Beatles News

A Life With The Beatles - Thursday, November 05, 2015

For the first time in London after the great success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, A Life With the Beatles is an amazing Magical Mystery Tour of the Beatles’ history, focused on the night of the recording of A Day in the Life, the song that closes their most famous album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

This incredible story is told from Neil Aspinall’s perspective, the Beatles’ road manager since the early days in Liverpool, the only one who was always at their side, behind the scenes and away from limelight, from 1961 to the 1970 break-up, and who later became the CEO of Apple Corps.

He’s the only one who can tell the whole story. A tale that deserves to be told, because we can grow only knowing the tale of the past from men and women who has been involved.

A Life With the Beatles will recall the Fab Four’s history with this unique account. It won't be a nostalgic tale, but a celebration of what the Beatles represented for that generation and the ones who follow. A hour in the life of Sgt Pepper and Neil Aspinall involving the audience all the way in a tour of 60s memorabilia, anecdotes and insight.

To thank for the love the Beatles gave the world. To ma details

In 1965 or 1966 Canadian musician Andy Maize’s mother took his oldest brother to see the Beatles at the Montreal Forum. He was just a kid, but he remembers it was a big deal.

“They only played for half an hour and the screaming was so loud she couldn’t turn her head. If she turned her head, it hurt too much,” Maize recalls. “My mother is now 90 years old, and I think it’s pretty cool she got to see the Beatles. I had an idea what a big deal it was then. I remember all sorts of merchandise. There were lunch boxes.”

Fifty years later, Maize is touring as one of the featured vocalists in Art of Time Ensemble’s orchestral concert performance of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The Canadian collective assembled by classical pianist Andrew Burashko has been re-imagining orchestral, theatrical and concert pieces since 1998. Performances of works by the Beatles, Frank Zappa and jazz composer Erwin Schullhoff and an exploration of Rom music are some of its recent projects.

Maize first performed “Sgt Pepper” with Art of Time Ensemble for the album’s 45th anniversary in 2012.

“Often the shows details

I'm guessing Adele must be pretty damn chuffed right now: a number one single, an imminent new album that's bound to take top slot and half the planet going nuts with joy that she's back making music.

And good for her. She deserves it. Not only is she a talented woman with an amazing voice and a gift for writing fine songs, she also seems like a thoroughly decent human being.

So I don't suggest she watches ITV's upcoming special The Nation's Favourite Beatles Number One. It'll only depress her.

I've just had a sneak preview of this thing, and I defy anyone not to draw the same admittedly rather bonkers-sounding conclusion as I did. Namely, that the Beatles really were SO good, that their music really was SO ground-breaking, that every act that's followed - yes, seriously, every act, in the 45 years since they split up - must know, deep down, that they can never really match them.

I've singled out Adele not to be mean but purely because she happens to be the most currently prominent example of someone who's trying - writing her own songs, performing them, doing her own thing.

Obviously a billion other solo acts and bands have taken the same route over the years and, like Adele, done very n details

Beatlemania heads to Dublin - Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Beatlemania is heading to capital, as the Dublin Beatles Festival gets ready to open it's doors on Friday.

Running from November 6 to November 8, the three-day festival celebrates the fab four's performance in Dublin on November 7, 1963.

A number of Irish and international bands will take to the stage, as plays, memorabilia, art and film fill out a jam-packed programme. One of the films, Good Ol' Freda, will be screened at the Grand Social on Sunday, November 8.

The award-winning documentary is about Freda Kelly, who ran the Beatles' fan club was the secretary to their manager Brian Epstein for over a decade. She became friends with the band through attending 180 of their lunch time gigs in Liverpool's Cavern Club - but refused to speak about or profit from her time working for the band.

When her grandson arrived, she wanted to be able to share her experience with the Beatles - and will be making a rare public appearance at the festival. Paul McCartney's stepmother called the film "one of the last true stories of the Beatles that you'll ever be able to hear."

Other highlights from the weekend festival include The Beatles Session at the Cobalt, featuring Jonathan Ward, Vyvienne Long, Biggl details

Mid-late 1960s: West goes East. While it was John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Canada that initiated Rock n' Roll Diplomacy, George Harrison was the first to apply that concept to music.

Through Harrison, The Beatles were the first Western Rock band to use non-Western instruments. Having been intrigued by the sound of a Sitar during the filming of Help!, Harrison went on to learn how to play it with Ravi Shankar. Harrison would first play the Sitar on the introduction to the ballad "Norwegian Wood" (1965) - prompting the Rolling Stones to follow suit in "Paint it Black."

While playing short Indian instrument passages on Beatles tracks, such as "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Strawberry Fields Forever", Harrison went one step further by convincing his band-members to expand their repertoire by including tracks in which he sang to Indian instruments: from the cynical "Love You To" (1966), to the cosmic Within You, Without You (1967), and the transcendental "The Inner Light" (1968).

Harrison would also produce, in Bombay and London, Wonderwall Music, the soundtrack of the homonymous movie, combining Indian compositions with psychedelic Rock. Thereafter, during the Beatles' post Sergeant details

The sound of the Fab Four is of course what made the Beatles over the span of one joyous decade, during which they used their unbeatable songwriting polish and boundless creativity to deliver the soundtrack for a generation—the biggest band in the world.

But the sight of those long-haired lads from Liverpool also helped complete the package, with everything from their fashion to the Beatles haircut to John’s rapscallion sneer, Paul’s cherubic grin, stern-faced George and the sight of good-natured, jolly Ringo complementing the fandom. Which is why new Beatles releases on the way this week—1 and 1+, which collect the band’s 27 No. 1 singles released between 1962 and 1970, remixed for a new generation of fans—also include treats like restored promotional videos and films that span the entirety of the Beatles’ existence.

The Beatles’ Apple label says it dug deep into its vaults for the packages, with the videos taking us all the way back to the early days. Set for release on Nov. 6, the result is an evocative visual and audio reminder of how the band got to the top and how it stayed there.

In “We Can Work it Out,” for example, we see an early John details

A miniature Bible owned by Eleanor Rigby - the star of the classic Beatles tune - has been put on sale for the first time. The piece of pop memorabilia, which bears the signature of the so-called 'lonely woman' Rigby, is expected to fetch as much as £20,000 at auction thanks to its connection with the song's mysterious central figure. Rigby died in 1939, long before the Beatles had formed, but her grave stands in a Liverpool ceremony where John Lennon and Paul McCartney used to meet and compose songs. 

McCartney has claimed that the song was not an intentional reference to the woman - whose name he invented for the purposes of the song. But he admits the name could have ended up in the back of his mind after spending time near the headstone at St Peter's church in Woolton, and made its way into musical history from there.

Rigby, held up in the 1966 song as an example of 'all the lonely people' had a life with similarities to the figure described in the song. She too could be classed as lonely, having been unmarried for most of her life. She married at the age of 35 - extremely late for the time - to a much older man and died less than ten years later. She never had children. 

And she was details

An extremely rare baseball signed by all four Beatles on their last ever tour of the US has gone on sale with a staggering $100,000 price tag.

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr each scribbled their signature on the ball after playing the DC Stadium in Washington DC on the fourth date of their 1966 tour on August 15.

The band's signatures were notoriously hard to come by but when Fred Baster, the equipment manager of the Washington Senators baseball team, asked them to sign three baseballs for him they obliged. 

Mr Baster kept two for himself and gave another to Senators pitcher Mike Cronin. This Joe Cronin Official American League baseball, housed in a velvet-lined wooden box, is one of the two that belonged to Fred Baster. An engraved plaque on the box reads 'Beatles 66 £2'. 

It is tipped to sell for $100,000 - around £65,000 - at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles. Darren Julien, from the auctioneers, said: "There are only three baseballs in the world signed by the Beatles, and this is one of them. 

"The band had just played their fourth gig of their 1966 US tour when Fred Baster, the equipment manager for the Senators, approached them details

The show, in February 1963, was the only time The Beatles played Sutton Coldfield and took place just as their second single Please Please Me was storming up what was then known as the hit parade.

Richard Houghton is hoping to trace members of the audience from that night in 1963 to share their memories of seeing John, Paul, George and Ringo for what he is terming a ‘people’s history’ of the group.

Richard said:

“There have been lots of books about The Beatles but I’m trying to tell the story of their shows from the point of view of the audience. Britain was a very different place then to what it is now and I’m hoping to capture the memories of the people who were probably teenagers then and who are probably grandparents now so that their recollections can be captured for all time. The show in Sutton Coldfield at what was also known as St Peter’s Church Hall was one of the earliest The Beatles performed in the UK outside Merseyside.”

Richard is the author of You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962 – 69, which tells the story of the Stones early concerts in the words of their fans. Now he is looking to repeat the exercise with his boo details

“Hey Hey” holds a special significance on Paul McCartney’s Pipes of Peace, and not just because it’s the lone instrumental. It’s also one of just three songs on the project not written solely by McCartney: The other two feature Michael Jackson.

For bassist and co-writer Stanley Clarke, “Hey Hey” represents something else: The fullest flowering of a new friendship. The song gets off to a raucous start, before Clarke steps forward for a memorably jazz-inflected interlude. That Paul McCartney would move aside for a fellow bassist says a lot about their mutual admiration for one another.

Clarke, in an exclusive Something Else! Sitdown, praises the former Beatles star as “a very melodic player. Melody just comes right out of him. That’s only natural for him to play the bass like that. He does it without thinking. He’s a writer who sings songs, so it was only natural when he plays the bass, his lines would be very melodic.”

Over the years, Stanley Clarke has made a name for himself in fusion circles, even while collaborating with rockers from Stewart Copeland to Jeff Beck to Ronnie Wood. He ended up contributing to both Pipes of Peace, released details

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