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Was 1966 pop music’s greatest year? - Sunday, January 31, 2016

On 10 June, 1966, The Beatles released their 12th single, Paperback Writer. Relegated to the B-side was Rain, an altogether stranger song that signalled a sea-change in the Beatles music and in their collective consciousness. Written in the wake of John Lennon’s first encounters with LSD, its metaphorical language and richly textured musical backdrop – the basic track recorded, then slowed down, the vocals multi-tracked and set against a droning guitar and pulsing bass – was an evocation of the hallucinogenic experience.

Rain was a signal of what was to come: Revolver. Released on 5 August, 1966, it changed everything, shifting the locus of pop from the single to the album, and announcing a period of intense creative momentum that arguably has not been equalled since.

Alongside the more meanderingly brilliant White Album from 1968, Revolver is The Beatles’ album I return to most. Listening to it 50 years on, there is a freshness to it that is remarkable, but it also speaks about another time, and another pop culture, that was more idealistic, adventurous and altogether less narcissistic than today’s. As Beatles scholar Ian MacDonald notes inhis illuminating close-reading of their so details

The Beatles' rooftop concert was the climax of a project originally titled Get Back. It was conceived as exactly that, a return to their rock roots in a desperate effort to restore unity when business and personal chaos threatened to destroy the band. A documentary crew filmed the Beatles rehearsing and recording new material for an "honest" album, free from the studio wizardry that had dominated their recent work. The experience pushed the group to the point of disintegration, but they needed an end to the film. 

So 47 years ago — on January 30th, 1969 — the band climbed five stories to the top of their Apple Corps headquarters and played their last concert together. The album and film were ultimately released in May 1970 as Let It Be, their swan song. Here are 15 little-known facts about the Beatles' final bow on the world stage. 

The concert was originally going to take place in an ancient amphitheater.

Or on a cruise ship. Or in the desert. The Beatles had many ideas about where to perform the climactic concert for their new film — too many ideas. London venues like the Palladium and the Roundhouse were some of the more levelheaded propositions, but most were pretty far-ou details

Which band member wrote the most of The Fab Four's 310 songs? How many Beatles songs weren't written about love? And how much did Ringo actually contribute to the band?

These questions were once fertile ground for many a furious pub debate, but now, in the glorious information age that we presently inhabit, we simply look to the internet for the definitive answers to these sorts of big questions. And our search for Beatles knowledge has just dramatically shortened - may we present to you: the Beatles analysis graph.

Complied by analytical artist Adam E. McCann for the interactive data visualisation site Tableau, the Beatles Analysis visual is quite something: stocked full of mountains of data about almost everything Paul, John, George and even Ringo ever did, it reels through stats on lyrical vocabulary, song meanings, chart positions, and much, much more. It truly is something that you could lose hours of your life to - so why not go ahead and do just that right now?

 

By: Sam Moore

Source: NME

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51 years after the Beatles played the Indianapolis State Fair on September 3rd, 1964 and 46 years after the Beatles were photographed crossing Abbey Road in Northwest London, America's self-proclaimed first and only full-time Beatles scholar, Aaron Krerowicz, has returned to live right here in Indiana, our very own Crossroads of America.

Winter Solstice in Indianapolis: I trample rainy streets and brave unseasonably warm temperatures in Broad Ripple to talk with Krerowicz at Yats – and to dine while dishing on the Fab Four. Krerowicz stands 6'4", so I easily spot him in the crowd. He order, we found a table and promptly agree Yats ranks high on the favorite cuisine list. He devoured chili cheese etouffee with extra bread. (Smart man.)

Born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Krerowicz deftly exited at 18 for the wilds of Indianapolis to attend Butler University for a degree in Music Theory and Composition, then headed east to Massachusetts and Connecticut for graduate degrees in Music Composition.

He decided to use that education and leave all part-time jobs behind to hit the lecture circuit full-time for his passion. He has three self-published books: The Beatles & The Avant-Garde, From the Shad details

The EP by music collective Mercblecket was released in 1964, a full three years before the Fab Four unveiled their creative tour-de-force, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, in 1967. The Mercblecket EP, which ironically features the band performing covers of four Beatles songs and is titled Mercblecket Beats The Beatles, has a cover featuring several of the musicians standing centre-stage in front of a bass drum daubed with the band's name, while wearing military guardsman's jackets. They are flanked on either side and behind by other members of the group.

The Sgt. Pepper cover famously features the Fab Four wearing guardsman's jackets while standing in front of a bass drum daubed with the album's title. On both sides, and behind them, is an array of black and white cutouts of the band's heroes. Although the sleeve was designed by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, they were working from an ink drawing by MCCartney showing the basic concept for the artwork.

It is believed a member of Mercblecket, Roger Wallis, gave MCCartney a copy of the record when The Beatles visited Sweden in 1964. Record dealer Jorgen Johansson has tracked down a rare copy and is trying to unravel the mystery.

Source: Contact Music details

Elton John intimidated by John Lennon - Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sir Elton John was "quite intimidated" by John Lennon.

The 'Rocket Man' hitmaker used to enjoy hanging out with the late Beatles legend - whose last public performance came with Elton in New York's Madison Square Gardens in 1974 - but admits he was wary of his "abrasive" humour, though he only ever saw the "kind" side of his pal.

He said: "We got on like a house on fire. We hung out for a couple of years. "[I don't know why we got on so well] Sense of humour? I found him very kind, very funny, I don't know why we clicked by we did, and he clicked with my band and the people around me. And we had so much fun.

"I was quite intimidated by him because I knew he was razor sharp and could be abrasive, but that side of him never came out with me, only the kind side and the funny side." Elton was also intimidated when he worked with one of his performing idols, the late Nina Simone, when she sang at Sting and wife Trudy Styler's biannual Rock the Rainforest gig at New York's Carnegie Hall in 2002.

He recalled: "I played on Nina Simone's last gig at the Rainforest [benefit] and Elizabeth Taylor did her last work with me, in 'Original Sin' in the video, so three incredible legends, I did their last thing w details

What may be the world’s most famous car is outta sight most of the time but it is not forgotten.

The Royal B.C. Museum has posted the job of caring for the mechanical needs of its bright yellow 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, first owned and customized by Beatle John Lennon. Jim Walters, owner of Bristol Motors, which specializes in Rolls-Royce and Bentley vehicles, was the car’s caretaker between 1993 and 2015. B.C. regulations now require the opportunity to be posted publicly, he said.

Walters plans to apply.

The museum intends to line up mechanical services as needed for three years, with options to renew for two one-year periods, bid documents state. The closing date is Feb. 18. Walters’s time with the car started after he was contacted 23 years ago to do some work on a Rolls. Entering an underground parking lot, he was “flabbergasted” to see Lennon’s car. “To be asked to look after the car was a mind-blowing experience.”

Under an agreement with the museum, Walters stored the car for free, paid its insurance and was able to use it in advertising. That eventually turned into a paid arrangement. Lennon’s Rolls was a gift from Vancouver businessm details

Ringo Starr's Liverpool birthplace is likely to be saved after years of uncertainty and wrangling.

Liverpool City Council is being asked to approve proposals by developers Place First to demolish and refurbish terraces in the Welsh Streets district. Some homes will be knocked together to appeal to families, while others will be knocked down.

Last year, then Communities Secretary Eric Pickles overturned his planning inspector's backing for a housing plan.

The streets are known as Welsh Streets as they are named after the Welsh towns of the construction workers who built the terraces in the 19th Century.

Ringo Starr used to live at 9 Madryn Street - which is one of the 200 homes that would be refurbished. Sources differ on how long Starr lived there, with some suggestions it was three years before his family moved to nearby Admiral Grove, where he was living as a teenager shortly before The Beatles found fame.

'Insult to injury' Joe Anderson, Liverpool's Mayor, said 80% of residents backed the original plans for this area. "As a result of the prevarication over this scheme from different outside interest groups, we have lost a £13m government grant," he said. "However, given that the details

The Beatles Story has been shortlisted for national awards for two campaigns it has run in the past year.

The Albert Dock attraction’s Imagine No Food Poverty and Beatles Ambassadors campaigns are in the running for the accolades. It is shortlisted for Integrated Campaign of The Year and Digital Campaign of the Year for its Imagine No Food Poverty and Beatles Ambassadors campaigns in the Marketing Minds Awards.

A chocolate brownie was created by Merseyside charity Can Cook to sell at The Beatles Story to celebrate what would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday.

Proceeds from the 1,200 sold since October have paid for almost 600 meals to feed those in need in Merseyside.

Meanwhile the Beatles Ambassadors competition saw people from 52 countries all over the world compete to be named the biggest Beatles fan. There were 25 Ambassadors chosen, while the ultimate prize was presented to Tere Chacon, from Mexico.

The Imagine No Food Poverty Campaign is also shortlisted in the Marketing Campaign of the Year SME in the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Awards. Beatles Story marketing manager Diane Glover said: “We’re immensely proud to have been shortlisted for three details

IS Paul McCartney being a rock tease?

The 73 year old former Beatle posted a vintage photo of him draped in an Australian flag on his social media accounts yesterday. “Salutations to our cousins down under on Australia Day,” the message read. “Have a great one. Watch out for flying Kangaroos!”

The post, presumably by McCartney’s digital team, was flooded with comments from Australian fans hoping it meant he was finally ready to return down under. McCartney has not mentioned the occasion in the past. McCartney’s last Australian tour was in 1993, but whispers suggest he may be back at the end of 2016.

However the flag photo he used was taken 14 years ago to promote a cancelled Australian tour, which opened old wounds for some bitter fans.

Two shows in Melbourne for November 2002 were abruptly cancelled just a month before they were due to take place. McCartney cited the Bali bombing (which had taken place a fortnight before) as the reason and the fact he felt Australia was still in need of healing, not hearing Hey Jude. “This is not the appropriate time for a rock show,” McCartney said in a statement. He gave no date for a rescheduled event and said & details

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