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".