On this episode of Everything Fab Four: The Hall of Famer talks his Beatles journey, from revelation to revolution
British singer-songwriter Jon Anderson recently joined host Kenneth Womack to discuss "being spurred on to do better music" by the Beatles on "Everything Fab Four," a new podcast co-produced by me and Womack, a music scholar who also writes about pop music for Salon, and distributed by Salon.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Anderson, co-founder and former lead singer of the legendary prog rock group Yes, has enjoyed a prolific career spanning over six decades, most recently with his 2019 album "1000 Hands." Though he had a band with his brother as a teen in 1962, they were largely focused on being the Everly Brothers or Elvis Presley — that is, until they heard "Love Me Do."
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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, most of us are likely planning a laid-back Christmas celebration. And Paul McCartney is no different.
"I'm going to stay at home," the Beatles legend declared during a Reddit AMA session fan Q&A earlier this week, adding "and yes I'll be eating far too much with my family!"
Regarding his brand-new album, McCartney III, Paul reveals what his and his wife Nancy's favorite songs are on the record. He says of his favorite, "Always difficult to say as they change, but at the moment it's 'Deep Deep Feeling.'" As for Nancy's, it's "The Kiss of Venus."
McCartney also reports that "The Kiss of Venus," "Slidin'" and "Find My Way" are the songs from the new album he thinks would be fun to play live.
Reflecting on the making of "The Kiss of Venus," Paul notes that it "was interesting because that was a song I had to play straight on acoustic guitar. It was fun to do and I was happy with how it turned out."
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With 2020 just days away from coming to an end — finally — it’s time to look ahead to 2021. In a recent end-of-the-year recap video shared by Ringo Starr summing up what he’s been up to the past eleven-plus months, the famed Beatles icon urges us all to have a “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year … Or, a different New Year,” no doubt a statement about the tough times that 2020 forced upon us all.
The clip also features in-studio footage of Ringo and pals Paul McCartney, Steve Lukather, Joe Walsh and others recording their parts for “Here’s to the Nights,” Ringo’s new song written by Diane Warren that was shared recently.
The wistful song, part of an EP Ringo will release in early 2021, has a theme of unity and togetherness, folks coming together for a mutual cause:
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My father, Alan Smyth, was a viola player. When I was young, in the 1980s, he mentioned a couple of times that he’d played with the Beatles. He wasn’t very interested in them; growing up, I wasn’t either. Years later, now that I’ve become very interested in them, I think often about his casual aside.
My dad died in 2002. In early 2020 I made contact with his musician friends to ask if they had any memories of his playing with the Beatles. John Underwood, the viola player in the Delmé String Quartet, played on ‘Eleanor Rigby’ in April 1966, on ‘A Day in the Life’ in February 1967, and on ‘She’s Leaving Home’ in March 1967. John said my father didn’t play on these songs, and he couldn’t remember if he played on others.
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Beatles musician Ringo Starr has spoken out about not being able to join his family in the UK for Christmas due to the pandemic, saying he feels "miserable" but will "get on" with it.
The 80-year-old is based in Los Angeles with wife Barbara Bach and, like millions of others, will be unable to physically see his children and grandchildren over the festive period.
The father-of-three said: "I'm not in England, I should be in England. I go for Christmas with the kids and my grandkids and that’s not happening.
"So I had a few days of being miserable about that. And then you’ve got to get on.
You just got to get up again and say, 'well, let’s see what we can do today’. It’s no good sitting there being miserable for a long time, just odd moments."
Paul McCartney, like most people, has a favorite Beatles song, and it’s a surprising one.
In a new appearance on The Zane Lowe Show, Sir Paul says the Beatles song he’s listened to the most is “Let It Be,” but his favorite is “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number),” which is the b-side to “Let It Be.”
RELATED: Paul McCartney Teases Documentary Series with Rick Rubin
Macca calls the song “a zany, zany little B-side that nobody knows, but we had such fun making it.”
“It’s like a little comedy record. And I just remember the joy of making it,” said McCartney. “…But there’s a lot of songs that I love of the Beatles. I think ‘Strawberry Fields’ is a great song; I think ‘Hey Jude’ worked out great. I’ve got a lot of favorite songs. ‘Blackbird’ I love. ‘Eleanor Rigby’ I love.”
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In the 50 years since the Beatles split, seemingly every known scrap of their history has been scrutinized and curated for public consumption — every minute of studio tape, every radio broadcast, home and concert recording; every photo and interview and document and snippet of film footage — with one huge exception: the “Let It Be” film.
There are several reasons for this, but only one matters: “Let It Be” is a downer. We see our beloved Beatles breaking up before our eyes.
Originally intended as a spontaneous, “as live as live can be, in this electronic age” documentary of rock as it happens, instead we see the group, who had finished recording the 30-song “White Album” just six weeks earlier, miserably trying to have a jolly ol’ time working up even more tunes for the cameras — in the morning, in a dark and cavernous film studio, during a typically gloomy English winter. We see Paul and George arguing, John and Yoko wafting in from a heroin haze, and Paul trying to liven the tepid sessions by taking the helm — instead he comes off dictatorial — while Ringo looks on dejectedly.
Source: Jem Aswad/variety.com
The Beatles broke up 50 years ago and since then we’ve lost both John Lennon and George Harrison. Nevertheless, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr remain good friends and occasionally feature in each other’s music or live shows for Beatles reunions. Most recently Sir Paul sang in the video for Sir Ringo’s new single Here’s To The Nights.
While last year, Sir Ringo joined Sir Paul on stage of the Dodger Stadium for the last night of his solo tour.
The two surviving Beatles performed Helter Skelter for the Los Angeles crowd.
And as Sir Ringo releases a new single, Sir Paul has put out his McCartney III solo album.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, The Beatles drummer said: “He does [have a new record out], yeah — he’s playing everything."
Pop’s biggest sensations, The Beatles, were driven apart by business issues, Lennon’s obsession with Yoko Ono and what one observer called “hostile lethargy.” Or so the story goes.
A new film is lifting the lid on The Beatles' break-up
But maybe their final year-and-a-half together wasn’t quite as acrimonious as we’ve been led to believe.
Maybe there’s a different picture emerging . . . of goofing around in the studio, scintillating performance and gallows humour.
Maybe being in a giant goldfish bowl didn’t quite descend into the Fab Four’s total desperation to get away from it all and each other.
Yesterday, film-maker Peter Jackson, best known for the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and First World War documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, offered us a “sneak preview” of his latest project.
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Paul McCartney got candid during his most recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning on Sunday (December 20).
The iconic singer-songwriter addressed many matters during the eleven-minute segment, including whether or not The Beatles would have ever reunited, his latest album McCartney III and his experience of recording a project during quarantine amid the global spread of COVID-19.
The most noteworthy aspects of the expansive interview included John Lennon and a potential reunion between the members of (debatably) one of the most influential musical groups of all time.
Though it’s been forty years since Lennon was shot and killed in the archway of the Dakota, McCartney admits he’s unsure whether or not the quartet would have ever gotten back together again.
"He was showing no signs of slowing up. You know, he was still making great music,” he said of his band member Lennon. "The question is: Would we have ever got back together again? I don't know. We don't know."