Saturday, January 03, 2009

Election Year Strategy Information Center (EYSIC)

FBI Current Intelligence Analysis

Volume II, Number 3

February 11, 1972

New "New Left" Group Formed

Operating under the cumbersome title of Election Year Strategy Information Center is a new organization which has been formed to direct New Left protest activities during the 1972 election year, with these efforts geared to culminate in massive demonstrations at the Republic National Convention in San Diego in August. Before finally settling on this name, EYSIC was known both as the Allamuchy Tribe and the International News Service, names which some members of the group still occasionally use. Organizers of this band of activists are seasoned veterans of protest: Rennie Davis, Jerry Rubin, Stewart Albert, and Jay Craven. (CONFIDENTIAL)

Finances do not seem to be an immediate problem for EYSIC since John Lennon, formerly with The Beatles musical group, has reportedly contributed $75,000 to this embryonic organization. Lennon's money and name have placed him in a position of considerable influence in EYSIC--no key planning sessions are being held without Lennon (pictured at left). Lennon, a British subject, has also taken steps to acquire American citizenship. (CONFIDENTIAL)

EYSIC is headquartered in New York City in space rented in a warehouse on Hudson Street. Plans are being generated there to get EYSIC members to appear at major primary elections in 1972 to confront the candidates with the "New Left message" and to additionally encourage individuals to travel to San Diego to demonstrate in August against the Republican Party. (CONFIDENTIAL)

Friday, January 02, 2009

December 2, 1969 - Man of the Decade

Taped: Tuesday 2 December 1969
Aired: Tuesday 30 December 1969

John was interviewed by anthropologist Desmond Morris, best known for his BBC Children's Television programme Zoo Time, for a programme called Man Of The Decade. ATV had asked Alistair Cooke, Mary McCarthy and Morris to choose the Man of the Decade. Cooke chose JFK, McCarthy chose Ho Chi Minh and Morris went for John. The 20-minute section devoted to John also used archive footage, chosen by John.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Concert For George

Edited by Olivia Harrison & Brian Roylance
Introduction by Paul Theroux

The Concert For George brought together some of the world's finest performers for one unprecedented night of celebration. Rock stars, comedians and classical musicians in both the Indian and European tradition all checked their egos at the door and took to the stage of The Albert Hall in perfect harmony, united by one thing: a love for their friend George Harrison whose earthly life had come to an end exactly one year before.

Rehearsals for the show had begun three weeks before, under the musical direction of Eric Clapton. With Olivia and Dhani in attendance from day one, a decision was made to split the show roughly in two. The first half - under the direction of his friend and mentor Ravi Shankar - would consist of the classical Indian music George so loved. The second would be dominated by George's own work. A 'house band' consisting of the likes of Eric, Jeff Lynne, Billy Preston, Gary Brooker, Andy Fairweather Low and Dhani Harrison were gradually joined by more of George's friends including Joe Brown, Jools Holland, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. As they familiarised themselves with George's often complex songs, so they found a kind of healing, even a closeness to their departed friend. In an adjacent room, Ravi Shankar composed as his orchestra rehearsed, fine-tuning his eulogy with his daughter Anoushka at his side, conducting. Gradually, East and West were brought together and memory sparked memory. Each had a story to tell and each story was like a different little piece of the George they knew. By the time everyone took the stage on November 29th, 2002, George Harrison was manifest in all their hearts.

This remarkable book follows that story from the rehearsals, the soundchecks, to the stage and beyond. It's told in 34,000 words from the mouths of those who were there, and who knew George. Most of the 450 photographs have never before been seen and include images of George throughout his life.

Concert for George is more than the story of one concert however. Eric Clapton talks about George's contrariness while Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Ringo Starr reveal a quiet, social recluse who loved company and couldn't shut up. Sam Brown remembers his ruthless honesty and compassion, Klaus Voorman his desperate anger at the state of the planet and Ravi Shankar his dedication to meditation and the sitar. Tom Petty recalls the time he spent as a Traveling Wilbury, along with Jeff Lynne who is just one of many to comment on George's unusual songwriting. Tom Hanks and Andy Fairweather Low tell of high-speed rides in 'The Rocket' and Jim Capaldi and Terry Gilliam remember George's love of laughter. Most poignantly, Olivia and Dhani Harrison recall a husband and a father.

Concert for George is an intimate blend of laughter and tears; a personal insight into one of the Twentieth century's best-loved songwriters.


'George once said to me, "If we'd known we were going to be The Beatles, we'd have tried harder."' Eric Idle

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Golden Dreams

Photographs by Astrid Kirchherr and Max Scheler
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

August 23, 1964 - Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

Taped: Sunday 23 August 1964

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.

Liverpool Days


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

Hamburg Days

The untold story, with unseen imagery by Astrid Kirchherr & Klaus Voormann
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."
George Harrison

"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 Voormann

"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!"
Paul McCartney

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

The Beatles: Press Reports, 1961-1970

by W. Fraser Sandercombe

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.