Beatles News

A renegade with a bottomless bag of dance moves helps put the final contemporary touches on the 2015 remix of Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson's "Say Say Say," off the newly remastered edition of McCartney's 1983 LP, Pipes of Peace.

Ryan Huffington directed and choreographed the clip, which premiered on Facebook and follows a young man as he traipses, in time, through his neighborhood to a slick, streamlined reworking of the indelible pop cut. The dancer joins up with similarly quick-footed kids before breaking off on his own, cutting loose on top of a car and watching another group of dancers, whom the camera catches beautifully through his outspread, perpetually shaking legs.

As his journey continues, the boy barges into a bodega and brings out the youthful, rhinestone-studded luster of an elderly woman before making his way to a backroom where the festivities are already underway. The final minute of "Say Say Say" is an ebullient dance-off rife with outrageous moves befitting the timelessness of McCartney and Jackson's party jam. 

By: Jon Blistein

Source: Rolling Stone


If John Lennon had lived he would have been 75 on Friday, October 9, 2015. Instead, he was shot in 1980, outside the apartment building in New York where he had lived for nine years. Radio 2 has marked the anniversary with a two-part Monday-night series, John Lennon: the New York Years. Radio 4 devoted its Archive on 4 hour on Saturday to John Lennon Verbatim. All three programmes were made by Des Shaw for independents Ten Alps. There were thus bound to be common uses of source material, overlaps in the narrative but differences in style.

The Radio 2 series had film star Susan Sarandon as narrator, and drew on reminiscences from journalists, photographers and friends. Part one traced the rise of The Beatles’ fame in the US, from their first Ed Sullivan shows to after they split and Lennon, having fallen in love with Yoko Ono and out of love with Britain (lack of privacy, constant press intrusion), moved to New York, where he could go out for a chocolate milkshake in peace. Part two last night looked at the later years, how his music changed, why he loved the city so. Colourful, fast moving, it was hard to know who was talking because Sarandon breathed their names so softly.

Radio 4’s programme had no details

Paul McCartney, still stung by the loss of his wife, was feeling nostalgic as the 1990s drew to a close.

Instead of rehashing the obvious successes he’d had with the Beatles or Wings, however, he traveled further back – all the way to the music that first sparked something inside the hearts of a young John Lennon and Paul McCartney: The records of the 1950s, of Chuck Berry and Larry Williams, of Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent. Each played an important role in shaping the early Beatles sound.

So, while McCartney holed up in Abbey Road (site of so many brilliant Beatles recordings) and with Chris Thomas (who had co-produced Back to the Egg, the 1979 finale of Paul McCartney’s sunsequent band Wings), he went about things in an older old-fashioned way. That meant none of the decades-old studio-craftsmanship so closely associated with McCartney. Instead, the resulting Run Devil Run (released on October 4, 1999) was fast and loose, and — because of its early-rock leanings — almost nothing like the bulk of his other previously issued solo recordings.

McCartney tears through Ricky Nelson’s “Lonesome Town,” and Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up,” and Be details

Looking back on his first meeting with The Beatles, film director Richard Lester remembers the unexpected topic of conversation that brought them together. “The boys found out that I was this pathetic jazz piano player,” he explains. “That gave them something to lord over me because I was the past and they were the future. John Lennon in particular hated jazz, and he told me that.”

When Lester met The Beatles in late 1963, the intention was to make a cheap, black-and-white jukebox movie to capitalise on the band’s extraordinary success. For his film, Lester assembled a remarkable cross section of talent – including Wilfred Brambell, Victor Spinetti, Pattie Boyd and Lionel Blair – who all witnessed first hand Beatlemania in full tilt. “It was becoming increasingly intense for the boys,” says Boyd, who met her future husband George Harrison on the film’s shoot.

Meanwhile Blair, an old friend of the band, recalls the logistical problems accompanying the shoot: “They couldn’t walk round the streets or anything. There were screaming girls everywhere.” But despite such obstacles, A Hard Day’s Night rose about the ruck of rock’n&r details

The other day I threw out my first Beatles album — which is akin to throwing out one of the only photos of a dead relative, a perfectly good organic burrito or a $20 bill. Beatles albums have been discarded before, but mostly by crazies and Klansmen back in early March ’66, when dubiously contextualized quotes from John claimed that “Christianity will vanish and shrink…” and that “We’re (The Beatles) more popular than Jesus now.” That was 49 years ago, three years before I was born.

On Friday, I turned 46. And instead of taking some kind of inventory (I’m saving that for 50), I began to think about my relationship with the Beatles, who were still together when I was born (take that, Y and Z Generations!). And my relationship to them, unlike that with just about everyone else in my life after nearly half a century (friends, family, women, pets, the government, R.E.M.) is more or less the same: pure love. I am the human equivalent of Ringo’s peace fingers, and have been since I first began playing with the LPs that my mother and father gave me to play with because I was an early-depressed child. Some of those wonderful objects had posters, and lyrics, and these details

In The Beatles Anthology, George Harrison recalled, "There used to be a situation where we'd go in (as we did when we were kids), pick up our guitars, all learn the tune and chords and start talking about arrangements. But there came a time ... when Paul [McCartney] had fixed an idea in his brain as to how to record one of his songs ... It was taken to the most ridiculous situations, where I'd open my guitar case and go to get my guitar out and he'd say, 'No, no, we're not doing that yet.' ... It got so there was very little to do, other than sit around and hear him going, 'Fixing a hole ...' with Ringo [Starr] keeping the time."

John Lennon would allow Harrison to weave guitar hooks into his compositions, but McCartney would sometimes remove Harrison's guitar solos on songs like "Another Girl," "Penny Lane," and "Hello, Goodbye." Throughout the Seventies, guitarists for Wings would quit after realizing they would have almost zero input on what they played or did not play. Which is fine; McCartney's a musical genius and should be able to hire who he wants to do what he wants. But Harrison didn't need or want to be a faceless session man getting paid on the clock.

Harrison was also losing Lennon, the big brother/ details

Before The Beatles became a legendary supergroup whose music is still celebrated by generations of fans, there was The Quarrymen.

The name of John Lennon’s first skiffle/rock and roll group, the Quarrymen was formed in 1956 and featured some of Lennon’s school mates. One of those mates was Rod Davis, who grew up with Lennon near Liverpool, and played with him as a small child, even attending Sunday school with the future legend.

Currently touring Canada in celebration of what would have been Lennon’s 75th birthday, Oct. 9, Davis will tell some of those stories from the early days at the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Oct. 15. Hosted by the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society (VFRMS), the show will also feature a PowerPoint presentation with photos of the guys and the places where they grew up and performed. “He will also be playing some of the songs he sang with Lennon so long ago, and will wrap up the evening with a Q&A from the audience,” said Paul Tessier, with the VFRMS.

Davis, who grew up in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool, first met Lennon at St. Peter’s Church, where the boys both attended Sunday school. Later, they found themselves students at Quarry Bank High Schoo details

Lennon’s Other Legacy - Saturday, October 03, 2015

On December 8, 1980, mere weeks after his 40th birthday, musical legend John Lennon was murdered. An article in Newsweek's December 13, 2010 issue commemorated both his birthday and the anniversary of his death. This article, and others about Lennon's life and legacy, are included in a new Newsweek Special Edition.

'Tis the season for John Lennon. The former Beatle had the misfortune of being murdered on December 8, 1980, mere weeks after his 40th birthday, and so for the past few months we’ve had to endure a wearying deluge of documentaries, reissues, biopics and exhibitions of the sort that only the twinned, round-number, life-bracketing anniversaries of an assassinated pop legend could possibly occasion. At first, it seemed as if the releases might reveal something new about Lennon’s music. But now that the date of his death is approaching and the tributes haven’t stopped, it’s clear that the most revealing thing about this year’s anniversary extravaganza isn’t some remastered version of “Imagine.” It’s that Lennon’s celebrity—the very thing that killed him—is still large and lucrative enough to inspire such a frenzy in 2010.

The hullabal details

Statues of The Beatles could be installed on Liverpool’s waterfront.

During the summer it was revealed that the Cavern Club is paying £200,000 for the 8ft tall bronzes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The club said it was donating the statues to the city and hoped they would be placed at the Pier Head. Now a planning application has been submitted by Liverpool City Council for the statues to be placed prominently at the waterfront site near Brunswick Street, and in front of the Three Graces.

According to a heritage statement accompanying the plans, the location is “within the Castle Street Conservation Area, and the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site”. But the planning application says the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, which was written for the location’s World Heritage Site status, also says “the significance of the Beatles is mentioned specifically”.

The application also states: “From distant views the statue will not be seen, and even closer vistas such as the view west from Castle Street along Brunswick Street, the figures will be indistinguishable from people.

“The figures wi details

John Lennon made drawings before he met Yoko Ono in 1966, but it was only after he started a relationship with Ono—at the time a rising art star—that he really came into his own as an artist. Over the course of their time together, the Beatle went from rendering cartoons influenced by British absurdist humor to a simple but elegant style that was indebted to both contemporary minimalism and traditional Japanese painting. His modest, intimate portraits of Yoko and their son Sean provided a fitting visual accompaniment to the music he made about their lives together.

This month, the AFA Gallery in New York City is unveiling an exhibition of Lennon's drawings to mark what would have been his 75th birthday. Before its opening, Esquire got on the phone with Yoko to discuss John Lennon the artist, and why Paul McCartney expressed gripes about Beatles songwriting credits.

How are you?

You know, busy. That's good.

You have this exhibit opening soon.

I know. I'm really happy about that, because this is John's 75th this year, so I wanted good representation of John in many places. And this is one that's very good.

By: Miles Raymer

Source: Esquire


More than 60% of Britons cannot identify the famous historical faces on our banknotes, a survey reveals today (Fri). Many believe their banknote images should be replaced by modern-day icons like the Beatles, JK Rowling and Cilla Black. Only 33% of people could name philanthropist and social reformer Elizabeth Fry whose face appears on £5 notes. Four in ten Brits mistakenly thought she was either modern nursing founder Florence Nightingale or Queen Victoria - while the rest had no idea who was pictured on the note.

Even fewer people (25%) recognised economist Adam Smith on the £20 note - with many mistaking him for civil engineer George Stevenson or the Duke of Wellington.

Founding father of evolutionary theory Charles Darwin proved easier to pick out on the £10 note - with two thirds naming him correctly.

But only one in three knew manufacturers Matthew Boulton and James Watt featured on the £50 note. They were mistaken for 1960s British comedy duo Michael Flanders and Donald Swan and French chemist Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch the German founder of bacteriology. Vix Leyton of cash-back site Quidco, which quizzed 2,000 people in the survey, said: “This lack of knowledge co details

A recording of The Beatles playing at The Cavern Club has been found in a desk drawer and will be sold at auction next month. The tape features audio of the band playing 'Some Other Guy' at The Cavern Club in September 1962. Granada chose to record the band playing live after footage they filmed for TV show Know The North was affected by technical issues.

Beatles manager Brian Epstein ordered five copies of the tape to be produced. TV producer Johnnie Hamp will auction one of the tapes at The Cavern on November 4 as part of Adam Partridge Liverpool's memorabilia auction, BBC News reports.

Just one of the five tapes has been sold in the past, with Apple Records buying a copy in 1993 for £16,000. The appetite for Beatles memorabilia shows no signs of slowing down.

Earlier this week the band's first ever management contract, signed with long-term manager Brian Epstein, was sold at auction. The item was up for sale on September 29 at Sotherby's Rock and Pop auction in London for £365,000. The contract was famously signed in 1962 despite Paul McCartney annoying Epstein by attending a meeting late as he was taking a bath, and agreed by some of The Beatles' parents because they were too young to sig details

You have to wonder what John Lennon might have done with an additional 35 years.

Even up to his death, the former Beatle continued to create memorable, sonically pleasing songs, including “Woman,” “Nobody Told Me” and “(Just Like) Starting Over.” But on Dec. 8, 1980 — not long after he wrote “Grow Old With Me” — Lennon was gunned down in New York City.

If former band mate Paul McCartney is any indication, Lennon, who would have turned 75 on Oct. 9, would have continued to create music. But his tragic murder requires Lennon be remembered for the vast catalogue he compiled during his 40 years.

Several local performers will offer their own interpretations of those songs during tribute concerts at the Shell Cafe tonight and on Oct. 13 at SOhO in Santa Barbara — two special editions of the Songwriters at Play Series, which occasionally features tribute nights.

We asked three of the performers to write about the Lennon songs they chose to sing.

LOREN RADIS, NIPOMO - ‘All You Need is Love’

This has long been my favorite song, and it’s more than just beautiful to listen to — it’s a true and pow details

Noted animal lover Paul McCartney brought down the house at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ 35th Anniversary Celebration at the Hollywood Palladium Wednesday night.

Macca took the stage for a rollicking hourlong set, which included Beatles hits like “Let It Be” and “Blackbird” as well as Wings cuts and his animal rights anthem, “Looking for Changes.”

Beck joined the legend onstage for high-energy renditions of “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “Drive My Car,” eliciting a huge response from the crowd.

“When I first heard the name, that’s what appealed to me, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” McCartney said during his set. “I thought that was really a very dignified, very cool title. They’ve got 35 years of saving so many animals. And we love them.”

PETA doled out awards to some of its most vocal celeb supporters, including Bill Maher, Alicia Silverstone, Jason Biggs and Tommy Lee. RZA and Maggie Q were also honored for their promotion of the vegan lifestyle.

“PETA and I have the same motto, actually: If anything’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing details

Imagine — John Lennon weighing in on global politics today.

One of the 20th century’s most influential artists would be turning 75 on Friday, October 9, and San Francisco is throwing a party with fresh prints of his fine art.

San Francisco Art Exchange opens to the public “Imagine Peace – The Artwork of John Lennon” October 9 — honoring Lennon’s 75th birthday with over 60 prints available for sale through October 31, including several new releases and the iconic “Self-Portrait”, used on the film poster for the 1988 documentary Imagine John Lennon.

Lennon was a visual artist before he became a guitarist. He attended the prestigious Liverpool Art Institute from 1957-1960 and worked mainly in line drawing throughout his life. Lennon wrote and illustrated three books: In His Own Write (1964), A Spaniard in the Works (1965), and Skywriting by Word of Mouth (1986). He had loose and sketchy style with both whimsical characters and loving family portraits.

Lennon first published 14 lithographs in 1970. In 1986, Yoko Ono published his final book and the first in a series of prints. These estate-authorized, limited edition prints are adapted from Lennon details

To celebrate World Vegetarian Day on 1 October, PETA has teamed up with food artist Prudence Staite to create portraits of Liverpool’s most well-known vegetarians, including Sir Paul McCartney and John Bishop, using only vegetables.

A longtime vegetarian advocate, Sir Paul told PETA, “Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realised, ‘I am killing him – all for the passing pleasure it brings me.’ And something inside me clicked. I realised as I watched him fight for breath that his life was as important to him as mine is to me”.

John stopped eating meat in 1985 after seeing a cow being slaughtered. He told an interviewer, “The cow was hanging up looking at me as if to say, ‘You did this’”.

They have also depicted Smiths singer Morrissey. Never one to shy away from the subject of vegetarian living, he said, "Nobody can possibly be so hungry that they need to take a life in order to feel satisfied – they don't after all … so why take the life of an animal? Both are conscious beings with the same determination to survive. It is habit, and laziness and nothing else".

By: Jade Wright

Source details

From Let it Be to She Loves You, The Nation's Favourite Beatles Number One will look at just how all 27 of the fab four's number one hits on both sides of the Atlantic came to be.

The two-hour film will feature interviews from other musicians, friends and celebrity fans of The Beatles, who will recount their memories of Britain's most successful band.

The documentary will chart the rise of The Beatles and feature never-before-seen archive footage of the group from their company Apple Corps. The Nation's Favourite programme has previously celebrated the music of Elvis, Queen, ABBA and Motown and will now be doing to the same for one of the most influential bands in the world.

"The Beatles have had more number one singles in the UK than any other band. It’s a tough call to even start predicting what might be voted the nation’s favourite," said executive producer Mark Robinson.

He added: "It’s extraordinary to think that The Beatles’ output changed so dramatically within seven years – these are 27 songs that chart that extraordinary revolution in popular music." The music from the programme will be available on a new DVD featuring restored videos for each song and aroun details

Back when Manic Street Preachers supported Sir Paul McCartney at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in 2010, James Dean Bradfield went up to the Beatle and “made a complete arse” of himself. He told McCartney he had bought a copy of his solo album ‘Pipes of Peace’ from the Record Club mail-order service the year it came out, in 1983, and that he wished he had brought it with him to be autographed. McCartney responded with raised eyebrows, and a fairly to the point “you taking the piss, lad?”

Now, five years on from that fateful first exchange, Paul McCartney is re-issuing James Dean Bradfield’s favourite album as part of his on-going archive series, and naturally the Manics frontman was first in line to chat to McCartney about his experiences working on the now-iconic solo record. Arriving in the aftermath of Beatlemania, and shortly after McCartney disbanded his band Wings to focus on his own material, it’s also fair to say that ‘Pipes of Peace’ didn’t originally blow critics away in quite the same way as ‘Tug of War’; the troubled, violent, and openly political McCartney solo record that came before it. Answering all of that previous anger i details

THEIR NAMES APPEARED together on the credits to all their Beatles songs – including the many Number 1 singles celebrated in the new issue of MOJO – but according to one of half of the partnership it was a case of “Lennon Vs. McCartney” – and that’s what made them both so good.

MOJO’s new issue, examines the Fab Four’s chart-topping hits year-by-year, and includes a free CD uncovering the 15 original versions of Songs The Beatles Taught Us. It also includes an exclusive extract from Paul Du Noyer’s new book, Conversation With McCartney. Boasting extensive, candid interviews with Paul McCartney over a series of years, the former MOJO Editor paints a detailed picture of the two Beatles’ relationship. Along the way, McCartney admits the pair needed their friendship and their rivalry to thrive, when in a band together and beyond.

In one instance, McCartney alludes to the role his 1980 hit Coming Up played in inspiring his former bandmate to record what would prove to be his last album, Double Fantasy.

“Apparently John heard it when he was in New York. I saw a John documentary and somebody was saying, ‘I brought this record of Paul&rs details

One of the most popular bands in the history of all modern music will once again enter the world of animation.

The Tracking Board recently reported that Warner Bros. (and Warner Animation Group) will be stepping into the realm of the animated musical with Meet the Beatles.

Paul King, fresh off a critical and commercial hit with Paddington, will direct the film from a screenplay by Jared Stern (Dr. Popper’s Penguins, ABC’s Dr. Ken), a member of WAG. Paul will also be joined by his Paddington producer David Heyman, who will produce though his Heyday Film production banner with Jeffery Clifford. Courtenay Valenti and Racheline Benveniste will oversee the project for Warner Bros.

Plot details are thin for the moment, but sources familiar with the project tell The Tracking Board that the film will focus on the story of an original member of The Beatles (“the one that got away”). The film will also utilize actual songs from the Beatles discography.

This wouldn’t be the only time that The Beatles were the subjects of an animated project. No doubt everyone of a certain generation remembers the classic 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine, which also featured songs composed an details

Rick Rubin is not pleased. The famed and famously hirsute record producer and cofounder of Def Jam Records is sitting in his Malibu home with Giles Martin, a fellow producer best known for carrying the torch passed on by his father, George, the man who produced every album recorded by the Beatles. Rubin leans forward on his leather sofa, listening intently.

"It doesn’t sound very soulful," Rubin complains.

"It’s interesting that you’re saying that," says Martin. "Do you mean around about the vocal range?"

The two men go back and forth about various frequency ranges and the sonic details they’re hearing, throwing around adjectives like "warm" and "crunchy." Their dialogue sounds very much like what it is: Two top-shelf sound experts picking apart music in their native jargon. But contrary to how this conversation might sound, Martin and Rubin are not mixing and mastering songs. Today, they’re focused on how music sounds, not as it emanates from recording studio monitors, but at the opposite end of its creative life cycle: The way it sounds when we press the play button at home.

Instead of listening back on an $80,000 professional audio setup, as the Rubins and Martins details

Ringo Starr is having a very eventful year - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Back when his old band was still together, Ringo Starr didn't just play a reliable backbeat or sing the occasional number penned especially for him, like "Yellow Submarine" or "With a Little Help From My Friends."

The Beatles' percussionist, when he wasn't keeping time behind his drum kit, was also an indefatigable shutterbug. That much is clear from the scores of images he dug out of his personal archives to put on display earlier this month at the National Portrait Gallery in London, images that also form part of a collection he released last week as a coffee-table book titled Photograph.

"I'd opened a case that came out of an old storage of mine," Starr tells The Week. "I'm like — what's in this trunk? It was full of photo books and negatives. Hundreds and hundreds of negatives. I was like — wow! I've got some great photos."

The resulting large-sized volume he assembled is a veritable treasure trove for Beatles fans, packed with the kind of candid shots of the group in its happy days that only one of four people in the world could have taken. Shots like the one of Beatle guitarist George Harrison leaning against a studio window to smash his nose against it, trying to make Starr laugh.


When John Lennon returned in 1980 with some of the most melodic, contented sounds of his solo career, that gave greater weight to an earlier tune like “Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down and Out).” Arriving on Sept. 26, 1974 as part of Walls and Bridges, it stands as one of the more memorable indictments on rock music’s curious tendency toward necrophilia.

And, of course, an eerie prophesy of his own fate.

Then exiled on the other side of the country from Yoko Ono and New York City, John Lennon finally and completely opened himself to an elemental fear of isolation that he once angrily confronted on his initial solo release. A moment of brutal honesty, there is none of the closed-fist bravado that marked Lennon’s recordings of five years before. Instead, John Lennon submits to the roiling emotions sparked by endings.

I’m still struck by Lennon’s willingness to strip himself bare. These days, most overlook Walls and Bridges because of its period-piece studio tricks. Yet John Lennon remains in complete control of a lyric — and, by 1974, he was being just as hard on himself as he is on everybody else.

Finally, in a harrowing moment that defines “ details

WHEN people are famous enough to be written about in the media, they develop two selves. One is the self they possess, the other is the hologram that they read about. For more than half a century, Paul McCartney has read about himself as if there were a separate, fictional character with the same name.

Out in the world at large, it’s different again. He was chatting to my wife one day and described going into TJ Hughes, the Liverpool department store, to buy some decorations for a relative’s wedding car. "How do you manage in a crowded shop like that?" she asked. "You just keep moving," he replied. "Smile, and just keep moving."

How, then, does Paul McCartney see Paul McCartney?

‘It’s funny,’ he says. ‘I’ve come out with the safe image. People don’t look beyond the smile. They look at the thumbs-up and they think it’s a safe image. It isn’t. Beyond the thumbs-up, there’s more to it than all that. Which I know about, obviously, because I lived the fucking shit.’

The term ordinary people crops up in a few of your songs…

‘Yeah. What are ordinary people?’

It does beg that question.

By: T details

Abbey Road found the Beatles ostensibly coming together — even though, once side one is done, there is very little overt John Lennon sprinkled throughout the rest.

Try as he might, Abbey Road (released on Sept. 26, 1969) is no Paul McCartney record. Sure, this is among McCartney’s brightest, most artistically satisfying, moments. But it’s Lennon’s punctuations (and, to a quickly emerging degree, George Harrison’s), undoubtably, that make it so.

It’s easy to unfairly narrow the critical scope, since McCartney’s most cohesive medley can be found as part of the second half of Abbey Road. Yet, the enduring magic here only grows more impressive after hearing similarly constructed John Lennon-less also-ran attempts from solo projects like Ram and Red Rose Speedway. There is a missing balance achieved here. Moreover, Abbey Road was the album where George Harrison’s latent potential finally was realized — to the tune of an A-side No. 1 hit in “Something” and the lilting, uplifting “Here Comes the Sun.”

Moments away from imploding, they arrived for these sessions as distinct individuals, rather than stylized mop tops. Yet, for a moment details

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