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Paul McCartney met two of the women who helped inspire the Beatles' White Album classic "Blackbird" backstage at his Little Rock, Arkansas concert Saturday night.

The women, Thelma Mothershed Wair and Elizabeth Eckford, were two members of the Little Rock Nine, a group of nine black students who faced discrimination and the lasting impact of segregation after enrolling in the all-white Little Rock Central High School in 1957, following the Supreme Court's historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision. 

After the Little Rock Nine enrolled, Arkansas governor Orval Faubus protested their entrance into the school, which in turn sparked the Little Rock Crisis. It was these events that inspired a young McCartney to pen the song "Blackbird." "Incredible to meet two of the Little Rock Nine— pioneers of the civil rights movement and inspiration for Blackbird," McCartney tweeted.

At the Little Rock concert, McCartney introduced "Blackbird" by telling the audience, "Way back in the Sixties, there was a lot of trouble going on over civil rights, particularly in Little Rock.

By: Daniel Kreps

Source: Rolling Stone

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WHEN THEY WAS THE FAB FOUR - Sunday, May 01, 2016

“When we was fab.” Say it with a Liverpudlian accent and it can only be referring to one thing, for that matter said with any accent it can only ever be referring to the Beatles. This was George Harrison’s hook line, and title, for his 1988 single, the second to be taken from his Cloud Nine album. It’s a perfect evocation of those heady days of Beatlemania when those loveable Mop-Tops, the Fab Four, ruled the world and we all thought they would go on forever.

George co-wrote the song with Jeff Lynne, who also co-produced the album that shortly pre-empts the two of them forming The Travelling Wilburys with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. ‘When We Was Fab’ is a musical nod to the psychedelic sound that the Beatles had made their own in 1967, through its use of sitar, string quartet, and backward tape effects. According to George, "...until I finalized the lyric on it, it was always called 'Aussie Fab'. That was it's working title. I hadn't figured out what the song was going to say ... what the lyrics would be about, but I knew it was definitely a Fab song. It was based on the Fabs, and as it was done up in Australia there, up in Queensland, then that's what we called it. As we de details

As a journalist with NME, Q and Word, Paul Du Noyer has interviewed Paul McCartney more times over the last 35 years than any other magazine writer. The earliest of these conversations came in 1979, when he attended a backstage press conference at a Macca gig in Liverpool. It was at that point, as he explains in Conversations With McCartney, soon to be released in paperback, that he realised he had “stumbled into the right career”.

Published with the blessing of McCartney by Hodder on May 5, the book is a veritable treasure trove of Beatles, Wings and Macca solo goodness, covering all aspects of his five-decade career as the world’s most revered songwriter. After delving into it, we asked Du Noyer to tell us five things only he knows about McCartney:

1. He doesn’t know how to write a song.

"The first time I met Paul McCartney was backstage on an assignment for NME. I found he would talk about everything except songwriting. He just can’t explain how it’s done. It’s a complete mystery to him. “The whole thing about it,” he told me, “it’s magic… I don’t quite know where I’m going, because I make it all up. Some people know details

There’s only so much a designer can do with the official outfits athletes wear at the Olympics, but Stella McCartney may have outdone herself with her duds for Britain’s competitors in this summer’s Rio Games. And, as with most Olympic designs, hers are meeting with mixed results.

McCartney, the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney, combined the colors red, white and blue with a coat-of-arms motif and a gigantic “G” and “B,” with the idea behind the clothing (besides sales for adidas) being team unity and a quickly identifiable image.

“Besides standing out from the crowd, Team GB needs to look cohesive together. There are so many different personalities, all these completely different sports and schedules,” rugby player Tom Mitchell told The Guardian, “and the kit is important because it unites us as a team. When you’re walking around the village, it creates that immediate link.”

Vogue’s Luke Leitch explained what McCartney was striving for.

“For Team GB, McCartney turned to heraldry: a newly commissioned coat of arms featuring the symbols of the four nations of Great Britain is designed to stir patriotism,&rd details

After talking to the Harrogate Advertiser as part of its popular Retro nostalgia series, one of the Harrogate musicians has shed more light on Friday, March 8, 1963 when the Fab Four appeared at Harrogate's Royal Hall.

George McCormick, who played rhythm guitar in Ricky Fenton and the Apaches that memorable night, handed over two unpublished photographs of The Beatles on stage at the Royal Hall.

He's also been approached by a researcher for inclusion in forthcoming new book Beatlemania - A Year On The Life 1963.

One of the two photos may shed further light on a mystery photograph previously published in the Harrogate Advertiser of local girls chatting to The Beatles in the dressing room of the Harrogate venue courtesy of Bob Mason, lead guitarist in the Apaches.

He said: "If you look closely at the picture, it look like the same girls. It would make sense if the same fans who managed to get to the front also managed to get to meet The Beatles in their dressing room."

George, who was only 19 at the time, had a good chat with The Beatles before they played that Friday night and actually invited them to come to his parents' house in Harrogate for a bit to eat! 

By: Graham Chalme details

It’s just a few hours from my deadline, and I’m struggling. I’ve never had a piece for Argus Leader Media that has perplexed me like this one. For weeks and weeks, I’ve had an internal struggle on how to create an article to preview the May 2 Paul McCartney concert.

Usually, these kinds of difficulties arise because the artist is too new or obscure. Either they don’t have a web presence, or they just rely on social media to promote themselves. Others are because the act just doesn’t have anything memorable to say. It’s not easy to come up with something when the answers to your questions rarely go beyond three words.

With McCartney, the problem is that there is too much available material. How can anybody write a fresh perspective on this all-time great? With the possible exceptions of Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, no musical life has been as well-documented as Paul and his fellow Beatles. For a good portion of his career, you can even pinpoint what he was doing at any hour of the day.

Given this predicament, I have no choice but to be completely self-indulgent. Yep, this piece is going to be about nothing but me. Or, rather, me and my troubled rela details

Iconic drums to hit the Beatles Story - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An iconic drum kit, used by Ringo Starr, is set to go on display at The Beatles Story, Liverpool. The specially designed Ludwig gold sparkle drum kit, which recently sold for $64,000 at auction, was used by Ringo during the ‘Concert for George’ in November 2002.

The one-off music event at the Royal Albert Hall was a celebration of the life of George Harrison. Organised by George’s widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, the emotional occasion saw Ringo reunite with former bandmate Sir Paul McCartney. The pair teamed up with fellow musicians Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Jeff Lynne and Klaus Voormann.

Ringo was part of the ‘super group’ of artists that performed George Harrison penned Beatles songs “For You Blue”, “Something” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, in addition to his solo track “All Things Must Pass”. This year marks 15 years since George passed away from lung cancer. Proceeds from the auction, set up by Ringo and his wife Barbara, went to their own charity The Lotus Foundation.

The drums will be on display at the Beatles Story exhibition in the Albert Dock for the next three years.

By: Henry Roberts

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Linda a groupie? - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

At the start, no one could have predicted that the relationship between Paul McCartney and the New York photographer Linda Eastman would be the spectacular success it became. For one thing — as his fans cattily pointed out — Linda was hardly glamorous. Her long blonde hair always looked unkempt and her clothes were frankly dowdy. For another, she’d recently divorced her first husband, by whom she had a daughter, and clearly had no immediate intention of settling down. Hence she was gaining a reputation not only for taking pictures of rock stars but also for sharing their beds. 

By 1967, her detractors regarded Linda as a rarefied form of groupie. Indeed, before meeting McCartney, she’d already had brief affairs or one-night stands with several icons, including Mick Jagger, Doors’ singer Jim Morrison and the Hollywood star Warren Beatty. At press conferences thronging with photographers, it was Linda who always managed to stand out. A female photographer called Blair Sabol described what happened when they all turned up to take photos of Beatty. 

But did that make Linda a groupie? With hindsight, she seems more like a genuine free spirit, whose emancipated attitude to sex w details

Never-before-seen footage of The Beatles “mucking around” in a make-up studio ahead of a television performance, shot more than half a century ago, was released by Australia’s national film and sound archive Tuesday.

The 49-second black-and-white silent film clip — which the national archive described as “really rare” — was shot with an 8mm camera belonging to Australian dancer and make-up artist Dawn Swane, who was working at Granada TV in Manchester, Britain, at that time.

The previously unreleased footage, from November 1, 1965, shows the four members of the legendary band having fun in front of the camera as their make-up is applied.

“I was in the make-up room. And so we were having some champagne,” Swane, now 83, said in a statement released by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA).

“And anyway, I don’t know if it was John (Lennon) or if it was Ringo (Starr) but they took the camera off me and said, ‘This is no way to use a camera,’ and they sort of jiggled it upside down and inside out a bit, and everybody was just mucking around.

“But that was great. I mean they were a nice group o details

THE familiar faces of Beatle Ringo Starr and actor Peter Sellers caused quite a stir at Southampton Docks almost fifty years ago, back in May 1969, when the pair were among 570 passengers boarding the second voyage of the QE2 at Southampton.

The pair were going to the United States to complete a new Commonwealth United film called “The Magic Christian,” the screen version of Terry Southern’s novel.

“The Magic Christian” was described in the Echo reports of the time as a “deeply rational satire teaming with way-out ideas about modern materialistic times”.

Clutching a bag marked with the words: “Sink the Magic Christian”, an excited Ringo told the Echo that his trip to New York on the QE2 was his first sea voyage since he served in the Merchant Navy.

He worked in 1957 as a waiter on a pleasure steamer which ran in the summer from Liverpool to North Wales. “I earned £3 10s a week then and usually made more in tips than in wages,” he said. “I’m going by sea this time because it’s a nice way to travel. This ship is just like a rather splendid hotel...better than you get in Scunthorpe.” Ringo also explained details

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