History is a playground-abused soccer ball, touched by 88,000 grubby fingertips.
Multi-dimensional, vastly panoramic, and full of lies and optical illusions, history can never be tacked flat to the wall: I suppose this is why you rarely see ninth graders with posters over their frilly pink beds of the evacuation of Dunkirk or the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse. However, myth, and the pop that comes before complicated desire, can be leveled, smoothed, and suitable for framing. But try framing a soccer ball!
This particular sphere is larger than Everest (yet simultaneously as tiny as a perfect sugar grain, because it is familiar and sweet on each and every one of our lips). The titanic, light-speed-spinning orb we call the Beatles. Look below it, and you’ll see it balances on the out-stretched index finger of a short Welshman named Allan Williams.
Of all the many fingers of fate, fickle and ridiculous, proud and pitiful, that the Beatles caldera-sized soccer ball balances on, Williams is one of the most important. Allan Williams died this past Friday, December 30, at age 86.
The Beatles’ unprecedented, seismic success and their filigreed, finessed sw details
An old newspaper that John Lennon used to forge the autographs of the rest of the Beatles is now tipped to sell for £1,500. The singer/songwriter, who was known as the joker of the band, faked the signatures of Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr on a photograph of the fledgling group. The image showed the young Fab Four crowning the 15-year-old Carnival Queen for the town of Northwich, Cheshire, in 1963. It appeared on the front page of Alkali News - an in-house magazine for chemical giant ICI and the teenager in the photo was the daughter of an ICI employee.
The snap was taken by the late photographer Les Goode who later sent a copy of Alkali News to the Beatles in the hope they would sign it. It was returned with the message 'All the best from the Beatles,' followed by the apparent autographs of the 'Fab Four' all in the same blue pen. It is thought Mr Goode believed the signatures were all genuine. But when his widow recently took the newspaper to an auctioneers to sell it was realised they were indeed forgeries.
The signature for McCartney resembles nothing like his autograph but Lennon's attempt to copy the impressions of Harrison and Starr were described as 'rather good'. But details
Sir Paul McCartney saw in the New Year with an unexpected appearance on stage with The Killers. The Las Vegas band were performing in St. Barts for Russian billionaire and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich when the Beatle made a surprise appearance.
McCartney played one of his old band’s songs, ‘Helter Skelter’, with the four-piece, who are led by Brandon Flowers. “So far, so good,” read the caption underneath a video of the performance posted on The Killers’ official Facebook page.
A day later, McCartney posted a New Year’s message on his website, writing: “Happy New Year’s Day. May this year be a happy and peaceful one for you and your family and everyone around the world. Love Paul.”
He had previously confirmed his first live dates of the year would be in Japan in April.
In December, McCartney led an a cappella performance of his seasonal hit ‘Wonderful Christmastime’. The new version was the brainchild of late night US host Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, with his house band The Roots providing the entirely-vocal backing track. Fallon begins the cover, before lines are delivered by Matthew McConaug details
THE BEATLES CHANGED THE COURSE OF MUSIC HISTORY. BUT WHAT IF THEY HADN’T?
Can you imagine music, culture or life in general without the past century’s defining moment in music history?
Just try to picture our world without the Beatles. It’s like going down a rabbit hole and finding hundreds more rabbit holes in front of you. Your mind spins, your head hurts, and when you think you’ve come up with a cohesive and plausible vision, the reality of your delusion sets in.
“Too depressing. No Beatles: no British Invasion. No British Invasion: no Stevie. No Brucie. No Byrds. Bob Dylan doesn’t plug in. Depressing,” said Steve Van Zandt of E Street Band and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yes. All of that. And more. Nevertheless, we conducted a roundtable on the subject with several music history experts.
Our discussion began with the following: Without the Beatles, would the Rolling Stones have been the heir apparent to the crown? Would Dylan have plugged in at Newport 1965? Would there have been a British Invasion, or would the California sound — either northern or southern, Motown or Stax — have produced a wave strong enough to fill the vac details
They've been enjoying the sun-soaked weather in St. Barts over the festive period. Now continuing their romantic break away, Sir Paul McCartney, 74, and wife Nancy Shevell, 57, savored in a late evening dip on Friday on the West Indies island. The mega star's glamorous other half flaunted her enviable shape in a demure navy two-piece as she covered her petite frame with a festive red fringed blanket.
Although wrapping her torso, the brunette beauty showcased her toned lithe limbs as she marched across the white sand with her long-term love.
The businesswoman - who serves as vice president of her family's transportation organisation - teased at her taut stomach as her blanket tousled in the holiday paradise wind. Nancy - who first started dating the music maestro in 2007 - held onto her white towel as her wet locks were styled off her face into a sleek look while she smiled and joked with her music legend hubby.
Accompanying his love, Paul sported a pair of coordinating navy swim shorts as he walked barefoot across the beach. The Beatles icon happily carried his towel and black T-shirt as he made his way back to the resort while his warm brown tresses rested on his forehead in a messy st details
The man credited with discovering the Beatles and who became the band's first manager has died at the age of 86. Allan Williams was also the original owner of Liverpool's Jacaranda Club. The Jacaranda tweeted: "Today our founder and the man who discovered the Beatles passed away. Allan Williams, you will be missed."
Williams worked with The Beatles from 1960 to 1961, getting the band gigs in Britain, and in Hamburg where their future development was shaped. Born in Bootle, Williams opened Jacaranda on Slater Street as a coffee bar in 1957 and it became a popular meeting place for many of the young musicians who were soon to make Merseybeat a worldwide phenomenon.
Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Lennon's fellow art school student Stuart Sutcliffe were among the customers and they asked Williams if they could play at the club. Initially, he asked them to work on decorating the venue before allowing them on stage. After helping to secure the band gigs at other venues, Williams personally drove the van to take the Beatles to Hamburg in 1960. But he parted company with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe in 1961. The following January, the band - minus Sutcliffe - signed a fiv details
George Michael bought the piano on which John Lennon composed the classic hit song Imagine so it would not end up in storage and could be 'seen by the people'.
The Wham! frontman anonymously paid £1.67 million for the upright historic Steinway formerly owned by the ex-Beatle at a pop memorabilia auction in 2000.
Purchasing it so it would stay in the country, Michael was later revealed as the owner of the instrument and announced he was going to hand it over to the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool.
Before the auction, the piano had been loaned to the museum by a private collector who bought it in 1992, but when the collector decided to sell it there were fears it would be lost to wealthy Beatles fans in Japan or the US.
In an interview around the time of the purchase Michael said it was 'worth every penny' as he confirmed it would be returning to the city. 'Having paid one and a half million pounds for it I'd really like to play something on it and stick it on my next record,' Michael added. 'So as I'm recording right now I think I'll hold on to it for a couple of months and see if I can get it on to my new record and then it's going back to the museum in Liverpool where I think it ri details
Sam played a key role in the early years of the Fab Four.
A key figure in the early years of The Beatles has died, it was announced today.
Former concert promoter Sam Leach had been suffering from cancer and died at his Liverpool home early this morning, just days after his 81st birthday.
He was famous in the Liverpool area in the early 1960s for his concert promotions at venues such as New Brighton’s Tower Ballroom, where he put on shows including such rock ‘n’ roll giants as Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.
Sam was once touted as a possible manager for the group before Brian Epstein took over the role. The concert promoter staged more than 40 Beatles gigs in 1961 and ‘62. Famously, he organised one in the Hampshire town of Aldershot to which only 18 people turned up after a newspaper advert failed to appear.
After The Beatles rose to fame, Sam continued to devote his life to Merseybeat history and toured the world lecturing on his former proteges. He was a regular sight at The Grapes pub in Mathew Street , where he signed copies of his book, and entertained tourists with tales of his days with the Fab Four. He kept in regular touch with Sir Paul McCartney and details
Sam Wright looks back at the Lancashire music maker who turned down The Beatles
“Just a bunch of youngsters, banging away on guitars, hoping to get somewhere.”
One Oscar, 10 Grammys and more than 1bn album sales later, Derek Marsh may have revised his first impression of The Beatles.
At the height of the post-war entertainment boom, Marsh and his record label, Deroy Studios, existed as a minor Mecca for ageing crooners and ambitious upstarts in the mid-20th Century.
It all began in 1947, when a young Derek Marsh ended his days with the RAF by handling Voice of the Forces, a small, war time recording service in India. Air force personnel, unable to get home for a family occasion or special celebration, would transmit their respective greetings and messages on six-inch records courtesy of both the War Department and Marsh’s technical expertise.
The service coupled primitive recording equipment with fervent enthusiasm, becoming a forces’ favourite in the process. With this post war gratuity, and passion for contemporary music, Marsh returned to his family’s private hotel in Riding Street, Southport, infused by the spirit of invention he had kindled in details
WHENEVER Lady Catherine Mancham hears The Beatles’ I Want to Hold Your Hand, she thinks of Paul McCartney — with good reason.
He once held her hand in a suite at Melbourne’s Southern Cross Hotel.
Back then, Lady Mancham was Catherine Olsen, a young reporter with The Sun, and she had talked her way into a private audience with the Fab Four at the height of Beatlemania, just hours after they touched down in Melbourne on June 14, 1964 for a series of concerts at Festival Hall as part of their world tour.
Like any great reporter, she came to work on her day off on the off chance she might get the story of the day.
“I think we were all fans of The Beatles. I wasn’t a crazy fan of The Beatles but I thought that they were great, and I wanted to get the story because I was a keen young journalist and I thought it would be a feather in my cap,” Lady Mancham said.
“So I just hung around, met the manager and he got me inside the hotel. He plied me with drinks, he drank a lot himself, but I tipped my drinks into the pot plant and eventually I said, “’Right, where are The Beatles’, and he took me up there.”
More than 50 years la details