October 31, 2009
Movie about John Lennon's early years premieres in London
Nowhere Boy opened in London tonight; a hit with critics.
An employee of Capitol Records' Toronto-area plant pressed the records in the 1970s, mixing coloured vinyl to create a splattered-paint look for a touch of psychedelia.
The unique works of musical art, which the British newspaper The Guardian called possibly "the rarest Beatles albums ever," are now in the hands of Canadian music experts Akim Boldireff and Aaron Keele. They will auction the records off on eBay beginning Nov. 10. Starting bid? $1,000 for each of the four records.
The employee, who did not want to be identified, made the records for himself out of boredom. It never occurred to him that they may actually be worth something one day.
"We paid him a bunch of money for (the records)," Keele said from Toronto, declining to be specific. "This guy had them in his closet all this time. . . . He literally only did one of each."
Keele and Boldireff often run local ads as part of their ongoing hunt for collectible music. One day, the creator of the rare Beatles records happened to see one of their ads and offered to sell them his one-of-a-kind vinyl.
"When we saw them, we knew they were something great," Keele said. "Luckily, the guy's favourite band was the Beatles."
But it's more than just the fact the four designs were done on records by the Fab Four.
"The real thing that makes this fascinating is that they were pressed at the original plants, using original stampers with the catalogue number of the original release as issued and created by Capitol Records," Keele explained.
"What makes them so special is the coloured vinyl was technically never issued by the company, but legitimately made in the factory (by this gentleman). There was only one copy made and that's what makes them desirable."
As for how much these "one-offs" will sell for come Nov. 10, Keele said it's hard to predict because there's no precedent.
The albums include a blue marble copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; a swirled blue copy of 1967-1970 (commonly known as the blue album); a stunning psychedelic gold copy of Love Songs; and a blue album pressed with one side of Revolver and the other with John Lennon's solo album The Plastic Ono Band, with a 1967-1970 label.
Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
For more photos, click here.
October 26, 2009
Quick Beatle News Picks
CD review of "Let It Roll the Songs of George Harrison"; CD review of The Beatles "Abbey Road"; Sir Paul announces European tour; Beatles cartoonist features work here (Ron Campbell worked on the Saturday morning Beatles cartoon series and on the Beatles Yellow Submarine movie.)
October 21, 2009
Sir George recovers after surgery
Beatles producer Sir George Martin, is recovering after undergoing "routine surgery", his manager has confirmed.
To read the report from the BBC, please click here.
October 17, 2009
Ravi Shankar Receives First-Ever George Harrison Humanitarian Award
Recognition for Efforts in Saving the Lives of Children
Legendary Indian musician and peace advocate, Ravi Shankar has been honored with the first-ever George Harrison Humanitarian Award. The award was presented by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF following Shankar's concert at Carnegie Hall in New York on October 10.
Shankar was recognized for his unprecedented efforts in saving the lives of children, and his involvement with the Concert for Bangladesh - organized by George Harrison and inspired by Ravi Shankar, the Concert marked the first time rock musicians collaborated for a common humanitarian cause.
"George Harrison and Ravi Shankar have been stalwart advocates on behalf of the world's children their entire careers," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "Every day 24,000 children die of preventable causes. We are pleased to honor Ravi Shankar with the George Harrison Humanitarian Award for his commitment to reducing that number and believing in zero."
In 1971, George Harrison staged two concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden that brought together a star-studded cast of musicians including: Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Leon Russell and Billy Preston-to alert the world to the plight of the Bangladeshi people. At that time, the country was ravaged by floods, famine and civil war, which left 10 million people-mostly women and children-displaced and vulnerable.
The 1971 concert pioneered the all-star rock benefit concert model, which has since been widely emulated for various causes worldwide. It produced an extraordinary contribution for UNICEF, exceeding $15 million to support programs providing lifesaving assistance to children caught in humanitarian emergencies. The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF continues to support UNICEF programs in Bangladesh while expanding its influence to include other countries in crisis where children are at risk.
For more information, please visit The George Harrison Fund For UNICEF at www.unicefusa.org
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.
UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress-the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 24,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org
October 10, 2009
The Ballad of John and Yoko in Ottawa: Allan Rock pod-cast on the couples June 3, 1969 visit to the University of Ottawa
Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Boyd to visit Yerevan
Will take part in the Grand Opening of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts
- The Cafesjian Center for the Arts announced that on
November 8, Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Boyd - former wives of Beatles John
Lennon and George Harrison - will visit Yerevan to take part in a series
of special events marking the grand opening of the center. Lennon and Boyd
will share the stage for the first time ever, and lend intimate insight
into their husbands' extraordinary lives and music. A book signing of John
by Cynthia Lennon and Wonderful Tonight by Pattie Boyd - who was also
married to the blues musician Eric �Clapton - will follow the interview.
"The Beatles were the single most influential cultural phenomenon of the 20th century," Dr. Michael De Marsche, the executive director of the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, stated. "Their music was one of the first things to blast through the Iron Curtain, and for many people, especially the generation of the 1960s, the Beatles represent freedom."
The interview will take place in the Center's new Special Events Auditorium. Lennon and Boyd will take the stage and answer questions from Dr. De Marsche. The afternoon will conclude with questions from the audience.
An exhibition of Pattie Boyd's photography, titled, "Pattie Boyd: Yesterday and Today," will open November 8 and will be on view until January 31, 2010. The exhibition lends an intimate view into the lives of George Harrison, Eric Clapton, the Beatles, and Pattie Boyd herself. This unique collection of photographs, representing 40 years of work, has garnered attention from art critics internationally, and has toured two continents.
The Grand Opening Celebration for the Cafesjian Center for the Arts will begin on the evening of November 7 with a spectacular fireworks display near the Cascade monument. The Cascade has been completely transformed into one of the world's outstanding contemporary art centers. The center had invited the public to view all the renovations that have taken place inside the Cascade and to enjoy an outstanding schedule of exhibitions, visiting lecturers, book-signings, concerts and events on Sunday, November 8.
Article culled from the Armenian Reporter. Note: Yerevan is the capital of Armenia which became one of the 15 republics in the Soviet Union.
Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band: "Between My Head and the Sky"
Just before the worldwide announcement of the economic shock, my son
announced the birth of a music company called CHIMERA. Nice name. The first sound
Ki, is Ki:Air, and the minute you pronounce that syllable, you feel the
power of Ki.
September 30, 2009 PAUL McCARTNEY - GOOD EVENING NEW YORK CITY - U.S. Release — 17th November Multi-Disc CD/DVD Special Package Features Dazzling Performances of Beatles, Wings and Solo Classics From Citi Field, Formerly Shea Stadium, Historic Site of The Beatles Landmark 1965 Concert FROM HEAR MUSIC/CONCORD MUSIC GROUP
Paul McCartney's historic three-night musical christening of New York's Citi Field, witnessed by 120,000-plus attendees and universally hailed as a concert experience for the ages, will be immortalized November 17 when Hear Music/Concord Music Group releases Good Evening New York City. This momentous musical experience will be available in two formats: a 3-disc (2 CD + 1 DVD) standard edition and a 4-disc (2 CD + 2 DVD) deluxe version featuring expanded packaging and a bonus DVD including McCartney's traffic-stopping, headline-making July 15 performance on the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee (including bonus numbers not aired on the Late Show with David Letterman broadcast). The set will also be made available in high quality vinyl. In any configuration, the 30+ songs and nearly 3 hours of music comprising Good Evening New York City are a must-have for attendees wishing to relive the July 17, 18 & 21 shows, those who couldn't get tickets and/or anyone interested in an audiovisual document of a living legend. Good Evening New York City marks McCartney's 2nd release for Hear Music. The first was 2007's highly acclaimed Memory Almost Full. The standard version of Good Evening New York City will be available at participating Starbucks company-operated locations in the U.S. and Canada and wherever music is sold.
As the inaugural musical event at Citi Field, the site of the former Shea Stadium, the July 2009 shows held special significance not only for McCartney but for generations of his fans. The shows were performed on the same hallowed ground that The Beatles, in 1965, played the 34-minute show that would set the precedent for the modern day stadium rock show--and where in 2008 McCartney joined Billy Joel for the final rock show before the original stadium's demolition. As documented on Good Evening New York City, "I'm Down" from the 1965 set list was revived for the Citi Field shows, albeit this time played through a PA that was not overpowered by screaming fans (though there were still several thousand who tried). Other highlights of Good Evening New York City include faithful takes on Beatles classics "Drive My Car," "Got To Get You Into My Life," "The Long And Winding Road," "Blackbird," "Eleanor Rigby," "Back In The USSR," "Paperback Writer," "Let It Be," "Hey Jude," "Helter Skelter" and more, plus "Something" rendered on ukulele gifted to Paul by George Harrison, and a tribute to John Lennon in the form of a medley of "A Day In The Life" and "Give Peace A Chance." Wings era chestnuts include "Band On The Run," "My Love," "Let Me Roll It" and the pyrotechnic tour de force of "Live And Let Die," while timeless McCartney solo material ranges from "Here Today" to the upbeat "Flaming Pie" and "Dance Tonight" to a pair of numbers from Electric Arguments, the 2008 album released under the alias of The Fireman.
The concert footage featured on Good Evening New York City standard edition features concert footage directed by Paul Becher, who has overseen live visuals for McCartney for some 200 performances and counting. The 33-song 2 hour 40 minute performances were shot in High Definition using 15 cameras and digital footage incorporated from 75 Flipcams handed out to fans over the course of the three night stand. The audio mix, in both stereo and 5.1, was handled by longtime McCartney engineer Paul Hicks, whose credits include the recent Beatles remasters, The Beatles Anthology, Let It Be... Naked and two Grammy awards for his mixing work on the Beatles' Love album.
The deluxe edition bonus DVD will feature footage of McCartney's July 15 performance on the outdoor marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater, previously available only as a webcast on the Late Show with David Letterman website. The marquee set, which marked McCartney's return to the site of The Beatles U.S. television debut, generated front page headlines and literally stopped traffic as word of mouth generated a crowd that packed Broadway from Columbus Circle to Times Square.
Paul McCartney's July 17-21 Citi Field stand has already been unanimously hailed by critics and audiences alike as the concert experience of a lifetime. On November 17, Good Evening New York City will document it for the ages.
About Hear Music Hear Music is an innovative record label operated by Concord Music Group exclusively for Starbucks. Rooted in quality, authenticity and passion, Hear Music works directly with artists, both emerging and established, to bring quality music to the widest possible audience, in both Starbucks locations and traditional music retailers worldwide.
The above information from Special Ops Media, New York. Used with permission with our sincere thanks.
September 28, 2009
Lucy (in the sky with diamonds) dies
Lucy Vodden (nee o'Donnell) who was the inspiration for the Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," has died, following a long battle with lupus. She was 46.
Full coverage: Wall Street Journal
September 26, 2009
How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin, to be broadcasted on all PBS television stations across the USA, November 9, 10:00-11:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (check your local TV listings for details.)
The following information was sent to us from Roberta Lee, Senior Publicist at WNET.ORG with our sincere thanks....
WNET.ORG to Air How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin marking 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
Documentary tells the extraordinary and untold story of how the Beatles punctured the Iron Curtain
NEW YORK- On November 9th, WNET.ORG will air a special one-hour documentary about The Beatles to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin tells the extraordinary and untold story of how the Beatles punctured the Iron Curtain. In a personal journey through Russia by award-winning director Leslie Woodhead, he tells in first-person accounts the story of a secret revolution which contributed to the fall of communism.
How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin is a production of WNET.ORG - one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers, in association with Blakeway Productions of London.
On August 1962, director Leslie Woodhead made a two-minute film in Liverpool's Cavern Club with a raw and unrecorded group of unknown rockers- the Beatles. Twenty-five years later, while making a series of films in Russia, Woodhead would learn just how powerful Beatlemania was. Even though they were never to play in the Soviet Union, the Beatles' music and their rebellious style had soaked into the lives of a generation of kids.
"I've always been fascinated by the story of how the moptops conquered the world," said filmmaker Leslie Woodhead. "And since I've made a series of documentaries in the former Evil Empire over the past 30 years, I have a special taste for this film."
This film introduces the world to the Russian Beatles generation and hears personal stories about how the Fab Four changed their lives, gave them hope, and helped to undermine the foundations of the Soviet system. The film showcases archival Soviet-era footage, laced with interviews with Soviet Beatles fans that reflect and reveal just how they managed to listen to the outlawed music of the Fab Four.
Art Troitsky, Russia's leading rock music writer and self-proclaimed radical young man during the Beatles era, describes just how important the band was, behind the Iron Curtain. "In the big bad West," he says, "they've had whole huge institutions which spent millions of dollars for undermining the Soviet system. And I'm sure that the impact of all those stupid Cold War institutions has been much, much smaller than the impact of the Beatles."
How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin is a one-hour documentary produced, directed and narrated by Leslie Woodhead, an award-winning documentary filmmaker. The program features interviews with Kolya Vasin, a Beatles super fan from St. Petersburg who built a Temple of Peace and Love to John Lennon; Sergei Ivanov, Russia's Deputy Premier, who insisted that he learned English from smuggled Beatles records; rock commentator Artemy Troitsky; and numerous Soviet Beatles cover bands, including bandmates Yury Pelyushonok, Yuri Yakovlev and Anatoly Chernuchevich who reunited for this film, writing and performing a new song called "Kruschev Era Rock."
To coincide with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, WNET.ORG will premiere the documentary on Monday, November 9th at 10:00 p.m. (EST, check local listings) to be shown nationally throughout the PBS network.
How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin is a production of Blakeway Productions for WNET.ORG. Neal Shapiro is Executive-in-Charge; Stephen Segaller, VP, Content, WNET.ORG; Tom Casciato, Director of News & Current Affairs, WNET.ORG; Scott Davis, Senior Producer, News & Current Affairs, WNET.ORG; and narrated by Leslie Woodhead.
September 22, 2009
Update from Special Ops Media, New York
The Beatles have broken chart records around the world with their 9-9-09 release of their re-mastered catalogue. In support of the Beatles re-mastered catalogue, we now have an interactive Beatles widget available for you to embed on your page. The widget plays audio, video and allows you to customize the theme to match a Beatles album of your choice. We also have links to musical superstars Katy Perry, Lily Allen and Ronnie Spector talking about the Beatles influence on their careers.
THE BEATLES BREAK CHART RECORDS AROUND THE WORLD WITH 9-9-09 DEBUT OF RE-MASTERED CATALOGUE CDS
More Than 2.25 Million CDs Sold During First Week in North America, UK, Japan
Underlining their timeless appeal and unique status in music, The Beatles have broken multiple chart records around the world following the September 9, 2009 (9-9-09) CD release of their digitally re-mastered catalogue. In the major music markets of North America, Japan and the UK, consumers purchased more than 2.25 million copies of The Beatles' re-mastered albums, individually and in two multiple-CD boxed sets, one in stereo and one in mono, during the first five days of release (excluding non-traditional retail outlets whose sales are not tracked by the chart compilers).
The Beatles original UK studio albums were re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release.
The most popular band of the 20th century, The Beatles are beloved by music fans in the 21st century, as evidenced by their current unparalleled global chart performance:
US: During the first five days of release, consumers purchased more than one million copies of re-mastered Beatles titles, and the individual CD and boxed sets debuted strongly across multiple Billboard charts.
o On Billboard's Comprehensive Albums chart, which lists the most popular album releases in the US, including current and catalogue titles, The Beatles set a new record for the most simultaneous titles by a single artist (18), including five of the top 10 and nine of the top 20.
o On the Pop Catalog chart, The Beatles achieved another new Billboard chart first for the most simultaneous titles in the top 50 (16), a record they previously set themselves with 12 titles in December 1995. The Beatles have nine of the chart's top 10 titles, and all 14 re-mastered CDs are in the top 20, led by Abbey Road" at number one and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at number two.
o On the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, The Beatles stereo boxed set debuted at number 15, and The Beatles in Mono limited edition boxed set debuted at number 40.
� UK: In last week's chart, The Beatles had four titles in the top 10, seven in the top 40 and 16 in the top 75, including both the stereo and mono boxes, as well as 2000's Beatles 1 compilation. This set a new record for the most simultaneous albums in the UK charts according to the UK Official Charts Company. In this week's UK chart, The Beatles have 13 albums in the top 75. A further 84,000 CDs were sold last week, bringing their total sales of the re-masters to more than 354,000 in 11 days and their total UK sales this decade to 6,755,000.
� Japan: All 14 re-mastered titles and boxed sets debuted in the top 25 of the international chart, including seven of the top 10, led by the stereo boxed set at number two, the mono boxed set at number three, Abbey Road at four and Let It Be at six. Across all titles and box sets, more than 840,000 albums were purchased by consumers in Japan in the first three days of sales.
� Canada: The Beatles have 15 of the top 20 catalogue titles including all of the top 11. The stereo boxed set is a new entry in the current albums chart at number four, the highest debut for a boxed set in Canada since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking sales. Cumulative sales across all titles were just under 160,000 over the counter.
� France: All 14 of the re-mastered titles and boxed sets entered the latest album chart, including three in the top 10, led by Abbey Road at number four, a new record for the most original studio albums in the French album chart in one week.
� Italy: The Beatles have 17 titles in the current chart all 14 re-mastered titles, the two boxed sets, plus the "1" compilation, a record for the most simultaneous entries in the album chart.
� Belgium: With 17 entries in the current chart - the 14 re-mastered titles, two boxed sets and "1" compilation, The Beatles have set a new record for the most simultaneous albums in the Belgian chart as confirmed by chart compiler Ultrapop.
� Sweden: The Beatles have 16 titles simultaneously in the top 60, led by Abbey Road at number six. Local industry body IFPI have confirmed that this is a record for the Swedish charts.
� Argentina: Seven of the current top 10 albums are Beatles re-masters, led by Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at number two, Abbey Road at number three and The Beatles (The White Album) at number four. All 14 re-mastered titles are in the top 20 and the boxed sets are at numbers 73 and 74 in the chart.
� Spain: 13 Beatles albums plus both boxed sets debuted in the latest chart, a record for a single artist. The combined sales of the boxed sets places them at number four in the chart
� Poland: All 14 re-mastered albums and two boxed sets debuted in the current top 100, led by Abbey Road at six. This is a record for the highest number of simultaneous entries in the Polish chart.
� Switzerland: 14 Beatles titles, including the stereo boxed set, debuted in the most recent album chart, a record for the most simultaneous titles in the album chart.
� Denmark: The latest album chart includes 15 re-mastered Beatles titles, plus the "1" compilation, including four of the top 20.
� Australia: The Beatles have 14 titles in the current chart, including the "1" compilation.
� Germany: The combined sales of the stereo and mono boxed sets, with one boxed set counted as one unit sale, places them as the number three best seller in the latest chart.
� Austria: The current top 75 contains 12 re-mastered titles plus the stereo boxed set.
� Portugal: The re-mastered titles occupy 11 places in the current top 30 album chart, including three of the top 10.
� Norway: The combined stereo and mono boxed sets debut at number three with a further 12 re-mastered titles in the top 100.
� Colombia: Half of the current top 10 albums are re-mastered Beatles titles.
� Korea: During the first sales week The Beatles occupied 16 out of the top 17 spots in Korea's Hottracks album chart.
September 8, 2009
Update from Special Ops Media, New York:
Tomorrow, September 9, 2009 (9-9-9) marks the highly anticipated release of the entire original Beatles catalogue, which has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD distribution and the release of �The Beatles: Rock Band� video game. Below is a link to an exclusive streaming video clip of "I Saw Her Standing There."
"I Saw Her Standing There" Streaming Video Link
Beatles fest Fandemonium Video Link:
September 7, 2009
Iain Shedden for the Australian gives his review of The Beatles: Rock Band. Click here to read the article.
More "The Beatles in Mono" on its way!
The limited edition box-set, 10,000 copies of "The Beatles in Mono", has already been sold out on many on-line stores. EMI has told Variety that more copies of the 13-CD set will be sent out.
Dave Itzkoff for the New York Times files this report: It's All Too Much: More 'Beatles in Mono'
Fab Four's Ticket to pride
Long-awaited remastered Beatles albums, video game hit
stores this week
September 5, 2009
Gamers, fans come together over The Beatles: Rock Band
Bill Brioux for the Toronto Star writes:
"Listen: do you want to know a secret? Even for a non-gaming, die-hard Beatles fan like me, the new Beatles: Rock Band is a psychedelic dream come true, a virtual trip across Abbey Road, inside the Cavern Club, or centre stage that summer of 1965 at Shea Stadium. If you're a boomer or were raised by one, it is the soundtrack of your life, played by you � one sweet, magical, digital, mystery tour."
To read the full report, click here.
September 4, 2009
To read Leslie's excellent report and the subjects that he interviewed for his 60-minute documentary "How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin,"please click here.
August 30, 2009
The Ottawa Beatles Site wishes to congratulate Jerry Levitan on receiving an Emmy for his short animated film I Met The Walrus.
Beatle fans can read the CBC report by clicking here.
August 27, 2009
A look at how the Beatles music influenced two generations of Soviet teenagers during Communism. Click here for the article.
August 22, 2009
Motoring enthusiasts and fans of The Beatles will have the chance to buy a 2008 replica of a customised Mini Cooper S given to George Harrison by legendary manager Brian Epstein in 1966 during Bonhams annual sale at Goodwood Revival on 18 September 2009. Proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit the Material World Charitable Foundation, which Harrison founded in 1973.
Designed by the star during the band's heyday in the 1960s, the Mini is festooned with psychedelic images including yantras and Sanskrit mantras.
The replica was presented to Olivia Harrison, on behalf of the Material World Charitable Foundation, by BMW Mini during the Mini celebration day at Silverstone in 2009.
This new interpretation of George's iconic 1965 Mini Cooper was designed by BMW's Studio Udelhoven & Harrison family friend, David Costa. Asan Art Director, book and graphic designer, predominantly working in the music business, he has created iconic album sleeves for George Harrison, the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Phil Collins, Genesis, The Spice Girls, Girls Aloud, Destiny's Child and Beyonce. He is also Creative Director for 46664, the campaign vehicle of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Olivia Harrison, the star's widow, commented that: "George was a huge Mini fan and I think he would have enjoyed the new version of his 1965 Cooper S. It's great that the 50th anniversary of the Mini will benefit The Material World Foundation and I very grateful to BMW for being so generous."
James Knight, Group Head of Bonhams Motoring Department said, "We are delighted to offer our support to Olivia and the Material World Charitable Trust. The Mini will appeal to a broad spectrum of collectors from the classic car world to the music industry. George was known for his appreciation of motoring and his original example is firmly ensconced with the family and beyond reach. This Mini is the only opportunity to acquire such a car with Harrison credentials and the fact that proceeds are to benefit the charity he founded is great."
Many thanks, georgeharrison.com
August 18, 2009
A new documentary featuring never-heard-before fragments
of conversation, along with interviews and rare footage of The Beatles in
the studio, will form the centrepiece of a season of programming as the
UK's BBC Two and BBC Four join forces for Beatles Week.
BBC Four's programming includes Leslie Woodhead's extraordinary story of how The Beatles' music may have contributed towards the collapse of the USSR. In August 1962 director Leslie Woodhead made a two-minute film in Liverpool's Cavern Club with a raw and unrecorded group of rockers - The Beatles. He arranged their first live TV appearances on a local show in Manchester and then watched as the Fab Four phenomenon swept the world. Twenty five years later, while making films in Russia, Woodhead became aware of how - even though they were never able to play in the Soviet Union - The Beatles legend had soaked into the lives of a generation of youngsters. This film meets the Soviet Beatles generation and hears stories about how the Fab Four changed their lives. BBC Four release is at 8 p.m. Sunday Sept. 6 and 10:30 p.m. Sept. 7 (both UK time)
See item below (July 28): Provisional Release dates set for "How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin" Yury Pelyushonok, friend of The Ottawa Beatles site, has a role in Leslie Woodhead's new documentary film How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin.
August 15, 2009
As I drove leisurely on the far outskirts of Ottawa in the Gloucester district, imagine my reaction when I caught a glimpse of the Hindu Temple of Ottawa-Carleton with its Sanskrit heliography on the exterior it reminded me immediately of the George Harrison solo albums with the Sanskrit heliography stamped on them.
This Hindu temple became the first of its kind in Eastern Ontario. Pandit Madhu Sahasrabudhe, who was a food science researcher and priest in the city since 1960, oversaw the process of raising donations that were needed for the construction of the temple. It was built at a cost of $4 million, opened officially in 1989 and serves 6000 Hindus from Ottawa.
The temple consists of nine shrines: Ganesha, Kartikeya, Krishna with Radha, Shiva, Lakshmi with Narayana, Rama with Sita and Lakshmana with Hanuman, Durga, Hanuman, and Nataraja. Only Hindu devotional music is played at this temple.
I asked a Hindu patron who was at the temple whether photography was allowed: picture taking is not permitted inside the Mahamandap but exterior photographs are allowed. The temple is a fascinating piece of architecture. As result, I ended up getting some very good close-ups of the Sanskrit heliography. To view them, click here or on any of the two large pictures immediately below this write-up.
As most of you know, it was George Harrison who took the spiritual path of enlightenment regarding the Hindu religion. He certainly embraced it and made reference of it in some of the songs that he wrote.
But on September 14, 1969, John Lennon, Yoko Ono got curious about the Hindu religion and the two of them, along with George Harrison visited the Srila Prabhupada's quarters which was located hundreds of yards from the main house at Tittenhurst Park (the British estate owned by John Lennon.)
Their thoughtful comments, questions and answers they received from Swami Bhaktivedanta, dealt "with the path to peace and liberation, the eternality of the soul, reincarnation, the nature of God, qualifications of the guru, and the authority of Bhagavad-gita (the Indian spiritual classic still sacred to 600 million people)," states the book "Lennon '69: Search for Liberation." The books drawing power are the lengthy discussions between John Lennon and Swami Bhaktivedanta. George Harrison's comments also appear in this 66-page pocket book as published by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, 3764 Watseka Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034. It was first printed in 1981.
- John Whelan, Ottawa Beatles Site
Above image: The Hindu Temple of Ottawa-Carleton.
Above image: Hindu artwork from George Harrison's "Living In the Material World" LP album.
August 10, 2009
July 28, 2009
July 25, 2009
NEW YORK TIMES - Heinz Edelmann, the multifaceted graphic designer and illustrator who created the comically hallucinogenic landscape of Pepperland as art director for the 1968 animated Beatles film Yellow Submarine, died on Tuesday in Stuttgart, Germany. He was 75. The cause was heart disease and kidney failure, said his daughter, Valentine.
For the full New York Times report, click here
July 19, 2009
Gordon Waller, who shot to fame as part of the 1960s duo
Peter & Gordon, has died after suffering cardiac arrest.
July 16, 2009
For the Winnipeg Sun report, click here
July 12, 2009
HALIFAX, N.S. � For more than 2 1/2 hours he performed the soundtrack of their youth, and through it all they sang along with him, swayed arm-in-arm with their spouses or children and, at times, even cried.
Tens of thousands gathered on the Halifax Common on Saturday night as Paul McCartney brought one of the most venerated canons in all of pop and rock to the Nova Scotia capital.
From the moment he strolled onto the massive stage in a Beatlesque dark blue suit and carrying his iconic Hofner bass, the 67-year-old pop legend held the crowd in his thrall.
And from the opening chord of the Beatles' classic "Drive My Car," the sea of people that covered much of the recreational green space in central Halifax stood and cheered.
"Can you believe the energy?" screamed fan Susan Wellmann before McCartney came out for a second encore.
"This is the best concert ever in Halifax."
Backed by his ace band of drummer Abe Laboriel Jr., keyboardist Paul (Wix) Wickens and guitar players Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, McCartney performed 36 songs during the two hour and 38 minute performance - his first-ever in Atlantic Canada and his only one in Canada this year.
"Good evening Halifax. Good evening Nova Scotia. Good evening Canada," McCartney said early into a set list heavy with Beatles, Wings and solo classics.
Through it all, he chatted with the crowd, told stories and seemed to enjoy and appreciate every minute of it.
One of the night's highlights came early in "Calico Sky" when he flubbed a line after looking into the crowd to see a teenage girl holding a sign that read: Will you sign my arm so I can get it tattooed?
He finished the song, brought the ecstatic girl on stage and signed her shoulder with a marker. As a bemused McCartney looked on, she ran screaming around the stage to hug the band before being escorted off by security.
"You'd better get the tattoo done now," he said as she left to laughter and cheers.
During the first encore, the 78th Highlanders Pipe Band from Halifax joined McCartney on stage for a stirring rendition of "Mull of Kintyre."
Angela Loughead, a lifelong fan from Truro, N.S., reminisced about listening to her older brother's Beatles albums as a child.
"I would have gone anywhere in Canada to see him," she said shortly before the show began.
In the end, Loughead only had to travel an hour to Halifax to see McCartney in person. But without John, George and Ringo, she predicted it would be bittersweet.
"I never dreamed I would actually be able to see him," she said. "It will be emotional because it's just him instead of all of them as it should be."
Hours before McCartney was set to take the stage, thousands of fans lined up outside fenced-in Common anxiously waiting for the gates to open.
Even people without tickets stopped to watch the pop legend as he treated the crowd to a lengthy sound check that included "Yesterday" and "Lady Madonna."
Marcia Ward, who secured one of the first spots at the front of the line, said she'd been waiting all her life to see McCartney.
"I was born on his ninth birthday and I've been a fan since I was 13 years old," said Ward, 58.
Ward said she flew in from Indiana on Thursday night and went straight to the concert site and camped out for two nights. She said the ground was hard, but a couple of uncomfortable nights were well worth it.
Before McCartney's performance, Halifax rockers Wintersleep warmed up the massive crowd under a bright, cloudless sky.
They were followed by Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett.
As the hours wore on before McCartney's big entrance, fans shared their memories of the Beatles and spoke of their favourite songs.
Adele Johnson of Stellarton, N.S., said she vividly recalls watching their first North American television appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, while an undergraduate living in residence.
Johnson said she and her husband, Jim, don't usually attend outdoor concerts but made an exception for Paul.
"It's our generation, it's the Beatles for heaven's sake, what else can you say," said Jim Johnson. "I'm sure this place will just be rocking."
Jesse Melanson, 13, of Moncton, N.B., could barely stand still he was so excited.
"I'm pumped. They're my favourite band - the Beatles - and (McCartney) has a bunch of Wings songs that are really good," he said.
Brent Randall, 21, echoed that sentiment.
Copyright 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.
July 11, 2009
July 2000 - June 2003