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By Posted on 0 11

An iconic building where household names such as The Beatles once performed is set to have new life breathed into it after Waltham Forest Council purchases it for £2.6 million.

The former Granada cinema, also known as the EMD, in Walthamstow’s Hoe Street is set to become a 1,000-seat venue to host the biggest names in UK and international comedy, pantomimes, film screenings and more.

The Beatles – Live At Granada Cinema, 9 November, 1963


The historic Grade II* listed theatre was partially reopened in 2016 as Mirth, Marvel & Maud, a pub and entertainment complex.
It will be brought back to its former glory with the help of Soho Theatre, who will operate the venue, and is expected to add between £34 and £52 million to Walthamstow’s economy over a 10 year period.

Renovation of the site is expected to take three years and the council is considering options to part finance it with external grants. The borough was awarded £1.35 million as 2019 Borough of Culture, announced last month.


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The rock veteran has previously been outspoken in his lack of regard for the Fab Four’s music, criticising their live performance and he even famously called their iconic 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band a, “mishmash of rubbish”.
However, the 74-year-old has now confessed that without The Beatles making it big in America in the mid-1960s, the Stones wouldn’t have become the phenomenon they are today.
“There’s no getting away from it ,” he told The Sun newspaper. ”Without The Beatles, I doubt there’d have been The Rolling Stones as such. They had that wonderful all-round appeal, something we certainly weren’t working on.
“We didn’t have to put up with being the Mop Tops or the Fab Four. Before The Beatles, hardly any British acts had broken America but they opened the door and I guess we kicked it in,” he added.
The Beatles split up in 1970 and Keith said that he puts their early demise down to the scrutiny they were under.
“They got off the bus just before it really got moving, you know,” explained Richards. “The pressure they were under being The Beatles is maybe one of the reasons why we’re still around.”
The Rolling Stones recently announced that this summer they will perform in their native U.K. for the first time in five years, and Keith revealed they were also ready to record new music.
“We’re working on it right now, old boy!” he told The Sun’s reporter. “I’m in the studio and I’m waiting for Mick to turn up. We’re doing a few days knocking some songs around and playing about, so work is in progress as I speak.”



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More than 350 previously unseen photos of The Beatles’ at two early US shows have come to light and are to be sold.

Mike Mitchell captured the Fab Four arriving at the venues, at pre-show press conferences and on stage in Washington DC and Baltimore in 1964.
Mitchell was just 18 at the time and took the photos in natural light because he couldn’t afford a flash.
The negatives are expected to fetch more than £250,000 when they are sold by Omega Auctions on 24 March.

There are 413 in total, which are being sold with copyright. Forty-six of those have been seen before, when single prints were auctioned for $362,000 (£224,000) in 2011.
Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said: “This is an incredible archive. The unique combination of perspective and light sets them apart from any other Beatles photographs of that period.”
Mitchell photographed the band at their first ever US concert, at Washington Coliseum on 11 February 1964 – two days after their famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

He was on hand again when they played Baltimore Civic Centre on 13 September 1964. He even got on stage to get a better vantage point.

“I was very motivated to come up with stuff that was as unique as could possibly be,” he said.
“I looked and noticed that nobody was up on the stage. I thought, I wonder what it would be like to be up on the stage and see what I could get up there.”



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The Liverpudlian who put the Beatles in suits, landed them a record deal with Parlophone, and brought to them to “The Ed Sullivan Show” is getting the biopic treatment from Bravo.

Bravo is developing a limited series based on the life of Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager who helped steer them to “the toppermost of the poppermost” from the early 1960s until his death in August 1967 at the age of 32. Produced by Universal Cable Productions and Sonar Entertainment, the project is based on “The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story,” the Dark Horse Comics graphic novel penned by Vivek J. Tiwary with art by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker. Tiwary will pen the series adaptation and serve as executive producer along with Leopoldo Gout. Bravo said the project has secured access to the Lennon-McCartney song catalog for use in the series.
Epstein is an enigmatic figure in the history of the legendary band. He struggled with internal and external demons and discrimination as a Jewish, closeted gay man living at a time when homosexuality was a felony in Britain. Epstein famously became interested in the local Liverpool band when patrons of his family’s music store began asking for a recording of “My Bonnie” that the Beatles cut with singer Tony Sheridan during one of the band’s stints playing clubs in Hamburg. As the legend goes, Epstein went to see four leather-clad lads — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best (before Ringo Starr took over on drums) — at Liverpool’s Cavern Club and was impressed by their sound and the crowd’s enthusiasm. Without any prior experience in artist management, Epstein signed the band.
History has judged Epstein kindly for ignoring the assertion of a London record company executive that “groups with guitars are on the way out” while he was shopping a Beatles demo reel to land a recording contract. He finally got his “yes” from producer George Martin of EMI’s Parlophone imprint in 1962. Within months, Beatlemania ensued.

Epstein published a memoir, “A Cellarful of Noise,” in 1964. But his role as manager diminished after the band opted to end its grueling schedule of concert tours in 1966. By many historical accounts, Epstein was depressed at the time of his death and there has long been speculation that the overdose was not accidental. His death came about two months after the release of the Beatles’ landmark album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”



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Geoffrey Ellis, who worked closely with the Beatles and manager Brian Epstein during the sixties and ended his illustrious career at PRS for Music, has sadly passed away, aged 87.

Born in Liverpool, law graduate Ellis (pictured middle, with Paul and Linda McCartney) worked in insurance for 10 years in New York and Chicago, before childhood friend Epstein contacted him in 1963, in need of help for the Beatles’ first US trip. Ellis left his job to help Epstein manage his quickly expanding business empire, and by 1964 – during the height of the Beatles’ global super-stardom – he was director and chief administrator of Epstein’s pop management company, NEMS Enterprises.During his thirty five year career in the music business, Ellis became a key figure in running the business affairs of the Fab Four, as well as artists Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, Cilla Black, and Elton John.

Following Epstein’s death, Ellis remained a director of Northern Songs – which owned John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s songs – and was asked by the band’s music publisher, Dick James, to join him at his then burgeoning Dick James Music group of record and publishing companies.

It was there that Ellis found himself assisting in the management of another worldwide superstar; Elton John. He spent the next six years working with John’s manager, John Reid, handling the business affairs of his management company. In the nineties he was headhunted by former chief executive officer of PRS for Music, Michael Freeguard, who recruited Ellis to head up the PRS membership team.

In 2004, Ellis released his memoir, I Should Have Known Better: A Life In Pop Management, which detailed his experiences of the music business from the sixties to the mid-nineties, providing an insider’s view of the careers of many of the most significant players.

He remained at PRS until his retirement, where he divided his time between London and France. Ellis is survived by his partner of 45 years, Daniel Martin, to whom he dedicated his book.



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Film-makers Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis are joining forces to make a picture built around the music of The Beatles.

Boyle, who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, will direct the film which has the tentative title of All You Need Is Love, although London-based studio Working Title has insisted that the secretive project is still untitled. Curtis, responsible for British classics such as Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually, has written the script for All You Need Is Love, which is about a struggling musician who, for plot reasons as yet unknown, thinks he’s the only person who can remember the Fab Four.

Himesh Patel, the actor who played Tamwar Masood for several years on EastEnders, has been cast to play the up-and-coming musician. However Mr Patel’s representatives refused to respond to messages. Similarly, Tim Bevan, the producer from Working Title who has developed the musical, was resolute in his determination not to speak about the new project. The reason has to do with complex and sensitive negotiations to acquire various rights to songs from The Beatles catalogue. Boyle and his casting director have auditioned scores of actors for other roles, but so far Patel is the only one to have been signed. I understand that filming is expected to start later in the spring in locations that will include London and Norfolk.

Boyle has long been interested in directing a movie version of the musical Miss Saigon for Cameron Mackintosh and Working Title. That project is still being developed and may happen in 2020, if a screenplay (that pleases all involved) can be completed, and the right cast found.