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"My original idea for the cover was better – decapitate Paul," John Lennon once cracked while discussing Yesterday and Today, a 1966 collection of assorted recent Beatles tracks cobbled together for the North American market. Joking aside, his concept is almost tame compared with the photo that ultimately graced the LP upon its release that June. Fans seeking the aggressively inoffensive hit "Yesterday" name-checked in the title were shocked to find a grotesque tableau starring the group, clad in white butcher coats, snickering like naughty (murderous, even) schoolboys while draped in slabs of raw meat and cigarette-burned doll parts. Lennon could have drawn and quartered his bandmates and it might have inspired less outrage. 

Half a century later, the image of a cheerful Fab Four posing post-baby-slaughter remains unspeakably bizarre. Though the cover was immediately withdrawn, the fact that it was produced at all is a testament to the band's unprecedented status. You couldn't show a toilet seat on an album cover in 1966, and it would be a decade before punk rockers approached this level of public provocation. Yet there sat the Beatles, gleeful among the carnage.

The so-called "butcher" cover vaulted details

Originally published in December of 1989 upon Paul's return to touring after a long haitus.

For a subatomic fraction of an instant, in a narrow gray cinderblock room so spartan that he must place his tea and biscuits on the middle cushion of the couch, Paul McCartney frowns.

So yes, those famous rising eyebrows move inward as well. The smiling mouth also turns down. How about that? A moment to remember, this, because for 25 years, in tiny gray rooms and on great floodlit soundstages, Paul McCartney has looked as unfailingly cheerful as one would expect from a man who once addressed a whimsical love song to his Old English Sheepdog.

But at this moment he’s preparing to shoo away something rather less pleasant: Paul, The Cute Beatle. “I’m comfortable with people still seeing me as ‘The Beatle,’” he says. “It’s like, once Greta Garbo, always Greta Garbo. You want to be alone, you’re still Greta Garbo. Once Brigitte Bardot, always Brigitte Bardot, even when you’re saving baby seals. “But I’m not comfortable with being ‘The Cute Beatle.’ I’ve never really thought I was ‘cute,’ though I guess some people think details

Sony/ATV Music Publishing -- long the market leader -- has enlisted global branding, licensing and rights management firm Epic Rights to help put the lyrics of some of the most classic Beatles songs on everyday products. The arrangement, announced on Wednesday, is specific to John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s Northern Songs catalog, comprised of more than 180 tracks.

Epic Rights will be charged with developing the licensing program, which could result in a flood of Beatles lyrics on things like thoughtful greeting cards ("Hey Jude"), door mats ("Hello Goodbye") or coffee ("A Day in the Life").

"We envision a broad licensed products campaign that encompasses everything from apparel, accessories and wall art to home electronics, gifts, stationery, and more," commented Lisa Streff, Epic Rights' executive vp of global licensing. "From All You Need is Love to Hey Jude, the opportunities to develop high quality merchandise that incorporates the words and sentiments of Paul McCartney and John Lennon's lyrics are limitless."

Epic Rights will unveil the officially dubbed Lyrics Written by Lennon & McCartney program at the upcoming Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Epic CEO Dell Furano praised the arrangement, details

In the spring of 1966, Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys flew over to London. An acetate of the yet-to-be-released Pet Sounds was tucked securely under his arm. Like a high-ranking diplomat on a crucial mission, he had one and only one urgent assignment: to play the pioneering LP for John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles.

When they heard it, Lennon and McCartney immediately understood that a new standard had been set for album-length pop music. But just as significantly, they also grasped the conceptual core of the album: The Beach Boys’ master composer and artistic strategist, Brian Wilson, had created a work that lovingly integrated a century of American pop, vaudeville, classical and folk tics into a user-friendly avant-psychedelic landscape.

Even more remarkably, this modernist valentine to the past never seemed pretentious, not even for one moment. Lennon and McCartney also understood that Brian Wilson had the courage to make music that reflected the cultural DNA inside every American musician, even citing the genes that had been discarded as unhip or archaic. Within hours, Lennon and McCartney decided to attempt to do something very similar.

They would make a state-of-the-art pop album details

It sounds outlandish, but the possibility that Sir Paul’s missing bass guitar is somewhere in Ottawa is raised in a massive new biography titled Paul McCartney: The Life by Philip Norman.

The instrument, as much a part of the Beatles’ early image as mop haircuts and cuban-heeled boots, was played by McCartney throughout the Cavern Club era in Liverpool. Made by the Hofner company, the bass was stolen from the band’s Get Back/Let It Be sessions in 1969. Its whereabouts remain unknown — until now, presumably.

There were actually two violin basses. The first, bought by McCartney in Hamburg in 1962 is the missing instrument. In 1963, Hofner gave McCartney an improved model as a reward for making the brand world famous. McCartney still plays the 1963 model at concerts, as he did at his 2013 show in Ottawa. It is insured for more than $4 million.

The older instrument, referred to as “the Cavern bass” by Beatles historians, has never been recovered. The notion that it’s in Ottawa seems as out-there as the Paul-is-dead hoax started by U.S. college students half-a-century ago.

Yet in the book, Norman relates how new information about the Cavern bass came to him fr details

The Beatles’ Casinos - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

John Lennon with his Epiphone Casino in December, 1968, on the set of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus.” Of all the guitars the Beatles made famous, the only one that John, Paul and George had in common was the Epiphone Casino. Each owned a Casino and used it for countless recordings and performances.

Paul McCartney was the first Beatle to acquire a Casino. Influenced to purchase it by his friend, blues musician John Mayall, McCartney said, “You’d go back to his place and he’d sit you down, give you a drink, and say, ‘Just check this out.’ He’d go over to his [tape] deck, and for hours blast you with B.B. King, Eric Clapton… he was sort of showing me where all of Eric’s stuff was from. He gave me a little evening’s education. I was turned on after that, and [bought] an Epiphone.” Mayall recalls the late-night record sessions. “I showed him my hollowbody guitar that I’d bought when I was in the army in Japan in 1955. When people get together and listen to records, they talk about all kinds of things related to the music, so obviously we must have touched upon the instruments and it struck home. He got a hollowbody after to get that tone details

Henry McCullough has died aged 72. Paul McCartney paid tribute to the Northern Irish musician who also toured with Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd and played lead guitar on the orginal Jesus Christ Superstar rock opera.

The musician survived a serious heart attack in November, 2012, and his death had been mistakenly reported two months later. He never fully recovered and died at home this morning.

McCullough is most famous for playing on the huge Wings hit Live And Let Die with McCartney's band Wings. McCartney said he was "very sad" on hearing the news. The Beatles legend added: "He was a pleasure to work with, a super talented musician with a lovely sense of humour. "The solo he played on My Love was a classic that he made up on the spot in front of a live orchestra. Our deepest sympathies from my family to his."

My Love was No1 hit in the US. As well as playing on some of Wings' biggest hits, McCullough toured with the band throughout the early 1970s. The session guitarist also played with other music legends, including Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd. Van Morrison also paid tribute, saying: "I know he had some difficult times recently, but he will be remembered for his long and productive career in music. "M details

Ringo Starr, who spreads a message of peace and love every year on his birthday in July, said he wants that message to hit home even harder this year in the wake of Sunday's Orlando shooting.

Starr said in an interview Monday that he doesn't understand the attack that left 49 victims dead and more than 50 hurt.

"I don't understand that mindset that you could decide to injure and kill a lot of innocent people. I'm really not a supporter of wars either, but you can understand there's two sides having a go at each other. But this is so random," Starr told The Associated Press.

"It's a difficult situation because it just happens," he continued. "Some guy — so far it's always some guy isn't it, not some girl — gets up in the morning and maybe is mad, maybe is angry — we don't know, I don't know — and decides to cause a lot of hurt, you know. It's sad."

Starr says that's why his message of peace and love is so important. At noon on July 7 — his 76th birthday — the former Beatle is asking everyone to take a moment to ask for peace and love.

He's been holding the event since 2008 and has celebrated in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, Tennessee, Hambur details

Paul McCartney has discussed his creative process in depth in a new interview, where he's also revealed just much he misses working with John Lennon.

The legendary songwriter opened up about his past and present methods of writing music, as well as the varying levels of confidence he has in his own ability. McCartney, who released a new box set, 'Pure McCartney', today, gave a candid assessment of his experiences of songwriting over his long and prestigious musical career.

In this new interview with NPR for their All Songs +1 podcast, McCartney said that, with songwriting, "You never get it down. I don't know how to do this. You'd think I do, but it's not one of these things you ever really know how to do."

He also opened up about missing John Lennon in a creative sense, saying that he hasn't changed his method of songwriting since he first devised it with his fellow Beatle. "If I was to sit down and write a song now, I'd use my usual method: I'd either sit down with a guitar or at the piano and just look for melodies, chord shapes, musical phrases, some words, a thought just to get started with," McCartney said. "And then I just sit with it to work it out, like I'm writing an essay or doing a crossword details

If all that wasn't enough, Sir Paul McCartney's daughter is also proud to be vegetarian - and even prouder that her pioneering mum Linda started her own veggie food range when such things were unheard of.

A quarter of a century later, Linda McCartney Foods (LMF) is a major part of a burgeoning UK vegetarian food market that has almost quadrupled since the range was launched.

Mary is rightfully proud of Linda's achievements, and the way she shared her environmentally-friendly ethos with her family and brought vegetarian diets to the wider public. Since LMF launched in 1991, the number of vegetarians in the UK has doubled, from 6% of the population to 12%. "She didn't even realise what a food revolutionary she was," says Mary proudly. "Vegetarian food ranges are quite mainstream now, but when she started, it was completely unheard of to have a range like that. I think we're all quite proud of it, and we want to work to ensure it carries on her ethics."

Along with being a successful photographer and writing vegetarian cookbooks, strong ethics are something else Mary (46), shares with her mum, who died from breast cancer in 1998.

She explains that her fundamental reasons for championing a meat-f details

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