Beatles News

George Harrison: The quiet Beatle - Saturday, November 28, 2015

He was the diffident Beatle, a quiet and unassuming figure beside the towering egos of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

But, after his innate creativity was allowed to flourish, George Harrison made his own mark as a great songwriter, with works such as Here Comes The Sun, While My Guitar Gently Weeps holding their own beside those of his colleagues.

And Something was hailed by Frank Sinatra as "the greatest love song ever written".

The son of a bus driver, George Harrison was born in the Hunts Cross area of Liverpool on 25 February 1943.

Although his childhood home was a back-to-back-terrace house with an outside toilet, a scholarship to the Liverpool Institute, where he met Paul McCartney, a year his senior, held out the promise of a better life.

Like millions of his contemporaries, the young George Harrison fell under the spell of rock 'n' roll, especially the records brought to Liverpool by visiting seamen and played, by night, on Radio Luxembourg.

Aged 14, he bought a £3 guitar, music replaced his academic studies and, a year later, his mastery of more than the mere basic chords brought about his induction into The Quarrymen, a group which featured John Lennon and Paul M details

Former Beatles man Paul McCartney has written a letter in support of the 'Meat Free Mondays' campaign, addressing David Cameron in advance of the Paris Climate Change Conference, which begins on Monday (November 30).

The McCartney Family have been backing the campaign since 2009. The campaign argues that developed countries can reduce their carbon footprint by 2% overnight if everyone cuts out meat consumption one day a week, as well as talking about health benefits.

The McCartney's suggestions include the implementation of Meat Free Mondays at schools, universities and government buildings, as well as involving restaurants and private businesses.

Alongside his letter, Paul McCartney has released a video on behalf of the campaign, in which he says:

"Hello there. Paul McCartney speaking … to you." "If you heard that meat production was one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, what would you do? Would you just ignore that fact, or would you want to do something and want to find a solution?" "Well, we encourage people at Meat Free Monday to not eat meat on a Monday – or any other day of the week – just one day makes a real difference!" "The idea has b details

Pity the poor Brits, who only received the first side of the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour as an EP. After all, Side 2 of the 1967 American version included the greatest double-sided single in Beatles history — “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” — when Capitol paired the original film’s music with a trio of recent double-sided hits.

It made for a surprisingly effective soundtrack, when you consider its association with such a badly conceived, awfully executed movie misfire. But even the American version of Magical Mystery Tour — released in the U.S. on November 27, 1967, it’s now part of the canon — struggles to overcome comparisons with the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, issued earlier the same year. There’s no over-reaching theme on Magical Mystery Tour, no fizzy medleys, no eye-popping maze of cultural icons to pore over on the cover — and that tends to expose the weaker songs in a way that it didn’t for Sgt. Pepper.

So, we have Paul McCartney offering the limpid, but ultimately undercooked “The Fool on the Hill” and, with “Your Mother Should Know,” another in what details

“The White Album”—its official title is the decidedly simple The Beatles—was released on November 22, 1968 to an eager audience. Released almost 18 months after the seminal Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, the 30-song collection captured John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr indulging in a variety of musical styles. While the songwriting was evolving, and most of the songs were composed while attending a Transcendental Meditation course, the relationships between the four continued to dissolve during the recording; The Beatles officially broke up in April 1970. Here are some facts about one of the most polarizing, enigmatic records ever made.

1. A BEACH BOY HELPED WITH THE BEACH BOY PARODY "BACK IN THE USSR." Mike Love was a fellow attendee of the Maharishi’s course in Rishikesh, India. He recalled McCartney and his acoustic guitar at breakfast one morning playing what would become the first song on the 'White Album." Love suggested putting something in the song about “all the girls around Russia.” McCartney listened.

2. RINGO STARR QUIT THE BAND FOR TWO WEEKS. Starr never felt like more of an outsider within the band than during details

It’s the ultimate rock’n’roll souvenir. Ringo Starr is to auction off the first ever copy of the band’s1968 album, The Beatles, more commonly known as the White Album.

Each unit of the record, which acquired its name due to its minimalist packaging, came with its own serial number stamped on the cover. White Album No 0000001 will be sold at Julien’s, the Beverly Hills auction house that specialises in celebrity memorabilia, on 3 to 5 December.

The first four pressings of the LP were all in possession of the Beatles. It was assumed that No 0000001 belonged to John Lennon, who Paul McCartney once said “shouted loudest” for it. But it turns out the drummer has had the record all along, and kept it locked away in a London bank vault for more than 35 years.

Bidding on the record starts at $20,000 (£13,276), but it is estimated to fetch up to $60,000. Copy No 0000005 of the album sold at an auction in 2008 for around $30,000.

Starr is also auctioning off many items of jewellery, as well as art, clothes and instruments, including George Harrison’s Gretsch Tennessean guitar, which is expected to fetch up to $200,000.

By: Nadia Khomami


Rock n Roll Watergate - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

After feverishly reading Robert Rosen's updated 15th anniversary eBook edition of Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon, you feel like you are inside The Dakota with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. This isn't quite your average rock n roll biography. In a twist of fate, John Lennon's personal diaries landed in Rosen's lap on May of 1981, about a year and a half after the famed ex-Beatle was killed outside his apartment by a crazed fan.

The making of this book is as intriguing as the book itself. Here is an excerpt from the Prelude of Nowhere Man, where Rosen recounts the process of transcribing Lennon's diaries:

"Still, it was not until Wednesday, October 21, that I began the process of transcribing Lennon's diaries. It was exhausting work that continued unabated until the end of November. No matter how much I transcribed, there was always more; the task seemed endless. I forced myself into a routine that rarely varied: I woke up at 5 A.M., rolled out of bed and tore into the journals. Then, for the next 16 hours, fueled by coffee and amphetamines, I wrestled with Lennon's scrawls and codes and symbols. As I transcribed his words on my IBM Selectric, I said them out loud like an incantation, and I began to feel w details

What kind of contrarian would single out 1970 as his favorite year for Beatles music? That was, after all, the year the Beatles disbanded and broke the hearts of millions of music fans around the world.

That’s Chris Carter, host of the long-running “Breakfast with the Beatles” radio show heard Sunday mornings in Los Angeles on KLOS-FM (95.5).

“We got something like 14 Beatles records that year: not only the ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Let It Be’ [Beatles] albums, but solo albums from Paul, George, John and two from Ringo, plus John’s ‘Instant Karma’ single, ‘My Sweet Lord’ from George, etc. So it really is my favorite year.

It certainly was a year of dramatic transition for all four Beatles — and Beatle fans — as the group that brought so many innovations to pop music during its relatively brief eight-year recording career called it quits, and each member of the quartet moved forward with solo endeavors.

The biggest surprise of all, however, may have been Harrison’s emergence from the long shadow under which he’d been working for so long being in the same band with Lennon and McCartney.

He did it wit details

Two Dutch Beatles fans are demanding hundreds of thousands pounds in damages over the “unlawful” seizing of behind-the-scenes tapes of the band.

Stan Snelleman and Jos Remmerswaal, who are music traders, allege that more than 500 audio tapes of recording sessions in 1969 – which formed the basis of the film and album Let it Be – were seized by British and Dutch police 12 years ago and taken back to London.

They are pursuing a civil case for damages of €650,000 (£459,000) plus €50,000 in costs from the Dutch state. The tapes were given back to Apple Films Ltd, owned by the Beatles and their heirs. Their case is expected in an appeal court in The Hague in January. Apple alleged that the tapes had been stolen.

Two British men, Nigel Oliver and Colin Dillon, were charged in July 2006 over the disappearance of the tapes. Dillon was given a suspended sentence for trying to sell them. Charges against Mr Snelleman – who said he bought the tapes in the Nineties – and Mr Remmerswal for handling stolen goods were dropped. They sued for the return of the tapes in 2013 and lost, but are appealing.

The tapes feature songs, covers and conversations between Joh details

Olivia Harrison visited Boston, Massachusetts in early October to address the 60th Annual Meeting of UNICEF National Committees and visit with children who participated in the groundbreaking UNICEF Kid Power ( program last spring. During her visit, she met with local UNICEF leadership in Boston and served as the closing keynote speaker for the UNICEF meeting that brings together senior UN officials and UNICEF leaders from more than 40 countries around the world.

In her speech, she spoke about her experience with UNICEF and what she learned from George about philanthropy. She encouraged the group of 75 attendees to continue to come up with new and lasting ways of motivating people to support UNICEF’s work to put children first around the world, much like George used the Concert for Bangladesh and the copyrights from his Living in the Material World album for the higher good. She closed her speech with a reference to the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF and the Fund’s newest investment in UNICEF Kid Power, which allows kids to get active and save lives using the world’s first wearable-for-good™

Following a standing ovation, Olivia traveled to the Morse School in nearby Cam details

In 1964, Italian photographer Emilio Lari was 24, newly arrived in London and looking for work. Back in Rome, he’d shot promotional stills on the set of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, starring Sofia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, and for The Bobo, featuring Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland.

Now he was hoping to do the same in Britain. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for him to hear about a new film just going into production: A cheap black-and-white comedy meant to cash in on that latest fad, the Beatles. Lari went around to see the film’s director, Sellers’ old friend Richard Lester, and got invited to the first day of shooting. He was on the set of A Hard Day’s Night only that day, but Lester liked his photos and invited him to do more work on his next film, which turned out to be the Beatles’ Help!

In vivid color and crisp black and white, this book shares dozens of the results. There are great candid and posed shots of the Beatles, many unseen for years or never published, throughout. Musicians will enjoy the close-up images of the band with its famed guitars: George Harrison with his Gibson acoustic, John Lennon with his Rickenbacker, Paul McCartney with his violin-shaped details

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