Monthly Archives: October 2019

Paul Is Dead’: The Bizarre Story of Music’s Most Notorious Conspiracy Theory

Fifty years ago, a Detroit DJ accidentally started the biggest hoax in rock & roll history: the “Paul is dead” craze. It blew up on October 12, 1969, when Russ Gibb was hosting his show on WKNR. A mysterious caller told him to put on the Beatles’ White Album and spin the “number nine, number nine” intro from “Revolution 9” backwards. When Gibb tried it on the air, he heard the words, “Turn me on, dead man.” The clues kept coming. At the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever,” John says, “I buried Paul.” What could it all mean?

It meant the Beatles were hiding a secret: Paul McCartney got killed in a car crash back in 1966, and the band replaced him with an imposter. The rumor spread like wildfire, as fans searched their Beatle albums for clues. Fifty years later, “Paul is dead” remains the weirdest and most famous of all music conspiracy theories. It became a permanent part of Beatles lore—a totally fan-generated phenomenon that the band could only watch with amusement or exasperation. As Paul told Rolling Stone in 1974, “Someone from the office rang me up and said, ‘Look, Paul, you’re dead.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I don’t agree with that.’”

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Ringo Starr reveals a long-lost secret message that former Beatles bandmate John Lennon left for him on a demo tape recorded just before he was gunned down

  • Grow Old With Me, was written by Lennon during sessions for Double Fantasy  
  • At the start of the track Lennon said: ‘This will be great for you, Ringo’
  • Sir Ringo said he only learned of the demo and the personal message years later 
  • He has now recorded Grow Old With Me featuring Sir Paul McCartney on bass

Sir Ringo Starr has revealed the unexpected message John Lennon left for him on a long-lost demo recorded shortly before his death.

The 79-year-old has teamed up with Sir Paul McCartney to record a version of Grow Old With Me, which was written by Lennon during the sessions for Double Fantasy, the final record he made before he was shot dead outside his Manhattan apartment on December 8 1980.

Sir Ringo said he only learned of the demo and the personal message from his former Beatles bandmate years later, prompting him to record the song.

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Ringo Starr: Abbey Road wasn’t meant to be The Beatles’ last album

Last week, The Beatles’ Abbey Road returned to number one, almost 50 years after its original release.

Until recently, it was believed the band had entered the studio knowing they were making their final album – hoping to go out on a high after the fractious sessions for Let It Be.

But Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn recently uncovered a tape of the Fab Four discussing a follow-up in 1969.

Now Ringo Starr has confirmed the band wanted to keep recording into the ’70s.

“We did do Abbey Road and we was like, ‘Okay that’s pretty good,'” he told BBC 6 Music, “but none of us said, ‘OK, that’s the last time we’ll ever play together’. Nobody said that. I never felt that.

“We’d made this record, and then we would go off and do whatever we wanted to do. And then Paul would call us and say, ‘Hey, you want to go in the studio lads?’ and we’d do another one.

“So it was not the end – because in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make. So I never felt it [the end of the band] was in stone.”

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Abbey Road Graffiti Book

The personal photographic journey of a Beatles fan over the last 12 years.

Martin Holden moved to London from Liverpool in the late 90s. Already a huge Beatles fan, he became fascinated by fans flocking to Abbey Road and leaving messages on the wall outside Abbey Road Studios.

Martin and his wife Jo had been documenting the wall photographically for years – the wall is repainted every month for the next set of messages to be written by people from around the world. Images and tributes are lost forever once the paint rollers come out.

In October 2018, Martin was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. Despite this prognosis, he continued to visit the studios and remained determined to keep the project going. He lost his battle in August 2019, and now Jo is even more committed to finishing his work, both as a tribute to him and as closure to the long personal journey they took together.  

I was approached by Martin and Jo in March 2019 to help progress the book. His personal story was immediately compelling, and the subject matter fascinating. For me, Abbey Road Graffiti is a wonderful historical document highlighting the continued importance of The Beatles to music fans around the world, nearly 50 years on from their breakup.

Abbey Road Graffiti is designed and ready to go to print with your support on Kickstarter.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/abbeyrd1/abbey-road-graffiti-book

We had publishing offers, but this seemed a better starting point to take the book to press due to the personal nature of the project.  A fan’s photographic story presented to like-minded individuals as a contemporary celebration of The Beatles and the community which grew around their music.

The Kickstarter campaign launches on 10th October 2019, and runs for 3 weeks.

Website – www.abbeyroadgraffiti.art

 

 

Paul McCartney’s psychedelic Wings tour bus rediscovered

Almost 50 years ago, Sir Paul McCartney and his band Wings decided to decorate an open-top bus in psychedelic colours to take them on tour across Europe.

He converted the double-decker for his post-Beatles band and their families, with the seats on the upper deck replaced by mattresses and bean bags.

Now, after being found in Spain, the Wings Over Europe bus is back in the UK and is to be sold at auction.

Sir Paul made an appeal for the double-decker’s whereabouts in 2017.

It is being sold by Omega Auctions in Merseyside on Tuesday with an estimated value of £15,000-£25,000.

The bus originally served local routes in Essex and Norfolk in the 1950s and 60s before being bought by McCartney, who didn’t fancy being cooped up in a normal bus during the summer tour in 1972.

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[Blogger’s note – the bus also around in the 1990s. We has it as a ‘guest’ at a London Beatles Fanclub event. Here is me with my late wife Esther with the bus, and me with Denny Laine

Imagine Peace Tower to be Lit October 9th

Dear Friends

On October 9th 2019, IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will be relit in Reykjavík, Iceland, in memory of my late husband John Lennon, on the occasion of his 79th birthday.

(Lighting times: 8pm Iceland, 9pm UK, 4pm NY, 1pm LA, 5am Japan.)

I hope you will join us in celebrating the relighting of IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in Iceland, on live video at the www.IMAGINEPEACETOWER.com website and around the world. Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world.

Power works in mysterious ways. We don’t have to do much. Visualize the domino effect and just start thinking PEACE. Thoughts are infectious. Send it out. The message will circulate faster than you think.

It’s Time for Action.
The Action is PEACE
Think PEACE, Act PEACE, Spread PEACE�
PEACE is POWER!

Thank you, thank you, thank you
I love you!

love,

Yoko Ono Lennon

55 years ago, the Beatles came out for a weekend at a Fort Worth family’s ranch

Hardly anyone asks Reed Pigman anymore about the time the Beatles came over to his house.

But then again, hardly anyone in 1964 knew when they visited a Fort Worth family’s Missouri ranch.

In a thick file in his office at Fort Worth Meacham Airport, Pigman keeps snapshots of a top-secret charter airline side trip that remains mostly unknown to Beatles fans.

Pigman was 14. It was 55 years ago, after the Beatles’ first raucous concert at the Dallas Convention Center.

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October 5th 1962 – The Beatles Release ‘Love me Do’

On October 5th 1962, the Beatles first single ‘Love Me Do’ was released. On the Parlophone ‘red label’, it featured the Beatles recording made on September 4th 1962, with Ringo Starr on drums. This was significant, as originally, the Beatles producer George Martin wasn’t happy with Ringo’s drumming that day, and had the Beatles remake ‘Love Me Do’ on September 11th with session drummer Andy White on drums. Ringo was given a tambourine to bang, much to his ever lasting chagrin.  When it came to the original release though, Ringo’s version was chosen.

Things became confusing months later when Parlophone changed its record label to a black one, and at the same time, substituted the Andy White version of  ‘Love Me Do’ as the single. This led to a big mistake decades later. On October 5th 2012, EMI were due to re-release  ‘Love Me Do’ on its 50th anniversary, in an identical packaging and recording to the original release. We were sent copies of the new single to sell in the Beatles Coffee Shop. However, just 2 days before the release date, we were send an email from EMI to say the release had been cancelled to a ‘production problem’ and that we should send the singles back. Curious to what the problem was, I took a copy home and played it. The ‘problem’ was obvious right from the first few seconds – it was the wrong version of  ‘Love Me Do’! They had used the September 11th with Andy White on drums.

Because of the problem, the re-release of  ‘Love Me Do’ was delayed for several weeks, so missed the 50th anniversary. Rather than send all the copies we had of the rejected version back, I kept a couple. (shhh, don’t tell anyone!)

The reject re-release of Love Me Do

On October 5th 1982, Paul McCartney made a surprise visit to Abbey Road Studios, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Love Me Do. Well, it was supposed to be a surprise – lots of Paul’s fans (including yours truly!) found out Paul was going there. There was a group of about 10 fans outside when Paul arrived. He was totally amazed we were there – but was great about it. We all shouted out ‘Happy Anniversary!’  to Paul, and he said thanks and stayed around to sign autographs.

Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios, October 5th 1982, the 20th anniversary of the release of Love Me Do

On the 30th anniversary, I was invited to a special party in Studio Two at Abbey Road. As well as celebrating the anniversary, the British Council launched its new Beatles exhibition, including a video that included a section of me and members of the London Beatles Fanclub having a meeting at the Liverpool Beatles convention.

At the party, Apple MD Neil Aspinall, and reps from EMI, cut the 30th anniversary cake, which had been baked by Paul McCartney’s ex, Jane Asher!

The cake to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Love Me Do – as designed by Jane Asher!

My Beatlemania by Magali Le Huche

Thursday 21 November – 6pm

Sunday 24 November – 2pm

At the French Institute

 

Illustrator in residence at the Institut français, Magali Le Huche along with the band La Bestiole will premiere a musical and illustrated journey that focuses on four fabulous guys from Liverpool, following their creativity and their inspiring magical world. Magali’s relationship to the Beatles goes back to her childhood. She will pay homage to the legendary band by mixing drawing and music in this original creation. As little Magali escapes into her Beatles world, the group starts playing songs that speak to every situation she encounters.

 Book your tickets HERE

 

 

The Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road returns to Number 1 and sets UK Official Albums Chart record

he Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road album returns to Number 1 on this week’s Official Albums Chart, setting a new UK chart record.

The Fab Four’s eleventh studio album reclaims the top spot thanks to a special edition release to celebrate its 50th anniversary featuring previously unheard material from the recording sessions.

Abbey Road sets a UK chart record as the album with the longest time between reaching Number 1 on the Official Chart, at 49 years and 252 days. Its initial 17-week run at the top came to end on January 31st 1970. View The Beatles’ complete Official UK Chart history here.

The Beatles previously held the record with their Sgt Pepper’s album, which had a gap of 49 years and 125 days between topping the chart, when its anniversary re-release reached Number 1 in June 2017.

Celebrating the news, Sir Paul McCartney said: “It’s hard to believe that Abbey Road still holds up after all these years. But then again it’s a bloody cool album.”

Abbey Road is also this week’s best-selling album on vinyl, shifting just under 9,000 copies on wax.

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