Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn launches "Abbey Road" anniversary theater tour

Via Broadway World:

September 2019 marks the golden anniversary of the Beatles' multi-platinum album Abbey Road - the last work they recorded before their seismic breakup. Released in September 1969, it was the end of both the Sixties and the biggest and greatest band of all time. 

To explore this anniversary, the world's leading Beatles historian, Mark Lewisohn - whose highly-acclaimed Tune In is the first part of the band's definitive biography - will embark on a 21-date UK tour with his newly-created Abbey Road show HORNSEY ROAD.
 

This two-hour live theatre presentation - full of surprises, delights, humour and excitement - will be a swift and smart illustrated history of our forever national-heroes the Beatles and their biggest album Abbey Road, providing a unique insight into the band who changed the course of culture and whose influence is still substantial.
 

HORNSEY ROAD illuminates Abbey Road from every angle, telling the stories behind the songs and the lives of its four creators, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr - the youngest of them just 26, the eldest 29 at the time it was made. The show will explore the many momentous events that occurred during its recording, when the Beatles were creatively together inside the studio but falling apart outside. This was the year of their breakup, and the album was made at a time of turmoil in their personal and business lives, when two of them were newly married and the band lost business assets and couldn't agree on future direction.
 

Mark Lewisohn has the world's best archive of Beatles materials, harvested over 40+ years of unrivalled deep access to public and private collections. On stage he will be talking audiences through a stunning array of strong and relevant content, with rare music, photos, films and collectable artefacts.
 

Mark comments: "HORNSEY ROAD is all about Abbey Road, the people who made it and the time in which they did it. This artistic triumph was created at a hectic junction in the Beatles' lives, and I'm going to be revealing the rich history, refreshing the remarkable stories behind its making, and bringing it all back by sight, sound and smell. I'll be delivering an original and surprising look at this collection of great songs, superbly recorded by the Beatles and their producer George Martin fifty summers ago, and packaged in that highly-imitated cover art of the four of them on the zebra crossing in north London. I'll be explaining the album's making in the context of the 1969 contemporary music scene, and depicting the four Beatles as friends, bandmates and artistic individuals at the peak of their creative powers, crowning the many precedent-setting events of their previous six years together with this glorious parting shot."
 

The favourite Beatles album of many, praised by the Daily Telegraph as "lush, rich, smooth, epic, emotional and utterly gorgeous", Abbey Road wasn't just another triumphant chapter in the Beatles' unparalleled time together, it was their best-selling and last-created work, regularly voted high among the greatest albums of all time. Still now, half a century on, it remains a remarkable collection of tracks, ripe for the deep celebratory dive that HORNSEY ROAD will deliver.

Artifact: BBC TV "Juke Box Jury" ticket for Beatles performance


Friday, May 24, 2019

Paul's "Amoeba Gig" and other live LPs set for reissue


Via the official Paul McCartney page:

Following last night’s North American kick-off of his record-breaking #FreshenUpTour, Paul adds to his Summer of LIVE! Paul has confirmed updated releases of four albums capturing performances spanning from his 1975-1976 return to U.S. arenas with Wings to his intimate 2007 set at Amoeba Records in Los Angeles. The albums — Amoeba Gig, Paul Is Live, Choba B CCCP, Wings Over America — will be released July 12, 2019 via MPL/Capitol/UMe digitally, on CD and on both black and limited edition colour vinyl.

AMOEBA GIG:
Amoeba Gig is the first full length commercial release of Paul’s surprise free concert at Hollywood’s Amoeba Music on June 27, 2007. To date only four songs have seen wide release as the Amoeba’s Secret EP, two of which were nominated for Grammy Awards in 2008: 'That Was Me' for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and 'I Saw Her Standing There' for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. A few years later in November 2012, an extended 12-song excerpt of the  Amoeba show titled Live in Los Angeles – The Extended Set was made available free to PaulMcCartney.com premium members for a limited period. And come July 12, 2019, a full 21-song recording documenting possibly the most intimate L.A. show Paul has ever played will be made available to the public for the first time. The millions of people not among the luckier than lucky few hundred rubbing elbows with the likes of Ringo Starr and Woody Harrelson during that once in a lifetime in-store set will be able to experience those performances of Beatles classics 'The Long And Winding Road,' 'I’ll Follow The Sun' and 'I’ve Got A Feeling,' Flaming Pie’s 'Calico Skies,' plus Carl Perkins’ 'Matchbox,' Jan Garber’s 'Baby Face' and an emotional rendition of 'Here Today.' Additionally, the LP will include an exclusive soundcheck recording of 'Coming Up.'

Amoeba Gig has been newly remixed by Paul’s engineer Steve Orchard and will be available in configurations including CD, 2 x 180g black vinyl, and limited edition color vinyl (LP1 - clear, LP2 - hazy amber transparent).

Amoeba Gig track list

1. Drive My Car
2. Only Mama Knows
3. Dance Tonight
4. C Moon
5. The Long And Winding Road
6. I’ll Follow The Sun
7. Calico Skies
8. That Was Me
9. Blackbird
10. Here Today
11. Back In The USSR
12. Nod Your Head
13. House Of Wax
14. I’ve Got A Feeling
15. Matchbox
16. Get Back
17. Baby Face
18. Hey Jude
19. Let It Be
20. Lady Madonna
21. I Saw Her Standing There

 


PAUL IS LIVE:
Recorded during the Australian and U.S. swings of the tour in support of 1993’s Off The GroundPaul Is Live is Paul's fifth live album. Originally released that same year, the album is famous for the multiple meanings and clues embedded in its title and cover art, all of which play on the “Paul Is Dead” conspiracy/hoax. In addition to a wealth of Wings and Beatles classics, covers of Roy Brown’s 'Good Rockin’ Tonight' and Leiber and Stoller’s 'Kansas City' and more, Paul Is Live also offers a peek behind the curtain: Three songs improvised on the spot and exclusive to the album, all recorded during rehearsals in various locations over the course of the tour.

Paul Is Live has been newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios and will be available in configurations including CD, 2 x 180g black vinyl, and limited edition color vinyl (LP1 - opaque baby blue, LP2 - plush peach white opaque).


CHOBA B CCCP:
The live-in-studio Choba B CCCP (Russian for “Back In The USSR”) was released in the Soviet Union in 1988, making Paul the first Western artist to issue an album exclusively for that market. In a conscious decision to get back to his roots, Paul spontaneously spent two days covering his favorite hits from the 1950s. The sessions produced 22 songs in total (and one of the outtakes being a version of The Beatles' 'I Saw Her Standing There'). Choba B CCCP was a deeply personal album and a way to acknowledge fans who had supported him and The Beatles since the start. “When I was very young I asked my dad if people wanted peace,” Paul explained at the time. “He said to me, ‘Yes, people everywhere want peace – it’s usually politicians that cause trouble.’ It always seemed to me that the way The Beatles’ music was admired in the USSR tended to prove his point, that people the world over have a great deal in common. In releasing this record exclusively in the Soviet Union, I extend the hand of peace and friendship to the people of Russia.” Choba B CCCP was released in the rest of the world following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Choba B CCCP has been newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios and will be reissued as the original 11-track Russian release. It will be available in configurations including CD, 180g black vinyl, and limited edition opaque yellow vinyl.
WINGS OVER AMERICA:
Rare #1-charting triple live album, Wings Over America is a document of one the most sophisticated and dazzling rock shows of the 1970s or any decade. Paul and the band would eventually perform to more than 600,000 people at 31 shows in the US and Canada, ending with three historic nights at The Forum in Los Angeles. It’s no exaggeration to say that the excitement that greeted Paul McCartney & Wings (Linda McCartney, Joe English, Denny Laine and Jimmy McCulloch) in the spring of 1976 as they embarked on what would become their one and only North American tour was overwhelming. Having released four consecutive chart topping albums — Red Rose Speedway, Band on the Run, Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound – not to mention 1973’s Academy Award-winning James Bond theme 'Live and Let Die' – Wings' career was in full flight… and as Paul’s first U.S. tour since The Beatles, the sheer joy of both the band and its fans were off the charts throughout the 90 hours of recordings distilled into this triple album. Wings Over America was last reissued in 2013 as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection series winning the Grammy Award for Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package.

Wings Over America will be available in configurations including double CD, 3 x 180g triple vinyl, and limited edition color vinyl (LP1 - transparent red, LP2 - transparent green, LP3 - transparent blue) both come with original souvenir poster.

Artifact: John Lennon "thank you" note to contributors to Christmas Toy Fund


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Record Collector mag plans three-part Beatles series


Britain's Record Collector is a publishing series of three Beatles "bookazines." Here's info on the first one, which you can order here.

The Beatles – Vol 1: Evolution (1940-1964) is the first in a series of three bookazines from Record Collector, celebrating the life and life-changing music of the greatest band of all time.
Its 116 pages also cover every single, album and EP from 1962 to ’64, all newly reviewed by top critics with the latest listings from the 2020 Rare Record Price Guide – together forming part one of the ultimate fully-illustrated and expertly annotated UK Beatles discography: a must-have for all serious fans and collectors

Upcoming book from Peter Asher: "Beatles A to Zed"


Not only did Peter Asher cover Lennon-McCartney tunes as one half of Peter and Gordon during the 1960s, he also worked for Apple Records and - as Jane Asher's brother - was practically Paul McCartney's brother-in-law. Paul even lived in Asher family home during the height of Beatlemania.

So, in short, he know some stuff about the Beatles. And now he's putting it in a book.

"The Beatles from A to Zed: An Alphabetical Mystery Tour" is set for publication by Henry Holt later this year.

Here are some details from the publisher:

A legendary record producer and performer takes readers on an alphabetical journey of insights into the music of the Beatles and individual reminiscences of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

Peter Asher met the Beatles in the spring of 1963, the start of a lifelong association with the band and its members. He had a front-row seat as they elevated pop music into an art form, and he was present at the creation of some of the most iconic music of our times.

But Asher was also a talented musician in his own right, with a great ear for what was new and fresh. Once, when Paul McCartney wrote a song that John Lennon didn’t think was right for the Beatles, Asher asked if he could record it. “A World Without Love” became a global number-one hit for his duo, Peter and Gordon. A few years later Asher was asked by Paul McCartney to help start Apple Records and the first artist Asher discovered and signed up was a young American singer-songwriter named James Taylor. Before long he would be not only managing and producing Taylor but also (having left Apple and moved to Los Angeles) working with Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Robin Williams, Joni Mitchell and Cher, among others.

In The Beatles from A to Zed, based upon twenty-six episodes of his current and highly popular radio show “From Me to You” on the Beatles Channel of SiriusXM, Peter Asher shares his memories and insights about the Fab Four, weaving his reflections into a whimsical alphabetical journey that focuses not only on songs whose titles start with each letter, but also on recurrent themes in the Beatles’ music, the instruments they played, the innovations they pioneered, the artists who influenced them, the key people in their lives, and the cultural events of the time.


Artifact: John Lennon's letter to the Queen, returning his M.B.E. award


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Monty Lister - broadcaster who did the first radio interview with the Beatles - dead at 92

Former BBC Merseyside Radio announcer Monty Lister, who did the first radio interview with the Beatles back in 1962, has died at age 92.

Via Radio Today:

[Lister is] perhaps best remembered for recording the first broadcast interview with The Beatles for Radio Clatterbridge in 1962 for the programme Sunday Spin, which he also broadcast to Cleaver Hospital in Heswall.

The band, who were playing at Hulme Hall, were about to hit the big time and had just signed Ringo Starr so Monty and assistants Peter Smethurst and Malcolm Threadgill decided to turn up and see if they could get the new Fab Four on tape.

Peter told the station in 2002: “Mr Epstein rang me up and gave me up hill and down dale for not asking his permission. I think it was the right decision by Monty to go ahead irrespective.”


Watch: Extended clip of new Beatles-themed comedy "Yesterday"

Imagine the moment you realize you're the only person that remembers The Beatles... Watch as Jack experiences this new reality in an exclusive clip from #YesterdayMovie - in theaters June 28.


Vintage pic: George and Pattie