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Beatles News Archives

2003 - Page 1

Forgotten Beatles photographs to go on display

An exhibition of forgotten Beatles photographs worth around £1.4 million is due to open this spring in Liverpool.

The Mad Day: Summer of '68 was shot by British photographer Tom Murray, who followed the Fab Four throughout London for one day.

They will be displayed at the Mathew Street Gallery, close to the site of the original Cavern Club from April 24 to May 18.

After keeping just 23 negatives from the original five rolls of film, Murray left them in a drawer for 25 years. The photo shoot also proved to be the last time The Beatles were officially photographed together, reports NME.com.

Live Beatles gig re-released

A controversial live Beatles album is being re-released, after more than 40 years.

Beatles 1962 Live at the Star-Club has been recorded and released on CD by Southport-based Mastersound. The recording was made during a live gig at the legendary club in Hamburg, Germany, on New Year's Eve.

But a legal dispute with the Fab Four prevented its release when it was discovered in the 1970s in a derelict office. Since then moves to get the album released have been aborted because of court action but bootlegs have been around for many years.

Now producer Mal Jefferson and musician Ted "Kingsize" Taylor, who recorded the album in Germany, have released it again, remastered to improve sound quality.

Mal said: "George Harrison wasn't happy having the record out because he made a lot of mistakes in his early days. But the album has many positives, such as George's singing, which people don't give him credit for. George was a friend of mine but was also the main objector. Since he died we have had no objections to the record coming out."

The album features 20 tracks by the band, many of them covers, but also includes I Saw Her Standing There, as well as bonus tracks from their contemporaries Ian and the Zodiacs and Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes.

The Star-Club show was recorded on a mono Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder using a hand-held microphone by Ted Taylor. Ted found the tapes in derelict offices under piles of rubbish in 1972 and released them - but the Beatles sued.

Ted, 62, of Southport, said: "We were the resident group at the club when the Beatles came over. We offered the tapes to Brian Epstein in the 60s but he didn't want to know. Later the Beatles pulled out of a deal in 1973 and stopped us releasing it. This time round there have been no objections."

The album is on sale at Liverpool outlets The Beatles Story and WH Smiths.

Beatles release

Record Company EMI is considering releasing a new Beatles CD, after police recovered 500 tapes of unreleased recordings by the band.

The tapes also record a violent argument between George and Paul. EMI, which holds the rights to the Beatles work, wants to talk with surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and with the families of John Lennon and George Harrison, about releasing tracks.

All Beatles' guru needs in cash

The Dutch Central Bank says an organisation founded by Beatles guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has not violated the law by issuing and using its own currency in the Netherlands.

The Global Country of World Peace organisation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an Indian mystic living in the small southern Dutch village of Vlodrop, issued brightly coloured notes of one, five and 10 "raam" last October.

The bank, which said on Saturday it would investigate the currency, said on Tuesday it had received no indications that any laws were violated.

"It is within the boundaries of the law...as long as the Maharishi doesn't suggest that this is legal tender and it doesn't resemble the euro," central bank spokesman Tobias Oudejans said. "There is a closed circuit; transactions can only be made at certain shops," he added.

The Maharishi brought "transcendental meditation" to the West more than 40 years ago. Among his sixmillion followers worldwide have been the Beatles, who famously traveled to India in 1968 to meditate with him.

The Beatles 'Abbey Road' Album Airbrushed To Be Politically Correct

The Beatles 1969 Abbey Road album cover has been airbrushed by politically correct poster companies in the United States to remove a cigarette held in Paul McCartney hand, BBC reports.

The original album cover shows the four Beatles crossing the famed road--Paul is barefoot, third in line, and holding a cigarette.

The airbrushing was done without the permission of either Paul or Apple Records, which owns the rights to the image. An Apple spokesman told BBC, "We have never agreed to anything like this. It seems these poster companies got a little carried away."

The classic photograph was taken near Abbey Road Studios in north London, and became one of the group's most controversial covers.

Photographer Iain Macmillan had only 10 minutes to take the picture. To get the shot, he balanced on a stepladder and took sixphotos of the Beatles walking the black-and-white pedestrian crossing.

Paul had reportedly come up with the original idea for the album cover, and had presented Macmillan with a sketch of it. The specific details of the photo served as fodder for the myth that Paul had died in a car accident and had been replaced by a look-alike. John Lennon, wearing a white suit, was supposed to symbolize the preacher heading the funeral procession, while the barefoot Paul represented the corpse. In addition, Paul was out of step with the rest of the group mates, who led with their left feet while Paul led with his right. Also adding fuel to the rumour mill was the fact that Paul was holding a cigarette in his right hand when he was left-handed.

Music Legend Spector Out on Bond in Murder Case

Legendary rock producer Phil Spector, who revolutionized pop music with his lush "Wall of Sound" recordings in the 1960s, was arrested for murder on Monday in the shooting death of a woman at his mock castle on a Los Angeles hilltop.

Spector, the reclusive and eccentric genius behind such classic hits as "Be My Baby" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," was released later in the day after posting a $1 million bond, officials said.

He went on to produce records for the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Ike & Tina Turner, Eric Clapton and the Righteous Brothers. He was voted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

He was hired by the Beatles to do post-production work on their "Let It Be" album, which Paul McCartney and many critics later criticized as overdone.

He also produced the first solo albums from John Lennon and George Harrison and shared a Grammy with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and others for producing the "Concert for Bangladesh" album, named album of the year for 1972.

Beatles Tapes Stolen in 1970s Recovered by Police in England and Netherlands

Some 500 Beatles recording session tapes stolen in the 1970s were recovered on Friday (January 10) by police in England and the Netherlands, many including never-released tracks.

The tapes were recorded in 1969 and have been known as the "Get Back Sessions," and several of the songs on the tapes surfaced on the Beatles' album Let It Be. Some of the material found on the tapes has surfaced over the past three decades on various bootleg records throughout Europe and the U.S.

British police called the tapes "priceless," and Dutch authorities, who concurred, are still going through the recordings.

"We're currently investigating whether they really are the originals, but it appears to be so," Amsterdam prosecutor spokesman Robert Meulenbroek told the AP news service. "There are about 500 tapes, so there's quite a bit to research."

Five people were arrested in separate police raids in England and Holland, and the names of the suspects were not immediately released. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry led the investigation, with assistance from London detectives.

Ringo Album to Feature Guests & Harrison Tribute

Ringo Rama, the upcoming solo album from Ringo Starr, is due March 25 from Koch Records. The project features guest appearances from Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, Willie Nelson, Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit, Shawn Colvin, and others.

The album's first single will be "Never Without You," a tribute to Ringo's late Beatles mate George Harrison that features a guitar solo by Clapton.

In a statement, Ringo said the song is "my way...to say how much George meant to me and how much he will be remembered...I really wanted (Clapton) on this song because George loved Eric, and Eric loved George. I wanted Eric to come and play that solo because I only wanted people on the track who George knew and loved."

Written by Ringo, Ringo Rama producer Mark Hudson, and Gary Nicholson, the song's chorus tells Harrison that "your song will play on/Without you/And this world/Won't forget/About you/Every part of you was in your song... 'Here Comes The Sun' is about you."

Ringo said he also tried to pay tribute to his other late bandmate, John Lennon, and good friend Harry Nilsson in the song, but that "it got too busy."

The song will be released to radio on February 17. Ringo Rama was recorded mostly in England, although some work was done at Hudson's studio in Los Angeles. The first song, "Eye To Eye," makes a sonic reference to "It Don't Come Easy," Starr's first solo hit from 1971, while "Elizabeth Reigns" was inspired by Queen Elizabeth II's Jubilee celebrations, which took place last June while Ringo was recording the album.

Other songs on Ringo Rama include: "I Think Therefore I Rock & Roll" (with Gilmour), "Missouri Loves Company" (with Gilmour), "English Garden," "Write One For Me" (with Nelson), "Memphis In Your Mind," and "I Really Love Her," a short bonus track included on the end of the album.

Ringo will tour this summer with a new edition of his All-Starr Band that includes 2001 All-Starr drummer Sheila E., Men At Work frontman Colin Hay on guitar, ex-Babys/Bad English frontman and solo star John Waite on bass, and Squeeze/Mike + the Mechanics keyboardist-vocalist Paul Carrack. More members of the band and tour dates are expected to be announced soon.


Details of Visits to Mendips Revealed

A limit of 90 people a day will be set for visitors to the childhood home of Beatle John Lennon.

A formal planning application to turn 251 Menlove Avenue into a tourist attraction is due to go before Liverpool city councillors on February 4.

They are being recommended to approve the proposal.

It will mean the house, run by a live-in custodian, will be ready to open to the public this spring.

Mendips was donated to The National Trust by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono last year, after she bought the four-bedroom semi for £150,000.

The charity plans to run a maximum of sixtours a day -between 11am and 5pm, with no more than 15 people per tour. A timed ticket allows access to both Mendips and Sir Paul McCartney's home at nearby 20 Forthlin Road and visitors will be bussed to both sites.


Rare Photos of Paul at the Cavern to be Auctioned

When Sir Paul McCartney made an impromptu visit to the Cavern in 1968 he made the owner promise not to tell the press.

But 35 years later these previously unseen photos of Macca have been revealed for the first time.

Paul made a surprise visit to the Cavern Club with his then girlfriend Linda Eastman on October 25, 1968.

Pop memorabilia expert Jason Cornthwaite, of Tracks, in Chorley, said: "Paul called alone at approximately noon and asked if he could call back later with Linda as he was on his way to drop off a record player to his stepsister Ruth on the Wirral.

Alf Geoghegan, owner of the Cavern, asked Paul if he minded if he took some photographs of the occasion. Paul agreed as long as the press were not informed.

Alf realised that he did not have a camera with him and he walked around the corner to Photo-Optics, a photographic shop in North John Street and purchased a Yashica Camera to record the occasion.

The salesman accompanied Alf back to the Cavern to set the expo-sure and shutter speed not having been told who was going to be photographed.

Paul returned with Linda and when Alf picked up the camera to take the photographs, Linda said "I'm a good photographer, I'll take them for you." She photographed Paul with Debbie Geoghegan, Alf's daughter, with Paddy Delaney, the Cavern doorman and on stage with Curiosity Shop, a group who were managed by Alf who were rehearsing at the club at the time.

Paul then joined the group on stage and played the drums saying that he had always wanted to be a drummer. Also on the photographs can be seen Alf Geoghegan and DJ Billy Butler.

Now these photos are going to be auctioned.

Mr Cornthwaite said: "The pictures are worth around £150-£200 each, particularly because we know the history behind them.


Rock Fans to Bid for Rare Lennon/Jagger Recording

If rock and roll fans could conjure up their dream recording date, it might be a jam session between Beatle John Lennon and Rolling Stone Mick Jagger.

A record collector in London says he has found just that -- and will be offering the previously unknown recording at an auction next month.

Tom Fisher said on Saturday he had bought the unmarked record from another collector. When he listened to it, he was convinced it was Jagger on vocals, singing a raucous old blues song called "Too Many Cooks."

Auction house Cooper Owen says John is part of the backup band. It was recorded during John's so-called "Lost Weekend," an 18-month period he spent in 1974-75 estranged from wife Yoko Ono, when he made few recordings of his own, but dabbled occasionally with such rocker friends as Elton John and David Bowie.

Snippets of the track played on British television feature a growling Jagger in top form, although it is hard to hear any obvious evidence of John, who does not sing.

"It's an ahead-of-the-time track because it's a sort of a fun track. It's not like the rest of the Stones back catalog and it's not that close to what John was doing," Fisher told Sky News television.

"I understand at the time that they were hanging out a lot together. But I don't think anybody's ever found a decent track that they'd done together before. So I was really pleased to find it and I hope a lot of people get to hear it."

Stephen Bailey, manager of The Beatles Shop in John Lennon's home town of Liverpool, said it was not the first time the two would have been heard together: the Beatles turned up a handful of times at Rolling Stones recording sessions in the 1960s.

But a recording of the two men playing together in the more unconstrained 1970s would still be a delight for fans.

"It's always nice to know that there's something out there that you've never heard of. It's always a pleasure to learn that there's still a bit of magic out there," Bailey said.

Brit film composer Goodwin dead at 77

Ron Goodwin, who composed a string of movie scores including "Where Eagles Dare," "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines" and Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy," died suddenly Jan. 8 at his home near Reading, west of London. He was 77 and had suffered from asthma for many years.

As Ron Goodwin and his Concert Orchestra, he was signed by Beatles producer George Martin and in 1975 received a gold disc to mark 1 million album sales.

His talents were officially recognized in 1994 when Martin presented him with an Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement in Music.

Elvis Tune Voted 'Song That Changed the World'

An Elvis Presley cover version of an obscure blues track has been voted the song that did most to change the world.

"That's All Right" was recorded by Elvis as a teen-ager in 1954 during an experimental jamming session in Memphis. The track launched the King's career and is regarded by some as marking the start of rock 'n' roll.

It beat dozens of better known tracks including The Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys.

"I Wanna Hold Your Hand," the song which launched The Beatles in the United States, came second, while the SexPistols' provocative punk anthem "God Save the Queen" was third.

Top ten:
1. That's All Right (Elvis Presley)
2. I Wanna Hold Your Hand (The Beatles)
3. God Save the Queen (The SexPistols)
4. Rapper's Delight (Sugarhill Gang)
5. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
6. Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday)
7. Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan)
8. Walk This Way (Run DMC)
9. Blue Monday (New Order)
10. Do They Know it's Christmas (Band Aid)

Paul McCartney, Oldsters Rule the Road

They're wrinkled. They're leathery. And they're hot tickets. Still Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and Cher, who each first topped the charts before the dawn of downloads (aka the 1960s), schooled the young'uns on how to put fannies in the seats, emerging as 2002's top concert moneymakers.

Paul, on his first U.S. tour in about a decade, was the year's number-one live act, raking in $103.3 million, according to stats released by the concert-tracking publication Pollstar.

The erstwhile Beatle, a sexagenarian as of last June, refused to act his age, sprinting through 53 shows in 43 cities. Fortunately for him, Paul's core audience--baby boomers with oodles of disposable income--very much acted their age, shelling out an average of $130 a pop for tickets.

Here's a rundown of 2002's Top 10 live acts, according to Pollstar:
1. Paul McCartney, $103.3 million
2. The Rolling Stones, $87.9 million
3. Cher, $73.6 million
4. Billy Joel/Elton John, $65.5 million
5. Dave Matthews Band, $60.1 million
6. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, $42.6 million
7. Aerosmith, $41.4 million
8. Creed, $39.2 million
9. Neil Diamond, $36.5 million
10. The Eagles, $35.4 million

Beatles memorabilia on display

Harry Benson was in the room when the Beatles found out they would be playing on "The Ed Sullivan Show." He was with them when "I Want to Hold Your Hand" landed in the Top 10.

He photographed the Fab Four joking around, composing classics and flying to America.

Along with 80 of the photojournalist's works of the dynamic group, the Albany Institute of History and Art has also collected memorabilia from local fans for its exhibit, "The Beatles: Now and Then."

Among the 100 objects on display: a 1964 "Flip Your Wig" game; inflatable dolls that were part of a soap display in 1966; a pin that reads: "I am a Beatles fan. In case of emergency call Paul or Ringo."

Through his photos, Benson captured personal and intimate details of the Beatles during their first American tour, offering an insight into the world of the young rockers and those around them.

Benson was working at a newspaper in Scotland in 1964 when his editor sent him to Paris to cover the Beatles. He followed them around, taking pictures as they "played tourist" -- Paul McCartney and George Harrison looking at postcards of the Eiffel Tower, John Lennon mimicking a bust of Napoleon.

The night they found out they were going to the United States, Lennon banged McCartney in the head with a pillow, and the others followed, in what Benson labeled "the pillow fight" photos. These are his favourites, he said in a recent interview. A collection of Beatles album covers is part of the exhibit.

In Florida, Benson shot the Beatles on the beach, frolicking with young, bikini-clad women. In one photo, Ringo Starr talks to a thrilled young woman in the waves while others surround him.

"To say that a lot of women were interested in meeting the Beatles would be a gross understatement," Benson wrote in his book "The Beatles Now and Then," which contains most of the photos on display.

The Beatles aren't the only stars in the images. A grinning Ed Sullivan in a "mop-top" wig warms up the audience before his show, and Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) hams it up with the lads in other photographs.

Benson also documents the fans. Teenagers peeking in the limo windows outside a New York City theatre are frozen in mid-scream, while a close up of a shrieking blonde in Copenhagen reminds viewers of the chaos surrounding the band.

In "The Show Begins," four silhouettes are headed to a stage, with blinding bright lights washing out a crowd Benson describes as "deafening."

"All the time it was growing. ... You could feel this wave building up and the crowds were getting bigger and bigger," Benson said.

The exhibit runs through March 2.

DSSO will salute the Beatles

Maybe money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you a ticket to the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra’s next pops concert featuring the music of the Fab Four — the Beatles. Just don’t plan on an eight-day week.

Guest conductor Jeffrey Stirling will direct the DSSO’s musicians and Yesterday, a Beatles tribute band, in performing many of the popular hits of the 1960s and ’70s. The evening will be hosted by Jim Brown, a local radio show host.

The show is sure to be a hit with Baby Boomer and with people of all ages who have come to know and love the band, arguably the most popular in the history of pop music.

The early part of the concert will cover music that preceded the Beatles, including work by Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra, but the remainder of the evening celebrates the Beatles’ British invasion. Songs on the play list include “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” “A Day in the Life” (which has a symphonic section in the original), “Penny Lane,” “Strawberry Fields” and “Sgt. Pepper.”

But there are many songs to choose from — the Beatles put out more than 13 albums and still have the most chart-topping hits of any band, a fact that was celebrated with the release in 2000 of a compilation of those songs, called “1.”

In April 1964, the band also had another notable moment, when their songs occupied the top five spots in the Billboard charts, something no other band has accomplished.

Brown calls the Beatles song “Yesterday” the most recorded song of all time, with more than 2,500 versions recorded by other artists. A Beatles Web site based around the CD “1” also notes that “Yesterday” has been played on U.S. radio stations almost 7 million times, “making it the world’s most broadcast song of the modern era.”

The Web site, found at http://www.thebeatles.com, has a short video clip of Paul McCartney performing the song — none of the other Beatles actually performed it in the recording, it was only McCartney, his guitar and a string quartet. The site also has an audio clip in which McCartney discusses how the song came to him in a dream.

Who knows? Next weekend’s concert may leave some Northlanders with the same dream.

Tickets to “Yesterday — A Tribute to the Beatles” are available through the DSSO at 733-7579 or online at http://www.dsso.com


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