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By Posted on 0 21

It all started on July 6, 1964 at the London Pavilion when the The Beatles’ big screen debut, A Hard Day’s Night, held its gala premiere. When the shrieks and screams finally ended that evening, The Fab Four had officially crossed the threshold from music giants to movie stars. The film went on to gross over $11 million worldwide by the end of the 1960s (roughly $85 million in 2018 dollars) and that figure doesn’t account for numerous re-releases throughout the years.

Despite the overwhelming success of that first Beatles film it’s a safe guess that no one in attendance that July evening could have predicted that John, Paul, George, and Ringo would still be making an impact on the movie business more than fifty years later.

Fast forward to this past weekend when a 4K restored version of The Beatles’ 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine hit select theaters to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary. The movie’s return to the big screen was an instant success as Beatles fans of all ages and demographics either took a jaunt down memory lane or experienced the psychedelic Fab Four and the evil Blue Meanies for the first time.

While many theater owners crossed their collective fingers that this nostalgia trip would be a success, they weren’t quite ready for sold out auditoriums and the communal atmosphere in the 200 screens that distributor Abramorama selected for opening weekend. Indeed, grosses for the film were higher in many of those 200 cinemas than for any of the films from the Hollywood studios that were playing in the complex. A point to remember is these grosses came from only one show.

Exhibitors reported impromptu audience sing-alongs, especially during the film’s closing track, All Together Now, which features the only on-screen appearance by the band. The distributor is planning an expansion of the film throughout August and is also mapping out plans for a full-fledged sing-along version later in the year. That announcement is certain to delight hardcore Beatlemaniacs, including the man who attended one of the screenings in the UK over the weekend dressed in a Blue Meanie outfit.

This is the third time that Abramorama has worked with The Beatles’ Apple Corp and Universal Music on film projects focusing on the group. In addition to a re-release of 2003’s Concert For George, the distributor enjoyed Stateside success with 2016’s Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years.

Abramorama President Richard Abramowitz explains the company’s partnership with The Beatles by saying:
When we’re charged with marketing and distributing one of their films, we are highly selective in choosing the venues in order to ensure the best possible experience. It seems somehow discordant to refer to The Beatles as a ‘brand’ because our connection to them is so elemental. In some sense, though, they really are one of the best brands in the world. Our job, I would almost call it a mission, is to be respectful of that at all times, in all ways.
While one-night-only events such as Yellow Submarine, along with Event Cinema programming from companies like Fathom Events, aren’t a huge percentage of theater owners’ box office revenue they do fill an important void by providing quality entertainment during off times (generally matinees and weeknights) where studio titles are playing to well below capacity. When, as mentioned earlier, revenue from screenings like Yellow Submarine are the highest of the day for cinema owners, that results in a significant contribution to their bottom lines.

Why do The Beatles remain relevant 50 years later? Far from settling into comfortable retirement somewhere in the Swiss Alps, the two living band members are still recording and touring. Ringo Starr is midway through his latest All Starr Band Tour and Paul McCartney’s tour in support of his first new album in five years kicks off September 16th in Quebec City. His recent appearance on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke was an internet sensation, garnering nearly 27 million views on YouTube .
The fact that the band has remained as vibrant and important as they were 50 years ago is not only a testament to the music but also to the desire of the remaining members to remain connected with their fans. That respect for The Beatles’ still loyal legion of followers translates to every medium the band is involved with. There will even be a graphic novel based on the movie this fall.



By Posted on 0 15

A 10,000-capacity purpose-built auditorium is being built on the waterfront for the event.Two spectacular evening concerts featuring 20 music stars will take place at the Pier Head to mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ White Album.
The artists will perform the entire album in two charity concerts, which aim to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for two of the music industry’s favourite charities, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and The Teenage Cancer Trust.
The full line-up is yet to be confirmed. However, the ECHO can reveal the following names are signed up to perform some of the 30 tracks: Mike Rutherford of Genesis and Mike and the Mechanics, Marc Almond, Martha Reeves and Badly Drawn Boy.

Teenage Cancer Trust patron and The Who’s legendary frontman, Roger Daltrey said: “We are delighted to be involved in such a special concert as this and it will give us a chance to show the people of Liverpool what Teenage Cancer Trust is all about.
“The White Album is such an amazing record and it’s a brilliant way to celebrate it at 50 years old.”
Liverpool artists taking part include Space, China Crisis, Thomas Lang and four-time European Jazz singer of the year Connie Lush.
The Scaffold’s Roger McGough will be following on from his unique presentation at the arena tour shows commemorating the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper in 2017 with a new set of memories and readings commemorating the White Album onstage.
Liverpool-born DJ and radio presenter Janice Long will be presenting on both days.
Genesis bassist Mike Rutherford said: “The White Album has never been performed as a live piece in this way before, and with the world-class musicians and guest vocalists we are gathering together we will deliver an incredible musical and visual experience for all Beatles fans to savour.
“Both Nordoff Robbins and The Teenage Cancer Trust deliver incredible, life changing work and these concerts are a fitting tribute to their amazing results”.
The artists will be accompanied by a world class backing band and Sense of Sound Singers’ choir.
The 30 tracks will be followed by a finale of 15 Beatles’ favourites chosen and performed by all those artists taking part, accompanied by the Prague International Orchestra, conducted by Czech legend Varhan.
The team behind the White Album at 50 concerts last delivered a charity show on this scale in Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year back in 2008, with their concert The Number One Project live.
The first ever gig at the brand new Echo Arena, it played to a sell-out 10,600 people.
The White Album at 50 concerts will be held on Saturday September 8 and Sunday September 9, 2018 at Liverpool’s Pier Head.



By Posted on 1 15

Two previously unseen images of The Beatles have gone on display as part of a new exhibition recognising the work of photographer Jane Bown.

The photos were taken after Bown came across the band filming promotional material for Penny Lane as she walked her dog in Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, in 1967.

She sent the candid shots to The Observer newspaper, where she had worked since 1949, but they were not published. Now the colour photographs are available to view publicly for the first time at Jane Bown: The Observer, a retrospective at the Proud Galleries in London. Bown was later recognised with two exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery and a CBE for her outstanding contribution to photography.

Jane Bown: The Observer, Proud Central, 28th June – 12th August 2018.


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Abramorama, Apple Corps Ltd. and UMG formed a trio to theatrically release the 1968 animated classic across North America this July in celebration of its 50th anniversary. The Beatles official YouTube site uploaded two video teasers for the upcoming emergence.
The first video, entitled “Interviews,” explains what went into taking Yellow Submarine “out of the realm of simple cartoons, and into real artistry.”

Yellow Submarine was based on the song of the same name, which was by John and Paul and sung by Ringo. George blew bubbles, and may have shouted something puzzling about Paul during the audio collage section. Yellow Submarine was directed by directed by George Dunning, and from a screenplay by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn and Erich Segal.
The film “is a fantastic tale brimming with peace, love, and hope.” It is propelled by Beatles songs, including ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ ‘When I’m Sixty-Four,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “All You Need Is Love,” and “It’s All Too Much.”  Yellow Submarine began its voyage to the screen when Brodax, who had previously produced nearly 40 episodes of ABC’s animated Beatles TV series, approached The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein with a unique vision for a full-length animated feature.
When Yellow Submarine debuted in 1968, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques. Inspired by the generation’s new trends in art, the film resides with the dazzling Pop Art styles of Andy Warhol, Martin Sharp, Alan Aldridge and Peter Blake. With art direction and production design by Heinz Edelmann, Yellow Submarine is a classic of animated cinema, featuring the creative work of animation directors Robert Balser and Jack Stokes with a team of animators and technical artists.
The second video, “Design,” goes into the artistry behind the animation. It includes Paul McCartney talking how the artists “varied their animation styles.” They also discuss the innovative technique of painting images over filmed foootage for a more realistic and surrealistic effect.

Abramorama, which partnered with Apple Corps, Imagine Entertainment, White Horse Pictures, StudioCanal and UMG’s Polygram Entertainment on the Ron Howard documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, also worked with Neil Young, Pearl Jam and Green Day.
“We’re thrilled to have the privilege of bringing Yellow Submarine back to the big screen so that 3 generations of happy Beatles fans can enjoy the ground-breaking animation and classic tunes and that have long been part of our collective cultural DNA,” Richard Abramowitz, CEO of Abramorama said,
Yellow Submarine was restored in 4K digital resolution by Paul Rutan Jr. and his team of specialists at Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque Inc. The film’s songs and score were remixed in 5.1 stereo surround sound at UMG’s Abbey Road Studios by music mix engineer Peter Cobbin. Due to the delicate nature of the hand-drawn original artwork, no automated software was used in the digital clean-up of the film’s restored photochemical elements. This was all done by hand, frame by frame.
The feature films Help!, Yellow Magical Mystery Tour Submarine have all been digitally restored for DVD, Blu-ray, and iTunes by Apple Corp. The limited company was founded by The Beatles in 1968. Besides releasing the 30 million-selling album The Beatles 1, they also produced The Beatles Anthology series, the Grammy-winning The Beatles’ 13 remastered studio albums and 2017’s remixed Anniversary Edition for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  Apple partnered with Imagine Entertainment, White Horse Pictures and Polygram Entertainment/UMG to produce the Grammy-winning 2016 feature documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, which was directed by Ron Howard.

Yellow Submarine hits theaters in July.




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Brooke Halpin can be found hosting his Come Together with the Beatles and Brooke Halpin program, or penning fine tomes like Experiencing the Beatles (2017). Right now, Brooke has a special endeavor in the works, hosting the 50th Anniversary screening of Yellow Submarine with Ivor Davis in Malibu. Brooke tells Bob Wilson and Beatles Magazine all about it. “The message of the Beatles Yellow Submarine film is just as relevant today as it was 50 years ago –love conquers evil forces”, opined Brooke. Of course, he was only getting started.
Beatles Magazine: Which Beatle did most of the writing on the song Yellow Submarine, and did they pen it for Ringo specifically?
Brooke Halpin:The song was written primarily by Paul, as a children’s song intended for Ringo. John did collaborate with Paul for the verses and lyrics and even Donovan came up with a few lines.

BM: Was there ever a demo with another Beatle singing lead on the Yellow Submarine track?
BH: Not that I’m aware of.

BM: How did the transition come about where the song was made into the animated film in 1968?
BH: The Beatles had a contractual obligation with United Artists to do another film. The Yellow Submarine song perfectly lent itself to be the basis of the animated film.

BM: Were the Beatles excited about the film at first, and how involved were they in the making of it?
Brooke Halpin: No, they were not. Because of the contract, they had to do another film. They were not involved in the making of the film, but when they saw the completed version, they were pleased with the way it came out.

BM: As an award winning composer and musician yourself, how do you rate the instrumentals (as found on the original American release?
BH: I always thought, and still do, that side two of the album is better than side one. There’s nothing wrong with the Beatles songs on side one, but the songs Yellow Submarine and All You Need is Love had already been released. George’s Only a Northern Song and It’s All Too Much are exciting electronic songs, but were left overs from the Sgt. Pepper sessions. Hey Bulldog is the best song on side one, written for the film, but not included in the original release of the film. Paul’s All Together Now is a great way to end the film, suggesting that ALL people be together. George Martin’s original orchestral score on side two is brilliant and perfectly matches the visual imagery of the film.

BM: What scenes in the film resonate the most with you.
BH: The visuals set to Eleanor Rigby are quite moving. The scene with Jeremy Hilary Boob and the Nowhere Man song are very well done.

BM: What track might be your favorite from the film, and why?
BH: As I had mentioned, Hey Bulldog is my favorite. It’s a driving rocker with a dynamic syncopated piano riff, doubled with Paul’s dominant bass line and George’s piercing lead guitar. George plays one of his best lead guitar solos in this song.

BM: Tell us what happens in Malibu this coming July 8th on the big screen (and in theaters all over the world, too)?
BH: The Malibu Film Society ( will be screening the new remastered Yellow Submarine film on Sunday, July 8th, fifty years to the date it was released in 1968. I, along with author Ivor Davis, will be hosting the film and provide some insights and background on the film. (For discount tickets, use the code FOB – friends of Brooke). We will also be autographing our Beatles books. (Experiencing the Beatles – A Listener’s Companion; Do You Really Know the Beatles-A Quiz Book; The Beatles and Me on Tour.)

BM: Where can fans find your books, and listen to your radio shows?
BH: For my books, it’s best to go to My radio show, Come Together with the Beatles & Brooke Halpin, airs on Saturdays and Sundays on and

By Bob Wilson


By Posted on 0 17

Meeting the Beatles scored an interview Ivor Davis, who followed the Lads along on tour in 1964 for London’s Daily Express.  Davis wasn’t on the outside of the fishbowl peering in, but given an insider’s perch for every step along the way.  Ivor was also there firsthand for the Beatles meetings with Bob Dylan, and then Elvis Presley.  Ivor was kind enough to allow Bob Wilson to pick his brain for Beatles Magazine and allow us to read it in the news today. Oh boy!

Beatles Magazine: London’s Daily Express chose you to follow the Beatles on tour in 1964. As you hit the road, how close were you on a daily basis with them?

Ivor Davis: After 24 hours of “getting to know you,” (which started slowly because the Beatles were totally jet-lagged by their 6,000 mile trip from London to San Francisco) we became very close. I had next door hotel rooms, to their suite, and as the l964 first American tour continued, we hung out together in the hotel—where they were virtual prisoners. I traveled on their private jet, which skipped around the country landing at sometimes remote sections of airports in the middle of the night. They were in limo number one, I in limo number two as we raced –often with screaming police escorts—from airport to hotel to venue. Because they had very little contact with the public, I and some of the DJ”s that came and went on the tour, became their companions. A bit like family.

BM: As you saw the shows, the crowds, the hotels, and Beatlemania, what things stand out in your mind about the experience?

Ivor:I never knew what to expect because I had never been to a Beatles show. I saw them on the Ed Sullivan Show in Feb 1964, along with 70 million plus viewers. But in the flesh, so to speak, I was completely bowled over that first night at San Francisco’s Cow Palace in August l964. About 17,000 screaming fans packed the place.  And from the second they stepped out on stage the screaming began—and never ended until they finished their gig. And frankly, sitting in the front row at every concert, because of the unending shrieking, I could barely hear their songs or words. And that was the way it played out during the entire trip. I learned to live with it by arming myself with  ear plugs! One thing to remember: Sound systems were lousy—and oh, so primitive.

BM: As someone who was there, please tell us about the legendary meeting of the Beatles and Elvis Presley? Was there any sort of a jam session?

Ivor: That took place in August l965—at Elvis pad in Beverly Hills. The Beatles wanted to meet him, particularly John, but in l964 Elvis was working on his endless movies, and the Beatles were scampering all over the place. Finally Brian Epstein and Tom Parker got their act together—but said, “no press…no cameras…no tape recorders.” So I was the fly on the wall watching at first the awkwardness of Elvis, who was never comfortable with strangers—that’s why he hung out with his Memphis Mafia. Finally I watched as nothing happened—and then Elvis, looking slightly peeved, with sideburns that reminded me of shag carpeting–, jumped up and said “I’m going to bed—unless you guys came to jam.” That broke the ice. They plugged in guitars, Ringo went to play pool/billiards in the other room, and for about 20 minutes they jammed. No Beatle songs. Elvis stuff and other blues.

BM: You also were there when Bob Dylan brought a certain substance to meet the Beatles. How did they all get along, and was there really weed in the garden?

Ivor: Not sure there was weed in the back garden—but I saw Dylan, wearing a backpack, and looking scruffy, with wispy face hair, and like someone whose picture you might see on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, show up at their hotel near the airport. I did not partake of the shared ciggies—but sat in the next door room. They put wet towels on the floor between the doors and the area I was sitting in. Brian had put on a farewell party at the hotel—so we waited—free drinks courtesy of Brian– while Dylan and the lads got together in the next room. About80 minutes later, the doors opened. I saw Ringo rolling on the floor, laughing. Dylan was on the way out. The rest of the group looked a little worse for wear, and I was told that Ringo’s condition came about because he had been given a fat marijuana cigarette. Not knowing the Protocol, he thought the ciggie was for him—and him alone– and he had imbibed heavily before Dylan realized that he wasn’t going to share it—and removed what was left of it—and passed it around. Although I was not at the time an afficianado of pot, I realized that the high quality “fat” joint, that Dylan had kindly provided, was to be shared. By all!

BM: The concerts seem to have been events filled with female hysteria and inferior sound systems being drowned out. What did you make of the shows?

Ivor: Partly answered above. Female hysteria was rampant. The Beatles often could not hear themselves, and the sound systems were pathetically weak. Also the Beatles never deviated from their concerts. About ten or so songs—done at breakneck speed and usually finished in well under thirty minutes! The Beatles delighted in trying to break their record. No between song chit-chat, maybe a line “this is from our new film…..” And they launched into a Hard Day’s Night. Only in Kansas City they threw in Kansas City. Otherwise it was songs by rote.

BM: Each Beatle was dubbed as cute, quiet, acerbic, or sort of lovable goofy. Were these traits accurate, or overdone?

Ivor: They all had a brilliant Liverpudlian sense of humor—and they used it to ward off the craziness of the tour, and the endless press conferences, with the same questions. Ten minutes on the ground in Toronto, and someone would ask “What do you think of our Canadian women!!!!” Plus endless a questions about their hair. Those of us who were regulars on the tour, might get a wave from Derek Taylor to ask a question which signaled “let’s go boys” It was, “When do you think the Beatles bubble will burst…”

The entire Beatles tour entourage in 1964 in Chicago, including correspondent Ivor Davis (back left, just to the right of man with camera)

BM: Which Beatle did you feel the most affinity with, and how did they treat you?

Ivor: I liked John best. He was outrageous, full of black wit, off the wall and the most provocative. He liked to provoke you with outrageous questions. He had a lighting mind—a bit like Robin Williams who I also got to know. (Williams, of course was NOT on the Beatles tour—only his brain, like John’s, was razor sharp.) Paul was a grand Shmoozer. He served me gin and tonics on the plane and was a charmer. George was surly at first—difficult for me because I was supposed to ghost his newspaper column for my newspaper which was the London Daily Express—“four million readers a day!”. But for the first ten days I couldn’t get him to tell me what he thought about the trip. So I made up his column—until he sat next to me on the jet and complained, “My family in Liverpool say my column is a load of old shite.” Stung by this—it was true of course, because I played it safe by writing trite rubbish—I suggested that he take time out and give me some genuine input. Things improved between us. Ringo: Strangely he was fairly shy to start with. I think he was being a bit careful, because he realized that Beatle drummers were expendable! But after a week or so he blossomed—and was one of the funniest, particularly when the Beatles had to do their mandatory press conferences for local media on the tour. As the Beatles left I saw lots of signs at the airport, “Ringo for President.”

BM: What was Brian Epstein like, as you interacted with him? Often he is not given too much mention in the expansive Beatles coverage.

Ivor: Brian tried to keep himself aloof from the craziness. He always showed up in shirt and tie. A bit overdressed for the occasion. He lurked on the edges of press conferences but left the details to Derek Taylor. I saw him telling John off for smoking, and if one of the Beatles used bad language in public, or a swear word, he would tell them off—quietly in the corner. I got to know him better halfway through the tour: We had both been forced to do National Service in the British military—and we were both Jewish. On Yom Kippur—the holiest day of the Jewish calendar—Brian wanted to go to the synagogue. And I was asked to get a ticket for him. I did. But on the appointed day Brian had left town—and Derek apologized saying “he had to go to New York.” Brian felt he was the guardian of the Beatles image—and took that role very seriously.

BM: Will you please tell us about, ‘The Beatles and Me On Tour’?

Ivor: Long after I traveled with the Beatles—I used to tell people about my adventures. Finally nearly half a century later I decided to write a book about my adventures with the Fab Four. As a foreign correspondent, I covered many major stories in America: Assassinations, murders, presidential campaigns– And the Beatles were a footnote. Finally I sat down and wrote about the insane but memorable historical journey with John Paul George and Ringo—and I had great fun telling all. The good, the bad and sometimes the ugly! But mostly the Good.

BM: What is your viewpoint of the Beatles animated film, “Yellow Submarine’?

Ivor: I loved it when I saw it—and looking at it today it’s an incredible treat. And it is rich with their songs. Also, it is so so perfect for the psychedelic period. And kids adore it. But let me put things in perspective with a little “ancient” history. The Beatles first movie for United Artists was a smash hit: “A Hard Day’s Night.” The second film in their contract was a bit of a mess “Help.” But most people didn’t realize that the Beatles were contracted to do “three movies” for UA. And they cleverly decided to sort of get out of their contractual obligations by doing the animated film: To start with their voices are not the Beatles but done by actors: And the Beatles snickered and said they now had fully fulfilled their Hollywood obligations—because in the final scene they actually appear. They didn’t realize it would become so popular.

BM: What have you cooked up with Brooke Halpin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Yellow Submarine?

Ivor: We will give them all the fascinating behind the scenes facts about the making of the movie—and tell them that thanks to the phenomenal technological improvements in the movie world, it has been immaculately digitized so today’s film is 100 times better than the original. And there’s the legendary Beatles music.

BM: How can your fans keep up to date on what you are up to?

Ivor: My new book out this Summer is for kids: It’s called “Ladies and Gentlemen—the Penguins” It’s a fanciful fable about a famous Penguin rock group from the remote British Falkland Islands who grow up to become one of the most successful pop groups in the world. Even bigger—well almost—than the Beatles.

Written by Bob Wilson


Ivor Davis & Brooke Halpin Host Yellow Submarine

We’re delighted to announce that Malibu Screening Room has just been approved to join the global celebration of the 50th anniversary of YELLOW SUBMARINE! On Sunday, July 8th, theaters the world over will be showing a stunningly restored digital presentation of the original Beatles classic.Every individual frame of the 1968 film has been painstakingly retouched by hand, with the original soundtrack remixed at the famed Abbey Road Studios for 5.1 surround sound playback. It all starts when doors open at 7:30PM for the free wine reception at the Malibu Screening Room. Joining us for the event: two world-renowned Beatles experts, Brooke Halpin (who hosts the internationally distributed radio show, “Come Together with the Beatles”) and Ivor Davis, the journalist assigned to travel with the Beatles during their very first U.S. tour. Ivor and Brooke will be signing copies of their latest books before introducing the film around 8PM.