Paul McCartney has been a committed vegetarian since his late wife, Linda, stopped cooking meat in the 1970s—but there’s one ritual the former Beatle still carries on from his carnivorous life: carving duty at the Christmas Day feast.
“The thing about becoming vegetarian is that some of the things that I saw as traditional male roles — not wanting to get too sexist or genderist here — such as barbecuing, and slicing the roast, went,” McCartney, 77, told the Sunday Times. “I wanted something to carve at Christmas!”
Linda’s initial solution was to create “a macaroni cheese that she shaped and left to set,” says McCartney. These days, however, the legendary songwriter has the slightly easier task of slicing through a vegetarian roast made from mushroom duxelles straight out of the best-selling Linda McCartney vegetarian range. Launched nearly 30 years ago, the brand is now a familiar sight in British supermarkets.
Source: Phil Boucher/people.comdetails
In John Lennon’s last major interview, he was his usually provocative self. He spoke of how hurt he was by George Harrison’s new book, the Beatles songs he considered to be garbage, and why he thought Paul McCartney tried to sabotage “Across the Universe.”
But that was only the half of it. Speaking with Playboy’s David Sheff, John also said Paul addressed “Get Back” to his wife Yoko Ono. ” “I think there’s some underlying thing about Yoko in there,” he said. “You know, ‘Get back to where you once belonged.’ Every time he sang the line, he’d look at Yoko.”
When Sheff asked if he was joking, John insisted he wasn’t. “Maybe he’ll say I’m paranoid. You know, he can say, ‘I’m a normal family man. Those two are freaks.’ That’ll leave him a chance to say that one.”
While it’s impossible to get inside Paul’s mind during those sessions, we do know how the song evolved over time. It started out as social commentary before Paul brought it around to his fictional Jojo and Loretta.
Peter Asher is more than qualified to take us on a journey through the Beatles’ many songs and adventures. He’s a longtime friend of the band, and in the late ’60s was a producer for the Beatles’ Apple label, signing such talents as James Taylor. He’s been producing stars ever since and recently hosted SiriusXM’s radio show about the Fab Four, “From Me to You.” Though hardcore Beatles fans won’t find much that’s terribly surprising about the band in Asher’s new book, “The Beatles from A to Zed,” the writer and producer excels at excavating details and connections that sparkle and entertain.
Adopting Asher’s alphabetical format, here are some delightful — and less-than-delightful — takeaways from Asher’s book. (Space limitations kept me from including the full alphabet.)
A: A is for Abbey Road Studios. It was originally known as EMI Recording Studios and was inaugurated by Sir Edward Elgar, England’s famous classical composer who wrote that school graduation grind, “Pomp and Circumstance.”
Source: By Sibbie O’Sullivan / The Washington Post/heraldnet.com
Looking for a unique Christmas gift?
Two upcoming auctions may just offer the perfect surprise on Dec 25 for the recipient if he is a fan of John Lennon, Ringo Starr or Elton John.
Lennon's trademark round sunglasses and a parking ticket issued on April 25, 1969 to fellow Beatle Starr - for a traffic offence - are up for auction online between Dec 6 and 13.
The two items come from Mr Alan Herring, a driver for the Fab Four.
The eyewear has defects but he told AFP that Lennon had told him not to fix them after the driver volunteered to get repairs done.
For fans of John, there is a chance to get hold of the original lyric manuscripts of landmark songs Candle In The Wind, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Bennie And The Jets and Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting.
The seller in the auction on Dec 9 is Ms Maxine Taupin, former wife of Bernie Taupin, John's longtime songwriter.
Source: LOH KENG FATT/straitstimes.comdetails
John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark Chapman outside the home he shared with Yoko Ono in Manhattan, New York, on December 8, 1980. As the 39th anniversary of his death approaches, an unearthed interview with Ono sees her opening up about losing her husband in such a sudden and devastating way.
Back in 2012, Ono spoke out about her approach to life, telling The Telegraph: “I want to tell you this story.
“When I was in elementary school in Japan they had a textbook with a picture of a Japanese warrior who asked to be given seven sufferings and eight disasters, because he wanted to take over everybody’s suffering and disasters,” she recalled.
“It’s a courageous thing to do, and I was only a little girl and I thought that sounds good and I wanted to be like him. Do good for the world in the sense of taking everyone’s pain away.
“I asked for the seven sufferings and my life became terribly difficult. All sorts of misery,” Lennon’s wife explained.
Source: Minnie Wright/express.co.ukdetails
As the years passed, John Lennon seemed to think less and less of his Beatles songs. In 1980, while sitting for his last major interview, John labeled a number of his well-liked compositions as either “throwaways” or “pieces of garbage.”
That list included tracks as diverse as “And Your Bird Can Sing” from Revolver (“another horror”) and “Cry Baby Cry” from The White Album (“a piece of rubbish”). And while John was proud of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, he labeled “Good Morning, Good Morning” as more junk.
However, there was one Sgt. Pepper’s song that gained in stature in John’s eyes over the years. Though he described it as a rush-job around the time he wrote and recorded the song with The Beatles, he ended up calling it “pure, like a painting, a pure watercolor” shortly before he died.
Beatles fans are being invited to listen to ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ at an immersive event that aims to give the impression that the Fab Four are performing live.
The pioneering experience, which is set to take place in Liverpool, will present fans with a remixed version of the legendary 1967 album.
The record will be played in Dolby Atmos with speakers being placed around the fans in a bid to transport them to Abbey Road Studios, where the album was recorded.
Producer George Martin’s original tapes have been remixed by his son Giles Martin – who is also a Grammy winning producer.
“Without Liverpool there would be no ‘Sgt Pepper’s’. Liverpool is where it should be,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
Source: Nick Reilly/nme.com
The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool and went on to completely change the course of popular music. Although the group broke up over forty years ago, fans still love and obsess over the band and the music they wrote still resonates with people today. From soft-rock hits like “Strawberry Fields” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” to sweet ballads like “Hey Jude,” there is a Beatles song for every occasion.
The Beatles even have some holiday hits to jam to, although they never achieved the level of success that some of their other songs did. Although not even the most devout Beatles fan may know what the band did especially for the holidays each year that was a special treat just for their fan club.
The Beatles spent their early years as a band playing clubs around Liverpool. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr had what it took to make it big and after their first big hit, “Love Me Do,” debuted on the airwaves. It was only a few short years until they achieved worldwide stardom. By 1964, the Beatles were the biggest stars in the world and led what became known as the “British Invasion” of English pop artist details
In February of 1962, Beatles manager Brian Epstein arranged an audition for the band in front of BBC Radio executives. After struggling to find the then-unknown mop tops a record deal, Epstein hoped that some radio exposure would lead the group to a contract.
BBC producer Peter Pilbeam was impressed with the group’s four-song audition and booked them to appear on the program Teenagers Turn (Here We Go), to be taped on March 7. The line-up for that initial broadcast featured John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best (Ringo Starr wouldn't join the group until August that year).
“They were very nervous, obviously,” Pilbeam later recalled on a radio interview. “I was very impressed with them. I booked them straight away for another date after that first show.”
Thus began a relationship that would span roughly three years, with the Beatles delivering 52 performances for the BBC between 1962 and 1965. Decades later, recordings from these shows would make up the compilation album Live at the BBC.
Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most acclaimed musicians of all time. Yoko Ono is a touch less acclaimed. Despite the difference in perception of the two musicians, they both inspired one of the most intriguing Beatles compositions: “Because.”
Like many Beatles records, “Because” is is a bridge between the new and the old. The track’s appeal to contemporary audiences was rooted in its Beach Boys-style vocal harmonies and psychedelic lyrics. To appeal to an older generation, the song has a stiff, almost mathematical chord progression which recalls classical music.
The classical elements of “Because” were intentional. Snopes quotes John Lennon explaining the song’s origins: “[Yoko] trained as a classical musician. I didn’t know that until this morning. In college she majored in classical composition. Now we stimulate each other like crazy. This morning I wrote this song called ‘Because.’ Yoko was playing some classical bit, and I said ‘Play that backwards,’ and we had a tune.”
Todd Rundgren may be on the phone to draw attention to an all-star tribute to the Beatles' "White Album" on which he'll share a stage with Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, Joey Molland of Badfinger, Christopher Cross, and Jason Scheff of Chicago.
But that doesn't mean he has to like it.
And by "it," I mean "The White Album."
"I make no bones about it," Rundgren says.
"I think it's a contender for the Beatles' worst album. And it's not necessarily a judgment about the music on it. I'm talking about a Beatle album, not a bunch of half attempts at solo albums, which is what 'The White Album' is. So as a Beatle album, it's terrible. Very rarely do all four of them play at the same time on the record. Having said that, it was a great start for a George Harrison solo record."
Rundgren laughs, as he does often in the course of casually dismissing one of rock's most celebrated albums with a disarmingly playful irreverence that couldn't be more charming.
Source: Ed Masley/azcentral.com
The band liked the idea of using the name of an insect as a band name, and they were fans of Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Because John Lennon loved puns, he altered the spelling of “Beetles” to “Beatles”.
John Lennon’s father, Alfred Lennon, was a merchant mariner who had a stormy relationship with Lennon’s mother and was gone for most of his son’s youth. John Lennon was mostly raised by his aunt. When the Beatles exploded on the pop scene, Alfred Lennon tried to reconnect with his son and also made a novelty recording that was somewhat successful to capitalize on the fame of the Fab Four.
Source: Bo Weberdetails
A pair of John Lennon's trademark round sunglasses are going up for auction along with a parking ticket given to Beatles drummer Ringo Starr -- items kept for half a century by a former driver for the band.
Alan Herring, who worked as a chauffeur for Starr and bandmate George Harrison in the late 60s, said Lennon had given him the glasses after leaving them on the back seat of his Mercedes.
"When John got out of the car I noticed that he'd left these sunglasses on the back seat and one lens and one arm had become disconnected," he said. "I asked John if he'd like me to get them fixed for him. He told me not to worry, that they were just for the look."
The vintage glasses and the parking ticket -- issued on April 25, 1969 in London outside the band's own label Apple Records -- will be sold online by Sotheby's with other Beatles memorabilia next month. Herring said the decision to sell the objects was an emotional one, but that "the memories I have of this very special time in my life working with the Beatles are far more important to me".
Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline and a visionary who has over 750 patents, told me “My advice to CEOs is to pay more attention to history.” As I think about it, one of the greatest lessons on innovation and success comes from none other than the Beatles.
On April 4, 1964 the Beatles made history by having all of the top five songs on the music charts:
#1 “Can’t Buy Me Love,”
#2 “Twist and Shout,”
#3 “She Loves You,”
#4 “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and
#5 “Please Please Me.”
Even with this unprecedented success the Beatles proceeded to completely reinvent themselves in what might be called one of the most profound examples of creative destruction.
Source: Robert Reiss/forbes.comdetails
Sir Paul McCartney has said he sometimes picks up his grandchildren from school, and that it is a “joy”.
The former Beatles star said that he is “pretty normal” when it comes to his relationship with his eight grandchildren despite his fame, and that they often go on holiday together.
Sir Paul, 77, told Chris Evans on his Virgin Radio Breakfast Show that he is a “terrific” grandparent, adding: “You know, I love them and I love being a granddad.
“And we spend quite a good bit of time together. We don’t live near each other, but we go on holiday together, like Christmas. And in the summer we’ll see each other. And then sometimes me and (my wife) Nancy pick them up from school. So that’s nice.”
He said: “It’s great fun you know, because you don’t know how to do it like parenting. It’s ad lib, it’s the biggest ad lib. So when grand-parenthood comes around, it’s like, ‘OK, what do we do here?’ And so I say that joy is like picking them up at school and they love it.”
He added: “I don’t think it’s just us, I think it’s also the ice cream that&rsqu details
November 29, 2001 would be remembered forever in the music rock history. On this day 18 years ago, this legend passed away from lung cancer at age of 58.
As a 15-year old boy from Liverpool, Harrison became a member of the Quarrymen (who would later become The Beatles), despite John Lennon thinking that he was too young. Having to compete with the power-writing duo that was Lennon and Paul McCartney, George was able to slip a song or two of his own onto almost every Beatles album during the group’s existence.
Some of the songs included “Taxman” (1966’s Revolver), “Within You Without You” (1967’s Sgt. Papper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something” (both from 1969’s Abbey Road) and many more.
Even more impressive may have been his solo work, as the period following The Beatles proved Harrison to be a truly great singer-songwriter in his own right, now being out of the shadow of his former band mates. 1968 would see him be the first Beatle to release a solo record, with Wonderwall
Between 1963 and 1970, The Beatles released 12 studio albums. But have you ever wondered which one was the favourite of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr? Well, at different points in their lives the Fab Four revealed their individual personal picks of the dozen.
Ringo Starr – Abbey Road (1969)
Probably The Beatles album with the most famous cover, Abbey Road celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
The band’s penultimate record was a favourite for Ringo, who especially liked the much-maligned Abbey Road Medley.
Ringo told Rock Cellar Magazine a couple of years ago: “For me, that would be the second side of Abbey Road.
“That one is my favourite because I just love all those bits and pieces that weren’t full songs that John and Paul had been working on and pulled all together — Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, and She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.”
Source: George Simpson/express.co.uk
Back in 1962, Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best in The Beatles as their drummer. However, he wasn’t allowed to play the drums on Love Me Do or the B-side of PS I Love You.
This may surprise some Beatles fans considering how positive Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison were when they first heard Ringo play the drums.
According to The Spectator, Paul said: “This was, like, a grown-up musician.
“I remember the moment, standing there and looking at John and then looking at George, and the look on our faces was like …what is this?
“And that was the moment, that was the beginning, really, of the Beatles.”
Source: George Simpson/express.co.ukdetails
It will be 18 years at the end of this month since “quiet Beatle” George Harrison passed away of throat cancer in 2001. His music lives on with his timeless melodies on songs such as Something, Here Comes the Sun, and I Got My Mind Set On You.
After George and his first wife, Pattie Boyd, separated in 1974 and then divorced three years later, he met and married Olivia Arias in 1978.
Olivia was a secretary when she met George. Born in Los Angeles, Olivia Trinidad Arias saw the Beatles in concert two times, once at the Hollywood Bowl on August 29, 1965, and then a year later at Dodger Stadium on August 28, 1966.
In 1973, she started working at A&M Records, which by the following year won the rights to distribute George Harrison’s Dark Horse solo records globally.
In the midst of the negotiation process, George and Olivia chatted by phone frequently. Eventually, the former Beatle wanted to know more about his phone friend and asked his friends to get more information about her for him.
George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon tried out mop-top haircuts while in Hamburg. It would become the Beatles' signature look. Original drummer Pete Best, left, stuck with his Liverpool ducktail cut. (The Plain Dealer)
You can make the Beatles fan in your life very happy this holiday season -- if you’re feeling particularly generous. And if your Beatlemaniac potential giftee doesn’t put Ringo first among the Fab Four.
Heritage Auctions is offering up a postcard signed by the Beatles when the Liverpudlians were resident rockers in the German city of Hamburg, a couple of years before they hit it big.
They were already big enough in Hamburg, however, that they had their own band-specific postcard offering the group’s “best wishes” on April 5, 1962. Heritage Auctions’ “buy now” price for the collectible: $12,500. The auction is open until Dec. 2.
The official Twitter account for the Beatles tweeted out the following Ringo Starr quote. The quote actually comes from an old media interview that he gave. The quote expands on the reasoning for why The Beatles broke up and gives us a small glimpse into the making of that decision. Paul McCartney wife reveals ‘miserable’ Ringo Starr photo.
The quote stated:”(None) of the decisions were made quickly. We’d all expressed them & moaned about them, laughed about them & cried about them. Then it had got to a head where it was ‘yes’ or ‘no’ time – and we seemed to do that with the touring, with the recording & with the breaking-up.”
In other news regarding The Beatles, fans took to social media to reflect on Ringo Starr’s most recent studio release – ‘What’s My Name.’ One reviewer wrote: “This latest offering by Ringo literally flew under my radar if it were not for a tip-off from an old pal that Ringo was covering Lennon’s unreleased “Grow Old With Me” in collaborative fashion with McCartney’s inclusion.
Source: Mike Mazzarone/alternativenation.net
By the late 1960s, George Harrison had come to a realization: He could match the songwriting efforts of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Beatles fans probably started to see that around the days of Revolver (1966). By the time Abbey Road (1969) went out, there was no denying it.
“I could see everybody’s a Lennon/McCartney if that’s what you wanna be,” George said in early 1970. “But the point is nobody’s special. If Lennon/McCartney are special, then Harrison and Starkey are special, too. What I’m saying is that I can be Lennon/McCartney too.”
With “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun,” George no longer needed to prove his case. And indeed he’d learned some tricks from John and Paul. One such trick was starting with someone else’s line to get a song’s lyrics going.
Just as John had done with an Elvis Presley line on “Run For Your Life,” so George did with a James Taylor line at the start of “Something.” And he also ran with one of John’s lyrics to start “Here Comes the Sun.”
“Let It Be Christmas” returns to Naperville’s Community Christian Church with nine performances in December. The rock opera tells the story of Jesus’ birth through the music of The Beatles. (Jennifer Pedley)
For 12 years, a Naperville church has presented the story of Christmas set to the songs of The Beatles. The result is “Let It Be Christmas (The Gospel According to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, George and Ringo).”
“Let It Be Christmas” returns with nine performances at Community Christian Church in Naperville, presented by Epic Theatre Company. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7, Dec. 13-14 and Dec. 20 and 3 p.m. Dec. 7, Dec. 14 and Dec. 21; and 11 a.m. Dec. 21.
The cast consists of 80 local children and adults. Epic is associated with the church.
“It’s grown quite a bit. It’s been quite the evolution,” said Elic Bramlett, director of “Let It Be Christmas.”
How did they come up with the idea?
“Well, like all good ideas, we stole it from someone,” he laughed. “It helps that it is a good friend that we stole it from.”
Source: Annie Alleman/chicagotribune.com< details
When we look back at The Beatles’ career, it’s only natural that we trace their progress through the groundbreaking albums they made between 1963 and 1969. But that only tells part of the story. The Beatles may have helped shift the focus from singles to long-playing albums, but at the start of their career they were, first and foremost, a band that made phenomenal singles, many of which didn’t actually appear on their albums. With pop music still primarily a singles market in the mid-60s, The Beatles’ singles, then, offer something of a parallel discography: a different lens through which to trace their artistic trajectory.
1962: ‘Love Me Do’
The group had actually recorded a single even before signing with Parlophone. Credited as The Beat Brothers, John, Paul, George and Pete Best backed the English singer Tony Sheridan on a rocked-up version of ‘My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean’, which was released on Polydor in West Germany. It was a customer’s request for that recording that led to Liverpool record-shop owner Brian Epstein tracking down and eventually managing The Beatles.
Ringo Starr is regarded as talentless by some fans of the Beatles. Others simply feel he didn’t have as much talent as the other three members of the band. Many Beatles fans might be surprised to know that Ringo did not play the drums on the group’s first hit, “Love Me Do.” Here’s why.
Despite what others have said about Ringo, the other Beatles were in awe of his talent. According to The Spectator, Paul McCartney has positive memories of the first time he saw Ringo drumming.
“This was, like, a grown-up musician. I remember the moment, standing there and looking at John and then looking at George, and the look on our faces was like …what is this?” he said. “And that was the moment, that was the beginning, really, of the Beatles.”
Although Paul said the Beatles weren’t really the Beatles until Ringo joined the band, the group’s producer, George Martin, felt differently. He didn’t like the sound Ringo brought the band’s recordings.