How do you celebrate the 50th anniversary of a cultural landmark like “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”? The Beatles’ hometown of Liverpool threw a 2017 “Sgt. Pepper at 50” festival that commissioned everything from DJ Spooky and Judy Chicago to a John Cage Trust event at Aintree Racecourse. Kicking off the celebration was Mark Morris Dance Group’s “Pepperland,” a riff on the album that, this weekend, has made its way to the Shubert Theatre, courtesy of the Celebrity Series. It’s a romp, but it has nothing new to tell us about either Morris or the Beatles.
The problems start with the music. The 12 songs (plus a shortened reprise of the title number) on “Sgt. Pepper” run 40 minutes. “Pepperland” incorporates just five of them: the title number (with reprise), “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Within You Without You,” and “A Day in the Life.” No “Lovely Rita,” no “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.” As a bonus, we do get “Penny Lane,” which was intended for “Sgt. Pepper” before ending up as the flip side of th details
It was 55 years ago today that The Beatles went on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to play.
And to further paraphrase the title track of the British band’s “Sgt. Pepper” album, they’ve never gone out of style and they still manage to raise a smile.
The Beatles’ performance drew 73 million viewers, a record at the time, and came three months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy shattered the nation.
“The Beatles came along at just the right moment,” says Paula Bishop, a musicologist and professor at Bridgewater State University.
The band became a worldwide phenomena with the help of mass media, a growing rock ‘n’ roll industry and youth market with money to spend on records and other Beatles memorabilia.
But Bishop said the band’s lasting popularity is also due to their talent as musicians and songwriters. They wrote, recorded and performed their own songs, paving the way for others to follow suit. Most stars at the time performed songs written by others.
Source: David Linton/thesunchronicle.com
Brian Epstein took The Beatles from underground Liverpool clubs to being the biggest musical act in the world.
Brian Epstein had a vision: To turn a rough, local musical act called The Beatles into the biggest band in the world. Bigger than Elvis. And he brought that vision to fruition. So essential is Epstein to the history of one the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands ever that Paul McCartney once remarked: “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.”
“His story an against all odds kind of thing and he is essential to why we know The Beatles at all. It was unbelievable good luck on their part to connect with him.” says Robert Rodriguez, author of Revolver: How The Beatles Reimagined Rock ‘n’ Roll, and the podcast, Something About The Beatles.
Born in Liverpool in 1934, Epstein was the son of Harry and Queenie Epstein who were of Eastern European Jewish origin and had built a successful retail business selling furniture, appliances and records. Dapper and erudite, the creative Epstein had dropped out of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to return to Liverpool and work at the family business where he showed a flare for fashioning visual displays and details
We’ve seen the screaming fans, heard about the packed concerts, and know everyone listened to The Beatles. (Everyone still does.) But once in a while, it’s interesting to check in on the staggering numbers the band posted over the years.
Even compared to the rock giants Led Zeppelin that followed in the next decade, The Beatles’ record sales stand tall. In fact, the British group claims the top spot in the history of record sales — and the number keeps going up every year.
So it’s easy to see how the famed songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney made a fortune while The Beatles recorded and toured. McCartney continues to do so and ranks among the richest men to ever write a song.
However, it’s a safe bet that, had he lived, Lennon would have become the richest musician to ever walk the earth. Here’s a look at his successes and his net worth at the time of his murder in December 1980.
We were pretty good mates until The Beatles started to split up and Yoko came into it.”
— Paul McCartney
“I just got so fed up with the bad vibes. I didn’t care if it was The Beatles; I was getting out.”
— George Harrison
When you talk to Beatles fans about the breakup of the world’s most popular music group, they will almost universally point to Paul McCartney’s April 1970 announcement that he was done with the group as being the “official” end of The Beatles. In reality, the end came much sooner, and this past Wednesday, Jan. 30, marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ last public performance.
The band’s last tour had been in 1966, and the members had increasingly gone in different directions musically, with Paul continuing on a more mainstream pop music course, John moving into more experimental music, George pursuing more songwriting and eastern influences, and Ringo developing his acting career.
Source: David Hejmanowski - Contributing columnist/
The Delaware Gazette
In a recent interview with Jonesy’s Jukebox, former The Beatles producer Eddie Kramer has revealed a story about one the recording sessions of The Beatles song.
Here’s the story:
“I was very lucky to work with The Beatles. I did ‘All You Need Is Love’ and ‘Baby, You’re a Rich Man,’ which was really a lot of fun. Want a story?”
“We actually recorded another song. My boss Keith Grant, who was the chief engineer at Olympic, one night we got a call, ‘The Beatles are coming in.’ We’re all shaking because you know, royalty, and they’re actually in doing, helping The Stones with backup vocals.
In those days, bands just used to do that, hang out. There was no competition, it was just camaraderies, but when The Beatles came in to do a session it’s like, ‘Okay.’ So we did a song called ‘Baby You’re a Rich Man’ – started at 7, finished at midnight, maybe a bit later than that, the whole thing. Recorded it, dubbed it, mixed it.
Source: Feyyaz Ustaer/metalheadzone.com
Forty years ago, two of music's biggest stars walked into BBC Radio 1 and sat down to review the week's new releases.
Michael Jackson and George Harrison spent the next 90 minutes discussing singles by Foreigner, Nicolette Larson and The Blues Brothers, as well as the stories behind their own songs.
The BBC discarded the show, keeping only a short clip. But now a rare recording has been found and restored.
Excerpts will be broadcast in a special documentary this weekend.
Listeners will hear Jackson, just months before releasing Off The Wall, discuss how Motown refused to let him write his own music; while Harrison explains what it was like to work in the songwriting shadow of Lennon and McCartney.
At one point, Jackson turns to the former Beatle and says: "Let me ask you a question, did you guys always write your own stuff from the beginning?"
Source: Mark Savage /bbc.comdetails
A fan of The Beatles has created a mash-up that sees their seminal movie A Hard Day’s Night combining with Korean horror The Train To Busan for an unexpectedly terrifying result.
The cult Korean movie was released in 2016 and follows the terrifying string of events that occur after a zombie apocalypse breaks out on a train to the city of Busan.
But in the newly created version, it seems that the zombies aren’t the threat at all. Instead, it appears that four recognisable lads from Liverpool are causing everyday Koreans to mount a desperate battle for survival.
As the scenario plays out, we see terrifying footage from The Train To Busan being cleverly combined with a famous scene from the 1964 film where the Fab Four cause chaos on a train from Liverpool to London.
The result is pretty chilling – and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever watch A Hard Day’s Night in the same way ever again.
Although the latest clip is just a parody, it was announced last week that The Beatles will head back to the big screen in a new documentary directed by Sir Peter Jackson.
Source: Nick Reilly /nme.com
Jennifer Leptien was the kindergartener singing the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album word for word. After watching John Lennon’s “Live in New York City” performance, she was the seventh-grader walking the hallways in her army jacket.
Today, Leptien, director of Iowa State University’s learning communities program and a Ph.D. in human development and family studies, has translated her love of the Beatles into a one-credit seminar course within the Honors Program. The idea became a reality in 2013, after Susan Yager — Morrill Professor of English and previous faculty director of honors — heard the Beatles cover band Rain was coming to Iowa State. She asked Leptien if she had ever considered turning her lifelong passion into a learning opportunity for students.
“The Beatles were the soundtrack to my childhood,” Leptien said.
The story is similar for her counterpart teaching the seminar, Jason Chrystal, academic adviser in political science with a Ph.D. in history. His mother’s Beatles fandom turned into his own — unless they were in his father’s car, where the Beach Boys and Elvis Presley dominated the stereo.