It has been a quarter century since the Berlin Wall, that bastion of communist domination, came crumbling down amid cheers of jubilant celebration.
But in the Czech Republic, another bastion still stands in quiet celebration of man's irrepressible idealism. This structure is known as the Lennon Wall — Lennon, as in John, not Lenin, as in Vladimir.
Located just under the western end of the Charles Bridge, on a quiet tree-lined street in Prague’s Mala Strana neighborhood, the Lennon Wall is a testament to the inextinguishable spirit of a people who refused to be dominated.
My wife and I once took an extended vacation to visit friends who worked for the U.S. State Department in Vienna. While there, we took advantage of the great rail and ferry service to take side trips to the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I came across a brief reference to the Lennon Wall in a travel guide and decided to seek it out. It was well worth the effort — a secluded and quiet respite from the throngs of tourists in Old Town.
The wall, which sits across the street from the French embassy and encloses the back of an ancient churchyard, actually is owned by the Knights of the Maltese Cross. Near Prague's popu details
It’s time to go back and reevaluate Paul McCartney and Wings’ flawed but nevertheless exciting, and always unjustly ignored Back to the Egg. Released on June 8, 1979, the album showcased a rebuilt Wings lineup, with lead guitarist Laurence Juber working in sharp counterpoint to Denny Laine. Also on board was co-producer Chris Thomas, a former assistant to George Martin for the Beatles’ White Album who brought an edgier style to much of the project — in keeping with his concurrent work with the Sex Pistols and the Pretenders. Paul McCartney’s stated goal, back then, was to make a raw-boned rock record. And he largely succeeded, putting a bright charge into his sound after the soft-rock fluff of 1978’s London Town. Yet, Back to the Egg wasn’t the hit that McCartney’s new label bosses at Columbia had hoped, having “only” gone platinum in the U.S. The album ended up as a million-selling yet somehow overlooked swansong for Wings. Fast forward more than 35 years, and retro-passion surrounds Paul McCartney projects from the same era, powered in no small way by the former Beatle’s own lavish reissues of Band on the Run and McCartney II. Yet, and we have no idea just why, details
Beatles bootleg buffs tend to be pretty particular in what they go for and return to, generally orbiting around a brace of accepted classics. These include the material that first came out on the Ultra Rare Trax and Unsurpassed Masters collections, as well as what may be the finest bootleg trove ever put out, the various editions of the endlessly edifying BBC material. Choice concerts, too, have their day – who doesn't like the full Hollywood Bowl, package? But then there's the stuff that most aficionados hear once and never consider again, despite the revelations that might be gleaned upon future hearings. Fidelity often has something to do with this, ditto a kind of rudimentary quality of musicianship, the twin-killing, of sorts, for the music a post-Quarrymen, pre-Beatles unit cut in the bathroom of Paul McCartney's Liverpool house, in spring 1960.
We're not sure exactly when the recordings were made: likely in either April or June. There is, of course, no Ringo Starr at this point, and these Silver Beetles were comprised of the big three of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, with a musically taxed Stu Sutcliffe wheedling away on bass, and McCartney's brother, Mike, weighing in, too. You wil details
Vincent Bugliosi, the Los Angeles prosecutor who won convictions against Charles Manson and several of his followers for a series of heinous murders in 1969 and who later wrote a best-selling true-crime book, “Helter Skelter,” about the Manson cult and the killings surrounding it, died June 6 in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 80. The cause was cancer, his wife, Gail Bugliosi, told the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Bugliosi (pronounced bool-YOH-see) was a deputy district attorney when he was asked to prosecute some of the most gruesome and unsettling killings in the country’s history.
“When you talk about the Manson case,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1994, “you’re talking about perhaps the most bizarre murder case in the annals of crime.” In the early-morning hours of Aug. 9, 1969, several people entered a Los Angeles estate rented by the film director Roman Polanski, who was in Europe at the time. Polanski’s wife, 26-year-old actress Sharon Tate, was at the house with several friends. The next day, the body of Tate, who was eigh details
Julien’s Auctions, the world’s premier entertainment and music memorabilia auction house announced the upcoming sale of the most historically important guitar associated with The Beatles ever to be offered – John Lennon’s original 1962 J-160E Gibson Acoustic guitar. The guitar has been lost for over 50 years and represents a rare and significant guitar to John Lennon’s history.
It’s September of 1962 and The Beatles’ John Lennon and George Harrison each purchase jumbo J-160E Gibson acoustic guitars from Rushworth’s Music House in Liverpool for £161. Never would one imagine that the guitars would become so significantly important to the history of the Beatles nor engage such an undeniably intriguing story of its future whereabouts. When purchased by two of the members of the Fab Four the guitars were the only ones of their type in the country which were said to have been flown to England by jet from America after being specially ordered.
The two guitars were identical apart from the serial numbers. In December 1963, during T details
It was one of the most famous gigs Belfast has ever staged.
Now, half-a-century on, memories have been stirred of the day The Beatles came to town.
A collection of previously unseen images shows the group playing to a packed King's Hall.
The photographs have been released by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
They show the band playing one of two sell-out concerts on the same night in November 1964.
Around 16,000 adoring fans thronged the venue, many paying less than £1 to see their idols.
The man who brought the group to Belfast was promoter Trevor Kane.
He described it as the biggest coup of his career.
"It is the one that stands out - The Beatles were the biggest attraction in the world at the time," Mr Kane told the Belfast Telegraph.
"They were number one in the charts and were at the peak of their fame."
The gig came about after Mr Kane took a phone call from Arthur Howes, The Beatles' British tour promoter.
"Brian Epstein was their manager at the time, but Arthur How details
It wasn’t festival favourite Mick (he’s a mascara man). Or headliner Jay Z (he could have borrowed Beyonce’s). No, it was Paul McCartney – but, reveals the man behind rock’s wildest weekend, he had a pretty good excuse...
By day, as a successful music business agent, John Giddings steers the live careers of Madonna, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and U2. He also represents clients as diverse as Iggy Pop and Barbra Streisand. His ‘other gig’ is as owner, booker-in-chief and co-ordinator of the Isle of Wight festival. As part-time jobs go, it’s right up there. But it can be demanding. Giddings is the unflappable chap who sorts out nervous breakdown-inducing pre-show problems for the Stones, co-ordinates late-minute choppers for Bob Geldof, ensures Bowie’s backstage buffet is suitably nutritious and arranges emergency fingernail technicians for former Beatles. This year, proving Giddings packs more power than the national grid, his Isle of Wight headline acts will include Pharrell Williams, Fleetwood Mac and Blur. ‘I invite the groups I lov details
In 1964, the Beatles initiated a pop music renaissance and music became important to young baby boomers in a way it had never been for previous generations. Children, some not yet in double digits, were immersed in Top 40 radio, often listening under the covers long after our parents thought we were asleep.
With earnest curiosity, we engaged with lyrics that were becoming increasingly complex, even for our older brothers and sisters. By '65, we heard the simplicity of "Gee, I really love you," give way to "the twisted reach of crazy sorrow." And fresh new sounds and rhythms from British and American groups made it hard to keep still. Not yet burdened with the self-consciousness of puberty, we danced.
It was the height of the British Invasion, and we couldn't get enough of the new bands from across the pond. The Beatles were, of course, a thing apart, but the Dave Clark 5, Herman's Hermits, Peter and Gordon, Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Animals also called out to us. The Rolling Stones had a few minor hits and a TV appearance in '64, but we weren't details
Take a close look at the photo above. See how “File Under: the Beatles” and “T 2553″ are partially obscured? Spotting that little line is like striking gold in a record store, because it suggests that you may have stumbled upon one of the holy grails of record collecting: The Beatles’ notorious “butcher cover.”
Back in 1966, there was no band bigger than the Beatles. The Fab Four could do no wrong: 10 American albums, 10 American hits. With tracks like “Yesterday,” “Day Tripper,” and “Drive My Car,” their release that year, Yesterday and Today, was another guaranteed chart-topper.
Then they stepped into their second controversy, the first happening just three months prior when John Lennon made his now famous “more popular than Jesus” comment. Photographer Robert Whitaker invited the Mop Tops to his studio for a “conceptual art piece” named “a Somnambulant Adventure.” Long story short: Instead of the same old Nehru jackets, the lads were dressed in butche details
The Beatles legend is still nimble as a ballerina and is as fit and healthy as ever - but what's his secret?
Nimble as a ballerina, with the skin of a particularly soft baby thanks to his wife’s moisturiser, Sir Paul McCartney is 72 going on 27.
He’s a father of five and grandfather of eight and has five decades in the business behind him. But this icon of rock royalty feels as fit and healthy as ever.
As well as dumping the dope he famously smoked for years, he has also adopted a punishing daily gym regime.
And so it is that a pair of denim-clad legs and a Beatle bottom are wobbling precariously before me.
One of the planet’s most famous men is demonstrating his headstand technique – “my secret claim to fame” – in the backstage dressing room before his triumphant homecoming show in Liverpool.
It is quite possibly the most surreal moment of my career. Like Macca circa 1967, I think I might even be hallucinating.
“I feel pretty fit,” he says, still upside down with his back details