Sunday, May 30, 2021

Beatle quotes: Robert Whitaker on the "Butcher Cover"

"I wanted to do a real experiment. People will jump to the wrong conclusions about it being sick. But the whole thing is based on simplicity, linking four very real people with something real."
                                                    - Robert Whitaker, photographer of the Beatles' "Butcher Cover," 1965

Vintage mag: Beatles Personality Annual

"The Love Code They Follow."


Friday, May 28, 2021

New "The Beatles and India" film and tie-in album - hear the first single

"The Beatles and India" (not to be confused with the recent "Meeting the Beatles in India") is a new documentary based on the book by Ajoy Bose, author of  "Across The Universe – The Beatles In India," that documents the Fabs' time studying Transcendental Meditation at the Maharish Mahesh Yogi's ashram in Rishikesh.

The film premieres June 6 as part of the Tongues On Fire UK Asian Film Festival ahead of a full release this fall and is accompanied by a tie-in album, The Beatles and India: Songs Inspired by the Film that features a roster of Indian artists performing songs by the Beatles, including solo tracks such as John Lennon's "India, India," which is the first single of the LP in a version by Nikhil D’Souza.

Newly posted video of George Harrison live in Detroit 1974

Rare footage from the ill-fated "Dark Hoarse" tour, 1974. George seems happy, though.

Vintage Beatles ad for "All You Need is Love" single release, 1967


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

New Beatles books coming up

Some forthcoming releases. Click the links to order from Amazon.

Welcome back to the world of Apple Bonkers, the Flying Glove, and Blue Meanies, where nothing is real… and where readers can test their knowledge of The Beatles while helping the Fab Four and Captain Fred save Pepperland! The Beatles Nerd Search: Yellow Submarine contains spectacular, colorful art, and challenges fans to find the very deliberate mistakes and continuity errors, as well as hidden song titles, mysteries from the Sea of Time, and more Blue Meanies than you can shake a drumstick at. It’s all in the mind, you know…
    This volume has been created by comic book artist and writer Bill Morrison, author and illustrator of The Beatles Yellow Submarine authorized graphic novel.
     This is no conventional 'search-and-find.' Each of its detailed, full-color pages is packed with out-of-context items and continuity errors. 

Was John Lennon meeting Paul McCartney more significant than John Lennon meeting Yoko Ono? Rubber Soul or Revolver? Which Wings album was Paul McCartney’s solo pinnacle?
    In 100 brief chapters, John M. Borack discusses and ranks the greatest moments in Beatles history. An avid Fab Four fan since childhood and a music journalist for more than thirty-five years, Borack has created a book to agree with and disagree with, and one that is sure to spark conversations. A love letter to the greatest rock band of all time, The Beatles 100 is a book for Beatles buffs and casual fans alike.

Comedy historian and official biographer of Fry & Laurie, Douglas Adams, Blackadder and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Jem Roberts has spent a decade researching the story of the Beatles’ adventures in comedy to create his magnum opus – FAB FOOLS. 
    It’s the full, detailed, hilarious story of how John, Paul, George and Ringo laughed their way to the toppermost of the poppermost – their classic films, cartoons and even pantomime, not to mention their experimentations with audio comedy through Sir George Martin’s Parlophone comedy classics series. 
    The epic history brings in every comedy legend of the 1960s and beyond: George Formby, Ken Dodd, Morecambe & Wise, Cook & Moore, the Goons, Monty Python, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, the Simpsons, Peter Serafinowicz, Tenacious D, all the way to Richard Curtis and his recent film Yesterday. 
    And of course, no exploration of Beatles comedy would be complete without the first ever full print celebration of the Rutles – Dirk, Stig, Nasty and Barry. With full support and participation of Neil Innes and friends, FAB FOOLS documents Eric Idle and co’s creation of the most influential rock and roll spoof in history. 

Vintage Beatles mags: Paul covers KRLA Beat


Monday, May 24, 2021

New Beatles Magna-Tiles set

Magna-Tiles has a new Beatles-inspired set out now that allows you to build various structures, including the Yellow Submarine, Magical Mystery Tour bus and Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road cover tableaus. 

Vintage Beatles pics: John and Cynthia Lennon

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Great debates of our time: Who sang the "aaaah" on "A Day in the Life"? (Hint: It's Paul)

The long-running debate on who sings the soaring, sweeping "aaaah" during the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" has resurfaced once again online, with a couple of musical pros chiming in this time, Canada's Globe and Mail reports.

“Is it not John?” asked singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith.

“It’s John,” CSNY’s David Crosby said, “no question.”

“There’s no debate,” Juno-winner Hawksley Workman agreed.

But there is a debate. Even though the late Abbey Road recording engineer Geoff Emerick (who recorded the song) wrote in his book that it was Lennon’s voice, a faction of Beatles nerds say Emerick’s memory was faulty and that the “Ahh” singer was Paul.

One of them is Jerry Hammack, a Canadian-American musician and studio engineer who authored The Beatles Recording Reference Manuals (1961-1970), a five-book magical mystery tour into the minutia of the band’s studio history. “I’ve determined that the ‘Ahh’ vocal is sung by Paul,” he told The Globe last week. “The tonality of the voice and his phrasing embellishments at the end of the passage are pure McCartney.”

Though I for years also thought the vocal was John Lennon, close listening several years back convinced me that it's indeed Paul singing the part. But it's fun to listen and debate, nevertheless. What other pop band provides such a rich listening experience?

Vintage Beatles Yellow Submarine watch, 1968


Monday, May 17, 2021

"McCartney 3, 2, 1" documentary series coming to Hulu on July 16

Finally some details about Paul's project with producer Rick Rubin hinted at several months ago.

From the news release:

Today, Hulu announced the Original documentary series McCartney 3,2,1.  The six-episode music series event features intimate and revealing examinations of musical history from two living legends, Paul McCartney and super producer Rick Rubin, and hails from Endeavor Content. The series is executive produced by McCartney, Rubin, Scott Rodger, Peter Berg, Matthew Goldberg, Brandon Carroll, Jeff Pollack, Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern with Leila Mattimore serving as co-executive producer. All six episodes of McCartney 3,2,1 premiere Friday, July 16, on Hulu.  

“Never before have fans had the opportunity to hear Paul McCartney share, in such expansive, celebratory detail, the experience of creating his life’s work - more than 50 years of culture-defining music,” said Craig Erwich, president, Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “To be an observer as Paul and Rick Rubin deconstruct how some of the biggest hits in music history came to be is truly enlightening. It is an honor that Paul chose to return to Hulu to share this one-of-a-kind series.”  

In the series, Paul McCartney sits down for a rare in-depth one-on-one with legendary music producer Rick Rubin to discuss his groundbreaking work with The Beatles, the emblematic 1970s arena rock of Wings and his 50-plus years as a solo artist. In this six-episode series that explores music and creativity in a unique and revelatory manner, the documentary gives a front-row seat to Paul and Rick in an intimate conversation about the songwriting, influences, and personal relationships that informed the iconic songs that have served as the soundtracks of our lives.

Since writing his first song at the age of 14, Paul McCartney’s career has been impossibly prolific and singularly influential. In the 1960s, McCartney changed the world forever with The Beatles. He didn’t stop there and has continued to push boundaries as a solo artist, then with Wings, and also collaborating with numerous world-renowned artists. He has received 18 GRAMMYS® and in 1997 was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music. His most recent album, McCartney III was No. 1 in the U.K. Official Charts as well as No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Album Sales Chart upon release in December 2020. McCartney is a dedicated philanthropist, passionately advocating for many causes including animal rights and environmental issues. 

Rick Rubin continues to co-produce and host the podcast series “Broken Record” with Malcolm Gladwell. He has an active partnership with GQ around a series of deep conversations with the foremost personalities across the music world ranging from Pharrell Williams to Kendrick Lamar, each of which he hosts and creates editorial and video content around. He recently produced the Grammy®-winning record “The New Abnormal” with The Strokes to rave reviews.

McCartney 3,2,1 is the latest title to join Hulu’s burgeoning slate of documentary series and films that examine influential and significant figures in world history such as 'Hillary,''I Am Greta' and 'The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years.' 

McCartney 3,2,1 is directed by Emmy® Award-winning Zachary Heinzerling and executive produced by McCartney, Rubin, Scott Rodger, Peter Berg, Matthew Goldberg, Brandon Carroll, Jeff Pollack, Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern with Leila Mattimore serving as co-executive producer. Endeavor Content serves as the studio, producing alongside MPL Communications Inc., Shangri-La, Film 45, Kennedy Marshall and Diamond Docs.

Video: The Beatles on "Ready Steady Go," 1963

Video: The Beatles on "Drop In," Sweden, 1964

Vintage Beatles on Parlophone promotional banner


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Beatles social media gallery

Images posted by the Beatles, family and friends.

Ringo Starr

Yoko Ono

Pattie Boyd

Video: The Beatles on "That Your Lucky Stars," 1963

Beatle quotes

"On the LP, we've got this track ('Tomorrow Never Knows') with electronic effects I worked out myself... with words from the Tibetan Book Of The Dead. We did it because I, for one, am sick of doing sounds that people can claim to have heard before. Anyway, we played it to the Stones and the Who, and they visibly sat up and were interested.

"We also played it to Cilla (Black) ...who just laughed!"

-Paul 1966

Vintage Beatles pic: John


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Paul credits "eye yoga" for his great vision

Speaking on the podcast Table Manners to promote the new "Linda McCartney's Family Kitchen" cookbook with his daughters Mary and Stella,  Paul McCartney discussed how he uses eye yoga to keep his vision sharp.

“I learned [it] off some yogi in India. He explained that your eyes are muscles whereas your ears aren’t, so you can’t exercise your ears. But your eyes, you can.”

“So, head still, and then you look up as far as you can, one, two, three, go back to the middle, then down, one, two, three, then back to the middle. You do three lots of that, then go to the left and the right. Now you’ve got a cross, up and down, and sideways, now you do the diagonals.”

“It’s pretty good stuff. It makes sense, though, doesn’t it? It makes sense if they [eyes] are muscles...I don’t know if it means that that’s why I don’t need glasses when I’m reading a newspaper. It makes sense, you know? It’s a good idea.”

Vintage Beatles pic: George and Ringo


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

"Her Majesty" - Paul appears in upcoming TV tribute to the Queen - see clips

Paul McCartney joins former President Obama and others talking about Queen Elizabeth in a CBS News special about the monarch, "The Queen Carries On: A Gayle King Special," set to air on CBS this Friday.

Paul calls the Queen "very down to earth" and shares his oft told tale of writing a prize-winning essay at age 10 about Elizabeth's coronation.

Friday, May 7, 2021

New video for John Lennon's "Hold On (Elements Mix)"

News release:

With everything going on in these unprecedented times, the John Lennon Estate invites you to take a moment to stop what you’re doing and take a moment to breathe and relax by watching the soothing, meditative new video for John’s timeless and relevant song, “Hold On.” The video, presented in 5K and beautifully animated by David Frearson, brings to life the classic album cover for John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band which features John and Yoko resting underneath a huge oak tree in the gardens of their home at Tittenhurst Park, Ascot in the UK. What at first looks to be a static image, the photo, restored from the original Kodak 126 Instamatic square-format negative, slowly reveals itself as sunlight streams through swaying branches in the tranquil setting, offering a momentary respite from the stresses of the day as John encourages: “Hold on world/World hold on/It's going to be alright/You're going to see the light.”

The video showcases the new Elements Mix of the song which highlights John’s vocals by including two previously unused vocal overdubs along with guitar while muting the bass and drums for a more subdued version.

The Elements Mix is from the just-released John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – The Ultimate Collection box set, celebrating 50 years of John’s transformational and influential first post-Beatles solo album. Mixed by triple GRAMMY®-Award winning engineer Paul Hicks, the Elements Mixes bring some of the buried elements not otherwise heard, or in some cases used, up to the surface and presents them on a wider and brighter sound stage to reveal deeper levels of detail and clarity. These range from John’s isolated vocal track for “Mother,” the conga on “I Found Out,” the extra vocals on “Hold On,” the alternative organ take on “Isolation,” unused maracas on “Well Well Well” and the original guide vocal for “God.”

Available now via Capitol/UMe, the eight-disc super deluxe box set, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – The Ultimate Collection, is an immersive, deep listening experience and in-depth exploration of what John once described as “the best thing I’ve ever done.” Fully authorized by Yoko Ono Lennon, who oversaw the production and creative direction, and from the same audio team that worked on 2018’s critically acclaimed, Imagine release, the Ultimate Collection puts listeners in the center of the studio and explores the album’s 1970 recording sessions at EMI Studios 2 & 3, Abbey Road along with John’s post-Beatles singles, “Give Peace A Chance,” “Cold Turkey” and “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)” from inception to the final master through scores of unreleased and rare demos, rehearsals, outtakes, jams and studio conversations, revealing how these beloved songs came to be. Everything in this expansive box set has been newly mixed from scratch from brand new 192kHz/24bit hi-res transfers. In addition to the various new mixes, the set boasts 87 never-before-heard recordings.

Vintage Beatles Cavern Club ad in Mersey Beat


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Royal Mail issues series of Paul McCartney stamps

A series of stamps out May 28 in England celebrate the legacy of Paul McCartney, depicting the covers of eight of his albums, plus four images of him in the recording studio.

“Paul McCartney remains a vital figure at the centre of rock and pop, an artist whose legacy is immense, but whose work continues to generate popular attention and critical acclaim,” said Royal Mail’s David Gold.

“This dedicated stamp issue is a fitting tribute to one of the UK’s much loved and revered musical icons.”

Ordering information here