Monthly Archives: June 2018

Nightclub Impresario Peter Stringfellow, an Early Backer of Beatles and Rolling Stones, Dies at 77

British nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow has died at the age of 77, following a secret battle with cancer, a spokesperson has announced.

Best known for running a string of eponymously-named lap dancing clubs, the self-styled ‘King of Clubs’ started his career in the entertainment industry — after a short spell in prison for handling stolen goods — by booking bands to play clubs his home city of Sheffield.

The Beatles, Kinks and Jimi Hendrix were among his early bookings with Stringfellow later recalling how he rang Brian Epstein from a phone box and negotiated an £85.00 fee for the then little-known Fab Four to play Sheffield’s Azena Ballroom. Soon after agreeing the booking, Beatlemania erupted, landing the flamboyant entrepreneur the first of many successful business deals.

“Brian (Epstein) gave me his word and he stuck to it. I picked the Beatles up in a Ford Anglia,” Stringfellow told The Yorkshire Post in 2014.  “It was just pandemonium when the Beatles came on stage. It was the most exciting night of my life,” he remembered some fifty years later.

The mid to late 1960s also saw Howlin’ Wolf, Wilson Pickett, The Small Faces, Stevie Wonder, The Searchers, Elton John, The Who, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones perform at Stringfellow’s various Sheffield venues, The Black Cat Club, The Blue Moon and King Mojo Club.

 

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Peter Stringfellow introducing the Beatles

RINGO STARR: ANOTHER DAY IN THE LIFE

Following the sell-out success of Postcards From The Boys (2003) and Photograph (2013), Genesis is excited to announce Another Day In The Life by Ringo Starr. To be published this autumn 2018, the third in Ringo’s series of books will present a previously unpublished collection of his photographs, captioned with his own thoughts and anecdotes.

Reflecting his love of music, travel and nature, Another Day In The Life shows us the world as seen through Ringo’s eyes. From Los Angeles to Tokyo and everywhere in between, many of Ringo’s observational images celebrate the quirkiness of life. Other photographs are taken behind the scenes during historic events, such as Ringo’s acceptance of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and his return to New York’s Plaza Hotel, 50 years after The Beatles first visited the USA. Featuring Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh and a host of All-Starr friends, Another Day In The Life shares personal moments from Ringo Starr’s legendary life in music, and offers a unique and inspiring look at the world around us.

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BBC to leave iconic Maida Vale studios

The BBC is to close its iconic Maida Vale Studios, which have played host to generations of pop stars, from The Beatles to Adele.

Director general Tony Hall announced the closure in an email to staff on Tuesday morning, saying the complex would be replaced by a new, state-of-the-art facility in east London.

The move means the BBC will “be able to record and broadcast more live music than ever before,” he added.

It is expected to be ready by 2022.

The BBC hopes to relocate most of Maida Vale’s functions to the Olympic Park in Stratford, alongside other arts organisations including the V&A, Sadler’s Wells and the London College of Fashion.

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[blogger’s note – The Beatles visited the studios on many occasions to make their BBC radio recordings]

The second book of two, Sound Pictures brings the exciting story of the creation of the Beatles’ music vividly to life

In 1966, the Beatles and George Martin stood at a creative crossroads. The bandmates had started to feel stunted in their musical growth, so they started engaging in brash experimentation both inside and outside the studio. The Beatles had also expanded their demographic considerably beyond teens and young adults, leading to new fans of all ages. With more recognition, the band began to feel like prisoners of their fame and grew frustrated by the culture’s inability to grasp the meaning behind their work. Martin worked with the band as they navigated the changing landscape of mid-1960s rock ’n’ roll. Martin’s work ethic and studio savviness earned him a long-lasting partnership with the Beatles that continued throughout the later years of his life. In Sound Pictures, readers will discover how Martin helped the bandmates grow as musicians and found the transformative sound that the Beatles are known for today.

Sound Pictures: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Later Years 1966-2016 (Chicago Review Press, September 4, 2018) is the second volume of the first full-length biography of George Martin. Kenneth Womack, author and Beatles scholar, provides a detailed account of Martin’s collaborative work with “the fab four” as they advance beyond the success of their earlier recordings. Sound Pictures takes readers behind the scenes and reveals George’s diligent efforts to consolidate the Beatles’ fame in the face of the sociocultural pressures of the time, most noteworthy being the “Beatles are more popular than Jesus” scandal. It also includes stories of Martin’s interactions with the band, including when John Lennon, who hated the sound of his own voice, requested that Martin tweak his vocals: “Make me sound like the Dalai Lama chanting from a mountaintop.”

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My Generation DVD review

The legend that is Sir Michael Caine takes us for a quick spin around the Swinging Sixties – a decade that totally revolutionised London and indeed Britain – to look at the birth of pop culture.

Narrated by the great Cockney himself, My Generation takes us on a whistlestop tour of the decade which heralded some seismic cultural changes including the introduction of the mini skirt, the contraceptive pill, and the opportunity for working class talents to gatecrash the realms of the well to do whether in the film world, music or even photography.

The film is beautifully illustrated by director David Batty with some wonderful archive footage, while the soothing drawl of Sir Michael punctuates the old film, fused with plenty of archive footage of a much younger Caine discussing similar topics.

Contributions are also made by many of the great and the good of that time including Sir Paul McCartney, Twiggy, David Bailey and so on, though unfortunately most of it consists of voiceover rather than on camera.

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Sir Paul McCartney, 75, and Nancy Shevell, 58, look effortlessly chic in casual outfits ahead of their Ibiza trip

They have been madly in love for more than a decade.

And Paul McCartney, 75, is clearly keeping the romance alive with Nancy Shevel, 58, as they arrived in Ibiza for an intimate holiday away, on Friday.

Dressed in effortlessly chic ensembles, the pair made a low-key exit out of the airport while they collected their luggage.

 

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June 3rd 1964 – Ringo Collapses Before World Tour, Jimmie Nicol Takes over on Drums

3rd June 1964. Just before flying off on a world tour, the Beatles pose for photos at Prospect Studios in Barnes, for the Saturday Evening Post. They are dress as city gents, wearing suits and bowler hats. During the session, Ringo complained of feeling ill, and collapsed. He was rushed to University College Hospital where he was diagnosed with tonsillitis. Ringo was in no fit state to go on the tour, and it was too late to cancel, so replacement drummer Jimmy Nicol was bought in.
Ringo recovered in time to join the tour in Australia.

Ringo looking rather ill on the photoshoot
John, Paul, George and Jimmie Nicol

 

Ringo Kicks off his 2018 Concerts in Atlantic City

Ringo Starr and the All Starr Band opened their US and Europe tour  at The Music Box at the Borgata, Atlantic City, New Jersey, last night.

Here is the setlist of the show:

Matchbox
It Don’t Come Easy 
What Goes On
Dreadlock Holiday – Graham Gouldman. 10CC
Evil ways – Gregg Rollie
Rosanna – Steve Lukather
Down Under – Colin Hay
Boys
Don’t Pass Me By
Yellow Submarine
I’m Not in Love – Graham Gouldman. 10CC
Black Magic Woman – Gregg Rollie
You’re 16
Anthem
Overkill – Colin Hay
Africa – Steve Lukather
Oye Como Va – Gregg Rollie
I Wanna Be Your Man
Things We Do For Love – Graham Gouldman. 10CC
Who Can It Be Now – Colin Hay
Hold the Line – Steve Lukather
Photograph
Act Naturally
With a Little Help From My Friends
Give Peace a Chance

Revisiting London’s iconic album cover images

The most famous album cover shot in London is undoubtedly The Beatles’ Abbey Road, which is a tourist attraction in its own right. Thousands of Fab Four fans flock each year to upmarket St John’s Wood where the legendary zebra crossing photo was taken – and where Sir Paul McCartney still has a home.

The 1969 record is only one of many important albums to have featured a London landmark on the cover. BBC News has returned to the scene of some of the most famous records of the past 50 years to see what has changed – Click and drag the arrows on the interactive images.

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It Was 51 Years Ago Today!

Happy Birthday Sgt Pepper! In a rare interview, DJ Kenny Everett told me of how he first heard the album:

Q: Weren’t you the first DJ to play Sergeant Pepper?

Kenny: Well I was the first DJ to play Strawberry Fields Forever. I first heard Sergeant Pepper in George’s house. He had a low slung white goes-on-forever house in Esher. And a bunch of us including Tony Hall from Deram records were invited to George’s place to hear this new album. He had an acetate of it. He put it on the gramophone, and we all sat around and this thing started and blew us away, we were completely gone and on another planet, it was a quantum leap, and we thought, ‘music can stop right here, nobody is ever going to produce anything better than this, so all musicians can go back to bed now’. It was the best thing we’d ever heard! And George said ‘It’s quite good isn’t it?’ The night before they’d all had a party, and they’d decided to get spray cans of coloured paint and spray ‘God is Love’ and other things all over the walls of the house, this wonderful million dollar house, and they sprayed flowers, and words all over it in a stoned orgy the night before. He’d woken up the next morning to get the milk in and had horror written all over his face at what they’d done.

The Sgt Pepper album cover