Thursday, 24 May 2012

Archive releases in quad

Things you won't see included in Paul McCartney's Archive DeLuxe editions (but should).
 
Why? Because it's not in fashion any more. So those of us with surround setups will have to be content with using the full potential of our audio equipment only when watching DVD's with surround sound.
Reviews:

Read more about Beatles and solo-Beatles releases in surround sound on this great page here.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Abbey Road print sold

The auctioned print
The aforementioned Abbey Road outtake photo print has sold for £16,000 at the auction yesterday afternoon. The photograph was expected to sell for around £9,000, but ended up going for £7,000 more than that after frenzied bidding took place at the Bloomsbury auction house in central London. Initially bidding began at £6,000, but quickly escalated and ended up with a figure of £16,000 in less than one minute, NME reports. Snap Galleries in London were selling them for a fraction of that only last month, London Beatles tour guide Richard Porter mentioned on Facebook today. Meanwhile, a better version of the same photo has been on display at TheBeatles.com since 2009. What was all the fuzz about?
From TheBeatles.com

Monday, 21 May 2012

Georges new album, track-by-track

Giles Martin takes us though the new George Harrison album, track-by-track, courtesy of musicradar:

My Sweet Lord: “This was one of the biggest surprises, I think, because I had no idea it existed. It’s George with Klaus [Voorman] on bass and Ringo, just sketching out an idea for the song, trying to work out the best vibe. “As far as we know, it’s the very first recording he did of it. Whereas Paul, in particular, liked to work up a song on his own before presenting it to other musicians, George tended to be more collaborative. “What’s cool about this is that it shows the roots of the song, and it’s got a great feel to it, the drums sound great. It was recorded on an eight-track desk, but only using four of the tracks, and it’s a purely live performance. I think it’s a good counter-point to the finished version that everyone knows so well, there’s a noticeably different groove to it.”

Run of the Mill: “Again, it’s a very early demo of the song, with George trying to work out what he wanted to do with it. “Both my dad and Phil Spector have spoken about George’s attention detail, how he’d sit and work out guitar parts in triplicate. While that’s a very valid practice, I think it can sometimes inhibit the spirit of the recording, but the appeal of this version to me is that it’s very rough and edgy.”

I'd Have You Anytime: “This is a track he wrote with Bob Dylan, and we wanted to show the Dylan influence on George’s writing. It’s very organic, I think; with advances in studio techniques there’s always the danger of the artist moving farther away from the listener, but this version really brings the listener closer to George. It’s a very fragile version of the song.” 

Mama You've Been On My Mind: “We thought it would be good to follow the Dylan co-write with a cover of a Dylan song. I like the vibe of this. He recorded it at home in Friar Park at some point during the ‘80s, and it originally had programmed drums and loads of keyboards on it, and George had overdubbed himself for a three-part vocal harmony. “I asked Olivia if it would be OK to break it down a bit, I thought it sounded a lot better stripped to its bones. You can still hear a bit of the drum sound in the background, because there was bleed on the tape - probably coming through from George’s headphones.” 

Let It Be Me: “The Beatles were always big Everly Brothers fans, but I’m not sure if they ever played this one in the early days. However, George did go to see them at the Royal Albert Hall on their reunion tour in 1983, and I think he went home afterwards and recorded this the same night. “We first came across him singing this on one of the demo reels, but then we found this multi-track version a bit later. On first listen I thought it might have been George harmonising with Jeff Lynne, I didn’t realise it was two Georges, but Olivia put me straight. “I tried mixing this a few times, because it sort of sounded wrong - but at the same time it sounded right, if you know what I mean. There’s a claustrophobic quality to it that I wanted to keep, so it’s the track I worked on the most, to make sure it sounded bad, but good! It’s kind of creepy, in a way.” 

Woman Don't You Cry For Me: “For me, this is a great example of rootsy George, and it shows him playing acoustic guitar in way that you don’t normally hear him play. “You can see why people like Alvin Lee and Eric Clapton loved him so much; George was never really considered a guitar god, he was always incredibly economical, and it’s perhaps surprising that all these virtuosos were such big fans of his style. I like the fact that you can actually hear him dig in and play. “This is one of the earliest recordings on the album, and we’ve been trying to figure out who else plays on it. Working from the recording date and who George would have been with at the time, we think it might be a guy who worked for Apple called Jonathan Clyde playing Jew’s harp.” 

 Awaiting On You All: “In much the same way as we were reluctant to manipulate anything so that it was more in time or in tune, because the point of the record was to keep the personality, to make the listener think they’re sitting with George in Friar Park, we wanted to keep the spoken intro to a track wherever there was one. “He actually gets the title wrong here, he calls it Awaiting ‘For’ You All. I think this is really cool, it’s got a good basic band groove, I think of it as George breaking down a wall of sound. George used to say he hated what Phil Spector did to the song Wah Wah, in that he took a good band recording in the studio and spoiled it with a lot of reverb.” 

Behind That Locked Door: “George is an interesting singer, in that he often doesn’t sound like he’s singing. His pitch is great, the harmony he brought to The Beatles was extraordinary, but there’s a kind of conversational intimacy that he brings to a song. This is a great example of that kind of folk-tinged spoken word quality he had. You or I probably couldn’t get away with it without sounding like William Shatner.”

All Things Must Pass: “It’s such a big song on the album of the same name, but this particular version kind of takes you back into the lyrics again. “George liked to write about things that were happening to him at that moment in time, and this was obviously written while he was going through the ending of The Beatles, so to hear him doing it pretty much on his own transports you to where his head was on the day he laid it down.” 

The Light That Has Lighted The World: “I honestly wasn’t sure about this recording, because it’s a bit rough at the end, but there’s something about it that appeals. It sounds like he’s playing it to just one person late one evening, which is very George, it’s what he would do, Olivia tells me. "It’s a little bit special; it shows how George could make something simple sound very spiritual, almost dreamy in a way. Even though the sequencing of album tracks in a specific order is becoming more irrelevant in these download days, I think this works beautifully as a closer.” 

What’s next? How soon can we expect to hear Early Takes Volume 2? “There’s a lot of material. In my toothcomb kind of way, I got as far as going through the songs that were first released on Living In The Material World, so there’s still an awful lot of stuff that we’ve yet to look at. We’re not working on a schedule of having to deliver the next record by a certain date, and I think it’s important we take our time and do the music justice. George was very prolific at home, it’s quite a formidable output, so who know what treasures lie ahead?”

 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

"Revolver" book

When "Revolver" was released in 1966, it was a slight dip for the Beatles, careerwise. The teenyboppers didn't like it, and went on to buy records from the bands that continued the early Beatlesque style, like Herman's Hermits and The Monkees. But in retrospect, music critics are generally very fond of this album, and it has been voted as their best album a number of times. The new book by Robert Rodriguez reveals why already in the subtitle. The book is called "Revolver - How The Beatles Reimagined Rock'n'Roll". With Revolver, the Beatles found a new audience and eventually most of their original fans also came around to the new sounds. Rodriguez feels that in order for new generations to really understand the reason why Revolver was such a leap forward, they have to know a bit about what was going on elsewhere in the music business.The book is illustrated throughout in black and white.
 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Thrillington website

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington now has a website of his own, courtesy of the recent re-release of his album of "Ram" cover versions. whoispercythrillington.com
I remember finding the Thrillington album on sale for 10 Norwegian kroner (about £1 or $2) back in the day. On his own site, McCartney (or his HP pals) have also created a "EweTube" site: http://www.paulmccartney.com/ewetube/

Ram box arrived

The Ram boxed set is about the same size as the three previous archive boxes put together
Ram was released in several countries today, including my native Norway and that huge European country, Germany. It was a bit bigger than I expected, as you can see from the photo. Unfortunately, the HP guys over at paulmccartney.com hadn't taken into account that there are earlier release dates in some countries, so when I tried to redeem my code for downloading the hi-rez versions of the songs, I was sent to a page that wasn't there yet. And I had spent my can-only-be-used-once code...

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Ringo about Let It Be

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine recently, Ringo Starr was asked about the Let It Be film on DVD:
Are you thinking about releasing the Let It Be movie on DVD?
I think that's also a possibility. One day that will come out. But we're not talking about it right now. As you know, there's very little that hasn't come out. I'd forgotten that one though. You just mentioned the one thing that hasn't come out. I'm too busy living now…
Read the full interview here.
Ringo's answer is not uplifting news, in March it sounded like the Let It Be DVD project was scheduled for release in a year or two. Now: Who knows?
Read all about the home movie versions of Let It Be and the attempts to release the movie on DVD here

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Alternate Abbey Road photo makes headlines


And I have to admit I am very puzzled about why. This is clearly a non-news story. The London-based Bloomsbury auctions have put an estimate of £7000-9,000 on it in an upcoming auction. And they are calling it a conservative estimate...
The 18in by 18in picture is one of 25 prints made from the original frame and has been owned by a private music memorabilia collector who bought it from a gallery ten years ago. He has now decided to sell the print, and London-based Bloomsbury has got the job. Sarah Wheeler, of Bloomsbury Auctions in London, says the images have been seen before (imagine that!), though she said, “they haven't kind of worldwide exposure” that the original cover photo has. Well I don't know that. The alternate cover photo they are putting up for sale is the best known of them, since HMV used it on the front cover of their boxed edition of "Abbey Road" on CD back in 1987. And on the front cover of the accompanying booklet. And as a poster. These boxed sets were for sale in HMV stores on the same release day as the regular edition of the CD and only cost one pound more than the regular one.
The same photo adorned the HMV box, booklet and poster from the 1987 CD edition release of Abbey Road

She also said the photo, to her knowledge, had not been auctioned before. “It might have been in some small, weird music auctions, but it's never been sold by an international auction house before,” she said.
Small weird music auction? What kind of research do these people do? Hello? Only last year, Snap galleries in London were selling the remaining stock of limited prints from all five of the outtake photos, all signed by the photographer and no one paid much attention to it, but now one single photo emerges from someone's collection and it's all over the news???????
As well as offering some of the signed and numbered limited edition photographs for sale, Snap galleries also offered a freshly printed complete set of six photographs (five front cover outtakes plus the back cover). They also staged an exhibition called "Beatles and Bystanders", which ran from 13th April to 8th July 2011.
Now this "new find" is in The Sun, it's in The Guardian, it's on NBC, even Beatles Examiner makes a fuzz about it! I guess a single outtake photo is more newsworthy than all five of them.
The auction takes place on 22 May. I can say no more. Link to auction.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Yellow Sub Packshot

Click for bigger image
This is the limited edition digipack version of the blu-ray, with all the extra contents of the package. It remains to see how limited it turns out to be.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

McCartney Archive news etc.


Various news items regarding Paul McCartney.
Premium members of Paul McCartney's website might get access to additional RAM goodies - photos/audio/video. No final decision about this has been made yet. You can listen to a sample of Eat at Home/Smile Away live at iTunes now.

Venus and Mars, Speed of Sound,Wings Over America and Rock Show on DVD are planned to be released together around Christmas 2012.

Paul McCartney's new pop album will not be released this year. Apparently he is not happy with the work done so far, so the album is now pushed to 2013.

Giles Martin has requested to do work on Paul McCartney's alternates/demos like he has done for George Harrison. Paul hasn't said yes or no yet.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

McCartney's Mexico Concert

Paul McCartney's free concert in Mexico on May 10th was also streamed by Coca-Cola TV. Here's a YouTube post of the complete concert.


Download Quality YouTube (Unzip with WinRAR): Download as Zip-file
Or as a single link (you must wait for your browser to load the whole video and then on the File menu of your browser, click Save Page As ...) Download movie file

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

"Brother" finally on CD

The previous re-release of the Apple albums
If you're a collector of the releases on The Beatles' own record company, Apple, you will know that whenever Apple has released their catalogue on CD, some of their records are always falling by the wayside. They release and re-release the same records onto CD over and over again, but a handful of their old album releases are always neglected. One of the releases we have been missing, is the 1972 "Brother" album by Lon and Derrek Van Eaton. Out of print since then, it's now finally being released on CD for the first time ever by RPM Records on June 25th. The CD will be released in the UK and will be available as an import elsewhere.
The albums Apple would rather forget also includes the Lennon-produced Elephant's Memory.

Signed to Apple after John Lennon and George Harrison heard the tape that the duo (formerly of the late 60s American group Jacob's Creek) had sent to the Apple office, Lon and Derrek were brought over to London to be the first act to record an album in the newly built Apple Studios.
Produced by Klaus Voormann, Brother is an eclectic set of songs that encompass a wide range of styles that range from rock and R&B to folk and even an early nod towards rustic Americana. The centerpiece of the album is the single, Sweet Music, which was produced by George Harrison at Abbey Road and which features Harrison, Ringo Starr, Mike Hugg of the Manfred Man and several others backing Lon and Derrek.
The album has been freshly remastered at Abbey Road and will feature extensive liner notes from Stefan Granados as well as several bonus tracks (including their legendary collaboration with Sir John Tavener).
 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

New Benson book

Colourised Harry Benson photo from back then.
Apparantly, there's a new (and expensive!) Harry Benson book out.
Some free samples here. Brainpickings.org
His photos were also featured in two previous books, "The Beatles: In the Beginning" from 1993 and "Once there was a way...Photographs of the Beatles" in 2003.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Yellow Submarine - the 1999 restoration

The Yellow Submarine film has just premiered in it's 2012 incarnation, and people have been raving about this version of the film. Much the same as I was back in 1999 when I had the opportunity to see the then restored film print in a movie theatre, along with the new soundtrack. Courtesy of the New York Times and their excellent in-house Beatles enthusiast Allan Kozinn, here's a look back at the old restoration process. This article was published in September 1999, I've just replaced the headings:

"Yellow Submarine" is back with a vengeance. And it is not quite the film you may remember. The original mono soundtrack has been replaced with six-channel Surround Sound using a system called Dolby 5.1, and includes newly remixed versions of the Beatles' songs. It also includes the scene in which the Beatles sing "Hey Bulldog," a sequence that was deleted after the earliest screenings to quicken the pace of the film's final reel.

Getting there
The idea of renovating "Yellow Submarine" occurred to Bruce Markoe, the vice president of feature postproduction at MGM/UA, in 1995, when he played the film for his 5-year-old daughter. She loved it, Mr. Markoe said; but as a more critical viewer, he was disappointed that the colors were not as dazzling as he remembered them and that the soundtrack was flat by modern standards.
"I thought, 'We have something valuable here, something that a couple of generations haven't seen,' " he said. "I also thought that this was a film that cried out for upgrading with today's technology. So I went to John Calley, who was the president of the company at the time, and pitched him the idea of renovating the film for rerelease."
Mr. Markoe was told he could proceed once the legal problems were settled. That took a year. It took nearly as long for Mr. Markoe to get Apple to agree to allow the Beatles' music to be remixed for Surround Sound from the master tapes. In recent years, as the 60's recordings by the Byrds, the Who, the Kinks and other bands have been remixed and remastered to take new technologies into account, the Beatles have generally insisted that their music be left alone. In his meetings with Neil Aspinall, the chief executive at Apple, Mr. Markoe argued that simply replacing the mono recordings on the soundtrack with the stereo versions available on CD was not the best option.
"I told Neil that audiences are used to 5.1 digital sound in the movies now," Mr. Markoe said, "and that while we could spread out the stereo mixes for 5.1, it would compromise the recordings. I think that was the key, because the Beatles never liked to settle for compromises. Neil said we could go ahead, with the understanding that if the Beatles didn't approve the new mixes, we couldn't use them."
The 1968 lobby cards

The remixing
The audio remixing got under way in October 1997 with Peter Cobbin, a staff engineer at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, at the remixing desk. Mr. Cobbin's task was inherently contradictory: the songs had to sound much as they originally did, yet the new mixes had to take advantage of the six-channel capability.
"A very detailed kind of attention was needed to make sure that everything was put back the same," Mr. Cobbin said of his mixes. "As you're probably aware, there are many takes of a song, and even within the take that was used for the record, there may be guitar solos or vocal harmonies that were not used. So a lot of time was spent seeing that the right elements were used."
Complicating matters further was the recording technique that the Beatles used between 1965 and 1968, when the songs on the "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack were recorded. Using the four-track equipment available at the time, the Beatles tended to fill all the four tracks with the basic skeleton of a song -- drums, bass and guitar, for example -- and then copy them on to a single track on a second reel of tape. They would then add vocals, solos and other embellishments on the remaining three tracks. When their ideas grew more complicated, they repeated this process until they had filled the tracks on three or four tapes.
There were trade-offs in this method: once the earliest tracks were mixed, copied and augmented, there was no way to reconsider the balances. And every time a copy was made, the sound quality was degraded. But EMI kept all of its Beatles session tapes, and using digital multitracking equipment, Mr. Cobbin was able to transfer the unmixed component tracks into a computer and remix them with a freedom that the Beatles and their producer, George Martin, did not have in the 60's.
"Eleanor Rigby," heard early in the film, is one of the simpler examples of what Mr. Cobbin was able to do.
"That was recorded with a string octet, laid out in a fairly traditional manner," he said. "Because the strings were recorded on all four tracks, they had to be bounced to mono for Paul to do his vocals. I had the four string tracks, so I could pan them the way the players were seated. And then, when you use the rear speakers for ambience, you do get the feeling that you're inside the stereo image, much more than if you have the strings coming out of one speaker."
Many of Mr. Cobbin's remixes have a revelatory freshness that even Beatles purists may find surprising. The vocal harmonies that open "Nowhere Man," for example, now envelop the listener; on the original stereo recording, the vocals were on one channel and the instruments on the other. The delicate percussion in "All Together Now," buried in the original recording, has a presence that gives the song a more complex, tactile texture. And "Only a Northern Song," never before released in stereo, has become a kaleidoscopic welter of sound.
The mixes passed the Beatles' audition, as well.
"Ah, it was great," Mr. Starr said of the 1998 session at which he and Mr. McCartney heard the Surround Sound mixes for the first time. "We're listening and saying, 'What is that?' Because you hear all these sounds that we made in the studio, but they all got buried. It's so lively."
The 1999 lobby cards

The rest of the soundtrack
While Mr. Cobbin was working on the songs in London, Ted Hall, at Pacific Ocean Post (POP) Sound, and Greg Kimble, at POP Video, both in Santa Monica, Calif., revamped other elements of the film. Mr. Hall's domain was the rest of the soundtrack -- dialogue, sound effects and Mr. Martin's orchestral score. A suite from Mr. Martin's score had been included on the original "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack album and where possible, Mr. Hall replaced the mono soundtrack recording with the album version, which is in stereo.
"The stereo recording was not from the original scoring date for the film," Mr. Hall said. "He rerecorded it for the album several months later, so the arrangements are a little different, and a lot of the music wasn't included. But it sounded good and I wanted to use it. That meant that there are stretches that are eight bars in stereo and eight bars in mono. The challenge was to make it seamless."
Mr. Hall also removed clicks, pops, hiss and other noises from the soundtrack. He assembled an effects library by recording each of the film's roughly 300 sound effects separately, and enhancing some by adding bass, reverberation or other forms of processing. A few touch ups were necessary. In one scene, the Beatles are seen applauding, but there was no applause on the original soundtrack. Mr. Hall and Mr. Markoe recorded some themselves. Mr. Hall also supplied a burp for one of the Blue Meanies.
When he transferred the effects to the new soundtrack, the Surround Sound system allowed him to think spatially: now when the Flying Glove menaces the people of Pepperland, it can be heard flying around the theater, and the Blue Meanies' missiles seem to move across the screen.

The film restoration
Mr. Kimble worked on the film itself. Mr. Markoe had found an original negative for all five reels of the film, and an interpositive -- an intermediate copy made from the negative -- of the last three reels only. The interpositive was in good enough shape to use, after substantial cleaning and color correcting. But a new interpositive had to be made for the first two reels, which account for 40 of the film's 90 minutes. Before doing that, the negative, which Mr. Kimble described as "dirty, beat up and scratched," had to be scanned into the computer -- a process that took 340 hours -- and restored.
"There were tears to repair, crooked splices to fix and the colors had faded at different rates over the years," Mr. Kimble said. "Reds had become brown, whites had yellowed. In the opening titles, there are white letterings on a black background, but the black had become cyan. The color had to be corrected digitally. Other problems -- frames that someone had forgotten to color, or where there was dirt or a scratch -- had to be painted by hand. We went through the film frame by frame."
Creating a new print took about six months, and by the time the film and its soundtrack were reconciled, MGM/UA had spent about $600,000, more than double Mr. Markoe's original budget.

Okay, that was the 1999 restoration, so what have they done for 2012?
2012 lobby cards set

4K
According to the official press release, the film has been restored in 4K digital resolution by the Triage Motion Picture Services team led by Paul Rutan Jr. If you're as keen an enthusiast about the Beatles films as I, you will recall that Mr Rutan jr was also the man behind the mid-nineties restoration of the "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" films. The press release goes on to say that "Due to the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork, no automated software was used in the digital clean-up of the film’s restored photochemical elements. This was all done by hand, frame by frame." 4K is an emerging standard for resolution in the digital medium, so named for its 4,000-pixel horizontal resolution. And there are currently no television sets on the market who supports this yet, but there will be later this year.
On June 5, the film will be reissued on DVD (and I'm still not sure if this sentence means that the 1999 DVD will just be duplicated) and make its Blu-Ray debut in a brand-new transfer (that will have to be a new transfer, because of the higher resolution on Blu-ray discs). That same day, the 1999 Yellow Submarine Songtrack CD will also see a remastered reissue. Of course, I would like to be able to enjoy the songtrack in surround sound, as my audio set-up allows for this, so a mere re-release doesn't quite do it for me, it would have to be a SACD or DVD-A release. Am I asking too much? And I know I'm not going to get it.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Too Many People

Photo credit: Linda McCartney, 1970
As the second preview from the new remastered edition of "Ram", Paul McCartney (or his marketing division) has released "Too Many People". The first was "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey", as you might remember.
It's an interesting choice, because "Too Many People" is the very song that started the "Lennon McCartney controversy", and which sparked Lennon to include a parody of the "Ram" cover as a photo which was included with his "Imagine" album and also manifested itself in the song "How Do You Sleep?" on that same, beloved Lennon album. Lennon's digs at Paul were very self-explainatory, whereas the "Too Many People" lyrics which Lennon took to heart  were more vague and could have been directed to anyone.
Paul himself admitted that some of the song's lyrics were about former bandmate John Lennon. The line "Too many people preaching practices" referred to Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono's orchestrated anti-war publicity stunts, whereas "You took your lucky break and broke it in two" calls him out as the member of the group who broke up the Beatles. Still, others allege that much more of the song, as well as the Ram album itself, was a calculated slam at Lennon.
Lennon's "Ram" parody involved a pig.
The song is one of several instances of "musical sniping" among the four Beatles after the band broke up, the target in this case presumed to be McCartney's former bandmate and songwriting partner John Lennon. "[John had] been doing a lot of preaching, and it got up my nose a little bit," said McCartney in a 1984 interview with Playboy. "I wrote, 'Too many people preaching practices,' I think is the line. I mean, that was a little dig at John and Yoko...there was 'You took your lucky break and broke it in two.'"
This song alludes to John Lennon's "lucky break" - meaning The Beatles, and how he subsequently "broke it in two." It also takes barbs at John and Yoko's self-images as important political figures. Lennon retorted with a fiery condemnation of Paul on the album "Imagine" in a track called "How Do You Sleep?" in which Lennon says, "The only thing you've done was yesterday, and since you've gone you're just another day." This references the song "Yesterday," and a post-Beatles McCartney piece titled "Another Day."
In the early post-Beatles days, it was very much a case between the three of them against Paul. The reason for this was manyfold, but here's three:
  1. Paul made the announcement of the break-up of the Beatles as part of his promotion for the "McCartney" album. This made the others furious, especially John, who later said that he wished that he had thought of it himself.
  2. Paul had never really quit the Beatles, so it was a shock for them when he announced it. Ringo had left the band in 1968 but was coaxed back, George left in January 1969 during the making of "Get Back" and was brought back into the fold and then John had announced his departure ("I want a divorce") during an Apple business meeting, but continued to show up for sessions.So in my opinion, the Beatles could have reconvened after a few solo projects and continued their career, if it hadn't been for Paul's public announcement. Perhaps that was what the other three thought as well?
  3. Paul took the other three to court to dissolve the Beatles partnership. They had signed a contract back in 1967 which terminated in 1977. Paul wanted to disband the group and had no other option than to sue his three bandmates. He really wanted to sue Allen Klein but couldn't, because he wasn't a legal part of the partnership.

So what happened was that all the other three maintained a relationship which for the public was mainly visible due to the fact that they played on each others records, while Paul was the odd man out.
What many people don't understand, is that this situation, the quarrel between Paul and the others, didn't last very long. As early as 1973, Paul started playing with Ringo again, giving him a song for his hugely successful 1973 album, "Ringo". In 1974, Paul and John got back together and jammed a bit in Los Angeles. Paul and George showed up and signed the dissolving of the partnership that same year (as shown at the beginning of the Martin Scorsece documentary "Living In The Material World") and Paul and Linda attended George's concert at the Madison Square Garden the same night. George then visited Paul at the wrap-up party for the recordings for the "Venus and Mars" album in New Orleans in 1975 and John would have been there too, if it hadn't been for the fact that he had gotten back together with Yoko again, after a year and a half of separation.
"Too Many People" was resurrected by McCartney in 2005 for his "Rock with US" tour, but was only featured live that year. Time he played it again? It's available on the "Space Within Us" concert DVD from the tour.

Free McCartney Concert


They are going to air Paul McCartney's free concert on May 10 at 8:30pm Mexico time at www.cocacola.tv.
Now it looks like someone is happy:


Here's the Coca-Cola sponsor ad for the free event:

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Bag O'Nails is back

The Bag O' Nails Club is back in swinging London. The club has been called the Miranda club for a number of years, but the new owner has probably realised that his club can pull in more money by cashing in on the fact that Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman met there, back in 67. There were no photos that we know of from that occasion, our illustrations are from a few days later, at the press party for the release of the Sgt Pepper album at Brian Epstein's house.
On May 15th, 1967; two people whom we know as Paul and Linda McCartney were then, Paul McCartney, a Beatle, and Linda Eastman, a freelance photographer. Georgie Fame was having a concert at the venue, but as it was over, Paul and Linda's eyes met and then as Linda was leaving, he stood up and introduced himself. She was in the UK on an assignment to take photographs of "Swinging Sixties" musicians in London. The pair later went to the Speakeasy club on Margaret Street to see Procol Harum. They met again four days later at the launch party for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at Brian Epstein's house in Belgravia. Find out more about the Bag O'Nails Club at their website.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Reflected Glory

A quirky music documentary about two very different Beatles impersonating bands, The Bootles and The Bootleg Beatles. A tale of ordinary Joes getting a glimpse of what it might have been like, and dismissing it. Directed by Christopher Purcell for Channel 4. This is the complete film.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Paul and Ringo reunion concert


Now that channel Thirteen finally has broadcast the "Change begins within" concert from April 2009, it didn't take long before someone posted the reunion of Ringo and Paul on YouTube:

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Abbey Road film

A film production company called Red Onion Films Ltd has for the past few weeks been working on the shooting of a short film about the Abbey Road zebra crossing. This will be, they believe, the definitive mini-documentary about this unique symbol of musical history. In the next few weeks they are wanting to film a plan view of the crossing using a 20ft camera crane. The filming will be done on a sunny Sunday morning.
We will be looking forward to see the finished product. Of course, this will not be the first time the crossing has been filmed, it regularly appears in travel and music documentaries, it's in the "Free As A Bird" music video and the memorable re-enactment for the Rockband commercial.
And if we are to believe a commentary from a few years ago, home movie footage of the actual Beatles photo session is also out there somewhere, in someone's private collection. 


"My grandfather and his sister were in Abbey Road the morning of the Beatles photo shoot and he filmed them walking across 3 or 4 times on his 8mm movie camera. He was on holidays in London and a big Beatles fan back then. He went to EMI studios to see where the Beatles work and couldn't believe it when they came outside and took the photos right out the front. He's since passed away but his film is still in our family"


Another interesting commentary from just recently, is this, from Joe Shields:

To anyone out there, I am looking for any photos (or where i can view such ) of the other side of that iconic photo,with particular reference to the policeman who is holding up the traffic so the Beatles can cross, and get that iconic photo. That policeman is my father-in-law. it is his van (the old fashioned "black mariah",as they were known as),that is parked on the right hand side of the road and is facing the wrong (according to him he turned up late for his "duty", and had to abandon the van .) It would be great if i could find any photos of him as he is now in his 60's and it would make a great present for him. I have regalled people with the story for years and even won a radio from Absolute for it. Can anyone help me!


Of course, Joe's story is just another piece of evidence in the case against the widely spread story about Paul Cole being the man beside the police van. Cole claimed to have been talking to the police officer in the van, but according to Joe Shields, the van was empty, as the policeman was busy holding up the traffic. And we also now know why the police van is missing in the first few photos, it had arrived late. Must have been quite a young policeman, by the way, now in his sixties. Younger than the Beatles, anyway.

Best of luck to Red Onion Films with the new definitive Abbey Road zebra crossing documentary, and I hope they will use this opportunity to disspell some of the myths about it. Now, for those of you haven't been able to make the pilgrimmage yet, here's how a walk from Abbey Road studios to the crossing, over the road and looking back looks like:

Heart of the country

Paul McCartney just released the remastered "Heart of the country" video from the forthcoming release of his "Ram" album in the ongoing "Archives" series. The video will only be available on the bonus DVD that is included with the deluxe "book" edition of the album. But of course, also here on the internet.


The video was included on his 2007 release "The McCartney Years", which was supposed to but wasn't a complete collection of his music videos. "3 legs", a very similar music video, was not available then, but will be on the new Ram DVD. Until recently, both films were available over at Paul McCartney's official site, in the media section of the Ram album - related content. Meanwhile, here's an old not-remastered version:

McCartney has also released for preview another remastered track from the forthcoming album, "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey". Ram is the only release from Paul McCartney where Linda McCartney received co-credit as the album artist. Around 29 demos from the Summer of 1970 were discovered in Scotland recently that contained all of the demos for Ram with two of the songs having never been recorded. The 29 demos recorded between May - August 1970 are (with comments in parenthesis):

Heart of The Country (great voice and feel)
Too Many People (embryonic version)
Why Am I Crying a.k.a. 4th of July (embryonic version)
Back Seat of My Car (wonderful)
Just Another Day (great)
Gypsy Get Around a.k.a Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (on ukulele)
Ram On (on ukulele)
Rupert-Sunshine Sometime (cool)
Rupert-Guitar Song Instrumental a.k.a. When The Wind Is Blowing (with whistling)
Rupert-Little Lamb Dragonfly (magical)
Smile Away (at the end Paul talks to Linda about having Jimi Hendrix and a jazz drummer for forming a trio to records this song soon)
Love Is Long (with Linda and unknown verses)
Eat At Home/Buddy's Breakfast/Indeed I Do (medley with Linda, loose)
Monkberry Moon Delight/Frenzy (medley, wonderful and crazy)
Get On The Right Thing (another chat between Paul and Linda at the end about Jimi's possible involvement, great take)
Little Woman Love
Country Dreamer (with insects noise)
Long Haired Lady (with Linda)
I Lie Around (country feel)
3 Legs (drunk version, totally out of tune)
We're So Sorry a.k.a Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (drunk too)
A Love For You (bluesy slow version)
She Can't Be Found a.k.a Hey Diddle (country tune)
Some People Never Know (great home version)
Hands Across The Water a.k.a. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (fun but too long)
Tomorrow (with a fun quote about yesterday at the end, Paul said he wrote this as a game)
Big Barn Bed (embryonic version on guitar)
Great Day (with the kids around)
I Am Your Singer (with Linda)