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Cynthia Lennon
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Gay Byrne
Geoff Rhind
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Rod Davis
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Beatles News Archives

2000 - page 1

Beatles Sell 1.25 Million Copies Of '1'

The Beatles ‘1’ collection sold more than 1.25 million copies, according to industry sources, allowing it to spend a fourth week atop The Billboard 200 chart. The Beatles scored the fifth-highest single-week album sales total ever--placing them in a select group that includes N Sync (2.4 million), Eminem (1.7 million), Backstreet Boys (1.5 million) and Britney Spears (1.4 million).

The Beatles also set a record for the highest sales in a non-debut week since SoundScan began monitoring U.S. album sales in 1991. The collection of 27 Number One Beatles singles has now moved an astonishing 4.6 million copies in the U.S. after only sixweeks of release.

Gary Wright on George Harrison's Status One Year after Attack

It was one year ago Saturday (December 30) that George Harrison and his wife Olivia were attacked in their home by a knife-wielding intruder. Michael Abram, a 33-year-old schizophrenic obsessed with the former Beatle, entered the couple's home in Henley-On-Thames in England, and George was stabbed several times, only narrowly escaping death. Abram was found not guilty by reason of insanity by a British court last month and sentenced indefinitely to a psychiatric hospital. Since the attack, George has kept a fairly low profile--though he was always considered to be the more private of his former Beatles band mates.

Musician Gary Wright, who's known Harrison for 30 years and was one of the guest musicians on Harrison's seminal 1970 solo album All Things Must Pass, said he had seen George recently, and considering what his friend had been through, he was doing all right. "George is fine," said Wright. "Yeah, he's in great spirits. You know, obviously, you can never treat lightly anything like that . . .that happened to myself or you or anybody. It would make a dramatic impact in our lives. You know, you'll always think about that--there's no way you can get around that--but I think he's gone through amazing healing, and when I saw him, he was great."

Glasses Stolen from Lennon Statue

All we are saying ... is give me my glasses back!

Former Beatle John Lennon's view of the revolution in Cuba has lost some of its focus after a thief stole the spectacles from a life-size bronze statue of the British singer recently unveiled in Havana by President Fidel Castro.

The Communist Youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde reported on Saturday that the theft apparently took place last Thursday when the guard whose job it was to protect the monument in a Havana park left during a rain shower.

"Some fanatic or thief took the glasses, for some unknown reason", the newspaper said.

It quoted the Cuban sculptor who made the bronze statue, Jose Villar, as saying he would replace the stolen glasses with another pair, this time attaching them more firmly to the rest. The Havana monument, which was unveiled by Castro Dec. 8 on the 20th anniversary of the ex-Beatle's murder in New York, shows a contemplative Lennon seated on a park bench.

Castro and other Cuban officials hailed the singer-songwriter as a man of progressive ‘anti-imperialist’ ideas whose rise to fame with The Beatles coincided with the flourishing of socialism in Cuba after the 1959 Revolution.

They singled out his defense of racial equality and workers' and women's rights and his pacifist campaign in the United States against the Vietnam War, expressed in the song ''Give Peace a Chance.''

Cuban authorities now plan to step up security around the Lennon statue and their message to the public is: Let it be!

George Harrison Says 'The World Is Going Mental'

George Harrison is so concerned about the state of the world that he's jokingly thinking of calling his next album ‘Your Planet is Doomed, Volume One’.

"The world is just going mental as far as I'm concerned", George told Reuters Wednesday. "It's speeding up with the whole technology and everything that's happening".

Having survived both a home invasion by a knife-wielding maniac last Dec. 30 and a throat cancer scare in 1997 -- incidents he declined to discuss -- 57-year-old George could be forgiven for seeing life in shades of black.

To remind himself of the bright side of things, George has re-recorded his ode to peace, love and Hare Krishna, ‘My Sweet Lord’, which topped the American and British charts in 1971. It will appear -- along with the original -- on a 30th anniversary re-issue of his "All Things Must Pass'' triple album, set for release on Jan. 23 via Capitol Records.

"I just like the idea and the opportunity to freshen it up, because the point of 'My Sweet Lord' is just to try and remind myself basically that there's more to life than the material world", George said.

"Basically I think the planet is doomed", he said with a laugh. "And it's my attempt to try to put a bit of a spin on the spiritual side, a reminder for myself and for anybody who's interested".

George added that while pessimistic about the environment, he is positive about "my place in creation ... and I don't have any worries whatsoever about that".

All Things Must Pass

YES YES YES At last...the official press release for the "All Things Must Pass" reissue!: George Harrison's 'All Things Must Pass' is restored with four previously unreleased bonus tracks. George oversees re-mixing and writes liner notes to commemorate 30th anniversary of his masterwork, the first No1 album and No1 single ('My Sweet Lord') by a solo Beatle Double-CD edition of 1970 boxed-set - with Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, uncredited Phil Collins and others - is set for January 23rd in-store date.

The 30th anniversary of George Harrison's ALL THINGS MUST PASS will be commemorated with a brand new double-CD configuration personally overseen by Harrison -including four previously unreleased tracks from the original 1970 recording sessions and 'My Sweet Lord (2000)', a newly-recorded version of the classic song that gave him the distinction of being the first solo Beatle to score a No1 single after the group's breakup. 

The new package has been set for January 23rd in-store date on Capitol Records. Sure to pique the curiosity of long time fans are the previously unreleased tracks, presented at the end of disc one: ... 'I Live For You', an out-take from the sessions that was not used; ... 'Beware of Darkness', an alternate version of the song, 'still missing a few lyrics', different from the take which was eventually included on the album; ... 'Let It Down', described as 'the original guitar' and vocal from the same tape as 'Beware of Darkness' with a little overdubbing circa 2000 ... 'What Is Life', a rough mixof the backing track whose existence George had forgotten; ... 'My Sweet Lord (2000)', is an updated version which Harrison produced "to create something extra for the Anniversary issue."

Paul Finds All You Need Is Art

Young girls wept, paparazzi snapped and fans screamed: It was Beatle-mania all over again on Wednesday when Paul McCartney signed copies of his new book, ‘Paintings’.

The crowd thronged the entrance to the bookstore in London's Piccadilly, spilling onto the pavement. Their eagerness to see their idol was matched only by the frantic attempts of photographers to get a good shot.

The coffee-table book features portraits painted over the past 18 years by the former Beatle including paintings of Queen Elizabeth and his late wife, Linda.

"I've always loved drawing, painting and stuff", Paul, told reporters. "I just like it, I don't know why". His influences, he said, include Magritte and De Kooning, "I don't really paint like them, though".

Most of the fans weren't too worried about what lay between the glossy, hard-back covers of the book. They just wanted to meet the man himself.

Julian Lennon's manipulated lost soul

John Lennon's son Julian has branded his father a 'manipulated lost soul' on the 20th anniversary of his death, dotmusic can reveal.

Julian has posted a lengthy 500-word statement on his official website, in response to excessive enquiries about the former Beatle. In the statement, he explains that at the turn of the year, he had decided to stop 'talking about Dad and the Beatles to anyone, except to say that they were a great influence on my life musically! 'It's all been said and I have nothing left to offer.'

However, the 38-year-old, who was christened John Charles Julian Lennon, has decided again to speak out and reveals that he 'never really knew the man'.

He insists: 'How are you supposed to define your own character when all people want from you are answers about someone else's life, a life that you don't have answers for! I am not John Lennon, I never will be!'

He proceeds to go into even greater detail about the flawed nature of his relationship with his father. 'I had a great deal of anger towards Dad because of his negligence and his attitude to peace and love. That peace and love never came home to me.'

However, he concludes: 'Dad, wherever you are, may your light shine as long as we do!'

Apple Says Beatles '1' Fastest Selling Album Ever

The Beatles have proved they are still the world's most popular band decades after they broke up, selling more than 12 million copies of their album ‘1’ to claim the world record for the fastest selling album ever.

Apple, which released the album, said Wednesday the Fab Four's greatest hits album had sold 3.6 million in its first week and more than 12 million in three weeks.

That put the British quartet of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrisonand Ringo Starr, who split up 30 years ago, way ahead of current record holders, American boy band N Sync, who sold 2.4 million copies of ‘No Strings Attached’ in its first week of release in March.

"Sales are going through the roof and it's not going to stop here", Beatles press officer Jeff Baker said. ‘1’, which outsold British pop star Robbie Williams, ‘Sing When You're Winning’ in its first week, has soared to the No. 1 spot in 28 countries, including Britain, the United States, Germany, Australia, Israel and Chile.

The collection of 27 number one singles from 'Love Me Do' to 'Long and Winding Road' is now on target to become the best-selling album by a group.

The Guinness Book of Records said that title is currently held by The Eagles' Greatest Hits, which has sold 26 million copies since its release in 1976.

Fans Remember John Lennon 20 Years After His Death

The spirit and memory of John Lennon drew fans from around the world to New York's Central Park late last week to mark the 20th anniversary of his slaying by a crazed fan.

A crowd of some 200 people gathered by late Friday afternoon, braving wintry temperatures and light snow to pay homage to the slain former Beatle in Strawberry Fields, a section of the park dedicated to his memory with a sidewalk mosaic that reads ‘Imagine’ after one of his best-known songs.

Fans huddled close together around the mosaic, carrying flowers and photographs of John, lighting candles and softly singing Beatles songs to the accompaniment of an acoustic guitar and a tambourine. This year's crowd was larger than usual, and the event was expected to reach its peak at about 11 p.m, around the time Lennon died.

The memorials used to last through the wee hours of the morning, but the administration of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has taken to enforcing a 1 a.m. park curfew and has vowed that this year will be no different. Some fans had asked that he suspend the curfew.

Outside the nearby Dakota building, fans also left flowers and pictures, and tourists snapped photographs of each other posing at the site of his murder.

John's widow still has their apartment in the Dakota and lights a candle in the window every Dec. 8.

In an interview published in Britain's Sun tabloid, Ono said that she would never leave the apartment they shared and that it had been left virtually untouched since his death.

"All the memories of John are here, and I don't want to leave the place we created and things that he touched", she said.

While fans recalled John in his adopted home of New York, his hometown of Liverpool, England, also paid its respects. Flowers were laid at the Lennon statue at the original site of the Cavern Club, where the Fab Four played their first sets in the early 1960s, and a plaque was unveiled at the childhood home where he lived with his aunt Mimi from 1945 to 1963.

In Los Angeles, a peace activist group planned a candlelight remembrance with music and singing in front of the Capitol Records office tower near Lennon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Paul Fondly Remembering John

Sir Paul McCartney said Thursday he'll spend the 20th anniversary of John Lennon's death ‘making music’ and fondly remembering his Beatles bandmate.

"It is shocking to think that John was killed 20 years ago", McCartney said in a statement. But he added that John would be ‘chuffed’ to learn about the enduring popularity of The Beatles music.

The group's greatest hits album, ‘1’, is approaching the million sales mark in Britain, just a month after its release. "On Friday, I'll be doing what we always enjoyed best together - making music", McCartney said. "What else would you want to do? I'll be thinking of all the great times that we had together, and I'll be remembering him with all the love in my heart," McCartney added.

More than 50,000 visit Japan's John Lennon museum

More than 50,000 people have visited a museum near Tokyo dedicated to late Beatle John Lennon in the two months since it opened, a museum official said Thursday, a day before the 20th anniversary of Lennon's murder.

"As of the end of November, there had been around 53,000 visitors", the official said. "This is absolutely astonishing, way beyond our expectations".

The museum, built in a corner of a huge arena in Yono, 25 km (15 miles) north of Tokyo, was approved by Yoko Ono, who was present for its opening on October 9 -- which would have been John's 60th birthday.

Beatles music plays as visitor’s view some 130 items that once belonged to John. Most were donated by Ono, including family photos, an old driver's licence and passport, handwritten lyrics for songs and his trademark wire-rimmed spectacles.

On the final white wall by the exit, in raised white characters, is written the date ‘December 8, 1980’ -- the day Mark David Chapman gunned down the music legend outside his New York apartment.

The museum has designated December 8-10 as memorial days and will host a number of special events, including providing a corner in which fans can offer flowers in John's memory.

"From mid-December we will also display the original score for 'Happy Christmas'," the museum official said, referring to the song written by the couple.

It remains unclear why Ono gave the go-ahead to build the museum in Yono, an unfashionable town in the midst of the urban sprawl that surrounds Japan's largest metropolis.

Fans, though, have few complaints. "Everyone appears to go home quite happy", the museum official said.

All Things Must Pass

Another comment on ATMP reissue from Sweden "I was yesterday at a delayed unofficial release party for "1" in Stockholm and got some information on the re-release of George's "All Things Must Pass". It seems that the release is postponed (at least here in Sweden) to Jan 22nd, 2001. 

We were treated with advance listening to a couple of the bonus tracks which were really fantastic. It seems that George has done a complete new re recording of "My Sweet Lord" called "My Sweet Lord 2000". It started with a bit of sitar(!) and had a complete new great slide guitar intro, crystal clear acoustic guitars and new lead and backing vocals with a high fasetto woman voice towards the end. Wow! 

We also had a listen to "I Live For You" which was much more "complete" than the available bootleg versions. "Let It Down" I think was pretty much like the version on "Beware of ABKCO" - bootleg. The remaining 2 bonus tracks are "Beware Of Darkness" and a backing track of "What Is Life". The picture of the sleeve on the press release is in colour (I don't know if this means that the released version will be in colour).

The catalogue number seems to be 5 30474 2. It seems that George himself is responsible for the release with a 20-page booklet with much presumable new information. Let it be 23 January.

George and Ringo Join ELO

ELO reunites for 2001 album, tour Rolling Stone magazine are reporting that ELO's new album 'Zoom' will feature both Ringo Starr and George Harrison. They also said that ELO would tour.

Cilla Black Pulls Out of John Lennon Plaque unveiling

Cilla Black has pulled out of the ceremony to unveil a blue plaque for John Lennon at Mendips in Menlove Avenue, Liverpool.

The blue plaques are awarded by English Heritage who originally asked Cilla to perform the unveiling. However the Lennon family objected as normally it is a family member that does it and the Lennon family hadn't been asked.

Julia Baird, John's half sister, was also disenchanted about the ceremony occurring exactly 20 years to the day since John was murdered.

Stanley Parkes will now perform the ceremony, John's cousin but will go ahead as planned on the 8th.

George and Ringo see The Who in Concert

George and Ringo attended the recent Who charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Of course Zak, Ringo's son, plays drums with The Who.

Abbey Road Web cam Put Up

The Abbey Road Studios website http://www.abbeyroad.co.uk now has a web cam pointing towards the famous crossing. It's very amusing watching fans dodging the cars trying to have their picture taken.


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