Friday, 18 January 2019

Backbeat Blu-ray extras

Finally on Blu-ray (USA A1 region coded)
Shout Factory has detailed its upcoming Blu-ray release of Iain Softley's film Backbeat (1994). The release will be available for purchase on February 19.

Synopsis: From the director of K-PAX, Hackers, and Skeleton Key, and starring Sheryl Lee (Twin Peaks), Stephen Dorff (Blade, Cold Creek Manor), and Ian Hart (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) BACKBEAT is an energetic musical drama chronicling the pre-fame Beatles as they head to Hamburg in search of success. As they gain popularity, the "fifth Beatle," bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff), falls in love and ultimately must choose between his best friend John Lennon (Ian Hart), his new love Astrid Kirchherr (Sheryl Lee) – and the greatest rock-and-roll band in the world.

 Winner of the London Film Critics Circle's British Newcomer of the Year Award and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for Best Film Music, the 1993 film features a soundtrack that includes music from Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), David Pirner (Soul Asylum) and Mike Mills (R.E.M.).

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • A Conversation with Astrid Kirchherr
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Interviews with Iain Softley and actor Ian Hart
  • Iain Softley interview for the Sundance Channel
  • Audio commentary with Iain Softley, Ian Hart, and Stephen Dorff
  • TV Featurette
  • Casting Session
  • Optional English subtitles for the main feature

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Pete takes a year off

Pete Best and the rest of the Beatles at the Iron Door, Liverpool, 1961. Colourised.
Roag Best, Pete Best's brother announced earlier today that Pete is taking the year off from rock'n'roll and the Beatles. This means that he will give no interviews, no personal appearances, no audience, and no concerts. The latter has one excepttion and that's the annual Best Fest. This year's do will be the 11th such event. So, if you want to see Pete Best this year it's Best Fest 11 or nothing.

Best Fest 11 details and tickets available at

Beatles lyrics, mapped

The people at Vanity Fair have published a video which are using Google maps to take the viewer on a Beatles voyage without leaving their couch. On the 20th of December last year, they published "Every Place in Beatles Lyrics, Mapped" on YouTube. While this is a bit of an exaggeration, it's still an enjoyable 12+ minutes long film which will take you to several spots around the globe.

"Take yourself on a tour of lyric locations in The Beatles songs. From Eleanor Rigby's gravestone in Liverpool to Abbey Road in North London, see the locations behind The Beatles lyrics throughout England, France, Russia, India, the United States, and more countries, covering 25,510 miles around the world."

Of course, there are several mistakes in the video, which you will notice if you're well versed in Beatles history. For instance, the video claims that Paul McCartney was inspired by Eleanor Rigby's tombstone when he wrote that song, whereas he has never acknowledged this himself, attributing "Eleanor" to actress Eleanor Bron from the "Help!" film. "Rigby" supposedly comes from a shop, "Rigby's" in Bristol which McCartney happened to drive by while trying to come up with a name for the song. Still, "Eleanor Rigby" from the tombstone may have lurked in his subconsciousness and made the two names click in his mind.

No "Norwegian woods" in this video, though!

The Bruce McMouse Show gets website

Bruce McMouse gets big screen debut. © Copyright MPL
The Bruce McMouse Show now has it's own website! Shelved in 1977, this "Wings Over Europe 1972" tour film mixes a story about animated mice with a selection of complete songs from Paul McCartney & Wings. The film will now get limited screenings in Australia, Canada, U.K. and USA, starting January 21. It's also available on Blu-ray/DVD in the Super DeLuxe edition of "Red Rose Speedway", which was released in December 2018.

When the film was finally completed in 1977, there was another film in the works, "Rockshow" from Wings' 1976 tour of the USA. And even that film got outdated when Joe English and Jimmy McCullough departed from the group in 1977.

Paul has the mouse in the palm of his hand © Copyright MPL
The Bruce McMouse Show was directed by Barry Chattington and produced by Roger Cherrill with the live elements taken from four shows in Holland and Germany in 1972. As often is with Paul McCartney's concert films, each song features footage from several shows with Paul wearing different outfits. The songs have also been sweetened for the soundtrack, all the guitars and vocals are in tune and all instruments are audible. Scenes of Paul and the band interacting with the mice on stage were shot without the audiences.

Prior to the European tour Paul had the idea of a family of mice and sketched the characters. Picking up the idea, Eric Wylam took Paul’s sketches and created the final McMouse family. This storyline was incorporated and used as a linking theme within the concert footage. The voice-overs for the animated mice took place at the end of 1973, recorded by Paul and Linda McCartney, Deryck Guyler, Pat Coombs and Derek Nimmo.

Production stretched from 1972 through to 1977 when the film was complete, however with changes in the band’s line-up and music scene, the project was shelved. The Bruce McMouse Show has been fully restored in 2018 at Final Frame Post alongside a brand-new audio mix (stereo and 5.1) created at AIR Studios where it was also mastered.


Thursday, 3 January 2019

Quarrymen concert poster discovered

An original Quarrymen concert poster from 1959 has been discovered
An original Quarrymen concert poster from 1959 has been discovered by Pete Howard at The poster was recently acknowledged by Roag Best as genuine. The poster is for Saturday appearances of the band at the Casbah Club, which opened in 1959. The group had by then shed all of John Lennon's gang of childhood friends from his neighbourhood and was now made up by the core of what was to become the Beatles - John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney, with additional member Ken Brown.

Pete Howard was the publisher of ICE magazine from 1987 to 2006 and was a contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine, 1988-1995.

Here's Howard's video blog with his recent discovery:

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Surprise song from McCartney

Get Enough - a new song from Paul
As we entered the New Year, Paul McCartney surprised us by releasing a new song on various streaming services, including Spotify and YouTube Music.
It has been receiving mixed feelings from fans, but it still grown on you the more you hear it. Much of the controversy stems from McCartney employing the "Cher effect", which is extreme use of the auto-tune tool, as pioneered by Cher in her 1998 song "Believe". McCartney starts singing without the effect, but it is used more and more as the song progresses. The song then takes a new, orchestral direction before it ends.

The song comes from the recording sessions for "Egypt Station" and is co-composed with Ryan Tedder, who also acted as co-producer together with Zach Skelton and Paul himself.
It's possibly slated for the DeLuxe boxed set of "Egypt Station" which was originally going to be available in October 2018, but which has been postponed. Here is the song, from YouTube Music:

℗ Capitol Records; ℗ 2019 MPL Communications Ltd, under exclusive license to UMG Recordings, Inc.

Released on: 2019-01-01

Producer, Associated  Performer, Programming, Background  Vocalist: Ryan Tedder
Producer, Studio  Personnel, Editor, Associated  Performer, Programming: Zach Skelton
Producer, Co- Producer, Associated  Performer, Vocals, Bass  Guitar, Piano, Acoustic  Guitar, Harpsichord, Synthesizer, Synth  Bass: Paul McCartney
Studio  Personnel, Engineer: Steve Orchard
Studio  Personnel, Engineer: Rich Rich
Studio  Personnel, Asst.  Recording  Engineer: Keith Smith
Studio  Personnel, Asst.  Recording  Engineer: Jamie Kirkham
Studio  Personnel, Mixer: Mark Stent
Studio  Personnel, Assistant  Mixer: Michael Freeman
Studio  Personnel, Mastering  Engineer: Randy Merrill
Composer  Lyricist: Paul McCartney
Composer  Lyricist: Ryan Tedder