Beatles News

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."


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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Gerry Harrison, assistant director of the legendary Beatles’ film Magical Mystery Tour, looks back on his time with the group as a period of “great fun”. The assistant film director who lives in Co Clare, became friends with The Fab Four and went on to work with John Lennon and Paul McCartney individually.

Today he’s in Dublin for the opening of the inaugural Beatles Festival, which marks the jubilee of the group’s two performances in the Adelphi Cinema. He told how he was “very aware” that he was in the presence of geniuses back in the 60s. McCartney was “very much in charge” during the filming of Magical Mystery Tour, according to Gerry, and filming was done “on the hop, with no studios”. “Paul was very much in charge because Brian Epstein had just died and that had left a vacuum…There were tensions there as well.”


Schoolboy cashes in on Beatles gig - Saturday, November 09, 2013

Chris Hill was one of those who has vivid memories of the Fab Four’s concert in the Ritz Cinema 50 years ago today – memories which are immortalised thanks to an east European camera which he got for his birthday.

Then aged 16, the south Belfast youngster took a string of snaps of the group on stage, which he went on to sell to fellow schoolchildren across the city. Although he said none had ever been published before now, he estimated he sold as many as 800 of the prints, which he produced in his own dark room, netting him a sum worth about £3,000 today – but spent so much time doing so that he performed poorly in his mock O-level exams. About four weeks before the gig, he had got up at about 2am to cycle three miles from his Malone home to queue for the best seats in the house. “1963 was the year they broke through,” he said. “It was the biggest thing that ever happened in the life of a teenager.”


The Beatles top most-pirated list - Friday, November 08, 2013

The Beatles have topped a list of artists whose music is not being taken down from file-sharing websites (or at least not effectively) which has been complied by anti-piracy service MUSO.

As previously reported, MUSO provides services to help independent labels, including Beggars Group, Demon Music Group and Essential Music & Marketing, to monitor illegally shared files online and issue takedown notices for them. The company compiled its top ten by monitoring websites which are compliant with its takedown requests (so missed out the more bullish likes of The Pirate Bay, et al), thus meaning that the illegal files counted could easily be removed. Coming in first, The Beatles had 187,687 files available illegally on the sites surveyed, over 115,000 more than the number two act,

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THE BEATLES PLAYED their first and only Irish concerts fifty years ago this week; whipping up mass hysteria as they whistled through a series of short-sharp shows in Belfast and Dublin.

Much like the GPO in 1916 and U2′s Dandelion Market concerts in the late 70s — those who claimed to have been in attendance far outstrip the numbers who actually were. Believe it or not, the four-piece were on stage for only around 50 minutes when they played Dublin’s Adelphi Cinema on Middle Abbey Street in 1963 — completing two 25 minute sets in concerts staged at 6.30pm and 9 o’clock. Thirteen years earlier, screaming teenage girls were conspicuous by their absence when a seven-year-old George Harrison strolled along O’Connell Street sporting what looks like an early version of the Beatles mop-top haircut. The photo was taken by Arthur Fields — a Jewish-Ukranian street photographer who became a Dublin institution; it’s estimated he took over 180,000 images on and around O’Connell Bridge during his career before he retired in 1984. details

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