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