Today, the 1983 Motown 25 concert, broadcast in prime time on NBC, is best remembered for Michael Jackson's moonwalk. The show, however, involved much more: Host Richard Pryor introduced label legends like Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinsonand the Four Tops at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and the Jackson 5 and the Supremes both reunited.
Of course, there was even more going on behind the scenes, and the new Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever DVD set (available with one, three or six discs) is looking to excavate some of that history, adding rehearsals, roundtables and documentaries to the original footage. Follow the link below to watch a clip from one of the docs, in which Robinson, the Temptations' Otis Williams and author Nelson George discuss the symbiotic relationship between Motown and the Beatles.
A CAMPAIGN to keep St Luke's church in use as a cultural venue for the Liverpool community has received Beatle backing. Sir Paul McCartney today joined John Lennnon's widow, Yoko Ono, in calling for the bombed out church, on Leece Street, to remain open "for the use of the people and run by the people" and praised the work carried out there. A huge question mark has hung over the future of the church since March this year when Mayor Joe Anderson announced his intention tosell it for £1 and invited expressions of interest from bidders. Developer Lawrence Kenwright, who owns the Signature Living apartments and the newly-opened 30 James Street hotel in the former White Star builidng, quickly stepped in with a plans to turn the church, which was bombed by the Luftwaffe in World War II, into a wedding hotel and venue.
Bluewater Productions has created a biographical comic book profiling legendary musician and songwriter, John Lennon. Writer Marc Shapiro had this statement in the press release: “I approached writing Tribute: John Lennon as an exploration of a life full of potential and promise that was, sadly, cut short. We all know the importance of John Lennon as part of The Beatles. But I felt it was more important to concentrate on his post Beatles’ life and career, both good and bad, so that readers would get the clearest possible idea about who he was as a creative entity, husband and father.”
A Beatles fan said John Lennon’s lyrics were more important now than ever before, as he celebrated what would have been the star’s 74th birthday. John James Chambers, from the Liverpool Beatles Appreciation Society, laid flowers at the Beatles statue in Cavern Walks Shopping Centre to mark Lennon’s birthday. The statue was also decorated with tinsel, balloons and banners. And Mr Chambers said the date was a double celebration as it marked 30 years since the statue had been erected. Revd David Baverstock, from Our Lady and St Nicholas Church held a short service to mark the occasion, which was also attended by Cavern Walks manager Mark Taylor. Mr Chambers said: “He gave a beautiful sermon and the theme was Imagine,
Debbie Harry will perform at the 34th annual John Lennon charity tribute concert in New York City in December. The announcement Wednesday by the nonprofit Theatre Within came a day before what would have been Lennon's 74th birthday. Other performers include Kate Pierson of the B-52s, Joan Osborne, Marshall Crenshaw and Ben E. King. The event will be held Dec. 5 at Symphony Space. Yoko Ono said in a statement: "I share Theatre Within's belief that music and the performing arts have a special power to bring people together and inspire us to make a positive difference. It's beautiful that the Tribute continues to have such a powerful impact in John's memory."
In celebration of John Lennon's 74th birthday on October 9, eight essential studio albums, two compilations, and the acclaimed John Lennon Signature Box are making their high definition digital audio debuts.
All of the titles have been digitally remastered in high resolution digital audio for the first time from John Lennon's original mixes and are available worldwide via Universal Music Group for purchase from all major hi-res digital audio providers.
Beginning today, Imagine and Rock 'N' Roll are available in hi-res 96kHz/24bit digital resolution. On October 14, Double Fantasy, Mind Games, and Walls And Bridges will debut in the same digital resolution, followed by Plastic Ono Band, Sometime In New York City, and Milk And Honey on October 21.
Mr Birch is selling the photos, along with a Gretsch 6120 guitar Lennon gave him after he used it on The Beatles’ 1966 hit Paperback Writer and which could fetch up to $1million (£630,000). The average house price across the UK is £189,306. But the auctioneers are confident the guitar will be hotly contested for by collectors because it comes with a truly extraordinary provenance. Lennon gave the guitar to his cousin, David Birch, in November 1967, a year after Paperback Writer was recorded in April 1966 at London’s Abbey Road studios. Mr Birch said he had fancied forming his own band and asked if he could have one of his famous relative’s guitars on a visit to Lennon’s country mansion Kenwood in Weybridge, Surrey. ‘I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,’ he said. ‘I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster lying in the studio, but John suggested the Gretsch and gave it to me.’
George Harrison’s childhood home is to be sold at auction for a guide price of just £100,000. The modest three bedroom mid-terrace is where George, Paul McCartney and John Lennon held some of their first rehearsals before achieving worldwide success as the Beatles. Now Fab Four fans have the chance to purchase the property when it goes under the hammer at the Cavern Club. George lived at 25 Upton Green in Speke from the age of six, when his parents Harold and Louise moved into the council house in 1949. The family remained there until the early 1960s and it was during George’s final years at the house that he met Paul and John. The house is now being sold at auction after the property’s most recent owner passed away.
The guitar John Lennon used on the recording of the Beatles‘ 1966 hit ‘Paperback Writer’ is going up for auction. The instrument, a Gretsch 6120, has been in the possession of Lennon’s cousin David Birch since he received it as a gift from the Beatle in 1967. It’s expected to bring in somewhere between $640,000 to $960,000 at auction later this month. ”I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,” Birch told the Telegraph. “‘I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster that was lying in the studio, but John suggested the Gretsch and gave it to me as we were talking.” Birch’s mother Harriet was a younger sister of Lennon’s mother, Julia. ‘Paperback Writer’ was recorded in April 1966 during the sessions that would yield the classic ‘Revolver’ album, and though it was primarily the creation of Paul McCarteny, Lennon added his distinct touch to the song with that Gretsch, serial no 53940.