Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Introduction by Astrid Kirchherr
Golden Dreams is a photographic journey which accompanies The Beatles during the filming of A Hard Day's Night in Liverpool in 1964. This limited edition volume features a collection of unpublished photographs of Liverpool and The Beatles. It captures the inspirational effect of the Liverpool music scene's early-60s explosion, and the phenomenon of the Merseybeat.
The Beatles first visited Hamburg in 1960. Then and during subsequent visits to the city, The Beatles learned their craft as musicians and performers and met with Astrid Kirchherr, a budding photographer who quickly became close friends with the band. Later, Astrid became engaged to The Beatles' original bass-player, Stuart Sutcliffe.
It was four years later when Astrid (together with Max Scheler) visited The Beatles on their home turf and took the photographs which appear in Golden Dreams. In the short period between Hamburg and A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles had transformed into an internationally-acclaimed rock band with a huge American following. Astrid's lens focuses on The Beatles in private as well as public moments during filming, and her documentary portraits of Liverpool at this time depict the passion and poverty of its people. Golden Dreams is a moving testament to the inspirational effect of The Beatles success on their hometown as well as a historic account of the band's metamorphic rise to superstardom.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
18,700 people filled the Bowl, sold out four months earlier, for their concert, which was recorded for posterity by a team of engineers representing Capitol Records. Outside 600 teenagers who were unable to get tickets shrieked, shouted and pushed to get in. Police made several arrests for disturbing the peace, trespassing and destroying property. A compact car was parked alongside the stage in which the group made their getaway as the concert ended at 10pm. About 60 teenagers ran to the closest gate to see them drive off and used a photographer's car as a vantage point; the roof and bonnet of which were caved in. There was a huge traffic jam in the neighbourhood afterwards as thousands of parents converged on the Bowl to take their children home after the show. Police and firemen had set up roadblocks and closed off the whole Bowl area; local residents were given passes in order to get to their homes.
After the concert there was a private party for the movie colony in the Bei Air home of Mr & Mrs Alan Livingstone, president of Capitol Records. More than 500 attended the $25 a ticket affair which raised about $10,000 for the Haemophilia Foundation of Southern California. In the San Fernando Valley Citizen-News, Paul was photographed holding Rebel Lee Robinson, granddaughter of Edward G. Robinson.
Before the show, there was a press conference in which the group received five gold records and the key to California. When asked what they thought of Goldwater they gave a thumbs down sign. Dozens of teenage girls had managed to sneak into the conference and one of them asked Paul if he would like to learn to fly. It turned out her father had his own plane and she would be happy to teach him.
The Beatles stayed in a rented house at 356 St. Pierre Road, in Brown Canyon, Bel Air. That night, West Los Angeles police took more than 50 adolescents into technical custody for violating a 10pm curfew as over 400 fans milled around at the junction of Sunset Boulevard and Bel Air Road hoping to see The Beatles. St. Pierre Road itself was blocked by police. Over $5,000 worth of damage was done to shrubs and flowers by the fans and many residents turned on their sprinkler systems to try to ward off the teenagers, but to no avail.
In 1964 Astrid Kirchherr and Max Scheler travelled from Hamburg to London to photograph The Beatles. Astrid already knew The Beatles well and had photographed them when they'd lived and worked, honing their craft, in the Hamburg clubs.
This new assignment for Astrid and Max involved shooting The Beatles on the set of A Hard Day's Night and in their London homes. From there the pair travelled to Liverpool to photograph The Beatles' haunts, other Liverpool groups and to record lunchtime sessions at The Cavern Club.
The result is an amazing archive of photographs. 2,500 copies of Liverpool Days were bound in full canvas with print and slipcase, and autographed by Astrid Kirchherr and Max Scheler.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Foreword by George Harrison
A major limited edition two-volume set to celebrate the 20th century's most famous musical phenomenon.
"It's really good to see Astrid's great photos, and Klaus's new paintings put together in one set of books - with all the usual care from Genesis."
"I am really grateful for Paul McCartney's memories and assistance, for helping to recreate images of those great times - some wilder than others."
"Klaus was part of a group of The Beatles' friends in Hamburg. Now he has made some 'memory drawings' of our Hamburg days which are not only beautiful drawings in themselves, but which capture the spirit of the times. The really good thing about Klaus, his drawings, and this book, however, is that - unlike many other people - he was actually there!"
Not many people can claim to have been among the very first to hear The Beatles playing live in 1960, in the dark basement of the Kaiserkeller. In Hamburg's nightclubs small audiences rocked to The Beatles' raw sound, long before it blazed a trail across the world. Now, with the publication of this sensational limited edition, you too can share in the history of those Hamburg days. This edition is strictly limited to 2,500 numbered copies worldwide. Every copy is signed by Astrid Kirchherr and Klaus Voormann.
Carefully crafted throughout the Nineties, this exceptional boxed set presents an unprecedented array of artwork and recollections: some 80,000 words and over 250 photographs, watercolours, drawings and paintings bring to life the years when Astrid Kirchherr, Klaus Voormann and the young Liverpool lads first met. When not in the clubs, they would eat together in their favourite haunts, engage one another in conversation, roam the streets through the early hours, and even travel together, to the North Sea and later to Tenerife. In his Foreword George Harrison explains what made these formative years so special: a time which Astrid photographed, producing an archive of unsurpassed images seen here in its entirety; including ones previously unpublished and others rarely seen before.
In Hamburg Klaus began his music career by playing bass for The Beatles. He would later perform on George's, John's, and Ringo's solo albums, and join the Plastic Ono band. In more recent times, the era inspired Klaus to begin a new artistic project. Most will know his work (through the classic album covers for Revolver and The Beatles Anthology) but Hamburg Days presents a brand-new collection of drawings and paintings recording events throughout The Beatles' climb from the Kaiserkeller to the Star-Club.
Since all the locations featured in Hamburg Days had long ago been destroyed, Klaus was faced with the task of reconstructing historic scenes himself. Paul McCartney helped with this work by providing maps and memories. Once Klaus had gathered as much evidence as possible, he set about recreating the past with the aid of actors, movie sets and studio lighting. The results were captured in photographs and video footage, as the starting point for the execution of this remarkable set of photorealistic paintings - published in Hamburg Days for the very first time.
Now subscribers to this superb set of books will have the opportunity to see for themselves the Top Ten club where The Beatles take centre stage with Klaus on bass, Harald's Cafe where John falls asleep over breakfast, Paul detained in the cells at the Davidwache police station, George singing 'Roll Over Beethoven', Ringo behind the drums, and much more besides. Only Klaus - with his unique memories, artistic ability, and lasting friendship with The Beatles - could have brought these historic events back to life.
This momentous collection of art is presented here in two volumes. Volume One tells the story of The Beatles' years in Hamburg, through the unpublished memories of Astrid Kirchherr and Klaus Voormann - covering life in war-torn Germany, through to the Sixties, the arrival of The Beatles, and their first years of glorious fame. This in-depth text is illustrated with Astrid's unparalleled photographs of The Beatles, and Klaus's unique pictures. The work of both artists is printed here to the highest standards, in the large format which such images deserve.
Volume Two finely reproduces the six oil canvases painted by Klaus Voormann. The story behind the creation of this remarkable artwork is told in Klaus's own words, and is interspersed with enlargements of details from the paintings, preliminary sketches and original photographs of the sets used in the creation of the paintings.
This major Genesis production is a priceless work of art destined to become an enduring monument to the legacy of The Beatles and the Twentieth Century.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
This collection of historical media pieces and interviews chronicles the lives and careers of the Beatles as seen through the lens of popular British music publications—such as Disc and Music Echo, Melody Maker, Mersey Beat, and the Record Mirror—from 1961–1970, when they received more media attention than any other rock band in history. As this era of the Beatles’ past is explored year by year, the importance of the band’s first shows in Liverpool and the subsequent attention it drew to other “Merseyside” bands (those from Mersey County, Northwest England) becomes clear. Information on the Beatles’ first trip to America and the controversies surrounding their break-up are also included in this nostalgic trip down memory lane to the time when musicians from Liverpool began making music history.
W. Fraser Sandercombe is the author of Nothing Gold Can Stay. He is also a musician, an artist and illustrator, and a book dealer specializing in first editions. He lives in Burlington, Ontario.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
There had been plans for a civic welcome and 100,000 people were expected but Special Events Director Colonel Jack Reilly canceled the arrangements saying he did not have sufficient police to spare "for a bunch of singers". Paul commented on TV and radio, "So we shall have to go in by the back door again and the fans won't get a chance to see us or we to see them. It's a great big drag."
Nonetheless Chicago was ready for The Beatles. The Andy Frain Organisation sent ten of its ushers to The Beatles' concert the previous night in Milwaukee to scout the tactics of The Beatles' fans, and the 170 ushers and 35 usherettes were specially selected as being non-Beatles fans so that they would not succumb to the hysteria. Stationed around the auditorium were 320 Chicago cops. One of them, patrolman Anthony Dizonne, remembered the Frank Sinatra days. "This is kind of like Sinatra multiplied by 50 or 100," he observed. "These Beatles make about fifty million bucks a year and they don't even have to buy a haircut in this country."
The Beatles' plane flew into the rarely used Midway Airport an hour late. They were due at 3.40pm but by the time they arrived over 5,000 fans were waiting for them. The girls were kept behind a chain-link fence as the group were bundled into a long black limousine and roared off to the Stock Yard Inn attached to the amphitheater at 42nd Street and Halsted. The crowds outside were so thick that the group had to enter through the kitchens. The Chicago Sun-Times reported only one casualty at the airport, a 14-year-old girl who was treated for a cut finger.
At the concert, fans were frisked and all large signs confiscated because they would block the view for others. Jelly beans, candy kisses and anything else that the fans were likely to throw at the group were also confiscated. Despite this, Paul was hit in the face by a spent flashbulb.
After the show half a dozen fans were taken to Evangelical Hospital in various states of emotional and physical exhaustion. One girl was poked in the eye but left the ambulance to rejoin the audience.
After the show, they hurried into waiting cars and drove straight back to the airport where they flew on to Detroit. A police guard was mounted on their hotel room to prevent fans from tearing it apart for souvenirs.
"It's the dream of my life to be here in Liverpool and playing the Cavern because this music got me through my childhood."
-Billy Bob Thornton
"We came down from Newcastle to Liverpool in a little van in 1963 and we carried our own gear into the Cavern for a lunchtime session. We were very nervous about playing there and I said to a girl in a duffle coat who was watching us, 'Do you think they'll like rhythm and blues here?' 'Like it?' she said, 'We invented it.'"
-Alan Price of the Animals
Liverpool's Cavern Club is the most famous club in the world, giving rise to The Beatles and the Merseybeat explosion, but it is far more than that. Respected music writer and Merseybeat historian Spencer Leigh tells the Cavern's fifty-year history with the help of owners, hundreds of musicians, backroom staff, and fans. From its days as a jazz club, through the Beatle years, the dramatic openings and closures, and the appearance of Paul McCartney in 1999, every page abounds with wit and insight.
Tied in with the best-selling, 120-track, 3-CD collection of the same name, featuring some of the greatest names of the British music scene, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Queen, and many, many more, this book is the perfect companion to the soundtrack of fifty years of the greatest music ever made.
Friday, December 26, 2008
"I'm drunk, so I need to prop myself up," George explained. "If I don't lean on the wall, I think I'll fall over. I haven't been this drunk since I was fourteen." George started giggling.
"I'm sorry my letter was so strong, but you really pissed me off that night."
"Yeah. I was confused by your letter," he said. "What did you think I said?"
"You said 'it's warm in there' - the studio. It was like you were putting us down for waiting out in the cold for you. I mean, I know you don't encourage us to wait out for you, but I thought you didn't mind. It really hurt our feelings that you were putting us down for it."
I was breathless from my long speech. The anger was rising again, and I didn't want it to. He was really being very nice.
"That's not what I said, and that's certainly not what I meant," he smiled in a conciliatory way. "The heat had been turned off in the studio. The thermostat was broken or something. We were freezing! When I came outside, it seemed warmer out than in. I looked into the studio and the orange lights made it look so warm and cosy. What I said was 'It looks so warm in there.' I was making a statement. It looked warm, but wasn't. Of course, you weren't to know that. But I'd never put you down. What you do is your choice, not mine. But since you brought it up, I think you should quit waiting out. I mean you can't get anywhere with it, can you?"
He smiled, putting his face close to mine. His right hand, index finger only, stroked my left breast, hesitated on the nipple. Somehow it seemed innocent, like he was offering comfort and no more.
"How could I stop waiting out? I'd never see you again," I said.
"Just Walk Away, like the song says," he laughed. (Margo later gave me the Matt Munro single.) "Anyway," he added seriously, "if you think of me, I'll be there. I'm with you always, in here," he tapped my breast gently and removed his hand.
"I'm not sure what you mean by that. It would be impossible to 'get over' you. Every time I turn on the radio, I'll hear your voice. How can I forget someone I hear all the time or see in the papers?" I looked at him. He was listening intently, staring deep into my eyes. Was he just trying to focus or was he trying to read something in my eyes that was not in my words?
"I'll always be with you. We're part of each other. I wrote a song about us the other day. It goes like this: 'I, I, I love you: You, You, You love me.' We're together always. We're in each other. You don't need to see me walk out of a building, do you?"
No rock’n’roll group has ever had more influence on an entire generation than The Beatles. They single-handedly changed the 1960s and their influence is still being felt today. Music, culture, lifestyles, hairstyles, clothing styles and attitudes all changed because of this remarkable band that emerged out of Liverpool, England. It’s not hard to understand why so many people love collecting Beatles memorabilia. When the Beatles first arrived on the musical scene in 1962, they were an instant pop sensation, the likes of which the world had never seen. Not since the days of Elvis Presley had anyone seen music have such a profound effect on so many people. Even more than thirty years after they recorded their last song together, John, Paul, George, and Ringo are still as beloved as they were when they made their first appearance. A unique tribute, this publication is a must-have for any Beatles’ fan with an unquenchable thirst for everything Beatles: music, books, film, posters—everything.
Enzo Gentile is a critic, journalist, academic, radio presenter, and artistic director of exhibitions and musical events. He writes for journals and newspapers, and is the author of many books. Umberto Buttafava is a lawyer, academic, writer, collector and has been a fan of The Beatles for more than forty years.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Aired: Friday 26 December 1975
At the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane, London, George Harrison, as pirate "Bob", records a special Boxing Day edition of Rutland Weekend Television, featuring his exclusive performance of the Harrison/Eric Idle composition 'The Pirate Song' which appears at the very end of the show with the credits running over the top. George also makes further cameo appearances in the 31-minute programme, including one where he is dressed as a pirate. The show, which also features such comic delights as How To Ski In Your Own Home and the Christmas play entitled Santa Doesn't Live Here Anymore, is broadcast for the first time on BBC2 on December 26 between 10:55 and 11:26pm. (Rutland Weekend Television, besides being the show that first introduced The Rutles to the nation, is a comedy series centred around a small TV station in Rutland and was created by Eric Idle, one of the brains behind The Rutles and a founder member of the Monty Python comedy team.)
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The indispensable consumer's guide to the music of The Beatles, from their first single Love Me Do up to Let It Be... Naked released in 2003.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This was originally supposed to be a rest day but after seeing the amazing reception the group received elsewhere in the country, a wealthy promoter, Charles O. Finley, approached Brian Epstein with an offer of $100,000 to add Kansas City to their tour. Brian asked The Beatles if they would mind and without even looking up they said, ''Whatever you think, Brian." Brian turned the offer down, despite the fact it was an enormous figure for the time. But Finley saw it as a matter of civic pride and was determined that Kansas City should see The Beatles. He offered $150,000, a higher figure than an American artist had ever received and almost guaranteed to show a loss. The 41,000 seater stadium was half full, with 20,280 paying spectators. Finley, the owner of Kansas City Athletics, lost between $50,000 and $100,000 for sponsoring the show. Despite this he donated a further $25,000 to Mercy Hospital. He said, "I don't consider it any loss at all. The Beatles were brought here for the enjoyment of the children in this area and watching them last night they had complete enjoyment. I'm happy about that. Mercy Hospital benefited by $25,000. The hospital gained, and I had a great gain by seeing the children and the hospital gain." An Athletics official said that ticket sales of 28,000 were needed to break even.
The Beatles flew in at 2am in pouring rain. About 100 fans waited, staring at them from behind a wall of wet policemen. George slipped on the wet runway apron on his way to the limousine which transferred them to the Muehlebach Towers where they had the $100-a-day, 18th-floor terrace penthouse. It took seven bellmen to carry in the 200 items of luggage The Beatles party had with them. A Kansas City actress had sent up a Missouri country ham, apple cider, a mincemeat pie and a watermelon.
To commemorate this extraordinary concert, The Beatles added 'Kansas City'/'Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey' to their repertoire, which the local fans loved. Excitement ran so high that the concert had to be stopped, with a threat of cancellation, if the audience did not calm down. They did and The Beatles played on.
The Muehlebach Towers sold the group's bed linen-16 sheets and eight pillow cases - to a Chicago man for $750. As in Detroit a few days earlier, these were later chopped into small pieces and turned into instant souvenirs.
The first concept album in the history of popular music, the soundtrack of the Summer of Love or 'Hippy Symphony No. 1': Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is first and foremost the album that gave rise to 'hopes of progress in pop music' (The Times, 29 May 1967). Sgt. Pepper and the Beatles commemorates the fortieth anniversary of this masterpiece of British psychedelia by addressing issues that will help put the record in perspective. These issues include: reception by rock critics and musicians, the cover, lyrics, songwriting, formal unity, the influence of non-European music and art music, connections with psychedelia and, more generally, the sociocultural context of the 1960s, production, sound engineering and musicological significance. The contributors are world renowned for their work on the Beatles: they examine Sgt. Pepper from the angle of disciplines such as musicology, ethnomusicology, history, sociology, literature, social psychology and cultural theory.
Contents: Preface; 'Their production will be second to none': an introduction to Sgt. Pepper, Olivier Julien; 'Tangerine trees and marmalade skies': cultural agendas or optimistic escapism?, Sheila Whiteley; Sgt. Pepper and the diverging aesthetics of Lennon and McCartney, Terence O'Grady; Sgt. Pepper's quest for extended form, Thomas MacFarlane; The sound design of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Michael Hannan; The Beatles and Indian music, David Reck; The Beatles' psycheclassical synthesis: psychedelic classicism and classical psychedelia in Sgt. Pepper, Naphtali Wagner; Cover story: magic, myth and music, Ian Inglis; Within and without: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and psychedelic insight, Russell Reising and Jim LeBlanc; The whatchamucallit in the garden: Sgt. Pepper and fables of interference, John Kimsey; The act you've known for all these years: a re-encounter with Sgt. Pepper, Allan Moore; 'A lucky man who made the grade': Sgt. Pepper and the rise of a phonographic tradition in 20th century popular music, Olivier Julien; References; Index of names; Index of songs, albums, films and musical works.
About the Editor: Olivier Julien teaches the history and musicology of popular music at the Universities of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and Paris-Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III), France.
Reviews: 'Like the album that it analyzes, this collection of essays by an international array of Beatles scholars has more than just a few hooks to capture everyone’s particular fancy. The authors present a wide-ranging and contextualized discussion that shows us why Sgt. Pepper is a monument in the history of rock music. Given the richness of the Beatles' work and the densely dynamic times in which they flourished, all pivoting around Sgt. Pepper, this book is more than welcome.'
Deena Weinstein, DePaul University, USA
'The eleven chapters, written by distinguished international scholars, approach this groundbreaking album from eleven interrelated points of view: connections with psychedelia (psychedelic lyrics, sonic and conceptual realizations of psychedelic experience), aesthetic unity and complexity (formal unity, aesthetic divergence of Lennon and McCartney, classical and psychedelic aesthetic ideals, influence of Indian music), production (sound design, position in the rise of a "phonographic tradition" album cover), critical reception and musicological significance. These diverse points of view cover the key issues, which made Sgt. Pepper not only the soundtrack of the "Summer of Love" but also the album of all times – an album which is remembered 40 years after its first release and will also be remembered in the future. This book is a "must" in the bookshelf of anybody interested in the Beatles or Sixties culture in general.'
Yrjö Heinonen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Monday, December 22, 2008
An A-to-Z reference to The Beatles, this comprehensive book includes information on everything related to their careers such as awards, recordings, tours, concerts, television appearances, and films. Going beyond the history of the band, it also covers the former members’ solo careers, their personal lives, and has entries for other people who were connected to the band—friends, family, producers, promoters, writers, and journalists—making this a one-stop resource for all subjects related to The Beatles.
W. Fraser Sandercombe is a musician, a rare book dealer, and a writer whose stories have appeared in Aphelion, Haunts, Macabre, Moonbroth, and Weirdbook magazines. He is the author of The Beatles: Press Reports and Nothing Gold Can Stay. He lives in Burlington, Ontario.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Vigotone is proud to present Compositions, a collection of excellent quality home recordings taped on John Lennon's piano at Tittenhurst Park following the legendary Plastic Ono Band sessions in the fall of 1970. While some of these songs have appeared on previous releases, this is the first time that the complete tape has appeared in its unedited form. Highlights included a post-Beatles version of "Help!" and early versions of songs that would appear on Imagine and Mind Games.
1. Make Love, Not War
2. I'm The Greatest
3. I'm The Greatest
5. Child Of Nature
6. Child Of Nature
7. Oh Yoko!
8. Sally And Billy
9. Sally And Billy
10. Rock And Roll People
11. Oh Yoko!
12. Oh Yoko!
15. Happy Christmas
16. Happy Christmas
17. People Get Ready/How?
20. My Heart Is In Your Hands
21. Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues
22. I Promise
23. You Know How Hard It Is
24. I'll Make You Happy
25. I'll Make You Happy
Playing Time - (1:01:40)
(P) (C) MM Vigotone Industries - All Rights Reversed
On behalf of John Lennon, his and Paul McCartney's music publishing company, Maclen, bought this fine Georgian house and 72 acre estate on May 4, 1969 for $150,000.00. After moving in on August 11, John and Yoko lived here for three years until settling in New York in September 1971. In September 1973 it was sold to Ringo Starr who moved out in early 1988, selling to the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan alNahyan. In 1989 and 1990 the house and grounds underwent extensive rebuilding, including the erection of a nine foot high security wall around the entire estate. During this renovation almost all the Lennon/Starkey fittings were scrapped.
Originally, the main house comprised many small rooms, but walls were ripped out at John and Yoko's request to create more open space. Much of the ground floor at the front of the house was converted to a single large room, decorated in white. John and Yoko also had an eight-track recording studio installed, as well as film editing equipment. The studio, named Ascot Sound during John and Yoko's tenure and Startling Studios during Ringo's, was where John recorded his album Imagine.
The gardens, named Tittenhurst Park, had been open to the public until the Lennons moved in. They date back to 1763 and are internationally renowned among dendrologists for their scores of interesting trees, many rare.
Tittenhurst Park was the location for the final photo session showing the Beatles together, an historic event which took place on Friday August 22, 1969, two days after their final recording session together. It was caught by the cameras of Ethan Russell, veteran Daily Mail man Monty Fresco and the Beatles' assistant Mal Evans. Some amateurish film footage was shot on this day and can be seen at the end of the Anthology video series.
For the occasion, John and George donned wide-brimmed cowboy hats. Yoko Ono Lennon and the heavily pregnant Linda McCartney appeared in some photographs too. Also present was the Apple press officer, Derek Taylor.
Selected photographs from this Tittenhurst Park session were issued by Apple as publicity material and have been published the world over. Three shots (by Ethan Russell) formed the front and back covers of the Capitol compilation album Hey Jude, issued in February 1970.
Tittenhurst text adapted from The Beatles London by P. Schreuders/M. Lewisohn/A. Smith
1. Make Love, Not War (4:12)
Early version of "Mind Games".
2. I'm The Greatest (1:36)
3. I'm The Greatest (0:40)
Two passes of a song later given to Ringo.
4. How? (1:50)
5. Child Of Nature (0:56)
6. Child Of Nature (1:16)
John revisits his unused 1968 composition.
7. Oh Yoko! (0:50)
8. Sally And Billy (1:16)
9. Sally And Billy (1:38)
Two passes of a song John would return to at the Dakota.
10. Rock And Roll People (4:21)
Early version of the song given to Johnny Winter.
11. Oh Yoko! (2:51)
12. Oh Yoko! (0:47)
Second and third passes.
13. Help! (2:24)
John attempts to work up a new arrangement.
14. instrumental (4:12)
15. Happy Christmas (3:18)
16. Happy Christmas (2:26)
Two passes at a seasonal message.
17. People Get Ready / How? (5:25)
18. How? (5:05)
19. How? (4:51)
Three more attempts to polish the song.
20. My Heart Is In Your Hands (1:34)
21. Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues (2:06)
One of John's favorite Buddy Holly numbers.
22. I Promise (2:47)
Part of this was worked into the song "Mind Games".
23. You Know Hard It Is (1:59)
24. I'll Make You Happy (1:56)
25. I'll Make You Happy (3:42)
Playing Time - 64 minutes 43 seconds
After the emotionally exhausting Plastic Ono Band writing and recording sessions, it was time for John Lennon to exhibit a lighter compositional touch. Perhaps showing the strain from the amount of single-minded effort that went into that LP, John in contrast seemed to be all over the place with this batch of songs and noodlings, recorded in the late fall of 1970 at the Tittenhurst Park estate. A rare glimpse into a single Lennon piano demo session, Compositions reveals an artist trying to find his way to what would eventually become the Imagine LP. While John's not in the best voice of his career, it's still a fascinating listening experience, and has never before appeared in its entirety.
The tape begins with "Make Love, Not War". This song did not appear on the next LP Imagine, but in rewritten form as the title track of 1973's Mind Games, after being combined with a song heard later on the tape, "I Promise". Both of these sound much better than the edited versions released officially on The John Lennon Anthology in 1998. "I'm The Greatest" also emerged in '73, but not as a Lennon track; it was the leadoff song on Ringo Starr's Ringo LP. At this point in 1970, the song was in embryonic form and had more John-oriented references than it would later have upon being handed over to the ringed one.
The next three songs all showed up the next year on Imagine. "How?" is featured as a false start, then with a complete run-through. The first pass here is a very tentative attempt with John singing in the plural: "How can we go forward when we don't know which way we're facing". "Child Of Nature" was on its way to being "Jealous Guy", but it still held onto its 1968 "Beatles in India" origins at this point. There are three false starts prior to the full performance. Next comes "Oh Yoko!" On Imagine, it is a song of joy to his wife. Here, it sounds more like a dirge in the vein of "Mother". More confident takes appear later in the tape.
Following these three eventually issued tunes, the next two songs went unreleased in John's lifetime. A track usually given the title "Sally And Billy" is up first in this duo, featured in a series of breakdowns; John never really gets the song down in this try, but he'll give it another attempt at the Dakota in 1976. Next is "Rock And Roll People", a song not released by John until the posthumous Menlove Ave. compilation in 1986, for good reason!
A highlight of this tape is the reworking of "Help!" in a much slower version than the1965 Beatles arrangement. Around this time, John was exploring the possibility of re-recording some of his more personal Beatle's songs. This might have been an attempt to work up a new arrangement. In any event, he abandons the effort after not being able to work out the chords for the chorus. An amusing moment occurs when Yoko makes a comment and John answers "I don't care how you want to sing it, Dear, I'm singing it meself at the moment..." This is followed by an improvisation that didn't exactly go anywhere, but eventually turned into a Christmas message which appeared in part on Vigotone's The Ultimate Beatles Christmas Collection; two takes of the message are featured here in their entirety. Next, The Impressions' spiritual call "People Get Ready" leads into a second pass of "How?" now sung in the familiar first person singular: "How can I..." Over and over he repeats what he's written until the final structure of the song is arrived at: a series of searching questions aimed at himself.
By this time, Yoko has made her presence known, and is heard in the background during yet another lengthy run-through of "How?". Don't worry, you'll hear more from her later. The next song, a fifties-style rocker a-la Fats Domino, is unnamed but possible titled "My Heart Is In Your Hands". It's featured in a false start and a "complete" attempt. Too bad he never completed it, as it has some potential. John does however quickly move on to a song familiar to anyone who's bought the Beatles' Anthology 3. "Mailman Bring Me No More Blues", issued as the flip side of Buddy Holly's first solo single, "Words Of Love".
Next, in the fifties vein of "Oh! Darling" comes "I Promise", the kind of apologetic ode to Yoko that he was still writing until his final days. Finally, we come to the most difficult titles to enjoy: an untitled track by John with the line "You Know How Hard It Is" being a likely title for the song (and hard indeed it is to listen to!). The tape ends with two passes of a song apparently called "I'll Make You Happy". Yoko recorded an answer to this this song of John's which can be heard on Bag's Lost Lennon Volume 30. Only the true masochistic need apply.
...and so we come to the end of this particular demo session. John and Yoko would go on to make individual LP's, Imagine and Fly, the next year, and would move to New York, leaving Tittenhurst Park and England behind for good.
This piano tape is an excellent example of the post-Beatle days of Ascot creativity, and some of the last home recordings John made in his native land.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The definitive inside account of the Beatles' last world tour, seen through the lens and eye of their official photographer, Robert Whitaker. This book contains many previously unseen photographs, and documents an emotional and sometimes tempestuous journey from Germany via Alaska to Japan and the Philippines. It covers the Beatles' return to their early roots in Hamburg after their last ever German concert, the unscheduled stopover in Alaska and a disconcerting trip to Japan, and the nightmare that was their first and last trip to the Philippines.
Aired: Saturday 9 January 1965
On November 20, John filmed a surreal film sequence with Dudley Moore and Norman Rossington on Wimbledon Common, to accompany his reading from In His Own Write on Moore's new BBC2 programme Not Only . . . But Also.
Nine days later, John read from his book, In His Own Write for the programme. He was apparently shy and self-conscious about reading aloud, but this was quickly dispelled by the antics of Moore and A Hard Day's Night star Norman Rossington.
John and George had a few drinks afterwards, then went to the Crazy Elephant where they spent the evening with two members of The Miracles.
Friday, December 19, 2008
When forty-six-year-old Ed Sullivan—a gossip columnist for the New York Daily News—stepped on stage at CBS Television Studio for the first time in 1948, no one could imagine the great success that lay in store for The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan didn't sing, dance, or act, but he became one of the country's greatest showmen, hosting what would become television's longest running variety and music show.
For twenty-three years, from 1948 to 1971, The Ed Sullivan Show was America's premiere variety show, airing live every Sunday night. Sullivan used the one-hour program to bring stars of the entertainment world into living rooms across the nation, turning acts such as the Beatles and Elvis Presley into household names. But Sullivan certainly didn't limit his show to rock musicians. The performers featured on The Ed Sullivan Show were an eclectic array of talent that included everything from opera singers to dancing bears, high-wire walkers to classical violinists.
This book is an inside view of The Ed Sullivan Show and the unusual story of one of the most unlikely television stars who played host to such diverse talents as Van Cliburn, Rudolf Nureyev, Robert Goulet, Richard Pryor, and the Rolling Stones. With his distinctive nasal voice, Sullivan regularly promised audiences a "really big shew" and delivered by offering up virtually every form of twentieth-century entertainment.
Bernie Ilson, one the most famous publicists in the field of public relations, and the press representative for the final eight years of The Ed Sullivan Show, gives the reader a unique inside view of the amazing newspaperman and television host, Ed Sullivan, who anticipated the interest of 35 million viewers each Sunday and presented them with the greatest talent in show business, week after week, for almost a quarter of a century.
Bernie Ilson has been running his own public relations company in New York City since 1963, when his first client was Sullivan Productions, the producers of the Ed Sullivan Show. Mr. Ilson's PR clients have also included Motown Records, the Grammy Awards, Silver Dollar City, Missoula Children's Theater, Tony Bennett, Benny Goodman, Soupy Sales, Liberty Mutual's Boston Pops television specials, the Grand Ole Opry, Hee Haw, The Monkees, Candid Camera, and scores of other clients.
Prior to entering the field of public relations, Mr. Ilson worked as a stand-up comedian and a comedy writer on the NBC Television Comedy Development Program. Just prior to opening his own agency, Mr. Ilson was a vice president at Rogers and Cowan, the leading public relations firm in the world of entertainment.
Mr. Ilson earned a B.A. from Brooklyn College, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in culture and communications from New York University in 1998. He has taught public relations at Baruch College in New York City and is listed in the last ten editions of "Who's Who in America" and "Who's Who in the World."
Mr. Ilson and his wife, Carol, reside in New York City, and have two sons, David and Jimmy, and four grandchildren. Mr. Ilson is also a well-known watercolor artist and has had three one-man shows in New York City. His work has also been shown at the Whitney Museum and the Brooklyn Museum.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Come with us to the Americana Hotel in New York City. Come with us to meet Paul McCartney and John Lennon. They are holding a press conference here today to announce the transformation of Beatles, Ltd., into Apple Corps, Ltd., a company to serve as headquarters for their projects in films, records, electronics, and merchandising.
(But even business for the Beatles can be a creative thing: one Apple exec told us that a board meeting was held here last weekend on board a rented Chinese junk anchored in the harbor!)
Come with us into the room. It is filled with newspapermen, photographers, magazine writers, representatives from radio and television, and even a few screaming fans who have managed to sneak through the hotel's tight security system. Everyone has a question to ask.
All of a sudden, they are here!
Q: What are your feeling about the Maharishi?
John: I think the Maharishi was a mistake. His teachings have some truth in them, but I think that we made a mistake.
Q: Do you think that other people who see the Maharishi are making a mistake?
John: It's up to them.
Paul: He's human, that's all. We thought that there was more to him than what there was, but he's human. For a while, we thought he wasn't you know.
Q: Do you have any new philosophical leaders?
Q: What was there about the screenplay for The Yellow Submarine that made you favor it over the screenplays you rejected?
John: We never saw it. But the drawings are nice.
Q: Will you be making any more public appearances?
John: I don't know.
Paul: We may be.
Q: Why are you here today?
John: To do this.
Q: What is "this"?
John: What's it look like?!?
(Everyone laughs as the "game" of press conference becomes more and more absurd.)
John (continuing): Well, you know. What are you doing here?
Q: What is this Apple Corps that you've initiated?
John: It's a business concerning records, films, electronics, and--as a sideline--"manufacturing" or whatever it's called. We just want to set up a system whereby people who just want to make a film about anything don't have to go on their knees in somebody's office--probably yours!
(Laughter and applause.)
Q: Could you be a little more specific--
Q: --about the profits of Apple Corps and where they will go? And where did you get the name?
John: Well, it's just--what can you call it?--Apple. It's to do what I said, you know, in a businesslike way, but business and pleasure might be feasible.
Q: This is your first trip to New York in four years. Would you say that your popularity is waning somewhat?
John: We don't really think about it in those terms.
Q: Do you plan to come back (to New York) as a group?
John: We don't plan. We (Paul and I) just came suddenly. We look after our own affairs and we don't plan. Now, we haven't a manager, and there's no planning at all.
Paul: This is chaos.
Q: Did you find the same kind of hysteria there to greet you when you came into New York this time as was there on previous occasions?
John: Well, I saw something going on at the airport. You could see as well as me that I was being hustled along there. It feels the same whether it was five kids or five thousand. The same atmosphere is there.
Q: John, it said in the press release that you plan to make a film of A Spaniard in the Works.
John: Yeah. That's a rough book to read at times. It depends on how you feel.
Q: How do you plan the film?
John: Yeah, well, I really can't explain it. I'll just have to make the film out of the two books (In His Own Write, too). How I'll do it, I don't know--but I'll do it. I can't really say how I'm going to do it. I haven't got it on paper, you know.
Q: Mr. Lennon, there seems to be a ferment going on among students in Germany, France, and the United States--but not in England.
John: Yes, there's something going on, but we're just a bit more tweedy there.
Paul: It's going on, but they just do it in an English way, whatever that is.
Q: Do you have any idea why that is?
John: No, but there's some clue they're giving us. I'm not sure. Something's going on, but "I don't know what it is, Mr. Jones," ditto.
Q: Why haven't the Beatles been more political?
John: Do you mean, Why haven't we joined one of the clubs?
John: Well, a lot of this has been talked about before. If there is anything in particular, just ask.
Q: Well, what about the war in Vietnam?
John: We came out against it years ago. Where have you been?
Paul: In Vietnam?
Q: I heard that you were in New York because of a lawsuit--
John: Rubbish. We're here to talk about apples, you know.
Q: Is it true that Ringo wants to be in a Broadway play?
John: It's being filmed by the National Theater in England. I don't know what's going on here!
Q: Do you have any plans for showing Magical Mystery Tour in this country?
John: Yes. We'll put it on in the street with a screen and a projector.
Q: According to the press release, Apple will be making animated cartoons, TV programs, and TV commercials. What sort of thing will your company do that we don't see on TV now?
John (to Paul): We don't know, do we?
John: We haven't started.
Paul: We only came over here to plan it so we don't know too much about it yet. We'll tell you about it quietly someday--you know, give you the old program.
(A photographer with a heavy Brooklyn accent bellows out, "Hey, kid, will you get your hand out of my picture!?!" Everyone laughs.)
John: All human hands out of the pictures, please!
Q: Are the Beatles still meditating?
Paul: Yeah, now and then.
John: At this moment!
Q: Do you ever want to trip out again?
John: You never know, do you? It's hard to be very specific . . . because I don't know what I'm doing, do I!?!
Q: What kind of electronic devices do you plan to manufacture?
Paul: Ah, the electronic things. Well, they're not like gimmicks. They are just great inventions. Our friend Alex over there (on the podium) is a genius. And he's beautiful, he's just incredible.
John: There's no such thing as a genius, you know. But if there are any, he's one.
Q: Can you give us an example (of product)?
John: No! You know about those long, nasty men in brown raincoats and sunglasses that you discover in the business world. And so, you don't say what it is until it's out, do you?
Paul: But it's incredible.
Q: The press release says that you have established a foundation for selected charities. Can you explain?
John: Well, it's a fund not specifically for charities, you know. But there is some way in which you can do something where you set up a foundation to pay for people who want to make films about a glass on a table. There's some way of doing it. So, we'll find out and do that.
Q: Have any of Alex's inventions been used on any of your records?
John: No--but possibly on our next record.
Q: Why did you return to an almost Mersey-like beat for "Lady Madonna"?
John: Because we felt like it.
Paul (smiling): There's nothing in it, but that was it. "A record like any other would smell as sweet!"
Q: Speaking of politics, what do you think of the Liberian Movement for Liberation?
John: I haven't heard about it. But good luck to 'em!
Q: What do you think about what's been going on at Columbia University?
Paul: What's been going on?
John (to Paul): They've been on strike, the same thing that's going on elsewhere. Something's going on!
Q: Are drugs more important to the youth of today than they were four years ago?
John: I don't know what they're doing. I have no idea.
Paul: It's probably about the same. Maybe a little less.
Q: Can you give us some idea of the capitalization of Apple?
John: No. We can only use our common sense and have the right people to handle these things like capitalization.
Paul (to John): What's that mean? Capitalization?
Q: How much money are you putting in?
John: I don't know--and that's the joke!
Paul: We'll do the details some other time--because we don't know.
Q: We hear that you are about to make a distribution deal for films with a major U.S. corporation. Will this influence your choice of material?
John: Any deals we make will be short-term. We'll be sure to get what we want. Otherwise, we won't do it. So, we'll make sure.
Q: I'd like to ask you about the Apple Foundation for the Arts.
John: It's not for the arts! (To an Apple promo man:) Who slipped that one on?!?
Paul: It's an easy way to make a film. Say that somebody wants to make a film like Andy Warhol did on the Empire State Building. Most people wouldn't want to finance it because it wouldn't be commercial. Well, if you finance it through a foundation, it doesn't have to be commercial. That's all it is.
Q: Are you giving away some sort of Beatles scholarships?
Paul: Yeah, but don't put it that way! It sounds terrible! We're just giving them away.
John: We'll see what happens.
Paul: Well, if we give one away to someone, it will be commercial in a way, too. Because, later, that someone will do another film--for us!
Q: Will Apple also be grooming new talent?
John: We hope so. Groups, actors, anything.
Q: Will you open a school in London?
Paul: Well, that's an idea. All we've got to do now is to get it set up on its feet. Then, what follows will be a natural progression.
Q: Do you plan to have scouts or representatives go out and look for new groups?
John: We'll have to find out how you do it--or how you meant to do it--and if that's the way you should do it. Then, we'll find out.
Paul (laughing): So, leave your tapes at the door as you go out!
Q: Is it possible that Apple can do anything about what's happening in radio?
John: British radio, huh?
John (furrowing his brow): Radio, yes.
Paul: That's worse!
John: Radio's worth looking into, you know. There's a lot of things to do.
Paul: At the moment, you know, we do the four things. It hasn't gone into radio yet--but it might.
Q: Are your records still banned in South Africa?
John: I believe so. Well, I mean, what do you think of South Africa?
Q: John, do you plan to write any more books?
John: I'm not planning on it, but I do have bits of paper with words on them.
Q: Do the individual members of the group have specific areas of interest in Apple?
John: Well, it might develop that way. There's nothing planned.
Q: Will it be difficult to follow up Sgt. Pepper with something better?
Paul: Yes, it will be difficult all right!
John: But no more difficult than it was to do.
Paul: Oh, it'll be all right, the next one. Don't worry.
Q: When will the next record be?
Paul: I don't know.
John: We start it when we get back.
Q: How would you describe your mental state right now?
John: It depends on what you're relating it to.
Q: Where are you planning to build your new recording studio?
John: It'll be in the dungeons of our office.
Q: Who's designing it?
John: Alex, from the Electronics Division.
Q: How many tracks will there be? Eight or 12?
John: Oh, millions. Millions. One track for each finger.
Q: Why did you choose the name, Apple?
John: Why did you choose the names your kids have got?
Paul: It's just a name.
John: I mean, there's nothing to it.
Paul: A is for Apple. It's very simple, you know!
John: An Apple for the teacher.
Q: Will any of the three gentlemen standing next to you control the production money?
John: They will, sort of, but the final say is with us.
Q: You'll get the money?
Paul: Yeah. You see, we don't know anything about business yet, so they do it--and they're good at it. All we do is to apply common sense to it.
Q: Where are the other two Beatles?
John: No idea.
Paul: In bed, probably! Oh, in England.
Q: What are your plans for opening a club in New York?
John: I don't know. There aren't any real plans.
Q: What about the rumors that you're going to buy Generation?
John: What about them? I didn't hear of it till Sunday myself!
Q: Will the four Beatles own 100 per cent of Apple? And will you be equal partners?
Q: Do you think that some of your records are influencing the minds of the younger generation?
John: Well, everybody's records influence the mind, you know. All at once. Everything influences everything. Nillson's my favorite group.
Q: Would you comment on the mood of youth around the world, the protest movement, and what's going on?
Paul: People want to know what's going on, and no one knows at the moment.
John: Whether the movement is right or wrong, it's better than no movement.
Q: Do you have any specific reason for going on The Tonight Show tonight?
John: I don't know what happened.
Paul: We just seemed to be on it.
Q: I just wanted to ask you how you are!
Paul: Quite well! Hey, an' 'or 'r' you!?!
Paul: "Six feet high and rising"?!?
Q: Would you say that Magical Mystery Tour is a better or worse album than Sgt. Pepper?
John: It's not an album, you see. It's turned into an album over here, but it was just music from the film. Then, it's not an album.
Q: Has the film been bought over here?
John: I haven't a clue and I really don't care.
Q: Do George and Ringo feel the same way as you do about the Maharishi?
John: Yes. We tend to go in and out together, I mean, with a few spaces. So, yes.
Q: Are the Beatles going to make another movie this summer?
John: Well, we don't know when we're going to make it, but it will be this year or the early part of next year.
Q: What did you think of the critical reception to Magical Mystery Tour?
John: Well, I mean, it's-- It doesn't matter. But it does. Oh, it really doesn't matter, you know. Why it's no on now is what matters.
Paul: They (the critics) were disappointed.
Q: Were the criticisms valid?
John: Valid? I didn't see any valid points. It was just hysteria and that bit.
Paul: You see, they expected a tinselly Christmas show--because it was shown on Christmas--and you know that it was very different from that--so we shocked them a bit!
John: They didn't like it, you know. They thought we were stepping out of our roles. They like us to stay in the cardboard suits they designed for us.
Q: What roles do they want you to stay in?
John: Well, whatever image they have for themselves, they're disappointed if we don't fulfill it. We never do, so there's always a lot of disappointment.
Q: Do you think press conferences are a drag?
John: Well, they're not something I choose to do, but they're fun. It's work and business.
Q: Paul, what do you think of Jimi Hendrix?
Paul: He's great.
Q: Why do the Beatles meditate?
Paul: Because it seems to be nice. Like cleaning your teeth, you know, it just has some kind of end product.
Q: What do you think of the Mothers of Invention?
Paul: I think they're doing very well.
Q: What did the Beatles have to do with the creation of the marvelous fantasy characters in The Yellow Submarine?
Paul: Not much. There's a really good artist named Heinz (Edelmann) who created them.
Q: Do you plan to sing in French or in any other language other than English?
John: No, we don't make plans. We did "She Loves You" in German, and that was about it, I think.
Paul (smiling): Then, the English version became a hit, you know.
Q: How often do you turn on?
John: It's happening all the time, you know.
Q: Will you be doing a TV special soon?
John: I don't know.
Paul: Maybe. Quite possibly.
John: We've got to do another album. We don't know what happens until we do that.
Q: Have you ever thought of making a record, a film, or a TV special over here?
John: It's quite possible, yes. Why not? Except that we live over there.
Q: But you could fly over again.
John: Yeah, sure. But is it worth the journey?
Q: Are there any plans for an Apple clothing store in the United States?
John: No. No plans.
Q: What is the meaning of "I Am the Walrus"?
John: It just means, I am the walrus. Or I was when I sat down, you know.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Aired: Sunday 10 May 1964
The Beatles topped the bill at the New Musical Express 1963-4 Annual Poll Winners' All-Star Concert held at Empire Pool, Wembley, in the afternoon. Ten thousand fans saw them receive their awards from Roger Moore and perform 'She Loves You', 'You Can't Do That', 'Twist And Shout', 'Long Tall Sally' and 'Can't Buy Me Love'. Their section of the show was introduced in typically exaggerated manner by the self-styled 'Fifth Beatle', Murray the K, who used his introduction to promote the name and call-sign of his New York radio station.
Power Pop! was a book of interviews with the movers and shakers of that particular genre of music. Long out of print, and another book that will not see the light of day again.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Acclaimed by the most meticulous Beatles record collectors, this comprehensive guide lists all official and unofficial recordings released before 1995, including rare mixes and live versions of esoteric songs unfamiliar to the average fan. All types of Beatles performances are documented here--studio sessions, concerts, television, radio, and candid moments in hotel rooms--and coded and sourced to guide buyers to the best CDs or records.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Q: We only have a few revolutionary songs and they were composed in the 19th century. Do you find anything in our musical traditions which could be used for revolutionary songs?
John: When I started, rock and roll itself was the basic revolution to people of my age and situation. We needed something loud and clear to break through all the unfeeling and repression that had been coming down on us kids. We were a bit conscious to begin with of being imitation Americans. But we delved into the music and found that it was half white country and western and half black rhythm and blues. Most of the songs came from Europe and Africa and now they were coming back to us. Many of Dylan's best songs came from Scotland, Ireland or England. It was a sort of cultural exchange.
Q: Would you tour?
John: I would, yeah. What I’ve been thinking lately is I’ll go see Dylan after he comes back from that month and say, ‘Okay, come on, what was it like? Was it worth it? Was it good or was it the same old shit?’ And see what he thinks. If you could just go and play, but it’s all that brr brr brr. It looks like Graham and Geffen convinced him it’ll be all right and it’s not like it used to be. Touring is like anything. If I book time for the studio, then I’ll write. Now there isn’t a manager figure around, be it Epstein or Klein, to try to tell you what to do.
Q: How did Paul react [to "How Do You Sleep"]?
John: I don’t know because I never saw him, but I think he made a comment last year which was pretty spot-on which was ‘whatever I’m saying about him is my problem, or vice versa.’ The only regret I have about it is that it should never have been about Paul because everybody’s so bothered with who’s it about that they missed the track. That’s what bugged me. I’m entitled to call him what I want to, and vice versa. It’s in our family, but if somebody else calls him names I won’t take it. It’s our own business. And anyway, it’s like Dylan said about his stuff when he looked back on it, it was all about him.
October 10, 1974
Q: You know, it's always been a fantasy of mine, and I underline the word fantasy, to get the Beatles and Dylan and the Stones and the Who, and anybody else that would come together, and telecast a worldwide event. And say in effect that look, we've put down all of our ego trips, all of our personal hassles, and whatever, to get this thing together to show that we really believe in a positive and collective good. Now, why don't you all get busy and let's make it happen. You know, I wondered if this had ever crossed John Lennon's mind.
John: Yeah, yeah, I've been there, many times. I think Bangla Desh was a culmination of thoughts like that. Because years ago, all of the Beatles, there was a feeling of that in the sixties, like when we did a broadcast, a live broadcast on Telstar or one of those satellites of "All You Need Is Love," the Stones and everybody in London was there. And there was that feeling in the air, and there was a lot of possibilities then. And we often talked about, imagine if we got Elvis and you know, we included Elvis of course, you know. And all the people that we loved as teenagers, and everybody that was current. You know, the Dylans and the Stones, come together . . . the biggest mother show on earth for peace or love or whatever you'd call it. And it was always talked about, but nobody could ever quite get it together, and the nearest thing was George's Bangla Desh, you know. But for the Beatles, it was not the right time, because we were not exactly, you know, in each other's pockets at the time, we were still trying to unstick the glue of togetherness, you know. But yeah, it's a wonderful fantasy, but I'd go along with the ride, but I do not have the strength to put it together.
Q: Is there anybody that you'd like to produce? For example, Dylan?
John: Dylan would be interesting because I think he made a great album in Blood on the Tracks but I'm still not keen on the backings. I think I could produce him great. And Presley. I'd like to resurrect Elvis. But I'd be so scared of him I don't know whether I could do it. But I'd like to do it. Dylan, I could do, but Presley would make me nervous. But Dylan or Presley, somebody up there . . . I know what I'd do with Presley. Make a rock & roll album. Dylan doesn't need material. I'd just make him some good backings. So if you're reading this, Bob, you know . . .
John: When I’ve been drunk or disembowelled in one way or another, there’re always friends and hangers-on who sit around applauding as they hand me more and more stuff to kill myself with. It’s like Bob Dylan says in that song, “pull you down in the hole that he’s in.” But whenever I say these things, I’m careful not to blame other people. Somebody once said that artists mirror society and that if people/society don’t like it that’s too bad, because we’re all in that reflection together. Artists are poetic historians. They’re like doctors. Some doctors do heads, some do arms; artists do emotions and feelings.
Q: With the exception of the oldies songs, are there any others that other people write that you’d like to record?
John: Yeah – well, if I like a record then I might think, wow, it would be dynamite to sing that, but I can write one just like it. But it never turns out just like it, and I end up just writing a song. I keep meaning to do other people’s stuff – but I always end up writing it instead. That’s why I wanted to do the oldies thing, you know. I had just finished “Mind Games” and I was ripe and tired of singing my own lyrics and Deep Meaning. Also – about doing other people’s songs – well, the things that I know are ones like the old rock and roll songs, like Buddy Holly songs. But if I were going to do an Elton thing or even a Dylan thing then I’d have to learn it. I don’t know them like I do the others. I mean I’m a fan of those two people if I’m a fan of anybody – but it just isn’t that intense worship that you have when you’re 16, where you learn everything about the record inside and out and you sit with it and you sit with it. I can’t do that anymore.
December 5, 1980
John: All through the taping of 'Starting Over,' I was calling what I was doing 'Elvis Orbison: 'I want you I need only the lonely.' I'm a born-again rocker, I feel that refreshed, and I'm going right back to my roots. It's like Dylan doing Nashville Skyline, except I don't have any Nashville, you know, being from Liverpool. So I go back to the records I know - Elvis and Roy Orbison and Gene Vincent and Jerry Lee Lewis. I occasionally get ripped off into 'Walruses' or 'Revolution 9,' but my far-out side has been completely encompassed by Yoko.
"Monumental... A most remarkable look inside the inner world of the Beatles." --Goldmine
"Along with the [Mark] Lewisohn books, the most valuable Beatles volume put out in recent years... It's a must for all Beatlefans." --Beatlefan
Hailed as one of the most in-depth portraits ever presented of a band, Get Back traces--in an incredible minute-by-minute re-creation--every move that the Beatles made during the making of their ill-fated Let It Be album and film in January 1969. The friction that formed within the band during these recording sessions is chronicled here in closely observed detail, and the result is an extraordinarily intimate look at the Beatles and their music during their most difficult period. For years people have asked why the Beatles broke up; here, finally, is the answer.
"Painstakingly thorough...reveals glimpses of the Beatles' remarkable ensemble talent even in the face of self-made adversity...The pictures painted of the Beatles' working habits at this late stage are among the book's greatest assets." --Pulse
"Fascinating reading...as thorough a look at the fabled sessions as we're likely to get." --Orange County Register
"A monumental testament to sheer perseverance and first-class detective work...A most remarkable look inside the inner world of the Beatles, a world that almost ceased forever in January 1969." --Goldmine
"This book will long remain an invaluable, dog-eared source to the 'Get Back' sessions, as fans and scholars alike puzzle over the disintegration of a historical and influential group....[An] impressive and welcome pop culture anthropology." --Popular Music
Doug Sulpy publishes the Beatles magazine The 910; he has written for Goldmine and Musician.
Ray Schweighardt published the Beatles newsletter How Do You Do It?; he writes for The 910 and other publications. Both live in New Jersey.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
"Illegal Beatles" was a fanzine Doug Sulpy began in 1986 to enable himself to reach other collectors and begin trying to make sense of the various unreleased Beatles material that was available at that time.
In 1991, Storyteller Press published a compilation of edited versions of these early issues. A follow-up book was published three years later to complete the series.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Aired: Friday 18 June 1965
At the BBC's Lime Grove Studios, John appeared on BBC l's Tonight programme where he was interviewed by Kenneth Allsop and read two extracts from his book, 'The Wumberlog' and 'We Must Not Forget The General Erection'.
"The 910's Guide to the Solo Beatles' Outtakes" was the natural follow-up to the original "910's Guide." Co-written with Chip Madinger, the "Solo Guide" is long out of print, and will probably never be re-printed.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Long recognized as the ultimate collector's Bible, the initial aim of the "Guide" was to accurately identify every circulating (and, in some cases, not circulating) scrap of Beatles audio and to tell collectors what the best quality source is. It's long since outgrown the title, though, and in later editions encompasses all available Beatles' recordings, examining the differences between the legitimately released stereo and mono mixes, and the mix differences that exist between various formats and in various countries. Most recently, the "Guide" has been renamed "The Complete Beatles' Audio Guide."
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
A portrait of John Lennon containing a complete catalog and history of all his work as a musician, writer and artist. Describes and provides a complete catalog of Lennon's recordings, composing tapes, studio outtakes, live recordings, collaborations with other artists, interviews, films, videos, writings, and artwork.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
On 1 June 1967, at the height of the Summer of Love, the Beatles made "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". In this book the band's producer George Martin tells his story of the nine months it took to make the recording, featuring songs such as "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" to "A Day in the Life" and "She's Leaving Home". 1966 had seen a crossroads in the Beatles career, with the band under strain from the pressures of live performances. They decided to make an album that was like a show. Martin follows through the creation of the album's songs and offers an insight into the recording process itself.
Monday, December 08, 2008
"Didn't the Beatles give everything on God's earth for ten years?"
John Lennon, 1980
This meticulously researched chronology of the Beatles' stage performances corrects hundreds of previously published inaccuracies and reveals absorbing new information about early Beatles history. Every significant date is included from the fateful day in March 1957 when John Lennon was given a £17 guitar to the Beatles' last, massive concert in San Francisco in August 1966.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Aired: Sunday 31 October 1965
The Beatles' European Tour opened in Paris. The venture began controversially, when the authorities at London Airport turned away Beatles fans who were arriving to wave the group goodbye, claiming that The Beatles themselves had asked them not to attend. This was angrily denied by both the group and manager Brian Epstein.
The Beatles arrived at Paris-Orly at 10am and checked in to the George Cinq. Their reception was quiet by Beatles standards with only about 50 fans waiting outside their hotel. This pattern was repeated throughout the tour, as the group regularly played to less than capacity audiences.
In Paris, they played two concerts to 6,000 people each at the Palais des Sports, topping a bill which also featured The Yardbirds. The second show was broadcast on both French radio and television.
Afterwards Franchise Hardy visited them at the George Cinq. The night was spent at Castell's nightclub, where they stayed until dawn. The Beatles' set during the European tour consisted of: 'Twist And Shout', 'She's A Woman', 'I'm A Loser', 'Can't Buy Me Love', 'Baby's In Black', 'I Wanna Be Your Man', 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby', 'Rock And Roll Music', 'I Feel Fine', 'Ticket To Ride' and 'Long Tall Sally'.
* The single greatest and most authoritative document about The Beatles ever written
* Every working day of the Beatles career covered
* Long awaited successor to the best-selling THE COMPLETE BEATLES RECORDING SESSIONS
* Written by the world's leading authority on the Beatles
* Contains over 500 illustrations (many previously unpublished)
* The one and only indispensable guide to those remarkable Beatles years
Appearing 30 years after the release of the Beatles first single, "Love Me Do", The Complete Beatles Chronicle is easily the single greatest and most authoritative document about the world-famous group ever published. The fruit of many years painstaking research in film, TV, radio, newspaper, record company and recording studio archives, and the product of hundreds of interviews with those who knew and worked with the Beatles, this book reconstructs each day of their career, encompassing every stage appearance, all of their film, video, TV, and radio work, and, of course, every recording session.
The content is arranged on a chronological basis with an introduction to each year providing an overview to the twelve months developments. Then a diary section describes every working days events in the sort of fascinating detail the made the author's previous book EMI's The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions such a runaway international best-seller. With over 500 photographs (many previously unpublished), posters, handbills, tickets, letters, and rare documentation, there is also a tremendous array of illustrations to paint an absorbing picture of the group.
Other books have dealt with aspects of the Beatles working lives but The Complete Beatles Chronicle is the first to tell the whole story, from their very first tentative performances in 1950's Liverpool church halls and social clubs through the beat boom and psychedelia to their irrevocable split in 1970. In between they had, in the words of John Lennon, "Given everything on God's earth" - as this book so clearly demonstrates - and created a body of work which will never be rivaled.
For every Beatles fan, past, present of future, this is the one and only indispensable guide to those remarkable Beatles years.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Presenting an account of the partnership between The Beatles and the BBC, this book covers the pop group's radio career between 1962 and 1970, and includes BBC audition reports and letters. It draws on the reminiscences of producers and presenters who worked with The Beatles, and contains extracts from interviews, as well as memorabilia such as record labels, magazine covers, and listings, including a complete 1962-70 discography.
Friday, December 05, 2008
The Beatles From Cavern to Star-Club: The Illustrated Chronicle, Discography & Price Guide 1957-1962
A meticulously researched chronology and discography of The Beatles’ recordings from 1957 and up until 1962.
Hans Olof Gottfridsson has mapped out from unreleased tapes, documents and interviews with key persons this legendary period of The Beatles’ early career. For the first time ever all significant dates and recordings are covered, from the moment when John and Paul met at the Woolton Garden Fete in 1957 to the last Star-Club recordings in Hamburg during December 1962.
The book contains a complete review of all German, English, French, Swedish and American releases of songs which were recorded during this period and released up until 1970. All singles, EPs and LPs are depicted. Every release has been priced according to rarity and collector’s item status. The author has succeeded in tracing – previously believed to be lost – the original protocols from the Polydor recordings, which show beyond any doubt that The Beatles did record "Swanee River." The book features the first complete facsimile reproduction of Polydor recording sheets, contracts and much more. Once and for all it is now made clear which of the Tony Sheridan releases The Beatles actually took part in and played on.
Comprises more than 400 illustrations, including lots of photos of rare records and acetates. This is the most comprehensive book available on the subject and it reveals new information about early Beatles history. An essential sourcebook both for seasoned collectors and for those just starting out.
Written contributions from Tony Sheridan, John Duff Lowe (The Quarry Men) and Bill Harry (founder of legendary music paper Mersey Beat).
Interviews with amongst others the original Quarry Men members Rod Davis, Len Garry, Colin Hanton and John Duff Lowe, plus Johnny "Guitar" Byrne (Rory Storm and The Hurricanes) and Roy Young (who played piano on some of the recordings The Beatles and Tony Sheridan made together in Hamburg), as well as Karl Hinze and Günther Sörensen, two former sound engineers at Polydor in Hamburg who recorded The Beatles.
A vinyl EP is enclosed. The record contains four tracks with The Beatles and Tony Sheridan. The original 1962 version of "Sweet Georgia Brown" is released here for the first time ever in stereo!