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MEETING THE BEATLES: INTERVIEW WITH THE ROCK & ROLL DETECTIVE

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An Interview with the Rock & Roll Detective
By Bob Wilson

Jim Berkenstadt spends his time pulling the gum from his shoe, and takes us on tours solving mysteries working his ‘magic’.  People have often asked who the 5th Beatle is, and drummer Jimmie Nicol is an appropriate answer as any.
In The Beatle Who Vanished (2013), Jim hashed out the story of Ringo’s temporary replacement on the Beatles first major tour. Nicol’s story is fascinating, and a film is in the works based on the book.  The Rock & Roll Detective gave us some insights on what to expect.
Tell us about Jimmie Nicol, and The Beatle Who Vanished.
The Beatle Who Vanished is the first historical account of Jimmie Nicol, an unknown drummer whose journey from humble beginnings to saving The Beatles’ first world tour from disaster, was only one part of his legend. Though his 13 days of fame made headlines around the world, the true mystery of Nicol’s story is riddled with blacklisting, betrayal, drugs, divorce, bankruptcy and an eventual disappearance that led many to question whether he is dead or alive.

 

 

 

 

Butch Vig, drummer in the band Garbage and producer of Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Paul McCartney, and many more had this to say about the book:  “This is a fascinating and mysterious must read for hardcore fans, and anyone who wants to understand the meteoric rise to pop stardom and the subsequent crash landing.”

 

How did the upcoming film based on The Beatle Who Vanished come about, and who is involved?
Alex Orbison (Roy Orbison’s son) was looking at his Roy Orbison Facebook page one day and a fan had shared one of my posts about Jimmie Nicol. Orbison, a drummer himself who has seen a number of fleeting fame stories in Nashville, became intrigued. He told his buddy Ashley Hamilton (son of George Hamilton), a great singer, who had also experienced the ups and downs of the entertainment industry. Both guys ordered the book and read it. They loved it and thought it would make a great movie. So, one day out of the blue, I got an email from their attorney inquiring if I would be interested in optioning the rights to the book for a movie. The rest is history. They have just made a deal with a studio and the film is moving to pre-production this year. Once more information is made public, I will be happy to update your readers with more details.

 

 

Do you have any updates on Jimmie Nicol today?
I do! One of the interesting things about publishing a book is that people read it or read about it, and they contact the author with information they know about that person. I traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland and met with Jimmie’s first cousin Ronnie Nicol who has stayed in touch with Jimmie over thedecades. He had lots of great new information. I am planning a Second Edition to coincide with the release of the film and I plan to add an additional chapter with all the updates.

 

When a famous client rings you on the telly, how does the conversation usually go after you get through reps?
Well, I recall getting a phone call one night from Olivia Harrison. She said she “had been talking to Marty” (Martin Scorsese) about doing a film on George Harrison’s life and wondered if I wanted to be the historical consultant on the film? Needless to say, I said yes after I got over my heart attack! LOL. So I spent 3 years working on the wonderful film, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World” which won a couple of Emmy awards. It was a great honor!

What does being in the Beatles for thirteen days do to a man?

That is a great question Bob. It depends upon the man in question. In the case of Jimmie Nicol, as I wrote in my book, it made him think he could replicate Beatlemania with his own group. Nicol formed two bands in the fall of 1964 and the winter of 1965. His goal was to turn on of them into a major pop band. He got record deals and was able to tour extensively. What happened? Check out a copy of The Beatle Who Vanished to find out and to discover how being a Beatle for 13 days affected his entire life!

Where are the best places for the interested to go to look for
your works?
People can find all of my past work at: www.rockandrolldetective.com and can also see my TV and Film work at:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2844636/
To learn more about The Beatle Who Vanished, readers can go to: www.thebeatlewhovanished.com and https://tinyurl.com/ycnnqa9g

The Beatle Who Vanished on Amazon… Here.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 !

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Dear Beatle friends:
Wishing you a Happy New Year with hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come, may you be happy the whole year through. Happy New Year 2018!
Ring out the old,
ring in the new,
Ding Dong, Ding Dong, George Harrison
All the best,
BEATLES MAGAZINE
#thebeatles #beatles


HAPPY CHRISTMAS BEATLE PEOPLE !

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Wishing you all the joys of the season🎄🎄🎄🎄
Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas! with peace and love! 💝
From us to you,
BEATLES MAGAZINE

 


MEETING THE BEATLES

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By Bob Wilson

Brooke Halpin has given a ‘fab’ new title to the Beatle faithful for their perusal. Experiencing the Beatles: A Listener’s Companion (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2017), isn’t a run of the mill edition.  Brooke offers insights to the tricks behind the recording process that only an expert musician can explain in a way that everyone can understand.  If you thought you had seen and heard it all, this work will add to your experience.

Brooke took the time to answer some of our queries, and fill us in regarding his new work, as well as his hit radio show, Come Together With the Beatles.
“I write about every song that the Beatles recorded and released while they were together, their influences, how songs were inspired, and focus on the way their songwriting evolved.” Brooke continued that his work “focuses on the U.S. releases because it was here in America where and when they were initially released. That includes their singles and albums released from early 1964 to 1970”. The author points to this short window of time which produced such a heady number of elite compositions that it is hard to fathom.
“Their chemistry and healthy and healthy competitiveness accelerated their creative output”, The Beatles knew they had an insatiable buying audience and they eagerly met their fans desire for new recordings”, remarked the author on the band’s prodigious output.

On George Martin’s influence, Brooke had this to say. He “was a classically trained musician who played the oboe and keyboards. Before working with the Beatles, he produced comedy records for Peter Sellers, among others. His input and contribution to the Beatles recordings is hugely significant.  In the book, I write about what Martin did to the Beatles songs and how he enhanced, orchestrated and produced their songs”.

As to why the band started to do it in the studio and no longer on the road, Brooke opined the following.  They “stopped touring for a number of reasons. Because John had said in 1966 that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus that caused a negative, destructive ‘Ban the Beatles’ and ‘Burn the Beatles Records’ backlash.  As a result, ticket sales were down from their record breaking 1965 U.S. tour. When they were in the Philippines, they were roughed up because they didn’t attend a breakfast at the Royal Palace. Sound systems were inadequate at the time, so it was difficult for them to hear what they were playing. Some of their new songs had instruments and electronics that could not be duplicated live on stage. Put all that together, and they decided to stop touring and retreat into the recording studio with more time to focus on recording. They became more experimental in the recording studio which resulted with more complex recording techniques and production, such as the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album”.

The author’s insights on George’s development as a songwriter were equally intriguing. “George was a fine songwriter, but he knew that John and Paul were more prolific songwriters. George also knew that John and Paul’s personalities were more dominant, and at times overbearing, so he did feel hindered. During the January 1969 Twickenham rehearsal/recording sessions, John and Paul took little interest in George’s new songs, and he temporarily quit the band.
As for the keeper of the backbeat, “Ringo’s principal contribution to the Beatles was his natural ability to play drums in a way that enhanced the songs without getting in the way of the vocals.
Brooke recalled that he “had the great fortune to meet John at his 31st birthday party in Syracuse, New York, and met Yoko a number of times when I lived in New York City”.  In his novel based on this story,  A Magical Mystery Time, you can read on all of this in greater detail.
Come Together With the Beatles can be heard 6 times a week on www.radiomalibu.net, and wwwrockradio.com collectively.  Brooke informs us that his guests have included “Ringo Starr, Julia Baird, Ivor Davis, Laurence Juber, and Spencer Davis.  Experiencing the Beatles can be found online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or at Barnes and Noble stores.


REMEMBERING JOHN

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37 years ago today, #JohnLennon was murdered by a person who we aren’t going to name. John,songwriter, musician and activist who founded #theBeatles, the most successful and musically influential band in the history of popular music.His influence was huge in the world,and has been immortalized in so many ways, John’s death hit hard.All these years later, his death at 40 still feels shocking, and we continue to mourn the loss,and miss the music he would have continued to make. We’re remembering John today and forever with a look at the legacy he left, the unforgettable music he made, both with The Beatles and as a solo artist. We love you John.

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