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BEATLES MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: A CONVERSATION WITH MARK RIVERA – ABOUT HIS NEW ALBUM “COMMON BOND” FEATURING RINGO STARR

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He’s performed before millions of fans with a ‘who’s who’ of music’s elite including Elton John,Bruce Springsteen,Don Henley,Tony Bennett,Paul Simon and Paul McCartney. And now Mark Rivera, longtime Billy Joel band mate and Ringo Starr’s Music Director steps into the spotlight with his first solo album:”Common Bond” an eclectic mix of his rock,pop and soul influences rolled up into a new package of 8 original songs and 2 covers, sure to appeal to the huge audiences he’s been reaching for so many years.
BEATLES MAGAZINE: Mark, you are a fantastic and talented musician, you play soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute, guitar, percussion, keyboards, and vocals. Also musical director. How do you begin in the music? Who are your musical influences?
Mark Rivera: I began playing guitar when I was six years old as it was the first instrument in our home. When I was eight my Father bought me my first Alto Saxophone. The BIGGEST influence on my musical career had to be February 9th 1964 when The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan show. My Life was Changed Forever after that n=Sunday night.
BM: Can you tell me about your latin roots ? Where did your family come from ?
Mark Rivera: My Father: Deider Rivera was Born and raised in Puerto Rico and my Mother Angela Crocco Rivera was Born in Brooklyn New York. Her Parents were both Italian.
BM: Your work as a musical director with  Ringo Starr and His All Star Band, Billy Joel and Elton John has gained recognition from all the world. In 1995, you joined Ringo & His All-Starr Band, how both are contacted?
Mark Rivera: The only connection would be the fact that I had been working with Billy Joel & Elton John so when Ringo was looking to replace Clarence Clemmons my name came up through George Travis. He & I met years ago working with Billy.

BM: Is there any special reason why Ringo does not include “Octopus´s Garden” or “What Goes On” in the set list of this tour?

Mark Rivera: Ringo prefers not to do Octopus’s Garden because he say’s Yellow Sub is already a song about the Sea. As for What Goes on I’m still working on that on so don’t count it out.
BM: What is your favorite beatles album and why? and Ringo´s album? (I know that you saw the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964!)
Mark Rivera: I would have to say that Revolver is My Favorite Beatle Album.The reason for that is, at the time they just (Did It AGAIN)…
They too Everything that we thought we knew about Beatle Music and Turned it Upside-Down. Im LOVE the sound of Ringo’s Drums on “He Said, She Said” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” I especially Love John’s lyric on “Tomorrow Never Knows”
My Favorite Ringo album STLL has to be “Ringo” The songs were Amazing and It’s when the world found out Just How Great He Is.

BM: Over the years, you worked with Hall & Oates,Peter Gabriel,Tycoon, Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Ocean, Joe Walsh and more. Can you tell us about your work with John Lennon in 1975?

Mark Rivera: It was Unbelievable. It was the first time I had ever met anyone the Important in my Like. And I mean Important regarding how that person Changed my life. He was one of the Funniest men I’d Ever had the pleasure to spend time with and just like Ringo he was the most Present and In The Moment Human Being I’ve ever met.

BM: Mark, please tell me what you’ll be doing next year, new projects?

Mark Rivera: Well, Right now in the middle of preparing for Billy Joel’s New Years Eve Show at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn (Where I Was Born)
But at the same time I’m THRILLED to be launching my Solo CD “Common Bond”. It will be released on February 18th, 2014.
BM: This is fantastic, can´t wait for this album, I know about one song with Ringo in your new material, can you tell me about this track with Ringo?
Mark Rivera: The title is “Money, Money, Money” and the WHOLE song had to be re-written once Ringo put his Drums on it.  His playing was a Gift and my Producer (Jimmy Bralower) said “Buddy… Now we’ve got to Raise the bar. It’s one of my Favorite songs on the Album”.BM: Thank you so much Mark, I follow your work many years ago, It’s safe to I say that you has touched many through of  your wonderful music.

Mark Rivera: Beatles Magazine ROCKS! It’s a place were Beatle Fans can go to to keep up with “The Greatest Band EVER”
And THAT”S a FACT!
Dearest Lovely Rita, Thank You for your Kindness and “Where Would We Be Without You”… (Paul 1967)

Peace, Love & Gratitude Always…MR

DEBUT RELEASE OF MARK RIVERA “COMMON BOND” (DYNOTONE, RED RIVER) FEBRUARY 18, 2014
It’s a stunning piece of work that brings this well-known multi-instrumentalist and singer center stage for the first time on record with a little help from musical friends like Ringo Starr, Billy Joel, Steve Lukather and Nils Lofgren, to name just a few.
In addition to Mark Rivera playing a variety of instruments, and Bralower backing him on drums and percussion, the album features – in alphabetical order- Kenny Aaronson, John Bertsche, John Conte, Steve Conte, Charley Drayton, Johnny Gale, Billy Joel, Jeff Kazee, Will Lee, Nils Lofgren, Steve Lukather, Karen Manno, Robert Randolph, Kasim Sulton, Ringo Starr and Andy York.
COMMON BOND
By Mark Rivera
 
TRACK LISTING
1. Loraine
2. Sticky Situation
3. Start Over
4. Spanish Castle Magic
5. Money, Money, Money (with Ringo Starr)
6. Tell Me All The Things You Do
7. Hard To Let Go
8. Turn Me Loose
9. Why You Dance So Good
10. Rise

LISTEN HERE! “MONEY, MONEY, MONEY” with RINGO! :

(M. Rivera, K. Manno, J. Gale, J. Bralower)
MREG Songs (BMI)/Lucky Girl Music (ASCAP)/Stompanato Music (BMI)/Fancy Footwork Music (ASCAP)
Ringo Starr-Drums
Will Lee-Bass
Johnny Gale-Guitars
Steve Conte-Lead Guitar
Robert Randolph-Pedal Steel Guitar
Jimmy Bralower-Drum Programming
Mark Rivera-Vocals, Saxes & PercussionFor More Information on Mark and his new album Common Bond:
www.markrivera.com
https://www.facebook.com/Markriveramusic
https://twitter.com/markriveramusic

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: PETE BEST TALK WITH BEATLES MAGAZINE

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Thursday, 11 July 2013
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: PETE BEST TALK WITH BEATLES MAGAZINE

Pete is a very simple and kind guy, a very friendly and personable fellow,even though he is part of a great story. He was a former member of the best group in the music history. He has no resentments and no hard feelings towards his former colleagues. He answered all of my questions. He has no trouble in meeting Paul and Ringo, even though he knows this is not easy and it doesn´t depend only on him. He also talked directly about his point of view of his departure from the fab four, in a very final version.
We talked about many things, and this gave me the opportunity to spend a great time with him and to get to know more about the beginning of the Beatles…

Lovely Rita: Pete, you were once a Beatle, you will always be a part of the Beatles, you spent a lot of time together with John, Paul, George and Stu, a lot of time. You are a big part of the story and you are the one that knew them best at that time. Can you tell me what it´s your perception of each one of them in those early years?

Pete Best: I will start with John first, because we were friends in The Beatles. Close to John, ok, close to my heart (Pete puts his hand on his chest) I was as close in the very early days to observe John very well. He was the leader in the very beginning in Hamburg. We were simply friends and we had the chance to travel together and ended up talking about girlfriends and drinking together back in Liverpool. You know, let me tell you something about the another side of John Lennon, he just seemed at the same time a very tender guy and someone who was always watching everything around. And we just got together and it felt complete for me… and you know, how was John, a great musician, a leader and a friend.

Ok, next Paul McCartney ….Macca or Sir Paul, (Pete rises his arms cheerfully). Great musician from the very early days, very much into public relationships. Great performance skills and always longing to be the center of attraction. Ok, even on stage.
We were fine, we used to drink and socialize, which meant getting to know girls in Hamburg and all the things we did in those early days. Paul was the guy which everyone knew back home in Liverpool. Hoping to do it in Hamburg,not too much… but, you know, we had got a contract, and you know…And he gets to be well known, and now he is one of the biggest entrepreneur of the music industry. I think he stood out from the very beginning in the early days and his music reached the top since the early years, through the seventies and until now.

About George, little George. There is a funny thing I remember from The Beatles, George was quite a guitar man. When he first entered the group in the very early years, he wanted to be the very best guitar man in the group and when all that stuff of songwriting credits of Lennon-McCartney started to develop, he wanted to be a songwriter too. He was a young man, at the perfect stage of his life to try to be perfect with the guitar, to be a good musician. Like I´ve said before, I think he wanted perfection. But he is no longer among us anymore. Anyway, we want to remember him as the best guitar musician.

Stu…everyone knew Stu was a brillant painter. But I defending Stu, he was really good playing bass guitar. Old rock and roll was simple in those days… bass and drums coordinated well in the band, and the band played great. And he also got a beautiful woman that we meet in Hamburg, Astrid Kircherr. This made us feel so jealous, because we all wanted something like it.

Lovely Rita: Could you give me some details of the recording sessions at Decca? Did you agree with the song list? Did you wanted to play other songs, instead? Brian (Epstein) selected the songs…

Pete Best: Decca was the biggest record company in London, and Brian Epstein our manager, told us in december 31st, we had got an appointment for the first day in January. And selected the material we would use to impress Decca. So we concentrated on country westerns, on Carl Perkins,and he also told us not to get drunk… but we did get drunk, because it was new year´s eve in Trafalgar Square. We stayed there until 2:00am, and of course we got late for the appointment at Decca. Brian was angry because this was a big occasion for us. And we didn´t know that Mike Smith, the operator was late too because he had been celebrating too. We spend the day at the studio. We recorded 14 or 15 songs, we only did one or two takes of each in the audition. And at the end of it we felt very happy and MIke Smith said: “You have got the contract!”. So we went out to celebrate… (Laughter…and Pete raises an imaginary bottle close to his mouth as if he is drinking from it wildly! … more laughter…)… When you listen carefully to the bootleg Decca session tapes, you realize that even though we knew we were playing ok, we made some mistakes, bad voices…

 

Lovely Rita: What memories do you have of the time in between 1960 to 1962?

Pete Best: Oh, I have a many memories… wonderful memories… it was a wonderful time back in the sixties. The shows at The Casbah, the trip to Hamburg, the recordings. Beautiful years, and so, and so, and so….ha ha ha (laughs). Too many favourite memories. It was a wonderful time.

 

Lovely Rita: How was the experience of recording with Tony Sheridan?

Pete Best: Tony Sheridan was a great musician, I remember “My Bonnie” was a great song, great recording. For us it was a great experience, recording at the studio in Hamburg. the first album. We provided backing music for a great musician. The great Tony Sheridan was something very special for us. We had really a good time.

 

Lovely Rita: All The Beatles change the hairstyle…and you?

Pete Best: I never refused, they never asked me.

Lovely Rita: Pete, when you left the group, did this change your life…

Pete Best: Yes, it changed my life. I can say I learned not to be so innocent. I put what I learned into practice… I have nothing to forgive The Beatles for what happened long ago. Now I travel around the world and no one can kick me out of my own band. I don´t have fear of playing with Paul or Ringo, though I doubt such a session would ever happen.

Lovely Rita: What is your final version of your departure?

Pete Best: I wish I knew!!… (kidding)… there maybe so many reasons. Initially it was said that I was not a good drummer, ok, that´s rubbish. Then the people in Liverpool who knew me for playing drums, realized this wasn´t true. Then other people started thinking about another reasons, and they thought maybe there was jealousy, I was too good looking, hairstyle, antisocial, you know, not so friend with the others. The people would make their own opinion of it. That was 50 years ago… there is only one person alive who knows this particular answer. And that person is Paul. Ok, so then I suggest you seek the chance to ask Paul directly this question. He might give us the definitive answer. As I´m concerned it´s something that happened many years ago. I don´t think about it anymore, you know. If Paul and I would get together again I don´t think we would talk about why I left the group back then. We are both grandparents now, that is something we could talk about now. I am not concerned about the people out there who is still trying to find out the real reasons why I left The Beatles, because I´m enjoying my life now, and that happened 50 years ago.

 

Lovely Rita: Which is your favorite Beatles album?

Pete Best: Umm… I would have liked to play at all (laughter)… the White Album, yes the White Album. Because I think it is the most diverse of all… the most various of all their records.

 

Lovely Rita: What was you reaction to John´s dead?

Pete Best: My reaction was exactly like it was for the rest of the world. We were in shock. I couldn´t believe Mark Chapman did it. When I first heard the news because of time differences, I didn´t believe it. Unfortunately this happened just at the same time when John was coming back to the music industry.

 

Lovely Rita:What kind of music do you listen besides rock and roll?

Pete Best: Yeah, lots of music, Latin American, Jazz, Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Country, Bluegrass, and of course rock and roll… cause you know, Rock is what I do and we play this kind of music with my band.

Lovely Rita: Yes Pete, of course!! (Laughter)

 

Lovely Rita: Thank you so much Pete, it´s been an honour to talk with you.

Pete Best: Thank you it´s a pleasure to be with you, I hope to see you again and great page.

Lovely Rita: Thank you again Pete.

Afterwards I talked with Roag, Pete´s brother and Neil Aspinal´s son – which gently wrote this words for Beatles Magazine:

Personal interview and Photos by Lovely Rita. Thank you so much Pete and Roag.

BEATLES MAGAZINE : TONY BRAMWELL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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TONY BRAMWELL grew up in Liverpool with Beatles George, Paul, and John. His life became intertwined with The Beatles,first working for Brian Epstein at N.E.M.Sand then for The Beatles at Apple, heading Apple Films, then later as the CEO of Apple Records. After the Beatles split, he became the United Kingdom’s first independent record promoter,representing artists including Bruce Springsteen and coordinating and promoting music for films including Harry Saltzmann’s James Bonds (including Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die) and Chariots of Fire, Dirty Dancing, and Ghost. He released his memoir on the Fab Four called MAGICAL MYSTERY TOURS-MY LIFE WITH THE BEATLES, which has become one of the most popular books amongst all fans and followers. Tony Bramwell is “The Authority” of All things Beatles, and much more. Is a honour talk with Tony …

BEATLES MAGAZINE: Tony what do you most appreciate about your friendship with The Beatles?
TONY BRAMWELL: We were great friends as kids and still maintained over 50 years or more!BM: What is your opinion about the business management of Brian Epstein?

Tony Bramwell: Without Brian The Beatles would never have carried on to world success.

 

BM: Tony, at that time when eveyone was saying that Paul was dead, what happened about a phone call to a radio station? you said you were Paul himself… because Paul was definitely alive!… guess that rumor was unbearable….  
 
Tony Bramwell: I didn’t call a radio station they kept calling and stopping any work being done so I pretended to be Paul to get rid of them!


 

BM: Tony you filmed some clips of the group like “Help”, “I feel fine”,”Ticket to ride”, “”Rain”,”Strawberry Fields Forever”, “Revolution”, “Hey Jude”, and more. What happened with “Lady Maddonna and “Hey Bulldog”? Apple had the original video of Hey Bulldog, why it was published so late?

Tony Bramwell: I filmed them recording Hey Bulldog to make a film for Lady Madonna edited together and then later it was put together to make a film for Hey Bulldog!

BM: Tony is known that medications or drug were circulating in the Apple building. This influenced a lot in the creation and development of their songs?
Tony Bremwell: Obviously drugs changed the way songs were written.

BM: John quickly fell in love of Yoko Ono, but she was not accepted by the rest of the group, something like that was dominant, intrusive?Do you think if Yoko Ono wasn´t in the rehearsals or recording sessions too much, everything would have been different? maybe the group not separated in that moment?

Tony Bramwell: Nobody took wives/Girlfriends to work with them and suddenly Yoko was in the studio offering advice on songs Clearly interrupting the Beatles at work!!! George could not bear being in the same room as her!

BM: I want to to thank you for been kind enough to be able to talk about very specific moments in the life of The Beatles, fans need to know the real story, I am honored to share your experience, thank you very much Tony!

Tony Bramwell: I love all ways of keeping the Beatles Story Alive and Beatles Magazine helps towards that!

BEATLES MAGAZINE : EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SYLVIA BODHI HILLIER :THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR OF SYLVIA

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Sylvia was part of that magical mystery tour in 1967 she tells us about it and gives us a preview of what will be his next book about this pleasant and memorable experience in her life…
 
The magical mystery tour of  SYLVIA BODHI HILLIER …
 
BEATLES MAGAZINE: Sylvia, when was your first contact with The Beatles, you were a fan of them before Magical Mystery Tour“?
 
Sylvia: Yes, I was a fan from the age of 14 when ’Love me Do’ was released  and then when I was 17, I became Area Secretary for the Fan club for West Sussex

BM: How you become part of MMT film?
 

S: I and three other Area Secretaries were asked to go along on the tour. All of the Area Secretaries in the UK were asked to go, but the first four who rang up, got invited, so it was lucky for me that I rang so quickly….

BM: To which of the four beatles you came to know more?

 
S: Paul, because he was my favourite….although I like them all!
BM: The review of the film was not very good in 1967. What did you think of the final product?
 

S: It was different, but very misunderstood and was ahead of it’s time!  In 1967, I was simply proud to be part of it and didn’t care what the reviews were like!!

BM: Remember any anecdote while participating in the filming?

 

S: Paul was asked by the press, what it was about and he said “ It is a mystery, to me!”

BM: How long were you filming (your character)? and in what city was your involvement?

 
S: I was simply a member of the coach and the filming was done mainly in Newquay, Cornwall
 
BM: Did you have contact with any of The Beatles, time after the filming?
 
S: Yes, at the recording studios in Abbey Road and at the preview of MMT in Dec 1967 and then at the fancy dress party they gave for all the cast and Area Secretaries in London in Dec 1967

BM: Have passed 45 years since you were part of history. you feel to have been part of something so big as to be next to this fabulous group?
 

S: Yes, it was a wonderful experience and I was very proud to be part of it and share those two weeks with the Fab Four

BM: 1967 was a very important and interesting year for The Beatles. Sylvia Tell me what you remember most about all this great personal experience?

 
S: I remember how relaxed they made us all feel and how much fun it all was, as each day was something different. The music of 1967, was a different direction for them and was a sign of the times
The MMT gang at the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay. Sylvia left against the wall

BM: Next year will publish a book about this experience in the film, how to be titled? can you give us a preview of this?
 

S: The book will be called ‘Magical Mystery Tour – My Journey by Sylvia Nightingale………It will span 50 years of my life from when I became a fan at 14, through the MMT experience and then up to 2012, and the release of the re-mastered MMT and my meeting Paul again at the Gala Screening. It will not only be about my experience on MMT it will be about the impact their music had on my life throughout those years.

BM: Thank you Sylvia for share nice moments, something you like to add?

 
The Beatles to me were four nice lads with a unique musical talent who created a phenomenon that shook the world. They have stood the test of time and still have fans all over the world to this very day, of all ages. I was one of the lucky ones, I got to not only meet them, but share the making of Magical Mystery Tour and I will always treasure that…..
I send greetings to all the readers of the Beatles Magazine and continue to enjoy your Beatles music!!