Category Archives: From My Collection

From My Collection….

Over the year as a Beatles fan, I have collected lots of Beatles memorabilia. This is probably my favourite item.
My friend Marilyn Demmen used to go around to the Beatles homes on many weekends in the late 60s. She got to know them quite well, and got their autographs many times. One day she was outside John and Cynthia’s house, Kenwood, at St George’s Hill, Weybridge, when John came out and invited the fans into his kitchen! This might seem amazing now, but was quite a common thing for John to do.  When inside, Marilyn saw that John had a bookshelf full of his own books, as he did in ‘Help!’. She laughed about it – so John got one off the shelf, signed it, and gave it to her. That’s the one I’ve got now :>)
As Paul wrote the foreword, I got him to sign it outside Abbey Road Studios in the mid 90s.

Blogger Richard Porter is a full time Beatles tour guide in London. For more info on his tours, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

The autographs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney in a copy of John’s book ‘In His Own Write’

Happy Birthday George Harrison!

Happy Birthday George Harrison!

 

Here are some photos I took of George over the years …

George and Olivia arriving at the Premiere of How to Get Ahead in Advertising. London 1988.
George and Olivia Harrison at the Premiere of How to Get Ahead in Advertising.
George at a Ravi Shankar concert at the Barbican Centre, London

Inside an Abbey Road Studios Recording Session

A few years ago,  I spent an incredible afternoon INSIDE Studio 2 at Abbey Road, watching the great Brazilian band ‘All You Need is Love’ record loads of Beatles songs.

I did a day tour for them the day before, and they kindly invited me to their recording session.

I was with them for three hours, and in that time they recorded 10 songs! And I thought the Beatles worked hard for the Please Please Please LP! Nearly every song was done in 3 takes or less.

They let me take photos – and I’m going to post some here.

The band are still going, but are now called ‘Hey Jude’

Blogger Richard Porter is a full time London Beatles tour guide. For more info on his tours, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

Brazilian band 'All You Need is Love' recording inside Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios
Brazilian band ‘All You Need is Love’ recording inside Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios – picture taken through the window of the control room.
Inside Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios
Inside Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios
Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios. The Hammond organ was used on Beatles records
Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios. The Hammond organ was used on Beatles records

An Abbey Road Reunion

September 26th 1994 was the 25th anniversary of the release of the Abbey Road Album, and to celebrate, Abbey Road Studios invited all the producers and engineers that worked on the album to attend a gathering in Studio to celebrate. Also, all day there were TV and radio broadcasts from inside Abbey Road too.

As I had organised the 25th anniversary crossing of Abbey Road, I was invited by Martin Benge, then the managing director of the Studios, to spent the day inside the Studios, and meet all these incredible people. Here are some of my pics from that day:

This first pic is a gathering of all the producers and engineers. From left to right, Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald, Eddie Klein, Ken Townsend, Jeff Jarratt, and George Martin.

An Abbey Road Reunion
An Abbey Road Reunion

And here is Sir George Martin – love his smile :>)

sirgeorge

A Hard Day’s Star Wars!

Ever wondered why A Hard Day’s Night looks so good as a film?  Well, maybe one reason was the the head of photography was Gilbert Taylor, one of the UK’s top film men. He had just done a similar job on ‘Dr Stangelove’ with Stanley Kubrik, The cult horror film ‘The Omen’ – and later on a well known sci-fi film called  – ‘Star Wars’!

I was lucky enough to meet Gilbert in 2001 when the original cast and crew of A Hard Day’s Night reunited to contribute to the bonus disc of he DVD. He was a very nice man, and also hero-worshiped by the other members of the crew. Gilbert died in 2013, aged 99.

Here he is with Alfred Hitchcock, during the making of ‘Frenzy’

Gilbert Taylor with Alfred Hitchcock
Gilbert Taylor with Alfred Hitchcock

Remembering George Harrison

Today we are remembering George Harrison, who passed away on this day in 2001. I was lucky enough to meet George on a couple of occasions – at the premiere of the ‘Handmade Films’ ‘How to Get Ahead in Advertising’ and a few years after that, at a concert by Ravi Shankar. In each case, they were very public events, and I barely got to say ‘hello’ – I would have loved to have the opportunity to sit down and have a long conversation with him, but it was not to be.

Here are some photos I took on those occasions.

 

George and Olivia Harrison at the Premiere of 'How to Get Ahead in Advertising, London 1989
George and Olivia Harrison at the Premiere of ‘How to Get Ahead in Advertising, London 1989
George Harrison at a Ravi Shankar Concert at the Barbican, London, 1996.
George Harrison at a Ravi Shankar Concert at the Barbican, London, 1996.

Me With Paul McCartney

Over the years as a Beatles fan, I have had the pleasure of meeting Paul McCartney on many occasions. Here are a few pics of me with Paul.

Me with Paul McCartney 1982
Me with Paul McCartney 1982

This pic was taken in May 1982, outside AIR Studios in Oxford Street, London. I had been a Beatles fan for years, but pretty much on my own. After the tragic murder of John Lennon, I wanted to meet other fans, and put an ad in Beatles Monthly for penpals. One guy I wrote to, John Challis, told me he had met Paul McCartney many times in Oxford Street. I didn’t believe him at first, as I had been past the building he’d told me about, and didn’t even know there was a studio there. However, he persuaded me to come up to Oxford Street at about 6pm (the time he said Paul came out the studio) and I would meet him. I thought there was nothing to lose. Sure enough, about 10 minutes after they arrived, Paul McCartney was standing right in front of me!! That night I got a Paul McCartney and Wings book signed by Paul – as someone had told me (wrongly) that Paul didn’t sign Beatles items.

I went up to AIR Studios many times after that, and became friends with the regular fans who would hang out there. I saw Paul many times, and finally got the above picture taken with him. I later went back and got it signed. When Paul saw it, he said, “Oh, aren’t we a lovely couple”!

Me with Paul McCartney outside Abbey Road Studios 1997.
Me with Paul McCartney outside Abbey Road Studios 1997.

This pic was taken in 1997 outside Abbey Road Studios. I was on my Beatles walking tour, standing by the Abbey Road crossing, talking about the Paul is dead rumour. I saw Paul’s car coming up the road, proving beyond doubt he was still alive!

He was filming an interview with VH1 that day. He was in a very good, but reflective mood, and was please to pose with me again.

I have met him many times since. Another memorable occasion was at the memorial service for Victor Spinetti at St Paul’s Church Covent Garden. I hadn’t seen Paul up close for around 10 years. After the service (which was very moving) Paul came up to me, shook my hand, and said ‘Hi Richard, how are you?’ Not only did he recognise me, he remembered my name too! Classy bloke :>)