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REVIEW

If you want to feel joy, head straight to “Yesterday.” It’s a heartfelt and humorous tale from Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) and screenwriter Richard Curtis (“Love, Actually”) about a struggling musician (Himesh Patel) who wakes up in an alternate reality where he’s the only person aware the Beatles ever existed. Gasp!

How high you get depends on your tolerance for sentimentality, but it’s almost a guarantee even the hardest of hearts will give into the movie’s many pleasures. Among them, Patel, who, in his leading-man debut, is the ideal choice to play Jack Malik, a down-on-his-luck bloke still living in Sussex with his parents and stocking shelves at the local Price Star. Patel, known in England for the BBC hit “EastEnders,” plays guitar and piano and is charmingly wry and funny when the script calls for it. Plus, when he sings the Beatles songs, it feels like they belong to him. No easy feat.

Source: Dana Barbuto /heraldtribune.com

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Elevator pitch: What if you woke up tomorrow morning and were the only person on Earth who remembered the Beatles? John, Paul, George, Ringo: forgotten. Marmalade skies: gibberish. You scribble down all the lyrics you remember, pass off the songs as your own, and get a huge record deal. Everyone thinks you’re a rock god. You know you’re a phony. This scenario is the premise of “Yesterday,” the new film from Danny Boyle, a sort of reverse bio-pic in which the subjects are erased from history, leaving a yellow-submarine-size hole.

To play Jack Malik, the struggling singer-songwriter who goes from anonymity to Malikmania, Boyle cast the British actor Himesh Patel. “Yesterday” is his first film. Hours before its première, at the Tribeca Film Festival, Patel, who is twenty-eight, stepped out of a hired car on a rainy West Village street. Tourists have multiple New York Beatles tours to choose from, but Patel had opted for his own, customized “What If the Beatles Never Existed?” tour. Before him was 105 Bank Street, a cracked white-stucco town house, where an obscure couple named John and Yoko lived between 1971 and 1973. “I looked this building up,” Patel (ru details

As The Beatles notched No. 1 hit records and sold out shows across the world, manager Brian Epstein had a strict policy when it came to politics –especially in America. The policy was simple: Don’t let the Beatles say anything about politics, and don’t allow the press to ask about it, either.

Eventually, John Lennon tired of the situation and planned to speak out about the Vietnam War and other issues. When Epstein died in 1967, all bets were off. The following year, John wrote and recorded “Revolution,” which was the first time fans got a taste of the band’s political side.

In 1969, after marrying Yoko Ono, John’s “Give Peace a Chance” instantly became an anti-war anthem (and a genuine hit, too). By November, half-a-million demonstrators would flock to Washington D.C. to sing the song in protest of the situation in Vietnam.

That was enough to get the attention of President Nixon and the FBI. However, it wasn’t until John recorded a protest song in 1971 that the FBI became really interested. After putting John and Yoko under surveillance, the Nixon administration even tried to deport the former Beatle in ’72.

Source: cheatsheet.com details

Help! (1965) Retrospective Review - Saturday, June 22, 2019

When researching the movie Help! (including “the making of”) it becomes clear that there’s a consensus that this, The Beatles’ second film, is the visual equivalent of “Can you smell weed?” Even more cruelly, some critics and film buffs label it as disappointing in comparison to A Hard Day’s Night. As phenomenal as A Hard Day’s Night is as a movie and a tangible piece of history, is that enough justification to ignore its less popular little brother?

During recent years of social, political and economic turbulence, experts from all disciplines have been trying to understand why we are at loggerheads with each other. As time has passed, there has been a creeping realisation that the 60s still holds a sizeable power over our current society. Its wars, changing politics, social politics and its transforming personal values and morality seem to be the forerunners of some of the issues the world faces today. It was the first time in history where these changes were so meticulously documented and then broadcast to the general public – it would have been this mass sharing of information itself that stoked the flames of change, making them so sweeping. The music, film and te details

On many albums, The Beatles presented a highly polished sound. A great example is “Yesterday,” the track from Help! that became the band’s most popular song of all time. With a string section behind him, Paul McCartney’s classic tune sounds perfect from a production standpoint.

While they’d drop all formalities for rocking tracks like “I’ve Got a Feeling” and “I Dig a Pony,” The Beatles would always mix in heavily produced songs, sometimes with guest musicians. That was only possible with someone able to read and write music for string players hired for the job.

However, The Beatles weren’t handling that part of the recording process. They might be able to sing or suggest what they wanted, but it was up to producer George Martin to put it on the page. (The medley on Abbey Road is a good example of Martin’s handiwork.)

Source: cheatsheet.com

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Celebrated designer Stella McCartney may have grown up with one of music’s most iconic figures as her father, but she still had to pinch pennies.

“I’ve grown up in a family that doesn’t chuck stuff away,” McCartney (the daughter of Beatles legend Paul McCartney and famed photographer Linda McCartney) told PorterEdit. “And it sounds silly, but I didn’t have a huge amount of money as a kid.”
Continued the 47-year-old fashion favorite: “My mum and dad were really clever; I went to a comprehensive [school] and I wasn’t given a load of cash, so I would go to vintage and secondhand shops and markets to buy clothes. I think that’s kind of the future, and I would encourage kids to rent clothes and buy secondhand because you don’t have to always go for that quick fix. It’s way more exciting and cooler.”Her parents’ eco-friendly lifestyle clearly rubbed off on McCartney, herself a lifelong vegetarian and staunch supporter of animal rights. The designer’s collections are famously free of leather, skin, fur and feathers, and even her wools and silks are sustainably sourced and cruelty-free.

Source; By Elana Fishman/pagesix.c details

 Sherry Lynn, of Studio City, poses with "Peace and Love" outside the Capitol Records tower in 2017. The work was initially rejected by a Beverly Hills panel for not meeting "Fine Art criteria." (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

When Ringo Starr decided to live full time in Beverly Hills, he planned to honor his adoptive hometown with an extravagant gift — an 800-pound polished steel monument of his hand making a peace sign.

The city politely declined.

“The commission thanks Mr. Starr for his generous offer but unfortunately the donation did not meet the Fine Art criteria,” the city’s now-disbanded Fine Art Commission wrote after it voted unanimously to reject the Beatle’s gift in September 2017.

“They said, sorry Sir Ringo, thanks for your proposal, but you’re not an artist, and the work is not art,” said sculptor Jeremy Morrelli, who helped Starr produce the version of the statue intended for City Hall. “They produced a definition of art which is extraordinary. They would have rejected Van Gogh or Picasso on those grounds.”

Source: Sonja Sharp/latimes.com

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It’s not often you can own a home where the likes of Paul McCartney and David Bowie have set foot, let alone one where they actually made music, all for a price tag of under a million dollars. But that’s exactly what you’ll get with a West Hollywood loft currently on the market for $999,999. In the condominium’s past life (in the 1970s) it was the location of Cherokee Studios, where Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, and more all recorded albums, and which Beatles producer George Martin dubbed the best studio in America.

Now an apartment complex called the Lofts at Cherokee Studios, the building has been transformed into a green living space with numerous high-end amenities and details. The listed unit in particular is a modern two-story condo with a giant open living space complete with 16-foot ceilings. The living and dining areas flow into the chef’s kitchen, which features a Caesarstone kitchen island, bar-style seating, a Bertazzoni oven, built-in microwave, and stainless-steel appliances. And the entire space opens on to a private balcony.

Source: Condé Nast/architecturaldigest.com

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If you thought a thin-skinned U.S. president trying to deport people he doesn’t like is a new development … well, have we got a story for you. In fact, it’s another reminder why people keep comparing the White House’s current occupant to that great bastion of corruption, Richard Nixon.

This tale revolves around John Lennon, who by 1970 had kicked off his solo career and a year later moved to New York with his wife, Yoko Ono. By then, John and Yoko had become famous for their bed-ins and anti-war stance with tracks like “Give Peace a Chance.”

According to files that have been released since, the FBI became very interested in Lennon when he began using his influence on U.S. political matters in 1971. After his protest song “John Sinclair” led to the release of a man convicted for marijuana possession, Nixon turned up the scrutiny.

Source: cheatsheet.com

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On July 7th, 2008, Ringo Starr invited fans to join him on the streets on Los Angeles to celebrate his birthday with a simple direction: Say the words “peace and love” when the clock hit noon. He’s been doing it ever since, and the gathering has spread to more than 20 countries around the world and on social media, to “create a wave of Peace & Love across the planet.”

Starr will return to the Capitol Records Tower in L.A. on his birthday this year for an event that will also include appearances by wife Barbara Starkey, plus Ringo’s All Star Band alum Sheila E., Edgar Winter, Nils Lofgren, Jim Keltner, and Starr’s friends such as Ed Begley Jr., Richard Lewis, T-Bone Burnett, Benmont Tench, and Life is Good founders Bert and John Jacobs. There will also be performances by Ben Kyle (from Minneapolis group Romantica), Sara Watkins and Southern California rock band the Jacks.

Source: Patrick Doyle/rollingstone.com

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Paul McCartney gets a bad rap. Sure, he's a beloved pop icon with more platinum records than ordinary folks have missing right socks. But for so long, McCartney's been pigeonholed as the "cute Beatle," supposedly with none of John Lennon’s edge, George Harrison’s groovy vibes, or Ringo Starr's, uh, Ringo-ness. But bounce around McCartney's massive discography, and it's easy to see he's far more complicated, with each project spotlighting a different aspect of his creative persona. Here are a few such "faces," those bits of Sir Paul that portray him not just as the beloved Beatle but a genuine musical chameleon.

Source: Chris Coplan/phoenixnewtimes.com

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George Harrison Commemorative Mural - Friday, June 21, 2019

The “George Comes to Benton – 1963” mural is an one-of-a-kind piece of art created by California artist John Cerney. Beatles fans from across the country who traveled Interstate 57 through southern Illinois on their way to and from the total solar eclipse of 2017 had a chance to see the original work the week of its construction. Now a tourism site, Cerney and the City of Benton, published a postcard of the picturesque attraction which gives a brief description of how the project unfolded.

The postcard reads as follows:

“George Comes to Benton- 1963” – This mural installation, painted in 2017, commemorates the first visit by a Beatle to America. Several months ahead of the British rock group’s big splash on US soil in early 1964, George Harrison and his brother Peter came to Benton, Illinois to visit their sister Louise and her family. The Beatles were unknown to Americans, despite being at the top of the charts in England, and George was able to remain anonymous during his two week stay. He played with a local band, bought a guitar in a neighboring town, and mostly hung out as a tourist. The Beatles were about to explode on the world stage, and for years to come, folks details

As the longest touring Beatles tribute band running, Rain has not only kept the music of the Fab Four alive since 1975, but it’s also introduced countless people to the Beatles legacy and stirred up plenty of memories in fans of all ages.

The show doesn’t just play the iconic music; the band dresses up like the Beatles and pays homage to the different eras in which they performed.

Comprised of Paul Curatolo (Paul McCartney), Steve Landes (John Lennon), Alastar McNeil (George Harrison) and Aaron Chiazza (Ringo Starr), the band acts as the legendary foursome with a note-for-note theatrical event, wearing spot-on costumes and utilizing multimedia content to bring the music of the Beatles to life.

“I like to call it the Beatles anthology in concert form,” Curatolo said. “It’s a walk through their entire story through their music, stories, interviews and most iconic moments. It’s also a rock concert.”

Source: Keith Loria / Special to the Fairfax County Times

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Drake ties The Beatles for the second-most top 10s in the Billboard Hot 100's 60-year history, 34 each, as Chris Brown's "No Guidance," featuring Drake, debuts at No. 9 (on the chart dated June 22).

Only Madonna boasts more Hot 100 top 10s than Drake and The Beatles, with 38. (Reflecting the collaborative nature of hip-hop, "No Guidance" is Drake's 12th top 10 as a featured artist. Madonna and The Beatles sport lead credit on all their top 10s.)

Here's an updated look at the acts with the most top 10s since the Hot 100 began on Aug. 4, 1958.

Source: Gary Trust/billboard.com

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The Sedona International Film Festival is the official host of the new season of “Deconstructing the Beatles,” joining hundreds of theatres around the country for this special series.

The first in the new season — “Deconstructing The Beatles: Abbey Road, Side 1” will show in Sedona on Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at the festival’s Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

The Beatles’ Abbey Road is a masterpiece filled with classic Beatles songs, such as “Come Together,” “Something,” and “Here Comes the Sun.” Producer George Martin told the Beatles to think “symphonically,” and they responded by creating the remarkable side two song suite.

Abbey Road was the last time that the Beatles recorded together at EMI Studios — soon-to-be-christened Abbey Road Studios after the album’s release. Despite the bittersweet atmosphere that surrounded the recording sessions, The Beatles’ outstanding songs and performances together with George Martin’s orchestrations produced an album that continues to be regarded as one of the best albums ever created.

Source: verdenews.com

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What is the greatest Paul McCartney song from his time in The Beatles? There are many to choose from, but one consensus pick has been “Yesterday.” Chuck Berry admired it, more than 3,000 musicians have covered it, and Paul himself said it was probably his best work.

When the band released it in 1965, it quickly became the most listened-to song of the year — and the year after, and so on until well into the ’70s. By the end of the 20th century, it had become the third most-played song on American radio. That’s well beyond what we’d call a smash hit.

It was a landmark song for The Beatles as well. For the first time, Paul played and sang on the record without his bandmates. Behind him, fans heard a string quartet arranged by Paul and producer George Martin.

Source: cheatsheet.com

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Paul McCartney has launched a viral campaign to mark 10 years of his Meat Free Monday movement.

Fellow Beatle Ringo Starr, actor Tom Hanks and actress Rita Wilson are among the list of stars to have pledged support for Count Me In.

Sir Paul, who is vegetarian, launched Meat Free Monday, which encourages people to go without meat once a week, with his daughters Mary and Stella in 2009.

Since then the charity has worked in schools, universities, restaurants and businesses, made an appeal at the EU Parliament and published a cookbook.

The new campaign aims to celebrate the meat-free movement while encouraging more people to reduce their meat consumption.

Source: breakingnews.ie

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While Sir Paul McCartney’s links to Kintyre are well-documented, his fellow Beatle John Lennon also loved Scotland after spending many blissful summers north of the Border as a child. From the age of nine Lennon spent his summer holidays with his Aunt ‘Mater’ who had remarried and moved to Edinburgh. He would travel alone by bus to visit his aunt and his cousin Stanley Parkes in the capital and also at their family croft in Durness, Sutherland.

While in the wilderness the aspiring singer-songwriter hunted, hiked, fished and played tricks on the locals by tying seaweed on shop doors to prevent workers from leaving.

He also drew and wrote poetry in the tranquility of the hills.

But the Scottish breaks ended when Lennon was around 15 after he formed his first band, The Quarrymen, and music took over.

Source: Paula Murray/express.co.uk

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Liverpool’s tourism industry seems to thrive on the city’s most famous sons: John, Paul, George and Ringo.

If you look past the souvenir shops, pubs named for band members and rampant urban redevelopment, a visitor on a Beatles pilgrimage can encounter plenty of sites that contributed to the beloved group’s musical heritage. All you need is love … plus a little imagination and a decent pair of walking shoes for this tour of the Beatles’ Liverpool.

For a city that's inextricably tied to the most famous band in music history, Liverpool has a spotty record when it comes to preserving its Beatles-related history. Ringo Starr’s childhood home barely escaped the wrecking ball. The same can’t be said for a handful of other buildings that had a massive impact on pop music in one way or another. When it comes to Beatles locations in Liverpool, some are gone and some remain … and at least one had to be totally rebuilt due to shortsighted city planning decisions.

Source: ultimateclassicrock.com

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Yes, the Packers have another insanely famous name to add to their ranks. According to Kendra Meinert of the Green Bay Press Gazette, Paul McCartney is now a shareholder.

That’s right, a Beatle is part of the Green Bay Packers family.

McCartney is on his “Freshen Up” tour, and playing at Lambeau Field for the first time ever. Before the concert started on Saturday, he was presented with a game ball and a stock certificate.

This doesn’t really mean anything when compared to other sports teams. It’s not like McCartney’s going to suddenly be involved in team meetings or be making any major decisions. It simply means he’s with the countless others that are part of the Packers family.

Source: Hunter Noll /clutchpoints.com

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John’s first wife has been written off as a mere support act. Now a new play recognises her importance in the story of the Beatles

The true identity of the “fifth Beatle” is a contentious matter for fans of the Fab Four. The name of Stuart Sutcliffe, John Lennon’s close friend, is often put forward, as is the ousted drummer, Pete Best. Others claim the title for manager Brian Epstein or record producer George Martin. Yet Cynthia Lennon, the artist by the young Lennon’s side for a decade, is never even considered.

Now a new play about the powerful influence of the first Mrs Lennon is to make the case that she held the band together during the years of their greatest success. “I want to get across how important she was in John’s life, and not just because of their son Julian,” said playwright Mike Howl. “John used to write to her every single day while he was out in Hamburg, playing in the night clubs of the Reeperbahn. Her friends told me they saw some of these letters. I do think that without Cynthia’s love, John would have gone completely off the rails.”

Source: Vanessa Thorpe/theguardian.com

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There’s no denying that 1965’s Rubber Soul was a breakthrough for The Beatles. With that record, the band had moved far beyond the “Love Me Do” and “From Me to You” tunes that defined their early records. In their place, you found tracks like “Girl” and “I’m Looking Through You.”

Marijuana and the music of Bob Dylan influenced the Fab Four’s songwriting heavily during this time. You could hear it clearly in John Lennon songs like “In My Life” and “Nowhere Man.” The subject matter was richer, and John was ready to explore new themes.

Looking back on this period before he died, John seemed especially proud of “In My Life.” With that track, he resolved to look into his own past for the first time and translate his experiences into song lyrics. The result was an unqualified success, but he needed a little help.

Source: cheatsheet.com

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With all the Beatles brouhaha, it’s easy to forget that Yoko Ono was a boundary-pushing and successful conceptual artist long before a certain Mr Lennon entered the picture.

In fact, he met her thanks to her artwork; cheekily taking a bite from an apple that was actually one of her installation pieces.

Born in Tokyo, Ono studied philosophy before moving to New York in 1953 and soon become a key figure in the city’s avant-garde scene. In 1960, she opened her Chambers Street loft and presented a series of radical works with composer and artist La Monte Young.

One of her most famous works, Cut Piece, was first performed in 1964 and saw the artist sit alone on a stage in her best suit, with a pair of scissors in front of her. The audience had been instructed that they could take turns approaching her and use the scissors to cut off a small piece of her clothing, which was theirs to keep.

Source: creativeboom.com

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The Beatles’ first contract with manager Brian Epstein – marking the start of their transformation into world-conquering pop band – is going under the hammer.

Epstein signed up Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best – the band’s first drummer – on January 24 1962, just two months after he first heard them play.

The paperwork, from “before any of the music that we know and love”, could fetch £300,000 at Sotheby’s.

Later dubbed the “fifth Beatle”, Epstein had no experience of band management and was running a record shop when he took up the Liverpool band.

Sotheby’s Books And Manuscripts specialist Gabriel Heaton described the contract as “an important piece of our cultural history” and a “transformative document”.

Source: irishnews.com

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John Lennon was the first Beatle to join the group. (Lennon didn’t meet Paul McCartney until the Quarrymen, the pre-Beatles skiffle band that Lennon founded, played their second show.) Lennon was also the first Beatle to release a solo single, and the first to leave the band. But he was the last Beatle to hit #1. That must’ve been weird.

The nascent rock-critical industry certainly regarded Lennon as the most important, poetic, and generally great Beatle, and much of the public probably agreed. But Lennon wasn’t making hits. All of Lennon’s former bandmates had multiple #1 singles before Lennon ascended to that summit. By the time he got there, Lennon didn’t even think it was possible. He’d spent his immediate post-Beatles years carving out a different path, becoming the world’s loudest and most visible protest performance-artist, staging public stunts with his wife Yoko Ono. He and Ono had done what they could to inject rock ‘n’ roll with avant-garde sensibilities — sometimes successfully, sometimes not. He’d become a public voice against the Vietnam War and against Richard Nixon, and Nixon spent years trying to get him deported as a result.

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