Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beatles Show concert program cover

Beatles perform I'm a Loser on Shindig 1964

Poster for Paul's Atlanta gig

Here's the poster image for Paul McCartney's upcoming concert at Atlanta's Piedmont Park.

The "green concert" will raise money for the park’s 53-acre expansion.

As in 2007 when the Conservancy first introduced The Green Concert, this year’s event is offered in partnership with the City of Atlanta Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department and promotes environmental sustainability. Guests are encouraged to use MARTA, walk or bicycle to the event. This is a carless event and the streets surrounding the Park will be closed to non-residents. During the 2007 Concert more than 85% of attendees took alternate transportation and this year guests are strongly encouraged to continue that legacy.

Ringo to release PBS Soundstage gig on DVD

Ringo Starr's 2005 performance on PBS' "Soundstage" will be out on DVD Sept. 15. You can pre-order it from Amazon now.

Tunes include “Yellow Submarine,” “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “Octopus’s Garden,” "Photograph” and more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beatles Magical Mystery Tour Melody Maker cover

Video find: George Harrison sings "This Song" on German TV, 1977

Gordon Waller remembered

Gordon Waller, one half of Peter and Gordon, passed away over the weekend. The New York Times has an obituary.

Mr. Waller and Peter Asher played acoustic guitars and brought vocal harmonies reminiscent of the Everly Brothers to their own synthesis of folk, blues and rock ’n’ roll. An important ingredient in their success was a steady supply of songs written by Paul McCartney that the Beatles themselves did not record.

Here's the duo playing Paul's "World Without Love":

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beat Instrumental Paul McCartney cover

Paul to play on Letterman's roof

Paul McCartney will be playing on the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater as part of his "David Letterman" appearance tonight. News from the taping:

It was February of 1964 when The Beatles took the stage on The Ed Sullivan Show and sent the nation into a frenzy that would become "Beatlemania." This time around, however, McCartney passed on the stage for this performance, and instead took the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater with a surprise performance on the marquee for Wednesday's taping of the Late Show with David Letterman.

Thousands of fans packed the streets outside the theater to see the legend's spectacular return to his roots, a rare opportunity now with McCartney preparing to kick off what he's said will be his final tour.

McCartney opened appropriately with his song "Get Back," in which he sings, "Get back, get back / Get back to where you once belonged," during the chorus.

CBS to stream McCartney mini-concert after Letterman appearance will stream an exclusive mini concert by Paul McCartney following his first appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” tonight.

Journalists get sneak preview of Beatles remasters at Abbey Road

Last night, journalists got a chance to hear tracks from the remastered Beatles albums (out Sept. 9, as I keep saying). Here's info from the London Times' Daniel Finkelstein.

We were treated to a range of songs - Can't Buy Me Love, Yesterday, In My Life, Come Together, Here Comes the Sun among them - played first from the current CD and then from the remastered version.

Apple seemed nervous that some wouldn't be able to tell the difference. So I was surprised by how much difference there was.

We were told that the process was a little like removing the lint and allowing the performances to shine more clearly. And that was a good description.

The tracks are clearer and cleaner. In the case of Can't Buy Me Love, in particular, a very distracting fuzziness to the intro has disappeared.

The new versions are clearly superior. And the remastering was overdue

Is it a sufficient difference to make it worth replacing your old CDs? Well, I will. It isn't necessary, but if you listen to the Beatles a good deal, then it is worth it.

TV alert: Paul on David Letterman tonight

Paul McCartney Makes His First Visit To The Late Show
Wednesday, July 15th

The legendary musician, who, as part of The Beatles, made his U.S. television debut at the Ed Sullivan Theater on "The Ed Sullivan Show" 45 years ago, returns to that very stage to sit down for an interview with Dave. McCartney will also perform later in the broadcast.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sound samples of remastered Beatles White Album now available

Along with the previously available snippets from Revolver, you can now here tunes from the remastered version of the Beatles' White Album at Amazon. Scroll down a bit and look for the link on the right side of the page.

Again, this is streaming audio, so it's hard to appreciate how much better these CDs, out in September, will sound compared to the currently available batch. But word is the remasters are spectacular.

Beatles Teen Life George and Pattie cover, with Batman!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rare, acoustic version of Lennon's "Watching the Wheels" features in new film soundtrack

NOTE: It's been pointed out that this version of Lennon's tune first appeared on Capitol's John Lennon Acoustic compilation from a few years back.

A John Lennon acoustic demo of “Watching the Wheels,” appears on the soundtrack to writer/director Judd Apatow’s upcoming "Funny People." You can listen to it here.

The soundtrack also features Paul McCartney’s “Great Day” (from his 1997 album Flaming Pie) and Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” (co-written with George Harrison for the 1973 Ringo album).

Beatles Datebook magazine cover

Amazon posts sound samples from Beatles remasters

You can now hear 30-second sound samples from 12 tunes from the upcoming Beatles Revolver remaster.

To listen, go here and scroll down a bit for the links. Granted, you'll be listening via a computer, so the sound may not be as great as on a good stereo system. But it gives you an idea of the quality anyhow.

Preview "The Making of Revolver" mini documentary

See a clip from "The Making of Revolver," one of the mini-documentaries that will be included on the upcoming Beatles CD remasters. You also can see a clip from the "Making of Sgt. Pepper" mini doc at Amazon (scroll down a bit, it's on the right-hand side of the page.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Beatles Rave magazine cover

Beatles remastered box sets now on sale at Amazon!

Amazon is now selling the stereo and mono Beatles remasters box sets.

Beatles in Mono limited edition box set

Beatles in Stereo box set

More info on these here.

New pictures, details on Beatles remasters box sets

UPDATE: These boxes are now on sale at Amazon! Click the links or ads below to pre-order!

Capitol/EMI have released these new photos and details on the upcoming Beatles stereo and mono remastered box sets. The sets, and the individually available stereo albums are all out Sept. 9.

The Beatles (stereo box set)

U.S. MSRP: $259.98. Dimensions: 12"x6"x3".

Remastered albums in stereo -- 14 titles on 16 CDs) and one DVD with all 13 mini-documentaries. Each CD includes a unique album mini-documentary embedded in QuickTime, except "Past Masters, Vols. 1 & 2'".


* Hard black glossy lift top with magnet clasp
* CDs packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos
* The stereo albums have been remastered by Guy Massey, Steve Rooke, Sam Okell with Paul Hicks and Sean Magee
* Additional historical notes by Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley
* Additional recording notes by Allan Rouse and Kevin Howlett


* "Please Please Me" (CD debut in stereo)
* "With The Beatles" (CD debut in stereo)
* "A Hard Day's Night" (CD debut in stereo)
* "Beatles For Sale" (CD debut in stereo)
* "Help!"
* "Rubber Soul"
* "Revolver"
* "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (also includes 1987 notes, updated, and new intro by Paul McCartney)
* "Magical Mystery Tour"
* "The Beatles" aka "The White Album"
* "Yellow Submarine" (also includes original U.S. liner notes)
* "Abbey Road"
* "Let It Be"
* "Past Masters, Vols. 1 & 2" (contains new liner notes written by Kevin Howlett)

The Beatles In Mono (mono box set - limited edition)

Remastered albums in mono (11 titles on 12 CDs) and an essay written by Kevin Howlett.
U.S. MSRP: $298.98. Dimensions: 5.75"x5.38"x2.63"


* Hard white glossy slip box
* Limited edition
* CDs in 'mini LP' sleeves (replica artwork, sleeves and gatefolds)
* The mono mixes have been remastered by Paul Hicks, Sean Magee with Guy Massey and Steve Rooke


* "Please Please Me"
* "With The Beatles"
* "A Hard Day's Night
* "Beatles For Sale"
* "Help!" (CD also includes original 1965 stereo mix) -- mono mix CD debut
* "Rubber Soul" (CD also include original 1965 stereo mix) -- mono mix CD debut
* "Revolver" -- mono mix CD debut
* "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" -- mono mix CD debut
* "Magical Mystery Tour" -- mono mix CD debut
* "The Beatles" -- mono mix CD debut aka "The White Album"
* "Mono Masters"

Word is, from those who have heard 'em, that these remasters are phenomenally good, allowing us to hear the Fabs as never before, and much better than the CDs released in the late 1980s.

Do you need the mono box? I know I do. Why? Well, up until the late 1960s, mono is how most folks heard the Beatles. And the band itself spent much more time on mono mixes than they did with stereo. I have some mono releases on original vinyl and others via "needle-drop" CDs that have circulated among the Beatles bootleg community. I actually greatly prefer the mono versions of Sgt. Pepper and "The White Album" over the stereo versions. The mixes sound vastly different than those in stereo--if you've listened to the Beatles a lot, you can't help noticing the difference. And, to me, the mono mixes sound warmer, punchier and more direct than those in stereo.

Anyway, start saving your pennies. I know I am.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Famed Beatlegger Dr. Ebbetts quits!

Good news/bad news Dept.: Famed Beatles bootlegger Dr. Ebbetts, known for his excellent-sounding "needle drop" from-vinyl transfers of classic Beatles albums to CD, is calling it quits. This news is on good authority--from renowned Beatleg expert Doug Sulpy himself. So that's bad. The good news is why Doc Ebbetts is quitting:

Evidently, the Doc has heard samples which purport to be from the upcoming remasters, feels that these better his own work, and has decided it isn't worth it to carry on with the "core" of his collection rendered obsolete by the upcoming official releases.

Obviously, this means that the upcoming official remasters of the Beatles' albums are going to sound really, really good. Up until now, Dr. Ebbetts' releases have been the best way to hear the Fabs' output on disk, far surpassing the sound quality of the official CDs released in the late 1980s.

So, I bid a fond farewell to Doc E. and all the great work he's done tiding us over in the interim.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Paul sets record straight on Michael Jackson and Beatles copyrights

In response to the media buzz about Michael Jackson's death and what happens now with the Beatles' song copyrights, Paul puts some rumors to rest:

Some time ago, the media came up with the idea that Michael Jackson was going to leave his share in the Beatles songs to me in his will which was completely made up and something I didn't believe for a second.

Now the report is that I am devastated to find that he didn't leave the songs to me. This is completely untrue. I had not thought for one minute that the original report was true and therefore, the report that I'm devastated is also totally false, so don't believe everything you read folks!

In fact, though Michael and I drifted apart over the years, we never really fell out, and I have fond memories of our time together.

At times like this, the press do tend to make things up, so occasionally, I feel the need to put the record straight.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Former Fabs manager Allen Klein dies

Allen Klein, whose efforts to take over management of the Beatles hastened the band's split, died Saturday.

During a career spanning more than 50 years, the New Jersey-born accountant enjoyed a reputation as a savvy gangster-like figure. His ruthless business practices were reviled by many, but he also earned grudging respect for bullying labels into giving rich deals to his clients.

Ringo regaled

On the eve of his 69th birthday, musicians praise the oft-underrated drumming of Ringo Starr.

To this day, producers direct studio drummers to "play like Ringo." Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith sums it up thusly: "The greatest thing a drummer can contribute to a recorded song is the feel of it, and every Beatles song feels great."

Ringo "doesn't dazzle with flashy technique and pyrotechnics," says The Cars' lead guitarist, Elliot Easton. "What he does is so much more elusive and difficult: He plays songs on the drums. Anybody who has sat down behind a drum kit in the last 45 years owes him."