The Beatles

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Last update :18/01/2017

Published statistics from the R.I.A.A. (Record Industry Association of America), Apple records and E.M.I. in July 2012 posted worldwide Beatles record sales at 2,303,500,000 units, indisputably making the group the best selling musical act of all time. Within individual market territories, most notably Britain and the United States, their closest rival is Elvis Presley although even then, the margin involved is considerable.

Whilst The Beatles have continued to gradually cede individual single and album sales statistics to other mainstream acts, their overall popularity is unlikely to be superseded by another artist. This fact is attributable in equal measure, to both the white heat environment of 60’s Britain in which they emerged, and the rapidly expanding multi entertainment leisure industry available to twenty first century consumers.

Seventy-six million American children were born between 1945 and 1964, representing a cohort that is significant on account of its size alone. Today, there is significant evidence to suggest that the whole economic and social system is geared to the interests of baby boomers born during this period, with those coming afterwards evidently disadvantaged as a result. The baby boomers had free university education, lower taxes, lower government debt, and lower house prices. As the teenagers of today grow into adulthood, they will struggle to pay off the debts of their parents who have consistently lived beyond their means as though there were no tomorrow. It’s been an immensely long rollercoaster ride with little end in sight. In 2004, the UK baby boomers held 80% of the UK’s wealth and bought 80% of all top of the range cars and cruises, in addition to 50% of all skincare products. They have the wealth and they are resolute in holding onto their youthful memories. Unlike the children of today though, they did not have an abundance of multimedia entertainment to distract them, and teenagers therefore, bought vinyl records, predominantly singles (45’s), whilst their parents acquired the more expensive long players(33 r.p.m. discs,) which were first introduced in 1948. More importantly, for the first time ever, they had money in their pockets. Now in their fifties and sixties, they are content to replace their worn out vinyl copies with shiny compact discs and downloads, whilst adding blue ray remastered DVDs of their favourite stars to their already groaning domestic shelving. In short, they’re susceptible to canny marketing and the lure of a second, third, nay even fourth purchase of items they’ve already owned for numerous decades. The curiosity of it all, is that their financial exploitation is all too readily apparent to them, yet they remain content to go along with the nostalgic ride. At the vanguard of this astute marketing strategy, is Apple Corps, which has devoted the last twenty years to archival releases.

In 2012, the group’s business company authorised the first stage of the development of The Beatles LIVE! project. Digging deep into the world’s TV and radio archives and fans’ basements and attics, the hunt would begin for never-before-seen media captured during the group’s concert tours dating back to October of 1963, when the name Beatlemania was coined, and continuing through to the final concert in Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. The project commissioned global research teams and developed social media tools to collaborate with the public, concert goers, and students—in every location where The Beatles performed! The ultimate goal was to combine footage, images, music interviews, and stories in a definitive, emotional and visceral feature film about Beatlemania. Production company OVOW Productions Inc. assembled a global team of archivists, collectors, information specialists, artists, social media strategists, amateur media groups, Beatles fan clubs, writers, academics, and film restoration experts to support the activities in the field. Aficionados remained guarded in their expectations, for The Beatles Anthology series merely served to confirm the appalling loss of film material over the years due to ‘company housecleanings.’

There are many missing television appearances by The Beatles, now sadly presumed lost.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/bbc-loses-footage-of-3445-performances-on-top-of-the-pops-1.121034

Amongst the more obvious clips are a) their two appearances on ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’ (October 1963 and January 1964), b) Blackpool Night Out (ABC Tv (July 1964) – a five song live performance + comedy skits with Mike and Bernie Winters) c) a variety of pre-recorded promo clips for various editions of ‘Top of the Pops,’ d) The Eamonn Andrews Show (April 1965)- two lip synched performances for their current single ‘Ticket to ride/Yes it is’ and e) their last live British concert appearance at the N.M.E Pollwinners Concert (1 May 1966) – filming was aborted due to contractual reasons. The Palladium and Blackpool shows are lamentable losses, for they capture the group on the crest of a popularity wave that would confirm their position as the world’s biggest theatrical act by the fall of ’64. All three shows survive as audio recordings, the surviving ‘Blackpool’ tape a superior mono line recording. In view of the quality, there remains a suspicion that the original fim survives in private collecting circles.

:http://oxtango.blogspot.co.uk/2015_10_01_archive.html

For the most comprehensive assessment of The Beatles’ filmed archive and current availability, readers are advised to check out -

http://beatlesondvd.com/home.htm

Film of the group’s Carnegie Hall concert is rumoured to exist as the following link testifies. However, the young lady’s seating position does not bode well!

http://www.rockhall.com/blog/post/10453_the-beatles-50th-anniversary-unsolved-mystery/

In October 2016, Kaleidoscope* reported the discovery of high quality film of two mimed performances, previously circulating on bootlegs in low-fi quality, at least three generations away from the masters. Confirmation can be located in the Discovery 13 section. Both shows are from the Thank Your Lucky Stars show – “Money(That’s what I want)” – aired 13/10/63 and a four song appearance on the 21/11/64 edition featuring “I Feel Fine,” “She’s a woman,” “I’m a loser,” and “Rock’n‘roll music.” Both films are notable for genuine attempts by Lennon to lip sync, a trait he was not generally noted for.

http://observationdeck.kinja.com/lost-episode-of-the-avengers-rediscovered-after-55-year-1787383187

*Kaleidoscope is a Birmingham based organisation specialising in locating previously missing, believed lost, independent television (ITV) footage.

Further confirmation of the upgraded 21/11/64 “Thank Your Lucky Stars” four song mimed performance find can be located at

https://www.axs.com/uk/previously-lost-beatles-footage-from-1964-has-been-found-132519

Under construction

Recommended listening

The Beatles - Mono/Stereo Box sets (2009)

James Perlman cuts to the chase in the following article, his thesis on compression and limiting, serving to validate the Mono remasters as an essential purchase. My wife brought home the fabled white box for me – she knows a monaural man when she sees one.

http://www.beatleswiki.com/wiki/index.php/Review:_Beatles_Mono_and_Stereo_Remasters_Box_Sets#Beatles_For_Sale

Like millions raised on those 70’s reprocessed stereo albums, the mono box set offers one revelation after another. There’s a pitch perfect ‘She’s leaving home’, an extended ‘Got to get you into my life’ and a punch heavy ‘I want to tell you’.

In 2002, no less an authority on the subject than Paul McCartney told Goldmine magazine, “We made ‘em in mono so I’m always happy to listen to ‘em in mono.” Stereo mixing was in its infancy in the 60s, and The Beatles displayed sufficient business acumen, favouring mono in deference to their core teenage market which could not afford expensive stereo equipment. When E.M.I. insisted on stereo mixes, the band designated responsibility to trusted studio personnel, offering in the process, precious little creative input; hence the worldwide proliferation of released variances.

http://theaudiophileman.com/beatles-mono-vinyl-version/

Their recorded output over a seven and a half year period at E.M.I. was staggering, generating enough material to sustain any modern day band through a twenty year plus career.

Recommended :

[1] The Mono set for audiophiles and individuals deaf in one ear.
[2] The stereo set for box enthusiasts who must have ‘Yellow Submarine, ‘Abbey Road’ & ‘Let It Be’.

The Beatles Stereo Box set

Please Please Me* (CD debut in stereo)
With The Beatles* (CD debut in stereo)
A Hard Day’s Night* (CD debut in stereo)
Beatles For Sale* (CD debut in stereo)
Help!*
Rubber Soul*
Revolver*
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band* (also includes 1987 notes, updated, and new intro by Paul McCartney)
Magical Mystery Tour*
The Beatles*
Yellow Submarine* (also includes original US liner notes)
Abbey Road*
Let It Be*
Past Masters (contains new liner notes written by Kevin Howlett)

‘The Beatles in Mono’ (boxed set only)

+ = mono mix CD debut

Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day’s Night
Beatles For Sale
Help! (CD also includes original 1965 stereo mix)+
Rubber Soul (CD also include original 1965 stereo mix)+
Revolver+
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band+
Magical Mystery Tour+
The Beatles+
Mono Masters

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2009/Sept09/Beatles_remastered.htm

The Beatles - Live at the Karlaplan Studios, Stockholm

Perfectly illustrating all that was wrong with the 1995/6 ‘Anthology’ audio project, this superior fidelity live recording still remains officially unavailable in its complete form, the group electing to issue only four of the seven available tracks on volume one.

Recorded without any prior rehearsal, The Beatles performed a seven song set in twenty five minutes flat, the resulting tape being broadcast on Swedish radio for the first time on the 11th of November 1963 between 22.05 pm and 22.30 pm.

Despite his initial misgivings, much of the credit for this highly regarded concert recording must go to the Sveriges Radios sound engineer, Hans Westman. Compromised by the available facilities within the Sveriges studio at Karlaplan – essentially antiquated equipment more readily suited to easy listening programmes than the emerging beat group boom – Westman was struggling with his VU metering ‘from the off,’ his needles peaking on red with the sound of the group’s AC30 amps and Ringo’s Ludwig kit.

Overcoming initial problems with the UK plugs on the Vox amps, The Beatles simply plugged in and played, leaving Westman to apologise profusely for the quality of the recording. Lennon, was having none of it, stating unequivocably that he loved the distortion on the source tape; his 1980 proclamation that the show was the best available live recording of The Beatles, a clear indication that time had not eroded his initial view.

1. Introduction (Klaus Berling)
2. I Saw Her Standing There
3. From Me To You
4. Money
5. Roll Over Beethoven
6. You Really Got A Hold On Me
7. She Loves You
8. Twist And Shout

The Beatles were near the top of their game in 1963, internal concessions to Epstein’s sanitised demands for showiz acceptability removing only the most anarchic elements from their stage persona. Years of playing extended sets in Hamburg had taught them the essential elements of handling crowds, their burgeoning songwriting talent soon to provide producer George Martin with an unceasing abundance of riches. As a live act, the group would be a spent force within two years, the ensuing farce of their 1966 world tour merely prolonging the agony for another ten months. Limitations within even the larger AC50 amps would ensure their inability to compete with the screaming hordes at the increasingly bigger venues they were playing.

In Sweden though, The Beatles still encapsulated the best in proto-punk – tight vocal harmonies, the twin propulsive elements of Lennon’s rhythm guitar and Starr’s backbeat, with McCartney’s weaving bass and Harrison’s Berryesque r’n‘b roots adding an extra dash of verve and finesse.

BBC radio hijacked ‘You really got a hold on me’ for its 1972/3 series ‘The Beatles Story,’ incorrectly citing the recording as sourced from the group’s December ’62 residency at the Star Club in Hamburg. Most listeners in Britain at the time would have been obligingly ignorant of this subterfuge; as a then thirteen year old avid listener, I know I certainly was!

Available for years on the underground bootleg ‘Johnny and the Moondogs Silver Days (Airtime),’ the complete recording is now widely circulated on the worldwide net.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE1vKRrtVXI

Apple reportedly now owns the only known live theatre recording of the group, a ten song quality tape that conceivably rivals the Karlaplan show for audio fidelity.

http://www.beatlesource.com/bs/to-bournemouth1.html

Recorded by Tom Mellor, the Bournemouth Gaumont chief technician, in August 1963, the reel to reel tape has been heard by precious few people and is currently unavailable on bootlegs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-19740043

'Get Back' - The Glyn Johns mixes (1969-1970)

The most dispiriting Twickenham sessions imaginable were eventually consigned to a never ending series of film reels, before The Beatles repaired to Apple Studios with Billy Preston in tow, to tape their proposed new ‘live in the studio’ album.

Commandeering an 8 track mixing console from E.M.I., the band began the process of nailing definitive versions of several new numbers and a ramshackle collection of rock’n‘roll oldies. Their efforts would culminate in the impromptu concert on top of the Apple building in Saville Row on January 30, 1969. Reconvening days later in early February, McCartney had ditched the beard, further evidence that any finished product would have an inconsistent look to it.

Starr broke early from ‘jail’ to begin filming ‘The Magic Christian’ with Peter Sellers, whilst Lennon and McCartney readied themselves for two high profile marriage ceremonies. Harrison, sick to death of the restrictive atmosphere and McCartney’s hectoring, simply withdrew into himself. For the first time in their career, The Beatles had no interest in mixing a finished product.

Producer Glyn Johns, bereft of any direction from the band, was brought in to work on the recordings. Having sifted through some rough mixes, he readied a ‘work in progress’ acetate on March 10, 1969 for distribution to the four members. This was subsequently followed by another acetate of primarily Rock ‘n Roll oldies from the sessions, as well as different takes of ‘Let it Be’ and ‘I’ve Got a Feeling’. He continued working on the tapes, including leaving or editing in rehearsal background noise, song fragments, and studio chatter to enhance the ‘rehearsal’ atmosphere of the recordings, and on May 28 produced what he considered to be the finished version of the Get Back album (known as the ‘original’ or ‘1st version’). With one notable exception, a new guitar solo overdubbed into ‘Let It Be’ by Harrison on 30/4/69, Johns adhered to the original premise of a no frills, live album.

It is this version which I have owned for years, ‘de-noised’ and ‘de-clicked’, yet another entry in a long line of essential historical releases on the Yellow Dog label. In essence, it’s a perfect complement to the over-produced Spectorised official release; an album to be pulled and played for pleasure. The available ‘takes’ may lack the familiar sheen of George Martin’s production work, but the in-between banter and instrumental warm ups enhance the project’s audio vérité credentials. If Lennon truly wanted the album issued in this raw state to ‘break The Beatles myth,’ and in his own words, ‘to show us with our trousers down so can we stop playing the game please?’, the beleagured pacifist nevertheless remains a more forceful vocal presence throughout these particular takes than he was at Twickenham when the cameras began rolling on January 2nd. Whether affectionately teasing Johns (‘alright Glynnis?’) counting in successive numbers or remonstrating with himself at the close of ‘I’ve got a feeling’ (‘I cocked up tryin’ to get loud – not bad though’), Lennon appears more genuinely involved with the whole project than he ever did throughout the grainy overblowm 35mm movie Allen Klein readied for cinematic distribution.

http://www.beatlesource.com/bs/mains/audio/GetBack/gb2intro.html

The Beatles rejected producer Glyn Johns’ first attempt at fashioning an album from the Get Back/Let It Be tapes and the producer readied another acetate at Olympic Sound Studios on my eleventh birthday no less – January 5, 1970! His new album omitted “Teddy Boy”, as it wasn’t featured in the forthcoming ‘Let It Be’ film, but added George Harrison’s ‘I Me Mine’ and John Lennon’s ‘Across the Universe’. ‘I Me Mine’ was the first to be tackled, with a mix of take 16 from the 3 January 1970 session. Tackling a third stereo mix of ‘Across the Universe,’ Johns was still working with the original February 1968 E.M.I. recording (The Beatles had singularly failed to tape an worthy remake in January 1969,)and the original album premise was slowly giving way to commercial considerations. His efforts would all be in vain , the group remaining doubtful as to its commercial viability. In a final attempt to conclude the project, Phil Spector was brought in on 23 March 1970, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The ‘Let it Be Naked’ project in 2003 was yet another episode in McCartney revisionism, a release soon consigned to the darkest recesses of any collecting corner. Official inclusion of ‘Get Back’ version one with the 2009 Stereo Box set would have been a perfect complement to a much maligned project and a perceived tombstone to the band’s career.

Sessions (1985)

‘Sessions’, the aborted E.M.I. album release from 1985, offered a tantalising glimpse of how a judiciously programmed collection of unreleased songs and alternate takes of familiar material could be presented to a worldwide market. Unfortunately, Messrs McCartney, Harrison and Starr could not agree on a suitable running order, and with one eye on the commercial possibilities of a future television project and a resultant accompanying soundtrack, the project was indefinitely shelved.

The album consisted of thirteen unreleased recordings, with a projected ’45 taster in the form of ‘Leave My Kitten Alone’, coupled with an alternative version of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. ‘Kitten’ was originally mooted for a spring ’81 release but was pulled from the release schedules when Lennon was assassinated.

Versions of all the songs planned for ‘Sessions’ would eventually see official release as part of the overblown ‘Beatles Anthology’ series in 1995–96, with the exception of ‘Christmas Time (Is Here Again’, which was concurrently released on the “Free as a Bird” single.

Several of the tracks (both here and on the Anthology releases) are altered from their original states. For example, “Not Guilty” is completely re-edited, removing around a minute of the song. “What’s the New Mary Jane” was drastically remixed to make the song more musical and less of a discordant “Revolution 9”-type track.

1.“Come and Get It” (McCartney)
2.“Leave My Kitten Alone” (John/Turner/McDougal) – An outtake from the Beatles for Sale sessions.
3.“Not Guilty” (Harrison) – An outtake from The Beatles (“The White Album”), heavily edited.
4.“I’m Looking Through You” – Alternative version, with hand claps
5.“What’s the New Mary Jane” – An outtake from The Beatles (“The White Album”), heavily remixed.
6.“How Do You Do It?” (Murray)
7.“Besame Mucho” (Velázquez/Skylar) – From the Beatles’ first EMI session.
8.“One After 909” – Earlier version recorded 5 March 1963
9.“If You’ve Got Trouble” – A Help! outtake, with verses edited into a different order than they were originally recorded.
10.“That Means a Lot” – A Help! outtake.
11.“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (Harrison) – Take 1, with an artificially looped ending.
12.“Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues” (Roberts/Katz/Clayton) – An outtake from the “Get Back”/“Let It Be” sessions, heavily edited.
13.“Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr) – Edited from the 1967 fan club Christmas single.

Attracting sufficient general market interest whilst appeasing the hard core fanatics is a fine line to tread, and ‘Sessions’ singularly fails on both counts. The Beatles raised the bar for thoughtfully programmed quality albums, and the vast majority of unissued material, whilst interesting, adds little to the core catalogue. Tracks 5,9,12 & 13 are therefore dispensable and have no place on any definitive additional Beatles album.

There are archivists with an indefitigable zest for their work. One of them is the Illinois born rock detective, James Berkenstadt, 56, who amassed an enormous library of The Beatles’ official recordings, rarities, bootlegs, articles, interviews, and broadcasts between 1969 and 1990.

Over the next few years, Berkenstadt wrote articles for Goldmine, Vox, Musician, and other magazines. This experience primed him for his first book, ‘Black Market Beatles,’ a project with Beatles historian Scott Belmer. The book documents over 1,600 bootlegs and their creators, and was apparently such a good resource that the Beatles camp used it themselves.

“Somebody had been to Apple Corps to meet with [Beatles road manager and Apple Corps Ltd. CEO] Neil Aspinall,” Berkenstadt says. “They saw a copy of our book on his desk. A chapter in the book highlights the most significant black-market Beatle releases. The Beatles Anthology box set, released later, aligned closely with our recommended recordings. I think they had a reference there. When they hired me in the late 1990s, it proved to be true.”

For Berkenstadt, the invisible wall separating him from his heroes finally cracked, and then shattered. The Beatles hired him to dig up audio, video, and other artifacts for projects including ‘LOVE’, the Las Vegas Cirque de Soleil show, and the box set George Harrison: The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992. Eventually, Berkenstadt became friends with Harrison and his wife, Olivia.

“A couple months after George Harrison died, Apple Corps called and said that at their last board meeting, George had told Paul, Ringo, and Yoko about me. He said I knew more about their recordings than they did.”

Working with a FileMaker Pro 10 database, in order to catalogue and retrieve data, Berkenstadt has entered tens of thousands of Data Records; essentially a series of pages, each one containing information about a solitary recording. For example: The track title, artist, date of release or recording, type of media (cd, LP, EP, 45, etc.), quality of recording, it’s location; and more info about each track.

Each category or field within a Data Record is search-able. So he can retrieve every recording of a particular song, search by date between 1960 to the present), or recall every issued variant mix of a particular song. In adding worldwide archives, he hopes by 2016/17 to have catalogued every working day of The Beatles career in addition to most days for solo work, sessions, side bands, concerts, interviews, etc. His intention is to make the database available to future generations for research and miscellaneous projects.

The Beatles (Stereo) Delux Vinyl Box Set

For devotees of a longstanding audio format that simply refuses to die, this new collection comes up short, being mastered at 24-bit/44.1kHz resolution instead of the higher end 24 bit/192kHz used for editing.

Nevertheless, for new converts to analogue vinyl, The Beatles catalogue on 180 gram vinyl offers an obvious entry point for collectors without the inordinate time and expense of tracking down 1980’s Japanese pressings. In any event, there is something inordinantly organic about placing a long player on a quality turntable and manually positioning the cartridge into place. Symbolically, compact disc autochangers reflect the breathneck speed with which modern society operates. Vinyl enthusiasts however, still believe that music should be a pure listening experience to the exclusion of all else. This partly explains the tender loving care with which they maintain their audio equipment and relish the preamble to pure sound; the extraction of the inner sleeve, vertically positioned of course within the outer cover, with the opening at the top to ensure the disc does not fall out at any time. Then the cursory examination of the playing surface and the turntable placement. Quality pressings remain virtually silent as the cartridge makes initial contact with an area about 6 mm wide at the outer edge of the disc, called the lead-in where the groove is widely spaced and silent. This section allows the stylus to be dropped at the start of the record groove, without damaging the recorded section of the groove.

Between each track on the recorded section of an LP record, there is usually a short gap of around 1 mm (0.04”) where the groove is widely spaced. This space is clearly visible, making it easy to find a particular track.

Towards the label centre, at the end of the groove, there is another wide-pitched section known as the lead-out. At the very end of this section, the groove joins itself to form a complete circle, called the lock groove; when the stylus reaches this point, it circles repeatedly until lifted from the record. On some recordings, for example ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, the sound continues on the lock groove, which gives a strange repeating effect. Automatic turntables rely on the position or angular velocity of the arm, as it reaches these more widely spaced grooves, to trigger a mechanism that raises the arm and moves it out of the way of the record.

Standard long play records were pressed on 120 gram vinyl. 180 grams is so much heavier than the standard weight that it’s considered audiophile grade. Most new releases and re-releases available in large record stores today are only available in this format. They’re exceedingly durable and when held, feel distinctly like a high quality product.

I have a top quality lower end of the market turntable which I purchased in 1985. I barely have time to use it these days being too busy with family commitments, including, since my father’s passing, the day to day financial running of two households, a full time job, my art and music, and a daily exercise regime I maintain with great reluctance to the musical accompaniment of an ipod. In view of its sound quality, I scathingly refer to it as my iplod. Yet forty years ago, I could finish my homework on a winter’s evening, sit on the floor with my back to a deliciously warm radiator, and aurally luxuriate in my vinyl collection. There was little need to exercise in my private time. Running, rowing and soccer at school was sufficient to keep me streamlined. Aging sure as hell sucks big time.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/inside-the-beatles-vinyl-album-remasters-20121112

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/engineer-sean-magee-talks-about-restoring-the-beatles-for-vinyl-box-set/

The Beatles Story (BBC Radio series 1972/3)

This production was the first extensive BBC Radio documentary on The Beatles and was assembled in the winter of 1971-72. Produced by Johnny Beerling and hosted by Brian Matthew, it was aired on BBC Radio One on Sunday nights at 5pm from May through August 1972. The introduction to each episode was narrated by the late, great Alan Dell, one of the foremost disc jockeys of all time.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-alan-dell-1598516.html

Later in 1972, the series was sold to the U.S. for syndication. The U.S. version trimmed each episode to make room for commercials. The original BBC broadcasts were 55 minutes, but the U.S. episodes were trimmed by nine minutes to allow for commercials. The series would be repeated the following year with an additional episode in order to bring the solo careers of John, Paul, George and Ringo up to date.

http://onlinescribblings.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/those-radio-times-bbc-radio-and-tv_21.html

Now available on an unofficial DVD-ROM, there’s a distinct whiff of nostalgia in revisiting the series. I had no facility to aircheck the original broadcasts on tape but was able to record several key episodes when the series was re-transmitted via BFBS Gibraltar in the summer of 1980. Many years later, BBC 6 Music would air the programmes again in 2010.

DJ Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2 broadcaster, famed presenter of ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ and king of the dodgy tank tops, recalls his late 80’s period in Gibraltar on BFBS, in his autobiography – ‘The Whispering Years’. It was an unexpected surprise to find his recollections about my late father’s homeland on pages 167-8.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Whispering-Years-Bob-Harris/dp/0563537752

PART ONE: “THE BIRTH OF THE LIVERPOOL SOUND
1. Jezebel / Cry / Rock Around The Clock / Heartbreak Hotel / All Shook Up / Rock Island Line / Rock Me Daddy-O / Please Please Me / All My Loving / Help / Norwegian Wood / Yellow Submarine / Sgt. Pepper / Obladi Oblada / Come Together / Let It Be (5:58)
2. John / Paul / George / Maggie Mae / Bill Harry / Lucille / I Forgot To Remember To Forget (7:51)
3. Allan Williams / Bruno Koschmider / Allan Williams / Twist And Shout / Bruno Koschmider / Roll Over Beethoven / Ted Knibbs / Bob Wooler / Long Tall Sally / Tony Bramwell 16:35)
4. Peter Eckhorn / Dizzy Miss Lizzy / Tony Sheridan / Alfred Shacht / Cry For A Shadow / Tony Sheridan / My Bonnie / Tony Sheridan / Ain’t She Sweet 13:13)
5. Love Me Do (Hollywood Strings) (2:08)

PART TWO: GETTING IT ONTO WAX
1. Introduction (0:41)
2. From Us To You / Bob Wooler / My Bonnie / Brian Epstein / Slow Down / Alistair Taylor / Bob Wooler / Alistair Taylor / Clive Epstein / Rock N’ Roll Music / Brian Epstein / Bob Wooler / I Saw Her Standing There / Bob Wooler / Paul (16:19)
3. Horst Fascher / Bad Boy / George Martin / Please Mr Postman / Arther Howes / George Harrison (Liverpool Echo) / Queenie Epstein / Clive Epstein (12:17)
4. Some Other Guy / Ringo / I Wanna Be Your Man / Ringo / Dick James / Norman Smith / PS I Love You / Bob Wooler / George Martin / Love Me Do (13:41)
5. Please Please Me (Hollywood Strings) (2:45)

PART THREE: CHART SUCCESS AND THE PACKAGE TOURS BEGIN
1. Introduction / Paul / Beatles / Love Me Do / Tony Barrow (3:34)
2. Love Me Do / David Jacobs / Beatles / We Can Work It Out / Vi Caldwell / Horst Fascher / You Really Got A Hold On Me (12:15)
3. Dick James / Plsease Please Me / Dick James / Arthur Howes / Helen Shapiro / Please Please Me / Dick James / Thank You Girl / Tony Bramwell / From Me To You / Tony Barrow (15:24)
4. Chains / George Martin / Boys / George Martin / Do You Want To Know A Secret / Paul / There’s A Place / Norman Smith / Twist And Shout / John / Bob Wooler (12:26)
5. I Want To Hold Your Hand (Hollywood Strings) (1:59)

PART FOUR: THE START OF BEATLEMANIA
1. Introduction (0:54)
2. Hunter Davis / Freda Kelly / Tony Barrow / Beatles / All Together Now / She Loves You / Paul / George Martin / She Loves You / I’ll Get You / Brian Somerville / Klaus Berling / It Won’t Be Long (12:41)
3. Reg Abbis / Back In The USSR / Beatles / George Martin (Liverpool Echo) / John / I Want To Hold Your Hand / Tony Bramwell / All My Loving / George / Don’t Bother Me (17:55)
4. She Loves You / I Want To Hold Your Hand / Brian Sommerville / Till There Was You / Tony Hall / Brian Sommerville / All You Need Is Love / Chris Denning / Misery / Sid Berstein (12:43)
5. Can’t Buy Me Love (Hollywood Strings) (1:14)

PART FIVE: THE WORLD SURRENDERS
1. Introduction / Sid Bernstein / Ed Sullivan (2:49)
2. Any Time At All / Al Aronowitz / Murry The K / Tell Me Why / George / Beatles / Murry The K / I’m Happy Just To Dance With You / George Harrison (Liverpool Echo) / Brian Epstein (12:19)
3. You Can’t Do That / Sid Bernstein / Things Ws Said Today / Hugh Moran / Beatles / Richard Lester / If I Fell / Ringo (11:43)
4. I Should Have Known Better / Helen Shapiro / John / Paul / Can’t Buy Me Love / George Martin / I’ll Cry Instead / George Martin / And I Love Her / Richard Lester / George Martin / Paul (14:30)
5. A Hard Day’s Night / I Feel Fine (Hollywood Strings) (4:08)

PART SIX: THE LIFE AND REWARDS OF SUCCESS
1. Introduction (0:42)
2. A Hard Day’s Night / Beatles / I Feel Fine / Ringo / Paul / Bess Coleman / Eight Day’s A Week / Jay Nelson / I’ll Follow The Sun / Bess Coleman / Kansas City / Irving Candell (18:52)
3. Beatles / Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby / Beatles / She’s A Woman / Paul / Ringo (9:31)
4. I’m A Loser / Tony Barrow / Another Beatles Christmas Record / Alistair Taylor / Jimmy Saville / Baby’s In Black / Beatles / Yesterday / Beatles / Ticket To Ride (16:11)
5. Drive My Car (Hollywood Strings) (0:58)

PART SEVEN: WHEN THE TOURING HAD TO STOP
1. Introduction (0:46)
2. George / Help / John / Beatles / Act Naturally / Beatles / Help / Paul / Beatles / You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (11:14)
3. Alf Bicknell / Tony Barrow / George / Ticket To Ride / All My Loving / Can’t Buy Me Love / I’m Down / John / Laura Cohen / Run For Your Life / Day Tripper / Beatles / Her Majesty / George Martin / Norwegiam Wood / Girl / Norman Smith (16:29)
4. Nowhere Man / Beatles / Michelle / Paperback Writer / Vic Lewis / Tony Barrow / Eleanor Rigby (13:36)
5. Tony Barrow / George / Penny Lane (Hollywood Strings) (3:33)

PART EIGHT: THE PSYCHEDELIC CHAPTER
1. Introduction (0:48)
2. John / Penny Lane / George Martin / Strawberry Fields Forever / John / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / John / Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds / Kenny Everett (13:41)
3. Good Morning Good Morning / John / When I’m 64 / John / George Martin / A Day In The Life / Al Aronowitz / Paul (12:21)
4. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi / Sexy Sadie / Hunter Davies / George Harrison (Liverpool Echo) / Beatles / Joanne Neufield / Here There And Everywhere / Alistair Taylor / Hello Goodbye / Alistair Taylor (17:40)
5. I’m A Loser (Hollywood Strings) (1:22)

PART NINE: MEDITATION AND CORPORATION
1. Introduction (0:48)
2. Magical Mystery Tour / John / Paul / The Fool On The Hill / John / I Am The Walrus (10:45)
3. Cottonfields / John / Don’t Pass Me By / Paul And Jane Asher / Lady Madonna / Derek Taylor / Hey Jude / George Martin / Yellow Submarine / Tony Bramwell (18:13)
4. Revolution 1 / George / Glass Onion / George / While My Guitar Gently Weeps / Revolution 9 / George Martin / John (14:21)
5. Taxman (Hollywood Strings) (1:30)

PART TEN: HELLO GOODBYE OR COME TOGETHER
1. Introduction (0:55)
2. John / Paul / Piggies / Alistair Taylor / Let It Be / George / Derek Taylor / Allen Klein / Polythene Pam / Allen Klein / Get Back / John / Ringo (13:05)
3. The Ballad Of John And Yoko / Give Peace A Chance / John / Blue Suede Shoes / John / Ritchie York / Dizzy Miss Lizzy / Come Together / George (14:19)
4. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer / George / Here Comes The Sun / John / Carry That Weight / John / Cold Turkey / Allen Klein / Something (14:59)
5. Here Comes The Sun (Hollywood Strings) (2:26)

PART ELEVEN: THE END OF THE BEATLES
1. Introduction (0:49)
2. George / Instant Karma / John / Let It Be / George / Paul (11:35)
3. Tony Bramwell / Maybe I’m Amazed / George / That Would Be Something / George / Man We Was Lonely / Two Of Us / George / Across The Universe / The Long And Winding Road (15:55)
4. Beau coups Of Blue / What Is Life / George / Isn’t It A Pity / Well Well Well / Love / Paul (15:40)
5. George / Let It Be (Hollywood Strings) (1:37)

PART TWELVE: THE JOHN PAUL GEORGE AND RINGO SHOW
1. Introduction (0:56)
2. John / Vic Lewis / George / My Sweet Lord / Allen Klein / Ringo / Loser’s Lounge / Paul / Another Day / Allen Klein / John (5:03)
3. Power To The People / Ringo / It Don’t Come Easy / Allen Klein / Uncle Albert / John / Peter Asher (11:40)
4. Paul / Back Seat Of My Car / Too Many People / How Do You Sleep / John / Imagine / John / Paul / Mumbo / Paul (16:31)
5. Another Day (Hollywood Strings) (1:43)

PART THIRTEEN: JOHN AND PAUL TODAY, THE EX-BEATLES STORY
1. Introduction (0:29)
2. Cripple Inside / Well (Baby Please Don’t Go) / Happy Xmas (War Is Over ) / Yoko / Approximately Infinite Universe / Mind Games (16:53)
3. Paul / Linda / Hi Hi HI / Paul / C Moon / Paul / My Love / Paul / Live And Let Die (19:16)
4. Paul / Band On The Run / Paul (7:19)
5. Jet (2:46)

PART FOURTEEN: GEORGE AND RINGO TODAY, THE EX-BEATLES STORY
1. Introduction (0:29)
2. Eah Eah / Allen Klein / Here Comes The Sun / George / Bangla Desh (13:40)
3. Give Me Love / Living In The Material World / Ringo / Back Off Boogaloo / Ringo / I’m The Greatest (20:10)
4. Elton John / The End / Mick Jagger / Dig It / Neil Diamond / She’s Leaving Home / David Cassidy / Roger Greenaway (11:07)
5. Paul / Love Me Do (Hollywood Strings) (2:38)

https://www.giginjapan.com/beatles-72-73beatles-story-japanese-radio-broadcast/

The series was popular in Japan and the above link contains background information and reproductions of the bootleg 13 CD box set. The english translation of the accompanying text is hilarious, so it’s well worth a minute of your time.

Recommended viewing

A Hard Day's Night (1964)

The BBC aired this monochrome masterpiece for the first time on December 28, 1970 and it was, unsurprisingly for many, an obvious highlight of the festive viewing season. An interview conducted years later with John Lennon would reveal that the embittered ex-Beatle, fresh from his Primal Therapy in Los Angeles, and his landmark ‘Rolling Stone’ interview, had actually taken time out from packing for a family trip to Tokyo, to watch the broadcast. Could this really be the man who had issued a recording to the general public only seventeen days earlier proclaiming that he ‘didn’t believe in Beatles’? Well apparently yes, proving once and for all, that beneath the bravado, beat the heart of a man still intensely proud of ‘his band.’

The soundtrack songs are amongst the most romantic the group ever recorded and the whole cinéma vérité enterprise reeks of youthful vitality from beginning to end. Harrison falls flat on his face in the opening seconds yet Lennon can only laugh, for there was little chance of this celluloid offering following a similar path.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, work is in progress to re-release the movie in colourised form. Embryonic clips on YouTube however, are somewhat disheartening, the group depicted with foundation caked faces and suspect hair colouring – Lennon’s grey sideburns a particularly distracting example. If Apple is ultimately involved, we should expect a marked improvement in the end product.

http://www.filmjournal.com/content/archives-meet-beatlesagain-richard-lester-revisits-hard-days-night-0

Ultimately, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ never flags and remains the best visual homage to Beatlemania without its obvious X-Rated undertones. Lennon might have been crawling out of Dutch brothels prior to the film’s premiere but director Richard Lester wisely promulgates the image of the group as ‘lovable moptops.’ It’s naivety is also its strength and the overall effect remains gladdening to millions of a certain age.

http://www.beatlesbible.com/features/hard-days-night-chord/\

The Beatles at Shea Stadium (1965)

This historic film was digitally remastered in the early 90’s and yet, more than twenty years later, still remains commercially unavailable on Blue Ray and DVD.

The obvious impediment to a legitimate release, remains the concert’s audio soundtrack. Devoid of sufficient amplification and fold back monitor speakers, the Beatles were competing with 55,000+ screaming fans, the perpetual wall of sound a near overwhelming impediment to any semblance of a cohesive performance. Yet the raw audio tapes reveal a near miraculous delivery of an eleven song set – miraculous that is, to musicians who understand the adverse conditions involved. What the general public would make of it is something else, and therein lies the problem. How is one to present a product for mass consumption that will satisfy the obsessives, whilst maintaining the band’s credibility amongst the indescriminate buying public? It was, after all, through no fault of their own, that The Beatles attracted an hysterical, predominantly female following throughout their world tours. Handling intricate three part harmonies is, under the very best of conditions, a taxing process; recreating vinyl recordings under seige like acoustic conditions nigh impossible. Nevertheless, Lennon’s intonation was invariably on the button although his vocals were often hoarse, particularly throughout the band’s three major US tours between 1964-1966. The primary ‘live culprit’ was invariably McCartney, vainly striving to recreate those impossibly high harmonies featured on their E.M.I. recordings. Had he backed off just a fraction from the live mic, some semblance of a well balanced vocal interplay might have been achievable. As it is, his contributions to numbers like ‘I Feel Fine’ and ‘Ticket to ride’ somewhat jar – more the pity for the film was actually subjected to some ‘audio sweetening’ before its initial BBC transmission on March 1 1966.

http://www.mixonline.com/beatles-shea-stadium/429036

The Beatles had convened secretly at CTS (Cine Tele Sound) Studios at 49-53 Kensington Gardens Square in London on January 5, 1966 to re-record parts of the film’s soundtrack.

Initially Paul McCartney overdubbed new bass parts onto ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Baby’s In Black’ and ‘I’m Down.’ The latter song – the finale to the concert – also featured a new organ track from John Lennon.

The Beatles then made entirely new recordings for ‘I Feel Fine’ and ‘Help!’, as the quality of the concert recordings couldn’t be salvaged. The songs were taped quickly, as they required the necessary live feel, although care was taken to match the on-screen images to the music.

The group also recorded overdubs for ‘Ticket To Ride.’ For ‘Act Naturally,’ however, the EMI studio recording was used.

Although George Martin wished to have a new version of ‘Twist And Shout,’ there was no time to record one. Instead, the recording of The Beatles’ 30 August 1965 version from their third and final Hollywood Bowl concert was used to enhance the sound.

The end result passed muster in 1966, yet in the eyes of the surviving Beatles and their Apple organisation, now provides a less than positive contribution to the band’s legacy. The digitally restored visuals look breathtakingly sharp, so the problem is clear. Issuing a double disc set containing the 5/1/66 CTS remakes and the original 15/8/65 PA recording will satisfy the obsessives, but fail to meet the required standards of a modern live concert CD/digital download. The 1988 ‘John lennon-Imagine’ theatrical release featured original recordings throughout the brief Shea segments, yet the end result was a rather disconcerting experience. Clearly, Apple would not persue this avenue. All roads to an audio resolution therefore lead to the band’s archive of ‘live in the studio’ sessions for the BBC, alternative versions existing for each and every number performed at Shea. The performances, in the main, are single tracked and lack the overall sheen of their E.M.I. counterparts, yet they are superior live renditions, if only as a result of the more controlled environment in which the band performed.

It’s an audio conundrum for sure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shea_Stadium\

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_at_Shea_Stadium\

The Beatles Promo Videos

Now finally available in new pristine quality, these commercial ‘shorts’ were the forerunner of MTV. For millions who believe that Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was the prototype promo video, swedish director Peter Gouldman’s work on ‘Penny Lane’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ illustrates yet again, The Beatles’ near unceasing ability to point towards the future in everything they did.

The 2015 “1” deluxe edition is still sadly bereft of suitable footage for “Eight Day’s a week,” a US number 1 in early ’65. The Band actually filmed a mimed appearance on “Thank your luck stars” (3/4/65) but the programme was wiped.

The Beatles’ appearances on “Thank Your Lucky Stars.” All performances were mimed.

13 January 1963 Please Please Me
17 February 1963 Please Please Me
14 April 1963 From Me To You
12 May 1963 From Me To You and I Saw Her Standing There.
20 October 1963 All My Loving, Money (That’s What I Want) and She Loves You.
15 December 1963 I Want To Hold Your Hand, All My Loving, Twist And Shout and She Loves You.
14 November 1964 I Feel Fine, She’s A Woman, I’m A Loser and Rock And Roll Music.
28 March 1965 Eight Days A Week, Yes It Is and Ticket To Ride.

I am unaware of the source for the 14/11/64 performance, but restoration work is surely possible as the film only appears three generations down from the master. Unfortunately, Apple has yet to commission just such a project.

Under construction

Eight Day's a week - The Touring Years (2016)

Recommended viewing – that is – for anyone under the age of twenty, who remains unaware of the trailblazing path The Beatles laid down for stadium rock as we now know it. For older generations, it’s yet another monumental missed opportunity.

http://peterhamilton.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/EIGHT-DAYS-A-WEEK-Production-Notes-FINAL-FINAL-incl-credits.pdf

Roger Stormo’s blog perhaps best explains the fundamental failings in Ron Howard’s film.

http://wogew.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/film-review-eight-days-week-and-shea.html

An interesting interview with Paul Crowder, a film editor who cut the film, can be located at:

http://www.provideocoalition.com/art-cut-paul-crowder-eight-days-week-doc/

Recommended reading

The Beatles - Tune in [All these Years] Vol 1 (2013)

The first instalment of Mark Lewisohn’s epic three volume biography of The Beatles captures a world on the cusp of a monumental change, with the group at the very fulcrum of it.

Whilst he may lack the razor sharp literary incisiveness of a Peter Garulnick or Philip Norman, Lewisohn remains eminently readable and his Sherlockian approach to getting the facts right marks him apart from all others. How sad therefore, that ten years of diligent research should, in part, be derailed by less than astute marketing on the part of his publisher. For starters, the cover artwork sucks. What appears initially as an affectionate nod to Richard Hamilton’s groundbreaking design for The Beatles (aka ‘The White Album’ 1968), works ultimately in a counter productive fashion, undermining its author’s painstaking work with inappropriate minimalism. For some strange reason, I’ve also found it difficult to maintain in pristine condition, although it scrubs up well with a few liberal swipes of a cleaning wipe. Then there’s the issue of the ‘special edition.’ a gargantuan two volume version of the tale complete with slipcase, that takes the minutiae of every aspect of their formative years to the nth degree. Boasting an additional 7,107 pages, the reader can chart, amongst many previously untold facts, a young J.W. Lennon plumbing the depths of academic indifference with a 3% score in his Quarry Bank maths exam. It’s trivia, with little general market appeal and Lewisohn knows it, hence his tentative promo located at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-UnkZ2MY-Y\

The extended addition does address the shortcomings of the rather disappointing photographic gallery in the trade edition, but in all honesty you’ll have to have more money than sense to shell out 120 big ones for every literary scrap of Mark’s work. Stick to the trade edition for fifteen modest ones, and revel in the evocation of a post war Liverpool redolent with musical vibrancy and slum dwellings, ably complemented by the interweaving lives of our heroes and their contemporaries.

It’s a magisterial work that debunks a half century’s worth of myths and downright lies, with an level of impartiality and factual accuracy that retains our interest in a story we all know and love.

Recording The Beatles (Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew) 2006

I was fortunate to obtain a copy of this heavyweight tome as my oldest friend lives in Houston, USA, and his wife was able to purchase a copy directly from Kevin Ryan, the ‘cash for product’ exchange taking place in a shopping mall carpark. Earlier attempts by myself via the Curvebender Publishing website to obtain details of any forthcoming reprint run had proved fruitless, so I thought to contact my friend by email. Six months later and whilst on holiday in the UK, he was able to personally hand it over to me, thus saving on shipping costs that would have inevitably doubled my overall outlay. This immense work now sits proudly atop my Kwai digital piano, a snip of a bargain at £60.

The book’s full title is Recording The Beatles: The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used To Record Their Classic Albums.’ It addresses the technical side of The Beatles’ sessions and was written with the assistance of many of the group’s former engineers and technicians. Every piece of recording equipment used at Abbey Road Studios during the Beatles’ sessions, including all microphones, outboard gear, mixing consoles, speakers, and tape machines, is studiously reviewed. Illustrated with hundreds of full color photographs, charts, drawings and illustrations, its a cornocupia of information detailing how the equipment was implemented during the group’s sessions. The effects used on the Beatles’ records are addressed in great detail, with full explanations of concepts such as ADT and flanging. In addition, the Production section of the book looks at the group’s recording processes chronologically, starting with their “artist test” in 1962 and progressing through to their final session in 1970. Sporting several rare and unseen photos of the Beatles in the studio, the book also details the personnel and history of EMI studios.

The authors spent over a decade researching the subject matter and offer up their findings in exhaustive detail. The 540-page hardcover book has been highly praised not only for its massive scope, but also for its presentation. The “Deluxe” version, released in September of 2006, was housed in a replica EMI multi-track tape-box, complete with faux time-worn edges. Rather than a listing of the tape’s contents, the back of the box featured the book’s contents, hand-written by former Beatles tape-op and engineer, Ken Scott. The book was also accompanied by several “bonus items,” including reproductions of never-seen photos of the Beatles. The first printing of 3,000 books sold out in November of 2006, and a second printing was released in February of 2007. The book is currently in its fourth printing. Would be purchasers should be aware that with a weight of 11lbs, it’s not the sort of book to be pulled from the shelf and skimmed over. Referring back to it as a technical resource, as I am wont to do when considering recording options in my studio, is undoubtedly an ‘event.’ Only when I am sitting comfortably on my lounge sofa, ably supported by cushions to the side of me, am I prepared to extract this book from its hard slipcase.

Critically praised by recognized Beatles authority Mark Lewisohn (who also contributed the book’s Foreword), the book has also been lauded by ‘The New York Times,’ ‘Mojo’ magazine (which gave it 5 stars), Beatles engineers Norman Smith, Ken Scott, and Alan Parsons, Yoko Ono, and many other individuals directly involved with the Beatles’ work. The release of the book was celebrated in November 2006 with a party in Studio Two at Abbey Road. In attendance were most of the Beatles’ former engineers and technicians but sadly not yours truly – now there’s an evening I would have enjoyed!

Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio (Andy Babiuk) 3rd edition 2010

Musicians will be drawn to this book for its wealth of information and eye catching photographs. I purchased a copy in 2006 and have updated the text with print outs from Andy’s website.

Adopting a unique approach, Babiuk documents the history of the Beatles musical equipment. Like many bands, the Fab Four are indelibly associated with particular instruments, such as Lennon’s Rickenbacker Capri, Harrison’s Gretchs, Mccartney’s signature custom Hofner violin bass (the first left-handed bass the company ever produced), and Ringo’s Ludwig drum kit.

Combining research totalling six years with an eye for detail, the author catalogues virtually every instrument used by the group from the primitive Quarry Men skiffle equipment through to Harrison’s early Moog synthesizer which he introduced throughout the “Abbey Road” sessions in the summer of ’69. Faced with the problem of shedding new direction on a well troden path, Babuik skillfully connects the purchase of a particular instrument to the development of a distinctive sound which, in turn, would fuel a memorable compositional idea. Along the way, a few myths are debunked, including Mimi Smith’s near mythic financial contribution towards her nephew’s first guitar. Producing a photocopy of a receipt for a Hofner Club 40 electric guitar, the author unequivocably illustrates that Lennon’s Aunt merely co-signed a purchase agreement, contributing a £17 deposit to a £30 instrument. Lennon reportedly settled the balance over time with club earnings, but having acquired his first harmonica with a slick piece of shop lifting en route to Hamburg in 1960, this tale of conscientious loan management carries a hollow ring.

http://www.edroman.com/featured/beatlesgear.htm\

Commencing with Lennon’s first guitar in 1956, Babuik charts their association with certain instruments through to the band’s final 1969 sessions at the Abbey Road studios. As he shows, their choice of instruments were outlets for their personalities and creativity, and they selected a particular make and model for its individual sound, used that sound to its fullest, and then progressed to the next. Harrison proved the maverick, continually experimenting with guitars and instruments from other nationalities, leading to the important Eastern influence on the Beatles’ music. Babiuk provides marvelous technical detail on all of the Fab Four’s gear, with numerous photos of either their own instruments or identical models. Offering a fresh perspective on the group’s well-documented history, this volume has equal appeal for hardcore fans and interested lay readers alike.

Collectors should be aware that ‘Beatles Gear’ is now out in a softcover revised edition with many never before seen Beatles photographs, plus additional research and updated text, including photos of George Harrison’s recently found Gibson SG, McCartney’s left handed Fender jazz bass and Ringo’s custom made ‘giant’ Ludwig silver sparkle drum set used in the “Hello Goodbye” video.

Footnote – an expanded, completely revised edition of “Beatles Gear” appeared in 2016. As Babuik himself, put it:

“After Beatles Gear came out in 2001, I’d get calls every week, with someone saying, ‘I have John’s this, or Paul’s that.’ Some calls were crazy, but I was always polite and would ask them to send me a photo. You never know. So a guy e-mails me pictures of a Gretsch 6120, telling me it’s the guitar John used on ‘Paperback Writer.’ I pull up my photo database, and go, ‘Whoa. This is the guitar!’ It turns out the guy was John’s cousin, and he also had John’s little Fender amp, which we thought was a tweed Deluxe, but was actually a tweed Vibrolux. John let him pick out a couple of things from his music room in 1967. Wacky stuff.”

“Beatles Gear” now has a website, though certain aspects remain under construction.

http://www.thebeatlesgear.com/home.html

Surfing

The Beatles Concert Memorabilia site

http://www.fincharie.com/beatles%20pages/Concert%20Memorabilia%20Pages/BeatlesProgrammes.htm

A superb collection of programme covers, ticket stubs and live concert promotional posters covering all the major UK appearances by the group during their peak touring period.

The site has clearly been painstakingly constructed, yet there is no specific reference to the domain holder.

More fascimiles of rare concert memorabilia can be located at

http://www.tracks.co.uk/acatalog/1963_Concert_Programmes.html

This is the savage young Beatles - Photos of The Beatles 1950's - 1963

:http://www.beatlesource.com/savage/main.html

A superb repository of rare photos spanning the period ’57-‘63, including many onstage shots and pictures of the band during their early television appearances, many now sadly missing from the film archives.

Beatles Blog - Adventures in collecting Beatles music

https://beatlesblogger.com/

The Beatles Collection

http://thebeatles-collection.com/

Check your pressings and what’s great or poor about them.

The Beatles - World Discography

https://www.beatlesbible.com/discography/

Savour those rare picture sleeves!

The Beatles Illustrated Discography

http://beatlesdiscs.blogspot.co.uk/

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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.

Order

A2 Pencil Print-Price £60-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.