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‘LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY’: JOHN LENNON’S FULL-LENGTH LIVE APPEARANCE

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John Lennon has two live albums in his solo catalogue, the Live Peace In Toronto 1969 with the Plastic Ono Band and another that was recorded three years later in New York City. Whereas the first came out contemporaneously the Live In New York City album was released posthumously in 1986.

Recorded on 30 August 1972 at Madison Square Garden, Lennon performed two shows, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, to raise money for children with mental health issues. Released in February 1986, the album made the US charts on 22 March and peaked shortly after at No.41.

Live In New York City was John Lennon’s last full-length concert performance, shortly after the release of Some Time in New York City. The concerts, billed as ‘One to One’, also featured Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Melanie Safka and Sha-Na-Na, but none of their performances are featured on the album or subsequent video release.

Backing Lennon and Yoko Ono were Elephant’s Memory, who played on Some Time in New York City. The material that was performed was largely drawn from John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine and Some Time in New York City, but also included ‘Come Together’ from the Beatles’ Abbey Road and covered Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog’ before finishing with, ‘Give Peace a Chance’.

There is a poignancy to this album as it was the only rehearsed and full-length live performances of John’s solo career, and his first – and last – formal, live concerts since the Beatles retired from the road in 1966.

Yoko produced the album and these two concerts also marked the last time that John and Yoko performed together on stage. Sadly it is no longer available, but it would be fitting tribute if it were once again added to John’s solo catalogue.

udiscovermusic

“THERE´S NOTHING TO FORGIVE” : PETE BEST ON BEING SACKED FROM THE BEATLES

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Pete Best talks about picking yourself up and getting on with it

Drummer Pete Best is explaining, not for the first time, what it was like for him that late summer’s day in 1962 when he was sacked suddenly from The Beatles, a beat combo from Liverpool who were about to become the biggest band the world had ever seen.

Best recalls an uncomfortable-looking band manager Brian Epstein explaining that other band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison didn’t think his drumming was up to scratch, and that they were replacing Best – who’d been with them for two years through those formative, frenetic Hamburg gigging days – with Ringo Starr.

“We were rockers, we were little hardies, we could handle ourselves. But when I got back home and I told my mother what happened, behind the sanctuary of the front door, I cried like a baby,” he recalls.

Anybody over a certain age who hears the name Pete Best will be familiar with the saga of the so-called “fifth Beatle” and the life he lost out on. Rather aptly, we meet in Lost Lane, a music venue off Grafton Street, where he was due to play a gig on March 29th, now cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis. But as soon as we start talking, it’s clear that despite the events of 1962 he doesn’t feel lost, and hasn’t for a very long time. He’s 78 now, and looks back with pride not just on his part in Beatle history, but his resilience too.

‘There came a period in my life when I was like, to hell with what happened yesterday’

At the height of Beatlemania, Best attempted suicide, but he has always denied it was because of depression related to being fired. “You should never ask someone who has tried to take their own life why they did it,” he said. “ I don’t know why I did it. All I know is my mother and my brother Rory found me. My mother gave me such a talking to and I vowed I would never do anything like that again. And I never will.”

How did he cope in a world that never lets anyone forget about The Beatles? “I think if I’d kept reflecting about what happened yesterday, all the time, and it was like a nightmare to me, I would have ended up bitter and twisted. But there came a period in my life when I was like, to hell with what happened yesterday it’s about today and tomorrow.”

In the end being an ex-Beatle, and carrying the weight of the criticism of his former bandmates, gave him purpose, a reason to prove himself. Over the years he had to endure public comments from various band members who critiqued his drumming and aspects of his personality in attempts to justify the sacking.

“You’re the Beatle who got kicked out because you were crap. So there’s always been a point where I’ve had to prove myself. I haven’t talked about it, people make their own impressions about what a drummer is about. So I’ll perform on stage and the audience can make their own mind up. I’m glad to say that the consensus of opinion is yeah, you’re a great drummer, Pete. I’m happy with that.”

He might not be John, Paul, George or even Ringo, but he was still a Beatle, which means it’s still a thrill just to hear him talk about his days in the band, “propping up bars across Hamburg” with “gentle, tender John” – he was closest to Lennon – or having mock fights with the band on stage at The Indra club on The Reeperbahn. Or his enduring fondness for I Saw Her Standing There, one of the first Beatles originals he ever played on drums.

Ireland can lay claim to the former Beatle, which is also a bit fab. His grandfather Major Thomas Shaw, who was stationed in India at the time of the Raj, came from Dublin, while his biological father, a soldier who died when he was a baby, was also Irish.

His half-Irish mother Mona Best has her own place in Beatle history. After she was widowed, Mona married again and travelled to Liverpool, where she set up the Casbah club in the basement of their sprawling home, where The Beatles (as The Quarrymen and later The Silver Beetles) played their first gigs.

Even after her son Pete was sacked from the band, Mona kept in touch with the Beatles. “She was very diplomatic,” says Best. When the cover art was being done for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Lennon asked Mona if he could borrow her dad’s army medals, and he wore them on the cover of the album.

The medals are one of hundreds of exhibits in the Magical Beatles Museum on Mathew Street in Liverpool, run by Best’s younger brother Roag. (Roag is central to another bit of Beatles lore. His father is Neil Aspinall, the Beatles driver and later the managing director of Apple Corps. Aspinall had an affair with Mona when he was a lodger in the house and her husband was away.)

He had not seen or spoken to him in decades, but Best still cried when he heard of the murder of his old friend John Lennon in 1980. He has never spoken to any of the Beatles since he was forced out of the band. Reparation of sorts came in 1995 when Aspinall called (“Paul McCartney claims he called me but he didn’t,” says Best) to discuss The Beatles Anthology, which was to include some tracks featuring Best’s drumming, for which he would be paid royalties.
It’s another source of pride for Best that seven of the tracks on Anthology 1 feature his drumming: “Seven out of 60 tracks was quite a lot. And I’d like to think with that amount of tracks over a short period of time, it showed the important role I played. Whether that’s the case or not, I don’t know – you’d have to ask them.”
How much money did he get in royalties? “It wasn’t far short of a million,” he says. The money was welcome, even if, as he says, he was “well set” at that stage of his life, having made a good living from being Pete Best of the Beatles and Pete Best, musician in his own right.

He has his Beatles association to thank for another important part of his story – he’s been married to Kathy for 58 years, after first meeting her at a Beatles gig.

Lennon and Harrison are dead now, while Starr had nothing to do with the decision to replace the drummer. So there’s only one Beatle left who was directly involved in the banishing of Pete Best. Does Best forgive McCartney? “I’ve nothing to forgive him about … they made a decision as young men which was safeguarding their future. Okay, it could have been handled better. I was the fall guy for it, I suffered, but I’m not holding them to task over it. If I’d have been in the same situation and I was another member of the band, maybe I’d have been one of the bad guys.”

“I’ve no regrets,” he continues. “I think I’m a lucky guy. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved as a person, of the examples I’ve set to people to get on with your life, to pick yourself up. I’ve been an inspiration. And I’m proud of that.”

irishtimes

 



THE PETER JACKSON´S BEATLES DOCUMENTARY

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Peter Jackson’s Fab Four documentary, Beatles: Get Back, will hit theaters 4 September.

The documentary film will focus on the Beatles’ final year together, cut from 55 hours worth of footage filmed back in 1969, when the band were recording what would become the seminal record, Let It Be. It will feature never-before-seen footage, including a behind-the-scenes look at the Beatles’ iconic ’69 rooftop gig.

The film is said to provide a cheerful counter-narrative to the original Let It Be film, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. While the latter had a gloomy undertone and exposed many conflicts and arguments between the band members experienced, the upcoming film will apparently show the Beatles joking around and having a good time with each other.

In a statement about the film, Paul McCartney said: “I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together. The friendship and love between us comes over and reminds me of what a crazily beautiful time we had.”

Ringo Starr chimed in as well, appreciating the fact Jackson did not dwell on the negatives. “I’m really looking forward to this film. Peter is great and it was so cool looking at all this footage. There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out”, he said. “There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that. I think this version will be a lot more peace and loving, like we really were.”

In other Beatles-related news, a fretless guitar once owned by George Harrison and John Lennon has been valued at £400,000 in an episode of BBC’s antiques-appraising programme, Antiques Roadshow.

guitar

BEATLES MEMORABILIA AT OMEGA AUCTIONS

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The sale on March 24 will offer more than 400 lots spanning the entire history of the Fab Four, from their earliest days in Liverpool to their later successful solo careers.

The auction includes rare vinyl records and test pressings of classic Beatles tracks, vintage flyers and concert tickets, autographs, photographs, artwork and pop culture memorabilia.

“We hold our Beatles auction twice a year and this time around it is certainly up there as being one of our best,” said auctioneer Paul Fairweather.“Such a broad and excellent mix of vinyl coupled with an incredible selection of memorabilia ensure a real feast for our collectors.”

For vinyl collectors, highlights include a rare demo copy of Love Me Do, one of just 250 copies pressed up by Brian Epstein for DJs and promoters in October 1962, valued at £8,000 – £12,000 ($8,700 – $13,100); and an incredibly low-numbered UK mono copy of the White Album, bearing the double-digit number 18 on the cover.

And for autograph hunters, top lots include a fully-signed Cavern Club, circa 1962; a fully-signed flyer from a performance at The Grosvenor Rooms, Norwich in May 1963; and a Brian Epstein business card signed by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and original drummer Pete Best, circa June 1962.
One of the sale’s most fascinating lots is an archive of sketches relating to Paul McCartney’s ‘Magic Piano’, which he used during the filming of Magical Mystery Tour.

In late 1966 McCartney commissioned the British art collective BEV to give his piano a colourful, psychedelic paint job, as The Beatles prepared to record their their masterpiece Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

McCartney has since used variations on the striking design throughout this career, incorporating it into his live show as a keyboard stand disguised as an upright piano.
In 1999 the original 1966 design sketches of BEV member Douglas Binder were discovered in a discarded suitcase by a builder working on a property renovation in Manchester.

Having been rescued from a skip and stored for over 20 years, the sketches from one of The Beatles’ most iconic and creative periods are now expected to sell for up to £2,000 ($2,350).

Further notable lots include an original Apple Boutique sign, believed to have hung in the Apple boutique in London circa 1967 / 1968; a pair of trousers originally owned by John Lennon; and a set of John Lennon’s acoustic demo cassette recordings, circa 1969.

justcollecting

PAUL MCCARTNEY AND RINGO STARR SAID THE NEW BEATLES DOC WILL BE SO DIFFERENT FROM “LET IT BE”

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From the January 2019 announcement that Peter Jackson was working on a new Beatles documentary, we started hearing the narrative that it would be an answer to Let It Be (1970), the contentious doc produced by Michael Lindsay-Hogg from early ’69 Fab Four sessions.

Digging into 55 hours of unused footage — and more than twice that amount of audio material — Jackson said he’d found a different side to what we’ve considered the most bitter of Beatles days. According to the director, the footage would change everyone’s conception of those sessions.

“I was relieved to discover the reality was different to the myth,” Jackson said. “Sure, there’s moments of drama — but none of the discord the project has long been associated with.” For those who recalled the George Harrison-Paul McCartney flap in Let It Be, this claim sounded interesting.

Jackson wasn’t the only one who’s made these claims. Along with Paul, Ringo Starr has gone on the record saying the Fab Four was doing quite well when it appeared otherwise.

Before there was the Let It Be album and film, The Beatles aimed to return their roots as a four-piece band in what they called the Get Back sessions in January ’69. Lindsay-Hogg planned to film their rehearsals and eventual return to the stage for a live performance.

But the Fab Four got in their own way before that happened. (They did, nonetheless, perform for the last time on the roof of the Apple building.) Lindsay-Hogg caught some ugly moments between Paul and George on film for all to see. And George quit the band briefly during this period.
Yet the surviving members of the group seem to remember things differently these days.

In a release announcing the premier date of Jackson’s doc (titled The Beatles: Get Back). Ringo spoke of how happy he was to see the other side. “I’m really looking forward to this film,” he said. “There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out. There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that. I think this version will be a lot more peace and loving, like we really were.”
Paul McCartney said the doc showed ‘the truth’ about Beatles sessions. “I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together,” Paul said. “The friendship and love between us comes over. It reminds me of what a crazily beautiful time we had.”

DISNEY SHARES AN UNSEEN FRAME FROM PETER JACKSON’S THE BEATLES DOCUMENTARY

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Peter Jackson’s “The Beatles: Get Back” documentary, featuring never-before-seen footage of the legendary band, comes to theaters September 4, 2020. Photo Credit: ©1969 Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney

Disney has shared a new post on the official Twitter account and revealed never-before-seen footage of The Beatles from Peter Jackson’s documentary called ‘The Beatles: Get Back.‘

The longly awaited documentary of The Beatles has been shooting for over a year by Peter Jackson. This movie will include over 50 hours of footage from the ’70s, and it will be releasing on September 4, 2020.

In the picture, the band members are doing some rehearsal in the studio. John Lennon was smiling on the piano, and Paul McCartney is singing the song while playing his guitar. Also, Ringo Star was on the drums, and George Harrison was chilling on the stage.

Also, John Lennon’s official Instagram page has shared this post, and it got over 43K likes less than sixteen hours. Furthermore, most of the fans headed to the comment section and shared their reactions.

Here is the statement from Disney:

“Just announced: Peter Jackson’s ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ documentary, featuring never-before-seen footage of the legendary band, comes to theaters September 4, 2020. Photo Credit: ©1969 Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney”

A fan named Linda Clark said:

“Man… Disney and The Beatles. Two of my favorite things in the world. I’ve been anticipating and very excited about this one. Let’s do this.”

Another fan named Sam added this comment:

“Ringo looks… He looks like he jumped in a huge lake, and didn’t take a shower for 67 days. Then he rolled around in the mud. Then he got no sleep for about 4-5 months.🤮🤢”