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Paul McCartney's Autographed Guitar Helps Save Elephants - Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Martin D-28 left-handed guitar signed by Paul McCartney is up for auction, with proceeds going to the Nature Conservancy's African Elephant Initiative. Bidding began on Wednesday on eBay with a starting price of $10,000. Along with his signature, McCartney paid tribute to Woody Guthrie's famous, fascist-slaying six-string, by scrawling, "This guitar saves elephants" on the Martin as well. Money from the auction will go to the Nature Conservancy's efforts in Africa, China and other locations to increase security and protection for elephants, as well as reduce the demand for ivory. If bidding on the McCartney-signed guitar is out of your price range, though, the campaign still welcomes any and all donations.

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One of earliest photos of The Beatles to be auctioned - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

One of the earliest photos of The Beatles in Liverpool’s Cavern Club is being auctioned later this month along with a series of other recently unearthed snaps taken of the the band at the beginning of their career. The picture, taken in 1961, features Paul McCartney at the front of the stage and Pete Best on drums – a year before he was replaced by Ringo Starr. Stephen Bailey – the manager of The Beatles Shop, in Liverpool – said the forthcoming memorabilia sale includes a series of negatives brought into the Mathew Street store by a man who casually told him: “My father was a professional photographer and these might be of interest to you.” Mr Bailey said the man then handed over a series of envelopes of transparencies which all turned out to be in perfect condition. Another shot which stands out features George Harrison, John Lennon, McCartney and Best posing with six girls.

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Fab Beatles sound engineer launches new high tech company - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

FitzPro Ltd, which supplies audio-visual solutions to help businesses save time, money and the environment, has opened its new premises on Tiverton’s Business Park. Managing Director Rich Denham has more than 25 years’ experience in electronic engineering. Mr Denham, who was also sound engineer and logistics manager for the Exeter-based tribute band The Fab Beatles, set up the new company and recruited a team of experts to help run and build the business, which specialises in helping firms use the latest audio-visual and video-conferencing technology to the best advantage. He said: “We already have blue chip clients in London, such as TSB, Best Western and infrastructure investment company John Laing, but now we want to offer the same quality service and equipment to companies in Devon. “We specialise in helping firms save time and money by keeping their staff connected wherever they may be, on the road, working from different offices or from home, so people spend less time travelling and more time doing what is most profitable.

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Beatles ‘Hard Day’s Night’ to Stream Exclusively on Hulu Plus - Monday, August 11, 2014

Hulu has exclusive U.S. streaming rights to the pic under its recently renewed licensing agreement with the Criterion Collection. A selection of the distributor’s 800-plus arthouse films are available exclusively to subscribers of Hulu Plus, priced at $7.99 per month. “Hard Day’s Night” stars John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, with Wilfrid Brambell portraying McCartney’s grandfather. The comedic romp takes a satirical look at several days in the lives of the Fab Four and features eight Beatles songs, including “Can’t Buy Me Love” and title track “A Hard Day’s Night.” It’s available to Hulu Plus subscribers here, as well as on mobile devices and connected-TV platforms.

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Paul McCartney invited to perform at Alien Woodstock - Monday, August 11, 2014

Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have been invited to perform at 'Alien Woodstock' in a bid to make extra-terrestrials reveal themselves to the planet. The two musicians - who were joined in The Fab Four by the late John Lennon and George Harrison - are wanted by UFO expert Michael C. Luckman to play at the proposed event in Malibu, California. Luckman - who is director of the New York Center for Extraterrestrial Research - has a theory there is a huge underwater alien base located six miles off of Malibu's Point Dume in the Pacific Ocean and he wants to use a host of pop stars who believe in alien life to coax them out of their base. As well as Paul and Ringo, Luckman also wants Yoko Ono - the widow of late Beatle John Lennon - her son Sean Lennon and Dahni Harrison, the son of deceased fourth band member George Harrison, to take part in the concert. Among the other alleged alien admiring stars invited to take part in Luckman's out-of-this-world Woodstock are Rihanna, Robbie Williams, Sir Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Alicia Keys, Sting, Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry, Muse frontman Matt Bellamy and guitar legend Joe Satriani among others.

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The Beatles come second in poll of most bewildering song lyrics - Sunday, August 10, 2014

Chart act The Killers have triumphed in the baffle of the bands - after their hit Human was judged to have the most bewildering song lyric. The track - which reached number three in the singles chart in 2008 - was judged to have the perplex factor for the impenetrable line "Are we human or are we dancer?" Second in the poll for online streaming service Blinkbox Music was the surreal nonsense lyric for I Am The Walrus by The Beatles, from Magical Mystery Tour. The chorus of "I am the eggman, they are the eggmen, I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob" was the line which left music fans scratching their heads. The top 10 also included Wham!'s Club Tropicana which says "Drinks are free, fun and sunshine, there's enough for everyone, all that's missing is the sea" - despite later referring to watching "the waves break on the bay". The explanation for the apparent inconsistency is that it is said to have been written about a spot in Ibiza set high in the hills. Killers frontman Brandon Flowers has explained that his lyric was based on a quote from the author Hunter S Thompson, "we're raising a generation of dancers". Flowers said:

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Tom Petty On Cheap Speakers And George Harrison - Sunday, August 10, 2014

On a recent night in San Diego, Tom Petty was doing what he's been doing for close to 40 years: leading his band The Heartbreakers on stage, playing the old hits and inaugurating new ones. He's just started touring behind Hypnotic Eye, the band's latest album in a prolific career — and if you ask Petty how it feels to still be kicking after all this time, you'll get an uncharacteristically bashful response. "It's actually kind of embarrassing now; it's such a love fest," the 63-year-old rocker says. "I don't think any of us pictured doing it at this level, at this age. "How could you?" Musically, Hypnotic Eye is a throwback to early Heartbreakers albums; it's driving rock with a bluesy vibe. But lyrically, Petty says, it's very much about what's going on in America today. Petty recently spoke with NPR's Melissa Block about his long friendship with a late Beatle and why it pays to hear one's own music on a bad car stereo. Hear the radio version at the audio link and read their conversation below.

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The night The Beatles were trapped in Dodger Stadium - Friday, August 08, 2014

Paul McCartney is getting back to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday for the first time since he played there with The Beatles 48 years ago. This time around, let’s hope he has a better escape route planned. Back in 1966, his exit from Chavez Ravine went anything but smoothly. He and the rest of the Beatles — John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — ended up trapped in a Lincoln Continental that was smothered fender-to-fender by a frenzied blanket of screaming, crying, pawing, clawing fans who desperately wanted to touch their idols. It was Sunday night, Aug. 28, 1966, and The Beatles were trying to make a break for it after playing for 45,000 people at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. It was the first concert booked at the 4-year old ballpark and, though no one knew it at the time, the second-to-last show The Beatles would ever perform. After another stadium gig the following night at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, their concert career was over. Westlake Village’s Bob Eubanks, who cut his teeth in radio at Oxnard’s KACY from 1958 to 1960 before jumping ship to powerhouse station KRLA in Los Angeles, is responsible for bringing The Beatles to Dodger Stadium. 

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What John Lennon and The Beatles can teach us about workforce engagement - Thursday, August 07, 2014

Inspiration, passion, enthusiasm, motivation, engagement. Call it whatever you want, but in business you need it. Without it your team or organization is roadkill. As mentioned in a previous post, the lack of employee engagement in the workplace is astounding. Gallup, which tracks this on a regular basis, reports that only 13% of global workers are engaged in their work. Even worse, 24% of workers are “actively disengaged”—who are “liable to spread negativity to coworkers.” (We’ll discuss the costs of this in a moment.) The “engagement factor” is something the top rock bands have understood and consciously applied. I have previously written about the night that Pete Townshend and The Who discovered the secret in a London tavern in 1964. Subsequently their passionate performances drew young fans by the busload to their early gigs. But how John Lennon and The Beatles discovered the power of engagement is an even better story.

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George Harrison - Hindu Leader Calls For Dead George Harrison Tree To Be Replanted - Thursday, August 07, 2014

Hindu leaders have joined fans of late Beatles starGeorge Harrison in calling for Los Angeles City officials to replant a tree tribute to the singer/songwriter after learning the pine that bore his name has died. The George Harrison Memorial Tree was planted in Griffith Park in 2004 in memory of Harrison, who was a follower of Hinduism, but the pine mysteriously died in June (14). U.S. Hindu leader Rajan Zed has urged Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to investigate the reasons of the death of the tree and plant another immediately. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, tells Wenn, "I wonder why the City is taking so much time to replant a replacement tree in memory of such a well-known humanitarian and avid gardener, who lived in Los Angeles in his later years and died there.

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