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He was the first to guide an X-rated film to the top of the Oscar heap, introduced the Beatles to Hollywood with “Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” and convinced a reluctant Ian Fleming that, yes, James Bond might fare pretty well as a cinematic character.
A third-generation movie man, David V. Picker was a studio chief at United Artists, Columbia and Paramount in a prestigious run of box-office successes including “Last Tango in Paris” and “Ordinary People.”
Despite the accolades and the Oscars, Picker was quick to remind admirers that his career would likely have turned out the same even if he’d rejected the movies he helped bring to the movie houses of America and greenlighted those he’d kicked to the curb.
“My career would have probably turned out the same,” he wrote in “Musts, Maybes and Nevers: A Book About the Movies,” his 2013 memoir.
Source: Steve Marble/latimes.comdetails
Nowhere Boy, the 2009 biopic that starred Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the young John Lennon, is being developed for the stage.
Producers Brian Lee and Dayna Bloom of AF Creative Media and Robyn Goodman and Josh Fielder of Aged in Wood announced the project on Monday.
The musical play is inspired by the film about Lennon's adolescence in Liverpool and his complex relationships with his aunt, Mimi Smith, who raised him, and his mother, Julia Lennon, who abandoned him as a child. The story traces his initial steps into the music world and the creation in 1956 of his first band, The Quarrymen, which was joined a year later by Paul McCartney.
The feature directing debut of photographer and video artist-turned-filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson (then Sam Taylor-Wood), the movie was written by Matt Greenhalgh, who also wrote the 2007 music film Control, about Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis.
Source: Hollywood Reporterdetails
By 1969, The Beatles had much more than Yoko Ono to worry about. The previous year, John Lennon and Paul McCartney nearly got into a fistfight while recording The White Album.
Lennon’s disdain for “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was the occasion for that episode in what had become a fractured relationship. But George Harrison had also nearly fought John over some comments he made about the band’s finances in the papers.
Meanwhile, John was insisting Allen Klein take over management for the band. After George and Ringo sided with John in that matter, it pitted all three Beatles against Paul. In other words, it was only a matter of time before the band parted ways.
That left George with something to prove as a solo artist. The years of taking a backseat to the Lennon-McCartney empire were done. Once he scored his first hit album, there was basically no way The Beatles could get back together.
Late in the brilliant run of The Beatles, the band members had pretty much had it with one another. Geoff Emerick, the recording engineer on The White Album, told the story of John Lennon getting driven mad by the endless takes needed to produce “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”
By then, John was absolutely fed up with what he called Paul McCartney’s “granny music.” Once John went solo, he told the world how he felt on “How Do You Sleep?” In that takedown tune, he describes Paul’s solo work as “Muzak to my ears” while reeling off other insults.
Still, the band found ways to make Abbey Road and Let It Be, The Beatles’ final studio releases. Despite the animosity and regular confrontations over business matters, the four band members still had the sort of chemistry that allowed them to take the world by storm in ’64.
It took a lot more than Yoko Ono to break up The Beatles. In fact, you can argue the show could have gone on had Paul McCartney agreed to the manager (i.e., Allen Klein) his three bandmates decided they wanted for the group. But there was almost no chance he would.
Paul’s pick for manager was the father of Linda Eastman, his future wife. So the Fab Four had serious business disagreements by early 1969. And they never ended up settling them.
After more rounds of bickering, recording, and releasing hit albums, The Beatles announced they’d parted ways in April 1970. Soon enough, you could hear John Lennon knocking around his old songwriting partner in song. (George Harrison and Ringo would get in some shots as well.)
But that doesn’t mean they didn’t miss each other. In fact, John went on the record several times talking about that special thing The Beatles had when they were in a recording studio together.
When most people picture John Lennon and Yoko Ono, they imagine the pair ensconced in bed together as part of their “Bed-In for Peace” during the Vietnam war. Or they envision the couple’s iconic wedding picture where they stand together in matching white outfits looking every bit the part of young, in love, and full of hope for the future.
There’s no denying that John Lennon and Yoko Ono had an intense and epic love story. But their union was also plagued by controversy stemming from the opinions of friends, family members, and strangers alike. Maybe love isn’t enough to conquer all.
Why was Lennon’s and Ono’s romance so controversial? There are several reasons.
Macca says that even today he enjoys writing and coming up with strong melodies.
The Grammy winner, whose Freshen Up tour hits the US next month, said: “Looking back, me and John writing does amaze me. We wrote something just short of 300 songs.
“Often when I am singing in concert, I think, ‘How did I come up with that line?’
“I do think of a 24-year-old kid and I think, ‘The kid is good’ – but the kid is me. I have to pinch myself and go, ‘This is still you’.”
Reflecting on his writing partnership with Lennon, Macca said: “I would go to his house, he would come to mine and every single time we sat down, we came away with a song. The closest to failure was Drive My Car but we pulled it out.
Source: James Desborough/express.co.ukdetails
Jim Irsay owns more than just the Indianapolis Colts. Ethan May, IndyStar
Jim Irsay's pricey collection of music memorabilia just got bigger.
The Indianapolis Colts owner tweeted Saturday morning that he is now the steward of the piano John Lennon used to compose songs for the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album.
Why Jim Irsay spent $2.4M: On a manuscript with pencil scrawls in the margins
"I’m elated to now be the steward of John’s “Sgt. Pepper” upright piano," Irsay tweeted. "It’s a responsibility I take seriously, with future generations in mind. #GettingThemBackTogether #Beatles"
I’m elated to now be the steward of John’s “Sgt. Pepper” upright piano. It’s a responsibility I take seriously, with future generations in mind. #GettingThemBackTogether#Beatles
Source: Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star/indystar.comdetails
When The Beatles landed in the U.S. for the band’s first tour, they were nearly as young and innocent as they seemed. They just topped the Billboard charts with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and had “She Loves You” (yeah, yeah, yeah) coming soon.
Meanwhile, their passports wouldn’t get one Beatle into a New York bar these days. Lead guitarist George Harrison was still 20 years old on February 7, 1964. Ringo Starr, the elder statesman of the group, wouldn’t turn 24 until late in the summer.
Paul McCartney and John Lennon landed in the middle of their bandmates on the age scale. Even though they’d go from singing “Love Me Do” to being “so lonely” they “wanna die” by the time they broke up, not many years had passed.
In fact, none of The Beatles had reached the age of 30 when the band split up in spring 1970.
After the breakup of The Beatles, we got to see what the band members thought about each other’s music. In the case of John Lennon, it’s safe to say he didn’t find much to like in the solo works of old bandmate Paul McCartney.
“That sound you make is Muzak to my ears,” John sang in a brutal 1971 takedown of his former songwriting partner. Ringo wasn’t impressed by Paul’s work, either. “Everything you try to do, you know it sure sounds wasted,” Ringo sang in 1972.
While those critiques of Paul might sound harsh, it was nothing compared to what the critics were saying. By the time Paul partnered up with his wife Linda and formed Wings, reviews of his first two albums ranged from unimpressed to downright scathing.
The beatings at the hand of rock critics really kicked in with Wild Life (1972).
While Paul McCartney has described The White Album (1968) as “the tension album,” things didn’t really improve during the sessions for Let It Be. Judging by the documentary film of the same name, Beatles tensions ran quite high through early 1969.
A little over a year later, the band would split up and start releasing solo albums. Though Paul made the first statement with McCartney in spring 1970, the George Harrison triple-disc All Things Must Pass (from November ’70) stood as a much more substantial work.
For George, who you see telling Paul he’d do “whatever [Paul] wants” during the Let It Be sessions, it must have felt like a triumph when his single “My Sweet Lord” hit No. 1 in December. Neither Paul nor his other bandmates had topped the Billboard Hot 100 at that point.
To you, he’s Paul McCartney — but, to his five kids, he’s just dad. The Beatles icon may have lived quite the life thanks to an endless string of No. 1 hits and touring around the world, but nothing compares to him being a father.
The 76-year-old musician is the proud papa four daughters — Heather, Mary, Stella and Beatrice — as well as son James. Like their famous dad, each child has — besides Beatrice who is still a teen — flourished in their careers and have made quite the name for themselves.
Considering the fact that Mary is a photographer and James is a singer-songwriter, the McCartneys even get to work together sometimes! In fact, Mary was the one who shot the iconic Abbey Road album cover and James has contributed to a number of solo albums by his parents, including Flaming Pie and Driving Rain by his father and Wide Prairie by his late mom, Linda McCartney. So cool!
Source: Kelly Braun/closerweekly.com
In 1983, Peter Brown and Steven Gaines’ The Love You Make hit bookstores and caused a huge commotion among Beatles fans. In an interview with Billboard, Gaines said he and Brown conducted somewhere between 60 and 80 hours of interviews for the book they co-authored. Though all have been archived and digitized, none of the audio has been heard by the public, and Gaines says now he would like the tapes to be available publicly for whoever wants to hear them, either via sale (such as an auction) or donation (likely to a university). He also says Brown once told him he'd never sell the tapes.
Those interviewed for The Love You Make -- mostly in 1980 -- include Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Yoko Ono, Harrison's first wife Pattie Boyd, Starr's first wife Maureen Starkey, Beatles press officer Derek Taylor, Apple Corps head Neil Aspinall, John Lennon's first wife Cynthia, Linda McCartney's brother and later McCartney legal representative John Eastman, Allen Klein, who took on the Beatles’ business affairs after manager Brian Epstein’s death, and Beatles authorized biographer Hunter Davies, among many others. John Lennon was not interviewed for it.
Source: Steve Marinucci/billboard.com< details
'We All Stand Together' from the animated film Rupert and the Frog Song and reached number three in the UK Singles Chart in 1984. (Parlophone)
Bears have been big business at the movies over the last few years, with Winnie the Pooh enjoying box office success via Christopher Robin, and Paddington becoming a bona fide franchise smash thanks to two hugely popular films, with another on the way.
But another bear – as cute as Winnie and Pads, and just as well-known in the UK – failed to get an invite to the celluloid party. Rupert – he of the yellow scarf, red jumper and tweed trousers – debuted in the pages of the Daily Express in 1920, and his adventures have been entertaining children of all ages ever since.
But in spite of small screen success via multiple TV shows, Rupert is yet to make his big screen debut.
Though some 35 years ago, a Beatle came close.
Source: Chris TillyContributor/yahoo.com
In the wintry early months of 1971, John Lennon embarked on a recording project that would prove to be momentous in its influence on rock music and the world at large. The album’s title track is still sung today at protest marches, sporting events, pop concerts, prayer vigils and anywhere else people gather in unity. It will most likely still be sung and treasured for many years to come.
The Imagine album ranks high among Lennon’s towering musical achievements, both as a solo artist and with the Beatles. At turns brutally honest and achingly intimate, the record opened up new vistas of expressiveness for songwriters and creative artists in every medium.
But Imagine isn’t usually regarded as much of a guitar album. Because the disc’s piano-driven title track has become a timeless international peace anthem, it tends to loom larger in the public consciousness than the rest of the disc. Which is a bit of a shame, as “Imagine” is only one of several album tracks that find Lennon at the top of his game as a songwriter. From “Jealous Guy” to “How Do You Sleep?,” the disc reflects Lennon at his most vulnerable and his most vicious.
Source: Jon Wiederho details
The week of April 11 – 17, 1971 was a busy one for the Beatles — even though the band had split up.
During that week, each former Beatle had a solo single on the UK Top 40 chart, indicative of the public’s insatiable need for all things Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon, even after the messy and dramatic dissolution of the world’s most famous band by 1970.
Highest on the UK Top 40 chart that week was “Power to the People,” a single from John Lennon and Plastic Ono Band, a song which later turned up on the 1975 release Shaved Fish. The song sat at No. 10, sandwiched between No. 9, “Walkin” by CCS and No. 11, which we’ll get to next.
Paul McCartney’s “Another Day,” his first official solo single, was right on Lennon’s heels at No. 11 on the chart that week. Written originally during the Beatles’ Let It Be sessions, the song would later turn up on Sir Paul’s many Greatest Hits compilations and re-issued versions of RAM.
Source: Rock Cellar Magazine Staff/rockcellarmagazine.com
For many fans of The Beatles, the band’s 1970 breakup couldn’t really be the end. After each member released a solo album — several of which took shots at Paul McCartney — a reassuring calm reigned by the mid-’70s.
During that period, you’d hear John Lennon giving interviews in which he said nice things about Paul. For those familiar with the days of John and Ringo savaging their old bandmate on record, that seemed like major progress.
Meanwhile, no one ever seemed to have a feud with George Harrison. That meant the four elements that needed to be combined for a reunion had no serious problem with one another. That was more than anyone could say during the band’s final years.
In fact, once John and Paul jammed together at a 1974 recording session, the groundswell necessary for a Beatles reunion had begun. Things actually got close during this period.
No one’s ever been able to rack up No. 1 hits in America like The Beatles did. While their recording career only lasted seven years, their early contracts kept them producing multiple albums (and plenty of singles) every year.
As you can tell by glancing at the band’s run on the Billboard charts, every Beatles studio album made was a major hit. Besides, there were years when they saw five different singles — and three different albums — reach No. 1 in the same year.
However, though 20 Beatles songs topped the charts, nearly all were written and sung by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It wasn’t until late in the band’s run that George Harrison and Ringo Starr got near the top of the charts with tunes they wrote and/or sang.
Police log books for officers who protected The Beatles from screaming fans on their first trip to America have been unveiled.
The records, which have been donated to Liverpool’s Magical Beatles Museum, list the names of the officers who guarded the band in New York as they prepared to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 and their show at Carnegie Hall.
At the latter, the logs state that there was an incident where an officer was “knocked off balance” and injured outside the Plaza Hotel while “attempting to restrain the surging crowd”.
NYPD officer Patrick Cassidy, who discovered the logs while searching in police records, told BBC: “The Ed Sullivan Theatre is in the confines of my precinct, so one day in 2013, I went into the storage area that holds these books.
Source: Damian Jones/nme.comdetails
The Beatles recorded their song "Something" 50 years ago on Tuesday.
It's considered the song that established George Harrison as a formidable songwriter within the group, and it's been covered by more than 150 artists — including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Shirley Bassey and Ray Charles. In fact, "Yesterday" is the only other Beatles song that has been covered more times.
Source: MPR NEWSdetails
Fifty years on from the Abbey Road album - the 11th studio album by the Beatles released on September 26, 1969, and the last recording sessions in which all four Beatles participated - audiences are invited to celebrate the legacy of John Lennon.
From the producers behind shows That’ll Be The Day and Walk Right Back comes a new production for 2019, Imagine – The John Lennon Songbook, which tells the legendary story through his songbook.
Starring Jimmy Coburn, Imagine showcases all of Lennon’s greatest hits, from the early days in Liverpool's The Cavern Club with The Beatles, through to The Plastic Ono Band and his solo career.
Source: Dawn Hinsley/lincolnshirelive.co.ukdetails
Being the world’s most famous band can as stressful as it is exhilarating. Then there’s the unprecedented level of fame and success The Beatles had. George Harrison once described the experience as “being boxed up for 10 years.”
By the end, the band members’ tempers flared on a regular basis. After The Beatles split up in 1970, the animosity carried over into their solo recordings. You can hear a little bit on George’s All Things Must Pass, but Paul McCartney took it a step further on his second solo album.
That’s when Paul took aim at John Lennon, who responded in savage fashion with 1971’s “How Do You Sleep?” In other words, the ex-Beatles were officially at war in song, and the Lennon-McCartney partnership had flamed out in spectacular fashion.
Author Ray Connolly, a friend of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, has written a personal and honest account of his complicated and talented friend.
In his author’s note, Connolly recalls Yoko Ono’s phone call on the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 8, 1980, asking him to come to New York right away. “The BBC has been here this weekend,” she told him, contradicting her earlier message.
Connolly booked an early flight for the next day, but never made the trip. On Dec. 9, Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
So much has been written about Lennon and The Beatles. Is there anything more to tell? Connolly has given us insights into Lennon’s often sharp-tongued and caustic comments, a legacy of his Liverpool upbringing.
Source: Frances Monaco/postandcourier.comdetails
The Beatles officially parted ways in April 1970, but the writing had been on the wall for a while. In fact, John Lennon told the other members of the band he was leaving late in ’69.
By then, the band was feuding over money and who would be the next manager. Meanwhile, John had already recorded albums with Yoko Ono and jammed with Eric Clapton. He was ready to go out on his own. In 1971, he chalked up his first No. 1 solo album with Imagine.
But Paul McCartney, who by then had become something of an adversary, had already topped the charts with his first solo effort. Paul’s record landed right around the same time as the final Fab Four studio album, Let It Be. (Yes, the other Beatles resented the timing of the release.)
The Beatles legend Paul McCartney recently shared a throwback photo of himself in his dressing room, and he looks stunning!
Michael Eavis has hinted that Sir Paul McCartney will perform at Glastonbury next year.
The music festival’s founder is hoping the Beatles icon will headline his Worthy Farm venue in Somerset for the 50th anniversary show.
He said, “Paul’s on good form at the moment.”
When asked if he had “spoken to him” and if he was coming to Worthy Farm, Michael told BBC Somerset, “Hopefully for the 50th, yeah.
“Don’t make a big thing of it though will you?”
Source: Brett Buchanan/details