On Dec. 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot outside his Manhattan apartment. When the news broke, patrons in a Kitchener-Waterloo bar—including Brian Griffiths—were as shocked as everyone else. Word quickly spread that, some 15 years earlier, a local fellow named Frank had attended a Beatles concert at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. That was as close a connection as anyone there figured they had to the famous musician.
Over the years, Griffiths had learned to keep his mouth shut whenever the Beatles came up. He left the bar that evening without sharing personal anecdotes that would have held everyone in the place rapt. As a musically gifted teenager in Liverpool in the 1950s, “Griff” had spent time with Lennon and taught him some licks on the guitar. It’s a top-notch musical bragging point—so good, that Griffiths had more than once been accused of making it up.
Source: Brendan Stephens/calgaryherald.com
“Whenever you say ‘Beatles’ – that’s the magic word,” said Springfield-based filmmaker and super-Beatle fan Robert Bartel. He would know. His 1999 documentary A Beatle in Benton, Illinois – which details a single fortnight visit to the southern Illinois town in 1963 by 20-year-old George Harrison in order to see his married sister – is not only a consistent seller nationwide but has bizarrely managed to win Bartel a best documentary “Oscar” statuette 19 years after the film’s initial release (a 240-minute, two-DVD version was released in 2016).
Harrison and his brother, Peter, arrived in Benton on Sept. 17, 1963. The Beatles were already superstars in England and across Europe but were still unknown in the United States. (“I Want to Hold Your Hand” would be released stateside and go straight to number one on the Billboard charts in January of 1964.) “Ringo was supposed to come with them but he backed out because he wanted to go with Paul to Paris,” said Bartel, matter-of-factly. “John was in Spain having his, uh, thing with [Beatles manager] Brian Epstein.”
Source: Scott Faingold/illinoistimes.com
Bengaluru: 50 years of the Beatles is cause for celebration and stories of meetings with the Fabulous Four are slowly making an appearance. George Harrison's love for India is well known, with many a mystical tourist destination laying claim to a 'house in which George Harrison lived'. Little is known, however, of his love for South Indian food, which brought him all the way to a traditional Jayanagar home in Bengaluru, back in 1973.
Pandit N. Rama Rao was one of South India's most eminent sitar exponents, often credited with popularising the instrument in the region. In the 1950s, he travelled to Delhi, where he became one of the first disciples of Pandit Ravi Shankar. The Beatles had made their first trip to India in 1968, "at the height of their fame," explains sitar exponent Pandit Shubhendra Rao, who was all of eight years old when George Harrison came a-knocking at his father's home!
I Loved The Beatles Until I Read Their Lyrics; So I Did This...
What if the The Beatles crossed the Abbey Street in 2018. For a 90s kid, being a fan of ‘The Beatles’ after hearing their music well beyond their chartbusters makes you often uncomfortable in conversations where the F-word pops up – Feminism.
You’d have a hard time defending the champion of the free, liberal, equal and almost Utopian world AKA John Lennon, when he had penned songs that blatantly threaten physical violence against the fairer sex.
Believe me, I stand tall as a proud Beatlemaniac, and defend them in every debate that tries to undermine their talent.
But they were also people with their perspectives, outlook, and experience of the world at a time far behind us – the 60s and the 70s. That was a time when women’s equality in the workplace and society was a far-fetched dream, and notions of consent and rights were laced with ambiguity. And precisely thus, I cannot but wonder if the said songs would have turned differently had The Beatles been millennials like you and I.
The last notes of "Please Please Me" still hung in the stale air of EMI's Studio Two on November 26th, 1962, when George Martin's disembodied voice crackled over the talkback from the control room above. "Gentlemen," he addressed his young moptopped charges, "I think you've made your first Number One." The veteran producer had a finely tuned ear for hits, but it would be several months before the Beatles rode their second single to the top of the charts. Released on January 11th, the song received an unexpected boost from Mother Nature the following week. The winter of 1963 was one of the most brutal in England's history, and the record-breaking cold forced many to spend their Saturday night at home in front of the television, just in time to catch the band making one of their earliest national broadcast appearances on ITV's pop-music program Thank Your Lucky Stars.
Source: Jordan Runtagh/rollingstone.com
In his truly epic Vulture interview with David Marchese last month, legendary producer Quincy Jones reminisced about his experience with “the worst musicians in the world,” the Beatles. As for his thoughts on the group’s drummer, Ringo Starr, Jones opined, “Don’t even talk about it.” Luckily everyone else, including Buckingham Palace, disagreed.
This week, Starr was finally knighted by Prince William under his birth name Richard Starkey, 21 years after Paul McCartney received the same honor. The Beatle was also made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire way back in 1965 along with his bandmates. If you’ll recall, Quincy Jones later apologized for saying a number of “silly things” off the cuff, which is probably why he was the first in line to let Ringo know how much he really deserved that honor, and more. Jones tweeted the producer on Tuesday evening, “Congratulations to my dear friend & brother @ringostarrmusic, Sir Richard ‘Ringo’ Starkey! You deserve this & every other honor that comes your way.”
Who’s Laughing Now, Quincy Jones? Ringo Starr Gets Knighted!