Beatles News

In October 1973, John Lennon enlisted the help of infamous producer Phil Spector to record an album. However, it didn’t all go exactly to plan for Lennon as he had recently split from Yoko Ono, became a regular at clubs all around Los Angeles, and fashioned a reputation for drunken antics as he slipped into his self-proclaimed “lost weekend.”

Meanwhile, a rapidly deteriorating Spector wasn’t holding up much better. He took the tapes from the sessions that they had actually managed to record and left Lennon with nothing. Ordinarily, this would have been bad enough, but the threat of legal action already hung over the former Beatles member’s head. “It started in ’73 with Phil and fell apart. I ended up as part of a mad, drunken scene in Los Angeles and I finally finished it off on my own,” Lennon later told Rolling Stone. “And there were still problems with it up to the minute it came out. I can’t begin to say, it’s just barmy. There’s a jinx on that album.”

The record, which would finally go on to be released in 1975, was entitled Rock and Roll and featured 13 covers from the ’50s and ’60s which Lennon had a particular fondn details

The Beatles’ 11th album, ‘Abbey Road’, was released 47 years ago today, and as the last thing the Beatles recorded together (‘Let It Be’ being mostly recorded before, but released after) it remains a perfect parting gift. To celebrate its anniversary, we set ourselves the piss-easy task of finding the best moments on the album. Of the dozens we came up with, here’s 10.

1. The handclaps on ‘Come Together’ Along with John Lennon’s spittle-flecked whisper of “shoot me” and McCartney’s unmistakably bendy bassline, it’s the sound the handclaps that usher you into ‘Abbey Road’. What a freaky welcome.

2. The guitar line on ‘Something’ Like the bassline on ‘Come Together’, this melody’s also iconic, but in this case it’s one that appears very few times and still manages to be utterly stand-out. It’s even better when it comes back in again right at the end of the guitar solo. 

3. The vocal high-point on ‘Oh! Darling’ It’s actually hard to pick out the best part of McCartney’s vocal on this track, but it’s probably the moment his voice jumps up an oc details

When Paul Rivard stood at a podium five months ago announcing the first London Beatles Festival, he had a very specific theme in mind, one the Fab Four themselves would no doubt enjoy.

“I think for the first year we coined it correctly when we called it Come Together,” said Rivard, the festival’s director. “Everybody keeps saying to me it will come together. That’s what the first year is all about, bringing everybody together, coming together. It’s honestly been overwhelming. Never in the world could I have imagined the support we’d get.”

The London Beatles Festival will run downtown Sept. 23-25.

Top Beatles tribute bands will be presented on the festival’s two main stages — Clarence Street outdoor stage and the Wolf Performance Hall — as well as local artists paying tribute in their individual styles at many satellite venues throughout the downtown core, including at a third big stage at the licensed Octopus Garden downtown.

Rivard said his plan all along was to keep this inaugural festival small in size and scope, but it became apparent the wider public had other ideas.

It seemed everyone had ideas about what the event sh details

Seems like just yesterday my radio program director walked into the studios with a new song on a “cart.” Actually, the date was 1985 and the song was Much Too Late for Goodbyes from Julian Lennon, the first single from his album, Valotte. I was immediately captivated by it as were our listeners. The song reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart.

That was then and in Julian’s now, photography is a big hit. His exhibition, Cycle, is on tap at Leica Gallery in Los Angeles through October 17. I had the honor of sitting with Julian recently at his opening to talk about art and life. Bono, The Edge and Randy Jackson stopped by, as did a host of others who appreciate yet another facet of Julian’s wide range of talents and interests.

“I have always felt that I have observed life in a different way to others,” Julian, 53, has said. “Music has always been one creative outlet for me, but now I’m happy to add another one too, that being photography.”

By the way, for you camera buffs, Julian used the Leica V-LUX (Typ 114) to shoot the photographs in Cycle.

He is truly warm and wonderful. I hope you’ll get t details

There’s a London festival this weekend that loves you — yeah, yeah, yeah.

The first edition of the London Beatles Festival goes Friday through Sunday at venues around London. Devoted to the Fab Four’s music, lore, films and more, the fest mixes top Beatles tribute bands with local heroes playing the 1960s’ pop band’s hits.

Vendors offer collectibles. Iconic Canadian photographer John Rowlands is among those who will show and tell. London collector Jeff Blake has images on offer. Komoka’s Fred Young brings his museum and vinyl.

Children will settle in at the Yellow Submarine fun zone, while older fans kick back at the Octopus’s Gardens, a licensed locale with bands and DJs. “We want to make it a fun event for everybody,” fest director and London rocker Paul Rivard said this week.

The fest starts Friday at 6 p.m. when tribute act BeatleMania Revisited plays an all-ages show at the Clarence Street stage. Performers will celebrate the Fab Four’s sounds in their own “diverse styles,” Rivard said. That would certainly be true of beloved London rockers, The Mongrels.

Oft saluted in The Free Press for having the best setlist details

This must be the place - Thursday, September 22, 2016

I teared up immediately. The moment I heard John Lennon’s voice in the latest documentary about The Beatles, the Ron Howard directed “Eight Days A Week — The Touring Years,” my vision became blurry, my thoughts scattered, as I pondered a modern world with Lennon still alive — the ambassador of hope, love, and the promise of a better tomorrow.

Entering the Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Asheville this past Sunday afternoon, it became quickly apparent I would be one of the few in attendance under the age of, perhaps, 60. The Beatles are beloved by all, by any age or demographic, but, they will — always — be owned by my parents and their peers.

I’ve never known an existence without The Beatles. My parents do, and yet, I never will. And that’s not a bad thing. Far from it. The point of The Beatles is to practice and perpetuate love, understanding, and what it means to not see color — only friendship and companionship.

Thus, taking a seat at the Fine Arts Theatre, I found myself amid, as my mother would say, her “vintage.” And I was happy to be amongst company that knew the “real deal,” that were once teenage girls and boys in details

When the Beatles visited New Orleans for their now-legendary City Park concert in September 1964, they had two primary requests. Following the show, they wanted a day off from their grueling 25-concert, 30-day tour, in order to bask in the music of one of America's most soulful cities; and they wanted to meet local musician Fats Domino, one of their major influences.

As far as that day off goes, it was scheduled – and then un-scheduled when the band was offered a reported $150,000, which is said to be about six times their normal fee, to add a last-minute concert in Kansas City to the jam-packed tour schedule. (After leaving New Orleans and arriving in Kansas City, the band was asked if there was any place in America they'd love to see. Beatle John Lennon's wistful reply: "New Orleans is one of them.")

And as for meeting the notoriously shy Fats? Well, in that case, they scored – and there's photographic evidence to prove it.

Two photos from that meeting make it into Ron Howard's new Beatles documentary "Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years." And while they are, somewhat disappointingly, the only images from the lads' New Orleans stop to make it into the film, they are still priceless images details

In 2001, painter Eric Waugh broke the world record for the largest painting by a single artist. His stunning 41,400-square-foot painting, entitled Hero, was revealed on World AIDS Day. Now, in honor of the 45th anniversary of John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” Waugh has created a 2500-square-foot painting of the musician that will be displayed today in New York City to commemorate the U.N.’s International Day of Peace.

“It is my hope that people surround the painting and pay tribute to John and his dream for a world without strife, war, and conflict,” Waugh wrote on his website. “Recent events, at home and abroad, show that John’s vision remains as important as ever.” The painting was created at his warehouse in Austin, Texas, is five stories high, and took more than a month to complete.

Waugh will unveil and display the painting today in the heart of New York City’s Central Park, directly in front of the Naumburg Bandshell amphitheater. The bandshell is located near Strawberry Fields, a memorial to Lennon, and across the street from the Dakota, the apartment complex where Lennon was assassinated in 1980. According to Waugh, it’s the perfect location t details

Pool excited to spread Wings over Europe - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It’s an odd way to look at things, but there’s much more to the Beatles than the Beatles.

For example, some of the best work John, Paul, George and even Ringo did came after the band broke up. Harrison’s All Things Must Pass is a landmark album, while Lennon’s Imagine defined him as a solo artist. Paul McCartney’s band Wings in concert was one of the hottest tickets of the early to mid-‘70s and the live album Wings Over America hit the top of the charts in the U.S. So it goes without saying no Beatles festival – least of all the first London Beatles Festival, running Sept. 23-25 — would be complete without a few of the world’s best solo tribute artists.

As it turns out, one of them lives in the Forest City. Yuri Pool is Paul in The McCartney Years, a show he says is far more a concert than a tribute act. Pool sounds so much Sir Paul that it’s difficult to tell the two apart. Now eight years old, the show tours North and South America and Europe throughout much of the year. “It’s amazing,” he said. “We just got a new contract for South America, so that market is opening up as well. And we’ve got a major tour through Europe n details

AfterFab flying solo on post-Beatles hits - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

While the Beatles officially broke up in the spring of 1970, that didn’t stop more music coming from John, Paul, George and Ringo.

In fact, according to Adam Boc, the founder and one of the driving forces behind the tribute band, AfterFab — The Beatles Solo Years, if anything, there was even more to be heard from the Fab Four after they went their separate ways following a decade spent together as a group.

AfterFab, who specialize in the post-Beatles era works of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, are one of the 30 groups scheduled to appear in the Forest City between Sept. 23-25 at The London Beatles Festival.

“The solo Beatles actually had more Top-40 hits than they did as a group,” said Boc. “There’s a large number of songs that were popular and penetrated people’s memories, but weren’t kept alive by oldies and classic rock radio, so sometimes there is a little gap in their memory and we fill that.”

Based out of the Boston area, Boc started putting the group together in 2012 but it wasn’t until the fall of 2013 when they actually played their first gig.

Referring to themselves as a tribute or ‘ details

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