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The Music in My Head – 8/20/19 - Thursday, August 22, 2019

A good one today from George Harrison! It’s really a tribute to his old bandmate, John Lennon, who was shot and killed in December of 1980. The following Spring, George released a song called, “All Those Years Ago.” He had actually written the song already, but after what happened to John, he decided to write some special lyrics, and dedicate it to John’s memory. Obvously, a lot of people liked it! The song made it all the way to #2 in the country, and stayed there for 3 straight weeks, and the only reason it didn’t top the charts is because it came out at the same time with “Bette Davis Eyes,” a giant hit record by Kim Carnes. George got a lot of help on this one, too, from Ringo Starr on drums, and Paul McCartney on bass. In fact, Paul had Wings at the time, so Denny Laine ended up on keys and background vocals, and Paul’s wife, Linda, also sang on the song. George had certainly had his share of differences with John over the years, but if you listen to the song and pay attention to the words, it’s apparent that he obviously looked up to him—almost like a big brother. 

Source: Ron Stutts/chapelboro.com

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By the late ’60s, many Beatles fans probably couldn’t recognize the band that once serenaded the world with “Love Me Do” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They had long hair and beards, no longer played live concerts, and wrote songs like “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “It’s All Too Much.”

There were many reasons for the changes, and drugs had to rank somewhere near the top of that list. After Rubber Soul, their full-fledged pothead record, the band made the acid-tinged Revolver and equally far-out Sgt. Pepper’s.

But drugs only counted as one reason. The band’s full commitment to the studio and maturity as songwriters encouraged them to take their music as far as they could. George Harrison’s backwards guitar solo and John Lennon’s “I Am the Walrus” came from a few of those efforts.

Source: cheatsheet.com

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The Beatles didn’t take long to catch the attention of the top names in the music industry. In the summer of 1964, Bob Dylan insisted on visiting the band in New York. And when 1965’s Rubber Soul hit the airwaves, The Beach Boys were simply knocked out by it.

By ’65, The Beach Boys had already notched multiple No. 1 hits and had many more chart successes. However, they weren’t taken terribly seriously, as they mostly sung about catching waves and dating girls with cool cars. In some ways, their songwriting was like The Beatles’ had been in 1964.

But that changed after hearing tracks like “In My Life,” “Girl,” and other knockout songs from Rubber Soul. For Brian Wilson, the creative force behind The Beach Boys, he now had a mission: to top The Beatles’ latest album.

Source: cheatsheet.com

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Ringo Starr does jumping-jacks on the edge of the stage as he sings “Yellow Submarine” to an audience of one: me. It’s the day before he’s due to kick-off the North American leg of his All-Starr Band’s 30th-anniversary tour, and the group are rehearsing at the very un-rock ‘n’ roll hour of 10:30 a.m. They maneuver with the power and agility of a pro sports team training for the championship. Yesterday was the first time they’d played together since they wrapped a string of Japanese dates three months earlier, but the 14th incarnation of the ever-evolving supergroup sounds as tight as ever. A handful of sound technicians and crew jog busily around the empty Colosseum Theater at Caesar’s Palace in Windsor, Ontario. Tomorrow, every one of the 5,000 seats will be filled but for now, I am the sum total of the roaring crowd and I applaud as the song comes to an end. It’s the only socially acceptable way to vent my excitement. It’s not every day you get a private show from a Beatle.

Source: Jordan Runtagh/people.com

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The Beatles’ body of work has been so worshipped, scrutinized and dissected that 50 years later, one could wonder what’s left to discover. After all, how much more can one say about “Abbey Road”? It’s arguably the greatest album by the greatest group of all time, and is one of the premiere artistic statements of its era. And as the final album the Beatles made together — it was recorded after “Let It Be” but released before  — it was created in a spirit of pre-breakup détente: The Beatles knew they were splitting up, so they made one last big effort for the team, and consequently, “Abbey Road” has none of the tension and contentiousness of “The White Album” and “Let It Be.” It’s all harmony, in every sense of the word.

Although the Beatles’ catalog has already been revisited several times — first on CD in the ‘80s, then the “Anthology” rarities series in the ‘90s, then in meticulously remastered stereo editions in the ‘00s, then in mono, and now in 50th anniversary editions — each one has revealed tantalizing surprises for longtime fans.

Source: Jem Aswad/var details

Sunday marked 55 years since the fab four made a whole lot of Winnipeggers twist and shout without singing or strumming a single note during their little visit to the city. George Harrison waves, upper left, as he and Ringo Starr, right, John Lennon, lower left, and Paul McCartney, not pictured, descend the steps of their plane after landing at the Winnipeg airport on Aug. 18, 1964. (CBC)

The Beatles landed at the Winnipeg airport on Aug. 18, 1964. Their brief stopover on the tarmac was punctuated by screams and cries from the droves of young fans who flocked to the airport to greet them.

"It's the first place that they ever set foot in Canada," said music historian John Einarson. "They didn't come and play, they didn't come and perform, but they came for the fans ... and fuel."

Source: cbc.ca

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How Many Beatles Have Been Knighted? - Sunday, August 18, 2019

When The Beatles received their MBE awards from Queen Elizabeth in 1965, they still hadn’t hit their creative or commercial peak. That would come a few years later with Sgt. Pepper’s, The White Album, and Abbey Road.

But they’d already started their march up the ladder of British society, as far as royal honors are concerned. At the time, John Lennon wasn’t all that impressed with his MBE, and a few years later he returned his to Buckingham Palace with a cheeky note addressed to the queen.

As for the other Beatles, they seemed to have more respect for the honor — especially drummer Ringo Starr. “I was never giving mine back,” he said later. “It meant a lot.”

The same went for Paul McCartney, always the less disruptive half of the Lennon-McCartney alliance. That attitude likely served Paul well when his name came up for knighthood in the 1990s. For a while, it appeared he’d be the only Beatle who’d ever be addressed as “sir.”

Source: cheatsheet.com

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It was an acid trip with Peter Fonda, who has died at the age of 79, that inspired John Lennon to write one of The Beatles’ classic album tracks.

In 1965, the actor – who would go on to co-write and star in counterculture classic Easy Rider four years later – was enjoying a night out with the Fab Four when George Harrison, high on LSD, feared he would die.

Fonda, who survived a near-fatal shooting accident as a child, told The Post in 2000: “I was saying, ‘Don’t worry George, it’s OK. I know what it’s like to be dead. We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

These words of encouragement, though, confused Lennon. Fonda recalled: “Lennon looks over and says, ‘You know what it’s like to be dead? Who put all that s*** in your head? You’re making me feel like I’ve never been born.'"

Source: Jacob Stolworthy/independent.co.uk

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After recording the groundbreaking Revolver (1966) album, The Beatles realized they’d given everything to the music but still didn’t have a name for the record. So they nearly used a goofy titles like Fat Man and Bobby or After Geography (Ringo’s idea, as a send-up of the Stones’ Aftermath).

Later, the Fab Four continued its run of uninspired album titles. The 1968 double record known as The White Album actually went out as a self-titled release (The Beatles). For their final album, they simply used the name of the street where their studio was located (Abbey Road).

In brief, The Beatles were much better at writing music and titling songs than they were as naming albums. If they weren’t using a pun like Rubber Soul or Revolver, they were barely giving the record a title at all.

Source: cheatsheet.com

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It was 50 years ago tomorrow, Sergeant Pepper told the band to stop playing. And with the final C-major from their last song, prophetically titled The End, still ringing in the air, the four greatest popular musicians Britain has ever ­produced packed up their instruments and walked away. They’d been together since John Lennon was 17 and Paul McCartney 15 – 12 long years of furious ­creativity, forged in the dank cellar of The Cavern and the grubby dives of Hamburg, and ending up on top of the world. In that time they’d recorded a staggering 213 songs. But for The Beatles, August 18, 1969, was the day the music died.

To the outside world there was no ­warning, no hint of the earthquake to come. The sun-splashed month had started with a photoshoot resulting in the most iconic ­picture in the history of pop music.

It ended in an uneasy truce between the four ­warring members, each ­desperately looking for a way out of their magic circle.

Source: Christopher Wilson/express.co.uk

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Attention Beatles fans: we’ve found a loophole to Paul McCartney‘s pricey concert tickets. The music icon will be celebrating his new children’s book, Hey Grandude! with a book signing at Waterstones bookstore in London – and the tickets are surprisingly cheap.

Alternative Nation reports that the tickets are on sale for £14, which equals about 17 U.S. dollars. Considering that fact that McCartney’s concerts typically sell for a few hundred bucks, this is quite the bargain. Customers will not only have the chance to meet McCartney, but can bring up to two children or grandchildren and walk way with a signed copy of Hey Grandude! Guests will also have the chance to meet the book’s illustrator, Kathryn Durst. There’s a strict no-access policy for non ticket holders so guests should make sure they’ve secured a ticket before arriving. The announcement also states that all bags, cameras and mobile phone devices must be placed in a bag drop prior to entering, so it’s not known if guests will be able to get photos with the Beatles icon.

Source: Catherine Santino/fatherly.com

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It took a half-century, but Ringo’s rockin’ a rooftop again — and he’s doing it in New York.

Fifty years after he and his fellow Beatles played atop London’s Apple Corps headquarters, Ringo Starr will be performing a rooftop concert with his All-Starr Band Sunday at Manhattan’s Pier 17 to wrap up a three-day weekend of Empire State shows.

The drummer-singer, 79, is still getting by with a little help from his friends — and loving New York, where the Beatles introduced themselves to America in 1964 when they touched down at JFK airport.

“No one will understand the emotion of us landing in America,” Starr told the Daily News. “But it was New York, and all of the music we loved came from there. It was just far out.

Source: Peter Sblendorio/nydailynews.com

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The Mersey Beatles, a Liverpool-born Beatles tribute band and the house band for over a decade at the world-famous Cavern Club, will perform Oct. 11 at Benton Civic Center.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of "Abbey Road," the band will play the entire album live followed by a set of greatest hits.

Julia Baird, John Lennon's sister and the director of the Cavern Club, will be in attendance selling and signing copies of her book "Imagine This: Growing Up with My Brother John Lennon" at the general merchandise table before, during and after the show.

"The Mersey Beatles have been playing the Cavern Club for over 15 years and are one of the best you will see," Baird said.

The Mersey Beatles are no ordinary tribute band. They are the official Beatles tribute band representing the city of Liverpool, and from 2002 to 2012 they were the resident tribute band at The Cavern Club, the nightclub in Liverpool, England, where The Beatles perfected their act before launching a global rock music revolution in the 1960s.

Source: Benton News/carbondaletimes.com

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A book described as an “extraordinary visual memoir” is coming from perhaps the most famous muse of all time, Pattie Boyd. The model, photographer and author is, of course, the former wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton. Pattie Boyd: My Life Through a Lens, is being published April 7, 2020, via Simon and Schuster’s Insight Editions imprint.

It’s available for pre-order below.

Born in England on March 17, 1944, Boyd pursued a successful modeling career before meeting the Beatles’ George Harrison on the set of the 1964 film, A Hard Day’s Night. The two married when she was just 21, on January 21, 1966, and Boyd became a source of inspiration for Harrison’s songwriting, sparking his interest in meditation and Eastern philosophy.

Source: Best Classic Bands Staff

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By the end of the Beatles’ great run as recording artists, George Harrison was writing and performing on the level of bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney. But it definitely didn’t start out that way.

In fact, John and Paul considered George something of a lesser Beatle in the early 1960s. Part of it was his age (George was the youngest band member), but it also had to do with the quality of his original tunes. Later, John spoke of an “embarrassing period when George’s songs weren’t that good.”

Though John was likely referring to the time around 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night (on which George had zero songs), another rough patch for him popped up during the recording of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As many fans know, George only has “Within Without You” on that album.

George did introduce another song earlier in the Sgt. Pepper sessions, but it didn’t make the cut. In the studio, it was greeted with apathy from John and a lot of negative feedback from producer George Martin and his team.

 

Source: cheatsheet.com

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The Fab Four were just a group of music-loving teens from Liverpool before becoming cultural and musical icons.

Before John, Paul, George and Ringo became The Beatles, they were simply four teenagers from Liverpool. Never could John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have imagined they would go on to form one of the most successful groups in modern history, influencing the popular culture in not only music, but also fashion, film, and global representation.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, it was difficult to imagine a band hailing from the relatively poor northwest port city of Liverpool, England, could get a gig in the thriving London music scene of the south, let alone export their eventual homegrown success to a world eagerly opening up to the counter-culture movement of the 60s and the burgeoning phenomenon that was called rock 'n' roll.

Source: biography.com

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While there are more brilliant Paul McCartney tracks than you can count, a few songs stand out a half-century after he recorded them with The Beatles. At or near the top of the list is “Hey Jude,” the 1968 smash that continues to inspire singalongs wherever it plays.

That track, which Paul wrote for John Lennon’s son Julian, became the first release on the band’s Apple record label. But by then, Paul had already penned a number of eternal classics. The list includes “Yesterday,” which became one of the most-played songs in radio history.

Then there is “Penny Lane,” a song which couldn’t have come from any other band or been written by anyone other than Paul. The 1967 single, released with John’s stunning “Strawberry Fields Forever” on the B side, ranks as one of the finest recordings of the band’s career.

Source: cheatsheet.com

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The Beatles Abbey Road gets the expected 50th anniversary treatment on September 27th UMe announced today, which coincidentally is the 50th anniversary of the famous walk across the street photo shoot that became the iconic album cover.

There will be new stereo, 5.1 Surround and Dolby Atmos mixes presented on multiple formats including a "Super Deluxe" 4-disc box set, 3LP box set and 1LP picture disc. 17 tracks have been newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell, accompanied by 23 session recordings and demos, most of them previously unreleased. These are presented on the Super Deluxe and Deluxe vinyl box sets in chronological order of their first recording dates. The three-track ‘Something’ EP, featuring the 2019 Stereo Mix, the Studio Demo and Take 39 – Instrumental – Strings Only, can be streamed here now.

Source: Michael Fremer/analogplanet.com

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When it comes to the Beatles’ landmark Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, most people think of 1967. After all, the album hit record stores in June of that year, and you could hear the sounds of “A Day in the Life” coming through open windows all summer long.

But work on the record began much earlier. Following the Beatles’ final tour in the summer of ’66, the band took a much-needed break and met up in the studio with plans to try something completely different.

For starters, it meant creating music they could only play in a studio (as opposed to a stage). And they’d spend as much time as it took to get it right. If that meant going for two weeks on a single song, that didn’t faze them.

However, Beatles manager Brian Epstein wanted to keep the cash flowing as it had in previous years. When John Lennon and Paul McCartney produced masterpieces early in the Sgt. Pepper sessions, saving them for the album seemed pointless. So Epstein sent them out together as an epic single.

Source: cheatsheet.com

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Linda McCartney left this world more than 20 years ago, and yet for many she’s—at best—a harmless rock ‘n’ roll footnote. At worst, she’s the hated woman who had the damnable gumption to marry Beatle Paul. In the annals of Beatles history, only Yoko Ono has suffered a more dismal fate.

As the recent rerelease of Linda’s posthumous solo album "Wide Prairie" powerfully reminds us, her legacy was none of those things. Anyone who’s familiar with her backstory knows that she was so much more: a gifted photographer with an eye for finding the everyday nuance in her subjects; a devoted wife and mother — she and Paul were married for 29 years — an eternity in the entertainment business and a goodly number, quite frankly, for any couple; and a musician and singer who struggled to hone her craft in spite of the avalanche of critics she faced whenever she had the gall to perform with her husband, which amounted to several hundred times.

Source: Kenneth Womack/salon.com

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“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is one of The Beatles most famous songs and arguably one of George Harrison’s masterpieces, amongst a host of increidble songs. It was recorded in 1968 as part of the White Album sessions. The song was written as an exercise in randomness where he consulted the Chinese I Ching or the Classic of Changes book.

Whilst the sessions went ahead for the White Album, Harrison, McCartney, Lennon and Ringo’s relationship was beginning to really swell. Arguments were rife and Harrison felt his song was getting overshadowed from the main songwriting of Lennon & McCartney, he looked elsewhere for inspiration after struggling with inspiration for his guitar parts for over a month.

Harrison, instead of turning to his bandmates, asked close friend Eric Clapton for help. On the 6th September Clapton turned up at Abbey Road Studio to do just that. In a 1987 interview with Guitar Player magazine, Harrison was asked whether it had bruised his ego to ask Clapton to play on the song.

Source: Nathan Ellis/faroutmagazine.co.uk

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Over the years, George Harrison built up quite a following as “the quiet Beatle.” Fans loved his style as the Beatles’ lead guitar player and his occasional songwriting effort, starting with “Don’t Bother Me,” which he penned in 1963.

That track appeared on the second album by the Fab Four. By the mid-’60s, George’s skills as a songwriter had grown to the point that one of his tunes (“Taxman”) led off the classic Revolver album (1966). Beatles producer George Martin had definitely begun to believe in him by then.

Though George still struggled with technical aspects of his guitar playing, there was no questioning the maturity of his songwriting by ’66. Meanwhile, his explorations of Indian music and meditation expanded the band’s musical palette and made the Beatles stronger for it.

While Revolver was a great showing for George, his song-count fell off a cliff with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. On that landmark album, George only had one track. But he roared back the following year, posting his highest song total on any Beatles album.

Source: cheatsheet.com

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And they say legends don't do signings

Paul McCartney is going to be signing copies of his new picture book Hey Grandude! in London, it has been revealed.

Read more: The wisdom of Macca: what Paul McCartney told students at the college he founded

The Beatle will take part in a rare signing at the Piccadilly branch of London’s Waterstones alongside illustrator Kathryn Durst to celebrate his new children’s book on September 6.

During the special appearance, McCartney will read the story of ‘Grandude’ – “a super-cool Grandad who takes his grandchildren on a whirlwind magical mystery tour, from tropical seas to Alpine mountains, all before bedtime!”

The news was shared from McCartney’s official Twitter account today (August 8), on the same day as the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ iconic ‘Abbey Road’ photoshoot.

Source: Will Lavin/nme.com

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‘Something’ was the one and only time The Beatles ever allocated George an A-Side. When I spoke to George in 1994 he told me that as a songwriter it frustrated him that be was given a lower priority than Paul and George. “It wasn’t so much the “A” side of a single but it was frustrating at times when we had to wade through millions of “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’s” before we could get to one of mine. You know because I think now that when you look retrospectively that there were a couple of my tunes that were good enough, or better, than one’s that Paul or John had written occasionally. But you know, that’s just how it was. It doesn’t bother me really. I was just on hold for a while”.

George also confirmed that ‘Something’ was not written about his then wife Patti. He was thinking of Ray Charles when he wrote it. “I just wrote it and then somebody put together a video and what they did, was they went out and got some footage of me and Patti, Paul and Linda, Ringo and Maureen, it was at that time, and John and Yoko and they just made up a little video to go with it, so then everybody presumed I wrote it about Patti, but act details

On the morning of Friday August 8th, 50 years ago, The Beatles were photographed walking across a pedestrian crossing in London.

The image of George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon striding across the road outside EMI studios in St John's Wood became the cover shot of their Abbey Road album and probably the most iconic photo of the Fab Four.

It was taken by the late Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan who stood on a ladder in the middle of the street while a policeman blocked the traffic. The whole thing was done in roughly 10 minutes.

Glasgow-based author Ken McNab, author of And in the End: The Last Days of the Beatles, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that relations between the band members were strained at the time and it was just weeks before they split up entirely.

He said: "They were professionally and personally exhausted".

Mr McNab said Macmillan, who died in 2006, was very modest about the picture.


Source: Douglas Frase/bbc.com

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