Sign up with your email address to be the first to know about new products, VIP offers, blog features & more.

You are viewing BRIAN EPSTEIN


By Posted on 0 0

The rare postcard signed by the Beatles John, Paul, George and Jimmie is expected to reach at least £5,000

A rare Beatles postcard is being sold off with the signature of the drummer who replaced Ringo when he fell ill.

Drummer Jimmie Nicol stood in for Ringo Starr for two weeks on a Fab Four world tour right at the height of Beatlemania.

Jimmie played 10 shows as Ringo’s replacement from June 3 – 15 1964 after the Beatles drummer suffered a bout of tonsillitis.

Londoner Jimmie got the call to join the band after he was spotted by manager Brian Epstein playing with Georgie Fame and the Flames.

Following a six song audition, the 24-year-old was given a Beatles haircut and told to pack his bag for a flight to Denmark the next day, reports Ultimate Classic Rock and Culture.

During his brief stint, Jimmie’s wife was able to acquire a rare signed postcard by John, Paul, George and her husband Jimmy at Beirut airport as the plane landed to refuel.

John, Paul, George and Jimmie had stepped off the plane to a large screaming crowd, among them Jimmy’s wife.
The consignor’s letter of the postcard’s authenticity describes how Jimmie’s wife obtained the autographs.

The letter reads: “At Beirut airport on that day a very large crowd gathered to greet the arrival.

“[Jimmie’s wife] was in a privileged position because her father (Wing Cdr SJ Eaton – RAF) was Air Attaché in Beirut at the time.

“She was able to get through the security cordon, board the aircraft and speak to the Beatles and obtain their signatures.”
The 5.5 x 3.5 inch postcard of a Hong Kong harbour scene has the names of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Jimmie Nicol signed in blue ballpoint pen.

Described as “incredibly scarce” by Paul Fraser Collectibles, the postcard is expected to reach £5,000 – £6,000 at auction.

At the time of writing, the postcard looks set to reach with a top bid currently standing at £3,700 with eight days left before the auction closes.

Only 12 signatures of Jimmie with the other Beatles members are believed to be in existence.

Following his brief elevation from relative obscurity to worldwide fame and then back again in the space of a fortnight, Jimmie never quite hit the same heights in his musical career.

Now 81-years-old, he is reported to have shied away from media attention, preferring not to discuss his days with The Fab Four.

However, it is claimed that Jimmie’s stint sitting on Ringo’s drumming stool did inspire a Beatles song.

During Nicol’s brief time on the tour, both John Lennon and Paul McCartney would often ask him how he felt he was coping, to which his reply would usually be “It’s getting better”.

Three years later the story goes that Paul McCartney was walking his dog, Martha, with Hunter Davies, the Beatles official biographer, when the sun came out.
McCartney is said to have remarked that the weather was “getting better” and began to laugh, remembering Jimmie.
This event is rumoured to have inspired the song “Getting Better” on 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

McCartney again references Nicol on the Let It Be tapes from 1969, saying: “I think you’ll find we’re not going abroad ’cause Ringo just said he doesn’t want to go abroad. You know, he put his foot down. Although Jimmie Nicol might go abroad.”



By Posted on 0 0

Happy birthday RAM! Paul and Linda McCartney’s iconic 1971 album celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, which means we’ve been dreaming of starting a new life in the ‘heart of the country’ for half a century. Crazy how the time flies when you’re ramming on, eh? As well as releasing a limited edition half-speed mastered vinyl of RAM, we’ve been celebrating with remastered music videos, behind-the-scenes clips and more.

Over the years RAM has become a cult favourite, with celebrities like Harry Styles and Dakota Johnson among its fans and many indie artists citing it as an influence. When we announced on social media that it was the #RAMiversary this month, the Twitter timeline exploded with people sharing their favourite tracks and posting the questions they had always wanted to ask one of its makers.

It’s clear to see how much this album resonates with people, so for this month’s ‘You Gave Me The Answer’ Q&A we thought we would pass the mic over to you guys, and select some questions from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to put to Paul. Here’s what happened when we asked you to ‘Tweet At Home’ (sorry)…

Locutus on Twitter: In another interview you mentioned (when composing songs) “you know when it’s a good one”. When making RAM – a now highly acclaimed record – did you know it would be a good one?

Paul: I thought it was a good one, and enjoyed making it, and felt like I’d made a good album. What ruined it for me was that it was not well received critically, and that kinda put me off. Which is weird, it’s sort of weak of me to be put off by a review, but these things happen. The adverse reviews made me think ‘oh, maybe it wasn’t such a good album, I better try and make another one’.

But the saving grace in all of this is that years later people would tell me RAM was their favourite album, and that made me go back and listen to it and think again. The critics put me off it, and the fans put me on it! I remember my nephew Jay said to me ‘oh, my favourite album of yours is RAM’, and that was especially nice to hear because he grew up with it. Whenever I had a new album I’d want to play it for my family, so the kids got to hear it, which means he’s probably got nice memories of listening to it at home.

I actually did an interview the other day with a guy called Lou Simon from the Beatles channel on Sirius XM in America, and he said that it’s not only his favourite album of mine, it’s his favourite record of all time. Wow! Considering what great records there have been over the years, that was a pretty big compliment. But yeah, there are people who really like this. So, it’s really nice to rediscover something like that, particularly when you weren’t sure whether it was good or not. Does that change how you think of reviews now?

Paul: Yeah. Obviously, you’re always trying to make the best record so you only put records out that you think are good. The first person I need to please is me. You start there, and you think ‘if I like it, there’s a good chance that other people who are going to like it’. And then when you talk to the fans and they say they like it, or you see them writing in or tweeting in.

Steve on Instagram: Whilst McCartney had been recorded over three months, mostly at home in London, RAM was recorded over a seven month period. Did it feel like you were making a very different album compared to McCartney

Paul: Yeah, we knew we would be travelling around, and because Linda was a photographer she was as able to move around as I was. We went out to New York and it was great finding people we could work with like Denny Seiwell, Hugh McCracken, and Dave Spinozza. I spent a little bit of time there auditioning musicians, and then went into the studios in CBS, and then went into A&R Studios with Phil Ramone. And then after that we went out to LA, and I did some work with another great producer Jim Guercio who had done Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears. So, I knew it was taking time, but I wasn’t in a hurry. I was enjoying myself! We actually did the cover in LA, me just sitting around in the sunshine doing little drawings and things. Did you do all the sketching on the cover? 

Paul: The cover photo was Linda’s and the surrounding border was something I did.  It was all very homemade and quirky, but I think that added to the charm of it. I remember when we were doing the layout for the gatefold, we put a little piece of grass from the garden and stuck it on. There were all sorts of little things that just came from our lifestyle at that moment. Linda took a photograph of two beetles copulating, or ‘havin’ it off!’ Of course, this got totally misconstrued, because for us it was just an amazing wildlife picture. How often do you see beetles, and very colourful little iridescent beetles too? Linda just took it as a photo and we liked it, so we put it in. Of course, then people said ‘oh, The Beatles are screwing each other – what’s this mean?’, and all sorts of hidden meanings got attached to things. But yeah, all in all it made it quite a long record to make, because we had the time and weren’t in a hurry.

Pintaadaptor on Instagram:How was writing on your farm in Scotland different from writing at studios such as Abbey Road etc? 

Paul: Because of the lifestyle we were living, it was very free. The Beatles had been great, and I’d loved it, but I couldn’t say it was free, personally. I couldn’t exactly go to Scotland for a few months. If you were in The Beatles, you had to make records and work. But when we went to Scotland, we had a very free, sort of hippie lifestyle. It meant I could sit around in the kitchen in the little farmhouse we lived in, with the kids running around and me just with my guitar, making up anything I fancied. ‘Three Legs’ for instance was me jamming around with a blues idea, and then with no particular relevance I sang ‘my dog, he got three legs, but he can run’, meaning that everything doesn’t have to be perfect, it can still work. And then I added the lyric ‘a fly flies in’, and I’m sure that happened, with the window open in Scotland! I’m sure a fly actually flew in and I went ‘okay – you’re in the song! Fly flies in, fly flies out’. So yeah, it was a very free period and I think that found its way into the record.  

I always think that the way we were living then was the way a lot of young people would like to live. We were escaping the constrictions of society. It’s why people move out to the country, or do a lot of gardening, all of those sort of things. It’s a great opportunity in your life to do something different. 

Fleur on Facebook:How did the writing partnership with Linda work? Did you sit down formally together like you did with John?  

Paul: No, it was much looser. I would be writing something mainly, because Linda didn’t really play a guitar and we didn’t have a piano knocking around, so it would be me messing around with a guitar and I might say to her ‘sing along!’ and then ‘ah that’s good, we’ll put it in’. She’d make suggestions as we went along, or sing a harmony or something, but it wasn’t a formal thing like John and I where you had two people sitting down with the intention of writing a song. With Linda I’d be sat in the kitchen making it up, and she’d throw a suggestion in and that made her a co-writer.  

Brendan on Twitter: Linda’s harmonies on this album are exceptional. Did it take a long time to get right or was she naturally brilliant from the start? 

Paul: Well, we worked at it. Because that’s what you do when you work on a record, you want it to sound right. Linda told me that she used to be a member of a glee club in America, when she was in college. Like the TV series ‘Glee’! I’d never heard of a glee club before, because in Britain we didn’t have that, and she explained that they would sing together and they used to go to a bell tower at the school because it had a good acoustics. She knew certain things about it, so when it came to writing and recording, she would naturally just sing a harmony or I would suggest one and we’d harmonise at home. Then when we would get into the studio, we’d work a little bit harder to try and get it right.  

Looking back at the records we made together, I think our harmonies were a really individual sound, and a very special sound. Probably because she wasn’t a professional singer, that gave her an innocence to her tone that comes through on the records. I’d be singing ‘hands across the water’ and she’d echo ‘water, water’ and do this funny little American accent, and we’d put it in! We were having fun. 

Mellifluousbird on Twitter: ‘Monkberry Moon Delight’ is one of my favourites. You’ve mentioned that Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was an influence on that song. Were there ever any other influences on the album? 

Paul: I’m sure there were, as there are so many artists that influence anything I do. ‘Three Legs’ would have been influenced by blues artists, and ‘Smile Away’ would have been influenced by people like Jerry Lee Lewis. The vocals are always influenced by someone, that’s just the way it is, but Screamin’ Jay Hawkins definitely on ‘Monkberry Moon Delight’. I mean, when we first heard that record ‘I Put A Spell On You’, we couldn’t believe it, because he starts off relatively sane and then he totally just loses it! You can imagine us young kids hearing that and thinking it was fantastic.  

Nick on Instagram: What inspired ‘Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey’ to have two sections? Was it originally meant to be two songs or was it always meant to be that way? 

Paul:I like that format. There was an album that came out in the sixties called A Teenage Opera and it had a couple of songs where there were different sections all put together, it wasn’t a usual rock ‘n’ roll record. This was more operatic in its form and I always liked that. You sometimes want to change something, you want to write a ballad, or you’re feeling a rocking thing, or sometimes a folk thing and then you want to put them together. It’s a format that I really enjoy writing, because it allows you to stretch. It’s something that I use quite often, like in ‘Band On The Run’. 

‘Uncle Albert’ was a little message to my real Uncle Albert – it was symbolising my family, basically saying ‘I’m so sorry I don’t live up there anymore, and I’ve got a completely different lifestyle to all you guys. I’m sorry, Uncle Albert!’ Like a tongue-in-cheek apology, and then with Admiral Halsey, well, it just all went mad after that when he entered the picture. Again, we come back to the word free – it was very free and that made this record very enjoyable.  

What are your favourite memories of listening to RAM? When did you first hear the record, and what’s your favourite track? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #RAMiversary.

On Monday 17th May, exactly 50 years since RAM was first released in the US, we’re hosting a very special Listening Party which everyone is invited to! Simply visit the page at 6pm BST / 10am PT and sync with your Spotify or Apple Music account and join the conversation. Visit the countdown page here!



By Posted on 0 No tags 0

-PAGE 34: The Archive
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, My Bloody Valentine, Sun Ra, Chuck Berry, Can, Iron & Wine, John and Yoko.

-PAGE 60: Bob Dylan
As rock’s capricious genius turns 80, Paul McCartney, Peggy Seeger, Elton John, Jackson Browne and many others share
their most memorable Dylan encounters.


By Posted on 0 , 0

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, who played chess prodigy and journalist D.L. Townes in The Queen’s Gambit, has been announced in the lead role of Brian Epstein in the biopic Midas Man when it begins shooting later this year.

The unofficial film, based on the life and times of the Beatles’ manager, has been in production for some time. It will be directed by multiple Grammy winner Jonas Akerlund, best known for music videos including Ozzy Osbourne’s “Under the Graveyard,” which was designed as a form of backdoor pilot for the Black Sabbath singer’s own movie.

“It’s a huge privilege to play Brian Epstein, a man who made such an important and lasting cultural impact but who struggled to find a secure place in a world he helped to shape,” Fortune-Lloyd said during a media announcement. “He was a fascinating person with great talent, ambition and courage, and I’m so honored to be given the opportunity to represent him. … Jonas is the perfect person to bring this story to life, his work is visually stunning, visceral and bold. I can’t wait to start working together.”

Akerlund noted that “it is a tall order to fill Brian’s shoes, and Jacob is the perfect performer. He is charismatic and dark at the same time, balancing that emotional range where you’re not sure if you’re in love with him or terribly empathetic with the inner turmoil of his character. No one could bring Brian to life better.”

Epstein managed the Beatles from 1962 until his death in 1967. In that short period, he propelled the band to stardom and became regarded as their fifth member. He died as a result of a drug overdose at 32, leaving a void in the group’s organization that contributed to its official split in 1970.


By Posted on 0 No tags 0

Ringo Starr Said the Pandemic Caused Him to Relive His Lifelong Dread of Hospitals: ‘There Is a Fear Factor’

As a child, Ringo Starr was constantly sick. After an extended illness and stay in the hospital at age 6, he was such a regular he got to know the staff’s names.

The experience remained with him throughout his life to the point that Ringo couldn’t bear going near medical centers in general. The ongoing pandemic hasn’t helped.

According to Ringo: With a Little Help author Michael Seth, Ringo was out of school a great deal because of his constant sicknesses.

“He was very quiet and rather delicate,” the author quoted Starr’s first teacher Enid Williams as saying. “He was an only child and rather coddled…was kept out of school quite a lot…he had lots of colds and things.”

Because of his many absences, Ringo grew to loathe school.

“After [an extended hospital stay], I think that’s when I really started to hate it,” he said of school. “I know I didn’t like it before I went to hospital. There was no teacher gonna take special care of me. And you had to try to get yourself up there. I always found it very hard. So it was easier to stay off.”

Ringo missed nearly two years of school after his appendix burst and had to be removed: “The surgery, which is routine today, was much more complicated and risky in 1947,” his biographer wrote.

His mother Elsie was warned he might not survive the surgery or its aftermath: “But, by morning, Richy had pulled through. It would not be an easy recovery. He was barely conscious at times and was nearly comatose for ten weeks. He was lucky to survive – and he knew it.”

In total, Ringo spent “nearly a year” in the hospital. Just when he was about to be released to go home, Ringo accidentally fell out of his hospital bed, “tearing out his stitches and reopening his surgical wound. He spent another six months in the hospital before he was finally discharged.”

In a March conversation with Esquire, Ringo described another lengthy illness he endured as a youngster that forced him to spend even more time in the hospital.

“Yeah, I had TB, which in those days meant you spent 11 months in hospital,” he explained. “And we sort of conned our way out so that I could have my 15th birthday out of hospital, because I had my 14th birthday there. I can’t even visit hospitals, I hate them. I remember one time [his wife] Barbara was having a procedure and she was in there getting better afterwards and I’m trying to wake her up—’Come on, let’s go, let’s go!’”

“There is a fear factor,” he said. “I don’t dwell on it or live with that fear, but I suppose I’m like everyone else – we all think if we’re going to get [the virus], we’re going to get the death one. I know people, and family members who had it, and it’s a very small portion where it’s the end, but in my head, that’s where it goes.”



By Posted on 0 No tags 0

Page 16, Paul McCartney.. How the rockin´ knight took Wing … and triumphed!