Thursday, 27 September 2018

New Children's book from Paul McCartney

New book coming out next year from Paul McCartney
Today, Paul McCartney announced that he has written a children's picture book, called "Hey Grandude!". No, seriously! He has got eight grandchildren, and one of them once said "Hey Grandude!" to him, and it stuck. Paul's intention with the new book is for grandparents to read it to their grandchildren.

Of course, the surviving Beatles are no strangers to children's books, Paul has written several and Ringo has made his song, "Octopus's Garden" into a children's book a few years ago.

From Ringo's book, illustrated by Ben Cort.

Canadian Kathryn Durst has illustrated Paul's upcoming book, which will not be out until next September.

Penguin Books

More McCartney Archive releases for Christmas

Coming up in December, according to online record store.
The rumours we reported back in May about a release of the two Wings albums "Wild Life" and "Red Rose Speedway" in Paul McCartney's Archives series seem to have been somewhat confirmed by a pre-order information in an online record store. Norwegian vinyl records specialists "Big Dipper Records" have announced 2LP versions of both "Wild Life" and "Red Rose Speedway" for release December 7th, 2018.

The reason why they aren't announcing the remastered CDes or the full boxed sets is of course because they specialise in vinyl, and won't be offering the CD editions in their shop.

Furthermore, Swedish Beatles expert Staffan Olander recently wrote in the Swedish Rock'n'Roll Magazine that another Wings album, "Back To The Egg," is slated for release in 2019.

After Paul moved back to Capitol Records from Hear Music/Concord, things have been quiet on the Paul McCartney Archives front, except that the record company has been exploiting most of the past albums in the "Archives" series by releasing them in new, single LP editions, on limited edition coloured vinyl, as well as on plain black vinyl.

Big Dipper Records - Wings Wild Life
Big Dipper Records - Red Rose Speedway

Monday, 24 September 2018

Another fakery: John Lennon

Wrongly identified as John's wedding photo.
We're not sure when this forgery was made, Sara from "Meet The Beatles For Real" seems to think it was done as early as in the sixties (see her April fools day blog post here).
Unfortunately, this photo is widely spread online, mainly on Pinterest, and often it is mistaken to be a wedding photo from John Lennon's first marriage, that to Cynthia Powell. We have no idea whatsoever who the married couple is (although an added signature of the bottom says "Judith Alyson" or something similar).
The head of the husband in question has been replaced by John Lennon's head as found in this genuine Beatles photo, taken by photographer Dezo Hoffmann in 1963.

Beatles photo by Dezo Hoffmann, 1963. © Apple Corps Ltd.
She may have been just a fan, who wasn't satisfied with her choice of husband, or it may have been someone's silly joke, we have no clue as to the origin of the fake wedding photo. There's also a John Lennon autograph in the fake photo, taken from a chewing gum card of the sixties.

Collector's card
What's irritating is that people are wrongly assuming that it is a genuine photo from John's wedding to his first wife, Cynthia, who passed away in 2015. Check out this memorial page for her, for instance.

Sorry girls - he's married! And Cynthia looks nothing like that other woman.
After Cynthia became pregnant (with Julian), she and John were hurriedly married on 23 August, 1962 at the Mount Pleasant register office in Liverpool. Fellow Beatles Paul McCartney and George Harrison were in attendance, as was their manager, Brian Epstein, who was best man; no parents were there. The wedding was farcical, because as soon as the ceremony began, a workman in the backyard of the building opposite started using a jackhammer which drowned out anything the registrar, John, or Cynthia said. When the registrar asked for the groom to step forward, George stepped forward instead.

With no photographs or flowers the wedding party celebrated afterwards, at Epstein's invitation, in Reece's restaurant in Clayton Square, which was the same restaurant where Lennon's parents, Alfred Lennon and Julia Lennon, had celebrated their marriage in 1938. Lennon was 21 years old at the time, and Powell 22.

The newlyweds had no honeymoon, as Lennon had to play an engagement at the Riverpark Ballroom in Chester the same night, although they did travel to the Hotel George V in Paris, for a belated honeymoon on 16 September.

White album editions: prices

The most reasonably priced 3CD edition
The various 50th anniversary editions of The Beatles' "white album" have now been listed by Amazon in the UK, so here are the links and current prices:
3CD-edition £15 (2018 stereo remix + 1CD with demo recordings)
2LP edition £40 (2018 stereo remix)
4LP edition £90.00 (2LP 2018 stereo remix + 2LP with demo recordings)
De Luxe edition boxed set £140 (7 discs, containing the 3CD edition as above + 3CDs of 50 additional recordings + 1 Blu-ray audio disc with 5.1 surround sound mixes and more +  book)

This morning, Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 broadcast a stereo demo of "Back In The USSR". You can check it out here (as long as it stays there).

Or you can just use the BBC iPlayer (click here) and go to 1:39:13 to listen.

In addition, we have received track lists of CD 4, 5 and 6 on the DeLuxe edition:

Disc 4
1. Revolution I (Take 18)
2. A Beginning (Take 4) / Don't Pass Me By (Take 7)
3. Blackbird (Take 28)
4. Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey (Unnumbered rehearsal)
5. Good Night (Unnumbered rehearsal)
6. Good Night (Take 10 with a guitar part from Take 5)
7. Good Night (Take 22)
8. Ob-La-Di,Ob-La-Da
9. Revolution (Unnumbered rehearsal)
10. Revolution (Take 14 - Instrumental backing track)
11. Cry Baby Cry (Unnumbered rehearsal)
12. Helter Skelter (First version - Take 2)

Disc 5
1. Sexy Sadie (Take 3)
2. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Acoustic version - Take 2)
3. Hey Jude (Take 1)
4. St. Louis Blues (Studio jam)
5. Not Guilty (Take 102)
6. Mother Nature's Son (Take 15)
7. Yer Blues (Take 5 with guide vocal)
8. What's the New Mary Jane (Take 1)
9. Rocky Raccoon (Take ­čśÄ
10. Back in the U.S.S.R. (Take 5 - Instrumental backing track)
11. Dear Prudence (Vocal, guitar & drums)
12. Let It Be (Unnumbered rehearsal)
13. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Third version - Take 27)
14. (You're so Square) Baby, I Don't Care (Studio jam)
15. Helter Skelter (Second version - Take 17)
16. Glass Onion (Take 10)

Disc 6
1. I Will (Take 13)
2. Blue Moon (Studio jam)
3. I Will (Take 29)
4. Step Inside Love (Studio jam)
5. Los Paranoias (Studio jam)
6. Can You Take Me Back? (Take 1)
7. Birthday (Take 2 - Instrumental backing track)
8. Piggies (Take 12 - Instrumental backing track)
9. Happiness is a Warm Gun (Take 19)
10. Honey Pie (Instrumental backing track)
11. Savoy Truffle (Instrumental backing track)
12. Martha My Dear (Without brass and strings)
13. Long, Long, Long (Take 44)
14. I'm so tired (Take 7)
15. I'm so tired (Take 14)
16. The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill (Take 2)
17. Why don't we do it in the road? (Take 5)
18. Julia (Two rehearsals)
19. The Inner Light (Take 6 - Instrumental backing track)
20. Lady Madonna (Take 2 - Piano and drums)
21. Lady Madonna (Backing vocals from take 3)
22. Across the Universe (Take 6)

The 2019 Beatles calendar

The official Beatles calendar for 2019 is based on the "With The Beatles" album.
The official beatles calendar for 2019 is based on the 1963 album, "With The Beatles", and is mainly flled with photos taken by Dezo Hoffmann. Each month has a main photo in black and white, with a smaller colour photo at an angle at the bottom of the black and white one.

Each Beatle is represented by a portrait photo on the month they were born, so it's George in February, Paul in June, Ringo in July and John in October.

The back depicts all the 12 main images.
The "Collector's edition" will be released on September 28, 2018 and may be ordered from the official Beatles Store and elsewhere. The regular edition has already been published, and contains the same photos. Both calendars are manufactured by Danilo Promotions Limited. In addition to these official ones, other manufacturers are also producing Beatles calendars.

The official Beatles Store (Europe): Collector's Edition.
Amazon (UK) regular edition.
Amazon (USA) regular edition
Amazon (USA) Collector's Edition

Friday, 21 September 2018

White album leak

Ltd edition 3 disc CD release

Track list, 3 disc version:

CD 1: The Beatles, side 1 and 2 New stereo mix
CD 2: The Beatles, side 3 and 4 New stereo mix
CD 3: Esher Demos:
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Dear Prudence
Glass Onion
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness is a Warm Gun
I’m so tired
Rocky Raccoon
Yer Blues
Mother Nature’s Son
Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
Sexy Sadie
Honey Pie
Cry Baby Cry
Sour Milk Sea
Child of Nature
Mean Mr. Mustard
Polythene Pam
Not Guilty
What's the New Mary Jane
Ltd ed. vinyl release of the 3CD set on 4 vinyl discs

Replica release of original double album


Deluxe boxed set

CDs 1 & 2: 2018 Stereo Album Mix
CD3: Esher demos
CDs 4, 5 & 6: Sessions - 50 additional recordings, mostly unpublished, from the studio sessions of the 'White Album'; all remixed from the four-track and eight-track session bands, sorted by their recording start dates. Includes hitherto unknown white album recording of the song "Let It Be"!

Blu-ray Audio:

- 2018 album mix in high-resolution PCM stereo
- 2018 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Album mix
- 2018 Dolby True HD 5.1 album mix
- 2018 direct transfer of the original monomix of the album

Release date: 9. November, 2018.

Photos: © Copyright 2018 Apple Corps Ltd and found at Amazon, Japan.

White Album news

The ninth of November 2018, my son turns 25 and the 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles will be released.
It looks like an official announcement with a full track list is imminent, regarding the fiftieth anniversary edition of "The Beatles" (aka "the white album"). Beatlefan published this info yesterday:

1) a 4 LP Limited Edition, consisting of the regular double album in a new stereo remix, (2 LP stereo remix + 2 LP Esher demos.

2) 3 CD version with the same as on the 4LP edition.

3) And a Super Deluxe CD Box (3 CDs as above + 3 CDs of outtakes). Plus the box will include a Blu-ray disc that will be audio only. There will be no video. The Blu-Ray disc will consist of everything that's already on the CDs, plus some extra material not on the CDs.

The outtakes include non-album tracks/jams/improvisations. Of the latter, Beatlefan has been told that at least a couple are previously unknown. There also are some rehearsals. There will be 19 Esher demos of album tracks, plus outtakes of "Hey Jude", "Revolution", "The Inner Light", "Across The Universe" and "Lady Madonna".

This is a screendump of what website looks like at the time of writing.
Included will be the 12-minute version of "Helter Skelter" that previously was boiled down to about 5 minutes for the “Anthology,” but the legendary 27-minute version of "Helter Skelter" will not be included. The release will have one huge surprise in the form of a song which was rehearsed during the White Album sessions, but released it (in a different version) a few years later.

An official announcement of the releases is expected soon.

Also, there's this interview with Giles Martin which was published in Spanish over at

Journalist Daniel Buarque from Folha de São Paulo spoke with Giles Martin at the Abbey Road studios, son of Beatles producer George Martin on the new 50th anniversary edition of the White Album.

"I did not make the gold, but I help bring it to the surface," he says. "I have a privileged position, I can go to Abbey Road and unscramble original tapes of recordings from the biggest band that ever existed, and my job is to try to give people the chance to have the experience I have in this job."

"My dad never really liked 'White Album', he felt like he had lost control of the band because the Beatles went mad in the recording process," said Giles Martin.

The result of all this work will be a new remix that will be released in November along with extra material totaling almost 7 hours of recordings.

Giles talked about the initial process of listening to the recordings. "It's really like looking for gold, you have to be attentive. So we discovered conversations, comments, the mood of the recording. We have 102 recordings of 'Sexy Sadie', for example. During the recording, the band acted differently, creating almost everything in the studio. What is equally disappointing and brilliant is the fact that there is no magic is just the beauty of collaboration between humans in a studio. Only people making very nice sounds. They are excellent vocalists, guitarists, drummers. That's what the Beatles do."

According to journalist Daniel Buarque the new material sounds clearer from each instrument and also includes conversations between the Beatles before and after the recordings, as well as interruptions, mistakes and alternative versions of the songs that underwent changes before the final recording.

Aboyt the Esher demos: "They are acoustic recordings of the Beatles that they recorded in their homes and they sound beautiful," says Giles. "In addition, we found more tapes that George Harrison had at his house. The sound is great, and we were looking for something new and different for this 50-year edition," he says.

So it looks like the new "white album" boxed set will be very similar to the upcoming John Lennon Imagine - The Ultimate Collection boxed set, and likely priced similarly.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Paul McCartney's new horn section

The four man strong horn section of Wings, here from "Wings Over America".
For years we have wanted this. We, the fans that is. Back in the seventies, Paul's band Wings was strengthened with a four man strong horn section for the 1975/76 and 1979 tours. And they were supposed to play at the 1980 Japan tour as well, but you know...
They would not only play the horns in those songs that originally had horns on it, like "Lady Madonna", they would also rearrange scores to replace strings with brass, like in "Yesterday". One of the musicians was Liverpudlian Howie Casey on saxophone, formerly of Derry and the Seniors. You know, that band who wrote to Allan Williams and pledged him not to send that bum group The Beatles over to Hamburg and ruin the scene for them. That Howie Casey. The others were Americans Thaddeus Richard, also on saxophone, Tony Dorsey on trombone and Steve Howard on the trumpet.
These days, Howie Casey has formed a 14-man band called "Beatles With Wings," and they are touring as a Beatles and Wings tribute act. You can read about that project here.

The new horn section

As we first saw during Paul's concert at the Grand Central Station, he has recruited a new horn section, and we also saw them in Quebec for the opening concert of the current "Freshen Up" tour. After the concert, Paul also posted a photo of the full band, including the new three man horn section.

Paul McCartney with full band, including the horn section.
I for one is very happy that we now will have real brass live on stage at Paul's concerts, and not just imitated horns courtesy of the keyboards of Paul "Wix" Wickens. And why not bring in strings as well? I was lucky enough to attend Paul's concert at the Roundhouse in London back in 2007, and for once he was joined by a real string section. I can assure you, live strings really lifts the quality of the performance. Lastly, bring back the Rickenbacker bass guitar and you're all right!

Now, let's have a look at the current set list:
Set list from Quebec

  1. A Hard Day's Night
  2. Hi Hi Hi
  3. Can't Buy Me Love
  4. Letting Go
  5. Who Cares (Egypt Station)
  6. Come On To Me (Egypt Station)
  7. Let Me Roll It
  8. I've Got A Feeling
  9. Let'Em In
  10. 1985
  11. Maybe I'm Amazed
  12. I've Just Seen A Face
  13. In Spite Of All The Danger
  14. From Me To You
  15. My Valentine
  16. Michelle
  17. Love Me Do
  18. Blackbird
  19. Here Today
  20. Queenie Eye (NEW)
  21. Lady Madonna
  22. Four Five Seconds (Rihanna)
  23. Eleanor Rigby
  24. Fuh You (Egypt Station)
  25. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite
  26. Something
  27. Ob-La-Di,Ob-La-Da
  28. Band On The Run
  29. Back In The USSR
  30. Let It Be
  31. Live And Let Die
  32. Hey Jude
  33. Yesterday
  34. I Saw Her Standing There
  35. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  36. Helter Skelter
  37. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End

 Quebec street flag
As you'll see if you're familiar with Paul McCartney concerts, the set list really hasn't been freshened up as much as we would have wanted. Whole decades are neglected, as there are no eighties or nineties songs, for instance. Three songs from his current no. 1 album, "Egypt Station", bravely enough including the controversial "Fuh You" among them. According to a Billboard interview, they are rehearsing a fourth song from the album to include in the set list in the future. Paul keeps insisting on singing "Four-Five Seconds" and we can understand that: That single has been streamed twice as many times as the most streamed Beatles song, "Here Comes The Sun", and ten times as much as any other solo McCartney song.
"From Me To You" is the "new" Beatles song Paul has included, having first performed it anew at LIPA this summer. This is the first time a Beatle has been playing this song since it was dropped from The Beatles set list in 1964. It is also accompanied by "Love Me Do", which he has played on previous tours, and also an even earlier song, the Quarrymen B-side "In Spite Of All The Danger", also played during his last tour. Only one of the songs from 2013's "NEW" album has stayed on, as has one of the McCartney originals from 2012's "Kisses On The Bottom". So, only "Here Today" from the 80's, and nothing from the 90's and the 2000-2010 decade.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Paul: A new version of the Let It Be movie?

The Let It Be film on video cassette (German edition).
In an interview with a radio station in Quebec, Canada on September 15, Paul McCartney was asked about the fate of the Beatles' "Let It Be" film. "We keep talking about that," Paul confirmed, "we have meetings at Apple" (of course, that's The Beatles' company and not the computer giant). He went on to say that nothing was definite, but he "had heard rumours" about how a new version of the film may some day come out. "People have been looking at the footage." Paul says, estimating that it's around 56 hours worth af material there. And someone told him "the other day" that the overall feeling (when examining all the available footage) is very joyous and uplifting and mostly "a bunch of guys making music and enjoying it". So Paul thinks there is "some talk" about making a new movie, re-editing it from the same footage. "Who knows, that may be happening in a year or two," Paul concludes.

In an interview with the film's Cinematographer Tony Richmond in February 2017, it was revealed that "...we remastered it for DVD and there were so many outtakes that weren’t used in the film that really show the acrimony between all of the Beatles. But that’s still being held up by George Harrison’s estate and his wife and Yoko Ono because they don’t want the acrimony shown."

This may now change, due to a re-edited version of the film possibly making it palatable for the Lennon and Harrison estates.

Paul McCartney is playing a concert in Quebec this evening, as part of his new "Freshen Up" tour.

Hear the full interview here.