Monthly Archives: March 2020

50 years without The Beatles – the biggest band break-up in history

It wasn’t quite the day the music died, but for Beatles fans the world over, it must have felt pretty close.

On April 10, 1970, Paul McCartney issued a press release alongside advance copies of his solo album, which seemed to announce the Beatles’ demise.

Framed as the transcript to a Q&A, he confirmed that he did not miss his band-mates, that he was not planning anything with them, and that he could not foresee writing any future songs with John Lennon. When asked if he enjoyed solo work, he said: “I only had me to ask for a decision, and I agreed with me.”

Lennon responded furiously, but his words seemed to confirm those of his band-mate. “He can’t have his own way, so he’s causing chaos. I put out four albums last year, and I didn’t say a f***ing word about quitting.” In reality, he had privately departed months before.

While millions of fans gently wept, the headline writers tried to work out what on earth had happened. For the public it was a bolt from the blue, but for band insiders it was less Day In The Life, more Long And Winding Road. For three or four years, the group had bickered and squabbled, and all four members had either temporarily quit or threatened to.

For more click here

Beatles: Why Mick Jagger Nearly Felt ‘Sick’ When He Heard ‘Love Me Do’

“Love Me Do” was the Beatles’ first hit. It remains an iconic song. Few track better encapsulate the innocent rock ‘n’ roll of the Fab Four’s early hits.

However, not everyone who heard the song back in the day liked it. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was rather upset when he heard it. He felt the Beatles were stealing his band’s musical style – but also found the song inspiring.

“Love Me Do” is a song that blends lots of genres. You can hear elements of rock ‘n’ roll, blues, and R&B in it. “Love Me Do” is pretty close to being a Rolling Stones song. It just needs lyrics that are more provocative and a throatier vocal performance.

Jagger noticed the similarity between “Love Me Do” and the Rolling Stones’ music, as did fellow band member Brian Jones. They felt the Beatles had stolen their style. At the same time, they saw it as a departure from the rest of the British music scene, which they saw as unhip.

For more click here 

[blogger’s note – Hmmm – sounds like ‘fake news to me! The Rolling Stones didn’t play their first gig until July 1962 – and the Beatles recorded Love Me Do in September 1962. I’m sure the Beatles hadn’t heard of the Rolling Stones by then, least of all heard their musical style!]

New Book – The Beatles Fab Four Cities: Liverpool Hamburg, London and New York

Coming soon – a new book ‘The Beatles – Fab Four Cities: Liverpool, Hamburg, London and New York. By Richard Porter, David Bedford and Susan Ratisher Ryan, with much help from Peter Paetzold.
All the authors are Beatles guides in their respective home cities, and bring insights on how the Beatles were influenced by the cities, and how they influenced the cities. All four cities have many other connections, apart from the Beatles, and these are covered too.
The book will be published by ACC Books in the summer. If you would like more info on the book, and would like to register for more news about it, please message me, and I will put you on our mailing list. We hope to start taking pre-orders very soon and there will be a new website about the book, and the tours conducted by the authors. Stay tuned for more info soon!

Julian Lennon felt ‘cast aside’ by dad John Lennon

John Lennon‘s son felt ”cast aside” when he embarked on a relationship with Yoko Ono.

Julian Lennon has recalled how he felt the late Beatles legend had ”disappeared off the face of the planet” when he divorced his mother Cynthia in 1968 and got together with the artist because they had very little contact.

Julian said: ”Suddenly my dad literally disappeared off the face of the planet. At least, that’s how it seemed to me.

”He and Yoko Ono were deeply and publicly in love. And I felt as if my mum and I had been cast aside.”

Julian, now 56, felt grateful that his dad’s bandmate Sir Paul McCartney didn’t ”forget” about him.

He added: ”Not everyone forgot about us, though. Paul wrote Hey Jules after dropping in to check how my mum and I were doing. (Obviously, the title of the song changed to Hey Jude).”

The ‘Saltwater’ singer didn’t speak to his dad – who was shot dead in 1980 – for almost a decade but credits his ”gentle” mother for helping them repair their relationship.

He told Observer magazine: ”Maybe 10 years passed during which my dad and I barely spoke. I was very angry about how he left the family.

”It was thanks to my mum that we started having conversations again. She was such a gentle soul, never vindictive in any way, shape or form. She always wanted me to have a relationship with him.”

Julian still strives for ”forgiveness and understanding” towards his late father and holds his memory ”dear”, though he can’t ”forget” John’s behaviour towards Cynthia.

For more click here 

Jim James Covers The Beatles’ ‘The Inner Light’

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James shared video of the 1968 George Harrison-penned Beatles song “The Inner Light.” James covered the tune as part of The Material World Foundation’s “The Inner Light Challenge.”

“The Inner Light Challenge” is an interactive fundraising event that comes on the heels of a $500,000 donation from Harrison’s The Material World Foundation to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief FundSave the Children and Doctors Without Borders. To raise an additional $100,000, The Material World Foundation will donate $1 for anyone who shares a version of “The Inner Light” with the hashtag #innerlight2020 with such luminaries as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Dhani Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh, Jim James and many more getting behind the project. Head to The Material World Foundation’s website for more info.

For more click here

Remember This? Apple and the Beatles Went to Court 14 Years Ago Today

There are a lot of things one could go to court over within the technology industry. Sometimes it’s over issues of structural abuse or censorship. Sometimes it’s a case involving monopolistic control of the market. And sometimes it’s just because there’s a shared name based on a popular fruit.

For the majority of Apple’s history, there has been an underlying conflict simmering beneath the surface. In 1978, Apple (the tech company) received a lawsuit claiming trademark infringement from Apple Corps.

Apple Corps?

Apple Corps is the holding company that the Beatles founded in the midst of their career with the intention of maintaining their brand label, Apple Records. So seeing a tech company use the same label was a problem for them.

In 1981, Apple reported that they paid Apple Corps an undisclosed amount to resolve the matter for a time. Apple Corps would consider the lawsuit finished, as long as Apple did not get into the music business. But this lawsuit was not resolved.

For more click here

Please Please Me – a Note from Your Blogger

Thank you all for visiting my blog :>)

As some of you will know – I am a Beatles tour guide in London – something I’ve been doing for 30 years. However, due to the Coronovirus, my tours have been suspended until further notice :<(

However, in the ‘down time’ I will keep this blog going with all the latest Beatles news from around the world, and exclusive articles about the Beatles in London.

I would be very grateful if you could buy my book ‘Guide to the Beatles London’ – which is available as an Ebook at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DVQ4P6U – which acts as a self guided tour to all the major Beatles places in London, and the stories behind them.

If you enjoy this blog – please send a donation to https://www.paypal.me/beatleslondon

For more info on my London Beatles Walks please go to https://beatlesinlondon.com/

That will keep the blog going in these trouble times.

Many thanks!

Richard Porter

Beatlemania begins: the Alloa gig that introduced the world to The Beatles

It’s 60 years since an unknown band took to the stage of Alloa Town Hall and began a musical revolution, finds Sandra Dick

For excitement-starved young people in one of Scotland’s sixties industrial heartlands, the invitation for a night of dancing and entertainment at Alloa Town Hall must have been tempting.

The Beat Ballad Show on offer in 1960 featured Liverpool-born Johnny Gentle, a “crooner” with an Elvis-style quiff who had flirted briefly with chart success, alongside his band and a support act.

And surely after a week working in the town’s breweries, glass factories or surrounding coal mines, the chance to gather until 1.30am for the princely sum of just 4/- would have been hard to resist.

Still, the young folks of Alloa who gathered to be entertained by the smooth vocals of Johnny Gentle and his hastily-arranged backing group on Friday, May 20, 1960, could not for a moment have realised they were about to bear witness to the birth of one of the world’s greatest bands.

For more click here

SOPAC Lights Up Marquee With Beatles Message of Love

Joining several theatres across the country in a musical message of joy, the South Orange Performing Arts Center recently posted the title of the Beatles’ iconic hit song “All You Need Is Love” on its marquee. The performing arts center was looking for ways to communicate with patrons in the area during its virus mandated closure and thought that a simple message of love would lift spirits and remind people of the inspiration that music and great artists bring to the world.

We all can use a positive message as we try to keep our spirits up during these difficult times. What better way to do that than to invoke one of the most enduring songs of one of the most beloved rock bands of all time?” said Executive Director Craig Sumberg. “We look to songwriters, poets, and other visionaries to help us get through tough times with inspiration and beauty. We look forward to opening SOPAC’s doors again in the not-too-distant future and welcoming great artists back to our stage.”

For more click here

Road trips, yoga and LSD with the dentist: what the Beatles did next

Fifty years after the band announced their split, Craig Brown looks back at the Fab Four’s remarkable return to ‘normal’ life

On 29 August 1966, the Beatles closed their set at the Candlestick Park baseball stadium in San Francisco with “Long Tall Sally”, an old Little Richard number that had been part of their repertoire from the very start. “See you again next year,” said John as they left the stage. The group then clambered into an armoured car and were driven away. It was to be their last proper concert.

Their American tour had been exhausting, sporadically frightening, and unrewarding. By this stage their delight in their own fame had worn off. They were fed up with all the hassle of touring, and tired of the way the screaming continued to drown out the music, so that even they were unable to hear it. Having been shepherded into an empty, windowless truck after a particularly miserable show in a rainy St Louis, Paul said to the others: “I really fucking agree with you. I’ve fucking had it up to here too.”

I’ve been telling you for weeks!” came the reply.

For more click here