The Beatles

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The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:17 am

Truly one of the greatest pop bands of all time, they made a massive impact both in their native UK, and across the pond in the USA, not to mention most other countries you care to name. John, Paul, George & Ringo learnt their craft in gigs around their native Liverpool, and in the famous Hamburg clubs & elsewhere. They really popularised the craft of bands writing their own songs, something which moved the industry on exponentially. Over a succession of albums, their creativity and rivalry drove them on to greater heights, until the wheels eventually came off at the end of the 1960's, by which time they had changed the world. The long shadow their music still casts means that people will still be talking about them for a long time to come. Here are just a meagre handful of their moments:

I Want To Hold Your Hand

I Feel Fine

All You Need Is Love

Hey, Jude

Tomorrow Never Knows

 king king king jocolor
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:33 am

The Beatles: The First US Visit
Legendary documentary by Albert Maysles, accorded rare access to film the boys off stage and on, mainly during 3 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. The performance footage was a bit more interesting than silliness with Ringo.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
An American film-maker visits Liverpool to ascertain the legacy of the Beatles. During a local Beatles festival, he meets tribute acts from USA, Russia, Finland, Holland, Japan and more. A quirky and unfamiliar eye-view of the Beatles story.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:36 am

Arena: Magical Mystery Tour Revisited
A useful doc about the "not seen since 1967" Beatles filmette. Ringo, Macca, Peter Fonda and Neil Innes contributed, whilst Paul Gambaccini usefully pointed out it was a bit too British for the Americans to get, whilst too avant-garde for the British. Indeed, the notion seemed to be that Macca was the driving force, which is at odds with the usual idea that Lennon was the only one with surreal ideas.

Magical Mystery Tour
An hour-long journey to who knows where, interspersed with proto-promos for 'I am the Walrus', 'Blue Jay Way', ' Fool on the Hill' and 'Your Mother Should Know'. Amiable enough, though I don't like non-endings.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:38 am

Love Me Do: The Beatles '62
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of first Beatles' hit single 'Love Me Do' (as all are these, in one way or another), an overview of the social changes of 1962, as well as the changes in the Beatles (the departure of Pete Best, the temporary presence of Andy White, the arrival of Ringo). A worthy tribute, and the rest was history.

Becoming... The Beatles
OK, one more... running through the story of their early days as The Quarrymen, their adventures in Hamburg, the nearly-men Sutcliffe and Best, the arrival of Epstein, their appearance with Ed Sullivan. Amongst the talking heads were Gerry Marsden, Ken Dodd, Steve Harley, Len Goodman and Phil Collins (quite a mix).
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:42 am

12 Hours To Please Me
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the recording of the first Beatles album, BBC Radio 2 booked Abbey Road for the day and got a dozen diverse acts in to record one track each. Acts varied from Joss Stone & Beverley Knight, to Paul Carrack & Ian Broudie, to Mick Hucknall & The Stereophonics. Along the way, the precise story of the day panned out, through to the final invigorating bash at 'Twist and Shout', which helped get the ball rolling. When released, 'Please Please Me' spent 29 weeks straight at #1, before being knocked off by their 2nd album... but that's another story.

Arena: The Brian Epstein Story
2 and a half hours, and here's the main points: he was gay, he was Jewish, he didn't want to follow the family business, he craved change & challenge, his father died, he got depressed, he didn't commit suicide. The end.
In fairness, this 1998 documentary did count Paul McCartney, Marianne Faithfull, Gerry Marsden and Billy J Kramer amongst its contributors.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:57 am

Good Ol' Freda: The Beatles' Secretary
Almost 2 hours on the story of Freda Kelly, who spent 11 years running the Beatles Fan Club, and seeing an inside view of Beatlemania. Friends and family sang her modest praises, and Ringo contributed a TY video under the closing credits. It was a good account of a good person, who maybe didn't get quite the acclaim she deserved.

The Beatles: A Grammy Salute - The Night That Changed America
Jolly long show where assorted artists covered Beatles classics with varying success (the well meaning Katy Perry gets carried away; the tiresome Pharrell does his usual thing), before Ringo & Macca bring the house down. The crowd loved Ringo. Tom Hanks was spotted in the crowd not managing to sing along with the 2nd half of 'Hey Jude'. On the whole, though, a charming show.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:03 am

Beatles Stories
Seth Swirsky went round with a video camera to meet the great and the not-so-great and hear their personal anecdotes about the Fab Four. The quality veered from musicians like Graham Nash and Smokey Robinson, to Brian Wilson and Justin Hayward, but where it really shone were the completely unexpected: Henry Winkler, Jon Voight, and guitar hero Ben Kingsley. This gave the documentary an added impetus, as we heard stories about meetings with all four Beatles, and the impact they had.

If I might risk putting 2 & 2 together to make 5, I do get a sense that the USA went into an understandable national gloom when JFK was shot in Nov '63, and the Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan 3 months later seems to have acted as a moment of reawakening, a realisation that the world would keep turning after all, that there was hope, and a new future, and it would be fun.

But maybe that's just reading more into it than is true.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:40 am

Magical Mystery Tour Memories
Victor Spinetti narrates (and appears) in a cheapo doc with various members of the public recounting the days when the Beatles came down to film in their neck of the woods. Mike McGear & Neil Innes also add a little celebrity depth. MMT is about the only Beatles 'film' I've still to see, and this doc struggled to make it sound like a must-see.

NB Since writing that, I've obviously seen MMT.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:47 am

Heyday TV: Rock Milestones - Meet The Beatles!
It was Tony Dolan's turn to present here, with the usual gang ranging to sing in praise. The story though was a fascinating revelation, suggesting the doc was for an American audience. The saga of how Capitol Records found the Beatles becoming a much bigger success than they expected, and with other companies having licenced some of the Beatles' material, this album was put together to eliminate the Fab Four's cover versions, and put the song-writing of L&M further under the spotlight. Capitol continued to run roughshod over Beatles' releases for several years, leading to amusing sidelines like the notorious "doll-butcher" cover for "Yesterday & Today" (not, alas, covered here).
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:46 am

The Beatles - In America
Graham McTavish presented as many of the usual crowd gave praise for the way that the Beatles made such a huge impact in the USA, with journalists, biographers and musicians paying homage to how they did it. Only half an hour, though, yet crammed with all & sundry sticking their oar in.

Rock Milestones: The Beatles - The Red Album 1962-6
A pretty dubious bit of adulation here, a hits compilation which did at least mean there could be consideration of some of the tracks which either get overlooked or given lesser coverage in the usual run of things. The number of contributors was just 4, though, so at least there could be some sense of consistency in judgements.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:19 am

John Lennon's 1st wife, Cynthia, died of cancer over the weekend. She was 75 Sad

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11509668/Cynthia-Lennon-obituary.html

Cynthia was Lennon’s first real love and was with him, as Julian Lennon pointed out, for half his adult life . Julian resented pop historians relegating his mother to “a puff of smoke in Dad’s life”.


Yet the bell-curve of Cynthia Lennon’s career as a Beatle wife peaked early, and even before she was confronted by the bleak reality of her husband’s infidelity with Yoko Ono – walking into her own house in 1968 to find them sitting cross-legged on the floor, gazing raptly into each other’s eyes – Cynthia knew that her marriage was doomed.
RIP
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:52 am

Up Close And Personal: The Beatles - Early Years
OK, so familiar stuff, but the inclusion of Pete Best helped elevate this. How all seems to be bowling along well in Hamburg & so on, before the fateful production decision that Best has to go. One way it was put is that Best was the better drummer, but Starr was the better Beatle.

Rock Milestones: The Beatles - The Blue Album 1967-1970
Again, pretty familiar ground. How the band moved from their masterpiece period, until the final descent and the end of the road. The usual songs and albums received their acclamation, and even their mildly lesser works had some fans.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:14 pm

John Lennon: In Performance
I expected this to be clips of him singing, but no, yet another run-through of the familiar Beatles story, but with a vague sense of "John did this because he was John". Neither his life before, nor his work after really rated any mention. The more I see shows like this, the more the schism with Paul shines bright (John wrote Help!, Paul wrote Yesterday... John wrote Strawberry Fields, Paul wrote Penny Lane etc)

The Beatles: In Performance
Again, the story running from "I Want To Hold Your Hand" through to their final stuff with "Let It Be". Many of the anecdotes were becoming so familiar by now that one could join in with them on the umpteenth analysis of "I Am The Walrus" and so on. Still fun, though.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:25 pm

The Beatles - Phenomenon 1962-1969
It really is amazing that all these separate shows were put together as separate shows when most of them are like Xerox copies of each other. Anyway, their first manager Allan Williams was here, so was Pete Best, and engineer Norman Smith, and so on & so on. From Hamburg and being almost signed by Bert Kaempfert, to the derisory ending of Let It Be.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Mon May 11, 2015 12:24 pm

The Beatles - A Magical History Tour
Yet another run-through of the usual, amusingly skewed by the inclusion of Pete Best, so that almost 2/3 of it is spent on his time in the band, and then the following albums are pelted through at a rate of knots. Neil Innes was a less familiar, though still welcome, inclusion with an Abbey Road anecdote.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:18 am

The Beatles: A Magical History Tour - The Early Years
Yes, 4 whole episodes of much the same old story. This one majored in Pete Best and Norman Smith, up to the point where Best got the chop. At least Stuart Sutcliffe got a mention or two, he seems quite irrelevant otherwise (how they got a film out of him beats me).

The Beatles: A Magical History Tour - The Mania
How things improved with Ringo, who was a big favourite in America (it says here). Their early work showed the signs for what was to come, and this episode led up to their arrival in the USA.

The Beatles: A Magical History Tour - In America
Ed Sullivan ahoy. Of course, the chance to use footage from that show was a blatant reason for these docs even being made. This episode led up to the Help album/film.

The Beatles: A Magical History Tour - ...And In The End
So from Rubber Soul onwards, as the creative apex of the band was sped through at a rate of knots, as well as the death of Brian Epstein which spelled the beginning of the end. This is one story that some folk never get tired of re-telling.

Music In Review: The Essential Music of the Sixties - The Beatles 1962-1964
Looking at their first 3 albums, and thus some of their lesser regarded tracks like "And I Love Her". Otherwise the usual suspects with many of the same clips from other docs.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:39 am

George Harrison - In Performance
The "quiet" one, the youngest one, who turned out to be as impressive as Lennon & McCartney, to their dismay. This told the usual story from a fresh angle, bringing in folk from the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band as well as the usual roll-call of journos etc. There was also footage from a US interview given presumably in the early 1970s where a beardy George is clearly relishing his freedom to release and freedom to speak for himself.

Love Me Do
This was quite decent, too, from 2003, focusing at first on their very early days, with the likes of Tony Sheridan, but no Pete Best. Then they covered the "bigger than Jesus" row which seemed more important to the US than anyone else. The remainder came from an interview given with Victor Spinetti, who was in two of their films, and was quite thoughtful about them, calling it a time "when the young spoke to the young".
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:47 am

Arena: Produced by George Martin
This 2011 effort covered his rise to fame with Parlophone Records, his status as comedy producer for Peter Sellers, before he hit pay-dirt with the Beatles. There was a lot on them, unsurprisingly, though he went on to work with many others. The story of his Montserrat studio was quite sad, as the weather did for it.

Today is apparently the 75th anniversary of the birth of John Lennon, as it happens.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:56 am

Andy White, drummer on 'Love Me Do' and a 'fifth Beatle,' dies
Andy White, originally from Scotland, played drums when the Beatles recorded "Love Me Do" for a third time in 1962. Ringo Starr played the tambourine but had been the drummer for the single that later was released in Europe.

The song was originally recorded during the Beatles audition for record label EMI with Pete Best on drums.

According to Rolling Stone, White was paid £5 for three hours of work and received no royalties.

"Love Me Do" was the Beatles first single. The song went to No. 1 when it was released in the United States in 1964. The B side was "P.S. I Love You."

White is one of the musicians referred to as a "Fifth Beatle." The list includes White, Best, Jimmie Nicol, Stuart Sutcliffe, Billy Preston and others.
He was 85. RIP Sad
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:53 am

The Nation's Favourite... Beatles Number One
If you're familiar with the "1" compilation listing 27 tracks which were #1 singles in either the UK or USA, then here's a special survey vote listing them into order of preference:
27: The Ballad of John and Yoko
26: Daytripper
25: I Feel Fine
24: From Me to You
23: Paperback Writer
22: Get Back
21: Lady Madonna
20: Hello Goodbye
19: Yellow Submarine
18: Eight Days a Week
17: We Can Work It Out
16: Ticket to Ride (included clip from "Doctor Who: The Chase")
15: Help!
14: Love Me Do
13: Can't Buy Me Love
12: Something
11: Come Together
10: She Loves You
09: A Hard Day's Night
08: The Long and Winding Road
07: I Want to Hold Your Hand
06: Penny Lane
05: All You Need is Love
04: Eleanor Rigby
03: Let It Be
02: Yesterday
01: HEY JUDE

A galaxy of stars contributed to relating the overall narrative, old and young, British and American, singers and DJs and others. As for the vote itself, check out how many of the top choices were McCartney efforts, as opposed to Lennon ones.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:47 am

Ringo Starr has been making some money by auctioning off rare memorabilia:

Starr sales
The rock star drummer and former Beatle got more than $2 million from his 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl drum kit. His personal copy of the 1968 album "The Beatles," better known as the "White Album," fetched an additional $790,000.

In all, Starr netted $9.2 million from more than 1,300 pieces of memorabilia up for bid between him and his wife, Barbara Bach.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:35 am

There were several shows on Tuesday to commemorate the 35th anniversary of John Lennon being shot dead.

Beatles' Indian retreat opened to public
An abandoned spiritual retreat in the Indian town of Rishikesh where The Beatles learned to meditate has been opened to the public.

The Beatles spent time at the 18-acre ashram, meditating and writing songs in 1968. Many of the songs made it onto the band's iconic White Album.

The ashram was run by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a flamboyant self-styled Indian guru, who died in 2008.

It was abandoned by the guru and his followers in the 1970s.
Worth remembering that Paul didn't bother with the Maharishi for long, John soon saw the man was all too fallible, and it was only George who believed in the importance of the teachings.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:03 am

John Lennon: Live in New York City
A benefit concert at Madison Square Garden from August 1972, this was apparently one of his last ever live shows. Yoko and the Plastic Ono Band are on hand for a selection of hits and other numbers. Impressive musicianship.

George Harrison: Living in the Material World
3.5 hour doc directed by Martin Scorsese, this covered his Beatles work quite heavily, and also great depth for his early solo work. Many people from differing walks of the media were present & willing to sing his praises. The horror of his attack at home in late 1999 was vividly recounted, but that was a rare moment of darkness in what was generally a film of much light.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:15 am

Soundstage Presents: Ringo Starr and the Roundheads
From Illinois, 2005, Ringo belts out the hits with the assurety of a frontman, though he does bang the drums a few times, too, and lets special guest Colin Hay loose on a version of Men at Work's "Who Can It Be Now?" I warmed to Ringo, especially touches like not going off for an encore, just staying on stage. A good, fun show

The Complete and Nutter History of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Made around the time of their 40th anniversary, many actual band members spoke of their works, and Vivien Stanshall happily featured via archive. The tale was told of their touring, and their successful involvements in kids show Do Not Adjust Your Set and Beatles movie Magical Mystery Tour. If lines like "I'm not frightened, I'm just doing the shimmy" set you off, you should check them out some more.
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Re: The Beatles

Post  misery guts on Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:20 am

TOTP2: John Lennon special
Originally put together in 2000, and repeated to mark what would have been his 75th birthday (theoretically), it at least included lesser bothered with hits like Mind Games or #9 Dream.

Psychedelic Britannia
Unlike the others in this series, this was just 60 minutes, not 90, and was another look at the 2nd half of the 1960's. Cream, Arthur Brown, Procol Harum, the Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, the Zombies, the Pretty Things and even the Beatles were considered along the way, to greater or lesser degree.
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