Even 50 years after their separation, The Beatles continue to make headlines. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison will be at the heart of a new book in which they recall the recording of their last original album, “Let It Be”. On the program: long hours in the recording studio, friction and lots of rock ‘n’ roll.
“The Beatles: Get Back” is a 240-page account of the creation and recording of the band’s 12th album, “Let It Be”, which many fans believe contributed to the split of the British band in 1970.
This is an erroneous view of The Beatles’ history according to English writer Hanif Kureishi, who wrote the introduction to “The Beatles: Get Back”.
“In fact this was a productive time for them, when they created some of their best work. And it is here that we have the privilege of witnessing their early drafts, the mistakes, the drift and digressions, the boredom, the excitement, joyous jamming and sudden breakthroughs that led to the work we now know and admire,” wrote Kureishi in the introduction.
When The Beatles met Elvis Presley in 1965, the Fab Four wasn’t impressed with the King’s current output. John Lennon and Paul McCartney both said they thought Elvis’ best work came before he served in the Army in the late ’50s.
In 1980, while giving his Playboy interviews, John narrowed down the premier Elvis period for him. “When I was 16, Elvis was what was happening,” he said. “A guy with long hair wiggling his ass and singing ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘That’s All Right’ and those great early Sun records, which I think are his great period.”
In ’66, as the band set to record Revolver, The Beatles actually considered going to Memphis (home to Sun Studio) to lay down tracks for the album. However, after manager Brian Epstein looked into the matter, the band decided against it. Apparently, it came down to money, and Paul believed the decision had an impact on the quality of three Revolver tracks.
A new peace award named in honor of Yoko Ono will be presented during a virtual gala to be held by The Peace Studio, an organization co-founded by President Barack Obama's sister Maya Soetoro to promote "active peacebuilding" through artists and storytellers. The Dalai Lama, Ted Danson and Rhiannon Giddens will be in attendance.
"I am thrilled to have The Peace Studio inaugurate the Yoko Ono Imagine Peace Award. I look forward to working with The Peace Studio to honor deserving recipients as they further the causes of peace and justice that have been central to my life's work," Yoko Ono said, in a statement provided to Newsweek by The Peace Studio. "I wish you well with the gala and your work in spreading the message of peace, which is needed now more than ever."
Source: Andrew Whalen/newsweek.com
Lennon and McCartney sneaked in Liverpool slang or even made up new words or phrases for their songs, Paul McCartney says in a new interview on his official website.
"There was a thing in Liverpool that us kids used to do, which was instead of saying 'f-off', we would say ‘chicka ferdy’, McCartney said.
"It actually exists in the lyrics of The Beatles song Sun King. In that song we just kind of made up things, and we were all in on the joke. We were thinking that nobody would know what it meant, and most people would think, ‘Oh, it must be Spanish,’ or something. But, we got a little seditious word in there!"
"When you are kids you make up silly things, and what’s great about it is you and your friends all know those silly things," recalled the once and forever Beatle.
In the 1970 film Performance, a gangster on the lam named Chas (James Fox) has a hilarious encounter with Turner, a reclusive rock star played by Mick Jagger. “You’re a comical little geezer,” Chas tells Turner. “You’ll look funny when you’re 50.” The line gets funnier every year, and Paul McCartney probably laughs about it as hard as anyone.
Long before the music became “classic rock” and The Beatles made massive arena shows the norm, Paul and other musicians of the day couldn’t have imagined selling out packed American stadiums one night after the next. For starters, they didn’t know how long their fans would listen.
In late 1966, just after the Fab Four stopped touring, Paul checked in with The Beatles Book Monthly fanzine for a chat about the state of things. On the subject of touring, Paul sounded as if he agreed with Chas in Performance. He thought The Beatles would look silly if they were still flogging it on tour a decade later.
October 9, 2020 marks what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday. It also sadly marks four decades since he’s been gone.
That it’s been that long is hard to believe. But what is undeniable is that the power of his music hasn’t diminished at all. The music, the spirit, and the message conveyed means more now than ever.
To celebrate this milestone, a new collection called John Lennon Gimme Some Truth is being released, featuring new “ultimate” mixes of many of his most famous solo work done by Paul Hicks. These are completely new mixes done from scratch, but with much care and focus on fidelity to John’s vision.
“Yoko is very keen,” said Hicks, “that in making The Ultimate Mixes series we achieve three things: remain faithful and respectful to the originals, ensure that the sound is generally sonically clearer overall, and increase the clarity of John’s vocals. ‘It’s about John,’ she says. And she is right. His voice brings the biggest emotional impact to the songs.”
Source: Paul Zollo/americansongwriter.com
In many ways, the end of The Beatles was a liberating moment for George Harrison. After years of having his bandmates reject his songs and Paul McCartney telling him what to play (or not play) on guitar, George could make his solo record exactly as he saw fit.
That’s exactly what George did with All Things Must Pass (1970), the triple album that served as the epic opening statement of his solo career. Over six album sides, the erstwhile “Quiet Beatle” rattled off one sparkling composition after another. (The set included a bitter farewell to the Fab Four.)
But George, a well-known perfectionist, didn’t love how every track turned out in the studio. He had legendary producer Phil Spector at the controls for All Things Must Pass, and Spector had his ways.
John Lennon has a blissful autumn day in Central Park in the video for “Mind Games,” off his upcoming box set Gimme Some Truth. The Ultimate Mixes.
The video — now upgraded to HD — was shot in November 1974, a year after he released the album by the same name. Wearing a slick black coat and a floppy hat to match, he strolls through Strawberry Fields and signs autographs for fans. He glances at ice cream and pretzels at a food cart before he feeds elephants at the Central Park Zoo and dances at the Naumburg Bandshell to an empty audience. Later, he visits Tiffany & Co., pays a visit to the marquee of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road and rides away in a horse-drawn carriage.
“[Mind Games] was a fun track because the voice is in stereo and the seeming orchestra on it is just me playing three notes with slide guitar,” the late Beatle said in an interview. “And the middle eight is reggae. Trying again to explain to American musicians what reggae was in 1973 was pretty hard, but it’s basically a reggae middle eight if you listen to it.”
Source: Angie Martoccio /msn.com
John Lennon was the dominant early creative force in the Beatles. But Paul McCartney quickly began to catch up as their career together unfolded. George Harrison made a late push into songwriting as well.
So, who wrote the most Beatles songs?
As you'll see, there are individual albums where Lennon and McCartney take center stage. Lennon, for instance, wrote or co-wrote an astonishing 10 songs for 1964's A Hard Days Night. On the other hand, McCartney is credited for the vast majority of 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
On several occasions, things were in complete equilibrium: 1965's Help! and Rubber Soul, and 1966's Revolver. They basically split the songwriting difference on 1968's The Beatles, too. But there was clearly a sense of competition about things: Lennon would write "Day Tripper" and McCartney delivered "We Can Work It Out"; Lennon brought in "Strawberry Fields Forever," and McCartney countered with "Penny Lane."
The Beatles had extremely dedicated and excitable fans back in the 60s. At each gig a large group of teenage girl fans fought their way into the press conferences held just before the band went on stage, in an effort to catch a glimpse of the fab four.
September 18, 1964 was no different, as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr all arrived at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium.
A group of young women attended the press-only press conference to try and talk to the band.
But the real story begins just after this, as the band were heading to the auditorium's stage.
The stage itself was three times larger than the normal height for standard concerts for The Beatles, giving them quite a view over the 10,000 fans that had come to see them.