Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Fifty years after John Lennon's "bigger than Jesus" remarks flared into controversy in the United States, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reprints an article from that time in which a pastor threatens to revoke the church membership of anyone who agreed with John's statement. The article also notes that the band canceled a news conference in the city, possibly related to the Jesus controversy.
"I will revoke the membership of any members of my church who agree with John Lennon's remark about Jesus or who go to see the Beatles at the Stadium Sunday night," the Rev. Thurman H. Babbs, pastor of the New Heaven Baptist Church, said yesterday.

... It's high time Christians speak out on this atheistic remark," the Rev. Mr. Babbs said. "I know I'm leaving myself open to charges that I'm a dictator, but it's high time somebody shocked Christianity's conscience."

The same foundry that created statues of the Beatles now on display at Liverpool's Albert Docks is creating one honoring singer Cilla Black, who died last year.
Black's family approached Castle Fine Arts Foundry after being impressed with statues it produced of The Beatles.
It has also created artworks of The Queen and boxer Muhammad Ali.

Patsy Leigh, a retired airline stewardess who flew out of Liverpool during the Beatles' early days shared her memories with the Liverpool Echo this week.
“We carried The Beatles on many flights, before and after they were famous. I really just knew them as four boys with pudding haircuts!
“And what was lovely about those boys was that when they became famous they were still the same boys we had known before.
“Paul was very outgoing and friendly – a born comedian. John was a little bit withdrawn and quiet, Ringo was a bit quiet, too, and George was lovely. Paul was terrified of flying and always sat with a hostess at the back of the plane. And when they had become famous he would read out fan letters to us.
“He asked me once ‘Do you like our music?’ I said I hadn’t heard much of it because I was a bit older than them. He howled with laughter, and I felt a bit embarrassed. I still feel a bit ashamed about that, but we never had the time to go out to places like the Cavern.”
Patsy, who never even asked them for autographs, adds: “Even now, all these years on, I can only remember them as delightful boys. They were always polite, respectful, great fun and very, very happy to be on their way home to Liverpool.”

A Beatles fan who grew up near John Lennon's Kenwood estate, which is now up for sale, recalls visiting the star as a teen.
A huge Lennon fan, Mrs Millea and friends would cycle through the woods and golf course on long summer days in a bid to meet the superstar songwriter.
At the time, the large wooden double gates to Kenwood were generally left open, meaning easy access for this particular eager young fan group.
“John was just a really nice guy and very laid back about us being there,” said Mrs Millea, now 64, a grandmother living in Emsworth in Hampshire.
“They were lovely times, John was my favourite person in the world - he had a depth to him, a real man of the people.”

The New York Times this week featured a not terribly enlightening interview with Paul McCartney, in which Macca discusses some his philosophies regarding live performances and stage patter.
Having spent decades on the road with the Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist, Mr. McCartney acknowledges that concertgoers may have heard one of his well-worn stories before. “If you think of it like a Broadway show, they don’t alter their lines or their jokes every night,” he said. “Once you have some idea of what goes down well with an audience, you kind of stick to it. So if I’m telling a story about Jimi Hendrix that I’ve said before, then I’ll use little phrases, like ‘As I say’ or ‘I often tell the story’ to not sound like, oh my God, he’s on auto-repeat.”

Paul McCartney is among a group of more than 40 artists and performers calling on Brazilian and European leaders to recognize the rights of an Amazonian community whose territory is threatened by a planned complex of dams.
In a letter to the Guardian, the group says Brazil’s plan to build four large and many smaller dams on the Tapaj√≥s river and its tributaries could destroy thousands of square miles of forest and imperil the Munduruku indigenous people.

Ron Howard held a special screening of "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years" in London earlier this week, although no specific details of the film were revealed in this story.


The BBC will to air a series of programs by DJ and Beatles pal Kenny Everett, which haven't been heard in more than 40 years.
“Because he was great mates with the Beatles he would create jingles with Beatles tracks.

“He did one with the backing track to Yellow Submarine and he even previewed John Lennon’s Imagine album. He did shows that sounded better than national radio and was generally very entertaining.”