He is the only authorised biographer of The Beatles and spent the night partying with Paul McCartney just last week.
But days later, it was a bizarre change of pace for Hunter Davies, who returned to his hometown of Johnstone for the first time in almost 80 years.
The 79-year-old writer, who later grew up in Carlisle, was born at Thornhill Maternity Hospital in Johnstone on January 7, 1936 and also lived in Renfrew. He is the author of more than 60 books, including novels, travel writing and The Glory Game which is based on a season he spent behind the scenes at Tottenham Hotspur. Unbeknown to many of his fans, Hunter comes from a working class Johnstone background and has lived an extraordinary life mixing with some of the world’s most famous celebrities. And on Monday he caught up with The Gazette to share some of his most noteworthy tales, set to be revealed in his memoirs.
“I’m thrilled to be back in Johnstone,” Hunter beamed. “I don’t really have any memories of here because I was just a baby but I wanted to see what the town is like today. “My next book is about my memories of growing up in the 50s, from birth to the 50s, but my first chapter will be about details
16-year-old soul star appeared at the legendary venue in 1966.
A contract for Motown star Stevie Wonder to play at the Cavern Club has been loaned to the Beatles Story in the Albert Dock. The artifact, which is dated January 7, 1966, when Stevie was aged just 16 and known as ‘Little Stevie Wonder’, is one of a number of items loaned to the tourist attraction by Cavern City Tours .
Many of the items were originally on sale at the Mathew Street and include a Cavern Club pendant and leather chain, a PVC membership holder, an autograph book and a Cavern Club T-shirt. Another rare artifact that Cavern City Tours has loaned is one of the Beatles Yellow Submarine 33c stamps - believed to be the first American stamp produced in honour of a rock group. The stamp was launched to celebrate the re-release of film Yellow Submarine at International Beatles week in Liverpool in 1999.
Dave Jones, company director of Cavern City Tours, has also loaned some NEMS (North End Music Stores) items from his own private collection. These include a typed letter to Bob Wooler on NEMS letterhead signed by Brian Epstein dated August 1963, an original 78 vinyl record sleeve with NEMS Walton Road printed on the sleeve and details
Guitar brand Höfner has loaned four one-off replica guitars used by Paul McCartney and John Lennon to the award-winning Beatles Story in the Albert Dock as part of their 25th birthday celebrations.
The 1964 Vintage 500/1 Bass, the Paul McCartney 500/1 Backup Bass, the Jubilee 500/1 Bass and the Club 40 John Lennon re-issue Guitar will go on display in the Paul McCartney and John Lennon solo rooms in the Albert Dock on 12th June. These incredible items are on loan to the attraction for three months and each guitar tells its own story.
As The Beatles took the world by storm, conquering the USA in early 1964, every bass player wanted a Vintage 500/1 Bass, just like Paul McCartney’s. The 1964 example of the bass is very similar to Paul McCartney’s. During 1964 Höfner worked hard to try and keep up with demand for the bass and probably sold more examples of the model that year than any before or since.
In 2009 Höfner were commissioned by Paul McCartney to produce a 500/1 Backup Bass for him. The request was for a bass built to the same specifications as his 1963 model that he uses for all concerts and for recording. It was built to exactly the same dimensions and used the same hardw details
LET'S FACE it: No one 50 years ago could have envisioned that Paul McCartney - the "cute Beatle" - would, in 2015, reign as one of the world's most famous and successful entertainers. After all, the mid-'60s was a time when teen-oriented pop acts were seen as here today, gone tomorrow commodities. (Come to think of it, some things don't change.) And it was a time when even the biggest names of that era - Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Jack Benny and the like - hadn't put in anywhere near 50 years, much less at the pinnacle of show business.
But here we are, just a few days away from Sir Paul's Friday performance at the Firefly Festival, in Dover, Del., and his Sunday concert at the Wells Fargo Center - both sold-out gigs, where tens of thousands of people will enjoy a three-hour performance by the 73-year-old musical titan.
However, for all his fame, fortune and universal reverence as, arguably, the most important (with John Lennon) musician of the past half-century, McCartney hasn't come close to having a smash hit record in the digital-download era on the level of, say, Taylor Swift or Beyonce.
So, what's the attraction? Will Sunday's gig, especially, be just another baby boomer nostalgia-f details
Looking back on McCartney's first small masterpiece
Well, we all know about 'Yesterday.' I have had so much accolade for 'Yesterday.' That is Paul's song, of course, and Paul's baby. Well done. Beautiful-- and I never wished I had written it." -John Lennon, Playboy Interview 1980
We were very new to America and I had to do “Yesterday” on my own and I’d never done this—I had always had the band. So I was standing there and the floor manager--the guy on the curtain--came up to me and said: “Are you nervous?” I said, no. He said, “Well you should be, there’s 73 million people watching.” -Paul McCartney on Late Nite with David Letterman
This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the recording of Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday,” the most covered song of the last half century. If rock and roll had a human timeline, then perhaps you could think of the early days of Elvis and Little Richard as fevered adolescence and the 60s as rebellious early adulthood. In that sense, “Yesterday” fits squarely between the two—youthful, philosophical, simple, but otherwise unassailable. Love it or not, it's quite catchy--good words, goo details
Imagine there’s no … vinyl?
Luckily, John Lennon/Beatles fans and vinyl buffs don’t have to contend with that scenario.
On Tuesday, Capitol Records released a nine-LP, 180-gram vinyl box set simply titled “Lennon” that includes all eight studio albums that Lennon recorded and released after he left The Beatles.
The set was created from the original analog masters made and supervised by Lennon himself when he originally recorded the albums between 1970 and 1980 and retails for about $199.99 ($179.99 on Amazon).The albums also will be available to purchase separately beginning this August.
Sean Magee from Abbey Road Studios, who also worked on the recent Beatles stereo and mono CD and vinyl box sets, cut this new vinyl collection from the 24bit/96k HD digital transfers used in 2010 to make the CD version of this set, “John Lennon Signature Box.”
“Lennon” includes the following landmark albums: “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band,” “Imagine,” “Sometime in New York City” (a two-LP set done with Yoko Ono), “Mind Games,” “Walls and Bridges,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” &ldqu details
It has been a quarter century since the Berlin Wall, that bastion of communist domination, came crumbling down amid cheers of jubilant celebration.
But in the Czech Republic, another bastion still stands in quiet celebration of man's irrepressible idealism. This structure is known as the Lennon Wall — Lennon, as in John, not Lenin, as in Vladimir.
Located just under the western end of the Charles Bridge, on a quiet tree-lined street in Prague’s Mala Strana neighborhood, the Lennon Wall is a testament to the inextinguishable spirit of a people who refused to be dominated.
My wife and I once took an extended vacation to visit friends who worked for the U.S. State Department in Vienna. While there, we took advantage of the great rail and ferry service to take side trips to the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I came across a brief reference to the Lennon Wall in a travel guide and decided to seek it out. It was well worth the effort — a secluded and quiet respite from the throngs of tourists in Old Town.
The wall, which sits across the street from the French embassy and encloses the back of an ancient churchyard, actually is owned by the Knights of the Maltese Cross. Near Prague's popu details
It’s time to go back and reevaluate Paul McCartney and Wings’ flawed but nevertheless exciting, and always unjustly ignored Back to the Egg. Released on June 8, 1979, the album showcased a rebuilt Wings lineup, with lead guitarist Laurence Juber working in sharp counterpoint to Denny Laine. Also on board was co-producer Chris Thomas, a former assistant to George Martin for the Beatles’ White Album who brought an edgier style to much of the project — in keeping with his concurrent work with the Sex Pistols and the Pretenders. Paul McCartney’s stated goal, back then, was to make a raw-boned rock record. And he largely succeeded, putting a bright charge into his sound after the soft-rock fluff of 1978’s London Town. Yet, Back to the Egg wasn’t the hit that McCartney’s new label bosses at Columbia had hoped, having “only” gone platinum in the U.S. The album ended up as a million-selling yet somehow overlooked swansong for Wings. Fast forward more than 35 years, and retro-passion surrounds Paul McCartney projects from the same era, powered in no small way by the former Beatle’s own lavish reissues of Band on the Run and McCartney II. Yet, and we have no idea just why, details
Beatles bootleg buffs tend to be pretty particular in what they go for and return to, generally orbiting around a brace of accepted classics. These include the material that first came out on the Ultra Rare Trax and Unsurpassed Masters collections, as well as what may be the finest bootleg trove ever put out, the various editions of the endlessly edifying BBC material. Choice concerts, too, have their day – who doesn't like the full Hollywood Bowl, package? But then there's the stuff that most aficionados hear once and never consider again, despite the revelations that might be gleaned upon future hearings. Fidelity often has something to do with this, ditto a kind of rudimentary quality of musicianship, the twin-killing, of sorts, for the music a post-Quarrymen, pre-Beatles unit cut in the bathroom of Paul McCartney's Liverpool house, in spring 1960.
We're not sure exactly when the recordings were made: likely in either April or June. There is, of course, no Ringo Starr at this point, and these Silver Beetles were comprised of the big three of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, with a musically taxed Stu Sutcliffe wheedling away on bass, and McCartney's brother, Mike, weighing in, too. You wil details
Vincent Bugliosi, the Los Angeles prosecutor who won convictions against Charles Manson and several of his followers for a series of heinous murders in 1969 and who later wrote a best-selling true-crime book, “Helter Skelter,” about the Manson cult and the killings surrounding it, died June 6 in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 80. The cause was cancer, his wife, Gail Bugliosi, told the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Bugliosi (pronounced bool-YOH-see) was a deputy district attorney when he was asked to prosecute some of the most gruesome and unsettling killings in the country’s history.
“When you talk about the Manson case,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1994, “you’re talking about perhaps the most bizarre murder case in the annals of crime.” In the early-morning hours of Aug. 9, 1969, several people entered a Los Angeles estate rented by the film director Roman Polanski, who was in Europe at the time. Polanski’s wife, 26-year-old actress Sharon Tate, was at the house with several friends. The next day, the body of Tate, who was eigh details