Friday, 25 October 2019

Trace the bass

The last time we saw Paul with this bass was in this clip from a "Let It Be" outtake. © Apple Films Ltd.
German Instrument makers Höfner have launched a campaign though social media, hoping to retrieve information about the whereabouts of Paul McCartney's first bass guitar.

The bass guitar was bought in Hamburg, Germany in the spring of 1961 after Paul had decided to switch to bass after the departure of the Beatles' original bass guitarist, Stuart Sutcliffe. Pursuing his love of arts, Sutcliffe elected to stay in Hamburg with his German girlfriend Astrid, and study painting.

McCartney used the bass guitar on the Beatles' recordings until he got a new Höfner violin bass in 1963 from the UK company Selmer, who imported Höfner instruments to Great Britain. Still using the original bass guitar from 1961 as a back up on tours, it was also on display in the music videos for "Revolution" and "The Ballad of John and Yoko", the latter featured an outtake from the "Let It Be" film.

Although we have heard rumours about the whereabouts of the guitar, Nick Wass, Marketing Manager at Höfner is not interested in conspiracy theories or hearsay, only facts.

The campaign has a web page and a hashtag for social media, #tracethebass. You can find more information about what the bass guitar looks like on

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Singles box due Nov 22


  • Pre-order at

  • We are proud to announce the release of this collectible box set presenting 46 tracks on 23 7-inch vinyl singles, in faithfully reproduced international picture sleeves, accompanied by a 40-page booklet with photos, ephemera, and detailed essays by Beatles historian Kevin Howlett. 
  • These singles, plus an exclusive new double A-side single for the mid-1990s-issued tracks “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” are newly remastered from their original multi-track master tapes and cut for vinyl at Abbey Road Studios for a new limited edition boxed set.
  • The Singles Collection will be released worldwide on November 22 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe.
1962 [sleeve art: U.S.]
1A: Love Me Do
2B: P. S. I Love You
1963 [sleeve art: Chile]
1A: I Want To Hold Your Hand
2B: This Boy
1963 [sleeve art: Greece]
1A: She Loves You
2I'll Get You
1963 [sleeve art: Italy]
1A: Please Please Me
2B: Ask Me Why
1963 [sleeve art: Norway]
1A: From Me To You
2B: Thank You Girl
1964 [sleeve art: Austria]
1A: Can't Buy Me Love
2B: You Can't Do That
1964 [sleeve art: Holland]
1A: A Hard Day's Night 
2B: Things We Said Today
1964 [sleeve art: Sweden]
1A: I Feel Fine 
2B: She's A Woman
1965 [double A-side / sleeve art: France]
1A: We Can Work It Out 
2A: Day Tripper
1965 [sleeve art: Belgium]
1A: Help!
2B: I'm Down
1965 [sleeve art: Spain]
1A: Ticket To Ride 
2B: Yes It Is
1966 [double A-side / sleeve art: Argentina]
1A: Eleanor Rigby 
2A: Yellow Submarine
1966 [sleeve art: Turkey]
1A: Paperback Writer 
2B: Rain
1967 [double A-side / sleeve art: Australia]
1A: Strawberry Fields Forever
2A: Penny Lane
1967 [sleeve art: Mexico]
1A: Hello, Goodbye 
2B: I Am The Walrus
1967 [sleeve art: West Germany]
1A: All You Need Is Love 
2B: Baby, You're A Rich Man
1968 [sleeve art: Japan]
1A: Lady Madonna 
2B: The Inner Light
1968 [sleeve art: South Africa]
1A: Hey Jude 
2B: Revolution
1969 [sleeve art: Denmark]
1A: Get Back
2B: Don't Let Me Down
1969 [sleeve art: Israel]
1A: Something 
2B: Come Together
1969 [sleeve art: Portugal]
1A: The Ballad Of John And Yoko 
2B: Old Brown Shoe
1970 [sleeve art: UK]
1A: Let It Be 
2B: You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
1995 / 1996 [exclusive double A-side single / sleeve art: worldwide]
1A: Free As A Bird [1995]
2A: Real Love [1996]

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Singles boxed set

Front cover, as published on Amazon France.
French Amazon has revealed the front cover of the upcoming boxed set of the Beatles' UK singles (vinyl) boxed set. The set will comprise the original 22 British singles from "Love Me Do" to "Let It Be", plus an extra single containing "Free As A Bird"/"Real Love". We have been led to believe that no remastering or remixing has taken place.

The single sleeves will be inspired by various foreign picture sleeves from countries like Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Italy, Norway, Spain, Belgium, France, Japan etc. This is a limited edition boxed set like the Christmas Collection from a couple of years ago. Due out November 15th. We have received the following tentative information about the single sleeves. Some of the information may be wrong.

7" Singles Collection
01 : Love Me Do  - P. S. I Love You [Cover art from USA]
02 : Please Please Me - Ask Me Why [Cover art from Italy]
03 : From Me To You - Thank You Girl [Cover art from Norway]
04 : She Loves You - I'll Get You [Cover art from Germany]
05 : I Want To Hold Your Hand - This Boy [Cover art from Chile]
06 : Can't Buy Me Love - You Can't Do That [Cover art from Argentina]
07 : A Hard Day's Night - Things We Said Today [Cover art from Holland]
08 : I Feel Fine - She's A Woman  [Cover art from Spain]
09 : Ticket To Ride - Yes It Is [Cover art from Sweden]
10 : Help! - I'm Down [Cover art from Belgium]
11 : We Can Work It Out - Day Tripper [Cover art from France]
12 : Paperback Writer - Rain [Cover art from Thailand]
13 : Eleanor Rigby - Yellow Submarine [Cover art from Argentina]
14 : Strawberry Fields Forever - Penny Lane [Cover art from Denmark]
15 : All You Need Is Love - Baby, You're A Rich Man [Cover art from Germany]
16 : Hello, Goodbye - I Am The Walrus [Cover art from Belgium]
17 : Lady Madonna - The Inner Light [Cover art from Japan]
18 : Hey Jude - Revolution [Cover art from Spain]
19 : Get Back - Don't Let Me Down [Cover art from Portugal]
20 : The Ballad Of John And Yoko - Old Brown Shoe [Cover art from Mexico]
21 : Something - Come Together [Cover art from Italy]
22 : Let It Be - You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) [Cover art from UK]
23 : Free As A Bird - Real Love [Cover art from: World Wide]

Friday, 11 October 2019

Grow old with Ringo

Here's a sample track from Ringo Starr's new album, "What's My Name". The track is "Grow Old With Me" - the John Lennon composition - and it seems to suit Ringo fine. Paul McCartney is guest starring on bass guitar and backing vocals.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Auction results from Omega auctions' Beatles collection

Wings over Europe tour bus. Photo courtesy of Omega Auctions.
In yesterday's auction, the most anticipated item was Wings' tour bus from the 1972 tour of Europe. It was also the final item in the auction, and the asking price for the opening bid was a mere £10,000. The bus was estimated by the auction house to sell somewhere between £15,000 - £25,000.

After the tour, the bus eventually ended up at outside a rock cafe in Tenerife - a Spanish island off the coast of Africa - before being moved to the cafe owner's garden. "I went to visit them about 10 years ago and saw this thing rotting away in his back garden," current owner Justin James told BBC News. "I said, 'I want it.'"I didn't know what I was going to do with it, I just thought that it should not be rotting away on the wastelands of Tenerife. It took eight years to bring it back (to Oxfordshire) because it was in such a difficult part to get to, how it was buried in this field. We got cranes and I managed to get it back."

Mr James hoped to use it for musical children's tours, but that plan didn't work out. He is now emigrating to Australia next month. "I reckon someone could get that engine going, but I'm not that person unfortunately," he said. Mr James said he had spent £25,000 on costs relating to the bus, and if it was to fetch more than that he will donate any profit to the Arms Around the Child charity, of which he is a trustee. As the bus didn't attract any bids at all, the future of the bus is anyone's guess.

A surprise hit sale at the auction was an old street sign for Abbey Road. Estimated to sell between £1,500 - £2,500, a frenzied bidding war landed it at a whooping  £6,000!

Sold for a surprising sum of £6 000.
This in contrast to some really interesting items which went unsold, like the three canisters of rare films with interviews and rarely seen footage, two of the films being from the Beatles visit with the Maharishi in Bangor, Wales, the weekend their manager was found dead in London. One of the films was estimated at £1,000 - £2,000 and also featured Mick Jagger, the other at £5,000 - £10,000.

The Beatles on stage in Bangor, Wales.
Description: Black and white film 16mm reel complete with audio featuring footage of The Beatles arriving in Bangor with the MaharIshi Mahesh Yogi during August of 1967. This footage is thought to be the only copy in existence and has not been seen since it was recorded back in 1967. The film last just over 3 minutes and begins with the Maharishi walking with The Beatles behind him whilst he receives flowers from the public. The interviewer steps in at this point and asks "What is it that you preach?" followed by "You seem to have caught the imagination of the Pop stars in this country" to which the Maharishi replies "What is this Pop Stars?" before realising and saying "You mean The Beatles!?". He then explains how he finds The Beatles very intelligent who can use meditation to help lead the next generation forward with peace and love. The film then cuts to all four Beatles sat on stage with the interviewer asking questions such as "Do You Feel any better for it now?, In What Way? Have you tried meditation? and Can you look upon yourself as mediators now?". The Beatles are quite taken aback when the interviewer asks "Do you take it seriously this Cult?" to which George replies "It isn't a cult and of course we take it seriously otherwise we wouldn't all be here", Paul then adds "It is only you that isn't taking it seriously - everyone else here is" to much laughter in the audience. The interviewer is clearly struggling a little at this point and his final question asks them "that it must have cost them to come hear and they must have broken at least 3 engagements to come to Bangor" to which John replies "that is nonsense as they haven't had any engagements for the last year!" again much to the amusement of the audience. The film then cuts to the Maharishi leaving. The following day news came through that Brian Epstein had died and The Beatles had to cut short what was going to be a 10 day conference on meditation.

The third film canister contained in excellent quality a black and white film 16mm reel complete with audio featuring an interview with The Beatles at the Capitol Theatre in Cardiff on the 12th December 1965. This is thought to be the only copy of this interview in existence and it has not been seen since broadcast back in 1965. It was also estimated to sell between £5,000 - £10,000, but all the three items went unsold.

The Beatles in Cardiff, still from film.
Description from the catalogue: This incredibly amusing interview lasts just over 4 minutes with all four Beatles getting involved and having a good laugh both amongst themselves and with the interviewer. Jokes are made throughout this long interview in which the male interviewer asks an excellent mix of questions - at one point he asks them "What is your favourite number that you have recorded" and John responds by saying "Satisfaction". When asked "Why do you still do keep performing and recording?" all four burst into a rendition of "There's no business like show business". They are in high spirits throughout the interview in which they discuss things such as who writes the songs and music, future films they might be working on, marriage, their children (Paul jokes that he has five children in Swansea who all want to know when he is getting married) and much more. Check out a 30 second clip here.

Some interesting items which did get sold were audio recordings like a tape containing two takes of "I'm So Tired" from 1968, authenticated by Ken Scott. Sold without copyright, this went for £500, half of its lowest estimated sales price. The same holds for a tape containing a couple of "Let It Be" session takes of "Dig a Pony" and "I've Got A Feeling", but by the description we feel we have heard these on bootlegs.

A cassette recording featuring George Harrison from 1978 again went unsold.

A cassette with unheard and unreleased George-related contents, including a song he wrote.

For a complete list of the items, which also contained signed material, records, photos and other memorabilia, we advice you to have a look at the official auction site: Omega Auctions Beatles Collection.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Listen again to the Beatles from the BBC Radio 2 pop-up

Off the air but programmes still accessible for a while, radio 2 Beatles.
The BBC Radio 2 special Beatles pop-up channel has gone off the air, but you can still access the programmes they sent online for a while. This you'll do by surfing to this website, which will give you a list of the programmes, so that you can select the ones you want to listen to.
Among the contents: "I was there": Time witnesses talking, DJ Tony Blackburn, Pattie Boyd, Gillian Reynolds and Marty Wilde. The story of the recording of the Abbey Road album presented by "Yesterday" actor Himesh Patel in two episodes, an hour long presentation of each Beatle's solo career, a 2-hour stroll through BBC's radio archive of Beatles recordings, a reprise of the radio documentary of the Day John met Paul etc.