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from the Ottawa Beatle Site


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


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July 31, 2022
Ringo Starr's July 2022 update

Song of the Week: "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five" by Paul McCartney & Wings

The Story Behind the Song: Paul McCartney's dystopian 'Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five'
by Tyler Golsen for Far Out Magazine

The cultural impact of George Orwell’s impenetrably bleak Nineteen Eighty Four has extended to almost all forms of media. Wherever you look, you can find movies, TV shows, podcasts, and music that reflect the autocratic regimes and burned out ruins of the world detailed within the pages of Orwell’s masterpiece. There’s even a term for it now: Orwellian. It just goes to show how thoroughly Orwell’s work has penetrated into the public’s consciousness.


Of all the artists who were to take inspiration from the hellscape of Nineteen Eighty Four, perhaps the least likely would be one James Paul McCartney. Although he occasionally got his kicks on death and destruction, most of his works were on the sunnier side. How could the man who wrote ‘Good Day Sunshine’, ‘Mother Nature’s Son’, and ‘Mull of Kintyre’ take a radical left turn into the burned-out ruins of humanity?


Well, for one, McCartney was a voracious reader. Secondly, the former Beatle was always keen to take his inspiration from relatively novel resources. Whether it be a speech given by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a headline in a paper, or the last words of a legendary painter, McCartney could find a hook in just about any work, whether it be fanciful or fatalistic.


Not unlike ‘Live and Let Die’, ‘Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five’ finds McCartney taking what would ostensibly be a negative subject and finding the light in it. In this case, ‘Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five’ uses the setting of a wrecked dystopia to create the kind of tune that McCartney excels at: a silly love song.


“The idea behind the song is that this is a relationship that was always meant to be,” McCartney explains in The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present. “No one in the distant future is ever going to get my attention, because I’ve got you. But when it was written, 1985 was only twelve years away; it wasn’t the very distant future — only the future in the song. So, this is basically a love song about the future.”


McCartney goes on to explain why he’s always brought back to writing love songs. “‘Love’ is a staggeringly important word, and a staggeringly important feeling, because it’s going on everywhere, in the whole of existence, right now,” he says. “The point I’m making is obvious — that this ‘love thing’ is global, really universal.”


In that way, the song also doubles as an ode to the undying love McCartney had for his wife, Linda. Written while Wings were making the Band on the Run album, McCartney was well within the world of marital bliss during the song’s creation. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be able to keep it that way, with Linda’s death in 1998 triggering a wave of grief that McCartney was ill-equipped to handle on his own.


Still, as he proclaims within the songs lyrics, the love he would continue to have for Linda transcended time and even life. “I didn’t think / I never dreamed / That I would be around to see it / All come true.”

July 30, 2022
Why Pink Floyd snubbed Paul McCartney's contribution to 'The Dark Side Of The Moon'
by Joe Taysom for Far Out Magazine

Pink Floyd’s 1973 album Dark Side Of The Moon was a seminal moment in the history of music, one that would influence countless other artists who, like most at the time of its release, were taken aback by the record’s groundbreaking new sound, all-encompassing vision and the kind of innovative creation that would define Floyd as legends.


The band had a pioneering attitude throughout the process of creating the album and, at one point, even asked The Beatles songwriter and serial creator Paul McCartney to be interviewed as part of an ambitious contribution to the LP. At the time of forming their psychedelic sonic creation, Pink Floyd were planning to sample Macca on the record. However, despite The Beatles founder obliging and sending across his addition, they would leave his contribution off the record.


The collaboration came about after McCartney declared openly that he was a fan of Pink Floyd’s work and was intrigued by the thriving psychedelic scene. It was a space in which Pink Floyd had played a huge part in curating across swinging London in the late 1960s. A new trippy facet to their upcoming release, Floyd decided to carry out a series of interviews for their record, which they would use sporadically on the new material. After the prospect of grabbing the enigmatic Paul McCartney for a special guest spot became a realisation, the band jumped at the chance.


Macca, who at the time was working on his 1972 album with Wings, Red Rose Speedway, was present at Abbey Road during the same period that Pink Floyd were also busy working away on Dark Side Of The Moon—a convenient turn of events which made his inclusion a seemingly straightforward process. For the interviews, the band had a set of provocative questions that they hoped would evoke deep and thoughtful answers from their interviewees such as ‘when was the last time you were violent?’ or ‘does death frighten you?’.


Some of the questions asked were less emotional, in fact, they were somewhat banal offerings such as requesting their favourite foods and colours, amongst other things. Getting the former Beatles man to answer any inquiries was quite the coup, however, McCartney’s attitude towards the questions managed to annoy one member of the band — Roger Waters.


Not a difficult man to annoy, the band’s serial songwriter Roger Waters was irritated at McCartney’s contribution because it undermined Pink Floyd’s vision of the piece. Waters would later tell Pink Floyd biographer John Harris: “He was the only person who found it necessary to perform, which was useless, of course, I thought it was really interesting that he would do that. He was trying to be funny, which wasn’t what we wanted at all.”


McCartney would still go on to have a brief cameo on the record, however, even if it is perhaps so subtle that he himself may not have realised it upon first hearing the album. At the very end of the album’s epic closer ‘Eclipse’, you can just about make out a snippet from an orchestral version of The Beatles song ‘Ticket to Ride’.


The Beatles classic was allegedly playing in the background at the studio while Abbey Road doorman Gerry O’Driscoll delivered the poetic line of: “There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it’s all dark. The only thing that makes it look light is the sun.”


However, the former Beatles man doesn’t seem to hold a grudge about Pink Floyd deciding his contribution didn’t have a place on the record. In truth, he appears to agree that it was probably the right decision as he labelled it the greatest concept album of all time.

July 29, 2022
Double Exposure with Ringo's "Photograph"


‘Photograph’: A Snapshot Of Ringo Starr’s Amazing 1973-1974 Season
‘Photograph’ was co-written by Starr with George Harrison, as their close post-Beatles working relationship
by Paul Sexton for Udiscover Music

Early in his solo career, Ringo Starr told us that “it don’t come easy.” But in 1973 and early 1974, he made a
nonsense of that title with two American No.1 singles in precisely nine weeks. Both featured contributions by
former Beatles colleagues, and the first, the thoroughly genial “Photograph” — co-written by Ringo with
George Harrison — entered the Hot 100 on October 6, 1973.

The two friends had been enjoying a close working relationship in their own names; closer, perhaps, than had
even been possible in the final chapters of The Beatles’ time together. Starr had played on Harrison’s 1970
epic All Things Must Pass and 1973’s Living In The Material World, and George more than returned the favor
by producing Ringo’s first two big solo hits, “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Back Off Boogaloo.”

As the vocalist-drummer made his new album Ringo between March and July of 1973, with producer Richard Perry, Harrison was a frequent visitor to the studio. He played on five tracks on the LP and sang backing vocals on two. He did both on “Photograph,” providing harmony vocals and 12-string guitar on their co-write. The single was released on September 24, and was just about the hottest thing on American pop radio by the time the album followed on November 2.


Ringo featuring John, Paul and George


The Ringo album, indeed, was a full Beatles reunion of sorts, in that it also had Paul McCartney playing on two tracks and giving Starr his composition with wife Linda, “Six O’Clock.” The John Lennon song “I’m The Greatest” was also part of the LP, featuring John himself on piano and backing vocals. The truly remarkable guest list on Ringo also included Marc Bolan, Steve Cropper, Harry Nilsson, Martha Reeves, Billy Preston, and all of The Band except for Richard Manuel.


The line-up on “Photograph” was particularly stellar, also featuring the ever in-demand Bobby Keys on tenor saxophone, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Klaus Voormann on bass and Jim Keltner on drums. Jack Nitzsche supplied the orchestral and choral arrangements. The single entered the Hot 100 at No.74, and was in the Top 20 three weeks later. By November 24, it was succeeding Eddie Kendricks’ “Keep On Truckin’” at No.1.


In no time, Ringo was offering up a second chart-topper in the form of his cover of Johnny Burnette’s 1960 hit “You’re Sixteen,” featuring Paul on kazoo, no less. The album went gold in the UK and platinum in the US, as Starr’s memorable 1973-74 season continued.

Just announced on Facebook: "Ringo EP3 Out Sep 16"

July 28, 2022
Fender’s new George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster is a psychedelic masterpiece
by Rod Brakes for

This hand-painted replica captures the ‘60s vibe of the original Beatles guitar

Following up the release of the George Harrison Rosewood Telecaster earlier this year, Fender has just
unveiled the similarly iconic George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster.

While the Fender Custom Shop has previously created replica models of the Beatles
guitarist’s famous Strat, this Artist Signature version falls into a significantly more affordable price bracket.

When Harrison first acquired his 1961 Fender Stratocaster in ‘65, it was sporting a Sonic Blue custom
colour finish.

Both he and John Lennon had matching Sonic Blue Strats at this point, and Harrison used his extensively on
numerous Beatles recordings of the ‘60s.

Come ‘67, and with the Summer of Love in full swing, the guitar was given a distinctive psychedelic paintjob.

“During ’67, everybody started painting everything, and I decided to paint it,” Harrison once told an

“I got some Day-Glo paint, which was quite a new invention in them days, and just sat up late one night and did it.”

The new Fender George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster features an alder body with a hand-painted replica finish
that mimics the Beatle’s famous guitar in fine detail, from concentric Day-Glo patterns and pickguard motifs
to the Grimwoods music shop decal on the headstock rear.

In keeping with the original instrument’s ‘60s heritage, the George Harrison Rocky Stratocaster has been
fitted with vintage-style tuners and a 6-saddle Synchronized Tremolo with bent steel saddles.  

A 3-ply mint green pickguard (fitted on Strats from 1959 to 1965) along with aged white control knobs and
an aged white pickup selector switch tip add to the ‘60s vibe.

Period-correct for Strats made between 1959 and 1962, this guitar sports a 21-fret, 7.25” radius slab
rosewood fingerboard atop a solid maple neck (Fender describes the profile as a '60s "C" shape).

Three ‘60s-style Stratocaster pickups provide the kind of clear, chiming tones that made this classic Fender
solidbody such a success following its release in 1954.

July 27, 2022
Jacaranda launches 'When I'm 64' letter writing birthday campaign
by Sam Hall for the Liverpool Echo


The Jacaranda Bar will honour its connection with The Beatles by celebrating its 64th birthday with a letter-writing campaign called ‘When I’m 64’.


The venue is asking people to send in letters featuring their memories of the Slater Street bar from over the years. The letters will then line the walls of the three storey building from August 22 until August 28 - when there will be an open-to-the-public birthday celebration.


A number of letters have already been received, including one from Emma Johnson who met her husband at the Jacaranda. She wrote: “On 22nd October 2010 my best friend told me to go to the Jac, there was someone she wanted me to meet.


“Emma Lemming was performing an acoustic set in the basement which was a plus, but I only had a fiver to my name and it was a school night. Reluctantly I headed to town, grabbed a pint at the Jac when my blind date showed up.


“He reeked of garlic as he’d just come from the restaurant round the corner, and he laughed at my theories on the space time continuum. 10 years to the day of that night in the Jac we got married. Two kids later and still going strong. It’s amazing what a good pub is capable of.”


The campaign takes inspiration from the ‘send us a postcard, drop us a line’ lyric of When I’m 64. Paul McCartney wrote the song in 1956 when he was just 14 and two years before the opening of The Jacaranda. It was later released on The Beatles era-defining 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.


Graham Stanley, managing director at The Jacaranda said: “We’re hoping to hear brand new stories from every decade and even some new perspectives on old ones – I was once told a story that Bob Dylan got kicked out of The Jac for looking too scruffy in the ‘60s. I’ve never got to the bottom of that one.”


He added: “Hundreds of bars around the world use The Beatles as an influence. The Jacaranda is one of the few bars that can say that we were an influence on The Beatles. That’s something we’re really proud of.”


Veso Mihaylov, head of events and marketing at The Jacaranda said: “Part of our job is to honour the importance and continue the legacy of one of the most iconic music venues in the city. We do that by providing a stage to young and often unknown talent and giving them their first opportunity to play live shows in front of an audience.


“In the past three years we’ve seen the number one artists The Lathums, we’ve also hosted Mercury-award nominees Porridge radio and one of Liverpool’s most exciting rising stars Zuzu.”

Them Beatles cover version of "Thank You Girl"

About The Beatles "Thank You Girl"
by Beatles Wiki

Thank You Girl is a song by The Beatles written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The song was released as a single in 1963.


"Thank You Girl" is ... the B-side of "From Me to You", which was recorded on the same day (5 March 1963). It wasn't on a British Beatles album, but was featured as the second track on The Beatles' Second Album in the US. As the B-side to "Do You Want to Know a Secret", it hit #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1964.


Originally titled "Thank You, Little Girl", John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song as a tribute to the band's many female fans. McCartney said, "We knew that if we wrote a song called, 'Thank You Girl' that a lot [sic] of the girls who wrote us fan letters would take it as a genuine thank you. So a lot of our songs were directly addressed to the fans."


Lennon said the song was originally intended as a single: "'Thank You Girl' was one of our efforts at writing a single that didn't work. So it became a B side or an album track." In April 1972 he told Hit Parader, "[This was written by] Paul and me. This was just a silly song we knocked off." Paul McCartney, the song's co-composer, seemed to agree describing it as "a bit of a hack song, but all good practice."


The song was recorded in thirteen takes, the same number of takes needed to perfect "From Me To You." This recording session is also notable because it marks the first studio appearances of two Lennon/McCartney songs that would not be released until much later in the band's career: "One After 909" from Let It Be, and "What Goes On" from Rubber Soul. Although both songs were rehearsed, only "One After 909" was recorded, and even then the results were deemed unsatisfactory for release.


The original stereo mix of the song is noticeably different to the mono mix (which is the mix used on Past Masters, Volume One) in the middle 8, where a couple of extra harmonica lines can be heard.


Both "From Me to You" and "Thank You Girl" were credited to McCartney-Lennon, as were all the songs on the Please Please Me album. The songwriting credit would be permanently changed to the more familiar Lennon/McCartney for their next release, the "She Loves You" single.


John wrote it as a follow-up to "Please Please Me." At the time they recorded the song, John was proud of it, but in 1971 he dismissed it as a "Just a silly song that we knocked off."



John Lennon: Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar (1962 Gibson J-160E), Harmonica (Hohner Chromatic)
Paul McCartney: Bass Guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1),
Backing Vocals George Harrison: Lead Guitar (1962 Gibson J-160E)
Ringo Starr: Drums (1960 Premier 58/54 Mahogany)

The Oxford Beatles do their cover version of "Michelle"

July 25, 2022
John Lennon: What really happened in his childhood

We thought we knew every detail of John Lennon's life. But his half-sister kept quiet about what really

happened in the Beatle's childhood - until now.

John Walsh reports for the Independent, originally published on February 6, 2007.

Each unhappy family, as Tolstoy remarked, is unhappy in its own way - but the great Leo could never have anticipated how a family's unhappiness could be worsened by the accretion of half-truths and Chinese whispers in the celebrity media and publishing circuit.


Julia Baird knows this all too well. As the half-sister of John Lennon, she's had to monitor a blizzard of inaccuracies about her beloved sibling. "Our hidden histories have been hung up across the giant screen of the sky," she writes, "inviting inspection and criticism from all and sundry, and dissection from Beatles experts and John experts." Now, though, she has made a valiant stab at setting things to rights.

It's a tragic story, and at its centre is Julia's and John's mother, also called Julia. She was one of the five Stanley sisters - Mimi, Betty, Anne, Julia and Harriet, all born in the shadow of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. Julia Stanley - red-haired, exuberant, musical and headstrong - was only 14 when she began seeing a hotel bellboy, Alfred Lennon, to her parents' chagrin. Alf became a ship's steward and spent long periods at sea, but their romance survived his absences. They were married in a register's office in 1938 with no family members present; Alf put to sea the following day. When war broke out, the Liverpool shipyards were bombed but the family (now living in Penny Lane) survived. Alf, now a merchant seaman, came home long enough to make Julia pregnant, then decamped across the Atlantic. The baby was named John Winston Lennon. With the child's father mostly out of the picture, Julia and John moved in with her disapproving father. Julia became pregnant by a passing Welsh soldier and was persuaded to give up the baby girl for adoption. Then, while waitressing, she met "Bobby" Dykins, a demonstrator of invisible mending, and they fell in love.


What followed has been the stuff of much confusion. As several Lennon biographies will tell you, the five-year-old John went, by arrangement, to live with his aunt Mimi in a house nearby called Mendips, while his mother started another family with Bobby. Unable to marry, because the chronically absent Alf was still alive, they had two children, Julia and Jackie, while John would pay the occasional visit. That's the representation of life that Baird is anxious to overturn in Imagine This: Growing Up with my Brother John Lennon.


She has been a tenacious guardian of his flame since 1985. "Only five years after he died, there was a BBC 'celebration' of John's life that I watched and it was so badly wrong," she says. "I felt I had to do something, so I put together a handwritten, limited-edition copy, using all the family photographs. I got it properly published in 1988. But the story is still escalating. I still hear and read things." Such as? "That my mother gave John away. That she went to live with a man who had two children from a previous relationship - [her eyes blaze with indignation] as if my sister and I weren't born to our mother at all!" The truth, it seems, involves the grotesque, condemnatory figure of Aunt Mimi, who waged a bitter war with her own sister for possession of the little boy, claiming that Julia and her new man were disgraceful public sinners; their house an unfit arena in which to bring up a child. She effectively kidnapped John and barred the door against poor, distraught Julia when she called to see her son.


What brings a tremble to Baird's voice are the revelations she unearthed in researching the past. She discovered, for instance, the existence of her half-sister, the baby sent away for adoption. And through a fog of mutterings and hints by her Aunt Georgina (known as Nanny), Baird gradually revealed that Mimi, the sainted, hell-and-damnation moralist, had for years been sleeping with her lodger (she in her fifties, he in his twenties). Baird contacted the ex-lover, whereupon he confirmed the affair, and the fact that Mimi, despite being married, years before, had been a virgin when they got together.


This opens a whole can of psychological worms about the reasons for Mimi's appropriation of John. "People come to terms over relationships, don't they?" said Baird. "Mimi and her husband obviously came to that agreement [ie not to have children] before their wedding day. But I've come to the conclusion that her taking John away was an act of opportunism."


Her book is an act of worship to a brother she clearly adored, but is also a tenderly evoked memoir of a Liverpool childhood - the noise, the music, the skipping, the Meeting Tree, the jam-buttie picnics, the street games they played - and a glowing tribute to her sainted mother, who seems to become younger and lovelier as Baird describes her role in teasing out the teenage John's interest in music. Julia taught him to play his first instrument, the banjo, standing behind him with her hands on his. She played the ukulele (she did a good George Formby impression) and the piano accordion, and, in the music explosion that followed the appearance of Lonnie Donegan and Elvis, she welcomed into the house umpteen friends bearing drums, washboards and rudimentary bass guitars.


Baird's book is full of lovely vignettes about the pre-Beatles period: John singing the lachrymose "Nobody's Child", the rise of The Blackjacks in their monochrome shirts and pants, the famous back-of-a-lorry gig at Woolton fête when, "The Quarrymen arrived on a lorry, and would leave that evening as half the Beatles"; the first Quarrymen gig at the Cavern, which Paul McCartney missed because he had to be at Scout camp in north Wales. Lennon's adored mother features so centrally in this chronicle of growing success that when the defining event of Lennon's life occurs - Julia was run over by a car outside Mimi's house and killed when he was 17 and his sister 11 - we feel a corresponding ache and loss, and a furious sympathy for the author and her little sister, who were kept from the funeral and not told of their mother's death for 10 weeks because they were illegitimate and shamed the family.

It has taken Baird a lifetime to put herself together after the tragedy that ruined her childhood; it's not surprising she has spent so long picking over the past, trying to tease out the family secrets and straighten out the facts. It's also not very surprising to find that she became a special needs teacher, working for many years with "excluded adolescents". Her favourite person in the world was a brother who became an excluded adolescent at 17, and disappeared forever into the big world where feelings count less than renown.


Does she think the death of his mother led indirectly to his success? "Of course. Many of his songs were chronicling his life and feelings. John said once in an interview, 'I'm not one for doing autobiography, I'd never do anything like that.' and I thought, 'John, all your songs are autobiographical.' Didn't he see it? Or did it come from depths he wasn't aware of?" Does she wish he'd never picked up the guitar? She gives a weary grimace. "Yes. Definitely. He'd be here, wouldn't he? So yes."


'Imagine This: Growing Up with my Brother John Lennon' by Julia Baird is published by Hodder, priced £18.99.

Bob Rafelson, ‘The Monkees’ Co-Creator and ‘Five Easy Pieces’ Director, Dead at 89
Maverick filmmaker had longtime collaboration with Jack Nicholson and produced indie classics like
The Last Picture Show
by Daniel Krepps for Rolling Stone


Bob Rafelson, the Oscar-nominated maverick filmmaker who directed Seventies classics like Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens in addition to co-creating The Monkees, has died at the age of 89.


Both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported that Rafelson died of natural causes Saturday at his home in Aspen, Colorado.


A veteran television producer in Hollywood before he was a filmmaker, the New York City-born Rafelson had the idea to make a television show about the fictional pop band in the early Sixties amid the British Invasion; the idea finally came to fruition after the release of the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, with Rafelson and his producing partner Bert Schneider putting out a casting call for what would become the Monkees.

Although the series only ran for two seasons, the “band” itself became a hit-making machine with singles like “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer” and “Daydream Believer.” After the sitcom was canceled, the Monkees starred in the 1968 now-cult classic Head, co-written and directed by Rafelson.


[Head] wasn’t so much about the deconstruction of the Monkees, but it was using the deconstruction of the Monkees as metaphor for the deconstruction of the Hollywood film industry,” the Monkees’ Micky Dolenz told Rolling Stone in 2016. “I think it was restricted to 17 and over. Many of our fans couldn’t even get in. From a commercial perspective, it was totally the wrong movie to make. But we didn’t want to make a 90-minute episode of the Monkees TV show. Also, these were the guys that were going to go off and make Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces. They had an opportunity to really stretch here.”


Much to the Monkees’ chagrin — “If I had been living in L.A. and seeing Bob and Bert and all their fucking money, it would have driven me crazy,” Dolenz told Rolling Stone — the earnings that Rafelson and Schneider’s Raybert Productions made off the band wasn’t directed back to the four members; instead, the producers, along with Stephen Blauser, founded BBS Productions, an independent film company focused on the making films – like Head – counter to those being made in Hollywood at the time.


Although BBS Productions was only in business for four years, it made an immeasurable impact on generations of independent filmmakers: After scoring a counterculture hit with em>Easy Rider, the company gave opportunities to young directors like Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, which was nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture), Henry Jaglom (A Safe Place), and Jack Nicholson, who directed and co-wrote BBS’ 1970 release Drive, He Said.


Rafelson is credited with helping to launch Nicholson’s superstar career, as they worked on seven films together. Nicholson, who at the time was a struggling actor focused on writing and directing, first collaborated with Rafelson on Head, which the pair co-wrote. The following year, Nicholson had his acting breakthrough by sheer luck in 1969’s Easy Rider, produced by Rafelson. 


“Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson thought I was a good actor but had me out with them all the time on locations, primarily to help with production,” Nicholson told Rolling Stone in 1986 of his Easy Rider role.

With Rafelson behind the camera, he cast Nicholson in the starring and star-making role in Five Easy Pieces, which earned Academy Award nominations for both Best Picture and Best Actor. The director and actor would later reunite for 1972’s The King of Marvin Gardens, the 1981 noir The Postman Always Rings Twice, 1992’s Man Trouble and 1996’s Blood and Wine.


In addition to his run of Nicholson films, Rafelson also directed 1976’s Stay Hungry (featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his earliest roles), 1987’s Black Widow, and the music video for Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.” His last feature film as director was 2002’s No Good Deed.


I'm Looking Through You - The Beatles - Full Instrumental Recreation (4K)

by Michael Sokil



July 24, 2022
The Beatles 'Get Back' Blu-ray Full Review + Breaking News

by Parlogram Auctions

After a long and tense wait The Beatles 'Get Back' Blu-ray and DVD is finally on the shelves (in most
countries). Is it as good as the Disney Plus stream which wowed Beatles fans back in November 2021 and
what, if any, extra does it give to the collector? In this video we take a close look at both the packaging,
video and audio quality of this release, with not a single second of unboxing in sight!

July 22, 2022
Peter Jackson is working on anther Beatles film that's "not really a documentary"
Jackson also talked about his role in providing McCartney with the cleaned-up vocals from John
Lennon's rooftop performance of I've Got A Feeling.
by Scott Ng for

Lord of The Rings director Peter Jackson has revealed he is currently working on another Beatles film
following his Disney+ three-part docuseries, The Beatles: Get Back.

In a new interview with Deadline, Jackson revealed the project is “not really a documentary”, explaining he
was in conversation with surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr “about another project, something
very, very different than Get Back”.

“We’re seeing what the possibilities are, but it’s another project with them,” Jackson hinted.

Elsewhere in the interview, Jackson also talked about his role in providing McCartney with the cleaned-up
vocals from John Lennon‘s rooftop performance of I’ve Got A Feeling, revealing he had the idea of McCartney
being able to ‘perform’ alongside Lennon again when he first started work on Get Back four years ago.

“We had access to all that footage, and to do something like that, you need the footage,” Jackson
explained. “The shots have to be right. I didn’t mention it to Paul. I thought, ‘Suggesting to Paul that he sing
onstage with John, he’s going to think I’m a fanboy geek idiot.’”

Jackson eventually attended a concert of McCartney’s before the pandemic forced lockdowns worldwide,
filming the performance for I’ve Got A Feeling so he could head to the studio and piece together a “simple CGI
proof of concept” to pitch to McCartney. In the ensuing lockdowns that followed, however, Jackson did not
have the opportunity to pitch his idea to McCartney.

“I’d gotten cold feet because I thought, ‘How many harebrained suggestions like this has Paul gotten over
the years? I don’t want to appear too geeky,’” Jackson explained. “Finally, I thought, ‘I’m going to regret this
for the rest of my life if I don’t even suggest it.’ I sent him a text.”

McCartney was thrilled by the idea, and has currently incorporated it in his ongoing tour after debuting it at
his Glastonbury set this year.

In an interview with last year, Jackson talked about the “demixing” process he had developed to isolate instruments and vocals from footage of the band rehearsing and performing, explaining, “So the big breakthrough for us was actually not [restoring] the pictures, even though that’s what you obviously look at, it was the sound. The way that we managed to split off the mono recordings in the mouldable tracks.”


Jackson utilised AI-based machine learning for the process, which allowed him to also isolate private conversations between the Beatles that were hidden by the sound of instruments.

Ottawa Beatles Site footnote: See also additional insight from the New Music Express article on this subject.

July 21, 2022
Julian Lennon Explains Why He Legally Changed His Name: 'For Me, It's a Whole Other World'
Julian Lennon speaks candidly about how constantly being called John Lennon during the pandemic impacted
by Amethyst Tate, Digital News Writer, People


Speaking on the podcast, Word in Your Ear, the son of the late Beatles star turned solo artist John Lennon admitted that the pandemic played a big role.


"It was in 2020, just before we all got locked in a cage that I finally actually decided to legally change my name by default. Because originally my name was John Charles Julian Lennon, and the crap that I had to deal with when traveling and security companies and this and that and the other."


"Whenever you had to present yourself, especially on like boarding passes, just as an example, you know they only use your first name, and so it would always be 'John Lennon, John Lennon," the 59-year-old singer-songwriter explained. 


"So I became quite fearful and anxious about those scenarios, because there would always be wise cracks or jokes, and most of the time people didn't even recognize me. So it became really uncomfortable over the years because I've always been known as Julian and so it [being called John] never felt like it was me. So finally I just decided in 2020, 'Yeah, I wanna be me now. This is it, it's time for a change.'"


But Julian is making sure to still honor his parents, John and Cynthia Powell.


"I want to respect the legacy and the wishes of my parents, but all I did was switch the 'John' and 'Julian' so I'm Julian Charles John Lennon. It's as simple as that, but for me, it's a whole other world, it really is. Not that I'm ashamed or have disrespect. I needed to be me. I needed to finally be heard as Julian. This is what Julian does, not 'John's son,' so that has been a part of the path just made sense for me."


In April, Julian performed John's signature 1971 hit "Imagine" for the first time ever at Global Citizen's televised Stand Up for Ukraine benefit concert, which raised over $10 billion to help refugees. "Why now, after all these years? — I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing 'IMAGINE' would be if it was the 'End of the World,'" he wrote in the clip's YouTube description.


Julian said the positive reception toward the performance has also altered his feelings toward the experience of being viewed as the son of a Beatle. "I feel, probably for the first time ever, that I can walk around not being afraid with my head held high," he shared during an interview with the iHeartRadio podcast Inside the Studio, recalling awkward stories of being recognized. "You know, on the road in the older days, we'd stop at a diner and they just put Beatles songs on to see if I reacted to see if it was me. 'Really, that's all you've got!? Can't you just come up and say, 'Hey, Julian!'?'"


"I used to have to deal with that crap all the frigging time. It was so frustrating. Anyway, I'm over all of that now," Julian continued. "I think I've laid my foundation on many levels of what I do and I'm proud to be doing everything that I'm doing now. So it's a different world, you know? I'm feeling like maybe just a little bit of an adult now… It's been magical. It's been magical probably for the first time ever."

July 20, 2022
Song of the Week – Tired of Midnight Blue, George Harrison
by (text below has been edited from the or


In late 1974, George Harrison released Dark Horse, his fifth solo album that coincided with a concert tour.  Anyone who is familiar with this album or witnessed the tour knows that Harrison sounded different than he had ever sounded before.  His voice was suffering from laryngitis, the result of alcohol, drugs and over working.


His next album, Extra Texture, has often been considered as an inconsequential effort that was produced with little focus simply to take advantage of time available in A&M studios that would otherwise have gone unused (and to satisfy his contractual commitment to Apple/EMI).


But Extra Texture has a few highlights, like its lone single, “You,” that reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Another is “Tired of Midnight Blue.”


The song’s backstory is that Harrison wrote it after a night out in LA where he was bored with the phony club scene and wished he had simply stayed at home instead.


The sun came into view 
As I sat with the tears in my eyes 
The sun came up on you 
And as you smiled, the tear-drop it dried.


I don’t know where I had been 
But I know what I had seen 
Made me chill right to the bone 
Made me wish that I’d stayed home – along with you 
Tired of midnight blue.


The track has a beautiful piano intro, played by Leon Russell.  In fact, it has one of Russell’s finest performances throughout.  Jim Keltner was on drums (and cowbell) and session man Paul Stallworth played bass.


Even Harrison’s least important records had some very worthwhile music to hear, and “Tired of Midnight Blue” is a textbook example.

July 19, 2022
In My Life - The Beatles - Full Instrumental Recreation (4K)
by Michael Sokil

The musical history on The Beatles "What Goes On?"
by Dave Rybaczewski for

The Beatles perform on Top of the Pops in 1966



(John Lennon – Paul McCartney – Richard Starkey)


On October 13th, 1965, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr drove over to John Lennon’s Kenwood home in Weybridge, Surrey with one important order of business. This was to compose a three-way collaborative effort for inclusion on their upcoming album “Rubber Soul.” They all sat down at the kitchen table with paper and pens and, with guitars in hand, wrote what would become the first and only three-person Beatles composition, the results being the Grammy-award winning song “What Goes On?”


Well…OK, it didn’t really happen that way. In fact this is the farthest from the truth. While the real story is hardly as glamorous, it has become a piece of history if only for the reason of it being an indelible component of The Beatles catalog. Not the topper of anyone’s “favorites” list and considered by most as “album filler,” examination shows the song as effectively conveying a convincing message within the framework of a well-written melody line and chord structure. Maybe we all need to reconsider its worth.


Songwriting History


When asked in 1972 by Hit Parader magazine who wrote “What Goes On?,” John Lennon answered: “Me. A very early song of mine.” In 1980, he explained to Playboy magazine, “That was an early Lennon, written before The Beatles, when we were The Quarry Men, or something like that.”


“The Quarry Men,” named after Quarry Bank High School where John and most of the original members attended, had a performance life between 1957 and 1960. Paul McCartney joined the group in July of 1957 as did George Harrison in 1958. By 1960, the band's name changed various times (“Johnny And The Moondogs,” “The Silver Beetles”), so the song “What Goes On?” was apparently written during this four year time period, although it was never performed by the group.


However, it was apparently quite different from what we’ve come to know it as. Lennon told Playboy in 1980 that the song was “resurrected with a middle-eight thrown in, probably with Paul’s help, to give Ringo a song and also to use the bits, because I never like to waste anything.” John and Paul usually referred to a song's bridge as a “middle-eight” but in this case, “What Goes On?” doesn’t have one. It has a repeatable chorus (“What goes on in your heart…”) and a set of verses (“The other day I saw you as…”). It can easily be assumed that what John claims to have written during the Quarry Men days was the chorus while the verses were added by Paul in 1965 to complete it for the “Rubber Soul” album.


This hypothesis brings us to a puzzling conclusion, though. It seems very unlikely that John would only have a repeatable chorus and claim it was a complete song. And since, as we’ll discuss later, the song was auditioned as a contender to be recorded in EMI Studios in 1963 before Paul contributed anything, it must have had at least a little more substance to it early on.


This is cleared up with John’s further comment to Hit Parader magazine in 1972: “Ringo and Paul wrote a new middle-eight together when we recorded it.” Since what was written to complete the song in 1965 was termed a “new middle-eight,” John must have written one in the song’s early version, one that was replaced in 1965 just before it was recorded.


Also clarified here is that Ringo did in fact contribute to the song’s writing, Paul and himself putting together the verses. Barry Miles, in his co-authored autobiography of Paul’s career entitled “Many Years From Now,” states about the song: “John dusted it off and Paul and Ringo wrote a new middle eight for it.” When asked in 1966 about his input to this collaboration, Ringo replied, “I contributed about five words to ‘What Goes On.’ I haven’t done a thing since.”


Recording History


“I was always saying to The Beatles, ‘I want another hit, come on, give me another hit.’” This comment from George Martin was particularly valid in the early months of 1963 when a follow-up to their first British chart-topper “Please Please Me” was needed. Therefore, on March 5th, 1963, at around 2:30 in the afternoon, the group assembled for a session in EMI Studio Two to show him what they had.


George Martin remembers, “I would meet them in the studio to hear a new number. I would perch myself on a high stool and John and Paul would stand around me with their acoustic guitars and play and sing it – usually without Ringo or George, unless George joined in the harmony. Then I would make suggestions to improve it, and we’d try it again. That’s what is known in the business as a ‘head arrangement.’”


On this occasion, The Beatles premiered four songs to George Martin for consideration for their next single, two newly written compositions and two written many years before. The two first chosen by Martin were the recently written numbers, “From Me To You” and “Thank You Girl,” the former becoming their next British #1 single and the latter becoming its b-side. With a little studio time left, one of the older written songs began life in the studio, this being “One After 909,” although this was never finished nor released at the time. The other older written song that they didn’t have time for that day was the early incarnation of “What Goes On?,” at this time a full John Lennon composition. At this point, this song was the least suitable for recording and apparently didn’t get past the George Martin “high stool” test.


With just over half of the “Rubber Soul” album completed by November 4th, 1965, and with a December 3rd release date fast approaching, the group prepared “What Goes On?” to finally be suitable for recording and release. With a new set of verses written by Paul and Ringo, they entered EMI Studio Two on this day at 11 pm for a late night session to get more needed work done for the album.


Much preparatory work was first needed, so with all the arrangement bugs worked out they recorded only one take of the rhythm track, which was deemed good enough. The instrumentation consisted of John on electric rhythm guitar, George on lead guitar, Paul on bass and Ringo on drums, as well as an off-microphone guide vocal. Also noticeable on the rhythm track are off-the-cuff remarks and voices from the other group members, such as John yelling out “I already TOLD you why” after Ringo sings “tell me why” at the end of the second verse, most likely a reference to their 1964 composition “Tell Me Why.”


With this rhythm track complete, overdubs commenced. First was Ringo’s lead vocal which remained single-tracked (his fiasco double-tracking “Matchbox” in June of 1964 showed him not too capable with this procedure) and John and Paul’s harmonized background vocals. A brief lead guitar flourish at the conclusion of the song was the only instrumental overdub necessary. By approximately 2 am the next morning, “What Goes On?” was complete, leaving the remaining hour-and-a-half hours of the session for attempting the recording of an ad-libbed instrumental tentatively titled “12-Bar Original” which was eventually discarded as a bad idea and never saw the light of day (until “Anthology 2,” that is).


Both the mono and stereo mixes of “What Goes On?” were created on November 9th, 1965 in Room 65 of EMI Studios by George Martin and engineers Norman Smith and Jerry Boys. Interestingly, the overdubbed lead guitar flourish, which presumably was recorded on a separate track, was inadvertently left out of the mono mix. They remembered to turn up this track during the stereo mix which also gives more clarity to Ringo humming/singing the chorus during the guitar solo and his off-mic twice repeated “in your mind” at the end of the song. The stereo mix features most of the rhythm track and Ringo’s lead vocal primarily on the left channel with George’s lead guitar and the overdubbed harmony vocals primarily on the right channel.


In 1986, George Martin created a new stereo mix of the song in preparation for the “Rubber Soul” album appearing on compact disc for the first time. Although somewhat clearer, the mix is essentially the same as the 1965 stereo mix except that both Ringo’s vocal and the background vocals are slightly panned a little bit more to the center.


On July 16th, 2006, Ringo and his “All-Starr Band” had a live rendition of the song recorded in Uncasville, CT, for inclusion on his live album “Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band Live 2006.” Also, in 2008, a recording was made of the song during Ringo’s live set at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, California, the result appearing on the album “Live At The Greek Theatre 2008.”



Song Structure and Style


The Beatles seemed to go to great lengths to infuse some creativity into the structure and arrangement for this song which, to many ears, appears to be a let-down in comparison to the sparkling and innovative songwriting that surrounds it on the album. I heartily implore you to take a closer look at the results so as to show that this is in fact a well-written song with many elements of an impressive performance. I’m not trying to give anyone the "hard sell," but I don’t think that it should be considered a “bad song,” per se, as may be the general opinion. The unfortunate thing here is that, surrounded by the contents of either British or American album that contains it, it sits among the framework of brilliance. American Beatle fans of the 60’s had a hard transition to the British track listing of the compact disc when, where they expected the beautiful “It’s Only Love,” they got what they considered a "clunky" album-filler sung by Ringo.


Although the structure of the song was no doubt in place back in the late 50’s, we see here another case of a chorus being used as the primary feature, something that was less than usual in their catalog up to this point. The format of the song is ‘chorus/ verse/ chorus/ verse/ chorus (solo)/ verse/ chorus’ (or abababa). Three separate verses with their own lyrics show that a lot of work was put into the writing of the song in getting it to this finished state, Ringo’s “five words” intermingled somewhere within.


A brief four-measure introduction, started off by three leading notes from George before the downbeat, establishes the key of E major and begins what has developed into a true country-and-western flavored piece. Being what Ringo has claimed at the time as being his favorite genre of music, the group was undoubtedly bowing to his favor, possibly purposely altering the previously-written composition to his style. In fact, the habit up to this point had been to cater to a “hillbilly” sound for most of his vocal contributions, which were a Buck Owens cover and two Carl Perkins “rockabilly” classics. (The unreleased “If You’ve Got Trouble” wouldn’t have fit into this mold.)


The one-beat of the introduction introduces the full band arrangement as we’ll hear unaltered throughout the song, consisting of John on electric rhythm guitar, Paul on bass and Ringo on drums. George plays an interesting introductory guitar phrase not unlike what we’ll hear almost non-stop throughout the remainder of the two minutes and forty-four seconds.


Just before the first twenty-measure verse begins, we hear the three-part harmony of Ringo, John and Paul come in with the title of the song, which continues in this fashion for the entire verse. In actuality, John and Paul apparently miss the first word, just singing “goes on” the first time around. Just after the first phrase ends with the words “in your heart,” we hear an unidentified voice from the rhythm track give a quick “yelp” of some sort, the first of many during the song.


The first verse, like the other three, is fourteen measures long. It features Ringo stepping into the spotlight to tell us his story while John and Paul sing background “ooh”s, not unlike those in the recently recorded “Michelle.” The melody line used is quite wordy in comparison to the simple phrases contained in the chorus, which sets off a nice contrast. The verse actually appears to have been cut short in structure after the phrase “tell me why,” a sixteen measure format seeming to be more expected. However, extending it another two measures would have been even more awkward so it's best as is.


An identical repeat of the chorus comes next, with Ringo hitting his snare unusually hard for the first beat. John and Paul once again come in late with the background harmonies, singing only “goes on.” During the breathing space of the last two measures of this chorus we hear some more unidentified mumbling from the rhythm track.


The second verse then appears which follows the same pattern as the first, the most noteworthy feature being what seems to be the voice of John from the rhythm track saying “tell me why?” just after Ringo sings “a girl like you to lie.” And then afterwards, Lennon’s’ infamous exclamation “I already TOLD you why!


What appears to be another repeat of the chorus comes next, although they cleverly just sing the first phrase in three-part harmony and, after a “wooh” from Paul, they continue the structure of the chorus with George vamping an ad-lib solo rather high in the mix for the remainder of the measures. The only problem here is that the listener probably doesn’t understand the structure of this solo section and it becomes somewhat disorienting, not delineating the chord changes from the chorus and wondering when it’s going to conclude. Also disorienting is the solo itself which meanders through some phrasings as heard elsewhere in the song, leaving the listener feeling that he’s not sure what he’s doing. Ringo is also heard, presumably in the rhythm track, humming/singing along to the chorus to keep himself and the group in time.


A final identically-structured verse now comes in which has as its feature the erratic rhythm guitar playing of John Lennon, his playing habitually going into loud staccato “chops” throughout its duration. George just plays quiet assorted fills in the background as if he’s not sure what to do.


This is followed by the final chorus which is characterized by Ringo banging away loudly on his snare drum, noticeably different from the rest of the song. While this doesn’t appear to be an edit in the rhythm track (as could be suggested), it is probably just his way of winding the song down climactically. This last chorus is actually followed by another four-measure section that acts as a conclusion to the song. George’s guitar playing goes diminished while Ringo quietly repeats the final phrase “in your mind” from, presumably, the rhythm track. An overdubbed ending guitar flourish from George (unheard in the mono mix) brings the song to a conclusion with a mighty crash on a syncopated beat. The unfortunate final chord sounds out-of-tune but, with the time constraints, was deemed suitable enough.


Ringo’s drum playing keeps the country swagger going without variation throughout the proceedings except for the ending cymbal crash. His forte on this song is his vocal work which, within the small amount of range written into his part, is done amazingly well. He keeps on pitch very well with some slight reaching for the notes in the choruses that actually works nicely with the country feel of the song. Arguably his best vocal performance up to this point.


George is very much to the fore on this song, channeling Carl Perkins for his flavored runs that ooze throughout the arrangement. His "high in the mix" guitar work, while not always confidently played, shows him being able to ad-lib a little more closely to what he was used to in the Cavern/Hamburg days which were seemingly a million years before. Guitar solos were much more structured in their recent recordings of that day, Paul even playing them himself at times.


Speaking of Paul, his "walking" bass work is phenomenal on this song, as are his usual harmony vocals. John’s harmonies are also spot-on, expected from someone proud to have an early songwriting attempt finally see the light of day. John declines the use of the expected acoustic guitar in favor of electric while playing an unusual staccato rhythm pattern which does get a little patchy at times.


Lyrically, the song fits Ringo’s persona perfectly, depicting the "sad and lonely" type who is being mistreated somehow by his significant other. Except for the rockers “Boys" and "I Wanna Be Your Man," his vocal songs up to this point are of this nature.


This time around he sees his “future fold” when he spots his girl with another guy. And, to top it off, he had just been with his girl that “morning, waiting for the tides of time” (this Dylan-esque phrase suggested by Ian MacDonald to be the lyrical contribution from Ringo as read in “Revolution In The Head”). The illusion was that everything was fine with their relationship, only to find that it was “easy for (her) to lie.” He wonders “what goes on” in a heart and mind that would cheat so openly. He feels that she didn’t even think of him “as someone with a name,” wondering whether she really wanted to maintain their romance on the sly or whether she meant 'to break his heart and watch him die.' Poor guy!


At least the next time he sings, he’ll be in a happy “Yellow Submarine!”


American Releases


On February 15th, 1966, America got its first glimpse of “What Goes On?” as the b-side of Capitol’s first and only make-shift single of the year, pairing it with “Nowhere Man” as the a-side. While this a-side peaked at #3 on the Billboard pop chart, “What Goes On?” did get a placement on the chart as well, although it only made it up to #81.


Because of force of habit, Capitol printed the songwriting credit as “John Lennon – Paul McCartney” before they were informed that Ringo was also involved in the writing of the song. Later pressings showed the credit as “Lennon – McCartney – Starkey,” but since the popularity of the record had peaked by that time, the majority of the circulated copies have the earlier credit, making the “Starkey” copies much rarer today.


A little over four months later, on June 20th, 1966, “What Goes On?" got its first US album release on Capitol’s “Yesterday…And Today.” Positioned in the not-so-flattering position of next to last on the album, in between the powerhouse tracks “We Can Work It Out” and “Day Tripper,” it was much easier to dismiss as album filler than it was in Britain where it started off side two of “Rubber Soul.” "Yesterday...And Today" was then released on January 21st, 2014, as an individual compact disc, both the mono and stereo versions of the album being included on a single CD. Incidentally, this release featured both the "trunk" cover and the "butcher" cover.

Sometime in 1967, Capitol released Beatles music on a brand new but short-lived format called "Playtapes." These tape cartidges did not have the capability to include entire albums, so two truncated four-song versions of "Yesterday...And Today" were released in this portable format, "What Goes On?" being on one of these. These "Playtapes" are highly collectable today.


The first time the original British "Rubber Soul” album was made available in the US was the "Original Master Recording" vinyl edition released through Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in June of 1984. This album included "What Goes On?" and was prepared utilizing half-speed mastering technology from the original master tape on loan from EMI. This version of the album was only available for a short time and is quite collectible today.


Speaking of “Rubber Soul,” its first compact disc release was on April 30th, 1987 and featured the new 1986 George Martin stereo mix of “What Goes On?” This fourteen-track version of the album also received a vinyl release in the US on July 21st, 1987. This album was then remastered and re-released on September 9th, 2009 on CD and on vinyl on November 13th, 2012.


On January 24th, 1996, the Capitol single was re-released in the Cema series “For Jukeboxes Only.” This original single was printed on green vinyl and is quite the find today.


September 9th, 2009 was the release date for the box set “The Beatles In Mono,” on which, as in the case of all of the “Rubber Soul” tracks, “What Goes On?” is featured in both the original 1965 mono and stereo mixes.

In promotion of the 2014 box set "The US Albums," a 25-song sampler CD was manufactured for limited release on January 21st, 2014, this containing the mono mix of "What Goes On?".


On July 7th, 2008, a live performance of the song was included on the album “Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band Live 2006.” Also, his album “Live At The Greek Theatre 2008,” which came out on July 27th, 2010, features a new rendition of “What Goes On?”


Live Performances


Although The Beatles continued to feature a Ringo vocal during their live performances after “Rubber Soul” had been released, they continued playing “Act Naturally” in late 1965 and then delved back to the 1963 rocker “I Wanna Be Your Man” throughout 1966. They apparently didn’t feel “What Goes On?” had the required enthusiastic stage presence and decided to bypass the song entirely in live performances.


Even Ringo himself omitted the song from his live "All-Starr Band" set lists for many years. He began these tours in 1989, but didn't think to include "What Goes On?" until 2006, reprising it on stage in 2008, during his 2012-17 tour, and then during his 2018-19 tour.




It seemed only natural that, given Ringo’s penchant for country music, the group would take their new "original compositions only" policy and concoct a C&W song for him to sing for their current album. The previous album's “Act Naturally” worked well enough for Lennon and McCartney to adapt a previously written song to that genre of music, going as far as mimicking the rhythm and style of the Buck Owens classic right down to the three quarter-note guitar introduction. Although “What Goes On?” lacks the confidence and sheen of the previous Ringo song, it still stands as testimony to The Beatles’ chameleon-like ability to convincingly tackle any task needed.

Song Summary


“What Goes On?

Written by:  John Lennon / Paul McCartney / Richard Starkey 

Song Written:  1957 to November 4, 1965
Song Recorded:  November 4, 1965
First US Release Date: February 15, 1966
US Single Release: Capitol #5587 (b-side to “Nowhere Man”)
Highest Chart Position: #81
First US Album Release: Capitol #ST-2553 “Yesterday…And Today”
British Album Release: Parlophone #PCS 3075 “Rubber Soul”
Length: 2:44
Key: E  major
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Norman Smith, Ken Scott, Graham Platt

Instrumentation (most likely):


Ringo Starr – Lead Vocals, Drums (1964 Ludwig Super Classic Black Oyster Pearl)
George Harrison – Lead Guitar (1963 Gretsch 6119 Tennessean)
Paul McCartney - Bass Guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 4001S), Harmony Vocals
John Lennon -  Rhythm Guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 325), Harmony Vocals 

July 18, 2022
Your Beatles questions answered
by Parlogram Auctions

In this first Q&A session, I answer 11 questions from channel members about various topics in the
Beatles collecting world, from best pressings to what I have in my collection.

July 17, 2022
Retro-groove: "McCartney's pipe band players remake history"
by Mark Davey for the Campbeltown Courier (click here for more photos)

The playing and non-playing surviving members who attended the reunion gather around the Linda McCartney memorial. From left they are Ian McKerral, Tommy Blue, Ian McCallum, John McGeachy,
Duncan Ramsay, Archie Coffield, Ian Campbell, Jimmy McGeachy, Peter McCallum and John Brown.

Watch Paul McCartney perform "Mull of Kintyre" with the Ottawa Police Services Drum & Pipe Band
on July 7, 2013

July 16, 2022
Keith Richards on how The Rolling Stones were “envious” of The Beatles during their early days:
“They were doing what we wanted”
by Liberty Dunworth for


It has recently been revealed that The Rolling Stones were initially “envious” of The Beatles during the early days of their career. Speaking about how Keith Richards in particular was infatuated by the band, the members discuss how they were inspired to sound more like the Liverpool legends shortly after they first formed.


Speaking as part of the second episode of the newly-launched BBC documentary, My Life As A Rolling Stone, both Keith Richards and Mick Jagger have admitted to feeling jealous of the immense success received by The Beatles during the early 1960s.


Keith Richards ... states that The Rolling Stones were predominantly playing covers at the time, and felt pressure to try and create their own songs after seeing the overwhelming acclaim given to the Liverpool-based pop stars.

“We were working the clubs in London and The Beatles just came out and had a hit, Love Me Do… And
we said, ‘Oh man, what a great record’” Richards reflects. “Our job [at the time] was to be like the premier
rhythm and blues band in London and we managed that! But we had no idea of progressing beyond that
stage [until then].”

The band’s frontman Mick Jagger also recalls how Keith Richards first became “obsessed” with The Beatles and claims that the band reinvented the music scene and changed the expectations for new artists.

“The Beatles suddenly explode and there you are going: ‘Oh, yeah, but we’re a blues band! The Beatles
changed this whole thing,” he claims. “Keith, he’d play The Beatles all the time [and] it’d drive me absolutely
batty! Why he was playing The Beatles wasn’t because he didn’t want to listen to anything else; [it was
because] Keith wanted to write these pop songs. We [were] undeniably the blues band, but we knew we had
to be a pop band.”


The guitarist continues to elaborate on why he felt so personally impacted by The Beatles’ success, stating that it was because of the band’s ability to achieve success by writing their own records, unlike The Rolling Stones, who were releasing mostly covers at the time.


“We were just envious, too, man. I mean, they’re doing what we wanted – they got it!” he insists. “They could make records. The Holy Grail was to make records, to be able to get into a studio. […] You’d think it was a gold mine, which in a way it was, y’know what I mean? You’d think you were invading Fort Knox just to make a record.”

This discussion of The Beatles comes in light of comments made by the members during the first episode of
the series. Discussing the controversial image they were given throughout their career, both Jagger and
Richards elaborated on how, behind the scenes, The Beatles were behaving in the same way as they were –
stating that their more respectable image was formulated to make them more appealing to the public.

Watch all episodes of My Life As A Rolling Stone now on BBC iPlayer.

More on the Rolling Stones...

Watch: The Rolling Stones Play “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” With Ukrainian Choir
by Alex Hopper for American Songwriter


The Rolling Stones sang an ode to Ukraine amid their ongoing war with Russa with a special performance of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Near the end of their Friday night (July 15) concert in Vienna, Austria the legendary rock outfit showed solidarity with the embattled nation by inviting a boys and girls choir to join them for the number.


The Dzvinochok boys choir and Vognyk girls choir traveled from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv to join in on the 1969 Stones’ classic. As they shuffled out onto the stage, Mick Jagger noted “they came a long way to be here tonight. They drove all the way.”


Choirmaster Ruben Tolmachov added, “This is a very special night for the two choirs and a chance of a lifetime not to be missed. I’m so glad we made it here to Vienna, a night to remember for all of us.”


Though the Stones usually play the song early on in their set, they saved it for the first encore of the Vienna show to make the collaboration all the more special. As the choir began to sing the iconic opening lines, they swapped the original lyrics for their Ukrainian counterparts before lulling back into English.


As the song’s breakdown came along, the choir began clapping to the beat, bringing the audience in to join them for the refrain, you can’t always get what you want. Watch the triumphant performance below.

The choir’s appearance was just the latest Stones’ surprise amid their ongoing Sixty Tour which celebrates their 60-year milestone as a band. Other highlights from the Vienna show included a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” and their 1966 classic “Out of Time,” which had never been played live prior to this tour.


The European run will continue on July 19 at Groupama Stadium in Lyon, France before wrapping up on August 3

in Berlin, Germany. No other legs have been announced as of yet.


Fans can join in on the 60th-anniversary celebration with the impending four-part docuseries, My Life as a Rolling

Stone. Each of the four episodes will focus on a different member of the group and features exclusive interviews

with Mick Jagger, Kieth Richards, and Ronnie Wood.

July 14, 2022
"McCartney 3, 2, 1" documentary is up for 3 Emmy nominations.
From the Official Paul McCartney Facebook pages...

The McCartney solo albums to be released on August 5, 2022, as a limited edition boxset


The eponymous solo albums written, performed, and produced by Paul McCartney from 1970, 1980, and 2020.  Includes 3 CDs with 3 limited edition photo prints and an introduction from Paul in a beautiful slipcase box.
Written, performed, and produced entirely by Paul McCartney, his three eponymous career-spanning solo albums (1970’s McCartney, 1980’s McCartney II, and 2020’s McCartney III) will now be packaged together and available in one special boxset for the first time.


McCartney I II III box set will be available in three different formats – Limited Edition Color Vinyl, Black Vinyl Edition, and CD – each including three special photo prints with notes from Paul about each album. The newly created boxset cover art and typography for the slipcase are by Ed Ruscha.


Bookending 50 years of unparalleled work, each album demonstrates Paul McCartney’s restless creativity and adventurous artistic spirit. McCartney, the Number One Album was Paul’s first solo album released in 1970 and features timeless tracks “Every Night” and “Junk,” along with the immortal classic “Maybe I’m Amazed.” This album saw a global music superstar pioneer a novel homespun approach to recording that would, in time, become a sought-after sound and the highly influential precursor to the “lo-fi” alternative genre.


Just as McCartney marked the end of an era with Paul’s first release after leaving the biggest band in history, Paul did it again in 1980, this time signaling the end of 70s rock giants Wings. Taking a fresh approach to things, Paul wrote, performed, and produced the avant-garde masterpiece McCartney II, which reached Number One in the UK, and Number 3 in the US, producing such classics as “Coming Up,” “Waterfalls,” and “Temporary Secretary.”


With McCartney III Paul went back to basics again to create some of his most revealing work to date. Released in December 2020, just two years after Paul’s Billboard-topping Egypt Station album, “Rockdown," saw Paul turn unexpected time on his hands into an opportunity to get into the studio on his own. An intimate and loose record featuring “Find My Way” and the now live favorite “Women and Wives,” McCartney III features Paul’s melodic gift at its forefront throughout. Upon release, McCartney III charted at Number One on the UK’s Official Album Charts and Number One on Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart.


In an unrivaled career, Paul has always been willing to take risks and have fun along the way – his musical projects have included classical albums, electronic albums, ballet scores, writing for video games, and left-field collaborations — along the way, breaking chart records, box office records, winning countless awards and remaining one of the world’s most influential and revered artists of all time. McCartney, McCartney II, and McCartney III captured and documented landmark moments of his singular career, each offering a personal snapshot of a unique artist at a particular moment in time.




1. The Lovely Linda
2. That Would Be Something
3. Valentine Day
4. Every Night
5. Hot As Sun
6. Glasses
7. Junk
8. Man We Was Lonely
9. Oo You
10. Momma Miss America
11. Teddy Boy
12. Singalong Junk
13. Maybe I'm Amazed
14. Kreen-Akrore


McCartney II
1. Coming Up
2. Temporary Secretary
3. On The Way
4. Waterfalls
5. Nobody Knows
6. Front Parlour
7. Summer's Day Song
8. Frozen Jap
9. Bogey Music
10. Darkroom
11. One Of These Days


McCartney III
1. Long Tailed Winter Bird
2. Find My Way
3. Pretty Boys
4. Women And Wives
5. Lavatory Lil
6. Slidin'
7. Deep Deep Feeling
8. The Kiss Of Venus
9. Seize The Day
10. Deep Down
11. Winter Bird / When Winter Comes

July 13, 2022
‘A Hard Day’s Night’ still matters after all these years
by Philip Martin for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette


I've been thinking -- and writing -- a bit about The Beatles lately, as the past few years have seen the 50th anniversary of their late-period albums -- "Sgt. Pepper," "The Beatles" (aka "The White Album"), "Abbey Road" and "Let It Be" have come and gone. Next week, Peter Jackson's "The Beatles: Get Back," the immersive and somewhat revisionist documentary series about The Beatles' final sessions will be released on DVD. (I've written about that for the Sunday newspaper.)


With The Beatles so much on my mind, I've decided to kick off my annual summer Lifequest summer movies series by going back to the start, to Richard Lester's remarkable "A Hard Day's Night," which was set over the course of 36 fictional hours in the life of the world's most famous rock 'n' roll band at the height of its popularity, with a soundtrack peppered with their music (including instrumental versions performed by "the George Martin Orchestra," which consisted of The Beatles' producer and classical sidemen).


While there is a tendency to overpraise the rediscovered artifact -- nostalgia interferes with any calm assessment. But in 2022, "A Hard Day's Night" holds up as an intensely pleasurable experience.


For those of us who remember The Beatles -- not the icons they became but the first jarring blast of cool fresh Beatlemania -- "A Hard Day's Night" is a reel of black and white and silver ghosts, a kind of trick mirror in which we can see how young we were and how old we have become. It is a chiaroscuro shadow play, an engagement of almost-forgotten-yet-naggingly-familiar dreams. It's deja voo doo.




It seems silly to talk about something so featherweight and charming as this 1964 musical comedy as an important document, but that is what it has become. It is the source of the music video, and a remnant of nouvelle vague, with its four lead actors living for those mock French tilted cameras. It is a tumble of noise and image and if it doesn't seem quite so spontaneous and structureless as it did the first time we saw it, blame it on our jaded souls.


Lester, an American expatriate, had come to the attention of some critics with his grainy 11-minute short from 1959, "The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film," a collaboration with Peter Sellers. The "Can't Buy Me Love" segment in the film borrows stylistically from this short which pioneered the now common technique of cutting the images to the beat of the music. The "Can't Buy Me Love" sequence is an obvious precursor of MTV-style music videos, which led to some suggesting that Lester is the father of MTV.


The director wasn't impressed by that. In the mid '80s, when someone referred to him as MTV's daddy, he asked for a paternity test.


But whether or not "A Hard Day's Night" can be credited or blamed for MTV, it directly led to the idea for "The Monkees," a television sitcom that started out as four musicians-turned-actors portraying musicians in a struggling rock band. (While I would argue that the Monkees became one of the most important bands of rock 'n' roll's second generation -- their influence is hard to overestimate and their records, regardless of who was playing on them, are very good -- we will leave that discussion for another time.)




Even more importantly, with "A Hard Day's Night," Lester created what Roger Ebert called "a new grammar" of filmmaking that embraced quick cuts, obviously hand-held cameras and pop music playing over documentary (or faux documentary) action. "A Hard Day's Night" is a genuinely iconoclastic film, and it ushered in an identifiable modern pop style.


And while Lester saw "A Hard Day's Night" as a comedy, he also wanted to say something about the political and commercial power of the kids -- particularly the middle-class youth who formed The Beatles' core constituency. He also had the sense to recognize the band as something more than the latest craze and to allow their particular alchemy to infuse the film.


That's not to say The Beatles were simply naturals -- much of the credit for their droll and snappy dialogue goes to actor and playwright Alun Owen, who, though a generation older, had grown up down the street from where John Lennon lived in Liverpool. Owen wrote most of the lines The Beatles deliver, yet he knew them well enough to write for them. Some of the lines were echoes of -- or echoed in -- The Beatles' press conferences. It is a very Beatle-ly movie, regardless of whatever outside agencies may have contributed to the boys' assured performances as themselves. While they weren't, as some of the critics misleadingly commented at the time, "the new Marx Brothers," they were the defining pop phenomenon after Elvis in the last part of the 20th century. They were bloody special and "A Hard Day's Night" shows why.




It isn't exactly as we remember it -- Lester's camera isn't quite so frantic and pushy as we remembered; after the opening scenes it settles down a bit, though there are a few wonderful overhead aerial shots and some of the chase scenes -- there are several -- are reminiscent of Truffaut. Lester was ahead of the game by recognizing the synesthesia between rock and television and cinema -- it seems that in every other shot the guys appear on TV monitors. When they sneak off to a disco they dance to their own music. It's all self-reflexive and insidery, to the point that one probably has to be a Beatle to get all the running in-jokes. (Look, John's pretending to snort something from a Pepsi bottle! What's that all about?)


While the experience of watching "A Hard Day's Night" today is necessarily different from 1964 -- we know how the story ends, we know that despite all expectations, The Beatles persist -- the film still has the power to convey a sense of innocence. It's a story about friendship, about the confounding and confusing nature of sudden fame. Lester cuts from The Beatles to their fans -- mainly adolescent girls screaming, with tears tracking their cheeks. What's that money can't buy?


All in all, it seems like a glorious accident, though there were safety rails. The film is buttressed by a couple of splendid performances by character actors Wilfred Brambell as Paul's rebellious grandfather and Victor Spinetti as a foppish television director. Their roles would have been larger had it turned out The Beatles couldn't act. And maybe they couldn't, but they -- and only they -- could be The Beatles.

July 12, 2022
Peter Jackson and the Beatles Get Back documentary is up for 5 Emmy Nominations
From the Beatles Official Facebook pages...

MonaLisa Twins featuring Mike Sweeney do the Beatles cover of "Money (That's What I Want)"

July 11, 2022
Parlogram Auctions examines 10 of the rarest Beatles records

In this video, we present 10 of the rarest and most value Beatles records. The list could be much longer and some it would be easy to argue for items not included in the list. We hope you will enjoy looking at them and hearing the stories behind them and how much they are worth. If you have any Beatles rarities in your collection, we'd love to feature them on the channel. You can send a photo of them via email to: andrew@parlogramauctions or even a video via this site: You don't have to appear in the video if you don't want to ;)

July 10, 2022
‘The Beatles And India’ Blu-Ray Review – A Look At The Fab Four’s Quest For Enlightenment &
by Dillon Gonzales for Geeks Vibes Nation

Rare archival footage, recordings and photographs, eye-witness accounts and expert comments along with
location shoots across India, bring alive the fascinating journey of George, John, Paul and Ringo from their
high octane celebrity lives in the West to a remote Himalayan ashram in search of spiritual bliss that
inspires an unprecedented burst of creative songwriting. It is the first serious exploration of how India
shaped the development of the greatest ever rock band and their own pioneering role bridging two vastly
different cultures.


Director Ajoy Bose was a teenage rebel in Calcutta in love with the Beatles when they came to India. His long mop and the psychedelic flowers painted on his shirt imitating the Fab Four led to fierce fights with his bureaucrat father. In an interesting quirk of fate half a century later as an established journalist and author, Bose was writing a book, Across the Universe to mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles historic trip to Rishikesh for the world’s largest publishing house Penguin Random House.


Inspired by Ajoy Bose’s book, British Indian music entrepreneur Reynold D’Silva has now taken the amazing saga of The Beatles and India further by producing Bose’s directorial debut. Bose and cultural researcher, co-director, Pete Compton, have created an audio-visual presentation that stands apart from the many documentaries on the band, delving deep into the most crucial period of their evolution from the world’s most famous pop stars into multi-faceted pioneering musical artists.


Video Quality


The Beatles and India comes to Blu-Ray with a very lovely high definition master that suits the film as well as you might hope. As is typical with documentaries on subjects from decades ago, the film features a lot of different material in varying degrees of quality. The new interviews look incredibly solid and clear with natural skin tones and some detailed facial features on the subjects. The archival footage features a variety of different sources that seem to be in the best shape possible given the filming limitations. Some footage appears to be authorized within the compound while other is taken from far away as people tried to get a glimpse of the Fab Four. Much of  this footage is pretty ragged, but it helps bring a glimpse of history into the modern world. The colors featured in the film have a decent degree of vibrancy to them. The transfer has not fallen victim to any compression artifacts or digital nuisances of the sort. MVD Entertainment has delivered a great presentation for fans. 


Audio Quality


This Blu-Ray disc comes with a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio and a LPCM 2.0 track which perfectly suits the source material. Since this is a film focused on world famous musicians, you might expect wall-to-wall classic tunes, but most of the music featured in the film comes from Indian musicians rather than The Beatles themselves. Nevertheless, the sound quality is pristine and fills the room in a wonderful way. With this being such an interview showcase with talking heads aplenty, it is nice to note that dialogue comes through flawlessly in the center channel. The archival clips do not feature much in the way of age-related wear, thankfully, but you can tell there were some limitations to recording in certain situations. The surround channel presentation is not pushed to the limits, but it sounds terrific here. There are optional English subtitles provided on this release. 

Special Features


Ajoy Bose Interview: A full 21-minute interview in which the director discusses what it was like being a
Beatles fan in the 1960s, why he decided to write his book on The Beatles, the research that went into that
endeavor, his experience going to a Beatles convention in the US, how he tracked down people from the time
documented in the film, the appeal of Maharishi, the Indian music scene, the larger story the film tells about
India and more. 

Ashram Map:
A six-minute look at the ashram that the Beatles stayed and practiced at and the continued
appeal it has to Beatles fans. 

Production Photo Diary: A three-minute collection of photos taken along the journey to the ashram. 

The two-minute trailer is provided here. 

Final Thoughts


The Beatles and India is an immensely entertaining documentary detailing a unique period of time in the career of one of the greatest bands of all time. Hardcore fans of the group may already know quite a bit about this period, but even they should find a lot of value in the unique archival footage and the larger context you get from the interview subjects. If you are completely fresh to this information, get ready for a different side of the Fab Four which more clearly defined what exactly mattered to each of them at this point in their lives. MVD Entertainment has released a Blu-Ray featuring a strong A/V presentation and a nice array of additional material. If you are a Beatles fan, you are going to have a lot of fun. Recommended 


The Beatles and India is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD. 


Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.


Disclaimer: MVD Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.

And on this date, this announcement from Ringo Starr's Official Facebook pages...

July 9, 2022
Peace, Love, Fun And Friends: The Musical Adventures Of Ringo Starr
by Paul Sexton for (click on the image below for the report)

The ever popular MonaLisa Twins cover George Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun"

What George Harrison said about his song

"The other song I wrote on Abbey Road is 'Here Comes The Sun'. It was written on a nice sunny day in early
summer in Eric Clapton's garden, because, with the Beatles, we'd really been through hell with business and it
was really heavy. And on this day, I just felt that I had been slagging off from school. I just didn't come in
one day and the release of being in the sun, made the song just come to me. It was like 'If I Needed
Someone', you know, the basic riff going through it, you know all those 'Bells Of Rhymney' Byrds type things.
So, that's how I see it, anyway. It's quite vintage."

Quoted from the book "the Beatles Off The Record" by Keith Badman.

July 7, 2022
Ringo Starr’s birthday extravaganza extends to space this year
by Alan Cross for Journal of Musical Things


At noon California time on Thursday, July 7, Ringo Starr, joined by friends and family, will make his annual “Peace and Love” exclamation in honor of his 82nd birthday. [Note: Having seen Ringo up close a couple of years ago, I can attest he is the best-looking octogenarian I’ve ever met. Okay, him and his mate Macca. When I asked him about how he maintains his useful look, he replied “Blueberries!”]


He’ll be joined in this celebration by the team on the International Space Station, which will also broadcast his message into the cosmos, with a little help from the Artemis Music Space Network. 


On Ringo’s signal, the Artemis Mission Control Center in Houston will beam his message and two songs out into Earth’s orbit and beyond. The songs include “Let’s Change the World,” which he released in 2021, and “Star Song,” a new piece described as “the music the stars made upon his birth as mapped out by Artemis.” 


When you’re a Beatle, and you go by the name Starr, this is what you do. 


Joining Ringo and his wife, Barbara Starkey, will be a collection of famous friends, including Richard Marx, Matt Sorum, Ed Begley Jr., Linda Perry, Diane Warren, Roy Jr and Alex Orbison, along with All Starrs Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter, Colin Hay, Warren Ham and Greg Bissonette. 


Before his galactic message, Ringo will be celebrated by performances from Langhorne Slim and Sawyer Fredericks. 


There are celebrations happening around the globe, including Sydney, Australia; Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; Moscow; Athens, Greece; Jerusalem, Israel; or, a little closer to North America, New York City, Cleveland, Ohio at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. While this party has been open to the public in the past, he is not yet able to invite fans to join in the fun in person, but there will be special programming on the Beatles Channel on SiriusXM from July 7-10 and 10,000 Starbucks locations will be playing Ringo playlists. 


More information can be found here


The ageless Ringo Starr reflects on what keeps him going

by Scott Mervis for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette


Strange to think about it now, but when Ringo Starr launched Ringo and His All-Starr Band in 1989, he hadn’t been a touring musician since 1966.

The drummer had been in this really good band that only toured for four years before deciding it wasn’t for them and that they were just going to make records.

They were called The Beatles, and it turned out to be a pretty good move because the very next year, they released “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which some contend is the greatest album of all time.

After the breakup of The Beatles in April 1970, Ringo had about four good musical years during which he played on solo albums by John Lennon and George Harrison, performed at The Concert for Bangladesh, released two successful albums of his own — 1973’s “Ringo” and 1974’s “Goodnight Vienna” — and scored five top 20 singles: “It Don't Come Easy,” “Back Off Boogaloo,” “Photograph,” “You're Sixteen” and “Oh My My.” 

That he had any solo success at all was a bit of a surprise given that drummers rarely emerge from bands as hitmakers and that Ringo, although having sung such Beatles songs as “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “Yellow Submarine,” had only written two Beatles songs on his own — “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden” — and by his own admission was a vocalist of limited ability.

Music aside, his humble and happy-go-lucky personality led to acting roles in the post-Beatle years, including the movies “Son of Dracula” (1974) and “Caveman” (1981) and as narrator of the kids show “Thomas and Friends” in the ‘80s.

With the shocking murder of John Lennon in 1980, the already rare shot of a Beatles reunion was out the window, so it was going to take something rather extraordinary to get Ringo back on the road as a touring drummer and singer.

Enter David Fishof, an Orthodox Jewish talent agent from New York who had created the 1984 Happy Together Tour for The Turtles and the 1986 Monkees 20th Anniversary Reunion, among other packages. Knowing that the former Beatle was at his best with about three ace singer-songwriters by his side, he flew to London in March 1989 to pitch Ringo on the idea of an All-Starr Band Tour with the drummer joined by a supergroup of legends, in some cases, just slightly past their prime.

Ringo and His All-Starr Band launched its maiden tour on July 23, 1989, in Dallas with the enviable lineup of Joe Walsh (James Gang, Eagles), Nils Lofgren (Crazy Horse, E Street Band), Rick Danko and Levon Helm (The Band), Dr. John, Billy Preston, Clarence Clemons (E Street Band), and Jim Keltner.

Helm and Keltner made it three drummers, giving Ringo freedom to grab the mic and shuffle around, as he does, at center stage. He took the lead on 10 songs in the two-hour show that featured hits from the other stars (although no Springsteen songs).

In a 1989 New York Times story, Ringo, less than a year removed from a stint in alcohol rehab, talked about overcoming serious jitters the first few nights. He also said, “It’s great being down front. I’ve never done that before. I’ve always been behind the kit. After the first show, I read some stuff about my voice. But I’m not Pavarotti. People know who I am, and I’m giving them my best shot on my songs.”

Ringo in the Burgh

The ‘89 tour skipped Pittsburgh, pushing the Pittsburgh debut of the All-Starr Band to its second trip, in 1992, which stopped at Star Lake with Walsh, Lofgren, Todd Rundgren, Burton Cummings (The Guess Who), Dave Edmunds (Rockpile) and Timothy B. Schmit (Poco, Eagles).

It was his first performance here since the Beatles played the Civic Arena in September 1964. 

The Amphitheater at Station Square shows in 1995 and 1997 featured the likes of Peter Frampton, Randy Bachman (BTO), Felix Cavaliere (Rascals), Jack Bruce (Cream), Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), Dave Mason (Traffic) and John Entwistle (The Who).

Almost 20 years passed before his Pittsburgh return, at Heinz Hall, in 2015 and 2018 with a mix of Rundgren, Steve Lukather (Toto), Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey), Richard Page (Mr. Mister) and Colin Hay (Men at Work).

The All-Starr Band was set to return in 2020, and then 2021, for PPG Paints Arena shows, but the pandemic
pushed it to 2022. On board are Lukather, Hay, Edgar Winter, Hamish Stuart (Average White Band), Gregg
Bissonette and Warren Ham. Due to Winter and Lukather testing positive for COVID-19 last week, the PPG
Paints Arena show, scheduled for June 18, will be pushed to a date in September.

In a recent All-Starr Band Zoom call with the media from a casino near Toronto, the former Beatle expressed his excitement to get back on stage.

“Two and a half years …,” he said. “It’s been a really difficult period for me. I love to play. I put the All-Starrs together 32 years ago. I was in a couple of other bands before that. For me, that’s what it’s all about, playing in front of an audience. A long time ago we’d play weddings, we’d play anywhere we could just so we could play together as a band.”

“I wouldn’t be a musician if it weren’t for Ringo and the Beatles,” said Bissonette, a 62-year-old drummer with a long resume of studio work along with tours backing David Lee Roth. “My dad was a jazz drummer in Detroit. We went to the Olympia hockey arena where the Red Wings played, and he said, ‘Kids, we’re going to see the Beatles tomorrow night.’ My brother and I just flipped out.

“That started me going, being in the same room and hearing that music and hearing Ringo’s groove. I would come home every day after school and put on the headphones with my record player and just want to play along with him and try to get in that pocket. Now every night, 5 feet away, I get to look at his bass drum pedal and his snare, and I try to get in that Ringo pocket, that swing that he’s given drummers, There’s nothing like it, and what an honor, greatest gig of my life ever ,and I hope it goes a long, long, long, long time.”

The 75-year-old Winter, who had his biggest success in 1972 with the Edgar Winter Group hits “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride,” is on his third trip with the All-Starr Band since joining in 2006 and his first since 2011.

“I never dreamed that I would even get to meet these people,” he said, “much less share the stage with so many incredible, talented musicians.”

Beatle talk

While the plan for the media call was to keep the focus on the current tour, Ringo, 81, was kind enough to field questions about that old band he joined, as the successor to Pete Best, in 1962, when he was 22. He had been around the Liverpool scene, playing in skiffle bands since 1957, and being a few months older than Lennon, he would become the oldest Beatle.

Running through some quick Beatles history, he said, “We were lads when we started, and as it went on, we had wives and children. And we stopped touring and made great records. But we didn’t make good records while we were touring. We played well together, and we got on with each other. That’s just how it was. We came to a point, eight years later — it blows me away that we did all that in eight years — that it was time to leave.”

Last winter, along with Beatles fans across the world, the drummer watched with interest “The Beatles: Get Back,” the Disney+ documentary directed by Peter Jackson that used footage caught during the making of Michael Lindsay Hogg’s 1970 film “Let It Be.”

“The original documentary, I never liked it,” he said. “It was so narrow. It was on one point of an argument and all these down parts. We were laughing and we were having fun as well, and we played great and we did all this in a month. Michael Lindsay Hogg’s, I felt, was just too down. I spoke to Peter [and said], ‘I was there. It was lots of fun as well.’ He certainly brought that up. I’m ever grateful to Peter for doing such a great job.”

The one thing missing for him in “The Beatles: Get Back” was the evolution of the title track of the documentary.

“The only thing I was grasping and desperate for is, when we did ‘Get Back,’ if you look at the early sort of getting it together, [the drumming] is just like straight rock. I wanted to know how I got to that rock shuffle thing, just playing the snare drum. Because I have no idea why I changed that. I thought, ‘I’ll see it on film.’ But it just happened the cameras were off when we did that.”

Reflecting on how far this long and winding road out of Liverpool has taken him, he went to his early teen years and getting turned on to music.

“I was inspired at age 13, and that has never left me, the dream and the joy,” he said. “I only ever wanted to be a drummer. I got a kit of drums, and I was in a couple of really good bands. When I was in those Liverpool bands, my mother had this great line. She said, ‘Son, I always feel you’re at your happiest when you’re playing.’ And deep inside, I am. I just love it.

“People ask about retirement. Well, I’m a musician, I don’t have to retire. As long as I can pick up those sticks, I’ve got a gig.”

Winter echoed that sentiment, saying, “If it’s Madison Square Garden or the club down the street on the corner, I’m gonna be playing for me.”

Scott Mervis:

First Published June 13, 2022, 6:00am

July 6, 2022
Listen to Paul McCartney perform "I've Got A Feeling" with John Lennon at the Glastonbury

July 5, 2022
The Beatles painting by Art

July 2, 2022
Ringo Starr's Birthday update

Listen to the Paul McCartney Glastonbury concert on the BBC 
Released On: 25 Jun 2022 and is streaming on-line for 23 days

In 1977, Billy Preston and the Rolling Stones performed at the El Mocambo in Toronto
by John Whelan for the Ottawa Beatles Site

  In March 1977, Billy Preston performed with the Rolling Stones. Previously and in this photo of May 1976,
  Billy Preston (second from the left) are in their hotel room after performing at a British concert. 


Sunrise Records is store that I frequent when it comes to collecting vinyl records and DVD's and it just so
happens that on a recent visit that an album that was displayed in the centre isle caught my attention. It
was "April Wine Live at El Mocambo". The album cover is nicely designed art work and the album itself was
pressed in green with yellow swirl vinyl. April Wine is a Canadian group and I consider them to be on par as
Badfinger in terms of pop music. April Wine has had it's share of hits with songs like "Tonight Is A Wonderful
Time To Fall In Love", "You Won't Dance With Me" and "You Could Have Been A Lady" which are on the

While making my purchase of "April Wine Live at El Mocambo", the sales clerk at Sunrise Records pointed out
that the concert that April Wine did was the "opening act" for the Rolling Stones and that the Stones
recently released their performance on vinyl and CD formats entitled "El Mocambo 1977." The salient point
that the sales clerk made is that by owning both concerts by April Wine and the Rolling Stones it would a
pretty unique piece of rock history to have in your collection. At this point I delayed getting the Stones until
I heard what the sound quality was like on the April Wine album.

And so I played the April Wine concert on my turntable. What surprised me was how excellent the acoustics
were at Toronto's El Mocambo. April Wine's performance showcased a warmth and charm of pop sounds in
front of a small bar before an audience of 300. Both the Rolling Stones and April Wine did two
performances at the El Mocambo: the 4th and 5th of March 1977. Based on that listening, it prompted me to
go back a week later and purchase the limited black vinyl edition of the Rolling Stones performance.

In attendance on both nights was Margaret Trudeau (wife of then Prime Minister Trudeau) which made a bit
of a media splash just by being there at the El Mocambo. There was no hanky-panky between the Stones
and Margaret: Margaret just wanted to hang out at the club and watch the band. Paul Sexton writes in his
liner notes for the album: "Margaret attended both shows, leaping up and down near the mixing desk.
Curtains twitched, editors frothed. Back home, News At Ten ran a report: "She just wanted to see the
shows, and that's the end of it," Mick told the CBC.

While it was many decades wait for the Rolling Stones to release the "El Mocambo 1977" concert, the "April
Wine Live at El Mocambo" was issued in 1977. There are clues on the album about April Wine's connection to
the Rolling Stones performance at "El Mocambo" venue... 

Part of the April Wine back cover which provides acknowledgement from the Rolling Stones.

Another clue from April Wine's protective vinyl sleeve: Cockroaches = The Rolling Stones.

It was deliberately planned to keep the Rolling Stones appearance at the El Mocambo a secret from the
media as much as possible. They were billed as the Cockroaches along with April Wine. On March 4, 1977,
the Stones did a 4:30 p.m. sound-check which surely clued in the passers-by on Spadina Avenue that the
Rolling Stones might surely be performing at the Mocambo.

After playing their first gig at the venue, the word went out about the band to perform a second show on
March 5, 1977, at the Mocambo.

The Rolling Stones line-up for those two nights are as follows:

Mick Jagger: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica
Keith Richards: Guitar, Vocals
Bill Wyman: Bass Guitar
Ronnie Wood: Guitars, BV
Charlie Watts: Drums
Ian Stewart: Piano
Billy Preston: Keyboards
Ollie Brown: Percussion

The Rolling Stones "El Mocambo 1977" is worthy live album, on par with their "Flashpoint".  El Mocambo
features five tracks from their "Black and Blue" album: the funky "Hot Stuff," "Fool To Cry", "Crazy Mama",
"Melody" and "Hand of Fate."  The album set is a very good cross-section of what the Rolling Stones were
recording in the mid-1970s that also presented a future consideration "Worried About You" on their
August 24, 1981 release album entitled "Tattoo You."

The band also dives into their classic covers of "Route 66", "Mannish Boy", Chuck Berry's "Around And Around"
and "Little Red Rooster" composed by Willie Dixon.

Paul Sexton, the music reviewer declared: "Then came the first trip back to the days when the rhythm met
the blues in the Stones' original club days, as they recreated Bobby Troup's 'Route 66,'their opener the night
before. Three hundred disciples, already in wonder at they were part of, duly got their kicks." And so it was.

John Whelan's rating for The Rolling Stones "El Mocambo 1977" is *****/5 stars.

Click on the above image for the complete track listing.

June 30, 2022
"I'M A MAD GENIUS...and that's the way I'll stay..!"

June 29, 2022
The Meaning Behind “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles

by Alex Hopper for American Songwriter

“Eleanor Rigby” was released by The Beatles in 1966 as part of their Revolver album roll-out. A unique offering for the famed group, the song features only a string arrangement and vocal from Paul McCartney across the verses. The full group joins in on the chorus for a few moments of classic Beatles harmony.


Paul McCartney recounted the song’s origin and meaning in a 2018 interview with GQ, saying “Over the years, I’ve met a couple of others, and maybe their loneliness made me empathize with them. But I thought it was a great character, so I started this song about the lonely old lady who picks up the rice in the church, who never really gets the dreams in her life. Then I added in the priest, the vicar, Father McKenzie. And so, there were just the two characters. It was like writing a short story, and it was basically on these old ladies that I had known as a kid.”


Behind the Lyrics


McCartney, who penned most of this song, got the name from the actress Eleanor Bron, who appeared in the 1965 Beatles film Help!. “Rigby” came to him while in Bristol, England when he spotted a store named Rigby and Evens Ltd. Wine and Spirit Shippers. He liked the way the two names ringed together because it sounded natural and matched the rhythm he wrote.


As the opening chorus makes perfectly clear, the song is a sort of character piece about “all the lonely people.” The song’s intricate string arrangement underscores the narrative Paul McCartney sings about across the track’s three verses. The two characters, Eleanor and Father McKenzie, are both isolated in their own lives before finally “meeting” after Eleanor’s death, with the priest burying her.


Eleanor Rigby Meaning


The first verse follows the titular Eleanor as she tidies up after a wedding send-off and peers through the window at her house.


Eleanor Rigby, picks up the rice
In the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face
That she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for


When McCartney first introduces us to Eleanor she is living in a “dream” world of her own, picking up rice from a wedding that was thrown over the happy couple. With the opening lines, he quickly lets the listener know that the closest Eleanor comes to getting married herself is tidying up after everyone has left.


Eleanor Rigby, died in the church
And was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie, wiping the dirt
From his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved


Later it’s revealed that Eleanor died, leaving no one to carry on her name. McCartney adds a bit of irony towards the end of the song by having the song’s two characters cross paths a little too late. If the two had met earlier they might have become friends with something in common, but it was too late. Eleanor died leaving Father McKenzie to “meet” her while officiating the funeral. He also implies that McKenzie’s sermon “saved” no one given that nobody attended.


Father McKenzie


The second character featured in the song’s lyrics is Father McKenzie. Without having much of a congregation, McKenzie is forced to write sermons that “no one will hear.” He later talks about darning his socks. Question is, if no one else will see if his socks are darned, why does he care? The second verse’s lines speak to the priest’s isolation and lack of companionship.


Father McKenzie, writing the words
Of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working, darning his socks
In the night when there’s nobody there
What does he care


McCartney spoke about this section of the song in a November 2020 piece for Rolling Stone saying, “Father McKenzie is ‘darning his socks in the night.’ You know, he’s a religious man, so I could’ve said, you know, ‘preparing his Bible,’ which would have been more obvious. But ‘darning his socks’ kind of says more about him. So you get into this lovely fantasy.”


More Popular Than Jesus


“Eleanor Rigby” was released just weeks after John Lennon made the widely controversial claim that “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now.”


With the addition of a priest and the many mentions that “no one was saved,” the song could be seen as a swipe at Christianity and the concept of being saved by Jesus.


Despite the controversy still brewing around the band thanks to Lennon’s comments, the song largely evaded any criticism, possibly because of the lilting string section making the song’s dark lyrics easier to handle.


Eleanor Rigby’s Gravestone


Fans can actually go to Eleanor Rigby’s gravestone in St. Peter’s Churchyard in Woolton, England—the suburb of Liverpool where McCartney and Lennon first met.


The gravestone bearing the name shows that she died in October of 1939 at 44. Elsewhere in the cemetery is a gravestone with the name McKenzie written on it. Despite the two names appearing in such close proximity, McCartney has denied that the gravestones were the source of the names. Although he has agreed that they may have registered subconsciously.


June 28, 2022
Rare photographs of Magical Mystery Tour
Click here for the report with many photographs from Cornwall Live

The Beatles may never have played a live show in Cornwall, but the most celebrated band in British history did immortalise a rather weird and wonderful version of the duchy in their experimental TV movie Magical Mystery Tour.


In 1967, following the release of their iconic Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and just weeks after losing their beloved manager Brian Epstein to a drug overdose, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr embarked on a journey like no other. These rarely seen photos, unearthed from the archives, reveal what happened when the Fab Four and their distinctive yellow and blue coach, packed with cast and crew, descended on Newquay for three days and nights that September.


They set out from London with no plan, no script and only a vague plot based on Paul’s vision of mystery coach trips run out of their home city of Liverpool, and influenced by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters’s psychedelic bus in America. Travelling through Somerset and Devon, they rocked up in Newquay and decided to base themselves at the Atlantic Hotel, Newquay, filming at various locations including the hotel pool, the Huer’s Hut and locations near Watergate Bay.


Word soon got around and The Beatles' Cornish fans, as well as holidaymakers staying locally, were thrilled to meet their idols during filming. They band mostly seemed happy to sign countless autographs and even hired some locals to play background roles in the film, which was first screened on BBC1 on Boxing Day 1967. It’s currently available to watch on Apple TV.


Adoring fans pursue Paul McCartney for his autograph in Newquay where The Beatles were filming Magical Mystery


June 27, 2022
The Making of The Beatles LIVE @ The BBC Albums 1994 & 2013
by Parlogram Auctions

At the time of its release, this album contained the first previously unreleased recordings of The Beatles since 'Let It Be' 24 years earlier. It was also the first release of Apple's new-era which would continue the following year with 'Anthology'. It was also an album designed to 'beat the bootleggers', but instead of putting them out of business, the demand for more BBC material actually increased the number of bootlegs on the market. In this video, we look at all these things and more and how a chance conversation with a fan led to the recovery of the best sounding BBC material in history.


June 26, 2022
Highlights from Paul McCartney's performance at Glastonbury

Paul McCartney shows his solidarity with war-torn Ukraine by waving the country's flag during his
Glastonbury set - after scrapping Beatles hit Back in the U.S.S.R. from all his shows
by Laura Fox for the Daily Mail online

Paul McCartney showed his support for Ukraine during his historic headline show at Glastonbury on Saturday,
as the country remains gripped by a war with Russia.

The Beatles legend, 80, returned to the stage for an encore performance brandishing the country's flag,
earning a huge cheer as he waved it over his head.

It comes after it was reported Paul had removed the song Back In The USSR from his planned Glastonbury
set and all future shows in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Sensational: The Beatles legend returned to the stage for an encore performance brandishing the country's flag,
earning a huge cheer as he waved it over his head

After a stunning performance of his song Hey Jude, Paul bide farewell to the crowd and left the stage, but
following calls for an encore returned to the stage with a flag in his hand.

As he waved the flag over his head, the hitmaker, who has made a similar gesture during shows on his tour,

earned a huge cheer from the crowd.


It was reported last week that Paul had chosen to axe The Beatles song Back In The USSR from all future

shows in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


The satirical Cold War-themed track pokes fun at Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys' odes to America, and is told from the perspective of a Russian spy returning from America.


A source told The Mirror: 'It would be perverse to be singing a jaunty rock ’n’ roll song about Russia.


'Paul couldn’t in all conscience sing those lyrics when so many are being brutally massacred at the hands of Russia.


'The song is such a massive crowd favourite but with the horrors unfolding in Ukraine, it was a simple decision by Paul to make.'


Paul's historic Glastonbury set was lauded by fans as the music legend wowed with his vast medley of hits, just a week after celebrating his 80th birthday.


Taking to the stage for his first performance at the festival in 18 years, Paul performed hits ranging from his Beatles heyday to his time with the band Wings.


The pop icon earned a thunderous reception from the crowd of thousands watching the show, with many millions also watching the show air on BBC One.


To no surprise Paul's set earned an overwhelmingly positive reception from viewers, with many taking to Twitter to share their reaction.


One wrote: 'Anyone criticising Paul McCartney tonight can f**k right off, he's 80 and is most culturally important bloke this country has produced in a hundred years, he's beyond critcism, so b****x off.'



Another added: 'Why are people complaining that Paul McCartney is playing songs they don't recognise. He has

a back catalogue going back more than 60 years, he can't please everyone. Also he's 80 years old and

smahing it, so f**k off!'


'I don't think people understand how important it is that Paul McCartney is headlining the Glastonbury Festival


'That's some real iconic stuff. He really is in his league. Unbelievable,' one delighted fan added.



'Paul McCartney has earned the right to play whatever songs he wants, even if his voice might not be what it once was. 


'Most 80-year-olds couldn't even stand up this long let alone remember all the words and play the guitar and bass as well as anyone,' one viewer praised.


'I want to be like Paul McCartney when I'm 80. What a legend,' another tweeted.


'Paul McCartney is simply extraordinary - 80 years old, looks 60, captivating a crowd of 100,000+ : Amazing life, amazing man and an amazing artist. Quite astounding. So so impressive,' a viewer also posted.



Elsewhere during his set, Paul showed his allegiance to his pal Johnny Depp while performing his 2012 track, My Valentine, as he projected a clip of the actor from the song's music video onto the screen behind him. 


He recently used the footage in his recent US Get Back tour, while the Pirates Of The Caribbean star was in the midst of his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, which he later won.


Also featuring Natalie Portman, the black-and-white video sees the Hollywood star playing guitar and translating the track into sign language. 


Paul did not address Depp's $100million court case against Amber directly during the concert but as soon as the images of the actor appeared on stage, the crowd cheered.


The Love Me Do hitmaker also got the crowd to cheer for his home city of Liverpool, as well as his late bandmate John Lennon, to whom he dedicated Here Today to. 


The show proves a poignant moment in Paul's lengthy career, as it also came 55 years to the day since The Beatles reached the largest audience in their history, when they performed on the world's first global TV broadcast. 

Some video coverage:

June 25, 2022
George Harrison VS The Hollies | The Feud of December 1965


June 24, 2022
Paul McCartney lovingly defends The Monkees! (1967)

Beatles John Lennon 1964 Hull interview to be auctioned in Scarborough
by the BBC

A never-broadcast interview with John Lennon, recorded by a Hull art student in 1964, is to be auctioned.

On the tape, Lennon tells 18-year-old John Hill he does not think The Beatles are "very good musicians" and
admitted he got a friend to sit his art exam because the group were touring.

Mr Hill, who was studying at Hull Art College, recorded the reel-to-reel interview before a Beatles gig.

He found the tape in 2014 after it spent 50 years in a drawer.

Graham Paddison, of David Duggleby Auctioneers in Scarborough who are selling the lot, said that Mr Hill
"bluffed" his way into the room where the Beatles were talking to the press.

"I was the youngest person in the room and the only one with a microphone," Mr Hill later recalled.

"Lennon was really interested in the [reel-to-reel] machine... we ended up in a corner doing an interview with
passing newsmen throwing in the odd question."

The eight-and-a-half minute interview, which has never been broadcast, will be auctioned along with the
recording machine, photographs and student magazine articles.

"One of the most striking things is just how relaxed the two of them were together, just two art college
students chatting," the auctioneer said.

"Lennon was as friendly as could be, not flippant or jokey or clever dick, treating his young interviewer's
questions with respect, which of course makes his answers interesting."

When asked if The Beatles regarded themselves primarily as musicians or entertainers, Lennon mused, "I've
never thought about it really but I suppose, we don't count ourselves as good musicians, so I suppose we're
entertainers, but we don't entertain much cos we just stand there, so I suppose we must be musicians.

"We're in the Union anyway." Mr Hill who later worked as a schoolteacher and Leeds University lecturer, found
the recording during a clear-out and sold it to the current owner, a collector of Hull antiquities and

The lot is due to be auctioned at David Duggleby's on Vine Street in Scarborough on Friday.

June 23, 2022
Paul McCartney's band set to play their 500th rock show!

"Jet" video filmed by Michael Sokil

June 22, 2022
Flashback to Rave's satirical review of John Lennon's second book "A Spaniard In The Works"

June 21, 2022
In Conversation with Olivia Harrison streams today, 3pm ET on SiriusXM

In 1972, Paul McCartney owned a Lamborghini Espada car

And here is Paul's car located in a theme diner!

June 20, 2022
Paul McCartney had to fight James Bond producers to save his Live and Let Die theme song
PAUL MCCARTNEY's Live and Let Die James Bond theme is one of the best-loved of the franchise, however,
the 007 producers of the Roger Moore classic really didn't believe in it and wanted to drop it.
by George Simpson for the Express

Back in 1973, Roger Moore starred in his first James Bond movie and producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry
Saltzman called on Paul McCartney to write a theme song for Live and Let Die. The Beatles legend was
rumoured to have been approached to write 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, but that opportunity had fallen
through. So the star, who turns 80 today, jumped at the chance and was sent a copy of the Ian Fleming
novel to inspire the lyrics and score.

Around the time, McCartney recalled: “I read the Live And Let Die book in one day, started writing it that evening and carried on the next day and finished it by the next evening. I sat down at the piano, worked something out and then got in touch with George Martin, who produced it with us. Linda wrote the middle reggae bit of the song. We rehearsed it as a band, recorded it and then left it up to him.”

On working on Live and Let Die’s score, McCartney said: “I wouldn’t have liked it if my music was going to replace John Barry’s, that great James Bond theme. I know I’d miss that. I go to see him turn round and fire down the gun barrel. Our bit comes after he’s done that and after the three killings at the beginning. I’m good at writing to order with things like that. I’d like to write jingles really, I’m pretty fair at that, a craftsman. It keeps me a bit tight, like writing to a deadline, knowing I’ve got two minutes three seconds with a definitive story theme.”


He recorded Live and Let Die with Wings at the end of their sessions for Red Rose Speedway, however, there were a couple of problems.

According to Far Out Magazine, McCartney remembered: “The film producers found a record player. After the record had finished they said to George, ‘That’s great, a wonderful demo. Now when are you going to make the real track, and who shall we get to sing it?’ And George said, ‘What? This is the real track!’” 


On top of this, Saltzman didn’t want the Beatle and his band to sing the track but someone else, preferably a black female artist.


In response, McCartney said that he would only allow EON Productions to use Live and Let Die if it was his version with Wings.


Saltzman had passed on producing the Beatles movie A Hard’s Day’s Night in the early 1960s, so knew it wasn’t a good idea to pass on Macca a second time.


Despite agreeing to use the original version, the producer was much more of a fan of BJ Arnau’s cover, which is heard during the movie.


Nevertheless, the Live and Let Die theme massively paid off, with the track being the first Bond theme nominated for a Best Song Oscar. 

June 19, 2022
The incomparable Paul McCartney at 80
The former Beatle's long and rich musical career is marked by a refusal to rest on his artistic laurels
by Kenneth Womack for Salon

As we celebrate Paul McCartney's 80th birthday, it is positively staggering to note the many ways in which he has eclipsed the norms and expectations of his genre. When the former Beatle first heard the raucous sounds of Elvis Presley in the mid-1950s, rock 'n' roll wasn't a profession. It was a scourge. A decade later, when the Who declared "I hope I die before I get old" in "My Generation," no self-respecting rocker set his sights on retirement, much less living into middle-age.


And yet McCartney abides. In the new century alone, he has released chart-topping LPs and played sold-out stadiums across the globe. By all rights, he should be marking time as a pensioner, renting a cottage in the Isle of Wight or some such thing. While he contemplated that very fate in "When I'm Sixty-Four," tending the garden and mending a fuse were never really his bag.


Incredibly, McCartney has been in public life for nearly the whole of his adult years. He was barely 21 when British Beatlemania came into vogue in the autumn months of 1963. And he was working like a dog long before he glimpsed his name in the bright lights of a theatre marquee.


Indeed, if there is a constant in McCartney's story, it is the artist's journey — a rage to toil in the service of an unquenchable creative drive. He reportedly composed his first song — "I Lost My Little Girl" — after the untimely death of his mother Mary in October 1956, and he'll likely be trying to capture the music playing in his head until the day he dies. And, true to his creative energies, he will never quite be satisfied. After all, it's not the arrival at some hallowed place that excites our most enduring artists. It's the getting there that matters.


Across his long career, McCartney has enjoyed the rare air of being commercially and critically successful. His work both within and without the Beatles has positioned him as his genre's greatest outlier. Any comparison to his level of attainment is futile at best. The same composer who reconceived the rock album in 1967 with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was still mining out new sounds in 2020 with "McCartney III." And still he persists in searching out uncharted creative vistas — and, whenever possible, showing off.


Take last Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, where McCartney closed out the Stateside leg of his "Got Back" tour. For the past several years, he has made a point of performing Jimi Hendrix's epic guitar lick for "Foxy Lady" during the outro for "Let Me Roll It," a Wings-era track from "Band on the Run." As you raise a glass in honor of McCartney's 80th birthday, consider his motives for breaking off the same guitar pyrotechnics virtually every time he steps on stage. Wailing away on his Gibson Les Paul, with its custom paint job in full flower, he's not doing it for us. He does it because he can.

About Kenneth Womack:

Kenneth Womack is the author of a two-volume biography of the life and work of Beatles producer George Martin and the host of "Everything Fab Four," a podcast about the Beatles distributed by Salon. He is also the author of "Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles," published in 2019 in celebration of the album’s 50th anniversary, and "John Lennon, 1980: The Last Days in the Life." His newest project is the authorized biography and archive of Beatles road manager Mal Evans, due out in 2023.


Paul McCartney & Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days, I Wanna Be Your Man, The End - MetLife Stadium (4K)

Video by Michael Sokil

Paul McCartney marks 80th birthday with Springsteen, 60,000 fans
by David Bauder for the Associated Press

Hard to think of a better way for Paul McCartney to celebrate his 80th birthday than by singing “Glory Days”
onstage with Bruce Springsteen or being serenaded by some 60,000 well-wishers.

That’s right, the “cute Beatle” turns 80 on Saturday. It’s one of those cultural milestones that bring a sharp
intake of breath — has it been THAT long? — along with an appreciation of what he still has to offer.

For it has been more than a half-century now since the Beatles broke up, a realization that hits you like that
1970s-era joke about young people saying, “Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?”

Like several other members of the “hope I die before I get old” generation, including Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and former Beatles mate Ringo Starr, McCartney keeps working, keeps sharing his music from the stage. Another 1960s icon, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, is scheduled to play at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City on his 80th birthday Monday.


“He has a youthful exuberance that is ageless,” said Bob Spitz, a Beatles biographer. “There’s still some of that 21-year-old boy that shines through in all of his performances.”


It would be a cliche — and wrong — to suggest time hasn’t taken a toll. The fragility in his voice was evident while singing “Blackbird” on Thursday night at MetLife Stadium, the final night of a brief U.S. tour. He struggled for the high notes in “Here Today,” his love letter to John Lennon, who was robbed of a long life by an assassin’s bullet.


The skill of a sympathetic band, along with the imagination and voices in the audience, patches over the rough spots.


“Yeah, yeah, right, I’ve got a birthday coming up,” McCartney said, scanning signs in the audience that reminded him. “I’m not trying to ignore it, but…”


The crowd offered a spontaneous “Happy Birthday” serenade, even before Jersey guy Jon Bon Jovi brought out a fistful of balloons during the encore to lead them in another verse.


That other Jersey guy, Springsteen, joined McCartney for the duet on “Glory Days” and a version of “I Wanna Be Your Man.” He later popped up to join the guitar duel from “Abbey Road.”


For most artists, the appearance of such local royalty would be a hard-to-top moment. Most artists can’t immediately whip out “Let it Be” and “Hey Jude” to follow it.


To mark the birthday, Stereogum magazine asked 80 artists to pick their favorite McCartney song, and the choices were remarkable in their breadth — from the pre-Beatles 1958 cut “In Spite of All the Danger” (which McCartney performed at MetLife) to his 2016 collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West “FourFiveSeconds” (which he didn’t).


David Crosby and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys both chose “Eleanor Rigby.” Master showman Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips picked “Magical Mystery Tour.” Steve Earle selected “Every Night,” while Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott went against type with the gentle “Little Lamb Dragonfly.” Mac DeMarco picked the “Ram” epic, “The Back Seat of My Car.”


Many remarked upon the unfairness of having to pick just one.


Stereogum’s feature illustrated the varied entry points musicians of different generations have into a living, breathing catalog. For example, it revealed that a largely overlooked album like 1980’s “McCartney II” had a far greater impact on developing artists than its reception at the time would have foreshadowed.


On Friday, McCartney’s team announced that it was packaging “McCartney II” with his other DIY albums, “McCartney” of 1970 and 2020’s “McCartney III,” into a boxed set that will go on sale in August.


How vast is the songbook? McCartney performed 38 songs at MetLife, 20 of them Beatles songs, and even managed to miss an entire decade. Remember the 1990s?


With the help of Peter Jackson, who reimagined the “Get Back” sessions for last year’s television project, McCartney was able to perform a virtual “duet” with Lennon singing his part of “I’ve Got a Feeling” from the Apple rooftop concert.


McCartney also paid tribute to George Harrison, who died in 2001, with a version of “Something” that began with Paul on a ukulele George gave him and built to a full band version.


Spitz recalled a Beatles-era film clip of Lennon telling an interviewer that he’d be flabbergasted if it lasted more than 10 years. McCartney stood next to him laughing.


Lennon was right about the Beatles as a unit, but not about the music. He couldn’t have imagined that in 2022, one adult standing in line to get into MetLife being overheard asking a companion: “Where are Mom and Dad?”


Advanced birthday be damned, the irrepressibly cheerful McCartney left with a promise when the last firework burst and he walked offstage.


Ringo Starr and Brian Wilson wishing Paul a Happy Birthday (photos culled from the Official Beatles Facebook page)


Joel Whitburn, Tireless Researcher of Music Charts, Dies at 82
His numerous books delved deeply into the Billboard charts, developing what an admirer called “the de facto
history of recorded music.”
by Richard Sandomir for the New York Times

Joel Whitburn, who relentlessly mined Billboard’s music charts to fill reference books that tell the statistical stories of pop, rock, country, R&B, hip-hop and dance hits since 1940, died on Tuesday at his home in Menomonee Falls, Wis. He was 82.


His death was confirmed by Paul Haney, a longtime researcher and editor at Record Research, Mr. Whitburn’s publishing company. He did not specify a cause.


Mr. Whitburn was a music lover whose personal collection — meticulously curated in his basement and, later, in a vault — totals more than 200,000 records, including every single ever to make a Billboard chart.


“I go in that library alone — all these records — and it’s like they’re all my old friends,” he said in an interview with The Minneapolis Star Tribune in 1986.


Mr. Whitburn published nearly 300 books (counting updated editions), most of them highly detailed chart histories of hit records and albums. He started cataloging records on index cards and turned that project into his first volume, “Top Pop Singles,” published in 1970. Computers came much later.


Disc jockeys and record collectors were among his first customers. But his books also became important additions to other music fans’ libraries. Nearly all used Billboard charts, but Mr. Whitburn also dug into those that were published by the trade magazines Cash Box, Record World and Radio & Records.


“He had a profound impact on the music industry as a whole,” Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s senior vice president of charts and data development, said in a phone interview. “He was the first person to catalog the history of charted music, and by doing so it became the de facto history of recorded music.”


He added, “Joel’s chronicling of the Hot 100 gave it a significant stamp of approval nationally.”



His books, with generic titles and alphabetical listings by artist or group, covered vast musical territory: “Top R&B Singles, 1942-2016,” “Hit Country Records, 1954-1982,” “Across the Charts: The Sixties.”


The ninth edition of “The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits” (2010) listed 52 Beatles songs, with the dates each song entered the Top 40, from the first (“I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “I Saw Her Standing There” on Jan. 25, 1964) to the last (“Real Love,” made by the surviving Beatles from demos cut by John Lennon, on March 23, 1996); their peak chart positions; how long the songs stayed on the chart; how long they remained in the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 spot; informational nuggets (like the fact that “Please Please Me,” the band’s fourth Top 40 hit, was recorded in 1962); and the record label (usually Capitol, later Apple, but also a few others in the early days).


He also published books containing a given decade’s worth of charts. 


In his review of “Top Pop Singles, 1955-2006” (2007), the Los Angeles Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn noted that Mr. Whitburn augmented his updates to the book with new elements. “This time,” he wrote, “he borrows a page from baseball batting averages and assigns a ‘hit average’ to recording artists.”


Mr. Whitburn explained his fascination with Billboard’s charts — and the reason for his venture’s success — in an interview with that magazine in 2014.


“I’m just a huge music fan, and I love the charts,” he said. “I enjoy following artists’ success. There’s just a joy in that. It’s a weekly thrill. And there are millions more like me all over the world.”



Joel Carver Whitburn was born on Nov. 29, 1939, in Wauwatosa, Wis. His father, Russell, worked for a local electrical company. His mother, Ruth (Bird) Whitburn, was a homemaker.


Joel was already a music lover when, at age 12, he saw copies of Billboard for sale at a bus station in Milwaukee. His mother gave him a quarter to buy it, and while reading it at home he was gobsmacked by the information it offered.


“All of a sudden, I knew what the No. 1 song in the nation was,” he said in an interview in 2009 with the music journalist Larry LeBlanc for the entertainment website CelebrityAccess. “I had no idea that there was a chart that told you that information.”


He later became a subscriber, and he held on to every issue.


Mr. Whitburn attended Elmhurst College (now University) in Illinois and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, but did not graduate. He worked at several jobs before he was hired to represent RCA Records, having told a company distributor in Milwaukee how much he loved music. He was told of a new venture featuring eight-track tapes and got a job setting up eight-track departments at stores in Wisconsin and Illinois. While working for RCA, he met artists like Chet Atkins and Charley Pride.


By then he was deep into his Billboard research as a hobby, using stacks of the magazines that he had collected since 1954. He focused his work on the Hot 100 chart, which began in 1958, jotting down artists’ names and record information on index cards.


“The first card I wrote up,” he told Mr. LeBlanc, was ‘Nelson, Ricky, “Poor Little Fool.”’ That was the first No. 1 song on the first Hot 100.”


He quit his job at RCA in 1970 to devote himself full time to his books.


When the first edition of “Top Pop Singles” was completed in 1970, he took out a tiny advertisement in Billboard that promised buyers a history of the Hot 100. Hal Cook, the magazine’s publisher, spotted the ad and called Mr. Whitburn.


“You can’t be using the Hot 100 in an ad,” Mr. Whitburn, in the 2014 interview, recalled Mr. Cook telling him. “Not without our permission.” Rather than threaten Mr. Whitburn with a lawsuit, Mr. Cook asked to see the book.


Two weeks later, Mr. Whitburn said, Mr. Cook called. “He said: ‘Joel, we got the book. It’s amazing. We love it.’” And he conceded that Billboard’s attempts to develop a similar book had failed. He paid for Mr. Whitburn and his wife, Fran, to come to Los Angeles.


After three days, Mr. Whitburn returned home with a 26-page licensing agreement that gave him the exclusive right to use the Billboard charts in his books, in return for royalties he would pay Billboard.


With that permission, Mr. Whitburn built an empire of music research unlike any other.


He is survived by his wife, Frances (Mudgett) Whitburn; his daughter, Kim Bloxdorf, a vice president at Record Research; his sisters, Joyce Riehl and Julie Rae Niermeyer; his brothers, Charles and David; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.



The veteran disc jockey Scott Shannon, currently heard on WCBS-FM in New York, said he bought his first
copy of “Top Pop Singles” when he was working at a radio station in Mobile, Ala., in the early 1970s. He has
bought some of the updated editions since, keeping one copy at the station and one at home.

“There was no other place to go for information about artists, and I wanted to be the authority on the music
we were playing at the time,” Mr. Shannon said in a phone interview. “If you use it properly, you sound
smarter than you are to the listener and sharper than the next jock.”


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