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By Posted on 0 39

… What was the original title of the Beatles’ song “With A Little Help From My Friends”?* That and many more secrets about one of the most celebrated record albums of all times is answered in the unique documentary film Deconstructing the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper. The film will be presented this Friday, November 10 at Jaffrey’s River Street Theatre (RST). The film is part of a new series of documentaries entitled Deconstructing the Beatles where each film dissects the origins of one of the Beatles’ albums.
Scott Freiman, composer/producer and Beatles historian, shows audiences in the film how the Beatles made their 1967 masterpiece album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, through long-lost recordings, vintage photographs, and interview footage of the band members and those close to them.
Deconstructing the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper plays Friday, November 10 at 2 pm and 7pm each day.
The River Street Theatre is located in downtown Jaffrey, New Hampshire at 6 River Street.


By Posted on 0 22
Lucy Bell Gallery is to present an exhibition of rare and unseen images of the Fab Four from The Getty Images Archives from November 18 until January 20.
The exhibition includes images of The Beatles from 1963 to 1970 featuring shots from famous photographers including David Redfern, Chris Ware, Jim Grey and Stan Maegher, as well as from Popperfoto, one of the UK’s oldest and image libraries founded in 1934, specialising in creative UK-based retro imagery. Images of the Beatles at work and behind the scenes, as well as historic images, such as John Lennon and Ringo Starr standing in the doorways of the adjoining houses on Ailsa Avenue, where Richard Lester’s film Help! was filmed in 1965, are included in the exhibition. This fascinating collection gives a rare insight into the lives of The Beatles during this period, and explores the extraordinary phenomena surrounding the Beatles.

Images of the Beatles at work and behind the scenes, as well as historic images, such as John Lennon and Ringo Starr standing in the doorways of the adjoining houses on Ailsa Avenue, where  Richard Lester’s film ‘Help!’, was filmed 1965, are included in the exhibition.

This fascinating collection, on tour from Getty Images Gallery, gives a rare insight into the lives of The Beatles during this period, and explores the extraordinary phenomena surrounding the Beatles.

Limited edition prints are for sale starting at £250.


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Like many of the White Album’s tracks, “Sexy Sadie” dates from the Beatles time in India studying under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. During this period, rumors began circulating that the Maharishi had been seducing female devotees (according to Paul, Alex Mardas—better known as “Magic Alex”—informed the group of the gossip). Disenchanted, the Beatles decided to leave, with John Lennon feeling the most betrayed.
As he told Rolling Stone in 1971, “So, we went to see Maharishi, the whole gang of us, the next day, charged down to his hut, his bungalow – his very rich-looking bungalow in the mountains – and as usual, when the dirty work came, I was the spokesman – whenever the dirty work came, I actually had to be leader … and I said ‘We’re leaving.’ ‘Why?’ he asked, and all that shit and I said, ‘Well, if you’re so cosmic, you’ll know why.’”
While John and George waited for ride out of Rishikesh, John began jotting down lyrics to the song. “That was written just as we were leaving, waiting for our bags to be packed in the taxi that never seemed to come,” he said in Anthology. Overall, “John wrote ‘Sexy Sadie’ to get it off his chest,” Paul added.
According to Mark Lewisohn’s Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, John’s original lyrics seethed with anger: “Maharishi, you little twat, who the fuck do you think you are? Who the fuck do you think you are? Oh, you cunt.” In one of his final interviews, Lennon admitted: “I was just using the situation to write a song, rather calculatingly but also to express what I felt. I was leaving the Maharishi with a bad taste. You know, it seems that my partings are always not as nice as I’d like them to be.”
In Many Years from Now, Paul told author Barry Miles that he believed Lennon’s anger toward the Maharishi was unwarranted. “Perhaps [the other Beatles] had been looking for something more than a guy and found he wasn’t a god, whereas I’d been looking at a guy who was saying, ‘I’m only giving you a system of meditation,” he said. According to Paul,John originally titled the song “Maharishi,” even using the name in the lyrics (“Maharishi, what have you done?”). George and Paul persuaded John to drop the name; to maintain the rhythm, Lennon changed the title to “Sexy Sadie.”
In retrospect, Paul stated, they had heard rumors about the guru from Magic Alex — not the most reliable of sources. Therefore altering the name to protect the innocent was a wise move.
An interesting relic of the original lyrics still exists: After returning from Rishikesh, Lennon carved the “Maharishi” version into a piece of wood, the words “the private mind of John Lennon” inscribed at the top. According to NME, Maureen Cox subsequently owned the wood; a collector later acquired it, and the memorabilia finally hit the auction block on September 23, 2013.
Another figure greatly influenced “Sexy Sadie”: Smokey Robinson. In later years, it was revealed that Lennon was a fan of Robinson and the Miracles’ “I’ve Been Good to You,” a 1961 single he enjoyed playing on his personal jukebox. The opening lines of the song – “Look what you’ve done; You’ve made a fool of everyone” – directly inspired the opening verses of “Sexy Sadie,” according to Jonathan Cott’s book Days That I’ll Remember. “Smokey Robinson has the most perfect voice,” John told. “A beautiful piece. … I go wild every time I hear it.”

After recording a demo of “Sexy Sadie” — possibly as part of the “Esher demos” — John brought the song to Abbey Road on July 19, 1968. The Beatles recorded 21 takes of the track, with take six later released as part of the Anthology 3 collection. This version featured vocals by John, Paul and George; electric guitar by George; drums by Ringo;and Hammond organ by John. The Beatles returned to the track on July 24, recording 23 takes.
Dissatisfied with those attempts, they tried to master “Sexy Sadie” once more on August 13; they completed eight more takes; the final take (labeled 107, counting all previous attempts) was chosen as best. They completed all overdubs on August 21, with Lennon rerecording his lead vocal. Organ, bass (courtesy of McCartney), piano, tambourine, and all backing vocals were also laid down.

The distorted, delayed piano (an effect similar to Phil Spector’s production on Imagine) creates an unsettled atmosphere, intensified by the swirling background vocals that sound as if they were recorded underwater. Harrison’s lead guitar slithers through the track, adding bite to Lennon’s bitter words. “Sexy Sadie you’ll get yours yet – however big you think you are,” Lennon snarls, his anger palpable. One can hear how John Lennon felt betrayed by his onetime guru: “You gave her everything you owned just sit at her table. Just a smile would lighten everything,” he complains.

Interestingly he changes the sex of this charlatan, suggesting that this character used sexuality to seduce. “She came along to turn on everyone. Sexy Sadie, the greatest of them all,” he admits, clearly stating that he had fallen under this figure’s spell.
The Maharishi’s alleged sin – seducing female followers — can be inferred from the lyrics, along with his apparent charisma. Sexy Sadie chiefly relied on feminine wiles and sexuality to lure apparently unsuspecting men. Similarly, Lennon seemingly argues, the Maharishi lured followers with power and personality.

George clearly disagreed with Lennon’s feelings toward the Maharishi, as he recorded not one but two response tracks. He originally wrote “Not Guilty” for the White Album (the Beatles recorded over 100 takes, with take 102 surfacing on Anthology 3), but eventually rerecorded it for 1979’s George Harrison: “Not guilty, nor leading you astray on the road to Mandalay,” he sings, vaguely referring to the Beatles’ sojourn.
On 1974’s Dark Horse, a telling track parodies the song: “Simply Shady”: “You may think of Sexy Sadie, let her in through your front door – and your life won’t be so easy anymore,” Harrison sings, demonstrating he had never forgotten the events behind Lennon’s composition.





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The children’s home made famous by the Beatles song “Strawberry Fields Forever” is to be given a new lease of life.

The Strawberry Field home in Woolton, Liverpool, closed in 2005, but now a fundraising campaign could see it transformed into a support centre for young people with learning disabilities. The large Victorian house and gardens were donated to The Salvation Army, a Christian church and charity, and was used as a home for vulnerable children from 1936 until 2005. Since the children’s home closed its doors, it has remained empty and unused, but the charity held on to it.

John Lennon used to play in the grounds as a child and visit the annual summer garden party, with the home becoming the inspiration for the 1967 Beatles’ song, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Some 50 years on from the release of that song, The Salvation Army wants to turn the site into a training and work placement hub for young people with learning disabilities. The Church and Charity says they need £2 million to make their plans a reality and have launched a fundraising campaign.

A choir of people who could benefit from the new centre has recorded their own version of “Strawberry Fields Forever” at the famous Abbey Road studios.


Major Drew McCombe, divisional leader for The Salvation Army, North West, said: “Lennon grew up close to Strawberry Field, and gave generously to the home as soon as he got his first pay cheque. “He also had a vision for it, expressed in the song, as a place where anybody, whatever their personal background and difficulties, could realise their dreams. “Strawberry Field has the potential to bring that vision to life; changing the lives of young people with learning disabilities, who find it difficult to find gainful employment, as well as encourage more projects similar across the UK.”

As well as providing a support centre for young people with learning difficulties and their families, The Salvation Army hopes to open the gates of Strawberry Fields to the public for the very first time.

They plan to create a new exhibition dedicated to the story of the place, the song and John Lennon’s early life.


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On December 15, the DELUXE ANNIVERSARY EDITION of The Beatles’ 1967 masterwork, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, will debut worldwide in high definition digital audio (96kHz/24bit).

On the same date, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s 2017 stereo mix will be released in two distinct 1-LP vinyl editions: a 180-gram black vinyl LP and a limited, collectible picture disc vinyl LP.


The Beatles’ annual holiday tradition of recording jolly Christmas messages for fan club members was an important part of the band’s relationship with their most ardent supporters, affectionately referred to by them as “Beatle People.”

Spanning 1963 to 1969, The Beatles’ holiday recordings were originally pressed on flexi discs and mailed to fan club members each December.
Never released beyond the fan club until now, The Beatles’ seven holiday messages have been newly pressed on a rainbow of seven-inch colored vinyl singles for THE CHRISTMAS RECORDS BOX SET.
The limited edition collection presents each vinyl single with its original flexi disc sleeve artwork, accompanied by a 16-page booklet with recording notes and reproductions of the fan club’s National Newsletters, which were mailed to members with the holiday flexi discs.







7″ Vinyl 1
1 1963: “The Beatles’ Christmas Record” (one-sided, 5:00 TRT) Recorded: 17 October 1963 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
7″ Vinyl 2
1 1964: “Another Beatles Christmas Record” (one-sided, 3:58 TRT) Recorded: 26 October 1964 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
7″ Vinyl 3
1 1965: “The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record” (one-sided, 6:20 TRT) Recorded: 8 November 1965 – Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
7″ Vinyl 4
1 1966: “Pantomime – Everywhere It’s Christmas: The Beatles’ Fourth Christmas Record” (one-sided, 6:36 TRT) Recorded: 25 November 1966 – Dick James Music, New Oxford Street, London
7″ Vinyl 5
5 1967: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again): The Beatles’ Fifth Christmas Record” (one-sided, 6:06 TRT) Recorded: 28 November 1967 – Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London
7″ Vinyl 6
1 1968: “The Beatles’ Sixth Christmas Record” (two-sided, 7:48 TRT) Recorded: 1968, various locations
7″ Vinyl 7
1 1969: “The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record” (two-sided, 7:39 TRT) Recorded: 1969, various locations


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This November marks the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ “I Am The Walrus.” Written primarily by John for the TV movie Magical Mystery Tour, “I Am The Walrus” features a cryptic Lennon lyric with a bizarre chorus, an innovative arrangement from producer George Martin,studio trickery from engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott, and an excerpt from Shakespeare’s King Lear. All of this adds up to create The Beatles’ psychedelic masterpiece. Here are ten things about “I Am The Walrus”:

John wrote the bulk of the song during several LSD trips. During one trip, he heard the two-note pattern of a police siren passing by. The sound morphed into the opening notes of “I Am The Walrus.” They are even mimicked in the two note motif in the verse (“Mis-ter ci-ty p’lice-man…”).
“He has too many of the wrong ambitions and his energy is too often misplaced.” That was a description of John Lennon written by the headmaster of Quarry Bank High School in 1956. Just ten years later, a student at Quarry Bank wrote Lennon to tell him that they were analyzing Beatles lyrics in class. Lennon decided to give the students (along with music critics) something a little more difficult to analyze. So, he turned an old playground nursery rhyme that he sang as a child (“yellow matter custard/green slop pie/all mixed together with a dead dog’s eye”) into the line “yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog’s eye.”
The title of the song was based on the poem “The Walrus and The Carpenter” by one of Lennon’s favorite authors, Lewis Carroll. It wasn’t until later that John realized that the walrus was the bad guy in the poem! There is no “egg man” in the poem, although Humpty Dumpty does make an appearance in Through the Looking Glass. Surprisingly, Eric Burdon, lead singer of The Animals, stepped forward to claim that he was the egg man referenced by Lennon. Burdon was known as “Eggs” to his friends, due to his strange fetish of breaking eggs over naked women.

John, one of rock’s best vocalists, was always frustrated by the sound of his voice. For “I Am The Walrus,” he asked engineer Geoff Emerick to make his voice sound like it was coming from the moon. As always, Emerick turned John’s strange request into the perfect effect. Emerick had John record his vocals using a low-fidelity talkback microphone (typically used by an engineer in the control room to “talk back” to musicians in the recording studio). This helped create one of rock music’s first distorted lead vocals.

The recording of “I Am The Walrus” was incredibly complex, ultimately taking 25 takes to complete. When Lennon first performed “I Am The Walrus” for George Martin, he asked Martin for the producer’s opinion. “Well, John, to be honest, I have only one question,” Martin said. “What the hell do you expect me to do with that?!?” Luckily, the always inventive Martin came up with an innovative orchestral arrangement that fit the song perfectly. It features eight violins and four cellos, three French horns, and a contrabass clarinet — a rare member of the clarinet family that was a favorite of Frank Zappa. In fact, Zappa loved “I Am The Walrus,” and played it often in his concerts.

George Martin’s arrangement didn’t stop with the orchestral instruments. He clearly felt that John’s song needed something more.

So, he hired the Mike Sammes singers, known for their work on Disney films and TV themes. Rather than create a standard vocal arrangement, Martin took advantage of the singers’ excellent score reading skills and created a sprechgesang arrangement. Sprechgesang, which means “spoken singing”, is a vocal technique halfway between singing and speaking. In his score to “I Am The Walrus,” Martin had the Mike Sammes singers make whooping sounds, laugh, snort, and shout phrases like “Oompah, oompah, stick it up your jumper!” Nothing like this had ever been heard on a popular music recording.

At the end of the very complicated mixing sessions for “I Am The Walrus”, John had an idea: mixing a live radio broadcast into the recording. It took some engineering work from Geoff Emerick (plus some paperwork to get permission from his bosses at EMI) to patch an AM radio into the console. During the mix, Ringo manned the radio while John instructed him when to turn the knobs. Coincidentally, Ringo stumbled on the BBC production of Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of King Lear. The broadcast was at the point of Act IV, Scene VI, where the steward “Oswald” is killed.