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WHY JOHN LENNON DIDN’T SHOW UP FOR THE LAST BEATLES RECORDING SESSION

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When The Beatles took the roof of the Apple building in January 1969, spectators got a glimpse of the Fab Four making Let It Be, the band’s final release. And, though no one could have known it at the time, they were witnessing the last live Beatles performance.
Though the group didn’t announce it had broken up until April 1970, there hadn’t been a Beatles (as everyone knew it) for months. In fact, the last time all the band members were in a studio together was August ’69, when they wrapped up Abbey Road.
But Let It Be still needed some work prior to its release. So Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr met in the Apple studios for one last session in early ’70. And the band finished Harrison’s “I Me Mine.”
If you check the credits on that track, you won’t find John Lennon listed anywhere. John wasn’t even in the country at the time.
Lennon had already left the band by January ’70
After telling his bandmates he was leaving the group in September ’69, John went about his business. That included new music recorded with Eric Clapton and released as a Plastic Ono Band single that October.
At the end of December, John and Yoko Ono flew to Denmark to spend time with Yoko’s daughter, Kyoko. They stayed there until late January. In the meantime, the other three Beatles had finished “I Me Mine” and tied up the other hanging threads on Let It Be. But John wasn’t interested.

1970: John Lennon carries his wife, Yoko Ono, across the snow in North Jutland, Denmark, where they are visiting Yoko’s daughter by her previous marriage, Kyoko, who lives with Yoko’s former husband Anthony Cox and his wife Belinda. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

So Paul, George, and Ringo wrapped up the work without him. After John returned to Apple studios, he did arrange for Phil Spector to prepare Let It Be for release. But during the final Beatles studio date (Jan. 4, 1970), John was nowhere to be found.
In one “I Me Mine” take on Anthology (the above video), George jokingly acknowledges John’s absence. “You all will have read that Dave Dee is no longer with us,” George said. “But Mickey and Titch and I would just like to carry on the good work that’s always gone down in [Abbey Road Studio] No. 2.”
If you watch Let It Be, a moment between John and George stands out. While George introduces “I Me Mine” to the band, John takes the opportunity to dance a waltz with Yoko.
When the band got together the finish the track the following year, no one was surprised John didn’t show. In fact, skipping George’s songs wasn’t anything new for John. He didn’t play on three of George’s four White Album tracks and didn’t turn up on “Here Comes the Sun.”
Certainly, the two Beatles needed a break from one another by the start of 1970. But their relationship didn’t stop there. When John recorded Imagine the following year, George joined him on slide guitar (even on “How Do You Sleep?”).
In 1973, they worked together again (this time, on Ringo’s album).

MEETING THE BEATLES

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Brooke Halpin interview, by Bob Wilson

BW: Brooke, will you tell us about your fine tome, A Magical Mystery Tour. We hear through the Beatles grapevine that something new is up regarding it. But before we get to that, please describe the book, will you?
BH: Actually, to avoid confusion, we changed the name to A Magical Mystery Time so people will know it’s not the Beatles movie. AMMT is about growing up with the Beatles in the 60s, when they were together, recording their songs, performing live and appearing in their movies. For those of you were experienced the Beatles then, you know how magical it was, to hear their exciting, amazing songs for the first time. And for those of you who didn’t, my book is a realistic vehicle for you to discover what the Beatle magic was all about.
BW: Now you have also written a screenplay in that work. What is afoot regarding that?
BH: I had the good fortune to meet Robert Fitzpatrick about 12 years ago. Robert was hired by Brian Epstein and was an attorney for the Beatles. Robert was the president of Allied Artists, the film company who produced Cabaret among many others. I met up with a writer, Frank Thrumond and he and I co-wrote the screenplay adaptation and I gave it to Robert. He loved it and we signed a distribution deal with Allied Artists. At the same time, we had an investor who wanted to put up a million dollars so we could go into preproduction. Unfortunately, the investor reduced his investment to $50,000 and we were unable to raise the money to make the film. However, because movies about the Beatles continue to be made and are profitable, Allied Artists is in the process of raising the funds.
BW: If this becomes a big hit on the silver screen, will you remain humble, or become unconscionable?
BH: Oh, come on Bob! You know me. I’ll never change and Hollywood wouldn’t go to my head.
BW: Tell us what’s up on your radio show? Spare us no details?
BH: It’s hard to believe that my radio show, Come Together with the Beatles and yours truly, is approaching being on the air for 5 years. I have listeners throughout the world – London, Liverpool, France, Greece, South America and every state in the U.S. It gives me pleasure to know that so many people enjoy my show. They make it all worthwhile. It was exciting to have Ringo, Julia Baird, Laurence Juber, Spencer Davis and Ivor Davis, plus many other guests on thru the years. Listeners can hear my show on Saturday and Sundays at 12 noon pacific at radiomalibu.net.
BW: You’re are going on yet another new trip? Where will this trip take you, and what is the reahttp://beatlesmagazineuk.com/son for your trip?
BH: I’m going to Boston to record music and lyrics for a new film, yet to be titled. Maybe the title should be A Horse with No Name?
BW: Ha! Or A Film with No Name!
BH: Good one, Bob.
BW: Tell us about your earlier book, Do You Really Know The Beatles?
BH: Oh, yes Bob, we have had lots of fun with that quiz book on your radio shows. People continue to buy it so I guess they enjoy the challenge of trying to answer the 540 questions.
BW: And I know your most recent book is Experiencing the Beatles – A Listener’s Companion. Where are your books available?
BH: They are available on Amazon. Experiencing the Beatles is a companion to all the songs the Beatles recorded for the U.S. market.
BW: Yes, I know you have written some unknown information about all those everlasting Beatles songs. Well, Brooke, thanks for your time. It’s always fun talking with you.
BH: It’s my pleasure.

20 BEATLES SONGS THAT JOHN LENNON HATED

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John Lennon tore into deep cuts, treasured favorites and no less than four songs that hit No. 1 on the American or U.K. charts. Sometimes, he didn’t like the arrangement or the take the group decided to use, other times he couldn’t get past the lyrics. “I feel I could remake every fucking one of them better,” he bluntly told David Sheff in a 1980 interview for Playboy.

“A TASTE OF HONEY”
From: Please Please Me (1963)
The History: A pop standard composed for a play of the same name, “A Taste of Honey” was adapted from Lenny Welch’s 1962 vocal update during the afternoon portion of a marathon session on Feb. 11, 1963, in which the Beatles recorded most of their first album. The screenplay for A Taste of Honey was also said to have inspired Paul McCartney to write 1967’s “Your Mother Should Know.”
On the Charts: Part of their Hamburg set lists in 1962-63, and was performed seven times for BBC radio, but never released as a single.
Lennon’s Line: Lennon actually took jabs at the song while on stage with the Beatles, singing “A Waste of Money” behind McCartney’s lead vocal.

“YES IT IS”
From: Past Masters (1965)
The History: “Yes It Is” was recorded in February 1965, on the same day the Beatles completed George Harrison’s “I Need You.” Both notably featured volume-pedal work from George, though “Yes It Is” is more famous for its gorgeous three-part harmonies.
On the Charts: First appeared as the B-side to the Beatles’ No. 1 smash “Ticket to Ride.”
Lennon’s Line: “That’s me trying a rewrite of [1963’s] ‘This Boy,'” Lennon said in the 1980 interview with Playboy, “but it didn’t work.”

“IT’S ONLY LOVE”
From: Help! (1965)
The History: The Beatles completed this song, which appeared on the second side of Help!, over six takes in June 1965. By the way, McCartney later took up for “It’s Only Love” in Barry Miles’ Many Years From Now, saying: “It’s only a rock ‘n’ roll song; I mean, this is not literature.”
On the Charts: Never released as a single, “It’s Only Love” ended up on the heavily edited U.S. version of Rubber Soul.
Lennon’s Line: “That’s the one song I really hate of mine. Terrible lyric,” Lennon told Hit Parader magazine. In David Sheff’s All We Are Saying, Lennon added: “I always thought it was a lousy song. The lyrics were abysmal. I always hated that song.”

“RUN FOR YOUR LIFE”
From: Rubber Soul (1965)
The History: Lennon got this song underway by swiping a line from “Baby, Let’s Play House,” made famous by Elvis Presley in 1955 – then gave it a far more jealous edge.
On the Charts: The Beatles actually began the October 1965 sessions for Rubber Soul with “Run for Your Life,” though it ended up as the album’s final track. Never released as a single.
Lennon’s Line: John returned to this more than once over the years, saying he “always hated” it, that “Run for Your Life,” was his “least favorite Beatles song,” and calling it “just a sort of throwaway song of mine that I never thought much of.”

“PAPERBACK WRITER”
From: Past Masters (1966)
The History: “Paperback Writer” marked the end of a hectic cycle, envisioned by Brian Epstein and George Martin, in which the Beatles would release two albums and four stand-alone singles each year. Lennon argued that it led them to a cookie-cutter result.
On the Charts: Recorded in April 1966, the gold-selling “Paperback Writer” nevertheless went to No. 1 in both the U.K. and America.
Lennon’s Line: Referring to his own 1965 single featuring a “lick on a fuzzy, loud guitar,” John dismissed “Paperback Writer” as “son of ‘Day Tripper.'”

“WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR”
From: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
The History: Dusted off in December 1966 sessions for Sgt. Pepper as McCartney’s own father was turning 64, this track actually dates back to before the Beatles. Paul wrote an early version on the family piano when he was about 15. He’d later vamp on it when the Beatles had equipment break downs during very early club dates.
On the Charts: “When I’m Sixty-Four” was originally supposed to serve as the b-side to “Strawberry Fields Forever,” before George Martin and Brian Epstein suggested they use “Penny Lane” instead.
Lennon’s Line: Lennon sneeringly described McCartney’s songs in this music-hall style as “granny music shit,” according to engineer Geoff Emerick. Asked who wrote “When I’m Sixty-Four” in his 1980 talk with Playboy, Lennon said it was “Paul’s, completely. I would never dream of writing a song like that.”

“GOOD MORNING, GOOD MORNING”
From: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
The History: Also dating back to February and March 1967, “Good Morning Good Morning” was initially sparked by a Kellogg’s cereal television commercial that was playing in the background. Lennon’s stream-of-consciousness tale concludes with a roaring stampede of animals.
On the Charts: Never released as a single.
Lennon’s Line: “It’s a throwaway, a piece of garbage, I always thought,” Lennon argued in All We Are Saying. “I always had the TV on very low in the background when I was writing and it came over, and then I wrote the song.”

“LOVELY RITA”
From: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)                                                                                 The History: Recorded in February and March of 1967, McCartney’s paean to a England’s traffic wardens – known in the U.S. back then as the more colloquially interesting “meter maids” – was completed with a kazoo-like sound made with paper threaded through a comb, and a sped-up honky-tonk piano solo by George Martin.
On the Charts: Never released as a single.
Lennon’s Line: “I’m not interested in writing about people like that,” he said in 1980. “I like to write about me, because I know me. I don’t know anything about secretaries and postmen and meter maids.”

“LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS”
From: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
The History: A popular theory at the time was that “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” recorded in February and March 1967, held a coded reference to psychedelic drugs. But Lucy O’Donnell was actually the name of a school friend found in a drawing by John Lennon’s four-year-old son Julian. The classic fairy tale Alice in Wonderland also had a clear influence on this song’s imagery.
On the Charts: The Beatles didn’t release this as a single, but Elton John did – scoring a No. 1 hit in 1975 with a cover version featuring John Lennon performing as Dr. Winston O’Boogie.
Lennon’s Line: “I heard ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ last night. It’s abysmal, you know?” Lennon said in 1980. “The track is just terrible. I mean, it is a great track, a great song, but it isn’t a great track because it wasn’t made right. You know what I mean?”

“HELLO GOODBYE”
From: Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
The History: In Many Years From Now, McCartney argued that “Hello Goodbye” spoke to deeper themes of duality in the universe – man and woman, black and white, up and down, so on. Lennon, who admitted to being angry that “I Am the Walrus” appeared as this song’s B-side, just thought “Hello Goodbye” was goofy.
On the Charts: This chart-topping song was recorded during October 1967 sessions, then became the Beatles’ final single in a year of remarkable output.
Lennon’s Line: “[Hello Goodbye] smells a mile away,” he said in withering comments to Playboy, adding that it “wasn’t a great piece.” Earlier, Lennon reportedly described the tune as “three minutes of contradictions and meaningless juxtapositions.” He finally conceded, however, that “the best bit was the end, which we all ad-libbed in the studio, where I played piano.”

“ACROSS THE UNIVERSE”
From: Let It Be (1970)
The History: Lennon couldn’t quite nail this one down. Originally recorded in February 1968, “Across the Universe” took a circuitous route before finally appearing on Let It Be. The track was originally released on 1969’s No One’s Gonna Change Our World, a World Wildlife Fund charity project, then languished until second producer Phil Spector reworked it for the Beatles’ last-released album.
On the Charts: Never issued as a single.
Lennon’s Line: “It was a lousy track of a great song, and I was so disappointed by it,” he told Sheff, blaming the others – specifically McCartney – for not “supporting me or helping me with it. … Paul would sort of subconsciously try and destroy a great song, meaning that we’d play experimental games with my great pieces. Usually, we’d spend hours doing little detailed clean-ups of Paul’s songs; when it came to mine, especially if it was a great song like ‘Strawberry Fields’ or ‘Across the Universe,’ somehow this atmosphere of looseness and casualness and experimentation would creep in.”

“LADY MADONNA”
From: Past Masters (1968)
The History: The Beatles’ first release of 1968 was recorded just before they left for a doomed trip to study under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. “Lady Madonna” betrayed McCartney’s deep debt to the late early-rock legend Fats Domino, and marked a sharp turn away from the psychedelia that dominated the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper-era work.
On the Charts: Recorded in February 1968, “Lady Madonna” became another Beatles No. 1 single in the U.K., while finishing at No. 4 on the Billboard charts.
Lennon’s Line: “Good piano lick, but the song never really went anywhere,” he said in 1980. “Maybe I helped [Paul] with some of the lyrics, but I’m not proud of them either way.”

“OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA”
From: The White Album (1968)
The History: McCartney celebrated the pre-reggae sounds of Jamaican ska on this track, which was written while the Beatles were in India and then recorded in July 1968. George Harrison clearly disliked “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” too, taking a direct swipe at it in the lyrics for “Savoy Truffle” from the same album.
On the Charts: “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was a contemporary release internationally, but it didn’t become a U.S. single until 1976. Fans apparently had come to agree with Lennon by then, since the song ended up stalling out at No. 49 on the Billboard charts.
Lennon’s Line: This is the original song to elicit Lennon’s “granny shit” put down. Worse, McCartney ran the group through so many different anger-inducing takes that a frustrated Geoff Emerick quit the day after “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was completed.

“CRY BABY CRY”
From: The While Album (1968)
The History: Composed during the Beatles’ 1968 trip to India, and then recorded that July, “Cry Baby Cry” harkens back to age-old nursery rhymes like “Sing a Song of Sixpence.” They tacked on an ad-libbed snippet that McCartney recorded during a separate session for the White Album song “I Will,” as Ken Scott took over engineering duties for the now-departed Geoff Emerick.
On the Charts: Never released as a single.
Lennon’s Line: He apparently came to dislike “Cry Baby Cry” so much that he disowned it. When David Sheff asked him who wrote the song, Lennon said, “Not me. A piece of rubbish.”

“ROCKY RACCOON”
From: The White Album (1968)
The History: McCartney follows the adventures of an old-west cuckold in a goofy aside which was written on the roof of a Rishikesh ashram and then recorded in August 1968.
On the Charts: Never issued as a single – to Lennon’s eternal relief.
Lennon’s Line: “I saw Bob Hope doing it once on the telly years ago; I just thanked God it wasn’t one of mine,” Lennon was quoted as saying in Blackbird: The Life and Times of Paul McCartney. David Sheff subsequently asked him who wrote “Rocky Raccoon.” “Couldn’t you guess?” Lennon fired back. “Would I go to all that trouble about Gideon’s Bible and all that stuff?”

“BIRTHDAY”
From: The While Album (1968)
The History: The result of a September 1968 jam session at Abbey Road, “Birthday” eventually became the opening song for the second half of the Beatles’ self-titled 1968 double album. McCartney later gave Lennon credit for 50 percent of the song’s composition in Many Years From Now.
On the Charts: Never released as a single.
Lennon’s Line: “I think Paul wanted a song like ‘[Happy,] Happy Birthday Baby,’ the old ’50s hit,” he told Playboy. “It was a piece of garbage.”

“DIG A PONY”
From: Let It Be (1970)
The History: “Dig a Pony” dated back to their original January 1969 sessions at Twickenham Film Studios, though the version on Let It Be was recorded during their rooftop concert later that month. For some reason, Spector edited out Lennon’s opening line (“all I want is you”), which originally gave this song its title.
On the Charts: Never appeared as a single.
Lennon’s Line: “It was literally a nonsense song,” Lennon said in 1972. “You just take words and you stick them together, and you see if they have any meaning. Some of them do and some of them don’t.”

“LET IT BE”
From: Let It Be (1970)
The History: Though it gave their final album its title, “Let It Be” was actually part of The White Album era. Original work on the track was done on the song in January and April 1969, with final overdubs in January 1970 by Spector.
On the Charts: A No. 1 smash in the U.S., “Let It Be” was released with two different guitar solos: Harrison used a rotating Leslie on the single, and played in a more straight-forward manner on the album version.
Lennon’s Line: “That’s Paul. What can you say?” he told Sheff. “Nothing to do with the Beatles. It could’ve been Wings. I don’t know what he’s thinking when he writes ‘Let It Be.'”

“SUN KING”
From: Abbey Road (1969)
The History: The second track in Abbey Road’s lengthy medley of song fragments, “Sun King” was recorded back-to-back in July 1969 with the succeeding song, “Mean Mr. Mustard.” The trembling guitar sound from Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross” influenced Harrison’s intro; Lennon subsequently descends into gibberish that seems to combine elements of Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
On the Charts: Never released as single, this song was originally called “Here Comes the Sun King,” but the title was shortened after George submitted the similar-sounding “Here Comes the Sun.”
Lennon’s Line: “That’s a piece of garbage I had around,” he said in 1980.

“MEAN MR. MUSTARD”
From: Abbey Road (1969)
The History: Through composed during their time with the Maharishi, “Mean Mr. Mustard” sat around through sessions for The White Album and Let It Be before finally finding a home during the July 1969 sessions on Abbey Road. The song was inspired by a news item on a penny-pincher who reportedly concealed money in his rectum. An original reference to sister “Shirley” became “Pam,” in order to link “Mean Mr. Mustard” with “Polythene Pam,” the next Lennon track in the medley.
On the Charts: Never released as a single.
Lennon’s Line: He told David Sheff that “Mean Mr. Mustard” as “a bit of crap that I wrote in India,” adding that it was a “piece of garbage. I’d read somewhere in the newspaper about this mean guy who hid five-pound notes, not up his nose but somewhere else.”

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JEFF LYNNE : “I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO START WITH GEORGE HARRISON”

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Jeff Lynne talks about his latest record From Out Of Nowhere, as well as reflecting on a glittering career that’s included producing The Beatles and playing in supergroup The Travelling Wilburys.

“Songwriter, singer, drummer, guitarist – you know, he can do it all,” is Paul McCartney’s opinion on the man in the dark glasses. Indeed, it was Lynne The Beatles called when they needed help.

There was a tour around the time of Zoom (2001) which didn’t pan out, and Lynne puts it down to the tech not being quite there yet.. ELO originally called it a day back in 1986 after the inessential Balance Of Power album. Lynne had had enough.

“I was fed up with the group at that time,” he explains. “I just wanted to disband it and be a producer, and not play live gigs. I was lucky enough to start with George Harrison. Then it was Tom Petty, then the Travelling Wilburys, and then Brian Wilson. You know, amazing people. I’d produce them and we’d have great big hits! Platinum albums! I had a marvellous time, and there was no gigs to go with it. You didn’t actually have to go on the road and I just loved making records with great people – and The Beatles!”

Ah yes, The Beatles. John Lennon once called ELO “son of Beatles”, which he meant as a good thing. Lynne first worked with his pal George Harrison on 1987’s smash hit comeback Cloud Nine. When the remaining Fabs decided to record some new music for the massive Anthology project in the mid-’90s, they needed a producer after George Martin had to decline the invitation due to hearing problems. Harrison fought to get Lynne involved, to work up a very basic demo recorded by John at the piano of a song called ‘Free As A Bird’. It must have been some experience for a Beatles maniac like Lynne.

“Oh yeah, it was ridiculous,” he says, laughing at the memory. “It was the most nerve-racking thing to start with, because it was called ‘The Beatles’ and all we had was John on a cassette – just his voice and piano in mono, which you couldn’t separate. So I had to build a great big Beatles track to go with it. It had to be kind of impressive or it would be less than we were used to. I had to manufacture all that with those three playing it, and then I had to somehow fit in John, which was very difficult. It was a long process that took me a couple of days to get right. I actually did it around two in the morning, ’cause I didn’t want to look like an idiot if I didn’t get it right.
“But anyway, it sounded good and was in time – the demo was out of time, because when you’re writing a song, you’re just trying to get notes down. To get it in time, I had to do a mathematical equation for all the different phrases and each phrase would be like say three or four words, so I put it into a sampler and flew them into the track, and then left it like that. Paul came in the next day and said, ‘Well done, Jeff! You done it!’ and he gave me a big hug, so I was thrilled.”

Paul McCartney is listening back to something you’ve done with John Lennon. Surely you’re thinking, “What am I going to do if he doesn’t like it?”
“That was part of the thinking, it was like bliss at some point and…”
Fear?
“Fear at the other!”

While artists like The Beatles and Brian Wilson – “he was one of my favourites, along with The Beatles. It was a real pleasure and he let me sing a couple of harmonies” – might look like an obvious fit for Lynne, working with Bob Dylan in late ’80s superstar busman’s holiday, The Travelling Wilburys, appears less so.

“The thing is I’d been working with George for a couple of months, and he said, ‘D’you know what? Me and you should have a group.’ I said, ‘What? That’s good. Yeah, I’m in! Who should we have in it?’ And he said ‘Bob Dylan’. Of course, I’m half laughing, but then I realise he’s serious. So I said, ‘Can we have Roy Orbison as well?’ He said ‘Yeah, we’ll have Roy’, ’cause they used to tour together and we both loved Tom Petty. So we said, let’s have him. And of course when it’s George Harrison that’s doing it, it was ‘Do you want to join our group?’ and the answer was ‘Yes’. We did the first album in 10 days, 10 songs in ten days, so that was pretty amazing – the rough tracks, not the finished product.”

Alongside the massive success of Travelling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988), Lynne also worked on Roy Orbison’s fantastic Mystery Girl. There are some songs on the new record one could imagine Orbison tackling.

“He could have a go at anything, he had the greatest voice ever,” says Lynne, with obvious affection. “I think I produced three songs on Mystery Girl, and I co-wrote ‘You Got It’ with Roy and Tom, which was his first hit for like 20 years. Roy was thrilled out of his mind, and then there was a phone call early in the morning. ‘Mr. Orbison is dead.’ They hung up before I could get a chance to find out more, and I thought it was bullshit, you know. It was like six in the morning that call came so I stayed awake listening to the radio, and sure enough they announced Roy Orbison had died in Tennessee. That was the saddest thing I can remember, but what a wonderful time we had when we recorded together. He was such a lovely guy.”

Of all those huge production successes, is it possible for Lynne to point at one as a favourite?

“The trouble is that there’s bits of all of them that I love equally, but I think Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever as a whole album,” he reckons. “I have more fun listening to that. There’s so many really good songs, the harmonies are really good, and I love Tom’s voice. I think that’s probably my favourite, but Cloud Nine is right there with it.”

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BEATLES POP-UP GETS WARM WECOME IN SOHO

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An arcade area, a drum kit, an authentic U.K. photo booth and Beatles videos are some of the pop-up’s features.
With a DJ spinning Beatles hits throughout the evening, partygoers came out Tuesday night to get the first glimpse of The Beatles pop-up at 163 Mercer Street in New York. It is the first of its kind in the country, opens today and features several interactive elements.

“It’s amazing. They did a great job,” said Paul Cole, merchandising and licensing director of Apple Corps Ltd. “It captures a very good spirit with the colors and it has a great energy. We don’t really do pop-up shops. It’s the first in the U.S.

“The clothing looks fresh. It’s fun and appeals to a good, wide range of fans,” he said, adding, “You don’t need to be a fan to like the merchandise.”

Asked whether the Beatles’ popularity has peaked or does it continue to grow, he said, “They’re as popular as they’ve ever been. We keep gaining new fans and the younger generation. People think the demographics skew quite old, but they have very young fans. The Beatles are for everybody.”

The shop will stay open until Dec. 22 and is a joint venture between Sony Music’s The Thread Shop and Apple Corps Ltd., and features the first wave of products available under a new licensing agreement for The Beatles merchandising rights in North America. Products range from Beatles holiday sweaters, hats and scarves to tree ornaments, albums, coffee mugs, books, totes, socks, turntables and even a Beatles pinball machine.

In fact, as the Beatles pinball machine was being hauled off the truck and into the shop on Tuesday, it already had a buyer. Realtor Dan Melwani, founder of Rawspace Group, who leased the pop-up to Sony/Apple Corps. paid $7,999 to buy the pinball machine, which will stay at the store for the duration so visitors can play it. Melwani said he eventually plans to house it in his office.

Richard Story, president of Sony’s Commercial Music Group, said about the pop-up: “It came out fantastically. As a Brit, I really like seeing the red London phone booth, having been in the U.S. for 10 years. Getting this relationship is a real calling card and will help us attract more deals. It’s an important part of what we can offer our artists.”

Howard Lau, head of The Thread Shop, said they have a lot of licensees and most of the categories, such as home, apparel, toys and kitchen, are covered. One area they are exploring is higher-end apparel. “A brand like this can be elevated,” he said.

Album decor vignettes, an arcade area, a Beatles drum kit, a gift wrap station called Help!, Beatles videos and the authentic phone booth are some of the shop’s features.

Kristine Summer, a collector who flew in from Lexington, Ky., was taking it all in. She’s been a Beatles collector since 2011 and is one part of a documentary series that Sony is doing featuring collectors around the world. The first one airs on the Beatles Channel Wednesday.

As the night wore on, guests came to the realization that Sir Paul McCartney, who’s currently in New York and was rumored to be attending the party, wasn’t showing up. Mick Rock, the photographer and evening’s DJ, had hinted earlier in the evening that he didn’t think McCartney would be coming. “He’s wanted all over the world, 24 hours a day,” he said.

THE BEATLES – DELUXE ULTIMATE MUSIC GUIDE

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Deluxe 148-page edition of the Ultimate Music Guide to The Beatles. Featuring a blend of entertaining archive features (see: George on Abbey Road) and insightful 21st century writing on the band (Giles Martin’s remixes are reviewed in depth), it’s the definitive guide to the band.