Beatles News

Jacques Volcouve was a schoolboy fan of Jimi Hendrix in 1967 when his brother’s friend lent him a new album by a British band and urged him to listen to it.

The album was the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Volcouve loved it. It was the start of a 50-year obsession that has made the Frenchman one of the world’s greatest living experts on the Fab Four.

“The Beatlemania bug bit me and I was never cured of it,” Volcouve told the Observer. “I listened to the album and I thought the music was incredible. From then on, I wanted everything to do with the Beatles: records; newspaper clips, posters, memorabilia … everything.”

In March, Volcouve, now in his 60s, will see his collection of 15,000 records, signed books, posters, autographs, figurines and memorabilia go on sale at the prestigious Drouot auction house in Paris.

To mark the occasion, the French tribute band We Love You Paul has been invited to play during the pre-sale exhibition of the thousands of lots. For Volcouve, the sale will be a bittersweet occasion. He hopes that parting with what has turned out to be his life’s work will raise enough money to keep him in a details

Along with the centenaries of two Russian revolutions, next year will also mark the 50th anniversary of a rather more benign event that, even so, marked the overthrow of an old order. It was the release of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which had been in planning since before Christmas 1966 and burst onto the streets in June 1967.

Was that another “Ten Days that Shook the World”? Well, I can’t comment, because I was barely out of a pram at the time. But I’ll take the word of Rolling Stone critic and professor Langdon Winner, who later wrote: “The closest Western Civilisation has come to unity since the Congress of Vienna in 1815 was the week the Sgt Pepper album was released”.

There has, it is true, been some revisionism about the album (and about the Congress of Vienna) in the years since. It seems to have fallen slightly out of fashion, even among the group’s aficionados. To rephrase Hermann Goering, when the subject of the Beatles’ revolutionary effect on culture arises, many fans reach for their Revolver (1966) as the more important record.

Revolutionary For some John Lennon snobs, Sgt. Pepper is over-flavoured with Paul details

In its ongoing mission to support meaningful causes through the arts, The Jerry Garcia Foundation will host a Holiday Concert at the Harmonia Yoga Arts Studio on December 16th to benefit WhyHunger.

Inspired by John Lennon and his song, “Imagine,” the “Imagine There’s No Hunger” campaign endeavors to turn the dream of a world without hunger into a reality.

The Jerry Garcia Foundation is donating a collection of Jerry Garcia’s visual art to the WhyHunger organization. Select pieces will be on exhibit at Harmonia on the night of the concert as well. All proceeds generated from the concert and fine art will support the WhyHunger mission.

In addition, well-known rock poster artist, Stanley Mouse, has created a poster for the holiday benefit. Mouse has produced art for both the Beatles and the Grateful Dead.

The concert will be presented at Harmonia, located in the former Sausalito Record Plant recording studio. The Record Plant is legendary in the music world and the building has been minimally renovated to preserve its historic integrity. Countless luminaries have graced the studio’s doors. In October 1972, John and Yoko Ono attended the Record Plant’s details

Paul McCartney will reissue his 1989 album, Flowers In the Dirt, with a slew of rare demos with Elvis Costello and never-before-seen video footage March 24th via MPL/Capitol/UMe. The release will be the 10th installment in McCartney's archive collection, available in three different formats: A three CD/1 DVD set, a two CD set and a double vinyl LP.

All three editions will include a remastered version of the album and a set of McCartney and Costello's original and previously unreleased demos. Those include early versions of the four songs Costello contributed to Flowers In the Dirt ("My Brave Face," "You Want Her Too," "Don't Be Careless Love" and "That Day is Done"), plus "The Lovers That Never Were," which ended up on McCartney's follow-up Off the Ground, and "Playboy to a Man" and "So Like Candy," which appeared on Costello's 1991 LP Mighty Like a Rose. The other two demos, "Twenty Fine Fingers" and "Tommy's Coming Home," have been bootlegged, but never officially released.

The three CD/1 DVD set of Flowers In the Dirt will also come with an extra set of demos from 1988, as well as a download that includes b-sides, song remixes, single edits and three unheard cassette demos, "Don't Want to Confess," "Shallow G details

A BEATLES fanclub magazine unwittingly donated to a charity shop in a box of records has sold for almost £6,500 because it was autographed by the Fab Four.

The unlucky owner did not realise the valuable programme was inside the box before they went to an RSPCA shop in Somerset to hand it over. When staff sifted through the old vinyl records they plucked out the Beatles magazine that had a colour photo of a John, Paul, George and Ringo on the front cover. Crucially, the item had been signed by all four members of the group in Biro at the same time, probably after one of their concerts in the early 1960s.

An RSPCA volunteer took it to Lawrences auctioneers of Crewkerne, Somerset, to see whether the autographs might have been faked. After careful examination by two Beatles' aficionados the item was declared genuine and was offered up for sale, with the proceeds going to the RSPCA. It had a pre-sale estimate of £1,000 but was bought by a known Beatles collector for £6,470.

Simon Jones, of Lawrences, said: "It was an amazing find by the staff at the charity shop who showed great diligence. "The magazine could easily have gone on to be sold to a customer for just a couple of pounds.

S details

“It’s a love that lasts forever, It’s a love that had no past.”

When John Lennon sang these words in “Don’t Let Me Down,” he was also living them. He had found new love with Yoko Ono, and his life and art were rapidly changing. Recorded during the Get Back sessions and released as the B-side to the “Get Back” single, “Don’t Let Me Down” provides a snapshot of Lennon’s private side; in addition, his passionate performance demonstrates how he possessed one of the best voices in rock.

“Don’t Let Me Down” can be seen as a companion piece to “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” another song about his love for Ono. In “She’s So Heavy,” the narrator takes on an almost desperate tone: He needs his lover to save him, not just seduce him. “When you’re drowning, you don’t say ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,’ you just scream,” Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1971. In Barry Miles’ Many Years from Now, Paul McCartney explained that the lyrics accurately described the emotionally turbule details

December 1 signals one of the cheeriest times of year for holiday music fans. Radio stations and retail stores flip their playlists to all-seasonal tunes, which increases the odds of hearing “Christmas Wrapping” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in the wild. Putting together playlists of nothing but versions of “Last Christmas” becomes a perfectly viable time-waster. Not every holiday song is a winner — for example, the modern critiques of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” are long overdue — and those who despise seasonal music are in for a long few weeks. However, festive cheer more often than not beats out Grinch-like grumbling.

The exception? Paul McCartney’s 1979 solo single, “Wonderful Christmastime,” which has been a critical lightning rod for decades. Based around an oscillating synth melody that lands somewhere between sinewy funk and space-age ’70s rock, the song piles on sleigh bells, a slightly ragged-sounding McCartney vocal delivery, and very little lyrical substance. That last bit in particular has always rankled the song’s haters. In fact, although the Beatles are generally beloved, critics have been known to te details

As the year winds to a close, there seems to be a consensus that The Claypool Lennon Delirium is one of the best new projects to come out of 2016. Consisting of Les Claypool, the legendary madman bassist of Primus, and Sean Lennon, infamous guitarist of The Ghost of A Saber Tooth Tiger, the two have been blowing minds across the US with their dark and twisted psychedelic rock.

To acquaint new listeners to the project, Front Row Boston, a project produced by WGBH Music and Crossroads Presents in association with NPR Music, was there to capture the Claypool Lennon Delirium’s show in August at the House of Blues in Boston.

The resulting footage is a aesthetically beautiful and sonically expansive introduction to the Claypool Lennon Delirium, which also features keyboardist Pete Drungle and drummer Paolo Baldi of Cake. Those with patience can catch the set on television this Saturday, December 17, at 11:30 PM on WGBH 2. Kindly, the folks over at WGBH Music have made the video along with a setlist available now online, both of which can be found below.

The video that will be airing slices out the non-Primus covers performed during the night. Luckily, many of those performances have also been made availa details

Imagine seeing the biggest band of all time. At a venue near Surrey. With just 17 other people. For a few lucky souls, this actually happened. Saturday December 19, 1961. The day The Beatles came to Aldershot - and played to just 18 people. It's a date etched into local folklore, but for all the wrong reasons.

Friday marked 55 years to the day since the fateful gig at the Palais Ballroom, organised by promoter Sam Leach. The night was billed a Liverpool vs London Battle of the Bands, but the first in a whole host of issues was the only London outfit, Ivor Jay and the Jaywalkers, failed to turn up. And then, when the doors to the Palais opened, the crowd was conspicuous by its absence, with no more than six people stood outside waiting to get in.

So what went wrong?

A mix-up between Mr Leach and the Aldershot News meant the gig wasn’t advertised and the group, who were to become the biggest in the world, played to a very spartan audience. Mr Leach maintains he booked a sizeable advert in the newspaper and sent a cheque down to cover the cost of it.

When they arrived, Sam told the group he’d promoted the gig in a big way and bought a copy of the News, expecting to see that large adverti details

John Lennon: The Last Interview - Sunday, December 11, 2016

On the evening of Friday, December 5th, 1980, John Lennon spoke to Rolling Stone editor Jonathan Cott for more than nine hours at his apartment on New York's Upper West Side and at the Record Plant recording studio. Three nights later, Lennon would be murdered as he was returning home from a mixing session. The interview had originally been scheduled to run as the cover story of the first issue of 1981, but after Lennon's killing, Cott instead wrote an obituary for Lennon and ended up using very little from their conversations. In fact, he never even fully transcribed his tape. On the 30th anniversary of Lennon's death, we present, for the first time, the full text of Lennon's last major print interview: the joyous, outrageously funny, inspiring, fearless and subversive conversation Lennon shared with us that night, as he was preparing to jump back into the limelight after five years of private life with Yoko and their young son, Sean.

"Welcome to the inner sanctum!" said John Lennon, as he greeted me with high-spirited, mock ceremoniousness in Yoko Ono's beautiful cloud-ceilinged office in their Dakota apartment. It was December 5th, 1980. I sat down on a couch next to Yoko, and she began telling me how their collabora details

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