Beatles News

When John Lennon Was Starting Over - Friday, October 09, 2015

John Lennon would have turned 75 on Friday.

He was two months past his 40th birthday when he was murdered as he entered his apartment building, the Dakota, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, on Dec. 8, 1980.

Absent from the music business for five years — most of it spent living the quiet life of a house husband and father in New York — he had just returned to recording. The “Double Fantasy” album he made with his wife, Yoko Ono, had been in stores less than a month. A single from the album, “Just Like Starting Over,” pretty much said it all.

This “starting over” was chronicled in a profile by Robert Palmer in The Times on Nov. 9, a month before the murder. The article, based on a series of interviews with the couple during the making of “Double Fantasy” and after its completion, featured a reflective Lennon and began like this:

“ ‘Is it possible to have a life centered around a family and a child and still be an artist?’ asked John Lennon.”

He answered his own question as Mr. Palmer interviewed the couple in their apartment. “In a way,” he said, “we’re involved in a kind of exper details

I never met John Lennon. I came to the party a little too late. I was only just out of college and working for Chrysalis Records in London when the news broke that John had been killed. The ground floor of our West End building housed the production offices of AIR Studios, Beatles producer George Martin’s recording business. The entire staff gathered in shock to mark the moment. I will never forget the look on George’s face.

George had weathered with dignity, throughout the 1970s, endless public vitriol from his former charge. Lennon belittled George’s ‘influence’ and input, and denied him credit, while McCartney, Harrison and Starr, George revealed, ‘were always sweet.’ Implacably loyal, George was of course distressed by the news of John’s murder. There would not even be a funeral at which to pay his final respects. In the end, he fled to Montserrat, where he had opened his dream residential studio the previous year. He sat for hours, staring at the ocean, he later told me, while listening to Lennon in his head. The recording complex, indeed the whole island, would be flattened by Hurricane Hugo within the decade.

Only after John’s death did I begin to cros details

The Beatles, “She’s Leaving Home” - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

From 2013

Luckily, The Beatles were always about stretching the boundaries of the genre until those boundaries ceased to exist. Their special brand of musical adventurism is the reason we have glorious songs like “She’s Leaving Home,” which blows up those preconceived notions of what rock and roll is supposed to be.

“She’s Leaving Home” is a gorgeously sad ballad found on the sublime Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album where The Beatles took seemingly mundane stories of everyday life and exploded them into something grand and transcendent via the stunning innovation and indomitable spirit of the accompanying music.

In the case of “She’s Leaving Home,” Paul McCartney created an affecting melody that was fit for the harps and strings beautifully arranged by Mike Leander. (George Martin wasn’t available to do it, but he did fill his usual role as producer.) For the lyrics, he looked to the local paper; the song’s story of a runaway teenage girl came from an article in London’s Daily Mail.

“We’d seen that story and it was my inspiration,” McCartney said in the book 1,000 UK #1 Hits. “Ther details

George Harrison: Early Takes Volume 1 - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

From 2012

"Everyone has choice/When to and not to raise their voices.” So sings George Harrison on “Run Of The Mill,” one of the ten outtakes and demos collected on Early Takes, Volume 1, a companion piece to the DVD/Blu-Ray release of Martin Scorsese’s documentary about George’s life, Living In The Material World.

It’s a telling line, because Harrison’s voice, not his slide guitar or sitar or ukulele, is what’s most prominent on these tracks, most of which date to the period around the release of All Things Must Pass. That voice had been muffled somewhat by the songwriting genius of his fellow Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, relegating the so-called Quiet Beatle to one or two tracks per Fab 4 album. Once he got the chance to go solo, it all came gushing forth, and the result was arguably the best Beatle solo album.

What makes this release more worthwhile than your average collection of odds and sods is the fact that it puts the spotlight on Harrison’s own songwriting acumen. While you can’t argue with the results producer Phil Spector got on All Things Must Pass, it’s nice to hear album tracks like “Run Of The Mill,” details

John Lennon would have been 75 on October 9th. His music had a profound impact on the world, and yet the years have not been kind to his legacy. Something Happens front-man and presenter Tom Dunne pays tribute to the former Beatle and explains why he still loves him.

I loved John Lennon. It makes no sense, we never met, he was a poster on my sister’s bedroom wall -not even mine - but when my mother told me of his death on December 8th 1980 she could not have delivered worse news. I skipped lectures, listened to Beatles records with a friend all day, and the next day recorded a mark so low in an Engineering exam I was brought before the Dean!

Prior to his death the question “Lennon or McCartney?” divided fans in the way “Blur or Oasis?” would years later. But after his death it would take a good two decades before anyone had the temerity to argue Paul’s case again. John was the caustic wit, the true rebel, the grit that made the pearl, the steel, the intelligence and, dare we say it, the greater talent.

Evidence of his standing in the band was revealed to me years later in an interview with Sir George Martin, in Dublin to perform at the NCH. I asked the usual questions, details

Earlier this month, Paul McCartney reissued two of his 1980s albums as he continues to release solo (and Wings) material that has been hard to find or has been out of print. “Tug of War” is a fantastic record, and “Pipes of Peace” is ... well, it has some good songs.

Let me throw you a curve. Rather than discuss those albums, I’d rather focus on one of my favorite McCartney releases. In fact, I’d like to talk about the first McCartney record that I bought when it was a new release: “Flaming Pie.”

Before the May 1997 release of “Flaming Pie,” I’d already owned McCartney’s first solo album, I had “Band on the Run” and a number of other records. All of them had been released well before I’d ever become a fan. “Flaming Pie” was new — on the shelves, a chart contender (it earned a gold record and was No. 2 on the Billboard 200 charts) — when I bought it.

I picked up “Flaming Pie” that May because I knew I was going to be working as a counselor at a Boy Scouts summer camp for the second straight summer, and I wanted a new album to spend some time with.

As a 16 year old, my music details

At a time when any pop star with two Top 40 hits is hailed as a legend, Ringo Starr is the genuine article.

Born 75 years ago in the Dingle section of Liverpool, Starr, along with Paul McCartney and the late John Lennon and George Harrison, forever redefined and altered the course of popular music.

Starr's drumming anchored The Beatles at rowdy Hamburg dives and over the screaming din at Shea Stadium. He has fended off crazed fans and battled an army of Blue Meanies.

Some would rest on their laurels, but not Richard Starkey, MBE. Indeed, it has been a particularly busy year for the once and still fab drummer.

Starr released a new album, "Postcards From Paradise"; was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by McCartney; published "Photograph," a collection of images from his private collection; announced plans to auction off 800 personal effects to benefit the Lotus Foundation charity he established with wife Barbara Bach; and kicked off a North American tour with his All Starr Band.

He is in the midst of a North American tour this month. Starr fielded a few questions before the start of the tour.

You launched the All Starr Band in 1989 with a talented lineup that changed wit details

John Lennon would have celebrated his 75th birthday this Friday. To celebrate the milestone, Yoko Ono, his widow, attempted to organize a party and a gift for him in New York City's Central Park. She invited the world to come and break a world record in Lennon's honor: arranging the world's largest human peace sign, a sign that essentially epitomizes Lennon's activism.

Fans came from all over — Italy, Venezuela, Ohio — to answer the call. Activists brought signs protesting war in all its forms. An unexpected number of children field tripping from several New York City schools sat singing along to tunes from the Beatles catalog piped through the loud speakers.

"We are more connected globally now," Luz Cano, a 14-year New York resident from Argentina, told Mic, marveling at the diversity. "I think younger generations are more aware of trying to make the world a better place and create peace."

The age range between the youngest and oldest participants was vast. However, it revealed the event's deeper significance: Beyond creating a visual tribute for Lennon, it was an opportunity to pass along the late artist's message to the next generation.

"If we instill in our children an understandi details

“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969) John Lennon, born 75 years ago on Oct. 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon. He was also a vocal peace protester, anti-war activist and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the U.S. government will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Long before Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files collected on his activities and associations.

For a little while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Years after Lennon’s assassination it would be revealed that the FBI had collected 281 pages of files on him, including song lyrics, a letter from FBI Dire details

A renegade with a bottomless bag of dance moves helps put the final contemporary touches on the 2015 remix of Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson's "Say Say Say," off the newly remastered edition of McCartney's 1983 LP, Pipes of Peace.

Ryan Huffington directed and choreographed the clip, which premiered on Facebook and follows a young man as he traipses, in time, through his neighborhood to a slick, streamlined reworking of the indelible pop cut. The dancer joins up with similarly quick-footed kids before breaking off on his own, cutting loose on top of a car and watching another group of dancers, whom the camera catches beautifully through his outspread, perpetually shaking legs.

As his journey continues, the boy barges into a bodega and brings out the youthful, rhinestone-studded luster of an elderly woman before making his way to a backroom where the festivities are already underway. The final minute of "Say Say Say" is an ebullient dance-off rife with outrageous moves befitting the timelessness of McCartney and Jackson's party jam. 

By: Jon Blistein

Source: Rolling Stone


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