Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Paul McCartney's soundcheck in Tel Aviv



Soundcheck playlist:
1. Let Me Roll It
2. Coming Up
3. All My Loving
4. Only Mama Knows
5. jam
6. Celebration
7. jam
8. C Moon
9. I'll Follow The Sun
10. Midnight Special
11. Calico Skies
12. Dance Tonight

Purple Chick's The Beatles Live Series Vol 6


The sixth volume in Purple Chick's overview of The Beatles' live career finishing off their first U.S. tour and bringing us to the end of 1964, plus an orphan show from 1965 (there won't be room for it next volume!)
As always, some shows already sounded great (like Indianapolis), PC's proprietary audio equalization and clean-up system made some significant improvements to others (like Philadelphia) while some shows were really beyond redemption (like Montreal).

Monday, 29 September 2008

The Beatles Live 5: Seattle Down

New on the net: Purple Chick's live series continues with Vol. 5: Seattle Down - the first half of The Beatles' first U.S. tour. 

Friday, 26 September 2008

McCartney: Israel set list


Here's the set list from Paul McCartney's concert in Tel Aviv last night.

Hello Goodbye
Jet
Drive My Car
Only Mama Knows
All My Loving
Flaming Pie
Let Me Roll It
My Love
Let 'Em In
The Long and Winding Road
Dance Tonight
Blackbird
Calico Skies
I'll Follow The Sun
Mrs Vanderbilt
Here, There and Everywhere
Eleanor Rigby
Something
A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance
Band On The Run
Back In The USSR
I Got A Feeling
Live and Let Die
Let It Be
Hey Jude
Lady Madonna
Get Back
I Saw Her Standing There
Yesterday
Sgt Pepper's/The End

The Jerusalem Post also mentions "Midnight Special", which was played during the rehearsal before the audience was let in.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Nonsense in Sweden


The interviewer (Ardy Strüwer) tries to convince The Beatles that he's talking swedish, when he's really just making silly sounds. Little does he know that gobbledegook is Lennon's second language. A small gem from The Beatles in Sweden, 1964.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Turn left at Greenland 5DVD


Here are the details of a new Beatles DVD box set TURN LEFT AT GREENLAND; it does not feature any music, but is a collection of circa 19 hours of Beatles Interviews. It consists of 5 DVDs in laminated card sleeves and a 16-page booklet. The box is part of a collectors numbered limited edition of only 1000 copies, catalogue number NostBox1001. These DVDs are code-free and will play in all regions.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Norwegian Wood Babe


In a new biography on John Lennon, Philip Norman seems to have cracked the riddle presented in the song Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown): Who was the woman John Lennon had an affair with? Paul Du Noyer reports in his review of the book:
"This song was always read as a coded admission of adultery - but with whom? The journalist Maureen Cleave is often suggested - she was pretty and clever and Lennon adored her - but Norman's evidence points elsewhere. When John moved to London with his wife Cynthia and their child Julian, they took a flat in South Kensington. It had been found for them by The Beatles' photographer Robert Freeman, who lived downstairs with his beautiful wife, Sonny. Now, she was German but preferred to say she was Norwegian. The Freemans' pad was fashionably wood-panelled. When Robert was out and Cynthia upstairs, John slipped down to see Sonny Freeman and they did, indeed, have an affair."
The book will be published October 1st.

Sonny Freeman-Drane from the 1964 Pirelli Calendar. Photographer: Robert Freeman

Friday, 12 September 2008

Beatles-Platz Hamburg opened


Hamburg - "All you need is..." patience and money. 48 years after the then completely unknown Beatles played their first gig in Hamburg, and seven years after the idea was born of honouring the band with a memorial square, the legendary mop tops are back in the city. 
The Beatles laid the foundation stone of their career in the early 1960s in the Hamburg neighbourhood of St Pauli. It is there where five stainless steel sculptures now depict the musicians, doing what they did best. 
There are five statues - not the more famous Paul, John, George and Ringo - because the installation also features Stuart Sutcliffe, and a hybrid of Ringo Starr (who was not in Hamburg with the band) and his predecessor Pete Best (who was). 
The square, located in the middle of Hamburg's red light strip, is shaped like a giant vinyl record with a diameter of 29 metres. 


It stirs up memories of a time when hardly anyone knew the boys from Britain, and when the local music clubs were bustling with young musicians and beat bands on every stage. 
From London and English port city Liverpool came bands that played for hours, day by day and night by night.
This is why the "Hamburg Sound" is credited for playing a vital role in the development of beat music. 
August 1960: the Beatles from Liverpool play their first gig in Hamburg's Indra club. For 30 Deutschmarks a day each, they would play for four-and-a-half hours on weekdays and six hours on Saturdays, as Beatles expert Ulf Krueger writes in his books. 
At first, they had no success and moved on to the "Kaiserkeller" beat basement. 
Astrid Kirchherr is an old flame of Stuart Sutcliffe - and a one- time band photographer. She recalls her first meeting with the boys in the seedy Kaiserkeller in Krueger's book Beatles Guide Hamburg. 
"I was thunderstruck. One of the rockers on stage looked better than the rest and the music was simply mind-blowing." 


For two years, the Beatles played in clubs along Hamburg's Reeperbahn and Grosse Freiheit. After Indra and Kaiserkeller followed the Top Ten Club and Star-Club. 
"Slowly, the Beatles turned into local heroes. It didn't take long until the record industry took notice of the band and the already well-known Tony Sheridan," writes Krueger. 
Sheridan - now aged 68 - is an English rock and roll singer and songwriter who was a well-known figure in Hamburg's 1960s music scene. Together with Sheridan, the band recorded an album under the name of Beat Brothers in 1961. 
Anecdotes from these days are fondly remembered in Hamburg: Like the story that it was Kirchherr who gave her boyfriend "Stu" his first mop-top-haircut. Later, Harry's Salon on Hamburg's Davidstrasse was responsible for the band members' famous hairstyles. 
There is also the story of the outstanding bar tab that McCartney finally paid for during his visit in 1989 - interest included. 
And almost as notorious as the Davidwache police station itself is the night that McCartney and Best are said to have spent there. Because of bad pay and treatment, the story goes, they set a condom on fire in their promoter's cinema as vengeance. 
According to Krueger, the musicians also took "at least one trip" to Herbertstrasse, an infamous men-only Hamburg road lined by brothels and prostitutes on display. 
When Harrison was deported in November 1960 because, as a 17 year- old, he was an unaccompanied minor, the Beatles performed as a quartet for the first time. 
But after their visit to Davidwache police station, McCartney and Best, who had no residence or work allowances, also had to leave the country. While Lennon followed them, Sutcliffe stayed in Hamburg. 
Shortly before the Beatles' breakthrough with "Love me Do", Starr replaced Best as the band's drummer. 
To commemorate both of them, the designers of the memorial placed the drums not at the left or right, but in front of the statue. 
Construction costs for the square amounted to 550,000 euros (776,000 dollars), of which 350,000 were donated by the city. The remaining 200,000 euros were raised from sponsors and donors. 
Local radio station Oldie 95 came up with the idea to erect a memorial in honour of Lennon (1940-1980), McCartney (born 1942), Harrison (1943-2001), Starr (born 1940), Best (1941) and Sutcliffe (1940-1962), in 2001. 
"It is about time that Hamburg commemorated this great band," said Mayor Ole von Beust during Thursday's inauguration. Directed at critics who complained about the length of time it took to happen, he said: "Better now than never." 
The square that, when illuminated, looks like a spinning turntable, should symbolize the duty to open more opportunities for young musicians, said von Beust. "We have to do more for Hamburg's club scene," he added.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Norwegian Wood 114

Norwegian Wood, the fanzine for the Beatles Fan Club of Norway has existed since 1980, and issue no. 114 has just been published. The magazine is 74 pages and is written in norwegian only (actually, there's a couple of pages in english this time, a report from events around the Liverpool Sound, written by our honorary member, Linda Carroll).

NORWEGIAN WOOD No 114 - Autumn 2008 Summary in English


Page 1 Front cover - from 1964


Page 2 Inside cover - Ringo in Concert 2008 by Lars Olav Hole


Page 3 Contents & Credits


Page 4-5 Editorial: Ole talks The Beatles and parenting.


Page 6 Old newspaper clipping about The Beatles' children.


Page 7-8 President Linda about The Beatles influences on everyday phrases

Page 9-12 Reviews:

  • Paul McCartney (Fireman): Lifelong Passion (Sail away)
  • Ringo Starr: Painting is my madness


    Page 13-19 The Beatles play Northwich - about a concert on the 23d of June, 1962 - by Roger


    Page 20-23 On Tour With The Beatles - Scotland 1963 by Ole


    Page 24-37 Tripping The Fantastic Liverpool - Highlights about The Liverpool Sound concert


    Page 38-44 Ringo Starr and His 10th All-Starr Band - 2008 Tour by Lars Olav Hole


    Page 45-49 My Favourite Record - McCartney II by Kjetil Johannessen.


    Page 50-61 A Starr of the Screen - a film-by-film review of Ringo's acting career by Linda


    Page 62-68 The News Today, Oh Boy edited by Ole

  • New Let It Be DVD discussions
  • Historic set list discovered
  • Beatles tape found in loft
  • White album in Mojo
  • Beatles monopoly game
  • Beatles for sale (auction reports)
  • Magical Mystery Tour Memories
  • Unknown Lennon-photo published
  • Paul's summer concerts
  • My Soul - New Paul-song
  • Paul in Paralympics
  • George in Uncut
  • Ringo On Tour
  • Ringo's birtday celebrations
  • George Martin honoured
  • Bo Diddley dies


    Page 69 Ad for the Beatles Festival in Beitostølen 2008


    Page 70 Ad for the Beatles Convention in Karlstad, Sweden 2008


    Page 71-73 Classifieds


    Page 74 Mad Day Out photo



  • My article on the Helen Shapiro tour will be published in the next issue of the magazine.

    Monday, 8 September 2008

    Macca at the Roundhouse

    I recently spent a day in Copenhagen, Denmark and came across a DVD from McCartney's 2007 concert at the Roundhouse in a high street music store. It was rather cheap, so I bought a copy. After all, I was at the concert. Back home in Oslo, Norway, I discovered the same DVD in a high street shop there. Today, I came across the same DVD at Amazon in the UK.

    Product Description:
    Product no.: BB 3502
    Disc format: DVD-5
    Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
    Signal: NTSC
    Picture ratio: 16:9
    Regioncode: ALL
    Total Running Time: 1:29:55
    Songs: Magical Mystery Tour - Flaming Pie- Got To Get You Into My Life - Dance Tonight - Only Mama Knows - C'Moon - The Long And Winding Road - I'll Follow The Sun - That Was Me - Here Today- Blackbird - Calico Skies - Eleanor Rigby - Band On The Run  Back In The USSR - House Of Wax - I've Got A Feeling - Live And Let Die - Hey Jude - Let It Be - Lady Madonna - I Saw Her Standing There - Get Back
    Recorded live at Roundhouse, Camden, London, UK, October 25, 2007.

    The quality is okay, I guess, but I remember that the images I saw on TV after the concert were great. Conversion from PAL to NTSC probably is to blame. The company responsible for this release seem to have superimposed a logo in the upper corner on the entire concert.

    The annoying logo

    A screen shot

    Disc

    I suspect that the "BBC Films + DVD" logo is what has has mislead shop owners into thinking this is a legitimate release. The abscence of the artist's name and title of the film on the spine should clue them on to the fact that this is illegitimate, though.

    Friday, 5 September 2008

    Rory at the Casbah

    A couple of years ago, I had the good fortune of being the only visitor on a guided tour of The Beatles' early haunt, The Casbah Club. The Casbah was owned by Pete Best's mother Mona, and guiding me around in the cellar club was Pete's brother Rory. Apparantly, someone videotaped his guided tour, and put it up on youtube for all to enjoy. Watch the clips (there are four of them), and if you're ever in Liverpool...You know what to do.







    Tuesday, 2 September 2008

    White album remastered

    It has been a long time since The Beatles catalogue was released on CD, and fans have been waiting for remastered versions for some time now. Most of the other major artists have had their albums re-released on CD for some time (The Paul McCartney catalogue was released on CD for the first time in the mid-to-late eighties and was remastered and re-released on CD as far back as 1993!), but The Beatles original british albums have only been available on CD's mastered in 1987, with now long-outdated technology. The late Neil Aspinall, former head of the Beatles' company Apple talked about the remastering of The Beatles' albums for years before he died.

    In the September issue of the british music magazine "Mojo", Yoko Ono was quoted to say "When the new White Album comes out....". The magazine also mentioned that they would bring an exclusive Beatles news item in their next issue, which lead to speculations among Beatles fans that a 40th Anniversary Edition of the White Album was due. An ebay seller claimed to have a release schedule from Capitol records that had "White Album" as a new release for November.

    In the October issue, the magazine featured a review of ten of the new remastered songs from the forthcoming White Album. The verdict is "Better even than we'd hoped."
    The Mojo article, written by Mat Snow, talks about meeting Guy Massey and Allan Rouse (sound engineers who were also involved in the making of the 2003 re-thinking of the Let It Be album, Let It Be...Naked) when he heard the ten tracks (Helter Skelter, Dear Prudence, Happiness is a Warm Gun, Bungalow Bill, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Martha My Dear, Don't Pass Me By, I Will, Everybody's got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey - that's just 9!). Apparantly "Rouse managed a small team of remastering engineers working in pairs so that each decision concerning EQ levels and removing clicks and pop could be properly debated. The biggest issue the team faced was bass. EMI's 1960's techical team was highly trained but extremely cautious; their cutting engineers feared too much bass would jolt the stylus out of its groove. The new remasters restore the intended, recorded bottom end. Massey has never heard any response from Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia other than a unanimous thumbs-up."

    The statement about the cutting engineers trimming off the bass for vinyl masters is clearly a non-issue, as the original master tapes are from before that process. The intended, recorded bass sound IS on the master tape, and does NOT need to be tampered with. The same goes for EQ. The original master tapes are based on studio multitrack tapes that has already been subject to levelling of the various instruments, so that decision has already been made, in the sixties. If you remix from the session tapes, EQ should be used only to achieve the same levels on the instruments as intended on the sixties master tape. Clicks and pop? There's no such thing on tapes. Removing clicks and pop is something you do to transfers from vinyl records!

    "In 1987, George Martin remixed the stereo Help! and Rubber Soul for CD to mitigate the primitive voices-to-the-left, instruments-to-the-right sound first used. The new versions of those albums keep Martin's rebalancing. But Beatlists will want those original left-and-right mixes spruced up too so (subject to EMI's confirmation) they'll be released seperately, as well as every mono mix."

    Re: keeping George Martin's re-balancing of instruments in the stereo picture, that was not something he only did for those two albums, he also re-balanced some songs for the earlier compilation albums "Rock and Roll Music" (1976) and its counterpart "Beatles Ballads" (1979).
    No word in the article about re-balancing the other albums, but rumour has it that new stereo mixes will probably place the instruments differently in the stereo image (like on the Yellow Submarine Songtrack album from 1999).

    People "in the know" claim that the remasters will follow this format:

    - a standard CD version with new stereo mixes
    - a deluxe edition with the following features:
    - new stereo mix (like the standard version)
    - a 5.1 surround mix
    - mono mixes and extra tracks
    - possibly the original stereo mix
    - might also include hardbound book

    Another rumour has October 22 as the release date for the remastered White Album, whereas the rest of the albums will be released next year. That's a month too early, because the original White Album was released on November 22nd, 1968.

    Purists are already concerned that EMI will be boosting the bass and de-noising the high end to death. Let's all just hope not.