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A remarkable set of family photos that show John Lennon larking around and dressing as a woman in 19th century costume have emerged for sale. The five original black and white pictures offer a rare insight into the personal life of the Beatles legend and show Lennon, his wife Yoko Ono and their baby son Sean having fun in costume while on holiday in America. They were taken in a vintage clothing photography studio in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in 1977 - three years before the music icon was shot dead outside his New York apartment - and also feature Sean's nanny and a friend.

The unusual souvenir-style pictures are a far cry from the often serious portrayal of the singer in the media and at one point the famous couple switch roles with Lennon dressing as a woman and Yoko as a Civil War soldier. 

The photographer, Sanford Kreger, told a newspaper in 2005 that the family came into the studio when they visited a friend, the late George Maciunas. Maciunas was a founding member of Fluxus, an international community of artists, architects, composers and designers, that Yoko Ono was also a member of. He is believed to be the other man in some of the photos. Maciunas was diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer details

The Beatles' former press officer, who coined the term 'The Fab Four' to describe the band, has died. Tony Barrow represented the band between 1962 and 1968 and also wrote sleeve notes for their early albums, as well as the strip cartoon for the Magical Mystery Tour booklet.

Mr Barrow died on Saturday night, aged 80, at his home in Morecambe. He had also represented other Merseybeat acts such as Gerry and the Pacemakers and Cilla Black.

Born in Crosby in 1936, Mr Barrow was poached from the Decca record group in 1962 by The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein. Beatles expert Spencer Leigh said he was an unassuming cog in the band's success and had the "unusual" task for a press officer of reining in the publicity they received.

"The majority of press officers are trying to get publicity for their performers but The Beatles had so much publicity that he was trying to draw it back at times."

"He had to be with Brian Epstein, who was a very temperamental manager - Tony told me that he'd been sacked at least a dozen times by Epstein, but he always took him back the next day", he said.

Source: BBC News

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Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Elton John and James Bay have paid their respects to George Martin at a memorial service in London.

The late Beatles producer passed away on March 8 aged 90, and was laid to rest in a private family funeral in Wiltshire, shortly after. But over 600 mourners attended a memorial service for Martin, dubbed the "fifth Beatle", at St. Martin In The Fields church in Trafalgar Square yesterday (May 11).

McCartney delivered a eulogy praising Martin's impact on The Beatles' music while Bay and comedians Alexander Armstrong and Bernard Cribbins performed at the memorial, reports The Sun.

When Martin died earlier this year, McCartney said that he was "so sad" to hear of his passing and made reference to how he "guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour." He added: “I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time details

Here's a handy Facebook-based video we recently stumbled upon. It's a three-screen clip that shows the magic of "And Your Bird Can Sing," a 1966 track that always ranks as one the Beatles' best "guitar songs." In fact, Guitar World ranked it at Number 7 when we published "The Fab 50: The Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Moments" a few years ago.

This middle-period Beatles gem from Revolver, written primarily by John Lennon, features George Harrison and Paul McCartney on impeccably crafted and performed harmony-lead guitar melodies, a pop-rock arranging approach that was still in its infancy in 1966. (It would later be employed extensively in the southern rock genre by bands such as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as hard rock and metal acts like Thin Lizzy, Boston and Iron Maiden.)

The two Epiphone Casinos in the clip represent the guitar parts of Harrison and McCartney, both of whom were playing Casinos at the time. The Rickenbacker represents Lennon's part.

Together, Harrison and McCartney’s individual single-note harmony lead guitar parts form, for the most part, diatonic (scale-based) third intervals in the key of E. (Lennon performed his rhythm guitar part as if the song were in the details

Tickets for Desert Trip, the rock mega-concert in October in Indio featuring Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Who, Neil Young and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, sold out in five hours Monday, concert organizers said Tuesday. Orders came in from around the globe, said Paul Tollett, head of Goldenvoice, the concert promoter that organized the Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 14-16 shows. Interest in the event, he said, has been “unprecedented. ... There were over 400,000 people trying to place orders,” he told The Times.

Sales were capped at “a little bit more than 75,000,” he said, a figure similar to what Goldenvoice does for the annual Stagecoach Country Music Festival on the same Empire Polo Field site. For the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, attendance has been expanded in recent years to 99,000 per day over a six-day run.

Tickets for Desert Trip started at $199 for a single-day admission and ran up to $1,599 for reserved-seating three-day passes for either weekend, with a variety of VIP options pushing prices above $3,000. Shortly before tickets for the Oct. 7-9 weekend went on sale, Goldenvoice announced that all the performers would return for a second weekend.

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Two of the surviving key players in the birth of the Beatles had a nostalgic reunion last night on the balcony of Liverpool Town Hall. Allan Williams, the self proclaimed Man Who Gave The Beatles Away was at a ceremony to receive one of the city’s top accolades: Liverpool Citizen of Honour. The founder of the Jacaranda and the Blue Angel joins an elite group of people deemed to have played a part in Liverpool’s growth and development.

Now a sprightly 86, Allan was the first ever manager of the Beatles in the early 1960s, way before the foursome would “shake the world”. Last night, on the same Town Hall verandah where John, George, Paul and Ringo looked down on a sea of screaming fans in 1964, Allan swapped memories with Freda Kelly, 71, Brian Epstein and the Beatles secretary and who, for 10 years, ran the official Beatles Fan Club.

For Allan, who now lives in a care home in the city, the accolade was an official salute to the key role he played in the rise of the Beatles from Woolton boy band to Hamburg rockers to global idols. “It is not only the first honour I have received, it’s the only honour!” he quipped, wit as razor sharp as the suit and tie he wore for the occa details

She was one of the biggest pin-ups of the 70s, event winning the heart of The Beatles' Ringo Starr. And Barbara Bach appeared to have defied the years as she cut a youthful figure when out shopping in London on Monday. The one-time Bond girl, now 68, proved the years have been no match for her as she enjoyed some retail therapy and indulged in a spot of shopping at Stella McCartney's swish boutique in Knightsbridge. 

Barbara, who played Roger Moore's object of affection in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me, looked in sprightly spirits as she left the high-fashion store, which looked to be a success as her entourage headed to her car with a number of bags from the designer. 

She broke up the muted style with a grey scarf that was emblazoned with an ornate floral motif. The former model slipped her feet into stylish chunky, tasseled loafers, while toting her essentials in a black handbag that was rendered in a texture that resembled that of bubble wrap. 

The American actress and her Liverpudlian husband Ringo live are based on the outskirts of London and have resided in the UK together since 1980, after meeting on the set of movie Caveman. Instantly falling in love with one another, they married o details

That John Lennon, inarguably one of the rock era’s greatest creative figures and pop culture icons, had a troubled childhood is hardly a secret—he came from the broken home of Julia Lennon (née Stanley) and the husband she’d married on a lark, an itinerant sailor called Fred Lennon who may have been in jail in North Africa at the time of his son’s birth. The young Lennon was raised by his aunt Mimi, not knowing that Julia was his real mother until he was almost 10, and behavior problems showed up early. Lennon once related to Beatle biographer Hunter Davies (The Beatles, The John Lennon Letters) the following:

"The sort of gang I led went in for things like shoplifting and pulling girls’ knickers down. When the bomb fell and everyone got caught, I was always the one they missed. I was scared at the time but Mimi was always the only parent who never found out."

It merits mentioning that Lennon above is describing primary school, before he even attended high school. Upon his arrival at Liverpool’s Quarry Bank High School, his grades began to plummet, except in art. Celeb biographer Jeff Burlingame, in his John Lennon: Imagine, notes that Even the corporal punishment admin details

50 years ago this month, these unassuming residents of Chiswick took a walk in their nearby park, and accidentally stepped into pop music history. It came about as they crossed the peaceful grounds of Palladian villa Chiswick House in West London - formerly home to the infamous Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (played by Keira Knightley on screen) - and came across a group of four young men, drinking cups of tea and rehearsing with instruments. Just another day in the park, it seemed, except these were the Beatles, and they were about to record their timeless video for ‘Paperback Writer’.

To put it in perspective, this was 1966 - with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison’s mastery of the pop charts already in the can with songs ‘Please Please Me’, ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘She Loves You’ behind them, but with ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘I Am The Walrus’ still to come. ‘Paperback Writer’ and its accompaniment ‘Rain’ would feature on ‘Revolver’, along with ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. Tension was beginning to bubble between the four boys from Liverpool, but their cr details

Nick Coffer led the chat on BBC Three Counties Radio, as James appeared on the show to talk about his album the Blackberry Train. And that was ALL he was there to talk about. After the chat, the DJ posted the interview online with the comment: ‘It didn’t go well.’ And given that the interview lasted all of four minutes instead of the scheduled 25, it seems that would be true. 

Coffer opened the interview by asking about James’ famous siblings, Stella and Mary, and their successes. James responded: ‘I guess I wouldn’t like to talk about my family.’ That’s pretty much a precursor for the rest of the interview. He was then asked if he felt pressure to follow in dad’s footsteps, to which he frostily replied: ‘Again I don’t want to talk about my father you know? Like I’m not asking you about your father. It seems strange. ‘I get where you’re coming from but it’s just like nah.’ The awkwardness barometer just exploded. So did Nick’s head by the sounds of things. 

He went on to point out that he’d shaped the interview around learning more about James’ background and what went into his music, which details

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