The News Today
from the Ottawa Beatle Site


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


This is a LIFO system - latest items come at the top See archived news pages



August 8, 2020

Ottawa's CFRA Swing Set Survey of July 28, 1967, reveals The Beatles doing a quantum leap up in the charts with "All You Need Is Love" single at #2 position.  The previous week CFRA had it listed at #24 position.


Click here to view the chart listing.



August 5, 2020

New Book Digs Deep on the Bitter End of the Beatles

by Bob Ruggiero for the Houston Press


AND IN THE END: THE LAST DAYS OF THE BEATLES (OBS commentary:  The book is available for the first time in the United States and Canada.)


320 PP




By the summer of 1969, the finely-tuned motorcar that was the Beatles was nearing “E” on its collective gas tank. There was a grimness that had fallen over their company (Apple), the recording studio (Abbey Road), and in their own interpersonal relations.


But on the afternoon of August 22, they still had one more job to do as a group. Two days earlier, they had completed recording on what would be their final chronologically-recorded album, named after the studio in which they had put down most of their music. But new product also required new publicity photos, so the four (along with two of their wives) came together at John and Yoko’s Tittenhurst Park estate, as photographers Ethan Russell and Monte Fresco began snapping away.


The photos of the four hirsute, darkly-dressed musicians could not telegraph more discomfort and resignation. And the Fabs annus horribilis of 1969 wouldn’t stop when the last shutter clicked. In this valuable addition to the Beatles Bookshelf, author Ken McNab takes a detailed and deep dive into the last year of the band’s existence, and manages to uncover some choice new info about the likely most written-about band in the history of music.


One thing is for certain, known for a long time by Beatle fanatics but somehow still not permeating much of the general public: Yoko Ono did not break up the Beatles. Sure, she was a contributing factor. And irksome for the other three members to have her presence there constantly in the studio and business meetings, with she and Lennon seemingly joined at the hip.


And it was beyond the pale when during the first days of recording for Abbey Road, Paul, George, and Ringo watched with mouths open as a fully-equipped hospital bed from Harrod’s carrying Ono – recovering from a family car wreck which also delayed Lennon’s arrival – into the studio. The couple also had a microphone installed over the prone Ono so she could offer commentary and advice on the music. Oh, and she was pregnant at the time, when both Lennons were also addicted to heroin.


But by those sessions, the end was near. Business problems and arguments over money and contracts and who would represent them – Allen Klein (per George, John, and Ringo) or Lee Eastman (per Paul) drained any sense of camaraderie. And each Beatle was already well on their ways to new paths: Lennon to Ono-fueled avant-garde projects, Harrison chafing to have his own songs be heard as a solo artist, and Starr venturing into film. Even McCartney – always the group’s biggest cheerleader and motivator, even when he became a bit overbearing – was ready to throw in the towel.


As McNab notes, it was Lennon who first said he was quitting for good (earlier departures by Starr and Harrison were quickly smoothed over), but the band agreed not to say anything during continuing contract negotiations about publishing and recording and royalties.


Still, it was bizarre that almost no one picked up on McCartney’s quote from a November 1969 Life magazine: “The Beatle thing is over,” and moreso when he released a “self-interview” as part of his first solo record amplifying the band wouldn’t be working together again. Furious, Lennon wanted to be the first to break the news, since he saw the Beatles as his band.


McNab covers some familiar ground and stories, but putting them all in chronological order is a boon for fans. He also wonderfully locates some people who had encounters with band members during that year, many of which have either never or rarely been interviewed in other Beatles books.


They include Lennon’s cousin, who saw John, Yoko, and their respective children Julian and Kyoko during that fateful Scotland motoring trip to visit relatives (the same one they’d be injured in). There’s also painter/decorator Derek Seagrove, who inadvertently appears on the cover of Abbey Road in the background with a couple of other workers. And engineer Andre Perry, who had to hustle recording equipment into the Lennon’s Montreal hotel bedroom to record “Give Peace a Chance.” Even the studio employee who had to run out and purchase three pairs of ladies pantyhose to put over the microphones for the famous Let It Be rooftop concert - because the high wind would ruin recording!


There’s even one tantalizing musical fact: At one point, as McCartney was running from the “Paul is Dead” mania, Jimi Hendrix sent a telegram to the Apple offices inviting McCartney to play bass on a weekend jam session with jazz legends Miles Davis and drummer Tony Williams that might have led to something more. McCartney never saw the last-minute invite, and who knows what could have resulted from that?


And In the End is one of a number of Beatles media which focus on the timeframe where the band ended. Most anticipated is Director Peter Jackson’s new “recut” of the Let it Be documentary. While the original film (the only Beatles movie that has never re-released or issued on home video) was a dismal chronicle of a band in crisis with their music and each other, Jackson’s version shows a more positive take (and with 200+ hours of footage filmed, it could have also made several other docs).


Still, reading And In the End is somewhat akin to a book about the maiden voyage of the Titanic or the theater-going habits of Abraham Lincoln: You know the end is coming, you know what the result is, and there’s not a damn thing the reader can do to stop it. Like a lot of bands, the end for the Beatles wasn’t pretty. But unlike a lot of other bands, a lot of people still care – and obsess – over the events.


Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.


A hard day’s night: how celebrated producer Giles Martin listens to music at home


Post work, the erudite Englishman settles into the night at his farmhouse with his family. Here’s how he has wired his own home for great sound – and how you can too.


Click here to read the article.



August 4, 2020

Paul McCartney says he sued The Beatles to save them

by Lindsay Kupfer for Page Six (New York Post)


“I suppose that when The Beatles broke up, perhaps there was a misconception that we all sort of hated each other,” McCartney, 78, told British GQ in a new interview.


At the time, the other three members — John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — all wanted to make Allan Klein their manager, which McCartney disapproved of, calling Klein “a f–king idiot.”


“The only way for me to save The Beatles and Apple – and to release ‘Get Back’ by Peter Jackson and which allowed us to release ‘Anthology’ and all these great remasters of all the great Beatles records – was to sue the band,” he explained. “If I hadn’t done that, it would have all belonged to Allen Klein. The only way I was given to get us out of that was to do what I did.


“I said, ‘Well, I’ll sue Allen Klein,’ and I was told I couldn’t because he wasn’t party to it. ‘You’ve got to sue The Beatles.'”


OBS footnote: The above article has been edited down for brevity sake. Please consult the active link for the Page Six article.



August 3, 2020

A group of local guys in Ottawa wear their hearts on their sleeves all for the love of Beatles music


Documentary on a concert series marking the 50th anniversary of Beatles album releases from 2013 to 2019 held in various venues in Ottawa, Canada,  performed by Paul Johanis and his Greytones.




August 2, 2020

Sheila E: The "Wow Factor" on Ringo Starr's 80th Birthday Bash!



Sheila E commenting on Ringo's drumming style...



Related link: Video - Sheila E. discusses her album, 'Iconic: Message 4 America' hosted by ABC radio



August 1, 2020

Rare archival film footage of John and & Yoko in Toronto from CTV news


On May 26, 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono arrived in Toronto after being refused admission to the U.S. The couple was in Canada promoting their “War is Over” peace campaign. They later staged a famous bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.




July 31, 2020

Here are the Flaming Pie news articles



Rolling Stone: "Paul McCartney Delivers a Bounty of Rarities, Curiosities and Gems on ‘Flaming Pie’ Box Set"

Best Classic Bands: "Paul McCartney ‘Flaming Pie’ Gets Deluxe Editions"

Ultimate Classic Rock: "Paul McCartney, ‘Flaming Pie Archive Collection': Album Review"

American Songwriter: "‘Flaming Pie’ Reissue Provides a Savory Paul McCartney Treat"

Kenneth Womack for Salon: "Paul McCartney's "Flaming Pie" burns ever brighter in this new reissue, a completist's dream"

Roger Friedman's Showbiz 411: "Paul McCartney’s “Flaming Pie” Box Set is A Must Have with Six Great “Lost” Songs Added Featuring Ringo, Steve Miller, Jeff Lynne, Phil Ramone"

New Music Express: "Listen to a previously unheard, acoustic version of Paul McCartney’s ‘Calico Skies’"


New George Harrison book: "Be Here Now" due out on September 29, 2020


Promo info culled directly from

Never-before-seen candids and ephemera of "the quiet Beatle" during his meteoric solo career, as captured by his friend and famed photographer Barry Feinstein.

On hand from 1970 to 1972 for Harrison's blockbuster "Triple Crown"--the release of All Things Must Pass; The Concert for Bangladesh; and Living in the Material World, which helped make Harrison the best-selling post-breakup Beatle, Barry became good friends with George during the three-plus years they worked together. Feinstein captured George Harrison at home, in his garden, onstage, and in the studio. Nearly all the images are previously unpublished.

The book contains never-before-seen ephemera related to these seminal releases during George's most richly creative time post-Beatles, including handwritten letters talking about album ideas, album-cover thoughts, and putting together the Concert for Bangladesh. This collection also features beloved performers that George convened for that Concert for Bangladesh--where Barry was the only sanctioned photographer onstage--including George's friends Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Leon Russell, and Billy Preston.

The book coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of All Things Must Pass. George Harrison: Be Here Now is a deeper visual dive that the significantly large and passionate Beatles/George Harrison fandom will want to add to their collection.


July 29, 2020

National Museums Liverpool: "Linda McCartney Retrospective"


This major exhibition of Linda McCartney’s photography includes more than 200 iconic images, from the music scene of the 1960s, to family life with Paul. The photos will be displayed from August 8, 2020 to November 1, 2020 at the Walker Gallery.



July 26, 2020

Ottawa's CFRA Swing Set June 23, 1967 lists "A Day In The Life" at #19 Position Based on Local Popular Airplay Even Though No Single Records Were Ever Released from the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Album during 1967


Click here to view the CFRA Swing Set June 23, 1967.


July 24, 2020

"I Me Mine" (instrumental track) - The Beatles

George Harrison’s ‘I Me Mine’ Inspired by the Beatles’ Dysfunction - excerpt by Greg Bustin


George’s “I Me Mine” became the final song recorded by the band before its split.


In his autobiography, George recalled his own self-centered focus, seeing everything “relative to my ego, like ‘that’s my piece of paper’ and ‘that’s my flannel’ or ‘give it to me’ or ‘I am.’ It drove me crackers, I hated everything about my ego. It was a flash of everything false and impermanent, which I disliked. But later, I learned from it, to realize that there is somebody else in here apart from old blabbermouth. Who am ‘I’ became the order of the day. Anyway, that’s what came out of it, ‘I Me Mine.’”


Perhaps subconsciously, the song also reflects the clash of egos in the studio as the Beatles moved toward their split.


“‘I Me Mine’ is the ego problem,” George explained. “There are two ‘I’s: the little ‘i’ when people say ‘I am this’; and the big ‘I’ – is duality and ego. There is nothing that isn’t part of the complete whole. When the little ‘i’ merges into the big ‘I’ then you are really smiling!”


George’s epiphany offers insight for us as a New Year dawns.


“The truth within us has to be realized,” George said. “When you realize that, everything else that you see and do and touch and smell isn’t real, then you may know what reality is, and can answer the question ‘Who am I?’”




July 23, 2020

The Beatles: guitar by guitar - a guide to the models that made music history

by Tony Bacon for Guitarist


The Beatles revolutionised music and made the guitar the world's most popular instrument. On the 50th anniversary of their final album, we trace the models that made the magic…


A treasure trove of information, click here to read the entire article.



July 18, 2020

Paul McCartney comments on the passing of civil rights leader John Lewis 


The above image is culled from Paul McCartney's Official Facebook page.



July 17, 2020

George Harrison on business & The Beatles, 1969: CBC Archives



Official "Beautiful Night" video by Paul McCartney is released



Paul McCartney Previews ‘Flaming Pie’ Reissue With ‘Beautiful Night’ EP

Four-song digital release collects four versions of 1997 single

by Daniel Kreps for Rolling Stone magazine


Paul McCartney has shared his new Beautiful Night EP, a four-track digital release that extracts the various versions of the 1997 single from the upcoming Flaming Pie reissue.


The EP includes the Flaming Pie finished version of “Beautiful Night,” McCartney’s 1995 demo for the track, a “run-through” take and the 10-minute in-studio medley focused on the recording of “Beautiful Night” that featured within the single’s B-side “Oobu Joobu Part 5.”


McCartney also re-uploaded his newly remastered video for “Beautiful Night.” The song itself features contributions from Linda McCartney, Jeff Lynne, producer George Martin and McCartney’s former bandmate Ringo Starr, marking one of their first post-Beatles collaborations.


“I’d been saying to Ringo for years that it’d be great to do something, because we’d never really done that much work together outside the Beatles. One night Jeff Lynne suggested, ‘Why don’t you get Ringo in?’ and I said, ‘OK!’ It just sort of happened,” McCartney recalled in a statement. “I had this song ‘Beautiful Night’ which I’d written quite a few years ago. I’d always liked it but I felt I didn’t quite have the right version of it. So I got this song out for when Ringo was coming in, and right away it was just like the old days.”


The massive Flaming Pie reissue, due out July 31st, features McCartney’s intimate home recordings, studio jams, rough mixes, outtakes, audio from his radio show at the time, Oobu Joobu, a documentary about making the record and bonus films.


Beautiful Night EP Tracklist

1. Beautiful Night (Main Album – Remastered)

2. Beautiful Night (1995 Demo)

3. Beautiful Night (Run Through)

4. Oobu Joobu Part 5:


1. And Now (Jingle)

2. Oobu Joobu Main Theme

3. Beautiful Night Chat

4. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr Chat About ‘Beautiful Night’

5. Ringo Starr Chat

6. Beautiful Night (Flaming Pie Mix)

7. Beautiful Night (Original Version)

8. Goodbyes

9. Oobu Joobu Main Theme


Related link: Paul McCartney reflects on Beatles reunion, how it inspired ‘Flaming Pie’ album (an in-depth interview with Paul) by Adam Wallis for Global News Canada



July 15, 2020

The Beatles Are Rock's Only Million-Selling Act So Far This Year

by Ryan Reed for Ultimate Classic Rock


The Beatles, 50 years after their final studio LP, are rock's only million-selling act through the first half of 2020.
Factoring in the modern metric of album sales plus album equivalent units (via song downloads and streaming), the group moved 1.094 million units from January through June, according to 
Nielsen's Mid-Year Report. The top five rock list also includes Queen (with 768,000 units), Imagine Dragons (593,000), Fleetwood Mac (565,000) and Metallica (551,000).


The top five rock albums are Queen's Greatest Hits (1) (448,000), Elton John's Diamonds (372,000), Creedence Clearwater Revival's Chronicle, Vol. 1 (299,000), Journey's Greatest Hits (273,000) and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (265,000). The top rock songs are Imagine Dragon's "Believer," Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," Panic! at the Disco's "High Hopes" and Eagles' "Hotel California."


Queen's Greatest Hits (1) ranked fourth in the top 10 vinyl albums category (56,000 sales), followed by the Beatles' Abbey Road at fifth (54,000 sales) and Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon at eighth (44,000).


Comparing music consumption trends from the same period of 2019, the Nielsen report found that streaming has increased, vinyl LP sales are up and both CD and digital album sales continue to plummet.


Despite the music industry's shakiness, the Beatles remain relevant. The same goes for film: Grammy-winning director Jonas Akerlund will helm an upcoming movie, Midas Man, chronicling the life of the band's longtime manager, Brian Epstein. And Peter Jackson is still prepping The Beatles: Get Back, a documentary about the band's infamously tense Let It Be sessions. Both projects are now scheduled for 2021.



July 13, 2020

Revisit George Harrison's stunning isolated guitar on his classic 'What Is Life'  

by Jack Whatley for Far Out


For a while, before stepping out of the shadow of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, George Harrison was thought of merely as the guitarist in The Beatles. Harrison would go on to prove his doubters wrong stepping up to the challenge of a solo album with aplomb.


One of the pinnacle moments on his debut solo album All Things Must Pass allowed Harrison to combine both his potency as a songwriter with his unique guitar playing style. Below, we’re taking a listen to George Harrison’s isolated guitar track on his classic song ‘What Is Life’


Harrison is often overlooked when considering rock’s greatest guitarists. Not concerned with the noodling virtuoso playing of Hendrix and Clapton, Harrison kept his playing loose and luscious. His work with The Beatles provided him many moments to shine on the guitar, from the delicacy of ‘Here Comes The Sun’ to the rock and roll edge he lends to ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, he was never the Quiet Beatle on guitar.


When he got his opportunity to really speak up on the microphone, however, it was clear that Harrison had been holding back a wealth of talent. Lyrically he was spiritually aligned with the intrigue of the country and his solo album, imbued with the transcendent notions of Easter philosophy, shot him to the top of the musical pile.


One track that helped that come to fruition was the stunning ‘What Is Life’. It may not be as instantly recognisable as ‘All Things Must Pass’ but Harrison’s ‘What Is Life’ was a popular hit when it arrived in 1971. It has since featured across a host of different film and TV projects always adding a lifting moment of human connection.


It may seem a simple song to construct but in fact, it’s wrapped in layer upon layer of intricacy so well aligned that it feels like one big sound. It’s a testament to Harrison’s style that he is able to carry off such a track without a degree of inauthenticity.


Lyrically, Harrison was now able to say exactly what he wanted. Yet, despite this, somehow it still feels like Harrison is most clear in his message when letting his guitar speak for him.


The lead line, fuzzed and frenetic, does enough to capture the attention and motor you away, it shouts and screams for the shy Harrison and is a joyful listen on its own.




July 12, 2020

John Lennon statue tour proposed to mark Beatle's 80th birthday

by The Guardian


Sculptor Laura Lian wants statue of musician to tour boroughs around Merseyside


A sculpture of John Lennon is being proposed for a homecoming tour commemorating the former Beatle in the year he would have turned 80.


The sculptor who made the six-foot bronze statue of Lennon says she would like it to go on public display in the singer’s native Merseyside by 21 September – International Day of Peace.


Laura Lian started sculpting the Lennon statue two years ago. Since its completion, the sculpture has spent most of the time inside the Hard Rock Cafe in London. She wants it to tour all of the boroughs around Merseyside over the next two years. It is currently at the Castle Foundry in Liverpool.


Lian, who has made statues for the former Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone and Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, said: “With all the trouble in the world about statues … the pandemic and the strife, it’s so right that Lennon can go back to where he belongs. For my generation growing up amid protests against the Vietnam war and the threat of nuclear war, Lennon was an inspiration in the way he inspired us to dream of peace.


“I had always intended for the statue to have a permanent home up on Merseyside and at one stage it looked like the Lennon statue was going to be erected in the Strawberry Fields area of Liverpool. That project fell through but when the metropolitan mayor of Merseyside, Steve Rotheram, suggested it should go up in the borough of Sefton, I thought that was a great idea. Every year a borough on Merseyside is nominated as the borough of culture and this year it’s Sefton’s turn.”


She added that, given that 2020 marks 80 years since Lennon was born and is also the 40th anniversary of his murder, it “was also apposite that his statue comes home to Liverpool”.


Stephen Watson, the executive director at Sefton council, said: “Sefton has always been proud to support artists, and indeed the borough is already home to a number of acclaimed pieces of art …


“If this statue was to go on tour of Merseyside, we would be willing to maintain an open dialogue with Laura Lian, and other artists, about any future opportunities for artwork to be displayed in our beautiful borough.”



July 10, 2020

Fiona Adams, Beatles Photographer, Dead At 84

by Corey Irwin for Ultimate Classic Rock



Photographer Fiona Adams, best known for her pictures of classic rock icons including the Beatles, has died at the age of 84.


Photographer Fiona Adams, best known for her pictures of classic rock icons including the Beatles, has died at the age of 84.

Read More: Fiona Adams, Beatles Photographer, Dead at 84 |
Photographer Fiona Adams, best known for her pictures of classic rock icons including the Beatles, has died at the age of 84.

Read More: Fiona Adams, Beatles Photographer, Dead at 84 |
Photographer Fiona Adams, best known for her pictures of classic rock icons including the Beatles, has died at the age of 84.

Read More: Fiona Adams, Beatles Photographer, Dead at 84 |

Photographer Fiona Adams, best known for her pictures of classic rock icons including the Beatles, has died at the age of 84.

Adams’ death was confirmed by her son, Karl. The photographer reportedly passed on June 26 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born in Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel, Adams left her hometown to study photography at the Ealing of School of Art. Her early work included architectural pictures, travel photographs and contributions to the Sunday Times newspaper.

Read More: Fiona Adams, Beatles Photographer, Dead at 84 |

Photographer Fiona Adams, best known for her pictures of classic rock icons including the Beatles, has died at the age of 84.

Adams’ death was confirmed by her son, Karl. The photographer reportedly passed on June 26 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born in Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel, Adams left her hometown to study photography at the Ealing of School of Art. Her early work included architectural pictures, travel photographs and contributions to the Sunday Times newspaper.

Read More: Fiona Adams, Beatles Photographer, Dead at 84 |

Adams’ death was confirmed by her son, Karl. The photographer reportedly passed on June 26 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.


Born in Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel, Adams left her hometown to study photography at the Ealing of School of Art. Her early work included architectural pictures, travel photographs and contributions to the Sunday Times newspaper.


While working for the London-based magazine Boyfriend in the early ‘60s, Adams career would reach a major turning point. The shutterbug was given the assignment of photographing an up-and-coming pop group called the Beatles.


Rather than doing a traditional studio shoot, Adams elected to capture the Fab Four among the ruins of a London bomb site. “Music was changing,” she later explained, “and I wanted to reflect this with a more dynamic, natural background.”


At the photographer’s direction, the young rockers jumped in the air. Doing so created one of the band’s most timeless images.


“I struggled down into the crater with my heavy camera case,” Adams recalled. “There was a pile of fallen bricks and detritus at the bottom. The boys did their bit and stood patiently – beautifully silhouetted against the sky and the buildings. I set up my camera and shouted: ‘One, two, three – jump!’ And they jumped – twice. Cuban heels and all.”


“I didn’t even think to check whether it was safe or not,” Adams would later admit to friend Lynne Ashton.


The band liked the pictures so much, they elected to use one for the cover of their Twist and Shout EP.


Adams would photograph the Beatles on many more occasions as the band elevated to worldwide superstardom. Though the group’s jumping image would remain the most iconic of her career, it was far from Adams’ only work with legendary artists.


The Rolling StonesDavid Bowie and Jimi Hendrix are among the vaunted rockers to appear in Adams’ material. Arguably the photographer’s most popular non-Beatles image was a 1965 picture of Bob Dylan, capturing the singer as he lounged with a cigarette at London’s Savoy Hotel.


Adams would later marry and have two children, focussing her time on family more than art.


In 2009, the National Portrait Gallery in England featured her work as part of an exhibition called Beatles to Bowie: The 60s Exposed. The exhibit referred to her Beatles picture as “one of the defining images of 20th-century culture,” while Adams was described as “an unsung heroine of the decade.”



July 7, 2020

As Ringo Starr turns 80, he talks about his life, Beatles journey

by Ruben V. Nepales, Inquirernet/Asia News Network


Photo credit: Scott Robert Ritchie


“If I’d have gone and lived in Houston because of Lightnin’ Hopkins, who knows where I would have been?” he asked aloud, referring to what would have happened if, at 19, he immigrated to the United States just to be where his country blues musician idol lived.


“And if I’d have stayed with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, what would have happened there?” Ringo was with the band until he decided to join the Beatles to replace drummer Pete Best.


There was also the matter of Ringo being sickly as a child. He suffered from appendicitis, then a ruptured appendix, pleurisy, food allergies and tuberculosis. Lying in a hospital bed, the 13-year-old was given a little drum by a music teacher. In that instant, Ringo decided that it was the only thing he wanted to do in life—to be a drummer.


He ended up playing drums for the greatest band in rock history, alongside Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison. In this recent video call, the man who was considered the Beatles’ heart and soul suddenly showed up on my laptop screen, half an hour early. He thought the interview was at 11:30 in the morning. It was set at noon.


In the few minutes that he stayed and then promised to return at noon, the Beatle, who is known for his happy-go-lucky personality, was easygoing and charismatic as we engaged in small talk.


Wearing a short-sleeved black polo shirt with white palm prints, the bearded man who was born as Richard Henry Parkin Starkey Jr. wore tinted glasses. His dark short hair gave him a youthful look.


Behind him in a corner of his Los Angeles home were walls decorated with a black guitar with white stars, a flag emblazoned with Trojan Jamaica, the reggae label, and further behind, a wall with prints of faces, including what looked like George Harrison’s.


A few minutes before noon, Ringo appeared again on my screen, with the most disarming smile and giving us the peace sign. “Peace and love” is his mantra. He also wore a necklace with a peace sign pendant.


I asked right away a question to finally clear the matter about the Beatles’ unfortunate experience in Manila. In early July 1966, the band’s two concerts in one day were enthusiastically received by thousands of screaming fans.


The concert promoter apparently did not tell the Beatles that he promised then First Lady Imelda Marcos that they would show up in a reception at the Malacañang Palace. The group refused to go to Imelda’s event.


In a piece dated Nov. 3, 2018, a PDI editorial looked back at that incident: “Claiming to be incensed at the way the Fab Four had ‘offended’ the sensibilities of the First Family, particularly Imelda Marcos and her children, when they allegedly snubbed an invitation to join the Marcoses and their friends at a get-together in Malacañang, ‘concerned citizens’ lined up all along the exit route of the world-famous band and inflicted physical punishment on them. The Beatles were kicked, pummeled, pushed, abused and cursed, chased to their plane seats and given indelible memories of Filipino hospitality.”


“Yeah, it was hell,” Ringo recalled. “We didn’t understand it. We came with 25 outriders getting us to the hotel. I was sharing a room with John (Lennon). We put the TV on in the morning and it was like, what the hell’s going on? They didn’t like us. They showed pictures of all the children. Someone with the TV camera going past these kids being miserable because we didn’t turn up.


“And we’ve told them. We are not turning up. Anyway, we left back to the airport with one motorbike and we did get pushed around. But we got on the plane and were off to the next round. We were young lads. We came, we played. That’s all we’re there for. There was a hassle. Though it didn’t mean we didn’t still love the people in the Philippines. It was just a couple of them we didn’t love (laughs). So that’s my story.”


Cutting to the present, Ringo was asked about the escalation of racial issues since the death of George Floyd. The Beatles were noted for refusing to play to segregated audiences.


“It is crazy again,” he agreed. “And we did refuse to play in Mississippi. All our heroes are from Ray Charles to Lightnin’ Hopkins. Stevie Wonder was one of them. The acts we loved were African-American. We said no, we play to people, people are people. That was a first for us and a first for them.


“This year has been such an eye-opener because of George Floyd. They killed him but the weeks after, all the parades in LA, all over America, and it went to England, France. It’s so huge now… We want change.”


Ringo smiled when the chat turned to meeting Yoko Ono for the first time. “I remember it well because I walked into the studio and Yoko was in bed,” Ringo began with a laugh. “We never had our wives (in the studio). My wife Maureen (Cox)—God rest her soul—in the eight years and all the studio time we did … she was there more than 45 minutes over all that time. They (wives) would come in, say hi and leave. Because we were working.


“I went and asked him (John), ‘What’s going on here? We’re in the studio and Yoko is here.’


“John said, ‘What we’re planning is to know exactly—what I’m doing, she’ll know and I’ll know what she’s doing. We will know each other.’ So I was fine after that … she’s a lot of fun.”


Ringo added about the woman who was controversial in the band’s lore. “I’ve never felt uncomfortable with her. I played on the Plastic Ono’s first records, John’s and hers. That’s what it’s about. We’re supporting each other. I saw her the summer before in New York. If I’m there, we say hi.”


As he clearly showed in his affable demeanor on our computer screen, Ringo is comfortable in being part of a band so popular and well-loved that it has sold a whopping 600 million worldwide. But even as early as the ’60s, as the Liverpudlian band began to rise, Ringo had to adjust to the new reality.


“In the beginning, we wanted to make good music and play to audiences, which we did,” said the man who also tried being a railway messenger, barman and engineering firm apprentice. “But we got so big that the price to pay was that you couldn’t go into a restaurant. It actually happened to me. I was eating a meal in a restaurant. I’ve got the fork into my mouth and some woman pushed it out and said, ‘Sign this.’ I said, ‘No, I’m having dinner.’ And she told me—this was like in ’67—‘You ruined your whole career (laughs).’”


And what was the strangest request he got from a female fan? With a laugh, he obliged with, “The weirdest ever was, ‘Have you got a light (laughs)?’ Like I’m going to get into that. Get off (laughs).”


In the never-ending journey of the legendary band, Peter Jackson came up with a new documentary, The Beatles: Get Back, which he created from footage captured by Michael Lindsay-Hoggs for a 1970 documentary on the group.


“We made the documentary (Let It Be) a long time ago,” Ringo explained. “We did the last live show on the roof of the Apple (Corps Limited, a London corporation, not the company cofounded by Steve Jobs) building. We found 56 or 57 hours of unused footage. We asked Peter Jackson, could he help us here? It’s now 46 minutes long (in The Beatles: Get Back) and it’s incredible.


“So it’s a shame because it should have been out this year. We’re all in limbo, in a way.”


On how he is going to mark his big 80th milestone, Ringo shared, “I’m going to celebrate it a little differently than I have for the last 12 years, when we have the peace and love moment. Last year, we celebrated it in Nice. But we started in 2008 in Chicago.


“I’ve asked several of my friends to send me footage from a show they’ve done. I’m using some of mine from the All-Starr’s last year. I’ll be there introducing.”


He added, “Oh yeah, we have friends in the videos. One of them you might know well. Have a guess.”


Paul McCartney? “Ah, you got that one,” he quipped with a grin. The virtual charity concert will hit YouTube on July 7 to benefit Black Lives Matter Global Network and other worthy causes.  


As for his plans beyond the big birthday, Ringo answered, “With the All-Starr, we do one tour a year. Now, I’m doing two tours a year.


“I have many blessings. My children are blessings. I’ve got eight grandkids now and a great grandson. I’m an only child and I look around the table and I go, what? All these people are related to me—that’s far out. And Barbara (actress Bach, his second wife) is in my life—that’s another blessing.


“I’m here, the road I’ve taken was made up of good choices and there were some other choices… And we’re in a great business because we don’t have to retire. And I plan to go on longer than 80.


“On July 7th is my birthday. I hope you’ll spread the word. Everybody goes, ‘Peace and love,’ wherever you are.”


Flashing the peace sign with his fingers, Ringo ended our chat with, “I love you, peace and love, remember on the 7th of July at noon.”


This article appeared on the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post


Cher’s First Single Was a Love Song About Ringo Starr That Got Banned

by Matthew Trzcinski for Showbiz CheatSheet



Cher is one of the biggest icons to come out of the 1960s. Thanks to his time with the Beatles and his solo work, Ringo Starr is an icon of a similar caliber. Both are known for taking on more film roles than most famous singers and for having great senses of humor.


Despite this, people don’t associate Cher with Ringo. Perhaps they should. One of Cher’s first songs was about Ringo — and it became very controversial.


Cher’s love song about Ringo Starr


Cher first became a superstar as a member of the duo Sonny & Cher. She also has an incredibly successful and long-lasting career as a solo artist. Rolling Stone reports her solo career began when she released a song called “Ringo, I Love You” under the stage name Bonnie Jo Mason. Cher would later use the pseudonym Bonnie Jo Mason when she recorded vocals for the Wu-Tang Clan’s album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.


Cher released “Ringo, I Love You” in 1964. According to AllMusic, Sonny & Cher released their debut album in 1965, which means that Cher was trying to be a solo artist before she found success as part of a duo. This is interesting, as some fans believe she began her solo career only after Sonny & Cher disbanded.


“Ringo, I Love You” isn’t exactly considered a classic. It’s not even very well-remembered. However, it had some tremendous talent behind it. According to the book Cher: Strong Enough, Sonny Bono got legendary producer Phil Spector to produce the song. Cher was merely 18-years-old when she recorded the track. In keeping with the song’s Fab Four theme, it was released alongside the B-side “Beatles Blues.”


“Ringo, I Love You” includes some obvious references to the Beatles. The lyric “Ringo, I love you, yeah, yeah, yeah” appears to be a reference to a similar lyric in the chorus of “She Loves You.” In another line of the song, Cher sings “Please let me hold your hand,” a line which recalls the Beatles’ early hit “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” “Ringo, I Love You” is certainly a relic of Beatlemania.


Why the song was banned and then flopped


The song is completely innocuous. However, Cher’s vocals on the song made many people assume she was a man. Because of this, people interpreted “Ringo, I Love You” as a gay love song. Subsequently, “Ringo, I Love You” was banned from the majority of radio stations. The song was a commercial flop.


Very few copies of “Ringo, I Love You” were produced. After all, there wasn’t much of a demand for it. Subsequently, the book Fab Four FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Beatles … and More! says copies of the track will sell for hundreds of dollars. “Ringo, I Love You” remains a bizarre curiosity item for fans of the Beatles and Cher.



July 6, 2020

Ringo Starr reveals his favourite drumming hero!



On the eve of Ringo Starr's 80th birthday, Financial Times journalist Emanual Levy reveals who Ringo Starr's favourite drummer is.


“It’s always the same question, 'what drummers did you like?' and I would say, I was listening to records as records, I wasn’t listening for the drummers.” But he does name one. “My hero is [American jazz drummer] Cozy Cole; I just love what he did because he did tom-tom stuff.”


For the complete article please read: Ringo Starr on turning 80, racial equality and the coming Beatles film


Photo by Ralph F. Seghers (from Wikipedia)



July 5, 2020

The Beatles manager Brian Epstein is the subject of a new biopic film

by the Far Out staff


Brian Epstein, the hugely celebrated music manager who was given the title as the “fifth Beatle”, will be the subject of a new biopic film.


The film, entitled Midas Man: The Brian Epstein Story, is being directed by Jonas Åkerlund who recently directed the black metal film Lords of Chaos. Åkerlund is a filmmaker with close affiliation to the world of music and previously directed music videos for the likes of Beyoncé, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga and more.


“Brian Epstein’s story has everything I’m looking for in a story … it’s all about Brian’s singularity for me,” Åkerlund said in a statement to Variety. 


Adding: “I love that Brian seemed to know every step of the way what no one else knew, he saw things that no one else saw. His vision was astonishing, he created a culture that didn’t exist. The film is more like touring Brian’s mind and what it was like to be him than how one thing led to another chronologically. I want to bring him back to life.”


The film, which aims to chronicle Epstein’s life, is being described as “the definitive telling of a life story,” by production staff. “The first, last and most respectful filmic portrait ever painted of Brian Epstein. And one which helps him achieve something he dreamed of in life, but never achieved: to become a star of the silver screen.”


“It is simply a fantastic human story, worth telling, of a remarkable man whose life’s work was to make others more remarkable. He is not a footnote of the cultural revolution of the sixties,” a synopsis adds. “His story adds depth and dimension to the explosion of rock and roll and many artists other than The Beatles, deepening and enriching the cultural heft of this shared inheritance by creating a new way of seeing the sixties and the impact that Liverpool had on the world, through his bands, artists and their music.”


The film, which is being shot in London, Liverpool and in the US, is being pencilled in for a 2021 release.


















A Tree Dedicated to John Lennon in New York City

by Mike Mishkin for I Love the Upper West


A tree on 79th between Broadway and Amsterdam has been “yarn-bombed” by visual artist Carmen Paulino, who collaborated with Knitty City for the project. It was designed as a tribute to John Lennon on Monday.


The tree can be found on the south side of the street – right outside the Knitty City location at 208 West 79th Street.


Carmen Paulino is a visual artist who works on providing community art programming in hospitals, community centers, and senior centers around New York City. Raised in the El Barrio section of New York City, her love for the arts was inspired by the murals in her diverse neighborhood, and her father performed as a musician in several traditional salsa bands. As a young child, she watched her mother and grandmother knit, crochet, and sew unique traditional quilts and patterns. These experiences inspired her to develop her own techniques and produce her own mixed media works that incorporate her own life experiences, visuals from her immediate surroundings, and the inspiration that comes from living in a diverse melting pot of cultures.

OBS footnote: the above article was originally posted on June 25, 2020.


Cirque du Soleil Bankruptcy Also Involves the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Blue Man Group, and Quebec– Not Just Flying Acrobats - by Roger Friedman for Showbiz 411


When anyone says Cirque du Soleil you think of flying acrobats, nameless, faceless bodies from shows with strange names.


But the recent bankruptcy filing from Cirque du Soleil also affects the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Blue Man Group. and the french province of Quebec. They are all screwed.


Cirque du Soleil has at least $1 billion in debt, and that’s from long before the coronavirus. Bad management made them vulnerable to COVID-19, certainly. The ceasing of all live performances everywhere did them in.


But it’s not just those awesome shows we’ve seen with the lights, tumbling, water, and so on. When Cirque laid off almost 4,000 people last week, they were certainly at the top of the list.


But Cirque du Soleil puts on the amazing Beatles show, “Love,” at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas; the Michael Jackson show called “One” at Mandalay Bay in Vegas, and Blue Man Group everywhere including its home, New York, on Lafayette Street. They have all been closed since March 15th and may never return.


Also on hook are the good people of Quebec, the French province of Canada. Their publicly invested funds bailed out Cirque du Soleil because that’s where it came from. Creator Guy Laliberté started Cirque there. But those funds are gone, maybe $400 million.


In February, perhaps sensing the end was near, Laliberte sold his 10-percent minority interest to the Canadian investment company Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). They are now left holding the bag with TPG, the San Francisco-based investment firm that bought 60-percent stake in 2015. The ownership group also includes China’s Fosun Capital Group, headquartered in Shanghai. Laliberte earned a possible $1.5 billion in the TPG deal, and is said to be worth $2 billion.


But Cirque du Soleil is left high and dry. And so are the “Love” and “One” shows. They have no performances set until August 1st, when their reservations start working again for ticket sales. But if everyone’s been laid off, who’s going to be Eleanor Rigby or dance to “Billie Jean”?


A Jackson insider told me: “Right now they can’t reopen the shows because of the virus. Once they are able to reopen the shows they will. They’re waiting for input from bankruptcy counsel to make sure they will get paid when the show reopens. TPG — as private equity companies will do  — hampered the company up by putting $1.2 billion of debt on the company and taking the money out.”


I’ve never seen “One,” but I feel like I have a PhD in “Love.” When it opened on June 30, 2006 I went out to the Mirage and was given an extensive education by George Martin, et al into the whole background. Paul, Ringo, Yoko, and Olivia Harrison were all there. And everyone returned for the 1 year anniversary. It’s been a money maker for the Beatles and very good for their brand. (I went back a third time, years later, with Lou Ferrigno and his wife, and we had a ball.)


So we’ll keep an eye on this. If you know anything, or you were part of these shows, drop me a line at


Ringo Starr On Beatles’ ‘Get Back’ Documentary: “There’s A Lot More Joy”

by Paul Sexton for


“We’re having fun, we’re playing, you know,” said Ringo of his reaction when he saw some of the footage.


Ringo Starr has been sharing his thoughts and early impressions of the much-anticipated The Beatles: Get Back documentary. The film, directed by Peter Jackson, had been due for release this summer by Apple Corps Ltd and WingNut Films, distributed by Disney. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s now scheduled for 21 August 2021.


Starr was speaking at a virtual press conference earlier this week to publicise plans for his 80th birthday celebrations on 7 July. He revealed that he had seen some portions of Jackson’s new interpretation of the many hours of footage filmed around the making of The Beatles’ Let It Be album. Notably, he added, of the group’s famous rooftop performance that will be central to the upcoming documentary.


“I was disappointed [when the film’s release was delayed] because, I mean, I’d only seen the on-the-roof stuff that Peter edited together,” said Ringo. He observed that the new treatment vastly expands on Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s 1970 film Let It Be and casts the album sessions in a new and much more positive light.


“It was, I’m guessing ten minutes long,” said Ringo of the rooftop edit in the earlier film. “It’s now 36 minutes long and it is incredible…you know, he was still putting the rest of the documentary together his way.


“You know how it started,” Ringo continued. “We found 56 hours of unused footage. So we have plenty to play with. And I always believed that the one that came out was a bit dull and it stuck to one second of what happened between the boys.


“When he comes into L.A.,” explained Ringo of his meetings with Jackson. “I’ll bring up his iPad Theater [app, to view the footage] and he’ll show me ‘Look, we’re all laughing or telling jokes. We’re having fun, we’re playing, you know, we’re always playing and there’s a lot more joy.” Starr concluded by explaining that Jackson has not been able to return to the studio since February.


Rush's Geddy Lee Recalls What He Thought of Led Zeppelin 1st Time He Heard Them, Shares Honest Opinion on Paul McCartney's Bass Playing - by staff


During a conversation with Rolling Stone, Rush bassist Geddy Lee looked back on the first time he saw Led Zeppelin when they were promoting their debut, self-titled album, "Led Zeppelin I" was released in early 1969. Geddy commented:


"Zeppelin were a huge influence on my band. And our original drummer, John Rutsey [who was in the band between 1968 and 1974] - he happened to be at the very first gig in Toronto, at a place called the Rock Pile.


"He came home raving about that band, and so the day that first album dropped, we were lined up the store to get it. And I remember running home to my house and putting it on.


"And the three of us just sat around my record in the room, listening to the first Zeppelin record, and just blown away by the tone of the band, first of all. They were really, for us, the first heavy band.


"And we could hear all those blues riffs and all the sound that they had, and how they sort of had grown out of the blues-rock movement of England, and yet they brought, through Jimmy Page's guitar, all these more ethereal moments.


"But the thing that held the whole thing down was John Paul Jones' bass playing. If you listen to 'How Many More Times,' I mean, no matter how wild that song gets at times, there's John Paul Jones just holding it all down in such a fluid way.


"And he's one of those guys that did not have a twangy sound, but nonetheless, his bass was always loud and proud, and such an integral part and such interesting melodies.


"As they progressed as a band, his musical impact was clear, that it was such a huge musical impact in the final result of what Led Zeppelin sounded like.


"I mean, if you listen to what's going on - a song like 'What Is and What Should Never Be,' where would that song be without the bass part? It is unbelievable. It's such a well-written and fluid and dextrous bass part, that it just finishes it off.


"Not only do I have so much respect for him as a player, but he's such a lovely man. Such a generous guy. [When we met for an interview for my book,] he was so generous with his time.


"We had such a great time visiting together and hanging out for an afternoon, talking about his past and basses. Really considerate dude. Really, I just can't say enough good things about him."


Geddy also talked about The Beatles and Paul McCartney, saying:


"[McCartney] gets overlooked as a bassist, but as a pop bassist goes, he's such a melodic player. And you're talking about a guy who wasn't originally the bass player for the band... He adapted, of course, and he picked it up.


"I just find his story really interesting, as a bass player. So he comes at the instrument from a much more melodic place, and you really hear that in a lot of Beatle music.



"And if you listen to 'Taxman,' or if you listen to 'Come Together,' and a range of music in between, that bass part is always so round. It's always so bouncy and melodic, and I think that's really no small part of the infectious nature of Beatles songs. It really added a great element to those songs.


"I think he was sort of subconsciously working his way into my psyche as a bass player. Although the style of music that I played wasn't The Beatles style of music, I did have great respect for them.


"We used to play a version of a song called 'Bad Boy' that was fashioned sort of after a song that the Beatles did. The Beatles did a cover of that as well. So we all listened to the Beatles...


"I was always respectful of what Paul McCartney brought to the Beatles, not only as a singer - but as a bass player."



July 3, 2020

Ringo to celebrate 80th birthday with Starr studded charity broadcast, "Ringo's Big Birthday Show"


Show to air on Ringo's Youtube channel on July 7, 2020 at 5pm PST (8pm EST) featuring performances from  Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney Joe Walsh Gary Clark Jr Sheryl Crow Sheila E. Ben Harper


Ringo also continues his peace and love initiative and invites everyone everywhere to think, say or post #peaceandlove at noon on July 7th and fans are organizing online celebrations around the world.




June 30, 2020

 ‘RS Interview: Special Edition’ With Ringo Starr

Starr celebrates his 80th birthday with an in-depth video interview, along with a July 7th virtual charity show

by Brian Hiatt for Rollling Stone Magazine


Ringo Starr’s 80th birthday is coming up on July 7th, and we’re celebrating with an in-depth conversation on the latest episode of the Rolling Stone Interview: Special Edition video series. “Man, I’m only 24 in here,” Starr says, pointing to his head. “And I’m still doing what I love to do. I’m still in the music business.”


In the interview, Starr talks about his longevity (one secret: “broccoli with everything and blueberries in the morning”); life in isolation (“I haven’t left the house in 11 weeks now”); hanging out with Keith Moon and John Bonham (“that’s two handfuls”); the early years of his solo career; Peter Jackson’s upcoming Let It Be-era Beatles documentary; missing George Harrison and John Lennon; and playing “Helter Skelter” on stage with Paul McCartney last year for the first time since he recorded it.


Click here to read the entire report.




June 26, 2020

The most difficult thing George Harrison found writing songs for The Beatles

by Joe Taysom for Far Out



George Harrison wrote some of The Beatles finest songs and undoubtedly came into his own as their career advanced, forcing himself in between the principle songwriting partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. As Abbey Road acted as his coming-of-age party, Harrison stole the show with a glorious pair of songs that he brought to the table which was, of course, the majestic ‘Something’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’.


Writing Beatles songs didn’t come easy for George, a conflict which meant that his output was few and far between. While the personal power struggles continued to manifest, Harrison was being restricted and was not being anywhere near as prolific as Lennon or McCartney—but when he did write something, it was usually utterly magnificent.


Considering that only 22 songs written by Harrison would find their way onto records by The Fab Four, it’s not all that controversial to state that his success rate was arguably higher than Lennon or McCartney—even if he doesn’t get the deserved credit.


Harrison was never one who to chase stardom, nor did he want to make himself the centre of attention. The musician dubbed the ‘Quiet Beatle’ tended to go about his business in a nonchalant manner, a factor which meant that if he didn’t think a song was good enough then he was never going to force his bandmates to record it.


By 1969, Harrison had confirmed himself as a gifted songwriter and candidly revealed about why he sometimes struggled writing for The Beatles: “The most difficult thing for me is following Paul’s and John’s songs. Their earlier songs weren’t as good as they are now, and they obviously got better and better, and that’s what I have to do. I’ve got about 40 tunes which I haven’t recorded, and some of them I think are quite good. I wrote one called ‘The Art Of Dying’ three years ago, and at that time I thought it was too far out, but I’m still going to record it. I used to have a hang-up about telling John and Paul and Ringo I had a song for the albums, because I felt at that time as if I was trying to compete. I don’t want the Beatles to be recording rubbish for my sake just because I wrote it — and on the other hand, I don’t want to record rubbish just because they wrote it. The group comes first.”


It’s safe to say that Harrison’s high standards meant that when he did have an idea that he deemed worth sharing, his bandmates tended to agree and his unselfishness attitude played a pivotal role in The Beatles lasting as long at the top as they did.


Editorial: The above article has been edited by the Ottawa Beatles Site for brevity sake.



June 23, 2020

Paul McCartney plays trumpet on "When The Saints Go Marching In" with Elvis Costello and Dave Grohl

by Martin Kielty for UCR


Paul McCartney returned to his roots when he appeared on a fundraising broadcast and played trumpet on “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

He was joined by Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl, Dave Matthews, Jim James, Irma Thomas and Nathaniel Rateliff during the benefit performance for the New Orleans Preservation Hall Foundation, with funds directed to helping musicians during the coronavirus pandemic.

You can watch McCartney’s rusty performance, as well as the full show, below.

As The Daily Beatle points out, “When the Saints Go Marching In” was the first single the Beatles ever appeared on; they were credited as the Beat Brothers along with headlining singer Tony Sheridan in 1961. The song was re-released three years later, along with A-side “My Bonnie,” by which time it was credited to the Beatles with Sheridan.

McCartney began learning to play the trumpet after he was given one for his 14th birthday, but he soon gave up on it. In the book The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years, Perez Benitez notes, “Although he could eventually play a C-major scale, ‘The Saints Go Marching In’ and a few other things on the trumpet, McCartney quickly realized that it was going to be difficult for him to both sing and play a trumpet at the same time. Accordingly, with his father’s permission, he traded in the first instrument he ever owned for that Zenith acoustic guitar.”

“The members of our Musical Collective serve in vital community roles: as mentors, teaching artists and tradition bearers,” the Preservation Hall Foundation said in a statement. “Providing for their well-being during this crisis will ensure a solid future for the generations of New Orleans musicians still to come. Spotify is matching all donations to help us provide support and resources to the members of our collective. Through its COVID-19 Music Relief initiative, Spotify has pledged to match up to $10 million in donations to its nonprofit partners around the world.”


Some early photographs of John Lennon taken on November 6, 1963 at the Northampton ABC Cinema in the U.K.





June 22, 2020

Inside John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s $47.5 Million Former Palm Beach Estate - It's guaranteed to give any buyer Instant Karma

by Howard Walker for Robb Report


Photo credit: Andy Frame


When John Lennon spent a few days in Palm Beach, Fla. back in 1974, he told a local newspaper reporter: “I really like it here. I really don’t want to leave Palm Beach. I’d like to own a piece of it.”


Strange as it may sound, that’s exactly what the former Beatle did. In January 1980, he and wife Yoko Ono paid $725,000 for the landmark oceanfront compound known as El Solano on Palm Beach’s billionaire row, South Ocean Boulevard.


The plan had been for the couple to use the massive Spanish-style mansion, designed by famed 1920s architect Addison Mizner, as a retreat from grueling New York winters. They had big plans to renovate the iconic property.


Tragically, just 11 months later, Lennon was murdered outside his apartment at the Dakota building in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. While Ono went on to complete the restoration, she sold the mansion in 1986 for $3.15 million.


Now, for the first time since 2016, El Solano is back on the market with a $47.5 million asking price.


It’s currently owned by John and Cindy Sites, who bought the seven-bedroom, 14,000-square-foot estate four years ago for just over $23 million. John Sites, 68, is a former EVP at failed investment giant Bear Stearns and currently a partner at Wexford Capital. His wife founded the Go Figure barre fitness chain.


Set on a lush 1.3-acre lot with 180 feet of prime Atlantic oceanfront, the estate has no shortage of high-profile neighbors. Next door, author James Patterson owns a 20,000-square-foot compound, crooner Rod Stewart has a 17,000-square-foot spread close by and less than a mile away is President Trump’s 62,500-square-foot Mar-a-Lago club.


Built in 1925, the estate was originally owned by Mizner himself, whose Mediterranean-style designs defined the “look” of Palm Beach. The architect quickly sold El Solano—named for Solano County, in California where he grew up—to yacht-racer Harold S. Vanderbilt who lived there a number of years.


Gates open on to the no-parking-allowed South Ocean Boulevard from the property’s narrow driveway and the main home’s side entrance. Set on three levels, the home has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a huge 40-foot-by-25-foot grand salon, a library and spectacular oceanfront dining room.


On the expansive grounds, hidden behind towering hedgerows are two swimming pools—one for sunrise, the main one for sunsets—a tennis court, beachfront cabana, a two-story pool house with guest suite, and a three-car garage, where Lennon parked his much-loved red Cadillac.


“El Solano is a true oceanfront palace with all the grandeur you would expect of the 1920s,” says Christian Angle, of Christian Angle Real Estate who holds the listing.


That grandeur includes many of the home’s original ornate architectural details, like the exquisite hand-stenciled wooden ceilings, the elaborate crystal and wrought-iron chandeliers, its grand stone and wrought iron staircase, and carved stone fireplaces.


The huge, oceanfront master wing covers most of the upper level and features a 30-foot-by-18-foot bedroom and an adjoining study that leads to a sitting room. Here there are separate bathrooms, an office and huge walk-in closet, with everything decorated in soft pastels.


With an uninterrupted view of the ocean from the master suite, it’s easy to imagine Lennon opening up the curtains every morning and singing to himself a few verses of that Beatles classic “Here Comes the Sun.”


Photo credit: Andy Frame


Photo credit: Andy Frame


Photo credit: Andy Frame



June 19, 2020

Penny Lane: Museum finds 'no evidence' of slavery link

by the BBC News services


There is "no historical evidence" to link Penny Lane to Liverpool slave merchant James Penny, the city's slavery museum has said.


The International Slavery Museum (ISM) included the street in a display when it opened in 2007, as the link to Penny "was in the wider public domain".


The truth of the link has been debated ever since and recently, belief in it led to street signs being defaced.


The ISM said "comprehensive research" had now shown there was no connection.


Janet Dugdale, National Museums Liverpool's executive director of museums and participation, said that after reviewing the display with historians and local schoolchildren, "we anticipate that our first action will be to replace the Penny Lane street sign with another".


Much of Liverpool's 18th Century wealth came from the slave trade and, by the 1740s, the city was Europe's most-used slave port.


Many of the city's streets have names linked to slavery, including Sir Thomas Street, named after the co-owner of one of the first slave ships to sail from Liverpool, and The Goree, which shares its name with an island off Senegal that was used as a base to trade for slaves.


UPDATE JUNE 22, 2020: See also: "The Windy History of Penny Lane, the Slave Trade and a Now-Resolved Controversy" by Brenna Ehrlich for Rolling Stone Magazine.  



June 18, 2020

Ringo Starr gives his June 2020 update




June 17, 2020

The Beatles' Penny Lane 'in danger of being renamed if slavery link proven', says Liverpool city mayor

by Rory O'Connor, Smooth Radio 97-108



Liverpool's Penny Lane, made famous by The Beatles, is "in danger of being renamed" if links to slavery are found, the city's regional mayor has said.


Steve Rotherham, the mayor of the Liverpool city region, says he "doesn't believe" the road is named after 18th century slave merchant James Penny.


Walls and road signs on Penny Lane were defaced last week after claims of the name's origin circulated on social media.


However, there is currently no evidence to support the suggestion that the road was named after James.


Steve said: "If it is as a direct consequence of that road being called Penny Lane because of James Penny, then that needs to be investigated.


"Something needs to happen and I would say that sign and that road may well be in danger of being renamed.


"But, of course, there is no evidence that is the fact. Just imagine not having a Penny Lane and the Beatles' song not being about somewhere.


He added to Sky News: "I don't believe it is associated with James Penny," noting he himself is a "massive Beatles fan who has done a bit of reading on this", suggesting that Penny Lane was instead associated with a toll that was once paid in that area - in pennies - to cross the road.


The song 'Penny Lane' was released by The Beatles in February 1967 and the road draws thousands of tourists to the area each year.


Steve continued: "It needs to be investigated and then, if it's found as a direct link then action can be taken.


"Of course, the song wasn't written about James Penny, it was written about an area that The Beatles, when they were off elsewhere, were reminiscing about.


"It's a lovely song and hopefully we'll come to an amicable solution on this one."


Liverpool's International Slavery Museum has said evidence linking Penny Lane to James Penny is "not conclusive".


A spokesperson said the museum is "actively carrying out research on this particular question".


OTTAWA BEATLES SITE EDITORIAL: Paul McCartney never had any racist intentions when he wrote and composed Penny Lane. The people who have vandalized the signage in Liverpool clearly have their historical facts mixed up. As the article notes, a penny toll was established in that area and Paul used his memories to help visualize a song, hence the title "Penny Lane." It proved to be effective because here in Ottawa, on February 24, 1967, the CFRA Hit Parade listed "Penny Lane" as the number 1 song upon its immediate release, nudging out the Rolling Stones "Ruby Tuesday" which fell to second place.



June 16, 2020

The Spiritualism of George Harrison


This is a great folk-rock song from George Harrison released as a single in 1973. George, in his book "I Me Mine" wrote the following about his number 1 hit song: "GIVE ME LOVE. Sometimes you open your mouth and you don't know what you are going to say, and whatever comes out is the starting point. If that happens you are lucky ─ it can usually be turned into a song. This song is prayer and personal statement between me, the Lord, and whoever likes it."




June 13, 2020

Beatles Surprise Disappointment as Peter Jackson's "Let It Be" Documentary Delayed by a Year

by Roger Friedman for Showbiz 411


Disney has announced that Peter Jackson’s “Let it Be” documentary about the Beatles has been delayed by a year. It was supposed to be released on September 4th. Now it’s set for August 2021. If it ever comes out.


What is now also up in the air is a 50th anniversary edition of the “Let it Be” album or any kind of re-release of the original “Let it Be” film. Internet detectives can find the film floating around on the web, but officially it’s out of print.


The Jackson doc was supposed to take Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s original footage and rearrange it to make the Beatles look happier and less at each other’s throats during the making of their penultimate album. As it turned out, after making the album and the film they went on to make their masterpiece, “Abbey Road.” “Let it Be” was issued after “Abbey Road” as the Beatles broke up.


The “Let it Be” film does show the group in a tense moment. Paul McCartney is calling the shots. John Lennon is using Yoko Ono as an ally and shield. George Harrison is trying to be zen, although his facade cracks at one point and he gets a bit put out with Paul. Ringo is just doing his thing, although a highlight moment is the drummer playing a newly written “Octopus’s Garden” for George on the piano.


The Beatles legacy is so Rushmore-ish now that I’m sure there’s internal squabbling among the principals about the tone of the documentary. Frankly, they should just re-release the old movie and be done with it. The reality is that they made “Abbey Road,” broke up, fought in public, made amends, and were friends before Lennon, and then Harrison, died. Everyone loves them, and no opinions will be changed by fans now seeing “Let it Be” in its original form.


The Beatles: UNEARTHED first Abbey Road performance demo sparks £5 million court battle

By George Simpson for the Express


Back in June 1962, The Beatles performed at Abbey Road Studios for the first time. A demo of their performance was recorded by EMI, but the label told their employee – sound engineer Geoff Emerick – to destroy it since it was of poor quality. The footage includes the song Love Me Do and was shot before Ringo Starr joined The Beatles as drummer.


However, Emerick secretly kept a hold of the demo in its original box in his safe at home in Los Angeles.


The sound engineer died aged 72 in 2018 and the piece of Beatles history was unearthed by his estate.


Now a court battle worth millions is set to take place in California on Tuesday between Universal Music Group – who acquired EMI in 2012 – and Emerick’s estate.


A source told The Sun: “It’s an amazing find.”


The insider continued: “It’s been estimated at £5million but could be worth much more.


“Despite wanting it destroyed, Universal all these years later want it back. They know how huge this find is.”


In the dispute, Emerick’s family believe they are entitled to keep the demo due to finder’s law.


However, Universal argues that law doesn’t apply in this instance since Emerick was told to destroy the recording.



June 12, 2020

The highly acclaimed "Flaming Pie" album from Paul McCartney set for special Archive Collection release



On 31st July, Paul’s critically acclaimed and universally beloved tenth solo album Flaming Pie will be the latest to receive the Archive Collection treatment, being released on formats including a 5CD/2DVD/4LP Collector’s Edition, a 5CD/2DVD Deluxe Edition, plus 3LP, 2LP and 2CD editions.


All digital pre-orders for the Archive Collection release of Flaming Pie will include ‘Young Boy’ EP. Also available as a stand alone purchase, the EP recreates the 1997 ‘Young Boy’ maxi single and features the remastered Flaming Pie single ‘Young Boy,’ a home recorded version of the song, the original B-side ‘Looking For You,’ and excerpts of ‘Oobu Joobu Part 1’ also from the original single. The two music videos for the track have been restored and will also be published on the same day.


Two additional EPs will be available for pre-order with 'The World Tonight' arriving on June 26 and 'Beautiful Night' on July 17.


Originally released May 5, 1997, Flaming Pie ended a four-year gap between McCartney studio albums. Recorded largely in the wake of Paul’s involvement in the curation and release of The Beatles Anthology series, Flaming Pie was shaped and inspired by that experience, with Paul remarking at the time “(The Beatles Anthology) reminded me of The Beatles' standards and the standards that we reached with the songs. So in a way it was a refresher course that set the framework for this album.” Produced by Paul, Jeff Lynne and George Martin and featuring a supporting cast of family and friends including Ringo Starr, Steve Miller, Linda McCartney and son James, Flaming Pie is equal parts a masterclass in songcraft and a sustained burst of joyful spontaneity. With highlights ranging from the uplifting and inspirational opener 'The Song We Were Singing' to the raucous title track (named for a quote from an early John Lennon interview on the origin of The Beatles’ name: "It came in a vision – a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them, 'from this day on you are Beatles with an A.’”) to the pensive 'Calico Skies,' and featuring singles 'Young Boy,' 'The World Tonight' and 'Beautiful Night,' Flaming Pie would represent yet another pinnacle in Paul’s solo catalogue: Released to rapturous reviews, the album would be Paul’s most commercially successful release of the ‘90s, achieving his highest chart positions since the ‘80s and would receive gold certifications in the US, UK, Japan and more.


As the thirteenth release in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, Flaming Pie will be available in formats including a numbered, limited seven-disc (5CD/2DVD) Deluxe Edition Box Set comprised of the original album remastered at Abbey Road Studios, 32 bonus audio tracks including unheard home recordings and demos, alternative studio recordings, rough mixes and B-sides including selections from Oobu Joobu parts 1-6, Flaming Pie At The Mill CD (Paul’s hour-long tour of his studio), video content including the In The World Tonight documentary, original music videos, EPKs, interviews, performances and behind-the-scenes material, a 128-page book containing previously unpublished images by Linda McCartney, expanded album artwork from the archives and the story behind the album written by Chris Heath – including track-by-track information, recipes and new interviews with Paul, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Steve Miller and key album personnel, studio notes, handwritten lyrics, the 1997 Flaming Pie issue of Club Sandwich, the official newspaper of the Paul McCartney Fanclub, downloadable 24bit 96kHz HD audio, and more.


A 4LP/5CD/2DVD Collector’s Edition — strictly limited to 3,000 numbered copies issued in a cloth wrapped two-piece collector’s box — will feature everything in the Deluxe Edition plus a marbled art print portfolio of six silkscreened Linda McCartney art prints, exclusive vinyl versions of the remastered album cut at half speed across 2LPs in an exclusive gatefold sleeve, an LP of home recordings in a hand-stamped white label sleeve, and “The Ballad of the Skeletons” – Paul’s 1996 collaboration with Allen Ginsberg, also featuring Philip Glass and Lenny Kaye – released for the first time on vinyl and cut at 45 RPM with vinyl etching and poster.


Additional Flaming Pie Archive Collection formats will include 2CD (remastered album + 21 tracks of bonus audio), 2LP (remastered album cut at half speed across two 180g LPs in gatefold sleeve with booklet), and 3LP (remastered album cut at half speed across two 180g LPs in gatefold sleeve with booklet, plus single 180g LP of unreleased home recordings in hand-stamped white label sleeve both housed in a slipcase). The release will also be available on streaming platforms.


For the complete track listing, please read: Paul McCartney To Release Deluxe Edition of Flaming Pie by Paul Cashmere for the Noise 11 network.



June 5, 2020

Paul McCartney's poignant viewpoints on racism




June 4, 2020

Retro Flashback! The Canadian Brass does an extraordinary cover version of "Penny Lane"



Max Tetsoshvili does an excellent Ukulele cover of Paul McCartney's "Ram On"




May 27, 2020

Retro Flashback! The Beatles release "Please Please Me" single and makes its debut at #16 in "Pop Weekly"

by John Whelan


Ottawa Beatles Site owner Tony Copple once told me how he got hooked on the Beatles. He was at a dance and he heard "Please Please Me" for the very first time. They played "Please Please Me" over and over and over again. He was hooked on the band and their unique rock and roll sound. So, Tony, how did the song do when it was released in your country? If you look at the "Pop Weekly" chart entry, you will discover that the new Beatles single made an impressive entry at #16 in the pop charts on February 9, 1963. "Please Please Me" would eventually go to #1 spot on "Britain's Top Thirty" category in the "Pop Weekly" edition dated March 2, 1963.


Of particular interest in the write-up below under "Classified Advertisements" is the address for the Official Beatles Fan Club that was runned by Fredia Kelly, the clubs President. She was also secretary to Brian Epstein.


Click on the "Pop Weekly" hit parade to see an early photo of the Beatles on the front cover of the magazine... 




May 22, 2020

Paul McCartney leads tributes to ‘funky pixie’ who shaped The Beatles’ image

by Ben Hendry for the Aberdeen Press and Journal


Photo taken by Astrid Kirchherr


The Beatles would not have been the band they were if not for the creative touch of photographer and “funky pixie” Astrid Kirchherr. The German artist helped shape the Fab Four’s distinctive image in their early years and even inspired their signature “mop top” haircuts. Now, following her death at the age of 81, Paul McCartney had led tributes to the “lovely lady” with a “cheeky grin”.


He said: “Very sad news this week about Astrid Kirchherr. Astrid was a dear friend from my Hamburg days with The Beatles.


“Astrid looked unique. She had a short blond haircut and wore a slim black, leather outfit which made her look like a funky pixie.


“Astrid took beautiful photographs of us. She used black and white film and achieved a stunning mood in her pictures that we all loved.


“I have so many fond memories of our time together in the club or her home or a trip to the nearby seaside resort, Lübeck.


“So sad for all of us who were her friends to lose such a lovely lady from our lives. I will miss her but will always remember her and her cheeky grin with great fondness.”


She first photographed the unknown Beatles in 1960 as a 22-year-old, shooting them in leather jackets in her hometown of Hamburg to help form their distinctive image at that time.


The band were a five-piece then and Kirchherr and Stuart Sutcliffe, the group’s original bass guitarist, began a relationship soon after.


Her 1962 portraits of John Lennon and George Harrison influenced the cover of the 1963 album With the Beatles.


And it was Kirchherr who styled the hair-do sported by her then Beatle boyfriend Sutcliffe, which led to the rest of the band adopting it as they set out on world domination.


In 1967 she married Liverpool drummer Gibson Kemp, who worked in the group Paddy, Klaus and Gibson.


They divorced in 1974 and Kirchherr had a short marriage to a German businessman. She stopped taking photographs professionally, for a time working as an interior designer, and later worked for Kemp in his English restaurant in Hamburg.


Kirchherr’s photography of The Beatles was collated into a 2018 book, Astrid Kirchherr with the Beatles.


Related link: An interview with Astrid Kircherr by David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching




May 21, 2020

New book to be published October 29, 2020: "John Lennon 1980 - The Last Days In The Life" by Kenneth Womack

by Best Classic Bands


  The upcoming book release by Kenneth Womack will be available through

John Lennon’s final year, one initially of hope and renewal, yet ultimately of tragedy, is the subject of an upcoming book, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life. The new title, from noted Beatles historian Kenneth Womack, arrives October 29, via Omnibus Press.


The book’s publication date falls a few weeks after what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday, and roughly six weeks before the 40th anniversary of his death.


From the book’s announcement: “Lennon’s final pivotal year would climax in unforgettable moments of creative triumph as he rediscovered his artistic self in dramatic fashion. With the bravura release of the Double Fantasy album with wife Yoko Ono, Lennon was poised and ready for an even brighter future, only to be wrenched from the world by an assassin’s bullets.


“Drawing on new interviews, the book is an informative, engaging and often deeply moving portrayal of the final chapter in Lennon’s remarkable life.”


Womack did a Q&A with Best Classic Bands, in advance of the title’s release.


Is there a lighthearted moment you can share about John in NYC that year? Perhaps a humorous encounter with someone in Central Park?


There are so many wonderful moments to recount about John’s life in New York City during the last few years of his life. He loved walking the streets of his neighborhood and around the park, of course, but he also wanted to preserve his privacy and sense of anonymity. These stories would often take on the same parameters: a smiling Lennon enjoying a stroll in the city, only to be spotted by a particular fan or passerby. John would catch their eye, their glint of recognition at having seen an actual Beatle in the wild. In such tales, John would invariably lift his index finger up to his lips, as if to say, “This is our little secret.” In such moments, the storyteller was happy to see John happily go on his way, unmolested in his adopted hometown.


It’s known that John was recording in secret with Jack Douglas but without a record deal. Can you talk about the reaction from the major labels once word got out that the album was available? (David Geffen was making a big splash with his new label, having just signed Donna Summer and Elton John as well.)


There was definitely a sense of industry buzz around Double Fantasy and the Lennons’ contract status. As Yoko has documented, there was clearly a sense of animosity, with some labels, around the fact that the LP was planned to be a true collaboration, as opposed to a John-only project. Geffen quickly outpaced the herd by cementing his understanding that the record would be a collaboration. Indeed, it was a masterstroke on his part. In retrospect, of course, it was a strange time in the record industry, which was catering to a host of competing genres, including disco, new wave, punk, rock (soon to be known as classic rock), pop, and country crossover. In short order, there was a sort of identity crisis at play during that era, which may explain why they weren’t receiving lucrative, multimillion dollar offers in spite of the public curiosity about John’s bravura return to public life.


We didn’t recall this, but we understand John and Yoko were planning an extensive tour. Do you have any info on that?


John had begun to come around to the notion of a tour during the latter weeks of his life. At one point he remarked, “Sure, I’d like to get up on stage with Yoko and a good band and play these songs and really do ’em, because the band’s hot as shit. They’ve just come off the album and they were all good – we’ve got the good feeling among ourselves. So it would be great. I’m just a little nervous about all that goes on around it. But I think we can probably handle it a bit better this time.” The tour was to be called “One World, One People,” and was slated to include an elaborate stage show, along with performances of early Beatles tunes like “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”


Where were you when you heard that Lennon had been shot and what impact did that have on you?


Like so many folks, I have vivid memories of that time. I was 14 years old when it happened. I remember my father coming upstairs, presumably to tell me the news after having heard it on Monday Night Football. I had gone to bed early that night. My father pushed the door open, but I feigned sleep, as teenagers become well-practiced at doing, because I must not have wanted to be bothered at the time. The next morning, I woke up to see the Houston Post and the awful news splayed out across the front page.


In 2019, Womack published the best-selling Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ album. He is the author or editor of more than 35 books including a two-part series on the life and work of Beatles producer George Martin.



May 19, 2020

Understanding "Hey Bulldog"




May 15, 2020

Astrid Kirchherr, photographer of the Beatles, dead at 81

by Hillel Italie, Ap National Writer


NEW YORK (AP) — Astrid Kirchherr, the German photographer who shot some of the earliest and most striking images of the Beatles and helped shape their trend-setting visual style, has died at age 81.


She died Tuesday in her native Hamburg, days before her 82nd birthday, her friend Kai-Uwe Franz told The Associated Press. Her death was first announced by Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, who tweeted Friday that Kirchherr made an “immeasurable” contribution to the group and was “intelligent, inspirational, innovative, daring, artistic, awake, aware, beautiful, smart, loving and uplifting.” According to the German publication Die Zeit, she died of a “short, serious illness.”


“God bless Astrid a beautiful human being,” Ringo Starr tweeted. George Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison, tweeted that Kirchherr was “so thoughtful and kind and talented, with an eye to capture the soul.”



Kirchherr was a photographer's assistant in Hamburg and part of the local art scene in 1960 when her then-boyfriend Klaus Voormann dropped in at a seedy club, the Kaiserkeller, and found himself mesmerized by a young British rock group: The five raw musicians from Liverpool had recently named themselves the Beatles. As she later recalled, Voormann then spent the next few days convincing Kirchherr to join him, a decision which profoundly changed her.


“It was like a merry-go-round in my head, they looked absolutely astonishing," Kirchherr later told Beatles biographer Bob Spitz. "My whole life changed in a couple of minutes. All I wanted was to be with them and to know them.”


Kirchherr had dreamed of photographing “charismatic” men and found her ideal subjects in the Beatles, especially their bassist at the time, Stuart Sutcliffe, a gifted painter. They quickly fell in love, even though she spoke little English and he knew little German.


“Stuart was a very special person and he was miles ahead of everybody,” she told NPR in 2010. “You know as far as intelligent and artistic feelings are concerned, he was miles ahead. So I learned a lot from him and because in the ’60s we had a very strange attitude towards being young, towards sex, towards everything.”


The Beatles in the early 1960s were nothing like the smiling superstars the world would soon know, and they seemed to have little in common with Kirchherr and her friends, young existentialists dubbed “Exies” by John Lennon. The rock group favored black leather and greased back hair and gave wild, marathon performances. The James Dean lookalike Pete Best was the Beatles’ drummer, and Paul McCartney was playing guitar, along with Lennon and George Harrison. (Best was replaced in 1962 by Ringo Starr, and McCartney moved over to bass when Sutcliffe left and became engaged to Kirchherr).


Kirchherr was liked and trusted by all of them, and her photographs captured a group still more interested in looking cool and “tough” than in being lovable. She took indelible black and white portraits, including John, Paul and George in leather and cowboy boots on a rooftop; all five with their instruments on an abandoned truck; and a moody closeup of John in an open fairground with Sutcliffe looming like a ghost in back. Self-portraits captured Kirchherr's own distinctive looks — her high cheekbones and closely cut blonde hair.


“Absolutely stunned to hear the news of Astrid passing,” Best tweeted Friday. “God bless you love. We shared some wonderful memories and the most amazing fun times.”


Kirchherr had an indirect influence on the Beatles' transformation. The collarless jackets the Beatles favored in the early days of Beatlemania were inspired by Kirchherr's wardrobe; Sutcliffe, who was around the same height as she, had begun wearing her collarless tops. Meanwhile, Voormann had been so self-conscious about his large ears that he grew his hair longer to cover them. Kirchherr loved his new style, what became the Beatles “mop top” — hair brushed forward, without gel, a look favored by other young German artists — and Sutcliffe soon wore his hair that way. The others, after some resistance, followed along.


Her love affair with Sutcliffe was tragically brief. Sutcliffe collapsed and died of a cerebral hemorrhage in April 1962, at age 21. Kirchherr later married twice, including to the British drummer Gibson Kemp. Both marriages ended in divorce, and she would long say that she never got over Sutcliffe's death.


“He was, and still is, the love of my life," she told NPR in 2010. "I never, ever — and I was married a couple of times — met another man who was so fascinating, so beautiful, and so soft and well-mannered. You name it and that he was, and such a gifted artist.”


Over the decades following Sutcliffe's death, Kirchherr worked as a freelance photographer and an interior designer among other jobs, and in recent years helped run a photography shop in Hamburg. She and Voormann remained close to the other Beatles. Voormann designed the cover of their “Revolver” album and played bass on many of their solo projects. Kirchherr's Beatles photographs have been exhibited around the world, including at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. In the 1994 movie “Backbeat,” for which she served as a consultant, Kirchherr was played by Sheryl Lee and Sutcliffe by Stephen Dorff.


“Stephen is so much like Stuart it’s spooky,” she told The Washington Post in 1994. “Stephen has the same intensity when he talks to people. And he’s a very, very intelligent, very charming, very sexy boy. All the things I remembered Stuart had, Stephen has as well.”



May 9, 10, 12, 2020

Little Richard, Flamboyant Wild Man of Rock ’n’ Roll, Dies at 87  

by Tim Weiner of the New York Times


Richard Penniman, better known as Little Richard, who combined the sacred shouts of the black church and the profane sounds of the blues to create some of the world’s first and most influential rock ’n’ roll records, died on Saturday in Tullahoma, Tenn. He was 87.


His lawyer, Bill Sobel, said the cause was bone cancer.


Little Richard did not invent rock ’n’ roll. Other musicians had already been mining a similar vein by the time he recorded his first hit, “Tutti Frutti” — a raucous song about sex, its lyrics cleaned up but its meaning hard to miss — in a New Orleans recording studio in September 1955. Chuck Berry and Fats Domino had reached the pop Top 10, Bo Diddley had topped the rhythm-and-blues charts, and Elvis Presley had been making records for a year.


But Little Richard, delving deeply into the wellsprings of gospel music and the blues, pounding the piano furiously and screaming as if for his very life, raised the energy level several notches and created something not quite like any music that had been heard before — something new, thrilling and more than a little dangerous. As the rock historian Richie Unterberger put it, “He was crucial in upping the voltage from high-powered R&B into the similar, yet different, guise of rock ’n’ roll.”


Art Rupe of Specialty Records, the label for which he recorded his biggest hits, called Little Richard “dynamic, completely uninhibited, unpredictable, wild.”


“Tutti Frutti” rocketed up the charts and was quickly followed by “Long Tall Sally” and other records now acknowledged as classics. His live performances were electrifying.


“He’d just burst onto the stage from anywhere, and you wouldn’t be able to hear anything but the roar of the audience,” the record producer and arranger H.B. Barnum, who played saxophone with Little Richard early in his career, recalled in “The Life and Times of Little Richard” (1984), an authorized biography by Charles White. “He’d be on the stage, he’d be off the stage, he’d be jumping and yelling, screaming, whipping the audience on.”


Click here for the full report with an early photo of Little Richard on stage surrounded by his fans.



Official reaction from Paul and Ringo on their Facebook pages:


'From 'Tutti Frutti' to 'Long Tall Sally' to 'Good Golly, Miss Molly' to 'Lucille', Little Richard came screaming into my life when I was a teenager. I owe a lot of what I do to Little Richard and his style; and he knew it. He would say, "I taught Paul everything he knows". I had to admit he was right.


'In the early days of The Beatles we played with Richard in Hamburg and got to know him. He would let us hang out in his dressing room and we were witness to his pre-show rituals, with his head under a towel over a bowl of steaming hot water he would suddenly lift his head up to the mirror and say, "I can’t help it cos I’m so beautiful". And he was.


'A great man with a lovely sense of humour and someone who will be missed by the rock and roll community and many more. I thank him for all he taught me and the kindness he showed by letting me be his friend. Goodbye Richard and a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop.'


- Paul McCartney


'God bless little Richard one of my all-time musical heroes. Peace and love to all his family.'


- Ringo Starr


Some recollections from John Lennon and Little Richard:


John: Little Richard was one of the all-time greats. The first time I heard him a friend of mine had been to Holland and brought back a 78 with ‘Long Tall Sally’ on one side, and ‘Slippin’ And Slidin’’ on the other. It blew our heads – we’d never heard anybody sing like that in our lives, and all those saxes playing like crazy. The most exciting thing about early Little Richard was when he screamed just before the solo. It used to make your hair stand on end when he did that long, long scream into the solo.


We used to stand backstage at Hamburg’s Star Club and watch Little Richard play. He used to read from the Bible backstage and just to hear him talk, we’d sit round and listen. It was Brian Epstein that brought him to Hamburg. I still love him and he’s one of the greatest.


Little Richard: They'd come to my dressing room and eat there every night. They hadn't any money so I paid for their food. I used to buy steaks for John. Paul would come in, sit down and just look at me. He wouldn't move his eyes. And he'd say 'Oh Richard! You're my idol. Just let me touch you.' He wanted to learn my little holler, so we sat at the piano going, 'Oooh!' until he got it.


John: When we arrived in the U.S. in 1964, we had a total of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Little Richard as musical idols. There is not one white group on earth that hasn't got their music in them. And that's all I ever listened to. The only white I ever listened to was Presley on his early music records and he was doing black music. ⁣

People have been trying to stamp out rock’n’roll since it started. It was mainly parents who were against rock’n’roll. The words had a lot of double entendre in the early days. They cleaned it up for the white audience, a lot of it. That black stuff was very sexual. They made Little Richard re-record ‘Tutti Frutti’. Whatever was going on, they had to clean up a lot of words.⁣




May 7, 2020

Let It Be 50th Anniversary  

A 50-year look back with Ken Mansfield


Elmore writer Bob Girouard had a chat with music executive, producer and author Ken Mansfield about the legendary “rooftop concert,” the Beatles’ unannounced and final performance, held a half century ago. Here’s his report:


During the 1960s, no town swung harder than London, England. The City of Light and The Big Apple don’t sound exciting, but the UK’s capital earned the nickname “Swinging London” for good reason, and became the epicenter of everything cultural, political, artistic and fashionable. From a musical standpoint, four mavericks from Liverpool calling themselves The Beatles were at the core of it all.


No pop phenomenon has ever captured the hearts and minds of the public to such a degree, before or since. Whether it be “Love Me Do,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” Nehru jackets, Beatle boots, Beatle haircuts, Transcendental Meditation, or “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band,” every song they sang, everything they said, and every move they made was considered a trend, and the world surrounding them was deliriously happy to follow. In music, they spearheaded a pivotal movement dubbed “the British invasion.”


Toward the end of the decade, at the height of their popularity, the band grew restless and endeavored to pursue individual interests. Enter Apple Corps. An umbrella experiment long on free-form philosophy but short on operating capital, it ended up a dismal failure. With John, Paul, George and Ringo’s differences now aired publicly, a young 27-year old American executive named Ken Mansfield was brought over to the UK (by the parent company, Capitol Records) from Los Angeles as Apple’s U.S. Manager of Operations. Unfortunately, the band’s wounds were too deep to mend, and after a final performance on the rooftop of the Apple Building on January 30, 1969, a decision was made to say “So long” with a project encompassing both a recording and feature film called Let it Be. The following is Mansfield’s recollection of the projects between May 8th and 13th, 1970.


“If there was a catalyst to the Let It Be project it was Paul McCartney. It seemed to me, at the time no matter what I was involved with it was something that Paul had instigated or communicated. In a way, some people considered John Lennon the leader because of the way he contributed, but Paul was the hands-on guy; like someone who comes to the office every day and rolls his sleeves up, ready to work. It was a really confusing time. Beginning with the White Album, George Harrison had told me that the band had taken on way more than they could handle. I remember that very shortly after re-mixing the White Album they started Let It Be, which was part of a trilogy (first the White Album, Let It Be, then followed by Abbey Road). The Let it Be album kept having different versions before it became officially released. Engineer Glen Johns’ initial mix didn’t fly, then he did another version which led to some bootlegs coming out, followed by Phil Spector’s (in my estimation) over-produced version. There was so much going on it was just crazy.


“In my opinion, Yoko Ono didn’t break up the Beatles. She may have complicated things, but at that time and after so much success they were all going in different directions. It was time, and was the natural evolution of what a band does. The film was released just a few days after. When they started filming, they were at Twickenham Studios, and while they were recording at Abbey Road, film cameras were running the whole time. With the advent of re-releasing Let It Be, the movie, I feel that producer/director Peter Jackson is the right guy to capture the band’s full scope. Michael-Lindsay Hogg’s original was creative but also very dark. Jackson’s approach is supposedly lighter, and given new technology I think the public will get a fresh view of the Fab Four and see them in a whole new light.


“In hindsight, when I was at Apple, I never saw the bad times, the supposed fights and bickering, etc. Some thirty years later, I was having dinner with Ringo and said to him: “I always felt like you guys were trying impress me because of my position.” To which he replied (tongue ‘n cheek): “Yeah Ken, in ’68 we didn’t have anything to do…we would just sit around and think of ways to impress you!”


—Bob Girouard


The LP was released May 8, 1970, the motion picture on May 13, 1970


Ken Mansfield is the former U.S. Manager of Apple Records, a ranking executive for several record labels, the author of seven books, including The Roof (The Beatles final concert), songwriter and a Grammy- and Dove Award-winning album producer.



May 4, 2020

Macca and Ringo: Unheard demo by former Beatles up for auction

By Paul Glynn for the BBC News


An unheard track by former Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr is to be sold at auction.


Angel In Disguise is one of only a couple of songs co-written exclusively by the remaining members of the Fab Four.


The pair recorded the demo for Sir Ringo's 1992 solo album Time Takes Time, but it did not make the LP.


The cassette is now being sold by former Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince and is expected to fetch up to £20,000.


A quarter of the profits will be donated to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, while the rest will go to Prince's United DJs radio station project.



Two versions of the track appear on the tape; a rough demo with Sir Paul singing, and a more fleshed out take with the drummer on lead vocals, with additional instruments and backing vocals.


The sheet music, which appears to only credit McCartney as the writer, shows the lyrics include: "My name is Ritchie / Let me look into your eyes / Don't be afraid I'm just an angel in disguise".


A demo of another Sir Ringo track, called Everyone Wins, also appears on the cassette, which will go under the hammer at Omega Auctions' online sale on 19 May, alongside other memorabilia.

Click here to read the full unabridged article by Paul Glynn for the BBC news.



May 1, 2020

Retro flashback: Paul McCartney performing 'The Night Before' at the Royal Albert Hall in 2012




April 26, 2020

Mick Jagger Offered His Take on the Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones Debate

As reported by Gabrielle Bruney for Esquire


When Paul McCartney weighed in on the eternal debate over whether the Beatles or the Rolling Stones are the superior band, you knew it was only a matter of time before Mick Jagger or Keith Richards fielded the exact same question. And now, in an interview with Zane Lowe, Jagger weighed in on the classic rock debate.


Jagger called McCartney a "sweetheart," and declared that "there's there’s obviously no competition" between the bands. Still, he was willing to share his thoughts on the differences between the two acts.


"The big difference, though, is, and sort of slightly seriously, is that the Rolling Stones is a big concert band in other decades and other areas, when the Beatles never even did an arena tour, or Madison Square Garden with a decent sound system," said Jagger. "They broke up before that business started, the touring business for real."


McCartney sparked the friendly and just slightly shady beef during an interview with Howard Stern last week, during which he gave a pretty unsurprising answer when asked whether the Beatles or the Stones were the better band. "They are rooted in the blues. When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues," said McCartney. "We had a little more influences… There’s a lot of differences and I love the Stones, but I’m with you. The Beatles were better."


"We started to notice that whatever we did, the Stones sort of did it shortly thereafter," he added.


But to Jagger, the Stones' legacy as an arena act is what separates the two groups. "That business started in 1969, and the Beatles never experienced that," he told Lowe. "That's the real big difference between these two bands. One band is, unbelievably luckily, still playing in stadiums, and then the other band doesn't exist."



April 25, 2020

The Beatles streamed 'Yellow Submarine' and hosted a sing-a-long watch party, and people loved it

As reported by Alaa Elassar, CNN


Even during a global pandemic, the Beatles found a way for people to come together.


The legendary British band streamed their animated 1968 movie "The Beatles: Yellow Submarine" on Saturday and hosted a sing-along watch party on their official YouTube channel.


More than 70,000 people from all over the world tuned in for the "celebration of love and music," a one-time-only special event that couldn't have come at a better time.


Fans from all walks of life joined in the fun, including some health care workers.

"Watching from work! Definitely singing under this," a nurse tweeted along with a photo of her in a face mask.


One lucky child got the "Yellow Submarine" birthday party of his dreams.


"He's requested a Yellow Submarine themed birthday this weekend, so today's #YellowSubLive couldn't have come at a better time," Jordan Beck said on Twitter.


The event was a sing-a-long in the truest sense, with fans belting out the tunes.


"We didn't get lost with my children," a family in Chile tweeted with a video of them singing. "#YellowSubLive it was great."


Fans were encouraged to dress for the occasion and many obliged.


"Dressed as Paul for the #YellowSubLive," Twitter user Thais tweeted, including a photo of her best Paul McCartney attire.


"Wearing these socks and nothing else...," another person said on Twitter, along with "Yellow Submarine" socks.



April 24, 2020

Did litigation kill the Beatles?


"As the most successful band in history, the Beatles generated not only a record number of music hits but probably more legal disputes than any other music group before or since. As the first international rock band brand in a still nascent music business – and guided by a neophyte personal manager – the Beatles became entangled in a distracting series of legal problems nearly from the start of their career," writes entertainment lawyer Stan Soocher for ABAJournal.



Click on the above collage photo to read Stan Soocher's excellent in-depth report.



April 22, 2020

 ‘Stay one Beatles apart’: Tips to measure proper social distance


Natsuki Edogawa for The Asahi Shimbun writes:


"Pandaid, a website that provides information and tips on surviving the COVID-19 pandemic, has made several illustrative PDFs available for download on how to measure the safe distance.


"One of them is titled, “Let’s stay one Beatles apart,” featuring the front cover of the British band’s Abbey Road.


"The cover shows John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison walking on a London zebra crossing. The Pandaid graphic notes that the distance from Lennon to Harrison is about 2 meters."


Paul McCartney performs "Lady Madonna" during One World: Together At Home on April 18


"A lineup of stars participated in Saturday’s One World: Together at Home, a live, global televised and streamed special in support of the heroic efforts of health workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic," writes the Best Classic Bands website. "The list was led by such legends as Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, as well as pop stars Taylor Swift, Lizzo and Jennifer Lopez. Television networks in the U.S. and around the world aired the special on Saturday, April 18 (8-10 p.m., ET)."




April 21, 2020

Ringo Starr Promises ‘A Big Surprise’ of Some Sort on the Beatles’ YouTube Page This Weekend 4/25

As reported by Rock Cellar Magazine


If you find yourself on the internet this coming Saturday morning (April 25), you might want to tune in to the official Beatles channel on YouTube. We’re not sure why, exactly, but Ringo Starr said something intriguing (and about a billion colorful emojis) in an Instagram post on Tuesday:


"Peace and love I am just giving you all a heads up if you tune in to the Beatles YouTube channel on Saturday the 25th at 9 AM Pacific 12 noon Eastern you are in for a big surprise and fun and peace and love."



April 16, 2020

Groovy flashback: John Lennon sings and performs his beautiful "Hold On"



From Wikipedia:


"Hold On" is a song from the album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon. It features only vocals, tremolo guitar, drums, and bass guitar, typical of the sparse arrangements Lennon favoured at the time. On the 2000 reissue of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, "Hold On" features a slightly longer introduction. The original version was restored on the 2010 reissue.


Described as "the most upbeat song on [Plastic Ono Band]", the song's theme is emotional fragility, as the lyrics state that when you're alone in the world you just have to "hold on." Lennon tries to assure himself that he and wife Yoko Ono have the strength to overcome their challenges, and if he holds on, "it's gonna be all right" and "we're gonna win the fight." Lennon explicitly namechecks himself and Yoko Ono, but author Andrew Jackson does not believe that this detracts from the universality of the message. Indeed, towards the end of the song Lennon expands the subject to encompass the whole world, singing that peace will be achievable when everyone will "see the light" and realize that we are all "one."


Musically, Lennon plays his guitar gently, applying tremolo, in an effect that Jackson states matches "the soothing reassurance of the lyrics." Recorded at EMI Studios on 30 September 1970, Lennon took 32 takes experimenting with different approaches before hitting on this one. However, music critics Wilfrid Mellers and Johnny Rogan state that other elements of the music create some tension with the reassuring message. These elements include Ringo Starr's "jittery" drumming, with many silences, and the fragmented vocal melody, which break up the sentences of the lyrics. In the middle of the song, Lennon mutters the word "cookie", imitating the Cookie Monster from the US children's television show Sesame Street.


Lennon has explained the song as follows:


I'm saying 'hold on John' because I don't want to die ... I don't want to be hurt and please don't hit me ... Hold on now, we might have a cup of tea, we might get a moment's happiness any minute now. So that's what it's about, just moment by moment. That's how we're living now, but really living like that and cherishing each day, and dreading it too. It might be your last.


Jeff Beck, Johnny Depp Release Cover of John Lennon Track “Isolation”

Official Press Release


Legendary guitarist and two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Beck, one of the great collaborators in music history, has once-again found an unexpected co-conspirator in Johnny Depp. The musical soulmates have been working behind-the-scenes for the past few several years on new music and have released their first single as a duo today, a re-imagining of John Lennon’s classic track “Isolation,” which is available now on all streaming and digital download services from Atco/Rhino Records.


“Isolation” finds Beck in classic form on guitar with Depp on vocals, joined by long-time Beck collaborators Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and Rhonda Smith on bass.  The band first performed the track live at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival last September in Texas.


“Johnny and I have been working on music together for a while now and we recorded this track during our time in the studio last year. We weren’t expecting to release it so soon but given all the hard days and true ‘isolation’ that people are going through in these challenging times, we decided now might be the right time to let you all hear it,” says Beck. “You’ll be hearing more from Johnny and me in a little while but until then we hope you find some comfort and solidarity in our take on this Lennon classic.”


Johnny Depp adds, “Jeff Beck and I recorded this song Isolation last year, as our take on a beautiful John Lennon tune.  Lennon’s poetry – ‘We’re afraid of everyone. Afraid of the Sun!’ – seemed to Jeff and me especially profound right now, this song about isolation, fear, and existential risks to our world. So we wanted to give it to you, and hope it helps you make sense of the moment or just helps you pass the time as we endure isolation together.”


Beck is universally acknowledged as one of the most talented and significant guitarists in the world and has played alongside some of the greatest artists of rock, blues, and jazz. Over the course of his distinguished 50+ music career, he has earned an incredible eight Grammy Awards, been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” and been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice – once as a member of the Yardbirds and again as a solo artist. In the summer of 2016, the guitar virtuoso celebrated his five decades of music with an extraordinary concert at the famous Hollywood Bowl. 


Depp has amassed quite the musical resume of his own, playing in the Hollywood Vampires supergroup with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry for the last five years. He’s also collaborated with a wide variety of musical artists over the last several decades from Oasis to Marilyn Manson to Stone Temple Pilots, just to name a few. 


Paul McCartney's "Hey Jude" manuscript sold at auction for £731,000 ($910,000)



The handwritten lyrics of "Hey Jude" by Paul McCartney sold at Julien's Auctions for £731,000 ($910,000). "The anonymous buyer purchased the item for almost six times more than the £128,000 estimate," writes BBC news.


"McCartney used the lyrics during the recording at Trident Studios, London, in July 1968 and later gifted them to a studio engineer," writes Julien's Auctions. It went on to say that: "The non-album single was The Beatles’ first release on their Apple record label and a highly successful debut. It went on to be nominated for the GRAMMY Awards of 1969 in the categories of Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.  Accompanied by the sheet music for the song."



April 4, 2020

George Harrison's "The Material World Foundation" donates $500,000 to the MusicCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, Save the Children, and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) charities


Performer: Mick Fleetwood


The Material World Foundation, created by George Harrison in 1973, is donating $500,000 to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, Save the Children, and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) charities, which are providing much needed aid and care during this COVID-19 pandemic.


“Without going out of my door, I can know all things on earth.

Without looking out of my window, I can know the ways of heaven.”


Olivia Harrison said, "These lyrics sung by George are a positive reminder to all of us who are isolating, in quarantine or respecting the request to shelter in place. Let’s get and stay connected at this difficult time.  There are things we can do to help and we invite you to share your Inner Light.”




Material World Foundation will donate another $1 (up to $100,000) for every one of you who shares their own "Inner Light" moment on social media using the hashtag #innerlight2020


This can be a verse, a chorus or a line from the song. Sing it, play it, hum it, strum it, paint it, knit it, chant it, plant it, pray or meditate and post it to social media. 


Remember to hashtag #innerlight2020


Performer: Anoushka Shankar


The Inner Light - by George Harrison


Without going out of my door
I can know all things on earth
Without looking out of my window
I can know the ways of heaven
The farther one travels
The less one knows
The less one really knows


Without going out of your door
You can know all things on earth
Without looking out of your window
You can know the ways of heaven
The farther one travels
The less one knows
The less one really knows


Arrive without traveling
See all without looking
Do all without doing





April 1, 2020

Ringo Starr reschedules 2020 North American tour dates

by Jon Stickler for


Photo credit: Scott Robert Ritchie


The Beatles legend has postponed his spring shows until May and June 2021, citing health and safety concerns due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Confirming the news, he said in a statement: "This is very difficult for me, in 30 years I think I've only missed two or three gigs never mind a whole tour. But this is how things are for all of us now, I have to stay in just like you have to stay in, and we all know it’s the peace and loving thing we do for each other. 


"So we have moved the spring tour to 2021. My fans know I love them, and I love to play for them and I can’t wait to see you all as soon as possible. In the meantime stay safe. Peace and Love to you all."


The line up for Starr's accompanying All Starr Band remains intact for the rearranged dates, with Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette and Hamish Stuart all set to back the drummer. Tickets purchased for the original shows will be honored at the 2021 gigs.


TBA – Rama, ON @ Casino Rama

TBA – Rama, ON @ Casino Rama

June 1, 2021 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Paramount Theatre

June 3, 2021 – Boston, MA @ Boch Center Wang Theatre

June 5, 2021 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of NH Pavilion

June 7, 2021 – Easton, PA @ State Theatre

June 8, 2021 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theater

June 9, 2021 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theater

June 11, 2021 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theater

June 12, 2021 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre

June 13, 2021 – Providence, RI @ Providence Performing Arts Center

June 15, 2021 – Baltimore, MD @ Modell Lyric Theatre

June 16, 2021 – Baltimore, MD @ Modell Lyric Theatre

June 18, 2021 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena

June 19, 2021 – Lenox, MA @ Tanglewood

June 20, 2021 – Philadelphia, PA @ Metropolitan Opera House

June 22, 2021 – Atlanta, GA @ Cobb Energy Centre

June 23, 2021 – Atlanta, GA @ Cobb Energy Centre

June 25, 2021 – St. Augustine, FL @ St Augustine Amphitheatre

June 26, 2021 – Hollywood, FL @ Hard Rock Casino

June 27, 2021 – Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall


OBS footnote: Ringo's new tour dates were culled directly from



March 26, 2020

Flashback: Levon Helm Sings ‘Up on Cripple Creek’ With Ringo’s All Starr Band

In 1989, Ringo Starr toured with two members of the Band, two members of the E Street Band, Joe Walsh, and several other icons

by Andy Greene for Rolling Stone magazine



A 2019 video of Robbie Robertson playing “The Weight” with Ringo Starr and musicians from all over the world went viral again this week for reasons that aren’t quite clear, but maybe people isolated in their homes just needed something uplifting to watch. “This started circulating on Twitter again a couple days ago,” Robertson wrote on Facebook on Monday. “Hopefully it can bring the FB community a bit of joy in these difficult times. Blessings to all.”


It wasn’t the first time that Ringo had performed a Band classic with a surviving member of the group. That happened in the summer of 1989 when he hit the road with the first edition of his All Starr Band. It was an amazing lineup of musicians that included Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Clarence Clemons, Dr. John, Billy Preston, Joe Walsh, and Nils Lofgren.


They had a huge arsenal of hits between them all, and one of the nightly highlights came midway through show when Levon Helm led them all through “Up on Cripple Creek.” Here’s video from one of the shows that summer where they were joined by the Band’s Garth Hudson on accordion. If you’re keeping track, that’s three-fifths of the Band playing with two-sixths of the E Street Band, and individual members of the Beatles and the Eagles along with two of the great piano players in rock history.


Sadly, the vast majority of that All Starr Band is no longer among the living. That became quite clear last summer when Ringo invited all of the All Starr alumni to a 30th-anniversary show and Lofgren and Walsh were the only ones left.


Presuming the tour isn’t postponed by the coronavirus, Ringo and his current iteration of the All Starr Band are hitting the road in June. There are no Eagles or E Streeters or members of the Band this time, but they do have Toto’s Steve Lukather, Santana’s Gregg Rolie, Men at Work’s Colin Hay, and Hamish Stewart of the Average White Band. That means you get to hear “Africa” and “Down Under” in the same show along with “Black Magic Woman,” “Pick Up the Pieces,” and “Yellow Submarine.” That may not be quite as impressive a show as it was back in 1989, but it’s still a ton of fun.



March 25, 2020


Stay in bed! Grow your hair!

#StaySafeStayHome #BedPeace #CoronavirusLockdown

John Lennon & Yoko Ono at the Amsterdam Bed-In
Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam #onthisday 25 March 1969




March 17, 2020

Listen to The Beatles distorted isolated guitar on John Lennon's 'Revolution'

by Jack Whatley for Far Out


The Beatles sound is so intrinsically linked with pop music it can be easy to forget that they were capable of turning it up to eleven if they needed to. While songs like ‘Helter Skelter’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ are full of guts, nothing rang the rock and roll bell just like ‘Revolution’.


The B-side to Paul McCartney’s ‘Hey Jude’, it was a John Lennon number that put the band at the fulcrum of rock once more and tore through the airwaves at parties all over the country. Here, we’re taking a look at the guitar that turns the song into a fuzz-filled spike of rock and roll steel.


The song remains a notable fuzzy mark on an otherwise glistening CV of expertly crafted studio songs. It sees The Beatles take on a brand new sound and kick the distortion up a few notches for the Lennon-penned track.


At the time of the recording, distortion was being heartedly used across studios to provide a blistering edge to rock and roll records—but when The Beatles grab a hold of the idea for this song, they add a few spices to the heady concoction.


Geoff Emerick told Guitar World that Lennon had been attempting to create distortion by cranking up his amp during sessions for the slower version of the song known as ‘Revolution 1.’ That cut was recorded in May and June with Emerick achieving the sound by overloading the preamp on Lennon’s guitar mic. It was not enough, “No, no, I want that guitar to sound dirtier!” Lennon told the engineer.


Emerick was keen to get it right and by July he had set up a way of moving Harrison and Lennon’s guitar directly into the mixing console. Using direct boxes to do meant overloading the input preamp causing the sound to distort even further. “I remember walking into the control room when they were cutting that,” recalls Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott to GW “and there was John, Paul and George, all in the control room, all plugged in—just playing straight through the board. All of the guitar distortion was gotten just by overloading the mic amps in the desk.”


As Emerick says in his 2006 memoir Here, There and Everywhere, it was a move that put studio equipment in jeopardy: “I couldn’t help but think: If I was the studio manager and saw this going on, I’d fire myself.” It was also a move that would again mark The Beatles as one of the most progressive bands in the business.


While George Harrison’s lead guitar duties have always been well received by those in the know, John Lennon’s rhythm guitar takes centre stage on this track. Fuzzed up and ready to roll, the powerful riff is untethered and let loose upon the audience.


Below you can listen to the barbed distortion of Lennon and Harrison’s guitar on The Beatles ‘Revolution’ as they deliver one of their standout guitar sounds.




March 11, 2020

Official Disney Press Release:

The Walt Disney Studios to Release Documentary 'The Beatles: Get Back' from Acclaimed Filmmaker Peter Jackson on September 4, 2020


Photography: Linda McCartney via the Paul McCartney archives.


Today, during The Walt Disney Company’s annual meeting of shareholders, Executive Chairman Bob Iger announced that The Walt Disney Studios has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson’s previously announced Beatles documentary, The Beatles: Get Back. The film will showcase the warmth, camaraderie and humor of the making of the legendary band’s studio album, Let It Be, and their final live concert as a group, the iconic rooftop performance on London’s Savile Row. The Beatles: Get Back will be released by The Walt Disney Studios in the United States and Canada on September 4, 2020, with additional details and dates for the film’s global release to follow.


“No band has had the kind of impact on the world that The Beatles have had, and The Beatles: Get Back is a front-row seat to the inner workings of these genius creators at a seminal moment in music history, with spectacularly restored footage that looks like it was shot yesterday,” says Iger of the announcement. “I’m a huge fan myself, so I could not be happier that Disney is able to share Peter Jackson’s stunning documentary with global audiences in September.”


The footage has been brilliantly restored by Park Road Post Production of Wellington, New Zealand, and is being edited by Jabez Olssen, who collaborated with Jackson on 2018’s They Shall Not Grow Old, the groundbreaking film which featured restored and colorized World War I archival footage. The music in the film will be mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios in London. With this pristine restoration behind it, The Beatles: Get Back will create a vivid, joyful and immersive experience for audiences.


Peter Jackson says, “Working on this project has been a joyous discovery. I’ve been privileged to be a fly on the wall while the greatest band of all time works, plays and creates masterpieces. I’m thrilled that Disney have stepped up as our distributor. There’s no one better to have our movie seen by the greatest number of people.”


Paul McCartney says, “I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together. The friendship and love between us comes over and reminds me of what a crazily beautiful time we had.”


Ringo Starr says, “I’m really looking forward to this film. Peter is great and it was so cool looking at all this footage. There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out. There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that. I think this version will be a lot more peace and loving, like we really were.”


The Beatles: Get Back is also being made with the enthusiastic support of Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.


Although the original Let It Be film, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, and the accompanying album were filmed and recorded in January 1969, they were not released until May 1970, three weeks after The Beatles had officially broken up. The response to the film at the time by audiences and critics alike was strongly associated with that announcement. During the 15-month gap between the filming of Let It Be and its launch, The Beatles recorded and released their final studio album, Abbey Road, which came out in September 1969.


Shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm, the 80-minute Let It Be movie was built around the three weeks of filming, including an edited version of the rooftop concert. The GRAMMY®-winning Let It Be album topped the charts in the U.S. and the U.K.


The new documentary brings to light much more of the band’s intimate recording sessions for Let It Be and their entire 42-minute performance on the rooftop of Apple’s Savile Row London office. While there is no shortage of material of The Beatles’ extensive touring earlier in their careers, The Beatles: Get Back features the only notable footage of the band at work in the studio, capturing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they create their now-classic songs from scratch, laughing, bantering and playing to the camera.


Shot on January 30, 1969, The Beatles’ surprise rooftop concert marked the band’s first live performance in over two years and their final live set together. The footage captures interactions between the band members, reactions from fans and employees from nearby businesses, and comical attempts to stop the concert by two young London policemen responding to noise complaints.


A fully restored version of the original Let It Be film will be made available at a later date.


Related news links:


A quote from Variety: "Variety viewed a top-secret trailer of “Get Back” earlier this year, and it’s practically a different world: It’s brighter both visually and spiritually, with many, many shots of the Beatles joking around, making fun of each other, singing in silly accents and generally indulging in vintage Moptop hijinks. It also includes additional footage from the group’s legendary 42-minute “rooftop performance” that caps the “Let It Be” film, which was their last live performance."


Video From Sirius XM:




March 6, 2020

50 Years Ago: Beatles Release One of Many Versions of "Let It Be"

by Nick Deriso for Ultimate Classic Rock



The Beatles didn't seem capable of letting one of their final singles be.


They recorded multiple versions of "Let It Be" in late January 1969 at Twickenham Studios for use in a documentary film also called Let It Be. They then re-recorded Paul McCartney's song on Jan. 31 at Apple Studios in an attempt to get a final take.


George Harrison added a guitar solo, recorded through a rotating Leslie speaker, on April 30, 1969, and that version ended up pressed for release as a George Martin-produced single on March 6 – of the following year. By 1970, McCartney had returned to add still more elements to the song (while also recording over an original turn on bass by John Lennon), and Harrison added an entirely different solo.

Really, the whole project took a long and winding road. Engineer Glyn Johns produced a pair of Let It Be album acetates with different sequencing for the Beatles to decide upon. Both were rejected. By early 1970, Lennon had given the tapes to second producer Phil Spector, who'd recently produced Lennon's "Instant Karma" single. That was just weeks before the accompanying Let It Be film was set to premiere.


The title track included on the Let It Be album ended up with still more contributions from Spector. "About 18 months later, after the band had split up, John decided he was going to take the tapes and give them to Phil Spector and make an album for the tapes that I had recorded – which was basically all rehearsal tapes," Johns later told Yahoo! "Phil Spector turned it into this sugary, syrupy piece of shit with strings and choirs all over it."

Johns admitted to Rolling Stone that he preferred his own more bare-bones mix of the song, before "Spector puked all over it." In the end, Spector seemed to know what he was up against: "If it's shitty, I'm going to get blamed for it," he noted. "If it's a success, it's the Beatles."


Appropriately enough, "Let It Be" was the last track recorded for the project. Inspired by Aretha Franklin, McCartney began writing the song at the end of the album sessions. Late into January 1969, he still lacked a third verse. The full-group version of "Let It Be" taped on Jan. 31 was the last take on the last day of sessions at Apple. By then, the Beatles had ran through more than 300 different songs – not including unformed jams.


"Let It Be" was also the final song released by the Beatles before their dissolution was made official. The next single from their final-released album, "The Long and Winding Road," arrived two months later.

From the first, "Let It Be" was misunderstood as a religious statement, given McCartney's early reference to "Mother Mary." But he was alluding to his own mom rather than the virgin mother of Christian tradition. Mary McCartney died when Paul was just a teen, and he would often sense her comforting presence during moments of crisis.

These painful childhood memories led McCartney to focus more intently on music; they also provided a foundation for his friendship with Lennon, who lost his own mother in a traffic accident. "That became a very big bond between John and me," McCartney said in the Beatles' Anthology documentary. "We both had this emotional turmoil which we had to deal with, and, being teenagers, we had to deal with it very quickly."


With everything else that was going on, McCartney admitted to leaning on drugs as an emotional crutch.


"I was going through a really difficult time around the autumn of 1968," McCartney recalled in Marlo Thomas' book The Right Words at the Right Time. "It was late in the Beatles' career and we had begun making a new album, a follow-up to the White Album. As a group, we were starting to have problems. I think I was sensing the Beatles were breaking up, so I was staying up late at night, drinking, doing drugs, clubbing, the way a lot of people were at the time. I was really living and playing hard."


At this point, McCartney's mother, a victim of breast cancer, had been dead for 10 years.


"It was so great to see her because that's a wonderful thing about dreams: You actually are reunited with that person for a second," McCartney told Barry Miles in Many Years From Now. "There they are and you appear to both be physically together again. It was so wonderful for me, and she was very reassuring. In the dream she said, 'It'll be all right.' I’m not sure if she used the words 'let it be,' but that was the gist of her advice. It was, 'Don’t worry too much, it will turn out okay.' ... So, that got me writing the song 'Let It Be.' I literally started off 'Mother Mary,' which was her name, 'when I find myself in times of trouble,' which I certainly found myself in."

This was undoubtedly one of those moments, with McCartney's band falling apart.


"I think people were overdoing the use of substances - we certainly were," McCartney told the Salt Lake Tribune in 2011. "It was kind of common. It was the fashion – and anyone who remembers that time will know that. And I think I was getting, like, a little bit over the top with the whole thing – getting pretty tired and pretty wasted. And I went to bed one night and had a kind of restless night."


"Let It Be" became a double-platinum selling U.S. chart topper, helping its parent album to the No. 1 spot both in the U.S. and the U.K. McCartney eventually came to terms with the song's pious interpretations, despite its deeply personal meaning.


"Mother Mary makes it a quasi-religious thing, so you can take it that way, I don’t mind," McCartney told Miles. "I'm quite happy if people want to use it to shore up their faith. I have no problem with that. I think it's a great thing to have faith of any sort, particularly in the world we live in."

The single version of "Let It Be" also included the only known contributions by Linda McCartney in a Beatles song; she sang backing vocals. McCartney later formed Wings, his post-Beatles band, with Linda and Denny Laine from the Moody Blues.


February 26, 2020

Al Di Meola on The Beatles: "It's surprising that they had the guts to play those kind of chords"

by Joshua Miller for Guitar World


The jazz-fusion great talks Across the Universe, his latest tribute to the Fab Four



When it comes to The Beatles, melody reigns supreme. Al Di Meola credits The Beatles for inspiring him to become a guitarist and admires the group’s penchant for melodies. It’s why he decided to record a second tribute album titled Across The Universe.


Di Meola feels too many of his jazz-fusion peers have gotten further away from melody and are too focused on elaborate solos than the actual composition. He feels melody-driven songs, such as those by The Beatles, have a greater impact and are more universally relatable. It’s why he feels he’s become more of a composer.


“I feel they've just forgotten how you get to the heart of people,” he says. “It's just something that gets you. It's something in the simplicity. It holds more power.”


The songs on Across the Universe have more oomph compared to 2013’s All Your Life thanks to increased production. Over the course of 14 Beatles tunes, the album offers a mix of electric guitar orchestrations, acoustic arrangements as well as exotic compositions featuring jazz fusion and world music stylings.


“I wanted to make one with a lot of production and just basically pick a lot of the other songs that I wish I had done on the first one and then do them with the more elaborate kind of presentation,” Di Meola says.


Compared with All Your Life, Across the Universe’s melodies are less abstract. “On the first one I think the chord melody factor was kind of adventurous,” he says.


One of the most challenging songs for him to play was Mother Nature's Son. “It was one of the more difficult pieces because it's sort of a chord melody and it's not meant to sound hard; it just is hard,” he says.


In creating his own versions of the songs, such as Till There Was You, Di Meola grew even more fond of the originals.


“When you're looking at it and listening to it, it's one thing. But then when you're playing it you realize, ‘Oh, this song, it's got a lot of meat. It has a lot of harmonic ingenious, genius movements to it,’” he says.


“It's surprising at their age, playing in front of 50 million people, that they had the guts to play those kind of chords. But you don't think about that until you analyze the piece.”  


Al Di Meola new album "Across The Universe" will be released on March 13, 2020.



February 16, 2020

The Ottawa Beatles Site and Sandy Gardiner of the Ottawa Journal are quoted in Cosmic Observation


For the full report by Chris Thomas, please read I Want To Hold Your Hand.



February 3, 2020

Just How Important was George Martin to The Beatles?


Six Legendary Producers, Mark Ronson, Jimmy Jam, Joe Henry, Alan Parsons, Peter Asher & Judith Sherman, Discuss The Impact of "the Fifth Beatle." - article by Paul Zollo for American Songwriter.



January 20, 2020

Surprise appearance on The View by Billy Porter gives spectacular performance of John Lennon's "Imagine"


On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, choirs from the Cardinal Shehan School Community and Krieger Schechter Day School pay tribute to the civil rights leader by singing "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand" and "Imagine."


"Prior to the performance, host Whoopie Goldberg spoke with Harrison Fribush, a seventh-grader at Krieger Schechter Day School, a Jewish school in Baltimore," writes Christian Long for He added that: "Fribush initially reached out to the private catholic school, Cardinal Shehan School, to collaborate on a project together, with The View being their national TV debut."


Kenyatta Hardison, Cardinal Shehan's choir director, commended the project. "It's amazing how we're different and so much alike, in so many ways. We're different in our culture or the way we do things. ... [But] we all love music, sing the same words, move with the same music. The world would be such a better place if we could all do this. Start with two schools at a time to work together. The evil things going on in this world would diminish."


Related link: Harrison Fribush 




January 12, 2020

Saxophonist Howie Casey performs "Maybe I'm Amazed" and recalls his days working with Paul McCartney and Wings at recordings, live concerts and his early associations with the Beatles




January 11, 2020

CNN reports George and Ringo's handwritten lyrics to The Beatles' 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' is for sale


"Moments in Time" is selling the item for $195,000. 




January 8, 2020

First Beatles single ever played on the radio to sell at Omega Auctions

by Simon Lindley for "Just Collecting News"



The first Beatles single ever played on the radio could sell for more than $25,000 when it goes up for auction in the U.K this month.


The ‘demonstration’ copy of the band’s debut single Love Me Do was played first on Radio Luxembourg on October 5, 1962, the same day it was released.


Now, 58 years after it first hit the airwaves, the 7″ record will now be offered for sale at Omega Auctions with an estimated value of £15,000 – £20,000 ($19,700 – $26,250).



Just 250 demonstration copies of the single were pressed up and sent out to promoters, the music press, DJs and radio stations by manager Brian Epstein.


This copy remained part of the Radio Luxembourg record archive for three decades, before being inherited by DJ Tony Prince when the station closed down in 1992.


The 7″ record is also signed by Paul McCartney on the A-side, and comes with a message from him to Prince confirming its authenticity as a significant piece of Beatles history.


The fax dating from 1994 reads “Dear Tony, I’m happy to confirm that I first heard ‘Love Me Do’ (our first release) on Radio Luxembourg. Did I ever thank you for playing it? If not, I do now. Cheers, All the very best”.



Three days after their debut record was played for the first time, The Beatles were interviewed on the station as part of The Friday Spectacular, a show recorded by EMI to promote their own artists.


Radio Luxembourg was one of the earliest commercial radio stations which broadcasted to the U.K, using (at the time) the world’s most powerful
privately-owned radio transmitter.


British laws prevented radio stations from advertising products until 1973, but Radio Luxembourg circumvented these restrictions by transmitting from mainland Europe.


Throughout the 1950s and 60s it offered many British teenagers the chance to hear rock and roll records on the radio for the first time.


Copies of the rare Love Me Do demonstration single are rare and highly collectible in their own right, and can be identified by the misspelling of “McArtney” in the song’s credits.


This particular copy of the record last sold at Bonhams back in 2003 for £13,500 – and could now fetch a considerably higher sum, due to the significant role it played in the Beatles’ story.



January 4, 2020

Paul McCartney with Nihal Arthanayake - The Penguin Podcast  


Paul talks about John Lennon, Bob Dylan, the holiday season and of course his new book "Hey Grandude."



50th Anniversary: Giving Peace A Chance



The BBC World Service published "Giving Peace A Chance" podcast on December 3, 2019. The interview features Francine Jones who in 1969 was the Assistant Public Relations Officer for the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal; Gilles Gougeon who back then interviewed John and Yoko for Radio-Quebec. Also Allan Rock who was then a student at the University of Ottawa who invited John and Yoko for a Seminar on World Peace which they attended at the campus on June 3, 1969; songstress Petula Clark; André Perry who recorded the song. A few other people who connect up with the story appear on this broadcast. Click on the above image to listen to the interview to gain historical perspectives of John and Yoko's important peace message from 1969.


Rutles' leader Neil Innes, dead at 75, goes deep in one of his final interviews: 'Mortality is real'



On December 29, 2019, British comedian singer-songwriter Neil Innes passed away of a heart-attack. "Innes was a regular musical contributor to the English comedy troupe Monty Python and he teamed with Python mainstay Eric Idle to create The Rutles and their classic film rockumentary, "All You Need is Cash," writes the George Varga for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


The article went on to say that: "In 1967, as a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Innes appeared in the Beatles's movie "Magical Mystery Tour." (In 1997, the song he and the Bonzos performed in "Magical Mystery Tour," a jaunty, Elvis Presley-ish ditty entitled "Death Cab for Cutie," inspired the name of the still-active alternative-rock band.)"


Is a new Beatles film on its way for an October release?


"Beatles fan blog The Daily Beatle found a listing on Amazon for a book titled Get Back: The Beatles, ant it's slated for release on October 15, 2020," writes KKLZ Music. It added: "The site also reports that the book will act as companion material with Jackson's film, which will draw from 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, shot between January 2-31, 1969. This footage came from the original filming of Michael Lindsay-Hogg's documentary Let It Be, which ended with the famous rooftop concert."



December 16, 2019

Ottawa's Fairmont Chateau Laurier "Give Peace A Chance" Christmas Tree with John and Yoko


Each year the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa showcases a Christmas tree presentations in their main lobby. The theme for this year was music and so each tree in the main lobby is dressed up with musical instruments and such. They are the "Trees of Hope for Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario." And so and Royal LePage (one of several corporate tree sponsors) thought it would be a fun idea to do a tribute to John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Give Peace A Chance" bed-in the couple did at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal in 1969.


On December 23, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono would meet with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to talk about their world peace initiative. Fifty years have passed and John and Yoko's idealism is an inspiration to keep pushing on with the struggle for peace.


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019



Photo by John Whelan, December 2019


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019 


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019


Photo by John Whelan, December 2019


Photo taken December 2019 by a Chateau Laurier clerk with sincere thanks.


"On behalf of The Ottawa Beatles Site and Santa Claus, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." - John Whelan


P.S. On a more serious note, here is John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" hit song (now age restricted by Youtube.)




December 11, 2019

The late Tony Sheridan's fascinating story about his days in Hamburg and The Beatles




December 10, 2019

Tony Sheridan, Roy Young and Howie Casey rock out with "Money" and "Johnny B. Goode"


The following tracks "Money" and "Johnny B. Goode" were culled from my own personal music library. They are a united musical performance from Howie Casey, the late Tony Sheridan and the late Roy Young. I have remastered the digital recordings to bring out the best in audio quality. It is a process that requires patience and time on average 5 to 6 hours work using filters, echo, adding more bass and more thump to make it sound better than the original. In the end, this was achieved and now these two songs by these performers been added to the Youtube archive. 


While doing a little research for this project, I came across what likely was Roy Young's last interview with the media, that of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). So many years had passed on since the Ottawa Beatles Site's interview with Roy and what is evident in the BBC interview is that Roy is still passionate about his contribution to the music industry and his association with the Beatles, David Bowie and other rock stars. You can listen to his 17 minute interview with BBC Radio Oxford Special by clicking: PHOP -boogie woogie pianist Roy Young.



Netflix, Gaumont team on animation adaptation of Paul of Paul McCartney's "High In The Clouds"


Paul McCartney's first children's book "High In The Clouds" (co-written by Philip Ardagh and illustrated by Geoff Dunbar) is being produced as a animation movie.


Paul has written and produced original music for the movie that allows him to be involved in the creative process. "I've always loved animated films and this is a hugely important passion project for me. I can't wait for the world to see it."


Screendaily writes that the storyline "will revolve around an imaginative teenage squirrel who finds himself pulled into a ramshackle gang of teenage rebels who live in the clouds after he accidentally antagonises Gretsch, a tyrannical owl and wonderful singer who steals the voice of anyone who upstages her."


The producers of the animation are: "Bob Shaye, the late Michael Lynne, McCartney and Sidonie Dumas, Christophe Raindee, Nicolas Atlan and Terry Kalagian at Gaumont" writes Screendaily.


1. "Gotta Get Up to Get Down"
2. "Its Not Love That You Want"
3. "Grow Old With Me"
4. "Magic"
5. "Money (That’s What I Want)"
6. "Better Days"
7. "Life Is Good"
8. "Thank God for Music"
9. "Send Love Spread Peace"
10. "What’s My Name"

Read More: Ringo Starr's New Album Features a Very Special Beatles Moment |



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