Neil Mendoza created this fantastic electromechanical band as part of the artist-in-residence program at Autodesk:
The rock band is composed of electromechanical instruments that make music with rocks by throwing them through the air, slapping them and making them vibrate. The song that they're playing, Here Comes the Sun, is biographical, describing the daily experience of a rock sitting on the ground. The rock band is made up of the following members...
Pinger - fires small rocks at aluminium keys using solenoids.
Spinner - launches magnetic rocks, Hematite, at pieces of marble. Rocks are launched by spinning magnets using Applied Motion stepper motors.
Slapper - slaps rocks with fake leather.
Buzzer - vibrates the plunger of a solenoid against a piece of marble.
The whole project is controlled by a computer running a MIDI player written in openFrameworks talking to a Teensy. The machines were designed using Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Inventor.
He posted plans to make your own mechanical xylophone at Instructables.
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These holiday messages, from 1963 and 1964, courtesy of the Fab Four are just great! Their voices always cheer me up.
I had never heard them, but driving the California coast this Christmas day and caught the tail end of one.
Fun! Read the rest
This 26-page pamphlet from 1965, with 168 meticulous footnotes, outlines the dangers of The Beatles and "the Communist master music plan." Also available in audio form. Read the rest
The Beatles Discography Front Covers [Part 3... by sgtpepperchannel
I've always loved this song. I'd heard this extended version once or twice, and always wondered what was going on... Read the rest
Carolina Eyck performs a lovely series of Theremin Sessions, including this cover of Norwegian Wood. And she takes viewer requests:
To take part in this video project, comment or send me your suggestions for an improvisation. This can be:
a) a word or sentence
b) a photo, a drawing/sketch or painting of yours
c) a recording of you playing your instrument
d) a video of you playing your instrument
I choose one suggestions every week to play an improvisation in the end of the video.
Looking forward to your ideas!
Bonus video to show young people in your life: Carolina performing at age 9
Bonus bonus: "Après un rêve" by Gabriel Fauré :
More at her site.
• Norwegian Wood - Beatles (Cover): Theremin Session #13 (YouTune / Carolina Eyck) Read the rest
This new Fab Four themed Moleskine is really gear. Each one is individually numbered (I have 8379 out of 9999 made). It's part of a series of Moleskine Beatles' themed notebooks.
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The Beatles were known as The Quarrymen in 1958. Here's George, John, and Paul (no Ringo), performing "In Spite of All The Danger" on acoustic instruments.
Wikipedia has a good article about the song:
"In Spite of All the Danger" is one of the first songs recorded by The Quarrymen, then composed of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, pianist John Lowe and drummer Colin Hanton.
The song was written by McCartney and Harrison and is the only song to credit the two alone. It is believed to have been recorded on Saturday 12 July 1958 (three days before Lennon's mother's death). However, that recording date is disputed by the group. The recording was made at Percy Phillips' home studio in Liverpool (see 1958 in music), and cost 17 shillings and six pence (87.5p).
Here's Paul McCartney, many years later, talking about "In Spite of All The Danger" and performing it solo on guitar:
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I've never seen any of these Beatles videos before! The color and clarity are fantastic. They are included in The Beatles 1 Video Collection.
[via] 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)
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See sample pages from this book at Wink.
The Complete Beatles Songs has gone through several editions over the last 20 years as author Steve Turner continues to dig deeper to find the origins and meanings of every song the Beatles wrote. I’ve read a few books about the Beatles and I was surprised to learn so many new things and see so many photos I’d never seen before.
The book has turned out to be Turner’s life project, and it's worth it. Turner interviewed hundreds of people and pored over warehouses of archives to learn the often surprising and fascinating circumstances that led to the lyrics behind the band’s songs.
For instance, here’s how Lennon came up with the title for the song "Happiness is a Warm Gun":
The final section was inspired by something in an American gun magazine that George Martin had pointed out to him. There was a line on the cover reading “Happiness is a warm gun in your hand...,” an obvious play on Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz's 1962 book Happiness is a Warm Puppy. The apparently bizarre juxtaposition of killing and pleasure stimulated John's imagination, especially coming at a time when America was involved in a war. "I thought, what a fantastic thing to say," said John. "A warm gun means that you've just shot something."
If you have made up your own meanings for the Beatle’s beautiful lyrics, this book will destroy them. Read it at your peril.
The Complete Beatles Songs
by Steve Turner
Dey Street Books
2015, 352 pages, 1.5 x 9.2 x 11.5 inches
$29 Buy one on Amazon Read the rest
Australian Kye Smith's video is a tribute to Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney's fantastic drumming for the Beatles. Read the rest
The Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show for the fourth and final time on August 14, 1965. Over 70 million people tuned in to watch.
On Facebook my friend Gareth Branwyn wrote:
Half a century ago! And I'm old enough that I actually saw these performances live on TV. I was a wee one, but I remember seeing my sister and my older cousin (who I had a crush on) going apeshit over the Ed Sullivan appearances so I got swept up in it, too. My sister and I saved up our allowance money to buy Meet the Beatles. Thanks to my sister being 4 years older, I was gripped by this whole rock n' roll shenanigans from Day 1 and it's yet to let go of me.
From the Beatles Bible:
They were driven to CBS-TV's Studio 50 in the morning of 14 August 1965, in a convoy of limousines. Rehearsals took place from 11am-2pm, as The Beatles were unhappy with the initial sound balance and continued work until they were satisfied. A dress rehearsal took place from 2.30pm in front of a studio audience of 700, and the show itself was recorded from 8.30pm.
The Beatles performed six songs: I Feel Fine, I'm Down, Act Naturally, Ticket To Ride, Yesterday and Help!.
In 2009 Paul McCartney appeared on the The Late Show with David Letterman and described how he felt about the performance:
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The audience was out there, and we were kind of very new to America - loving it, but a little bit scared, and I had to do Yesterday, my song, on my own, and I'd never done this, I'd always had the band with me, but suddenly they said, 'You're doing Yesterday,' so I said, 'OK'.