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They worked on the transatlantic liners that shuttled between Liverpool and New York in the 1950s – and every time they docked, they brought fresh sounds and fashions to an eager city.

One solitary record changed Bill Harrison’s life. He was a 15-year-old lad from Liverpool, walking down to his local sports centre, when he heard a bewitching sound coming from someone’s window.

“I sat on the wall to listen,” he says, “and this chap came out in a beautiful midnight blue suit and a pair of oxblood slip-on shoes with a brass bull’s head on the top. I thought, ‘This fellow’s a film star!’”

He wasn’t a film star, though. He was a seaman – one of the famed Cunard Yanks, whose journeys took them around the world, giving them access to the records and clothes you could only buy in the US. The song that had transfixed Harrison was Settin’ the Woods on Fire by Hank Williams, which the mystery seaman explained he had found in Texas. He promised Harrison that such treasures awaited him, too, should he choose to join the merchant navy.

And so began a long career at sea in which Harrison and his colleagues performed dual roles: details

Hodder & Stoughton has acquired an “intimate portrait” of musician Paul McCartney, written by journalist Paul Du Noyer.

Non fiction publisher Hannah Black acquired world English rights to Conversations with McCartney in a deal with Ros Edwards at Edwards Fuglewicz Literary Agency.

As a young music journalist in 1989, Du Noyer was contacted by McCartney's office and invited to interview the star.

In the years that followed, Du Noyer continued to meet, interview and work closely with McCartney, with their conversations covering music and his private feelings on John Lennon and his late wife Linda, among others.

Written with the permission “and blessing” of McCartney, Conversations With McCartney will draw from Du Noyer’s interview sessions and couple "McCartney’s own candid thoughts with Du Noyer’s observations".

Du Noyer said: “Decades of access to Paul McCartney have been a privilege for me as a writer, and a personal thrill as a fan. I’ve now woven together our many interviews, many published for the first time, because - thanks to Paul's honesty, humour and unique perspective – I think they make for an affectionate and full details

THE Beatles are among the stars to have graced an iconic double decker bus but the search has begun to find the hundreds across the country who stepped through its famous doors in the 1960s.

Stockton Heath resident David Thrower, aged 64, bought the Leyland RTL double decker vehicle 30 years ago for £750 and has continued to restore it ever since.

The bus toured the country and made its way through Europe on a journey which helped accumulate numerous high-profile film roles.

It appeared in around 20 films including Ballad in Blue, I Was Happy Here and The Deadly Affair but the main claim to fame arrived in 1964 during the filming for A Hard Day's Night, starring The Beatles.

Sadly, the scenes were edited out from the final release, but all four members, who rode in the bus, autographed the upper-deck ceiling. The signatures were lost when the ceiling was repainted before the bus was converted to an open-top

Source: Warrington Guardian

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The jacket worn by Ringo Starr in The Beatles' movie Help! is to be auctioned. Help! was the band's second feature-length film, released in 1965, and spawned the soundtrack album of the same name.

Now, Starr's double-breasted black woolen jacket from the picture is going on sale at Boston-based auction house RR Auctions. The jacket will go on sale later this month, with the auction running from July 16 to July 23.

No estimate has been given for the item's value.

Meanwhile, the auction will also see nearly 500 other items on sale as part of the auction house's Marvels Of Modern Music collection. Additional items include a 1971 letter from The Doors' frontman Jim Morrison and a guitar owned by the Ramones' Johnny Ramone.

By: Luke Morgan Britton

Source: NME

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Unpublished photos of the Beatles are increasingly hard to come by, but Alison Martino found a few taken in Los Angeles to twist and shout about.

My friend Laura Fleming and I were teenagers when we first pored over images of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in her family’s photo albums back in the ‘80s. I remember fixating on a snap of Laura’s mother, Bonnie Cowan Fleming, getting chummy with Paul and members of the band’s entourage at a garden party in Brentwood in 1964. She looked like Gidget in a polka dot dress from Jax boutique in Beverly Hills. Laura and I were so jealous. 

Bonnie hadn’t attended that garden party by luck. Laura’s grandfather, Warren Cowan, was the cofounder of Rogers & Cowan, a publicity firm that once counted Hollywood legends like Paul Newman, Kirk Douglas, Natalie Wood, and Elizabeth Taylor as clients. The company added the Beatles to that list during the band’s first trip to America.

Decades later—and with a little help from my friends—I’m thrilled to make the Cowan’s family photos and the story behind them public for the first time. 

By: Alison Martino

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It’s one of the great dog-themed anthems of rock ’n’ roll, but up until the last minute “Hey Bulldog” was supposed to be about a frog. It was early February 1968, as the Beatles were preparing for their fateful trip to India to meditate with the Maharishi. Pressed for time, and with a commitment for one more song to round out the soundtrack of the “Yellow Submarine” movie, the group decided to bang one out quickly. John Lennon had notes for a song he called “Hey Bullfrog” and brought the idea into the studio. Paul McCartney helped polish it up, and in one of their typical all-night recording sessions the band worked out a bluesy, no-frills arrangement—just the four Beatles playing together, with none of the psychedelic effects that characterized their work of the period.

During the session McCartney began barking to amuse his mates. Lennon got into the spirit of it, and soon the two were ad-libbing a crazed dog-and-master routine during the song’s fadeout. They enjoyed the bit so much they decided to keep it in the final recording. To justify the inclusion of the impromptu horseplay, they simply changed the song’s title from “Hey Bullfrog&rdqu details

One of the most significant moments in Walthamstow history was over in a flash for one young fan as she recalls the day The Beatles came to town.

The Beatles, a mop-topped four piece from Liverpool, were still just on their way to global stardom when they visited the Granada cinema in Hoe Street, Walthamstow on May 24 1963.

The Granada, which could hold almost 3,000 people, had played host to many leading acts of the period including John Coltrane, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly but the excitement was palpable for the arrival of John, Paul, Ringo and George.

Tickets were 7 shillings and a six pence and had 4,000 fans, some queuing for over two days, held back across the road by police as the cinema continued to show films.

In the show with US support from planned headliner Roy Orbison, the band delivered a frantic seven-song set including, Love Me Do, From Me To You, Please Please Me, and crowd favourite Twist And Shout.

Newspaper reports at the time said that 24 girls were treated by the St. John's Ambulance volunteers for hysteria.

By: Barnaby Davis

Source: Guardian

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We've already glanced back at the albums that defined 1985 and 1975.

So let's turn back the clocks another decade!

Nineteen hundred and sixty-five was when many of rock's titans began to take off creatively, transitioning from brilliant hit makers into true artists who changed the rulebook as they went along.

This was still in the era when major artists were expected to release an album every 10 months or so, meaning that many artists took not one but two enormous creative leaps in 1965.

First and foremost, of course, was the Fab Four. They began the year with the soundtrack to their whimsical classic, Help!. On Help!, you could hear the first seeds of John Lennon and Paul McCartney staking out their own, equally brilliant musical grounds, with Paul's timeless ballad "Yesterday" and John's world-weary "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away."

On Rubber Soul, they took their taste for boundary-pushing to a new level, dipping into Eastern music for the first time on Lennon's astounding "Norwegian Wood" and psychedelia on the spellbinding "Nowhere Man."

By: Jackson Maxwell

Source: Guitar World

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Unpublished photographs of the Beatles taken on their first trip to America in 1964 have gone on show for the first time.

Collector Edward Adams, 55, has picked 20 images from his library of more than 1,000 candid shots of the band by photographer Joe Allen.

They were taken during the first of the Fab Four’s two trips to America in 1964, which sparked Beatlemania across the country.

The collection details how the Beatles — John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney — arrived in New York on February 7 on Pan-Am Flight 101 before playing concerts on the East Coast.

The photographs show the band performing on The Ed Sullivan Show, relaxing on a yacht — lent to them in Miami by furniture tycoon Bernard Castro — and playing in the sea.

They are also pictured meeting Muhammad Ali, then still known as Cassius Clay, at the Fifth Street Gym in Miami where the boxer was training.

Other images show McCartney and Harrison on a train from New York to Washington DC, after their flight was cancelled due to snow, and the band chatting and laughing with female fans.

By: Lizzie Edmonds

Source: Evening Standard

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EPSTEIN: THE MAN WHO MADE THE BEATLES is a window into the private world of Brian Epstein, the music entrepreneur whose stellar career as The Beatles' manager made him a household name, yet whose controversial personal life remained the purview of only friends and close business associates.

This two-hander play imagines this brilliant but troubled man's drug-fuelled final days whilst looking back upon his illustrious adult life and meteoric career from his drama school days to managing the world's biggest pop group. Epstein died in 1967 at the age of 32 of an accidental drug overdose.

Epstein first discovered the Beatles in November 1961, during a lunchtime Cavern Club performance. He was instantly impressed, and saw great potential in the group. After being rejected by nearly all major recording companies in London, Epstein secured a meeting with George Martin, head of EMI's Parlophone label. In May 1962, Martin agreed to sign the Beatles, partly because of Epstein's conviction that the group would become internationally famous. In 1997, Paul McCartney said, "If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian."

Source: Broadway World

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