Saturday, December 11, 2010

Paul McCartney on "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"

"This epitomises the downfalls in life. Just when everything is going smoothly, 'bang bang,' down comes Maxwell's silver hammer and ruins everything."

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Beatles Anthology - Episode Six

Episode Six (July '66 to June '67) - 1:10:49

"I should have said television is more popular than Jesus; then I might have got away with it." - John Lennon

1. Trouble in the Philippines[8:35]
* Help! - Title song played at the beginning of each episode.
* The Word
2. “Eleanor Rigby” [9:25]
* Eleanor Rigby - Solo performance of Paul McCartney segueing into the performance by The Beatles, ending with the solo performance.
* Footage of the Brian Epstein Press Conference at New York on 6 August, 1966 regarding an early 1966 interview that John Lennon gave to the Evening Standard
* Footage from the Beatles' Press Conference at Chicago on 11 August, 1966 where John Lennon talks on the Bigger than Jesus controversy.
* I'm Only Sleeping
3. Touring Takes It Toll [2:35]
4. The Last Concert – San Francisco, 29 August 1966 [4:52]
* For No One played over the footage from the Concert.
5. Individual Directions [5:44]
* Footage from the movie How I Won the War directed by Dick Lester showing John Lennon acting.
* Footage showing Ringo Starr hanging around with John Lennon in Spain during the shooting of How I Won the War.
* Footage of the six week visit of India by George Harrison.
* Footage from the film The Family Way where Paul McCartney wrote the film score teaming up with George Martin which eventually won the Ivor Novello Award for the Best Film Song for Love in the Open Air.
o Music from The Family Way (McCartney) - Performed by The Tudor Minstrels
o Love in the Open Air (McCartney-Martin) - Performed by The Tudor Minstrels
6. The Making of “Strawberry Fields Forever” [5:50]
* Strawberry Fields Forever
* Release Me (Miller-Williams-Yount) – Performed by Engelbert Humperdinck
7. “Penny Lane” [5:17]
* Penny Lane
8. “Sgt. Pepper's” [5:35]
* Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
* With a Little Help from My Friends
* Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
* Within You Without You (Instrumental) (Harrison)
9. “A Day in the Life” [10:08]
* A Day in the Life
* Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
10. Reaction to “Sgt. Pepper's” [3:07]
* Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – Footage showing live performance by Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31, 1970.
11. Drugs Reflect The Times [4:38]
12. “Baby You’re A Rich Man” [5:03]
* Baby You're a Rich Man
* Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 1) - Played while showing the Credits.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Paul McCartney's Statement on the Death of John Lennon

"I have hidden myself in my work today [December 9, 1980]. But it keeps flashing into my mind. I feel shattered, angry, and very, very sad. It's just ridiculous. He was pretty rude about me sometimes, but I secretly admired him for it and I always managed to stay in touch with him. There was no question that we weren't friends -- I really loved the guy.

"I think that what has happened will in years to come make people realise that John was an international statesman. He often looked a loony to many people. He made enemies, but he was fantastic. He was a warm man who cared a lot and, with the record 'Give Peace a Chance,' he helped stop the Vietnam war -- he made a lot of sense."

Beatles Covers: Music Machine - Taxman

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

What Was John Lennon's Last Interview?

Usually the Lennon interviews from December 1980 that receive the most attention are:
These are sometimes referred as the "last Lennon interview," but in fact, the last interview with John Lennon took place on the morning of December 8, with RKO Radio's Dave Sholin.

Thoughts on the Legacy of John Lennon

The lasting impact of John Lennon can be found almost anywhere rock music is heard today. Through creating the Beatles and the formation of a songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney, he modernized popular music and expanded the boundaries of creativity of the art form.

Reading about the Beatles over the years, it surprised me to discover the extent to which Lennon paid attention to the music charts; one would think he would have needed to seek this kind of validation for work that is so obviously of high quality. Regardless, the Beatles dominated the charts in almost every way and are still a benchmark in the measurement of popular music and its influence ("It's nice to be liked," he once remarked.) That caring about public opinion translated into an incredible personal availability to admirers who dropped by to see him, whether at his home in Surrey, England or out on the street in New York City.

After having revolutionized music by the time he was 30, he turned his attention and talents towards working for positive change. Interestingly, it was a letter from filmmaker Peter Watkins in 1969 that seemed to push his private beliefs on war and peace into the public domain. Recognizing that when he sang millions listened, he channeled his message through songs like "Give Peace a Chance, "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," and "Imagine."

References to Lennon are so culturally ubiquitous now I almost forget they are there. It's common to see his visage in stores, homes, and restaurants (a few weeks ago I saw a painting of him with Santa Claus while at lunch). His influence is so strong that it's not surprising to hear his name referred to as a musical inspiration from the young and old or brought up directly in song, as in the Arkells' "John Lennon":

John Lennon on "A Day in the Life"

"I was writing the song with the Daily Mail propped up in front of me on the piano. I had it open at their News in Brief, or Far or Near, whatever they call it. There was a paragraph about 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire being discovered and there was still one word missing in that verse when we came to record. I knew the line had to go 'Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.' It was a nonsense verse really, but for some reason I couldn't think of the verb. What did the holes do to the Albert Hall? It was Terry [Doran] who said 'fill' the Albert Hall."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

News Reporter on the Marriage of Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman (March 12, 1969)

"As a hint to the press, he told us not to arrive at Cavendish Avenue before 9 a.m. But, at 7 a.m., the first reporter and photographer had arrived. Mr. McCartney and Miss Eastman, with Heather, aged six, arrived at Marylebone's register office shortly before 10 a.m. and entered the office, in the town hall, by a side door, to foil the press and enthusiasts. About three hundred of them, nearly half of them from newspapers and television, waited for hours in the cold, driving rain. While the wedding party was inside the building, the teenagers made their presence felt. A group of girls, who had pledged their lives to Paul, and were feeling a sense of betrayal, ran through the Beatles' repertoire more than once. They wistfully, "How I long for yesterday," and frequently sang their own words, "Oh, Paul, we love you," to a Beatles tune.

"A dozen policemen tried to fend off teenagers, outstretched hands and microphones, as the couple made their way to the car. A rubbish bin went flying, feet were trampled, the teenagers screamed shrilly and poor Heather, looking bewildered, was carried in the arms of a policeman. For two girls, it was no less than the end of the world, as they broke down and screamed hysterically, inconsolable. He received the press treatment befitting his status, and was speeded on his way by the teams of young supporters who loved him to the last. Linda was wearing a daffodil-yellow coat over a fawn dress, and looked very pretty. Paul was wearing a dark-grey suit with a white shirt and a yellow tie."

Monday, December 06, 2010

John Lennon on Filming the "I Am the Walrus" Scene in Magical Mystery Tour

"I filmed 'Walrus' there [West Malling's USAF Airbase] and I had all these policemen there on top. We couldn't find a studio so a guy got us this aeroplane hangar to film in. I was doing this Fellini thing where we were dressed as walruses, but I ended up confusing myself, you know, with all these Eggmen. I didn't know about real filming and the cameraman apparently didn't know either and nobody else did!"

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Glyn Johns on Allen Klein and Let It Be

"In my opinion Allen Klein was a disaster area altogether. He wrecked that film. It could have been an extremely good film, and it was directly as a result of his involvement with it that it wasn't, in my opinion. There clearly was a lot of humour, and the feeling that was on the original record existed on film. It could have been magnificent. I mean, they actually filmed an enormous amount of footage, and that was probably the problem. That they actually had so much. And it wasn't directed well. There was no continuity on a lot of it, and all the rest. There were hours and hours and hours--weeks and weeks of film--with no continuity, no direction, and God knows what else, so a lot of it obviously was unusable. However, I did see the very first rough cut of the film, which was extremely good. But Allen Klein saw it evidently and said he only wanted to see the four Beatles. He didn't want to see anybody else in it. Which is a bit difficult in a documentary when everybody and their mother was wandering around."