Friday, March 31, 2017

Paul McCartney jots note to retiring school custodian

Students at St Cuthbert's RC Primary School in Edinburgh wrote to Paul's office asking if he could wish their departing custodian a happy retirement.
The typed and hand-signed letter from the Beatles star reads: "The children of St Cuthbert's have sent me lots of letters to tell me how much they like you so I reckon you must be quite a good guy.
"I want to wish you all the very best on your retirement and remember keep rockin'!"

... Andy Cairns, who turned 65 this week, told Press Association Scotland: "I'm a big Beatles fan. The kids had sent letters to his office and he responded, which was amazing.
"I'm just overwhelmed. I thought I was in a dream at first. Words can't describe it, I'm such a fan, it's just amazing."

The Beatles are teasing us - Sgt. Pepper anniversary announcement on the way?

The Sgt. Pepper colors in this official Beatles tweet hints at news coming soon. Tweets from individual the individual Beatles accounts are surfacing, too.

It's all likely leading to details about the already announced Pepper anniversary package. We know that it will include the Pepper-era singles tracks "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." But what else?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Elvis, Dylan, George Harrison recording session

Nice bit from "The 13 Most Amazing Answers from Bob Dylan's Rare New Interview" via Consequence of Sound.

I heard you and George Harrison were once supposed to do a recording session with Elvis, but he never showed up. What’s the real story?

“He did show up, it was us that didn’t.”

Also, this gem:

When you’re on your bus, what shows do you watch on TV? 

“I Love Lucy, all the time, non-stop”

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Listen to a documentary about George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh

BBC Radio 4 is streaming its 28-minute look back at George's landmark 1971 benefit concert here.

John Lennon suit up for auction

A suit designed for John Lennon by the Beatles' tailor Dougie Millings is up for auction, with a starting bid of $50,000.

The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the garment, and Millings, here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

I bet she liked Ron Nasty best - Yoko tweets her love of the Rutles

Yoko One noted the March 27, 1978, TV debut of the Beatles parody TV special "All You Need is Cash" featuring the Rutles with a Tweet:

Saturday, March 25, 2017

So long, Pete Shotton - original Quarrymen member and John Lennon's close friend

The Liverpool Echo has reported the death of Pete Shotton at age 75.

Shotton attended Dovedale Infants School and Quarry Bank Grammar School with John Lennon and was an original member of the Quarrymen, playing washboard.

He fell out of the band once Paul McCartney came on board and group transitioned from skiffle to rock'n'roll. Lennon famously announced Shotton's "firing" during a drunken argument in which he smashed the washboard over Shotton's head. The two remained friends for the rest of Lennon's life, however.

Shotton operated a grocery store owned by Lennon and George Harrison on Hayling Island and stayed in close contact with the Beatles, managing their Apple Boutique and serving as the first managing director of Apple Corps.

John Lennon first confided his love of Yoko Ono to Shotton, and Shotton was present during several Beatles recording and songwriting sessions, reportedly contributing lyrics to "Eleanor Rigby" and "I Am the Walrus." He recounted his times spent around Lennon and the band in "John Lennon: In My Life," a memoir written with author Nicholas Schaffner.

You can watch a TV interview with Shotton here.

Paul McCartney talks new LP

Paul McCartney tells the BBC he's at work with Greg Kurstin, recent producer with Adele, on his new album.
“I’m making a new album which is great fun. I’m in the middle of that. I’m working with a producer I first worked with two years ago on a piece of music I’m doing for an animated film.” 
"[Kurstin] went on to work with Beck and got Best Album of the Year with Beck. Then he went on to work with Adele and has just got Song of the Year, Record of the Year, with Adele, of course and just got Producer of the Year. 
“My only worry is, people are going to go, “Oh there’s Paul going with the flavour of the month.”

Monday, March 13, 2017

Paul McCartney - Elvis Costello cassette slated for Record Store Day release




With the 'Flowers In The Dirt' Archive Collection edition’s March 24th release date via MPL/Capitol/UMe fast approaching, Paul McCartney has confirmed a very special Record Store Day exclusive.

To commemorate Record Store Day this April 22nd, a limited edition three-song cassette of Paul and Elvis Costello's 'Flowers In The Dirt' demos will be made available at participating RSD stores.

The limited edition cassette-only release will be the first time these recordings— 'I Don’t Want To Confess', 'Shallow Grave' and 'Mistress And Maid'—will be made available in the same form as when Paul and Elvis first cut them directly to tape.

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 demos will be made available digitally only as part of the Deluxe Edition when 'Flowers In The Dirt' is released as the 10th installment in the multiple-GRAMMY-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection.

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

New video: George Harrison - The Vinyl Collection (Behind The Scenes!)

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band show set to air on TV March 26

The cable and satellite channel AXS TV will air a concert by Ringo and his band at 7 p.m. PCT on March 28.

In addition to Starr, the six-piece All Starr Band features Todd Rundgren, Santana keyboardist Gregg Rolie, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Mr. Mister frontman and bassist Richard Page, saxophonist Warren Ham, and drummer Gregg Bissonette.
Filmed at the Foellinger Theatre in Fort Wayne, IN, on June 21 2016, the concert features the band at the top of their game as they deliver hit after hit. Highlights of Ringo Starr And His 2016 All Starr Band include "You're Sixteen" and "Photograph;" "Yellow Submarine" and "With A Little Help From My Friends."
It also features Todd Rundgren's "Bang The Drum All Day" and "I Saw The Light;" Toto signatures "Africa" and "Rosanna;" Mr. Mister's "Kyrie" and "Broken Wings;" and the Santana staples "Evil Ways" and "Black Magic Woman;" among many others

Artifact: George Harrison 1968 Typed Letter Signed Regarding the Beatles and Apple Records

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Video: Ringo and Klaus

Ringo reminisces with the Beatles' Hamburg friend and Revolver LP cover artist Klaus Voormann in a new video.

Memorabilia belonging to the Beatles' "youngest fan" on display in Liverpool

Via Richard Porter:
Russell Jamieson was just four years old in 1963 when he was made an honorary member of the Beatles Fan Club.
The youngster loved the band so much that he ran away from his home in Kirby to join the Fab Four in 1963, and when the story made the local papers, John, Paul, George and Ringo requested that club secretary Anne Collingham award him with an honorary membership. He even became known as “Russell Beatle”.
The highlights of the collection include a set of autographs dedicated to Russell, an original Beatles leather jacket and a Beatles collarless jacket.

Artifact: Beatles Signed Group Photo Taken During the Filming of Help!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Beatle author Bruce Spizer seeking fan input for new Sgt. Pepper book

Here's an announcement from Bruce's site - quick deadline! I'm a fan of his other Beatles publications and this should be a worthy endeavor, too.


Seeking your memories and photos about Sgt. Pepper!!!

To tell the story from the fans’ point of view,
Bruce is looking for memories from fans throughout the world
to include in his new book
The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper: A Fans’ Perspective, coming out in May 2017.

These memories can be from fans who bought the album when it came out, as well as younger fans who experienced the album for the first time years or decades after its release.
If you were living in a foreign country when the album was released: please contact Bruce to discuss the possibility of writing a few paragraphs of how the album was received in your country (reviews, radio air play, chart positions and sales).
If you have pictures of yourself with the album from 1967, please send them as well. We recently received a wonderful picture from July 1967 of three lovely teenage girls proudly displaying the album.
Obviously we will not have room in the book for all of the comments we receive, but we will do our best to provide a wide sampling of fan memories. We will also place comments on our website.


You can learn more and make submissions here.

Ringo posts pic with Beatles pal and bassist Klaus Voormann

Here's Ringo on Twitter with Klaus Voormann, bassist and friend of the Beatles dating back to Hamburg. Also, he created the cover art for Revolver. Is he another guest, along with Paul McCartney, on Ringo's next LP?

Artifact: Stuart Sutcliffe Original Large Pencil Sketch

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sgt. Pepper reissue rumors and thoughts

British newspapers reported over the weekend that the Beatles intend to reissue the Sgt. Pepper album for its 50th anniversary this summer and will include "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" to the package. Those two songs were recorded during the album sessions but released as a single rather than included.

Beatlefan has confirmed the plan and there are hints that the package will include more content than just those two extra tracks.

I think it would be a mistake to tack on the two songs to the album track listing, but they definitely make sense as bonus material. My hope is that we'll get an expansive package similar to what the Beach Boys did with Pet Sounds last year. Ideas include both the stereo and mono mixes and perhaps some working tapes and outtakes from the sessions. The numerous versions and working tapes of "Strawberry Fields" could also be included. There's a lot to work with, and hopefully Apple won't be skimpy about things.

Vintage British "A Hard Day's Night" movie poster

Vintage British "Let it Be" poster

Artifact: Beatles - San Jose Merchants Ticket Giveaway Poster for San Francisco Candlestick Park

Friday, March 3, 2017

History: When George Harrison purchased a cat from Manfred Mann's lead singer

In a recent interview, Manfred Mann singer Mike D'Abo recalls the time he sold a pet to George Harrison.

Didn't one of The Beatles contact you to see if you could help him with a certain feline problem?

Where do you get your information from? Yes they did. Around two years after I had joined Manfred Mann and we had just released Ha Ha Said The Clown, two music papers, Disc and Music Echo were both running a competition called 'Win a Mike D'Abo Siamese kitten' because I simply love cats. It was a good bit of publicity for the record, for me and also for Disc and Music Echo. I don't know how he got hold of my number but George Harrison called me and said "hello Mike it's George here. Have you got any kittens left?". I told him that I had and he said that he wanted to buy one for Pattie's birthday and asked if he could over and buy one from me.

He came over and climbed up the four flights of stairs to my flat in Knightsbridge and there he was, George Harrison was standing at my door wanting to buy a kitten. I invited him in and showed him all of the kittens and he chose the one that had climbed right to the top of the curtains saying "that one looks like an individual; I think I'll have him". George insisted on writing me a cheque for £10 and of course I kept that cheque for ever and ever in my wallet to show off with (laughter). However, one day when I was low on funds and really needed to use that £10 I cashed George's cheque only to get a letter back from the bank a month later to say that the account was closed and they never returned my lovely George Harrison cheque. So I never saw it again.

News clipping: Beatles at the Royal Variety Show

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Olivia Harrison discusses updated edition of George's memoir, "I, Me, Mine"

Rolling Stone caught up with Olivia Harrison, Ringo Starr and others at a Los Angeles event celebrating George Harrison and the new edition of his memoir/lyrics collection "I, Me, Mine."
"The lyrics were all over the house," she says. One piano bench used regularly by keyboardist Billy Preston during visits to George's home studio was filled with 20 years of work, and one desk was loaded with lyrics and Polaroid photos just from 1973. "It was pretty much a revelation. There would be spiral-bound notebooks. Some of them would go back to the Sixties. Others would be around the [Traveling] Wilburys time. Some were in the Eighties."
The book includes a handful of lyrics never recorded, including something from the early Seventies called "Hey Ringo," which includes the line: "Hey Ringo, there's one thing that I've not said/I'll play my guitar with you till I drop dead."

Recording console used to tape solo Beatles records, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" up for auction

A custom-made recording console used in Abbey Road Studios from 1971 to 1983 is up for bid.

The desk was used to record Pink Floyd's famed Dark Side of the Moon, along with albums by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and others.
The auction house said the console, one of only two custom-made by EMI engineers, was used extensively between 1971 and 1983 in Abbey Road's Studio Two, the same room which was also used by the Beatles and others. According to Abbey Road Studios, one of the reasons for the console was to accommodate the increasing number of tracks used in recordings that rock artists demanded. An earlier version, the MK1 (Mark 1), which was installed at the end of 1968, was used on the Beatles' “Abbey Road” album. Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew, in their book “Recording the Beatles,” said the Mark 1 was responsible for a smoother, more polished quality to the tracks because of its abundant mic channels and multiple compressors and limiters. After two modifications, two MK IVs were installed at Abbey Road in December, 1971. 

Beatles LPs coupled with magazine series on UK newsstands

People in the United Kingdom can buy a new Beatles album every two weeks at local news agents as part of the newly announced "Beatles Vinyl Collection."

Each installment serves up a remastered Beatles album coupled with a magazine dedicated to that particular release. The releases include the core catalog along with the Anthology and Live at the BBC volumes. Copy for the magazines is by Beatles expert Kevin Howlett.

You can also subscribe to buy the installments online, here.

Vintage mags: The Beatles in Rave