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That John Lennon, inarguably one of the rock era’s greatest creative figures and pop culture icons, had a troubled childhood is hardly a secret—he came from the broken home of Julia Lennon (née Stanley) and the husband she’d married on a lark, an itinerant sailor called Fred Lennon who may have been in jail in North Africa at the time of his son’s birth. The young Lennon was raised by his aunt Mimi, not knowing that Julia was his real mother until he was almost 10, and behavior problems showed up early. Lennon once related to Beatle biographer Hunter Davies (The Beatles, The John Lennon Letters) the following:

"The sort of gang I led went in for things like shoplifting and pulling girls’ knickers down. When the bomb fell and everyone got caught, I was always the one they missed. I was scared at the time but Mimi was always the only parent who never found out."

It merits mentioning that Lennon above is describing primary school, before he even attended high school. Upon his arrival at Liverpool’s Quarry Bank High School, his grades began to plummet, except in art. Celeb biographer Jeff Burlingame, in his John Lennon: Imagine, notes that Even the corporal punishment admin details

50 years ago this month, these unassuming residents of Chiswick took a walk in their nearby park, and accidentally stepped into pop music history. It came about as they crossed the peaceful grounds of Palladian villa Chiswick House in West London - formerly home to the infamous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (played by Keira Knightley on screen) - and came across a group of four young men, drinking cups of tea and rehearsing with instruments. Just another day in the park, it seemed, except these were the Beatles, and they were about to record their timeless video for ‘Paperback Writer’.

To put it in perspective, this was 1966 - with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison’s mastery of the pop charts already in the can with songs ‘Please Please Me’, ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘She Loves You’ behind them, but with ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘I Am The Walrus’ still to come. ‘Paperback Writer’ and its accompaniment ‘Rain’ would feature on ‘Revolver’, along with ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. Tension was beginning to bubble between the four boys from Liverpool, but their cr details

Nick Coffer led the chat on BBC Three Counties Radio, as James appeared on the show to talk about his album the Blackberry Train. And that was ALL he was there to talk about. After the chat, the DJ posted the interview online with the comment: ‘It didn’t go well.’ And given that the interview lasted all of four minutes instead of the scheduled 25, it seems that would be true. 

Coffer opened the interview by asking about James’ famous siblings, Stella and Mary, and their successes. James responded: ‘I guess I wouldn’t like to talk about my family.’ That’s pretty much a precursor for the rest of the interview. He was then asked if he felt pressure to follow in dad’s footsteps, to which he frostily replied: ‘Again I don’t want to talk about my father you know? Like I’m not asking you about your father. It seems strange. ‘I get where you’re coming from but it’s just like nah.’ The awkwardness barometer just exploded. So did Nick’s head by the sounds of things. 

He went on to point out that he’d shaped the interview around learning more about James’ background and what went into his music, which details

Julia Baird’s breezy sentences, sweetened by her English accent, came to a screeching halt when I asked the question that had to be asked. Where was she the day her half brother, John Lennon, was murdered 35 years ago? We all remember, at least those of us old enough. “I don’t want to talk about that,” said Baird, 69, by phone, her voice barely a whisper. “No. Not at all.”

Everything else, though, was fair game during a half-hour conversation fueled by an upcoming appearance of a band called the Mersey Beatles. A cover band with all the hair and 1960s-era attire, they’ll play May 14 at the Flying Monkey in Plymouth. Baird is the nightly host on the 40-show American tour. She’s the narrator (pronounced na-RAY-tor by Baird), presenting a documentary on the night’s act, then, after the show, signing copies of her book, Imagine This: Growing up with my brother John Lennon.

There, in those pages, is the truth that Baird wants known, setting the record straight on their mother, Julia Lennon, who, Baird says, was misrepresented by the news media after Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon to death in New York City on Dec. 8, 1980. “Five years after John had died details

10 Best Beatles Books - Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Considering that it takes some formidable organizational chops to serve as a competent Beatles bibliographer, it can be downright daunting if you're coming to the stacks of Fab Four literature as a neophyte reader wondering where you might start. For those are some buckling shelves, filled with worthy tomes, arresting diversions, gossipy trivia and dense accounts of what kind of gear the band used, who their tailors were, how many times per annum they visited the dentist, etc. 

Romantic other-halves have weighed in on the story/saga side of things; ditto competing rivals, A&R men, siblings, business associates, sacked partners. There is a lot of dross. But considering that we're talking hundreds of books, there are some top-drawer offerings as well.

 

Philip Norman is an old hand with Beatles-based scholarship, and his new, massive bio, Paul McCartney: The Life, provides a nice opportunity to survey those shelves of Beatles lit. Here's a look at 10 of the best Fab Four volumes to date. 

10 'The Beatles, Lennon and Me, by Pete Shotton

The standard Beatles history posits the star-crossed Stuart Sutcliffe as John Lennon's best friend, until his tragic death in 1962, whereupon Pau details

A selection of rare photographs of the Beatles filming in Kent has been sold for £2,900 - well over the expected price.

The selection of images - and autographs of three of the legendary band - went under the auctioneer’s hammer in the sale run by Ibbett Mosley. It had been expected to fetch £2,000 after interest was shown from around the world. The pictures were taken when the Liverpool band filmed at Knole Park in Sevenoaks on the last two days of January 1967.

The group, along with manager Brian Epstein, appeared for the filming of the Strawberry Fields Forever. A local photographer, who wishes to remain anonymous, took a sequence of pictures during the two-day visit and was able to obtain the autographs of John Lennon, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. He was less successful with gaining George Harrison’s signature who, when approached, told the cameraman to “p**s off”.

Also at the sale, were photographs and autographs from stars at the UK movie premiere for Julie Andrews’ Thoroughly Modern Millie which took place at the Odeon cinema in Sevenoaks in 1968 - again obtained by the same photographer.

By: Chris Britcher

Source: Kent News

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Ron Howard's upcoming Beatles film will be featured in Hulu Documentary Films, the streaming service's newest division. Howard's movie – working title The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – will debut in theaters and on Hulu this fall, Variety reports. The deal marks Hulu's first exclusive documentary premiere following a theatrical run. 

Eight Days a Week focuses on the Beatles' iconic early years between 1962 and 1966. It will feature rare and previously unseen footage. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and the late George Harrison's wife Olivia Harrison are involved in the production.

Imagine Entertainment's Howard and Brian Grazer (Apollo 13) will produce with White Horse Pictures' Nigel Sinclair (George Harrison: Living in the Material World) and Scott Pascucci. Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde of Beatles company Apple Corps will executive produce alongside Imagine's Michael Rosenberg and White Horse's Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall. Eight Days a Week is Howard's second music documentary following 2013's Jay-Z festival film Made in America. 

By: Ryan Reed 

Source: Rolling Stone

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A rare document thought to be one of the last items ever signed by John Lennon is to go under the hammer. The contract for the sale of The Beatles’ Apple headquarters is set to go up for auction in Boston with a guide price of $80,000 (around £55,000) The document, was signed by all four members of the iconic band when they bought 3 Savile Row in London for £500,000

All four Beatles installed their own office in the property, as well as a studio in the basement, where they recorded Let It Be - and performed for the last time together on the roof.

Beatles expert Frank Caiazzo said: “This document was formally adopted in late November of 1980, thus making it one of the last documents signed by John Lennon during his life. “John Lennon signed in black felt tip pen, and has added a facial caricature, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr (who has signed as R. Starkey, his legal name as required on documents), have all signed in blue ballpoint.”

Robert Livingston, executive VP at RR Auction in Boston, said: “It’s likely one of the final fully signed Beatles documents by all four members.

By: Josh Parry

Source: The Liverpool Echo

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Just a year after the breakup of The Beatles, John Lennon was in Syracuse on Oct. 9, 1971.

The visit included the opening of his wife's first major art exhibit, at the Everson Museum, a 31st birthday celebration and almost a Beatles' reunion.

Yoko Ono's art exhibit, entitled "This is Not Here," ran for three weeks at the Everson, and drew thousands of visitors to the museum. Celebrities such as Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, and Dennis Hopper viewed it. The exhibition took up most of the museum, and Ono encouraged visitors to reach out and touch her work. Pieces included a bubble gum machine that offered invisible trinkets, and a pane of glass titled, "Painting to let the evening light through

In an interview with the Post-Standard in 2006, Ono called her time in Syracuse as a "most beautiful memory," and "a milestone in my life." David Ross, an assistant to then Everson director Jim Harithas, spent hours trying to assemble equipment for what was to be Lennon's surprise birthday gift, a secret midnight concert of at least three of the Beatles at the theater in the Everson, accompanied by some of the greatest musicians in the nation. Paul McCartney, estranged from Lennon at the time, declined, and George Harriso details

It's hard to imagine, considering the hundreds of books and websites dedicated to examining the lives of John, Paul, George, and Ringo in microscopic detail, that there are things we still don't know about the Beatles. In fact, if the first edition of Mark Lewisohn's three-volume deep dive into the band's world is any indication, there's actually quite a lot to be learned about the most famous men to ever pick up musical instruments.

With John Lennon and George Harrison now both long gone from this world and Ringo Starr happy to tour the world with his All-Starr band and release the occasional album, its Paul McCartney alone who is still wowing audiences regularly with a stadium show to end all stadium shows, and an endless stream of reissues—there's an excellent new compilation called Pure McCartney on the way next month—and new music (including some unlikely collaborations), making him the most prolific Beatles alumnus. Beatles expert Philip Norman, author of Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation and the biography John Lennon: The Life, has turned his attention to the man once known as the "cute" one—and with McCartney's blessing and assistance, no less.

By: Jeff Slate

Source: Esqui details

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