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The British Library has been given letters and lyrics by John Lennon under a program that accepts donations of art and cultural artifacts in place of tax.

The Arts Council said Thursday that the papers include a letter adorned with sketches and verses written by Lennon to his friend and bandmate Stuart Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe died of a brain hemorrhage at age 21 in 1962, before The Beatles achieved global fame. Also donated were Lennon's handwritten lyrics to Beatles songs including "In My Life" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." The items were donated by Beatles biographer Hunter Davies in place of 120,000 pounds ($190,000) in taxes. Davies said he was happy to see the Beatles' papers in the library "next to the Magna Carta and works by Shakespeare and Beethoven, because that's where I honestly think they belong."

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The Beatles’ highly anticipated new collection of BBC recordings has only been out for one day, but one of the producers of On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 is already hinting at a new “secret” Beatles project.

"There is something, but I don't think we're allowed to talk about it yet,” said Kevin Howlett, who compiled the BBC collection with Mike Heatley. “If you're involved in these Beatles projects, you have to be very discreet. It's all top secret." Talk about a cruel tease! But there is one thing Howlett CAN disclose: there probably won’t be a third installment of BBC recordings. “There are no plans at the moment,” Howlett admitted. “I think these two albums are wonderful from the point of view of presenting the real highlights of the Beatles' BBC sessions. The Beatles completists out there may want to own every version of 'Twist And Shout,' and I can understand that because every version of 'Twist And Shout' is really good, but I d details

Beatles named and dated - Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A BEATLES fan has solved the mystery of the band’s change of name. Ken Harrison – no relation to George – says he foundout when the Silver Beetles changed their name to become the Beatles. Eagle-eyed Ken found the answer in Liscard’s Grosvenor Ballroom, as he looked though old newspaper cuttings from the Wallasey News hidden away in a drawer.

Ken now manages the building, where the Beatles regularly played in the 1960s. He said: “It’s amazing what you find in old newspaper cuttings.“These were just small advertisements in the paper which I happened to come across, but they say a lot about Beatles history. “This proves they were called the Beatles and Silver Beetles before they went Germany. “I’ve now enlarged the adverts and will be getting them framed to put on the wall.” Fellow Beatles fan Robin Bird said: “Historians have said the Silver Beetles changed their name to the Beatles when they left for Hamburg on August 16, 1960 – starting a new chapter in their amazing musical career.

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Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr will return to Mexico with his All-Starr Band to give three concerts in the Mexican capital on Nov. 13, 14 and 19, the National Auditorium said Saturday. “This is the second time the ex-Beatle, considered by many to be the best rock drummer of all time, presents his show ‘Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band’ at the auditorium on Avenida Reforma,” the company said in a communique.

It said that on this occasion the British artist, who became a legend as part of the band that transformed pop music in the 1960s, will be accompanied by a different lineup of musicians in his All-Starr Band. The musicians accompanying him are guitarist Steve Lukather, Richard Page on bass, keyboard player Gregg Rolie, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Todd Rundgren, saxophone player and percussionist Mark Rivera, and drummer Gregg Bissonette. The appearance in Mexico is part of a Pacific tour that in October began visiting various Latin American countries. The repertoire of the concerts includes numbers from the time of the Beatles and fr details

Aside from selling millions of records, the success of The Beatles was often defined by the hordes of fanatical fans who would follow them around the world. Fast-forward fifty years on and little has changed. 

Sir Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy were mobbed by a sea of supporters at they arrived at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, today. The acclaimed singer is there as part of his Out There tour, which will see him play two dates in Osaka, one in Fukuoka and three consecutive nights at the Tokyo Dome. Wearing a black and white kimono in honour of Japanese culture, both the 71 year-old rocker and his wife appeared colour co-ordinated in matching trousers and black shoes. The star waved at fans as they walked through the arrivals gate, causing screams of excitement from across the terminal.


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When Paul McCartney put out a solo album titled “Memory Almost Full” in 2007, veteran British Broadcasting Corp.producer Kevin Howlett might well have smiled.

Memory can indeed play tricks on anyone -- even Beatles -- as the years roll by. That's one big reason Howlett has spent much of the last 30 years tracking down hard evidence of the group’s long and rich legacy with the BBC. He relied heavily on the storehouse of documentation related to the Fab Four that the network socked away more than half a century ago. For instance, there's the first global television broadcast of “All You Need Is Love,” a song introduced to the world in 1967. “In ‘The Beatles Anthology’ series in which they were telling their own story, they couldn’t agree on whether ‘All You Need Is Love’ was written for that broadcast,” Howlett said in an interview from England to talk about “The Beatles: The BBC Archives 1962-1970” (Harper Design, $60), the exhaustive details

Hanging out with the Beatles - Monday, November 11, 2013

Go back in time with photographer Henry Grossman, profiled on 60 Minutes this week. Grossman became a friend of the Beatles and was invited to document their lives. In the four videos below, Grossman remembers each member of the band with a series of rare, intimate snapshots.

John was thoughtful," says Grossman. "Looking back over my pictures of him, I see how many pictures he's looking thoughtful...or studying something or watching something." "People asked me, 'Was John the controlling figure?' I never saw that in the time I spent with them," says Grossman. "I saw a team." In an interview with 60 Minutes Overtime, Grossman shows us a glimpses of John Lennon's family life, his personal evolution during his time with the Beatles, and even his light-hearted side, captured in a fun moment on a skateboard. How did Grossman get this kind of access? "I think I was one of the guys that didn't want anything from them...I was just glad to be there as a friend and a photojournalist."

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Detention sheets describing Beatle John Lennon's schoolboy misdemeanours are being put up for sale. Teachers from Liverpool's Quarry Bank High School for Boys wrote that 15-year-old Lennon was punished for "fighting in class" and "sabotage".

The two documents from 1955 were rescued by a teacher in the 1970s who had been told to burn all of the books in a storage room at the school. The sheets are expected to be sold for up to £3,000 each at auction. The documents reveal that on two occasions Lennon received three detentions in one day. Other reasons given by his teachers for punishment include "nuisance", "shoving" and "just no interest whatsoever". The sheets cover the periods when he was in Class 3B between 19 May and 23 June 1955, and in Class 4C from 25 November 1955 to 13 February 1956.

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(ITS) Syndicated radio show InTheStudio: The Stories Behind History's Greatest Rock Bands concludes its two week look at The Beatles' 1968 White Album with the second part of the special going live.

In the latest edition Paul McCartney tells the story behind the song "Helter Skelter", pre-Manson family murders, and describes how a party in the studio, became a "Birthday" party of a song. The recording process for the White Album was a departure from the dense production of the previous two Beatle albums Sgt. Pepper's... and Magical Mystery Tour. Not only did members work separately in some cases, the band collectively decided to make each recording sound uniquely different. Paul McCartney remarks to InTheStudio host Redbeard on the band's approach. "We wanted every single track we did, because of this mono singles focusing that we come out of, to be a completely new departure. 

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ORIGINAL drawings for the Beatles’ psychedelic animation film Yellow Submarine are being auctioned for £125,000. The collection boasts hand-painted scenes from the 1968 adventure in which the Fab Four travel in the Yellow Submarine to Pepperland to save it from the Blue Meanies.

One highlight of the collection is a rare scene of John, Paul, George and Ringo with instructions on the bold colours for their clothes and Ringo’s rings. The music-hating Blue Meanies also feature, as does their pet, a snarling four-headed bulldog. Many of the 80 cartoons for sale were drawn by German illustrator Heinz Edelmann. Most belonged to an anonymous collector who worked on the film. They will go under the hammer at Heritage Auctions in Los Angeles on November 20. Auction house director Jim Lentz said: “The animation was groundbreaking and that coupled with the fact that the film was all about the biggest band in the world is what made it so iconic.”

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