Friday, 24 October 2014

Beatles magazine from 1963 returns

2014 Collector's Edition of the "Meet The Beatles" magazine.
Souvenir Press Ltd, the company who released the magazine "Meet The Beatles" in 1963 has announced that the company will reissue the magazine on 3 November 2014. Some report that the new edition has already hit the news stands in the U.K.
The company says that this will be a hardback collector's edition for a new generation of Beatles fans. Originally priced at 2 shillings and sixpence, the new edition will be priced £10 in the U.K., and $12,05 in U.S.A.

The original had a soft cover.
This is a faithful reissue of the original 38 page publication. And it is very much an introduction to the band, featuring a photographic day in the life as well as rarely seen images taken of their first London appearance and a performance on the TV programme Thank Your Lucky Stars.
The introduction to the book comes from Tony Barrow, the man who coined the phrase "the Fab Four". Most of the photos were taken by Dezo Hoffmann, the rest were from Peter Kaye, Graham Spencer, Stan McLeod, Cyrus Andrews and ABC Television.
The original edition was the first official book the band released, after Ernest Hecht, founder and publisher at Souvenir, saw them play live in Finsbury Park, London, and bought the rights from the band’s manager Brian Epstein.

The idea to reissue the title came from watching the 50th anniversary media reports about the band, as well as the publicity Mark Lewisohn's biography of the band has been getting.

The original edition is Souvenir’s biggest selling title of all time, selling more than one million copies. The rights were also licensed to publishing houses in other countries, who offered translated versions of the book to their customers.

Danish edition

Hecht says: “We want to make sure every Beatles fanatic we know of knows that this book is coming out.”

Hecht wanted to keep the book exactly the same as it was, in order for it to act as a piece of memorabilia, and declined Tony Barrow's offer to write an updated introduction. To us, it's amazing that these people are still with us.

  • Personal Portraits
  • Beatle Background
  • Beatling Beside The Seaside
  • Back Home With The Beatles
  • Chart-toppers At Their Moment Of Truth
  • Stars Of Stage, Home-Screen & Radio
  • A London Day In The Life Of The Beatles
  • From Us To You - A Personal Introduction To "Meet The Beatles" By George, John, Paul And Ringo.
The Scandinavian editions of the magazine had a follow up, Meet The Beatles number two, I don't know if this was the case elsewhere as well?

"Meet The Beatles no. 2"  from Norway.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

"White album" no. 01 for sale

White album no. 01
But it's not No. 00000000001, it's actually No. 01!
It's a 1st pressing of The Beatles (White Album) UK 1968 mono album, complete with poster and photos, and the sleeve is marked No. 01, a rare number variant.
When purchased by the current owner, the previous owner said that this album had been given to him by an Apple executive who had worked for The Beatles.
This apparently mis-pressed sleeve was subsequently gifted to him by one of the group.
It is believed that The Beatles did not like the first sleeve enumeration system as they wanted more digits to allow all covers to be numbered and not just a batch with double figures up to 10, which Apple had delivered to their offices in Saville Row for the group.
Subsequently it is believed that the printers added more 000s to accommodate the Beatles request and sent another batch to Apple, leaving the first run as very rare anomalies.

The item is coming up at an auction is held by Special Auction Services (SAS) in Newbury, Berkshire on October 30. They have a price estimate at £4000 - £5000 (British pounds), and we think it will easily get that. The auction also features many other Beatles records, as well as leather jacket once owned by John Lennon.

Link to Auction: Special Auction Services

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Half a Harrisong

Olivia and George Harrison
Olivia Harrison was a guest on a BBC radio show on Monday, during which she let us hear about one minute of a demo with a previously unknown song by George, a cover of "Fear Of Flying". The show is available for online listening for a few weeks from this link: BBC Radio 

The show is around an hour long, and features these songs:

George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
George Harrison – Ski-ing
The Goons – I’m Walking Backwards For Christmas
Josh White – One Meatball
Badfinger – Day After Day
George Harrison – Under The Mersey Wall (excerpt)
Billy Preston – All Things Must Pass
Hoagy Carmichael – Stardust
George Harrison – Fear Of Flying (acoustic demo, excerpt)
George Harrison – Maya Love
George Harrison – This Guitar (Can’t Keep From Crying)

The mystery man again

The "Mystery man" on the Abbey Road cover

Who is that person beside the police van?
This is an update about a mystery that we have previously covered. The update was made because we got hold of some Abbey Road photos that were in a higher resolution than earlier, which enabled us to take a closer look at the person in question.

In February 2008, news was that Florida resident Paul Cole, by the media identified as the man beside the police van on the famous Abbey Road cover photo of The Beatles, had died, aged 93. But was he really that man? We don't think so, and here's why.

Mystery man close up from the record cover.

According to a couple of interviews he gave in 2004, Paul Cole was on the pavement while he was waiting for his wife, who was visiting a museum in Abbey Road. He was starting a conversation with the driver of the police van, and a bit later he realized that the police was there for a special occasion. When he looked over at the Beatles, he only recognized them as "A bunch of kooks, I called them, because they were rather radical-looking at that time. You didn't walk around in London barefoot".

Paul Cole's story
I think Paul Cole was telling tales, his story seems to indicate that he has only seen the one photo that most people have seen, the actual Abbey Road cover. There's no museum in that part of Abbey Road. The police van was a late arrival to the photo session, as evidenced by the previous photos, so Paul Cole can't have had such a conversation with the driver prior to the Beatles arriving at the scene. And the "mystery man" can be seen in several photos. Paul Cole was just someone who knew three things about the cover:

1. There's a police van there.
2. Next to the police van there's a man standing.
3. One of the Beatles was not wearing shoes and socks.

So, he invented a story, putting himself in the picture. Well at least he got a laugh when news media all over the world reported about it. It's even in the Wikipedia entry of the album. There were six different photos taken of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road:

Abbey Road photos
You can look closer at all these photos in our "The Road Goes On Forever" piece.

Close-up made from photo #2.
Here's a close-up from photo #2 of the "mystery man".

Abbey Road man
Rockband commercial
This is a reenactment from the recent The Beatles RockBand commercial, the scene seen from the "mystery man's" point of view.

Clearly looking straight at The Beatles before the police van had turned up, here's a close-up of the "mystery man" as early as photo 1, when Paul McCartney still had his sandals on:

Photo #1
Earlier references to the "Mystery man"

Over the years there are several people who have claimed to be the man on the Abbey Road cover. I have heard stories about people claiming to be or to know "the man on the cover" for as long as I have been a Beatles fan. One of them supposedly was a gay man who died in the seventies. Here's another, earlier claim:

Jo Poole: "At 21, I was a dedicated Beatles fan, and bought the 'Abbey Road' album the moment it was released. As soon as I saw the cover, I shouted, 'That's my brother, Tony.' He was 33, and was very distinctive at six feet four inches tall. Tony Staples was his name and he lived in Scott Ellis Gardens, near Abbey Road, and regularly saw the occasional Beatle, though catching a glimpse of all four Beatles together was rare, even in Abbey Road. He was on his way to work as an administrative secretary for the National Farmers Union on the Friday morning when that photo was taken. I used to travel regularly from my home in Gloucestershire to visit Tony in St. John's Wood, and I remember him pointing out Paul McCartney's house."

Of course, since Paul Cole was the first of the "mystery man" candidates who managed to get in the news during the internet age (2004), and because he was referred to as "the man on the Abbey Road cover" in an obituary that was widespread all over the internet (2008), AND because the job of research has been abandoned along with the proof reading job by the media at large, it has become almost impossible to google and find all those other, previous claims (from the pre-internet seventies) about the identity of the man. In 2004 and 2008, a news item such as this could "go viral". In the seventies, it would have been published in a small, amateur Beatles fanzine and read by the die-hard subscribers only.

This post is part of the all-encompassing article about the Abbey Road photo cover session, which you can find here.

George Harrison also set for SHM-CDs

Does the SHM-CD format bring some extra texture to the music?
One of our readers has alerted us to the fact that on October 28, George Harrison's individual titles which were in the Apple Years box are all being released in Japan as SHM (Super High Material) CDs. This comes hot-on-the-heels of other news reports about SHM-CDs from John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Since the SHM-CDs conform to the CD redbook standard, we are in doubt whether the use of a different coating material will do anything for the quality of the music.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

George's house sold

George Harrison's childhood home as it is now.
George Harrison's former Liverpool home, 25 Upton Green in Speke, was sold for £156,000 at an auction yesterday - to a Beatles fan who tried to buy John Lennon’s home last year. This was reported by Liverpool Echo, who reported live from the auction through their website. The modest three bedroom mid-terrace is where George, Paul McCartney and John Lennon held some of their first rehearsals before achieving worldwide success as the Beatles. George lived here from the age of six, when his parents Harold and Louise moved into the council house in 1949.
The family remained there until the early 1960s and it was during George’s final years at the house that he met Paul and John.
The property went under the hammer at the Cavern Club yesterday evening.
Beatles fan Jackie Holmes was the lucky bidder, and she travelled from north London to be there. She told the ECHO: “I’m absolutely thrilled. This was the house where the Beatles rehearsed and now I own it. I missed out on John Lennon’s house last year, so this is just a dream come true.
This has got more historical importance, this is the rehearsal house, this is the house that George was a Beatle in and I’m just absolutely made up to have this property.
I wanted to pay around the £150,000 figure, at that price it’s double what a house in that area is, I’ve paid an awful lot for an ex-council house but I’m very happy.”
Ms Holmes was up against a bidder on the phone from American and another reserve bidder in Liechtenstein.
The 47-year-old added: “Now I own a property in Liverpool and I love this city, I may well be moving.
I can’t tell you how happy I am right at this moment, I’ve been a real fan now for about 30 odd years, I’ve collected Beatles memorabilia. I’ve seen George Harrison live at the Albert Hall. Basically I’ve seen all the Beatles live accept for John sadly, so to own an ex-house of theirs with an historical connection is just fantastic.”
Ms Holmes said she also intends to put one of the rooms back to the way it was in the 1960s.
The successful sale comes after John Lennon’s former childhood home at 9 Newcastle Road sold at auction for nearly half a million pounds in October 2013.

Long Tall Sally EP for Record Store Day

The "Long Tall Sally" EP has been rereleased a lot, here it comes again!
The British EP "Long Tall Sally" is getting a rerelease for Record Store Day.

Released in 1964, “Long Tall Sally” was the fifth Beatles 4 song 7” EP to be released in the UK but it was the first one to be recorded and released with all new material at the time. “Long Tall Sally” is noteworthy as it was one of the songs that Paul sang to John on the first day that they met and because it was recorded in one take with no edits or overdubs. It was recorded on the same day as the band recorded “I Call Your Name” and was originally intended for the film “A Hard Day’s Night.” In the end, it was decided that the two tracks would be used for a new EP so the band rounded the EP out with the recording of “Slow Down” and “Matchbox.” Originally sung by Little Richard, Paul sings lead on the title track, John sings lead on “I Call Your Name” and “Slow Down,” while Ringo sings lead on “Matchbox.” Like recent reissues of Beatles original albums, this four track EP is also being released in Mono (as it always has been). The “Long Tall Sally” 7” vinyl EP is being specially rereleased for Record Store Day’s Black Friday (November 28) in a very limited quantity.

Although, we have to say, the UK EPs were kept in print throughout the seventies and eighties, so you can easily pick up a copy of an earlier pressing for little money.


Side 1:
"Long Tall Sally"
"I Call Your Name"

Side 2:
"Slow Down"

Source: Record Store Day website

Paul McCartney's Twitter Q&A: I am in fact an alien!

Yesterday, Paul McCartney took the time to answer questions on Twitter. Here are most of these:

elijah Kraling: What goes through your mind when you walk out on to the stage with a huge crowd?
Paul McCartney: Great excitement at their reaction

Jennifer: Do you have a favorite TV show?
Answer: I love 'Veep' and 'Family Feud' ("We asked a hundred people!")

Nick Tregoning: What's your favourite cheese?
Paul McCartney: I like a lot of them. How about cheddar, goats, feta and de Boursin.

andres: How did you come up with the song Blackbird?
Paul McCartney: I was in Scotland & was playing guitar thinking of a Bach piece that we used to play & also the civil rights situation.

Melissa: Did you come up with the idea for the new album cover?
Paul McCartney: No! It was my design team, Mike & Rebecca who suggested it and then my son-in-law Alastair suggested the neon.

Emily Vidovich: Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?
Paul McCartney: I hardly ever see sunrises so it's sunsets for me!

Yonosoy Rodrigo: Who is your favourite classical composer?
Paul McCartney: Probably Bach.

Leticia: What was the inspiration for the song of Wings "Call Me Back Again"?
Paul McCartney: I was imagining being a kid and phoning a girlfriend who never answered.

Brandon Butler: If you could describe the "Wings Years" in one or two words, what word(s) would you use and why?
Paul McCartney: Difficult, but Brilliant!

Mary: Cats or dogs?
Paul McCartney: Dogs! (Although I love cats too).

Marcos f: There's another song from the 'NEW' album that you would like to put on the setlist?
Paul McCartney: We've been playing with 'Appreciate' but it's kind of hard to do.

Collin Searls: Will you be playing Hope (the Destiny theme) live in concert?
Paul McCartney: HOPEfully!

Alunvaughan: Have you got a favourite cover of one of your tracks?
Paul McCartney: There are so many that I love it's difficult to say but Esther Phillips version of 'And I love HIM' comes to mind.

Orbital Nick: What's your favourite bassline to play? One you really enjoy!
Paul McCartney: At the moment it's '...For the Benefit of Mr Kite'. It's challenging!

david k.: What did you learn or rediscover during the remastering of Venus And Mars?
Paul McCartney: It was a surprise to hear how good some of the tracks still sounded, particularly 'Call Me Back Again'.

Clara: Do you have any tattoos?
Paul McCartney: No I don't. Not even on my ass!

Ryan Adams: Are you a cyborg?
Paul McCartney: I am in fact an alien!

Beatlesmaniacs: Which is your favorite kind of sports?
Paul McCartney: Football (Soccer), but to watch on TV: American Football, Track, and Basketball.

Vickie Valenzuela: What was your best Halloween costume?
Paul McCartney: Alice Cooper!

User8472: Favourite Meryl Streep movie?
Paul McCartney: I love Meryl Streep. Devil Wears Prada is great, although everything she does is brilliant.

Four Headed Monster: Paul, can you tell us what is going on in these pictures please?

Paul McCartney: 1st John & I are in Paris when he was 21 & generally goofing around.
Paul McCartney: 2nd Pulling faces in hat shop!

Paul McCartney: 3rd Nipple pointing!
Michelle Gregory: Do you have a favourite flower Paul? Mine are lilies.
Paul McCartney: Probably roses!

Daniele Paula: What do you most like about doing live concerts in Brazil?
Paul McCartney: The crazy enthusiasm and youth of the audiences. They're brilliant!

Andrew Davis: Are you excited for the rerelease of Venus and Mars & Wings At The Speed Of Sound?
Paul McCartney: Yeah! I think that my team has put together brilliant packages that even I find amazingly interesting.

Manu: What is your favorite colour?
Paul McCartney: Blue comes to mind.

Patricia Francis: Do you like Halloween? What was your favorite candy as a kid?
Paul McCartney: I do like it, it allows me to go unrecognized in my disguise and Mars Bars were my favourite!

Heal the world.: Something new you learned lately?
Paul McCartney: Patience! (Not sure if it's true but it's an answer!)

Florencia: Paul, you sing in the shower?
Paul McCartney: Yes I do - 'Singing in the Rain' or 'It's Raining Men' or 'Waterfalls'!

Duda: How old were you when you wrote your first song?
Paul McCartney: I was 14 years old in Liverpool. It was called 'I Lost My Little Girl'.

Joanna Scatasti: Have you ever forgotten the words to a song while you were playing it?
Paul McCartney: Quite regularly. I think that the people in my audience know the songs better than I do. Excuse is I've written rather a lot.

Red Owl: How has being a vegetarian changed you?
Paul McCartney: It's made me healthier but certainly given me a compassionate perspective on the animals we share the planet with.

THANKS PAUL ILYSM: Would you like to visit the moon?
Paul McCartney: No I don't even like rollercoasters!

Kornball: Can you give me a nickname?
Paul McCartney: Kornball! You shall forever be known as this!

Laura: what's the first record you ever bought?
Paul McCartney: Gene Vincent singing Be Bop A Lula on the Capitol label which was sheer magic.

Diegomiralbés.jpg: Hey Paul, can you reply to this tweet saying something very stupid?
Paul McCartney: My toes are in my mouth!

Naked dude: Do you ever twerk?
Paul McCartney: The last time I twerked I was with Katy Perry. She was rather good at it!

Andrew St. Clair : What makes the studio space at Abbey Road so special?
Paul McCartney: There have been so many great hits made in that room that physically and spiritually it has a greatness built into it.

Rick Rubin's question is lost, but looks like it was about faith.
Paul McCartney: Yes I do. I don't know quite what, but I believe in a benevolent spirit that is behind everything that we do.

Rachel Foster: Favorite song you have written for someone else?
Paul McCartney: 'Step Inside Love' which I wrote for the British singer Cilla Black, but Diana Krall has one of mine coming out soon that I love.

Naked dude: Is there anyone who makes you starstruck?
Paul McCartney: Even though I've known him for a long time the nearest is probably Bob Dylan.

Phil McNamara: Favourite gig you've BEEN to (not played in)?
Paul McCartney: There are many, but Mr Carter & Kanye West comes to mind.

Domi Silva: What the World needs now is.. ?
Paul McCartney: ...Paul McCartney - vote for me! (He said modestly!) Though I'm not sure what state I'm in!

Dreamer: What makes you feel better when you're in bad mood?
Paul McCartney: Drugs, Alcohol & Sex (he says with a wink).

Shawndelle Dixon: Are you the walrus?
Paul McCartney: In fact because I happen to wear a walrus head in Magical Mystery Tour - I am the nearest any of us came! GooGoogAJoob!

Vanessa: Do you have any hobbies like collecting or knitting?
Paul McCartney: Not really, but I do have some nice guitar picks from over the years and some nice books too!

Beth Léon: Can you yodel?
Paul McCartney: Yes. I studied in Switzerland!

Maccadonia: What do you think of your young fans? I have 12 years and I love your music!
Paul McCartney: I love my young fans! I'm always surprised how many there are. I love the perspective of young people.

Victoria: What's your favorite horror movie?
Paul McCartney: «Alien» would be my favourite for the bit of chest-popping!

Laura Boxall: Can you speak any other languages?
Paul McCartney: Si, Oui, Ja!

Flora Hausammann: Is it okay for me to own 8 beatles tshirts?
Paul McCartney: It's very good, but not enough!

Yorkshire Mouth: Who was the last person you said 'Hello' to? And who was the last you said 'goodbye' to?
Paul McCartney: Just left my wife Nancy in the street (Goodbye), and Hello is you.

Ѧʟѧṡҡѧ: Will you marry me?
Paul McCartney: I'm afraid I'm spoken for. So the answer is a firm 'No!'

maria: Why are you so hot?
Paul McCartney: It just comes naturally to me!

THE FEMTROOPER: Is there anywhere in the world you haven't been but would like to go?
Paul McCartney: Yeah, China! It seems like everyone else has, but I haven't!

christine g: Who is one of your favorite film directors?
Paul McCartney: Scorsese, Fellini and Dave Grohl!

Joe Mantegna: You have written songs for others that were hits. Ever think about releasing your own versions?
Paul McCartney: I wrote 'Come and Get It' for Badfinger and 'World Without Love' for Peter & Gordon.

Idealist: Which activist group do you hold most near and dear to your heart?
Paul McCartney: Pussy Riot & Peta.

Raising Biz: Early Take - Beware My Love - Does One Exist? How about a Best of The Rest Album?
Paul McCartney: Yes indeed! And here’s the world premiere of it featuring John Bonham on drums!

mack Halley: What was it like playing with great John Bonham?
Paul McCartney: It was fantastic! He was always on my top 5 drummer list and a great friend and ballsy drummer!

Selena: How did you feel about this costume?

Paul McCartney: A trifle cattish!
Winston: What's your favorite type of pie?
Paul McCartney: Pecan, baby!

Sarah Stacey: How does it feel when you hear people singing your songs?
Paul McCartney: Really beautiful, humbling and exciting at the same time.

Cham: If you were ruler of your own country what would you call it?
Paul McCartney: Maccadonia!

Rachael Brown: What should I carve my pumpkin as?
Paul McCartney: Dave Grohl!

Mary Gerdt: What have you always wanted to do and didn't have the time?
Paul McCartney: Spend three days in bed!

McCartney also revealed that his favourite current songs are the Foo Fighters new track 'Something From Nothing' and Sia's 'Chandelier'.

McCartney's people got a few more questions answered after this session, and they will post them later.

Wings: Best Buy exclusives

The "Best Buy" 2CD editions of the new McCartney Archive releases include exclusive singles.
Okay, so here we go again. Smart marketing on behalf of the "Best Buy" chain of stores in the U.S.A., and bad news for McCartney completists on a tight budget. The new releases of "Venus and Mars" and "At The Speed of Sound" will each include a 7" vinyl single. But only at Best Buy.
Venus and Mars will have "Venus and Mars"/"Rockshow" and At The Speed of Sound will have "Let 'Em In". While supplies last, the label says, and we guess the singles won't be packaged together with the CDs (they're bigger than CDs), probably just handed out at the checkout counter. No words as to whether these will be one sided singles or if they will have their original B-sides.

Venus and Mars

  • "Venus and Mars/Rock Show" b/w "Magneto and Titanium Man" was released in the U.S.A. on 27 October 1975 and in the U.K. on 28 November 1975. The single version of the A side is considerably shorter than the album version of the songs; in the single "Rock Show" is cut by more than 3 minutes and "Venus and Mars" is cut by a few seconds. The single peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.A., but failed to chart on the U.K. singles chart.
  • "Let 'Em In" b/w "Beware My Love" was released on 23 July 1976 and was a #2 hit in the U.K., and a #3 hit in U.S.A. It was also Paul McCartney's first 12" single, although it was only released in France this way.

  • Monday, 20 October 2014

    Spanish English teacher influenced Sgt Pepper?

    John Lennon spent 44 days in Almeria, Spain in 1966, filming "How I Won The War" and starting to compose "Strawberry Fields Forever".  A movie and a book have recently been released about it. The book, "Juan & John" is written by Javier Adolfo Iglesias. It tells the story of Juan Carrión and his encounter with Lennon.

    The book.

    Juan was the first teacher to teach English in Spain by the use of songs by The Beatles. He started doing this because he was fascinated by the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo, and he realised that teaching English with the aid of popular music could be a good way to make his students learn. When he became aware that John Lennon was in Almeria in 1966, Juan decided to contact him to talk about his experience, and also to ask if The Beatles could start to print the lyrics of their songs on their album sleeves. It was getting hard to transcribe them from the records, or from listening to the music on the radio.

    The back of Sgt Pepper

    Juan managed to find John, and the two spent half an hour talking - later they exchanged letters. As we now know, after this encounter The Beatles printed their song lyrics on the back of their next album, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. They continued this practise for a while, they included a sheet with lyrics in the booklet for their Magical Mystery Tour EP, and the "White album" had the lyrics on an accompanying poster. It may now look as if all of this have been due to the influence of the Spanish English teacher.

    Film poster. The film is available on DVD, also with overdubbed English sound or subtitles.

    A film, "Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados" ("Living is easy with eyes closed"), a fictionalised account of Juan's travel through Spain to visit Lennon was made by David Trueba and premiered in 2013. The film won six Goya Awards in Spain, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Writing and Best Leading Actor. It has been selected as the Spanish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards.

    An amateur documentary about Juan & John, "Profesor Pepper" was made by the book's author, Mr Iglesias, in 2011. You may find it on Vimeo, and it's in Spanish.

    Juan is now 92 years old, and though retired, he still teaches an English class every day by using Beatles songs.

    Thursday, 16 October 2014

    Universal Music in Japan: December Lennon releases

    Lennon is, as it were, on sale again.
    Universal Music is releasing these John Lennon albums in Japan on December 3, 2014:
    -John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
    -Sometime in New York City
    -Mind Games
    -Walls And Bridges
    -Double Fantasy

    in the following formats:

    -SHM platinum

    with high sound quality, booklets, letters and more.

    Amazon Japan is already accepting pre-orders.
    Universal Music Japan

    Full set of Abbey Road photos to be auctioned

    No. 5 as a print. Photograph: Bloomsbury Auctions
    A full set of the six photos Iain Macmillan took of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road plus one of the street sign for the back cover of the album will be sold at Bloomsbury’s photographs and photobooks sale on 21 November and has an estimate of £50,000-70,000, The Guardian reports. According to the article, Sarah Wheeler, head of photography at Bloomsbury Auctions has told the newspaper that “They are incredibly rare". “I’ve spoken to other music dealers and no one has been able to find a complete set on the market for at least 10 years.”

    So I guess she didn't bother to google this. As regular readers of this blog will remember, Snap Galleries in Piccadilly Arcade, London held an exhibition called "Beatles And Bystanders" in 2011, and sold original prints signed by Iain Macmillan in their shop at the time. Their exhibition ended on July 8, 2011 and not long after, in May 2012, a single print from the collection was sold by Bloomsbury Auctions for £16,000!

    Ten years ago, back in 2004, original prints of the Abbey Road photos signed by Iain Macmillan were going for £2,100 a piece, according to an article in The Independent at the time. The price was supplied by Snap Galleries owner, Guy White, who told the newspaper that "prices are never going to go down." I guess he was on the money. The photographer, Iain Macmillan passed away on 8 May 2006.

    Source: The Guardian

    Tuesday, 14 October 2014

    The Beatles on Thank Your Lucky Stars

    18. August 1963: The Beatles drove to the Alpha (ATV) Studios in Birmingham for an appearance on Summer Spin, the summer version of Thank Your Lucky Stars.
    Thank Your Lucky Stars was a British television pop music show made by ABC Television, and broadcast on ITV from 1961 to 1966. Many of the top bands performed on it, and for millions of British teenagers it was essential viewing. As well as featuring British artists, it often included American guest stars. The Beatles appeared on Thank Your Lucky Stars eight times between January 1963 and March 1965, eleven if you count "Summer Spin", a kind of summer edition of Thank Your Lucky Stars. One of the show's hosts was Brian Matthew, who also hosted many radio shows with the Beatles on BBC.
    While Brian Epstein was in his office, Dick James picked up the phone and was able to secure The Beatles their first booking on this show. This was the single act which made Epstein confident that James was the right person to handle The Beatles' publishing rights, and the deal was done.

    Clips from two of The Beatles' appearances on Thank Your Lucky Stars.
    Below is a clip from when The Beatles topped the bill on their appearance on ABC Television's Thank Your Lucky Stars, recorded at the Alpha Television Studios in Birmingham, England.
    The show was recorded on the afternoon of Sunday 20 October 1963, and was broadcast the following Saturday from 5.50-6.35pm. The Beatles mimed to three songs: All My Loving, Money (That's What I Want) and She Loves You.

    Two of the EMI recordings had not been heard before; the show's producer Philip Jones had been given advance acetate discs of them, and successfully persuaded Brian Epstein to have them premièred on Thank Your Lucky Stars before the release of With The Beatles.
    While The Beatles were inside the studios, 3,000 fans blocked the streets outside and attempted to storm the building.

    All My Loving (ending only) and Money (That's What I Want) from 20. October 1963.
    Saturday 14 November 1964: The Beatles rehearsed and recorded their contribution to the television show Thank Your Lucky Stars at Teddington Studios on this day. It was screened on ITV the following Saturday, 21 November 1964, from 5.50pm.
    The group mimed to four songs: I Feel Fine, She's A Woman, I'm A Loser and Rock And Roll Music. There was no studio audience present.
    Despite their numerous previous appearances on the show, by November 1964 The Beatles were so famous that it was a coup for the producers to have them even mime for an edition. In recognition of this, the show was renamed Lucky Stars Special.

    The Beatles' appearances on Thank Your Lucky Stars 

    The dates refer to the taping and not the broadcast dates.

    13 January 1963 Please Please Me
    17 February 1963 Please Please Me

    17 February 1963

    14 April 1963 From Me To You

    Third appearance on Thank Your Lucky Stars, 14 April 1963 and still with that old drum logo. 
    12 May 1963 From Me To You and I Saw Her Standing There. The drum logo changes between the rehearsal and the actual taping.

    12 May 1963: Drum logo change
    23 June 1963 "Summer Spin" Liverpool Special. From Me To You and I Saw Her Standing There.

    23. June 1963. "Summer Spin.
    18 August 1963 "Summer Spin" She Loves You and I'll Get You.
    20 October 1963 All My Loving, Money (That's What I Want) and She Loves You.

    15 December 1963 rehearsal.
    15 December 1963 "Lucky Stars On Merseyside" I Want To Hold Your Hand, All My Loving, Twist And Shout and She Loves You. This footage has survived.
    11 July 1964 "Summer Spin" A Hard Day's Night, Long Tall Sally, Things We Said Today and You Can't Do That.
    11 July 1964: Looking cool on Lucky Stars (Summer Spin)
    14 November 1964 I Feel Fine, She's A Woman, I'm A Loser and Rock And Roll Music.

    November 1964: Rehearsal with casual clothes

    28 March 1965 Eight Days A Week, Yes It Is and Ticket To Ride.
    Each date is linked to its own page over at the Beatles Bible.

    June 1963: Lucky Stars (Summer Spin)

    The final regular episode of the programme, 'Goodbye Lucky Stars', was presented by Jim Dale and broadcast on Saturday 25th June 1966. The Beatles appeared, courtesy of two promo clips: Paperback Writer and Rain. A Christmas Special was also made that year, without Beatles footage. The show folded, mainly because it was one of the primary targets of the Musicians' Union and their fight against miming on television. Which again was the reason why the Beatles made their Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever promotional films without attempting to mime to the songs.
    A treasure trove of mimed appearances, the Thank Your Lucky Stars episodes could have been a great source from which to construct promotional videos for the Beatles' songs. Sadly, most of these episodes are now lost, believed wiped. Below is the last presentation of online clips, this is from the December 1963 all-Merseybeat edition of the show.

    December 1963

    Thank Your Lucky Stars Complete Episode Guide 1961-1966

    15. December 1963: The Beatles with The Searchers, Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas, and Cilla Black

    Monday, 13 October 2014

    Destiny OST

    The soundtrack for Destiny has been released
    The soundtrack of "Destiny" is now available on iTunes and Amazon, but not in a physical format. Here are the links: iTunes/Destiny - Amazon/Destiny.
    There are 44 tracks, all credited to Michael Salvatori, C Paul Johnson, Martin O'Donnell and Paul McCartney. The "Hope" single is not among the tracks.
    The Destiny Original Soundtrack is the official soundtrack for Destiny, composed and directed by Martin O'Donnell, co-written by Michael Salvatori and C. Paul Johnson, with contributions and input from Paul McCartney. Released digitally on September 26, 2014 by Bungie Music Publishing, Destiny OST features forty-four instrumental tracks from the game.
    The album marks Martin O'Donnell's final work with Bungie after years of compositions on the Halo series as an employee, and titles pre-dating that franchise.
    Martin O'Donell was contacted by Pete Parsons early in Destiny's development and asked him to begin writing music for the game. At the time, Destiny was still in its infancy, lacking any gameplay material for O'Donell to score the music to, so he began writing based solely on the game's ideas, stories and artwork.
    As of February 17, 2013, over 50 minutes of the soundtrack had already been recorded with a 106 piece orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London. O'Donell gave the early pieces to Bungie in hopes of fostering inspiration within its development team. Unlike the 2-3 minute pieces found in Halo, Marty has stated that the soundtrack has no time restrictions, with pieces clocking in "as long as they need to be."
    O'Donnell collaborated with Paul McCartney on Destiny's music for the better part of two years, trading ideas, samples of melody and themes back and forth. Before the soundtrack was released, Martin O'Donnell was terminated by Bungie's board of directors without cause on April 11, 2014, but Pete Parson assured that his work would remain in the final version of the game.

    "New" Collector's Edition on SHM-CD

    The new "New", also available as SHM-CD
    Paul McCartney's "Collector's Edition" of "New" has been announced in two variations. One features regular CDs, and a more expensive one has the 2 CDs in the package manufactured as "SHM-CDs".
    The high quality SHM-CD (Super High Material Compact Disc) format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic. Using a process developed by JVC and Universal Music Japan discovered through the joint companies' research into LCD display manufacturing, SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc, allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players.
    The format was introduced in 2007, and audiophiles are still arguing whether or not the actual audio is enhanced by the material the discs are made of. These discs are only produced in Japan, which probably explains why the SHM-CD edition is offered by at £93.99, whereas the same product on regular CDs is currently priced at £22.35.