Thursday, 19 September 2019

Paul and Ringo at book launch

Embed from Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: (L to R) Mary McCartney, Sir Paul McCartney, Stella McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach attend as the McCartney & Taschen families celebrate the launch of "Linda McCartney. The Polaroid Diaries" at The Victoria and Albert Museum on September 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for TASCHEN) "Linda McCartney. The Polaroid Diaries" is priced at 40 Euro and will be available one of these days. Also there is going to be a "Collector's Edition" and two "Art editions", with a print signed by Paul.

Regular edition.

"Lost weekend" Polaroids, Wings tour bus etc for sale

This is the first glimpse we got to see of John and Paul together after the Beatles break-up. It appeared in Peter "Dougal" Butler's book about Keith Moon in 1981. It took decades before we got to see a second one from the same occasion.
A bunch of Polaroid photos from John Lennon's so called "lost weekend" are up for sale again. The snapshots were taken by Keith Moon's then assistant, Peter "Dougal" Butler.  The photos were originally sold at Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale of 29th June 2011, now they are up for grabs again through Omega Auctions.

A number of the photos are of Lennon, Starr and McCartney, among other musician friends.
The collection of photographs are eighteen Polaroids, three colour prints (3.5" x 3.5") and two black and white prints which are later copies. The images were taken in a house which John Lennon and May Pang rented from Peter Lawford in Santa Monica in April 1974. They are sold with full copyright, and many of them are previously unpublished.

This is only one of 354 lots in Omega Auctions The Beatles Collection: Memorabilia & vinyl records auction, lot no 354 is the famous Wings tour bus of 1972! Go check it out!

Link to auction

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Ringo - What's My Name

Front of the new Ringo album
The pin Ringo is wearing on the front cover is an official John Lennon pin from the U.S. stamp release from 2018.
Lennon pin
There are a couple of Lennon connections on the album, Ringo-versions of Lennon's "Grow Old With Me" and a song John used to sing in the Beatles, "Money (That's what I want)".

The album will be released on CD, on LP and on a limited edition blue LP.

CD
LP


Tracks:
1. Gotta Get Up To Get Down (R. Starkey – J. Walsh) 4:20
2. It’s Not Love That You Want (R. Starkey – D. Stewart) 3:34
3. Grow Old With Me (J. Lennon) 3:18
4. Magic (R. Starkey – S. Lukather) 4:09
5. Money (That’s What I Want) (B. Gordy – J. Bradford) 2:56
6. Better Days (S. Hollander) 2:49
7. Life Is Good (R. Starkey – G. Burr) 3:11
8. Thank God for Music (R. Starkey – S. Hollander) 3:38
9. Send Love, Spread Peace (R. Starkey – G. Nicholson) 2:58
10. What’s My Name (C. Hay) 3:45

Release date is October 25 and it will become available for pre-ordering very soon. The title track, "What's My Name" has been released as a (non-physical) single today. It is an uptempo rocker written by Men At Work frontman and All Starr Band member, Colin Hay. It features Steve Lukather and Colin Hay on guitar, Nathan East on bass and Warren Ham on harmonica with Ringo on drums and percussion. The track, and album, were recorded, mixed and edited by Bruce Sugar.


Thanks to Mike Carrera for illustrations and the Lennon pin story.

Previous excerpts from the boardroom tape

Anthony Fawcett: One Day At A Time (1976)
In conjunction with our last post about Mark Lewisohn playing a tape containing a business meeting on September 8, 1969 with Paul, George and John, we mentioned that said tape has been quoted from in books back in the seventies. Thanks to forum poster tdgrnwld over at bootlegzone, we are able to bring you those quotes. Here is tdgrnwld's post:

The following appeared in Anthony Fawcett's 1976 book, One Day At A Time (p. 95-97):

John, Paul and George discussed this problem at Apple in the autumn of 1969, on one of the rare occasions when they got together. John glared at Paul and said, sarcastically: "It seemed mad for us to put a song on an album that nobody really dug, including the guy who wrote it, just because it was going to be popular, 'cause the LP doesn't have to be that. Wouldn't it be better, because we didn't really dig them, yer know, for you to do the songs you dug, and “Ob-La-Di, Ob- La-Da" and "Maxwell" to be given to people who like music like that, yer know, like Mary [Hopkins] or whoever it is needs a song. Why don't you give them to them? The only time we need anything vaguely near that quality is for a single. For an album we could just do only stuff that we really dug."

“We always carved the singles up between us,” he told Paul. “We have the singles market, [George and Ringo] don’t get anything! I mean, we’ve never offered George ‘B’ sides; we could have given him a lot of ‘B’ sides, but because we were two people you had the ‘A’ side and I had the ‘B’ side.”

“Well the thing is,” Paul answered, without even looking at George who sat a few feet away, “I think that until now, until this year [1969], our songs have been better than George’s. Now this year his songs are at least as good as ours.”

George was quick to correct Paul: “Now that’s a myth, ‘cause most of the songs this year I wrote about last year or the year before, anyway. Maybe now I just don’t care whether you are going to like them or not, I just do ‘em… If I didn’t get a break I wouldn’t push it. I’d just forget about it. Now for the last two years, at any rate, I’ve pushed it a bit more.”

“I know what he’s saying,” John said, “‘cause people have said to me you’re coming through a lot stronger now than you had.”

“I don’t particularly seek acclaim,” George said. “That’s not the thing. It’s just to get out whatever is there to make way for whatever else is there. You know, ‘cause it’s only to get ‘em out, and also I might as well make a bit of money, seeing as I’m spending as much as the rest of you, and I don’t earn as much as the rest of you!”

Like the others, George was now out on his own musically. "Most of my tunes," he said, "I never had the Beatles backing me."

"Oh! C'mon, George!" John shouted. "We put a lot of work in your songs, even down to 'Don't Bother Me'; we spent a lot of time doing all that and we grooved. I can remember the riff you were playing, and in the last two years there was a period where you went Indian and we weren't needed!"

"That was only one tune," George said. "On the last album [White Album] I don't think you appeared on any of my songs--I don't mind."

"Well, you had Eric [Clapton], or somebody like that," John replied, in a hurt tone of voice.

There was a long pause as each Beatle seemed lost in contemplation, wondering. Not wanting to admit that they were becoming individual musicians, Paul grasped at the remnants of truth and spoke slowly, almost whispering. “When we get in a studio, even on the worst day, I’m still playing bass, Ringo’s still drumming, and we’re still there, you know.”
————————————————-

There is more dialogue on pages 92-95 which is possibly from the same meeting (this one Fawcett ascribes to September 1969), wherein John complains about having to fight to get his share of songs on an LP, or single A-sides, and basically admits to having given up.

I’m pretty sure this was Schaffner’s source in Beatles Forever (1977), although he may have gotten to hear the tape as well. There are a few people out there who claim to have heard portions of it (I certainly haven’t).

Nicholas Schaffner: The Beatles Forever (1977)

Here's what Nicholas Schaffner said in "Beatles Forever", from pages 130 & 131 of the Third edition 1978:

————————————————-

"In any case, shortly after Year One's [peace and music festival] organizers passed word that the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and a convoy of U.F.O.'s were all likely to appear, in Toronto the coming July [1970], Lennon called the whole thing quits. The reasons given involved business differences, but after Altamont [Dec 6, 1969], the rock festival was on its way out anyway. The counterculture had lost one of its most potent symbols; and it was about to lose another.

The Beatles' few remaining meetings seldom produced anything but further disagreement. Once, when Paul tried to corral the others into going back on the road, John stunned him with the words: "I want a divorce." Both McCartney and Klein persuaded him to reconsider, or at least not to sound off to the press.

On another occasion, preserved on tape (the Beatles having caught Andy Warhol's habit of letting tape recorders eavesdrop on intimate conversations), John and George presented Paul with an ultimatum. Lennon said he was tired of playing a bit part in "pre-packaged productions," conceived by and tailored to the genius of Paul McCartney. Henceforth the three Beatles must each be awarded precisely four songs per album, with Ringo getting to add one or two if he so desired. Paul complained that that kind of arbitrary regimentation was more suited to the military than to the Beatles, but the others insisted it was the only way to insure a fair shake for all.

That proved to be a moot point, however, as the fabulous foursome never made it back into the recording studio. In the absence of fresh Beatles product (the Get Back/Let It Be tapes continued to languish on the shelf) Klein patched ten old songs together to create an LP for the American market; his title, The Beatles Again, was revised by public demand to Hey Jude."​

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

The boardroom tape


A tape recording of a business meeting in 3 Savile Row between three of the Beatles on September 8, 1969 has been the big news today. Speaking with Richard Williams of the Guardian about his upcoming touring multimedia show, "Hornsey Road", Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn played an excerpt of the tape which prompted the headline: "This tape rewrites everything we knew about the Beatles".

Although quoted from in Anthony Fawcett's book "One Day At A Time" as early as in 1976, and again in Nicholas Schaffner's book from the same era, "The Beatles Forever," the tape has been largely neglected by later Beatles authors (see this post).

Earlier this year, Erik Taros and Richard Buskin revealed that they had indeed heard the tape, and used it as a starting point for one of their "Swinging Through The Sixties" podcasts. So it looks like it has began to circulate among high-end collectors of Beatles material. Lewisohn has now been able to pinpoint the date of the business meeting, something which has not been public knowledge before.

In the tape, John Lennon is positive about The Beatles making a new album after having completed "Abbey Road", and also brings up the subject of recording a single for the Christmas market. He also suggests that George should get equal treatment as a songwriter within the group, and should get four songs on the next album, with John and Paul also contributing four songs each, and two from Ringo, should he want to. Ringo was in hospital for a check up at the time of the meeting, so it was recorded for his sake, in order for him to be able to later listen in to their discussion.


Perhaps the most shocking revelation in today's excerpt from the meeting was Paul McCartney being quoted as to say that he hadn't thought much of George as a songwriter until "Abbey Road".

Head on over to the Guardian and read the article.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Grow old with me - with Paul and Ringo

Friday, Ringo tweeted this picture of himself with Jim Keltner, Joe Walsh, Steve Lukather and Benmon Tench.
It starting to look like there is going to be a version of John Lennon's composition "Grow Old With Me" on Ringo's new album, and that Ringo will be sharing vocals with Paul McCartney on the song.

The new album is going to be called "What's My Name?" and there is also a title track. According to several sources, the album has a release date of October 25, and there is also a leaked track list: "Gotta Get Up," "It’s Not Love That You Want," "Grow Old With Me," "Magic," "Money," "Better Days," "Life Is Good," "Thank God for Music," "Send Love, Spread Peace" and "What’s My Name."

While appearing at Liverpool's Beatle Week at the end of August, producer Jack Douglas mentioned that he had produced a duet with Ringo and Paul for Ringo's new album. Rumours now identify "Grow Old With Me" as that song.

"Grow Old With Me" was one of the tracks that John Lennon left behind, unrecorded - apart from a few cassette demo recordings. Originally intended for "Double Fantasy", it was decided to leave it for the successor to that album. Yoko Ono did release a follow up to "Double Fantasy" in 1984, "Milk and Honey", where she included a demo of "Grow Old With Me" with John singing and playing the piano, accompanied by a rhythm box.

Unfinished music from John, finished music from Yoko: the Milk and Honey album.
The song was one of four songs given to Paul McCartney by Yoko Ono for consideration for the Beatles treatment featuring Paul, George and Ringo in the mid-nineties. The three other songs were "Free As A Bird", "Real Love" and "Now And Then". That last one was quickly abandoned, but "Grow Old With Me" was never even attempted.

In 1998, Sir George Martin made a string arrangement which was then added to Lennon's demo and released on the "John Lennon Anthology" and later on the "Gimme Some Truth" CD compilation in 2010. There are several cover versions of the song which has been recorded and released over the years, perhaps the best known of these is the late Glen Campbell's version from 2008.

Friday, Ringo tweeted a picture of himself with Benmont Tench, Steve Lukather, Joe Walsh and Jim Keltner, together for an interview for the Beatles channel on Sirius XM, and Ringo also mentioned getting ready to promote his new CD. Saturday, Lukather followed this with a tweet saying that he thought Ringo's upcoming album was "a killer". Beatlefan's "Something New" blog has more on that album.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Oh! Darling


Two new teasers for the upcoming anniversary editions of "Abbey Road" are "Oh! Darling", new stereo mix and take 4 of the same song from the sessions. Above is the Spotify link, below are YouTube links:
New mix
Take 4
From before: "Something" playlist

Thursday, 5 September 2019

The Cavern Club – The Beat Goes On …

Also available on DVD from the Cavern Club shop.
Presented by Paul McGann, The Cavern Club and LA Factual have come together to produce 'The Cavern Club: The Beat Goes On', a unique documentary feature, telling the untold, complete and colourful story of the 'greatest club in the world'.

Founded in 1957 by young jazz aficionado - Alan Sytner, who sought to recreate the headiness of his beloved jazz clubs in Paris. Famous for being the place where The Beatles played 292 times, the club survived two closures and was tragically demolished, only to be rebuilt brick-by-brick. After many highs and lows, the club is back to its former glory, hosting artists like Jessie J, The Arctic Monkeys and Adele.

Written by Bill Heckle, Directed and Produced by Christian Francis-Davies & Co-directed by Jon Keats, this documentary will be televised in Great Britain on 10.00pm this Saturday night on Sky Arts.


For the geographically challenged, the film is also available to purchase on DVD from the Cavern Club store.

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

Monday, 15 July 2019

The Beatles: First steps

Logo of playlist
A few days ago, a playlist was posted on the official Beatles channel on YouTube, under the name "first steps". It consisted of videos with the still image displayed above, and the songs were taken from the Polydor sessions with Tony Sheridan, plus the two songs from the first single on EMI, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You".
The ten songs on the playlist are:

Love Me Do
Let's Dance
P.S. I Love You
What'd I Say
Ya Ya
Why?
Cry For A Shadow
Sweet Georgia Brown
Ruby Baby
If You Love Me Baby (aka Take Out Some Insurance On Me Baby)

Only the bold titles are tracks actually featuring The Beatles. The featured Polydor tracks are the same eight tracks as released on the vintage "This Is The... The Savage Young Beatles" 10" disc. (shown below in a modern edition without the double The's.)


It seems the songs on the playlist were uploaded in 2014, and provided to YouTube by Daredo. According to Daredo's website, digedo, a subsidiary of daredo GmbH, is one of the leading independent digital music distribution companies in Europe. They deal, among other things, in monetizing music videos at all the important video portals like YouTube, Dailymotion, Vevo, Muzu and MyVideo.

The problem with this playlist, as far as the Polydor session songs concerns, is that it contains a number of songs which aren't The Beatles at all, it's Tony Sheridan with a different backing band.

The songs recorded for Polydor actually featuring the Beatles were:
My Bonnie
The Saints
Cry for a Shadow
Why (Can't You Love Me Again)
Nobody's Child
Ain't She Sweet
If You Love Me, Baby (aka Take Out Some Insurance on Me, Baby)
Sweet Georgia Brown

Just four of those songs are featured in this playlist. I don't know what's happening here. Have The Beatles finally acknowledged their Polydor past? Is someone not very historically minded put in charge of their YouTube account? Or is this an automatically generated playlist by YouTube? One thing is for sure, this is going to confuse fans.

Link to YouTube Playlist

The list is also featured on the Narrma website, who have added these "sleeve notes", trying to put the songs into context:

First night at the Indra Club, August 1960.

The Beatles First Steps Playlist with Tony Sheridan

Allan Williams, The Beatles‘ unofficial manager, arranged a residency for them in Hamburg, but lacking a full-time drummer they auditioned and hired Pete Best in mid-August 1960. The band left four days later, contracted to club owner Bruno Koschmider for what would be a 3​1⁄2-month residency.

Nightclub on the Reeperbahn in St Pauli – the red-light district of Hamburg where the The Beatles performed extensively from 1960 to 1962.

Koschmider had converted a couple of strip clubs in the district into music venues, and he initially placed The Beatles at the Indra Club. After closing Indra due to noise complaints, he moved them to the Kaiserkeller in October. When he learned they had been performing at the rival Top Ten Club in breach of their contract, he gave the band one month’s termination notice, and reported the underage George Harrison, who had obtained permission to stay in Hamburg by lying to the German authorities about his age. The authorities arranged for Harrison’s deportation in late November. One week later, Koschmider had Paul McCartney and Pete Best arrested for arson after they set fire to a condom in a concrete corridor; the authorities deported them. John Lennon returned to Liverpool in early December, while Stuart Sutcliffe remained in Hamburg until late February with his German fiancée Astrid Kirchherr, who took the first semi-professional photos of The Beatles.

During the next two years, The Beatles were resident for periods in Hamburg, where they used Preludin both recreationally and to maintain their energy through all-night performances. In 1961, during their second Hamburg engagement, Kirchherr cut Sutcliffe’s hair in the “exi” (existentialist) style, later adopted by the other Beatles. When Sutcliffe decided to leave the band early that year and resume his art studies in Germany, McCartney took up the bass.

Producer Bert Kaempfert contracted what was now a four-piece group until June 1962, and he used them as Tony Sheridan’s backing band on a series of recordings for Polydor Records. As part of the sessions, The Beatles were signed to Polydor for one year. Credited to “Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers“, the single “My Bonnie”, recorded in June 1961 and released four months later, reached number 32 on the Musikmarkt chart.

After The Beatles completed their second Hamburg residency, they enjoyed increasing popularity in Liverpool with the growing Merseybeat movement. However, they were also growing tired of the monotony of numerous appearances at the same clubs night after night. In November 1961, during one of the group’s frequent performances at The Cavern Club, they encountered Brian Epstein, a local record-store owner and music columnist. He later recalled: “I immediately liked what I heard. They were fresh, and they were honest, and they had what I thought was a sort of presence … [a] star quality.”

Epstein courted the band over the next couple of months, and they appointed him as their manager in January 1962. Throughout early and mid-1962, Epstein sought to free The Beatles from their contractual obligations to Bert Kaempfert Productions. He eventually negotiated a one-month-early release from their contract in exchange for one last recording session in Hamburg.

Epstein began negotiations with record labels for a recording contract. In order to secure a UK record contract, Epstein negotiated an early end to the band’s contract with Polydor, in exchange for more recordings backing Tony Sheridan. After a New Year’s Day audition, Decca Records rejected the band with the comment “Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr. Epstein.” However, three months later, producer George Martin signed The Beatles to EMI’s Parlophone label.

So, the "sleeve notes" aren't so bad, but they should have used the correct songs.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Abbey Road formats


Here's a list we found posted on Facebook, purporting to be five formats of the 50th anniversary release of The Beatles' "Abbey Road" album on September 27.

ABBEY ROAD’ ANNIVERSARY SUPER DELUXE EDITION (4 DISC)

12” x 12” hardcover book to house:
CD1: New ‘Abbey Road’ stereo album mix
CD2: Demos and Outtakes
CD3: Demos and Outtakes
DISC 4 (Blu-ray): Dolby Atmos mix of whole album / 5.1 surround of whole album / hi-res stereo mix of whole album
Book
Limited Edition

Although we have seen a draft of a 3CD track list, this was not final:

CD1
Abbey Road usual track list

CD2
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) [Take 32 + Billy Organ]
Goodbye [Demo]
Something [Demo]
Ballad Of John And Yoko [Take 7]
Old Brown Shoe [Take 2]
Oh Darling [Take 4]
Octopus Garden [Take 9]
You Never Give Me Your Money [Take 36]
Her Majesty [Takes 1-3]
Golden Slumbers - Carry That Weight [Takes 1-3]
Here Comes The Sun [Take 9]
Maxwell's Silver Hammer [Take 12]

CD3
Come Together [Take 5]
The End [Take 3]
Sun King / Mean Mr Mustard [Take 20]
Polythene Pam - Bathroom Window [Take 27]
Because [Take 1]
The Long One [Trial Edit and Mix]
Something [Orchestral – Take 39]
Golden Slumbers [Take 17]

‘ABBEY ROAD’ ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION (2CD)

Expanded 2CD package features the new stereo album mix on and adds a second CD of demos and outtakes
Limited edition

‘ABBEY ROAD’ ANNIVERSARY EDITION (1CD)

1CD digi featuring the new ‘Abbey Road’ stereo album mix
Unlimited edition

‘ABBEY ROAD’ ANNIVERSARY SUPER DELUXE EDITION (3LP BOX)

12” x 12” lift off lid box to house:
LP1: New ‘Abbey Road’ stereo album mix
LP2: Demos and Outtakes
LP3: Demos and Outtakes
Limited edition

‘ABBEY ROAD’ ANNIVERSARY EDITION (1LP)

180-gram 1LP vinyl featuring the new stereo album mix
Packaging faithful to the original album

Of course, there will also be non-physical formats for purchase or streaming.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Ringo about the new Let It Be era documentary

Sir Peter Jackson is working on a new movie based around The Beatles' final album, Let It Be.

The as-yet-untitled film will draw on 55 hours of never-released footage of the band in the studio, and some 140 hours of recorded sound, all the material filmed and recorded between January 2 and January 31, 1969.

The Beatles Channel on Sirius XM recently published a Facebook video where Ringo Starr talks a bit about the old film as well as the upcoming one. He has been shown excerpts via Jackson's iPad, and says that the new film will be a more upbeat film. He claims that filmmaker Michael Lindsay-Hogg made the film more downbeat by focusing on small moments of irritation rather that the mostly happy days of filming. "Prior to us doing that [the rooftop concert], we're all hanging out, and it's a lot of fun, lot of humour, and not like the one that came out."


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.

Link: Apple.com

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.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Ebay

Monday, 24 June 2019

Win a signed print of Ringo Starr

An ongoing raffle for Comic Relief. 
Hi!

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!