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50 Years Ago Today – The Beatles ‘Get Back’ to ‘Let it Be’

The idea of what became known as ‘Let it Be’ started during the making of the Hey Jude and Revolution videos at Twickenham Studios. The Beatles really liked playing in front of an audience – for the first time in over 2 years. They didn’t want to tour again, but instead would do a live performance which would be shown around the world. The Head of Apple Film, Denis O’Dell was approached by Paul McCartney about making a film of the Beatles playing a concert in front of an invited audience, which would be also released as a live album.

In their December 1968 edition ‘The Beatles Book’ official monthly magazine announced the TV show, and a competition from 100 lucky fans to attend. Initial plans were made to hold the concert at the Roundhouse, and old railway shed, which had been converted into one of the hippest music venues in London. A date was set for December 15th. However, Beatles Monthly also reported that the original idea of holding the concert at the Roundhouse had been dropped and that instead there would be three different live shows at venues to be announced. The concerts would be held in early 1969. Eventually, the lucky winners were sent copies of the Abbey Road album, and not concert tickets, as the show never happened.

It was around this time that Yoko Ono suffered a miscarriage of her and John’s first child. Of course, both were distraught, and John and Yoko started taking heroin, a habit they wouldn’t break for some months.

Later, January 18th was put forward as a possible date for the shows, but later dropped. Amongst the suggestions of where to hold the concerts was a disused flour mill by the river Thames.

However, things went quiet, as no one could agree on where to do the show. Denis O’Dell started work on the new film ‘The Magic Christian’ which was to star Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr.

Then, out of the blue, Paul called Denis and told him the project was back on. Denis O’Dell managed to put back the filming of The Magic Christian a few weeks so the Beatles could use Twickenham Film Studios, for their rehearsals.

The Beatles gathered at Twickenham Film Studios on January 2nd 1969. The film was director was Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had previously directed The Beatles videos of Paperback Writer and Rain, and just a few weeks earlier, Hey Jude and Revolution. He had just finished directing the Rolling Stones show ‘Rock and Roll Circus. The producer of the film was Denis O’Dell, but much later in the project Neil Aspinall asked if he could be credited as the producer instead, and Denis agreed.

Even though they were back in familiar surroundings, the rehearsals didn’t go well from the start. John Lennon especially didn’t like rehearsing in the middle of a huge film soundstage, rather than in a more intimate recording studio. John later said :

“In a nutshell, Paul wanted to make – it was time for another Beatle movie or something, and Paul wanted us to go on the road or do something. As usual, George and I were going, ‘Oh, we don’t want to do it, fuck,’ and all that. He set it up and there was all discussions about where to go and all that. I would just tag along and I had Yoko by then. I didn’t even give a shit about anything. I was stoned all the time, too, on H etc. And I just didn’t give a shit. And nobody did, you know…

Paul had this idea that we were going to rehearse or… see it all was more like Simon and Garfunkel, like looking for perfection all the time. And so he has these ideas that we’ll rehearse and then make the album. And of course we’re lazy fuckers and we’ve been playing for twenty years, for fuck’s sake, we’re grown men, we’re not going to sit around rehearsing. I’m not, anyway. And we couldn’t get into it. And we put down a few tracks and nobody was in it at all. It was a dreadful, dreadful feeling in Twickenham Studio, and being filmed all the time. I just wanted them to go away, and we’d be there, eight in the morning. You couldn’t make music at eight in the morning or ten or whatever it was, in a strange place with people filming you and coloured lights.”

John Lennon, 1970
Lennon Remembers, Jann S Wenner

It also didn’t help that John and Yoko were still heavily taking heroin, and John was barely communicating with the other Beatles.

Despite the less than ideal surroundings, the Beatles rehearsed many songs on that first day, but concentrated on Don’t Let Me Down and I’ve Got A Feeling, both of which would feature on the famous ‘rooftop concert’ and the end of the month.

Discussions among the Beatles that day centred on where to do the big live show. Michael Lindsay Hogg and Glyn Johns wanted it to be in a Roman Amphitheatre in Tunisia. However, Ringo refused to go overseas to do it.

Paul, being the instigator of the whole project, came over as being very bossy, especially to George. George had spent the few weeks since the end of the recording of the White Album hanging out with Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan. Now he was back with the Beatles, and being treated as the younger brother, rather than the musical equal when he was with Eric and Bob. He especially disliked Paul telling him how to play his guitar. George would eventually walk out of the sessions on January 10th, saying to the others ‘See you ‘round the clubs’!

A week or so later, George was persuaded back, and session resumed in the Apple Studio at 3 Savile Row, to climax with the Beatles playing their ‘rooftop concert’.

More on this story soon!

Blogger Richard Porter is a professional Beatles Tour Guide in London, and author of the book, Guide to the Beatles London. For more on his tours, and book, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

2019 International Beatleweek Announced!

Welcome to International Beatleweek 2019 and the biggest Beatles celebration ever. If you have never been before you are in for a treat, and if you have, we can’t wait to welcome you home!

For 7 days and 7 nights, the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo will ring out from every nook and cranny of the city. 70 of the finest Beatle tribute bands from over 20 countries and fans from all over the world will be here, in Liverpool, with one mission – The Beatles!

Now in its 33rd year, International Beatleweek is a must for all fans! This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Abbey Road Album, The Rooftop concert, Leave Peace in Toronto and we also celebrate 60 years since the Casbah first opened its doors.

If this is your first time you will be blown away. You will make life long memories and friends forever. If you are lucky, you might even get some sleep!
 For more info – and to book tickets, Click here

WHAT WAS THE MOST STREAMED BEATLES SONG OF 2018?

MORE YOUNG PEOPLE STREAM THE FAB FOUR’S MUSIC IN 2018 THAN THOSE WHO WERE AROUND IN THE 1960S.

Here Comes The Sun has been named the most popular Beatles song of 2018, according to data about the UK’s music streaming audience.

The George Harrison-penned track has come out on top as the nation’s favourite song from the Fab Four, racking up more streams between January and November than any other, streaming service Deezer said.

Twist and Shout is in second place, Let It Be is third, Come Together is fourth and Hey Jude rounds off the top five.

Other songs in the top 20 include Day Tripper, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Penny Lane and While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Deezer has also shared other streaming statistics to mark the 50th anniversary of the group’s The White Album, which was released November 22, 1968 – including the surprisingly young age of many listeners.

It has been found that more people under the age of 25 currently stream Beatles tracks than those who would have been around in their heyday.

For more click here

Red Rose Speedway and Wild Life to be Added McCartney Archive Collection

Paul announces reissues of 'Wild Life' and 'Red Rose Speedway' + 'Wings 1971-73'

TWO NEW MILESTONES ADDED TO THE GRAMMY-WINNING ARCHIVE COLLECTION

PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS: WILD LIFE
PAUL McCARTNEY AND WINGS: RED ROSE SPEEDWAY

LIMITED NUMBERED DELUXE EDITIONS TO INCLUDE REMASTERED ORIGINAL ALBUMS, BONUS TRACKS, PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED DEMOS, RARE AND NEVER BEFORE SEEN VIDEO, EXCLUSIVE BOOKS FEATURING NEW INTERVIEWS WITH PAUL, PHOTOS, ARTWORK, AND MUCH MORE

TO BE RELEASED 7TH DECEMBER, 2018 VIA MPL/CAPITOL/UMe

Paul proudly announces the 11th and 12th classic works from his revered catalogue to be remastered, reissued and expanded across multi-format installments of his GRAMMY-winning Archive Collection, to be released December 7, 2018 via MPL/Capitol/UMe.

First up is the four-disc (3CD, 1DVD) limited deluxe edition of Wild Life, the debut album from Wings, originally released December 1971. Written by Paul and Linda McCartney (with the exception of a cover of Mickey & Sylvia’s ‘Love Is Strange’), Wild Life is beloved by fans for its raw and direct vibe – having been recorded in just over a week with the majority of tracks laid down in a single take. Wild Life’s limited deluxe edition treatment features the full album remastered at Abbey Road plus 25 bonus audio tracks including rough mixes of the album, original single edits, B-sides, home recordings and other previously unreleased material across three CDs. The set’s DVD features rare footage of acoustic home videos, rehearsals and more. The Wild Life deluxe package includes a 128-page book written by David Fricke telling the story behind the album – including track-by-track information and new interviews with Paul and key album personnel, a 48-page scrapbook of tour diaries, lyrics and set lists, unpublished Polaroids, lyrics, notes and memorabilia from the MPL archives. Wild Life’s download redemption card will provide access to all audio in HD 24/96kHz unlimited high-resolution versions.

For more click here

Ringo Starr is Dan Rather’s special guest for “The Big Interview’s” 100th Episode on October 2

AXS TV’s The Big Interview With Dan Rather celebrates its landmark 100THepisode with an exclusive sit-down with The Beatles’ Ringo Starr, kicking off the second-half of the series’ sixth season on Tuesday, October 2, at 9pE/6pP. During the candid conversation, Starr goes in-depth sharing stories from his acclaimed career as he talks about about his endless love of performing, his fateful introduction to the drums as a child during one of many arduous hospital stays, maintaining his sense of authenticity through the superstardom, and the brotherhood of The Beatles, while delving into his highly successful career traveling around the world with his spectacular All-Starr Band, performing rock n’ roll classics with a revolving roster of his famous friends and fellow legends.#

For more click here

LET IT BE CAST TAKE A MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR TO ABBEY ROAD

 Cast take a break from rehearsals to recreate

iconic Beatles picture on 49th anniversary

___________________________________________________________________________

 

The cast of Let It Be took a break from rehearsals in London this morning (Wednesday 8 August) to become Day Trippers on a Magical Mystery Tour to recreate one of The Beatles’ most iconic images.

 

Today marks the 49th anniversary since the world-famous Abbey Road crossing photograph was actually taken.

 

To mark the anniversary, Let It Be’s very own Fab Four followed in the footsteps of the biggest band in music history.

 

The cast pulled on their costumes to recreate the iconic Abbey Road album cover picture at 11.30am – 49 years to the day and the exact time when it was photographed by Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan on 8 August 1969.

 

West End smash hit show Let It Be: A Celebration Of The Music Of The Beatles returns to stages this Summer and Autumn to premiere the new updated show to audiences across the UK and Ireland. Beatles fans are invited to join John, Paul, George and Ringo for a great night of live music – from the early beginnings to the height of Beatlemania.

 

In a twist from the original Let It Be show, audiences will then be invited to Imagine what it would be like to see The Beatles reunite for one night only.

 

The second act is set a decade after The Beatles went their separate ways. It gives fans a rare glimpse of how the Fab Four once again Come Together to perform. The concert that never was.

 

In two weeks, the updated Let It Be production will be premiered in the UK and Ireland when it opens at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre on Tuesday 21 August 2018.

 

The show will then embark on a UK and Ireland tour visiting the Everyman in Cheltenham; Liverpool Empire; Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall; the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin; New Theatre in Hull; Edinburgh’s Playhouse Theatre; Orchard Theatre in Dartford; and Manchester’ Opera House.

 

The show will then head to Europe and overseas, with the international tour taking in countries including Germany and North America. It is also hoped that the show will return to a London theatre in late 2018 or early 2019.

 

A cast of talented musicians will play the Fab Four. The performers have already toured the show to entertain on some of the biggest stages in the world including Broadway.

 

The Let It Be cast are Michael Gagliano from Woking (John Lennon); Emanuele Angeletti from Italy (Paul McCartney); Irish/Australian John Brosnan (George Harrison); and Ben Cullingworth, from Market Harborough in Leicestershire (Ringo Starr). The band will be joined on stage throughout the tour by musical director Michael Bramwell on keyboards.

 

Michael Gagliano has already appeared as John Lennon in the new Let It Be show in North America, Canada and Japan, as well as on the West End with the original show.

 

Michael commented: “To stand on the Abbey Road crossing exactly 49 years to the day and time since John, Paul, George and Ringo did just that, and being dressed as they were, is mind blowing. I’m sure they would never have imagined that almost half a century later people would still be visiting the crossing to recreate that iconic album cover picture for themselves.”

 

Website:         www.LetItBeLive.com

Facebook:       /LetItBeUKTour

Twitter:           @LetItBeUKTour

 

LET IT BE UK 2018 TOUR

 

CARDIFF

Wales Millennium Centre

Tuesday 21 August – Saturday 25 August 2018

029 2063 6464

www.wmc.org.uk

 

CHELTENHAM

Everyman

Tuesday 28 August – Saturday 1 September 2018

01242 572573

www.everymantheatre.org.uk

 

LIVERPOOL

Empire Theatre

Monday 3 September – Saturday 8 September 2018

0844 871 3017

www.atgtickets.com/venues/liverpool-empire/

 

NOTTINGHAM

Royal Concert Hall

Tuesday 11 September – Saturday 15 September 2018

0115 989 5555

www.trch.co.uk

 

DUBLIN

Gaiety Theatre

Monday 17 September – Saturday 22 September 2018

08 18 719 388

http://www.gaietytheatre.ie/

 

HULL

New Theatre

Monday 24 September – Saturday 29 September 2018

01482 300306

www.hulltheatres.co.uk/

 

EDINBURGH
Playhouse Theatre

Monday 8 October – Saturday 13 October 2018

0844 871 3014

www.atgtickets.com/edinburgh

 

DARTFORD

Orchard Theatre

Monday 15 October – Saturday 20 October 2018

01322 220000

www.orchardtheatre.co.uk

 

MANCHESTER

Opera House

Monday 22 October – Saturday 27 October 2018

0844 871 3018

www.atgtickets.com/venues/opera-house-manchester/

 

LIB Abbey Road 2018 {Matt Ford Photography}
LIB Abbey Road {Matt Ford Photography}

The evolution of Liverpool’s iconic Jacaranda that ‘launched’ The Beatles

The Jacaranda, or the Jac as it’s widely known, has been firmly cemented in Liverpool’s music history since it opened in 1958.

And today, more than ever, it’s an exemplary venue for the the city’s rich music heritage.

Sure, back in the day it gave us The Beatles but now 60 years later The Jac is still making waves in the city.

The Jac was founded by Allan Williams who was known for being the Fab Four’s first manager.

He leased an old watch repair shop and transformed it into a coffee bar where John Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe and Paul McCartney were known to be frequent customers.

Back then, the band was called The Silver Beetles and Williams gave the lads a chance to perform and rehearse in the venue.

The Silver Beetles even performed at the venue and were paid with beans on toast and Coca-Cola and they’d fill in for the normal house band, The Royal Caribbean Steel Band every Monday night.

Under Williams management, The Beatles booked tour of Hamburg in August 1960 before they parted ways and started work with Brian Epstein.

While many people will know the Jac for this reason, managing director Graham Stanley told the ECHO there’s much more to the venue than that.

For more click here

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney – 76 Years old today! I wonder whether we are going to get any special announcement about a tour and an album today – Paul’s been leading up to it for a while, with all the cryptic photos posted on his social media.

Anyway, to celebrate, here are a few photos I’ve taken of Paul over the years.

Paul McCartney outside AIR Studios 1982

Paul McCartney with Richard Porter, Abbey Road Studios 1997