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The 2003 death of the actor Lana Clarkson is being revisited in the Netflix true crime series “Homicide: Los Angeles.” In 2009, music producer Phil Spector was found guilty of fatally shooting Clarkson. He maintained his innocence until his death in 2021.

The first episode of the Dick Wolf-created series looks into Clarkson’s life and death, as well as Spector’s conviction. The episode features interviews with the former district attorney for L.A. County, former L.A. Sheriff’s Department detectives and Clarkson’s mother, among others. The episode also features television footage from the time, as well as photos of evidence and recordings of phone calls.

Who was Phil Spector?

Born in the Bronx in 1939, Phil Spector was a music producer and songwriter.

Spector rose to fame during the 1960s and ‘70s, working with top artists like the Beatles, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Ike and Tina Turner, the Ronettes, Cher and the Ramones, among others.

He produced songs like “Let It Be,” “Imagine,” “River Deep — Mountain High,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” “Be My Baby” and “Twist and Shout.”

Spector is known for pioneering the “wall of sound” producing style that was used in some of his hits, which used more instruments at once.

A self-made millionaire by the age of 21, he became a 1989 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and 1997 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee. In 2005, Rolling Stone named Spector No. 64 among the greatest artists of all time, just one spot after Turner.

Source: Becca Wood/today.com

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Longtime Beatles associate Alistair Taylor said that Ringo Starr was the only member of the band who didn’t constantly ask him to fix his problems. The rest viewed Taylor as “Mr. Fixit,” and turned to him when they needed help with something. Crowley could only recall one time that Starr begged him for assistance. He admitted that his rescue mission didn’t go to plan.

Ringo Starr joked that he wouldn’t forgive Beatles assistant Alistair Taylor

While on vacation in Sardinia, Starr called Taylor and begged to get him off the island.

“I got a frantic phone call from him,” Taylor said in the book All You Need Is Love: The Beatles in Their Own Words by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines. “And he said, ‘Look,’ he says, ‘it’s bloody awful. You know, I’ve got to get out of here. I’m coming back home.’”

Source: IMDB

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Legendary Beatles studio engineer Ken Scott, who worked with the Fab Four between 1964 and 1968, has been giving his opinion on the band’s final single, Now and Then. And it’s fair to say that it isn’t entirely positive.

Released in 2023, Now and Then began life as a rough demo by John Lennon. A cassette of this recording was given to Paul McCartney by Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, after his death, but the remaining Beatles were unable to finish it because it was deemed impossible to separate the piano and vocal parts satisfactorily.

Thanks to technology developed by director Peter Jackson for his Get Back TV series, though by 2022 the two parts of the demo could be split, enabling McCartney and remaining surviving Beatle Ringo Starr to develop Now and Then further.

Source: Ben Rogerson/musicradar.com

Ringo Starr rarely ever asked The Beatles' fixer to help him. When he finally did, the rescue mission did not go to plan.

Longtime Beatles associate Alistair Taylor said that Ringo Starr was the only member of the band who didn’t constantly ask him to fix his problems. The rest viewed Taylor as “Mr. Fixit,” and turned to him when they needed help with something. Crowley could only recall one time that Starr begged him for assistance. He admitted that his rescue mission didn’t go to plan.

Ringo Starr joked that he wouldn’t forgive Beatles assistant Alistair Taylor

While on vacation in Sardinia, Starr called Taylor and begged to get him off the island.“I got a frantic phone call from him,” Taylor said in the book All You Need Is Love: The Beatles in Their Own Words by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines. “And he said, ‘Look,’ he says, ‘it’s bloody awful. You know, I’ve got to get out of here. I’m coming back home.’”

Starr had already booked a flight to Paris for himself, his wife, Maureen, and their son, Zak, but he couldn’t find a way to get from Paris to London. Taylor planned to take a private jet to Paris to meet Starr, but could only procure a prop plane. When they landed in France, just shortly after Starr’s plane touched down, Taylor ran through the airport, struggling to find the Beatle.

Source: Emma McKee/cheatsheet.com

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The song so nice The Beatles recorded it thrice? In a manner of speaking, although not many people would likely describe any version of the song “Revolution” as “nice.” Thought-provoking, maybe, or perhaps confrontational.

But it is true that The Beatles released three different takes on the song, all in 1968, and each one wildly different from the others. Here is the story of a song that divided the fans, divided The Beatles, and even divided itself.  Lennon Speaks Out.

The year 1968 saw great tumult in the world, and John Lennon didn’t want The Beatles to ignore it. In the years when Brian Epstein managed the group, they were dissuaded from speaking out on any issues. But with Epstein gone, Lennon, whose relationship with Yoko Ono had begun to fire up his social consciousness, was ready to make his point within The Beatles’ music, specifically in the song “Revolution.”

Although the word “revolution” is in the title, the song is quite level-headed. Lennon’s lyrics preach caution, explaining he’s not about to jump forward for any cause or promote any method of change without first understanding all points of views. He famously hedged his bets in the initial version of the song about the need for radical action: ‘Cause when you talk about destruction / Don’t you know that you can count me out, in.

Concocting an arrangement that included some drowsy horns, Lennon kept the tempo slow on the initial version of the song—which would be known as “Revolution 1”—so that people could focus on the lyrics. He wanted the song to be a Beatles single, but both Paul McCartney and George Harrison balked, worried about both the pace and the political nature of the song. But Lennon wasn’t done with this song, or this fight, by any stretch.

Source: Jim Beviglia/americansongwriter.com

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"The (Updated) Beatle Who Vanished": 17 July, 2024 - 0 Comments

In 2013, author and historian Jim Berkenstadt (aptly billed as “The Rock and Roll Detective™”) wrenched a musical mystery back into the light in his book The Beatle Who Vanished. It’s the compelling story of Jimmie Nicol, a shy, gifted session drummer who had not yet made the big time. That is, until one day in 1964 when he received a call from Beatles’ producer George Martin, asking if he could fill in for an ailing Ringo Starr for the Beatles’ first World Tour. What??

Nicol wasn’t the first to be approached for this one-off task (he was the third, actually), but he recognized a good opportunity and checked a lot of the boxes for a quick-fix Ringo doppelganger. He was familiar with the Beatles’ playlist. He was adaptable and took direction well. He even sported the imperative mop top and fit into Ringo’s suit, though a bit snugly. He bid his wife and young son farewell and off he went, eager to make rock history with hopes of furthering his burgeoning drumming career.

There’s no question that Nicol came through in fine style while poor Ringo languished in Middlesex University College Hospital with a case of laryngitis and pharyngitis. An introverted but engaging chap, Nicol matched the energy of those around him and delivered dynamic drumming. He spent thirteen days as an actual billed Beatle on the Fab Four’s first-ever world tour in the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Australia. Nicol was stunned by the violent adulation of the young female fans, saying: “The day before I was a Beatle not one girl would look me over…the day after, when I was suited up and riding in the back of a limo with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, they were dying just to get a touch of me.”

Source: Ellen Fagan/culturesonar.com

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Beatles producer George Martin worked with the band extensively on each of their albums. He got to know the band and their working style well as they grew as artists. While he was typically happy to see their growth, he said they began taking too many creative liberties beginning with one album. He shared why this became a problem for the group.

George Martin said The Beatles lost focus on one album

In 1967, The Beatles pushed the limits of what was possible with an album when they released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They continued to push boundaries with their later albums, which Martin viewed as a problem.

“During Magical Mystery Tour I became conscious that the freedom that we’d achieved in Pepper was getting a little bit over the top, and they weren’t really exerting enough mental discipline in a lot of the recordings,” Martin said in The Beatles Anthology.

Source: imdb.com

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Yoko Ono will be honored Sunday with the Edward MacDowell Medal.

Ono will receive the award for her interdisciplinary work, the second artist to win the MacDowell Medal in that discipline.

The medal ceremony will be held Sunday at 12:15 p.m., and is free and open to the public on the grounds of the artists’ retreat on High Street in Peterborough. The 64th MacDowell Medal will be presented to Ono’s longtime music manager, David Newgarden, MacDowell said. Ono, 91, is not expected to attend the ceremony, a MacDowell spokesperson confirmed.

“There has never been anyone like her; there has never been work like hers. Over some seven decades, she has rewarded eyes, provoked thought, inspired feminists, and defended migrants through works of a wide-ranging imagination,” said author and visual artist Nell Painter, chair of the MacDowell board, in a news release.

Source: The Keene Sentinel

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3 Paul McCartney Songs That Will Bring a Tear To Your Eye

Paul McCartney has many upbeat hits to his name, but he isn’t afraid to let his emotions shine through at times. Find three McCartney songs that are liable to bring a tear to your eye, below.

Meaning Behind “You’re in My Heart' by Rod Stewart and the Famous Girl Who Inspired It

1. “Little Willow”

It can be hard to weather the obstacles in one’s life. They can shake us in unspeakable ways, flip our lives upside down, and change us forever. In the face of those obstacles, McCartney offers us some solace with “Little Willow.” The lyrics are peace incarnate, lulling the listener into a state of understanding and acceptance. Despite (or maybe because of that), there is something very poignant about this song. So poignant, in fact, that the listener might be moved to tears.

Sleep little willow, peace going to follow
Time will heal your wounds
Grow to the heavens, now and forever
Always came too soon

Source: Alex Hopper/americansongwriter.com

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Ringo Starr 16 July, 2024 - 0 Comments

Ringo Starr’s grinning, head-shaking figure flailing away behind his Ludwig drum kit was as much a trademark of the early Fab Four as their collarless jackets and three-part harmonies. In interviews, his deadpan wit was the equal of John Lennon’s more acerbic humour, and the morose persona he presented in the 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night broke just as many female hearts as Paul McCartney’s doe eyes.

All this helped make this practitioner of a craft that had previously been a ticket to a lifetime of standing in the shadows of others the most popular Beatle: sales of “I Love Ringo” badges left those for his three colleagues standing. Such was The Beatles’ stature, it made Starr among the most popular human beings alive.

“What an amazing drummer Ringo Starr is. Few people have ever caught on … but he has the most incredible feel”

However, when it comes to his status as musician, Starr was and is spoken of in terms ranging from dismissive to derisive. While Lennon and McCartney were acclaimed as the greatest songwriters of the twentieth century and George Harrison was recognised as a guitarist and songwriter of considerable talent, the consensus is that Starr’s one distinction was having the most fortunate bit-part in history.

Source: Sean Egan/thecritic.co.uk

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