Category Archives: News

Exhibition based on Sgt Pepper to Launch in London this Week

A series of images inspired by The Beatles seminal album ‘Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’, ‘Reverberation’ is a new and unique body of work created by legendary Photographer-Director Dean Chalkley and Creative Director Ciaran O’Shea from studio Discordo.

Many of the subjects contained within ‘Reverberation’ being friends and associates of Chalkley and O’Shea. This dynamic and exciting exhibition has developed ‘with a little help from their friends’.

Chalkley and O’Shea have created a collection of work that does not stop at a safe or retrospective interpretation. Instead the show is a progressive, and at times abstract, reflection of the album, exploring the thirteen celebrated album tracks from a renewed and personal perspective, from ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ to ‘She’s Leaving Home’.

The work employs a range of different approaches; whether in colour or monochrome, pure photography, amalgamations of print, text, painting or collage, these adroit and unexpected routes to image-making reveal the dexterity of the show.

September 7th

at The Book Club

100 Leonard Street, London, Greater London, EC2A 4RH
Time: 6pm – 2am

Price: Free entry – for tickets go to https://thebookclub.eventcube.io/events/8412/reverberation-exhibition-launch

Ringo Starr Hints at White Album Reissue

After the success of the reissue of Sgt Pepper, Ringo has said he would like to see the same treatment given to the ‘White Album’. He said “I think Giles should redo that. I don’t know why not. And ‘Abbey Road.’

For the full interview, see http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-ringo-starr-beatles-sgt-pepper-remix-white-album-20170831-story.html

 

 

Reflections on Liverpool Beatleweek Part Four – British Music Experience and a Concert at the Pier Head

Day four for us opened with a visit to the British Music Experience. We went to this while it was at the O2 in London, and I was sad when it closed there, so it was great to visit it at it’s new home at the Cunard Building in Liverpool. We especially had great fun in the music room, with me playing drums, and Lilia guitar. If you go to Liverpool, it’s well worth a visit.

Blogger Richard Porter playing drums at the British Music Experience

We then went to the Pier Head, where Cavern City Tours has a great outdoor stage, right in front of the Liver Building. There we saw the great Nube 9, Rocks Off, a great Stones tribute band, and Back From the USSR, featuring the wonderful singer, Alyona Yarushina. Her version of Here There and Everywhere is the best I’ve ever heard (and that includes the Beatles!)

Blogger Richard Porter and daughter, Lilia, with Alyona

The weather at the Pier Head as very warm and sunny, very unusual for an August Bank Holiday in Liverpool!

It was then time to say goodbye to all our friends, and catch the train back to London. But we will see you all again next year!

 

Reflections on Liverpool Beatleweek Part Three, Remembering Brian Epstein, and the Adelphi Convention

A Visit to the Grave of Brian Epstein

On our day three of Beatleweek, we visited the grave of Brian Epstein, on the 50th anniversary of his passing. Normally, the cemetery isn’t open to the public, but special permission was given by the guardians of it to visit on this day.

Brian is buried in the small Long Lane Jewish cemetery, near Everton and Liverpool football grounds. It is next to the bigger Everton cemetery. It was very moving seeing his grave on the anniversary of his passing. If it wasn’t for Brian Epstein, the Beatles wouldn’t have got out of Liverpool, let alone become become the group that attracted thousands of people from all over the world to Beatleweek.

As is the Jewish custom, we places stones on Brian’s grave, to show that we visited.

The grave of Brian Epstein

Close to Brian are the graves of his mother and father, Queenie and Harry, and also his brother, Clive.

The grave of Clive Epstein
The graves of Harry and Queenie Epstein

The guardian of the cemetery told us that it had been vandalised recently. It’s very sad anti-semitism is still rife in 2017.

The Beatles Convention

After the visit to Brian’s grave, we went straight to the Adelphi Hotel for the annual Beatles convention. I have been going pretty much every year since 1981, but there was much speculation that this year would be the last Beatleweek, and much attention was given to an interview with Bill Heckle of Cavern City Tours, the main organiser. He told us that numbers at Beatleweek had been going down, and the work to put it on, in relation to the profits received, made it difficult for it to continue. Also Bill had been organising it for over 30 years, and it was time for him to step down. Originally, the plan was that his year’s Beatleweek was to be the last, but it was then decided to carry on, with a reduced format. From now on, the official events would run from Friday to Monday, rather than the Thursday to Tuesday of previous years. Also, there would be only 2 theatre shows, rather than the 3 at present. There was much relief in the packed hall when the announcement was made. I, for my part, would find it hard to conceive of an August Bank Holiday without a trip to Liverpool for Beatleweek.

Among the guest speakers were Ken Scott and Geoff Baker. Both were interviewed by Mark Lewisohn, but rather than have it as a long interview, each was broken up by the house band playing songs mentioned in the interviews. Well, that was the plan, but Geoff Baker ruined the plan by getting things completely out of the agreed order. He was very entertaining though, especially in his stories about Paul McCartney playing in Red Square, Moscow. Geoff said that as President Putin was due to make an appearance, there was very heavy security for the gig, with armed secret service men on roofs all away around Red Square. During the soundcheck, Geoff walked towards the stage when Paul’s main security man, Mark Hamilton said ‘You’ve had it now!’ Geoff looked down at himself, to see he had loads of red dots all over his body. The secret service men all had their guns pointing at him! Luckily, no-one opened fire!

During the convention, we took time off to join a gathering to remember our old friend Pete Leckie, who had been coming to Beatleweek for decades, but had sadly passed away a few weeks ago.

It was great to see so many old friends at the convention, and great to know it will continue next year.

 

 

Reflections on Liverpool Beatleweek Part Two- St Peter’s, Quarrymen, and the Summer of Love!

Saturday of Beatleweek saw, for me, the highlight of the weekend, a recreation of St Peter’s Church Fete, where, on July 6th 1957, John Lennon first met Paul McCartney.

The former church grounds are now part of a school, who kindly allowed their grounds to be used for the fete. On entering, we were all given a programme for the 2017 fete, and as a nice touch, a reproduction of the 1957 programme.

The undoubted highlight of the fete was the performance of the Quarrymen, 60 years after their historic first appearance here. Rod Davis, Len Garry, and Colin Hanton all played on that historic day. The rest of the band had historic associations with the Fabs too – Nigel Walley, now on tea chest bass, was the Quarrymen’s first drummer; John ‘Duff’ Lowe played with the band on their first professional recordings; and Chas Newby played a few gig with the Beatles in late 1960-early 1961, including at Litherland Town Hall, where many have said ‘Beatlemania’ began.

Just before the Quarrymen came onstage, the rather strange inflatable stage collapsed, much to the amusement of the crowd. After an attempt to put it back up, it was abandoned and the Quarrymen played without a cover over them. Luckily, it was a very nice sunny day, and it didn’t matter.

The Quarrymen gave a great performance, playing many of the songs they played 60 years ago. They were joined onstage at one point by our good friends, Jane from Russia, and Rolando from Italy. Len Garry asked how many people in the crowd were from overseas, and about 90% of the people there put their hands up!

The Quarrymen at St Peter’s

After the Quarrymen, Nube 9 gave a blistering rock and roll set, that got us all dancing.

Lucrecia of Nube 9 rocking out at St Peters

We also took the opportunity to visit St Peter’s Church Hall, where John Lennon was first introduced to Paul McCartney. While we were there, a lone guitar player played and sang ’20 Flight Rock’ – the song that Paul McCartney played to John Lennon, which persuaded John that Paul should join the band. A magical moment.

Inside St Peter’s Church Hall

After a short rest  we went back to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall for the evening’s entertainment, which was ‘The Summer of Love Concert’, featuring Hal Bruce and the Rockits, and the Psychedelic Love Orchestra. The evening began with the Love Orchestra playing the Magical Mystery Tour EP. Last year they played as the Brighton Beach Boys, playing Pet Sounds, but this year they turned their attention to the Beatles, and did a great job.

Hal Bruce and his band did a nice set of songs which were supposed to be from 1967, but he cheated a bit by doing some from 1968 and 1969 too. I don’t think anyone minded too much though, but he got a bit wearing when he kept on plugging his CDs, cruises etc. Not really in the spirit of the concert.

To finish, the Psychedelic Love Orchestra played the whole of Sgt Pepper, plus some other Beatles songs from 1967. I really love this band, and I hope they become a regular feature of Beatleweek.

Irina and Lilia with Hal Bruce at the Philharmonic

 

End of Part Two

Intermission

Coming soon – Part 3, A visit to the grave of Brian Epstein; (not) the end of Beatleweek, remembering old friends, and the Adelphi convention.

 

Reflections on Liverpool Beatleweek – Part One Nube 9 and The Bootleg Beatles

This years Liverpool Beatleweek was one of the most enjoyable for several years – and the good news is, the despite speculation to the contrary, it won’t be the last!

For me, Beatleweek began a few days earlier, and in London. I conducted a couple of tours for the group Argentinian Band, Nube 9. They were great fun, and it was really enjoyable to show them around all the Beatles sights in London.

Nube 9 and friends on a certain well known crossing

We went up to Liverpool on the Friday, and made our way to the Albert Dock, and a visit to the Liverpool Maritime Museum. If you ever go to Liverpool, make sure you see all the wonderful museums and art galleries. There is far more to Liverpool than the Beatles and football!

Outside the Liverpool Maritime Museum

In the evening we made our first visit of the weekend to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, a great concert venue near the two cathedrals. The Bootleg Beatles gave their usual great performance to a enthusiastic, packed audience.

End of Part One

Intermission

Part Two Coming Up – St Peter’s, Quarrymen, and the Summer of Love!

Andrew Lancel to Play Brian Epstein in ‘Cilla – the Musical’

  • I’m thrilled to say my friend,  Andrew Lancel, will play the role of Brian Epstein in the new show Cilla the Musical, which has its world premiere at the Liverpool Empire on September 7.

    He will star in the production which tells the story of Cilla Black whose teenage dreams of stardom lead her to becoming one of Britain’s best-love entertainers of all time.

    Lancel  has played the role of Epstein before in Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles. It opened at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool at the end of 2012 and then transferred to the Leicester Square Theatre in 2014. The play was a hit and was praised by critics with London Theatre calling Lancel’s performance “mesmerising.”

    Andrew is best known to TV audiences as super-villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street and as DI Neil Manson in the long-running ITV television series The Bill.

    CILLA – THE MUSICAL is the musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed hit ITV television series by Bafta-Award winner Jeff Pope (The Moorside, Philomena, From The Cradle To The Grave, Mrs Biggs and the acclaimed Little Boy Blue which had ITV audiences glued to their screens).

    It’s an introduction by a young John Lennon to music mogul Brian Epstein that changes Priscilla White’s life forever. By the age of just 25 she would be known as singer and TV Star Cilla Black, Number One selling artist and at the fore-front of the Brit-Pop music scene.

    The musical score is the soundtrack to the 60’s including Cilla’s greatest hits Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie and Something Tells Me, Twist and Shout by the Beatles, and California Dreamin by The Mamas and The Papas’.

    Kara Lily Hayworth beat thousands of hopefuls in nationwide open auditions for the coveted role of Cilla.

    The show will be at the Liverpool Empire until September 16.

  • Andrew Lancel and Will Will Finlason backstage at the Epstein play

Macca Single Story a Hoax

The French Wikipedia page about Paul McCartney has removed the message about a new single. It originally said that the song ‘A Life Of Mercy’ would appear on Monday and would be from McCartney’s new album, which  name also was revealed: ‘In The Universe and Beyond’.  However the entry has been deleted under the heading “no proof”.

REMEMBERING BRIAN EPSTEIN, 50 YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF THE BEATLES’ MANAGER

 

The Beatles Story in Liverpool has launched a new exhibit today, to honour the life and achievements of Brian Epstein, 50 years after the untimely death of The Beatles’ manager.

Brian Samuel Epstein passed away on 27th August 1967 during the height of the Summer of Love, at the age of 32. The Beatles were in Bangor, North Wales with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi when they received the news. Brian will be remembered for introducing The Beatles to a global audience and helping them to spread their message of love around the world.

Going onto permanent display is Brian Epstein’s original wool and cashmere coat, a set of handwritten lyrics by Brian (which were never used by The Beatles), a fragment of original note paper, press cuttings and a draft letter from Brian to The Beatles circa March 1967.

The items will be exhibited within a newly refurbished NEMS area of the main exhibition at the Albert Dock. The room itself is a tribute to the Epstein family business, North End Music Stores, which Brian successfully managed during the 1950s.

The Liverpudlian entrepreneur first discovered The Beatles in November 1961 during a lunchtime performance at The Cavern Club. The group signed a management contract with Brian shortly afterwards, and he eventually got them signed to record with EMI. In addition to handling the Beatles’ business affairs, Epstein would often step in to mediate their personal disputes and is arguably the closest claimant for the title of ‘The Fifth Beatle’.

Joe Flannery, booking officer for The Beatles and lifelong friend of Brian Epstein said: “Brian was a strict business man who first got involved with The Beatles when he was running NEMS in Liverpool city centre. He truly loved The Beatles, and he demonstrated that by doing everything he could for them.

“It’s wonderful to see Brian’s jacket on display at The Beatles Story, he was always dressed so smartly, and was so visual and bright. I was always proud to be his friend and I’m still very proud to say I was his friend.”

Martin King of The Beatles Story said: “Brian was a great man, without his belief and enthusiasm there may not be a Beatles Story to tell. He had a style and sartorial elegance throughout his life, and it is fitting that we display some of his clothing that had him voted “Britain’s best dressed man under 30”. We pay honour to his legacy.”

To find out more about The Beatles Story and to purchase tickets, please visit beatlesstory.com