Monthly Archives: September 2017

Memories of Inside Abbey Road Studios!

Although it’s not open to the public, I have been very lucky to visit inside Abbey Road Studios on quite a few occasions – and met some great people while doing so. It still is a great thrill every time I go in – you can feel its history. It is like going into a cathedral.

Here are some pics from my visits:

Gene Simmons and family

Me with Gene Simmons and his family, in the control room of Studio Two. I appeared on their TV show ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels. I gave them a tour of the Studio for the show.

Gene was a really nice guy and very friendly. He asked for a copy of my book ‘Guide to the Beatles London’ and asked me to sign it for him! Made me feel very special :>)

Me with Ken Scott

I met Ken Scott in Studio Two during one of the great ‘Recording the Beatles’ lectures.

Me with Freda Kelly

Me with ‘Good old Freda’ at the same lecture as above.

Me with Sir George Martin

This was taken at the launch of the official History of Abbey Road book in Studio Two

Brazilian band “All You Need is Love”

I’ve also been lucky enough to attend some recording sessions in Studio Two. Here is the Brazilian band ‘All You Need is Love’

Me with Paul McCartney outside Abbey Road Studios 1997.

OK – I’m cheating with this one :>) Even though I’ve never met a Beatles inside Abbey Road, here is me and Paul in the Car Park!

Sgt Pepper Documentary Released in the US

BFD (distributed by The Orchard) is pleased to announce that it will release the all new highly anticipated Beatles documentary IT WAS FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY! THE BEATLES: SGT. PEPPER & BEYOND on VOD & DVD across the USA on September 8th 2017. From the Emmy nominated director of Monty Python: Almost The Truth, Alan G. Parker (Rebel Truce: The Story of The Clash, Hello Quo, Never Mind the Sex Pistols, Who Killed Nancy) and produced by Reynold D’Silva and Alexa Morris, the film features incredible rare archival footage unseen since the 1960s. The film also features rare interviews with The Beatles’ original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon‘s sister Julia Baird, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell, Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks, Beatles associate Tony Bramwell, Pattie Boyd‘s sister Jenny Boyd, Hunter Davies, Simon Napier-Bell, Ray Connolly, Bill Harry, Philip Norman, StEve Turner, Andy Peebles, Freda Kelly and The Merseybeats. For more see https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwtv/article/Beatles-Sgt-Peppers-Documentary-IT-WAS-50-YEARS-AGO-TODAY-Out-on-DVD-VOD-Today-20170907#

PS The DVD extras shows your blogger, Richard Porter, talking about the history of 34 Montagu Square, where Ringo, Jimi Hendrix, and John and Yoko all lived at one time.

 

 

Bangor Beatles Photos to be Auctioned

This fascinating selection of photos gives a rare glimpse into the Beatles trip to Bangor days before they learned of the death of their manager Brian Epstein.
The Fab Four arrived to a fanfare in the north Wales town on August 25, 1967, for a 10-day conference on transcendental meditation having met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at a lecture in London the day before.
They had just released their eighth studio album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and were at the height of their fame.

For more see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4861588/Pictures-Beatles-Bangor.html

‘Finding the Fourth Beatle’ Documentary Coming Soon.

“Until this point, it was always John, Paul, George… and a drummer!”    

NEIL ASPINALL. Former Apple CEO.

Everyone knows the Beatles: John, Paul, George and Norman!

Or was it Andy or Alan, or Johnny, or Ronnie the Ted?  The answer is: they’re all true!

Amazingly, the Fab Three worked their way through an astonishing 18 drummers, from 1957 to 1970 but sadly, some are rarely mentioned in the Beatle story. The truth has been quietly forgotten. Shocked? You will be! Now, put everything you know about the Beatles to one side and read on…

FINDING THE FOURTH BEATLE 

A FEATURE FILM DOCUMENTARY BASED ON TRUE EVENTS

For more on the film, and to help crowdfund it,  see https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/finding-the-fourth-beatle-film-documentary-music-band#/

Tommy Steele seen On London Beatles Walk

Walkers on my London Beatles tour had a nice surprise today when we saw Tommy Steele go into the London Palladium. Showbiz legend Steele has appeared the the famous theatre more than anyone else, and was being filmed by ITV for a documentary on this iconic venue. They also filmed part of my talk – so I hope that’s included too!

At the end of the tour, we saw James McCartney in St John’s Wood.

For more details on my London Beatles walk, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

 

 

Ringo on his new Album ‘Give More Love’

Ringo Starr has given an extensive interview to the LA Times about his new album ‘Give More Love’. In it, he tells about working with Paul McCartney again, and reoworking some old songs, including ‘Back Off Boogaloo’

Read the full interview – also with a nice video clip, at http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-ringo-starr-give-more-love-album-20170710-story.html

Django Bates: Saluting Sgt Pepper review

Django Bates doesn’t play other people’s music often, but when he does, resemblances to the originals can be opaque. The unruly fiftysomething jazz composer has battered New York, New York into a free-jazz thrash, for instance, and interpreted Billie Holiday’s classic Solitude on a pub piano with two spoons and a bunch of keys hanging under the lid. But remaking the quixotic 1967 Beatles classic Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has turned him almost respectful, to judge by his Saluting Sgt Pepper album, and the first of 12 shows he and a crack German band are performing at Ronnie Scott’s this week.

For the full review see https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/sep/05/django-bates-saluting-sgt-pepper-review-beatles-ronnie-scotts

At Ronnie Scott’s, London, until 9 September. Box office: 020-7439 0747.

Unreleased George Harrison Song to be Auctioned

An unreleased track by Beatles guitarist George Harrison is to be auctioned along with a series of unseen images of the band.

The Indian-influenced, 1968 song Hello Miss Mary Bee was written for Harrison’s good friend Mary Bee around the same time as his first solo album Wonderwall Music was released.

It comes on a reel-to-reel tape with several alternative recordings of Beatles hits and several letters written to Bee while Harrison was in India with his wife Pattie Boyd.

For more info see https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/36949347/unreleased-george-harrison-track-on-block/

Exhibition based on Sgt Pepper to Launch in London this Week

A series of images inspired by The Beatles seminal album ‘Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’, ‘Reverberation’ is a new and unique body of work created by legendary Photographer-Director Dean Chalkley and Creative Director Ciaran O’Shea from studio Discordo.

Many of the subjects contained within ‘Reverberation’ being friends and associates of Chalkley and O’Shea. This dynamic and exciting exhibition has developed ‘with a little help from their friends’.

Chalkley and O’Shea have created a collection of work that does not stop at a safe or retrospective interpretation. Instead the show is a progressive, and at times abstract, reflection of the album, exploring the thirteen celebrated album tracks from a renewed and personal perspective, from ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ to ‘She’s Leaving Home’.

The work employs a range of different approaches; whether in colour or monochrome, pure photography, amalgamations of print, text, painting or collage, these adroit and unexpected routes to image-making reveal the dexterity of the show.

September 7th

at The Book Club

100 Leonard Street, London, Greater London, EC2A 4RH
Time: 6pm – 2am

Price: Free entry – for tickets go to https://thebookclub.eventcube.io/events/8412/reverberation-exhibition-launch