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By Posted on 0 13

The award-winning ‘The Beatles Story’ in Liverpool is celebrating 50 years since The Beatles travelled to Rishikesh, India with the launch of a new special exhibition.

Opening in February 2018, ‘Beatles in India’ will look at this key and relatively secretive part of the Beatles’ story with never-before-seen memorabilia, imagery and personal accounts from the people who were there with the band in 1968. A sitar used by Ravi Shankar will go onto display within the new immersive area, loaned to The Beatles Story by the Ravi Shankar Foundation. As George Harrison’s mentor, Ravi’s influence on the Beatle ultimately helped to popularise the use of Indian instruments in 1960s pop music.

The exhibit will also include photography from Paul Saltzman, a sound engineer for the National Film Board of Canada at the time, who photographed The Beatles during their stay. He is responsible for some of the most iconic and intimate images of the Fab Four in India.

Pattie Boyd, former wife to George Harrison, and her sister Jenny Boyd, who were amongst the star-studded list of attendees in India, will be providing their personal insight into the time. The exhibit will look at the groups’ inspiration for the trip, their introduction into Transcendental Meditation as well as the songs they worked on in advance of the White Album.


Speaking about her involvement, Pattie Boyd said: “I am delighted to have been invited to be a part of The Beatles Story’s new ‘Beatles In India’ exhibition, marking the 50th anniversary of the trip to Rishikesh. It really was a special, magical time; forming many memories and, of course, an abundance of great Beatles music. I look forward to sharing thoughts and memories of India as part of the exhibition”.

Diane Glover, Marketing Manager at The Beatles Story, visited Rishikesh in April 2017 to meet with government officials and went to the Maharishi’s Ashram, which has recently opened as a tourist attraction. She said: “It’s a magical place, to be honest, and as we walked through the remains of the Maharishi’s Ashram, it is clearly a place of peace and seclusion”. “The 1968 visit was an important time of reflection for The Beatles as their manager, Brian Epstein had sadly passed away in the summer of 1967, and they escaped away from their fans and the media in search of spirituality”.

2018 will also recognise what would have been George Harrison’s 75th birthday – the Beatle celebrated his 25th birthday with friends at the Ashram. Celebrations for this will form part of a year-long programme of unique Indian-inspired events, workshops and Q&A sessions. The new exhibit will be one of the highlights during a year in which Liverpool celebrates its fantastic cultural offering, ten years after the city was awarded ‘European Capital of Culture’ status. ‘Beatles in India’ will become part of The Beatles Story’s exhibition on the Albert Dock for two years and is scheduled to open to the public on 16th February 2018, 50 years to the day that John Lennon, George Harrison and their wives Cynthia Lennon and Pattie Boyd arrived in India.

To find out more and to purchase tickets please visit


By Posted on 0 11

Ray Thomas, the singer and multi-instrumentalist for the Moody Blues, died on Thursday (January 4) after a multi-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 76.

Moody Blues multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas has tragically died just months before his long-awaited induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He had just turned 76 on Dec. 29.

Thomas added a key flute solo to their signature hit “Nights in White Satin,” as Days of Future Passed soared to platinum-selling status in the U.S. He later confirmed that he and Pinder sang backup vocals on the Beatles‘ “I Am the Walrus,” and that he played harmonica on “Fool on the Hill,” from Magical Mystery Tour.

Esoteric and Cherry Red Records confirmed his death this morning, saying Thomas “passed away suddenly at his home in Surrey on Thursday.” Thomas revealed, via his personal website, that he’d been diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer in 2013, but no official cause of death was initially mentioned.


By Posted on 0 , 16

A book featuring rare photographs of The Beatles clicked by Emmy award-winning producer-director Paul Saltzman during the iconic groups India visit 50 years ago will hit stores next month.

Titled “The Beatles in India”, the book celebrates 50 years of the bands famous trip to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram in Rishikesh. During their visit, The Beatles studied transcendental meditation, and wrote some of their most memorable music. No other person, except Saltzman, was allowed to photograph the group which had John, Paul, Ringo and George.

The book, published by Simon & Schuster India, also contains a detailed narrative by Saltzman about the story of how “Dear Prudence” came to be and George’s description of the first time he picked up a sitar. George´s former wife Pattie Boyd has written the foreword for the book. After parting ways with the legendary guitarist, Boyd married musician Eric Clapton.

This NEW EDITION brings intimate images of the group,taken at an ashram in Rishikesh, India,to a wider audience than ever before.No photographers or press were allowed at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas,but the Beatles had no objection to fellow visitor Paul Saltzman freely snapping pictures during their time there. This unprecedented access resulted in an extensive collection of intimate photos of the world’s most beloved rock band during one of their most serene and productive periods.
THE BEATLES IN INDIA (2018) By Paul Saltzman(Author),‎Tim B. Wride(Preface),‎Donovan Leitch(Afterword),‎ PATTIE BOYD (Foreword) Will be released on February 13, 2018.


By Posted on 0 16

The Beatles, in Knole Park, Sevenoaks shooting a promotional film for Strawberry Fields from the Magical Mystery Tour Album, 1967 Photograph: Jane Bown

GNM Archive has a serendipitous set of rare colour photographs taken of the Beatles by Jane Bown in 1967

Jane Bown (1925-2014) worked for the Observer for 65 years, taking unforgettable images of hundreds of subjects. She used basic equipment and often relied solely on available light and is known for her iconic black and white photographs. She honed a deceptively simple technique to produce her highly distinctive photographs. The GNM Archive holds an extensive collection of her work.

In the 1960s Jane was asked to shoot in colour for the Observer’s colour magazine but was never comfortable using it and abandoned it after three years. She told Luke Dodd, her archivist, in an interview for the Unknown Bown book and exhibition in 2007 that: “In those days, colour was very inflexible – I had to learn to bracket them. With black and white it’s usually possible to salvage something in the darkroom however bad the shoot might have been. And with colour, editors tended to want photo essays and I was always best at the single shot. I’m a one-shot girl, always have been!”

In January 1967 Jane was walking the dog with her young nephew in Knole Park near her Sevenoaks home. They came across a bizarre scene; “the Beatles gathered around a piano in the middle of the park. They were filming Magical Mystery Tour and nobody knew they were there. John was running around with his new toy, a cine camera, filming everything, including me. I had only two roles of [colour] film with me, but took what I could. The sole audience was a row of five little girls, Vita Sackville West’s granddaughters, peeping over the wall of her old home in the park. By this time the band had started dressing pretty oddly, especially John, decked out in flapping, colourful pyjama trouser things with a black coat and those glasses. He was bursting with energy, he was so inquiring, that’s what I remember most”.
Jane had first shot the Beatles backstage at a concert in East Ham in 1963. She told Luke Dodd that during the 1967 accidental encounter John Lennon took footage of her on his cine camera but the film has never emerged.

The photographs were taken on a 35mm Pentax camera. There is no record of them appearing in the Observer colour magazine but copies were kept on file. Black and white copies were made in case they were needed in the future by the newspaper.
These photographs form part of the colour negatives and transparencies portrait series of Jane Bown’s extensive archive which is held at the Guardian News & Media Archive. A catalogue of Jane Bown’s work is available to search online and researchers interested in making an appointment to consult the collection should email the archive team.



By Posted on 0 16

Ron Campbell, the artist and director behind the 1960s Saturday morning Beatles cartoon, is coming to Chattanooga art gallery Area 61.

Campbell, also the animator of the film “Yellow Submarine,” has worked on an array of other cartoon classics, such as “Scooby-Doo,” “Winnie the Pooh” and “Rugrats.”

He will be at local art gallery Area 61 Jan. 16 and 17 from 5 to 9 p.m. both days.
He will showcase his original Beatles cartoon paintings created specifically for this tour.  Campbell will also create new Beatles pop art paintings at the exhibit. And there will be other artwork based on his 50-year career in cartoons. The exhibit is free, and all works are available for purchase.

The events will be at Area 61’s new space in the Clemons Building at 730 Chestnut St.



By Posted on 0 14

The vinyl revival continued in 2017 — and people clearly needed more Beatles records for their turntables, because the band took the top two spots on the year-end sales chart for the resurgent format.

Billboard reports that vinyl sales hit another peak in 2017, moving 14.32 million units and edging up 9 percent over last year’s previous high. That total represents the largest number of vinyl albums that’s been purchased in a year since 1991 — the year the company’s SoundScan sales data was incorporated into Billboard’s chart methodology, starting a new era in the process.
The year saw healthy vinyl sales for a variety of acts — the report notes that nearly 80 albums in all moved more than 20,000 units in the format — but the top of the charts remains unsurprisingly skewed toward rock. The Beatles took the top two spots, with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band selling 72,000 copies and Abbey Road close behind with 66,000 copies.
All in all, vinyl accounted for 8.5 percent of all album sales in 2017 — a two-percent jump over 2016 — and grew to 14 percent of all physical sales, up from 11 percent the year before. The format continued to be a bright spot in a changing market, shoring up numbers as consumers migrated away from digital album sales (down 19.6 percent) and toward streaming (up a whopping 50 percent, according to a report published by data firm BuzzAngle Music).

2017’s Top Selling Vinyl Albums
1. The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 72,000 copies
2. The Beatles, Abbey Road – 66,000
3. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 – 62,000
4. Ed Sheeran, Divide – 62,000
5. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black – 58,000
6. Prince, Purple Rain (Soundtrack) – 58,000
7. Bob Marley and the Wailers, Legend: The Best of… – 56,000
8. Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon – 54,000
9. Soundtrack, La La Land – 49,000
10. Michael Jackson, Thriller – 49,000