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Over 900 songwriters or singers have written or sung about weather, the most common being Bob Dylan, followed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, according to British researchers, writing in the journal Weather. Sixteen percent, or 48, of The Beatles' 308 songs are weather-related.

Weather plays a powerful role in our lives so it should be no surprise that the theme is played out in the music songwriters and singers produce, researchers said.

"I think they simply wrote about aspects of the world that they enjoyed or inspired them. They have lots of good catchy music tunes, so that helps too," Dr. Sally Brown of the University of Southampton, which is part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said.

Brown and other Tyndall researchers uncovered 759 popular songs with a weather connection, with about 7 percent of the top 500 songs being weather-related. The group has developed a database of the songs and is looking for any additions it may have missed.

As songwriters, The Beatles made deep connections with their audience about the nature of the human condition, according to Beatles' expert Dr. Kenneth Womack, dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmo details

As any rock fan knows, the Beatles never got back together.

What you might not know is that even partial Beatles reunions and "near misses" were frustratingly rare back when such things mattered (prior to George Harrison's death in 2001).

Which is why the video below is so enjoyable.

On June 5, 1987, three of the five original musicians who appeared on the classic Beatles White Album track "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" reunited to perform the song live at the Prince's Trust Rock Gala at London's Wembley Arena. George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton were joined by an all-star U.K. band, including Elton John, Phil Collins, Jeff Lynne, Ray Cooper and ... well, if you're wondering who that understandably happy bassist is, it's Mark King from Level 42. Harrison, Starr and Clapton last performed the song live 16 years earlier at the Concert for Bangladesh in New York City.

By: Damian Fanelli

Source: Guitar World

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A last-ditch effort 'before their long love affair with the squealers dies out'

It was 50 years ago—on July 29, 1965—that the Beatles movie Help! was released in the U.K., and TIME’s critic had a very cynical guess as to why. “Help! is the Beatles‘ all-out try at carving a new career as a screen team before their long love affair with the squealers dies out,” the magazine surmised shortly after its U.S. release later that summer. “As such, it is a failure, for as actors they are still nothing but Beatles, without enough characterization—or even caricaturization—to play anything but sight gags.”

The second half of that paragraph was pretty accurate: even while playing characters, the Beatles were still unmistakably the Beatles. They never quite managed (with the possible exception of Ringo Starr’s turn on Shining Time Station) to fully take on roles other than their own. But the idea that the band needed Help! to boost a dimming star is, in hindsight, dead wrong. Today, decades after their run ended, there are plenty of “squealers” who still love the Beatles.

And, for that matter, who still love Help!

By : Lily Rothman details

As so often happens these days, the big art story of the moment is, in fact, really a celebrity story.

I'm talking about super-rapper Kanye West's team-up with video art maestro-turned-Oscar-winner Steve McQueen for the new video, All Day/I Feel Like That. The resulting nine-minute opus, presented as a video installation, got a four-day run at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (it closes today).

What makes this more than the most basic of music-video premises is West's relationship to the camera. Sometimes it swivels away from him, forcing him to chase it to center himself in the frame; sometimes it comes at him, forcing him to dodge.

As the rollicking All Day segues into the more morose I Feel Like That, the rapper sinks to the floor in seeming exhaustion, the camera still hovering over him, as if in a kind of triumph.

There is a precedent that comes to mind here. The relationship between camera and subject here calls to mind John Lennon/Yoko Ono's Rape (1969), for which the duo had a cameraman pursue a young woman through the streets of London. At first she tries to engage the camera to find out what's going on, then to escape it, and then at last, as it chases her into her apartment, she br details

He'll star as the iconic singer-songwriter in Radio 2's 'When Elvis Met The Beatles'.

British actor Tom Hughes is to play John Lennon in a forthcoming radio drama.

Hughes, known for his roles in BBC One's Silk and the Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant film Cemetery Junction, will portray the iconic singer-songwriter in BBC Radio 2's When Elvis Met The Beatles.

The drama's writer, Jeff Young, describes it as "a kind of fake documentary" that imagines what happened when the Fab Four met the American singer at his L.A. mansion in August 1965. Kevin Mains, who played Lennon's songwriting partner Paul McCartney in recent ITV drama Cilla, will co-star as Presley. 

By: Nick Levine

Source: NME

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Among those receiving LIPA companionship's from Sir Paul were Slade's Noddy Holder, Travis star Fran Healy and Everyman's Gemma Bodinetz.

Sir Paul McCartney was back in Liverpool today for the annual LIPA graduation ceremony.

The Beatles star was on hand to honour the institute’s new Companions, who this year included Gemma Bodinetz, the artistic director of the Everyman and Playhouse theatres since 2003.

Among others from the arts and entertainment world receiving the accolade from Sir Paul – LIPA’s co-founder – today were Slade star Noddy Holder and Travis frontman Fran Healy.

The other five new Companions were four-time Grammy-winning record producer Hugh Padgham, music manager and founder of Quest Management Scott Rodger, theatre designer Conor Murphy, professor of applied and social theatre James Thompson and contemporary dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre Sharon Watson.

By:Rob Pattinson

Source: The Liverpool Echo

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Organisers of a major creative event in Woodbridge have announced this summer’s line-up – and an expansion of the festival.

As well as music and art, this year’s event will include a literary strand, featuring books about music, with the preview of a new work about The Beatles, featuring never seen before photos from the first years of Beatlemania.

The Woodbridge Art and Music Festival takes place over the weekend of August 8 and 9 with acts ranging from festival headliners to cult club DJs, pioneering electronic acts from the 1960s, inspirational hip hop artists, visual artists, disco dons, guitar icons, psychedelic rockers, and talks by authors.

Ben Osborne, event organiser and founder of music and art collective Noise of Art, said: “The festival will be holding its debut literary strand on the Sunday of this year’s festival weekend.

“The literary strand will feature books about music, including a yet-to-be-released special edition book of new Beatles photographs, and the biographies of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks by Zoe Howe, and Peter Gabriel by Daryl Easlea, plus a book at bedtime session for younger festival-goers between 4.30pm and 6pm.

By details

Brad  Hughes doesn’t need any “help” when it comes to his obsession with everything Beatles. The 14-year-old from Lisarow has been on the “long and winding road” to collect everything and anything to do with The Beatles because there’s “something” he just loves about them.

It all started when Brad, aged about 8, and his dad, Simon, were on a “day tripper” in the car and Brad heard a Beatles CD for the first time. Since then and “with a little help from his friends”, mostly his parents, he has managed to amass one of the largest collections of Beatles memorabilia this side of Liverpool­, England­.

It includes rare comics, books, records, model cars, vinyls, newspaper clippings, DVDs and a Beatles jukebox.

“Dad was a musician and a Beatles fan,” Brad said. “I heard a CD in the car and it all started from there.” He won’t nominate a favourite Beatle – he has a soft spot for George and John – and he won’t say which era of Beatles music he likes the best.

By: Denice Barnes

Source: Daily Telegraph

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ARTIST CREATES THOUGHT PROVOKING COMIC STRIP ILLUSTRATING THE LYRICS TO JOHN LENNON’S CLASSIC SONG ON WORLD PEACE.

Pablo Stanley has used his illustration skills to create a visual representation of John Lennon’s 1971 song, “Imagine.” The comic strip he created depicts lyrics from the song imploring the listener to “imagine there’s no heaven,” “no countries,” “no religion.” Legendary activists for change are depicted such as Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Harvey Milk, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Alison Lesley

Source: World Religion News

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From 2013

These days, Freda Kelly leads an uncomplicated life. Every morning, she drives from her home in the Wirral to a legal firm in Birkenhead, where she is secretary to one of the senior partners. She starts her working day at 9am, dealing with legal files, setting up appointments, liaising with mental health tribunals and typing up letters at a steady speed of 50wpm. On her desk, the stapler is labelled with her name in case anyone should be tempted to claim it as their own. She has been working here for 21 years.

Of late, Freda, 68, has found herself at the centre of some unexpected attention. She finds this baffling. "I mean," she says with a slight shake of the head, "who wants to hear the secretary's story?"

In the case of this particular secretary, hundreds of thousands of people around the world would be a conservative estimate. Because Freda Kelly isn't just any old secretary. For a period of 11 years from 1962, she was, in fact, secretary to the Beatles. This month, she is the subject of a new documentary, Good Ol' Freda, in which she gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the 20th century's most famous band. Despite the acres of print and miles of footage that have been devoted details

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