Thursday, February 28, 2019

"Imagine: Raw Studio Mixes" coming to vinyl on Record Store Day April 16

Info from Record Store Day - check here to find participating shops near you: US UK

John Lennon’s Imagine [Raw Studio Mixes] will be released as a Limited Edition on heavyweight 180-gram black vinyl for Record Store Day 2019. These mixes capture the exact moment John and The Plastic Ono Band recorded each song raw and live on the soundstage located at the center of Ascot Sound Studios at John & Yoko’s home in Tittenhurst. The tracks are devoid of effects (reverb, tape delays, etc.) offering a unique, unparalleled insight & an alternate take on the record. These mixes have been pressed in the original album sequence appearing for the first time on vinyl.

Watch: Excerpts from "Pepperland' by the Mark Morris Dance Group

Famed choreographer Mark Morris and composer Ethan Iverson (formerly of the Bad Plus) have created a touring dance show focused on the music of "Sgt. Pepper." You can read more about it here.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

Vintage Beatles British European Airways Bags (1964)

Produced by British European Airways to commemorate the Beatles' arrival in the United States.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

New Corgi Yellow Submarine toys now available!

The official Beatles site just sent out word that you can pre-order the reissued Corgi Yellow Submarine toys we wrote about recently.

The die-cast vehiciles are replicas of those sold by Corgi in the 1960s and 70s and features figures of the animated Beatles. Is also has a rotating periscope, which moves as the model is pushed along.

U.S. price is $35 and they will ship in two weeks. Order via the official Beatles Store.

Vintage Beatles "It's Happening" Promo Poster (1967)

A promo for the "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane" single.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Reissue of Professor Longhair performance presented by Paul and Linda McCartney out April 5

Order now from Amazon.

Details from the news release:

Originally released in 1978 on Harvest Records, Professor Longhair’s Live on the Queen Mary documents a legendary performance from the Venus and Mars album release party thrown by Paul and Linda McCartney and Wings in 1975.
Live on the Queen Mary was recorded March 24, 1975 on its titular cruise ship, while docked in Long Beach, California. Highlights include the rollicking "Mess Around," the standards "Stagger Lee," "Everyday I Have the Blues," "I'm Movin' On," and Professor Longhair’s own hits "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" and "Tipitina” about which Hugh Laurie writes, “Because that live version of Tipitina, oh sweet Lord. If the record had nothing else on it, it would still be a treasure beyond price.”
Professor Longhair a/k/a Henry Roeland "Roy" Byrd (December 19, 1918 – January 30, 1980) was a New Orleans blues singer and pianist. He was active in two distinct periods, first in the heyday of early rhythm and blues and later on during the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz surrounding the beginnings of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Professor Longhair’s influence was crucial to many of his fellow New Orleans musical legends, such as Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John, all of whom were touched by his rumba, mambo, and calypso piano based blues sound.
Live On The Queen Mary will be re-released April 5 via Harvest / MPL across digital platforms, on CD and on newly remastered 180gram vinyl LP. The album will feature a foreword by Hugh Laurie, as will the limited edition “Long Live Fess” deluxe, which will also feature the 180gram LP, the double A-Side 7” Single “Tipitina”/" Mess Around,” and more. Track listings for the various formats are as follows:
• Tell Me Pretty Baby
• Mess Around
• Everyday I Have The Blues
• Tipitina
• I’m Movin’ On
• Mardi Gras In New Orleans
• Cry To Me
• Gone So Long
• Stagger Lee 
180gram VINYL LP

• Tell Me Pretty Baby
• Mess Around
• Everyday I Have The Blues
• Tipitina 
• I’m Movin’ On
• Mardi Gras In New Orleans
• Cry To Me
• Gone So Long
• Stagger Lee 
• Tell Me Pretty Baby
• Mess Around
• Everyday I Have The Blues
• Tipitina 
• I’m Movin’ On
• Mardi Gras In New Orleans
• Cry To Me
• Gone So Long
• Stagger Lee 
• Tipitina
• Mess Around

Vintage Beatles Fairfield Hall Concert Handbill (1963)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Vintage Beatles promo photo

Details on upcoming Brian Epstein bio-pic: "The Man Who"

Some new production news from the upcoming Brian Epstein film produced by Tom Hanks and Jude Law. Apparently Dennis Quaid is playing Ed Sullivan!(?)

THE MAN WHO is the incredible story of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, seen through the lens of a fictional interview on the Ed Sullivan Show. It’s a brilliant concept – the antithesis of a traditional staid biopic. By examining Brian’s life through this prism – which ultimately proves to be Brian’s dying memories – it allows us to play fast and loose with time and structure, reality and fantasy, and really get under his skin. It also offers us a glimpse of the Beatles phenomenon from Brian’s unique perspective, which has never been seen before.

Starring Dennis Quaid (Ed Sullivan), Dominic Cooper (Brian Epstein), Ben Schnetzer (John Lennon)

Watch: Restored Lennon-Epstein film "The Hours and Times" coming to select theaters

First released in 1992, "The Hours and Times" is a fictionalized account of John Lennon and Brian Epstein's visit to Spain in 1963.


In the four days they spend together there, the suave Epstein (David Angus) and the provocative Lennon (Ian Hart in his first starring role) reflect on their lives, both private and professional, as they explore the unique bond they share. Munch’s sparse and intimate narrative, captured with exquisite black-and-white cinematography, is a thoughtful meditation on friendship and sexuality, crafted around a brief moment in the lives of two extremely well-known pop figures. The Hours and Timesis both written and directed by American filmmaker Christopher Munch, his feature directorial debut. It was first released in 1992 after premiering at the Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals. Oscilloscope Labs will re-release The Hours and Times in US theaters starting March 1st (beginning in NYC) coming up soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Vintage Beatles Flip-Buttons

Listen: New Jenny Lewis tune, "Heads Gonna Roll," with Ringo on drums

Ringo appears on this new track from singer Jenny Lewis' new LP, "On the Line." Bassist Don Was and former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench also appear on the track.

1963 photo negative of the Beatles developed - 55 years late

Via the Great Yarmouth Mercury:

It was a long and winding road, but a picture of The Beatles playing in Great Yarmouth that had never been seen before has finally been printed - after spending 55 years in a drawer as an undeveloped negative.

Peter Harrison, 75, had salvaged the negative while working in a photographer’s studio in the summer of 1963, when the Fab Four played in the town.

He was 17-years-old at the time and working in Fisher’s photography studio under the ABC Cinema, where The Beatles had already played a concert on June 30 and had returned to the resort for a second show on July 28.

... for 55 years the negative had sat in one of Mr Harrison’s drawers until earlier this month his son completed a black and white photography course.

“I said ‘I’ve got a negative you might be interested in’ so I sent it to him,” Mr Harrison said.
His son, Richard, 43, then developed the negative and printed the photo. 

Paul McCartney announces "Egypt Station - Traveller's Edition box set

The long-planned expanded edition of Paul's latest solo LP, "Egypt Station," is finally on its way May 10 in a limited edition.

The set seems to be much more about packaging than music, with only a handful of extra tracks mentioned.

Details from his official website:

Strictly Limited Deluxe Edition of 3,000
To Be Released 10th May

Paul has confirmed the release of the Egypt Station - Traveller’s Edition box set out 10th May via Capitol Records. This strictly limited deluxe edition of the #1 album Egypt Station will be a one-time-only pressing limited to 3,000 numbered cases. The Traveller’s Edition arrives in a vintage style suitcase and contains exclusive previously unreleased tracks, hidden rarities and all the essentials needed on your journey to Egypt Station and beyond.


Fans who sign up HERE by 6pm PT / 9pm ET 14th February | 2am GMT 15th February will be emailed a unique link for access to the pre-order.

Pre-order begins Friday 15th February at 6am PT / 9am ET / 2pm GMT. Due to the limited quantity of this edition, sales will be on a first come, first served basis.

Egypt Station - Traveller’s Edition contains:

• Limited Edition Concertina Tri-Fold Deluxe 180G Vinyl Double Black Disc Pressing of Egypt Station
• Exclusive Limited Edition Bonus 180G Vinyl Pressing of Egypt Station II  in "Night Scene” blue, featuring three previously unreleased tracks — ‘Frank Sinatra’s Party’, ‘Sixty Second Street’ and extended cut of Egypt Station single ‘Who Cares’ — as well as four live performances of Egypt Station tracks taken from Abbey Road Studios, The Cavern Club, LIPA and Paul’s iconic performance at Grand Central Station
• Limited Edition Egypt Station Concertina CD
• Exclusive Limited Edition collector’s Egypt Station Blue Cassette
• HD Audio of all tracks upon shipment
• Additional rare performances footage hidden inside.

Array of "Yellow Submarine" products on the way from Fisher-Price and Factory Entertainment

Each January, manufacturers unveil new pop culture items as part of Toy Fair, and this year the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" appears to be a major theme - a year late for the animated film's 50th anniversary.

First up, Fisher-Price has announced a series of "Yellow Submarine"-based Beatles figures as part of its long-running Little People line:

The figures will appears as a collectible Little People four-pack priced at $19.99 available this fall.

Meanwhile, Factory Entertainment, Inc., announced a new multi-year licensing agreement with Apple Corps., with plans for a wide range of "Yellow Submarine"-themed items, including:

  • Collectible metal miniatures
  • Plush
  • Statues
  • Tin Totes
  • Towels
  • Bath Toys
  • Keychains
  • Bottle Openers
Here's a peek:

Items will be available later this year through Factory's website and in stores.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Vintage Yellow Submarine illustration by George Barris, creator of TV's Batmobile

I'm curious about this one. Not much info via Heritage Auctions, where the illustration came from. Barris created the 1966 Batmobile, the Monkeemobile, Munster Koach and other classic pop culture vehicles. Anyone know the story behind this picture?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Vintage Rice Krispies Beatles badge offer

First trailer for Danny Boyle's Beatles-themed movie, "Yesterday"


Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs. He’s about to become a very big deal. 

From Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) and Richard Curtis, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill, comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life. 

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, BBC’s Eastenders) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James, Mama Mia! Here We Go Again). 

Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed … and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed. 

Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them, and with a little help from his steel-hearted American agent, Debra (Emmy winner Kate McKinnon), Jack’s fame explodes. But as his star rises, he risks losing Ellie — the one person who always believed in him.

With the door between his old life and his new closing, Jack will need to get back to where he once belonged and prove that all you need is love.

Featuring new versions of The Beatles’ most beloved hits, Yesterday is produced by Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (Love Actually, About A Boy, the Bridget Jones series) alongside Matthew James Wilkinson and Bernie Bellew. Curtis and Boyle also produce. Nick Angel and Lee Brazier serve as executive producers.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Beatles and the Ed Sullivan Myth

"Well ... It's a great press story. What can I say?"
                  - Peter Prichard, European talent scout for "The Ed Sullivan Show"

Ed Sullivan, the story goes, booked the Beatles on his show sight unseen after witnessing Beatlemania firsthand at London Airport on Oct. 31, 1963.

Fans of the group that day shut down traffic to the airport, delaying Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home's limousine as he made his way to catch a flight to Scotland, and crowding an observation platform in hopes of catching a glimpse of their idols as they returned home from a brief tour of Sweden.

Told that the fuss was all due to the Fab Four, Sullivan famously replied, "What the hell are the Beatles?"

It's a fun story that appears in numerous Beatles books and all over the Web. It'll likely be retold numerous times today, too, on the 55th anniversary of the Beatles' famous first appearance on Sullivan's TV show.

But it's not true.

Firstly, it's highly unlikely that Ed Sullivan was at London Airport on that day - many who would know say he wasn't. Secondly, by Halloween 1963, Ed Sullivan knew damn well who the Beatles were.

Sullivan enjoyed telling the airport story - and it varied in the telling - and giving himself credit for "discovering" the Beatles on America's behalf. But he's also on record saying that he learned about the band not by witnessing Beatlemania firsthand, but by reading about the phenomenon in the newspaper.

This is most likely due to news clippings sent to Sullivan by Peter Prichard, a Londoner employed by legendary British showbiz impresario Lew Grade, who also worked as a European talent scout for the Sullivan show.

According to Sullivan's producer, Bob Precht, "if it hadn't been for Peter Prichard, the Beatles never would have appeared on Ed Sullivan."

Pitching the Beatles

It was Prichard's job to to keep a lookout for interesting acts to send Sullivan's way. And, in the fall 1963,there was no bigger act in England than the Beatles.

By Halloween, the group had charted two top British singles ("Please Please Me" and "From Me to You") and a top British album, secured their own BBC radio show ("Pop Go The Beatles") and appeared to a massive TV audience on "Sunday Night at the London Palladium," which was essentially England's version of the Sullivan show.

In author James McGuire's  2006 book "Impresario: The Life and Times of Ed Sullivan," Prichard called the London Airport incident "a great press story" that was likely the invention of a Sullivan publicity agent. And he recounts his efforts to get Sullivan interested in the band by sending him news clippings about the Beatles' rise to fame. 

The trouble was finding an "angle" to get the group on the show. Up to that point, Capitol Records in the U.S. had refused to release any of the band's recordings, figuring they wouldn't sell, and the early Beatles releases on Swan and Vee-Jay didn't have adequate promotion to threaten the American charts. Why put these British nobodies on TV when there were plenty of American performers to choose from, Sullivan figured.

Associate producer of the Sullivan show Vince Calandra said the program's talent coordinator Jack Babb did check out a couple of Beatles concerts in England during the summer of 1963, but just "didn't get it." 

Calendra also said "it makes no sense" that Sullivan would've been at London Airport in October 1963. Sullivan did spend considerable time in Europe during his summers, and was in England in September, but by October the fall TV season was well underway and it's very unlikely he would've been traveling abroad.

The TV listings for the Sullivan program for the Sundays preceding and following Halloween indicate that those episodes used at least some taped material, but it's unclear whether they were entirely taped, or if they were presented live, with Sullivan in New York. Sullivan regularly introduced taped footage of various celebrities and novelty acts during his live shows. (Thanks to Mitchell at It's About TV for the info).

Also, as McGuire notes in his book, Sullivan's twice weekly show business column in the New York Daily News indicates that he was in New York during the last week of October and makes no mention of a trip overseas. Generally, Sullivan liked providing his readers with details of his travels.

Finally, although he liked regaling people with the airport story, Sullivan is on record more than once  saying that he learned of Beatlemania by reading about it, not by seeing it in the flesh.

In a Saturday Evening Post profile published in April 1968, Sullivan says he'd "read in the newspapers that the Queen's plane had been delayed in takeoff because London was aswarm with youngsters awaiting the arrival of a vocal group - virtually unknown in this country - called the Beatles." 

The detail about the Queen in this account is different (and inaccurate), but there's no mention of Sullivan being at the airport.

In a December 1964 letter to Lew Grade, published in McGuire's book, Sullivan jumbles more facts, but  makes no mention of being at the airport:

"In late September 1963 when we were taping acts in London, I locked up the Beatles, sight unseen, because London papers gave tremendous Page 1 coverage to the fact that both the Queen's flight and the newly elected Prime Minister Douglas-Home's plane to Scotland had been delayed in takeoffs for three hours. The reason: the airport runways had been completely engulfed by thousands of youngsters assembled at the airport to cheer the unknown Beatles."

Again, the Queen is mentioned, and the episode is placed in September, not October (when there was no hubbub at the airport regarding the Beatles), but Sullivan makes clear that he learned about the band via newspaper articles.

Playing for royalty

It was yet more news coverage that provided Sullivan with the right angle to book the Beatles. Shortly after the band's news-making performance on the Palladium show, the group was booked to appear on another TV broadcast, the annual "Royal Variety Performance" on Nov. 4.

The novelty of four mop-topped rock'n'rollers performing to Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth, pregnant with Prince Edward, stayed home) attracted media attention in the States and convinced Sullivan that, hit record or not, the Beatles were worth booking on his show.

A week later, Beatles manager Brian Epstein was in New York, arranging a deal for the Beatles to appear on three consecutive episodes of Sullivan's show (the first two live, the third taped).

"I Want to Hold Your Hand"

Shortly after Sullivan booked the Beatles, imported copies of the Beatles' latest British single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" started getting regional airplay in the U.S., and Capitol opted to issue it - ultimately bumping up the release date by two weeks due to the song's popularity and launching a well-funded promotional campaign to support it.

The other prominent Beatles myth related to the Sullivan show is that the group refused to visit America until it had Number 1 record in the U.S. But the band was booked to visit New York more than a month before "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was released in the U.S., and the song didn't top the Billboard charts until Feb. 1, just over a week before the Beatles' first Sullivan appearance.

American teens fell in love with the Beatles' sound upon first hearing. But the Sullivan show, which allowed fans to see the group in action, sealed the deal. No matter how it actually came about, the Beatles' appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9, 1964, secured their place as stars on both sides of the Atlantic.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Vintage Beatles Color Photos trading cards, in package

Listen: "Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles," 1960s lecture by David A. Noebel

In 1964, evangelist David A. Noebel launched a lecture tour tying to the Beatles to the threat of communism. The group, he said, was hypnotizing America's youth and undermining our democracy. The key to it all, he said, was Ringo's beat. I wonder what Noebel would make of Russian-colluding sitting presidents.

Anyway, I've read Noebel's book/pamphlet ranting about the Beatles, but not heard on of the original lectures. Here it is, off a reel-to-reel tape.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

BBC to broadcast "lost" interview with George Harrison and Michael Jackson

BBC Radio will broadcast a 1979 interview featuring George with Michael Jackson on Feb. 9. You'll be able to stream it here shortly after the live broadcast.

According to the NME:

"When George Met Michael" will find Jackson explaining how Motown refused to let him write his own songs and Harrison talking about being in the songwriting shadow of his bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney. 

The musicians appeared on BBC Radio 1 in 1979 to review new releases from the likes of Foreigner, Nicolette Larson, and The Blues Brothers, and to share some of the stories behind their own songs. 

The recording was discarded at the time, with only a short clip kept by the BBC. However, another recording of it has been found and restored, with snippets of it due to be broadcast this weekend.

1964 Beatles Topps trading cards

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Making of the Beatles' "Glass Onion" video

The Beatles issued a new video for "Glass Onion" to promote the "White Album" anniversary release. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how it was created, followed by the finished product.

Reissue of classic Corgi "Yellow Subarine" toy on the way

Toy manufacturer Hornby America is reissuing Corgi Toys' 1960s die-cast "Yellow Submarine" vehicle. The toy is set for release next summer at a price around $32, The Toy Book reports.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Artifact: Program from Beatles' Scottish tour, 19694

 Via Heritage Auctions:

The Beatles played four shows over two nights in Scotland, April 29-30, 1964, before heading out on their ambitious World Tour. This program was for those dates in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The simple blue cover has artist renditions of the Beatles' famous hairdos. Opening acts included Johnny and the Copy Cats, The Remo Four, and Tommy Quickly with photos and bios of the acts inside. Twelve internal pages, 8" x 10.5".

BBC video: How Can The Influence Of The #BeatlesWhiteAlbum Be Heard In Contemporary Artists' Work, Today?


Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the White Album, Matt Everitt, Giles Martin, and a panel of journalists, broadcasters & artists discuss how the album has influenced musicians.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Rare "Beatle Bus" Atlanta Transit System Promotional Sign, 1965

 Via Heritage Auctions:
Ultra Rare "Beatle Bus" Atlanta Transit System Promotional Sign, August 18, 1965. It's difficult to image the Atlanta Transit System getting into the spirit of the Beatles appearance at Atlanta Stadium on August 18, 1965, but this 22.75" x 9.5" stiff cardboard sign with a rather unflattering illustration of Ringo begs to differ. The sign remains in remarkable condition with light uniform toning to the white background, minor creasing at corners, and a few trivial scattered stains. Fine condition. From the Connie and Dennis Dailey Monumental Beatles Collection.