Almost 51 years ago, screaming masses of young people ran amok in the streets of Toronto, proving definitively that Beatlemania was alive and well in Canada.
They were anxiously awaiting their first glimpse of the Fab Four in the flesh as the Beatles prepared to play Maple Leaf Gardens for the first time.
CBC was there, capturing the happy pandemonium of fans young and old (check out the grandmas who give the guys their stamp of approval because they're "decent, clean boys!"), as well as talking to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison about the fan fury that follows them around the world.
Click through the gallery above for vintage photos of the Beatles' British Invasion, courtesy of the CBC Still Photo Collection, and watch the amazing archival news footage below for a glimpse at the boy band demands of 1964.
By: Andrea Warner
Yoko Ono teamed up with U2's Bono and The Edge on Wednesday to unveil a tapestry honoring John Lennon. The John Lennon Amnesty International Tapestry was presented inside the Registry Room at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in New York. The 24-foot by 10-foot tapestry depicts Manhattan as a yellow submarine with Lennon as its captain waving a peace sign.
The artwork was unveiled on the 40th anniversary of Lennon receiving his green card allowing him permanent residency in the United States. The tapestry was commissioned by Art For Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey as a token of appreciation for Ono, 82, giving Amnesty International rights to record covers of Lennon's post-Beatles songs.
The Make Some Noise campaign has featured Lennon covers by U2, R.E.M., Christina Aguilera, The Cure, Duran Duran and other artists and has raised more than $5 million for the human rights advocacy group.
By: Paul Chavez
Source: The Daily Mail
It’s 50 years since the release of the Beatles’s second feature film, Help!. Whatever you may think of the film itself (which got very mixed reviews) this rollicking film of “good, clean insanity” provides a wonderfully unique window on to the social changes that men saw in the 1960s.
As Alex Bilmes recently wrote in Esquire, the Beatles “made it not just OK but insanely desirable to be a stylish, successful, smartarse British man”. The representation of masculinity embodied in Help! is a key stepping stone to more obvious displays of gender fluidity that were to emerge in later decades.
It’s 50 years since the release of the Beatles’s second feature film, Help!. Whatever you may think of the film itself (which got very mixed reviews) this rollicking film of “good, clean insanity” provides a wonderfully unique window on to the social changes that men saw in the 1960s. As Alex Bilmes recently wrote in Esquire, the Beatles “made it not just OK but insanely desirable to be a stylish, successful, smartarse British man”. The representation of masculinity embodied in Help! is a key stepping stone to more obvious displays of gender fluidity that we details
At risk of starting an unresolvable debate The Beatles' 1965/66 pair of albums Rubber Soul and Revolver are the reason they're the revered group they remain to this day. Built on an upfront act of genre rebellion — touching on everything from world music, folk rock and psych pop — the records set the band on the defining course away from simply being the marketable 'fab four'. Creative diversity and confidence that earned both albums a top five finish in the 2012 Rolling Stone 'top 200 albums of all time' list.
In celebration of the albums' 50th anniversary, a selection of antipodean artists have banded together for the national Rubber Soul Revolver tour, where they will perform both iconic releases in full. Marlon Williams, Husky Gawenda (Husky), Jordie Lane and Fergus Linacre (Kingswood) will bring the albums back to life with their own contemporary touch added to the classic tracks. "'Rubber Soul' strikes the beautiful balance between incredible pop music with just a little bit of weirdness in it", Williams explains of the album's influential mark, while Gawenda adds that "the songs are so musical and touch on universal things, I don't think that time and place really matters".
By: Jonny Nai details
Over 900 songwriters or singers have written or sung about weather, the most common being Bob Dylan, followed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, according to British researchers, writing in the journal Weather. Sixteen percent, or 48, of The Beatles' 308 songs are weather-related.
Weather plays a powerful role in our lives so it should be no surprise that the theme is played out in the music songwriters and singers produce, researchers said.
"I think they simply wrote about aspects of the world that they enjoyed or inspired them. They have lots of good catchy music tunes, so that helps too," Dr. Sally Brown of the University of Southampton, which is part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said.
Brown and other Tyndall researchers uncovered 759 popular songs with a weather connection, with about 7 percent of the top 500 songs being weather-related. The group has developed a database of the songs and is looking for any additions it may have missed.
As songwriters, The Beatles made deep connections with their audience about the nature of the human condition, according to Beatles' expert Dr. Kenneth Womack, dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmo details
As any rock fan knows, the Beatles never got back together.
What you might not know is that even partial Beatles reunions and "near misses" were frustratingly rare back when such things mattered (prior to George Harrison's death in 2001).
Which is why the video below is so enjoyable.
On June 5, 1987, three of the five original musicians who appeared on the classic Beatles White Album track "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" reunited to perform the song live at the Prince's Trust Rock Gala at London's Wembley Arena. George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton were joined by an all-star U.K. band, including Elton John, Phil Collins, Jeff Lynne, Ray Cooper and ... well, if you're wondering who that understandably happy bassist is, it's Mark King from Level 42. Harrison, Starr and Clapton last performed the song live 16 years earlier at the Concert for Bangladesh in New York City.
By: Damian Fanelli
Source: Guitar Worlddetails
A last-ditch effort 'before their long love affair with the squealers dies out'
It was 50 years ago—on July 29, 1965—that the Beatles movie Help! was released in the U.K., and TIME’s critic had a very cynical guess as to why. “Help! is the Beatles‘ all-out try at carving a new career as a screen team before their long love affair with the squealers dies out,” the magazine surmised shortly after its U.S. release later that summer. “As such, it is a failure, for as actors they are still nothing but Beatles, without enough characterization—or even caricaturization—to play anything but sight gags.”
The second half of that paragraph was pretty accurate: even while playing characters, the Beatles were still unmistakably the Beatles. They never quite managed (with the possible exception of Ringo Starr’s turn on Shining Time Station) to fully take on roles other than their own. But the idea that the band needed Help! to boost a dimming star is, in hindsight, dead wrong. Today, decades after their run ended, there are plenty of “squealers” who still love the Beatles.
And, for that matter, who still love Help!
By : Lily Rothman details
As so often happens these days, the big art story of the moment is, in fact, really a celebrity story.
I'm talking about super-rapper Kanye West's team-up with video art maestro-turned-Oscar-winner Steve McQueen for the new video, All Day/I Feel Like That. The resulting nine-minute opus, presented as a video installation, got a four-day run at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (it closes today).
What makes this more than the most basic of music-video premises is West's relationship to the camera. Sometimes it swivels away from him, forcing him to chase it to center himself in the frame; sometimes it comes at him, forcing him to dodge.
As the rollicking All Day segues into the more morose I Feel Like That, the rapper sinks to the floor in seeming exhaustion, the camera still hovering over him, as if in a kind of triumph.
There is a precedent that comes to mind here. The relationship between camera and subject here calls to mind John Lennon/Yoko Ono's Rape (1969), for which the duo had a cameraman pursue a young woman through the streets of London. At first she tries to engage the camera to find out what's going on, then to escape it, and then at last, as it chases her into her apartment, she br details
He'll star as the iconic singer-songwriter in Radio 2's 'When Elvis Met The Beatles'.
British actor Tom Hughes is to play John Lennon in a forthcoming radio drama.
Hughes, known for his roles in BBC One's Silk and the Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant film Cemetery Junction, will portray the iconic singer-songwriter in BBC Radio 2's When Elvis Met The Beatles.
The drama's writer, Jeff Young, describes it as "a kind of fake documentary" that imagines what happened when the Fab Four met the American singer at his L.A. mansion in August 1965. Kevin Mains, who played Lennon's songwriting partner Paul McCartney in recent ITV drama Cilla, will co-star as Presley.
By: Nick Levine
Among those receiving LIPA companionship's from Sir Paul were Slade's Noddy Holder, Travis star Fran Healy and Everyman's Gemma Bodinetz.
Sir Paul McCartney was back in Liverpool today for the annual LIPA graduation ceremony.
The Beatles star was on hand to honour the institute’s new Companions, who this year included Gemma Bodinetz, the artistic director of the Everyman and Playhouse theatres since 2003.
Among others from the arts and entertainment world receiving the accolade from Sir Paul – LIPA’s co-founder – today were Slade star Noddy Holder and Travis frontman Fran Healy.
The other five new Companions were four-time Grammy-winning record producer Hugh Padgham, music manager and founder of Quest Management Scott Rodger, theatre designer Conor Murphy, professor of applied and social theatre James Thompson and contemporary dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre Sharon Watson.
Source: The Liverpool Echodetails
Organisers of a major creative event in Woodbridge have announced this summer’s line-up – and an expansion of the festival.
As well as music and art, this year’s event will include a literary strand, featuring books about music, with the preview of a new work about The Beatles, featuring never seen before photos from the first years of Beatlemania.
The Woodbridge Art and Music Festival takes place over the weekend of August 8 and 9 with acts ranging from festival headliners to cult club DJs, pioneering electronic acts from the 1960s, inspirational hip hop artists, visual artists, disco dons, guitar icons, psychedelic rockers, and talks by authors.
Ben Osborne, event organiser and founder of music and art collective Noise of Art, said: “The festival will be holding its debut literary strand on the Sunday of this year’s festival weekend.
“The literary strand will feature books about music, including a yet-to-be-released special edition book of new Beatles photographs, and the biographies of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks by Zoe Howe, and Peter Gabriel by Daryl Easlea, plus a book at bedtime session for younger festival-goers between 4.30pm and 6pm.
Brad Hughes doesn’t need any “help” when it comes to his obsession with everything Beatles. The 14-year-old from Lisarow has been on the “long and winding road” to collect everything and anything to do with The Beatles because there’s “something” he just loves about them.
It all started when Brad, aged about 8, and his dad, Simon, were on a “day tripper” in the car and Brad heard a Beatles CD for the first time. Since then and “with a little help from his friends”, mostly his parents, he has managed to amass one of the largest collections of Beatles memorabilia this side of Liverpool, England.
It includes rare comics, books, records, model cars, vinyls, newspaper clippings, DVDs and a Beatles jukebox.
“Dad was a musician and a Beatles fan,” Brad said. “I heard a CD in the car and it all started from there.” He won’t nominate a favourite Beatle – he has a soft spot for George and John – and he won’t say which era of Beatles music he likes the best.
By: Denice Barnes
Source: Daily Telegraph
ARTIST CREATES THOUGHT PROVOKING COMIC STRIP ILLUSTRATING THE LYRICS TO JOHN LENNON’S CLASSIC SONG ON WORLD PEACE.
Pablo Stanley has used his illustration skills to create a visual representation of John Lennon’s 1971 song, “Imagine.” The comic strip he created depicts lyrics from the song imploring the listener to “imagine there’s no heaven,” “no countries,” “no religion.” Legendary activists for change are depicted such as Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Harvey Milk, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
By: Alison Lesley
Source: World Religion News
These days, Freda Kelly leads an uncomplicated life. Every morning, she drives from her home in the Wirral to a legal firm in Birkenhead, where she is secretary to one of the senior partners. She starts her working day at 9am, dealing with legal files, setting up appointments, liaising with mental health tribunals and typing up letters at a steady speed of 50wpm. On her desk, the stapler is labelled with her name in case anyone should be tempted to claim it as their own. She has been working here for 21 years.
Of late, Freda, 68, has found herself at the centre of some unexpected attention. She finds this baffling. "I mean," she says with a slight shake of the head, "who wants to hear the secretary's story?"
In the case of this particular secretary, hundreds of thousands of people around the world would be a conservative estimate. Because Freda Kelly isn't just any old secretary. For a period of 11 years from 1962, she was, in fact, secretary to the Beatles. This month, she is the subject of a new documentary, Good Ol' Freda, in which she gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the 20th century's most famous band. Despite the acres of print and miles of footage that have been devoted details
Paul McCartney and Wings’ Red Rose Speedway, released on April 30, 1973, was supposed to be a double album — something indicative of a band at the peak of its powers. Instead, not long after, Wings disintegrated, with both drummer Denny Seiwell and guitarist Henry McCullough leaving.
It was as shocking as the resulting studio effort was uneven. Seiwell, already a rock-steady vet, had been with Paul McCartney since 1971’s Ram, creating a sturdy backbone for the early days of Wings that followed. The free-spirited McCullough had joined in time for the group’s biggest early successes, including the charttopping “My Love” and the Bond theme “Live and Let Die.” But When one domino fell, it seemed, they both did. McCartney, wife Linda McCartney and stalwart Denny Laine were left to move on with sessions in Lagos for what would become the multi-platinum Band on the Run.
By: Nick Deriso
Source: Something Else Reviewsdetails
Wait, so who’s the Walrus?
The Beatles were always known for being a bit playful with the general public. Making a film about how popular they are, doing an impromptu gig on the top of Apple Corps (heck, naming their record company Apple Corps), and that whole palava about being bigger than Jesus, they always knew how to toy with the press and their fans. They even admitted to having experimented with tea… and biscuits.
But their public persona was just part of their cheekiness. The band’s entire discography, particularly that which came out after they decided to quit touring and commit to the recording booth, is chock full of in-jokes, shout-outs and other cool tidbits explicitly snuck in there for their fanbase to obsess over decades into the future.
There are, of course, all the call-backs to earlier songs that are always good for a smile – in I Am The Walrus John Lennon instructs you to “See how they fly like Lucy in the sky” and All You Need Is Love ends in a (somewhat impromptu) rendition of She Loves You’s chorus. But they’re obvious to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the Fab Four – there’s much more hidden in their songs than th details
Eerie. Mystical. Hallucinatory. Numerous words have been used to describe “Blue Jay Way,” one of George Harrison’s Magical Mystery Tour contributions. A kind of sibling to “I Am the Walrus” with its eerie string arrangement, the track represents Harrison’s continued growth as a songwriter and his willingness to experiment with avant-garde structure and themes.
“Blue Jay Way” originated from a rather mundane situation. George Harrison and wife Pattie Boyd, Neil Aspinall, and Alexis Mardas (better known as “Magic Alex”) were visiting California. They were staying at a rented house in the Hollywood hills on a street called — yes — “Blue Jay Way.” One day, Beatles publicist Derek Taylor was driving to meet them at the house, but had gotten lost in the Los Angeles canyon fog. Bored, Harrison jotted down his thoughts to ward off ennui and, frankly, stay awake.
“To keep myself awake, just as a joke to pass the time while I waited, I wrote a song about waiting for him in Blue Jay Way,” Harrison explained in 1968. “There was a little Hammond [S-6] organ in the corner of this house which I hadn’t noticed until then details
Choosing the most popular Beatles songs of all time among the countless hit records they have made is indeed risky business. We all have that sweet spot for some special Beatles song, right? But some of the band’s songs have received such widespread love that it is impossible to ignore their huge impact on the band’s career. They are the ones that are included in this list while ardently trying not to offend any Beatles fans here! Don’t be surprised to find out that at least one of them could also be found in the list of 10 Most Popular Songs of All Time.
Throughout the 60s the world had been dazzled by the undeniable popularity of the Beatlemania, and the “Fab Four” line-up Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr became international superstars after their brief stint in the Liverpool and Hamburg club circuit. Their brand of rock music laced with classical elements became the talk of the town, and soon they became the leading artists of the “British invasion” in America. And 1965 onwards there was no looking back as they continued producing one hit album after the other, including Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatl details
Young musicians were delighted when the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus rolled into Tallaght this week.
The bus doubles up as a mobile recording studio and gives young singers the chance to take a trip on a 'Magical Musical Tour'.While aboard the bus, students write, record and produce their own music song and videos.
Established 16 years ago by Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, the bus will travel along a 'Long and Winding Road' to six different Music Generation Centres around Ireland. The 24-day Irish national tour will see the bus travel to 11 counties. Lindsey Lawlor (17) was one of the lucky few to board the bus in Tallaght. "We came in and got a tour of the bus. Then we wrote a song from scratch and made a music video," Lindsey said. "It's amazing. The facilities they have are just fantastic."
The nationwide tour took over a year to organise. "Some of the counties where we will stop have been running competitions to select the students who will get to go on board," tour coordinator Caroline Wynne said. The bus was parked in the wide open Library Square in Tallaght and will operate from a beach carpark in Donegal next month. "That's what Music Generation is about," Caroline said. "We go in to every county details
We still believe in yesterday. Well, 18,262 yesterdays ago to be exact. Help! is celebrating a 50th birthday.
The Beatles fifth studio album was released on July 23, 1965, in the United Kingdom. In States, where the Fab Four material was repackaged, recycled and retitled on several labels, it was either their eighth or tenth release, depending on how you count them.
Regardless of its sequential place in the band's discography, Help! signaled a dramatic turning point in the Beatles career. The Liverpool quartet made a bold leap from teen beat combo to studio artists. Rock & roll covers were now a rarity, relegated to just a couple tracks on Side Two. Paul, John, George and Ringo were no longer wearing black suits or turtlenecks on the album cover. The Beatles had met Bob Dylan a year before, and now acoustic guitars and frank introspection were working their way into the songwriting. The title alone was an sincerely plea from John, not merely some love-struck ditty.
Days later, Help!, the group's zany second feature film, would hit theaters. To celebrate the half-century birthday of a pop culture landmark, here some fascinating facts about the album and film.
By: Brent DiCrescenzo
The historic moment the Fab Four met the king of rock 'n' roll will be recreated in a new radio play almost 50 years to the day since it happened.
A Radio 2 play will revisit the Beatles' trip to Elvis Presley's Los Angeles mansion with the star of The Game, Tom Hughes, playing John Lennon.
Presley is played by Kevin Mains, who previously starred as the US singer in the West End show Million Dollar Quartet and portrayed Paul McCartney in ITV's Cilla.
Two other stars of Cilla, Tom Dunlea and Michael Hawkins, recreate their roles from that show, playing Ringo Starr and George Harrison respectively, with Shaun Mason as Paul McCartney.
Hughes said: "It's said that you shouldn't meet your heroes, I'm not sure that's true. John Lennon is a hero of mine. I'll never have the chance to meet him, so playing him is the next best thing. I was delighted to be asked and I just hope that in some way I've done this great man justice."
Source: Belfast Telegraphdetails
WHEN Ivor Davis was invited join The Beatles on their first American tour over 50 years ago, nothing prepared him for the wild adventure that lay ahead.
The young Los Angeles-based British showbiz journalist briefly became the fifth member of the band, documenting their U.S. escapades and ghost-writing George Harrison’s column for his London newspaper.
A goggle-eyed Davis spent five weeks jet-setting across the States as the Fab Four fought their way through hordes of screaming fans, bedded an endless supply of groupies and hookers, got high on marijuana with Bob Dylan, sparred with Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) and had their one and only encounter with ‘The King’ Elvis Presley.
Ivor was also on the scene during a night in Las Vegas when John Lennon was interrogated by police after a mother complained that her two underage daughters were being detained in his suite.
By: Eddie Rowley
Source: Sunday Worlddetails
For the 50th anniversary of the world premiere of the Beatles second film, “Help!,” the South Pasadena Library will host a free screening on July 30 following a performance of Beatles songs by an ad hoc group of Fab Four-inspired musicians.
The screening comes 50 years and a day after “Help!” premiered in London on July 29, 1965, at the London Pavilion Theatre for an audience that included Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon.
“Help!” has been screened in public venues only sporadically over the years, and the South Pasadena Library arranged this event with special permission from the Beatles company, Apple Corps Ltd. UK.
“Help!” followed the quartet’s 1964 cinematic debut, “A Hard Day’s Night,” the latter considered one of the best rock music films of all time. The low-budget, black-and-white film used a cinema verite approach, which gave way a year later to the bigger-budget, color production of “Help!”
By: Randy Lewis
Source: LA Times
A hand-written letter from Doors singer Jim Morrison during his stint in Paris – postmarked May 18th, 1971, less than three months before his death – is currently bringing over $23,000 at RR's Marvels of Modern Music auction. The event, which ends today, also features autographed and rare memorabilia from John Lennon, Ringo Starr, the Ramones and infamous punk rebel GG Allin, among others.
Another high-profile item is a hand-written note from John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Beatles press officer Derek Taylor circa 1969, referencing instructions for an unspecified concert. "Audience must not be 'loaded' with 'officials – (Mayors and Kennedys) it must be mainly kids and critics," Lennon writes. "Any charity bits (the gate) only to be known after the event." Ono pens the next three lines: "Don't explain us – John & Yoko. None of Yoko is a good artist bit they ought to know by now." And Lennon finishes by writing, "Tickets shouldn't be too expensive and none of that all Bernsteins and such likes kids getting the 'best' seats at the zoo." The note is currently bringing $1,000.
By: Ryan Reed
Source: Rolling Stone
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Adrian Bridge goes on the trail of the Beatles, 50 years after the then unknown teenagers headed to the German port.
It is not hard to see how five young lads from Liverpool who had barely been abroad before might have been taken with Hamburg. The German port had a reassuring grittiness to it.
It had the raw energy and power that comes with a seafaring tradition. It had creative tension and edge. It had money. It had amphetamines. And it had sex. No wonder they liked it. Like many British bands back then, the Beatles – who at the time of their first visit to Hamburg numbered five: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe – went there to seek their fame and fortune. And they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
Incredible though it may seem, today it will be 50 years ago to the day since the band played the first of what, during the course of five separate visits over the next two and a half years, would be 281 concerts in Hamburg. Their work rate was phenomenal – at one point in 1961 they played for 98 nights in succession, frequently starting at 7pm and going through until 7am. They learnt how to survive on their wits, their flair for improvisation details