Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Beatles - The "Let It Be" Rehearsals Vol. 5: The Auction Tapes, Vol. 1

Label: Yellow Dog, YD 055
Country: Hungary
Year: 1994
Total time: 74:53

1 She Came In Through The Bathroom Window / Sausages And French Fries / Hi Ho Silver / Stand By Me
2 Harry Pinsker = Hare Krishna Mantra /Two Of Us /You Got Me Going / Don't Let Me Down
3 I've Got A Feeling / The One After 909
4 All Things Must Pass / Mean Mr. Mustard / Don't Let Me Down / All Things Must Pass / Fools Like Me / You Win Again
5 She Came In Through The Bathroom Window / Baa Baa Black Sheep
6 Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying / Sexy Sadie / Blue Suede Shoes / Hava Nagila / Movin' Along The River Rhine / The Long And Winding Road
7 If Tomorrow Ever Comes /What Do You Wanna Make Those Eyes At Me For?
8 Don't Be Cruel / Costa Del Sol / My One And Only Prayer / My Baby Left Me

Alf Bicknell's Personal Beatles Diary

Label: Delta Entertainment

The Chronicles of Alf Bicknell, Beatles driver and road manager, are your ticket to ride on a personal video tour with the most influential rock band of our time. There is only one Beatles. And there is only one Alf, the most knowledgeable and reputable source of Beatlemania information there is.

Take a walk across Abbey Road, following in the footsteps of the Fab Four. Side by side with Alf, go down the path of rock and roll history.

Backstage. Shea Stadium. The Cow Palace... From chaotic early club dates in Liverpool to all the good times in between. The parties. Hollywood. The stars.

Set amidst the original locations in London, Alf's stories become more than authentic, more than just memories, and nothing less than an intimate Beatles travelogue. See original black and white footage from 1964-1966, at the beginning and in the end. Featuring special live 1990's concert footage supplied by Paul McCartney.

So sit back and let Alf take you on an unforgettable trip!

Includes a special interactive Beatles Trivia Game

Follow Alf to get the answers to these questions and more:

- How did George lose his Country Gentleman guitar?

- How did Alf help John record "Help"?

- When did Alf and the Beatles run over a policeman?

- When did the Beatles spend an evening with Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, Edward G. Robinson and Rock Hudson?

- Where did the Beatles hang out in Liverpool?

- What really happened the night the Beatles met Elvis?

"He came with us through the craziness, the emotion, the fun and the nonsense, and I was always glad to have him on our side."
-Paul McCartney

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The Beatles Every Little Thing: A Compendium of Witty, Weird and Ever-Surprising Facts About the Fab Four

by Maxwell Mackenzie

JOHN, PAUL, GEORGE AND RINGO STILL RULE! Four unmatched artists who changed popular music forever, their remarkable legacy endures--with classic songs that grace the airwaves to this very day, winning a new generation of devoted fans to the fold almost thirty years after the quartet disbanded. From the birth of "Beatlemania" to the final days of a phenomenon--from "Meet the Beatles" to "Let It Be"--this incomparable volume is a treasure trove of little-known facts, fascinating trivia, and startling behind-the-scenes revelations about the most dynamic and influential musical powerhouse to ever hit a concert stage or recording studio.

- The wild days and wilder nights at Hamburg's Kaiserkeller . . .

- The groundbreaking album recorded in one session . . .

- The missed appearance that sparked a political melee in Manila . . .

- The famous faces removed from the "Sgt. Pepper" cover . . .

- The last song ever performed in concert--and their last day together in the studio . . .

- The movies, the Maharishi, the madness . . . and more!

For anyone who lived the magic--and for every newcomer newly entranced by the joyful power of the memorable music and lyrical lyrics--here is every little thing you ever wanted to know about the Beatles.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Beatles - The "Let It Be" Rehearsals Vol. 4: Rock And Roll

Label: Yellow Dog, YD 054
Country: Hungary
Year: 1994
Total time: 74:11

1 - January 7, 1969
Rock And Roll Music
Thirty Days
A Case Of The Blues
Lotta' Lovin'/Something Else

2 - January 7/3, 1969
School Days
All Shook Up
Your True Love
Blue Suede Shoes
Three Cool Cats
Blowin' In The Wind

3 - January 3, 1969
My Words Are In My Heart
Negro In Reserve
Ob-la-di Ob-la-da
I'll Wait 'Til Tomorrow
A Prety Girl Is Like A Melody
I've Been Thinking That You Love Me
Won't You Please Say Goodbye
Bring It On Home
Hitch Hike
You Can't Do That
Hippy Hippy Shake

4 - January 3, 1969
Short Fat Fanny
Midnight Special (Prisoner's Song)
When You're Drunk You Think Of Me
What's The Use Of Getting Sober (When You Gonna Get Drunk Again)
What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For (When They Don't Mean What They Say)

5 - January 6/24, 1969
Let's Dance
Diggin' My Potatoes
Hey Liley, Liley Lo
Rock Island Line
Michael Row The Boat
Rock-A-Bye Baby
Singing The Blues

6 - January 24, 1969
Little Demon/Maybellene/You Can't Catch Me/Brown-Eyed Handsome Man
Short Fat Fanny
Sweet Little Sixteen
Around And Around
Almost Grown
School Days
Stand By Me/Where Have You Been
Lady Madonna

7 - January 26, 1969
I'm Talking About You
High School Confidential
Great Balls Of Fire
Blue Suede Shoes

8 - January 28/29, 1969
I Got To Find My Baby
Vacation Time
Maybe Baby
Peggy Sue Got Married/Thinking Of Linking
Crying Waiting Hoping
Mailman Bring Me No More Blues

9 January 7/10, 1969
Low-Down Blues Machine
Hi-Heeled Sneakers

The Beatles and Some Other Guys: Rock Family Trees of the Early Sixties

by Pete Frame

Celebrated rock archivist Pete Frame has turned his attention to The Beatles and their contemporaries. Focusing on one of the most exciting periods in British rock history, he has created comprehensive Family Trees for the quintessential groups of the Liverpool and London scenes.

Liverpool ... Frame traces the evolution of The Beatles through The Quarrymen, The Moondogs, The Beatals and The Silver Beatles. He also unravels the personnel history of many other chart-topping Merseyside groups including:

Gerry & The Pacemakers - Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas - The Searchers - The Fourmost - The Swinging Blue Jeans - The Merseybeats - Rory Storm & The Hurricanes

London ... a roll call of the capitals' golden years of R&B brings fascinating insights into the roots and revamps of:

The Rolling Stones - Alexis Korner's Blues Inc. - John Mayalls' Bluesbreakers - the early bands of Georgie Fame and Rod Stewart

Plus! ... Family Trees of Them - Van Morrison's first group - and all of Paul McCartney's bands after The Beatles.

What the press have said about Pete Frame's Rock Family Trees:
"Probably the world's foremost chronicler of rock'n'roll history" The Observer

"Historically detailed ... elegantly organised" Rolling Stone

"Virtually works of art...indispensable" New York Rocker

"Essential reading" Record Mirror

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Beatles - The "Let It Be" Rehearsals Vol. 3: All Things Must Pass Part 2: Acoustic set

Label: Yellow Dog, YD 053
Country: Hungary
Year: 1994
Total Time: 51:59

(1) Dialogue / All Things Must Pass
(2) Dialogue / Isn't It A Pity?
(3) Window, Window
(4) For You Blue
(5) Please, Mrs. Henry
(6) Rambling Woman Vol. 1
(7) Rambling Woman Vol. 2 / I Threw It All Away / Mama, You Been On My Mind
(8) Old Brown Shoe
(9) Dialogue / For You Blue

All Songs by George Harrison except: (5-7) Bob Dylan

The Beatles: A&E Biography

by Jeremy Roberts

The Beatles sold 14 million CDs in 2000--more than any other artist that year. Not bad for a group that broke up 30 years earlier.

With a single appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Beatlemania swept the world and changed the face of rock 'n roll. The Beatles evolved with and reflected their times, leading many of the changes in music and style. From "Love Me Do" to "I Am the Walrus," they continued to experiment with new sounds. Their music grew in depth and complexity--challenging their contemporaries to keep up.

Here is the story of John, Paul, George, and Ringo--how they became The Beatles, their lives together, the break-up, their separate careers, and John's assassination. Uncover why The Beatles experienced a popularity that hasn't been seen since, why they're still influential--and why their music continues to top the charts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Beatles - The "Let It Be" Rehearsals Vol. 2: All Things Must Pass Part 1: Electric set

Label: Yellow Dog, YD 016
Country: Luxembourg
Year: 1992
Total time: 66:43

1 George talks about solo album
2 All Things Must Pass - 3:04
3 Old Brown Shoe - 2:57
4 For You Blue - two takes Jan 25 1969 2:52
5 Let It Down - Jan 2 1969 2:12
6 I Shall Be Released - Jan 2 1969 1:44
7 Speak To Me - Jan 2 1969 1:50
8 Hear Me Lord - 2:19
9 I Me Mine - George demos song to John. Picks up where film finishes 2:17
10 Short Fat Fanny - Slate 43/44 2:53
11 All Things Must Pass - 2:52
12 Let It Down - 3:55
13 Hear Me Lord - 1:42
14 I Shall Be Released - 1:45
15 On The Road Again - Roll 458 Slate 335 0:42
16 How Do You Tell Someone - 2:00
17 Positively 4th Street - Roll 546 Slate 419 - 1:02
18 Let It Down - during playback of Get Back Jan 27/28 1969 2:07
19 Well...All Right - 6.35 pm 1:05
20 Hitch-hike - Slate 41/42 1:52
21 I Me Mine - Paul and George work out middle 8. Ends in film version. 2:51
22 Something - John, George and Paul work on the words 9:00
23 I Me Mine - 3:24
24 I Me Mine - extended version of tr.21, ending in film version 4:31
25 All Things Must Pass - George gets shock. Unedited film version 2:40

The Beatles Literary Anthology

Edited by Mike Evans

Spanning 40 years, The Beatles Literary Anthology compiles accounts of the Beatles by mainstream reporters, rock journalists, cultural commentators, acquaintances, and friends, including Greil Marcus and Geroge Melly. This extensive collection recounts the group’s rise from the Merseybeat music scene; the British invasion that made them icons in the U.S.; their experimentation with song structure and sound-recording technique that redefined pop music; their embracing of psychedelic drugs and pacifism; and the separate paths band members followed after their acrimonious breakup. The Beatles’ influence on the baby boom generation is also acknowledged in essays by writers on both sides of the pop-culture divide. Conveying the excitement of youth culture during the great social changes of the 1960s, the writers underscore the extremes of a career virtually unparalleled in mass-media history.

On Rhythm Guitar: John Lennon

Once upon a not so long ago, two lads from Liverpool played before an appreciative audience in Reading, Berkshire, as the Nurk Twins. One was Paul McCartney. The other was John Lennon. John WINSTON Lennon--rhythm guitarist of the four-handed Beatles.


John Lennon, brown-eyed, brown-haired, also plays harmonica, drums and tinkers on piano. Short-sighted--so much so that unhappy rumours have been circulated that he is slowly going blind. This is untrue, but John admits:

"For rehearsals, and most of the time off-stage, I do wear heavy glasses. On stage, without them, I can't see very far into the audience. Maybe this is just as well--I can't pick up any expressions on the faces of those who aren't digging our act. That helps me to feel self-confident. I only know an audience is there by their noise--the screams and all that."

At 5 ft. 11 in. ("well, let's settle for six-foot"), John is the same height as both Paul and George. He's also the heaviest--at 11 stone 5 lb. just one pound heavier than his longtime mate Paul.

Art Student

John was educated via Dovedale Primary School, Quarrybank Grammar School and then Liverpool College of Art. Art, in fact, was the subject at which he really shone. "Maths and science proved my downfall on more than one occasion," he recalls. "Anything to do with figures had me baffled." John grinned. "Now I can say that figures are one of the chief interests of my life . . . !"


His interest in music really started with his mother, Julia. She, unfortunately, died before John reached stardom in the business, but she played an important part early on in his musical days by teaching him banjo. John now lives with an aunt, Aunt Mimi, who is "knocked out" at the way The Beatles have hit the top.

"My mother used to accompany her songs on banjo," said John. "Dad sang, too. But there isn't much time for family get-togethers nowadays--I've really only got Julia and Jacqueline, step sisters to me. But even if spare time is pretty sparse, I don't think I'd change anything about life at the moment--except to try and avoid that horrible business of getting up at five o'clock in the morning sometimes to go off on long-distance dates.

"People often ask what I'd do if I couldn't earn my living as a musician any more. It'd be a nightmare to me if that DID happen, but I'd definitely go on writing. I spend most of my spare time writing material and I guess my main aim is to keep on writing hit songs."

Big Ambition

"But I must produce a stage musical one day. That's definite. It'd be a big challenge, but I'd enjoy it. I honestly enjoy writing . . . writing anything. It makes me laugh, if you see what I mean!"

John is fast with the wisecracks, speedy to pick up a new musical idea. If a radio producer asks him for the immediate ad-lib, John obliges. No hesitation, no embarrassment. An agile mind ploughs fast through several alternatives, then he picks out the right one for the right occasion.

He talks fast, always with the hint of good humour. He can deliver a crushing retort with a dead-pan face so that the full importance doesn't sink in immediately.

"This new craze for The Beatles is fantastic," he says. "I've met such a lot of interesting people in the past few months. Of course, the money is very nice to have, too. One day, maybe, I'll branch out away from the music business. Only in the sense of financing something different. Maybe some high-class clothes shops. I spend most of my money these days on clothes--so if I owned the shop I'd be able to give myself a discount."

No Bright Colours

"My own tastes in clothes run from suede to leather, or cord or denim. The only thing I don't like is anything in a really bright colour."

John's birthday is October 9. He's still only 22, a one-time art student who has now written over 100 songs with Paul McCartney. Sonny Terry is his favourite musician and he listens admiringly to discs by Little Richard, Chuck Jackson, Chuck Berry, Mary Wells--and, among the groups, The Miracles, Shirelles, Chiffons and Marvelettes. He doesn't analyse his tastes . . . "I just like that style of singing."

He sometimes relaxes by going to the cinema--specially if Brigitte Bardot is in the movie. But sleeping occupies him deeply. Driving, cars--they leave him cold.

John Lennon is uncomplicated, yet complicated. But he's determined to become a first-rate writer, maybe even to top his present "name" as singer and musician.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Beatles - The "Let It Be" Rehearsals Vol. 1: The Complete Rooftop Concert, 30 January 1969

Label: Yellow Dog, YD 015
Country: Luxembourg
Year: 1992
Total time: 68:08

1 Get Back (4:06) 30 Jan 69
2 Get Back (3:19) 30 Jan 69
3 Don't Let Me Down (3:18) 30 Jan 69
4 I've Got A Feeling/One After 909 (5:28) 30 Jan 69
5 One After 909/Danny Boy (3:42) 30 Jan 69
6 Dig A Pony (4:29) 30 Jan 69
7 I've Got A Feeling/A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody/Get Back (3:56) 30 Jan 69
8 Don't Let Me Down (3:16) 30 Jan 69
9 Get Back (3:17) 30 Jan 69
10 You Won't Get Me That Way/The Walk (4:06) 27 Jan 69
11 Oh! Darling (3:09) 7 Jan 69
12 Maxwell's Silver Hammer (3:51) 7 Jan 69
13 Lotta Lovin'/Across The Universe (3:15) 7 Jan 69
14 Gone Gone Gone (2:00) 7 Jan 69
15 Because I Know You Love Me So (2:30) 3 Jan 69
16 She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (3:07) 7 Jan 69
17 Improvisations/Honey Hush/Honey Hush (3:31) 8 Jan 69
18 Stand By Me (2:25) 8 Jan 69
19 Hare Krishna Mantra/Well If You're Ready/Hare Krishna Mantra (2:11) 8 Jan 69
20 Two Of Us (3:03) 8 Jan 69

John Lennon's Audio Diary Makes Waves Again

John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the piano, 1980Every few years it seems the diary John Lennon recorded on September 5, 1979 makes a comeback in the news cycle, with all parties concerned seemingly forgetting that they have covered it before. This time it is in relation to Philip Norman's book John Lennon: The Life. Despite his other dubious claim about Paul McCartney, the writing on Lennon's mother holds some weight, as Lennon himself talks about it in the audio diary.

Some are writing that this recording stems from the Lost Lennon Tapes, but this is not quite true. It never aired on the Lost Lennon Tapes, but it did end up as a bonus track on one the Lost Lennon Tapes CDs, which were based on the radio show and the bootleg LPs of the same name. When the recording was received by the research team on The U.S. vs. John Lennon, they stopped what they were doing and gathered around to listen to it. In the end, they decided against using it in the film due to the poor audio quality.

One final point of clarification. At least one author has taken the final segment of the tape (which was probably recorded on a separate day), where John somewhat lightheartedly talks about deciding whether or not to jump out of a hotel room window, as a sign of depression. Here John is actually making a lyrical reference that demonstrates the lack of knowledge concerning the works of his "other half of the sky" - namely, Yoko's songs. The reference to jumping out hotel windows is almost taken verbatim from Yoko's song "Looking Over From My Hotel Window" (from the 1973 Approximately Infinite Universe LP, where she sang:

"Age 39, looking over from my hotel window,
Wondering if one should jump off or go to sleep."

This song would have been brought to John's mind as he was close to turning 39 at the time. There you have it. I look forward to reprinting this in three years when the next sensationalist claims surface.

Read a transcription of John Lennon's audio diary

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Beatles - Get Back and 22 Other Songs

Label: Yellow Dog, YD 014
Country: Luxembourg
Year: 1991
Total time: 67:05

(digitally de-clicked and de-noised)
tracks 1-15
1 One After 909 3:08
2 Link Track 0:45
3 Save The Last Dance for Me (Pomus/Shuman) 1:37
4 Don´t Let Me Down 4:08
5 Dig A Pony 3:47
6 I´ve Got A Feeling 2:46
7 Get Back 3:21
8 For You Blue (Harrison) 2:55
9 Teddy Boy (McCartney) 3:43
10 Two Of Us 3:30
11 Maggie Mae (traditional) 0:43
12 Dig It (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey) 4:25
13 Let It Be 3:58
14 Long And Winding Road 3:42
15 Get Back reprise 0:40

tracks 16-23
16 Session Jam Part 1 & 2 6:24
17 I Lost My Little Girl (McCartney) 5:03
18 Take This Hammer (Terry/McGhee) 3:01
19 Schooldays / Hail Hail Rock And Roll (Berry) 1:42
20 Roll Over Beethoven / Everybody Is Rocking Tonight 3:10
21 Forty Days (Berry) 1:57
22 To Bad About Sorrows 1:01
23 Maggie Mae / Fancy Me Chances (traditional) 1:32

Beatles Big Beat Box

Label: Waterfall Home Entertainment, WHE 1043

This unique DVD traces the extraordinary rise of the Beatles from their early days in the clubs of Liverpool and Germany to their undisputed status as the world's most successful 'pop' group ever. Watch the astounding events unfold as Beatlemania swept through the UK, across the USA and exploded throughout the world.

This is very much the Beatles in 'their own words,' giving interviews with the press at critical moments in their careers as they progressed from adorable 'mop tops' to cultural revolutionaries. The interviews with the 'Fab Four' capture the unique humour that defined the Beatles and a generation.

Running time: 50 minutes approx.

The CD
The picture disc contains the following track listing of a number of songs that the Beatles covered during their time together, with the exception of the opening track "In Spite Of All The Danger."

1. In Spite Of All The Danger
2. A Taste Of Honey
3. Words Of Love
4. Anna (Go To Him)
5. In Spire Of All The Danger (Instrumental)
6. Roll Over Beethoven
7. Behind The Beat
8. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
9. With A Little Help From My Friends
10. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
11. I Am The Walrus
12. She's Leaving Home
13. Got To Get You Into My Life

Music Performed by The Overtures & others
Running time: 55 minutes approx.

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Fab Four FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Beatles...and More!

by Stuart Shea and Robert Rodriguez

Featuring a Foreword by Chris Hillman of the Byrds and an Afterword by Apple recording artist Jackie Lomax

"With all that's been written, spoken, and philosophized about the Beatles (along with those horrid covers of Fab songs), leave it to Stuart Shea and Robert Rodriguez to find fresh angles, insightful observations, and delightful Beatlebits . . . all presented in a zippy writing style that makes me declare--dare I shout it?--'Yeah, yeah, yeah!' "
Lou Carlozo, Chicago Tribune

Forty years after the release of the iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles continue to captivate music fans of all ages. There's always something more to discuss about the Fab Four. What were their greatest live performances? Their worst moments? Stories still unknown by most musician fans, trends still unseen, history still uninterpreted are all revealed in Fab Four FAQ. Pop culture authors Start Shea and Robert Rodriguez provide must-known fan trivia and offer obscure Beatles facts and stories in an easy-to-read, provocative format that will start as many arguments as end them. With fifty chapters of stories, history, observation, and opinion, Fab Four FAQ lays bare the whys and wherefores that made the Beatles so great, giving credit where credit is due and maybe bursting some bubbles along the way.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Beatles - Acetates

Label: Yellow Dog, YD 009
Country: Luxembourg
Year: 1991
Total time: 44:17

1 Bad To Me - 1:31 - May 1963 - John's demo
2 One And One Is Two - 1:56 - January 1964 - Paul's demo
3 12-Bar Original - 6:44 - 4 November 1965 - Complete outtake
4 A Day In The Life - 4:24 - 20 January 1967 - Take 6
5 Magical Mystery Tour - 2:46 - 3 May 1967 - RM7
6 The Fool On The Hill - 2:44 - 6 September 1967 - Demo take 1
7 Blue Jay Way - 3:48 - 7 September 1967 - RM1
8 Your Mother Should Know - 2:29 - 22 August 1967 - Take 8
9 I Am The Walrus - 4:29 - 6 September 1967 - Take 17
10 Christmas Time (Is Here Again!) - 5:47 - 28 November 1967 - Incomplete music take 1
11 Goodbye - 2:24 - February 1969 - Paul's demo
12 Something - 3:23 - 25 February 1969 - George's demo
13 I Me Mine - 1:46 - 3 January 1970 - Basic track

The Birth of the Beatles

by Sam Leach

If you ever WONDERED about the origins of Merseybeat and just how the BEATLES exploded onto the LIVERPOOL scene before Brian Epstein cleaned them up to CONQUER the world, then THE BIRTH OF THE BEATLES has the answers for you!

Sam Leach TELLS it like it really was and succeeds in encapsulating all the ENERGY, humour, GENEROSITY and unconventional ways which are so CHARACTERISTIC of Liverpool.

He not only puts his finger on the exact moment when MERSEYBEAT was born, he lived and BREATHED it as one of its leading promoters.

Sam's BARN-STORMING bills not only featured the Beatles, whose sheer POWER and ENERGY in their early days ROCKED the city to its foundations, but also groups such as Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, and Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes.

And Sam was almost certainly directly RESPONSIBLE for Brian Epstein's fateful visit to the CAVERN one Friday lunchtime to watch a performance by the group he was to make the BIGGEST ever . . .

JOHN LENNON once said 'Sam Leach was the pulse of Merseybeat. What he did the rest copied'

PAUL McCARTNEY on BBC Radio Merseyside in 1984 called those early days 'The Sam Leach Era'