Monthly Archives: June 2019

Stella McCartney celebrates All Together Now collection debut

Designer Stella McCartney hosted a private screening of Yellow Submarine at the Electric Cinema in London’s Notting Hill last night to celebrate the launch of ‘All Together Now,’ a collection inspired by the iconic 1968 Beatles film.

Digitally remastered for its 50th anniversary last year, Yellow Submarine is a psychedelic adventure through a colourful world that brings people together with love and music, sending a message of togetherness that is as important in today’s political climate as it was when it was originally released.

Stella’s personal connection to the film’s legacy inspired her to celebrate this message through the collection and its upcoming campaign, spreading this statement of unity to a modern audience and encouraging them to be agents for change.

Among the guests were, Stella McCartney, Sharleen Spiteri, Chrissie Hynde, Amelia Windsor, Twiggy, Mary Charteris, Chelsea Leyland and Tiger Lilly Taylor.

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Win a signed print of Ringo Starr

Comic Relief have ONE rare piece of Beatles memorabilia. This beautiful limited edition print of Ringo Starr by the photographer Andy Gotts MBE, is co-signed by Ringo himself. As Ringo stopped giving out signatures in 2008, this is a genuinely unique photograph.

How to enter: The link to enter is here:

It is £5 to enter and all the money donated goes towards Comic Relief’s work supporting the most vulnerable people all over the world and in the UK.

‘If you make a film about The Beatles and don’t go to Liverpool, you’re going to get killed’ – Danny Boyle on Yesterday

Scousers will find much to enjoy in Danny Boyle’s new Beatles-inspired movie Yesterday – with a number of key scenes both set and filmed in the city.

The romantic comedy – written by Richard Curtis – imagines a world without the Fab Four and hearing those iconic songs for the very first time.

The ECHO was given a sneak preview ahead of the film’s release this week and while on paper the premise sounds downright bizarre, it works.

The end result is a funny and charming love story that also examines the price we pay for success. It’s sweet but not saccharine, and a fitting tribute to the music of The Beatles.

Our hero is struggling Suffolk musician Jack (Himesh Patel), who wakes from a freak accident to find no-one else remembers the songs made famous by John, Paul, George and Ringo.

He decides to sing them himself and becomes a celebrity (with a little help from Ed Sheeran, playing himself) – but can’t quite remember the lyrics to some of the Beatles’ best-loved hits.

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What would the world have been like without the Beatles?

Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis’s film, Yesterday, imagines what might have happened if the Fab Four had never existed. Guardian writers and Beatles experts offer their own alternative histories.

Alexis Petridis: ‘The 60s wouldn’t have swung so dramatically’

Towards the end of Jon Savage’s masterful book 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded, there’s a telling line from an interview with the Who’s Pete Townshend, surveying the disparate pop scene in December of that year. “It needs the Beatles,” he said, “to sort things out.”

It’s a remark that gets to the heart of the Beatles’ importance. Blessed with exquisite taste and with – in Paul McCartney’s phrase – their “antennae always up”, their albums tied together the various strands of 60s pop into a series of coherent developments. Beatles naysayers point out that a lot of the innovations of the 60s weren’t theirs, that they tended to be sparked by others’ ideas – from Bob Dylan’s lyricism to the Band’s rootsy, back-to-basics approach to the vast debt to black American music that runs through their catalogue – but, aided by the fact that they were just better songwriters and more alive to the possibilities of the studio-as-extra-instrument than anyone else, the Beatles tended to hone those ideas to their point of greatest effect. Pop psychedelia may have fomented at the recording sessions for the Byrds’ Eight Miles High in December 1965, but it found its most potent expression in the records the Beatles released over the next two years. By collating, curating, embellishing and developing, the Beatles gave pop form, they acted as a unifying force.

Perhaps the 60s might have swung without them – 1962 hits including the Crystals’ He’s a Rebel, the Beach Boys’ Surfin’ Safari and the Marvelettes’ Please Mr Postman suggest pop was already in the process of escaping the post-rock’n’roll doldrums before they exploded into the global consciousness – but they wouldn’t have swung so dramatically. Pop wouldn’t have had anything like the cultural impact that it did, it might have remained a series of scattered developments that never coalesced into a world-shaking force. It needed the Beatles to sort things out.

 Alexis Petridis is the Guardian’s chief pop and rock critic.

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‘Yesterday’ comedy movie gets Beatles’ seal of approval

LONDON (Reuters) – Imagine a world where The Beatles never existed? That is what British director Danny Boyle asks audiences to believe in his new movie “Yesterday.”

The comedy, arriving in movie theaters next week, tells of struggling British musician Jack who wakes up after a traffic accident and finds himself in an alternate timeline where only he can remember the music of the 1960s band.

Boyle, who won an Oscar for the 2008 movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” said the band gave permission for their music to be used in the film despite it being a story where “they are literally erased from the consciousness of the world.”

“I think they (The Beatles) must have loved the idea – how quirky the idea was. It appeals to their sense of humor I think,” Boyle said on the red carpet in London on Tuesday.

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Mark Lewisohn – in Hornsey Road

A message from Mark …


I seldom send blanket emails, but I want everyone to know my news and hopefully I can receive your support.

I’m about to tour for the first time. No, I’ve not yet taken up singing, but I am becoming the first speaker to tour an album. My show, an entertaining illustrated history called HORNSEY ROAD, will mark the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road, telling the fascinating stories behind the songs and why the album became Beatles’ best-selling but final work. The tour is presently scheduled for 22 theatre shows in England between September 18 and November 8 and then closing on December 4. More dates are still being added, and I very much hope it will extend into Scotland, Wales, Ireland and then into America and other countries.

The first announcement was made last week, with thrilling effect: the date at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London is almost sold out, so a second performance – a same-day matinee – has been added.

Details here:

with some additional info here:


And for those wanting a crash reminder of Abbey Road, here’s the Wikipedia page. (I’m not endorsing everything it says, but it’s a fair start.)

People are asking me …
Q:  Why is the show called Hornsey Road?
A:  I’m saving the answer for the stage. All I’ll say for the moment is … it’s what Abbey Road could have been.
Q:  Shouldn’t you be behind your desk, writing Volume 2 of the All These Years trilogy?
A:  Yes I should – but if I don’t do the tour I’ll starve and there won’t be a Volume 2.

So if you enjoy the Beatles, or any music, and if you like stories about music or musicians, please come along – support the books by supporting me. And, as people used to say, tell all your friends.

Best wishes,
Mark Lewisohn



Tour management – Edward Smith at Phil McIntyre Entertainments /

Press – Hannah Tollman at Neil Reading PR /

Retrospective Exhibition of Linda McCartney’s Photography to be shown at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

A major retrospective of photography by Linda McCartney will be shown in the UK for the first time at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow from 5 July 2019 to 12 January 2020.

The Linda McCartney Retrospective, which is curated by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, features iconic names and moments in music from the 1960s along with more intimate and emotional later work by this acclaimed and prolific photographer.

The retrospective also includes one of Linda McCartney’s diaries from the 1960s displayed in public for the first time and bringing new insight into the contemporary music scene of the era and the beginnings of her photographic career.

Cameras used by Linda McCartney and held in her archive will be displayed in public for the first time, along with Polaroids and Contact Sheets to explore her creativity and use of the different techniques.

The range of material to be displayed reflects the McCartney family’s passion for Linda’s work and their desire for the extensive contents of her archives to be accessible to a wider audience.

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The People’s Beatles: a new photographic exhibition

The Beatles Story is excited to introduce a new photographic exhibition, featuring never-before-seen images of the Beatles as seen exclusively through the eyes and camera lens of the fans who were there.

Entitled ‘The People’s Beatles’, the new display forms part of a larger project created by Photobox, a gifting and photo personalisation company, aimed to crowdsource, edit and publish a unique photographic biography and picture archive of The Beatles.

The project was launched with the help of Paul McCartney’s official biographer, Barry Miles, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ last ever live performance, which took place on the Apple rooftop, Savile Row in London on 30th January 1969.

‘The People’s Beatles’ is a visual representation of the Fab Four’s astonishing journey from unknown Liverpudlians to the most popular band in the history of music, as it was seen through the eyes of their adoring fans.

Over 500 of the best photographs from the project and their accompanying anecdotes have now been turned into a must-have coffee table book. The accompanying exhibition now open at the award-winning ‘The Beatles Story’ on the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool, highlights 29 of the best images from the book and the fascinating stories behind them.

All profits from the sale of the book, which is available to purchase from the Fab4 Store, will be donated to Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s leading independent music therapy charity. The exhibit also features an area dedicated to the charity, highlighting some of the work they do and offers visitors the chance to donate and support.

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“Become The Beatles” Experience Launches For Isle Of Wight Festival

With only a week to go until this year’s Isle of Wight Festival – organisers have today (Wednesday) announced a new immersive virtual reality experience dedicated to The Beatles.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra and Biffy Clyro are among the acts who will headline the event.

This year’s theme will be ‘Summer of ‘69 – Peace and Love’, with fans encouraged to wear their ’60s best’.

And, today the festival has announced it is teaming up with The Beatles Story in Liverpool to premiere their VR experience dedicated to the band.

“Become The Beatles” will allow fans the opportunity to learn more about the Fab Four and witness Beatlemania through the eyes of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Diane Glover, Marketing Manager at The Beatles Story, said:

“We are very excited to be launching our new virtual reality experience at this year’s Isle of Wight Festival on the anniversary of The Beatles’ visit there in the summer of ’69.

“What better way to celebrate this occasion by giving festival-goers the chance to virtually become one of The Beatles, playing to an audience of adoring fans on our award-winning attraction’s replica Cavern Stage.”

The experience will be available across the weekend and will be located in Strawberry Fields.

The Isle of Wight Festival returns on 13 June until 16.

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Todd Rundgren, Micky Dolenz, Christopher Cross Unite for Beatles ‘White Album’ Tour

Micky Dolenz, Christopher Cross and Todd Rundgren are teaming up with former Chicago singer Jason Scheff and Badfinger guitarist Joey Molland for the It Was 50 Years Ago Today tour celebrating the Beatles White Album. (Let’s just ignore the fact that the album came out 51 years ago.) The show will mix in their own hits along with songs from the White Album.

The fine print on the tour poster reads “not affiliated or endorsed by the Beatles individually or collectively,” but many of the artists on the bill do have Beatle connections. Badfinger was the first band the Beatles signed to their label Apple in 1968 and members of the group played on the sessions for John Lennon’s Imagine and George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. The group also performed at the Concert For Bangladesh alongside Harrison and Ringo Starr. Todd Rundgren, meanwhile, has been a mainstay in Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band going all the way back to 1989 and as recently as 2017. Micky Dolenz befriended the Beatles during his days in the Monkees and was in Abbey Road studios when they recorded Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band.

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