Thursday, April 30, 2020

Peter Jackson's "The Beatles: Get Back" still set to open Sept. 4

All things, especially these days, are subject to change, but director Peter Jackson's documentary on the Beatles' "Get Back" project is still set for release on Sept. 4, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The documentary draws on 55 hours of unused footage from the "Let it Be" film, and places the project in a fresh, more positive, light. It will reportedly include the entirety of the band's famed London rooftop concert, which marked their last-ever public performance.

An anniversary edition of the Let it Be album also is expected sometime this fall.

Vintage Beatles record rack

Paul in Rolling Stone, April 31, 1970

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Vintage Beatles postcard

Video: The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl 1964 Archive Newsreel from the Hollywood Star

Video: Lockdown won't stop Mark Lewisohn making new Beatles discoveries

Beatles historian in video conversation with the World in Your Ear podcast.

World authority on the Beatles joins us for a Word In Your Attic, talking about the facts you can glean from even the most ancient, blurriest picture, how he discovered the derivation of the riff John Lennon used to employ to lift their spirits in the olden days and trying to be patient when we ask when we can expect volume 2. Furthermore he offers you the chance to win an almost unique baseball cap celebrating this old gag if you can provide a comparable example.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Vintage Beatles pic: Paul

Beatle Quotes

"I'm cynical about society, politics, newspapers, government. But I'm not cynical about life, love, goodness, death. That's why I really don't want to be labeled a cynic."

- John, 1966

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Vintage Beatles pic: Sleepy-Eye McCartney

Vintage Beatles pic: Ringo in "Lisztomania"

Vintage Beatles pics: Tea for three

Vintage Beatles pics: In Munich, 1966

Out now: Beatlefan #243

Featuring my interview with journalist Don Short!

Beatlefan #243 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the “McCartney” album and the first “Beatles breakup” reports, as we present Part 1 of Al Sussman’s assessment of Paul McCartney’s solo career, Bruce Spizer tracing the making of Paul’s first solo release, and Wally Podrazik examining how McCartney had to compete with his Beatle self when he went out on his own. 
Also, Bill King looks back on the events of 1970 from a fan’s perspective, and Duncan Driver discusses when The Beatles actually broke up. 
Also in this issue, John Firehammer talks with veteran British showbiz reporter Don Short, who wrote the first national news story on The Beatles in the U.K. and also did the famous Daily Mirror front-page story with the “PAUL QUITS THE BEATLES” headline. 
Tom Frangione, meanwhile, writes about a Beatles cover by the Smithereens that’s finally being issued for Record Store Day, John Firehammer wraps up our Beatles Necrology look at members of the Beatleworld we’ve lost, and John Reilly concludes his memoir on working as a film editor with John and Yoko. And, of course, we have the latest news (including word of more possible anniversary releases), as well as reviews of recent books and a U.K. documentary.
Buy it here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Ringo announces The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" sing-along set for Saturday!



All aboard for the Yellow Submarine YouTube Dress-Up Sing-A-Long Watch Party! This Saturday, 25th April, join us at 9am PDT (12pm EDT/5pm BST) for the Beatles' celebration of love, music, and surfacing from strange seas into a beautiful world free of the Blue Meanies!  
Dress-up as your favourite character from the film and escape with us to a place where, for a little while, nothing is real.
Apparently, the entire "Yellow Submarine" film will be shown with bouncing-ball sing-along lyric captions. You can watch it at the appointed time on the Beatles' YouTube channel.

Vintage Beatles pic: On the telly with Morcambe and Wise

The Beatles at ATV during their appearance on "The Morcambe and Wise" show in 1964. You can watch the entire thing below.

Coming Up: John Lennon, 1980: The Final Days

Out Oct. 29, 2020. Pre-order now from Amazon.

For Lennon, 1980 had begun as a ceaseless shopping spree in which he and wife Yoko Ono fell into the doldrums of purchasing blue-chip real estate and indulging their every whim. But for John, that pivotal year would climax in several moments of creative triumph as he rediscovered his artistic self in dramatic fashion, only to be cut down by an assassin’s bullets on Monday, December 8th, 1980, in the prime of a new life that was only just beginning to blossom.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Vintage news clipping: Beatles waxworks get psychedelicized

When the Beatles went psychedelic in 1967, the venerable Madame Tussaud's waxworks in London was forced to replace its Fab Four figures with new versions - with mustaches and colorful clothes.

The old figures, of course, were sent off in grand fashion, being featured on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper cover, alongside their real-life counterparts.

Coming Up: Hold On World: The Lasting Impact of John Lennon & Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band - 50 Years On

Out Nov. 15, 2020. Pre-order now from Amazon.

Hold On World revisits Lennon and Ono's love affair and startling collaborations. John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band was arguably the most emotionally honest album ever made. It wasn't merely another record but more like a sonic exorcism, a spiritual, public bloodletting. Lennon's album drove a stake through the heart of the Beatles' myth while confronting everything else in John's life, from Dylan to God to his glorified status as a "Working Class Hero."

Determined to rid himself of childhood traumas—abandoned by his father, John, at age nine, watched helplessly as his mother was killed by a car—Lennon wrote the most powerful song cycle of his career, confronting fear, disappointment, and illusion, all the while espousing his love for Yoko Ono. Released simultaneously, Ono's album Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band is emotionally raw and challenging. It inspired bands like the B-52s and Yo La Tengo to employ pure sound, whether shrieking vocals or guitar feedback, to express their deepest feelings.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Vintage Beatles pic: John and George

Vintage Beatles pic

Beatle Quotes

"Merseybeat wasn’t our invention. We have always changed our style as we went along and we’ve never been frightened to develop and change."

-Paul, 1966

Coming Up: George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters

Out July 7, 2020. Pre-order from Amazon now.

Although he was known as "the Quiet Beatle," Harrison was arguably the most thoughtful and certainly the most outspoken of the famous four. This compendium of his words and ideas proves that point repeatedly, revealing his passion for music, his focus on spirituality, and his responsibility as a celebrity, with a sense of deep commitment and humor as well.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Beatles' "Man from the motor trade" passes away

Terry Doran with John Lennon

Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn today reports the passing of Beatles' associate Terry Doran.

Doran, a Liverpool car dealer, was friends with Brian Epstein before Epstein started managing the Beatles.

The pair formed Bydor Cars (a combination of their names) in 1965 in part because the Beatles and Brian's other acts were buying so many vehicles with their newfound riches.

The Beatles all purchased cars, including a selection of custom Minis and sports cars, via Brydor.

It's said that Doran inspired the line "meeting a man from the motor trade" in the song "She's Leaving Home" on the Sgt. Pepper album, but Paul McCartney, in his memoir, "Many Years from Now," denied this, saying "it was just fiction, like the sea captain in 'Yellow Submarine,' they weren't real people."

According to John Lennon, Doran helped him find a rhyme for "though the holes were rather small" in the song "A Day in the Life" by suggesting "Albert Hall."

Terry Doran, middle, with John Lennon (and Mike McGear on right?)
Doran later served as managing director of Apple Music and became manager of the band Grapefruit before the Apple label got started. The band scored a minor British hit with "Dear Delilah" on the RCA label in early 1968. Doran also briefly managed Apple singer Mary Hopkin.

Terry Doran with George Harrison
He later worked as a personal assistant to George Harrison before returning to the car business.

Vintage Beatles pic: John

Coming Up: In Lennon's Garden: An Intimate Portrait of John's Final Years

Out May 12, 2020. Pre-order now from Amazon.

Nearly a half-century after his sudden, untimely death, John Lennon’s gentle spirit and otherworldly talent live on in the hearts and minds of countless fans across the globe. The Beatles, which he cofounded with Paul McCartney in 1960, is the bestselling band in history, with more than 600 million records sold worldwide to date. And the witty, mercurial John―frequently cited among the best songwriters in history―was credited with writing many of the band’s most beloved hits. From his ingenious musical compositions, to his political activism, to his quirky relationship with Yoko Ono, the indefinable cultural icon that is John Lennon never ceases to amaze and confound, and his influence has reached across generations. 
Now, four decades after his murder shocked the world, yet another side of John is revealed: one witnessed by Michael Medeiros, a gardener he and Yoko hired in 1977 to tend to their indoor garden. It was Michael who observed John’s parenting skills first-hand, who sailed with John in Bermuda, and who, on December 8, 1980, exchanged kind words with John before unwittingly shaking hands with his killer. A heartfelt tribute to Lennon, this book also ponders the artist’s evolution and insecurities, while uncovering new details of his unusual partnership with the ever-ambitious Yoko. Candidly recounting intimate conversations and encounters with Lennon in the last four years of his life, Michael’s story is a fresh, stirring perspective on a complex and brilliant man.

Paul's performance on "One World: Together at Home"

Here's Paul's rendition of "Lady Madonna" from the "One World: Together at Home" TV special last night.

Paul gave a passionate intro, thanking public health workers for their heroic services during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and mentioned his wife, Mary, who was a midwife during World War II and after.

His performance is a bit rough. As anyone who's seen him live in recent years knows, his voice takes a bit of time these days to warm up. He's not warmed up here and the arrangement of the song seems completely off the cuff. So, a disappointment and a lost opportunity, in my opinion. He might've done something really great given a bit of forethought and preparation. "Lady Madonna" was a great, and unexpected choice, though. And it was good to see him taking part.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Vintage news clipping: "Beatle Paul's howler" - did Sgt. Pepper's "dog whistle" work?

The finishing touch on the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper LP is a tone intended to be so high in pitch that only dogs can hear it. But did it work? In this vintage article, a reporter plays the selection for a canine friend to gauge the reaction.