Beatles News

If John Lennon had lived he would have been 75 on Friday, October 9, 2015. Instead, he was shot in 1980, outside the apartment building in New York where he had lived for nine years. Radio 2 has marked the anniversary with a two-part Monday-night series, John Lennon: the New York Years. Radio 4 devoted its Archive on 4 hour on Saturday to John Lennon Verbatim. All three programmes were made by Des Shaw for independents Ten Alps. There were thus bound to be common uses of source material, overlaps in the narrative but differences in style.

The Radio 2 series had film star Susan Sarandon as narrator, and drew on reminiscences from journalists, photographers and friends. Part one traced the rise of The Beatles’ fame in the US, from their first Ed Sullivan shows to after they split and Lennon, having fallen in love with Yoko Ono and out of love with Britain (lack of privacy, constant press intrusion), moved to New York, where he could go out for a chocolate milkshake in peace. Part two last night looked at the later years, how his music changed, why he loved the city so. Colourful, fast moving, it was hard to know who was talking because Sarandon breathed their names so softly.

Radio 4’s programme had no details

Paul McCartney, still stung by the loss of his wife, was feeling nostalgic as the 1990s drew to a close.

Instead of rehashing the obvious successes he’d had with the Beatles or Wings, however, he traveled further back – all the way to the music that first sparked something inside the hearts of a young John Lennon and Paul McCartney: The records of the 1950s, of Chuck Berry and Larry Williams, of Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent. Each played an important role in shaping the early Beatles sound.

So, while McCartney holed up in Abbey Road (site of so many brilliant Beatles recordings) and with Chris Thomas (who had co-produced Back to the Egg, the 1979 finale of Paul McCartney’s sunsequent band Wings), he went about things in an older old-fashioned way. That meant none of the decades-old studio-craftsmanship so closely associated with McCartney. Instead, the resulting Run Devil Run (released on October 4, 1999) was fast and loose, and — because of its early-rock leanings — almost nothing like the bulk of his other previously issued solo recordings.

McCartney tears through Ricky Nelson’s “Lonesome Town,” and Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up,” and Be details

Looking back on his first meeting with The Beatles, film director Richard Lester remembers the unexpected topic of conversation that brought them together. “The boys found out that I was this pathetic jazz piano player,” he explains. “That gave them something to lord over me because I was the past and they were the future. John Lennon in particular hated jazz, and he told me that.”

When Lester met The Beatles in late 1963, the intention was to make a cheap, black-and-white jukebox movie to capitalise on the band’s extraordinary success. For his film, Lester assembled a remarkable cross section of talent – including Wilfred Brambell, Victor Spinetti, Pattie Boyd and Lionel Blair – who all witnessed first hand Beatlemania in full tilt. “It was becoming increasingly intense for the boys,” says Boyd, who met her future husband George Harrison on the film’s shoot.

Meanwhile Blair, an old friend of the band, recalls the logistical problems accompanying the shoot: “They couldn’t walk round the streets or anything. There were screaming girls everywhere.” But despite such obstacles, A Hard Day’s Night rose about the ruck of rock’n&r details

The other day I threw out my first Beatles album — which is akin to throwing out one of the only photos of a dead relative, a perfectly good organic burrito or a $20 bill. Beatles albums have been discarded before, but mostly by crazies and Klansmen back in early March ’66, when dubiously contextualized quotes from John claimed that “Christianity will vanish and shrink…” and that “We’re (The Beatles) more popular than Jesus now.” That was 49 years ago, three years before I was born.

On Friday, I turned 46. And instead of taking some kind of inventory (I’m saving that for 50), I began to think about my relationship with the Beatles, who were still together when I was born (take that, Y and Z Generations!). And my relationship to them, unlike that with just about everyone else in my life after nearly half a century (friends, family, women, pets, the government, R.E.M.) is more or less the same: pure love. I am the human equivalent of Ringo’s peace fingers, and have been since I first began playing with the LPs that my mother and father gave me to play with because I was an early-depressed child. Some of those wonderful objects had posters, and lyrics, and these details

In The Beatles Anthology, George Harrison recalled, "There used to be a situation where we'd go in (as we did when we were kids), pick up our guitars, all learn the tune and chords and start talking about arrangements. But there came a time ... when Paul [McCartney] had fixed an idea in his brain as to how to record one of his songs ... It was taken to the most ridiculous situations, where I'd open my guitar case and go to get my guitar out and he'd say, 'No, no, we're not doing that yet.' ... It got so there was very little to do, other than sit around and hear him going, 'Fixing a hole ...' with Ringo [Starr] keeping the time."

John Lennon would allow Harrison to weave guitar hooks into his compositions, but McCartney would sometimes remove Harrison's guitar solos on songs like "Another Girl," "Penny Lane," and "Hello, Goodbye." Throughout the Seventies, guitarists for Wings would quit after realizing they would have almost zero input on what they played or did not play. Which is fine; McCartney's a musical genius and should be able to hire who he wants to do what he wants. But Harrison didn't need or want to be a faceless session man getting paid on the clock.

Harrison was also losing Lennon, the big brother/ details

Before The Beatles became a legendary supergroup whose music is still celebrated by generations of fans, there was The Quarrymen.

The name of John Lennon’s first skiffle/rock and roll group, the Quarrymen was formed in 1956 and featured some of Lennon’s school mates. One of those mates was Rod Davis, who grew up with Lennon near Liverpool, and played with him as a small child, even attending Sunday school with the future legend.

Currently touring Canada in celebration of what would have been Lennon’s 75th birthday, Oct. 9, Davis will tell some of those stories from the early days at the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Oct. 15. Hosted by the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society (VFRMS), the show will also feature a PowerPoint presentation with photos of the guys and the places where they grew up and performed. “He will also be playing some of the songs he sang with Lennon so long ago, and will wrap up the evening with a Q&A from the audience,” said Paul Tessier, with the VFRMS.

Davis, who grew up in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool, first met Lennon at St. Peter’s Church, where the boys both attended Sunday school. Later, they found themselves students at Quarry Bank High Schoo details

Lennon’s Other Legacy - Saturday, October 03, 2015

On December 8, 1980, mere weeks after his 40th birthday, musical legend John Lennon was murdered. An article in Newsweek's December 13, 2010 issue commemorated both his birthday and the anniversary of his death. This article, and others about Lennon's life and legacy, are included in a new Newsweek Special Edition.

'Tis the season for John Lennon. The former Beatle had the misfortune of being murdered on December 8, 1980, mere weeks after his 40th birthday, and so for the past few months we’ve had to endure a wearying deluge of documentaries, reissues, biopics and exhibitions of the sort that only the twinned, round-number, life-bracketing anniversaries of an assassinated pop legend could possibly occasion. At first, it seemed as if the releases might reveal something new about Lennon’s music. But now that the date of his death is approaching and the tributes haven’t stopped, it’s clear that the most revealing thing about this year’s anniversary extravaganza isn’t some remastered version of “Imagine.” It’s that Lennon’s celebrity—the very thing that killed him—is still large and lucrative enough to inspire such a frenzy in 2010.

The hullabal details

Statues of The Beatles could be installed on Liverpool’s waterfront.

During the summer it was revealed that the Cavern Club is paying £200,000 for the 8ft tall bronzes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The club said it was donating the statues to the city and hoped they would be placed at the Pier Head. Now a planning application has been submitted by Liverpool City Council for the statues to be placed prominently at the waterfront site near Brunswick Street, and in front of the Three Graces.

According to a heritage statement accompanying the plans, the location is “within the Castle Street Conservation Area, and the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site”. But the planning application says the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, which was written for the location’s World Heritage Site status, also says “the significance of the Beatles is mentioned specifically”.

The application also states: “From distant views the statue will not be seen, and even closer vistas such as the view west from Castle Street along Brunswick Street, the figures will be indistinguishable from people.

“The figures wi details

John Lennon made drawings before he met Yoko Ono in 1966, but it was only after he started a relationship with Ono—at the time a rising art star—that he really came into his own as an artist. Over the course of their time together, the Beatle went from rendering cartoons influenced by British absurdist humor to a simple but elegant style that was indebted to both contemporary minimalism and traditional Japanese painting. His modest, intimate portraits of Yoko and their son Sean provided a fitting visual accompaniment to the music he made about their lives together.

This month, the AFA Gallery in New York City is unveiling an exhibition of Lennon's drawings to mark what would have been his 75th birthday. Before its opening, Esquire got on the phone with Yoko to discuss John Lennon the artist, and why Paul McCartney expressed gripes about Beatles songwriting credits.

How are you?

You know, busy. That's good.

You have this exhibit opening soon.

I know. I'm really happy about that, because this is John's 75th this year, so I wanted good representation of John in many places. And this is one that's very good.

By: Miles Raymer

Source: Esquire


More than 60% of Britons cannot identify the famous historical faces on our banknotes, a survey reveals today (Fri). Many believe their banknote images should be replaced by modern-day icons like the Beatles, JK Rowling and Cilla Black. Only 33% of people could name philanthropist and social reformer Elizabeth Fry whose face appears on £5 notes. Four in ten Brits mistakenly thought she was either modern nursing founder Florence Nightingale or Queen Victoria - while the rest had no idea who was pictured on the note.

Even fewer people (25%) recognised economist Adam Smith on the £20 note - with many mistaking him for civil engineer George Stevenson or the Duke of Wellington.

Founding father of evolutionary theory Charles Darwin proved easier to pick out on the £10 note - with two thirds naming him correctly.

But only one in three knew manufacturers Matthew Boulton and James Watt featured on the £50 note. They were mistaken for 1960s British comedy duo Michael Flanders and Donald Swan and French chemist Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch the German founder of bacteriology. Vix Leyton of cash-back site Quidco, which quizzed 2,000 people in the survey, said: “This lack of knowledge co details

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