Thursday, May 20, 2010

George Harrison documentary to include unreleased music

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Titled "Living in the Material World: George Harrison," the documentary will take on the whole of the Beatles guitarist's life before, during and after his time in the world's most popular and successful band.

...Olivia [Harrison] and Scorsese acknowledge that their film will feature never-before-seen footage and personal recordings of Harrison's, as he saved everything and left a ton of material. Scorsese says that all of that personal music led the way to the nonchronological exploration they wanted to take.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Scorsese finishing his George Harrison documentary

From Variety:

Martin Scorsese revealed Thursday that he has finished shooting documentary "Living in the Material World: George Harrison," working in tandem with Olivia Harrison, the musician's widow.

...Scorsese said the former Beatles' life was a remarkable musical and spiritual voyage. He and Olivia Harrison both said George Harrison was always trying to find the balance between the physical and the spiritual, hence the film's title.

"I grew up a Roman Catholic and wanted to become a priest, so it is a subject matter that has never left me. The more you're in the material world, the more the search for serenity," Scorsese said.

...Film also uses never-before-seen footage in tracing the guitarist and songwriter's life, from his days with the Beatles until his death in 2001. It includes interviews with those closest to him, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Eric Idle, Tom Petty, Yoko Ono and Phil Spector.

Berkeley Beatles class popular with students

From CBS 5 TV:

It's one of the hottest classes on the UC Berkeley campus. Eager students took a quiz just to qualify, with a waiting list twice the capacity of the classroom.

...The course was conceived and taught by undergrad Max Keller.

"I've dedicated chunks of my life to creating this course," Keller said. "I took almost a year to build this course from the ground up. I researched; I read 15-20 books. I went back and I learned every aspect of them."

Keller is 22 years and old and wasn't even born when the band broke up in 1970.

"But it doesn't matter when you were born. People love them regardless of their age, their music is timeless," Keller said.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bidding tops $31,000 for signed Sgt. Pepper cover

Online bidding on a signed sleeve from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has already reached over $31,000, according to reports on

The website, which monitors rare items placed for auction on eBay, had cited that figure halfway into the 10-day auction, which ends in another two days.

Adding to the value of the sleeve is the fact that there are photographs documenting the four Beatles signing the album.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oasis singer developing Beatles film

Oasis singer Liam Gallagher plans a film adaptation of "The Longest Cocktail," an insider look at the Beatles' Apple Corps days by Richard DiLello.
The movie would feature actors portraying the Fab Four and cover the years when rock ’n’ roll was moving from its cool, ‘let it be’ vibe to the point where it was controlled by soulless multinational corporations.
The Longest Cocktail Party: An Insider's Diary of the Beatles, Their Million-Dollar Apple Empire, and Its Wild Rise and Fall

Friday, April 30, 2010

Photographer rediscovers negatives for 1963-64 Beatles photos

From Amateur Photographer:

A photographer has expressed surprise at the condition of negatives depicting his previously unseen images of The Beatles which had lain forgotten for more than 45 years.

Speaking to Amateur Photographer (AP), photographer Paul Berriff explained how he shot the images as an untrained 16-year-old while working as an editorial assistant on the Yorkshire Evening Post.

He said the 37 pictures of the Fab Four were among 850 negatives that have languished in various attics for more than four decades since the early 1960s.

The pictures show band members during unguarded moments on and off stage during a tour in 1963 and 1964.

Ringo interview on the BBC's Sound of the 70s

Ringo Starr guests on Johnnie Walker's "Sounds of the 70s Show." You can hear it for two more days here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Rutles! Neil Innes interviewed

Here's a nice, long interview with chief Rutle, former Bonzo and Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes.

...what made the Rutles truly remarkable was the involvement of George Harrison. The Beatles' guitarist played a cameo role of a TV newsman interviewing Palin outside the Rutles' "Banana" headquarters in London. More importantly, Harrison was able to draw superstars such as Mick Jagger (playing himself, of course), Ronnie Wood and Paul Simon into the project.
"George was in it up to his neck," recalls Innes, who will perform Rutles favourites at a rare club performance tomorrow night at Hamilton rock club This Ain't Hollywood. "He was really behind it. He brought in film from the archives so (director) Gary Weis could match it. George showed up for all the filming."

For all your Rutles needs:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

McCartney reissues in the works

Concord Music Group has plans to reissue more than two dozen Paul McCartney albums, beginning with Band on the Run in August with added bonus material.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Beatles remasters on vinyl set for Oct. 4 release

The Fabs catalog will be available as 16 LPs, available in a spiffy box set with 100-page book, or individually. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Monday, March 15, 2010

BBC working on biopic of Beatle pal Kenny Everett


The BBC is developing a 90-minute film called Number One in Heaven about Everett, who died of an Aids related illness in 1995 aged 50.

...Everett, born Maurice Cole in Seaforth, Lancashire, started his professional life as a pirate DJ for Radio London and Radio Luxemburg before joining Radio 1 in the mid 1960s. He befriended the Beatles and accompanied them on their 1966 tour of the US.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lennon solo singles set for 45 rpm release on Record Store Day

From the Beatles Examiner:

EMI announced today it will release a limited edition "John Lennon Singles Bag," a three disc set of 45 RPM vinyl singles by Lennon on April 17 in support of Record Store Day.

The set will contain three vinyl 45 RPM records with artwork. The three records are:

- Single 1: John Lennon “Mother” / Yoko Ono “Why”
- Single 2: John Lennon “Imagine” / John Lennon “It’s So Hard”
- Single 3: John Lennon “Watching the Wheels” / Yoko Ono “Yes, I’m Your Angel.”

More info on Record Store Day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

McCartney announces full slate of UK gigs

From Mojo:

Macca will also play massive shows in Glasgow and Cardiff (his first gig in Wales for 31 years), as well as headlining the Isle Of Wight Festival on June 13 and the Hard Rock Calling festival in London's Hyde Park on June 27.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

McCartney planning new U.S. tour

Paul McCartney has listed tour dates in Phoenix on March 28 and the Hollywood Bowl on March 30 with presumably more to follow.

Abbey Road Studios receives historical status

From Billboard:

Following speculation over the sale of Abbey Road studios, the U.K. government has listed the building at Grade II, which gives it a protected status.
..."It has huge cultural importance and a very special place in the hearts of recording artists and music lovers alike," said a government statement. "The new listing status will ensure that, although changes to the interior are not prohibited, care must be taken to ensure that any alterations with respect to its character and interest are fully considered.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beatles' studio NOT for sale

Now EMI is saying it won't be selling Abbey Road Studios.

After days of speculation over the fate of the site made famous by the eponymous Beatles album, EMI released a statement saying it believes the studios should remain under its ownership.

The firm, which is owned by private equity parent Terra Firma, also said it had rejected an offer for the historic building last year.

It did however say it was in talks with “interested and appropriate third parties” about funding a “revitalisation” project.

The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Report on the Plastic Ono Band gig in New York

From Billboard:

Yoko Ono revived the Plastic Ono Band for a concert on Tuesday night that was part tribute, part vanity project and all irresistible fun.

The show belonged as much to her son Sean Lennon, 34, as to Ono, 76. Looking and sounding like his famous father, Sean Lennon pulled together an all-star lineup that included Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and Bette Midler as special guests.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

EMI puts Abbey Road Studios up for sale!

Wouldn't it be an awesome site for a Beatles museum?

From the Financial Times:

Abbey Road, the London recording studios immortalised by the Beatles album of the same name, has been put on the market by EMI as the music group looks to extricate itself from the debt burden of Terra Firma’s 2007 leveraged buy-out.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Getting that Abbey Road drum sound

Here's a fascinating video for musicians and anyone interested in the recording techniques that gave us the Beatles sound:

Ringo featured on NPR

Hear a 20-minute interview with Ringo on National Public Radio's World Cafe.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

There'll be a new Starr on the Walk of Fame

Ringo is finally getting his due on Hollywood Boulevard.
Ringo is delighted, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce will be honoring him with a star in 2010 on the Walk Of Fame.

Ringo said, "A star for a Starr - what an honor and a privilege it is to be walked on! Peace & Love."

A special evening ceremony 7:00pm on Monday, February 8th, in front of Capitol Records in Hollywood to celebrate Ringo Starr AND the 50th Anniversary of the Walk of Fame!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Who sounds like "The Beatles on Steroids"?

Lots of folks, apparently.

EMI releasing McCartney soundtrack song

From the Daily Mirror:

Sir Paul McCartney has inadvertently found his new single is being released by EMI - the music giant he famously quit in 1997 after more than four decades, complaining he was being treated as "part of the furniture".

The track, (I Want To) Come Home, was recorded for the soundtrack of the movie Everybody's Fine and is due to be released on March 1.

The track comes out on Walt Disney Records, along with the rest of the soundtrack album - but in the UK and Europe, it will be issued by EMI, the label he quit after 45 years of Beatles and solo releases.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ringo interviews with NPR, New York Times

Ringo chats with National Public Radio and The New York Times.

"I'll say it again: I love being in a band," Starr says. "I love playing with other human beings. I've never practiced drums unless there was another human being in the room. If you could play, I'd play with you all night. But if I'm just playing by myself, it gets boring pretty quick."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Former Doctor Who plays John Lennon

One-time Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston is playing John Lennon in a new BBC mini-series.

The 45-year-old has donned glasses and grown his hair to take the role of the musical legend for new BBC4 drama Lennon Naked.

In a newly released publicity shot the former Time Lord wears a replica white suit worn by Lennon in 1968 at an art gallery with wife Yoko Ono.

The one-off 90-minute film, which looks at Beatle’s life from 1967 to 1971, will be part of the BBC’s new spring drama season.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

McCartney to present at Golden Globes this Sunday

Paul will be among those presenting awards on the show, which airs Sunday on NBC. Check yer locals.

Casting news on Yellow Submarine remake

From Billboard:

British actors Cary Elwes, Dean Lennox Kelly, Peter Serafinowicz and Adam Campbell are in negotiations to portray the members of the Fab Four in "Yellow Submarine," a remake set up at Disney.

...Kelly, who is currently on the BBC's "Robin Hood" series, is portraying John Lennon. Liverpool-born Serafinowicz ("Shaun of the Dead," "Couples Retreat") plays Paul McCartney.

Elwes, who worked with Zemeckis on "A Christmas Carol" and is in the upcoming "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn," will play George Harrison. Campbell will be Ringo Starr. His credits include "Epic Movie" and "Date Movie," and he will be seen on NBC's miniseries "Day One."

Free McCartney live album packaged with British newspaper

From Paul's official site:

Exclusive new Paul McCartney album ‘Live In Los Angeles’ free in this week’s Mail on Sunday newspaper. This twelve-track CD from Paul’s performance at the Amoeba Music record store in Hollywood on 27th June 2007 includes two-Grammy nominated performances – I Saw Her Standing There (Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance) and That Was Me (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) – along with ten other live favourites.

The full tracklist is:
Drive My Car
Only Mama Knows
Dance Tonight
C Moon
That Was Me
Here Today
Back In The USSR
Get Back
Hey Jude
Lady Madonna
I Saw Her Standing There

Available free with the Mail on Sunday in the UK & Ireland on Sunday 17th January 2010 only.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Yoko reunites Plastic Ono musicians: Clapton, Voorman and more

Original Plastic Ono Band members Eric Clapton and Klaus Voorman will join Yoko Ono any many others at a New York annivsary gig next month. Check out the poster:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

TV alert: Ringo on tap for Daily Show

Ringo Starr will guest on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" on Jan. 13.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Site posts exclusive Ringo interview and rehearsal footage

From the press release: (, a company devoted to the discovery, enjoyment and sharing of new music, today announced that they have an exclusive interview with Ringo Starr, with previously unreleased rehearsal footage of Starr with his band, available to fans on As part of the promotion, music fans can enter to win a pair of signed drumsticks at
The interview includes new insights into Ringo's collaboration with Paul McCartney and Joe Walsh, his attempts to play Beatles Rock Band, and his final answer to who is his favorite Beatle.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vinyl box sets of Beatles remasters in the works

According to Mojo:

"They are incredibly complicated in terms of getting the masters right and getting the packages right," added Jones. "How do you assemble them? How do you put them in a box? How much do they cost? We want to make sure we're doing it right and that people get real value from it."

Yoko will pen memoirs

Yoko Ono is planning to write a book about her years with John Lennon.

She said: "I would love to do it. I just have to find the time.

"It will be my next book, which will be written in the next five years."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Review: Treasures of the Beatles

If you've seen any of those "vault" books, you know the format for this one: A lavishly produced volume sporting lots of glossy pictures and little envelopes containing accurate reproductions of various artifacts.

In this case, it's the Beatles, so you get lots of fascimile tickets, handbills and posters. Kinda cool, but also a bit limited. For one thing, the focus for most of the goodies is the band's early years. So there are lots of fake tickets to concerts, etc. But the later years--including the Apple years, which would've yielded lots of interesting ephemera--are skimmed over.

All this is accompanied by a pretty routine overview of the band's history, which anyone interested in the collection's artifacts could likely recite from memory. So I'm not really sure who "Treasures of the Beatles" is intended for. I suppose a first-generation fan--someone who lost his or her ticket stubs to the real shows and is charmed by the reproductions--might enjoy it.

But for most fans, it's hardly an essential purchase. The Beatles "Anthology" book has many more photos of the band and various artifacts from their career and fascinating text to boot. And there are plenty of other Fab books of nostalgic interest out there as well.

I can imagine a more in-depth book of this sort, featuring reproductions of more obscure items (fan club items, picture sleeve art, buttons, press handouts, etc.) being of great interest to Beatles collectors, but this one isn't terribly exciting. I suspect it was a Christmas-time cash-in for the publisher more than anything else.

Review: Nowhere Boy soundtrack

The film this soundtrack accompanies hasn't opened here yet, but I imagine it makes a suitable backing to the story, which charts the young John Lennon's coming of age.

Naturally, the musical focus is on early rock'n'roll: Elvis, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Cochran, the usual suspects. A nice touch is the addition of a few newly recorded tunes by the "Nowhere Boys" (the press release and liners on the promo copy I received don't identify the musicians' identities. These are skiffle-like covers of rock'n'roll tunes and the early Lennon-McCartney tune "In Spite of All the Danger," which attempt to capture the early Fabs' sound.

The only tune by the real John Lennon is "Mother."

All in all, a good collection of 50s rock'n'roll standards. Not something you need if you already have such tunes in your library, but I suppose it may serve as a nice introduction to viewers new to this era of rock and to the story of Lennon's early years.

Complete track list:

Disc: 1
1. Jerry Lee Lewis - Wild One
2. Dickie Valentine - Mr Sandman
3. Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats - Rocket 88
4. Elvis Presley - Shake, Rattle & Roll
5. Wanda Jackson - Hard Headed Woman
6. Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You
7. The Nowhere Boys - Maggie May
8. The Nowhere Boys - That'll Be The Day
9. Eddie Bond & The Stompers - Rockin' Daddy
10. Eddie Cochran - Twenty Flight Rock
11. The Nowhere Boys - That's Alright Mamma
12. The Nowhere Boys - Raunchy
13. The Nowhere Boys - Movin' and Groovin'
14. Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog
15. Gene Vincent And The Blue Caps - Be-Bop-A-Lula
16. Aaron Johnson - Hello Little Girl
17. The Nowhere Boys -In Spite Of All The Danger
Disc: 2
1. John Lennon - Mother
2. Chuck Berry - Roll Over Beethoven
3. Bill Haley & His Comets - Rock Around The Clock
4. Little Richard - Rip It Up
5. Elvis Presley - Baby, Let's Play House
6. Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue
7. Buddy Knox - Party Doll
8. Bobby Fuller Four - I Fought The Law
9. Vince Taylor & His Playboys - Brand New Cadillac
10. Dale Hawkins - Susie-Q
11. Shirley & Lee - Let The Good Times Roll
12. Barrett Strong - Money (That's What I Want)
13. Fats Domino - Ain't That A Shame
14. Lloyd Price - Stagger Lee
15. Frankie Vaughan - These Dangerous Years
16. The Del-Vikings - Come Go With Me

Friday, January 1, 2010

Beatles chart best-selling album of last decade

The Fab Four's compilation disc, 1, was the best seller in America, moving 11.5 million units during the decade. More...