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Cynthia Lennon
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Yoko Ono
Gay Byrne
Geoff Rhind
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Rod Davis
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Beatles News Archives

2003 - Page 5


Yoko Ono Won't Fight Over Lennon-McCartney Credits

John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, says she will not fight with Paul McCartney over the changes he made to the songwriting credits on some of the Beatles songs he's recently re-released. Since 1962, every song John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote for the Beatles was credited as "Lennon-McCartney," even if the two songwriters worked independently. Paul surprised fans and raised Ono's ire when he reversed the order of the names to read "McCartney-Lennon" on some of the Beatles songs he re-recorded on his 2002 live album, Back In The U.S., and this year's European release, Back In The World.

Paul insists it wasn't his intention to discredit John, but rather it was his way to "put the record straight." In an interview with Reuters last year, Paul defended his position, saying, "I personally don't see any harm in John's songs, such as 'Strawberry Fields' and 'Help,' being labeled 'Lennon & McCartney,' and my songs, such as 'Let It Be' and 'Eleanor Rigby,' being labeled 'McCartney & Lennon.'"

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr stated that he believed Paul should have consulted with Ono before making the switch. "He's wanted to do it for years," Starr said. "I'm not going to tell you his reasons--he'll tell you them. But I think the way he did it was underhanded. I thought he should have done it officially with Yoko. But he didn't. It was the wrong way to go about it."

Ono and Paul have always had a strained relationship at best. After Paul's credit switch, many people assumed Ono would take legal action. However, in an interview with Britain's Daily Record, Ono said, "I find it very strange and petty that he would want to do something like this after so many years. If it's something he feels he has to do, then I'll just let him get on with it."

Paul McCartney Shares Songwriting 'Secrets' On British Radio Special

Paul McCartney shared songwriting "secrets" on a special program that aired Monday (April 21) on the BBC's Radio 2 in Britain. The former Beatle talked about the inspiration behind some of his most famous hits and said, "A lot of my songs are just me playing with words, I mean 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,' I don't know a 'Desmond' or a 'Molly.' I'm just imagining them."

During the two-hour special, Paul credited his love of words to a school teacher. He said, "I used to read plays when I was a kid on top of the bus, I still like to do that, read Dickens and stuff. I love to find uses of words. And then people like Elvis, Chuck Berry and Dylan came along and they took it into the poetic and exciting realm."

The program also featured performances from Paul's current "Back In The World Tour," which takes him to Arnhem, The Netherlands on Friday (April 25).

Dietrich Tops as Beatlemania Hits London Salesroom

A cardboard cut-out of German diva Marlene Dietrich that appeared on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band beat all expectations Wednesday as Beatlemania hit a London salesroom.

An avid Italian collector of Beatles memorabilia paid $137,700 (€135,000) for the autographed life-sized photographic figure of Dietrich in an ivory satin dress -- more than four times the top pre-sale estimate.

"It was fantastic. In the end it came down to three telephone bidders," a spokesman for auction house Christie's said.

It was the high point of the sale of pop memorabilia, which was dominated by mementos of the Fab Four.

Paul Calls Michael Jackon 'Unusual'

Paul McCartney thinks his one-time close friend Michael Jackson is an "unusual guy" and wonders about his parenting skills. During a recent interview with the BBC, Paul said he felt sorry for Jackson's children, "being brought up under those veils." He said his philosophy about raising children was the opposite of the private, sheltered life of Jackson's two children. Paul said, "I was keen to send my kids to ordinary school and just throw them into the lion's den."

Paul and Jackson were friends in the 1980s and even recorded two hit duets together in 1983--the Number One song, "Say Say Say" and the Number Two "The Girl Is Mine." When Jackson purchased the publishing rights to a large portion of the Beatles' song catalog, the relationship between the two superstars become strained.

There have also been rumors in the British press that Paul's second wife, Heather, whom he married last year, is now pregnant. However, a spokesperson for Paul told the New York Daily News that in the British papers "Heather has been pregnant seven times in the last four months."

She Loves Paul, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH

Paul McCartney and pregnant wife Heather Mills are totally wrapped up in each other as they enjoy a little fun in the sun on the French Riviera.

The 60-year-old Beatle legend and the 34-year-old former fashion model - who lost her left leg when she was hit by a police motorcycle in 1993 - have been staying at the $4,200-a-night Grand Hotel in Saint-Jean-Cap to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.

The couple, who tied the knot at a Irish castle, announced two weeks ago that they're expecting a baby later this year. It will be the first child for Mills and the fourth for Paul.

Paul Returns to Beatles' Birthplace

Paul McCartney returned to Liverpool Sunday for a hometown concert to cap a 14-month world tour. Some 30,000 fans were expected to attend the open-air show on the city's docks, the final date of Paul's Back in the World tour.

Paul was quoted Sunday as saying the tour — which took him around the United States and across Europe from Dublin to Moscow's Red Square — would not be his last.

"I certainly am intending to tour again. People say, 'Is this your last tour?' But it has never entered my head that it might be the last," Paul was quoted as saying by Scotland's Sunday Herald newspaper.

"It's like footballers — as long as you can score goals you keep playing, and for me that's what it is," said Paul, whose wife Heather Mills is expecting a baby later this year.

Paul also said he had resolved his dispute with Yoko Ono, widow of John Lennon, over songwriting credits.

All songs by the pair have traditionally been credited to "Lennon-McCartney," but Paul reversed the order on his live "Back in the U.S." album last year. Ono's spokesman accused him of attempting to "rewrite history."

"I'm happy with the way it is and always has been," the newspaper quoted Paul as saying. "Lennon and McCartney is still the rock'n'roll trademark I'm proud to be a part of — in the order it has always been."

Heather McCartney pregnant with Paul's baby

Paul McCartney's wife Heather, who earlier this year publicly doubted her chances of becoming a mother, is pregnant with the couple's first baby.

"We are delighted with this happy news," the couple said in a statement.

A spokesman for the McCartney’s said the baby was expected later this year -- suggesting that Heather Mills-McCartney, a former model who lost a leg in a road accident 10 years ago, is at least two months pregnant.

Paul, who turns 61 on June 18, had one son, two daughters (including fashion designer Stella McCartney) and a step-daughter with his first wife Linda Eastman, who died in 1998.

Heather McCartney, 34, is active in efforts to rid the world of landmines. In interviews she has revealed that she has suffered two ectopic pregnancies in the past as well as cancer of the uterus.

Three months ago, in a British television interview, she said the chances of her getting pregnant were "about that much," holding up her thumb and finger close together.

The couple married in Ireland in June last year.

Beatles were a breath of fresh air: Russia's Putin

The world's most famous surviving ex-Beatle was back in what is no longer the USSR on Saturday -- and President Vladimir Putin told him that the once-banned group had been "a breath of fresh air" in Soviet times.

The Russian leader had a brief meeting with Paul McCartney in the Kremlin shortly before the former Beatle was due to play in Moscow's Red Square before an expected audience of some 20,000.

The two men apparently glossed over a slight difference of interpretation on the question of whether The Beatles's music had explicitly been banned by the now-defunct Soviet Union.

"It was banned by the authorities," Paul told his host, to which Putin replied: "It was not exactly banned. But the fact that you were not allowed to play in Red Square in the 1980's says a lot."

In Soviet times the Beatles' music "was considered propaganda of an alien ideology. It did not seem to some people that art was beyond ideology," said Putin.

"As I recall you tried to have a concert here in the 1980's," the Russian leader also told his visitor.

"It fell through. I'm not sure why. That's why it's so exciting to be here now," said Paul.

Putin, who at 51 would have been a teenager during the Beatles' heyday, also sidestepped a question on whether he personally had listened to and enjoyed songs such as "Back in the USSR".

"It was very popular, more than popular. It was like a breath of fresh air, like a window on the outside world," he said.

"I'm sure a lot of people play and sing your songs, they like you a lot," the Russian leader told Paul.

Asked about the "Back in the USSR" song -- a spoof on nationalistic US ditties with similar titles -- Paul confessed that he hadn't known much about the Soviet Union when he and John Lennon wrote it.

"I didn't know anything about it then. It was a mystical land then," he said.

"It's nice to see the reality. I always suspected that people had big hearts. Now I know that's true," he said.

"Back In The USSR," co-written by John Lennon and Paul, was recorded in August 1968 for the Beatles' White Album.

Paul, who arrived in Moscow on Saturday with his backing group, was due to play later in the day.

Stella's Rooftop Shower Ditched After Appeal Fails

Top British fashion designer Stella McCartney was forced on Monday to dismantle a shower she had built on her roof, after a barrage of complaints from neighbours in the fashionable Notting Hill district of London.

Stella, daughter of Sir Paul, put up the seven-foot-high, wooden shower last summer.

Outraged neighbours called it an eyesore, out of keeping with the area, and complained to Westminster Council who told her to take it down.

Stella appealed to the Government Planning Inspectorate but she was turned down on Monday.

"She did not have the appropriate planning permission and the construction broke planning regulations so she was forced to remove it," a council spokeswoman said on Monday.

The rich neighbourhood of Notting Hill, whose Bohemian essence was captured in the film of the same name, is a conservation area with strict planning regulations.

Paul returns to his roots with a night at the Cavern

Paul McCartney gave an impromptu concert at the Cavern Club in Liverpool where he launched his career with the Beatles.

"Paul was really dancing the night away, enjoying every minute of the evening," said Cavern Club owner Bill Heckle after Friday night's mini-concert.

"He was incessantly on the dance floor with Heather," Paul's wife who is expecting her first child, he added.

Paul, who turns 61 on June 18, has returned to his northern hometown for a concert on Sunday night which will mark the end of a world tour which also took him to Moscow for the first time.

Visitors to the Cavern were treated to a rendition of three Beatles songs, including "Let it Be".

The original Cavern club was bulldozed in the 1980s and an identical copy rebuilt several metres (yards) away.

A spokesman for the McCartney’s said the baby was expected later this year -- suggesting that Heather Mills-McCartney, a former model who lost a leg in a road accident 10 years ago, is at least two months pregnant.

Obscure Paul McCartney Film Score Reissued

The Family Way, Paul McCartney's first try at film music, has been re-released by the Montreal-based xxI-21 Records label. Paul scored the British film in late 1966, while the Beatles were on break between the Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band albums.

The original version of the album was only 24 minutes long, with Paul's music performed mostly by the Claudel String Quartet. The new edition of The Family Way features the McCartney soundtrack along with two additional treatments of the music performed by the George Martin Orchestra and Carl Aubut.

All of the tracks on the album are instrumental, though that wasn't the original plan. Jazz and pop songwriter Johnny Mercer was lined up to write lyrics for the song "Love In The Open Air," but Paul passed because at the time he didn't know who Mercer was.

Paul has continued to contribute music to films, including his title track for the James Bond film Live And Let Die and his title track for Cameron Crowe (news)'s Vanilla Sky. He has two previously unreleased songs, "A Love For You" and an alternate version of "Live And Let Die," on the soundtrack for The In-Laws, which opens in theaters Friday, May 23.


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