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John Lennon Film Is Spain's Oscar Pick - Friday, September 26, 2014

Spain's film academy has selected the movie Vivir es Facil con los Ojos Cerrados [Living Is Easy (With Eyes Closed)] about a Spanish man's quest to meet John Lennon as its entry for best foreign language film at next year's Oscars. Director David Trueba's film, chosen Thursday, tells the true story of an English-language teacher from Spain who traveled to the southern province of Almeria in 1966 to try to meet the late Beatles star, who was staying there. Watch the trailer: The movie takes its name from the lyrics of the Beatles song "Strawberry Fields Forever," which Lennon began writing in Almeria.

The U.S. film academy will select finalists for the Oscars in January, with the awards announced a month later. Spain has won four Oscars for best foreign language film. Trueba's brother, Fernando Trueba, won the category in 1994 for Belle Epoque.


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George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison has revealed their son Dhani felt a "tremendous responsibility" to release the career retrospective his father was working on at the time of his death. George Harrison's son felt a "tremendous responsibility" to release his late father's work. The Beatles legend was working on a career retrospective when he passed away in 2001, so 36-year-old Dhani Harrison took over the project and felt the pressure to get as much of his dad's music heard as possible. George's widow, Olivia Harrison, said: "He wanted his music out. George was just embarking on that retrospective of his musical life - he never called it a career, he said that was the wrong word for him - but time ran out and he died.

"Dhani wanted to do it and felt a tremendous responsibility to do it. There's still a huge archive of material that still needs working on. You can't just let tapes degrade and never be heard again." In the sleeve notes for new compilation 'The Apple Years 1968-75' Dhani admits he learned a lot about his father details

Rolling Stone reports that the backdrop – also signed by the Fab Four – will be on sale at The Fest for Beatles Fans, which takes place in Los Angeles from October 10 to 12. It is expected to go for $550,000 (approximately £337,000). The seller is Wayne Johnson, owner of Rockaway Records. Among the other items up for purchase includes a copy of the band's 11th US release 'Yesterday and Today' featuring the rare 'Butcher' cover, which is priced at $4,500 (approximately £2,750), and the band's first US contract with Vee Jay Records, on sale for $100,000 (approximately £62,000). The Fest for Beatles Fans was started in 1974 to mark the 10th anniversary of the band's first visit to the US. In its history, the event has accepted donated musical instruments from all four Beatles, which have been auctioned for charity.

The Beatles' first Ed Sullivan Show appearance took place on February 9, 1964 to an estimated audience 73 mi details

It’s pretty bizarre. Every time I come across someone who worked at Abbey Road in the 1960s or in the film industry in the 1980s, or journalists who’ve trod this beat longer than I, I often ask for the name of the person who’s impressed them the most. These are people from all walks of life, but one person always gets mentioned. It’s uncanny. It’s George Harrison. Olivia Harrison, George’s widow who has been working with their son Dhani to release the former Beatle’s first six solo albums, all lovingly remastered and presented as 'The Apple Years' boxset, chuckles when I tell her this, and tries to shed some light on the phenomenon. “He had this way of looking at you that made you feel you were without limitations,” she tries to explain. “It just went straight to your heart.

“Once you’d been with him, he had this way of making you want to bring out a truer version of yourself, unlocking something. “It was profound and electrifying, details

Conan Kicks Off George Harrison Week - Thursday, September 25, 2014

Monday marked the start of George Harrison week on Conan. Popular music artists will be stopping in to perform their versions of songs from the former Beatle. Today, we have Beck covering the Harrison song “Wah-Wah,” a track from the 1970 album All Things Must Pass. Watch the video above. George’s original version is full of multi-layered sound effects and horns that travel over a clever bassline and rolling drums. Beck chooses to perform a shortened version without the heavy atmospheric sounds, but nevertheless manages to keep the song’s dynamic punch. “Wah-Wah” isn’t the easiest song for a musician to cover, but Beck does a brilliant job.

The other musicians participating for George Harrison week will be Paul Simon on Tuesday, George’s son, Dhani, on Wednesday, and Norah Jones on Thursday. The week-long celebration is for the digitally remastered release of George Harrison’s first six solo albums on The Beatles’ Apple Records label. The eight-disc box set, t details

One of music's monumental figures, the legendary "fifth Beatle," Billy Preston, died eight years ago at the age of 59, but not without controversy.

After a legacy of solo hits and recording credits with the Fab Four, few could have guessed that one of the mega-afro-sporting, gap-toothed artist's biggest songs "Will It Go Round in Circles?" would be symbolic of bitter legal battles for his lucrative, multi-million dollar estate.

On Monday, a federal judge in California ruled that Preston, despite a long history of health problems stemming from cocaine addiction, was not incapacitated at the time he filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

The court dispute stems back to 2011, when plaintiff Todd Neilson (the Chapter 7 trustee for the bankruptcy estate) filed a complaint against Preston's family and Joyce Moore, his long time manager, seeking a judgment that Preston was not incapacitated when he filed a bankruptcy petition in 2005 in the Central District of California.

Preston's trust remained revocable, and the assets c details

Iconic Liverpool Club Jacaranda set to reopen - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Jacaranda, reputedly the first venue to host the Beatles, is re-opening next month after a two-year closure.

Appearing as Long John & the Silver Beatles before changing their name, the Beatles helped to establish the club in Slater Street as the musical hub of Liverpool.

Now its owners are hoping to replicate the success with a new generation of local musicians, even relaunching their famous open mic nights.

Graham Stanley, managing director of the Jacaranda said he hopes to strike a balance between keeping the history alive and bringing it into the 21st century.

He added: “The venue has evolved and changed over the years since its opening as a coffee shop in ’58, each new generation experiencing the Jacaranda in a different way to the last.”

Mr Stanley and his team are even offering local musicians the opportunity to rehearse there for free, in exchange for a gig- just like original owner Allan Williams did for the Beatles.

He said: “Providing rehea details

Mention “Twist And Shout” to a Boomer and you’ll get a shake of the thinning hair or shaved scalp along with recollections of the Fab Four on The Ed Sullivan Show. The more knowing response may even be the Isley Brothers, who recorded it first, in 1962. Ask who wrote the iconic rock number, however, and you’re more than likely to draw a blank look. Answer: Bert Berns. Ask who pulled Van Morrison out of the Belfast band Them and produced “Brown-Eyed Girl,” or who wrote “Piece Of My Heart” — first recorded by Erma Franklin and then made timeless by Janis Joplin — and the answer is the same: Bert Berns. A hit-churning songwriter-turned-producer in the Phil Spector vein, Berns died of a heart attack in 1967. He was just 38 and unlike his contemporaries Spector or Gerry Goffin and Carole King, or Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Berns was all but unknown beyond the Brill Building cognoscenti.

That’s about to change, at least if siblings Brett details

Meat Free Monday recently invited you to pick a lyric from Paul’s song ‘Meat Free Monday’ and represent that lyric in a creative way for their fifth anniversary video. They received thousands of entries, from Sweden to South Africa, Tahiti to Taiwan, with images taken on beaches and gardens, in restaurants and allotments, on top of mountains and even under water! The video features images from MFM supporters, from schools, from celebrities including Woody Harrelson, Joanna Lumley, Twiggy, Fearne Cotton and Sharleen Spiteri, from chefs including José Pizarro and Rozanne Stevens, from restaurants including tibits, HILTL and The Gate, and from many different MFM campaigns – after all “… it’s happening all around the world!”

On behalf of Meat Free Monday we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who sent in photos. If you like the video, if you support the campaign, if you want to help stop climate change then please show your support by signing the #M details

Ringo Starr selling £20m estate - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Beatles drummer, 74, and his wife, former Bond girl Barbara Bach, have put their 200-acre abode, Rydinghurst in Surrey, south east England, up for sale because they no longer spend enough time in the six-bedroom mansion. They told the Sunday Times newspaper: ''We have spent 15 years at Rydinghurst and will always have wonderful memories of our time there. ''It is a beautiful home with some very special features, but we are, reluctantly, unable to spend as much time there as we would wish. ''With commitments in America and our family in all England, we will continue to divide our time between Los Angeles and London.'' The couple - who married in 1981 - splashed out £2 million on the plush property back in 1999 and it is expected to reach between £10 million and £20 million when it goes on sale this week.

As well as 200 acres of land, the house boasts several impressive features including two music rooms, a cinema, a cottage and a coach house which comes with its own cottage and staff quarters. What's more, the abode is surrounded by picturesque lakes, a details

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