Monthly Archives: November 2018

You’ll never work again! Scouse music icon Gerry Marsden hangs up his microphone after 60-year career

Sixties pop icon Gerry Marsden, famous for his football anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, is hanging up his guitar after almost 60 years of touring.

The 76-year-old lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers has announced his retirement on his official website, telling fans he wants to spend more time with his family.

Singer and guitarist Marsden thanked fans for their ‘unconditional support’ since he burst onto the scene in 1959, adding he would ‘miss them all’.

Marsden, a close friend of John Lennon, and his Pacemakers group were the second band signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein, working the same Liverpool and Hamburg, Germany, music circuit as the Fab Four.

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Ringo Starr Spread Peace & Love For The George Harrison Fund For UNICEF

For this year’s Giving Tuesday, you could help spread some peace and love by using the Ringo Starr Facebook Frame and tagging 2 friends. To lend your support, simply visit this Facebook pagechange your Facebook profile filter and encourage two friends to do the same for UNICEF USA.

A Sample Post would read: “Hey (@name) and (@name), I know you’re big Beatles fans. Ringo Starr is helping UNICEF spread peace & love. I’m challenging you to help by changing your profile picture and donating to the George Harrison Fund.” If they prefer, however, fans can also simply donate $10.

The George Harrison Fund dates back to In 1971, when George Harrison and Ravi Shankar staged two concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden that brought together a star-studded cast of musicians to alert the world to the plight of the Bangladeshi people, victims of simultaneous floods, famine and civil war.

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Here Comes The Sun has been named the most popular Beatles song of 2018, according to data about the UK’s music streaming audience.

The George Harrison-penned track has come out on top as the nation’s favourite song from the Fab Four, racking up more streams between January and November than any other, streaming service Deezer said.

Twist and Shout is in second place, Let It Be is third, Come Together is fourth and Hey Jude rounds off the top five.

Other songs in the top 20 include Day Tripper, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Penny Lane and While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Deezer has also shared other streaming statistics to mark the 50th anniversary of the group’s The White Album, which was released November 22, 1968 – including the surprisingly young age of many listeners.

It has been found that more people under the age of 25 currently stream Beatles tracks than those who would have been around in their heyday.

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Was Ringo Starr the Original Instagrammer?

The former Beatles drummer on his love of photography (and cows) and how he almost chased his country music dreams

RELAXED IN black, a backward cap and his ever-present sunglasses, Sir Ringo Starr, 78, is quick to unleash his trademark wit, as droll as it was when the Beatles first touched down in the U.S. in 1964. “Twenty questions?” he asked as we took our positions in a villa at Los Angeles’s Sunset Marquis hotel. “Nah, I’ll give you 10 questions. Just cut the answers in two.”

His years with the Beatles are, of course, a relatively small part of what Mr. Starr calls “life’s rich pageant.” He was the first to score a massive hit after the band’s breakup—1970’s “It Don’t Come Easy”—and since then he’s done everything from performing charitable work to voicing the conductor on TV’s “Thomas the Tank Engine” and touring almost ceaselessly after his first outing with his All Starr Band in 1989.

Mr. Starr’s latest endeavor is “Another Day In The Life,” the third in a series of illustrated memoirs. While the first, “Postcards From the Boys,” showcased messages he and his ’60s bandmates shared throughout their lives, his new book highlights a lesser-known aspect of Mr. Starr’s restless creative spirit: Ringo Starr, photographer. Here, 17 of his answers, edited for space if not all cut in half.

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Back for 50th-anniversary reissue, Beatles White album is still inspiring

For an LP with a plain white cover, eponymous ninth studio album – more commonly referred to as the “White Album” – has generated a mass of symbolism since its release 50 years ago in November 1968.

With its glossy all-white gatefold cover, black inner sleeves and portraits of the Fab Four hidden inside the sleeve, the influence of the can be traced across a huge range of cultural artefacts. For example, the author of New Journalism, Joan Didion, named her study of the end of the 1960s dream, The White Album. The starkness of the LP’s presentation seemed aligned to the collapse of post-war idealism documented by Didion’s book.

For cult leader Charles Manson, the record contained a litany of hidden messages that only he and understood. George Harrison’s Piggies and Paul McCartney’s (admittedly crazed) Helter Skelter foretold the chaos of a bloody race war, a new apocalypse that Manson was to instigate and alone survive.

In 2004 Brian Joseph Burton, AKA Danger Mouse, issued The Grey Album, a mash-up of The Beatles and rapper Jay-Z’s The Black Album.

And, as if the cultural and commercial importance of the could be doubted, a re-issue of the record to coincide with its 50th anniversary went into the Billboard top 200 with a bullet at number six. Interestingly, of the 63,000 units sold in the week from November 9 to 16, 52,000 were in traditional album sales.

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Caroline Mickler has inked a deal with musical equipment distributor JHS on behalf of Apple Corps to produce a line of instruments and accessories for young children based on the Beatles-inspired film Yellow Submarine.

The Yellow Submarine instrument line includes a ukulele, junior half-size guitar outfit, outfit (including nylon strung guitar, carry bag, guitar strap, pitch pipe, spare set of strings and plectrum), along with two-inch-wide polyester webbing straps from 39 inches to 58 inches and a variety of picks for ages three and up.

“The fantastic Yellow Submarine designs, the wonderful songs and the positive message the film sends out about music make it an ideal inspiration for a range of colorful, fun and fab instruments,” says Ben Chapman, media and artist coordinator, JHS. “We’re delighted to be working with Apple Corps to help budding Beatles to learn, play and make happy music on instruments specially designed for them.”

The picks and straps are available now while the instruments are set to launch closer to Christmas at music shops and toy stores.

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The Beatles in Twickenham

A new project is calling out for people’s personal memories of the Beatles’ association with Twickenham and the local area.

A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Day Tripper, Hey Jude, Let It Be…. Between 1964 and 1969 many of the Fab Four’s most well-known film and TV appearances were filmed in and around the celebrated Twickenham Studios. Fifty years later, the new community venue, The Exchange is appealing for people to contribute their personal memories of the time ahead of a new exhibition and education project.

The Beatles in Twickenham, is a project developed by The Exchange, St Mary’s University, supported by Richmond Borough Council’s Civic Pride Fund and Twickenham Studios. The project will focus on and celebrate a unique period in the 1960’s when ‘Swinging’ London was at the heart of the pop, film, art and fashion worlds, and the Twickenham area developed a long association with the most famous pop group in the world.

The project is timed to mark the 50th anniversaries of both the historic Hey Jude TV broadcast and the subsequent Let It Be sessions in January 1969, both filmed at Twickenham Studios. Before this The Beatles had already formed a strong connection with the area, making a number of their ground-breaking feature and promotional films in part at least, at the St Margaret’s-based studios. Famous filming locations included a key sequence in Help! filmed on Ailsa Avenue, and Ringo’s famous pub scene in A Hard Day’s Night (filmed in the Turks Head on Winchester Rd).

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Prudence Farrow on the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” from the White Album: “I wished with all my heart John Lennon had never written the song”

The Beatles’ 50th anniversary edition of “The White Album” has reinvigorated the song “Dear Prudence.” Never a single, “Dear Prudence” nonetheless became incredibly popular over the years. Not many people realized John Lennon wrote it on the Beatles’ famed trip to India in 1968. Mia Farrow and her sister, Prudence, joined them. Prudence wound up spending all her time with the Maharishi and was considered anti-social by the Beatles. Just as they were leaving India, Ringo told Prudence John had written a song about her. Prudence forgot all about it until—. This anecdote comes from her memoir, available for free Kindle download on amazon.

“I first heard about the song “Dear Prudence” from a friend who heard it on the radio in August 1968. I had forgotten entirely about George saying they had written the song. I had anxiety about how they might have portrayed me. One by one, I listened as each of the other singles from India, recorded on a self-titled album, came out. Many were very unflattering, such as “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill” and “Sexy Sadie.” I remembered John’s ability to peg people and dreaded what he might say about me. I wished with all my heart he had never written the song.

“My mother bought what became widely known as “The White Album” as soon as it was released in the fall of 1968. She introduced it to me in a most odd way. During a family gathering at her apartment, we were playing Killer, a whodunit game. The “killer” kills by winking at you, then you wait fifteen seconds before announcing you have been killed. My mother went around the room, showing the album while playing it on the record player. I listened to “Dear Prudence” with great apprehension. As each line finished, I wiped my brow with relief. As the song ended, I felt immense gratitude that it was not as I had feared. Just then, my mother came over to me, and leaning in, she gently said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” I looked up at her, and she winked.

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Signed Beatles memorabilia kept by the air stewardess who helped deliver the Fab Four’s passports to them in Germany after they left them at home goes on sale for £35,000

A collection of signed Beatles memorabilia amassed by the Fab Four’s favourite air stewardess has emerged for sale for over £35,000.

Olga Fogwill, who worked at London Airport in the 1960s, met the band at the height of their fame as they were flying to Hamburg in Germany.

She came to their aid when John, Paul, George and Ringo, had all forgotten their passports.

But with air travel vastly different from today, she allowed them to board the British Eagle flight without the official documents.

Ms Fogwill then arranged for the passports to be sent to Germany on the next flight, allowing the band to take off as scheduled.

The group never forgot her help and kept in touch with both her and her family in the coming years.

They even provided her daughter, Susan Hall, with free tickets and signed collectibles, some of which have now emerged for sale.

The items, including a signed birthday card and an autographed ‘Help’ programme, are to go under the hammer tomorrow at SAS Auctions of Thatcham, Berkshire.

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