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Fab Four continue to inspire youth - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fifty years after The Beatles made their North American debut, their music continues to attract young audiences. “They are one of my favourite bands. They are really inspiring for people to play musical instruments,” said Alex Wyant, 11, of Wasaga Beach. “When I started drumming, I only played Beatles songs. Ringo (Starr) is my favourite Beatle and drummer.” Wyant, who won the Ringo Starr lookalike contest Saturday at the Orillia Beatles Celebration, stayed in the stage area to hear Beatles music being performed by local musician Kayla Elizabeth, followed by The Beagles, a band of four young men who play only Beatles music. Carson Merkley, 15, of Orillia, also loves The Beatles and comes to the city’s Beatles festival annually. “They are timeless. I grew up listening to them,” said Merkley, who also attended to watch The Beagles perform. Beagles band member Tyler Chute, 19, of St. Thomas, grew up surrounded by Beatles music. “I grew up on it. How do you not like it?” said Chute, the George Harrison of The Beagles.

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Mark McGann talks about his ongoing portrayal of John Lennon - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

THE role set him on course for a three-decade acting career and gained him an Olivier Award nomination when he first appeared in the West End. But despite the plaudits from John Lennon’s own family – “it’s always a comfort to know Dad’s words and music are in the hands of an artist such as Mark McGann” says son Julian for one – the actor has, he admits, generally shied away from playing the legendary Beatle. He explains: “When I was chasing acting alone as a career, which was actually until about 2008, I had to be very careful not to be perceived as wanting to do John as often as I really wanted. For the obvious typecasting difficulties that it might put me into.” Almost a decade after Lennon at the Everyman, he appeared in a short run of Imagine, produced by Bill Kenwright, at the Playhouse.

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Sir Peter: Beatles should have made LOTR movie - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Beatles approached director Stanley Kubrick to make a film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings novels back in their heyday, according to moviemaker Peter Jackson. The Fab Four starred in five movies during their career, including A Hard Day's Night and Help! in the 1960s, and when they were considering their third film, the musicians went to Kubrick to discuss adapting JRR Tolkien's books into a movie version, but the author had not yet sold the rights. Tolkien eventually released the book for film adaptation and Jackson brought the franchise to cinemas from 2001. The director tells Deadline.com, "The Beatles once approached Stanley Kubrick to do The Lord of the Rings. This was before Tolkien sold the rights. They approached him and he said no. I actually spoke about this with Paul McCartney. He confirmed it. I'd heard rumours that it was going to be their next film after Help!.

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"He was the 5th Beatle – but Brian Epstein paid for success with his life" - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WEST End theatregoers are about to view him as The Man Who Made The Beatles, but for veteran Liverpool solicitor and ECHO columnist Rex Makin he was, first and foremost, a friend and next-door neighbour. From 1945, when he was 11, Brian Epstein’s family home was 197 Queen’s Drive, Childwall. Rex, who was nine years older, moved into 199 when he married Shirley in 1957. And it was to Rex that Brian’s grieving younger brother, Clive, and mother, Queenie, turned when the Fab Four’s manager was found dead in his London home – 24 Chapel Street, Belgravia – during the August Bank Holiday weekend of 1967. The Beatle Making Prince of Pop, as the Daily Mirror called him on its front page the following day, was just 32. An inquest later found that Brian – whose dad, Harry, had only passed away the previous month – died as a result of “incautious self-overdoses” of Carbitral sleeping pills. A verdict of accidental death was recorded. 

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Artificial intelligence identifies the musical progression of the Beatles - Monday, July 28, 2014

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.July 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Music fans and critics know that the music of the Beatles underwent a dramatic transformation in just a few years, but until now there hasn't been a scientific way to measure the progression. That could change now that computer scientists at Lawrence Technological University have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm that can analyze and compare musical styles, enabling research into the musical progression of the Beatles. Assistant Professor Lior Shamir and graduate student Joe George had previously developed audio analysis technology to study the vocal communication of whales, and they expanded the algorithm to analyze the albums of the Beatles and other well-known bands such as Queen, U2, ABBA and Tears for Fears. The study, published in the August issue of the journal Pattern Recognition Letters, demonstrates scientifically that the structure of the Beatles music changes from one album to the next.

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New Collection: Early Days Video Shoot - Monday, July 28, 2014

Earlier this month Paul published his latest music video, 'Early Days', from the album NEW. To celebrate the release, PaulMcCartney.com has published a new photo collection bringing together shots from the video shoot.  “Paul’s scene was incredibly fun to create. It was just him, some blues players and Johnny Depp jamming on set all day. Patti Smith also turned up on set and hung out, which made the crew very happy!” Director, Vincent Haycock

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W Hotel exhibit showcases Beatle-mania in Minneapolis - Sunday, July 27, 2014

For anyone who wasn't alive in 1965, it might be hard to imagine what Beatle-mania looked like in Minneapolis -- but almost 50 years after the concert, it's back in the form of a special exhibit. For more than 20 years, the old Met Stadium was home to both the Minnesota Vikings and Twins -- but for one special night in August, it became the beachhead for a British invasion. "The Beatles were my favorite," John Andradi told Fox 9 News. "I've played music for over 40 years now. I played all their stuff. I fell in love with them."

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With a New Girlfriend, Sunder, the Elephant Moves Towards Recovery - Sunday, July 27, 2014

 Big, Grey and Smiling. Sunder, the former temple elephant is an unlikely celebrity with  friends ranging from the Big B to rock legends. But his international fame had come at a horrific cost. Sunder was filmed suffering abuse at the hands of his mahout at a temple in Maharashtra. When the video of abuse found its way online it resulted in a barrage of outrage from animal lovers. International celebrities, From Amitabh Bachan to Sir Paul McCartney and former Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson joined a campaign to free Sunder. The campaign finally resulted in his being moved to the Bannerghatta National Park outside Bangalore in June. Now, a month on, NDTV revisited Sunder in his new home, to find him happy and adjusting beautifully to his new home and new elephant family. 

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Plugging into Phoenix Music: Working Class Hero - Friday, July 25, 2014

Some people mount John Lennon tribute shows and we listen to hundreds of wannabes and nowhere men in the bargain. But rare are the people who are drafted to chew gum and sing John Lennon songs because of an uncanny resemblance. When producer Gordy Deems was working at Chaton Recording Studios in Phoenix, he noticed the studio's owner and engineer/producer Otto D'Agnolo bore a striking resemblance to the ex-Beatle. Deems told him he should be in a John Lennon tribute show and then assembled that very show around him. "I told him I sounded even more like Lennon than I looked," said D'Agnolo, a notion Deems seconded when he heard D'Agnolo's own original music recorded under the pseudonym Caesar Bach. As one reviewer observed of that album, "It sounds like John Lennon trying to sing like George Harrison." 

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Paul McCartney recording with Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry - Friday, July 25, 2014

The Beatles legend recently headed to the U.S. to restart his postponed tour after a bout of ill health which landed him in hospital in Japan. It has now emerged McCartney has been taking part in secret studio sessions with a trio of famous stars inbetween his tour dates. Perry reveals the group recorded together but he refuses to give any more detail about the top secret project, telling the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, "It's the great ego leveler. I was in the studio with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, playing guitar, and the three of us are looking at each other like, hey, we're sitting here with Paul McCartney! And we're all looking at each other like open-mouthed kids.

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