Despite the millions she earned as one of Britain’s top entertainers, Cilla Black and her husband Bobby Willis hated throwing stuff away.
Huge plastic containers in which the food for their five dogs was delivered were reused as storage boxes.
Supermarket plastic bags were filled with tapes of original music recordings, and some of these were even found stuffed inside a 1970s fondue set in the larder.
Piles and piles of photos and videos were stashed in black bin liners and left to gather dust in the attic, alongside boxes of Star Wars toys and Beano comics.
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It’s impossible to wrap your head around quite how busy The Beatles were during the first few months of 1964.
After kicking off the year with a marathon 18-day residency in Paris - two shows a night, mind you - they re-recorded their hits in German (“Sie liebt dich, ja ja ja!”), played the Ed Sullivan show - twice! - made a classic movie, and a classic album, published John Lennon’s book of nonsense verse, hobnobbed with Muhammad Ali, and crisscrossed the globe from Blackpool to Hong Kong to Adelaide to San Francisco.
Nevertheless, as summer turned to autumn the Fab Four were told, basically, ‘pull your fingers out, lads, there’s wedge to be made.’ And so they slunk back to the studio and cracked on with their second album of the year. Their fourth, by the way, in the space of just 21 months.
If you ever watch the Super Bowl halftime show, you know how much lip-snyching takes away from the performance. However, with hundreds of millions of people watching around the globe, some performers don’t want to take the chance they’ll mess up.
When The Beatles agreed to perform “All You Need Is Love” for the first global broadcast transmitted around the world, John Lennon seemed to realize that singing it live was the only way to go. Behind the scenes, the band’s production team at Abbey Road thought it was a bad idea.
“Miming to a prerecorded track was the safest course of action,” engineer Geoff Emerick wrote in Here, There and Everywhere. Emerick described Lennon’s plan to sing live as “a foolhardy — though brave — decision.” Producer George Martin agreed the Fab Four should tape everything.
“I was worried that there were not enough people who knew about us,” says Jeff Lynne, who expresses his concern about revitalizing ELO at a headline festival at Hyde Park in London in September 2014.
“We took a great opportunity. The public could go home any time, they didn’t have to wait for us at the end. But it was still full. I remember looking through a small hole in the curtain and saying, “They’re still here!”
Of course they were. The festival was sold out and moved the full quota of 50,000 tickets in just fifteen minutes. It seems ridiculous that one of the most bankable stars ever doubted that he still had an audience. But then Jeff Lynne is not your typical rock star.
Modest and self-coding, it is difficult to compare the softly spoken 71-year-old – his Brummie accent intact despite living in Los Angeles for many years – with his status as head of ELO, with record sales of over 50 million and counts. Indeed, from 1972 until their original dissolution in 1986, ELO scored more transatlantic Top 40 hits than any other band in the world.
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You never knew where a John Lennon lyric might take you. Even in the early, simple days of The Beatles, John could threaten a lover that he’d “let you down and leave you flat” for disappointing him.
Within a few years, John would take listeners upstream on psychedelic journeys (“Tomorrow Never Knows”) or paint “like a watercolor” (“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite“). By the mid-’60s, John had become a master of lyric-writing.
With “I Am the Walrus” (1967) and his White Album (1968) tracks, he stretched the bounds of Beatles lyrics further. In ’69, while recording music for Let It Be and Abbey Road, John took a turn back toward raw, simple lyrics.
After “Don’t Let Me Down” (the B-side to “Get Back”), John went even simpler and rawer with “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” In fact, you’ll only find a total of 15 different words when you check the lyrics.
The end of The Beatles came in 1970 when Paul McCartney announced he was leaving the group, but 50 years later the music of The Beatles lives on and will be performed by The Return, an American Beatles tribute band. The show will be 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St.
Founded in 1995, The Return is a tribute to the Fab Four and stars Georgia natives Richard Stelling, Shane Landers, Michael Fulop and Adam Thurston as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, respectively. For the first half of the two-hour performance, the band will be dressed in 1964 “A Hard Day’s Night” themed costumes and will perform early hits from the touring years of 1963 to 1966, Fulop said.
This will include hits like “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “A Hard Day’s Night,” as well as songs that influenced The Beatles such as “Twist and Shout” by The Top Notes and “Roll Over Beethoven” by Chuck Berry, according to The Return website.
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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of “Let It Be” and the official end of The Beatles when Paul McCartney publicly announced he was leaving the band in April of 1970. All throughout the 2010s, Beatle fans saw deluxe remasters of their favorite albums, from 2017’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” to “Abbey Road” in 2019. Not only was every song remastered, but demos, outtakes and alternate versions of the classic Beatles’ tunes were also included.
These remastered albums prove The Beatles’s music today is as relevant as it was from 1962-1969. In the 1960s, the group’s songs were about peace and love, while the civil rights movement, war and a generation gap were the new norm in the United States and in the world. Today’s world is still plagued with issues, including tensions between the U.S. and Iran, climate related crises around the world and terrorist attacks.
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While John Lennon was never did a lot of bragging about his Beatles-era guitar playing, he did take pride in his innovations in the studio. That included the backwards vocals on “Rain” as well as the work with tape loops he did on “Revolution 9.”
But an even bigger point of pride for John revolved around his use of feedback. During the October 1964 sessions for Beatles for Sale, John pushed to get the sound of his guitar/amplifier feedback on record. Producer George Martin agreed, and John considered it a major accomplishment.
“The record with the first feedback anywhere,” John said in his 1980 Playboy interviews. “I defy anybody to find a record – unless it’s some old blues record in 1922 – that uses feedback that way.”
Though not everyone agrees it was the first, the song in question became the Beatles’ eighth single and was released in November ’64. And it became a No. 1 hit in both the U.S. and UK.
Freddie Mercury’s Queen is one of the great rock bands, but its musical style could swing from light pop to heavy metal. Now Brian May has spilt the beans on the band’s biggest influences, including The Beatles. Speaking with Guitar World last year, May said: “By that time I’d been exposed to Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, and that was life-changing.”
The 72-year-old continued: “To us, Hendrix was the great god.
“I still can’t understand where that stuff came from. It’s like he came from another planet.
“I mentioned harmonies — I came from Buddy Holly and the Crickets, the Everly Brothers, the Beatles.
“The Beatles built our bible as far as musical composition, arrangement and production went.”
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John Lennon’s son Julian has revealed he recently had a cancer scare that saw him rushed to hospital and in need of an emergency operation.
The musician, 56, had to have a mole removed from his head, after being told the growth, that he’d had for all his life, had turned cancerous according to the results from a biopsy.
Within 48 hours, the mole was removed following emergency surgery and while the operation was a success, Julian revealed in a candid Facebook post that he is now waiting to receive more results back from further testing.
He admitted that the whole experience left him ‘shaking inside’, as the scare appeared to come from nowhere.
Julian wrote: ‘The trouble is… you think you have time. A few days ago, I went to visit my dermatologist here in LA when she noticed a little bump on my head that was actually a mole that had been there, along with a birthmark, for the last 57 years.’
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