes handwritten biographies by each member of the group, signed contracts, original artwork taken from posters and records, and text by Hans Olof Gottfridsson, who has spent years researching this period of the Beatles’ career. As Gottfridsson notes in the book for THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS, Polydor executive and big band leader Bert Kaempfert discovered the group in a German nightclub, signing them to his own company and then releasing the songs through Polydor. The night they signed the contract at Kaempfert’s kitchen table, the four Beatles wrote brief autobiographies, reproduced here in their original handwriting. Through a combination of music, photos, documents, artwork and history, THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS beautifully captures John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison just before they rocketed to international stardom.
Also in time for the anniversary comes a new book from Spencer Leigh. The Beatles in Hamburg: The Stories, the Scene and How It All Began will be released by Chicago Review Press on October 1, 2011. The Beatles in Hamburg features interviews with the Beatles’ friends and contemporaries, including photographers Astrid Kirchherr and Jürgen Vollmer, bass player Klaus Voormann, Liverpool artists Gerry Marsden and Kingsize Taylor, singers Tony Sheridan and Roy Young, club managers Horst and Uwe Fascher, and many more. It is packed with close to 150 photographs of the Beatles and the Hamburg scene, some in full color and several never before seen.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

George's bonus CD

Finally, the track list for the bonus "CD of never-before-heard tracks" to accompany the Deluxe edition of the "Living in the Material World" film package has been published.
1 My Sweet Lord (demo) 3:33
2 Run Of The Mill (demo) 1:56
3 I'd Have You Any Time (early take) 3:06
4 Mama You've Been On My Mind * (demo)3:04
5 Let It Be Me (demo) 2:56
6 Woman Don't You Cry For Me (early take) 2:44
7 Awaiting On You All (early take) 2:40
8 Behind That Locked Door (demo) 3:29
9 All Things Must Pass (demo) 4:38
10 The Light That Has Lighted The World (demo) 2:23

Also, a clip from the film has been published on where Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr talks about "Here Comes The Sun".

According to a Reuters report, the film itself features a 5.1 audio remix of dousins of included Beatles and Harrison tunes, overseen by Giles Martin.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Eppy's Ebook

<blurb> Over forty years since it was first published, Souvenir Press has released A CELLARFUL OF NOISE by Brian Epstein as a special edition e-book.
This is Brian Epstein’s own account (as ghost-written by Derek Taylor, WogBlog commentary) of his extraordinary life and, inevitably, it is the story of the Beatles, the greatest pop group of the twentieth century. What was the secret of Brian Epstein’s management of the Beatles, how did he guide a group from Liverpool to shake the world of popular music? Within two years of making their first record they were the biggest group in the world; how Brian Epstein achieved this is in this book. He frankly acknowledges his mistakes and weaknesses while identifying those factors that led to his achievements. Also included in the book are 33 photographs from Robert Freeman that provide revealing glimpses of the Beatles on their way to phenomenal success.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Basketball Jones

"Basketball Jones" is a 1974 animated short film based on the Cheech and Chong song "Basketball Jones featuring Tyrone Shoelaces", from their album Los Cochinos. The cartoon was created to promote the song's release in the United States. It is about a teenager named Tyrone Shoelaces and his love of basketball. It was rumoured for many years that Ralph Bakshi created the short, when in fact it was designed by animator Paul Gruwell. The song is a parody of the 1972 soul ballad "Love Jones" by the group The Brighter Side of Darkness. At the end of the short is an appearance by all four members of The Beatles (with George Harrison on guitar, just as he played on the original track) sing along to "Basketball Jones." In the 1979 film "Being There", Peter Sellers can be seen watching this cartoon.
Cheech Marin - Tyrone Shoelaces (voice)
Darlene Love - Cheerleader (voice)
Michelle Phillips - Cheerleader (voice)
Ronnie Spector - Cheerleader (voice)
George Harrison - lead guitar
Klaus Voormann - bass
Jim Karstein - drums
Jim Keltner - percussion
Carole King - electric piano
Nicky Hopkins - piano
Tom Scott - saxophone
Billy Preston - organ

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Manchester 63

Yes, it's "The Beatles Come To Town" again, this time from Pathe's official YouTube account! Posted a few days ago, the film is available in 720p for your viewing pleasure. But what's with the new title?

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Robert Whitaker

News have reached us that the Beatles photographer Robert Whitaker passed away this morning, at the age of 71
Whitaker was running a freelance penthouse photo studio in Flinders Street, Melbourne when he had his fateful meeting with The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein, during the group's June 1964 Australasian tour. This came about more or less by accident, when Whitaker accompanied a journalist friend to an interview with Epstein for an article for the Melbourne Jewish News. Whitaker's picture was published with the article, which led to his introduction to Epstein and his first shots of the Beatles—pictures of Paul McCartney and George Harrison each holding up boomerangs presented to them by Australian fans.
"I photographed Epstein, saw he was a bit of a peacock and a cavalier, and put peacock feathers around his head in photographic relief. He was knocked out when he saw the picture. After that, he saw an exhibition of collages I had at the Museum of Modern Art and immediately offered me the position of staff photographer at NEMS, photographing all his artists. I initially turned it down, but after seeing The Beatles perform at Festival Hall I was overwhelmed by all the screaming fans and I decided to accept the offer to return to England ".
Whitaker's most celebrated work is the 1966 photo which was appropriated for The Beatles' infamous Yesterday and Today album cover, which was briefly released in the U.S. in 1966 but hastily withdrawn.
When I visited Liverpool in June for Ringo Starr's homecoming concert, I grabbed Whitaker's book "Eight Days A Week", which featured photos he took during the fabs' tour of the Far east in 1966. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Think It Over - Ringo Starr

"Think It Over" performed by Ringo Starr, taken from the "Listen To Me:Buddy Holly" tribute album, which Peter Asher has put together. I had to search a bit to find a version of this video which could be watched from outside the USA & Canada, and it may be gone soon, so watch while it's around!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Astrid For Sale

Die Beatles in Hamburg by Astrid
Astrid Kirschherr's photos of The Beatles are for sale, including the negatives and the copyright to the pictures. The photos will be auctioned by Guernseys of Manhattan on the 24th and 25th of September.
Astrid continued to take photos of the group after Ringo had replaced Pete Best.

France: New Images Of The Beatles In Concert

The Beatles performing in Versailles, France on Jan. 15, 1964. (AP Photo/Tellier)
Click to see all

Saturday, 10 September 2011

John's Shea jacket

Look what I found at the Hard Rock Cafe in Berlin, Germany! Who'd have thought that was where it would end up?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Love We Make

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Paul McCartney was in New York City on an air­port runway waiting to fly to Britain. As he absorbed the news of the unfolding tragedy, he wondered, “What can I do?” The answer, of course, lay in music. As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the documentary "The Love We Make", which chronicles Paul McCartney's journey through the streets of New York in the aftermath of the World Trade Center's destruction will be previewed at select theaters across the USA on September 8th. According to Beatles-Freak’s Review, the film is in "black & white, the camera follows Paul in New York City in his travels from October 11, 2001 to October 23, 2001 and his day-to-day dealings to organize and prepare for The Concert for New York, a benefit concert that was held on October 20, 2001. If you were expecting a 90 minute film on Paul’s reaction to 9/11, then you will be truly disappointed. If you’re a McCartney fan that wants to see what it’s like to be Sir Paul, then this film is for you."
"During TV and radio interviews leading up to the concert, Paul touches on issues dealing with how he’s dealt with grief in his life, how he deals with the conflict of being a pacifist after the devastation of 9/11 and how he came to the realization that he needed to do something while sitting in a plane on the tarmac watching the twin towers burn." 
"Mixed in with the interviews are Paul and his band rehearsing for The Concert for New York with many guest cameos as Paul discusses debuting his new song, “Freedom” for the first time at the show." Beatles-Freak goes on to award the film four beetles (out of er... four).
The film was made by Albert Maysles, whose Beatles connections started with the 1964 Beatles film "What’s Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A.". And just as back then, the new film has also been shot in 16mm black and white.

Friday, 2 September 2011

"1" commercial

The Beatles' "1" album from 2000 has been released in remastered form on iTunes. The album is also available as a CD with the remastered audio recordings in a new digipak case. At the official Beatles store you can order your CD in a special edition bundle, with an exclusive custom design T-shirt.
They have also produced a limited edition, numbered lithograph print featuring the covers of the Beatles singles. There are only 250 of these high quality prints and are exclusive to order from each of the US, European and Japanese official Beatles stores. Oh, how I long back to the old days, when the vinyl edition of "1" came with a free poster for everyone, "featuring the covers of the Beatles singles".
Of course, there's also a new YouTube commercial:

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Let It Be on Blu-Ray

Beatles bootleg specialists "Fab Productions" have released the first ever Blu-ray version of "Let It Be". They are claiming this to be a 1080p transfer from the 35MM print direct to Blu-Ray in 16:9 aspect ratio, augmented by a remasted stereo soundtrack.
Although this fills a void in any Beatles video collection, everyone is anticipating a definitive, official release of this Beatles movie. It has been suggested that since 2012 will be a big anniversary year for the group (50 years since "Love Me Do"), we may see an official "Let It Be" after all these years.

Another Blu-ray title from the Fab Productions company is a 2-disc release from Paul McCartney's recent "On The Run" tour. The film contains every song performed on the tour, taken from 7 of the 8 concert performances. Since many of the people who upload songs from the concerts on YouTube are filming in 1080p resolution with an aspect ratio of 16:9, it certainly makes sense to make the switch from DVD-R to recordable Blu-ray discs for releases like this.