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

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November 30, 2021
Disney+ sees Beatles bump after release of Fab Four documentary
by Christopher Palmeri, The Canadian Press

Disney+ had the biggest increase in video streaming last week, recording a 7.1 per cent jump in users launching its mobile
app, according to Bloomberg’s analysis of Apptopia data.

Walt Disney Co.’s flagship streaming service released two highly anticipated programs over the Thanksgiving holiday. “The
Beatles: Get Back,” a three-part documentary from director Peter Jackson, was assembled from hours of footage shot with
the band in 1969 as they recorded what would become their final album.

Disney+ also debuted “Hawkeye,” a new series about the bow-slinging Marvel superhero starring Jeremy Renner.

Disney+ reported 118.1 million subscribers for the quarter that ended Oct. 2, although that was the slowest rate of growth
since the service’s launch in 2019.

ViacomCBS Inc.’s Showtime had the biggest decline in streaming among top U.S. providers for the week ended Nov. 28.
Downloads of the Starz app rose 39 per cent for the top increase. DAZN app downloads showed the biggest decline.

November 29, 2021
Cop That Shut Down Beatles Rooftop Concert Has No Regrets
by Erica Banas, Rock Music Reporter for 105.7 WROR

One of the cops who shut down The Beatles’ rooftop concert said he has no regrets cutting the now-classic concert short.

The concert in its entirety is the culmination of the new documentary The Beatles: Get Back, which premiered over the
Thanksgiving holiday weekend on Disney+. In an interview with the U.K’s Daily Mail, Ray Shayler, who was a 25-year-old
constable at the time, recalled the day in vivid detail.

Originally, a rookie constable was called to the scene at 3 Savile Row, but Shayler said, “He looked a bit worried about it
and, to be fair, a young lad on his own with not much experience would have had rings run around him by those sorts of
people…So because I’d been at the job for three years and had more experience, I offered to go with him.”

Shayler said that he and his colleague were posted at a station about 150 yards away from the concert and could hear it
happening from the station and only walked to the Apple Corps building once they received a number of noise complaint
calls. Initially, they weren’t allowed in the Apple building, but once they explained they received noise complaints, the cops
were allowed in.

The Beatles and their personnel didn’t give the cops any trouble once they arrived with Shayler noting, “I asked how long it
was going on for. [Beatles road manager Mal Evans] said, ‘One more record’, so I said, ‘You might as well be hung for a
sheep as for a lamb. Get on with that one and then it stops.’ It was a discussion; it never got heated.”

As for whether Shayler was star-struck by the moment, he said, “I wouldn’t say I was a fan – I didn’t like The Beatles much
when they went a bit Hare Krishna, but we had a few Beatles records and LPs at home; I liked their music. But when I got
on the roof, I had a job to do and I thought, ‘Well, we’ve got to try and stop this.'”

He added, “Actually, someone asked me how I felt being the man who stopped The Beatles’ concert. But I wouldn’t say that
was true. I didn’t stop The Beatles – I merely suggested it would be a good idea if they didn’t carry on.”

One person who couldn’t believe the day he had was Shayler’s wife, Wendy. She was a big Beatles fan, and Shayler said she
was “really envious” when he got home after his shift to recounted his day.

The Gear of The Beatles' "Let It Be"
by Joel Handley for Reverb

When The Beatles reconvened in early 1969 to make a new record, the concept was both clear and vague. What was clear
is they wanted to "get back" to their roots—making music together, as a live band, with no overdubs. What was vague was
how'd they document and present the work.

Recording engineer Glyn Johns and filmmaker Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had both recently worked on The Rolling Stones
Rock and Roll Circus,
were to capture the entire process of rehearsal and recording sessions. The songs would be revealed
in full to the public in a TV concert, filmed at some to-be-decided exotic location.

With plans still in the works, the rehearsals began on a soundstage at Twickenham Film Studios. Those sessions turned
fraught, the TV idea was scrapped, and the band moved to their newly constructed Apple Studio instead.

Though the film crew and "warts and all" documentary approach remained, the eventual album and film—which changed
titles from Get Back to Let It Be—turned out to be greatly edited down and polished.

Director Peter Jackson's The Beatles: Get Back—an eight-hour, three-part documentary that begins streaming on Disney+
November 25—restores the original footage, presenting the making of Let It Be in all its rollicking glory. This includes those
fraught rehearsals at Twickenham, the salvaged sessions at Apple, and the full Rooftop Concert performance.

For musicians and gearheads, Get Back is a feast for the senses, displaying the band's late-period gear like it's never been
seen before. We've compiled this guide as a kind of companion and easy reference.

What gear did The Beatles use to make Let It Be? Find it all below.

Let It Be Guitars

Paul McCartney's go-to bass for the proceedings was his '63 Hofner 500/1 Bass. It can be seen throughout the recording
sporting a "Bassman" sticker, which had originally been affixed to his Fender Bassman speaker cabinet (more on that later).

McCartney's Rickenbacker 4001S and his original '61 Hofner can be seen sparingly in the film, with the '61 Hofner being
stolen soon after. As for McCartney's acoustic guitar parts, he used his trusty Martin D-28.

George Harrison was spoiled with incredible guitars at the time, switching between his '57 Gibson "Lucy" Les Paul (a gift from
Eric Clapton that had been converted from a Goldtop) and his iconic, custom-built Rosewood Telecaster prototype (a gift
from Fender). He also had his Gibson J-200 acoustic on hand, which John Lennon used throughout the sessions too. Harrison
soon gave that to Bob Dylan.

For the majority of his guitar work, Lennon used his finish-stripped Epiphone Casino. His similarly stripped Martin D-28 was on
hand but rarely used, while he played a Hofner Hawaiian Standard lap steel for a few select parts.

Because the band wanted to record without overdubs, that meant someone besides McCartney had to play bass any time
Paul played the piano. While John and George also had a Fender Jazz Bass nearby, they most often played the six-string
Fender VI through McCartney's Bassman amp.

Let It Be Amps

As mentioned above, McCartney's amp for the sessions was a '68 Fender Bassman head and 2x15 cabinet. These cabinets
from Fender at the time were tall, 40" total vertically, with the speakers stacked on top of one another.

Lennon and Harrison's main amps were matching '68 Silverface Fender Twin Reverbs. Additionally, Harrison had a 147RV
rotating Leslie speaker—another gift from Clapton—that he used extensively on the record.

Let It Be Drums

Especially during the Twickenham sessions—when Ringo Starr's station was set up on a high riser, backlit by the
soundstage's rainbow-colored lights—his drum kit was the star of the show. It was a '67 Ludwig Hollywood kit that had been
new for the White Album.

A five-piece set, it included a 14x22" kick, 16x16" floor tom, as well as an 8x12" and a 9x13" tom. However, Starr preferred
his '63 Jazz Festival 5.5x14" snare, opting to use it instead of the Hollywood's.

Let It Be Keys

The most exciting addition to the standard Beatles lineup was not any one keyboard but a certain keyboard player, with Billy
Preston joining the group at Apple Studio and becoming, unofficially, a "fifth Beatle" for the proceedings. Preston made great
use of a Fender Rhodes Suitcase 73 electric piano, which had been freshly delivered to the band, express from California.

Other keys in the room included a Hammond with Leslie, a Lowrey DSO Heritage Deluxe organ, an unmarked upright piano,
and the Blüthner grand piano heard on tracks like "The Long and Winding Road."

Recording Equipment

Let It Be fans new and old often want to know: What are the mics The Beatles used for the Rooftop Concert? The slender
vocal mics that Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison are singing into are AKG C30As. Based around the brand's C28 capsule,
these mics included long attachments that kept the body of the mic far away from the head, making them ideal for filming.
The mics were used throughout the sessions, not just on the rooftop finale.

Other AKG mics can be seen throughout the recording process—D19s for vocals, D25s suspended on boom arms, a D20 on
the kick drum—while Neumann U 47s, KM 56s, and plenty of U 67s capture vocals, drum overheads, and more.

At Apple Studio, following a disastrous attempt at a custom console, The Beatles borrowed a pair of REDD consoles from
Abbey Road, including the REDD.37 used on earlier recordings and later owned by Lenny Kravitz. Behind the console, you can
also see a few Fairchild limiters.

For playback and vocal monitoring on, first, the Twickenham soundstage and, later, the Apple Studio live room, the band
employed brand-new Vox and Fender Solid State PA systems.

If you're watching the new documentary and spy gear we've missed, let us know.

Sources for this article include: Andy Babiuk's Beatles Gear, Glyn Johns' Sound Man, and The Beatles Recording Reference
Manual: Volume 5.

November 28, 2021
Beatles biographer Hunter Davies on Get Back: ‘We see the band having fun. All true – I remember it well’
Peter Jackson’s new Disney documentary offers a positive new look at the band on the point of their break-up, says the
Beatles biographer Hunter Davies
by Hunter Davies for

Photo: Hunter Davies

The further we get from The Beatles, the bigger they become. I thought that when they broke up in 1970, that would be it.
I still loved them dearly (sob, sob), but they were bound to be superseded – equally creative composers of popular music
would come along and some performer would sell more records.

But blow me down, The Beatles today are here, there and everywhere, their influence as great as ever. I estimate 50,000
people worldwide are making a living out of the band – by playing in lookalike groups, lecturing, giving guided tours, holding
Beatles conferences, selling Beatles tat.

Well, not all of it is tat – $1m has just been offered for a copy of the lyrics of “Yesterday” in Paul’s handwriting. (It belongs
to me, but is in the British Library and going to them in my will).

Now we have near-hysteria about The Beatles: Get Back, a three-part series from Disney – even though it is only a
rehashing of the acres of video footage shot by Michael Lindsay-Hogg back in 1969 for his film Let it Be. A good deal of it
has already been seen or known about by Beatles fans for decades.

Its director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings), has ploughed through 60 hours of video film and 150 hours of audio that
have been lying in Apple’s vaults for 50 years. But he has the advantage of modern magic to enhance dull period sounds and
ancient hazy shots and, to judge by the credits, an army of people to help. Jokes and catty remarks by John, which I could
never work out the first time, are now loud and clear, even though I am deafer than I was 50 years ago.

When Lindsay-Hogg made Let It Be, he tended to accentuate the rows. Everyone knew at the time the band was about to
split, so he was recording that story. Fifty years later, Jackson has accentuated the positive – which is perfectly
permissible. It has happened for centuries with Shakespeare: theatre directors are always coming up with new ways to
make the old stuff different, supposedly fresh and relevant for today.

And so we see the band having fun in the studio, larking around, John making faces behind Paul’s back, breaking into silly
voices, clearly enjoying each other’s company. All true: I remember it well, sitting for months in Abbey Road during 1967 and
1968 as they recorded Sgt Pepper, and I gathered material for my biography of the band.

What is missing from the new series is a lot of the tedium – naturally enough, who wants to watch all that? I used to sit
there thinking, “Bloody hell, this is the 100th go at that take,” which to me seemed perfect the first time.

The best stuff by far is the footage of the performance on top of the Apple building in Savile Row in 1969. Like all fans, I
have seen the highlights many times, but Jackson has polished it up, given it a narrative and tension, using shots I have
never seen before – I don’t remember seeing the sergeant arriving, nor so many vox pops. Lindsay-Hogg did a stupendous
logistics job, not just cinematic: he had nine crews on the job – on rooftops, in the street, in the entrance hall. The cost
must have been enormous.

We see the crowds gather in the street, looking up, amazed. We hear interviews in which the clothes and accents seem to
be from 1939, not 1969. Best of all, we see the two policemen arrive, so young, so useless, trying to look authoritative and
stop this dreadful rooftop noise. Then the self-important sergeant strides down the road.

We know what’s coming – but it still comes as a shock when eventually the sound is turned off. And that was it. The
Beatles were turned off, never performing together in public again.

The Beatles were like aliens from the future in 1969 - and they are still as radical today
by Jonathan Freedland for the Guardian

In a postwar Britain divided by class identity and economic decline, they were complex, emotional men whose music still

They Shall Not Grow Old was the title Peter Jackson gave to the first documentary he made, and he could have named his
latest exactly the same way. Instead it is called Get Back, and while the earlier film restored archive footage of the young
British men who fought the first world war, this new one – nearly eight hours long and making its debut in three parts this
weekend – does the same for the young British men who conquered the world by more peaceful means; four of them to be
precise, known for ever as the Beatles.

Obsessives across the globe have had their anoraks zipped up in readiness for a while, eager to study the differences
between the ninth and 13th take of Don’t Let Me Down, but the resonance of these films is not confined to muso
aficionados alone. On the contrary, they have something to say to anyone interested in Britain and how it’s changed – and
in the universal themes of friendship, creativity, regret, loss and time.

The brightest light shed on Britain comes in the film’s climax: the famous rooftop concert on a cold January lunchtime in
1969. Part of the crew who had been filming the band over the preceding month, as they worked up material for what would
become the Let it Be album, went into the streets below to interview Londoners who were hearing what was the first live
Beatles performance for nearly three years.

For a 2021 audience, it’s a revelation. The buildings of Savile Row are not all that different, but in every other respect, the
past truly is another country. The vox pops show a London that is largely white, English-born and marked by a class divide
that is wide and clear. There are men in suits, ties and bowler hats – disapproving of the disruption to business in the area –
and cheeky-chappie cabbies giving an approving thumbs up. There are young women sharing their delight in a cockney
accent that has all but vanished, and plummy ladies who lunch. What’s missing is the group that would dominate now:
everyone in between. Statistically, Britain today is majority middle class; no one would have suggested such a thing then.

It’s a jolt to realise this is the same country: we seem to have so little in common. In fact, one of the few points of
connection between this place and that one – besides the Queen – is the Beatles. They listened to them then; we listen to
them now. There’s a cheery optimism to the London of 1969, and the Beatles were surely part of that too. Yes, the postwar
years had been humbling; the economic and political story was one of decline. But it was possible to cling to a mild form of
British exceptionalism, at least in terms of popular culture. Because when it came to pop music, Britain really did lead the

And yet, when you watch the Beatles in these films, it’s not the Britain of 1969 that you’re thinking about. That’s chiefly
because the four somehow stand outside it, or rather ahead of it. They look so current, so fresh – John wearing trainers,
George in baseball boots – they seem like visitors from the future, emissaries from 2021 who have somehow landed in the
world of Bedford vans, Charles Hawtrey and the Daily Sketch.

The modernity finds other expressions too. The form is contemporary: all that fly-on-the-wall footage, watching the
dynamics of a group close up, suggests that to the long list of innovations credited to the Beatles, perhaps we should add
an early form of reality TV. But the content of the conversations brims with modernity too.

There’s an arrogant temptation to assume that it’s the current generation of men, in particular, that has acquired emotional
intelligence, that the men of 50 years ago were strangers to empathy or self-awareness. But then you eavesdrop on John
Lennon and Paul McCartney reflecting on how they have driven George Harrison to walk out. We’ve already seen it for
ourselves in the film, the way the older two treat Harrison as a kid brother, failing to enthuse over songs he has tentatively
brought to the group. “It’s a festering wound,” says Lennon, “and yesterday we allowed it to go even deeper. And we didn’t
give him any bandages.”

They say explicitly that, since the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, they’re missing a father figure. McCartney has
stepped into the leadership vacuum but he knows that none of them likes it, including him: “I’m scared of me being the
boss,” he says. On the well-worn topic of Yoko Ono’s constant presence, glued to Lennon as the band plays, McCartney is
understanding rather than irritated. “They just want to be near each other,” he says, adding that it needn’t be “an
obstacle, as long as we’re not trying to surmount it”.

Indeed, Get Back serves in part as a study in male friendship. What you see on screen between John and Paul, especially
when they play, is a chemistry that crackles as fiercely as any sexual or romantic attraction. The connection between the
two is so intimate, the shared glances full of such understanding, that when they play Two of Us, you realise that the love
that song celebrates is theirs – even if they didn’t know it.

Which brings us to the music. There can be few truer expositions of the creative process than these films. Yes, it can be
long and tedious and repetitive, going over the same ground again and again. Yes, it’s as much about hard work as innate
talent – and the Beatles’ work ethic, returning to the studio to make a new record a matter of weeks after they had finished
the “White Album”, is striking. But we also witness the miracle of the act of creation. Before your very eyes, McCartney’s
random strums turn into Get Back: it’s like watching a chick hatch from a shell.

All of this has great poignance, because we know what they don’t: that the concert on the roof will be their last
performance together and that, a little over a decade later, John Lennon will be dead. Part of you is filled with regret: you
want to urge the four of them to find a way to keep going, if only for a little longer; you pine for all the songs that went
unwritten and unsung.

And the larger part of you marvels at what these four people in their 20s did in little over six years: creating music that is
truly timeless, in the sense not only that it will live on, but that much of it seems to exist outside time altogether. The finest
Beatles melodies sound as if they are part of nature, as if they always existed and were only waiting to be picked up.

This is why Jackson could once again have found his title in that same poem of war. Because even without his masterful
digital effects, the Beatles will always be those four young men bursting with improbable talent. Age shall not weary them.

Jim Keltner Drums For Rock Royalty, Including Paul Simon, Eric Clapton. But You Don’t Know His Name
by Jim Clash for Forbes

Jim Keltner is one of the best studio drummers in the world, having recorded and played with John Lennon, Eric Clapton, John
Fogerty, George Harrison, Neil Young and Simon & Garfunkel. But few outside of the music business know his name, and he’s
okay with that. He told me he has never sought the spotlight. In our exclusive interview series, Keltner discussed many
things, including his early influences, relative anonymity as a popular musician, involvement with the “12 Drummers
Drumming” charity auction for veterans with PTSD and Cream drummer Ginger Baker’s African influences. Here, in Part 1, we
focus on two of the most famous talents he has had the pleasure of working with: Clapton and Lennon. Following are edited
excerpts from a longer conversation.

Jim Clash: The list of those you have recorded with reads like a who’s-who in the music business. Let’s discuss some off
them. How about Eric Clapton?

Jim Keltner: That’s a special case [laughs]. I wish this unbelievable crap [his anti-vaccine stance] hadn’t happened. What
Eric has done to himself is something nobody seems to be able to explain. And he is not explaining it, either, which is the
worst part. He’s just doubling down. I hope he can find a way out, because people are going to eliminate him. Hopefully, this
won’t snuff out the great music part of his career. But it doesn’t change my opinion of the man. I can’t tell you how much I
love Eric, one of my very favorite to play drums with, an unbelievable guitar player. He also is a great singer. When he
connects with a good song, like any good artist, you can’t go wrong.

Cream was one of my favorite bands of all-time, just like about everybody else I know. Jack’s [Bruce] singing was incredible.
Anytime you put on a Cream record, it sounds great, feels great, never seems dated. But Eric didn’t like his singing back
then. In fact, we were at lunch one day, between sessions working on one of Eric’s albums, just sitting around talking about
our favorite Clapton eras. I joined in, said mine was Cream. Eric just looked up and said, “Oh, f’ck off,’” in a funny way, of
course [laughs].

Delaney, Bonnie And Friends really helped launch a bunch of us. For me, it started a relationship with John [Lennon] and
George [Harrison], unreal. Eric fell in love with D&B’s music, and we opened for Blind Faith, Eric’s band with Ginger Baker and
Stevie [Winwood]. They would take their limos, private jets and stuff, but Eric would travel with us on our funky bus. In the
back, Delaney [Bramlett] would try to teach him how to strengthen his voice, sing out more, how to “call the hogs.” Delaney
was from Mississippi, with a lot of farm time. They were doing this hog-calling really loud [laughs]. Eric always credited
Delaney with helping his singing.

Clash: How about John Lennon, what was he like as a person?

Keltner: As a person, John was like your big brother, the guy who knows more than you, has been around longer, is smart
and really sweet-natured. Ringo [Starr] is one of my closest old friends. He said awhile ago that I’d love this new Peter
Jackson film [The Beatles: Get Back] that showed how much the guys enjoyed being around each other, what great friends
they were, how much fun they had making their records. There had never been anything like that before the film. It was
always about the competition between John and Paul, George being unhappy about this or that, Ringo having problems and
quitting the band. Later on, in their personal lives, John and Yoko [Ono] had their thing together, were criticized. But I knew
the side of them that was fantastic. My wife knew them as well, and they loved us a lot as a couple. In New York, playing
on John’s records was like a dream to me.

Clash: What was John like as a musician?

Keltner: John was an incredible guitar player, not a lead like Eric or George, but he played rhythm like nobody’s business.
And the phrasing of his singing was incredible, too. Think about what it meant to be cut down at the age of 40. You’re just
getting started, in a way. John had this amazing life as a kid, being a Beatle. He, Eric and The [Rolling] Stones were all just
teenagers when they became heroes to the world. By the time they were in their 30s and 40s, they had done so much. And
they had so much more to do. When you think in those terms with John, you can just imagine what he would have been up
to later: the person that he was, his thinking about social issues and then just the music in him. Now, he might be judged by
just his last few solo records. That’s not right, because it was only a period for him. I played on some of those, by the way,
and personally loved them. They were over the moon. John would have far surpassed that.

November 27, 2021
Now Streaming: The Beatles Get Back (Part Three)

Jewish doctor who loves The Beatles created America’s only museum devoted to them
Bobby Entel started collecting band memorabilia in his 20s, says his collection on display in Dunedin, Florida is ‘a very fulfilling
hobby and a labor of love’
by Bruce Lowitt

Jewish Press of Pinellas County via JTA — Bobby Entel didn’t watch The Beatles’ February 9, 1964 performance on the
Ed Sullivan Show. He was seven years old at the time and in bed. Nor did he ever see them in person, visit their hometown
of Liverpool, or cross Abbey Road.

But he’s more than made up for that. When he’s not working as a radiologist in Dunedin, Florida, he can often be found at

Penny Lane, the free museum he opened in 2018 that features his extensive collection of Beatles memorabilia. That’s where

he goes to escape the realities of life.


“This is my happy spot, my relief area,” Entel said, seated in a nook at Penny Lane while “Something” from the Abbey Road

album played softly in the background and a pair of nearby tourists studied a guitar signed by Paul McCartney. “It’s a very

fulfilling hobby and a labor of love.”


There are several museums dedicated to The Beatles in England and one in Holland. But except for a floor dedicated to them

at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Entel believes his is the only permanent Beatles exhibit in the United States.

“In the years we’ve been open, nobody’s ever come in and said, ‘You should see the one in New York or Wyoming.’”


England is where Entel’s fascination with The Beatles began in earnest.



“My interest in them evolved from just liking their music to being intrigued with their cultural influence, the impact they had

on politics, on hairstyles, on clothing and on the music world,” he said. “It happened for me over a period of time…and I

didn’t start collecting anything until I was in my 20s and spending a few months as a medical student in London.”


Entel bought his first Beatles memorabilia at the Portobello Road Market in London and brought them home to Florida, where

he started going to flea markets and antique stores in the Tampa Bay area where he usually found lower-end items –

buttons, pins, records.


“I’d also meet people who’d say, ‘I know a dude who’s got a bunch of Beatles stuff he wants to move out. Want his number?

’ And I’d say, ‘Sure,’ and I’d offer maybe a hundred bucks for a whole care package of junk that maybe had a few good



By the time Entel was in his 30s, his Beatles collection had outgrown the closet space he had allotted to it. He started

decorating his walls and buying more expensive and rare items from online auction houses like Heritage and Sotheby’s, not to

mention eBay. “I went from pins and buttons and posters to signed guitars and their clothing. I also have pieces of their

hair,” Entel said.


At first when friends suggested he open a museum, he dismissed the idea. “I’d tell them, ‘I’m a doctor. What do I know

about a museum?’” But he knew George Ann Bissett, then the director of the Dunedin Fine Art Center and now its president

and CEO, and her husband Colin, a native of Liverpool who “really had a sense of the Beatles’ early days,” Entel said.


Colin Bissett is now the curator of Penny Lane and a museum guide.

“I went to school with Rory [Roag] Best, Pete Best’s brother and we used to go see them,” Bissett said. Pete Best was the
Beatles’ drummer for two years before being replaced by Ringo Starr on Aug. 19, 1962.

Bissett added: “They were nothing like they turned out to be. They were just local guys.”

With just 600 square feet for its exhibition space, the museum holds about 1,000 items, only about a quarter of Entel’s
collection, and receives about a thousand visitors per month.

“I have stuff at home that I can’t display here because it’s a small place. I have Ringo Starr’s drum set that he played on a
Super Bowl commercial. I have Beatles pinball machines, Beatles jukeboxes, a couple of Beatles slot machines from Las
Vegas.” Not to mention Beatles puppets and marionettes, gold and platinum records, posters, lunch boxes, toys, a serape
worn by Ringo, and John Lennon’s electric razor and the TWA bag he put it in when he traveled.

Now Entel is looking for a larger space, “maybe a place where we could show films. Maybe a kitchen, a space for a band.”
He said he’s been contacted by potential sites in St. Petersburg, Florida and Washington, DC “But I want to stay in Dunedin.
It’s where I grew up and downtown is charming.”

And Entel likes the way the museum inspires visitors to share their own recollections of The Beatles and their music’s impact
on their lives.

“There are times I’ll see something I’ve looked at a hundred times and I’ll think, ‘Wow, I didn’t even notice I had that.’ It’s a
visual overload but I kind of want it to be that way,” Entel said. “What I love the most is the people who come in and tell
their stories, their memories.”

November 26, 2021
Now Streaming: The Beatles Get Back (Part Two)

The Beatles and Canada: book tells little-known stories of world's best-known band
While the Beatles’ story understandably tends to centre on their British rise and their impact in the U.S., Canada has
what author John Robert Arnone calls a “second-tier footing” in their global narrative.
Ian McGillis for the Calgary Herald

The Beatles aren’t lacking for attention these days.

Peter Jackson’s keenly anticipated Get Back, a documentary promising a debunking of the standard Beatles breakup
narrative , premièred this week on Disney+, while The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, a two-volume annotated and slipcased
collection of Paul McCartney’s Beatle and solo lyrics, is now in bookstores. Both are prestige projects, done on the grand
scale we’ve come to expect, and have been welcomed by fans everywhere.

But there are other routes into the Beatles’ story — more humble approaches that take into account the ways in which the
Beatles affected individual lives all over the world, including Canada, and continue to do so. Enter John Robert Arnone, a
Canadian Fabs devotee on a mission.

“The two great passions in my life are the Beatles and my country, so putting those two things together is what I call an
act of cultural patriotism,” said the retired 60-year-old from his Ontario home. “We get the history of the Beatles’
connection to Canada piecemeal, in media reports and archives. I wanted to put it all together. I try not to get too
philosophical about this, but I will say that we all make connections to music, and as Canadians we are historically
connected to the Beatles, so that story had to be told.”

The result is Us and Them: Canada, Canadians and the Beatles (FriesenPress, 289 pages), a book that identifies a gap and
fills it with a vengeance.

While the Beatles’ story understandably tends to centre on their British rise and their phenomenal impact in the United
States, Canada has what Arnone calls a “second-tier footing” in their global narrative, both during the Beatles’ active years
and in their solo careers.


“You can’t really write a book about the Beatles and Argentina, or Norway, or Japan that would go on for more than a

couple of chapters,” he said. “But with Canada you can.”


Us and Them more than backs up Arnone’s claim. Spanning 70-plus years, from George Harrison’s pre-Beatles family

connections in Ontario and Quebec to present-day viral online phenomena, the book packs surprises at every turn.


Few will know or remember, for example, that the Beatles topped the Canadian charts a solid two months before their U.S.

breakthrough, thanks to the relative autonomy of the Canadian branch of Capitol Records. She Loves You dominated

Canadian airwaves when the Ed Sullivan appearance wasn’t even a rumour.


The Beatles’ story, in hindsight, is perfect. Everything happened exactly as it should have, because … well, because they

turned out to be the Beatles. But as Arnone demonstrates, the received version is as much a function of what didn’t happen

as what did, and it’s remarkable how often Canadians played a part.


Take the story of Carroll Levis, a Vancouver-raised expat who hosted a 1950s U.K. talent show called Star Search and didn’t

much rate the teenage John, Paul and George, all of whom failed auditions for the show.


“They slipped through his fingers,” said Arnone. “He didn’t advance them through his show, and whatever could have

transpired if he had, didn’t happen. Had this Canadian not done that, we might never have had the Beatles. It speaks to the

quirks of timing and coincidence and cosmic alignment that ultimately gave us this band.” 


Some of the most entertaining passages in the book involve random cameos, like the theory that the title of their epochal

1967 album might have been influenced by their brush with a certain Sgt. Randall Pepper, an Ontario policeman who worked

security on the band’s 1966 Toronto visit. Arnone goes so far as to interview his daughter.


“That’s a delightful piece of possible Canadiana,” said Arnone. “McCartney contradicts it, and I give great deference to what

he says. But I’m happy to highlight a story like that because what is true, what is forgotten and what is unclear are all part

of the great Beatles history.”


The list goes on, at a dizzying rate. A Canadian woman played a part in facilitating the band’s first experience of LSD, an

event with seismic cultural ramifications; a Canadian session musician played the charmingly out-of-tune country fiddle on

the White Album track Don’t Pass Me By, the first Ringo Starr composition the band recorded. Deposed drummer Pete Best’s

autobiography, cited by Arnone, includes an account of drunken Canadian soldiers on shore leave wreaking havoc in

Hamburg’s Top Ten Club, witnessed by an impressionable 18-year-old Harrison, who must have wondered if his Canadian

relatives had to deal with this sort of thing.


The Klaatu saga, in which the debut album by an anonymous Canadian studio band was briefly thought by some to be the

work of the reunited Beatles, will ring bells for fans of a certain age. The whole 1977 episode is a case study in cultural

desperation. “It says a lot about how much we missed them,” said Arnone. Indeed, Klaatu sounded at best a bit like 10cc.

But the story lives on, and Arnone provides a coda that very few will have known about involving George Martin, McCartney

and a former member of Klaatu.


At times Arnone’s choices are downright inspired, as when he includes the story of Emma Stevens, the Nova Scotian teen

whose YouTube cover of Blackbird went viral to the point where it drew the notice of McCartney himself.


“At a certain point in my research, I began to think that there were too many famous people involved,” said Arnone. “So I

worked extra hard to find ordinary Canadians who had a place. And it doesn’t get much better than an Indigenous teenager

from Nova Scotia getting McCartney’s attention because of her Mi’kmaq version of one of his songs. The fact that for a brief

shining moment this language got international attention, and was cited by the United Nations as a language deserving of

preservation … it’s beautiful.”


Montreal, as many will suspect, looms large in Us and Them; the 1969 Lennon-Ono bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel is an

especially fecund source of stories. One of those, little-known hitherto, involves the role played by a certain Montreal daily

in the genesis of Lennon’s best-loved song.


“If the Montreal Gazette hadn’t run a story about a Cree woman (Lillian Piché Shirt) protesting on the steps of the Alberta

legislature, and if John Lennon hadn’t read that story while he was in that bed, he may never have made the call to the

Edmonton radio station that got him in touch with her, and they may never have had the phone conversation that may have

helped inspire the song Imagine.”


Imagine that.

November 25, 2021
Now Streaming: The Beatles Get Back (Part One)

And in the Twitter universe, Star Wars actor Mark Hamill posted his support this morning for The Get Back docuseries in a
humorous way.

November 24, 2021
Ottawa Beatles Site Retrogroove: Joe Bonamassa - "Taxman" - Live at The Cavern Club

The Beatles docuseries "Get Back" starts tomorrow on Disney+. And while you're patiently waiting, have a blast with Joe
Bonamassa's cover of the Beatles "Taxman." As my best friend Dave said:  "That, bar none, is the best, bluesiest, cover
of Taxman that I’ve ever heard. Joe Bonamassa, is a truly talented blues master guitarist and singer with a really great
backing band!" In response to my friend Dave's remarks is this: "Beatle fans, have a listen and you'll agree!"

Taxman was written by George Harrison.

- John Whelan, special for the Ottawa Beatles Site

George Harrison's All Things Must Pass is nominated for a Grammy

November 23, 2021
Neil Young Is The Only Person To Perform Paul McCartney’s Original ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ Lyrics
by Paul Cashmere for Noise11

Paul McCartney has revealed to Howard Stern that his original lyric to ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ was a mistake and that
John Lennon had him change it. But then McCartney told Neil Young the story and Young performed the original.

McCartney wrote ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ with the opening lyrics “well she was just 17, never been a beauty queen”.

Paul told Howard Stern that when he presented the song to John Lennon “we both looked at each other and I knew he was
going to say that and I knew ‘oh, this is not good’. It wasn’t good. It was a rhyme but it wasn’t good.”

Decades later Paul told Neil Young about the line. Neil then sang the line at a music industry benefit. “Years later I was
getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Neil Young was there. I told him that story. There was a MusiCares thing,
a big benefit in LA and Neil was playing there and he did that song and he used that line”.

Paul McCartney considers ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ the best song he has ever written.

‘I Saw Here Standing There’ was track one side one of the very first album for The Beatles ‘Please Please Me’. The first live
recording at the Cavern Club in Liverpool later 1962. It was a slow song then. The version you know was recorded on 11
February 1963 at EMI Recording Studios at 3 Abbey Road, London. The studios were renamed Abbey Road Studios after The
Beatles’ Abbey Road album in the 1970s.

Glyn Johns Remembers


November 22, 2021
Ringo Starr teaches drumming

He filmed the Beatles in crisis. Five decades later, the world is watching again.
Hudson's Michael Lindsay-Hogg sees his footage of 'Let It Be' sessions recontextualized for Peter Jackson's new 'Get Back'
by Casey Seiler for the Times Union

HUDSON — There's 28-year-old Michael Lindsay-Hogg in January 1969, dodging in and out of the frame as the Beatles —
alternately playful and cranky — construct an album's worth of songs that will come to be regarded as classics. He is
smoking an enormous cigar.

And there's Lindsay-Hogg, 81, on a Zoom call from his home in Hudson. Unshaven but stylish and bursting with enthusiasm,
he's embarked on a series of interviews with media all over the world ahead of this week's release of "Get Back," Peter
Jackson's three-part Beatles documentary that will begin streaming on Disney+ on Thursday.

The new project repurposes the 57 hours of footage Lindsay-Hogg and his crew shot for what was initially planned as a
Beatles TV special, but ultimately resulted in an 80-minute "Let It Be" theatrical film that wasn't released until the spring of
1970 — weeks after the world's most famous band had announced their terminal breakup. 

"I'm pleased," Lindsay-Hogg said with evident understatement. "Because I thought, for a variety of reasons, that (the film)
'Let It Be' wasn't really given its due."

Lindsay-Hogg's documentary ended up a victim of the ex-Beatles' mixed feelings about the project, which captured the
escalating tensions within the band — including but not limited to guitarist George Harrison's efforts to stake out a larger
role as a songwriter. At one point, Harrison quietly quits the band for several weeks, and then returns. The project was also
complicated by financial disputes within Apple Corps Ltd., the Beatles' company, as Paul McCartney began to lose
confidence in the leadership of the band's imposing new manager Allen Klein. 

"So we have a movie which was shot before they broke up, and then was put on the shelf for a while for a lot of internal
reasons," said Lindsay-Hogg, who began directing the Beatles' video clips with "Paperback Writer" in 1966. "And then it's
released when they're broken up — and everyone thinks, 'Oh, it's the breakup movie. This is what we've been having
nightmares about for such a long time: Mommy and Daddy are broken up.' And so it was regarded as this kind of slightly
soiled remnant of what had been a glorious four or five years when the Beatles had taken over the world." 

The "Let It Be" film was ultimately pulled from release, and in recent decades has circulated primarily in bootlegs and ancient
VHS tapes. "It was slightly put under the carpet by Apple," Lindsay-Hogg said.

He has abundant respect for Jackson, the New Zealand filmmaker best known for his epic "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit"
trilogies, who courted Apple about gaining access to its archives of Lindsay-Hogg's footage as well as hours of previously
unheard audio from the same sessions.

"Peter asked me to tell him the story of ‘Let It Be’ and who was looking after it near the release," Lindsay-Hogg said. "I told
him I was — no one else, really."

"So except for you, 'Let It Be' was really an orphan," Jackson told him.

“And I thought, oh my god, if anybody’s ever found the word to describe what it had gone through — this sturdy, brave
little movie — he did," Lindsay-Hogg recalled. 

Though Lindsay-Hogg hoped for decades to see his "Let It Be" re-released — a case he would make periodically to the
band's former members, especially McCartney (the "go-to guy" for Beatles-related projects, he said) — the filmmaker wasn't
interested in revisiting the dozens of hours of footage in the Apple vault.

"I did it 50 years ago; I don't want to do it again," he said. “I said, ‘Listen: Whatever use I can be to Peter, I’m there.’"

He and Jackson consulted regularly during the three years of work on "Get Back," even as the pandemic delayed the new
film's release for more than a year. Jackson at times "was trying to be like Sherlock Holmes. ... 'Do you remember what was
going on on day six? I can't figure it out.' "

Lindsay-Hogg's footage received a thorough digital reworking by Jackson's team, giving "Get Back" a new look that could be
seen even in the way the band's famously shaggy hair appears. Jackson — who gave an even more striking overhaul to
footage from World War I in his 2018 documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old" — wanted it "to look as modern as it could; he
wanted you to be there and not feel the window, the impediment of old footage," Lindsay-Hogg said.

Though he's only seen about a third of Jackson's finished film, Lindsay-Hogg is in an enviable position: He remains proud of
his decades-old work while admiring what another filmmaker on the other side of the world has done with the raw material.

"I gave Peter a lot of good footage," he says with a laugh. "He's put it together masterfully, and he gets right down to the

Lindsay-Hogg and his wife moved to Hudson a few years ago from Los Angeles; they grew fond of the region after their
daughter attended college at Bard and ended up settling in Columbia County. The small city's walkability is a major asset for
the filmmaker, who doesn't drive.

"We like the vibe as well as the convenience of it. ... It's a cool city," Lindsay-Hogg said.

Before and after his work on "Let It Be," his career has been peripatetic and varied. He directed 1968's "The Rolling Stones
Rock and Roll Circus," another snakebit but remarkable TV special featuring an all-star lineup of the Stones as well as The
Who, Jethro Tull, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono in a side project called the Dirty Mac. The "Circus" was shelved for a
quarter-century before receiving ecstatic reviews at the 1996 New York Film Festival ahead of its video release.

Lindsay-Hogg went on to direct dozens of classic videos for the Stones as well as concert films for Neil Young and Simon &
Garfunkel (plus Paul Simon's "Graceland: The African Concert"). In addition to the acclaimed 1981 miniseries adaptation of
Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited," his directing credits include the feature films "The Object of Beauty" and "Two of Us,"
the latter a 2000 dramatization of a 1976 Manhattan encounter between McCartney and Lennon (played by Aidan Quinn and
Jared Harris) that ended up being the last time the pair saw each other before Lennon's killing in 1980. 

Lindsay-Hogg is one of those figures who connects dizzying strands of cultural history. An example: The giant cigars he can
be seen smoking during the "Let It Be" sessions were a habit he had picked up from Orson Welles, with whom Lindsay-Hogg
had appeared onstage in his early days as an actor. (Lindsay-Hogg's 2011 memoir "Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age
in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond" goes into detail about his relationship with Welles — including his suspicions that
the "Citizen Kane" auteur was his biological father.) 

Asked if the Beatles' breakup might be one of the reasons for their continued popularity — that scarcity breeds fondness —
Lindsay-Hogg said he isn't so sure. The songs were and remain the strongest attraction, he believes, and the fact that the
best of them were about love as opposed to sex — a subject that, he notes, got much more attention in the music of the

In America, he said, the Beatles arrived as the nation was barely three months past the November 1963 assassination of
President John F. Kennedy. Their energy was a salve on a traumatized nation, or at least on its younger generation.

"The Beatles came on television," Lindsay-Hogg said, "and there it was: joy and not tragedy coming into your living room."

Almost 60 years later, as the nation emerges from another kind of ordeal, they're back.

November 21, 2021
Mojo Magazine collectors edition - the companion piece to the Beatles Get Back Book

Yesterday I went down to Chapters book store on Rideau Street, here in Ottawa. It's not far from Chateau Laurier hotel
where Paul McCartney stayed at (about a 5 minute walk away) while waiting to perform at the Canadian Tire centre on
July 7, 2013.

As of this writing, "The Lyrics" by Paul McCartney has sold out in all Chapter book stores in Ottawa. So I hope Paul is making
arrangements with the publisher to print more copies. Hopefully it will be available again before or after Christmas.

In the meantime I decided to pick up a copy of the Beatles Get Back book. This is a very impressive "must have" book for
Beatle collectors. The page layouts are well presented and serves as historical testimony on one of the last few efforts by
the Beatles trying to recapture their rock and roll roots like when they first started out together. 

While picking the Beatles Get Back book, I noticed Mojo Magazine's special coverage on the Get Back docuseries that is
produced by Peter Jackson. I decided to purchase a copy. It's nicely packaged. The Mojo edition includes a black and white
poster (about the size of the poster inserts that fans got in the White Album.) Printed on the back of the poster, Mojo
identifies the band members: "Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon at Apple
Studios, January 24, 1969." The back cover also contains photo advertising for The Beatles - Get Back book. 

Not only does Mojo do a deep dive on the Beatles film, book and music, they also have special write-ups on Joni Mitchell and
the passing of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.

The first two photographs below are scans that I made while the magazine was still sealed up in durable plastic. The artwork
is unique to the plastic cover as it is not found on the actual cover of the magazine, so its worth preserving. All you need is
pair of scissors and slowly cut across the very top and you are left with the plastic pouch to preserve the magazine and the
two gifts inside.

The remaining photos is what housed the CD that came with it.

- John Whelan, special for the Ottawa Beatles Site



November 20, 2021
From Facebook the Beatles announce: "Check out the reviews for the 'Let It Be' special edition packages!"

November 19, 2021
Peter Jackson explains the magic of The Beatles: Get Back
by News Hub

November 18, 2021
Some photographs from the Get Back Documentary Preview, November 16, 2021, at London’s Cineworld Leicester

Paul McCartney’s “Lyrics” Earned the Beatle Approximately $3.7 Mil in First Four Days of Publication
by Roger Friedman for Showbiz 411

EXCLUSIVE Paul McCartney is literally printing money right now.

On Tuesday, November 2, his two volume “The Lyrics” was released. When NPD BookScan counted the sales, “The Lyrics” had sold
36,950 copies for the weekend ending November 6th.

That’s $3,695,000 just in the US in four days.

“The Lyrics” is number 1 this week on the New York Times non fiction hardcover bestseller list, and the combined hardcover and e book



At BookScan, “The Lyrics” is currently number 8 on the overall bestseller list, and number 3 on hardcover non fiction.


It’s quite possible “The Lyrics” has sold 100,000 copies in the US since November 2nd, which would be the equivalent of 200,000 books.

We’ll know more on Friday.


Beatles and McCartney fans are scooping up the two volume set mostly at $100.000. (It was briefly discounted by Amazon to $60.) Any

why not? This is now the permanent record, the last word so to speak by McCartney on 154 songs. Some of them are tossaways, but

least 125 are of major interest. In the volumes he names “Here, There and Everywhere” as the favorite of all the songs he’s composed.


Well, Lennon-McCartney, McCartney-Lennon, McCartney on his own or with anyone else is an extraordinary catalog, the Bach or

Beethoven of our lifetime. I hope next year he offers a Volume 3 with songs he left out. But for now, this should keep everyone busy.


(PS If only Adele had tried one of those songs!!)

November 16, 2021
Paul McCartney says ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ documentary changed his perception of their split
The Peter Jackson film will premiere on Disney+ later this month
By Damian Jones for New Music Express

From the top: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston and Beatle producer Sir George Martin, George Harrison, Paul and John
share some fun together. Photo credit: Apple Corps and Disney+

Paul McCartney has admitted that Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back documentary has changed his perception of their

The three part film, which is coming to Disney+ later this month, focuses on the making of the band’s penultimate studio
album ‘Let It Be’ and showcases their final concert as a band, on London’s Savile Row rooftop, in its entirety.

“I’ll tell you what is really fabulous about it, it shows the four of us having a ball,” McCartney told The Sunday Times after

watching the film. “It was so reaffirming for me. That was one of the important things about The Beatles, we could make

each other laugh."

He continued: “John and I are in this footage doing ‘Two Of Us’ and, for some reason, we’ve decided to do it like
ventriloquists. It’s hilarious. It just proves to me that my main memory of the Beatles was the joy and the skill.”

Asked if it had changed his perception of the band’s eventual split, he said: “Really yes. And there is proof in the footage.
Because I definitely bought into the dark side of The Beatles breaking up and thought, ‘God, I’m to blame.’

“It’s easy, when the climate is going that way, to think that. But at the back of my mind there was this idea that it wasn’t
like that. I just needed to see proof.”

John Lennon privately informed his bandmates that he was leaving the Beatles in September 1969, before the following year
saw McCartney famously announce his self-titled debut solo album with a press release that stated he was no longer
working with the group – breaking their split to the world.

“We made a decision when The Beatles folded that we weren’t going to pick it up again,” he said. “You talk about how
something has come full circle and that’s very satisfying, so let’s not spoil it.”

He also said that looking back now, he may have reunited with Lennon in later years.

McCartney added: “We could have. And I often now will think, if writing a song, ‘OK, John, I’ll toss it over to you. What line
comes next?’ So I’ve got a virtual John that I can use.”

His comments echo similar sentiments that he made earlier this month, when he said he’d “only just got over” dealing with
the “misconception” that he was the one who split up The Beatles.

“I think the biggest misconception at the end of The Beatles was that I broke The Beatles up, and I lived with that for quite
a while,” he added. “Once a headline’s out there, it sticks. That was a big one – and I’ve only finally just gotten over it.”

The Beatles: Get Back documentary will premiere on Disney+ on November 25, 26 and 27.

"The LOST Beatles Album | Cancelled By Apple - Should It Be Re-released?" - Asks Parlogram Auctions

A Collection of Beatles Oldies' was a popular and highly successful Beatles album worldwide for 20 years before being
dumped by EMI/Apple in 1987. Whilst derided in the UK as a cynical cash grab back in 1966, it became a lifeline for fans in
countries where it was impossible to find any Beatles records at all. Behind the Iron Curtain being one such location. Join us
in this video, we trace the album's history from concept to deletion, look at pressings from around the world and make a
case for it reinstatement back into the official Beatles canon.

Photo credit: John Whelan, personal vinyl collection. Camera type: Canon Powershot SX50

Photo credit: John Whelan, personal vinyl collection. Camera type: Canon Powershot SX50

November 13, 2021
Paul McCartney "The Lyrics" hits number on the New York Times Best Seller list!

November 11, 2021
Song featuring George Harrison and Ringo Starr discovered in attic
by the Irish Examiner

A song featuring George Harrison and Ringo Starr has been played in public for the first time, after the composer discovered
the tape more than 50 years after it was recorded.

Suresh Joshi, 77, said he met The Beatles stars when he was recording music for a documentary at London’s Trident Studios
in 1968, at the same time as the group was recording Hey Jude.

He said they recorded the song Radhe Shaam together, which was played for the first time at Liverpool Beatles Museum in
Mathew Street on Wednesday.

Mr Joshi said that when he first met Harrison, who died in 2001, he came across as “very lonely”.

Singer Ashish Khan performed the vocals on the track while Harrison played the guitar and Starr offered to accompany on

Mr Joshi said: “It was a miracle for me to have big stars like that play for me.”

Harrison was known to have been inspired by Indian music and culture and Mr Joshi said he turned to meditation to give him

The song was never released as they all moved on to other projects.

It was only during lockdown, when Mr Joshi was speaking to family friend Deepak Pathak, that he encouraged him to try to
find the tape, which was in a box in the loft of his Birmingham home.

Mr Joshi said: “I told Deepak that I had known The Beatles and I think he thought ‘this man has gone nuts’ so he said ‘prove

“I found photographs from the time and then finally I found the tape.”

The song was almost lost for good when they tried to play the tape in a machine which caught fire, but it was rescued and
restored by music producer Suraj Shinh, known as Nimbus.theproducer.

Mr Pathak approached the museum with the track and they arranged for it to have its world premiere on Wednesday. It will
be released online later.

Museum owner Roag Best, brother of The Beatles’ original drummer Pete, said: “This was the first time George or Ringo had
layed for anybody else outside Beatles and then that track just got put on the backburner.

“We are actually the first people in the world to hear this song.”

Ottawa Beatles Site editorial: The BBC is reporting that the song "Radhe Shaam," was written and produced by broadcaster
Suresh Joshi in 1968. The above video broadcast is taken from the recent BBC broadcast that features George and Ringo
performing on the song.

November 9, 2021

Maureen Cleave, Swinging Sixties correspondent who chronicled the rise of the Beatles as John Lennon’s

confidante and was the source of the ‘bigger than Jesus’ scandal – obituary

by the Telegraph



Maureen Cleave, the journalist, who has died aged 87, was a friend and confidante of the Beatles on their ascent to global
stardom in the mid-1960s; she famously became John Lennon’s muse and relayed to the world his most toxic quote about
the group being more popular than Jesus.

In January 1963 she was a glamorous young pop columnist on the Evening Standard, a fashionable, buzzy paper that
chronicled the stirrings of Swinging London through the eyes of writers whose average age was at least a generation
younger than the rest of Fleet Street. 

A 28-year-old Oxford-educated former debutante, she was the first London journalist to catch on to the Beatles
phenomenon, furnishing the group their first major splash in the metropolitan press in a piece headlined “Why The Beatles
Create All That Frenzy”, a fortnight after the release of their second single, Please Please Me and their first appearance on
ITV’s Thank Your Lucky Stars.

“They wear bell-bottomed suits of a rich burgundy colour with black velvet collars,” she noted. “Their shirts are pink and
their hairstyles are French.” She quoted an unnamed Liverpool housewife as saying: “Their physical appearance inspires
frenzy. They look beat-up and depraved in the nicest possible way.” This anonymous admirer was Gillian Reynolds, later a
distinguished Daily Telegraph columnist, and Maureen Cleave’s best friend at Oxford.

Maureen Cleave was swiftly admitted to the Beatles’ inner circle (where she was known as Thingy), enjoyed privileged
access to “the boys” and accompanied them from Liverpool to London for their first concert at the Palladium and in 1964 on
their first trip to the United States.

“For two years they were out of breath,” she remembered. “They ran to escape screaming mobs of frightening harpies.
‘Come on, Thingy,’ they’d roar at me as I pelted after them. They were smuggled in and out of food lifts. Once, in America,
just like the Marx Brothers, they dashed through a Palm Court orchestra playing to ladies eating ice cream.”

Lennon, for his part, took a particular shine to Maureen Cleave, admiring her intellect as well as her looks – including her red
boots by Anello & Davide which were considered rather outré for the time. She wore virtually no make-up and her hair was a
natural chestnut colour; it was styled by Rose Evansky, the inventor of the “blow wave”. Lennon likened her prose,
meanwhile, to that of Richmal Crompton’s Just William books, a compliment Maureen Cleave claimed was like being compared
to Shakespeare. 

But once the Beatles had become the most famous entertainers in the world, she witnessed at first hand the destructive
force of modern celebrity. When she rang Lennon up at his stockbroker’s Tudor-style mansion in Weybridge, he would ask
her what day it was, for the Beatles had long since lost the ability to distinguish day from night.

Whatever the true extent of her relationship with Lennon, Maureen Cleave certainly came to influence his creativity. In 1964
she happened to be interviewing him on the day the Beatles were to record the song A Hard Day’s Night. Arriving in a taxi
with Lennon at the EMI recording studio in Abbey Road, she found the tune was already in his head and the words scribbled
on the back of a birthday card a fan had sent his baby son Julian.

Maureen Cleave during the 1960s.

The lyrics included the lines: “But when I get home to you/I find my tiredness is through/And I feel all right”. Considering this
rather feeble and awkward, Maureen Cleave suggested something rather more risqué: “I find the things that you do/Will
make me feel all right”. 

Lennon agreed the change, and kept it in, giving her the amended written lyric as a memento. After she chided Lennon for
only writing songs with one-syllable words, he consciously worked “anybody”, “independence” and “appreciate” into the
lyrics of the song Help!

She was reputedly the inspiration for his song Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), a track on the Beatles’ Rubber Soul
album (1965) about a man having an extra-marital affair. Although the number was said to be autobiographical, speculation
about the identity of the girl in the song always mentioned Maureen Cleave, among others.

According to one American biographer, Lennon claimed Norwegian Wood was based on a extramarital affair he was having
with her and that the song was his work entirely. On the other hand Paul McCartney disputed this, insisted it was written
between them at Lennon’s mansion in a single afternoon, and that the fanciful title was a joke about the cheap pine walls in
the bedroom of Peter Asher, brother of the actress Jane Asher, whom McCartney was dating at the time.

For her part, Maureen Cleave said that in all her encounters with Lennon he made “no pass” at her, although Lennon, while
confessing to his wife Cynthia that he had indeed slept with her (among thousands of other women), later recanted and
claimed he could not remember who the song was about. In 2009 Philip Norman in his biography of Lennon revealed it was
about his affair with the German wife of the photographer Robert Freeman, who lived in the flat below Lennon and his wife
Cynthia when the couple lived in central London.

In the spring of 1966 Maureen Cleave profiled Lennon for the Evening Standard, portraying him as a lazy, restless but
reflective and thoughtful figure who was reading widely about religion, and coolly reporting him as saying: “Christianity will
go. It will vanish and shrink… We’re more popular than Jesus now.”

Four months later, on the eve of a Beatles US tour, an American teen magazine picked up the article and headlined the
quote, detonating a media firestorm. Beatles records were burned in the Bible belt of the Deep South and outraged local
radio stations banned Beatles airplay. The Ku Klux Klan arranged anti-Beatles demonstrations, the Vatican denounced
Lennon and Beatles albums were banned in South Africa.

In London Maureen Cleave defended Lennon’s remarks, saying he had merely acknowledged Christianity’s decline in postwar
Europe which meant that the Beatles were, to many people, better known than Jesus.

“With a PR man at his side,” Maureen Cleave recalled many years afterwards, “the quote would never have got into my
notebook, let alone the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, where it ended up. As it was, the Evening Standard didn’t even put
it in the headline. We were used to him sounding off like that and knew it was ironically meant. But the Americans have little
sense of irony, and when the article appeared in a magazine, all hell broke loose. It was the last time the Beatles ever

Maureen Diana Cleave was born on October 20 1934 at Sligo in the north-west of Ireland. In September 1940 she and her
mother and sister were bound for India, where her father was an army officer, when their ship was torpedoed by a German
U-boat off Rathlin Island. The family spent five hours in a lifeboat before being rescued.

From Rosleven boarding school in Athlone, Maureen went up to St Anne’s College, Oxford, in 1954, and in 1957 took a Third
in Modern History, having come out as a debutante in 1955 and been presented at court. Starting at the Evening Standard
as a secretary in the typing pool, she had written almost nothing for the paper when the editor Charles Wintour appointed
her as a showbusiness correspondent and gave her a column called “Disc Date”.

In January 1963 she wrote about Terence Stamp, a successful young film star from Stepney, aged 25. A week later, her
Oxford friend Gillian Reynolds tipped her off about the Beatles, “this odd group in Liverpool who inspired an unaccountable
frenzy in the young”, and she travelled north to interview them. 

On the train she met the Daily Mail’s star feature writer, Vincent Mulchrone, on an identical mission, and that evening
watched the Beatles play a one-nighter at Liverpool’s Grafton Rooms before embarking on a provincial tour supporting Helen

Taken by Brian Epstein to see the queues that had formed two hours ahead of the show, Maureen Cleave was told by some
of the girl fans that they had not bought the Beatles’ first single, Love Me Do, in case the band became famous and left

By 1966 they were the most famous foursome on the planet, and Maureen Cleave interviewed each of them in turn for a
series in the Evening Standard called How Does A Beatle Live?, concentrating on their home lives and their detachment –
particularly Lennon’s – from reality. Opening with her opinion of his personality in a single sentence – imperious,
unpredictable, indolent, disorganised, childish, vague, charming and quick-witted – her profile of Lennon still stands as his
most famous interview.

When her piece appeared in the Standard in March 1966 Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” remarks went virtually unnoticed in
largely godless Britain. But because of the incendiary reaction when the article was syndicated in the US the following
summer, resulting in death threats and genuine fear, it has featured in every biography of Lennon and the Beatles since, and
its influence on the group itself can scarcely be overestimated. It was, as one American writer noted, the greatest blow to
the Beatles’ favourable image in the group’s history.

Although Lennon expressed regret for any offence caused by his remarks, he declined to withdraw them. Maureen Cleave
even offered to take the blame, and to say that she had made up the quotes. Perhaps unwittingly, she changed the rules of
engagement of pop music journalism, replacing the traditionally anodyne encounter between press and pop star with a more
probing style and casting Lennon in the role of spokesman for a generation. A new type of journalism would soon emerge
that reflected this change: when Rolling Stone magazine first appeared the following year, its cover star was John Lennon.

Maureen Cleave severed her links with Lennon shortly after the controversy in 1966, the year she married. “It was
exhilarating while the novelty lasted,” she wrote many years later, “though Lennon, far from being surprised and grateful,
seemed rather nettled he hadn’t been famous sooner. ‘I was always surprised I wasn’t a famous painter. I used to look in
the paper and half expect to see my photograph there.’ He found his own story, the Beatle story, romantic; he liked to talk
about the rags and the riches and, by the time they reached the top, fame had so cut them off from real life there wasn’t
much else to do but talk.”

Ten years after Lennon’s murder in New York in December 1980, Maureen Cleave wrote an affectionate memoir of him in The
Telegraph Weekend Magazine. “Once or twice I had been tempted to call and see him. What had happened to my old friend?
Friend, buddy and pal, as he used to say.” But after the “bigger than Jesus” debacle, she admitted that he might not have
been keen to see her.

At the Evening Standard she conducted frequent interviews with other famous musicians of the 1960s, including Bob Dylan
and the Rolling Stones, memorably posing the question: “But would you like your daughter to marry one?” The satirical
magazine Private Eye guyed her as Maureen Cleavage, often linking her to a fictional pop group called the Turds, and their
charismatic leader Spiggy Topes, based on the Beatles and John Lennon respectively.

Over the next 40 years she continued as a distinguished interviewer of people in all walks of life for the Telegraph and Saga
magazines among many others. In August 1992 she collapsed on the platform at Tottenham Court Road tube station with
symptoms later diagnosed as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis, or chronic fatigue).

She married, in 1966, Francis Nichols, an economist and farmer, whom she met at Oxford and who predeceased her in 2015.
They had three children.

Maureen Cleave, born October 20 1934, died November 6 2021.

November 8, 2021

Beatles manager Brian Epstein to be celebrated with statue

A new statue of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, showing him walking to see the band, will celebrate his legacy in Liverpool,

 the team behind it has said.

by the BBC


The Brian Epstein Legacy Project wants to place the work on Whitechapel, close to the music impresario's record shop.

A spokeswoman said the crowdfunded work would be the first in the city centre to commemorate an LGBT figure.

Sculptor Andy Edwards said showing Epstein in full stride was a nod to his Pier Head statues of the Fab Four.

Epstein discovered The Beatles in 1961 after seeing them play at the Cavern Club, which was just a short walk from his
NEMS Record Store. Sir Paul McCartney would later refer to him as "the fifth Beatle".

'Justly honoured'

The project spokeswoman said Epstein's five-year deal with the band "saw them become more professional and guided
them not simply to the top of the music charts but into cultural history".

His death in 1967 was "seen as the beginning of the end for The Beatles", she added.

He was also instrumental in the careers of several other local acts, including Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black,
Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, and Tommy Quickly.

The spokeswoman said that "although his sexuality was not publicly known until after his death, it was well known amongst
his friends and business associates [and he] faced many personal challenges".

"Epstein was only 32 when he died and did not live to see the changes that could have impacted on his freedom to publicly
express his sexuality [as] laws were changed a month after his death," she added.

Tom Calderbank, who has led the project, said he was "absolutely delighted" to be submitting the plans for the work.

"This is a tribute to the hard work, enthusiasm and tenacity of our committee who have spent five years working towards
this goal," he said.

"The Epstein family have supported us from the start, and I'm made up we're able to repay that faith by confirming that
Brian will finally be justly honoured in his hometown."

Edwards said his design for the statue was "intended to be in the same style as our Beatles statues".


"It relates to them not only in the walking pose, but it maps the short journey Brian would take to The Cavern from his NEMS
office, or maybe to meet his boys on the waterfront.

"He could also, of course, be off to see Gerry, Billy, Tommy, Michael or Cilla."

Kevin McManus, head of Unesco City of Music in Liverpool, said Epstein "changed music management forever".

"Brian is such an important figure in Liverpool history that it is fitting that his significance is now set to be recognised," he


The planning application will be decided upon by Liverpool City Council later in the year.

November 7, 2021
American Songwriter: Live chat with Ringo Starr and Linda Perry this coming Tuesday 

November 6, 2021
McCartney, With and Without Lennon
by David Hajdu for the New York Times

1956 to the Present
By Paul McCartney
Edited and with an introduction by Paul Muldoon

When they first started to write songs as teenagers in Liverpool, John Lennon and Paul McCartney decided to credit
everything they wrote to “Lennon and McCartney,” no matter what or how much either of them had contributed to the
words or the music. The echo of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, and other famous songwriting teams led
people to assume that Lennon and McCartney were adhering to the traditional division of songwriting labor, with one partner
serving as the composer, and the other, the lyricist. The New York Times critic Dan Sullivan, writing in 1967, credited
McCartney for most of the group’s music, which he lauded for originality “matched by John Lennon’s freshness as a lyricist.”
The composer Ned Rorem, much the same, thought McCartney was responsible for the music and, as such, “the Beatles’
most significant member.” Patting Lennon on the moptop, he congratulated him for writing lyrics “well matched to the

Over time, as the Tin Pan Alley model of songmaking faded into memory and singer-songwriters became pervasive in pop
music, the proposition that both Lennon and McCartney could be composers and lyricists in equal measure — as well as
singers and instrumentalists — seemed easier to grasp. In fact, a new conception of pop artists as do-it-all vertically
integrated singularities redefined pop artistry, thanks in large part to the Beatles having changed the rules. Yet the ongoing
(or never-ending) conversation about the Beatles has long been informed by a lingering perception of Lennon as the word
man, the more literary and cerebral Beatle, and McCartney as the more musical one, an intuitive artist attuned to the
pleasures of the senses. This line of thinking has tended to diminish McCartney in the eyes of rock critics more disposed to
textual analysis than musicology, and it clearly drives McCartney bonkers, as he demonstrates on a grand scale with the
lavishly prepared two-volume boxed set of books “The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present.”

McCartney, a songwriter of staggering prolificacy, has been writing or co-writing songs — as well as music of other kinds,
including extended works in classical forms, a ballet score and experiments in electronica — at a steady rate with few
pauses since 1956, when he was 14. “Fans or readers, or even critics, who really want to learn more about my life should
read my lyrics, which might reveal more than any single book about the Beatles could do,” McCartney writes in the foreword
to “The Lyrics.”

The books present the words to 154 of the songs McCartney has created on his own or with various collaborators — with
Lennon while they were Beatles; with his first wife, Linda, before and during their participation in McCartney’s post-Beatles
group Wings; with their bandmate Denny Laine; and with a few others from time to time — over the years. The books’ title,
in its declarative terseness, proclaims the books’ definitiveness. It’s not “Selected Lyrics” or “Paul’s Favorite Lyrics” or
“Lyrics That Remind Paul of a Little Story He’d Like to Share,” but just “The Lyrics,” and it’s misleading. The books provide a
carefully curated selection of lyrics: 154 out of the more than 400 songs McCartney wrote or co-wrote on 22 Beatles studio
albums and 26 Wings and solo albums, along with singles and B sides.

It would be easy to fill the rest of this review space with the titles of less-than-print-worthy lyrics from McCartney’s vast
catalog. One can’t blame him for not including goofy doggerel such as “Oo You,” “Mumbo” and “Bip Bop.” Nor should one
fault McCartney for the pride he takes in the lyrics selected for these books, though some are treacherously close to
doggerel, too. (I’m thinking of “My Love” and “Live and Let Die,” the latter of which has been rewritten since the original
published sheet music to eliminate “this ever-changing world in which we live in,” though the amended lyric is still awfully
trite.) To read over the words to these 154 songs is to be impressed not merely with McCartney’s productivity but with the
fertility of his imagination and the potency of his offhand, unfussy style. The best of the songs collected here (“For No
One,” “She’s Leaving Home,” “When Winter Comes,” “On My Way to Work” and quite a few more) reflect eyes fixed on the
small niceties and curiosities of everyday life and a mind that bounces freely, taking childlike pleasure in that freedom. “The
Lyrics” makes clear that McCartney has written on a high level long past his Beatles years, and even the weakest lyrics in
the books have a character all their own: a feeling of giddy playfulness and unguarded experimentation. They’re a joy to
read because they exude the joy their maker took in their making.

Like most pop lyrics, the words to McCartney’s songs are considerably more effective with the music they were written for.
With the addition of melody, harmony, instruments, the human voice and studio electronics, a piece of recorded music can
come together like, say, “Come Together” — a song by Lennon that McCartney transformed in the studio by radically
altering the music. “The Lyrics” does not present a partial view of McCartney’s songs, though; it presents a different view of
them. In the absence of music, the books add to the words with new elements of accompaniment: photographs,
reproductions of manuscripts, images of mementos and artifacts related to the songs or the time of their making, and
lengthy commentary by McCartney. These materials are far from ancillary and actually constitute the bulk of the contents of
“The Lyrics.” (Only 156 of the books’ 874 pages are used for lyrics.)

The commentary was constructed with the aid of Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, who also happens to be a
rock musician and songwriter. In 24 sessions (face to face before the pandemic, and then by videoconference), Muldoon led
McCartney in conversations about the songs and later edited McCartney’s language to produce the first-person prose in the
books. The text is loose and ruminative, and it reveals a great deal about what McCartney thinks about life and music, and
what he would like us to think about him.

Over and over, McCartney shows how deeply he is steeped in literary history and how much his output as a songwriter has
in common with the works of the likes of Dickens and Shakespeare. “John never had anything like my interest in literature,”
he announces at the top of his commentary on “The End,” before pivoting to a mini-lecture on the couplet as a form. “When
you think about it, it’s been the workhorse of poetry in English right the way through. Chaucer, Pope, Wilfred Owen.”
Apropos of “Come and Get It,” the trifle he wrote and produced for Badfinger, McCartney notes, “When you’re writing for an
audience — as Shakespeare did, or Dickens, whose serialized chapters were read to the public — there’s that need to pull
people in.” Aaaah … we realize: Paul really is a word man, the more literary and cerebral Beatle.

As one would expect from the pop star who posed with his baby tucked in his coat on his farm for his first post-Beatles
album, McCartney talks with ardor and respect for his parents, his extended family in Liverpool, and the traditional values of
hearth and home in general. He attributes the buoyant positivity of his music to the happiness in his family life and, by
extension, ascribes the bite and cynicism that distinguishes much of Lennon’s work to the domestic upheaval in John’s early
years. To McCartney, a dark view of humanity is a failing and must be a mark of suffering, rather than an attribute of

While pronouncing his love for Lennon as a longtime friend and creative partner, Paul is pretty rough on him at points in “The
Lyrics.” His main crime is one of omission, passing on opportunities to point out Lennon’s signature contributions to songs
they wrote collaboratively, such as “A Day in the Life.” In the context of conflicts between the two of them, McCartney
describes Lennon as “stupid” or an “idiot.” Yes, we all know that McCartney can’t help defining himself in relation to Lennon.
Still, as he shows convincingly throughout “The Lyrics,” you don’t have to make the other guy out to be an idiot to prove
that you’re a genius.

David Hajdu is the author, most recently, of “A Revolution in Three Acts: The Radical Vaudeville of Bert Williams, Eva
Tanguay, and Julian Eltinge.”

1956 to the Present
By Paul McCartney
Edited and with an introduction by Paul Muldoon Illustrated. 874 pp.
Liveright Publishing. $100.

November 5, 2021
Paul McCartney knew he'd never top The Beatles — and that's just fine with him
by Terry Gross for NPR

This is a really terrific interview with Paul was conducted by Terry Gross for NPR's "Fresh Air" broadcast. The report
has also been transcribed in print format.

Above: Paul McCartney during the days of Beatlemania and Terry Gross who recently interviewed Paul.

Paul McCartney says romance with Nancy was meant to be due to mutual love of dancing

Sir Paul McCartney and businesswoman Nancy Shevell got together during a holiday in Morocco with his brother

by Mark Jefferies Showbiz Editor for the Mirror


Sir Paul McCartney says his romance with Nancy Shevell was meant to be because they can’t get enough of getting down

on the dancefloor.


Writing in his new book, The Lyrics, Sir Paul says he knew early on his relationship with the American businesswoman “would



And their compatibility was underlined by their mutual love of busting some moves.


“There’s no denying it, I really enjoy dancing,” said the star, who was previously married to Linda McCartney and Heather



“It’s something my wife Nancy and I are particularly keen on.


“After a show, when the band and crew get together for a drink, we’re always the first ones on the dancefloor. Certain

songs will just get you dancing.”


The pair got together during a holiday to Morrocco with the Beatle’s brother, Mike, and his wife, during which Sir Paul said it

“rained the whole bl**dy time”



He admitted he had already “fallen in love with my lady”, but they were not officially a couple and had separate rooms.

Then on Valentine’s day during another downpour, he sat at the piano in the hotel’s foyer and knocked out a song for her,

called My Valentine, which he went on to release in 2012.


Sir Paul, 79, said: “The piano was sitting in the foyer all day long, and because the rain would not stop, I sometimes went

and just noodled on the keys.”


He added: “I was thinking all sorts of loving thoughts towards Nancy, and while I was at the piano, I could see that the

waiters who were clearing up were listening. But it was nice and romantic, it was a perfect moment, and I thought to

myself, we’re not going to stay in separate rooms tonight.”


Sir Paul and Nancy wed in 2011 at a London Register Office, and he is clearly still smitten.


He added: “If you had to say one word about her, it’s that she’s real.


“I have a beautiful picture of when we went to the White House. It’s of Nancy and me talking to Barack and Michelle

Obama, and we’re laughing at something the president said. Nancy is paying such attention. She’s a great person. She’s



The Lyrics by Paul McCartney is published by Allen Lane and is out now.


November 4, 2021
This is Billy Preston: "My Sweet Lord" and Ringo Starr inducts Billy into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame"


Billy Preston Getting Docu Film Treatment In Paris Barclay-Helmed Film From White Horse

& Homegrown Pictures

by Mike Fleming Jr. for Deadline


White Horse Pictures and Homegrown Pictures have teamed on an untitled documentary feature about the legendary musician and genius keyboardist Billy Preston. He was called the Fifth Beatle, because he the only non-member ever to be credited on a Beatles recording. He had plenty of his own hits and co-wrote the song Joe Cocker made famous, You Are So Beautiful. Fifteen years after his death in 2006, Billy Preston was inducted this past weekend into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


Paris Barclay, the multi-Emmy-winning director, producer, and writer (In Treatment, Glee, Sons of Anarchy) will direct. Cheo Hodari Coker (Creed II, Luke Cage, Ray Donovan) is writing the film alongside Barclay.


The film is produced by Homegrown’s Stephanie Allain (Hustle & Flow, Dear White People, 2020 Oscars), White Horse’s Jeanne Elfant Festa, (Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart) and Nigel Sinclair (Pavarotti, George Harrison: Living in the Material World). The exec producers are Barclay, Daniel Shaw, G. Marq Roswell, Olivia Harrison, Jonathan Clyde, and White Horse Pictures’ Nicholas Ferrall and Cassidy Hartmann. Coker is co-producing and Erikka Yancy serves as the film’s supervising producer. Pic is presented by Concord Originals alongside Impact Partners, Chicago Media Project, and Play/Action Pictures, Polygram Entertainment, Dave Knott, and Sobey Road Entertainment.


Said Allain: “A singular figure in music history, Billy Preston lent his genius to elevate the most celebrated artists of the 20th Century. Grateful to work with this team, using this soundtrack to explore his personal journey and finally place him front and center.” Barclay said “the Billy Preston we know was an incomparable musician,” but the Billy we’ll see in this documentary was a mass of contradictions. I’m thrilled to dig deeper into the complex man under the Afro, and behind the famous smile.”


A self taught prodigy keyboard player, Preston was just 16 when he met the not-yet-famous Beatles while playing for Little Richard while they toured Hamburg in 1962. He befriended the young, impoverished band by sneaking them food and drinks. Later in the ’60s, this led to Preston playing on The Beatles’ Let It Be and Abbey Road albums as a credited musician, and performing with the Beatles in their last live performance as a group – the famous Roof Top concert. The Grammy Award-winning artist had solo career that included number one hits, and working with The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nat King Cole, Sly Stone, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson, among others. Preston is featured in the upcoming Peter Jackson-directed documentary The Beatles: Get Back.


Despite an enviable career in music, Preston  had a challenging personal story that involved sexual abuse he endured as a child. He struggled with his sexuality and had substance abuse problems he used to make his pain. Only later in life did he come to terms with his truth and so find his peace.


Barclay and Hodari Coker asked to make a shout out to those who knew Preston or worked with him, who and may have recordings, photographs, or personal memories to make contact through


UTA Independent Film Group with White Horse Pictures helped raise the funding and they will broker sales of the film.


Allain’s Homegrown is repped by UTA, First Artists and Marcy Morris; Barclay is ICM and Lovett Management.


November 3, 2021
The Lennon Wall in Prague Czech Republic

Photo credit: Utkarsh Kapoor, India.

Original ‘Let It Be’ Director Defends His Film: ‘I Don’t Care’ That Ringo Hates It
Michael Lindsay-Hogg looks back on his time with the Beatles, from hearing John and Yoko’s audio sex tape to watching (and
recording) George quit the band
By Brian Hiatt for Rolling Stone

Michael Lindsay-Hogg, director of the long-lost 1970 Beatles documentary Let It Be, is about to see his 56 hours of original
footage recut into an entirely different movie: Peter Jackson’s three-part, six-hour-long, painstakingly restored
The Beatles:
Get Back
, which debuts Nov. 25 on Disney+. But Lindsay-Hogg doesn’t feel like his earlier work is being erased. “The original
thing exists,” says the director, who hasn’t seen Jackson’s full film yet — he was told it’s still not quite finished. “And I know
what I think of the original thing.”

Lindsay-Hogg was a director on the legendary U.K. music TV show Ready Steady Go!, and he went on to shoot video clips
for the Beatles and Stones, as well as The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, which was finally released on home video in
2004. In late 1968, the Beatles recruited him for a TV special that eventually morphed into Let It Be, a vérité documentary
that captures the Beatles in the final year of their existence as a band, though not their actual breakup: They went on to
record all of Abbey Road after the Let It Be sessions. It remains the rawest and most unvarnished look at the Beatles, which
is the main reason the film remains officially unavailable, though Lindsay-Hogg is hopeful that may soon change. 

Lindsay-Hogg, 81, looked back at his film and some of the controversies surrounding it in a recent Zoom conversation with
Rolling Stone, conducted as he was recovering from heart-valve replacement surgery.


Let It Be was briefly available on home video in the 1980s, but never since. How frustrating was that for you, and how did you learn of this new plan to let Peter Jackson take on the footage?
I was always agitating for Let It Be to be released in some form. Because there did seem to be an audience for it. I like Let It Be. And I always thought, for a variety of reasons which weren’t its fault, it was positioned badly in the world of rock & roll documentaries, and even Beatles lore. About three years ago, I went to London and saw my friend Jonathan Clyde, who’s a key player at [the Beatles’ company, Apple Corps.], and he said, “There’s something going on now that we ought to talk about. Peter Jackson has had a look at a lot of the old material. And he’s thinking maybe he’d like to have a whack at it. And what do you feel about that?”

And I think they were expecting me to in English parlance, throw a wobbly. I didn’t throw a wobbly at all. I said, that would
be great. Because I didn’t want to do it again. I did mine. I’ve seen those 56 hours [of footage] years ago. I love Peter’s
work. And so I thought, if it’s going to go into any hands, he’s imaginative, and he’s tough, and, I learned, he loves the
Beatles. I had to cut out certain things, which I always hoped would come to light again. Now he’s going to release six hours
versus an hour and a half. There was no way that we’d have had six hours of Beatles in 1970 as a movie!

At one of your initial meetings with the Beatles to discuss the project that became Let It Be, did John really play
an audiocassette recording of him having sex with Yoko?
Well, he put it in the cassette player and he pressed the button. And at first, you couldn’t be sure what it was, because
you heard murmuring voices. But then you knew because of the intimate way they were talking, because of pauses,
because of silences, because of murmurs of pleasure that that’s what was going on. I remember thinking it was an
extraordinary salvo. And that it was him saying, “This is what’s going on now. And it is her and me. It’s not you, not the
other three guys I have grown up with. It’s her and me, and this is an aspect of my life that isn’t going to change.” So I
think that was more like a calling card.

That’s certainly a powerful way to deliver that message. Weird! These were guys who had shared one-room apartments and
a small bathroom in Hamburg for months at a time. And they knew each other and they’re all wildly heterosexual. And they
kind of were silenced by this. And then one of them said, “Well, that’s interesting.”

Ringo is being openly sour about your original movie. He told me that there was “no joy” in it.
Personally, I don’t care. That’s his opinion. And we all have them. I mean, the polite version is everybody’s got elbows and
everybody’s got opinions. I like Ringo. And I don’t think he’s seen the movie for 50 years. Don’t forget, we shot it in January
’69. We are editing it through August, maybe September ’69, and it’s probably ready, September, October ’69. And there’s
some issues about when it’s going to get released, because [business manager] Allen Klein wanted to have a seat on the
board of MGM, and he was trying to use the film to parlay that. Then that didn’t work out, so he went back to United
Artists. But that’s around the time that the Beatles are starting to break up.

And I think, if you haven’t seen the movie in a long time, and you may not have the best memory in the world, all that kind of gets mixed up in your brain about what it was like. Because when I saw it last, I’m thinking, “What is he talking about?” In fact, there’s great joy and connection and collaboration, and good times and jokes and affection in Let It Be. It ends with the concert on the roof, which is the first time they played together in public for three years, when they are magical. And they’re having such a good time. They realize, wow, we’ve been missing this. And through much of the picture, they’re happy and they’re trying to work things out. You don’t always have a smile on your face when you’re trying to work something out. You’re thinking. So I just don’t think he’s seen it for a long time. And again, with respect, I don’t care. As a human being, he’s wonderfully quick and funny. 

In your recollection, playing on the roof was your idea, right?
I figured it was my job to say we need a place we’re going to, we need a place to end, we need a conclusion. And that’s when I said, “Why don’t we do it on the roof?” Because I thought that was part of my job, to offer them choices. Because it wasn’t that they lacked ideas or imagination. God, no. But you had to help focus them because they had a million other things to do, including making an album.

We know that George Harrison temporarily quit the Beatles while you were filming, but that didn’t end up in your
movie. Peter Jackson has said his version will include it. What was behind your choice not to put all that in?
Well, I didn’t have a key piece of information, which Peter now has. We used to have lunch together every day in the little
commissary in Twickenham [Studios, where the first segments of the film were shot], and I got our sound guy to bug the
flowerpot. George wasn’t there at the beginning of the lunch, and then he came up and stood at the long end of the table.
He’s wearing this beautiful black corduroy hat, and he said, “See you around the clubs.” Meaning, I’m off. And so I’ll see you
in the Scotch Club or the Ad Lib, but I’m gone [from the Beatles]. And John always reacted to provocation very quickly, and
so he said, “Oh, well, you know, let’s get in Eric Clapton, he’s not such a headache.” But when I played back the audio, all I
got was the clatter of cutlery and plates and [inaudible] voices. Peter has access to this extraordinary new audio
technology that can separate the audio within a track, and so he’s got some of that lunch, I think.

So you’re sitting there at lunch with the Beatles: George announces he’s leaving the band right in front of you, and John proposes replacing him with Eric Clapton. You must have been so furious that you weren’t filming those moments.
Yeah, “Where are the cameras?” was my main thought. But it didn’t surprise in one way, because John and Eric had already been playing together — they played together at the [Rolling Stones’] Rock and Roll Circus. I knew they were working friends and probably also dope friends.

Beyond that missing audio, was there also a sense that the Beatles didn’t want to show George leaving in the movie anyway?
I understood — and remember, they were the producers as well as the performers — that they more or less wanted Beatle-dom to look like a good place to be, that in Beatle-dom the bridge to the castle was not going to fall down. That there weren’t sharks in the moat, that the battlements weren’t on fire, that Beatle-dom was still sort of as you wished it to be. Which meant that George quitting the Beatles wouldn’t give exactly the picture they were looking for in the movie.

How was that conveyed to you?
It’d be like, someone — it could be Paul, it could be Ringo and Paul — might say, “You know when George left? I don’t know if we need that in the movie. Everything’s back to normal now, so…”

As it is, the brief moments of tension you do show between Paul and George are among the most famous Beatles footage ever captured.
A lot of people were surprised. Because the Beatles had been portrayed as the moptops, that they were just fucking adorable. In real life, they were tough. This just goes back to where they came from. Liverpool is a tough town. I wouldn’t particularly want to run into Paul McCartney in a dark alley, if he didn’t like me.


Particularly in the scenes of the Beatles rehearsing at Twickenham Studios in the early portions of the film, it feels like you were deliberately demythologizing the Beatles.
I wanted to show that they didn’t just turn up in their velvet suits and their glossy hair. A lot of work went into it. And rehearsals, even for the participants, can be drudgery and draining…. I always wanted it to be a clear look at the Beatles, because I had no agenda.

You told me years ago that while you were filming, the Beatles were beginning to get on one another’s nerves. Now we have this new narrative that, actually, everything was not nearly as bad as all that, and we’re gonna see in this six-hour version that overall they were getting on quite well. Which is true?
Well, it’s like talking about any family: both. Both are true. If it was Tuesday, they might not be getting on that well. They might be frustrated by the work. They might be frustrated by what was going on at home. George might be frustrated by the fact that he wasn’t getting his due, as he thought. John might be frustrated by having some bad heroin. Who knows. But also, they were there to work for the most part. These are human beings living their lives, good days and bad days.… Peter has a bigger canvas, so he’s going to paint a bigger picture. 

How certain were you that John was using heroin during the sessions?
Well, I suspected. There was a very interesting character who was around with the Rolling Stones and with John called Spanish Tony. Tony was a handsome guy who was Keith’s connection. It’s amazing Keith is still alive. Tony was an affable guy — I mean, he wasn’t gonna come up to you with a knife in his pocket — but when he was there, it would be something to do with drugs. I also knew from what people saying that John was dabbling. And as we knew from “Cold Turkey” [a single released later that year], it became more than dabbling.


Are you still confident that the original Let It Be will be coming out in some form?
Well, when I first met Jonathan Clyde that day, he said the plan is to find a way to put Let It Be out again.… The plan was that Let It Be would come out in some form, after Peter’s had had its run — could be one of the streaming sites in some form, could be a limited theatrical release. I know that [Quentin] Tarantino’s theater in Hollywood, the New Beverly, wanted to show it as a film. It’s in everybody’s interest to put out Let It Be again after Peter’s because they’re totally different films. They’re not competitors.

October 30, 2021
The Beatles official Facebook page announces "The Beatles: Get Back" book is ranked at #6 on
the Best Sellers list!

From NBC News NOW: "New Documentary celebrates Fanny, pioneering all-woman rock band"

Click on the Fanny poster for documentary screening times.

October 29, 2021
Elton John Remembers Performing With John Lennon At His ‘Magical’ Final Concert

October 28, 2021
New details of plan for 'immersive, world class' Beatles attraction in Liverpool
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram confirms vision for 'globally significant' tourism project that could involve hologram
performances by the Fab Four
by the Liverpool Echo

Plans are being drawn up for an 'immersive, world class and cutting edge' new Beatles attraction at Liverpool's waterfront.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his budget speech today that £2 million would be allocated towards creating a major
new attraction dedicated to the Fab Four in the city.

He said the funding announcement was largely down to the work of new Liverpool-born Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries,
but the ECHO can reveal that today's news comes after years of work from local leaders.

The ECHO understands the plans, which are at a very early stage, could see the use of hologram technology to create an
immersive experience of the city's famous band, similar to a project recently announced by ABBA.

The £2 million announced by government today will go towards working up more detailed plans for what is likely to be a far
more expensive project.

Mayor Rotheram told the ECHO that today's announcement in Parliament is the 'culmination of many years of hard work to
help develop this exciting project for our region.'

He said: "This would be a truly world-class, cutting-edge immersive Beatles experience.

“Since 2018, we have been funding concept development to create a globally significant attraction.

"During that time, I’ve been in talks with a number of ministers – including this Chancellor’s immediate predecessor – to turn
this vision into a reality.

“It has the potential to become an unbelievably important tourist attraction, unlike anything on offer anywhere else in the

"It would bring even more visitors from across the globe to build on our unique position as home to the single most influential
musicians to walk the planet."

He added: “The Beatles helped to firmly cement Liverpool on the map in the 60’s. Their legacy still draws millions of visitors
over half a century later, which adds millions of pounds to our economy every year.

“I’m really excited by the idea that Liverpool could be the home of such an exciting immersive experience, which I believe
has the potential to do again what The Beatles once did – take us stratospheric.”

Today's announcement has been met with some criticism from local people, with many arguing that the money could be far
better spent in a city with serious issues around poverty and deprivation.

Others suggested there is more to the city than The Beatles and that there are already a number of attractions dedicated
to the band.

The Combined Authority was keen to stress that this funding could only be used on cultural projects.

October 27, 2021
The Beatles' 'Let It Be' Returns to Billboard Charts After Special Edition Reissue
The former Billboard 200 No. 1 album re-enters the chart at No. 5, also hits No. 1 on Top Album Sales.
by Keith Caulfield for Billboard

The Beatles’ Let It Be surges back onto the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Oct. 30), re-entering at No. 5 following its
deluxe special edition reissue on Oct. 15. The set was first released in 1970 as the final studio effort from the band, and
also doubled as the soundtrack to the documentary film of the same name. The album spent four weeks atop the Billboard
200 (June 13 – July 4, 1970-dated charts) and is one of a record 19 No. 1 albums for the group.

For its special edition, the album was reintroduced in a variety of expanded formats and editions, including many with
previously unreleased tracks. All versions of the album, old and new, are combined for tracking and charting purposes.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as
measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent
albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250
paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Oct. 30, 2021-
dated chart (where Let It Be re-enters at No. 5) will be posted in full on Billboard's website on Oct. 26. For all chart news,
follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Let It Be earned 55,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 21 (up 3,899%), according to MRC Data.
Of that sum, album sales comprise 48,000 (up 11,570%; making it the top-selling album of the week), SEA units comprise
6,000 (up 589%; equaling 8.34 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks) and TEA units comprise 1,000 (up 1,180%).

Let It Be was last on the Billboard 200 dated Dec. 4, 2010, when it ranked at No. 120. It was in the top 10 on the Aug. 8,
1970 chart, when it placed at No. 4.

The Let It Be reissue also makes waves on other Billboard album charts. It re-enters at No. 1 on Top Album Sales, Catalog
Albums, Soundtracks and Tastemaker Albums – marking its first week atop all four charts.*

The Let It Be reissue precedes the arrival of director Peter Jackson’s upcoming documentary series The Beatles: Get Back.
The three episodes will premiere, respectively, on Nov. 25, 26 and 27 exclusively on Disney+.

The rerelease of Let It Be is part of the ongoing series of expanded reissues of select studio albums by The Beatles. It
follows reissues of Abbey Road in 2019 (first released in 1969), The Beatles in 2018 (often referred to as the White Album,
first released in 1968) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 2017 (first released in 1967). All four albums originally hit
No. 1 shortly after their release, and then returned to the top 10 after their recent expanded reissues.

*Top Album Sales and Catalog Albums both launched in 1991, Soundtracks began in 2001 and Tastemaker Albums started in
2005. Top Album Sales ranks the top-selling albums of the week by traditional album sales, Catalog Albums ranks the
week’s most popular older albums [generally those more than 18 months old] by equivalent album units, Soundtracks ranks
the week’s most popular soundtracks by equivalent album units and Tastemaker Albums ranks the week’s top-selling
albums at independent and small chain record stores.

Billy Preston to get Rock and Roll Hall of Fame award

Gary Graff of is reporting that keyboardist Billy Preston "will receive a Musical Excellence Award from the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame to recognize his prolific work as a sideman and session hand -- for a music who’s-who list that includes
Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and many more." The award will be officially
announced on Saturday, October 30.

Click here to read the full report.

Bobby V Covers The Beatles’ Classic ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’
It will appear on the upcoming compilation project, "Beatles Soul."
by Keithan Samuels for Rated R&B

R&B crooner Bobby V has released his cover of The Beatles’ 1969 classic “I Want You,” lifted from their album, Abbey

The cover arrives in two versions, including a seven-minute extended mix, which is runs nearly the same length as The
Beatles’ original version. 

Bobby V’s cover will appear on the forthcoming Beatles Soul EP, which drops on December 3, via Oro-Music/Empire. The
project will also include Raheem DeVaughn’s previously shared remake of the band’s 1970 hit “Let It Be.”

In February, Bobby V released a new tune titled “Reply.” The self-produced track is the lead-off from his upcoming
project, Appetizer

Although there isn’t a release date set for Appetizer just yet, it should hold over fans until he’s ready to release his next
album, Sunday Dinner. “It’s an amazing R&B album,” Bobby V told Rated R&B in an interview. “Real music and live
instrumentation — just continuing the legacy of R&B and giving that real music.”

Listen to Bobby V’s cover of The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” below.   

October 26, 2021
In his first live in-person event in two years, Paul will appear at Southbank Centre to discuss his career-spanning

Brian Wilson: Beach Boys and The Beatles always shared love and respect
by Celebretainment

Brian Wilson says The Beach Boys and Beatles have "always" shared a "mutual love and respect".


The 'God Only Knows' hitmaker - who has named 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Brand' as his favourite ever album -

revealed the two legendary bands had a close bond.


Asked to name his favourite record of all time, he told Mojo magazine: "I'd have to say 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club



"Obviously, I love The Beatles and we have always had a mutual love and respect for each other.


"They say that it was birthed from hearing 'Pet Sounds'... I don't know... but I just love that album."


The 79-year-old star was also asked which musician - beside himself - he has wanted to be, and he admitted it was a tough

one to answer.


He said: "That's a hard question... I'd have to put Elton John at the top of that list because of his voice and he is great on

piano. I admire him as a person too."


And he had further praise for the 'Rocket Man' hitmaker when the publication asked him for his favourite "Saturday night



He added: "Anything rock 'n' roll is a great Saturday night record, all kinds. I can't really pin one down... how about

'Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting'?


"That's a good one from Elton."


Brian is loving his rock music at the moment, and he's eyeing up making an album in that genre in as his next project.


He revealed: "I've been wanting to make a rock 'n' roll album for years and years. I have some ideas, so hopefully I'll be able

to do that one next.


"My favourite rock 'n' roll band to listen to are The Rolling Stones. They are always my go-to rock 'n' roll band. I love them

so much."


Brian Wilson's latest pop video as of October 21, 2021.

October 25, 2021
Understanding the Glyn Johns "Get Back" mixing sequences

Today I thought we would provide Beatles fans with a list of the four different "Get Back" compilations that engineer Glyn
Johns made during 1969/1970. Please note that Glyn Johns mix included Paul McCartney's "Teddy Boy" on the first
three compilations. The fourth assemblage did not include that song.

October 23, 2021
Get ready to rock at the Rainbow Bistro in Ottawa: "The Beatles Reunion Show - What if?"

October 22, 2021
The Beatles film: First look at Fifth Beatle Brian Epstein in Fab Four biopic
THE BEATLES FILM Midas Man has received its first look at the titular hero of the story - Brian Epstein, the manager of the
Fab Four - as well as another Liverpool legend.
by Callum Crumlish for Express

Beatles manager Brian Epstein and their music producer George Martin at the EMI Studios at Abbey Road St. John's
Wood, October 1964.

Later this year the newest film based on the story of The Beatles is due for release. Midas Man takes a different angle on
the Fab Four's story, however, as it focuses solely on Brian Epstein, the band's manager.

This week the film received its first look at Brian actor Jacob Fortune-Lloyd in costume.

Earlier this year in April Jacob was announced to be taking on the role of the iconic man behind the scenes.

The star is best known for playing Townes in the Netflix hit The Queen's Gambit.

Jacob's first shot as Brian, which can be seen below, shows him in the dapper attire the Beatles' leader was known for.

With a coy smile and a poised finger, Jacob truly encompasses the upper-class dignity held by the iconic music manager.


This wasn't the only news to come from the Midas Man bosses at Studio Pow.


It was also revealed this week that fellow Liverpudlian Cilla Black will also be getting the Hollywood treatment in the

upcoming biopic.


Cilla will be played by Rosie Day of Outlander fame, with the fiery red hair that the Blind Date star is known for.


A number of other historic people have also been cast in the film.


The band's producer, George Martin, will be played by Charley Palmer Rothwell.


Meanwhile, Gerry Marsden, of Gerry and the Pacemakers, is due to be played by another young star, Jordan Kelly.


The actors in the roles of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have not yet been announced.


The synopsis of Midas Man indicates it will focus solely on George Epstein's journey into discovering The Beatles.


The movie's tagline reads: "On Thursday, 9th November 1961, a man named Brian descended the stairs to a cellar in

Liverpool and changed the world forever."


Midas Man's producer, Kevin Proctor, recently praised Jacob as Epstein. He told Variety: "One of the reasons we loved Jacob

for this role is that Brian Epstein was the personification of dapper, quintessential charisma, and Jacob felt like the man to

bring that to life.


"The fact that he’s been able to do just that to such electrifying effect in one image shows that we have the right guy."


Jacob himself said: "It has been inspiring to learn about Brian’s life and his achievements, and it is an enormous honour to

represent him on screen.


"His style is a key ingredient to my understanding of his character. It reveals his flair, creativity, sensitivity and good taste.


"And his fastidious elegance was also a kind of armour against a challenging, sometimes dangerous world."


Midas Man is due to hit cinemas on December 31, 2021.

October 21, 2021
The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night Releasing To 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray
by hdreport

Richard Lester’s The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night (1964) is getting a 4k release on Ultra HD Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection. The 2-disc edition arrives Jan. 18, 2022, featuring three choices for audio – monaural, stereo and 5.1 surround.


The new 4k digital restoration was approved by Lester and the Ultra HD Blu-ray offers Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range.


Bonus features include audio commentaries, 1964 interviews with the Beatles, behind-the-scenes footage and photos, two documentaries, and more.


The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night has a list price of $49.95.


October 20, 2021
Flashback: The Beatles Play a Frenetic ‘Long Tall Sally’ in 1962
Paul McCartney just labeled the Stones a “blues cover band,” but his own band played plenty of incredible covers in the early Sixties as well
by Andy Greene for Rolling Stone

Earlier this month, Paul McCartney spoke to The New Yorker about the Rolling Stones in a less than artful way. “[The
Beatles’] net was cast a bit wider than [the Stones’],” he said. “I’m not sure I should say it, but they’re a blues cover
band, that’s sort of what the Stones are.”

Mick Jagger responded when the Stones played in Los Angeles on October 14th. “There’s so many celebrities here tonight,”
he said. “Megan Fox is here; she’s lovely. Leonardo DiCaprio. Lady Gaga. Kirk Douglas. Paul McCartney is here. He’s going to
help us — he’s going to join us in a blues cover later.”

First off, Kirk Douglas died on February 5th, 2020, at the incredible age of 103. He was most certainly not at the Stones
concert last week. (Did Mick mean Michael Douglas?) Secondly, it’s hard to imagine that Jagger took great offense at
McCartney’s comments. The Beatles and the Stones had a friendly rivalry back in the Sixties, but the pop universe was big
enough for them both and the cold war between them has been suspended since about 1970.

Jagger probably also understands that McCartney meant to say that the Stones grew out of the London R&B scene and
stuck largely to blues covers in their very early days. The Beatles, meanwhile, were more focused on pop, rock, and soul
music by the likes of Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Carole King, and Carl Perkins.

McCartney phrased it better when he spoke to Howard Stern last year. “They are rooted in the blues,” he said of the
Stones. “When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. We had a little more influences. … There’s a lot of
differences, and I love the Stones, but I’m with you [Howard]: The Beatles were better.”

Back in 1962, both bands’ sets consisted almost entirely of cover songs. There are precious few live tapes of either group
from this era, but a series of Beatles gigs at Hamburg, Germany’s Star Club in December 1962 were captured for posterity.
The sound quality is extremely poor, but you can still hear the incredible joy and energy they brought to the stage even
though they regularly played for upwards of eight hours a night on little sleep.

Sticking to that schedule required a diet high on amphetamines. (“In Hamburg the waiters always had Preludin … and they
were all taking these pills to keep themselves awake, to work these incredible hours in this all-night place,” John Lennon
once recalled of the period. “And so the waiters, when they’d see the musicians falling over with tiredness or with drink,
they’d give you the pill.”) You can almost taste them in your mouth when you listen to this raucous rendition of Little
Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” Once they got famous, their concerts lasted just about 30 minutes and were usually drowned out
by the sound of screaming fans. That’s why many Beatles fans say if they could travel back to any era and see the band, it
would be during their time at places like the Star Club.

The Beatles and the Stones became the two biggest bands in the world because of the strength of their original songs.
Labeling the Stones just a “blues cover band” is keeping them forever frozen in the amber of 1962 and 1963. But then again,
their only studio album in the past 15 years is Blue and Lonesome from 2016, and it’s nothing but blues covers …

Ringo Starr releases his new video "Coming Undone" featuring Trombone Shorty

The following is an excerpt from David Chiu article that appeared in Forbes entitled: "Ringo Starr On His ‘Change The World’
EP, Charlie Watts, And The Upcoming Beatles Doc."

Change the World is the follow-up to Starr's previous EP Zoom In, which was released earlier this year. Both EPs found the
drummer working with new people, such as hit songwriter and producer Linda Perry—who wrote and performs on the track
“Coming Undone” on Change the World. “In some conversation, Linda Perry came up mainly with her work with Pink. And we
called: “Hello, Linda. Have you got a song?’ And she said ‘no.’ But as she was leaving her studio—this is her story—as she
was closing the door, a song came to her. She went in the studio. She's playing bass, she's playing rhythm, and she's
singing along with me. I mean, she's part of it. It's so great for me to have that support.”

The track also features the acclaimed New Orleans musician Troy Andrews, who's better known by his stage name of
Trombone Shorty. “[Linda] put everything on and in the middle, she sort of did a throat trombone solo (imitates a trombone
sound). I said, ‘Man, a trombone would be great on this track.’ And so we thought Trombone Shorty. We got in touch with
him: ‘I’ve got this song, it would be an honor if you could play for me.’

“I just play drums and send the [music] files back,” he continues. “And then he put on this whole brass section, never mind
just the trombone. Wow. It turned into that because of him. He had this idea and it worked. It works so well and it gave
that track such a different feel of where we were going, because it’s a very sad song in its way. But that section just lifts it
for me.”

Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews

October 18, 2021
Giles Martin on Remixing and Expanding the Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ — and What the Future Holds for Their Deluxe Editions
The producer is also putting his ears and technology to use on Peter Jackson's 'Get Back' docu-series.
by Chris Williams for Variety

Giles Martin just couldn’t let “Let It Be” be — even though, as he has with each of the deluxe Beatles packages he’s worked on, he challenged himself to make sure a fresh mix and expanded boxed set had a raison d’etre. In this case, giving a more unified sound to a 1970 album that was all over the map in its original incarnation was reason enough to submit it to a remix. But above and beyond that, what Beatles fan hasn’t yearned to get high-quality versions of the famous outtakes — whether it was an hour-and-a-half’s worth or 52 hours’ worth?


For better or worse, the just-released “Let It Be” special edition is not a 52-disc set. But Martin believes the two CDs of vintage outtakes that are included in the new box are an essential distillation of what fans will want to hear from those 1969 sessions. And he sets the bar high, wanting even these bonus collections to be something that would make a great listen for somebody who’d never heard the Beatles before.


Martin — the son of original Beatles producer George Martin, and now a sought after producer, arranger and audio expert in his own right — sat down to talk with Variety on a recent visit to Los Angeles. The Englishman was between visits to spots around the U.S. that included meeting with his Sonos team in San Francisco and taking a look at the relaunch of the Beatles show “Love” in Las Vegas. He’s also working on arranging music for a Broadway adaptation of “The Devil Wears Prada” with friend Elton John (Martin worked on the “Rocketman” film). More urgently, though, at the time, Martin was still working on the mix for Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” docu-series, which covers much of the same territory as the “Let It Be” boxed set, even though he wrapped up work on the latter about a year and a half ago.


Maybe most importantly for some impatient Beatlemaniacs, we asked: Will he be letting “Revolver” be, after the current flurry of activity ends? Read on to find out. (The Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.)



VARIETY: How much did your work on the film and on the boxed set overlap, or did you think of them as completely separate processes?


MARTIN: You do approach things differently, because when you think about what you’re going to add as extras to a boxed set, if something is on the film and looks really good but may not sound that good, you keep it to the film. But if it’s something that should be on a record, it should be on a record. When you’re considering how much to include from outtakes, there was, like, 52 hours of material. I was probably more aggressively editing stuff down [for the boxed set] because we have six hours of film coming out. But I was collaborating with Peter (Jackson) on what audio bits I was selecting, and sending stuff over to him. It was a constant sort of back and forth as what they were finding interesting. And we’re mixing the films, so we knew what they were working on as well. … The boxed set is almost trying to tell the story of the (entire) record, including the Phil Spector stuff. And obviously the film is just purely tied to that period of time in Twickenham (Film Studios) and (at Apple Corps headquarters) in Savile Row. It ends with the rooftop — the natural end of that story.


Did you face special challenges with the stuff that was recorded on film at Twickenham Film Studios, and making that material sound as good as the multi-track recordings that were done at Apple a bit later?


Well, that’s a good question, actually. “Let It Be” was only (recorded over) a relatively short period time – it was three weeks. All of (the material from Twickenham) is on Nagra, which is the old format of recording film. It’s a mono, single, narrow tape format. When they move out of Twickenham — because that’s when they’re getting pissed off at everything, and it’s cold, and they start at 10 in the morning, and George walks out and all that sort of stuff — they go to Savile Row, where Billy Preston is, and that’s where they have the (multi-track) recording. And then the rooftop (concert) obviously is 8-track. It is what it is, and yeah, we throw as much technology at these things as you can, but you have to be careful when you’re doing restoration work. And that’s why it’s been good collaborating with Peter and his team, because they’re really, really good at this stuff. I thought I was good at this stuff, and they’re way better than I am. The audio stuff as well — it’s really remarkable what they can do. It’s a collaboration process.


But you have to be careful with cleaning stuff up, that you don’t make things too shiny and too digital. You don’t want to want to change the sound, because (remixes) actually can date very quickly, as we’ve experienced on legacy stuff in the past. … You’re always walking a fine line with releasing stuff that wasn’t intended to be released. You feel like you’re going through a dirty underpant drawer.


(Selectivity about outtakes) also quite often has to do with the quality of the performance, more than sound quality. There are Beatle fans that want absolutely everything. They want all 52 hours of footage. But to be fair, the way that bootlegging goes, most of those people actually have the material anyway — you can find it on the Internet. So my job was to present it in the best possible way.


I’m a huge fan, but in the days of bootleg CDs, when I would go into a shop in the Village and see a bootleg boxed set of “Let It Be” material with what looked like about 30 discs of outtakes, I would think, there is a limit to just how deep a rabbit hole I want to go down with this stuff.


It does get boring very quickly. You know, I talked to Paul about this. I thought we were going to release the record last year. I think my deadline was May (of 2020), over a year ago. I was phoning them (the Beatles and their survivors) up and sending them music from my house, because I was working at home. And I remember Paul goes, “Well, how many versions of ‘Get Back’ do people actually want?” I just laughed and went, “Well, there’s people who want every single version of ‘Get Back.’ But I don’t know that that’s the right thing to do.” So you have to walk that fine line. My belief is always: If someone had never heard the Beatles before, then they should be interested in what they’re hearing. There’s no point in having a record just so you have it. You’re meant to listen to it. Do you know what I mean? There’s people that just want to own stuff. And that’s not why we’re doing what we’re doing.


I have the Bob Dylan boxed set that has every note that was played in the studio over the course of 1965, but I can’t say I’ve gone back and played the whole thing through a second time.


Well, that’s the thing. When I think of the things that we did with the White Album — the Esher demos and that sort of stuff — those stand up in their own right. They’re interesting records; they’re valid. But the other thing we’re trying to do is, you are trying to sort of break down and tell a story of how a song evolved. Because that’s quite interesting, to me, as opposed to just another version.


For the people who expect a dump of everything, it can be hard to accept that there’s a curatorial process, even though most people are happy to have you sifting through everything for the gold. Who makes those final selections? Is it you along with Paul and…


Yeah, it’s me, and then I get the approval from them. They don’t sift through everything. I mean, that’s the last thing they really want to do, and I’m not surprised. It’ll be me that makes the final decision — well, it will be me that suggests the final (track rundown), and then they make the final decision.


You feel really comfortable with having the two discs of outtakes in this set.


Yeah, I do, actually. It was funny because I kind of forgot what was on them, because it’d been a year in this strange world we’re living in — and I went back during this process of having to talk about it, and I was like, “Well, this is kind of interesting!” Things like George playing “Something,” or the gestations of songs, and you hear the vibe of what it’s like. That’s the other thing to represent in that short space of time that I get given on a record — the atmosphere and the vibe, to a certain extent. So I quite enjoyed listening to it, and that’s always a good sign.


Do you have favorite moments from the outtakes or rehearsals? Even just dialogue-ise, there are some laugh-out-loud things they say, or the moment where suddenly John is talking about getting his divorce in the middle of…


… of (“She Came In Through”) “The Bathroom Window,” yeah. Well, there’s lots of things. In the perception of “Let It Be,” it feels like there’s a continuing theme that we’re glossing over the pain and destruction of the Beatles. But “Let It Be” really wasn’t that bad. My (early) perception of “Let It Be” was like, it’s the breakup of the Beatles. But of course it’s as the breakup of the Beatles because it’s the last album that came out, but it wasn’t the last album they recorded. They were going back and started recording what was going to be “Abbey Road” after “Let It Be.” It was only when I was doing (the boxed set for) “Abbey Road” that I realized that they were back in Trident Studios, of all places, doing “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” about two or three weeks after the rooftop concert. So it’s hardly the breakup of the Beatles.


And the conversations… What I like about “Let It Be” is that, even though it’s a different Beatles, it shows you the way they collaborated. Like John playing “Gimme Some Truth” with Paul. And even though it obviously (eventually) appears on John’s album, “Imagine,” I like the fact that he’s just purely open to Paul’s suggestions…  They’re a songwriting partnership. That’s why George got isolated. In the film they say to each other, “We need more songs.” And John would go, “Well, I’ve got Sunday off. I’ll try and write a rock ‘n’ roller.” And Paul would go, “Well, I’ll try and do that as well. So we’ll see what you got.” And then Paul starts playing “Let It Be,” and John goes, “Well, you just need some words for it.” There’s still that collaboration that happens between the two — a respect for each other that you hear that’s surprising.


From exposing myself to this, I think that with “Let It Be,” they’re aware of the failings in their marriage, and the fact that a lot of them are moving on. However, they’re trying to stay together, and that’s why they’re going back to try and play live and be the Beatles and do the Cavern Club and do “One After 909” and all that kind of stuff — they want to go back to that vibe. And of course you can’t, because you’re a different person. It doesn’t work. But that’s what “Let It Be” is, to a certain degree.


George starts singing “Something,” and it becomes apparent from listening to it that John and Paul would have helped each other, but they wouldn’t necessarily help George, because he’s not Lennon-and-McCartney. George is even referred to by John as “Harrisongs.” He’s also writing very good songs at this point, obviously, and “All Things Must Pass” (heard on the set in its most formative stages) is a good case in point. But then when he’s doing “Something” and he goes, “’attracts me like a pomegranate’ — I can’t think of what that word’s going to be,” I think that’s really funny. John is trying to teach him how to just write. He says, “Well, just do it over and over again with words… or don’t.” [Laughs.] This is the advice from Lennon: “Do this… or don’t do it!” And I like that.


I like that comradery that comes through, which is strange for “Let It Be.” Because people’s perception of “Let It Be” is there’s this hugely dysfunctional chaos that happened. I think what it was is: it was just a bad idea. That’s what “Let It Be” was. I mean, think of any band these days — especially the biggest band in the world — going, “You know what we’re going to do? We haven’t written any songs, but we’re going to do a concert in three weeks’ time with a bunch of new songs.” And I think they probably would have achieved that in 1965 or ‘66 or ‘64, but that’s because they were all in the same room together all the time, where John and Paul were bashing out (songs). Brian Epstein would say, “You’ve got two weeks to do an album,” and they go and do “Revolver” or “Rubber Soul.” In this case (by 1969), they had their big houses, and they went home and watched TV. But in those earlier days they’d be in a van and they’d be stuck and they would be finishing songs. So when you hear ”Gimme Some Truth,” you think, if you would just spend those two hours, they could probably get it done. But they don’t.


I’ve talked with Ringo about some of this before, and he, like Paul, is very open about not liking the original “Let It Be” film…


[Laughs.] He hates the original film.


But now some people are worried: Will none of that tension be represented in the Peter Jackson film, and will it be like everyone was happy-go-lucky and it was the most wonderful time in the world?


I don’t think so. I mean, let’s face it, it’s six hours  — three twohour (episodes). I’ve got to say, Peter loves a trilogy! … You know, I’ve seen all the footage. And the original film was just boring. I mean, that’s the problem.


And there were limits to technology. What Peter Jackson has done is amazing. They’ve synched all of the audio footage and video footage together, which is not easy. Because the cameras, for instance, were battery-operated cameras, and they’d slow down as they went on. So it’s tricky to do.


No, I think it’s honest. I do. I think people will see that when they watch it. The Twickenham stuff is taxing to get through, because you’re watching people who are geniuses in their craft looking for ideas, and that’s hard to watch. But then at Apple (Corps headquarters, where the bulk of the finished recordings were done), they seem much happier. That’s what the journey is. And the rooftop… I didn’t really know that the rooftop performance made up four tracks on the album. I should know this stuff; people find it surprising that I’m on the same journey as the people I’m doing the records for. … But they obviously played really well, and they knew they played really well. … I think when you look at like the famous flare-up between George and Paul, where George says, “I’ll play what you want, or I won’t play at all — whatever pleases you”… I mean, I was in a band — we had much worse flare-ups than that. In all honesty, it’s not that bad.


Not the harshest thing anyone in a band ever said to another member.


Yeah. I mean, they do talk about their impending divorce, but in a kind of  jovial way. They’re very much aware of what the Beatles are. They still are, Paul and Ringo. –Like all those hugely successful artists, they’re very aware of their own position in the psyche. And I think Paul says, “Once daddy left” — talking about Brian Epstein — “we’re not the same.” And it’s true, they weren’t the same.


There’s that extended part of the “Let It Be” story that, as you say, isn’t covered in the new film, but is part of the boxed set, which is the involvement of Phil Spector as the album gets finished. In your lighter notes essay for the new set, you make a good point, which is basically that there were, like, four producers on the album. There’s your dad. There’s Phil Spector, later on. There’s Glyn Johns in the early stages, sort of acting in that role, even though, as engineer, producer is not his title. And then, you say, there’s a sense with the “Let It Be” project in which the Beatles were ultimately producing themselves.


Certainly when it comes to the three producers, as it were, they have very, very different approaches to production. I mean, they’re all brilliant. My dad was a blueprint man. The biggest argument I ever had with my dad was… Do you know what Pimm’s is? It’s an English drink where you mix lemonade with this thing called Pimm’s. Anyway, I didn’t measure out properly how to put it together. I thought it was too strong and needed more lemonade. Well, he just lost it. And that was my dad. He liked things to be organized. Which is a funny thing, because the White Album and “Let It Be” were not, but “Abbey Road” is.


And Glyn Johns is an engineer-producer, but very, very good. Ethan Johns, who is his son, as you may know, told me that the advice his dad gave to him was, “When the hair stands up on the back of your arm, you’ve got a good take.” It’s like an instinctive thing, opposed to my dad being much more organized.


And Phil Spector was Phil Spector. He wanted to mold an artist into his own vision. That was Phil Spector.


And so when mixing “Let It Be,” you have to bear that in mind. You’re trying to get some unification to it, to have a cohesive album. I had to say to Paul, “We’re going to mix the album, and we’re going to mix it with all the stuff you didn’t like on it.” And he goes, “That’s fair enough. It’s on it.” You know, they did “Let It Be… Naked” (a stripped-down version of the album, released in 2003, instigated by McCartney to correct Spector’s perceived excesses). … We mix these things, and people don’t really care. Fans don’t really care when things were done or how they were done. They just want to listen to some music, to try to unify everything together.


What do you think your brief was, in doing a remix on “Let It Be”? Because going back to the first full-album remix you did with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” it was said to be partly to clear up the mono/stereo differences. When you’re getting at this point in the game…


Well, no one actually gives me a brief. I had to give myself a brief. My brief was almost, as I say, to unify the tone of the album. You have the rooftop; you have the Apple (headquarters) recordings; you have overdubs. You have “Across the Universe,” which was recorded separately before everything else (in 1968), and you have “I Me Mine,” which was recorded separately after everything else. (After “Abbey Road” was released, three of the Beatles reconvened — without Lennon — in the first days of 1970 just to get a proper studio version of “I Me Mine,” which turned out to be their final recording.) And my job was to just approach it like it’s all done at the same time, it’s all the same record, and it should sound all part of the same record.


It shouldn’t sound like it’s fragmented. So that was my brief, to a certain extent, to try and make the Phil Spector overdubs feel like that they were done at the same time as the rest of the band. Which I think on the original they don’t, really; they sound like they’ve been added on, to a certain degree. So it’s more harmonious — more homogeneous, I suppose, if that’s the right word.


I was wondering if you might have toned down what some people would consider Phil Spector’s over-production on “Let It Be” or “The Long and Winding Road.” It seemed like you might’ve, just a little bit, but everything is still there.


Yeah, not really. [Long pause.] I think maybe it’s less intrusive in its sound, the Phil Spector stuff… The intent is just to treat it like an album, as opposed to the way it was constructed, under a cloud, by Allen Klein getting Phil Spector in and Paul McCartney not knowing and all this sort of stuff. To forget about all of that … It’s funny. People sort of perceive “Let It Be” as not the best Beatles record. Which it probably isn’t. But you think about it: It has “Let It Be” on it, which is one of the most listened-to Beatles songs of all time. It has “Get Back,” it has “Across the Universe,” it has “The Long and Winding Road.” And I like songs like “Dig a Pony,” actually. And then people talk about it being the breakup of the Beatles. Well, why would they write “Two of Us” if it was the breakup of the Beatles — the breakup of John and Paul?


Was there any thought of using the pre-Spector, more stripped-down versions of the songs as a starting point for the new remix, rather than sticking faithfully to the familiar 1970 version as the basis of it?


Well, yeah, that’s what I talked to Paul about at Abbey Road. … I wasn’t involved in “Let It Be… Naked.” It was around the time I was doing “Love,” at the same time, or it might’ve been just before, I don’t know. But I wasn’t involved in “Let It Be… Naked,” which I think (included) alternate takes as well. No, it wouldn’t have made sense.


Because we’ve been on this journey — almost by accident, without any planning, in a classic Beatles way. “Sgt. Pepper’s” came up (as a prospect for a remix and boxed set). I didn’t really want to do it. I thought, well, why are we doing this? And then I said to the Beatles, “Let’s do three or four mixes and see what it sounds like.” it sounded good and valid, and so we ended up doing it. And then the White Album came along and there were the Esher demos we found and all that kind of stuff, and you go, okay, let’s do that. And then “Abbey Road”… And so it wouldn’t have made sense to try to rewrite history.


You know, the “Let It Be” album is the “Let It Be” album. It was released, and lots of people like it. I like it. I don’t have a problem with the Phil Spector stuff, personally. … Yeah, it does change. And it’s interesting hearing “Across the Universe” without the ADT-ing on John’s voice, without the Phil Spector stuff — it just sounds like a folk song! It sounds completely different. But I don’t have any gripes about (the album as first released). It wouldn’t have made any sense for us to do that. That was not what we’re trying to do.


This boxed set marks the first authorized release of the early version of the album that Glyn Johns put together, when it was still going to be called “Get Back” and be a back-to-basics album. What do you think of the Glyn Johns vision of the album?


Well, I think Glyn provided the Beatles with what they wanted — and then when they got it, they didn’t really want it. The Glyn Johns album is a representation of what they did at that time. I think what they did at that time wasn’t at the level they hoped it would be. …. I think Glyn made a fine album with what he had, because they were going, “We don’t want any overdubs. We want it to be live, and this is what it should be.” I’m pleased it’s on there, because it’s one of those things that a lot of people know about and a lot of people have… It has been bootlegged, but I think in a bad version. … And also, that helps tell the story, because that’s what triggered Allen Klein to go, “Listen, let’s go and get Phil Spector and he can finish it.”


It’s really enjoyable as an alternate-universe version of the album. But if had come out in that form in 1969, there would have been a big sense of disappointment, even though it’s fun.


Yeah, I really enjoy it. It sounds cool. It’s very Glyn Johns. What Glyn is brilliant at is capturing the spirit of live performance on a record. That’s why the Who is so good. (Johns went on to engineer, produce or co-produce all the Who’s ‘70s and early ‘80s albums.) He’s very good with vibe. I mean, he looks like Austin Powers through half of the film.


One last question. There are people who insist a transformative remix couldn’t be done on the pre-4-track Beatles albums because of so many elements being blended into the two basic tracks. But of course, Beatles fans do speculate pretty much across the board: Is there an opportunity to do something with “Revolver” and “Rubber Soul,” now that you’ve gone through the Beatles’ timeline from “Sgt. Pepper” forward?


I think there is. I think we have to do it, and I’ve said this before… If you take something like “Taxman” from “Revolver” [a track often cited for its bizarre stereo separation], “Taxman” is guitar, bass and drums on one track, and vocals and a sort of shaking and guitar solo (on the right). And it sounds good; they’re amazing recordings, and amazing mixes. You know, we have to look into what technology we can do to make things de-mixed and all this kind of stuff, which I’m looking into. So I’m looking for the technology to do it with, to do something really innovative with “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver,” as opposed to just a remastering job, because it’s been remastered already. So I think we will. I think we also will look at outtakes as well.


There’s such an overwhelming desire to do something with them, by fans. And at the same time, there’s the thing in the back of your mind: There’s no point in just doing this to make money or as a sales thing, or because we’d done the others. It’s more important that we do it for the right reason. So there’s your answer: yes. If, the same as “Sgt. Pepper,” I can find a reason to do it, then yes. An actual experience reason to do it, as opposed to just because we’ve done it.


But you do think it’ll be possible to do something, sooner or later, even with the difficulty of untangling those limited tracks?


Yeah, I think we’re getting there with technology. I think we are. I’m not doing it at the moment, though, I can tell you that much. But hopefully. So, yeah — watch this space.


— end of article.


The definitive version of the Beatles' "Let It Be" doesn't exist — but this new deluxe remix sizzles

With this new box set of "Let It Be" and a book, "Get Back," Beatles fans will have plenty to obsess over

by Kenneth Womack for Salon

With the deluxe remixed release of the Beatles' "Let It Be," I am convinced that the album will always defy attempts at creating a definitive edition. In the long history of the Beatles' recorded output, and the various and ongoing efforts to spin the events of January 1969 in one direction or another, it has simply become too beguiling to know what really happened, much less fully encapsulate the band members' creative intentions with their work. When it comes to "Let It Be," you just can't pin it down.


And that goes for the entire "Get Back" saga — the project that the Beatles undertook in that fabled month and that eventually morphed into the "Let It Be" LP release in May 1970. Originally conceived to accompany the documentary directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the album finally saw the light of day in the hands of Phil Spector, who carried out post-production duties after earlier attempts by Glyn Johns and George Martin to bring the LP to the marketplace had fallen short in the Beatles' estimation.


The deluxe box set, engineered by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, is a valiant effort indeed. There are a few blemishes, to be sure. Beatles aficionados might understandably yearn for more material from the Twickenham sessions, and a loud contingent has already voiced their displeasure at not having access to a full version of the Rooftop Concert.


Even still, Martin and Okell have scored knockout remixes on several counts. Their remix of "Let It Be" absolutely sizzles. The sheer beauty of Paul McCartney's vocals — especially during the "I wake up to the sound of music" section — is a wonder to behold. And George Harrison's guitar solo has never sounded brighter and more passionate.



And then there's "I've Got a Feeling," quite possibly the highlight of the entire set. Bristling with energy, the track benefits from the new remix's enhanced sonic separation. The electric groove that drives the guitar-oriented "I've Got a Feeling" has never seemed more alive than in Martin and Okell's hands. The same could be said for the album version of "Get Back," which sounds like it was recorded yesterday, as opposed to nearly 53 years ago.


There are a few misfires, albeit minor ones. Once you've heard the ethereal beauty of the "Let It Be . . . Naked" version of "Across the Universe," every other take seems less profound. With its varispeeded vocals, the Spector version feels flat and uninspired by comparison. Try as they might, the Martin and Okell remix notches barely a modest improvement, particularly considering the source. By the same token, I prefer the halting clarity of the Naked version of "Two of Us" in contrast with the remix.


Yet listeners will be buoyed, no doubt, by Martin and Okell's successful muting of Spector's cloying post-production work on Harrison's "I Me Mine" and, in an especially fine instance, McCartney's "The Long and Winding Road." The orchestration is still alive and well in both cases, but more effectively balanced with the Beatles' original instrumentation.


The deluxe set is rife with outtakes, along with Glyn Johns' original 1969 mix. While superfans will have long held such morsels in their collections, much like the Esher tapes' reincarnation in Martin and Okell's White Album mixes, there's nothing like enjoying them in top-notch stereophonic sound.


The "Let It Be" box set's bravura release appears contemporaneously with the "Get Back" book, edited by John Harris from the Beatles' candid conversations at Twickenham and later at Apple Studio, where they completed work on the recordings, including the climactic Rooftop Concert on January 30, 1969. Beatles fans are well aware of these confabs, particularly those who've undertaken the Herculean effort to consume the contents of the voluminous Nagra reels, the recordings that Lindsay-Hogg surreptitiously made during his film production.


As for the book, "Get Back" is beautifully adorned with photographs by Ethan Russell and Linda McCartney, several of which have been published here for the very first time. It was Russell, incidentally, who witnessed the lion's share of the session, later reporting to me on Salon's "Everything Fab Four" podcast (listen to the episode here) that if the cameras weren't rolling, the Beatles rarely engaged each other, retreating into their own headspace. 


In his foreword, Hanif Kureishi takes great pains to paint the Get Back sessions as being more convivial than history has previously reported. "In fact this was a productive time for them, when they created some of their best work," he writes. "And it is here that we have the privilege of witnessing their early drafts, the mistakes, the drift and digressions, the boredom, the excitement, joyous jamming and sudden breakthroughs that led to the work we now know and admire." 


And while there is indeed much to admire about the Beatles' work during that time — the sessions produced three chart-topping U.S. hits in "Get Back," "Let It Be," and "The Long and Winding Road" — it is vital that we remember their actions and comments to the contrary during that very same period. On January 10, Harrison quite literally quit the band after a heated argument with Lennon, only to be coaxed back into the fold several days later in time for the group's return to Apple Studio. And by his own admission not long afterwards, Lennon described the album's production as "the most miserable sessions on earth." It's all there in the Nagra reels.


Comments along the lines of Kureishi's foreword suggest that there is an effort to replace the reality of "Let It Be" with a wide-eyed, nostalgia-ridden myth. But even still, I for one am hopeful that Peter Jackson's upcoming three-part "Get Back" documentary will tell the unvarnished story of the saga behind the making of the penultimate Beatles studio album. Willfully attempting to gloss over the rancor that characterized aspects of the original sessions robs the band of one of their most magisterial of triumphs: In just a few short weeks, they went to hell and back, only to emerge, in the last possible moments, to perform a concert for the ages, along with the recording of a spate of classic songs. The whole business, with all of the stress and tension, made for a come-from-behind victory of which only the finest musical fusions are capable. And the Beatles are the finest of them all. Full stop.


Which brings us back, full circle, to "Let It Be," the end result of the so-called Get Back project. The deluxe remixes are worthy additions to the Beatles' most notoriously convoluted production. But there's no getting around the fact that the goings on back in January 1969 — the interpersonal machinations and lack of any clear artistic intention, then and now — will never really be untangled in the cold light of the present day. Simply put, Let It Be will always be an enigma, albeit a truly wondrous one. 


Kenneth Womack


Kenneth Womack is the author of a two-volume biography of the life and work of Beatles producer George Martin and the host of "Everything Fab Four," a podcast about the Beatles distributed by Salon. He is also the author of "Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles," published in 2019 in celebration of the album’s 50th anniversary, and "John Lennon, 1980: The Last Days in the Life." His latest book, co-authored with Jason Kruppa, is "All Things Must Pass Away: Harrison, Clapton & Other Assorted Love Songs."


— end of article.


Two interesting facts about the Let It Be Super Deluxe soundtracks

by John Whelan, special for the Ottawa Beatles Site


The Beatles recording of Get Back is heard in part on the Gerry Anderson TV production of "UFO" in episode 19 entitled "Ordeal." Here is what script writer Tony Barwick wrote in the manuscript: "NB: The music used for the opening party scene is The Beatles' "Get Back". The instrumental playing during the subsequent party flashback scene is "Trampoline" by The Spencer Davis Group. The song "Beautiful Dreamer" sung by Colonel Paul Foster while in the sauna at the end is by Stephen Foster written in the early 1860's."


So how did a partial audio presentation of the Beatles Get Back end up on the TV show? Simply put, Lew Grade had control over the Beatles publishing at that time. Plus, he was also the prime financial backer for the UFO series. The shooting date for "Ordeal" was July 27, 1969. To quote directly from Billboard: "1969: After relations between the Beatles and [Dick] James deteriorated, James sold his stake in Northern Songs to ATV Music, owned by Lew Grade, and despite Lennon and McCartney's attempts to offer a counter bid, ATV gained control of the catalog. Later that year, the duo sold their remaining shares to ATV, leaving them without a stake in the publishing of their own songs (they both controlled their own respective songwriting shares)."


As of this writing, if you search Youtube for the UFO episode, you will find it but the party scene that has the Beatles "Get Back" music on it has been muted for copyright reasons. You can, however, find the episode (and the entire season) on Amazon Prime Video streaming with the Beatles music unmuted (in this instance, it is listed as the 22nd episode.)


The other interesting fact: Billy Preston is a featured vocalist on the Let It Be Super Deluxe box set. On the "Get Back Apple Sessions, Rehearsals and Apple Jams", side four features "Without A Song" which has Billy Preston jamming with John and Ringo. This is a really a lovely touch by the surviving Beatles to allow the brilliant keyboardist to sing and perform on a track. It is their way — The Beatles way

of sealing for the record that Billy Preston is indeed one of the 5th Beatles. The other two are Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager and George Martin, the Beatles producer.



Review: The Beatles As Nature Intended
by Lee Zimmerman for American Songwriter

The Beatles/Let It Be (Box Set)/Ume
Four Stars

Few box sets have been greeted with as much anticipation as the newly revised and revisited Let It Be. Delayed due to the pandemic and now available in a variety of formats— five CDs + BlueRay, five LPs, Two CDs, a single LP, single CD, digital and even a picture disc —it offers Fab Four enthusiasts the definitive offering they’ve been waiting for over the course of more than 50 years. Granted, there have been a plethora of bootlegs to fill in the gaps courtesy of rehearsals, outtakes, and unreleased material culled from the many, many hours of filming, but as with most sets of this size, it’s always nice to have the official version with the book, artwork, and additional information.


Naturally, there are omissions. Most of the bootlegs take pains to include the cover songs the band would use to warm up and work their way into a session. Some are included here —“Save the Last Dance For Me” on the original Glyn Johns version of the album, a return to “Please Please Me,” a medley that includes “Save the Last Dance for Me,”  and a fanciful version of “Wake Up Little Susie” that segues into “I Mean Mine” on the disc titled “Apple Sessions.” Mostly though, the cursory material is mostly eliminated in favor of early attempts at songs that would later show up on Abbey Road—“Polythene Pam,” “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” “Something,” and a jam that evolves out of “Oh Darling.” That particular disc, titled “Apple Sessions,” is of real value and well worth the acquisition inane of itself.

That said, hearing Glyn Johns’ mix of the album “as nature intended” makes for the most satisfying listening, given that it excludes the added embellishment of strings and effects that Phil Spector added after the fact to the consternation of Paul McCartney in particular. “Let It Be” and “Long and Winding Road” ring with a resolve that was buried beneath the wall of sound that listeners became familiar with early on. So too, the playful asides that Johns left in offering more of a flavor of what actually transpired at the time, all loose and playful sans the tension that plagued their early efforts at Twickenham Film Studios. The studio chatter is interesting as well, adding to the spontaneity and genesis of several songs, including those that didn’t make the final cut—“All Things Must Pass,” Ringo’s “Octopus’s Garden” and Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth” in particular. 


As with most box sets, much of the attraction comes in the form of the accompanying hardcover book, and in this case, the reflections shared by Glyn Johns, the track by track description of each song in the set, and the other ancillary essays offer invaluable insights into the band’s original intent and the album’s evolution from a rehearsal for a possible live performance (which later became the so-called “rooftop concert”) to an actual stand-alone set of songs. McCartney’s foreword is especially interesting as it puts the entire effort into context. 


If there’s any complaint at all, it’s the lack of more photos. After all, with hundreds of hours of footage, there could have been more visual variety. The original English release in 1970 came with a thick coffee table book filled with great visuals of the group that were culled from the filming. Sadly, the binding was extraordinarily flimsy, causing the pages to come out after even an initial examination. Some effort to replicate that book would have been nice, but perhaps the accompanying hardcover book on the making of Let It Be will make up for the scarcity of pictures that should have been shared here. 


Still, taken as a whole, the Let It Be box is an essential addition to any collector’s library, a collection that documents a critical time in the final stages of the Beatles’ existence. Few albums were accompanied by such sad circumstances, but now, visited anew, the joy and jubilation are evident after all.

October 17, 2021
The Belated Debut of "Fancy Me Chances," an Early "Lennon-McCartney Original"

by Jordan Runtagh for People (edited text from the original article entitled: "Rethinking Let It Be: A Detailed Guide to the
Expanded Version of the Beatles' Controversial Swan Song")

Even at the apex of their fame in the mid '60s, the Beatles occasionally resurrected early songwriting attempts that had lain
dormant for close to a decade. Among the most distinguished are "I'll Follow the Sun," "Michelle" and "When I'm Sixty-Four,"
all of which date back to the '50s pre-Fab era. The back-to-basics mentality of the Get Back project provided the Beatles
with a perfect opportunity to air out a lengthy list of their primitive tunes. In the original Let It Be film, McCartney can be
heard name-checking long-forgotten titles like "Too Bad About Sorrows'' and "Just Fun." Bootleg session tapes reveal
versions of "Because I Know You Love Me So," "Won't You Please Say Goodbye," "Thinking Of Linking," and
"I'll Wait Till Tomorrow," most stretching back to Lennon and McCartney's time in their pre-Beatles band, the Quarrymen. 
Rehearsals for "Two of Us" on Jan. 24 triggered a particularly acute burst of nostalgia as McCartney and Lennon worked out
Everly Brothers harmonies over two acoustic guitars. It reminded them of their teenage writing sessions camped out in
McCartney's father's living room, scrawling words and chord changes in a school exercise book. Each completed composition
was topped off with the lofty heading: "Another Lennon-McCartney original." Now, years later, McCartney couldn't resist
writing "Another Quarrymen Original" on the lyric sheet to "Two Of Us." Though McCartney had written the song about
aimless drives with new girlfriend Linda Eastman, it may as well have been about his friendship with Lennon, and the choice
of arrangement underscored the sentimentality of the song. 

Clutching their acoustics, the pair frequently paused work on "Two of Us" to launch into impromptu versions of staples from
their Quarrymen-era set: Everly Brothers covers and rootsy acoustic tunes that swept Britain during the late '50s skiffle
craze. One of these was "Maggie May" (also spelled "Mae"), a 19th century Liverpool folk song about a ne'er-do-well Lime
Street hooker that had gained popularity thanks to a 1957 recording by the Vipers Skiffle Group, coincidently produced by
"Fifth Beatle" George Martin. 

The Beatles busked through two takes of the song, both delivered with comically thick Scouse accents. The abbreviated
second version surfaced on the official Let It Be album, while the first segued into another early Lennon-McCartney original,
"Fancy Me Chances." (Later heard in part on the Let It Be…Naked "Fly on the Wall" bonus disc.) Though slight, it's a sweet
tune and the moment is oddly thrilling. The chance to hear a lost Lennon-McCartney song is always cause for celebration,
and their voices brim with exuberance. But it also fulfilled the poignant promise of "Two Of Us" — their memories stretching
back longer than the road ahead. 

October 16, 2021
Ottawa Beatles Site rating for the Let It Be Super Deluxe Edition

Dig A Pony? The Beatles - Let It Be Super Deluxe Edition
by Pat Carty for Ireland's Hot Press



Everybody Let Their Hair Down


Is there such a thing as a runt in The Beatles’ litter? A ridiculous notion really when we’re talking about perhaps the most perfect discography in music but I do remember a journalist – a noble breed against whom I won’t countenance an ill word – saying something along the lines of how Let It Be was often the first Beatles record people bought – because of the cover – and it’s the worst one. Spitting out this class of rot – that it’s the “worst one” – is a bit like grumbling about a Himalayan peak that isn’t quite as tall as the others; it’s still pretty impressive, it’s still The Beatles.


A confession here; Let It Be is the only Beatles studio album I didn’t own – until last Wednesday. I replaced all the eighties vinyl – and the crappy first-round CDs – with The Beatles In Mono vinyl box/monolith when it was released. It is a thing of eternal joy and worth four times whatever ridiculous price I paid for, an initial investment that has been recouped a thousand times over. The thing is, it doesn’t include the last two Beatles albums. I, of course, as a reasonably sensible person, bought Abbey Road separately, for, as I’ve said before, if side two of that final recorded work was all they had done, we’d still be talking about them, but I never got around to putting money on a counter for Let It Be.


Why is that? Any record that has the title track, ‘Get Back’, ‘Across The Universe’ and the great ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ on it has got to be good. Maybe I read that comment from my colleague in the rockin’ fourth estate and thought he had a point. I’ll even admit that such was my unfamiliarity with it – compared to everything else that bore their name – that when I bought Anthology 3 upon its release, I heard the versions of tracks like ‘Dig A Pony’ or ‘Two Of Us’ and thought ‘that’s a good song, how come I don’t know it?’.


I suspect the problem is this. I, like even the more casual Beatles fan, have read more about The Beatles than I have about almost anyone else and I’ve seen a crappy bootleg of the Let It Be movie a few times - it’s not quite the disaster some have said it is, but it is short on laughs. I know the stories about the rushed recordings in an unsuitable space with cameras - and other people - over their shoulders. I know the story about them all telling Glyn Johns to fuck off up the yard when he initially handed them his version of the sessions, Get Back. It's included here and is, while interesting and worth having, hardly the revelation we might have expected. I’ve also heard McCartney giving out, repeatedly about what Phil Spector, at Lennon’s behest, did to the finished tapes. There’s no getting around it, he did over-egg a song as great as ‘The Long And Winding Road’ with layers of mush. I’m a fan of the Macca-sanctioned Let It Be… Naked where the Abbey Road boffins despectorised the tapes but, slightly surprisingly, there’s no sign of it here. Has it been written out of their history?


With all that weight on it, I gave it a swerve – or at least what you could class as a swerve in comparison to the amount of time I’ve spent with everything else they did - and surely I wasn’t that only one? This fiftieth anniversary box – the last Beatles re-release for the foreseeable? Probably not – allows foolish doubters like me, then, to go at it again. The good news first. There has been some grumbling in certain quarters about the very idea of Giles Martin, and Sam Okell, even thinking about remixing The Beatles (“I tend towards the ‘fuck all wrong with it to begin with’ camp,” one Mr P McLoone told me during the week, over a mug of ale). This is a load of old hooey. Okay, I might personally prefer the mono mixes of Sgt. Pepper’s and The White Album, but that doesn't mean I don’t enjoy what they’ve done and, if anything, they might even have improved Abbey Road, as unlikely as that sounds. And it's not like the other versions are going anywhere.


From what I remember, they’ve definitely achieved something similar with Let It Be. It, somehow, sounds less… tired. Ringo’s drum, and his bass drum, in particular are brighter, ‘Dig A Pony’ certainly sounds more robust and worthwhile, 'Across The Universe' is a gorgeous, underrated bit of Lennon, and ‘Let It Be’ is such a great song that it’s easy to take it for granted. This new mix elbows you a gentle reminder, and the hairs on the hairs on your arms still perk up when Harrison plays that solo with the horns behind him.


On side two, McCartney’s bass and soul hollering blast out of ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, Lennon’s early ‘One After 909’ rollicks along like the greatest garage band in the world after a few sherries, and ‘Get Back’ hums like it was recorded last Tuesday, with a reinforced suspension. And what about ‘The Long And Winding Road’? Perhaps for the sake of historical accuracy, the tacked-on syrup of the strings and brass and backing vocals are still there but the men in the white coats have pulled down the fader ever so slightly. It’s a great song from a time when such things were falling out of McCartney, the best Beatle. There! I said it!


All that – as well as that - being said, Let It Be is still unlikely to be anyone’s choice as their greatest record. They might have been having the craic with ‘Dig It’ and ‘Maggie Mae’ but you probably won’t be, and, as much as I love George Harrison, I just don’t think ‘I Me Mine’ or ‘For You Blue’ count amongst his greatest songs, but the genius indeed far outweighs the less good, and Martin and Okell have made it sound better than it ever has before. In fact, I suspect this is going to be the definite version going forward. Let me paraphrase McCartney, although he was talking about The White Album; “It’s great, it’s the bloody Beatles, shut up!”


The big box is filled out with two records of outtakes as well as that Glynn Johns mix. As has been said elsewhere, the pickings are slimmer than on the boxes that came before, but it is The Beatles, working, so of course it’s worth hearing, and you have already decided for yourself whether you’re going to put your hand in your pocket or not. McCartney arsing around with a version of ‘Please Please Me’ that could have come from before the war before going into a take of ‘Let It Be’ that, yet again, has the listener marvelling at how gifted he is, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ sounding splendid on the ‘value for money’ additional EP (I know it’s from another session, but it would have been nice to have ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ too), an early version of one of Harrison’s greatest song, ‘All Things Must Pass’ – why didn’t they work this up?, Lennon’s nascent ‘Gimme Some Truth’ where you can hear him writing it as it goes along, the thrill of hearing the band work on various snippets of the material that would blossom into Abbey Road, and Billy Preston, as fifth a Beatle as anyone, giving it some on ‘Without A Song’ – it really is like sitting on the side of Olympus, witnessing the Gods as they forged the world from clay.


All this, and we’ve yet to see what Peter Jackson comes up with. Jaysus, we’re spoilt. It’s the bloody Beatles. Shut up!



McCartney 3 Limited Edition slated for release


October 14, 2021
Giles Martin Hopes 'Fragmented' 'Let It Be' Sounds 'More Like An Album'
by Emily Lee for iHeart Music

Photo: Beatle Producer George Martin with his son Giles Martin

More than fifty years after Let It Be, the twelfth and final studio album released by The Beatles, the project is getting a
remix from producer Giles Martin. For those who may not know, Giles is the son of longtime Beatles collaborator George
Martin. Giles has now remixed four albums by The Beatles over his career, telling NME he's "been working on Beatles projects
for longer than my Dad produced them, which is kind of embarrassing.”

For many fans of The Beatles, Let It Be is not only notable for being the band's last release, but for being the group's most
divisive album. Released a month after the group split, Let It Be was produced by Phil Spector rather than George
Martin. Paul McCartney has famously described the album as being "overproduced" and even released a stripped-back
version of the project in 2003.

“I have the legacy of my Dad talking about what an unpleasant experience Let It Be was, and how upset he was. It hurt
him," Giles told NME of his Dad's ousting on that final album. "The Beatles said they wanted a live album and didn’t need him
to produce it, and then Spector did everything they said they wouldn’t do. That hurt him, and I think it hurt Paul too.”

“Phil Spector was very different to my Dad – he was an artist-producer, so he wanted everything to sound like Phil Spector
had done it," Giles continued. "My Dad was more of a sensitive, blueprint producer. He would take the ideas and interpret
them, like a satellite dish that could beam them onto a vinyl record. Spector would force his character on it, but you can’t
really take away from the iconic sound that he gives."

Giles describes Let It Be as "an album that’s kind of fragmented in its creation," which is something he aimed to fix in his
version. "How can we make it more unified in its sound? So I suppose my approach was to make it sound more like
an album," he told the outlet.

Despite being considered a controversial outing for The Beatles, Giles has a hard time considering Let It Be a "forgotten"
album. “I find it quite amusing that this is considered a ‘forgotten’ Beatles album, or whatever, and yet it has one of the
most successful Beatles songs of all time on it," he said. "And that’s the Beatles! And then you look at ‘Let It Be’ and you
realize it has all these songs on it that are pretty bloody amazing. You think, ‘Jesus, they were kinda good, weren’t they?’”

The Let It Be remix boxset drops on Friday (October 15). In addition to Giles remix, fans of The Beatles can also look forward
to The Beatles: Get Back, a new book about the band, coming out on the very same day. Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated
three-part TV documentary Get Back is also set to premiere on Disney+ in November.

October 13, 2021
Get Back: Official Promo Poster and Video Trailer for Disney +


George Harrison on What Each of The Beatles Was Really Like: Ringo Starr Was ‘the Party Boy’
By Kelsey Goeres for Showbiz CheatSheet

In The Beatles‘ heyday, each member was painted as this larger-than-life caricature of a rock star. But what were John
Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr really like? Harrison answers that question in one of his columns
for the Daily Express in 1964. Here’s how each of The Beatles acted behind closed doors, and why they put on that famous
“blasé” attitude.

The Beatles’ personalities, from George Harrison’s perspective

“A lot of rubbish has been written about our personalities,” Harrison wrote with the help of Daily Express writer Derek Taylor,
as recorded in the book George Harrison on George Harrison. So he went to set the record straight himself.

“John is supposed to be a relaxed, laconic comedian,” he began. “But this isn’t the whole picture or even the right one. John
is a little shy, defensive, always aware of people, interested in their motives and not always pleased by what he finds.”

Starr, on the other hand, was “the party boy” of the group.

“In public, Ringo sings little and says less,” wrote Harrison. “But in private he is the star—far and away the party boy of the
four of us. He talks plenty, wittily, in a dry, throwaway style. He’s the one the girls want to dance with. The life and soul.”

And then there’s McCartney.

“Paul, easy-going, wide-eyes,” he wrote. “Paul has concealed depths. He has strong views on everything, great belief in
himself, and immense ambition. He is a born leader, though within the Beatles no one leads.”

George Harrison writes about The Beatles famous ‘blasé’ attitude

“As a foursome we are aware of our success: grateful and pleased but no more than that,” Harrison wrote. “We never boast
and try not to think boastfully, because we know there is a cliff-edge at the point where vanity takes over from
self-confidence. And we are not yet ready to die.

Their collective unimpressed persona was a result of attempting to process all the amazing things happening to them at the

“With so much happening during the last year we’ve built a defense mechanism to keep things in perspective,” he wrote.
“We’ve become blasé deliberately because if we hadn’t we’d have gone round the bend with nervous excitement.”

That’s also why they’d joke around so much.

“We’ve been getting most of our kicks from soft things—like singing the wrong line or nearly missing a plane,” wrote Harrison.
“When you’re together as much as the four of us are—and often under pressure—you get to laughing at simple things. We
play life on a low key and this way we avoid rows.”

This easy-going, jokey attitude also helped to keep the peace.

“We never have bad arguments, which is surprising because there’s a lot of artistic temperament under the surface and not
one of us is like the other,” he wrote.

The Beatles were excited to go to America

But there was one thing that got The Beatles outwardly excited, and that was traveling to America to play Carnegie Hall.

“John, Paul, Ringo and I are full of confidence,” wrote Harrison. “For once we’re knocked out with excitement and

Their mission was to prove to their American audience that The Beatles were, indeed, worth the hype.

“We will step into the piercing spotlight on the great stage at Carnegie Hall and we will sing and play as well as we can, as
hard as we can as we always do and always did,” he wrote. “More than that we can’t do and we believe it will be enough.”

It was enough.

October 12, 2021
Beatles photographer Ethan Russell talks ‘Get Back’ book, the Rolling Stones, and The Who
As a young photographer, Russell lucked into an assignment for John Lennon and Yoko Ono and would shoot the band's final photo.
by Stuart Miller for the Press-Telegram

When a young Ethan Russell saw Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 iconic film “Blow-Up,” he decided he wanted to be a photographer. 

After his father bought him a camera, Russell began exploring the rock scene in his hometown of San Francisco before decamping for London. He didn’t
discover the swinging scene he’d hoped to find there but after a long dry spell, he lucked into an assignment: Photographing John Lennon and Yoko Ono. His
pictures captured their love for each other and soon after, Russell was in the studio, snapping pictures of the Beatles as they recorded the album that
became “Let It Be.”

Those photos (along with pictures by Linda McCartney) are now included in a glossy new book “The Beatles: Get Back,” out Oct. 12 from Callaway Arts &
Entertainment. The tome is a companion piece to Peter Jackson’s Apple+ docuseries, which revisits unseen hours of band footage that captures the band as
they were breaking up. Russell also did the final photoshoot of the group.

From there, the photographer moved on to other rock legends, shooting tours and album covers and books for the Rolling Stones and The Who. In addition to
the “Get Back” book, his pictures (which also capture Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and others) are in his new book of photographs.

Russell says he never took a photography course. “There’s a low barrier for entry to photography but sometimes you can tell the person operating the camera cannot see what is there,” he said in a Zoom interview. “The central act is seeing the picture. If you don’t see it you can’t shoot it.”


He credits his success in capturing the moment to a childhood spent hunting blue jays on his parents’ ranch. “You gotta be  really quiet, you can’t move quickly, you have to look for where you might see something, you have to be able to sight it and you get one shot.”


This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Q. How did you get this job?


I was there one day talking about earlier photos I had taken of John and Yoko. I said I was going to go down to the studio. They told me they had no need for me, but I went down anyway. When I got down there, Neil [Aspinall, an Apple executive] showed up and said, “We’ve decided to let you come down.” So then I went and got my cameras. Nobody ever told me what to do. 


Neil had said, “You can come for one day.” And I said, “I won’t do less than three days.” I don’t know why these things come out of my mouth. After that, I was showing the photographs to Derek Taylor, the press agent, in [Apple executive] Peter Brown’s office. I was projecting the pictures against the wall, and they looked good—it was a hell of a location for photographs, and I used it well, taking big wide shots.


Suddenly Paul McCartney walks in and then John with Yoko and then George Harrison. After they saw the photos they hired me for a longer period of time. Then somebody said, “We should do a book” and I went for the balance of the filming. [The book was released in the English version of the “Let It Be” album but not in America.]


Q. You’ve talked about being impressed by the band’s work ethic yet of being aware of the tension. Were you trying to capture both truths?


Photography is representational. It’s not an abstract process. You can try to use photography to represent a mood, but you’re sort of swimming upstream against what the technology does. The technology just says, “There it is.”  I sensed the mood, but I wasn’t trying to capture it. I’m just taking the pictures. The biggest value I deliver was not, “Look at this cool picture,” it’s making you feel like you are there in the room with The Beatles.


Q. You were in the room. What was it like hearing them create new music?


Rather pathetically, I didn’t listen. My gift is all here in my eyes. Put a camera there and it’s like I put earmuffs on, too. It is absurd that I was sitting there and the Beatles were making records right in front of me. Later on the Stones’ tours, people would say, “That was a great show.” and I would just shrug. I wasn’t listening. 


Q. Did you have favorite shots of the Stones from all your time with them? 


One is Keith Richards in rehearsal bent over his guitar by an amp with Charlie Watts blurred in the background. It’s 100 percent natural, I didn’t light it. And it’s Keith before he’s a druggie, so it’s also him doing what he loves the most.


I have a famous shot of Mick [Jagger] and Keith from behind on stage, which is when I realized that’s a great angle because then you are seeing what the band sees. 


I also love the shots of Keith and then Mick talking to their hero, Chuck Berry. Stanley Booth, who wrote a book about the Stones, wrote that Keith was so adoring he looked like “a little English schoolboy.”


Q. You love capturing the moment but you also proved willing to stage a shot, like the one in an airport of Richards standing beneath a sign about “a drug-free America” or the cover of “Who’s Next.”


As a working photographer, you do what you think works. As a rule, I never changed anything but we were waiting in customs and I saw that sign and said, “That’s too good to miss.” I called for Mick and Keith both to come. Keith was closer and came first and after a shot or two a customs official said, “Stop or we’re confiscating your film.”


The “Who’s Next” cover was totally improvised. They had no cover and had almost finished the album. One day, we’re driving in the rain and Pete [Townshend] is going 100 miles an hour so when we pass these shapes I don’t say anything, but then there’s a roundabout and he slows down. No roundabout, no Who’s Next cover—at that moment, he says, “Have any ideas” and I tell him about these shapes, so he zips around and speeds back.


The minute you see that monolith thing, you think about “2001.” [Roger] Daltrey and [John] Entwistle started acting like the apes from the movie. In my book, I have a whole contact sheet of the band doing the apes. But it was no good for the cover. 


Then I looked up and Pete had [urinated] on it. That was real. The others couldn’t so I poured water on it to make it look like they had. It’s show business. And then we’re down the road at 100 miles an hour again and I’m just saying, “I hope this works.” 


But the real sky was grey that day so the sky in the photo was taken a different day. 


Q. Tell me about the book of black-and-white photos you created to help tell the story of The Who’s iconic rock opera “Quadrophenia.” [It was nominated for a Grammy for Best Album Package.] 


Even before I went to England, I loved “A Taste of Honey,” a black and white English film, and of course “A Hard Day’s Night.” The black-and-white photos of the English photographer Bill Brandt were also very evocative to me. But in England, I was doing rock stars and had worked in color, so for this book I decided to use black-and-white.


I believe the songwriters were the most important writers of my generation, so I wanted to figure out what Pete was saying and then bring that to the photos. When I delivered the artwork which was eighty boards. Pete says, “I thought you said it was going to be six pages.” [Russell shrugs and laughs] I said, “I might have, but here’s what I’ve got now.” 


The book wasn’t glossy—the paper was purposely newsprint-y– so they could make it as cheaply as possible. The English didn’t care about it because they knew the mods and rockers story, but I’ve been told that the book helped Americans appreciate the album in a way they never would have otherwise, so at the end of the day it ended up working out for record company and The Who.


October 11, 2021
Belated Happy Anniversary to Nancy and Paul from the Ottawa Beatles Site and their fans!

October 10, 2021
“I Think We Should Have a Divorce”: Inside the Beatles’ Last Chapter

With Peter Jackson’s docuseries, Get Back, on the way, a new book and box set illuminate the most famous breakup in pop
by Alan Light for Vanity Fair

For more than 50 years, nobody has known what the hell to do with Let It Be.


The Beatles certainly didn’t. After shooting over more than 60 hours of themselves rehearsing and recording in January of

1969, the resulting film didn’t come out until the following May, by which time the greatest band of all time had broken up. 

Despite the triumphant, climactic performance on the rooftop of their Apple Records office building, the movie felt

claustrophobic and sour, and the Fab Four soon distanced themselves from it; Let It Be was only briefly available on VHS in

the early ’80s and was never released on DVD.


As for the accompanying album, they rejected an initial edit of the live-in-the-studio takes by engineer Glyn Johns bearing

the title Get Back, handed the tapes to Phil Spector, the most famous producer in the world (turning their own attention to

making Abbey Road), and then complained about the final version, which would be the last Beatles record released. In 2003,

they assembled an unsatisfying de-Spectorized album called Let It Be…Naked, which felt like Paul McCartney’s attempt to

wrestle the legacy of songs like “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road” away from the syrupy strings and background

vocals added by the now notorious Spector but—particularly since this is the most-bootlegged material in rock history—

changed no one’s opinion of the project.


And for the fans, Let It Be has always been complicated. On the one hand, the old footage and the raw tapes were the 

closest we ever got to watching the Beatles work in the studio, meaning they’ve been pored over with Talmudic precision;

on the other hand, so much of it is sloppy and half-assed, and it’s so tightly wound up in the group’s demise, it’s been hard

to find much pleasure in listening or watching. The material has also carried the weight of being their farewell statement—a

lot for a three-week experiment to carry—when in fact the magnificent Abbey Road, which largely sounds like it was

recorded by an entirely different band, was really the last work the Beatles did together.


This fall, though, Let It Be is finally getting a full overhaul and a massive re-examination. On October 12, the Get Back book

collects transcripts from 120 hours of the sessions along with hundreds of photos by Ethan Russell and Linda McCartney. 

Three days later, the Let It Be box set comes out, in multiple configurations up to the five-CD (plus one Blu-Ray) “Super

Deluxe” edition. The season culminates over Thanksgiving weekend with the three-part, six-hour Get Back docu-series,

directed by Peter Jackson, streaming on Disney+. (On November 2, McCartney adds to the flood with his notes on some of

this era’s songs in his mammoth The Lyrics anthology.) 


The excitement among Beatlemaniacs about the Jackson film—which, he promises, will not repeat a single shot from the

original Let It Be—is tempered by the concern that it will whitewash this problematic month, which began on January 2,

1969, when the group convened on a cavernous soundstage at Twickenham Film Studios in London. For 21 days, cameras

and tape recorders documented their work (first at Twickenham and then at their own hastily assembled Apple Studio) 

before wrapping up on January 31, the day after the rooftop performance.


The sessions were fraught and unfocused, and of course we all know how the story ends. But the surviving Beatles insist

that it wasn’t all miserable, and that the documentary will illustrate the emotional range of their interaction at the time and

the joy they all felt in making music together. “[T]he new film shows the camaraderie and love the four of us had between

us,” writes McCartney in a foreword to the notes for the box set. “It is how I want to remember The Beatles.”


The Get Back book, at least, reveals some unexpected nuances to the Let It Be period, and ultimately shows that the band

was suffering from boredom and lethargy rather than hostility. The initial concept was that they would play a big concert, 

their first since 1966, somewhere—in a Libyan ruin? on an ocean liner? in an empty Royal Albert Hall?—and the rehearsals

would be filmed for a resultant TV special.


But it’s instantly clear that there’s no real enthusiasm for this plan; within a couple of days, George Harrison says “I think we

should forget the whole idea of this show,” and director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (as much a presence on these tapes as

the Beatles themselves, as he pleads with them to come up with a plan) inspires much hilarity when he says that “the thing

to do is just to be very flexible about every aspect of the enterprise.”


With no real sense of purpose, simmering tensions emerge, especially between Harrison and McCartney. “I always hear

myself annoying you,” McCartney says, and Harrison drily responds, “You don’t annoy me any more.” After years as a junior 

partner in the band, Harrison’s songwriting had improved and increased, so he’s frustrated by being limited to only one or

two slots per Beatle album (oddly, the group is willing to work up the eminently forgettable “For You Blue” for inclusion on

Let It Be, but not the sublime “All Things Must Pass”).


One thing the two bandmates could agree on is that the death of manager Brian Epstein in 1967 was a huge blow. “Ever

since Mr. Epstein passed away…it’s never been the same,” says Harrison. “We’ve been very negative since Mr. Epstein

passed away,” McCartney replies. “There really is no one there now to say, ‘Do that.’…but that’s only growing up. You

know, your daddy goes away at a certain point in your life. You stand on your own feet.”


Things go downhill fast with Harrison. “The Beatles have been in the doldrums for at least a year,” he says at one point. “I

think we should have a divorce.” And on January 10, he suddenly and off-handedly says “I think I’ll be…I’m leaving…the band

now.” John Lennon immediately leaps in to say that he thinks the Beatles should continue (possibly with Eric Clapton) even

if Harrison quits, later adding that the situation with the guitarist is “a festering wound…I’m still not sure whether I do want



Contrary to popular myth, the Get Back transcripts show Lennon—accompanied at all times by Yoko Ono—to be amenable

and open. “I’ve said yes to every idea that’s come up so far,” he says, “America, Pakistan, the moon.” And in a

conversation with Harrison and Ringo Starr, McCartney proves to be impressively understanding and sympathetic about

Ono’s presence and role in Lennon’s life.“He’s not going to sort of split with her just for our sakes,” he says, “it’s all right, let

the young lovers stay together…Obviously, if it came to a push between Yoko and the Beatles, it’s Yoko. They just want to

be near each other. So I just think it’s silly of me or anyone to try and say to ‘em, ‘No you can’t.’” With some prescience, he

adds “It’s going to be such an incredible sort of comical thing like, in fifty years’ time, you know, ‘They broke up ‘cos Yoko

sat on an amp.’”


With no one at the wheel, McCartney repeatedly tries to get the band focused. He’s self-aware enough to joke about it (“I

really sound like I’m the showbiz correspondent trying to hustle us to do a Judy Garland comeback”), but his jolly demeanor

has its limits. “I want a decision,” he proclaims at one point. “Because I’m not interested enough to spend my fucking days

farting round here while everyone makes up their minds whether they to do it or not.”


The Twickenham rehearsals fizzle out on January 16. Five days later, when the band reconvenes at Apple, Harrison is back

(the book’s editor simply notes “George’s return is not mentioned on the tapes”), keyboardist Billy Preston has been brought

in, and the TV broadcast has been scrapped. Instead, they will make an album, film the recording, and possibly do some kind

of local, low-key concert.


Finally given a target, the Beatles kick into gear—one thing that defined their greatness was their ability to confront a

moment when all eyes were on them and then exceed all expectations. “It’s hard, though, ‘cos every time we do anything

it’s got to be really awesome,” says Starr, and yet the last-minute decision to set up on the roof, playing songs they just

barely knew, presented them with an occasion to rise to.


The Get Back book is curiously fascinating, even (especially?) at its most mundane, like a full page of the band debating

their lunch orders. The Let It Be box set, though, doesn’t really have much chance for revelation. The original album was

recorded on makeshift equipment, so the sonic improvement is welcome, and officially releasing the Glyn Johns cut (despite

such weird choices as sequencing the two big ballads back-to-back) is a good addition to the historical record. But between

the Naked album, the outtakes included on the Anthology series, and the widespread bootlegging, every Beatle fan already

knows what this stuff sounds like. Lunatics (like me) will exhaustively debate the merits of “Get Back” Take 8 versus Take

19, but there’s no great a-ha moments, no major surprises or undiscovered gems in the two discs of outtakes. Completists

have also noted the absence of anything from Twickenham (which was recorded, remember, for television, not for audio

release) and the lack of the complete 42-minute rooftop concert (which some speculate may be a contractual issue with

Disney, holding it back for the new film, and also involves listening through multiple takes of some of the songs.) 


Maybe the ramshackle nature of the Let It Be recording calls for a less conventional treatment—an interactive Choose-

Your-Own-Adventure album or something that would allow listeners to explore different strands of the sessions (the Beatles

covering their own songs, or jamming on R&B and country classics). The selections on the box seem to concentrate on one

story line: Since it was unclear what this studio time was intended for, it became a kind of open workshop for material that

would turn up over many years, in many forms. Early versions of five songs that wound up on Abbey Road are included, as

well as songs from Lennon and Harrison solo albums that followed the break-up. It’s an argument that Let It Be wasn’t just

the Beatles spinning their wheels, it was a time of creative fertility—maybe more than one band could handle.


It remains to be seen how Peter Jackson’s film will present this fateful month in Beatle history. There’s no denying the power

of some (though not all) of this music, nor the unsettled feeling of a band unraveling. “We just sort of put ourselves through

the torture of being filmed” is how McCartney describes the experience to one visitor, “having nothing to say and just sort

of wiggling, nervously.” Even on the very first day of filming, you can hear the wistfulness in Harrison’s voice when he talks

about his recent visit with Bob Dylan and the Band in Woodstock. “They’re just happy to be a band,” he says, from the

other end of a long and winding road.

October 9, 2021
If John Lennon were still with us, he would have turned 81 on this date

Tonight, Yoko Ono continues the tradition of rededication of John Lennon's birthday and his activism for world
peace through the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik

John Lennon and Yoko Ono exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery's GROWING FREEDOM shows how the art of Yoko Ono and John Lennon was unstoppable
by Steven Newton for the Georgia Straight

In 2002, when Cheryl Sim was an art-crazed young woman in her twenties, she traveled from Montreal to Toronto to see an

exhibition by her hero, Yoko Ono, at the Art Gallery of Ontario.


The experience had a profound effect on her.


"I'm of Asian heritage as well," says Sim on the line from Montreal. "I grew up in Canada in the '70s, and I didn't really see

many people who looked like me in any kind of mainstream anything, so when I discovered this person named Yoko Ono

through her music I was like, 'This is one kick-ass dame!' I fell in love with her power, her strength, her being 'out there' and

doing really avant-garde sort of work in the music world.


"And then as I also got into things like video art I discovered her multidisciplinary practice, and I really was in love with the

audacity and the free spirit that informed her work, and then later on just finding her message of peace and hope a real

touchstone, you know. She's been through so much, but she would always unwaveringly insist that we never let go of hope.

And there was her own pursuit, artistically and otherwise, for freedom--that's what we all really want. We all want to be

happy and free."


Now the curator and managing director of Montreal's Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art, Sim is also cocurator, with

Gunnar B. Kvaran, of GROWING FREEDOM: The instructions of Yoko Ono/The art of John and Yoko, a touring exhibition that

opens at the Vancouver Art Gallery on October 9. The exhibition is divided into two parts, the first of which delves into

Ono’s artistic process, reflecting her radical and unconventional approach, and the second highlighting Ono and her

deceased husband John Lennon’s collaborative art projects aimed at promoting peace. (Two other works connected to the

exhibition, ARISING (2013) and WATER EVENT (1971), will feature the participation of local women and Indigenous artists.)


In her role as cocurator of GROWING FREEDOM, Sim finally got to meet and exchange ideas with her visionary idol.


"She was really ahead of her time in terms of the way that she addressed art-making," explains Sim. "First of all, what's

really cool is that all of her works are reproducible. She really thwarted the whole art-market issue, because anyone can

reproduce her instructions. They're words, right, so they're not these discrete objects that travel around in crates and need

to have special temperature and humidity and that kind of thing. And then the other thing that she did which was extremely

radical for the times, was including us as part of the work. And by us reading or experiencing the instructions and then using

our imaginations to engage with them, the work is concluded through us. Without us, the work is not a work.


"So no one was doing that, and that was extremely unheard-of at the time. And then she was interdisciplinary at a time

when no one was interdisciplinary. You know, you were a painter, or you were a sculptoryou didn't mix the two. She was

doing everything, and she was an early conceptual artist in that way. Also, she was early in addressing issues of women,

violence against women, and women's bodies.


"One of her 'Cut Pieces', which is probably the most well-knownand is going to have a nice place in the show at the

Vancouver Art Galleryis really intense. She was sitting on the stage, fully clothed, with a pair of scissors by her side, and

the instructions people received when they arrived into the performance hall were: 'Come and cut a piece of the artist's

clothing'. And you can imagine that, in the 1960s, seeing an Asian woman in that type of very public, very vulnerable form,

was something you weren't seeing every day. It was challenging to so many sensibilities on many levels."


Cut Piece will be displayed at the VAG through a short film of a performance that Ono did in Carnegie Hall in the mid-'60s. It

is part of "The Instructions of Yoko Ono", along with such works as Mend Piece, 1966 and Painting to Hammer a Nail, 1966.


"The instruction work is really a major series that's still ongoing for her," explains Sim, "and what those are are essentially

words put together as instructions to us to follow. They manifest themselves in different ways. Sometimes they are really

just text on the wall; sometimes they have a physical action that goes along with them. So Painting to Hammer a Nail, for

example, that's the instruction, but there is a canvas-shaped wood panel that's been painted white, and nails, and a

hammer, and so you participate by kind of making this work of art by hammering in your nail.


"And there's another piece called Mend Piece where there's all these broken pieces of dishes that are on a table and you're

invited to take pieces and then create little works, little sculptures, through using tape and glue and string and making

these pieces into something. Sort of making something positive out of destruction. So there's action, participation, and

imagination, all coming out, and it's all us—we get to do everything. We complete every one of these works in the first part

of the show."


Sim believes that the second part of GROWING FREEDOM, "The Art of John and Yoko", may be the only exhibition so far to

successfully drive home the fact that Lennon and Ono were making art together as collaborators.


"It wasn't more John than Yoko," she says, "it's more the opposite. It's what she had been working on for years leading up

to the start of the collaborative work that informed the work that they made together...[like] War Is Over, the advertising

campaign for peace, where she had been working with language and word and display and postering for a long time already.

I mean the power of John Lennon at that time was really becoming engaged politically with the Vietnam War and civil rights

movementall these things that were happening in the late '60sand when they met and started exchanging ideas the two

of them together were unstoppable.


"So in the second part we explore that. We explore the Montreal bed-in, but we looked at it rather than just being this

media event; we looked at it as an artwork. It was a performance work. They did the same thing in Amsterdam a few

months before, after they got married. And they had done this thing called Acorn Piece where they each planted acorns on

the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral, one in the east and one in the west, to show that if a woman from Japan and a man

from Liverpool could get together and make it work and join forces for good, then we can do anything."


October 8, 2021
Obituary: Lizzie Bravo (1951–2021), Beatles fan who sang on “Across the Universe”
by Linnea Crowther by

Lizzie Bravo was a Beatles fan who was invited by the band to sing backing vocals as they recorded “Across the Universe” in 1968.

  • Died: October 4, 2021
  • Details of death: Died of heart complications in Brazil at the age of 70.



Across the Universe


Bravo was just a teen when she and her close friend traveled from their native Brazil to London with hopes of meeting the
Beatles. They realized they’d never have the chance to see the band in concert, since they had stopped touring in 1966, so
they talked their parents into sending them overseas to visit their idols. In London, they spent much of their time outside
Abbey Road studios, waiting for the Beatles to enter and exit so they could see them. They and other fans became familiar
faces to the band, who signed autographs and posed for photos.


As the Beatles were recording “Across the Universe,” Paul McCartney wanted to try adding a high backing vocal to the
chorus, but there were no professional female singers available. McCartney came out to ask the fans if any of them could
hold a high note. Bravo and another fan, Gayleen Pease, volunteered, and they were invited into the studio, where they
sang and shared tea with the Beatles. The version of “Across the Universe” they recorded was not the one included on “Let
it Be” in 1970, but it was released in 1969 on the compilation “No One’s Gonna Change Our World” benefiting the World
Wildlife Fund. Bravo later published “Do Rio a Abbey Road,” a book of the many photos she took of the Beatles during her
time in London.


Bravo on the recording session


“John said both of us had to sing into this [microphone], and… I got close, and he said – twice – ‘Closer.’ Yes, John. And
then he said again, ‘Closer.’ And John was here [gestures next to her face]! And I was paralyzed – I couldn’t move. My
heart was beating so hard, I thought, it’s gonna come out in the mic.” —from a 2010 interview


Tributes to Lizzie Bravo


Also, this write-up by Hrishikesh Bhardwaj for Play Crazy Game...



October 6, 2021
Ringo Starr Jams With Nandi Bushell, Chad Smith & More on Beatles Classic to Drum Out Hunger

by Gil Kaufman for Billboard

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is part of a massive, all-star group of the world's greatest skin pounders who've gathered for a
cover of his band's "Come Together" for a good cause. The effort, part of WhyHunger's "Drum Together" campaign, brought
together 100 of the world's elite drummers to raise funds to build a "just, hunger-free" world.

Among the artists joining Starr are 11 year-old drum prodigy Nandi Bushell, as well as the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith,
Pearl Jam's Matt Cameron, session legends Jim Keltner (who helped organize the campaign) and Steve Gadd (Steely Dan), as
well as Santana's Cindy Blackman Santana, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Max Weinberg, the Police's Stewart
Copeland, Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp), Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel), Bernard Purdie, Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge), Will
Calhoun (Living Colour), Leland Sklar (James Taylor) and Dorothea Taylor, among many more.

The funds raised by the recording will support WhyHunger’s mission to end global hunger by "tackling its root causes and
investing in grassroots solutions to advance the human right to nutritious food for all," according to a statement.

"We all can agree that no kid should be hungry, and everyone should have access to nutritious food. This is a great cause
that I've supported in the past and a great track - one of my favorite Beatles songs. So when Jim Keltner asked me to join
all these other drummers I was happy to. Peace and love," said Ringo in the statement.


The project was conceptualized and produced by Tony Award-winner Brian Resnick (Hadestown) and legendary
drummer/educator Dom Famularo, with the latter saying, "When it comes to impactful compositions, ‘Come Together’ is at
the top of the list. It was the perfect song to galvanize this community for such a critical cause."

The jazzy, 10-minute video for the effort opens with Starr playing the song's iconic intro, then quickly being joined by a
galaxy of players drumming along on a wide variety of percussion instruments and impressive kits, joined by horns, guitars
and vocalists, with plenty of time for a number of them to get in ripping drum solos. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to
help unite the world through music and to help lift up such an important cause alongside my beloved drumming community,"
said Keltner in the statement. "Hunger affects far too many across the globe, and I urge everyone to join forces with us to
support WhyHunger’s work to end hunger.”

The organization notes that the global COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on hunger and poverty rates across
the globe, "exposing just how many millions of people are struggling to make ends meet." WhyHunger says 90 cents of every
dollar raised will go directly to programming, with the funds from the campaign fueling "transformative, community-led
solutions across the U.S. and around the globe that advance the human right to nutritious food for all."

October 3, 2021
Sir Paul McCartney's green submarine gift to Liverpool arrives
by Annie Williams for the Liverpool Echo


Families flocked to Liverpool One to land themselves a copy of Sir Paul McCartney’s new book, as the star's "gift" to

Liverpool arrived.


To celebrate the release of his brand new book, the Beatles legend sent a giant green submarine to his beloved home town,

which docked inside Waterstones in the city centre this morning.


His book, Grandude’s Green Submarine, was released on Thursday, September 30 and follows on from the adventures of Sir

Paul's 2019 New York Times bestseller Hey Grandude!


Young children got the chance to meet the book’s Grandude and Nandude characters, as well as have their photo taken in

the green submarine downstairs in the book shop.


To further mark the book’s launch, the first 55 families to visit the submarine were given a £2 voucher towards the price of

the book and were entered into a raffle to win an exclusive signed copy.


Tanya Vian-Smith, deputy publicity director for Penguin Random House who organised today’s event, told the ECHO that

people had been queuing up outside of the store from 8am in order to get their hands on a copy of Grandude’s Green



Paul has only released 100 signed copies of the book worldwide, five of which were made exclusive to today’s event, with

three claimed before 10.30am.


Tom Hawley, bookstore manager at Waterstones Liverpool One, said the book was destined to be a success judging the high

levels of interest from young customers.


He told the ECHO: “We’re so thrilled to be launching the new Sir Paul McCartney book with today’s event.


“It’s an absolutely gorgeous picture book and adventure story and we’re just so excited to have the event today with the

green submarine.”


Tom said: “It’s beautifully written and I think it will be more successful than the first book.”


The book’s title is of course a nod to the Beatles song Yellow Submarine.


On the book's title, Sir Paul said: “When I wrote ‘Yellow Submarine’ it was just before I was going to sleep in that sort of

nodding off period.


"I was imagining the scene and I imagined the place underwater, like a submarine parking lot with submarines in all colours

of the rainbow, so there was a red, green, yellow, blue, etc.


“So I’d always seen more than one submarine.


“I chose yellow for this song but always felt that I left out the others, so with this I thought it’d be nice to re-introduce my

idea in the form of a green submarine, which also gives a nod to ecological aspects.”


Alastair Watson and Terri Ann Hayes got right into character for today's events, dressing up as the books' Grandude and

Nandude to welcome families into the store and assist in the picture taking for the day.


Alastair, who remained in full character at all times told the ECHO: “I’m here with my green submarine encouraging people to

have a little ride and be in for the chance of winning a copy of the book signed by the man himself.


“I haven’t seen Nandude for a long long time as I’ve been away on some adventures, so this is why we’ve brought the green

sub out - so we can go and find her, my beloved Nandude!”


Following today’s event, families will still have a chance to visit the submarine as it will remain at Waterstones Liverpool One

until Monday.


It will then move to its permanent residency at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where Paul personally decided to donate it.


Michael Sokil faithfully records a stunning instrumental cover version of The Beatles "Help!"

October 2, 2021
Ottawa Beatles Site Retrogroove: The MonaLisa Twins cover The Beatles "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"

How an eccentric engineer at the Beatles’ record company invented the CT scan
by Edmund S. Higgins for Fast Company

October 1, 2021
Broken Record presents Ringo Starr: Peace and Love (hosted by Rick Rubin)

September 30, 2021
George Harrison on How The Beatles’ American and British Fans Differed
by Kelsey Goeres for Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Though they started in Liverpool, The Beatles had fans all over the world. The band says they knew they made
it big when they realized how popular they were in America. Their first trip overseas was a big one, filled with
anticipation. But America loved them. The U.S. was no more immune to Beatlemania than the U.K. In 1964,
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr frequently got asked “Are the American fans any
different to the British?” Here’s Harrison’s take.

In Harrison’s column for the Daily Express (assisted by Daily Express writer Derek Taylor), he wrote about
The Beatles’ first trip to America and the differences between American fans and their fans back home.

“People have asked me here, ‘Are the American fans any different to the British?'” he wrote, as recorded in the
book George Harrison on George Harrison. “They’re not really. They still react in the same way and shout the
same things, except it’s in an American accent. They use different phrases in their letters. I had a note today
from a boy who wrote that he had no father and no brothers and asked: ‘Will you be my big brother?’ That’s a
new one.”

American fans were different on the phone, apparently, too.

“In England if they get on the phone they’ll go on talking and talking for ever,” wrote Harrison. “The Americans
are quicker and straight to the point. They say: ‘I just want to welcome you to America. I think you’re great. I
know you’ll enjoy it here. Goodbye.'”

The Beatles were ecstatic to come to America

The Beatles were famous for their generally blasé attitudes. But they couldn’t help but get excited about playing
in America — about their star power reaching overseas.

“We have one aim: to conquer the United States,” Harrison wrote just before the trip. “We know we may be
knocked and knocked hard. No nation likes to be taken by storm by foreigners. And the U.S., birthplace of pop
music, isn’t going to give us an easy run.”

Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr had a lot to live up to.


“The build-up in curiosity value has been tremendous and we hope this will be an advantage,” wrote Harrison.
“But there’s a chance that the advance publicity may act against us. We’re totally exposed—naked you might
say—and the Americans are going to look very long and very hard at us. ‘So O.K.,’ they’ll be saying with their
shrew showbiz eyes. ‘You’re here. So what’s so good? Show us.’ We hope to show them.”

And they did. They showed them.

American girls love Ringo Starr

The first big appearance The Beatles made in America was on The Ed Sullivan Show.

“It went fine,” Harrison wrote of the performance. “Mind you we had something great going for us—the audience.
And something else. About half an hour before we were going to go on the Ed Sullivan Show our Press agent,
Brian Sommerville, handed us a telegram.”

The telegram was a note from Elvis Presley welcoming the band to America and wishing them a good show.

“It was a terrific gesture and made us feel wonderful,” wrote Harrison. “So we went before the cameras in great

Like their audiences back in England, The Ed Sullivan Show audience was very enthusiastic when watching
The Beatles (one Beatle in particular).

“The audience was fabulous,” wrote Harrison. “They started screaming from the second we appeared. Mind
you, Ed Sullivan had given us a great build-up. The fans shouting and cheering like crazy. Especially over Ringo.
He really seems to have something big for the American girls. But he doesn’t know what it is. He just shakes his
head and they go mad.”

And just like that, a few head shakes sealed the deal. The Beatles had conquered the United States.

September 29, 2021
BeigeMusic covers The Beatles "Dig A Pony"

September 28, 2021
The Let It Be project: The Beatles discussions from 1969

Ottawa Beatles Site Retrogroove: All girl rock band "Fanny" covers Cream's "Badge" which was written by
Eric Clapton and George Harrison

For more information about the band, please visit their Official Fanny Website.

September 27, 2021
Long-lost John Lennon interviews from Winnipeg-born journalist go up for auction
by the CBC news

Growing up, Leo Zeilig had always known the story of how his dad once snagged
a series of interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the late 1960s.

But it wasn't until recently, while stuck at home during pandemic lockdowns
last year, that his sister stumbled across a box tucked away in her Los Angeles
basement and they finally discovered what had become of those recordings from
their late father, Winnipeg-born freelance journalist Ken Zeilig.

Inside the box were 12 reel-to-reel tapes holding three interviews — 91
minutes — of unaired audio of the iconic couple.  The story continues here.

September 24, 2021
New video interview with the great Ringo Starr on the Jimmy Kimmel show

September 23, 2021
Sir Ringo Starr takes aim at world leaders attending UN general assembly

Alex Green, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Sir Ringo Starr has criticised world leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations general assembly, saying:
“I do wonder about politicians, do they have kids?”

The former Beatle, 81, is releasing an EP called Change The World and referenced its title as he suggested those in
power were not doing enough to fight environmental issues.

US President Joe Biden, China’s President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Boris Johnson are among those attending or
speaking at the event.

Speaking during an online press conference, Sir Ringo said: “The expression ‘change the world’, we are changing it
for the kids. There are all those people meeting in New York right now. Half the world is on fire, half of it is under

“They are still, ‘Well, we won’t do that’. I think we have to do a lot. So, I would like to change the world for the kids.

“I do wonder about politicians, do they have kids? Do their kids have kids? Isn’t that reason enough to let us breathe
and let us find water.”

Sir Ringo also expressed surprise at the number of people not wearing masks in London.

The drummer, who is a great-grandfather, recently returned to the UK with his wife Barbara Bach from their home in
Los Angeles to visit his extended family.

He said: “Barbara and I were just over in England. We went over there to see our kids and the grandkids and everybody.
We had a couple of weeks there, which was great.

“You are still a bit like ‘woah’. Walking up King’s Road we are the only ones with masks on. But that’s how it is.

“This year I feel we can move. Because of the vaccination we can actually move a little more than we did last year.”

He also remembered Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who died in August, as a “great guy” and added: “He had a
harder band than I did to keep together.”

Sir Ringo recalled a party at his home in the 1970s attended by Watts and Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

He said: “You have got three drummers just hanging out. Bonham got on the kit. It’s not like on stage where you nail
them down so they are steady. As he was playing the bass drum was hopping away from him.

“You had Charlie Watts and Ringo holding the bass drum for him as he played – and you think, ‘Ah man, that would have
been a great little video, a TikTok or a photo, would have gone worldwide’.

“But in the 70s I had parties and you will never find any photos because I wouldn’t let you take photos in my house. I
always think that would have been a great shot to have.”

Change The World will be released on Friday September 24.

─ End of article ─

In the November edition of Mojo
by Great Magazines Company U.K.
MOJO 336 – November 2021: The Beatles Paul McCartney, Peter Jackson, Glyn Johns and Michael Lindsay-Hogg
deliver the truth behind the legend of the Beatles’ notorious January 1969. Includes: the inside track on Jackson’s
upcoming Get Back films and new angles on the Fabs’ *Let It Be LP. Also this month: Charlie Watts – an in-depth
tribute; Genesis – the comeback!; Patti Smith by Lenny Kaye; the secrets of The Meters’ voodoo funk;
Screamadelica at 30. Plus: Tori Amos; Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry; Steve Van Zandt; Endless Boogie; Joni Mitchell; Don
Everly; Johnny Marr; Roger Taylor; Shane MacGowan; The War On Drugs; Shel Talmy; and everything you always
wanted to know about Ethiopian pop but were afraid to ask!

THIS MONTH’S COVERMOUNT CD is Fab Gear: 15 hand-selected Beatles covers by artists including The Black Keys,
Swamp Dogg, Jim James, Judy Collins, Richard Thompson, James Booker, Bettye Lavette, The 13th Floor Elevators
and more!

PLUS: BEATLES ART PRINT! Purchasers of our bagged newsstand edition also get a posh art print, featuring a rare
shot of the band at their Apple headquarters, recording *Let It Be.

September 22, 2021
Meanwhile, Up on that Roof

September 20, 2021
Catching up with Blackbird songstress Emma Stevens

I thought today we would post recent musical activity regarding Emma Stevens who got such high
praise from Paul McCartney for her cover version of "Blackbird." On July 1 of this year a new musical
video done by Emma which was released on Youtube. The song is called "I Want To Rise" and once
again just like "Blackbird", Emma sings this new one so beautifully.

Here are the details:

September 18, 2021
New UN stamps, souvenir sheets pay tribute to John Lennon, ‘Imagine’
by Michael Baadke for Linn's Stamp News


Three new United Nations stamps honoring musician John Lennon and the 50th anniversary of his song Imagine
have an announced issue date of Sept. 21, which is also the International Day of Peace.


A new set of stamps and souvenir sheets from the United Nations Postal Administration is joining worldwide anniversary

commemorations of John Lennon’s Imagine.


The celebrated song, which envisions a peaceful world devoid of hunger and greed, was first recorded and released by

Lennon 50 years ago in 1971.


On Sept. 21 the United Nations is issuing three semipostal stamps, one each denominated for use from the U.N. post offices

in New York City; Geneva, Switzerland; and Vienna, Austria; as well as three single-stamp Imagine souvenir sheets with

stamp designs and denominations that differ from those of the individual stamps.


The issue date corresponds with the annual observation of the International Day of Peace.


Cartor Security Printing in France printed these issues using offset lithography.


The individual stamps are each printed in panes of 20 and feature a different engraving-style portrait of Lennon by Swedish-

born artist Martin Morck, who has gained worldwide prominence as an engraver of postage stamp designs.


Each portrait is modeled after a well-known photograph of Lennon, who rose to fame as a founding member and songwriter

of the Beatles, and continued his musical career with solo work and collaborations after the group broke up in 1969.


Born in Liverpool, England, in 1940, Lennon was shot and killed outside his Manhattan home in 1980.


The single stamps are printed and denominated in black, and a black tablet along the bottom reads “IMAGINE – 50th 

Anniversary” in dropout white. On the Geneva stamp the phrase is in French, and on the Vienna stamp it is rendered in



The single semipostal stamps in the souvenir sheets each show one of the three photographs of Lennon upon which Morck’s

portraits are based.


At far left on each souvenir sheet, printed in white on a gold field, is a small self-portrait sketch of Lennon, the words

“IMAGINE” and “John Lennon,” and a facsimile of Lennon’s signature.


The complete lyrics to Imagine are printed in black in the center. The words are in English on the New York sheet,

translated into French on the Geneva sheet, and in German on the Vienna sheet.


The name of the stamp image photographer is printed directly below the stamp at right, and at bottom right is the message

“Surcharge will help fund the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations,” again translated into the respective language for the

Geneva and Vienna sheets.


Copyright information for the Imagine lyrics and the photographs also is printed on the souvenir sheets.


The denominations on the souvenir sheet stamps are printed in gold, unlike the single stamp issues.


Rorie Katz of the UNPA designed the stamp issue.


The $1.30+50¢ stamp and $2.60+$1 souvenir sheet stamp for the post office at U.N. Headquarters in New York show a

famous image of Lennon in dark glasses with his arms crossed in front of him, wearing a sleeveless T-shirt emblazoned with

“NEW YORK CITY.” The photograph was taken in August 1974 by Bob Gruen (born 1945).


A different photograph taken by Gruen in the same month was used as the basis for the U.S. John Lennon forever stamps

issued Sept. 7, 2018 (Scott 5312-5315).


The denominations on the U.N. New York issues correspond to the international rates for 1-ounce letters ($1.30) and large

envelopes weighing 1 ounce or less ($2.60).


Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan (1938-2006), famous for taking the photograph of the Beatles crossing the street

single file for the cover of the 1969 album Abbey Road, also took the 1971 photograph of Lennon used for the stamps

denominated in Swiss francs for use from the Palais des Nations in Geneva.


The denominations are 1.50 francs+0.50fr for the single stamp, which pays priority letter rate for international mail, and

2.60fr+1fr for the souvenir sheet stamp, which fulfills the same rate for heavier mail weighing up to 50 grams (about 1.76



The picture is a full-face image of Lennon wearing his familiar eyeglasses with metal frames and small round lenses.

The same photo was previously used as the basis for artwork by Andy Warhol that appears on the cover of the 1986 Lennon

compilation album Menlove Ave.


David Nutter (born 1939) was the photographer for the 1969 wedding of Lennon and Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. His photograph

of Lennon with longer hair and beard, wearing a dark turtleneck sweater, appears on the €2.85+€1 souvenir sheet stamp for

use from the U.N. post office at the Vienna International Centre, and is rendered as a portrait by Morck on the €1+€0.50

single stamp. The 1969 photograph used for this set was taken in London about one month after the wedding.


The denominations for the Vienna issues meet priority rate for small letters mailed throughout Europe (€1) and registered

mail service on international mail (€2.85).


The individual stamps each measure 35 millimeters by 50mm (about 1.38 inches by 1.96 inches) and the souvenir sheets are

110mm by 70mm (4.33 inches by 2.75 inches).


The print quantity for each variety is 150,000 individual stamps in panes of 20, and 20,000 souvenir sheets.


“The year 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of the recording of Imagine by the English rock musician,” the UNPA said in

announcing the new issue. “Released in 1971, the song, which is the most successful single of Lennon’s solo career has

been covered by artists in every genre around the globe. It has been performed at some of the world’s biggest events,

including concerts for Peace, Hunger, New Year’s celebrations and at several Olympic Games – including the recent opening

ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. The song Imagine has also been played as a hopeful message during

troubling times throughout history.


“The song lyrics encourage us to put aside all differences and unify to imagine a world of peace, without greed, without

hunger, without barriers separating people and nations. John Lennon’s message of peace, love and goodwill conveyed

through his music, still resonates today.”


For information about ordering the United Nations John Lennon/Imagine stamps and souvenir sheets, visit the UNPA website;

email; telephone 212-963-7684 or 800-234-8672; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central

Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.


The UNPA advises that it is anticipating a late shipment from the printer and that orders for John Lennon/Imagine stamps will

be delayed.

September 16, 2021
Upcoming live broadcast: "The Lyrics - Paul McCartney in Conversation with Paul Muldoon,
November 5th"

Lennon interview to schoolboys, songs, to auction in Denmark
by Jan M. Olsen for AP news

John Lennon and Yoko at the University of Ottawa. 3 June 1969
Photographer: Pascal Barrette/Studio Champlain Marcil
Indeterminate Reproduction in Authorization for the Ottawa Beatles Web Site
© Copyright 2001, 2021 by the National Archives of Québec - Outaouais
© Copyright 2001, 2021 by the Ottawa Beatles Web Site.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Half a century ago, four Danish teenagers interviewed John Lennon for their school paper. A

cassette tape with a 33-minute audio recording of the chat, which also includes an apparently unpublished song by the late

Beatle, will be auctioned in Denmark later this month.


The 16-year-olds were not star-struck when they did the interview in northern Denmark on Jan. 5, 1970. At the height of

the Vietnam War and the Cold War, Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono had “a message of peace, and that was what was

important to us,” recalled Karsten Hoejen, who made the recording on a tape recorder borrowed from the local hi-fi shop.


The tape chiefly consists of Lennon and Ono speaking about being in Denmark and world peace, Hoejen said Wednesday. 

Alternative societies mushroomed in Denmark from the late 1960s, attracting people from abroad, and music festivals were

organized inspired by those on the Isle of Wight and Woodstock.


“Their peace message was what we came for,” Hoejen told The Associated Press. “There was a very relaxed atmosphere, a

cozy atmosphere. Lennon and Ono had their feet on the (coffee) table.”


Lennon and Ono were in the Danish region of Thy where Ono’s ex-husband had moved to and brought Kyoko, the couple’s

then five-year-old daughter with him. They stayed for about a month and tried to lie low — which worked for about a

week.  Then a local newspaper reported their presence and the press rushed to interview them. The four 16-year-olds

wanted to interview Lennon for their school magazine but turned up late for the official press conference.


“We knocked on the door” and moments later they sat next to the British musician and Ono. Hoejen held the microphone,

and his friend Jesper Jungersen photographed.


At some point, “someone ... I cannot recall who ... asked Lennon if could play the guitar for us.” He played and sang with

Ono ‘Give peace a chance’ and “then they sang ‘Radio Peace.’” It was made for a radio station in The Netherlands but was

never aired, Hoejen said.


The items — the tape, 23 still photos and a copy of the school paper — have been estimated to be worth at least 200,000 

kroner (nearly $31,800).


“What also makes (the tape) interesting is that it is a time pocket.” It was recorded on an old-fashioned tape recorder,”

said Alexa Bruun Rasmussen of Denmark’s main auction house Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneer that will auction the items on

Sept. 28.


“When listening to the tape, you realize that they talk straight from their hearts. This is not a staged press conference.”

The four boys behind the interview eventually found out that they “were sitting on a treasure. So the cassette was put in a

bank vault,” Hoejen said, and they debated what to do with it.


“A collector or a museum would likely get more of it than us having it in a bank vault,” he said. “So we decided to sell it.”

September 15, 2021
Ringo’s joy at new version of Let It Be documentary that shows the Beatles weren’t at war

RINGO STARR is delighted The Beatles' break-up will be rewritten in new documentary The Beatles: Get Back,
after five decades of the world believing the Fab Four hated one another.

by James Desborough for the Express

The drummer reckons people were presented with an image that the four youthful pals had turned on each other. He has
long been unhappy that fans felt the band were at each other’s throats recording their final album, as portrayed in the Let
It Be film 51 years ago. Ringo is overjoyed Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson has recut a new version, this time serving
up more of “the joy and laughter” between members. Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s Let It Be 1970 documentary film is
famed for a confrontation between Paul McCartney and George Harrison, with other tensions between members.

That has incensed Ringo for decades, and he is glad the original 80 minutes’ “dark portrayal” will be eclipsed by Mr Jackson,

whose six-hour version will “rewrite history” in a new documentary series.


Ringo said: “The point I am trying to make was from day one, 30 days later, no matter what happened we had an album, we

did the show on the roof and did all this video.


“There is no doubt of the record and we did have a few ups and downs, but that is what life is all about.


“First of all I never liked the film that came out. It was always [centred] around four seconds of a month. I thought there

was no joy and no laughter, and I was telling Peter Jackson this.”


He added: “We found 56 hours of unused footage.”


Ringo is delighted with the new version, which will air on Disney+ over three nights in November.


He said: “Peter started putting it together then he’d fly into LA and show me pieces of it.


“We were laughing, we were lads. But to get back to the original one, there was a discussion and there were four guys in a

room for a month, that had up days, down days, music days. But the music never, ever once got lost in what we were



“It was the first time we went in the studio, especially George and I, and John did not have any songs and Paul didn’t have

any songs.


“Usually they had two or three, so we could start. So there was a whole discussion. But when you look at it, it’s a six-hour

documentary and it is like the ocean, the waves of joy and ‘Oh what is that going on?’


“Laughter and playing great. We never stopped loving each other. Once we heard the count in... whatever was going on,

everybody did their best.”


Ringo spoke of his emotions about the upcoming release while launching his four-track EP, Change The World.

September 13, 2021
When Paul McCartney asked an English trumpeter to play a painfully high piccolo trumpet solo for ‘Penny Lane’
by Rosie Pentreath for Classic FM Digital Radio

Paul McCartney was watching TV, saw a trumpeter playing a Bach Brandenburg Concerto on screen, and next
minute invited him to play on one of the Beatles’ biggest hits.

Picture this. Paul McCartney, watching TV in a most ordinary scene, and happening across footage of the English

orchestral trumpeter David Mason performing a Bach Brandenburg Concerto. So inspired, he becomes, that he

knows he just must invite him to play on a new Beatles song he’s percolating on.


That’s how the story of the notoriously high piccolo trumpet solo on ‘Penny Lane’ starts.


Vocalist McCartney was looking for something to embellish the jaunty 1967 English pop song, so when he heard

Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in the hands of the virtuosic Mason, he’d found just the colour the Fab Four

didn’t even know they needed.


The next day, the story goes, Beatles producer George Martin (AKA The Fifth Beatle) had called the unsuspecting

trumpeter, and invited him to record at Abbey Road Studios with the most famous band in the world.


Mason, who played with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a living, later told The

Bath Chronicle, “I did not even know who the Beatles were when I was asked to do a recording session with them.

For me it was just another job.”


Modest Mason headed to the hallowed Abbey Road Studios on 17 January 1967 and didn’t take long to lay down the

embellishment that the sofa-splayed McCartney had dreamed of in front of that TV. It did take a bit of trial and error

first though.


“I took nine trumpets along and we tried various things, by a process of elimination settling on the B flat piccolo

trumpet,” Mason said.


“We spent three hours working it out: Paul sang the parts he wanted, George Martin wrote them out, I tried them.

But the actual recording was done quite quickly,” he continued.


“They were jolly high notes, quite taxing, but with the tapes rolling we did two takes as overdubs on top of the

existing song.”


The piccolo trumpet is so high, naturally, that people who weren’t there mistakenly believed that Mason’s track had

been artificially pitched up, to make it sound higher.


“I read in books that the trumpet sound was later speeded up but that isn’t true because I can still play those notes

on the instrument along with the record,” the trumpeter himself recalled.



The lyrics of Penny Lane refer to a real street (see above) in Liverpool, where the Beatles hailed from, and mention

of the sights and characters that McCartney remembered from his childhood.


Mason later contributed to several other Beatles’ songs, including ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and ‘All You Need Is Love’.


David Mason was an English trumpeter, who spent his career playing as an orchestral, solo and session musician.


He was born in London and studied at the Royal College of Music before performing in the Scots Guards, Royal Opera

House orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra (Classic FM’s Orchestra on Tour), and the Royal Philharmonic.


Mason became a part of classical music history when he performed as the flugelhorn soloist for the world premiere of

Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 9 in April 1958.


He passed away in 2011 at the ripe old age of 85, and not before being remembered for his incredible orchestral and

solo career – and for being the legendary trumpeter who played all the right high notes with the Beatles. Bravo.

─ End of article ─

The Ottawa Beatles Site Retrogroove: St. George Quintet does an instrumental cover of "Eleanor Rigby"




Liesbeth Baelus (violin)
Kaja Nowak (violin)
Marie-Louise de Jong (viola)
Wouter Vercruysse (cello)
Bram Decroix (double bass)
Recording by Henk Waegebaert, Brussels, February 29th, 2016

September 11, 2021
‘The Beatles: Get Back’: Peter Jackson’s Disney+ Film By the Numbers
by Robert Edelstein for TV Insider

What will we see in this long-anticipated treat for Fab Four fans? “A lot of joy,” Beatles drummer Ringo Starr promises of
Peter Jackson’s re-edit of the notoriously dour 1970 film Let It Be. But how much joy? Here’s a tally for The Beatles: Get


Hours of footage in the documentary series



Number of songs the band wrote and rehearsed during the making of the project



Length, in minutes, of the Beatles’ final live concert—on the roof of Apple Records in London. It’s shown in its entirety during

the last of Get Back’s episodes, which debut over three straight nights



Hours of never-before-seen footage the series is culled from



Hours of unheard audio that, like the video, has been painstakingly restored


The Beatles: Get Back, Premiere, Thursday, November 25, Disney+


This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2021 Fall Preview issue. For more inside scoop on the new fall TV

season, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.


─ End of article ─

The Ottawa Beatles Site Retrogroove: Real women playing real music: Fanny doing a cover of "Hey Bulldog"


September 9, 2021
‘I was a hypocrite on the make’: unheard John Lennon interviews up for auction

Newly discovered tapes feature 91 minutes of fascinating discussion about Lennon’s favourite Beatles songs,

his ardent love for Yoko Ono and being ‘possessed’ by fame

by Ben Beaumont-Thomas for the Guardian



A fascinating cache of mostly unheard interview tapes with John Lennon is up for auction this month, offering an insight

into topics including his favourite Beatles songs, his love for Yoko Ono, the corrupting power of fame and his feelings of

hypocrisy over initially accepting an MBE.


The 91 minutes of recordings and interviews were conducted by a Canadian journalist, Ken Zeilig, on three occasions in 1969

and 1970, as the Beatles were beginning to fracture.


Only around five minutes of them have been aired before, in a TV broadcast in the late 1980s. Zeilig died in 1990, but the

tapes have only recently been discovered by his family. They are estimated to sell for between £20,000 and £30,000.

On the greatest Beatles songs, Lennon says on the recordings: “I’m prejudiced, I like my own, you know. [laughs] I like

Revolution #9” – the freeform sonic experiment at the climax of The White Album. Asked to name more, he picks I Am the

Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, A Day in the Life and Rain.


He says the Beatles were influenced by the composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage – “it influenced our music, and
then other people’s music” – but plays down the significance of the group. “People said the Beatles created a whole new
way of life and thinking. Well, we didn’t, we were part of it. If there was a big wave in the ocean which was the movement,
we were on the front of the wave. But we were not the movement itself.”


Lennon is interviewed alongside Ono, who he had married in March 1969, and speaks with great tenderness of his love for

her. Ono, he says, “recultivated the natural John Lennon … that had been lost in the Beatles thing, in the worldwide thing,

and all that. [And] made me myself.” He longs to die at “exactly the same minute” as her, “otherwise, even if it’s three

minutes later, it’s gonna be hell. I couldn’t bear three minutes of it.”

On love itself, he says: “It has its storms to go through, and snow, but you have to protect it. It’s like a pet cat … [love

has to be] nurtured like a very sensitive animal, because that’s what it is.”

Lennon and Ono had recently staged a pair of peace protests, in beds in Montreal and Amsterdam hotel rooms, against the

Vietnam war. Speaking to Zeilig, Lennon gives his reasoning for protesting rather than giving financial aid: “People will

probably say: ‘Why didn’t you give rice?’ and our answer is, we are trying to prevent cancer and not cure it after it’s

happened. If we have enough money we will do both, we will try and do both. But we really believe in prevention rather than


He explains why he returned his MBE in 1969: “A protest against Britain’s involvement in Biafra and Nigeria, and about

Britain’s backing of the United States morally and verbally in Vietnam. I had to write three letters: one to the Queen, one to
[prime minister] Harold Wilson, and one to the … something of the Chancellery.”

Zeilig asks him why he originally accepted and Lennon replies: “Well, I was a hypocrite, and I was on the make … if you get

a medal for killing, you should certainly get a medal for singing, and keeping Britain’s economics in good nick.”

Lennon describes fame in dark terms, comparing himself to a pilgrim that is constantly tempted: “We became possessed by a

spirit of people adoring us … having all that energy that people gave to us … we lose the way.” He is also disparaging of

music critics: “The critic can never be the artist and so never understand what is going on. He can only hope, he can only

sort of judge it … people are wasting their time writing about music. I mean who are they writing it for?”

The imminent end of the Beatles, who broke up in mid-1970, is presaged when he is asked for their future plans. “The

Beatles never made plans after they stopped touring,” Lennon says. “Plans were always made for them. And once there was

nobody making plans for us, we didn’t want any plans, so we don’t make them.”

The auction takes place on 28 September. Paul Fairweather, of Omega Auctions in Merseyside, said: “John’s witty insight

and proclamations are vintage Lennon and there is much in here that will greatly excite Beatles fans. They are a hugely

important find.”

This week also marks the 50th anniversary of Lennon’s song Imagine, first released on 9 September 1971. The occasion is

being celebrated with the lyric “imagine all the people living life in peace” being projected on landmarks around the world,

including St Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Berlin Wall, and in New York’s Times Square.

Ono, 88, said: “John would have loved this. Imagine embodied what we believed together at the time. We are still together

now and we still believe this. The sentiment is just as important now as when it was written and released 50 years ago.”

A limited edition vinyl version of the Imagine album is being released this week, featuring outtakes including the original demo

of the title track.


─ End of article ─

The Ottawa Beatles Site presents: direct from Ontario "Studio 1954 The Reflections" cover of "One After 909".br /> Enjoy!

Sue Laver: Keyboards, Vocals, acoustic guitars, tambourine
Vladimir Antunovic: Drums, vocals, electric guitar
What a great train tune!

September 6, 2021
Harry Nilsson released a 45 on Mercury Records in 1963 under the pseudonym as 'Johnny Niles' that
revealed his pop genius talents on a song called "Donna, I Understand"

‘Who Is Harry Nilsson?’
by Benjamin H. Smith for Decider
This February 8, 2019 article has been edited down for brevity sake... 

In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Harry Nilsson was one of pop music’s premier singers and songwriters. He wrote hit songs for

The Monkees and Three Dog Night, had hit records of his own (ironically, often covers of other people’s songs), and was

named by two of out of four Beatles as their favorite American artist. Unfortunately, he later became just as well known for

his prodigious drug and alcohol intake, and being John Lennon’s partner in crime during his early ’70s “Lost Weekend,” when

he was briefly separated from Yoko Ono. Though still adored by his old drinking buddies at the time of his death, he was

mostly removed from the music industry and is surprisingly unknown regardless of his ’70s fame.


John Lennon with Harry Nilsson holding lithographs of the "Pussy Cats" LP covers. The album was produced by John Lennon
during John's "Lost Weekend" period.


Despite his doughy features and angelic light blonde hair, Nilsson grew up as hard as they come on the mean streets of pre-

gentrification Brooklyn. His father abandoned the family when he was a toddler, an event which left lingering psychic scars,

and his mother struggled with alcoholism and poverty. According to cousin Doug Hoefer, as a teenager Nilsson once robbed

a liquor store to help his family make the rent. When told by his uncle they could no longer afford to feed and house him, he

made his way to Los Angeles, which he called “a great improvement.”


On the West Coast, Nilsson honed his singing and songwriting chops while working a day job at a bank. He began hustling

songs to music publishers, some of which were recorded by The Monkees, before landing a recording contract as an artist.

As both a writer and vocalist, Nilsson had a gift for melodies, praised in the documentary by the likes of Randy Newman and

Beach Boy Brian Wilson. His lyrics could be alternately playful, melancholy or caustic, and his vocals had a warmth and

clarity which drew you in and made you marvel at their innate beauty. Though his music is at times overpoweringly melodic,

the depth of feeling in his singing and the complicated emotions his lyrics conveyed gave his best songs a weight and power

most pop music of the era usually lacks.


While Nilsson’s early albums earned him acclaim and the admiration of The Beatles, who sang his praises in interviews, his

version of Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin'” made him a star after it was featured in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. 1970 saw

the release of The Point!, a song cycle which was turned into a popular animated children’s special and featured the hit

single “Me and My Arrow.” The following year saw his biggest success yet; the album Nilsson Schmilsson, which featured

three Top 40 singles, including his a cover of Badfinger’s “Without You,” which won a Grammy Award for “Best Male Pop

Vocal” and was the biggest hit of his career.

Like a million other musicians, before and since, success brought out the worst in Nilsson. Already carrying huge
psychological baggage from the traumas of his childhood, he became adversarial with producers and management and
seemed to expend most of his effort being the life of the party. Friends recount tales of benders that lasted days, powered
by mountains of cocaine and inhuman amounts of brandy and cognac. He blew out his voice during sessions with John
Lennon, which many feel never fully recovered, and was later bought out of his recording contract with RCA.

If there is a bright spot in Nilsson’s life, it seems to be his 1976 marriage to third wife Una O’ Keeffe. He would remain
devoted to her until his death, and they would raise six children together. While his final years saw him briefly bankrupt,
friends says before his death he was back on his feet financially and as happy as they had ever seen him. Nilsson died of
heart failure in 1994 at the age of 52.

Perrry Botkin discovers Harry Nilsson. The late Botkin was a Grammy-winning composer
whose work appeared on hit shows like ”Happy Days,“ ”Laverne & Shirley,“ ”Mork & Mindy“
and ”The Smothers Brothers Show.“

September 2, 2021
50th Anniversary Edition of the "Imagine" album to be released

August 30, 2021
Ottawa Beatles Site Retrogroove: "I'm The Greatest" by Ringo Starr



Drums: Ringo Starr
Piano and Harmony Vocal: John Lennon
Guitars: George Harrison
Bass: Klaus Voormann
Organ: Billy Preston
Producer: Richard Perry
Composer: John Lennon

Heart Guitarist Nancy Wilson Speaks on How Her Hero Paul McCartney Treated Her When They Met, Remembers John Lennon
From Ultimate

During an appearance on The Mistress Carrie Podcast, Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson talked about her musical hero, The
Beatles icon Paul McCartney.

When asked, "Did you ever get a chance to actually talk to any of The Beatles as a peer?", Nancy replied (transcribed by

"I got to talk to Paul about three different times before his couple shows that I went to see. One was with Wings, and then

it was his newer band, the Paul McCartney Show I guess.


"And he's exactly the guy you want him to be. He's really generous and sweet, and there's no pretense with Paul

McCartney, he's just a good person, and he's kind of upbeat guy.


"For all the stuff that he's had to live through, that's pretty impressive to me. Losing John [Lennon], losing Linda along the

way, and continuing to just push forward with his optimism and his beautiful talent...


"And the new album he just did [2020's 'McCartney III'] is really cool, and he's really, and then we just saw this incredible

documentary with [producer] Rick Rubin...


"Even if you know The Beatles very well, again, it's another masterclass in melody and structure, songwriting, singing it,

playing it. All this stuff he's done so well, he's the master.


"As a songwriting team, that was one of the things Paul talks about quite frequently in his interviews, John's cynicism and

temper, and balance out his positive melodic thing that he was so good at. 


"And so John would kind of put the darkness into the lightness and create the art. Darkness and light.


"John Lennon's father was a little 'ne'er-do-well,' and he was always missing and a tad of a sailor guy. John had a lot of

pain, and both John and Paul had lost their moms in the teenage years of their lives.


"So they had lots to connect to, but I think with Paul, his family had a much more happy-go-lucky and musical, and

supportive, and John's was more of a lonely kid with a chip on his shoulder, so that really rounded out the equation of the

two artists."


Do you still have the first guitar you ever played?

"No, it was such a piece of rubbish, I got rid of it, I gave it away or something. Should've burnt it because it was

unplayable, there was no baring of the F chord, you could never manage to do on that guitar.


"The bridge was not fixed down, so it was going out of tune all the time, so I moved the bridge a little just to try to keep it

more in tune as I've played it.


"But I learned how to get strong on that guitar because it was so terrible, it was like a piece of plywood with a pipe for a


August 28, 2021
Ottawa garage band "The Meadow" belts out "Oh Darling" turning it into a local top-ten hit 

The Meadow (sometimes known as "Mythical Meadow") was a band from Ottawa, Canada. This cover version actually made
the #10 spot on Ottawa radio "CFRA Best 580 Sellers" list on March 7, 1970. They previously recorded material composed by
Les Emmerson (from "Five Man Electrical Band" fame whom had a hit with "Signs"; "I'm A Stranger Here" and "Absolutely
Right") "You've Got That Lovin Look"

August 27, 2021
The Unheard ‘Let It Be’: An Exclusive Guide to the Beatles’ New Expanded Classic
The new special edition box set will shed fresh light on the Beatles’ misunderstood masterpiece. Here are the 10
most revelatory moments

by Bob Sheffield for Rolling Stone

Of all the Beatles’ classic albums, Let It Be is the one with the most daunting reputation. We’re all used to hearing it as their
break-up album. The one where the Fabs fall apart. The one they began as a back-to-basics rebirth, until it became their
tombstone. The messy film soundtrack that arrived in May 1970, just as the band was breaking up. The one Phil Spector
took over. Their darkest, most divisive music. But that’s never been the whole story. This is also the album with classics like
“Let It Be,” “Across the Universe,” “Get Back,” and “Two of Us.” Let It Be always raises the question: How did John, Paul,
George, and Ringo make such uplifting music in their hour of darkness?

That’s the fascinating mystery behind Let It Be — and it’s about to get more fascinating. Rolling Stone took a one-on-one
exclusive tour of the new Special Edition of Let It Be, which drops on October 15th. It’s a crucial box set that finally places
this wildly misunderstood music in the Beatles’ story.  For the full report: continue reading...

August 26, 2021
Giles Martin: The Beatles’ ‘Love’ ‘Is their show, really’
by John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal

Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are knighted. But it is Giles Martin who lords over the band’s peerless

music catalogue.


Even so, the man in command of all those classic recordings shows not a hint of ego. Martin talks humbly and freely about

the songs originally produced by his dad, George Martin, who is also a “Sir.”


When the younger Martin casually mentions, “I spoke with Paul this morning, actually … ,” he doesn’t bother with a surname.

This Paul is McCartney, the rock legend. In Martin’s life, Paul is a family friend, too. The two chatted earlier this month

about the relaunch of “Love” at The Mirage. The show sprouts anew Thursday night, ending its 17-month “intermission,” as

the company calls it.


Martin has remastered all the music for the show, and stopped through a couple weeks ago to check on the sound system,

and to give a lift to the cast and crew. He also hung for a chat inside the theater, visiting Vegas for the first time since


March 2020. Highlights of our time together:


Johnny Kats: Since you just talked to Paul, what does he have to say about the show?

Giles Martin: He is just so proud of the fact that his legacy, or their legacy, continues on. We built this place where people
come and enjoy the music. I think at some point, all people of all generations come here.

Kats: Paul is still asking you about the quality of the show?

Martin: It’s funny, I said, “So, we had a tech run-through last night, and he goes, “How was it?” And I said, “Well, there’s a
couple things I need to iron out, but I’ve got to go to L.A.” And he said, “You’re going to go to L.A. and iron out all the
problems?” And I went, “No, no, I’m going to go to L.A. to do another thing.” He’s like, “Right. You’re working on something
else …” I had to say to him, “I’m here looking at the show.” And he goes, “Good. Good. Make sure it’s good.” Because it’s his
music, and it’s his show. It’s their show, really.”

Kats: With the “Love” show, you’ve become a caretaker for the Beatles’ legacy, at least in terms of live, ticketed
performances. Huge responsibility, right?

Martin: Well, I don’t personally — there are very, very good people around us that have a lot of work in this. But yeah,
looking back, 15 years, there was a huge risk in doing this show. The guys who work with me here were asking me about
this last night, and I was saying, “In all honestly, there was a risk that opening a Beatles show in Vegas would be seen as
something that was, I don’t know, cheesy.”

Kats: But it’s been a beautiful show.

Martin: For The Beatles legacy, “Love” has a great impurity and great intent. When it opened, it had such an amazing
response from everyone. It still has such an amazing response. It’s become this thing that is part of the Beatles.

Kats: You’re involved in the updated “Let It Be” documentary by Peter Jackson, “Get Back,” coming in November. Have you
seen the final cut of that?

Martin: I have, yeah. It’s great. The thing about Peter Jackson is, he is very good, and so is the team around him. I’m

working on the sound restoration and video restoration, and it’s like being there with the band. It’s really fascinating. It’s

really compelling viewing, seeing how they react to each other.

Kats: You have seen it all, too, right?

Martin: I’ve been through 52 hours of dialogue and video, and then I see something or hear something like, when Paul opens
“Love” with, “We’re doing a live show,” which is from “Let It Be.” You suddenly realize, “Of course, it is him.” I think it’s
going to blow people’s minds, watching it.

Kats: You’d once told me that, if I remember it right, the “Let it Be” sessions were not entirely a sad moment in the Beatles’

Martin: “Let It Be” is seen as the break-up album, but people get it wrong because it was the last album that came out,
but it was actually done in January 1969. In February, they were recording “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” which is in the
“Love” show, and then they went on to do “Abbey Road.” So, sorry, if they were breaking up they didn’t do a very good job
of it (laughs).

Kats: There was some tension, though, right?

Martin: They were breaking up when it was released (in 1970). I mean, listen, George (Harrison) did walk out halfway
through, but Ringo walked out during the “White Album,” you know, because Paul and John (Lennon) were quite intense to
be honest with you, and the two of them got sidelined.

Kats: The “Love” soundscape CD has been out for quite a while. Is there an idea that you might remake that, or do a part
two, a sequel or something related?

Martin: I think I’ll do a sequel. The CD was hugely successful, but I was so nervous because my dad had made all the

Beatles stuff for his son and got the job of chopping it up. I thought I would get lynched for it and I kind of wanted that

creation to exist in this space. I was nervous about it going out of this space because I didn’t think it would make much

sense. But then it came out, and it was really well received. People love it.


Kats: It couldn’t have been anybody else who could do the music for “Love,” when you think about it, you know? It had to

be you.


Martin: Yeah. I suppose so. On the other side, I remember when Apple signed the deal with Cirque, saying they were going

to go ahead with this show. I was in New York. I spoke to a friend of mine who is a producer and said, “Oh, my God, I’m

going to do The Beatles. I’m not sure I want to do The Beatles, because if I do The Beatles, that’s what I’ll be known for

doing.” And he goes, “Well, if you don’t want to do it, I’ll do it.” I was like, “OK, maybe I should do it after all.” (Laughs)


Kats: We had a chance to talk 10 years ago, with your dad, at the fifth anniversary of “Love.” It was a great moment. How

do you feel now about your involvement in his original work?


Martin: Well, you know, I have a huge personal link to the show. I think my dad was 79 when I started working on the show

… he was kind of an old man, and we started working on the show way before Cirque did. The way we worked is, I said

maybe we can just chop the music to create a collage of sound. I planned to get The Beatles to do a concert they never

played. That was the original idea. Dad was not well at the time, he was actually having an operation. I went into that

hospital room and played him the opening of the show, and he liked it.


Kats: Did he have concerns about how it would be received?


Martin: He was just worried that I was going to upset The Beatles, in fact. But Paul was happy.


Kats: I remember you being together a lot because of “Love.”


Martin: Yeah, that opened the door to us then spending a long time together. I would work in the studio, and he would

come in like on a Thursday or Friday and I would go through all the tapes with him. I’d go through and ask him questions,

and then we would go to lunch together and we spent so much time together as a father and son. It’s almost like Benjamin

Button, you know. We lived our lives in reverse, to a certain degree.


Kats: He died around the 10th anniversary, yes, during the show’s refresh period.


Martin: We spent quite a long time persuading people we wanted to refresh of the show. My dad fell ill in January, the year

before we did the refresh. I remember I couldn’t come out, because my dad was dying. People were hamstrung because I

wasn’t here. I realized I had to come out. My dad’s doctor said he might make another month, or three weeks. My dad said,

“You should go. You have to go.” I went home, and he died about 10 days later, after we did the 10th-anniversary



Kats: That is amazing.


Martin: It was such an important bond for the two of us. It was way more important for me than the show itself, because

we spent so much time together. I got the chance to go through his work, and to do something truly creative with his work,

that he loved, that people hear now. It’s like I was proving my worth to him. It was an amazing time.


Kats: When you were working with your dad, did he leave you with anything in these sessions that you take with you, like

pearls of wisdom?


Martin: The thing about my dad is, he just taught me to be strong, never accept second best, and also to be humble. To

be kind to people, and to respect everyone, not because of who they are but the fact that they’re all human beings. That

was the most important thing, because my dad was a very kind and nice man. Musically, of course, he taught me a lot. But

the most important thing is he taught me was to be compassionate and kind.

August 25, 2021
Ottawa Beatles Site Retrogroove: "Come And Get It" by Paul McCartney and the Hollywood Vampires;
Badfinger's hit version of "Come And Get It" moves up to #22 on Ottawa's "CFRA Best 580 Sellers" for
the week of March 7, 1970



Composed originally by McCartney in 1969 during The Beatles'
Abbey Road album sessions, it was later given to Apple band


This version is taken from the Hollywood Vampires album
(Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp supergroup), which
features McCartney on lead vocals, piano and bass, and
drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr.

The footage is from the behind the scenes session.


August 24, 2021
Charlie Watts, drummer for the Rolling Stones, peacefully passes away at 80
Rest In Peace Charlie!

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies at age 80
by the Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Charlie Watts, the self-effacing and unshakeable Rolling Stones drummer who helped anchor one of rock’s

greatest rhythms sections and used his “day job” to support his enduring love of jazz, has died, according to his publicist.

He was 80.

Bernard Doherty said Tuesday that Watts “passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his


“Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest

drummers of his generation,” Doherty said.

Watts had announced he would not tour with the Stones in 2021 because of an undefined health issue.

The quiet, elegantly dressed Watts was often ranked with Keith Moon, Ginger Baker and a handful of others as a premier

rock drummer, respected worldwide for his muscular, swinging style as the band rose from its scruffy beginnings to

international superstardom. He joined the Stones early in 1963 and remained over the next 60 years, ranked just behind Mick

Jagger and Keith Richards as the group’s longest lasting and most essential member.

The Stones began, Watts said, “as white blokes from England playing Black American music” but quickly evolved their own

distinctive sound. Watts was a jazz drummer in his early years and never lost his affinity for the music he first loved,

heading his own jazz band and taking on numerous other side projects.

A classic Stones song like “Brown Sugar” and “Start Me Up” often began with a hard guitar riff from Richards, with Watts

following closely behind, and Wyman, as the bassist liked to say, “fattening the sound.” Watts’ speed, power and time

keeping were never better showcased than during the concert documentary, “Shine a Light,” when director Martin Scorsese

filmed “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” from where he drummed toward the back of the stage.


And about 3 hours ago, this is what Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr had to say about Charlie Watts

August 23, 2021
She’s leaving home: The Beatles’ harpist has died
by Norman Lebrecht for Slipped Disc


We have been notified of the death of Sheila Bromberg, the London orchestral musician who play harp on ‘She’s Leaving

Sheila was 92.

After studies at the Royal College of Music, she played harp in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the
London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Aside from the
Beatles she recorded with The Beatles, The Bee Gees and Bing Crosby.

Watch [a] hear her explain how she remoulded the Beatles’ song.

Ottawa Beatles Site editorial: And then there is this cute little story that Sheila Bromberg revealed May 3, 2011:
"It's been a harp day's night"
by Tom Jennings for the Oxford Mail

WORKING with Beatles legend Paul McCartney may be a dream come true for most musicians.

But a harpist from Chipping Norton said working on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band had truly been a hard day’s



Sheila Bromberg, of Rock Hill, played on She’s Leaving Home, but said working with Sir Paul had been a nightmare.


February 9 marked the 50th anniversary of the band’s first gig, in the now world famous Cavern club, Liverpool.


At that time, Mrs Bromberg worked as a session musician in London and was regarded as one of the best harpists in

the country.


During the 50s, 60s and early 70s she worked with stars from Frank Sinatra and Dusty Springfield, to Morecambe and

Wise and Rolf Harris.


But in 1967 she received a call from a ‘fixer’ – a middleman between producers and session musicians – for a three-hour

recording. She did not know who it was for.


The now 82-year-old said: “He asked if I was free from 9pm to midnight, but I had been working since 8am that morning

and really didn’t want to go.


“Unfortunately, I did a lot of work for that particular person and didn’t want to say no because otherwise they would

choose someone else next time, and you don’t want that.”


She arrived early and began tuning her harp, when she suddenly became aware of someone standing behind her.


It was Paul McCartney and Mrs Bromberg was about to become the first woman musician to play on a Beatles album.


He briefly asked about the music she was playing, before disappearing to the control booth. For the next three hours

McCartney had Mrs Bromberg and the other session musicians play the same piece over and over.


Mrs Bromberg said: “After every take he would say: ‘No I don’t want that, I want something... err...’”


She said the musicians became more and more frustrated as the night wore on, until, at midnight, the orchestra’s

leader stood up and said they were leaving.


McCartney responded: “Well, I suppose that’s that then.”


Mum-of-two Mrs Bromberg said: “Thinking back, I’m really proud to be part of it, but at the time I could have wrung his



“He didn’t know what he wanted, which was very annoying, but when you listen to the album you realise what he really

wanted – and that was the album.”


Sgt Pepper’s is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time and spent 27 weeks at the top of the UK chart.


Mrs Bromberg, who now teaches the harp, said: “I feel very grateful to have been chosen to have been on it.


“And I feel very proud that that piece of work has given such a tremendous amount of pleasure to everyone.


“But what amazes me, of all the music I’ve performed in, I’m noted for four bars of music. I found that a little bit bizarre.”

August 20, 2021
This week in history: The Beatles rock out at Comiskey Park
Fans exploded with excitement as The Beatles took to the stage at Comiskey Park on Aug. 20, 1965. Here’s a look
back at that unforgettable concert.
by Alison Martin for the Chicago Sun Times


As published in the Chicago Daily News, sister publication of the Chicago Sun-Times:


Every rock band has its die-hard fans, but few fans could match the fervor, excitement and utter devotion that

Chicago’s Beatles worshippers showed when the band arrived for a Comiskey Park concert in 1965.


Just one year earlier, Beatlemania arrived in the U.S. in February 1964 when the Fab Four — John Lennon,

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison — performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” More than 73 million people

across more than 23 million households tuned into the show, according to Mark Lewisohn, author of “The Complete

Beatles Chronicle: The Definitive Day-By-Day Guide To the Beatles’ Entire Career.”


Whatever it was about the band — the music, that long hair, the accents — teenagers, especially girls, became

obsessed with the lads from Liverpool.


Now for this performance on Aug. 20, 1965, the Chicago Daily News sent reporter Betty Flynn to follow the band and

document the Beatlemania taking of the teens of Chicago.


“In just 24 hours,” Flynn wrote, “the Beatles tore through Chicago, shattering many teenage hearts, shredding some

adult nerves, and, apparently, enjoying every minute of it.”


Thronged by fans at every step, the Beatles left the O’Hare Sahara Inn at 2:50 p.m. by sneaking out a side corridor

and into a station wagon parked in an alley, Flynn reported. “Outside, the police told the girls, some of whom had

waited since 4 a.m., the demigods had left.”


The Beatles performed at the International Amphitheater the previous year, and none of that enthusiasm had waned.

At Comiskey Park, fans went wild when the band, “wearing khaki army-like jackets, [raced] onto their stage atop

second base,” the reporter observed.


“I can’t believe it, George, I love you, George, oh George,” Flynn heard one blonde fan “with glasses and a bad

complexion” shriek with a voice “already sounding sandpaperish.”


Flynn mentioned only one song the Beatles played, “Ticket to Ride.” Instead, she focused on the ecstasy going on in

the crowd.


“Every movement brings another shriek of pain, of joy, of frustration,” she wrote. “Paul rocks back and forth, brisk and

steady, then switches to a knees-up-and-down movement. Suddenly, he lifts the end of his guitar twice, quickly, into

the air. There is madness in the stands.”


Later at a press conference between shows, McCartney answered most of the questions, Flynn said. Someone asked:

How was the Chicago security? “It was so good this year we couldn’t get our friends in,” McCartney joked.


Another asked what would happen when the band’s fame fades. “We’ve no idea ... it doesn’t matter though,” McCartney



Did they mind when their fans kept screaming during performances? “We’ve proved we can be heard over the screaming,”

McCartney said. “The people paid to get in. Who are we to say what they should do when they get in?”


Then one reporter asked Starr directly, “Why doesn’t Ringo smile?”


“It’s just the face,” he said seriously. “I’m quite happy inside.”

August 18, 2021
Leonard Cohen's problem with The Beatles
by Far Out
Leonard Cohen enjoyed a considerably different swinging ’60s to The Beatles. Still, they both enjoyed the same
excesses that the decade had on offer, yet their trajectories couldn’t have been pointing in more opposite directions.

While The Fab Four were intent from their teenage years in becoming musical sensations, Leonard Cohen had an
unconventional school of thought and an even more peculiar start to his life as a serenading singer. Cohen was 33
when he decided to plunge into musicianship; he became unconvinced with his life as a poet and felt like the potency
of his message within the written word was being lost. After seeking pastures new, everything fell into place for him,
and his musings spread internationally.

With that in mind, Cohen made a leap of faith, left his revered poetry career behind and, instead, channelled his
talents into songwriting. His debut album, Songs Of Leonard Cohen, arrived in 1967 while The Beatles were at the
peak of their powers, and the folkie wasn’t in the business of chasing the hit parade.

When The Fab Four rose to fame in the early ’60s, they weren’t trying to persuade grown men in their late twenties
like Cohen, and he struggled to enjoy their must, but eventually, he appreciated their celestial talent. “I’m interested
in things that contribute to my survival,” he later reflected to The New Yorker. “I had girlfriends who really irritated
me by their devotion to the Beatles. “I didn’t begrudge them their interest, and there were songs like ‘Hey Jude’ that
I could appreciate. But they didn’t seem to be essential to the kind of nourishment that I craved.”

Cohen’s remarks are reasonable, and it’s understandable why an esteemed poet couldn’t get on board with those
early Beatles records. He required something filled with meaning and something that would correspond with him on
an obscenely deep level. 

Fascinatingly, his attitude towards the group in 1967 on the CBC radio documentary, How The Beatles Changed The
World, doesn’t reflect the aforementioned comment. Cohen spoke in superlative terms about the group: “I find the
[Beatles music] all speak to me, and they speak to a part of me that seems very perishable,” he said. “Sometimes I feel
like it has perished, and what they are speaking is an elegy.”

When asked to name a specific song he likes by the group, Cohen couldn’t quite manage the task. Although he did
explain, that’s because he doesn’t own a record player but enjoys everything he’s heard when he listens to The Beatles
at a friend’s house. The mercurial artist then recites some lyrics to ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ despite not knowing the
song title and describes the track as “very, very beautiful”.

The host then asked Cohen if he thinks the Liverpool band are poets, to which he states they’ve done enough to be
heralded with that tag. “They are dealing with some essence, and handling it in a state of grace, certainly they are
poets,” the Canadian elucidated.

Despite not necessarily being caught up in Beatlemania, Cohen could respect and appreciate The Beatles’ wider
significant cultural impact, even if their songs didn’t provide him with the “nourishment he craved”. Vitally, he
understood the vital importance of The Fab Four, even if he had to seek elsewhere for stimulation. 

August 17, 2021
George Harrison All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary Gnome Garden, Duke of York Square, King's Road,
London, UK.

August 13, 2021
Ringo Starr releases a new pop video entitled "Let's Change The World"

From Ringo's Official Facebook pages

August 12, 2021
‘Rock & Roll Revival’: Music Doc In The Works That Tells Story Of Toronto Festival Featuring Fabled John Lennon
Performance That Led To The End Of The Beatles
An exclusive by Peter White for Deadline

Summer of Soul isn’t the only documentary
about a lesser-known music festival that has
historical significance.

Deadline understands that a film is in the works
about the Toronto Rock & Roll Revival, which is
best known for a rare solo performance by
John Lennon, the first for the Plastic Ono Band,
during his final days as a Beatle.

Rock & Roll Revival (w/t) is directed by
Ron Chapman (The Poet of Havana) and will
tell the story of the Toronto event in
September 1969, held the same year as
Woodstock and Harlem Cultural Festival.

The one-day music festival at the University
of Toronto’s 20,000-seat Varsity Stadium was
put together by young renegade promoter
John Brower with artists including Chuck Berry,
Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley,
Gene Vincent, The Doors and Alice Cooper.

However, with dismal ticket sales, the concert
almost was canceled before Brower invited
Lennon and he said yes.

Lennon had been in the studio with The Beatles
putting together the Abbey Road album and
he didn’t have a band for his two solo albums
so he got together a group consisting of Eric
Clapton, Yoko Ono, Yes drummer Alan White
and bass player Klaus Voorman, who designed
the artwork for the Revolver record.

Lennon reportedly was nervous about the show
and is thought to have tried to back out.
Concertgoers in Toronto also didn’t believe he
would appear, and it wasn’t until Lennon and
YYoko Ono boarded a flight and were escorted
to the stadium by the Vagabonds Motorcycle
Club that all the tickets sold out.

Lennon, Ono and the band played songs
including a cover of “Blue Suede Shoes,” as
well as “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” The Beatles’
“Yer Blues” and a new song “Cold Turkey” as
well as Ono’s “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s
Only Looking for A Hand in the Snow).”

It’s thought that after Lennon returned to
London is when he decided to leave
The Beatles.


The doc will use rare cinematic archive that includes unreleased concert footage from D.A. Pennebaker’s original 16mm film, and a narrative primarily told through the eyes of those who were there.


Pennebaker, arguably best known for the Bob Dylan documentary Don’t Look Back and Monterey Pop, used some of the footage in his film Sweet Toronto.


Pennebaker Hegedus Films is exec producing the project, which is produced by Vancouver’s Screen Siren Pictures, Toronto’s Chapman Productions, Paris’ Films A Cinq. Trish Dolman, Sally Blake and Ron Chapman produce the doc, which is written by Phyllis Ellis.


Production kicked off this month on the 90-minute film. It will shoot in Toronto, Los Angeles, New York, London and Berlin, ready for a spring release touring the festival circuit.


It will air on Crave in Canada and Arte in France and Germany.

August 11, 2021
Prestigious rankings for the "All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary Edition" culled from the official
George Harrison Facebook pages

August 10, 2021
George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ hits a milestone
by Mark Kennedy for AP news

NEW YORK (AP) — George Harrison’s landmark album “All Things Must Pass” is celebrating its belated 50th anniversary
and the former Beatles’ son thinks a new remixed collection might make the perfect post-pandemic soundtrack.

“I think that the message of this record is more ready to be received now than it was when it first came out,” said
Dhani Harrison. “The message is clearer and now it’s sonically clearer. This is a really important bit of music.”

The original collection was audacious for its time — the first triple studio album in rock history, a virtual flurry of vinyl.
The anniversary editions out this week make that look quaint, containing eight LPs (or five CDs) plus a Blu-ray audio disc,
with the remixed album, demos, outtakes and jams.

There are reprinted archival notes, track annotations, photos and memorabilia. The most expensive edition comes in its
own wooden crate, complete with figurines of the famous garden gnomes featured on the album cover. But first is the
music, which Rolling Stone lists among the 500 greatest albums of all time.

“We’re not trying to make it sound modern,” said triple Grammy Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks. “I’m not trying to put
any sort of stamp on it. We are very respectful to the mixes that were there and follow them as much as possible.”

The skeleton of “All Things Must Pass” was recorded over two days in late May 1970. On May 26, Harrison record 15 songs
backed by Ringo Starr and his longtime friend, bassist Klaus Voormann. The next day, he played an additional 15 songs for
co-producer Phil Spector on just an acoustic guitar.

The original 23-track album — complete with hits “Isn’t It a Pity,” “What Is Life” and “My Sweet Lord” — has been remixed
for the anniversary editions from Capitol/UMe and are now augmented with 47 demos and outtakes, 42 of them previously

The 1970 session tapes produced 25 hours of music, including several songs that didn’t make the album like “Cosmic Empire,”
“Going Down To Golders Green,” “Dehra Dun,” “Sour Milk Sea,” and “Mother Divine.”

Dhani Harrison and Hicks started work on the anniversary editions five years ago, re-digitizing and listening to every song
and every take made during the sessions. It was an ever deeper dive than the 30th and 40th anniversary reissues. Hicks
calls the new work “forensic.”

They emerged from the vault with some 110 different songs and Harrison and his team had to decide how to present what
he’d found. He recalled once listening to a Beach Boys box set that had 10 versions of every song and didn’t want to go
that route.

Instead, he wanted to bring the listener into the recording process to hear how the songs had evolved. “What we were
looking for was the ones that really stood out and that really screamed something new,” said Harrison.

Listeners familiar with the album track “Let It Down” — a dynamic tune that got the Spector Wall of Sound treatment and
resembles a James Bond theme — may be stunned to hear the stripped down, heartfelt acoustic demo version Harrison
recorded on Day 2.

There’s a slowed-down version of “Isn’t It a Pity” that’s even sadder than the album version, and a sublime version of “Art
of Dying” that’s arguably better than the final. Some songs got sped up and some got slower during the process, potentially
blowing the mind of anyone who thought the final versions were somehow the only way to play them.

“Once you hear it, you can’t unhear it. It does change the way you hear the whole record forever. But it doesn’t ruin the
experience of knowing the record,” said Harrison.

A very human George Harrison — who died at age 58 in 2001 — can also be heard in the mix. He’s captured asking for
orange juice — while playing a very cool version of “Get Back.” His “Going Down to Golders Green” is Harrison doing his very
best Elvis impression, a real treat. There’s also Harrison’s recording of “It’s Johnny’s Birthday,” a gift to mark John Lennon’s
30th birthday.

The demos reveal the origin of a very rootsy “Woman Don’t You Cry For Me,” which would become the opening track of his
1976 album, “Thirty Three & 1/3.” And during the 14th take of “Isn’t It a Pity,” a fed-up artist goes off-script to instead
sing: “Isn’t it a pain/Why we do so many takes?”

Harrison and Hicks have dubbed Disc 5, which contains session outtakes and jams, the “party disc.” “We wanted to show
that the guys were having fun,” said Hicks. “It’s emotionally a very heavy album. It touches on a lot of deep subjects. So
we really wanted to show a lighter side to some of the content.”

Harrison collected quite a roster of musicians to help him on “All Things Must Pass,” including Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo
Starr, Billy Preston, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Pete Drake and even a young Phil Collins (whose bongo work never made
the album).

“It was a pretty mean squad of people that he recruited, you know what I mean? Like, he wasn’t messing around with this
record,” said Harrison.

The younger Harrison also investigated stories behind the songs, like the album opener, “I’d Have You Any Time.” He learned
that Clapton struggled at times to play Harrison’s notes. “It was incredible to hear Eric say how hard it was because that’s a
guy that doesn’t find playing guitar very hard.”

The “All Things Must Pass” recording sessions began just six weeks after the April 1970 announcement of The Beatles’
break-up and the younger Harrison notes that his father was going through a lot during that time: In addition to the band’s
break-up, he lost his mother and he was also leaving a lover.

“It’s a family time capsule and there’s so much love in it,” said Dhani Harrison. “He was brave to do this when he did it. It’s
lightning in a bottle. I don’t think that those conditions come around maybe once in a lifetime for an artist.”

August 8, 2021
PREVIEW: Something About George - The George Harrison Story - Two performances on September 12th,
Liverpool Theatre Festival
By Peter Grant, theatre critic for Wirral Globe

HERE comes a play about Beatle George Harrison, writes Globe arts correspondent Peter Grant.

The 'Quiet Beatle' will be celebrated at the Liverpool Theatre Festival in September.

Something About George – The George Harrison Story is not a tribute show but it does pay tribute to the much-loved
and missed icon who had so many other strings to his bow from film producer to global philanthropy.

The 75-minute production, which closes the ten day festival, features Beatle classics as well solo ouput including
My Sweet Lord, Something and hits from the Traveling Wilburys catalogue.

It stars Liverpool-born West End performer, musician, director Daniel Taylor as George. He will be joined on stage by
keyboard player Ben Gladwin and Jon Fellowes on lead guitar.

Blood Brothers star Daniel trained at Webber Douglas Academy Of Dramatic Art in London.


He has also produced, directed, and performed acclaimed Shaskespeare productions at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre.


It is not the first time Daniel has played a Beatle. He has previously portrayed John Lennon in the award-winning

Lennon Through A Glass Onion.


Speaking in his home-grown Liverpool accent he said: “I’m thrilled being able to tell George Harrison’s story, especially

his journey after those heady days in the Fab Four. For me, The Beatles are the greatest band that ever lived. After

all his achievements, George is still one of the most underrated songwriters that has ever lived.


“As someone who writes and performs their own songs, and I have done since I was just 12-years-old – and it’s all

because of the inspiration of songs like Here Comes The Sun, and While My Guitar Gentle Weeps.


''Working on the show, I have been astounded with George’s post Beatles journey and the life that followed, and the

music he went on to create.”


The premiere is written by Jon Fellowes, who co-produces shows alongside Liverpool-born singer-songwriter Gary

Edward Jones and theatre producer Bill Elms, who is also the Artistic Director of Liverpool Theatre Festival.


It is hoped the show will be developed further into a full-scale production with plans to tour the UK. Liverpool

Theatre Festival 2021 features mainstream and established acts, artists, and shows. It will adhere to any Covid-19

and Government guidelines required at the time. Other Festival shows are: 2Gorgeous4U (September 1);

The Last Five Years (September 3); Everybody’s Talking About Musicals (September 4); Electric Dreams (September 5);

OOpera Beneath The Stars (September 9); Broken Biscuits (September 10); Laughterhouse Comedy (September 11)

and Something About George - The George Harrison Story (September 12 - two performances).

August 7, 2021
All Things Must Pass Gnome Installation from August 6 to August 20

From the George Harrison Facebook page...

London: You’re Invited to the All Things Must Pass Gnome Installation to honour George’s ‘All Things Must Pass 50th
Anniversary’. Make your way to Duke York Square, Kings Road, Chelsea to recreate the iconic album cover, featuring
George in his garden with friends. This stunning public, living art installation is by renowned British florist Ruth Davis
of All For Love London. Share your photos and videos to celebrate George’s masterpiece with the hashtag #ATMP50.

August 6, 2021
To help celebrate the new remastered release of the "All Things Must Pass" album,
here is "Awaiting On You All"; "Wah-Wah" and "Beware of Darkness"

August 5, 2021
The unmaking of a Beatle: George Harrison’s widow and son on the legacy of ‘All Things Must Pass’
by Tim Greiving for the Los Angeles Times

All things must pass, but George Harrison is forever.


The late singer-songwriter released his three-LP solo album, an explosion of pent-up musical energy after the dissolution of the Beatles, 50 years ago. Well, 51 — but much like the Olympics, Harrison’s estate is calling for a do-over of 2020. And a vast new box set celebrating the album’s anniversary, on sale Friday, only proves that the quietest Beatle arguably had the most to say.


“These are very introspective songs,” said Olivia Harrison, the musician’s widow, on a Zoom call from England. “And joyous, too. And brave, I think. Brave for the honesty of how he was feeling. Because you can’t write these things unless you’re feeling them or you’re understanding them. So they’re very raw.”


Harrison died from lung cancer in 2001, at age 58, shortly after overseeing a 30th anniversary set of “All Things Must Pass.” Bearing earnest spiritualism, indelible melodies and a fascinating fusion of English rock, Indian and American southern styles, the album hits just as hard after a half-century as it did at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Its multicultural unity comes as a pleasant shock in our time of inflamed division, and Harrison’s introspective lyrics and Zen wisdom — “Sunrise doesn’t last all morning, a cloudburst doesn’t last all day” — are a balm in this late stage of a global pandemic.


“It doesn’t feel like this is going to pass, but it will,” said Olivia, 73. “And I think it’s good to be reminded.”


The extra year proved beneficial for Dhani Harrison, George’s son, who guided the project — along with his frequent collaborator Paul Hicks — of remixing and unearthing unheard materials for the “mega” anniversary set. Manufacturing and shipping delays affected the vinyl edition, which includes eight LPs. The younger Harrison, 43, also oversaw the artwork and liner notes, featuring a trove of quotes, photos and scrapbook materials, and even the design of replica figurines of his father and the reclining gnomes from the original album cover.


“I’ve kind of been in charge of all that myself,” Dhani Harrison said by phone from England, where he was stuck during the pandemic, making an album of his own. “I used to work as a designer, so this is one of my passion things. I’ve devoted my year to doing ‘All Things Must Pass’ and building the next five years of what we’re working on with G.H.”


Dhani and Hicks spent two years plumbing and remixing all 18 reels from the summer 1970 sessions at Abbey Road. Thanks to modern technology, the new mixes of classics like “My Sweet Lord” and “Isn’t It a Pity” spotlight formerly buried instruments and elevate Harrison’s voice above the famous “wall of sound” created by the late producer Phil Spector. 


Olivia, who represents Harrison in Beatles business at Apple Corps Limited, was wary about that at first, “but actually they were right,” she said, citing her husband’s stated belief — from his introduction to the 30th-anniversary remastering — that these songs “can continue to outlive the style in which they were recorded.”


“There were things that were smothered in there,” she admitted. “He said, ‘I’d like to liberate some of the songs from the big production. That seemed appropriate at the time.’ So I think Paul and Dhani have been very balanced in how they’ve liberated some of them. You still have the power behind it, but I think George is more present — and very intimate. Much more intimate than it was before. You feel a connection with him.”


Dhani’s ears perked up at discoveries such as the synthesizers in “Isn’t It a Pity,” which were previously inaudible “just due to the clarity and the reverb and the digital compression on the remaster from 2001,” he said. “I thought there were tracks that we just had muted, but they were in there. The sonic soup in the middle was fogging it up. And then, suddenly, once you hear it you can’t unhear it. It was like rediscovering it again. It was kind of the same feeling I had when they did the remaster of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s.’”


Some of the alternate songs and outtakes from the sessions have been leaked over the years, but are now available in radically higher quality. There’s a slower version of “Isn’t It a Pity” that Dhani called a “heartbreaker,” and what sounds to him like “an Allman Brothers version of ‘Run of the Mill.’” Early iterations of “Cosmic Empire” and “Down to the River (Rocking Chair Jam),” which wouldn’t appear on official records until many years later, were first captured in 1970. A “party disc” includes Harrison jamming with his musicians and doing punny versions of his serious lyrics.


“A lot of the laughing and the outtakes and the little bits of noise between the tapes, I’d never heard before,” said Dhani. “And that’s just priceless. It gives you shivers when you hear someone talking and it just sounds like they’re in the other room.”


George Harrison, shyly strumming and harmonizing behind the competitive wattage of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, had been tending to a whole garden of his songs from 1966 through ’69. Many were auditioned and workshopped as Beatles songs but didn’t make the cut, and Harrison gave away the rejected “My Sweet Lord” and “All Things Must Pass” to his friend Billy Preston. “Isn’t It a Pity” was written in 1966 and almost made it onto the “Revolver” and “Let It Be” albums, but instead sat in darkness.


When the Beatles split up, the 27-year-old Harrison went to Woodstock, N.Y., and jammed with The Band and Bob Dylan in May 1970. Then he took that energy and his merry band of friends — including Preston, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and the group that would become Derek and the Dominos — into Studio Three at Abbey Road and poured his heart out.


“All Things Must Pass” went to No. 1 on the Billboard album chart after it came out in November 1970, and was nominated for album of the year at the Grammys. It outsold all of his fellow Beatles’ solo albums.


An earlier photo of Dhani, Olivia and George Harrison.


It outshone them all as well. Perhaps because it contains an entire universe, the body and soul of a deep thinker pondering relationships between humans as well as with the divine. Harrison wasn’t just deep, he was open. Who else would have seamlessly stirred the Black gospel tradition with Hare Krishna mantras into the No. 1 charting earworm “My Sweet Lord”?


“And he got sued for it!” Olivia said, laughing — referring to the messy 1976 lawsuit in which a judge ultimately ruled that Harrison “subconsciously” copied “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons. “He wasn’t trying to steal anybody’s song,” Olivia said.


Musically, the album has the looseness of a live jam band — a very good jam band — but also the tightness of carefully crafted songwriting by a late bloomer chomping at the bit. Even the other musicians were a kind of extension of Harrison, something that was recently reaffirmed for his wife.


“When I put the needle down on the first record, and I hear that introduction to ‘I’d Have You Anytime,’ I’m in for the whole album,” Olivia said. “I always just thought, ah, Eric [Clapton] — so beautiful, so perfect. Dhani was talking to Eric, and Eric said, ‘You know, your dad told me what to play. He wanted me to bend this note like three times. It was really hard, but he just told me what to play.’ And I thought: Yes, because when I hear those few notes, it’s so simple, it’s so George.”


Olivia, sitting in the “cottage industry” based in Henley-on-Thames where she and Dhani created the new set, showed off the slightly tattered copy of “All Things Must Pass” that she bought in Los Angeles in 1970, four years before she met her husband. She remembered making her friends give it their undivided attention.


“It really had a profound effect on me,” she said, recalling how she used to tell Harrison about her favorite songs on the album. “He would be surprised that I loved ‘Let it Down.’ ‘Really? John didn’t like that song.’ And I thought: Well, I love it.”


Listening to the album 50 years on, Olivia has come to appreciate its strong country vibes even more. The backing band included several players from Tennessee and Texas — singer Bobby Whitlock, trumpeter Jim Price — with Pete Drake playing pedal steel guitar on the Dylan-influenced “Behind That Locked Door.” When Norah Jones asked to cover it at L.A.’s George Fest in 2014, she told Olivia: “Well, because it sounds so country.”


Angel Olsen covered “Beware of Darkness” last fall. Lorde recently said “All Things Must Pass” has the best album cover in history. And Post Malone’s song “Stay” was inspired by Harrison. Clearly, the kids are still listening.


Olivia said she hopes to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “The Concert for Bangladesh,” as well as eventually release other never-before-heard songs by Harrison. Last year, Dhani and his manager David Zonshine resurrected George’s record label, Dark Horse, with a focus on reissuing selections from the label’s catalog (Ravi Shankar was one Dark Horse signing) as well as titles from other artists, including Joe Strummer.


2021 is a bountiful year for Beatles lovers. Peter Jackson’s six-hour documentary “Get Back,” which focuses on the group in 1969 and ’70, will drop on Disney+ in November. “McCartney 3, 2 ,1” is streaming on Hulu, and Harrison’s music was featured in the Apple TV+ docuseries “1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything.”


Olivia believes that legacy wasn’t really something her husband thought about. He knew this album “meant things to people,” she said. “He knew it helped people in their lives — people wrote to him, they told him. And he said, ‘Even if it’s one person, even if it helps somebody, then that’s great.’ But he wasn’t concerned about how he would be remembered.


“Not that he didn’t want to be remembered,” she added, “but he didn’t expect to be remembered. Which I always thought was impossible.”

August 4, 2021
To help prevent Covid 19, Sir Paul McCartney urges everyone to get vaccinated

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August 2, 2021
Giving pieces a chance: The incredible rock music collection hidden for decades
For years, late music journalist Ritchie Yorke’s incredible music collection sat out of sight in a suburban Brisbane home. Now,
it will have a public home with the National Sound and Film Archive.
by Tony Moore for the Brisbane Times

Minnie Yorke at her Brisbane home last month. Photo credit: Dan Peled

For decades, in a modest postwar house on a quiet suburban Brisbane street, one of the world’s most remarkable collections
of music memorabilia was tucked away in boxes, out of sight and unknown to the public.

A black hat gifted by Jimi Hendrix, a rare unreleased recording of Aretha Franklin and an early, preview pressing of Let It Be
— a gift from a Beatle, no less.

A rare preview pressing of the Beatles’ Let It Be, a gift from John Lennon to Brisbane music journalist Ritchie Yorke.
Photo credit: Dan Peled

This collection of thousands of rare recordings, notes, letters, interviews, books, pre-release singles and albums was
gathered over five decades by late Brisbane music journalist Ritchie Yorke.

Surely worth far more than the modest address that housed it, the collection of thousands of historical treasures was, until

recently, in search of a more secure home. That search ended last week, when the National Film and Sound Archive in

Canberra took possession of the collection, dashing hopes it would remain in Brisbane.


Before that, however, Yorke’s widow Minnie invited this masthead into her home to see the collection as Ritchie left it when

 he died in 2017.


Minnie Yorke describes her late husband as a “music nutter” and a “hoardaculturalist”. 


“He has collected ticket stubs from every show, backstage passes, press releases, all sorts of T-shirts and promotional

materials from record companies,” she says.


Minnie Yorke at home, which until recently housed a truly remarkable music collection. Photo credit: Dan Peled

“Then we also have vinyl in amongst all of that. We also have every interview he has ever done; there is a transcribed
copy, and a handwritten story, then a typed copy and a printed story.

“Fifty-five years. That is a lot of stuff.”

It sure is.

During an interview about the hit film Almost Famous, director and writer Cameron Crowe, himself a former music journalist
with Rolling Stone, reportedly told Yorke: “I should be interviewing you.”

Yorke was a close friend and confidant of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, bonding with the ex-Beatle over their troubled
relationships with their fathers, who shared the same name, Alfred.

There was also their shared love of rhythm and blues.

That famous Montreal Bed-in for Peace? Yorke was there, sitting on the floor right by Lennon’s right elbow.

Ritchie Yorke with notebook (left) beside John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969. Photo credit: Gerry Deiter supplied courtesy of Joan Athey.

“They both loved the old R’n’B music. You know John just loved old R’n’B music,” Minnie Yorke says.

Long after Lennon’s death, Ono stayed in touch with Yorke, who she playfully called an enemy of the Blue Meanies, the bad
guys from the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine animated movie.

“People will still say to this bloody day that Yoko broke up the Beatles,” she says. “That is bullshit. That is absolute bullshit.


“In Ritchie’s mind, with Yoko being a performance artist, that allowed John to understand that his magnetic charisma and

 the power of the Beatles and the position they were in, John was to speak for good and not for evil.


“So that was the birth of the peace movement.”


The collection includes dozens of recorded interviews with John and Yoko, along with personal notes and letters from the

couple, many of which were used in Yorke’s 2015 book, Christ You Know It Ain’t Easy: John and Yoko’s Battle for Peace, for

which Ono wrote the foreword.


Minnie Yorke with a signed and dedicated Life With the Lions album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Photo credit: Dan Peled

Some selected pieces, such as original newspaper front pages and Red China posters, are touring Canada with Ono’s peace
exhibition, Growing Freedom, marking 50 years since the War is Over peace campaign.

There is a black jumpsuit, one of two bought by Lennon in 1969 to wear during peace protest interviews in Toronto, which
Lennon gifted to Yorke for “peace services rendered”.

Yorke wore the jumpsuit in 1969 while he protested the Vietnam War on John and Yoko’s behalf, on the border between
Hong Kong and mainland China, with Canadian rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins.

Ritchie Yorke (left) and Ronnie Hawkins on the China-Hong Kong border in 1969.

Yorke arranged a protest at the mainland China and Hong Kong border at the Lok Ma Chau village, where the Chinese could
read “War is Over” posters in English and Chinese.

The stunt took peace to the newspaper front pages, exactly as planned.

Yorke and Lennon remained close friends until the Beatle was murdered in 1980.

But Yorke’s huge collection goes well beyond John and Yoko.

It traces the earliest days of Australian pop music in the 1960s to the emergence of the supergroups of the 1970s and
1980s, then back to Brisbane’s glory days of live music.

Journalist Ritchie Yorke’s rich collection will now be housed in Canberra.

There’s a black hat with a red band and small black feather, a gift from Jimi Hendrix.

“Jimi was busted going into Canada trying to play a show for 27,000 people the next day,” Minnie Yorke says.

“Ritchie stood as a character witness for him and Jimi gave him his hat.”

Jimi Hendrix gave his hat to Yorke as a thank you. Photo credit: Dan Peled

There are colourful clothes and shoes from London’s hip Carnaby Street in the mid-1960s, posters, master tapes, notebooks,
audio and video recordings and film.

“We’ve got film of Ritchie playing tennis with Van Morrison,” Minnie says.

“There is a letter from Van Morrison saying, ‘Get a f---ing haircut’. Ritchie loved telling that story.

“There is also an acetate of Aretha Franklin doing Eleanor Rigby with horns. He was in the studio when that was recorded
and that was a very, very powerful moment in his life.”

Closer to home, Yorke was always an evangelist for music.

In 1963, he was sacked from a Toowoomba radio station for playing Stevie Wonder eight times in a row, against
management’s directive that “n----- music” not be played on air. Management had to break down the door to exact that

A signed white label test pressing of Led Zeppelin’s debut album. Photo credit: Dan Peled

There’s a cassette of Regurgitator songs before the Unit album was released in 1997 and a signed poster from the
Go-Betweens, with messages from songwriters Robert Forster and Grant McLennan.

The collection also includes goblets, records and memorabilia from Tom Jones, rare recordings from Van Morrison, Aretha
Franklin, Phil Spector, Delaney and Bonnie, Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers Band.

There are gifted gold records from Dire Straits — Yorke was a DJ in Canada in 1978 and was the first to play their first
album in Canada and the US — and from Procol Harum for linking them with a symphony orchestra for a top 10 live concert

After many years, Minnie has finally achieved what her husband wanted, a safe place for his collection that can be
accessed by the world.

“Amen, Ritchie would say,” she says. “Amen.”

The search for the collection’s new home ended when the Canberra-based National Film and Sound Archive heard a 1969
recording of Yorke interviewing Lennon.

A representative phoned Minnie in Brisbane asking for information.

She told them a little of the breadth of the other recordings and interviews Yorke had collected over five decades and within
days an archivist travelled to Brisbane.

“They got the big picture,” she says. “They understand that Ritchie was a powerful force in the history of popular music in
Australia and around the world.

“Now they have invited Ritchie to be a national treasure. That means Ritchie will be recognised in the history books, where
he belongs.”

Archive curator Thorsten Kaeding describes Yorke as an “amazing Australian journalist and broadcaster”.

“Starting his career in Queensland, his love of music and enterprising spirit took him to England, Canada and finally back
home to Australia,” he says.

“Along the way he became one of our most significant music critics and friend to some of the most important artists in
popular music.

“The NFSA is delighted to be working together with Minnie Yorke to help celebrate Ritchie’s life and career.”

Over the past month the collection has been shifted to storage for travel to Canberra, where it will be digitised, catalogued
and linked with other museums and exhibition spaces.

Minnie Yorke has mixed emotions about Ritchie’s collection leaving the city in which he was born and died, but she wants to
keep the collection together.

“He was a very humble man and the Brisbane people in this town overall didn’t really understand the gravitas of his career
and legacy,” she says.

“As much as it might be a bit disappointing, I think we’ve gone to the next level by going to Canberra.”

The State Library of Queensland wanted to “cherry-pick” Yorke’s work in the state.

“But by taking it to Canberra, it goes national and is kept in its entirety,” she says.

“They are looking at the collection right from the beginning all the way to the end.”

August 1, 2021
Watch New Video For George Harrison’s Unreleased Take Of ‘Isn’t It A Pity’
The extensively expanded, Super Deluxe Edition box set of ‘All Things Must Pass’ is released on Capitol/UMe
on August 6.
by Paul Sexton for Udiscovermusic

Another previously unreleased outtake from the recording sessions for George Harrison’s unforgettable 1970 triple album
All Things Must Pass has been released today (30).

Accompanied by a new animated video directed by Alan Bibby and Jonny Kofoed of the New Zealand-based creative house,
Assembly, it’s Take 27 of one of the album’s enduring highlights, “Isn’t It A Pity.” The extensively expanded, Super Deluxe
Edition box set of All Things Must Pass is released on Capitol/UMe on August 6.

The evocative video adopts a painterly style with themes that address such themes as the clockwork inevitability of time.
It captures the reflective spirit of the song via a collage of quintessentially English imagery subverted by nature. The
alternative recording is one of 17 outtakes that will feature in the box set. “Isn’t It A Pity” featured twice on the original
album in markedly different versions, and is presented in the new release in three additional, unreleased incarnations, the
original studio demo and two outtakes.

The demo gives the listener an insight into how well developed the song was even at an early stage. The atmospheric
Take 27 has a character all of it own, providing a window into Harrison’s creative process and the various experiments
he made with arrangements and instrumentation in his attempts to perfect the song. The take is closer in spirit to
Version 2 on the original album, taking the song at a slightly slower pace and with a simple, exquisite arrangement.

The 50th anniversary box set edition of All Things Must Pass has already been given an enthusiastic seal of approval by
both Uncut and Mojo magazines. Uncut gave it a 10/10 review, noting: “This new mix updates [Harrison’s] finest work for
today, in greater detail than ever before, while still managing to retain the atmosphere that binds these 106 minutes

Mojo wrote: “The original mix’s misty distance has gone, replaced with a clarity and definition that Harrison and Spector
didn’t achieve (or seek) the first time around. Previously, one had to, like Spector during the playbacks, turn it up very
loud to get the full effect. Not anymore. These mixes come to you."



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