Category Archives: From My Collection

What is Paul Signing?

From my collection: A photo I took of Paul McCartney, signing an autograph outside of AIR Studios in Oxford Street circa 1984. I’m not sure what he is signing, but he didn’t seem to like it very much!

What do you think it could be? Funny photo captions please :>) I’ll publish the best. 

John Lennon at Kenwood – May 1968

Here are a series of photos, taken by my good friend Marilyn Demmen, of John Lennon, and his home Kenwood, in May 1968. Marilyn was a regular visitor, and sometimes even got invited into the house. Marilyn thinks the great photo of her and John was taken the same weekend Yoko came was invited over and they made the ‘Two Virgins’ album

John Lennon outside ‘Kenwood’
John with Marilyn

26th April 1982 – Paul McCartney Releases ‘Tug of War’

It was 36 years ago today – the release of Paul McCartney’s ‘Tug of War’ Album. I bought it on the day at Virgin in Oxford Street. On coming out I saw a blue Mercedes car passing me – and realised it was Paul’s car! He was on the way to nearby AIR Studios. Luckily there was a lot of traffic that day and I ran like hell and managed to get to AIR before Paul. On seeing me he said ‘Training for the Olympics are we!’ We had a short chat and he signed my album.
Great memories.

My copy of Tug of War – signed by Paul McCartney on its day of release
Blogger Richard Porter with Paul McCartney, during the making of Tug of War
Paul, Linda – and me, outside AIR Studios

 

Map of The Beatles’ London Drawn by John Lennon!!!

Thanks to Alan G Parker for letting me share this. A map of the Beatles’s London, drawn by John Lennon on a copy of the White Album!! An amazing find I’ve never seen before. It includes so many sites, of course Abbey Road, but also Chapel Street, where Brian Epstein lived; Mason’s Yard, the site of the Indica Art Gallery, where John met Yoko; and St Anne’s Court, the site of Trident Studios. Also included is Montagu Square, where John Lived with Yoko; Marylebone Station, where the opening scenes of  A Hard Day’s Night were shot; and Green Street, where the Beatles all lived in same apartment.

I’m guessing it was done in the 1970s – as the Royal Courts of Justice are included, where Paul sued John, George and Ringo, in 1971,to bring in administrators at Apple. Enquiries are being made as to exactly when the map was drawn, and what what purpose. I will of course keep you informed!

What a find!!

 

Update: I thought it was too good to be true! Thanks to Simon Weitzman, who had told me the map was actually designed by artist David Atkinson, who drew it in the style of John Lennon. He was commissioned to do the maps by Q Magazine. I knew I’d see it somewhere before, but couldn’t remember where! David Atkinson will feature in Simon’s Here There And Everywhere – The Beatles Fan Film.

Remembering George Harrison

Today we are remembering George Harrison, who passed away on this day in 2001. I was lucky enough to meet George on a couple of occasions – at the premiere of the ‘Handmade Films’ ‘How to Get Ahead in Advertising’ and a few years after that, at a concert by Ravi Shankar. In each case, they were very public events, and I barely got to say ‘hello’ – I would have loved to have the opportunity to sit down and have a long conversation with him, but it was not to be.

I was lucky enough to see George live at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992, his only solo UK concert. I’ve never been in a place where there was so much love. The ‘vibes’ were incredible. A brilliant moment was  ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. Before the song, George said, ‘ ..and I’d like to bring on a blast from all our pasts – RINGO!’  – and the roof raised! During the song George sang ‘I look at you all…’ and rather than pausing, as he does on the record, he said ‘Quite nice actually’ – in his usual understated way. I’m glad he enjoyed himself that night, something that Olivia confirmed when I met her a few years ago.

For me, George was the soul of the Beatles. Yes, a complicated character, but they all were. I love the fact that, apart from music and religion,  George’s great passions were gardening, and formula one motor racing! You can’t get 2 more different hobbies than those.

Here are some photos I took of George.

RIP Mystical One

George and Olivia arriving at the Lumiere Cinema for the premiere of How to Get Ahead in Advertising

George at a Ravi Shankar Concert, Barbican, London

From the day George’s passing was announced, fans started leaving flowers at Abbey Road Studios. They were very tastefully displayed on the steps. The Studios opened their windows and played ‘All Things Must Pass’ to the fans outside.

Floral tributes to George Harrison at Abbey Road Studios

 

 

23 October 2010 – Yoko Unveils a Plaque to John at 34 Montagu Square

October 23rd 2010. Pics I took of Yoko Ono unveiling the English Heritage blue plaque to John Lennon, at their former apartment, 34 Montagu Square. The apartment was actually owned by Ringo, and he lived there for a time with wife Maureen and son Zak. He later let Paul McCartney use it as a recording studio, and after that, Jimi Hendrix lived there. It was then John and Yoko’s first place together.

We go to Montagu Square on my London Beatles Walks. For full details see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

The full story of 34 Montagu Square is in my book ‘Guide to the Beatles London’ for full details see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com/#guideanddvd

My invite to the plaque unveiling
Yoko Ono unveiling the plaque to John Lennon at 34 Montagu Square

 

Memories of Inside Abbey Road Studios!

Although it’s not open to the public, I have been very lucky to visit inside Abbey Road Studios on quite a few occasions – and met some great people while doing so. It still is a great thrill every time I go in – you can feel its history. It is like going into a cathedral.

Here are some pics from my visits:

Gene Simmons and family

Me with Gene Simmons and his family, in the control room of Studio Two. I appeared on their TV show ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels. I gave them a tour of the Studio for the show.

Gene was a really nice guy and very friendly. He asked for a copy of my book ‘Guide to the Beatles London’ and asked me to sign it for him! Made me feel very special :>)

Me with Ken Scott

I met Ken Scott in Studio Two during one of the great ‘Recording the Beatles’ lectures.

Me with Freda Kelly

Me with ‘Good old Freda’ at the same lecture as above.

Me with Sir George Martin

This was taken at the launch of the official History of Abbey Road book in Studio Two

Brazilian band “All You Need is Love”

I’ve also been lucky enough to attend some recording sessions in Studio Two. Here is the Brazilian band ‘All You Need is Love’

Me with Paul McCartney outside Abbey Road Studios 1997.

OK – I’m cheating with this one :>) Even though I’ve never met a Beatles inside Abbey Road, here is me and Paul in the Car Park!

Kenny Everett on Sgt Pepper

In an exclusive interview for the London Beatles Fanclub magazine, Kenny Everett told me about the first time he heard ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’.

“I first heard Sergeant Pepper in George’s house. He had a low slung white goes-on- forever house in Esher. And a bunch of us including Tony Hall from Deram records was invited to George’s place to hear this new album. He had an acetate of it. He put it on the gramophone, and we all sat around and this thing started and blew us away, we were completely gone and on another planet, it was a quantum leap, and we thought, ‘music can stop right here, nobody is ever going to produce anything better than this, so all musicians can go back to bed now’, it was the best thing we’d ever heard ! And George said ‘It’s quite good isn’t it ?’ The night before they’d all had a party, and they’d decided to get spray cans of coloured paint and spray ‘God is Love’ and other things all over the walls of the house, this wonderful million dollar house,and they sprayed flowers, and words all over it in a stoned orgy the night before. He’d woken up the next morning to get the milk in and had horror written all over his face at what they’d done.”

Happy 50th birthday, Sgt Pepper!