The News Today
from the Ottawa Beatle Site


Postcard kindly supplied by Alan Chrisman. Acknowledgements to Cavern City Tours
who hold an annual International Beatles Convention in Liverpool. Phone 0151-236-9091

This is a LIFO system. (Last in first out; latest items come at the top) See archived news pages

July 10, 2009
Commentary: Michael Jackson did not invent the Moon Walk. It was Ronnie Hawkins!

Who would of have thought that rock legend Ronnie Hawkins of having invented the famous Moon Walk? Well, he did and well ahead of Michael Jackson. It actually happened in 1959 and was captured on film as he sung "I Need Your Lovin'."

 

Phraseology: Michael Jackson was not the "King of Pop", he was the "Prince of Pop"

The media has it wrong: Michael Jackson was not the King of Pop, but rather the correct phraseology to coin should have been the "Prince of Pop."

There has only been one "King of Pop" and that title is solely reserved for Elvis Presley who really brought rock 'n' roll into the main stream during the 1950's. The media, unfortunately, have spun Jackson's death on the same level of Princess Diana's passing guaranteeing the estate of Michael Jackson with lots of financial residuals to be made into videos from his pre-concert rehearsals and memorial tribute.

Paul McCartney appropriately described Jackson's sudden death "so sad and shocking." But let's not forget that buried beneath the media m๊l้e of Jackson's headliners and eulogies that another famous entertainer, Farrah Fawcett, suffered an agonizing three-year battle with cancer who passed away on the same day as Jackson.

The passing of these two very talented icons are a remainder to us that we are after all, but mere mortals.

- John Whelan
The Ottawa Beatles Site

July 6, 2009
Replay the Beatles at the Calgary Stampede

Montreal's "Replay the Beatles" just recently completed concert performances at the Calgary Stampede (see below). Now they're back and tomorrow they will rock at Centennial Park, 288 Beaconsfield blvd., Beaconsfield. If it rains, the rain check location is Beaurepaire United Church, 25 Fieldfare, Beaconsfield. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

For more information: Replay the Beatles

 

July 5, 2009
Beatles 'shark' Klein dies at 77

For the full BBC report, click here.

July 4, 2009
Paul McCartney: He's still got it

"In recent years, Atlantic Canada has landed concerts by of the biggest names in music history in the Rolling Stones (twice), The Eagles, Bon Jovi and soon enough, KISS and AC/DC," writes Eric Lewis for the Times & Transcript.

"Next Saturday, July 11, arguably the most famous living musician joins those names as Paul McCartney, a former Beatle, the leader of Wings and a hugely successful solo artist, performs at the Halifax Commons."

To read the full report: click here.

July 3, 2009
McCartney recalls "fun-loving" Jackson

Before Halifax show, ex-Beatle talks about late King of Pop, music, his daughter

"Legendary musician Paul McCartney took time out from rehearsals Friday for his concert next week in Halifax to discuss a range of topics, including his sentimental feelings for the late pop star Michael Jackson," writes the CBC.

To read the full report: click here.  The article features a video interview with CBC's Tom Murphy interviewing Paul and runs 9:24 in RealPLayer or QuickTime format. 

July 1, 2009
Ringo Starr among music artists to be honored for the 2010 Walk of Fame
by Belinda Thomas, LA Music Examiner

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced next year's Hollywood Walk of Fame honorees from the world of motion pictures, TV, live performance and recording artists.

Recording artists to be recognized are Ringo Starr, Bryan Adams, the Funk Brothers, Alan Jackson, Chaka Khan, Van Morrison, Marco Antonio Solis, ZZ Top and the late Roy Orbison.

Andrea Bocelli and the Cirque du Soleil's Guy Liberte will represent live performance and theater.

Other entertainers who will also have their names added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 are Russell Crowe, Adam Sandler and Julia Louis Dreyfus to name a few.

June 26, 2009
McCartney pays tribute to 'gentle' Jackson

LONDON (AFP) — Paul McCartney hailed Michael Jackson as a "massively talented boy man with a gentle soul" in a tribute to the legendary performer on his website Friday.

McCartney, who collaborated with Jackson on the songs "Say Say Say" and "The Girl Is Mine" in the early 1980s, described the news of Jackson's death Thursday as "so sad and shocking."

"I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael," ex-Beatle McCartney said. "He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones."

McCartney sent his "deepest sympathy" to Jackson's family and "his countless fans all around the world."

Copyright, AFP news services.

June 14, 2009
Phil Spector faces 'Total Ruin'
By Katherine Fenech

JAILED pop legend Phil Spector could be left penniless by a civil lawsuit being brought by the family of his murder victim.

Spector, 69, is serving 19 years for shooting Lana Clarkson and her mother Donna is suing him in the same way OJ Simpson was sued by his victims’ families.

The gun-obsessed music producer spent about $20 million on his defence and if Mrs Clarkson wins her case he could lose everything – including a valuable music catalogue.

A friend of Mrs Clarkson’s said yesterday: “She wants Spector to be punished financially for Lana’s death the way OJ Simpson was.”

Source of article: the Sunday Express

June 13, 2009
New Beatlemania museum opens in Hamburg

HAMBURG, Germany–There were five of them, not four, and they weren't that fab yet, when in 1960 an obscure English band called The Beatles arrived in Hamburg.

Now, 49 years after their fateful arrival that August, this German port city is claiming its place in the history of what became the world's most successful rock and roll group with a new museum called Beatlemania.

Set out over five floors, it tells the story of the band from Hamburg to their breakup, with interactive exhibits like a mock-up of the legendary Abbey Road studios where visitors can record themselves singing.

There are also hundreds of photos, including some rare ones from their Hamburg period, as well as artifacts ranging from a postcard from Ringo Starr back home, to memorabilia from the height of their fame.

Sticking out of the front of the building is a huge, inflatable yellow submarine, and downstairs there is a fish and chip shop named "John and Paul's."

Agence-France Presse

June 12, 2009
Let It Roll: The Songs of George Harrison to be released 16 June 2009

For details with audio samples and complete track listing, please click here.

June 12, 2009
'My years as the Beatles' right-hand man'

A feature interview with Tony Bramwell from the Herald Express.

June 11, 2009
Obituary: Ron Richards: Record produce who worked with the Beatles, the Hollies, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Ella Fitzgerald

Music journalist Spencer Leigh reporting for the Independent....

A modest man who did not push himself forward, Ron Richards was, nevertheless, one of the UK's top record producers. He produced such familiar records as "Love Me Do" (the Beatles) "You'll Never Walk Alone" (Gerry and the Pacemakers) and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" (the Hollies), and when he sometimes saw others take the credit for what he'd done, he would simply say: "I know what happened."

To read Spencer's full report with details about Richards history as a record producer, please click here.

June 11, 2009
Harmonic Convergence - On a night in Bel Air in 1965, the Beatles finally met their hero - Elvis

An interesting write-up by Chuck Chrisafulli on how the finally Beatles met with Elvis Presley. The feature length article appears in the Los Angeles Times.

June 3, 2009
Lennon-Ono bed-in: 40th anniversary

In a Montreal hotel room in 1969, two of the Sixties' most celebrated figures decided to give peace a chance – by sleeping in

An excellent report filed by Ritchie Yorke who was rock music reporter for the Globe and Mail in 1969. Click here to read the article.

June 3, 2009
Ono's sweet moment relived
by John Law for the Niagara Falls Review

Noted Beatles nut GT O'Rourke no longer had to imagine what John Lennon's visit to Niagara Falls was like.

He had all day Saturday to see for himself.

To mark Lennon and Yoko Ono's visit to the falls 40 years ago, Ono provided the city with a 10-minute video of that brief, but fascinating trip. The clip shows Lennon and Ono exiting a car along the Niagara Parkway to play tourist. It was filmed five days after their 'bed in' at a Montreal hotel.

Beatles fans have had glimpses of the footage before, but this is the first time it has ever been seen in its entirety.

It was shown on a continuous loop at Drummond Hill Presbyterian Church for about five hours.

O'Rourke, who has about 4,000 pieces of Beatles memorabilia, was thrilled seeing one of his idols in his city and that several teens came to watch.

"I'm happy people are finally getting the message about John and Yoko, which was love," said O'Rourke. "A lot of people missed the boat when it came to John."

The video begins with a voice-only message from Ono, saying the Falls visit was a "very sweet moment for us." It then shows footage of various signs throughout the city as Lennon and Ono's car heads to the parkway.

Lennon saunters out of the car, and despite being in the most famous band in the world at the time, other tourists seem oblivious to him.

It was a crystal clear day (June 4, 1969), and Lennon comments on the "perfect" rainbow arching over the falls. He then amusingly points to a sign promoting 'The Crown Jewels of Great Britain.'

O'Rourke was fascinated by how a Beatle could walk along the parkway without an entourage or swarming fans.

"The people didn't know who he was ... they're not rushing him like I thought they would," he said.

"Normally, when the Beatles were together that wouldn't happen."

Fans who missed the video Saturday are out of luck. Organizer Bill Colclough was under strict orders to package the footage immediately after the event was over and mail it back to Yoko Ono.

Photos and video were forbidden while it was being shown.

"When you look at (Lennon's) face, it's like you're watching any tourist," he said.

News of the screening was mentioned on Beatles fansites in Russia and Germany. Some requested a copy, but Colclough had to refuse.

The event coincided with All We Are Saying, a day of live music across the street at the Battle Ground Hotel Museum. Local musicians performed from 11 a. m. to 4 p. m.

It wasn't just Beatles fans who found the footage fascinating, added Colclough.

"It showed you how the destination has changed," he said. "You don't have to be a Beatles fan to watch it. You can just be interested in Niagara Falls."

June 2, 2009
McCartney, Starr come together to unveil trailer of Beatles game

From the CBC news services...

The two surviving members of the Beatles took to a Los Angeles stage Monday to help unveil a sneak peek at the upcoming video game The Beatles: Rock Band.

"Whoever thought we'd end up as androids?" quipped Paul McCartney, who offered up some air-guitar and bantered with former bandmate Ringo Starr before a large screen.

McCartney called the game "a fun idea" that broadens the band's appeal. "I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out," he said.

For the full CBC report with a close-up photo of Paul and Ringo, please click here.

For a review of the E3 2009: The Beatles: Rock Band, click here for Dan Ackerman's report.

Here is an important article from Chris Kohler of Game Life explaining how the Beatles Rock Band's harmonies work.

The Beatles: Rock Band will be released on September 9, 2009.

May 26, 2009
John Lennon and Yoko Ono Montreal bed-in was 40 years ago

"MONTREAL — The hotel room where John Lennon and Yoko Ono created a watershed moment for the peace movement at the height of the Vietnam War is a little smaller now," writes Nelson Wyatt for the Canadian Press.

"Part of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel suite, which has a gold plaque on the door noting its history, went to the installation of a panoramic elevator on the floor.

"But that hasn't dimmed the aura of the place where the ex-Beatle and Ono staged their bed-in for peace between May 26 and June 2, 1969, and recorded the iconic antiwar anthem "Give Peace a Chance" the day before they left."

To read the full report, click here.

May 21, 2009
Man on the run - to Halifax, Nova Scotia

Paul McCartney to play Commons on July 11. For details, click here.

May 7, 2009
Beatles Story at Montreal's Corona Theatre May 7 - 23

Show traces Fab Four from birth. Their music is still magical, 'Paul' (John Oriettas) says.
Montreal Gazette

April 23, 2009
DVD Alert: John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band Live In Toronto 1969 to be released June 23 from Shout! Factory

by Gabriel J. Hernandez

The only known recorded performance of John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band is finally coming to DVD. The historic concert was filmed on Sept. 13, 1969, at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival, which also happened to be the eve of the release of Abbey Road the Beatles' last recorded work.

The new DVD, titled John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band Live in Toronto '69, will be released by Shout! Factory on June 23, and undoubtedly offer a remarkable look at one of the world's most influential and popular artists at a pivotal point in his career.

At the time, Lennon had not performed live with the Beatles in nearly three years. Yet he decided – probably on a whim – to fly to Toronto with his wife Yoko Ono, guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Klaus Yoormann and drummer Alan White to pay homage to his early musical heroes performing at the festival, namely Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.

The events that transpired became the stuff of legend. The newly formed Plastic Ono Band, with Lennon at the helm, ended up sharing the stage with Diddley, Lewis and Richard, and delivered what many critics consider the second most important concert in rock and roll history.

The legendary concert – which also foreshadowed the official end of The Beatles – was captured by Oscar-nominated director D.A. Pennebaker (The War Room, Don't Look Back, Monterey Pop). The DVD also features an interview with Yoko Ono from 1988.

Performances featured on John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band Live in Toronto '69:

Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley
Hound Dog – Jerry Lee Lewis
Lucille – Little Richard
Blue Suede Shoes – John Lennon
Money – John Lennon
Dizzy Miss Lizzy – John Lennon
Yer Blues – John Lennon
Cold Turkey – John Lennon
Give Peace A Chance – John Lennon
Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow) – Yoko Ono
John, John (Let's Hope For Peace) – Yoko Ono

BONUS - Interview with Yoko Ono (1988) Yoko Ono

April 17, 2009
Soon to be released: "The Mammoth Book Of The Beatles" by Sean Egan

Hi,  

I'm just writing to let you know about my forthcoming Beatles book, which I think will be of interest to your site's visitors.  

Called The Mammoth Book Of The Beatles, it's a 600-page collection of writing both old and new, laudatory and critical, on the Fab Four. It features articles by – amongst others – Maureen Cleave, Charlie Gillett, William Mann, Hunter Davies, Don Short, John Tobler & Stuart Grundy, Paul Johnson, Lester Bangs, Kenneth Tynan and Paul Gambaccini. It contains some famous articles on the group, such as 'What Songs The Beatles Sang' by William Mann (the "Aeolian cadences" article), 'How Does a Beatle Live?' (the Beatles-Bigger-Than-Christ feature) and the Atticus column on Paul/Eleanor Rigby which confirmed their gravitas to the establishment. It also, however, features some lesser-known but very worthy Beatles articles, such as revealing interviews with George Martin and Glyn Johns from the long out-of-print book The Record Producers, 'Dandelions In Still Air: The Withering Away Of The Beatles' – a critical hammering by Lester Bangs – an extract from Mitch Axelrod's book about The Beatles cartoon TV Series (which is an overlooked part of the Fabs' story) and an excellent pr้cis of the Beatles' career by DJ and rock historian Paul Gambaccini from his now unavailable book Masters of Rock.  

There's also lots of previously unpublished material, including summaries of all the Beatles records by myself – leisurely articles whose length allows me to go into stuff that is not commonly remarked on by journalists – an intriguing article on meeting the Beatles before they had a recording contract by ex-Steampacket/Animals member Vic Briggs, verbatim transcripts of interviews with Paul McCartney and Pete Best previously only published in edited form and a brand new interview with Mersey Beat editor Bill Harry. To round things off, there is the superb Beatles and Solo Beatles UK discography by Graham Calkin, adapted from his jpgr website. I attach a full table of contents, as well as the cover image.  

The book is released on April 23rd in the UK by Constable and June 8th in the US by Running Press.  

Links to the UK and American Amazon pages for the book are here: UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mammoth-Book-Beatles-Sean-Egan/dp/1845299434 USA: http://www.amazon.com/Mammoth-Book-Beatles-Sean-Egan/dp/0762436271              

I am the author of previous books on The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Animals and others.  

Many thanks for your time.  

Best,  

Sean Egan

April 15, 2009
A (George Harrison) star is born - by Steve Marinucci

For the full report, click here

April 14, 2009
Phil Spector found guilty of murder - by Archer of Beatles Basement

Producer Phil Spector has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting of 40-year-old starlet/waitress Lana Clarkson. He was also found guilty of using a gun to commit a crime. The jury in the re-trial chose not to let him off with a lesser charge, involuntary manslaughter.

The judge remanded Spector to jail immediately. He could receive 18 years to life upon sentencing.

Clarkson was shot to death at Spector's L.A. mansion six years ago. The defense claimed she killed herself, but prosecutors showed that Spector had a history of threatening women with guns when they tried to leave his presence.

A previous trial ended in a 10-2 hung jury "favoring conviction" in 2007.

In addition to several solo albums by George Harrison and John Lennon, Phil Spector produced the Beatles' Let It Be album. Although the album was supposed to represent the Beatles in the raw, Spector added choruses and orchestration to the title cut, "Across The Universe," "I Me Mine" and "The Long And Winding Road." In 2003, the year Spector was charged with murder, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr oversaw a remixing of the album, retitling it Let It Be ... Naked.

Spector was a guest of the Beatles on their first flight from London to New York in 1964. At that time, the Beatles were fans of his production, songwriting and the girl-group hits he produced.

Copyright, Archer's Beatles Basement

April 7, 2009
Original Beatles Albums to be Reissued - by Allan Kozinn of the New York Times.

"Finally. After watching the Beatles' company, Apple Corps, devote the last few years to developing a site-specific show in Las Vegas, a video game and a line of pricey memorabilia, Beatles fans are finally getting something they've been demanding for at least the last decade: sonically upgraded reissues of the groups original British albums, in stereo and mono. Apple Corps and EMI announced on Tuesday that the much-postponed remasters would be released on individual stereo CDs and in two boxed sets – one stereo, the other mono – on Sept. 9...."

To read the full article, please click here. See a second report here from About The Beatles.com

April 5, 2009
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunite on stage at Lynch concert

Former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr get by after a little too much help from friends at Change Begins Within benefit -- by Emma Brocks in New York for the Guardian.

Click here for the Guardian report with a video clip from the concert.

April 4, 2009
Private Album - Pattie Boyd kept a photographic record of her days as a rock wife, writes Iain Shedden, for the Australian

An excellent interview with Patti Boyd discussing her memories of George Harrison and Eric Clapton. On display are her personal photograph collection at the Silver K Gallery in Melbourne which runs until June 28 entitled "Images of Rock 'n' Roll."

To read the excellent report, click here.

March 31, 2009
Yoko Ono evokes memories of Lennon with Montreal show

Imagine: The Peace Ballad of John & Yoko opens Thursday April 2 and runs through June 21 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
The 40th anniversary of the Montreal Bed-In falls in May 2009
Ottawa Citizen story

March 14, 2009
Lennon's psychedelic Rolls Royce

Adam Bloomfield contacted us recently with some fascinating insights into the the concept, design and production of the paint work of John Lennon's psychedelic Rolls Royce, and the identity of the artist who created the design. We have added his contribution to the lower part of our article on the car which you can reach by clicking on it on our home page, or by going here.

March 5, 2009
MA Beatles!

Liverpool Hope University announces a degree course in The Beatles, Popular Music and Society
Listen to except from Q, with Jian Gomeshi, CBC R1
Liverpool Hope University

Feb 13, 2009
Beatles in the USSR

A documentary by Paul Gambaccini, broadcast on BBC World Service 13 Feb 2009. 
Features Ottawa's Yury Pelyushonok and his Strings for a Beatle Bass project.

Click here for the complete broadcast in RealPlayer audio.

December 31, 2008

Dear Friends

This last day of the year 2008
All of us can come together at www.IMAGINEPEACE.com 
To enjoy spectacular images from the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER Earthcam - 


LIVE


from Reykjavik, Iceland 
a special program made for this day.

- Yoko

December 31, 2008
Replay the Beatles
New Year's Eve party, Montreal

Reservations: 514-788-4000
Hotel Nelligan
Vieux Montreal
106 rue St-Paul O.

December 12, 2008
Quick Beatle News picks

Lennon no longer mourns late Beatles Dad by Contact Music; Bangladesh should thank ex-Beatle Harrison, says lawyer by AFP news; Bangladesh 'Beatle hero' move by the BBC news services; Makeover for Ringo street by the Liverpool Echo

December 11, 2008
Yoko Ono offers peace message in Kyoto university lecture
by The Yomiuri Shimbun

KYOTO--Yoko Ono, a New York-based artist and the widow of John Lennon, said during a visit to Kyoto on Wednesday that she believes the future is bright since more people than ever are hoping for peace.

"The world situation has gotten worse compared to when John and I staged 'Bed-Ins' [in 1969]...and I think now is the [darkness] before dawn," said 75-year-old Ono, who was invited to give a short performance and lecture to mark the 40th anniversary of Kyoto Seika University in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto.

"It's because I've lived so long that I began noticing about 10 years ago for the first time that what I did with John has finally begun to change the world little by little," she said.

During a 90-minute lecture conducted as a question-and-answer session with the audience, Ono explained why the couple began calling for peace and talked about the many ups and downs she experienced after Lennon's death.

Providing a penlight for each member of the audience, she also introduced her current project, Onochord, in which she encourages people to express "I love you" by blinking a flashlight in a set pattern.

She also encouraged art students at the university to believe in their own ability, even if they feel no one appreciates their work.

Copyright by The Yomiuri Shimbun, 2008.


December 8, 1980
John died

December 8, 2008
Paul and Ringo nominated for Grammy Awards

Paul McCartney's up for two Grammy awards for performances from his limited-edition live EP, Amoeba's Secret.

"I Saw Her Standing There," which Macca first sang on the Beatles' debut album, has been nominated for best solo rock vocal. It's competing with performances by Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, John Mayer and Neil Young.

Paul's live version of the Memory Almost Full song "That Was Me" is up for best mail pop vocal performance. Other nominees in that category are Kid Rock, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Ne-Yo and James Taylor.

Ringo Starr has been nominated for a Grammy as well – Ringo 5.1:  The Surround Sound Collection is contending for best surround sound album.

A complete list of Grammy nominees is available at ShowbizScene. net.

Copyright by Beatles Basement with Archer, 2008.

November 27, 2008
Eleanor Rigby document fetches $177,000

LONDON (Reuters) - A 97-year-old document that contains clues to the identity of Eleanor Rigby, the subject of one of the Beatles' best-loved songs, sold for 115,000 pounds ($177,000) at auction on Thursday.

The total fell well short of high estimates of around 500,000 pounds for the piece of Beatles memorabilia.

The money will go to the seller Annie Mawson and her charity the Sunbeams Music Trust (www.sunbeamsmusic.org), which uses music to help people with special needs.

To read the full report from Reuters, click here.

November 25, 2008
McCartney finds spark with Fireman

"Sir Paul McCartney has found a new lease of creative life on his third album as The Fireman, a collaboration with producer Youth," writes the BBC News.

"Raw, experimental and partly improvised, each song was written and recorded in a day, with Sir Paul building lyrics around words from poetry books, adopting alter-egos to sing, and mining old blues records for vocal inspiration.

"The results on Electric Arguments are rough, rich and refreshing for one of the world's most established stars."

For the full report, click here.

November 24, 2008
A concert review of Paul McCartney in Israel by Yarden Uriel

To read Yarden's exciting report (with video), please click: "Paul is alive and late." His report appeared in the October edition of Beatlefan.

Beatles fans: New Beatles film needs your help!
[Posted by Dave Haber on Monday, 11/24/08 4:26 pm]

"A new film, The Soundtrack of our Lives, is a feature length documentary about the Beatles fan, how they have been inspired, how their life has been changed, why kids love Beatles music, was there divine inspiration, why the music legacy is as big today as ever? All these questions are explored and answered through the journey around the world that our two English x-pat hosts take," writes Dave Haber.

For Dave Haber's full report, please click here.


Briton sells Beatles' White Album for 24,500 Euros

VIENNA (AFP) An English professor in the Austrian town of Linz has sold a rare copy of the Beatles' White Album on Internet auction site eBay for close to 24,550 euros (31,365 dollars), the Austria Press Agency (APA) reported Monday.

The LP, which changed owners on Sunday, had the series number 0000005 -- the first four copies are allegedly still owned by the living members of the Fab Four or their families.

Briton Andrew Milton, who sold the precious record for 19,201 pounds, said he was still looking to sell other rare albums and Beatles' memorabilia on eBay, including another copy -- number 18 -- of the "White Album," APA added
.

Copyright by AFP, 2008.

November 22, 2008
Vatican forgives John Lennon for Jesus remark

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican's newspaper has finally forgiven John Lennon for declaring that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, calling the remark a "boast" by a young man grappling with sudden fame.

The comment by Lennon to a London newspaper in 1966 infuriated Christians, particularly in the United States, some of whom burned Beatles' albums in huge pyres.

But time apparently heals all wounds.

"The remark by John Lennon, which triggered deep indignation mainly in the United States, after many years sounds only like a 'boast' by a young working-class Englishman faced with unexpected success, after growing up in the legend of Elvis and rock and roll," Vatican daily Osservatore Romano said.

The article, marking the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' "The White Album," went on to praise the pop band.

"The fact remains that 38 years after breaking up, the songs of the Lennon-McCartney brand have shown an extraordinary resistance to the passage of time, becoming a source of inspiration for more than one generation of pop musicians," it said.

Lennon was murdered in New York in 1980.

Copyright by Reuters, 2008.

Quick Beatles News Picks:

"Beatles Interview unearth" - from the BBC News; They Say It's Your Birthday - 40 years later, "The White Album" still resonates - by Zach Hanner for The Sun News Myrtle Beach Online; Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band inspires Macca's new album - from Entertainment and Showbiz

November 16, 2008
Mary Hopkin to release a new album called "Recollections";  Welsh folk singer to be celebrated in music

Recording artist Mary Hopkin is releasing a new album called "Recollections" on November 21, available at her website. The new tracks are taken from Mary's archives which are digitally mixed and remastered by Space Studios. The tracks were recorded between 1970 and 1986.

"There were about 30 hefty 2-inch tapes weighing heavily on my mind, and also on my bedroom ceiling," recalls Mary on her official website. "They had been gathering dust in my loft for many years, and one morning, I woke up to an ominous creaking sound, as a huge crack appeared in the ceiling. So, with some prodding from my daughter, Jessica, we decided to release them from their dusty boxes before the ceiling fell in."

Also being released is the "Christmas Songs" EP making this and "Recollections" available for purchase of the combined price. The complete track listing for both releases are listed below.

Meanwhile, Mary's own legacy still continues to influence newer generations of musical talent. "Mary Hopkin was one of the first artists to sign up to the Beatles Apple Record's label and an inspiration to many aspiring musicians, including Kate Corrigan," writes Ollie Rickman of the Guardian.

"So much so that the Royal College of Music graduate, who has performed with the Classical Opera Company in Italy and at the Royal Albert Hall, has prepared her own tribute in celebration of the Welsh folk singer's career.

"She will be performing her Celtic Soul sounds a modern twist on traditional Irish and folk songs alongside her band Keltic Soul," writes Rickman.

Kate Corrigan with Keltic Soul will be performing November 25, 2008, at Fairfield Halls, Park Lane (South London). Concert start time is 1:00 p.m.

"Recollections" track listing:

  • 1. Long Time Ago (Jim Croce)

  • 2. Lion Tamer (Stephen Schwartz)

  • 3. Perfect Love (Paul Williams)

  • 4. I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song (Jim Croce)

  • 5. Quiet Moments (Dominic King and Frank Musker)

  • 6. A Leaf Must Fall (Clive Palmer)

  • 7. One Day I'll Walk (Bruce Cockburn)

  • 8. Who's the One? (Mary Hopkin)

  • 9. Last Thing on my Mind (Tom Paxton)

  • 10. Next Time, This Time (Jim Croce)

  • 11. Another Day (Mary Hopkin)

  • "Christmas Songs" EP track listing:

  • 1. Mary Had a Baby (trad)

  • 2. Cherry Tree Carol (trad)

  • 3. Snowed Under (Mary Hopkin)

  • Related links: The Mary Hopkin Official website; Kate's tribute to Mary (from the Guardian); Fairfield Arts, Entertainment and Conference Centre

    November 16, 2008
    Forty years on, McCartney wants the world to hear 'lost' Beatles epic

    George Harrison said it was too avant-garde. Now Sir Paul says the time has come to release 1967's 'Carnival of Light'

    by Vanessa Thorpe, arts and media correspondent

    For Beatles fans across the world it has gained near mythical status. The 14-minute improvised track called 'Carnival of Light' was recorded in 1967 and played just once in public. It was never released because three of the Fab Four thought it too adventurous.

    The track, a jumble of shrieks and psychedelic effects, is said to be as far from the melodic ballads that made Sir Paul McCartney famous as it is possible to imagine. But now McCartney has said that the public will have the chance to judge for themselves.

    'It does exist,' McCartney says on a BBC Radio 4 arts programme to be broadcast this week. Talking to John Wilson, the presenter of Front Row, the former Beatle confirms that he still has a master tape of the work and says he suspects that 'the time has come for it to get its moment'.

    'I like it because it's the Beatles free, going off piste,' he adds.

    In the 40 years since 'Carnival of Light' was recorded by McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon in the Abbey Road studios in London, its collection of disparate rhythms has become a kind of holy grail for Beatles obsessives. The track was put together on 5 January 1967, in between working on the vocals for the song 'Penny Lane'.

    Once released it should offer proof that the Fab Four, and McCartney in particular, were much more avant-garde in their tastes than many gave them credit for. According to the few who heard the track on the one occasion the recording was played publicly, at a London music festival in 1967, it features the sound of gargled water and strangled shouts from Lennon which vie with church organs and distorted guitar.

    'We were set up in the studio and would just go in every day and record,' McCartney tells Wilson. 'I said to the guys, this is a bit indulgent but would you mind giving me 10 minutes? I've been asked to do this thing. All I want you to do is just wander round all of the stuff and bang it, shout, play it. It doesn't need to make any sense. Hit a drum, wander to the piano, hit a few notes ... and then we put a bit of echo on it. It's very free.'

    McCartney had been commissioned to create a piece for an electronic music festival at the Roundhouse Theatre in north London by his friend Barry Miles. The event, the Million Volt Light and Sound Rave, was organised by International Times, an underground newspaper. Many in the audience had no idea they were listening to a new Beatles track. Other performers included Delia Derbyshire whose work at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop included jointly creating the theme for Doctor Who.

    McCartney, who this month releases his third experimental album of new work under the alias the Fireman, regards 'Carnival of Light' as evidence of how musically adventurous he has always been. For the three other Beatles the track was just an oddity. George Harrison dismissed it as too weird. But McCartney is hopeful it can now be released with the agreement of the group's estate.

    'It will help reaffirm McCartney's claim to have been the most musically adventurous of all the Beatles,' said Wilson this weekend. 'He told me he would love to release the track. All he needs now is the blessing of Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow Olivia.'

    The piece was inspired, McCartney says, by the works of composers John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen. In his book Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, author Mark Lewisohn - who was played the track in 1987 - describes 'distorted, hypnotic drum and organ sounds, a distorted lead guitar, the sound of a church organ, various effects (water gargling was one) and, perhaps most intimidating of all, Lennon and McCartney screaming and bawling random phrases including "Are you all right?" and '"Barcelona!".'

    Beatles fans came close to hearing 'Carnival Of Light' in 1996 when it was considered for inclusion in the exhaustive Anthology compilation. 'We were listening to everything we'd every recorded,' McCartney says. 'I said it would be great to put this on because it would show we were working with really avant-garde stuff ... But it was vetoed. The guys didn't like the idea, like "this is rubbish".'

    McCartney revealed that George Harrison disparaged sonic experimentation as 'avant-garde a clue'.

    Sir George Martin, the Beatles producer who oversaw the track, has described it as 'one of those weird things'. 'It was a kind of uncomposed, free-for-all melange of sound that went on. It was not considered worthy of issuing as a normal piece of Beatles music at the time and was put away.'

    Coincidentally, McCartney played some of his Fireman compositions at the reopened Roundhouse venue last year during the Electric Proms. 'With the Fireman you're in disguise,' he told Observer Music Monthly. His pseudonym may have been taken from the lyric of 'Penny Lane' where a fireman 'rushes in from the pouring rain' and could also be a nod to his father, Jim McCartney, a firewatcher on the Liverpool docks in the Second World War.

    John Wilson's interview with Paul McCartney can be heard on Front Row, Radio 4, on Thursday.

    Copyright by the Guardian, 2008.

    November 12, 2008
    Quick Beatles news picks

    McCartney buries Eleanor Rigby claim by AFP news; Yoko Ono Praises Beatles Rock Band game by NME; Ken Mansfield's Long and Winding Road with the Beatles from the Sierra Mountain Times; The Beatles - P.S. I Love You from Pop Matters; Unseen Beatles Photos Unveiled After Four Decades (released in a new book called "Kaleidoscope Eyes: A Day in the Life of Sgt. Pepper" by Henry Grossman.)

    November 10, 2008

    Ringo Starr at the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo

    Ringo Starr received the Diamond Award on behalf of The Beatles for their contribution to music, and he said on stage: 'I'd like to thank my three buddies George, Paul and John.

    'I had a lot of help - I couldn't have done it on my own. Peace and love.'

    Copyright by the Marie Claire online.

    November 9, 2008
    We Loved Them, Yeah Yeah, Yeah - The Beatles In Scotland

    WHAT'S it like to be buddies with a Beatle? A string of famous Scots can boast they were friends of the Fab Four - from comedian Billy Connolly to former motor racing champ Sir Jackie Stewart and SFA boss Gordon Smith. They all have great memories of John, Paul, George or Ringo.

    JACKIE STEWART

    JACKIE sat by his pool with 12-year-old son Paul at home in Lake Geneva, Switzerland.

    The sounds of their favourite music wafted into the night sky.

    The tunes were Beatle songs.

    The only difference was the songs weren't coming from a stereo or radio. They were being strummed on guitar by close friend George Harrison.

    It remains Jackie's most cherished memory of a friendship which began at the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix.

    Sir Jackie recalled: "Paul brought out his guitar. George started to play all the Beatle hits...explaining the lyrics.

    "I remember thinking this had to be one of the greatest privileges anybody could have - to enjoy a perfect evening with such a remarkable man."

    George's friendship with Jackie grew into a two-way street of enduring affection.

    When his career slipped into a creative funk in the mid-70s, the Beatle credited him with inspiring him to return to the studio. The result - 1979's eponymously titled George Harrison album - featured the song Faster, written as tribute to the Grand Prix racers.

    When he filmed a video for the track, Jackie pulled off a masterstroke by suggesting he act as George's chauffeur as they hurtled round Silverstone in a Daimler.

    Sir Jackie was in Scotland when he learned George had died of cancer in 2001. He said: "I saw him a month before he died. It was such a sad loss."

    BILLY CONNOLLY

    THE Scots comedian and singer once fronted a group that contained two Beatles. The Big Yin had a starring role in Water, a movie produced by George Harrison's Handmade Films.

    In one scene a concert is held after mineral water is found on a Caribbean island. Connolly leads a band called The Rebels who perform a song called Freedom. It had Ringo Starr on drums and George on guitar - with star pals Eric Clapton and Jon Lord of Deep Purple playing along.

    "I looked round and there were all my heroes. It was extraordinary," said Connolly, who became friends with George and his wife Olivia and visited their home. "The grounds were spectacular. I didn't feel so successful around George."

    GORDON SMITH

    THE words were out before Gordon had a chance to stuff them back in his mouth: "I play one of your songs on guitar."

    The song was Blackbird - and the man sitting opposite the Rangers' footballer was Paul McCartney.

    The former Beatle left the room and returned with an acoustic guitar. He ran through the whole finger-picking song chord perfect then said: "Is that how you play it?"

    Paul was having a laugh but the moment will live with SFA chief Gordon until his dying breath. "I nearly died because I knew he'd ask me to play it."

    It was the result of an unlikely friendship which had begun two years earlier when Gordon played for Rangers.

    In December 1979 he and wife Marlene attended a Wings concert at Glasgow Apollo and got to meet the star backstage.

    "Paul was very down to earth."

    The following year Gordon moved clubs to Brighton FC, a team not far from Paul's home in East Sussex.

    The couple got an invite from the McCartneys. Linda said: "Why don't you visit us?"

    Several weeks later the family set off for their house.

    Gordon was stunned by Paul's living arrangements. His lifestyle was far removed from typical rock star ostentation.

    Gordon and Paul chatted about football. "He was thrilled I knew Kenny Dalglish.

    "Linda said, 'I like Gordon McQueen of Man United'.

    "I replied: 'I know him too'."

    Copyright by the Scottish Sunday Mail newspaper online.

    November 6, 2008
    Paul McCartney steals show at MTV Europe awards
    By Mike Collett-White

    LIVERPOOL (Reuters) - Former Beatle Paul McCartney stole the show at the MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday, accepting a one-off prize from the pop channel in his home city of Liverpool to deafening applause.

    The 66-year-old was named Ultimate Legend at the 15th edition of the annual awards ceremony, one of pop music's biggest nights outside the United States.

    "This is the man who invented my job," said U2 lead singer Bono, introducing McCartney.

    "On the way here Paul McCartney, who was driving the car, was pointing out every place in Liverpool. It was like being in the Pope-mobile with the Pope driving. In the universe of rock and roll bands, the Beatles were the big bang.

    "I saw tonight how much Liverpool means to Paul McCartney and you can feel how much Paul McCartney means to Liverpool."

    McCartney was one of several stars on the night to pay tribute to Barack Obama following his victory in the U.S. presidential election this week.

    "Many years ago four little boys were born here in Liverpool and we went on to do quite well," McCartney said of his former band the Beatles, the most successful pop act of all time.

    "So thanks to all my family, to all of you for coming along to all of you in Liverpool, to everyone in Britain, to everyone in America for voting for Mr. Obama."

    The other big winner on the night was Britney Spears, who won the Act of 2008 and Album of the Year categories on a night dominated by U.S. acts.

    The prizes marked another step along the comeback trail for the troubled 26-year-old, whose "Blackout" album was well received and will be followed by her new record "Circus" due for release on December 2.

    Spears also plans to set the record straight about her highly public meltdown in a 90-minute documentary due to be aired on MTV on November 30.

    PACKED VENUE

    The singer was not at the packed Echo Arena in northern England, where around 10,000 fans screamed and swayed their way through an action-packed show.

    The other multiple winners on the night were U.S. rock band "30 Seconds To Mars," led by actor-turned-musician Jared Leto, who picked up the Rock Out and Best Video awards.

    Among the performers were U.S. chart-toppers Beyonce and Kanye West, who won the Ultimate Urban award.

    Several acts paid tribute to Obama, whose picture was beamed on a giant screen on stage at the end of a performance of "American Boy" by West and Britain's Estelle.

    Arguably the most bizarre award of the night went to British 1980s crooner Rick Astley, whose 1987 single "Never Gonna Give You Up" topped the charts in 16 countries.

    He shot back to prominence this year when millions of people were "rickrolled" into playing the song over the Internet when they thought they were clicking on apparently unrelated links.

    "2008 Europe Music Awards, you've been rickrolled!" shouted Hollywood gossip columnist Perez Hilton.

    Astley beat the likes of U2 and Spears in the Best Act Ever category.

    Other winners included Tokio Hotel, named best headliner of the year, Pink, who won most addictive track for "So What" and Emre Aydin of Turkey who was named Europe's favorite act.

    MTV invites fans to decide all but one of the categories -- Video Star -- and in 2007 nearly 80 million votes were cast ahead of the event.

    Copyright 2008 by Reuters. All Rights Reserved.

    November 5, 2008
     


    Blackbird - by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

    Blackbird singing in the dead of night
    Take these broken wings and learn to fly
    All your life
    You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

    Blackbird singing in the dead of night
    Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
    All your life
    You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

    Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
    Into the light of the dark black night.

    Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
    Into the light of the dark black night.

    Blackbird singing in the dead of night
    Take these broken wings and learn to fly
    All your life
    You were only waiting for this moment to arise, oh
    You were only waiting for this moment to arise, oh
    You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

    Copyright by Northern Songs Ltd, 1968. 

    Cartoon inset: Copyright by the Ottawa Citizen, November 5, 2008.

    McCartney to get MTV legend award

    "Sir Paul McCartney is to be honoured with a specially-created Ultimate Legend award at the MTV Europe Music Awards in his home city of Liverpool, " writes the BBC News service.

    "The former Beatle is not expected to play at Thursday night's show but will pick up his prize in person, MTV said.

    "It said the award was created to honour "one of the most formative influences on the music scene on a global scale".

    For the complete article, please click here.

    October 28, 2008
    Nurse in The Beatles' Penny Lane identified after 40 years

    A nurse referred to in the lyrics of The Beatles' song Penny Lane has finally been identified after more than 40 years.

    By Graham Tibbetts

    Lennon will have known Beth Davidson (left) from childhood Photo: Mercury Press Agency

    Since the song was released in 1967 the identity of the "pretty nurse selling poppies from a tray" has remained a mystery.

    But a schoolfriend of John Lennon's, who has written a book about growing up in Liverpool, claims to have the answer.

    According to Stan Williams, she is Beth Davidson, who Lennon would have known from childhood.

    The moment which provided the inspiration came when Miss Davidson was selling poppies on Penny Lane, dressed in a cadet nurse's uniform.

    Some boys, including Lennon, saw her near Bioletti's barber's shop - also mentioned in the song - and struck up a conversation with her.

    It is recognized that Paul McCartney wrote most of the Penny Lane lyrics, but Mr Williams, 68, is convinced that Lennon contributed the nurse reference.

    The song says: "Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout, the pretty nurse is selling poppies from the tray, and though she feels she's in a play, she is anyway."

    Miss Davidson went on to marry Pete Shotton, a close friend of Lennon's and fellow member of The Quarrymen, the forerunner of The Beatles. She died from cancer in the 1970s.

    Mr Williams said: "In my mind's eye, I still like to visit that special October day in 1954 when Beth had her image trapped within the lens of Lennon's creative imagination."

    Copyright 2008 by the Telegraph, all rights reserved.

    October 21, 2008
    "All Together Now" DVD released today

    New Cirque du Soleil documentary shines with Beatles tunes ... this luscious, 90-minute take on "Love" is a worthy walk down memory lane.
    CTV News item

    October 18, 2008
    Ringo Starr announces photo contest

    Culled from Ringo's official website...

    RINGO STARR ALL STARR TOUR 2008 PHOTO CONTEST

    Have you been coveting your picture of Ringo and his All-Star Starr band captured from the recent All-Star tour?
    Ringo wants YOU, his loyal fans, to submit photos taken from his 2008 All-Star tour.
    Ringo will hand pick his favorite photo to be featured on his official website, Ringostarr.com.
    The lucky winner will also go home with a Ringo Starr Autographed Drumhead!
    Winner to be notified via email in early December.

    CONTEST STATS:
    Please email your photo to ringophotocontest@gmail.com
    in JPEG format.
    We will only accept ONE photo entry per person.
    Photo entries can be taken from a digital camera, from your phone camera or any other source but STILL photos only please!
    Contest ends OCTOBER 30th, 2008.

    By submitting your photo you agree that Ringo may utilize your photo in any manner whatsoever without further obligation to you except to provide you appropriate credit as the photographer."

    In order for your entry to be valid, you must include the following information within the text of your email:
    1. Your name, address, phone number, and email address
    2. The date and location of the show in which you captured the photo

    GOOD LUCK!

    October 17, 2008
    Apple Corps Agreement Blocks Distribution of Beatles Recordings

    "Previously unreleased recordings of the Beatles from 1962 won't be distributed under a settlement between Apple Corps. Ltd., the company created by the band, and Miami-based Fuego Entertainment Inc.," writes Joel Rosenblatt for Bloomberg.com.

    "Fuego bought and planned to digitally re-master 15 Beatles tracks titled Jamming with Beatles and Friends, Star Club, Hamburg, 1962,"  Rosenblatt revealed in his article.  "In February, the company said the recordings were the band's first to feature Ringo Starr on drums. While seven of the songs were later recorded by the group in a studio, eight were never released, said Fuego, which planned to included them on a double compact disc."

    Last winter, Apple records filed a $15 million lawsuit against Fuego Entertainment over trademark infringement. The result of their legal action halted the potential release of the rare recordings arguing that the tracks were of inferior quality and would damage the reputation of the Beatles.

    For the complete report, click here.

    Cavern Club medallions unearthed

    Membership medallions from the Cavern Club have been discovered 35 years after the closure of the Liverpool music club. They were unearthed by Roy Adams, the club's last owner, when he was clearing out a shed at his home on Merseyside.

    Mr Adams, the last man to own the club that made the Beatles famous, emptied the venue's offices when it closed its doors in 1973 and found the medallions when he was sorting through packing cases. They were used as replacements for membership cards at the club during its heyday in the 1960s, when it played host to stars including The Who, the Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Cilla Black.

    Copyright 2008 by the Timesonline. All Rights Reserved.

    October 15, 2008
    The Beatles and Ireland book released

    "Over 218 fascinating pages, they present eyewitness accounts of the two gigs The Beatles played here in 1963 and 1964; delve into George's Wexford roots and John's buying of an island off the Mayo coast; and recount the furor which greeted a solo of Paul's "Give Ireland Back To The Irish". Ringo takes a bit of a back-seat throughout but, well, wasn't that always the way?" writes Hot Press.

     

    New Single of the QUARRYMEN - The band that started the Beatles and U.S.-Tour in October

    Press release from: Garrelt Danker Medienproduktion
    PR Agency: Garrelt Danker Medienproduktion

    (openPR) - 50 years after the first and only single-release of the Quarrymen, a new single has been released via internet. The song was recorded in Liverpool and GaryLand in 2008 with a little help of some friends...Reason is the recent Quarrymen U.S.-Tour that have started on the 9th October in New York City. All dates see below!

    Next year a film will follow that is called "The Quarrymen - The Band that started the Beatles" (filmed in Germany / baltic coast). The song "Never stop Rockin 'n' Rollin" can be downloaded on www.TheQuarrymen.de (only for the time of the Quarrymen U.S.-Tour in October).

     

    Quarrymen Tour-Dates

    9th Thur: BB Kings, NYC
    10th Fri: The Flickinger Center, Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, NH
    12th Sun: The Cavern Club at the Hard Rock Cafe, Boston
    14th Tue: The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY 12180
    15th Wed: Sellersville Theatre, near Philadelphia, co-bill with Pete Best
    17th Fri: Avalon Theatre, Easton, MD
    18th Sat: Writers' Boot Camp Auditorium, Santa Monica, California
    19th Sun: SoHo, Santa Barbara, CA
    21th Tues: Anthology, San Diego, CA

    To hear an audio sample of the Quarrymen's new single, please click here. And for the full press release, click here.

    October 13, 2008
    Ringo Starr Too Busy to Sign Autographs!

    "Former Beatle Ringo Starr will no longer sign memorabilia for fans and will throw away all fan mail he receives in the future, he has said," writes the BBC News service.


     
    Beatles rival on sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll
    by GRAEME GREEN - Monday, October 13, 2008

    Dave Clark, 65, was drummer, manager, producer and star of 1960s pop group The Dave Clark Five (also known as The DC5) who led the 'British invasion' of America with The Beatles. They sold more than 100 million records and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Tom Hanks in March this year. The Hits by The Dave Clark Five is out now.

    Were the 1960s as exciting as everyone says?
    No question. Anything and everything was possible. Whether you were in the music business or art or theatre or fashion, it was a whole cultural revolution.

    What made the 1960s such a great time for music?
    I'm sure the Beatles and the Stones would back me up on this –“ everybody was doing it for the fun. Like the Beatles were in Hamburg and the Stones were in all the clubs, we were playing all the American bases and the Mecca ballroom circuit. We were basically a live band before we started making records, doing it for the fun of it. And we were also the first generation that hadn't had to do National Service –“ they used to catch you at that age and put you in the army where they knock all that rebelliousness out of you.

    Did you experience your own version of Beatlemania – riots, screaming fans...?
    Oh yes. We were the first English group to tour America –  for two years it was The Beatles and us. In the course of eight weeks, we had a sell-out tour, our own private plane and were playing to a quarter of a million people.

    So why don't younger music fans know who you are?
    When The Beatles broke up, Paul and John still recorded. The Rolling Stones are still touring and The Who are still on the road. I'm not someone who does the rounds all the time and if you're not doing interviews, press and TV then people tend to forget.

    You were seen as a more wholesome, clean-cut and athletic alternative to the Beatles. Is that fair?
    It always annoyed me. The athletic part, yes – I was a black belt in karate and I'd worked for a living as a stunt man on over 40 films, so naturally when we hit off the press picked up on that. I didn't drink; the other boys in the band did. I didn't smoke; the other guys did. It wasn't a cleaner image thing, though – it's just I didn't enjoy it at the time.

    Women are throwing themselves at you and hiding in your hotel room. The danger is you can get caught up in it.

    Did you get caught up in the whole sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle?
    Everything is laid out on a plate for you. Women are throwing themselves at you and hiding in your hotel room. The danger is you can get caught up in it. It's down to the individual what they do. I don' believe you should preach to people what to do or what not to do, whether it's sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll, politics or religion.

    Was there any rivalry between you and The Beatles?
    No. For the first two years in America, all the magazines said 'Dave Clark Five versus The Beatles' as if there was a big thing. I got on well with the boys –  they'd come to my parties and I'd go to theirs. They were great fun to spend time with.

    When did you realise you were famous?
    When we first arrived in America, the record company threw a party and everybody from Frank Sinatra to Dean Martin came to welcome us. When we were in Chicago airport getting ready to take off to fly to the next gig (we had our own private plane marked DC5) when all of a sudden all these fire engines arrived and plain clothes men rushed onboard and asked for me. I said: "What's wrong?" and they said: "Please come with us." They put me in a car and drove me with a police escort to the other side of the airport and there was Air Force One. It was President Johnson and he said: "I'd just like your autograph for my daughter."

    Did you meet Elvis?
    Yes. He was one of the icons who changed rock 'n' roll but what surprised me the most was he was so modest. I remember him saying to me: "If you have seen one of my movies, you've seen them all. It's just different locations and different songs."

    You were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. How did that feel?
    The nice thing was that Mike Smith (The DC5's singer/keyboardist) knew we'd been inducted before he died. I was with Mike two or three days before he passed away, happily watching Spurs beat Chelsea in the Carling Cup final at Wembley. To get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and for Tom Hanks to want to do it and to go on and talk about us for 18 minutes was pretty amazing.

    Do you still live in London?
    I lived in the States for two years and had a house there but I've always been English – I miss the football, I've followed Spurs since I was a boy, and I'll always live here.

    Spurs are struggling at the moment, aren't they?
    We've lost two of our best players – Berbatov and Keane –  but I'm sure we'll come around.

    Is London still as swinging as it was in the 1960s?
    No, it's not swinging. It's changed. I'm sure the young people here think it's great now with all the things going on here but you can't recapture the 1960s. It was magic.

    Copyright 2008 by The Metro. All Rights Reserved.

    Yoko Ono writes veterans $10,000 check

    "When Bob Krzewinski, secretary of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace, called Yoko Ono's agent to seek approval for a John Lennon tribute concert, he received the thumbs up and thought that was that.

    "A couple weeks later Krzewinski received a nondescript envelope in the mail, in it a check for $10,000, signed by Ono," writes Danny Hopkins for the Eastern Echo.

    October 10, 2008
    Yoko Ono Grants Iceland Peace Award

    Yoko Ono granted both the Icelandic nation and Indian scientist Dr. Vandana Shiva with the LennonOno Peace Award at the relighting of the Imagine Peace Tower on Videy island off Reykjavik on the occasion of John Lennon's birthday yesterday.

    "To my knowledge an entire nation has not been granted such an award before. I'm therefore rather proud of this idea of mine," Ono said during the award ceremony yesterday, Frttabladid reports.

    Ono stated that the Icelandic nation had earned the award because of its devotion and pioneering work on harnessing geothermal energy and clean energy for decades. Dr. Shiva received the award for her work towards peace and environmental protection.

    Each award comes with a gift of USD 50,000 (EUR 37,000).

    The Imagine Peace Tower was established last year. The tower of light will be lit every year on Lennon's birthday, October 9, and shine until the day he died, December 8. It will also be lit at special occasions like New Year's Eve.

    For one week starting yesterday, Ono is offering free ferry rides to Videy.

    Click here to read more about the Peace Tower.

    Copyright 2008 by the Iceland Review On-line. All Rights Reserved.

    October 9, 2008
    Yoko Ono continues peace initiative in Iceland

    On 9 Oct 2008, John Lennon's birthday, Yoko Ono asks the people of Iceland to join her and many others across the rest of the world in praying for peace and stability.

    At 8pm, as IMAGINE PEACE TOWER http://www.imaginepeace.com/tower.html is illuminated on the island of Videy, she asks everyone to join together and let the power of light and prayer become a collective expression of the desire for peace and harmony on our planet.

    Dear Friends

    Please join me not only in remembering John on October 9th but also in spreading the message of peace. This is something that was so important to John - the fact that we could all work together for the positive good of our planet.

    He would have loved how we are all mobilizing ourselves in thought and in action. It's time for action and the action is peace!

    with love, yoko

    Yoko Ono
    9 Oct 2008

    send your wishes to the Imagine Peace Tower by email:
    wish@IMAGINEPEACE.com

    post your handwritten wishes on a postcard to: IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, PO Box 1009, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland

    9th midday Anchorage
    9th 1pm Los Angeles
    9th 2pm Guatemala
    9th 3pm Chicago
    9th 4pm New York
    9th 4pm Montreal
    9th 5pm Rio de Janeiro
    9th 8pm Reykjavik
    9th 9pm Liverpool
    9th 10pm Europe
    9th 11pm Baghdad
    10th midnight Moscow
    10th 1am Karachi
    10th 2am Dhaka
    10th 3am Bangkok
    10th 4am Shanghai
    10th 5am Tokyo
    10th 6am Sydney
    10th 7am Vladivostok
    10th 8am Suva
    10th 9am Auckland
    10th 10am Kiritimati
    at http://www.IMAGINEPEACE.com/

    Related link: "Yoko Ono to Iceland" - from Ice News - Daily News.


    October 5, 2008
    Young people lack empowering force like The Beatles
    By Rich Davis

    Young people are so smart. I'm amazed as I watch them thumb through what resembles a minefield of iPods, text messages and cell phones that can even turn off the coffee pot.

    But I wonder if they feel powerful as a generation? If they ever think, "We showed our parents, didn't we?" or "We're going to change the world."

    I thought I had all the answers once, back when Terry, the "Big O" and I were high school freshmen, hanging out at the drug store soda fountain, slurping shakes and trying to act cool in front of Myrna, the mascara queen who waited on us every day. We dragged Main from the A&W to the 149 Grill and bought 45s from Van-Wood Record Bar uptown.

    But do you know when I truly sensed the power of my generation? It was 45 years ago, almost to this very week, when I heard about a British band called The Beatles.

    The Fab Four hadn't arrived in the United States yet. In fact, most teenagers still were listening to Chubby Checker, Bobby Vinton and a singing Belgian nun. They were clueless to the musical tsunami about to cross the Atlantic.

    However, young people in my Southern Illinois hometown had an inkling, thanks to Marcia Schafer.

    She was editor of our high school newspaper and host of a teen talk show on the local radio station.

    That September of 1963, George Harrison and his brother, Pete, came to the U.S. for the first time to see their sister, Louise Harrison Caldwell, who lived in nearby Benton (our county seat) with her husband, a coal mine engineer.

    The brothers camped in the Shawnee National Forest and enjoyed the cars with fins and the pretty young drive-in carhops on roller skates.

    George bought a guitar and sat in with a local band while Pete took home movies.

    Meanwhile, Louise – attractive, persistent, with a Liverpool accent – kept dropping by West Frankfort's radio station to promote her brother's band.

    Eventually, George (in sandals, jeans and moppy hairdo) was introduced to the blond 17-year-old announcer.

    Marcia interviewed him on her show (not thinking to tape it) and apparently became the first American deejay to play The Beatles regularly.

    That fall, Marcia wrote about George's visit for our high school newspaper, running a picture of The Beatles that looks so tame now‚ especially when I recall the dean of boys threatening detention if we copied the hair-style.

    Later Marcia would admit, "They didn't make a big impression on me. It didn't mean a whole lot back then if you were big in England. If we had had any idea. ... "

    Within a few months the British Invasion landed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" (Feb. 9, 1964), changing our world with six little words: "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

    Suddenly, my generation went from the emptiness of JFK's assassination to the delirium of The Beatles.

    The Beatles wig I bought at the 5 & 10 (take that, dean of boys) is long gone and the only reminder that "George Slept Here" is Benton's annual festival honoring him (it was Saturday) and a Hard Day's Nite B&B in the house Louise once owned.

    Still, I wonder: Whatever happened to Pete's home movies?

    Copyright 2008 by Courierpress. All Rights Reserved.

    October 4, 2008
    Love documentary to play in (US) theatres for one night + DVD to be released on October 20th

    For one night only on October 20th, the Beatles' new documentary "All Together Now" chronicling The Beatles LOVE, their show with Cirque du Soleil, will be shown at digitally equipped cinemas across the U.S. The DVD of All Together Now will be released the same day.

    Click here for more info.