Thursday, December 2, 2021

Mal Evans: Bio and archives of Beatles' road manager on the way

The Beatles with Mal Evans and Yoko Ono

The gentle giant presence of Mal Evans, the Beatles' assistant and road manager from the band's earliest days, hovers over "The Beatles: Get Back." Coming up next, we stand to learn even more about him.

The full story of Evans' life and its tragic end - he was gunned down by police in Los Angeles -  will be told in an upcoming biography by frequent Beatles author Kenneth Womack is set for publication next year, followed by Evans' archives in 2023.  The Beatles associate had been planning to write a memoir before his death.

Evans' family is involved these efforts.

According to Mal's son, Gary: 

"My dad meant the world to me. He was my hero. Before Ken joined the project, I thought I knew the story of my dad. But what I knew was in monochrome; 15 months later it is like The Wizard of Oz (dad’s favorite film) because Ken has added so much color, so much light to his story. Ken has shown me that dad was the Beatles’ greatest friend. He was lucky to meet them, but they had more good fortune with dad walking down the Cavern steps for the first time."

Rare acetates of John and Yoko's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" to be sold for charity

Details from the news release:

Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon have made available an extremely rare and collectable strictly Limited Edition of 50 vinyl acetates of John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s iconic single ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ (with The Plastic Ono Band and The Harlem Commmunity Choir) which will be released on December 5, 2021 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original recording and release in 1971.

The first twenty-five of these vinyl acetates will be given to a selection of hand-picked music charities, non-profits and grassroots organisations undertaking great work across the UK music scene, ranging from venues and music education programmes to initiatives promoting gender equality, music therapy and more. Yoko and Sean have gifted these specially produced artefacts to allow each organisation to sell or auction the rare, highly collectable items to raise funding.

The other half of these vinyl acetates will be available at select record shops across the UK, in cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Dundee, Belfast, London and more. The launch will take place at Tim Burgess’ Vinyl Adventures Record Fair in Manchester on December 5, with one edition available at his stall.

In a note accompanying each record, Sean Ono Lennon says:

‘Happy Xmas. This is one of only fifty Limited Edition acetates hand-cut at Abbey Road, it’s yours - to sell, auction, raise money to help your business or your favourite charity or to fund your Xmas party – to spread Xmas cheer. We’d love to see the journey these acetates take, and the goodwill that they spread – please use the hashtag #HappyXmasVinyl and we’ll retweet and share their progress on Social Media to help promote the good causes and good vibes.’

The 50 one-sided 12” acetates were hand-cut on the lathe at the legendary Abbey Road Studios by mastering engineer Alex Wharton. These rare vinyl acetates are the 2020 ‘Ultimate Mix’, produced by Sean Ono Lennon, mixed by Paul Hicks and executive produced by Yoko Ono Lennon.

Each edition is stickered and numbered out of 50 and includes a machine printed signature from Yoko, making them incredibly collectable.

Originally released in December 1971 ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’ has evolved to become an iconic global Christmas classic and is now one of the most played and popular Christmas songs of all time. The song’s WAR IS OVER! (IF YOU WANT IT) chorus echoes an ongoing campaign of activism by John & Yoko who also used the title for billboard and flyer campaigns in prominent positions around the world, an initiative Yoko continues to the present day. Find out more at warisover.com.

Beatles picture sleeve parade