Beatles News

Susanna Reich, an Ossining resident, is introducing the Beatles to a new generation.

Reich is the author of "Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became The Beatles," a picture book that focuses on the childhoods of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr and the beginning of The Beatles. The book ends at the outbreak of Beatlemania.

"The story of The Beatles would never fit into an entire picture book," Reich, who has written seven books, said. "I thought kids would like to know how they became The Beatles and could identify with seeing them as children."

Reich said we often think of The Beatles being born from their famous appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," but they were already famous in England and had been playing together for years.

"I've always been a fan of The Beatles since I was a child," Reich said. "Like all kids, I listened to every single record and followed them all through the 1960s."

In the book, readers will learn that Harrison was obsessed with his guitar and dedicated to becoming an excellent guitarist. "He used to sit and draw pictures of his guitar while sitting in the back of the classroom," Reich said.

Lennon was obsessed with the music of details

The Beatles’ first recording contract was signed in Hamburg, Germany, where the band honed its craft performing in the city’s boisterous nightclub district.

The 1961 recording session produced the single “My Bonnie.” It was released on the Polydor label in Germany only and never hit the top charts. But the tune led directly to the Beatles’ discovery back home, a contract with EMI the following year and their first hit, “Love Me Do.”

Heritage Auctions will auction the six-page contract in New York on Sept. 19 for an estimated $150,000. It’s the centerpiece of a Beatles collection spanning the band’s entire career. It’s being sold by the estate of Uwe Blaschke, a German graphic designer and noted Beatles historian who died in 2010.

“Not many people know that the Beatles started their careers in Germany,” said Beatles expert Ulf Kruger. “The Beatles had their longest stint in a club in Hamburg at the Top Ten Club. They played there three months in a row, every night. The style they invented in Liverpool, they cultivated in Hamburg.” 

“Without this contract all of the pieces wouldn’t have fallen into details

A phenomenal 250 million records in 50 years - only the Beatles have achieved that. They released their first single on October 5, 1962. Soon enough they were world superstars. The dream began in Germany.

Masses of ivy surround the front door of run-down building. There's nothing about the place that indicates the role it played in music history.

But when you get closer you notice a mirror. Above a photograph of the band, the large lettering on the mirror reads: "Here lived the Beatles 1960." Here, in Hamburg, the search for traces of the world's most famous boy band begins.

Peter Paetzold, who was 10 years old at the time, lived just around the corner. He grew up in St. Pauli, the district of the city around the infamous Reeperbahn where the Beatles' career was launched.

The shabby building used to be a cinema - the Bambi Kino, where Paetzold once watched Disney films. The four Liverpudlian lads lived in the cinema for three months.

"For us they were just the English rockers who lived here. They looked totally different to the usual Hamburg rockers," recalls Paetzold, now 62.

What sticks out in his mind are the black jeans the band wore. "We were happy when we got blue jeans five details

Ever wondered why they chose Ringo to sing Octopus’s Garden? The Beatles drummer looks like a natural gardener in an off-duty moment at the height of the band’s fame. Now released for the first time, the snap is part of a unique private collection.

All these fab photos were taken from 1963 to 1968 for the magazine The Beatles Book. But they never made it into print. As well as showing his cultivation skills, Ringo ­is snapped climbing to a ­treehouse and at the wheel of a supercar.

John Lennon is photographed ­drumming and drinking milk with guitarist George Harrison. Paul McCartney joins ­bandmates ­gazing at their reflections in a hotel ­mirror in Margate, Kent, in 1963.

Photographer Leslie Bryce travelled the world with the band and supplied shots for the 77 editions of the monthly mag, whose circulation ­rocketed from 80,000 to 330,000 in a ­single year.

When the publication’s founder and ­editor Sean O’Mahoney retired, his daughter Jo Adams realised he was sitting on an ­extensive photo archive. Bryce had more than 40 photo ­sessions with the band. There were far too many pictures to print at the time. Now the best are in a details

What was it like to be on the receiving end of Beatlemania? Nigel Robinson thinks he has some idea. Fifty years ago, the sixth-form student from Leamington Spa discovered that his English accent – aided and abetted by a pair of Chelsea boots and a John Lennon-style cap – made him an instant celebrity when he joined the 55,000-strong audience for the celebrated concert at New York's Shea Stadium that cemented their US and global success.

The boy, who was staying in New York with a family friend, was already a fan of the Liverpool band. He didn’t have a mop top – his private school wouldn’t tolerate it – but his hair was longer than the crew cuts sported by most of the American boys his age.

On 15 August, 1965, accompanied by his schoolfriend David Treadaway (father of the acting twins Luke and Harry Treadaway), he set out for Shea Stadium. The two 17-year-olds didn’t have tickets for the concert – those had sold out weeks ago – but they figured thought it was worth turning up to “soak up the atmosphere”.

“We realised it was a big deal,” said Mr Robinson, now 67. American radio stations were playing Beatles songs back-to-back and details

The fashion designer has immediately ceased buying material from Patagonian farms in the southern regions of Argentina and Chile after she was presented with video footage from PETA, which showed scenes of cruelty toward the animals, and insisted she will look to source vegan wool.

She said: ''As a designer who built a brand on not using leather, fur or animal skins in its designs, I can't tolerate it! I am devastated by the news but more determined than ever to fight for animal rights in fashion together and monitor even more closely all suppliers involved in this industry to end all innocent lives. ''We are also looking into vegan 'wool' as well, in the same manner we were able to develop and incorporate high-end alternatives to leather and fur over the years.''

The 43-year-old design icon began working with the farmers as part of a project to help maintain the area of land where the sheep graze.

But Stella says the farm where the sheep were allegedly mistreated is ''one too many''.

She wrote on Instagram: ''It was born as an amazing initiative to help protect a million acres of endangered grasslands in Patagonia whilst looking after the welfare of animals. Unfortunately, after conducting our o details

The Beatles Awaken a New Sensation - Monday, August 17, 2015

I think I had my first orgasm at a Beatles concert — then again, how would I have known? When you’re preteen, prepubescent and pretty much pre-everything, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” seems the height of erotic ambition. And that was especially true in 1964, before the sexual revolution and the Internet made that kind of ignorance unimaginable.

By the time the Beatles showed up in Glasgow, on the final leg of their second Scottish visit that year, my friends and I were already fanatically devoted. Transistor radios were hidden in our school desks, earpiece cords accessed through inkwells, and afterschool hours were spent listening to 45s in the home of the one friend who owned a record player.

To see our idols in person required sneakiness and elaborate planning. Parental permission, had we asked for it, would not have been forthcoming, and tickets were available only by mail — city authorities being keen to avoid the camping-out chaos that had preceded earlier events.

Before the Internet and Ticketmaster stepped in, big-name tickets were typically purchased one way: by lining up on the street at night alongside throngs of hardy fans and waiting for a box office or a record st details

Leaving festivals like Woodstock and Monterey aside, there is no more famous gig in rock & roll history than when the Beatles played Shea Stadium, an orange and blue ass pit of a venue in front of 56,000 mostly teenyboppers on August 15th, 1965. It is a gig one might even term infamous, for all of the misunderstanding it has generated over the years, with one old saw after another getting parroted in the various histories of rock. 

If you've seen the footage, you know that the Beatles were positioned on a rickety stage on an infield diamond, with the screams raining down from all directions. The band laughs maniacally, exchanges "shit, can you believe this is happening?" looks and takes the piss with song introductions repeatedly.

Chances are if you've seen footage of a single Beatles gig, it is this one. And chances are, too, that you've heard they were rubbish as a live act once they became famous, couldn't even hear themselves, just wanted to haul ass out of Dodge ASAP, all of that. And, for many years, the tales surrounding that Shea Stadium gig, plus the footage, plus the bootleg of the show, reinforced all of this. Which is a shame, and a matter in need of redressing. 

Help! had just details

Rolling Stone has compiled a list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters and, not surprisingly, Bob Dylan lands at the top of the tally. In choosing the prolific folk-rock legend as the #1 songwriter, the magazine notes, “Dylan’s vision of American popular music was transformative. No one set the bar higher, or had greater impact.”

Coming in at #2 and #3 on the list, respectively, are former Beatles band mates Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Rolling Stone calls Sir Paul “pop’s greatest melodist,” while noting that he has “a bulging songbook that includes many of the most-performed and best-loved tunes of the past half-century.” As for Lennon, the magazine says, “No one better rendered the complexity of personal life or global politics, or better connected the two, than [he did] during his solo career in universal songs like ‘Watching the Wheels’ and ‘Imagine.'”

Rounding out the top 10 of the tally are Chuck Berry at #4, Smokey Robinson at #5, The Rolling Stones‘ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards at #6, Carole King and her ex-husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin at #7, Paul Simon at #8, Joni Mitchell at #9 and Stevie Wonder at #10.< details

During the Beatles years, George Harrison grew rapidly as a songwriter. He often dealt with philosophical themes of living for the moment and renewal. In “Love You To,” Harrison rails against people “who’ll screw you in the ground” and “fill you in with their sins.” A precursor to “Love You To,” “Think for Yourself” tells the story of a man distancing himself from someone who has lied and wreaked emotional havoc. Accented by Paul McCartney’s fuzz bass, the song not only reveals Harrison’s darker side, but foreshadows the thematically sophisticated tracks he would pen on subsequent Beatles albums as well as his solo works.

The inspiration for the bleak lyrics is unclear; in his autobiography I Me Mine, George Harrison wrote that he did not remember a specific incident that preceded the song. “‘Think For Yourself’ must be written about somebody from the sound of it — but all this time later I don’t quite recall who inspired that tune. Probably the government,” he said. Originally titled “Won’t Be There with You,” Harrison and the Beatles recorded the song in one session on November 8, 1965. A details

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