Friday, 30 May 2014

The Abbey Road billboard on Sunset

Billboard, Sunset Strip, LA. Photo: Robert Landau.
During research about the Abbey Road cover today, for inclusion on our ever expanding The Road Goes On Forever page, I came across this funny tidbit. Back in 1969, a huge billboard was erected on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles to advertise the album. Shortly after its construction, some prankster climbed atop the structure and cut Paul’s head off.

Billboard, Sunset Strip, LA. Photo: Robert Landau.

When Los Angeles author Robert Landau first published his book about classic rock ‘n’ roll billboards of the Sunset Strip, he made his readers an offer: pass along any info on the whereabouts of Paul McCartney’s head and you’ll get a free signed copy of his book. More than four decades later, that prankster, now in his 60s, contacted Landau. “He took it when he was 16, and it was still hanging in his living room,” joked Landau, who traveled to the man’s home in the San Fernando Valley to pose with Paul in 2012.

Landau with Paul's head.
Source: and LA Observed

Abbey Road - back cover again

The back cover, with some preliminary mock-up text but no "BEATLES" sign yet.
People are intrigued by the various bits of information regarding touching up the photo for the back cover. I must say that I am siding with those who do not buy the idea of the girl in the blue dress being manipulated into the photo. She looks too real for that. Also, every earlier reference to her has her already in the place when the photo was taken. Sometimes she has been identified as Jane Asher, but I think that's just an uninformed rumour. After all, Paul and Linda had been married since March, and the scene in the Alexandra Road/Abbey Road junction where the back cover was photographed was half a mile away from the famous Abbey Road crossing.

Nicola Carletti sent us the above photo from his collection. Made during the process of finishing the Abbey Road cover, this may have been the mock-up Sir Joseph Lockwood, head of EMI, saw which lead him to demand that they should put a "BEATLES" sign in the picture. After all, the name of the group was nowhere to be found on the front cover and he wanted the group to be identified prominently on the back. Art director John Kosh was interviewed in 2013 by Rock Cellar magazine and reveals that he got a phone call from Sir Joe at 3 in the morning, complaining about the absent group name.

Original poster ad. Sent us by Eric Bourgouin

"It was really a publicity photograph. It was a desperate time for EMI. Let It Be was supposed to come out… and was put back. Abbey Road all of a sudden was slotted in and they wanted an album cover on Wednesday — and it’s Tuesday. Iain Macmillan had his light box, and we had the loop and transparencies and we just chose one. Then I had to go, I had to really rush. But somehow or other the printer, which was Garrod & Lofthouse (...) really helped me put this thing together." John Kosh.

Although he is referring to Garrod & Lofthouse, who printed the album sleeves, the actual work may still have been undertaken by by John Cockcroft of Colorcel. Someone put the "BEATLES" sign into the picture and drew in the crack in the "S", it might as well have been Colorcel.

Some other great quotes from Kosh in this interview were in regard to the Paul-is-dead rumours that started spreading and people reading a lot of "clues" into the album cover:

"It was my job not to confirm or deny Paul’s death.
[Whispers:] 'It looks like Paul to me' — that’s all we were allowed to say. And that was Derek Taylor — another one who’s left us — but nonetheless he was a great publicist, the publicist in the sky… It grew. And Derek, who was brilliant as a promotional artist, said: 'Let it roll. Don’t deny it!' It sold 26 million albums."

2-page NME advertisement spread, sent us by Yan Friis
The information regarding the Abbey Road back cover and advertisements has now been added to our main Abbey Road blog post.

A Hard Day's Night - website

A Hard Day's Night website launched
A website for the A Hard Day's Night film has been launched (U.S. version). You can find it here.
Meanwhile, we found that the German Special Edition will be 1 Blu-ray and 3 DVD discs.
From the press kit:

About the 5.1 surround mix

To create the best possible 5.1 surround mix for A Hard Day’s Night, our first mission was to identify the best available original audio sources.

In the case of the songs, that was easy, as we still have all of the original Beatles tapes here at Abbey Road. The songs from With the Beatles are on 2-track tapes. The later songs, from the album A Hard Day’s Night, were recorded by the Beatles on 4-track tapes.
Sadly, in the case of the single “She Loves You,” only the monaural mix of the track still exists.

It is worth noting that, as well as having different mixes than the original album tracks do, the songs are slower in the film than on the albums. This difference is quite noticeable during the scenes where the Beatles are rehearsing and performing in the television studio. Our understanding is that these scenes were filmed at 25 frames per second, rather than the usual 24 frames per second, so the TV monitors could be shown without any aliasing effect (flickering).
Photo: © Second Sight Films

The original underscore, written by George Martin, was recorded at CTS Studios in London; the original 3-track tapes for it were found at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.

To begin the remix process for the movie, the tapes of both the Beatles’ songs and Martin’s underscore were transferred to digital at high resolution (192kHz/24-bit).

More problematic for us was identifying the original master dialogue and effects track. Having evaluated a number of different transfers and sources, we chose the best monaural tape based on tonal balance, dynamic range, and lack of distortion and hiss. This track was then transferred digitally, and we carefully removed such unwanted artifacts as clicks, pops, and distortion.

When remixing the Beatles’ songs in 5.1 surround, our objective is to retain the original spirit, vibrancy, quality, and charm while making subtle improvements to the balance, tonal color, and stereo picture.

We employ many of the actual compressors, echo chambers, and plate reverbs used in the original recordings and mixes of these songs. Hopefully, this approach brings an authenticity to what we are doing and, at the same time, gives the listener a new way of experiencing the Beatles.

Once the mixes of the songs were completed at Abbey Road, we were fortunate enough to travel across London to Twickenham Studios, returning A Hard Day’s Night to the place where it was shot fifty years ago. It was there that we finalized the immersive 5.1 mix of the entire film.

Giles Martin and Sam Okell, Abbey Road Studios, 2014

So I guess what they are saying is that the "slow" songs will still sound slow. Maybe at least they've pitch corrected them, but they are not mentioning that. From people who have downloaded the iTunes version of the film, we have been informed that the 5.1 surround soundtrack has adopted a rather strange approach to the distribution of the audio. The rear channels are mainly ambient sounds, which is fine, but the songs often has the double tracked vocals split up and put in one channel each, front left for one and front right for the other one. Great for the amateur mixing community, but a bit strange sounding for the rest of us.

Photo: © Second Sight Films

From the press kit about the transfer of the film:

About the film restoration

Using the latest in digital restoration technology, the Criterion Collection was able to restore A Hard Day’s Night from the 35 mm original camera negative, which, though incomplete, was in excellent condition. The missing material was taken from two original interpositives.
The image was scanned in 4K resolution on a Scanity film scanner to retain the character of the film’s original printing stock without any generational loss, and the raw data was carefully treated using a variety of digital tools to remove dirt, scratches, flicker, and other damage.
The final result was approved by director Richard Lester, and is in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.75:1.
Photo: © Second Sight Films

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The girl in the blue dress - still an enigma

The Abbey Road cover (back) before retouching?
In the aftermath of yesterday's story about the retouching of the Abbey Road cover, Guus Limberger has sent us a photo of the back cover without the "BEATLES" sign, which indicates that the girl in the blue dress was already part of the photo before it reached the retouching stage. Of course, it could have been an intermediate version, with the girl superimposed on the photo, but before John Cockcroft started piecing together the "BEATLES" sign.

However, the "O" and "A" letters are mended, so some manipulation may have taken place. That is, if these letters were really damaged in the first place.

The "Alexandra Road" photos indicate this, as can be seen in the photo of the "cover tourists" from yesterday's post, but also in the black and white shot, taken at a different date.

The "O" is clearly damaged in this photo, too.

Thorsten Knublauch doesn't believe the story about the girl being added "by darkroom trickery" either, and quotes from Wikipedia: "After the shoot Iain went to find a road sign for use on the back cover. It was taken on the corner with Alexandra Road. During photographing the sign a girl in a blue dress walked through the shot. Iain was angry but later it was chosen as the back cover. The wall with the sign was demolished several years later."

Why Macmillan would be upset about the girl walking by is strange. After all, all he needed to do was snap one more photo, sans girl. Still, we just have to conclude that the mystery girl is still an enigma, unless someone comes up with the original back cover photo before the girl was added.

Update: Abbey Road - Back cover again

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Retouching the Abbey Road cover

Front cover after retouching. Traffic and people removed?
Our obsession with the Abbey Road album cover continues. Recently, we found a blog post from 2010 where Mike Cockcroft talks about his dad. John Cockcroft (1934-2008) was an expert on retouching photos, and he was the man responsible for the job that was done on the Abbey Road photos - front and back - for use on the album cover.
Mike explains what was done for this album:

"I found out much later in life, when I started working with my Dad in his studio that he had retouched the Beatles Abbey Road album cover, Rolling Stones magazine's 14th greatest album of all time.
Abbey Road was shot by Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan (1938 - 2006), Macmillan was given only ten minutes to take the shot and its ironical that it has become one of the most famous and imitated album covers in recording history."
"Iain used Colorcel, a London dye transfer and Print Processing Service with a strong retouching department of which dad was the head. The lab trained many of the rising retouching stars of the time including Richard Manning who worked on Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy album cover for the legendary Hipgnosis."

"So what did John do on this cover? He took out some of the onlookers and traffic and on the back cover the signage "Beatles" and "Abbey Road" were created from shots of street lettering from in and around London, cracks drawn in to make it real and finally the girl in the blue dress was added with dark room trickery."

Source: Bitdepth

Back cover retouched, but before the titles and the Apple logo was superimposed. Courtesy of

So now we know: the girl in the blue dress was no mistake and no passer-by, she was added to the photo during retouching!  The actual back cover photo was taken on the corner of Abbey Road and Alexandra Road, a road which is no more. Cockcroft  talks about cracks being drawn in to make it look real, but the main crack is certainly real, as seen in this photo:

Autumn 1969 album cover tourists
Still, the crack was drawn into the "S" in the "BEATLES" sign and may be what Cockcroft is referring to. Cockcroft also talks about the letters from "BEATLES" and "ABBEY ROAD" being pieced together from photos of other street signs, but we think that only applies to "BEATLES". The scene in the photo did have an original Abbey Road street sign, but replacing letters may have been applied to the damaged "O" and part of the "A" in ROAD on the original sign. These original letters seem to have fallen victims to that major crack in the wall. Four of the other original letters were salvaged during the demolition of Alexandra Road, and later glued together again and sold for £7000 in 2012.
As far as the removal of traffic and onlookers are concerned, we can't know for sure, as the unretouched front and back covers of Abbey Road have never been displayed in public, as far as we know, just the outtake photos of the front cover.

This onlooker is not from the photo used on the cover, but from an outtake.
This blog post has been edited to include the photo above.

UPDATE: The girl in the blue dress still an enigma

Denmark celebrates The Beatles

Roskilde Bibliotek (Library) hosts an exhibition 2 - 6 June 2014 - to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' concert in the KB Hallen June 4, 1964. Sadly, the concert hall was the victim of a fire which damaged the roof and the interior of the grand hall severely on 28 September, 2011. It is still being discussed if it will be possible to restore it to its former glory.

A Beatles festival will also take place in Grenaa 4 - 6 June, 2014
The Beatles festival in Grenaa will feature Danish Beatles cover bands "The Repeatles" and "Rubber Band", as well as performances by local singers and musicians. The streets will have their names changed, Lillegade will become The Long and Winding Road, Storegade will be Abbey Road, Østergade will change to Penny Lane, Nørregade will be known as Strawberry Fields and Søndergade will become Norwegian Wood.
Other bands due: "The Beatles Revival", "The Blackbirds", "BJ Beatles Band" and "STAR CLUB – Beat The Meetles.
A Beatles exhibition will open at Museum Østjyllands, a slideshow from the K.B. Hallen and eye witness reports from the Beatles concert are also interesting features of the festival.
Ad for the concert, 1964

In Denmark, the Beatles were going to finish their set with "Long Tall Sally", and Paul McCartney was going to announce that the "Long Tall Sally" EP was going to be in the shops the next day. However, warm-up band "The Hitmakers" ended their own set with their rendition of the song, which lead the Beatles to drop playing their own version at the first concert.

The set list, in Lennon's hand.

As there were two shows, the two bands had a meeting, at which the Beatles made a deal with the Hitmakers for the second show asking the Danish group to not play that song. So in the second show, the Beatles did finish with "Long Tall Sally", and Paul could announce the availability of their record. Thus, the "Long Tall Sally" EP made it's debut in Denmark on the 5th of June, 1964 - two weeks before it was released in the UK!
The Danish Long Tall Sally EP wasn't just released earlier than elsewhere, also had a different cover than the UK one. This was also the cover used in Sweden, and the record was also available in Norway. 

Update: Our Danish friend Arno Guzek wrote us to correct this story. The Long Tall Sally EP was NOT released earlier in Denmark, it was released in July. However, the Long Tall Sally single was indeed available the day after the concert.

The Danish Long Tall Sally single.

McCartney: Early Days

Photo: © MJ Kim/MPL
 Paul McCartney: Here are some photos from the filming of a new music video for "Early Days". Johnny Depp has a cameo in this video. There are passages in the song that reminds me of "Mother Nature's Son".

Photo: © MJ Kim/MPL

Photo: © MJ Kim/MPL
Photo: © MJ Kim/MPL

Photo: © MJ Kim/MPL

Striking a Mick Jagger pose? Photo: © MJ Kim/MPL

Photo: © MJ Kim/MPL

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Australia celebrates the Beatles

Beatles tribute CD coming
There are lots of 50th anniversay celebrations planned from the countries the Beatles visited in 1964. One of those countries is Australia, and down under they are staging not only concerts and exhibitions, they are also doing a TV documentary and a 2CD of Australian acts who covered Beatles songs.

TV Documentary: When the Beatles Drove us Wild, Tuesday June 10 8:30pm on ABC1

Fifty years after their only Australian tour, the ABC will screen a documentary on The Beatles ‘down under’ called When the Beatles Drove us Wild.
Narrated by Brian Dawe, who queued for three days to buy his tickets to the first concert in Adelaide, this features interviews with many leading Australians about their direct experiences.

Among those reminiscing are Glenn Shorrock, Jim Keays, Glenn A Baker, Blanche d’Alpuget, Jenny Key, ‘Little Pattie’, Chantal Contouri, ‘Molly’ Meldrum, Bob Francis, Bob Rogers and Bob Katter.
Squeaky clean by day and musically charged at their concerts – it was a different story behind closed doors. Much of what really occurred on the Beatles’ Australian tour has never been told before. Like JFK before them the media indulged in the spoils of being on tour with the Beatles and turned a blind eye to the bedroom antics!

In June 1964, the Beatles made their one and only visit ‘Down Under’ and turned the southern hemisphere on its head!
The social turmoil caused by scenes of mass hysteria and the loss of control of public spaces was new and very unsettling for conservative authority figures.
In Adelaide a crowd estimated to be around 300,000 people (half the City’s population at the time)turned out in the streets to welcome the Beatles. It was the biggest reception the Beatles ever experienced, anywhere in the world.
In Melbourne the army was called in to help police control the crowd.
In Sydney over 10,000 girls entered a competition to win one of just 17 invitations to attend Paul’s 22nd birthday party!
The Beatles and their music embodied the future – a future of infinite possibilities. This was a future that promised a world of freedom and promised it to the young! For the first time in Australia and New Zealand, jobs were plentiful and there were a lot of people under twenty with disposable income. It was fun!
The obligatory didgeridoo photo, whenever we talk about Beatles and Australia

In Australia and NZ, the older generations, shaped by depression and war, seemed bewildered and alarmed at their children’s reaction to the Beatles.
What happened ‘Down Under’ in June 1964 was a mirror to what was evolving worldwide.
This was a time when the ‘baby boomer’ generation was just starting to find its voice and unwittingly flex its muscles. Youth culture was inventing itself, marshalling its forces and was on the march to change Australia, New Zealand and the World!

CD: Then & Now – Australia Salutes The Beatles

The Beatles one and only Australian tour was in June 1964. The band touched down in Sydney on June 11, 1964 and played 20 shows on the tour.
EMI Records has compiled ‘Then & Now – Australia Salutes The Beatles’ with covers of Beatles songs from The Bee Gees, The Seekers, Master’ Apprentices, Sulky Parkinson, The Zoot, Glenn Shorrock, John Farnham, The Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I, The Vines, Josh Pyke, Bob Evans, Katie Noonan, John Waters, and many more.

The album was compiled by Glenn A. Baker who said, “it is as close to being a collection of the very best treatments of Australia Saluting The Beatles. It’s taken us fifty years to get to it but the wait has been so very, very worthwhile.”

Then & Now – Australia Salutes The Beatles

Disc One
  1. FROM ME TO YOU – The Bee Gees
  2. YESTERDAY – The Seekers
  3. FOR NO ONE – Little Pattie
  4. IT WON’T BE LONG – The Rajahs
  6. ALL MY LOVING – Johnny Young
  7. OBLA-DI, OBLA-DA – The Executives
  8. I FEEL FINE – Masters’ Apprentices
  10. TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS – Wendy Saddington
  11. HEY JUDE – Max Merritt & the Meteors
  12. COME TOGETHER – The La De Das
  13. DEAR PRUDENCE – Sulky Parkinson In Focus
  14. ELEANOR RIGBY – The Zoot
  15. CARRY THAT WEIGHT – Colleen Hewitt
  16. NOWHERE MAN – Sherbet
  17. PAPERBACK WRITER – Glenn Shorrock
Disc Two
  1. HELP – John Farnham
  2. OH! DARLIN’ – The Models
  3. BIRTHDAY – Sunnyboys
  4. I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE – Jenny Morris
  5. BABY YOU’RE A RICH MAN – Company of Strangers (w/James Reyne)
  6. A HARD DAYS NIGHT – The Hoodoo Gurus
  7. I’M SO TIRED – You Am I
  8. I’M ONLY SLEEPING – The Vines
  9. TWO OF US – Josh Pyke & Bob Evans
  10. GIRL – Glenn Cardier
  11. BLACKBIRD – Katie Noonan
  12. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE – Rachael Leahcar
  13. DAY TRIPPER/LADY MADONNA – Tommy Emmanuel
  14. THINGS WE SAID TODAY – Marty Rhone
  15. LIKE DREAMERS DO – The Beatnix
  16. ‘TIL THERE WAS YOU – Harrison Craig

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Paul McCartney's health

Paul McCartney was supposedly taken to hospital on May 20th. This photo started to circulate on Facebook and other social media, but has now been deemed as a "fake" by McCartney's representatives.
A statement from Paul's representative: "Since contracting a virus last week that led to the postponement of tour dates, Paul received successful medical treatment at a hospital in Tokyo. He will make a complete recovery and has been ordered to take a few days rest. Paul has been extremely moved by all the messages and well wishes he has received from fans all over the world."

Paul McCartney, who cancelled his upcoming concert in Korea because of health issue, is hospitalized in a hospital in Tokyo.
Japan’s Sankei Sports reported on May 22, “Paul McCartney is hospitalized in a hospital in Tokyo. According to his spokesman, Paul McCartney had diarrhea and vomiting since the day after he arrived Japan, which was May 16, and he was hospitalized on May 20 in case he has further problems.
The exact diagnosis result and when he will be able to leave the hospital is uncertain, but his spokesman said that he might need a surgery if it gets severer.”
Meanwhile, Japanese fans worried about the news gathered around McCartney's hotel in Tokyo to pray for his recovery. Paul McCartney cancelled 4 concerts at Tokyo National Stadium, Budokan, Osaka Nagai Stadium because of a viral inflammation. He also officially announced the cancellation of his first concert in South Korea, which was planned to be held at Seoul Jamsil Stadium on May 28.


Unconfirmed rumours say that Paul's daughters Stella and Mary have arrived in Tokyo and are with their father.

Beatlefan correspondent Gen Onoshima reports from Japan:
Sankei Sport paper in Japan (dated May 22) reported that Macca went into the hospital on May 21. Even after he became ill, some doctors visited his hotel room and treated him, but the recovery was unsatisfactory and the doctors admitted him to the hospital against his wishes. Macca himself has hoped to stay at the hotel and rest. His wife Nancy, who hastened to visit Japan said "Paul was doing OK and just needed to rest and recover."
from Twitter, May 19th 

A Hard Day's Night - German editions

A Hard Day's Night Special Edition in Germany
Amazon Germany has announced a 3 or 4 disc version (the cover says 4, the site says 3) Special Edition of A Hard Day's Night on Blu-ray for the German speaking markets. The audio features both English and a German dub of the dialogue. Subtitles are also available in those languages. No word yet on the bonus material. If I were to speculate, I'd say 4 discs: 1 Blu-ray with everything, 1 DVD with "A Hard Day's Night", 1 DVD with "You Can't Do That - The Making of A Hard Day's Night" and 1 DVD with the rest of the bonus material (either the British or the USA bonus material, but since it's a 4-disc package, I'd say the USA material). Release date is July 10. The release is handled by Koch Media GmbH.

Link: Amazon Germany
Regular German Blu-ray Edition
There's also going to be a regular 1-disc edition on Blu-ray, released on the same day.

Link: Amazon Germany
DVD edition
Of course, there's also a German regular DVD edition, to be released simultaneously.

Link: Amazon Germany

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

McCartney cancels South Korea

Paul McCartney has been forced to cancel his upcoming South Korea concert
Paul McCartney has cancelled his concert in South Korea next week due to the virus-caused illness that forced him to call off his entire Japan tour, organizers said Wednesday.
The former Beatle had planned to hold concerts in Japan and South Korea as part of his world tour. "I was really looking forward to visiting and playing in South Korea for the first time and I'm sorry to be letting fans down," McCartney was quoted as saying in a statement released by Seoul-based Hyundai Card Co. Ltd., an organizer for his South Korea concert. "I'm very disappointed by this and hope to be able to visit soon."
Yahoo News

"Please Please Me" in mono

Please Please Me in mono
A collector is selling his collection of The Beatles' "Please Please Me" LP in mono. Which edition, you might well arsk? All of them! Well, the UK ones, anyway. From the first ever gold to the ultra rare last 60's through to the 82 reissue and more! Since he first started collecting Beatles records many years ago, the man was intrigued about the numbers and letters that were stamped into the run off grooves.

After collecting quite a few Please Please Me's, he managed to make a bit of sense with the running order of the stampers and how the actual labels sometimes changed with the times and when new stampers appeared. He also managed to find (or catch) a few transitional copies that had a side 1 of a certain press coupled with a side 2 from another press.

Eventually after a lot of work and time spent collecting, he decided to put up his own website that dealt with the evolution of The Beatles' very first long playing record "Please Please Me". This was simply because there was no information about this anywhere on the net. Even the Rare Record Collector's Guide has only eight or so different labels listed when in fact there over 30 variations throughout the 60's alone!
For sale is every mono pressing known and unknown, every mis-pressing and a few bonus transitional copies thrown in the mix to make it interesting for everybody. The conditions vary from near mint, excellent to only good if there is only one example available. Including every different variation from the very first E J Day gold covers to the Last E J Day "mid-sized" and all the Garrod & Lofthouse variations too.
The collection also includes several pressing mistakes, for instance a Please Please Me cover with Rubber Soul back. The asking price for the 48 records is £10,000.00.
He is also selling the stereo run of the album, along with the domain name of his website.

Source: Ebay

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

McCartney cancels Japan leg of tour

It's not the first time McCartney has had to cancel a tour in Japan.
Paul McCartney has cancelled the remaining two concerts of his Japan tour due to an unspecified illness.
McCartney had already cancelled a planned performance at the National Stadium last Saturday, the day after coming down with a virus. He then cancelled a concert in Tokyo on Sunday as well as a concert rescheduled for Monday.
On Tuesday, promoters said McCartney’s two remaining concerts at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan hall on Wednesday and at Yanmar Nagai Stadium in Osaka on Saturday, had also been cancelled.

The entire Japan leg of the tour has been cancelled.
A spokesperson for Paul McCartney said: “Paul McCartney will regrettably have to cancel the remaining Japanese shows. Paul is still not feeling better and this cancelation is unavoidable. He was hoping to be better but the doctors have ordered him complete rest. Paul has been extremely moved by the messages from his fans and is upset to be letting them down. All possibilities to find a solution to reschedule these shows as soon as possible are being explored.”

McCartney also issued a statement saying, “I was really looking forward to playing in Japan again after we had such an amazing time here in November. So to cancel these shows as well as the National Stadium shows is hugely disappointing for me as well. I’d like to thank my Japanese fans for their love, messages of support and understanding. I hope to see you all again soon.

McCartney flew into Tokyo after a short rest at home in London following a strenuous South American tour. He is scheduled to play in South Korea next week.

Monday, 19 May 2014

A Hard Day's Night film on iTunes

The film's iTunes Store listing.
Here's the official iTunes page for the film: Link
The page links to the film inside the iTunes Store, where it seems you can start renting or buying it straight away. I wouldn't know, it's not available in the Norwegian iTunes Store, just the U.S. one.

TMOQ Gazette: Shea Stadium 1965

TMOQ Gazette: Shea!
These days, the bootleggers, much like the overground record companies, are no longer profiting much on their releases, due to downloading. A typical popular title no longer sell in the thousands, but in the hundreds - before it gets exploited by the downloaders.

The remaining bootleggers of Beatles products are mostly fans like ourselves, and profit from the releases is spent on purchasing more unreleased material from back men and high end collectors. This also seems to be the case with the HMC label, we have been informed.

We haven't been able to sample this release for ourselves yet, but 'people in the know' are saying that the soundtrack of the DVD in this package is selectable as either the sweetened versions of the songs after the Beatles' overdub session in January 1966, as remixed for stereo in 1991, or the actual concert recording, in mono. The picture quality of the documentary film is supposed to be even better than the 1967 ABC Master that started circulating in 2007, it's supposed to look more like the edited footage from the Beatles' Anthology.

So if you're interested in having more "new", hitherto uncirculating Beatles material like this appearing, you would do yourself a favour by getting this release from your supplier of original bootlegs, and not wait for it to be made available for downloading from the people who are ripping them off.

The following information is for a flyer promoting the release.

The Beatles / SHEA! (1CD+1DVD Gazette) HMC - His Master's Choice / HMC-030
The Beatles / SHEA! = TMOQ Gazette Vol.18

Disc 1: DVD
A fifty-minute-long documentary of The Beatles’ August 15, 1965, concert at Shea Stadium in New York City, the highlight of the group’s 1965 tour. The documentary was produced by Ed Sullivan (under his Sullivan Productions, Inc. banner), NEMS Enterprises Ltd. (who owns the 1965 copyright), and the Beatles company Subafilms Ltd. Remastered in 1991 by SVC Television. Stereo! Beside the complete broadcast we offer you the entire Beatles show as actually played that night. In excellent mono!

01. Opening
02. I'm Down (Last Song)
03. Introduction
04. Discotheque Dancers
05. Ringo (Chatter)
06. King Curtis
07. More Chatter
08. Brenda Holloway
09. Helicopter
10. Sounds Incorporated
11. Chatter 3
12. Sid Bernstein & Ed Sullivan
13. Twist And Shout
14. I Feel Fine
15. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
16. Ticket To Ride
17. Act Naturally
18. Can't Buy Me Love
19. Baby's In Black
20. A Hard Day's Night
21. Help!
22. I'm Down

01. Introduction
02. Twist And Shout
03. She's A Woman
04. I Feel Fine
05. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
06. Ticket To Ride
07. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
08. Can't Buy Me Love
09. Baby's In Black
10. Act Naturally
11. A Hard Day's Night
12. Help
13. I’m Down

NTSC Color 16:9 / 4:3 LPCM Stereo / mono time approx. 86min. (50min. / 36min.)

Disc 2: CD
Tracks 1-13: * Music in stereo. Chats in mono. All other tracks and chats are from the "It's Only Rock & Roll” auction tape.Tracks 14-23 are interviews, chat and regular Beatles songs. This is the broadcast from August 30, '65.

SHEA! - The Beatles At Shea Stadium. Music in stereo.
01. Introduction
02. Twist & Shout
03. She’s A Woman
04. I Feel Fine
05. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
06. Ticket To Ride
07. Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
08. Can’t Buy Me Love
09. Baby’s In Black
10. Act Naturally
11. A Hard Day’s Night
12. Help!
13. I’m Down

"The Beatles Abroad": A BBC Radio broadcast during the 1965 tour in the USA.
14. Twist And Shout
15. Tell Me What You See
16. I’m Down
17. I’ve Just Seen A Face
18. Sounds Incorporated
19. You Like Me Too Much
20. Act Naturally / The News
21. Yesterday
22. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
23. Help!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

McCartney cancels concert

Letter from Paul
Paul McCartney has come down with a virus and has had to cancel tonight's concert in Tokyo, on doctor's orders. He is hoping to be well enough to be able to perform tomorrow night. Tonight's show has been rescheduled to Monday.

Get well soon!

Friday, 16 May 2014

New range of Beatles albums for June 25th?

Mystery releases on Amazon UK
A series of Beatles albums have appeared on listings over at Amazon in the UK, all with a release date of June 25th.
It seems to be the regular UK albums, along with the red and blue album, Past Masters and "1".  As a sample, here's one such listing: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band.
All are described as audio CD's, so it's not the awaited mono vinyls. It could be that the regular ones are now stripped for mini-documentaries, but it doesn't explain "1", for one thing.

Here's a list from Amazon.


Paul introduces his new friend, "Newman"
We have no idea where he finds the time, but here's a new music video from Paul McCartney, for the song "Appreciate" off the "New" album.

Presented by Microsoft, we appreciate that. After The Beatles appeared on iTunes, it has been Apple, Apple, Apple for a long time.
From MPL comes this description:
Newman the robot has teamed up with Paul for his new music video for the song "Appreciate". "Appreciate" is taken from Paul's latest studio album NEW, which was launched last year.

The video sees Newman on patrol in a museum of humans. Newman is drawn to one exhibition in particular. In a dimly lit sound studio he sees Paul McCartney sitting on a stool holding his iconic Hofner bass guitar. Paul twitches making a sound on the guitar and to Newman's astonishment he starts to come to life as the song "Appreciate" starts up. Paul comes closer to Newman staring at him through a force field that encloses him. Newman reaches through the force field and pulls Paul out of his exhibition. As the two of them move around the museum all the exhibitions start coming to life too.

Speaking about Newman, Paul said: "I woke up one morning with an image in my head of me standing with a large robot. I thought it might be something that could be used for the cover of my album NEW but instead the idea turned out to be for my music video for 'Appreciate'. Together with the people who had done the puppetry for the worldwide hit War Horse we developed the robot who became Newman."

The video was premiered exclusively in Japan this week where Paul and his band will be performing to sold-out crowds in Tokyo and Osaka. Newman will also be joining Paul on this leg of his tour.

The video was directed by Andre Chocron and filmed in London. Newman was designed by Mervyn Millar and Ed Dimbleby for Significant Object Ltd (

A Hard Day's Night DVD edition (UK)

Now also available on DVD from Second Sight Films
The DVD version of the restored and remastered "A Hard Day's Night" is now available as an Amazon UK preorder, to be shipped July 21st. You may view the details and order the DVD here.
Even though it all seems too much to fit on a single disc, the DVD is advertised to include all the bonus material from the UK Blu-ray:
  • 'In Their Own Voices' - a new piece combining 1964 interviews with The Beatles with behind-the-scenes footage and photos
  • 'You Can't Do That: The Making of A Hard Day's Night' - a documentary by producer Walter Shenson including an outtake performance by The Beatles
  • 'Things They Said Today', a documentary about the film featuring director Richard Lester music producer George Martin, a screenwriter Alun Owen and cinematographer Gilbert Taylor
  • 'Picturewise' - a new piece about Richard Lester's early work featuring a new audio interview with the director
  • 'Anatomy of a Style' - a new piece on Richard Lester's methods
  • New interview with author Mark Lewisohn
  • Audio commentary with cast and crew
  • New 50th Anniversary trailer
Meanwhile, if you're in a band struggling to figure out to play the opening chord of the title track of this film, a recent YouTube-film comes to the rescue, thanks to an analysis of the Rockband multitrack:

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A Hard Day's Night - UK edition Blu-ray

The UK edition has a different cover to the USA release.
Thanks to our reader, Helter Skelter, who alerted us to the fact that the UK edition of the new "A Hard Day's Night" Blu-ray is now being advertised on Amazon UK as A Hard Day's Night: 50th Anniversary Restoration [Blu-ray]. No listing for the DVD edition yet.

As well as having a completely different cover than the Criterion Collection release, the bonus material is also not the same.
Second Sight approached award-winning design studio La Boca to illustrate a new poster for the release of the film’s new restoration. Second Sight’s Managing Director Chris Holden said:
‘We love La Boca’s work and knew they would be the people to create something special for this iconic film’

The quad poster. © Copyright: Second Sight Films
Currently advertised for July 21st at £19.83, Amazon lists the bonus contents as follows:
  • In Their Own Voices - a new piece combining 1964 interviews with The Beatles with behind-the-scenes footage and photos
  • You Can't Do That: The Making of A Hard Day s Night
  • a documentary by producer Walter Shenson including an outtake performance by The Beatles
  • Things They Said Today - featuring director Richard Lester music producer George Martin, screenwriter Alun Owen and cinematographer Gilbert Taylor
  • Picturewise - a new piece about Richard Lester s early work featuring a new audio interview with the director
  • Anatomy of a Style - a new piece on Richard Lester s methods
  • New interview with author Mark Lewisohn
  • Audio commentary with cast and crew
  • New 50th Anniversary Trailer
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the hearing impaired
This is in line with the second edition of the press release we told you about earlier. Still, it seems we Europeans are missing out on some of the bonus features from the Criterion Collection release in USA. We hope the film will be available in various European countries with local subtitles as well, but no official word on that yet. The region code for the single disc release is B/2, which means it can be played in Europe, Greenland, French territories, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand

A Hard Day's Night in Italy

Poster for Italian cinema release
So, it seems that contrary to what the organisers in Leeds tried to tell us, their screening of "A Hard Day's Night" will not be the only one in Europe. And it won't be the first one either: In Italy, a range of cinemas are going to feature the film from 9-11. June, presented by Nexo Digital. In the sixties, the Italian name of the film was "Tutti Per Uno" ("All for one"), but it looks like they are now sticking with the original English title. Click here to see local cinema listings.
Original Italian title
Metrodome, the movie distributors for the UK are also telling us that the film will appear locally in theatres across Great Britain in July, but has yet to publish a list of theatres and dates.