Monthly Archives: January 2018

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.

New Paul McCartney Album out soon?

It seems Paul McCartney long awaited new album should be out this year. Paul said on his website, “Paul: “I’ll probably be putting out a new album. So, I’d like that to be something I really love and then hopefully the fans will love it too! We’re putting the finishing touches to it now and at the beginning of next year. So, I would like to achieve making that a really great album. Fingers crossed! That’s not what it’s called, but fingers crossed! [Pauses] It could be… it COULD be the new album title!”

Fingers crossed he’ll do some gigs here in the UK too!

Beatles Take Top Spots in US Vinyl Sales

The vinyl revival continued in 2017 — and people clearly needed more Beatles records for their turntables, because the band took the top two spots on the year-end sales chart for the resurgent format.

Citing Nielsen data, Billboard reports that vinyl sales hit another peak in 2017, moving 14.32 million units and edging up 9 percent over last year’s previous high. That total represents the largest number of vinyl albums that’s been purchased in a year since 1991 — the year the company’s SoundScan sales data was incorporated into Billboard’s chart methodology, starting a new era in the process.

The year saw healthy vinyl sales for a variety of acts — the report notes that nearly 80 albums in all moved more than 20,000 units in the format — but the top of the charts remains unsurprisingly skewed toward rock. The Beatles took the top two spots, with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band selling 72,000 copies and Abbey Road close behind with 66,000 copies. Catalog titles took up a fair portion of the Top 10 overall — Pink Floyd‘s perennial bestseller The Dark Side of the Moon placed seventh, joined on the list by long-running favorites like Prince‘s Purple Rain (No. 6) and Michael Jackson‘s Thriller (No. 10).

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Beatles promoter Tony Calder dies aged 74

Tony Calder, the music manager who promoted the Beatles’ debut single Love Me Do, died on 2 January at the age of 74.

In 1965, Calder and Oldham founded the independent label Immediate Records, whose roster included the Small Faces, Rod Stewart and Fleetwood Mac. Immediate closed in 1970. Oldham was among those who paid tribute to Calder following his death, posting a message on Twitter that read: “A member of the family has left us.”

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Memories of Working for Apple

I met a lovely lady today called Louise Dryden, whose father, David Goodwin, worked for the Beatles at Apple. He was employed by Alexis Mardas at Apple Electronics at Boston Place and also at Savile Row. She told me loads of stories about her father’s time at Apple, including when Alexis and John Lennon visited him at his place in Harlesden, and asked him to come to work for the Beatles. David designed the electronics that went with the conceptual ‘Plastic Ono Band’ that is seen on the front cover of the single of ‘Give Peace a Chance’. Louise herself remembers going to the infamous Apple Christmas Party in 1968, when John and Yoko played Father and Mother Christmas, and being in Savile Row in the summer of 1969, only to find the Rolling Stones playing in the Apple Studio – they we rehearsing for their Hyde Park gig.

David Goodwin went back to work for Alexis Mardas after they both left Apple. One invention they worked on was a Savile Row suit that was bullet proof. One day Louis went to her father’s place to find the former King of Greece and the deposed King of Spain dressed only in their underwear, waiting to try on their suits. Knowing ‘Magic Alex’ I bet they didn’t work!

Louise has a wonderful coat from the Apple Shop on Baker Street, and an amazing ‘in house’ magazine from Apple, called Gilet De Sauvetage est Sous La Siege, which is French for ‘Lifejacket Under the Seat’ and the subtitle (an Apple a Day is out of the Question)! The cover is designed to look like an official Government document. It’s dated November 1968.

In it is all the gossip from 3 Savile Row. Although an author isn’t credited, most of it seems to be written by Derek Taylor, with contributions from other staff members.

Much of it is hilarious. Here are some highlights:

“Tony Measles Bramwell Best dressed man about Apple, second only Ron Kass….

“Paul wants a garden built on the roof at Savile Row, and so one will be arriving any week now; certainly there will be window boxes by Christmas and bulbs by early spring. A lawn takes longer’.

“Returning from a mission of mercy, Richard overheard two bowler hatted types speaking outside of number 3. “Apple, that’s where all the queers hang out.” Resenting this remark, he expressed his hostility by rudely gesturing with his middle finger up and down. The other party responded by gesturing wit two fingers. Does V stand for victory”

Internal Memo

Date 10th July 1968

From Stephen Maltz

To Everyone

Re 95 Wigmore Street

‘I wish to inform you that under the terms of our lease, we are strictly prohibited from playing any musical instruments ( including tape recorders and record players) on the premises. If there are any complaints from our superior landlords who are above us, or our landlords who are below us, we can be sued for breach of our lease’

[Blogger’s note – Wigmore Street was Apple’s HQ before Savile Row – running a record company without being allowed to play music in the building was something of a disadvantage!]

Internal Memo

Date 30th September 1968

From Derek Taylor

To Neil Aspinall

‘We should pay Joe at Abbey Cars or we will get a solicitors letter, or he will get his legs broken’

 

Map of The Beatles’ London Drawn by John Lennon!!!

Thanks to Alan G Parker for letting me share this. A map of the Beatles’s London, drawn by John Lennon on a copy of the White Album!! An amazing find I’ve never seen before. It includes so many sites, of course Abbey Road, but also Chapel Street, where Brian Epstein lived; Mason’s Yard, the site of the Indica Art Gallery, where John met Yoko; and St Anne’s Court, the site of Trident Studios. Also included is Montagu Square, where John Lived with Yoko; Marylebone Station, where the opening scenes of  A Hard Day’s Night were shot; and Green Street, where the Beatles all lived in same apartment.

I’m guessing it was done in the 1970s – as the Royal Courts of Justice are included, where Paul sued John, George and Ringo, in 1971,to bring in administrators at Apple. Enquiries are being made as to exactly when the map was drawn, and what what purpose. I will of course keep you informed!

What a find!!

 

Update: I thought it was too good to be true! Thanks to Simon Weitzman, who had told me the map was actually designed by artist David Atkinson, who drew it in the style of John Lennon. He was commissioned to do the maps by Q Magazine. I knew I’d see it somewhere before, but couldn’t remember where! David Atkinson will feature in Simon’s Here There And Everywhere – The Beatles Fan Film.

Remembering George Martin

Sir George Martin was born on this day in 1926. I was lucky enough to meet him on many occasions, and always found him to be a very charming man.

In the studio Sir George was very much the 5th Beatle.

Pic I took of Sir George Martin in Studio 2 of Abbey Road Studios, at the launch of the history of Abbey Road book