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
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
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
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
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.details
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
In time for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, British designer Stella McCartney unveiled a bra dubbed the Louise Listening bra.
Except it's not your typical piece of lingerie. McCartney crafted a bra specifically for women who have undergone double mastectomy surgery. McCartney noticed that the options for post-surgery bras mostly had a dull utilitarian look. The light rose, lace-detailed bra is a change from your typical utilitarian post-double mastectomy bra that McCartney noticed.
So McCartney set out to design a bra that women could feel both comfortable and confident in.
McCartney said the Louise Listening bra was created in honor of her mother, Linda, who she lost to breast cancer in 1998.
“We wanted to bring something feminine and beautiful into a bra that is taboo,” McCartney said in a statement. “There are so many different emotions attached to the tragic realities of having had a double mastectomy, many cultures are unaccepting and terrible things happen to women both physically and emotionally. And we just wanted to make something that allows women undergoing this to have something to be proud of, something with no shame attached.”
By: Clarissa - details
Music legend Ringo Starr should be awarded a knighthood, says Labour’s culture spokesman. All the Beatles were appointed MBEs in 1965 and Paul McCartney was made a Sir in 1997 – but not drummer Ringo.
Shadow Culture Secretary Michael Dugher said the Beatles’ drummer had waited far too long and should finally get a top honour. Sir Paul McCartney was tapped on the shoulder by the Queen for his honour in 1997. But Ringo, who is the only other surviving Beatle, just has the MBE he received in 1965 to show for his hugely successful career.
Mr Dugher said: “ The Beatles changed the course of popular music forever and they continue to bring massive benefits to the UK in terms of trade and tourism. “Ringo’s unique drumming was intrinsic to the music of the Beatles - just listen to A Day in the Life or Strawberry Fields Forever - and his charisma and personal charm was an intrinsic part of their act as entertainers.
“Ringo is a legend and has made a massive contribution to our country. It’s been over 50 years since he got his MBE. “At the age of 75, it’s time for Ringo to get a knighthood for services to music. No other country in the world would take so details
In this latest edition of the Underrated Beatles Songs series, the tunes featured appear in both, some of their earliest works as well as their latest.
5. The Inner Light
"The Inner Light" is arguably, one of George Harrison's greatest contributions to The Beatles' discography. It was recorded in early 1968 and released on March 15, 1968 as the B-side to the "Lady Madonna" single.
Harrison declared that a letter he received from a Sanskrit scholar at Cambridge, who had participated in a conversation along with Harrison and John Lennon about the benefits of transcendental meditation, inspired the song. The lyrics, though, are in a way a musical restoration of the 47th chapter of the Tao Te Ching.
In regards to the music and the melody, one does not have to guess too much to figure out its inspiration. It is well known that Harrison was very interested in and involved with Indian music, culture, and way of life. It is because of him that the Beatles were first introduced to and inspired to experiment with Indian music in their work, which was a constant in their latter years. The instrumental piece for this song was recorded in Mumbai, India in January 1968 while Harrison was working on his first s details
On October 9, 1968, Paul McCartney asked engineer Ken Townshend to join him in Studio One at Abbey Road. The singer had an idea for a simple, bluesy track, and wanted to get the vocals and basic backing track (minus the drums) laid down. Thus “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road,” one of the White Album’s raunchiest and shortest tracks, was born, along with some subsequent controversy.
During the late stages of the Beatles White Album sessions, McCartney improvised the rocker, and elected to enter the studio by himself to record the track. He laid down five takes, which began with acoustic guitar and McCartney’s vocals. Originally he sang in a subdued style, gradually escalating to the screaming technique present on the final version. By take five, he decided to stick with the raucous vocalization throughout the track. This early version, which features McCartney thumping his guitar to create a beat, later surfaced on the Anthology 3 compilation. Once take five was completed, Paul McCartney overdubbed the piano section.
The next day, McCartney and Townshend resumed work on the track while John Lennon and George Harrison were overseeing the string overdubs for “Glass Onion” an details
The contract between The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein is set to fetch up to £500,000 at a London auction this month. The document, signed by all four members of the band, is the only managerial contract signed by both the final line-up of the Beatles - and their manager. Signed in October 1962, the contract was finalised just days before the release of the band's first single, Love Me Do.
The contract is between Brian Epstein and The Beatles, signed by John Winston Lennon, George Harrison, James Paul McCartney, and Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr). As Paul and George were under 21, their fathers, Harold Hargreaves Harrison and James McCartney, were also summoned to co-sign the contract.
The contract states that The Beatles agree to 'appoint the Manager to act as such Manager throughout the world ... for a period of 5 years from the 1st day of October 1962', signed by Brian Epstein as company Director and Clive Epstein as company Secretary, then signed by all other parties including all four Beatles. 'Without this contract, and the relationship it represents, it seems inconceivable that The Beatles could have achieved all that they did,' Sotheby's writes on its website. 'It took more than insp details
They were two young working-class kids growing up together in Liverpool, Richie Starkey and Priscilla White. Then he was a drummer in bands and she was the cloakroom girl who got up to sing at the Cavern Club. Then suddenly he was Ringo Starr of the world-conquering Beatles and she was Cilla Black, chart-topping singer and TV personality.
Now Ringo, 75, who knew Cilla long before his bandmates John, Paul or George had ever met her, has spoken for the first time about the death of his old childhood friend. “I was in LA when I found out she died, and actually found out via a news outlet rather than someone ringing me up to tell me,” he says.
She was three years younger than Ringo and he was shocked that she went so suddenly following a fall at her home in Spain on August 1. They had always kept in touch and over the years went on lots of holidays together, particularly when they both had young children.
“Cilla started at the same time we did,” Ringo recalls. “She was important in Liverpool and so were we – and then we had to fight the rest of the world together!
“I remember her before she ever made it – she lived in a tenement. Her mother was a friend details