Wednesday, 11 October 2017

New book about drugs and The Beatles

Joe Gooden's book, "Riding So High".
‘Who gave the drugs to the Beatles? I didn’t invent those things. I bought it from someone who got it from somebody. We never invented the stuff.’ – John Lennon

Riding So High charts the Beatles’ extraordinary odyssey from teenage drinking and pill-popping, to cannabis, LSD, the psychedelic Summer of Love and the darkness beyond.
Drugs were central to the Beatles’ story from the beginning. The acid, pills and powders helped form bonds, provided escape from the chaos of Beatlemania, and inspired colossal leaps in songwriting and recording. But they also led to break-ups, breakdowns, drug busts and prison.

The only full-length study of the Beatles and drugs, Riding So High tells of getting stoned, kaleidoscope eyes, excess, loss and redemption, with a far-out cast including speeding Beatniks, a rogue dentist, a script-happy aristocratic doctor, corrupt police officers and Hollywood Vampires.

‘The deeper you go, the higher you fly…’
Whether you're a stoner, straight-edge or somewhere in between, you won't want to miss this. Riding So High – The Beatles and Drugs. 113,413 words. 9 October 2017.

Joe also runs The Beatles' Bible, possibly the greatest online Beatles resource.

Links:
Ebook
Paperback

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Ringo's Christmas album returns

Ringo's 1999 Christmas album 
Looks like someone is in Christmas spirits, because September 22 Ringo Starr's album "I Wanna Be Santa Claus" (or the Santa Claus album, "I Wanna Be Ringo Starr") was released on vinyl by Mercury Records. We heartily recommend this album! After this album, Starr was to leave Mercury after they had done no promotion for it, which in turn resulted in little sales.
This is the first vinyl edition of the album, as it was originally only available on CD and cassette.

  1. "Come On Christmas, Christmas Come On" (Richard Starkey, Mark Hudson, Dean Grakal) – 3:36
  2. "Winter Wonderland" (Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith) – 2:55
  3. "I Wanna Be Santa Claus" (Starkey, Hudson, Dick Monda) – 3:46
    • features Timothy B. Schmit on backing vocals
  4. "The Little Drummer Boy" (Harry Simeone, Henry Onorati, Katherine K. Davis) – 3:19
    • features Timothy B. Schmit on backing vocals
  5. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Johnny Marks) – 2:21
  6. "Christmas Eve" (Starkey, Hudson) – 4:26
  7. "The Christmas Dance" (Starkey, Hudson, Jim Cox, Steve Dudas) – 4:06
    • followed by studio chatter in between this and the following track
  8. "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" (George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Richard Starkey) – 4:06
    • originally recorded by The Beatles in 1967 for their annual Christmas record for members of their fan club
    • features Joe Perry on guitar solo
  9. "Blue Christmas" (Bill Hayes, Jay Johnson) – 2:58
  10. "Dear Santa" (Starkey, Hudson, Dudas) – 5:12
  11. "White Christmas" (Irving Berlin) – 2:56
    • features Timothy B. Schmit on backing vocals
    • followed by a short violin piece in between this and the following track
  12. "Pax Um Biscum (Peace Be with You)" (Starkey, Hudson, Scott Gordon) – 4:46

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Paul McCartney on coloured vinyl


8 albums from Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney and Wings are being reissued worldwide on CD, 180-gram heavyweight vinyl and limited edition coloured vinyl.

No bonus tracks, just the regular album songs. The CD editions will be priced lower than regular CDs. The reasoning behind the release: McCartney's change of label from Hear Music to Capitol Records. These are the same albums that were released by Hear Music in the ongoing Archive series, except that Wings Over America is not here:

01-McCARTNEY:
CD
REGULAR LP
RED VINYL LIMITED EDITION


02-RAM
CD
REGULAR LP
YELLOW VINYL LIMITED EDITION

03-BAND ON THE RUN
CD
REGULAR LP
WHITE VINYL LIMITED EDITION

04-VENUS AND MARS
CD
REGULAR LP
RED/YELLOW VINYL LIMITED EDITION

05-WINGS AT THE SPEED OF SOUND
CD
REGULAR LP
ORANGE VINYL LIMITED EDITION

06-McCARTNEY II
CD
REGULAR LP
CLEAR VINYL LIMITED EDITION

07-TUG OF WAR
CD
REGULAR LP
BLUE VINYL LIMITED EDITION

08-PIPES OF PEACE
CD
REGULAR LP
SILVER VINYL LIMITED EDITION

The colour vinyl collection.

Press Release
THE PAUL McCARTNEY ARCHIVE COLLECTION
COMPLETE YOUR COLLECTION NOVEMBER 17, 2017
EIGHT TITLES TO BE RE-RELEASED VIA MPL/Capitol/UMe
FEATURING LIMITED EDITION 180g COLOR VINYL PRESSINGS

Paul McCartney: McCartney, McCartney II,  Tug Of War, Pipes Of Peace
Paul and Linda McCartney: Ram
Paul McCartney and Wings: Band On The Run
Wings: Venus And Mars, At The Speed Of Sound

Paul McCartney’s critically acclaimed and multiple Grammy Award-winning Archive Collection will offer fans another chance to complete their collections on November 17, 2017. That date will see the MPL/Capitol/UMe reissues of the first eight Archive Collection titles in affordable single CD digipak and 180 gram black vinyl single LP formats—as well as limited edition 180 gram color vinyl pressings. All vinyl LPs in the Archive Collection will feature a download card and fully restored artwork. The titles and corresponding limited edition vinyl colors are as follows:

Paul McCartney: McCartney - RED
Paul McCartney: McCartney II - CLEAR
Paul McCartney: Tug Of War - BLUE
Paul McCartney: Pipes Of Peace - SILVER
Paul and Linda McCartney: Ram - YELLOW
Paul McCartney and Wings: Band On The Run - WHITE
Wings: Venus And Mars - RED & YELLOW
Wings: At The Speed Of Sound - ORANGE

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection debuted with the November 2, 2010 re-release of Paul McCartney & Wings’ 1973 milestone Band on the Run, which won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Historical Album, while the Archive Collection’s Deluxe Edition Box Set of the 1976 classic Wings Over America took the 2013 Grammy for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. The most recent installment was this year’s reissue of Paul’s eighth studio album Flowers In The Dirt, which ROLLING STONE called “spectacular…  an extraordinary document,” and the OBSERVER hailed as "perhaps the greatest record to emerge from the world of AOR in 1989... an absolute pleasure to rediscover today."

Every release in the ongoing Paul McCartney Archive Collection is supervised by Paul himself, who oversees all aspects of each and every title from remastering to the curation of lost tracks, outtakes, artwork, photographs and video from his personal vaults, and much more. The result is one of the most ambitious and personal undertakings of its kind, one that encompasses more than 40 years of cherished, classic material from the most successful songwriter and recording artist in music history.

TRACKLISTING

McCartney
The Lovely Linda
That Would Be Something
Valentine Day
Every Night
Hot As Sun / Glasses
Junk
Man We Was Lonely
Oo You
Momma Miss America
Teddy Boy
Singalong Junk
Maybe I'm Amazed
Kreen-Akrore

RAM
Too Many People
3 Legs
Ram On
Dear Boy
Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey
Smile Away
Heart Of The Country
Monkberry Moon Delight
Eat At Home
Long Haired Lady
Ram On [reprise]
The Back Seat Of My Car

Band on the Run
Band On The Run
Jet
Bluebird
Mrs. Vandebilt
Let Me Roll It
Mamunia
No Words
Picasso's Last Words (Drink To Me)
Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five

Venus and Mars
Venus And Mars
Rock Show
Love In Song
You Gave Me The Answer
Magneto And Titanium Man
Letting Go
Venus And Mars [reprise]
Spirits Of Ancient Egypt
Medicine Jar
Call Me Back Again
Listen To What The Man Said
Treat Her Gently - Lonely Old People
Crossroads

At The Speed of Sound
Let 'Em In
The Note You Never Wrote
She's My Baby
Beware My Love
Wino Junko
Silly Love Songs
Cook Of The House
Time To Hide
Must Do Something About It
San Ferry Anne
Warm And Beautiful

McCartney II
Coming Up
Temporary Secretary
On The Way
Waterfalls
Nobody Knows
Front Parlour
Summer's Day Song
Frozen Jap
Bogey Music
Darkroom
One Of These Days

Tug of War
Tug Of War
Take It Away
Somebody Who Cares
What's That You're Doing
Here Today
Ballroom Dancing
The Pound Is Sinking
Wanderlust
Get It
Be What You See
Dress Me Up As A Robber
Ebony And Ivory

Pipes of Peace
Pipes Of Peace
Say Say Say
The Other Me
Keep Under Cover
So Bad
The Man
Sweetest Little Show
Average Person
Hey Hey
Tug Of Peace
Through Our Love


Bundle of all titles on colour vinyl
So, does this mean that the Archive series is continuing? We hope so!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

End of the line for Charlie T jr

Charlie T joins his fellow Wilburies, Nelson and Lefty.
Another member of George Harrison's old supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys has died. Tom Petty, also known as Charlie T Wilbury jr, died peacefully in a hospital in Los Angeles, Monday the 2nd October at 8.40pm local time. He had been rushed to the hospital after having been found lifeless at home. Petty had previously been open and outspoken about his problems with heroin addiction.
Petty was friendly with George Harrison and Ringo Starr,  and his band The Heartbreakers backed Bob Dylan on his 1986 and '87 tours.

Petty has been a central American rock artist since the late seventies, with hits like "American Girl", "Free Fallin'" and "I Won't Back Down". His first major album success with The Heartbreakers was "Damn The Torpedoes" in 1979.

His solo album "Full Moon Fever" lifted him to new heights ten years later, following Petty's membership in on of rock's biggest superstar groups, The Traveling Wilburys, together with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. Now there's just two of them left on earth. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers finished their last tour just a week ago at the Hollywood Bowl.


Friday, 22 September 2017

Paul on Saturday Night Live 1993

Paul meets Chip Dutch (private photo).
One of our regular readers is in a Syrecuse newspaper these days, in a story from 1993. Paul McCartney is due to play there on Saturday of course, so this is just a warm up story...
Anyway, head on over to syracuse.com and read how the cast of Saturday Night Live reacted to Paul's first live appearance there - and how our guy managed to witness it all first hand.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

What goes on? Early version up for sale again

The label of "What Goes On" demo disc.
On Thursday 21 September 2017, Parlogram will be auctioning this acetate on Ebay. The disc contains the unreleased and unheard 1963 home demo of one of John Lennon’s earliest compositions, "What Goes On". An exclusive excerpt of John singing the song’s original lyrics, different to those on the 1965 released version on "Rubber Soul", will be made available on the auction listing. The auction will end on October 1st 2017.

Parlogram announced the upcoming auction on their Facebook page.
This track was due to be recorded on 5th March 1963 but the group ran out of time. They revisited the track during a recording session on 4th November 1965, when they were just a month away from the release of the next album, "Rubber Soul", and had only completed half of the tracks for it. The acetate is a demo with vocals (by John) and guitars only. It was previously auctioned off by Bonham's in December 2012, and fetched £6,250 back then. The record was one of many items given by George Harrison to his brother, Harry, and other members of his family.

There was no sonic sample available at the Bonham's auction, so this will be the first time we will be able to hear a little bit of the demo.
UPDATE:

Friday, 1 September 2017

Magical Mystery Tour anniversary on bootlegs

Upcoming 2DVD from HMC
The 50th anniversary for The Beatles TV-movie, "Magical Mystery Tour" is fast approaching. With no official word, it looks like The Beatles and Apple are going to bypass this anniversary. A couple of notorious bootleggers are coming to the rescue, as both HMS and Misterclaudel have been touting their hommages to the film. HMC promises 40 minutes of hitherto unseen outtakes on DVD 1 and a fan made edit of the film on DVD 2.

The HMC 2DVD folder.
Misterclaudel, on the other hand, will be releasing the 2012 BBC documentary, plus some of Paul and Mal Evans' home movies. Also some of the material which was used to promote the film when it was reissued for DVD and Blu-ray in 2012, but which didn't make it to disc back then.

Disc One: Outtakes & Discs Two: The Documentary.

Misterclaudel's release, also 2DVDs.
You may read a bit more (auto-translated from Japanese) about the Misterclaudel release on this site.

Back of the Misterclaudel release.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Friday, 25 August 2017

Beatles premonition in Superman comic book

Superman #177, published May, 1965 featuring Beatles lyrics from 1968!
Never am I more happy than when I can combine my love for The Beatles with my love for the Superman comic books. Today, I happened to stumble upon a curiosity within the pages of the Superman comic book #177 from May 1965.
Half pages with gags featuring a character called "Casey The Cop", made by Henry Boltinoff were used as filler material in comic books from DC. This particular one feature, in the last frame of the strip, the name of the Beatles' white album ("The Beatles") as well as a couple of lyrics from the album's track "Revolution #9", namely "Twist" and "The Watusi".


Thank you for your attention, now back to our regular programme. Or, check out our other posts about Superman - Beatles connections.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Paul's new single and album wikileaked?

Paul McCartney - new single and album soon?
There was a bit of a commotion last night, as the French Wikipedia page of Paul McCartney suddenly contained news about a new single called "A Life of Mercy", coming out on Monday August 28, and that the new studio album will be called "In The Universe and Beyond". Furthermore, the page said that two of Paul's collaborators on the new album will be Australian singer-songwriter Sia and the American musician, Beck.
Apparently, the Wikipedia contributor is a reliable one, still we can't help taking this piece of news with a grain of salt. The news was first spread on the Steve Hoffman music forum, and then reported on Richard Porter's blog, as far as we can tell. Further edits of the Wikipedia page inserted Denny Laine appearing on the new single, singing it as a duet with Paul, however that edit was not done by a regular contributor.
Of course, last time we checked - all these new edits were removed from said Wikipedia page.

Source: French Wikipedia

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Danilo calendars

Beatles Official Calendar 2018 - Yellow Submarine edition
Photos of the official Beatles calendars for 2018 from Danilo have been published, regular and special edition versions. The regular, poster-sized calendar is already available in the U.S. and has a Yellow Submarine theme, the special (square) edition has some 1968 photos, but from the supplied photos, one month features a Norway/Sweden 1968 record sleeve with a 1966 photo. Due out September 1 in USA, September 15 in the UK.

Here are some photos of the The Beatles Official 2018 Calendar A3 Poster Format (available from August 1, 2017 in USA, August 15 in the UK):

January 2018

June 2018
The back of the calendar.
And here is the The Beatles Collector's Edition Official 2018 Calendar - Square Format With Record Sleeve Cover Calendar, due to be available from September 1, 2017.
The front is made to look like an inner sleeve.
July features this Swedish record sleeve

January: a mad day out photo
Year overview: still photo from the Revolution video
Back cover

Links:
Amazon (USA)
Amazon (UK)

See also our post with the unofficial calendars.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Ringo - recorded in Sweden

One of the songs on "Give More Love" was recorded in Sweden!
Turns out, one of the tracks on Ringo Starr's upcoming CD was recorded in Sweden!

You Can’t Fight Lightning composed by Richard Starkey himself and performed by Ringo alongside Alberta Cross.

Track produced and arranged by Petter Ericson Stakee and Peter R Ericson
Engineers: Viktor Buck and Fred Appelvist
Recorded at Fred´s Kitchen Studios in Stockholm

Ringo Starr: Vocals
Guitar, backing vocals and percussion: Petter Ericson Stakee
Guitar and lap steel: Matthew Pynn
Drums and percussion:Fredrik Aspelin
Bass guitar: Erik MacQueen
Piano and Hammond Organ:Pete Remm
Backing vocals: Viktor Buck and Peter R.Ericson

This info courtesy of our friend Arno Guzek from Denmark. We don't know anything else about the recording, and suggest that Ringo may have "phoned in" his contribution, as we have had no report of the drummer visiting Sweden since performing there in 2011.

Of course, the original recording of "You Can't Fight Lightening" was done for Ringo's planned 1981 album, "Can't Fight Lightening" and the lightening struck Richy and girlfriend Barbara Bach, who he was later to marry. Ringo had enlisted help from his former bandmates John, Paul and George, but after Lennon was murdered, the album was severely altered, The song "You Cant Fight Lightening" and several others were removed, and the album was eventually released as "Stop and Smell The Roses". "You Cant Fight Lightening" remained unreleased for the next 13 years, until it was included as one of several bonus tracks when "Stop and Smell The Roses" was given a U.S. CD release in 1994.

Ringo has already released a couple of the songs from his upcoming album. Here's "We’re On The Road Again" where Paul McCartney contributes on bass guitar and some vocals near the end:


The title track "Give More Love" is available as a single download, and also available through streaming services like Spotify.

Amazon (USA) links:
Give More Love CD (out Sep 15)
Give More Love LP (out Sep 22)

Amazon (UK) links:
Give More Love CD (out Sep 15)
Give More Love LP (out Aug 22) (probably a mistake by Amazon)

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Harry Benson's book republished

Harry Benson: The Beatles
Beatles photographer, Glasgow-born Harry Benson's book, previously out-of-print, is made available again at a cheaper price. This re-edition brings back the best of Benson’s luminous black and white Beatles portfolio. Complemented by quotes and newspaper clippings from the period, an introduction by the photographer himself adds exciting personal testimony to the photos.

It was in early 1964, that photographer Harry Benson received a call from the photo editor of London’s Daily Express, who asked him to cover The Beatles’ trip to Paris. It was the beginning of a career-defining relationship, which would both make Benson’s name and produce some of the most intimate photographs ever taken of The Beatles.

In Paris, Benson captured the Fab Four in the midst of a pillow fight at the George V Hotel, a spontaneous moment which came to epitomize the spirit of the band — Benson himself has called it the best shot of his career. Later that year, he followed the group on the road for their debut US tour, documenting their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, their surprising encounter with Cassius Clay, and the hysteria of New York Beatlemania. Benson also photographed George Harrison’s honeymoon in Barbados, documented the Beatles on the set of their debut movie A Hard Day’s Night, and was present on the now infamous final 1966 U.S. tour.

Harry Benson has photographed every US President since Eisenhower, the Civil Rights movement, and was next to Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated. As well as The Beatles, he has shot some of the biggest personalities of the last 50 years, including Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Her Majesty The Queen. In 2009, he was made Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

Details:
Harry Benson. The Beatles
Hardcover, 22.4 x 31.6 cm, 272 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-5767-2
Multilingual Edition: English, French, German

This new edition is priced at £ 29.99 / € 29.99, whereas the original edition was available for £ 44.99 / € 49.99. Available now from Taschen.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Some 2018 calendars

Calendar from Day Dream, themed to Yellow Submarine
Calendars are upon us! While we are still waiting for the official Danilo Beatles calendar, some other manufacturers have released theirs. Danilo will likely reveal their Apple sanctioned calendar on August 1, but here are a few of their competitors for that precious wall space in our homes and offices. And it's no surprise that some of these calendars focus on the upcoming fiftieth anniversaries of Yellow Submarine and The Beatles' White album. The above depicted calendar from Day Dream is an example.
Sample page and drawings from the Yellow Submarine calendar from Day Dream.
 There is a "deluxe" version Yellow Submarine calendar, as well.
Special Edition calendar from Day Dream

 The same company is also responsible for a calender themed to The Beatles' White album:


Pretty familiar images in this one. Day Dream
Then there are calendars where each month is themed to one of the Beatles years.

Beatles Years calendar from Day Dream

A year a month, including a few repeats
The above calendars are all 12", like an LP record. The Beatles Years calendar is also available in a smaller format, 7" like a single.

Smaller version of the Beatles Years calendar.
The company called Mead also has their own 2018 Beatles calendar available:

Tinted images in the Mead calendar

Sample month and pics from the Mead calendar.
Links:
Beatles 2018 calendars at Amazon.com
Beatles 2018 calendars at Amazon.co.uk

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Argentinas Beatles museum

Beatles figurines from the new museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: AP.
Despite the fact that the Beatles never played in Argentina, an obsessive fan has put his country on the Beatlemania map. A Beatles museum has been open to the public in Buenos Aires since 2011.

The eclectic collection is the work of self-confessed obsessive Rodolfo Vazquez, a 53-year-old accountant who became a fan at the age of 10 when he got their album Rubber Soul.
Since then he has collected everything he possibly can related to the Fab Four and has amassed more than 8,500 items.  In 2001 he was recognised by Guinness World Records as having the planet's largest collection, with a hoard of 5,612 items.

But his haul has kept growing and his museum, located on Avenue Corrientes in a tourist area of Buenos Aires, is only able to hold a quarter of it. The items will change on an annual basis, as Vazques plans to rotate stuff from his collection for display.

Vazquez claims he doesn't know the total value of his private collection, which includes record covers, autographs, toys, original pictures, concert programs, and cups and plates with Beatle images.

His reason for creating a museum? "Otherwise all of it would be closed into boxes and trunks without anyone being able to enjoy them." Something to consider for many of us, I believe.

Read the full story and see more photos from the museum in the Daily Mail.

Beatles museums:
The Beatles' Story in Liverpool
Das Beatles Museum in Halle, Germany
Beatles Museum in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
Museo Beatle, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Egri Road Beatles Museum, Hungary

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

1999 Yellow Submarine comic book resurrected

New Yellow Submarine comic book
For the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles' full length cartoon movie "Yellow Submarine", Apple Corps Ltd is resurrecting an old project which was abandoned earlier - a new comic book adaptation of the film. Dark Horse Comics were scheduled to release this new comic book in 1999, but it was aborted after more than half of the book's artwork had been completed. Now it's Titan Comics who are going ahead with the book.

The 1999 re-release on VHS and DVD
The idea came about when the film was being re-released in 1999, as extensive work was done to restore the images, and remix the music and dialogue in stereo as well as in surround sound. To coincide with the film re-release, Apple wanted a new comic book, one that adhered more to the film than was the case with the previous comic book adaptation.

Early in 1999, Bill Morrison was approached by Dark Horse Comics, and commissioned to produce the new comic book. The DVD was released in September of ’99, and Morrison remembers the comic adaptation was being timed to coincide with the DVD release, according to a 2006 article over at the comics website CBR.com.

The 1968 comic book adaptation.
There had been a Yellow Submarine comic published by Gold Key Comics in 1968, produced in advance of the movie. It included passages not found in the film, and character designs made prior to the final designs were okayed for the film. However, the new Dark Horse project was to be a true adaptation of the film.

The new comic book was to be one of the various merchandise items to be made available to the public alongside the release of the film on DVD and VHS, together with the Yellow Submarine Songtrack on CD and coloured vinyl, as well as new action figures from McFarlane Toys. Morrison was first approached by Michael Martens at Dark Horse and asked to adapt the script and draw it.

The comic book was going to be a full-colour 48 page one-shot (a standalone comic book not part of a series), prestige format. Morrison was contracted to do the entire project and brought in a few of his buddies (from Bongo Comics, where Morrison was employed at the time) to help out. Nathan Kane was colouring the art, and Chris Ungar was handling the lettering. Also, Morrison enlisted his wife, Kayre, to help translate some of the dialogue from VHS copies of the film. Morrison remembers her calling him into her office to listen over and over to bits of dialogue that neither of them could understand because of the poor audio quality and the thick Liverpool accents.

The 1987 VHS video cassette
One thing to consider when Bill Morrison completes his comic book, is that if he still bases his story and drawings on the 1987 VHS cassette edition of the film, there are going to be discrepancies, as there are in fact two versions of the film. Near the end of the film, the original Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are released (thanks to the hole carried in Ringo's pocket from the Sea of Holes) and Ringo rescues Jeremy. The Beatles then have a rematch with the four-headed Meanie dog, singing "Hey Bulldog", with the Beatles victorious once again. That latter scene was shown at the film premiere in England but when the film was released worldwide, the scene was cut out and replaced by a short dynamic battle scene to reach a lower running time. The 1987 video cassette was based on the later print of the film, and had the "Beatles to battle" scene instead of the "Hey Bulldog" scene. The 1999 re-release restored the "Hey Bulldog" scene back into the film. More about those differences here.

As he recalls, Morrison was given little input on the direction to take on the project, back in the day.
"I remember doing a little sample drawing to see if I had the style down, but I believe that was more for my sake than theirs. In fact, I don’t recall if I ever showed them that drawing. I do remember doing the cover first, because they were going to print it as a poster. Remember when Dark Horse had those promotional newspaper comics that were distributed at comic shops? It was going to be printed full-size on the back of one of those."

Sample page in "psychedelic" style, from Morrison's book.
"I don’t remember Dark Horse giving me any direction regarding style. It just seemed to be understood that I would be as faithful to the film as possible. I do recall that Dark Horse Publisher Mike Richardson loaned me his personal copy of the original Gold Key Yellow Submarine comic from 1968 for reference. I was excited about doing the first really faithful adaptation of the film. Not to take anything away from the original Gold Key adaptation, but it was obviously done well before the movie was completed. Aspects of the story are different and it’s apparent that the artist (Paul S. Newman, 1924-1999) had only preliminary designs to work from, and some characters hadn’t even been designed yet."

"I also found a copy of a Yellow Submarine book with pictures from the film. I really wanted badly to capture the look of the film. As a Beatles fan myself, I approached it from a fan point of view and tried to bury my own style (whatever that is!)."

"As for the design, I thought about the film and how psychedelic it is. I wanted to translate that onto the page beyond just what I depicted in each panel. So I found inspiration in the black light posters I used to cover my bedroom walls with. I designed the opening Pepperland pages very much like psychedelic posters."

Regular "basic and dull" panels with Ringo in Liverpool. From Morrison's book.

"Then the Liverpool scene with Ringo is pretty basic and dull. But when he and Fred start to assemble the other Beatles one by one, the page design starts getting weird and psychedelic again. I always felt that some of the pages could have had a second life as a black light poster book."

"I completed 26 pages, pencil and ink, and I believe Nathan had ten or so pages colored. I think Chris had most of the 26 pages lettered, too," Morrison said. "From what I understand, the executive at Apple Records who oversees the Beatles merchandise had a change of heart. I heard that he only wanted to do really high-class merchandise for this roll out and he suddenly decided that comic books didn’t qualify. He pulled out of the deal and left [Dark Horse Publisher] Mike Richardson holding the bag. And Dark Horse paid me for every bit of my work! He’s a real mensch, that Mike. Another story I heard was that George Harrison felt that because his company was also named Dark Horse, people may think that he was the producer of the comic. If it was bad, he’d get blamed for it. But I think that was just a rumor."

Preview from the upcoming comic book, No panels, but circles on this page.
Finally, the time has come for Morrison to complete his comic book. The deal between Apple Corps Ltd. and Titan Comics was negotiated by Bravado International, which handles licensing for the Beatles in North America. In addition to the Yellow Submarine comic adaptation, Titan's collectibles arm Titan Merchandise will also be releasing a line of Titans vinyl collectibles based on the movie. The "All Together Now" collection features two versions of the band, as well as Blue Meanies, the Apple Bonker and the Four-Headed Bulldog, and will hit stores later this month. "We’re thrilled to be publishing The Beatles: Yellow Submarine for the 50th Anniversary of this fantastic movie," Chris Teather, publishing director at Titan Comics said. "We can’t wait for Beatles fans to experience this official adaptation."

This story puts together text from CBR.com and Hollywood Reporter.

An anniversary edition of the film itself is not on the cards, as a 2012 release on Blu-ray as well as DVD still is in the shops.


PRESS RELEASE

Titan Comics is excited to announce a deal with Apple Corps Ltd to publish an official illustrated adaptation of The Beatles’ iconic animated film, Yellow Submarine.  Due to hit stores in 2018 to tie-in with the 50th Anniversary of the release of the movie. The deal was brokered by Bravado International, The Beatles’ North American licensing agent.

The Beatles: Yellow Submarine movie (originally released in 1968) is an animated musical fantasy film inspired by the music of The Beatles. In the film, Paul, John, George and Ringo agree to accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music-hating Blue Meanies.

Directed by animation producer George Dunning, the film received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Since its original release, the movie has become a cornerstone of contemporary popular culture and has inspired generations of award-winning animators.

Titan’s official illustrated adaptation of The Beatles: Yellow Submarine is written and illustrated by Bill Morrison – writer and artist from The Simpsons Comics. As a huge fan of The Beatles, this has been a labor of love for Bill, twenty years in the making.

“We’re thrilled to be publishing The Beatles: Yellow Submarine for the 50th Anniversary of this fantastic movie,” said Chris Teather, Publishing Director at Titan Comics. “We can’t wait for Beatles fans to experience this official adaptation.”

The Beatles: Yellow Submarine Official illustrated adaptation from Titan is due to hit stores in 2018.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Paul's One on One tour continues

From Miami 7/7-17, photo: Al Diaz, Miami Herald
Paul McCartney's "One on One" tour continues after a couple of months off the road. The new part of the tour started in Miami, Florida on Ringo's birthday, which prompted Paul to dedicate "Birthday" to both Ringo and Paul's late dad, James.
In an interview prior to the show, Paul had promised two-three surprises, and these were probably "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Paul had sergeant stripes on his jacket, see photo), "I Wanna Be Your Man" (usually a Ringo song) and possibly "Love Me Do"?

The set list:

1. A Hard Day’s Night
2. Save Us
3. Can’t Buy Me Love
4. Letting Go
5. Temporary Secretary
6. Let Me Roll It
7. I’ve Got a Feeling
8. My Valentine
9. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
10. Maybe I’m Amazed
11. We Can Work It Out
12. In Spite of All the Danger
13. You Won’t See Me
14. Love Me Do
15. And I Love Her
16. Blackbird
17. Here Today
18. Queenie Eye
19. New
20. The Fool on the Hill
21. Lady Madonna
22. FourFiveSeconds
23. Eleanor Rigby
24. I Wanna Be Your Man
25. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
26. Something
27. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
28. Band on the Run
29. Back in the U.S.S.R.
30. Let It Be
31. Live and Let Die
32. Hey Jude

Encores:
33. Yesterday
34. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
35. Hi, Hi, Hi
36. Birthday
37. Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End

The songs divide up like this: 24 from The Beatles, 1 from The Quarry Men, 3 from the last studio album (New, 2013) and 4 more from the solo albums, 6 from Wings, 1 from Rihanna. No fans were asked up on the stage during this concert. The soundcheck went like this:

1. Jam
2. Matchbox
3. Flaming Pie
4. All My Loving
5. C Moon
6. Let ’em In
7. Alligator
8. Things We Said Today
9. Ram On
10. Midnight Special
11. Lady Madonna
12.  Lady Madonna

Photo: Al Diaz, Miami Herald
A slideshow with more photos from Miami can be found here.

The tour continues tonight in Tampa, Florida. This is how the rest of the tour looks like, as of now:

JULY
7: Miami, Florida – American Airlines Arena
10: Tampa, Florida – Amalie Arena
13: Duluth, Georgia – Infinite Energy Arena
15: Bossier City, Louisiana – CenturyLink Center
17: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Chesapeake Energy Center
19: Wichita, Kansas – INTRUST Bank Arena
21: Des Moines, Iowa – Wells Fargo Arena
23: Omaha, Nebraska – CenturyLink Center
25: Tinley Park, Illinois – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

Followed by a break of a month and a half, perhaps a good time to release the upcoming solo album?

SEPTEMBER
11: Newark, New Jersey – Prudential Center
12: Newark, New Jersey – Prudential Center
15: New York, New York – Madison Square Garden
17: New York, New York – Madison Square Garden
19: Brooklyn, New York – Barclays Center
21: Brooklyn, New York – Barclays Center
23: Syracuse, New York – Carrier Dome
26: Uniondale, New York – Nassau Coliseum
27: Uniondale, New York – Nassau Coliseum

OCTOBER
1: Detroit, Michigan – Little Caesars Arena
2: Detroit, Michigan – Little Caesars Arena

Goodbye North-America - hello South America:

13: Porto Alegre, Brazil - Estádio Beira-Rio
15: São Paulo, Brazil - Allianz Parque
17: Belo Horizonte,Brazil - Mineirão Stadium
20: Salvador, Brazil - Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova
24: Colombia - Atanasio Girardot Stadium
28: Mexico City, Mexico - Estadio Azteca

Time off in November, well so far no dates announced. Finally it's time for a belated visit to New Zealand and Australia - countries not visited by Paul since the "New World Tour" back in 1993. A couple of concerts planned for Melbourne fourteen years ago were cancelled, so it's about time he made up for this. The Australian dates sold well, so a couple of extra dates were added after the first shows sold out very quickly.

DECEMBER
2: Perth, Australia, nib Stadium
5: Melbourne, Australia - AAMI Park
6: Melbourne, Australia - AAMI Park
9: Brisbane, Australia - Suncorp Stadium
11: Sydney, Australia - Qudos Bank Arena
12: Sydney, Australia - Qudos Bank Arena
16: Auckland, New Zealand - Mt Smart Stadium

Friday, 7 July 2017

Ringo's new album announced

Ringo's new album is called "Give More Love", out Sep 15.
Birthday boy Ringo Starr's (77) new album "Give More Love" will be released on September 15, 2017. Recorded at his home studio in Los Angeles, Give More Love has 10 new tracks featuring collaborations with friends including: We’re On The Road Again - featuring Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather; Laughable - co-written and performed with Peter Frampton as well as Benmont Tench, Timothy B Schmidt, Richard Page and Amy Keys; Show Me The Way co-written and performed with Steve Lukather and with Paul McCartney; Speed of Sound co-written with Richard Marx and featuring Steve Lukather, Peter Frampton and Nathan East; Standing Still - co- written with Gary Burr; King of the Kingdom - including performances by Dave Stewart and Edgar Winter; Electricity - co-written with Glen Ballard and featuring Joe Walsh and Don Was; So Wrong For So Long - co written and performed with Dave Stewart; Shake It Up - co written and performed with Gary Nicholson and including Don Was and Edgar Winter. Also, four old songs are included in new versions, including the "White album" song, "Don't Pass Me By". Another re-do is "Back Off Boogaloo", which he already re-did before, on his "Stop and Smell the Roses" album in 1981. This version of "Back Off Boogaloo" is based on the original recording Ringo made when he wrote the song. He recentlty discovered the tape when he moved houses. The other three bonus tracks are collaborations based on performances from Starr’s 2016 Peace & Love Birthday event. Alberta Cross performed "You Can’t Fight Lightning" and Vandaveer performed "Photograph" and "Don’t Pass Me By". Starr loved their renditions and asked them to each record them for his new album, also adding his own vocals.
There will be a physical CD as well as a downloadable album, and a vinyl edition will be available about a week after the CD, according to Music Direct.

Tracklist

1. We're On The Road Again (With Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather)
2. Laughable (with Peter Frampton, Benmont Tench, Timothy B Schmidt, Richard Page & Amy Keys)
3. Show Me The Way (With Steve Lukather & Paul McCartney)
4. Speed Of Sound (With Richard Marx, Steve Lukather, Peter Frampton & Nathan East
5. Standing Still (With Gary Burr)
6. King Of The Kingdom (With Dave Stewart & Edgar Winter )
7. Electricity (Joe Walsh & Don Was)
8. So Wrong For So Long (With Dave Stewart)
9. Shake It Up (With Gary Nicholson, Don Was & Edgar Winter)
10. Give More Love (with Gary Nicholson, Timothy B Schmidt, Richard Page & Gregg Bissonette)
11. Back Off Boogaloo (Re-do)
12. Don't Pass Me By (Re-do)
13. You Can't Fight Lightning (Re-do with Alberta Cross)
14. Photograph (Re-do with Vandaveer)

Pre-order links:

Amazon (UK)

The title track is available for streaming from today at http://amzn.to/2uRylVO

Friday, 30 June 2017

McCartney and Sony/ATV settle

"I travel on this train regularly, twice a week - so I suppose I've some rights!"
McCartney was recently photographed by a fellow passenger en route from London to East Sussex.
A dispute arose between Paul McCartney and Sony/ATV in January, regarding the returning of rights back to McCartney of his co-compositions with John Lennon during the Beatles era has now been settled out of court.
Awaiting the outcome of a similar case with the 1980's group Duran Duran, Sony/ATV was not willing to give McCartney assurance that the rights would be referred back to him, starting Oct 5 2018 with the rights to "Love Me Do". McCartney went to court with this, and in March the parties were reported to await the ruling of the Duran Duran case.
Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that McCartney and Sony/ATV have resolved this issue themselves.

"The parties have resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement and jointly request that the Court enter the enclosed proposed order dismissing the above-referenced action without prejudice," writes McCartney attorney Michael Jacobs in a Thursday letter to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos.

The details of the deal are unclear, but the order specifies that the New York federal court will "enforce the terms of the parties’ Settlement Agreement, should a dispute arise."

Attorneys for both parties declined further comment on the settlement.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

See our earlier blog post from January about the issue.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Rajbun's Story on YouTube

The elusive "The Bunbury Tails" CD from 1992
One of the rarest of George Harrison's songs is "Ride Rajbun" from the 1992 CD (and cassette) "The Bunbury Tails". Harrison co-wrote the song's lyrics with Bunbury Tails creator David English. The eponymous Rajbun was a character in the animated television series, one of a team of cricket-playing rabbits – in this case, from Bangalore in India. Late last year, the series was uploaded on YouTube, something we just discovered. The episode entitled "Rajbun's Story", featuring the song can be found here. The song is only briefly heard in the background a couple of times.
The composition is in the style of a nursery rhyme or children's song, while the all-Indian instrumentation on the recording recalls some of Harrison's compositions for the Beatles during 1966–68.

Cassette edition
Harrison recorded "Ride Rajbun" in March 1988, between the release of his successful comeback album, Cloud Nine, and his formation of the Traveling Wilburys. Harrison's nine-year-old son Dhani and English accompanied him on the recording, as fellow vocalists, and Indian musician and composer Ravi Shankar provided the opening sitar part.

Having previously been averse to most team sports, George Harrison came to appreciate cricket while recording his 1987 comeback album, Cloud Nine, with fellow musicians Jeff Lynne and Elton John, both fans of the game. Author Ian Inglis suggests that Harrison's involvement in The Bunbury Tails – a children's animated TV series about a group of heroic, sports-playing rabbits – partly resulted from his friendship with Eric Clapton, another cricket fan and an occasional player for the Bunbury Cricket Club. The latter was a charity-fundraising team founded in 1986 by writer David English, whose Bunbury Tails cartoon books inspired the TV show. According to English, he suggested to Harrison that he contribute a song to the series while they were playing cricket in the grounds of Friar Park, Harrison's home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. English says he likened the "Bunburys" to Harrison's idea for a semi-fictional band, the Traveling Wilburys, which Harrison would soon form with Lynne, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison.

Financed by the Bee Gees, production on The Bunburys Tails began in early 1988, although it would not air on British television until 1992. The series was directed by Bob Godfrey, who had worked on the Beatles' 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. Harrison's participation followed his work on various film soundtracks, particularly for releases by his company HandMade Films, during the five years preceding his return with Cloud Nine.

Harrison wrote the song "Ride Rajbun" about one of the show's characters, Rajbun, a rabbit who originated from the Indian city of Bangalore. In English's recollection, the night after he had made the request, Harrison called him at home in London and played the tune down the phone. The pair met the next day and co-wrote the song's lyrics.

Composition
Musically, "Ride Rajbun" is in the style of what author Alan Clayson calls "George's Indo-pop productions" for the Beatles, "Love You To" and "The Inner Light", released in 1966 and 1968 respectively. The lyrics take the form of a traditional children's song, author Simon Leng writes, with its refrain sung in rounds, similar to "London's Burning".

In the chorus, Harrison urges Rajbun to ride on his elephant Ellie, away from his home in India and embrace his destiny:

Ride Rajbun, ride Rajbun
Seek your fame and speak your fortune
Go on, Rajbun, ride your Ellie
Cross the mountains, through the valleys.


Recording
Harrison recorded "Ride Rajbun" in late March 1988, at his Friar Park studio, FPSHOT, and at an unnamed studio in London. The song was his first to feature only Indian instrumentation since "The Inner Light", recorded in Bombay in January 1968. The sitar introduction to "Ride Rabjan" – or alap, in the Indian classical tradition – was performed by Ravi Shankar. It has been said that Harrison visited Shankar at the London hotel where the sitarist was staying and taped Shankar's intro in his hotel room. Harrison otherwise played all the sitar parts on the song. As with Harrison's appearance on "Friar Park", a track on Shankar's album Tana Mana (1987), "Ride Rajbun" marked a rare collaboration between the two musicians in the years since their joint North American tour at the end of 1974.

Harrison sang the choruses with his son Dhani, and English (in the role of Katman) provided what Leng calls a "cameo vocal" part. According to author Bill Harry, Ray Cooper played percussion on the track; in English's description, all the other contributors were "top Indian musicians", none of whom are credited by name. Besides sitar, the Indian instruments on the recording include tabla, shehnai and bansuri (flute). From writing the song to the finished recording, work on "Ride Rajbun" lasted for four days. Harrison then left for Los Angeles, a trip that resulted in the formation of the Traveling Wilburys.

After the television show was broadcast in 1992, on Britain's Channel 4 network, Polydor Records included the song on its soundtrack album from the series. The UK-only album was released on 5 October that year, on the same day that Harrison joined guitarist Gary Moore on stage at London's Royal Albert Hall. While Harrison made a number of concert appearances throughout 1992, this period marked the end of his successful return to full-time music-making, after Cloud Nine and two albums with the Traveling Wilburys. Although he would continue to record privately as a solo artist, "Ride Rajbun" was the last new Harrison song to be commercially released until "Horse to the Water" in 2001.

VHS Video cassette
The "Rajbun's Story" episode was included on the home video of the series. With the Bunbury Tails album and video only available in the UK for a short time, "Ride Rajbun" has become one of Harrison's rarest recordings. At the time of writing, a copy of the original 1992 CD is available on ebay, at a "buy-it-now" price of US $279.50.


Source: Wikipedia