Beatles News

To mark her 80th birthday on February 18th, Yoko Ono will give a Plastic Ono Band concert the night before in Berlin, Germany, with son Sean as band leader.

Ono's retrospective, HALF-A-WIND SHOW opens in Frankfurt on February 15, and will tour to major museums across Denmark, Austria and Spain in 2013 and 2014. This year, her albums from 1968-1985 will be reissued, and a career-spanning art book, Infinite Universe At Dawn, will be published, highlighting six decades of her work.

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Forty-nine years after the Beatles toured Australia, Ringo Starr has gotten a personal invitation to return to a train station he supposedly visited back then.  National Trust volunteers who maintain the historic Grandchester station have invited him to pay a visit, after learning of a local legend that Ringo secretly visited the station in June 1964. 

Ringo returns to Brisbane on February 11 to perform with his All-Star Band, and so trust volunteers have emailed him asking him to visit Grandchester Station.

"While he is touring Down Under, would he like to visit this beautiful, historic station (either as Ringo or incognito) at any time on any day?" the email reads. "We would be delighted to host a visit and give him a tour."

Frank Klein, stationmaster in the 60’s says: “It's a popular myth….There was a guy at the last station open day who said it happened, but I think part of the confusion was that there was a Laidley porter nicknamed Ringo, so that doesn't help things. It would be great if it were details

Ringo Starr and wife Barbara Bach went to Park City, Utah to attend the Sundance Film Festival premiere of the film, Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes, directed by Barbara’s daughter, Francesca Gregorini, to whom Ringo has been a stepfather since 1981.  The indie drama/thriller stars Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina and Frances O’Connor.

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Current artists are taking up the challenge to re-record the Beatles' debut album--at the same breakneck pace in which the original was recorded.

Musicians including the Stereophonics and Simply Red's Mick Hucknall will attempt to complete the project in the same space--Abbey Road Studios--the Beatles used in 1963.

The musicians will use the same studio, with all the tracks recorded in the same order for the event, scheduled for Feb. 11. The project will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, and will be filmed for a BBC Four special called 12 Hours to Please Me, scheduled to air Feb. 15 in the U.K.

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Paul's Stepmother Writes Autobiography - Thursday, January 17, 2013

Paul McCartney’s little-known stepmother, Angie, has written an autobiography, My Long & Winding Road.

“We lived quite a quiet life, when I think about it,” says Angie, now 83. “Jim was a quiet conservative man who didn’t like a fuss. Yes, we used to have photographers and reporters outside, but inside it was all very simple.”

Angie had been introduced to the widower Jim by a mutual friend after her first husband, Eddie, died.  She had a young daughter, Ruth. Angie said of the senior McCartney, “We talked a lot about our lives, our loneliness, our need to take the next steps’, and married the year they met.

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Members of a Spanish orchestra created a flash mob in a Madrid unemployment office, siging a Beatles classic to cheer job seekers.

One by one, they stood up in a busy waiting room — with an oboe, a clarinet, a bassoon, a couple of violins and a flute — and began the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun."

A singer stepped forward, stunned employees put aside their paperwork, and many joined in the song. Smiles and even a few tears streaked the faces of those gathered there to request government benefits.

The group was organized by the staff of a Spanish radio program. Spain’s unemployment rate is over 26%.

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Beatles & Queen Top New UK Survey - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

UK music fans say the Beatles and Queen are the artists of whom they are most proud—at 71% each.  The phone and internet provider Plusnet conducted the survey, in which Adele placed third with 48%, followed by Pink Floyd (46%) and Oasis (32%).  Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they are proud of the UK’s musical heritage overall.

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Mersey Beat founder/editor Bill Harry says he’s revising his famous reference book, “The Beatles Encyclopedia”, first published in 1992, and revised in 2000. This third edition will be expanded to two volumes, of probably 900 pages each.  Harry says, “With the vast amount of information I was collecting, it became obvious that it would have hundreds of thousands of additional words and could never fit into a single volume.”  He adds, “I was the first person ever to write about the Beatles and have written more about them than anyone else in the world. Even I was surprised by the amount of new information I kept unearthing and I am confident that even the most devoted Beatles fans will find information they were completely unaware of.”

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The man looking to erect a George Harrison statue in Henley-on-Thames, near the Harrison estate, is ending his campaign after hearing from Olivia Harrison that she would prefer a community project undertaken in George’s memory.  42-yr old James Lambert , who admitted the statue might attract “unwanted fans” to the town, told the BBC: “Gauging the pulse in terms of Henley residents I think there was a lot of support.  This petition wasn’t tapping into the Beatles fanfare worldwide, it was much more to recognize George’s contribution to Henley and the affection Henley had for him.  It is slightly disappointing but you have to respect Olivia’s wishes as she still has a house in Henley…I think what she’s suggesting in terms of a community project will be great and it will be very exciting to see exactly how this transpires.”

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A new mash-up successfully combines Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" with the Beatles' "Helter Skelter", in both audio and video form.  The project, completed by someone known only as "Soundhog", utilizes material from The Beatles' Anthology and archival material from Led Zeppelin as well--so that Robert Plant's speaking voice is heard, in addition to Ringo's famous cry of  "I've got blisters on my fingers!"

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