Beatles News

Ravi Shankar: All things must pass, too - Thursday, December 17, 2015

About the transient nature of human existence, legendary sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar influenced George Harrison’s post-Beatles song, All Things Must Pass. Timothy Leary’s psychedelic adaptation of the Tao Te Ching, Harrison’s love for Eastern music and philosophy was ignited by Shankar’s tutorial of the Indian instrument with distinctive timbre and resonance that included learning the music’s philosophy.

At 92, Shankar has completed his cycle of life at a San Diego medical facility.

Last year, he was treated for upper respiratory and heart ailments. The heart-valve replacement surgery he underwent recently failed to extend his life. Wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka, also a sitar virtuoso, were by his bedside. Jazz singer Norah Jones is also his daughter by concert producer Sue Jones.

Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, had informed Shankar before he died that Shankar would receive Grammy Award for a lifetime achievement in February.

Shankar’s immeasurable influence on classical and contemporary music led the Beatles to their multi-cultural phase that became the benchmark of their maturity period that produced the details

December 17th, 1963: The Birth Of Beatlemania - Thursday, December 17, 2015

Washington disc jockey Carroll James didn't realize it at the time, but on this day, in 1963, he helped The Beatles launch the third British invasion of America. This time, the attack didn't come by land or by sea, however...this one was by air. More precisely, the air waves. The first shot fired in the assault on every facet of American culture came in the form of a song, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," by The Beatles. By the time this invasion was done, our musical and cultural landscape would never be the same.

The Beatles, who served as the vanguard for this sonic assault on our shores were already conquerors at home. After a few years honing their skills, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had seen their fame grow exponentially in late 1962 with their first hit, "Love Me Do." The were dubbed "The Fab Four" and the first stirrings of the soon to be worldwide phenomenon known as "Beatlemania" were felt.

On a snowy, early December day, America's most trusted voice Walter Cronkite was looking for an upbeat story to fill out his show and decided to rerun a recent piece on the Beatles surging popularity in England. The segment had only aired during the morning news, but hadn't been reran as pa details

The pianist who played John Lennon’s Imagine outside the Bataclan theatre following the Paris terror attacks has visited Liverpool.

Davide Martello made the 400-mile trip to Paris from a pub in Germany after watching the terrorist explosions began at the Stade de France during an international football friendly. The performer put his piano on a trailer and drove all night before towing his instrument through the Paris streets to the venue where at least 89 people were killed when terrorists opened fire in the crowd. His performance of Imagine outside the Bataclan went global.

Martello, who also performs under the name Klavierkunst, last week came to Merseyside while filming a documentary about his life. And he popped into The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock to perform at the John Lennon peace memorial.

While at the waterfront, he said: “ John Lennon’s music means a lot to me. He didn’t do it because he had to, he did it because he wanted to. “He was a true pacifist and music was his gift to people. He’s the one of the most important people to me”. Speaking about his performance outside the Bataclan, Martello said: “Imagine was always the first choice for m details

We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about George Harrison, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more riveting details of the Beatles lead guitarist’s life that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you learn!

Number Eight: He Played Violin…Sort Of. While recording “All You Need Is Love,” Harrison can be heard playing the violin. This was despite the fact that he had never picked one up in his entire life.

Number Seven: He Was Admired by Sinatra. Frank Sinatra once called Harrison’s “Something,” “…the greatest love song of the last 50 years.” Harrison would often perform the ballad live.

Number Six: He Got Into a Fight Over a Biscuit. While making Abbey Road, Harrison got very upset when Yoko Ono took one of his chocolate biscuits without asking him first. It was reportedly his last biscuit.

Number Five: He Lost His Virginity While Everyone Else Was Watching. According to Harrison, he first had sex in Hamburg, Germany, in a bunk bed. The other Beatles were in the room when it happened. He said, “[Paul, John and Pete Best] details

Though George Harrison died over 10 years ago, he is a long way away from ever being forgotten. The lead guitarist for The Beatles was one of the most iconic musicians of his time. Though a lot of his life has been put in front of the public eye, there are some things that even the biggest Beatles fans don’t know about him. Here, we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about George Harrison. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: He Was Part of The Quarry Men. Before there were The Beatles, there were The Quarry Men. They made a record in the summer of 1958 that featured Harrison, and the record cost 17 and sixpence to create.

Number Fourteen: He Was Involved in the First Recording the Beatles Made. The very first song the Beatles recorded was “Cry for a Shadow,” which was an instrumental song Harrison did with John Lennon.

Number Thirteen: He Was Deported From Germany. When the Hamburg police realized that Harrison had entered the country under the age of 18, they deported him. The rest of the Beatles stayed to perform, although they were all later deported as well.

Number Twelve: He Was Very Witty. During the details

The regeneration of Liverpool's Welsh Streets is to continue after the council dropped a legal challenge over the demolition of nearly 300 homes.

Liverpool City Council ended its appeal against a government ruling in favour of the area's "Beatles heritage".

A council spokesman said the veto was "illogical" but wanted to avoid "protracted" legal action.

Plans for the site in Dingle, which include Ringo Starr's birthplace, would also have seen 154 new homes built.

The Welsh Streets' demolition was part of a £15m regeneration project with social landlord Plus Dane which would have built the new properties.

The Beatles' drummer's former home at 9 Madryn Street was due to be refurbished, along with 36 other properties, leaving 271 other terraced houses demolished.

Nina Edge, secretary of The Welsh Streets Home Group, welcomed the decision adding: "Fingers crossed that Liverpool City Council and Plus Dane have now got an alternative vision for the area."

The city council said: "We still regard the Secretary of State's decision as unreasonable and illogical. However, our priority, rather than engage in protracted legal arguments, is to regen details

We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about John Lennon, and now we’re back with part two! Check out even more interesting little tidbits about this iconic musician who changed the world with his music below.

Number Eight: He Was Originally Meant to Sing the Lead on “Love Me Do.” “Love Me Do” was The Beatles’ first single. Though Lennon sung the lead for many songs off of The Beatles’ first album, McCartney was the one to sing lead on their first single.

Number Seven: His Favorite Lyric of All Time Is… When asked what his favorite lyric he ever wrote was, Lennon had a very quick response. He said, “That’s easy. ‘All you need is love.'”

Number Six: Paul Goresh Was the Last Person to Take Lennon’s Picture. Lennon was signing an album for the same person who would assassinate him when he was photographed by photographer Paul Goresh. The person who assassinated him was Mark David Chapman.

Number Five: He Used a Psychic. When Lennon and Yoko were together, they sometimes had a psychic as part of their stuff to help them with business deals. The pair paid their psychic the sa details

December 8 of this year was the 35th anniversary of iconic musician and co-founder of The Beatles John Lennon‘s assassination and death. To commemorate him, here we present 15 things you probably didn’t know about John Lennon. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: He Was a Goody Two-Shoes Growing Up. Lennon belonged to both the choir and the Boy Scouts as he was growing up. His singing career launched when he was part of the boy’s choir at St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool. He was a member of the third Allerton Boy Scout troop.

Number Fourteen: He Didn’t Like the Sound of His Own Voice. Apparently, Lennon was never happy with the way his voice sounded, and this is why he liked to double-track his records. He is reported as once having asked producer George Martin, “Can’t you smother [my voice] with tomato ketchup or something?”

Number Thirteen: He Was Never Properly Satisfied With a Single Record. Another tidbit discovered while he was out with producer George Martin, Lennon revealed to Martin that he would like to re-record every single song The Beatles ever recorded. When Martin asked him if “Strawberry Fi details

The quiet Beatle has been less quiet lately – even more than a decade after his death. Martin Scorsese’s “Living in the Material World,” from 2011, made a strong case for George Harrison as a major player in the Beatles and as a deeply soulful figure who never quite got his due. “The basic purpose of this movie is to stick up for Harrison,” The Guardian wrote, “and for his unfashionable, unpretentious need for a spiritual purpose in his music and his life: and Scorsese’s film suggests that alone in the Beatles, and perhaps alone in pop’s premier league, Harrison was an authentic spiritual figure.”

And now a concert film – from a 2014 tribute show at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles – and accompanying album has been announced for February. Brian Wilson, Spoon’s Britt Daniels, Perry Farrell, Norah Jones, and others will be involved. (Even, oddly, Conan O’Brien, who plays “Old Brown Shoe.”)

For some Gen X fans, George is the perfect Beatle, and it’s no coincidence that Xer musicians like Elliott Smith and Beck covered his songs. For an overlooked, often misunderstood generation, embracing the overlooked, often misu details

We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Ringo Starr, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more facts about the drummer for The Beatles below! You might be surprised by what you learn.

Number Eight: He Once Played a Wizard in a Movie. In the musical-cum-comedy Son of Dracula, Ringo has quite the role. He plays Merlin the wizard. Of his role, he has said, “It’s not the greatest movie in the world, but I’ve seen worse.”

Number Seven: He Is the Only Beatle Not to Be Inducted for His Solo Career. Though every other Beatle has been inducted into the Rock Roll Hall of Fame for their subsequent solo careers, Ringo has not. It’s unclear how he feels about this.

Number Six: He Wasn’t Always Ringo Starr. Ringo Starr was actually born Richard Starkey. He began calling himself Ringo because of all of the rings he liked to wear. The second part of his new name, “Starr,” originated from his time playing with the band Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, where he had a featured slot titled “Starr time.”

Number Five: He Had a “Step Ladder.” When Ringo’s mother remarried, she ma details

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