Seattle Beatles Rooftop Day back by popular demand

Following their 2009 blockbuster performance attended by thousands in Seattle's Pike Place Market, Ken Mansfield, former U.S. manager of The Beatles' Apple Records, and Seattle's favorite Beatles cover band, Creme Tangerine, will again team up to celebrate the anniversary of The Beatles last performance famously known as "the rooftop concert".

In celebration of the historic anniversary of this concert, Creme Tangerine will perform songs from that concert, and a lot more on Friday, January 29th, 2010 on the rooftop balcony of the Copacabana Cafe in the Pike Place Market in Seattle at noon. Following the concert, Mansfield will talk about his work with The Beatles and lead an audience question and answer session.

"It was so cool to see the streets of Pike Place Market packed shoulder to shoulder with people celebrating the music of the Beatles - this music truly is a common bond people share together", said Jeff Lockhart, drummer of Creme Tangerine. "We wanted to do another rooftop concert at Pike Place with Ken and highlight the great work the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society does in Washington State."

Ken Mansfield stood bedside Yoko Ono on the rooftop three feet away from The Beatles throughout their famous last performance. Ken was a trusted insider of the Fab Four, managed the U.S. operations of Apple Records and shared in the unique last concert on the rooftop of Apple back in 1969.

The legendary last concert took place on Friday, January 30th, 1969 on the roof of their record company. The impromptu event was performed to a London lunch crowd without prior notice or fanfare as curious by-passers and adjoining office workers watched The Beatles perform what was then their newest songs including hits such as "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" during a cold winter afternoon. It was also to be the last time The Beatles would perform live in public. The legendary concert was immortalized in the documentary Let It Be and fans have cherished this last glimpse of The Beatles together as a key highlight in The Beatles career.

Mansfield, former U.S. manager of Apple Records and former Director at Capitol Records, is a Grammy Award-winning producer and record-label executive who has worked with artists as diverse as The Beatles, Willie Nelson, The Band, Waylon Jennings, The Beach Boys, Judy Garland, Merle Haggard, Lou Rawls, Andy Williams, David Cassidy, Dolly Parton, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. A highly sought-after public speaker (Outreach Events), he is the author of two other books: The Beatles, the Bible, and Bodega Bay and The White Book. His latest book is titled "Between Wyomings".

Creme Tangerine is a dynamic five piece band from Seattle that performs the music of The Beatles for thousands each year. Rather than focusing on the personalities or look of the Beatles, Creme Tangerine focuses on performing their beloved music live for all to enjoy. Their performances have included The Beatles most recognized hits as well as different eras of the Beatles music and "the White Album" and "Abbey Road" in their entireties. Their high energy, quality performances appeal to those already familiar with and new to the music of The Beatles. Having released their debut album, "Creme Tangerine" in 2007, Creme Tangerine will be released their latest record, "The Abbey Road Project" in 2009.

Creme Tangerine is honored to highlight The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) at this year's rooftop celebration. LLS is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services.

2010 Seattle Beatles Rooftop Day will take place at the Copacabana Cafe in the Pike Place Market, which is located at 1520 1/2 Pike Place in Seattle. This location was voted "Best Rooftop Balcony in Seattle" by Seattle Weekly readers for 2008-09.

Oxford University offers Beatles summer course

Oxford University has announced a one-week summer course on "The Beatles, Popular Music and Sixties Britain." The course is part of the Oxford Experience programme and takes place at Christ Church, one of Oxford's largest and most beautiful colleges from July 4 through 10, 2010.

Revered and reviled in equal measures, the Sixties continue to fascinate. This course is a journey through it from the British perspective, noting key events in politics, society and the arts. We will trace the development of the music of the Beatles and place their songs in context by discussing examples by other notable British groups of the period. However familiar you think this music is, prepare to hear more in it than before.

The course will be conducted by Dr. Rikky Rooksby, a tutor for the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education, and author of many articles, reviews and books on English literature and popular music.

Course content includes 1960-63; the early Beatles, 1963-65; first Liverpool then the world, 1966-67; Sgt. Pepper and the Summer of Love, The Beatles in the studio, The sixties goes colour: the country-culture, psychedelia, encounters or delusions? The nature of consciousness and reality, 1968; the White Album – doll's house or glass union? Politics, barricades, and street-fighting men, and 1969-70; Let it Be and Abbey Road. Eight track recording, litigation and ‘funny paper'. The end of the dream or the beginning of the voyage?

Enrolments will be accepted up to June 1, 2010. Early enrollment is advised as many courses fill before February. For more information about the course and the "Oxford Experience" 2010 programme, please visit www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=O09I102JDR.

The Beatles had the most loyal fans at the Cavern Club

by Pete Price

The other week I was having a clean out and a tidy up. I came across a pile of original Merseybeat magazines all individually wrapped and now bright yellow.

I found myself looking back at the history of music from when I grew up. Those days were so magical to me, queuing outside the Cavern and the Iron Door.

Waiting to listen to the raw music, exciting and vibrant sounds and looking at the bands that would go on to great careers.

My favourites were Gerry Marsden, the Big Three, who Cilla used to sing with, and the Escorts. I wasn’t a great Beatles fan in those days it took me a while to get into their music. First time I ever saw them live was at the YMCA Hoylake. I always remember the tickets didn’t sell well, whereas Gerry Marsden was a sell-out every time.

There were many stories about those days and I am sure all of you have got some. I remember protesting outside the Cavern when Pete Best was sacked from the Beatles.

Here is an interesting story that a lot of people don’t know about. The Beatles’ early fans were very possessive towards the lads. The Beatles had an amazing bond with the fans at the Cavern. The Cavern Club girls idolised and romanticised about the four lads. And at each and every performance they would desperately strive to attract the attention of one or other of the group in the hope of an acknowledgment or perhaps even a date.

Two minutes before the Beatles took to the stage there would be a mass final preening session amongst the girls. The dust of compact powder would clog the air, hair curlers would be removed and frantic back combing took place. Many of these fans formed themselves into little groups of cliques. They of course had strange names. There was the Cement Mixers, the Bulldog Gang and let’s not forget the Wooden Tops. The fans were fiercely loyal and far from being annoyed the Beatles encouraged this kind of attention and yearned for such intimate contact in later years when they were playing venues so vast and cold that they were 200 yards away from their nearest fans.

So partisan and positive of the band were these fans when the Beatles fame began to grow there were many at the Cavern who were angry and resented their success. Wanting to keep them instead as the Cavern’s secret.

This began to manifest itself when the Beatles’ second single Please, Please Me was released. Many of the Beatles’ most dedicated hometown fans, naturally possessive of the group after two years exclusive ownership, realised that buying the record might well take the Beatles out of their grasp.

When the Beatles hit No 1 with Please, Please Me, Bob Wooler announced the news at the Cavern. It was met with a mix of silence and boos. The fans were devastated that they were going to lose their Beatles to the world.

So if it was left to the fans they would have stopped their career purely for selfish reasons. People that live in London don’t appreciate their tourist attractions. I wonder if you realise how good the Beatles Story at the Albert Dock really is? Whatever age you are you can immerse yourself in a real piece of history. But if you ever go down, give yourself a couple of hours and go and live in an era of days gone by.

No room for error

SELF-SERVICE online check-ins for airlines. £1 a minute to complain. Supermarket machines taking your money at the check-outs. Automated voices talking to you about train timetables and apologising if they make a mistake. Time wasted in stores looking for goods as there are no staff to help you.

Each one of these has taken jobs from people and in my mind has changed society for the worse. I remember growing up being told automation will make life easier for people. We didn’t realise we were being conned and many jobs would go.

What jobs are left are now being put to a stopwatch. How long will it take you do that? If you work at a supermarket checkout, how many customers can you get through in the shortest possible time? Doctors’ surgeries are all about footfall, doctors now work to a clock. There is no time now to make mistakes, to be human. Is there something very sinister at work here and is there a greater plan to wipe out all jobs? Where will it all end? It really is quite frightening. How will we make a living?

Courtesy of Liverpool Echo