Beatles News

Musician and actor Steven Van Zandt says he made use of his connections in the music world to get rights to use Beatles and Rolling Stones recordings in David Chase’s film, “Not Fade Away”.  Van Zandt, who was part of Chase’s series, “The Sopranos”, served as music mentor and executive producer on the film, about a group of New Jersey high school kids who put together a band in the mid-1960s.  Chase told, "He would tell you he has a few friends who are Beatles, and he had connections with the Rolling Stones Publisher at that time (ABKCO). He has these contacts and he was able to put them to use and negotiate some good deals for us".

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Olivia Harrison Speaks @ Shankar Memorial - Friday, December 21, 2012

Olivia Harrison was among hundreds of people honoring Ravi Shankar at a memorial in California.   Said Olivia of Ravi’s relationship with George : "They were like father and son as well as brothers... they made each other laugh as if they shared a secret. And I'm sure they did."  She said Shankar "laid the stepping stones from West to East, that led George to new concepts, alternative philosophies and completely transformed his musical sensibilities,”and added:"They exchanged ideas and melodies until their minds and hearts, East and West, were entwined, like a double helix."


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George's Suitcase on Display in UK - Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A suitcase that likely belonged to George Harrison in the early 60’s is currently on display in the UK. The case was found after a Beatles appearance at the Irby Village Hall on September 7, 1962, one of Ringo’s first appearances after officially joining the group.  The suitcase features George’s initials and says, “Mr. George Harrison c/o Beatles Party.”  A Jim Irlam says he found the case after the show, called Brian Epstein’s office to report it, and was told someone would come to pick it up, but no one ever did, so he took it home.

The suitcase is now on display at the Merseybeat museum at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton, Wirral, UK.


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Ravi Shankar to Receive Posthumous Grammy - Monday, December 17, 2012

Ravi Shankar will receive a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Grammy on Feb. 10th. Grammys spokeswoman Stephanie Schell says he was selected before his death and notified of the honor the week before he passed.  Shankar died in California after failing to recover from surgery.

George Harrison called Shankar "The Godfather of World Music", and Yehudi Menuhin, widely considered one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, compared him to Mozart.

The other Grammy lifetime award recipients are Carole  King, the Temptations, classical pianist Glenn Gould, jazz musician Charlie Haden, blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins, and Patti Page, famous for songs such as "(How Much Is That) Doggie In The Window."

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Yoko Gets German Human Rights Award - Monday, December 17, 2012

Yoko Ono has been awarded a German human rights prize for peace activism with her husband, John Lennon, as well as her more recent work championing gender and marriage equality.

Ono picked up the Rainer Hildebrandt Medal at Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie Museum, next to the former Cold War border crossing.

Said Yoko: "I'm very honoured to get this award and I will consider this award as an encouragement to do more work in humanitarian causes."

Hildebrandt, who died in 2004, founded the museum to document daring attempts by East Germans living under communism to escape over the Berlin Wall and in protest against the regime's shoot-to-kill policies.

His widow Alexandra handed Yoko the award--which was selected by a jury she said included German President Joachim Gauck, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher.

"Since the early days of her career, and in addition to her music and conceptual art, Yoko Ono has always drawn attention for her political statements and her fight for peace details

Jagger 1969 Letters Sold - Thursday, December 13, 2012

The letters Mick Jagger wrote to singer Marsha Hunt, the inspiration for the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar", have sold for £187,250 ($301,472).  Jagger wrote to Hunt from the set of the movie "Ned Kelly" during the summer of 1969, and mentions topics including the lunar landing and his thoughts on the newly-married John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Hunt told The Guardian she sold the letters because she is broke and needs the money to pay for utlities and home repairs. Jagger and Hunt have a daughter together named Karis.  The letters sold for twice what was expected.

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Paul Closes 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief - Thursday, December 13, 2012

Paul McCartney says the "real stars" of the Hurricane Sandy relief concert at New York's Madison Square Garden were the first responders. And while they didn't perform, they got themselves a curtain call at the end of the nearly six hour long show on December 12th, which also featured the Rolling Stones, the Who and Eric Clapton, among many others.

As the smoke, flame blasts and fireworks cleared after he performed "Live and Let Die," Paul called Alicia Keys on stage — and motioned for first responders to come out to take a bow. As Keys sang "Empire State of Mind, Pt. 2," the police, firefighters and other emergency workers hugged McCartney and each other, while trading high-fives and smiles.

Paul's set at the show included "Helter Skelter", "Let Me Roll It", "Blackbird", "My Valentine" and "Live and Let Die".  He also sang with the surviving members of Nirvana.

Ravi Shankar Dies @ 92 - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The man George Harrison thought of as a second father--and whom he called “the godfather of world music--Ravi  Shankar, has died at age 92.

The renowned sitar player taught George to play the ancient Indian instrument, and thus had a great impact on the Beatles’ music in the latter half of their career—and by extension, the Beatles’ fans and late Sixties culture.  But Shankar had started collaborating with Western musicians from the classical and jazz worlds as early as the 1950s.

The Indian prime minister's office confirmed his death and called him a "national treasure."

Shankar won three Grammy awards and was nominated for an Oscar for his musical score for the movie "Gandhi." 


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The copy of “Double Fantasy” John Lennon signed for his killer hours before his death is up for auction.

The record John signed for Mark David Chapman on Decemeber 8, 1980 was found outside the Dakota apartment building in New York City.  The album was used as evidence against Chapman, then returned to the man who found it.  The album was last up for sale in 2003, when it went on sale for $525,000—or 327,357 pounds.

Chapman was denied parole for a seventh time earlier this year.

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McCullough is Reportedly Doing Much Better - Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Former Wings guitarist Henry McCullough is reportedly doing much better after suffering a heart attack in early November. reports that McCullough’s former Wings bandmate, Denny Seiwell, says he has been in contact with the family, and they report that Henry is improving, and there is hope he will recover completely.

In the immediate wake of the heart attack, there had been erroneous reports that McCullough had died.

McCullough was part of Wings for 18 months starting in 1971, and it’s his guitar solo on “My Love” from the Red Rose Speedway album.

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