We still believe in yesterday. Well, 18,262 yesterdays ago to be exact. Help! is celebrating a 50th birthday.
The Beatles fifth studio album was released on July 23, 1965, in the United Kingdom. In States, where the Fab Four material was repackaged, recycled and retitled on several labels, it was either their eighth or tenth release, depending on how you count them.
Regardless of its sequential place in the band's discography, Help! signaled a dramatic turning point in the Beatles career. The Liverpool quartet made a bold leap from teen beat combo to studio artists. Rock & roll covers were now a rarity, relegated to just a couple tracks on Side Two. Paul, John, George and Ringo were no longer wearing black suits or turtlenecks on the album cover. The Beatles had met Bob Dylan a year before, and now acoustic guitars and frank introspection were working their way into the songwriting. The title alone was an sincerely plea from John, not merely some love-struck ditty.
Days later, Help!, the group's zany second feature film, would hit theaters. To celebrate the half-century birthday of a pop culture landmark, here some fascinating facts about the album and film.
By: Brent DiCrescenzo
The historic moment the Fab Four met the king of rock 'n' roll will be recreated in a new radio play almost 50 years to the day since it happened.
A Radio 2 play will revisit the Beatles' trip to Elvis Presley's Los Angeles mansion with the star of The Game, Tom Hughes, playing John Lennon.
Presley is played by Kevin Mains, who previously starred as the US singer in the West End show Million Dollar Quartet and portrayed Paul McCartney in ITV's Cilla.
Two other stars of Cilla, Tom Dunlea and Michael Hawkins, recreate their roles from that show, playing Ringo Starr and George Harrison respectively, with Shaun Mason as Paul McCartney.
Hughes said: "It's said that you shouldn't meet your heroes, I'm not sure that's true. John Lennon is a hero of mine. I'll never have the chance to meet him, so playing him is the next best thing. I was delighted to be asked and I just hope that in some way I've done this great man justice."
Source: Belfast Telegraphdetails
WHEN Ivor Davis was invited join The Beatles on their first American tour over 50 years ago, nothing prepared him for the wild adventure that lay ahead.
The young Los Angeles-based British showbiz journalist briefly became the fifth member of the band, documenting their U.S. escapades and ghost-writing George Harrison’s column for his London newspaper.
A goggle-eyed Davis spent five weeks jet-setting across the States as the Fab Four fought their way through hordes of screaming fans, bedded an endless supply of groupies and hookers, got high on marijuana with Bob Dylan, sparred with Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) and had their one and only encounter with ‘The King’ Elvis Presley.
Ivor was also on the scene during a night in Las Vegas when John Lennon was interrogated by police after a mother complained that her two underage daughters were being detained in his suite.
By: Eddie Rowley
Source: Sunday Worlddetails
For the 50th anniversary of the world premiere of the Beatles second film, “Help!,” the South Pasadena Library will host a free screening on July 30 following a performance of Beatles songs by an ad hoc group of Fab Four-inspired musicians.
The screening comes 50 years and a day after “Help!” premiered in London on July 29, 1965, at the London Pavilion Theatre for an audience that included Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon.
“Help!” has been screened in public venues only sporadically over the years, and the South Pasadena Library arranged this event with special permission from the Beatles company, Apple Corps Ltd. UK.
“Help!” followed the quartet’s 1964 cinematic debut, “A Hard Day’s Night,” the latter considered one of the best rock music films of all time. The low-budget, black-and-white film used a cinema verite approach, which gave way a year later to the bigger-budget, color production of “Help!”
By: Randy Lewis
Source: LA Times
A hand-written letter from Doors singer Jim Morrison during his stint in Paris – postmarked May 18th, 1971, less than three months before his death – is currently bringing over $23,000 at RR's Marvels of Modern Music auction. The event, which ends today, also features autographed and rare memorabilia from John Lennon, Ringo Starr, the Ramones and infamous punk rebel GG Allin, among others.
Another high-profile item is a hand-written note from John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Beatles press officer Derek Taylor circa 1969, referencing instructions for an unspecified concert. "Audience must not be 'loaded' with 'officials – (Mayors and Kennedys) it must be mainly kids and critics," Lennon writes. "Any charity bits (the gate) only to be known after the event." Ono pens the next three lines: "Don't explain us – John & Yoko. None of Yoko is a good artist bit they ought to know by now." And Lennon finishes by writing, "Tickets shouldn't be too expensive and none of that all Bernsteins and such likes kids getting the 'best' seats at the zoo." The note is currently bringing $1,000.
By: Ryan Reed
Source: Rolling Stone
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Adrian Bridge goes on the trail of the Beatles, 50 years after the then unknown teenagers headed to the German port.
It is not hard to see how five young lads from Liverpool who had barely been abroad before might have been taken with Hamburg. The German port had a reassuring grittiness to it.
It had the raw energy and power that comes with a seafaring tradition. It had creative tension and edge. It had money. It had amphetamines. And it had sex. No wonder they liked it. Like many British bands back then, the Beatles – who at the time of their first visit to Hamburg numbered five: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe – went there to seek their fame and fortune. And they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
Incredible though it may seem, today it will be 50 years ago to the day since the band played the first of what, during the course of five separate visits over the next two and a half years, would be 281 concerts in Hamburg. Their work rate was phenomenal – at one point in 1961 they played for 98 nights in succession, frequently starting at 7pm and going through until 7am. They learnt how to survive on their wits, their flair for improvisation details
"Come Together" is the theme this weekend in downtown Orillia, when streets turn into a large pedestrian walkway to host two popular events -- the Summer Street Festival and Sale and the annual Orillia Beatles Celebration.
All six downtown blocks will be packed with tributes to The Beatles, there will be a "Beatles Marketplace," a giant sidewalk sale, a kids' zone and, new this year, tribute bands performing evenings in downtown pubs and restaurants.
"This is the second year the two events have partnered to host this special weekend of sales and festivities," said Susan Willsey, Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB) member and weekend co-organizer. "It provides local residents and tourists alike an opportunity to enjoy our unique downtown shops and services in a relaxed, festive atmosphere."
This year, organizers have opted to make all but one of the acts and events free, thanks to the sponsorship of the DOMB, City of Orillia, Casino Rama and Sunshine 89.1. The one ticketed event is Replay, a Canadian Beatles tribute band, which will perform at the Orillia Opera House Saturday at 3 p.m.
Source: Orillia Packet
The B-side to “All You Need Is Love,” “Baby You’re a Rich Man” stands as one of the Beatles’ most innovative, funky, and underrated tracks. Originally intended to accompany a segment of Yellow Submarine, the song instead surfaced on the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack (although it never appears in the film). Its place on the former film soundtrack was restored in 1999, when a remastered version was included on the Yellow Submarine Songtrack collection. In addition to being one of the group’s more unusual tracks, “Baby You’re a Rich Man” also holds the distinction of being one of the fastest songs the Beatle ever recorded.
When the Beatles entered Olympic Sound Studios on May 11, 1967, they intended to record “Baby You’re a Rich Man” for the upcoming Yellow Submarine project. According to Kenneth Womack’s The Beatles Encyclopedia, the track resembles “A Day in the Life” in that it combines two previously separate song fragments: John Lennon’s verses with a Paul McCartney-composed chorus.
As Lennon told Rolling Stone, his words poked fun at the upper class. “The point was, stop moaning — you&rsquo details
Consider, in 2012, how set in stone the identities of the four Beatles appear to be. Over two decades since his murder, the smoothing over of John Lennon’s rough edges – those that were the product of self-perpetuation during his early life – has long been completed. The image that will last for thousands of years is one of the long-haired family man, who spoke of nothing but peace and love.
Paul McCartney gets a rougher deal: he is destined to be the uncool, cheesy half of the greatest songwriting partnership ever. Personally, I have always argued for him and against this perception, but when you consider that the guy went on bloody X Factor and duetted with bloody Jedward, you kind of have to conclude that he has made his own bed.
Ringo Starr seems doomed to be defined – via his announcement a couple of years ago that he would no longer be signing autographs – as the eternally grumpy old curmudgeon. All of which means that, 40-odd years after they split, George is the coolest Beatle, the connoisseur’s Beatle. “After all,” wrote The Huffington Post, when previewing Martin Scorsese’s recent Harrison biopic, “we're not hearing about [Sc details
Paul McCartney recently addressed the infamous Lennon/McCartney songwriting credit, specifically, his name being listed second. The order of their names came from, according to him, being late for a meeting between himself, John Lennon and their manager at the time, Brian Epstein.
While McCartney has (more or less) come to terms with it, there’s a hint of curiosity in that fateful meeting, considering the fact that Lennon and Epstein’s relationship has been widely speculated upon both during The Beatles’ career and in the years that followed their breakup in 1970.
Discovering The Beatles
Epstein first heard The Beatles on Nov. 9, 1961 during a lunchtime show at the Cavern Club, down the street from his job at North End Music Store, one of the many facets of his family’s business he’d been involved with over the years. Less than three months later, he signed the group to a five-year deal, despite never having managed a musical act before. Nonetheless, his business acumen played heavily, namely by controlling every aspect of the band’s public image until he was able to present a finely polished, marketable product to the world.
At first, Lennon details