Beatles News

This week in 1969—September 13, 1969, to be exact—John Lennon performed at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, Canada, with a hastily assembled backing band.

The band, which performed under the "Plastic Ono Band" moniker, included Eric Clapton on lead guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass and future Yes member Alan White on drums. Oh, right; Yoko Ono was there too ...

The band rehearsed twice—once during the flight from London to Toronto and once shortly before their performance.

Their eight-song set consisted of Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" followed by two vintage tunes the Beatles had covered in 1964 and '65, respectively—"Money (That's What I Want)" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy." Then they launched into a true screamer from the Beatles' White Album, "Yer Blues," which Clapton had performed with Lennon in 1968 at the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus; followed by Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" and "Cold Turkey" (the latter of which features Clapton on the studio recording).

Oh, right; they also performed two Yoko Ono songs.

Below, you can check out "Yer Blues," which is arguably the highlight of the short-lived band's short-lived set. That said, you'll probably notice two irritat details

THE BEATLES’ 1 collection is set to be reissued in a new package that brings the band’s hit songs together with their short films for the first time, as 1+.

The deluxe edition will be released on November 6 and will include 50 promotional films and videos, alongside the Fab Four’s 27 chart-topping singles. You can watch a trailer for the collection below…

The new set follows extensive research and restoration of the band’s original promo films by Apple Corp., and features classic television appearances and other carefully selected videos that span the group’s history. Various packages of 1+ are available on both DVD and Blu-Ray formats, featuring new stereo and surround sound mixes of the films, alongside a CD featuring featuring those all-important hit singles.

“These videos and films are spectacular reminders of the era we lived in,” says Paul McCartney of the films. “They also rock!” Fellow Beatle Ringo Starr also welcomed the new edition, explaining that thanks to his band’s proto-music videos he gained some unlikely skills, explaining: “I think it’s really interesting to see the videos we made, some of them incredible and details

It’s time for George Harrison to be immortalized in the world of comic books, as StormFront Comics has announced a new biography about the famed Beatle.

Orbit: George Harrison will debut this week as part of the company’s popular Orbit series, with writer Carols Pagola Morales at the helm. Morales will explore Harrison’s life from his teens until his death in 2001, touching on the musician’s religious beliefs (his conversions to Hinduism) as well as the ups and downs of his career prior to and after his fame with the Beatles.

“No one could begin to estimate the contribution Harrison and the Beatles have given us,” Darren G. Davis, president of StormFront Comics, said in a press statement. “George Harrison is the perfect choice for our Orbit series. He was so much more than just a rock star. He is a respected musician, film producer, and humanitarian, I consider him a standard-bearer of peace and spirituality.” Prior subjects in StormFront’s Orbit series have included Stephen King, Howard Stern, Keith Richards, Jerry Garcia, Metallica, Alice Cooper, Bono, Bon Jovi and Ozzy Osborne.

The 32-page book will be available in both print and across digital pla details

With every single LP, the Beatles shed some creative skin. Decades later, it's still difficult to process their two-year leap from Revolver to Sgt. Pepper's to the White Album. The members also continuously expanded their own roles in the band: It's surprising how many classic Beatles songs feature Paul McCartney behind the drum kit, or John Lennon on lead guitar.

These small details are crucial in the Beatles' evolution: McCartney's one-man-band performance on White Album gem "Martha My Dear"; Lennon experimenting with an obscure keyboard, the Mellotron, on psychedelic daydream "Strawberry Fields Forever." (Without his introduction of that crucial instrument, who's to say King Crimson would have cemented the prog-rock movement on In the Court of the Crimson King?)

To honor the Fab Four's enduring free spirit, let's look back at 10 of the band's most intriguing instrumental switch-ups. 

"Back in the U.S.S.R."

The White Album sessions were tense and scattered overall: Yoko Ono's presence in the studio became a distraction for everyone not named John; meanwhile, longtime engineer Geoff Emerick, frustrated by the band's squabbling, quit midway through. But the recording of McCartney's Beach Boy details

The Dublin Beatles Festival will return for its third consecutive year this November. The festival was originally staged in 2013 to celebrate 50 years since the Fab Four played Ireland - but it has proven such a success that it has returned for repeated outings.

This year's event will take place from November 6th - 8th across various venues in Dublin. There will be film, theatre, a number of free events, a table quiz, a memorabilia exhibition, a public interview and more on offer this year. There will also be plenty of music, of course - including a set by Cavern Club resident band The Rockits, who will play a set on November 7th at The Workman's Club that will entail he biggest hits from the 1960s as well as a set of Beatles songs.

Irish acts including Vyvienne Long, The Newspaper Taxi Men, Biggles Flys Again, Pearse McGloughlin, Duncan Maitland and more will also play gigs.

Freda Kelly - secretary for the band from their early days, and subject of the recent 'Good Ol' Freda' documentary - will take part in a public interview with Tom Dunne after a screening of the documentary.

In other Beatles-related news, the short play 'John Lennon's Last Day' - written by festival founder Stephen Kennedy - details

Live in the Beatles' former Apple Boutique with velvet carpets and a waterproof TV.

Beatles fans take note: a swish apartment in the band's former Baker Street headquarters in London is available to rent.

A two-bedroom flat in the historic building, which was once home to the Apple Boutique, the Beatles' first shop, and also housed Apple Corp, which was the parent company of the Beatles' businesses, will set you back £1,350 per week on a long let.

The Apple Boutique, selling Beatles' memorabilia, was opened in 1967 by John Lennon, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Cilla Black and Jack Bruce. The Apple Corps was the parent company of Apple Records and set up in 1968 to handle the band's growing business empire. Both were based in this building, which is now known as the Apple Apartments, W1.

Aside from its musical heritage, the now-five-dwelling secured complex was famous for its psychedelic mural on the front of the building. It has a lift servicing the flats and an open plan living room with a high-spec Italian kicthen. The master bedroom has a velvet carpet and the bathroom boasts a waterproof television.

The Apple Corps building is on the corner of Paddington Street and Baker Stree details

The official website of The Beatles has been teasing a big announcement since Saturday (Sept 12).

As you can watch below, a video shows a countdown from ’10’ to ‘1’. 1 is the name of the Fab Four’s best-selling hits collection.

Originally released in November, 2000, it has sold more than 30m copies. The official Twitter account for the estate of George Harrison retweeted the countdown video over the weekend, teasing “a major announcement!”. Beatles fans on Twitter and YouTube have begun speculating what could be coming; guesses range from a video clip collection on DVD to newly-unearthed material.

But why, then, link the announcement to 1 so specifically? With the official hashtag #thebeatles1?

Perhaps because the album will be the first step onto streaming services for the band, whose music hasn’t appeared on the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play to date.

In August, Showbiz411, suggested that a deal had been struck between rights-holders of the Beatles’ music – which include band members and their estates, as well as Apple Corp and Universal Music Group – and streaming services.

A fellow long-term strea details

Over 800 items owned by Ringo Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, are going to auction, including rare Beatles memorabilia like his three-piece drum kit used in over 200 performances and a Rickenbacker guitar known as the "Beatle-Backer" that John Lennon owned and later gave to Ringo.

The unprecedented number of Beatles-owned objects will be offered Dec. 4-5 at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, California.

"We have so much stuff and a lot of it we haven't seen in 20 to 30 years," Starr, 75, said in a phone interview with Bach from London.

He said the idea for the auction came after The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles asked to do an exhibition about his life and music in 2013-2014.

"It started with me looking at storage units we have all around the world it seems. ... We found we had so much stuff," he said.

Then another project - an upcoming book and an exhibition currently at London's National Portrait Gallery of photographs Starr took of his former bandmates - turned up "boxes of negatives from the '60s onward," he said.

On top of that, the couple sold their country house in England and closed down their apartment in Monte Carlo.

"We thought, `What are we going to do with a details

A legendary producer-engineer for artists including The Beatles and David Bowie will be passing on his expertise to students at Leeds Beckett University.

Ken Scott has been appointed Visiting Senior Lecturer in the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts.

His 50-year career in the recording industry began when he got a job in the tape library at Abbey Road studios in London aged 16. He quickly worked his way up to the position of assistant engineer, where his first session was on side two of Beatles album A Hard Day’s Night and eventually became recording engineer on Magical Mystery Tour and the White Album.

Ken said: “I was lucky enough to start in the recording business by getting what I consider to be the best training ever and because of that I feel it essential for me to bring at least some of what I learned to the young and upcoming engineers and producers in this fast-changing world of music.

“It is with this in mind that I am pleased and extremely proud to be given this opportunity to be able to bring my experience to the students of Leeds Beckett University.”

Ken worked with a host of other big names in popular music including Pink Floyd and the Hollies details

Hollywood Vampires is a group of rock legends—with Johnny Depp on guitar—that pay tribute to their fallen hard-partying friends through rock ’n’ roll.

“We’re doing a Pink Floyd song today that I don’t know at all, ‘Welcome to the Machine,’” Alice Cooper tells me almost immediately after we say hello, with a hint of fear in his voice. “They’re doing some kind of a tribute album and they said, ‘We want you to do this song,’ and I'm thinking, ‘The timing on these lyrics is so wacky and the melody line just kind of lays there,’ and the more I listened to it the more worried I got. So this is going to be a nightmare today.”

When I tell Cooper that it took Pink Floyd friend Roy Harper to nail the vocal he’s instantly relieved. “Oh, good! Honestly that makes me feel better,” Cooper says, loosening up visibly. “Now I can walk in and feel OK. I have so little ammunition.”

Cooper is in New York with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry to promote their new album, Hollywood Vampires, named for the legendary mid-’70s Los Angeles nightly drinking club that included Cooper, John Lennon, Ke details

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