BAY CITY – For Brad Wilderman, it's not just coffee and specialty drinks he and his wife, Peggy, sell from their shop in downtown Bay City.
Their business stands as a virtual time machine, offering patrons transportation to the mid-1960s, when four lads from Liverpool were in the midst of changing the course of history.
"We touch people's lives every day," said Wilderman, sitting inside Espresso Express Presents Beatles and Beans Coffee Emporium. "They come in here and they think they're back in 1964. All they did was walk through that portal there and I transported them back to 1964. They all have memories, too. I've had people start crying in here, just from Beatles memories."
Nearly every inch of wall space is covered with Beatles memorabilia, affixed by about 500 miles of fishing line and 10,000 binder clips. The ceiling has roughly 5,000 vinyl 45s covering it. From the shop's speakers, music from the Beatles or their solo material plays exclusively.
"A lot of this stuff is authentic vintage memorabilia, a lot of it is reproduction stuff, and a lot of it is stuff I've personally made," Wilderman said.
Most Beatles fans know stories about John Lennon’s mother Julia, whose early death in 1958 scarred him for life and inspired his music.
On his 1970 song Mother, he sang “You had me but I never had you”.
But Kevin Roach says many don’t know the true story – and he hopes his new interactive book, Julia, will set the record straight.
Walton-born Kevin, who has already written about George Harrison and Paul McCartney, wanted to tell the hidden story of John’s roots rather than repeating stories of John’s fame.
He says that the idea of Julia as an irresponsible “good-time girl” who couldn’t look after her son came from Aunt Mimi, who raised John in her house in Menlove Avenue.
But over time a more nuanced portrait of Julia has emerged, helped by John’s half-sister Julia Baird publishing her story in Imagine This in 2007.
Over 50 years after they first took the charts by storm, The Beatles are still as strong a draw as ever.
Millions of tourists flock to Liverpool each year, eager to take in the birthplace of the Fab Four and see where it all began, and there is no better way to immerse yourself in the history of pop's greatest band than with a tour of the childhood homes of John Lennon (Mendips on Menlove Avenue) and Paul McCartney (20 Forthlin Road in Allerton), operated by the National Trust.
Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow, bought Mendips in 2002 when the previous owner died. She then donated the property to the National Trust, and asked them to "restore the house to what it once was, and tell John's story". 20 Forthlin Road has been within the ownership of the National Trust for 16 years.
Each home has been meticulously restored to the homes that Lennon and McCartney would recognise from their younger years, using photographs and eyewitness accounts to restore original fixtures and fittings, and source identical items of furniture.
There are only so many times you can interrupt traffic to walk over a busy London road to have your picture taken before you become a public nuisance – even if you are the Beatles.
Six, in fact, as shown by these rare photographs, one of which became one of the most famous album covers of all time.
In what is believed to be an auction first, the full set of six photographs of John, Paul, Ringo and George striding over Abbey Road is to be sold along with the picture of the street sign that was used on the back cover.
“They are incredibly rare,” said Sarah Wheeler, head of photography at Bloomsbury Auctions. “I’ve spoken to other music dealers and no one has been able to find a complete set on the market for at least 10 years.”
The shots were taken by the photographer Iain Macmillan, a friend of Lennon and Yoko Ono, on 8 August 1969. He had his Hasselblad, a stepladder and 10 minutes.
It was the fifth of the six shots that was chosen by McCartney for the album and it’s easy to see why as all four men are in step and nicely spaced.
It’s been 50 years since screaming fans watched The Beatles perform on Liverpool’s Town Hall balcony.
When the Fab Four returned home for the northern premier of A Hard Day’s Night, thousands lined the streets on July 10, 1964 to watch John Lennon, Paul McCartney , Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
Half a century on, their music is still played around the world, but how well do you know their lyrics?
Take the Quiz Here
TRIBUTES have been paid to The Undertakers’ guitarist Geoff Nugent who has died. He passed away yesterday at the age of 71.
The Merseycats rock ‘n’ roll charity posted Mr Nugent’s photograph on their website with the words “too old to rock, too young to die”, describing him as “a great loss to the music scene on Merseyside”.
Meanwhile among the many tributes paid online was one from Ian McNabb who wrote “saddened to hear of the loss of the great Geoff Nugent. Thoughts with his family and friends. we have lots another great. Sleep well brother”, while the Merseyside branch of performers’ union Equity said: “So sad to hear of the death of a great Merseybeat legend and Equity member Geoff Nugent. An amazing musician and great guy.”
Mr Nugent was born in Liverpool in February 1943 within a couple of days of future Beatle George Harrison, and the two were childhood friends growing up in Speke, where they learned to play the guitar together.
Monday 10th November: Estádio Kléber Andrade – Vitória
Sunday 23rd November: Estádio Nacional – Brasilia
Tuesday 25th November: Allianz Parque – São Paulo
Fans can purchase pre-sale tickets through PaulMcCartney.com. Pre-sale tickets for Vitória will go on sale at 10am (local / 2pm BST) on Tuesday 14th October. Fans are advised to come to the website shortly before the pre-sale begins to obtain the link and password.
Keep checking PaulMcCartney.com for further announcements including pre-sale details for Paul's concerts in Brasilia and São Paulo...
The world is full of geeks and snobs ready to talk too much about their personal passion for wine, for scuba diving, for vampire literature. You know the type.
This is nothing like that.
This is an exploration of the Beatles, and why the recent rerelease of their albums in the mono format on vinyl, the way many fans heard the records in the 1960s, is worth celebrating.
OK, so maybe there is some obsessiveness to this tale, but there is broader cultural significance too.
The music of the Beatles is timeless. Not only were they master songwriters, they were visionary artists who pushed the era’s recording technology and hidebound engineers to create new sounds.
The result is music that is still vital and interesting more than 40 years later. Consider the elegiac beauty of “Eleanor Rigby,” or the psychedelic drone of “Tomorrow Never Knows” with its tape loops that sound like sea gulls. Play a Beatles CD, especially one from their mid- or later-period, starting with 1965’s “Rubber Soul,” and when compared to today’s artists you’ll find their music is still relevant, still influential.
Today, the 1983 Motown 25 concert, broadcast in prime time on NBC, is best remembered for Michael Jackson's moonwalk. The show, however, involved much more: Host Richard Pryor introduced label legends like Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinsonand the Four Tops at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and the Jackson 5 and the Supremes both reunited.
Of course, there was even more going on behind the scenes, and the new Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever DVD set (available with one, three or six discs) is looking to excavate some of that history, adding rehearsals, roundtables and documentaries to the original footage. Follow the link below to watch a clip from one of the docs, in which Robinson, the Temptations' Otis Williams and author Nelson George discuss the symbiotic relationship between Motown and the Beatles.
A CAMPAIGN to keep St Luke's church in use as a cultural venue for the Liverpool community has received Beatle backing. Sir Paul McCartney today joined John Lennnon's widow, Yoko Ono, in calling for the bombed out church, on Leece Street, to remain open "for the use of the people and run by the people" and praised the work carried out there. A huge question mark has hung over the future of the church since March this year when Mayor Joe Anderson announced his intention tosell it for £1 and invited expressions of interest from bidders. Developer Lawrence Kenwright, who owns the Signature Living apartments and the newly-opened 30 James Street hotel in the former White Star builidng, quickly stepped in with a plans to turn the church, which was bombed by the Luftwaffe in World War II, into a wedding hotel and venue.
Bluewater Productions has created a biographical comic book profiling legendary musician and songwriter, John Lennon. Writer Marc Shapiro had this statement in the press release: “I approached writing Tribute: John Lennon as an exploration of a life full of potential and promise that was, sadly, cut short. We all know the importance of John Lennon as part of The Beatles. But I felt it was more important to concentrate on his post Beatles’ life and career, both good and bad, so that readers would get the clearest possible idea about who he was as a creative entity, husband and father.”
A Beatles fan said John Lennon’s lyrics were more important now than ever before, as he celebrated what would have been the star’s 74th birthday. John James Chambers, from the Liverpool Beatles Appreciation Society, laid flowers at the Beatles statue in Cavern Walks Shopping Centre to mark Lennon’s birthday. The statue was also decorated with tinsel, balloons and banners. And Mr Chambers said the date was a double celebration as it marked 30 years since the statue had been erected. Revd David Baverstock, from Our Lady and St Nicholas Church held a short service to mark the occasion, which was also attended by Cavern Walks manager Mark Taylor. Mr Chambers said: “He gave a beautiful sermon and the theme was Imagine,
Debbie Harry will perform at the 34th annual John Lennon charity tribute concert in New York City in December. The announcement Wednesday by the nonprofit Theatre Within came a day before what would have been Lennon's 74th birthday. Other performers include Kate Pierson of the B-52s, Joan Osborne, Marshall Crenshaw and Ben E. King. The event will be held Dec. 5 at Symphony Space. Yoko Ono said in a statement: "I share Theatre Within's belief that music and the performing arts have a special power to bring people together and inspire us to make a positive difference. It's beautiful that the Tribute continues to have such a powerful impact in John's memory."
In celebration of John Lennon's 74th birthday on October 9, eight essential studio albums, two compilations, and the acclaimed John Lennon Signature Box are making their high definition digital audio debuts.
All of the titles have been digitally remastered in high resolution digital audio for the first time from John Lennon's original mixes and are available worldwide via Universal Music Group for purchase from all major hi-res digital audio providers.
Beginning today, Imagine and Rock 'N' Roll are available in hi-res 96kHz/24bit digital resolution. On October 14, Double Fantasy, Mind Games, and Walls And Bridges will debut in the same digital resolution, followed by Plastic Ono Band, Sometime In New York City, and Milk And Honey on October 21.
Mr Birch is selling the photos, along with a Gretsch 6120 guitar Lennon gave him after he used it on The Beatles’ 1966 hit Paperback Writer and which could fetch up to $1million (£630,000). The average house price across the UK is £189,306. But the auctioneers are confident the guitar will be hotly contested for by collectors because it comes with a truly extraordinary provenance. Lennon gave the guitar to his cousin, David Birch, in November 1967, a year after Paperback Writer was recorded in April 1966 at London’s Abbey Road studios. Mr Birch said he had fancied forming his own band and asked if he could have one of his famous relative’s guitars on a visit to Lennon’s country mansion Kenwood in Weybridge, Surrey. ‘I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,’ he said. ‘I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster lying in the studio, but John suggested the Gretsch and gave it to me.’
George Harrison’s childhood home is to be sold at auction for a guide price of just £100,000. The modest three bedroom mid-terrace is where George, Paul McCartney and John Lennon held some of their first rehearsals before achieving worldwide success as the Beatles. Now Fab Four fans have the chance to purchase the property when it goes under the hammer at the Cavern Club. George lived at 25 Upton Green in Speke from the age of six, when his parents Harold and Louise moved into the council house in 1949. The family remained there until the early 1960s and it was during George’s final years at the house that he met Paul and John. The house is now being sold at auction after the property’s most recent owner passed away.
The guitar John Lennon used on the recording of the Beatles‘ 1966 hit ‘Paperback Writer’ is going up for auction. The instrument, a Gretsch 6120, has been in the possession of Lennon’s cousin David Birch since he received it as a gift from the Beatle in 1967. It’s expected to bring in somewhere between $640,000 to $960,000 at auction later this month. ”I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,” Birch told the Telegraph. “‘I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster that was lying in the studio, but John suggested the Gretsch and gave it to me as we were talking.” Birch’s mother Harriet was a younger sister of Lennon’s mother, Julia. ‘Paperback Writer’ was recorded in April 1966 during the sessions that would yield the classic ‘Revolver’ album, and though it was primarily the creation of Paul McCarteny, Lennon added his distinct touch to the song with that Gretsch, serial no 53940.
Given that Sir Paul McCartney regularly sells out arenas that seat 50,000 people, it was anyone’s guess what his production — usually filled out by giant graphics screens, pyrotechnics and plenty of moving parts — would look like in San Antonio’s 1,750-capacity H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, where he played a gig to benefit the newly renovated venue Wednesday night. Amazingly, it was nearly the same setup but on a smaller scale. For those familiar with his recent Out There tour, which has been moving full-steam ahead since just before McCartney released sixteenth studio album New in late 2013, the only things really missing were side-stage jumbotrons, the rising platform during his tear-jerking solo acoustic run of “Blackbird” and about a dozen tunes, which cut his set down from the typical 40 to 28 and shortened it by nearly an hour. They even managed to light off enormous plumes of pyro during Wings mainstay “Live and Let Die” without torching the ceiling (though not without making more than a handful fans nearly leap out of their seats in fright).
Stories of the Beatles’ 1964 North American tour have gone down in legend — the screaming girls, the mob scenes, transporting the group from airport to hotel, and jellybeans hurled onstage because American audiences misunderstood interviews where the band professed to love “jelly babies.” While fans may be well acquainted with those tales, they will never fully comprehend what it was like to be in the center of the Beatlemania hurricane. Journalist Ivor Davis paints a vivid picture for readers in The Beatles and Me on Tour, an account of his month traveling with the band as an embedded correspondent. At once humorous and terrifying, Davis’ recollections lend a new and thoroughly detailed perspective on how the Beatles coped with those early days of fame. Davis found himself in the middle of the madness due to a special assignment. As the West Coast correspondent for London Daily Express, he was ordered to travel with the Beatles during their hectic 1964 trek, earning their trust and submitting reports from the road. In addition, Davis assumed another role: George Harrison’s ghostwriter.