Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Two new books

Brian Southall's "White album" book.
A couple of new books have come our way, from Brian Southall and Peter Checksfield.

The first one of these, "The White Album: The Album, The Beatles and the World in 1968" by Brian Southall is divided in two parts, one part is specifically about the Beatles and their "White album", the second about world events in that revolutionary year in history. Southall was EMI's head of press for a number of years, and earlier Beatles related books of his has been "Abbey Road: The Story of the World's Most Famous Recording Studio" from 1982, "Beatles Memorabilia: The Julian Lennon Collection" from 2010 and last year he also wrote a book about the Sgt Pepper album. This new book is the second in this new series.


The sections, known as A-side and B-side are described like this: A-side: Definitive guide to the album, the recording and the events surrounding it. B-side: The political situation that was unfolding as the band drew inspiration from the world around them, and also looks at all the aspects of the album, including artwork, influence and legacy.

The chapter about the artwork for the album.

The book is richly illustrated with around 150 colour and black and white photos, hardcover, 192 pages and is published by Carlton books. The foreword is written by Chris Thomas, the de facto producer of many of the "White album" songs while George Martin was away on vacation.

Another illustration from the book.

The other book is a totally different beast. A giant tome in soft covers, detailing television appearances by pop artists and groups from the UK: "Channelling The Beat!: The Ultimate Guide to UK '60s Pop on TV" is not illustrated at all, but is a handy (albeit heavy) reference book to quickly find some TV appearance when you need to.

Peter Checksfield's book has forewords by some of the artists who appear in the book.
The Beatles are represented with a chapter detailing their television appearances, but that's already been written about by Mark Lewisohn in his "The Complete "Beatles" Chronicle" as well as by Volker Path and Jorg Piper in their "The Beatles - Film & Tv Chronicle 1961 - 1970". So this book will mostly be finding an audience who wants to know more about all the other British sixties artists and groups who appeared on television. Performances that survive either in an official capacity or circulate among collectors are noted when known.

Sample page from the book
Profiled are over 150 artists of the era. These include the post ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll of Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and The Tornados; the beat explosion of The Beatles, The Tremeloes and Herman’s Hermits; the rhythm ‘n’ blues of The Rolling Stones, The Pretty Things and The Who; and the psychedelia of The Pink Floyd, Procol Harum and Traffic, not forgetting the girl singers such as Cilla Black, Billie Davis and Dusty Springfield.Amongst the 100’s of legendary shows featured are the UK’s "Ready, Steady, Go!", "Top of The Pops" and "Thank Your Lucky Stars", the US’s "The Ed Sullivan Show", "Shindig!" and "Hullabaloo", Europe’s "Beat Club", "Popside" and "Twien", and lots more.
The first page of The Beatles
With more than 700 pages, this independently published book will be of help to any writer about the pop culture of the sixties, and of course a valued source for fans of the music. Although a regular contributor to the Record Collector magazine, this is Pete's first book.  Also, check out his website: peterchecksfield.com.

Via a movie short called ‘Look At Life – Sound Of A City’, colour footage shot at a taping of "Ready Steady Go" survives The programme itself was never taped or shown in colour.

RIP, Stan Lee

Stan Lee with Marvel's Beatles Story.
November 12, 2018, 95 year old Stan Lee passed away, the year after his British-born wife had died. Born in 1922, Lee was the brains behind the Marvel Comics many superheroes, co-creating many of the characters which today are well known movie and TV heroes, like Spider-Man, the X-Men, The Avengers and Daredevil.

For years, the Beatles made cameo appearances in Marvel Comics, and in 1978, Marvel published the Beatles' story in comic book form.

The Beatles Story
David Anthony Kraft wrote the script and the drawings were done by a couple of future superstar artists: George Perez and Klaus Janson.

Back in 2005, Stan suggested a collaboration for Ringo. Stan the man wanted to make a superhero of him. It was going to be an animated series, which Ringo would voice. The two of them made headlines that day, but nothing came of it. At the time, Stan said: "Ringo is beloved worldwide for his commitment to people and his singular wit. Our Ringo superhero character will combine these qualities, along with secret powers which people generally didn’t know about because he has kept them secret, until now."

In 2012, Stan remembered what happened: "We were going to do something together--an animated cartoon, he wanted to be a superhero. Ringo, you're a sweet guy--you ain't no superhero. But we were going to come up with something funny. The best thing that came out of it was that we took a photo where I'm playing the drums and he's reading Spider-Man. We had four or five meetings. I had a bunch of ideas, he didn't like 'em--he had a bunch of ideas that were horrible! We just didn't make it. We're good friends, but we've never done anything."

Ringo reads up on Spider-Man as Stan Lee takes care of the drums.

Apparently, Stan had pitched the same idea to Paul McCartney. Paul said this when remembering Stan: "I was  lucky enough to meet him. He came over to my office and we sat around for a while chatting about comic books and my admiration for his work. Actually he was suggesting making a superhero who would wield a Höfner bass guitar. The guitar would have super powers and we spent some time imaging what those could be. He had a great sense of humour and I must say the idea of becoming a guitar wielding superhero in one of his comic books was very appealing."


Paul McCartney and Stan Lee met up again during Superbowl

McCartney, who was the comic book fan among the Beatles, once composed a song featuring two Marvel characters, "Magneto and Titanium Man".

Wings performed "Magneto and Titanium Man" during their world tour of 1975-76 featuring Jack Kirby's drawings as backdrop.
Beginning with the first Spider-Man film in 2002, Stan Lee has made cameos in Marvel films, the last of which was in the current movie, "Venom". This was actually part of his contract, a special clause in the agreement specifies that Stan must appear in any film based on one of his characters.

Pop culture wouldn't have been what it is today without Stan "the man" Lee. Excelsior!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

NPR Music: Interview with Giles Martin

In this interview with Giles Martin, you'll hear some of the early demos, outtakes and remixes. But he begins by describing the process of making of the "The White Album," how it turned out to be a much-less planned and much more organic process than ever, and how that frustrated George Martin.

Ringo: On the road, new book and award

Ringo announces his plans.
Press release:

SIR RINGO STARR AND HIS ALL STARR BAND ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR 2019, INCLUDING SPECIAL 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR (1989-2019)

Ringo’s new book Another Day In the Life, his third with Genesis Publications, to be released in Limited Edition and available in November 2018 and wide to follow in April 2019

Monday November 12, 2018 – Today Sir Ringo Starr announced tour plans for 2019 with his All Starr Band, featuring Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette and the return of All Starr alum Hamish Stuart.

The first leg begins in March with one US show at Harrah’s Resort Southern California on March 21st before the band head to Japan, starting in Fukuoka on March 27th and ending April 11th in Osaka (full dates listed below). August 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of Ringo and His All Starr Band and they will hit the road for a celebratory tour which will kick off at Caesar's in Windsor on August 1st and then head to Ravinia near Chicago, Illinois to play two shows with the Beach Boys August 3rd and 4th and two shows at Nashville’s historic Ryman in Tennessee on August 7th and 8th. The tour will conclude September 1st at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, California, nearly 30 years to the day when the inaugural All Starrs completed their first tour on September 3, 1989. (A full itinerary will be announced soon).

This month Another Day In The Life, Ringo’s third book with Genesis Publications, will be released in Limited Edition, while the hard cover will available in wide release in April 2019. Pre-orders for the limited edition can be made at www.ringobook.com. Following in the series that began with the sell-out success of Postcards From The Boys (2003) and Photograph (2013), this book will include previously unpublished photographs, captioned with Ringo’s observations and anecdotes. Reflecting his love of music, travel and nature, Another Day In The Life shows us the world as seen through Ringo’s eyes. From Los Angeles to Tokyo and everywhere in between, many of Ringo’s observational images celebrate the quirkiness of life.

November will also see Ringo honored when he receives the Humanitarian Award from the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF on “Giving Tuesday,” November 27, 2019 at their annual Snowflake Ball in New York City (see below for more information).

In a fitting comment taken from his upcoming book, Ringo wrote, "It's about changing one second so that people think peace and love, it's something I learned from the Maharishi. If you do something for good, the trees, the grass, the whole planet will support you - you're always loved. I live in that world."

That message of universal Peace & Love has become synonymous with Ringo, who has for over 10 years celebrated his birthday with a Peace & Love event. This July 7, 2019 will see it return to Los Angeles, and further details will be announced soon.

Ringo and His All Starr Band Tour -- Japan Dates:

Wed Mar 27 Sun Palace Hall, Fukuoka, Japan
Fri Mar 29 Uenogakuen, Hiroshima, Japan
Mon Apr 1 Tokyo Electron Hall Miyagi Sendai Japan
Tue Apr 2 Shimin Center, Koriyama, Japan
Wed Apr 3 Hitomi Kinen Kodo, Tokyo, Japan
Fri Apr 5 Dome City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Tue Apr 9 Zepp, Nagoya, Japan
Wed Apr 10 Archaic Hall, Japan, Osaka
Thu Apr 11 Orix Theatre, Osaka, Japan

For more information please visit: www.ringostarr.com

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The Beatles' YouTube event


YouTube Music is collaborating with Universal Music and Apple Corps Ltd. to host an evening dedicated to The Beatles. The panel event - set to be streamed live from London on The Beatles YouTube channel at 7pm GMT on Wednesday 7th November - will feature commentary and insights from Giles Martin, the Grammy Award®-winning producer of the White Album’s new anniversary edition; Dan Stubbs, Commissioning Editor for the NME; Felix White, former guitarist of The Maccabees; Andy Bell, guitarist of Ride; Miles Kane, soloist & singer from The Last Shadow Puppets and Georgie Rogers, presenter, DJ; and music journalist from BBC 6 Music, Soho Radio and Foundation FM.

The panel will be moderated by Matt Everitt of BBC 6 Music and Miles Kane will also share a live, solo acoustic performance of "I’m So Tired".

During the discussion and Q&A, the expert panel will delve into the White Album’s newly remixed and expanded anniversary edition, the album’s songs and musical ambition, its continued influence in contemporary music, and whether such an album could be created in today’s musical landscape.

In addition, there will be live commentary from The Beatles YouTube channel so fans around the world can get their questions answered by the panel.

Link: The Beatles official YouTube Channel

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Review of the DeLuxe Edition of The Beatles' "White Album"

The Beatles
Yesterday, Marshall M. Fish published a web article with his review of The White Album Super Deluxe Edition box set. Here's a link to the article: review.

The review doesn't really go into details, it just gives an overview of what comprises the boxed set, describing what the Esher demos are, what constitute the Sessions discs and what the book is like.

One thing left unmentioned is the surround sound mix, but you can find Mark Smotroff's review of this here. Part two of Smotroff's review is about the outtakes and demos, you'll find that review here. And part three, dealing with the new stereo remix is to be found here.


The Super DeLuxe 50the Anniversary Edition 

Don't forget to "tune in" to The Beatles' official YouTube channel tomorrow, Wednesday 7th at 7.pm GMT!

Friday, 2 November 2018

Glass Onion - 2018 mix

A couple of days ago, The Beatles published a teaser for the new "Glass Onion" video, which at the time was accessible only from Apple Music. Yesterday they published the video in full on YouTube.


Rather a clever video, based on the white album poster. So, what do you think about the new stereo mix of the song? As a bonus, here are some other versions:


This request was posted on The Beatles' Facebook page today.

The Tokyo police film

The Beatles in Tokyo, 1966.
It certainly looks like the police making security films around rock concerts was in vogue in 1966. So far we've seen police films around the Munich, Essen and Hamburg concerts of The Beatles, and now it seems we're in for a Tokyo police film as well.

In a news story from Japan Times, it is reported that a group of fans lost a battle to release such a film uncensored. The police wanted to blur everyone's faces, except for the Beatles themselves, before releasing the film.
Here are some quotes from the news story:

The superfans took their battle for the film — recorded by police as a security measure — all the way to the Supreme Court, arguing it was a "historical document."
Police had offered to release the footage, reportedly about 35 minutes long, but only after blurring the faces of everyone in the film except the Beatles, citing privacy reasons.
Two lower courts backed the police against a group of citizens from Nagoya who wanted the entire film released uncensored, saying it would be almost impossible to identify people in the footage more than 50 years later.
But the long and winding legal battle ended last week when the Supreme Court rejected their argument, the group announced.
A lawyer for the group seeking the footage said it would have huge historical significance for Beatles enthusiasts.
"It is a document that should be made available from a historical standpoint," lawyer Satoshi Shinkai told the Asahi Shimbun daily.

This news story made headlines in Japan, helped by the fact that Paul McCartney is currently holding four concerts in the country.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

When limited is really limited

Paul McCartney and Wings - 1971–73 Limited Edition Box Set
Remember when we used to laugh about the notion of limited edition releases? We laughed mainly because when the "limited edition" Traveling Wilburys CD boxed set of 2007 sold out everywhere, the record company simply pressed up another bunch, quite indistinguishable from the first run! A third pressing shifted the box colour from grey to blue.

We laughed at the Record Stores Day "limited" editions which are still available from online shops, years after the initial release!

RSD release of the classic Long Tall Sally EP

However, latecomers to last year's release of the Christmas singles collection found that they had waited too long, at that it really had been a limited release.
Last Christmas you could buy this boxed set of Beatles Christmas singles.
The boxed set is currently being resold at inflated prices, Amazon.com acts as a reseller and has it available for $132,45.

Wings Over Europe
Lately, we have found that the upcoming boxed set from Wings featuring both the DeLuxe Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway, plus a CD and assorted items to commemorate Wings' 1972 tour of Europe is largely unavailable, even at this pre-ordering stage.

Wings Over Europe boxed set
The limited edition boxed set have been available to preorder from Musicvaultz Canada, and UDiscover in Great Britain and Germany, as well as from the official USA Paul McCartney store, priced at $399.98. As far as we can understand, this boxed set will not be available through physical stores, and only from Universal Music, who are also running the official Paul McCartney online stores.

However, currently it seems that it's sold out from three of these locations, the exception being the USA shop. Readers from Europe have informed us that they have been able to order from the US shop, as long as they select payment by Paypal.

However, the UK UDiscover Store has it as "First edition - sold out", indicating that perhaps a second edition will eventually be made available.
UPDATE: The US Paul McCartney Store now has the same status.
Links:
Paul McCartney US Shop (USD $399.98 - in stock)
Musicvaultz Canada (CAD $554.99 - Sold out)
UDiscover Great Britain (GBP £319.99 First edition - sold out)
UDiscover Germany (EUR 369,99€ Sold out)

Last Night But Two!

In one of the comments of our recent blog post about the Furore magazine, someone was asking for a picture of the 'Mr Kite' poster. Piet Schreuders has kindly sent us his image of the poster, as pieced together by lots of photos he took while visiting the John & Yoko Double Fantasy exhibition in Liverpool. The poster is displayed in a glass box in a dimly lit corner of the museum. It is quite impossible to take close-ups of it, due to the glass box, and even the poster itself is framed in glass which reflects its surroundings. When Schreuders visited the Museum of Liverpool in August, he took about 50 pictures of it, and this is a composite of those.

The original poster, as photographed by Piet Schreuders.
As we all know, the poster advertises 'The last night but three' of Pablo Fanques' Circus in Town-Meadows, Rochdale. Schreuders was wondering whether other posters of that week's performances might have survived, even though that despite a worldwide interest to find one, none had come to light for 51 years. But then he found this, a poster of the same circus in the same town, two days later, February 16th, 1843 -- the Last Night But Two!

Last night but two! poster found by Piet Schreuders
Depicted in the Furore magazine, who has kindly given us permission to post these pictures. Coincidentally, and possibly unknown to Lennon, the engraver who made the woodblocks depicting the acrobats was a fellow Liverpudlian, Thomas Fife.

In order to fully appreciate these vintage posters, you should click on the images to make them bigger, and by right-clicking them and selecting "open in another window" you will also be able to study the details even closer.

The size of the original "Benefit of Mister Kite" poster is 530 x 270 mm (including the frame), and the reproduction poster included with the super DeLuxe Sgt Pepper edition from last year is a bit smaller, but keep the proportions of the original, which none of the earlier reproductions managed to do.

This blog has pursued the tales of this circus poster earlier, here are links to two of our stories:
2012 Mister Kite - poster recreated
2017 Mister Kite reproduction poster