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Linda McCartney was in love with photography long before she fell for the charms of her superstar musician husband, Paul.

The New Yorker's iconic images of everyone from the Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan captured the spirit of an era and are still exhibited all over the world.But, at home in Sussex, she spent many hours experimenting with a camera-less technique first popularised way back in the early days of photography by a woman from Tonbridge.

Power of the Sun

Anna Atkins, widely recognised as the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images, was a botanist when she began to experiment with a newly-invented technique using the power of the sun to reproduce images.

By laying a piece of dried seaweed or fern onto light-sensitised chemically-treated paper and exposing it to the sun, she found she could create a white image on a blue background. With a subtle range of shade and texture, the pictures she created were striking and strangely lifelike. 

The technique itself, the original "blue-print", would also prove useful for copying architectural plans and mechanical drawings. The cyanotype photographic process had been invented in 1842 by a family friend, celebr details

The first thing Stella McCartney ever designed was a fake, ultra-suede bomber jacket she made when she was 12. “It was kind of great,” she said Thursday, perched on a couch deep inside Nordstrom’s flagship Seattle store. “Very ’80s, and if I could find it now, it’s totally on point.”

Three years later, at 15, she was interning at La Croix and Yves St. Laurent. Now 45 and an established, celebrated designer, McCartney is about to launch a men’s clothing line to add to her collections for women, children, athletes; her fragrance line and her signature Falabella bag

“There are few houses that have an iconic bag,” McCartney said of the Falabella, which also comes in a box design. “I wanted to support it and celebrate it and … give it a friend.” McCartney made a few friends of her Nordstrom customers, who gathered behind a whimsical hedgerow on the store’s second floor. There was live music, food and lots of McCartney’s clothing on racks. Her designs, she said, “are very much based on emotions.”

“I think about women and what they need and how I can serve them,” she said. “There are few luxu details

Lancashire author Richard Houghton's new book captures the memories of Beatles fans who saw the Fab Four play live. Here he shares memories of concerts in the Red Rose county.

Amazingly, I was able to track down someone who was at Woolton Village Fete when Paul McCartney and John Lennon met for the very first time as well as stories from people who saw The Beatles’ last paid performance at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966.

So “The Beatles – I Was There” tells the Beatles’ story from beginning to end in the words of people who were there at the time.’ The book includes memories of the Fab Four’s appearance at Preston’s Public Hall in October 1962, when Love Me Do had been released but Beatlemania was yet to grip the nation.

Alan Parkinson was at that gig and spoke to drummer Ringo Starr, who he had seen working at Butlins. “Only about 100 people were there” recalls Alan. “We recognised the drummer who was at Butlins with Rory Storm and The Hurricanes. Of course that was Ringo. And my cheeky mate said, ‘Remember us from Butlins?’. To which he said, ‘Yes’. I’m not sure he did.”

A 14-year-ol details

When Paul McCartney shocked the world in April 1970 with his announcement of the Beatles' break-up, drummer Ringo Starr added a surprise of his own by becoming (initially, at least) the most musically active member of the former Fab Four.

As he would later recount in the lyrics of "Early 1970," the deceptively jaunty b-side of his 1971 hit "It Don't Come Easy," Starr was the only Beatle who didn't have any serious beef with any other member of the band at the time. Feeling lost without the family dynamic of the musical entity that had completely consumed the previous eight years of his life, he tried to distract himself from the pain by playing as much music as possible. In addition to releasing two solo albums (Sentimental Journey and Beaucoups of Blues) and two non-LP international hits ("It Don't Come Easy" and 1972's "Back Off Boogaloo," both produced by George Harrison), the musician spent his first two post–Fab-Four years playing drums on recording sessions for Harrison, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell and several other artists.

Still, Ringo felt adrift. Unsure of what else to do with himself, he continued to pursue his rather unorthodox film career, which had begun with Beatles v details

In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono initiated Rock & Roll Diplomacy which, as with most things John and Yoko, was avant-garde: Bed-Ins, Bagism and the Live Peace in Toronto 1969. As a premiere, they involved a politician, the then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. In 1971, George Harrison pursued that path, in his own way too: the New York Concert for Bangladesh was specifically linked to the Indian sub-continent. In what would become the first humanitarian Rock concert, Harrison involved UNICEF, a host of Rock stars, such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr, as well as Ravi Shankar and his Indian musicians. In 1979, Paul McCartney took Rock & Roll Diplomacy to its height. As with everything McCartney, the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea were a super-production, involving the United Nations Secretary General, UNHCR, UNICEF and a most diverse set of three generations of Rock musicians, in London.

1979 was an arguably eventful year. Each month sequenced political developments and cultural rainbows. In January, the United States established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Vietnamese troops seized Phnom Penh, ending the Khmer Rouge’s Democratic Kampuchea. Two day details

Bob Eubanks Brings Beatles Stories to Life - Wednesday, November 02, 2016

A full house gathered in Smothers Theatre on Friday to watch Bob Eubanks’ Backstage with the Beatles, a night of music performed by Beatles cover band Ticket to Ride, and behind the scenes stories told by TV/radio personality, game show host and concert producer Bob Eubanks.

Eubanks told stories about his involvement with the Beatles in the early years when he worked as a radio personality at the Oxnard-based KRLA.

Like many Beatles fans, Eubanks was entranced by their performance on the Ed Sullivan show, which prompted him to convince their manager to have them play at the Hollywood Bowl. In trying to bring the Beatles to play at the Hollywood Bowl, he mortgaged his own house to come up with the $25,000 needed for the event. The success of the concert led Eubanks to become the go-to guy for bringing the Beatles to Los Angeles in their touring years.

Eubanks switched from excited storytelling to well-placed puns to cue Beatles cover band Ticket to Ride to play a fitting Beatles song in a fun form of interactive storytelling.

One memorable story from the night came from Eubanks’ very last interaction with the Beatles. The Beatles were finishing their concert at Dodgers Stadium in 1966 details

The Beatles are no strangers to artistic interpretation. Even during their heyday, the group members were rendered as fun-loving cartoon characters getting into one playful adventure after another. By the time of their disbandment, the Fab Four’s lyrics were interpreted as individual works of art in Alan Aldridge’s lavish The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics series. In recent years, artists have continued in their quest to capture the sight and sounds of the Beatles. Take Andrew C. Robinson’s award-winning panels in The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, a graphic novel authored by Vivek J. Tiwary. And then there’s Mat Snow’s provocative Beatles Solo: The Illustrated Chronicles of John, Paul, George, and Ringo after the Beatles.

Which brings us to Visualizing the Beatles, John Pring and Rob Thomas’ arresting collection of Beatles-oriented illustrations and infographics. A pair of British graphic designers, Pring and Thomas trace the Beatles’ incredible career in all of its pictorial splendor. Along the way, they succeed in educating the casual fan about the band mates’ humble origins, evolving fashion choices, and chart-eclipsing hits. But perhaps even more impressively, Pri details

ENTER LADY BEATLE - Wednesday, November 02, 2016

HE inspired all The Beatles songs about women and she lives here in Brisbane. Her name is Naomi Price and she’s a singer and actor. You may have heard of her but not known about her connection to The Beatles.

Have we got your attention? Good, then let me explain. Price’s new show, which will be part of La Boite Theatre Company’s season 2017 is entitled Lady Beatle and in it she plays a woman who imagines that she really did inspire all those Beatles songs. Price and her co-writer, Adam Brunes, are still busy writing the show and Brunes tells us Price’s character is living in a fantasy world where she imagines she is the muse of The Fab Four.

Under the banner of The Little Red Company, Brunes and Price have previously delivered us Rumour Has It ( a show about Adele) and Wrecking Ball (a show about Miley Cyrus) and both shows were huge hits. Next year we get Lady Beatle and it promises to be “a heady trip of psychedelic fun and magical entertainment, giving audiences the opportunity to rediscover The Beatles’ immortal catalogue” says Price who is a Pom by birth.

“My first encounter with the music of The Beatles was through my dad, Paul, who was born in Liverp details

A couple of weeks ago, immediately after the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival's screening of Ron Howard's The Beatles: Eight Days a Week -- The Touring Years, my wife, Karen Martin, who was moderating a post-screening discussion of the film, asked the nearly 600 audience members how many of them had seen The Beatles live before they stopped touring after their 1966 concert trek.

Six or eight hands shot up around the room and Karen raised her own -- she'd seen the group at Cleveland's Public Hall in September 1964.

That show, which she says she doesn't remember much about (though she remembers how she dressed in black turtleneck, red blazer, black skirt, leather cap and Beatle boots and, most of all, how she anticipated going), was remarkable for a couple of reasons. First, shortly after The Beatles started playing, teenagers rushed the stage and Police Inspector Carl Bear of the Cleveland Police Department's juvenile division ordered the band back to their dressing room. The show proceeded after a 15-minute delay, during which the crowd presumably calmed down.

After the performance, all rock 'n' roll shows were temporarily banned. Less than two years later The Beatles were back, playing a show at Cl details

Dave Meister, of BlueSky Jazz, stands on the stage of his replica of the Cavern Club he is building in Hartland. It is based on the Liverpool, England venue where the Beatles got their start.(Photo: Tyler Langan/Now Media Group)

Driving past 510 Hartbrook Drive in Hartland, there isn't anything out of the ordinary. The office building fits in with its surroundings in this quiet part of town with a park and another office building next door. A chiropractic office and a drivers education company call the building home.

Aside from a few piles of brick in the front, it's impossible to tell that Dave Meister, the building's owner, is nearly done constructing a spitting image of the legendary rock 'n' roll venue the Cavern Club, where the Beatles got their start in Liverpool, England.

It's all part of Meister's plan for BlueSky Jazz, a nonprofit organization that will create a music venue where military veterans and students can learn, perform and someday record music with professionals. He also plans to use the space as a venue for fundraisers to benefit veterans.

“Music is therapy,” Meister said.

The venue is a bold undertaking for a man with no interior design experience. The bas details

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