Showing posts with label Peter Blake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Blake. Show all posts

Friday, January 20, 2017

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Paul McCartney is pursuing a new legal angle in his continuing efforts to recover his ownership of songs he wrote while in the Beatles.
Mr. McCartney’s suit is over what is known as copyright termination: the right of authors — or any creators — to reclaim ownership of their works from publishers after a specific length of time has passed. It was part of the 1976 copyright act and in recent years has become a potent force in the music industry as performers and songwriters have used the law to regain control of their work.
In Mr. McCartney’s suit, filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, lawyers for the singer detailed the steps they have taken over the last nine years to reclaim Mr. McCartney’s piece of the copyrights in dozens of Beatles songs he wrote with John Lennon, including “Love Me Do,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “All You Need Is Love.” That process involved filing numerous legal notices, which, the suit says, should be enough to guarantee that Sony/ATV would return the rights to Mr. McCartney, starting in October 2018.
Here's the full complete, if you're into that sort of thing.
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As mentioned last week, Beatles associate "Magic Alex" Mardas died Jan. 13 at age 74. Since then, a number of media outlets have published articles about this controversial figure, including Billboard, Rolling Stone and  Huffington Post.

Mardas was director of Apple Corps' Electronic Division and is described in most accounts as a self-proclaimed "electronics wizard" who promised all sorts of inventions he never delivered on, yet Mardas disputed this characterization. His Wikipedia entry details some of these:
The Independent newspaper apologised on 21 August 2006, writing that on 14 June 2006, the paper had wrongly reported Mardas' involvement with Apple Electronics Ltd. They corrected the earlier piece by writing that Mardas had not been a company employee, but a director and shareholder of Apple Electronics, and was not sacked, but resigned his directorship in May 1971, while still retaining his shareholding, until giving it to Apple Corps some years later. The paper accepted that Mardas “did not claim to have invented electric paint, a flying saucer or a recording studio with a ‘sonic force field’ or cause his employers to waste money on such ideas. We apologise to Mr. Mardas for these errors".[60]
In 2008, Mardas won the right to sue The New York Times in England, in relation to an online article which said he was a charlatan. In a story about the Maharishi, Allan Kozinn had written: "Alexis Mardas, a supposed inventor and charlatan who had become a Beatles’ insider".[63][64]
After an appeal, Mardas won the right to continue his case of defamation against The New York Times in 2009.[65][66][67] After The New York Times produced a witness, Sir Harold Evans, who gave evidence supporting the journalistic responsibility of the paper, Mardas said he would not pursue the case further, on condition that the paper would publicly explain that by labelling him as a charlatan, it did not mean to imply that he was a con man.[68]
On 4 March 2010, The New York Times published an editor's update to the 2008 article, saying: "While expressing skepticism about his work as an inventor during that period, the article did not accuse Mr. Mardas of engaging in fraudulent dealings or criminality... The Times’s reporting on those events was attributed to Paul McCartney and based on widely published accounts from books and magazines".[42]
You can read a statement Mardas made in 2010 after suing the Times here. While it's from Mardas' own side of things, there's some interesting reading here about Apple, the Maharish and more.

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More on Magic Alex: Yoko made this tweet following his passing. I didn't see anything from Paul, Ringo or other "Beatles Family" members.


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The Liverpool Echo posted a new video interview with Quarryman Rod Davis.

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A Mercedes-Benz 230SL Roadster owned and barely driven by John Lennon is up for auction.


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Artist Peter Blake has created another artwork based his Sgt. Pepper LP cover. This time its a giant collage adorning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel in London.
The star-studded line-up will include the likes of Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley.

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Meet the Beatles For Real posted a couple of fun issues from Ringo's days as a model for Japan's Simple Life clothing line. Dreamy!


And, from the same blog, further proof that the Beatles started everything: George's man bun:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Beatles Bits: Weekly News Roundup

A draft letter John Lennon sent Queen Elizabeth II when returning his M.B.E. medal in 1969 has been valued at £60,000 at a Beatles memorabilia fair in Liverpool.
The letter was discovered tucked away inside the sleeve of a record that was part of a collection of 45s, which was picked up for £10 at a car boot sale 20 years ago. It was recently discovered in the owner’s attic who wishes to remain anonymous.

Darren Julien of Julien’s Auctions who led the day at the Beatles Story said: “We’ll be doing some further research but this could be the Beatles find of the year. There is no doubt that the handwriting is definitely that of John Lennon.

“You can quite clearly see that the signature in this letter has been smudged. My theory is that John Lennon never sent this draft because of the smeared ink. If you’re writing to The Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don’t want the ink to be smudged.

“This suggests that he wrote a second version of the letter, which was the one that was actually sent to The Queen.”

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Sgt. Pepper cover artist Sir Peter Blake will decorate a pair of boats for London's Grand Union Canal.
Westminster City Council gave planning permission for the boats, which will be moored opposite the Hammersmith and City line entrance to Paddington Station and decorated by the artist best known for created the album cover for The Beatles’ St Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
One boat will be used as a cafe with an exhibition space and additional seating on the roof, while the other will have a dual retail and restaurant use with tables and chairs on the roof.
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Paul McCartney has contributed a new song to the soundtrack of the upcoming animated feature "Ethel and Ernest," adapted from Raymond Briggs' 1998 storybook of the same name, The Telegraph reports.
McCartney's new song, titled In the Blink of An Eye, plays over the end credits of the movie.
Getting one of the most famous names in pop music to write a track for your film might sound like a bit of a daunting challenge but Ethel and Ernest director Roger Mainwood says he had an advantage: McCartney was already a fan of Briggs's work
"I knew that Paul McCartney was a big animation fan and I knew that Raymond Briggs's book Fungus the Bogeyman had influenced Paul's 1980s track Bogey Music," he explained. "So I asked Raymond if he might write a letter to Paul to see if he was interested in composing a track for Ethel and Ernest,  which he did on Fungus the Bogeyman headed paper!"
The soundtrack is available for pre-order via Amazon UK, but not yet in the U.S.

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Here's nice shot of Paul McCartney and daughters Stella and Mary taken during Paul's recent Desert Trip appearances:


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The Beatles' attorneys are moving to quash a "meritless" lawsuit filed by the estate of promoter Sid Bernstein over rights to a film documenting the band's famed 1965 performance at Shea Stadium.
Michael A. Kolcun, of law film Robins Kaplan, calls the suit “frivolous” and “entirely meritless” and says Bernstein “had no control over or input into the filming of the concert or in the production of the resulting film, The Beatles at Shea Stadium“, which was first shown in 1967.
The original complaint, by Sid Bernstein Presents, claims Bernstein retained the copyright to the the footage, despite The Beatles’ film-distribution company, Subafilms – with Apple Corps, one of two defendants in the case – obtaining a copyright registration in 1988.
“This case is an entirely meritless attempt by the corporate successor of the promoter of The Beatles’ celebrated concert at Shea Stadium, Sid Bernstein, to claim over fifty years after the fact that Bernstein was somehow an author and copyright owner of the film of that concert,” reads Robins Kaplan’s statement. “This is in spite of the following facts: 
“First, Bernstein’s contract with The Beatles’ management company, Nems Enterprises Ltd (the predecessor-in-interest of defendants Apple and Subafilms), explicitly provided that: ‘[Bernstein] agrees to exclude from the premises and particularly from the immediate vicinity of the stage and the backstage areas all TV cameras, and/or photographers with motion-picture cameras and/or tape recorders unless specifically authorised by [Nems] […] [Nems] shall have the sole and exclusive right to photograph, film, videotape and/or record the performance of THE BEATLES and the entire supporting show during this engagement and any receipts derived therefrom shall belong exclusively to [Nems].
“Second, plaintiff admits that Bernstein had no control over or input into the filming of the concert or in the production of the resulting film, The Beatles at Shea Stadium.
Finally, plaintiff admits that Bernstein, throughout the nearly fifty years after the Shea Stadium concert until his death in 2013, never asserted any claim of authorship or copyright ownership in the film of the concert – which first aired nationally in 1967 – despite the consistent, notorious and exclusive claims of ownership by Nems, Apple and Subafilms, all of which excluded Bernstein from any receipts from their various exploitations of the film.
“As a matter of simple contract law, copyright law and the application of the statute of limitations, plaintiff – claiming to have received a general grant of Bernstein’s intellectual property rights – has brought an utterly frivolous claim for rights Bernstein never had. The complaint should be dismissed in its entirety with prejudice.”
A response to the motion for dismissal is due Nov. 2.

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Phil Collins and Paul McCartney are feuding - at least according to Phil.

Collins, in an interview published earlier this month, said Macca acted arrogantly during an encounter 14 years ago, when Collins asked Paul to autograph a copy of Hunter Davies' Beatles biography.
According to Collins, McCartney -- then with second wife Heather Mills -- said, "Oh, Heather, our little Phil's a bit of a Beatles fan," which Collins took offense to.
“He has this thing when he’s talking to you, where he makes you feel [like], ‘I know this must be hard for you because I’m a Beatle. I’m Paul McCartney and it must be very hard for you to actually be holding a conversation with me.’”
Now Collins said Paul has contacted him about the comment:
"He's been in touch about it because he was upset," Collins says. "I certainly didn't get any flowers from him; I got more of a 'Let's just get on with our lives.' And I'm sorry he's upset that I kinda said something nasty about him -- well, it wasn't really nasty. If people don't tell people that sometimes their attitude could be a bit better then you're not gonna get any better, y'know?"
No official statement from Paul or his camp, yet.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Beatles Bits: Weekly news update

This article, about Sgt. Pepper cover artist Peter Blake designing a new print for the Liverpool Biennial art festival, contains an interesting anecdote about original Beatle Stu Sutcliffe.
Dartford-born Blake's connection with Liverpool dates back to 1961 when he won the John Moores junior art award, beating John Lennon's friend and former Beatles bass player Stuart Sutcliffe.
Sir Peter said: "On my first meeting with John [Lennon] the subject of art came up and he muttered, 'Stuart should have got that prize, not you'. They were the first words he ever said to me."

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Such a rebel: John Lennon's childhood stamp collection is going on display this spring in New York.
According to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum — which first housed Lennon’s stamps in 2005 — the budding musician began collecting stamps after his older cousin, Stanley Parkes, gifted him a partially filled in album. Over the years, Lennon filled the book with stamps taken from letters sent from the United States and New Zealand.

When the National Postal Museum first purchased Lennon’s “lost album,” late curator Wilson Hulme did note to Smithsonian Magazine that the collection did not boast any notable stamps. “Typically, young boys aren’t interested in rarity,” he said. “They tend to concentrate on geography and colors. If they come back to collecting when they have more time and money, that’s when collections become exceptional.”

Still, the album does offer a unique insight into Lennon’s childhood, and perhaps his budding wanderlust and creativity: The book’s title page features a reprinted stamp emblazoned with Queen Victoria and King George VI — on their likenesses, Lennon doodled a mustache and beard, respectively.


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After opening to tourists a few months ago, the ashram in Rishikesh, India, where the Beatles studied Transcendental Meditation has been closed to visitors again. Concern over disrupting the area's tiger habitat lad to authorities turning tourists away.
Forest authorities said the ashram, situated in the core Gohri range of Rajaji tiger reserve, has around eight tigers and a healthy population of leopards, black bear, cobras, etc, and too many visitors would disturb the wildlife here. Earlier, the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Supreme Court, too, had endorsed holding zero tourist or commercial activity in core tiger habitats.
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A small village in the Ukraine has named a street for John Lennon.
Surprisingly, it's not the first time John Lennon's name has been used in Ukraine's decommunization drive. Last month, local government chiefs decided to use ‘John Lennon Square' instead of ‘Soviet Square' in the town of Izyum, Kharkiv region.
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Friend-of-Macca Dave Grohl performed a cover of the Beatles' "Blackbird" as backdrop to the "in memorium" portion of this year's Academy Awards ceremony.

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After Paul McCartney was reportedly barred from entering his Grammy Awards after-party, Tyga is making nice - appearing recently sporting a Macca t-shirt. Tyga said he had no idea Paul had been turned away by security men, who evidently didn't recognize the former Beatle.
“I wish I knew that he was outside. I would’ve went out there with the mic, brought him in, perform ‘Rack City’ with me.”
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Dhani Harrison chats to NPR about Georgefest and growing up as the son of a Beatle.
How great to grow up in an ecosystem where music is naturally part of your everyday life. You come down for tea, and maybe Jeff Lynne or Eric Clapton is in the kitchen.
 
And also, it offers you a different perspective on life to have these people around the house. It made going to school easier, because you wouldn't take yourself so seriously. You'd come home and Bob Dylan would be there or something.
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Yoko Ono caused some alarm when she was suddenly hospitalized last weekend. Early reports speculated she'd had a stroke, yet it was later announced she'd had a fever and severe dehydration. She was soon released to recover at home.

On his Twitter account, Sean Ono Lennon clarified that the only stroke his mom had "was a stroke of genius."