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Ringo Starr selling £20m estate - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Beatles drummer, 74, and his wife, former Bond girl Barbara Bach, have put their 200-acre abode, Rydinghurst in Surrey, south east England, up for sale because they no longer spend enough time in the six-bedroom mansion. They told the Sunday Times newspaper: ''We have spent 15 years at Rydinghurst and will always have wonderful memories of our time there. ''It is a beautiful home with some very special features, but we are, reluctantly, unable to spend as much time there as we would wish. ''With commitments in America and our family in all England, we will continue to divide our time between Los Angeles and London.'' The couple - who married in 1981 - splashed out £2 million on the plush property back in 1999 and it is expected to reach between £10 million and £20 million when it goes on sale this week.

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Inside the Long-Unopened Storage Locker of The Beatles' American Lawyer - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I got lucky last June, just not in quite the way I'd hoped, as you'll read. But my pursuit of a long-lost audiotape eventually opened the door (literally) and allowed me to take possession of a storage locker owned by a lawyer named Nat Weiss. For those who don't know, Nat just happened to represent The Beatles over on this side of the pond. It all started when I was doing research for a non-fiction book on The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein. I was poking around for some audiotapes of a phone conversation that I know existed at one time. Whether those tapes still exist, I do not know. But I was hoping they might still be around and, if anyone had them, it was Nat. After all, he was the person who ordered a phone line to be tapped in the first place. I should back up and tell you that Nat Weiss was very good friends with Brian Epstein, both Jewish and gay in an era when being gay was a crime. The audiotapes had to do with a blackmail attempt against Brian. Nat was furious and had ordered all calls from the blackmailer to be taped. I know for a fact that those tapes existed and wanted to listen to them if they were still available.

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Beatles' Eleanor Rigby sculpted from £1m of bank notes - Monday, September 22, 2014

A sculpture of The Beatles' song character Eleanor Rigby, made from £1m of used bank notes, will be unveiled at the Museum of Liverpool later. The 5ft 2in (1.57m) work depicts the "bag lady [who] died without a penny to her name," a museum spokesman said. Liverpool-born sculptor Leonard J Brown said it was "to show people that money isn't the only way to make you happy". He said his inspiration was seeing an old lady carrying a large number of bags in Hull, where he now lives.

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Tyler Ritter remembers dad's Beatles influence - Monday, September 22, 2014

Fact: Today marks the 30th Anniversary—to the day—that Three's Company went off the air. Crazy but true fact: John Ritter was 29 years old when he got his first series-regular gig on a TV show (Three's Company)—which just so happens to be the exact same age as his son Tyler Ritter is now, as he launches his first  job as a series regular on a TV show, CBS' The McCarthys. Both shows are comedies with messy communication styles and gay jokes a plenty—though, of course, in a sign that times have most definitely changed, Tyler is playing a guy who is openly gay, not a guy pretending to be gay in order to shack up with two girls, a laJack Tripper. Tyler is a standout among his show, and, we can only hope, similarly destined for greatness. And not to get all sappy here, but we can't help but think that somewhere, John Ritter is smiling. Not only are his two sons, Tyler (29) and Jason (34), doing really well in their acting careers—please tell me you already know the greatness that is Jason Ritter—they are quickly developing a reputation as two of the nicest and most sincere guys in Hollywood.

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The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written - Monday, September 22, 2014

Reading the words now, and probably trying too hard to work out exactly what he [John] is trying to say, it would seem the message is simple: work hard, bring the money home, and you will get marital bliss. There is a slight hint of a chauvinism when he moans that he is working all day for money so she can have things. Maureen Cleave of the London Evening Standard was one of the first journalists to write intelligently and revealingly about The Beatles. She happened to be interviewing John on the day they were to record the song and went with him to Abbey Road in a taxi. During the journey, John showed her the words of the song, written down on an old birthday card given to [his son] Julian – he had recently had his first birthday – with an illustration of a little boy on a toy train. 

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Paul McCartney’s ‘Hope’ is confirmed for release - Sunday, September 21, 2014

He has written countless hit singles, orchestral scores, released electronica albums, film theme songs and changed the world with his music. Listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Most Successful Composer and Recording Artist of All Time, Paul McCartney has now added another first to his impressive list. No stranger to being involved with hotly anticipated releases, Paul has now entered a new genre all together. This week saw the release of the most highly anticipated video game of the year – Destiny. Years in the making Destiny is one of the biggest entertainment launches of 2014. Earlier this week fans were queuing through the night to get their first glimpse.  Stores across the world opened early in order to meet the demand. Made by Bungie, the studio behind Halo, and published by Activision, the company that brought you Call of DutyDestiny is expected to change the gaming industry. The hype surrounding this release demonstrates how the interactive entertainment industry is overtaking Hollywood.

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#Peacerocks On International Day of Peace - Sunday, September 21, 2014
John Varvatos and Ringo Starr continue their #PEACEROCKS initiative with an outdoor celebration and performance on the International Day of Peace, Sunday, September 21, 2014. The celebration will take place in front of the John Varvatos store located on Melrose and Robertson from 4-6pm and will include a brief performance including a song from each member of an All Starr Band featuring Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather, Richard Page and more – and closing with three songs performed by Ringo Starr. This continues the #PEACEROCKS campaign that was launched on Ringo’s birthday July 7 when John Varvatos announced that Ringo would be featured in the Varvatos Fall 2014 campaign which is also a fundraising and awareness campaign to benefit the David Lynch Foundation via The Ringo Starr Peace & Love Fund.
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Stars Shine at Stella McCartney’s Green Carpet Collection Event - Sunday, September 21, 2014

Being the daughter of a Beatle certainly has its perks, and Stella McCartney had plenty of famous faces in the house as she showed off her 2014 Green Carpet range at London Fashion Week on Sunday evening (September 14). Always a fan, Sir Paul McCartney showed up to support his little girl, flirting up a storm with Rita Ora throughout the night. Meanwhile, “Fifty Shades of Grey” gal Dakota Johnson mingled with Drew Barrymore and Salma Hayek and Ellie Goulding looked to be enjoying themselves as well. Of her Green Carpet Collection, Stella explained, “The pieces were designed and produced in accordance to the highest sustainability standards. It’s a very holistic approach for me, it’s the way I live my life and it’s my message.

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Ringo Starr on the future of rock music: 'Bands will always come through' - Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ringo Starr has said he believes that bands will always be popular in music and that he has "never believed" that rock music is dying out. The former Beatles drummer tells NME in this week's magazine, which is on newsstands and available digitally, that he doesn't think the rock genre will disappear, and that bands will always "come through in the end". He also added that he is a big fan of Kasabian. When asked about Royal Blood being one of the first bands to make it to the Number One slot in the Official Albums Chart with their self-titled debut album last month, Starr said he has "never believed" that rock music is dying out. "The saving grace for me – I have to admit I'm not a big fan of the boybands dancing and that stuff – but the thing that saves me is there's always bands out there. There's always bands playing somewhere, and they come through in the end." When asked if bands will always come through, he said: "I think so. I think people wanna see people playing and singing. Earlier on I heard Kasabian doing a BBC thing [BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge].

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Meat Free Monday Pledge - Sunday, September 21, 2014

On Tuesday 23rd September global leaders – from government, finance, business, and civil society – will meet at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss climate change. It will be the first time the UN has tackled the subject since Copenhagen in 2009. We want the leaders to commit NOW to agreeing an ambitious climate treaty at the COP 21 Conference in Paris next year.

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Get Back To Mono: Beatles’ Recording Engineer Ken Scott On The Best Way To Hear The Fab Four - Sunday, September 21, 2014

For most music lovers, there can be no such thing as “too much Beatles.” But there have been stray notes of skepticism surrounding the much-hyped Beatles In Mono vinyl box set that hit stores last week. Particularly among millennial fans, the very concept of mono recording conjures images of quaint lo-fi discs intended strictly for purists and those stranded in the past. Surely this 14-record set is a dive into minutiae, an extraneous curio designed solely for the Beatlemaniac audiophile? This could not be further from the truth. The Beatles In Mono is perhaps the most crucial Beatles release for those who were not privileged to live in a time when the four Fabs roamed the Earth. For a start, just use your ears. Far from a relic, the sound is more alive, full, and frightfully contemporary than ever before. And that’s not just our opinion-

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You've never heard The Beatles sound like this before - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You've never heard The Beatles sound like this before


"If you're under 40, there's a good chance you've never heard the Beatles' music the way it sounded in the 1960s. All of their music, every note of it, was recorded on analog tape -- but all of the Beatles' CDs and LPs mastered after 1986 were sourced from digital masters. Even the 2012 remastered stereo LPs were cut from digital masters. So the big news here is the 2014 remastered mono Beatles LPs are the first to be 100 percent all-analog albums since the 1980s. If you've never heard the band's older LPs, the new mono, 180-gram LPs will knock you for a loop. I have the limited-edition "The Beatles in Mono" box set, but the mono LPs are also available individually.

To put some perspective on why I'm making a big deal about this, almost all new LPs by today's bands are mastered from digital sources, even when they were originally analog recordings! Digital is cheaper and faster technology. Analog tapes are delicate, locating an analog tape machine in tip top condition isn't easy, and mastering all-analog LPs can be a big hassle. Generations of engineers have grown up with digital -- they don't always have the skill set required to get the best out of analog tapes.

 

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Yoko Ono Brings the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus to Harlem - Wednesday, September 17, 2014


"I love you and I'm so glad that I'm here today," Yoko Ono told an auditorium full of elementary schoolers, teachers, and special guests at New York City's Patrick Henry Prep this morning. The 81-year-old visited the East Harlem school along with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a mobile studio that's gone around the world since 1998, letting kids learn about songwriting, recording, and music videos, with many getting the opportunity to lay down their own tracks.

PS 171 was the perfect stop for Ono and the bus. The pre-K to 8th grade school is focused on social justice, arts education, and previously hosted a Beatles festival featuring Sid Bernstein, the promoter who organized the Fab Four's first visit to America. Ono took to the small stage following brief speeches by the PS 171 staff, executives from the Berklee College of Music and SESAC, and New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm, as well as a performance of Lennon's "Instant Karma" by a multi-cultural group of students that had everyone singing along, from teachers down to the pre-K kids.

 

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"George Harrison Week" on Conan - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

During the week of September 22nd, Conan will feature daily performances by artists including Beck, Norah Jones and Dhani Harrison to celebrate the music of George Harrison by singing one of his songs. "George Harrison Week" coincides with the release of the box set, The Apple Years: 1968-75 – also due out September 22nd – which compiles the Beatle's first six solo albums. More artists to perform on Conan have yet to be announced.

 In other celebratory Harrison news, the Beatle's legacy will also be celebrated the week after the Conan engagement at an event dubbed George Fest: A Night to Celebrate the Music of George Harrison. Scheduled to take place at Los Angeles' El Rey Theatre on September 28th, the event will feature appearances by Conan performers Dhani Harrison and Norah Jones, as well as Brian Wilson, the Killers' Brandon Flowers, "Weird Al" Yankovic and members of the Flaming Lips, Weezer, Heart, Spoon, the Strokes, Velvet Revolver and more. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from ticket sales to the event benefit Sweet Relief, a charity that aids career musicians struggling to make ends meet.

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Monroe artist creates quirky illustrations depicting Beatles' tunes - Monday, September 15, 2014

Centenary College’s Meadows Museum of Art will open a Beatles exhibition Saturday featuring illustrations by Enoch Doyle Jeter.

Jeter is artist-in-residence at the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s School of Visual and Performing Arts.

The 14 prints interpret every song on the “With the Beatles” album. They’re featured in the new John Lennon biography “She Loves You.” Jeter says he was given a lot of latitude by the author, Jude Southerland Kessler.

“My job was to illustrate visually the songs by the Beatles on that album ‘With the Beatles.’ For instance, you’ll see illustrations for ‘She’s Got the Devil in Her Heart’ and ‘Roll over Beethoven.’ I had to use my imagination and come up with some quirky little fun ideas,” Jeter said.

Jeter, 61, says he’s been listening to the Beatles forever. He tried not to listen to the “With the Beatles” album but a couple times so he could bring a fresh perspective to the artwork. For more than a year, the printmaking instructor collected images to inspire his drawings.

 

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Paul McCartney’s ‘Hope’ is confirmed for release - Monday, September 15, 2014

From the biggest entertainment release of the year ‘Destiny’ - Paul McCartney’s original track, ‘Hope’, is confirmed for release 

He has written countless hit singles, orchestral scores, released electronica albums, film theme songs and changed the world with his music. Listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Most Successful Composer and Recording Artist of All Time, Paul McCartney has now added another first to his impressive list. No stranger to being involved with hotly anticipated releases, Paul has now entered a new genre all together.

This week saw the release of the most highly anticipated video game of the year – Destiny. Years in the making Destiny is one of the biggest entertainment launches of 2014. Earlier this week fans were queuing through the night to get their first glimpse.  Stores across the world opened early in order to meet the demand. Made by Bungie, the studio behind Halo, and published by Activision, the company that brought you Call of Duty, Destiny is expected to change the gaming industry. The hype surrounding this release demonstrates how the interactive entertainment industry is overtaking Hollywood.

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You can now watch the 'lost' Beatles cartoon series on YouTube - Saturday, September 13, 2014

The 1968 feature Yellow Submarine was a landmark in the popular perception of animation as a legitimate art form, but even as the Beatles were lending their likenesses to that groundbreaking work, they were also appearing in a considerably less advanced example of the form. A cheaply made cartoon series called The Beatles ran on ABC from 1965 to 1969, and while its shabby production quality has resulted in it being largely forgotten outside of hardcore Beatles fandom, as Flavorwire notes, a YouTube account called Beatles Planet has made all 39 episodes available for curious viewers.

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Gimme Five: Forgotten George Harrison gems from The Apple Years - Saturday, September 13, 2014

News of a forthcoming multi-disc box set titled George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75 led to renewed praise for charttopping early-period solo moments like “My Sweet Lord” and “Give Me Love.” It’s perhaps understandable, since those are two of Harrison’s best-known songs apart from the Beatles. It doesn’t mean they’re his best songs, though. In fact, there’s far more complexity to be found, even inside well-trod No. 1 albums like 1970’s All Things Must Pass and 1973’s Living in the Material World — to say nothing oflesser-celebrated moments like 1974’s Dark Horse. Harrison’s catalog, even more than a decade after his early passing, is widely underappeciated outside of the radio hits, a grievous thing. Witness these five often-forgotten gems, each of them featured on George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75, due September 23, 2014 … “I’D HAVE YOU ANYTIME,” (ALL THINGS MUST PASS, 1970): Every bit as moving as Abbey Road triumphs like “Something,” with a Beatle-ish guitar signature and a lyrical assist by Bob Dylan.

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Big bad Beatle ballad: Here’s Destiny’s theme song from Paul McCartney - Thursday, September 11, 2014

Publisher Activision spent $500 million making and promoting Destiny, and you can now hear the Paul McCartney song that some of that money paid for. The former member of The Beatles worked with developer Bungie on a theme song for the massively multiplayer sci-fi shooter, and you can hear it over the end credits when you beat the game. The tune features the phrase “hope for the future” several times as well as references to “our destiny.” So, yeah, it’s not exactly “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”  An original song from McCartney is a testament to both how much Activision spent on Destiny as well as how games are taking cues from Hollywood. Movies have long had celebrity musicians write and record original tracks, but games have rarely had money to do the same.

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Watch Beatles fans recreating iconic album cover on Abbey Road crossing as studio launches live feed - Thursday, September 11, 2014

Now, 45 years later, the famous zebra crossing is not only an English Heritage site, but the studio where the LP was recorded has set up a live feed of the crossing . It has become a shrine for Beatles fans worldwide to visit - and annoy traffic. You don't have to wait long to witness faithful pilgrims tramping along Abbey Road to use the the same zebra crossing that John, Paul, George and Ringo used for the cover of the Abbey Road album, released in September, 1969. Groups of friends or tour parties gather either side of the road and start snapping. Then the fun begins. Some try to use the crossing in fours - like the Beatles - stopping mid-way for pals to take a precious snap. Others abuse the crossing mercilessly, crossing time after time and posing ridiculously, much to the frustration of the motorists they are delaying. Meanwhile in the foreground, fans can be seen snapping the studio building where the album was recorded. Many feel obliged to leave their names behind, which is why the studio's outside wall is famously repainted every three months.

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