Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weather vane from church where John met Paul up for auction

A weather vane from Woolton's St. Peter's Church is up for auction. This is the same church where Paul McCartney first saw John Lennon performing with the Quarrymen, the band that ultimately became the Beatles.

A hymnal and prayer book from the Liverpool-area church, which John and his Aunt Mimi attended, are also for sale. Proceeds of all the items benefit the church.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Upcoming book: Ringo - With a Little Help

Due out June 1, 2015.
"Ringo: With a Little Help," is the first in-depth biography of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who kept the beat for an entire generation and who remains a rock icon over fifty years since the Beatles took the world by storm.
"With a Little Help" traces the entire arc of Ringo's remarkable life and career, from his sickly childhood to his life as The Worlds Most Famous drummer to his triumphs, addictions, and emotional battles following the breakup of the Beatles as he comes to terms with his legacy.
Born in 1940 as Richard Starkey in The Dingle, one of Liverpools most gritty, rough-and-tumble neighborhoods, he rose from a hardscrabble childhood marked by serious illnesses, long hospital stays, and little schooling to emerge, against all odds, as a locally renowned drummer.
Taking the stage name Ringo Starr, his big break with the Beatles rocketed him to the pinnacle of worldwide acclaim in a remarkably short time. He was the last member of the Beatles to join the group but also the most vulnerable, and his post-Beatles career was marked by chart-topping successes, a jet-setting life of excess and alcohol abuse, and, ultimately, his rebirth as one of rock's revered elder statesman.
Author MICHAEL SETH STARR is the TV Editor for The New York Post, where he's written about television for the past twenty years. He has authored biographies of Peter Sellers, Art Carney, Joey Bishop, Bobby Darin, Raymond Burr and Redd Foxx. And no - he is not related to Ringo Starr.

Video: John Lennon Book Interview 1964

Video: John Lennon's Rolls Royce in Montreal

Last September 30th, on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve of the Parc Jean-Drapeau, John Lennon's legendary Rolls-Royce Phantom V made a few laps under the beautiful fall sun and before amazed passers-by.

On loan from the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, the Rolls-Royce is presented at Pointe-à-Callière as part of The Beatles in Montreal exhibition. The famous Rolls was given permission to take a single drive outdoors on a closed circuit during its stay.

The car was driven by its official driver, Mr. Jim Walters, mechanic and owner of Bristol Motors, located in Victoria and specializing in the restoration of high-end automobiles. He has been servicing, caring for, and driving the Rolls for the past 20 years.

New Beatlefan is out! See my book reviews!

The new issue of Beatlefan is available.

Pick it up to see my review of Ivor Davis' "The Beatles and Me on Tour" and Luca Perrassi's "Paul McCartney Recording Sessions: 1963-2013."

There's lots more, too:
The new issue of Beatlefan (#214) marks the reissue of John Lennon's album catalog on vinyl with a special cover package of articles. Included are Tom Frangione's consumer's guide to the albums included in the "Lennon" box plus a wrapup of his avant garde, live and compilation sets; Robert Rodriguez's look at the making of "Instant Karma," the single that proved to Lennon he could have success outside The Beatles; and Jeff Slate's review of what's good and bad about the new "Lennon" box set.

This issue also features coverage of Paul McCartney's recent U.K. tour by London Editor Simon Rogers and Senior Editor (and chief Fan on the Run) Rick Glover, who also looks back 25 years at the Paul McCartney World Tour, with photos by Jorie Gracen. Also in the new issue, Bruce Spizer goes back 50 years to tell the story of the "Beatles VI" album and Brad Hundt writes about the Beatles reunion-that-never-was from a second-generation fan's viewpoint. Plus, you'll find several pages of reviews and all the latest news, including an in-depth report on Ringo Starr's induction by Paul into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

A sample issue costs $8 in the U.S. or $11 abroad. U.S. funds only. If you want the latest issue, be sure to specify #214. For more information, email goodypress@gmail.com. Send to P.O. Box 33515, Decatur GA 30033. A year's subscription in the U.S. costs $33 for six issues or $37.50 if sent First Class Mail in an envelope. Canadian subscriptions cost $43 per year and for Mexico the cost is $50. International subscriptions to all other countries around the globe are $56 (sent Air Mail) U.S. funds only. CREDIT CARDS AND PAYPAL ACCEPTED (goodypress@mindspring.com). For credit card orders, you can call 404-713-6432 or e-mail goodypress@gmail.com.

Friday, June 5, 2015

See my review of John Lennon: The Collected Artwork at Winkl!

Wink has posted my review and photos of this new book:

New Beatles books on the way

These two just popped up on Amazon:

All Together Now... We Love The Beatles 1957 - 1970
Did you know that Lucy in the sky with diamonds' was inspired by little Julian Lennon's painting of 4 year old Lucy O'Donnell, who sat beside him in school, not about drugs? This book tells the story of The Beatles from their coming together as young teenagers in Liverpool in 1957 to their traumatic break up in April 1970. Each chapter covers a year in the life of the group, followed by the music, mini biographies and locations of people and places relevant to the band in that particular year. Paul McCartney is quoted as saying that he hardly ever finished a book about The Beatles because he ""rarely passed the first chapter without finding at least four inaccuracies"". Paul, you will read to the end! ""The music was positive, it was positive in love... the basic Beatles' message was love"" (Ringo) This book captures the essence of that music and the interaction of the personalities of the four young Liverpudlians that combined to create it - music that caused hysteria at that time and continues to inspire joy and happiness all over the world.
From the Shadow of JFK: The Rise of Beatlemania in America
Many Beatles authors and scholars have cited John F. Kennedy's assassination on 22 November 1963 as a cause of the Beatles' sudden popularity in the United States in early 1964. Their logic: Kennedy's assassination made America sad, then the Beatles made America happy again. But this commonly accepted answer is overly simplistic. America has suffered numerous tragedies and rebounded each time, but the popularity and staying power of the Beatles remains unmatched in American history. The real answer is that Kennedy's life and death inadvertently primed the nation for the Beatles' arrival and success. Despite thousands of books and billions of words, there remains more to be said about both JFK and the Fab Four.

Video: John Lennon's 'long lost' Gibson guitar up for sale

Via the BBC:
A guitar owned and used by John Lennon, which was lost after a gig, is going to be auctioned in the United States. The Gibson J-160-E acoustic guitar has been declared genuine by Beatles' instruments expert Andy Babiuk, who compared it to photographs and film footage of Lennon playing it. It will be auctioned in Beverley Hills in November. 

Beatle bits - Weekly news update

One of John Lennon's gray, collarless Beatles suits up for auction, as is a banjolele owned by Liverpool star George Formby and, later, George Harrison.
...Lennon's mohair suit is on a buy it now offer valued at £100,000. The suit with black rope piping to the collar was first donated to Madam Tussaud's in 1964 by Brian Epstein. On April 29th 1964, The Beatles themselves attended the unveiling of the wax figures wearing the suits. The suit bears the name D, Millings of 41 Great Poultney Street London with John handwritten on the label.

The CIA won't "confirm or deny" they kept a file on Cynthia Lennon. It's well-documented the FBI spied on John for years.


The average 40-year-old Brit likes Queen more than the Beatles and dogs more than cats. No accounting for taste, I suppose.


Julie Harris, who designed the Beatles' clothes in both "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" died this week at age 94.
In 1965, after working with the Beatles, she said: "I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked."


Paul tells the Daily Mirror why he stopped smoking dope and how he stays fit. Important stuff. Also, he does a 5-minute handstand.
“I feel pretty fit,” he says, still upside down with his back towards me. “I’m not the sort of person who particularly needs a trainer. I’ll just watch what the trainers do and then copy them.

“I do a bit of the cross-trainer, a bit of running, a bit of cardio and then I do some weights, some abs on the Swiss ball, before ending up on the mat doing a few stretches. And then standing on my head.

“That’s my big claim to fame! I ­actually learned it in the 60s, it was a yoga thing, and my argument is I need flexibility not strength.

“But what’s cool about it is that I’ll be in the gym with all these guys doing really big weights, whilst I’m there doing not big weights, and afterwards, when I’ve done my headstand for about five minutes, these big guys will come up to me and say, ‘That was pretty impressive, man!”

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Unseen photos show Beatles in Belfast, 1964

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has released previously unpublished photos of the Beatles' 1964 performance in Belfast's King's Hall in November 1964.
They show the band playing one of two sell-out concerts on the same night in November 1964.
Around 16,000 adoring fans thronged the venue, many paying less than £1 to see their idols.
 More here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Video: John Lennon describes seeing a UFO over New York

New video: Paul McCartney rehearsal/jam

Paul’s ‘Out There’ tour blew the roof off The O2 in London, Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham and Echo Arena in Liverpool last week. The tour is now set to take over Europe this the summer with dates this month in Marseille, Amsterdam and Paris, followed by Roskilde, Oslo and Stockholm in July.

We spoke with Paul earlier yesterday following rehearsals with his band and he asked us to share with you the clip below. The video, based around his 1989 tune ‘Ou Est Le Soleil’, turned into a 13 minute jam dedicated to the first date of the next tour leg: Marseille.