Beatles 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

Paul McCartney strums an acoustic guitar on a sofa in his London office, humming to himself as he tries to recall a melody from his adolescence – one of the first, never-recorded songs he wrote with his teenage friend John Lennon, on their way to starting the Beatles in Liverpool. "It was like …" McCartney says, then hits a rockabilly rhythm on his guitar and sings in a familiar, robust voice: "They said our love was just fun/The day that our friendship begun/There's no blue moon that I can see/There's never been in history/Because our love was just fun."

"'Just Fun,'" McCartney says, announcing the title proudly. "I had a little school-exercise book where I wrote those lyrics down. And in the top right-hand corner of the page, I put 'A Lennon-McCartney original.' It was humble beginnings," he admits. "We developed from that."

It's an extraordinary moment – but McCartney, 74 and currently on his latest tour of American arenas and stadiums, is never far from a performance.

Over two long interviews – first in London, then a week later in Philadelphia, backstage before a concert – McCartney often bursts into song to make a point: hitting chords from another of his teenage tune details

James Liverani was invited onstage during the Beatles legend's soundcheck on Sunday in New Jersey.

James Liverani still can't talk about it without getting emotional. On Sunday, at the Paul McCartney concert at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, he was invited up onstage to play a song with the former Beatle during the pre-show soundcheck. A fan of the Beatles legend all his life who attended his first McCartney show at age 3, Liverani says he still can't believe it. “There's no words to describe that,” he said.

And the love of McCartney and his music runs in the family. “My dad, Tom, has been at every American tour since '76 and me since '90,” he said.

Before going to this show, James Liverani -- who teaches music to children at Friends Academy on Long Island -- told his dad he would love to play a song with his idol. Since McCartney usually invites select fans up onstage at his shows, Liverani thought of a way to get McCartney's attention. “My dad wrote a sign that said, 'My son would be the coolest music teacher if he could play with his idol.' Mine just said 'Music Teacher' with a piece of sheet music on it.”

The two went to the soundcheck and details

Producer Giles Martin is a man unsatisfied with perfection. As musical director for the Beatles' Love production, it was his radical idea a decade ago to create mashups of the band's most beloved songs as the vibrant, psychedelic soundtrack for a Las Vegas stage show performed by the acrobats of Cirque du Soleil. He produced the music for the original show and soundtrack album with his late father, Beatles producer George Martin.

In the years since, Giles Martin has become the next-generation guardian of the Beatles catalog. Last year, he remastered 1+, the expanded Beatles compilation album. He also worked on Martin Scorsese's George Harrison documentary All Things Must Pass, remixed and remastered the upcoming reissue of 1977's The Beatles: Live at the Hollywood Bowl, and is again at the mixing desk for Ron Howard's new documentary on the band's touring years, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week. He also produced Paul McCartney's last album, 2013's New.

In July, a revamped Love officially premiered at the Mirage Hotel and Casino with surviving Beatles McCartney and Ringo Starr in the audience. "Remixing and re-cutting the entire show is one of those things I thought I should do, because if you can make things bette details

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band marked the Beatles' cultural apex, effectively re-tuning the zeitgeist of Western society in 1967's Summer of Love, but its predecessor – Revolver, released August 5th, 1966 – was the band's biggest musical watershed. Never had the Beatles emerged with such a brace of high-quality songs. Never had Paul McCartney written so well. John Lennon wasn't far behind. Never had a band enmeshed itself so thoroughly with studio wizardry. Never, simply, had a musical collective done so much to change the very concept of how sound could be produced, at the level of sheer fun, and the level of full-on art.

Sgt. Pepper yielded a number of legends about how it was made and what it wrought, while Revolver has always lagged behind in that department, a fact that deserves redressing as this immortal LP turns 50. In that spirit, here are 15 things you might not know about this still-stunning classic.

1. "Yellow Submarine" almost killed John Lennon.

On Wednesday, June 1st, 1966, the Beatles, with a coterie of fellow madcaps including Marianne Faithful, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and George Harrison's wife, Pattie, gathered in Abbey Road's Studio Two to outfit "Yellow S details

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