Monthly Archives: April 2019

Liverpool production company’s Cavern Club documentary set for festival launch

The production company behind BBC dramas Broken, Care and Moving On has produced a new Beatles inspired documentary set for top billing at an international festival this week.

LA Factual, the documentary arm of Liverpool-based LA Productions, has created a new 70-minute feature called the ‘The Cavern Club: The Beat Goes On’.

The documentary was commissioned and made in association with The Cavern Club which started production in late 2016 and wrapped in early 2019. The film will debut at the BritWeek in Los Angeles tomorrow.

Designed to mark 60 years of the Cavern Club, best known as the home of the Beatles, the documentary is narrated by Liverpool-born actor Paul McGann and features interviews with those linked to the iconic Liverpool music venue including Sir Paul McCartney.

LA Factual worked with the Cavern Club over the last two and half years to create the documentary, speaking to over 20 people of interest and sifting through thousands of hours of archive footage.

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John Lennon Biopic ‘Nowhere Boy’ Acquired For Musical Stage Development

EXCLUSIVE: Nowhere Boy, the 2009 John Lennon biopic about the teenage years of the future Beatle, is being developed as a stage musical, Deadline has learned. Producers Brian and Dayna Lee of AF Creative Media, and Robyn Goodman and Josh Fiedler of Aged in Wood, have acquired stage rights to the Ecosse Films biopic that starred Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Lennon, Kristen Scott Thomas as Lennon’s aunt Mimi Smith and Anne-Marie Duff as Lennon’s mother Julia.

As with the film, the musical – currently in the very early development stage – will focus on the Quarrymen-era Lennon and the two women who played pivotal roles in his life: Julia Lennon, who abandoned her son but had re-entered his life shortly before she was struck and killed by a car, and Julia’s older sister Mimi Smith, who raised Lennon and remained close to him until the icon’s assassination in 1980.

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Celebration for the Blue Plaque at 3 Savile Row – 28th April.

There will be an informal gathering outside 3 Savile Row on Sunday 28th April to celebrate the new Blue Plaque which marks The Beatles’ rooftop concert in January 1969.

Richard Porter, one of the committee to erect the plaque said ‘I have been guiding Beatles tours in London for over 25 years, and visit Savile Row at least 3 days a week. On nearly every tour I am asked why there is no commemoration to the Beatles on the building. I was therefore delighted when I was approached by David Rosen of Pilcher Hershman, a fellow Beatles fan who works in Savile Row, with the idea of forming a committee to put up a Blue Plaque. We got together with fellow Beatles fans,  Mark Baxter of Mono Media Films, and David Stark of Songlink, to make it happen. As 3 Savile Row is a listed building, it took a long time for the plaque to be approved, but finally we were delighted to get the green light from Westminster Council.’

Amongst the guests who are expected to attend the celebration include Kevin Harrington, a former employee of Apple, who famously held up the lyrics of ‘Dig a Pony’ for John Lennon, who couldn’t remember the lyrics of his own song! Another special guest will be Barry Miles, who was head of ‘Zapple’ and now a respected author.

The original ‘Apple Scruffs’ will take their place on the steps of 3 Savile Row, just as they did 50 years ago!

The event will start at 11am at 3 Savile Row and continue later at a nearby pub.

Jim Irsay buys piano John Lennon used to compose ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ songs

Jim Irsay’s pricey collection of music memorabilia just got bigger.

The Indianapolis Colts owner tweeted Saturday morning that he is now the steward of the piano John Lennon used to compose songs for the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.

Why Jim Irsay spent $2.4M: On a manuscript with pencil scrawls in the margins

“I’m elated to now be the steward of John’s “Sgt. Pepper” upright piano,” Irsay tweeted. “It’s a responsibility I take seriously, with future generations in mind. #GettingThemBackTogether #Beatles”

The piano, made by John Broadwood & Sons, was up for auction at GottaHaveRockandRoll.com. It dates circa 1872 and was in Lennon’s Kenwood and Tittenhurst Park homes. It is believed he acquired the piano circa 1966, according to the auction site.

The minimum required bid for the piano was $575,000, and the site estimated it would sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million. A Colts source would not confirm how much Irsay paid for the piano, and the price had not been disclosed publicly as of Saturday afternoon.

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Abbey Road Visited and Revisited

Fifty years ago on this day in Beatles history (Friday, April 18), George Harrison recorded to perfection the raucous guitar solo on “Old Brown Shoe” in Studio Three at EMI Recording Studios. After nailing the solo, he joined producer Chris Thomas in the control room to mix the song, which would be released six weeks later as the B-side to a song John Lennon and Paul McCartney had recorded a few days earlier: “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.

In what turned out to be 14-hour marathon for Harrison, he then joined John Lennon in Studio Two to work on guitar overdubs of the hypnotic riff in the extended outro of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”. The 7:47-minute Lennon composition was the first song recorded for Abbey Road but one of the last to be finished. Released in September 1969, the album would be The Beatles’ last.

The historic significance of Studio Two is top of mind for me, having just returned from a series of press events hosted by the speaker gurus at Bowers & Wilkins in and around London. The first stop was a tour of the former EMI Recordings Studios where Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series speakers have been used since the early 1980s and where The Beatles recorded 190 of their 210 songs over an insanely productive seven-year career. In 1970, EMI Recording Studios was renamed Abbey Road Studios in a fitting tribute to the band and album that had made it famous.

Walking through the doors of Studio Two was a spiritual experience for this life-long Beatles fan. Dozens of tunes ran through my head as I imagined myself standing next to the boys in the hallowed space, which looks much like it did back in the day thanks to an ongoing effort to preserve the room’s acoustical character. From “Love Me Do” to “Eleanor Rigby” to “Come Together,” Studio Two was the stage for an ever-evolving musical journey, the likes of which we will not see again but will continue to enjoy for generations to come through a unique catalog of original recordings that have been meticulously preserved.

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How ‘Yesterday’ Helmer Danny Boyle Made The Beatles Disappear Onscreen

The film, about a struggling singer-songwriter who discovers that he’s the only person who remembers the British rockers, will be one of several musical films taking center stage at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Music takes center stage at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, with a schedule populated by projects that tackle everything from Harlem’s iconic theater (opening night film The Apollo) to the Wu-Tang Clan (Showtime’s Of Mics and Men) and The Beatles. The latter’s music will be featured in the Richard Curtis-Danny Boyle team-up Yesterday, which centers on a struggling singer-songwriter (Himesh Patel) who discovers that he’s the only person on the planet that remembers the British rockers. The Manchester, England-born Boyle, 62, talked to THR about casting his lead, his favorite song by the Fab Four and re-creating their rooftop concert.

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Magical history tour: on the Beatles trail in Rishikesh

Competing wafts of dung and dope thread through a dust-hazed jostle of holy cows, holy men and the bandanna-headed westerners who shuffle among them. Gaudy posters hang from every balcony and lamppost, promoting drop-in meditation schools, healing-quartz shops and adventure sport centres. Rishikesh has been drawing alternative visitors for half a century: bright-eyed arrivistes and red-eyed burnouts, here to cleanse body and soul by the banks of India’s sacred Ganges, and then maybe go white-water rafting down it. Knowingly or not, all follow in the sandalled footsteps of four fame-frazzled young Liverpudlians who, one faraway February, took a six-hour cab ride from Delhi to a yogi’s retreat in the hills behind Rishikesh, hoping to get away from it all and find enlightenment. As one of the most hallowed sites in the world’s oldest surviving religion, Rishikesh has a durable appeal to the Hindu faithful. Today, 51 years after poor old Ringo dragged a suitcase full of Heinz Baked Beanz into his ashram bungalow, it’s also a magnet for Beatle pilgrims of a certain age. Mine, for instance. Viewed from the vertiginous highway that follows the river up to its Himalayan source, Rishikesh doesn’t look to have changed much since 1968, or even 968, when ashrams and temples were clustered along its river banks. Garish pyramid domes line the mighty glacial waters, spanned by a creaky old footbridge. Steepling flanks of greenery form an impressive backdrop. It’s a most winsome spectacle, and those parping, chaotic streets are home to an endlessly entertaining cast of characters: bearded, orange-robed sadhus living in devout penury, garlanded yogis with rock-star manes and entourages, beatific old Europeans who came to find themselves and never left. The sort of visitor happy to share a six-hour cab ride might be equally content to camp out on the Ganges’ sandy foreshore, a widespread practice recently banned for the beloved river’s environmental good. But when the airport at nearby Dehradun was upgraded, a different breed of tourist began flying in from Delhi. And whether you’ve come to get cosmic in the birthplace of yoga, throw yourself off India’s highest bungee jump or sit on the steps where John and Paul wrote 48 songs, there’s always been a conspicuous drawback to Rishikesh: the inability to experience it in any kind of style or comfort.

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Co-Author of Controversial Beatles Book Wants Unheard Interview Tapes Released

In 1983, Peter Brown and Steven Gaines’ The Love You Make hit bookstores and caused a huge commotion among Beatles fans. In an interview with Billboard, Gaines said he and Brown conducted somewhere between 60 and 80 hours of interviews for the book they co-authored. Though all have been archived and digitized, none of the audio has been heard by the public, and Gaines says now he would like the tapes to be available publicly for whoever wants to hear them, either via sale (such as an auction) or donation (likely to a university). He also says Brown once told him he’d never sell the tapes.

Those interviewed for The Love You Make — mostly in 1980 — include Paul McCartneyRingo StarrGeorge HarrisonYoko Ono, Harrison’s first wife Pattie Boyd, Starr’s first wife Maureen Starkey, Beatles press officer Derek Taylor, Apple Corps head Neil AspinallJohn Lennon‘s first wife CynthiaLinda McCartney‘s brother and later McCartney legal representative John EastmanAllen Klein, who took on the Beatles’ business affairs after manager Brian Epstein’s death, and Beatles authorized biographer Hunter Davies, among many others. John Lennon was not interviewed for it.

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Police log books from The Beatles’ first visit to the US have gone on display

Rare documents were almost destroyed

Police log books for officers who protected The Beatles from screaming fans on their first trip to America have been unveiled.

The records, which have been donated to Liverpool’s Magical Beatles Museum, list the names of the officers who guarded the band in New York as they prepared to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 and their show at Carnegie Hall.

At the latter, the logs state that there was an incident where an officer was “knocked off balance” and injured outside the Plaza Hotel while “attempting to restrain the surging crowd”.

NYPD officer Patrick Cassidy, who discovered the logs while searching in police records, told BBC: “The Ed Sullivan Theatre is in the confines of my precinct, so one day in 2013, I went into the storage area that holds these books.

“After 50 years, they clean out and destroy them, so I looked up February ’64 and found the book, which would have been destroyed the following year.”

The Fab Four’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which marked their US TV debut, was watched by a then record 73 million people at the time.

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Here Comes the Sun – Mersey Beatles roll back the years to Abbey Road

The Mersey Beatles, Palace Theatre, Redditch

IT’S probably the most famous album cover in the world – four members of a pop group walking on a zebra crossing in Abbey Road, London.

Yet the music?

Abbey Road is regarded as one of the greatest records ever recorded, a disc which helped set the template of pop music for the next 50 years and still sounds incredibly fresh today.

The Mersey Beatles, Liverpool’s The Cavern’s own resident band, were in town for a concert marking the 50th anniversary of the album’s release, which they played in its entirety in the first half of the show.

There was genius in the air, but most of the audience just seemed to want to Twist And Shout, so while some of us wallowed in songs we hadn’t heard in some cases for decades, others chatted away incessantly or just grumbled.

But my goodness there were some great performances; ‘Paul’s’ singing on ‘Oh! Darling’ was knockout as was ‘John’s’ on ‘I Want You (She’s so Heavy)’ and who can knock George Harrison’s glorious ‘Something’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun’?

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