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Even The Beatles wore smog masks when they visited Manchester in the era of the thick pea-soupers.

The Fab Four tried the latest mask on for size when they played the Ardwick Theatre in December 1965 – but it probably wasn’t designed to cope with George Harrison’s cigarette!

Smogs were common in Manchester in the 1950s and early 1960s. The Clean Air Act was passed in 1956 to reduce air pollution, but it took some years to reach its full effect.

Smoke continued to belch from factory chimneys and home coal fires, combining with fog and poor weather to turn day into night – quite literally. You could be forgiven for thinking that the photograph taken in Oxford Street in November 1953 was shot in the late evening – it was midday.

The same is true of the picture of the Hyde-bound double-decker bus ploughing through the fog in the same month. The time, believe it or not, is 1.30pm.

New kinds of masks were not the only way to beat the smog. Bus companies introduced motorcycle combinations kitted out with batteries of bright lights to blaze a trail through the fog. Local residents would sometimes walk in front of buses to guide them as they knew the neighbourhood wel details

Airbnb is offering four lucky guests a free overnight stay in the most famous townhouse in North London — the iconic Abbey Road Studios.

The split-level Studio 3 in St. John's Wood — where many of music’s greatest artists have been discovered — will be converted into a temporary bedroom for one night only on October 15.

After being greeted with Champagne by London-based musician and producer Mark Ronson, who will act as a host, guests will be given a tour and full access to all areas of the studio.

This will include a chance to play on The Beatles’ piano (with cigarette burns that date back to the recordings of "The White Album"), to mix a track on the world’s largest mixing board, and to even record a song with the help of Ronson.

They will also be treated to dinner, snacks, beverages, and two nights in a nearby Airbnb listing nearby before and/or after the stay.

The "house rules" simply state things like "leave your mark" and “turn it up to 11 – we’ve got sound-proofing."

"I was born and grew up 'round the corner from Abbey Road Studios, one of the greatest studios ever," Ronson said. "Over the years working at Abbey Road, I& details

The Beatles’ career as a live band came to a — literally — screeching halt in August 1966, when on their final American tour, the howling of frenzied female fans became so deafening they could no longer hear themselves play. Author Tom Wolfe, describing a San Francisco stadium gig, wrote of “great sheets of scream like sheets of rain in a squall … and that sound he thinks cannot get higher, it doubles, his eardrums ring like stamped metal with it until suddenly Ghhhhwoooooowwww, it is like the whole thing has snapped … a writhing, seething mass of little girls.”

Wolfe was one of the few writers to pick up on the sometimes terrifying mass-hysteria aspect of Beatlemania, but it was clear enough to John, Paul, George and Ringo, whose reaction to this extreme adulation went from amazement to burnout in a few short years — so much so that they stopped playing live.

Those screams are all over director Ron Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years,” a rockumentary that follows the whirlwind first half of the Fab Four’s career, from 1962-1966, when the Beatles were fresh-faced mop-tops playing amped-up rock ‘n’ details

Most days we quarrel about her screen time. Dripping with condescension, she claims that her contractual two hours (de facto four hours) are way less than everyone else’s – and, just to be clear, that’s everyone else in the world.

Yet, in spite of these daily dustups, the mad disorder of her bedroom and her vertiginous descents into self-loathing that choke my heart and poison my sleep, my 15-year-old daughter is the most wonderful person in my life. Like any self-respecting neurotic mother, I spend most of my days thinking about her – her happiness and the smoking threat of her unhappiness. The female tinder of body image/complexion/friends can erupt into a conflagration at any time, consuming her fledgling self-esteem as I stand by helplessly.

I chant to myself: She just has to survive the slings and arrows of the teenage present; get through this and the future will reveal itself. I physically cringe when thinking about my own lonely passage through those years. I know there are no words, no advice to save her – I know that she has to save herself.

And yet, I think a familiar but unexpected rescue might be on its way.

Like many of us did at her age, she is living details

Why The Beatles Created Apple Music - Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Beatles’ Apple Music was created in 1967 to bring the band’s enterprises together for tax purposes, so that instead of paying nineteen and sixpence in the pound the Beatles paid only sixteen shillings (there were twenty shillings in the pound). The label’s original directors were Clive Epstein, Alistair Taylor, Geoffrey Ellis, a solicitor and an accountant, and the idea was that they would quietly announce to the tax authorities that they would be opening a string of shops.

Alistair Taylor told American author Geoffrey Giuliano: “That was the original idea and when the boys heard about this they decided this could be boring, they didn’t really want their name above a string of shops. The original idea was greeting cards. Imagine Beatles greeting cards shops! They didn’t like that at all. Gradually they started drifting in on meetings and Apple Corps really evolved from there. Later it turned into this silly philosophy.”

John Lennon was suitably scathing:

"Clive Epstein or some other such business freak came up to us and said you’ve got to spend so much money, or the tax will take you. We were thinking of opening a chain of retail clothes shops or some b details

Photography is like magic to me. I was six or seven when my mum [photographer Linda McCartney] first took me to her dark room in Soho. I remember her placing a piece of white paper into the water bath and a black and white image appearing. I don’t remember what the picture was of: probably my dad, as they’d been on tour.

People would say I only got work because of my surname when I first started out. I’ve been in photography for over 20 years now, and I don’t think people commission me because of my name. At some point, the commissions would have dried up if I didn’t do what I do well.

Meeting the Queen was nerve wracking. I was asked to take her pictures at Buckingham Palace to mark her becoming the longest-reigning British monarch last September. It was definitely a moment for me, standing there in a room waiting for her to come in. She’s very switched on, very focused and in control. Which is what you want your queen to be, isn’t it?

Most people feel uncomfortable in front of a camera. They find it very hard to be themselves. Getting a natural expression, rather than someone’s “camera face”, is always my aim.

I can whistle really loud details

Back in June, an NYU researcher programmed his A.I. bot to write a science fiction screenplay. The resulting short film, called Sunspring, was suitably bizarre. The computer picked up on numerous genre tropes, but, unsurprisingly, struggled to maintain coherent dialogue and dramatic pacing. From this, we learned A.I. algorithms, while fast advancing, are still a while from self-creating a motion picture. But a catchy, three-minute pop song…

That’s the latest project from Sony’s CSL Research Laboratory. The team fed its in-house A.I. music software, Flow Machines, over 13,000 leadsheets (read: melody and harmony notes) from varying genres, from jazz and pop to Broadway tunes. The system analyzed them, and, employing “unique combinations of style transfer, optimization and interaction techniques,” learned to create music in various styles. In tandem with two other systems, FlowComposer and Rechord, the user simply selects a style of music and, boom, the A.I. spits out a leadsheet. The machine’s first pop song? It’s a track called “Daddy’s Car,” generated in the computer-learned style of The Beatles.

It sounds, well, like something The Beatles would write details

In October 1973, John Lennon enlisted the help of infamous producer Phil Spector to record an album. However, it didn’t all go exactly to plan for Lennon as he had recently split from Yoko Ono, became a regular at clubs all around Los Angeles, and fashioned a reputation for drunken antics as he slipped into his self-proclaimed “lost weekend.”

Meanwhile, a rapidly deteriorating Spector wasn’t holding up much better. He took the tapes from the sessions that they had actually managed to record and left Lennon with nothing. Ordinarily, this would have been bad enough, but the threat of legal action already hung over the former Beatles member’s head. “It started in ’73 with Phil and fell apart. I ended up as part of a mad, drunken scene in Los Angeles and I finally finished it off on my own,” Lennon later told Rolling Stone. “And there were still problems with it up to the minute it came out. I can’t begin to say, it’s just barmy. There’s a jinx on that album.”

The record, which would finally go on to be released in 1975, was entitled Rock and Roll and featured 13 covers from the ’50s and ’60s which Lennon had a particular fondn details

The Beatles’ 11th album, ‘Abbey Road’, was released 47 years ago today, and as the last thing the Beatles recorded together (‘Let It Be’ being mostly recorded before, but released after) it remains a perfect parting gift. To celebrate its anniversary, we set ourselves the piss-easy task of finding the best moments on the album. Of the dozens we came up with, here’s 10.

1. The handclaps on ‘Come Together’ Along with John Lennon’s spittle-flecked whisper of “shoot me” and McCartney’s unmistakably bendy bassline, it’s the sound the handclaps that usher you into ‘Abbey Road’. What a freaky welcome.

2. The guitar line on ‘Something’ Like the bassline on ‘Come Together’, this melody’s also iconic, but in this case it’s one that appears very few times and still manages to be utterly stand-out. It’s even better when it comes back in again right at the end of the guitar solo. 

3. The vocal high-point on ‘Oh! Darling’ It’s actually hard to pick out the best part of McCartney’s vocal on this track, but it’s probably the moment his voice jumps up an oc details

When Paul Rivard stood at a podium five months ago announcing the first London Beatles Festival, he had a very specific theme in mind, one the Fab Four themselves would no doubt enjoy.

“I think for the first year we coined it correctly when we called it Come Together,” said Rivard, the festival’s director. “Everybody keeps saying to me it will come together. That’s what the first year is all about, bringing everybody together, coming together. It’s honestly been overwhelming. Never in the world could I have imagined the support we’d get.”

The London Beatles Festival will run downtown Sept. 23-25.

Top Beatles tribute bands will be presented on the festival’s two main stages — Clarence Street outdoor stage and the Wolf Performance Hall — as well as local artists paying tribute in their individual styles at many satellite venues throughout the downtown core, including at a third big stage at the licensed Octopus Garden downtown.

Rivard said his plan all along was to keep this inaugural festival small in size and scope, but it became apparent the wider public had other ideas.

It seemed everyone had ideas about what the event sh details

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