In 1964, the year of the Beatles’ first Toronto concert, the band was playing the peppy ’60s pop of A Hard Day’s Night. By their last local gig, just two years later, they’d evolved to the stranger, more psychedelic sounds of Revolver. Toronto had changed, too: it had a new City Hall, a second subway line, freshly built expressways and all matter of upward and outward growth.
This year, Wayne Reeves, Toronto’s chief curator of museums and heritage services, set out to mark the 50th anniversary of that final show. He didn’t want to just tell the story of a band; he wanted to throw back to the spirit of the city when it last hosted the Fab Four. He asked three photographers—Boris Spremo, John Rowlands and Lynn Ball—to dive into their personal archives, and he combed through thousands of negatives in search of never-seen images. The resulting exhibit, When the Beatles Rocked Toronto (on now through Nov. 12 at the Market Gallery), features three rooms of pictures, posters and other memorabilia. We asked Reeves to share the stories behind some of the shots he unearthed.
“Photographer Lynn Ball worked out of Ottawa, so he captured a lot of Canada’s political details
It’s slightly discombobulating hearing Stella McCartney talk about the challenges of engaging with young people. Can it really be that much of a stretch? Then I remember she’s 44.
Like her dad, Macca, there’s an eternally youthful Tiggerish-ness to her. Is it the vulnerable cast to those cartoonishly large, occasionally hurt-looking eyes? The quick bounce back? The apple cheeks? The stylishly sporty silk track pants, worn with men’s brogues? ‘Flat-fronted, elasticated waist, ribbed hems,’ she enumerates helpfully. ‘I practically live in them at the moment.’
There’s a bit of shoulder robing going on as well, with a tangerine cashmere coat, a lightly tanned, smooth face (does she, doesn’t she? I don’t know, and it seems rude to ask). Whatever she’s doing, it’s all working. She looks elegantly modern.
There’s also the girlish voice, somewhat at odds with some of her weightier, chewier utterances. When she tells me about the way she deals with some of her five- and nine-year-old daughters’ more controversial clothes choices (‘I say to them, “Explain to me what is it you like about that?”’), she s details
For six years, Josh Wakely couldn’t shake his vision of five happy-go-lucky bugs belting out Beatles’ tunes from his mind. So much so that when the WAAPA graduate and award-winning filmmaker relocated to the US with his wife, it became a full-time job trying to convince TV and music executives that the concept for his animated children’s series, Beat Bugs, was a winner.
But as the years rolled by, Wakely’s idea struggled to gain traction. It was during this time that he became a first-time father to Ethan, now 21/2, having also broken many promises to his wife. “I said to my wife after I’d sold screen plays in America ‘Look I want to have a crack at pursuing this right. I think it’s going to take six months, would you be OK with that’,” he recalls. “And then it turned into a year, and about a year-a-half in, when I should have given up, it started to seem like it could be a possibility. “I had my son Ethan and we had run out of money and it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. But I didn’t want to be that guy who had almost got the Beatles rights.”
Given the series — which centres on five insect friends Jay, Kumi, C details
The history of rock and roll is littered with decisive behind-the-scenes figures whose names have remained in the liner notes of history, who have never been given their rightful due outside of the industry. They are the producers, engineers, songwriters, managers, bodyguards, hanger-ons and muses who helped inspire, create, organize and handle the greatest popular artists of the 20th century. Jack Douglas is one such pivotal figure—a humble record producer who helped guide the likes of John Lennon, Aerosmith, and countless others.
Over the course of his career in the music industry, Douglas partied with The Who and contributed to Miles Davis projects; he became a go-to producer at The Record Plant in the '70s with Patti Smith, Blue Öyster Cult, the New York Dolls, and Cheap Trick (who he helped discover). He co-wrote some seminal Aerosmith songs (including their hit "Kings and Queens") when they were at their most drugged out, earning the nickname of "the sixth member" of the band. Deeply influenced by The Beatles as a kid, he ended up having a long friendship and working relationship with Lennon, co-producing several of his solo albums. He was also one of the last people to see Lennon the night he was kille details
A little bit of Hollywood flair came to Cayuga County on Saturday when the actors, writers and producers of the upcoming feature film "The Lennon Report" descended on the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in true celebrity fashion.
Arriving in limousines and walking the red carpet that led into the theater, each celebrity stopped for photos and to chat with eagerly awaiting fans. "Auburn is such a kind and generous community," said actress Karen Tsen Lee, who has appeared in "Law and Order SVU" and "House of Cards." "I just love the lakes and the gorgeous scenery."
Lee plays the part of Yoko Ono in the film that portrays the real and unedited version of the events that happened the night John Lennon was murdered. "It's such an honor to be a part of the film that will correct history and tell the real version of what happened that fateful evening," she said. "It's about the first responders who were on the scene. The real first responders that have been overlooked for all these years."
The movie focuses on the events that occurred the night Lennon was killed as seen through the eyes of the people who who were there. The people who desperately tried to save the life of one of popular music's beloved icons. "This is details
At the grand old age of 74, Sir Paul McCartney is a national treasure, and rightly lauded after writing some of the most memorable pop hits of all time. But as he embarks on yet another gruelling tour, some fans are beginning to question whether he needs help – with hitting the high notes. Scathing posts on internet forums have accused the star of ruining Beatles classics during his current One On One tour of the US.
Sources on the tour have also told The Mail on Sunday that McCartney’s weakening voice now has to be concealed by his backing group and other band members in the sound mix – and he has been urged to sing in a lower key.
On one forum, a fan asks: ‘Would you rather have him touring all the time or saving his voice and making records more regularly?’ Another writes: ‘Yes, touring is ruining his voice (along with ageing) and, selfishly, I personally wish he’d take more care of it, rest up and save it for future recordings.’ A third says: ‘I think age and all those years of smoking… did more damage to his voice than anything else.’ Another suggests: ‘What I find distracting in his voice is his shortness of breath.’ A sou details
What if we told you someone recently paid nearly $15,000 for a handwritten letter? Sounds insane, right? But what if you we told you it was penned by Sir Paul McCartney and addressed to the late, great Prince?
According to Rolling Stone, someone purchased such an item for $14,822 at Boston’s RR Auction. Which is a hefty sum, no doubt, but not too shocking when you consider just how legendary both McCartney and Prince are.
So what did the letter say exactly? Well, McCartney begins with “Dear Princely person,” and then goes on to ask the Purple One for his help in making the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts a reality. Though the letter is undated, it’s likely this letter was written in the early- to mid-‘80s, as McCartney refers to the 1981 Toxeth riots as an event that only took place “a few years ago.” He writes about his mission to bring a Fame-type institute to his hometown, but would need to secure donations in order to make it happen. He also invites Prince to teach at the school once it was up and running.
The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts opened its doors about 20 years ago; however, it’s unclear if Prince contributed to its launch. details
After The Beatles had broken up in the 1970s the former bandmates all went on to release solo music. While some of their solo offerings have become iconic such as “Imagine” by John Lennon, “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney, and “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” by George Harrison, it is Ringo’s solo work that is grossly overlooked.
Back Off Boogaloo was Ringo’s follow up to his 1971 hit It Don’t Come Easy. It was released as a single only until he re-recorded the track for his 1981 album Stop and Smell the Roses. Back off Boogaloo is a tribute song to Ringo’s long-time friend Marc Bolan, who was the lead singer and guitarist for the glam rock back T. Rex. Ringo explained on the program VH1 Storytellers that Marc “was an energised guy. He used to speak: ‘Back off boogaloo … ooh you, boogaloo.’ ‘Do you want some potatoes?’ ‘Ooh you, boogaloo!'”
Many critics and music commenters think that there are darker meanings to Back Off Boogaloo and that the track was a targeted attack on his former bandmate Paul McCartney. This theory stems from Ringo’s public criticism of Paul’s solo albums. The details
The son of the late Beatles producer Sir George Martin has said he is "open" to working on new music with the band's surviving members.
Giles Martin joined Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in Las Vegas to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Cirque Du Soleil show based on the Fab Four's music. John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and their son Sean Lennon were also guests at the Mirage hotel, while George Harrison's widow Olivia was expected to attend.
Martin, the musical director of The Beatles Love by Cirque Du Soleil, said he would consider working with Sir Paul and Starr if they decided to reunite but "it wouldn't be The Beatles". He told the Press Association: "I think the reason you ask that is because 'would it be like The Beatles?' And no, it wouldn't be. The Beatles were four of them. "I love them both and they're hugely kind to me." He said: "What can I say, it wouldn't be The Beatles," before adding: " I mean I'm open to anything." Sir George, often described as "The Fifth Beatle", died in March aged 90 and his son produced a number of tracks on Sir Paul's 2013 album New.
Film-maker Ron Howard also attended the Cirque Du Soleil show after directing a new documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week details
The show unfurled on a specially designed stage at the Mirage Hotel and Casino and maintained much of the sophisticated staging of the acclaimed original 2006 production, but with several meaningful adjustments in performance, design and effects. The music has also been remixed and re-edited by musical director Giles Martin, son of the late Beatles producer George Martin. Father and son collaborated on the music for the original Love.
Despite excited reviews for that first production, for Dominic Champagne, the show's writer and director, it only represented to him about "40 percent of the potential," he said. "I remember Paul and Ringo feeling that 'We were quite a good band, don't you think?' They felt like that 10 years ago on the opening night. We wanted to reach that level. Now I have a feeling this is the best achievement I can probably do. Now I have a certain level of satisfaction."
When McCartney and Starr arrived at the show Thursday, they spent only a brief time on the red carpet. Starr responded to a lightning storm of camera flashes by joking with the photographers: "Everybody send me copies!"
Fans inside the Beatles gift shop scored a great vantage point, pressing against the windows as the details