Beatles Bits: Weekly news update

This article, about Sgt. Pepper cover artist Peter Blake designing a new print for the Liverpool Biennial art festival, contains an interesting anecdote about original Beatle Stu Sutcliffe.
Dartford-born Blake's connection with Liverpool dates back to 1961 when he won the John Moores junior art award, beating John Lennon's friend and former Beatles bass player Stuart Sutcliffe.
Sir Peter said: "On my first meeting with John [Lennon] the subject of art came up and he muttered, 'Stuart should have got that prize, not you'. They were the first words he ever said to me."


Such a rebel: John Lennon's childhood stamp collection is going on display this spring in New York.
According to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum — which first housed Lennon’s stamps in 2005 — the budding musician began collecting stamps after his older cousin, Stanley Parkes, gifted him a partially filled in album. Over the years, Lennon filled the book with stamps taken from letters sent from the United States and New Zealand.

When the National Postal Museum first purchased Lennon’s “lost album,” late curator Wilson Hulme did note to Smithsonian Magazine that the collection did not boast any notable stamps. “Typically, young boys aren’t interested in rarity,” he said. “They tend to concentrate on geography and colors. If they come back to collecting when they have more time and money, that’s when collections become exceptional.”

Still, the album does offer a unique insight into Lennon’s childhood, and perhaps his budding wanderlust and creativity: The book’s title page features a reprinted stamp emblazoned with Queen Victoria and King George VI — on their likenesses, Lennon doodled a mustache and beard, respectively.


After opening to tourists a few months ago, the ashram in Rishikesh, India, where the Beatles studied Transcendental Meditation has been closed to visitors again. Concern over disrupting the area's tiger habitat lad to authorities turning tourists away.
Forest authorities said the ashram, situated in the core Gohri range of Rajaji tiger reserve, has around eight tigers and a healthy population of leopards, black bear, cobras, etc, and too many visitors would disturb the wildlife here. Earlier, the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Supreme Court, too, had endorsed holding zero tourist or commercial activity in core tiger habitats.

A small village in the Ukraine has named a street for John Lennon.
Surprisingly, it's not the first time John Lennon's name has been used in Ukraine's decommunization drive. Last month, local government chiefs decided to use ‘John Lennon Square' instead of ‘Soviet Square' in the town of Izyum, Kharkiv region.

Friend-of-Macca Dave Grohl performed a cover of the Beatles' "Blackbird" as backdrop to the "in memorium" portion of this year's Academy Awards ceremony.


After Paul McCartney was reportedly barred from entering his Grammy Awards after-party, Tyga is making nice - appearing recently sporting a Macca t-shirt. Tyga said he had no idea Paul had been turned away by security men, who evidently didn't recognize the former Beatle.
“I wish I knew that he was outside. I would’ve went out there with the mic, brought him in, perform ‘Rack City’ with me.”

Dhani Harrison chats to NPR about Georgefest and growing up as the son of a Beatle.
How great to grow up in an ecosystem where music is naturally part of your everyday life. You come down for tea, and maybe Jeff Lynne or Eric Clapton is in the kitchen.
And also, it offers you a different perspective on life to have these people around the house. It made going to school easier, because you wouldn't take yourself so seriously. You'd come home and Bob Dylan would be there or something.

Yoko Ono caused some alarm when she was suddenly hospitalized last weekend. Early reports speculated she'd had a stroke, yet it was later announced she'd had a fever and severe dehydration. She was soon released to recover at home.

On his Twitter account, Sean Ono Lennon clarified that the only stroke his mom had "was a stroke of genius."