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Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder covers John Lennon at tiny gig - Saturday, November 01, 2014
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder covered songs by John Lennon, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan at a tiny gig last night (October 30) at Microsoft Studios near Seattle.

The frontman played to just 90 people to raise awareness for the EB Research Partnership, reports Rolling Stone. The set ran to nearly two hours and saw him performing John Lennon's 'Imagine', Tom Waits' 'Take it with Me' and Bob Dylan's 'Girl From the North Country' as well as Neil Young's 'Needle and the Damage Done' and 'Rockin' in the Free World'.

"Whenever you get into high donor events you think it's going to be a shit crowd," he said during the set. "I'm glad you came, Seattle. For a 90-person crowd, you couldn't be better." His own versions of Amanda Palmer's 'Ukulele Anthem' and Cat Stevens' 'Trouble' also made their way into the setlist, alongside a host of Pearl Jam tracks and Vedder's own solo materia
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Strawberry Fields Forever: Beatles teen forced to shorten her name for first bank card - Friday, October 31, 2014

Summer Strawberry Fields Forever Cole was named by her dad Paul, a Fab Four fanatic

 

A teenager named Summer Strawberry Fields Forever by her Beatles-mad dad has been forced to cut it short by a bank for her first card.

The 16 year-old trainee hairdresser went into a local branch to open her first current account.

But staff said her name - the title of a 1967 Fab Four hit - was too long to fit on a debit card.

Summer, who says she likes her name, agreed to cut it short and has been left with her first name and surname Cole She said: "I'm proud of my names and I would never want to change them.

"I know the Beatles finished playing more than 40 years before I was born, but I ha

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The Top 20 Billboard Hot 100 Hits of the 1960s - Thursday, October 30, 2014

In honor of Billboard magazine's 120th anniversary on Nov. 1, we're revealing the top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits from each decade since the 1960s (for a total of 120 songs). 

The '60s was the first full decade of rock and roll, and the top twenty singles of the decade reflect a battle between old and new forms. Elvis Presley and Ray Charles, who helped lay the foundation for the explosion of rock and soul in the '50s, each appear on the list; so does the smooth doo-wop of the Four Seasons. Louis Armstrong, the famous jazz musician who had been recording since the 1920s, had one of the biggest hit singles of the '60s.

But the new era arrived quickly. The biggest hit from the decade? Chubby Checker's rock-indebted dance track "The Twist," the only song ever to hit No. 1 in two separate runs (in 1960 and again in 1962, due to its revival in its pop culture). Sounds were changing. The Beatles landed two entries on the top twenty -- an early number, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," and the expansive "Hey Jude," from later in their career. Soul came on strong at the end of the decade: Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay," from 1967, and Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," from 1968.

Check out the Spotify playlist of the top 20 below -- except for the Beatles, whose music isn't on Spotify -- and read on to see when each hit peaked.

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Beatles battle Stones in Lakeport - Thursday, October 30, 2014

LAKEPORT >> The British are coming, the British are coming!

Actually, they already came, sang and conquered.

The British music invasion of the United States that started in 1964 reached the shores of Clear Lake Sunday with a light-hearted yet powerful performance between what many consider the two greatest rock bands of all time.

A battle of the bands live concert between the Beatles and Rolling Stones never happened in real life, but Sunday night at the Soper Reese Theatre in Lakeport, life became surreal.

The theater stage transformed into a time machine as concert-goers were transported back to he psychedelic 1960s of Liverpool and London for an epic live concert battle between Beatles tribute band Abbey Road and Rolling Stones impersonators Jumping Jack Flash.

The concert featured Abbey Road and Jumping Jack Flash each performing three alternating sets. Abbey Road opened with eight Beatles songs from 1963 to 1966, starting with the rocking "She Loves You" and closing with the primal screaming of "Twist and Shout." Set two showcased Jumping Jack Flash doing six Rolling Stones classic hits from 1963 to 1968, including "Let's Spend the Night Together" and the flower-power generation anthem "Ruby Tuesday."

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New Royal Liverpool Hospital glass installation inspired by the Beatles - Thursday, October 30, 2014

Award-winning glass artist Alexander Beleschenko took inspiration from the years he spent

The New Royal Liverpool Hospital will be finished in 1000 days. To mark the occasion the artwork for the main entrances was revealed and a light show was projected onto part of the new building.

A life-long Beatles fan was chosen to design a unique installation for the new Royal Liverpool Hospital.

Award-winning glass artist Alexander Beleschenko took inspiration from the years he spent listening to his favourite Liverpool band to design the stunning artwork, saying the light reflections mimic the intonations of music.

The internationally acclaimed artist is gracing Liverpool for the first time with his stain glass window-style decorations, which will adorn the new hospital’s West Derby Street and Prescot Street entrances.

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Do Republicans really not like the Beatles? - Thursday, October 30, 2014

We’re told that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but what planets do Democratic and Republican supporters in the midterm elections come from?

Culturally speaking, they sometimes hail from completely different worlds, Facebook revealed in a set of charts on Tuesday. Democrats, for instance, groove to the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, and Alicia Keys. Republicans vastly prefer the country scene: Miranda Lambert and her husband, Blake Shelton, as well as the ever popular “king of country,” George Strait.

Recent Beatles Radio Poll

News reports say they can tell how you lean politically by what music you listen to. How Do You Lean Politically?

Left - 42.0%
Middle  - 31.9% 
Right  - 26.0%

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John Lennon Letter Praising Yoko Ono Fetches $28K - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A letter written by John Lennon to the radio and television host Joe Franklin to endorse Yoko Ono's music sold for $28,171, flying past its presale estimate of $15,000-20,000. It went under the hammer at the Marvels of Modern Music sale hosted last Thursday by RR Auction in Massachusetts, Art Daily reports. The two-page handwritten letter is dated December 13, 1971. In it, Lennon makes a passionate case for his wife's musical talents, writing: "I know you're a musician at heart! And especially I know you dig jazz. Well, Yoko's music ain't quite jazz but to help you get off on it, or understand it, please listen to a track on the Yoko/Ono/Plastic Ono Band, called 'AOS,' which was recorded in 1968 (pre Lennon/Beatles!) with Ornette Coleman at Albert Hall London, you could call it free form, anyway Yoko sits in the middle of avant-garde, classic, jazz—and now through me and my music—rock 'n' roll!" 

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John Lennon's iconic specs on sale for £25,000 - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A PAIR of John Lennon’s iconic glasses, which he lent to a flirty girl who had pinched his bottom during a conga, will go on sale for £25,000. Wendy Baker sat with the late Beatle in a Soho, London, club in 1966. He joked that the bottom pinch had been “lovely” and asked for another. Wendy, now 75, used his “granny” specs to read the menu – and he left without them. Bournemouth-born Wendy said: “It’s hard to imagine someone as cool as John doing the conga, but it happened.”

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The Flaming Lips’s Wayne Coyne on the Beatles, Drugs, and Loving Miley Cyrus - Monday, October 27, 2014

For the last 30 years, the Flaming Lips have been one of the predominant torch-carriers to the psychedelic music movement of the ’60s. So it’s fitting that they’d try to tackle the Beatles psychedelic classic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in its entirety. The band recorded over the last year with a host of different artists like Miley Cyrus, My Morning Jacket, Tegan & Sara, Tool‘s Maynard James Keenan and many more. They’re calling the resulting effort “With a Little Help From My Fwends,” a track-by-track recreation of the 1967 record, with a Flaming Lips twist at just about every turn. The band has done this before. In 2009, they released a cover version of Pink Floyd‘s“Dark Side of the Moon” and this time last year, a recreation of Brit-pop band theStone Roses self-titled 1989 debut. This of course isn’t their only means of making music these days; in 2013, the band released their 13th studio album of original material called “The Terror.” Earlier this week, Speakeasy talked with the Flaming Lips’s frontman, Wayne Coyne, while he was cruising around his hometown of Oklahoma City,

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Imagine: Researchers Name New Tarantula Species After John Lennon - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Researchers who discovered a new species of tarantula in Western Amazonia, Brazil, named it after one of their musical heroes: John Lennon. Fernando Pérez-Miles of the University of the Republic, Uruguay, and Alexandre Bragio Bonaldo and Laura Tavares Miglio, both of Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi in Brazil, named the new tarantula species Bumba lennoni. The proposed genus name, Bumba, is taken from Brazilian theatrical folk tradition of the popular festival called Boi-bumbá ("hit my bull"), which is celebrated annually in north and northeastern Brazil. As for the species name, the researchers explain their choice in a study published in the journal Zookeys: “The specific name is patronymic in honor of John Winston Lennon (1940–1980), the legendary creator of The Beatles, who contributed to make this world a gentler place.”

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Bay City coffee shop doubles as Beatles shrine - Monday, October 20, 2014

For Brad Wilderman, it's not just coffee and specialty drinks he and his wife, Peggy, sell from their shop in downtown Bay City.

Their business stands as a virtual time machine, offering patrons transportation to the mid-1960s, when four lads from Liverpool were in the midst of changing the course of history.

"We touch people's lives every day," said Wilderman, sitting inside Espresso Express Presents Beatles and Beans Coffee Emporium. "They come in here and they think they're back in 1964. All they did was walk through that portal there and I transported them back to 1964. They all have memories, too. I've had people start crying in here, just from Beatles memories."

Nearly every inch of wall space is covered with Beatles memorabilia, affixed by about 500 miles of fishing line and 10,000 binder clips. The ceiling has roughly 5,000 vinyl 45s covering it. From the shop's speakers, music from the Beatles or their solo material plays exclusively.

"A lot of this stuff is authentic vintage memorabilia, a lot of it is reproduction stuff, and a lot of it is stuff I've personally made," Wilderman said.

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The true tale of John Lennon’s mum revealed in Walton author's book - Monday, October 20, 2014

Kevin Roach says many don’t know the true story of Julia Lennon, and he hopes his new interactive book will set the record straight

Most Beatles fans know stories about John Lennon’s mother Julia, whose early death in 1958 scarred him for life and inspired his music.

On his 1970 song Mother, he sang “You had me but I never had you”.

But Kevin Roach says many don’t know the true story – and he hopes his new interactive book, Julia, will set the record straight.

Walton-born Kevin, who has already written about George Harrison and Paul McCartney, wanted to tell the hidden story of John’s roots rather than repeating stories of John’s fame.

He says that the idea of Julia as an irresponsible “good-time girl” who couldn’t look after her son came from Aunt Mimi, who raised John in her house in Menlove Avenue.

But over time a more nuanced portrait of Julia has emerged, helped by John’s half-sister Julia Baird publishing her story in Imagine This in 2007.

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Inside the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney - Friday, October 17, 2014

The Liverpool ECHO is given a guided tour of Mendips on Menlove Avenue, where John Lennon was raised, and 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton, the teenage home of Paul McCartney

Over 50 years after they first took the charts by storm, The Beatles are still as strong a draw as ever.

Millions of tourists flock to Liverpool each year, eager to take in the birthplace of the Fab Four and see where it all began, and there is no better way to immerse yourself in the history of pop's greatest band than with a tour of the childhood homes of John Lennon (Mendips on Menlove Avenue) and Paul McCartney (20 Forthlin Road in Allerton), operated by the National Trust.

Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow, bought Mendips in 2002 when the previous owner died. She then donated the property to the National Trust, and asked them to "restore the house to what it once was, and tell John's story". 20 Forthlin Road has been within the ownership of the National Trust for 16 years.

Each home has been meticulously restored to the homes that Lennon and McCartney would recognise from their younger years, using photographs and eyewitness accounts to restore original fixtures and fittings, and source identical items of furniture.

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Beatles’ unused Abbey Road photographs to be auctioned - Thursday, October 16, 2014

There are only so many times you can interrupt traffic to walk over a busy London road to have your picture taken before you become a public nuisance – even if you are the Beatles.

Six, in fact, as shown by these rare photographs, one of which became one of the most famous album covers of all time.

Beatles album cover

In what is believed to be an auction first, the full set of six photographs of John, Paul, Ringo and George striding over Abbey Road is to be sold along with the picture of the street sign that was used on the back cover.

“They are incredibly rare,” said Sarah Wheeler, head of photography at Bloomsbury Auctions. “I’ve spoken to other music dealers and no one has been able to find a complete set on the market for at least 10 years.”

The shots were taken by the photographer Iain Macmillan, a friend of Lennon and Yoko Ono, on 8 August 1969. He had his Hasselblad, a stepladder and 10 minutes.

It was the fifth of the six shots that was chosen by McCartney for the album and it’s easy to see why as all four men are in step and nicely spaced.

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Take our Beatles lyrics quiz to see how well you know the Fab Four's songs - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It’s been 50 years since screaming fans watched The Beatles perform on Liverpool’s Town Hall balcony.

When the Fab Four returned home for the northern premier of A Hard Day’s Night, thousands lined the streets on July 10, 1964 to watch John Lennon, Paul McCartney , Ringo Starr and George Harrison.

Half a century on, their music is still played around the world, but how well do you know their lyrics?

Take the Quiz Here

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Tributes paid as The Undertakers’ guitarist Geoff Nugent dies aged 71 - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TRIBUTES have been paid to The Undertakers’ guitarist Geoff Nugent who has died. He passed away yesterday at the age of 71.

The Merseycats rock ‘n’ roll charity posted Mr Nugent’s photograph on their website with the words “too old to rock, too young to die”, describing him as “a great loss to the music scene on Merseyside”.

Meanwhile among the many tributes paid online was one from Ian McNabb who wrote “saddened to hear of the loss of the great Geoff Nugent. Thoughts with his family and friends. we have lots another great. Sleep well brother”, while the Merseyside branch of performers’ union Equity said: “So sad to hear of the death of a great Merseybeat legend and Equity member Geoff Nugent. An amazing musician and great guy.”

Mr Nugent was born in Liverpool in February 1943 within a couple of days of future Beatle George Harrison, and the two were childhood friends growing up in Speke, where they learned to play the guitar together.

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PAUL McCARTNEY IS GETTING BACK 'OUT THERE' MUSIC ICON TO RETURN TO BRAZIL - Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday 10th November: Estádio Kléber Andrade – Vitória
Sunday 23rd November: Estádio Nacional – Brasilia
Tuesday 25th November: Allianz Parque – São Paulo

 

Fans can purchase pre-sale tickets through PaulMcCartney.com. Pre-sale tickets for Vitória will go on sale at 10am (local / 2pm BST) on Tuesday 14th October. Fans are advised to come to the website shortly before the pre-sale begins to obtain the link and password.

Keep checking PaulMcCartney.com for further announcements including pre-sale details for Paul's concerts in Brasilia and São Paulo...

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Meet the Beatles again? - Sunday, October 12, 2014

The world is full of geeks and snobs ready to talk too much about their personal passion for wine, for scuba diving, for vampire literature. You know the type.

This is nothing like that.

This is an exploration of the Beatles, and why the recent rerelease of their albums in the mono format on vinyl, the way many fans heard the records in the 1960s, is worth celebrating.

OK, so maybe there is some obsessiveness to this tale, but there is broader cultural significance too.

The music of the Beatles is timeless. Not only were they master songwriters, they were visionary artists who pushed the era’s recording technology and hidebound engineers to create new sounds.

The result is music that is still vital and interesting more than 40 years later. Consider the elegiac beauty of “Eleanor Rigby,” or the psychedelic drone of “Tomorrow Never Knows” with its tape loops that sound like sea gulls. Play a Beatles CD, especially one from their mid- or later-period, starting with 1965’s “Rubber Soul,” and when compared to today’s artists you’ll find their music is still relevant, still influential.

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Smokey Robinson & Otis Williams discuss Beatles Motown Connection - Sunday, October 12, 2014

Today, the 1983 Motown 25 concert, broadcast in prime time on NBC, is best remembered for Michael Jackson's moonwalk. The show, however, involved much more: Host Richard Pryor introduced label legends like Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinsonand the Four Tops at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and the Jackson 5 and the Supremes both reunited.

Of course, there was even more going on behind the scenes, and the new Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever DVD set (available with one, three or six discs) is looking to excavate some of that history, adding rehearsals, roundtables and documentaries to the original footage. Follow the link below to watch a clip from one of the docs, in which Robinson, the Temptations' Otis Williams and author Nelson George discuss the symbiotic relationship between Motown and the Beatles.

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All My Loving: Paul McCartney gives thumbs up to St Luke's campaign - Sunday, October 12, 2014

A CAMPAIGN to keep St Luke's church in use as a cultural venue for the Liverpool community has received Beatle backing. Sir Paul McCartney today joined John Lennnon's widow, Yoko Ono, in calling for the bombed out church, on Leece Street, to remain open "for the use of the people and run by the people" and praised the work carried out there. A huge question mark has hung over the future of the church since March this year when Mayor Joe Anderson announced his intention tosell it for £1 and invited expressions of interest from bidders. Developer Lawrence Kenwright, who owns the Signature Living apartments and the newly-opened 30 James Street hotel in the former White Star builidng, quickly stepped in with a plans to turn the church, which was bombed by the Luftwaffe in World War II, into a wedding hotel and venue.

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