Beatles News

Paul McCartney has had a decade spanning career as a solo artist which would be the envy of almost any musician you care to mention. The artists who can claim his success or longetvity are few and far between. At the same time, he forever lives in the shadow of his achievements with The Beatles half a century ago.

His self title debut solo album featured the eternal classic Maybe I’m Amazed but was otherwise homemade and low key by design. For all its charm it felt like a minor work compared to the grand statements of John Lennon and George Harrison’s solo debuts.

He regained popular acclaim in The Seventies with Wings But was seldom a critics’ favourite and there’s a pervading opinion that he was never as good without his old friends from Liverpool.




By the time The Beatles settled in to write the songs that would make up their legendary 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s songwriting partnership had drastically transformed from the early days when they would write songs face-to-face, trading lines. It was now far more common for one of them to write a song on his own and then bring it in so the other could edit, criticize, and maybe embellish upon the raw material provided.

In the case of Pepper’s monumental closing track “A Day In The Life,” the collaboration came from the melding of seemingly disparate parts of songs that the two had written separately. As Lennon told Playboy shortly before his death in 1980, “I was reading the paper one day and noticed two stories. One was about the Guinness heir who killed himself in a car. That was the main headline story. He died in London in a car crash. On the next page was a story about four thousand potholes in the streets of Blackburn, Lancashire, that needed to be filled.”

Source: Jim Beviglia/


Mary, Sylvia, Val and Pam performed at the same venues as the Rolling Stones and The Kinks and had equal billing with Chuck Berry in Hamburg, where they were known as “the female Beatles”. Which must have really annoyed John Lennon. When he met them backstage at the Cavern, he told them: “Girls don’t play guitars.” They turned down the Fab Four’s manager Brian Epstein, hung out with Jimi Hendrix and The Four Tops, helped The Kinks record their first No1 and guitarist Pam had a fling with Mick Jagger. But Mary McGlory, Sylvia Saunders, Valerie Gell and Pamela Birch never became household names like their male contemporaries.

Now, more than 50 years on, the ­incredible story of the four teenagers and their part in the Merseybeat revolution is finally being told in a new musical, Girls Don’t Play Guitars, a whirlwind tour through the band’s five years together, created with the help of its two surviving members, drummer Sylvia, 72, and bassist Mary, 73, pictured right.

Source: Kat Hopps/

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By 1965, The Beatles had written some great songs. They’d put “Please Please Me,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” and the Paul McCartney masterpiece “Yesterday” on vinyl and sold millions of records around the world.

But as catchy as those tunes (and their song titles) were, the band had yet to name an album with any sort of creativity. Of their first five releases, the title either came from a song or film name (e.g., Help!) or had a generic name (e.g., With The Beatles).

Prior to the release of Rubber Soul (December ’65), it was clear the band could do better. The record, which George Harrison called his favorite with The Beatles, featured classic tracks like “In My Life” and “Nowhere Man.”

In a nod to the psychedelic age, the band used an stretched-out photo and bubble lettering for the album cover. And for the title, they used a phrase Paul heard an American bluesman had used to describe Mick Jagger.




Dressed exactly as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison once did, the Mersey Beatles, a tribute band, comes out onto the stage and immediately transports the Buskirk-Chumley Theater’s audience back to the 1960s.

Beatlemania and the classic moptop hair, returned.

On the evening of Oct. 16, the auditorium of the BCT lit up with sing-alongs, dancing and laughter as the Beatles cover band, the Mersey Beatles, performed the entirety of the Beatles’ eleventh studio album, “Abbey Road,” as well as a set of the Beatles’ greatest hits.

Audience attendee and Bloomington resident Michael Esposito was excited.

“My favorite song from the Beatles is ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’” Esposito said before the show began. “It reminds me of my family growing up. It’s very nostalgic.”

Source: Greer Ramsey-White/



Former LIFE photographer Bob Gomel captured some of the earliest days of Beatlemania. Many of his photos were never shared with the public, until now. VPC

If it were not for the Isley Brothers, the Beatles would still be Liverpool.

That's the word from Paul McCartney, who told guitar legend Ernie Isley of the debt the Fab Four owed the Isleys when they met at the Apollo in the Hamptons benefit in 2012. The Beatles, of course, covered the Isley Brothers hits “Twist and Shout” and “Shout” early in their career.

The Isleys had just finished performing “Shout” at the benefit.

“We came back off the stage, taking selfies and signing autographs,” Ernie Isley said. “My wife Tracy said to me Paul McCartney’s over there and I said, 'Where?' She points and he was about four tables away. I squeezed through the tables, tapped him on his shoulder and he stood up at his full height and gave me bear hug that cut my wind off.

Source: Chris Jordan, Asbury Park Press details

When The Beatles described how hectic their lives were from 1963-67, they weren’t exaggerating. Over that time, the band released nine albums of original songs. On top of that, they owed the record company between two and four singles (separate from the records) each year.

Meanwhile, they mixed in two feature films, one poorly received TV movie, and countless concerts and appearances. Indeed, you might be running from fans and snapping at people, too, if you had that type of schedule.

Once the band quit touring for good, they had more time to spend in the studio to lay down whatever sort of tracks they liked. And they used as much of it as they could (over four months) to make their first album as purely studio musicians: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.




I debated if I should be a bit more contemporary when I chose my first pop culture topic. But, as they say, you must first know your past before you can understand your future.

There was never a band like The Beatles when they swept into America in 1964. Four young men named John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr changed the world.

And, really, there would never be one like them again. Because once Beatlemania hit, nothing really could ever be as frenzied. Their fans were so loud during concerts they said they actually got worse as a band because they couldn’t hear themselves perform. It’s the main reason they stopped touring and stopped performing live.

September marked 50 years of when The Beatles released “Abbey Road” and after all these years the album has managed to reach the Top 3 in the Billboard Chart of Top 200 in the U.S., and hit No. 1 again in the U.K.

Source: Crystal Schelle /



The Beatles singer/guitarist John Lennon’s one of the rarest photos with Yoko Ono has been shared on Lennon’s official Instagram page.

The photo was taken by Kishin Shinoyama, and the page has revealed a rare statement of Shinoyama as a caption of that post. The statement showed some observations about the lifestyle of Ono and Lennon after The Beatles’ split.

Here’s the statement:

“I think that photography should capture a moment at the end of every second, so to speak. Every moment ends instantly, it becomes the past, you know? Photography is one of the tools you can use to record a moment. For any type of work, I’ve never changed my approach. I take photos of everything I see, without letting anything pass by. ⠀

Source: Feyyaz Ustaer/



What was The Beatles’ greatest asset as a band? It’s hard to pick one thing, but if we had to choose it would be the way the band members’ taste in music complemented that of the others.

John Lennon was a rock ‘n’ roller first and foremost; George Harrison was into Indian music and folk rock; Paul McCartney was the most into pop standards; and Ringo Starr loved country and western. And you could call producer George Martin the essential fifth man.

Looking back at their Beatles careers, each member of the group named a different album as their favorite. For George, Rubber Soul stood out from the pack for its quality songwriting and special moment in time. When pressed on his favorite, Paul chose Sgt. Pepper’s.

John and Ringo proved harder to pin down. Though he couldn’t endorse any album in its entirety, John spoke most highly of The White Album. As for Ringo, he couldn’t choose an entire album, either. But he came awful close.



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