Saturday, December 20, 2008

Eight Days a Week: Inside The Beatles' Final World Tour

by Robert Whitaker & Marcus Hearn

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.

November 20 & 29, 1964 - Not Only... But Also

Taped: 20 & 29 November 1964
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

Sundays with Sullivan: How the Ed Sullivan Show Brought Elvis, the Beatles, and Culture to America

By Bernie Ilson

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

The Complete and Unabridged Beatles New York Press Conference!

Ever been to a press conference? A real press conference with, say, Paul McCartney and John Lennon of the Beatles? You haven't? Well, then, grab your note book, pen, and camera, and come along with us for the super-exclusive of the decade!

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?

Paul: No.

John: Me!

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--

John: No.

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?

Q: No.

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?

Paul: No.

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!

(More laughter.)

Q: Are the Beatles still meditating?

John: Yeah.

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?

Paul: No.

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?

Q: Radio.

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.

Paul: Relaxed.

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?

John: Yes.

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!?!

Q: High!

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.

(Everyone laughs.)

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

April 26, 1964 - Big Beat '64

Taped: Sunday 26 April 1964
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!: Conversations with the Power Pop Elite

by Ken Sharp & Doug Sulpy

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

The 910's Guide to the Beatles' Outtakes

by Doug Sulpy

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

John Lennon on Bob Dylan - Part 2

January 21, 1971

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.

March 1974

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.

February 1975

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 . . .

March 1975

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.

December 15, 1968 - Sunny Heights, Weybridge

Taped: Sunday 15 December 1968
Aired: Sunday 30 March 1969

Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster

by Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt

"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 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: Archival Back Issues, 1986-1988

by Doug Sulpy

"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.