Powered by FeedBurner

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

SYSTEM of a Down frontman Serj Tankian is covering 'Girl' from Rubber Soul on his current tour reports Blabbermouth.

Tankian said: "For the other one, I asked the band, 'Do you guys know any songs? Any cool covers we could play?' The pianist was like, 'I could do 'Girl' by The Beatles.' I'm like, 'All right, let's try it.' We kind of tweaked it our own way and it came out kind of funny."

Late Beatles still earn

JOHN Lennon is the second highest earning dead celebrity according to Forbes.

Elvis raked in $49 million while John Lennon's $44 million in 2007 was double George Harrison's posthumous earnings last year.

Pepper band bios at a click

Stare at the iconic cover to Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Who's that chap up in the corner by Bob Dylan? Why, my foolish fop of a friend, don't you know it's Simon Rodia, the Italian-born artist who built the extraordinary Watts Towers in Los Angeles from pretty much whatever he could lay his hands on?

Thanks to a very smart piece of electronic wizardry and marketing from the
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography you can now click on many of Pepper's legendary crew and find out more.

British pop artist Peter Blake put together the collage from a list of those the fabs held dear and once you see the site you'll see the cover was made for the internet, "These are our heroes find out more," The Beatles seemed to challenge their audience back in the Summer of Love and now you can with ease.

I defy anyone not to get at the very least a few minutes entertainment from the click and go show, which also links to America's national biography
website and I got far longer than that out of it on my fascinating ramble.

Of course, the Pepper sleeve has long been of fascination to Beatle types (including Paul is dead theorists) - which is one of the reasons it's such a success.

The biographies are exhaustive and entertaining and it's a cracking piece of marketing by the Oxford Dictionary Of National Biography.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Macca whacks out Beatles hits

AS predicted Sir Paul McCartney trolled out some Beatle oldies for a 3,000 Roundhouse Crowd at his BBC Electric Proms show on Thursday.

The BBC is showing the gig at its website and a full list confirms the following Beatles' songs made the set, 'Magical Mystery Tour', 'Got To Get You Into My Life', 'The Long And Winding Road', 'Follow The Sun', 'Blackbird', 'Eleanor Rigby', 'USSR', 'I Got A Feeling', 'Hey Jude', 'Let It Be', 'Lady Madonna', 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Get Back'.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

High times recalled by Help director

RICHARD Lester is doing the promotional rounds for the release of the spruced up DVD of Help and there's a nice interview with the director of the first two Beatle features in The Times here.

There's much talk of John, Paul, George and Ringo's enjoyment of the herbal produce of the West Indian locations in which they shot parts of the 1965 movie.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Surely some mistake! Fabs only second in soundtrack poll

THE Beatles' soundtrack to A Hard Day's Night was pipped into first place by Prince's Purple Rain in a poll among readers of Vanity Fair.

'I Should Have Known Better', 'And I Love Her' and 'If I Fell' weren't as good as 'When Doves Cry' and 'I Would Die 4 U' readers of the US publication reckoned.

The top ten is: 1. Purple Rain, 2. A Hard Day's Night, 3. The Harder They Come, 4. Pulp Fiction, 5. The Graduate, 6. Superfly, 7. Trainspotting, 8. Saturday Night Fever, 9. American Graffiti, 10. The Big Chill.

All You Need Is Love Me Tender

PEACE has won the day in the battle of The Beatles and Elvis Aaron Presley and their accolytes.

Newspaper headline writers have had a field day with the dispute between Elvisly Yours owner Sid Shaw and Howard Cohen, owner of The London Beatles Shop over a shared basement - not far from Sherlock Holmes's fictional 221b Baker Street as it happens.

Currently running top of the headline charts is We Can Work It Out. There's lovely.

Stay in a Beatle hotel

IF you need a place to keep your face in its jar by the door, then you can now stay at Eleanor Rigby's place in Liverpool according to the Liverpool Daily Post.

The family behind the Eleanor Rigby Hotel already have a bar called Lennon's and are banking on filling their 18 rooms in part at least with visitors tempted by Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Drive His Car - George's Aston for sale

"I'VE found a driver and that's a start" you may say if you are very wealthy, and you can now put your driver in a George Harrison-owned car.

It's A platinum-colored Aston Martin DB5 and will cost you $250,000 to $300,000 if estimates are correct at RM Auctions Inc.

George took possession of the Aston on January 1, 1965

McCartney interview in MP3

THERE'S a lovely Paul McCartney interview on this musical blog, and then there's a piece about the interview (fear of your heroes) with Macca and also an MP3 you can play to hear some extracts from the conversation between Paul and the writer Lilou.

Highly recommended.

A Week To Go Till Help release

JUST a week to go before the technicolour wonder that is The Beatles' Help! is yours to own on little silver discs.

The film is out on October 29 in the UK and October 30 in the United States of America.

Eschewing the faux day-in-the-life realism that made A Hard Day's Night a favourite with critics Help! doesn't usually garner such praise and is far, far, sillier.

But you can't argue with the soundtrack: :'Help!', 'You're Going To Lose That Girl', 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away', 'Ticket To Ride', 'I Need You', 'The Night Before' and 'Another Girl'.

And extras, where are my extras? On the second disc, which includes a making of documentary, a missing scene, cast and crew memories, three trailers. If you want more extras you'll have to shell out for the deluxe box set including a facsimile of director Richard Lester's marked up script, copies of film publicity and a 60 page book including an appreciation of the film by Martin Scorsese of all people - perfect for Christmas.

You can pre-order here.

And here's a little snippet from you tube:

Friday, 19 October 2007

Kurt's Black Beatles Sabbath

A NEW film on the tragically shortened life of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain confirm the unhappy grungemeister's love for the Beatles.

Kurt Cobain: About a Son is reviewed positively here, recounting how gifts of Beatles albums from a favourite aunt inspired Cobain's rock blueprint - Beatle-ish melodicism delivered with Black Sabbath's power.

Michael Azerrad's non-fiction film has already been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival with attendant warnings that it is not easy viewing.

DVD features new footage

A NEW DVD shows behind the scenes and fan shot footage of The Beatles.

There's a pretty positive review of The Unseen Beatles here. It's a BBC/Warners release and from what I can find out on the web it may well not be available in the United Kingdom but is available from many webshops.

More Macca memories in double disc

COULD Christmas be on the way? Paul McCartney is reissuing his Memory Almost Full album in a deluxe edition with a DVD.

As well as footage from a 'secret' show at The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, on June 7, there are additional songs too: Dusty Springfield cover, '
In Private', 'Why So Blue' and '222', promo clips from 'Ever Present Past' and 'Dance Tonight', complete the package.

Beatles track 'Drive My Car' is among the live tracks with 'Dance Tonight', 'Nod Your Head', 'House of Wax' and 'Only Mama Knows'.

Beware The Beatles! Spammers use MP3 bait

IT'S a compliment in a way, showing people still click with and on The Beatles, but internet security experts message labs are warning that MP3 files promising The Fab Four are delivering Mean Mr Mustard stock tips.

Elvis Presley and Britney Spears are also featuring in the scam which promises beautiful music but delivers an audio stock pitch.

So beware attachments, elvis.mp3, britney.mp3, and beatles.mp3.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Pete Best article

FAMED as the unluckiest man in pop, you can read an article on Pete Best here. It's billed as an interview but there are few quotes, none the less it's an interesting read.

Apple insider's second Beatle book

PRODUCER and former manager of the American division of Apple Records Ken Mansfield (pictured) is to release his second insider account of the Fabs: The White Book - The Beatles, The Bands, The Biz, An Insider's Look at An Era.

A man who stood on the rooftop while The Beatles blasted out their final live performance over Saville Row can certainly say he saw history. There's an excellent website featuring an excerpt and a video interview with the author.

Former president of Apple Records, Jack Oliver, said of the author, who is now described as a Christian comedian and motivational speaker: " He is one of the few insiders left that bore witness to the highs and lows of those insane days when we ruled the world."

This is Mansfield's second memoir of his Apple days following, The Beatles, The Bible and Bodega Bay.

In fact, the author now uses the work of the band as part of his Christian ministry - the luxury lifestyle led to personal disaster before Mansfield was born-again.

As well as The Beatles,
Willie Nelson, the Beach Boys, Stan Kenton, Judy Garland, Merle Haggard, Lou Rawls, Andy Williams, David Cassidy, Dolly Parton, and the Flying Burrito Brothers feature on Mansfields CV.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Murray's Beatles Mad Day Out pictures

PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Murray had an assignment on July 28, 1968. The job? Shoot 'a pop group' with veteran war photographer Don McMullin.

The 'pop group' turned out to be you know who and Murray's images from what was the last official Beatle publicity shoot are currently in Glasgow, prints can be bought from the Original Art Shop.

Liverpool Museum celebrates Paul and John meeting

THE stage on which Paul McCartney watched The Quarrymen play on Saturday, July 6 1957 is being restored at the Museum of Liverpool.

St Peter's Church Hall, Woolton won its place in musical history as the place where John met Paul for the first time and the pair traded guitar licks. When the hall was renovated the city's museum snapped up the stage, which it hopes will be a major part of its planned revamp.

Staff at the museum want to find the rest of the audience too, so they can get the details of the reconstructed stage right.

John Lennon said of the most famous church fete in musical history: "That was the day, the day I met Paul, that it started moving."

Paul Gallagher of the Museum of Liverpool said: "This stage is very significant in the history of popular music. If John hadn't met Paul that day there could have been no Beatles or the international popularity of the Liverpool sound which spearheaded a musical and social revolution."

The museum is also hosting an exhibition of photographs by the late Hungarian-born photographer Michael Peto.

The pictures, taken during the filming of the Fab's 1965 film Help, were bequeathed to the University of Dundee and this is their first airing in The Beatle's home city.

Peto's Beatle work is also available in a limited edition book from Genesis Publications and the University of Dundee.

Beatles book looks deep into cultural impact.

CAN'T Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain and America is garnering good reviews for author Jonathan Gould.

Gould (pictured below) is a musician himself, well in deference to the olde joke, a drummer, and the book has been 20 years in the writing, there's an extract here and it's available from the usual outlets and as an e-book from Random House's website.

Claiming to take a deeper cultural look at the life and music of the Fab Four according to Blogcritic reviewer Glen Boyd, "What makes this book an essential read is the way Gould recounts the events with the careful eye to detail of an historian, while remembering the music with the fondness of a devoted fan."

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Paul Versus Pete

THE Observer's monthly music magazine features an interview of Sir Paul McCartney conducted by Babyshambles lead singer and ex-Libertine Pete Doherty - who was 'released' from rehab for the occasion.

It's an interesting conversation between two musicians which opens with Doherty giving 'the scouser who has everything' a silver chip fork - a new item in the cutlery draw to The Cast Iron Shore - and rambles from clothes to Punk to paparazzi to The Smiths to Tony Hancock.

Sir Paul Versus Peter Docherty in full.

Mr Doherty does his Shambolic thing, in a field.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Hip Hop Beatles - first sample approved?

RAPPER Ja Rule has told Billboard magazine that he has permission to use a sample of 'Eleanor Rigby' on the track 'Judas' on his forthcoming album The Mirror, while New York collective Wu Tang Clan have covered 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' as 'The Heart Gently Weeps'.

Here's the Wu Tang track from You Tube, but with no visuals:

And, producer and Wu Tang leader The RZA talks in this interview about the track from the 8 Diagrams album and asking Dhani Harrison to play a 1961 accoustic Gretsch on the track which also features Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante and Erykah Badu.

Dhani Harrison said: "EMI freaked out about this whole thing, but it's less about a major corporation talking to another major corporation, it's more like two friends - RZA and myself - talking about working together."

"He asked me to see if he could use the song, which is owned by us [the Harrison Estate], and we said yes. It's not the original master - they've never been cleared - but the song is used compositionally."

Ja Rule told Billboard: "We got the clearance, that's a win in itself!"

An entirely personal view is that I quite enjoyed the Wu Tang track - it's very laid back and low tempo and Erikah Badu has a beautiful voice. I'm sure Beatles fans will listen out for Mr Rule's effort with great interest.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Oh I say, how tiny!

WHEN the question is "Why has he done that?" the answer is usually "Art!" That's why Philadelphia artist Steve McLaughlin has compressed the Beatles' British albums into a one hour long MP3.

McLaughlin, a sound artist, speeded up the oeuvre 800 times in order to compress it into his one hour sound box, producing a very odd sounding skate through the history of the classic Beatles output called 'Run For Your Life'.

Though the John Lennon who produced 'Revolution Number Nine' would surely have time for this type of manipulation and Paul McCartney enjoyed the work of avant garde composers like Stockhausen and as Fireman has released his own electronica, working with Youth and Super Fury Animals and remixer Freelance Hellraiser.

No sooner had this feat been achieved, then of course people started to slow it down again - like this version of 'Tomorrow Never Knows', with its strangely filtered sound.

Of course the ones who got there first were two puppet pigs. At the height of Beatlemania the BBC's Pinky and Perky raced their warbling way through 'All My Loving'.


ALL four Beatles can now be downloaded with news from Parlophone that nine George Harrison albums are available on-line.

All Things Must Pass in its 2001 remaster adds
five tracks to the 1970 original.

Thirty Three & 1/3 is up in its 2004 remaster with extra track 'Tears Of The World'.

George Harrison is another 2004 remaster, a demo of "Here Comes The Moon" is the bonus.

Somewhere In England, again a 2004 remaster, with George's tribute to John 'All Those Years Ago'. Your bonus track? A demo version of 'Save The World'.

Gone Troppo, 2004 remaster, with a demo version of 'Mystical One'.

Cloud Nine, 2004 remaster, with 'Shanghai Surprise' and 'Zig Zag' as extra tracks.

Live In Japan, a 2004 remaster of this 1991 recording of Tokyo and Osaka dates. Features 'Taxman', 'Something', 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Here Comes The Sun'.

Brainwashed was a posthumous release from 2002.

Living In The Material World in its 2006 remaster is new to itunes.

George's Widow Olivia said: "It is exciting that George's catalogue is finally available for downloading. He had begun the digital remastering of his albums but had no idea how the digital world would change the way we access and listen to music."

ITUNES now has a George section.