Saturday, May 23, 2009

July 30, 1968 - Music!

Taped: Tuesday 30 July 1968
Released: Sunday 12 October 1969

At Abbey Road, more work was done preparing 'Hey Jude' for final recording which was to take place in an independent studio. The Beatles were filmed at work by James Archibald for a documentary film intended for cinematic exhibition called Music!

Outtake of the Week: "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (Take 2)

The sitar-laden take #2 of "This Bird Has Flown," as it was then titled.

Next installment: May 30

"Don't Bother Me" Lyrics

by George Harrison

Original Manuscript (1963)

Since she's been gone I want no-one to talk to me
It's not the same - but I'm to blame, it's plan to see
So - go away leave me alone don't bother me.

I can't believe that she would leave me on my own.
It's just not right when every night I'm all alone
I've got no time for you right now don't bother me.

I know I'll never be the same
If I don't get her back again.
Because I know she'll always be
The only girl for me.

But 'till she's here please don't come near just stay away
I'll let you know when she's come home - until that day
Don't come around, leave me alone don't bother me -
Don't bother me (please).

As Released by the Beatles (1963)

Since she's been gone
I want no one to talk to me
It's not the same
But I'm to blame
It's plan to see
So go away
Leave me alone
Don't bother me

I can't believe
That she would leave me on my own
It's just not right
When every night I'm all alone

I've got no time for you right now
Don't bother me

I know I'll never be the same
If I don't get her back again
Because I know she'll always be
The only girl for me

But till she's here
Please don't come near
Just stay away

I'll let you know
When she's come home
Until that day
Don't come around
Leave me alone
Don't bother me

I've got no time for you right now
Don't bother me

I know I'll never be the same
If I don't get her back again
Because I know she'll always be
The only girl for me

But till she's here
Please don't come near
Just stay away

I'll let you know
When she's come home
Until that day
Don't come around
Leave me alone
Don't bother me

Don't bother me
Don't bother me
Don't bother me
Don't bother me.

The Searchers and Me

by Frank Allen

[Allen describes a party hosted by Brian Epstein in August 1964, which included guests Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Judy Garland, Dusty Springfield, Jane Asher, Cilla Black, Alma Cogan, Tommy Steele and Lionel Bart:]

There was almost a fracas when Tommy Cooper perceived that John Lennon, always the caustic wit and never one to consider someone’s feelings before throwing a sarcastic line their way, had been offensive to his wife.

The comedian rose and confronted the rock star. Cooper was an awesome size, a tall, bulky man with the face of a boxer and the looks that suggested that in a fight he was unlikely to emerge the loser.

Luckily for Lennon, who was known to have played the hard man, usually when he knew he was dealing with a weaker opponent, an aide quickly intervened.

The Beatle was relieved to have someone save face on his behalf.

John was the guy who put mild-mannered Cavern Club DJ Bob Wooller in hospital for daring to suggest that he, Lennon, might have indulged in a sexual liaison with Brian Epstein, but would ever have dared to front up to a real Liverpool hard case.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Beatle People: Allan Williams

Allan Williams was born in Bootle, Liverpool, and is a former businessman and promoter of Welsh descent. He was the original manager (more precisely, booking agent) of The Beatles. He personally took the young band to Hamburg, Germany, where they gained the vital show business experience that led to their emergence on the world stage.

In 1957 Williams leased a former watch-repair shop at 21 Slater Street, Liverpool, which he converted into a coffee bar. He named the venue the Jacaranda, after an exotic species of ornamental flowering tree, jacaranda mimosifolia. The Jac (as it became known) opened in September 1958. The Beatles were frequent customers, with John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe attending Liverpool Art College nearby, and Paul McCartney at Liverpool Institute adjacent to the college. Asking for the chance to play the club, Williams instead put them to work redecorating, with Lennon and Sutcliffe painting a mural for the Ladies room. Finally, the Beatles began playing at the Jac on occasion. Between May and August 1960, Williams secured a number of bookings for the group at other places. One was backing a local stripper, when she discovered the Beatles weren't familiar with the "Gypsy Fire Dance," they instead backed her with a rendition of the Harry Lime theme tune.

In August 1960, Pete Best joining as the group's new drummer, Williams and the Beatles left Liverpool in a small, crowded van which took them to Hamburg for the first time. He continued to get them bookings, until he fell out with the Beatles in 1961, over the payment of his ten per cent commission in a later trip to Hamburg. Williams had no further business dealings with the group, and was especially disappointed that Sutcliffe, whom he was especially fond of, was the one who told him the band wouldn't pay. In 1962, before Brian Epstein became the band's manager, he contacted Williams to make sure there were no remaining contractual ties. There were none, but Williams forthrightly told Epstein "Don't touch them with a fucking bargepole; they will let you down," as he related later.

Years later, Williams and the Beatles spoke fondly of one another, with Paul McCartney describing Williams in The Beatles Anthology as "a great guy." In the 1970s, Williams played a crucial role in producing the first Beatles conventions to be staged in Liverpool and he is a perennial VIP guest at the city's annual Beatle Week Festivals. He published a memoir, The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away, in 1977, which John Lennon gave his endorsement. Recovering a tape of a latter-day Beatles show in Hamburg (performing on New Year's Eve of 1962-63), he saw the tape released (also in 1977) as Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962.

Williams carries on today speaking at Beatles conventions from Liverpool to Singapore. The Jacaranda reopened under new management in the mid-1990s, and continues to thrive as a Liverpool hotspot with occasional live music.

The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away is also the title of a musical by Irish playwright Ronan Wilmot, which was performed at the New Theatre in Dublin in 2002.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Photos of Pattie Boyd - Part 2

Beatle People: Stuart Sutcliffe

Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe (23 June 1940 – 10 April 1962) was a painter, and the original bassist of The Beatles for eighteen months (January 1960 - June 1961). Sutcliffe earned praise for his paintings, which mostly explored a style related to Abstract Expressionism. Sutcliffe is one of the group of people sometimes referred to as "the fifth Beatle."

Sutcliffe and John Lennon are credited with coming up with the name for the Beatles, as they both liked Buddy Holly's band, the Crickets. Sutcliffe played with the Beatles in Hamburg, where he met photographer Astrid Kirchherr, to whom he was later engaged. He enrolled in the Hamburg College of Art after leaving The Beatles, and studied under future pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi.

Sutcliffe suffered from debilitating headaches while he was studying in Hamburg, and although tests were carried out by German doctors, no reason could be found for his worsening condition. He died of a brain haemorrhage on the way to the hospital on April 10, 1962, with Kirchherr sitting alongside him in the ambulance.

Early years

Sutcliffe's father, Charles Sutcliffe, was a naval officer, who was often at sea during his son's early years. His mother, Millie, was a schoolteacher. Sutcliffe had two sisters: Pauline and Joyce.

Sutcliffe was born at the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion Hospital, in Edinburgh, Scotland, brought up at 37 Aigburth Drive in Liverpool, and attended the Prescot Grammar School. When Sutcliffe's father did return home on leave, he invited his son and art college classmate, Rod Murray (Sutcliffe's room-mate and best friend) for a "real good booze-up" and slipped £10 into Sutcliffe's pocket before disappearing for another six months. During his first year at the Liverpool College of Art Sutcliffe worked as a bin man on the Liverpool Corporation waste collection trucks. Lennon was introduced to Sutcliffe by Bill Harry, a mutual friend, when they were all studying at Liverpool College of Art, and according to Lennon, Sutcliffe had a "marvellous art portfolio", and was a seriously talented painter who was one of the "stars" of the school. Paul McCartney said that he was jealous of Sutcliffe's relationship with Lennon, as he had to take a "back seat" to Sutcliffe.

Sutcliffe lived at 9 Percy Street with fellow art student and best friend, Rod Murray, before being evicted and moving to Hillary Mansions at 3 Gambier Terrace, with fellow another art student, Margaret Chapman, who competed with Sutcliffe for the best painter spot in classes. The flat was opposite the new Anglican Cathedral in the run-down area of Liverpool 8, with bare lightbulbs and a mattress on the floor in the corner. Lennon moved in with Sutcliffe in early 1960. Sutcliffe and his flatmates painted the rooms yellow and black, which his landlady did not appreciate. On another occasion the tenants, needing to keep warm, burned the landlady's furniture in the flat.

After talking to Sutcliffe one night at The Casbah Coffee Club, owned by Pete Best's mother, Mona Best, Lennon and McCartney persuaded Sutcliffe to buy an oversized (for tiny Stuart) Höfner President 500/5 model bass guitar on hire purchase from Frank Hessey's Music Shop, with some of the money he had earned in the John Moores art exhibition as a downpayment.

Sutcliffe was somewhat versed in music; he had sung in the local church choir in Huyton, his mother had insisted on piano lessons for him since the age of nine, he had played bugle in the Air Training Corps, and his father had taught him a few chords on the guitar. In May 1960, Sutcliffe joined Lennon, McCartney and Harrison (then known as The Silver Beetles). Sutcliffe's fingers would often blister during long rehearsals, as he had never played long enough for his fingers to become calloused, although he had previously played acoustic guitar. Sutcliffe started acting as a booking agent for the group, and they often used his Gambier Terrace flat as a rehearsal room.

In July 1960, the British Sunday newspaper The People ran an article entitled, "The Beatnik Horror", which featured a photograph taken in the flat below Sutcliffe's, with a teenaged Lennon lying on the floor. Allan Williams had set up the photograph. He took over from Sutcliffe booking concerts for "The Silver Beetles", as they were then known, which was Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Sutcliffe. The Beatles' subsequent name-change came from an afternoon in the Renshaw Hall bar when Sutcliffe, Lennon, and Cynthia Powell thought up names similar to Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets, and came up with The Beatals. Lennon later changed the name to "The Beatles," because he thought it sounded French and suggested Le Beat, or Beat-less.

The Beatles and Hamburg

Sutcliffe's playing style was elementary, mostly sticking to root notes of chords. Bill Harry, an art school friend of Sutcliffe's and the group, and founder and editor of the Mersey Beat newspaper, complained to Sutcliffe that he should be concentrating on art and not music, as he thought that Sutcliffe was a competent but not brilliant bassist. While Sutcliffe is often described in Beatles biographies as appearing very uncomfortable onstage, and as often playing with his back to the audience, Pete Best denies this, recalling Sutcliffe as usually good-natured and "animated" before an audience. When The Beatles auditioned for Larry Parnes at the Wyvern Club, Seel Street, Liverpool, Williams stated that Parnes would have taken the group as the backing band for Billy Fury, but as Sutcliffe turned his back to Parnes throughout the audition — because, as Williams believed, Sutcliffe couldn't play very well — Parnes said that he would only employ the group if they got rid of Sutcliffe. Harry has said that the story is not true, as Parnes' only concern was that the group had no permanent drummer.

McCartney has said that Sutcliffe was a typical art student, with bad skin and pimples, although in Hamburg, his stature grew after he began wearing dark Ray-Ban style clip-on flip-up sunglasses (like baseball players at the time used) and tight trousers. Sutcliffe's high spot was singing "Love Me Tender," which drew more applause than the other Beatles, and increased the friction between him and McCartney. Lennon also started to criticize Sutcliffe, and made jokes about Sutcliffe's size and playing. On 5 December 1960, George Harrison was sent back to England for being under-age. McCartney and Best were deported for attempted arson at the Bambi Kino, which left Lennon and Sutcliffe in Hamburg. Lennon took a train home, but as Sutcliffe had a cold he stayed in Hamburg. Sutcliffe later borrowed airfare money from Kirchherr in order to fly to Liverpool in early January 1961, though he returned to Hamburg, in March 1961, with the other Beatles.

About eight months after meeting fellow artist, Kirchherr, Sutcliffe decided to leave The Beatles and return to studying painting.

Stuart chose to spend his twenty-first (June 23 1961) and final birthday watching, rather than playing on, the My Bonnie recording sessions.

He later enrolled at the Hamburg College of Art under the tutelage of the pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi. He lent McCartney his bass until the latter could earn enough to buy a specially made smaller left-handed Hoffner bass guitar of his own in about June, 1961. Sutcliffe had asked McCartney (who is left-handed) not to change the strings around, so McCartney had to play it upside down. In 1967, The Beatles included a photo of Sutcliffe among those on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album (he appears at the extreme left, next to fellow artist Aubrey Beardsley).

Astrid Kirchherr

Kirchherr was raised by her widowed mother, Nielsa Kirchherr, in Eimsbütteler Strasse in the wealthy Hamburg suburb of Altona. Sutcliffe met Kirchherr in the Kaiserkeller club, where she went to watch The Beatles perform. After a photo session with them, Kirchherr invited the group to her mother's house for tea and showed them her bedroom, decorated in all black —- including the furniture -— with silver foil on the walls, and a large tree branch hanging from the ceiling. Sutcliffe began dating Kirchherr shortly thereafter.

Sutcliffe wrote to friends that he was infatuated with Kirchherr, and asked her friends which colors, films, books, and painters she liked. Pete Best commented that the beginning of their relationship was, "like one of those fairy stories." Kirchherr and Sutcliffe got engaged in November, 1960, and exchanged rings, as is the German custom. Sutcliffe wrote to his parents that he was engaged to Kirchherr, something they were shocked to learn, as they assumed he would give up his career as an artist. Kirchherr and Sutcliffe traveled to Liverpool in the summer of 1961, as Kirchherr wanted to meet Sutcliffe's family and to see his home city before their marriage.


Sutcliffe displayed artistic talent at an early age. Helen Anderson (a fellow student) remembered his early works as being very aggressive, with dark, moody colors, which was not the type of painting she expected from such a quiet student.

One of Sutcliffe's paintings was shown at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool as part of the John Moores exhibition from November 1959 until January 1960. After the exhibition, Moores bought Sutcliffe's canvas for £65, which was then equal to 6–7 weeks' wages for an average working man.

After meeting Kirchherr, Sutcliffe decided to leave The Beatles and enrolled at the Hamburg College of Art in June 1961, under the tutelage of Paolozzi, who later wrote a report stating that Sutcliffe was one of his "best students."

Sutcliffe's few surviving works reveal influence from the British and European abstract artists contemporary with the Abstract Expressionist movement in the United States. His earlier figurative work is reminiscent of the kitchen sink school, particularly of John Bratby, though Sutcliffe was producing abstract work by the end of the 1950s, including The Summer Painting, purchased by Moores. Rod Murray remembered that the painting was painted on a board, not a canvas, and had to be cut into two pieces (because of its size) and hinged. Murray added that only one of the pieces actually got to the exhibition (because they stopped of in a pub to celebrate) but sold nonetheless because Moores bought it for his son.

Sutcliffe's works bear some comparison with those of John Hoyland and Nicolas de Staël, though they are more lyrical. His later works are typically untitled, constructed from heavily impastoed slabs of pigment in the manner of de Staël (whom he learned about from Surrey born, Art College instructor, Nicky Horsfield), and overlaid with scratched or squeezed linear elements creating enclosed spaces. Hamburg Painting no. 2 was purchased by Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery and is one of a series entitled "Hamburg" in which the surface and color changes produced atmospheric energy. European artists (including Paolozzi) were influencing Sutcliffe at the time. The Walker Art Gallery has other works by Sutcliffe, which are "Self-portrait" (in charcoal) and "The Crucifixion."

Lennon later hung a pair of Sutcliffe's paintings in his house (Kenwood) in Weybridge. McCartney had a Paolozzi sculpture in his Cavendish Avenue home.


Stuart Sutcliffe collapsed in the middle of an art class in Hamburg. Kirchherr's mother had German doctors perform various tests, but they were unable to determine exactly what was causing the intense headaches from which he had been suffering. While living at the Kirchherrs' house in Hamburg, his condition grew steadily worse. After collapsing again, Sutcliffe was taken to a hospital by Kirchherr (who rode with him in the ambulance), but he died before reaching the hospital. The cause of death was cerebral paralysis, after bleeding in the right ventricle of his brain.

On 13 April 1962, Kirchherr met The Beatles at the Hamburg airport and told them that Sutcliffe had died from a brain haemorrhage a few days before. It has never been known precisely what caused the brain hemorrhage that took Sutcliffe's life. Some believe that the cause was an earlier head injury, having been either kicked in the head or thrown headfirst into a brick wall during a fight outside Lathom Hall after a performance in January 1961 (although Sutcliffe had been beaten up before). According to former manager Allan Williams, Lennon and Best went to Sutcliffe's aid, fighting off his attackers before dragging him to safety. Sutcliffe sustained a fractured skull in the fight, and Lennon broke his little finger.

Sutcliffe had refused medical attention at the time (and had not kept an X-ray appointment at the Sefton General Hospital). He saw a doctor only months later in Germany, when he began experiencing severe headaches and acute sensitivity to light. Kirchherr said later that some of the headaches left Sutcliffe temporarily blind. After Sutcliffe's death, Kirchherr wrote a letter to Millie Sutcliffe, apologizing for being too ill to attend his funeral in Liverpool and saying how much she and Lennon missed him:
Oh, Mum, he [Lennon] is in a terrible mood now, he just can't believe that darling Stuart never comes back. He just crying his eyes out ... John is marvellous to me, he says that he know Stuart so much and he love him so much that he can understand me.

Anthology 1

The Beatles' compilation album Anthology 1, consisting mostly of previously unreleased recordings from the band's early years, was released in 1995. Sutcliffe is pictured on the front cover, in the top right corner, as he was on the Sgt. Pepper album cover 28 years before. He is featured playing bass with the Beatles on three songs that the band recorded in 1960: "Hallelujah, I Love Her So", "You'll Be Mine", and "Cayenne."

Film portrayals

Sutcliffe's role in the Beatles' early career, as well as the factors that led him to leave the group, is dramatized in the film Backbeat (1994), in which he was portrayed by Stephen Dorff. He was also portrayed by David Wilkinson in the film Birth of the Beatles (1979) and by Lee Williams in In His Life: The John Lennon Story (2000).

Pauline Sutcliffe's memoir

In 2001, Sutcliffe's younger sister, Pauline (a former psychotherapist) published a memoir which included claims that Sutcliffe and Lennon had a homosexual relationship.

She also wrote that the cerebral haemorrhage that Sutcliffe died of was caused by an injury inflicted by Lennon in a jealous rage while in Hamburg (corroborated by the Lennons' Dakota neighbor (and the mother of Sean's playmate, Kaitlin), Marnie Hair, in Albert Goldman's Lives of Lennon book).

After Sutcliffe died doctors revealed he had an indent in his skull, which must have been the result of some kind of "trauma."

She claims that a few months before Sutcliffe's death, Lennon had viciously kicked Sutcliffe in the head in an unprovoked attack, as Lennon was bitterly resentful of Sutcliffe's affair with Kirchherr. The book received immense publicity. She moved to the United States in 2002, and settled in Wainscott, New York, and still owns most of Sutcliffe's art work and letters.

She said that she did not want to reveal what she believed until after the death of her mother, Millie.

Among the papers she presented was a letter from Sutcliffe to his mother discussing that both men and women were attracted to him:
“I'm waiting for my main meal of the day — beefsteak and mashed potatoes and a glass of milk — this costs 4 marks, every day. [I have just sung] and received the best applause of the night. Moments after I have finished singing, the people all look at me with sad wistful looks on their faces. Recently I've become very popular both with girls and homosexuals, who tell me I'm the sweetest, most beautiful boy. Imagine it, me, the one who has such a complex because I was small and thought I was ugly... It appears that people refer to me as the James Dean of Hamburg... I'm quite flattered.”

Pauline commented about the media reaction to the two claims in 2007: "I didn't throw out these two themes... They were extrapolated out by the media. I think I'm quite sophisticated, but, boy, was I naive."


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

June 6, 1968 - Release

Taped: Thursday 6 June 1968
Aired: Saturday 22 June 1968

John and Victor Spinetti were filmed for the BBC2 arts programme Release discussing The John Lennon Play: In His Own Write, directed by Victor Spinetti, which was due to open in London on the 18th.

Q: The boy hates a lot of things and, in a way, you could say you were attacking these things -- like, organized religion, and the way people teach you in school.

LENNON: I feel the same now, really, about organized religion, education, and all those things that everybody is still laughing at. But I mean, I expressed it that way then. I don't know how I'd express it now, you know. It'd be slightly different really. I've always sort of suspected that there was a God, even when I thought I was an atheist. But I believe it, so I am full of compassion, really, even still. I just hate things less strenuously than I did. I haven't got as big of a chip about it, because maybe I've escaped out of it a bit. I think our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. And I think that's what I sussed when I was sixteen and twelve, way down the line. But I expressed it differently all through my life. It's the same thing I'm expressing all the time. But now I can put it into that sentence that I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends, you know. If anybody can put on paper what our government, and the American government, and the Russian, Chinese... what they are all trying to do, and what they think they're doing, I'd be very pleased to know what they think they're doing. I think they're all insane. But I am liable to be put away as insane for expressing that, you know. That's what is insane about it. I mean, don't you agree?

Q: I do, actually.

LENNON: It's not just a bit strange. It's just insane, and nobody knows. Half the people watching this are going to be saying, 'What's he saying! What's he saying!' You know... That you are being run by people who are insane, and you don't know.

SPINETTI: We are living in insane times, aren't we, you know. We really are.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Holy Grail Recording #9 - Paul McCartney's Demo of "It's For You" (1964)

In this series, In The Life Of...The Beatles presents the top 10 unreleased recordings of the Beatles.

On June 3, 1964, the Beatles (without Ringo) recorded three demos of new songs that they were working on. Two of these recordings were eventually released on The Beatles Anthology 2, which included George's early composition "You Know What To Do" and John's "No Reply." Paul also recorded a demo of a new arrangement of "It's For You," intended for Cilla Black. The demo remains unreleased to this day.

Here's Cilla miming to her recording of the song as part of the television special The Music of Lennon & McCartney:

Next installment: May 26

"Blue Jay Way" Lyrics

by George Harrison

Original Manuscript, written on Robert Fitzpatrick Associates letterhead (1967)

There's a fog on Blue Jay Way upon L.A.
and my friends have lost their way.
We'll be over soon they said,
Now they've lost their way instead.
Please don't be long
or else I'll be asleep.

Well it only goes to show...
and I told them where to go
ask a policeman on the street
there's so many there to meet
please don't be long

Now it's past my bed I know
and I'd really like to go
soon will be the break of day
sitting here in Blue Jay Way
please don't be long.

When I see you at the door
I'll know your [sic] worth waiting for
for and the moment when you speak -
I know I'd wait here all week.

As Released by the Beatles (1967)

There's a fog upon LA
And my friends have lost their way
We'll be over soon they said
Now they've lost themselves instead.

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long or I may be asleep.

Well it only goes to show (only, only goes to show)
And I told them where to go.
Ask a policeman on the street
There's so many there to meet.

Please don't be long (don't be long)
Please don't you be very long (don't be long)
Please don't be long or I may be asleep.

Now it's past my bed I know (know)
And I'd really like to go (go)
Soon will be the break of day (day)
Sitting here in Blue Jay Way (way).

Please don't be long (don't be long)
Please don't you be very long (don't be long)
Please don't be long or I may be asleep.

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long.

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long (please don't be long).

Please don't be long
Please don't you be very long
Please don't be long.

Don't be long - don't be long
Don't belong, don't be long

Don't belong
Don't be long
Don't belong.

Beatle People: John Duff Lowe

John Duff Lowe (born April 1942, in West Derby, Liverpool, Lancashire) was a pianist from the middle-late 1950s. He was invited to play piano with The Quarrymen by Paul McCartney in 1958.

Lowe was in the band for two years, and he was there when the Quarrymen went to Percy Phillips' home studio in Liverpool to record a couple of songs for a vanity disc. The two tracks cut that day were "That'll Be the Day" and "In Spite of All the Danger." Lowe maintained possession of the tracks and, in 1981, sold the recordings to Paul McCartney. Its estimated value was around 12,000 pounds. McCartney had the record remastered and they appeared on The Beatles Anthology 1.

In 1994, John Lowe played again with The Quarrymen for the album Open for Engagements. Of the 1994 lineup, only Rod Davis (guitar) also played for The Quarrymen in the 1950s.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Beatle People: Nigel Whalley

Nigel Whalley (born Christopher Nigel Whalley, 30 June 1941, in Vale Road, Woolton, Liverpool, Lancashire) was originally the tea-chest bass player of The Quarrymen, afterwards he became manager of the band until 1958.

Early life

Whalley lived in Vale Road, close to John Lennon. The two were friends from the age of five.

Role in the Quarrymen

Lennon set up the Quarrymen in spring 1957. Whalley was originally one of the tea-chest bass players in the band, the other being Ivan Vaughan.

One night two Teddy Boys threatened to beat up the band and the Quarrymen fled, with Whalley leaving his tea-chest bass behind on the road.

After this event, Whalley became manager of the band, and Len Garry took over on tea-chest bass

Whalley also became an apprentice golf pro at this time, and he eventually become a golf pro at Wrotham Heath Golf Club in Borough Green, Kent, until he contracted TB sometime in 1958.

Review: Revolution take... your knickers off!

Label: His Master's Choice, HMC 006


After years of a dwindling Beatles outtakes supply comes this release, featuring one of the most interesting takes to surface perhaps ever. The full 11-minute "Revolution 1" has the familiar recording we all know (minus additional orchestration) plus several minutes of jamming, which eventually went on to form the basis for "Revolution 9." The title of the bootleg comes from John's talk at the start; the engineer announces "Revolution take..." and John replies "Take your knickers off and let's go!" The recording apparently runs off-speed and some enterprising folks have gone through the trouble of speed correcting it (it now runs 10:46). Disc 1 continues with more outtakes from 1968, less exciting than "Revolution 1," but still nice to have. Their variations are described below. The remainder of the two discs are filled with Beatles-related session tapes. The "Step Inside Love" Cilla Black session features Paul McCartney on guitar and disc 2 has Badfinger sessions for "Come And Get It" and "No Escaping Your Love," with Paul on piano and vocals. Definitely one to seek out; listen to some audio samples below:

Footage from the Cilla Black session (January 28, 1968):


1. Revolution #1 (RM 1) (11:32)
…Here for the first time in its full 10 minute+ glory…
2. Revolution (Single version, no piano) (3:26)
…from the initial session that the recording heard on this disc is taken, complete with cunt-in and no fade out…
3. Across the universe (Alternate mix take 8) (3:49)
…This version presented here, an alternate mix from take 8, contains various overdubs – some backwards – that were not used in the released version., together with pre-song banter and a full ending…
4. Dear Prudence (4:10)
…an alternate mono mix, complete with a post-song comment from John Lennon and other extraneous noises from the original master tape…
5. Julia (instrumental take 1+2) (4:38)
…a collection of John Lennon home recordings of his song Julia, in far better sound quality and from a longer tape source than has ever appeared before.
6. Julia (SI onto take 2) (3:03)
…a vocal track and a second guitar… The quality of this source tape is incredible…
7. Julia (SI onto take 2 2nd try) (4:13)
…a second try at overdubbing…
8. Step Inside Love (2:53)
9. Step Inside Love (4:37)
10. Step Inside Love (2:56)
11. Step Inside Love (4:16)
12. Step Inside Love (take 1) (3:23)
13. Step Inside Love (take 2) (3:04)
14. Step Inside Love (takes 3 & 4) (3:09)
15. Step Inside Love (chat) (2:28)

Total time: 61:56


1. Come And Get It (take 1) (2:29)
2. Come And Get It (takes 2 & 3) (1:11)
3. Come And Get It (take 4) (0:59)
4. Come And Get It (take 5) (2:15)
5. Come And Get It (take 6) (2:43)
6. Come And Get It (take 7) (0:47)
7. Come And Get It (take 8) (0:47)
8. Come And Get It (take 9) (1:10)
9. Come And Get It (take 10) (2:41)
10. Come And Get It (take 11) (0:27)
11. Come And Get It (take 12) (0:48)
12. Come And Get It (take 13) (2:42)
13. Come And Get It (take 14) (2:30)
14. Come And Get It (take 15) (2:23)
15. Come And Get It (take 16) (0:35)
16. Come And Get It (take 17) (0:51)
17. Come And Get It (take 18) (2:29)
18. Come And Get It (takes 19 & 20) (2:41)
19. Come And Get It (take 21) (2:32)
20. Come And Get It (takes 22-25) (2:37)
21. Come And Get It (take 26) (2:24)
22. No Escaping Your Love (take 1) (2:20)
23. No Escaping Your Love (takes 2 & 3) (2:23)
24. No Escaping Your Love (take 4) (2:25)
25. No Escaping Your Love (take 5) (1:22)
26. No Escaping Your Love (take 6) (2:16)
27. No Escaping Your Love (take 7) (2:19)
28. No Escaping Your Love (take 8) (2:18)
29. No Escaping Your Love (take 9) (1:22)
30. No Escaping Your Love (take 10) (2:19)
31. No Escaping Your Love (take 11) (2:18)

Total time: 59:22

The Quarrymen - 58 to 62

Label: Middle Record Company, QMCD593
Year: 1993

1. Hallelujah I Love Her So (2:22)
2. One After 909 (2:29)
3. I'll Always Be In Love With You (2:24)
4. You'll Be Mine (1:45)
5. Matchbox (1:02)
6. Wildcat (2:31)
7. Some Days (1:36)
8. Looking Glass (2:26)
9. I'll Follow The Sun (1:48)
10. One After 909 (1:31)
11. Well Darling (3:23)
12. You Must Write Every Day (2:35)
13. Movin' And Groovin' (2:20)
14. That's When Your Heartaches Begin (1:16)
15. Hello Little Girl (1:56)
16. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise (1:30)
17. That'll Be The Day (1:04)
18. Instrumental Jam 1 (7:44)
19. Instrumental Jam 2 (7:56)
20. Instrumental Jam 3 (5:53)
21. I Saw Her Standing There (3:08)
22. One After 909 (3:12)
23. One After 909 (3:17)
24. Catswalk (1:23)
25. Catswalk (1:23)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

April 18, 1975 - The Old Grey Whistle Test

Aired: Friday 18 April 1975

In preparation for his new series of The Old Grey Whistle Test for BBC2, Bob Harris and its producer Michael Appleton travel to America to conduct various interviews with contemporary rock and pop stars, one of whom is John at his Dakota apartment. For the first day, after being given a box of Chocolate Olivers (part of the deal for doing the show), he gives a fascinating interview on all manner of subjects. These include living in New York, the recording studios there, missing England, the recording of Sgt. Pepper and the putting together of a TV show around a new album. Harris asks John about the green card situation.

John: "Well, the situation is that I'm still appealing. Like every now and then they'll say, "You've got thirty days to get out', and my lawyer will appeal and we'll go to another court, or something like that. It'll just go on forever."

Bob: "Do you think they are kind of picking on you?"

John: "Oh yeah, they picked on me. I'm telling you, when it first started I was followed in a car and the phone was tapped. Now we lost the phone tapping case, because how do you prove that your phone was tapped? At that time it was pre-Watergate, so you can imagine! It was: 'John Lennon says his phone was tapped and there were men following him in a car.' I went on a TV show here, a talk show, and I said that this was happening to me, and it stopped the next day. I think they wanted me to know to scare me. And I was scared! Paranoid! People thought I was crazy then. They do anyway! But I mean more so, you know? 'Lennon, you're a big-headed little maniac. Who's going to follow you around?' Well, what do they want? That's what I'm saying. What do they want? I'm not going to cause them any problems."

Bob: "Presumably, when the green card comes through, we will see you in England."

John: "Oh you bet! Of course! I've got family in England. I've got a child who has to keep traveling over. Hello Julian. I've got my Aunty Mimi. Hello Mimi! And all my other relatives, who are furious with me, but I won't tell you why. But I'll tell you Mimi isn't."

Bob: "The inevitable question. Are they..."

John (interrupting): "Are they ever going to get back together again?"

Bob: "Yeah. But first of all, is there any possibility? But secondly, more important, do you think it's a good idea?"

John: "Well, that's another point altogether, whether it would be a good idea or not. You see it is strange, because at one point, when they were asking me, I was saying, 'No, never. What the hell. Go back? Not me?' And then came the period when I thought, 'Well, why not? If we felt like making a record or doing something.' Everybody always envisaged the stage show, but to me, if we worked together... studio again, you know. The stage show is something else. If we'd got something to say in the studio, okay. Now, when I'm saying that I am keen to do it, I turn the paper and George is saying: 'Not me!' Right? It's never got to the position where each one of us wants to do it at the same time. I think that over the period we've been apart, we've all thought, 'Oh that would be nice. That wouldn't be bad.' And the other question is: 'Would it be worth it?' But that is answered by if we wanted to do it. If we wanted to do it, then it would be worth it. If we got in the studio together and we thought we turned each other on again, then it would be worth it, again. And sod the critics, you know. They've got nothing to do with it. The music is the music. If we made a piece that we thought was worthwhile, it goes out. But it's such a pie in the sky, you know. I don't care either way. If someone wants to pull it together, I'll go along. I'm not in the mood to pull it together that's for sure!"

"Baby's in Black" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Original Manuscript

Oh she thinks of him
and so she dresses in black
but though he'll never come back
she's dressed in black

Oh dear what can I do
baby's in black, I'm feeling blue
Tell me, oh, what can I do?

Oh I think of her,
but she thinks only of him
and though it's only a whim
she thinks of him

Oh how long will it take
till she sees the mistake
she has made
- - oh what can I do?

As Released by the Beatles (1964)

Oh dear, what can I do?
Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue
Tell me, oh what can I do?

She thinks of him and so she dresses in black
And though he'll never come back
She's dressed in black.

Oh dear, what can I do?
Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue
Tell me, oh what can I do?

I think of her
But she thinks only of him
And though it's only a whim
She thinks of him.

Oh how long will it take
Till she sees the mistake she has made?

Dear what can I do?
Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue
Tell me oh what can I do?

Oh how long will it take
Till she sees the mistake she has made?

Dear what can I do?
Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue
Tell me oh what can I do?

She thinks of him and so she dresses in black
And/But though he'll never come back
She's dressed in black.

Oh dear, what can I do?
Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue
Tell me oh what can I do?