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When Ron Howard was 9 years old, he was already a national television star on The Andy Griffith Show – and there was only one thing he wanted for his next birthday. "The gift that I was begging for was a Beatle wig," he tells Rolling Stone with a laugh. "And on March 1st, 1964, that's what I got: the Beatle wig of my dreams."

Now the Academy Award-winning director is coming full circle with his Fab Four obsession, having signed on to direct and produce an authorized, as-yet-untitled documentary about the touring years of the band’s career (approx. 1960-1966), a period in which the Beatles crossed the globe, sparked Beatlemania and released several classic albums (including A Hard Day’s Night and Rubber Soul). For it, he will interview surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as talk with Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison (wife of the late George Harrison).

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Macca uses first guitar in video - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sir Paul McCartney has brought his first-ever guitar out of retirement for the video for his new single, Early Days. Macca can be seen in the video playing the Zenith Model 17 acoustic guitar, which is 58 years old and was the first guitar he ever owned.

According to the Mail Online, the instrument he plays in the video was worth just £15 when he chose it, when he traded in a trumpet his dad gave him for his 14th birthday in 1956. Previously, Macca had said of the trumpet: "I used to play it a little bit. That was the hero instrument then, but it became clear to me fairly quickly that you couldn't sing with a trumpet stuck in your mouth." He also said of his initial difficulties playing the guitar: "I didn't realise it was because I was left-handed. It wasn't until I saw a picture of Slim Whitman, who was also left-handed, and I saw that I had the guitar the wrong way round." The Zenith was used by Paul on the Beatles' first trip to Hamburg, and he composed his first song on it, I Lost My Little Girl.

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The Beatles have one of the smallest vocabularies in pop music according to a new poll analysing song lyrics. The Fab Four used just 688 words in their first three albums compared to 1890 used by Elvis Costello and 1748 by David Bowie.

'Love' really is all they needed though, with John Lennon and Paul McCartney using the word 151 times - the most for any artists in the poll. The poll showed bands in Wales had the biggest vocabulary, using an average of 1316 different words across their first three albums with The Manic Street Preachers displaying the greatest lyrical prowess by using 2056 unique words, the largest number for any band in the poll. Britpop bands liked to keep it simple, with acts that started their careers in the 1990s using an average of 31.6 unique words per song, down from the 37 that were used by bands in the 1970s and the 1980s.

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The entertainer worked at the music venue as a coat check girl in the 1960s so she could see bands such as The Beatles. But Black (71) has been forced to have a hearing aid surgically implanted because of the damage to her ears.

She told The Mail on Sunday: "I blame the Cavern. All those years in a place with no proper acoustics, I think it may have done some damage. "It's no fun getting older. I might be wearing beautiful diamond earrings but they can't take away the pain of losing my hearing. "I didn't actually realise how bad it had got until I was with a friend in Barbados and I said to her, 'Why are you whispering?' She said, "Cilla, I'm not whispering, it's you who has a hearing problem'. "It's rock 'n' roll that has done my hearing in. I went to the Cool Britannia party at 10 Downing Street and a well-known rocker came up to me and said something and I said, 'I can't hear you'. He replied, 'I can't hear either'. He pointed out his hearing aid and told me to get one."

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A young man snapped one of the selfies of the year on Sunday, July 13, catching former Beatle Paul McCartney and American business tycoon Warren Buffett lounging on a bench outside an ice cream shop in Omaha, Nebraska. Instagram user “speeeeeeed_of_white”,said to be named Tom White, writes in the photo’s description “Chillin with my homies”.

The Omaha World-Herald reports the recording artist ordered theaward-winning vanilla ice cream at eCreamery after dining at an Italian restaurant that night. The newspaper aggregated other sightings of the power duo around Omaha’s Dundee neighborhood via Storify: 

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Back in the late 1970s, before the Beatles industry was even in its infancy, if you’d fancied a Fab Four tour of Liverpool it would have been a uniquely intimate experience.

“The Tourist Information Centre used to call Allan Williams (the Beatles’ first manager) if they got a group of people in,” reveals Dave Jones, one of the directors of Cavern City Tours. “He used to do a private tour in his own car.” Fifty years since screaming crowds jostled for a glimpse of them on the Town Hall balcony, and 35 after those tentative first tourist steps, Imagine – a new report on the value of the UK’s music heritage – has put the benefit of the Beatles to the city at around £70m a year. And, according to those at the heart of Liverpool’s tourism industry, we’re still yet to fully realise the special value of those ‘four lads that shook the world’. “Is £70m a great figure, a bad figure?” ponders Chris Brown of Marketing Liverpool. “Could it be £170m? I think the details

July has long been a big month for The Fab Four; it's the month when Ringo Starr was born in 1940, when John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met in 1957, and when the group's film A Hard Day's Night debuted in 1964. So if you're looking to share in The Beatles love this summer, take the long and winding road to Vegas. We'll make a day tripper out of you with these top Beatles-inspired attractions.

Las Vegas Convention Center The Beatles would only ever play two concerts in Vegas on August 20, 1964. But they would break records, drawing the largest sold-out crowds for both performances. Originally set to play at the Sahara, Director of Entertainment Stan Irwin strategically decided to move the concerts to the Las Vegas Convention Center due to ticket demand. An estimated 11,000 to 16,000 screaming fans were in attendance, enraptured in Beatlemania. It would also mark the need for larger concert venues, shifting music's association with Vegas indefinitely. Revisit the historical site of The Beatles' concert on your next co details

 — The proprietors of a Fargo pizza parlor named after a Beatles song written by Paul McCartney say they can't afford to take time off to attend his concert but would love to cook for the rock star and his entourage.

McCartney's first appearance in North Dakota is scheduled Saturday night at the Fargodome, where a crowd of about 17,000 people is expected for the show. Blackbird Woodfire owners Patty and Casey Absey had planned to contact McCartney's handlers about offering the group free pizza. They didn't get around to it because business at the recently opened restaurant is booming. "We want to go to the concert, but we're kind of busy running a restaurant right now," Patty Absey said. "That sounds kind of lame, but that's just the truth of our situation." Patty Absey said they would be happy to deliver to the Fargodome and noted that the restaurant takes vegan requests, a reference to McCartney's aversion to meat. Absey said she and her husband are longtime Beatles fans who consider the music a family tradition. The details

At the United Center, Chicago: When attending a Paul McCartney concert, there are several guarantees: He will play an abundance of Beatles and Wings material, will toss in some recent tracks, and will astound with his seemingly boundless energy. Coming off a recent illness, McCartney appeared trim, fit, and ready to rock as he took the stage on July 9. Playing to a sold-out crowd, he treated fans to a nearly three-hour show packed with memories, emotions, and a desire to demonstrate that at 72, he has no plans to slow down.

Clad in a light blue jacket, white shirt, black pants, and his iconic Cuban heels (aka “Beatle Boots”), McCartney bounded on stage and immediately launched into “Eight Days A Week” for the opening number. He and the band segued into “Save Us” from McCartney’s recent album New, and the live performance enlivens the studio version. Wings fans were not neglected, however: He turned in renditions of the charming “Listen to What the Man Said” and the Band on the details

The famous scene of The Beatles standing on the balcony of Liverpool town hall was re-enacted on the 50th anniversary of their triumphant homecoming. The Fab Four returned to Liverpool on July 10, 1964, for a civic reception and for the northern premiere of their first feature film, A Hard Day’s Night.

With Beatlemania at its height, the band were greeted by 200,000 fans as they made their way from the old Speke airport, while outside Liverpool town hall another 20,000 fans gathered. Guides from Beatles Fab Four Taxi Tours re-enacted the scene today - although to a less tumultuous reception than the amazing scenes which greeted John, Paul, George, and Ringo 50 years ago yesterday. One of the guides, Ian Doyle, said: “We wanted to celebrate these four Liverpool lads who changed the world. “The Beatles were worried about their reception when they came back to Liverpool because they thought their fans wouldn’t forgive them for moving to London, but thousands of people turned out to see them.”

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