Friday, March 30, 2018

Yoko Ono in voice cast of "Isle of Dogs"

I haven't seen the film, yet, so I don't know much about her role, by Yoko Ono is credited as providing her voice to a character in Wes Anderson's new animated feature, "Isle of Dog."

According to IMDB, Yoko voices a character dubbed "assistant scientist." Her name is listed on the film's poster, too, along with the rest of the film's star-studded vocal cast:

More images from Klaus Voormann's upcoming book: "It Started in Hamburg"

As mentioned a few days ago, artist Klaus Voormann, a longtime friend to the Beatles dating to their Hamburg days, has a new book coming out.


Musician and graphic designer Klaus Voormann’s Grammy award-winning Beatles “REVOLVER” album cover is considered a masterpiece. However, confining his achievements to the “REVOLVER” album cover wouldn’t capture the whole picture of his multifaceted artistic work.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday in 2018, the book „KLAUS VOORMANN – IT STARTED IN HAMBURG“ is dedicated to his substantial creative work, beginning in Hamburg in 1958. Looking back on a productive period of 60 years, the graphic art also refers to
the musician Voormann and the perennial influence of the world of music.
Besides well-known illustrations from the Beatles-area, almost 200 pieces of artwork  will reveal the artist’s diversity, including many graphic works, sketches and productions supplemented by fotos and stories – hitherto unknown to the general public – and contributions of companions and friends.

You can pre-order "It Started in Hamburg" from Voormann's website now.

Vintage ad for Cilla Black's "Step Inside Love"

"Step Inside Love" is a Paul McCartney tune released as a single by Cilla Black in March 1968 and featured as the theme to her TV variety show, Cilla, which debuted in January of that year.

A Beatles version of the song, done off the cuff during the "White Album" sessions, appear on Anthology 3.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

McCartney reissues out May 18: "NEW," "Chaos And Creation In The Backyard," "Wings Greatest" and "Thrillington"

The latest batch of Paul McCartney reissues is focused on the vinyl revival more than providing fans with expansive box sets with detailed booklets, rarities and outtakes, which is too bad. I hope that Macca's Archive series will continue, as there are still a number of his albums that I'd like to see spotlighted in the format.

I do like that download cards are included with these new LPs, though, and both Wing's Greatest and Thrillington work well as standalone albums, without lots of extras. They would be fun to own on new vinyl.

A spokesman from Universal said he can't comment on further archive editions of McCartney albums. He did confirm that the new vinyl versions of Thrillington and Wings Greatest are mastered from analog.

Anyway, here are details on this new batch of reissues from the news release:

On May 18, Paul McCartney will release four 2018 edition catalogue reissues via MPL/Capitol: NEW, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, Wings Greatest and Thrillington. All four titles will be issued in affordable single CD digipak and 180gram black vinyl single LP formats—and will be made available for the first time in limited edition 180gram color vinyl pressings. All vinyl LPs will include a download card.

Upon its release in 2013, NEW was lauded by Rolling Stone as "energized and full of joyous rock & roll invention." Executive produced by Giles Martin and also featuring production by Mark Ronson, Ethan Johns and Paul Epworth, NEW entered the U.S. chart at #3. The album scored positive reviews from Entertainment Weekly to Pitchfork and all points in between, while the title track, "Queenie Eye" and "Save Us" would become staples of the McCartney live show over the course of the Out There and One On One world tours. NEW's 2018 edition will feature the first vinyl pressing of the album since its 2013 release, including a limited edition pink vinyl 180gram vinyl LP with download card and 12x12" insert.

Released in 2005, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard was instantly hailed as continuing a hot streak that included Flaming Pie, Run Devil Run and Driving Rain. Produced by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck) and featuring the singles "Fine Line" and the Grammy-winning "Jenny Wren," Chaos And Creation… debuted at #6 on the Billboard chart. It remained on the charts for nearly half a year, while Paul mounted the massive 'US' Tour. In 2007, "Jenny Wren" won the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, while the album was nominated in three other categories including Album of the Year. The 2018 edition of Chaos And Creation… will make the album available on vinyl for the first time since its initial run and will include a limited edition gold vinyl 180gram vinyl LP with download card and 12x12" insert.

Originally released in 1978, Wings Greatest was the first ever compilation of Paul McCartney's post-Beatles hits, featuring four classics that had previously been unavailable on any McCartney album: "Another Day," "Junior's Farm," "Hi, Hi, Hi" and "Mull of Kintyre." The penultimate Wings album release, Wings Greatest was naturally a worldwide hit, and the soundtrack to the 70s for a generation. As part of its 2018 edition reissue, Wings Greatest will be available as a limited edition blue vinyl 180gram vinyl LP with download card and 20"x30" poster.

Recorded in 1971 but not released until 1977, Thrillington remains one of the most enigmatic entries in the storied McCartney discography. Credited to the pseudonym Percy "Thrills" Thrillington, a fictitious socialite whose activities were chronicled in UK newspaper ads, Thrillington was actually a fully reimagined instrumental lounge/jazz version of Paul and Linda McCartney's RAM. With Thrillington's 2018 edition, Percy is given a new lease on life with this collector's item available on vinyl for the first time since the 1977 first pressings that fetch hefty sums on the collectors' market, plus a limited edition red/black marbled 180gram vinyl LP with download card.

Vintage Beatles pic: Ringo with the Smothers Brothers

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

"It Happened in Hamburg" - new book coming soon from Beatles' friend Klaus Voormann

Klaus Voormann, who created the cover art for the Beatles' Revolver and played bass on a number of solo Beatles albums, has a new book coming out this spring.

There are few details so far, but here's a look at the cover:

One imagines it will be similar in approach to his excellent "Birth of an Icon: Revolver 50," which includes a graphic novel re-telling of how he created the classic record sleeve in addition to reproduction of other Beatles-themed drawings and paintings.

Stay tuned to Voormann's website for more information.

Vintage Beatles pics: Ringo

Vintage Beatles pics: Paul

Sunday, March 25, 2018

New "CBS Sunday Morning" segment on John and Yoko's bed-in for peace

Paul McCartney marches in anti-gun violence protest

Paul and his wife Nancy Shevell participated in the worldwide March for Our Lives protest March 24, a protest sparked by U.S. students demanding action from lawmakers to address school shootings.

Marching in New York's event, Paul wore a shirt reading "We Can End Gun Violence" and referenced John Lennon in an interview with CNN:

"One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it's important to me," 

"This is what we can do, so I'm here to do it."

Vintage Beatles Italian "Yellow Submarine" poster

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sir Ringo: Richard Starkey knighted today

Ringo Starr was knighted today at Buckingham Palace. The honor was announced during the Queen's annual Birthday Honors late last year.

The Duke of Cambridge bestowed the honour on the Liverpool-born star at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

"It means a lot actually," the musician told the BBC. "It means recognition for the things we've done. I was really pleased to accept this."

The honour comes 53 years after the Beatles were all awarded the MBE - and Starr said he had missed his bandmates' companionship this time round.

"I was a bit shaky today on my own," he said.

... Asked whether he wanted to be known as Sir Ringo, the musician, whose real name is Richard Starkey, replied: "I don't know yet. It's new and I don't know how you use it properly."

Turning to BBC reporter Colin Paterson, he added: "But I expect you to use it."

The 77-year-old added he knew exactly what he'd do with his medal.

"I'll be wearing it at breakfast," he joked.

Beatles in Cleveland 1964

Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" set picture

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Memorial garden planned to honor George Harrison

George Harrison was an enthusiastic gardener later in his life, putting hours into planning and landscaping the sprawling grounds of his Friar Park Estate in Henley on Thames near London. Now, his former community plans to honor the late Beatle with a garden of its own.

According to Henley Mayor Kellie Hinton:

"For a few decades, various people in the town including local councillors have wanted to create a memorial to celebrate that Henley was George and Olivia Harrison's family home. 

"Unfortunately nothing suggested has ever been quite right. 

"The idea for a garden came about last summer as a result of conversations with local woman Emma Sweet. We wrote a joint letter to Mrs Harrison and asked for her permission and support.

"Discussions are still ongoing, with the aim of creating a peaceful, tranquil space for residents and visitors to enjoy in memory of somebody who meant an incredible amount to the people of Henley."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Jenny Boyd remembers the Beatles' India trip

Jenny Boyd, sister of George Harrison's former wife, Pattie, recalls her trip to Indian in 1968 to study Transcendental Meditation.

What are your favourite memories of the trip?

They include sitting in the early morning sun on the roof of our bungalow with Pattie and Cynthia while we listened to George, Paul and John sharing their latest songs. Another memory is sitting in the freezing cold River Ganges with some fellow meditators, happy and playful. I remember one day when everyone from the ashram, including Maharishi, walked down to the Ganges while George, Paul and John, looking like minstrels, sang and played their guitars. We all sat together on the sand, singing to the music.

Remembering Ken Dodd, Liverpool comedian and Beatle pal

Ken Dodd, who died at age 90, was an institution in England, but is probably best-known to American Beatles fans for the TV clip shared below.

Paul McCartney noted Dodd's passing on Twitter with this post:

The NME remembers Todd here.

Dodd, knighted last year, was named Greatest Merseysider of All Time in 2003, an accolade that moved him to say:  “It was voted for by my fellow citizens in a city that has always been, and always will be, my home. I am filled with happiness. I shall raise several glasses of tickle tonic to the greatest place in the world.”

He was still touring last year, his set combining comedy, magic and even music. Dodd was a successful musician in the 1960s, scoring the best-selling single of 1965 (‘Tears’), which became one of the UK’s top-selling tracks of the entire decade. The top five best-selling singles of the 1960s were released, of course, by The Beatles.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Vintage Beatles pics: Paul

Via Track Auctions.

Video: Auction features 400-plus negatives from early U.S. Beatles concerts

Omega Auctions is selling 413 photo negatives featuring images from the Beatles' Feb. 11, 1964, performance at the Washington, D.C., Coliseum and a later performance, at the Baltimore Civic Center in September of that year.

The shots are all by Mike Mitchell, who as just 18 when he photographed the Beatles' first U.S. concert in Washington.

Here's info from the listing:

Mitchell had exceptional access to the events including their arrival at Union Station, the press conference preceding the performance and unrestricted, stage-front access for the entirety of the historic Coliseum concert. Mitchell went on to photograph The Beatles again when they returned to the US later in the year, playing at the Baltimore Civic Centre on 13th September 1964.  

The resulting negatives, taken only with ambient light, since Mitchell had no flash, were put away in a box and sat for decades in his basement. The advent of digital technology allowed them to be fully realised as luminous records of this historical moment. The photographs are intimate, due to Mitchell's proximity to the band; they are moody, the result of existing light; and they are innocent, reflecting a time of heightened optimism.  

The complete archive comprises 413 negatives from the two concerts. The negatives of 46 of the images were digitally restored and seen for the first time in 2011 when Christie's in New York held a special auction dedicated entirely to this collection. Each print was 1/1 by virtue of a tiny 'heart' moniker hidden within. Forty three lots sold for a total of $362,000 (approx. £224,000). 

This lot includes the entire archive of 413 negatives together with high-resolution digital files of the 46 digitally restored images, a further 10 digitally restored images which were not used, original printed contact sheets and high-resolution scans of all contact sheets. The entire archive is to be sold with full copyright. 

Apart from the 46 images used in 2011, the remainder of the images are previously unseen/unpublished. 

In addition, a complete set of 46 prints in a special 1/1 edition (selenium toned gelatin silver fibre fine art prints, various sizes) and a further collection of 24 limited edition fine art prints will be included (full list available on request). All 71 prints are signed by the photographer.  

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