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Mark Richman was twenty years old when he talked his way into the opportunity of a lifetime — wheedling his way past a policeman and into the corps of photographers shooting the Beatles' August 21, 1966, concert at Busch Stadium.

The photographs he snapped that day, which he says are the only color photos of the Beatles' final tour, have earned him tons of attention from Beatles collectors. (You can see them online here; the one above is reprinted with his permission.) They'll even be featured in the upcoming Eight Days a Week documentary, which also netted him a pretty penny.

So when Richman, now 70, returned to a different iteration of Busch Stadium this weekend for McCartney's solo show, he had high hopes. But they were dashed.

Many of the problems weren't due to Sir Paul himself. Richman was annoyed by the size of the patrons near him, which rendered seating a bit too close for comfort — a problem not helped by the fact that seats on the field, where he was sitting just twenty rows back from the stage, were zip-tied together so people couldn't adjust them. He was also annoyed by the way the crowd took to its feet, and stayed there throughout the show, blocking his view — and the 6'5 details

“We should be wearing targets here,” quipped Paul McCartney as he stepped nervously off a plane at Memphis airport on August 19 1966.

The Beatles arrived in Memphis amid massive controversy. In March, John Lennon had suggested in an interview with Maureen Cleave of the London Evening Standard that the Beatles had grown more popular than Jesus. When his remarks reappeared in the American teen magazine Datebook in August, they sparked a fierce backlash just as the band embarked on its final tour.

Hostility was particularly intense in the American south. In Alabama, DJs Tommy Charles and Doug Layton at the WAQY-Birmingham radio station were first to initiate a “ban-the-Beatles campaign”. Other stations, cities and towns soon followed suit. Starke in Florida had the dubious distinction of being the first place to burn Beatles records and memorabilia.

Similar conflagrations spread quickly across the region. Some of the most pyrotechnical protests involved those formidable guardians of white racial and religious purity, the Ku Klux Klan. In Chester, South Carolina, Klan Grand Dragon Bob Scoggins nailed a Beatles record to a large cross and set it on fire. In Tupelo, Mississippi, Grand W details

Paul McCartney plays two gigs at every stop on his current arena and stadium tours: the evening concert, a magical history tour of nearly 40 songs from every era of his musical life before, in and after the Beatles; and an hour-long soundcheck that doubles as a technical rehearsal for McCartney's crew and band and exclusive entertainment for a small group of fans, granted access as part of a VIP-ticket package.

On July 12th, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, McCartney and his 21st Century combo – guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, keyboard player Paul "Wix" Wickens and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. – performed a 12-song set under the late afternoon sun, opening with a blues jam featuring the leader on electric guitar and briskly covering the same historic span as the main event: the Beatles' jangling arrangement of "Honey Don't" by their Sun Records idol Carl Perkins; "Midnight Special," reaching back to McCartney's Liverpool boyhood in skiffle; the 1972 Wings flipside "C Moon"; the Ram ballad "Ram On," with McCartney on ukulele; the mid-Sixties Beatles artifacts "I'll Follow the Sun" and "I've Just Seen a Face"; and "Everybody out There" from McCartney's 2013 solo album, New.

Only one song app details

There is a guy that is best known for replacing Ringo Star for 13 days. This is is the story of Jimmie Nicol and it’s both poignant and exciting. The exciting part is that he got to be a part of The Beatles in the height of their career and had been able to taste the fruits of fame; he was Ringo Star for a week, and that was a title to kill for. Nicol not only got the opportunity to play with The Beatles in the time they were bigger than God, but he also got the chance to hang around with Lennon, McCartny, and Harrison. However, the poignant part of his story is, that it lasted for two weeks, and then all got back to normal, The Beatles were still the Beatles and Jimy Nicol went to his ordinary life living with a memory that for a week he lived a dream.

When Ringo Starr collapsed with tonsillitis and was hospitalized on 3 June 1964, the eve of The Beatles’ 1964 Australian tour, the band’s manager Brian Epstein and their producer George Martin urgently discussed the feasibility of using a stand-in drummer, rather than cancelling part of the tour. Martin suggested Jimmie Nicol, as he had recently used him on a recording session with Tommy Quickly.

Source: The Vintage News


When I’m 64 (or so) - Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jan Fassler still remembers the screams.

The memories — the seats, high up in the recently constructed Busch Memorial Stadium, the rain that fell steady through the evening, frenzied fanatics passing out left and right — don’t end there, but the screaming, incessant and loud enough to drown out the band everyone came to see, stands out from that night nearly 50 years ago.

“I don’t think I heard one note of music,” Fassler said. “It was just solid screaming all around you, all the time.”

Fassler, Sheila Sorgea, Sara Sladek and Nancy Schmidt were among the roughly 23,000 fans in attendance on Aug. 21, 1966, when The Beatles visited St. Louis. And tonight, almost 50 years to the day, the lifelong friends, sans Schmidt, will once again be there when former Beatles singer and guitarist Paul McCartney performs at Busch Stadium III.

The stadium isn’t the only thing that has changed in 50 years. In fact, between last names (East Alton-Wood River High School Class of 1969 classmates may remember them as Jan Myers, Sheila Lindsey, Sara Lewis and Nancy Russell), occupations and children, it may be easier to list the things that haven’t changed sinc details

From “Besame Mucho” to “And I Love Her,” the Beatles demonstrated their love of Latin rhythms numerous times. Another example, “You’re Going to Lose That Girl,” is a hidden gem from the Help! soundtrack. Yes, it played a prominent role in the film (showing the group recording the song in a smoky studio as Clang and his minions saw a hole around Ringo’s drum kit), but the Beatles never played the track live.

The primary composer, John Lennon, began work on “You’re Going to Lose That Girl” at his home in Weybridge. Paul McCartney assisted with completing the song, which they brought to Abbey Road Studios on February 19, 1965. By this time, the group was well into the Help! recording sessions, but were under pressure. They had to finish laying down the track before leaving to shoot the Bahamas sequences.

During the first session, they recorded two takes of the backing track (featuring Lennon’s rhythm guitar, McCartney’s bass, and Ringo Starr’s drums), only one complete. Next, they overdubbed electric piano and George Harrison’s lead guitar; for unknown reasons, these tracks were erased. Harrison, Lennon, and McCartney contribu details

When the statistics threaten to overwhelm – crowd attendance, cities played, records broken – it is important to remember the little details. Paul McCartney, for instance, will tell you how he and his bandmates used to arrive at venues during The Beatles’ earliest days wearing their ordinary clothes, each carrying a small suitcase containing a shirt, a pair of trousers and, finally, “the Beatle boots”. They would look at one another, identically dressed, and see reflected back a unified force. It is as this tightly defined unit that The Beatles tore up stages from Manchester to Melbourne via Tokyo’s Budokan and San Francisco’s Candlestick Park – a trajectory that is charted in Ron Howard’s excellent documentary.

It is hard to find something genuinely ‘new’ to say about The Beatles. But Howard – a diligent, journeyman filmmaker – sharpens the focus of his story, relying on assiduously researched footage of the Fabs – in concert, on planes, during interviews – to illustrate the ways in which the band adapted to their rigorous touring schedules and the changing world around them. 

The LOLZ come thick and fast early doors details

One summer day in 1968—the last Sunday in July—the 25-year-old photographer Tom Murray had a remarkable experience. After only a few months working for The Sunday Times, he was given the assignment to spend a day with the Beatles. Though Murray’s remarkable career has included stints photographing people like the British royal family and some of the world’s biggest movie stars, that day still stands above the rest, as he writes in a forthcoming book about the experience, Tom Murray’s Mad Day Out With The Beatles, from which these photos are drawn.

As Murray relates, he didn’t actually know that the assignment on which he was being sent was to photograph the Beatles; he only knew it would be a pop group of some kind and his job would be to assist the main photographer on the story. Had he known, he might have brought more than just two rolls of film along. But, thanks in part to his youth—he wasn’t “a so-called ‘adult,'” as he writes in the book—he quickly struck up a rapport with the musicians and was able to put those frames to good use as he followed them throughout the day.

“When I got home my mum asked me how the day had gone and I details

40 years ago when Paul McCartney first returned to North America for his Wings Over America comeback tour, he performed a scant five Beatles tunes. Today, his three-hour concerts average about 25 of them. McCartney, who sings a tribute song to John Lennon as well as tackling George Harrison's Abbey Road classic, "Something," has also started performing songs originally sung by Lennon.

McCartney spoke to The New York Times and shed light on embracing material that had long been associated with his partner, explaining, "I never used to do anything unless it was something that I had done the main vocal on. Which is still true, most of the songs, but now I’ve started to do things like 'A Hard Day's Night,' which was mainly John’s vocal. That I would have called a John song, but you know, I helped write it, and it’s a similar thing for a song called 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!" In the end, it’s just down to whether it’s a good song to do. I had always said I could never do that song because it’s got such a complicated bass part that it’s almost impossible to sing the melody, which is kind of contrapuntal. But in the end, I thought, stop being a wimp, let’s try and see i details

The Beatles mean more to me than any other human beings on this planet outside of my friends and (immediate) family. Is this admission a giant red flag for romantic partners? Yes. Does this revelation mark me as candidate for serious psychiatric help? Probably.

Naturally I followed the production of Beat Bugs, Netflix’s new animated children’s series, with great interest. The show was mega-hyped for having secured the rights to more than 50 songs from the Beatles’ catalogue—quite a coup considering the band’s notoriously protective estate. Writer-director Josh Wakley promises to use Beat Bugs to introduce a new generation of children to the music of the Beatles.

Unless you live in the little town from Footloose, I think we can all agree that turning kids on to the Fabs is a good thing. I was squarely in the Beat Bugs target demo when I began my infatuation, and I genuinely hope that all young people can be moved by their sounds just like I was (minus the ill-advised attempt to mimic their haircuts). But acting as the point of entry to the Beatles’ music is a major responsibility. As Dr. Timothy Leary famously preached, it’s crucial to consider set and setting when experi details

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