Beatles’ rock band gets a release date.

Fire up your XBOX 360’s and get ready to rock the wiimote Rickenbakcers and Casios my friends.  The Beatles are coming soon to a video game console near you.  It looks like I may need to finally upgrade my video game system because of this.  I am still running an Nintendo 64 and an XBOX. 

The time has come to upgrade and this may be the thing that pushes me to do it.  9.9.09 catchy.  John’s lucky numbers just seem to pop up everywhere even after he’s gone.

Here’s what we’ve read.

The music of the Beatles will arrive as a playable video game for the first time on September 9, 2009 when The Beatles: Rock Band hits stores in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The game, which will be available for Xbox, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii on the same day, “takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band’s legendary career,” according to a press release issued by the title’s makers, Apple Corps, Harmonix and MTV Games. While there’s no playlist or word about venues and avatars, there will be a limited number of instruments issued that are modeled after guitars, basses and drums John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr used (regular Rock Band peripherals will be compatible, too).

Three offerings will be released on September 9th: The Beatles: Rock Band software; standalone guitars; and a limited edition premium bundle that will presumably include the game and some configuration of instruments. And there’s an incentive to pre-order now: the game’s makers say exclusive content will be accessible to those who reserve the game in advance through major retailers over the next few months. The game’s official Website is active and promises updates.

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VIDEO: Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl rock the Grammy awards.

In case you missed it, Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl ROCKED the Grammy Awards last night.  This wasn’t Paul and Dave’s first time together performing in recent memory.

“I Saw Her Standing There” (Feb 2009)

Here’s Paul and Dave Grohl live together at Anfield from last year in case you missed it.

“Band on the Run” (June 2008)

No Paul did not win a grammy award for His Amoeba EP, but it was an outstanding star-studded night.  Checkout the complete list of winners here. As the article indicates, it was a mini-British invasion of sorts with several Brits snapping up many many awards.

Dhani Harrison set to hit Coachella.

Not only will Paul McCartney be playing Coachella, but George Harrison’s son Dhani will be playing Coachella with his band thenewno2.

Get more info about thenewno2 at Dhani Harrison’s offcial website, and also thenewno2’s Myspace page.

Tickets for Coachella are on sale now and can be purchased through the festival’s website or Ticketmaster.

McCartney to play at Coachella

Paul is no stranger to performing at festivals, as we all have seen at the Glastonbury festival a few years back, but this announcement comes as a bit of a surprise.  The Coachella Festival is the hipster of all hipsters.  We have to admit that it’s a little strange to hear that a Beatle is playing at this cutting edge festival.  It’s a little weird to be hearing  Portishead or Sigur Ros and even Morrisey in the same breath.  There are hipster indie bands, and then there is the thought of a Beatle.

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I guess it’s most strange knowing that Paul never, at least late in his career, aged as a “cool” guy.  He always held his artistic credibility, but did many things that are quite cringe-worthy.  That cool factor kind of dropped a bit.  In recent times, though Paul’s cool temperature is red hot.  He’s got several artistic and adventurous solo albums, and has also produced a remix album, and avant-garde album under a different moniker that would make the coolest hipster nod in approval.  Maybe a Fireman tune or two will make a Coachella appearance as well, it’s nothing too much just out of sight.

Here’s what we’ve read.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival got famous by presenting the sounds of today and tomorrow. But this year California’s most celebrated live-music event is gambling on Paul McCartney and the music of “Yesterday.”

Booking the former Beatle, who is listed in the record books as the most successful musician in pop history, would be the safest choice imaginable for most music festivals. But the internationally respected Coachella festival, which is set for April 17-19, has been pulling in crowds of more than 140,000 fans by taking an edgier path with alt-rock heroes you would hear on a college town’s pirate radio station.

Presented with a chance to tap into music history and veteran star power, the promoters have signed the 66-year-old icon, who personifies the mature pop mainstream. The move could help the festival compete amid a grim economy and a host of imitators that have sprung up across the country; the news of McCartney’s presence — for better or worse — instantly will make Coachella a hot topic with music fans nationwide who have been anxiously awaiting the list of this year’s headliners.

What remains to be seen is whether the choice will cost the festival credibility with its core clientele: young fans who are more likely to listen to the White Stripes than the “White Album” and who are far more familiar with Rage Against the Machine than “Band on the Run.”

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Snoop Dogg asks Paul for some help.

I can only imagine what the conversations between a rap icon and Paul McCartney would go like.  Maybe they’d share a bit of the hippie lettuce, and talk some football.  Somehow, I don’t really see that happening actually.

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It looks like Snoop is having some visa problems, and wants Paul to give him a push to get past the ban.  Nothing better than a character witness in the form of a football legend and a Knighted musician.

Here’s what we’ve read.

US rapper Snoop Dogg has called on footballer David Beckham and former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney to help overturn his UK visa ban.

The rapper has faced continued visa problems following an altercation between his entourage and police at Heathrow Airport in 2006.

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McCartney releases “Amoeba Secret Show” on CD.

It looks like Paul McCartney will have a new EP coming out in a week or two.  Yes sir, the Paul McCartney vinyl-only EP from Paul’s secret Amoeba gig last year is finally coming out on CD.

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The CD tracks will be the same as the vinyl EP — “Only Mama Knows,” “C Moon,” “That Was Me” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” The bonus tracks from the show used on the “Ever Present Past” CD and vinyl singles will not be on the CD, Henderson said. The artwork will also be the same as the EP, he told us. Two of the tracks are nominated for Grammys — “That Was Me” for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance and “I Saw Her Standing There” for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. The Grammy Awards will take place Feb. 8.

Paul McCartney’s “Amoeba Secret,” the vinyl EP recording of his live show at Los Angeles’ Amoeba Records on June 27, 2007, that’s nominated for two Grammy Awards, is quietly coming out on CD Jan. 27, according to a listing at Amazon.com and other online retailers. That’s just in time for the Grammy Awards show Feb. 8, likely the only reason this is coming to CD at all.

The Grammy nominees from the disc are “That Was Me” for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance and “I Saw Her Standing There” for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. Those two tracks comprise half of what was on the original vinyl EP release — “Only Mama Knows” and “C Moon” were also on it.

One listing we saw said the CD will contain just the four tracks of the vinyl, though two other tracks from the show, “House of Wax” and “Dance Tonight,” were added to the vinyl and CD single releases, respectively, of “Ever Present Past” from the album “Memory Almost Full.” Here’s an idea: Why not release the whole show?

Several online sources explicitly rumored that the EP would never come out on CD or digitally. I guess that truly was only a rumor.

  • Check out the amazon.com listing for the CD.  It looks like you can make a pre-order at the site.

The keeper of Lennon’s artistic flame.

I have to give Yoko Ono a lot of credit. If I were in her shoes I don’t know that I could keep it up.   Being the keeper of the Lennon legacy has to be so so difficult.  I mean, afterall, she has her own artistic endeavors and projects yet she is able to find a fine balance between her own projects and those that involve her dearly departed John. I really appreciate the fact that she has continued John’s work for peace through art.  If Lennon were alive today, he’d still be willing to be an artist for peace even moreso now.

It takes some courage to do the things that Yoko has done for John Lennon fans over the years.  I mean, we all have been treated to a wonderful radio show that highlighted gems from the Lennon vaults.  We were afforded a beautiful boxed set of outtake material from every facet of John’s solo career. Fans have been obliged with remastered solo-Lennon albums.  Yes, there’s been grumbling over artwork and remixed tracks, but at least they are out there for us to enjoy.  These projects don’t even begin to scrape the surface of any Beatle-related work that’s been done since John’s murder.  Without Yoko at the helm of John’s legacy I don’t believe that we would have gotten such good products, and such care with Lennon’s life work.

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If anything, I think Yoko puts too much effort and care into her late husband’s work.  She is very guarded about the Lennon legacy, with some reason.  She has put out some weird things over the year, but c’mon people it’s Yoko afterall.  It comes with the territory.  We should expect a little bizarre, and arty with our dose of Lennon rock and roll.  I’m thankful that is Yoko steering the Lennon ship.  Without Yoko it would definitely lose that sense intimacy and presence.

Here’s what we’ve read.

In the late 1960s when controversy swirled around them like a cyclone, John Lennon said of his wife Yoko Ono, “Everyone knows who she is, but nobody knows what she does”.

Since his murder 28 years ago this month, it has become clear what Ono does: she is the keeper of his flame; the one who believes in Lennon’s genius as much as he did, and is determined to have others acknowledge it too. She ensures his name, art and political beliefs are kept alive, and with equal energy pursues her own art career.

Whether it be licensing Lennon’s music and image for use in advertisements or commercial products, allowing Ben & Jerry to create an ice-cream flavour (Imagine Whirled Peace) with his signature on the tub, or releasing new pieces of his art annually for inclusion in touring exhibitions, Ono has been tireless.

As an associate observed recently, Ono is “not at all a lady of leisure”. And hard to pin down.

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Japan keeps Lennon’s memory alive.

Tribute concerts are tricky beasts.  Most of the time they can be quite moving, but they turn into a wank fest for the artists involved. Somehow, I just don’t see John taking part in one himself during his lifetime.  It just wasn’t his style.  I find it a bit odd that there have been so many for him.  I know we are simply celebrating a songwriter’s life through song, and celebrating his life’s work.  Lennon, though, was larger than that.  It’s not like he was just Elvis or Sinatra.  It was John Lennon.

Artist, Beatle, peace activist, singer, rocker…and so much more.  Maybe that’s why these tributes keep popping up.  I know I am contradicting myself, but it’s just so hard to wrap John’s legacy in a neat little bow.  He was so much larger than life.  It’s good to keep the legacy alive, but there are just so many ways to remember the man.  It’s hard to put into words even now.

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Here’s what we’ve read.

John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono is marking the 28th anniversary of the musician’s death by playing a special memorial concert in Tokyo.

Japan is one country where John Lennon’s memory is kept very much alive. Beatlemania has never really died.

Every night in Tokyo, bands dressed as John, Paul, George and Ringo faithfully reproduce their sound.

Even though many of the musicians would struggle to hold a conversation in English, they know every word of the entire Beatles songbook.

Fans of all ages sing along, but only the older generation can remember the momentous occasion when the Beatles performed in Japan.

They played Tokyo’s Budokan Arena for five nights in the summer of 1966, with each show lasting just thirty minutes.

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BOOK REVIEW: Beatles for Sale by John Blaney

It so interesting to hear the financial story of the biggest rock group in the world.  We all know of the failed auditions, notoriously poor finances, and the story of the Apple Records finances.  It’s amazing to think that The Beatles have made as much money as they have with the finances being what they are.

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/BeatlesForSaleBookj_4.jpgImagine if the Fab Four had a lucrative record deal behind them in place when they were in their hey day?  It’s boggling to think what those numbers would have looked like if they had a fair deal initially with all the royalties going accordingly.  I’m not a numbers guy or one to find finances fascinating, but this book was quite intriguing in and of itself.  This is not surprising as every book I’ve read from John Blaney has been unique, thorough, and an entertaining ride.

For the Beatles’ fan who thinks they have read it all this is the book for them.  It would make a fine stocking stuffer.

Here’s what we’ve read.

Another Beatles book? Doesn’t the world already know everything it possibly can about the Fab Four, from the nickname of their favorite Hamburg pill dealer to the mustache style of the cab driver who took George through the streets of Rishikesh?

Well… no. And as long as interest in the band continues to flower – and pass along to new generations – Ye Olde Beatles Bookshelf will continue to groan under the accumulated weight of its tomes. Beatles for Sale, though, is the first one to make a comprehensive study of the group through the prism of its finances. Publishing, record contracts, Apple, Inc., merchandising, management, movies and even their fan club are studied with an accountant’s eye.

The result is actually not dry and pretty fascinating – mostly how the biggest group in the world, before or since, made blunders that even today’s MySpace minions wouldn’t fall for. You never give me your money? Not unless it’s in the contract, baby.

Rocks Off spoke with Beatles for Sale author and all-around Fabs expert John Blaney (Lennon and McCartney: Together Alone – A Critical Discography of Their Solo Work) about a wide range of money matters that would make a Liverpool taxman orgasm with delight.

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Rocks Off: With so many hundreds of books already written about the Beatles, what made you decide to concentrate on their financial life?

John Blaney: It’s a fascinating aspect of The Beatles’ story that’s never been covered in-depth. Money is like sex. None of us think we are getting enough, and when a group like the Beatles comes along, we all want to know how much they’re getting and what they do with it.

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Eleanor Rigby document up for auction.

Would the real Eleanor Rigby please stand up? 

Signature of E Rigby, thought to be the inspiration behind Beatles hit Eleanor Rigby

For years, Paul McCartney has defended that Eleanor Rigby was an entirely fictional person. Now it seems that Paul knew more about her than he led us to believe.

A 1911 Corporation of Liverpool accounts book to be auctioned soon includes the signature of E. Rigby, then a 16-year-old scullery maid at the old City Hospital in Parkhill.  Could this indeed be the same E. Rigby that sir Paul laments in the classic Beatle song?

This is not the first time people tried to discern the identity of the real Eleanor Rigby. In the mid-1980s, the gravestone of an Eleanor Rigby (1895-1939) was discovered in the cemetery of St Peter’s Church in Liverpool. In the backyard of the church where John and Paul met.

The coincidences are adding up.  Please, let us know your thoughts, and conspiracy theories (HA HA) in the comments below.  Interesting.

Here’s what we’ve read.

LONDON (Reuters) – A 97-year-old document that contains clues to the identity of Eleanor Rigby, the subject of one of the Beatles’ best-loved songs, is expected to fetch 500,000 pounds when it goes on sale this month.

 

The manuscript is a salary register from Liverpool City Hospital and features the name E. Rigby, a scullery maid who has signed for her monthly wage. Her annual earnings were 14 pounds.

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