Monthly Archives: March 2019

Charity auctioning extremely rare version of The Beatles’ debut single

The British Heart Foundation is auctioning an extremely rare version of The Beatles’ debut single – after digging it out of a pile of donations.

One of the only 250 promo discs made of Love Me Do, which was the sent to radio shows and reviewers to promote the song, is now up for grabs on eBay – the price currently at £2,556 after 20 bids.

The rock band’s disc was discovered in a parcel of records donated to one of the foundation’s charity shops – but is set to sell for far higher than the current top bid.

A spokesman for The British Heart Foundation said: “This is one of only 250 pressed and was originally sent as a 7” promo single sent to radio stations to play.”

The song was written, primarily by Paul McCartney, several years before it was recorded and before The Beatles existed – he wrote it while skipping school.

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Beatles London Concert Venue to be Revived

£17m restoration of Granada Cinema planned after council buys iconic venue, writes James Cracknell

As Waltham Forest celebrates its year as the first-ever London Borough of Culture, some people have pointed to the irony of this accolade going to the only borough in the capital without a permanent theatre venue. Yet, it does – it’s just not open.

On Hoe Street in Walthamstow stands a building with an impressive history of having been not just a theatre and cinema but a music venue that once hosted The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Granada Cinema, also known as the EMD after its most recent use before closure in 2003, is now 90 years old and is Grade 2* listed by Historic England for its “fine Art Deco and Moorish style interiors”.

But the Granada is also in a state of decay and disrepair after being left to rot during its decade of ownership by a church group that was never able to obtain planning permission to convert it into a place of worship – after being blocked from doing so by both Waltham Forest Council and the government.

Signs of hope for Granada’s restoration appeared in 2014 when Antic London acquired the site, and later reopened the foyer as a gastro pub called Mirth, Marvel and Maud. Live music, comedy and pantomime has even been hosted there in recent years, but the main auditorium itself remains closed off and in need of a multi-million-pound refurbishment.

It was the prohibitive cost of the venue’s repair that prevented Antic from doing anything with the main auditorium for the past five years, despite attempts to find a partner organisation that would want to run it as a theatre. Enter stage right, Waltham Forest Council. Last month it was confirmed the local authority had bought the Granada for £2.8million from Antic – and will also fund its £17m restoration.

For more click here

Beatles London Concert Venue to be Revived

£17m restoration of Granada Cinema planned after council buys iconic venue, writes James Cracknell

As Waltham Forest celebrates its year as the first-ever London Borough of Culture, some people have pointed to the irony of this accolade going to the only borough in the capital without a permanent theatre venue. Yet, it does – it’s just not open.

On Hoe Street in Walthamstow stands a building with an impressive history of having been not just a theatre and cinema but a music venue that once hosted The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Granada Cinema, also known as the EMD after its most recent use before closure in 2003, is now 90 years old and is Grade 2* listed by Historic England for its “fine Art Deco and Moorish style interiors”.

But the Granada is also in a state of decay and disrepair after being left to rot during its decade of ownership by a church group that was never able to obtain planning permission to convert it into a place of worship – after being blocked from doing so by both Waltham Forest Council and the government.

Signs of hope for Granada’s restoration appeared in 2014 when Antic London acquired the site, and later reopened the foyer as a gastro pub called Mirth, Marvel and Maud. Live music, comedy and pantomime has even been hosted there in recent years, but the main auditorium itself remains closed off and in need of a multi-million-pound refurbishment.

For more click here

London Beatles Venue to be Revived

£17m restoration of Granada Cinema planned after council buys iconic venue, writes James Cracknell

As Waltham Forest celebrates its year as the first-ever London Borough of Culture, some people have pointed to the irony of this accolade going to the only borough in the capital without a permanent theatre venue. Yet, it does – it’s just not open.

On Hoe Street in Walthamstow stands a building with an impressive history of having been not just a theatre and cinema but a music venue that once hosted The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Granada Cinema, also known as the EMD after its most recent use before closure in 2003, is now 90 years old and is Grade 2* listed by Historic England for its “fine Art Deco and Moorish style interiors”.

But the Granada is also in a state of decay and disrepair after being left to rot during its decade of ownership by a church group that was never able to obtain planning permission to convert it into a place of worship – after being blocked from doing so by both Waltham Forest Council and the government.

For more click here

Documentary on George Harrison’s HandMade Films in the Works From AMC U.K

The story of groundbreaking British film studio HandMade Films, which was founded by former Beatle George Harrison and made such films as “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” will be told in “An Accidental Studio,” a feature documentary from AMC U.K. for its international networks.

The film will be the first original from AMC U.K. and bow on the British channel on May 4 and on AMC channels internationally later in the year. It has never-before-seen interviews with key players, and sets out to capture an extraordinary moment in film history through the eyes of the filmmakers and actors involved, as well as the man who started it all, music legend Harrison, who features in archive interview footage.

HandMade dominated the British movie scene with its ethos of making and releasing maverick films that everyone else had rejected, including “The Long Good Friday,” “Time Bandits,” and “Withnail and I.”

For more click here

‘Crazy’ National Trust refuses to adopt Ringo Starr’s childhood terraced home in Liverpool as a heritage attraction

  • Ringo Starr’s childhood home of 9 Madryn Street in Liverpool will be mothballed
  • National Trust accused of shunning ‘golden opportunity’ by refusing to adopt it 
  • Charity says it doesn’t have resources to acquire all the properties it would like
  • But campaigner Steve Barnes called decision over Victorian property ‘crazy’

The National Trust was accused of ‘turning its back’ on an important part of Beatles history yesterday after refusing to adopt Ringo Starr’s childhood home.

The humble two-up, two-down terraced house in Liverpool attracts thousands of fans every year.

Along with other properties in the street it was being renovated and the hope was it would be turned into a heritage attraction, like the former homes of other Fab Four members.

But social housing company PlaceFirst has revealed its offer to lease Ringo’s birthplace to the National Trust was turned down.

For more click here

My London Walks this week

Tuesday 11am: ‘Beatles In My Life’ – From Marylebone station
Wednesday 2pm: Beatles Magical Mystery Tour – From Tottenham Court Road Station
Thursday 11am – Beatles Magical Mystery Tour – From Tottenham Court Road Station
Friday 2pm. Rock and Roll London walk – From Tottenham Court Road Station

Saturday 11am: Beatles In My Life From Marylebone stationS

Sunday 11am:  Beatles Magical Mystery Tour – From Tottenham Court Road Station

All tours cost £10 for adults, £8 for students and seniors. Under 15s free with an adult.

For full details on my tours see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

Sir Paul’s wealth to rocket with a little help from his friends

A blockbuster new movie, Yesterday, by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, will introduce a whole new generation to the immortal hits of John, Paul, George and Ringo, predict industry experts. And the comedy musical is expected to boost the band’s annual revenue by tens of millions of pounds, with a heavily promoted soundtrack and huge spin-off sales of previous albums. In particular, Sir Paul, 76, who now owns publishing rights to some of The Beatles’ most iconic numbers, will benefit enormously from a global revival of the world’s most famous group.

Yesterday, due to be released in UK and Irish cinemas on June 28, looks set to out-perform current box-office music hits Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born.

As well as winning numerous awards, Bohemian Rhapsody – the biopic story of Queen singer Freddie Mercury – has shattered the record for a musical film by raking in £652million worldwide.

The soundtrack has also racked up 1.7 million in album sales in the US alone – a virtually unheard of figure in the streaming age – with an estimated five million-plus sales worldwide.

On top of that, sales of two previous Queen albums have been so high that both have appeared back in the Billboard charts.

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Lennon’s heroin habit. A hare-brained plan to play on an ocean liner. And a road trip from hell with Yoko. A new book about The Beatles’ final days reveals the REAL reasons they split up

As 1969 dawned, The Beatles appeared to be riding high on the success of the ‘White Album’ and the ‘Hey Jude’/‘Revolution’ single, both huge hits for their new Apple Records label. In reality they were unravelling, as Apple haemorrhaged cash, John Lennon immersed himself in heroin with new love Yoko Ono and the band embarked miserably on a new, back-to-basics album. Amid weddings, bed-ins and drug busts, The Beatles eventually made two albums in 1969 – ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Abbey Road’ – but it was also the year they secretly split, torn apart by money, business strife – and Lennon’s decision to supplant Paul McCartney and make Yoko his creative collaborator…  

They didn’t care too much for money

The Beatles’ Apple organisation, conceived by McCartney as a hippy boutique, record label and multimedia company that would offer grants to visionary artists, spent £1.5 million of the band’s money in 1968 – the equivalent of £30 million today – but made only £78,000. ‘Apple was like playing Monopoly with real money,’ said Lennon later. Meanwhile, each Beatle had hugely overdrawn their company expense accounts – Lennon by £64,000, McCartney by £60,000, Harrison and Starr by around £35,000 each. When accountants questioned why the drug-addled Lennon was spending so much money on ‘sweets’, an Apple employee recalls, ‘I had to point out they weren’t really sweets.’ Lennon’s skin was sallow, his pupils dilated, his eyes sunken and he later blamed his drug use on the other Beatles and their attitude to Yoko. ‘John was strung out on heroin so he behaved like most junkies – manipulative, self-centred, in pain,’ says Barry Miles, a friend of the band. To cap it all, the highly competitive Beatles were furious to discover that The Rolling Stones were making more money than they were, despite selling fewer records.

For more click here