Monday, November 30, 2015

History: BBC Pop Profile interviews with George Harrison and John Lennon

On Nov. 30, 1965, BBC announcer Brian Matthew, host of "Saturday Club" did relatively serious interviews with both George Harrison and John Lennon.

These shows weren't broadcast in Britain, but pressed onto transcription disks for use in overseas markets. Matthew did similar interviews with Paul and Ringo in May 1966. And all four of the interviews are included on the Beatles' On Air: Live at the BBC Vol. 2 compilation.

You can hear the conversations with George and John below:

Video: John Lennon on "The Today Show" 1974

Friday, November 27, 2015

Video: Ringo Starr "Tonight" promo 1978

Beatles Bits: Bootlegs, Bieber, Bron, Old Blue Eyes and more

Two Dutch fans are suing over ownership of the Beatles' "Nagra tapes," a collection of fly-on-the-wall recordings taped during production of the "Let it Be" film, which have turned up on countless bootlegs over the years.

The name "Nagra" stems from the brand of reel-to-reel tape recorders used to capture hours and hours of the Beatles talking, rehearsing and playing music during the filming of "Let it Be." Two of the mono recorders were rolling almost constantly during the production.

Stan Snelleman and Jos Remmerwaal claim they legally purchased the tapes from a former Apple Corps employee in 1992 and want them back.  The two men were arrested when found in possession of the tapes - which Apple claimed were stolen - in 2003 and the tapes were returned to the Beatles. Some of the recordings turned up that same year on the bonus "fly-on-the-wall" disk included with the official Let it Be ... Naked release.

Apple hasn't commented on the case.

"Let it Be" director Michael Lindsay-Hogg shares his account of George Harrison quitting the Beatles during production of the film.
George didn't want to make a TV special. He just wanted to do the album. One day we went to have lunch and George came up and said, at the head of the table, "See you round the clubs"—and left! I was there when John mentioned Clapton—but that wasn't going to happen. Would Eric have become a Beatle? No. Paul didn't want to go there. He didn't want them to break up. Then George came back.

Justin Bieber this week broke a record previously held by the Beatles by placing 17 songs on the Billboard Hot 100. The Beatles set the previous record in 1964, when they landed 14 songs on the charts simultaneously. That record was tied by Drake earlier this year.


The Guardian catches up with the Beates' "Help!" co-star Eleanor Bron.


George Harrison's All Things Must Pass was released 45 years ago this week. The Los Angeles Times marks the anniversary by interviewing two of its biggest fans, Chris Carter, host of "Breakfast with the Beatles" on KLOS radio, and Les Perry, host of "Saturday with the Beatles" on KCSN.
“One time I got a call from [Harrison’s widow] Olivia, and she called to thank me for playing George’s music,” Carter said of a show entirely dedicated to Harrison’s songs — with the Beatles and solo. “Her mother still lives here [in Southern California] and told her she’d heard it. Olivia was calling from their estate in Friar Park [in England], and she said it was raining, and she talked about how George loved the rain and he would always go out into the garden and plant something when it rained.

“I’m sitting here in Los Angeles, where the sun is shining and thinking, ‘She took the time to call me just to say thank you for playing her husband’s music,' ” he said. “That shows you what kind of people they are.”

Here's a nice piece looking at George Harrison, Frank Sinatra and "Something."
Sinatra only recorded two Beatles songs, and they happen to be the two most recorded, which suggests someone was just shoving under his nose the hits that everyone was doing. But "Something" came to mean something, and "Yesterday" didn't. Nancy Sinatra describes "Something" as "the only Beatles song of I know of that Dad really liked".

Ringo Starr tells People mag he's a big fan of Adele.
"You have to listen to [''Hello.''] There are so many emotional moments in her performance ... It is fabulous." 

Forbes takes a spin in Paul McCartney's 1966 Aston-Martin DB6 (the same model James Bond drove in "Goldfinger."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Image: Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" animation cels on auction

Heritage Auctions is selling 40 animation cels from the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" film in an auction closing Dec. 14. Here's a look at some of the best.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Behind-the-scenes look at new Paul McCartney-Michael Jackson "Say Say Say" video

Behind the scenes of the new video for the remix of Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson's "Say Say Say."

Book Review: The Beatles - Photographs from the Set of Help!

My review of Emilio Lari's recent collection of Beatles photographs from the production of "Help!" is posted over at Wink. Check it out!

History: Beatles film promos for Day Tripper, We Can Work it Out, Help, Ticket to Ride and I Feel Fine

On Nov. 23, 1965, the Beatles met at Twickenham Film Studios near London to film a batch of song promo films with director Joe McGrath.

The films, now all collected in the Beatles 1+ video compilation, were intended for use on various variety and music TV programs, allowing the group maximum exposure without needing to appear on each show in person.

In all, the group filmed two versions of "Day Tripper," three of "We Can Work it Out," one of "Ticket to Ride" and two of "I Feel Fine" on this day.

Here is "We Can Work it Out" from this session.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Beatles Bits News Roundup: Cannabis, Canada, jewelry, kebabs and more!

Civilized counts down "5 Beatles Hit Songs with Cannabis Connections."
#2 "Got to Get You into My Life": "It's actually an ode to pot," McCartney later explained, "like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good [red wine]."

The Ottowa Citizen spotlights a new crowd-funded book, the "Beatles in Canada," noting that the first Beatles release in North America was a small batch of "Love Me Do" singles pressed at the RCA Victor plant in Smiths Falls.


John Lennon was selected a "Face of Britain" for a new exhibit in London's National Portrait Gallery. Other faces the exemplify the nation, according to the show's curator, historian Simon Schama, include Margaret Thatcher and King Henry VIII.


Model-turned-jewelry-designer Efva Affling has designed a range of Beatles-inspired items in conjunction with Apple Corps. The items will be sold in more than 200 stores nationwide.
Years ago, Michael Jackson bought the entire Beatles song catalog, but The Beatles company Apple still owns the titles to the songs and they came to me and asked me if I wanted to do a collaboration with them.  So I took titles like “Good Day Sunshine” and “Let It Be” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and put that into the jewelry. I work a lot with words, since I used to be a singer/songwriter and want to move people with lyrics. At first I thought the project was too commercial, but The Beatles were my first big music love. The jewelry has some of their lyrics written out like “Here Comes the Sun” inside of a ring. In some pieces, I used Herkimer diamonds, which are found already faceted, as if someone has been underground tinkering away. The Indians discovered this stone first. For people that believe in healing, this is the strongest energy-giving stone.

The Rain Grill in West Malling, England, is likely the world's first kebab shop to commemorate the Fab Four, the Sevenoaks Chronicle reports.

The take-away has placed a blue plaque on its front wall noting a scene from "The Magical Mystery Tour" was filmed there back in 1967.
The kebab shop's previous incarnation was as a tea room, and before that it was the Town Newsagency.

Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr went into the newsagent during the 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour to buy a ticket from John Lennon for him and his Aunt Jessie.
... In other West Malling Beatles trivia, Lennon also apparently bought a distinctive hat from Baldock E and Sons shop on the corner of Swan Street, which is still there today.

The remastered Beatles 1 entered the Billboard charts at #6


NPR reviews "Beatlebone," by Kevin Barry, a new novel that works as an alternative history of John Lennon's last years.

An epiphany arrives in the form of a talking seal on a windswept beach: "Let me see if I can explain things, John," the seal says. Lennon realizes he still has an album in him, one that will be called Beatlebone. In an exalted state of clarity, he "sees the broad sweep — he sees the tiny detail. This is the one that will settle every score."


On Milwaukee interviews John Kruth, author of "This Bird Has Flown: The Enduring Beauty of Rubber Soul, Fifty Year On."
"Rubber Soul" drew a line in the sand. Either you were taking yourself "seriously" as a recording artist – as Dylan already had – or you weren't and I interviewed a lot of the Beatles' peers at the time – members of the Turtles, Rascals, Byrds, Al Kooper and Steve Katz of Blood Sweat and Tears, and Greenwich Village folk singers John Sebastian of Lovin Spoonful, and Richie Havens – to ask them what were they doing before the album came out and how did "Rubber Soul" change the game, raise the bar for them. A lot of these guys were my heroes growing up.

Via Consequences of Sound:
... a man calling himself James Richards claims to have traveled to another dimension and brought back an unreleased Beatles album entitled Everyday Chemistry.
You can download it here. To me, it just sounds like somebody with Garage Band and too much time on his hands. I'll stick with Klaatu.


New York's Gagosian Gallery has a new exhibit showcasing the photography of the late Linda McCartney and daughter Mary. There are numerous pictures of Paul, of course, including the great shot below.

Vogue and Vanity Fair have both posted interviews with Mary about the show.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Highlights from Ringo Starr Julien's Auction

You can now scroll through the items Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach are selling  off via Julien's Auctions next month. 

Along with numerous artwork and items of clothing, furniture and jewelry are these items of particular interest to Beatles fans.

Click here to see all the items.