The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus presented by OWC takes over The Belmont in Austin, TX at SXSW for two whole days of peace, love and creativity! Stop by the Lennon Bus Lounge and Official SXSW showcase on March 14th followed by the Come Together for Education event with the Texas Association of School Administrators, Nearpod and OWC on March 15th featuring special guests Hanson.
Historian Gary Astridge Produces Faithful Limited-Edition Replica of Ringo’s Iconic Beatle Era Snare Drum
Los Angeles, CA: There’s only one 1963 oyster black pearl Ludwig Jazz Festival played by the world’s most famous drummer on some of the world’s most beloved music. This rarest of instruments has now been faithfully replicated in 15 collector quality instruments handcrafted by Ringo drum historian Gary Astridge. The Ludwig Drum Company partnered with Astridge to produce 15 one-of-a-kind drum shells by utilizing specifications from the original. Each Starr Festival snare drum features authentic 60s vintage hardware and historically correct accessories honoring the era. “My passion for the music and the drums of Ringo and the Beatles, along with my curiosity, has led me to amass a knowledge-base that I want to share.” said Astridge. “It’s an honor and a massive responsibility to have Ringo agree to authorize this project and hand sign each drum in part to support his and Barbara’s charity, The Lotus Foundation. We’ve spared no effort or cost in precisely reproducing this rare and valuable instrument.” Based on a variety of factors, including the unique concept and small number being produced, each drum carries a $30,000.00 price tag.
Branded as the Starr Festival by Astridge, the drum will be made available on April 18, to match the manufacture’s stamp date inside of the original drum. Ringo took possession of his Jazz Festival on May 12, 1963 and played it almost exclusively throughout his career with the Beatles. For the rest of the story, visit www.starrfestival.info for additional details and an introductory video.
Recorded between May and October 1970, George’s ‘What Is Life’ became the second single to be released from All Things Must Pass. It entered the US Hot 100 on 27 February 1971 and went on to become George’s second Top 10 hit in America.
In the UK, ‘What Is Life’ was issued as the B-side of ‘My Sweet Lord’. As a single it topped the Swiss charts, and did really well in the Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Austria and Norway. The song was written quickly by George and he thought originally that Billy Preston would record it for the solo album that he was producing for the keyboard player’s Apple album.
George had started work on All things Must Pass but they were running out of tracks at the famous studio, because it only had a four-track machine, so he went to Trident at St Anne’s Court in London’s Soho where they had an 8-track recorder. According to engineer Ken Scott, “Working with George was always a joy. When he did backing vocals, it was all George. It was tedious, but it was so much fun. We would double it and bounce those down, and double some more and bounce those, getting the mix as we went along.”
It’s a song that went through several different phases until George was happy with it. An early mix had additional instruments that didn’t quite fit what George wanted. According to George, “It had parts for piccolo trumpet and oboe that weren’t used originally because I didn’t like the feel. It sounds a bit of a novelty now”.
The track features many of those who graced the All Things Must Pass sessions, including all of Derek and the Dominos – Clapton, Whitlock, Radle and Gordon, along with Pete Ham, Tom Evans and Joey Molland of Badfinger. Additional instrumentation comes from Jim Price on trumpet and Bobby Keys on saxophone, who were in the throws of becoming the Rolling Stones horn section, playing on Sticky Fingers and as part of the band’s touring party.
In America, the single came in a picture sleeve that shows George playing guitar while standing in a window of his home, Friar Park. The photo was taken by Barry Feinstein, whose Camouflage Productions partner, Tom Wilkes, wanted it to be part of an elaborate poster intended as an insert in the album package, but that design was rejected by George in favour of a simpler photo of him, which became the final poster. In 1972, Olivia Newton-John recorded “What Is Life”, and it reached the UK top 20 in March 1972, peaking at No.16.
John Lennon used to have a Honda Monkey bike as well as a Mercedes 600 Pullman and a psychedelic Rolls-Royce. He bought the bike new in 1969, and used it to ride around the premises of his country house near Ascot, England. The 49cc Z50A is one of the earlier Monkeys, as the model line was originally introduced in the mid-Sixties and made commercially available in England by 1967. Monkeys or other Z-series mini bikes are still being made.
The fantastic thing is that the bike is still as rough and dirty as Lennon left it, when he sold it in 1971, at the same time as he sold the house and moved to New York. In the early ’70s, his celebrity status was so strong that the family purchasing the bike decided to just store it, instead of running it to the ground. Well, any further into the ground than Lennon had — there’s certainly some patina on the bike.
However, it runs, the frame and the powertrain are numbers matching, and it’s still registered with the original plate. That all will probably translate into a final auction price that would buy you a boatload of old Honda Monkey bikes: The estimate ranges from $28,000 to $55,800, and even the starting bid is almost $14k. The Monkey is part of a National Motorcycle Museum auction held on March 4 in Solihull, England.
A Lynn man has placed his autographed Beatles memorabilia up for auction after picking it up at a concert where he met the band in 1963. Mike Nicholson’s highly collectable band card is estimated to be worth £1,000-1,500 and will face auction at Stowmarket’s Bishop and Miller on March 10, at their first Toy and Music Memorabilia auction.
The Beatles commenced their first UK nationwide tour in February 1963 which brought them to various locations in East Anglia and included a concert in Great Yarmouth, where they supported a young Helen Shipiro. Mr Nicholson said: “In the 1960’s, I was bass-guitarist in a local band called The Pagans and through our music circles we knew the stage manager, Dave, at the theatre in Great Yarmouth. “He got hold of tickets for The Beatles gig and whilst we were at the venue on the night of the concert he said he could get us autographs from the band. “The only thing we had to hand were our own band cards, which are like business cards we gave out at our own gigs. He came back to us later on with four signatures from The Beatles and I’ve kept hold of mine ever since.”
He added: “I couldn’t hear much of the Great Yarmouth gig through all the screams of the fans, something that became synonymous with The Beatles concerts!” Oliver Miller, managing director at Bishop and Miller, said: “We’re looking forward to our first Toy and Music Sale as we have a great selection of items for many collectors out there and The Beatles autographs are something really caught my eye.
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