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The Magical Mystery Tour: Fifty Years On - Monday, February 13, 2017

The worldwide popularity of the Beatles endures a half-century after the lads from Liverpool led the British Invasion of the ’60s, as evidenced by a full house last week at Malibu City Hall for the Library Speaker Series kickoff event of 2017. Beatles expert Scott Freiman presented “Roll Up! Deconstructing The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour.” Fab Four fans of all ages were treated to a two-hour multimedia presentation detailing how the groundbreaking rock group created their psychedelic tour de force.

Freiman, who is a composer and musician himself, gave a detailed song-by-song account of the album to a rapt audience. As referenced in Sgt. Pepper, it really was 50 years ago today that Magical Mystery Tour was released to a confused public. Freiman explained that a disastrous tour preceding the making of the album led the group to retreat to the relative calm of the recording studio. The Beatles’ unprecedented popularity made touring difficult as audiences screamed so loudly that the musicians — relying on primitive monitors — couldn’t hear themselves. A hostile stop in The Philippines cemented the decision: They would no longer play live.

By: Judy Abel

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The record that launched The Beatles career is going on display at The Beatles Story in Liverpool.

The unique acetate disc was presented to producer George Martin by the band's manager, Brian Epstein, 55 years ago, on February 13th 1962. It features a recording of ‘Hello Little Girl’ on one side and ‘Til There Was You’ on the other.

Brian Epstein had the disc cut in the Personal Recording Department of the HMV record store on Oxford St in London. It was cut using The Beatles’ Decca audition tapes before being presented to George Martin of EMI.

Despite Martin’s initial reticence, the disc eventually led to the breakthrough the band were looking for.

The leading Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn wrote about the disc in his book 'Tune In': “Its uniqueness is enhanced by Brian Epstein’s handwriting on the labels, and the recognition of what it led to – making it one of the rarest and most collectible of all Beatles records.”

“This is one of those Holy Grail items like the original Quarrymen acetate that the band recorded themselves. This acetate is a unique item that, in many re details

Plans to marry George. Playing in an all-girl Beatle band. Touring the northeast with a faux George. "Beatles obsession" is putting it mildly.

In the beginning, I’m just like any other teenage girl…

Mid-January 1964: Somebody at school mentions a band called The Beatles. Yuuch. They sound like bugs.

Our January 31, 1964 Life Magazine issue is delivered to our house in Queens, NY. Their pictures are on the cover. “First England fell…” the copy reads. I hoard the magazine and stare at their pictures all week. Can’t wait for Ed Sullivan. Four more days.

Sunday night, my brother, mother and I sit down to watch. My father, who feels that any music written after Debussy is crap (and he is somewhat ambivalent about Debussy), paces, refusing to sit down with us.

The Beatles take the stage. “Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you…” Endorphin surge. George. The lead guitar player. Him. We could play music together. He’s mine. After the show, I go upstairs and close the door to my room. Tears on my fretboard.

The obsession takes over. I have an advantage. I’m a musician from a family of professional musicians. I have a cha details

The English composer and musicologist Wilfrid Mellers, in his now classic scholarly study of the Beatles, Twilight of the Gods, calls the early Beatles period, the period of screaming girls and “yeah, yeah, yeah,” their “Edenic” period. In his study, Mellers give particular attention to “There’s a Place,” the American “B-side” (there’s a quaint old term for you) to their iconic cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Twist and Shout.”

Given that the song wallows in obscurity in the Fabs’ canon, you must be wondering Professor Mellers chose to give it serious scholarly attention and why I would choose it as the subject of of an essay. Other sources report that while John, Paul, George, and Ringo originally had high hopes for the song, that they themselves lost interest caused possibly by its having been a bit of a struggle for them to record. From being a song they expected to be their next #1, “There’s a Place” ended up as album filler and a B-side to a popular cover song.

As both Professor Mellers and I will argue, that’s a bad underestimation of what really is one of their finest early tunes.

Wilfrid Melle details

Director Ron Howard has said he chose to attend the Baftas rather than the Grammys because he was so gratified his nominated documentary about The Beatles has been received so well in the UK.

Howard has received nods for awards at both ceremonies - for best documentary at the Baftas and best music film at the Grammys - for his movie The Beatles: Eight Days A Week.  The awards shows happen within hours of each other and Howard opted to brave the cold in London rather than attend the music show in Los Angeles. Arriving at the Bafta nominees party at Kensington Palace, he told the Press Association: "I had to choose but I have a lot of fun here, I have worked in London a lot and have a lot of friends here and the Baftas know how to throw a hell of a party."

He said he had not even been deterred by the snow and freezing temperatures, saying: "I came from New York where we had a huge blizzard so this ain't nothing."

However, he admitted making a film about the Fab Four was more intimidating than he first expected. He said: "It was scary as hell but I got into it because it was irresistible. "I thought there was a great story there and when else would you get to work with all that great music?

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On Feb. 11, 1964, Beatlemania blasted Washington — all shrieks and Arthur haircuts and songs people couldn’t quite make out.

Two nights after their hysteria-inducing welcome-to-America appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the Beatles played their first U.S. concert at the Washington Coliseum. With “I Want to Hold Your Hand” sitting atop the American Billboard chart, 8,092 people crowded into the arena near Union Station and witnessed the band perform a dozen songs that changed everything.

“It was one of the most exciting live performances the Beatles ever gave,” says Beatles historian Bruce Spizer, who has studied footage of the concert at the long-defunct Coliseum. “And it gave them great confidence that they indeed could conquer America.”

Here’s the tale of the historic 1964 visit, as told to The Washington Post by some of the people who lived it.

John B. Lynn, son of Harry Lynn, who owned the Coliseum: My father got the call asking if he’d be interested in having the Beatles. He, of course, had never heard of them. But he said yes. He brought home a box of Beatles albums and singles to give out, and my brother and I becam details

BBC documentary traces the world famous club's brilliant history

A TV documentary celebrating 60 years of The Cavern reveals how its founder hatched his plan to open it over a lunchtime pint in The Grapes pub further along Mathew Street. The Cavern: The Most Famous Club In The World, which is presented by Ted Robbins, can be seen on Friday evening at 7.30pm on BBC1.

And Peter Morris, a friend of its founder, the late Alan Sytner, recalled a crucial day in 1956, when he, Alan and two other friends met up in Mathew Street.

He told the programme: “We used to meet up in The Grapes and he said ‘Do you know I was in Paris and there was a jazz club there which opened early in the evening, so people came straight from work. We should have a place like that and we could even open at lunchtime. I’d love to find a place, like a basement or something’.”

Its music policy changed over time, and The Beatles played the Cavern 292 times between February 9, 1960 - 57 years ago today - and August 3, 1963.

Tomorrow’s documentary features lots of archive footage and interviews with a variety of people with connections to The Cavern – from artists who played there to t details

The Beatles take the US by storm: a revolution in music culture

On February 9, 1964, the United States had just entered the peak of time known as the “British Invasion.” It wasn’t a military invasion, but an invasion of culture thanks to four young men: John, Paul, George, and Ringo, also known as The Beatles. On this very day 52 years ago, they took the stage on the Ed Sullivan show. They stole the hearts of young women across the country and helped with their oversea popularity.

The Beatles were formed in Liverpool, England, in the year 1960 after the then 16-year-old John Lennon started the group with a couple of his friends from school. Before they were known as The Beatles, their name was first the Blackjacks, next the Quarrymen, and it then changed to several different things until they decided on just The Beatles. With their iconic name, they started to take England by storm with their first album that was recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studio. “She Loves You” became the fastest selling record in the UK at the time and became their first single to sell one million copies.

With all this exposure, the media was constantly following them, along with many fans. The Bea details

Production will start this month on a new film that will tell the story of The Beatles through the recollections of the group's fans. “Here There and Everywhere,” projected to be an 80-minute documentary, will be shot through the year and is set for release in 2018, producer Simon Weitzman told AXS this week. An official announcement was made Feb. 8. The film has the backing of a number of Beatles organizations, among them the Cavern Club where the Beatles performed before they were famous, The Beatles Story Museum and the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool, the British Beatles Fan Club and U.S.-based fan conventions Abbey Road on the River.

“The project starts this week, but we are sorting things out for initial interviews over the next few months,” Weitzman, the co-author of two books on the Beatles from Archivum Books, “The Beatles – All You Need Is Love” and “Tom Murray's Mad Day Out,” said in an interview. David L. Simon is one of the film's two executive producers, along with Pete Nash of the British Beatles Fan Club.

“Essentially this is the people's archive of The Beatles. It's a celebration of people like you and me sharing those stories in a w details

This month marks 53 years since The Fab Four first visited the USA.

The fascinating images, from February 1964, show what happened after The Fab Four landed at JFK airport in New York – where they were met by 3,000 screaming fans.

Once in NYC, the band performed on the Ed Sullivan show in front of a TV audience of 73million people. Their visit, which took place 53 years ago this month, marked the start of Beatlemania. The groundwork for their first US trip had begun months earlier, in October 1963, when presenter Ed Sullivan had been passing through Heathrow Airport as the Beatles were due to land from a Swedish visit and he spotted a huge gathering of fans waiting for them. At that time, the Liverpool legends had already achieved three UK number ones with Please Please Me, From Me To You and She Loves You.

Ed recalled: “There was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen in my life. “I asked someone what was going on and he said, ‘The Beatles’. ‘Who the hell are The Beatles?’ I asked. “But I went back to my hotel, got the name of their manager and arranged for them to do three shows.” The group’s manager Brian Epstein sealed the deal with Sullivan details

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