Beatles News

Remembering The Day John Lennon Died - Tuesday, December 08, 2015

I should have cared more, but I didn't. I should have cried, but I didn't.

He meant so much to me.

But the day John Lennon died, my life and his music were never more distant. On the night of December 8, 1980, I was soldering circuit boards in my apartment above a bar in downtown Washington, D.C., when I heard the news. I was building a synthesizer; I was in a psychedelic new wave dance band called Tiny Desk Unit.

I grew up with The Beatles. Their arrival in the United States happened when I was eleven. I heard Beatlemania unfold on my transistor radio and black-and-white TV. I still remember how the lights from Shea Stadium lit up the night sky when The Beatles played there in 1965. I still remember wishing I was there. I never did see John Lennon live, but his music had been my life's soundtrack.

I was inspired by The Beatles to pick up the guitar and play, as were so many kids of the day. I think the words of the guitar teacher to my mom were something like, "He's got no musical ability; don't waste your money." It took fourteen years for me to get over that, and one day I quit my record store job and decided to be an electronic musician, a decision that would eventually lead to my work at NPR details

Some losses echo like thunder.

And sometimes that thunder can echo for years, decades.

Four gunshots, that's all it took. The thunder of those shots continues to echo.

A tremendous loss, one felt today just as deeply as it was felt on Dec. 8, 1980.

The night John Lennon died, I was one day shy of being 5 months old. At that age, you have no idea what is going on. You don't know that a man who sang his vocal cords bloody on "Twist and Shout" was no longer with us. You had no clue that the artist who gave us "Strawberry Fields Forever" had passed away. It didn't register that a visionary who urged us to "Imagine" living life in peace had been terribly silenced. There was no concept of loss when a father who wrote songs like "Good Night" and "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" for his children had been taken away from his family.

But you grow up. And if you're lucky, you grow up in a household like I did, where your parents were fans of the music. I can remember being a very young boy and seeing calendars and photos with The Beatles on them. I remember my dad pointing to each Beatle and telling me their names. I remember him pointing at one and saying, "And this one isn't here anymore. He died. An details

John Lennon was many things: A Beatle, an activist, an icon. For about a decade, he was even a New Yorker.

amNewYork spoke with Lennon and Yoko Ono's personal photographer, Bob Gruen, about those New York City years ahead of the 35th anniversary of Lennon's death.

Gruen, who photographed Lennon from 1971-1980, described the musician as "very amazing, very charismatic, very grounded, a lot of fun to be with."

He also got to witness Lennon as a father; Lennon spent five years as a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son, Sean. Gruen said Lennon was "very attentive and very caring and very involved" in Sean's life. He made less music in those years because caring for his young son was much more important to him, Gruen recalled.

Gruen, a Manhattan-based photographer, has worked with countless music icons, from Elvis to Madonna to Bob Marley. But some of Gruen's most famous photos are of Lennon in New York City. In one series of photos from 1974, Lennon posed on the roof of his apartment in a sleeveless New York City T-shirt that Gruen had bought for him a year earlier on the street for just $5.

Gruen also photographed Lennon at the Statue of Liberty amid a deportation battle between Lenno details

An auction of more than 1,300 clothes, instruments, pieces of jewellery and other items owned by Ringo Starr has raised a total of $9.2m (£6.1m).

The highlight of the sale was a drum kit played by Starr on many Beatles hits, which fetched $2.1m (£1.4m). A Rickenbacker guitar once owned by John Lennon made $910,000 (£600,000). Starr's copy of The White Album, numbered 0000001, sold for $790,000 (£525,000) - which is thought to make it the most expensive record ever sold. Auction house Julien's Auctions said it surpassed the previous world record, set when Elvis Presley's first acetate recording sold for $300,000 earlier this year. Starr's LP was the first mono copy of The White Album to be manufactured in the UK.

It was widely known that the band members kept the first four copies, but until recently it was assumed that Lennon had owned the first. Sir Paul McCartney told his official biographer: "John got 0000001 because he shouted loudest. He said, 'Bagsy number one!'" But Starr somehow got his hands on it.

The 1968 LP was not quite in mint condition, with Starr telling Rolling Stone: "We used to play the vinyl in those days. "We didn't think, 'We'll keep it for 50 years and it wi details

For those too young to have any memories of the Beatles as a working band, but old enough to recall John Lennon’s death, Dec. 8, 1980, is our Kennedy assassination.

We remember where we were when we heard the news that day, oh boy. We remember the collective wallop to the gut, a blow we’ve never quite fully caught our breath from, even 35 years later.

For my adolescence and well into fatherhood, the events of Dec. 8, 1980, defined my life as a Beatles fan who felt an aching loss that couldn’t be filled.

But not for lack of trying: I read every book. I learned to play every song. I retraced the Beatles’ footsteps in London and Liverpool, first on my honeymoon with a woman who shares my obsession, and later with our daughter, Ella, who has been raised a Beatle baby since her birth in 1997. In some ways, we’re a family of seven.

This is the story, through a Brooklyn boy’s eyes, of the night that forever changed music. It’s the story of how my daughter taught me that Dec. 8 is a day best spent celebrating John Lennon and the Beatles. And it’s the story of a promise I plan to hold her to, many years from now.

By: Jere Hester

Source: NY Da details

"Rock & roll is here to stay!" Yoko Ono asserted on the stage of the Theater at Madison Square Garden Saturday night, telling the audience that's what her late husband would have said in response to "Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert." Steven Tyler, Eric Church, Aloe Blacc, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow and Tom Morello were just a few of the multi-generational luminaries who came together onstage to pay homage to the revolutionary Beatle — the Liverpool songwriter, lionhearted political activist, peacemaker and musical treasure, who would have been 75 years old on October 9th and who died 35 years ago this month. Put on by Blackbird Presents and AMC, the show benefited the poverty-fighting organization Robin Hood. 

Kevin Bacon hosted the tremendous, star-packed event — airing on AMC on Saturday, December 19th at 9:00pm ET/PT — which hit every note of Lennon's songwriting personality, his interests, concerns and loves. In the first half of the show, Sheryl Crow played a rollicking serenade of "A Hard Day's Night," the Killers' Brandon Flowers conducted an effervescent sing-along to "Instant Karma," Latin pop sensation Juanes sang "Woman" wearing Lennon's famous New York City shirt, and Tr details

New Beatles statue added to waterfront - Sunday, December 06, 2015

A new bronze statue of The Beatles has been unveiled on Liverpool’s waterfront by John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird. The sculpture, gifted to the city by the Cavern Club, depicts the Fab Four walking along in front of the Cunard Building.

The idea for the statue came from Chris Butler, Managing Director of Castle Fine Art Foundry Ltd, who was inspired when walking through Liverpool One and saw the huge image of the band outside HMV. He said: “This is a statue that needs no title, no explanation, no instruments, no gimmicks. It’s a monument to a moment and the moment started in Liverpool. “In the middle of the sparkling concrete, reflective metal and polished stone were the city’s most famous sons, and their colossal presence showcased Liverpool’s love for The Beatles.”

The team at the Cavern responsible for the gift wanted it to acknowledge how instrumental the band is to the city’s fortunes and their hope is to draw fans from around the world to Liverpool to witness the new artwork down at the Pier Head.

Sculptor, Andy Edwards, thoroughly researched the piece in order to exactly capture the images of Paul, Ring0, George and John before casting them i details

Ken Scott is a witness to music history. He was there when The Beatles made their seminal albums at Abbey Road. He was present at the birth of Ziggy Stardust. He watched Elton John create Rocket Man over breakfast.

As he recounts yet another story of rock royalty, he pauses for a moment. “You know, I’ve been in studios for the last 52 years and I’ve probably worked for a month of that time. The rest has been just sheer joy. “There are no golden moments for me. My golden moment is my entire life.”

Scott’s career as a recording engineer and producer reads like a who’s who of music. He pushed faders and twiddled knobs on some of the most celebrated albums of all time, working with John, Paul, George and Ringo both as The Beatles and into their solo careers.

Then there were the records he made with David Bowie, Elton John, Duran Duran, Supertramp and Jeff Beck. In fact, it’s a disservice to say he was merely a witness to music history – he helped forge it. 

Now 68, Scott has moved back to Britain after nearly four decades in America. Living in the village of Hampsthwaite near Harrogate, he is passing on his wisdom to record producers of the f details

A drum kit Ringo Starr used to record some of the Beatles' early hits sold for $2.2million at a Friday auction in Beverly Hills, California, to Jim Irsay, the owner of NFL team the Indianapolis Colts. Julien's Auctions said Irsay bought the three-piece 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl kit during a two-day auction involving more than 800 items owned by Starr, 75, and his wife, actress Barbara Bach. Starr used the kit in more than 200 performances between May 1963 and February 1964. 

He also played the kit on iconic recordings including Can't Buy Me Love, She Loves You, All My Loving and I Want to Hold Your Hand. The auction, which includes items like instruments and career memorabilia, concludes Saturday.

Also for sale is a guitar used by John Lennon, which the late Beatle gave to Starr. '[We] thought... we've got lots of furniture, we've got lots of cutlery... and I thought let's make it really crazy and special... like John's guitar,' Starr said at a party on Tuesday night ahead of the auction. He added: 'It's been played twice.' A portion of the proceeds will benefit the couple's Lotus Children Foundation, which focuses on global social welfare issues. Last month, Julien's Auctions sold a drum head from a k details

I spent the summer of 1968 travelling around Europe, starting and finishing in London. I was a 21-year-old New Yorker and it was the first time I’d left North America. In early September, I found myself in a B&B off Edgware Road: there were no showers or central heating, and we ate rare bacon for breakfast. It was all new to me.

On 3 September I jumped on a bus to American Express near Piccadilly to pick up my mail, and caught a bus back – the wrong one. An attractive woman sat next to me and we got chatting. Then, out of the blue, she asked, “Would you like to meet the Beatles?” I said something like, “Give me a break.” But she said: “No, this is on the up-and-up.” She worked for Apple, she said, and the Beatles were filming a promo for their new single the following night. They were looking for a crowd, and she liked my face. I didn’t believe a word she was saying. She gave me an unofficial-looking piece of paper and told me to be at Victoria station the next day at 4pm, where a bus would be waiting.

But it was all exactly as she said. We were driven out of London to a hangar – Twickenham Studios, it turned out. We were a mixed bag of people and a details

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