Wednesday, December 28, 2016

History: Beatles Book Monthly December 1966


The December 1966 issue of the Beatles official fan magazine captures some of the unease many fans had at this time. Following their summer U.S. tour, the group's members all went their separate ways. John filmed "How I Won the War." Paul collaborated with George Martin on the soundtrack to "The Family Way." George traveled to India and Ringo spent time at home with Maureen and Zak.

By tradition, fans expected a new LP by the end of the year, but there was none forthcoming. Unknown to the rest of the world, the Beatles had started work on the sessions that would become Sgt. Pepper, which wasn't released until the following June. 

There's hope expressed in this issue for at the very least a single by the end of 1966, but "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever" wouldn't be out until early in the New Year.

The Beatles, however, did manage to issue its annual fan club Christmas message.

Desperate for something for the Christmas market, EMI in England issued the best-of album, A Collection of Beatles Oldies, on Dec. 10, which is plugged in this issue's news briefs.





The issue includes a selection of quotes from American press conferences:


And a visit to Ringo's house:



Along with the usual selection of fan letters and pics of the Beatles, who would look much different at the turn of the year!










Friday, December 23, 2016

Vintage Beatles "Let it Be" lobby card set


Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

A whole bunch of John Lennon videos have been added to his official YouTube page.




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Liverpool music promoter Sam Leach, who helped the Beatles land some early high-profile gigs, has died of cancer at age 81.
Johnny Hutchinson, a member of The Big Three who were Liverpool contemporaries of The Beatles, said: “It’s the end of an era.
“Sam kept us all going in those days. We used to get the same amount of money as The Beatles got. None of us would have made it without him, or without Brian Epstein.=
“There was nobody like him and he kept the memory of those early years of The Beatles alive.”
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Fans have launched a petition asking that a number of songs slated to appear as downloads only in the upcoming, expensive box set of Paul McCartney's Flowers in the Dirt album be placed on CD instead.

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Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell attended the movie premiere of "This Beautiful Fantastic," which is directed by Simon About, son of Paul's daughter Mary.

Paul and Mary
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Before the Beatles, there was the Great Guitar Drought of 1960-63.

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True: "The Greatest Beatles Cover Is Stevie Wonder’s 'We Can Work It Out'."

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A French Beatles fan is selling off his collection of 15,000 items, including signed books, posters and autographs.
The Guardian notes that Volcouve’s career as France’s foremost “Beatles historian” began in the early 1970s, after he kept calling a French radio station to point out errors in a BBC series about the Beatles that they were airing, and was invited into the studio.
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From the Guardian archives, 1970: Reviews of four Beatles solo albums.
Paul’s album, McCartney (Apple PCS 7102), which has been out some time, is the work of a man of air. It has no substance. Paul reveals himself in it as a man preoccupied with himself, and his own situation. The music is boastfully casual, scraps of his home studio. He seems to believe that anything that comes into his head is worth having. And he’s wrong.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Listen to the new BBC Radio 2 documentary: When Kenny Met the Fab Four

Manic radio deejay Kenny Everett as a friend to the Beatles during the mid to late 1960s. Learn more about him, and hear excerpts from his Beatles interviews and collaborations in this new documentary from the BBC. Listen here.

Details:
The Beatles' iconic 1966 U.S. tour not only propelled the Fab Four to mega-stardom; it also marked the start of one of the most fascinating friendships in entertainment history.
In the 50th anniversary year of those concerts, Paul Gambaccini tells the story of Kenny Everett's friendship with The Beatles - which all started when a little-known pirate radio DJ was invited to tour with the world's biggest band to file reports for Radio London.
The programme will uncover many colourful stories through both little-heard archive of Kenny and members of the band as well as fresh interviews. This includes the tale of how Kenny inspired lyrics to one of the group's most memorable hits - thanks to a twilight stroll on a golf course near John Lennon's Weybridge home.
Also hear how Brian Epstein sailed out to Radio London's boat to personally give Kenny a copy of one of The Beatles' much-hyped new singles so he had the first exclusive radio play. Plus discover how Kenny produced two Beatles records, and became John and Yoko's confidante after the band split.
Contributors include Kenny's former wife Lee Everett Middleton, former Capital Radio presenter and Kenny's old pirate Radio London partner Dave Cash ('Kenny and Cash'), US DJ and Kenny's roommate on the 1966 Beatles tour Ron O'Quinn, former Capital Radio presenter Nicky Horne and famed Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick.

Vintage Ringo puppet


Friday, December 16, 2016

Vintage Beatles hairbrush



Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Japan Airlines is giving some of its passengers replicas of the "happi" jackets worn by the Beatles on their flight to that nation 50 years ago.
The new amenity was to be offered to passengers flying with JAL from London to Haneda from Thursday.

The replica happi to be handed out on the plane are for first-class passengers from Thursday until Dec. 31 and will also be offered to business-class passengers on Dec. 24 and 25.

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A 1960s concert program autographed by all four Beatles has turned up in a British charity shop.


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Will the Beatles be featured in season 2 of Netflix's "The Crown," which will be set during the 1960s?  The young Prince Charles was a Beatles fan and the group performed before the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret at the Royal Variety Show in 1964 and was awarded the M.B.E. by the Queen in 1965.
... there have already been theories on who could be an ideal choice for playing members of the classic band. There were some suggestions that Joseph Gordon-Levitt could play the role of John Lennon. Meanwhile, others think that Daniel Radcliffe is another suitable choice for the role.

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Speaking of the Royal Variety Show, Cirque du Soleil were featured performing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from The Beatles Love show in this year's broadcast.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Track listings and teaser video for Paul McCartney's "Flowers in the Dirt" reissue

Paul McCartney's acclaimed 1989 album, Flowers in the Dirt, is being reissued in a variety of formats and will include Paul's demos recorded with Elvis Costello.

I love the original album and look forward to these demos being officially released. It look like I'm in for the the Special Edition, though I must say I'd rather have the download material on CD instead and I'm disappointed Paul and Elvis' handful of live performances, which have surfaced on various bootlegs, aren't included.

March 24. Here's a preview:



Details:

 The long awaited 10th release in the multiple-GRAMMY Award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection has been confirmed: On March 24, 2017, Paul’s 1989 international #1 album, 'Flowers In The Dirt', will be the latest classic solo work from one of the world’s most revered catalogues to get the special treatment across a multi-format reissue released by MPL/Capitol/UMe.

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection release of 'Flowers In The Dirt' was, as always, personally supervised by Paul himself.

One of the most critically acclaimed albums of the eighties, nominated for both BRIT and Grammy Awards, 'Flowers In The Dirt' saw McCartney team up with Elvis Costello to co-write a third of the album ('My Brave Face', 'You Want Her Too', 'Don’t Be Careless Love' and 'That Day is Done') as well as boasting production credits from producers such as Mitchell Froom, Trevor Horn, David Foster, Steve Lipson, Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney himself. Pink Floyd guitar legend David Gilmour makes an appearance on 'We Got Married' and George Martin’s string arrangement on 'Put It There' is amongst the many album highlights.

The 'Flowers In The Dirt' Deluxe Edition Box Set will undoubtedly be yet another crown jewel in the collection of any Paul McCartney fan. In addition to its wealth of audio and video content, exclusive features of the Deluxe Edition include a 32-page notebook of Paul’s handwritten lyrics and notes, a catalogue for Linda McCartney’s 1989 'Flowers In The Dirt' photo exhibition, a 64 page photobook featuring the music videos for 'The One', and a stunning, custom-created 112-page book telling the complete story of the album through exclusive in-depth interviews with Paul, Elvis Costello and other key contributors. Along with expanded track-by-track information, the book contains album and single artwork as well as previously unpublished photographs by Linda McCartney.

Sessions for 'Flowers In The Dirt' began in 1987 and the majority of the album was recorded at Paul’s Hog Hill Mill studio in East Sussex. During the sessions Costello convinced Paul to dig out his iconic Höfner bass for the first time in years—a suggestion McCartney recalls as “unusual because I had sort of parked it. I had thought I had outgrown it. I started playing it again and never really looked back. It’s great that Elvis encouraged me to take it out.” In preparation for his first major world tour in years Paul was looking to capture songs he could take on the road with him. Paul told his band that he wouldn’t go out on tour unless he really liked the album. Looking back Paul recalls, “You’re always thinking, ‘Let’s get some new songs and take them on tour’ and you hope your new songs are going to work. Something like ‘My Brave Face’ would be a song that nobody knew at the start at the beginning of the tour and then everybody knew it at the end and it was the high spot of the whole tour.”

The original 13-track album was remastered for all the new configurations at Abbey Road Studios. The Deluxe Edition contains 18 bonus audio tracks across two discs, featuring previously unreleased demos, written and performed by Paul with Elvis Costello. Speaking about these tracks Paul said: “The demos are red hot off the skillet and that’s why we wanted to include them on this boxed set. What’s great about these songs is that they’ve just been written. So there’s nothing more hot off the skillet as I say. So that was the kind of great instant thing about them. I hadn’t listened to them in ages but when I did I knew we had to put them out. We made a little tape of them and sent them to Elvis, who loved them too. We said we should put out an EP or something and now the moment’s finally arrived.”

The Deluxe Edition also includes, as digital downloads only, three unheard cassette demos, 'Don’t Want To Confess', 'Shallow Grave' and 'Mistress And Maid'.

The DVD that comes with the Deluxe Edition includes all the music videos from the album, three new short films with unseen archive material that show some of the creation process of the album and the documentary 'Put It There' originally released on VHS in 1989 – a behind the scenes look at the making of 'Flowers In The Dirt' as well as featuring live performances from his 1989 World Tour.

The 2 CD Special Edition includes the remastered version of the album on the first disc. The second disc includes Paul and Elvis’s previously unreleased original demos.

The 2 LP Edition also comes with a digital download version. The first LP includes the remastered album but in keeping with the original vinyl release doesn’t include 'Où Est Le Soleil' (this track will be available with the accompanying digital download). The second LP includes Paul and Elvis’s previously unreleased original demos.

Track listings:

SPECIAL EDITION (3CD/1DVD)
DISC 1:
1. My Brave Face (2017 Remaster)
2. Rough Ride (2017 Remaster)
3. You Want Her Too (2017 Remaster)
4. Distractions (2017 Remaster)
5. We Got Married (2017 Remaster)
6. Put It There (2017 Remaster)
7. Figure Of Eight (2017 Remaster)
8. This One (2017 Remaster)
9. Don’t Be Careless Love (2017 Remaster)
10. That Day Is Done (2017 Remaster)
11. How Many People (2017 Remaster)
12. Motor Of Love (2017 Remaster)
13. Où Est Le Soleil? (2017 Remaster)
DISC 2:
1. The Lovers That Never Were (Original Demo)
2. Tommy’s Coming Home (Original Demo)
3. Twenty Fine Fingers (Original Demo)
4. So Like Candy (Original Demo)
5. You Want Her Too (Original Demo)
6. That Day Is Done (Original Demo)
7. Don’t Be Careless Love (Original Demo)
8. My Brave Face (Original Demo)
9. Playboy To A Man (Original Demo)
DISC 3:
1. The Lovers That Never Were (1988 Demo)
2. Tommy’s Coming Home (1988 Demo)
3. Twenty Fine Fingers (1988 Demo)
4. So Like Candy (1988 Demo)
5. You Want Her Too (1988 Demo)
6. That Day Is Done (1988 Demo)
7. Don’t Be Careless Love (1988 Demo)
8. My Brave Face (1988 Demo)
9. Playboy To A Man (1988 Demo)
DVD 
Music Videos:
1. My Brave Face
2. My Brave Face (Version 2)
3. This One (Version 1)
4. This One (Version 2)
5. Figure Of Eight
6. Party Party
7. Où Est Le Soleil?
8. Put It There
9. Distractions
10. We Got Married
 Creating Flowers in the Dirt:
1. Paul And Elvis
2. Buds In The Studio
3. The Making Of ‘This One’
(The Dean Chamberlain One)
Put it There:
1. Put It There Documentary

DOWNLOAD ONLY:
Original B-sides, remixes and single edits:
1. Back On My Feet
2. Flying To My Home
3. The First Stone
4. Good Sign
5. This One (Club Lovejoys Mix)
6. Figure Of Eight (12” Bob Clearmountain Mix)
7. Loveliest Thing
8. Où Est Le Soleil? (12” Mix)
9. Où Est Le Soleil? (Tub Dub Mix)
10. Où Est Le Soleil? (7” Mix)
11. Où Est Le Soleil? (Instrumental)
12. Party Party (Original Mix)
13. Party Party (Club Mix)
Cassette demos:
1. I Don’t Want To Confess
2. Shallow Grave
3. Mistress And Maid


SPECIAL EDITION (2CD)
DISC 1:
1. My Brave Face (2017 Remaster)
2. Rough Ride (2017 Remaster)
3. You Want Her Too (2017 Remaster)
4. Distractions (2017 Remaster)
5. We Got Married (2017 Remaster)
6. Put It There (2017 Remaster)
7. Figure Of Eight (2017 Remaster)
8. This One (2017 Remaster)
9. Don’t Be Careless Love (2017 Remaster)
10. That Day Is Done (2017 Remaster)
11. How Many People (2017 Remaster)
12. Motor Of Love (2017 Remaster)
13. Où Est Le Soleil? (2017 Remaster)
DISC 2:
1. The Lovers That Never Were (Original Demo)
2. Tommy’s Coming Home (Original Demo)
3. Twenty Fine Fingers (Original Demo)
4. So Like Candy (Original Demo)
5. You Want Her Too (Original Demo)
6. That Day Is Done (Original Demo)
7. Don’t Be Careless Love (Original Demo)
8. My Brave Face (Original Demo)
9. Playboy To A Man (Original Demo)

VINYL (2LP)
Disc 1
Side A:

1. My Brave Face (2017 Remaster)
2. Rough Ride (2017 Remaster)
3. You Want Her Too (2017 Remaster)
4. Distractions (2017 Remaster)
5. We Got Married (2017 Remaster)
6. Put It There (2017 Remaster)
Side B:
7. Figure Of Eight (2017 Remaster)
8. This One (2017 Remaster)
9. Don’t Be Careless Love (2017 Remaster)
10. That Day Is Done (2017 Remaster)
11. How Many People (2017 Remaster)
12. Motor Of Love (2017 Remaster)
13. Où Est Le Soleil? (2017 Remaster) (**not on vinyl, this track will be available with the accompanying digital download). 
Disc 2
Side A:

1. The Lovers That Never Were (Original Demo)
2. Tommy’s Coming Home (Original Demo)
3. Twenty Fine Fingers (Original Demo)
4. So Like Candy (Original Demo)
Side B:
5. You Want Her Too (Original Demo)
6. That Day Is Done (Original Demo)
7. Don’t Be Careless Love (Original Demo)
8. My Brave Face (Original Demo)
9. Playboy To A Man (Original Demo)


Vintage Cavern Club letterhead


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Interview: A Beatles scholar and his dad on the road

Aaron Krerowicz is a professional Beatles scholar. He makes his living doing lecture tours about the band and writing books such as "The Beatles and the Avant-Garde" and "From the Shadow of JFK: The Rise of Beatlemania" - all of which are well worth a look.

Recently, he published a new book with his dad, John, a retired newspaper journalist, who accompanied Aaron on a cross-country road trip/lecture tour.

"Days in the Life," features sections written by both father and son, as they discuss their mutual love of the Beatles and other passions, such as baseball (which they both enjoy) and birding (John's newfound passion).

In this interview the discuss how love of the Beatles' music can cross generations and what they learned  being on the road.

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It's fascinating to me how the Beatles' music gets handed down through generations. My kids (ages 13 and 19) love the Beatles - not so much anything else I play around the house. They grew up probably hearing just as much Duke Ellington or John Coltrane as the Fab Four, but they aren't jazz fans. Yet, they've gladly joined me to see Paul McCartney and Ringo in concert and enjoy listening to the Beatles on their own. Why do you think this is?


AARON: There's a cross-generational appeal to The Beatles that very few musicians ever achieve. And I suspect it's the result of the band's ability to balance accessibility with sophistication. The music is extremely easy to listen to, but that approachability belies how complex the music is.

For example, the four verses of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" are all in G major while the two bridges are in C major. In other words, there's a key change every time a verse is followed by a bridge, or a bridge is followed by a verse (a total of four times throughout the song). That's a rather sophisticated songwriting technique to pull off - it's not something found in your every day vanilla pop song. And I doubt John or Paul were even aware of what they were doing - and certainly they wouldn't have called it a "modulation to the subdominant", which is the technical term. But to a certain extent, it doesn't matter. What matters is that they did it. And on some level, I think listeners understand it, too. Most listeners can't articulate the technique, but they understand intuitively that The Beatles' songs are musically a head and shoulders above other bands' work.

Part of my job, as a professional Beatles music scholar, is to explain why The Beatles' music is so good in terms that listeners don't need a bachelor's degree in music theory to understand.

JOHN: Their songs have strong, likable melodies, some unusual chord twists, and a bit of clever word play. But most of all, I think they're fun, joyous and uplifting, and those traits can be appreciated by every generation.

John, did you play music Aaron DIDN'T end up liking?

JOHN: I played a lot of Monkees and some Led Zeppelin, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, Eagles, Stevie Wonder and Bette Midler; a variety of classical and jazz, plus a tad of country (including Willie Nelson, Emmy Lou Harris and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). There were others, too, but these were some of my extra favorites.

AARON: He played a lot of Beach Boys and Monkees music, all of which I still appreciate but I don't find their work nearly as compelling as Beatles music.


Aaron, what was it about the Beatles? Why not the Who or the Kinks, etc.?

AARON: The short answer, which ties in with my answer above, is that The Beatles were better musicians.

The long answer, well, that's my entire career. Every presentation I deliver, every blog I write, every book I author, and every BEATLES MINUTE I post of YouTube is designed to answer that one fundamental question: Why were The Beatles so great?

And I'm not sure that can ever be answered definitively. But a big part of why The Beatles were so great has to be their producer, George Martin. He took the raw, intuitive songs of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison and helped polish them into spectacularly artistically and commercially successful products. Without Martin, the band would not have been as successful as they were.

John - What's it like having a Beatles scholar for a son? Do other parents raise their eyebrows when you describe his work? Does Aaron ever correct any assumptions you have about the band and its history?

JOHN: Who would have thought that the Beatles would continue to be so popular and that our family would have an expert on a band that I can still vividly recall watching on television more than 50 years ago? I think this is great, that he can have the same musical experiences now that I did a half century ago. I also like that Aaron every once in awhile mentions something about the band that I didn't know, and that probably has included correcting some information that I've had wrong. That's fine; I want to know the facts. Also, his interest has re-awakened my interest so that I want to continue to read and learn more about them. No one has ever been critical when I've told them his profession. Almost everyone wishes they could have a career so exciting, not to mention being their own boss.

Aaron - What have learned about the Beatles from your dad? What perspectives has he provided that aids your work?

AARON: Obviously, I didn't live through Sixties. I'm a second-generation fan. Thus, I have absolutely no personal experience with my subject, and so I have to rely on historical documentation for all of my research. In the book, I discuss how my youth enhances my abilities as a Beatles scholar because I have a certain historical objectivity that the vast majority of Beatles experts don't and can't have simply because they did live through it. So Dad has been particularly helpful in helping me understand the first-generation perspective, which is something that I don't and can't ever have.


John - Has Aaron's work affected how you perceive or listen to the Beatles? In what ways?

JOHN: Aaron's presentations definitely have changed how I listen to some Beatle songs. Here's a few specifics: I could always feel there was a shift between verses and the chorus in 'Penny Lane.' But not until I heard Aaron discuss the song did I realize they are in different keys. One key represents the past/verses, and another represents today/chorus. Now when I hear the song, I know why there's particular, alternating moods I'm sensing in each. Also, I knew that I was hearing a calliope in 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!' but didn't hear Henry the horse 'singing' when the song moved into waltz time -- until Aaron pointed it out. I also wasn't aware that Henry was the middle name of George Martin, and that the choice of the horse's name was a tribute to the producer. And finally, in 'Here Comes the Sun,' I knew there was a rhythm change, but I didn't understand that it was a significant, sophisticated approach to writing music. All of these things -- and there are more -- help me appreciate the quality of songwriting and enjoy the music more than I had previously.

What has the response been to your book? Who are you hearing from? Younger fans, older fans? Both? What chords does it strike with readers?


JOHN: I've heard only from friends and family, and they say the book is good, so I'm going to believe them.

AARON: This ties into the cross-generational notion, as well. Most people who attend my presentations are first generation fans - people who grew up listening to The Beatles in real time. Consequently, most of the people who buy my books are first generation fans. That being said, it's not uncommon to find second and even third generation fans in attendance. On November 29, 2016, I spoke at the LaSalle library in Illinois and after had a rather lengthy and involved discussion with a 19-year-old who loves the band as much as anybody. The same can be said for Hawthorne Malonson (who prefers to go by "Ringo"), a third-generation elementary-school-aged boy I first met at The Fest for Beatles Fans in New York back in April, and who attended a presentation I gave in Massachusetts in October of this year.

How did your tour change your relationship to one another?

AARON: That's a really good question and I wish I had an equally good answer. But the honest response is that I'm not sure that our relationship did change. As I mention in the book's interview afterward, I was surprised at how literary his writing was. I had expected a more reporter-like writing style because that's what he did professionally for three-and-a-half decades.

JOHN: I don't think the tour changed our relationship much, if at all. But I did learn how committed Aaron is to his work. When I'd wake up, he would already have been on his laptop typing away for awhile. He'd work through much of the morning, get something to eat then get back to writing or analyzing or whatever he was pursuing that day. Then he'd clean up, drive maybe an hour to a presentation, set up, give the talk, answer questions and drive back. Only then did he relax. Touring together also gave me a chance to hear about Aaron's plans and goals, which I enjoyed because we don't often get chances to discuss some topics deeply. But the tour also showed us that we're comfortable with silence. If we had something to say, we'd say it. But chitchat and gossiping were and are of no interest to us. We passed the time mostly by listening to music.

Aaron - you mentioned in the book that you likely won't lecture full-time like this forever. What's the next stage of your career, do you think? Any future Beatles books planned?

AARON: I'm sure I'll keep doing speaking engagements, but I won't sustain it full-time forever. Part of the reason nobody else does what I do is because it's so grueling, not only physically but also emotionally. I'm away from home more often than I am home, which has

As far as future books, yes, I always have quite a few ideas in mind, and I'm constantly getting new ideas. At this point, I'm planning to publish my next book, BEATLESTUDY, volume I: Structural Analysis of Beatles Music, an academic encyclopedia of structure in the band's songs, in May 2017.

John - I really enjoyed your passages in the book. Do you have plans to do any more writing - articles or books - on your own?


JOHN: I have no plans to do any more writing. I am the publicist for the local Audubon society, so I send out monthly press releases. But as far as a book or magazine articles or a blog, I have little interest. After 40 years of professional writing -- I retired in 2014 -- putting words on paper seems too much like work. I didn't feel that way about this book because we started with short articles for Aaron's blog. From there, expanding into chapters seemed easy and natural. I also discovered that, once I began writing pieces for the blog, I was free to be creative, use literary devices and even throw in an opinion or two, all of which was invigorating -- not like the straightforward, objective newswriting that I had done for decades. I might change my mind about writing in the future, however. If Aaron wanted to work together on another book, I probably would do that.


Would you do all this (make a tour) again?

AARON: Of course! We're already planning a return to Arizona in April-May 2017. We're also planning a tour to Florida and back in November-December.

JOHN: I'm happy that we're planning a second tour out West for this spring. We've also talked about Florida in November 2017. As you noticed in the book, I'm a birder/photographer, and traveling around the country gives me many chances to seek out and photograph birds, many of which are new species for me. And, of course, a tour gives me more time to spend with my son, and not everybody gets that opportunity.

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You can learn more about Aaron's work, and access his blog and Beatles Minute videos via his website: www.aaronkrerowicz.com

Vintage Bob Wooler promo pic


Monday, December 5, 2016

Artifacts: John Lennon — Stephen Verona THREE ANIMATION CELS FROM "SHE SAID SO / I FEEL FINE," 1966

Via Sotheby's.


Details:
While working as a commercial director in England in 1966, artist and filmmaker Stephen Verona met John Lennon, and suggested pairing a Beatles' song with an animated short film. This resulted in the two-and-a-half minute film "She Said So / I Feel Fine" comprising 240 animation cels. Present here are cels numbered 213, 170, and 87, which state "She's" "So" "Glad" (respectively).
Many consider this collaboration to be the world's first music video. The original print of the film is now part of the archive of the Library of Congress. This endeavor was a milestone in the history of the music video, as well as an important step in the Beatles' use of film as a promotional tool.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Artifact: John Lennon WIRE RIM GLASSES

Via Sotheby's.


Details: Silver wire rim frames (4 1/2 x 1 5/8 in.; 114 x 41 mm). Missing both lenses. Housed in a felt-lined and leather covered case, one strip of leather on the top lacking. Minor wear consistent with use.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Artifact: The Beatles — Michael Cooper photo: SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, 1967

Via Sotheby's:

Details:

Pre-retouched Sgt Pepper's album artwork, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the album cover art
Much has been said regarding the history and importance of The Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (see lot 75), a "concept album" centered around the idea of an Edwardian-styled band within a band. Paul McCartney was a driving force behind the cover art — in keeping with the lyrics of the title track, Paul’s idea was that the group should be depicted as a band that would play in a park bandstand, a concept promoted by light applause that can be heard throughout the album, and The Beatles’ vivid satin uniforms. This necessitated the construction of an audience.
According to art director Sir Peter Brown, "I asked [The Beatles] to make lists of people they'd most like to have in the audience at this imaginary concert... EMI realized that because many of the people we were depicting were still alive, we might be sued for not seeking their permission. So the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, who was very wary of all the complications in the first place, had his assistant write to everyone." Figures featured in the audience include Mahatma Ghandi, Sonny Liston, Edgar Allan Poe, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Shirley Temple, Bob Dylan, and many more. The actor Leo Gorcey was originally in this collage (as seen in this pre-retouched dye transfer), but was later removed from the negative used to print the final album cover after demanding a fee.
The firm New York firm Arton Associates was engaged to make the necessary adjustments to the artwork, and they in turn engaged Evans-Averdisian to transfer the photograph to a “retouch-ready” medium. At the time the most sophisticated means for such a transfer was the dye-transfer method. Working from the original negative from Cooper’s photo shoot, Evans-Averdisian created 10 dye-transfers reflecting a range of color exposures for the retouching process.
In addition to reflecting the album artwork prior to the elimination of the controversial figures, this dye-transfer reveals the details of the entire, un-cropped Sgt. Pepper’s image and accompanying production. This includes the props and the edge of the backdrop, the wood shelving that was used to support some of the backdrop, the black paper stretched across the set, and the electrical wires for set lights.



Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Billboard looks at the creators of the hit tune "Black Beatles" and the song's Paul McCartney connection.
Mike Will Made-It: You know what’s crazy. When I was first running around with Rae Sremmurd, they came to my DJ set at Coachella. This was my first time at Coachella, this was their first time at Coachella and we went to go see OutKast. The one person that we met backstage was Paul McCartney and we were like, what the f--k? It was crazy ‘cause when he saw us, he knew who I was and I was like, 'This man don’t know who I am' but he was showing love, went out of his way to chop it up with us and dipped out of nowhere. So a couple of years later, I think that’s why Jxmmi felt so comfortable to say “Black Beatles, this man Paul McCartney related.” We just know he was actually like a super cool dude when we met him.

Slim Jxmmi: This was early in our career so I didn't really speak to [Paul] because I was enchanted by his presence. He's a big figure and I couldn't believe I was really seeing Paul McCartney. This was really me being new to the industry so I wasn't used to seeing stuff like that so it was amazing ... He solidified us because I said [on the song] "Black Beatles me and Paul McCartney related." Because you know we is. All of us is just people. I really feel like it's bridging the gap between hip-hop and people having this stigma on hip-hop. I feel like it's a certain way that a rap record has to be and I think we're proving that there's no rules.
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Ringo Starr's copy of the White Album, stamped #1, is the world's most valuable vinyl album, according to this tally.

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Fifteen years after her brother's death, Louise Harrison tells the Daily Mail she's been cut off from receiving financial help from his estate and that she was kept in the dark about George's cancer.
'I was in Toronto two weeks before he died when I finally heard that he was ill. I drove through New York, so I could try and get a chance to see him.

'As luck would have it, I was able to get in touch with his doctor who gave me the information to go to see him and I was able to see him for a couple hours.

'But the person who was in charge of him did not let his brothers or me know that he was sick.'
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Speaking of George, Rolling Stone posted a better-than-most listicle detailed "10 Things You Didn't Know George Harrison Did" feature. Good info about George's many, often under-appreciated accomplishments.

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Ringo Starr is among celebrities donating old eyeglasses to a "specs appeal" charity auction to benefit Sightsavers, an organization that provides eye screenings and glasses to those who need them.

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A new book recounts John Lennon and Paul McCartney's 1975 near reunion in New Orleans.
"McCartney's premise for his old partner's visit to Sea-Saint was: come down and visit us, and watch us record," White writes. "Having already spent two weeks in the Crescent City, Paul would happily welcome John back into the creative fold. Pang was convinced that if Lennon reached Louisiana, something new could be initiated. She also felt sure that McCartney would do the rest and bring Lennon back into the studio. It's possible that Paul, and John, too, privately anticipated an opportunity to play, write or even record together again."
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Al Brodax, producer of the Beatles' animated "Yellow Submarine" film, died Nov. 24 at age 90.
In 2010 and 2012, he appeared at the Westport Arts Center to discuss his Beatles film and the 2004 book he wrote about the experience, “Up Periscope Yellow: The Making of the Beatles Yellow Submarine.”

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Artifact: John Lennon JACKET WORN BY LENNON IN THE MOVIE HELP!

Via Sotheby's:


Details:

Following the success of their first feature film, A Hard Day's Night, the Fab Four prepared for a follow-up with director Richard Lester. Working in the same farcical vein, Help! told the story of John, Paul, George, and Ringo as duked it out with an eastern cult, and the various hi-jinx that ensued. Shot in a variety of exotic locations, the black wool jacket displayed here was worn by John Lennon in March of '65 during production in Obertauern — a small ski-village in Austria chosen for its remote quality. The Beatles were on location in Obertauern for about two weeks along with a crew of about 60 people shooting a series of exterior scenes in which the band is chased throughout the Austrian Alps on ski and on foot.

Help! was the band's last full-length scripted theatrical film, owing to a variety of factors including dissatisfaction with the result, and an increasingly busy touring and recording schedule. Years later, Lennon said of the experience, "I realize, looking back, how advanced it was. It was a precursor to the Batman "Pow! Wow!" on TV—that kind of stuff. But [Lester] never explained it to us. Partly, maybe, because we hadn't spent a lot of time together between A Hard Day's Night and Help!, and partly because we were smoking marijuana for breakfast during that period. Nobody could communicate with us, it was all glazed eyes and giggling all the time. In our own world. It's like doing nothing most of the time, but still having to rise at 7 am, so we became bored."

The jacket bears the maker's label of London tailor Dougie Millings who The New York Times eulogized as "The Tailor for the Beatles." The obituary went on to note "Mr. Millings was called Dad by the Beatles, and appeared as a tailor in the movie 'A Hard Day's Night,' wearing a frown of frustration because the band refused to stand still while being measured. In real life, Mr. Millings was the Beatles' house tailor, making everything they were seen in, said his son, Gordon, a tailor who worked with him. He did the outfits for the movie 'Help!,' for the group's royal performances and for the ceremony in which band members received their Member of the British Empire medals at Buckingham Palace."

This jacket was on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio from April 2011 to June 2016 as part of their exhibition on The Beatles.

Yoko Ono promotes "War is Over!" campaign

Kicking off the holiday season, Yoko Ono has posted a new message on a page of the official John Lennon website focused on John and Yoko's "War is Over!" peace campaign.

The page includes a video of vintage interview footage along with downloadable "War is Over!" signs in numerous languages.

Dear Friends,
The WAR IS OVER! campaign was once a tiny seed, which spread and covered the Earth.
John and I believed it helped many people to stop their wars. Since then, every WAR IS OVER! campaign has impacted the world as powerfully as the first one.
Start yours tomorrow, and you will see that it spreads and covers the world very fast and, meanwhile, makes you a Small Pebble Person.
Small Pebble People are people who know that small pebbles, when they’re dropped in the ocean, will immediately affect the ocean of the whole wide world.
Don’t throw a big stone. It scares people and creates repercussions.
Just drop a small pebble.
We’ll keep doing it. Together.
That’s how the world gets changed…by Small Pebble People.
We change, and the world changes.
Happy Holidays.
I love you!

Yoko Ono Lennon
1 December 2016