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It seems like yesterday - Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomorrow is exactly 50 years since The Beatles played a now legendary show in Blackpool.

JON RHODES looks back on a day when the Fab Four chose to unleash one of the most famous pop songs of all time.

“For Paul McCartney of Liverpool... Opportunity Knocks!”

The wacky one liner and cheeky grin of a fresh-faced George Harrison said it all, after he approached the microphone to introduce his bandmate to the fired-up audience at Blackpool’s ABC Theatre on Sunday, August 1, 1965.

The Beatles had something pretty special lined up for the resort crowd – not to mention the millions watching the ‘Blackpool Night Out’ show back home on TV.

Acoustic guitar slung around his neck, mop top Paul was left alone under the spotlight as John and George exited stage left.

Two minutes and four seconds later, as the song came to an end, everyone watching knew they had witnessed something ground breaking. Paul McCartney of Liverpool had very much ‘passed the audition’ and the legend that is Yesterday was born.

The song, McCartney’s beautiful and aching ballad of lost love – a tune which, as legend has it, came to him in a dream – details

I was walking out of dinner right around eight o'clock Thursday night when I heard an extremely familiar voice coming from the Samsung Stage on the south end of the Lollapalooza festival grounds. I moved into a clearing for a better view and peered at the jumbotrons beside the stage. Yup, it was Paul McCartney and his band, soundchecking.

Most soundchecks last a few minutes. Roadies tune the drums and guitars, maybe play a little "Stairway," and adjust the levels on the microphones. The band runs through a couple partial songs. They laugh and then give the thumbs up, before leaving the stage. Headliners take a little more time, playing a handful of songs before heading out into the night.

Not Sir Paul.

McCartney played for well over an hour. Essentially, he performed a show for anyone within hearing distance. And because Lollapalooza is held in Grant Park, which is smack dab in the middle of downtown Chicago, McCartney's epic soundcheck could be heard by pretty everyone all over the city — a preview of his Friday night headlining set (which will be livestreamed Sunday night on Red Bull TV).

By: Richard S. Chang

Source: Redbull.com

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Ringo rocks: Al Murray - Friday, July 31, 2015

Comedian on why Ringo is the greatest.

Al Murray is a man of many talents. Stand-up comedian, TV personality, sitcom writer, he's even had a crack at politics.

And, as those of you that read our recent interview with Al and his percussive partner Andrew Prestidge will most certainly be aware, he's a pretty handy drummer, as well.

So, as a multi-talented sticksman of note he's well-placed to put his case forward for why Ringo Starr is a grade A drum hero.

"Before I knew what Beatles were or what Beatles meant I knew the album Abbey Road. And before I knew who Ringo was or what any of that meant, or any of that nonsense that gets tediously repeated about Ringo, I knew he was a great drummer. Come Together folks. A part that perfectly encapsulates the drummer's art – it sets a scene, it grooves, it grows, it serves the song, it is full of personality and it can't be anyone else.

"Because a lot of nonsense gets said about Ringo. Time to time on Twitter I've found myself determined to defend him from a sea of people I can only really describe as idiots.

By: Rich Chamberlain

Source: Music Radar

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Paul McCartney's early Eighties efforts, Tug of War and Pipes of Peace, will be reissued on October 2nd, with both arriving as multi-disc sets boasting numerous previously unreleased demos and outtakes. 

Both Tug of War and Pipes of Peace feature a number of classic McCartney cuts, including his duets with Stevie Wonder ("Ebony and Ivory") and Michael Jackson ("Say Say Say"), as well as solo hits like "Take It Away" and the John Lennon tribute, "Here Today." Pre-orders for both albums are available now.

Tug of War, released in 1982, was McCartney's third solo LP and first after Wings broke up. The two-CD reissue of the critically acclaimed, Number One record will feature a new remix of the entire album, as well as eight previously unreleased tracks, including a solo rendition of "Ebony and Ivory" and outtakes, "Stop, You Don’t Know Where She Came From" and "Something That Didn't Happen."

A three-CD, one-DVD edition will also include original music videos for the album's singles, as well as an 18-minute documentary, Fly TIA—Behind The Scenes on Take It Away. A 112-page essay book and 64-page scrapbook will also arrive with the deluxe edition, while the super deluxe set — limited to details

Almost 51 years ago, screaming masses of young people ran amok in the streets of Toronto, proving definitively that Beatlemania was alive and well in Canada.

They were anxiously awaiting their first glimpse of the Fab Four in the flesh as the Beatles prepared to play Maple Leaf Gardens for the first time.

CBC was there, capturing the happy pandemonium of fans young and old (check out the grandmas who give the guys their stamp of approval because they're "decent, clean boys!"), as well as talking to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison about the fan fury that follows them around the world.

Click through the gallery above for vintage photos of the Beatles' British Invasion, courtesy of the CBC Still Photo Collection, and watch the amazing archival news footage below for a glimpse at the boy band demands of 1964.

By: Andrea Warner

Source: CBC

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Yoko Ono teamed up with U2's Bono and The Edge on Wednesday to unveil a tapestry honoring John Lennon. The John Lennon Amnesty International Tapestry was presented inside the Registry Room at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in New York. The 24-foot by 10-foot tapestry depicts Manhattan as a yellow submarine with Lennon as its captain waving a peace sign. 

The artwork was unveiled on the 40th anniversary of Lennon receiving his green card allowing him permanent residency in the United States. The tapestry was commissioned by Art For Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey as a token of appreciation for Ono, 82, giving Amnesty International rights to record covers of Lennon's post-Beatles songs. 

The Make Some Noise campaign has featured Lennon covers by U2, R.E.M., Christina Aguilera, The Cure, Duran Duran and other artists and has raised more than $5 million for the human rights advocacy group. 

By: Paul Chavez

Source: The Daily Mail

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It’s 50 years since the release of the Beatles’s second feature film, Help!. Whatever you may think of the film itself (which got very mixed reviews) this rollicking film of “good, clean insanity” provides a wonderfully unique window on to the social changes that men saw in the 1960s.

As Alex Bilmes recently wrote in Esquire, the Beatles “made it not just OK but insanely desirable to be a stylish, successful, smartarse British man”. The representation of masculinity embodied in Help! is a key stepping stone to more obvious displays of gender fluidity that were to emerge in later decades.

It’s 50 years since the release of the Beatles’s second feature film, Help!. Whatever you may think of the film itself (which got very mixed reviews) this rollicking film of “good, clean insanity” provides a wonderfully unique window on to the social changes that men saw in the 1960s. As Alex Bilmes recently wrote in Esquire, the Beatles “made it not just OK but insanely desirable to be a stylish, successful, smartarse British man”. The representation of masculinity embodied in Help! is a key stepping stone to more obvious displays of gender fluidity that we details

At risk of starting an unresolvable debate The Beatles' 1965/66 pair of albums Rubber Soul and Revolver are the reason they're the revered group they remain to this day. Built on an upfront act of genre rebellion — touching on everything from world music, folk rock and psych pop — the records set the band on the defining course away from simply being the marketable 'fab four'. Creative diversity and confidence that earned both albums a top five finish in the 2012 Rolling Stone 'top 200 albums of all time' list.

In celebration of the albums' 50th anniversary, a selection of antipodean artists have banded together for the national Rubber Soul Revolver tour, where they will perform both iconic releases in full. Marlon Williams, Husky Gawenda (Husky), Jordie Lane and Fergus Linacre (Kingswood) will bring the albums back to life with their own contemporary touch added to the classic tracks. "'Rubber Soul' strikes the beautiful balance between incredible pop music with just a little bit of weirdness in it", Williams explains of the album's influential mark, while Gawenda adds that "the songs are so musical and touch on universal things, I don't think that time and place really matters". 

By: Jonny Nai details

Over 900 songwriters or singers have written or sung about weather, the most common being Bob Dylan, followed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, according to British researchers, writing in the journal Weather. Sixteen percent, or 48, of The Beatles' 308 songs are weather-related.

Weather plays a powerful role in our lives so it should be no surprise that the theme is played out in the music songwriters and singers produce, researchers said.

"I think they simply wrote about aspects of the world that they enjoyed or inspired them. They have lots of good catchy music tunes, so that helps too," Dr. Sally Brown of the University of Southampton, which is part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said.

Brown and other Tyndall researchers uncovered 759 popular songs with a weather connection, with about 7 percent of the top 500 songs being weather-related. The group has developed a database of the songs and is looking for any additions it may have missed.

As songwriters, The Beatles made deep connections with their audience about the nature of the human condition, according to Beatles' expert Dr. Kenneth Womack, dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmo details

As any rock fan knows, the Beatles never got back together.

What you might not know is that even partial Beatles reunions and "near misses" were frustratingly rare back when such things mattered (prior to George Harrison's death in 2001).

Which is why the video below is so enjoyable.

On June 5, 1987, three of the five original musicians who appeared on the classic Beatles White Album track "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" reunited to perform the song live at the Prince's Trust Rock Gala at London's Wembley Arena. George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton were joined by an all-star U.K. band, including Elton John, Phil Collins, Jeff Lynne, Ray Cooper and ... well, if you're wondering who that understandably happy bassist is, it's Mark King from Level 42. Harrison, Starr and Clapton last performed the song live 16 years earlier at the Concert for Bangladesh in New York City.

By: Damian Fanelli

Source: Guitar World

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