Search
Filters
Close

Beatles Music

 

Beatles News

Paul McCartney met two of the women who helped inspire the Beatles' White Album classic "Blackbird" backstage at his Little Rock, Arkansas concert Saturday night.

The women, Thelma Mothershed Wair and Elizabeth Eckford, were two members of the Little Rock Nine, a group of nine black students who faced discrimination and the lasting impact of segregation after enrolling in the all-white Little Rock Central High School in 1957, following the Supreme Court's historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision. 

After the Little Rock Nine enrolled, Arkansas governor Orval Faubus protested their entrance into the school, which in turn sparked the Little Rock Crisis. It was these events that inspired a young McCartney to pen the song "Blackbird." "Incredible to meet two of the Little Rock Nine— pioneers of the civil rights movement and inspiration for Blackbird," McCartney tweeted.

At the Little Rock concert, McCartney introduced "Blackbird" by telling the audience, "Way back in the Sixties, there was a lot of trouble going on over civil rights, particularly in Little Rock.

By: Daniel Kreps

Source: Rolling Stone

details

WHEN THEY WAS THE FAB FOUR - Sunday, May 01, 2016

“When we was fab.” Say it with a Liverpudlian accent and it can only be referring to one thing, for that matter said with any accent it can only ever be referring to the Beatles. This was George Harrison’s hook line, and title, for his 1988 single, the second to be taken from his Cloud Nine album. It’s a perfect evocation of those heady days of Beatlemania when those loveable Mop-Tops, the Fab Four, ruled the world and we all thought they would go on forever.

George co-wrote the song with Jeff Lynne, who also co-produced the album that shortly pre-empts the two of them forming The Travelling Wilburys with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. ‘When We Was Fab’ is a musical nod to the psychedelic sound that the Beatles had made their own in 1967, through its use of sitar, string quartet, and backward tape effects. According to George, "...until I finalized the lyric on it, it was always called 'Aussie Fab'. That was it's working title. I hadn't figured out what the song was going to say ... what the lyrics would be about, but I knew it was definitely a Fab song. It was based on the Fabs, and as it was done up in Australia there, up in Queensland, then that's what we called it. As we de details

As a journalist with NME, Q and Word, Paul Du Noyer has interviewed Paul McCartney more times over the last 35 years than any other magazine writer. The earliest of these conversations came in 1979, when he attended a backstage press conference at a Macca gig in Liverpool. It was at that point, as he explains in Conversations With McCartney, soon to be released in paperback, that he realised he had “stumbled into the right career”.

Published with the blessing of McCartney by Hodder on May 5, the book is a veritable treasure trove of Beatles, Wings and Macca solo goodness, covering all aspects of his five-decade career as the world’s most revered songwriter. After delving into it, we asked Du Noyer to tell us five things only he knows about McCartney:

1. He doesn’t know how to write a song.

"The first time I met Paul McCartney was backstage on an assignment for NME. I found he would talk about everything except songwriting. He just can’t explain how it’s done. It’s a complete mystery to him. “The whole thing about it,” he told me, “it’s magic… I don’t quite know where I’m going, because I make it all up. Some people know details

There’s only so much a designer can do with the official outfits athletes wear at the Olympics, but Stella McCartney may have outdone herself with her duds for Britain’s competitors in this summer’s Rio Games. And, as with most Olympic designs, hers are meeting with mixed results.

McCartney, the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney, combined the colors red, white and blue with a coat-of-arms motif and a gigantic “G” and “B,” with the idea behind the clothing (besides sales for adidas) being team unity and a quickly identifiable image.

“Besides standing out from the crowd, Team GB needs to look cohesive together. There are so many different personalities, all these completely different sports and schedules,” rugby player Tom Mitchell told The Guardian, “and the kit is important because it unites us as a team. When you’re walking around the village, it creates that immediate link.”

Vogue’s Luke Leitch explained what McCartney was striving for.

“For Team GB, McCartney turned to heraldry: a newly commissioned coat of arms featuring the symbols of the four nations of Great Britain is designed to stir patriotism,&rd details

After talking to the Harrogate Advertiser as part of its popular Retro nostalgia series, one of the Harrogate musicians has shed more light on Friday, March 8, 1963 when the Fab Four appeared at Harrogate's Royal Hall.

George McCormick, who played rhythm guitar in Ricky Fenton and the Apaches that memorable night, handed over two unpublished photographs of The Beatles on stage at the Royal Hall.

He's also been approached by a researcher for inclusion in forthcoming new book Beatlemania - A Year On The Life 1963.

One of the two photos may shed further light on a mystery photograph previously published in the Harrogate Advertiser of local girls chatting to The Beatles in the dressing room of the Harrogate venue courtesy of Bob Mason, lead guitarist in the Apaches.

He said: "If you look closely at the picture, it look like the same girls. It would make sense if the same fans who managed to get to the front also managed to get to meet The Beatles in their dressing room."

George, who was only 19 at the time, had a good chat with The Beatles before they played that Friday night and actually invited them to come to his parents' house in Harrogate for a bit to eat! 

By: Graham Chalme details

It’s just a few hours from my deadline, and I’m struggling. I’ve never had a piece for Argus Leader Media that has perplexed me like this one. For weeks and weeks, I’ve had an internal struggle on how to create an article to preview the May 2 Paul McCartney concert.

Usually, these kinds of difficulties arise because the artist is too new or obscure. Either they don’t have a web presence, or they just rely on social media to promote themselves. Others are because the act just doesn’t have anything memorable to say. It’s not easy to come up with something when the answers to your questions rarely go beyond three words.

With McCartney, the problem is that there is too much available material. How can anybody write a fresh perspective on this all-time great? With the possible exceptions of Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, no musical life has been as well-documented as Paul and his fellow Beatles. For a good portion of his career, you can even pinpoint what he was doing at any hour of the day.

Given this predicament, I have no choice but to be completely self-indulgent. Yep, this piece is going to be about nothing but me. Or, rather, me and my troubled rela details

Iconic drums to hit the Beatles Story - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An iconic drum kit, used by Ringo Starr, is set to go on display at The Beatles Story, Liverpool. The specially designed Ludwig gold sparkle drum kit, which recently sold for $64,000 at auction, was used by Ringo during the ‘Concert for George’ in November 2002.

The one-off music event at the Royal Albert Hall was a celebration of the life of George Harrison. Organised by George’s widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, the emotional occasion saw Ringo reunite with former bandmate Sir Paul McCartney. The pair teamed up with fellow musicians Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Jeff Lynne and Klaus Voormann.

Ringo was part of the ‘super group’ of artists that performed George Harrison penned Beatles songs “For You Blue”, “Something” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, in addition to his solo track “All Things Must Pass”. This year marks 15 years since George passed away from lung cancer. Proceeds from the auction, set up by Ringo and his wife Barbara, went to their own charity The Lotus Foundation.

The drums will be on display at the Beatles Story exhibition in the Albert Dock for the next three years.

By: Henry Roberts

< details
Linda a groupie? - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

At the start, no one could have predicted that the relationship between Paul McCartney and the New York photographer Linda Eastman would be the spectacular success it became. For one thing — as his fans cattily pointed out — Linda was hardly glamorous. Her long blonde hair always looked unkempt and her clothes were frankly dowdy. For another, she’d recently divorced her first husband, by whom she had a daughter, and clearly had no immediate intention of settling down. Hence she was gaining a reputation not only for taking pictures of rock stars but also for sharing their beds. 

By 1967, her detractors regarded Linda as a rarefied form of groupie. Indeed, before meeting McCartney, she’d already had brief affairs or one-night stands with several icons, including Mick Jagger, Doors’ singer Jim Morrison and the Hollywood star Warren Beatty. At press conferences thronging with photographers, it was Linda who always managed to stand out. A female photographer called Blair Sabol described what happened when they all turned up to take photos of Beatty. 

But did that make Linda a groupie? With hindsight, she seems more like a genuine free spirit, whose emancipated attitude to sex w details

Never-before-seen footage of The Beatles “mucking around” in a make-up studio ahead of a television performance, shot more than half a century ago, was released by Australia’s national film and sound archive Tuesday.

The 49-second black-and-white silent film clip — which the national archive described as “really rare” — was shot with an 8mm camera belonging to Australian dancer and make-up artist Dawn Swane, who was working at Granada TV in Manchester, Britain, at that time.

The previously unreleased footage, from November 1, 1965, shows the four members of the legendary band having fun in front of the camera as their make-up is applied.

“I was in the make-up room. And so we were having some champagne,” Swane, now 83, said in a statement released by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA).

“And anyway, I don’t know if it was John (Lennon) or if it was Ringo (Starr) but they took the camera off me and said, ‘This is no way to use a camera,’ and they sort of jiggled it upside down and inside out a bit, and everybody was just mucking around.

“But that was great. I mean they were a nice group o details

THE familiar faces of Beatle Ringo Starr and actor Peter Sellers caused quite a stir at Southampton Docks almost fifty years ago, back in May 1969, when the pair were among 570 passengers boarding the second voyage of the QE2 at Southampton.

The pair were going to the United States to complete a new Commonwealth United film called “The Magic Christian,” the screen version of Terry Southern’s novel.

“The Magic Christian” was described in the Echo reports of the time as a “deeply rational satire teaming with way-out ideas about modern materialistic times”.

Clutching a bag marked with the words: “Sink the Magic Christian”, an excited Ringo told the Echo that his trip to New York on the QE2 was his first sea voyage since he served in the Merchant Navy.

He worked in 1957 as a waiter on a pleasure steamer which ran in the summer from Liverpool to North Wales. “I earned £3 10s a week then and usually made more in tips than in wages,” he said. “I’m going by sea this time because it’s a nice way to travel. This ship is just like a rather splendid hotel...better than you get in Scunthorpe.” Ringo also explained details

The truth behind Sir Paul's success - Monday, April 25, 2016

Long past the heyday of The Beatles, Paul McCartney offered a lift one day to a young film-maker, telling him to throw a sackful of letters on the front seat into the back of the car. ‘Go ahead and read one,’ he told David Litchfield. ‘They’re all the same.’ Litchfield leafed through the letters with growing disbelief. Every single one was from a woman who claimed she’d slept with McCartney — and had subsequently given birth to his child. ‘Some of [the letters] are really impressive,’ McCartney told Litchfield. ‘They come with lawyers’ letters and exact details of when and where — and I start racking my brains and thinking to myself: “Maybe I did once have sex with her.”’

The year was 1983. The ex-Beatle had by then been happily married for 14 years — yet still the claims were pouring in. Even the historical ones could prove troublesome. That very year, a woman called Erika Hubers had gone before a Berlin judge, claiming that McCartney had fathered her daughter, Bettina, during The Beatles’ visits to Hamburg in the early Sixties. The former waitress wanted £1.75 million — but a blood test proved that he coul details

The Hairy Bikers ride into Liverpool this evening to enjoy a special pub crawl. Raising a glass to the city’s Swinging 60s legacy, Si King and Dave Myers will be seen visiting Mathew Street, joining a Beatles tour - and enjoying a drink with two of John Lennon’s old friends in Ye Cracke on Rice Street. The Hairy Bikers’ Pubs That Built Britain (BBC2, 6.30pm) will celebrate The Dissenters – John’s “other band (which never played a note)”.

Bill Harry, founder of the hugely popular and influential Mersey Beat newspaper, joined the bikers, alongside fellow former Dissenter Rod Murray. He told the ECHO: “The Dissenters were formed in June 1960 by John Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe, Rod Murray and myself. We’d been to see Beat poet Royston Ellis at Liverpool University and later went to Ye Cracke to discuss it. We felt that the Beat poets were basically American and that we were literally swamped by American culture in films, music, comics and poetry.

“We believed Liverpool was bursting in talent and we all made a vow – to make Liverpool famous! John would do it with his music, Stuart and Rod with their painting and me with my writing. John surpassed any exp details

A recent photo of Ringo Starr, the drummer from the Beatles, and his 48-year-old son has gone viral. The reason why is because Ringo, 75, looks younger, or as young, as his son, Jason Starkey. They stepped out in Chelsea on Wednesday when the photos were taken, MailOnline reported. Ringo, who was born Richard Starkey Jr., flashed the peace sign as he was walking.

He celebrated his 75th birthday last July. Speaking recently with the Times of London, he admitted to having developed a serious drinking problem after the Beatles broke up in 1970. He finally entered rehab in 1988.

“For 20 years. I had breaks in between of not being … Some of those years are absolutely gone,” he told the paper.

“It got progressively worse, and the blackouts got worse, and I didn’t know where I’d been, what I’d done,” he said. “I knew I had the problem for years. But it plays tricks with your head. Very cunning and baffling is alcohol.”

“Now along the way I got lost in a haze of alcohol and drugs,” he added to Rolling Stone in a 2011 interview. “But thank God I’m still here, coming out of it now a day at a rime (sic). And now I’m f details

Queen Elizabeth II turned 90 on Thursday (April 21). It's a landmark occasion for the queen of the United Kingdom, though since her 1952 accession, she's seen her share of protesters -- often smart-mouthed British punks with bitter hot takes on constitutional monarchy. The Smiths had The Queen Is Dead. The Sex Pistols had "God Save the Queen" ... and then tried to crash her Silver Jubilee while playing their venomous 1977 single sailing along the River Thames. It didn't pan out well, but still, it's the thought that counts.

The Beatles, on the other hand, were much more diplomatic. Despite her detractors, Queen Elizabeth did do considerable work to honor musicians, and John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr got their due over the years, even at the very beginning. She honored them, they honored her, and at times, the Beatles spoke their minds. Here are the five most memorable times Queen Elizabeth II and the members of the Beatles crossed paths:

1. “Just Rattle Your Jewelry”

The Beatles’ first big moment with the Queen came in Nov. 1963 -- three months prior to their legendary first trip to New York -- when they performed at one of Britain’s most prestigious details

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton are among the major pop and rock stars who have contributed signed and/or worn neck ties and other fashion accessories to an online auction to benefit Cahonas Scotland, a U.K. charity that raises awareness about cancers that specifically affect men.

The Loosen Up! auction, which promotes Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, runs through this Sunday, April 24, and the items are up for bid now at eBay.co.uk. Among the many other music artists contributing items to the sale are Rod Stewart, Queen guitarist Brian May, Barry Manilow, Tom Jones, Annie Lennox, The Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennent and Elvis Costello.

McCartney has donated a yellow scarf he wore in conjunction with promoting the 1984 animated film Rupert and the Frog Song.

According to Cahonas Scotland, the ties, scarves and other items donated to the sale are meant to encourage men to “loosen up” and not be “tongue tied” about discussing male cancers such as testicular, prostate and breast cancer.

Source: ABC News Radio

details

A music mogul’s assistant from Runcorn nicknamed ‘Mr Fixit’ by Paul McCartney has been honoured with a blue heritage plaque at The Brindley theatre.

Alistair Taylor charmed Brian Epstein in a job interview and joined him on his musical adventures and was with him when he first saw The Beatles perform before signing them.

A biography on the blue plaque revealed that James Alistair Taylor was born on Curzon Street in 1935 and completed his National Service with the RAF before meeting Epstein in 1960.

Alistair also worked with acts including Cream, James Taylor, Cilla Black and The Bee Gees. The blue plaques of Runcorn heritage crusader Stuart Allen, who with help from Runcorn And District Historical Society, has fixed a trail of the mementoes around the town to honour its characters and buildings of note.

Stuart said: “Alistair was instrumental in the rise and rise of The Beatles. “He was greatly respected and much loved in the music business by both the artists he worked with and by fans.

“Together with writer Hall Caine and pianist Martin Roscoe, he is one of the most important figures connected with the Arts that Runcorn has produced.”

By details

Fans of the Fab Four have a treat in store.

Thurnham author Neil Nixon has written a book on the world’s most famous band.

The Beatles: Myths and Legends exams the wealth of strange stories and little known “facts” that have sprouted up around the pop legends.

Mr Nixon said: “We’ve all heard the story about Paul dying in a road accident and being replaced by an imposter, but when I looked into the range of myths and legends around even I was amazed!”

The book includes a list of records that are widely - if wrongly - believed to feature The Beatles; one of which even fooled Yoko Ono into believing she was listening to her dead husband. It also identifies the true identity of a man, who did resemble Paul McCartney, and the details of the real road accident that gave rise to the McCartney death rumours in the Sixties

Mr Nixon, 56, is a self-confessed “music obsessive” and also a lecturer in professional writing at the North Kent College in Dartford. He has 25 books under his belt, including two novels written as Stanley Manly.

By: Alan Smith

Source: Kent Online

details

For his new album, James McCartney – son of Beatle Paul McCartney – was looking for the songs to be “eclectic” and “a bit more raw.” He ended up turning to renowned engineer Steve Albini, whom James admired for his work with PJ Harvey, Pixies and Nirvana. The end result was “The Blackberry Train,” out May 6 on Kobalt Label Services.

Things don’t get more raw than a song called “Waterfall,” which was inspired by memories of the singer-songwriter’s mother, photographer and animal-rights activist Linda McCartney, who died of cancer in 1998. “It’s just a song that was trying to summarize that time after she died, so that kind of grieving process,” says James.

James cites bands like Nirvana, the Cure and the Stone Roses as influences for “The Blackberry Train,” but prefers to emphasize the fact that he’s “trying to be unique and just myself, really.”

The musician will be touring the U.S. this summer in support of “The Blackberry Train,” kicking things off in San Juan Capistrano, California, May 10, and wrapping the shows up in Lincoln, Nebraska, on June 27.

By: Sarene Lee details

Taking a sneak peek at the setup inside Rogers Arena on Tuesday ahead of McCartney’s double date with Vancouver Tuesday and Wednesday evenings (April 19-20), it was obvious the legendary Beatle is going all out for his One On One tour.

State-of-the-art projections were being rotated on massive floor-to-ceiling LED screens while the PA blasted Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean to test out the sound. The stage was packed with instruments, including a grand piano where one can expect Macca will be tickling the ivories. Some of the visuals on display during the stage setup included a kaleidoscopic, multi-coloured animation for The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and black-and-white footage of McCartney with Wings.

In total, 175,000 pounds of gear were hauled into the arena by 21 trucks, requiring more than 250 crew members. “It’s a good size mob come to put this up,” Spring said. Spring, who has been working with McCartney since 2002, promised an entirely different show than the one that set BC Place ablaze (almost quite literally thanks to all that pyro bouncing off the roof) in 2012.

“It’s completely different — it’s another monster,” assistant st details

A mysterious white label of a Paul McCartney & Wings classic has captured the imagination of music fans over the past couple weeks. On March 30, a crop of 12" records materialized on Phonica Records' website featuring a chugging house remix of the ex-Beatle's Band on the Run finale 'Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five.' The limited vinyl run swiftly sold out amid a frenzied demand that found copies fetching upwards of $400 on eBay

The authenticity of the remix's multitrack recordings and McCartney's recent announcement of a 67-song greatest hits package prompted iD to speculate "whether it was officially sanctioned by the man himself." Social media support from McCartney's camp on April 8 only thickened the plot.

Billboard Dance can now exclusively reveal that German veteran Timo Maas and Canadian producer James Teej are responsible for the release (and acted with Sir Paul's blessing). We caught up with the artists to flesh out the story behind the unlikely rework.

By: Matt Medved

Source: Billboard

Read More >>

details

Liverpool is no stranger to shows about John Lennon, from Bob Eaton’s benchmark titular musical production to Scott Murphy’s ‘lost weekend’ play Walls and Bridges. And Liverpool audiences generally have a better working knowledge of the ex-Beatle than perhaps some others might. So it’s a brave man, or men, who present another telling of the Lennon life story here in his home city. But while the subject matter of Lennon Through a Glass Onion is nothing new, it comes with an international pedigree, and – critically – with the blessing of Yoko Ono herself. Added to which, it’s not really a play at all. In fact, it’s a slippery customer to pin down. Part-concert, part-monologue, it’s I suppose what one might term aural storytelling, but narrated from somewhere inside the contrary musician’s head.

It’s December 8, 1980, and John – just turned 40 and finally comfortable and contented in his own skin – is returning home to the Dakota Building after a recording session. Idly noticing a fan who has been waiting hours to see him (Chapman klaxon), Lennon (Liverpool’s Daniel Taylor) starts musing on his life, the nature of fame and fandom, fri details

A massive new biography of Paul McCartney casts a sly eye on the revered rock star’s love life.

“Paul McCartney,” by Philip Norman, the author of the best-selling “Mick Jagger,” comes in at 818 pages. While most of it is concerned with the icon’s musical career, it also peers closely at the women at McCartney’s side through the decades.

First off, doe-eyed McCartney was never the “nice” Beatle, the one even parents could embrace, though that’s how he played it in the early throes of Beatlemania. According to Norman, McCartney hit it off with so many ardent young fans the numbers were legendary. McCartney once bragged to a cousin about a foursome he’d particularly enjoyed as the only male. Eventually, the lad from Liverpool settled into a fairy-tale romance with the upper-crust doctor’s daughter, Jane Asher, even living with her family for a few years.

First off, doe-eyed McCartney was never the “nice” Beatle, the one even parents could embrace, though that’s how he played it in the early throes of Beatlemania. According to Norman, McCartney hit it off with so many ardent young fans the numbers were legendary. McCart details

It was 46 years ago today (April 17th, 1970) that Paul McCartney released his first solo album apart from the Beatles. Although McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr had all produced and released solo projects before, the McCartney album was the first solo mainstream record released in the aftermath of the group's breakup.

McCartney featured an assortment of tracks recorded at home and in the studio, featuring McCartney on all instruments, with the help of his wife Linda McCartney on harmonies. Several of the songs were Beatles-era rejects, such as "Junk," which was originally intended for the band's 1968 self-titled double set commonly known as "The White Album." Early versions of "Every Night," "Teddy Boy," and a snippet of "Maybe I'm Amazed" were also rehearsed by various members of the band during the next year's Let It Be sessions. The instrumental track "Hot As Sun," also performed during the January 1969 sessions, dated as far back as 1960.

Although Lennon had quietly quit the band the previous September, none of the Beatles said anything about the split publicly until McCartney issued a self-penned interview included in the press copies of album.

Sadly, 28 years to the date of details

It could rank as the classic rock concert of the century — six bands and performers who revolutionized popular music in the 1960s gathering in the Southern California desert over a single weekend in October. The company that stages the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is planning a three-night event featuring Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Neil Young and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters — all Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees — Oct. 7-9 at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, The Times has learned.

The six acts have never shared a billing before, and it also would be the first time that Dylan and ex-Beatle McCartney — representing what are widely considered the two most important rock acts of the 1960s — have played on the same bill, albeit on different nights.

The concert is being organized by Goldenvoice, the Los Angeles-based promoter that is a unit of AEG Live, according to people with knowledge of the plans. They could not speak publicly because negotiations with the performers were being finalized.

“It will be their full stage productions, with full sets,” said one person close to the project. That would be in contrast to most festiv details

The birthplace of the modern American documentary is Wisconsin, where Robert Drew brought a crew in early 1960 to film the campaigns of John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey in that state’s Democratic Presidential primary. Albert Maysles was the cinematographer of its most iconic sequence, a long hand-held tracking shot following Kennedy from backstage to a lectern. There, Maysles caught Kennedy in the magic moment—the transformation from private to public, from casual manner to stage manner. Yet Drew’s fundamental insight is the unified field of cinematic activity—in a word, the filmmakers are present and are an inextricable part of the proceedings that they film. Everything that takes place in front of the camera—and, for that matter, behind it—is a performance, even the ordinary activities of ordinary people.

For Maysles and his brother, David Maysles, who worked together to make documentaries for decades to come, performance became their fundamental subject. Their first feature was “Showman,” about the producer and distributor Joseph E. Levine, and its very title bears a paradox: Levine was a man who put on shows, but he himself was, in the film, a man who became a show. details

Beatles Radio Listener Poll
Which Beatle has aged better