Rosie and the Originals' "Angel Baby" (1960) is a classic doo wop ballad, beloved (and covered) by John Lennon. Lennon was a fan of the flipside of that record too, "Give Me Love," but only because it's wonderfully awful. From Jonathan Cott's book Days That I Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon & Yoko Ono:
"This is really one of the greatest strange records,” [Lennon] remarked. “It's all just out of beat, and everyone misses it. The A side was the hit, 'Angel Baby'— which is one of my favorite songs — and they knocked off the B side in ten minutes. I'm always talking Yoko's ear off, telling her about these songs, saying, 'Look, this is this! This is this... and this... and this!'"
Today is the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' "Abbey Road" album and to celebrate, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and their collaborators have released a new video for "Here Comes The Sun." From a statement:
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The "Here Comes The Sun" music video welcomes the viewer into Abbey Road Studios' Studio Two, where The Beatles famously recorded most of Abbey Road, to experience a unique and moving sunrise above the band's instruments and gear. Working closely with Apple Corps Ltd., the video is directed by Trunk Animation's director team Alasdair + Jock (Alasdair Brotherston and Jock Mooney) and produced by Trunk's Maria Manton. The video's sun centerpiece was filmed as it was meticulously crafted on-set in Abbey Road's Studio Two. The video features photos from the Apple Corps archive, and photos and footage shot by Linda McCartney supplied by Paul McCartney.
On November 14, 1980, John Lennon recorded three rough songs at the apartment he shared with Yoko Ono in New York City's The Dakota apartments. "You Saved My Soul (With Your True Love)" was the last demo he recorded before he was murdered on December 8, 1980 outside his home. Listen above.
The fun is contagious.
"I'll try to remember, John, and if I don't it's just too bad INNIT!?"
From "The Beatles (White Album) Super Deluxe Edition" coming next month, this gorgeous early acoustic version of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Read the rest
dj BC (previously) writes, "You might be familiar with my Beastles mashup project from some years ago. The album "Ill Submarine" is dropping on TAPE on Cassette Store Day, October 13th 2018! I guess tapes are unpopular enough that no one anticipates copyright lawsuits. Speaking of copyright fear, the vinyl editions of this project, and of Wu Orleans, are not being pressed any more. So if you see one, get it." Read the rest
Lennon’s stamp collecting was inspired by his late cousin Stanley Parkes, who gave him the classic Mercury album (with a picture of the god Mercury on the cover) when John was 10 years old. The album’s new owner wrote his name on the title page, after erasing Stanley’s, and beneath it his address at the time: 451 Menlove Ave., Woolton, Liverpool. (The house of his aunt Mimi, later bought by Yoko Ono and given to the National Trust.) As a boy, Lennon prefigured his future of counter culture cheekiness by sketching moustaches and beards on the book’s images of Queen Victoria and King George VI.
John Lennon: The Lost Album (Smithosnian)
“We were immediately nailed to the sofa... And I saw God, this amazing towering thing, and I was humbled. And what I’m saying is, that moment didn’t turn my life around, but it was a clue.
“It was huge. A massive wall that I couldn’t see the top of, and I was at the bottom.
“And anybody else would say it’s just the drug, the hallucination, but both Robert and I were like, ‘Did you see that?’ We felt we had seen a higher thing.”
Kicking off their joint tour, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie offer this growling cover of The Beatles' "Helter Skelter." Over at Billboard, Gil Kaufman writes:
A few months ago Zombie and Manson got together in Los Angeles to talk about the tour and hang out and Zombie suggested they should record something to celebrate the reunion. Because Zombie is not typically one to collaborate with other artists, he says the goal was to avoid just picking a song to jam on during the shows. "I said, 'let's really figure out something,'" he says. And the answer was so obvious he's surprised they hadn't thought of it years ago.
The pair settled on a cover of The Beatles' legendarily gloomy 1968 song "Helter Skelter," one of the group's grimiest-ever tracks and one that serial killer Charles Manson used to rev up his clan of murderous followers in an attempt to spark a race war. Of course the Zombie-fied track they came up with is even darker, slower and more punishing, perfectly meshing their signature doom-laden vocals and down-tuned guitars for a modern goth pop classic. "I think it's cool because we dirtied it up, slowed it down and made it even heavier and groovier, but still true to the song," he says.
One May day in 1968, The Beatles gathered in Esher, London at George Harrison psychedelic bungalow Kinfauns to make music. They jammed through numerous songs written during or after their time hanging with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India. Those demos are the skeleton of what would become the White Album. Some of those acoustic renditions have since been officially released or made their way to YouTube. Over at Rolling Stone, Jordan Runtagh takes us through the "Esher Tapes." Here are two of the tracks with Runtagh's commentary:
"Revolution"Read the rest
Anti–Vietnam War demonstrations, Prague Spring, the assassination of Martin Luther King – John Lennon pondered the tumultuous events of early 1968 from his bucolic hideaway in the shadow of the Himalayas. "I had been thinking about it up in the hills in India," he told Rolling Stone in 1970. "I still had this 'God will save us' feeling about it: 'It's going to be all right.'" The sentiment would because a positive mantra in one of Lennon's most enduring songs; one he hoped would shake the youth out of the dreamily complacent Summer of Love era. "I wanted to put out what I felt about revolution. I thought it was time we fucking spoke about it." In the band's early days, he felt gagged by the unofficial code of silence that prohibited celebrities from speaking out about political matters for fear of antagonizing their audience. "For years, on the Beatles' tours, [manager] Brian Epstein had stopped us from saying anything about Vietnam or the war.
Bonhams is auctioning off a 1966 Mini Cooper 'S' once owned by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. It's expected to fetch US$120,000 - 160,000. From Bonhams:
The Mini was the standout motoring icon of the 1960s, so it was only to be expected that that era's defining popular music act – The Beatles – would all own examples of Alec Issigonis' motoring masterpiece. But while it is relatively easy to carry your guitar around in a Mini, a set of drums is another matter entirely, and it is said that Ringo stipulated that his must be able to accommodate a drum kit, making it different from those purchased for the other members of the 'Fab Four'. The solution to the lack-of-space/accessibility problem was a hatchback conversion, which coachbuilder Harold Radford was offering as an option on its up-market Mini de Ville GT, introduced in October 1965.
In 1967, John Lennon tooled around London in a Rolls-Royce Phantom V personalized with a psychedelic paint job. After years traveling around to various US museums, the car recently returned to London for a new Rolls Royce exhibit at Bonhams. Rolling Stone's Jordan Runtagh tells the story of the trippy whip:
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Exactly how Lennon decided on the lurid Romany floral/zodiac hybrid is subject to some debate. Anthony recalls Ringo Starr planting the seed of the idea during a drive in early 1967. "We were passing the fairground one day and they were admiring the fairground decorations and gypsy caravans. Ringo said why not have the Rolls painted the same way. John thought it was a great idea." However, others say the idea was suggested by Marijke Koger of the Dutch design collective the Fool – who would also paint Lennon's piano that summer – after Lennon commissioned a refurbished 1874 gypsy caravan as a present for his young son, Julian. Either way, the chance to indulge his eccentric taste, while simultaneously delivering a massive "V-sign" to the staid British high society, proved too tempting to resist.
Doubtful that Rolls-Royce themselves would ever submit to such a drastic makeover of one of their prized vehicles, Lennon paid a visit to private coach makers J.P. Fallon Ltd. in Chertsey on April 8th, 1967, to discuss the design. After spraying the body of the car yellow, local artist Steve Weaver was tasked with painting the red, orange, green and blue art nouveau swirls, floral side panels and Lennon's astrological symbol, Libra, on the roof.