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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:

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

Stacy Conradt The Quick 10: Nine Women Who Inspired Beatles Songs (and one song not inspired by a woman)

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/32747

Stacy Conradtby Stacy Conradt – August 25, 2009 – 3:30 PM

q10

I’m going through a serious Fab Four phase at the moment, I think because of the eminent release of The Beatles: Rock Band (09.09.09, people, it’s just around the corner!!). When I was younger I was fanatical, bordering on obsessive, but I think it’s tempered nicely over the years… although it does rear its ugly head every now and then. I’ll forgive them for not having a song about Stacy (not many bands do), but I will admit to being slightly envious of the nine girls below… and the one girl who doesn’t really exist.

prudence

1. Prudence of “Dear Prudence” from the White Album is about Mia Farrow’s sister (pictured). The sisters were in India studying under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the same time the Beatles were in the late ‘60s, and Prudence was very focused on meditation and stayed in her room alone a lot. This was John’s musical plea to get her to come out and join the group.

2. Lucy of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” from Sgt. Pepper was a real person. The song was not about drugs, as was (and still is) rumored at the time. Years later, when John admitted that other songs were, in fact, about drugs, he maintained that Lucy was based on a drawing his son Julian had done of his classmate, soaring through a bejeweled sky.

3. Sadie, another White Album gal, wasn’t actually a gal at all. “Sexy Sadie” was about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whom the Beatles had had a falling out with. They were under the impression that the holy man had made a pass at Mia Farrow and other girls studying with him and were convinced that he “made a fool of everyone” who had some to learn from him. Most of the group, including Mia Farrow, later said Maharishi’s actions had been misinterpreted and they were sorry to have doubted him.

4. Martha is another one who wasn’t really a girl – at least, not a human girl, although she was utterly devoted to Paul McCartney. “Martha My Dear” was named for his beloved English Sheepdog. He has since admitted that the title may have borne Martha’s name, but the lyrics were “probably” about his ex-fiancee Jane Asher.

eleanor

5. Eleanor Rigby, the haunting girl from Revolver, has a couple of different stories. The song was almost “Daisy Hawkins,” but McCartney decided that it didn’t quite flow and began searching for a more suitable name. The Beatles had just starred in Help! with Eleanor Bron, and McCartney later said her name was probably rattling around in his subconscious when he chose Rigby’s identity. The surname part of it came from a shop called Rigby – McCartney said he felt it was a very ordinary name, but rather special all at the same time. He put the two together, and sad Eleanor Rigby was born. However, there’s rumor of an Eleanor Rigby who actually lived in Woolton, England, where John and Paul used to hang out back in the early days. That’s her gravestone in the picture. “It’s possible that I saw it and subconsciously remembered it,” McCartney later said.

6. Pam of Abbey Road’s “Polythene Pam” was a fan from the Cavern Club days, but her name was Pat. By her own admission, she used to tie polythene (Polyethylene, the stuff shopping bags are made of) into knots and eat it. So… that’s weird. But even stranger is John’s later admission that some of the song was based on a girl named Stephanie who was dating poet Royston Ellis in 1963. She liked to dress in polythene for kinky sex purposes, although John said he may have stretched the truth a little bit. “She didn’t wear jackboots and kilts,” he said. “I just sort of elaborated. Perverted sex in a polythene bag. Just looking for something to write about.”

julia

7. “Julia,” on the surface, was about John’s mother who was hit by a car and killed when he was just 17. But it’s also about Yoko Ono, whose first name means “Ocean child” in Japanese. Lennon had a lot of mother (and parent) issues, so it’s not surprising that he tangled up mother and wife all in one song.

8. Rita from “Lovely Rita,” another Sgt. Pepper tune, has no cryptic meaning – it’s really about meter maids. After the song came out, a woman who did actually issue violations said she gave McCartney a ticket when he was parked at Abbey Road Studios. Her name was Meta Davies, and he came out just as she was placing the ticket on his car. According to Davies, he looked at her signature on the ticket and asked if her name was really Meta, apparently finding “Meta” and “meter” to be rather lyrical. But McCartney says nay. “’Wow, that woman gave me a ticket, I’ll write a song about her’ – never happened like that,” he commented. Rather, he said, he was amused by the American term “meter maid” and found that “Rita” rolled off the tongue nicely when coupled with the phrase.

9. Melanie Coe isn’t mentioned by name in Sgt. Pepper’s “She’s Leaving Home,” but she inspired it just the same. Paul had seen a headline in The Daily Mail about a 17-year-old girl who had run away from home, leaving her parents with no clue as to why she had left. She says he got most of the details right, except that she didn’t met “a man from the motor trade,” but a casino worker; she also split in the afternoon and not the morning.

10. “Michelle” from Rubber Soul isn’t really about anyone in particular, and was in fact just a little song Paul messed around with before the Liverpudlian lads were famous. He had been at a party where he felt some art school guys were being pretentious with their French singing and goatees and decided to make up a song to mock them. It included a lot of faux-French and groaning noises. During the Rubber Soul sessions, John asked Paul if he remembered the little faux-French ditty and encouraged him to make it a real song.

Share your favorite and tell us why in the comments. And is anyone as pumped as I am about the game?!
Have a Q10 request? I’m on Twitter and I’m all ears! Err… all keys. Something.

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Paul McCartney, Radio, Songs | , | Comments Off on Stacy Conradt The Quick 10: Nine Women Who Inspired Beatles Songs (and one song not inspired by a woman)

R.I.P. Les Paul & Snarky’s First Love

I didn’t know if I should post on this or not. I never played guitar. I had to look up Les Paul to see what he looked like. For some reason, I felt compelled to post about him. Is it this picture with Sir Paul? Yes, that’s part of it. I will use any excuse to use a picture of any Beatle. No, there’s more to it.

My first love. He was my high school sweetheart and our  relationship was real and intense. We were best friends. He was an awesome guitar player and he played a Les Paul. G thought he was a young Jimmy Page and if you saw him play guitar, you’d think so too. He never read music, in fact, he barely read at all. He wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree but he learned to play every Led Zeppelin song, note-for-note (especially proficient at the solos) and his hand made a blur up and down the guitar neck. When I think of Les Paul, I think of my first love.

R.I.P. Mr. Paul.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Les Paul, the guitarist and inventor who changed the course of music with the electric guitar and multitrack recording and had a string of hits, many with wife Mary Ford, died on Thursday. He was 94.

According to Gibson Guitar, Paul died of complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital. His family and friends were by his side.

He had been hospitalized in February 2006 when he learned he won two Grammys for an album he released after his 90th birthday, “Les Paul & Friends: American Made, World Played.”

Over the years, the Les Paul series has become one of the most widely used guitars in the music industry. In 2005, Christie’s auction house sold a 1955 Gibson Les Paul for $45,600.

I felt like a condemned building with a new flagpole on it,” he joked.

As an inventor, Paul helped bring about the rise of rock ‘n’ roll and multitrack recording, which enables artists to record different instruments at different times, sing harmony with themselves, and then carefully balance the “tracks” in the finished recording.

With Ford, his wife from 1949 to 1962, he earned 36 gold records and 11 No. 1 pop hits, including “Vaya Con Dios,” “How High the Moon,” “Nola” and “Lover.” Many of their songs used overdubbing techniques that Paul the inventor had helped develop.

“I could take my Mary and make her three, six, nine, 12, as many voices as I wished,” he recalled. “This is quite an asset.” The overdubbing technique was highly influential on later recording artists such as the Carpenters.

The use of electric guitar gained popularity in the mid-to-late 1940s, and then exploded with the advent of rock the 1950s.

“Suddenly, it was recognized that power was a very important part of music,” Paul once said. “To have the dynamics, to have the way of expressing yourself beyond the normal limits of an unamplified instrument, was incredible. Today a guy wouldn’t think of singing a song on a stage without a microphone and a sound system.”

A tinkerer and musician since childhood, he experimented with guitar amplification for years before coming up in 1941 with what he called “The Log,” a four-by-four piece of wood strung with steel strings.

“I went into a nightclub and played it. Of course, everybody had me labeled as a nut.” He later put the wooden wings onto the body to give it a tradition guitar shape.

In 1952, Gibson Guitars began production on the Les Paul guitar.

Pete Townsend of The Who, Steve Howe of Yes, jazz great Al DiMeola and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page all made the Gibson Les Paul their trademark six-string.

August 15, 2009 Posted by | Death, Paul McCartney | , | Comments Off on R.I.P. Les Paul & Snarky’s First Love

Sir Paul was on David Letterman: Now with “Helter Skelter” Video

After all these years, a live concert and a bad marriage (both of us), I still get all tingly and excited by seeing Paul McCartney. With his dry sense-of-humor, he told Dave that he didn’t come on the show because, “I really don’t like it very much.” Straight poker face. Not a joke and kind of awkward.

Paul never dissapoints. He talked about the Beatles at the Ed Sullivan Theater in 1962, the “Paul is Dead” rumor and Michael jackson buying the Lennon-McCartney song catalog. I was hoping he would say that MJ willed him the songs back but he didn’t. He seemed genuinally hurt that MJ bought those songs. “It’s just business, Paul.” is what Michael told Paul. Karma.

Paul and his band played “Get Back” on top of the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater. Pretty cool. People were filling the streets and were thrilled to be seeing a Beatle (without paying). I swear, there was a woman watching who looked like me! Maybe it’s my twin and she was there in spirit. Who know.

I love Sir Paul McCartney and when he passes, I’ll be as sad as those MJ fans. Probably sadder. I’m still not over the fact that John Lennon was murdered.

July 16, 2009 Posted by | Helter Skelter Live on Letterman, Paul McCartney | | Comments Off on Sir Paul was on David Letterman: Now with “Helter Skelter” Video

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.”

—————————————————————

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

Kathy, Chelsea, Letterman, Carlin . . . Paul McCartney

I love Kathy Griffin. I’ve loved her since she was on “Suddenly Susan” with Brook Sheilds. She may be offensive to some but she has never offended me.

Chelsea Handler, one of my favorite comics, has offended me in the past but I get over it if it’s not constant and repetitive (the whole Fat baby thing bugs me and she said something else that recently made me wince). I’m also over David Letterman making stupid jokes. I swear, this guy is practically on his knees saying he’s sorry. Let’s move on already! Boycotts? Get him fired? Pickets?

He made a mistake and read an inappropriate joke. Should he fire the writer? Maybe, but if he does he’s not taking responsibility. He’s not taken responsibility, quite a few times, somehow, I don’t think Mrs. Palin is done trying to “destroy” David Letterman. Good luck, Lady.

Kathy’s Show, “My Life on the D List” is anything but! Who else gets the list of all the Grammy voters phone numbers and gets to call them and ask for their support? Also, she spends quality time with stars like Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin  . . . hardly D list. I know it’s her “shtick” but some people really dislike her and don’t understand that she’s really “made it” and the D list reference is a JOKE.

Predictably, Kathy didn’t win the Grammy for best comedy album (“what’s an album, mommy?”) George Carlin. Really? Did she ever think she had a chance? We all know that George Carlin IS THE BEST STAND UP in the world. It was a no brainer (oh, and he died last year, that too).

It still was fun to watch Kathy and her “team” groval for votes. THAT’S good reality TV. Of course it’s “scripted” to a point but she’s fun to watch and I would see her live if I had the chance (or money to go, a babysitter, and a friend who wanted to go with me.)

I wanted an excuse to post this picture. 🙂

Chelsea Handler is playing here next weekend. I would go see that too but, same crap. Bla bla bla. The last concert I went to was Paul McCartney. I bought my friend a ticket and her teenage daughter babysat. Very expensive night but I wasn’t going to miss Paul McCartney. He waved at ME!! Really, just me. I know it because he was looking at me. 

On “Chelsea Lately” tonight they, once again, discussed the Gosselins. They showed the watergate clip and Josh Wolf was the only one to “get it.” Chelsea was quiet. She hates kids so she didn’t say squat.

Josh Wolf without hat

Josh Wolf without hat

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Chelsea Handler, Kathy Griffin, Paul McCartney | , , | Comments Off on Kathy, Chelsea, Letterman, Carlin . . . Paul McCartney