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16 Strange And Surreal Myths About The Beatles Investigated - Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Photo: Getty

Last week marked 36 years since the release of the Beatles' 'White Album', a record dogged by rumours of containing subliminal messages that, when played backwards, seemed to suggest Paul McCartney was dead. The cult of myths surrounding the Fab Four goes far beyond 'Paul Is Dead' conspiracy theories, however. Here's that and 14 other strange, suspicious tales about the Beatles blown op

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The Beatles' unused 'Abbey Road' photos sell for £180,000 - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Unused photos from The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' photoshoot have sold at auction for £180,000 at Bloomsbury Auctions in London.

The shots were taken on August 8, 1969 by photographer Iain Macmillan, who had only 10 minutes to complete the entire shoot. Six photos were taken in all, including the photo that eventually made the final cut, as well as a scenery shot of the Abbey Road sign.

"This set of photographs has triggered a brilliant reaction from the market," said Sarah Wheeler of Bloomsbury Auctions. "It has been a pleasure to share them with the public at our sale rooms, even for a short time, and a delight to see them attain such a worthy price today."

Edward Dimsdale, Senior Lecturer of Photographic Theory at London College of Communcation, UAL, added: "Encapsulating a significant cultural moment, it is an image that launched a notorious conspiracy theory, and that clearly still provides a touchstone for fans. The opportunity to see the image in close relation to the only other frames originally shot by the photographer is undoubtedly instructive. By judgment or serendipity (or more likely a bit of both), Macmillan was able to seize upon an instant that continues to have the power to resonate, 45 years on."

The sale was made over the phone to an overseas buyer. The collection was originally given a sales estimate of between £50,000–£70,000.

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Plan to turn historic Newcastle building into student flats - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Music-loving students coming to Newcastle could soon get a chance to live in accommodation with a notable pop history.

Plans have been submitted to convert Grade II listed Barclays House on Grey Street into a hall of residence.

The building was formerly the Royal Turks Head Hotel where, it is claimed, Paul McCartney and John Lennon were inspired to write She Loves You after a Beatles concert at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastle as part of their tour with Roy Orbison and Gerry & The Pacemakers.

So it is possible that students could sleep in the very same room where the hit was penned.

The Beatles 
In an interview McCartney said: “There was a Bobby Rydell song out at the time, Forget Him, and, as often happens, you think of one song when you write another,” said Paul. “We were in a van up in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

“I’d planned an ‘answering song’ where a couple of us would sing ‘she loves you’ and the other ones would answer ‘yeah yeah’.

“We decided that was a crummy idea but at least we then had the idea of a song called ‘She Loves You’.

“So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it — John and I, sitting on twin beds with guitars.”

However in 2003, plans to install a plaque at the hotel were stalled after it turned out neither Paul McCartney nor Ringo Starr, the surviving Beatles, could recall whether it was the Imperial Hotel in Jesmond or the Royal Turk’s Head where the group had stayed.

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Paul McCartney performs to smallest audience in years in the back of a shop - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

BBC handout photo of Sir Paul McCartney performing live at Maida Vale for BBC Radio 6

Sir Paul McCartney swapped stadiums for the back of a London shop as he entertained one of his smallest audiences for years - a crowd of little more than 30 people.

The star was aiming to give inspiration to musicians and aspiring songwriters after they assembled to hear him give a 42-minute talk about composing, as well as take taking questions about his experiences.

The superstar was appearing at the invitation of model Lily Cole, and decided to return a favour after she appeared in the video for his single Queenie Eye.

He agreed to speak at the small gathering run by Cole’s community website Impossible which encourages people to share their time and skills with others.

Guests gathered at an anonymous shopfront in Berwick Street, Soho, before taking their places inside to hear the former Beatles star discuss his art - just a stone’s throw from where he had performed an intimate show at the 100 Club, a little under four years earlier.

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How John Lennon changed immigration policy - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nixon tried to deport John Lennon for his political views, but Lennon's case is tied to today's immigration debate. John Lennon's legendary attorney joins Lawrence. watch

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John Lennon's Beatles guitar expected to fetch $1m at action - Monday, November 17, 2014

A guitar owned by Beatles legend John Lennon is expected to raise more than £400,000 at auction.John Lennon's guitar

The Gretsch 6120 model was played by Lennon when the band recorded Paperback Writer at London's famous Abbey Road studios in 1966.

 The Gretsch 6120 model was developed in the 1950s in the United States

It is described on auction website tracksauction.com as "one of the most significant of John's guitars to come on to the market in the last 30 years".

The website says it was played "whilst the group were approaching the peak of their recording powers".

The guitar comes with photographs of Lennon playing it with the rest of the band.

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Beatles project latest musical chapter for Memphis guitarist Robert Johnson - Monday, November 17, 2014

When he was 15, wearing Beatle boots from Hardy’s Shoes in Downtown Memphis and playing Fab Four covers on his 1961 Cherry Red Gibson SG Special, Robert Johnson didn’t dream he’d one day produce an album of songs by Paul McCartney. Or partner with a noted Beatles illustrator on the project.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles, Johnson, 62, produced "Music for Linda," a limited edition CD featuring McCartney classics performed by other artists for the “Alan Aldridge Beatles Illustrated Collective Set,” an 18-month calendar with illustrations Aldridge painted for “The Beatles Illustrated” songbook in the 1960s.

The CD and calendar benefit The Women and Cancer Fund in memory of McCartney’s wife, Linda McCartney, who died from breast cancer.

Johnson, whose numerous credits include playing guitar with Isaac Hayes, was honored, along with Aldridge, at The Blues Ball this fall, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Beatles.

Johnson is a longtime friend, said Pat Kerr Tigrett, Blues Ball founder and executive producer. “He’s incredibly talented,” she said. “And he’s remarkably knowledgeable about the music industry and musicians all over, and forms close friendships with some of our greatest musicians and artists, one of which is Alan Aldridge. I have known Alan since the mid ’70s when I was living in London. He actua

lly did the Hard Rock (Cafe) logo that still is being used.”

Asked why he wanted to do "Music for Linda," Johnson said, “I wanted to get Alan’s name back in the public eye. The British know who he is, but Americans have sort of lost track of Alan or forgotten.”

McCartney, he said, “is the best pop songwriter in the world. Just to tackle songwriting of that quality was very appealing to me. To tackle producing that. And putting a different spin on that.”

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Go Inside Jimmy Page's Rock All-Star Dinner With Ringo Starr, Kirk Hammett, Joe Walsh & More - Monday, November 17, 2014

Never one for a big media blitz, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has probably done more interviews in the last six weeks promoting the Zeppelin remasters and his new book, Jimmy Page On Jimmy Page, than he did throughout the entirety of the '70s.

Last night, Page put the finishing touches on the promotional campaign with a private dinner at the iconic Sunset Marquis hotel, a place that has seen more rock and roll gatherings than maybe any other hotel. The evening featured so much guitar power that before we all sat down for the four-course meal, Metallica's Kirk Hammett told Billboard, "I'm one of the luckiest motherf--kers in the guitar slinger's universe."

Jimmy Page Talks New Music, Led Zeppelin's Future & Why He Has No Interest Being in a 'Tribute Band'

If ever there was an event to just sit and be a fan, it was in this intimate setting for 45 or so friends and associates of Page and the hotel. Observing the conversations as Page, Joe Perry and Chris Cornell sat side-by-side during the dinner left any music lover awestruck.

At one point during a champagne reception prior to the sit-down meal Page, Hammett, Perry, Ringo Starr and Joe Walsh posed for photos together. That's like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame all-star class.

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Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr sign piano for Slidell veterans' project auction - Friday, November 14, 2014

Everybody loves the Beatles. That's the first thought that came to Slidell artist Lori Gomez's mind as she tried to come up with a theme to transform a century-old, donated piano into a work of art.

The piano would be auctioned to help raise money to build veterans' homes in east St Tammany Parish, and so Gomez set about refurbishing and then painting the  colorful Beatles artwork onto it.

 But two final touches have made the upright, antique piano more rare and valuable than anyone involved in the upcoming auction ever imagined: personal autographs by both Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney, the only two surviving members of The Beatles. 

"I had no idea it would turn into this," Gomez said.

In a tale of destiny, aided by a good deal of persistence, Kim Bergeron, an art auction committee member for the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity, sought to have the piano autographed in time for the organization's "Home is Where Art Is" gala on Nov. 21. Proceeds from the seventh annual event will go toward building homes for veterans, a key factor in helping Bergeron obtain the signatures.

She first reached out to McCartney, who performed in New Orleans Oct. 11. Then, after hearing from her friend Amy Kaussman that Starr had a tour stop at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Bergeron contacted his representatives on Oct. 17.

"Ours was the only autograph in Biloxi, and ours was the only autograph in Louisville. They do not sign autographs, so it's huge," Bergeron said. "This was persistence, and the story, the story behind the piano itself, the organization, the proceeds going to the veterans' build. It's the whole story. It really is a little fairy tale – a big fairy tale – with a happy ending."

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Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed inspired by Lennon - Friday, November 14, 2014

the Spanish movie selected for this year’s Oscars “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed”. The movie is based on the true story of the teacher Juan Carrion, who traveled to Almeria to meet John Lennon, where he was filming “How I Won the War”. The meeting with Carrion inspired Lennon to include the lyrics of the Beatles songs on all records.

As I’m sure you know, the movie title, “Living is Easy With Eyes Closed”, comes from the second line in Lennon's song “Strawberry Fields Forever” which he wrote in Almeria during the filming.




We would really appreciate your help in letting Beatles fans know that the film will be released in February in the US. We would also like to come back to you later on with a link to the Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden sound track to the film, which the fans may like.

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A supergroup for the ages: Dylan, the Beatles and the Stones? - Friday, November 14, 2014

(CNN) -- It would have been the ultimate supergroup: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.

And it was actually proposed, says engineer and producer Glyn Johns, according to a piece in Rolling Stone.

According to Johns' new memoir, "Sound Man," while traveling with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner he ran into Dylan in New York sometime in 1969. The singer had just done an interview with Wenner and started peppering Johns with questions about the two bands.

Johns had worked with the Beatles in early 1969 on the "Get Back" sessions -- later to become "Let It Be" -- and the Stones on 1968's "Beggars Banquet," so he had recent experience with both.

Beatles photographer shares

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Rock Soundman Glyn Johns Talks Beatles - Friday, November 14, 2014

Glyn Johns is a walking rebuttal to the maxim that if you remember the 1960s, you weren't there.

He was there — overseeing the Rolling Stones' first recording session, arranging the Beatles' rooftop concert, reeling from the first blast of Led Zeppelin — and he remembers everything.

Johns, a recording engineer and producer, began his career at the start of the 60s, when studio technicians still wore white lab coats. He went on to work with the Stones, the Small Faces, the Steve Miller Band, The Kinks, The Who, the Eagles and many more, helping to define a certain classic-rock sound.

"I'm a bit of a purist," said Johns, whose memoir, "Sound Man," is being published Thursday in the U.S. by Blue Rider Press. It's out in Britain next month.

Johns recalled how after the Beatles released the "Sgt. Pepper" album in 1967, Mick Jagger took him into a cafe near London's Olympic Studios.

"He said 'You've got to come up with some new sounds.' Because 'Sgt. Pepper' had reinvented the wheel," Johns explained. "And I said 'Oh really? Have I? I thought I was here to record you playing.' And that's really always been my attitude.""

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Father sings 'Blackbird' to dying newborn son just days after wife passes away - Friday, November 14, 2014

He says over the course of two days, he sat and played and cried and sang at Lennon's side. It was a friend to took the video of Picco gently playing "Blackbird."

"It's a song I really love and I was looking to play songs that had kind of that melodic movement that might trigger something in him," Picco said.

It was also a song that as a Beatles fan, Picco hoped he would be able to play for Lennon as he grew up.

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Sir Paul McCartney paid over $1 million to perform at rich dudes conference - Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Sir Paul McCartney was paid more than $1 million to perform at billionaire Ron Baron’s New York investment conference.

McCartney and Carrie Underwood, who also collected a large fee, headlined Baron Capital’s investors meeting at the Metropolitan Opera House Friday.

The stars played to 4,000 investors after a performance from the cast of “Show Boat,” including Vanessa Williams.

A source said, “It would have cost $2 million to get both McCartney and Underwood, and that’s before you’ve paid for their bands.”

While the artists’ reps declined to comment, a spokesman for Baron Capital said, “The entire event was paid for by Baron Capital. It was fabulous. Paul McCartney put on a great show. There was not one person sitting down in the whole place.” He declined to say how much the performers were paid.

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Ringo Sets ‘All Starr’ Dates - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band reveal a February-March run that includes shows in South America, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic as well as in the U.S. Destinations include Orlando, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

For this outing Ringo will be fielding the same All Starrs he’s been working with the last few years – Steve Lukather, Richard Page, Gregg Rolie, Todd Rundgren, Gregg Bissonette and Warren Ham. Although the former Beatles drummer used to take out a different musicians with each tour, he loves performing with the 2012 lineup.

“We have so much fun playing together,” Ringo said.  “We don’t want it to end!”

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How to Recover after Passing up the Beatles - Saturday, November 08, 2014

I invited Scott Freiman to dinner for a few reasons, but mostly because he gets paid to talk about rock ‘n’ roll. Scott, the CEO of a tech startup called Qwire(an intentional misspelling of choir), taught a class at Yale University on the music of the Beatles and lectures widelyon the topic. During a dinner with some 15 tech founders and investors, I asked Scott about the story behind Decca Records turning down the Beatles (an epic miss!) and subsequently overpaying to sign another young rock group.

Scott explained that an executive at Decca, who had stayed in touch with Beatles’ guitarist George Harrison, asked George what other hot young acts the label should be considering. George mentioned a young blues group, admonishing: “You blew it with the Beatles, don’t miss these guys.” That group was, of course, the Rolling Stones. The Stones went on to record more than a dozen records with Decca, including Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed, which are often classed among the 100 greatest rock albums of all time.

Why does this anecdote belong in a column about startups and venture capital? Because it’s all about deal flow. The beautiful universality of Decca transforming humiliating loss into lucrative victory is that sticking with the one that got away works.

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Bob Dylan Wanted to Make an Album With the Beatles and Rolling Stones - Saturday, November 08, 2014

Dylan then dropped a bomb. "He said he had this idea to make a record with the Beatles and the Stones," John writes. "And he asked me if I would find out whether the others would be interested. I was completely bowled over. Can you imagine the three greatest influences on popular music in the previous decade making an album together?"

Johns quickly began working the phones. "Keith and George thought it was fantastic," he writes. "But they would since they were both huge Dylan fans. Ringo, Charlie and Bill were amicable to the idea as long as everyone else was interested. John didn't say a flat no, but he wasn't that interested. Paul and Mick both said absolutely not."

Needless to say, the plan didn't go forward. "I had it all figured out," writes Johns. "We would pool the best material from Mick and Keith, Paul and John, Bob and George, and then select the best rhythm section from the two bands to suit whichever songs we were cutting. Paul and Mick were probably, right, however I would have given anything to have given it a go."

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City Lights: For the Beatles, all our loving in a tribute show - Thursday, November 06, 2014

I shared the same planet with the Beatles for one year, three months and two days. That was how old I was when John Lennon died, not that I learned that until nearly a decade later. By the time I first encountered the group, courtesy of the movie "Yellow Submarine," it had long since been reduced to a thriving industry and a beloved — but irrevocably gone — part of the past.

We still perform Sophocles' plays and trek to the Egyptian pyramids after thousands of years, so I have no reason to doubt that the Beatles' music will have similar staying power. Just this summer, my wife and I visited Liverpool and took the Magical Mystery Tour bus ride, which guides tourists by the childhood homes of all four Beatles and points out historic points of interest — this street where two of the band members walked to school, for example, or this trail where one of them rode his bike.

The Beatles were not infallible musically (even the most diehard fan can probably name a least favorite song or album) and were all too fallible as human beings. Biographers have prospered for decades with accounts of Lennon's temper, Paul McCartney's bossiness, George Harrison's moodiness and Ringo Starr's substance abuse. We have been told countless times — including by the Beatles themselves — that they were men and not gods.

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John Lewis Christmas advert 2014: The Beatles soundtrack Monty the Penguin in this year's ad - Thursday, November 06, 2014

His two predecessors in the role have both had number one singles on the back of their campaigns and the firm's commercials have spawned numerous hits.

Tom - who landed the Critics' Choice prize at the Brits last year - is performing a version of the song Real Love, which was a number four hit for The Beatles in March 1996.

The track began life as a solo demo by John Lennon, written in his New York home in the Dakota Building in 1977. When Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were looking for singles to include in their Anthology project, they provided new backing for Lennon's voice to overhaul the rough tape but it stalled in the charts after Radio 1 failed to add it to the station's playlist.

It has now been recorded by Tom to accompany the ad, which will be screened for the first time tomorrow, with high expectations that the John Lewis connection will propel it to the top of the charts.

The retail firm's ads for the past two years have both generated number one singles - Gabrielle Aplin with The Power Of Love in 2012 and Lily Allen with Somewhere Only We Know last year.

Until now, 23-year-old Tom has achieved just one top 40 single, making it to number 10 with his single Another Love last year although his debut album did go on to top the charts.

The director of the ad Dougal Wilson - who is now on his seventh John Lewis commercial - has always taken a keen interest in the music used in his work and has a side career creating quirky videos for acts such as Coldplay, Bat For Lashes, Will Young and Jarvis Cocker.

Other hits from his John Lewis ads have included Fyfe Dangerfield's version of Always A Woman.

watch the ad here

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Crissie-hyndes--cover-of-the-beatles-let-it-be - Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Chrissie Hynde's reverent, heartfelt cover of the Beatles' "Let It Be," which will appear on the upcoming, star-studded Paul McCartney tribute comp The Art of McCartney, is now streaming online. The recording finds the Pretenders frontwoman stretching her delicate voice across lush textures of piano, gospel backup vocals and, at its apex, a full rock band, complete with a bluesy guitar solo; at its most delicate, Hynde sings over a Beatlesesque acoustic guitar part. A behind-the-scenes video revealed that the singer specifically chose "Let It Be,"

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