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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March 25, 2024
Original Quarryman Colin Hanton visits George Harrison's old home

From Facebook...

March 23, 2024
"Good Rockin' Tonight" - A new limited yellow vinyl edition set for release on 29 March 2024


This strictly limited vinyl record album contains live radio broadcasts from the 80s and 90s of the legendary super-star and The Beatles member Paul McCartney including many classics and hits. Pressed on yellow wax.


Side A :
Band On The Run / The Fool On The Hill / Good Day Sunshine / My Brave Face / Let It Be


Side B :
Good Rockin' Tonight / Be-Bop-A-Lula / Let Me Roll It / Lady Madonna / Hey Jude


Click here for details on how to order a copy.

And just for the fun of it, here's something a little bit different that I came across on the internet: "Good Rockin' Tonight" with Elvis Presley and Paul McCartney - a fan made video... 

‘An explosion of screaming and hysteria’: US fans on how they were introduced to the Beatles
Four Americans on what it felt like to be swept up in Beatlemania, and reflecting on the band’s impact on their lives
By Jem Bartholomew for the Guardian


What Janet DiGangi recalls most vividly about the day the Beatles came to town is eating cake and ice-cream with furious impatience. It was 12 September 1964, and DiGangi was 12, living in Boston, Massachusetts, the oldest of seven siblings. The Beatles were about to play Boston Garden but the family couldn’t leave until they’d celebrated her brother Peter’s second birthday with candles and presents.


“I was furious, because I didn’t want to be late,” recalls DiGangi, now 72. She had saved up all her babysitting money to buy the band’s second US album, Meet the Beatles! “I was so excited.” Thankfully, DiGangi made it to the show on time. It was “electric”, and sent fans wild. “It was just an explosion of screaming and hysteria,” she says.


Like many Americans who watched the Beatles arrive in the US – either on 9 February 1964 on their first Ed Sullivan Show, or those who caught their North American tour later that year – the experience for DiGangi fostered a lifelong love and fascination with the band from Liverpool. As she grew up from a schoolgirl to an adolescent to a young woman, she tagged along as the band’s sound developed, from the boys next door of A Hard Day’s Night to the mop-haired artists of Revolver to the mature and creatively fractious White Album.


Next month marks 60 years since the Beatles secured all the top five slots on the Billboard Hot 100 on 4 April 1964 – the height of Beatlemania in the US. “To look back 60 years from now, I remember things so vividly,” DiGangi says. “I totally remember watching them on television and just crying.”


DiGangi, whose favourite album is Rubber Soul, has passed on her passion for the band to the next generation, taking her niece to Abbey Road in London in 2017. “It was just as thrilling for me then as if it were 1969,” she says.


For many fans in the US, encountering the Beatles as teenagers sparked a lifelong desire to play music. Michael Shaw, a 76-year-old in Atlanta, Georgia, says he was part of the manic crowd of flailing limbs that greeted the band at Miami airport when they arrived for their second Ed Sullivan appearance, on 16 February 1964. Shaw was 16 and played lead guitar in a band called the Outcasts.


“The Beatles and the rest of the British invasion absolutely changed music and the style of music we were playing,” he says.


“I used to practise guitar four hours a day at that time, and I would sit down with my latest LP and play a song over and over trying to learn the chords,” Shaw says. As the Beatles’ sound matured, it was hard to keep up with George Harrison’s evolving style: “It really made me stretch,” he adds. Six decades on, Shaw – who says he owns a Höfner bass guitar signed by Harrison and Paul McCartney – is still in a band. They play southern rock. “I keep on trying to get my bandmates to cover some Beatles songs,” he says.

Ruth Yost, 71, says she “watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and felt the world was changing”. Aged 12, she took along binoculars when the Beatles came to Indianapolis, Indiana, on 3 September 1964.

Yost could hardly hear the music over the screams but it was enough to be in the same room with the Beatles. “I didn’t feel like myself, I felt like somebody else,” she says. “It was almost frightening, to think here I was.”


Yost became a collector of all things Beatles; her son now keeps her original LPs safe. Yost says she was a hesitant girl, the baby of a large family, and saw something of herself in George Harrison. She even dressed up as him for Halloween in 1964. “I always identified with George,” she says. “He seemed so sweet.”


Yost says the band got her through the turbulence of adolescence. “I feel like the Beatles – their music, their humour – helped a shy junior-high girl grow up through high school,” she says. The band broke up in April 1970, the year Yost graduated. “It was as if they stuck together to see me make it,” she says.


Susan Bendinelli says she saw the Beatles at San Francisco’s Cow Palace on 19 August 1964 with her older brother when she was 10. “They just had me from then on,” she says. “They had such an amazing energy, and their songs were like nothing we’d ever heard,” adding: “It was black-and-white to Technicolor.”


The seats were up in the gods and all she could see was “these four little Beatles on a stage”. She recalls being frustrated that the screaming drowned out the music. At the concert, Bendinelli, now 69, got a set of Beatles figurines – she still has Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.


The Beatles helped her generation “find our voices”, she says. As she grew up, and the Beatles themselves became more political engaged, Bendinelli got involved in the anti-nuclear and anti-war movements, protesting against the US war in Vietnam, and promoting sustainability through Earth Day and local environmental activism.


“All through my life I’ve been an activist. And I don’t know if I would have done that if I hadn’t had those experiences when I was really young and watched the Beatles become activists as well,” she says. “They definitely created a foundation for me that I still feel I walk on.”

March 22, 2024
Ringo Starr Could Chart A New No. 1 Hit In His Home Country Next Week
By Hugh McIntyre, Senior Contributor for Forbes

Ringo Starr is already one of the most successful musicians of all time in the U.K., but that track record doesn’t mean he’s done creating. The drummer, singer, and songwriter has a new tune out with a bevy of other superstars, and it could hit No. 1 in the U.K., giving him another winner…at least, in some regards.

The former Beatle is one of the many members of the rock supergroup Mark Knopfler's Guitar Heroes, which was put together by the Dire Straits frontman and solo star whose name fronts the band. The rocker gathered together many of his famous friends to re-record a new version of the song “Going Home (Theme From Local Hero),” which is currently making a play for the No. 1 spot on the U.K. singles chart, according to the Official Charts Company.

“Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)” is a new superstar collaboration that’s aimed at raising funds for a worthy cause. All proceeds from the tune will go toward supporting both Teenage Cancer Trust UK and Teen Cancer America. The mix of celebrity names and the charitable aspect mean the track has a lot going for it, and it could debut at No. 1 in the U.K.


Mark Knopfler's Guitar Heroes counts more than 50 musicians as members, though it’s likely that this will be their only release together. Starr is credited as playing drums on the tune. He is joined by dozens of other well-known names on the song, such as Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Joan Jett, Nile Rodgers, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Keith Urban, and many, many others.

It’s important to note that these artists aren’t simply session musicians, but rather actual members of a new group. They’re all part of Mark Knopfler's Guitar Heroes, so if “Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)” hits No. 1 in the U.K., they all collect a new No. 1–or at least that’s how things should go.

Oftentimes, when it comes to these kinds of charity singles, artists don’t count the successes they’re involved in as part of their discography. Fundraising releases are more common in the U.K. than in the U.S., and there are many musicians who have hit No. 1 with charity offerings, but whose pages on the Official Charts Company –the country’s version of  Billboard– don’t include those wins in their career totals. It’s a bit of an odd loophole in the chart system, but people largely overlook it as the point is to raise money, not score a hit.

“Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)” is on pace for a healthy debut on the U.K. songs chart, whether it hits No. 1 or not. At the moment, it faces tough competition from Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold ‘Em,” which has been ruling for four weeks, as well as newcomer Benson Boone’s “Beautiful Things,” which could also reach the summit.


March 21, 2024
A lovely photograph of John and Yoko


March 20, 2024
The Beatles’ Monopoly Board Game Has Been Updated For 2024
By That Eric Alper

For Beatles enthusiasts and Monopoly collectors alike, a new edition of The Beatles Monopoly board game has been announced, set to release in 2024. This updated edition promises a unique fusion of nostalgia and entertainment, seamlessly blending the classic charm of MONOPOLY with the timeless appeal of The Beatles. You can now get it here.


Players will have the opportunity to relive the magic of The Beatles’ iconic album covers as they navigate the game board. Featuring stunning visuals that pay homage to the band’s legendary discography, each square is a tribute to the Fab Four’s illustrious career.


Custom components tailored to The Beatles theme include 6 collectible tokens inspired by popular song titles such as “Here Comes the Sun” and “I Am the Walrus.” Additionally, players will encounter 28 Title Deed Cards featuring albums and concert tickets, 16 “The Fab Four” cards, and 16 “Beatlemania” cards. Custom Monopoly money adorned with Beatles imagery adds to the immersive experience.


One of the highlights of the game is the inclusion of 32 houses renamed “Listening Parties” and 12 hotels renamed “Concerts,” allowing players to build their Beatlemania empire as they progress through the game.


The release of this updated edition also features new sculpted tokens, including “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Rocky Raccoon,” and “Octopus’s Garden,” providing players with a unique tactile experience.


Players will have the opportunity to buy, sell, and trade their way through Beatlemania as they collect famous albums such as “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Revolver,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Abbey Road,” and many more.


With its immersive gameplay and homage to The Beatles’ timeless music, this new edition of The Beatles Monopoly board game is sure to be a must-have for fans and collectors alike, offering hours of nostalgia-filled entertainment.

March 19, 2024
Introducing The Pre-Amps


The Pre-Amps are a 4-piece British Retro-influenced Pop/Rock band from Newcastle upon Tyne, England. They specialise in performing covers from the 1960s, covering the likes of The Beatles, The Kinks, The Byrds, Roy Orbison, The Hollies, Jeff Beck and The Monkees to name but a few, whilst combining distinctive 1960s-style vocal harmonies and retro Rock & Roll instrumentation to create a real nostalgic experience that’s sure to get you up dancing!

Known nationwide for their impressive vocal harmonies and their up-beat, feel-good choice of material, The Pre-Amps made a big impression on the North East music scene whilst touring the local pub/club circuit since they left 6th Form College in 2017 and spent time furthering this in the North West during 2017-2020 whilst studying Music Production at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, Lancashire. The group is currently playing regularly at various venues across the UK where they are continuously gaining a solid reputation as a hard-working, professional and entertaining live act.

They gained great exposure after playing on the front stage at the world-famous Cavern Club, Liverpool for the first time in March 2018 and supported the Small Fakers in the Cavern Club Live Lounge in March 2019, subsequently being asked to return by the venue on several occasions.


In August 2022, The Pre-Amps played on the same bill as The Quarrymen, The Merseybeats and The Pete Best Band at 'Best Fest' at The Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool and were a big hit with the audience. The band are currently enjoying delving into the Warner Leisure Hotels circuit as well as the likes of Haven and Pontins holiday parks and are garnering high praise from both staff and audience members alike.


The band’s self-produced 2017 and 2019 ‘Covers’ albums have been received very well and have been highly praised worldwide for capturing the essence of the times and reminding people of “the good old days”.

The Pre-Amps’ first original single ‘Doesn’t Change’ was released on The Label Recordings on 19th December 2019 and received a great deal of national airplay on stations such as BBC Radio Newcastle, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio London. The track also gained numerous positive reviews and online press coverage.


The band has since released lots more original music which can be found on all streaming platforms.

Other suspects of interest from the Abbey Road album cover as published on the Abbey Road Tribute Facebook page...

March 18, 2024
The Story Behind “Eight Days a Week” by The Beatles, Which Topped the Charts 59 Years Ago

The Beatles’ classic pop hit “Eight Days a Week” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 13, 1965. The song was the Fab Four’s seventh single to top the Hot 100 in just over a year, the first being “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which peaked at No. 1 in February 1964.


“Eight Days a Week,” which spent two weeks at the top of the Hot 100, replaced and was replaced, respectively, by a pair of classic Motown tunes— The Temptations’ “My Girl” and The Supremes’ “Stop! In the Name of Love.”


“Eight Days a Week” wasn’t issued as a single in the U.K., and made its first appearance as a track on the 1964 U.K. album Beatles for Sale. In the U.S., the song was released as a single in February 1965, and later appeared on the 1965 U.S. album Beatles VI.


The song was mainly written by Paul McCartney, with some help from John Lennon. The tune may have come together as McCartney’s attempt to write a song for The Beatles’ second movie, Help!, which originally had the working title Eight Arms to Hold You.


McCartney Told Conflicting Stories About the Song Title’s Origin

Over the years, McCartney told two different stories about what inspired the song’s title.


In a 1984 interview with Playboy, he credited Ringo Starr with coming up with the title. (Starr was known to have been the source for the quirky titles of such other Fab Four tunes as “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Tomorrow Never Knows.”)


“[Ringo] said it as though he were an overworked chauffeur. ‘Eight days a week,’” McCartney told the magazine with a laugh. “When we heard it, we said, ‘Really? Bing!

Got it!’”


In the 1995 Beatles Anthology docuseries, McCartney said he got the title from a comment made by a chauffeur who was driving him to a songwriting session at Lennon’s home.


“[T]he chauffeur drove me out that day and I said, ‘How’ve you been?’ … ‘Oh, working hard,’ he said, ‘working eight days a week,’” McCartney recalled. “I had never heard anyone use that expression, so when I arrived at John’s house I said, ‘Hey, this fella just said, “eight days a week”.’ John said, ‘Right … Ooh I need your love, babe,’ and we wrote it.”


“Eight Days a Week” Had a Unique Intro

“Eight Days a Week” is credited with being the first pop song to feature a fade-in introduction. The Beatles recorded several takes of the song with different intros, including one featuring an a cappella harmony part by Lennon and McCartney. A number of the different takes were included on the 1995 Anthology 1 compilation.


The Beatles Never Played the Song Live, but McCartney Did

The Beatles never performed “Eight Days a Week” in concert, although the band once mimed the tune during a March 1965 appearance on the U.K. TV show Thank Your Lucky Stars.


McCartney dusted the tune off and played it more than 80 times at his concerts in 2013, 2014, and 2015.


Lennon Didn’t Like the Song

In one of his last interviews, with journalist David Sheff in 1980, Lennon said he disliked “Eight Days a Week.”


“‘Eight Days A Week’ was never a good song,” he said. “We struggled to record it and struggled to make it into a song. It was [McCartney’s] initial effort, but I think we both worked on it. I’m not sure. But it was lousy anyway.”


Cover Versions

Among the artists who have covered “Eight Days a Week” over the years are Mary Wells, Procol Harum, The Runaways, Lorrie Morgan, The Persuasions, and The Dandy Warhols.

March 16, 2024


An original design doodle for an Apple Records LP label by George Harrison, pencil and felt pens, circa 1969, with self-portrait George Harrison sitting under an apple tree,
with handwritten album title George Harrison, publisher credit BMI. Harrisongs and gag track listings in black ink 1 Hello Dolly, 2 Perfida, 3 Mrs Harrison, 4 Ballad of Eddie Veale, 5 Fuck Of Dolly 6 Ballad of Eddie Klein
4 in. (10.1 cm.) diam.

Photo credit: Christies

A trove from Pattie Boyd’s life with George Harrison and Eric Clapton is up for sale at Christie’s
By Jill Lawless for the Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Pattie Boyd was at the epicenter of the Swinging 60s, but not always the center of attention.


The model and photographer, who was often in the shadow of her rock icon husbands George Harrison and Eric Clapton, comes into sharp focus through a trove of letters, photos and other items she is selling at Christie’s auction house.


The collection, which went on public display at Christie’s London headquarters on Friday, provides a glimpse into the heart of the 1960s and 70s counterculture. The 111 lots up for sale include affectionate letters from both Harrison and Clapton, alongside clothing, jewelry, drawings and photographs — some of Boyd, and some by her.


If Boyd, 79, feels a pang at parting with them, she isn’t saying.

“I look back without emotion,” she told The Associated Press. “I can feel slightly sentimental, but not emotional.


“I’ve lived with all of these photographs and objets for so long — 40, 50 years,” she said. “I want other people to enjoy them.”


Boyd is famous as a musicians’ muse, inspiration for The Beatles’ song “Something,” composed for her by Harrison, as well as for Clapton’s scorching “Layla” and sweet “Wonderful Tonight.”


The auction includes love letters from Clapton, written while Boyd was married to Harrison, and the original cover artwork for Derek and The Dominos’ 1970 album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs,” a painting of a blond model who reminded Clapton of Boyd. The painting is estimated to sell for between 40,000 and 60,000 pounds ($51,000 and $76,000).


Harrison’s handwritten lyrics for the song “Mystical One” are on offer with an estimated price of 30,000 to 50,000 pounds ($38,000 to $63,000).


Boyd is an accomplished photographer, and the sale includes both large-scale portraits and informal Polaroids of Harrison, Clapton and other musicians, including Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend and Ronnie Wood.


“This is very much a snapshot of her life,” said Christie’s head of sale Adrian Hume-Sayer.


Hume-Sayer said the appetite for 1960s music memorabilia is growing, even as undiscovered material becomes scarcer year by year.


“This is quite unusual because it’s primary provenance,” he said. “A lot of the material out there is on the secondary market … but here you’ve got it coming directly from the person who was there. Pattie’s had this all of her life.


“It’s that visceral link with (a) moment that means so much to so many people that makes it so interesting.”


Taken as a whole, the collection feels both personal and revealing.


In one room is a psychedelic acid green and pink minidress worn by Boyd in the 1960s. In another stands an ornate grandfather clock that was a wedding present to Boyd and Harrison from Beatles manager Brian Epstein in 1966.


There are handwritten letters from Harrison — “say hello to Hubby!” — and a handmade Christmas card he gave Boyd in 1968.


Letters and postcards from Clapton – in extremely elegant handwriting -- provide shapshots from the rock star life. In one he says he’s off to the Caribbean island of Montserrat “to work on Sting’s album.” Another reveals: “Here I am in South America. Everybody’s got dodgy tummies.”


Harrison and Boyd divorced in 1977, and he died in 2001. In a 2007 memoir, Boyd described Harrison as her soulmate.


Her turbulent 10-year marriage to Clapton, which ended in 1989, was marred — as the musician later acknowledged — by his alcoholism.


Boyd says she feels no bitterness.


“That was almost like another lifetime ago,” she said. “And he has his own life and I have my own life. But this is just a bit of history that we shared.”


Mostly, she recalls the “great fun” of the 1960s, a seismic era whose creative influence rumbles across the decades.


“Sometimes I can be walking down a street somewhere in London, and I see a girl wearing what I would have worn in the 60s,” she said. “I mean, how many years ago was that? And it just makes me smile.”


The Pattie Boyd collection is on display at Christie’s until March 21. Online bidding closes March 22.


To see exclusive photos, please click on Pattie's Treasure Chest....




A handwritten letter, signed, from George Harrison to Pattie Boyd, four pages in black ink on two sheets of The Plaza hotel headed stationery, n.d. but 1 November 1971, Monday Evening, on his arrival to New York after a sea voyage from England on the SS France, Harrison asks his wife to call him at Room 601 to say hello to Hubby!, sweetly adding It's a drag not being able to speak to you, describes the journey The 'France' was not as good as QE2, more straights in Tuxedos and not as many things to do, I read a lot in the cabin, discusses editing the Concert for Bangladesh for television, admitting there is a lot of juggling to do - to get what I would like. The camera men were not too hip on the Rock part - but Ravi's [Shankar] part seems well covered... We have to get the film to about 54 minutes total, for an hour show... Bob [Dylan] is coming in the morning, so we will have to work on his part tomorrow day, and then Ravi's again in the evening... his bit is too hard to edit without him, complains of a wrangle over the cover artwork for the album box set The Concert for Bangladesh, with Harrison resolute in his preference for a haunting photo of a malnourished child the Box front with Guitar was awful - so I had to jump on that and change it and shout at them and now it will be o.k. with the original idea of the kid - it's such a pain in the arse all that messing around, and jokes that the delay has brought about the near simultaneous release of Ravi Shankar's Raga, The Concert for Bangladesh and Paul McCartney's Wild Life with Wings all coming in the same month - well I know which will win! (Ha-Ha), considers buying a wash basin and some Indian cushions for Friar Park, mentions an expected visit from his sister Louise ...Lou is coming tomorrow so that's going to confuse me for a while. Shit!, and rambles What have you been doing? Hope you're o.k. I miss you. I'm starving - many grilled cheese sandwitches [sic] - Love you - call me or tell me when I can call you at the lodge, signing off Love you - love to Ted - Gred - and Kled, George; together with two corresponding The Plaza hotel envelopes addressed in Harrison's hand to Pattie Harrison, Friar Park, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, England, and a slightly larger Apple Corps envelope similarly addressed by Harrison and postmarked New York, 1 November 1971
1012 x 714 in. (26.7 x 18.4 cm.)

Photo credit: Christies

In 1965, the pop duo of Chad and Jeremy gave a big nod to Beatles manager Brian Epstein in a song called "The Girl Who Sang The Blues." We also add a second track entitled "The Woman In You." Both songs are from the album "I Don't Want To Lose You Baby" on Columbia Records.

March 15, 2024
'Mystery man' on The Beatles' famous Abbey Road album pulls off world's greatest photobomb
The Beatles' Abbey Road album cover is one of the most iconic in the world - and it features a man who accidentally photobombed the Fab Four as they walked across a zebra crossing
By Paige Freshwater, Content Editor and Vicki Newman, Assistant Showbiz Editor for the Mirror

Paul Cole was waiting for his wife when the picture was taken

The 'mystery man' on the cover of The Beatles' famous Abbey Road album ended up being part of the world's most epic photobomb. We've all jumped into a photo for fun when we're out and about. But this guy became part of music history without even trying.


On the front of The Beatles' Abbey Road record from 1969, you can see the band crossing a road in a line. But if you look closely, there's a man standing by the road in the background. He's one of the few people caught in the snap, and he didn't mean to be there.


This man, dressed in a brown coat and white shirt, was found years later after numerous people came forward claiming to be him. He's actually an American tourist called Paul Cole, who was waiting for his wife when the picture was taken. He told The Mirror: "[I told her] 'I've seen enough museums. I'll just stay out here and see what's going on outside'."


Who is the mysterious man in the background?

Just then, he saw four guys walking over the zebra crossing and noticed something odd - one of them, Paul McCartney, had no shoes on! He remarked: "I just happened to look up, and I saw those guys walking across the street like a line of ducks.


"A bunch of kooks, I called them, because they were rather radical-looking at that time. You didn't walk around in London barefoot." Paul was amazed when he later spotted himself in the background on an album cover.


He said: "I saw the album and I recognised myself right away. I had a new sports jacket on and I'd just bought new shell-rimmed glasses. I told my kids, 'Get a magnifying glass out and you'll see me'." Sadly, Paul passed away in 2008, when he was 98 years old.


March 14, 2024
Johnny Gentle - singer who was backed by The Beatles - dies, aged 87
Johnny Gentle was backed on a tour of Scotland by The Silver Beetles.
By Gold staff

John Askew, known to pop fans of the 1950s and 1960s as Johnny Gentle, has died at the age of 87.

Gentle's passing was announced by his family with a death notice in the Liverpool Echo.

"We are sad to announce the passing of our beloved John; loving husband to Jane, brother to Joan (deceased) & Anne, father to Donna & Gavin, stepfather to Katherine & James and Pop to Daniel, Bayly, Ellie, Chloe, Celyn, Tilly & Darcie," read the notice.


"John will be hugely missed by his family and friends in Beckenham/Bromley, Greater London and his birthplace and home town of Liverpool.


"He will be remembered by music fans as the singer Johnny Gentle, one of Larry Parnes' stars of the late fifties, even having the Beatles as his support band on their first-ever tour!"

Born on December 8, 1936 in Liverpool, Gentle had apprenticed as a carpenter and even made his own guitar when he started performing.


He performed in local clubs and at sea, and it was Parnes who gave Gentle his stage name and got him signed to Philips Records in 1959.


After some unsuccessful releases, Parnes chose The Silver Beetles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Tommy Moore – to be Gentle's backing band on a tour in Scotland.


It was the first tour of the band that would later conquer the world as The Beatles, and saw the group play Alloa, Inverness, Fraserburgh, Keith, Forres, Nairn and Peterhead between May 20 and 28, 1960.


Gentle sang once with the group back in Liverpool, but by the time of his next tour The Beatles had travelled to Hamburg.


He continued to release singles, including a version of his own 'I've Just Fallen For Someone' – a song he had previously given to Adam Faith – under a new stage name of Darren Young.


After his music career, Gentle worked as a joiner, and later co-wrote the book Johnny Gentle & the Beatles: First Ever Tour, recounting his time with the Fab Four.


− End of article.



John Lennon contributes to the middle eight of Johnny Gentle's "I've Just Fallen For Someone."

Johnny Gentle (a.k.a. Darren Young a.k.a. John Askew) co-wrote 'I've Just Fallen For Someone' with John Lennon (uncredited) in May 1960. At this time, The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Tommy Moore, performing as The Silver Beetles, were Johnny Gentle's backing group for his 1960 tour of Scotland. "Gentle wrote a song on the tour, "I've Just Fallen For Someone", reputedly with help from Lennon. The song was later recorded by Adam Faith on his second album." (from Wikipedia). According to Gentle, John Lennon wrote the bridge of the song. Click on the Youtube video "Liverpool Sounds" to hear the story from Johnny Gentle.


March 13, 2024
Promotional ads for the Hofner bass guitar + Beatles feature "Day Tripper"

March 12, 2024
When You Wish Upon A Starr...

A young Ringo Starr

March 11, 2024
How A Cartoon Bear Saved Paul McCartney’s Career
By Andrew of Parlogram Auctions

Making a children's song is always a gamble for a major artist but Paul McCartney did just that in 1984. Released in the wake of the disastrous 'Give My Regards to Broad Street' film, 'We All Stand Together' (aka The Frog Song) was a major hit in the UK but was not released in the U.S. at the time. In this video we look at the events leading up to is release, including Paul's trouble with the police and British tabloid press and a loose-tongued former band mate. In addition to covering its composition, we also look at the Rupert The Bear character and the cartoon film it was taken from. There's so much in this one, we think you'll need to watch it at least twice.

Links to other YouTube videos mentioned in this video:

We All Stand Together (song video):
Rupert & The Frog Song (animated featurette):
We All Stand Together (demo):
Jackie Lee - Rupert The Bear (TV Theme):

Other links:

Split your favourite tracks into stems with La-La-Lai:
Say Hello To Paul McCartney (Yoto card):
Rupert Bear Annual book:
Rupert Bear scarf:

March 10, 2024
Congratulations to Sean Lennon, Dave Mullins, Brad Booker and the entire production team for winning an Oscar for "Best Animated Short"

Sean Ono Lennon Wishes Mom Yoko a Happy Mother’s Day in 2024 Oscars Speech
WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko snagged best animated short at the ceremony.
By Hannah Dailey for Billboard

Sunday (March 10) marked the date of the 2024 Oscars, but it’s also Mother’s Day in the U.K. And during Dave Mullins and Brad Booker’s emotional best animated short win for WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko, Sean Ono Lennon — the son of Yoko Ono and late Beatles legend John Lennon — made sure to give his mom an extra special shout-out.

Ono Lennon, who served as an executive producer on the short film, took the stage at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles alongside Mullins and Booker. After the director and producer gave their acceptance speeches, Sean squeezed in a tribute to Yoko Ono — even though the “wrap-it-up” music was already playing.

“My mother turned 91 this February,” he told the crowd. “Can everyone say ‘happy Mother’s Day to Yoko’?”

At his request, the audience in front of him wished the “Give Peace a Chance” artist a happy holiday in unison.


Sean is Ono and John Lennon‘s only child, born in 1975. The famed artist is also mom to a daughter, Kyoko Chan Cox, whom she shares with her ex-husband, film producer Anthony Cox, while John also had son Julian Lennon from his marriage to first wife Cynthia.


According to IMbD, WAR IS OVER! — which Sean co-wrote with Mullins but who is not a winner for the Oscar — is set at a World War I front, where “a carrier pigeon delivers moves messages between two soldiers playing a chess game, unaware they are on opposite sides.”


Ono and her late husband collaborated a number of times before Lennon was fatally shot in 1980, notably on “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” The track has gone down in history as a classic Christmas tune, reaching its latest peak of No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2022 — more than 50 years after it was first released.


− End of article.

The First Time The Beatles Let Down Producer George Martin
George Martin got to know The Beatles well over the years. While he usually liked them, they once let him down.
By Emma McKee for Showbiz Cheatsheet

The Beatles’ longtime producer George Martin worked with them on each album they put out in the 1960s. He was a key part of their success and got to know them well throughout their collaboration. Their antics, particularly in the early 1960s, grew familiar to him. Still, they sometimes pushed Martin too far. He shared what they did to let him down for the very first time. 

The Beatles frustrated George Martin while recording songs in German

In the early 1960s, The Beatles traveled to Paris for a concert. While they were there, Martin booked them studio time to record German language versions of “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” A record company executive believed there was no chance the songs would sell in Germany if they were in English.

“I was disinclined to believe this, but that’s what he said and I told The Beatles,” Martin said in The Beatles Anthology. “They laughed: ‘That’s absolute rubbish.’ So I said, ‘Well, if we want to sell records in Germany, that’s what we’ve got to do.’ So they agreed to record in German. I mean, really it was rubbish, but the company sent over one Otto Demmlar to help coach them in German.”

Demmlar and Martin waited for The Beatles in the studio on the day they were meant to record, but they never arrived.

“It was the first time in my experience with them that they had let me down, so I rang the George V Hotel where they were staying, and Neil Aspinall answered,” Martin said. “He said, ‘I’m sorry, they’re not coming, they asked me to tell you.’ I said, ‘You mean to tell me they’re telling you to tell me? They’re not telling me themselves?’ — ‘That’s right.’ — ‘I’m coming right over,’ I said.”

A furious Martin rushed to the hotel

Martin arrived at the George V Hotel to find the band having tea with Paul McCartney’s girlfriend, Jane Asher.


“So I went to see them and I had Otto with me,” Martin said. “I was really angry and stormed in to find they were all having tea in the center of the room. (They were, after all, very charming people.) It was rather like the Mad Hatters Tea Party with Alice in Wonderland in the form of Jane Asher, with long hair, in the middle pouring tea.”


When the band saw Martin, their reaction was enough to mollify his frustration.


“As soon as I entered they exploded in all directions, they ran behind couches and chairs and one put a lampshade over his head,” Martin said. “Then from behind the sofa and chairs came a chorus of: ‘Sorry George, sorry George, sorry George…’ I had to laugh. I said, ‘You are bastards, aren’t you? Are you going to apologize to Otto?’ And they said, ‘Sorry Otto; sorry Otto.’”

The Beatles proved to George Martin that their records would sell in English

Ultimately, Martin was able to wrangle them into the studio to record the German versions of their songs. As it turned out, though, they had all been correct in thinking it was unnecessary. The English versions did well.

“They finally agreed to come down to the studio and work,” Martin said. “They did record two songs in German. They were the only things they have ever done in a foreign language. And they didn’t need to anyway. They were quite right. The records would have sold in English, and did.”

March 9, 2024
‘Am I a poor lover, am I ugly?’ Eric Clapton letters reveal details of George Harrison love triangle
Auction of items owned by Pattie Boyd, ex-wife of Harrison then Clapton, reveals passionate overtures from rock star
By Ben Beaumont-Thomas for the Guardian


Deeply heartfelt and revealing letters from Eric Clapton to Pattie Boyd while she was married to George Harrison are to be sold at auction, laying bare one of rock’s most notorious love triangles.


Boyd was a model and an icon of swinging London in the 1960s, marrying Harrison in 1966 after meeting him on the set of Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night – she claimed he wrote the Beatles ballad Something about her, though he later denied it. Towards the end of the decade Harrison and Clapton began writing music together, and Clapton became besotted with Boyd.


In a 1970 letter, part of a lot of Boyd’s possessions being sold by Christie’s from 8 to 21 March, Clapton – with impeccable penmanship – beseeches Boyd: “What I wish to ask you is if you still love your husband, or if you have another lover? All these questions are very impertinent I know but if there is still a feeling in your heart for me… you must let me know!” He refers to his own “home affairs” as “a galloping farce”: Clapton was dating Boyd’s sister Paula while ostensibly in a relationship with aristocrat Alice Ormsby-Gore.




Speaking to Christie’s, Boyd said she initially “thought it was a letter from a weird fan”, and only realised after Clapton followed up on the phone.

Clapton wrote another letter a few months later, on a title page torn from a copy of Of Mice and Men. “For nothing more than the pleasures past I would sacrifice my family, my god and my own existence … I am at the end of my mind … I have listened to the wind, I have watched the dark brooding clouds I have felt the earth beneath me for a sign, a gesture, but there is only silence. Why do you hesitate, am I a poor lover, am I ugly; am I too weak, too strong, do you know why? If you want me, take me, I am yours. If you don’t want me, please break the spell that binds me. To cage a wild animal is a sin, to tame him is divine. My love is yours.” Each of the letters is estimated to sell for between £10,000 and £15,000.


He refers to Boyd as “Layla” and that year wrote the classic rock song of the same name about her. After he played her a cassette recording of Layla, Boyd says: “I was taken aback by its beauty – but at the same time I felt guilt.”


Boyd elaborates on her feelings at the time. “George and I were going through a bit of a spiky time together. The Beatles had this chaos and anxiety surrounding the band, and George was being dismissive. Then Eric keeps coming over to our house asking me to run away with him. Well, that was tempting, but I couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t right.”


The original artwork used for the cover of the 1970 Derek and the Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.
Photograph: Christie’s Images 2024


Boyd and Harrison split in 1974 due to his multiple infidelities. She and Clapton barely saw each other until the middle of the decade, when they reconnected and eventually married in 1979. He wrote other songs about her, including Wonderful Tonight, a doting ballad written during – and about – Boyd’s preparations for a night out.


The original painting by Emile Théodore Frandsen de Schomberg that adorned the release of Layla, credited to Derek and the Dominos, is up for sale with a high estimate of £60,000. There are also postcards and other letters between Clapton and Boyd during their courtship and marriage.


Boyd told the Telegraph that Clapton gave her his blessing to sell the various items: “I thought, why don’t I just sell everything and let everybody else enjoy it? … The letters from Eric – they’re so desperate and passionate, a passion that blooms once in a lifetime, I think. Even now, if I were to read those letters, it makes me terribly sad. I’ve had them in a little trunk and occasionally I’ll have a look and start to read, and my heart beats, it jumps, because it’s heartbreaking. They’re too painful in their beauty.”


Elsewhere in the auctioned items is a postcard from Harrison to Boyd’s mother in 1964, during a Beatles world tour, reading in part: “Everything is going OK I suppose, but I don’t half miss your daughter!” In 1971 he writes to Boyd from New York following a sea crossing surrounded by, he complains, “more straights in tuxedos”; another note reads “Pattie, don’t forget I love you”. Numerous other letters, handwritten lyrics, and photographs of Harrison are also for sale, plus doodles of giraffes and dogs, colourful handmade Christmas cards, and a sketch for a fictional record with Harrison sitting beneath an apple tree: “To me, that says an awful lot about George. It’s so gentle, so sweet,” Boyd has said of the latter.


As well as clothes, photos and other ephemera – including a nonsensical letter from John Lennon to his Beatles bandmates, and Clapton’s custom Live Aid plectrums – there is also a sketch by Ronnie Wood, another of Boyd’s lovers during this period that expands the love triangle to a pentagon: Wood’s first wife, Krissy Findlay, had dated Clapton, married Wood, then had an affair with Harrison, before Boyd and Wood got together prior to her relationship with Clapton. “I had a lovely thing going with Pattie [in the mid-1970s],” Wood later wrote in his memoir. “We loved to go to Paradise Island on many occasions … Eric and I have always had this kind of sparring thing about girls we’ve known.”


− End of article.


March 8, 2024
The very young and talented Ellen Alaverdyan covers Penny Lane

March 7, 2024
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band movie: What was the Bee Gees-starring Beatles musical about?
By Thomas Edward for Gold Radio

"We hope you will enjoy the show."

That was the famous request chorused by The Beatles' conceptual characters, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, on the song of the same name.

However, when a musical based on the concept group came out over a decade later, fans of The Beatles weren't overly impressed.

The 1967 album is widely regarded as one of the most influential of all time, not only because of the concept or the timeless songs, but also the otherworldly production.

Alongside the Fab Four, George Martin's vision in the recording studio opened the door for artists to create sounds and textures exclusive to the studio, that weren't intended to be replicated live on stage.

With Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and The Beatles revolutionised pop music and its parameters, so no wonder why so many of their peers and successors hold it in such high regard.

That's exactly the stance that the Bee Gees took, who have consistently preached about their adoration for The Beatles and their cultural impact.


They took their adoration to new heights however, when they starred in a 1978 jukebox musical comedy film based on the concept band and their music.


But what is the film actually about? Who starred in it? Was it a success at the time? What did The Beatles think?


Read on to find out all the facts about the largely forgotten musical Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.



How did Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band come together?


The concept for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band musical film didn't come out of the blue, as it was based on a 1974 live Broadway musical called Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road.

The play was produced by The Robert Stigwood Organization, helmed by the Bee Gees' famed producer and RSO Records founder Robert Stigwood.

Stigwood secured the rights to use twenty-nine of The Beatles' songs for the play, and still in ownership of the rights, was determined to make use of them in a film.

Impressed with the musical analysis he'd written for The New York Times, he approached writer Henry Edwards about putting together a script, though by that point, he hadn't written a script for a film before.

"I spread the songs out on my apartment floor and went to work", Edwards later revealed. "Mr. Stigwood wanted a concept. I told him I'd like to do a big MGM-like musical."

"We'd synthesise forms and end up with an MGM musical, but with the music of today."

After Henry completed the script, Stigwood assembled his cast which included his prized asset in the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, with The Beatles' own producer George Martin signing on to produce the soundtrack album.

What the film about?


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is about the titular group wrestling with opposing evil forces and maniacal music industry powers who are hell-bent on destroying the band, their home, and their legacy.


Whether it be stealing their instruments or attempting to corrupt the band's wholesome hometown of Heartland, the group must battle a series of villains, eventually performing a benefit concert to save their town.


The thin plot was overcompensated by its wackiness, and was presented in the form of a rock opera with little spoken dialogue - with the exception of Heartland's mayor played by George Burns - with the song lyrics driving the narrative throughout.


Largely based on the songs from The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, the musical film also features all the songs from 1969's Abbey Road.


Who starred in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?


The Bee Gees' Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb, and Peter Frampton made up the film's central cast as the titular Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.


Alongside them, was a series of legitimate actors, comedians, and other notable bands that featured prominently throughout.


Amongst the film's actors and comedians were British horror movie staple Donald Pleasance, sitcom actor Phil Nicholas, British comedian Frankie Howerd, and US comedy icon Steve Martin who also performs a song.


There was also a swathe of musical guests that featured in the film, and contributed to the original soundtrack including Aerosmith, Sandy Farina, Alice Cooper, Earth, Wind & Fire, Billy Preston, and Jeff Beck.

Was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band a success?

Upon its release, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was a moderate commercial success, making $20.4 million at the box office against a budget of $13 million.


Critically, it was panned from all corners including the media, fans, and fellow musicians.


Billed as "this generation's Gone with the Wind" according to Universal, the film was anything but, and was regarded as "blasphemous" to The Beatles.


Even Alice Cooper who starred in the film said: "Nobody realised what a stinker it was and as soon as they were in the middle of it, everybody says 'you know what, this is absolutely blasphemous to the Beatles'."


Ahead of the film's release, Robin Gibb didn't do the Bee Gees any favours by making an ill-judged announcement that said "When ours comes out" referring to their version of The Beatles' album, "it will be, in effect, as if theirs never existed."


"Kids today don't know The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper," Gibb said in the full statement. "And when those who do see our film and hear us doing it, that will be the version they relate to and remember. Unfortunately, the Beatles will be secondary."


"You see, there is no such thing as The Beatles. They don't exist as a band and never performed Sgt. Pepper live, in any case."


"When ours comes out, it will be, in effect, as if theirs never existed. When you heard the Beatles do 'Long Tall Sally' or 'Roll Over Beethoven', did you care about Little Richard's or Chuck Berry's version?"


Though they were riding high from the success of Saturday Night Fever and their accompanying soundtrack, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band marked a major shift in the Bee Gees' career fortunes, with many once again referring to them as Beatles rip-offs, and with the impending decline of disco they would never quite recover.


Two starring bands didn't receive any of the negative press however - Aerosmith's cover of 'Come Together' was a huge hit, and Earth, Wind & Fire scored a Grammy Award for their rendition of 'Got to Get You Into My Life'.


As recent as 2024, Peter Frampton said he was tricked into starring in the film, revealing: "I was told by (producer) Robert Stigwood that Paul McCartney was going to be the saviour of the Heartland."


"When Stigwood said, 'Paul is going to be in the movie,' I said, 'Really! Well, if a Beatle's going to be in the movie, he's sanctioned it, then it can't be bad."


"I fly out to Los Angeles, I go to the first meeting out there, no Paul McCartney. So I was lied to," Frampton explained on The Bob Lefsetz Podcast.


"Then I realised from the first day of shooting, oh this was a disaster. I didn't walk because I would have been sued to high hell. But we all hated being in that movie."


What did The Beatles think?

Both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr attended the premiere of the musical film in 1978, though Macca later admitted he always thought the film would fail.


"I said, 'This is never going to work' because everyone has their own image from Sgt. Pepper, the album. And so, if you select one image, that's never going to be enough. Because your vision is different from mine."


John Lennon didn't make any public comments about it, he was spotted attending the play on Broadway.


George Harrison wasn't as sympathetic in his view, dubbing the Bee Gees and their manager Robert Stigwood as "greedy".


He told Rolling Stone magazine in 1978: "I just feel sorry for Robert Stigwood, the Bee Gees, and Pete Frampton for doing it, because they had established themselves in their own right as decent artists."


"And suddenly… it's like the classic thing of greed. The more you make the more you want to make, until you become so greedy that ultimately you put a foot wrong."

End of article.

July 21, 1978: The New York Times review of the movie
"Screen: Son of 'Sgt. Pepper': Many Forms Involved"
By Janet Maslin, The New York Times (Ottawa Beatles Site footnote: this article has been edited for brevity sake.)

IS IT A film? Is it a record album? Is it a poster, or a T-shirt, or a specially embossed frisbee? "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is the ultimate multimedia mishmash, so diversified that it doesn't fully exist in any one medium at all. This isn't a movie, it's a business deal set to music.


There are three brief sequences good enough to put the rest of the picture to shame. Steve Martin, cackling his completely unhinged rendition of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," is a reminder that the film is otherwise humorless. Billy Preston, doing a flashy, rousing dance to the tune of "Get Back," makes the other hoofers look sadly two-left-feet. And Aerosmith, singing a piercing rock version of "Come Together," bring a taste of the 60's to a movie dead-set on both exploiting and soft-pedaling that era.


The point behind turning Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees into the Beatlesque band of the title was, presumably, to lure both young rock fans and members of the rocking chair set. But the plan has its drawbacks.


However much of a fan rave Mr. Frampton may be, he's a musician, not a movie star, and even a plot that merely requires him to look sad, peppy or joyful from time to time is more than he can manage.


In the role of Mr. Frampton's brother, Paul Nicholas, the actor who played nasty Cousin Kevin in "Tommy," provides a particularly unhelpful contrast, since he is every bit as lively as the singer is stiff. Still, Mr. Frampton looks like Marlon Brando beside the even more wooden Brothers Gibb.


Even if the Bee Gees aren't natural-born cutups, their principal job here is to perform a number of Beatles songs, mostly from the title album and "Abbey Road."



This sounds as if it ought to be child's play, in view of arrangements and production by George Martin (who worked with the Beatles in the first place), and considering the uncanny way the Bee Gees first rose to popularity by perfecting a Beatlish sound. However, the brothers have since risen to even greater popularity doing something different, so different that their newest fans may be dismayed to find not a whit of disco in the movie's soundtrack. And their Beatle numbers vary dramatically in quality, depending upon the nature of the particular song."Nowhere Man" suits them beautifully, for instance. But a less pretty number requiring zest and a strong lead singer — such as the title song, or "With a Little Help From My Friends," both sung with Mr. Frampton — merely makes them sound short on character. The Bee Gees's special gift for elaborate musical teamwork is often undercut by songs that cry out for individual personalities. Accordingly, Robin Gibb's bluesy solo on "Oh! Darling" is a sweet and surprising exception.


The musical numbers are strung together so mindlessly that the movie has the feel of an interminable variety show. Characters are named, invented or introduced to one another simply to provide excuses for the various songs.


This reaches a pinnacle of idiocy when a character named Strawberry Fields (Sandy Farina) sings "Strawberry Fields Forever" to her beau, Billy Shears (Mr. Frampton), who has been knocked unconscious. "Living is easy with eyes closed/Misunderstanding all you see," Strawberry sings, prettily but for absolutely no good reason. Even worse, when the screenplay has Strawberry killed (temporarily) so that a few sad songs can be sung, Mr. Frampton is obliged to croon "Golden Slumbers" to a woman in a see-through coffin.


The movie may have been conceived in a spirit of merriment, but watching it feels like playing shuffleboard at the absolute insistence of a bossy shipboard social director. When whimsy gets to be this overbearing, it simply isn't whimsy any more."Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is rated PG ("Parental Guidance Suggested"). Its most risque moments, having to do with the morals and drug habits of people in the record business, are among its few funny ones.


SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, directed by Michael Schultz;

written by Henry Edwards;

director of photography, Owen Roizman;

music by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison;

edited by Christopher Holmes;

produced by Robert Stigwood;

released by Universal Pictures. At the Rivoll, Broadway and 49th Street, the Plaza, 58th Street near Madison, 34th Street East, near Second Avenue and other theaters.


March 5, 2024
John Lennon drawing coming up at auction in California
The sale at Analogr in Glendale features an original work by the late Beatle, which has a note from his widow, the artist Yoko Ono, on the back
By Scarlet Cheng for The Art Newspaper

An upcoming auction at Analogr in Glendale boasts a unique item: an original drawing by John Lennon, who had a lifelong love for visual art and often sketched moments from his daily life. This one appears to be from his dreamlife. Called Dream 2, it shows a roaring monster on the right, shaking and waving its arms, while a figure that is likely Lennon himself heads to a door on the left. Over the doorway is a cluster of heads, presumably representing adoring fans. An accompanying note dates the drawing to 1976. On the back of the drawing Lennon’s widow, the artist Yoko Ono, has written, “Love, Yoko Ono 2007”—well after his death in 1980. The drawing is part of anauction of Beatles memorabilia, which features photographs, posters and clothing. The highest bid for Dream 2 is currently more than $20,000, although the reserve has not yet been met. Analogr is hosting a public viewing on Saturday 2 March, from 4pm to 8pm.

March 4, 2024
Come together! Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are Paris Fashion Week stars on Stella McCartney’s front row
Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr join the fashionistas front row at Stella McCartney’s show in Paris
By Victoria Moss for the Evening Standard


After last season’s Wings homage, Stella McCartney has continued to mine her mother’s wardrobe for inspiration. For her autumn winter collection, unveiled at the Parc André Citroen park this morning in Paris, she cited Linda McCartney as the catalyst behind this “return to the essence of the Stella woman.” 


The front row included her father Sir Paul McCartney as well as fellow Beatle Sir Ringo StarrCharlotte Rampling, Melanie C, Paris Jackson and Naomie HarrisLila Moss and Natalia Vodianova (a rare occurrence) both walked in the show.


As ever, McCartney took the opportunity to underscore her commitment to a more responsible fashion industry, something which is largely unmentioned by other designers on the schedule. Soberingly, she reminds that the fashion industry emits between 2-8 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. 


Her rallying cry came as a manifesto entitled “It’s about f**king time”, an homage to Mother Earth read by Olivia Coleman and Helen Mirren at the opening of the show - McCartney is wise enough to know that a smattering of star dust does wonders to amplify an unpalatable message - played on, of course, Sony screens made from recycled materials. Would it be unfair to point out the legions of guests’ cars ramming the streets in the outer borough where the show was held? Sustainability is, of course, never straight forward. 


Her intention is literally woven into her work, 90 per cent of this new ready-to-wear collection is crafted from responsible materials including regenerative cotton boulcé denim and mock-croc trench coats made from Uppeal - a vegan leather derived from apples. A new signature Falabella bag even comes painted with Airlite - a technology which purportedly purifies the air. If that sounds tempting, pieces covered in a new lip motif print are available to purchase now, alongside T-shirts from the runway (the rest of the collection will be on sale later in the year). 


Winning pieces included sweeping teddy bear coats in a soft blush pink and earth brown. The mushroom-hued tailoring came with inviting crystal lattice details, in those signature wide off shoulder cuts. Show piece loop-woven red knits were compelling, as were the wide leg blue jeans poppered down the side, denim spliced with herringbone jackets and cool tinsel-strewn tasselled strapless gowns. 


Sportier elements were scattered through - polo shirts reimagined as body suits, just pumped up enough bomber jackets with loose shorts and very good oversized moto jackets. 


If this is guilt free fashion, I’m all for it.


How To Remix The Beatles Yourself Using This Incredible AI Tool + New EP Book
By Andrew for Parlogram Auctions

In this video we share a way you can separate individual stems from both mono and stereo Beatles tracks by using a remarkable online A.I. tool. We also look at a superb new book for Beatles collectors about their UK EPs.

Rediscovered cassette tapes containing recordings of The Beatles to be auctioned
They were made on Sir Ringo Starr’s personal tape recorder and include clips from the band’s tour of Germany, Japan and the Philippines
By Hannah Roberts and Howard Lloyd for Bristol Post Live

A trio of rediscovered cassette tapes containing recordings of The Beatles in 1966 are expected to fetch between £10,000 and £15,000 at auction. They were made on Sir Ringo Starr’s personal tape recorder and include clips from the band’s tour of Germany, Japan and the Philippines.


In the tapes, the group discuss the importance of their famously short and punchy song structures. There is also a demo of The Beatles’ song Don’t Pass Me By and the sound of Sir Ringo performing on the piano.



Another sound bite contains The Beatles manager Brian Epstein discussing how to import valuable goods from Japan to the UK without paying high import taxes Another recording is from the group’s first trip to India where they experimented with traditional instruments.


Omega Auctions auction manager Dan Muscatelli-Hampson said: “These tapes are truly a remarkable discovery. Hours of previously unheard material from such a pivotal period will be of huge interest to Beatles experts, fans and collectors and the fact that they were made by Ringo himself and contain such intimate scenes with the band from the tour is just incredible.


“Not only do we have Ringo figuring out Don’t Pass Me By at the piano, we also may well have the Fab Four experimenting with Indian classical instruments for the first time as well as simply messing around and having a laugh during what was a famously difficult tour. They have to be heard to be believed.”


The famous foursome from Liverpool, who formed in 1960, embarked on their last tour in 1966. The tapes from this period had not previously been published and the current owner only recently investigated their content after purchasing them during a sale several years ago, according to Omega Auctions.


The three cassettes will be sold in the Omega Auctions’ Beatles Collection sale on March 26. Other Beatles collectables, including a signed LP, photo negatives from the photographer Monte Fresco and film footage of the group in 1964 will be sold.

March 3, 2024
“George owned many, many instruments, and all of them were in storage – with the exception of the ones I made for him”: How Bernie Hamburger’s Hamburguitar became a favorite of George Harrison


In the Beatles’ mid-’90s Anthology era, George Harrison’s guitars were built by a man named Bernie Hamburger – and one of his creations features in the video for the band’s final single, Now and Then. But what do we know about these guitars?


Beatles fans know George Harrison’s guitars as well as they know his solos from All My Loving, Nowhere Man and Something. There’s the Gretsch Country Gentleman, the Rickenbacker 360/12, the Epiphone Casino (with Bigsby), the psychedelic Strat nicknamed “Rocky,” the ’68 rosewood Telecaster. They’re as much a part of the band’s visual history as velvet-collared suits and Sgt. Pepper mustaches.


But in November 2023, when Now and Then added a new epilogue to the Fab Four’s catalog, an unfamiliar guitar came with it. As seen in Peter Jackson’s short film about the making of the track, there’s Harrison in the studio, playing a double-cutaway electric, cherry red with white trim.


“When it showed up in the video, I jumped higher than Michael Jordan,” says Bernie Hamburger, who built the guitar for Harrison in the mid’90s – a Hamburguitar Model S. Hamburger also made the handsome emerald green Tele-shaped Model T that appears in the Beatles’ Anthology-era Real Love music video.


To his delight, Hamburger discovered that these were Harrison’s go-to guitars during his later years. “After George passed away in 2001, his guitar technician, Alan Rogan, told me that George owned many, many instruments, and all of them were in storage – with the exception of the ones I made for him,” he says. “Those were always within reach, plugged into an amp, ready to play. So I guess he liked my stuff.” 


Hamburger was born in the Bronx and, like many baby boom kids, had his life forever altered on February 9, 1964, when the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. And like many kids, he soon got his first guitar, a “Tesco Del Rey type of thing.” But there was a difference.


“I didn’t like the way it played,” he says. “So I borrowed my father’s tools, and little by little I got to whittle at it until it played really nice. I was just a kid – but my friends said, ‘Hey, can you make my guitar feel like that?’ So one thing led to another.” 


By the late ’70s, Hamburger was modifying guitars professionally, which led to him wondering if he could make one of his own from scratch. “I thought, ‘Let me get the stuff to do it,’ and I’m not talking about kits,” he says. “I got the wood, I did everything hand-carved, put in all the electronics. And that very first guitar, believe it or not, I sold to Andy Summers from the Police.” 


Through the ’80s, he added such high-profile clients as Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and Howard Leese and Nancy Wilson of Heart.


“The customers always call the shots,” Hamburger says of his approach to making guitars. “I shape each guitar neck to their specifications. As for body design, when I got into building, there were certain ones I always loved – the Jaguar, the Telecaster, Gibson Les Pauls and SGs. They’re just great designs, and they work ergonomically. I did also come up with some of my own ideas and designs as well.” 


In 1991, Hamburger’s date with destiny arrived, when he was invited to attend a function in London to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Hard Rock Cafe. “I was told that Carl Perkins and George Harrison were going to be there,” he says. “So I randomly grabbed two guitars that I’d recently built and flew over.”


Those turned out to be the aforementioned red and green models. The guitar-maker met Perkins (who loved both instruments) first; then he set up a meeting with Harrison.


Hamburger says even though he’d “met a lot of rock stars, meeting a Beatle was a little different.” But Harrison was “friendly and approachable and treated me like we knew each other forever.


“Next thing I know, I’m sitting there in a hotel room with both of them, and they’re trading licks back and forth, doing [Perkins’] Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby and Your True Love.  It’s my hero – and my hero’s hero – playing my guitars. Are you kidding me?! I thought, ‘This can’t be happening.’ It was so surreal.


“Then George said, ‘Bernie, this is a really nice guitar. By the way, can you make mandolins as well?’ I’d never made a mandolin in my life. But I told George, ‘Absolutely.’ So he hired me.”


On that memorable day, Harrison took both custom guitars (Hamburger later made another green Model T for Perkins). Fast-forward to 1994, when the three surviving Beatles were fleshing out some John Lennon home demos for the Anthology project. 


“They were in the studio with Jeff Lynne, and George called me,” Hamburger says. “He says, ‘Hi, Bernie. How’s it going?’ And I can hear the chatter in the background, like Ringo’s talking to somebody. George says, ‘I have to tell you about the green guitar. It tracks really well. It stays in tune and just has a beautiful tone. I’m loving it. I just wanted you to know.’”


Harrison could’ve obviously had any guitar in the world, new or vintage. So it’s not lost on Hamburger how incredible it is that he chose his.


“The Beatles were always forward-thinking,” he says, “and I think George was the one who experimented with many brands of guitars, many types of stringed instruments – ukulele, sitar, mandolin, you name it. I also think he was more of a gearhead than the other Beatles, and maybe more open to trying out new instruments.”


The association with Harrison led to other high-profile clients, such as the Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell, who owns several Hamburguitars. “A lot of these artists would say, ‘If it’s good enough for a Beatle, it’s got to be good enough for me,’ ” Hamburger says with a smile.  


In the years before George died, the two maintained intermittent contact. Harrison commissioned Hamburger to make a guitar as a gift for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Harrison and his son Dhani sent Hamburger hand-made Christmas cards. And there was even talk of a world tour that never materialized.


“My name was on the itinerary as his traveling guitar technician,” Hamburger says. “I would’ve loved to have done that.” 


These days, Hamburger lives in Las Vegas, where he plays the occasional gig, does custom modifications and runs his guitar-making business via Hamburgerguitar.


He also has a YouTube channel with instructional videos on how to play Harrison’s solos (he counts Old Brown Shoe and Cheer Down as his two faves). 


While he is uncertain of what became of the guitars he made for Harrison – does Dhani have them? Are they still at Harrison’s house, Friar Park? – he still feels a thrill of knowing they played a small part in Beatles history, and that he got to share some memorable moments with his musical hero. 


“I’ve met so many rock stars, and several of them have big egos,” he says. “What’s funny about George Harrison is that he just acted like the regular guy who lives next door.


“That’s such a cool thing. Here’s a legend, someone I worship, and he was such a sweetie. I feel so fortunate that I got to know him. And now, seeing him again in the Now and Then video, with my guitar – I mean, it’s unbelievable.”

March 2, 2024
John & Yoko-Tony Wilson & The Birth Of Hot Chocolate
By Kenny Denton

Ottawa Beatles Site footnote: The following article has been edited for brevity sake and the publication date is unknown.

Tony Wilson is without a doubt one of the nicest most unassuming and talented people I have ever worked with. 


Tony will be 86 this year (Whatever you may read about his age elsewhere).


He lives happily with his partner Delia in Trinidad, and we speak on a regular basis.


Tony moves to London to try his luck

In the late 60’s Tony lived in Brixton South London and was writing songs along with a couple of friends and as he put it, “We almost had a band.”


I lived in Kennington, near the Oval cricket ground so it was possible Tony and I crossed paths around that time.


He told me years later, he always came to see the cricket.


I never ventured into the grounds but I would be at every match with my bucket and shammy leather cleaning cars for a shilling each.


Trying hard to further his career in music he managed to meet the successful record producer Derek Lawrence, who had a fantastic knack of spotting new talent but somehow, a great deal of them slipped through his fingers.


Derek had a few hit singles and with his relationship with Ritchie Blackmore, he was invited to produce Blackmore’s new band, Deep Purple’s first three albums. So for Tony this was a great opportunity to break into the business. 


I worked with Derek many times during the seventies and he was more a character producer than a musical one.


By that, I mean he would have his feet up on the recording desk telling inflated stories about his time in the business, rather than any real musical input to the session.


Derek sometimes also exaggerated about his friends in the industry. 


He told Tony, he would pay for some studio time for Tony and his band mates and then he would play the recordings to his friend John Lennon at Apple.


When the band arrived at the studio and with Derek not in attendance, they decided to record a version of Lennon’s, Give Peace A Chance.  


Lawrence was less than thrilled with the recording but the band thought it might impress Lennon.


Derek put the recording on the back burner and kept making excuses such as, Lennon was out of the country. 


John – Yoko & the record deal

Tony and his friend Errol, who was then the roadie for the band, decided to go to Apple’s office at 3 Saville Row London, armed with their recording and simply knocked on the door to see if there was anyone who would listen to their tape.


To there surprise some 15 minutes later they were sitting in an office with John and Yoko.


John played the tape and loved it. He asked, “Why did you change the lyrics?” 


Tony explained that they couldn’t work out the original words from the hit single, so we made up our own. 


Hot Chocolate is born

Lennon smiled then asked “What the name of the band” “We don’t have one,” Errol replied.


Lennon then said, “Go and get a coffee and ask one the girls in reception to come up with a name,” which they did. 


They told one of the secretary’s about John’s request.


The young girl took a good look at them both and said, “Hot Chocolate.”


A short while later they returned to Lennon’s office. 


Lennon and Yoko loved the name but insisted they added the word BAND.  


So the name The Hot Chocolate Band was born. 


Errol’s version of the meeting

I believe Errol’s version of the Apple meeting is slightly different from Tony’s version as I think he felt embarrassed about just turning up at the door of Apple. 


His version, mentions they wanted to do a cover of Give Peace A Chance but  thought he needed Lennon’s permission. 


He was then contacted by Lennon.




This is an interesting story but very unlikely with everything that Lennon had going on at that time.


Back to the meeting

John then surprised them both by saying, The Plastic Ono Band are doing a gig at the Lyceum Ballroom London and they wanted them to perform their version of Give Peace A Chance at the gig. 


They were petrified as that was the only song they could perform.


John told them, “There are several other acts on the bill and you’ll just have to do the one song.”


They nervously agreed.


Their version was released on Apple records Cat No 18. 

Apple goes sour

The relationship would be short-lived due to the disagreements within Apple leading to the breakup of the Beatles and the closure of Apple. 


So along with the rest of the Apple artist, they were all free to look for alternative recording deals.


Micky Most steps in

Fortunately for the band, Micky Most was waiting in the wings and quickly signed them to his RAK label but instead they drop the word Band from the name.


Hot Chocolate and success

This would be a very successful move for the band having 10 hit singles along with several hits writing for other artist before Tony decided to leave in 1976.


Although, Tony shared lead vocal duties with Brown on Hot Chocolate’s early songs, their writing partnership went far beyond just the hits for Hot Chocolate, gaining covers by many other artists such as Mary Hopkin, Herman’s Hermits and Julie Felix.


Tony sung the lead on the first hit single Love Is Life but Micky Most soon made a conscious decision to promoted Errol more and more as the front man, making it appear that H/C was just the backing band for the main artist, which continued until Errol left the band in 1985. 



You Sexy Thing

Was recorded sometime before it became the classic it did. But Mickey never saw the potential of this recording.


He did in fact release it as a B side of the H/C single Blue Night.


By the time You Sexy Thing finally became the massive hit that it did. The bands royalties had gone up slightly but Most decided to pay them the old royalty they were earning back when they first recorded it.


Tony leaves H/C

Tony’s real frustration came with some of the songs H/C were recording. 


Most’s art, was  really all about making and selling outright pop records rather than the little more serious songs, Tony felt they were worthy of.


Tony told me that all those early hits he wrote with Errol really only came to life when Harvey Hinsley (sadly uncredited) came up with those amazing guitar riffs, which gave each song an immediate H/C identifying sound.


Time for a change

Tony decided to leave the band and sign as a solo artist to Albert Grossman’s USA Bearsville record label.  


He did invite the rhythm section of the band to join him in his new venture, but they were nervous to leave their stable situation with RAK.


The tough streak of Most continued throughout the life of the band.


When Errol left RAK in 85, the band wanted to find a replacement singer and continue as Hot Chocolate but Most wasn’t interested, knowing his star had left the building.  


He did however let the band go and kindly agreed to let them continue to use the name at the cost of Ten thousand pounds.


They had no choice but to agree.


The Beatles launch an interactive virtual reality store highlighting their US invasion in 1964. Click on the image below for details...

February 29, 2024
Flashback: Badfinger wins an "Ivor Novello Award" in 1973 for their original composition entitled "Without You"


February 27, 2024
The Beatles "1962-1966” and "1967-1970” wonderful in comparison to previous versions
A look at the 50th anniversary releases.
By John M. Borack for Goldmine Magazine

First, let’s state the obvious: there is no conceivable way that everyone will be pleased with these demixed, remixed, remodeled and reshaped versions of The Beatles’ iconic greatest hits packages, originally released in 1973. There will be niggling about the songs that were added to the collections, the songs that were not added (more on those topics later), stereo versus mono mixes on a few of the early tracks, and those who wonder why the original albums (and songs) were even messed with at all. (The “painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa” crowd.)


Admittedly, it’s extremely difficult to straddle the line between maintaining the integrity of the original Beatles recordings—songs that have been ingrained in music fans’ collective consciousness in their original iterations for more than five decades—while improving the overall quality of the sound utilizing current technology. But save for a few minor exceptions, Giles Martin, Sam Okell and their team have accomplished the feat with the expected reverence for the material and more than a modicum of good taste.


Before delving into the details, here are some statistics on the collections: 1962-1966 (aka the Red Album) now contains a generous 38 tracks, with a dozen tunes added that have not appeared on any previous version. Thirty of the mixes are brand new stereo remixes, with the other eight previously released on the 2022 Revolver reissue. 1967-1970 (the Blue Album) features 37 tracks, with nine newly added tunes and only six new stereo remixes: ”I Am the Walrus,” “The Fool on the Hill,” “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Revolution,” “Hey Bulldog” and “Old Brown Shoe.” The bulk of the tunes on 1967-1970 had already been remixed and released on the most recent reissues of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017), The Beatles (2018), Abbey Road (2019), Let it Be (2021), and on The Beatles 1 compilation (2015).


John M. Borack is a veteran music journalist who currently serves as a contributing editor at Goldmine. Borack is also the author of four books including his latest, 
The Beatles: 100 Pivotal Moments that Shaped a Band and its Music, which is available in the Goldmine shop.

February 26, 2024
Brian Epstein and the quest for a contract
By Gordon Thompson for the Oxford University Press

On a cold winter’s day in early 1962, Brian Epstein and the Beatles huddled together contemplating their failed bid for a Decca recording contract and the bitter aftertaste of rejection that left emptiness in their stomachs. But hunger can feed ambition. Disappointments would ensue, but almost immediately Epstein would be the proverbial right man in the right place at the right time and meet a string of people who were looking for something not-quite-exactly unlike the Beatles.


The first full week of February 1962 would prove to be one of the most remarkable in the Beatles story. On Monday, 5 February, the Beatles’ drummer Pete Best — whom they had still not informed of Decca’s decision — called in sick and his band mates recruited an old friend from a rival band. Ringo Starr appeared that night with Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison in Southport, a city just north of Liverpool where perhaps his dry humor helped ease the pain, just as his personality would help anchor the band two years later as America exploded around them.


Although Decca artist-and-repertoire managers Dick Rowe and Mike Smith had turned them down, Epstein returned to London to argue for reconsideration. Over lunch in London on Tuesday, 6 February, Epstein sat politely arguing with Rowe and Sidney Arthur Beecher-Stevens, Decca’s sales manager, in an attempt to change their corporate mind. Rowe notoriously and with great self-confidence recommended that the manager return to record retailing in Liverpool. They were the experts. They knew these things.


Epstein did win a small “concession” from them: Rowe offered to arrange for ex-Shadow drummer Tony Meehan to produce the Beatles at Decca if the manager agreed to cover the expenses of about £100. Epstein kept his options open and made an appointment for Wednesday, 7 February to meet with Meehan whose squeaky-clean reputation and pop credentials the manager would have found appealing. Still, little about the meeting satisfied the manager. Meehan arrived late (Epstein’s bête noire) and his condescending comments about the Beatles’ audition only added salt to the wound. An interesting moment of musical potential slipped into history; but, the planets were still moving and, on Thursday, the orbs began coming into alignment.


With the addresses of other record companies in London and a copy of the Decca audition tape, Epstein employed this magnetic artifact in his quest to win a contract for his “boys.” Nevertheless, a quickly arranged meeting at Pye Records, the third largest label in Britain, also ended in disappointment. Executives at EMI, the largest music corporation in Britain, had already declined Epstein’s request for an audition even before Decca had accepted. His options narrowed.


Epstein realized that the medium might present the problem: an audition tape clearly made at Decca indicated that the label had rejected the material. What record executive would want to sign performers that another label had already rejected? Epstein knew that EMI’s HMV store near the Bond Street underground station had a service that would transfer taped material to disk. Certainly, a disk would say “important.” Conveniently, Epstein also knew the store manager.


What transpires on Thursday, 8 February arguably shifts the course of musical history. Combining a social visit with the need to transfer the contents of the Decca tape, Epstein entered the HMV Oxford Street store. Upstairs, he visited with Bob Boast, the store manager, who directed him upstairs to technician Jim Foy. As they listened to the performances, Foy wondered about the songs he did not recognize, the McCartney and Lennon compositions. Boast and Foy agreed that another colleague in the same building and of the same parent company might be interested.


Sid Colman, the general manager of Ardmore and Beechwood (a publishing company recently purchased by EMI), knew enough to hear potential in the three songs — “Hello Little Girl,” “Like Dreamers Do,” and “Love of the Loved” — and expressed interest in publishing the songs, or at least in McCartney and Lennon. He probably gambled on future material from what he hoped would be developing young songwriters, just as Southern Music had done with the songwriting performers John Carter and Ken Lewis. In that model, Lennon and McCartney would have continued to perform with the Beatles as a way to support their songwriting. Colman could get them a BBC audition, have them appear on variety shows (with and without the other Beatles), and all the while have them writing songs for other EMI artists.


Epstein’s persistence to get his “boys” a recording contract, however, would win the day. Although corporate headquarters at EMI had rejected Epstein’s request, Colman picked up the phone and called the artist-and-repertoire manager most likely to be interested in something northern and slightly unusual. Soon, Epstein and George Martin’s secretary were setting up a meeting for the following Tuesday. Epstein returned to Liverpool both to cheer up his musicians and to prepare a premature letter to Dick Rowe informing him of arrangements with another record company.


On Friday, 9 February, Colman and Martin met for lunch, no doubt discussing among other things the polite, well dressed, and endlessly effusive Liverpudlian businessman who gushed about his oddly named beat group. At one point, Martin had been the youngest label head at EMI when Oscar Preuss, his predecessor, had tapped him to direct Parlophone Records. He would now prove the perfect foil, his eclectic music and technical skills serving to complement the enthusiastic but unpolished Beatles.


Epstein and Martin shared core qualities. Both spoke with carefully cultivated accents even though neither of them came from inside the establishment: Epstein with his northern, Jewish business background and Martin escaping his working-class roots. Equally important, both sought respect from those around them in a class-conscious way and both hungered for something that would transform their lives and careers.


On Tuesday, 13 February, as the manager and the producer listened to the Decca audition recordings at EMI’s Manchester Square headquarters, Martin would have probably spindled his fingers and weighed various factors. The polite perseverance of one of the most important record retailers in England’s northwest, the interest of Ardmore and Beechwood in publishing some of these songs, and his own nagging failure to record a successful beat group motivated Martin to take a chance — even if the tepid performances of commercially unviable songs by a band of unknowns from Liverpool offered little in the way of obvious potential. Like Dick Rowe and Mike Smith, he pondered the risks of a northern group. He might make everyone happy by auditioning them with an unsigned contract. He had options. He could take a chance.


Gordon Thompson is Professor of Music at Skidmore College. His book, Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop, Inside Out, offers an insider’s view of the British pop-music recording industry. Check out Thompson’s other posts on music.


− End of article.


February 25, 2024
The Music Making of War Is Over!

James McCartney releases a new song entitled "Beautiful"

February 24, 2024
"Elvis Presley and The Beatles: A historic and secret meeting, like a “small home gathering”
By Christopher Johnson for WECB radio, Emerson College, Boston, MA

Shortly before 10 on a hot August night in Los Angeles, the entourage of black limousines set off. In one of them were the Beatles, who had had ‘a couple of cups of tea’ in the back seat. They were hysterical…very nervous. At last, They were going to meet their idol, Elvis Presley. The host was waiting for them, watching his color television, in the large circular living room of his large mansion. As Lennon would say: “A small home gathering, with some friends and a little music“.


Elvis was his idol. Hence, the famous phrase by John Lennon: “Without Elvis there would be no Beatles”. That’s why they wanted to meet him. They had put all their effort into it. ““We had tried for years, but we had never succeeded,” says Paul McCartney in ‘Anthology’. They received evasions from his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. “We didn’t feel ignored. It was what we deserved. After all “Who were we to want to know him?”. The answer is simple: They were the new idols, a true global phenomenon. And Presley knew it.


During the summer of 1965, at the height of ‘beatlemania’ they had crossed the pond for the second time and they devastated in each of his performances in the United States. They unleashed madness wherever they went. In the midst of that busy schedule, they managed have six days off in Los AngelesBrian Epstein rented Zsa Zsa Gabor’s mansion for the occasion, a large secluded house in Beverly Hills where those from Liverpool were able to rest and take a dip in the pool. They arrived on August 23rd. By chance, Elvis Presley was also in the Californian city. He was filming the film ‘Paradise Hawaiian style’ at the Paramount Studios in Hollywood. He lived in a two-story mansion in Bel Air.


“But finally we received an invitation to see him when I was shooting a movie in Hollywood,” Paul explained. NME journalist Chris Hutchins, who accompanied the English group on that tour, previously met with Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis himself and prepared the meeting. He announced it in his publication: “In this city, full of palm trees and stars, “The movie of the century is going to be celebrated: The reunion of Elvis and the Beatles.” The manager Parker also visited group and confirmed that they could have that long-awaited talk.


“To get them to see each other it was necessary three days of planning, surrounded by the most absolute discretion for prevent the two armies of Beatles and Presley fans from congregating in one”Hutchins wrote. The first and fundamental rules were established: The press would not be invited, no photographs or recordings would be taken, the meeting would not be leaked… no one wanted the meeting to become a media circus.


On August 27, 1965, shortly before 10:00 pm, the procession set off English; a convoy of three big black limousines. Harrison recalled the journey (of a quarter of an hour) in ‘Anthology’: “We went around and around Mulholland, it was fun because when we were near his house we forgot where we were goingwe had taken a couple of ‘cups of tea’ in the back seat. But all we were hysterical. someone said ‘Oh, yeah, let’s go see Elvis!’”. I was waiting for you watching your color television with the sound off and playing bass. She was in its large circular hall bathed in red and blue light, with a jukebox, crescent-shaped sofas, board games, a bar, a grand white piano… and the members of the famous ‘Memphis Mafia’ guarding and caring for their boss.


“I was very excited. We were all nervous as hell. There were a lot of guys around him… ‘and he had pool tables.’ It seemed like a nightclub“Lennon wrote in ‘Anthology’. At first no one spoke. Elvis told them, “If you damn boys, You’re going to be sitting there looking at me all night, I’m going to bed“John was the first to speak and He asked him why he didn’t already make those great rock and roll songs and only focused on ballads for the cinema.. Elvis remained silent. He smiled and shook everyone’s hands.


According to Chris Hutchins, the only journalist who was present, The ice was quickly broken when Presley asked, “Can anyone bring guitars?” Three guitars arrived and were plugged into the amplifiers scattered around the room. “That’s how I play bass. Not too much, but I’m practicing,” Elvis told Paul. They ended up becoming the accompaniment to a whole selection of American and British albums. Everyone except Ringo, who just stared seriously and tapped his fingers on the nearest wooden furniture. Elvis consoled him, “What a shame, we left our batteries in Memphis!” And so the first hour passed… a ‘jam session’ in which everyone sang, among other songs, ‘You’re my world’ by Cilla Black.


When they got tired of the music, they sat down and relaxed. Meanwhile, Elvis’ team supplied drinks. But The host neither drank, nor smoked, nor swore.. John Lennon, putting on a Peter Sellers accent, exclaimed, “This is how it should be. A small home gathering with some friends and some music“. Elvis smiled. In the back, Brian Epstein and Colonel Parker sat chatting and watching over their respective stars as if they were their parents.


“Some fun things have happened to you on the road, right?” the guy from Tupelo asked them. And he began an exchange of ‘little battles’. Paul said: “We’ve had some crazy experiences. One guy ran across the stage unplugging the amps and said, “One move and you’re dead.” For his part, Elvis confessed: “I used to be quite scared sometimes.” The conversation then turned to their experiences on flights, which made the rocker especially nervous. “I once took off from Atlanta in a small plane that only had two engines and one of them failed. Actually, I was very scared. We had to take the sharp objects out of our pockets and put our heads on pillows wedged between our knees. When do we land our pilot was drenched in sweat even though there was snow on the ground”. And the ‘cars’ moment could not be missed.


“I have a Rolls Royce Phantom Five…”, said the American. And Lennon responded, “I just have the same one. I have painted the chrome parts black.” Shortly after 02.00 am – early for the Beatles, but late for Elvis – someone decided it was time to leave. The song ‘Softly as I leave you’ by Matt Monro was spinning on the record player while Paul, John, George and Ringo shook Elvis’s hand and thanked him for his gift: a large box with all of his records. As they boarded their limo, a handful of fans alternately chanted, ‘Elvis is the King!’ and “We love the Beatles!” And Lennon, in a rare imitation of Hitler, shouted, “Long live the king!”, said his press officer, Tony Barrow on the BBC. On the way home,The four of them chatted about the experience and agreed that this meeting had been unforgettable.…something they would keep in a prominent place in their memory for the rest of their lives.

February 22, 2024
"George Martin knew Robert Moog, and asked him to come to Abbey Road and show us this Moog thing": Paul McCartney on the
synth used on the final Beatles album and how its 'noise' created tension in the band
By Andy Jones for Musicradar

Did the Moog synth speed up the demise of the Beatles?

The 1969 Beatles album Abbey Road is famous for many things: the cover photo of The Beatles on the zebra crossing walking away from the studio, the fact that it was the last album they recorded, and because it was the first time the band had ever used a synthesiser. 


What is less well known is how various members of The Beatles embraced the synth during the Abbey Road sessions, and how one of its key sonic features might well have contributed to the demise of the band.


There are slightly differing accounts as to how the modular Moog 3 arrived at Abbey Road. According to Geoff EmerickMoog had given a demo of the synth at EMI Studios some months before the recording of Abbey Road, and the band were impressed enough to use the synth.


And in a recent McCartney: A Life in Lyrics podcast, Paul seemed to back this version of events up, saying that his recording of the track Maxwell’s Silver Hammer on the Abbey Road album "coincided with the visit of Robert Moog, the inventor for the synthesiser. No one had seen synthesisers. This was the very first time, and it took up a whole room.


"It was a huge thing," McCartney added, "and it filled a whole wall of the room. George Martin was always very keen on these technological
innovations. You'll probably find he knew Robert Moog, and he went '
Moog come over to Abbey Road and show us this Moog thing'. I was fascinated
and he would show us how to get these sounds. But it took a little longer than our normal songs took."

However, a slightly different version of the story is that the synth used on the Abbey Road album actually belonged to George Harrison. He'd been in Los Angeles the previous November (1968), producing the album This What You Want? by Jacki Lomax, during which Moog salesman Bernie Krause demo'd the Moog modular synth simply known as '3'. 


This was one of the first commercially available synthesisers but not exactly easy to handle nor transport – "a foreboding black object the size of a bookcase," according to Emerick. Nevertheless, it was an instrument that a few high profile musicians had started to use, including Byrds front man Roger McGuinn, and the cheekiest of the Monkees, Micky Dolenz.


Harrison was quick to adopt it too, using sounds from the Moog on his 1969 solo album Electronic Sounds, in particular the track No Time Or Space, effectively a 25 minute demo of the Moog modular.  


R.A. Moog - the inventor of the Moog Synthesizer


Harrison would later buy the Moog system which could be bought in varying configurations for around $15000, aka a heck of a lot of cash in 1969. 


“I had to have mine made specially," he said in The Beatles Anthology, "because Mr. Moog had only just invented it. It was enormous, with hundreds of jack plugs and two keyboards. But it was one thing having one, and another trying to make it work.


"There wasn’t an instruction manual, and even if there had been it would probably have been a couple of thousand pages long. I don’t think even Mr. Moog knew how to get music out of it; it was more of a technical thing."


According to, Harrison's system included "two five-octave keyboards with portamento control, a ribbon controller, ten oscillators, a white noise generator, three ADSR envelope generators, voltage-controlled filters and amplifiers, a spring reverberation unit and a four-channel mixer". 


And that white noise generator would prove to be his most controversial purchase…


After Harrison used the Moog on his Electronic Sounds album, he then moved it into Abbey Road in the summer of 1969. It was "packed up in eight huge boxes," according to Geoff Emerick and "took forever to set up and get just a single sound out of it. Harrison sure loved twiddling those knobs. I have no idea if he knew what he was doing, but he certainly enjoyed playing with it.”


George wasn't the only Beatle to get the synth bug. While creating the various songs for their last recorded album, both Paul and John would experiment with the synth, and it ended up getting used on four tracks: McCartney's Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Lennon's I Want You (She's So Heavy) and Because, and Harrison's Here Comes The Sun.


On this latter track, the use of the Moog was less obvious, with Harrison saying in the Beatles Anthology: "when you listen to the sounds on songs like Here Comes The Sun, it does do some good things, but they’re all very kind of infant sounds."


However, Paul would use the Moog more obviously on Maxwell's Silver Hammer, a typical McCartney 'story song' about a made up killer he'd created after listening to a play called play Ubu Cocu by french writer Alfred Jarry. 


As joyous as the track sounds, it's about the lead character Maxwell killing another character Joan with his silver hammer – the synth comes in after the first 'killing' at around 50 seconds, with Paul apparently 'playing' the synth using the ribbon controller rather than the keyboard. 


This clip has the isolated guitar and synth from Maxwell's Silver Hammer and you can hear how varied the Moog sounded.



Lennon would be even more dramatic with his use of the synth, and according to Emerick in Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles, the Moog would end up indirectly causing some tension between Lennon and McCartney.


“George set up the Moog synthesizer at John’s request and twiddled the knobs as the great behemoth spit [sic] out white noise, tacked onto the end of I Want You (She’s So Heavy)," Emerick said in his book. 


Lennon was apparently so impressed with the sound of the white noise from the Moog that he got Ringo to enhance it with a wind machine that just happened to be in the EMI Studio 2 percussion cupboard – yes, you couldn't make this up. 


This white noise seemed to wake up some kind of monster in Lennon and Emerick continued: "He started becoming almost obsessed with the sound. 'Louder! Louder!' he kept imploring me. 'I want the track to build and build and build, and then I want the white noise to completely take over and blot out the music altogether.”


Emerick noted in his book that while Lennon was getting more and more obsessed with his white noise, Paul, on the other hand, was getting more downbeat with its use. 


“I could see a dejected Paul, sitting slumped over, head down, staring at the floor. He didn’t say a word, but his body language made it clear that he was very unhappy, not only with the song itself, but with the idea that the music – Beatles music, which he considered almost sacred – was being obliterated with noise. A gleeful Lennon seemed to be taking an almost perverse pleasure at his bandmate’s obvious discomfort."


While the synth certainly can't be blamed for the Beatles falling out – tensions were already running sky high by this point – the band only came together again for the final mix of the Abbey Road album and split up the following year. 


What is obvious from The Beatles limited use of what, by today's standards, was a limited synth is how varied the sounds and use were that they got from it. From white noise to guitar plucks, more obvious synth sounds to effects, the Moog was certainly put through its paces. Not only that, but it's one of the first times that a synth was used as a regular contributing instrument rather than a novelty sound, as so many other bands used it for at the time. 


So after such a wide-ranging use on Abbey Road, you have to wonder what great music the band could have made with the synth, and later more complex models, had they stayed together for one more album. Or whether they'd simply have fallen out more over some white or even pink noise. Tomorrow never knows…


− End of article.

February 21, 2024

The above write-up is from The Beatles Official website.

February 20, 2024

By Precious Adesina, features correspondent for the BBC

As a major retrospective of the conceptual artist's work opens, her son Sean Ono Lennon talks about her art – and her collaborations with his father, John Lennon.

In 1945, Yoko Ono's parents sent her and her younger sibling to the Japanese countryside to escape the attacks on major cities in Japan during World War Two. The United States had firebombed Tokyo, Ono's hometown at the time, killing up to 100,000 people. The now 90-year-old artist was then 12 and from an affluent family, but food shortages during the war meant that Ono, her brother, Keisuke and sister, Setsuko, often went hungry.


According to Ono's son, 48-year-old American-British musician and producer Sean Ono Lennon, his mother, who now lives in New York, would play "imaginary meal games" with her siblings where they would pretend they were eating food. "You could say that the conceptual origins of her work started there in World War Two – being hungry and realising the power of imagination," says Ono Lennon, who runs her day-to-day affairs now that the artist has retired."You could even say it led directly to the song Imagine, which became this world-famous anthem," he tells BBC Culture. The 1971 song Imagine was co-written by Ono and her husband, John Lennon, though at the time of the song’s release, only Lennon was credited. 


While many identify Ono simply as the wife of John Lennon, before the couple met in 1966, Ono, who moved to New York with her family in the early 1950s, had been an influential multimedia artist and musician in her own right. In New York, she had worked with artists such as the US composer John Cage and the musician and performance artist La Monte Young.


She had also been invited to be a part of Fluxus, an international avant-garde art collective popular in the 1960s and 1970s for their experimental performances, though Ono turned them down. "In my mother's case, she never necessarily felt that Fluxus represented her," says Ono Lennon, explaining that she preferred to work alone. "Even when my father, John Lennon, was looking for a new writing partner [after The Beatles broke up in 1970] because he'd always had Paul McCartney to write songs with, my mom said she didn't want to at first." 


Earlier in her career, Ono was particularly known for her "scores" or "instruction pieces", which initially began as an invitation for viewers to interact with her paintings but became artworks in themselves, instructing viewers to engage in or envision engaging in various activities. Ono would ask people to perform actions such as "bondage any part of your body" or "light a match and watch til it goes out", both of which can be found in her 1964 book Grapefruit, where she famously collated a collection of these short instructions.


This creativity has seen her work shown at some of the top museums in the world, including a 2015 retrospective at the MoMA, titled Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971, and now a major exhibition at London's Tate Modern, Yoko Ono: Music Of The Mind. 


The Tate show follows Ono's art from the mid-1950s to the present day. As curator Juliet Bingham puts it in the exhibition catalogue: "We are invited to step on a painting, water a canvas, perform inside a bag, greet visitors by shaking hands anonymously, put our shadows together, hammer a nail or play a game of chess, celebrate our mothers, share our hopes, our dreams and our wishes, and most importantly to imagine."


Finding comfort


As Ono Lennon says, his mother's artwork can be seen as a way of processing her experiences of suffering, and as a means of probing how we can achieve world peace. In projects like Grapefruit, viewers are invited to view the world through Ono's eyes. "There are people who sit and go through Grapefruit, and they try to do each instruction," Sean says. "So if it's to 'make a painting to see the sky through', which is essentially a hole in the canvas that you look at the sky, they'll make that because the idea is breaking the barrier between the artist and audience." Bingham also notes that "as a child fleeing the bombing of Tokyo during the Second World War, Ono found comfort in the constant presence of the sky". 


But for Ono, art has never been about a singular mode of expression, which is why her work can be found in multiple forms. "What's unique about my mother's work is that she didn't think about art as a specific medium," Sean says. "She felt that art and creativity were conceptual, and so it almost didn't matter which medium they were manifested in." In 1955, she performed Lighting Piece for her friends and family before publicly performing it in 1961, then incorporated it as part of a musical performance in Japan in 1962. She eventually included the instructions in Grapefruit, and then recorded a silent film of the action in 1966, titled No.1 (Match). 


Some of Ono’s most notable artworks are also performances. In 1964, at Yamaichi Concert Hall in Kyoto, she performed Cut Piece, where she placed scissors in front of her and invited viewers to cut off a piece of her clothes. "Cut Piece has increasingly been understood as a pivotal early work of feminist art history, although it is open to multiple readings, including those posed by Ono herself," writes Bingham. "During her early performances in Kyoto and Tokyo in 1964 and at DIAS in London in 1966, Ono's performance of the work was accompanied by a large handwritten sign that read, 'My body is the Scar of My Mind', and Ono's own quote that, "It was a form of giving, giving and taking". 


Ono later performed Cut Piece in Paris in 2003 at the age of 70, 39 years after the initial performance, which her son attended. "Watching it is like watching one of the most terrifying and engaging performances I've ever seen," he says. "There's the danger of the scissors and the vulnerability of the woman sitting there."

Sean also notes the various different ways cutters chose to approach Ono. "One person cut a very small piece of the bottom of her dress shyly
and ran away, and then another person confidently and arrogantly cut a circle around her breast " he explains. "It's amazing how much you see
of the inner world of the audience members just from this single act of cutting one piece of clothing off."  

Many might assume that, as a musician, Sean must have been influenced by his world-famous father, but he mentions that Ono is actually the
one to have inspired his music from a young age, as his father died when he was five. Lennon was murdered outside of his family home in
New York City in 1980. "I learned how to record from my mother, I saw her record and then I wound up making a record with her when I was 19
called Rising," he says. "She was my musical mentor, whereas my dad, I had to learn his music from records, which was instructive in its own
way, but it certainly wasn't as influential as my mother being there and making music with her." In honour of his mother’s birthday on 18 February,
and in a homage to her art, he has created a virtual "wish tree" where users can hang their hopes and dreams and plant a real-life tree with the
reforestation charity One Tree Planted.

Ono also eventually collaborated with Lennon both musically (as we know) and artistically. The pair often used both of their platforms to advocate for world peace, much in the way Ono approached her art prior to this. In 1969, the pair sent acorns to world leaders, and asked them to plant them in support of world peace for a performance titled Acorn Peace. The pair also held two widely publicised Bed-Ins where they stayed in bed in a hotel suite for a week (the first time in Amsterdam in March 1969 and then in May 1969 in Montreal) as a form of peaceful protest against the Vietnam War, which garnered worldwide attention. A film titled Bed Peace (1969) documented the second of the Bed-In events, where they spoke with the press. 


Ono Lennon notes that, while people like to consider how his father might have influenced Ono, "it's almost more clear the influence that she had on my dad". He believes Imagine would never have been written without their relationship. "My point is that it can only have been made by those two people at that point in their lives," he says. He says that the song's history begins with his mother "starving in World War Two, and having to imagine meals for her crying little brother, causing her to become a conceptual artist," which in turn influenced Lennon "to start writing a song that came from this idea of imagine this and imagine that," he says. "But like any great piece of art, it goes beyond the people that made it when it becomes part of the world."


Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind is at Tate Modern, London, until 1 September.

February 19, 2024

By Jay McDowell for American Songwriter

George Harrison quit The Beatles on January 10, 1969. He was persuaded to rejoin the band after just a few days but faced other obstacles soon after. He had his tonsils removed just a week after the famous rooftop concert and then faced an arrest for possession of cannabis the following month. It was a winter that had taken its toll on the quiet Beatle.

After several weeks of not even playing guitar, Harrison found himself in the garden of his friend Eric Clapton’s house, just trying to avoid the reality of what the business of The Beatles had become. He would write a song that would go on to become the most streamed of the entire Beatles catalog despite the fact it was not released as a single. Let’s take a look at the story behind “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.


Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo
Here comes the sun
And I say, it’s alright


Playing Hooky


“‘Here Comes the Sun’ was written at the time when Apple [Records] was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘Sign this’ and ‘Sign that,'” Harrison wrote in his memoir I, Me, Mine. “Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever; by the time spring comes, you really deserve it. So, one day, I decided I was going to sag off Apple, and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house. The relief of not having to go and see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote ‘Here Comes the Sun.”


Little darlin’, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter
Little darlin’, it feels like years since it’s been here


The Sun Was Shining

Clapton remembered the occasion in the documentary, George Harrison: Living In the Material World. “It was one of those beautiful spring mornings. I think it was April,” he said. “We were just walking around the garden with our guitars. I don’t do that, you know? This is what George brought to the situation. He was just a magical guy. … We sat down at the bottom of the garden, looking out, and the sun was shining. It was a beautiful morning, and he began to sing the opening lines, and I just watched this thing come to life. I felt very proud that it was my garden that was inspiring it.”


Harrison shared his memory of events in a BBC interview in 1969: “It was just a really nice sunny day, and I picked up the guitar, which was the first time I’d played the guitar for a couple of weeks because I’d been so busy. And the first thing that came out was that song. It just came. And I finished it later when I was on holiday in Sardinia.”


Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say, it’s alright
Little darlin’, the smile’s returning to their faces
Little darlin’, it seems like years since it’s been here


No John Lennon

Violas, cellos, double bass, piccolos, flutes, and clarinets were overdubbed on the sessions arranged by producer George Martin. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr provided bass and drums behind Harrison’s acoustic guitar. John Lennon was recovering from a car accident and was not involved in any of the recording sessions.


Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say, it’s alright

The Moog

Harrison had recently purchased a synthesizer from Robert Moog. It became a vital part of “Here Comes the Sun.” Harrison spoke about it in The Beatles Anthology: “I first heard about the Moog synthesizer in America. I had to have mine made specially because Mr. Moog had only just invented it. It was enormous, with hundreds of jack plugs and two keyboards.


“But it was one thing having one and another trying to make it work,” he continued. “There wasn’t an instruction manual, and even if there had been it would probably have been a couple of thousand pages long. I don’t think even Mr. Moog knew how to get music out of it; it was more of a technical thing. When you listen to the sounds on songs like ‘Here Comes the Sun,’ it does do some good things, but they’re all very kind of infant sounds.”


Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Little darlin’, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darlin’, it seems like years since it’s been clear


The Beatles Never Performed the Song Live

The Beatles ended their touring after their 1966 U.S. tour, and their only other live show was on the rooftop of the Apple offices, where they performed songs from Let It Be. They never had the opportunity to perform any of the songs from Abbey Road in front of a live audience. Harrison performed “Here Comes the Sun” at the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh with Badfinger lead singer Pete Ham. Harrison performed the song with Paul Simon on Saturday Night Live on November 20, 1976.


Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say, it’s alright


Other Versions

Hundreds of people have recorded “Here Comes the Sun.” Just a few of the notables include Booker T. & the M.G.’s, George Benson, Lloyd Green, Hugo Montenegro, Paul Gadd, Richie Havens, Peter Tosh, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, The Terry Baxter Orchestra, Sergio Mendes, Sandy Farina, The Runaways, Voodoo Glow Skulls, John Pizzarelli, Lou Rawls, Allison Moorer, Dan Fogelberg, Travis, Nick Cave, John Entwistle, Joe Brown, Grant Lee Phillips, Phil Keaggy, Sheryl Crow, Chuck Leavell, Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Belle & Sebastian, Paul Simon, Herb Alpert, Perry Farrell, Randy Bachman, Mike Love, and Leo Sayer.


Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
It’s alright
It’s alright


February 18, 2024
By Andrew for Parlogram Auctions

In this video we review the new Band On The Run 2024 half-speed vinyl remaster and 'Underdubbed' albums. We also tell you how we got on with Meze Audio's '99 Classic' headphones and if we think they are worth buying.

February 17, 2024

Ringo Starr set to release "Crooked Boy" on Record Store Day, April 20, 2024

February 16, 2024
Get back to where you once belonged! Sir Paul McCartney is 'reunited' with treasured bass guitar he bought for £30 in 1961 after global search
was launched for missing instrument
By Jason Chester and Gemma Parry for the Daily Mail

Film enthusiast Ruaidhri Guest shared a photo of himself, purportedly with the treasured guitar, across social media on Tuesday 


It's travelled a Long And Winding Road, but a treasured bass guitar bought by Sir Paul McCartney before he became famous has apparently been returned to the former Beatle. 


A global search was launched for the missing instrument - purchased by McCartney in 1961 for £30 - in 2023, some 54-years after it was last seen while The Beatles recorded what would be their final album, Let It Be. 



The guitar, a distinctively shaped Höfner bass, became synonymous with the versatile musician during his time with The Beatles and was bought while the then unknown band toured Hamburg's notorious club circuit. 


A year later the band released debut single Please, Please Me, a hit in the United Kingdom that would spark the Beatlemania phenomenon and change the lives of McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr forever. 


Despite the small price tag on the guitar when he bought it, the instrument would go on to be a staple in the rise of Beatlemania, with McCartney regularly taking it on stage from 1961 to 1963, until it disappeared just before the band broke up in 1970. 


It was last seen in the days before McCartney and his bandmates climbed onto the roof of their Savile Row offices in 1969 for what would be their final live performance. 


McCartney has since been on the hunt for his 'favourite' guitar, a violin-shaped Höfner 500/1 electric bass - until now. 


On Tuesday, a young student claimed the instrument was left to him as part of an inheritance, but has subsequently been returned its legendary owner. 


Sharing a photo of the guitar on X, formerly Twitter, film enthusiast Ruaidhri Guest tweeted: 'To my friends and family I inherited this item which has been returned to Paul McCartney. Share the news.'  



McCartney previously said he 'fell in love' with the guitar - which could now be worth as much as £10million - because its shape meant that it looked more symmetrical as he played left-handed. 


Though he briefly put it to one side during his time in the band, he picked it up again for recording sessions in London when the group were recording Let it Be. The instrument can also be spotted in Get Back, the Peter Jackson documentary which was released in 2021.  


Höfner stepped in to help the musician with his desperate search for the instrument online by creating the hashtag 'tracingthebass' and inviting people from around the world to track it down.  



They have been the preferred brand for McCartney throughout his career. He has owned four Höfner basses since 1961, and to this day plays one of the basses given to him by the German company. 


Höfner executive Nick Wass told the Sunday Telegraph: 'I've worked closely with Paul McCartney's team over the years, and when I've met Paul we've talked about his first Höfner bass and where it could be today. 


'Paul said to me, 'Heh, because you're from Höfner, couldn't you help find my bass?' And that's what sparked this great hunt'. 


Theories about what happened to the instrument vary, from rumours that a thief took the bass from a closet at Abbey Road, to a story that it went missing from the basement of the Beatles Savile Row offices. 


Wass added that the bass could be valued 'more like a Van Gogh or a Picasso than just an instrument'. 


'This is the bass Paul played in Hamburg, at the Cavern Club, and at Abbey Road', he said. 


'Paul would be so happy, thrilled, if this bass could get back to him.'


A representativ for McCartney said: 'Following the launch of last year's Lost Bass project, Paul's 1961 Höfner 500/1 bass guitar, which was stolen in 1972, has been returned. The guitar has been authenticated by Höfner and Paul is incredibly grateful to all those involved.'

− End of article.

Also, this second article that provides more details:
Got back! Paul McCartney’s stolen bass is found and returned to the Beatle after more than 50 years
By Brian Melley for the Associated Press


LONDON (AP) — Paul McCartney no longer gently weeps for his original bass guitar.


A five-year search by the manufacturer of the instrument that was aided by a husband-and-wife team of journalists helped reunite The Beatles star with the distinctive violin-shaped 1961 electric Höfner that went missing a half century ago and is estimated to be worth 10 million pounds ($12.6 million).


McCartney had asked Höfner to help find the missing instrument that helped launch Beatlemania across the universe, Scott Jones, a journalist who teamed up with Höfner executive Nick Wass to track it down, said Friday.


“Paul said to me, ‘Hey, because you’re from Höfner, couldn’t you help find my bass?’” Wass said. “And that’s what sparked this great hunt. Sitting there,
seeing what the lost bass means to Paul, I was determined to solve the mystery.”

McCartney bought the bass for about 30 pounds ($37) in 1961 when The Beatles were developing their chops during a series of residencies in Hamburg, Germany. The instrument was played on the Beatles first two records and featured on hits such as “Love Me Do,” “Twist and Shout,” and “She Loves You.”


“Because I was left-handed, it looked less daft because it was symmetrical,” McCartney once said. “I got into that. And once I bought it, I fell in love with it.”


It was rumored to have been stolen around the time The Beatles were recording their final album, “Let it Be,” in 1969. But no one was sure when it went missing. 


What began as a long and winding road for Wass to track down the bass picked up speed when Jones serendipitously joined the hunt after seeing McCartney headline the Glastonbury Festival in 2022. The stage lights at one point seemed to illuminate nothing but the sunburst pattern on his bass and Jones wondered if it was the same instrument McCartney had played in the early ‘60s.


When he later searched the internet he was stunned to find the original bass was missing and there was a search for it.


“I was staggered, I was amazed,” Jones said. “I think we live in a world where The Beatles could do almost anything and it would get a lot of attention.”


Jones and his wife, Naomi, both journalists and researchers, got in touch with Wass to spread the word more broadly.


After hitting a dead end following a lead about a roadie for The Who, they relaunched The Lost Bass Project in September and within 48 hours were inundated with 600 emails that contained the “little gems that led us to where we are today,” Jones said.


One of those emails came from sound engineer Ian Horne, who had worked with McCartney’s band Wings, and was the first big breakthrough in the hunt. Horne said the bass had been swiped from the back of his van one night in the Notting Hill section of London in 1972.


The researchers published the new information on their website in October, adding that Horne said McCartney told him not to worry about the theft and that he continued working for him for another six years.


“But I’ve carried the guilt all my life,” Horne said.


After publishing that update, a bigger break came when they were contacted by a person who said their father had stolen the bass. The man didn’t set out to steal McCartney’s instrument and panicked when he realized what he had, Jones said.


The thief, who was not named, ended up selling it to Ron Guest, landlord of the Admiral Blake pub, for a few pounds and some beers.


As the Joneses were starting to look for relatives of Guest, word had already reached his family. His daughter-in-law contacted McCartney’s studio.


Cathy Guest said that the old bass that had been in her attic for years looked like the one they were looking for.


It had been passed from Ron Guest to his oldest son, who died in a car wreck, and then to a younger son, Haydn Guest, who was married to Cathy and died in 2020.


The instrument was returned to McCartney in December and then it took about two months to authenticate it.


The project had planned to announce the news but were upstaged by Cathy Guest’s son, Ruaidhri Guest, a 21-year-old film student who posted photos Tuesday of the guitar on X, formerly Twitter, and wrote: “I inherited this item which has been returned to Paul McCartney. Share the news.” He posted a message Friday saying the family had been inundated with interview requests and would tell its story eventually.


The estimated value of the instrument is based on the fact that a Gibson acoustic guitar Kurt Cobain played on MTV Unplugged sold for $6 million (4.7 million pounds), Jones said. But it held almost no value during the past half century.


“The thief couldn’t sell it,” Jones said. “Clearly, the Guest family never tried to sell it. It’s a red alert because the minute you come forward someone’s going to go, ‘That’s Paul McCartney’s guitar.’”


It is now McCartney’s once again. His official website posted a message announcing its return, saying “Paul is incredibly grateful to all those involved.”

− End of article.

Paul McCartney's missing Hofner bass guitar was located in Hastings, England


“Rauidhri Guest inherited the bass from his dad who recently passed away and the bass had been previously sitting in his attic in Hastings, England apparently restrung right handed, and he not knowing who it once belonged to for all these years,” the post explained.


“Sources said the family – who found the Hofner in a loft while clearing a house – are said to have approached Sir Paul and reps at his home. The guitar has been inspected and authenticated as genuine. When it was found, the family are said to have had no idea at the treasure in their attic, at first.”


Quote is from


Photo to your left: HASTINGS, ENGLAND.

From George Harrison's Official Facebook page...

February 15, 2024
John Lennon's Exotic Car Collection
By Fusion Kidd

John Lennon was an iconic musician, songwriter, and peace activist who was widely influential in the 1960s and 1970s as a member of the legendary rock band, The Beatles. As a symbol of the counterculture movement, Lennon was known for challenging the status quo and living a life of luxury. Of all his possessions, perhaps the most impressive are his cars. While Lennon had a variety of luxury cars at his disposal, the exact number of cars he owned is a matter of some dispute. Today we’re exploring the number of cars Lennon owned and the stories behind them.

Remember When The Beatles Fired Their Drummer
By Jay McDowell for American Songwriter

August 16, 1962

They had a record deal with EMI. They had built a reputation as a fierce live act with a gigantic repertoire. The Beatles were toughened by appearances in Hamburg, Germany, playing the Reeperbahn as well as performing shows around their hometown of Liverpool, England. As they grew, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison started to feel a divide growing between them and their drummer, Pete Best. They had played hundreds of shows and traveled many miles together. The foursome had recorded an audition for Decca Records on January 1, 1962, which was met with little enthusiasm. When they landed a tryout for EMI on June 6 that same year, producer George Martin was enthusiastic about three of them—but not Best.


Martin wrote in 1965, “I told [manager Brian] Epstein that I was not satisfied with the performance of their drummer, Mr. Peter Best, and as far as my recordings were concerned, I would prefer not to use him on the actual record but that I would use a session drummer.”


Best did seem to be “an odd man out,” and while the other three were very unified in their performance and enthusiasm, he did not seem to be a true part of the group.


McCartney would later say, “It had got to the stage that Pete was holding us back. What were we gonna do? Try and pretend he was a wonderful drummer? We knew he wasn’t as good as we wanted.”


The trio approached Epstein about replacing Best. The problem was the contract between Epstein and The Beatles. Epstein didn’t simply represent Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison. He represented Best as well. It wasn’t as simple as kicking the drummer out of the band. Legally, The Beatles would have to split up and sign another contract with Epstein as a new entity.


Seeking a Replacement


An invitation was extended to Bobby Graham, who played drums with Joe Brown & The Bruvvers. He declined. Next, the position was offered to Johnny Hutchinson, who played skins with the Big Three. Hutchinson had crossed paths with the trio a couple of years earlier when they auditioned for the pop impresario Larry Parnes. Hutchinson filled in on drums for the occasion. He was not a Beatles fan, so he also declined.


Ringo Starr was over 300 miles away, appearing at a holiday camp with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Lennon and McCartney took the band van and made the journey to feel out the situation and see if Starr was interested in joining The Beatles. The drummer felt it was too good to turn down.


Epstein met with his lawyer, David Harris. It was agreed that the approach would be to offer Best a position in another group, which Epstein would represent. If he had accepted the deal, there would have been no possible legal problems. If he declined, Best would be breaking the agreement, not Epstein.


Firing Pete Best


On the morning of August 16, Best was called into Epstein’s NEMS Whitechapel office. “I’ve got some bad news for you,” the manager said. “The boys and myself have decided that they don’t want you in the group anymore and that Ringo is replacing you.”


When Best pressed for a reason, Epstein deflected some of the blame, offering that Martin would not use him in the upcoming recording session. An offer to join another group was presented, and Epstein asked if Best could play drums the following two nights until Starr was available. Best declined the offer to join another Epstein group but agreed to play the remaining shows. At the same time as this meeting, a new contract was being prepared to include Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr). The agreement would be binding until 1967 and included the provision that a band member could be kicked out at the desire of two or more other members with Epstein’s approval.


As the reality set in, Best decided he would not play the shows in the interim. Hutchinson was brought in to fill the throne until Starr could return from the holiday camp. Rumors swirled throughout The Beatles’ fan base about why Best was being replaced. Surprisingly, there is no existing photographic evidence on the night of Starr’s Beatle debut. 


There were reports of fans chanting, “Pete forever, Ringo never.” There were also reports of “Ringo forever, Pete never.”


On August 22, the band was filmed by Granada TV performing “Some Other Guy.” It’s glorious black-and-white footage of a band, on one hand, experienced and seasoned, but on the other hand, reinvigorated and just starting out with their new timekeeper. Things seemed to be settling down, and the fans were accepting Starr. But on Friday, August 24, Harrison was involved in an altercation at The Cavern, resulting in a black eye.



The band ventured down to London to partake in their first recording session with the new lineup. They were greeted by producer Martin and set up to record two songs. The Beatles were not impressed with the song “How Do You Do It?” They were pushing Martin to record their own compositions. Martin was unhappy with Starr’s drumming as they worked on the song. 


When the band returned to the Abbey Road studios on September 11, they were surprised to see a drum set already assembled in the No. 2 studio. Martin had booked session drummer Andy White for the recording. Starr was heartbroken. When the decision was made to record a full-length album, Starr was included. He would go on to be included regularly.


On September 10, Best debuted with Lee Curtis and The All Stars. Ads ran saying, “WE’VE GOT THE BEST! YES – GREAT EX-BEATLE DRUMMER.”



Thirty years later, Ringo was asked if he felt sorry for Pete, “No, why should I? I was a better player than him. That’s how I got the job.”


Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

February 14, 2024
The Beatles Are Releasing A 3″ Turntable For Record Store Day
By That Eric

Coming April 20, 2024 to record stores, a “mini” celebration of The Beatles’ historic Ed Sullivan appearances, sixty years ago. A revamped mini-turntable, and 3″ records for four of the songs they played on that explosive television moment.


The Beatles 3″ turntable package comes fully equipped with the ability to stream vinyl via external speakers with the built-in Bluetooth transmitter, and also:


● Pre-mounted AT3600L moving magnet cartridge.

● Full-size turntable features like adjustable pitch control, a clear dust cover, headphone jack, and post adapters for large-hole records.

● Aux output with RCA conversion cable included

● Four 3-inch Beatles releases with unique, collectible artwork

● Matching record carrying case that can hold up to ten 3-inch records


Each 3″ single, ” Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Till There Was You,” “Saw Her Standing There,’” and “She Loves You”, also sold separately.

Guess what female group pushed out Sgt. Pepper from it's number #1 slot on Billboard...

February 13, 2024
Even Paul McCartney Knew Wings Could Never Be as Good as the Beatles

"My problem all along was: after the Beatles, who's gonna be as good as them? I kind of knew it couldn't happen."

By Alex Hudson for Exclaim!

Do you prefer the the Beatles to Wings? Yeah, duh — even Paul McCartney knows that his first big band far outstripped his second, as he has now admitted.


In an episode of the podcast McCartney: A Life in Lyrics on iHeartPodcasts, McCartney discussed "Band on the Run," the title track of Wings' third album. He acknowledged that, even before Wings began, he knew they would never be able to equal the magic of the Beatles.


"A lot of this is just happening in my own mind. It's not what anyone's telling me," he reflected. "I'm automatically thinking, 'Well, the Beatles were great, so Wings is not going to be as great.' My problem all along was: after the Beatles, who's gonna be as good as them? I kind of knew it couldn't happen."


Taking a slightly more optimistic outlook, McCartney continued, "I thought, 'Yeah, but we can be not as the Beatles, but we can be something else."


He acknowledged that it was difficult to know he could never match the heights of the Beatles, but said that he still had "reserves of courage" from the days when the Beatles toughed it out as an unknown band.


Even if Wings never reached the fame or acclaim of the Beatles, they did find a success of their own. McCartney noted, "I was talking to a journalist once about Sgt. Pepper, going on about it as if he must admire it, and he said, 'Well, to tell you the truth, it was Band on the Run for me. It's more my generation.' Band on the Run was his Sgt. Pepper."


McCartney added, "That has proved to be a very interesting fact over the years — that there are some people who actually like what I did with Wings better than the Beatles. There are some people's whose first thing they ever heard was 'Band on the Run' or 'Jet' or something that we did with Wings."

John Lennon's White Album is up for auction
The former Beatle's copy is numbered 0000006 and the bidding has started at $50,000.
By Martin O'Gorman for Radio X


A copy of The Beatles' "White Album" once owned by John Lennon is to go up for auction - with a starting bid of $50,000.


The stereo pressing of the 1968 self-titled double album from The Fab Four bears the serial number 0000006, which proves it once belonged to the former Beatle.


Lennon gifted the album to his chauffeur and bodyguard Les Anthony, who passed the record onto a relative. According to the auction house: "The LP was re-discovered after a television show named Find a Fortune was discussing rare records and the owner contacted the TV program and expressed his interest in selling the album.


"The program then contacted Mike Vandenbosch of More Than Music who purchased the historic piece."


This unique piece of Beatle history has now come up for sale by the Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.


The auction is live now and ends at midday (Central Time) on Saturday 24th February.


The auctioneers say that the album comes complete with the original poster that served as a lyric sheet, the four colour photos of each individual Beatle, and the black inner sleeves that only appeared with early editions of the LP.


They also state that "the jacket cover is in overall VG-EX 6 condition with some ring wear, bending, creasing, expected discolouration and staining" while the vinyl condition ranges from "Excellent" to "Near Mint" condition across the four sides.


It's long been thought that former Beatle roadie and manager of the band's Apple company Neil Aspinall held the mono edition of number 0000006 of the "White Album" and that only the group's inner circle held copies of numbers 0000001 to 0000020.


In 2015, Ringo Starr's mono copy of the "White Album" number 0000001 sold for an incredible $790,000 - £627,000 in British money today.

February 12, 2024
The Art of McCartney - Heart covers the classic "Letting Go"

Audiophile Unboxing | Band On The Run 2 Vinyl Set & Meze Audio Headphones
By Andrew for Polygram Auctions

In this video we unbox the new double vinyl set of Band On The Run and a beautiful looking set of headphones called '99 Classics' by the Romanian
hi-fi company Meze Audio. We will be reviewing both the vinyl and headphones in next week's video.

February 10, 2024
From the Beatles Help! album: You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

The Night the Beatles Invented Fun

60 years ago today the Fab Four made their American TV debut on 'The Ed Sullivan Show.' The world would never be the same again

By Rob Scheffield for Rolling Stone, published on February 9, 2024


The Beatles with Ed Sullivan during the taping of their New York Debut show, 1964.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images


Sixty years ago, on February 9, 1964: The Beatles make their legendary American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. A record-shattering 73 million people tune in to see John, Paul, George, and Ringo for the first time. It’s the biggest audience any musicians have ever faced. But there’s no evidence that any of the Fab Four are the least bit worried they might fail. The U.S.A. gets a look at these cocky kids, hears their radical new electric noise, and—crucially—sees a theater full of girl fans screaming in ecstasy. By the time the lads get ten seconds into their first song—Paul sings “close your eyes and I’ll kiss you”—it’s all over. Millions of people fall in love at the exact same moment.


Sixty years later, The Beatles’ Ed Sullivan debut is the ultimate archetypal pop explosion, even though the vast majority of Fabs fans weren’t alive to watch it. It’s a moment when you can see the whole human concept of “fun” transform in real time. The most fun-obsessed civilization in human history comes face to face with the Beatles, and realizes they’ve been doing it all wrong until now. Everything else on The Ed Sullivan Show—puppets, acrobats, jugglers, magicians—will never cut it again. It’s like a donkey race, and the Beatles showed up in a Maserati. 


But February 9 is more than just the night that Beatlemania finally takes over America. It’s the turning point in the history of fandom. The teenage girl fans are in charge, driving and defining the moment. Nobody can ignore or dismiss them now. The girls are running the show, and everyone knows it, especially the band. So it’s a whole new pop phenomenon. It’s the night the Beatles invented fun as we know it. The world has never been the same. 


John, Paul, George and Ringo kick off the show with three songs: “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You” (from The Music Man), and “She Loves You.” 


They’re bursting with exuberance, with close-up captions to help viewers tell them apart. You can’t help noticing the camera loves Paul slightly more than the others—John is the one who gets his own microphone, but Paul gets most of the close-ups. The theater holds 700 people, but it sounds like a few million girls are packed in there, screaming and crying and pulling their hair. 



Ed Sullivan is absolutely terrified. He’s supposed to be the host here, the authority figure—but he’s visibly scared of these girls, losing control of the room. After the Beatles play, he raises his hands and yells, “Quiet! You promised!” The act who has to follow the Beatles? A magician doing a salt-shaker trick. Oh, this poor miserable bastard. Later in the show, the Beatles play two more songs, “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Sullivan comes out to express his gratitude—but not to the boys in the band, or the audience. He thanks the New York Police Department, for their crowd control all week. 


At the end of the night, Sullivan finally forces himself to acknowledge the fangirls in the house. “I want to congratulate you,” he says with a frozen smile. “You’ve been a fine audience. Despite severe provocation.”


Ed Sullivan was the king of American TV for decades, running his Sunday-night variety show until 1971. It’s tough to see now why he had this job—he’s stiff, grumpy, mumbling like he just downed a Klonopin slurpee. But he was the man who decided what America had for entertainment. The band returned to play his show the next two Sunday nights, including a Miami Beach show where they got second-billed to South Pacific hoofer Mitzi Gaynor. 


It’s one thing to watch isolated clips of the Beatles in their three Sullivan gigs, but it’s a real revelation to watch the full episodes, and marvel at the banality surrounding them. Jesus, these shows suck. The first night, they do indeed get followed by a magician, Fred Kaps, who’s fumbling nervously through his act, muttering, “I should have rehearsed this.” It’s the most pitiful flop sweat ever captured on camera. Then it’s the cast of Oliver!, a comic doing movie-star impressions, a Welsh music-hall vet named Tessie O’Shea, plucking her banjo for her theme song, “Two-Ton Tessie from Tennessee.” Not a single amusing moment in sight, just a smug sense of minimum standards being met.


The Beatles really do look like they’ve just crashed in from another planet. Their emotional commitment, brash loudness, wild humor, four-way team spirit, has no connection to anything else happening tonight. John Lennon is intense, severe; George Harrison grins like he just learned how; Paul McCartney radiates confidence; Ringo Starr radiates Ringo. They play and (especially) sing like they’re reading each others’ minds. All together now. 


They don’t just make the rest of the show look corny and obsolete—they make it look cynical, phony, like nobody else has their hearts in it. Four working-class Liverpool lads, jumping on their chance to break free from dreary old Europe, finally set loose in the America of their dreams. The home of the music they worship: doo-wop, rockabilly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Elvis, Buddy, Smokey, Carole King, Phil Spector, Motown, New Orleans, the Shirelles and Crystals and Ronettes. They’re as desperately hungry for America as America turned out to be for them.


But it’s also an America full of fan hysteria—when you watch the Beatles on TV, you can’t take your eyes off the girls losing their shit. That’s the essence of Beatlemania: the teenage fangirls are in command, making this whole moment happen. Everybody else came along, but the girls got there first. These screamers can no longer be condescended to, as a quirky sideshow to pop music. Suddenly, they ARE pop music. They’re right there on camera, front and center, not just part of it but in charge.


Beatlemania was always about direct communication between these boys and their fans. Paul knew it from the start. “At the time we were 18, 19, whatever,” he told Mark Lewisohn in 1987. “So you’re talking to all girls who are 17. We were quite conscious of that. We wrote for our market. We knew that if we wrote a song called ‘Thank You Girl’ that a lot of the girls who wrote us fan letters would take it as a genuine thank you. So a lot of our songs—‘From Me To You’ is another—were directly addressed to the fans.”


"From Me to You” might be one of the least bearable Beatles hits, but Paul’s right about that title. “So ‘From Me To You,’ ‘Please Please Me,’ ‘She Loves You.’ Personal pronouns. We always used to do that. ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand.’ It was always something personal.” 


The world has never stopped marveling at those early tunes—they sound more intense than ever in the new 2023 Red Album remixes, with Giles Martin doing miracles with the bottom end. But at the time, they spoke loud and clear to those fans. They kicked off the tradition of boy bands paying tribute to the fandom, whether it’s the Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life,” One Direction’s “Girl Almighty,” BTS’ “Moon,” or the Ramones’ “Ramona.” The Beatles never forgot the girls who got there first. However sarcastic and mocking they got about all the nowhere men they met in the music world, they always had the deepest respect for those girls. Even George, the one with the most bitter complaints about living through Beatlemania, wrote the heartfelt tribute “Apple Scruffs.” Across his 1970 triple-vinyl solo epic All Things Must Pass, these girls are the ONLY ones who get a kind word out of George, besides God.


It couldn’t be more different from Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956, where Sullivan is the authority figure. He announced, “Elvis will never appear on my show,” until getting his ass kicked in the ratings lowered his moral standards. (Elvis was famously shown from the waist up, but only on his third and final Sullivan gig; the first two had full frontal Elvis.) So the narrative is Elvis appealing to the host, to earn his grudging approval. The 21-year-old country boy is there to impress Mr. Sullivan. The room might be full of howling fans—he slips in a “thank you, ladies,” after “Don’t Be Cruel”—but it’s all about Sullivan finally praising him as “a real decent, fine boy.”


Nothing like that is happening with the Beatles. There’s no pretense that the host likes them, or that they’re seeking his blessing. Tonight is something he couldn’t prevent, so he’s just trying to contain the damage. The girls are the ones who screamed this gig into happening. Sullivan can yell “Quiet!” at them all he wants, but he can’t shut them up. Nobody could.


The Beatles’ U.S. invasion was a two-week full-immersion crash course in the American culture they’d always envied from afar, in all its crudeness and violence and vulgarity. They especially loved Florida. “Miami was incredible,” Paul recalled later, in the book Many Years From Now. “It was the first time we ever saw police motorbike outriders with guns.” The Fabs were also impressed by “all the lovely gorgeous tanned girls.” As Paul admitted, “It should have been ‘Can Buy Me Love,’ actually.”


Miami cop Buddy Dresner was their bodyguard down there, tutoring them on the fine points of American life. “I took ‘em to the first drive-in movie they went to,” he told Rolling Stone in 1984. “Gave them their first grilled-cheese sandwich.” He taught them to fish. “We used to watch TV. We were watching a show called The Outer Limits and I said, ‘If I had one of those guns, I could zap all the criminals.’” Paul asked him about that word. “‘Zap?’ I said. They never heard that word before. I heard they put that word in one of their songs.”


They did—John sings it on the White Album, the moment in “Bungalow Bill” when “Captain Marvel zapped him right between the eyes.” But there’s an even better “zap” in A Hard Day’s Night, which started filming just a few weeks later. The boys are backstage, getting hair and makeup done for TV. (George asks the stylist, “Hey, you won’t interfere with the basic rugged concept of me personality, will you madam?”) Paul has a Shakespearean moment in the mirror, quoting the soliloquy from Hamlet. “Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt…ZAP!” The word was a symbol for them of the electric energy of American culture. But they knew they were the ones zapping America.


That’s why Beatlemania resonates now. It’s the ultimate ideal of a scream-worthy fan phenomenon, the one fans and stars keep reliving out. A couple of years ago, Paul McCartney played MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, on the eve of his 80th birthday. But he couldn’t resist telling the crowd, “Give me a great big Beatles scream!” It’s the original “mania,” driving the story from “Love Me Do” to “Now and Then,” ever since the night the fans took over once and for all. Sixty years later, we’re all living in the pop future that these girls screamed into existence.


She Saw Them Standing There: Beatles Fan Recalls Witnessing the Band's Historic Ed Sullivan Set Live (Exclusive)
Debbie Gendler was among the Beatles' first American fans when she arrived at CBS Studio 50 as a teen on Feb. 9, 1964. The night changed her — and music — forever.
By Jordan Runtagh for People Magazine

Referring to someone as a “Beatles fan” in 2024 is a largely useless descriptor. It’s arguably more telling to label someone “not a Beatles fan." For more than half a century, most of us can agree that the Fab Four rank among life’s unimpeachably good things.


This consensus was reached (in the U.S., at least) just after 8 PM on Feb. 9, 1964, when the Beatles made their historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. More than 73 million people watched on their TV sets across the country, but only 728 individuals were lucky enough to witness the moment live and in person at CBS’ Studio 50. One of these was 13-year-old Debbie Gendler. 


On the 60th anniversary of the Sullivan broadcast, Gendler — now a four-time Emmy nominated television executive —  is sharing her story in a new book, I Saw Them Standing There: Adventures of an Original Fan During Beatlemania and Beyond.


It may be impossible to determine a Patient Zero for the American strain of Beatlemania, but you could make a compelling case for Gendler. The author and superfan spoke with PEOPLE’s resident Beatlemaniac about witnessing the moment America fell in love with the Beatles — live and in color.


Debbie Gendler in 1965. 


You first fell for the Beatles in the spring of 1963. How did you initially discover them?

My parents' best friends' daughter [used to] come over to our house after school and we’d watch American Bandstand. Her parents went on vacation to London and brought me back a record. I opened up the package and it was the first Beatles album, Please Please Me. I saw the picture of these four guys and I thought, “These are the cutest guys I’ve ever seen!” When I heard the music — “Please Please Me,” and “Love Me Do” — It was like magic to me.


What is it about the Beatles that resonates with you so deeply? Was it their music or was it them?

It was the look of them and the sound of them that absolutely touched my heart. I was attracted to their sound, I was attracted to their looks, and I was attracted to, I think, a bit their Britishness. There was a vulnerability there. I fell madly in love. It’s a love that now, 60 years later, is still there in its purest form. 


At what point did you realize that the band was catching on?


The change came in mid-December of 1963, when records like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” got frequent radio rotation and you kept hearing them and hearing them and hearing them. By January, it seemed like everyone was talking about them but not everyone had their record.


But by the day after The Ed Sullivan Show [performance], I suddenly went from being considered sorta geeky to suddenly popular. People were coming and asking me all about them. One teacher even asked me if I could bring in their album to play for the class. 


You were one of the founding members of the Beatles’ American fan club. How did that happen?


I couldn't find friends who loved the Beatles like I did, so I was desperate. The receipt for the album I got from London was printed with a message: “If you love the Beatles, join their fan club.” So in the spring of 1963, I wrote a letter to the fan club [asking] to join. I didn’t hear anything for months and months. Then, around Halloween, I got a telegram from the office of Walter Hofer, the American attorney of [Beatles manager] Brian Epstein. They were looking for teenage fans because the Beatles' [American] visit was being planned.


I walked into Walter Hofer’s office, and there was Brian Epstein. He started to ask me questions about managing the fan club. And I said, “I’m only 13, I have to go to college. I can’t run a fan club! But I can participate.” That’s how I got involved in the club. I founded the Northern New Jersey chapter for the Beatles USA Limited. They sent me out to do local things for press and TV. I was sort like a go-to fan. I also helped address envelopes or do outreach with other fan club chapter presidents. Walter Hofer's office [sent] my ticket to the Ed Sullivan show, as a thank you for that first meeting.


Debbie Gendler today. J. EMILIO FLORES


You get your invitation to be one of the chosen few to be in the audience when the Beatles make their American TV performance debut: What did you wear?


For girls, what we wore to the Beatles’ concerts was very important. I wore a skirt, a blouse and a sweater because in those days girls had to wear skirts or dresses. And when we left the house, my mom gave me a necklace to wear. I wanted it so I would look older in case a Beatle saw me. I did not want to look 13! 


The following year, in 1965, I had the [last minute] opportunity to go to a taping for another Beatles appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. But I said I couldn’t go because I had to go home and select my clothes to wear to the Beatles’ concert at Shea Stadium [the day after]! Who in their right mind would think that!? Only a 15-year-old.


What was the scene like when you arrived at CBS Studio 50 on the big day?


My mom drove me the 26 miles to New York from our little town in New Jersey. As we rounded the bend to Broadway, a couple blocks from the theater, there were hordes of kids charging through  —  really charging, running — heading to the theater. And I'm thinking, “Will there be room for me?”


There were people pushing me, but I got past the barricade and into the studio vestibule. The first thing they did was pull the ticket away from me. I said, “Could I please have my ticket back?” And they said no. [Everyone has long thought] no tickets that exist from that night. Walter Cronkite brought his two daughters that night and there are reports that they never took his ticket. So there may be one!


The mezzanine where I was placed was better than the orchestra because I was up above looking down. I was so happy just to be there. There were girls behind me, bouncing up and down already. I just sat there trying to be somewhat composed. And I was…for about 15 seconds. Then I lost all composure. I could barely breathe. 


And then Ed [Sullivan] introduced the Beatles. It was overwhelming. That’s the only word I can say. When you look at the tape, you can see the Beatles sort of looking up at us in the mezzanine. They did “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You” and “She Loves You” and then [their first set] was over. 


I remember trying to look at each [Beatle] individually to make a permanent memory of that moment. But then it was over. And Ed came out to tell us, “Quiet, quiet. We’ll be bringing the Beatles back on [later].” It was torturous for the rest of the show until the Beatles came back. It was like, why have anyone else on this show?


As I gathered up my things and left the theater, I said to myself, “This is not the end for me. This is just the beginning.” I decided on two things. Firstly, I knew I really wanted to meet the Beatles. And secondly, when I left that theater that night, I thought not only was this a great event, but I was really taken by the production. 


Did I know that now, 60 years later, I'd still be thinking of that night? No. But did I feel it was important for my life? I sort of did. I thought, “Yeah, I know what I really would like to do.”


After I graduated college, I worked for [CBS TV] for almost 15 years, and one of the first things I did was go into the publicity files looking for The Ed Sullivan Show. And now I work for Sofa Entertainment, who bought The Ed Sullivan Show from the Sullivan family in 1990.


There I was at age 13, sitting in a random seat at The Ed Sullivan Show. And now, a full 60 years later, I'm 73, working to repurpose their show clips and share them with people. 

One of the points I try to make in my book is that formative experiences are really important. People should never downplay their children's interests because you just don't know where those interests will lead them.


There are so many people who feel that the night the Beatles performed on Ed Sullivan was so formative to who they are. Whenever I start to tell my story, I almost never get to the end because the other person will start to share their experience. It meant so much to so many. 

February 9, 2024
Guitar heroes: Mark Knopfler unites 54 rock legends, from Slash to David Gilmour, for new charity single
By Roisin O'Connor and Jabed Ahmed for the Independent

Mark Knopfler calls it “an embarassment of riches”, and rock fans will be inclined to agree. The Dire Straits frontman has assembled some of the world’s most renowned guitarists, from Slash and David Gilmour to Pete Townshend and Joan Armatrading, for a special charity song.


The supergroup, named Guitar Heroes, comprises 54 musicians who joined forces to play on “Mark Knopfler’s Going Home: Theme Of The Local Hero”, proceeds from which will raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.


Contributions from musicians such as Joan Jett, Sheryl Crow, Ronnie Wood, Joe Bonamassa and the late Jeff Beck have been edited together for the nine-minute track – due for release on 15 March – which will also raise funds for Teen Cancer America.

The special recording also includes The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, honorary patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust, on harmonica, The Police singer Sting on bass, and The Beatles’ Ringo Starr on drums.


The instrumental track opens with the last recording of guitarist Jeff Beck, who died last year. The recordings were edited together by Knopfler’s former Dire Straits bandmate, Guy Fletcher.


Sir Peter Blake was enlisted to recreate the iconic 1967 Beatles album cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with all 54 guitarists.


Mark Knopfler’s guitar heroes
(Peter Blake)
© Provided by The Independent


“What I really want to do, more than anything else, is just to thank each and every one for this sterling response,” Knopfler said in a statement.


“I really had no idea that it was going to be like this. It hit Guy and I quite early on that we had to extend this piece somehow, to take in the number of people who joined in.”


Before he knew it, Knopfler said, Townshend had turned up to his studio “armed with a guitar and an amp”, soon followed by Eric Clapton who played “one tasty lick after another”.


“Then Jeff Beck’s contribution arrived and that was spellbinding,” he said. “I think what we’ve had is an embarrassment of riches, really. The whole thing was a high point.”


Mark Knopfler gathered together some of the world’s greatest guitarists
© Provided by The Independent


Some of the musicians recorded in person at British Grove Studios in west London, while others sent in their contributions from around the world.


Net proceeds from the record will go to the two charities, while guitar makers have also donated eight guitars to be signed by the contributing artists to add to the fundraising. One will be auctioned off by Knopfler at a private donor event in Newcastle on the evening of 1 March , ahead of Newcastle’s clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on 2 March.


A number of artists who performed on the song will attend the match, where a sneak peak of a portion of the song will be played for Newcastle fans as the players enter the stadium.


Who plays on the track?

The full list of contributors is as follows: Joan Armatrading, Jeff Beck, Richard Bennett, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Brown, JamesBurton, Jonathan Cain, Paul Carrack, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Jim Cox, SteveCropper, Sheryl Crow, Danny Cummings, Roger Daltrey, Duane Eddy, Sam Fender,Guy Fletcher, Peter Frampton, Audley Freed, Vince Gill, David Gilmour, BuddyGuy, Keiji Haino, Tony Iommi, Joan Jett, John Jorgenson, Mark Knopfler, Sonny Landreth, Albert Lee, Greg Leisz, Alex Lifeson, Steve Lukather, Phil Manzanera, Dave Mason, Hank Marvin, Brian May, Robbie McIntosh, John McLaughlin, TomMorello, Rick Nielsen, Orianthi, Brad Paisley, Nile Rodgers, Mike Rutherford, Joe Satriani, John Sebastian, Connor Selby, Slash, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr and Zak Starkey, Sting, Andy Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, Ian Thomas, Pete Townshend, Keith Urban, Steve Vai, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Louis Walker, Joe Walsh, Ronnie Wood, Glenn Worf, Zucchero.


  A Christie's art handler holds up Mark Knopfler's Red Schecter Telecaster guitar, among more than 120 guitars to be sold at auction last month
© Provided by The Independent


The track comes shortly after Knopfler auctioned over a hundred of his personal guitars, which sold for a total of more than £8m.


Twenty-five per cent of the total earnings will be divided equally between charities The British Red Cross, Tusk, and Brave Hearts of the North East.


Auction house Christie’s said it would also donate £50,000 to each of the charities.


“Going Home (Theme From Local Hero)” will be released on 15 March on BMG and is available to pre-order now.

February 8, 2024
Painting made by The Beatles in a Tokyo hotel sells for $1.7m at auction
The Fab Four all painted a corner each of the psychedelic composition
By The Art Newspaper

Images of a Woman (1966) was consigned to Christie’s annual Exceptional Sale which highlights “rare masterpieces with important provenances”

Courtesy Christie's


A painting by the Beatles sold for $1.7m at Christie’s in New York on 1 February (with fees), easily beating its estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. The work, Images of a Woman (1966), was consigned to Christie’s annual Exceptional Sale, an event held in New York, London and Paris that includes “rare masterpieces with important provenances”, the auction house says. The identity of the buyer is undisclosed.


The work was painted in July 1966, when the Fab Four were on tour in Japan. They ended up locked down in the presidential suite of the Tokyo Hilton at the request of local authorities who were concerned about their safety. According to a lot essay published by Christie’s, The Beatles received visitors, many of whom came bearing gifts including a top-quality set of art materials.

The stars worked under an illuminated bulb in their hotel room

Courtesy Christie's; © Robert Whitaker


Robert Whitaker, the tour photographer, captured the action. His photos show how the painting came together: how the Beatles arranged four chairs around a table, on which they laid out a rectangular sheet of fine Japanese art paper. “The chairs corresponded more or less with the four corners, and they placed a table lamp roughly in the centre, both to weigh down the paper and light it. Working under the illuminated bulb, each man began to create from his corner and slowly work up towards the middle,” the Christie’s essay says. The signatures of the four Beatles are scribbled on the patch of paper where the lamp stood.



According to Christie’s: “Whitaker’s photo shows a paint palette of 21 compartments, a tube of vermilion squished to spout its vivid redness. The bristles of a handsome new wooden-handled brush have been dipped in the pigment... giving the entire thing a red background wash. After that they worked in oils and watercolours, and Whitaker recalled that the finished work was completed over two nights.”

Tour photographer Robert Whitaker captures the behind-the-scenes of the painting

Courtesy Christie's; © Robert Whitaker


The painting was first acquired by Tetsusaburo Shimoyama, an entertainment industry executive who was then the chairman of Tokyo’s Beatles fan club. In 1989, it was purchased by record store owner Takao Nishino who put the work up for auction in New York in 2012 when it was acquired by Tracks Ltd UK, a Beatles memorabilia dealer. The present owner subsequently bought the piece from Tracks Ltd UK.


The Beatles all dabbled in art and photography; John Lennon attended Liverpool College of Art, now part of Liverpool John Moores University (Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, is also the subject of a major show opening at Tate Modern later this month). An exhibition of photographs by Paul McCartney opened last year meanwhile at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

A report from Buskin with The Beatles on George Harrison
Published on Facebook, February 8, 2024

February 7, 2024
Really cool artwork from The Beatles Kingdom Facebook pages...

A Flashback to Hit Parader 1967 Collector's Edtion Best of the Music Scene In Review

A Conversation with Denny Seiwell (Paul McCartney & Wings)
By Alex Musat

Denny Seiwell played drums on Paul and Linda McCartney's 1971 album RAM, then joined Wings and played on Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway. He also played drums on
the 1973 Wings single "Live and Let Die", and also collaborated with Billy Joel for his debut LP, Cold Spring Harbour, John Denver, Liza Minelli and many, many others. Enjoy
the chat I had with Denny yesterday.

February 6, 2024
Ringo Starr − Clip Reel from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In from Season 3

This Beatles Collector’s Set Re-Creates the Band’s ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ Debut: Here’s Where to Buy It Online
Mattel is celebrating The Beatles with a collectable MEGA set marking 60 years since the British band made its U.S. debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.
By Latifah Muhammad for Billboard 


Mattel is honoring The Beatles with a one-of-a-kind, construction set celebrating the 60th anniversary of the band’s first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.


Feb. 9 marks six decades since the legendary band played The Ed Sullivan Show for the very first time. The performance, which aired Feb. 9, 1964, became one of the most-watched moments in television history, garnering a record-breaking 73 million viewers.

Now, Beatles fans can build their own piece of “rock ‘n’ roll history” with this collectable building set celebrating the 60th anniversary of The Beatles’ first U.S. performance on the variety show.


MEGA’s “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles!” set ($79.99) is available in select Walmart stores, online at and on The Beatles’ official website.


The 681-piece set from MEGA, a Canadian toy company owned by Mattel, replicates the “arrows” stage that was specially made for the broadcast and includes four 2-inch posable micro-figures of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, complete with swappable instruments.


The Beatles’ performance on The Ed Sullivan Show launched the “British invasion” and birthed Beatlemania Stateside as the show received more than 50,000 ticket requests for the 728-seat studio. By comparison, Elvis Presley drove more than 7,000 ticket requests for his Ed Sullivan Show debut in 1957.


The Beatles appeared on the show three times in 1964 and several other times over the next four years but stopped performing live on the show in 1966, opting instead for pre-taped performances. The band’s final performance on The Ed Sullivan Show was on March 1, 1970.


For more collectibles, check out the best gifts for Beatles fans.

February 5, 2024
Grammys 2024: The Beatles claim ‘Best Music Video’ win
By Tom Taylor for Far Out

At the Grammys 2024 in Los Angeles, The Beatles claimed yet another prize. This time, the band won the gong for ‘Best Music Video’.


They received the award for the Em Cooper-directed new video for ‘I’m Only Sleeping’. In doing so, they beat fellow nominees Tyler Childers for ‘In Your Love’, ‘What Was I Made For’ by Billie Eilish for the Barbie soundtrack, ‘Count Me Out’ by Kendrick Lamar, and Troye Sivan’s ‘Rush’.


“I can’t believe it,” Cooper said when collecting the award. “And I can’t believe I get to say this, but I’d like to thank John, Paul, George and Ringo.” Later, adding, “It was a labour of love.”


The animated video was, indeed, a labour of love with Cooper constructed over 1300 oil paintings for the short feature. That’s something that you might be tempted to call painstaking if Cooper didn’t make it clear that it was such a joy.


Exploring the half-light world between dreaming and wakefulness, the effect was achieved by working on an animation rostrum on sheets of celluloid. Every single frame was then painted individually over the course of months.


The result is a stunning music video that proves how transcendent The Beatles remain in the modern age. The art of the ‘Fab Four’ lives on, and even if questions about whether we really need another expensive reissue remain, they are somewhat silenced by the beauty of this project.


Now, it has claimed them another Grammy, on top of the seven that they won for their music. You can check out the video below.

Click here to watch Em Cooper accept the GRAMMY for Best Music Video for “I’m Only Sleeping” by the Beatles at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

February 4, 2024
Paul McCartney and Wings' "Band on the Run" underdubbed mix is stupendous in its unvarnished power
For the album's 50th anniversary, the overdubs have been stripped out, rendering music with new shades of meaning

By Kenneth Womack, contributing writer for Salon

The “underdubbed” mixes for Paul McCartney and Wings’ landmark "Band on the Run" album are, in a word, stupendous. Released to mark the LP’s 50th anniversary, the mixes make for some of the more intriguing, even revelatory commemorative recordings across McCartney’s legendary career.


The story of "Band on the Run" is interesting in and of itself. With Wings’ drummer and lead guitarist quitting the band on the eve of their trip to Nigeria to record the LP, McCartney, wife Linda, and Denny Laine forged ahead, producing arguably the finest of the former Beatles’ solo albums in the process. And there would be harrowing moments along the way as the bandmates battled the elements, while also triumphing over a knife-wielding robber and, at one point, the ire of local Nigerian musicians, who feared that McCartney and company were out to steal their indigenous sounds.


When it was originally released in December 1973, "Band on the Run" emerged as one of the 1970s’ genuine blockbusters. With our unquenchable fascination for experiencing demos and outtakes associated with classic albums, the "Band on the Run" underdubbed mixes offer a welcome variation for music aficionados. As McCartney explains, “This is 'Band on the Run' in a way you’ve never heard before. When you are making a song and putting on additional parts, like an extra guitar, that’s an overdub. Well, this version of the album is the opposite, underdubbed.”


True to its creator’s words, the "Band on the Run" underdubbed mixes capture the tracks as they were originally created by engineer Geoff Emerick in October 1973. Without benefit of additional vocal and instrumental overdubs — including Tony Visconti’s orchestration — the tracks take on the live feel of the recording studio. Quite suddenly, the vocals and the basic instrumentation seem more up front, more pronounced in their underdubbed manifestations.


Take the hit single “Jet,” for example. With nary an overdub in earshot, the song takes on the raw sheen of its rock ‘n’ roll origins. Reduced to the sound of a trio — with McCartney on lead vocals and bass, Laine on guitar and Linda on keyboards — the new "Band on the Run" mixes seem simultaneously more alive and less polished, teetering in their various states of unfinishedness.


With “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five,” the album’s thrilling closer, the track is reduced to an infectious rock ‘n’ roll jam. Given that McCartney added his lead vocals at a later date, the underdubbed mix is rendered here as a searing instrumental. Meanwhile, songs like “Mamunia” and “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink to Me)” benefit from their pared-down arrangements, which afford each track with a much welcome simplicity. This is especially true of “Picasso’s Last Words,” which, to my ears, has never sounded better. Stripped of its overdubs, the song revels in its inherent humor, showcasing McCartney and Laine’s splendid vocals and acoustic guitars.


But the real gem among the mixes may be “Let Me Roll It,” the album’s original bone-crunching, hard-rocking centerpiece. In its underdubbed state, the song feels even more lacerating, even more desperate and unflinching than the original. As with the other tracks on this new edition of "Band on the Run," “Let Me Roll It” proves that even in their unvarnished states, McCartney’s timeless tunes can still take on new shades of meaning. Indeed, lo these many years later, there is always something new to discover among McCartney’s unparalleled musical legacy.


The "Band on the Run" 50th anniversary underdubbed mix is now on sale.


− End of article.


Paul McCartney & Wings – Band On The Run “Underdubbed” Mixes Edition
Fifty years on, Macca’s miracle continues to define his essence
By Pete Paphides for Uncut

Context always matters, but in the case of Band On The Run – celebrating its 50th birthday with this expanded half-speed remaster and a stripped-back companion version – it’s the difference between a great album and a mythical one. Context matters because Band On The Run is an album whose essence is inseparable from the superhuman act of determination to which it owes its existence. The origin story has long passed into rock lore: Paul and Linda McCartney’s decision to utilise an EMI-owned studio in Nigeria that turned out to be only half-built when they arrived; an ominous visit from Fela Kuti who was convinced that Paul and Linda were here to “steal” African music; the knifepoint theft of personal belongings, among them demos and lyrics that forced McCartney to re-create them from memory; and a fainting episode (initially thought to be a heart attack). Indeed, it started before they even boarded the plane – the eleventh-hour withdrawal of drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist Henry McCullough meant the version of Wings which made it to Lagos was barely a group, with Denny Laine the only remaining member outside of Paul and Linda. 


McCartney, of course, responded as only McCartney can, his militant optimism abundant in a title track which exhorts its participants to do little short of shrug off their predicament and revel in the legend being created by their leader in real time: “In the town they’re searching for us everywhere/But we never will be found.” In this moment alone, you can apprehend the measure of McCartney’s determination to show his ex-bandmates just what they were missing, even electing to play the drum parts himself. In a 2009 interview with Dermot O’Leary, McCartney admitted, “I was like, ‘Screw you – I’m gonna make an album you were gonna wish you were on.’”


If this was indeed the mission statement established at the outset of the sessions, no song on Band On The Run authenticates that manifesto quite as exquisitely as “Mamunia”. Ostensibly about the rain in Los Angeles, here’s McCartney leading by example, exhorting us to take succour from the bigger picture: “The rain comes falling from the sky/To fill the stream that fills the sea/And that’s where life began for you and me.”


In 1973, this bloodymindedness was something he could access at will, almost as a party trick. “Picasso’s Last Words” is what happened when a starstruck Dustin Hoffman challenged McCartney to write a song in front of him – and its air of sweet, stoned equanimity extends to two other key songs. The first, “Mrs Vandebilt”, is a zen repudiation of a protagonist who, in his 2021 book The Lyrics, McCartney said personified “the bothersome aspects of being rich”. And while cynics may contend that’s easy for him to say, it’s worth remembering that just three years previously, he’d been a Beatle in exile, assets frozen, living a frugal existence with Linda and their kids in a dilapidated Scottish farmhouse. Every word has been earned.


Then there’s “Bluebird”, on which he exhorts his subject, “Touch your lips with a magic kiss/And you’ll be a bluebird too/And you’ll know what love can do” – and because it’s impossible not to make these comparisons, you can’t help but feel for John Lennon, who not so long ago had been straining every sinew to project the conjugal idyll that Paul achieves here so effortlessly. It’s also Lennon to whom your thoughts turn on “Let Me Roll It”, thanks to that exquisitely crunchy riff and the echo on McCartney’s voice. But here it’s the thermal upswell of Linda’s keyboard that raises the temperature and releases endorphins that make you feel this surely deserved to be more than just a B-side. No disputing the song which was chosen on its A-side, of course: “Jet” is the reason why McCartney is the deity to whom every power pop practitioner in his wake prays. If you’re not already playing American football stadiums when you write a song like that, then it’ll certainly fast-track you to that point.


Which, of course, is exactly the trajectory that opened up for Wings in the years after Band On The Run. It’s a paradoxical record: one where the loss of two members magnifies both their sound and their place in the pop firmament. What this latest iteration of the album drives home is that this was no mere accident. The “underdubbed” versions accompanying this reissue reveal that, before arriving at George Martin’s AIR studios to finish the job, the Lagos sessions weren’t so different to the homespun intimacy of the Wings albums that preceded them. In this sparer setting, the extra space plays to the benefit of McCartney’s loyal co-travellers: “No Words”, which serves reminder just how vital the harmonies of Linda and the song’s co-writer Denny Laine were when it came to defining the Wings sound; Linda’s purring ARP Odyssey and MiniMoog contributions are what suddenly take centrestage on “Jet” and a rollicking vocal-free canter through “Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five”.


Yet, none of that detracts from the primary energy source of Band On The Run. To listen to the album in the wake of Peter Jackson’s Get Back is to be reminded that this is the same man who, when faced with a group floundering despondently in an alien environment, strapped on his guitar and throttled “Get Back” out of it before our disbelieving eyes. In the wake of Denny Laine’s recent passing, one can only imagine what a bittersweet sensation it must be for McCartney to look at the album’s multi-celebrity jailbreak cover and ponder that he and (then British light-heavyweight UK boxing champion) John Conteh are now the sole survivors. And over time, these songs – the bullet points of an entire worldview, no less – will outlive us all. In decades to come, when people wonder what Paul McCartney was actually like, all of the answers can be found on this unassumingly miraculous record.

− End of article.

60 years ago this week, The Beatles travelled to America for the first time and performed in front of the biggest TV audience in American history. Not only, that,
they performed two sell out gigs as well as a number of personal appearances - one of which nearly caused a diplomatic incident. In this video, we look at in detail
at their entire debut U.S. visit and using contemporary newspaper reports, tell you exactly what happened and exactly what The Beatles thought about all the

February 3, 2024
FLYING HIGH ‘I thought, ‘I’ll make this best record since leaving The Beatles’, Paul McCartney on Band On The Run’s 50th anniversary

It comes as album Band On The Run — recorded with post-Beatles band Wings — has been re-released

By Simon Cosyns for the The Sun UK Edition

EVEN before he turned up in Africa and was robbed at knifepoint of his precious demo cassettes, Paul McCartney was up against it.


Rarely during his storied career were the odds stacked against him as much as they were on August 29, 1973.


The next day, he was due in Nigerian capital Lagos to begin recording an album with his post-Beatles band Wings.


“A couple of the guys rang me,” recalls Sir Paul today, a little over 50 years on.


“Our drummer, Denny (Seiwell), and Henry (McCullough), the guitar player, just said, ‘We’re not coming’.


“I never quite worked out why. Perhaps they thought Africa was a long way to go!”


Suddenly, Wings had been clipped to a trio — Macca, his inexperienced but endlessly supportive wife Linda and Denny Laine, a multi-instrumentalist who used to be in The Moody Blues.


But, by summoning the indomitable spirit which helped carry The Beatles through the Sixties, he decided to board the flight.


This was the era of sonic explorers. The Rolling Stones had, as McCartney puts it, “wandered off” to the South of France to record Exile On Main St and he had the travel bug . . .  “Wow! Africa! Lagos! Adventure! Let’s do it!”.


‘Prison escape’ concept

“I’m the kind of person who won’t go, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to rethink this.’ If I’m going somewhere, I like to stick to the plan,” he continues in a candid interview for his label, seen first by SFTW.


“I thought, ‘Well, we’ve got Denny’s guitar, Linda’s vocals, Denny’s vocals, my vocals and I’ll drum because I drum a lot anyway.


“Then I thought, ‘I’ll make this the best record I’ve made to date since leaving The Beatles.’”


True to his word, Macca returned to the UK on September 23 with the bulk of one of his defining albums, Band On The Run.


The timeless songs laid down in Lagos included the shape-shifting title track, Let Me Roll It “with vocals that sound a bit like John (Lennon)”, and a grand finale, Nineteen Hundred And Eighty-Five — all live staples to this day.


The album’s other big song Jet, named after the McCartneys’ black Labrador puppy, was recorded back in Abbey Road, where else?


The Band On The Run LP was housed in a memorable sleeve, inspired by Macca’s “prison escape” concept and realised by the creatives at Hipgnosis who were behind Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon iconic prism.


Caught in a spotlight against a brick wall was an unlikely assortment of renegades all dressed in black . . . Paul, Linda, Denny, Michael Parkinson, Kenny Lynch, James Coburn, Clement Freud, Christopher Lee and John Conteh.


To mark Band On The Run’s 50th anniversary, new vinyl and CD sets match the original LP with a raw “underdubbed” mix which comes minus orchestrations and various other embellishments (in vein of stripped back Let It Be . . . Naked).


The releases are tinged with sadness because soon after they were announced, Laine died aged 79 in his adopted hometown of Naples, Florida.


The passing of the Wings founder member, a pivotal contributor to the band’s phenomenal Seventies success, brought an emotional response from McCartney.


“I have many fond memories of my time with Denny, from the early days when The Beatles toured with the Moody Blues,” he wrote on his website.


“Denny joined Wings at the outset. He was an outstanding vocalist and guitar player.


“He and I wrote some songs together, the most successful being Mull Of Kintyre, which was a big hit.


‘Peace and love Denny’


“We had drifted apart but in recent years managed to re-establish our friendship and share memories of our times together.


“Peace and love Denny. It was a pleasure to know you. We are all going to miss you.”


Now let’s get back to late August, 1973, and the arrival of Paul, Linda and Denny in Lagos to more adversity.



The depleted band, accompanied by former Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick, pitched up at the ramshackle EMI studio on Wharf Road in the city’s Apapa district.


“It was crazy. The circumstances were just wild,” says McCartney.


“Anybody else might have given up because, when we got there, the studio was only half built. We had to figure it all out.”


He adds: “They make great music in Africa but, back then, they were not as technologically savvy as we were used to.


“We expected it to be a proper EMI studio but they didn’t have vocal booths.”


That said, he soon realised there was an upside to their unlikely surroundings.


“The homemade vibe of the studio found its way into our attitude,” he affirms.


“We adjusted our recording techniques and got it done.”


Wings were fortunate not to face another major problem which could have scuppered their trip and endangered their health.


Macca says: “When we got back home, there was a letter from EMI which said, ‘Dear Paul, under no circumstances go to Lagos. There’s been an outbreak of cholera in Nigeria.’”


Had he seen the letter before their departure, he doubts they would have made the trip at all.


As if that wasn’t enough, Paul and Linda endured a terrifying, life-threatening encounter in the early days of their time in Africa.


“We’d been visiting some of our crew at their house and someone said, ‘Do you want a lift home?’ We said, ‘It’s such a beautiful night, we’ll walk.’”


Adopting the reckless spirit of “desperados” in a foreign land, they ventured into a no-go area with “cameras, tape recorders, all my cassettes in a bag, and Linda’s photographic equipment”.


A car approaches, “a guy winds down the window” and the McCartneys think they’re being offered a lift.


Macca vividly recollects the moment: “I just say, ‘No, listen man, very nice of you but we don’t need a lift.’”


The car containing “five or six local guys” drives off but suddenly stops again.


“All of them get out. I said, ‘Holy cow. Wait a minute, they’re not offering us a lift.’ The penny drops. One of the guys is holding a knife at me.


“We give them all our stuff and they get back in the car. Screech off. They go the wrong way. They come back and we’re going, ‘Oh no, they’re going to finish us off!’


“Anyway, they zoomed off. Eventually Linda and I walked home. We just got into bed and said, ‘Forget it.’


“The next day, we went to the studio and the manager said, ‘Man, you’re lucky you’re white. If you were black, they could have killed you because you might have recognised them.”


As it turned out, McCartney didn’t need to be too bothered to lose his Band On The Run demos.


“It meant I had to remember the album,” he says, a task in keeping with “a rule John (Lennon) and I had always had”.


‘Anything for easy life’


“We didn’t have cassettes or recording devices back then (in The Beatles).


“We used to say, ‘If you can’t remember it, how will the people remember it?’”


If the circumstances around Band On The Run were fraught, it’s hard to tell from the sublime, playful, laidback music.


Aside from the songs already mentioned, we have the rich harmonies of Bluebird, Mrs Vandebilt with its “ho hey ho” chorus, the rhythmic pleasures of Mamunia and the most Beatles-sounding number, No Words.


McCartney is asked whether the setbacks he relates actually pushed him to greater heights of artistic achievement.


“I’ve never liked that thought,” he answers. “Anything for an easy life with me.”


While accepting that Band On The Run turned out rather well despite whatever conspired against it, he draws attention to stress-free successes such as his monster-hit Bond theme, released a couple of months before the Lagos odyssey.


“Live And Let Die was made with no struggle. That came easily and was a big success,” he says.


“With a lot of The Beatles’ stuff, there wasn’t an awful lot of tension. When there was, I’m not sure better tracks came out of it.”


Crucial to Band On The Run’s creation was budding musician Linda.


By the end of the Sixties, she had become a renowned portrait photographer, having trained her expert eye on the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger and Aretha Franklin.


After The Beatles split in 1970, Macca taught his partner to play keyboards and she threw herself into a second career alongside her superstar husband.


She is co-credited with 1971 album Ram and became a fully-fledged founder member of Wings, contributing vocals and keys to their debut Wild Life (1971) and Red Rose Speedway (1973).


When it comes to Linda’s part in Band On The Run, McCartney provides telling insights.


“If I got stuck, I’d ask her for a suggestion so we ended up co-writing the songs,” he says.


“We didn’t actually sit down with pencil and paper and write them bit by bit.


“The lion’s share of the composing was probably mine but, if I needed a collaborator, Linda would be there. I could say, ‘What do you think of this? What’s another word for that?’


“It was good fun to have someone to bounce off. But she wasn’t a writer like John — it wasn’t that kind of collaboration, obviously.”


McCartney also acknowledges Linda’s growing stature and confidence as a member of Wings.


“Her synthesiser part on Band On The Run, her vocals on Jet — they’re such integral parts of the songs,” he says.


“She’d really grown as a musician at this point, but she really played instinctually.”


He adds: “The thing about Linda is she really knew virtually nothing when we started.”


He likens the early days of Wings as “almost like a college band. We just said, ‘Do you want to go on the road? Yeah, sure.’


“When we started The Beatles, that’s kind of all it was, too. We made it up as we went along and we got better together.


“Linda was a quick learner. I’d give her a vocal part and she’d take it, maybe massage it a bit.


“She was particularly fond of the Moog (synthesizer). It’s right back in vogue now. She loved all that funky stuff.”


McCartney is also full of praise for Linda’s vocals: “By Band On The Run, she was singing great and very distinctively too.


“I remember years later when I worked with Michael Jackson, he said, ‘Who sang those harmonies?’


“I said, ‘Well it’s me and Linda basically. And Denny some of them.’ He said, ‘Oh they’re great.’ She gained more confidence as she went on.”


In summing up feelings about his first wife, who died tragically young from cancer at 56 in 1998, McCartney says: “We always said she would have been a good punk rocker: she had the edge.


“In fact, we ended up giving ourselves punk rock names. She was Vile Lin, violin, and I was Noxious Fumes — but it never came to anything.


“As we went on, she learned a lot and became a good player and an integral part of the band.”


Today, as he looks back across 50 years, McCartney assesses Band On The Run’s place as a key milestone in his long and winding road after The Fab Four went their separate ways.


He says: “My big aim after The Beatles, once we decided to put a band together, was to do something different.


“That was difficult because, for all those years, I’d been training Beatle-style.


“So I had to avoid anything that sounded too Beatle-y and make a new style, which was to become the Wings style.


“By the time we did Band On The Run, I felt we’d got it. It had echoes (of The Beatles), maybe inevitably because it was me, but we had established our own style.


“Years later, I was doing an interview. We were talking about Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and they said, ‘My Sgt. Pepper’s was Band On The Run.’”


When McCartney performed at Glastonbury in June, 2022, days after his 80th birthday, he turned to Band On The Run for four of the 38 songs.


Foo Fighter-in-chief Dave Grohl joined him for a rousing rendition of the title track. “He sings it great,” says Macca.


“And it’s great for me to see that song thrive — the final validation of what we were trying to do back then.”



− End of article.

Andrew Dixon reviews the new releases of Band On The Run


What is "Half-speed vinyl re-mastering"? Andrew Dixon explains...

Ringo Starr's February 2024 Update!

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