Monthly Archives: January 2019

All You Need Is Love: Beatles festival returns to Birmingham

All You Need Is Love Fest is set to return to King’s Heath next month, 56 years after the iconic group brought their Cavern Club show to the area’s Ritz Ballroom.

Joint organisers of the event Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker said: “It is quite remarkable to think that The Beatles once played a tiny ballroom on a King’s Heath side street.

“But they were later to be followed by The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd as well as Birmingham based groups like The Move, The Moody Blues and Spencer Davis Group.

“We are determined to continue to honour this musical legacy with a series of mini festivals.

“We expect Beatles fans from all over the country to come to King’s Heath and urge everyone to buy tickets well in advance as both concerts are likely to sell out”.

From 3pm to 6pm the event will see a selection of local musicians perform their favourite Beatles songs to celebrate the occasion at Fletchers Bar opposite the ruins of the old Ritz Ballroom.

At 7pm doors will then open at the Hare and Hounds for an evening concert by top tribute band Made In Liverpool to conclude Beatles Fest 2018.

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The city break you need to make in 2019

Liverpool has attractions littered throughout the city and more museums and galleries than any other UK city outside of the capital, added with a big dusting of its infamous warm welcome

The blank pages of a diary for the year ahead is the perfect time for planning more great memories to be had and in the dreary month of January the thought on many peoples’ minds is where to escape to this year.

While dreams might be filled of exotic destinations across far away shores, it’s easy to forget just how much is on offer within a few hours’ drive.

For the past few years I have made it my mission to explore some of the UK’s best cities which are perfect for long weekend breaks away from the normal realities of life, but still with that feeling of familiarity.

Having done London and Manchester, the next obvious choice seemed Liverpool – not just because of its rich history but its huge musical heritage which has shaped the sounds of today. And being a Beatles fan, what better place to go than to emerge yourself in the hometown where it all began?

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Making Mull Of Kintyre: Paul McCartney takes us to High Park Farm 40 years on

The long and winding road that leads to Paul McCartney’s High Park Farm on Kintyre runs down the western spine of the peninsula past crashing Atlantic waves before climbing through forests and fields into the hills above Campbeltown.

It was there in 1968, inspired by the drive to his Scottish rural bolthole, that the world’s most famous and successful pop star wrote The Beatles song of the same name which would become their ill-starred final single in May 1970.

By then, the greatest band that ever was had already broken up, and McCartney had retreated into seclusion and sunk into a depression. Little could he have realised that, on the same patch of land, the seeds of his enormously happy and successful post-Beatles reinvention would be sowed and reaped.

Hidden from screaming fans and the prying media, the privacy and relative anonymity of High Park Farm and Kintyre gave McCartney his life back in many ways. Especially once his first wife Linda Eastman – a respected New York rock photographer, musician, pioneering vegetarian and animal rights activist and horse-loving country girl at heart – fell in love with the place and encouraged McCartney to make it their back-to-basics place of respite from the world. It would remain so until Linda’s death from breast cancer in 1998.

There, Paul and Linda led the good life and dreamed it all up again, replenishing themselves with long summers messing about in wellies, raising their four kids and some seriously lucky livestock (no danger of the slaughterhouse at the McCartney farm).

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The Beatles Are Coming! PEOPLE Celebrates the 55th Anniversary of the Fab Four’s First US Visit

Nearly 55 years after the Beatles landed at New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport on Feb. 7, 1964, PEOPLE is taking a look back at the love affair between a band and a country in an updated Celebrating Beatlemania! The Beatles special issue.

“Thanks to generations of new fans joining the still-devout baby boomer Beatlemaniacs, the band is bigger now than it was during the Beatles’ meteoric decade-long career,” writes American Theater magazine editor Rob Weinert-Kendt in the foreword.

The 96-page special edition is filled with scenes from the band’s early years, from their debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show (that 75 million Americans tuned in to watch!) to the mass hysteria that ensued during their 1965 show at Shea Stadium. Read about John LennonPaul McCartneyGeorge Harrison, and Ringo Starr‘s early lives and how they each began their musical careers.

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50 Years Ago Today – The Beatles ‘Get Back’ to ‘Let it Be’

The idea of what became known as ‘Let it Be’ started during the making of the Hey Jude and Revolution videos at Twickenham Studios. The Beatles really liked playing in front of an audience – for the first time in over 2 years. They didn’t want to tour again, but instead would do a live performance which would be shown around the world. The Head of Apple Film, Denis O’Dell was approached by Paul McCartney about making a film of the Beatles playing a concert in front of an invited audience, which would be also released as a live album.

In their December 1968 edition ‘The Beatles Book’ official monthly magazine announced the TV show, and a competition from 100 lucky fans to attend. Initial plans were made to hold the concert at the Roundhouse, and old railway shed, which had been converted into one of the hippest music venues in London. A date was set for December 15th. However, Beatles Monthly also reported that the original idea of holding the concert at the Roundhouse had been dropped and that instead there would be three different live shows at venues to be announced. The concerts would be held in early 1969. Eventually, the lucky winners were sent copies of the Abbey Road album, and not concert tickets, as the show never happened.

It was around this time that Yoko Ono suffered a miscarriage of her and John’s first child. Of course, both were distraught, and John and Yoko started taking heroin, a habit they wouldn’t break for some months.

Later, January 18th was put forward as a possible date for the shows, but later dropped. Amongst the suggestions of where to hold the concerts was a disused flour mill by the river Thames.

However, things went quiet, as no one could agree on where to do the show. Denis O’Dell started work on the new film ‘The Magic Christian’ which was to star Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr.

Then, out of the blue, Paul called Denis and told him the project was back on. Denis O’Dell managed to put back the filming of The Magic Christian a few weeks so the Beatles could use Twickenham Film Studios, for their rehearsals.

The Beatles gathered at Twickenham Film Studios on January 2nd 1969. The film was director was Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had previously directed The Beatles videos of Paperback Writer and Rain, and just a few weeks earlier, Hey Jude and Revolution. He had just finished directing the Rolling Stones show ‘Rock and Roll Circus. The producer of the film was Denis O’Dell, but much later in the project Neil Aspinall asked if he could be credited as the producer instead, and Denis agreed.

Even though they were back in familiar surroundings, the rehearsals didn’t go well from the start. John Lennon especially didn’t like rehearsing in the middle of a huge film soundstage, rather than in a more intimate recording studio. John later said :

“In a nutshell, Paul wanted to make – it was time for another Beatle movie or something, and Paul wanted us to go on the road or do something. As usual, George and I were going, ‘Oh, we don’t want to do it, fuck,’ and all that. He set it up and there was all discussions about where to go and all that. I would just tag along and I had Yoko by then. I didn’t even give a shit about anything. I was stoned all the time, too, on H etc. And I just didn’t give a shit. And nobody did, you know…

Paul had this idea that we were going to rehearse or… see it all was more like Simon and Garfunkel, like looking for perfection all the time. And so he has these ideas that we’ll rehearse and then make the album. And of course we’re lazy fuckers and we’ve been playing for twenty years, for fuck’s sake, we’re grown men, we’re not going to sit around rehearsing. I’m not, anyway. And we couldn’t get into it. And we put down a few tracks and nobody was in it at all. It was a dreadful, dreadful feeling in Twickenham Studio, and being filmed all the time. I just wanted them to go away, and we’d be there, eight in the morning. You couldn’t make music at eight in the morning or ten or whatever it was, in a strange place with people filming you and coloured lights.”

John Lennon, 1970
Lennon Remembers, Jann S Wenner

It also didn’t help that John and Yoko were still heavily taking heroin, and John was barely communicating with the other Beatles.

Despite the less than ideal surroundings, the Beatles rehearsed many songs on that first day, but concentrated on Don’t Let Me Down and I’ve Got A Feeling, both of which would feature on the famous ‘rooftop concert’ and the end of the month.

Discussions among the Beatles that day centred on where to do the big live show. Michael Lindsay Hogg and Glyn Johns wanted it to be in a Roman Amphitheatre in Tunisia. However, Ringo refused to go overseas to do it.

Paul, being the instigator of the whole project, came over as being very bossy, especially to George. George had spent the few weeks since the end of the recording of the White Album hanging out with Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. Now he was back with the Beatles, and being treated as the younger brother, rather than the musical equal when he was with Eric and Bob. He especially disliked Paul telling him how to play his guitar. George would eventually walk out of the sessions on January 10th, saying to the others ‘See you ‘round the clubs’!

A week or so later, George was persuaded back, and session resumed in the Apple Studio at 3 Savile Row, to climax with the Beatles playing their ‘rooftop concert’.

More on this story soon!

Blogger Richard Porter is a professional Beatles Tour Guide in London, and author of the book, Guide to the Beatles London. For more on his tours, and book, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

Paul McCartney Releases New Song, ‘Get Enough’

Paul McCartney released a new song, “Get Enough,” as the calendar turned to 2019 at 12 a.m. Eastern time. The track is a new recording, not included on his most recent studio album, Egypt Station, which arrived on Sept. 7. Listen to it below.

2018 featured a burst of activity from McCartney with a series of well-coordinated events to herald the release of his studio album, including such headline-grabbing events as club appearances in the Beatles birthplace of Liverpool, and private concerts at the Abbey Road recording studio and even New York’s Grand Central Station.

For more and to listen to ‘Get Enough’ click here

Beatles fan shares fab memorabilia with museum

A Beatles superfan has donated a rare and treasured collection of band memorabilia to a museum in Dublin.

Terri Colman-Black spent decades buying unique pieces from shops around Dublin and went on to build up a treasure trove of items dedicated to the Fab Four.

At the age of 14, Ms Colman-Black’s love for John, Paul, George and Ringo was confirmed after she went to their first and only concert in Dublin in November 1963.

Among some of the items on display at the Irish Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum Experience in Dublin are the ticket and programme from their Irish concert, a George Harrison model kit and Beatles magazines.

The mother-of-two said she started to buy the collectables as she wanted to surround herself with The Beatles.

“In those days, you didn’t have a lot of money, people didn’t think about memorabilia,” she said.

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