Beatles News

The Quarrymen's Rod Davis remembers Woolton Church fete 60 years on.

The Cavern isn’t the only 60th anniversary taking place in Liverpool this year. On July 6, it will be 60 years to the day that John Lennon was introduced to Paul McCartney at the Woolton church fete. The 16-year-old Lennon was playing at the summer event with his group The Quarrymen, a line-up of school friends from the near by Quarry Bank High School.

On banjo was Rod Davis, whose dad took one of the few images of that day – that of the Quarrymen’s float, with Lennon and the rest of the group on board.

Rod returned to the city this week to play with fellow Quarrymen at the Cavern’s 60th birthday celebrations.

And he took the time to look back seven decades to the group’s teenage years, and the day that would go down in 20th century music history.

By: Catherine Jones

Source: The Liverpool Echo



The artist, who grew up in Kent, has created a collage for the Madarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel

Artist Sir Peter Blake, best known for his work designing the cover of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album cover, has unveiled his latest commission - a giant collage across the front of a swanky five-star London hotel.

The Dartford-born artist, dubbed the Godfather of British pop art, was commissioned by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to create a collage which will cover its hotel in Hyde Park during part of a major renovation project. It will cover in part the hotel’s iconic facade. The huge work, entitled Our Fans, will be the largest he has ever created and is a Sgt Pepper-esque collage of 100 famous fances who have regularly stayed at the hotel.

The star-studded line-up will include the likes of Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley. The artist, who attended Gravesend School of Art before securing a place at the Royal College of Art in London in 1956, said: “Some of my first works were collages of crowds of people; this piece is in the spirit of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.”

By: Kent Britcher

Source: Kent News


To mark what would have been George Harrison's 74th birthday on February 25th, the Beatles guitarist's entire solo catalog will be reissued on vinyl.

George Harrison – The Vinyl Collection features 13 albums, including all 12 of his solo studio LPs – from 1968's Wonderwall Music to 2002's Brainwashed – and the live album Live in Japan.

Each album has been newly remastered from the original master tapes and pressed onto 180-gram heavyweight vinyl. Those records are then housed in a high-quality slipcase that replicates each album's original artwork and track list. The Vinyl Collection also comes with two 12-inch single picture discs of "When We Was Fab" and "Got My Mind Set On You." Each of the reissued albums will also be made available individually, with the 3-LP All Things Must Pass only available as a limited edition piece.

In addition to the Vinyl Collection, a new "Extended Edition" of his 1980 autobiographic work I Me Mine will be released on February 21st. The new edition of the book includes 59 additional handwritten lyrics and unpublished photographs not found in the original printing.

By: Daniel Kreps

Source: Rolling Stone


A life-size bronze statue of Cilla Black has been unveiled outside Liverpool's Cavern Club as the venue celebrates its 60th anniversary. The club, credited with launching the career of The Beatles, opened its doors on 16 January 1957 as a jazz cellar.

Crowds gathered in Mathew Street to see the sculpture which shows a young Cilla performing one of her early songs. The TV celebrity and 1960s singing star, who died in 2015, started work as a cloakroom attendant at the club.

It was commissioned by Black's sons Robert, Ben and Jack Willis, who said they backed the idea after being moved by the response from the city following their mother's death.

Robert Willis said they wanted to "donate it as a small gesture of gratitude to this great city for their wonderful outpouring of love and affection for our mother", adding that he was "thrilled" with the statue.

His mother would have been "very flattered, proud and honoured", he said. One of the sculptors, Andy Edwards from Stoke-on-Trent, said "it's the story of the birth of that period in Liverpool's musical culture" and it was important the city remembered her.

Source: BBC News

Read Mor details

As the Cavern Club celebrates its 60th birthday people can now explore the iconic building - without leaving their home. The Cavern Club Chronicles allows you to take a virtual tour of the Mathew Street venue, where Brian Epstein discovered the Beatles .

It means people from all over the world, who might never get the chance to visit the Cavern in person, can now ‘step inside’ and see it from every aspect. You can even take a close look at more than 35 pieces in the musical museum, including historic photos, quotes, stories and videos.

Users can navigate their way round using the Google Street View arrows, or by clicking on the ‘Trivia’ button. The Cavern Club teamed up with Expedia to present the virtual tour in time for the club’s 60th anniversary.

Over the years stars including the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Stevie Wonder and Adele have performed at the Cavern . The venue first opened on Wednesday, January 16, 1957 as a jazz club before becoming a popular venue for rock and roll bands in the sixties.

The original building closed in March 1973 and was filled in as part of construction work on the Merseyrail loop line. The club was later r details

A tourist visting Liverpool fell in love with The Cavern Club so much he decided to build one of his own. Lifelong Beatles fan Kevin Robjohns, from Immingham, Lincolnshire, decided to recreate the famous club - which turns 60 on Monday - in his own back garden after a trip to Liverpool. The 36-year-old, who works as a HGV maintenance man, started the project in 2015 - converting a former pigeon loft into a miniature version of the “birthplace of The Beatles.”

Dubbed “Club Cavern” the bar even has its own replica of the famous stage, complete with coloured brick wall, but instead of being signed by the great and the good of the music world, it’s signed by Kevin’s friends and family who have visited the club. Kevin says he decided to create the ‘man cave’ as a place to store the Fab Four memoribilia he has collected over the years. He said: “I’ve always loved music, when I was a teenager my room was covered in Beatles posters and memoribilia. I thought I’d keep it all and use it one day so it had all been in the attic.

“I finally got to visit The Cavern on a trip to Liverpool and I was just taken a back by how small it was and that’s whe details

Magic Alex of the Beatles, or Alexis Mardas as it was his legal name, was found dead from natural causes in his apartment in Athens, Friday January 13. Mardas was known in the 60’s by his nickname Magic Alex given to him by John Lennon when he was involved with the Beatles as the director of their company Apple Electronics between 1965 and 1969.

Mardas arrived in England in 1965, exhibiting his Kinetic Light Sculptures at the Indica Gallery. He impressed John Lennon with the Nothing Box; a small plastic box with randomly blinking lights, and allegedly said that he could build a 72-track tape machine. Mardas was then given the job of designing the new Apple Studio in Savile Row, and was in India with The Beatles at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India. 

In the 1970s, the anti-terrorism industry offered bullet-proof vehicles, bugging devices and security hardware, so Mardas set up various companies offering these products to royalty and VIPs. King Hussein of Jordan bought a fleet of cars that Mardas had customised. 

By: Anastasios Papapostolou

Source: Greek Reporter


Okay so to be frank the question to ask after the year-long spate of rock star deaths is: Jesus, who's next?

In a New Yorker cartoon at the end of 2016, God says to the Grim Reaper, "Maybe go easy on the much-loved celebrities for a while." This time last year was the pretty shocking death of David Bowie, and at Christmas there was the really sad death of George Michael. In between, there was...just about everyone.

Bring out your listicles of the famous dead. 2016 saw what appeared to be record numbers of music royalty passing over to that great backstage in the sky. Prince. Leonard Cohen. Glenn Frey from The Eagles, Paul Kantner from Jefferson Airplane.

In New Zealand, Ray Columbus, Bunny Walters, and Toni Williams. Pete Burns from Dead or Alive, Alan Vega from Suicide. Elvis's guitar player Scotty Moore.

Bernie Worrell from Parliament, Maurice White from Earth Wind & Fire. And more besides, plus 64 members of the Red Army Choir in a plane crash on Christmas Day.

Piece by piece, the original scaffolding of rock'n'roll is being taken away. The greatest art form of the 20th century was invented by the very young, but that was 50, 60 years ago, and the only ones left are now very old. T details

March 24, 2017 will see the arrival of the long-awaited next addition in Paul McCartney's award-winning Archive Collection: Flowers In the Dirt (originally released in 1989). But one particular decision has raised the hackles of McCartney's collective fan base—and understandably so. Unlike the previous nine entries in the series, a significant portion of the material slated for inclusion in the pricey "deluxe edition" will be available as downloads only.

To survey the tracklist alone, the Flowers deluxe set appears to be the most comprehensive set so far. In addition to a remastered version of the album on disc one, discs two and three include the original demos and 1988 "band demos" of nine Elvis Costello collaborations (McCartney and Costello famously teamed up to write a batch of songs together, several of which were never officially released by either artist). A DVD will contain the long out-of-print documentary Put It There (no word yet on whether it's the original version or the truncated home video version), ten music videos, and three featurettes.

So far, so good. But here's the catch. No less than 16 tracks—five B-sides, eight alternate mixes, three additional Paul/Elvis demos—will NOT details

Musician Sean — son of superstar John, who died in 1980 — gave his support to fashion designer pal Stella.

IT’S Lennon and McCartney — a generation after the Beatles legends. Stella McCartney, 45, struck a pose with Sean Lennon, 41, almost 50 years after their dads’ group disbanded.

Musician Sean — son of superstar John, who died in 1980 — gave his support to fashion designer pal Stella, daughter of Sir Paul, as she launched a line at New York’s Cotton Club on Tuesday. Well, we all need a little help from our friends … Characters from the Dandy comic strip stepped into the world of high fashion on a new print by Stella.

Korky the Cat, Dinah Mo and mischievous twins Cuddles and Dimples feature on the print, which appears in 15 pieces of the designer’s ready-to-wear collection. The range is a collaboration between Stella McCartney and Beano Studios, which develops projects relating to the comic-book characters.

By: Jack Ling

Source: The Sun UK



Recent years have seen plenty of new and “definitive” bios — some doorstop size — on John, Paul and even Ringo. Now, George gets his own entry with this U.S. paperback reissue of a recent UK effort by music journo Thomson, who also conducted dozens of fresh interviews with friends, collaborators and exes.

Outside of the music, compellingly, the reader can’t help but come away realizing what a….sourpuss George Harrison was. No member was more reluctant and perturbed by Beatlemania than the group’s youngest member (who – in one of many dichotomies – nonetheless enjoyed and pursued all the perks that being a mega celebrity had to offer). And it often came across in his songwriting. After all, just look at even his early efforts: “Don’t Bother Me,” “If I Needed Someone,” “You Like Me Too Much.”

Later, he could also be especially pious (other Beatles came to call him mockingly “His Holiness”) and cruel to underlings and employees, often to wife Pattie Boyd. Dishearteningly, readers find out that “Something” – perhaps the Beatles’ greatest love song and one of rock’s finest – details

Ever needed to know if The Beatles are still alive or if they did drugs? Here's our helpful answers to the most-Googled Beatles questions on the net.

As you’ll know if you’ve ever found the question ‘what is an EU, please?’ in your granny’s search history, people ask Google some pretty odd things.

Here, for example, are the most-Googled questions about The Beatles, for which we’ve helpfully provided answers…

Are the Beatles still alive?

Yes and no. The band itself suffered death by solo project in 1970, but half of the band’s members, Paul and Ringo, survive today. John Lennon was shot dead by fanatic Mark Chapman outside his home in the Dakota Building, New York, in December 1980 – terrifyingly, Chapman had a front row ticket to watch David Bowie in The Elephant Man on Broadway for the night after the Lennon murder; Bowie was second on his hit list. George Harrison died from cancer in 2001, his ashes are scattered in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India.

Who owns the Beatles catalogue?

Currently Sony/ATV Music Publishing owns the Beatles’ publishing, although Paul McCartney has begun the process of claiming his share o details

On June 23, 1994, surviving Beatles Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr gathered at Harrison's house—better known as Friar Park in Henley-on-Thames, England—to shoot some extra footage for their new project, The Beatles Anthology. In case you don't remember, Anthology was a hugely successful documentary TV series (now available on DVD), a three-volume set of double albums and a massive coffee-table book that focused on the long and winding road that was the Beatles' incredible career.

According to some sources, Paul, George and Ringo were originally supposed to perform the Beatles' "Let It Be" that day, and the resulting footage would've closed out the series. However, the late John Lennon's absence was apparently so overwhelming and upsetting that, after an unusually long discussion in George's garden, the three former Beatles decided to simply head to George's home studio and casually run through a few old songs—tunes that dated back to the Beatles' earliest days as a band.

In the video below, you can watch Paul, George and Ringo—"It was just two acoustic guitars and me on brushes," Ringo confirmed—play bits of "Raunchy" (0:01), "Thinking of Linking" (1:41) and "Blue M details

GONE TROPPO - Sunday, January 08, 2017

George’s tenth solo, studio album, was largely recorded between early May and the end of August 1982, a little over a year since he had released Somewhere in England. It was the last album to be recorded under his contract to Warner Bros, and it has the feel of a record that was delivered with that in mind, but that would be too simplistic a summing up of what is an album that’s got its fair share of surprises.

Released on Dark Horse Records in November 1982 George did not undertake any promotional activities for Gone Troppo, his mind was elsewhere on other projects. George’s opinions of the music industry at this time is probably best summed up by the album’s title, which is Australian slang for “gone crazy”, a feeling that’s reflected in the great cover art from Legs Larry Smith, formerly of the Bonzo Dog Band.

The record includes many of George’s musical mates – Britain’s go to percussionist Ray Cooper who also plays, marimba, glockenspiel, electric piano, drummer, Henry Spinetti, Herbie Flowers on bass, Billy Preston on organ, piano, keyboards, synthesizer and backing vocals, Jim Keltner plays drums and percussion, keyboard player, Mike Moran, Joe B details

George and Amal Clooney, Paul McCartney, and Meryl Streep were among the celebrities who trekked to Washington, D.C., on Friday for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's farewell celebration at the White House.

They were among those spotted arriving at the White House for the late-evening event, along with Gloria Estefan, Magic Johnson, Anna Wintour, Bradley Cooper, Harvey Weinstein, Lorne Michaels, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kelly Rowland, Tracee Ellis Ross, David Letterman, Gloria Estefan, Tyler Perry, Robert De Niro, Jon Hamm, Ken Burns, Stevie Wonder, Al Roker, Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.

Photos of the arrivals were posted on social media by reporters, including CNN's Betsy Klein, staked out near the White House entrance.

Many of the Obamas' friends who attended were donors and supporters throughout their White House years and two presidential campaigns.

The presence of so many celebrities may contrast to the turnout for Donald Trump's inauguration. His team has been trying to line up talent to perform at his inauguration festivities later this month. Performers like Elton John and Garth Brooks have declined.

By: Ted Johnson


His entry into show business was a film role, playing a son of then-Hollywood megastar Claudette Colbert in a movie made near the twilight of her storied career.

For a time, he shared the top floor of his parents' home with Paul McCartney, and became a friend and trusted business associate of The Beatles.

He played a key role in shaping the careers of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, serving as manager and record producer for both. But many know Peter Asher best as one half of British Invasion-era singing duo Peter and Gordon, who recorded a string of memorable hits in the mid-1960s including "A World Without Love," "I Go To Pieces" and "Lady Godiva." At 72, Asher remains an acclaimed record producer, currently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for "Bright Star," the original Broadway cast album of the play with an original score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.

He also is working with Academy and Grammy Award-winning film score composer Hans Zimmer on the recordings for two DreamWorks animated movies. With a career like this, it's not surprising Asher has a lot of great stories to tell and that's exactly what he will do when he comes to Sellersvil details

A unique piece of art depicting the bums of the famous Beatles foursome has been cordoned off. The copper moulds of the Beatles backsides on the Hoe have had metal railings placed around them, and it looks as if someone has been digging around the modern piece of art.

One reader wrote to The Herald saying: "[I was] walking across the Hoe yesterday [and] I came across the sorry state of the Beatles Bums fenced off and the leg of part of the fence standing in the beaten copper nice to see the £19,000 cost has not been completely wasted." But Plymouth City Council it is "just carrying out some general maintenance work to reinstate the ground where it has worn away.

The copper installment was revealed in November of 2015, and it received mixed reactions form Plymothians. The Fab Beatles tribute band was used to create the moulds. Each member of the band was lowered into a sandpit to create an initial impression before concrete was added. 

The image they are recreating was taken by music photographer David Redfern and shows the Beatles with an all-white Smeaton's Tower in the background. It has become one of the most recognisable pictures of the band.

By:C. Turner

Source: The Herald details

Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club is about to celebrate a landmark birthday. The Mathew Street landmark turns 60 on Monday, January 16 – and Cavern bosses are planning a year of celebrations including concerts, albums and a new book.

The original Cavern, based in the cellar of an old warehouse, was opened by jazz fan Alan Sytner on Wednesday January 16, 1957 – on the opening night the headliner was the Merseysippi Jazz Band.

Of course it’s best known for its 60s incarnation as the pulsating heart of Merseybeat, and as the stage for one Liverpool band in particular. The Beatles played the Cavern 292 times between February 9, 1960 and August 3, 1963. But there’s more to the history of the club, which was closed in the early 1970s and resurrected a decade later, than just the Fab Four.

Here are 25 things you might not know about the Cavern

1. The inspiration for the Cavern when it opened in 1957 was the Paris jazz club, Le Caveau De La Huchette.

2. The Cavern did not have a licensed bar until 1967.

3. Ringo Starr was the first Beatle to play the Cavern on July 31 1957 with the Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group. The Quarrymen’s first date at the venue was details

History is a playground-abused soccer ball, touched by 88,000 grubby fingertips.

Multi-dimensional, vastly panoramic, and full of lies and optical illusions, history can never be tacked flat to the wall: I suppose this is why you rarely see ninth graders with posters over their frilly pink beds of the evacuation of Dunkirk or the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse. However, myth, and the pop that comes before complicated desire, can be leveled, smoothed, and suitable for framing. But try framing a soccer ball!

This particular sphere is larger than Everest (yet simultaneously as tiny as a perfect sugar grain, because it is familiar and sweet on each and every one of our lips). The titanic, light-speed-spinning orb we call the Beatles. Look below it, and you’ll see it balances on the out-stretched index finger of a short Welshman named Allan Williams.

Of all the many fingers of fate, fickle and ridiculous, proud and pitiful, that the Beatles caldera-sized soccer ball balances on, Williams is one of the most important. Allan Williams died this past Friday, December 30, at age 86.

The Beatles’ unprecedented, seismic success and their filigreed, finessed sw details

An old newspaper that John Lennon used to forge the autographs of the rest of the Beatles is now tipped to sell for £1,500. The singer/songwriter, who was known as the joker of the band, faked the signatures of Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr on a photograph of the fledgling group. The image showed the young Fab Four crowning the 15-year-old Carnival Queen for the town of Northwich, Cheshire, in 1963. It appeared on the front page of Alkali News - an in-house magazine for chemical giant ICI and the teenager in the photo was the daughter of an ICI employee. 

The snap was taken by the late photographer Les Goode who later sent a copy of Alkali News to the Beatles in the hope they would sign it. It was returned with the message 'All the best from the Beatles,' followed by the apparent autographs of the 'Fab Four' all in the same blue pen. It is thought Mr Goode believed the signatures were all genuine. But when his widow recently took the newspaper to an auctioneers to sell it was realised they were indeed forgeries. 

The signature for McCartney resembles nothing like his autograph but Lennon's attempt to copy the impressions of Harrison and Starr were described as 'rather good'. But details

Sir Paul McCartney saw in the New Year with an unexpected appearance on stage with The Killers. The Las Vegas band were performing in St. Barts for Russian billionaire and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich when the Beatle made a surprise appearance.

McCartney played one of his old band’s songs, ‘Helter Skelter’, with the four-piece, who are led by Brandon Flowers. “So far, so good,” read the caption underneath a video of the performance posted on The Killers’ official Facebook page. 

A day later, McCartney posted a New Year’s message on his website, writing: “Happy New Year’s Day. May this year be a happy and peaceful one for you and your family and everyone around the world. Love Paul.”

He had previously confirmed his first live dates of the year would be in Japan in April.

In December, McCartney led an a cappella performance of his seasonal hit ‘Wonderful Christmastime’. The new version was the brainchild of late night US host Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, with his house band The Roots providing the entirely-vocal backing track. Fallon begins the cover, before lines are delivered by Matthew McConaug details


Can you imagine music, culture or life in general without the past century’s defining moment in music history?

Just try to picture our world without the Beatles. It’s like going down a rabbit hole and finding hundreds more rabbit holes in front of you. Your mind spins, your head hurts, and when you think you’ve come up with a cohesive and plausible vision, the reality of your delusion sets in.

“Too depressing. No Beatles: no British Invasion. No British Invasion: no Stevie. No Brucie. No Byrds. Bob Dylan doesn’t plug in. Depressing,” said Steve Van Zandt of E Street Band and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yes. All of that. And more. Nevertheless, we conducted a roundtable on the subject with several music history experts.

Our discussion began with the following: Without the Beatles, would the Rolling Stones have been the heir apparent to the crown? Would Dylan have plugged in at Newport 1965? Would there have been a British Invasion, or would the California sound — either northern or southern, Motown or Stax — have produced a wave strong enough to fill the vac details

They've been enjoying the sun-soaked weather in St. Barts over the festive period. Now continuing their romantic break away, Sir Paul McCartney, 74, and wife Nancy Shevell, 57, savored in a late evening dip on Friday on the West Indies island. The mega star's glamorous other half flaunted her enviable shape in a demure navy two-piece as she covered her petite frame with a festive red fringed blanket. 

Although wrapping her torso, the brunette beauty showcased her toned lithe limbs as she marched across the white sand with her long-term love. 

The businesswoman - who serves as vice president of her family's transportation organisation - teased at her taut stomach as her blanket tousled in the holiday paradise wind. Nancy - who first started dating the music maestro in 2007 - held onto her white towel as her wet locks were styled off her face into a sleek look while she smiled and joked with her music legend hubby. 

Accompanying his love, Paul sported a pair of coordinating navy swim shorts as he walked barefoot across the beach. The Beatles icon happily carried his towel and black T-shirt as he made his way back to the resort while his warm brown tresses rested on his forehead in a messy st details

The man credited with discovering the Beatles and who became the band's first manager has died at the age of 86. Allan Williams was also the original owner of Liverpool's Jacaranda Club. The Jacaranda tweeted: "Today our founder and the man who discovered the Beatles passed away. Allan Williams, you will be missed."

Williams worked with The Beatles from 1960 to 1961, getting the band gigs in Britain, and in Hamburg where their future development was shaped. Born in Bootle, Williams opened Jacaranda on Slater Street as a coffee bar in 1957 and it became a popular meeting place for many of the young musicians who were soon to make Merseybeat a worldwide phenomenon.

Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Lennon's fellow art school student Stuart Sutcliffe were among the customers and they asked Williams if they could play at the club. Initially, he asked them to work on decorating the venue before allowing them on stage. After helping to secure the band gigs at other venues, Williams personally drove the van to take the Beatles to Hamburg in 1960. But he parted company with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe in 1961. The following January, the band - minus Sutcliffe - signed a fiv details

George Michael bought the piano on which John Lennon composed the classic hit song Imagine so it would not end up in storage and could be 'seen by the people'.

The Wham! frontman anonymously paid £1.67 million for the upright historic Steinway formerly owned by the ex-Beatle at a pop memorabilia auction in 2000.

Purchasing it so it would stay in the country, Michael was later revealed as the owner of the instrument and announced he was going to hand it over to the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool. 

Before the auction, the piano had been loaned to the museum by a private collector who bought it in 1992, but when the collector decided to sell it there were fears it would be lost to wealthy Beatles fans in Japan or the US.

In an interview around the time of the purchase Michael said it was 'worth every penny' as he confirmed it would be returning to the city. 'Having paid one and a half million pounds for it I'd really like to play something on it and stick it on my next record,' Michael added. 'So as I'm recording right now I think I'll hold on to it for a couple of months and see if I can get it on to my new record and then it's going back to the museum in Liverpool where I think it ri details

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