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Beatles News Archives

2004 - Page 1

Detectives are to question Sir Paul McCartney over an alleged assault

Officers are to speak to Sir Paul, 61, as a matter of routine following the incident in which he is said to have pushed a photographer who was then allegedly punched and had his camera broken by others.

The former Beatle is also said to have sworn at journalists and a member of the public in Southwark, south London .

Detectives are investigating two allegations of assault on a night last September.

The alleged fracas took place as Sir Paul, with his publicist, Geoff Baker, and two of his roadies, went to see David Blaine during his 44-day suspension above the Thames in a box.

Kevin Wheal, 42, who was working for London 's Evening Standard newspaper, claimed that Sir Paul pushed him in the chest and swore at him when he tried to take his picture.

When it emerged that Mr Baker had tipped off the photographer that Sir Paul would be there, Sir Paul told him he was fired. Sir Paul later dismissed the sacking as a joke.

Yesterday Mr Baker said Sir Paul was on holiday.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said investigations were continuing.


Fab Four Fans to Mark Beatles Trip to New York

It may seem like only yesterday but the Beatles' much-heralded first visit to America was 40 years ago, and a group of die-hard fans wants to mark the occasion for Beatles lovers here, there and everywhere.

The Fab 40 Committee will kick off the Beatles celebrations with a party and concert at New York's Hard Rock Cafe on Feb. 9, 40 years to the day after the Beatles first performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, organizers said on Friday.

Lincoln Center will host a film and television tribute to Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

And the American Film Institute Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Spring , Maryland will screen "A Hard Day's Night" in a one-week run beginning on Feb. 6.

It was Feb. 7, 1964 , when the Beatles arrived in New York and were greeted by thousands of screaming fans.

"The beauty and power and charm of the Beatles music will always remain timeless," said Fab 40 member Martin Lewis at a news conference to announce the anniversary events.

Fab 40, a play on the Beatles' moniker of the Fab Four, is made up of former friends and associates of the Beatles during their U.S. tour.

"The reason people still listen to the Beatles music today is because of the quality of the music and forty years from now, there will still be a place for that quality of music," said Fab 40 member Bruce Spitzer, author of a new book, "The Beatles Are Coming."

The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" hit No. 1 on the music charts in the United States on Jan. 16, 1964 .


George Harrison Autograph Case Settled

The estate of George Harrison has settled its lawsuit against a doctor it accused of coercing the dying ex-Beatle into signing a guitar belonging to the doctor's son.

The guitar "will be disposed of privately" and Harrison 's estate will give a new guitar to Ariel Lederman, the 14-year-old son of the doctor who treated Harrison for cancer two weeks before his death, according to a joint statement read aloud Friday in federal court. No further details were available.

The settlement came 10 days after the lawsuit was filed against Dr. Gilbert Lederman, his three children and his employer, Staten Island University Hospital.

"George Harrison's music spoke to the heart and soul of my generation," said Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, who presided over the settlement. He said the agreement "preserves the dignity and protects the privacy of all concerned."


Beatles DVD Spotlights First U.S. Visit

A Beatles DVD, featuring footage shot by filmmakers Albert and David Maysles during the Fab Four's first visit to the United States , will be released next month, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the trip.

"The Beatles First U.S. Visit" will be released Feb. 3 in the U.S. and Feb. 9 internationally.

The Maysles brothers, who would later go on to make such films as "Gimme Shelter" and "Salesman," had all-areas access to the Beatles as their plane touched down in New York Feb. 7, 1964, and during the ensuing two-week tour of the country.

They filmed behind-the-scenes moments in dressing rooms, hotels and nightclubs, at press conferences, in limos and on trains. Also included is the group's first concert at the Washington Coliseum in Washington , D.C. , and its three performances on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Songs on the DVD include "All My Loving," "Till There Was You," "She Loves You," "From Me to You," "This Boy," "Twist and Shout," "Please Please Me," "I Saw Her Standing There," "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand."

The 80-minute documentary is also accompanied by a 50-minute making-of feature that includes an interview with Albert Maysles. David Maysles died in 1987.


Under-fire doctor of ex-Beatle extends peace offering

A doctor accused of forcing a dying George Harrison to sign autographs on his deathbed, has offered to donate a guitar with the former Beatle's signature to charity.

Gilbert Lederman, an oncologist who treated Harrison in his final weeks, made the offer after Harrison 's estate slapped him and his Staten Island hospital with a 10-million-dollar lawsuit.

In a statement issued late Wednesday through his lawyer, Lederman said he and his family were "extremely distressed about the meritless allegations" contained in the lawsuit.


George Harrison's Estate Sues Doctor

A doctor forced a weakened George Harrison to autograph a guitar for the physician's teenage son two weeks before the ex-Beatle died of cancer, a lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges.

Filed by Harrison 's estate, the suit alleges that the musician tried to resist the request by saying, "I do not even know if I know how to spell my name anymore."

The suit alleges that Dr. Gilbert Lederman responded by saying, "Come on, you can do this," and held Harrison 's hand as the musician wrote his name on the guitar "with great effort and much obvious discomfort."

The estate seeks possession of the guitar and two cards it says Harrison signed as he was treated by Lederman, a Staten Island-based expert in treating large tumors with high doses of radiation. Harrison died in November 2001 after battling lung cancer and a brain tumor.

"This lawsuit is strictly allegations. Frankly, I think it's absurd," Lederman's attorney, Wayne Roth, said Tuesday. "He didn't coerce Mr. Harrison."

Harrison 's wife and son believe a National Enquirer story about Harrison 's death that featured Lederman's son holding the instrument was orchestrated by Lederman to raise the item's value, a lawyer for the Harrison estate said Tuesday.

"George was literally lying there dying and the doctor forced George to sign a guitar," Paul LiCalsi, an attorney for Harrison 's estate, said Tuesday. "The doctor should not be permitted to profit from this behavior."

Roth said Lederman's son still plays the guitar and the family has no intention of selling it. The instrument, appraised in connection with a state investigation of Lederman's treatment of Harrison , is worth less than $10,000, Roth said.

The estate also accuses Lederman of violating Harrison 's privacy by orchestrating invasive media coverage in the interest of promoting his medical practice.

Lederman conducted interviews about Harrison with several news outlets, many within hours of the ex-Beatle's death, the suit charges.

The state Health Department reprimanded Lederman for talking to the press about Harrison without his consent. Lederman accepted his censure, reprimand and a $5,000 fine, documents show.


Mrs Macca to buy girl legs

Sir Paul McCartney's wife Heather Mills is providing false legs for a tragic two-year-old girl.

Heather - who lost her lower leg in a crash - was touched by the plight of Lydia Cross.

The youngster had to have her legs amputated below the knee after she developed a bacterial infection and septicaemia.

Lydia spent 12 days on life support last month. New mum Heather, 35, saw Lydia on TV and will meet her soon.

The tot will try out limbs at a Dorset firm which has links with ex-model Heather.

Lydia 's mum Jodie, 33, of Chippenham, Wilts, said: "This is the best news. Lydia thinks Santa is making a special return trip, just for her."

Dad Tony, 34, said: "We are so grateful to Heather."



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