In 1965, John Lennon, George Harrison, Cynthia Lennon, and Pattie Boyd were having dinner at a dentist friend's house. The dentist put LSD in their coffee without telling them first. When he revealed what he had done, John was pissed off, and rightly so. "How dare you fucking do this to us?" he said. Rolling Stone's Mikal Gilmore has the story and an animated interview with John about their first trip on LSD and the secret history of Revolver:
Read the rest
"It was as if we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a horror film," Cynthia Lennon said. "The room seemed to get bigger and bigger." The Beatles and their wives fled Riley's home in Harrison's Mini Cooper. (According to Bury, John and George had earlier indicated a willingness to take LSD if they didn't know beforehand that it was being administered.) The Lennons and Harrisons went to Leicester Square's Ad Lib club. In the elevator, they succumbed momentarily to panic. "We all thought there was a fire in the lift," Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1971. "It was just a little red light, and we were all screaming, all hot and hysterical." Once inside at a table, something like reverie began to take hold instead. As Harrison told Rolling Stone, "I had such an overwhelming feeling of well-being, that there was a God, and I could see him in every blade of grass. It was like gaining hundreds of years of experience in 12 hours."
The couples ended up at the Harrisons' home in Esher, outside London.
Samuraigutarist recorded his cover of The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun" at a very slow tempo that lengthened the song to around 30 minutes. Then he sped up the video and audio 20x. The result sounds like a lovely violin version of the song.
Read the rest
An exceedingly rare and historically important Beatles record sold at auction today for $110,000. The 78 RPM 10" acetate includes "Hello Little Girl," apparently the first song John Lennon ever wrote (or at least recorded). The flip side is a song Meredith Wilson wrote for the 1957 play The Music Man, titled "Til There Was You." Take a listen below. The Beatles manager Brian Epstein handwrote the label on this particular record that now belongs to an anonymous collector.
From Omega Auctions:
Read the rest
This unique 10" 78RPM acetate record featuring 'Hello Little Girl' on one side and 'Til There Was You' on the other was cut in the Personal Recording Department of the HMV record store on Oxford St, London. Brian Epstein had the disc cut from the Decca audition tapes before presenting it to George Martin (EMI) on 13th February 1962 in his desperate attempt to get them a recording contract. This meeting, despite Martin's initial reticence, was to eventually lead to the breakthrough they were looking for. The disc was later given to The Fourmost to record their own version of Hello Little Girl (recorded 3 July 1963) and then to Les Maguire of Gerry & The Pacemakers (recorded Hello Little Girl 17th July 1963). This is the first time it has come to the marketplace, having been tucked away in Maguire's loft until now. Epstein's handwriting on the labels reads as follows: side 1 Hullo Little Girl, John Lennon & The Beatles, Lennon,McCartney' and side 2 'Til' There Was You Paul McCartney & The Beatles'.
From George Fest: A Night To Celebrate The Music Of George Harrison that took place in L.A. in 2014. Also making the scene were Norah Jones, Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips), Dhani Harrison (George's son), Ian Astbury (The Cult), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Ben Harper, Ann Wilson (Heart), and many others. The whole event will be available next month on CD, Blu-Ray, digital download, and vinyl. Trailer below.
George Fest: A Night To Celebrate The Music Of George Harrison (Amazon)
Read the rest
Ringo Starr's personal copy of The White Album, the first pressing of the album, numbered 0000001, is up for auction with proceeds going to charity. The current high bid is $55,000. From Julien's Auctions:
It has been widely known among collectors that the four members of the Beatles kept numbers 1 through 4, but it was not commonly known that Starr was given the No.0000001 album. Starr has stated that he kept this album in a bank vault in London for over 35 years. Up to this time the lowest numbered UK first mono pressing album to come to market is No.0000005, which sold in 2008 for just under $30,000. This No.0000001 UK first mono pressing owned by a member of the Beatles is the lowest and most desirable copy that will ever become available.
As the record manufacturing plant certainly had every machine available simultaneously pressing copies of this album it is impossible to say with certainty which records were truly the very first off the press, but these discs were certainly among the very first. The album covers however were numbered in sequence, insuring that this No.0000001 sleeve is the very first finished cover. The top load sleeve is in near mint minus condition and would be near mint if not for the bumped upper right front gatefold corner, but it is overall very clean and fresh with very minor abrasions.
"RINGO STARR'S UK 1st MONO PRESSING WHITE ALBUM NO.0000001" (Julien's Auctions)
Read the rest
See sample pages from this book at Wink.
In 1964, Italian photographer Emilio Lari was 24, newly arrived in London and looking for work. Back in Rome, he’d shot promotional stills on the set of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, starring Sofia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, and for The Bobo, featuring Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland.
Now he was hoping to do the same in Britain. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for him to hear about a new film just going into production: A cheap black-and-white comedy meant to cash in on that latest fad, the Beatles. Lari went around to see the film’s director, Sellers’ old friend Richard Lester, and got invited to the first day of shooting. He was on the set of A Hard Day’s Night only that day, but Lester liked his photos and invited him to do more work on his next film, which turned out to be the Beatles’ Help!
In vivid color and crisp black and white, this book shares dozens of the results. There are great candid and posed shots of the Beatles, many unseen for years or never published, throughout. Musicians will enjoy the close-up images of the band with its famed guitars: George Harrison with his Gibson acoustic, John Lennon with his Rickenbacker, Paul McCartney with his violin-shaped Hofner bass. We’ve seldom seen these instruments so closely and looking so shiny and new. The same is true for the pictures of the Beatles themselves. They look so young, fresh and lively that it’s hard to believe the pictures are more than 50 years old. Read the rest
In 1960 a Liverpool band called the Silver Beatles asked Pete Best to join them as drummer. Best was already in a band called the Blackjacks, but he took the gig and for the next two years he played with the band (which eventually dropped "Silver" from its name). When the band auditioned with Decca, Best played drums on the first recording of "Love Me Do." Things went downhill quickly from there, writes Maggie Malach of Mental Floss:
Read the rest
Parent-child bonding, done so right.
Read the rest
Photographer and food artist Henry Hargreaves created images from The Beatles's Yellow Submarine out of gelatin. Read the rest
Guitarist Randy Bachman (Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive) explains how he figured out the famously mysterious opening chord to the Beatle's 1964 song "A Hard Days's Night."
Previously: HOWTO play the opening chord from 'A Hard Day's Night'
[via] Read the rest
It's a kind of Grey Album 2.0: Beatles songs mashed up with KRS-One, Kool Moe Dee, Salt-n-Pepa, Nas, Rakim, WuTang, Public
Enemy, Beastie Boys and many others -- get it before the censorship campaign kicks in!
Read the rest
A copy of the Beatles' 1963 album Please Please Me, signed by all four Moptops sold for $36,655 on eBay.
When it comes to memorabilia, you can't do much better than early Beatles items. They're an iconic group with millions of loyal fans worldwide. Even fifty-years-later their music continues to have a demand. When you consider their huge fan base and small amount of early memorabilia available. Finding a fully-signed record in mint condition (fifty-years later) is exceptionally rare.
This actually seems like a bargain. I'll bet this album will sell for 10 times as much in a decade.
Bonus fact: The album's title song, "Please Please Me," is probably the most famous song about a blowjob ever recorded. Read the rest
There are some talented people out there! (Via Twisted Sifter) Read the rest
The George Harrison Memorial Tree in Los Angeles, planted in memory of the Beatles guitarist, was killed by beetles. Read the rest
The Bug Band performs "She Loves You" on The Muppet Show in 1979. According to the Muppet Wiki, they were a nameless group until Kermit told them they needed a moniker. They suggested "The Grateful Dead" and "The Who." (via Experimental Music on Children's TV) Read the rest
I recently reviewed the incredible graphic novel biography, The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, written by Vivek J. Tiwary and illustrated by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker. (It was just nominated for two Eisner awards!)
Last week I announced that Wink (a paper book review website that my wife Carla Sinclair edits) was holding a giveaway of the rare signed, numbered, slipcased "Limited Edition" of The Fifth Beatle, which is limited to 1500 copies, signed by all three creators and comes with an exclusive tip-in page of art. Entrants to the giveaway were asked to write their own text for the word balloons in the panel above. (Clockwise L-R John Lennon, George Harrison, Brian Epstein, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney. NOTE: John has 2 balloons.)
The entries were judged by Vivek J. Tiwary himself, and he selected a winner for the limited edition and a runner-up for a regular edition.
Read the rest
[Video Link] 17-year-old Dylan Gardner says: "In honor of the Beatles breakup on April 10, 1970, I decided to cover the entire second side of their last album, Abbey Road, with different instruments for 15-second intervals. Abbey Road has always stuck with me as an incredible ending note for a great career that the Beatles have put together. It's just me around the house having a blast covering my heroes!"
I asked Dylan how he made these videos (which will appear on his Instagram feed). He answered: "The Beatles have been such a huge part of my musical upbringing, so I couldn't think of a better afternoon than stealing my parents' new video camera and running around my empty house covering the better side of Abbey Road in Instagram-sized videos. I'd tie a zip tie around the camera to hold angles as I grabbed as many miscellaneous instruments as I could. I made a mess of the house, but the bright side is this isn't the last time I'll do that..."
Dylan's debut album, Adventures in Real Time is set to be released on May 13th. Read the rest