Thursday, 31 March 2016

Pure McCartney

"Pure McCartney" is a new 2CD or deluxe 4CD compilation of previously released songs.
So the news are somewhat. I guess we'll have to wait for for the press release. Meanwhile, we're off to London, so you'll have to do with other news sources for a while.

Likely songs featured:

Maybe I’m Amazed (McCartney)
Heart of the Country (RAM)
Jet (Band on the Run)
Warm and Beautiful (Wings at the Speed of Sound)
Silly Love Songs (Wings at the Speed of Sound)
Listen to What The Man Said (Venus and Mars)
Dear Boy (RAM)
The Song We Were Singing (Flaming Pie)
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (RAM)
Early Days (New)
Big Barn Red (Red Rose Speedway)
Another Day (non-album single)
Flaming Pie (Flaming Pie)
Jenny Wren (Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard)
Too Many People (RAM)
Let Me Roll It (Band on the Run)
New (New)
Live and Let Die (non-album single)
English Tea (Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard)
Mull of Kintyre (non album single)
Save Us (New)
My Love (Red Rose Speedway)
Bip Bop (Wild Life)
Let ‘Em In (Wings at the Speed of Sound)
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five (Band on the Run)
Calico Skies (Flaming Pie)
Hi Hi Hi (non-album single)
Waterfalls (McCartney II)
Band on the Run (Band on the Run)
Appreciate (New)
Sing The Changes (The Fireman – Electric Arguments)
Arrow Through Me (Back To The Egg)
Every Night (McCartney)
Junior’s Farm (non-album single)
Mrs Vandebilt (Band on the Run)
Say Say Say (2015 remix) (Pipes of Peace)
My Valentine (Kisses on the Bottom)
Pipes of Peace (Pipes of Peace)
The World Tonight (Flaming Pie)
Dance Tonight (Memory Almost Full)
Souvenir (Flaming Pie)
Ebony and Ivory (Tug of War)
Fine Line (Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard)
Here Today (Tug of War)
Press (Press to Play)
Wanderlust (Tug of War)
Winedark Open Sea (Off The Ground)
Beautiful Night (Flaming Pie)
Girlfriend (London Town)
Queenie Eye (New)
We All Stand Together (non-album single)
Coming Up (McCartney II)
Too Much Rain (Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard)
Good Times Coming / Feel The Sun (Press to Play)
Goodnight Tonight (non-album single)
Baby’s Request (Back to the Egg or Kisses on the Bottom)
With A Little Luck (London Town)
Little Willow (Flaming Pie)
Only Mama Knows (Memory Almost Full)
Don’t Let It Bring You Down (London Town)
The Back Seat of My Car (RAM)
No More Lonely Nights (Give My Regards to Broad Street)
Temporary Secretary (McCartney II)
Great Day (Flaming Pie)
Venus and Mars/Rock Show (Venus and Mars)
Hope For The Future (non-album single)
Junk (McCartney)

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Here's another clue for you all

The above video was posted on Twitter and Facebook by Paul McCartney yesterday, and has puzzled fans all over the world. It consists of five seconds of audio, and sounds like snippets of McCartney songs played very fast.

Andrew Lubman posted this explanation on Facebook: "It's about 62 snippets of songs, each lasting about 80 milliseconds (8 hundredths of a second--or, a little less than a tenth of a second). I think they're all solo songs. I didn't recognize any of them as being from the Beatles' catalog. I definitely hear Paul's voice in many of the clips, and maybe a little of Linda's in one. Pretty sure I heard "Let 'Em In", "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five", "Band on the Run", maybe "Pipes of Peace", and "We All Stand Together" (I grabbed the audio on the computer, and listened to 80 milliseconds at a time--otherwise it goes by too fast to identify anything when playing the whole 5-second clip.)"

It could well be that this is an early clue to an upcoming compilation of Paul McCartney's songs. Previously we've had "Wings Greatest", "All The Best!" and "Wingspan", but a new compilation is likely to feature the remastered (and sometimes remixed) versions of the songs, taken from previous and upcoming releases in McCartney's ongoing "Archives" project.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

McCartney regaining rights to some northern songs

A book about Northern Songs
Paul McCartney is in the process of reclaiming US publishing rights for a huge chunk of The Beatles’ catalogue from Sony/ATV.

The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 stipulates that writers of pre-1978 tracks can reclaim their US publishing rights – if they’ve previously signed them away – after 56 years.

That means the publishing rights for McCartney’s share of Beatles songs will begin expiring in 2018 – 56 years after the Fab Four’s first hit, Love Me Do, was penned and recorded in 1962.

Following a Billboard report on Friday (March 18), Music Business Worldwide has trawled the US Copyright Office’s records and discovered that McCartney filed termination notices last year for two batches of Fab Four tracks – ‘All You Need Is Love & 23 Other Titles’, in addition to ‘All Together Now & 32 Other Titles’.

Between them, these filings included hits ranging from "Back In The USSR" to "Helter Skelter", "Hey Jude", "I Will", "Revolution", "Yellow Submarine", "Get Back" and "Because". They will expire in 2024 and 2025.

But the story doesn’t stop there.

Music Business Worldwide has also dug through McCartney’s historical records with the US Copyright Office and discovered that the star has actually filed to terminate Sony/ATV’s US publishing rights to more than 170 Beatles songs in total.

McCartney’s first filing for copyright termination came in October 2008, when he filed for "Love Me Do" – the US publishing rights for which expire on October 5, 2018.

Since then, McCartney has filed a number of additional termination requests for his US publishing share, including a single batch containing no less than 40 compositions in December 2010.

The publisher’s share of John Lennon’s contribution to those early Beatles 1962 songs first became eligible for reversion in 1990 following his death ten years earlier.

Sony is this month spending $750m to fully acquire the ATV catalogue first purchased by Michael Jackson for $41.5m in 1985.

Interestingly, this huge set of songs contains worldwide publishing rights to The Beatles songs.

Although Sony/ATV is now set to lose a chunk of these rights to McCartney over the next ten years, it is understood that the publisher will hold on to the rights outside of the US market.

Paul McCartney’s owned copyrights are managed by his own MPL Communications, which in turn is an administration client of Kobalt. According to Companies House filings, McCartney is a minority shareholder in Kobalt Music Group.

Read the rest of the story over at Music Business Worldwide, with listings of the songs and information about the Sony/ATV copyright expiration.

Please note that all this only deals with the USA copyrights, copyright legislation is different for each country. Additionally, several European countries are mutually bound by joint EU copyright legislation.

Northern Songs Ltd was a limited company founded in 1963, by music publisher Dick James, Brian Epstein, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, to publish songs written by Lennon and McCartney, as well as songs written by George Harrison and Ringo Starr, who were all members of the Beatles. Their producer, George Martin, was offered a stake in the company but turned it down, as he believed that his position at EMI made it a potential conflict of interest. In 1965, it was decided to make Northern Songs a public company, to save on capital gains tax.

After Epstein died in 1967, Lennon and McCartney sought to renegotiate their publishing deal with James, but early in 1969 James and his partner sold their shares in Northern Songs to Britain's Associated Television (ATV), giving no warning to the four Beatles and their record company, Apple Corps Ltd. Lennon and McCartney attempted to gain ownership of the publishing rights, but their bid to gain control failed, as the financial power of Lew Grade ensured that Northern Songs passed into the control of ATV. Allen Klein (then de facto Beatles' manager) attempted to set up a deal for Apple Corps to buy out ATV, but this also failed.

In the early eighties, McCartney informed Michael Jackson about the financial value of music publishing, as Jackson had enquired about the process of acquiring songs and how songs were used. According to McCartney, Jackson then said, "I'm going to get yours [Beatles' songs]". Northern Songs was later purchased by Jackson, although both McCartney and Yoko Ono, Lennon's widow, were notified of the sale, but did not bid themselves. Apparently, Ono was pleased that the publishing rights were held by family friend, Michael Jackson, and McCartney didn't want to bid on his own, since the compositions were originally labeled both McCartney and Lennon. One can understand that if he had bought the entire catalogue, it would not have fared well with Lennon fans.

It turned out Ono had actually encouraged Jackson to buy the shares, telling the press after the sale, "I just feel like a friend has them." Yoko Ono and her son Sean were friends with Jackson at this point in time, and Sean was very into Jackson's music and style. At one point he even sported the "one glove" fashion at school, and he participated in Jackson's 1988 movie Moonwalker. One Lennon-McCartney composition, "Come Together" was also performed by Jackson in the movie and on the soundtrack album.

In 1995, Jackson merged his catalogue with Sony Music's publishing for a reported £59,052,000, establishing Sony/ATV Music Publishing, in which he retained half-ownership. Northern Songs was dissolved in 1995 after the merger, and is now a part of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. McCartney's MPL Communications later succeeded in acquiring the publishing rights to "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You", from EMI, which had been published by Ardmore and Beechwood, prior to the formation of Northern Songs.

In April 2006 a package was proposed whereby Jackson would borrow £186,480,000, and reduce the interest rate payable on a loan he had, while giving Sony the future option to buy half of Jackson's stake in their jointly-owned publishing company, leaving Jackson with a 25% stake. Jackson agreed to a Sony-backed refinancing deal, although the finalised details were not made public. Following Jackson's death in June 2009, there were reports that Jackson had left the Beatles catalog to McCartney in his will, having added it just five months before. However, it was later revealed that Sony/ATV Music Publishing would keep control of the Beatles' songs. On March 14, 2016, Sony announced that it had reached a deal to acquire the Jackson estate's stake in the company.

George Harrison's compositions
The Northern Songs catalogue also held the publishing rights to most of George Harrison's Beatles compositions. The compositions of George originally handled by Northern Songs, now Sony/ATV are:
  • Blue Jay Way
  • I Need You
  • I Want to Tell You
  • If I Needed Someone
  • It's All Too Much
  • Love You To
  • Only a Northern Song
  • Taxman
  • Think for Yourself
  • Within You Without You
  • You Like Me Too Much
as well as the songs Harrison composed for the "Wonderwall" movie, released on his "Wonderwall Music" solo soundtrack album.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Richard Avedon's Beatles portraits

The famous "psychedelic" individual Avedon portraits of the fab four.
In January 1965, US photographer Richard Avedon met The Beatles at the Ad Lib club in London. He was in town researching an assignment for the magazine Harper's Bazaar. At a photographic studio in a penthouse in Thompson House, 200 Gray's Inn Road, London, Avedon shot a portrait photo of Ringo, wearing a laurel wreath, looking like a Roman emperor. The photograph was first published in the Daily Mail newspaper on 12 May 1965, under the headline "Hail, Ringo".

One of the January 1965 Avedon portraits of Ringo.
Two and a half years later, The Beatles were photographed by Richard Avedon on August 11, 1967. at the same photographic studio - and the studio was again used by The Beatles for one of the "Mad Day Out" photo locations on 28 July 1968. Avedon, whose career spanned 60 years, died in 2004 at the age of 81 while on assignment in Texas for The New Yorker.

The American photographer took a number of shots of the group in the August 1967 session, four of which were later adorned with psychedelic effects. They were first published in the 9 January 1968 edition of the US magazine Look, and were subsequently sold as posters.

Look magazine, front.
They were published simultaneously by Stern Magazine in Germany, Daily Express in England, Varagids in Holland and Look Magazine in the USA. In my native Norway, they were printed in youth magazine Det Nye, and they were probably printed in one or other magazine in every country where The Beatles were popular. The Varagids prints are the smallest, measuring 18.5" x 26.77" (47 cm x 68 cm). The Stern and Daily Express versions measure 19 x 27" (47,7cm x 68,7cm), the Look versions are slightly larger, at 22.5" x 31" (57.15 cm x 78.74 cm).

The German Stern Magazin, no. 16, 1968.
In the USA, you could order your set for $1.50 from a pullout tab in the magazine, and wait for them to be delivered by mail. The posters were also available from newsstands, wrapped in plastic, and displayed in a special presentation stand. The "Mount Rushmore" banner was the same size in all countries, 40" x 14" (101 cm x 37 cm).

German cardboard display poster holder.
The following image is a colour proof of the photographs, prepared for the edition of Look magazine.

Collection of colour separation proofs for Richard Avedon's psychedelic portraits of The Beatles for Look magazine, 1968.
Advertisement for the Look editions of the posters.
By contractual agreement at the time of the Aug. 1967 Beatles shoot, Mr. Avedon sold the copyrights to his Beatles psychedelic colour work and other Beatles portraits to NEMS Enterprises, Ltd. NEMS was the firm run by the Beatles music manager Brian Epstein. Avedon relinquished all rights, but collected royalties under the now defunct Richard Avedon Posters, Inc. On August 27, 1967, sixteen days after Avedon’s Beatles photo session, Brian Epstein died from an accidental mixture of alcohol and pills.

French advertisement for the five posters
Clive Epstein was management director of his brother Brian’s NEMS Enterprises, Ltd. He helped his and brother Brian’s mother Queenie Epstein, who was heir executrix of her son Brian’s estate. In 1979 Clive Epstein told Richard Warren Lipack, the then young unknown Beatles historian visiting the Epsteins in Liverpool; a secret. Clive had explained to author Lipack that in order to circumvent impending death duty taxes on the estate, he had to sell NEMS quickly. He did so, selling to Triumph Ltd. Triumph stock was then bought for his mother Queenie with the money but Triumph went bust and almost, the Epsteins.

A retailers' cardboard stand, housing the posters for sale. US version. 
Since the Beatles photo copyrights were owned by NEMS, when Brian Epstein died and NEMS transferred to Triumph, Ltd, the copyrights transferred as well. The copyrights now became held by the liquidation receiver when the firm went under. It was at this point that Mr. Avedon could have bought back the Beatles 1967 photo copyrights, but did not. The four psychedelic portraits were later re-published in several magazines around the world, throughout the seventies typically in the size of a magazine page, which you could then tear out and hang on your wall.

Copyright notice from one of the prints.
Never mind copyrights, in 1990 Avedon created a Beatles portfolio, which was a colour dye-transfer set of the four psychedelic colour pictures of each of the Fab Four. These prints measured 21 5/8" x 17¼" (55cm x 43.9cm). Avedon created nine editions of the portfolio, all commanding hefty prices at the high end collector's market these days.

The four portraits later appeared on the 2000 hits album 1.

At the same time as the four "psychedelic" portraits, Avedon also shot another set of individual portraits which have been used on a Beatles album cover.

Individual black and white portraits
These portraits were used by Avedon to create a collage, which was also used in Look magazine and offered as a banner alongside the four psychedelic portraits.

A collage made from the individual portraits depicted above.
The collage was nicknamed "Mount Rushmore". After the success of the 1976 compilation album "Rock and Roll Music", Capitol wanted to repeat the success by releasing another themed compilation album, called "Love Songs". The packaging for this set was designed by the then Art Director of Capitol records, Kenneth R. Anderson. Christmas 1977 was approaching, and Capitol wanted to cash in on the Beatles revival. Anderson wanted to use the "Mount Rushmore" collage, but didn't know that this was in fact a collage of four portraits. Furthermore, Anderson wanted to bring Paul McCartney closer to the front - after all, Paul was the main composer of many of the songs and he was the only Beatle still connected to Capitol at the time. So, using airbrush retouching, Capitol Records created a new version of "Mount Rushmore" to serve as both a logo and inner gatefold for the album.

The 1977 version of "Mount Rushmore", used as gatefold on the album

"Logo" version, used on the front cover. Close up.
The album was released by Capitol Records in the United States on 21 October 1977 (catalogue number SKBL-11711) and on Parlophone in the United Kingdom on 19 November 1977 (PCSP 721). The lavish "leather look" compilation album did fine for Christmas and stayed on the Billboard charts for 31 weeks, eventually selling 3,000,000 units. Still, it was the first Beatles Capitol album to miss the Top Ten, indeed, the Top Three! since "The Early Beatles". It only got up to number 24.

All tracks written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted.
Side one
    "Yesterday" – 2:03
    "I'll Follow the Sun" – 1:47
    "I Need You" (George Harrison) – 2:27
    "Girl" – 2:30
    "In My Life" – 2:24
    "Words of Love" (Buddy Holly) – 2:12
    "Here, There and Everywhere" – 2:22

Side two
    "Something" (George Harrison) – 3:00
    "And I Love Her" – 2:28
    "If I Fell" – 2:18
    "I'll Be Back" – 2:21
    "Tell Me What You See" – 2:35
    "Yes It Is" – 2:38

Side three
    "Michelle" – 2:40
    "It's Only Love" – 1:55
    "You're Going to Lose That Girl" – 2:16
    "Every Little Thing" – 2:01
    "For No One" – 1:59
    "She's Leaving Home" – 3:35

Side four
    "The Long and Winding Road" – 3:37
    "This Boy" – 2:12
    "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" – 2:02
    "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" – 2:07
    "I Will" – 1:46
    "P.S. I Love You" – 2:02

The LP's original packaging included an 11 x 11" booklet, with the songs' lyrics printed, calligraphy-style, on simulated parchment paper. For the first several pressings, the cover itself was simulated leather, and the front logo was simulated gold-foil. A deluxe edition on yellow vinyl was also produced.

The Avedon logo was also used on the sleeve of an aborted single.

A planned single, "Girl"/"You're Going To Lose That Girl" was scrapped, but picture sleeves had been produced, these are now collector's items.

The newly redesigned "Love Songs" logo was even used on the label of the US pressing of the album.
Advertising the album in Rolling Stone magazine.
In the pre-Anthology era, Capitol continued to release Beatles compilation albums like "Beatles Ballads" and "Reel Music". Like "Rock and Roll Music" and "Love Songs", all have later been discontinued, and never officially made it to the CD era.

The poor cousin: cassette tape edition of "Love Songs".
Of course, when it was first decided to release The Beatles albums on CD back in 1987, the catalogue was streamlined to just include the original UK albums, accompanied by a special collection of wayward tracks called "Past Masters" and assembled by Mark Lewisohn. In 1993 however, the Capitol compilations "red" and "blue" albums was seen fit to reproduce on CD. In later years, we have seen that albums from other countries have made it to the market, starting with the US sixties era albums, and 2014 also saw a collection of five Japanese albums officially released on CD. Perhaps one time we will also see some of Capitol's compilations like this one making their CD debut.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The cassette revival

Cassette edition of "Let It Be...Naked", 2003.
Never mind the vinyl revival, hot on it's heels is the cassette revival! For those of us who grew up in the seventies, many of us had our first encounters with the music of The Beatles through the cassette medium. For the past five years, the cassette tape market has been experiencing a revival, increasingly so.

In 1969, this was the first cassette player in our household.
Resident Advisor recently reported that America's biggest cassette manufacturer, National Audio Company, has seen sales increase by 33 percent since 2014. NAC owner Steve Stepp told the Chicago Tribune that his firm is making 250 to 350 titles at any given time, including 5 to 10 releases a week from Universal Music Group.

Some major artists are capitalising on the trend. Kanye West's "Yeezus" and Justin Bieber's "Purpose" both had cassette pressings, as does Macklemore's new album (which isn't on vinyl). Roy Culver of Nuclear Blast Records confirms that Slayer's recent "Repentless" LP sold out of its 1,000 cassette run before the record even came out.

Record Store Day 2015 reported growth in cassette tape sales, while a survey by ICM in April last year revealed 5 per cent of music fans had bought a cassette tape that month, up from 2 per cent the previous year.

Beatles collectors are starting to pick up on the trend, and we have seen increased prices in the used cassette market the past years.

The Beatles Golden Greatest Hits, official Swedish release from 1979.
For a long time, getting used Beatles cassette tapes has been relatively easy and affordable, but prices are on the way up. Like the case is with vinyl records, a cassette collector is mostly collecting domestic cassette releases from his own country - when branching out, the original first editions from USA and U.K. is next on the list, followed by more exotic cassettes from other countries. The short-lived trend of cassingles is also a niche to collect, and of course cassette-only releases like the famous Heineken cassette has a place in any collection.

Further reading:
USA cassette releases
UK cassette releases
The Beatles on Cassettes (Facebook group)
WogBlog tag: Beatles Cassettes

Monday, 14 March 2016

George Martin's final project

The two Georges at the launch of the red and blue albums at Abbey Road, 1993.
George Martin’s final project, an eight-part TV series on the evolution of recording technologies, Soundbreaking: Songs From The Cutting Edge Of Recorded Music, is what he was involved in when he passed away. Martin and his son Giles spent five years working on the documentary series.

Martin prepared a quote on the series prior to his passing. "Music is the only common thread and universal language that binds us together regardless of race, nationality, age or income. And, recorded music is how we experience it and what makes it accessible," he said. "Through the production of Soundbreaking, I was afforded the opportunity to tell the story of the creative process of so many of the artists I have worked with throughout my life." 

Soundbreaking is presented by Higher Ground and Martin, and produced and directed by Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre of Show of Force. It’ll make its North American broadcast debut on PBS in November 2016. Details will be unveiled at SXSW in Austin, Texas on March 14.

Ringo Starr has released the first of a four part series of clips from the project:

Here's a video clip from the project's YouTube channel:

Thursday, 10 March 2016

New tour for Sir Paul

The new tour is called "One On One".
Paul McCartney has announced the start of a new tour, which means that "Out There" is behind us, and the new tour is called "One On One".
Some of the dates and venues have also been announced. They are:

13th April: SaveMart Arena - Fresno, CA
15th April: Moda Center - Portland, OR
17th April: Key Arena - Seattle, WA
19th April: Rogers Arena - Vancouver, BC
20th April: Rogers Arena - Vancouver, BC
30th April: Verizon Arena - Little Rock, AR
02nd May: Denny Sanford Premier Center - Sioux Falls, SD

28th May: Esprit Arena - Dusseldorf
10th June: Olympic Stadium - Munich
14th June: Waldbuhne - Berlin

Pre-sale tickets go on sale today. You will probably not notice so much of a difference in the set lists, the new tour name just means a redesigned stage, tour memorabilia and other, non-musical differences. The band is the same one he has been touring with for 14 years.
Live Nation in Spain also recently tweeted this photo, which probably means that a concert in Madrid is in the works.

Tweeted by Live Nation, Spain.
Further dates and venues are expected to be announced as deals and contracts are finalised.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

RIP, Sir George Martin

Record producer Sir George Martin, known as the "Fifth Beatle", has died aged 90, Ringo Starr says on Twitter. In a career spanning five decades, Sir George signed the Beatles and produced more than 700 records - with huge chart success. He also worked with artists including Gerry and the Pacemakers, Shirley Bassey and Cilla Black. Beatles drummer Starr tweeted: "Thank you for all your love and kindness George peace and love." More tributes will no doubt be posted over at

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of meeting George Martin in his office at Air Studios in London, back in the summer of 1982. He was a very nice gentleman who took the time to greet two Norwegian Beatles fans who just turned up unexpectedly and answer their questions. Rest in peace, Sir George.

Paul McCartney has released this statement:
I’m so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.

It’s hard to choose favourite memories of my time with George, there are so many but one that comes to mind was the time I brought the song 'Yesterday’ to a recording session and the guys in the band suggested that I sang it solo and accompany myself on guitar. After I had done this George Martin said to me, "Paul I have an idea of putting a string quartet on the record". I said, “Oh no George, we are a rock and roll band and I don’t think it’s a good idea”.  With the gentle bedside manner of a great producer he said to me, "Let us try it and if it doesn’t work we won’t use it and we’ll go with your solo version".  I agreed to this and went round to his house the next day to work on the arrangement.

He took my chords that I showed him and spread the notes out across the piano, putting the cello in the low octave and the first violin in a high octave and gave me my first lesson in how strings were voiced for a quartet. When we recorded the string quartet at Abbey Road, it was so thrilling to know his idea was so correct that I went round telling people about it for weeks. His idea obviously worked because the song subsequently became one of the most recorded songs ever with versions by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and thousands more.

This is just one of the many memories I have of George who went on to help me with arrangements on 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Live and Let Die' and many other songs of mine.

I am proud to have known such a fine gentleman with such a keen sense of humour, who had the ability to poke fun at himself. Even when he was Knighted by the Queen there was never the slightest trace of snobbery about him.

My family and I, to whom he was a dear friend, will miss him greatly and send our love to his wife Judy and their kids Giles and Lucy, and the grandkids.

The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music.

God bless you George and all who sail in you!


Another Mad Day Out book

In 2010, photographers Don McCullin ("A Day In The Life Of The Beatles") and Stephen Goldblatt ("Mad Day Out") released a book each from the so called "Mad Day Out" Beatles photo sessions. A third photographer, Tom Murray tagged along, and is now ready with a book of his own 23 colour photos from that day, titled "Tom Murray's Mad Day Out".

On the 28th of July, 1968, photographer Tom Murray was asked by Don McCullin to give him a lift to an early morning photoshoot in London. He said, ‘bring your camera you may get some nice snaps!’ Armed with just two rolls of colour film, he had no idea who he was going to be working with that day.

As 25 year old Tom walked towards the door at the rehearsal rooms he could hear "Lady Madonna" playing out on the piano and as he entered the studio there they were; Paul at the piano, John with Yoko, George and Ringo, all waiting to hit the road for a frantic day of publicity shots. Rushing around London with a few other photographers on a summer’s Sunday morning, Tom, the youngest present, created some of the most iconic colour photographs ever taken of the band.

“It was a perfect assignment and a day to remember. Getting to hang out with my favourite band, to take pictures of the Fab Four was just sensational. Were they really mad? Well, you know what pop stars are like. They’re always running around doing crazy things. That’s what makes them so interesting.” – Tom Murray.

The day after the shoot, as The Beatles busied themselves with recording an anthem called "Hey Jude", Tom’s two rolls of film were processed and printed. He selected 23 images that he considered told the story. Incredibly, they were then stored away for almost thirty years.

In 1998 Tom Murray held an exhibition of the 23 surviving photographs of The Beatles. The photographs were viewed in public for the first time ever, since they were taken.

A brochure of Murray's limited edition prints from 1998.
Now, after many decades, Tom agreed to present what many consider to be the very best colour photographs of The Beatles in a unique, special edition book.

This is the first ever book chronicling the photographs and the stories behind each one on ‘that mad day’. The book is another one from Archivum Publishing, who is also behind the photo books "Eight Arms To Hold You: 50 Years of Help! and the Beatles" from last year and "All You Need Is Love" this spring.

Read more about the upcoming Mad Day Out book on their website.

Friday, 4 March 2016

The Beatles in the news

Long time Beatles fan Colin Barratt has taken his personal collection of news cuttings about The Beatles from the UK in the sixties and turned them into a series of books - paperback and Kindle editions. The books are printed on demand by Interviews; adverts; tour listings are all here.

News cutting
Through this link, you can take a sneak peek inside the first volume.

This is a nice opportunity to read stories and see what the press said about them, all those years ago. The vast majority of cuttings will not have been seen since their one and only publication.

Another cutting
So far, Colin has published the following volumes:

Colin has also started a Facebook group, where he publishes both cuttings from his books as well as other, interesting Beatles material.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Beatles in Canada

New book: The Beatles in Canada - The origins of Beatlemania! by Piers Hemmingsen
The Canadians were the first north-Americans to discover The Beatles, a fact that isn't well-known south of the border. Months before the Americans caught on, Capitol of Canada did not, unlike their U.S. chapter, reject George Martin's attempt to have Beatles records released.  This new book celebrates the release of the Beatles first records in North America and their very first number one charted record in Canada, She Loves You. The book includes Forewords by noted Beatles expert and British author Mark Lewisohn, and extensive contributions by Capitol of Canada's Paul White - the A&R man who put his career on the line in early 1963 to issue the Beatles music in North America before anyone else. The book, the first in a two volume series, is an authoritative reference work that thoroughly delves into the roots of Beatlemania in Canada and continues its way to chronicle the actual events at the dawn and rise of the Beatles fame in Canada. The book also includes a special companion audio CD with one hour of rare audio clips.

The Beatles In Canada - The Origins Of Beatlemania documents the creation, marketing and distribution of the Beatles music in Canada, and lists the earliest radio station chart successes in the most remote outposts of Canada. There are chapters on trans-Atlantic press coverage, the fan clubs, original Beatles advertising, record reviews and profiles of the key people and places that were involved in this uniquely Canadian story.

Thoroughly illustrated with original photos and artifacts, the author has had unique access to the archives of the key players in the history of the Beatles in Canada, and also to private collections of Canadian Beatles artifacts going back more than 50 years. But the best of the book lies in the stories of the young fans who in some wonderful cases brought Beatles records to Canada from England in the summer of 1963 and turned their friends on to these new sounds.

Each book is numbered and signed by Piers Hemmingsen. The author has followed The Beatles since he first saw them in England in early 1963, has written previous books on the subject and has been a regular contributor to the British Beatles Fan Club Magazine and has provided articles over the years to Goldmine Magazine and Record Collector Magazine. He has provided detailed archival research on special project assignments for EMI Music Canada and Universal Music Canada.

UK & Europe:
USA: The Fest for Beatles Fans
Sample pages:
TV interview with the author
The book's Facebook page