I invited Scott Freiman to dinner for a few reasons, but mostly because he gets paid to talk about rock ‘n’ roll. Scott, the CEO of a tech startup called Qwire(an intentional misspelling of choir), taught a class at Yale University on the music of the Beatles and lectures widelyon the topic. During a dinner with some 15 tech founders and investors, I asked Scott about the story behind Decca Records turning down the Beatles (an epic miss!) and subsequently overpaying to sign another young rock group.
Scott explained that an executive at Decca, who had stayed in touch with Beatles’ guitarist George Harrison, asked George what other hot young acts the label should be considering. George mentioned a young blues group, admonishing: “You blew it with the Beatles, don’t miss these guys.” That group was, of course, the Rolling Stones. The Stones went on to record more than a dozen records with Decca, including Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed, which are often classed among the 100 greatest rock albums of all time.
Why does this anecdote belong in a column about startups and venture capital? Because it’s all about deal flow. The beautiful universality of Decca transforming humiliating loss into lucrative victory is that sticking with the one that got away works.
Dylan then dropped a bomb. "He said he had this idea to make a record with the Beatles and the Stones," John writes. "And he asked me if I would find out whether the others would be interested. I was completely bowled over. Can you imagine the three greatest influences on popular music in the previous decade making an album together?"
Johns quickly began working the phones. "Keith and George thought it was fantastic," he writes. "But they would since they were both huge Dylan fans. Ringo, Charlie and Bill were amicable to the idea as long as everyone else was interested. John didn't say a flat no, but he wasn't that interested. Paul and Mick both said absolutely not."
Needless to say, the plan didn't go forward. "I had it all figured out," writes Johns. "We would pool the best material from Mick and Keith, Paul and John, Bob and George, and then select the best rhythm section from the two bands to suit whichever songs we were cutting. Paul and Mick were probably, right, however I would have given anything to have given it a go."
I shared the same planet with the Beatles for one year, three months and two days. That was how old I was when John Lennon died, not that I learned that until nearly a decade later. By the time I first encountered the group, courtesy of the movie "Yellow Submarine," it had long since been reduced to a thriving industry and a beloved — but irrevocably gone — part of the past.
We still perform Sophocles' plays and trek to the Egyptian pyramids after thousands of years, so I have no reason to doubt that the Beatles' music will have similar staying power. Just this summer, my wife and I visited Liverpool and took the Magical Mystery Tour bus ride, which guides tourists by the childhood homes of all four Beatles and points out historic points of interest — this street where two of the band members walked to school, for example, or this trail where one of them rode his bike.
The Beatles were not infallible musically (even the most diehard fan can probably name a least favorite song or album) and were all too fallible as human beings. Biographers have prospered for decades with accounts of Lennon's temper, Paul McCartney's bossiness, George Harrison's moodiness and Ringo Starr's substance abuse. We have been told countless times — including by the Beatles themselves — that they were men and not gods.
His two predecessors in the role have both had number one singles on the back of their campaigns and the firm's commercials have spawned numerous hits.
Tom - who landed the Critics' Choice prize at the Brits last year - is performing a version of the song Real Love, which was a number four hit for The Beatles in March 1996.
The track began life as a solo demo by John Lennon, written in his New York home in the Dakota Building in 1977. When Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were looking for singles to include in their Anthology project, they provided new backing for Lennon's voice to overhaul the rough tape but it stalled in the charts after Radio 1 failed to add it to the station's playlist.
It has now been recorded by Tom to accompany the ad, which will be screened for the first time tomorrow, with high expectations that the John Lewis connection will propel it to the top of the charts.
The retail firm's ads for the past two years have both generated number one singles - Gabrielle Aplin with The Power Of Love in 2012 and Lily Allen with Somewhere Only We Know last year.
Until now, 23-year-old Tom has achieved just one top 40 single, making it to number 10 with his single Another Love last year although his debut album did go on to top the charts.
The director of the ad Dougal Wilson - who is now on his seventh John Lewis commercial - has always taken a keen interest in the music used in his work and has a side career creating quirky videos for acts such as Coldplay, Bat For Lashes, Will Young and Jarvis Cocker.
Other hits from his John Lewis ads have included Fyfe Dangerfield's version of Always A Woman.
Chrissie Hynde's reverent, heartfelt cover of the Beatles' "Let It Be," which will appear on the upcoming, star-studded Paul McCartney tribute comp The Art of McCartney, is now streaming online. The recording finds the Pretenders frontwoman stretching her delicate voice across lush textures of piano, gospel backup vocals and, at its apex, a full rock band, complete with a bluesy guitar solo; at its most delicate, Hynde sings over a Beatlesesque acoustic guitar part. A behind-the-scenes video revealed that the singer specifically chose "Let It Be,"
Larry Kane was the only American reporter to travel with the Beatles for every stop on both the 1964 and 1965 North American tours. Being a huge Beatles fan I looked forward to to reading this account with the hope that I would learn something new and thrilling. Unfortunately for the most part, Mr Kane does not deliver.Although this book would be a good read for a beginner or casual fan, it doesn't really contain much new information for this seasoned reader on the subject. Perhaps if Mr. Kane had released his memoirs in a more timely fashion his stories would pack more punch, but since most of these events have already been widely reported in numerous volumes of Beatles books, the best of which in this reviewer's opinion is Peter Brown's 1983 epic The Love You Make, Mr. Kane's revelations are stale.
The author was apparently a young, impressionable, wide eyed innocent when he began traveling with the boys and their entourage in 1964. He seems to this day still tantalized by the idea of John messing around with Jayne Mansfield and Joan Baez. Not to burst your bubble Larry but The Beatles were already an "experienced" group by 1964 and despite their squeaky clean image at the time, they were working on perfecting the sex, drugs, rock and roll lifestyle. In addition to his apparent shock, his sophomoric writing style reads like a news report. The repetition of the same stories woven into the disjointed format of the book as well as his overuse of innuendo and suggestion in place of actual facts becomes anticlimactic and frankly annoying.
LIVERPOOL, England -- They were just another boy band, a gaggle of teenagers with too much energy. They'd meet in the basement of a friend's suburban home, horsing around and playing guitar. One mischievously began carving his name on a wood wall board -- J-O-H -- before being smacked in the head by the friend's mom. He'd finish later, adding the final "N."
Graffiti etched by John Lennon is but one of the curiosities you'll see on tours of the Casbah Coffee Club where the band that became the Beatles got its start in 1959. The friend was former Beatles drummer Pete Best and the mom their first manager, Mona Best, who opened the coffeehouse to give the boys a place to play
Paul McCartney painted the ceiling of one room in a rainbow of colors using cans of leftover paint, says Roag Best, Pete's much younger brother and a Casbah tour guide. It was here, in a space so tiny you can extend your arms and touch both walls, that they set up their equipment.
They were the Quarrymen then, and they weren't very good.
But when the boys returned from Hamburg, Germany, where they played for hours night after night, the band had changed. Customers at the Casbah didn't expect much, says Best. In fact, they were annoyed that such a mediocre band, now called the Beatles, had been booked. But they played their first song and the mood shifted. As word spread, crowds began pouring into the club's Spiderweb room where Lennon scratched more graffiti on its red ceiling: "John -- I'm back."
A teenager named Summer Strawberry Fields Forever by her Beatles-mad dad has been forced to cut it short by a bank for her first card.
The 16 year-old trainee hairdresser went into a local branch to open her first current account.
But staff said her name - the title of a 1967 Fab Four hit - was too long to fit on a debit card.
Summer, who says she likes her name, agreed to cut it short and has been left with her first name and surname Cole She said: "I'm proud of my names and I would never want to change them.
"I know the Beatles finished playing more than 40 years before I was born, but I ha
In honor of Billboard magazine's 120th anniversary on Nov. 1, we're revealing the top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits from each decade since the 1960s (for a total of 120 songs).
The '60s was the first full decade of rock and roll, and the top twenty singles of the decade reflect a battle between old and new forms. Elvis Presley and Ray Charles, who helped lay the foundation for the explosion of rock and soul in the '50s, each appear on the list; so does the smooth doo-wop of the Four Seasons. Louis Armstrong, the famous jazz musician who had been recording since the 1920s, had one of the biggest hit singles of the '60s.
But the new era arrived quickly. The biggest hit from the decade? Chubby Checker's rock-indebted dance track "The Twist," the only song ever to hit No. 1 in two separate runs (in 1960 and again in 1962, due to its revival in its pop culture). Sounds were changing. The Beatles landed two entries on the top twenty -- an early number, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," and the expansive "Hey Jude," from later in their career. Soul came on strong at the end of the decade: Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay," from 1967, and Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," from 1968.
Check out the Spotify playlist of the top 20 below -- except for the Beatles, whose music isn't on Spotify -- and read on to see when each hit peaked.