Saturday, November 01, 2008

With the Beatles

by Lewis Lapham

Halfway between the summer of love and the Tet offensive, the Beatles went to India to study with the Maharishi — and Lewis Lapham, esteemed Harper's editor and award-winning writer, was there. WITH THE BEATLES is a remarkable book of cultural commentary on that seminal '60s moment.

The ashram in Rishikesh, India was the ultimate '60s scene: the Beatles, Donovan, Mia Farrow, a stray Beach Boy and other '60s icons gathered along the shores of the Ganges—amidst paisley and incense and flowers and guitars—to meditate at the feet of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The February 1968 gathering received such frenzied, world-wide attention that it is still considered a significant, early encounter between Western pop culture and the mystical East. And Lewis Lapham was the only journalist allowed inside.

And what went on inside the compound has long been the subject of wild speculation and rampant rumor. The Beatles said they wrote some of their greatest songs there . . . and yet they also came away bitterly disillusioned. In With The Beatles Lewis Lapham finally tells the whole story.

Lewis Lapham is the editor of Harper’s Magazine, and the author of numerous books, including Theater of War, Money and Class in America, 30 Satires, and, most recently, Gag Rule. He has hosted two television series for PBS, America’s Century and Bookmark, and he writes a monthly essay for Harper's Magazine called "Notebook." He won a 1995 National Magazine Award for three of those essays, in which the judges discovered "an exhilarating point of view in an age of conformity."

He has also written for Life, Commentary, National Review, The Yale Literary Magazine, Elle, Fortune, Forbes, The American Spectator, Vanity Fair, Travel and Leisure Golf, Golf Digest, Parade, Channels, Maclean's, The London Observer, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Beatles' Shadow: Stuart Sutcliffe & His Lonely Hearts Club

by Pauline Sutcliffe and Douglas Thompson

The poignant memoir of forgotten Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe, and a remarkable chronicle of the early days of the world's most influential pop group.

Stuart Sutcliffe is the most famous contender for the crown of 'fifth Beatle'. One of the founding members, a close friend of Lennon, he left the band after their Hamburg sojourn in order to pursue his promising career as an artist, dying shortly thereafter of a brain haemorrhage. For years his sister Pauline has tried to protect his memory against the Beatles' need to sanitise their early history and now she is ready to tell the real story. In so doing she sheds new light on their formative period - the rivalry with McCartney, how George Harrison tried to keep the peace, the truth about Stuart's intense relationship with Lennon and why Lennon was haunted by guilt over her brother's death. And she describes what it was like for those like herself and Cynthia Lennon who have had no choice but to live with the Beatles all their lives.

“Gripping… the story of forgotten Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe… holds the key to the birth of pop’s greatest group.” --Daily Mail

"An odd, fascinating book." --MOJO

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Best of the Beatles - Pete Best: Mean, Moody and Magnificent

Label: Lightyear

One of the original Beatles, Pete Best--who was famously replaced by Ringo Starr just before the quartet exploded into the spotlight--shares his vivid memories of the band's early days in this illuminating program. With a sharp memory and a surprising lack of bitterness, Best fondly recalls the band's formation and early gigs in Germany and Liverpool. Dozens of others involved in that scene are also interviewed here, and the result is a detailed and complete portrait of an important, exhilarating, and creative time in musical history.

On the DVD
Decca Sessions - the truth revealed
Hamburg revisited
Never Say Die
Love Me Do with Andy White
Life After the Beatles 1962-68
Band on the Road
Original (a work in progress)

DVD Chapters
Disc #1 -- Best of the Beatles: Pete Best - Mean, Moody and Magnificent
1. Part One/Opening [7:09]
2. Casbah Coffee Club [20:49]
3. Hamburg [19:58]
4. Liverpool/Beatlemania [9:33]
5. Hamburg/Tony Sheridan/Polydor [13:44]
6. Liverpool/Merseybeat Poll/Brian Epstein [3:46]
7. Decca Sessions [15:56]
8. Hamburg/Star Club [4:16]
9. EMI/Abbey Road [4:25]
10. The Dismissal of Pete Best [16:34]
11. Outro [3:41]

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The Beatles Are Coming: The Birth of Beatlemania in America

by Bruce Spizer
Foreword by Walter Cronkite

The Beatles Are Coming! is the fifth book by Beatles author/historian Bruce Spizer. The book covers the Beatles first visit to the United States and the events leading up to the group’s arrival on February 7, 1964. The book is 246 pages and contains over 450 images, including over 50 previously unpublished photos of the Beatles and never-seen-before documents.

The Beatles Are Coming! is the most thorough and accurate book ever published on how Beatlemania evolved in America. It details why Capitol Records turned the group down four times before finally agreeing in late November, 1963, to release the Beatles records. It tells the stories of two small record labels, Vee-Jay and Swan, who issued the group’s records without success in 1963. It details the American media coverage of the Beatles in late 1963, when Beatlemania was viewed as a curious fad happening in England that could never catch on in the United States. It explains how the Beatles were booked for appearances on The Jack Paar Program and The Ed Sullivan Show, as well as two concerts at Carnegie Hall. The book concludes with stories and pictures of the Beatles historic first U.S. visit in February, 1964.

In researching the project, the author reviewed hundreds of documents, magazines, and pictures as well as television news stories from 1963 and 1964. His interview subjects included influential newsmen such as Walter Cronkite, who wrote the foreword ot the book, and Edwin Newman, staff members of The Ed Sullivan Show, former president of Capitol Records Alan Livingston, employees of Carnegie Hall and numerous others with first-hand memories.

Bruce Spizer is a first generation Beatles fan and well-known Beatles author/historian. He is considered the leading expert on the group’s North American record releases. He has an extensive Beatles collection, concentrating primarily on American and Canadian first issue records, record promotional items, press kits and posters.

A "taxman" by day, Spizer is a board certified tax attorney and certified public accountant. A "paperback writer" by night, he is the author of the critically acclaimed books: The Beatles Records on Vee-Jay; The Beatles’ Story on Capitol Records, Part One: Beatlemania & The Singles; The Beatles’ Story on Capitol Records, Part Two: The Albums; and The Beatles On Apple Records. Spizer is also a regular feature writer for Beatlology Magazine and Beatlefan. He has appeared on Fox National News, CNN, ABC-TV’s Good Morning America and morning shows in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston, Cleveland, New Orleans and other cities, and is a frequent guest on nationally-syndicated and local radio shows such as NPR’s All Things Considered, BeatleBrunch and The Beatle Years. Spizer has been a guest speaker and panel moderator at Beatlefest and other Beatles conventions in New Jersey, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Nashville, Orlando and other markets, and was the featured speaker at the 2001 and 2002 National Record Show held at the Rock ’N’ Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland. Spizer is credited in the booklet to the phenomenally successful Beatles 1 CD.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lennon, the INS, and the RNC


New York, New York
March 16, 1972

John Winston Lennon

On January 21, 1972, [...] advised that a group of individuals calling themselves the Allamuchy Tribe were to open an office in New York City within the next two weeks. The leaders of the Tribe initially were Rennard Cordon David and Steward Albert. The main purpose of the group was to coordinate New Left movement activities during this election year to culminate with demonstrations at the Republican National Convention in San Diego, California during August 1972.

Rennard Cordon Davis is a convicted defendent of the so-called Conspiracy Seven Trial, Chicago, Illinois, in the period September 1969 through February 1970, involving those persons earlier indicted for violation of the Federal Anti-Riot Statute.

Stewart Albert: [...] on April 25, 1966 advised that Albert was arrested on April 12, 1966 at Berkeley, California along with other members of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) while demonstrating in front of the Berkeley City Hall.

Progressive Labor Party
The PLP was founded in 1962 by individuals expelled from the Communist Party, USA, for following the Chinese communist line. Its objective is the establishment of a militant working class movement based on Marxism-Leninism and Mao-Tse-tung thought.

On January 24, 1972, [...] advised that John Winston Lennon, who was formerly associated with the Beatles Music Group, donated seventy-five thousand dollars to the Allamuchy Tribe, to further their cause of New-Left activities.

On January 28, 1972, [...] advised that the Allamuchy Tribe had changed its name to the Election Year Strategy Information Center (EYSIC), so as to be more effectively known to the general public.

On February 2, 1972, [...] advised that several members of the Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice from Washington, DC transferred to the PCPJ office in New York City to work on EYSIC.

Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice (PCPJ)
The PCPJ is self-described as an organization consisting of over 100 organizations using massive civil disobedience to combat war, racisim, poverty and repression. Its National Office is located at 156 5th Avenue, New York City, Room 527.

On February 15, 1972, [...] advised that John Lennon on November 28, 1969, pled guilty in Marylebone Magistrates Court, London, England to possession of dangerous drugs (Cannabis). He was fined L150 and ordered to pay L21 in court costs.

John Winston Lennon. On February 2, 1972, [...], Immigration Officer, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), New York City, advised that Lennon, Alien Registration Number A-17597321, first arrived in New York City on August 11, 1968 under a B-2 visitors visa. He subsequently departed the United States, and during his 1971 re-entry was granted another B-2 visa. His latest visa was due to expire on February 29, 1972.

Yoko Ono. [...] advised that Ono, Alien Registration Number A-19489154 was born on February 18, 1933 in Japan. She entered the United States on August 13, 1971 along with Lennon after being granted a B-2 visa.

INS has a current address of the Saint Regis Hotel, 150 Bank Street, New York City for both Lennon and his wife.

During Lennon and his wife's current stay in the United States they made a public appearance along with Jerry Rubin, on the Mike Douglas Television Show which was aired on February 22, 1972 on Channel II, Columbia Broadcasting System, in New York City.

During February 1972, [...] advised that Rennard Davis, Stewart Albert, Jerry Rubin and John Lennon are heavy users of narcotics. Source advised that Rubin and Davis are apparently at odds with Lennon due to his excessive use of drugs, which are referred to in the vernacular as "downers." Source advised that Lennon appears to be radically orientated, however he does not give the impression he is a true revolutionist since he is constantly under the influence of narcotics.

Jerry Rubin is a convicted defendent of the so-called Conspiracy Seven Trial, Chicago, Illinois, in the period September 1969 through February 1970, involving those persons earlier indicted for violation of the Federal Anti-Riot Statute.

On March 14, 1972, Mr. Vincent Schiano, Chief Trial Attorney, INS, New York City, advised that Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono on March 6, 1972 were served with an INS order to show cause as to why they should not be deported from the United States as over-stayed visitors. Mr. Schiano advised that Lennon and his wife are scheduled to appear at INS, New York City on March 16, 1972 to answer the show cause order.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Walrus Was Paul: The Great Beatle Death Clues

by R. Gary Patterson
With an introduction by Jay Fox, host of ABC Radio's Beatle Archives and Fab Four Fridays

"A must read for any fan of the Fab Four." --Jay Fox, ABC Fab Four Fridays


It was the late 1960s, the Beatles hadn't toured since 1966, and some truly bizarre indications began appearing, pointing to the unthinkable: Paul McCartney had been killed in a car accident and replaced by a look-alike. The Walrus Was Paul unearths every single clue from one of rock 'n' roll's most enduring puzzles and takes you on a magical mystery tour of baffling, yet fascinating, hints for solving this mystery.

Test your "Paul is dead" trivia knowledge. Did you find and answer the following clues on the front cover?

* To what song does the title, The Walrus Was Paul, refer?
"I Am the Walrus," which appeared on the clue-filled album Magical Mystery Tour.

* There is an egg in Paul's eye. Why?
In the song "I Am the Walrus," John Lennon sings, "I am the eggman . . . I am the walrus"--and later, in the song "Glass Onion," we find out that, in fact, "the walrus was Paul."

* To what album (and richest source of "Paul is dead" clues) do the red, Victorian-style design elements on the front refer?
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

* Why is the image of Paul McCartney on the cover blurry? Are there distinguishing characteristics that might lead you to conclude something is awry?
Many photographs of Paul in these questionable years were blurry, and Paul had a mustache, which allegedly concealed the fact that this was not Paul and the plastic-surgery scars were being hidden from his curious public.

* The anagram on the bottom of the cover refers to a Greek island where John Lennon had what planned?
The island Leso is the "hidden Greek island" on which John Lennon planned to bury Paul, and it is spelled out as "Be at Leso" on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

"The Walrus Was Paul is loaded . . . [with] mind-blowing stuff. . . . The best Beatle book yet!" --Jim Zippo, ABC Radio Network

R. Gary Patterson teaches high school literature and lives with his wife, Delores, in Oliver Springs, Tennessee.

November 27, 1966 - Not Only... But Also

Taped: Sunday 27 November 1966
Aired: Monday 26 December 1966

John Lennon made a filmed appearance in Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's BBC Television show Not Only . . . But Also in which he played a uniformed nightclub doorman. The filmed location for the club was the underground gentlemen's lavatory on Broadwick Street, near Berwick Street market, Soho. John was shown wearing his new "granny" glasses.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Turn Me On, Dead Man: The Beatles and the "Paul-Is-Dead" Hoax

by Andru J. Reeve

In the fall of 1969, the story seemed to come out of nowhere. Was Beatle Paul McCartney dead?

This was no ordinary death rumor. It was believed that McCartney had died years earlier and been replaced by a lookalike. What's more, the surviving Beatles were thought to have planted "clues" to his death on their record albums.

"Paul-Is-Dead" mania swept the United States as people attempted to solve the riddle of Paul's alleged demise.

How did all of this happen? Beatles scholar and journalist Andru J Reeve has gotten to the bottom of this intrigue. After years of research, Reeve has assembled TURN ME ON, DEAD MAN to tell the strangest tale ever in the history of rock 'n' roll.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Beatles Swan Song: "She Loves You" & Other Records

Compiled by Bruce Spizer
Foreword by Perry Cox

This book is the sixth and final installment of Bruce Spizer's critically accliamed books on the Beatles American records. It details the stories behind the records released by Swan, United Artists, Decca, MGM, Atco and Polydor, each who ingeniously marketed their limited number of Beatles recordings to victims of Beatlemania. It also covers the theme albums issued by Capitol Records in the 70s and 80s such as Rock 'N' Roll Music and Love Songs, as well as The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl, Rarities and the unreleased Sessions LP.

Bruce Spizer is considered the world's leading expert on the Beatles in America. In addition to writing seven books on the Beatles, he has written numerous articles on the group and has appeared several times on national (CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS) and local TV programs as well as radio shows. He is a frequent guest speaker at Beatles conventions throughout America.

"The Beatles Swan Song, the final installment in Spizer's masterpiece series of books on The Beatles' American records, is as entertaining as it is essential. Historians, casual fans and serious collectors alike should add this impressive volume to their personal Beatles library without hesitation." --Goldmine magazine, April 13, 2007

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