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In August 1966, as the Beatles made their way to Washington during what would ultimately be their last tour, a group of six scheming 15-year-olds from the District’s Chevy Chase neighborhood developed a plan: 1. See the concert. 2. For free. 3. By sneaking into what then was called D.C. Stadium. 4. Disguised as the Beatles’ opening act, a band called the Cyrkle. Incorporated into this plan were makeshift costumes, a rented limo, decoy groupies and the unwitting participation of D.C. police, who provided the fake band with a motorcade escort. Aside from a paragraph-long mention in the Washington Star, in which the kids refused to provide their names, the plot went uncatalogued in the public record. Now, on the concert’s 50th anniversary, members of the fake Cyrkle provide an oral history of how they pulled off one of the greatest pranks in Washington folklore.

The pranksters:

John Koehler: We were all from the same neighborhood. Half of us were away at school during the year, but we’d been hanging out since we were 6 or 7. I think the germ of the prank’s idea belonged to Eddie Merrigan or Mark Welsh.

Mark Welsh: I think Bob Booth came up with the idea.

Bob Booth: The details

These were the sounds that rang through the Bay Area that day: Ahhhhhh! Shhhhhhhriek! Rinnnnnnngo!

The Chronicle’s front page from Aug. 19, 1964, covers the Beatles’ arrival in San Francisco and the nearly incomprehensible frenzy that greeted them.

The Fab Four “made an entrance into San Francisco last night that can only be described as hair-raising,” the story read. “The young Englishmen stepped gingerly off a Pan American World Airways jet — “Jet Clipper Beatles” — at 6:25 p.m. and into a black limousine that perilously resembled a hearse.”

The Beatles were the most popular band in the world, and their biggest fans seemed to be teenage girls and young women who couldn’t get enough of their pop songs and hair helmets.

“Several hundred yards away, the Beatlemaniacs — 9,000 strong — were putting on the sort of demonstration that used to win Academy Awards for Bette Davis,” The Chronicle’s Ron Fimrite wrote. “They shrieked, they howled, they fought with a gallant band of 180 San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies ... and on occasion, they fainted dead away.”

You might not believe details

John Lennon's killer has at least five people pulling for his release from prison. With Mark David Chapman's latest parole hearing scheduled for some time next week, the state Parole Board has received five letters in support of letting the convicted killer out since his last bid for release in 2014, state officials say. The officials wouldn't comment on who wrote the letters, but one is likely a Florida pastor who has written on Chapman’s behalf in the past.

On the flip side, the Parole Board since 2014 received two letters in opposition to granting Chapman parole. That’s on top of 80 or so other letters of opposition in his file going back years, the officials said. One of the new letters opposing parole again came from Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, her lawyer, Jonas Herbsman, confirmed.

Herbsman wouldn't go into specifics but said the new letter reaffirms previous correspondences to the board made public that expressed fears for the safety of herself and Lennon's two sons — Sean and Julian — if Chapman is released. Ono's past letters also expressed concern that Chapman himself could face danger from one of the slain Beatles’ fans seeking revenge.

This is the ninth time Chapma details

The Sir George Martin Award will be handed out at The A&R Awards in association with Abbey Road Studios on November 2. The new annual award will recognise an A&R executive with a track record of fostering meaningful artist and songwriter relationships, who has garnered widespread respect amongst the creative community. The winner will have also helped push artists to fresh heights of success, and continue to play a key role in contemporary hit-making today.

The award cannot be pitched for, with the recipient each year decided by the Sir George Martin estate in conjunction with Music Business Worldwide. Sir George Martin signed The Beatles to Parlophone Records in 1962 after the band had encountered rejection from a number of major labels. The decision not only changed the course of pop history, but also Parlophone itself.

Under Martin, Parlophone transformed from a comedy brand into a go-to artist home for the likes of The Beatles, The Hollies and Matt Monro – paving the way for label signings such as Pink Floyd, Blur and Coldplay in the decades that followed.

The Beatles released a string of classic albums on Parlophone, all produced by Martin, including Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper’s Lo details

Ringo Starr is a great-grandfather - Friday, August 19, 2016

Ringo Starr has become a great-grandfather.

The Beatles drummer's granddaughter Tatia Starkey gave birth to son Stone Zakomo Low on Sunday (08.14.16) which is her first child with her partner Adam Low.

Tatia is the daughter of Ringo's son Zak Starkey, and both father and daughter have inherited Ringo's musical talents.

Tatia, 30, is the singer and bassist in the British band Belakiss and Zak followed in Ringo's footsteps as a drummer for The Who, Oasis and his father's own All-Starr Band.

The arrival of baby Stone means Ringo is the first Beatle to become a great-grandfather at the age of 76. Even though he is approaching his 80th birthday, Ringo - who along with Sir Paul McCartney are the only living Beatles - has shown no sign of slowing down and he announced July that he will go back on tour with the All-Starr Band starting on 15 October at Snoqualmie Casino in Sonqualmie, Washington.

Ringo has a total of seven grandchildren from his three children 50-year-old Zak, 48-year-old Jason and 45-year-old Lee, so more great-grand-kids are a definite possibility for the legendary musician. His kids are all from his first wife Maureen Cox who he divorced in 1975.

Source: Winnipeg Free P details

Fashion designer Kelly Pettit started with a simple question in crafting a clothing line inspired by John Lennon: Can she imagine the legendary singer-songwriter wearing it? She most definitely does, Pettit says, as she readies to premiere her vision at Toronto Men's Fashion Week on Saturday, noting her years-long development process was driven by a deep reverence for Lennon's artistry.

"I always say (there's) God, Santa Claus and then there's John Lennon," Pettit says from Las Vegas, where she was offering a preview to U.S. buyers at a trade show with her company Caulfeild Apparel Group.

Drawing cues from Lennon's solo years, Pettit calls the throwback collection "vintage with a little modern twist." It includes T-shirts featuring Lennon's sketches, dress shirts imprinted with more art and handwritten lyrics (including those for "Imagine" and "Beautiful Boy"), and leather outerwear, casual blazers, sports shirts, casual pants, Henleys and polos. It draws heavily on Lennon's minimalist jeans-and-t-shirt style, while steering clear of more dated garb that could be seen as passe instead of nostalgic.

"It would be great to introduce the high waist but I just don't think the mass market is ready for that rig details

Paul McCartney and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton met Wednesday (Aug. 17) before his show in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena.

According to the Washington Post, Clinton's motorcade stopped by the the venue where McCartney was to play that night and she met behind closed doors with the former Beatle. Topics reportedly included the Olympics, the presidential race and their families. The U.K. Daily Mail reported the meeting also included McCartney's wife Nancy Shevell. No photos were taken during the meeting, but McCartney later posted a photo on his Twitter account of the two with the headline “She's With Me”

Cleveland station WTAM posted the photo on Facebook and got some diverse reactions. “I saw a huge motorcade of police on motorcycles, 5 black bummers and 4 white vans come speeding out of the parking garage near the Q this afternoon. Now I know who it was for,” one poster wrote. “I love Paul's music but like him just a bit less now,” said another. One fan, however, loved it. “Great pic! Rock on Sir Paul!”

The British singer, who has just signed a worldwide recording deal with Capitol Records, performed a concert in the East Room for details

Yoko Ono has named the four winners of the Lennon Ono Grant For Peace, which will be presented in Iceland on John Lennon’s birthday. The winners are Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei, Inidian artist Anish Kapoor, Danish artist Arfur Eliasson and Hungarian poet and performance artist Catalan Ladik. The award is given two years and was founded in 2002. The ceremony takes place in Reykjavik on October 9, which would have been the 76th birthday of Ono’s late husband. 

Ono said of this year’s grant winners: “I’m very proud to award the 2016 Lennon Ono Grant For Peace to these four incredible individuals. To have to label any of them with a description of what they do is both limiting and frustrating, because what they give to our world is so much bigger than even the tangible art they create. Born in different cultures, each of the recipients has shown us the true path of creativity, belief and hope for the world. Their huge contribution to our world is so much greater than the sum of its parts.”

Previous winners of the grant have included Pussy Riot, Doctors Without Borders, Michael Pollan and Alice Walker.

Since 2007, Ono has gone to Iceland to lead ceremonies co details

IN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS for the new issue of MOJO magazine, the two surviving Beatles relive the madness of their ’60s tours, but insist that after their famous decision to quit the road after their San Francisco show at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966, there were further discussions to take their late-’60s music to the stage.

“It wasn’t like we’d placed a wreath on the live Beatles,” Ringo Starr tells MOJO’s Andrew Male. “The rooftop gig [atop Apple headquarters at 3 Savile Row, London, on January 30, 1969] showed that we could still do that stuff. And we could maybe have gone out live again. It didn’t happen. But it was never like, Oh, that’s dead, the Beatles are dead. It was always a possibility that we would do it again. (to Paul) and you, in fact, tried one time to get us to go out again, didn’t you?”

“But you didn’t listen to me!” replies McCartney in mock outrage.

“I listened,” rejoinders Ringo. “It was the others!”

The pair, interviewed in anticipation of the release of Ron Howard’s Beatles tour doc Eight Days A Week, talk us through the highs and lows of the Beatle details

They say that if you remember the 1960s, you weren't really there. A similar thing could be said of the Beatles' last concert in Canada, which took place at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on Aug.17, 1966: if you remember hearing the music clearly, you probably weren't there.

Toronto Mayor John Tory was there: only 12 years old, younger sister in tow, tickets procured by their grandfather "The volume of the screaming was such that you could just barely hear the music," Tory said in an interview with CBC News, recalling his excitement. "To be in that environment was quite an experience. But if you said you went for the clarity of music, to hear every song, that would be an untruth, because you could hardly hear anything."

Unbeknownst to Tory and other Beatles fans at the time, that very thing — the noise that drowned out the music — was one of the factors that led the Fab Four to stop touring and conclude that their musical mission was better carried out in the studio producing albums.

Their last major concert took place just 12 days after the Toronto stop. Several studio albums later, in 1970, they broke up.

And that's why this week's celebration of all things Beatles in Toronto is a bi details

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