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Finding PowerPoint Inspiration In Beatles Lyrics And A Notepad - Friday, November 28, 2014

As you head off for the holidays don’t forget to bring a small notepad. You never know when inspiration will strike.

John Lennon found his inspiration for “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” while riding in his Rolls-Royce. He grabbed a few pages from an address book that belonged to his driver to write down the lyric that popped into his head. This is just one of many stories in Hunter Davies’ new book, The Beatles Lyrics. Davies, the only authorized Beatles biographer, has access to more than 100 draft manuscripts of Beatles songs and he tells the story behind each one.

The book also teaches us something about creativity. You’re more likely to come up with your best ideas when your out of the office, which is why I recommend that people brainstorm and storyboard their PowerPoint presentations before they open up the software. To me a great presentation or speech is like a song; it has a hook, a catchy title, memorable lines, and an infectious story. If musicians don’t write their best lyrics while sitting in front of a piano wishing for the words to come,  why do think that your best business stories will come to you while you’re staring at a blank PowerPoint slide?

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16 Strange And Surreal Myths About The Beatles Investigated - Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Photo: Getty

Last week marked 36 years since the release of the Beatles' 'White Album', a record dogged by rumours of containing subliminal messages that, when played backwards, seemed to suggest Paul McCartney was dead. The cult of myths surrounding the Fab Four goes far beyond 'Paul Is Dead' conspiracy theories, however. Here's that and 14 other strange, suspicious tales about the Beatles blown op

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The Beatles' unused 'Abbey Road' photos sell for £180,000 - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Unused photos from The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' photoshoot have sold at auction for £180,000 at Bloomsbury Auctions in London.

The shots were taken on August 8, 1969 by photographer Iain Macmillan, who had only 10 minutes to complete the entire shoot. Six photos were taken in all, including the photo that eventually made the final cut, as well as a scenery shot of the Abbey Road sign.

"This set of photographs has triggered a brilliant reaction from the market," said Sarah Wheeler of Bloomsbury Auctions. "It has been a pleasure to share them with the public at our sale rooms, even for a short time, and a delight to see them attain such a worthy price today."

Edward Dimsdale, Senior Lecturer of Photographic Theory at London College of Communcation, UAL, added: "Encapsulating a significant cultural moment, it is an image that launched a notorious conspiracy theory, and that clearly still provides a touchstone for fans. The opportunity to see the image in close relation to the only other frames originally shot by the photographer is undoubtedly instructive. By judgment or serendipity (or more likely a bit of both), Macmillan was able to seize upon an instant that continues to have the power to resonate, 45 years on."

The sale was made over the phone to an overseas buyer. The collection was originally given a sales estimate of between £50,000–£70,000.

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Plan to turn historic Newcastle building into student flats - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Music-loving students coming to Newcastle could soon get a chance to live in accommodation with a notable pop history.

Plans have been submitted to convert Grade II listed Barclays House on Grey Street into a hall of residence.

The building was formerly the Royal Turks Head Hotel where, it is claimed, Paul McCartney and John Lennon were inspired to write She Loves You after a Beatles concert at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastle as part of their tour with Roy Orbison and Gerry & The Pacemakers.

So it is possible that students could sleep in the very same room where the hit was penned.

The Beatles 
In an interview McCartney said: “There was a Bobby Rydell song out at the time, Forget Him, and, as often happens, you think of one song when you write another,” said Paul. “We were in a van up in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

“I’d planned an ‘answering song’ where a couple of us would sing ‘she loves you’ and the other ones would answer ‘yeah yeah’.

“We decided that was a crummy idea but at least we then had the idea of a song called ‘She Loves You’.

“So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it — John and I, sitting on twin beds with guitars.”

However in 2003, plans to install a plaque at the hotel were stalled after it turned out neither Paul McCartney nor Ringo Starr, the surviving Beatles, could recall whether it was the Imperial Hotel in Jesmond or the Royal Turk’s Head where the group had stayed.

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Paul McCartney performs to smallest audience in years in the back of a shop - Tuesday, November 25, 2014

BBC handout photo of Sir Paul McCartney performing live at Maida Vale for BBC Radio 6

Sir Paul McCartney swapped stadiums for the back of a London shop as he entertained one of his smallest audiences for years - a crowd of little more than 30 people.

The star was aiming to give inspiration to musicians and aspiring songwriters after they assembled to hear him give a 42-minute talk about composing, as well as take taking questions about his experiences.

The superstar was appearing at the invitation of model Lily Cole, and decided to return a favour after she appeared in the video for his single Queenie Eye.

He agreed to speak at the small gathering run by Cole’s community website Impossible which encourages people to share their time and skills with others.

Guests gathered at an anonymous shopfront in Berwick Street, Soho, before taking their places inside to hear the former Beatles star discuss his art - just a stone’s throw from where he had performed an intimate show at the 100 Club, a little under four years earlier.

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How John Lennon changed immigration policy - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nixon tried to deport John Lennon for his political views, but Lennon's case is tied to today's immigration debate. John Lennon's legendary attorney joins Lawrence. watch

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John Lennon's Beatles guitar expected to fetch $1m at action - Monday, November 17, 2014

A guitar owned by Beatles legend John Lennon is expected to raise more than £400,000 at auction.John Lennon's guitar

The Gretsch 6120 model was played by Lennon when the band recorded Paperback Writer at London's famous Abbey Road studios in 1966.

 The Gretsch 6120 model was developed in the 1950s in the United States

It is described on auction website tracksauction.com as "one of the most significant of John's guitars to come on to the market in the last 30 years".

The website says it was played "whilst the group were approaching the peak of their recording powers".

The guitar comes with photographs of Lennon playing it with the rest of the band.

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Beatles project latest musical chapter for Memphis guitarist Robert Johnson - Monday, November 17, 2014

When he was 15, wearing Beatle boots from Hardy’s Shoes in Downtown Memphis and playing Fab Four covers on his 1961 Cherry Red Gibson SG Special, Robert Johnson didn’t dream he’d one day produce an album of songs by Paul McCartney. Or partner with a noted Beatles illustrator on the project.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles, Johnson, 62, produced "Music for Linda," a limited edition CD featuring McCartney classics performed by other artists for the “Alan Aldridge Beatles Illustrated Collective Set,” an 18-month calendar with illustrations Aldridge painted for “The Beatles Illustrated” songbook in the 1960s.

The CD and calendar benefit The Women and Cancer Fund in memory of McCartney’s wife, Linda McCartney, who died from breast cancer.

Johnson, whose numerous credits include playing guitar with Isaac Hayes, was honored, along with Aldridge, at The Blues Ball this fall, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Beatles.

Johnson is a longtime friend, said Pat Kerr Tigrett, Blues Ball founder and executive producer. “He’s incredibly talented,” she said. “And he’s remarkably knowledgeable about the music industry and musicians all over, and forms close friendships with some of our greatest musicians and artists, one of which is Alan Aldridge. I have known Alan since the mid ’70s when I was living in London. He actua

lly did the Hard Rock (Cafe) logo that still is being used.”

Asked why he wanted to do "Music for Linda," Johnson said, “I wanted to get Alan’s name back in the public eye. The British know who he is, but Americans have sort of lost track of Alan or forgotten.”

McCartney, he said, “is the best pop songwriter in the world. Just to tackle songwriting of that quality was very appealing to me. To tackle producing that. And putting a different spin on that.”

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Go Inside Jimmy Page's Rock All-Star Dinner With Ringo Starr, Kirk Hammett, Joe Walsh & More - Monday, November 17, 2014

Never one for a big media blitz, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has probably done more interviews in the last six weeks promoting the Zeppelin remasters and his new book, Jimmy Page On Jimmy Page, than he did throughout the entirety of the '70s.

Last night, Page put the finishing touches on the promotional campaign with a private dinner at the iconic Sunset Marquis hotel, a place that has seen more rock and roll gatherings than maybe any other hotel. The evening featured so much guitar power that before we all sat down for the four-course meal, Metallica's Kirk Hammett told Billboard, "I'm one of the luckiest motherf--kers in the guitar slinger's universe."

Jimmy Page Talks New Music, Led Zeppelin's Future & Why He Has No Interest Being in a 'Tribute Band'

If ever there was an event to just sit and be a fan, it was in this intimate setting for 45 or so friends and associates of Page and the hotel. Observing the conversations as Page, Joe Perry and Chris Cornell sat side-by-side during the dinner left any music lover awestruck.

At one point during a champagne reception prior to the sit-down meal Page, Hammett, Perry, Ringo Starr and Joe Walsh posed for photos together. That's like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame all-star class.

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Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr sign piano for Slidell veterans' project auction - Friday, November 14, 2014

Everybody loves the Beatles. That's the first thought that came to Slidell artist Lori Gomez's mind as she tried to come up with a theme to transform a century-old, donated piano into a work of art.

The piano would be auctioned to help raise money to build veterans' homes in east St Tammany Parish, and so Gomez set about refurbishing and then painting the  colorful Beatles artwork onto it.

 But two final touches have made the upright, antique piano more rare and valuable than anyone involved in the upcoming auction ever imagined: personal autographs by both Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney, the only two surviving members of The Beatles. 

"I had no idea it would turn into this," Gomez said.

In a tale of destiny, aided by a good deal of persistence, Kim Bergeron, an art auction committee member for the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity, sought to have the piano autographed in time for the organization's "Home is Where Art Is" gala on Nov. 21. Proceeds from the seventh annual event will go toward building homes for veterans, a key factor in helping Bergeron obtain the signatures.

She first reached out to McCartney, who performed in New Orleans Oct. 11. Then, after hearing from her friend Amy Kaussman that Starr had a tour stop at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Bergeron contacted his representatives on Oct. 17.

"Ours was the only autograph in Biloxi, and ours was the only autograph in Louisville. They do not sign autographs, so it's huge," Bergeron said. "This was persistence, and the story, the story behind the piano itself, the organization, the proceeds going to the veterans' build. It's the whole story. It really is a little fairy tale – a big fairy tale – with a happy ending."

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