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By Posted on 0 8

Fifty years after the Beatles came to India, the bungalows where the Fab Four lived, the post office where John Lennon sent Yoko Ono postcards and the giggling guru’s house are all ruins.Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram, where the world’s most famous group sought refuge and spirituality in 1968 and wrote much of their seminal “White Album”, fell into disuse in the early 2000s.

But thanks to the efforts of a group of locals, the site has been reclaimed from the jungle and tourists now roam where tigers and snakes were until recently the most common day trippers.

“Before, people used to sneak in, which could be dangerous,” said local journalist Raju Gusain, instrumental in rescuing the area overlooking Rishikesh in northern India.”There used to be leopard paw marks and elephant dung,” he told AFP on a tour of the site. “Now we have erected a fence to stop animals getting in from the tiger reserve next door.”

By 1968, following the death of Beatles manager Brian Epstein the year before, fissures were beginning to show between John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.But the group found a new mentor: the magnetic Maharishi who promised them happiness and enlightenment without drugs, through transcendental meditation.The bushy-bearded sage persuaded them to travel to his spiritual retreat in Rishikesh, and so in February 1968 they fetched up with their partners, not knowing quite what to expect.

A world away from “Swinging London”, the band appeared to reconnect, penning almost 50 new songs.Others there included fellow musicians Donovan and Beach Boy Mike Love, actress Mia Farrow and her reclusive sister Prudence, inspiration for Lennon’s song “Dear Prudence”.The local wildlife — although the song is also supposedly about heroin or Yoko Ono — inspired “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” as well as “Blackbird”. Paul wrote “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road” after seeing monkeys openly copulating, while Love’s presence helped spark “Back in the USSR”, a pastiche of the Beach Boys’ “California Girls”.

The band -with the exception of Ringo, who brought a supply of baked beans due to his sensitive stomach and left after 10 days- enjoyed the break and the meditation too.”I felt like I actually was a feather floating over a hot-air pipe,” McCartney recalled later of one session. “And I reported that to Maharishi, and he giggled: ‘Yes, this is good!'”

One local old enough to remember is Ajit Singh, the owner of a music shop — still open — in the nearby town of Dehradun, who fixed John’s guitar and performed at George’s 25th birthday.Turbaned, thin and with a croaky voice, the 86-year-old Singh recalls with twinkling eyes the band wandering into the store one day, pursued by a crowd outside, and him “inviting them home for tea”.”They were very polite with me, they were not haughty or something,” he told AFP in his shop. “I always said to people that they were good people.”

After a while though, relations worsened between the Beatles and the Maharishi, the atmosphere soured by the yogi’s rumoured sexual advances and his evident desire to make money from his famous new pupils.

Paul left after five weeks and George and John after two months. Asked the reason by the yogi, John is reputed to have told the guru, “If you’re so cosmic you’ll know why.”But still, the Beatles helped put Rishikesh on the map for Westerners, and popularised meditation and Eastern spirituality. The Maharishi even made the cover of Time magazine in 1975. His ashram initially thrived but then went into decline and was abandoned in 2001. Nature slowly reclaimed the site, while parts of the buildings were removed and people sneaked in and left graffiti.But in 2016, paths were cleared, a fence was put up and some of the structures were repaired. Ruins they remain, however, although a few new murals have been added.The site now charges an entry fee — 600 rupees ($8.75) for foreigners, 150 rupees for Indians — and boasts a cafe and a small photo exhibition and some information signs.One recent visitor was none other than Prudence herself, said Raju Nautiyal, a ranger with the Rajasthan Tiger Reserve who has helped in the clean-up. “I used to sing ‘Dear PrudHis ashram initially thrived but then went into decline and was abandoned in 2001. Nature slowly reclaimed the site, while parts of the buildings were removed and people sneaked in and left graffiti.

But in 2016, paths were cleared, a fence was put up and some of the structures were repaired. Ruins they remain, however, although a few new murals have been added. American visitor Atta Curzmann, 68, a “great Beatles fan” inspired to take a lasting interest in Indian spirituality, said she hoped the site would not be restored too much.”The first time we came four or five years ago it was really run-down and we had to pay baksheesh (a bribe) to get in,” she told.”But I hope they don’t make it too lovely and perfect because you want to see that antiquity, that part of it that shows the history.”



By Posted on 0 13

Paul was interviewed by Marc Maron for his “WTF” podcast and talked about fame, the Stones and Charles Manson.

Capitol Music Group hosted its fifth annual Capitol Congress today at Hollywood’s Arclight Theater. The day-long confab brings together employees from across Universal Music Group as well as some of the company’s top executives, chief among them: UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, who delivered introductory remarks this morning. The event has traditionally featured several top stars from the CMG roster, and this year was no different, only the bar was set even higher with an appearance by Sir Paul McCartney.
Paul was presented with a special Capitol Icon Award by CMG chief Steve Barnett, who programmed the day’s sessions, performances and Q&As. McCartney was later interviewed by podcast host and “Glow” star Marc Maron, a talk that will make up an episode of his “WTF” show.
Among the topics brought up by Maron: fame, meeting fans, recording with John Lennon and the long life of the Beach Boys vs. Beatles oneupmanship as well as the Beatles vs. Rolling Stones rivalry. Of the latter, said McCartney: “We were at that Oldchella thing together. They’re great. We go back a long way and there was never really a rivalry.”
Asked about “Helter Skelter,” Paul recalled being “suddenly singled out for being the soundtrack to a murderer. … For years I wouldn’t do that song. I felt like if I did it, it would be a victory for him. Then I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I wrote it!’” Others in attendance throughout the day included the members of Migos, Lil Yachty, NF, MC Hammer and Troye Sivan.

Bruce Resnikoff, president of Universal Music Enterprises (UME); Michele Anthony, executive vice president of Universal Music Group (UMG); Steve Barnett, president and CEO of CMG; Paul, Arjun Pulijal vice president of marketing of CMG, Sir Lucian Grainge, Executive Director of UMG; Ashley Newton, president of CMG, Michelle Jubelirer, operations director of CMG, Will Tanous, employee value promoter and head of global communications at UMG.

In 2016, Paul signed a worldwide recording deal with UMG that encompasses his entire catalog of master recordings, starting with the 1970 “McCartney” album. It also returned him to Capitol, the label where he started his solo career.
Paul has a new album, “Egypt Station” due out in the fall.




By Posted on 0 7

Liverpool’s legendary Slater Street club The Jacaranda is celebrating its 60th birthday with a massive party. Being the birthplace of the Fab Four, the huge celebrations will also coincide with International Beatle Week.

Both the original club and its new Seel Street venue, Phase One, will collaborate to for the milestone with a programme of incredible live music and events. Graham Clarke, The Jac’s owner since the 80s, said: “We’re delighted to be spending the weekend drawing together and celebrating values and visions that are so close to our hearts. “We are just as excited to welcome back familiar faces as we are to embrace those whose journeys with us are just beginning.”
The celebrations will kick-off on Friday, August 24 with a drinks reception in The Jacaranda and will carry on until Sunday, August 26. Following the drinks reception, upstairs at the Jacaranda will be a Q&A with legendary DJ, author and speaker Dave Haslam who wrote about The Jacaranda in his book Life After Dark. Haslam will be signing copies of this book alongside his latest release Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor. There will also be live music in the basement with a Beatles-inspired line-up to keep everyone dancing through the night.

An exhibition of all things Jacaranda will remain open to the public all weekend, curated by Liverpool-based writer and photographer Marlie Centawer. Over in Seel Street Phase One , there will be an evening of live music from the best up and coming local bands, including False Advertising, Gen & The Degenerates and Swearwolves. The festivities continue in The Jac on Saturday night with The Japanese Beatles and their unique take on John, Paul, George & Ringo. Liverpool acts, include Nick Ellis and Edgar ‘Jones’ Jones, will also play a short set of original music and also pay homage to the city’s musical legacy with a Beatles cover. The party will continue late into the night with the next instalment of the venue’s ICON club night, with The Beatles taking the spotlight, naturally.
Of course The Jacaranda isn’t just known for its association with The Beatles – the original incarnation was a coffee shop that hosted beat poets, artists and even steel bands.

On Sunday night, the coffee shop days are remembered with a day of storytellers, poets, The Royal Caribbean Steel Band, beat poetry and more.



By Posted on 0 8

#PaulMcCartney #Freshenup Tour in Japan :

*October 31 (Wed) Tokyo Dome
OPEN 16: 30 / START 18: 30 (planned)
S seat: 18,500 yen, A seat: 16,500 yen, B seat: 14,500 yen
*November 1 (Thu) Tokyo Dome
OPEN 16: 30 / START 18: 30 (planned)
S seat: 18,500 yen, A seat: 16,500 yen, B seat: 14,500 yen
*November 8 (Thur) Nagoya Dome
OPEN 16: 30 / START 18: 30 (planned)
S seat: 18,500 yen, A seat: 16,500 yen, B seat: 14,500 yen.
TICKETS:Today 8 am and 14 August (Tue) Ticket Pia Preceding Fastest Preliminary (Lottery)


By Posted on 0 11

It was at the height of Beatles mania when the rock group made their first trip across the pond in February 1964 to perform on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show in New York City.

A week later, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr flew down to Florida to join Sullivan again, but this time at Miami’s Deauville Hotel for a special live show.

  The iconic group was met with screams from thousands of teen girls waiting to catch a glimpse of the young heart throbs. Among the masses was then 15-year-old Jane Sollogub who happened to be the president of the South Florida chapter of the official National Beatles Fan Club.

Speaking to about the extraordinary archive, Executive Vice-President at RR Auction Bobby Livingston noted just how exclusive her access to the Beatles during their Miami stop was at the time.

‘She had incredible access that most people didn’t have because at the time, if you remember all of the film footage, I mean it was insane the mania over the Beatles once they got to America was incredible and you couldn’t get close to them,’ he said. ‘But because she was the fan club president she was able to get in and get into the rehearsal. One of the most valuable things we have is the admission ticket to the rehearsal. ‘There were only several hundred of those that were issued and so to have one, intact that belonged to her is extremely valuable.’

Besides the ticket, the archive also includes candid photos of the group, which is the best-selling band in history with estimated sales of over 800 million digital and physical albums worldwide.

The lucky teen had been invited to the hotel to attend both the rehearsal and live broadcast since she interned at Miami radio station WFUN.Sollogub had such close access to the Beatles, she even obtained Lennon’s autograph while in the hotel’s elevator. Now, five decades later all of the items she collected from that special day on February 16, 1964 are up for grabs in an online auction that’s set to end August 8th.

‘The other really great thing in the archive is this really wonderful candid photo of the boys backstage, very relaxed, but they are wearing their stage outfits – the beautiful Beatles suits – the ones with the black collar,’ Livingston noted.

‘And they are just relaxed backstage in the photo. It’s such a great little view of the most famous band in the world at that moment. They were at the height of the mania. I think those photos are really cool.’

The other images up for grabs include three original black-and-white candids of the group outside of the 12th floor elevator at the Miami hotel. One phot shows McCartney, Harrison and Starr in their suits while two security guards and their stylist stand nearby.

Another image just shows Paul and George posing together while another just shows McCartney as he signs an autograph. There’s also an original black-and-white candid photo showing the rock band while they perform on stage for the Ed Sullivan Show at the Deauville Hotel.

‘And then the other items in the archive are from the hotel itself at the time and include a matchbook and menu, I just think it’s really fabulous,’ Livingston added.‘But then of course Sollogub had the Deauville Hotel stationary and got a beautiful John Lennon autograph, which is truly just incredible.’

The archive is being sold by the family of Sollogub and they hope to get it in the hands of ‘a Beatles collector that will treasure it for another generation,’ Livingston shared.

‘You can see this was one of the great moments of her life as it would have been for any of us,’ he remarked.‘And to keep this archive would have been a natural thing to do in your lifetime. Can you imagine being a teenager and meeting the Beatles, getting their autograph, having your photos taken with them? It’s just an incredibly rare moment for someone to experience.‘All of it as a whole tells a really beautiful story of the Beatles in America and the Beatles in Miami.’