Beatles News

It’s been 50 years since The Beatles rocked Maple Leaf Gardens and to celebrate, Classic Albums Live is recreating the last Beatles show, note for note, cut for cut. They will perform the original set list in its entirety plus tons of other hits. It’s Classic Albums Live: Beatles 1966 at Maple Leaf Gardens in concert with the City of Toronto and Massey Hall.

You may have been one of the lucky souls to witness the spectacle that was the Beatles and undoubtedly your memories of the concert are just as vivid today as John, Paul, George and Ringo were standing in front of you then. Let’s walk down memory lane, all the way back to Wed. Aug. 17, 1966:

Shake It Up Baby - by Christine Dirks

We were 14 and we had everything we needed that summer morning in 1966. There were letters of introduction from the Mayor of Sarnia and the Managing Editor of The Sarnia Observer, a four foot long key to the city which we’d cut from styrofoam, covered in white fabric and trimmed in purple ribbon, a card professing our undying love, and tickets. Red box seats for the afternoon concert. Gold fifth row floor seats for the evening. It was August 17. The Beatles were performing that afternoon and evening at details

The 1976 Robert Redford-Dustin Hoffman film All the President''s Men about the Watergate break-in gave movie viewers an idea of the chilling atmosphere during the years of the Nixon Administration when political opponents were followed by FBI agents and wiretapping of telephones was a regular occurrence.

But it became a real-life drama for John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who became a Nixon Administration target during the era. In early 1972, they hired immigration lawyer Leon Wildes because the government was trying to deport them. The case is fully detailed in Wildes' new book, John Lennon vs. The USA: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History (Ankerwyke Publishing, Aug. 7), with a foreward by his son, Michael, who now manages the firm. It's a book that both Lennon and Ono had asked him to write.

Wildes said that at the time of his introduction to Lennon and Ono that he had no idea who they were. “I had never heard of John Lennon, much less Yoko Ono,” he writes. “While I was vaguely aware of the Beatles, I certainly couldn't name any band members.” His son, Michael, confirmed his dad's pop culture blind spot, saying in a telephone details

Diagnosing Beatlemania - Thursday, August 04, 2016

THE PHENOMENON WE know as Beatlemania was unprecedented in world history, and it has never been duplicated. True, other popular performers had generated “hysteria” in young girls, from Rudolph Valentino to Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley. But the public reaction to these charismatic performers was far removed from the kind of mass pathology that the Beatles inspired in both England and America, where uncountable thousands of teenage girls fainted, wept, and peed themselves en masse, even as battalions of police officers herded them behind fences and barricades.

These images have long ago been anaesthetizied into the highlight reel of 1960s nostalgia. But it was all very disconcerting at the time. Journalists compared the sounds made at Beatles concerts to the nerve-shredding cries of pigs being brought to slaughter or the screech that New York City’s subway trains make as they grind along the rails. When the Beatles played Shea Stadium in 1965, The New York Times reported that the crowd’s “immature lungs produced a sound so staggering, so massive, so shrill and sustained that it crossed the lines from enthusiasm into hysteria and soon it was in the classic Greek meaning of the word ‘pa details

A Wirral treasure trove of rock and roll memorabilia - including a suitcase left by Beatle George Harrison - is going under the hammer. More than 40 items, among which are what are thought to be signed photographs of Elvis Presley, the Fab Four and Hollywood legends, are believed to come from a collection at the Fort Perch Rock museum in New Brighton.

They are to be auctioned at the request of the High Court at Clwyd Car Auctions in Ewloe on Monday, after being seized in the last few days. The exact reason for the seizure of the goods is unclear and no-one from the Fort Perch Rock museum could be contacted. One of the lots - believed to be authentic - is a suitcase that was left by George Harrison at a 1962 gig at the Village Hall in Thingwall Road, Irby.

A note attached, from a Mary Newton, says “I was responsible for booking the Beatles to appear ... on Friday 7th September 1962 ... I can confirm that George Harrison left his suitcase behind and despite contact with Brian Epstein’s office it was never collected and has since been in the possession of Mr James Irlam who was a steward on the night.”

By: Marc Waddington

Source: Liverpool Echo


Court win for Sony over Beatles catalogue - Wednesday, August 03, 2016

A merger deal would give Sony full control of the rights to a music publishing giant with millions of songs, including the song catalogue of The Beatles.

The European Commission has cleared a proposed $US750 million ($A986 million) acquisition by Sony of sole control of the Sony/ATV music catalogue owned by the Michael Jackson estate. The merger would give Sony full control of the rights to a music publishing giant with millions of songs, including the song catalogue of The Beatles and music by Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.

The commission found that the transaction would have no negative impact on competition in any of the markets for recorded music and music publishing in Europe. In particular, the transaction will not "materially increase Sony's market power" in relation to digital music providers compared to the situation prior to the merger, the commission said. Sony/ATV, a music publishing company, is currently jointly owned and controlled by Sony and the estate of Michael Jackson, who died in 2009.

Sony/ATV is the exclusive administrator of the catalogue of EMI Music Publishing. Warner Music, a competitor to Sony, and Impala, a trade group representing independent music companies, opposed details

Step inside Liverpool's newest homage to The Beatles.

Sgt Peppers on Mathew Street is a new complex, on the same side of the famous street as The Cavern, featuring a bar, restaurant, music venue and upstairs there will be a Beatles themed museum.

The ground floor, which is open now, will be predominantly be a bar and grill with live music played everyday, with a strong Beatles theme - even down to the walrus on the wall.

On the first, second and third floor there will be a Beatles themed museum, featuring new exhibits and rare memorabilia.

Gary Bond, Head of Communications for owners JSM, says: “We have been working very closely with several experts including Rogue Best, Pete Best’s brother. This has led to us sourcing some amazing pieces such as gifts the band received from Elvis Presley as well as some very rare items such as a pair of John’s glasses.

By: Jade Wright

Source: Liverpool Echo




Is this the greatest album ever made? Here's the facts behind the album celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Beatles' Revolver celebrates its 50th anniversary this year - an album many consider not just to be the band's greatest, but the greatest record ever made. Released August 5, 1966, Revolver defines the second half of The Beatles' career showing how they made a seismic shift from a singles oriented band into masters of the recording studio. Following on a mere six months from previous album Rubber Soul, Revolver saw the band move away from their beat-pop sound into a world of psychedelia, classical orchestration, tape loops and free-wheeling rock and roll.

Crucially, the album saw George Harrison step forward as a major song-writing force contributing three of the 14 tracks while imbuing the record with his love affair with Indian culture. From the opening riff of Taxman through to closer Tomorrow Never Knows - possibly the most influential track of all-time - Revolver is in a select bunch of contemporary pop albums which can be regarded forever as a timeless classic.

Here's 14 awesome Revolver facts

1. The album artwork won Album Cover Of The Year at the 1966 Grammys

By: Peter Guy details

On this date 45 years ago—Sunday, August 1, 1971—former Beatle George Harrison hosted the world's first-ever grand-scale rock 'n' roll benefit concert, the Concert for Bangladesh, at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Actually, it was two concerts in one; the matinee show took place at 2:30 p.m., followed by a second show at 8. All of it was inspired by Harrison's good friend and mentor, sitar master Ravi Shankar.

In November 1970, a cyclone ravaged East Pakistan and West Bengal, killing 500,000 people and displacing thousands more. The disaster and its aftermath exacerbated tensions between the people of East Pakistan and the Pakistani government, leading to a war in 1971 and, later that year, the creation of Bangladesh.

"I felt I had to do something," Shankar told The Guardian in 2011. "I was in this terrible state of mind when George came to LA for a few days. He saw I was looking so sad, he was really concerned, and so I asked if he could help me. Immediately he called his friends."

The friends Harrison assembled for the shows included fellow former Beatle Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Badfinger, bassist Klaus Voormann and guitarist Jesse Ed Davis details recently asked the august subject of their site about writing the immortal song, Yesterday, which has been covered by other artists on over 2,500 recorded versions.

"The release of (the album) Pure McCartney got the office thinking how incredible it is that Paul was younger than some of us when he wrote so many of these classic songs, " enthuses the anoynmous contributor to the home page of the official site.

Thus was framed a question which was duly directed at the now 74-year old musician: “Do you ever find your relationship to your own songs altering from what you originally had in mind when you wrote them?”

“Yes, that happens all the time, " replies Macca. "When I wrote Yesterday, I was in my 20s. So my 'yesterdays' covered quite a small period of time.

"Now the significance of the song seems even more striking because of the time that has passed since writing it, and the events that have happened in my life.

"I must admit, I really like this aspect of songwriting and playing.” 

"It fell out of bed," Paul McCartney once declared concerning Yesterday's beginnings. "I had a piano by my bedside, and I must have dreamed it, because I details

MY SWEET LORD – SWEET SUCCESS - Friday, July 29, 2016

Taken from George Harrison’s towering All Things Must Pass album this beautiful song has the distinction of being the first number one single in the UK and America by a former Beatle, as well as being the UK’s biggest selling single of 1971. George wrote the song, but did you know that he was not the first to record ‘My Sweet Lord’? George gave the song to Billy Preston to include on his September 1970 album, Encouraging Words that the former Beatle also produced.

Billy’s album included many of the musicians that were bound up in George’s musical world during this period, appearing on All Things Must Pass, including Eric Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon who soon after formed Derek and the Dominos. Bobby Keys and Jim Price play horns and on Billy’s version of 'My Sweet Lord' it’s the distinctive sounds of the Edwin Hawkins singers that provide the backing vocals.

Harrison began writing ‘My Sweet Lord’ in December 1969, when he, along with Billy Preston and Eric Clapton were in Copenhagen, Denmark playing with Delaney & Bonnie's band. It was in the middle of a productive and spiritual period that saw George producing Preston's &lsquo details

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