Beatles News

It was 49 years ago today (March 30th, 1967) that the Beatles posed for their famous Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. The Beatles, who were sporting psychedelic marching band outfits, had designed the album cover concept with then husband and wife team Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, explaining that they wanted the crowd behind them to include "people they liked."

Blake created the scene of the group being flanked by their audience, using mainly cardboard cut-out photographs of famous people. The final shot, which was photographed by the late Michael Cooper, has gone on to be one of the most revered and imitated album covers in rock history. Among the famous figures that the group's record company EMI flat out rejected were John Lennon's suggestions of Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi and Adolph Hitler -- although cardboard cutouts of Gandhi and Hitler were prepared.

The label made the Beatles write to each of the people appearing on the cover and ask them for permission. Prior to granting approval, Mae West responded by asking, "What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?" Only Bowery Boy star Leo Gorcey declined, after requesting $400. (He was eventually blacked out by a painted-on palm tree). details

A thrilling new collection of previously unseen photographs of the Beatles and Eric Clapton taken by Pattie Boyd are to go on display for the first time in the UK. The rare images, largely taken during the late Sixties and Seventies, are part of Boyd's personal collection and promise a tantalising insight into the lives of some of the world's biggest rock stars. Boyd, now 71, was married to Beatle George Harrison for a decade and, later, Eric Clapton and many of the photographs displayed in the exhibition in Liverpool in May will document her time as one of the most envied women in the world.

Born in Somerset, Pattie was a British model who was married to George Harrison at the height of The Beatles' fame from 1966 to 1977. She later famously went on to marry George's friend, Eric Clapton in 1979, and is said to have inspired some of the guitar man's greatest hits. As rock folklore has it Clapton pursued her passionately and rhapsodised about her refusal to abandon Harrison for him with his anguished hit Layla. He also wrote his most famous ballad, Wonderful Tonight, for her. 

Now some of the iconic pictures she took during her relationships - her marriage to Eric ended in 1989 - are set to go on display in details

Could Paul McCartney be preparing to release a new musical project? We’re not sure, but the former Beatles star has posted a couple of enigmatic five-second video clips on his social media sites and YouTube channel during the past day or so, that seem to suggest he may be readying a new career-spanning solo compilation.

The first clip, which debuted on Tuesday, sounds like a mashup of a variety of very short musical segments, and is labeled, simply, “McCartney.” The second video, which premiered today, features the same jumbled series of audio snippets along with titles of more than 60 of Sir Paul’s solo tunes, including a mix of his biggest hits and many more obscure tunes from throughout his post-Beatles career.

The titles that speed by in the new video, which aren’t in chronological order, span from Paul’s 1970 solo debut, McCartney, through his most recent studio album, 2013’s New, and even include his 2014 song “Hope for the Future,” from the soundtrack of the video game Destiny. We’ll keep you posted when McCartney announces official details about whatever project he has in store for fans.


Source: ABC News


The Beatles studio guru invented the concept of the modern producer. Ten of his successors reveal the lessons he taught them.

Mark Ronson Amy Winehouse, Adele, Paul McCartney “It’s impossible to go into a studio and not have traces of what the Beatles did with George Martin. The very idea of taking a three-minute pop song and having the urge to put something more sophisticated on it – a string arrangement or a harpsichord or a choir – he brought that to pop music. I was in a studio last night with a bass in my hand, thinking, ‘What would George do?’ Every day you go in a studio, what he did with the Beatles is hanging over you as a barometer of trying to make a good song an extraordinary one.

“He made music more sophisticated, although there is a grittiness to those recordings; it’s not all clean and perfect. He always knew what a recording needed – he introduced backwards tape loops; he was an amazing arranger and he knew how to deal with fragile egos. He could coax the best out of these audio novices who became the most prolific and gifted songwriters of all time. It’s impossible to overstate what he did in terms of trying to make something interestin details

A fan dubbed Britain’s first ‘Honorary Beatle’ after he ran away to meet the Fab Four is selling his precious band mementoes. Russell Jamieson was just four-years-old when he went to his first Beatles gig and even went missing from home while trying to find them - eventually being found by police in Walton Vale. The toddler cheekily told officers his name was ‘Russell Beatle’, a tale which got back to Lennon, McCartney and Co who wanted to meet him.

Russell became firm friends with the group, and would regularly visit Ringo Starr’s home. Now, the 56-year-old is selling a treasure trove of his previous Beatles souvenirs, keeping a pledge he made to his mum before she died in 1997. For auction is a leather jacket worn by four-year-old Russell as he watched the Beatles, a corduroy jacket similar to ones the band wore, papers from the Beatles Fan Club inviting him to be an Honorary Member and signatures from the foursome on the back of merchandise photos.

They are expected to fetch thousands of pounds when they go under the hammer at Omega Auctions at Penketh Business Park in Warrington on March 22. Russell, who lives in Port Sunlight, Wirral, told the ECHO: “My brother Dave details

In September 1966, John Lennon went to Almería, Spain, mainly to film his only acting role outside the Beatles, in Richard Lester’s “How I Won the War,” but also as a needed respite from Beatlemania, which had turned nightmarish on the world tour that had ended the previous month. There, Lennon examined his life with a detachment that found its way into the gentle ballad “It’s Not Too Bad.” The song proved far more important than the film. By year’s end, the Beatles and their ingenious producer, George Martin—who died at age 90 on March 8—had transformed this folk-like tune into “Strawberry Fields Forever,” a recording (released in 1967) that many critics regard as one of rock’s most enduring masterpieces, a rich-textured, dark-hued four-minute essay in musical and lyrical psychedelia that both captures and transcends its time.

Lennon’s earliest recordings of the song, from Almería, begin not with the laconic refrain that opens the finished recording—“Let me take you down / ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields / Nothing is real / And nothing to get hung about”—but with a verse that starts, &ld details

When news broke that the Michael Jackson estate would sell its 50 percent share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing to Sony in a $750 million deal, many wondered whether Paul McCartney would finally be able to acquire the rights to his share of the company’s crown jewel -- the Lennon-McCartney catalog -- since it begins coming up for reversion in 2018.

Billboard can confirm that as of Dec. 15, 2015, he has already begun the process.

To recap, at some point during the early ‘80s heyday of McCartney’s friendship with Jackson, he pointed out the value of music publishing. Jackson soon received a tip that ATV Music -- publisher of the Beatles’ Lennon-McCartney songs, among many others -- was available, and purchased it for $47.5 million in 1985. McCartney had long coveted his Beatles catalog -- he and Lennon lost out to ATV in a 1969 attempt to purchase Northern Songs, their original publisher -- and he never forgave Jackson for what he considered a betrayal of their friendship.

It’s an opportunity McCartney is not going to let slip past him again. The U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 gave songwriters the ability to recapture the publishers’ share of their songs, and in the case of tit details

Years before scoring hits with The Alan Parsons Project (“Time,” “Eye in the Sky,” “Don’t Answer Me”), Alan Parsons was a recording engineer at Abbey Road Studios in London, overseeing sessions for Pink Floyd (“Atom Heart Mother,” “Dark Side of The Moon”), The Hollies (“The Air That I Breathe”), Pilot (“Magic”), Al Stewart (“Year of the Cat”), Ambrosia (“Holdin’ Onto Yesterday”), Jeff Beck (“Beck-Ola”) and dozens of others.

In 1969, on a blustery Jan. 30, Parsons – then age 19 - was one of the few permitted access to The Beatles’ surprise lunchtime live performance from the group’s Apple building rooftop, as cameras rolled in hopes of capturing a suitable ending for the film that became “Let It Be.” It was a gig that Parsons says he stayed up all night preparing for. After running cables from the roof to the basement studio where engineer Glyn Johns was recording the performance, Parsons was sent to purchase pairs of pantyhose (“we called them ‘tights,’” he laughs) to act as a windscreen for the microphones.

Later in 1969, Parson details

A set of previously unseen photographs of John Lennon smiling and playing up to the camera on the set of a film he starred in 50 years ago are expected to sell for £30,000 when they go up for auction. The set of 200 candid images - 190 of which have never been published - show the usually intense Beatle having fun on the set of the 1967 black comedy movie 'How I Won the War'.

Although the World War Two film was not well-received by critics, the then 26-year-old seemed to have made the most of his time in Almeria, Northern Spain. In some of the pictures a windswept Lennon can be seen wearing his trademark round glasses as he stands at wicket keeper during an impromptu game of cricket during a break in filming. 

Dressed in army fatigues and sporting a unruly hair cut, the Liverpudlian stands ready behind rudimentary stumps hastily made from a wooden box. The legendary songwriter is also caught on camera laughing hysterically as he queue-jumps at the canteen. 

The peace campaigner also looked comfortable wielding a big gun in the turret of a tank and in another picture he appears to have picked up the '1,000 yard' stare of a seasoned veteran. 'How I Won the War' was released amidst the conde details

There are some who simply assume that George Harrison’s love for Indian music dates from around the time he and the other Beatles went to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s lecture in London on 24 August 1967. In fact George’s interest was piqued in April 1965 when the Beatles were filming Help! in April 1965.

“We were waiting to shoot the scene in the restaurant when the guy gets thrown in the soup and there were a few Indian musicians playing in the background. I remember picking up the sitar and trying to hold it and thinking, 'This is a funny sound.' It was an incidental thing, but somewhere down the line I began to hear Ravi Shankar's name. The third time I heard it, I thought, 'This is an odd coincidence.' And then I talked with David Crosby of The Byrds and he mentioned the name. I went and bought a Ravi record; I put it on and it hit a certain spot in me that I can't explain, but it seemed very familiar to me. The only way I could describe it was: my intellect didn't know what was going on and yet this other part of me identified with it. It just called on me ... a few months elapsed and then I met this guy from the Asian Music Circle organisation who said, 'Oh, Ravi Shankar's gonna come to my h details

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