Eight Days a Week to Air on PBS in the US

PBS today announced the U.S. broadcast premiere of Academy Award®-winner Ron Howard’s authorized and highly acclaimed Emmy® Award and GRAMMY Award®-winning documentary film about The Beatles’ phenomenal early career. THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – THE TOURING YEARS premieres Saturday, November 25, 8:00-10:30 pm ET (check local listings ) on PBS. The film will be followed by an encore broadcast of SGT. PEPPER’S MUSICAL REVOLUTION, 10:30-Midnight ET on PBS, which continues the story beyond The Beatles’ touring years, during the months the band spent creating Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album. https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwtv/article/PBS-Airs-Ron-Howards-THE-BEATLES-EIGHT-DAYS-A-WEEK-THE-TOURING-YEARS-1125-20170925#

Unreleased 1963 Beatles Demo Up for Sale on eBay

A rare, unreleased demo of The Beatles song “What Goes On” is currently on sale through a listing on eBay, via the website Parlogram. This 1963 demo version predates the Beatles recording sung by Ringo Starr and released on the Rubber Soul album in 1965. This earlier version was sung by John Lennon, who wrote the song, and features Lennon singing different lyrics. According to an auction house spokesman, the demo also has Lennon on acoustic guitar and Paul McCartney on harmony on the chorus; a few piano notes are audible in the background toward the end of the track. An excerpt of the recording can be heard on the eBay auction listing. The sale will end Oct. 1. http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/7973608/beatles-auction-what-goes-on-unreleased

 

Symphonic Beatles Concert Coming to London

Rocco Buonvino presents

Symphonic Beatles: timeless music recreated for a full symphonic orchestra.

30th November 2017

Experience The Beatles as never before – with, the sound, the passion and the raw excitement of their timeless music in this spectacular concert featuring The London Concert Orchestra, conducted by Alan Chircop, together with acclaimed band, guest singers and chorus from the West End and beyond.
Enjoy classics hits, including: ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE – HEY JUDE – SERGEANT PEPPER – LET IT BE – HELP – A DAY IN A LIFE – GET BACK – LADY MADONNA – YESTERDAY – STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER – A HARD DAYS NIGHT – LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS.. and many, many more !
With full orchestral arrangements, imaginatively fused together with rock and pop, tonight we pay tribute to the world’s biggest band, The Beatles, celebrating over 50 years of ageless songs as well as marking the 50th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper.
National Broadcaster Mike Read gives a wonderful narrative backdrop to this nostalgic epic celebration which takes you through the Beatles’ musical legendary history. The grand finale brings the orchestra, choir and guest singers together for the climax of a stunning night of music. Symphonic Beatles is truly a memorable occasion.

25th September 1967 – The Beatles Record Fool on the Hill

On 25th September 1967, the Beatles began editing their TV film ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, at Norman’s Film Productions on Old Compton Street, Soho. The editing was done by Roy Benson, who had also worked on a ‘Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Help!’ The editing was due to take a week, but actually took about 11 weeks. As there was not narrative to the film, it could be cut in any way the Beatles wanted – and often they couldn’t agree on how it should be done.

In the evening, the Beatles went to EMI Studios, Abbey Road, to record ‘Fool on the Hill’ for the new film. Among those watching the proceedings was Yoko Ono, attending what was probably her first Beatles recording session. Her presence rather destroys the myth that John and Yoko barely saw each other between their first meeting in November 1966, and Yoko coming over to Kenwood in May 1968.

The Beatles recording Fool on the Hill
John and Yoko at the recording of Fool on the Hill

Blue Gardenia Club – Fact or Fiction?

I’d just about given up on finding the Blue Gardenia Club, and consigned it to the imagination of Sam Leach, when again it is mentioned in a book! According to Sam, the Beatles went to the club in the early hours of December 10th 1961, after playing in Aldershot, in front of 18 people. Rather than go back to Liverpool, the Beatles and Sam went to the club, which was run by Brian Cassar, formerly of Cass and Cassanovas. At least some of the Beatles got on stage with the house band, making it the first time they had played in the capital.

I’ve been trying to trace the location of the club for over 20 years, but never found proof where it was. I was beginning to think Sam made the whole thing up. However, I was reading Jim Berkenstadt‘s great book ‘The Beatle that Vanished’ – about Jimmie Nicol, which states Jimmie was in the house band there! Berkenstadt quotes famed guitarist  Albert Lee who says “We would go there after the 2 I’s and play until the early hours in Soho.”

Unfortunately, the book does not say the exact location of the club. However, my curiosity has been aroused again, and I will keep searching!

The Beatles on the Cover of Latest ‘Uncut’ Magazine

What do you do when you’ve just released the most significant album in rock history? For The Beatles in late 1967, the answer was simple: go back to work, but in the most playful way possible. In our new issue of Uncut, out on Thursday in the UK (though hopefully subscribers should have their copies sooner), we mark the 50th anniversary of recording sessions which turned into parties, psychedelic and spiritual adventures (“George swore to me he could levitate”), destabilising tragedies and, eventually, a redemptive and surreal trip into the unknown – the Magical Mystery Tour. “The songs had changed, our attitudes had changed,” says Ringo Starr. “Our well-being had changed.”
Read more at http://www.uncut.co.uk/blog/introducing-new-issue-uncut-9-101767#7d1d9O4gfgO7ZwmW.99

Uncut Magazine

September 20th 1969 – John tells the others ‘I’m Leaving the Beatles!

On September 20th 1969, the Beatles held a meeting in the boardroom of Apple Corps at 3 Savile Row. The meeting was called to sign a new contract with EMI/Capital that Allen Klein had negotiated. Even though Paul McCartney hated Klein, he was happy to sign the new improved contract.

Things came to a head when the Beatles started talking about their plans for the future. Paul McCartney thought they should go back to basics, and go back to playing in small clubs and pubs. As Paul said said in the Beatles Anthology book:  “I’d said ‘I think we should go back to little gigs – I really think we’re a great little band. We should find our basic roots, and then who knows what will happen? We may want to fold after that, or we may really think we’ve still got it.’ John looked at me in the eye and said: ‘Well, I think you’re daft. I wasn’t going to tell you till we signed the Capitol deal’ – Klein was trying to get us to sign a new deal with the record company – ‘but I’m leaving the group!’ We paled visibly and our jaws slackened a bit.”

Everyone knew at that point the the dream was over. Even though both Ringo and George had walked about before, and came back, everyone knew that John wouldn’t change his mind. However, John was persuaded not to make his departure public, as deals were still being done.

After the meeting, Paul went up to his farm in Scotland with Linda, who was heavily pregnant with Mary, and hardly went to 3 Savile Row again. His absence was part of the reason the ‘Paul is dead’ rumour grew so quickly.

In the end Paul announced he was leaving the Beatles on April 10th 1970. As John remarked at the time, there was no Beatles to leave.

Patti Smith Named 2017 John Lennon Real Love Award Honoree

Patti Smith will receive the John Lennon Real Love Award at the Theatre Within’s 37th Annual John Lennon Tribute, taking place December 1st at Symphony Space in New York City.

During the show, Smith will perform a set comprising her favorite Lennon and Beatles tunes, while an array of artists will also team to cover Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety to celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary. Additional performers will be announced on Lennon’s birthday, October 9th.

For more on this story, see http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/patti-smith-named-2017-john-lennon-real-love-award-honoree-w504202

19th September 1967 – the Beatles Film in West Malling

John, Paul, George and Ringo spent nearly a week at the town’s former RAF site in 1967, after being unable to hire any London film studios at short notice.

The movie, which was largely unscripted, used aircraft hangers for many of the scenes, including the ballroom sequence for Your Mother Should Know, while the video for I Am The Walrus was shot at two locations on the airfield, including atop the anti-blast concrete walls.

The race scene took place on the main runway and perimeter road.

The Fab Four also filmed in West Malling town centre, including the newsagents in the high street where Ringo can be seen buying tickets from John.

The building is now The Rain Grill kebab house, and has its own blue plaque to mark the historic event.

They had taken the long and winding road from Germany to Kings Hill, a journey of more than 450 miles, to visit the set of the famous film to coincide with the anniversary.

The commemorative tour was led by Simon Mitchell, who appeared in the film when he was seven, before his family moved abroad in 1977.

For more see http://www.kentonline.co.uk/malling/news/magical-reminder-of-the-beatles-in-kent-132320/

(PS – I did tours of the Beatles’ London for Simon and his group – lovely people and had a great time.