Beatles icon Sir Paul McCartney: The future of music is in danger

Sir Paul McCartney and a host of rock and pop legends are backing a move in Parliament to protect music venues from closure.

Senior Labour MP John Spellar, a Government minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, is introducing a bill in the Commons to change planning laws.

The proposed new law is backed by stars including Sir Paul, Chrissie Hynde, Craig David, Sandie Shaw, Ray Davies, Billy Bragg, Feargal Sharkey and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

UK Music, a campaign group representing both the recorded and live music industries, said that over the past decade 35% of music venues across the country have closed. For more click here

 

Paul McCartney’s Film Has New Writer

Paul McCartney’s long-gestating animated film High In The Clouds has moved a step closer to the big screen after finding its writer. Jon Croker, who wrote The Woman In Black: Angel of Death and worked on the production draft of Paddington, has signed up to pen the movie.

The project has been in development since 2009 with French studio Gaumont, which has offices in Beverly Hills, optioning it earlier this year.

The film is based on McCartney’s eponymous book, which the former Beatle wrote with children’s author Philip Ardagh and was published in 2005. It tells the story of Wirral the squirrel, who embarks on a journey to find the animal paradise of Animalia after his forest home is destroyed and his mother is killed by bulldozers.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock (559955m)
Paul McCartney
PAUL MCCARTNEY READING FROM HIS CHILDREN’S BOOK ‘HIGH IN THE CLOUDS’, AT BORDERS BOOKSHOP, WESTWOOD, AMERICA – 10 NOV 2005

Win a signed, framed photograph from Ringo Starr and Donate to Water Aid

Did you know that legendary former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is also a keen photographer?

The PHOTOGRAPH Portfolio 2018 showcases Ringo’s camera work in a series of museum-quality prints, reproduced from the negative for the first time. Created in small artist editions of only 25 numbered copies, each print is signed by Ringo Starr.

A certificate of authenticity accompanies the final framed artwork. “Greece” was taken in 1967 when the Beatles travelled to Greece and almost bought a Greek Island. The framed print is number 2 of 25

“All donations given to win this print will help WaterAid bring clean water to people around the world, and the best part is that if you’re living in the UK your money will be doubled by the UK Government.” – Ringo Starr

To Enter click here

Derek Taylor’s Book ‘A Time Goes By’ to be Republished

One of the first sixties pop-cultural history books to be published, As Time Goes By is primarily about The Beatles and Apple but it also takes in Taylor’s sojourn in radical mid-sixties Los Angeles. The twenty-six chapters include material about The Beatles’ frenetic summer 1964 World Tour, The Byrds and the Sunset Strip in 1966 and 1967, and the changes that occurred in Apple between its utopian beginnings in 1967 and The Beatles’ break-up in 1970. With wit, warmth, insider knowledge and a healthy dollop of self-deprecation, Derek Taylor tells the essential story of those extraordinary years: this book is essential for anyone interested in experiencing the flavour of The Beatles and sixties pop and youth culture in a unique, contemporaneous voice.

For more click here

 

The Abbey Road Crossing – Has it Moved?

I’ve been asked so many times on my tours, and on here, whether it is true that the famous Abbey Road Crossing is not the one the Beatles posed on, but has been moved several metres. Some taxi driver tell their customers it is the crossing some 100 metre down Abbey Road from the Studios!

The confusion was made even worse when the crossing received ‘listed’ status from English Heritage in 2010. Their report said

“It has been suggested that the crossing was slightly moved to the south east in the 1970s, closer to the junction with Grove End Road. However, comparison between the cover photograph and its present location suggests that it may have been moved a little to the north…”

Neither is true – the crossing is in EXACTLY the same place it ever was! Photographic evidence shows this.

Here is a recent photo of the crossing, the things to note here is the square fire hydrant at the front of the third white strip from the right.

Compare with this picture of the Beatles on Abbey Road. The fire hydrant is in the same place as the recent photo.

Another clue is the manhole cover on the left of the picture, on the pavement, just above the crossing. Here is a pic taken by Linda McCartney of the Beatles on the crossing. The manhole cover is between Paul and Ringo.

For completists, although the crossing itself hasn’t moved, the positioning of the white stripes did change for a while, only to be put back in the same position later. Here is former head of Abbey Road Studios, Ken Tounsend, on the crossing, around the late 70s/early 80s. Note in this photo the fire hydrant is not on a while stripe – but still there nonetheless, as is the manhole cover.

Read more about the Abbey Road Crossing in my book ‘Guide to the Beatles London – now available in print, and on Kindle. We cross Abbey Road four days a week on my London Beatles Walks. More details at http://www.beatlesinlondon.com/

 

Ray Thomas of the Moody Blue Passes Away

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues. Ray famously played the flute solo on ‘Nights in White Satin’.

The were many associations and parallels between the Beatles and the Moody Blues. Founder members of the Moody’s, Ray and Mike Pinder, were in a group call the Krew Kuts, which had a residency at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, just after the Beatles. The band was managed by Brian Epstein for a short time, during which time they were support band to the Beatles on their 1965 tour of the UK. It was during that tours that Paul McCartney’s friendship with Moody Blues member Denny Laine really blossomed, and of course Denny became a founder member of Wings in 1971.

It is also said that Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder played harmonicas of the Beatles’ ‘Fool on the Hill’ and sang backing vocals on ‘I am the Walrus’

It was announced just a couple of weeks ago that the Moody Blues are being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

RIP Ray.

For a nice tribute to Ray click here 

Book on 50 years of Beatles’ India visit to hit stores in Feb.

A book featuring rare photographs of The Beatles clicked by Emmy award-winning producer-director Paul Saltzman during the iconic group’s India visit 50 years ago will hit stores next month.
Titled “The Beatles in India”, the book celebrates 50 years of the band’s famous trip to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram in Rishikesh.
During their visit, The Beatles studied transcendental meditation, and wrote some of their most memorable music.
No other person, except Saltzman, was allowed to photograph the group which had John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
The book, published by Simon & Schuster India, also contains a detailed narrative by Saltzman about the story of how “Dear Prudence” came to be and Harrison’s description of the first time he picked up a sitar.
Harrison’s former wife Pattie Boyd has written the foreword for the book. After parting ways with the legendary guitarist, Boyd married musician Eric Clapton.