Al Brodax, a television producer who delivered an enduring psychedelic classic when he turned the Beatles song “Yellow Submarine” into an animated film in 1968, died on Thursday in Danbury, Conn. He was 90.
The death was confirmed by his daughter, Jessica Harris.
In the 1960s, Mr. Brodax (pronounced BROH-dax) ran the motion picture and television division of King Features Syndicate, where he produced hundreds of “Popeye” cartoons for television.
Quick to see the cartoon potential of the Beatles, he sold their manager, Brian Epstein, on the idea of an animated series. “The Beatles” ran on Saturday mornings on ABC from 1965 to 1969 (in reruns for the last two years), attracting huge audiences.
When “Yellow Submarine” climbed the charts in 1966, Mr. Brodax sensed that lightning might strike twice. He approached Mr. Epstein again, this time with some trepidation; the Beatles did not like “The Beatles.”
But there was an opening. The group owed United Artists one more film after “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!,” but had lost interest in acting. An animated film, Mr. Brodax argued, would require virtually n details
The piano used by John Lennon to compose ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ and play one of the most famous final chords in music history is set to sell for £1.45million.
British piano makers John Broadwood and Sons made the upright instrument in 1872 but it wasn’t until 100 years later that it’s current value was created. Lennon bought the piano in the 1960s and used it prolifically between 1964 and 1968 while living at Kenwood, his mock-Tudor mansion in Weybridge, Surrey, where he had his own studio. He conceived and orchestrated hits ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, ‘Good Morning, Good Morning’ and ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!’ from the instrument. And the dramatic E-major chord heard for 40 seconds at the end of ‘A Day in the Life’, the last track on the Sgt Pepper album was played by Lennon on this piano.
The famous chord was played simultaneously on separate pianos by Lennon, McCartney and Starr. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the track as the greatest Beatles song of all time. After his divorce from wife Cynthia, Lennon moved to Tittenhurst Park, Berkshire, with Yoko Ono and took the piano with him. By 1971 the couple were li details
"I play a little guitar, write a few tunes, make a few movies, but none of that's really me," George Harrison once said. "The real me is something else." Harrison was many things – including a master of understatement. But he was right to point out that his true character remains elusive. He was one of the most famous men in the world, but he loathed superstardom. He preached piety and simple pleasures, yet he lived in a 120-room mansion and collected ultra high-end cars. His studious facade belayed a brilliant sense of humor, which led him to produce some of the greatest comedies of all time. The songs he wrote focused on both the glory of God and the petty annoyances of day-to-day life.
While undoubtedly proud of the band that vaulted him into immortality, he was loath to measure himself by their success. "The Beatles exist apart from myself," he once said. "I am not really Beatle George. Beatle George is like a suit or shirt that I once wore on occasion, and until the end of my life people may see that shirt and mistake it for me." It's been 15 years since Harrison's death, so today we honor the man with 10 tales that shine a light on his life outside the mop-topped artifice of the Fab Four.
1. He visit details
When most people think of The Beatles and New Orleans, they think of 1964 and the Fab Four's one and only concert in the Crescent City, which took place before a swooning crowd -- kept at bay by a swarm of uniformed, tackle-happy NOPD officers -- at City Park Stadium. But just more than 10 years after that brief but eternal half-hour set, the city came tantalizingly close to hosting another Beatles milestone, in the form of a reunion of none other than John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
That meeting, for which much of the music world had been hoping since the legendary band's 1970 dissolution, never actually happened, of course. But the story behind that near-miss, that almost-history, that elusive happily-ever-after is nicely laid out in author Richard White's book "Come Together: Lennon & McCartney in the Seventies" ($18.95, paperback, Overlook Omnibus). It's a fascinating tale, and one that can be counted on to leave fans of music and of New Orleans wondering wistfully about what could have been.
As the title suggests, White's densely written and painstakingly researched book focuses on Lennon and McCartney's often acrimonious post-Beatles period, which he covers in the sort of detail -- with frequent but st details
George Harrison might have been “the quiet Beatle,” but over the course of his career with The Fab Four and later on in his solo career, the guitarist wrote a myriad of timeless hits that would boost his status as one of the most prolific rock stars of all time. As a 15-year old, the Liverpool-born Harrison became a member of the Quarrymen (who would later become The Beatles), despite John Lennon thinking that he was too young.
Having to compete with the the power-writing duo that was Lennon and Paul McCartney, Harrison was able to slip a song or two of his own onto almost every Beatles album during the group’s existence; no easy feat, by any stretch of the imagination. Some of those songs included “Taxman,” (1966’s Revolver) “Within You Without You” (1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), “Here Comes The Sun” and “Something” (both from 1969’s Abbey Road) and many more.
Even more impressive may have been his solo work, as the period following The Beatles proved Harrison to be a truly great singer-songwriter in his own right, now being out of the shadow of his former bandmates. 1968 would see him be the first Beatle details
It’s been 15 years since cancer took the life of singer-songwriter George Harrison, the former lead guitarist of the Beatles who would go on to become a successful solo star, and a symbol of spirituality and higher awareness amongst mainstream rockers of his generation. That latter part of his legacy often gets overshadowed by the former; the phenomenon of that group is a well-documented double-edged sword, but nowhere is it more obvious than in the case of “The Quiet One” who famously hated the experience of being in one of the most scrutinized and overhyped musical acts in history.
And in Harrison’s case, being a Beatle made him undoubtedly rich and famous, but he was creatively stifled by the group’s dynamic and the fame that came along with it. And he never got to showcase his all-around skill set within the context of that band.
“I wasn't Lennon or I wasn't McCartney. I was me,” Harrison told BBC-1 interviewer David Wigg in 1969. “And the only reason I started to write songs was because I thought, well if they can write them, I can write them. You know, 'cuz really, everybody can write songs if they want to. If they have a desire to and if they have sort of so details
In September 1974 George Harrison’s record label, Dark Horse Records, released its first two singles. The first was Ravi Shankar’s ‘I Am Missing You’. Produced and arranged by Harrison, it is a rare Shankar composition in a Western pop style. The other single to come out that same day was Splinter’s ‘Costafine Town’, which went top 10 in Australia and South Africa and made the UK top twenty.
Two years later, with his contractual obligations to other labels at an end, and with the winding down of Apple Records, George signed to his own label. In the intervening years there had been other Dark Horse Records releases by Stairsteps, Jiva, Henry McCullough (following his departure from Wings), and a band called Attitudes. First brought together on Harrison’s 1975 album Extra Texture (Read All About It), Attitudes included keyboard player David Foster, who also played on George’s debut for Dark Horse, Thirty Three & 1/3.
George’s seventh solo studio album was recorded at his home, Friar Park, between the end of May and mid September 1976, and was released two months later on 19th November. Shortly after beginning to make this record, George contracted hep details
In the early evening of Thursday, November 24, 1966, four young men — the oldest 26, the youngest 23 — arrived at a north London recording studio to start work on a song one of them had written in Spain weeks before.
Cars ferried three of them from Georgian and mock Tudor mansions in Surrey — London’s so-called stockbroker belt — while the fourth journeyed from just around the St John’s Wood corner.
These wartime boys of Liverpool’s working classes had come a long way. On that same day in 1962 their primitive debut single was heading towards No 17 on the British charts before its modest run lost momentum. That same night they completed a two-hour set at the Royal Lido Ballroom in Prestatyn, north Wales, earning £30, but the cook threw in a plate of jam sandwiches.
By the time John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr assembled at Abbey Road’s Studio Two at 7.30pm, they were the four most famous young men on the planet.
What the Beatles had done in that room in the intervening period changed popular music, and then popular culture, reshaping the century in ways that reverberate still. When things were tough for the band, as t details
"Strawberry Fields Forever" represents one of the most daunting achievements of the Beatles' career, and a landmark in 20th-century music as a whole, but what if someone was to say there exists a "Strawberry Fields" recording that surpasses the single released in February 1967? A fatuous claim? Or a gateway to the most revealing of all Beatles recordings?
John Lennon, the song's author, esteemed "Strawberry Fields Forever" in a way he did few of his own compositions. "It's real, you know," he remarked in 1970. "It's about me, and I don't know anything else really. The only true songs I ever wrote were 'Help!' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever.'"
The writing of the latter commenced in September 1966 while Lennon was in Spain for the filming of Richard Lester's How I Won the War. The Beatles may have sensed they had reached a middle-aged point of their career, hence an impetus to look back to childhood, as Lennon now was, Strawberry Fields itself being the Salvation Army children's home where he'd play as a boy, despite his Aunt Mimi's warnings that the grounds were dangerous.
Lennon, ever a collector of found sounds, was now finding himself in song, and elected to document the process, beginning with those e details
Not many people can say they bought The Beatles supper from a chippy on Heavitree Road, before learning a powerful life lesson from John Lennon. But Exeter rocker Paul Walters, 66, can.
Paul, managing director of Guildhall Shopping Centre's Gourmet Kitchens and Velvet Touch guitarist, has shared memories of his jaw dropping backstage meeting with the Fab Four.
It follows this month's anniversary of a sell-out 1963 gig at the city's now demolished ABC Cinema. The encounter between his 15-year-old self and Liverpool's finest at their second ABC gig, in 1964, was not by chance alone. Paul's father, Ken, owned a popular hairdresser which, he claims, was the first business to set up shop in the original Princesshay shopping centre, and the last to leave. A regular customer of his father Ken was Bob Parker, boss of the ABC, who was looking for people to police the second Beatles gig at the city centre venue.
Paul didn't have to be asked twice, already a huge fan at the time. Paul remembered: "The Beatles were late to the gig because they were watching a Liverpool FC game on telly at the Rougemont Hotel; they were in high spirits following a victory. "As part of the job I ended up getting them details