viernes, 26 de agosto de 2016

Paul McCartney recounts the moment The Beatles quit touring

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Paul McCartney recounts the moment The Beatles quit touring
Ringo Starr believes the quartet didn't fully intend on quitting live performances
Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 25 August 2016


To promote new documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited to reflect on their time as part of The Beatles.

Ron Howard's new film hones in on the height of Beatlemania which began in 1963 and culminated with a live show at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966.

The quartet famously performed live only once more in 1969 on the roof of Apple's headquarters on Savile Row.

In a brand new interview, Starr told Mojo that the band never truly intended on quitting live shows stating: "The Beatles were never gone. And they could have come back."

NME also reports how McCartney went on to recall the moment the band decided to call time on touring.

"By then we were totally fed up and getting actually put in the back of a stainless steel box [which] is like some weird sci-fi thing from 2001 or something. It was a very weird place. What it reminded me of was… you know these rough rides that police do where they put you in the back of a van but you’re not strapped down? And they were accused of killing that guy. Well, that’s what it was like," he said.

"We’re suddenly sliding around in the back of the van and it was like, 'Oh, fuck this!' And finally  the guys, John [Lennon] and George [Harrison], had been a little 'Oh murmur-murmur' about touring and, finally, all of us, were like 'Fuck this!' So that was the moment."

The duo also revealed how the fans screaming got so loud they struggled to hear each other play.

“At first, the screaming was exciting," McCartney commented. "It’s like doing autographs, having your photo taken, doing all that. “Then, after a while, it got more and more boring.” 

Starr added: “We used a house PA, with those huge amps and I had to watch the back of the boys because I couldn’t hear nothing so if they went [wiggles shoulders] I’d know 'Oh, we’re there! That’s where we are now.' Also, and this is really my opinion, we really weren’t playing great.”

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The Beatles in Hong Kong: The unreleased concert tape
The Beatles in Hong Kong: The unreleased concert tape
Posted by Roger Stormo
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hong Kong press conference

A review of an unreleased audio concert recording of The Beatles, this was sent us by the person who owns the tape, and the review is by a friend of him, who is also a Beatles fan.

Back in 2013, I was approached by someone who has in his possession a tape recorded at The Beatles Hong Kong concert in 1964. He wanted advice about the copyright of the recording. I told him about what was then known as "The Beatles Live Project". Still, three years later, he still owns the recording and has asked a friend, a Beatles fan, to review the tape. Here's that review.

On 9th June 1964, The Beatles played two concerts in Kowloon, Hong Kong as part of their far eastern and Australian tour legs. Notably, Ringo Starr did not accompany the tour, having been hospitalised back in the UK. A session drummer by the name of Jimmy Nicol stood in for Ringo and had a brief moment of fame as a temporary member of the Fab Four.

Apparently, the evening and matinee performances were not sold out, as the local promoter had pitched the ticket prices too high at the equivalent of a weekly wage. In the audience that night was a radio journalist who had decided to attend the concert out of curiosity, as he had previously briefly taught Ringo at primary school. With him he had his UHER tape recorder, and as The Beatles hit the stage he pressed the record button and captured the entire show for posterity on a BASF reel to reel tape.

I have had the privilege to hear the recording on three occasions on a transferred to cassette copy. The original tape is safely and appropriately stored, it is going to be professionally treated to preserve its integrity. Its authenticity has been verified by EMI and independent auction houses.

I am a lifelong Beatles fanatic. They mean everything to me. Growing up in difficult family circumstances, they almost became surrogate parents to me, keeping me on the straight and narrow, with my passion driving me to learn and study music. Now at the age of 53, I have had a lifetime of sharing their music in the various bands I sing and play with.

You can therefore imagine my delight in having an opportunity to hear this once in a lifetime gig, with the most unusual of circumstances attached to it and etched in Beatles history and folklore. So I’m not going to keep it to myself. Here’s a little run through of how the gig sounds, its highlights and feel, and its sheer uniqueness.

First thing to address is whether the sound quality is any good. Those of us who remember the Hamburg Lingasong release of the 70s, still remember the disappointment at how poor the sound quality was. Worth having as a completist, but never succeeding in getting more than one play. This is a whole new ballpark to that.

It’s mono of course and comes from a mere tape recording machine of the early 60s. It is however crystal clear and could probably be sound enhanced further on modern equipment. I listened to it on cassette format through a small machine purchased for about £20. It was a thrilling listen and much to be enjoyed in terms of little moments which I will describe to you. This has to be the only available recording of this snapshot moment in Beatles history and it is wonderful.

The sound starts a little muffled and then drastically improves half way through the first number. There is really clear and interesting audience reaction, the effect you get from actually being in the audience among it. I couldn’t fully make out what the announcer is saying but he does say ‘The biggest ever to hit Hong Kong and The World’. There is audience crescendo and…bang…..they launch into I saw her standing there.

Now I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing, or the fact that it wasn’t sold out, but there is none of the Beatlemania white noise of the screaming, and the audience can clearly be heard reacting to the dynamic of the music, and you get the feeling that the Fabs are a touch surprised to be hearing themselves playing. The Cavern fire, guts and power is abundantly evident.

Jimmy’s drumming is notably different to Ringo. Steady beat and throughout not as cymbal heavy as the Starkey. The sound quality boosts half way through the tune and the second verse is nice and clear with Lennon’s low harmony shining through. Finishing the song there is a lovely audience crescendo, sending the hairs on the back of the neck upwards as you imagine what it must have been like to have been there.

On stage in Hong Kong

Without dropping a beat, we are seamlessly attacked with the opening riff of I want to hold your hand. George’s playing sounds pronounced and unusual, and is just a joy all the way through, with lovely janglyness. As they sing the ‘touch you’ line in the middle eight, there is a swoony scream in unison from the audience. It’s a powerful performance so much so that when they hit the ‘I can’t hide’ line, there is some distortion which has a certain charm. Paul’s harmony at the end is just divine.

Mass adulation as the song ends, and we are in to the first speaking link from Paul……….’Hello. How are you? We’d like to carry on with a song we recorded not long ago………All my loving!’ Bosh…out rings Lennon’s Rickenbacker with what could be one of the hardest rhythm guitar parts ever created. His speedy triplets ring out loud and pronounced. George’s solo loud and crisp and the harmonies just beautiful. Into the 2 nd verse you hear Lennon shout ‘Sing along’. Jimmy is not as good a sticksman as Ringo but he’s doing the job for them.

Johnny takes the next introduction link. ‘Thank you. Next song we’d like to do is on our last record……. (Interrupted by the audience)...WHAT? …then She Loves You at a pace to rival The Clash. Jimmy’s drumming is so significantly different to Ringo here. It’s a curiosity. Great harmonies as always and George’s twangy fills ring out. As you can imagine, tumultuous applause at the end for one of the pop songs that defined the 60s.

Paul up to the mic introducing a song from ‘The Music Man’ as they glide into a beautiful rendition of Till there was you. I can only presume that George is playing the solo parts on his Gretsch rather than a Spanish guitar because there doesn’t appear to be time to change guitars around. His playing and phrasing is notably different to the recorded version we know and love, and there is very unusual phrase at the end which is worth the price of admission on its own.

Bang! Hits you like a freight train, straight into Roll over Beethoven. Hardly a breath in-between and no time for a guitar change. Great Cavern style attack and real stomping and handclapping from the audience who are really going with the flow. It really takes off in the ‘reel and rocking’ bit. Some unusual little improv in the solo and finishes up on some ringing seventh chords.

Paul back to the mic ‘Next record is our latest record in England. Do us a favour. Join in and clap (the audience does) and stamp your feet. You can hear Lennon alongside joining in the sentiments. Can’t buy me love takes off like a rocket with the audience faithfully living up to Paul and John’s request and sound like they are having a party. Just wonderful. Guitar solo cuts through like a knife. Audience frenzy at the end.

John to the mic this time and introduces This Boy as the B side of I want to hold your hand. His rhythm guitar sounds fantastic as does Macca’s harmonies. John’s vocal makes you want to cry, yay yay yay when he sings that bit at the end of the bridge. Powerful vocals all round and produce some of that charming distortion when they really go full tilt.

Macca introduces Twist and Shout and they power drive in. Lennon’s growl and the call response vocals just so uplifting, and the audience are going crazy – stomping, clapping and screaming. Instrumental bridge superb and a tight crisp finish.

We then get one of the most interesting aspects of the recording. Paul goes to the mic to announce the last song and there is a resounding boo. John says ‘Best to Ringo. He couldn’t make it today but give a round of applause to Jimmy Nicol…… (The audience does) Just found out there are people from Liverpool in the audience.’ They then launch into a fantastic spirited version of Long Tall Sally with a lovely little reprise of the Twist and Shout riff. Then it’s all over.

The audience scream for more and the announcer states ‘On behalf of The Beatles. Thanks for coming down. Hope you enjoyed the show. Then it goes quiet.

Well a moment in time that I have been honoured to have participated in. Would love to hear this recording again and again anytime. You really do feel in among the audience and I was entirely thrilled to hear the little unusual things going on, the little differences in George’s playing, the inspired vocals of John and Paul, the stage banter and the congruent audience reaction flowing along with the music rather than screaming them off the stage. One of the things I found most fascinating is the absence of Ringo. Jimmy Nicol did a great job for them but Ringo often much maligned, it shows what a truly great drummer Mr Starkey was and is. I wonder if he has heard this?

I hope that one day you’ll have the opportunity too.


According to an article in South China Morning News from 2013, quoting Hong Kong institution DJ Ray “Uncle Ray” Cordeiro, the screaming during the concert  most likely came from military servicemen. In fact, the concert was a flop, because tickets went unsold.

"It was quite a flop because the teenagers couldn’t afford to buy the tickets … and the parents didn’t know who The Beatles were. So the theatre was empty," Cordeiro says. According to Cordeiro, the promoter was forced to offer the unsold tickets to the army, free of charge, and the auditorium was filled with soldiers in uniforms.
When The Beatles came to Hong Kong
Half a century ago, The Beatles brought Hong Kong closer to the world of global music, but the gig’s importance has been exaggerated over the years
Charley Lanyon
Thursday, 29 August, 2013

The Beatles, with replacement drummer Jimmy Nicol (front), wave to fans on arriving at Kai Tak on June 8, 1964.

Fifty years ago next year, The Beatles came to Hong Kong.
June 9, 1964, has been called the most important day in Hong Kong’s pop history. In the collective memory of the city, The Beatles’ appearance at the Princess Theatre in Kowloon – today the site of the Mira Hotel – marked the beginning of an era: the era of Hong Kong English-language rock 'n' roll, and ultimately of the Cantonese-language pop that it gave birth to.
However, when speaking to the people who were there – audience members and the movers and shakers of Hong Kong’s 1960s pop scene – a more complicated picture emerges. Have we been giving the Fab Four too much credit?
First of all, Fab Three would be more accurate: The Beatles who appeared in Hong Kong were short one Ringo Starr, who was recovering from tonsillitis in a London hospital; he was temporarily replaced by drummer Jimmy Nicol.
Also, the commonly heard story that the Princess Theatre was packed with thousands of screaming, music-starved Hong Kong youngsters doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. The screams were real, but according to Hong Kong institution DJ Ray “Uncle Ray” Cordeiro, they most likely came from military servicemen. In fact, the concert was the only time in Beatles history where the promoter lost money. Tickets went unsold.

DJ "Uncle Ray" Cordeiro with a signed picture of the band. Photo: Jonathan Wong

“It was quite a flop because the teenagers couldn’t afford to buy the tickets … and the parents didn’t know who The Beatles were. So the theatre was empty,” Cordeiro says.
According to Cordeiro, the promoter was forced to offer the unsold tickets to the army, free of charge, and the auditorium was filled with soldiers in uniforms.
Other audience members remember things a bit differently. Anders Nelsson, then a teenager and lead singer of the band The Kontinentals, and Philip Chan Yan-kin of the Astro-Notes, clearly remember throngs of screaming female fans. Nelsson recalls barely being able to make out the music, “the girls were screaming so loud and the PA system was so bad that it was basically an experience rather than a concert”.

Their female fans greet The Beatles at the airport in 1964.

Regardless of the band’s reception, all three witnesses believe the idea that The Beatles’ appearance in Hong Kong launched the local pop scene is flawed. Cordeiro thinks someone else entirely was responsible for Hong Kong’s pop boom: himself. “I’m proud to say I’m the one who initiated the pop scene in Hong Kong in the ‘60s … I was king of the pop scene in Hong Kong,” he says.
He might be right. Through his radio show on what was then RHK, Cordeiro was introducing Hong Kong listeners to Western, mostly British, pop and rock ‘n’ roll music long before The Beatles arrived. The musicians who would come to define the ‘60s musical landscape here, such as Teddy Robin of Teddy Robin and the Playboys, Joe Junior of Joe Junior and the Side Effects, Chan and Nelsson all agree they were listening to and playing English-language pop music before The Beatles touched down at Kai Tak airport. And as soon as the young bands recorded a new single, Cordeiro was there to put it on the air.
Nelsson, whose band is commonly credited with producing the first English-language pop records in Hong Kong, admits The Beatles concert “sparked off a boom in more bands” but he says, “it wasn’t that there were no bands before The Beatles came”.
Also, there was a matter of taste. Robin says his band The Playboys were called “The Beatles of Hong Kong” and boasts that “The Playboys played more than 30 Beatles songs, probably over 40”.
But if Robin is the self-described “wild man” of 1960s Hong Kong pop, then Joe Junior was what Chan describes as “the well-behaved school boy”. Joe was more representative of the Hong Kong listening public. He loved The Beatles and sings their songs to this day, but his preferences, and those of a large portion of Hong Kong’s music lovers, were slanted towards straightforward love songs and tamer performers such as Pat Boone.
The 1964 concert represented perfect timing: The Beatles were at their poppiest and most accessible, just as Hong Kong was most open to new sounds. But for many Hongkongers the love affair was short-lived.
As The Beatles became more psychedelic, experimental and non-conformist, both the listening public and the young musicians had trouble keeping up.
Chan remembers trying to play The Beatles’ later hits. “There came a time we couldn’t follow the development of The Beatles as they got more sophisticated. I think we got as far as Eight Days a Week and I’ll Follow the Sun, but as they got into the psychedelic stuff, and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, we just had to give up.”
And also – to put it bluntly – without the right drugs, Hong Kong struggled to relate to what groups such as The Beatles were saying. “I don’t think young people here could identify that much with psychedelic music. We would drink ourselves blind but that’s all,” Chan says.
Nelsson agrees: “Hong Kong never really got into that whole drug scene. Flower power was a fashion statement.”

The Kontinentals in their heyday with band leader Anders Nelsson (far left).

A Music Maker popchart from December 1, 1965, shows Hong Kong's own The Kontinentals second only to The Beatles.

Meanwhile musicians in Hong Kong were busy blazing their own trail. By the late 1960s, Hong Kong’s English-language musicians were facing competition from an unexpected source: Mandarin singers from Taiwan. Nelsson remembers one specific instance in 1970 when he knew the days of English-language pop were numbered: “I was playing in a club with a band and we started off playing English and then the boss started telling us to back singers they brought in to sing in Mandarin.”
The Mando-pop craze gave way in the early 1970s and for a brief period, English-language music was ascendant again, but by this time many of the classic groups had broken up and it wasn’t long before everything changed again – this time for good. Sam Hui Koon-kit, who had gained fame with his ‘60s English-language band The Lotus, started producing music in Cantonese for his brother Michael Hui Koon-man’s films. The films and their soundtracks were surprise hits. Hui, who became known as the God of Song, had given birth to Canto-pop and there would never be a real market for home-grown English-language music in Hong Kong again.

Another leading local act of the time were Teddy Robin and the Playboys.

So if the idea that The Beatles’ concert ultimately gave rise to Canto-pop at the very least lacks nuance, what was the real impact of the show in Hong Kong? The consensus seems to be that, like so many things, it all comes down to sex. Sex and hair.
Chan remembers fondly: “From the first chord we couldn’t hear a thing because of the girls; they were screaming like in a horror flick. We’d seen that in the news reels, but to be there and see these short little Chinese girls and Western girls – That made me want to be a pop singer.”

Before The Beatles concert, most teenagers in bands in Hong Kong focused on their music. But the Fab Four showed Nelsson and his peers that the power of rock ‘n’ roll came from more than perfectly executed scales: “[We realised] that if you grew your hair longer and you shook your head and went ‘woo’, the girls would scream,” he says.
This was a revelation to Nelsson. “Before, we just played and we were fairly serious about our playing. We hadn’t realised that you could make girls faint.” Like teenage boys in bands all over Hong Kong, he wanted to have that effect on girls, and now thanks to The Beatles they all knew how. “All of us started growing our hair and trying to do things to make the girls squeal.”
The concert also had a more practical impact on the music business in Hong Kong. Nelsson says that after The Beatles show, demand for new rock ‘n’ roll records exploded. Not only was that good news for local bands, but it also got the notice of record companies and distributers overseas. “More records were brought in and they were brought in faster, finally flown in rather than brought in by boat. There was a phenomenon happening,” Nelsson says.
And it didn’t stop at records. The concert effectively opened the gates for a string of popular Western acts to perform live in Hong Kong. “The Beatles concert brought Hong Kong closer to the world of international pop music,” says Chan. “Hong Kong’s young people got exposed to all these concerts. The Carpenters came, Herman’s Hermits, Peter, Paul and Mary, everyone who was popular came – except for The Rolling Stones, who came much later.”
As the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ appearance in the city looms, thoughts drift back to the golden age of Hong Kong pop. But, like all golden ages, those who were there know the reality was less golden than the fantasy. When Robin thinks back, he says what he remembers most is that “it was tough to be a musician in the ‘60s. We were all students, you know? My parents didn’t like it. Only the people from our generation enjoyed it. There was no money even though we were so popular.”
Even so, one thing they can all look back fondly on is the music that made it all possible, of which The Beatles were only one small – albeit important – part.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as:
And the beat moved on

jueves, 25 de agosto de 2016

Eight Days A Week - DVD and two Blu-ray versions
Eight Days A Week - DVD and two Blu-ray versions
Posted by Roger Stormo
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Paul's back.

A bit of a puzzle here, as the French Amazon site has listed three versions of the upcoming documentary, "Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years" for future release, one DVD and two Blu-ray listings, priced differently. This may suggest that the more expensive Blu-ray perhaps has more added material, either in the packaging or in the contents. If we had to guess, perhaps the expensive version has the newly remastered Shea Stadium concert as a bonus feature or as a second disc?

The listings on French Amazon

There's no release date given.

Bill Harry, John Lennon's friend and founder editor of Liverpool's own music paper Mersey Beat, reports that he was interviewed for the film, but did not make the final cut. He says that he has been informed that footage from his interview will be included on the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film as bonus material. Hopefully, further bonus material will not only be more talking heads, but more home movie concert footage assembled during research and production.

In a recent review of the film by Team Rock, we are informed that "the live footage is riveting: you get several songs in their entirety, the thundering rhythm section and the exchange of exuberant looks giving an idea of how it feels to be centre-stage". In another passage, the review reveals that "there’s a fascinating sequence full of outtakes where they return to the sanctuary of the studio to make Revolver and Sgt. Pepper".
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years review
by Mark Ellen
6 days ago

The Beatles in Washington, February 1964
 (Photo: Apple Corps)

Ron Howard's new Beatles documentary hits UK cinemas on September 15. Our reviewer thinks even non-believers will love it
You almost feel winded by the pace and scale of it. One minute the Beatles are entertaining a small, steaming throng in the Cavern Club; the next a camera pans across Anfield stadium as a packed Liverpool crowd sings She Loves You. By 1964, the press are referring to “situations of pure havoc”.

A welcoming party of 250,000 people line the streets in Australia. The band have an entire floor at the New York Plaza but end up locking themselves in the bathroom for some peace and quiet. They have no choice but to play giant baseball venues as it wouldn’t be safe to be anywhere smaller and risk 50,000 ticketless people “going crazy outside”. Shrieking girls tell news cameras that George Harrison has “sexy eyelashes” as 240 fans are stretchered from one of their concerts in America. And just to pile on the pressure, the media keep wondering “when the bubble is going to burst”.

But the main delight of this hectic, joyous and gloriously entertaining documentary is that you get a sense of life on the inside during the super-charged years the Beatles toured the world. Paul McCartney thinks of the band as “one person, the four-headed monster”, the tightest, most enviable gang imaginable whose sparkling wit and self-belief shield them from the farcical nature of the surrounding circus.

On a train between Washington DC and New York, February 1964
 (Photo: Apple Corps)

They laugh at the absurdity of everything. They arrive onstage one night to find the drums pointing in the wrong direction. We hear the sound at their colossal Shea Stadium show as the audience heard it, through the tinniest of tannoy systems like “a giant transistor radio”. Asked at a press conference why their music excited people, Lennon said, “if we knew we’d form another group and be managers”.

At various points besotted fans who grew up with the Beatles offer their memories, Sigourney Weaver, Elvis Costello, Whoopi Goldberg and Eddie Izzard among them (Richard Curtis claims he tries to match the hilarity of the band’s dialogue in his film scripts). And the live footage is riveting: you get several songs in their entirety, the thundering rhythm section and the exchange of exuberant looks giving an idea of how it feels to be centre-stage.

By the time the Beatles reach the Philippines and Japan in 1966, the joy of live performance is evaporating. They’ve had to grow up artificially fast “like rhubarb in a hothouse,” as Harrison puts it, and their public exposure now feels like a freak show. “Every time a firecracker went off you’d think one of the others had been shot,” he reflects. There’s a fascinating sequence full of outtakes where they return to the sanctuary of the studio to make Revolver and Sgt Pepper, revelling in the freedom of having retired from the road where they were lords of all they surveyed but imprisoned by their own celebrity.

“How do you feel?” they were asked as they as wound up what became their final tour. In truth they felt knackered and disillusioned.

“Very rich,” Lennon replied.

Eight Days A Week is a labour of love, so fond, fast and captivating it would convert a non-believer: unmissable.

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years is being shown in UK cinemas from September 15.

How much would the Beatles love us now?

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Beatles press conference in Memphis, August 19, 1966

How much would the Beatles love us now?
David Waters
24th August 2016

The Beatles performed at 4 and 8:30 p.m. at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Friday, August 19, 1966. The Commercial Appeal reported that 20,128 people "heard the Liverpudlians bow to Dixie." A total of 7,589 attended the afternoon show and 12,539 showed up at the evening concert. The Cyrkle, Bobby Hebb, The Ronettes and The Remains also were on the bill. Tickets cost $5.50. According to the newspaper, the Beatles — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — wore "modish-dull gray suits" for the afternoon show and "dark green creations with chartreuse shirts" for the evening concert. A chain-link fence surrounded the stage. Across town, a crowd of more than 8,000 filled the Auditorium North Hall and part of the South Hall for the Memphis Christian Youth Rally. This was provoked by Lennon's statement that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. (By Robert Williams / The Commercial Appeal)

The Memphis City Council might decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, and let the Mid-South Coliseum become a Wiseacre brewery.

Imagine what John Lennon, a bit of a wiseacre and a cannabis user, would think of us now.

Lennon was here 50 years ago this month with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

On Aug. 19, 1966, the Beatles played back-to-back concerts at the sparkling 3-year-old Coliseum. Beer was not sold.

A few months earlier, Lennon had said the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus now."

At that point they were, at least among 14-year-old girls.

"My friends and I screamed all the way through," Sheila Jenkins of Tupelo told the Daily Journal last week. She attended both concerts. She was 14.

After the first concert, she wrote, "I screamed to Paul at the top of my lungs and he looked up directly at me and smiled, then waved — AT ME!"

During the third song of the second concert, some idiot fan set off a firecracker. It scared the bejesus out of Lennon and the other lads.

"There had been threats to shoot us, the Klan were burning Beatle records outside," Lennon wrote in 1974. "Somebody let off a firecracker and every one of us — I think it's on film — look at each other, because each thought it was the other that had been shot."

They were startled but they kept singing and playing "If I Needed Someone." Then they sang "Day Tripper," a song about recreational drug use and their fifth biggest hit ever.

Which brings us back to the future.

"I think responsible weed smokers smoke their joints at home," said council member Janis Fullilove.

That was her argument against the ordinance to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession.

Reminds me of a quote from Spinoza (the Dutch philosopher, not City Council member Philip Spinosa, who voted with a majority for the ordinance).

"Men of leisure are never deficient in the ingenuity needed to enable them to outwit laws framed to regulate things which cannot be entirely forbidden," Spinoza said.

That quote was part of a 1967 ad supporting the legalization of marijuana in Britain. "The law against marijuana is immoral in principle and unworkable in practice," the ad said.

The Beatles were among those who signed the ad.

"I hope the fans will take up meditation instead of drugs," said Ringo, the only Beatle never arrested on suspicion of possession.

The Beatles were paid $50,000 to play two shows at the Coliseum. That's about $186,000 per show in today's dollars.

The Rolling Stones made more than $8 million per concert on their most recent tour. Their tickets were over $300. Beatles tickets were $5.50 in 1966. That's about $40 in today's dollars.

Given the excesses of some of today's music stars, the Beatles, who became more popular than Elvis, were surprisingly low-maintenance.

In their Coliseum contract, they asked for a "seven-passenger Cadillac limousine (air-conditioned if possible) with chauffeurs."

They also asked for a dressing room with "four cots, mirrors, an ice cooler, portable TV set and clean towels and two (2) cases of soft drinks."

The contract had another condition: "Artists will not be required to perform before a segregated audience."

After the Beatles left Memphis, their attorney sent a letter on their behalf to Mayor William Ingram:

"The Beatles have asked me to express to you and the entire City Government ... their great admiration for the Coliseum itself."

Someone should put that on a plaque inside the new brewery.

The Beatles — Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon — in Memphis in 1966. They gave two performances at the Mid-South Coliseum on Aug. 19. More than 20,000 fans attended. The late Fred Griffith, former staff photographer for The Commercial Appeal, shot photos of the Beatles for the newspaper. In 1991, he said he and other members of the accredited press were allowed to take photos during the group's news conference at the Coliseum. Griffith, now recalled seeing the Beatles in the rear of the Coliseum before the news conference. "They were in the bus and leaning out the windows and yelling and hollering, and the girls were screaming." Griffith wasn't really impressed with the Beatles during the news conference. "They weren't all that friendly. As I remember it, they acted like they were so much better than any of us. They acted like we were wasting their time, I thought." (By Fred Griffith / The Commercial Appeal)

miércoles, 24 de agosto de 2016

Paul McCartney in Ron Delsener’s 80th birthday
Rock ’n’ roll royalty celebrates Ron Delsener’s 80th birthday
By Ian Mohr
August 22, 2016

Ron Delsener
Photo: FilmMagic

Veteran concert promoter Ron Delsener’s 80th birthday was celebrated by rock ’n’ roll royalty including Paul McCartney, Roger Waters and Jimmy Buffett on Friday at tony Bridgehampton club the Bridge.

Guests wore laminates that said, “July 15, 1936,” Delsener’s birthday.

A guest said, “There was so much security, you’d think Trump and Hillary were arriving together.”

The club, with spectacular views of Peconic Bay, has a $750,000 initiation fee.

Playing tunes for the luminaries were Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, whom Delsener discovered by watching Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show.”

“Every night, Ron watches Fallon,” explained a guest. “Anytime there’s a band [he likes], he writes it down, then tries to book them.”

He also gets ideas from Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert’s shows, we hear.

Also at the fête were Delsener’s wife Ellen, Lorne Michaels, Aby Rosen, Stella McCartney, Jann Wenner, Mickey Drexler, Sandy Gallin, artist Richard Prince and Robert Rubin.

The Beatles never intended to quit touring for good

Image result for beatles candlestick park 1966
The Beatles never intended to quit touring for good
Paul and Ringo also reveal that fan screams were so loud that the band couldn’t hear themselves play
24TH AUGUST 2016

Ringo Starr has revealed that The Beatles never intended to quit touring for good after the band called it quits on playing live at their momentous show at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966, the height of Beatlemania.

In an interview surrounding Ron Howard’s new documentary Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years, Starr told Mojo: "The Beatles were never gone. And they could have come back."

They didn’t, however, playing only one more show on the rooftop of the Apple headquarters on Savile Row in 1969.

Paul McCartney explained the moment the band decided enough was enough: “By then we were totally fed up and getting actually put in the back of a stainless steel box,” referring to the armoured car they used to leave the Candlestick Park gig, which can be seen in the documentary.

"Now this is like some weird sci-fi thing form 2001 or something. It was a very weird place. What it reminded me of was… you know these rough rides that police do where they put you in the back of a van but you’re not strapped down? And they were accused of killing that guy. Well, that’s what it was like. We’re suddenly sliding around in the back of the van and it was like, Oh, fuck this! And finally. The guys, John [Lennon] and George [Harrison], had been a little 'Oh murmur-murmur' about touring and, finally, all of us, were like 'Fuck this!' So that was the moment."

Candlestick Park was at the peak of Beatlemania that had been building since 1963, propelled by a steady string of live dates around the world. In the interview, the documentary’s director Ron Howard (who has previously directed Apollo 13 and Rush) discusses the “growing intensity” of Beatlemania, which almost caused the Beatles to split up.

“We got a bit conflicted, we got a bit fed up towards the end of it,” McCartney explained.

Fans’ screaming got so loud at live performances that drummer Ringo Starr had to look at the other members’ shoulders moving in order to follow the song, unable to hear any of the music. “We used a house PA, with those huge amps and I had to watch the back of the boys because I couldn’t hear nothing so if they went [wiggles shoulders] I’d know “Oh, we’re there! That’s where we are now. Also, and this is really my opinion, we really weren’t playing great.”

“At first, the screaming was exciting. It’s like doing autographs, having your photo taken, doing all that,” McCartney added. “Then, after a while, it got more and more boring.”

Paul went on to say: “The screaming, as Ringo said, got so as you were inaudible. And so you really were going through the motions and that’s why it was good to go 'Whoo-oooh!' because something was going on, because otherwise it was just little matchstick men doing this stuff that you couldn’t hear.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the two surviving Beatles members rejected the suggestion that the wreath on the Sgt Pepper album cover hinted at the death of the Beatles, explaining it was more of a shift in the band’s creative direction.

Following Candlestick Park in 1966, the band released 'Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' in 1967, and went on to release a further five albums including 'Abbey Road' and 'Let It Be'.

Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years directed by Ron Howard is scheduled for UK release on September 15.

Image result for beatles candlestick park 1966

Image result for beatles candlestick park 1966

"Bigger than Jesus" documentary
"Bigger than Jesus" documentary
Posted by Roger Stormo
Monday, August 22, 2016

Facebook header of the new film project.

A new documentary is in the making, all about John Lennon's "bigger than Jesus" statement and repercussions. The production, "Bigger than Jesus - The controversy that changed America" will include a vast array of interviews both in the UK and the USA - including one of the last given by Tony Barrow, and a new interview with Maureen Cleave, who carried out the original interview with John in early 1966. Prize winning British TV producer Dave Long is producing the film.
A crowd-funding campaign to help finish it off  will kick off before year end.  In the meantime, you can like their Facebook page to keep getting information about the development of the project.

"Bigger than Jesus" on Facebook
Maureen Cleave's interview with John Lennon
John Lennon Interview: London Evening Standard, "More Popular Than Jesus" 3/4/1966

Reporter Maureen Cleave, a good friend of John Lennon's, wrote a personality article about him that would be published in the March 4th 1966 edition of the London Evening Standard. Cleave's piece was intended to present a portrait of the behind-the-scenes Lennon, and was entitled 'How Does A Beatle Live? John Lennon Lives Like This.' The article contained a number of Lennon musings, remarks and random thoughts from a recent conversation she had with him at his home in Weybridge, including John's personal view of the current state of religion: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

A separate article with different content, including portions of the Jesus quote out of context from the original article, was published in the American teen fanzine 'Datebook' just before the Beatles' 1966 American tour.

Word-of-mouth rumors in America about John Lennon's Jesus quote spread quickly among anti-Beatle factions, even further out of context, as the ridiculous egocentric headline: 'John says Beatles are bigger than Jesus.' The outrage and reaction mostly seemed to be coming from the 'bible belt' in America.

John would later remark during a press conference in Chicago on August 12th during the Beatles' 1966 North American tour, "We could've just sort of hidden in England and said, 'We're not going, we're not going!' You know, that occured to me when I heard it all. I couldn't remember saying it. I couldn't remember the article. I was panicking, saying, 'I'm not going at all,' you know. But if they sort of straighten it out, it will be worth it, and good."

Lennon continued, "When it came out in England it was a bit of a blab-mouthed saying anyway... A few people wrote into the papers, and a few wrote back saying, 'So what, he said that. Who is he anyway,' or they said, 'So, he can have his own opinion.' And then it just vanished. It was very small. But... you know, when it gets over here and then it's put into a kid's magazine, and just parts of it or whatever was put in, it just loses its meaning or its context immediately... and everybody starts making their own versions of it." John would be asked many times during the 1966 tour to clarify what he had intended to say. Lennon explained in Chicago: "My views are only from what I've read or observed of christianity and what it was, and what it has been, or what it could be. It just seems to me to be shrinking. I'm not knocking it or saying it's bad. I'm just saying it seems to be shrinking and losing contact."

In some cities, reporters would ask Lennon to explain the Jesus comment repeatedly -- even multple times within a single press conference -- baiting him to become upset or to say something even further inflammatory. Knowing their game, John kept his cool.

The public outcry against Lennon had been coming from a rather small minority of the population, but once the national media fanned the flames as much as they were able, reports of negative public reaction made it appear more widespread than it really was. For the minority of Americans who had been moved from religious outrage to action, the fallout did involve Beatle record burnings arranged by christian radio stations, Ku Klux Klan protests, and anonymous death threats. It also gave the older generation a sense of vindication that the Beatles were somehow bad role models for the youth of America.

With some hindsight perspective, John clarified the remark perhaps best during his December 1966 Look magazine interview: "I said we were more popular than Jesus, which is a fact. I believe Jesus was right, Buddha was right, and all of those people like that are right. They're all saying the same thing, and I believe it. I believe what Jesus actually said -- the basic things he laid down about love and goodness -- and not what people say he said."

John's then-wife Cynthia would state years later in her 1978 book, A Twist Of Lennon: "His views were totally misconstrued. John was very bewildered and frightened by the reaction that his words created in the States. Beatle albums were burnt in a mass orgy of self-righteous indignation. Letters arrived at the house full of threats, hate and venom."

The original London Evening Standard article is presented below in its entirety, featuring the quote in its original context.

The photographer for the article was Graeme Robertson.

                                          - Jay Spangler,

Article Copyright © 1966 London Evening Standard

by Maureen Cleave

On a hill in Surrey... a young man famous, loaded and waiting for something

It was this time three years ago that The Beatles first grew famous. Ever since then, observers have anxiously tried to gauge whether their fame was on the wax or on the wane; they foretold the fall of the old Beatles, they searched diligently for the new Beatles (which was as pointless as looking for the new Big Ben).

At last they have given up; The Beatles' fame is beyond question. It has nothing to do with whether they are rude or polite, married or unmarried, 25 or 45; whether they appear on Top of the Pops or do not appear on Top of the Pops. They are well above any position even a Rolling Stone might jostle for. They are famous in the way the Queen is famous. When John Lennon's Rolls-Royce, with its black wheels and its black windows, goes past, people say: 'It's the Queen,' or 'It's The Beatles.' With her they share the security of a stable life at the top. They all tick over in the public esteem-she in Buckingham Palace, they in the Weybridge-Esher area. Only Paul remains in London.

The Weybridge community consists of the three married Beatles; they live there among the wooded hills and the stockbrokers. They have not worked since Christmas and their existence is secluded and curiously timeless. "What day is it?" John Lennon asks with interest when you ring up with news from outside. The fans are still at the gates but The Beatles see only each other. They are better friends than ever before.

Ringo and his wife, Maureen, may drop in on John and Cyn; John may drop in on Ringo; George and Pattie may drop in on John and Cyn and they might all go round to Ringo's, by car of course. Outdoors is for holidays.

They watch films, they play rowdy games of Buccaneer; they watch television till it goes off, often playing records at the same time. They while away the small hours of the morning making mad tapes. Bedtimes and mealtimes have no meaning as such. "We've never had time before to do anything but just be Beatles," John Lennon said.

He is much the same as he was before. He still peers down his nose, arrogant as an eagle, although contact lenses have righted the short sight that originally caused the expression. He looks more like Henry VIII than ever now that his face has filled out-he is just as imperious, just as unpredictable, indolent, disorganised, childish, vague, charming and quick-witted. He is still easy-going, still tough as hell. "You never asked after Fred Lennon," he said, disappointed. (Fred is his father; he emerged after they got famous.) "He was here a few weeks ago. It was only the second time in my life I'd seen him -- I showed him the door." He went on cheerfully: "I wasn't having him in the house."

His enthusiasm is undiminished and he insists on its being shared. George has put him on to this Indian music. "You're not listening, are you?" he shouts after 20 minutes of the record. "It's amazing this -- so cool. Don't the Indians appear cool to you? Are you listening? This music is thousands of years old; it makes me laugh, the British going over there and telling them what to do. Quite amazing." And he switched on the television set.

Experience has sown few seeds of doubt in him: not that his mind is closed, but it's closed round whatever he believes at the time. "Christianity will go," he said. "It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first -- rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." He is reading extensively about religion.

He shops in lightning swoops on Asprey's these days and there is some fine wine in his cellar, but he is still quite unselfconscious. He is far too lazy to keep up appearances, even if he had worked out what the appearances should be-which he has not.

He is now 25. He lives in a large, heavily panelled, heavily carpeted, mock Tudor house set on a hill with his wife Cynthia and his son Julian. There is a cat called after his aunt Mimi, and a purple dining room. Julian is three; he may be sent to the Lycde in London. "Seems the only place for him in his position," said his father, surveying him dispassionately. "I feel sorry for him, though. I couldn't stand ugly people even when I was five. Lots of the ugly ones are foreign, aren't they?"

We did a speedy tour of the house, Julian panting along behind, clutching a large porcelain Siamese cat. John swept past the objects in which he had lost interest: "That's Sidney" (a suit of armour); "That's a hobby I had for a week" (a room full of model racing cars); "Cyn won't let me get rid of that" (a fruit machine). In the sitting room are eight little green boxes with winking red lights; he bought them as Christmas presents but never got round to giving them away. They wink for a year; one imagines him sitting there till next Christmas, surrounded by the little winking boxes.

He paused over objects he still fancies; a huge altar crucifix of a Roman Catholic nature with IHS on it; a pair of crutches, a present from George; an enormous Bible he bought in Chester; his gorilla suit.

"I thought I might need a gorilla suit," he said; he seemed sad about it. "I've only worn it twice. I thought I might pop it on in the summer and drive round in the Ferrari. We were all going to get them and drive round in them but I was the only one who did. I've been thinking about it and if I didn't wear the head it would make an amazing fur coat-with legs, you see. I would like a fur coat but I've never run into any."

One feels that his possessions -- to which he adds daily-have got the upper hand; all the tape recorders, the five television sets, the cars, the telephones of which he knows not a single number. The moment he approaches a switch it fuses; six of the winking boxes, guaranteed to last till next Christmas, have gone funny already. His cars-the Rolls, the Mini-Cooper (black wheels, black windows), the Ferrari (being painted black) -- puzzle him. Then there's the swimming pool, the trees sloping away beneath it. "Nothing like what I ordered," he said resignedly. He wanted the bottom to be a mirror. "It's an amazing household," he said. "None of my gadgets really work except the gorilla suit -- that's the only suit that fits me."

He is very keen on books, will always ask what is good to read. He buys quantities of books and these are kept tidily in a special room. He has Swift, Tennyson, Huxley, Orwell, costly leather-bound editions of Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde. Then there's Little Women, all the William books from his childhood; and some unexpected volumes such as Forty-One Years In India, by Field Marshal Lord Roberts, and Curiosities of Natural History, by Francis T. Buckland. This last-with its chapter headings 'Ear-less Cats', 'Wooden-Legged People,' 'The Immortal Harvey's Mother' is right up his street.

He approaches reading with a lively interest untempered by too much formal education. "I've read millions of books," he said, "that's why I seem to know things." He is obsessed by Celts. "I have decided I am a Celt," he said. "I am on Boadicea's side -- all those bloody blue-eyed blondes chopping people up. I have an awful feeling wishing I was there -- not there with scabs and sores but there through reading about it. The books don't give you more than a paragraph about how they lived; I have to imagine that."

He can sleep almost indefinitely, is probably the laziest person in England. "Physically lazy," he said. "I don't mind writing or reading or watching or speaking, but sex is the only physical thing I can be bothered with any more." Occasionally he is driven to London in the Rolls by an ex-Welsh guardsman called Anthony; Anthony has a moustache that intrigues him.

The day I visited him he had been invited to lunch in London, about which he was rather excited. "Do you know how long lunch lasts?" he asked. "I've never been to lunch before. I went to a Lyons the other day and had egg and chips and a cup of tea. The waiters kept looking and saying: 'No, it isn't him, it can't be him'."

He settled himself into the car and demonstrated the television, the folding bed, the refrigerator, the writing desk, the telephone. He has spent many fruitless hours on that telephone. "I only once got through to a person," he said, "and they were out."

Anthony had spent the weekend in Wales. John asked if they'd kept a welcome for him in the hillside and Anthony said they had. They discussed the possibility of an extension for the telephone. We had to call at the doctor's because John had a bit of sea urchin in his toe. "Don't want to be like Dorothy Dandridge," he said, "dying of a splinter 50 years later." He added reassuringly that he had washed the foot in question.

We bowled along in a costly fashion through the countryside. "Famous and loaded" is how he describes himself now. "They keep telling me I'm all right for money but then I think I may have spent it all by the time I'm 40 so I keep going. That's why I started selling my cars; then I changed my mind and got them all back and a new one too.

"I want the money just to be rich. The only other way of getting it is to be born rich. If you have money, that's power without having to be powerful. I often think that it's all a big conspiracy, that the winners are the Government and people like us who've got the money. That joke about keeping the workers ignorant is still true; that's what they said about the Tories and the landowners and that; then Labour were meant to educate the workers but they don't seem to be doing that any more."

He has a morbid horror of stupid people: "Famous and loaded as I am, I still have to meet soft people. It often comes into my mind that I'm not really rich. There are really rich people but I don't know where they are."

He finds being famous quite easy, confirming one's suspicion that The Beatles had been leading up to this all their lives. "Everybody thinks they would have been famous if only they'd had the Latin and that. So when it happens it comes naturally. You remember your old grannie saying soft things like: 'You'll make it with that voice.'" Not, he added, that he had any old grannies.

He got to the doctor 2 3/4 hours early and to lunch on time but in the wrong place. He bought a giant compendium of games from Asprey's but having opened it he could not, of course, shut it again. He wondered what else he should buy. He went to Brian Epstein's office. "Any presents?" he asked eagerly; he observed that there was nothing like getting things free. He tried on the attractive Miss Hanson's spectacles.

The rumour came through that a Beatle had been sighted walking down Oxford Street! He brightened. "One of the others must be out," he said, as though speaking of an escaped bear. "We only let them out one at a time," said the attractive Miss Hanson firmly.

He said that to live and have a laugh were the things to do; but was that enough for the restless spirit?

"Weybridge," he said, "won't do at all. I'm just stopping at it, like a bus stop. Bankers and stockbrokers live there; they can add figures and Weybridge is what they live in and they think it's the end, they really do. I think of it every day -- me in my Hansel and Gretel house. I'll take my time; I'll get my real house when I know what I want."

"You see, there's something else I'm going to do, something I must do -- only I don't know what it is. That's why I go round painting and taping and drawing and writing and that, because it may be one of them. All I know is, this isn't it for me."

Anthony got him and the compendium into the car and drove him home with the television flickering in the soothing darkness while the Londoners outside rushed home from work.

Source: Transcribed by from original magazine issue