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In a reflective tribute to the late Chuck Berry, Paul McCartney honored the rock icon's massive influence on the Beatles' formative music. "To us, he was a magician making music that was exotic, yet normal, at the same time," the singer wrote on his website. "We learnt so many things from him which led us into a dream world of rock & roll music."

While admitting it's "not really possible to sum up what he meant to all us young guys growing up in Liverpool," McCartney pinpointed a few signature moments that demonstrated Berry's genius as a guitarist and lyricist. "From the first minute we heard the great guitar intro to 'Sweet Little Sixteen,' we became fans of the great Chuck Berry," he continued. "His stories were more like poems than lyrics – the likes of 'Johnny B. Goode' or 'Maybellene.'"

The former Beatle also recalled meeting his rock idol in Berry's hometown, St. Louis, during a tour stop. "It's a memory I will cherish forever," he said, calling him "one of rock & roll's greatest poets."

The Beatles covered one of Berry's signature hits, 1956's "Roll Over Beethoven," on their second LP, 1963's With the Beatles. They also added their own spin to "Rock and Roll Music" on 1964's Beatles details

As one of the world's most iconic bands you probably won't be surprised to discover The Beatles made quite an impression on Bristol during their visits.

As part of our series celebrating the up-coming 150 anniversary of the Colston Hall we've been granted rare access to their archives and we've taken a look at when the iconic Liverpool four-piece regularly stole headlines performing in the city.

There were threats of bans, day-long queues for tickets and John, Paul, George and Ringo were even 'attacked' on stage – there was never a dull moment.

During the 1960s, The Beatles were just one of an abundance of iconic acts including The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Sir Cliff Richard and Jimi Hendrix booked to play the Colston Hall. 

Many of these gigs and more were penciled in by Bristol's legendary promoter Charles H Lockier. Delving through the Hall's archives, thanks to Lockier keeping newspaper cuttings, there was quite a ruckus ahead of The Beatles bringing their tour to Bristol in November, 1963. 

After something of an unruly Colston Hall appearance by Gerry and The Pacemakers the city's entertainment committee, overseen by the council, seriously discussed whether Bristol s details

From the writer of the stage play adaptation of Helen Forrester's 'Twopence to Cross the Mersey' comes a brand-new comedy about the disappearance of Lennon's first musical instrument.

The play is based on the 2012 novel 'Julia's Banjo' by Rob Fennah and Helen A Jones and will mark the 60th anniversary of Julia Lennon's death and the disappearance of the banjo she taught her son to play.

Produced by Pulse Records Ltd in association with Bill Elms, Lennon's Banjo will open at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre on Tuesday 24th April 2018 for a two-week run until Saturday 5th May. Full cast and creative team to be announced soon.

Set in present day Liverpool: When Beatles tour guide Barry Seddon finds a letter written by John Lennon he unearths a clue to the solving the greatest mystery in pop history - the whereabouts of Lennon's first musical instrument which has been missing for 60 years. But Barry's loose tongue alerts Texan dealer, Travis Lawson, to the priceless relic. In an attempt to get his hands on the letter and the clues within he persuades his beautiful wife, Cheryl, to befriend the hapless tour guide and win his affections. The race for the holy grail of pop memorabilia is on!

"The intrigue an details

THE MUSICAL instrument on which John Lennon strummed his first tune has been billed as the 'holy grail of pop memorabilia' with experts claiming it could be worth up to £3 million.

The whereabouts of the much-fabled banjo has been a mystery more than 50 years. The last time anybody saw or heard of the banjo was before Lennon's beloved mother Julia was killed in a road accident in Woolton, Merseyside, in 1958. But now author and playwright Rob Fennah is on a personal quest to locate it. In a new novel, Julia's Banjo, Rob, 47, from Crosby, Merseyside, tells the little-known story of a teenage Lennon learning how to play his Rock 'n' Roll favourites with his mother Julia. The book tells the fictional story of Beatles tour guide, Barry Seddon, who finds a letter giving him clues to the location of the banjo before ruthless Texan antique dealer Travis Lawton hears about the priceless relic and a drama ensues.

In real life, for more than a decade Mr Fennah has combed through car boot sales and dusty attics in a bid to find the 'catalyst that changed the world'. Now he is urging people in Liverpool to rummage through their wardrobes and attics to check whether 'Julia's banjo' banjo could be lurking unacknowledged details

When someone nonchalantly decorated the set for the Beatles' film Help! with a sitar, they were probably thinking it added a certain Eastern exoticism. In a break between takes, George Harrison picked it up and tried to work out how to play it. That set decorator could never have foreseen how this would change the course of popular culture, if not history itself.

Chances are that George's first efforts were less than dulcet, given he'd have had little idea how to tune the labyrinth of strings. Nonetheless his interest was piqued, and so he sought, well, help.

That mainly came in the shape of Ravi Shankar, one of the great sitar players of the century. A friendship blossomed, as, gradually, did Harrison's ability on the instrument, to the point where he could add sitar to Lennon's Norwegian Wood on the Rubber Soul album. By the time the band came to record Sergeant Pepper's, Harrison was capable of playing his own much more demanding Within You, Without You, the song that, more than any other, turned a generation of Western listeners onto the shimmering enchantment of Indian classical music. From there it was a short hippie shuffle to a fascination with Indian mysticism, meditation and yoga. Suddenly mind-expandi details

The 1980s had not been going well for Paul McCartney. A series of commercial flops left even the artist taking stock. "It was time to prove something to myself," McCartney said back then. That he did. "Flowers in the Dirt," released in 1989, marked a rebirth.

But the most intriguing element of "Flowers" was shelved for decades. In 1987, McCartney had invited Elvis Costello to work with him. Four of their songs ended up on "Flowers," but a few others never came out. And both McCartney and Costello agree that their nine initial demo recordings remain the best part of their collaboration. On March 24, those demos are being released as part of an elaborate, box-set reissue of "Flowers in the Dirt."

We spoke recently with McCartney and Costello, separately and by phone, about their intense writing spurts, the challenges of turning the demos into a polished album and about their obvious differences over a certain synth-pop group.

In 1986, McCartney released his sixth solo studio album, "Press to Play," working with producer Hugh Padgham, known for his work with Phil Collins and the Human League.

McCartney: Sometimes you get caught up in trying to be the current flavor, trying to go along and flavor you details

A popular restaurant known for its ‘fab’ selection of groovy food is celebrating a landmark anniversary.

For more than three decades Mike Power and his staff at Sgt. Peppers restaurant in Lowestoft have worked many a hard day’s night. And this year marks the 35th anniversary since the restaurant opened in 1982.

Mr Power, managing director at Sgt Peppers restaurant, said: “We are surprised to reach this landmark especially in the current climate. “Every year we are amazed at the number of people who continue to support us. As well as tourists we have visitors come from Beccles and Great Yarmouth which is very gratifying.”

Previously a pinewood furniture shop, Mr Power opened Sgt Peppers with his former partner, Marie Power, on August 19, 1982. A hotelier by trade, he had worked in hotels and restaurants across country, before moving to Lowestoft to establish Sgt Peppers.

This year’s milestone also coincides with the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ iconic Sgt Peppers album after which the restaurant is named. And with musical instruments hanging from the ceiling and images of famous faces from the swinging sixties covering the restaurant’s wall details

A record sleeve covered in doodles by John Lennon as he brainstormed ideas for an album cover has emerged for sale for £15,000.

The black felt tip pen sketchings are believed to have been Lennon's initial ideas for the cover of his 1974 album Walls and Bridges and span both sides of an opened-out record sleeve. The record sleeve was given by the former Beatle to Jesse Davies, a session musician who provided lead guitar on the album.

One of the drawings depicts a flying saucer with the word "UFOer" written on the bottom of the object, most likely influenced by Lennon's UFO sighting that year. This sighting was mentioned in the album liner notes: "On the 23rd Aug. 1974 at 9 o'clock I saw a UFO J.L."

On the record sleeve, in amongst the numerous doodles, he wrote the names of four people who were central to his life. These were himself, Yoko which refers to his wife Yoko Ono , May for his lover May Pang and Julian, his son who he had become reacquainted with.

This album was produced while John and Yoko were separated and Lennon was with May Pang who also worked on the album. It was a chapter in his life he called his 'lost weekend'. The word 'home' is written multiple times and to reflect his details

Paul McCartney has announced that he’ll release a three-track cassette for this year’s Record Store Day. Titled Flowers In The Dirt – The Cassette Demos With Elvis Costello, the limited edition release features I Don’t Want To Confess, Shallow Grave and Mistress & Maid which were all recorded in 1989.

It’ll be on sale on April 22 and comes after the re-launch of the Flowers In The Dirt Archive Collection, which will arrive on March 24. McCartney says: “The demos are red hot off the skillet and that’s why we wanted to include them on this boxed set. “What’s great about these songs is that they’ve just been written, so there’s nothing more hot off the skillet as I say. That was the kind of great instant thing about them. “I hadn’t listened to them in ages but when I did I knew we had to put them out. We made a little tape of them and sent them to Elvis, who loved them too. We said we should put out an EP or something and now the moment’s finally arrived.”

Last month, McCartney released a studio demo and video for My Brave Face along with an audio stream of Twenty Fine Fingers from the record.

Along with a standard details

Before he was a Led Zep, before he was a Yardbird, Jimmy Page was an incredibly busy London session guitarist with several notable production credits under his belt.

And we're not talking about long-forgotten recordings made under a flickering lightbulb in his cousin's basement; Page played on countless high-profile sessions, appearing on seminal tracks by the Who, Donovan, Joe Cocker, the Kinks and many more.

One thing he never did, however, is play on a Beatles song. That honor went to only a handful of non-Beatles, including (but not limited to) Billy Preston, Alan Civil, Beatles producer George Martin, the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones, good ol' Anil Bhagwat and, of course, Eric Clapton.

It turns out, however, that Page was involved in a seriously Beatles-related session in 1964; his guitar playing can be heard in the score for the band's first film, the hugely successful A Hard Day's Night.

According to a 7-year-old article by U.K. broadcaster Tony Barrell, Page would typically show up for a session "cold," as in, not knowing what he was going to play that day, exactly who had hired him, where and how the music would appear, etc. One day in early '64, he arrived at EMI Studios in London for a details

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