Saturday, October 09, 2010

Paul McCartney on "A Day in the Life"

"There's been a story about a man who'd made the grade and there'd been a photograph of him sitting in his car. John said, 'I had to laugh.' He'd sort of blown his mind out in the car. He was just high on whatever he uses, say he was pissed in this big Bentley, sitting at the traffic lights. He's driving today, the chauffeur isn't there, and maybe he got high because of that. The lights have changed and he hasn't noticed that there's a crowd of housewives and they're all looking at him saying, 'Who's that? I've seen him in the papers' and they're not sure if he's from the House of Lords. He looks a bit like that with his homburg and white scarf and he's out of his screws.

"That's a bit of black comedy. The next bit was another song altogether but it just happened to fit. It was just me remembering what it was like to run up the road to catch a bus to school, having a smoke and going into class. We decided: 'Bugger this, we're going to write a turn-on song.' It was a reflection of my school days -- I would have a Woodbine then and somebody would speak and I would go into a dream.

"This was the only one in the album written as a deliberate provocation. A stick-that-in-your-pipe . . . But what we want is to turn you on to the truth rather than pot."

70th Anniversary of John Lennon Honored With Music Video From New Movie

The 70th anniversary of John Lennon's birth (October 9th) is being celebrated with multiple events worldwide - including concerts, exhibitions, CD reissues, film festivals, tribute recordings and "Nowhere Boy" - the new Weinstein Company movie opening Friday October 8th, that relates the story of his childhood and that has been endorsed by those closest to Lennon including Yoko Ono and Lennon's closest boyhood pals.

Now comes a brand-new music video based on a re-creation of the first recording made by Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison in 1958 - and on footage from the "Nowhere Boy" movie - to tell the story of Lennon's formation of the band that became the Beatles.

The song is "In Spite Of All The Danger" - a song written by Paul McCartney & George Harrison in 1958 and recorded by them with John Lennon on lead vocals. The recording was the first time the future Beatles ever entered a recording studio. They recorded the song at a private Liverpool recording studio in the summer of 1958.

The recording used for the song features the performance recorded for the movie soundtrack by star Aaron Johnson ("Kick-Ass") who portrays the young Lennon in the film.

The music video - directed by Beatles scholar Martin Lewis (who in 2002 produced the DVD Edition of "A Hard Day's Night") draws on footage from the "Nowhere Boy" movie (directed by Sam Taylor-Wood) to tell the story of the musical evolution of John Lennon from passive young Elvis fan to nascent guitarist to founder of the Quarrymen and future Beatles. All the key scenes in the development of the group are depicted. The first meeting of John and Paul McCartney (the Big Bang that led to the Beatles), Paul's impromptu audition for John, George's audition for John on the top of a bus, the first gigs that Paul and George played with John and many more. Like the movie, the story of the music video ends in August 1960 - the point at which Lennon changes his band's name from the Quarrymen to the Beatles and the group leaves Liverpool to play in Hamburg - the boot-camp that toughens up the band and hones their skills in preparation for their conquering of the world.

Says Lewis: "The story of the birth of the Beatles is one of the most improbable, yet totally true tales in history. One young boy from a provincial city who is wrestling with the consequences of a complex family life develops the drive and determination to escape his background. Music becomes his rock 'n' roll ticket-to-ride out of the nowhere of post-war Liverpool. The film 'Nowhere Boy' tells that story in an authentic and poignant way. It has been an immense pleasure and honor to fashion this music video telling a capsule version of the inspiring odyssey of John Lennon's early years from such great original material."

For more information on the film, please visit

Friday, October 08, 2010

John Lennon on Meeting Allen Klein

"I met him at The Rock 'N' Roll Circus, with John and Yoko performing together for the first time with a crazy violinist and Keith on bass and all that - always regret that - and I met him there. I didn't know what to make of him. We just shook hands . . ."

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Beatles at Shea Stadium

The Beatles at Shea Stadium is a fifty minute-long documentary of the Beatles' 1965 concert at Shea Stadium in New York, the highlight of the group's 1965 tour. The documentary was produced by Ed Sullivan (under his Sullivan Productions, Inc. banner), NEMS Enterprises Ltd. (which owns the 1965 copyright), and the Beatles company Subafilms Ltd. The project utilized twelve cameras to capture the mayhem and mass hysteria that was Beatlemania in America in 1965. The documentary first aired on the BBC on May 1, 1966. It aired in the United States on ABC on January 10, 1967.


The film not only captures the concert, but also the events leading up to the concert, including the Beatles' helicopter ride from Manhattan to Flushing Meadows, their preparation in the dressing room (i.e. the visiting baseball team's locker) at Shea Stadium, and clips from the show's other acts, including Sounds Incorporated. Television host Ed Sullivan introduces the band when they finally take the stage.

The film is not a completely candid concert film, however, as overdubs were recorded by the Beatles in London in January 1966 to cover audio problems throughout the concert recording. Although the film has not been officially available on DVD or VHS, it has been widely available on the bootleg circuit for decades.

The group's performance of the song "Act Naturally" shows the visually live rendition from the Shea Stadium show, synced with the 1965 studio recording from the British "Help!" album and American "Yesterday" single.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Paul McCartney on John Lennon and Trepanning

"Linda and me came over for dinner once and John said, 'You fancy getting the trepanning thing done?' I said, 'Well, what is it?' and he said, 'Well, you kind of have a hole bored into your skull and it relieves the pressure.' We're sitting at dinner and this is seriously being offered! Now, this wasn't a joke, this was like, Let's go next week, we know a guy who can do it and maybe we can do it all together. So I said, 'Look, you go and have it done, and if it works, great. Tell us about it and we'll all have it.' But I'm afraid I've always been a bit cynical about stuff like that -- thank God! -- because I think that there's so much crap that you've got to be careful of. But John was more open to things like that."
-October 1986

Monday, October 04, 2010

Geoff Emerick on Revolver and the Use of Automatic Double Tracking (ADT)

"Around the time of Revolver we first tried ADT, automatic double tracking, which gave Lennon his sound on some things. We also tried altering the speed of the tape machine and making it sort of phasey. We used to do that on guitars, as well. In those days it was the first time anyone had heard of doing that. We were sort of pioneering in different ways."

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Ringo Starr on the Beatles Break-Up

"Yoko's taken a lot of shit, her and Linda; but the Beatles break-up wasn't their fault. It was just that suddenly we were all thirty and married and changed. We couldn't carry on that life any more."