On the 36th anniversary of the untimely assassination of John Lennon, we wanted to step back and reflect on one of rock’s greatest songwriters and poets. Lennon’s musical contribution was enormous, his pathos and introspective soul spoke to a nation of lost British souls, and then to the rest of the world.
John Winston Lennon was born October 9, 1940, into a working class family in Liverpool, England. His early life was difficult. His father took off to the seas, leaving his young mother to raise her son alone. When he was a teenager, Lennon’s mother was killed in an auto accident. Lacking parental guidance, Lennon was a troubled youth, prone to rage and anger. Eventually he channeled his passion into art school and then into music.
As did many youths of his generation, Lennon turned to American Rock and R&B for its sheer energy and unabashed disregard for authority. Lennon took to it like a magnet to steel. Forming a friendship with Paul McCartney and then George Harrison, they formed a band that played covers of their favorite American artists: Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, et al. While the lives of Lennon and his bandmates were in disarray, the focus of the band and thei details
It's a cool, sunny morning when the busload of tourists descends onto Havana's John Lennon Park. That's Aleeda Rodriguez Pedrasa's cue. She jumps out from under the shade of a nearby tree and scurries toward the bronze statue of the Beatles legend -- all the while fishing for a pair of spectacles in her purse. She quickly places them on the bridge of Lennon's nose, seconds before the first of the tourists moves in for a picture.
Padrasa has one of the most unusual jobs in Cuba: She's the keeper of Lennon's glasses. It's a job for which the government pays her 245 Cuban pesos a month, more than what many other Cubans make. "I've been working here for two years," says the 72-year-old Padrasa.
Cuba has had an interesting relationship with Lennon. In 1964, then-leader Fidel Castro declared a ban on Beatles' music, as part of his war against Western capitalism. But the band was a mega-act at the time, and smuggled copies of its tunes made it into the island. "He was very loved in the '70s," Padrasa says. "He was very loved and people listened to his music, but it wasn't allowed."
Fast forward to the time when Lennon became a vocal political dissident, criticizing the U.S. involvement in foreign lands. That en details
On 8 December 1980, John Lennon was shot four times in the back outside of his apartment building in New York City.
He was 40 years old.
7 days after his death, millions of people paused their daily routines to honour Yoko Ono's request for ten minutes of silence in commemoration of his contributions.
30,000 gathered in Liverpool, 225,000 in New York City's Central Park. The radios went silent, too.
That strength of love for this man, this musician in a band, has quelled little over the years. His outspoken political activism has made him a herald for those who have so longed for global peace and "Imagine" has become their perennial anthem; it re-entered the UK charts at number 18 in 2012 after Emeli Sandé recorded a cover for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
His legacy is eternal, though his presence is so greatly missed. And though he would have wished it weren't so, Lennon's words still ring just a true today as they did in his own lifetime. Here are a select few:
"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."
By: Clarisse Loughrey
Source: The Independent
Nigel Sinclair -- producer of The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years -- told Billboard that Tuesday's (Dec. 6) news that the Ron Howard-directed movie was nominated for best music film at the 59th annual Grammy Awards is a great ending to the story of making the film.
"Working with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Ron Howard was the experience of a lifetime. Getting nominated for a Grammy on top of that is just completely over the top. We [the producing team] are all honored,” Sinclair said in a phone interview from London. "Ron and all the producers were very encouraged that we found a story to tell that was fresh and wasn't the same story that people had heard. We found a way to shine a light on this extraordinary adventure with a slightly different emphasis and find some new truths for a new generation."
Besides the Beatles film, the Grammy nominations also had good news for Paul McCartney, whose deluxe edition of the Tug of War reissue from Concord Music is up for best boxed or special limited edition package.
In addition, two projects covering songs by The Beatles and Paul McCartney also will be in the running for awards. John Daversa's album Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Be details
DID you know that The Beatles had an honorary member for 13 days?
Jimmie Nicol joined the band for a short stint in 1964 – after Ringo Starr was hospitalised with tonsillitis.
Jimmie not only got the opportunity to play with The Beatles during the height of their fame, but he also got the chance to hang around with music legends John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. However, this only lasted for two weeks, and then everything went back to normal for Jimmie. Jimmie’s whirlwind began when Ringo Starr collapsed with tonsillitis on the eve of The Beatles’ 1964 Australian tour.
The band’s manager Brian Epstein, as well as their producer George Martin urgently discussed the viability of using a stand-in drummer rather than cancelling the rest of the tour. George happened to suggest Jimmie Nicol – as he had recently used him on a recording session with Tommy Quickly.
Jimmie appeared in his first Beatles concert just 27 hours later at the KB Hallen in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before hitting the stage, he was styled with the distinctive Beatle mop-top hairstyle and even wore Ringo’s suit – despite the trousers being too short. Paul McCartney recalled teasin details
John Lennon was always the radical one in The Beatles, but it wasn’t until he left that his politics exploded. These are his 10 greatest rebel songs.
The advent of John Lennon’s solo career in 1969 coincided with his immersion in the anti-war movement, human rights issues and various other radical causes. Though his opposition to US involvement in Vietnam brought him into conflict with the authorities, leading to a protracted deportation case and FBI surveillance that posited Lennon as a national threat. Inevitably, his music reflected his polemical stance, popularising the message with user-friendly anthems like Give Peace A Chance, Power To The People and others. “Now I understand what you have to do,” Lennon declared. “Put your political message across with a little honey.”
10. Attica State (1972)
First performed at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally at the University of Michigan in December 1971, this bitter condemnation of the American judicial system was sparked by the Attica State prison riots that had erupted two months earlier, leaving 43 people dead. Lennon’s plea for better living conditions also carries a wider remit: “Come together, join the movem details
On the 50th anniversary of the iconic album, the engineers of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Geoff Emerick and Richard Lush will be fixing a hole in the hearts of Beatles fans everywhere with a once in a lifetime Q&A event and exhibition named The Masters of Sgt. Pepper.
Presented by Planetshakers in Southbank, not only will the event dish the untold deets about the iconic album from a producer’s perspective, it will also be celebrated with performances by Leo Sayer and Davey Lane from You Am I.
The event promises a panel of Beatles royalty disclosing all the behind the scenes details as well as a limited edition merch sale.
Lush has been immersed in London’s music scene ever since starting his recording career at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in the 1960’s. He learnt from masters of the music industry Sir George Martin, Phil Spector, Phil Ramone and Mickie Most before recording some of the world’s biggest artists: The Beatles, Cliff Richard, Paul McCartney & Wings, John Lennon and The London Symphony Orchestra.
For the Beatles, Lush was a significant backbone to their musical success, working on more than a hundred sessions. After joining EMI as a j details
If you ask those who know me pretty well, they will tell you my favorite Beatle was John Lennon. This is incorrect. My wife will tell you true: it’s George Harrison. Lennon is widely credited as the band’s conscience in the face of Paul McCartney’s more instinctively capitalist pop music impulses, and this is just one more way that Harrison’s songwriting contributions have been disregarded over the years. His post-Beatlemania solo work was often criticized for its preachiness, but if one goes back to his Beatles material, Harrison never pretended to be more pop star than preacher.
There was a great tribute paid to his entire body of work in 2014, the George Fest charity concert organized by his son, Dhani Harrison. A standout track toward the end of the first disc is “Savoy Truffle”, which I confess to not having heard before. It’s one of the deeper cuts from the Beatles catalogue, not completely obscure but hardly Top 40 material. As the holiday spirit takes over and I begin to devote many minutes to consideration of pies, eggnogs and sweets generally, I feel myself turning toward “Savoy Truffle” as the best possible type of wintry instruction.
Harrison wrot details
It was while Gillian McCain and I were working on sixty-nine: An Oral History, our new book on the 60s music scene, that we got the idea to create chapters where we hadn't done any of the interviews ourselves. Rather, the material came from a variety of secondary sources that we edited together, such as interviews from magazines like Rolling Stone and books like Peter Fonda's Don't Tell Dad. Not many chapters were created this way—just two or three—and since LSD played a major role in the music scene, we chose for one of our "experimental" chapters in the book to use this bricolage style to detail the first time the Beatles willingly experimented with acid on their own. Some quotes have been edited for length and clarity.
The Beatles took their first acid trip by accident. In the spring of 1965, John Lennon and George Harrison, along with their wives Cynthia Lennon and Patti Boyd, were having dinner over their dentist's house when they were first "dosed" with LSD.
Dentist John Riley and his girlfriend, Cyndy Bury, had just served the group a great meal, and urged their distinguished guests to stay for coffee, which they reluctantly did...
Riley wanted to be the first person to turn on the Bea details
At first, photographer Harry Benson said no to taking pictures of The Beatles.
It was 1964 and the Scottish-born photojournalist wanted to travel to Uganda for a story about its newfound independence, not take pictures of some British rock-and-roll band on its way up, which his editor had asked him to cover.
“I knew who The Beatles were, but they hadn’t had their big breakthrough yet,” Benson, now 87, tells PEOPLE.
His trip to Africa was not to be. At 11 p.m., the night before Benson was set to fly there, his editor at The Daily Express in London called him and told him that indeed, the big boss was sending him to Paris the next morning to photograph the band.
Any reservations Benson had faded the minute he heard The Beatles sing All My Loving in Paris, where they were performing just before they headed to the United States for the first time.
“I thought, ‘S—. I’m on the right story! This is the right story!’ The following day they were number one, two and three in America. They became a phenomenon.”
So did Benson. With his laid-back, self-deprecating manner and knack for consistently capturing the perfect moment on film, Benso details
This group of Scots are members of a unique club of their own, having seen John, Paul, George and Ringo live before the group quit touring forever in 1966.
BEATLEMANIA swept the globe over half a century ago as the Fab Four became the biggest band on the planet. But a group of Scots are members of a unique club of their own, having seen John, Paul, George and Ringo live before the group quit touring forever in 1966.
One even invented the phrase Bealtemania for the chart-toppers that was used to describe their frenzied followers. Chief Features Writer MATT BENDORIS tracks down the Scots who feature in a new Beatles’ book of fans’ memories.
FORMER music promoter Andi Lothian booked The Beatles for just £40 – just weeks before they shot to No1 around the world.
The Glasgow-born musician had booked the band for the Museum Hall in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, on January 5, 1963 – before they enjoyed their first major hit Please, Please Me the following month. But only rowdy, drunk farmers came to the historic show with one yob throwing a coin which chipped the guitar of a 20-year-old Paul McCartney.
He says: “I remember the whole evening so clearly. When details
Photographer Mary McCartney revealed she wants to team up with Liverpool FC – but she is still trying to persuade the club. Mary, the daughter of Beatles superstar Sir Paul McCartney , said she is fascinated by the rituals of footballers. Her first solo exhibition was a photographic study behind the scenes of the Royal Ballet and she said she would like to do something similar with Liverpool.
She said: “I really want to go and get embedded with a football team, I really want to go to Liverpool but they won’t let me.
“Like I did with the Royal Ballet, I’ve been writing to Liverpool FC but they are not having me yet but I’m going to keep trying.
“It’s a difficult thing to agree to allow someone in, they have to focus and you can’t just go in. I understand why they are reluctant but I think they should just let me do it. “It’s the devotion and the commitment, it’s the physicality and dedicating a bit portion of your life to something.”
If she does not succeed with the Reds she said she would be willing to look elsewhere, possibly in the direction of Everton, Sir Paul’s preferred team.
She said: “I think details
Al Brodax, a television producer who delivered an enduring psychedelic classic when he turned the Beatles song “Yellow Submarine” into an animated film in 1968, died on Thursday in Danbury, Conn. He was 90.
The death was confirmed by his daughter, Jessica Harris.
In the 1960s, Mr. Brodax (pronounced BROH-dax) ran the motion picture and television division of King Features Syndicate, where he produced hundreds of “Popeye” cartoons for television.
Quick to see the cartoon potential of the Beatles, he sold their manager, Brian Epstein, on the idea of an animated series. “The Beatles” ran on Saturday mornings on ABC from 1965 to 1969 (in reruns for the last two years), attracting huge audiences.
When “Yellow Submarine” climbed the charts in 1966, Mr. Brodax sensed that lightning might strike twice. He approached Mr. Epstein again, this time with some trepidation; the Beatles did not like “The Beatles.”
But there was an opening. The group owed United Artists one more film after “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!,” but had lost interest in acting. An animated film, Mr. Brodax argued, would require virtually n details
The piano used by John Lennon to compose ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ and play one of the most famous final chords in music history is set to sell for £1.45million.
British piano makers John Broadwood and Sons made the upright instrument in 1872 but it wasn’t until 100 years later that it’s current value was created. Lennon bought the piano in the 1960s and used it prolifically between 1964 and 1968 while living at Kenwood, his mock-Tudor mansion in Weybridge, Surrey, where he had his own studio. He conceived and orchestrated hits ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, ‘Good Morning, Good Morning’ and ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!’ from the instrument. And the dramatic E-major chord heard for 40 seconds at the end of ‘A Day in the Life’, the last track on the Sgt Pepper album was played by Lennon on this piano.
The famous chord was played simultaneously on separate pianos by Lennon, McCartney and Starr. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the track as the greatest Beatles song of all time. After his divorce from wife Cynthia, Lennon moved to Tittenhurst Park, Berkshire, with Yoko Ono and took the piano with him. By 1971 the couple were li details
"I play a little guitar, write a few tunes, make a few movies, but none of that's really me," George Harrison once said. "The real me is something else." Harrison was many things – including a master of understatement. But he was right to point out that his true character remains elusive. He was one of the most famous men in the world, but he loathed superstardom. He preached piety and simple pleasures, yet he lived in a 120-room mansion and collected ultra high-end cars. His studious facade belayed a brilliant sense of humor, which led him to produce some of the greatest comedies of all time. The songs he wrote focused on both the glory of God and the petty annoyances of day-to-day life.
While undoubtedly proud of the band that vaulted him into immortality, he was loath to measure himself by their success. "The Beatles exist apart from myself," he once said. "I am not really Beatle George. Beatle George is like a suit or shirt that I once wore on occasion, and until the end of my life people may see that shirt and mistake it for me." It's been 15 years since Harrison's death, so today we honor the man with 10 tales that shine a light on his life outside the mop-topped artifice of the Fab Four.
1. He visit details
When most people think of The Beatles and New Orleans, they think of 1964 and the Fab Four's one and only concert in the Crescent City, which took place before a swooning crowd -- kept at bay by a swarm of uniformed, tackle-happy NOPD officers -- at City Park Stadium. But just more than 10 years after that brief but eternal half-hour set, the city came tantalizingly close to hosting another Beatles milestone, in the form of a reunion of none other than John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
That meeting, for which much of the music world had been hoping since the legendary band's 1970 dissolution, never actually happened, of course. But the story behind that near-miss, that almost-history, that elusive happily-ever-after is nicely laid out in author Richard White's book "Come Together: Lennon & McCartney in the Seventies" ($18.95, paperback, Overlook Omnibus). It's a fascinating tale, and one that can be counted on to leave fans of music and of New Orleans wondering wistfully about what could have been.
As the title suggests, White's densely written and painstakingly researched book focuses on Lennon and McCartney's often acrimonious post-Beatles period, which he covers in the sort of detail -- with frequent but st details
George Harrison might have been “the quiet Beatle,” but over the course of his career with The Fab Four and later on in his solo career, the guitarist wrote a myriad of timeless hits that would boost his status as one of the most prolific rock stars of all time. As a 15-year old, the Liverpool-born Harrison became a member of the Quarrymen (who would later become The Beatles), despite John Lennon thinking that he was too young.
Having to compete with the the power-writing duo that was Lennon and Paul McCartney, Harrison was able to slip a song or two of his own onto almost every Beatles album during the group’s existence; no easy feat, by any stretch of the imagination. Some of those songs included “Taxman,” (1966’s Revolver) “Within You Without You” (1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), “Here Comes The Sun” and “Something” (both from 1969’s Abbey Road) and many more.
Even more impressive may have been his solo work, as the period following The Beatles proved Harrison to be a truly great singer-songwriter in his own right, now being out of the shadow of his former bandmates. 1968 would see him be the first Beatle details
It’s been 15 years since cancer took the life of singer-songwriter George Harrison, the former lead guitarist of the Beatles who would go on to become a successful solo star, and a symbol of spirituality and higher awareness amongst mainstream rockers of his generation. That latter part of his legacy often gets overshadowed by the former; the phenomenon of that group is a well-documented double-edged sword, but nowhere is it more obvious than in the case of “The Quiet One” who famously hated the experience of being in one of the most scrutinized and overhyped musical acts in history.
And in Harrison’s case, being a Beatle made him undoubtedly rich and famous, but he was creatively stifled by the group’s dynamic and the fame that came along with it. And he never got to showcase his all-around skill set within the context of that band.
“I wasn't Lennon or I wasn't McCartney. I was me,” Harrison told BBC-1 interviewer David Wigg in 1969. “And the only reason I started to write songs was because I thought, well if they can write them, I can write them. You know, 'cuz really, everybody can write songs if they want to. If they have a desire to and if they have sort of so details
In September 1974 George Harrison’s record label, Dark Horse Records, released its first two singles. The first was Ravi Shankar’s ‘I Am Missing You’. Produced and arranged by Harrison, it is a rare Shankar composition in a Western pop style. The other single to come out that same day was Splinter’s ‘Costafine Town’, which went top 10 in Australia and South Africa and made the UK top twenty.
Two years later, with his contractual obligations to other labels at an end, and with the winding down of Apple Records, George signed to his own label. In the intervening years there had been other Dark Horse Records releases by Stairsteps, Jiva, Henry McCullough (following his departure from Wings), and a band called Attitudes. First brought together on Harrison’s 1975 album Extra Texture (Read All About It), Attitudes included keyboard player David Foster, who also played on George’s debut for Dark Horse, Thirty Three & 1/3.
George’s seventh solo studio album was recorded at his home, Friar Park, between the end of May and mid September 1976, and was released two months later on 19th November. Shortly after beginning to make this record, George contracted hep details
In the early evening of Thursday, November 24, 1966, four young men — the oldest 26, the youngest 23 — arrived at a north London recording studio to start work on a song one of them had written in Spain weeks before.
Cars ferried three of them from Georgian and mock Tudor mansions in Surrey — London’s so-called stockbroker belt — while the fourth journeyed from just around the St John’s Wood corner.
These wartime boys of Liverpool’s working classes had come a long way. On that same day in 1962 their primitive debut single was heading towards No 17 on the British charts before its modest run lost momentum. That same night they completed a two-hour set at the Royal Lido Ballroom in Prestatyn, north Wales, earning £30, but the cook threw in a plate of jam sandwiches.
By the time John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr assembled at Abbey Road’s Studio Two at 7.30pm, they were the four most famous young men on the planet.
What the Beatles had done in that room in the intervening period changed popular music, and then popular culture, reshaping the century in ways that reverberate still. When things were tough for the band, as t details
"Strawberry Fields Forever" represents one of the most daunting achievements of the Beatles' career, and a landmark in 20th-century music as a whole, but what if someone was to say there exists a "Strawberry Fields" recording that surpasses the single released in February 1967? A fatuous claim? Or a gateway to the most revealing of all Beatles recordings?
John Lennon, the song's author, esteemed "Strawberry Fields Forever" in a way he did few of his own compositions. "It's real, you know," he remarked in 1970. "It's about me, and I don't know anything else really. The only true songs I ever wrote were 'Help!' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever.'"
The writing of the latter commenced in September 1966 while Lennon was in Spain for the filming of Richard Lester's How I Won the War. The Beatles may have sensed they had reached a middle-aged point of their career, hence an impetus to look back to childhood, as Lennon now was, Strawberry Fields itself being the Salvation Army children's home where he'd play as a boy, despite his Aunt Mimi's warnings that the grounds were dangerous.
Lennon, ever a collector of found sounds, was now finding himself in song, and elected to document the process, beginning with those e details
Not many people can say they bought The Beatles supper from a chippy on Heavitree Road, before learning a powerful life lesson from John Lennon. But Exeter rocker Paul Walters, 66, can.
Paul, managing director of Guildhall Shopping Centre's Gourmet Kitchens and Velvet Touch guitarist, has shared memories of his jaw dropping backstage meeting with the Fab Four.
It follows this month's anniversary of a sell-out 1963 gig at the city's now demolished ABC Cinema. The encounter between his 15-year-old self and Liverpool's finest at their second ABC gig, in 1964, was not by chance alone. Paul's father, Ken, owned a popular hairdresser which, he claims, was the first business to set up shop in the original Princesshay shopping centre, and the last to leave. A regular customer of his father Ken was Bob Parker, boss of the ABC, who was looking for people to police the second Beatles gig at the city centre venue.
Paul didn't have to be asked twice, already a huge fan at the time. Paul remembered: "The Beatles were late to the gig because they were watching a Liverpool FC game on telly at the Rougemont Hotel; they were in high spirits following a victory. "As part of the job I ended up getting them details
ROCKERS of a bygone era will be in seventh heaven as Beatles memorabilia and a rare guitar go under the hammer on Saturday.
Stacey’s Auctioneers in Rayleigh is holding a “Rock & Retro” day which will see four authenticated Beatles autographs obtained in May, 1963 after the Fab Four’s gig at the old Odeon in Southend, go under the hammer.
They are estimated to fetch up to £500, but could go for a lot more as the Liverpool band’s memorabilia, especially signed items, has rocketed in value in recent years, particularly since the deaths of John Lennon and George Harrison.
A Beatles “Another Christmas Record” flexi disc is among the lots, along with a signed Beatles postcard by John Lennon’s Aunt Mimi, who brought him up after the death of his mother Julia, with printed signatures of the Beatles to the front.
There is also another postcard signed by Louise Harrison, George’s mother.
Stacey’s auctioneer and valuer Rob Smee said: “We have various signed pictures of the Beatles, some are authenticated and some not.
“The Beatles signed a lot of stuff themselves, particularly in the early days, but there were details
Paul McCartney fans will get a glimpse into his early love life as pictures of the star taken by his first wife Linda have emerged.
A woman whose dad ran the world-famous Cavern Club 50 years ago has uncovered the snaps she says were taken weeks after the pair got together.
Debbie Greenberg's dad, the late Alf Geoghegan, ran the club from 1966 to 1971.The pictures were published for the first time in her new book: Cavern Club: The Inside Story.
Sir McCartney arrived at the club with his new lover and told Mr Geoghegan if he could show her "where it all began", Debbie said.
The giddy owner rushed out to buy a camera to take pictures of the famous duo while they looked around. But when he returned, Linda insisted she took the photos.
"Paul turned up at the club on October 25th 1968 and told my dad that his new girlfriend Linda was in the car and asked if he could bring her inside to show her where it all began," Debbie said. "He said he would be back in an hour after he had delivered a record player, so dad rushed out to buy a camera so he could take some photos when Paul returned.
By: Sean Morrison
Source: The Mirror
The son of late Beatles legend George Harrison has reportedly issued divorce proceedings against his wife of four years.
Entertainment news website TMZ claim singer-songwriter Dhani Harrison, 38, has cited irreconcilable differences as a motive for his separation from model turned psychologist Solveig 'Sola' Karadottir.
The musician, Harrison's only child with second wife Olivia Arias, is understood to have filed a petition to end their marriage in Los Angeles a week ago.
TMZ also claim the cost of spousal support and legal fees will be dictated by a prenuptial agreement entered by both parties prior to their marriage.
Dhani married Solveig, the daughter of deCODE Genetics co-founder Kári Stefánsson, at the Harrison's Friar Park estate in Henley-on-Thames in June 2012. Guests at the low-key ceremony included Hollywood star Tom Hanks, British actor Clive Owen and his father's two surviving bandmates, Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney.
Solveig also wore an embroidered bridal gown designed by McCartney's fashion designer daughter, Stella. The statuesque former model walked down the aisle to Led Zeppelin track The Rain Song before exchanging vows with Dhani in details