Beatles News

Imagine being secretary to The Beatles. Freda Kelly does not have to imagine it; she lived it for 11 years, and the Docutah International Documentary Film Festival is bringing Kelly and the film about her life with The Beatles, “Good Ol’ Freda,” to St. George Feb. 23 and 25.

Kelly went to work for a “new band” when she was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager, and as the Beatles’ devoted secretary and friend, she was there to witness the evolution – advances and setbacks, breakthroughs and challenges – of the greatest band in history.

Now Kelly is coming to St. George for two screenings of the film produced by Kathy McCabe, who will also be attending the screenings.

In “Good Ol’ Freda,” Kelly tells her stories for the first time in 50 years. This documentary features original Beatles’ tunes and offers an insider perspective on the beloved band that changed the world of music.

hil Tuckett, executive director of the Docutah International Documentary Film Festival, Docutah@TheElectric and the recently added venue Docutah@Tuacahn, said Kelly was more than just a secretary to The Beatles’.

"She was friend, confidant, den details

Previously unseen footage of the Beatles performing on their first north American tour is expected to sell for more than £10,000 at an auction.

The 8mm film is from the band's performance in Montreal, Canada in September 1964 and shows rare colour footage of the Fab Four backstage. SHARE Filmed by the father of one of The Four Frenchmen, who were supporting the Beatles, the film also shows part of their performance and a press conference after the show.

The 10-minute recording also reveals a heavy police presence after death threats had been made towards drummer Ringo Starr. It was discovered by the cameraman's grandson, Ron Notarangelo, after his grandfather recently passed away. The sale of the colour cine footage is part of Omega Auctions' annual Beatles auction.

The event is being held in Warrington on March 18. Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said: "This is an incredible find of great historical importance as there is no known footage from this performance, together with the fact that it is so clear and in colour, which is rare for the early 60s."

Source: Belfast Telegraph


Music producer James Teej never expected Paul McCartney would give his stamp of approval to a dark remix of one of his songs.

And he certainly didn't think his collaboration would take him to the Grammy Awards either.

On Sunday, the musician will be in the running for best remixed recording alongside German producer Timo Maas for their update of Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five.Their version takes the song from McCartney and Wings' 1973 album Band on the Run and reshapes it with a new edge.

"Quite frankly, doing an electronic remix of a rock 'n' roll song is pretty tricky," says Teej, who spent his childhood in Quebec and Alberta. "You're going to have some people that absolutely love the outcome and ... some people that absolutely hate it."

Unlike many remixes contracted out by record labels, Teej says this collaboration came out of a happy series of events that began while he was staying at Maas's European countryside home in 2015.

As they kicked back with glasses of wine and music samples, Teej — whose real name is Thomas Mathers — stepped outside for some fresh air. That's when he heard the unmistakable voice of McCartney playing over Maas's sound system.

Stunned a details

John Lennon reaches Across the Universe… - Sunday, February 05, 2017

Recent news reports have noted that the best selling book at Amazon is currently George Orwell’s classic novel of dystopian horror, 1984. Given our national circumstances, I suppose this could be seen as a positive, an effort on the part of at least some of the populace to educate themselves, even if a significant number of others in the populace (including me) wish that this sudden urge toward historical and cultural literacy had occurred before a certain November event.

Such, such is life, as the poet says. We seem only to want to listen to our poets and sages in times of distress.

There are some who, in the face of what certainly feels like imminent disaster, keep telling us that, to quote the mystic, “All shall be well.” It is difficult to the level of impossibility, however, to emulate the purity and power of a Julian of Norwich’s faith which is roughly the level of faith needed these days. What are we of little faith to do?

Well, we can listen to “Across the Universe.”

Lennon once said that he likes the lyrics of “Across the Universe” perhaps the best of all the songs he wrote with The Beatles. As I have noted in a recent piece about “th details

Because it’s the dead of winter, because it’s bleak, because when something perfect is broken it sometimes comes back stronger — here are 10 of the best Beatles covers:

• Fiona Apple: “Across the Universe.” Recorded for the 1998 movie “Pleasantville” and produced by pop maestro Jon Brion, Apple’s gorgeous version of the John Lennon classic induces a feeling akin to spiraling out across the galaxy, buoyed along by her rich, calm-to-the-point-of-almost-bored voice, an affect a deity or a supremely cool girl might assume about the wonders of the cosmos. It’s the rare cover that doesn’t radically change its approach to the song but manages to improve on the original.

• Al Green: “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Green’s cover of The Beatles’ first American No. 1 hit blows away the original, joyfully and effortlessly, like ending a fight before it starts with a disarming laugh. The first time I heard this, I had no need to ever hear the original again, both because I generally find early Beatles quaint and uninteresting — even as I recognize the perfect pop songwriting involved — and because this version multiples by a details

He is rock ‘n’ roll’s leading memorabilia detective, a collector who has tracked down John Lennon’s Japanese language class doodles and Elton John’s first upright piano. Now Tom Fontaine is selling off his unique slice of music history with a warning that the market for mementos is flooded with fakes. An obsessive collector since first seeing The Beatles on US television in 1964, Fontaine, from Indianapolis, has acquired more than 2,000 items including autographs and signed contracts to stage clothing and furniture from stars ranging from Elvis Presley to Jimi Hendrix. 

Fontaine, 58, whose expertise in authenticating memorabilia is sought by auction houses, is now downsizing and has begun to place his archive for sale on the Pledge Music direct-to-fan crowdfunding site. 

The most valuable item in the first trance is a baseball signed by all The Beatles and given to an employee at their 1966 concert in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, the band’s final US appearance, which has a £47,000 price tag. 

What makes Fontaine stand out from his rivals in the competitive world of memorabilia collection is the forensic skills he uses to uncover arcane a details

Even though the Beatles hired a film crew to document the 1969 recording sessions for what would become Let It Be, it's a bit uncommon to see studio footage of the band at work before that time.

Which is why the "Hey Bulldog" music video is so unique.

The February 1968 footage seen in the clip was originally utilized in the "Lady Madonna" promotional video, until someone (perhaps a talented lip reader) noticed the band was actually recording "Hey Bulldog" (The band recorded both songs during the same sessions). The footage was later re-cut to fit "Hey Bulldog," one of many standouts from the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album.

If you're into the Beatles' gear, you'll appreciate this clip. While John Lennon's ubiquitous Epiphone Casino makes an appearance or two (as does Paul McCartney's Rickenbacker 4001S), the real star is George Harrison's cherry-finish Gibson SG, which you can see in the photo above.

And then there's that stinging guitar solo. Its authorship has been up to debate over the years—some say it recalls McCartney’s performance on “Taxman”—but engineer Geoff Emerick says it was definitely played by Harrison.

“[It was] one of the few times th details

After wowing audiences at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and King’s Head Theatre, London in 2015, where one of the audience was Neil Aspinall’s widow Suzi, Davide Verazzini’s charming play A Life With The Beatles is to be staged at various venues as part of a 15-performance Scotland-wide tour in February and March, including The Catstrand in New Galloway on February 21.

Told from the unique perspective of Neil Aspinall, the only one who was always by their side and who knew everyone and everything. Yet where thousands of books have been written by people who never even met The Beatles, Neil’s steadfast loyalty meant he took his secrets to his grave when he died in 2008.

A Life With The Beatles recounts the era from him first joining The Beatles in 1961 as their driver to when he eventually stepped down as CEO of their corporate conglomerate, Apple Corps 46 years later. Veteran Glasgow-based actor Ian Sexon is effervescent in this energetic and intimate solo drama as he depicts the progression of the band from initial formation to the period after Epstein’s death, along the way jumping into the characters of John, Paul, George and Ringo, manager Brian Epstein and Producer George Martin.&n details

Ahead of Paul McCartney's Flowers in the Dirt reissue, the rollicking "Twenty Fine Fingers," an unreleased demo featuring McCartney singing alongside Elvis Costello, has been unveiled.

"Twenty Fine Fingers," often bootlegged but never officially released, is presented twice on the Flowers in the Dirt reissue. The version above is the "original" take on the track, while the song's 1988 demo is also included among a batch of 18 demo recordings featuring Costello unearthed for the reissue.

The massive Flowers in the Dirt deluxe box set, featuring three discs, a DVD and a 112-page hardcover book, is due out March 24th. The reissue will also be available in other formats.

McCartney recruited Costello to collaborate on the 1989 album, with Costello's co-written "My Brave Face," "Don't Be Careless Love," "That Day Is Done" and "You Want Her Too" making the cut. Other demoed tracks like "The Lovers That Never Were," "So Like Candy" and "Playboy to a Man" ended up on other albums by both artists, while "Twenty Fine Fingers" and "Tommy's Coming Home" remained unreleased.

"The demos are red hot off the skillet and that’s why we wanted to include them on this boxed set," McCartney said of the Costello details

The best thing people can hope for, in regards to new music each year, is that The Arctic Monkeys get in the studio, next big thing emerges, or Kanye West postpones his next album.

However, could this year see the release of material from the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones? Intrigued? Let us explain. For this article, we’ve purposely focused on The Fab Four, or we’d be waffling all day, but the same theory applies to any band of that era.

Chances are you don’t know much about copyright law. It’s pretty complicated and tedious. Heck, not even the artists know the rules, cue Paul McCartney suing Sony for clarification after Duran Duran’s interpretation of the laws was “rejected.”

We’ll try and keep this simple as possible. The law we’re focusing on here relates to the amount of time the performance rights of copyrighted material remains the property of performer before it eventually enters the public domain. Composers already own copyright over their music until 70 years after their death.

Did you know for instance “Happy Birthday To You” was copyrighted until December 31, 2016? That essentially meant that fo details

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