Latest Beatles News as of Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aaron Johnson took musical training to play John Lennon
Actor Aaron Johnson has revealed he spent months learning to play the guitar before filming his new movie about John Lennon. "I wasn't a musician or a singer," he told the Daily Record. He also spent lots of time familiarising himself with Lennon's favourite music, including records by Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly.
Source: Gear 4 Music

Pattie Boyd art exhibit draws celebrity crowd
A large celebrity-studded crowd gathered for the opening of a photo exhibit by Pattie Boyd, rock legend muse to George Harrison of the Beatles and Eric Clapton, on Monday night in Barbados. Celebrities in attendance included model and actress Jerry Hall (former wife to Mick Jagger), Heiress Sabrina Guinness, and actor and singer Michael Crawford.
Source: Barbados Advocate

Review: Nowhere Boy has extraordinary drama
The reason Nowhere Boy works so well is that it's not one of those "before they were famous" films; nor does it tackle the birth of pop music in Britain. It's more about a boy than a Beatle. Director Sam Taylor-Wood has opted for a natural realism, free of arty flourishes, a style as sensible and conservative as John's Aunt Mimi.
Source: The Times, London

Video: World gets together to sing All You Need Is Love
To raise awareness to fight AIDS in Africa and around the world, on World AIDS Day, Starbucks launched the Starbucks Love Project. Their first event was a global singalong, in over 156 countries, people gathered together and sang the classic Beatles tune "All You Need Is Love."
Source: PopFi

Music Review: Nowhere Boy Original Soundtrack
The soundtrack to the film Nowhere Boy, which chronicles John Lennon's teenage years, can be easily summed up in one word: raw. Included on this album is rock and roll in its purest, most basic form. The soundtrack compilers clearly studied what the future members of the Beatles were listening to in the early to mid-50s.
Source: Blog Critics

Memorabilia - The Beatles Record Player

This is considered by most collectors to be the ultimate piece to own of all commercial Beatles memorabilia. The 4-speed 17-1/2" x 10" x 6" NEMS record player was manufactered in 1964 and only 5000 were made. Very few survived, making it the most sought after item of Beatles memorabilia. So far only one or two mint or near mint units have turned up - the majority that have surfaced are in worn condition.
The colorful 20" x 11" x 7" packing box is even rarer, only a couple are known to exist. An owners manual was also included (pictured below). The serial numbers were on a piece of cardboard attached to the inside lid, and in most cases this has fallen off or is missing. The value has nearly doubled in the last three years for upper condition players, selling then from $1500 to $2000 and now in 1997 for $3000 and up, when they can be found.

Memorabilia: Beatles' Checks

John Lennon - July 4th 1970 - A check written to Southern Electricity, probably for a power bill.

Ringo Starr - January 8th 1973 - Drawn from the National Westminster Bank Limited. Signed in purple felt.

George Harrison -March 21st 1972 - Drawn from the National Westminster Bank Limited. Signed in green pen.

Received: Zani remembers John Lennon

We remember John Lennon, as he was tragically murdered by that bastard Mark Chapman on 8th December 1980, a great loss to music and the world in general.

With contributions from Alan McGee, Darron J Connett, Dean Cavanagh, Garry Bushell, Jonathan Owen, Mark Thorpe, Matteo Sedazzari, Paolo Hewitt, Patricia Rochester, Russ Litten, Sean Kelly, Simon Wells and Tracey Wilmot.


John Lennon, we love you x

Matteo Zani Editor

Beatles Interview: Armed Forces Network, Paris 1/24/1964

On January 24th 1964, the Beatles were interviewed for radio by the Armed Forces Network. At the time of this interview, the Beatles were in the midst of a 15-day string of performances in Paris, France.
The Beatles had not yet conquered America, but the seeds of their success had already been planted. The group would learn during this visit to Paris that they had scored their first American #1 single with 'I Want To Hold Your Hand.'
AFN correspondent Harold Kelley had the opportunity to speak with the Beatles in an interview that preceded their historic February 9th Ed Sullivan television appearance by 17 days.
Kelley met up with the group in their suite at the Hotel George V in Paris, following their January 24th performance at the Olympia Theatre. In spite of this, Kelley begins the interview with the words 'This afternoon in our Paris studios...' likely for continuity purposes. The show would later air as part of the AFN radio program 'Weekend World.'
While the Beatles were a phenomenon in Britain, they were still a very new phenomenon, and their individual names were not yet household words for many people outside of England. Kelley accidentally refers to John as John Lemmon.
Among the many points of interest in this interview, Paul talks about the process between himself and John during the songwriting of 'I Want To Hold Your Hand,' George recalls the story of Ed Sullivan's chance brush with the group at London Airport, and John explains Beatlemania by attributing their success to George's dressing gown. The lengthy interview is presented below in its entirety.
Following this stay in Paris, the Beatles would fly home to London on February 5th before turning America upside-down with their arrival at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City on February 7th.

Q: "This afternoon in our Paris studios we're visiting with four young men. And if I just mention their first names, such as Paul and George and Ringo and John, I doubt if you'd know about whom we're speaking. But if I said we're here this afternoon with the Beatles, and if we were in England, I think we'd get a great big rousing 'Hurrah!' Wouldn't we, boys?"
(Beatles laugh)

PAUL: (dryly) "Oh yeah."

Q: "Well, let's see. We have to my right here, Paul McCartney. Paul tell us, how did the Beatles get going? How did you start?"

PAUL: "It's a funny story, really. (laughs) You know, it was back in the old days. We were all at school together, really, you know. We grew up as school teenage buddies, and things. It developed from there, really."

Q: "Well, did you sing together around school, or..?"

PAUL: "Yeah. George and I were at school together and John was at the school next door, and Ringo was at Butlins."

(Beatles laugh)

PAUL: "...and we just started playing guitars, and things. And it went on from there, really, as far as I'm concerned."

Q: "Well, you say those were the olden days. Now within the past year, you have mushroomed in tremendously... almost out of sight popularity. What was the click? What levered this great rage for the Beatles?"

PAUL: "Well, it's funny really. I think it was the Palladium show, you know, the television show in England. And then following hot in the footsteps we had the Royal Variety Command Variety (clears throat comically) performance."

(Beatles giggle)

PAUL: "It's difficult to say that, actually. Royal Variety Command Performance for the Queen Mother, you know. And it all came up from there, really. The national newspapers got ahold of it. And they got ahold of Ringo."

JOHN: "And Mike Brown found out about it."

PAUL: "Mike Brown found out about it. Yeah. A lot of columnists and things got onto the idea and started calling it 'Beatlemania.'"

Q: "Lets ask a question here of George Harrison. George, what is the status of Rock & Roll in England today? Is that what you call your music?"

GEORGE: "No, not really. We don't like to call it anything. But the critics and the people who write about it, you know, they have to call it something. So they didn't want to say it was Rock & Roll, because Rock's supposed to have gone out about five years ago. And so they decided it wasn't really Rhythm & Blues... so they decided to call it 'The Liverpool Sound' which is stupid, really, because as far as we were concerned it was just, you know, the same as the Rock from five years ago."

Q: "Can you describe Liverpool's sound?"

GEORGE: "Well, it's more like the old Rock, it's just everything's a bit louder. More bass and bass drum, and everybody sort of sings loud and shouts. (laughs) And that's it!"

Q: "Is the Liverpool Sound, then, 'THE' sound in the U.K. today? In England?"

GEORGE: "Yeah, well, that's... You know, all the records now... Everybody's sort of making records in that style."

Q: "Let's ask Ringo here. Now, you're the drummer. We caught your act at the Olympia the other evening. How long have you been beating those skins?"

RINGO: "Oh, about five years now. I've been with the boys about 18 months... with other groups before that. So that's five years."

Q: "Since you boys have gained your current popularity, have there been many other organizations trying to imitate you, or perhaps take the thunder away from you? Let's ask John Lemmon this."

JOHN: "Well, I suppose, a couple of people have jumped on the... (pause) railway carriage."


JOHN: "I mean, the bandwagon. But it doesn't really matter, you know, because it's flattery and it promotes the whole idea of us if we're away, and there's a few little Beatles still going to remind people of us."

Q: "Paul, let's go back to you for a moment. Whenever anyone sees your pictures, the first thing that strikes them is, naturally, your hairdo."

RINGO: "Hair-don't."

Q: (laughs) "Or Hair-don't! Some people have written as though you were having the sheepdog cut, or perhaps an early Caeser. What do you call it, and how come you cut it that way?"

PAUL: "To us it just sort of seems the natural thing, really, because it all arose... We came out of the swimming baths one day, and you know how your hair, sort of, flops about after the swimming baths. Well, it stayed that way, you see, when nobody bothered to comb it. And it sort of stayed in a style. So we've never really called it anything, I don't know, until the papers got ahold of it, and they called it the Beatle style. So I suppose we go along with them now, really."

Q: "Do you go to the barber at all?"

PAUL: "Well, you know, now and then. Do and don't."

Q: "Just to keep it trimmed."

PAUL: "Yeah. Just to keep it trimmed. But sometimes we do it ourselves, you know."

JOHN: "With our feet."


PAUL: "The other thing is, its really only our eyebrows that are growing upwards."

Q: "We've been told that in England today there's this 'Beatlemania' going on. What would you say Beatlemania is? That all the girls scream when they see you, and perhaps faint waiting in line. Let's be immodest a moment. What is the attraction?"

GEORGE: (laughs) "I don't know."

JOHN: "I think it's that dressing gown."


JOHN: "George's dressing gown is definitely a big attraction."

PAUL: "No, I don't think any of us really know what it is. We've been asked this question an awful lot of times, but we've never been able to come up with an answer yet, because I think it's a collection of so many different things, like, happening to be there at the right time, at the right moment. (sings) 'But the wrong face.'"


PAUL: "No but... A little bit of originality in the songs, a little bit of a different sound. I don't know. It's an awful lot of things. Maybe the gimmick of the haircut, as well. The luck getting into the national press at the right time. It's an awful lot of luck."

JOHN: (deep, comical voice) "It's all these things and more!"

Q: "Well, you mentioned songs. I understand you boys write your own material."

PAUL: "John and I write them. This is Paul speaking. John and I write."

Q: "Paul, yes. How do you think up an idea? Do you get together regularly, or an idea pops in your mind and you say 'Let's sit down and do it'?

PAUL: "Umm, if an idea does pop in your mind, then you do sit down and say 'Let's do it,' yeah. But if there's no ideas, and say we've been told we've got a recording date in about two days time, then you have got to sit down and sort of slog it out. But you normally get, first of all, just a little idea which doesn't seem bad. And you go on, and then it builds up from that. It varies every time though, really."

Q: "Paul, we've seen you here at the Olympia. Can you compare the French audience with what you're familiar with back in England?"

PAUL: "Well, there's a lot of difference, because in England the audiences are seventy-five percent female. Here, seventy-five percent male. And that's the main difference, really. Because they still appreciate it, but you don't get the full noise and the atmosphere of a place."

GEORGE: "No screams."

Q: "No screams and fainting. Why is it seventy-five percent boys?"

GEORGE: "I don't know, but I think they don't let the girls out (laughs) at night."

JOHN: "I think it's your dressing gown."


GEORGE: "Somebody said that they still have to have chaperones, a lot of them, you see. Whereas in England their out. It's funny. It's the same in Germany, all the boys like the Rock, and it's usually the same on the continent. I don't really know why."

Q: "'I Want To Hold Your Hand' is #1 on the Hit Parade, and we have a copy of it here right now, so let's sit back for a moment and listen to it."

('I Want To Hold Your Hand' is played)

Q: "How did you come to write that, 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'?"

PAUL: "This was one of those songs we were told we definitely had to get down to it. We had to get working. So we went and we found an old disused house. We were sort of walking along one day. We just thought 'We've got to really get this song going.' So we got down in the basement of this disused house, and there was an old piano there. It wasn't really disused. It was, sort of, rooms to let. We found this old piano and we started banging away there."

JOHN: "And I played organ."

PAUL: "Yeah. There was a little old organ there too. So we were just having this sort of informal jam session down there. And we started banging away, and suddenly just a little bit came to us. I think it was just the catch line. And so we started working on it from there. We got our pens and paper out, and we just wrote the lyrics down. And uhh, eventually you know, we had some sort of a song. So we went back and we played it to our recording manager, and he seemed to like it. So we recorded it the next day."

Q: "Do all your songs have a basic theme or story or message?"

JOHN: "Umm, no."

(silence, followed by laughter)

PAUL: (laughing) "That was a quick answer!"

Q: "That was quick."

PAUL: "They don't, but there's one thing that nearly always seems to run through our songs. People always point it out to us. That's the 'I' and 'You' and 'me' always seems to be in the title. You know... 'I' want to hold 'YOUR' hand, She loves 'YOU,' Love 'ME' do, and things like this. Well, I think the reason for that really is that we nearly always try and write songs which are a little bit more personal than others, you see. So by having these prepositions, whatever you call them, I and ME and You in the titles, it makes the songs a little bit more personal. I think that's the only sort of basic message that does run through our songs."

Q: Now, you coined this 'Yeah, yeah, yeah!' Isn't that really sweeping England right now?"

JOHN: "Yeah. Well, that was sort of the main catch phrase from 'She Loves You.' But we stuck that on... We'd written the song nearly, and we suddenly needed more, so we had 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.' And it caught on, you know. They use it for... If you're gonna be 'with it' or 'hip.'"

Q: "It's sort of a trademark for you boys now."

JOHN: "Yeah, we'll have to write another song with it." (laughs)

Q: "Paul, what do you think of your trip to the States? I understand in about a week or ten days you're going to be on the Ed Sullivan show. Could you tell us about it?"

PAUL: "Yeah, that's right. We're gonna do Ed Sullivan's show in New York. And we're taping one for later release, I think. And we're looking forward to those, and then we go down to Florida, Miami... Can't wait! And we do another Ed Sullivan there, but I think before that we do Carnegie Hall, don't we?"

BEATLES: "Yeah."

Q: "How were you selected for Ed Sullivan? Was he in England and caught your act or something?"

GEORGE: "When we were flying back... this is the story we heard... we were arriving from Stockholm into London Airport, and at the same time the Prime Minister and the Queen Mother were also flying out, but the airport was just overrun with teenagers. There was thousands of them waiting for us to get back. And Ed Sullivan was supposed to have arrived at that time and wondered what was going on, and you know, he found out it was us arriving. And also our manager went over to the States with another singer called Billy J. Kramer, and he did a couple of TV shows over there. And while he was over there, our manager got the bookings with Ed Sullivan. But he'd also heard of us from this London Airport thing. And that's about it."

Q: "And how about a movie? Is there a movie in the future?"

PAUL: "Mmm, yeah. We've been asked by United Artists to do a feature movie."

Q: "Will it be dramatic, or just strictly wrap around your singing?"

PAUL: "Oh, we don't know yet, really, what it's going to be like. I don't think we'll have to do an awful lot of acting. I think it'll be written 'round the sort of people that we are, and there'll be four characters in it very like us."

Q: "Do you plan to compose two or three songs specifically for the film?"

PAUL: "Actually, we've got to compose six songs specifically for the film. We've got to get down to that, too. That's a job."

Q: "And you boys really haven't had much of a chance to see Paris, have you?"

GEORGE: "Not really, no."

Q: "What do you think of it so far?"

GEORGE: "Well, it's nice. Quite nice."

Q: "How about the French girls compared to the British girls?"

RINGO: "Oh, we havn't seen any yet!"


Q: "John?"

JOHN: "Yeah well, I'm married so I didn't notice 'em."


Q: "We'll go back to Paul, then."

PAUL: "I think they're great."

Q: "You're single."

PAUL: "Yeah. I think the French girls are fabulous."

GEORGE: "But we have seen more French boys than French girls. So I mean, you know, we can't really tell."

Q: "Well, perhaps when you get to the Ed Sullivan show there will be more girls for you."

GEORGE: "I hope so."

RINGO: "Yeah."

Q: "Any of you been to America before?"

GEORGE: "Yeah, me. I went in September just for a holiday for three weeks."

Q: "Just George Harrison. Well, I see our time is up, boys. Thank you very much, Beatles, for being our guest on AFN this afternoon on Weekend World."

The Beatles on Rolling Stone

The Beatles-RS 415 (February 16, 1984)

The Beatles-RS 217 (July15, 1976)

The Beatles - RS 46 (Novemebr 15, 1969)

The Beatles-RS 3 (December 14, 1967)

The Beatles-RS 24 (December 21, 1968)

Is Paul McCartney dead? White Album clues...

“Don't Pass Me By” on The White Album is thought to be Ringo's tribute to his late friend. For in this song Ringo’s sings “I listened for your footsteps coming up the drive but they don't arrive. I wonder where you are tonight, don't pass me by.”

I listen for your footsteps
Coming up the drive
Listen for your footsteps
But they don't arrive
Waiting for your knock dear
On my old front door
I don't hear it
Does it mean you don't love me any more.

I hear the clock a'ticking
On the mantel shelf
See the hands a'moving
But I'm by myself
I wonder where you are tonight
And why I'm by myself
I don't see you
Does it mean you don't love me any more.

Don't pass me by don't make me cry don't make me blue
'Cause you know darling I love only you
You'll never know it hurt me so
How I hate to see you go
Don't pass me by don't make me cry

I'm sorry that I doubted you
I was so unfair
You were in a car crash
And you lost your hair
You said that you would be late
About an hour or two
I said that's alright I'm waiting here
Just waiting to hear from you.

One of the first signs of dissension in the Beatles: were the fierce arguments between Paul and Ringo. Perhaps it was after one of these, that Paul stormed out of studio on that tragic night and we’re hearing of Ringo’s sad evening at home hoping the Paul would come over to resolve their differences. He never made it, and Ringo tells us why:

John’s death Pan is I'm so tired.

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink
I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink

I'm so tired I don't know what to do
I'm so tired my mind is set on you
I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do

You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got
for a little peace of mind

I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid git.

You'd say I'm putting you on
But it's no joke, it's doing me harm
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain
You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane
You know I'd give you everything I've got
for a little peace of mind
I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind
I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind

First he describes his mental anguish over missing Paul: “I haven't slept a wink, my mind is on the blink, I'd give you everything I've got for a little peace of mind.”

The real find comes right at the end of the song: a mumbling voice can be heard at the end of this cut and before the next one begins. When this mumbling is played backwards the voice is very clearly saying, “Paul is a dead man miss him miss him miss him.“

(End played backwards 3 times)

Paul is a dead man miss him miss him miss him!

The voice is probably John's, though some people insist it belongs to George.
The granddaddy of all the clues comes elsewhere on The White Album.

One of the more interesting aspects of The White Album is the short little song that appears on the record right before “Revolution Number 9.” It does not appear in the list of song titles nor do its lyrics appear on the lyric sheet.

(Song played)

Can you take me back where I came from?
Can you take me back?
Can you take me back where I came from?
Brother can you take me back?
Can you take me back?

Mm can you take me where I came from?
Can you take me back

These allegorical lines leads into the selection which convinces many people that the Paul is dead rumor to be something thought of more than just a series of coincidences. The track is “Revolution Number 9.” In the beginning of the song one can hear two men quietly talking they're saying, “Realize I know all about George I'm sorry do you forgive me, yes.”

Listen carefully.

(First part played)

This is apparently is a conversation with the producer George Martin and could be about placing clues on the track. Then a voice repeats the phrase “Number 9” thirteen times. Listen again:

Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine.

Why should this phrase be repeated so many times and then again later in the song?

When one plays this phrase backwards, a voice says something entirely different”

Turn me on demand, turning on dead man, turn me on dead man, turn me on dead man, turn me on demand, turning on dead man, turn me on dead man, turn me on dead man, turn me on demand, turning on dead man, turn me on dead man.

In “A Day in the Life” on Sergeant Pepper, Paul sang, “I love to turn you on,” and now, if in answer several years later, we hear a voice saying in a Beatles song “turn me on dead man.”

Continuing frontwards on the cut, many strange sounds can be heard including car horns, a car crashing, fire burning. These clues are very difficult to pick out on the radio, so I will leave it to you to listen to your own version of “Revolution Number 9.” In the middle of the song a man calmly says, “He had a pole, we better get in to see a surgeon. So anyhow he went to the dentist instead. They give him a pair of teeth that weren't any good at all. So my wings are broken and so is my hair I'm not in the mood for words. Find the night watchman, a fine natural and balance, must've got it in the shoulder blades.“

This monologue is not constant and is interrupted by horns, screams and the sound of fire. Other dangling phrases can be heard such as, “take this brother may serve you well.” Some suggest that this might be Paul passing on his fame talent etc. to Billy Campbell the new Paul McCartney.

When this song is played totally in reverse more interesting phrases can be heard, besides the famous “turn me on dead man.” While the crashes, screams, and fire can still be heard, after about one minute and 10 seconds a faint “let me out” can be heard apparently from someone burning in a car. At two minutes and 30 seconds the fire sounds are very clear and we hear the phrase “there were two there are none now.” Paul and Rita? At five minutes and 35 seconds we hear someone screaming, “Let me out! Let me out!”

Depending on the quality of your stereo headphones, other phrases can be heard such as, “if you want it you can prove it. I'm not in the mood for work or words from John.” This song in the whole White LP became the world's most backwards played album and indeed opened up a whole new way of looking at recorded music. One thing should be mentioned in the context: it should be understood by everyone before a record is finalized and finally pressed and released, it goes through a cleaning and checking by engineers and this involves both frontwards and backwards playing of the tape in order to edit out any stray sounds for noises. All Beatles records went through this process as well; therefore, we can conclude that all the extraneous sounds—words that we have just listed—were checked out, and allowed to remain on the record by someone in control of such matters.

Who the Beatles Came From...

1968 article from Redbook Magazine