Beatles News

What was your first concert? Was it so seminal that 50 years later rock writers seek you out to pick through your memories? Personally, I know that will never happen to me: mine was Grand Funk Railroad with opening act Suzi Quatro at Madison Square Garden in 1974. But for a very lucky batch of teenage girls – and a smattering of boys, parents and celebrities – it was The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl in August 1965.

Following up on their groundbreaking 1964 sold-out concert at the Bowl, The Beatles returned for two performances the following year, August 29th and 30th. Tickets were $3, $4, $5, $6 and $7. Naturally, both shows sold out and with a capacity of just over 17,600, the band grossed $156,000 (almost $1.2 million in today’s dollars).

Back then, kids learned about and bought tickets through what today we call “traditional media.” AM radio station KRLA presented the concerts and promoters placed full-page ads in the Los Angeles Times, with a coupon that fans had to mail in on a specific date to order tickets.

And mail in they did. Fan and Beatles at the Bowl concertgoer Sharon Weisz remembers, “My parents didn’t subscribe to the Times so I had to go out and details

“Why does Pete Best still not know why he was fired from The Beatles?” Good question. (OK, it’s a bit “old school” before there was any school but again it beats answering those questions odd intimate inquiries. Seriously? We thought “The Walrus” was Paul. If you don’t get that reference then you need to look into a “Glass Onion”, mmmkay?) 

Former Beatles drummer Pete best still does not know why he was fired? Really?

It was August, 1960. A Brit band called The Silver Beatles recruited Pete Best as drummer. Guest speaker Mark Frauenfelder, contributor to BoingBoing, confirms this and adds: “Best was already in a band called the Black Jacks, but he took the gig and for the next two years he played with the band (which eventually dropped “Silver” from its name).”

In the summer of 1962 the band attended their first Parlophone recording session at EMI studios, (now Abbey Road Studios). They recorded four songs including the first recording of “Love Me Do.” Numerous sources note producer George Martin—not present during the actual recordings—later decided to use another drummer in the studio.  details

Liverpool’s tourism businesses have enjoyed as much as 15% annual growth in Beatles-related trade every year since 2008.

That claim was made by one of the local entrepreneurs behind the on-going International Beatleweek festival and comes as the city prepares for this weekend’s separate Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF). The continuing surge of interest in The Beatles has meant that Cavern Club owner Cavern City Tours has seen its turnover double in the past seven years and this year’s figure is expected to reach £6m with profits in excess of £1m. As well as the Cavern Club venue and International Beatleweek, the company also operates the Magical Mystery Tours around Liverpool.

Cavern City Tours co-owner, Bill Heckle, told ECHO Business: “We have had 15% growth since 2008 and we thought it couldn’t get any better, but it is. “This last week was as busy as Beatleweek ever was. The number of visitors to the city is continuing to rise.”

International Beatleweek runs between August 26 to September 1 and involves live gigs, talks, exhibitions, memorabilia sales and tours. It culminates this coming weekend when thousands of tourists are expected details

Paul McCartney has admitted he was scared there was a Beatles serial killer on the loose following John Lennon’s assassination.

Speaking with Uncut magazine, Macca recalled his mindset in 1980 when he found himself the inadvertent subject of a mock invasion in his Scottish home.

“It was weird because in the days that followed it, I was sitting in the house. We had a little perimeter fence, mainly to keep foxes out, because we had some chickens. I’m aware of security threats, so I’m on high alert and I look out and I see someone with a f–king gun, like a machine gun, an assault rifle – ‘Wha?!’ He’s in full military gear, and then I see there’s a whole patrol of them. I’m going, ‘Holy shit, what’s going on?'” he told the British music magazine.

Fearing for his life, not to mention the Paul is Dead headlines the following day, the “Helter Skelter” singer worried he’d never see another day: “I don’t know what I did. I think I rang the police. It turned out to be army manoeuvres. [They said] ‘Oh, sorry. Are these your woods?’ I’d put two and two together and made a thousand. God, details

In the sad sweepstakes for Worst Paul McCartney Solo Album, it would have taken a lot to zoom past the cutesy London Town, the self-conscious Driving Rain or the undercooked Wild Life — to say nothing of the synthy disaster that is McCartney II.

Paul McCartney got there with Press to Play, released on Aug. 25, 1986, an oh-so-typically-1980s Hugh Padgham-helmed “event” that stands as perhaps his least listenable offering. In some respects, you can blame the production values. Listen closely, and you might find the first frail flowerings of a creative rebound for Paul McCartney here — even if the old-man attitude seems a little heavy handed on tracks like “Angry.” But, more often, you’re stuck with things like “Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun,” which was as lightweight as anything on the second side of Wings albums like London Town and, maybe more particularly, Red Rose Speedway — since it too featured a series of half-finished ideas masquerading as a medley. “Talk More Talk” and “Pretty Little Head” are, even now, largely nonsensical.

Yet McCartney is, bless him, incapable of making a completely awful record. (Even McCartney II had details

It’S been called his finest moment since his work with Thomas The Tank Engine. Ringo Starr is back in the nation’s living rooms as the star of a new advertising campaign for… comfortable shoes. “Rock out in comfort” may be the kind of tagline that would have horrified the four lads who stormed the Cavern Club in 1960s Liverpool but at 75 it seems the former Beatle is perfectly happy endorsing a gentler kind of existence.

In the commercials for Skechers shoes Ringo is back behind his drum kit, hammering out a beat, before watching a young pretender attempt the same. After the final flourish the old master shakes his head. “Well,” he says in that famous Scouse drawl, “at least you got the shoes right, brother.”

As adverts go it’s actually rather good. Ringo looks great: fit, handsome and still retaining that deadpan charm that always made him the funniest and most likeable of the Fab Four. And Skechers are clearly delighted. “We are incredibly excited to be working with such an amazing world-renowned artist as Ringo Starr,” the company’s president Michael Greenberg said in a statement. “Ringo possesses charm, charisma and global r details

Blame it on the bottle, Harry Nilsson makes another phenomenal attempt to dismantle his own career. It had all been eccentric career moves and nonstop partying since “Without You” stunned the world and made him a star back in 1972. Bringing along ex-beatles John and Ringo (sometimes George and Paul stopped by as well) and a trail of thirsty celebrities (like Keith Moon) as cheerleaders, wasn’t the smartest thing to do, at least according to his doctor and his record company. RCA probably thought their star had gone insane. I don’t think “Son Of Dracula” (1974) is Mariah Carey’s favorite album (or movie), to put it that way.

“Pussy Cats” was born during John Lennon’s 18-month “lost weekend” in Los Angeles. Out on his own he turned into your drinking buddy from hell, having a lot of catching up to do. John and Harry triggered each other in their drunken stupors, feeding the gossip press with marvelous scandals. In between fistfights, heckling and being thrown out of night cubs with a sanitary pad on his head, John offered to produce Harry’s next album. Not surprisingly it turned into an open doors session, party time, drinks and drugs and a gall details

Rare Beatles memorabilia will be auctioned off in Liverpool this weekend – including sketches drawn by Paul McCartney which are expected to fetch over £10,000.

The drawings, which include Beatlesesque faces drawn in ink, have writing by Paul on the reverse and were discovered by the seller in an attic.

More than 300 lots are being auctioned at the Annual Beatles Memorabilia Auction, including Beatles trading cards, Beatles breakfast bowls, a Christmas card signed by Yoko Ono and an 800-piece jigsaw puzzle.

Four volumes of the Liverpool Daily Post and ECHO from 1962-64 are also included in the sale, for a guide price of £250-300. The auction will be held at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts on Saturday and is organised by Stephen Bailey, manager of The Beatles Shop in Mathew Street. He told the ECHO the sketches were “an amazing find”.

He said: “People usually think of John as the artistic Beatle but these drawings show Paul’s talent for capturing an image in a quick sketch. “Every year we’re just amazed by what goes in for auction and each year there’s something new that we’re surprised to see – it’s just fant details

The piano played by John Lennon during his last years in New York is currently making its way to Liverpool. It is expected to be put on display to the public at The Beatle’s Story museum in the city’s Albert Dock in time for the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend’s music festivals.

The piano was used to record some of the last music John Lennon composed before he died at the hands of a gunman on December 8, 1980. According to Jack Douglas, an engineer who worked at the Record Plant Studio in New York at the time, it affectionately became known as “the John Lennon Piano” because he would move it to every studio he was working in. Lennon is said to have loved the piano’s honky tonk sound as it reminded him of early American Rock and Rhythm & Blues.

Originally a traditional upright made by the New England Piano company, it had been converted by inserting tacks into the hammers to give it a harpsichord-like percussive sound.

Not only can the piano be heard on Walls and Bridges and Double Fantasy but John Lennon also used it to compose songs with Elton John and David Bowie.

On the day he died, John Lennon spent many hours working at the piano on Walking On Thin Ic details

The Beatles' 10 Greatest Guitar Moments - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work.

With that in mind, Guitar World decided to celebrate the 10 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history. In assembling this list, we looked beyond our personal favorite songs and reflected on where John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney showed their talents as guitarists, whether in a solo, a riff, a technique or by their astute selection of instrument and arrangement.

For some songs, we’ve gone a step further and analyzed the guitar work to give you insights into the magic that makes these moments so special. Enjoy! And be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook! If you'd like to delve much more deeply into this topic, be sure to check out The Fab 50: The Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Moments.

10. “Something” Abbey Road (1969) Ironically, while the Beatles were breaking apart in 1969, George Harrison was coming into his own as a songwriter and guitarist.

His Abbey Road contribution “Something” is among his finest songs, and his guitar playing here and t details

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