One of rock 'n' roll's most controversial – and valuable – album covers turns 50 this month.
The Beatles "butcher" cover for "Yesterday And Today" was issued by Capitol Records on June 20, 1966. It was quickly withdrawn because (small wonder) the public found the image of the Fab Four wearing butcher aprons and draped with raw meat and dismembered baby dolls disturbing.
The legend surrounding the cover suggests that it was the band's statement on the carnage of the Vietnam War or a sign of their displeasure with how Capitol Records disassembled and repackaged their British albums and singles for the U.S. market.
Not so, says Bruce Spizer, author of several highly regarded books on The Beatles albums. The "Yesterday And Today" cover design was initiated by The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, who first submitted a photograph of the band standing alongside a steamer trunk. Capitol sent him a mockup and he balked, Spizer told a crowd at a Beatles fans convention in Rye Brook, New York, earlier this spring.
Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney were with Epstein when he saw and rejected the mockup. Lennon quickly suggested using an avant garde picture taken on March 25, 1966 by photograp details
Paul McCartney says Oasis’ claim that they were bigger than The Beatles was the biggest mistake of Oasis’ career.
Oasis made the claim in a 1996 MTV interview, saying that their albums ‘Definitely Maybe’ and ‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory’ meant that they were bigger than The Beatles. In 2015, Noel Gallagher admitted that he was “high” when he made the claim. And in a new interview, Paul McCartney has said that the claim was the biggest mistake of Oasis’ career.
“Oasis were young, fresh and writing good tunes,” McCartney told Q. “I thought the biggest mistake they made was when they said ‘We’re going to be bigger than The Beatles’. I thought ‘So many people have said that, and it’s the kiss of death.’ Be bigger than The Beatles, but don’t say it. The minute you say it, everything you do from then on is going to be looked at in the light of that statement.”
In the same interview, McCartney says that he regularly travels on the Tube and doesn’t bother disguising himself.
By: John Earls
For a street guitarist who can sing and play a few Beatles tunes, one of the most lucrative public stages in New York City is a park bench just inside the West 72nd Street entrance to Central Park in an area known as Strawberry Fields.
Since the area opened in 1985, a parade of musicians eager to coax tips from the unending flow of tourists has played songs of peace and love in tribute to John Lennon, who in 1980 was killed not far away, outside the Dakota apartment building where he lived.
The Beatles songsters play next to the “Imagine” mosaic memorial and greet tourists with a repeating loop of classics such as “In My Life,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and, especially, “Imagine,” which Mr. Lennon wrote to invoke world peace and the musicians play to evoke monetary appreciation for their efforts.
But for the past few years peace itself was elusive among the musicians. The idyllic mood had been marred by altercations, vitriolic screaming and performers dueling to sing over one another. The unruliness became worse after the death in 2013 of a man known as the mayor of Strawberry Fields, who had helped maintain order. Signs designating the area a quiet zone details
Single captured radically innovative group at a key transitional moment.
In the annals of Beatles singles, we have what we might think of as a game-starter in "Please Please Me," a game-ender in something like "Let It Be," and a host of game-changers, the most important of which is rarely discussed as one of the band's top efforts.
And yet, "Paperback Writer" – "just a little bluesy song," according to its modest/understating author, Paul McCartney – which was cut 50 years ago in mid-April 1966, and released May 30th of that year, is perhaps the single that best suggests how the Beatles were about to change things up in their most radical way yet.
Rubber Soul had just been released in December 1965, knocking the listening public on its collective ear, and still dominated the charts in the spring. This was a Beatles album unlike any other, one you couldn't have been prepared for, clearly marking that a new era had begun. Mid-period Beatles was underway.
No one had thought to blend folk music with rhythm & blues, as the Beatles had just done, in essence adding an earthy groove to the wifty-wafty strains of cannabis set to music. A most organic sound, both of nature and t details
THE “Beatles Brain of Britain” Richard Porter has taken more than 7,000 people every year around the awesome foursome’s London stomping ground.
The tour guide, who owns the Beatles Coffee Shop by St John’s Wood Underground station, became enamoured with the group’s music at the tender age of 12. “It’s timeless” he says. His home is a “virtual library” of Beatles literature and memorabilia, including a signed copy of John Lennon’s book In His Own Write on the shelf, which the singer personally handed to his friend.
Richard has taken rock musician Tony Sheridan and Kiss star Gene Simmonds on tours – the latter was given a private view of Abbey Road Studios. But one of the most memorable tours included a group who were originally from North Korea. Richard recalls how they had somehow crossed to South Korea where they discovered and became fans of The Beatles’ music. They came over to England, went along on a tour, and when they got to Abbey Road “they dissolved into tears” Richard says. “I also got them into Trident Studios in Soho where the Beatles recorded Hey Jude.”
It all began when a music producer, Je details
By May 1966, John Lennon and Bob Dylan had become the only serious candidates for the newly conceived "Spokesman of a Generation" title. At the height of their creative powers, each of the men sought to break free from their own reputations by making music that had no precedent. Dylan, having stretched the very definition of a pop song with "Like a Rolling Stone" the previous July, had just completed the sprawling double disc, Blonde On Blonde. The Beatles' groundbreaking Revolver wasn't due out until the end of summer, but sessions began weeks earlier with Lennon's "Tomorrow Never Knows," a track that blended acid-tinged philosophical lyrics with boldly innovative production.
The only known footage of Dylan and Lennon together was filmed during this fantastically productive annus mirabilis. But instead of recording an artistic summit of the highest order, the camera captured the incoherent ramblings of two impossibly stoned rock stars riding around London in the back of a chauffeured limousine. Though they don't solve all of society's ills, the scene is a fascinating, unvarnished look at the tense alliance between the superstars.
It was shot on May 27th, 1966, by director D.A. Pennebaker as part of details
An acoustic detective story.
The story belongs in a film script - a man buys a used acoustic for a few dollars and plays it for years. Then, one fine day, he discovers he has in his possession one of the most important ‘lost’ guitars in rock history. We find out how John Lennon’s Gibson J-160E acoustic, which was used to record some of The Beatles’ legendary early hits, resurfaced in California last year, solving a 50-year mystery.
When the gavel finally fell in the auction of John Lennon’s ‘lost’ 1962 Gibson J-160E acoustic in California last November, the bidding closed at $2.4m. For John McCaw, who had originally bought the guitar for just $175, the hammer’s crash also marked the end of a remarkable piece of detective work - and a kind of farewell.
John bought the guitar in 1969 from a friend, Tommy Pressley, who had picked it up at a San Diego music store called The Blue Guitar two years previously. Neither man had any inkling at the time that the guitar had previously been the main squeeze of John Lennon, who originally bought it at Rushworth’s Music Store in Liverpool in September 1962, for just over £161, and used it to create some of the details
Did you know that the Beatles’ 1962 hit song ‘Love Me Do’ was written years before the group was formed?
Paul McCartney wrote this song about his girlfriend at the time, Iris Caldwell, in 1958, when he was 17. He said that John Lennon co-wrote it with him and apparently, both he and John made time for songwriting by skipping school.
They had written songs before, but this was the first one they liked enough to record. ‘Love Me Do’ is the Beatles’ first single and was a No. 1 hit in 1964. The single features John Lennon’s prominent harmonica playing and duet vocals by him and Paul. John stole the harmonica used in this song in a music shop in a Dutch town called Arnhem while the Beatles were on their way to Hamburg. Apparently, John’s lips went numb from playing the harmonica at a session!
Do you still remember the lyrics?
Love, love me do
You know I love you
I’ll always be true
So please, love me do
Source: Stars at 60
They were a world famous and controversial couple.
John Lennon, arguably one of the most famous current musicians in the world and artist wife Yoko Ono, had staged their first bed-in for peace in Amsterdam. That event was part performance art and part honeymoon for the couple who had been married on March 20, and was intended to promote their message for world peace at the height of the Cold War, and with the Vietnam War escalating.
The second week-long bed-in was planned for New York to get more North American coverage, but Lennon was barred from the US for a previous marijuana conviction. The next plan was to go to the Bahamas, but that proved too hot and humid, so it was that on May 26, 1969 the couple arrived at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal where they booked four adjoining rooms, including their room, 1742.
The scene was busy and confused to say the least as reporters crowded in for interviews, and fans crowded around outside the hotel hoping for a glimpse of the couple, or at least be part of the ‘scene’. A number of top celebrities were also invited, including then well-known cartoonist Al Capp who ended up in a somewhat heated exchange with the couple about a number of things. details
Sir Paul McCartney gets "frustrated" when fans just want to hear old Beatles songs.
The 73-year-old singer-songwriter gained worldwide fame as part of the four-piece group - which also featured Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison - but admitted to feeling annoyed when all people want to hear is the band's classic tunes, such as 'Love Me Do', and 'Yellow Submarine'.
Sir Paul said: "We give them what they want as long as they're songs we like. Occasionally we throw in songs and I'll say 'you are not going to like this, but we're going to do it anyway'. "You can tell in a big arena. When you do 'I Give Her All My Love' the cameras click, click, click and all the lights come on from the iPhones. Then you say 'here's one off our new album' and it's a black hole! But we do it anyway but it is a bit frustrating. You kinda hope they're going to catch on by the end of the tour."
However, Sir Paul admitted there needs to be a bit of give and take between himself and his fans. He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "You always like to just do the songs you want to do whether they are hits or not.
Source: The List