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Beatles Break-Up: Forty Years Later, Ringo Rules

From Huffington Post:

Jonathan Sallet

The formal dissolution of The Beatles was announced on April 10, 1970. And, with the end of the band, the story of Ringo Starr seemed set in concrete. You remember: Ringo, the last member of the band, shunted to the sidelines when the Beatles first recorded for George Martin but, in fact, an under-appreciated artist; his left-handed, backward fills and intuitive timing building the beat of modern rock music.

But there’s a lot more. For forty years now, Ringo, sometimes derided, but with the consistent rhythm of a steady backbeat, has become the living embodiment of the spirit of the Beatles.

Listen to the albums Ringo has released recently — culminating this year’s “Y Not” (the first album he has produced) and last year’s paean to his home town, “Liverpool 8.” You will hear the story of the Beatles being told, and retold. How?

First, with the playful introspection exhibited through an intricate web of references linking one song to another. As the Beatles looked increasingly to their own lives and work for inspiration, their songs created an ever-growing structure of self-reference — the lyrics of “Glass Onion,” for example, refer to five earlier Beatles songs — some of which refer, in turn, to others still. So when, in this year’s “Peace Dream” Ringo calls on us to “try to ‘Imagine'” what happens if we “Give Peace a Chance,'” he’s continuing to weave a tapestry of meaning around their legacies.

By no means has Ringo become a songwriter in the class of John, Paul or George. But as Ringo himself has told us, “It does no good for you to play a pretty song like ‘Yesterday’ ’cause that’s not what I need to say.”

What Ringo needs to say through his songs is the second important ingredient of his legacy, namely The Beatles’ message of love, cosmic harmony and the meaning of life. In “R U Ready,” he invokes Jesus, the Buddha and a blues preacher to say that there will be someone to catch each of us at life’s end. And can’t you hear more than a hint of George, the most spiritual of the four, when Ringo intones the thought that “One and one is only one until you become one with you”?

And then there’s peace and love. Ringo may be the last person on earth who regularly flashes the two-finger peace sign. CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE:

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April 10, 2010 Posted by | Lennon, Paul McCartney, Radio, Ringo, Songs, The Beatles | , , | Comments Off on Beatles Break-Up: Forty Years Later, Ringo Rules

Starr gets a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

LOS ANGELES — A star for former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday evening during a whimsical ceremony that also marked the 50th anniversary of groundbreaking on the sidewalk attraction.

Starr’s name was the 2,401st to be unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“This is the start of the next 50 years of stars,” he said outside the Capitol Records building. “I’m proud to be the first one.”

The Walk of Fame also includes individual star’s for the Beatles drummer’s former bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison, as well as the likes of musicians Roy Orbison and Ozzy Osbourne.

“It’s cool to get one at night,” said Starr. “I don’t know about you, but where I live, the stars come out at night.”

The Beatles as a group were given a star in 1998.

Those by Starr’s side for the unveiling included actress-wife Barbara Bach, musicians Joe Walsh and Ben Harper, producer Don Was, director David Lynch and actor Noah Wyle.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame attracts an estimated 10 million visitors annually to the 18-block stretch lining Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce conceived the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1953 in an effort to return glamour to the decaying neighborhood at time when the film and television industry was on the decline.

“We’ve seen positive changes,” said Hollywood Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Bill Farrar.


“We’ve seen an increase in housing, the opening of many new businesses, the significant reduction of crime and the continual influx of visitors. This walk represents much, much more. This is more than just a tourist attraction and a monument to art.”The Hollywood Walk of Fame’s anniversary celebration will continue throughout the year with a community festival in July and a gala in November in which every living celebrity who has received a star will be invited to attend. Other celebrities due to receive stars this year include rockers ZZ Top, funnyman Adam Sandler and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

February 9, 2010 Posted by | Ringo, The Beatles | | Comments Off on Starr gets a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

9 Beatle Facts you probably didn’t know

9 Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Beatles

by David K. Israel – September 9, 2009 – 9:00 AM

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Today is 09/09/09, and you know what that means!

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The big Beatles: Rock Band release. (GET IT? Number 9, number 9, number 9…) To get you in the mood, here are 9 rather obscure facts about those four lads from Liverpool that we bet you don’t know. (Nein?)

1. Before Lennon/McCartney there was McCartney/Lennon

Picture 1

If you pick up a Beatles album today, you’ll notice the songs are credited to Lennon-McCartney, in alphabetical order, thanks to a longstanding agreement between the two songwriters whereby each would get full credit no matter who came up with the tune or lyric first. But this alphabetical listing was not always the case. The credits on their first album, Please Please Me, list the eight original compositions to McCartney-Lennon. One reason for this could be that Paul McCartney wrote “P.S. I Love You” and “Love Me Do,” the first two songs on the album. The McCartney-Lennon credit would appear twice more on McCartney’s 1976 live album, Wings Over America, and once again on 2002’s Back in the U.S., albeit much to Yoko Ono’s disapproval.

2. The Ed Sullivan Show was not The Beatles’ American TV debut

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For that matter, CBS can’t really claim bragging rights, NBC can. Yes, it’s true: NBC scooped CBS, as The Beatles made their American television debut on NBC’s evening news show, The Huntley-Brinkley Report, not The Ed Sullivan Show, nor Walter Cronkite’s evening news. Although virtually unknown in America at the time, the band was causing mass hysteria in England and all three U.S. television networks sent camera crews to film their November 16, 1963, concert in Bournemouth. NBC used the footage in a four-minute segment on November 18th, but CBS waited until November 22nd to air the story during its morning newscast with Mike Wallace. The network planned to air the story on its evening newscast as well, but just hours after the Beatles story was broadcast, Walter Cronkite broke the news that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. On December 10th, Cronkite aired the Beatles segment during prime-time, which set into motion the Beatlemania that culminated with their February 1964 performances on The Ed Sullivan Show.

3. Eric Clapton almost replaced George

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And then there were three… For five days in January of 1969, the Fab Four were a lonesome trio. George Harrison, the “quiet Beatle,” as the media called him, decided to bow out after months of personal differences with his fellow bandmates. A serious songwriter who penned classics like “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun,” Harrison felt he was being ignored by Lennon and McCartney, who played his tunes with little enthusiasm. On January 10, 1969, Harrison finally had enough and quit the band. His announcement caused John Lennon to quip, “If he doesn’t come back by Tuesday, we get Eric Clapton.” Harrison, of course, came to his senses, and returned to the band on January 15th, allowing The Beatles to move forward with their recording of a little-know album called Abbey Road.

4. The initial album cover for Yesterday and Today was banned

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The Beatles’ tenth Capitol album was unique not only for its rare mixes of tracks from Rubber Soul and Help, but for its controversial “butcher” cover. The original album artwork featured the four smiling members of the band dressed in white butchers’ overalls covered with mutilated plastic baby dolls and slabs of raw meat. Original copies of the “butcher” cover were eventually pulled and replaced with a more fan-friendly photograph of the band. It was rumored that the Yesterday and Today cover was a response to the way Capitol Records had “butchered” their previous albums. Today, copies of the original album cover are in high demand and have been sold for as high as $10,500 at auction.

5. “She Said She Said” was inspired by an LSD trip with Peter Fonda

During a break from their American tour in late August 1965, The Beatles rented a house in Beverly Hills. Although the Spanish-style mansion was hidden from plain view, their address eventually became public knowledge and the LAPD had to be called in to ward off eager fans. Since it was impossible to leave home, the Beatles played host to dozens of musicians and actors, including the then-unknown Peter Fonda. The entire band, excluding Paul McCartney, dropped acid with Fonda. According to Lennon, the drug-induced Fonda kept telling the band, “I know what it’s like to be dead” and “You’re making me feel like I’ve never been born.” Lennon would later use both phrases in the lyrics to “She Said She Said.”

6. Bob Dylan introduced the Beatles to marijuana

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It was Bob Dylan who introduced the Beatles to marijuana at the Delmonico Hotel in New York on August 28, 1964. The boys knew Dylan from a mutual friend and just assumed John, Ringo, Paul and George had smoked before, given their “I get high” lyrics in “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Dylan was unaware that the lyrics are actually “I can’t hide,” and was later informed that none of the Beatles had ever smoked marijuana. Guess Bob thought it was high time to change all that.

7. Paul McCartney met Yoko Ono before John did

Yoko Ono claims to have been introduced to John Lennon by a mutual friend at her November 9, 1966, art exhibit in London. According to Yoko, she had never heard of the Beatles and had to be told who John Lennon was. However, Paul McCartney, likes to tell a different story about how she and John met. It was late 1965 and Yoko had knocked on Sir Paul’s door. She was helping John Cage, a personal friend of McCartney’s, with a book he was working on, and wanted to include some of the Beatles’ work. Paul declined her offer, but suggested that she see Lennon. Yoko took Paul’s advice and Lennon wound up giving her the original handwritten lyrics to “The Word” from Rubber Soul. The lyrics were later reproduced in Cage’s book Notations.

8. Yes, there was a “Fifth Beatle,” and he was the inspiration for their mop tops

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The “Fifth Beatle” has become synonymous with people who were at one time closely associated with the Fab Four. But for fifteen months in the early 1960s The Beatles were, in fact, a quintet. Stuart Sutcliffe, an abstract painter and art school buddy of John Lennon’s, was the original bassist for the band during their heady Hamburg days. Paul McCartney never thought Sutcliffe was talented enough (read: Paul was envious of Sutcliffe and Lennon’s friendship). Although it was Sutcliffe and Lennon who named the band The Beatles (they were both fans of Buddy Holly and the Crickets), Sutcliffe eventually left the band in August 1961 to enroll in the Hamburg College of Art. The “Fifth Beatle” never lived long enough to see his former bandmates become an international success—he died of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 21. Sutcliffe’s tenure with the band, albeit brief, had a lasting effect on their image. He was the first to wear the famous “mop top” hairstyle, which Lennon and The Beatles adopted in Sutcliffe’s honor shortly after his death. (In the photo, Sutcliffe is at the far right. Notice the band’s original drummer, Pete Best. Ringo would not join the band until August of 1962.)

9. Let It Be was not their last album

Although it was released in 1970, a year after Abbey Road, Let It Be was actually recorded in early 1969, making it officially their penultimate album. Originally conceived as a back-to-roots record entitled Get Back, the band was unhappy with the version mixed by producer Glyn Johns and temporarily shelved the album to work on Abbey Road. After the success of Abbey Road, studio tapes from the Get Back sessions were given to the legendary Phil Spector. Spector created a new version of the album and finally released it as Let It Be in 1970. McCartney was upset with the finished copy, particularly Spector’s mix of “The Long and Winding Road,” which Paul had originally conceived as a spare piano ballad. It was the beginning of the end for The Beatles and the band broke up shortly before the album’s release. In 2003, a new version of the album, titled Let It Be… Naked was released. According to McCartney, the album’s stripped down sound was what he had originally intended for the album.

September 13, 2009 Posted by | The Beatles | | Comments Off on 9 Beatle Facts you probably didn’t know

Happy Birthday, Abbey Road

Kara Kovalchik
Happy Anniversary, Abbey Road!
by Kara Kovalchik – August 10, 2009 – 12:02 PM

genius-issueThe cover of the final Beatles studio album has become so iconic that thousands of entities have incorporated it for their own use (including the second issue of mental_floss).

The original photograph was snapped on August 8, 1969—40 years ago this past Saturday. As one of many tourists who has attempted to re-create that photo (darn, that’s a busy street!), I present a few interesting behind-the-scenes fact about the Abbey Road cover shoot.

Paul McCartney had the original concept for the cover, and had sketched out four stickmen walking over the “zebra crossing” (the name given to the stripe marks on roads indicating pedestrian crossings in England) just outside Abbey Road studios. Photographer Iain Macmillan was hired to capture McCartney’s vision on film. Macmillan climbed a ladder that perched him about ten feet above the fabled street. A police officer held the traffic back while Macmillan squeezed off a few shots of the Beatles crossing the street in one direction. Some traffic was allowed to pass for a short time, and then Macmillan photographed the group crossing the street in the opposite direction. He took a total of six photographs during the shoot, and it was number five – which featured all the band members’ legs in a perfect “V” formation- that was ultimately chosen for the cover.

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When the rumor that Paul McCartney had actually died in a 1966 car crash started spreading, conspiracy theorists had a field day with the Abbey Road cover. It was rife with clues, according to them. For example, Paul was barefoot, which is the way corpses were buried at the time in England. (In actuality, Paul had turned up at the photo shoot wearing sandals, but had kicked them off after the first two takes.) Also, the Volkswagen behind George bears the license plate number “28IF” – obviously meaning Paul would be 28 years old if he had lived. (At the time of the photo shoot, Paul McCartney would have been or was 27 years of age.)

abbey-rd2After the road-crossing photo was finished, Iain Macmillan set off to find a good “Abbey Road” street marker sign to use for the back cover of the album. He found it at the junction of Alexandra Road and started taking photos of the sign. Much to his chagrin, while he was busy shooting an oblivious woman in a blue dress walked right in front of his viewfinder. While reviewing his shots later that day, however, he decided that the “blue dress” photo was the most interesting of the bunch, and he ended up using it in the final composition.

In a somewhat revolutionary move for that time, the front of the album cover did not mention the band’s name or the album title. That decision came from John Kosh, who was the creative director for Apple Records at the time. Kosh was already well known in the London avant-garde art scene when the Beatles hired him, and his argument for the “photo only” album cover was that they were the most famous band in the world and there was no need to clutter the photograph with text. EMI Records protested at first, saying they’d never sell any records that didn’t indicate who the artist was, but the Beatles supported Kosh’s vision, and in the end, they were right.

August 20, 2009 Posted by | Beatles, Confessions of a TV-Holic, Mental Floss, Songs, The Beatles | , | Comments Off on Happy Birthday, Abbey Road

Michael Jackson, Elvis or the Beatles

We all have our favorite. Some say Elvis was “the King” and Michael Jackson was “the King of Pop.” The Beatles don’t have a catchy name and they are not one person. For that reason alone, I hate that they are compared to Elvis and MJ.

The Beatles shaped my childhood. When I was about 9 or 10 I got the double red and blue albums of best songs. I was hooked. My best friend and I collected everything we could about the Beatles. We each had our favorite. Hers was always Paul, mine was always Ringo. However, it was John Lennon who inspired us the most and it was George Harrison that we saw in concert in 1974.

George Harrison, Chicago 1974

George Harrison, Chicago 1974

I still have the scrapbook-type items I saved from the early ’70’s. Unfortunately, I didn’t know to save the whole magazine and just cut out the articles I liked. I also have all the newspaper clippings from George Harrison’s 1974 Tour.  30 years later I saw Paul McCartney.

Paul McCartney, San Jose 2005

Paul McCartney, San Jose 2005

The music catalog that Lennon-McCartney created is like none other. Happy songs, sad songs, brilliant songs, funny songs, political songs, oh, and they did love songs too. The Beatle’s music IS the background of my life. “Twist and Shout” is my favorite song to dance to and “Blackbird” was the song I sang to sooth my baby to sleep.

While searching for information on Michael Jackson owning the Beatle Catalog, this post from NPR asked the same question I did. Now that Michael Jackson has passed, will Paul McCartney get the rights to his songs back?

The Beatles Catalog And Michael Jackson

by Robin Hilton

Earlier this year, the British tabloid The Daily Mirror reported that Michael Jackson had drawn up a will, giving the publishing rights to some 250 Beatles songs back to Sir Paul McCartney. Though a number of other sites were quick to report the news, The Mirror cited unnamed sources, and the reports have never been verified. Now, with Jackson’s passing, the question is very much up in the air.

For those who don’t remember or never knew, Jackson and McCartney recorded a couple of hits together back in the ’80s, “Say, Say, Say” and “The Girl Is Mine.”

The two struck up a friendship. At some point, according to some accounts, McCartney reportedly told Jackson how he’d made a lot of money by owning the publishing rights to other people’s music. This inspired Jackson to start his own side business of buying, selling and distributing publishing rights to numerous artists. When the Beatles catalog, which was owned by ATV Music Publishing, came up for sale, McCartney initially said he wasn’t interested in buying it because it was too expensive. McCartney eventually changed his mind and attempted to persuade Yoko Ono to join him in a bid for the music, but she declined. In the end, Jackson purchased the catalog for $47.5 million dollars. McCartney, according to the Mirror, said ‘The annoying thing is I have to pay to play some of my own songs. Each time I want to sing ‘Hey Jude’ I have to pay.

It’s hard to separate fact from fiction in this 25 year-old story. But according to the Associated Press, McCartney issued a statement today saying “I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones.”

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Let it bequest – Jackson wants to leave Paul McCartney Beatles back catalogue

EXCLUSIVE by Zoe Griffin 3/01/2009

‘Dying’ Jacko to leave Macca £350million Beatles rights in will.

Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

MICHAEL Jackson hopes to bury his 24-year feud with Sir Paul McCartney – by leaving his share of the Beatles back catalogue to him in his will.

Macca was furious when Jacko outbid him in 1985 to win ownership of the £350million publishing rights to the whole Lennon-McCartney songbook.

The stars, once good pals who collaborated on early 80s hits The Girl is Mine and Say, Say, Say have not spoken since.

But the debt-ridden King of Pop, now said to be battling a serious genetic lung disease, is determined to make peace with McCartney.

Jackson, 50, who according to some reports is convinced he is dying and has been using a wheelchair, has drawn up a new will where Sir Paul, 66, will inherit control of his share of the Beatles songbook if the troubled star dies before him.

Sources close to Jacko say he has always regretted falling out with Macca. One insider said: “Michael is worried about his health so decided it was time to look at his finances.

“Most of his estate has been divided up between his three children. But Michael told his lawyers he was sad he no longer talks to Sir Paul and said he wanted to make things right.”

The source added: “Michael is suffering serious back and leg pain and has for a few years. He gets spasms in his back which means he spends a lot of time in bed and a wheelchair.

“He weighs just over seven stone and is very frail. He’s also had a nasty bout of emphysema and there have been reports he has another lung disease.”

Jacko sold half of his Beatles back catalogue rights to Sony in 1995, but still makes about £40million a year from them.

Macca said recently: “The annoying thing is I have to pay to play some of my own songs. Each time I want to sing Hey Jude I have to pay.”

Last night a source close to Sir Paul said: “If Michael Jackson was to give back the song rights in his will then Macca would be delighted.”

Michael Jackson’s spokesman has officially denied the star believes he is dying.

zoe@sundaymirror.co.uk

http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2009/01/03/let-it-bequest-jackson-wants-to-leave-paul-mccartney-beatles-back-catalogue-115875-21013162/

July 3, 2009 Posted by | Death, Elvis, George Harrison, Hunky Men, John Lennon, Legends, Michael Jackson, Music, Paul McCartney, Radio, Songs, The Beatles | , , , | Comments Off on Michael Jackson, Elvis or the Beatles