Beatles News

John, Paul, George and Ringo grew up with the River Mersey and Liverpool's docks as the backdrop to their live and music and now, for the first time, the Beatles will be permanently honoured on a cruise ship.

Monday sees the unveiling of the Cavern Club on the newly refurbished Norwegian Epic - a replica of the cellar venue where the Fab Four played a frenetic residency in the days before their hit records. It was also the venue where the likes of Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers performed back in the early 1960s.

The on-board Cavern is a joint venture with the club in Liverpool, where crowds are daily entertained by tribute bands and original acts. Launching the Norwegian Cruise Line version are the original's regular act, the Cavern Club Beatles, with a high energy rock 'n' roll set - although whether they play Yellow Submarine isn't known.

Cruise passengers will be able to enjoy the Beatles music daily with live acts along with regularly changing tributes to other artists as well as original bands and singers. The colour and atmosphere of the original club - the warm, dark setting with trademark brick arches, the brightly-coloured posters, the 1960s style - have all been recreated in the ship' details

In conversation with Paul McCartney - Thursday, October 15, 2015

As a child, Paul McCartney hated classical. But as Liverpool's favourite son has matured, he has found a way back to the music that so appalled his younger self. In his latest book, Conversations with McCartney, Paul Du Noyer spoke to the former Beatle about that journey and his growing catalogue of classical compositions.

'I’m primitive on music,' says Paul McCartney. 'I don’t want to learn music. It’s too serious, too like homework.' And nothing about his childhood inspired him with a love of classical music. 'Classical used to get switched off in our house,' he remembers. 'My dad was a bit of a jazzer. If a symphony came on the radio he’d turn it off.'

School was no better: 'You would have just had to play one Elvis record and we would have been hooked. We’d have turned up in droves to that lesson.' To this day he can’t read music, and his parents’ attempt to encourage the boy’s potential came to nothing: 'That’s what put me off learning the piano. The minute they gave me stuff to do at home, "This is it, I’m jacking it in." I hated homework. When the piano lady gave me some stuff, "Go and learn these crotchets", bloody hell, I hated that. I just cou details

A letter signed by all four members of the Beatles petitioning for Mick Jagger to play the lead role of Alex in the film adaptation of A Clockwork Orange has hit the auction block. Paddle8 will offer up the unique item, which carries an estimated selling price of $18,000 to $25,000.

As the story goes, in February 1968, Jagger's famous friends – including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallenberg, among others – sent the autographed petition to Dr. Strangelove screenwriter Terry Southern. Southern was working on the big screen adaptation of Anthony Burgess' dystopian, ultraviolent novel and the letter implored that Southern cast the Rolling Stones singer, and not Blow Up star David Hemmings, in the leading role of the film. 

"We, the undersigned, do hereby protest with extreme vehemence as well as shattered illusions (in you) the preference of David Hemmings above Mick Jagger in the role of Alex in The Clockwork Orange," the typewritten, all-caps letter reads. The front side of the petition is signed by Pallenberg, Faithfull, French filmmaker Christian Marquand and others, while the back of the letter finds the signatures of all four Beatle details

If you're one of those pop-culture obsessives whose Venn diagram of interests include both The Beatles and "The Simpsons," you may have already heard this anecdote about the famous overlap. But with Slate's recent account of the behind-the-scenes story of how Paul and Linda McCartney came to guest star on "The Simpsons," one particular piece of trivia seemed worthy to highlight once again.

On Slate, Alan Siegel details how "The Simpsons" writers felt they would need an idea McCartney would connect with in order to convince him to be on the show. When they happened to have a script about Lisa becoming a vegetarian in the mid-'90s, showrunner David Mirkin felt that might be the opportunity.

Mirkin, who gifted the McCartneys with a then rare turkey substitute from New York, got the two famous vegetarians to agree, but the musicians had one condition -- Lisa would have to remain a vegetarian forever.

As Slate notes, Linda told Entertainment Weekly at the time that doing the show gave them an opportunity "to spread the vegetarian word to a wider audience."

The show aired on Oct. 15, 1995, and featured the McCartneys hanging out with "Simpsons" character, Apu, who was revealed to be vegan in the episod details

Here's the story about George Harrison's Les Paul "Lucy" as it appears in the book "Beatles Gear, All the Fab Four's Instruments, From Stage to Studio" by Andy Babiuk. Don't mind the British spellings: Quote: George's Lucy, the Gibson Les Paul

By the summer of 1968 more new guitars and other gear had crept into The Beatles camp. In August, Harrison acquired a guitar with a unique history, his now famous Gibson Les Paul, known as Lucy. Later, as we shall see, Harrison would have to chase Lucy half way around the world in order to bring her back from hiding. But the first public indication of the new arrival in the guitar collection had come in Mal Evan's (Beatles roadie) monthly column for "The Beatles Monthly Book".

Evans, discussing the recording of Harrison's new song 'Not Guilty', wrote: "This is one of two August recordings you won't hear on the album because they were dropped at the last minute in favour of more recent numbers . . . Interesting note - he used Lucy for the first time on this session. Lucy is the fantastic solid red Gibson guitar that was given to George at the beginning of August by Eric Clapton. Recording began on August 7th at EMI Studios." The Beatle roadie's report puts to rest the myth details

In 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary February 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show), Guitar World celebrated the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.

The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work.

In assembling this list, we looked beyond our personal favorite songs and reflected on where John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney showed their talents as guitarists, whether in a solo, a riff, a technique or by their astute selection of instrument and arrangement.

For some songs, we’ve gone a step further and analyzed the guitar work to give you insights into the magic that makes these moments so special.

50. Across the Universe Let It Be… Naked (2003)

John Lennon considered the Beatles’ recording of this 1967 composition “a lousy track of a great song,” dismissing even his own work on it. He was too hard on himself: his imperfect acoustic guitar work and vocal delivery effectively work in service of the song’s sincere devotional message, thoug details

Paul McCartney: Star simply shines - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Paul McCartney has nothing left to prove. After nearly three hours and three dozen songs Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena, any doubters surely came around. Yes, he played “those songs,” many, many of them. He dressed them in a half-dozen or so Wings songs and a few new ones from his most recent release, 2013’s New.

The 73-year-old exhibited confidence, humility, an easy sense of humor, and a contagious feeling of fulfillment that made even the most common, overly familiar Beatles hit, if not new again, certainly alive and well worth revisiting.

Though he performed so many crowd favorites, the lengthy set reminded, as well, what a rich and lengthy career the lucky McCartney has enjoyed. A simple list of last night’s tunes alone will light memories, from Hey Jude to Eight Days A Week; Band On The Run to Lady Madonna; Blackbird to Paperback Writer. But McCartney made each one a new experience.

It helped that he had one of the finest bands on the road today. In fact the four of them — Rusty Anderson on guitar, Brian Ray on guitar and bass, Paul “Wix” Wickens on keyboards and the incredible Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums — rocked hard, sounded like twice as many mus details

When you have this much talent on one stage at one time … something is going to happen. And when the master of ceremonies is a Beatle, well, you’re in for a memorable evening.

To be clear: When your pedigree includes having been one-quarter of the greatest pop band that the world has ever known, there’s really nothing to prove.

It’s not surprising that Lennon, McCartney and Harrison all had post-bug music aspirations (and success), but Starr always seemed like the one who was enjoying himself the most.

While much of the material covered off during last night’s performance from Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band would sound as familiar on a cruise ship as a rock stage, there’s something to be said for people who still know how to play their instruments and sing live in this racket.

Todd Rundgren, Greg Rolie (Santana), Steve Lukather (Toto), Greg Bissonette (David Lee Roth) Warren Ham (Bread) and Richard Page from Mr. Mister all bring serious credentials of their own — never mind that they’re mostly from an era of ’70s and ’80s AM radio.

Kicking off with the Carl Perkins nugget, Matchbox, Starr handled lead vocals just as he did f details

It is a Tuesday afternoon and students are milling in to fill the seats of Zimmer Hall’s auditorium for a very unique class. The professor walks in with a guitar strapped to his back and sets up a piano, indicating this course is a bit different from the average University of Cincinnati lecture. “I teach Music of The Beatles — quite possibly the coolest class at the University of Cincinnati,” said Roger Klug, a music theory graduate from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). He has been teaching the course for five years now.

Five years ago, CCM was looking to expand courses to students outside of the department and Klug was approached to write the outline for a Beatles-themed class. “It sounded like fun. It sounded like work. It sounded like fun work,” Klug said with a grin. When the original class of 70 students quickly filled up, two more were added during its first semester of existence.

Now, Music of the Beatles is offered during the day and night, as well as online with open enrollment to all students in any field of study. In fact, Klug says the vast majority of his students are non-music majors. The key to getting through to students who do not study music, Klug sai details

“Every time I see your face it reminds me of the places we used to go…” sings Ringo Starr in his song Photograph, co-written with George Harrison on a yacht in the south of France in 1971. Much of the world may not be aware that Ringo is also a photographer who chronicled the frequent travels of The Beatles during their heyday in the 1960s.

His new book, also named Photograph, features images ranging from childhood and his pre-Beatle days, through behind the scenes glances of private moments with John, Paul and George with family and friends.

Ringo hadn’t thought much about the photos until approached by Genesis Publications, which suggested putting together a limited edition book. Only 2500 signed copies were printed and sold out within two weeks.

Last month, a more affordable open edition was released as well as a downloadable e-book. “I thought those pictures had been lost forever, as I never had an archive and I live in three countries,” Ringo recalls. “I was so happy to find them.”

He was uniquely able to take shots from the point of view of an insider and friend, capturing serious as well as playful moments. Speaking at the ArcLight Cinemas i details

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