"I don't want to bring in the violins, but we all came from hardship," says McCartney. "All of us except for George lost someone. I lost my mum when I was 14. John lost his mum. But Ringo had it worst. His father was gone; he was so sick they told his mum he wasn't going to live. Imagine making up your life from that, in that environment. No family, no school. He had to invent himself. We all had to come up with a shield, but Ringo came up with the strongest shield."In anticipation of the inimitable Mr. Starkey's imminent (and long-awaited) induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone presents Being Ringo: A Beatle's All-Starr Life.
Part of that shield was playing the fool; part of that shield was booze. It led to a lost decade of L.A./London/Monte Carlo partying where Ringo woke up many mornings wondering, "Why are the birds coughing so loudly?" But he's been sober for 26 years, and there's one essential thing that keeps Ringo young: the sticks and the drum kit.
Over 50 years ago, The Beatles arrived in New York for their first US visit, but what if ....
Having departed Heathrow on the 7th February 1964, John Lennon, in a playful mood, ordered the pilot to divert the plane via the Bermuda Triangle. Newly declassified documents reveal that Pan Am Flight 101 disappeared from US radar screens shortly after midday, local time. At great expense we have obtained – from reliable Russian mafia sources – an MP3 copy of the black box recorder of that ill-fated Boeing 707. This indicates that as far as those aboard the plane knew, after experiencing severe cyclonic turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean, they re-routed towards New York, believing themselves to have narrowly avoided aeronautical disaster. But on arriving at JFK airport, they were stunned to learn that they had arrived in the year 1994.That's the premise of An Adventure To Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space, a two-hour ill-trippy musical adventure with golden era hip-hop musicians, from P.E. to Spoonie Gee, Tha Liks to Hieroglyphics and Large Professor to Salt n Pepa, courtesy of Tom Caruna, also the artist behind Enter the Magical Mystery Chamber (previously, and still online)
808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
Some highlights from Joshua Rifkin's career(s):
- At the age of 21, in only five weeks, he wrote and conducted The Baroque Beatles Book, an album of Beatles themes rendered in the styles of Bach and Handel.
- On Wildflowers and In My Life, he arranged some of Judy Collin's best tracks, including "Albatross" and "Suzanne."
- Rifkin helped kickstart the 70s ragtime renaissance with three acclaimed Joplin albums.
- In 1981, he published an infamous paper [JSTOR] declaring that Bach's choral work wasn't actually choral work as we understand it. Rather, Bach intended only one singer to take each vocal part...
George Harrison passed away on the 29th of November, 2001. Though a simple private ceremony was held shortly after where his ashes were scattered over the Ganges river, a more public memorial occurred at Royal Albert Hall exactly one year after his death. [more inside]
"Self-proclaimed knowledge, music, LEGO and die-cast car junkie, Adly Syairi Ramly presents a collection of 20 iconic bands that he’s taken the time to recreate with everyone’s favorite building blocks." [more inside]
It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
In 1961, when Brian Epstein began negotiating a management contract with the Beatles, he employed Freda Kelly as his secretary. She remained within the group's inner circle until their breakup and beyond. The breakup of the Beatles was publicly acknowledged by McCartney in a 1969 interview. Kelly, who by this stage had a husband and was expecting her first child, was relieved. She felt ready to move on with her life. But although she stopped working for the band officially in 1972, she continued to reply to fans' letters for another three years every night at home after dinner, until each one had been answered. "You can't just close a fanclub overnight," she says. Good Ol' Freda: The Beatles' secretary tells her story
In 1964, The Beatles put together a one-off variety show, with musical numbers specially pre-recorded for the show, presented in the style of theater-in-the-round. Around the Beatles was aired in the UK and later that same year in the US, but never commercially released. The show includes The Beatles performing a scene from A Midsummer's Night Dream, with Paul McCartney as Pyramus, John Lennon as his lover Thisbe, George Harrison as Moonshine, Starr as Lion, and Trevor Peacock (the only actual actor in the lot) in the role of Quince. A color clip of that was posted previously, but you can watch the entire (almost) hour-long show with The Beatles' segments accompanied by seven other musical acts, on Dailymotion or YouTube, though it's in black and white. [more inside]
"She's known as the hardest working young lady in show business today. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Tina Turner." [more inside]
Over the past 13 years, Berlin resident Klaus Beyer has translated the Beatles' entire oeuvre into German, recording the translated songs in his home studio and releasing them on CDs with titles like Gummi Seele, Kloster strasse and Das Gelbe Underwasserboot, even recreating the cover artwork of the originals. [more inside]
The Beatles Complete on Ukulele is a surreal collaboration between Roger and Dave, some ukuleles, 185 other artists (many yet unknown!), and The Beatles. New tune and essay every Tuesday through July 2012.
With a surprisingly low voice and the composure of an R&B singer many years older, Helen Shapiro toured with The Beatles in 1963; inspired Lennon and McCartney to compose for her the song “Misery” (which they intended for her vocal style); wrote her own B-sides; starred in ("A Hard Day's Night" director Richard Lester's) 1962 movie; and recorded an album of songs in Nashville with (Patsy Cline producer) Owen Bradley. All before her 17th birthday. [more inside]
Showing Off is a series of videos, audio clips and articles in which noted music journalist and Frankie Goes to Hollywood mastermind Paul Morley explores various facets of music. Each month has a theme, [warning: most links have autoplaying video] Michael Jackson, Kraftwerk, classical music, disco, The Beatles, folk music, The X Factor, the Noughties, the next big thing, UK hip hop, jazz, and dance. Here is some of what's on offer: MeFi faves Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip on hip hop, These New Puritans' Jack Barnett, Johnny Marr on folk (parts 1, 2), but isn't all just interviews, there are also a lot of performances, e.g. Michael Nyman and David McAlmont, Badly Drawn Boy, Susanna Wallumrød covers Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak, and Cornershop cover Norwegian Wood.
Music! - A 1968 documentary by the National Music Council of Great Britain, featuring folk singing, The Beatles, and even early electronic music produced by tape splicing. Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.
All you need is love - from 156 countries, all at the same time. Join in the chorus; each video leads to a 5-cent donation from Starbucks to the RED Global Fund for AIDS in Africa.
Larry Williams is not as famous as many of his contemporaries, but was responsible for a long string of hits beginning with Short Fat Fannie in 1957. He continued to produce such rock and roll staples as Slow Down, Bony Moronie, and She Said Yeah. His songs are probably better known today through other artists' interpretations of his songs. Williams' songs have been covered by: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Replacements, The Beatles, Johnny Winter, The Who, The Plastic Ono Band, Paul McCartney, and The Jam. Also Sha Na Na. And every garage band in the world. [more inside]
Zombies Vs Beatles (slyt)
Before Obamania, there was Beatlemania ☺ Washington Coliseum (02/11/64) Melbourne (06/17/64) Hollywood Bowl (08/24/64) Wembley Stadium (04/11/65) Paris (06/20/65) Barcelona (07/03/65) Shea Stadium (08/15/65) Munich (06/24/66) Tokyo (07/01/66) Dodger Stadium (08/28/66)
The Beatles in film: A Hard Day's Night (1964), Help! (1965), Magical Mystery Tour (1967), Yellow Submarine (1968) and, finally, Let It Be [Apple rooftop concert only] (1970)
Apple Corps Ltd. sues Apple Computers over AppleMusic. "When it first happened with the iPod, we said, "What could they be thinking?" said a Beatles legal insider, who agreed that posters announcing the iPod from "AppleMusic" were among the most egregious violations. "They knew we had the agreement, and that we'd won a lot of money from them already."