Thursday, 29 August 2019

BBC Radio 2 with Beatles pop-up station

BBC Radio 2 Beatles’ digital radio pop-up station to celebrate Abbey Road’s 50th Anniversary
BBC Radio 2 will celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album with RADIO 2 BEATLES, a four-day pop-up DAB radio station. It will feature programmes fronted by Gary Barlow, John Bishop, Martin Freeman, Guy Garvey, Dave Grohl, Giles Martin, Cerys Matthews, Paul Merton and many more hosting shows along with Radio 2 presenters including Zoe Ball, Sara Cox and Jo Whiley, and other huge fans of the Fab Four!

Broadcasting from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 September from London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios, the station will honour John, Paul, George and Ringo as a group, as individual artists, and as songwriters. All the live shows on Radio 2 Beatles will come direct from Abbey Road - with some also simulcast on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds - and broadcast alongside pre-recorded specials and classic Beatles content from the unique BBC archive.

All programmes featured on Radio 2 Beatles will be available to listen to on BBC Sounds (you may need to register, but it's free and registration from outside the UK is also accepted) for 30 days after broadcast.

Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 says: “The Beatles are woven into the fabric of UK culture. They inspired and continue to inspire artists of all generations and created some of the world's most loved music. As their seminal album Abbey Road is 50 years old, I am delighted that Radio 2 is celebrating the Fab Four with a four-day pop-up DAB radio station.”

Programme highlights include We Write The Songs, where Gary Barlow interviews Paul McCartney about the music, where Paul discusses how The Beatles only began writing because other bands were stealing their act, and describing how he’s stayed at the top of the music business for six decades.

In the series My Beatles, Dave Grohl, Jack Savoretti and Tom Odell talk about the influence the Fab Four’s music had on them; across the daily series I Was There, the likes of Tony Blackburn and radio critic Gillian Reynolds talk about what it was really like being part of the swinging Sixties, whilst Martin Freeman presents the story of The White Album across two shows.

6 Music Breakfast and Desert Island Discs host Lauren Laverne presents Desert Island Beatles, featuring the many guests who’ve selected one of their group or solo records, as a must-have track, plus Liza Tarbuck meets pop-artist and Sgt. Pepper sleeve designer Sir Peter Blake, while Jimmy Tarbuck hosts an hour of novelty versions of hit Beatles songs.

Gary Barlow says: “It was an absolute honour that Paul McCartney, one of my true heroes and a legendary songwriting genius, agreed to talk in depth about his work for my Radio 2 series We Write The Songs. This particular episode really is a masterclass from the master! I am thrilled to launch my first series on the network as part of Radio 2 Beatles, which sounds like it is going to be four days of unmissable radio.”

Simulcast on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds, and broadcasting live from Abbey Road studios on Thursday morning, Radio 2 Beatles will be launched by Ken Bruce whose show will feature a special Beatles themed Tracks Of My Years and PopMaster quiz (9.30am-12pm). Later that day, Jo Whiley will present her Radio 2 evening show live from Abbey Road with live performances and very special guests (7pm-9pm). On the Friday, the day kicks off with The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, with a special Friends Round Friday (6.30am-9.30am) including music from Rick Astley.

Later that day, Sara Cox is joined by the listeners for a Beatles All Request Friday (5pm-7pm), and that evening Friday Night Is Music Night presents The Beatles Orchestrated. Guy Garvey will be hosting, with the BBC Concert Orchestra and a guest list of artists, including Cerys Matthews, Katie Melua, Level 42’s Mark King, alongside Guy himself, all performing songs from across the Beatles catalogue (8pm-10pm). On the Saturday morning Dermot O’Leary presents his show live from Abbey Road (8am-10am), followed by an extra hour exclusive to the Pop-Up, where Dermot speaks to writer Richard Curtis about his recent film Yesterday (10am-11am).

Other shows exclusive to Radio 2 Beatles include Grace Dent presenting Hip to the Trip focussing on free love, fashion and The Fab Four, while Nicky Campbell discusses the crucial role played by the band’s producer Sir George Martin, with his son Giles. Actor Himesh Patel, the star of the movie Yesterday, tells the incredible story behind Abbey Road - the band’s last recorded album - in a new two-part special and songwriter Guy Chambers looks at the genius of their lyrics and melody.

Craig Charles uncovers some of the BBC’s incredible archive audio, and Paul Merton takes to the imaginary stage to introduce The Beatles Fantasy Concert, featuring the ultimate collection of live performances recorded by The Beatles as a band and as solo artists. Scott Mills takes us on an alphabetical trip through the Beatles back catalogue, Paul Gambaccini tells the musical story from the other side of the Atlantic, and Tris Penna presents a four-part series charting each of the Fab Four’s individual music careers and most memorable albums.

Radio 2 Beatles has also commissioned a special chart from the Official Charts Company - The Beatles Downloaded: Official UK Top 60, will be revealed across the Saturday and Sunday afternoons (5-7pm) with Janice Long and Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Greg James counting down the most downloaded and streamed Beatles songs in the UK. Plus Steve Wright presents a special Beatles Love Songs, Trevor Nelson playing classic soul Beatles’ covers in Rubber Soul, Radio 1’s Alice Levine explores the Fab Four’s various musical pairings, and Country Covers with Ben Earle, from country band The Shires, features Fab Four tracks covered by country artists.

From the BBC archive Radio 2 Beatles will be broadcasting When John Met Paul with Bob Harris, Radio 4’s Mastertapes with Paul McCartney, and Sgt. Pepper Recreated, recorded in 2007 and featuring performances from Oasis, Bryan Adams, and Kaiser Chiefs.

Radio 2 Beatles follows other successful pop up DAB’s from the station, including Radio 2 Eurovision (2014 and 2015) and Radio 2 Country (2015, 2016 and 2017).

Source: BBC Media Centre

Friday, 23 August 2019

The Ballad of John and Yoko photo session

The U.S.A. version of the Ballad of John and Yoko single, B-side.
On April 14, 1969, Paul McCartney and John Lennon recorded the new Beatles single A-side, "The Ballad of John and Yoko", playing all instruments and singing themselves. George and Ringo weren't available for the recording session and John was eager to get it done. Just a few days later, the four Beatles met up for a photo session to have available for the single cover in foreign markets. In the U.K., photos for single covers weren't the norm - they used factory sleeves. Yoko Ono was with the Beatles on this occasion, since she is both in the title and the lyrics of the song they were to illustrate. We don't have the exact date, but we have the U.S. single cover from this session, with two of the photos. Other photos from this session emerged elsewhere. YouTube user Elena has produced a number of videos with images she has collected over the years and themed. Here is her collection of photos from this photo session:


Recently, a new photo was published from this occasion. It premiered in the current issue of the Mojo music magazine, as part of their article on the new "Abbey Road" release. The photo is taken by Linda McCartney who was along for the session.

The U.S.A. version of the Ballad of John and Yoko single, A-side.
The Beatles are seen smiling to their photographer, while Linda snapped her picture from standing to the side of them. It looks as if it's taken just as the front cover of the U.S. "Ballad of John and Yoko" is captured.

Linda's photo. Copyright Apple Corps Ltd.
An earlier known photo from Linda, taken from the other side is this black and white one:

Update: Matt Hurwitz asked Universal about the photographer, who then queried Apple. They say that it was Linda who was the principal photographer and took the front-facing photos we see on the picture sleeve. The side shots, documenting that activity, was likely taken by Mal Evans. Mojo was therefore apparently mistaken in their credit.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Follow The Beatles


Screen captures from "Follow The Beatles".
The 1964 British documentary "Follow The Beatles", mostly about The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night Film" has emerged in full on the internet. The film has long been the source for footage used in newer AHDN documentaries, but it's nice to have this in the context it originally was meant for. The film contains footage filmed on location and during a recording session at Abbey Road studios in February 1964.

Bitchute:Follow the Beatles

Monday, 19 August 2019

Paul McCartney returned to the stage after microphone malfunction


In 1985, when Paul McCartney was performing "Let It Be" at the Live Aid concert on Wembley Stadium, his vocal microphone was not working for the first part of the song. But the occasion was the first step in Paul's return to the stage.

Still, the audience knew the song well and helped with their singalong. Aware of the problem, Paul McCartney went to a studio the next day and re-recorded his "Let It Be" vocals, should there ever be need for it. He reckoned some TV channel may reprise the concert film, or perhaps it would see a video cassette release. That never happened, but in 2004, the Live Aid concert was finally available for purchase for the home video market, as a DVD set. Last year, the official Live Aid YouTube channel published this video, of Paul playing "Let It Be" on Live Aid, with his inaudible vocals replaced by the recording from the next day.


The appearance by Paul was his first live performance since the UK tour of Wings in December 1979. He must have enjoyed his comeback to the stage, because he then went on to play, unannounced, at the Prince's Trust anniversary concert on June 20th, 1986 - a year after "Live Aid". He did "I Saw Her Standing There", "Get Back" (duetting with Tina Turner) and the old closing number of the Beatles as well as on the first Wings tour, "Long Tall Sally". He was also in the backing band when David Bowie and Mick Jagger performed "Dancing In The Street", introduced by Paul.

The same year, Paul also took to the stage at the Royal Variety Command Performance on the 24th November, to perform his new song "Only Love Remains".

A little over a year later, 27th November 1987, Paul returned to the stage yet again, this time performing with a TV-studio band for the TV programme "The Last Resort". To a studio audience, Paul and the band performed "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", two of which were recently recorded for his upcoming "Russian" album, "CHOBA B CCCP". The two songs in question, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" were also released in 1987 for the U.K. market as they appeared on the two different 12"-singles for "Once Upon A Long Ago", one song on each record.

Just two years after this, Paul finally returned to touring again for a spell, lasting from 1989 to 1993. After that, he didn't tour again for another nine years. Thankfully, he went back to touring again in 2002 and has barely stayed off the road ever since.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Mojo celebrates Abbey Road

The upcoming edition of Mojo magazine celebrates Abbey Road's 50th anniversary.
The October edition of MOJO music magazine is in the shops in the UK on the 20th of August and comes in a presentation bag. The issue celebrates 50 years of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album, bringing exclusive news of the 2019 Anniversary Edition, new mix and bonus material. Inside the bag you’ll find: MOJO magazine, with a special cover featuring Paul McCartney’s original designs for the cover of Abbey Road; a lavishly detailed, double-sided Beatles map – one side Liverpool, the other side London.
The Liverpool side of the map

MOJO’s Abbey Road celebration includes fresh looks at all the songs by top MOJO writers plus all you need to know about the forthcoming reissue, including its revealing studio banter and revelatory alternate versions.

Link: MOJO

Sunday, 11 August 2019

New Abbey Road photo by Linda

Iain Macmillan’s photo no 4 above, newly published Linda McCartney photo below.
Observant viewers may have caught a glimpse of a hitherto unpublished photo of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road in the new YouTube ad for the upcoming anniversay edition of the album.
The photo catches the fab four just after Iain Macmillan’s fourth attempt of the front cover image. You’ll notice that Macmillan is positioned slightly above the Beatles, as he was standing on a stepladder. Heavily pregnant Linda was standing on the pavement, and must have just walked into the street for this shot.

New boxed set with the singles

Illustration photo
It looks like The Beatles are about to release a new boxed set with the 22 original titles, as released in Great Britain, plus single no. 23, which combine the nineties songs, «Free as a bird» and «Real love» on one disc.The boxed set, thought to be a limited edition, was accidentally listed on Amazon Italy and briefly on the Brazilian official Beatles online store, according to fans. Release date for these vinyl singles is November 15.  People «in the know» who have seen the set, are describing it as a nice package.
According to our sources, the single sleeves will neither mimic their 60’s U.K. originals (mainly just factory sleeves), the 70’s green series nor the individual picture sleeves of the eighties.

Update: The set also appears on Amazon in France for 221,39 € (248 USD). An insider is saying that this will not simply be a re-release, so perhaps we can expect the set to feature the latest mixes of the songs. Also, in line with recent official calendars and licensed products by the Beatles, it is starting to look like they are going to use foreign picture sleeves from the sixties as front covers of the new series. Like we had in our illustration photo all along!

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Something new

The official announcement came today, a new experience of the "Abbey Road" album, spearheaded by the release of the track "Something" in three versions, the demo (as on "Anthology III"), the string arrangement only, and in the brand new stereo remix. So get your headphones on, and listen to this:


The three versions also available on some streaming media platforms, like Spotify.
"Come Together" also sounds smashing, judging from the bits in the presentation videos. The stereo mix is based on Sir George Martin's mix, he supervised the original mixing sessions.
As there's no reason for me to simply give you the words from the press release, here it is from the horse's mouth: Official press release.

As for formats and contents, these have been described by the Superdeluxeeditions blog, so I don't have to ramble on about that, either.

Finally, here's the link to preorder the stuff.

And here's a couple of promotional videos:

Presentation
Unboxing

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Get Back sessions gets a new looking at


Both quotes from members of the band as well as earlier accounts by biographers, article writers etc have been describing the "Let It Be" movie as a close look at a group who is falling apart. Exhibit A: George quit. But Peter Jackson has promised us an alternative version, where things aren't as grim as Lindsay-Hogg's film paints it to be. Sometimes revisionism is a good thing, when it sheds new light on events that have been interpreted one-sided in the past.

George quits: But he was very casual about it in his diary.

People who have been listening to bootlegs from the era have always seen the bright moments of these sessions as well, and Jackson's view has been backed up by no other than Ringo himself earlier this year. Now, more people are chiming in. The latest episode of the podcast series «Swinging through the sixties» takes us through facts and fiction regarding the Twickenham sessions, that first part of the "Get Back sessions".

This time, Allan Kozinn is subbing for Erik Taros alongside regular host Richard Buskin. Soundbites from the Twickenham sessions illustrate the points made in the discussion. Events are presented chronologically, on a day-by-day basis. Some of the points made are that John wasn't nearly as incommunicative as previously thought, and his heroin abuse not as frequent as we may have believed. The episode runs for a little less than two hours.

Link: Swinging Through The Sixties

P.S. We expect an official announcement about the Abbey Road anniversary editions tomorrow, if rumours are to be believed.

Monday, 5 August 2019

New book from Pattie

"My Life Through A Lens" by Pattie Boyd. Final cover to be revealed.
Due out next year is a new book from former Beatle wife Pattie Boyd, this time concentrating on photography. The book's title is "My Life Through A Lens". 

Here's the blur from the publisher:
"An extraordinary visual memoir from Pattie Boyd--model, photographer, and muse to rock 'n roll royalty. The former wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, Pattie Boyd is perhaps the most famous muse of all time, inspiring Harrison's "Something" and Eric Clapton's "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight." Swept up into the height of Beatlemania as a young model, Boyd captured endless photographs of her years with the band, and later with Clapton. In Pattie Boyd: My Life Through A Lens, Boyd offers candid and intimate photographs of rock royalty and the elite social circles of the 60s and 70s, and also shares the drawings, paintings, and mementos collected from a life shared with pop-culture icons. Alongside it all are Boyd's own stirring reflections, giving a look into the golden age of rock 'n roll that only a woman at the center of it all could provide."

Of course, we only have Pattie's own words about her being the inspiration for "Something". George stole the opening line from James Taylor's "Something In The Way She Moves" from his eponymous Apple album, and imagined the song vocalised by his idol, Ray Charles (who went on to cover it in 1971). In early 1969, George told his Hare Krishna friends that the song was for Krishna, and in 1996 he told music journalist Paul Cashmere that "everybody presumed I wrote it about Pattie". Most likely, the music video for the song helped establish that myth, with Pattie in the opening shot.

In her 2007 autobiography, "Wonderful Today", Boyd recalls: "He told me, in a matter-of-fact way, that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful ..." Boyd discusses the song's popularity among other recording artists and concludes: "My favourite [version] was the one by George Harrison, which he played to me in the kitchen at Kinfauns."

"My Life Through A Lens" is due out April 7, 2020.

Casbah poster found

Pete Howard at Poster Central has found another old poster advertising the Beatles. It's hand drawn by Neil Aspinall and Mona Best, and is actually advertising a rare constellation of the Beatles: It's from one of the concerts in late 1960 where Chas Newby was substituting for Stuart Sutcliffe.



This is the first British poster advertising The Beatles under that name. You will remember that an earlier, German poster advertising both Rory Storm and his Hurican as well as the Beatles was in use at the Kaiserkeller, Hamburg and has been reproduced in various colours over the years.

From The Archives podcast

The Beatles on "Pops and Lenny" May 16, 1963.
"From the archives" is a British Television podcast, discussing lost or missing or thought missing and found again film and / or audio from TV. In the latest episode, video archivist and Beatles author Keith Badman is guest, discussing off-air audio recordings of missing television appearances by the Fab Four plus so much more. Apart from Top of the Pops, the idea of missing music programs sometimes gets overlooked by Kaleidoscope in favour of other series (they are Doctor Who fans) but they do think Keith’s knowledge of the subject is very intriguing Some very rare clips of The Beatles from the Kaleidoscope archives are played, a clip from "Pops and Lenny" as well as a clip from the opening of the very first "Pop Go The Beatles" radio show.

Read more and listen to the podcast at "From The Archives"

Rare films to be screened in Liverpool


As part of International Beatles Week, the British Music Experience have partnered with Kaleidoscope to screen astonishing missing-believed-wiped tapes from television performances from The Beatles and many more on 24 August 2019. 

The British Music Experience is the UK's Museum of Popular Music, located at the Cunard Building, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 1DS, United Kingdom.

Kaleidoscope has had considerable success in recent years finding lost tapes of iconic music performances, not just of the Beatles but also other acts such as T-Rex, The Sweet and Elton John. All on obsolete formats which have required many hours of restoration and dedicated work from Kaleidoscope’s engineers.

Two hour-long sessions will screen on our main stage during the day, each with an introduction from Chris Perry, CEO of Kaleidoscope.

Session 1

11:00am – midday.

For a group that appeared hundreds of times on television worldwide, it is surprising how few of those original performances of The Beatles have survived.

Today starts with a highlights package of lost Beatles material found by Kaleidoscope including performances on Ready Steady Go and Thank Your Lucky Stars.

Session one concludes with eleven minutes of off-air 8mm footage from June 1966 Top of the Pops.  Filmed by David Chandler and including the Beatles performing Paperback Writer, plus The Troggs, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, The Small Faces and Gene Pitney amongst others.

Session 2

3:00pm-4:00pm

Session two begins with thirty minutes of recently found 405 domestic recordings which have been digitally transferred to a modern format. Acts include Elton John and T-Rex, Lt Pigeon, Pan’s People, The Sweet and others.

The final twenty minutes highlights package of recently found 405 domestic recordings are taken from Lift Off and include The Sweet and Ayshea Brough.

More info here: British Music Experience