Monday, 15 July 2019

The Beatles: First steps

Logo of playlist
A few days ago, a playlist was posted on the official Beatles channel on YouTube, under the name "first steps". It consisted of videos with the still image displayed above, and the songs were taken from the Polydor sessions with Tony Sheridan, plus the two songs from the first single on EMI, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You".
The ten songs on the playlist are:

Love Me Do
Let's Dance
P.S. I Love You
What'd I Say
Ya Ya
Cry For A Shadow
Sweet Georgia Brown
Ruby Baby
If You Love Me Baby (aka Take Out Some Insurance On Me Baby)

Only the bold titles are tracks actually featuring The Beatles. The featured Polydor tracks are the same eight tracks as released on the vintage "This Is The... The Savage Young Beatles" 10" disc. (shown below in a modern edition without the double The's.)

It seems the songs on the playlist were uploaded in 2014, and provided to YouTube by Daredo. According to Daredo's website, digedo, a subsidiary of daredo GmbH, is one of the leading independent digital music distribution companies in Europe. They deal, among other things, in monetizing music videos at all the important video portals like YouTube, Dailymotion, Vevo, Muzu and MyVideo.

The problem with this playlist, as far as the Polydor session songs concerns, is that it contains a number of songs which aren't The Beatles at all, it's Tony Sheridan with a different backing band.

The songs recorded for Polydor actually featuring the Beatles were:
My Bonnie
The Saints
Cry for a Shadow
Why (Can't You Love Me Again)
Nobody's Child
Ain't She Sweet
If You Love Me, Baby (aka Take Out Some Insurance on Me, Baby)
Sweet Georgia Brown

Just four of those songs are featured in this playlist. I don't know what's happening here. Have The Beatles finally acknowledged their Polydor past? Is someone not very historically minded put in charge of their YouTube account? Or is this an automatically generated playlist by YouTube? One thing is for sure, this is going to confuse fans.

Link to YouTube Playlist

The list is also featured on the Narrma website, who have added these "sleeve notes", trying to put the songs into context:

First night at the Indra Club, August 1960.

The Beatles First Steps Playlist with Tony Sheridan

Allan Williams, The Beatles‘ unofficial manager, arranged a residency for them in Hamburg, but lacking a full-time drummer they auditioned and hired Pete Best in mid-August 1960. The band left four days later, contracted to club owner Bruno Koschmider for what would be a 3​1⁄2-month residency.

Nightclub on the Reeperbahn in St Pauli – the red-light district of Hamburg where the The Beatles performed extensively from 1960 to 1962.

Koschmider had converted a couple of strip clubs in the district into music venues, and he initially placed The Beatles at the Indra Club. After closing Indra due to noise complaints, he moved them to the Kaiserkeller in October. When he learned they had been performing at the rival Top Ten Club in breach of their contract, he gave the band one month’s termination notice, and reported the underage George Harrison, who had obtained permission to stay in Hamburg by lying to the German authorities about his age. The authorities arranged for Harrison’s deportation in late November. One week later, Koschmider had Paul McCartney and Pete Best arrested for arson after they set fire to a condom in a concrete corridor; the authorities deported them. John Lennon returned to Liverpool in early December, while Stuart Sutcliffe remained in Hamburg until late February with his German fiancée Astrid Kirchherr, who took the first semi-professional photos of The Beatles.

During the next two years, The Beatles were resident for periods in Hamburg, where they used Preludin both recreationally and to maintain their energy through all-night performances. In 1961, during their second Hamburg engagement, Kirchherr cut Sutcliffe’s hair in the “exi” (existentialist) style, later adopted by the other Beatles. When Sutcliffe decided to leave the band early that year and resume his art studies in Germany, McCartney took up the bass.

Producer Bert Kaempfert contracted what was now a four-piece group until June 1962, and he used them as Tony Sheridan’s backing band on a series of recordings for Polydor Records. As part of the sessions, The Beatles were signed to Polydor for one year. Credited to “Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers“, the single “My Bonnie”, recorded in June 1961 and released four months later, reached number 32 on the Musikmarkt chart.

After The Beatles completed their second Hamburg residency, they enjoyed increasing popularity in Liverpool with the growing Merseybeat movement. However, they were also growing tired of the monotony of numerous appearances at the same clubs night after night. In November 1961, during one of the group’s frequent performances at The Cavern Club, they encountered Brian Epstein, a local record-store owner and music columnist. He later recalled: “I immediately liked what I heard. They were fresh, and they were honest, and they had what I thought was a sort of presence … [a] star quality.”

Epstein courted the band over the next couple of months, and they appointed him as their manager in January 1962. Throughout early and mid-1962, Epstein sought to free The Beatles from their contractual obligations to Bert Kaempfert Productions. He eventually negotiated a one-month-early release from their contract in exchange for one last recording session in Hamburg.

Epstein began negotiations with record labels for a recording contract. In order to secure a UK record contract, Epstein negotiated an early end to the band’s contract with Polydor, in exchange for more recordings backing Tony Sheridan. After a New Year’s Day audition, Decca Records rejected the band with the comment “Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr. Epstein.” However, three months later, producer George Martin signed The Beatles to EMI’s Parlophone label.

So, the "sleeve notes" aren't so bad, but they should have used the correct songs.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Abbey Road formats

Here's a list we found posted on Facebook, purporting to be five formats of the 50th anniversary release of The Beatles' "Abbey Road" album on September 27.


12” x 12” hardcover book to house:
CD1: New ‘Abbey Road’ stereo album mix
CD2: Demos and Outtakes
CD3: Demos and Outtakes
DISC 4 (Blu-ray): Dolby Atmos mix of whole album / 5.1 surround of whole album / hi-res stereo mix of whole album
Limited Edition

Although we have seen a draft of a 3CD track list, this was not final:

Abbey Road usual track list

I Want You (She’s So Heavy) [Take 32 + Billy Organ]
Goodbye [Demo]
Something [Demo]
Ballad Of John And Yoko [Take 7]
Old Brown Shoe [Take 2]
Oh Darling [Take 4]
Octopus Garden [Take 9]
You Never Give Me Your Money [Take 36]
Her Majesty [Takes 1-3]
Golden Slumbers - Carry That Weight [Takes 1-3]
Here Comes The Sun [Take 9]
Maxwell's Silver Hammer [Take 12]

Come Together [Take 5]
The End [Take 3]
Sun King / Mean Mr Mustard [Take 20]
Polythene Pam - Bathroom Window [Take 27]
Because [Take 1]
The Long One [Trial Edit and Mix]
Something [Orchestral – Take 39]
Golden Slumbers [Take 17]


Expanded 2CD package features the new stereo album mix on and adds a second CD of demos and outtakes
Limited edition


1CD digi featuring the new ‘Abbey Road’ stereo album mix
Unlimited edition


12” x 12” lift off lid box to house:
LP1: New ‘Abbey Road’ stereo album mix
LP2: Demos and Outtakes
LP3: Demos and Outtakes
Limited edition


180-gram 1LP vinyl featuring the new stereo album mix
Packaging faithful to the original album

Of course, there will also be non-physical formats for purchase or streaming.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Ringo about the new Let It Be era documentary

Sir Peter Jackson is working on a new movie based around The Beatles' final album, Let It Be.

The as-yet-untitled film will draw on 55 hours of never-released footage of the band in the studio, and some 140 hours of recorded sound, all the material filmed and recorded between January 2 and January 31, 1969.

The Beatles Channel on Sirius XM recently published a Facebook video where Ringo Starr talks a bit about the old film as well as the upcoming one. He has been shown excerpts via Jackson's iPad, and says that the new film will be a more upbeat film. He claims that filmmaker Michael Lindsay-Hogg made the film more downbeat by focusing on small moments of irritation rather that the mostly happy days of filming. "Prior to us doing that [the rooftop concert], we're all hanging out, and it's a lot of fun, lot of humour, and not like the one that came out."

Friday, 28 June 2019

Washington concert available again

Now out through iTunes: The Washington D.C. concert film from 1964.
This went completely under our rader: iTunes have made available as a single download the full "The Beatles Live at The Washington Coliseum, 1964" concert film! The film was originally available as a bonus if you ordered the complete stereo boxed set of Beatles albums through iTunes in 2009, and was also briefly available for free streaming.

Often bootlegged, and especially so following the iTunes stream, there has been no official physical release of this film, but for Apple customers you may now own it as part of your digital library. It was released on May 22 through iTunes, still with a 2009 copyright.

This concert was one of only two performances for a ticket buying audience for The Beatles during their first U.S. visit. Not also a piece of music history, this is also a great concert where especially Ringo Starr's energetic drumming really drives the band.


Tuesday, 25 June 2019

McCartney and Mercury

Once Upon A Long Ago - UK single, 1987.
"Once Upon a Long Ago" is a Paul McCartney song, released as his fortieth single on 16 November 1987, as part of his compilation All the Best!, released two weeks before the single. The track was produced by Phil Ramone and mixed by George Martin, and features violin by Nigel Kennedy.

It was reported that the origin of this song is with the film "The Princess Bride". McCartney was approached by Director Rob Reiner to compose a couple of songs and the incidental music for the film. Reiner rejected the two songs Paul submitted, "Once Upon a Long Ago" and "Beautiful Night", as "too sentimental"; he contracted with Mark Knopfler to complete the soundtrack.

McCartney & Mercury at Live Aid.
Originally it was intended that this song would be a duet between McCartney and Freddie Mercury. The two had known each other only casually in the past as Mercury was a fan of Buddy Holly and would occasionally attend McCartney's annual "Buddy Holly"-weeks over the years. However, they became friends properly following socialising that took place after Live Aid. McCartney wrote the song with Mercury in mind. Mercury however was inundated with work, both solo and with Queen, and McCartney continued the project without him. However McCartney's pitch, phrasing and key on the finished track are all very similar to the guide vocal demo he created for Mercury when he was attached to the project.

Linda McCartney revealed that Paul was devastated by Mercury's death when she appeared alone on British TV a few days after Mercury died.

Paul McCartney took a chance when he included the song on his "All The Best" compilation in the UK, as it had not yet been released as a single, so it was not a safe bet as a "best" song. However, the song proved a hit, and went to number ten on the UK singles list. In Belgium, it went as high as number four. The video has since become a seasonal favourite with its Christmas inspired animation sequences.

The song was released on a single (backed with the first outing of the McCartney-MacManus collaborations, "Back On My Feet"), on two different 12" singles (also containing the first four samples from the yet unreleased "Russian" CHOBA B CCCP" cover album), a CD EP and the video was released on a video cassette, "Once Upon...a Video". The song went rather unnoticed in the USA, where it didn't appear on the "All The Best" album and was not released as a single.

McCartney took it upon himself to provide sketches for the storyboard of the animated sequences for the music video, and now, one of these have appeared for sale on ebay!

Paul McCartney's sketches for the second animated sequence in the music video for "Once Upon a Long Ago".
From the description: This is an amazing and rare item of memorabilia in the hand of Sir.Paul McCartney.
Comprising: a large (32" X 12") animator's sheet of 14 annotated sketches by Paul McCartney in black marker.  Further annotations in unknown hand (likely animator Geoff Dunbar). This was offered through Bonhams sale of Entertainment Memorabilia on 29th June 2016.  It includes a Letter of Provenance from the video's co-director Michael Ross.


Monday, 24 June 2019

Win a signed print of Ringo Starr

An ongoing raffle for Comic Relief. 

I was just on your website and I thought you and your visitors would be interested in our new prize draw this month! We have an amazing prize of a limited edition print of Ringo Starr by the photographer Andy Gotts MBE, and it is co-signed by Ringo himself. As Ringo stopped giving out signatures in 2008, this is a genuinely unique photograph.  

It is only £5 to enter and all the money goes towards supporting the most vulnerable people all over the world and in the UK. You can enter here.

I would be so grateful if you would promote this competition on your social media and website. It is a really excellent prize and for a fantastic cause.

Feel free to send any questions my way!

Many thanks and best wishes,

Caitlyn Lindsay

Consider it done, Caitlyn!

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Stage photo from Clapton's wedding party

Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd.
Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton were married in Tucson, Arizona on the 27th of March 1979. A couple of months later, on May 19th, they held a wedding reception at their home in Hurtwood Edge, in England. A huge number of celebrity guests turned up, including Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. A properly equipped stage had been set up in the garden, should any of the musicians present fancy a jam session. During the course of the evening, it has been reported that all three ex-Beatles were on stage at the same time, belting out old favourites.

The news went around the world that the Beatles had reformed at Clapton's wedding party, and had performed, among other songs, "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

Lonnie Donegan with three Beatles.

Both Clapton and Boyd have since said that John Lennon later called them, asking why he hadn't been invited, as he certainly would have attended.

Many years later, photos taken during the event started appearing, including a few of the three ex-Beatles posing with one of their heroes from their youth, skiffe legend Lonnie Donegan. But so far, all the photos have been of the guests standing or sitting around in the garden. That is, until forty years after the event, on June 15th, 2019, when Ringo's son, Zak Starkey posted this photo:

It shows Zak himself on the guitar, Jim Capaldi playing drums, and Paul McCartney on bass guitar. Let's hope some more photos like this one turns up!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

The Amsterdam canal boat ride

6. June 1964: The canal boat ride route.
The canal boat trip in Amsterdam on June 6, 1964 was a stroke of genius, as it allowed thousands of fans a glimpse of the Beatles, as they were passing by in a tourist canal boat with a glass roof. The Beatles were safe, occasional swimmers were fished out of the canals by a police boat who accompanied the Beatles' vessel.

Waving to fans along the route. 
Created by Piet Schreuders, a chronological montage of all available film footage of the Beatles' canal trip has now been published, including a few scenes from recently rediscovered Reuters news footage.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Linda McCartney: Polaroids

Paul, George and George, Friar Park, 1981.
Originally planned for release in mid May but postponed until October is a new book from the late Linda McCartney, containing the best of her Polaroid pictures.

The book consists of highlights from the photographer's vast archive of Polaroids. Although working with professional cameras for her more iconic rock star photos, Linda kept her Polaroid camera ready when she was with family and friends. You may remember some of her Polaroids from the poster from "Band on the run", and also from a collection of small books released by Wings Fun Club, called "Linda's Diaries".

The 1980 diary: Not a good year for The Beatles and their fans.
The 240 pages paperback book takes us straight into the private lives of the McCartneys and their children, and will also contain animal photos.

"This new book presents the striking images of Linda's vast collection of Polaroids, tracing these last thirty years in the life of McCartney. These spontaneous images are full of candor and offer a particularly intimate testimony of Linda, mother, artist and militant vegetarian, defending the animal cause."

"After the rock'n'roll portraits and the first images of the glamorous jet-set, McCartney's Polaroids offer something much more warm, intimate and family-like. The collection takes us directly to the heart of the McCartney home. As well as portraits of her husband, the vast majority of shots are of the four children of the couple, Heather, Mary, Stella and James. We see them make funny faces in matching pajamas,  James drawing with his father, and Mary and Stella playing beautiful."

Recording "Tug of War" in Montserrat

"Alternating with these portraits, still life pics and interior compositions speak volumes about McCartney's sharp eye, drawn to patterns, textures, colors or simply a graceful ray of light. Other images show her love of animals, with photos of cats, lambs, horses and chicken, full of compassion. Through them, we see how, despite the crude and imperfect aesthetics of the Polaroid, McCartney's unique style shines through, revealing its precision and tenderness that mingle with happiness in these life moments."

The book has been edited by Alison Castle.

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: TASCHEN (22 October 2019)
Collection: Photography
Language: English, French, German
ISBN-10: 3836558114
ISBN-13: 978-3836558112

Photos: Linda McCartney © 2019 Linda Enterprises Limited.
Instagram: Linda McCartney

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Abbey Road goes on the road with Mark Lewisohn

The surprises and delights of ABBEY ROAD, the Beatles’ final album – 50 years on
September 2019 is the golden anniversary of the Beatles’ multi-platinum album Abbey Road – the last work they recorded before their seismic breakup. It was both the end of the Sixties and the end of the greatest band of all time.

To hail this anniversary, world’s leading Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn is touring a theatre show of illumination, intrigue, surprises, delights, humour, excitement and entertainment – a fast-moving and smart illustrated history of our forever national-heroes the Beatles, their brilliant album Abbey Road, and other major events of that extraordinary year 1969.

Mark Lewisohn has the world’s greatest archive of Beatles stuff, harvested over 40+ years of unrivalled deep access to archives and public and private collections. He will be showing audiences a stunning array of strong and relevant content, with rare music, photos, films and choice memorabilia. Audiences (even superfans) will see and hear things they didn’t know existed.

Hornsey Road (that intriguing title will be explained …), tells all about how the album was made and the many momentous events that occurred during its recording, when the Beatles were joyously together inside the recording studio but falling apart outside. This was the year of their breakup, and the album was made at a time of turmoil in their personal and business lives.

Abbey Road wasn’t just one of so many glorious and triumphant chapters in the Beatles’ unparalleled time together, it was their best-selling and last piece of work. Audiences at Hornsey Road will be constantly grabbed by the sights and sounds that show how it all came together.

Mark comments: "HORNSEY ROAD is all about Abbey Road, the people who made it and the time in which they did it. This artistic triumph was created at a hectic junction in the Beatles’ lives, and I’m going to be revealing the rich history, refreshing the remarkable stories behind its making, and bringing it all back by sight, sound and smell. I’ll be delivering an original and surprising look at this collection of great songs, superbly recorded by the Beatles and their producer George Martin fifty summers ago, and packaged in that highly-imitated cover art of the four of them on the zebra crossing in north London. I’ll be explaining the album’s making in the context of the 1969 contemporary music scene, and depicting the four Beatles as friends, bandmates and artistic individuals at the peak of their creative powers, crowning the many precedent-setting events of their previous six years together with this glorious parting shot."

 Here are details of the dates that have already been confirmed: Ticketmaster. An official site has also been established:

More Top of the Pops footage found

Still from found including John!

92 seconds worth of material from The Beatles' mimed performance of "Paperback Writer" from "Top of the Pops" in 1966 will be screened in Birmingham this Saturday.

The Beatles’ appearance on Top of the Pops in the summer of 1966 was thought to have been lost to history until 11 seconds of a mimed "Paperback Writer" from someone filming their TV screen in 1966 came to light late last year, and was shown on the BBC website earlier this year. But wait, there's more! Collector David Chandler recently handed over a series of 8mm film reels to Kaleidoscope, a group that specialises in recovering video and TV shows. Experts remastered the footage and enhanced the sound of the clip (or perhaps even dubbed what may have been silent footage), featuring 92 seconds of the Beatles performing "Paperback Writer". The reels also contained 9 more minutes worth of footage with other artists from the 1966 season of the music show.

Kaleidoscope’s chief executive, Chris Perry, said: "Kaleidoscope thought finding 11 seconds of Paperback Writer was incredible, but to then be donated 92 seconds – and nine minutes of other 1966 Top of the Pops footage – was phenomenal." 

The new version is likely to incorporate the previously released 11 seconds and comes from the same reel, but Chandler has now decided to set it all free.

The footage will be shown at Birmingham City University on Saturday, and the screening will feature talks from music and television professionals such as Ayshea Brough, the host of "Lift Off" on Granada Television in the 1960s and 70s.

The full list reads:
• Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin’ (17/11/66)
• Troggs – Anyway That You Want Me (15/12/66)
• Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich – Save Me (29/12/66)
• Dusty Springfield – Goin’ Back (30/6/66)
• Gene Pitney – Nobody Needs Your Love (30/6/66)
• The Hollies – Bus Stop (30/6/66)
• Ike and Tina Turner – A Love Like Yours promo film (17/11/66)
• The Shadows – The Dreams I Dream (17/11/66)
• Small Faces – My Mind’s Eye (15/12/66)
• Tom Jones – Green, Green Grass of Home (15/12/66)
• Cliff Richards and the Shadows – Cinderella at London Palladium rehearsal (12/66)
• The Beatles - Paperback Writer (16/6/66)
8mm film recorded from the television by David Chandler.

Watch the clip below:

...and here.

This Girl: The Cynthia Lennon Story

Playing in Liverpool during International Beatle Week.
During this year's International Beatle Week in Liverpool, a multimedia musical theatre piece called "This Girl: The Cynthia Lennon Story" will happen at the Hope Street Theatre in the city. Written, produced and directed by local playwright Mike Howl, "This Girl" tells the true story of Cynthia Powell (10 September 1939 – 1 April 2015) — a shy student from Hoylake who fell in love with a young musician called John when they met at Liverpool Art College in 1957. She became Cynthia Lennon, his wife, and mother of their son, Julian.

The play, which is also a musical featuring original songs, charts the emotional journey of Cynthia’s life before, during and after Beatlemania. It tells the story of a lovely person whose life was full of good times and bad times, but also one peppered with laughter and humour.

Helen Anderson, of Helen Anderson Designs and art school friend of Cynthia, is a consultant on story, casting, costumes and sets for the play. She will also appear as Cynthia's friend Helen on stage, portrayed by an actress.

Javier Parisi from Argentina has landed the part of John Lennon. The Argentinian is a Lennon lookalike, and have proven this in a series of videos on YouTube. Parisi also portrays John Lennon in the Argentinian Beatles cover band The Brothers, playing the guitar and singing.

This Girl: The Cynthia Lennon Story plays at The Hope Street Theatre in Liverpool during International Beatle Week, from Wednesday 21st to Monday 26th August, with two additional performances at the Adelphi Hotel on Sunday 25th August during the annual Beatle Convention. Tickets: £16.00.

Link to tickets.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

The full Amoeba

Amoeba Gig, soon to come from Paul McCartney.
Amoeba Gig is the first full length commercial release of Paul’s surprise free concert at Hollywood’s Amoeba Music on June 27, 2007. It will see an official release on July 12, 2019 on coloured as well as black 180 gram vinyl, CD and digital/streaming.

Original 4-track 12" vinyl EP, released 13 November 2007.
Previously, four of the songs saw wide release as the Amoeba’s Secret EP, two of which were nominated for Grammy Awards in 2008: "That Was Me" for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and "I Saw Her Standing There" for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. The other two songs on the EP were "Only Mama Knows" and "C Moon". The EP sleeve was designed by Paul himself, so the pixilated front cover photo was no mistake.

Some additional songs from the concert appeared on different editions of the Ever Present Past single, as follows:

CD Single
1. Ever Present Past
2. Only Mama Knows (Live from Amoeba)
3. Dance Tonight (Live from Amoeba)

7" Vinyl
Side A Ever Present Past
Side B House Of Wax (Live from Amoeba)

Digital Bundle (ie iTunes download package)
1. Ever Present Past
2. Only Mama Knows (Live From Amoeba)
3. That Was Me (Live From Amoeba)

So that made six tracks available to the general public. But more tracks were aired on the radio. The Santa Monica public radio station KCRW featured 10 songs as well as an interview with McCartney on their show, "Morning Becomes Eclectic" September 5th, 2007.

Even more songs from this concert, 14 in all, incorporating the ten tracks from KCRW, made their debut in better quality on the Norwegian NRK radio station P1 on the 9th of November, 2007. There they were broadcast one song after another without interruptions. And the radio station also published a web page in English to enable the whole world to listen to the 14 songs. The web page is still there, but the music's no longer available. The songs played were:

1. Drive My Car
2. Only Mama Knows
3. Dance Tonight
4. C Moon
5. That Was Me
6. Blackbird
7. Here Today
8. Back In The USSR
9. Nod Your Head
10. House of Wax
11. Get Back
12. Hey Jude
13. Lady Madonna
14. I Saw Her Standing There

In January 2009, the original 4-track EP "Amoeba's Secret" was released in the CD format.

A CD version of the original 4-track EP was released in January 2009.

The CD disc was made to look like a vinyl LP with stickers on the surface.
Then, in January 2010, a 12-track CD from the concert was available for free with the U.K. newspaper Mail on Sunday, titled "Live in Los Angeles – The Extended Set". All the songs included had previously been aired on the Nrk radio show in 2007.

12-track CD released in 2010 and was a freebie with Mail on Sunday in the U.K.

In Ireland, the CD came free with the Irish Mail On Sunday.
Back of "Mail on Sunday" version.
A couple of years later, in November 2012, the contents of the free Mail on Sunday CD was also made available as mp3 downloads to premium members  for a limited period of time. Premium membership no longer exists.

But now, come July 12, 2019, the full 21-song recording documenting possibly the most intimate L.A. show Paul has ever played will be made available to the public for the first time. The millions of people not among the luckier than lucky few hundred rubbing elbows with the likes of Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Alanis Morrisette and Woody Harrelson during that once in a lifetime in-store set will be able to get hold of the previously unavailable songs from this concert, like "The Long And Winding Road," "I’ll Follow The Sun," "I’ve Got A Feeling," "Calico Skies," "Matchbox," "Baby Face" and additionally, the LP will include an exclusive soundcheck recording of "Coming Up."

Amoeba Gig has been newly remixed by Paul’s engineer Steve Orchard and will be available in configurations including CD, 2 x 180g black vinyl, and limited edition color vinyl (LP1 - clear, LP2 - hazy amber transparent).

Incidentally, this may be Paul's only concert since 1989 not to feature Paul "Wix" Wickens. He was busy organising a tribute concert for the late Princess Diana back in London, and was replaced in Paul's band on this concert by David Arch on keyboards.

Amoeba Gig (CD)
1. Drive My Car
2. Only Mama Knows
3. Dance Tonight
4. C Moon
5. The Long And Winding Road
6. I’ll Follow The Sun
7. Calico Skies
8. That Was Me
9. Blackbird
10. Here Today
11. Back In The USSR
12. Nod Your Head
13. House Of Wax
14. I’ve Got A Feeling
15. Matchbox
16. Get Back
17. Baby Face
18. Hey Jude
19. Let It Be
20. Lady Madonna
21. I Saw Her Standing There

Amoeba Gig (LP)
Side A:
1. Drive My Car
2. Only Mama Knows
3. Dance Tonight
4. C Moon
5. The Long And Winding Road
6. I’ll Follow The Sun

Side B:
1. Calico Skies
2. That Was Me
3. Blackbird
4. Here Today
5. Back In The USSR
6. Nod Your Head

Side C:
1. House Of Wax
2. I’ve Got A Feeling
3. Matchbox
4. Get Back

Side D:
1. Baby Face
2. Hey Jude
3. Let It Be
4. Lady Madonna
5. I Saw Her Standing There
6. Coming Up [Soundcheck]

The Amoeba Gig release is only one of four releases from Paul on July 12, but the other three are re-releases of previously available albums, although "CHOBA B CCCP" and "Paul Is Live" have been remastered at Abbey Road Studios. Strangely, it seems to be the original 11-track version of "CHOBA" which sees re-release, even though this was replaced with a 13 track version in both the Soviet Union in 1988 and in the rest of the world in 1991... Full details are available from Paul's website.

Monday, 20 May 2019

The chip shop where Paul met John

A couple of Beatles fans from Liverpool have tried to pinpoint the exact newsagents and chip shop where Paul McCartney had his first encounter with John Lennon. Paul has been very coy about this, and refused to disclose the location when asked by Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn. There were a couple of John-Paul encounters before the famous Woolton village féte July 6, 1957. Paul has recalled seeing John on the bus and then they crossed paths again as Paul was delivering newspapers at a newsagent. He has, when picking up Bono (of U2 fame) from the airport, pointed out the location to him. According to Matt Damon, who was informed about this by Bono himself, Lennon gave McCartney half of his chocolate bar on this occasion.

After having arrived at a plausible address, which is not the one Mark Lewisohn arrived at, but before their theory was published, Paul McCartney published a music video for "Fuh You", which was shot in Liverpool. And lo and behold, the boy in the video is around that location!

Where Paul really met John?

The new research relies on memories by local residents and the fact that this particular newsagent kept its original name among local customers, decades after it actually had changed names and owners.

Check out the full story over at the excellent blog Beatles Liverpool Locations.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Barry Wom has had enough

New solo single from Barry Wom (Barrington Womble) of The Rutles fame.
Forty years have passed since The Rutles. Everybody knows what happened to Ron, Dirk and Stig, but what of their drummer and resident hairdresser Barry Wom? For over 2 years we trawled the pie shops and hostelries of this land and finally found Barry. In fact, we found 2 Barry’s. So, did he become 2 hairdressers? All will be revealed in ENOUGH!

Available from:

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

The Quarrymen live in Eger, Hungary

The Quarrymen on the stage in Hungary.
From our Hungarian correspondent, Gabor Peterdi:

John Lennon’s original The Quarrymen - Colin Hanton, Len Garry, Rod Davis and Chas Newby – have given their first concert on Sunday 12. May 2019 in Eger, Hungary at Gardonyi Geza Theatre.

At the Beatles Museum
The band have arrived on Friday to celebrate the fourth birthday of Egri Road Beatles Museum, together with numerous international guests at Hotel Korona.
They talked about the very early days, sharing their stories – some never heard before – with the press and then had a walk-through at the museum. They unveiled an autographed portrait of their friend, John Lennon before attending a reception at the City Hall.

After visiting the minaret, the castle and other sights, they attended a meet and greet and also stayed for the night’s two concerts by The BeatleVs (Ukraine) and Zoltan Czutor and friends (Hungary). Everybody had a huge get together on stage, singing "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Hey Jude".

On Sunday the band visited the city’s well-known entertainment center, the "Valley Of Beautiful Women" where they sampled a bit of the world-famous wines "Bulls Blood" and "Stars Of Eger" and left their autographs on the brick Wall of Fame.

After tasting ’Gulash’ – made the way it should be made - they went for a short soundcheck at the theatre where they gave a highly successful one-hour concert, joining Hungary’s best Beatles tribute band The BlackBirds for their joint finale.

It was a night everybody will remember. The Quarrymen is soon following up their unforgettable Hungarian gig with one at the Cavern Club. Thanks Colin, Len, Rod and Chas for keeping the music alive!

The brick wall of fame
We also published a limited edition (100 only) 28-page comic book for the occasion.
From the museum
Quarrymen and friends

360 degrees video:

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Worried About That American Trip? Not Us, Say John and George

June Harris interviewed John Lennon and George Harrison just before their first U.S. visit.
The Beatles: Worried About That American Trip? Not Us, Say John and George
June Harris, Disc, 8 February 1964

TOMORROW (Friday) is B-Day in New York. And in New York. The Beatles mean big business! They will arrive at 1.40 p.m. to be met with an all-stops-out reception at the Kennedy International Airport.As they step out of the Pan Am jet they will be greeted by Capitol Records president Alan Livingston and will be presented with a Gold Disc each for the million-plus sales of their current U.S. number one, «I Want To Hold Your Hand».
Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, will also receive a special gold disc.
The Beatles will then be whisked into the VIP lounge for a reception, before the smart limousines drive them into the city.
Their 10-day trip will be packed with personal appearances, TV shows, interviews, photographic sessions and Press conferences.
Tickets for their Carnegie Hall debut on February 12 – an American national holiday – have all been sold out. The Uline Hall in Washington reports the same frenzied rush for seats.
What does it all mean to the four boys from Liverpool who, a year ago, were content with one hit disc?
Over to George Harrison, who said: «My only problem is wondering how I’m going to pack all my baggage into the 66lb allowance! Worried about our American trip? Not at all! It’s something to look forward to.»
John Lennon can’t wait to get there! «It’s going to be fab,» he told me from Paris. «I know we’re not going to have much time to do anything, but I shall still buy stacks of records. None of us is nervous about our personal appearances or anything like that,» he continued. «The Americans are just going to get exactly the same thing as the British, French and all the rest of them.»
Will The Beatles have a baggage problem? «Not as far as our equipment is concerned,» says George. «We’re not taking our amplifiers, and Ringo’s not taking his drum kit. We’ve been promised the use of everything we need over there.»
But although they’re not particularly worried about America, The Beatles have honoured the trip by having new suits made for their concerts and TV shows.
«They’s light grey,» said John. «Four buttons and a funny kind of pleated back with velvet collars. But other than this, we haven’t gone raving mad buying things for the trip. We just haven’t had time!»

Friday, 10 May 2019

Beatles in Twickenham exhibition

"The Beatles in Twickenham" exhibition at The Exchange, local arts and community centre.
May 2nd saw another Beatles exhibition open, "The Beatles in Twickenham", exploring the connections The Beatles had with this area back in the swinging sixties. Of course, Twickenham Studios is where most indoor scenes in The Beatles films "A Hard day's Night" and "Help!" took place, but also outdoor scenes for such places as the Beatles' mutual apartment with four entrance doors in Ailsa Avenue and the local pub "The Turk's Head" where Ringo went parading in "A Hard Day's Night".

A familiar face at the opening of the exhibition, London Beatles guide Richard Porter.
The exhibition is free and will stay up until August 16th, 2019. It was intended to be sort of a fiftieth anniversary thing for the filming of the "Hey Jude" promo film as well as half of the "Let It Be" filming sessions, but opened a bit late to mark both those occasions. The Exchange, a local arts and community centre hosts the exhibition, and is operated by St Mary’s University.

Showing off an acetate...
In conjunction with the exhibition, a number of events are expected, with film screenings of "A Hard day's Night" and "Eight Days A Week", and on May 17th, Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn will have a conversation with Dr Richard Mills from St Mary’s University where he will analyse all the Beatles film activity in Twickenham and other connections with the area.

A local resident, Robin Hunter, whose father was a sound engineer on both the "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" films has lent to the exhibition an acetate of the Beatles, which he has inherited. The contents of which seems to be a guide-track for "You're Going To Lose That Girl".

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

George Harrison's Futurama up for sale

Image: Bonhams
For the very first time, George Harrison's guitar from The Beatles’ early days in Hamburg - a Resonet Futurama - is heading for auction at Bonhams later this year. The vintage guitar will hit the auction block in London on June 12, with an estimate of £200,000 – £300,000.

Manufactured for a very short period in the late 1950s, the Resonet Grazioso guitar was made by the Drevokov company in Czechoslovakia. Strongly inspired by the Fender Stratocaster, it featured some advanced designs like its complex tremolo unit and individual pick-up selector switches.

Because the embargo in place on American made goods, the Selmer Company in London decided to import the Grazioso and renamed it the Futurama: it was certainly the best and most futuristic electric guitar available in the UK at the time. It became the first solid body guitar of many young English rock’n’rollers, among them Albert Lee, Jimmy Page and of course George Harrison.

"If I’d had my way, the Strat would have been my first guitar. I’d seen Buddy Holly’s Strat… on the Chirping Crickets album cover, and tried to find one. But in Liverpool in those days the only thing I could find resembling a Strat was a Futurama. It was very difficult to play, [the strings were] about half-an-inch off the fingerboard… but nevertheless it did look kind of futuristic." - George Harrison, quoted in Beatles Gear.

Playing the guitar.
George Harrison originally bought the guitar at Hessy’s music shop in Liverpool in November 1959, and recalled the moment in the Beatles ‘Anthology’ book:

“Paul came with me when I bought the Futurama.  It was on the wall with all the other guitars, and Paul plugged it into the amp but he couldn’t get any sound out of it, so he turned the sound right up.  The guitar had three rocker switches, and I just hit one and there was an almighty boom through the amplifier, and all the other guitars fell off the wall.”

As Harrison was still only 16 at the time, his mother had to sign the purchase agreement for him, and records show the account was later paid off by Brian Epstein when he became the band’s manager. George played the guitar at the Larry Parnes audition and during their tour of Scotland with Johnny Gentle.

In August 1960, Harrison took the Futurama with him to Hamburg, Germany, where The Beatles first played at the Indra Club, and later at the Kaiserkeller, as well as a few stints jamming with Tony Sheridan at the Top Ten Club.

However, when The Beatles came back from Hamburg, the neck of George's guitar was damaged, and therefore he struck a deal with Pete Best's brother Rory. While George's Futurama was sent away for repair, he suggested a swap. Mona Best had bought Rory an identical Futurama to George's, but his was in pristine condition, due to the fact that Rory had yet to master the instrument. So George traded his own guitar for Rory's and promised to give Rory guitar lessons, something he never came around to.

Rory Best: "George had a problem with the neck of his guitar. Futuramas were made in Yugoslavia (sic) and it had to be sent there to be repaired. He asked if he could borrow mine and I said, 'Only if you teach me guitar.' So he borrowed it for a year, I think. He never did teach me. And what was an absolute pristine guitar came back somewhat the worse for wear, shall we say." 

So the photos from the Beatles' second trip to Hamburg depict George with Rory's Resonet Futurama. George used Rory's guitar in Liverpool and Hamburg, and it's actually Rory's guitar you can hear on the Polydor recordings from June 1961, like "Cry For A Shadow". After having purchased a used 1957 Gretsch 6128 Duo Jet later in 1961, George gave the Resonet Futurama back to Rory, who in turn later gave it to his little brother, Roag. That guitar has previously been displayed at the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool. When Roag opened up his own Magical History Museum in Liverpool last year, the guitar is now on display there.

The story of this guitar swap seems to be unknown for Bonhams, and is not mentioned in their press release.

The guitar in the guitar case. Image: Beatles Gear.
Harrison's own guitar is the one which is being auctioned off in June. In 1964, George gave the guitar to Beat Instrumental Magazine to offer as a competition prize.

However, the winner of the competition, AJ Thompson of Saltdean, Sussex, chose to receive a cash prize rather than the guitar, and it remained in the collection of the magazine’s publisher Sean O’Mahoney (aka Johnny Dean), who also published the official Beatles Monthly fan magazine.

O’Mahoney: "I asked the winner if he played guitar. He didn’t. So I said, ‘Would you rather have the money?’ and he said yes, so I have him some money. He didn’t want the guitar, he wanted the money - which I was very pleased about. I still have the guitar today. There are some Hamburg stickers on the case." (From Beatles Gear)

The guitar has now been consigned by one of O’Mahoney’s relatives and is completely fresh to the market.

Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia specialist, Claire Tole-Moir, said, "It is both rare and exciting to see a Beatles' guitar of this nature come onto the market. George Harrison is one of the biggest names in Rock and Roll history, and we are privileged to be handling such a special guitar that dates from an early period in the Beatles' history, when the band were learning their craft and developing their sound that was soon to sweep the world. It has been treasured for so many years and comes to auction for the very first time. I anticipate huge interest from collectors."

Bonhams press release for the guitar
Magical History Museum

Party on Savile Row

The blue plaque adorning the wall at 3, Savile Row in London.
Celebration for the Blue Plaque at 3 Savile Row – 28th April.
There will be an informal gathering outside 3 Savile Row on Sunday 28th April to celebrate the new Blue Plaque which marks The Beatles’ rooftop concert in January 1969.

Richard Porter, one of the committee to erect the plaque said "I have been guiding Beatles tours in London for over 25 years, and visit Savile Row at least 3 days a week. On nearly every tour I am asked why there is no commemoration to the Beatles on the building. I was therefore delighted when I was approached by David Rosen of Pilcher Hershman, a fellow Beatles fan who works in Savile Row, with the idea of forming a committee to put up a Blue Plaque. We got together with fellow Beatles fans,  Mark Baxter of Mono Media Films, and David Stark of Songlink, to make it happen. As 3 Savile Row is a listed building, it took a long time for the plaque to be approved, but finally we were delighted to get the green light from Westminster Council."

Amongst the guests who are expected to attend the celebration include Kevin Harrington, a former employee of Apple, who famously held up the lyrics of ‘Dig a Pony’ for John Lennon, who couldn’t remember the lyrics of his own song! Another special guest will be Barry Miles, who was head of ‘Zapple’ and now a respected author.

The original ‘Apple Scruffs’ will take their place on the steps of 3 Savile Row, just as they did 50 years ago!

The event will start at 11am at 3 Savile Row and continue later at a nearby pub.

The team responsible for the blue plaque.