The News Today
from the Ottawa Beatle Site


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


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May 26, 2023
The Beatles Triumphant Return to Germany in 1966

Beatles – Original 1966 Bravo Blitztournee German Tour Poster

An extremely rare original tour poster for the 1966 Beatles “Bravo Blitztournee” tour of Germany.  The Beatles by all accounts came of age in Hamburg, Germany.
John Lennon said “I might have been born in Liverpool – but I grew up in Hamburg.”  After leaving Hamburg’s Star-Club for the last time on, January 1, 1963, the
Beatles returned to Germany only once; in June 1966,  for a five day, six concert tour, playing shows in Munich, Essen and Hamburg. This poster was printed to
promote their “Bravo Blitztournee” tour, organized by promoter Karl Buchmann and sponsored by the German teen magazine Bravo.  As the tour was a short one,
no posters were made for individual dates–only this one for the tour.  Opening acts included Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, German beat group The Rattles,
and Peter & Gordon.  While this poster has been reprinted, this is a genuine first printing, measuring 23 1/4″ x 33″ and in near mint condition–by far the finest
we’ve seen.  Machine folded, as is every example we know of.


May 25, 2023
Interview with Beatles legend Ringo Starr & his All Starr Band

Ringo Starr pays tribute to the late great Queen of Rock and Roll: Tina Turner



FILE - Tina Turner poses with her plaque and a bouquet of roses near her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during the unveiling ceremony of Aug. 28, 1986 in Los Angeles. Turner, the unstoppable singer and stage performer, died Tuesday, after a long illness at her home in Küsnacht near Zurich, Switzerland, according to her manager. She was 83. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File) © Provided by The Associated Press


May 24, 2023
Early Beatles bassist Chas Newby has died, aged 81

He filled in for then-Beatles bassist Stuart Sutcliffe for a number of live shows in 1960

by Surej Singh for New Music Express

Charles “Chas” Newby, a bassist for The Beatles in their early days, has died at the age of 81.


The news was first announced via The Cavern Club Liverpool – where The Beatles rose to prominence – on Tuesday, followed by Roag Best, the brother of former Beatles drummer Pete Best.


A cause of death has yet to be announced.


The Cavern Club Liverpool wrote on Facebook: “It’s with great sadness to hear about the passing of Chas Newby. Chas stepped in for The Beatles for a few dates when Stuart Sutcliffe stayed in Hamburg and latterly he played for The Quarrymen. Interestingly, he was also the first left-handed bass guitarist in The Beatles. RIP Chas Newby thoughts and well wishes from everybody at The Cavern Club.”


Roag Best wrote: “Both Pete and I and the whole Best family absolutely devasted to hear the very sad news with regards to one of the families closest friends Chas Newby passing last night. Many of you will know him for playing bass guitar for both The Beatles and The Quarrymen, but to us he was laid back Chas with the big smile. We’ll truly miss him. Forever in our thoughts. God bless you Chas”


Newby performed bass with The Beatles for a short span of live shows in late 1960, when then-bassist Stuart Sutcliffe was unable to perform with the band. Sutcliffe later resumed operations with The Beatles until his exit in July the following year. Newby was also the band’s first left-handed bassist, followed by guitarist-turned-bassist Paul McCartney.


Newby also played in The Quarrymen between 2016 and 2022.


Following his spell of shows with The Beatles, Newby returned to college to finish out his education, telling the Sunday Mercury in 2012: “Music was never going to be a living for me. All of us at that time were thinking what we were going to do with our lives, some doing teaching, or science, or whatever. I wanted to do chemistry. John, Paul and George, they just wanted to be musicians. But I did the four gigs and went back to my college course the week afterwards.”


Since the news of his passing, Newby has received a handful of tributes including Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, who wrote: “RIP Chas Newby, fill-in Beatle and fair chap. He deputised for Stuart on a few dates when the Beatles returned from Hamburg the first time, end-1960, including the momentous Litherland date. Latterly he’s been one of the Quarry Men too. A charming man, always a pleasure to meet.”

Filming in St Helens for movie on Brian Epstein of The Beatles fame
by Kelsey Maxwell for the St Helens Star

FILMING has been taking place in St Helens for a new film telling the story of Brian Epstein – the founder of The Beatles.

Former Pilkington Glass headquarters Alexandra Business Park has been taking the spotlight once again as film crews rocked up to use the venue for the filming about the life of Brian Epstein.


The working title – which is subject to change – is Midas Man.


So who was Brian Epstein?


The film tracks how Brian rose to prominence by managing a series of popular artists including The Beatles, Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers before his sudden death in 1967 at the age of 32.


What do we know about Midas Man?


The film is starring some big names.


Jacob Fortune-Lloyd is playing Brian with Emily Watson starring as his mother Malka, and Eddie Marsan playing his father Harry, while It's A Sin star Omari Douglas will appear as Lonnie Trimble, Brian's confidant and friend.


When will it be released?


Midas Man does not currently have a release date but will be released in the UK and Ireland by Signature UK.


Production on the film had to pause when director Jonas Akerlund took a break from the film and ultimately stepped down.


He has now been replaced by director Sara Sugarman whose previous work includes House Of Versace and Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen.


She said: “The actors playing the Beatles are an extraordinary group. “They ooze that very visceral feeling of the 60s, are charming, playful, and so authentic, and I have no doubt that Jay Leno will capture the essence of Ed Sullivan perfectly.


“His own experience as an American television host will bring forward a natural and accurate portrayal and add an incredible element of modern showbiz to the story.”


May 23, 2023
Universal Music Group goes after AI recordings!

Resurrecting The Beatles: AI is here, there, and everywhere
A number of AI tracks made to sound like they were sung by The Beatles are exploding on YouTube
by Sejal Sharma for Interesting Engineering

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now being used to recreate and reimagine songs sung by The Beatles, which to this day remains the most famous band in the world.


This is great news for the fans who haven’t heard a new song from the band even since it was disbanded in 1970, even though the artists continued releasing singles thereafter.


A creator going by the name ‘Dae Lims’ on YouTube released several songs which were artificially created using the voices and works of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr. But it now seems some of those videos have been taken down by YouTube after Universal Music Group (UMG) intervened, citing a copyright claim.


The song taken down was Paul McCartney’s ‘New,’ which was released in 2013 and was the title track of his new album. The song, with the help of AI, was reimagined as if the whole band was performing it. Another song by John Lennon ‘Grow Old With Me’ was released by Dae Lims, which, again with the help of AI, has the vocals of McCartney as well.


A YouTube user, after hearing the song, commented, “Tears flowed when McCartney's part came in ... Dae, you made an old man cry ... you are a genius.”


In 1968, The Beatles recorded fragments of a song they had named "Watching Rainbows," but it was never released full-fledged. But a YouTube user, who goes by the name of John Winston Lennon, released an AI version of the song, and people are going gaga over it in the comments section.


Above image, a photo capture taken from Youtube

An ardent fan of The Beatles, reporter Andy Meek wrote in BGR, “A song that we can now enjoy in a fully polished and finalized form, imagining how it might have sounded on a modern Beatles album while also never forgetting the group’s reminder that all you need is love (plus, as we now know, the power of AI).”

A delight for fans but a menace to the music industry

YouTube, Spotify, and other music streaming services are filled with AI concoctions. Developers are feeding large amounts of data to AI algorithms which, after studying the styles of various artists, the chords, and an artist’s tracks, are creating similar-sounding music, often not discernible to a follower or a fan.


Interesting Engineering reported last month that Spotify had to take down an AI-generated song by Drake and The Weeknd called "Heart On My Sleeve." UMG, which represents both artists, told Billboard that the viral posting of the song “demonstrate why platforms have a fundamental legal and ethical responsibility to prevent the use of their services in ways that harm artists.”


Furthermore, UMG also sent a warning email to online streaming services, advising them not to let AI companies access copyrighted music “without obtaining the required consents” to train their machines. 


Shortly afterward, Spotify had to pull down tens and thousands of AI-generated songs from its platform after the streaming service got wind of ‘artificial streaming’ by the uploaders.

− End of article

The Beatles 2014 MONO VINYL Box Set - History, Analysis, Review
by Andrew from Polygram Auctions

In this video I look at this legendary box set and find out what makes it so good. I look at its history, production and how it sounds by comparing the vinyl with
original 1960's UK 1st pressings. Also, I tell you the BEST & CHEAPEST way to listen in TRUE MONO sound.

Flashback to the Beatles Saturday Morning Cartoons with Episode 25

May 22, 2023
Your "White Album" Queries Answered by Mal Evans


May 21, 2023
Ringo Starr to Record Country EP With T Bone Burnett’s Help
by Gary Graff for Ultimate Classic Rock

Ringo Starr has three more EPs in motion -- including one that will take him back in a country direction.


Starr offered the news Wednesday during a virtual press conference from Los Angeles, where he and his All-Starr Band were preparing for the start of their 2023 touring schedule.


"I finished one [EP] just before I started rehearsing," Starr reported. That release will be followed by a collaborative EP with Linda Perry. The former 4 Non Blondes member, who contributed songs to both Change the World in 2021 and last year's EP3, will helm the project.


"We got to know each other and I love her," Starr said. "She's just great. She said, 'Oh, Ringo, let me do it,'" to which Starr replied, "'OK, do what you do.' The only thing I'll be doing on that EP is playing drums and singing."


Meanwhile, the country EP -- which Starr plans to work on after the All-Starrs finish in mid-October -- came from a chance meeting with Grammy Award winner T-Bone Burnett. "I asked [Burnett] to help us out," Starr explained. "I (said) if he's got any time and wants to do it... Well, he did want to do it, and he sent me, I promise you, one of the most beautiful country songs, tracks, I've heard in a long time. It's very old school country. It's beautiful. So I thought, 'Hey, I'm gonna make a country EP!'"


Starr has dabbled in country music in the past, famously singing lead on the Beatles' twangy "Act Naturally" and later releasing a solo country album, Beaucoups of Blues, in 1970.


The famed rocker said collaborating with other artists keeps him inspired for new projects.


"I get to meet and actually work with people I've never worked with, which I've always found exciting," Starr affirmed, before adding that the EP format remains his preferred way to release material. "I just felt EPs, you could sort of look at it in a serious way and you can do it in a month," he explained. "An album does take longer, so (EPs are) what I've been doing."


Starr was joined at the press conference by the rest of his All-Starr lineup -- guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto), multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter, guitarist Colin Hay (Men at Work), bassist Hamish Stuart (Average White Band, Paul McCartney), drummer Gregg Bissonette and multi-instrumentalist Warren Ham.


After his recent tours were shortened by COVID, the drummer acknowledged that "last year was a bit awkward, 'cause the first tour went down, the second tour went down. We have great confidence we're gonna do all the gigs (this year)." The spring tour runs through June 17 in San Jose, California while the fall tour gets under way Sept. 17 in Ontario, California and wraps Oct. 13 in Thackerville, Oklahoma.


"I'd rather play every night than have a day off," Starr noted. "If I'm on the road I want to play. I don't want to sit in the hotel and relax for three days. I want to get out there and play. It's just who I am. I love to do it." He added that, "With this band it's great, 'cause everybody takes the weight. With Paul (McCartney), he's, like, 'The Man,' so he has to take time off to get himself back together. But 'cause we're this crowd, we could play every night. I promise you, we could play every night -- but Edgar needs a day off," Starr joked.

May 19, 2023
Paul McCartney hitches up with Nirvana band members and has a blast with "Cut Me Some Slack"

Paul McCartney and former members of Nirvana perform the studio version of the song "Cut Me Some Slack", played for the first time at the
12/12/12 concert, at Madison Square Garden in New York, for the victims of the Hurricane Sandy. This song appears on the soundtrack of
the documentary "Sound City: Real to Reel" (2013) directed by Dave Grohl.

Brian Hiatt interviews Paul McCartney in the March 2012 edition of Rolling Stone magazine

May 18, 2023
Flashback to George Harrison and Hand Made Films "Nuns on the Run"

From Wikipedia:

"Nuns on the Run is a 1990 British comedy film starring Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane, also featuring Camille Coduri and Janet Suzman. The film was written and directed by Jonathan Lynn and produced by Hand Made Films. Many of the outdoor scenes were shot in Chiswick, White City and Kings Cross. The soundtrack was composed and performed by Yello and also features George Harrison's song "Blow Away" in addition to Steve Winwood's "Roll With It". The film was released on 16 March 1990."

May 17, 2023
Beatlemania on display at Newark

John Lennon's Psychedelic Eye to go on public display
by the BBC


A mosaic owned and designed by Beatles legend John Lennon is set to go on display in Oxfordshire.


The singer commissioned the Psychedelic Eye in 1965 to be the end wall of his pool at his home in Surrey.


The artwork toured the world between 2016 and 2020 as part of the exhibition "You say you want a revolution, records and rebels 1966-1970".


It will be auctioned at Bonhams in November but it will first be on display at Kingham Lodge until 29 May.


The Sculpture exhibition will officially open to the public on 20 May but Oxfordshire's Lord-Lieutenant Marjorie Glasgow will unveil the Psychedelic Eye to school children on Tuesday.


Lennon bought his country house in Surrey in 1964 and commissioned an Italian tiler to install the design of the Psychedelic Eye as the end wall of the pool.


In 1985 the artwork was removed by the new Swedish owners of the house to save it for posterity and it was on display in many cities including London, Montreal, Milan, Brussels, Melbourne and Paris before returning to the UK in 2020.


More than 500 sculptures will be on display at the exhibition.


Flashback to John Lennon's "9th Dream"

May 16, 2023
Ringo Starr talks drums, The Beatles, bouncing back from COVID and rocking on in his 80s
Busier than ever, the two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has two 2023 concert tours set and plans to release three EPs this year alone. ‘We’re off and running!’ he says
by George Vargra for the San Diego Union-Tribune

Ringo Starr is nearly 83.


“No, no, you’ve got that wrong — it’s 38!” said the legendary drummer, veteran solo star and former Beatle, adding one of his trademark “ha-ha-ha!” chortles for emphasis.


Perhaps, then, his age might better be stated as a raised-eyebrow question.


Ringo Starr is nearly 83?


There is ample evidence to confirm the man born Richard Starkey indeed came into this world on July 7, 1940. That was more than a year after England entered World War II — and 22 years before John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison invited Starr to replace Pete Best as the drummer in the soon-to-change-the-world Beatles.


But never mind all that.


The pace Starr has maintained over the past few years makes it seem as if he might really be 38 after all — as evidenced by his multiple recordings, multiple books, filmed drum tutorials, two post-pandemic lockdown tours, philanthropic work for his Lotus Foundation, and more.


This week saw the announcement of his 2023 fall tour with his seven-man All-Starr Band, which features Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and 2023 Grammy Award-winner Edgar Winter.


Their previously announced 2023 spring tour opens Friday at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula. It also includes San Diego shows May 28 and 30 at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. All three sold out soon after going on sale.


The group’s 2022 summer tour was suspended after Winter and Lukather both contracted COVID, leading to multiple dates being pushed back. Shows were rescheduled for the fall, when the tireless Starr led his band through six concerts in six days, a pace that would tire many musicians half his age.


But then Starr himself tested positive for COVID — twice — last October and had to cancel some Canadian tour stops. Fully vaccinated, then and now, he is eager to make up for lost time.

‘We all missed live gigs’

“We’re off and running!” Starr said, speaking in an early May Zoom interview from his Beverly Hills home. His voice, much like the man himself, exudes both warmth and a no-nonsense, taking-care-of-business attitude.


“I’m saying: ‘Let’s go on tour now,” he continued. “I’m feeling like we’ll get through it all. But who can tell? (COVID) is a little less vicious than it was in 2021 and especially, in 2020. It’s eased off a bit now and we all missed live gigs.”


The pandemic lockdown kept Starr off the road for two years. He did not sit by idly, as demonstrated by the fact he recorded and released three EP (short for extended play) records between 2020 and 2022, each filled with songs espousing hope and unity.


Doing so takes Starr, a great-grandfather, full circle. The Beatles released 16 EPs between 1963’s “My Bonnie” and 1968’s “Magical Mystery Tour,” usually with about four songs per EP.


With his last full album, 2019’s “What’s My Name,” now four years behind him, Starr regards EPs as a sounder move for him than the 10- or 12-song LPs of yore. Being able to record them in his home studio is a bonus.


“The good thing with an EP is that it looks like it’s a short journey,” he said. “And it gives me a chance to invite people I’ve never worked with, or worked with very seldom, and to use one of their songs. And I always write one, of course.


“Everyone was wearing masks, which we’re not now, and I thought: ‘OK, let’s make an EP.’ So, this year I’m going to be doing three EPs! We’ve done one and we’re very busy (doing) the next one now, and (former San Diego singer-songwriter) Linda Perry is on it.


“Then, just by chance T Bone Burnett sent me this beautiful country song. It didn’t fit with a rock EP, so I said: ‘OK, now we’ll do a country EP.’ It’s not like I plan everything. Life just happens and I have time right now.”


The guests on Starr’s “EP3” included San Diego bass great Nathan East, who is a longtime member of Eric Clapton’s band.


“It’s such a joy working with Ringo and just being in his presence,” East said via email from London.


“He always has some amazing Beatles stories and seems to enjoy sharing them. You know it’s a good day when you answer your phone and it’s Ringo on the other end, asking if you’d like to come up to the house and play! Wow. And he calls me directly himself!


“I love playing with Ringo… it’s almost like his drum grooves are a part of our collective DNA. Most of all, he’s just one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. And he is all about peace and love!”


Starr’s latest book, “Ringo Starr: Lifted — Fab Images and Memories In My Life with The Beatles From Across The Universe,” was published in 2022. It followed, by barely 12 months, the 2021 publication of “Ringo Rocks: 30 Years of the All Starrs 1989-2019.” (The latter book includes a 2019 photo of him and his band taken in San Diego at Humphreys.)


He was also featured in the 2022 film documentary, “Let There Be Drums!” Its title could serve as the name of his autobiography, should he ever choose to write one.

To celebrate his 80th birthday in 2020, he was the main attraction in the YouTube special, “Ringo’s Big Birthday Show.”


A benefit for the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid, it featured such guests as McCartney, Ben Harper, Sheila E and Gary Clark, Jr. (Starr and McCartney more recently reunited to perform on a new version of the classic Beatles’ song, “Let It Be,” which will be featured on Dolly Parton’s next album, “Rockstar,” due out Nov, 17.)


In 2021, Starr was showcased in the 12-part video tutorial, “Masterclass: Ringo Starr Teaches Drumming & Creative Collaboration.” The same year saw the two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee spearhead a charity fund-raising recording for WhyHunger of The Beatles’ “Come Together.” Renamed “Drum Together,” the 10-minute video features more than 100 other drummers.


They include Cindy Blackman Santana, E Street Band mainstay Max Weinberg, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, San Diego native Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and then-11-year-old YouTube sensation Nandi Bushell. Also featured is Gregg Bissonette, who — since 2008 — has been the second drummer on the All-Starr Band’s tours.


Starr chuckled when asked who he would select to drum alongside him onstage if Bissonette suddenly had to temporarily bow out. Grohl? Bushell?


“I’d probably call Sheila E!” he said, citing the Bay Area drum dynamo who was in the 2001, 2003 and 2006 editions of the All-Starr Band.


Given his seemingly nonstop activities, has Starr ever considered putting together a fitness book?


“Not really,” he said, “(but) I do my own fitness guide.


“I watch what I eat. I’ve been vegetarian for the last 25 years. I was ‘veggie’ before, then I got off it and back on, and I’ve been vegetarian since 1992. I think it’s important and I’m always promoting proper eating.


“And I go to the gym. I have a trainer who comes to my home three times a week. And I (work out) myself. On tour, usually I go at least four mornings a week to the gym. So, I think you’ve just got to keep moving and eat right. I do the best I can.”


Burst appendix and tuberculosis

Life was full of challenges for Starr growing up in the English port city of Liverpool.

Born into a working-class family that had an outhouse for a bathroom, he was in poor health for much of his childhood. His appendix burst when he was 6. He was nearly comatose for 10 weeks and remained in the hospital for nearly a year to recover.


Starr contracted tuberculosis shortly after becoming a teenager and spent two years in a sanatorium. It was there his love for drumming was born.


“That’s what I’ve done from when I was 13,” he affirmed.


“I remember it like it was yesterday. It’s all I wanted to do. I only wanted to be a drummer — and I’m still a drummer.”


Starr was just 17 when he became a member of the Liverpool band Rory Storm & The Hurricanes in 1959. They performed in France and Germany, most famously at the Star Club in Hamburg, where Starr would sometimes fill in on drums with The Beatles.


In 1962, he accepted the invitation to join what would soon become the most influential rock band in history. By the end of 1964, he was the best-known rock drummer on the planet.


His impact, like that of the Fab Four — as the group was also fondly known by fans — was enormous.


So enormous that, in 2015, Jim Irsay — the owner of the Indianapolis Colts NFL football team — put in the winning bid of $2.2 million to buy Starr’s iconic Ludwig drum set. Starr had played it at more than 200 of The Beatles’ live performances and on 180 of the band’s studio recordings.


The money raised at the auction went to the Lotus Foundation, the charity that Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, founded to aid economically challenged families, children and the elderly.


Now, as in the 1960s, Starr’s drumming remains a marvel of taste and concision.


Eschewing flashy pyrotechnics, his tenure in The Beatles found him consistently playing to — and for — each song written by his band mates, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. As a result of being a left-handed drummer playing on a right-handed kit, Starr’s drum fills were uniquely constructed and executed.


His innate groove and rock-solid sense of time were strikingly illustrated anew in Peter Jackson’s 2021 Beatles film documentary, “Get Back,” which captured the then-volatile band recording and feuding in London in early 1969.


No matter how tense the mood in the studio was, there does not seem to be a single filmed take of any song — even when it was just an initial idea for a song — on which Starr didn’t sound perfectly in sync with the music and his band mates. His drumming demonstrated an uncanny combination of skill, intuition and attentive listening.


“Write that down. That’s good!” Starr said.


“You’re talking about ‘Get Back,’ and I went through madness (during that time). But I always kept time. If they had only two lines (of a song), I kept time. I’d play along with anything. Then, when the song (was) finished, that’s where I might change something.”

‘I am the click track!’

The durability and ingenuity of his drumming has remained evident throughout a career that is now approaching its seventh decade.


Or as Toto guitarist Steve Lukather — a longtime members of the All-Starr Band — put it in a 2014 Union-Tribune interview: “Ringo’s brilliant, man, very soulful, and a bad-ass drummer. Ringo is the chicken that laid the first egg for all the rest of the drummers in the world. There would not be any of these other rock drummers, if not for him … The grooves he plays are such an important thing. And he’s never played to a click track. He said: ‘I am the click track’!”


Starr laughed appreciatively when told of Lukather’s comments.


“I can’t play drums to a click track because I believe that we (musicians) are not all perfect,” he said.


“There’s a millisecond (that speeds up or slows down), forward or backwards, that four guys playing go to — and that’s what I believe in. The way I play is, if you’re singing, I don’t really do anything but keep time. Or I lift it up, bring it down or get it galloping along.


“I always feel, if I’m playing on a track, (that) the choruses are always a micro-second faster, because it all comes from the heart. That’s how I play. I just play ...


“I’ve said it over and over — I just hit them!”


After The Beatles imploded in 1970, Starr scored eight consecutive Top 10 singles in the U.S. between 1971 and 1975, beginning with “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Back Off Boogaloo.”


He put out seven solo albums in the 1970s. But Starr made only two in the 1980s, a decade that saw him nearly drink himself into oblivion.


Fed up with the dissipation that at one point led him to consume a staggering 16 bottles of wine a day, he checked into an Arizona rehabilitation center with Bach, his wife.


A then-newly sober Starr candidly recounted his near-permanent downward spiral in a 1989 Union-Tribune interview with this writer. It took place in the penthouse of the Four Seasons hotel in Toronto, during his debut All-Starr Band tour.


“It’s a very funny thing with alcohol,” Starr told me then. “When you’re a drunkard, you know you’re in trouble, but you procrastinate such a lot. You just put everything off ‘til tomorrow. And ‘tomorrow’ ends up to be years.


“It just got so bad, the state we were both in, that we had to do something. We felt like, ‘This can’t go on anymore; this is impossible to live (like this).’ I think God stepped in. I think a light went on, a dim light, that said, ‘Are you crazy?’ Then ... it just got so crazy, so down and dumb, that three days later we were both in a clinic.”


Now, 34 years later, Starr continues to regard each day as a blessing. And his tenacity in the face of adversity has made him an inspiration to other musicians.


“Ringo is unaffected by success, really down to earth, a pleasure to be around and a good influence,” Joe Walsh, Starr’s brother-in-law, said in a 2016 Union-Tribune interview.


“He’s well-grounded, and if something happens that I can’t really figure out, or don’t know what do, he’s a great friend to ask and receive advice from. He’s been through it all, so chances are he knows what to do — or at least knows what he did.”


Did Starr, as a young rock musician, have someone he turned to for advice and guidance?


“Well, as The Beatles, we had each other,” he replied.


“I mean, I’m an only child and I had three brothers (in the band). They were crazy days in the beginning, because we were from Liverpool. And, suddenly, we were from the world. And, then, we weren’t playing at the (Liverpool club) The Cavern, we were playing stadiums, and it was huge.


“Each time one of us went a little off the rails, the others would say: ‘Excuse me?’ and we’d point it out. I know I went off (the rails) myself. Suddenly, I’d buy everything, suits, shirts and five sets of shoes at a time. I was like: ‘Oh, look at this!’ And they’d be like: ‘Are you kidding me?’


“So, for me, it was great to have these three brothers that we laughed with, cried with and had a few arguments with — like, I suppose, real brothers do. I got looked after as I was breaking up, breaking down, breaking out (and) any other word with ‘breaking’ in front of it.”


Ringo Starr bonus Q&A

Q: We first spoke in 1989 in Toronto during your first All-Starr Band tour and you told me then: “I’ve found that my drumming is improving. It’s like it should be; the more you do it, the better you get.” Here we are, 34 years later, how much better a drummer are you now and what do you know about the art of drumming that you didn’t known then?


A: The only thing I can say is that I still play from the feeling of the tracks and the feeling of when we’re (playing) live. You know, I’m never here to play better; I’m here to play really, really good. So, I don’t think it’s “better.”


I play on (other) people’s records. They send (me) the (music) files. Then, I play, and I send it to them, and say: “Use it.” Anyway, Edgar Winter did this great Grammy-winning album (in honor of) his brother, Johnny. I played on it and played what I thought was the best (drum) track. And he called me and said: “Where are (drum) fills?!” Ha-ha-ha! So, I had to put some drum fills on.


Q: When you are at home painting, sculpting, working out or relaxing, do you have music playing? And, if so, what music is your go to favorite?


A: Well, I love all music, you know, from country, blues and soul to rock and pop. I mean, I can’t say I’m listening to (just) this or that. Because I love a lot of different stuff when I’m listening and I make a lot of my own cassettes — well, I used to! And guess what? Cassettes are coming back!


And then I get on the internet, just to see what’s going on, and there’s some new band. I like to keep aware of where it’s all going. So, the answer is: “I like music.”


Q: In late 2020, during the lockdown, you released the moving song “Here’s to the Nights,” on your “Zoom In” EP, with a little help on vocals from your musical friends, including Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Joe Walsh, Corrine Bailey Ray, Dave Grohl and more. Your “EP3” last year included “World Go Round.” Both of those songs are uplifting and reflect a sense of resiliency in difficult times. Would you consider adding either to your set list for your upcoming 2023 All-Starr Band tour?


A: Um, well. only if we want to sell more merch! If I get up on stage and say: “I want to thank the six people (who bought) my EP, and now we’ll do a song from it.” you see (people) drift to the toilets and the merch table! So, I’m not planning to put any of those (new songs) in. But then we get to rehearsals and, sometimes, we change (the set list). So, we’ll see.


But people write these songs (for me) and they have to have a “peace and love” (vibe). You mentioned “Here’s to the Night” — Here’s to the nights we won’t remember / With the friends we won’t forget...


I tend to want to have that feeling. I tend to want them all to have that feeling I don’t really want a (negative) song.


Q: Ozzy Osbourne has said that, no matter what he achieves in his life, he’ll most be remembered for biting the head off a bat. What do you think your legacy will be — and should be?


A: Well, I think it will have something to do with music! You know, it’s not up to me to write my legacy. I’ll let you write it.


I played some great drumming… in the finest band in the world. And now, with the remastering, you can really hear the drums…


Q: So, no plans to retire?


A: No. I tell everybody: “As long as I can lift a drumstick, we will play.” And I love to play. I still love to play — and to play with other musicians.


This idea (of the All-Starr Band) came out of the blue, in 1989, when somebody said: “Do you want to put together a band?” And I said: “Yes.” I’d never done it before. And then I panicked! But I’ve known people a long time so I took out — in those days, it was my phone book — and called people.


Joe Walsh said: “Yeah, I’ll do it.” And I called Dr. John, and he (Starr does a note-perfect simulation of Dr. John’s gruff New Orleans drawl).” And so did Levon (Helm) and Nils (Lofgren). I had to close the phone book because it was starting to turn into an orchestra and everyone was saying: “Sure, let’s go!”


That surprised me — and we had a great, great time.

Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: Pechanga Summit, Pechanga Resort Casino, 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula

Tickets: Sold out


When: 8 p.m. May 28 and May 31

Where: Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island

Tickets: Sold out

Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band Tour Dates

May 19: Temecula, CA Pechanga Resort Casino

May 20: Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre

May 21: Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre

May 23: Long Beach CA Terrace Theater

May 24: Las Vegas, NV Venetian Theatre

May 26: Las Vegas, NV Venetian Theatre

May 27: Las Vegas, NV Venetian Theatre

May 28: San Diego, CA Humphreys Concerts

May 30: Prescott Valley, AZ Findlay Toyota Center

May 31: San Diego, CA Humphreys Concerts

June 2: Eugene, OR Cuthbert Amphitheater

June 3: Bend, OR Hayden Homes Amphitheater

June 4: Woodinville, WA Saint Michelle Winery

June 6: Denver, CO Bellco Theater – Denver Convention Center

June 7: Colorado Springs, CO Pikes Peak Center

June 9: Lincoln, CA Thunder Valley Casino

June 10: Jacksonville, OR Britt Festival

June 11: San Francisco, CA The Masonic

June 13: Salt Lake City, UT Eccles Theater

June 15: Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre

June 16: Paso Robles, CA Vina Robles Amphitheatre

June 17: San Jose, CA San Jose Civic

Sept. 17: Ontario, CA Toyota Arena

Sept. 19: Tucson, AZ Linda Ronstadt Music Hall

Sept. 20: Albuquerque, NM Rio Rancho Center

Sept. 22: Kansas City, MO The Uptown

Sept. 23: St Louis, MO The Fox

Sept. 24: Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium

Sept. 26: Clearwater, FL Coachmen Park

Sept. 27: Atlanta, GA The Fox

Sept. 29: Indianapolis, IN The Murat Theatre at Old National Centre

Sept. 30: Milwaukee, WI Miller High Life Theatre

Oct. 1: Minneapolis, MN Mystic Lake

Oct. 3: Grand Rapids, MI DeVos Performance Hall

Oct. 5: Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre

Oct. 6: New Buffalo, MI Four Winds Casino

Oct. 7: Detroit, MI Masonic Temple

Oct. 9: Charleston, WV Charleston Coliseum

Oct. 10: Columbus, OH Mershon Auditorium

Oct. 12: Little Rock, AK Simmons Bank Arena

Oct. 13: Thackerville, OK Winstar Casino

May 15, 2023
Artist Daniel Williams brilliant Beatles sketch

May 14, 2023
Poet Laureate from Detroit Keeps the Beatles Flame Alive

What do The Beatles mean to artists today? Here’s how 30 illustrators see the band
RoomFifty co-founder and Beatles super fan Leon Edler curates and presents Beatles-themed artworks from Stan Chow and Wei Hsuan Chen to Paul Blow.
by Liz Gorney for It's That Nice

Leon Edler thinks that The Beatles have always been a great subject for art. The RoomFifty co-founder explains: “You think about album covers by Klaus Voorman, Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, Heinz Edelman – The Beatles are as inspiring to artists as they are to musicians.” A collection of over 30 new Beatles artworks attempts to show this evergreen quality of the band’s music, while posing another question: how do you offer a fresh take on the most well-known band ever?


The resulting artworks cover broad ground from a fandom perspective, forming a new collection of limited edition prints, T-shirts, posters and postcards called A Soap Impression. Wei Hsuan Chen, for example, presents a unique take on Abbey Road, subbing band members for cats and dogs. Other takes include Greg Clarke’s Liverpool FC-Beatles mashup, inspired by a scene in Richard Lester’s comedy A Hard Day’s Night (1964) showing the band running to evade fans.


Leon Edler digs deeper into the Beatles story still to spotlight Mal Evans, road manager and personal assistant. Elsewhere, Paul Blow sketches a profile shot of the Fab Four and Stan Chow contributes a print inspired by Yellow Submarine – one of his children’s favourite films. There’s also Colin King’s famous 1970 Sunday Times cover included in the collection, available as a fine art print for the first time.


Though RoomFifty attempts to show the evergreen appeal of The Beatles, Leon Edler also believes that now is a particularly pertinent time to release the prints. “At a time when many of us don't feel very proud to be British, the Beatles feel like a tonic to all the evil and insularity.” A Soap Impression will be available online at RoomFifty from Thursday 11 May. Peruse a selection of the prints, along with stories from the artist, below.

Above Nichol Rifkin Beatles '65 (Copyright © Nichol Rifkin)

"My dad raised me to listen to good music and that includes the Beatles. I don’t know what to say beyond that, really. They’re the Beatles."

Above Wei Hsuan Chen: Cats and dogs on Abbey (Copyright © Wei Hsuan Chen)

“When it comes to The Beatles, the first image that comes to my mind is the album cover of Abbey Road. Watching footage of their performances during certain periods, you can feel how much fun they had and how much they enjoyed the music. Despite the different challenges the band faced at different stages, there is no denying that they left behind numerous timeless musical works, and the rock spirit of The Beatles continues to influence generations.”

Above Greg Clarke: Liverpudlians FC (Copyright © Greg Clarke)

“I’m both a Beatles fan and a soccer/football fan, hence the mashup with their storied hometown team. The image was inspired by the scene in Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night (1964) where the group is running to evade a horde of fans.”

Above Ruan van Vliet: Nothing Is Real (Copyright © Ruan van Vliet)

“The Beatles mean a lot to me so I found it hard to zero in on one idea at first. I drew 100 things and started to pile them together in a similar style to my recent sketchbook collages, I got too deep into that. Made a big mess. I sent it to a friend who’s hot with The Beatles AND Design. He was very helpful, he said ‘I think it’s cool!!’. Later, he sent me Tadanori Yokoo’s Beatles collages, which I hadn’t seen before but I knew right away I had to simplify the whole thing, I started stripping away each element until I was left with only two; the lads and a field. I thought, “that looks good now, that’s a nice f**king print!””

Above Danny Miller: Strawberry Fields Forever (Copyright © Danny Miller)


“Strawberry Fields Forever is my favourite Beatles song. It’s so otherworldly. I love John’s nihilistic, wilfully inarticulate lyrics. That self-conscious bumbling is so unusual and honest for a pop song. I find it very relatable.”

Above Jango Jim: Here Comes The Sun (Copyright © Jango Jim)

“I have fond memories about my dad playing The Beatles on vinyl in the house during the weekend when I was a kid. Later as a teenager listened to them on cd a lot, watched their movies and got blown away by the Yellow Submarine animated feature. I got even more impressed when I watched The Beatles Anthology. It’s such a fun, catchy and huge universe they created. Here comes the sun never fails to make me happy.”

Above Leon Edler: All You Need is Mal (Copyright © Leon Edler)

“Mal Evans (27 May 1935 – 5 January 1976) was the Beatles’ Road Manager and personal assistant. A gentle giant who was always
on hand for tea, toast and anvils.”

Above Lucy Jones: George, John, Paul & Ringo (Copyright © Lucy Jones)

“Asides from their music The Beatles remind me of family. There is a really fast, almost aggressive accent in Liverpool, but there’s
also this really nice soft, slow accent and lots of the people in my family have this way of talking. They also had a sense of
humour that could be both dry but also warm that makes me nostalgic about growing up in the North West of England.”

Above Nicolas Burrows: Blackbird (Copyright © Nicolas Burrows)

“‘Blackbird’ is one of those Beatles songs I overlook because I’ve heard it so often. There’s nothing complex going on here, just a blackbird,
heading off ‘into the light of a dark black night...’ ”

Above Paul Blow: Fab Four (Copyright © Paul Blow)

The Beatles were the soundtrack to my early years, they were either being played by me or my brother. He liked Paul I liked John - did
we fight? Hell yes!”

Above Vinnie Neuberg: I am the Egg Man (Copyright © Vinnie Neuberg)

“I’ve been obsessed with Beatles for many years, but more recently I have been developing an obsession with Humpty Dumpty.
How fortunate then that John makes reference to ol’ Humpty in 
I am the Walrus. Goo Goo Goo Joob!”

Above Zeloot (Eline Van Dam): The Flow (Copyright © Eline Van Dam)

“I was asked to do an illustration for The New York Times on the documentary series Get Back. I imagined the band recording in
a small space, fully attuned to each other, becoming one body. I think The Beatles excel in ensemble playing, harmony vocals,
collaborative compositions, and innovation.”

Above Lorenzo Montatore: The Beatles 1967 (Copyright © Lorenzo Montatore)

“At the age of 10, The Beatles were just an old band of pop music I’ve had seen on television; four guys surrounded by crazy screaming
fans. One day I discovered a cassette tape in my sister’s room, with an image of them very dissimilar: They had odd moustaches and
dressed in strange patterned colourful clothes. I played the tape and the Mellotron started to sound. Ten seconds later they became my
favourite band.”

May 13, 2023
What Happened in AMERCIA
by the Beatles Monthly Book, April 1964 edition

May 12, 2023
Dolly Rocker??

Dolly Parton Reveals Duets With Paul McCartney, Elton John, Brandi Carlile, Pink, Lizzo and More in 30-Song Track List
for ‘Rockstar’ Album
by Chris Willman for Variety


Dolly Parton has revealed all the pertinent details about her long-promised “rock album,” titled “Rockstar,” including a 30-song track list, Nov. 17 release date and literally dozens of celebrity guests — including Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr joining her for a cover of the Beatles’ “Let It Be.”


The vast majority of the 30 tracks on the fall release will include at least one feature from a big-name artist, and in some cases two. Brandi Carlile and Pink will be joining Parton on the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” while Emmylou Harris and Sheryl Crow will be her guests on a song most popularized by Linda Ronstadt, “You’re No Good.” The force of metal will be strong on the song “Bygones,” where Judas Priest’s Rob Halford and Motley Crue members Nikki Sixx and John 5 will join her crew. Lizzo and Sasha Flute will put some wind into her sails on Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” even as Steven Tyler and Warren Haynes put their heads together with the Jackson 5 cover “I Want You Back.” And the aforementioned “Let It Be” won’t just include the two surviving Beatles; it’ll also feature turns from Peter Frampton and Mick Fleetwood.


Roughly half the tracks have artists joining forces with Parton on songs they originated, like not just the ex-Beatles with “Let It Be” but Miley Cyrus with “Wrecking Ball,” Elton John with “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” Debbie Harry with Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” Joan Jett with “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” Frampton with “Baby, I Love Your Way,” Ann Wilson with Heart’s “Magic Man,” Steve Perry with Journey’s “Open Arms,” Sting with the Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo with “Heartbreaker,” Kevin Cronin with REO Speedwagon’s “Keep on Loving You” and Linda Perry with 4 Non-Blondes’ “What’s Up?”


Others joining the party with featured appearances on the album include Stevie Nicks, Chris Stapleton, Simon Le Bon, John Fogerty, Melissa Etheridge, Michael McDonald, Richie Sambora, Ronnie McDowell, the Jordanaires and — in what will surely be the most polarizing inclusion — anti-trans activist Kid Rock.


One contributor has died since recording a part for the album — Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington, who sat in on the closing track, “Free Bird,” along with singer Ronnie Van Zant and original Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle. Rossington died March 5.


The first single from the album, “World on Fire,” will be released Thursday night, following Parton’s live premiere of the tune at the end of the Academy of Country Music Awards, which she is co-hosting with Garth Brooks. (“World on Fire” is one of just three tracks on the 30-song collection not to have any celebrity guests, the other two being her covers of “Purple Rain” and “We Are the Champions.”)


Nine of the 30 songs on “Rockstar” are originals, and the other 21 are covers of familiar material.


The Nov. 17 release will come out on Parton’s own Butterfly label with distribution through Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group. A four-LP version will be available in nine different colors of vinyl with five different covers. It will also be sold as a two-CD set as well as up for digital sales and streaming.


“Rockstar” makes good on a vow Parton made to record a rock-themed album after she was nominated for and elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with the country-pop superstar saying she would feel better about her induction if she had a full rock album to her name.


Although Parton will be promoting the album on the ACM Awards this Thursday, its release date a full six months from now could allow her to plug the release on another big country awards shows, the CMAs, which will be held not long before the Nov. 17 release date.

− End of article.

Click here for the full track listing from Billboard magazine.

May 11, 2023
Beatlemania: George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” Hits 1 Billion Streams on Spotify, Only Classic Era Song on List
by Roger Friedman for Showbiz 411


It’s no surprise, but the Beatles are now the only classic rock group or artist to have a song with 1 billion streams on Spotify.


The song is “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison, and it hit the market yesterday.


No other classic era artist can boast this. Not Pink Floyd, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, or even Elvis Presley.


Many contemporary artists have 1 billion, but their careers from the Spotify era. Older purchasers of music bought their records a long time ago. If they’re refreshing their collections, it’s on CD or vinyl, and in box sets.


It’s a little ironic that of the four Beatles, George is the winner. Lennon and McCartney wrote most of the songs. They didn’t really take Harrison’s songs until the second half of their time together. When the Beatles disbanded, George then became a force in his own right with a lot of hits starting with “My Sweet Lord.”


“Here Comes the Sun” comes from the Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” the band’s best selling album.


May 10, 2023
Flashback to "That's The Way God Planned It" by Billy Preston

May 9, 2023
Miss O'Dell: Fifty years after George Harrison's song about Oklahoman, here's her story
by Jimmie Tramel for Tulsa World

Chris O'Dell, who worked at Apple Records, poses with records and photos from her time working with bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.


On Jan. 30, 1969, the Beatles gathered on a London rooftop for what would be their last public performance.


Only a few people were on that rooftop for the historic concert.


One of them was an American raised in a couple of Oklahoma towns — Keota and Owasso.

That would be Chris O’Dell — or Miss O’Dell if you want to ID her the same way George Harrison did when he wrote and recorded a song with her name in
the title. The former Beatle released “Miss O’Dell” 50 years ago — May 7, 1973 — as a B-side to the hit single “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).”

Let’s commemorate the anniversary by catching up with O’Dell, who, oh by the way, also inspired Leon Russell and Ringo Starr to craft songs about her.

So, who is Miss O’Dell?

O’Dell was asked to sing in the chorus of “Hey Jude,” but she’s not a music artist. Rather, she worked for Apple Records, which means she worked for the
Beatles, and she was an eyewitness to epic moments in music history.


Life so far has been an adventure, really, and she wrote a 2009 book (“Miss O’Dell”) about her experiences. A documentary about her life — she described the documentary as a companion to the book — is in the works.


Among those epic moments: O’Dell was living (and working) in Harrison’s Friar Park mansion with George and then-wife Pattie Boyd when Harrison learned, via newspaper, that Paul McCartney was leaving the Beatles.


Recalled O’Dell: “I’ve heard people say maybe George got a call before, but, in my mind, it was a surprise — unless he got (the call) really late after I went to bed, because they would have said something. The first I heard about it was when I got up and came downstairs.”


John Lennon huddled with Harrison later that day.


“Lennon came over without Yoko, which was the first time I had seen that,” O’Dell said, adding that Harrison and Lennon walked and talked in the garden for a long time.


“It wasn’t that long, that much time later, when George said ‘I’m going to do my own album and let’s start working on it.’ So he had everything written on paper and I typed all the lyrics up for him and off he went.”


O’Dell grew up in the sports world. The sports world is hard to avoid when your dad is a coach. Her father, John O’Dell, was a teacher and basketball coach at Keota and Owasso, which is why she spent chapters of life in those towns.


“I was there for my first nine or 10 years and then we moved to Tucson when I was about 10 or 11,” she said. “But my dad, he loved Oklahoma. They would move back and forth, so I was often back in Oklahoma over all those years, and I still have friends from school there.”


O’Dell, who in her book wrote about the hours she spent searching for four-leaf clovers in Keota, was asked in a recent phone interview if she had positive remembrances of Oklahoma. She acknowledged that she did and said this: “Actually, I have a friend (Hilary Gerrard) who was Ringo’s good friend and also his investment person. Hilary was English, and he once said to me ‘You’re just a small-town girl, Chris.’ And I thought ‘That is the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.’ And so I relate that to both Keota and Owasso because they were both really small towns.”


After completing high school in Tucson, O’Dell was ready for a big-city environment and moved to Los Angeles. While in L.A., a boy she was dating phoned her and said he had met someone who allegedly knew the Beatles and she should meet him, too. That someone really did know the Beatles, and it was Derek Taylor, a press officer for the group.



O’Dell hopped in her car to meet Taylor. They hit it off and stayed in touch.


“He kept calling me, and we weren’t romantically involved,” O’Dell said. “He had a family and four kids at that point, I think. But he was older, and he just was a dynamic personality. He called me a couple of times from London and then from New York and said ‘Why don’t you come over (to London)? This is the best time to come right now.’”


O’Dell was sharing a flat with a not-yet-famous actress, Teri Garr.


“She was trying to get her career going and I was getting mine going,” O’Dell said. “But she said ‘You’ve got to go. It’s wonderful there.’ She’s the one who got me there.”


What did Taylor see in O’Dell that prodded him to invite her to London? It’s too bad we can’t ask him, said O’Dell. Taylor died in 1997.


“All I know is he felt that whatever my personality type was that I would fit in and be accepted,” O’Dell said, giving credit perhaps to her laid-back, small-town girl persona.


O’Dell sold her record collection to purchase a plane ticket to England. She was never promised a job, but knowing someone inside the Apple core allowed her to hang out in the offices and make herself useful until she was placed on the payroll.


Selling the record collection (“gorgeous 45s”) was a huge sacrifice, according to O’Dell.


“Believe me, it was worth every penny, because, when I got to London in ‘68, there was no better place to be, really. It was where everything was happening.”


Early in the adventure, a budding singer-songwriter spent a platonic sleepover night in her hotel room. Maybe you’ve heard of James Taylor.


The laid-back, small town girl eventually encountered John, Paul, George and Ringo at Apple’s HQ.


“And, by the way, I wasn’t that laid back,” she said. “I was absolutely cringing inside, but I looked really laid back. I was just ‘there.’ Was I a Beatle fan? You bet I was a Beatle fan. But I knew not to be a Beatle fan around the Beatles.”

O’Dell earned the trust of band members and was permitted to be at recording sessions, which is how she was drafted to be in the chorus for “Hey Jude.” She forged friendships with Harrison and his wife and with Starr and his wife. It was because of O’Dell’s intervention that Harrison and Starr played on a Leon Russell album recorded in London. Lennon attended the session and would’ve liked to have played on the record, but — dang it — he didn’t ask and no one asked him.


O’Dell initially found Russell, a fellow Oklahoman, to be intimidating, but her perspective changed after they began seeing each other socially. She fell for Russell after he wrote the song “Pisces Apple Lady“ about her.




“I can’t think of anything better that you could get as a gift other than a song for you that honors you, because it can’t be taken away,” O’Dell said. “It’s art. It’s creativity. It has lots of memories. I mean, every time I hear that song, I’ve got lots of memories that will never go away that are associated with it.”


O’Dell was so taken with Russell that she left London and returned with him to California, where he was living at the time. She was thinking “picket fence” before she made the trip. Instead, she was greeted by a house full of hangers-on, some that she chose to jettison.


“There was somebody in every room, including the closet,” she said.


The Russell-O’Dell relationship was temporary, but he wrote another song (“Hummingbird“) about her before they parted company.


“I thought that was a beautiful song,” she said. “I actually liked that song. I mean, I like them all, but I like that one a lot. It’s really pretty.”


O’Dell returned to London to resume her overseas adventure. After the rooftop concert and before the Russell romance, O’Dell was assigned a Bob Dylan mission.


Dylan had forgotten his harmonicas, which he needed for the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969. Armed with the harmonicas, O’Dell was flown in a helicopter to a farmhouse where Dylan was staying.


“And as we landed in the backyard of this farmhouse he rented, he was leaning out of the top window as we’re lowering down in the helicopter,” O’Dell said. “And I thought, ‘Okay, now this is pretty cool.’”

Why don’t you call me, Miss O’Dell?


That’s the question Harrison poses in “Miss O’Dell.”


O’Dell, asked how she feels about the song, said, “Well, how can you not be pretty stoked that a Beatle wrote a song about you, or at least used your name in the song? The reality is it’s a lot about Bangladesh.”


Harrison was staying in Malibu when he wrote the song. He repeatedly called O’Dell and asked her to stop by for a visit.


“I kept having excuses why I wasn’t going out there,” she said. “When I finally did, we had dinner and then he said, ‘Oh, I’ve got something for you.’”


Wielding an acoustic guitar, Harrison sang “Miss O’Dell” for her.


“I had forgotten these words until the other day,” she said. “He said ‘I’m going to make you famous.’ And I thought, ‘Well, I suppose he could.’”


When Harrison subsequently recorded “Miss O’Dell,” he kept botching the words, according to O’Dell. The original recording includes Harrison laughing. There’s also a “straight“ recording with no laughter, but she prefers the more fun version. “Miss O’Dell” was not included on an album (“Living in the Material World”) Harrison was recording at that time and, in years that followed, the song was considered a rarity. The track was added to 2006 and 2014 reissues.


It was later when Starr began writing a song about O’Dell.


“Somewhere I’ve got the lyrics he wrote down on a napkin, and it was something about a spider with long legs or something,” she said. “I think I’ve got it somewhere in all my stuff.”


When it was suggested to O’Dell that she may have set some kind of record for inspiring people to write songs about her, she said, “I don’t know. I think Pattie (Harrison’s wife and, later, Eric Clapton’s wife) may have beaten me. I think she had quite a few written about her.”


Also, Joni Mitchell made reference to O’Dell in “Coyote,” the lead single on a 1976 album “Hejira.” O’Dell is not named in the song, but was the “woman down the hall"

in the lyrics.


More accurately, O’Dell was the woman who had a front-row seat for the soundtrack of a generation. Pivoting to tour management after her Beatles-related experiences, she worked with the Rolling Stones, CSNY (Crosby, Stills Nash & Young), Santana and Dylan.


Of all the semi-miracles associated with O’Dell’s career, one of the biggest is she never got arrested while on tour with the Stones and Keith Richards. 


Chris O'Dell and George Harrison


“I was just telling that story to someone who was on tour with me,” she said. “I said ‘I can’t believe that when Keith was getting arrested, he turned around and gave me his medicine bag, which had all his drugs in it. And I took it!’ It was a relief to give them back.”


Later, when O’Dell was working with Fleetwood Mac, Mick Jagger walked over to O’Dell in a hotel lobby and gave her a kiss on the cheek. It gave her instant credibility with the band.

O’Dell’s music industry career continued on with others, including Phil Collins, Queen, the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Boston and ELO.

“It was just being in the right place at the right time, you know?” she said. “And, honestly, when your resume starts with ‘the Beatles,’ it’s not that hard to get another job.”


What are the odds of a small-town Oklahoma girl accumulating all those experiences? Can anyone in Vegas calculate that?


“It is weird, isn’t it?” she said. “I mean, actually, when I think back about it — and for a lot of years I didn’t think back about it. But now it’s that time of my life to think back about it. And I’m thinking that had to have just been, like, I didn’t do anything to make it happen. Honestly, it just happened.”


Fate, perhaps.


The opening words of O’Dell’s book: I wasn’t famous. I wasn’t even almost famous. But I was there.

May 8, 2023
Hundreds bid farewell to 'Mr. Canada' Gordon Lightfoot in Orillia
by Jane Stevenson for the Toronto Sun

Brent Johnson holds a record up while waiting to pay his respects to Gordon Lightfoot at a public visitation which was held at a church in Orillia on May 7, 2023. Lightfoot died in a Toronto hospital at the age of 84 on May 1. © Provided by Toronto Sun


ORILLIA, Ont. — Hundreds of Gordon Lightfoot’s fans joined his closest family, friends and bandmates on Sunday at a public visitation in his hometown.


And where better to hold the service than at his old stomping grounds, St. Paul’s United Church in Orillia — about a two-hour drive north of Toronto — where one of Canada’ finest performers began singing as a young choir boy?


“I believe he might have been about 10 years old,” said Cathy Sayle, 69, one of the church’s coordinators, who posed by a photo of Lightfoot from that time.


“My grandparents, Charlie and Ann Andrews, had an orchestra, the Andrews Orchestra, and they played various gigs all about the area, and when Gordon was 16, he asked Gramps if he could drum for a little bit. So he did.”

Cathy Sayle, a coordinator at St. Paul’s United Church in Orillia, Ont., poses by a photo of Gordon Lightfoot as a choir boy there. (Jane Stevenson/Toronto Sun)

Lightfoot died May 1 at the age of 84 from natural causes. The public visitation, from 1-8 p.m., saw long lineups wrap around the street in front of the church, with just over 1,700 people having come through after the first four hours.


Orillia couple Steven and Diane Porter were the first in line, having arrived at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.


“Gordon Lightfoot is an icon, a beautiful man, his songs touched (people) all around the world and he’s like Mr. Canada — God love him,” said Steve Porter, who was a young student of Lightfoot’s former guitarist Red Shea.


Photos of Lightfoot were shown on three screens inside the church while his music played on the P.A. system.


There were a few bouquets of flowers and placards of condolences outside the church — one read “We Love You Gord” — but they were outnumbered by the floral arrangements inside, including a huge bouquet of red roses from Lightfoot’s third wife, Kim, on top of the casket on the stage at the front of the church with a card that read, “My heart’s treasure,” and a ribbon that said, “Loving husband.”


Kim could be seen in the front row of the church with fellow mourners but eventually she moved up to the stage to greet those coming through the public line.


Veteran Canadian singer and songwriter Gordon Lightfoot performs at the newly refurbished Massey Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Nov. 25, 2021.© Provided by Toronto Sun

Among them was Hugh’s Room publicist Jane Harbury, who said she’s known Lightfoot since the early ‘70s from her days working at The Riverboat coffee house in Toronto’s then-folkie Yorkville neighborhood.


“I was devastated because I thought Gordon would come back from whatever was wrong,” said Harbury, referring to Lightfoot recently cancelling his

2023 North American tour dates for “health reasons.”


“I had to be here. It’s a long time (I’ve known him).”


A particularly poignant moment happened at 2 p.m. on Sunday when 30 bells tolled in the church– 29 for the lost mariners immortalized in Lightfoot’s song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald — and one for Lightfoot.


Lightfoot’s funeral on Monday will be private, with his remains buried alongside those of his parents in Orillia.


Mourners are pictured at a public visitation for iconic musician Gordon Lightfoot on May 7, 2023. (Jane Stevenson,Toronto Sun)

But Lightfoot’s concert promoter Bernie Fiedler told reporters inside the church on Sunday, there are plans for a tribute concert.


“Have the original band, if they’re willing, do a concert,” said Fiedler with Lightfoot’s bassist Rick Haynes beside him.


“And I’ve already got Burton Cummings, Tom Cochrane, Tom Rush, Murray McLauchlan, agreed to come and do a song, and do it at Massey Hall.”


But Haynes added the love for Lightfoot extends beyond Canada’s borders, noting Billy Joel recently performed a rendition of Sundown in concert.


“I think Gordon was the best,” he added. “I think there are a lot of really great songwriters out there. I don’t think there are any better than Gordon.”

End of article.

Flashback to 1971 and Edwin Starr's soulful cover version of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"

May 7, 2023
Beatles and various musicians gather at Granada's Manchester Television Studio to honour the song writing of John Lennon and Paul McCartney


May 6, 2023
The Beatles, The British Invasion, And 1,000 Pounds Of Wigs
by Ripley's Believe It or Not! via Prince Albert. Right Now!


In early 1963, the Beatles released their second single, “Please Please Me,” in the United Kingdom to rave reviews. It was their first single released stateside. Some might argue this paved the way for the so-called “British Invasion.” After all, by early 1964, Life magazine had this to say about the Beatles: “In [1776] England lost her American colonies. Last week, the Beatles took them back.”


But it’s easy to forget the real story of the Beatles’ first US single release in the glare of the band’s later successes. In reality, “Please Please Me” was a resounding flop. Here’s the inside scoop on how the bowl-cut band went from unknowns with a less-than-stellar single to America’s hottest ticket (and merch seller).

An Unlikely Birthplace for Rock & Roll’s Saviors

February 25, 1963, should be a date to remember. At least when it comes to the history of the Beatles. After all, that’s when the first single by the band hit America’s airwaves. In the larger context of “Beatlemania,” it should’ve been a slam dunk, foreshadowing the uber-famous “British Invasion” to follow. But that’s also an anachronistic way of looking at history.


Despite what Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly started in the 1950s, rock & roll appeared in a death spiral by the early 1960s as folk dominated the scene. England was the last place on Earth people looked for potential saviors. After all, London’s Denmark Street music publishers and the BBC maintained a stranglehold on the British music industry. And they fastidiously obsessed over clean-cut Elvis and Buddy wannabes. Hardly the environment for innovation.

Liverpool’s Vibrant Music Scene

However, that doesn’t mean the Beatles came out of a cultural vacuum. Their location in the coastal city of Liverpool proved fortuitous. You see, Liverpool had a fascinating and unique scene of performers. In fact, it’s a testament to these other performers’ talent that the Beatles took so long to gain a foothold.


Local bands like Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and the Big Three dominated with a unique blend of beat music and R&B known as skiffle. (Incidentally, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes featured a drummer named Richard Starkey, who soon reinvented himself as Ringo Starr.) Skiffle, in turn, was inspired by Liverpool’s merchant seamen who imported R&B records from the United States.

From Skiffle to World Fame

Another misnomer about the Beatles is that they represented an overnight success. But this was far from the case. In truth, they paid their dues, commuting between Liverpool and Hamburg from 1961 through 1963, performing clad in black leather at dives like the Star Club, the Cavern, and the Kaiserkeller. Skiffle proved among their primary influences.


Along the way, the band’s lineup changed substantially, and they picked up manager Brian Epstein, a local record-store manager. Ringo Starr came on board, providing a new solidity to the group as they bid “hasta la vista” to the black leather. (No offense, Judas Priest!) Having played nearly 300 performances by August 1963, the band boasted two well-received singles: “Please Please Me” and “From Me to You.” That is, well-received in their homeland.

The British Invasion Begins

But America would prove a tougher sell. Even as their third and fourth singles inspired the Daily Mail to proclaim the band’s rising popularity as “Beatlemania,” fans in the US remained sparse to non-existent. However, something funny took place in December 1963. That’s when the Beatles’ single “I Want to Hold Your Hand” made the Washington, DC, radio station WWDC. Audiences were entranced!


The band followed this more favorable debut with a strategic campaign in preparation for their first American tour. Set to begin in February 1964, the Beatles went all out. Think campaign-style buttons, bumper stickers, and even “Beatle wigs.” By February 19, more than 1,000 pounds of these Beatle wigs traveled to the United States to satisfy the new mania for rock-related merch. Sure, it was a far cry from Hot Topics but still a significant step in music branding. By 1964, things got really weird with the Fab Four’s board game, “Flip Your Wig.”

Marketing a Cultural Revolution

It’s hard to imagine the cultural revolution of the 1960s taking place without the Beatles. Yet, it’s also disheartening to acknowledge much of the hubbub surrounding the band can be chalked up to clever marketing rather than a looming “Age of Aquarius.” Nevertheless, the Beatles’ jaw-dropping performance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964 cemented their fame. More than 70 million tuned it, making it the boob tube’s most successful broadcast up to that point.


As the “British Invasion” swept the United States, the Beatles reigned over the parade, contributing countless chart toppers. By April, their hits dominated the Top 100. They included “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves Me,” and the song that paved the way for fame, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”


So, what happened to “Please Please Me?” The song finally became a contender, topping America’s charts. While it appeared that the Beatles had become the United Kingdom’s number one export overnight, bringing them to the former colonies required calculated strategy, years of hard work, and plenty of wigs. Nowhere is this slow and steady trajectory better attested than “Please Please Me’s” circuitous rise to popularity in the New World.

During my research, I came across an excellent essay that traces the roots of Rock and Roll. The essay, written by Dave Henderson, is published by Vintage Rock in their September/October 2015 magazine edition. It has been added to the list of articles of Historical Interest at the Ottawa Beatles Site. There is a comment at the end of the essay by John Lennon. Click on the image below to read the report.
− John Whelan, Ottawa Beatles Site, April 6, 2023.

May 5, 2023
The Beatles Love Songs

Below: "The Beatles Love Songs" promotional ad from Crawdaddy Magazine, January 1978

         Link to the above album review is available at All

May 4, 2023
Here’s The Beatles covering The Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’, as created by AI
The track was previously hailed by Paul McCartney as being his favourite song of all time
by Liberty Dunworth for New Music Express

A new AI-generated mashup has appeared online, this time portraying The Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’ as if it were performed by 
The Beatles.

Over recent months, music lovers have been using AI methods to create “new music” and collaborations with their favourite artists,
including The Weeknd, Drake, Kanye West and more. However, one of the latest projects shared shows that fans can also bring some
of their nostalgic favourites back to life, and create new versions of iconic 1960s tracks.

One of the most recent covers, shared last month, shows just that — depicting the iconic 1966 Beach Boys track, ‘God Only Knows’
being played in the style of The Beatles.

Starting with AI-generated vocals, the track also features a dreamy duet with Paul McCartney and John Lennon, as well as backing
harmonies from drummer Ringo Starr and an a cappella ending.

While the creator of the video doesn’t offer much explanation into what inspired the project or what tools he used to develop the track,
McCartney has previously described the song as “one of the few songs that reduces me to tears every time I hear it”.

“It’s really just a love song, but it’s brilliantly done. It shows the genius of Brian [Wilson],” he said (via Far Out).

While AI-generated mashups can often be conceived as controversial by fans, The Beatles and Beach Boys collaboration has received mostly

positive reactions online. At the time of writing, the video has over 1,100 likes on YouTube, versus just 10 “thumbs-down” reactions.


“Paul and John are finally reconciled in the chorus, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve heard. Thank you,” wrote one fan in the comments, while
another added: “This is incredible. I have dreamed of hearing Paul sing this for my whole life. Amazing.”

Last month, an AI-generated “lost” Oasis album also emerged online and also received a wave of praise from fans online. The project — which imagined how Oasis would sound if they reformed and created music reminiscent of their ‘90s heyday — also gained recognition from the former frontman, Liam Gallagher, who described it as “mega” and “better than all the other snizzle out there.”

Earlier this week, however, fans had a less than optimistic view towards another AI project, which saw Kurt Cobain performing the 1998 Hole
song, ‘Celebrity Skin’.

While it was labelled as nothing more than an “elaborate mashup” by the creator, fans were quick to criticise the project and call it out as
being inappropriate.

“Call it what you want, but this is copyright infringement, totally distasteful, poorly executed, and subtextual misogyny that panders to bigoted
whisperings that Kurt wrote [Courtney Love Cobain’s] hits,” wrote one person on Twitter. “Let them both rest.”

Bad Seeds frontman Nick Cave also shared his lack of support for songwriting using artificial intelligence earlier this year — labelling it as 
“a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human”. He also commented on the issue later, explaining that he wished AI programmes such as
ChatGPT would “fuck off and leave songwriting alone”.

Grimes also recently weighed in on the ongoing debate too, and expressed her support for her voice to be used in AI music. Taking to social
media, she permitted fans to use her voice for any upcoming projects because “it’s cool to be fused [with] a machine”.

The Beatles Welcome Home To England ( 1964) British Pathé video


The next two articles is from The Beatles Monthly Book, November 1966:
1. Neil Aspinall's report from Almeria, Spain
2. Song of the month: "Yellow Submarine"

May 2, 2023
Rest In Peace Gordon Lightfoot

The following article was published on the Prince George Citizen website

Farewell to "rare talent" Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot, the legendary folk musician whose silvery refrains told a tale of Canadian identity that was exported to listeners worldwide, has died at 84.


The singer-songwriter died of natural causes at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Monday evening, said Victoria Lord, the musician's longtime publicist and a

representative for the family. He had suffered numerous health issues in recent decades.


Considered one of the most renowned voices to emerge from Toronto's Yorkville folk club scene in the 1960s, Lightfoot went on to record no less than 20 studio albums and pen hundreds of songs, including "Early Morning Rain," "Carefree Highway" and "Sundown."


"We have lost one of our greatest singer-songwriters," tweeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau late Monday.


"Gordon Lightfoot captured our country’s spirit in his music – and in doing so, he helped shape Canada’s soundscape. May his music continue to inspire future generations, and may his legacy live on forever."

Other celebrities and politicians added their praises of Lightfoot's craft on Twitter. Author Stephen King described him as "a wonderful performer," while the Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson added a simple "rest in peace."


Former Ontario premier Bob Rae said he was "such a decent man" and a "musician with a magnificent tenor voice that will last forever" while Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield said his "poetry and melodies are an eternal inspiration."


Once called a "rare talent" by Bob Dylan, Lightfoot's timeless compositions have transcended the boundaries of generations and musical genres.


Dozens of artists have covered his work, including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, Anne Murray, Jane's Addiction, Sarah McLachlan and, perhaps most surprisingly, dance supergroup Stars on 54 who turned his classic "If You Could Read My Mind" into a disco-pop curiosity for the 1998 movie "54."


Most of his songs are deeply autobiographical with lyrics that probe his own experiences in a frank and unclouded manner and explore issues surrounding the national identity.


His 1975 song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" chronicled the demise of a Great Lakes ore freighter, and 1966's "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" depicted the construction of the railway.


"I simply write the songs about where I am and where I'm from," he once said. "I take situations and write poems about them."



Prime Minister Trudeau pays tribute to Gordon Lightfoot on Facebook

Robbie Robertson, member of The Band, pays tribute to Gordon Lightfoot on Facebook

Randy Bachman, musician from BTO and The Guess Who pays tribute to Gordon Lightfoot on Facebook

And from the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, posted the following on Facebook

The following are culled from Facebook:

Related link from CTV: 'A genius': Celebrities, musicians share stories and condolences after Gordon Lightfoot's death

In the October 1977 edition of Hit Parader, Lenny Kaye reviews the Beatles "Live! At The Star Club in Hamburg Germany, 1962" and "At The Hollywood Bowl"
on Capitol Records



May 1, 2023
In 1971 Ringo Starr appeared on Blue Peter (with his technicolour dreamcoat) to show off some of his
abstract furniture designs


From the 67th issue of Blender magazine, cover dated March 2008, an interview with Ringo Starr

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