With a little help from Yoko Ono.

I trying to picture what the dinner table conversation would look like for the average primary school kid.  I picture it going somethin like this:

Parent: “Honey, how was your day at (summer) school?”  DId you do anything intersting?”

Kid: “Not really.  We chatted with this weird Japanese lady, who’s into big hats, and talking about her husband who died.  He was into music and bugs. We were thinking about world peace, and art too. It was a busy day.”

Pupils from St Mary’s Primary School prepare for their history project on John Lennon and the Beatles.

I know not all kids are that clueless, and these kids seemed pretty hip to the Lennon history and vibe, but as a child if I mentioned Yoko Ono at my mom’s dinner table, I would have gotten a strange reaction.  I couldn’t imagine the reaction if I told my mom that I was chatting with her on the internet.  That’s really awesome that Yoko would get involved with these kids like that.  Kudos to her.

Here’s what we’ve read.

WHEN a Batley school turned to a local theatre group for help with a project on the Beatles they never expected John Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono to get in touch.
But that’s what happened when St Mary’s Primary School pupils contacted Stephen Walker, chairman of St Mary’s Theatre Group, looking for information for their history project on the 1960s, John Lennon and his famous band.

Mr Walker contacted a family friend, film producer Simon Hilton who is working with Yoko Ono on The Life of John Lennon.

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INTERVIEW: George Martin on PBS show “On the record.”

A lot of people are celebrating genius as of late.  George Martin is the hallowed recipient of such praise, and rightfully so.  You all know how I feel about George Martin.  To me, he is the only member of the extended Beatle family who truly deserves the title of fifth Beatle.  He was a creative force that really guided the boys, and provided innovative spark to the group.

I could listen to George Martin tell stories all day.  He’s one of those people who I would love to crawl inside his head and just feel those memories and absorb them for but a moment.  It would be outstanding.  Anyway, I digress, George Martin has been interviewed for a new PBS show, “On the Record.”  The show is not coming out for some time, but he did have a little Q & A with the press recently, and even the answers here are nothing less than insightful.

Here’s what we’ve read.

There aren’t many people in today’s music world that you could call a living legend, but Sir George Martin is definitely one of them. If you’re not familiar with the Grammy award winning and Oscar nominated Martin, he’s the creative force that produced, co-produced, and arranged the music on all of The Beatles’ original recordings, which includes every Beatles hit you’ve heard over the years. As well, Martin creatively helped to turn three James Bond themes into mainstream hits with his contributions and work on From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and Live and Let Die. In addition to founding Associated Independent Recording (AIR), Martin has also worked with several of the music world’s top artists and most recently remixed all of The Beatles songs used in the live show Love, which runs in Las Vegas.

At last week’s TCA press tour in Los Angeles, Sir George Martin sat down at the PBS panel to talk with the press about his latest project, On Record: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a story about … how the most universal mass medium of the 20th century marked the emergence of pop culture worldwide; how the competition between the urban middle class and the rural working class came to define popular music and in so doing, made possible the breakthrough of minority cultures into mainstream consciousness. Hosted by Martin and narrated by Kevin Spacey, On Record: The Soundtrack of Our Live traces several of music’s most influential moments featuring interviews with a variety of notable names in music. Although The Soundtrack of Our Lives doesn’t debut on PBS until 2010, Sir George Martin was more than happy to talk about the upcoming series, his legacy with The Beatles, and the bands that impress him in today’s music world.

Sir George Martin on the birth of the record:

“I’m very delighted to be a part of this project. I think it’s such an important one. On Record: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, it’s really the soundtrack on my life. You see recording has been with us for rather more than a hundred years, but the first fifty years were pretty primitive stuff because when Berliner designed his gramophone record and patented it in 1898 and started the gramophone company that was the beginning of the world on record. And if he hadn’t done that can you imagine what we’d be like without recorded sound? It’s impossible to think of. Forget your iPods, they don’t exist. Forget your records, they don’t exist. The only way you can hear music is to hear music when it’s performed live, and for most people that meant very rarely. So way back in Beethoven’s time the amount of people that listened to his music, you could fit into this room. There weren’t many people at all. So he changed everything. The guy who invented the recording and his design of records, which was a disc which could be pressed out in vast quantities stayed with us for fifty years in unaltered form. Except that half way through, around about the time I was born, they did introduce electricity and microphones. Up to that time it was purely physical stuff.”

Martin on the second phase and working with PBS:

“When I went into Abby Road in 1950 for the first time, we were still working on old fashioned wax discs. We didn’t use tape, it was too noisy. And most of my records at that time – classical records, really – were made in this way. So I’ve kind of lived through the second half of the development of the record, and it’s been a fascinating experience because everything changed quickly throughout that time. I’m particularly delighted that PBS is involved in this project because it’s the ideal company who are going to put our program out in a way I think is right. Because it’s not only instructional and educational, it’s not going to be boring, it’s going to be entertaining. It’s going to be fun and PBS is like that. PBS does such good programs. I’ve been a fan of PBS long before I thought of this, [and] got involved in this particular series. And I really don’t like American television very much – sorry to tell you this – but I love what PBS does and I watch it all of the time. So I think I’m so pleased about this, that we’re involved with them.”

READ the entire interview here.

Source: The Dead Bolt

VIDEO: John Lennon – “Just One of The Boys” (REDUX).

A month or so ago, we posted a roundup of user-created imaginary Beatle reunion tracks. (Check that story out here.)  It seems we had forgotten one of them in the mix.  It is a wonderful listen, and I will put it next to the other “imaginary reunion” tracks on my iPod.

I see this track alongside George Harrison’s “When We Was Fab.”  It’s a little bit of Lennon fun, with John reminiscing of the past fondly.

John Lennon – One of The Boys

Here’s what we’ve read.

This originally sparce demo by John Lennon with only a guitar and him singing has been significantly augmented by two other “boys”! One is a guy named Nil, who synced a kick drum to John Lennon’s original track, and the other is Rich Leavitt, who added a full synth drum track, a few guitars, bass, and backing vocals. They both post to The Beatles newsgroup RMB (rec.music.beatles) and have done a fine job in bringing this great song, that John had intended for a Broadway production, closer to being complete. Enjoy!

Source: Youtube

VIDEO ROUNDUP: Paul live in Quebec.

God bless the internet and all of it’s treasures.  Look at how many different perspectives, and bootleg shots we get to see of Paul McCartney’s birthday celebration for Quebec.  Before the age of camera phones, and video links most of us were left out in the cold. 

  • Check this link out to see most of the videos on youtube from Paul’s really big show in Quebec.

Here’s a few of our favorites.

Mrs. Vanderbilt

I’ll Follow the Sun

Flaming Pie

All My Loving

Paul rocks Quebec!

We completely forgot to mention that this past Sunday, Paul rocked out to a 200,000+ crowd in Quebec.  Much like his Liverpool, and Kiev show this was our beloved Paul rocking out at his finest.

Paul’s concerts, as of late, have been getting bigger and better with each turn.  It seems that Paul and his wonderful band are getting primed into full-on touring mode.

The band is tight, and the setlist digs deeper into the catalog, without ignoring the classics that everyone wants to hear.  If this concert is any indication of things to come, then we will all be a happy group of Macca-loving fans.

Please don’t hesitate to post your personal experiences of the concert if you were lucky enough to atend.  We’d love to hear your comments.

Here’s the setlist from the magnificent show.
01. Jet
02. Drive My Car
03. Only Mama Knows
04. All My Loving
05. Flaming Pie
06. Got To Get You into my life
07. Let Me Roll It/ Foxy Lady (ending)
08. C Moon
09. My Love
10. Let ‘Em In
11. Fine Line
12. The Long And Winding Road
13. Dance Tonight
14. Blackbird
15. Calico Skies
16. I’ll Follow The Sun (3 1/2 endings)
17. Michelle
18. Mrs. Vanderbilt
19. Eleanor Rigby
20. Something
21. A Day In The Life
22. Give Peace A Chance
23. Good Day Sunshine
24. Too Many People
25. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
26. Penny Lane
27. Band On The Run
28. Birthday
29. Back In The USSR
30. I’ve Got A Feeling
31. Live And Let Die (fireworks)
32. Let It Be
33. Hey Jude

First Encore
34. Lady Madonna
35. Get Back
36. I Saw Her Standing There

Second Encore
37. Yesterday
38. Sgt. Pepper/ The End

VIDEOS and PHOTOS from the concert to come throughout the week.  Check back for details.

Here’s what we’ve read.

With fans screaming for more and morning-after newspaper headlines trumpeting a conquest, Paul McCartney’s concert left a mark on the Plains of Abraham.
Quebec City was still spinning with excitement Monday, hours after the former Beatle dazzled the provincial capital for its 400th birthday bash. The legendary rock star lured an estimated 200,000 people to the party Sunday evening.

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New John Lennon biography to hit shelves.

Our bookstores are overwhelmed with books about john Lennon.  We all know this.  There are tons of them out there.  Moreso than any other member of The Beatles, there are more books about John Lennon than any given person can deal with.  I know, I own most of them.  Most of these books are unremarkable.  Most books are simple retellings of an familiar story.  It is a rarity, at this point, to get any real insight into the figure of Lennon.

When I read the initial announcement about this new title, though, I got excited.  This upcoming book about John Lennon looks to be different.  This title, John Lennon: The Life, is penned by one the world’s foremost Beatle scholars, Philip Norman.  If anyone is not familiar with his book, Shout!, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog.  You should be headed to your library to check it out immediately.  It is an indispensible title in anyone’s Beatles’ library.

This book, undoubtedly, will be no different.  Look for our own review in the near future.


 Here’s what we’ve read.

Phillip Norman wrote one of the first and still one of the best Beatles histories (“Shout!,” 1981), and though he claims to have corrected many “inaccuracies and misjudgments” from that earlier work, there just isn’t much new to say about the group’s historic, hysterical popularity or John Lennon’s role in it.

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VIDEO: Paul McCartney rocks Shea stadium with last song.

Paul McCartney was the closing surprise guest at Billy Joel’s blowout concert celebrating the raising and demolition of the famed Shea Stadium in New York City.

The closing musical performance couldn’t have been more appropriate.  Billy Joel shared the spotlight with a musical icon who ushered in the idea of stadium rock, and was among the first artist to headline Shea Stadium in the first place.  The house was truly rocking.

Here are two of the best video clips out there, so far, of Paul’s Shea Stadium farewell performances.

Let It Be

I Saw Her Standing There

WOW…it would have been so cool to have been there.