Friday, June 30, 2017

Paul, Sony/ATV reach settlement on copyright fight

Paul McCartney and Sony/ATV have reached a confidential settlement regarding publishing copyrights over his share of The Beatles' catalog.
... McCartney sued in January, asking the court for a declaration that he could soon reclaim his copyright ownership share to the iconic group's catalog of songs. The Copyright Act of 1976 lengthened the term of copyright protection, but it also created for owners of works who signed over their rights on or before Jan. 1, 1978, the non-waivable right to reclaim them after a certain period of time.

History: Prince Philip mis-speaks about the Beatles, 1964

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Paul takes the train

British train passengers were stunned to see an entourage-free Paul McCartney riding the rails this week.
Despite topping Forbes’ Richest Musicians list last year, there was not a bodyguard in sight as the train left Kings Cross station.
Sir Paul’s fellow passengers couldn’t believe their eyes as he then got out an old school Nokia mobile phone from his pocket.
After checking for texts and calls, the world famous musician began reading the paper.

Video: Ringo's 2017 birthday peace celebration

Vintage pic: Ringo with Maggie Smith

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Video: Q&A Paul McCartney announcing new OneOnOne tour

Paul and Ringo performances for Transcendental Meditation charity set for DVD release

A DVD featuring Paul and Ringo's performances at the 2009 David Lynch Foundation benefit concert is set for release Sept. 1.

Lynch, director of "Twin Peaks" and numerous films, is a longtime practitioner and advocate of Transcendental Meditation, which the Beatles espoused during the late 1960s. His foundation works to teach the practice to at-risk youth as a way to prevent violence.

While the Beatles - in particular, John Lennon - fell out with TM guru Maharish Mahesh Yogi back in 1968, George Harrison remained friendly the cause and Paul and Ringo apparently still support it, too.

While the "Change Begins Within" concert includes performances by Donovan, who studied TM with the Beatles in India, and more, it's mostly a Beatles-themed show, featuring several songs each from Paul and Ringo, and the both of them on "With A Little Help From My Friends."

Here's the complete song lineup:
‘Natural Blues’ (Moby, Betty LaVette, Transcendental Meditation Choir)
‘Rise’ (Eddie Vedder)
‘Under Pressure’ (Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper)
‘My Sweet Lord’ (Sheryl Crow)
‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’ (Donovan and Jim James)
‘Isle Of Islay’ (Donovan and Paul Horn)
‘It Don’t Come Easy’ (Ringo Starr)
‘Boys’ (Ringo Starr)
‘Yellow Submarine’ (Ringo Starr)
‘Baby You Can Drive My Car’ (Paul McCartney)
‘Jet’ (Paul McCartney)
‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ (Paul McCartney)
‘Let It Be’ (Paul McCartney)
‘Here Today’ (Paul McCartney)
‘Band On The Run’ (Paul McCartney)
‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ (Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr)
‘Cosmically Conscious’ (all members)
‘I Saw Her Standing There’ (all members)

Ad: Beatles bracelet

Friday, June 16, 2017

Artifact: Six-page letter from George Harrison to Astrid Kirchherr

From Bonhams:

August 1963,
in blue ballpoint on six numbered pages of Palace Court Hotel Bournemouth headed stationery, reading, Dear Astrid...I bought you all the records I told you about years ago, and they are still at home covered in dust, so if you have decided where about's you are living lately, then let me know and I will send them to you...Fat Betty has seen all the Happy holiday Photo's, hasn't she? but I haven't, oh no - you won't show them to me will you! Actually if she had not come to England with King Size, then I would still be wondering which part of the world you where in...I bought a Jaguar (car) last month, and I think you would like it. I will send you a photograph of it, with the records as soon as I get back to Liverpool...Could you look through your photographs and find some - or all of the photos that have The Beatles either all together or separately, or that have any of us with other people in them, in fact any photographs at all that may be of interest and then if you felt in a HAPPY ASTRID MOOD, do you think you could either give or lend them to me...You know that Paul and John are going to be very rich soon, when they collect the money they have made by writing all those songs, and I don't think that you would like to see me poor and hungry, so I have decided to make a book. It won't be a DA SADE type book, but a daft story about the BEATLES, with some photographs in it, and then I hope to sell it to all the nice people and then I can buy food with the money...Can't I? I would like to have some pictures that the people haven't already seen in all the other books, so that is why I am asking you. It would be very nice of you, even if the pictures were old at the Indra and Kaiserkeller and Top Ten...I have been ill all week, feeling tired all the time. The doctor gave me a tonic which is like liquid preludin. My balls have been aching too, and banging around on stage! We will be in Paris for three week in January. I will write again with the records cheerio and love from Georgie (your friend who wants the photos), together with two black and white photographs of George's Jaguar car, and a certificate of authenticity signed in 2013 by Astrid, pages 5in x 8in (12.5cm x 20.5cm), photographs 3in x 4in (7.5cm x 10cm)


This was written during The Beatles' six-night residency at the Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth, 19th-24th August 1963. They were staying at the Palace Court Hotel and sometime during that week George was feeling unwell and was advised to stay in his hotel room. This gave him the time to write this long letter to Astrid. It also saw him write his first song for the Beatles, 'Don't Bother Me', which was recorded for the 'With The Beatles' album. It was also in the hotel that Robert Freeman took the iconic 'shadow' photograph for that forthcoming record cover.

It's remarkable that, just as the group were experiencing the fruits of their burgeoning fame, George had an eye to the future and the possible lack of funds, compared to the money that John and Paul would have made by their songwriting. Hence his idea of producing a book about the group, including photographs that had not already been widely reproduced in various publications for the fans. Of course, his doubts about financial success and longevity proved to be unfounded, following the full onset of Beatlemania!

History: Beatles slipping - wallpaper sales on the wane, 1964

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Yoko Ono gets co-writing credit on "Imagine"

The National Music Publishers Association has named Yoko Ono a co-writer with John Lennon for "Imagine" as part of the organization's Centennial Song Award.

Lennon likely would've supported the idea, based on his quotes in a 1980 interview: "[Imagine] should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it - the lyric and the concept - came from Yoko." Concepts and phrases from Ono's book, "Grapefruit," influenced the song's lyrics, Lennon said.

In an Instagram post, Sean Lennon said:
"Proudest day of my life: The National Music Publishers Association just gave the centennial (song of the century) award to Imagine, but WAIT! Surprise! They played an audio interview of my father saying (approximately) 'Imagine should've been credited as a Lennon/Ono song, if it had been anyone other than my wife I would've given them credit,'" he wrote in the caption. "Cut to: my mother welling up in tears, and then Patti and Jesse Smith @michiganmanhattan Imagine! Patience is a virtue!"

Read more here:

Video: New Q&A with Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn

After watching a performance of John Lennon 'In His Own Write' at the V&A in November 2016, Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn kindly shared some fascinating insights into the work at a post show Q&A with the shows creator Jonathan Glew.

For more information on the theatrical production of 'In His Own Write,' please visit: /

Sorry, Gene Simmons: The Beatles beat you to the devil's horn

Kiss bassist Gene Simmons filed a patent on the rock'n'roll "devil's horn" hand gesture the other day, but it turns out, as is often the case in popular music, the Beatles were there first. Or at least the animators of "Yellow Submarine" were.

These images of the Beatles promoting their 1968 film show John Lennon imitating the devil's horn gesture used by his animated self.

In American Sign Language, the gesture means "I love you," which is most likely what the "Yellow Submarine" animators and John meant when they used it.

History: Bob Hope and the Beatles

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Artifact: Buckingham Palace stationary - signed by Beatles

Via Bonhams:

The Beatles: A piece of Buckingham Palace headed stationery signed by the band,
26th October, 1965,
the white card printed with red lettering and the Royal crest, signed in blue ballpoint pen by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, dated in the vendor's father's hand, accompanied by a document regarding the provenance (copied), 7½in x 4¾in (19cm x 12cm)


  • According to the vendor her father was employed as a butler to the Queen and was working at the Palace when The Beatles collected their M.B.E awards. The lot is accompanied by a document (copied) confirming his employment there.

Pub where John and Paul worked, played given historical plaque

BBC Radio Berkshire will add a blue historical plaque to the outside of a Caversham Pub where John Lennon and Paul McCartney once performed - and worked.
In 1960 John Lennon and Paul McCartney worked behind the bar and performed at The Fox and Hounds pub, which was then owned by McCartney's cousin Betty Robbins and her husband Mike.
The pair received advice from Mike and a warm reception when they performed at the Gosbrook Road pub as the Nerk Twins, a few months before they formed The Beatles.

History: Beatles have union issues, 1964

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Artifacts: George Harrison letters and photographs 1963-65

Via Bonhams:

The Beatles: Letters from George Harrison and other memorabilia,
items mounted as a framed display, comprising:
two letters from George to a fan, each written in black ballpoint, headed Margate and Llandudno respectively, the first reading, Dear Dianne, Thanks for your letter. I haven't really got much time to answer, but I thought I had better try now, otherwise I'll never do it. My brothers are. Peter 22 Harry 25. parents. Louise and Harry. car. Ford Zephyr. Harry and the Box are friends of ours. no favourite food in particular Cheerio love from George Harrison XXX (John is married and has been since before we started making records)., the second, Dear Dianne, Thanks for the letter. I tought myself to play the guitar, my car number is L.T.U. 409. I can speak a little german my parents names are Louise and Harry, and I have visited Germany, Spain + Holland. Billy Fury must be 23 too!; the corresponding envelopes, with clipped postmarks, Margate 14 JLY 1963 and Llandudno 18 AUG 1963, each with 'B' logo to reverse; a typewritten letter headed THE BEATLES and dated 23rd July, 1963, beginning Dear Dianne, Thanks for your letter and also the jelly babies which John and I ''scoffed''. As I ate most of the jelly babies the others said that I should write to you...We really appreciated your comments concerning our group and as the reception we received at Worcester was ''fab.'' we hope it won't be too long before we will be able to come again... and with secretarial signature in black ink; the autographs of Ringo Starr and George Harrison on an album page in blue ballpoint, with dedication by Ringo, To Dianne love from the Beatles, with non-authentic John Lennon and Paul McCartney autographs; three black and white unpublished photographs of the Beatles taken by the vendor in Worcester; and two ticket stubs for the Gaumont Theatre, Worcester, 28th May and 4th September;
together with original 1960s' mono pressings of the albums, 'Please Please Me', 'With The Beatles', 'A Hard Day's Night' and 'Help!', frame 26½ x 28½in (67.5 x 72.5cm)

"Unboxing" video for latest Yoko Ono reissues from Secretly Canadian

Fly, Approximately Infinite Universe and Feeling the Space are the next batch of Yoko reissues out from the Secretly Canadian label. The albums will be available on CD and vinyl. Here's a look:

Documentary "The Beatles, Hippies and Hells Angels" screens June 19 on UK television

Sky TV will air a new documentary on the Beatles' Apple Corps years on June 19. The Independent has this preview story:
This isn’t an official documentary. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the remaining living Beatles, aren’t involved. Lewis, though, has tracked down the secretaries, journalists, DJs, sound engineers, musicians, accountants, hairdressers and free-loaders who lived, worked and hung out at Apple Corps. He tells a story at once comical and very sad. If you want to know why the Beatles split up, you will find out here.

This is one of the few rock docs in which the accountant’s voice features as strongly as that of his music biz clients. As Steven Maltz, the account at Apple, explains on camera, he had been going through the group’s papers in 1966 and was shocked to discover “nothing had been done.” The Beatles hadn’t filled in their tax returns. They were then probably the most successful band in the world and yet they were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Maltz told the musicians that they should start businesses and invest in them to save themselves from having to give all their money to the taxman.

Rare pics: John and Paul