Thursday, 30 August 2012

Epstein Play Website


If you're in Liverpool during the final weeks of November, you're in luck. Epstein is a theatrical production celebrating the life of former Beatles manager Brian Epstein, which runs from 15th November to 1st December 2012 at Liverpool's new theatre, named after the man himself. The play is a one man multi-media play with live music, created by Jen Heyes and Andrew Sherlock, written by Andrew Sherlock and directed by Jen Heyes.
Website.

Chas Newby speaks

The Beatles' first left-handed bass player has given an interview to Sunday Mercury about his time with the group. When the Beatles arrived back in Liverpool from their first stint in Hamburg, Stuart Sutcliffe was missing. He stayed behind in Hamburg to spend Christmas with Astrid Kirschherr and her family. The Beatles had a few gigs lined up, so they were in need of a bass guitar player, and Chas was duly recruited. All in all, Newby played four concerts as a Beatle, in December 1960.
Here's the interview: Sunday Mercury.
And here's a thing from Mr Rock'n'Roll Detective, who tracked down Chas last year.

Friday, 24 August 2012

MMT trailer HQ version

The Beatles/Apple has uploaded a version of the Magical Mystery Tour trailer in better quality than the first one. This version is available in up to 720p, but you will have to make the adjustment yourself. Listening to the audio of the songs makes it evident that they have been subjected to some mixing, compared to the original stereo images from 1967. 


The soundtrack was remixed by Sam Okell & produced by Giles Martin. Martin: "it's night and day compared to the original, so much work has gone into MMT, especially by Sam Okell".
So far, it looks like the best deal on the Deluxe package comes from Amazon , at $66.49 at the time of writing. Getting it from the official Beatles shop will set you back $89.95.
In the UK, Amazon has yet to list the new editions of Magical Mystery Tour, but the official Beatles shop has it for £60 (give or take a penny).

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Magical Mystery Tour on the big screen

Apple & EMI have partnered with Omniverse Vision, the leading distributor of music events to cinemas worldwide, to bring exclusive showings of Magical Mystery Tour to the big screen.
Screenings will take place in selected cinemas from 27th September in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, Japan, and other countries worldwide. Once confirmed, full listings will be available at www.thebeatles.com

Of course, Magical Mystery Tour enjoyed a limited run at cinemas/movie theaters in the late sixties/early seventies, often organised by film clubs. The above poster was made in the seventies for such a screening, and copies are readily available on ebay. Occasionally, even originals appear.

Back in the seventies, before the video age, people could buy super 8 and 16mm copies of Magical Mystery Tour to show at home, using a film projector.
MMT as two reels of 16mm films, including a Beatles banner.

Of course, shortly after the video players became available on the mass market, the illegal video cassettes started to appear.
Unauthorized video cassette, ca 1980
..the legal one came after another decade.

Due out October 8th (9th in the USA), the deluxe edition of Magical Mystery Tour.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Magical Mystery Tour 2012 trailer

The Beatles/Apple has just released a trailer for the upcoming edition of Magical Mystery Tour.

Press release August 22nd, 2012

 – Songs you’ll never forget, the film you’ve never seen and a story that’s never been heard. In 1967, in the wake of the extraordinary impact of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and the One World satellite broadcast of All You Need Is Love, The Beatles devised, wrote and directed their third film, Magical Mystery Tour, a dreamlike story of a coach day trip to the seaside. Apple Films have fully restored the long out-of-print, classic feature film for October 10th release worldwide on DVD and Blu-ray with a remixed soundtrack (5.1 and stereo) and special features.

Magical Mystery Tour will be available in DVD and Blu-ray packages, and in a special, 10”x10” boxed deluxe edition. The deluxe edition includes both the DVD and Blu-ray, as well as a 60-page book with background information, photographs and documentation from the production, and a faithful reproduction of the mono double 7” vinyl EP of the film’s six new Beatles songs, originally issued in the UK to complement the film’s 1967 release.

The restoration of Magical Mystery Tour has been overseen by Paul Rutan Jr. of Eque Inc., the same company that handled the much acclaimed restoration of Yellow Submarine. The soundtrack work was done at Abbey Road Studios by Giles Martin and Sam Okell.

All of the packages contain a host of special features, packed with unseen footage. There are newly-filmed interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and other members of the film’s cast and crew, as well as a director’s audio commentary recorded by Paul.

In September 1967, The Beatles loaded a film crew onto a bus along with friends, family and cast and headed west on the A30 out of London to make their third film, this time conceived and directed by The Beatles themselves.

“Paul said ‘Look I’ve got this idea’ and we said ‘great!’ and all he had was this circle and a little dot on the top – that’s where we started,” explains Ringo. “It wasn’t the kind of thing where you could say ‘Ladies and gentlemen, what you are about to see is the product of our imaginations and believe me, at this point they are quite vivid,’” says Paul. The film follows a loose narrative and showcased six new songs: “Magical Mystery Tour,” “The Fool On The Hill,” “I Am The Walrus,” “Flying,” “Blue Jay Way,” and “Your Mother Should Know.”

Magical Mystery Tour features a fabulous supporting cast of character actors and performers, including Ivor Cutler, Victor Spinetti, Jessie Robins, Nat Jackley, Derek Royle, and the inimitable Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

Although the 53 minute film was shot in glorious colour, it premiered on UK television in black and white. Broadcast by BBC1 at 8:35pm on Boxing Day, the film immediately attracted widespread controversy as middle England and the establishment media erupted with indignation. “How dare they?” they cried, “They’re not film directors! Who do they think they are?” they howled. Where were the four loveable moptops of Help! and A Hard Day’s Night? Those Beatles were out of control!

Partly as an upshot of this adverse reaction, the film never had a US broadcast and very limited distribution in the rest of the World.

Operating at the time as the world’s de facto “cultural mission control,” The Beatles were already influencing filmmakers, artists and musicians, while also drawing inspiration from their contemporaries.

www.thebeatles.com


MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR SPECIAL FEATURES
Director’s Commentary – by Paul McCartney
The Making of Magical Mystery Tour (19:05) - Features interviews with Paul and Ringo, along with other cast members and crew. Includes unseen footage.
Ringo the actor (2:30) - Ringo Starr reflecting on his role in the film.
Meet The Supporting Cast (11:27) - A feature on the background and careers of Nat Jackley, Jessie Robins, Ivor Cutler, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Victor Spinetti, George Claydon, and Derek Royle.
‘Your Mother Should Know’ (2:35) ‘Blue Jay Way’ (3:53) ‘The Fool On The Hill’ (3:05) - Three new edits of these performances all featuring footage not seen in the original film.
‘Hello Goodbye’ as featured in Top of the Pops 1967 (3:24) - The Beatles allowed the BBC to film them in the edit suite where they were working on Magical Mystery Tour. This was then turned into a promo by the BBC, who shot their own additional footage. It was then broadcast on Top of the Pops to mark the ‘Hello Goodbye’ single going to No 1 in December 1967.
Nat's Dream (2:50) - A scene directed by John featuring Nat Jackley and not included in the original film.
Ivor Cutler – ‘I’m Going In A Field’ (2:35) - Ivor performs ‘I'm Going In A Field’, in a field. This scene was not included in the original film.
Traffic – ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ (1:53) - The filming of Traffic acting out their 1967 hit single ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ was commissioned by The Beatles for possible inclusion in Magical Mystery Tour but was not used in the final edit.
TECHNICAL SPEC
Aspect ratio - 1.33:1
Frame rate - 1080i 59.94
Audio Options: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1 PCM stereo for Blu-Ray
Dolby Digital for DVD
Subtitle language options for feature, extras and commentary:
English, Français, Deutsch, Español, Italiano, Português, Nederlande, Svenska, Norsk, Dansk, Suomi.
   
For the first time ever there will be a limited theatrical release in certain territories from September 27th.

Remastered vinyl albums delays

The vinyl editions of the remastered Beatles catalogue seems to have been confirmed, courtesy of the listings of upcoming releases on the site of EMI Music, Czech Republic.

We have also heard that there were a few problems that needed to be addressed to puzzle the releases together, which delayed the project:

- EMI wanted the vinyl albums to be upscaled versions of the stereo CD digipacks, whereas The Beatles/Apple (I'm referring to them this way, so as not to confuse them with Steve Jobs/Apple) wanted to replicate as closely as possible the original releases, including specific inner sleeves, labels and other markings. And we're told The Beatles/Apple got it their way. Though our guess is that the original Let It Be boxed set is, once again, not regarded as the version to replicate. And they are likely to follow the correct, eighties versions of the With The Beatles and Beatles For Sale covers. On the sixties pressings of Beatles For Sale, the final song on the album is identified as "Kansas City (Leiber - Stoller)". This credit was the same throughout the sixties and the seventies. In the early eighties however, it was discovered that the Beatles actually perform a medley of two songs on this track, "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey". On all later pressings of the LP and on all CD's this has been corrected, and "Little Richard" Penniman's name has been added to the composer credits. Along the same lines, when the song "Please Mister Postman" was first listed on the LP With The Beatles in 1963, the songwriting credits read: "Please Mister Postman (Holland)". Starting with the 1987 repressing, the credits were amended to: "Please Mister Postman (Dobbin-Garrett-Garma-Brianbert)".

- Getting the original artwork was another obstacle to overcome. For the CD's, good copies were sufficient for the scaled down artwork, but for the larger, more revealing LP covers they needed to track down the original artwork. Apparently, earlier vinyl reissues of the seventies, eighties and nineties artwork were simply copied by photographing existing LPs. When located, the original artwork was in need of proper colour correction and general tideying up.

- Then of course, pressing time for the 14 titles, 16 LP's in sufficient quantities was another problem. No pressing plant could commit to this quantity in the timeline specified. It's possible they overcame this simply by starting the pressing 'on the quiet' while further delaying the releases one full year.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Twist and Shout revenge for McCartney

Paul McCartney — fresh from playing to an estimated 900 million people at the London Olympics opening ceremony — joined a superstar lineup at Ronald Perelman’s Creeks estate in East Hampton on Saturday the 11th of August at a benefit for the Apollo Theater.
To close the night, McCartney performed Twist and Shout (the song that he had tried to perform with Bruce Springsteen at London’s Hyde Park earlier this summer until organizers pulled the plug because they’d gone past the park curfew) with Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Hudson, The Isley Brothers (Ronald and Ernie) and Leah LaBelle. This is the first time that the Isley Brothers and a Beatle performed this song together

Monday, 20 August 2012

Vinyl albums for Christmas

Don't tell anyone, but word on the rumour mill is remastered Beatles vinyl albums box for the Christmas market. Rumored releases dates have been November 5th (6th in the USA?), but also December 4th. These are the stereo editions. Past Masters will be included. The boxed set will be limited edition, and the albums will also be made available individually. So: Remember the fifth of November....

Update: Why the delays?

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Magical Mystery Tour Blu-ray in October

The MMT cover
Due to a slip-up over at Amazon, earlier today was a listing for preordering the Magical Mystery Tour Blu-ray from The Beatles/Apple (mentioned by us back in April). The preorder page was pulled again, after it was written about over at the Beatles Examiner page. Amazon Japan still has it listed at the time of writing, though. According to both the pulled US Amazon page and the one in Japan, the release date is set to be John Lennon's birthday, the 9th of October 2012.
My guess is that Apple won't allow listing the blu-ray just yet, they are probably still working on a trailer, a dedicated website and various other merchandise.
Unlike A Hard Day's Night and Help!, whose raw film material was destroyed back in the sixties, Apple still has every inch of film shot during the production of Magical Mystery Tour. This should provide for a bonus feature feast for us dedicated followers.
The Magical Mystery Tour release will also coincide with the 2012 TV special about the making of the movie.
I don't think it's risky to speculate that this may be the very project Giles Martin mentioned in June.

Here's the contents of the upcoming release, courtesy of the British Film Board (details may still change):

Magical Mystery Tour (feature) (53 mins)
You can also watch the film with a director's commentary by Paul McCartney

Bonus material sections:
Your Mother Should Know (2:38)
Blue Jay Way (3:55)
The Fool On The Hill (3:01)
Nat's Dream (1:59)
I'm Going In A Field - Ivor Cutler (2:39)
Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush - Traffic (2:38)
The Making of Magical Mystery Tour (19 mins)
Ringo The Actor (2:22)
The Cast (10:53)
Hello Goodbye (3:35)
(Credits) (45 secs)

   

Friday, 17 August 2012

"The Beatles At Their Best" film


Made primarily from photos, video clips and interviews all found on the Internet, many only recently available, "The Beatles at their Best" provides viewers with the opportunity to meet The Beatles at the time that John Lennon says they were at their best.
 "We were at our best when we were playing in the dance halls of Liverpool and Hamburg. The world never saw that." - John Lennon
The Best family home gave birth to The Beatles and Pete Best's "atom beat" became the new Liverpool sound. When Pete joined the Beatles, they were a bum band nobody wanted. A year later they were the #1 band in two different cities in two different countries. They had released a single recorded in Hamburg Germany and on the second anniversary of the group, were recording their British debut, "Love Me Do". They were already well on their way to superstardom and Pete Best was argueably the most popular member of the group.
These days are the 50th anniversaries of replacement of original drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr during the recording of "Love Me Do". 50 years ago yesterday, Pete was called in to Brian Epstein's office and informed about the decision. Monday, Ringo Starr's first appearance as the band's official drummer is celebrated at the original venue, Hulme Hall in Wirral.


2012 is also the 50th anniversary of the closing of the legendary Casbah Coffee Club.
The Casbah was the launching pad of The Beatles and the entire Merseybeat sound, events that forever changed the world. "I think it's a good idea to let people know about The Casbah. They know about The Cavern, they know about some of those things, but The Casbah was the place where all that started." - Paul McCartney
To commemorate these anniversaries, the critically acclaimed short film The Beatles at their Best, best documentary winner at the 2011 New England Underground Film Festival, made its final festival showing this June 23, 2012 at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and now is offered free to the public via YouTube.
When it is finally finished, it will be more than a film. It will be an index movie. Viewers will be able to watch it and then 'click' on it at anytime to be redirected to the source material it contains. A full crediting of all of the content will be made available at www.TheUltimateTrip.net. You can help by sending information to Press@TheUltimateTrip.net.

 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Abbey Road recreation

Remember this photo from the 31st of July? I think I may have found what the recreation was for. Here's the resulting composite.
And here's a blog about it. The funny thing is that Derek Seagrove, who was standing in the background in the original Abbey Road picture, was also participating this time.

Friday, 10 August 2012

4 Abbey Road letters fetched £7000


Four original tiles from the Abbey Road sign in London, as featured on the back cover of the album Abbey Road were for sale on the TV show "Four rooms" on Channel 4 in the UK recently.

Seller Anne lived in a flat opposite the Abbey Road sign and when she discovered that the wall with the sign on was to be demolished, she rescued what tiles she could and her father glued them back together. Anne managed to rescue just four tiles A, B, E and Y. During the show, the tiles were sold to Andrew Lamberty for £7000.
He is now in the process of getting them authenticated. If he is successful, he has plans to put them in a presentation case and hopes to sell the letters for around £ 16 000 a piece. Let me spell it out for you:

Meanwhile, here's a photo I took in 2007 behind the Roundhouse in Camden:
So I guess these street signs are soon to be looted by future ebayers ;-)

Channel 4: Four rooms

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Beatles myths

John Lennon in "the spider room" at the Casbah Club
Myths are often better than the real story. Here are some of the myths that has been debunked, but will remain "truths" to the majority of people.

Pete Best got fired from the Beatles because he was better looking than the others and Paul was jealous.

That may actually be one of the reasons why Pete Best was fired, but if so, it's a minor one. Far better reasons were:

- He didn't play so well (as evidenced by the songs Best played on, see the "Anthology Vol. 1" album).

- As far as the monicker "the quiet Beatle" goes, Best would certainly have qualified a lot more than George Harrison. Best just wasn't as outgoing as the other lads, he was the outsider in the group.

- When they got a recording contract and were going to start recording their songs, John, George and Paul wanted Ringo to be their drummer. They regarded him as the best drummer in Liverpool, plus he was a mate and had a star personality.

- George Martin was not impressed with Pete's drumming and had hired in a studio session drummer, Andy White, for the group's second recording session at EMI. He was surprised when the group arrived sans Best but with Ringo. Ringo's version of "Love Me Do" was eventually chosen for the single release of the song.

- Mona Best, Pete's mother, had a big hand in the promotion of The Beatles in Liverpool. Brian Epstein didn't want her to take part when their career skyrocketed. The way to keep her off the back of the group was to fire her son.

Stuart Sutcliffe was a lousy bass player who turned his back on the audience, so they wouldn't see that he didn't play the chords. McCartney often unplugged Stuart's bass guitar during concerts to prevent him from ruining the songs.


This story seems to have started when Allen Williams, early booking manager for The Beatles published his 1977 book, "The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away". It looks as if Paul McCartney then followed suit with negative critisism made in hindsight, even though back in 1964, Paul said that "(Stuart) was a great bass man".

- Bill Harry, art school classmate of Sutcliffe and Lennon and creator of Mersey Beat magazine: “Allan Williams always comes out with the story that Stuart Sutcliffe played with his back to Larry Parnes at the Wyvern Club audition because he couldn’t play the bass, and that Parnes said he would take the group as Billy Fury’s backing group if they got rid of Stuart. This story first appeared in Williams’ book, ‘The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away’. Williams’ allegation is untrue. Parnes himself was to say that he had no problem with Stuart, that his objection was to drummer Tommy Moore, who turned up late for the audition, was dressed differently than the other members and was a lot older than them. When we used to book the group for the art school dances there seemed to be no problem with Stuart’s performance. In fact I never heard any criticism of Stuart as a musician until the publication of Williams’ book.”

- Stuart himself wrote in a letter from their first stint as professional musicians in Hamburg: “We have improved a thousand-fold since our arrival.”

- “Backbeat” director Ian Softley, after researching extensively and talking to bands and others who attended the German clubs, told the Los Angeles Times: “he (Stu) was very punk, very insistent.  He would turn up his bass really loud… it was dominant and driving.”

- At this time, one of Liverpool’s best, established groups was Derry and the Seniors, featuring Howie Casey. Howie Casey (later a member of the horn section at Wings concerts) said in the same LA Times piece that Stu “had a great live style”.  While the recently-arrived Beatles were still playing the Indra, Bruno Koschmider (who owned both the Indra and the Kaiserkeller clubs) wanted continual music at the Kaiserkeller.  So he split up the Seniors and the Beatles–in effect, creating a third band.  Says Casey, “I was given Stuart Sutcliffe along with Derry and Stan Foster and we had a German drummer.”   If Stuart couldn’t play, a professional like Casey certainly wouldn’t have tolerated him very long. Casey never complained about Stu’s ability.  And this temporary split actually made Sutcliffe the first Beatle to play the sought-after Kaiserkeller gig.

- Rick Hardy of the Jets: “Stu never turned his back on stage. He certainly played to the audience and he certainly played bass."

- Klaus Voorman (friendly with The Beatles in Hamburg, cover illustrator of The Beatles "Revolver" album and bass player for Manfred Mann, before becoming a session musician) says, “Stu was a really good rock and roll bass player, a very basic bass player, completely different. He was, at the time, my favorite bass player…and he had that cool look.”
Excerpted from Daytrippin'

Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was replaced by a double.


The mother of all Beatles-related conspiracy theories.

- I once did a lecture on the "Paul-is-dead-theory", where I not only laid out the various "clues", I also debunked them, one by one. For instance, the walrus was never a symbol of death anywhere in the world, and certainly not among the eskomos etc. But I found out that the people who had attended the lecture disregarded or shrugged off the arguements against the theory, the theory itself was more fascinating than the truth, so most of them chose to believe the theory.

- In order to believe the Paul is dead theory - you would have to subsequently believe that all Paul McCartney work done after 1966 was done by the substitute for the real Paul. This would include all his Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band work, Magical Mystery Tour, White Album, Let It Be and Abbey Road and all his solo work. You would have to believe that John Lennon had a bitter feud with someone he knew was a stand in. In the end you would have to agree that the Paul replacement was actually more talented than the original Paul. I'm not going to go through all the various clues and disspell them, I'm more than happy to just wish you "Paul-is-dead"-believers all a wonderful life.

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" spells  L-S-D.

- No, actually it spells LITSWD.

- Lennon's inspiration for the song came when his son, Julian, showed him a nursery school drawing he called "Lucy - in the sky with diamonds", depicting his classmate, Lucy O'Donnell.

Julian's drawing

- John Lennon: "It was purely unconscious that it came out to be LSD. Until someone pointed it out, I never even thought of it. I mean, who would ever bother to look at initials of a title? It's not an acid song. The imagery was Alice in the boat."

The Abbey Road crossing was relocated from where it was on the album cover.

The rumour was possibly started by  Carol Ann Bedford in her book "Waiting For The Beatles". When she returned to Abbey Road after a number of years, the crossing looked different than when she used to hang around The Beatles there in the late sixties.
Here's a blog post I wrote about it.

The Cavern Club was caved in, has been rebuilt and is no longer where it used to be.


- Yes! It certainly was...but not as radical as most people seem to think. The Cavern club was caved in some time in the late seventies/early eighties because the city had plans for a branch of the underground trains to run where the Cavern used to be. Following the death of John Lennon in late 1980 and the publishing of a book called "The Beatles' England" (by David Bacon and Norman Maslov) in 1982, more and more Beatles fans started travelling to Liverpool to see the old Beatles haunts and when the underground train plans were scrapped, an entrepreneur wanted to rebuild the Cavern. The original plan was to rebuild the old Cavern as it was thought that the underground club would still be intact below the hastily-built car park above it. Unfortunately, on careful examination by structural engineers, it was discovered that the club's ceilings and general fabric had collapsed so the original Cavern could never be resurrected.

This is all that remained of the Cavern Club when I visited Liverpool in 1982

-  The new Cavern is a mock-up of the old, smaller than the original, although it does occupy 50 per cent of the same underground space, it retains its original postal address and more than 15,000 of the original bricks from the old Cavern were used in the reconstruction.

- What used to be the main entrance to the club is now the fire exit (the current management of the club has no idea why the people who restored the club chose to do this, they would have much preferred to have the main entrance remain the main entrance).

- Other differences are that it is deeper set than the original and the stage is placed to the left as you enter down the stairs (it was facing you in the original) and the original band room is placed at the back of the stage as opposed to the side in the original. The new Cavern also contains a bar area with a new room to one side that contains a large purpose-built stage where many local and international acts have performed, most notable being Paul McCartney's triumphant return to the site of The Cavern in 1999.



The name of the man in the background on the Abbey Road cover is Paul Cole.

Paul Cole's story

Possibly. But probably not, based on what he said in an interview.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Lewisohn book further delayed

The publisher, Little Brown UK, is reporting a September 1, 2012 date for volume 1 of Mark Lewisohn's "definitive" Beatles biography. However, Mitchell Axelrod of the Fab Fourum has been in touch with the author and was been told that the book is indeed finished, but that it will not see the light of day this year. The likely publishing date is now predicted to be in the autumn next year, 2013.
Lewisohn wrote to Axelrod that "This is a very long time after the originally announced date (2008) but it took far longer to research and write than I could have anticipated. The whole ethos of the project is ‘do the job properly’, and that’s just what I’ve been doing. I’m very pleased with how it’s all turned out. It’s a big piece of work."
Lewisohn has already written several essential books about the band including “The Beatles Live,” “The Beatles: Recording Sessions,” “The Complete Beatles Chronicle” and “The Beatles' London”. He has also been employed as a researcher by Apple/The Beatles and by Paul McCartney. No word as to when volume 2 and 3 of the forthcoming trilogy may be expected.
     

BBC I Want To Hold Your Hand upgrade

A YouTube video recently brought us a significantly improved version of The Beatles' performance of  "I Want To Hold Your Hand" from the December 1963 edition of Saturday Club.

The video was uploaded by Parlogram, an Austrian based company which deals in used vinyl records and tapes.
They must have come across an old reel-to-reel tape with this radio recording, unheard in this quality since 1963.

Abbey Road reshoot

This photo is a capture from the Abbey Road webcam from the 31st of July this year. It features four Beatles lookalikes crossing the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing. You can also note the white VW Beetle which is parked exactly where the original one was. Here's a closer look:
Could it be the one with the LMW 281F licence plate? It's funny because I was at the Wolfsburg VW museum in Germany during my summer holiday, hoping that the Abbey Road Beetle would be featured as part of their exhibition. It wasn't, and when I enquired about it at the counter, the receptionist speculated that it may have been lent to someone for display out-of-house.

I'm afraid I have no information about the purpose of the filming on July 31st.

Don't forget, all the available photos from The Beatles' photo session at the Abbey Road zebra crossing can be found in our page, The Road Goes On Forever.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Hey Jude at Liverpool Street Station


The public at Liverpool Street train station in London had a spontaneous reaction when the Olympic opening ceremonies at the TV screens reached "Hey Jude".

Similarly to the failing microphone on "Let It Be" during Live Aid back in 1985, McCartney's appearance on the opening of the olympics had issues. McCartney was supposed to partially mime his performance. His live vocals were the ones that would be heard in the stadium, while his pre-recorded studio-perfect vocals were to accompany the television broadcast. 'The End' went great: the 3 lines were lipsynched perfectly. The live vocals could be heard in the stadium, and his pre-recorded vocals was on TV. Then drummer Abe Jr. started counting off with his hi-hat, very likely hearing the click-track provided by musical director of the band and keyboard player Paul "Wix" Wickens in his ears. McCartney may also had in-ear monitors with the click-track for this occasion, it would make sense since he had to start the song, and he immediately realized what was going on. Then trouble began: McCartney started one bar and a half too soon with playing, resulting in hearing the audio on television as planned: just like on 'The End' no 'live' direct feed from the stage with only the stadium atmosphere microphones on, pre-recorded audio on full. But since those were out-of-sync because of McCartney missing the cue, you could hear a disastrous mix of them playing 'Hey Jude' in the stadium, with a bit later the pre-recorded version. Quickly the television audio crew turned off the backing track, and turned on the live band and vocals. If you look at the band members during the very first seconds of the song, notice Wix possibly trying to save something by skipping the backing track a bar and a half, which is technically possible. So that's what we heard at the live worldwide broadcast. Of course, for the tape-delayed butchered NBC version on the American television, this was 'fixed' by muting the pre-recorded 'backing track' from the very start. This resulted in hearing McCartney noticeable laughing about the huge mess-up, because he undoubtedly knew what happened.
Thanks to "nobodytoldme" for explaning what happened. And clearly, the mix-up didn't matter to the audience over on Liverpool Street Station.