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Peter Jackson gained access to almost 60 hours of never-before-seen footage of the Beatles’ Let It Be recording sessions in 1969 from director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who produced the 1970 documentary of the same name.

Jackson expertly dissected, restored and colourised the footage to produce The Beatles: Get Back, which covers 21 days in early 1969 as the band record a new album and prepare for their first live performance together in three years – their iconic rooftop concert in London’s Savile Row.

However, Jackson has now suggested that perhaps it was for the best that he wasn’t there in person as he would have ‘read them [the Beatles] the riot act’.
He also said he empathised with Lindsay-Hogg, who he felt was ‘herding cats’ when it came to dealing with the legendary rock and roll band comprising of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon.

Speaking at a Q&A as part of the special IMAX release of The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert on Sunday, Jackson said:  ‘The poor guy was herding cats the whole time and I was just feeling so many times that I would have lost it!
‘I mean as much as I love the Beatles, I would have raised my voice at them a couple of times and read them the riot act because they would have driven me crazy, and Michael’s just so calm.’

Praising Lindsay-Hogg as ‘deserving the credit for all of this’ after inheriting his ‘incredible’ footage, the 60-year-old also admitted that he found it funny to watch another director struggle slightly when things veered off course.

‘I particularly enjoy seeing Michael twitch and squirm when things aren’t going quite his way; as a director I can sympathise with that and find it kind of funny.’

He added: ‘Some of my favourite bits in the rushes and the outtakes were Michael’s stuff because I don’t play in a band – I can love the Beatles and watch the Beatles like anyone – but crucially the person I was really relating to was Michael.’

The writer-director also shared one of his favourite quotes from the footage, which helped express Lindsay-Hogg’s sometime-frustration during the process.

‘My favourite Michael Lindsay-Hogg line is when somebody – Paul or Ringo or someone – asks how the filming’s going and he says, “Well, if the film’s going to be about chain smokers, nose pickers and a**e scratchers then it’s going to be fantastic.”’

Sounds like he’s not one to mince his words!

In his quest for authenticity, Jackson has previously shared how he managed to convince Disney to break its ‘non-swearing rule’ for The Beatles: Get Back on Disney Plus, as the three-part series includes some colourful language.

In an interview with Radio Times, Jackson, 60, explained: ‘We got Disney to agree to have swearing, which I think is the first time for a Disney channel. That makes them feel modern, too.’
The longest editing project of his career to date, The Beatles: Get Back took the filmmaker over two years to piece together in contrast to Lord of the Rings, where the films each took ‘three to four months’.

The state-of-the-art technology used to create Jackson’s stunning World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old is the same used in The Beatles: Get Back.

The Beatles: Get Back full series is available H E R E . 

The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert will be showing exclusively in IMAX cinemas across the UK from February 10 – 13, 2022.


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Colin Hay Announces New Album Now And The Evermore out March 18 via Compass Records.

Colin Hay is excited to announce that his upcoming album Now And The Evermore will be released on March 18, 2022 via Lazy Eye/Compass Records. Along with the announcement, Hay shared the album’s title track from the album, featuring a guest appearance from Ringo Starr who played drums on the track.

“’Now And The Evermore’ is a reminder to myself, to make the most of what time I have left walking around on top of the planet,” says Hay. “When I listen to it, it transports me back to when I thought I had all the time in the world. It is a song which is unashamedly inspired by the majesty of The Beatles, and the gift they gave us all. Having Ringo Starr play on the track is more than icing on the cake.”

“I’m deeply grateful for the life I have, and I think my natural tendency has always been towards optimism and humor. Lately, though, I’ve had to be more intentional about it. I’ve had to actively seek out the positive, to let new rays of hope shine on some seemingly dark situations.”

That’s precisely what Hay does with his new album. Facing down struggle, loss, and even his own mortality with grit and wit at every turn. Written and recorded in Hay’s adopted hometown of Los Angeles, the collection is a defiantly joyful celebration of life and love, one that insists on finding silver linings and reasons to smile. The music is vibrant and animated, brimming with fanciful melodies and lush orchestration. Hay’s performances draw on vintage pop charm, pub rock muscle, and folk sincerity to forge a sound that’s at once playful and profound, clever and compassionate, whimsical and earnest. At its most basic level, Now And The Evermore offers a deeply personal acknowledgement of the relentless march of time, but zoom out and you’ll see that Hay’s contemplations of identity and eternity are in fact broader reflections on our shared humanity, on letting go of dead weight and reaching for the light no matter how dark things may get.

Born in Scotland, Hay moved with his family as a teenager to Australia, where he first came to international fame with seminal ’80s hitmakers Men At Work. While the band would reach the heights of stardom—they took home a GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist and sold more than 30 million records worldwide on the strength of #1 singles like “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under”—by 1985, they’d called it quits and gone their separate ways.

Hay released his solo debut the following year and, over the course of the next three-and-a-half decades, went on to record twelve more critically acclaimed studio albums that would help establish him as one of his generation’s most hardworking and reliable craftsmen.  Rolling Stone praised his “witty, hooky pop” tunes, while NPR’s World Café lauded his “distinctive voice,” and late night hosts from David Letterman and Craig Ferguson to Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel have all welcomed him for performances. 

Over the course of his career, Hay has developed a reputation as a gifted raconteur with serious comedy chops, and his frequent appearances at LA’s Largo club helped garner him a legion of fans in the entertainment world. Among them was actor/director Zach Braff, who called Hay’s mix of heartfelt songwriting and hilarious storytelling “one of the most amazing things I had ever seen.” Braff would go on to feature Hay’s music prominently in the GRAMMY-winning soundtrack for Garden State and invite him to appear as himself on the hit series Scrubs, which helped introduce his music to a whole new generation of listeners.

On top of his rigorous schedule as a solo artist, Hay has also managed to tour the world several times over with Ringo Starr & His All–Star Band, release an audiobook of Aesop’s Fables, star in the award-winning documentary Waiting For My Real Life, and even provide the voice for Fergus Flamingo in Disney’s The Wild.
In support of the album, Hay will embark on an extensive US tour starting in March, and will join up with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band for a run of dates in June. See list of tour dates below, and for the full itinerary, visit his website:

Listen To “Now And The Evermore” Featuring Ringo Starr On Drums Out Now

Now And The Evermore Tracklist:

1. Now And The Evermore
2. Love Is Everywhere
3. Into The Bright Lights
4. The Sea Of Always
5. Starfish And Unicorns
6. A Man Without A Name
7. Undertow
8. All I See Is You
9. Agatha Bell
10. When Does The End Begin?

Tour Dates:

March 18 – Fort Collins, CO @ The Lincoln Theater
March 19 – Denver, CO @ Paramount Theater
March 21 – Belleville, IL @ Lincoln Theatre
March 22 – Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theatre
March 24 – Minneapolis, MN @ Pantages Theatre
March 25 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Pabst Theater
March 26 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
March 27 – Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
March 29 – Cincinnati, OH @  The Andrew J Brady Music Center
March 30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall
April 1 – Patchogue, NY @ Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts
April 2 – Washington, DC @ Lincoln Theatre
April 5 – Annapolis, MD @ Maryland Hall For the Creative Arts
April 6 – Glenside, PA @ Keswick Theatre
April 7 – Tarrytown, NY @ Tarrytown Music Hall
April 8 – Concord, NH @ Capitol Center for the Arts
April 9 – Boston, MA @ The Wilbur
April 10 – Boston, MA @ The Wilbur
April 12 – New York City, NY @ City Winery
April 13 – New York City, NY @ City Winery
April 14 – West Long Branch, NJ @ Monmouth University
April 21 – Clearwater, FL @ Capitol Theatre
April 22 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Amaturo Theater at Broward Center for the Performing Arts

April 23 – Orlando, FL @ The Plaza Live
April 24 – Ponte Vedra, FL @ Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
April 27 – Charleston, SC @ Charleston Music Hall
April 29 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
May 1 – Nashville, TN @ City Winery Nashville
May 2 – Nashville, TN @ City Winery Nashville
May 4 – Birmingham, AL @ The Lyric Theatre
May 5 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Manship Theatre
May 6 – Houston, TX @ The Heights Theater
May 7 – Austin, TX @ Texas Union
May 8 – Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theatre
May 10 – Albuquerque, NM @ Albuquerque Journal Theatre
May 12 – Scottsdale, AZ @ Virginia G. Piper Theater


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Dallas-based Heritage Auctions is handling the sale, which concludes on Nov. 6.
On Dec. 5, 20 years will have passed since Steve Blow, then a columnist for The Dallas Morning News, wrote a piece that brought together two unlikely entities — Beatles great George Harrison and First Baptist Dallas, which today has a congregation of more than 13,000 members.

Blow wrote about Dallas collector Charles Heard having acquired a New Testament Bible, one of several given to the Beatles during their only visit to Dallas on Sept. 18, 1964, less than a year after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Elm Street.

Fast forward to Nov. 6, 2021, when Heard’s prized possession will be sold at auction by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions. So far, the bidding has reached $3,000.
Heard told Blow that he bought the pocket-sized New Testament from another Beatles fanatic, a dentist in Little Rock, Ark., soon after the Arkansan purchased it in 2001.

“My husband and I are lifelong Beatles fans,” Sherry Heard, 60, said from the home in Lakewood she shares with her husband, 71, where the couple have lived for 30 years.

Their devotion to the Fab Four has taken them all over the world to see dozens of Paul McCartney concerts, where, during one once-in-a-lifetime show, the Beatles great invited them onstage. “Our favorite shared interest is our Beatles interest.”

Sherry Heard said they purchased the Bible “years ago, because of its tie to Dallas. We also love Dallas history. This was a nice tie-in for us because it was Dallas and the Beatles.”

“I am assuming that all four got a Bible,” Heard said in 2001. “But this is the only one known to still exist.” At the time Heard declined to say what he paid for it.

As Blow wrote, “The Bible is inscribed in the back in red pencil, in what appears to be a teen’s awkward cursive: ‘To George! From: Teenagers/First Baptist Church Dallas.”

But the front of the Bible carries an inscription from Harrison himself: “To Brian/Happy Birthday from George, Paul, Ringo & John.”

As Heard tells it, Epstein — the Beatles’ legendary manager — turned 30 the day after the Beatles’ concert in Dallas.
“Apparently George saved this Bible from the kids at First Baptist Church and presented it to Brian at that time,” Heard said in 2001.

“But here’s the kicker: Brian Epstein was Jewish. The New Testament was clearly given as a gag gift,” Heard said. “It just shows you the wicked, offbeat sense of humor that George had.”

So, why sell it? “It is time,” said Charles Heard, “to let somebody else enjoy it.”
Nearly 20 years ago, Heard shared with Blow how Harrison ended up with the rare gift from First Baptist Dallas. As Blow wrote: During their Dallas visit in 1964, “The boys were virtual prisoners inside their hotel the whole time. But somehow, some way the youth of Dallas’ First Baptist Church managed to deliver little New Testament Bibles to the Beatles.”

But, as Blow noted, “Brian apparently thought enough of the gift to keep it. The New Testament was among his possessions sold at auction in an estate sale after his death in 1967.”

As Heritage notes in its description of the Bible, “Epstein kept it from 1964 until his death, and it is referenced in the book, The Brain Epstein Story.”
At the time the Bible was sold at auction by Christie’s to the Little Rock dentist, it had belonged to Bryan Barrett, Epstein’s chauffeur and bodyguard for the last 14 months of his life.

“I’m not sure how the Bible was intended,” Heard said after acquiring it in 2001. “I can’t tell if it was just a friendly ‘Welcome to Dallas’ gift.

Soon after Blow’s column was published, The News received a letter to the editor that read: “At this moment I imagine George Harrison is wishing he had read that little New Testament instead of having given it away as a gag gift.”

The letter was signed by “Robert Jeffress, pastor, First Baptist Church, Wichita Falls.” The outspoken and often-controversial Jeffress, an ally of former President Donald J. Trump, is now the pastor of First Baptist Dallas and a Fox News contributor.



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Rosie Day (Outlander) has boarded the cast of Midas Man, the biopic of visionary music manager Brian Epstein, who famously discovered the Beatles. Day will play Cilla Black, the singer who was also managed by Epstein.

Producers StudioPow and Trevor Beattie Films have unveiled a first look at The Queen’s Gambit actor Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as the movie’s titular character (see top, middle).

Also starring are Emily Watson, Eddie Marsan, Lukas Gage and Charley Palmer Rothwell. The project will shoot on location in Liverpool, London and the U.S. this fall for release in 2022.

Brian Epstein, The manager of The Beatles, Picture taken 20th October 1963.

Producers are Kevin Proctor and Perry Trevers at StudioPOW, with Trevor Beattie and Jeremy Chatterton at Trevor Beattie Films. Jonas Åkerlund is directing from a screenplay based on a screen story by Brigit Grant and written by Jonathan Wakeham.

Mister Smith Entertainment is handling sales and has closed deals to date for: Signature UK in UK /Ireland, Transmission Films in Australia/NZ, ACME in the Baltics, WW Entertainment in Benelux, Exponenta in CIS, Blitz in Ex-Yugoslavia, Metropolitan in France, Eagle Pictures in Italy, Monolith Films in Poland, NOS Lusomundo in Portugal, Mislabel in Scandinavia,Tripictures in Spain, and Ascot Elite in Switzerland.


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The producer is also putting his ears and technology to use on Peter Jackson’s ‘Get Back’ docu-series.
Giles Martin just couldn’t let “Let It Be” be — even though, as he has with each of the deluxe Beatles packages he’s worked on, he challenged himself to make sure a fresh mix and expanded boxed set had a raison d’etre. In this case, giving a more unified sound to a 1970 album that was all over the map in its original incarnation was reason enough to submit it to a remix. But above and beyond that, what Beatles fan hasn’t yearned to get high-quality versions of the famous outtakes — whether it was an hour-and-a-half’s worth or 52 hours’ worth?

The just-released “Let It Be” special edition is not a 52-disc set. But Martin believes the two CDs of vintage outtakes that are included in the new box are an essential distillation of what fans will want to hear from those 1969 sessions. And he sets the bar high, wanting even these bonus collections to be something that would make a great listen for somebody who’d never heard the Beatles before.

Martin — the son of original Beatles producer George Martin, and now a sought after producer, arranger and audio expert in his own right — sat down to talk with Variety on a recent visit to Los Angeles. The Englishman was between visits to spots around the U.S. that included meeting with his Sonos team in San Francisco and taking a look at the relaunch of the Beatles show “Love” in Las Vegas. He’s also working on arranging music for a Broadway adaptation of “The Devil Wears Prada” with friend Elton John (Martin worked on the “Rocketman” film). More urgently, though, at the time, Martin was still working on the mix for Peter Jackson’s “Get Back” docu-series, which covers much of the same territory as the “Let It Be” boxed set, even though he wrapped up work on the latter about a year and a half ago.

-How much did your work on the film and on the boxed set overlap, or did you think of them as completely separate processes?

MARTIN: You do approach things differently, because when you think about what you’re going to add as extras to a boxed set, if something is on the film and looks really good but may not sound that good, you keep it to the film. But if it’s something that should be on a record, it should be on a record. When you’re considering how much to include from outtakes, there was, like, 52 hours of material. I was probably more aggressively editing stuff down [for the boxed set] because we have six hours of film coming out. But I was collaborating with Peter (Jackson) on what audio bits I was selecting, and sending stuff over to him. It was a constant sort of back and forth as what they were finding interesting. And we’re mixing the films, so we knew what they were working on as well. … The boxed set is almost trying to tell the story of the (entire) record, including the Phil Spector stuff. And obviously the film is just purely tied to that period of time in Twickenham (Film Studios) and (at Apple Corps headquarters) in Savile Row. It ends with the rooftop — the natural end of that story.

-Did you face special challenges with the stuff that was recorded on film at Twickenham Film Studios, and making that material sound as good as the multi-track recordings that were done at Apple a bit later?

Well, that’s a good question, actually. “Let It Be” was only (recorded over) a relatively short period time – it was three weeks. All of (the material from Twickenham) is on Nagra, which is the old format of recording film. It’s a mono, single, narrow tape format. When they move out of Twickenham — because that’s when they’re getting pissed off at everything, and it’s cold, and they start at 10 in the morning, and George walks out and all that sort of stuff — they go to Savile Row, where Billy Preston is, and that’s where they have the (multi-track) recording. And then the rooftop (concert) obviously is 8-track. It is what it is, and yeah, we throw as much technology at these things as you can, but you have to be careful when you’re doing restoration work. And that’s why it’s been good collaborating with Peter and his team, because they’re really, really good at this stuff. I thought I was good at this stuff, and they’re way better than I am. The audio stuff as well — it’s really remarkable what they can do. It’s a collaboration process.

But you have to be careful with cleaning stuff up, that you don’t make things too shiny and too digital. You don’t want to want to change the sound, because (remixes) actually can date very quickly, as we’ve experienced on legacy stuff in the past. … You’re always walking a fine line with releasing stuff that wasn’t intended to be released. You feel like you’re going through a dirty underpant drawer.

(Selectivity about outtakes) also quite often has to do with the quality of the performance, more than sound quality. There are Beatle fans that want absolutely everything. They want all 52 hours of footage. But to be fair, the way that bootlegging goes, most of those people actually have the material anyway — you can find it on the Internet. So my job was to present it in the best possible way.

-I’m a huge fan, but in the days of bootleg CDs, when I would go into a shop in the Village and see a bootleg boxed set of “Let It Be” material with what looked like about 30 discs of outtakes, I would think, there is a limit to just how deep a rabbit hole I want to go down with this stuff.

It does get boring very quickly. You know, I talked to Paul about this. I thought we were going to release the record last year. I think my deadline was May (of 2020), over a year ago. I was phoning them (the Beatles and their survivors) up and sending them music from my house, because I was working at home. And I remember Paul goes, “Well, how many versions of ‘Get Back’ do people actually want?” I just laughed and went, “Well, there’s people who want every single version of ‘Get Back.’ But I don’t know that that’s the right thing to do.” So you have to walk that fine line. My belief is always: If someone had never heard the Beatles before, then they should be interested in what they’re hearing. There’s no point in having a record just so you have it. You’re meant to listen to it. Do you know what I mean? There’s people that just want to own stuff. And that’s not why we’re doing what we’re doing.

-I have the Bob Dylan boxed set that has every note that was played in the studio over the course of 1965, but I can’t say I’ve gone back and played the whole thing through a second time.

Well, that’s the thing. When I think of the things that we did with the White Album — the Esher demos and that sort of stuff — those stand up in their own right. They’re interesting records; they’re valid. But the other thing we’re trying to do is, you are trying to sort of break down and tell a story of how a song evolved. Because that’s quite interesting, to me, as opposed to just another version.

-For the people who expect a dump of everything, it can be hard to accept that there’s a curatorial process, even though most people are happy to have you sifting through everything for the gold. Who makes those final selections? Is it you along with Paul and…

Yeah, it’s me, and then I get the approval from them. They don’t sift through everything. I mean, that’s the last thing they really want to do, and I’m not surprised. It’ll be me that makes the final decision — well, it will be me that suggests the final (track rundown), and then they make the final decision.

-You feel really comfortable with having the two discs of outtakes in this set.

Yeah, I do, actually. It was funny because I kind of forgot what was on them, because it’d been a year in this strange world we’re living in — and I went back during this process of having to talk about it, and I was like, “Well, this is kind of interesting!” Things like George playing “Something,” or the gestations of songs, and you hear the vibe of what it’s like. That’s the other thing to represent in that short space of time that I get given on a record — the atmosphere and the vibe, to a certain extent. So I quite enjoyed listening to it, and that’s always a good sign.

Do you have favorite moments from the outtakes or rehearsals? Even just dialogue-ise, there are some laugh-out-loud things they say, or the moment where suddenly John is talking about getting his divorce in the middle of…

… of (“She Came In Through”) “The Bathroom Window,” yeah. Well, there’s lots of things. In the perception of “Let It Be,” it feels like there’s a continuing theme that we’re glossing over the pain and destruction of the Beatles. But “Let It Be” really wasn’t that bad. My (early) perception of “Let It Be” was like, it’s the breakup of the Beatles. But of course it’s as the breakup of the Beatles because it’s the last album that came out, but it wasn’t the last album they recorded. They were going back and started recording what was going to be “Abbey Road” after “Let It Be.” It was only when I was doing (the boxed set for) “Abbey Road” that I realized that they were back in Trident Studios, of all places, doing “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” about two or three weeks after the rooftop concert. So it’s hardly the breakup of the Beatles.

And the conversations… What I like about “Let It Be” is that, even though it’s a different Beatles, it shows you the way they collaborated. Like John playing “Gimme Some Truth” with Paul. And even though it obviously (eventually) appears on John’s album, “Imagine,” I like the fact that he’s just purely open to Paul’s suggestions… They’re a songwriting partnership. That’s why George got isolated. In the film they say to each other, “We need more songs.” And John would go, “Well, I’ve got Sunday off. I’ll try and write a rock ‘n’ roller.” And Paul would go, “Well, I’ll try and do that as well. So we’ll see what you got.” And then Paul starts playing “Let It Be,” and John goes, “Well, you just need some words for it.” There’s still that collaboration that happens between the two — a respect for each other that you hear that’s surprising.

From exposing myself to this, I think that with “Let It Be,” they’re aware of the failings in their marriage, and the fact that a lot of them are moving on. However, they’re trying to stay together, and that’s why they’re going back to try and play live and be the Beatles and do the Cavern Club and do “One After 909” and all that kind of stuff — they want to go back to that vibe. And of course you can’t, because you’re a different person. It doesn’t work. But that’s what “Let It Be” is, to a certain degree.

George starts singing “Something,” and it becomes apparent from listening to it that John and Paul would have helped each other, but they wouldn’t necessarily help George, because he’s not Lennon-and-McCartney. George is even referred to by John as “Harrisongs.” He’s also writing very good songs at this point, obviously, and “All Things Must Pass” (heard on the set in its most formative stages) is a good case in point. But then when he’s doing “Something” and he goes, “’attracts me like a pomegranate’ — I can’t think of what that word’s going to be,” I think that’s really funny. John is trying to teach him how to just write. He says, “Well, just do it over and over again with words… or don’t.” [Laughs.] This is the advice from Lennon: “Do this… or don’t do it!” And I like that.

I like that comradery that comes through, which is strange for “Let It Be.” Because people’s perception of “Let It Be” is there’s this hugely dysfunctional chaos that happened. I think what it was is: it was just a bad idea. That’s what “Let It Be” was. I mean, think of any band these days — especially the biggest band in the world — going, “You know what we’re going to do? We haven’t written any songs, but we’re going to do a concert in three weeks’ time with a bunch of new songs.” And I think they probably would have achieved that in 1965 or ‘66 or ‘64, but that’s because they were all in the same room together all the time, where John and Paul were bashing out (songs). Brian Epstein would say, “You’ve got two weeks to do an album,” and they go and do “Revolver” or “Rubber Soul.” In this case (by 1969), they had their big houses, and they went home and watched TV. But in those earlier days they’d be in a van and they’d be stuck and they would be finishing songs. So when you hear ”Gimme Some Truth,” you think, if you would just spend those two hours, they could probably get it done. But they don’t.

-I’ve talked with Ringo about some of this before, and he, like Paul, is very open about not liking the original “Let It Be” film…

[Laughs.] He hates the original film.

-But now some people are worried: Will none of that tension be represented in the Peter Jackson film, and will it be like everyone was happy-go-lucky and it was the most wonderful time in the world?

I don’t think so. I mean, let’s face it, it’s six hours — three two–hour (episodes). I’ve got to say, Peter loves a trilogy! … You know, I’ve seen all the footage. And the original film was just boring. I mean, that’s the problem.

And there were limits to technology. What Peter Jackson has done is amazing. They’ve synched all of the audio footage and video footage together, which is not easy. Because the cameras, for instance, were battery-operated cameras, and they’d slow down as they went on. So it’s tricky to do.

No, I think it’s honest. I do. I think people will see that when they watch it. The Twickenham stuff is taxing to get through, because you’re watching people who are geniuses in their craft looking for ideas, and that’s hard to watch. But then at Apple (Corps headquarters, where the bulk of the finished recordings were done), they seem much happier. That’s what the journey is. And the rooftop… I didn’t really know that the rooftop performance made up four tracks on the album. I should know this stuff; people find it surprising that I’m on the same journey as the people I’m doing the records for. … But they obviously played really well, and they knew they played really well. … I think when you look at like the famous flare-up between George and Paul, where George says, “I’ll play what you want, or I won’t play at all — whatever pleases you”… I mean, I was in a band — we had much worse flare-ups than that. In all honesty, it’s not that bad.

Not the harshest thing anyone in a band ever said to another member.

Yeah. I mean, they do talk about their impending divorce, but in a kind of jovial way. They’re very much aware of what the Beatles are. They still are, Paul and Ringo. –Like all those hugely successful artists, they’re very aware of their own position in the psyche. And I think Paul says, “Once daddy left” — talking about Brian Epstein — “we’re not the same.” And it’s true, they weren’t the same.

-There’s that extended part of the “Let It Be” story that, as you say, isn’t covered in the new film, but is part of the boxed set, which is the involvement of Phil Spector as the album gets finished. In your liner notes essay for the new set, you make a good point, which is basically that there were, like, four producers on the album. There’s your dad. There’s Phil Spector, later on. There’s Glyn Johns in the early stages, sort of acting in that role, even though, as engineer, producer is not his title. And then, you say, there’s a sense with the “Let It Be” project in which the Beatles were ultimately producing themselves.

Certainly when it comes to the three producers, as it were, they have very, very different approaches to production. I mean, they’re all brilliant. My dad was a blueprint man. The biggest argument I ever had with my dad was… Do you know what Pimm’s is? It’s an English drink where you mix lemonade with this thing called Pimm’s. Anyway, I didn’t measure out properly how to put it together. I thought it was too strong and needed more lemonade. Well, he just lost it. And that was my dad. He liked things to be organized. Which is a funny thing, because the White Album and “Let It Be” were not, but “Abbey Road” is.

And Glyn Johns is an engineer-producer, but very, very good. Ethan Johns, who is his son, as you may know, told me that the advice his dad gave to him was, “When the hair stands up on the back of your arm, you’ve got a good take.” It’s like an instinctive thing, opposed to my dad being much more organized.

And Phil Spector was Phil Spector. He wanted to mold an artist into his own vision. That was Phil Spector.

And so when mixing “Let It Be,” you have to bear that in mind. You’re trying to get some unification to it, to have a cohesive album. I had to say to Paul, “We’re going to mix the album, and we’re going to mix it with all the stuff you didn’t like on it.” And he goes, “That’s fair enough. It’s on it.” You know, they did “Let It Be… Naked” (a stripped-down version of the album, released in 2003, instigated by McCartney to correct Spector’s perceived excesses). … We mix these things, and people don’t really care. Fans don’t really care when things were done or how they were done. They just want to listen to some music, to try to unify everything together.

-What do you think your brief was, in doing a remix on “Let It Be”? Because going back to the first full-album remix you did with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” it was said to be partly to clear up the mono/stereo differences. When you’re getting at this point in the game…

Well, no one actually gives me a brief. I had to give myself a brief. My brief was almost, as I say, to unify the tone of the album. You have the rooftop; you have the Apple (headquarters) recordings; you have overdubs. You have “Across the Universe,” which was recorded separately before everything else (in 1968), and you have “I Me Mine,” which was recorded separately after everything else. (After “Abbey Road” was released, three of the Beatles reconvened — without Lennon — in the first days of 1970 just to get a proper studio version of “I Me Mine,” which turned out to be their final recording.) And my job was to just approach it like it’s all done at the same time, it’s all the same record, and it should sound all part of the same record.

It shouldn’t sound like it’s fragmented. So that was my brief, to a certain extent, to try and make the Phil Spector overdubs feel like that they were done at the same time as the rest of the band. Which I think on the original they don’t, really; they sound like they’ve been added on, to a certain degree. So it’s more harmonious — more homogeneous, I suppose, if that’s the right word.I was wondering if you might have toned down what some people would consider Phil Spector’s over-production on “Let It Be” or “The Long and Winding Road.” It seemed like you might’ve, just a little bit, but everything is still there.

-I was wondering if you might have toned down what some people would consider Phil Spector’s over-production on “Let It Be” or “The Long and Winding Road.” It seemed like you might’ve, just a little bit, but everything is still there.

Yeah, not really. [Long pause.] I think maybe it’s less intrusive in its sound, the Phil Spector stuff… The intent is just to treat it like an album, as opposed to the way it was constructed, under a cloud, by Allen Klein getting Phil Spector in and Paul McCartney not knowing and all this sort of stuff. To forget about all of that … It’s funny. People sort of perceive “Let It Be” as not the best Beatles record. Which it probably isn’t. But you think about it: It has “Let It Be” on it, which is one of the most listened-to Beatles songs of all time. It has “Get Back,” it has “Across the Universe,” it has “The Long and Winding Road.” And I like songs like “Dig a Pony,” actually. And then people talk about it being the breakup of the Beatles. Well, why would they write “Two of Us” if it was the breakup of the Beatles — the breakup of John and Paul?

-Was there any thought of using the pre-Spector, more stripped-down versions of the songs as a starting point for the new remix, rather than sticking faithfully to the familiar 1970 version as the basis of it?

Well, yeah, that’s what I talked to Paul about at Abbey Road. … I wasn’t involved in “Let It Be… Naked.” It was around the time I was doing “Love,” at the same time, or it might’ve been just before, I don’t know. But I wasn’t involved in “Let It Be… Naked,” which I think (included) alternate takes as well. No, it wouldn’t have made sense.

Because we’ve been on this journey — almost by accident, without any planning, in a classic Beatles way. “Sgt. Pepper’s” came up (as a prospect for a remix and boxed set). I didn’t really want to do it. I thought, well, why are we doing this? And then I said to the Beatles, “Let’s do three or four mixes and see what it sounds like.” it sounded good and valid, and so we ended up doing it. And then the White Album came along and there were the Esher demos we found and all that kind of stuff, and you go, okay, let’s do that. And then “Abbey Road”… And so it wouldn’t have made sense to try to rewrite history.

You know, the “Let It Be” album is the “Let It Be” album. It was released, and lots of people like it. I like it. I don’t have a problem with the Phil Spector stuff, personally. … Yeah, it does change. And it’s interesting hearing “Across the Universe” without the ADT-ing on John’s voice, without the Phil Spector stuff — it just sounds like a folk song! It sounds completely different. But I don’t have any gripes about (the album as first released). It wouldn’t have made any sense for us to do that. That was not what we’re trying to do.

-This boxed set marks the first authorized release of the early version of the album that Glyn Johns put together, when it was still going to be called “Get Back” and be a back-to-basics album. What do you think of the Glyn Johns vision of the album?

Well, I think Glyn provided the Beatles with what they wanted — and then when they got it, they didn’t really want it. The Glyn Johns album is a representation of what they did at that time. I think what they did at that time wasn’t at the level they hoped it would be. …. I think Glyn made a fine album with what he had, because they were going, “We don’t want any overdubs. We want it to be live, and this is what it should be.” I’m pleased it’s on there, because it’s one of those things that a lot of people know about and a lot of people have… It has been bootlegged, but I think in a bad version. … And also, that helps tell the story, because that’s what triggered Allen Klein to go, “Listen, let’s go and get Phil Spector and he can finish it.”

-It’s really enjoyable as an alternate-universe version of the album. But if had come out in that form in 1969, there would have been a big sense of disappointment, even though it’s fun.

Yeah, I really enjoy it. It sounds cool. It’s very Glyn Johns. What Glyn is brilliant at is capturing the spirit of live performance on a record. That’s why the Who is so good. (Johns went on to engineer, produce or co-produce all the Who’s ‘70s and early ‘80s albums.) He’s very good with vibe. I mean, he looks like Austin Powers through half of the film.

-There are people who insist a transformative remix couldn’t be done on the pre-4-track Beatles albums because of so many elements being blended into the two basic tracks. But of course, Beatles fans do speculate pretty much across the board: Is there an opportunity to do something with “Revolver” and “Rubber Soul,” now that you’ve gone through the Beatles’ timeline from “Sgt. Pepper” forward?

I think there is. I think we have to do it, and I’ve said this before… If you take something like “Taxman” from “Revolver” [a track often cited for its bizarre stereo separation], “Taxman” is guitar, bass and drums on one track, and vocals and a sort of shaking and guitar solo (on the right). And it sounds good; they’re amazing recordings, and amazing mixes. You know, we have to look into what technology we can do to make things de-mixed and all this kind of stuff, which I’m looking into. So I’m looking for the technology to do it with, to do something really innovative with “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver,” as opposed to just a remastering job, because it’s been remastered already. So I think we will. I think we also will look at outtakes as well.

There’s such an overwhelming desire to do something with them, by fans. And at the same time, there’s the thing in the back of your mind: There’s no point in just doing this to make money or as a sales thing, or because we’d done the others. It’s more important that we do it for the right reason. So there’s your answer: yes. If, the same as “Sgt. Pepper,” I can find a reason to do it, then yes. An actual experience reason to do it, as opposed to just because we’ve done it.

-But you do think it’ll be possible to do something, sooner or later, even with the difficulty of untangling those limited tracks?

Yeah, I think we’re getting there with technology. I think we are. I’m not doing it at the moment, though, I can tell you that much. But hopefully. So, yeah — watch this space.


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£105m Surrey mansion where John Lennon once played ‘Imagine’ on a white grand piano before selling it to Ringo Starr is being extended by billionaire sheikh

John Lennon purchased the Georgian mansion in Berkshire for £145,000
He composed Imagine in a bedroom in the luxury property before selling it on
John sold the property to fellow Ringo Starr and moved to New York
A middle east royal family are seeking planning permission to extend the house

A mansion once owned by John Lennon before he sold it to Ringo Starr is being extended to accommodate guests of a Middle Eastern royal family.

Lennon composed one of his greatest hits Imagine in his bedroom in early 1971 while living with wife Yoko Ono at 18th century Tittenhurst Park at Sunninghill near Ascot, Berkshire.

The former Beatle was filmed and photographed while playing his hit on a white piano in the 18th century house which is now said to be worth £105million.

Lennon bought the white-painted Georgian mansion and its 72 acres of grounds for just £145,000 in 1969, but spent twice the sum on renovation work and refurbishment.

The last ever photo session for the Beatles took place at Tittenhurst Park in August 1969, producing pictures used on the front and back covers of the Hey Jude album in 1970.

John Lennon built a recording studio in the grounds before he and Yoko moved to the United States, and he later sold the house to his former bandmate, drummer Ringo Starr in 1973

The spectacular Georgian property was sold on to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, for £5million in 1988.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has given planning consent to build a three bedroom extension to the majlis – or meeting house – that was originally built as a gift for Sheikh Zayed in 2002 at an estimated cost of £2million.

The extended building will include a new eco friendly green roof, and landscaped gardens with seating.

The majlis already comprises several guest bedrooms including VIP rooms and en-suite bathrooms, as well as a ‘plant room’, staff quarters and lower and upper terraces complete with an outdoor pool.

A design and access statement accompanying the planning application stated: ‘The guest accommodation will see the introduction of a modest extension located on the existing paved terrace.

‘There will be an additional three en-suite bedrooms and a corridor link to the existing building, a total of 106.4 m2 of additional floor area.

‘The proposal for additional guest bedrooms is required to support the continued social and political entertainment expected of the middle eastern royal family. The design and scale of the suites match the layout of the existing retained bedrooms.

‘Although increasing the building footprint, there is a reduction in the hard surfaces of the development by the inclusion of a planted roof, which increases the green footprint.’

The document adds that all three new bedrooms will have small stone patio areas outside, broken up by low level planting with small trees and bushes offering screening.

It goes on to say that the new extension will match the design of the historic home and will ‘blend in and sit harmoniously with its immediate surroundings’.

The document states: ‘The proposal for the additional guest bedrooms sits comfortably within the overall scale of the estate, respecting the existing façade treatment of its surrounding buildings and the general openness of the green belt together with increasing the landscaping footprint of the grounds.

‘We consider this to be an acceptable solution for this small development.’

Sheikh Sayed was the force behind the unification of seven emirates to create the UAE in 1971 and became its first President until his death in 2004.

He also served as the ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1966 until his death.
His son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, now serves as president of the UAE and emir of Abu Dhabi, and is reported to have an impressive UK-based property portfolio estimated to be worth £5 billion.
Land Registry documents reveal that Tittenhurst Park is currently owned by Edelweiss Properties Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands.

But it was reported earlier this year that the house is still ultimately owned by Sheikh Khalifa’s family. It is said to be used regularly to accommodate family members on special occasions such as Royal Ascot.

The planning documents state that a tree protection plan will be put in place to make sure that trees in the acclaimed grounds are not damaged during the development work.

The grounds of Tittenhurst Park include rare Chinese palms, Nevada redwoods, cedars of Lebanon, weeping cherry trees from Japan, monkey puzzle trees, copper oaks, beeches and cypruses, as well as rare camelias and 30 varieties of magnolias.