We were in Canada when John Lennon told me he’d left The Beatles.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was just before Christmas 1969, and a few nights earlier, while discussing his Beatles’ song lyrics on the phone, he’d suddenly invited me to join him and Yoko in Toronto, where he was going to meet Canada’s Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. So, there I soon was being driven through snow-covered Canadian fields to the home of rock singer Ronnie Hawkins, where John and Yoko were staying.
Almost as soon as I arrived, John, who had just washed his hair, excitedly insisted I follow him and Yoko up to the secrecy of their bedroom. And then, giggling happily, he casually announced his destruction of the world’s most popular musical attraction. ‘I’ve left The Beatles,’ he said smiling, and carried on drying his hair with a towel.
I was speechless.
At the time, The Beatles absolutely dominated the world of popular culture, with their latest album, Abbey Road, still at No. 1 in the charts everywhere. Why would anyone in his right mind decide to destroy the most popular entertainment ensemble the world had ever known? It didn’t make details
It’s as much a part of Beatleweek as the marathon Cavern music sessions and the annual convention at the Adelphi. The Liverpool Beatles Memorabilia Auction, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, takes place on Saturday, this time at a new location – the Unity Theatre. More than 300 lots are set to go under the (silver) hammer in the event organised by the Beatles Shop in Mathew Street. Some items, like a rare acetate recording from 1964 or sketches doodled by a teenage Paul McCartney, are expected to go for thousands of pounds.
This year there are also a number of lots connected with Cilla Black, including an Escada jacket she wore on Blind Date, tour programmes and acetate recordings of her singing. A number of items, meanwhile, were formerly the property of Beatles Fan Club secretary Freda Kelly or Alf Geoghegan, who owned the Cavern between 1966 and 1970.
Here are 17 rare, valuable or just plain wacky lots you could bid for at the auction on Saturday.
Got £20,000 to spare and fancy owning a slice of 60s music history? Then a rare Beatles acetate disc from 1964 of Paul McCartney accompanying himself on the piano as he sings It’s For You – a song he penned for Cilla Bl details
To promote new documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited to reflect on their time as part of The Beatles. Ron Howard's new film hones in on the height of Beatlemania which began in 1963 and culminated with a live show at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966. The quartet famously performed live only once more in 1969 on the roof of Apple's headquarters on Savile Row.
In a brand new interview, Starr told Mojo that the band never truly intended on quitting live shows stating: "The Beatles were never gone. And they could have come back." NME also reports how McCartney went on to recall the moment the band decided to call time on touring.
"By then we were totally fed up and getting actually put in the back of a stainless steel box [which] is like some weird sci-fi thing from 2001 or something. It was a very weird place. What it reminded me of was… you know these rough rides that police do where they put you in the back of a van but you’re not strapped down? And they were accused of killing that guy. Well, that’s what it was like," he said.
By: Jacob Stolworthy
It’s the most famous club in the world – and it’s a 365-day-a-year, eight days a week mecca for Beatles fans. But while there’s always something going on, the Cavern Club is even busier at this time of year, as one of the must-visit venues for Fab Four devotees who flock to the city for International Beatleweek.
Beatle tribute bands from across the universe play on the famous Cavern stage, with more than 12 hours of music a day taking place over this weekend. And with Beatleweek starting yesterday, the Mathew Street attraction is already busy with crowds from home and abroad – and busy for everyone who works there too of course.
We thought it was an ideal time to pay a visit and get a snapshot of a ‘day in the life’ of the Cavern and its people. The first day on International Beatleweek couldn't have been a more fitting one to set up shop and meet some of the fans who pass through those doors and the staff who have kept the legend alive for years.
Assistant manager Paul has worked at the Cavern for seven years - and admit before he started the job he didn’t really like the Beatles. He says: “My dad tried to drill it into me, he’s a big Beatles f details
Here's something I find remarkable: There are only three professionally made recordings of The Beatles playing live in concert. Sure, there are bootleg recordings that don't sound very good. And there's a single-microphone recording from the band's days performing in Hamburg in the early '60s, but that's it.
All three professional recordings were done at The Hollywood Bowl. One is a performance from August 1964 and the other two from August of '65. And "professional" in the mid-'60s means they were recorded on three-track analog tape. That's the best they could do. Even the label, Capitol Records, concluded the recordings didn't sound good enough to release. They eventually did, but not until 1977, and even then the album they put out, The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl, sounded just okay.
All that's changed thanks to the remarkable work of Giles Martin, son of the legendary Beatles producer, George Martin. Using new technology, Giles Martin has brought new clarity to the recordings, more presence and reduced the overall roar of the crowd, a sound that was so loud it drowned out much of the band's performance. Give a listen to Martin's reworked version of "A Hard Day's Night."
By: Bob Boilen
The story of Revolver began in a night of hell and illumination.
"We've had LSD," John Lennon told George Harrison.
It was spring 1965. Lennon and his wife, Cynthia, and Harrison and his wife, Pattie Boyd, were attending a dinner at the London home of dentist John Riley and his girlfriend, Cyndy Bury. Before the foursome left, Riley asked them to stay for coffee, then urged them to finish their cups. Shortly after, he told Lennon he had placed sugar cubes containing LSD in the coffee. Lennon was furious. "How dare you fucking do this to us?" He knew something about the drug: It was a powerful hallucinogen – termed a psychedelic – and it caused changes in thoughts, emotions and visions that frightened some observers. Psychologist Timothy Leary had famously been fired from Harvard University in 1963 for conducting experimental therapeutic sessions with the substance.
"It was as if we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a horror film," Cynthia Lennon said. "The room seemed to get bigger and bigger." The Beatles and their wives fled Riley's home in Harrison's Mini Cooper. (According to Bury, John and George had earlier indicated a willingness to take LSD if they didn't know beforehand that details
The man who wrote the Beatles’ only authorised biography has revealed his picks for what he considers their worst songs, while cheerfully admitting he is “asking for trouble”. But if anyone can get away with such a bold move, it’s probably Hunter Davies.
Hunter is the man behind Four Lads Who Shook The World, which was published way back in 1968 after he had spent 18 months living in their shadows. It’s an exciting time for Beatles fans. International Beatleweek (August 24-30) is upon us, and Hunter, now 80, is heading to Liverpool to discuss his “legacy” – The Beatles Book (to be published on September 1 by Ebury at £30).
Four years in the making, it is the definitive guide to everything and everyone associated with The Beatles, and is divided into sections: People, Places, Songs and Broadcast and Cinema. Its rating system (using mop tops!) grades particular subjects out of 10 – and includes lists such as 10 Best Songs, 10 Worst Songs and 10 Most Influenial People. Though Hunter had the final say, he was helped by a top trio of Beatles experts and authors who worked with him on the book: Spencer Leigh and David Bedford from Liverpool and Keith Badman.< 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 days before the internet and social media, posters were the main way of promoting a gig. And one of those who helped sell Merseybeat – and some up and coming band called the Beatles – to the Liverpool public was Tony Booth. Now more than 50 years after he created a slew of posters for Brian Epstein and his stable of rising stars, artist Tony is set to hold his first ever exhibition of his work, coinciding with International Beatleweek.
The 83-year-old’s show will open at the View Two Gallery on Wednesday, just down the road from the Cavern Club in Mathew Street. Only a handful of the original posters produced in the hundreds by Tony in the 1960s have survived, with the majority thrown away once the gigs had taken place.
Although one Cavern Club poster, which he produced for a fee of five shillings (25p), sold to an American collector in a London Auction House for £27,500. Instead Tony, who trained as a poster artist after leaving school at 15 and started off creating promotional sales material for the Epstein furniture business and record shop, has faithfully reproduced 40 of his favourite posters for the exhibition. He says: “I never imagined in a million years they would on details
I'm not sure if you are aware, but it seems like sh*t has gotten seriously real. Honestly, I'm pretty surprised when I look out my window and don't see the four horsemen of the apocalypse in a steady cantor down Broadway. We live in a crazy world, and it seems like it's getting crazier by the nanosecond. This is stressful. Add that to the stress of being a human being, and magnify that by ten or twenty (because I'm stressed and a workoholic New Yorker) and that could be described as my state of being. In case you haven't heard, we wear our bitterness and sometimes bad attitudes as a badge of pride.
Here's the thing, all of this can get really wearing on your morale. It's easy to feel down at the end of the day. I'm a creature of habit and often seek solace in a number of things: friends, a darn good spin class, and my sacred self-maintenance rituals like bath and shower time. Putting the time and effort into taking care of myself, or yourself, really does affect your entire demeanor.
But lately, a shower or a bath wasn't cutting the mustard. Maybe I needed to take a vacation or maybe I needed to stop reading the New York Times every morning because life had started to drag me down in a major way. This girl was p details