Friday, July 31, 2015

Beatle bits: Weekly news roundup

Wogblog posted perhaps the only photo depicting both Pete Best and his replacement Ringo Starr in the same shot:


Check out an interactive photo display on the Beatles' 1964 American tour. You can buy photo prints here, too.

Paul McCartney's performance at this weekend's Lollapalooza Festival will be live streamed.


Paul has posted a collection of  crowd photos from his most recent shows.


Cartoonist Pablo Stanley has posted a pretty cool strip based on the lyrics to John Lennon's "Imagine." You can order prints of it here.


Author Andy Babiuk is coming out with an expanded version of his indespensible book, "Beatles Gear," which examines the various different instruments the group used to make its music.

The new version, set for November release, is double the length and features more than 600 photographs of the Beatles and their instruments.

Babiuk helped authenticate a long lost John Lennon guitar that surfaced earlier this year.


The CBC is sharing photos and video from its archives of the Beatles' 1964 performance at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.


Members of U2 joined Yoko Ono in the unveiling of a new Beatles-themed tapestry on New York's Ellis Island.

The work depicts the island of Manhattan as a Yellow Submarine with John at the helm. It's a celebration of his quest to become an American citizen in the 1970s.

U2's Bono used the moment to proclaim the Beatles as Irish, saying Lennon was:
“one more Irish immigrant on an island full of Irish immigrants. Let’s claim him, in fact let’s claim all the Beatles not as immigrants but as Irish."
It's known that John, Paul and George have an Irish heritage. It's not certain whether Ringo has any Irish background. There's an interesting site regarding the Beatles' Irish roots here.

I'm also not sure what John would make about the "Yellow Submarine" association, as he had little to do with the tune, which was mostly composed by Paul.

At any rate, it's still a nice recognition, acknowledging John's success in gaining citizenship despite efforts by the Nixon Administration to oust him from the country due to his anti-war and counter-cultural activities.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Still more vintage Beatles newsreels from the Associated Press archives

Posted today on YouTube:

Track lists for McCartney "Tug of War" and "Pipes of Peace" remasters

Via Paul McCartney's official site, here are the track listing for the remasters for Paul McCartney's Tug of War and Pipes of Peace albums, out Oct. 2.

The albums will come in four basic configurations:
  • Standard 2 CD edition.
  • Deluxe 3 CD, DVD and book editions with high-res download.
  • Super Deluxe, same as Deluxe but in a limited edition box featuring hand-numbered photos.
  • Vinyl 2-LP edition with MP3 download.

Tug of War

Disc 1 – Remixed Album
  1. Tug of War (Remixed 2015)
  2. Take It Away (Remixed 2015)
  3. Somebody Who Cares (Remixed 2015)
  4. What’s That You’re Doing? (Remixed 2015)
  5. Here Today (Remixed 2015)
  6. Ballroom Dancing (Remixed 2015)
  7. The Pound Is Sinking (Remixed 2015)
  8. Wanderlust (Remixed 2015)
  9. Get It (Remixed 2015)
  10. Be What You See (Link) (Remixed 2015)
  11. Dress Me Up as a Robber (Remixed 2015)
  12. Ebony and Ivory (Remixed 2015)
Disc 2 – original album mix (included on Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions)
  1. Tug Of War
  2. Take It Away
  3. Somebody Who Cares
  4. What's That You're Doing?
  5. Here Today
  6. Ballroom Dancing
  7. The Pound Is Sinking
  8. Wanderlust
  9. Get It
  10. Be What You See (Link)
  11. Dress Me Up As A Robber
  12. Ebony And Ivory

Disc 3 Bonus Audio (included on Special, Deluxe, Super Deluxe and 2-LP vinyl editions):

  1. Stop, You Don't Know Where She Came From (Demo)
  2. Wanderlust (Demo)
  3. Ballroom Dancing(Demo)
  4. Take It Away (Demo)
  5. The Pound Is Sinking (Demo)
  6. Something That Didn't Happen (Demo)
  7. Ebony And Ivory (Demo) 
  8. Dress Me Up As a Robber / Robber Riff (Demo)
  9. Ebony And Ivory (Solo Version) (Previously only released on the 12" vinyl single in 1982)
  10. Rainclouds (Previously released as the B-side to "Ebony And Ivory")
  11. I'll Give You A Ring (Previously released as B-side to the "Take It Away" single)
 DVD (included on Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions):
  1. Bonus film
  2. Tug of war (Music video version 1)
  3. Tug of war (Music video version 2)
  4. Take it away (Music video)
  5. Ebony & Ivory (Music video)
  6. Fly TIA – Behind the scenes of Take it away (18 minutes documentary)

Pipes of Peace

Disc 1 
  1. Pipes of Peace
  2. Say Say Say
  3. The Other Me
  4. Keep Under Cover
  5. So Bad
  6. The Man
  7. Sweetest Little Show
  8. Average person
  9. Hey hey
  10. Tug of peace
  11. Through our love
Disc 2 Bonus Audio (included on Special, Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions)
  1. Average Person (Demo)
  2. Keep Under Cover (Demo)
  3. Sweetest Little Show (Demo)
  4. It’s Not On (Demo)
  5. Simple as That (Demo)
  6. Say Say Say (New 2015 remix)
  7. Ode to a Kola Bear (B-side of the "Say Say Say" single)
  8. Twice in a Lifetime (Bonus from the 1993 CD, a title song from a movie)
  9. Christian Bop
DVD (included on Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions)
  1. Bonus film (26 minutes)
  2. Pipes of Peace (Music video)
  3. So Bad (Music video)
  4. Say Say Say (Music video)
  5. Hey Hey in Montserrat (Home video 3 minutes)
  6. Behind the Scenes at AIR (6 minutes)
  7. The Man (Home video 4 minutes)

New videos and details on McCartney "Tug of War" and "Pipes of Peace" reissues

Just posted today, here are preview videos and specs on the upcoming remasters of Paul McCartney's Tug of War and Pipes of Peace albums.

From the news release:

Released in 1982, Tug of War  was Paul’s first album following the break-up of Wings and his third solo LP overall. Hailed upon its release as “exquisitely crafted” by The New York Times and a “masterpiece” by Rolling Stone, Tug of War  went to #1 in no less than nine countries. Tug of War yielded such classic tracks as Paul’s #1 duet with Stevie Wonder 'Ebony and Ivory,' the top 10 single 'Take It Away,' and of course 'Here Today,' the conversation Paul never had with the late John Lennon that remains a staple of Paul’s live set to this day. Pipes of Peace, Paul’s fourth solo album, followed in 1983 and continued Paul’s early '80s run of platinum records.  Singles from Pipes of Peace included the title track and of course Paul and Michael Jackson’s timeless 'Say Say Say,' a multi-format global chart-topping smash continually cited as a landmark of that or any year--as recently as 2007, Vibe magazine rated 'Say Say Say' as one of the greatest duets of all time.

As with the GRAMMY-winning Band on the Run and Wings Over America Archive editions, Paul personally supervised all aspects of these releases and their various formats, which include:

Tug of War  will be issued as a 2-CD Special Edition comprised of the 2015 remix of the entire album, plus a second disc of bonus audio featuring eight previously unreleased demos of both album tracks and outtakes 'Stop, You Don’t Know Where She Came From' and 'Something That Didn’t Happen,' as well as demo and solo versions of 'Ebony and Ivory' and more. The Tug Of War 3-CD/1-DVD Deluxe Edition adds the original 1982 album mix and a DVD featuring original music videos for the album’s singles and the brand new 18-minute documentary 'Fly TIA—Behind The Scenes on Take It Away' featuring previously unseen archival footage. In keeping with the award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection standards, the Tug of War  Deluxe Edition will include a 112-page essay book and 64-page scrapbook, while the strictly limited run of 1000 Super Deluxe sets will arrive in a limited edition acrylic slipcase with five hand numbered prints of images from the Linda McCartney archive.

The Pipes of Peace 2-CD Special Edition is made up of the original album plus a 9-track bonus disc with such exclusive gems as a 2015 remix of 'Say Say Say' by Spike Stent, unearthed demos of three album tracks and outtakes 'It’s Not On' and 'Simple As That,' the previously unreleased 'Christian Bop' and more. The 2-CD/1-DVD Pipes of Peace Deluxe Edition features a bonus video disc comprised of the original promo clips for all three of the album’s singles, plus previously unreleased clips from Paul’s film archives. The Deluxe configuration will also include a 112-page essay book and 64-page book that takes the reader behind the scenes on the 'Pipes of Peace' title track video shoot.

Both albums and their companion bonus audio discs will also be released as 2-LP 180-gram audiophile vinyl editions complete with gatefold sleeves and download cards. The newly remixed and mastered Tug of War and remastered Pipes of Peace will also receive standard and Hi Res digital releases, as well deluxe digital and Hi Res releases featuring all bonus audio.

Tug of War and Pipes of Peace are the newest installments in the acclaimed and ongoing Paul McCartney Archive Collection. The inaugural release in the series, the Deluxe Edition of Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1973 milestone Band on the Run, won the 2010 GRAMMY Award for Best Historical Album, while the Deluxe Edition Box Set of the 1976 classic live collection Wings Over America took the 2013 GRAMMY for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. Previous releases in this ambitious reissue program encompassing 41 years of timeless material from the most successful songwriter and recording artist of all time include solo works McCartney and McCartney II, Paul and Linda McCartney’s RAM, and Wings’ Venus and Mars and At The Speed Of Sound

Monday, July 27, 2015

New documentary asks Ringo about God

Out now on DVD and via streaming channels, "God? The Almighty Question" is a documentary that looks at different views regarding the supreme being.

Ringo Starr is listed prominently on the package art, and the film includes interview footage with him, which has also appeared on YouTube. See it here:

Upcoming Beatles books: Two collections of "Help!" photos, plus the "Dead Straight Guide"

Some recent listings on Amazon. Click the links to order.

Eight Arms to Hold You: 50 Years of Help! and the Beatles
Out Nov. 30, 2015.
180 pages.
"Remarkable as it may seem, but this is the first book on The Beatles' film Help! and that in itself a rare milestone in Fab Four history. So put down your mobile phone, turn off your satellite TV and unplug the internet and travel back 50 years to wallow in the beauty of The Beatles as never presented before. It may seem clichéd to say this, but truly, a splendid time is guaranteed for all." Simon Wells, from the introduction.

Eight Arms to Hold You is a unique publication. It features both rare and unseen photos and materials from the movie Help!, drawn from archives on all four corners of the planet; all of which is forensically remastered by one of the country's best forensic art and image restorers, Paul Skellett. The book is curated by world renowned Beatles author, Simon Wells (Beatles 365 Days and Beatles Japan).

This is one of the most meticulously researched and restored Beatles titles to date, with support from Rex Features Archive, The British Film Institute, The Pete Nash Collection, The Vincent Vigil Collection, The Mark Hayward Collection, The Cavern Club, The Beatles Story Museum, The Hard Days Night Hotel, The Beatles Fest and many other private collectors. Richard Lester, the legendary director of Help! has also lent his assistance in releasing parts of his private collection (including the original hand noted script) as well as being part of the book's final approval process. The project has renowned Beatles researcher and author Simon Wells on board to curate and narrate the story, with specialist forensic art and photography restorer, Paul Skellett handling the full image remastering process.

Includes photography by Richard Lester, Robert Freeman, Michael Peto, Emilio Lari, Gisa Kothe, Jerrold F. Hilton, Karl Höfner.
The Beatles: Photographs from the Set of Help!
Out Sept. 15, 2015.
144 pages.
An extraordinary collection of mostly unseen photographs of the Beatles during the making of Help!. Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ second motion picture, Help!, this almost entirely unpublished collection of photographs marks a pivotal turning point in the band’s history, as they evolved from much-loved musicians into the most important group of all time.

The Beatles’ first movie filmed in color, Help! is a madcap adventure featuring cinematography and film sequences widely considered to be hugely influential to the modern performance-style music videos of today. Specialist set photographer Emilio Lari was invited by director Richard Lester to shoot stills of the production at Twickenham Studios and document behind-the-scenes larking about as the band relaxed in their hotel between takes. With an introduction by Lester and intimate, never-before-seen images, The Beatles: Help! provides new and fascinating insights into the band that changed the history of music and the world.
The Dead Straight Guide to The Beatles
Out Sept. 15, 2015.
336 pages.
One of the first books in this new series, this pocket guide looks at the Beatles, one of the most influential, innovative, and respected bands of all time. It covers every aspect of the Fab Four, including their music, lyrics, movies, and solo careers.

BBC Radio to air audio drama about Beatles-Elvis meeting

An audio play based on the Beatles' 1965 meeting with Elvis Presley will air Aug. 27 on BBC Radio 2, 50 years after the famed occasion.

"When Elvis Met the Beatles" was written by Liverpudlian Jeff Young and stars Tom Hughes (The Game) as John Lennon; Kevin Mains (Cilla, Million Dollar Quartet)as Elvis; Tom Dunlea (All is By My Side) as Ringo; Shaun Mason (Luther) as Paul McCartney; Michael Hawkins as George Harrison; Daniel Lapaine (Zero Dark Thirty, Muriel’s Wedding) as Brian Epstein, and Colin Stinton (The Bourne Ultimatum, Foyle’s War) as Colonel Tom Parker.

No cameras were allowed inside Elvis' Bel-Air mansion during the meeting and accounts of what occurred vary widely among those who were there. Some present insist the Beatles had a jam session with Elvis, while others claim that's not the case.

Here is Young's description of the play:
“I was a big Beatles fan when I was younger, but for this project, initially, I knew very little about the Elvis and Beatles meeting. Then as I began researching the story, the strangeness of the meeting and the psychological dimensions, the dramatic opportunities became obvious. The larger than life characters involved, including Brian Epstein and Colonel Tom Parker, all set against a backdrop of corrupt American politics and the disastrous war in Vietnam, made for a strange and compelling narrative."

“The piece that has emerged is a kind of fake documentary. Elvis’s life was an American Tragedy and the seeds of it are sown here in this meeting between the King and the pretenders to the throne. The Beatles were so young, bewildered and overwhelmed by their rapid rise to fame. In writing this drama I went back my old Beatles records and I became a Beatles fan, all over again."
No time is provided for the broadcast, but we'll post a link if the play becomes available for streaming.

The Beatles outside Elvis' mansion, 1965

Ringo's "Help!" jacket sells for 30,000 pounds

A jacket worn by Ringo Starr in the Beatles' film "Help" has sold at auction for £30,000.
The wool double-breasted suit jacket with an A.D.A Millings and Sons “Ringo” label sewn inside the inner right pocket and a “Ringo No.1” costume notation on the right sleeve, was worn by the Liverpool drummer in the hit comedy adventure film where the group face an evil cult.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vintage Beatles newsreels added to YouTube

A collection of newsreels from the Associated Press and British Movietone have been uploaded to YouTube.

Here's a look at the new additions:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Video: Full telecast of Paul McCartney live in Japan concert

Aired on Japanese TV, this is Paul McCartney's full show at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo April 28, 2015.

1970s Ringo Starr "Simple Life" TV commercials from Japan

In the Seventies, Ringo did a series of TV ads for Japan's Simple Life leisure suit line. The featured song, "I Love My Suit," features Davy Jones from the Monkees and Harry Nilsson on backing vocals.

Here's a look:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Paul inducts Ringo into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame - official video

Posted today via Paul McCartney's official site:

Upcoming book: Conversations with McCartney by Paul Du Noyer

Out Sept. 24, 2015.

In June 1989, Paul Du Noyer was contacted by Paul McCartney's office in London and asked to interview the star as they had met once before and enjoyed a good raport. In the years that followed, Paul Du Noyer continued to meet, interview and work for Paul McCartney on a regular basis, producing magazine articles, tour programmes, album liner notes, press materials and website editorial. It's likely that Du Noyer has spent more hours in formal, recorded conversation with McCartney than any other writer. Conversations with McCartney is the culmination of Du Noyer's long association with McCartney and his music. It draws from their interview sessions across 35 years, coupling McCartney's own, candid thoughts with his observations and analysis.

Monday, July 6, 2015

New book explores Liverpool and rock tourism

Authored by Beatles/Liverpool scholar Michael Brocken, this is listed only as a very expensive e-book at Amazon ($100+).

Out July 28, 2015

It has taken Liverpool almost half a century to come to terms with the musical, cultural and now economic legacy of the Beatles and popular music.

At times the group was negatively associated with sex and drugs images surrounding rock music: deemed unacceptable by the city fathers, and unworthy of their support. Liverpudlian musicians believe that the musical legacy of the Beatles can be a burden, especially when the British music industry continues to brand the latest (white) male group to emerge from Liverpool as ‘the next Beatles’.

Furthermore, Liverpudlians of perhaps differing ethnicities find images of ‘four white boys with guitars and drums’ not only problematic in a ‘musical roots’ sense, but for them culturally devoid of meaning and musically generic.

The musical and cultural legacy of the Beatles remains complex. In a post-industrial setting in which both popular and traditional heritage tourism have emerged as providers of regular employment on Merseyside, major players in what might be described as a Beatles music tourism industry have constructed new interpretations of the past and placed these in such an order as to re-confirm, re-create and re-work the city as a symbolic place that both authentically and contextually represents the Beatles.

"Dear Prudence" -- New book explores story behind the song

Issued June 26, 2015.

“The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful, and so are you…”
Those simple lines from the Beatles’ ballad, “Dear Prudence,” are easily recognizable by anyone who lived through the 1960s, as well as by the millions of people who continue to enjoy the Beatles’ music today.

But who was Prudence? Did she ever come out into the sunshine and greet the new day, as John Lennon beseeched her to do? What’s the real story behind the song?

Prudence Farrow Bruns, a daughter of the prominent Farrow family that includes sister and actress Mia Farrow, finally sets the story straight. Her memoir speaks to her three-month self-imposed meditative seclusion in India in 1968, while also carefully examining the universal experience of the 1960s youth movement.
Farrow honestly and unflinchingly explores how music, drugs, the Vietnam War, and eastern mysticism and philosophy changed millions of young people’s worldviews during one of America’s most tumultuous decades. She also touches on her own famous family’s heartaches and triumphs, even as she voices the experiences of an entire generation through a single iconic song.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Beatles "live in a Madrid" release reportedly a fake

The much ballyhooed release of Concierto en Madrid, a supposed recording of the Beatles' 1965 concert in that city is a cobbled-together fake, according to postings on various Beatles websites and message boards.

Fans posting on WogBlog, the 910 message board and Bootleg Zone all claim the songs on the release were actually from a Paris concert, long available on bootleg.

The producers of the new release, available on vinyl and CD, also apparently took the trouble to paste in a stage announcements by Paul McCartney from various solo concerts performed long after the Beatles broke up.

Looks like we can all save our money on this one.