If you wanted to recount the breakup of The Beatles, you could start with the band’s final single, “The Long and Winding Road.” When the Fab Four began work on this track in January 1969, they were hardly on good terms. (Anyone who’s caught the Let It Be documentary can see that.)
By the time “The Long and Winding Road” was about to be released (spring 1970), Paul McCartney was appalled at what the song had become. Once Phil Spector came in to salvage the Let It Be tapes, Paul’s original concept changed so much it was nearly unrecognizable.
Spector’s work, which included overdubs of an orchestra and choir, made a mockery of the album’s “back to basics” concept. But Spector had his reasons for using a heavy hand in his role as producer.
There are perhaps a handful of songs I would consider my all-time favourites, but the evergreen ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon will always have a spot at the top. Far be it from me to say that Lennon was a model saint, but as we are nearing his death anniversary on December 8, I find myself still in awe and wonder of the cultural impact that The Beatles had, and the vital role that Lennon played both in the band and in his illustrious solo career.
On December 8, 1980, the world lost one of the greatest artistes of all time — the co-leader of The Beatles, a solo recording artiste, an author, a graphic artist and a social acti details
On New Year's Day in 1962, a then-unknown band called The Beatles performed 15 songs for British label Decca Records. The band believed the audition would land them a recording contract.
It did not.
There is some debate as to whether Decca Records rejected The Beatles or The Beatles rejected an offer from Decca to press their records only if the band paid for it themselves. Whatever the case, The Beatles' then manager Brian Epstein held on to a recording of the audition.
The Beatles, of course, went on to get signed (their first big hit in America was with EMI Records in 1963) and became one of the most beloved and famous bands in history.
Now, Sotheby's London will auction the tape of the Decca audition online, estimating it will sell for 50,000 to 70,000 pounds, or about $65,000 to $90,000.
Source: Taylor Locke/cnbc.comdetails
In celebration of what would have been John’s Lennon’s 79th birthday, grassroots non-profit Theatre Within has announced artists for the 39th Annual John Lennon Tribute on Friday, December 6. The event will be held at Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95th street.
In addition to artist-activist Natalie Merchant, who will be honored as the sixth recipient of the “John Lennon Real Love Award,” the Tribute will feature performances by Joan Osborne, Rachael Yamagata, Sam Amidon, Willie Nile and Raye Zaragoza, backed by a band led by drummer Rich Pagano, one of the founding members of the Fab Faux.
Merchant, who will be appearing in the long-running charity concert for first time, said in a statement:
“John and Yoko’s activism had a profound impact upon me as a child. Through their ingenious war protests they challenged the entire world to reflect upon itself. In my estimation, ‘Imagine’ remains the most powerful three minutes and eight seconds of music ever recorded. It contains a vision of our highest aspirations in the most concise language and simple melody. John and Yoko realized that popular details
When The Beatles released their debut album, it marked the arrival of a formidable new songwriting team. The work of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who penned “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Please Please Me,” and other gems, had no trouble standing beside tracks by Carole King and Burt Bacharach.
But that wasn’t the only revelation. In the group’s spirited covers of “Boys” (Ringo Starr) and “Chains” (George Harrison), The Beatles showed anyone in the band could carry a lead vocal — and do so convincingly.
However, on the songwriting front, the originals were all credited to Lennon/McCartney. As time passed, that wouldn’t change much for Ringo. By the end of the Fab Four’s run, he’d only have two songwriting credits on his own.
George, on the other hand, would become a prolific (and highly accomplished) songwriter by the time the band parted ways in 1970. And he started filling up that songbook on the Beatles’ second LP.
John Lennon first met Yoko Ono back in 1966. The Beatles icon later fell head over heels in love with the artist and they tied the knot in 1979. But the relationship wasn’t always easy, with Ono remembering the backlash they faced from fans all over the globe.
In an interview with The Telegraph in 2012, she recalled the impact being with Lennon had on her art career and how their marriage affected the direction of his music.
“In a way both John and I ruined our careers by getting together,” she said. “Although we weren’t aware of it at the time.”
After getting together with Ono, Lennon moved away from mainstream music, The Beatles splitting just a year after they were married.
She encouraged him to explore more experimental music and he drew her attention into their relationship and away from her art.
Source: Minnie Wright/express.co.ukdetails
Paul McCartney has been a committed vegetarian since his late wife, Linda, stopped cooking meat in the 1970s—but there’s one ritual the former Beatle still carries on from his carnivorous life: carving duty at the Christmas Day feast.
“The thing about becoming vegetarian is that some of the things that I saw as traditional male roles — not wanting to get too sexist or genderist here — such as barbecuing, and slicing the roast, went,” McCartney, 77, told the Sunday Times. “I wanted something to carve at Christmas!”
Linda’s initial solution was to create “a macaroni cheese that she shaped and left to set,” says McCartney. These days, however, the legendary songwriter has the slightly easier task of slicing through a vegetarian roast made from mushroom duxelles straight out of the best-selling Linda McCartney vegetarian range. Launched nearly 30 years ago, the brand is now a familiar sight in British supermarkets.
Source: Phil Boucher/people.comdetails
In John Lennon’s last major interview, he was his usually provocative self. He spoke of how hurt he was by George Harrison’s new book, the Beatles songs he considered to be garbage, and why he thought Paul McCartney tried to sabotage “Across the Universe.”
But that was only the half of it. Speaking with Playboy’s David Sheff, John also said Paul addressed “Get Back” to his wife Yoko Ono. ” “I think there’s some underlying thing about Yoko in there,” he said. “You know, ‘Get back to where you once belonged.’ Every time he sang the line, he’d look at Yoko.”
When Sheff asked if he was joking, John insisted he wasn’t. “Maybe he’ll say I’m paranoid. You know, he can say, ‘I’m a normal family man. Those two are freaks.’ That’ll leave him a chance to say that one.”
While it’s impossible to get inside Paul’s mind during those sessions, we do know how the song evolved over time. It started out as social commentary before Paul brought it around to his fictional Jojo and Loretta.
Peter Asher is more than qualified to take us on a journey through the Beatles’ many songs and adventures. He’s a longtime friend of the band, and in the late ’60s was a producer for the Beatles’ Apple label, signing such talents as James Taylor. He’s been producing stars ever since and recently hosted SiriusXM’s radio show about the Fab Four, “From Me to You.” Though hardcore Beatles fans won’t find much that’s terribly surprising about the band in Asher’s new book, “The Beatles from A to Zed,” the writer and producer excels at excavating details and connections that sparkle and entertain.
Adopting Asher’s alphabetical format, here are some delightful — and less-than-delightful — takeaways from Asher’s book. (Space limitations kept me from including the full alphabet.)
A: A is for Abbey Road Studios. It was originally known as EMI Recording Studios and was inaugurated by Sir Edward Elgar, England’s famous classical composer who wrote that school graduation grind, “Pomp and Circumstance.”
Source: By Sibbie O’Sullivan / The Washington Post/heraldnet.com
Looking for a unique Christmas gift?
Two upcoming auctions may just offer the perfect surprise on Dec 25 for the recipient if he is a fan of John Lennon, Ringo Starr or Elton John.
Lennon's trademark round sunglasses and a parking ticket issued on April 25, 1969 to fellow Beatle Starr - for a traffic offence - are up for auction online between Dec 6 and 13.
The two items come from Mr Alan Herring, a driver for the Fab Four.
The eyewear has defects but he told AFP that Lennon had told him not to fix them after the driver volunteered to get repairs done.
For fans of John, there is a chance to get hold of the original lyric manuscripts of landmark songs Candle In The Wind, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Bennie And The Jets and Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting.
The seller in the auction on Dec 9 is Ms Maxine Taupin, former wife of Bernie Taupin, John's longtime songwriter.
Source: LOH KENG FATT/straitstimes.comdetails