Like everyone, I was shocked and saddened by the tragic events in London yesterday. However life goes on, and my London Beatles Walk continue as usual. I was very gladdened to see more than 20 people on the the tour today.
The charts from 50 years ago this week – with ‘Release Me’ keeping ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ getting to number one. It was weird further down too – with 2 versions of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘This is My Song’ at 3 and 4, ‘Eidelweiss’ at number 5, and ‘Memories are made of this’ by Val Doonican at number 20. This is right before the Summer of Love???
There was some hope in the chart as well though. Note the first chart entry of Pink Floyd, with their first single ‘Arnold Layne’ ‘Al Capone’ by Prince Buster, and ‘Happy Together’ by the Turtles making an appearance.
Yoko Ono’s Film No. 4 (known as ‘Bottoms’) was famously banned by the Royal Albert Hall and UK film censors in 1967. Fifty years later, with Ms. Ono’s permission, the Royal Albert Hall will screen the film in its entirety for the first time, as part of our counterculture season Summer of Love: Revisited. It takes place on May 3rd. Doors open at 7pm.
The screening will be followed by an expert panel discussion on Yoko Ono’s work. (Panel TBC) It’s not known if Yoko will attend.
Chuck Berry, a true legend of Rock and Roll, has passed away, aged 90.
Chuck influence the Beatles hugely, and Paul and Ringo have given there own tributes:
“Chuck Berry sadly passed away over the weekend. He was one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest poets. He will be missed but remembered by everyone who ever loved rock ‘n’ roll.
“From the first minute we heard the great guitar intro to ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ we became fans of the great Chuck Berry. His stories were more like poems than lyrics – the likes of ‘Johnny B Goode’ or ‘Maybellene’. To us he was a magician making music that was exotic yet normal at the same time. We learnt so many things from him which led us into a dream world of rock ‘n’ roll music.
“Chuck was and is forever more one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest legends all over the world. I was privileged to meet him in his home town St Louis when I played there on tour and it’s a memory I will cherish forever. It’s not really possible to sum up what he meant to all us young guys growing up in Liverpool but I can give it a try.” Paul McCartney
Just let me hear some of that rock ‘n’ roll music any old way you use it I am playing I’m talking about you. God bless Chuck Berry Chuck Ringo Starr on Twitter
RIP Chuck Berry from the Harrison estate. The first song that The Beatles performed at their first concert in the US was Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” with George on lead vocals and lead guitar. George Harrison Estate “Chuck Berry is one of the all-time great poets, a rock poet you could call him. He was well advanced of his time lyric-wise. In the Fifties, when people were virtually singing about nothing, Chuck Berry was writing social-comment songs, with incredible meter to the lyrics. We all owe a lot to him.” – John Lennon, 1970
It was one of the key moments in pop history – even if neither of them realised it at the time.
On 6 July 1957, teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney were introduced to each other at St Peter’s Church Fete in Woolton, where 16-year-old John was playing with his band The Quarrymen.
Now, to mark the 60th anniversary that day is being recreated by Cavern City Tours – owner of the Cavern Club, in collaboration with St Peter’s Church and Bishop Martin School.
The Quarrymen are set to play at the Thursday, 6 July event, which will include an afternoon fete, followed by a ticket-only Grand Dance in the church hall.
The fete includes:
The Quarrymen performing from the back of a flatbed lorry, with original driver Doug Chadwick on the wheel, as it travels on a circular route around Woolton village.
The crowning of the Rose Queen.
A children’s fancy dress competition judged by John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird who attended the 1957 fete as a child.
Traditional stalls, games and crafts, along with refreshments and a barbecue.
Live music throughout the afternoon.
The Grand Dance takes place in the church hall from 7.30pm and will feature a musical line-up, which includes a finale by the original Quarrymen.
The Cavern Club is also celebrating its 60th birthday in 2017.
Cavern City Tours director Bill Heckle said: “The day John met Paul was, in essence, the birth of the Beatles.”
“Without this key meeting between two schoolboys in a leafy Liverpool suburb, there would have been no Beatles as we know them, and with Paul turning 75 in June we think he’d agree 06 July 1957 was one of the most important days in his life.
“We’re delighted to be able to recreate this moment in the history of music, and we hope people get in to the spirit of the occasion – we’d love to see everyone turn up in 50s-style outfits to really turn back the clock.”
Admission to the afternoon fete is by £2.50 programme on the day.
Tickets for the Grand Dance cost £20 and go on sale at 10am on Friday, 17 March, from the
My London Beatles Walking tour will be featured on TF1 TV in France. I was filmed with my tour group at the Abbey Road crossing and outside Abbey Road Studios. I then went with them to 3 Savile Row, where the Beatles did the famous ‘rooftop session for ‘Let it Be’.
Today, they came to my house and interviewed me and my wife, Irina, about our love of the Beatles and our extensive Beatles collection.
The piece will be shown on TF1 at 12 Noon (French Time) on March 26th.