Monday, 4 May 2015

Mystery Star Club track solved

Singer Tanya Day, here backed by The Beatles at the Star Club, 1962
One of the tracks from the recent upgraded collection of songs from the Beatles and other artists' Star Club recordings was a puzzle. The mystery has now been solved, care of Ted Taylor and his former Star Club buddies. The track listing tentatively listed the track as "Big River" with Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes backing Carol Elvin. After extensive detective work, with theories about it being the Beatles with barmaid Bettina, it turns out the song in question is the old Duane Eddy track, "Shazam", and it is indeed performed by Carol Elvin, who sings and plays lead guitar, but she is backed by Tony Sheridan and his band, with Roy Young on the Hammond organ.

Carol Elvin
Born in Croydon on 28th August, 1940, Carol Elvin was a dancer, band vocalist and appeared in panto and concert parties. She travelled the country and abroad including a stint at the famous Star Club, Hamburg - at the same time as The Beatles. In January 1965 she briefly became label mates with The Beatles when she released a single on Parlophone Records, "Don't Leave Me"/"'Cos I Love You" (R5228).

Saturday, 2 May 2015

New! Beatles Monthly Book

#1 - 1963
A new book featuring rare and unseen photos from the archives of The Beatles Book (Monthly), as well as a historical look at this famous publication, is due to be published in August.

The Beatles Book, The Beatles Monthly Book or The Beatles Book Monthly, this was the magazine Beatles fans subscribed to in the sixties. Starting in August 1963 with the full blessing of The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein, 77 of these magazines were issued - one every month -  all through the sixties, featuring exclusive photos of the Beatles in the recording studios or elsewhere, and the articles in the book were written by insiders like Tony Barrow and Mal Evans.

With each new issue, Beatle fans worldwide would voraciously devour the contents from cover-to-cover, discovering the Fab Four's latest news and activities and most of all, savouring the exclusive B&W and later colour photographs, captured by in-house photographer, Leslie Bryce.

After the initial run, the magazines were reprinted when the Beatles' came back into fashion again in May 1976, first as a supplement to the Record Collector magazine, then on their own, with wraparound pages (initially eight, but later expanded to sixteen) with then current news from the solo Beatles and Beatles activities. An early editor of the wraparound news pages was a young Mark Lewisohn, who couldn't help doing some groundbreaking work. Among other things, in 1980 the 22 year old Lewisohn put together the first index over The Beatles' BBC recordings and appearances.

After all 77 magazines had been reissued, which happened with the September 1982 issue, brand new editions of the magazine continued the series, utilising photos from the vast magazine archives, as well as new stories and photos of the solo Beatles activities, plus providing an ads section where Beatles memorabilia could be bought, sold and traded - and friendships made. In a pre-internet world, The Beatles Book again managed to become a much cherished source of all things Beatle for english speaking fans and collectors, providing a monthly fix for the afflicted.

Publication continued until issue 321 in January 2003, when the magazine finally folded.

#193 - from May 1992.
In 2005, a "Best of Beatles Book" was published as a 304 pages hardcover book, featuring stories and photos from the original sixties magazines on glossy, high quality paper, many photos presented in much better quality than in the original magazine.

2005: The Best of The Beatles Book.

The magazine’s photographer, Leslie Bryce, had unrivalled access to the group throughout the 1960s, travelling the world and taking thousands of photographs. During the magazine's run only a small fraction of these photographs were printed - and then often altered in some way. The Beatles Book Monthly captured the Beatles' development from British provincial theatres - through foreign tours including their ground-breaking first American visit - and onwards to the band's withdrawal into the recording studio. It was unique in its access - as well as concert tours and television shows, the band were photographed off duty, at their homes and in the studio - locales that were generally out-of-bounds to most Beatle observers. This unique and original photographic record preserves many important moments within the Beatles' career, providing a historically important glimpse into the world's greatest ever entertainment phenomenon. The Beatles Book Photo Archives are now online, they have a website here, licensing selected photos for use in other publications. The collection consists of more than 3,500 different photos.

Now for 2015, a new book will be published, Looking Through You presents a selection of over 300 images from the precious Beatles Book photo archive, many unpublished or unseen in their original form from the original negatives, as well as the story behind the success of the regular Beatle bulletin.

2015: Looking Through You
The new 192 pages book will be published by Omnibus Press on August 10, 2015 in both hardcover and Kindle editions. ISBN-10: 1783058676, ISBN-13: 978-1783058679.
The book is currently available to pre-order at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

HMC back on track

The new TMOQ Gazettes are finally coming
Looks like the underground HMC bootleg company has overcome its problems, we have been told that the first copies of their new TMOQ gazette releases have been shipped. The most eagerly awaited of these (by us, anyway), is TMOQ Gazette no. 19, "The Long and Winding Road", which gives us the Beatles documentary that Neil Aspinall put together. It would be shelved for decades, and eventually reworked into the multipart series "The Beatles Anthology" in the mid nineties, now here's a chance to see what it looked like in 1972. The track list of the documentary gives us an idea:

It all starts with an intro taken from the Yellow Submarine film, so it's probably "Pepperland.." etc. Nice opening. Then we go back to the Cavern Club for "Some Other Guy", the Hamburg era is skipped, Ringo is already in the group and Neil's friend Pete Best doesn't seem to be in the picture at all. Next up is "Please Please Me", it'll be interesting to see what the footage may be. You'll notice that the first single, "Love Me Do" is not here. In between interviews, there's some footage of "From Me To You" before we go to Manchester for the colour film of "She Loves You".

So that's the British Beatlemania done with and we skip Sweden and Paris, going straight to the Ed Sullivan Show for the hit that fuelled American Beatlemania, "I Want To Hold Your Hand".
What puzzles me next is that we then skip the first two Beatles films, "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!", moving forward to the performance of "Yesterday" from Blackpool Night Out.
Moving swiftly on, we get a medley of songs. This could be a way of summing up the two films, or it could just be the hits medley from Around The Beatles?

Then it's off to Shea Stadium, first for the token Ringo song "Act Naturally" (probably still with the record as a soundtrack) and then the grand finale with John going mental on "I'm Down". Various interviews follow, and could be a means to sum up "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" before we go straight to 1967 and the "Strawberry Fields Forever" promo film, hopefully not with the intercut footage from home movies that were inserted into the "Anthology" presentation of this film. "A Day In The Life" is the collage film we all know, that was recently featured on The Beatles' YouTube channel, before we are promised some new footage of "All You Need Is Love". You'll recall that "Anthology" used the "Our World" footage, but had it colourised. "Hello Goodbye" is a mix of the three promo clips, which is the same approach taken by "Anthology", but likely to be executed differently.

Whereas the "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" films were thinly if at all represented, we get three songs from Magical Mystery Tour: George's "Blue Jay Way", John's "I Am The Walrus" and Paul's "Your Mother Should Know".

No "Lady Madonna" or India footage mentioned, we go to a rehearsal of "Hey Jude", or more likely, the reenactment rehearsal filmed for Music! - An Experiment in Television, followed by an interview.

The White Album seems to be missing in action, as we now move fast forward to January 1969 for some outtakes from Let It Be, interestingly "You Win Again", "Yoko's bit" (could be more of what we saw in the 1984 "Yoko Ono Then and Now" video cassette) and "I've Got A Feeling".

It ends with the final promo film, "Something", followed by possibly "The End" from Abbey Road, set to, curiously,  Magical Mystery Tour film footage, replaced by film footage from the Beatles' final photo session in Tittenhurst Park for the "Anthology" version of the documentary.

You'll remember that The Beatles' all used to have copies of this film, which they entertained their guests with. George Harrison is said to have shown the film to Eric Idle for inspiration, as he was about to produce the mockumentary "All You Need Is Cash" with the fictional Rutles group.

Bonus tracks:
Rain (full colour, alternate footage)
Strawberry Fields Forever (full colour, alternate footage)
A Day In The Life (full colour, alternate footage)
Paperback Writer (Black and white promotional film #4)

Of the bonus films, the three first ones are sourced from silent films, the HMC company has added alternate sound to them.

This is a 1DVD/1CD package, but the CD seems to be of just familiar material.

The Ultimate Ed Sullivan DVD Collection
The vol. 20 Gazette is a 2 DVD set, titled "The Ultimate Ed Sullivan DVD Collection".  Unlike the officially released set from Sofa Productions, we concentrate on the Beatles' bits, and it's also going to include the rehearsal for the 16 February 1964 show, a rehearsal of the 1965 show, including an alternate version of "Help!", as well as the 1966 show (introduced by the Beatles in England, colour promo clips of "Rain" and "Paperback Writer" were shown), and the 1967 show, which was just one of the "Hello Goodbye" clips. The set promises upgraded remastered sound, plus the complete Miami 64 show with original commercials in a much higher quality than a recent download copy had.

Last year, HMC gave us TMOQ Gazette Vol. 18, which was Ron Furmanek's restored and remastered "The Beatles at Shea Stadium" from the early nineties, still the best incarnation of that film, while waiting for the official release.

The TMOQ Gazette discography:

2012:
TMOQ Gazette 1: HMC13. Beatles - Get Back Continued (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 2: HMC14. Beatles - Uncovered 45 Tracks
TMOQ Gazette 3: HMC15. John Lennon - Oddities (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 4: HMC16. Beatles - Rehearsals At 3 Savile Row (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 4: HMC17. Paul McCartney - Des Moines 10-27-2005 (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 6: HMC18. Paul McCartney USA Live! 2002 (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 7: HMC19. George Harrison - Georgeous (2CD)

2013:
TMOQ Gazette 8: HMC20. Paul McCartney - Tug Of Peace (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 9: HMC21. The Beatles - Aunties Fantasy (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 10: HMC22. The Beatles - A Doll’s House (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 11: HMC23. John Lennon - Oddities Vol.2 (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 12: HMC24. The Beatles - We Are The Eggmen (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 13: HMC25. George Harrison - Last Live Show (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 14: HMC26. Paul McCartney - V.S.O.P.  Very Superior Old Paul (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 15: HMC27. The Beatles - Take It Off (2CD)

2014:
TMOQ Gazette 16: HMC28. John Lennon - Oddities Vol.3 (2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 17: HMC29. Paul McCartney - Denver 11-1-2005 (Soundboard 2CD)
TMOQ Gazette 18: HMC30. Beatles - Shea (1DVD/1CD)

2015:
TMOQ Gazette 19: HMC31. The Beatles - The Long And Winding Road (1DVD/1CD)
TMOQ Gazette 20: HMC32. The Beatles - The Ultimate Ed Sullivan DVD Collection (2 DVDs)

Back in 2008, HMC was also the company responsible for the release of "Revolution Take... Your Knickers Off!" (HMC 006), which gave us that fantastic 11:32 version of Revolution #1, among other things.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Another Girl live!

The uncredited actress who embodied "Another Girl" in the film.
Paul McCartney performed The Beatles song "Another Girl" at Japan's Budokan Hall in Tokyo on Tuesday. That particular song appeared on The Beatles' 1965 album "Help!" but the group never played it live. It was also McCartney's first public performance of the song, so he probably had to go back and listen to the record to remember all the words and chords. A fan captured the performance and uploaded it to YouTube.



McCartney opted to play his Höfner bass guitar on the song live. On record, he famously also played lead guitar, 1965 being the year which saw Paul starting to really take up the guitar again for group recordings. The original recording was commited to tape in February 1965, and a music video (of sorts) was part of the "Help!" motion picture.

Still from the "music video" of "Another Girl" in "Help!"

The song was written by Paul while he and his then girlfriend Jane Asher was on holiday in Tunisia. We hope McCartney will keep the song in the set list for a while, allowing us to experience it live when the tour continues. It may not be the most profound of Beatles songs, in fact it sounds almost like a blueprint for a Monkees tune, but it sure is a catchy ditty, and Paul's distinctive lead guitar licks were most unusual for its time.

Meanwhile, Paul has been adding dates to his current tour, and he keeps hopping between Europe and USA so much during his summer stint, he may as well change the name of the tour to the "Here There and Everywhere" tour. Here's a list of upcoming concerts:

May:
02: Jamsil Olympic Stadium, Seoul, South Korea, and a break before the first of the European legs:
23: The O2, London, Great Britain
24: The O2, London (Second Night), Great Britain
27: Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, Great Britain
28: Echo Arena, Liverpool, Great Britain

June:
05: Nouveau Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France
07: ZiggoDome, Amsterdam, Netherlands
08: ZiggoDome, Amsterdam (Second Night), Netherlands
11: Stade de France, Paris, France. Then it's over to America:
19: Firefly Music Festival, Dover, DE, USA
21: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA
23: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA, USA
25: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC, USA

July, and it's back to Europe again:
04: Roskilde Festival, Roskilde, Denmark
07: Telenor Arena, Fornebu, Norway
09: Tele2 Arena, Johanneshov, Sweden, and then back to America:
31: Lollapalooza Festival, Chicago, IL, USA

Some of these dates were recently added to the tour, more may come.

Monday, 27 April 2015

The stereo Star Club

The Beatles: Zu Laut! Live at the Star Club Hamburg
The same people who recently released the ultimate BBC upgrade collection now have made available a mock stereo version of The Beatles Live at The Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, 1962.
The digital stereo processing allows you to discern each instrument better than previous mono releases of the material.
The new release is a 2CD + 1DVD package with the title "The Beatles: Zu Laut! Live at the Star Club Hamburg".

Track listing of the two CDs
The DVD contains a load of 1966 interviews with Peter Eckhorn, Manfred Weissleder, Hans Walther Braun (who plays part of his tape) and Bettina the barmaid from the Star Club. For the first time, these interviews have been translated and are presented with selectable subtitles on the disc. It also has an an 80 minute slideshow with about 200 photos covering their time in Hamburg from 1960 to 1962, set to the soundtrack of the CDs, plus an onscreen transcript of what is being sung and spoken. The transcript shows up on screen by default but you can disable it if you just want to watch the pictures. Other material on the dvd includes: archival footage of the Reeperbahn and Grosse Freiheit, a guided tour of the Grosse Freiheit with Tony Sheridan, the 1972 Nationwide feature on the Star Club Tapes, a five minute sequence shot inside the Star Club for the tv series Hafenpolizei in 1962, footage shot inside the Top Ten and Star Club in 1966, Bruno Koschmider's films of the Bambi, Indra and Kaiserkeller; and colour footage of the Reeperbahn and Grosse Freiheit from 1959.

The CD/DVD package has been provided free of charge from the same community of Beatles fans and collectors that gave us the BBC collection. No doubt it will soon be ripped off by bootleggers. Since the Star Club recordings were made in the out-of-copyright-in-EU year of 1962, it may even be released legally in Europe.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Rare Apple pressing of Delaney & Bonnie LP for sale

The rare Delaney & Bonnie record.
Parlogram Records are ebaying an excellent condition 1969 UK pressing of 'SAPCOR 7', "The Original Delaney and Bonnie" LP. This is the rarest item in the Apple catalogue. Delaney & Bonnie & Friends were a Rock/Soul Group fronted by husband & wife duo Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, and in early 1969 they signed to Elektra Records to record their second album 'Accept No Substitutes'. The album was recorded at Elektra's recording studio and on hearing pre-release tapes of the album, George Harrison offered the group a contract with Apple Records, which the group accepted despite already been contracted to Elektra.

The Apple label, side 1

Apple's plan was to release Delaney & Bonnie's second album 'Accept No Substitutes' under the title of 'Delaney & Bonnie & Friends'. Apple got as far as starting production of the album before Elektra declared Apple's contract void and the pressing was subsequently stopped. Interestingly, it was Electra who supplied Apple with the stampers/metal work which were used to press the records at EMI's Hayes factory. After Elektra had decided to make Delaney and Bonnie stick to their original contract, most of the small batch pressed at EMI's Hayes factory were destroyed and only a handful are known to survive. No covers were prepared for the Apple release and none have ever been known to exist, but this copy is housed in an original Apple Records inner sleeve, with a standard factory laminated album sleeve.

The album cover, as released by Electra

On 1 December 1969, George Harrison watched husband and wife act Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett perform at the Albert Hall in London, with Eric Clapton on guitar. The following night George joined them on stage in Bristol, for his first stage appearance since The Beatles' final concert. He came along for the remainder of the tour, playing guitar and staying in the background. They played two shows each night, in Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and Croydon in England before going to Scandinavia. In Copenhagen they played At the Falkoner Theatre, on December 10, and one of the concerts was filmed by Danish Television that day. The tour also visited Sweden, playing December 13 in Stockholm and giving two concerts in Gothenburg the following day, Harrison still on board. These later concerts are rarely mentioned in the English/American books about George Harrison's stint with the group.

While the group was staying in Stockholm, George wrote the song "Woman Don't You Cry For Me", as evidenced by the reproduction of the original lyric sheet, the letterhead displays the name of the place they were staying in Stockholm, the Castle Hotel. The song was planned for release on "All Things Must Pass", but fell by the wayside and was resurrected for the 1976 album "33 1/3".

Several of the concerts were also recorded for possible album release - the result was 1970's album Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour With Eric Clapton. Harrison was credited as "Mysterioso" on the album cover. The 40 minute long concert album was expanded in 2010 by Rhino Handmade to a four-disc deluxe reissue, with more than three hours of live recordings from the tour. The package contains the complete performance from the Royal Albert Hall, plus a composite of the next night's performances at Colston Hall in Bristol, and both the early and late shows from Fairfield Halls in Croydon. George Harrison doesn't appear on the first disc (as he was only in the audience) but does on the other three.

Although a successful live band, Delaney and Bonnie was never a commercial success on record, and they cut their last album together in 1972, the year they divorced. Delaney Bramlett died in 2008. Before he died, Mr. Bramlett gave an interview where he claimed to have written George Harrison's smash hit, "My Sweet Lord", for which he was never credited.

Barcelona!

Poster for the event
In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles' concert at the bullring Plaza de Toros Monumental in Barcelona, Spain, the Barcelona Beatles fans are hosting a Beatlesweekend from 26. to 28. June, 2015. The Beatles ended their 1965 European Tour here on 3 July, 1965 after having played 14 previous concerts spread over eight dates in various European countries.

Special guest for the weekend is a Beatle who was fired from the group a long time before that tour, Pete Best.

With this celebration, the arrangers are hoping to establish a tradition that becomes an annual event on the last weekend of every June, with repercussions over all Barcelona.


A trading card album of The Beatles has been published by Barcelona Beatles Weekend. The album has 32 pages and 86 stickers.

Web link: BarcelonaBeatlesWeekend.com and Facebook link.

Thanks to Josep M. Navarro for writing to us about this.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Paul McCartney's set list from Osaka

Paul McCartney in Osaka yesterday
Yesterday Paul McCartney started the summer season of his current tour with a concert in Osaka, Japan. For those of you who are curious as to which songs he performed (and likely candidates for the rest of this summer's concerts), click below for the full set list including the soundcheck.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Lennon vinyl boxed set - more details

Officially announced - The John Lennon vinyl 8LP boxed set "Lennon"
The official announcement regarding the upcoming 8LP vinyl boxed set of John Lennon's dtudio albums came today. Out on 8th June (9th June in USA), Lennon is the first collection of John Lennon's solo albums to be released on vinyl, and the eight LP's will also be available to buy individually from 21st August.

The Music:


  • All eight John Lennon studio albums were remastered in 2010 from the original analogue tapes by Yoko Ono and a team of engineers from Abbey Road Studios in London and Avatar Studios in New York
  • These remasters are now being released on vinyl for the very first time
  • LENNON is the first collection of John Lennon's solo albums to be released on vinyl, and the eight LPs will be released individually in August 2015.
  • Each new Vinyl Master has been cut from the 24-96 HD Digital Masters by Sean Magee at the world renowned Abbey Road Studios
  • LPs are cut on heavyweight 180g audiophile vinyl and manufactured for the world by Optimal Media in Germany


The Artwork:


  • Each of the LPs within LENNON is an authentic reproduction of its original UK pressing, faithfully replicated to the smallest detail
  • In keeping with the original album artwork:
  • Imagine contains reproductions of its two postcards, poster and inner sleeve
  • Some Time In New York City includes reproductions of its original postcard and inner sleeves
  • Walls and Bridges includes its sleeve with two fold-over flaps, an eight-page booklet and inner sleeve
  • Mind Games, Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey also include faithful reproductions of their original inner sleeves (the latter even seems to sport a Polydor label like the original)
  • All brought together in an exquisite rigid slipcase box
There's also this trailer:



More info at JohnLennonMusic.com

Did Paul write the labels?

A selection of photos from labels found in the USA.
The release of the ultra limited edition of a 12" 'sweet trash' remix of Paul McCartney's "Hope For The Future" for Record Store Day has brought about a bit of confusion. From the evidence we have seen so far, it looks like it is actually Paul McCartney's own hand writing on the labels of these records as found in U.K. record shops. And yes, every label is hand written.

Record with sleeve and sticker.
On the pressings sold through USA record stores however, the labels are also hand written, but none of these appear to be in Paul's hand.

These records have all been found in U.K. record stores.
These records have all been found in USA record stores, they feature two distinctive
hand writing styles, none of these appear to be Paul's
One copy of the record found in the U.K. appears not to be in Paul's hand.
Thanks to Miguel Carrera, who has collected all this info and alerted us to this.

The Beatles on Peacock Records

A Peacock Records release
One company which seems to be thriving on the expiration of certain copyrights in Europe is Peacock Records. Here's a list of their releases of Beatles material, readily available from their website, as well as from dealers like Amazon in the U.K.

The Beatles: Broadcasting Live in the USA 1964
The Beatles: Live Coast to Coast
The Beatles: Live At Last
The Beatles: The Lost Studio Sessions
The Beatles: Greatest Hits Live On Air 1963-'64
The Beatles: The Lost Decca Tapes
The Beatles: Beatlemania Live 1962-1964
The Beatles: Rare Gems
The Beatles: P.S. I Love You - From Hamburg to Broadcasting House 1961-63
The Beatles: From Me To You

The titles are manufactured on demand onto CD-R and then shrink-wrapped. Some of the titles are also available on vinyl, some on coloured vinyl.
The Broadcasting Live in the USA 1964 title is also available as a DVD (region 0, NTSC) and contains The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show: 9th February 1964 New York, 16th February 1964 – Miami, plus a bonus documentary.
On their website, these performances have been mislabeled as 1963. Can't imagine why...

Peacock Records: Beatlemania Live 1962-1964.

Also on their website, the Surrey based company inform that "Please note due to copyright law we are unable to ship certain products to the USA, these products will be noted in the product description".

The company also maintain a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a YouTube account, where they advertise their products.

Monday, 20 April 2015

eDream: The Beatles featured in a new tech thriller

A new tech-thriller novel released last week as part of Amazon’s new Kindle Press publishing division features the Beatles in a primary role.

The new novel eDream by author James Duffy focuses on the development of a new device that allows users to program their own lucid, hyper-realistic dreams each night. But use of the cutting-edge technology takes a bad turn when eDream becomes a national addiction. To make matters worse, an international regime bent on cyberterrorism works to turn the device into a lethal weapon of mass destruction.

In the story, one of the first program titles available for the system is called Rock Legend. It allows sleepers to perform as members of some of the greatest rock bands in history. One of the characters followed throughout the story is Kevin Davis, a guitarist and Beatles fanatic. He chooses the role of John Lennon in his dreams and spends his nights performing with Paul, George and Ringo, and playing a key role in some of the band’s biggest moments. The group’s first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show is especially powerful, allowing Kevin—and readers—to experience the excitement of the moment from the unique perspective of being on stage with the band before and during one of music’s defining moments.

Other Beatles scenes the character experiences as Lennon include filming A Hard Day’s Night, the ’65 Shea Stadium concert, recording sessions at Abbey Road, and other key events. Each scene provides a fascinating first-person perspective on what it would have been like to be a Beatle.
The book’s unique plot and fast-paced storytelling led Amazon administrators to select it for their Kindle Scout program, a competition where readers voted on which books they liked best. eDream received exceedingly high marks and was selected by Amazon as one of the first ten novels to launch the company’s new Kindle Press publishing arm.

eDream is the third novel by author Jim Duffy, a drummer, guitarist and avid Beatlemaniac since the mid-‘60s. “This was a fun book to write,” Duffy says. “The first thought each reader has once they understand what an eDream device can do is: What dream would I program for myself? For me, it was no contest: I’d become a Beatle. But that also led me to think that I’d have a very hard time each morning shutting down my eDream and going to work. That’s where the concept of mass public addiction came from during story development.”

The book is currently available at Amazon here: Apple Records' Amazon Store

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Ringo and Paul: Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame

Paul inducted Ringo
Here's Paul McCartney's speech to Ringo when the drummer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Saturday.

Paul inducts Ringo: amateur video footage

OK. Ringo Starr was born in Liverpool at a very early age, and he had a hard childhood. Real hard childhood, but he had a beautiful mom, Elsie, and a lovely stepdad Harry. Both of them had real big hearts, beautiful people, and they loved music. So at some point during this difficult childhood, Ringo got a drum. Ringo got a drum! And that was it. He was now a drummer.

Later on he joined a group called Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. And we saw these guys when we were out in Hamburg, we were playing out there. And Ringo was like a professional musician. We were just like, slumming around and doing stuff, but he had a beard — that's professional. He had the suit. Very professional. And he would sit at the bar drinking bourbon and seven. We'd never seen anyone like this. This was like, a grown-up musician.

Anyway, we got friendly with him, and he used to come in late night when we were playing, and he requested a couple of songs, so we got to know him. And one night our drummer then, Pete Best, wasn't available, so Ringo sat in. And I remember the moment. I mean, Pete was great, and we had a good time with him. But me, John and George, God bless 'em, were on the front line singing, and now behind us we had this guy we'd never played with before, and I remember the moment when he started to play – I think it was Ray Charles, "What'd I Say," and most of the drummers couldn't nail the drum part, it's a little bit [sings a bit of it]. It was a little difficult to do, but Ringo nailed it. Yeah — Ringo nailed it! And I remember the moment, standing there and looking at John and then looking at George, and the look on our faces was like, fuck you. What is this? And that was the moment, that was the beginning, really, of the Beatles.

Anyway, then we started this great journey for these four guys from Liverpool who were . . .we just set off on their journey. We did ballrooms and clubs around England, and we got a little work in Europe, and then we eventually came to America. And here we were, we were staying in rooms together. And I wasn't a sheltered kid, but I just had my mom and dad growing up and my brother. So I was staying in a hotel room with a strange man. This really brought us together. We lived like in each other's pockets, virtually. But it was a beautiful thing, a wonderful thing. Eventually we got on The Ed Sullivan Show, and we got really famous. It was just so beautiful. As all the other drummers say, he just is something so special. When he's playing behind you, you see these other bands, they're looking around at the drummer, like, is he going to speed up, is he going to slow down? You don't have to look with Ringo.

It's a great honor for me to be able to induce him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland tonight!



And here's Ringo's thank you speech:

Ringo's thank you speech, amateur footage.
Thank you. I want to thank Paul for all the great things you told us…some of them are true. You know, it's a great honor to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was doing the press and they're all saying, "Well, why did you wait so long?" It has nothing to do with me. You have to be invited. But anyway, apparently I'm invited and I love it. I also love that I got lucky that it's happening in Cleveland, and I'll tell you why. When I started playing, I was playing in skiffle bands, sort of house party bands…and you know we had a guitarist, the first band I was in was really great…I had a snare drum and Roy, the bass player had a T-chest bass with a hole in it and strings.

And so we're playing this skiffle music, playing anywhere we could. And then I joined a couple of other bands and I always wanted to play with great players and I kept moving up a little; up to the next band. Of course, I did end up with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, and when I joined them, we were still a bit of a country folk band, and the guitarists in those days — this is a nice one for all you big guitarists with the big amps — we played the Cavern Club, which was a jazz club in Liverpool. And he brought a radio to plug into so we'd be electric. And we got thrown off. "Get out of here! That's not quite jazz." Anyway, we started off with a radio, the first amp we had. Things got going a lot better and we ended up playing a lot in Liverpool and around Liverpool. We never made it anywhere else, but while that was going on, I was working in a factory. After the things I've sat through tonight. Blah blah blah. I got some stories.

I was working in the factory and playing at night and every Sunday, you know we lived in England, we only had the BBC. And to madness, there was a small country in Europe called Luxembourg, very small, population of about 6…and for some reason, they had the biggest radio master. And they bought the Alan Freed Rock & Roll show. And for the first time I heard…well I have to backtrack now, wait a minute to '55…Bill Haley was my hero…he was like the first one. Elvis came in.

But anyway, I'm listening to this guy on a Sunday at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and I hear Little Richard, first time ever. I hear Jerry Lee Lewis. And heard rock and roll music, because we weren't getting a lot of that stuff in England, and it came from this very small country. So 4 o'clock every Sunday, Rory and I would go to his house and turn on the radio and Alan Freed would introduce us to so many great rockers. And when I was a teenager, once…we played Little Richard, "Shag on Down to the Union Hall," it wasn't insulting to us, it's very meaningful. We couldn't believe we could hear this guy on the radio! Shag on down to the Union Hall! That seems a good place to go!


Ringo and Paul on stage
Also, I came from a port. A lot of sailors came to and from Liverpool, would bring music from New York and all over America. They'd drink all the money; they'd sell all records.  Anyway, I started collecting a lot of records, listening to music, and ended up in this rock and roll band. With Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, we go to Germany, and that's where I met, you know, the Beatles. I met Paul, John (God Bless You), George (God Bless You). We came back to Liverpool, and there was a knock on my door. The drummer wasn't well and would I sit in? Sure. Anyway, I was living that life then, I was out of the band, and I didn't have to get up till noon. So, that was good. So I went and played a lunchtime session with George, John and Paul, and we had a great time. And then I went and showed in some clubs in Liverpool. They're not around now. I'm sort of part of their downfall. And we became friends, we hung out, and then I would go back and play with the Beatles because the other drummer couldn't make it.

Then, I got a call. We were playing a holiday camp in England, three-month gig, couldn't believe how great that was. Like $24 a week. And I got a call from Brian Epstein ... I got a call to say, this was Wednesday, would I join the Beatles. And I said, "Well, when do you want me to join?" And he said, "Tonight!" And I said, "No, I can't do that. I've got a band here. We've got a job. I'll come Saturday." Because everybody in Liverpool, we were playing the same songs so, they picked the drums and he could play. That's when this journey started.

It's been an incredible journey for me with these three guys, who wrote these songs. I was talking just the other night. Paul had come in, strum some song to us, and we played it! We didn't spend a lot of time. There was a lot of joining… The Beatles, you know, they were so big and so famous, but they shared rooms, you know…every hotel, when we'd gotten one, or guest houses. But when we'd go to hotels, we always had two rooms. And it didn't matter who was with who, what would happen is we hung out. But until any band is in the room, you really get to know your other players. And another tip I brought for all bands who are starting out…when you're in the band, here's another tip, if you fart, hold your nose. Everyone's blaming everyone else…we made a pact in the van, okay. That's how we get on so well. 

I wanna tell ya, it's been a beautiful night, hanging out…we're gonna do a few numbers for you next. We gotta follow John Legend and Stevie Wonder for god's sake. Anyway we're gonna start with a number of…1960 I did this number. It was a woman that sung by the Shirelles and it just took my fancy — and it's called "Boys."

Ringo was backed by Green Day for "Boys". Amateur footage.

Some rigging of the stage then followed, with Ringo grabbing the microphone, entertaining the crowd. This went on for an uncomfortably long time, and Ringo ran out of material. So he put down the microphone and left the stage.



After several minutes, he came back with Joe Walsh on guitar, and performed  "It Don't Come Easy."

Joe Walsh joined Ringo for "It Don't Come Easy". Amateur footage.


A hug and a kiss on the cheek
Paul McCartney came back on stage to join in on "With a Little Help From My Friends" on bass guitar only. Other artists also came on stage for the finishing jam, "I Wanna Be Your Man". Paul sang the final verse, and the artists all left the stage. Paul and Ringo hesitated for a few seconds, grabbed each others hands and gave the audience a deep Beatles bow before it was over.

Ringo answers inaudible questions from the press.

Paul and Ringo are about 2 minutes into this clip from HBO.
Amateur footage of "With A Little Help From My Friends" and "I Wanna Be Your Man".

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Step inside Abbey Road Studios



Inside Abbey Road makes it possible for anyone around the world to step inside the iconic Abbey Road Studios - the spiritual home of British Music, and follow in the footsteps of musical legends. Explore the rooms, discover stories, historic images and videos, and play with innovative Abbey Road equipment. Click the link at the end of the video, or if you missed it, go here!
Created by Google.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Lennon 8LP boxed set: official word

Unfolding: It's "Walls and Bridges" again
Text found on the UK preorder webpage for the release.

Universal Music are proud to present Lennon, a stunning new 8LP boxed collection featuring John Lennon’s eight solo studio albums on heavyweight, 180-gram audiophile vinyl with faithfully replicated original album art.

John Lennon’s eight solo studio albums were remastered from their original analogue masters in 2010, by Yoko Ono and a team of engineers led by Allan Rouse at Abbey Road Studios in London and by George Marino at Avatar Studios in New York. These LP’s have been newly cut to vinyl from those 96k digital files for Lennon, cut by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios and manufactured for the world by Optimal Media in Germany.

Each of the Lennon collection’s LPs is an authentic reproduction of its U.K. original, in its sound and visual presentation. In keeping with the original album artwork, Imagine contains reproductions of its two postcards, poster and inner bag, Some Time In New York City includes reproductions of its original postcard and inner sleeve, Walls and Bridges includes its sleeve with two fold-over flaps, an eight-page booklet and inner sleeve, and Mind Games, Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey also include reproductions of their original inner sleeves.

The eight studio albums are; John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970), Imagine (1971), Some Time In New York City (1972), Mind Games (1973), Walls and Bridges (1974), Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975), Double Fantasy (1980) and Milk and Honey (1984).

So basically, we were right on the money.