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By Posted on 0 9

The Beatles may have been four of the most photographed individuals in the 20th Century and new images emerge almost regularly. A new crop of 413 negatives, including copyright, of The Beatles’ first U.S. concerts were sold at England’s Omega Auctions on Saturday for $358,000.

“This is an incredible archive, entire archive to be sold with copyright, this is a unique opportunity for collectors and investors alike” said auctioneer Paul Fairweather. Forty-six of these images were sold at a special auction by Christie’s in New York in 2011, the rest have never been seen. The photographs were shot by Mike Mitchell, who was 18 at the time. He caught the band’s their arrival at Union Station, a pre-show press conference and performances at the Washington Coliseum and the Baltimore Civic Centre.

The Beatles’ show at the Washington Coliseum on February 11, 1964 was their first American concert. It happened two days after their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. The band played in the round at the center of the crowd. The stage was revolved every few songs, and John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison had to reposition their amps. Ringo Starr had to move his entire drum set through the evening. The audience loved it.

The Beatles played “Roll Over Beethoven;” “From Me to You;” “I Saw Her Standing There;” “This Boy;” “All My Loving;” “I Wanna Be Your Man;” “Please Please Me;” “Till There Was You;” “She Loves You;” “I Want to Hold Your Hand;” “Twist and Shout;” and “Long Tall Sally.” The opening acts were The Caravelles, Tommy Roe, and the Chiffons. After the concert, the Beatles went to a party at the British Embassy, which they left in disgust after a diplomat tried to cut off a lock of Ringo’s hair. The Beatles later returned to New York to play two half-hour sets at Carnegie Hall.

The Beatles’ two Sunday shows at the Civic Center on September 13, 1964, were they only time the band played Baltimore. They played to a total of 28,000 fans at a maximum ticket price of $3.75. The opening acts were The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon.

George Harrison’s black Mercedes 500 SEL AMG, which was featured in the official video for the Beatles reunion song “Real Love,” was also sold at Omega Auctions, for $61,000. A signed hotel register from a night at The Bull in Peterborough, which all four musicians and their manager Brian Epstein signed also sold.

Photographer Mitchell stored the negatives in a box in his basement for nearly 50 years.



By Posted on 0 19

The Beatles pose with executives from Capitol Records backstage at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in September, 1964. From left: John Lennon, Paul White, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Geoffrey Racine (holding an award), Taylor Campbell and Ringo Starr. Mr. White designed and compiled several Canadian-only albums by the Fab Four.

He’s the man who first brought the Beatles’ music to Canada – a year before America embraced Beatlemania. He then opened the doors for other British Invasion acts and went on to sign the first wave of Canadian pop artists during the 1960s, including Anne Murray and Edward Bear, in his capacity as Capitol Records’ artists and repertoire (A&R) executive in Canada.

When Paul White died after a cardiac arrest on March 13, the music industry mourned the loss of a jovial gentleman and creative trailblazer. He was 85.

Along with issuing Beatles’ singles, beginning with Love Me Do on Feb. 18, 1963, and hitting No. 1 with She Loves You by the end of the year, Mr. White designed and compiled several Canadian-only albums by the Fab Four, including Beatlemania! With the Beatles, Twist and Shout and Long Tall Sally. At his instigation, Capitol Canada also released singles and albums by such other English bands as Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Dave Clark Five, the Animals, the Hollies, the Yardbirds and Manfred Mann.

Recalled former Vancouver DJ and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Red Robinson: “Paul White was the driving force. Without his vision and his ear, we’d never have had all those great British Invasion sounds. That’s what put Capitol on top.”

With his company’s coffers filled thanks to that success, Mr. White went on a mission to invest in domestic talent, well before other labels. His first Canadian signing was the Ottawa band the Esquires, followed by the Staccatos (later called Five Man Electrical Band), Alberta-based acts Barry Allen and Wes Dakus and Toronto’s Malka & Joso folk duo and rockers Jack London & the Sparrows (which became Steppenwolf). But his biggest Canadian success was undoubtedly Anne Murray. Find out about “that barefoot girl with the extraordinary voice,” he instructed Capitol’s Maritimes salesman, after seeing her perform on CBC’s Singalong Jubilee.

Discovering that Ms. Murray was already signed to a small independent Toronto label, Arc Records, Mr. White welcomed her and producer Brian Ahern into his office when they came looking for a better deal. Says Ms. Murray: “Paul gave us everything we asked for. Even when Brian said we’d like strings on the next album, Paul said ‘Sure, okay.’ We couldn’t believe our ears.” After Snowbird became an international million-selling hit, Ms. Murray released another dozen albums at Capitol under Mr. White’s direction, earning 10 No. 1 singles, 14 Juno Awards (she eventually won a total of 24) and the first of four Grammys.

“Paul was a lovely man,” Ms. Murray added, “honest and true – a real straight shooter – and did everything with such kindness. He was always very supportive of me.”

The day he auditioned the Beatles’ Love Me Do and decided to release it was auspicious – although the single only initially sold 170 copies. Mr. White followed it with the group’s Please Please Me, which sold 280, and then From Me to You, which inched sales up to about 300. But Mr. White persisted in his belief that this English group had potential, using his nationally distributed promotion newsletter, The Sizzle Sheet, to urge radio programmers across Canada to spin the records. Recalled Mr. White: “When She Loves You got released, things went berserk.” The rampant success prompted him to reissue the earlier singles to meet public demand.
Paul White, third from left, is shown with members of the Esquires, from left, Don Norman, Paul Huot, Richard Patterson, Gary Comeau and Clint Heirlihy. Taken in the early 1960s.

The Beatles in Canada

Paul White, third from left, is shown with members of the Esquires, from left, Don Norman, Paul Huot, Richard Patterson, Gary Comeau and Clint Heirlihy. Taken in the early 1960s.

Capitol Records

According to Piers Hemmingsen, author of The Beatles in Canada: The Origins of Beatlemania, Mr. White’s role in breaking the Beatles is indisputable. “Some might say Paul White was in the right place at the right time, working for Capitol Records,” Mr. Hemmingsen says, “but his counterpart in the U.S. didn’t see fit to release those records initially. Paul was simply ahead of the curve. Plus, he was very smooth and charming in his dealings with radio and press people, which really helped.”

With his English accent, the bearded record executive became a dashing man about town in Toronto, often seen in nightclubs and restaurants sporting an ascot and houndstooth jacket. He hung out with Capitol recording stars like Nat King Cole (his favourite artist) and once dated singer Bobbie Gentry, of Ode to Billie Joe fame. But Marlene Greenbury, who worked with Mr. White during the 1960s, remembers him as genial and down-to-earth, “completely without airs.”

Robbie Lane had firsthand experience with Mr. White when the Capitol executive leased his material and released several singles and one album of his group, Robbie Lane and the Disciples. “The thing that impressed me about Paul was his willingness to go out and see bands,” Mr. Lane says. “It was hard to get record company guys to come out to the clubs, because they had families. But Paul was always eager to hunt out a new discovery.”

Other artists recall Mr. White’s generosity. Danny Marks, formerly of Edward Bear and now a solo musician and DJ at Jazz FM, remembers the time he was in Mr. White’s office and the Capitol executive offered him a life-changing gift. “He said, ‘Danny, I’m scaling back stuff. Take any albums you want,’ pointing at this wall of records,” Mr. Marks recalled. “I grabbed Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Charlie Christian, Willie Lewis & His Entertainers and about 20 others. Suddenly I was listening to all this amazing music and realized for the first time that rock wasn’t everything. If you thought Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck were great guitarists – wait until you hear Les Paul, Chet Atkins and James Burton! Paul enriched me greatly with a just wave of his hand.”

Along with Edward Bear, Mr. White signed such Canadian acts in the 1970s as Beau Dommage, Pierre Lalonde, Colleen Peterson and Domenic Troiano. When he left Capitol-EMI in 1978, to go work for Anne Murray’s management company, Balmur Ltd., colleagues and many of the artists he’d worked with, including Sylvia Tyson and the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, attended the farewell party that the label threw for him.
Paul White with Nat King Cole. Piers Hemmingsen

During the nineties, Mr. White worked at BMG Music Canada as manager of catalogue product releases. One of his projects was Made in Canada: Our Rock ‘n’ Roll History, a compilation series that mined vintage pop hits. It paved the way for other retrospectives.

In his later years, Mr. White and his second wife, Valarie (née Cripps), whom he married in 1984, travelled frequently with friends. When she was stricken with Parkinson’s disease, he became her devoted caregiver. She died in 2016.Mr. White never lost his fondness for his English roots and remained a fan of novelist P.G. Wodehouse, British TV drama and radio’s The Goon Show. He also kept stocked up on jars of marmite, Bovril and extra-strong Marks & Spencer breakfast tea. Nor did he lose his connection to the early Capitol releases – he could still remember the catalogue number of the best-selling album back then, the soundtrack to The King and I – or the Beatles, taking part in the Fab Four-themed exhibition When the Beatles Rocked Toronto in 2016.



By Posted on 0 10

A cache of unseen Beatles photos documenting the Fab Four’s earliest U.S. concerts in 1964 sold at an England auction Saturday for over $358,000.

The lot of 413 negatives – 350 of which had never been seen – and their copyrights were from the collection of photographer Mike Mitchell, who as an 18-year-old took photos of the Beatles’ February 11, 1964 concert in Washington, D.C. (their first U.S. concert) and Baltimore on September 13th. The photographs captured the band both onstage and taking part in pre-show press conferences. Mitchell previously sold a lot of nearly 50 silver gelatin prints from the Washington, D.C. concert at a Christie’s auction in 2011; that auction yielded $362,000, far exceeding pre-auction estimates.

Other Beatles-related items at Omega Auctions’ Saturday event included a black Mercedes 500 SEL AMG that George Harrison owned for 16 years (sold at auction for $61,000), a reel containing an unreleased Harrison song titled “Hello Miss Mary Bee” ($24,000) and a hotel registry signed by all four Beatles and manager Brian Epstein ($14,000).

The negatives with copyright were sold at Omega Auctions on Saturday in northwestern England. Apart from 46 images that were sold in 2011, the remainder has never been seen.

A 1984 black Mercedes once owned by George Harrison also sold for $61,047 at the same auction.



By Posted on 1 15

Trainspotting director Danny Boyle has given a high school a starring role in his new film – and some of the pupils could be cast as extras. Photographs for roles were due to take place at Acle Academy on Thursday as the big screen beckons for the school and its community.

In a statement posted on Facebook the school said it was “absolutely thrilled.”
The statement said: “We are very excited to announce that the Oscar winning director Danny Boyle has chosen Acle Academy as a location for a film shoot for his latest film collaboration with Richard Curtis.
“Students of Acle Academy have the wonderful opportunity to appear as extras in the scene.“Photographs for casting are taking place on Thursday.“Students must have parental consent in order to be photographed and they must return the consent forms to the office.“We are absolutely thrilled with this opportunity for our school.”

Earlier in the month it was reported that Danny Boyle and comedy scribe Richard Curtis, known for Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, had joined forces to work on a film built around the music of the Beatles.
The only actor cast so far was reported as Himesh Patel, who played Tamwar Masood for several years on EastEnders.
It was said that filming was expected to start later in the spring in locations including London and Norfolk.
Acle Academy principal Helen Watts said she was unable to comment further.
Mr Boyle is behind a series of hit films, such as 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours.He also directed the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. His first film was Shallow Grave in 1995.
It has been recently announced he will be behind the camera for the latest addition to one of cinema’s most iconic film series – James Bond. Provisionally called Bond 25 the film is due to be out November 2019.
Mr Curtis is known primarily for romantic comedy films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually, and About Time. He is also known for the hit sitcoms Blackadder, Mr Bean, and The Vicar of Dibley.



By Posted on 1 13

In 1964, The Beatles made a huge step towards fighting racial segregation by refusing to play a show that had split the audience without their consent.

Showed their support for the US civil rights movement, refusing to perform to a segregated concert at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida. As the pressure of The Beatles not performing threatened to boil over, officials at the concert eventually allowed the segregated audience to merge together. Upon entering the stage, John Lennon said: “We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now.
“I’d sooner lose our appearance money,” he added.

The details of the incident were later captured in the recent and comprehensive documentary ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week’ directed by Ron Howard. “Their first controversial political stance didn’t have to do with Vietnam, it had to do with segregation in the South’, director Howard explained. “They found out that one of their concerts in Jacksonville, Florida was meant to be segregated and they refused to play it that way. They even had in their contract they would not play to segregated audiences. It was a ludicrous idea to them,” he added.

“But it was clear to them and that’s the position they took, and lo and behold, they de-segregated that concert’, he continued. “Often, the world was influencing what the Beatles were going through and the Beatles were influencing the way the world looked at things,” Howard said.
“When we were making the film, all these little facts had come out and Ron was sifting through them with his team,” Paul McCartney later explained. “We were due to play Jacksonville (Florida) in the States and we found out that it was going to be a segregated audience – blacks one side, whites the other – and it just seemed so mad, we couldn’t understand that. So we just said, ‘We’re not playing that!’”

“The concert we did do was the first non-segregated audience,” he adds. “And there was a girl, Kitty, who remembers it well as her first contact with whites, really, in a concert situation.

“So I’m very proud of that and it actually ended up in our contract – ‘will not play segregated audiences’ – and back then, you know, to us it was just common sense. But it turns out it was quite a statement.”

One year later, The Beatles secured an official contract signed by manager Brian Epstein that specified that the band “not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience”.

source: FarOutMagazine





By Posted on 0 , 6

“Whenever you say ‘Beatles’ – that’s the magic word,” said Springfield-based filmmaker and super-Beatle fan Robert Bartel. He would know. His 1999 documentary A Beatle in Benton, Illinois – which details a single fortnight visit to the southern Illinois town in 1963 by 20-year-old George Harrison in order to see his married sister – is not only a consistent seller nationwide but has bizarrely managed to win Bartel a best documentary “Oscar” statuette 19 years after the film’s initial release (a 240-minute, two-DVD version was released in 2016).

Harrison and his brother, Peter, arrived in Benton on Sept. 17, 1963. The Beatles were already superstars in England and across Europe but were still unknown in the United States. (“I Want to Hold Your Hand” would be released stateside and go straight to number one on the Billboard charts in January of 1964.) “Ringo was supposed to come with them but he backed out because he wanted to go with Paul to Paris,” said Bartel, matter-of-factly. “John was in Spain having his, uh, thing with [Beatles manager] Brian Epstein.”
George’s sister, Louise, had settled in Benton after marrying a Scotsman named Gordon Caldwell who, after stints in the Arctic Circle and in Peru, had found work in Franklin County as an engineer with Freeman Coal (now Freeman Energy), headquartered in Springfield. George, just 20 at the time, was nicknamed “that skinny little kid from England” by locals. Already wealthy from the success of the Fab Four in Europe, Harrison did his part to stimulate the southern Illinois economy during his visit, having arrived with scads of cash. He reportedly bought giant stacks of records from a Benton record store (including the original version of his future solo hit “I’ve Got My Mind Set on You”) as well as purchasing a Rickenbacker guitar (rare in the UK) from Red Fenton’s music store in Mt. Vernon. Harrison was also introduced to Gerald “Gabe” McCarty, leader and bass player of local rock ’n’ roll combo The Four Vests, and sat in with the band on some Chuck Berry tunes during a concert at the Benton VFW hall on Sept. 28, 1963. Soon after, The Four Vests learned the entire Please Please Me LP (still unreleased in America) from the copy Louise had received in the mail from her mother, making them the first Beatles cover band. On Sept. 28, Louise, George and Peter went to West Frankfort, where they persuaded the on-air DJ to make WFRX the first radio station in the United States to spin a Beatles record (“From Me To You”).

Bartel’s documentary began as an act of preservation. In 1994, he was working as a licensed private detective when a case took him to Benton by chance. “My wife, Janice, and I had seen Louise Harrison at BeatleFest in ’93 and ’94, talking about her time living in Benton,” Bartel said. “While I was working that case in town I looked up Gordon Caldwell in the phone directory for 1964, got the address and went over there.” Bartel was shocked to see a backhoe sitting against the back of the house. “I thought, what are they doing? They can’t tear this house down, the Beatle people will go nuts!” Bartel canvassed the neighborhood and learned that the Mines and Minerals department of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources had plans to use the space for a parking lot. “No way!” Bartel said, reliving his reaction. “I’m going to lay down in front of this backhoe – civil disobedience, whatever – they’re not going to tear down this house, I’ve got to get ahold of Louise and she’s going to fly in and save the day.”
Soon, Bartel rallied District 12 Senator Jim Ray, the Illinois governor’s office, Congressman Glenn Poshard and the mayor of Benton to his cause and halted the demolition plans. The house now operates as The Hard Day’s Night Bed and Breakfast. The publicity led to Danny Malkovich, who owned the Benton Evening News, contacting Bartel with the story of how he and his brother, future famed actor John Malkovich, met George and Peter Harrison on the Benton town square. The oddball story of the two future celebrities’ chance 1963 meeting soon went out on the Associated Press wire, resulting in what Bartel described as six months of international phone calls attempting to verify the anecdote.
As for the documentary itself, Bartel – who, along with his wife, has accumulated enough Beatles memorabilia over the years to run a museum out of his home – says the production was largely done on the spot. “I interviewed all the principal people and then went to the principal locations,” he said. “I was preserving Illinois history – and as a Beatle fan I wasn’t trying to ignore the fact that one of the most famous icons in the world came to a little hillbilly town in southern Illinois.” In 1999, the film won documentary awards at both the Berkeley film festival and the Brooklyn Film Institute

The 50th anniversary version of A Beatle in Benton, Illinois was released on DVD in 2016, which attracted the attention of a company called Red Carpet Concierge International, which holds an annual “regional Oscar” ceremony (not affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) on Feb. 24 in Chicago. Bartel, who had been nominated in the “best writer” category for a different project, was blindsided when his name was called to receive the award for best documentary. “It was at the JC Martini Club,” he recalled. “There were all kinds of Frenchies and Italians there, everybody’s kissin’ everybody and talking in foreign languages and I hear my name get called for best documentary. I almost lost my mind!”
Bartel’s involvement in a dangerous multi-car highway accident on the way back to Springfield after the ceremony – in the aftermath of which he and his “Oscar” statuette traveled together in an ambulance – did little to dampen his sense of pride and accomplishment. “It’s an Illinois story, it’s a Beatle story, it’s historical, and I connected the dots,” he said.