A very nice interview with Paul, Stella, and Mary about a new book of Linda’s photos.
They are the biggest and greatest band the world has ever seen, and now the TODAY show will mark the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ most successful album Abbey Road with a huge week-long Beatle Mania broadcast live from Britain.
Culminating in an exclusive breakfast TV interview with the Fab Four’s Ringo Starr to talk all things The Beatles, Nine’s Entertainment Editor Richard Wilkins and Weather Presenter Stevie Jacobs will take viewers on a musical trip through London and Liverpool.
With the 50th anniversary of the album release being on September 26, the week will end with exclusive access to a party at the Abbey Road Studios and interviews with people who have a unique insight into the making of the iconic album, including a chat with Giles Martin, son of The Beatles’ legendary producer Sir George Martin.
The week starts with Richard and Stevie – joined by a group of Aussie expats – on top of an open-air London bus as they drive around the capital showing some of the world’s most iconic sights that fall as a backdrop to countless of The Beatles songs.
On Tuesday, Stevie will be in Liverpool visiting the Beatles Story interactive museum, while Dickie will be at London’s Carnaby Street, which still retains its Sixties Psychedelic character and was a regular haunt of The Beatles. Dickie will also speak to one of the world’s hottest acts, Fat Boy Slim.
Traffic has been perpetually tied up around London’s Abbey Road Studios for 50 years now as fans flock to the street outside to recreate the Beatles’ photographic stroll. To celebrate five decades of that happy UK logjam — and also 50 years of “Abbey Road,” the album — the city of Los Angeles will close down Vine St. at Hollywood Blvd. on Sept. 26 to recreate that other famous intersection.
That and other ceremonial festivities will take place adjacent to Hollywood’s famed Capitol Records tower the day before the release of “Abbey Road: Anniversary Edition,” a 50th anniversary box set including a newly remixed version of the album and previously unreleased outtakes from the 1969 sessions.
No, the Hollywood & Vine crossing will not be permanently repainted in a zebra pattern for the celebration. A Beatles/Universal spokesperson tells Variety what, exactly, the photo op will entail: “The crosswalk will be recreated with a non-slip heavy vinyl recreation of Abbey Road’s zebra crossing laid down over the existing Vine St. crosswalk, with an 8-foot tall double-sided backdrop of 4 panels (two per side) showing the ‘Abbey Road’ cover art photo without the Beatles in the image. There will be four Abbey Road zebra crossing + backdrop areas (two areas per side) for fans to take photos and videos.”
Renowned ‘Fab Four’ sculptor Andy Edwards on-board
to create unique tribute to celebrate Epstein’s legacy
A five-week campaign has been launched to raise funds to create a statue to honour the man fondly known as the Fifth Beatle, Brian Epstein.
The Brian Epstein Statue Project was officially launched today (Thursday 19 September) – which would have also marked Brian Epstein’s 85th Birthday.
The special announcement was made at the Epstein Theatre, located on Hanover Street in Liverpool city centre, to an audience of Press and special guests, including Merseybeat singer Beryl Marsden, Peter Hooton from Liverpool band The Farm, and the Lord Mayor Of Liverpool, Councillor Anna Rothery.
The Beatles’ former manager, Liverpool-born Brian Epstein, is credited with catapulting the Fab Four to global success. Yet there is no lasting tribute to recognise and celebrate the vital role he played in the band’s history, nor how he changed the face and sound of popular music. Brian Epstein made history.
However, a small group of dedicated campaigners are working tirelessly to redress the balance and create a world first with a statue of Brian Epstein funded by a five-week Crowdfunder campaign – a minimum target of £60,000 has been set.
The location for the statue has not yet been confirmed, however the committee welcomes suggestions from interested parties via social media as to where they would like to see the statue sited.
Brian Epstein owned NEMS record shop in Whitechapel. It was a lunchtime visit to The Cavern Club in the heart of Liverpool to watch a four-piece rock and roll band on 9 November 1961 which would change the course of history. Music and life in Liverpool would never be the same again. That band was The Beatles – who Brian would go on to manage.
In addition to managing The Beatles, Brain Epstein is credited to creating and developing the Merseybeat movement. He also signed a number of other performers including Cilla Black, Gerry And The Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer And The Dakotas, and The Moody Blues.
Messages of support from Brian’s Epstein family, and the Willis family representing the late Cilla Black, were also read out at the launch.
The Epstein family said: “Brian was a modest and reserved man, but as a family we are in no doubt that he, his brother Clive, and his parents Queenie and Harry, would have been immensely touched by the consistent efforts to pay tribute to his contribution to The Beatles and the city of Liverpool.”
The Willis family added: “Cilla had one true love, her Bobby – but Brian came a close second. He moulded and shaped her career, which helped her become one of the UK’s biggest entertainers. Throughout her life, Cilla kept a picture of Brian on her desk and never forgot his commitment to her.”
The Brian Epstein Statue Project committee have wealth of experience and expertise across public art, publishing, theatre production, and the local Beatles industry. Collectively they have a strong desire to ensure the project is successful and are passionate that a lasting tribute to Brian and all he achieved in the history of popular music should be created in Liverpool to celebrate his role in history.
The committee includes cultural campaigner and activist Tom Calderbank; Beatles’ fan Marie Darwin who was part of a group who campaigned for a plaque to be placed on the birthplace of Brian Epstein; Beatles’ historians, researchers and authors Kevin and Julie Roach, and son Robert; Larry Sidorczuk was the personal assistant to the late Joe Flannery, Brian Epstein’s original business partner and bookings manager; and Bill Elms, a producer of the smash hit play Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles, which was staged in Liverpool and London’s West End.
Author Kevin Roach recently published his latest book, Brian Epstein And The Beatles 1964: The Year That Changed The World – proceeds of which will be donated to The Brian Epstein Statue Project.
Tom Calderbank is leading the project, he explained: “We’re thrilled and very excited to unveil plans for a long overdue statue of the ‘Fifth Beatle’ Brian Epstein in his hometown of Liverpool. We aim to create a unique, beautiful and lasting sculptural tribute to Brian – a world first for one of the world’s great creative individuals.
“Brian changed the music world in an extraordinary way. He was instrumental in the development of Liverpool’s music scene, most notably with the Fab Four. His legacy is also largely unseen, even though his impact on popular culture is incalculable – Brain needs this memorial, he needs to stay amongst us and really does deserve this recognition. By raising the funds together, we will celebrate Brian together.”
Sculptor Andy Edwards has already been commissioned. Andy is best known for his iconic sculpture of The Beatles located at Pier Head Liverpool, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Andy sculpted The Truce, which can be found in the grounds of St Luke’s Church, depicting the historic moment on Christmas Day 1914 during the First World War ceasefire when a game of football spontaneously broke out between British and German soldiers. He also co-sculpted the statue of Cilla Black on Mathew Street.
Andy has produced a clay bust and maquette to show how the 7ft sculpture of Brian will look. Visitors to the recent International Beatleweek in Liverpool were given a sneak preview.
Sculptor Andy Edwards commented: “After spending a lot of time staring at Brian Epstein’s face, I see before anything else, the charm and feeling in his eyes. I see a smile born of trust. A smile that elicits a smile back, an exchange of confidence and encouragement in what might happen. This is what I want to capture in Brian’s sculpture to share with everyone who will see it.
“At the unveiling of the statues of The Beatles, I made a silent dedication in my mind. This is for all those who love The Beatles – and for all those who don’t. The work gives a gateway to the city, just as Cilla does to The Cavern. An added statue of Brian gives the third dimension to that straight line. No longer signposts of where to go, but a feeling of mapping out in the mind and following in their footsteps. The striding visual link to the Waterfront creates more than a tribute but takes you into the bigger story of what has been achieved. We will be creating something equally as special and fitting for Brian.”
The project also has the support of Liverpool-born actor Andrew Lancel, who has appeared in The Bill and Coronation Street. He appears in a short video supporting the statue project, which was played at the launch.
Andrew portrayed Brian in the smash hit play Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles on stage in Liverpool and London’s West End to critical acclaim. He later played Brian again in the recent tour of Cilla The Musical – and is a huge advocate of recognising all Brian achieved.
Andrew Lancel added: “Brian left us far too soon, he was 32-years-old. His contribution to the music industry, The Beatles, Liverpool and the world really was incomparable. And I can think of few people more worthy of a sculptural tribute, a statue in his home city. By making a donation to the Crowdfunding project, you have the chance to share the story of Brian and The Beatles. You can be a part of it by saying, I had a hand in making it.
“Brian’s legacy continues, he’s been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame. There has been movies, plays and musicals about him. But this lasts forever. It’s very special and beautiful. I’m so proud to have played Brian, and I’m very proud to support this project. To quote a line from the play Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles – Brian is, was, and always will be, one of us.”
Donations can be made by visiting https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-brian-epstein-statue-project
Various levels of donation are also available, including the Hall Of Fame and Certificate Of Support, as well as options to purchase Beatles experiences of which the cost is donated to the campaign. Visit the Crowdfunding page for full details.
Their version of “Grow Old With Me” features Starr on drums and vocals, McCartney on bass and backing vocals, and The Eagles’ Joe Walsh on guitar. Starr said he was motivated to record the song after meeting with Jack Douglas, who produced John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy.
Ringo’s 20th studio album, ‘What’s My Name,’ is the latest in a series of heartfelt and homespun records that Ringo has produced in his home studio with his friends, including Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather, Benmont Tench, and many more.
The album will be available digitally and on CD, as well as on black vinyl, and translucent blue vinyl, available exclusively through the Ringo Starr store. Pre-order and listen to the title track “What’s My Name” now!
Included on the album is a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Grow Old with Me’ – featuring Paul McCartney.
Track listing :
Much has been made in the media over the last few days about a tape recording made by The Beatles of a business meeting at Apple at 3 Savile Row. The recording was made as Ringo was in hospital and the other wanted to hear what had happened at the meeting.
Media reports say it has just been discovered, but actually, it’s been known about in the Beatles’ world since the late 70’s. Anthony Fawcett quotes from it in his book ‘ John Lennon’ One Day at a Time’, published in 1976, and Nicolas Shaffner reports on it in his excellent book ‘The Beatles Forever’ in 1977.
The meeting took place on September 8th 1969. The Beatles had just finished the Abbey Road Album, which was due to be released in 2 weeks time. Many people have assumed since that the Beatles themselves thought it would be the last album they recorded. This meeting shows something different. The Beatles were contemplating a new album, and even a new single, to be released around Christmas time. The Album would be very different though. On the tape, the John, Paul and George, discuss the idea that there would be four songs each by John, Paul and George, and maybe two by Ringo. This seems to acknowledge that the Lennon/McCartney songwriting partnership is over, and that George is going to have equal and equal number of songs to John and Paul. John says on the tape “We always carved up the singles up between us,” he told Paul. “We have the singles market, they, (George and Ringo) don’t get anything”
Paul replies “Well the thing is, I think until now, until this year, our songs have been better than George’s. Now this year his songs are at least as good as ours”
At this point, George was sitting next to Paul, and countered, “Now that’s a myth, ’cause of these songs I wrote last year, or the year before, anyway. Maybe now I just don’t care whether you are going to like them or not, I just do ’em..if I didn’t get a break I wouldn’t push it, I’d just forget about it. Now for the last two years, at any rate, I’ve pushed it a bit more. Most of my tunes I never had the Beatles backing me”
“Oh Come on George!” John shouted. ” We put a lot of work in your songs, even down to ‘Don’t Bother Me’: we spent a lot of time doing all that and we grooved. I can remember the riff you were playing, and in the last two years there was a period where you went Indiana and we weren’t needed!”
“That was only one tune”, George said, “on the last album [The White Album] I don’t think you appeared on any of my songs – I don’t mind”
“Well you had Eric [Clapton], or somebody like that” replied John.
Paul said to this “When we get in a studio, even on the worse day, I’m still playing bass, Ringo’s still drumming, and we’re still there you know”.
Even though a new album was discussed, it was of course never made. Right after this meeting, John and Yoko flew to Canada for the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival Show. On that trip he told his fellow musicians, including Eric Clapton, he was thinking of leaving the Beatles.
On September 20th, a further meeting was held at 3 Savile Row, this time with George absent. That day, the Beatles signed a new improved recording contract with Capital Records. It had been negotiated by Allen Klein, and despite his hate of Klein, Paul signed the contract with the others. However Paul said at the meeting that he wanted the Beatles to go back to basics, and start playing live again in small venues.
John told of his reply in the ‘Beatles Anthology’
“Then we were discussing something in the office with Paul and Paul was saying to do something, and I kept saying, ‘No, no, no’ to everything he said. So it came to a point that I had to say something. So I said, ‘The group’s over, I’m leaving.’ Allen was there, and he was saying, ‘Don’t tell.’ He didn’t want me to tell Paul even. But I couldn’t help it, I couldn’t stop it, it came out.”
Ringo had left the Beatles during the White Album sessions, and George during ‘Let it Be’, and both came back. However this was John Lennon, and he didn’t change his mind. The dream was over.
On September 4th 1962 The Beatles recorded their first single, Love Me Do, at EMI Studios, Abbey Road.
They had first been to the Studios on June 6th 1962, for their first recording session, but nothing from that session was deemed fit to release as the Beatles first single, even though they did record a version of Love Me Do. It was also the first time George Martin and seen them in person, and he wasn’t keen on the drumming of Pete Best. George thought he wasn’t up to drumming on record, and would have a session drummer playing instead. This meant no sense to the Beatles, and decided to replace Pete with Ringo Starr.
In the morning on September 4th the group had flown down from Liverpool Airport. They checked into The Royal Court Hotel in Sloane Square, Chelsea, and arrived at Abbey Road shortly after midday.
Prior to the recording session The Beatles undertook a rehearsal, overseen by EMI’s Ron Richards, during which they repeatedly ran through six songs. Two of these – Love Me Do and How Do You Do It – were chosen to be recorded by the group. Ringo Starr has just replaced the sacked Pete Best, and was keen to impress. However, during this rehearsal, he tried too hard, and made a real hash of his drumming, which had big consequences for him later on.
The rehearsal lasted between 2pm and 5pm. During it they also played a slower, bluesy version of Please Please Me, which featured George Harrison playing the main motif throughout the song.
Between 5pm and 7pm George Martin took The Beatles and Neil Aspinall for spaghetti at the Alpino restaurant on Marylebone High Street, and impressed them with tales of his recording sessions with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan.
The recording session began at 7pm. How Do You Do It had been selected by Martin to be The Beatles’ debut single. The group had been sent an acetate demo of the song, written by songwriter Mitch Murray, which had been recorded earlier in 1962 by Barry Mason and the Dave Clark Five at London’s Regent Sound Studios in Denmark Street.
The Beatles rearranged the song to suit their R&B leanings, replacing much of the carefree bounciness of the original demo. However, the Beatles hated the song, and wanted to do Love Me Do instead. You can tell from every note the Beatles played how much they didn’t want to record it.
Finally, the Beatles began work on Love Me Do, laying down the backing track in around 15 takes. After this the vocals were overdubbed. Paul McCartney was unexpectedly given the vocal spotlight in the chorus, after Martin told the group that John Lennon couldn’t play harmonica and sing at the same time.
Around 17 takes were recorded, and the session over-ran by an hour.
Also present during the September 4th recording session was photographer Dezo Hoffman, who took any pictures of the Beatles what became a very historic day. George Harrison is mainly seen in profile, as just before the session, George was given a black eye by a fan at the Cavern Club. However, in some pictures, George’s shiner is clearly visible!
Even after such a long day in the studio, George Martin still wasn’t happy, and the Beatles had to return to the Studio on September 11th to record Love Me Do all over again. This time, George Martin wasn’t going to take any chances with the drumming, and session musician Andy White played drums, while Ringo was given a tambourine to bang, something he never really forgave George Martin for! However, Ringo played tambourine so loudly, it’s hard to hear Andy Whites drumming!
So, there are 3 different versions of Love Me Do released, with 3 different drummers! The Pete Best version is on Anthology One, the Ringo version was on the first single release (funny how this version was chosen, and not the Andy White one!) and Andy White is on the version of the Please Please Me Album.
The different version have caused much confusion over the years. In 2012 EMI planned re-release Love Me Do on it’s 50th anniversary, with an exact replica of the recordings and cover. However, they used the Andy White version by mistake. Thousands of copies of the single had to be send back and thrown away, while the correct version was released! I kept my copy :>)
We go to Abbey Road on my London Beatles Walks – for more info see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW visited Morden Hall Park in south London and one item, a “sensational” self-portrait by the legendary John Lennon and Yoko Ono, left guests stunned by its huge valuation.
The portrait was done shortly after their wedding and famous “bed-in” in 1969 and was described it as a “cracking item”.
“After they got married they flew over to London to do a series of interviews and my father was filming the interviews, he was a cameraman back in the sixties and asked them to sign this just before they worked out of the studio.”