Beatles News

He is rock ‘n’ roll’s leading memorabilia detective, a collector who has tracked down John Lennon’s Japanese language class doodles and Elton John’s first upright piano. Now Tom Fontaine is selling off his unique slice of music history with a warning that the market for mementos is flooded with fakes. An obsessive collector since first seeing The Beatles on US television in 1964, Fontaine, from Indianapolis, has acquired more than 2,000 items including autographs and signed contracts to stage clothing and furniture from stars ranging from Elvis Presley to Jimi Hendrix. 

Fontaine, 58, whose expertise in authenticating memorabilia is sought by auction houses, is now downsizing and has begun to place his archive for sale on the Pledge Music direct-to-fan crowdfunding site. 

The most valuable item in the first trance is a baseball signed by all The Beatles and given to an employee at their 1966 concert in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, the band’s final US appearance, which has a £47,000 price tag. 

What makes Fontaine stand out from his rivals in the competitive world of memorabilia collection is the forensic skills he uses to uncover arcane a details

Even though the Beatles hired a film crew to document the 1969 recording sessions for what would become Let It Be, it's a bit uncommon to see studio footage of the band at work before that time.

Which is why the "Hey Bulldog" music video is so unique.

The February 1968 footage seen in the clip was originally utilized in the "Lady Madonna" promotional video, until someone (perhaps a talented lip reader) noticed the band was actually recording "Hey Bulldog" (The band recorded both songs during the same sessions). The footage was later re-cut to fit "Hey Bulldog," one of many standouts from the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album.

If you're into the Beatles' gear, you'll appreciate this clip. While John Lennon's ubiquitous Epiphone Casino makes an appearance or two (as does Paul McCartney's Rickenbacker 4001S), the real star is George Harrison's cherry-finish Gibson SG, which you can see in the photo above.

And then there's that stinging guitar solo. Its authorship has been up to debate over the years—some say it recalls McCartney’s performance on “Taxman”—but engineer Geoff Emerick says it was definitely played by Harrison.

“[It was] one of the few times th details

After wowing audiences at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and King’s Head Theatre, London in 2015, where one of the audience was Neil Aspinall’s widow Suzi, Davide Verazzini’s charming play A Life With The Beatles is to be staged at various venues as part of a 15-performance Scotland-wide tour in February and March, including The Catstrand in New Galloway on February 21.

Told from the unique perspective of Neil Aspinall, the only one who was always by their side and who knew everyone and everything. Yet where thousands of books have been written by people who never even met The Beatles, Neil’s steadfast loyalty meant he took his secrets to his grave when he died in 2008.

A Life With The Beatles recounts the era from him first joining The Beatles in 1961 as their driver to when he eventually stepped down as CEO of their corporate conglomerate, Apple Corps 46 years later. Veteran Glasgow-based actor Ian Sexon is effervescent in this energetic and intimate solo drama as he depicts the progression of the band from initial formation to the period after Epstein’s death, along the way jumping into the characters of John, Paul, George and Ringo, manager Brian Epstein and Producer George Martin.&n details

Ahead of Paul McCartney's Flowers in the Dirt reissue, the rollicking "Twenty Fine Fingers," an unreleased demo featuring McCartney singing alongside Elvis Costello, has been unveiled.

"Twenty Fine Fingers," often bootlegged but never officially released, is presented twice on the Flowers in the Dirt reissue. The version above is the "original" take on the track, while the song's 1988 demo is also included among a batch of 18 demo recordings featuring Costello unearthed for the reissue.

The massive Flowers in the Dirt deluxe box set, featuring three discs, a DVD and a 112-page hardcover book, is due out March 24th. The reissue will also be available in other formats.

McCartney recruited Costello to collaborate on the 1989 album, with Costello's co-written "My Brave Face," "Don't Be Careless Love," "That Day Is Done" and "You Want Her Too" making the cut. Other demoed tracks like "The Lovers That Never Were," "So Like Candy" and "Playboy to a Man" ended up on other albums by both artists, while "Twenty Fine Fingers" and "Tommy's Coming Home" remained unreleased.

"The demos are red hot off the skillet and that’s why we wanted to include them on this boxed set," McCartney said of the Costello details

The best thing people can hope for, in regards to new music each year, is that The Arctic Monkeys get in the studio, next big thing emerges, or Kanye West postpones his next album.

However, could this year see the release of material from the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones? Intrigued? Let us explain. For this article, we’ve purposely focused on The Fab Four, or we’d be waffling all day, but the same theory applies to any band of that era.

Chances are you don’t know much about copyright law. It’s pretty complicated and tedious. Heck, not even the artists know the rules, cue Paul McCartney suing Sony for clarification after Duran Duran’s interpretation of the laws was “rejected.”

We’ll try and keep this simple as possible. The law we’re focusing on here relates to the amount of time the performance rights of copyrighted material remains the property of performer before it eventually enters the public domain. Composers already own copyright over their music until 70 years after their death.

Did you know for instance “Happy Birthday To You” was copyrighted until December 31, 2016? That essentially meant that fo details

Almost everyone knows that The Beatles are one of the most acclaimed bands in rock and roll history because their music has the hypnotic qualities that make teenage girls scream and artists today and yesterday cite them as one of their influences.

While many of us don’t have the opportunity to see the two surviving Beatles Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr live in concert these days, the closest thing to watching an actual Beatles concert will be In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts - Zilkha Hall at 7:30 pm. The Houston show is part of a 125 city tour of the U.S., Canada and Australia.

You mean just another tribute band? No, because not all tribute bands are alike.

This one portrays the Beatles—John Lennon (Nathaniel Bott), Paul McCartney (Christopher Overall), George Harrison (Zak Schaffer) and Ringo Starr (Axel Clarke)—as authentically as possible, from their singing to the myriad of guitars used throughout the band’s decade-long career. Listening to songs like “Penny Lane” or “I Want To Hold Your Hand” from this tribute band is almost like listening to the original icons themselves. The cast details

We’re waiting now for word from Apple Records and the Beatles. The most important rock album of all time, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” turns 50 on June 1st this year. So far word has been scarce, but the thinking is that there will some kind of anniversary edition and more than just a nod to an album that literally changed everything in popular music.

In the meantime, we’ve got the 51st anniversary of “Revolver,” the album that preceded “Sgt. Pepper” and was up until then the greatest rock or pop album of all time.

Klaus Voorman, bass player and artist, a Renaissance man, designed the cover of “Revolver.” So now he’s issuing “Revolver 50: Grammy Edition,” on March 2nd through Genesis Publications.

From the press release: Voormann has collaborated with Genesis Publications to produce a signed, enhanced edition of his recent book, Revolver 50, to celebrate the anniversary of his landmark award. REVOLVER 50: GRAMMY ANNIVERSARY EDITION is limited to just 500 copies. The 156-page book tells the story of the making of the celebrated collage, and each copy will come with a signed original drawing by the artist; a one details

It was 20 years ago today Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play and it will be 50 years ago this year that the Beatles first recorded their epic concept album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Among the many classics on the album, one of the most intriguing and haunting is the dreamy, psychedelic Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite, which promises a "production second to none" on trampolines, with "somersets through hoops and garters and hogsheads of REAL FIRE" and with dancing by a colourful cast of characters, including the talented Mr Kite, the Hendersons and Henry the waltzing horse.

The story behind the song is even more curious and astonishing. On 31 January that year, John Lennon walked into a Sevenoaks antique shop where a poster advertising a February 1843 benefit for Mr Kite — "celebrated somerset thrower, wire dancers, vaulter, rider etc etc", pictured balancing on his head on a 12-foot-tall pole, playing a trumpet, of course — by Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal caught his eye.

Lennon bought the poster, took it home, put it above his piano and, a little over two weeks later, he'd written what he insisted was correctly called Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite. "Everything in the song details

The Beatles blasted the London financial district for their last lunchtime concert. The Beatles ended their concert history the way it began. Before the four Beatles were fab, there were five of them and they played to swinging teens during their midday breaks at the famous Cavern Club and the Casbah, an obscure performance space painted in day-glo colors by art students Stuart Sutcliff and John Lennon, in Liverpool. This was before and after the band pulled eight hour live shifts in Hamburg, Germany.

For their last concert, on Jan. 30, 1969, The Beatles took to the roof of Apple headquarters at 3 Savile Row and sang for their last supper, well, lunch. Starting at midday, Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Star and a keyboardist friend they’d known since their early touring days, Billy Preston, strapped on, plugged in and let loose with an impromptu 42-minute set that was closer in style to their earliest and rawest performances than to their half hour pop concerts. The Beatles got through nine takes of five songs, plus sundry snippets, before London’s Metropolitan Police Service told them to turn it down.

The concert was shot as a last-minute idea to end the 1970 documentary film Let It details

Meet The Beatles - as comic book heroes! - Sunday, January 29, 2017

From Barbie and the Care Bears to The Beatles! It’s been an incredible journey for comic book novelist Jason Quinn. Jason, 52, from Crosby, is the author of a Fab Four book with a difference – a graphic novel called The Beatles: All Our Yesterdays .

Now living in Tunbridge Wells and the editor of the hit BBC magazine Doctor Who Adventures, Jason’s working life has been fascinating to say the least.

And explaining how it all began, he says: “I grew up reading Marvel comics – I think I learned to read with Spider-Man! Later, my brother Tim was working for Marvel UK – and it’s who you know so he got me in.

“I thought ‘I’m going to be working on superhero titles!’ But the first title I worked on was Barbie! Then it was the Care Bears. I didn’t get to the superheroes for ages – I was in the nursery and girls’ department!

“I then worked in TV at Pinewood Studios (as head of creative development for Platinum Films) but I decided I preferred comic books so I went freelance and ended up working in India for two and a half years.”

Jason moved to Delhi in 2012 to work for Campfire Graphic Novels as their details

Beatles Radio Listener Poll
Would John Lennon be on Twitter