Friday, December 11, 2015

Beatles Bits: Acorns, jeans, rings and harmoniums

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says he's "reuniting" the Beatles by adding Ringo Starr's 1964-era drum kit to his existing collection of guitars once owned by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. He bought the kit during the recent Juliens auction of Ringo's belongings for $2.1 million.

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Also sold at the Juliens auction, for $790,000, was Ringo's personal copy of "The White Album," which was the very first pressing of the LP.

Other big ticket items included an onyx ring that Ringo wore during every live performance by the Beatles, more drums, a Sgt. Pepper sign from the gypsy caravan owned by John Lennon, and more. You can see a list of the 10 top-selling items here.

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A new statue of the Beatles on Liverpool's Pier Head contains a secret:
Even though the work is right in the heart of the town where John Lennon was born, there is no letting go of the one where he died. For clasped in John’s right hand are two acorns. They were foraged by Chris Butler, who runs Castle Fine Art Foundry where the work was produced, from oak trees near the Dakota Building where Lennon lived with Yoko Ono. 
John's half-sister Julia Baird unveiled the statue Dec. 4. The Beatles' last concert in their native city was performed Dec. 5, 1965.


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Some trivia for British soap opera fans: The harmonium John Lennon played during a performance of "We Can Work it Out" on the 1965  "The Music of Lennon and McCartney" TV special is the same instrument played by character Ena Sharples on "Coronation Street." The Beatles special was shot at the same studio.

And here's an article about how the Beatles almost once guested on the soap.

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Paul McCartney earned some surprising Grammy nominations this week: "Best Rap Performance" and "Best Rap Song" for his collaboration with Kany West on "All Day."

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Rolling Stone has a detailed review of the  "Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert" held in New York last weekend. Yoko Ono was present for the show, which included performances by Willie Nelson, John Fogery, the Roots and others.

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Liverpool's Walton Hospital, birthplace of Paul McCartney, is being razed to make way for a supermarket. 

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The Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts, opened by Paul McCartney in 1996, is expanding its campus with a new sixth-form building. The new facility will include a studio theater, a recording studio, music technology suites and dance and drama studio.

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Via WogBlog: How the Beatles were featured in an ad for Lybro jeans.

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The Beatles 1+ video collection is now available on iTunes.

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Todd Rundgren says Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band will tour the U.S. again next summer and may play dates overseas in the Pacific Rim.

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Andy Babiuk discusses his new, bigger edition of "Beatles Gear", a guide to all the instruments used by the Beatles.
The new edition is 512 pages, exactly twice as many as the previous edition. That’s 5½ lavish pounds of guitars, guitar straps, drums, amps, record covers, receipts and photos of the band. Plus interviews and massive amounts of tech-filled text, all done with the cooperation of Ringo Starr, Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison’s wife Olivia and son Danny, Yoko Ono and famed Beatles producer George Martin.

...  In the late ’90s, as the first edition of Beatles Gear was coming together, Babiuk visited Starr in London and accompanied him to the warehouse where the drummer stored much of his equipment. Starr actually had four different oyster black pearl kits scattered about, but was unsure as to which pieces belonged together. Babiuk used old photos of the band to match each drum piece’s oyster patterns, which are as distinctive as fingerprints. The first of those drum kits is also on the cover of Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition.


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