All posts by Richard Porter

THE BEATLES OWN A PIECE OF THE BREAKUP … For Over Half a Mil

When The Beatles officially called it quits in 1970, there were several signs along the way the boys weren’t getting along … including a harsh letter to Paul‘s lawyer signed by JohnGeorge and Ringo.

Now that document can be yours … if you have a big stack of cash to spare.

The letter, dated April 18, 1969, informs Lee Eastman that he’s “not authorized to act or to hold yourself out as the attourney or legal representative of ‘The Beatles.'” It goes on to acknowledge Eastman reps Paul McCartney personally … but that’s it.

This document’s signed by John Lennon, Richard Starkey (aka Ringo) and George Harrison … and it’s currently on sale for $325k.

There’s another letter up for grabs too — signed by the entire Fab Four — that’s a little more friendly. It’s from January 1969 and confirms that attorney John Eastman is authorized to handle the band’s contract negotiations “in accordance with our instructions.” This one’s for sale for $225k.

If you don’t know … a few months after the April letter, John privately informed the other Beatles he was leaving the group. The split wasn’t made public until April 10, 1970, though … when Paul announced he was out.

Both letters are available at Moments In Time.

For more click here

The Day the Music Died

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died
RIP Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the ‘Big Bopper’ who died on February 3rd 1959.
Quarrymen – That’ll Be the Day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI1BpHdpQg8
Paul McCartney – It’s So Easy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onijKHBRLVM

Beatles at war: The truth of the explosive rivalries that tore the band apart

  • Lord Of The Rings director Sir Peter Jackson is re-editing old footage for new film
  • Let It Be was supposed to show the geniuses at work but laid bare their rivalries 
  • Ray Connolly, the journalist by The Beatles’ side at the time, tells the real story 

When Paul McCartney announced in April 1970 that he had no plans for working with The Beatles, the world fell in on him. ‘PAUL QUITS BEATLES,’ ran newspaper headlines around the world.

And, overnight, the most popular of the four was demonised as the killer of the most-loved entertainment attraction ever.

Although within a few days he would be maintaining to me that he had been misinterpreted, it was too late. The secret of The Beatles’ rows and in-fighting was out. There would be no going back.

Paul’s mistake had been to let the cat out of the bag about the rancorous atmosphere that, by 1970, was suffocating the group as they awaited the release of their movie Let It Be — dozens of hours of which are now being re-edited by Lord Of The Rings director Sir Peter Jackson for a new film of the group at work in the studio.

As Paul remembered it this week, the filming of Let It Be wasn’t as argumentative as the rumours have since told — but maybe only because a lot of tongues were being bitten when the cameras were rolling.

Because, for sure, by the time the film was scheduled for release, Lennon and McCartney, the most successful song-writing duo in history, weren’t even talking to each other — let alone writing or playing together.

For more click here

There is a worldwide search to find never-before-seen photos of The Beatles and you can help

A very epic worldwide search to crowdsource, edit and publish a unique photographic biography and picture archive of The Beatles is underway. And your help is needed! To mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ last ever live performance, fans are being asked to submit photos of the iconic group that they may have lying around. Produced & published by Photobox, The People’s Beatles will provide a people’s portrait charting the astonishing journey from unknown Liverpudlians to the most popular band in the history of music. Paul McCartney’s official photographer will lead the global appeal asking for fans all over the world to get into their attics to hunt down pictures of the Fab Four that the public has never seen before.

For more click here

[Blogger’s note –  I am one of the partners in ‘People’s Beatles’

 

 

The Beatles’ Final Concert: An Eyewitness Looks Back

“It was another day at the office,” Ken Mansfield says, recalling the Beatles’ impromptu rooftop concert in January 1969. There’s not even a hint of sarcasm in his voice. The group staged the gig atop Apple Records’ London office at 3 Savile Row, 50 years ago today, with the intention of shooting the ending for what would become their Let It Be film. It was an item on a checklist. Mansfield, who was born in Idaho, was the label’s U.S. manager at the time. “Some of the people in the Apple office didn’t even try to come up, because it was just another day.”

Mansfield was invited to watch the historic performance, the Beatles’ last live gig, at the urging of the band’s roadie, Mal Evans. “I think Mal just liked to take care of me, so he made sure I was up there,” he says. When he found out about the afternoon gig, Mansfield ran out and bought a white raincoat, since it was in the low 40s outside, and huddled on a bench with Yoko Ono, Ringo’s then-wife Maureen Starkey and Apple staffer Chris O’Dell to watch the quartet perform nine songs, including multiple retakes of “Get Back.” “George had me light some cigarettes for him for a few minutes just so he could hold the tips of his fingers up against the coals so he could feel his strings,” Mansfield recalls. “And I know John was really complaining about it, about the cold and how he couldn’t feel his hands.”

For more click here

New ‘Let It Be’ Film – Press Release

London – January 30, 2019 – Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Ltd. are proud to announce an exciting new collaboration between The Beatles and the acclaimed Academy Award winning director Sir Peter Jackson. The new film will be based around 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, shot between January 2nd and January 31st, 1969. These studio sessions produced The Beatles’ Grammy Award winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award winning title song. The album was eventually released 18 months later in May 1970, several months after the band had broken up.

The filming was originally intended for a planned TV special, but organically turned into something completely different, climaxing with The Beatles’ legendary performance on the roof of Apple’s Savile Row London office — which took place exactly 50 years ago today.

Peter Jackson said, “The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us, ensures this movie will be the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about – it’s like a time machine transports us back to 1969, and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together.”

Although The Beatles were filmed extensively during the 1960s – in concerts, interviews and movies – this is the only footage of any note that documents them at work in the studio.

The Let It Be album and movie, having been released in the months following The Beatles’ breakup, have often been viewed in the context of the struggle the band was going through at that time.

“I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” continues Jackson, “After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot 18 months before they broke up, it’s simply an amazing historical treasure-trove. Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with. Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating – it’s funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate”.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage – making the movie will be a sheer joy.”

Jackson will be working with his They Shall Not Grow Old partners, Producer Clare Olssen and Editor Jabez Olssen. The footage will be restored by Park Road Post of Wellington, New Zealand, to a pristine standard, using techniques developed for the WW1 documentary film which has been nominated for a BAFTA for best documentary.

The untitled film is currently in production and the release date will be announced in due course. This film is being made with the full co-operation of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, and Olivia Harrison.

The Executive Producers are Ken Kamins for WingNut Films and Jeff Jones and Jonathan Clyde for Apple Corps.

Following the release of this new film, a restored version of the original Let It Be movie directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg will also be made available

Join the Party to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles Rooftop Concert!

Today (January 30th) is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles last ever live performance, on the roof of their Apple offices at 3 Savile Row. Fans will be gathering in Savile Row from around 12 noon to celebrate. Many will bring guitars with them, so expect a mass Beatles singalong. It’s likely that many people that witnessed the Beatles on the roof will be there too! Come and join the fun!

THE PEOPLE’S BEATLES

An epic, new worldwide photography project to crowdsource, edit and publish a unique photographic biography and picture archive of The Beatles – as seen exclusively through the eyes and camera lens of fans who were there.

Produced & published by Photobox and launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ last ever live performance, The People’s Beatles will provide a people’s portrait charting the astonishing journey from unknown Liverpudlians to the most popular band in the history of music.
Headline Details: ● Paul McCartney’s official biographer, Barry Miles, to lead global appeal calling on members of the public to raid albums & attics for unseen, lost or otherwise forgotten pictures of the Fab Four.
● Over 500 of the best photographs and accompanying anecdotes will be published in a must-have coffee table book in May, alongside an accompanying photographic exhibition at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool.
● All profits donated to Nordoff Robbins, the largest independent Music Therapy charity in UK.
● The People’s Beatles first edition will be presented to Paul McCartney to mark the anniversary.
● Members of the public encouraged to submit images and memories at http://www.peoplesbeatles.com

Photobox, Europe’s largest gifting and photo personalisation company, have today launched a global search for unseen, lost or otherwise forgotten photographs of the world’s most influential rock n’ roll band, The Beatles.
Launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ last ever live performance which took place on the roof of Apple Records in London on 30th January 1969, The People’s Beatles will provide a people’s portrait charting the astonishing journey from unknown Liverpudlians to the most popular band in the history of music. The project will cover everything from Hamburg to the Cavern Club, the birth of Beatlemania, to the American tours; from the Magical Mystery Tour, to their final album, Let it Be, and beyond.
Bestselling author Barry Miles, who has written the only authorised biography on Sir Paul McCartney, in addition to over fifty cultural histories on all aspects of sixties counterculture, will lead a global appeal calling on members of the public to raid albums and attics for unseen, lost or otherwise forgotten photographs of the Fab Four at any period in the band’s history.
Miles attended many of the seminal Beatles recording sessions including ‘All You Need is Love’ and ‘Sgt Pepper’ and he also holds a unique place in history as the person who introduced Paul McCartney to the wonderful world of hash-brownies.
“There has comfortably been over 2000 books published about the Beatles, none however are quite like this.” Comments Barry Miles. “Alongside the screaming, another defining memory of being in and around the band was the sheer number of photographs people were constantly taking.

“Not only will this be a wonderful personal trip down memory lane, I’m hoping we’ll unearth a treasure trove of unseen or long forgotten photos of the band who changed history.”
Rory Scott, Head of Communications at Photobox who are leading the search said: “Only eight years separate the release of the Beatles’ first single and Paul McCartney’s shock announcement that he was leaving the band. During that time, they became the most famous, most adored and most photographed people on the planet – with the vast majority of those pictures taken not by professionals, but by fans. Where are those photos now?

“50 years on we’re embarking on our own magical mystery tour to unearth hidden or lost gems that will hopefully shine a new, intimate perspective on the Fab Four seen through the eyes of the fans.”
Martin King, Manager of The Beatles Story, said: “As a leading authority on The Beatles we are always on the lookout for new and never-before seen images of the Fab Four. We believe even 50 years on since their final performance there are plenty more photographs to be found.

We’re excited to see what images are unearthed and look forward to exhibiting the best of at The Beatles Story in the spring.”
Images can be submitted at http://www.peoplesbeatles.com from Wednesday 30th January until Friday 15th March 2019.
The People’s Beatles coffee table book will be published in May 2019 featuring over 500 unseen photographs – and their accompanying anecdotes – with a written narrative from Barry Miles.
All profits will be donated to Nordoff Robbins, the largest independent Music Therapy charity in the UK, while an accompanying photographic exhibition will showcase a selection of the best images at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool.

For more go to http://www.peoplesbeatles.com