Friday, 29 March 2019

Dont Bother me - live performance?

Set list in Paul McCartney's handwriting includes "Don't Bother Me".
Up for auction at Gotta Have Rock and Roll is a Beatles setlist, signed on the flip side by Ringo and John. The interesting thing is that it lists "Don't Bother Me", George's first composition. This is a song which we didn't think was ever performed live by the group, and the jury's still out. The list is short, which begs the question: Did the Beatles both open and close the show? This would mean two set lists, one for opening the show and one for closing it.
Signed by Ringo and John on the reverse.
The item is listed as: "A Beatles Set List For A Concert At Cheltenham England 1963
The set list illustrated above has been written in the hand of Paul McCartney and signed on the reverse by John and Ringo".

Cheltenham would make it November 1, 1963 - the only time they played there - but the set list doesn't match. Some of this concert was filmed (see footage at the end of the YouTube interview clip), and Ringo was singing "Boys" - not "I Wanna Be Your Man". Their hit single "She Loves You" is not on the list either, and they would have performed that song in November of 1963.

Here's what The Beatles Bible has to say about November 1, 1963:

The Beatles' fourth British tour of 1963 opened on this evening with a performance at the Odeon Cinema in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

This was the group's first series of concerts as unchallenged headliners. The Beatles topped a bill featuring five other acts: The Rhythm & Blues Quartet, The Vernons Girls, The Brook Brothers, Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers, and The Kestrels. The compere on the tour dates was Frank Berry.

The following day a report in the Daily Mirror newspaper carried the headline: "Beatlemania! It's happening everywhere.. even in sedate Cheltenham". This is believed to be the first use of the word in print; by the end of the year it would be widely used.

According to that same article in The Beatles Bible, the set list for that particular tour went like this:

I Saw Her Standing There
From Me To You
All My Loving
You Really Got A Hold On Me
Roll Over Beethoven
Till There Was You
She Loves You
Money (That's What I Want)
Twist And Shout.

The first four numbers of course correspond with the set list now on auction, but on that list, George's "Roll Over Beethoven" is substituted by his own composition "Don't Bother Me" and Ringo's "Boys" by the Lennon-McCartney original "I Wanna Be Your Man".
Ticket stub for the second show that evening.
Still, they played two concerts in Cheltenham on that day, so perhaps they catered for the fans who came to both shows? By playing a couple of different songs for them, treating them to a few more numbers from the upcoming "With The Beatles" LP which was due out November 22?

No indication of two sets by The Beatles in the programme listing.

The same set list is depicted at the we-buy-beatles website, operated by UK memorabilia specialists, Tracks. That illustration also identifies it as Cheltenham 1963.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

An accidental studio: the story on HandMade Films

Bill Jones (son of Monty Python Terry) and Ben Timlet have completed "An Accidental Studio", the story of Handmade Films. It’s on AMC in the UK May 4th, and internationally later in the year.

Coming to the rescue of Life Of Brian when the money fell at the last minute, George Harrison offered to fund the entire movie, mortgaging his house and his office to do so. As a Monty Python fan he credited the Python’s humour for saving his sanity whilst he was a Beatle. Now it was his turn to pay them back. The film was a massive hit, so successful in fact that they decided to set up a company - HandMade Films.

In a rare moment in film history HandMade dominated the British movie scene with its ethos of making and releasing maverick films that everyone else had rejected, from "Monty Python's Life Of Brian", "The Long Good Friday", Terry Gilliam's "Time Bandits" to "Mona Lisa" and "Withnail And I". George’s generosity in helping others fulfil their dreams, and his hands-off approach allowed filmmakers to shine in their work. As their films won awards and launched careers, HandMade became more than a happy accident. It became a signature of collaboration and integrity.

With unreleased archive interviews and footage with Harrison, exclusive interviews with Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Richard E. Grant, Neil Jordan, and unseen interviews with Bob Hoskins, An Accidental Studio explores HandMade’s baptism by fire, the risks it took in producing uniquely crafted intelligent films and the stories that grew up around it.


Sunday, 24 March 2019

Lost Top of the pops footage found?

From the press call for Top of The Pops June 16th, 1966¨
Although by June 1966 it had been running for over two years, The Beatles had never previously appeared live on the BBC music show Top Of The Pops. They had pre-recorded exclusive performances in BBC studios, or sent promotional clips to be played on the show.

That changed on the 16th of June 1966, with a studio performance of new single "Paperback Writer". The Beatles had agreed two days previously, when manager Brian Epstein passed on a request from Top Of The Pops producer Johnnie Stewart. Unusually, on this occasion The Beatles agreed.

The group arrived at BBC Television Centre at 2.30pm for a rehearsal for the camera, and to pose for publicity photographs and conduct press interviews. More rehearsals followed between 4.15pm and 5.30, and from 6.30pm to 7pm.

The live broadcast took place between 7.30pm and 8pm on BBC One. The Beatles were the final act to appear, and mimed to both "Paperback Writer" and its b-side, "Rain". They were introduced by host Pete Murray.

From the performance: The Beatles mime to "Rain" and "Paperback Writer".
The Beatles' performance has since been wiped by the BBC, and the footage no longer exists in their archives. However, in 2010 a clip of The Hollies performing "Bus Stop" from the same season of Top of the Pops, in front of the same stage decoration as the Beatles, was posted on YouTube by a retired film editor based in the USA. Sadly, he only had that particular clip, but the appearance of the clip has rekindled hope that someone may be in the possession of the Beatles footage.

And today, UK newspaper Sunday Mirror rekindled that hope, as this clip shows:

Newspaper clipping from today's Sunday Mirror.
Q: I did a lot of taping of TV back in the 1960's, using 8mm cine film. One great clip shows The Beatles on Top Of The Pops on June 16, 1966. I believe it was the only time they were on the show live - though they actually mimed "Paperback Writer". I've been told this episode has been wiped clean and no other copies are available. With current technology I'm sure some studio out there could clean it up to make a good copy. I've sent you some stills to see what you think. David Chandler, via email.

A: You could be on to a Fab Fourtune here. The Beatles were introduced by DJ Pete Murray and the appearance has drawn lots of comment on internet forums. Depending on how many - if any - other tapes are out there, yours could be worth several thousand pounds. It certainly requires an in-person inspection.

Of course, the figure of "several thousand pounds" will only be realised if a collector is interested in buying the clip, which will then have to be sold without any copyright. The BBC do not have a policy of paying for material they themselves have lost over the years.

Thanks go to our reader Chris Fisher, who sent us the newspaper clipping!

This was The Beatles' last performance on a TV pop show, and as far as we know, the only time this performance of "Rain" was televised.

"Paperback Writer" was repeated 17 June 1966 BBC2 'Line-up Review'
"Paperback Writer" was repeated 30 June 1966 BBC1 'Top Of The Pops'
"Paperback Writer" was repeated 26 December 1966 BBC1 'Top Of the Pops '66'

Sample photo from the 8mm cine film.
So Chandler may have captured one of these repeats with his 8mm cine camera. Furthermore, it seems that only 11 seconds of "Paperback Writer" was captured, and that it has been examined by Kaleidoscope. It's expected that the segment will be aired during one of the "Missing believed wiped" events later this year.

The text about The Beatles' TV-appearance on June 16 courtesy of The Beatles Bible.

Friday, 22 March 2019

The Beatles - Made on Merseyside

Next Friday, 29 March 2019, BBC Four will be broadcasting a special TV programme, "The Beatles - Made on Merseyside".

They defined music and popular culture like no other band ever will. But how did The Beatles make the journey from Merseyside teenagers to international pop stars in the 1960s? The Beatles: Made on Merseyside recounts how American rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues dragged post-war Liverpool into one of the most vibrant music cities ever with the Mersey Sound.

Featuring unique archive and revealing interviews from those involved in the early years of The Beatles in Liverpool and Hamburg, we discover the story of The Beatles’ previous band formations and why it took so long for them to achieve success. From school bands to colleges, Hamburg to The Cavern Club, The Beatles moved from skiffle to rock ‘n’ roll before creating their unique sound.

The programme will last for 1 hour and 22 minutes and will be available on the internet after it has been on the air. Sadly, the net edition will only be available in the U.K.


I will also like to take this opportunity to apologise for the lack of posts lately. It's just that I haven't been inspired to write anything worthwhile. This situation is likely to continue, at least for the time being. I am still editor-in-chief of the Norwegian Wood Beatles fanzine in Norwegian, and we have just published another 100 page issue. I also still blog in Norwegian on The Daily Beatle also still has a presence on Facebook, where I mainly post links to news items about the Beatles and Paul, Ringo, etc.

I should also inform you that due to changes in Google, comments on blog posts made by people who were logged in with their Google+ user accounts will suddenly disappear. Google does what Google wants, I guess.

Friday, 8 March 2019

One double super album

The best selling Beatles album in the U.S.A.

The late Sir George Martin wanted to have the Beatles' "White album" as "one super single album" by weeding out the songs he felt were surplus and below par. Now the ultimate proof of how wrong he was is delivered by RIAA who, based on sales, February 21, 2019 have certified that the album is the most successful of all Beatles albums, at least in USA.

The "White album", probably helped by last year's 50th anniversary editions has been certified as to have achieved Diamond status 24 times over. Only three more albums in the RIAA history has achieved 24 x Diamond, the other ones being Eagles "Their Greatest Hits 1971 - 1975" 38 x Diamond, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" at 33 x Diamond and then Eagles again, with "Hotel California" at 26 x Diamond.

The Beatles already hold top honours as the highest certified band in Gold and Diamond Award history, with 178 million certifications across a wide range of titles, including the iconic "White Album." Other albums by The Beatles that have surpassed Diamond certification include "The Beatles 1967-1970" ("Blue album") at 17 X Diamond, "The Beatles 1962-1966" ("Red album") at 15 X Diamond, "Abbey Road" at 12 X Diamond, "1" at 11 X Diamond, and "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" at 11 X Diamond.

"The Beatles are undoubtedly one of the most influential bands of all time, with music that stands the test of time,” said Mitch Glazier, Chairman and CEO, RIAA. “The magic of John, Paul, George, and Ringo continues to be experienced by new fans across the country and we are honoured to present them with this milestone achievement. Diamond status is already a rare feat – for an album to go 24X Platinum it has truly become part of America’s cultural fabric. Congratulations to the band and their families, Apple Corps, Capitol and UMe, and all who helped create this album and bring it to the world."

Now why they are calling it 24 x Platinum when all other sources say 24 x Diamond and the press release shows the album with a "24 x Diamond" badge, we have no idea. Maybe RIAA are rattling their jewellery.

RIAA Press release
RIAA Top sellers