Sunday, December 24, 2017

Vintage Beatles 1964 Christmas Show program

Sir Ringo - Knighthood finally on the way for Beatles drummer

Ringo Starr is set to be knighted as part of Queen Elizabeth's New Years Honors, the Daily Mirror reports.

He will receive the honor in recognition of his contributions to music and charity. An official announcement is expected next week. Ringo reportedly learned of the honor via a letter from Buckingham Palace a few weeks ago.

Sir Paul McCartney was knighted in 1997. If he chooses to use the title, Ringo would likely be known by his real name, Richard Starkey, not "Sir Ringo."

All four Beatles were honored with MBE - Member of the British Empire - awards in 1965.

John Lennon-illustrated Christmas card, signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein, 1964

Via Tracks Auctions, this is a Christmas card illustrated by John Lennon and signed by Brian Epstein.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame launches new Beatles exhibit

The Archibald Ramsden upright piano that John Lennon and Paul McCartney used to write songs while Paul lived with Jane Asher's family is among new additions to the refreshed Beatles exhibit at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Also added is a Hofner Senator electric guitar that John purchased during the band's time in Hamburg.

...the display [also] includes items that are regularly rotated through the museum's collections, including a suit worn by George Harrison during the Beatles' 1966 tour and a pair of Ringo Starr drum sticks used in a Sept. 15, 1964. Beatles show at Cleveland's Public Hall.

"Musical memory" video by McCartney raises awareness of orphan charity


Paul’s music memory is Gene Vincent ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula’. Visit to find out how you can donate and share your memories to help #EndTheSilence for 8 million children suffering silently in orphanages around the world, deprived of love, family and music. Every pound received will also be matched by the UK government until 27th December 2017.

Monday, December 18, 2017

John Lennon "Fat Budgie" drawing sells at auction

Bonham's auction house sold John Lennon's "fat budgie" sketch, used for a Christmas card in 1965, for £22,500 this week.

The late Beatle's very simple doodle of the overweight bird on a perch was actually designed for his novel 'A Spaniard in the Works' - a book containing nonsensical stories and drawings by him.

But after it was published Oxfam asked permission to use his primitive bird sketch for its charity Christmas cards of the same year.

The work was entitled 'The Fat Budgie' by Lennon, but because of its rotund shape it looks like a robin which made it perfect for the front of a Christmas card. 

The original pen and ink drawing, which is 8ins by 10ins, was gifted by Lennon to Tom Maschler, a British literary editor who worked on his book.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Head violinist on Sgt. Pepper LP dies

Frank Stiles, a British World War II pilot and violinist who performed on the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, died at age 93 on Dec. 8.

...during the Swinging Sixties he had been head violinist and conductor for The Beatles when they cut their famous Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
Mrs Courtney said: "He said all of The Beatles were lovely but his favourite was Paul McCartney.
"He said Paul always talked to them and he was very respectful. He liked Paul because he could read music.
"Two years ago he got a letter from the Empress of Japan in which she said how much she liked his music - one of his huge followers was the viola player Takashi Kikuch."
She likened her step-dad to a "mad professor" with big hair and said he had enjoyed good health throughout his life.

New Paul McCartney radio interview from New Zealand

Sir Paul McCartney is in New Zealand to play a one-off live show and Hauraki’s Matt & Jerry got the chance to interview him.

The cheeky lads asked him about writing music on acid, bucket bongs and if he thinks the Queen is sexy. 

They also put him through the infamous 'Thank You For Your Honesty' questions.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Vintage Apple Records sticker sheet

Apple Records promotional item via Tracks Auctions.

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Paul McCartney, on tour in Australia and New Zealand, became the first Beatle to scale the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

The rock legend's effort on Wednesday afternoon local time was made all the more impressive given his 75-years of age.

More impressive still was the fact he managed the 2-hour climb to the top after going all-out for an epic three-hour concert on Monday night.


A homemade Christmas recording given to his fellow Beatles by Paul McCartney has generated an astounding amount of attention this month, despite it being A) available on bootlegs for several years B) boring. Even Rolling Stone got into the act, posting a video of the bootleg audio.

For decades, all that was known about the recording were sketchy details provided by McCartney himself. "It was called Unforgettable and it started with Nat 'King' Cole singing 'Unforgettable,'" he explained to historian Mark Lewisohn in 1995.
"Then I came in over the top as the announcer: 'Yes, unforgettable, that's what you are! And today in Unforgettable ...' It was like a magazine program: full of weird interviews, experimental music, tape loops, some tracks I knew the others hadn't heard. It was just a compilation of odd things."
The unearthed portion includes an inventive selection of songs by the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, and Martha and the Vandellas, with McCartney assuming the role of a fast-talking New York DJ – perhaps a nod to the so-called "Fifth Beatle," Murray the K.


A Paul McCartney-signed copy of the Sgt. Pepper anniversary box set raised £3.3K for victims of the May bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.


The "limited edition" box of Beatles Christmas messages is officially available today (Dec. 15).  You can order it from the official Beatles page here.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

New book: "Astrid Kirchherr with the Beatles"

Out March 27. Order from Amazon now.

Rare portraits of the Fab Four on the cusp of world fame

Astrid Kirchherr, an immensely talented art and fashion student in postwar Hamburg, was poised for a meteoric rise to success in the 1960s art scene thanks to her sense of style and keen eye. A protégé of the great photographer Renhart Wolf, Kirchherr was ready to take the culture and style of her native city worldwide when she met John, George, Paul, Peter and a bassist and painter named Stuart Sutcliffe. In 1962, she met the Beatles.

Kirchherr would go on to photograph these teenagers as they became young men, and portrayed them as only she could, with precise shots, technical mastery and a totally unique style and attitude.

Kirchherr’s brief photography career was marked by serendipitous highs and devastating lows. Sutcliffe died just as the pair were about to marry, and Kirchherr, who photographed the band as they toured Europe, resented being reduced to a “Beatles photographer.”

Astrid Kirchherr with the Beatles finally does justice to Kirchherr’s masterful body of photographic work, celebrating her artistic approach, her dedication to technical excellence and, of course, the subjects who she made look so great: the original Beatles, artists like Klaus Voorman and the teenagers of Hamburg and Liverpool.

Astrid Kirchherr (born 1938) is a German photographer and artist. Though she has taken very few photographs since 1967, her early work―including some of the most iconic images ever taken of the Beatles―has been exhibited internationally.

"Yellow Submarine" graphic novel and pop-up books on the way

Newly listed on Amazon. 

The Beatles Yellow Submarine - graphic novel adaptation by Bill Morrison

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine comes this fully authorized graphic novel adaptation.

The Beatles are recruited by the Captain of the Yellow Submarine to help him free Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the world of Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies.

The music-loving, underwater paradise of Pepperland has been overrun by the music-hating Blue Meanies and their leader, Chief Blue Meanie. They turn the people of Pepperland into living statues by dropping apples on them and imprison the Pepperland's guardians, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band inside a soundproof blue glass globe, before confiscating all the music instruments in the land. Pepperland's mayor sends aging sailor, Young Fred out in the fabled Yellow Submarine to find help. He travels to our world where he stumbles across the Beatles and begs them to help him free his world. They agree and head back to Pepperland, teaming up with Jeremy The Nowhere Man along the way to help overthrow the evil Blue Meanies through the power of music and love.

Comic book artist, writer and editor, Bill Morrison, is the co-founder of Bongo Comics, publishes of the hugely successful Simpsons comic range of titles. Current Editor of the famous Mad magazine. He started his career as a technical illustrator before finding work at Disney where he created promotional art for Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Bambi, Peter Pan, Cinderella, The Jungle Book and The Little Mermaid, among others. He also produced his own comic called Roswell: Little Green Men, published by Bongo. 

Yellow Submarine: a Panorama Pop

A whole new generation will be climbing aboard this sunny, psychedelic storybook, while nostalgic Beatles fans of all ages will be clamoring for a ticket to ride.

Once upon a time (or maybe twice), some 80,000 leagues beneath the sea, there lay a colorful land of song and laughter called Pepperland, where Sergeant Pepper's Band was always playing your song — until the Blue Meanies burst on the scene and chased all the music and magic away. So began the classic 1968 film Yellow Submarine, inspired by a song and hailed as an avant-garde amalgam of pop art, Beatles music, and highly innovative animation. Now that film's dazzling images — and its lighthearted, witty tale — is showcased in a glorious picture book sure to be savored by fans and readers of all ages.

Vintage Apple Corps postcards

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

U.S. Postal Service honors John Lennon with 2018 Music Icons stamp

The U.S. Postal Service has a preview of its 2018 stamps, with news that John Lennon is among those featured.

Others honored include children's TV show host Mister Rogers, astronaut Sally Ride and singer Lena Horne.


USPS 2018 stamps
John Lennon (Music Icons series)
The newest stamp in the Music Icons series honors singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940–1980), a rock ’n’ roll hero successful both as a founding member of the Beatles and as a solo artist.

Vintage John and Yoko press photo

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"Ringo" and "Goodnight Vienna" vinyl reissues on the way

Two of Ringo's best-selling LPs will appear in remastered form on 180-gram vinyl on Jan. 19.

No info on whether the Ringo re-package will include the booklet of prints by Klaus Voorman.

Details from the news release:

Two essential Ringo Starr albums, 1973's Ringo and 1974's Goodnight Vienna, have been remastered by Ron McMaster at Capitol Mastering for worldwide reissue on heavyweight, 180-gram vinyl LPs. Both albums are available now for preorder and will be released by Capitol/UMe on January 19, 2018.

In 1973, Ringo released his self-titled Ringo, which yielded three Top 5 Billboard Pop singles, including the No. 1 hits "Photograph" and "You're Sixteen (You're Beautiful And You're Mine)," and the No. 5 hit "Oh My My." Platinum-certified in the U.S., the Ringo album peaked at No. 1 in Canada, at No. 2 in the U.S., and at No. 7 in the UK. All of Ringo's Beatles bandmates joined him to participate in the album; Richard Perry produced and its notable guest players also include Billy Preston on organ, Harry Nilsson background vocals, Klaus Voormann on bass and sax, and Robbie Robertson on guitar.
Ringo released his fourth solo album, Goodnight Vienna in 1974, racking up more hits, including the Top 5 Billboard Pop singles "Snookeroo," written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and "No No Song." The album also features Ringo's cover of the Platters' "Only You," which peaked at No. 6 on the Pop chart, and the title track, written by John Lennon. Perry, Preston, Voormann, Nilsson, and Robertson once again joined Ringo to collaborate in the studio, among others.
For the holiday season, Ringo's beloved 1999 Christmas album I Wanna Be Santa Claus has been released on vinyl for the first time ever.
In September this year, Ringo released his 19th solo album, Give More Love, before he hit the road again in October and November with his All Starrs. Ringo Starr and His All Starrs have confirmed several European tour dates for June and July 2018. Visit for more information.

  1. I'm the Greatest (John Lennon
  2. Have You Seen My Baby (Randy Newman) 
  3. Photograph (Richard Starkey, George Harrison) 
  4. Sunshine Life for Me (Sail Away Raymond) (George Harrison) 
  5. You're Sixteen (You're Beautiful And You're Mine)" (Bob Sherman, Dick Sherman) 
  6. Oh My My (Richard Starkey, Vini Poncia) 
  7. Step Lightly (Richard Starkey) 
  8. Six O'Clock (Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney) 
  9. Devil Woman (Richard Starkey, Vini Poncia) 
  10. You and Me (Babe) (George Harrison, Mal Evans) 

RINGO STARR:  Goodnight Vienna

  1. (It's All Down to) Goodnight Vienna (John Lennon) 
  2. Occapella (Allen Toussaint) 
  3. Oo-Wee (Richard Starkey, Vini Poncia) 
  4. Husbands and Wives (Roger Miller) 
  5. Snookeroo (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) 
  6. All by Myself (Richard Starkey, Vini Poncia) 
  7. Call Me (Richard Starkey) 
  8. No No Song (Hoyt Axton, David Jackson) 
  9. Only You (Buck Ram, Ande Rand) 
  10. Easy for Me (Harry Nilsson) 
  11. Goodnight Vienna (Reprise) (John Lennon)          

Vintage Ringo Starr button