Sunday, 17 June 2018

George Martin Bio Part 2 - Coming Soon!

The BBFC have been notified that the second volume of George Martin's biography will be available soon.  We will review it as soon as our review copy arrives, but here are the details. We are also working to try to arrange an interview with the author.  Watch for details.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Issue 66 is on its way to you!

The second issue of 2018 is in the post!

We have been working hard to make the magazine even better than in the past, and we've been receiving loads of positive feedback.

Please let us know if you like the changes, and if you have an idea for something you'd like to see us write about, let us know.  We have an exciting new series starting in our December issue.

Non members can order a copy from our website here.

Issue 66 (June 2018) includes:
  • The Beatles A Day in The Life 
  • Coming Up - Forthcoming Events 
  • Media Watch 
  • When was the last time you played that? 
  • The Beatles NOT for Sale 
  • Meeting a Beatle 
  • Apple Scruffs - How I Love You 
  • Lennon and Cheap Trick 
  • Paperback Writers 
  • Beatles Boots Try Some, Buy Some - New Releases
  • Politics of John Lennon - Part 2 
  • Wings Over Wembley 
  • Offers and Discounts 
  • Crap Photo of the Month

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Preview Review- Maharishi and Me: seeking enlightenment with The Beatles’ guru


The following review is just a sample the content that is in the June issue of the magazine which will  be published in just a few weeks.  Members get four issues a year.  Join here.




Maharishi and Me: seeking enlightenment with The Beatles’ guru
Susan Shumsky
Skyhorse Publishing, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5107-2268-2 (RRP $26.99)

Susan Shumsky is well-placed to write a book about the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – she was a pupil of his for over twenty years and immersed herself in his teachings, his method of meditation (Transcendental - TM) and in his Spiritual Regeneration Movement. In 1966 a teenage Susan, like many of her peers, left home and headed to the hippy scene in Oakland, California. There she began to indulge in the sex and drugs lifestyle, trying LSD and similar mind-expanding drugs in search of something deeper and more meaningful. During this time, she met someone who suggested that there was another way and within days she chanced upon Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda just as George Harrison had during the filming of Help!. This book and encounter was to change her life. Susan then was introduced to Transcendental Meditation and her lifelong spiritual journey began.

“This memoir will raise the veil to uncover how Maharishi captivated me, transformed me and then released me to find self-empowerment in my own spiritual pathway.” Shumsky does not hold back. This is a ‘warts and all’ account of her direct experience with Maharishi and his methods of teaching, his manipulation of his students and staff and his personal foibles. But all throughout she maintains a strong regard and respect for Maharishi as a spiritual teacher (guru) and a man.

Shumsky makes a clear point that the methods practiced by Maharishi may seem cruel and uncaring but were intended to free his students from their egos. “Once we let go of ego attachment, we become our own guru and miracle maker.”

A significant portion of the book and accompanying images is devoted to the Beatles’ experience at the Maharishi’s ashram in Rishikesh. It must be stressed that the author never met the Beatles but her stories about them in India come from known sources and, more interestingly, from people who were there, people other than the ones we have already heard from. One can’t help but wonder that her publisher asked Shumsky to add these stories to make the book more appealing to a wider audience. Well, it works. Shumsky covers the episode with Alexis Mardas, aka ‘Magic Alex’, and the now-identified woman he probably collaborated with to discredit Maharishi, leading to John and George and their wives leaving the ashram abruptly. Without giving too much away, Shumsky’s account of the Beatles’ time in Rishikesh is an eye-opener and one that every Beatles fan should read and consider carefully in light of the author’s experience of meditation and Maharishi’s methods.

As to the contemporary negative views of Maharishi and his teachings, Shumsky rightfully points out that it had always been the case that gurus came from the Brahmin caste in India. Maharishi did not. Also, the teaching of meditation to achieve a higher spiritual status was intended to be provided with no charge. Maharishi was heavily criticised for his focus on Western pupils who were very willing to pay sometimes quite large sums of money to learn from him. But…”Maharishi transformed the world by introducing and popularising meditation into Western culture.”

Her recall is astonishing; the level of detail in her descriptions of the events spanning from 1966 to the present implies she kept a diary although nowhere in the text does she state this. The reader must take it on trust that she recalls these events and those that she was told about accurately. The chapters are presented chronologically which is a big help in following the complicated machinations of her spiritual journey. Most of the chapters start with one of Maharishi’s sayings which, for me, gives so much more insight into his actual teachings then I have hitherto encountered before. Some years ago, I underwent a weekend training course and subsequent follow-up sessions in TM near Marylebone Station in London and although the Maharishi was still alive at the time, I was never privy to any of his teachings.

In this book Susan Shumsky presents an intense insight into TM and Maharishi in an easily understandable manner. This book is a joy to read.

Terry Bloxham
 

Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Mersey Beatles Following In The Footsteps Of Their Heroes

Following In The Footsteps Of Their Heroes – THE MERSEY BEATLES Announce Biggest Ever UK Tour
After sold out shows in the USA and Europe, the world’s favourite Liverpool-born Beatles tribute band – THE MERSEY BEATLES – are embarking on an historic UK Tour.
Their GET BACK 2018 TOUR visits the very same towns, cities and historic British venues that the original Fab Four first rocked in the 1960s. Tickets are on sale now from  www.ticketmaster.co.uk
Fewer than 80 of the 200-plus British venues The Beatles played between 1957 and 1966 remain today as so many historic dance halls and theatres that shook to the original Merseybeat sound have been demolished.
In a unique bid to celebrate both The Beatles’ music and the special places that helped shape that world-changing Rock 'n' Roll sound, The Mersey Beatles will play 12 original Fab Four venues in October and November 2018.
The Get Back Tour hits Wirral, Stockport, Whitchurch, Blackburn, Rhyl, Aldershot, Bedford, Norwich, Stoke, Coventry, Lydney, Walthamstow, Margate, Salisbury, Alloa, Aberdeen and Newcastle.
Within a stunning two-hour show – which brilliantly captures all the hits from Love Me Do to Let It Be – The Mersey Beatles will play the exact same songs John, Paul, George and Ringo did at the venue, allowing audiences to really ‘Get Back in time for a true Fab Four experience’.
Ranging from town halls and ballrooms to old cinemas and theatres, the tour opens on October 31st at Port Sunlight’s historic Hulme Hall where, in 1962, Ringo Starr made his first appearance as The Beatles new drummer.
Other venues include Newcastle’s Majestic Ballroom (now the O2 Academy). It was here, after a 1963 show, that John Lennon and Paul McCartney penned the worldwide smash She Loves You in a hotel around the corner.
The 17-date Get Back Tour visits England, Wales and Scotland, including a show at Alloa Town Hall which, in 1960, the then ‘Silver Beetles’ played as part of their first ever professional tour – just months before they famously headed to Hamburg for the first time.
When it comes to stage performance, The Mersey Beatles brilliantly exude the inner and outer spirit of the original Fab Four from the costumes, the haircuts, the instruments and, of course, that unmistakable and legendary Liverpool-born sound.
Julia Baird, John Lennon’s sister and director of The Cavern Club, said: “When I hear The Mersey Beatles, it really IS The Beatles”

Joe Flannery, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein's assistant, added: “When I saw them play in The Cavern, they perfectly recreated the atmosphere that the original Beatles produced. It was just like listening to The Beatles again.”
Formed in 1999 in Liverpool by four school friends, The Mersey Beatles have toured the world many times over. And the band – Mark Bloor (John), Steven Howard (Paul), Craig McGown (George) and Brian Ambrose (Ringo) cannot wait to hit the road in 2018.
Steven said: “This tour is going to be amazing! We are, of course, all Beatles fans and, as Liverpool lads we’ve been obsessed with the band since we were in school. It’s going to be great to follow in the Fab Four’s footsteps and truly recreate those special shows at these wonderful and historic venues.”
Mark added: “We pride ourselves on bringing a true Beatles experience, covering all the eras from the days of The Cavern Club, through Beatlemania to Sgt Pepper and the band’s final gig on the rooftop of the Apple offices. We cannot wait to Get Back to where it all began for the greatest band of all time.”
GET BACK – THE MERSEY BEATLES 2018 UK TOUR 
OCT 31                 PORT SUNLIGHT – Hulme Hall
NOV 6                   STOCKPORT – Plaza
NOV 8                   WHITCHURCH – Civic Centre
NOV 9                   BLACKBURN - King George’s Hall (Windsor Suite)
NOV 10                RHYL – Pavilion
NOV 13                ALDERSHOT – Princes Hall
NOV 14                BEDFORD – Corn Exchange
NOV 15                NORWICH – Epic Studios
NOV 16                STOKE – Kings Hall
NOV 17                COVENTRY – Albany Theatre
NOV 21                 LYDNEY – Town Hall
NOV 22                WALTHAMSTOW – Maud @ Mirth, Marvel and Maud
NOV 23                MARGATE – Winter Gardens
NOV 24                SALISBURY – City Hall
NOV 28                ALLOA – Town Hall
NOV 29                ABERDEEN – The Beach Ballroom
NOV 30                NEWCASTLE – O2 Academy
Tickets are on sale now  via www.ticketmaster.co.uk

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The Beatles liked the Crickets - do you?

One of the many early rock and roll groups who influenced the boys who would meet and eventually become The Beatles was Buddy Holly and the Crickets.  We happen to like them too, so we are happy to spread the word about this show in Twickenham coming this June.

BUDDY - THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY
With audiences around the world dancing in the aisles this legendary production hits The Exchange, Twickenham. Oh Boy! Rave On! Peggy Sue! That’ll Be The Day! - All smash
hits of the golden days of rock ’n’ roll, when ‘doo-wops’ and ‘ah hey, ah hey, heys’ rang out
from every jukebox!

If you weren’t born then, or were too young to be a part of this exciting period of musical history then you won’t want to miss out on the electrifying party that is Buddy - The Buddy
Holly Story!

Experience the ups and downs of Holly’s ‘budding’ musical career as he strives to fulfil his potential genius. The heart-warming tale of a small town all-American boy is told with care, detail and humour. Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story finally explodes into a celebration of youth and lust for life in a re-creation of his last concert at Clear Lake!

This immaculately stages production gives some of the nation’s best musical talent the chance to perform Buddy Holly’s music as it will always be remembered and always should be performed - with youth, joy and bounces enthusiasm. Remember, there are many imitations but only

Box Office - 020 8240 2399

Online booking
FRIDAY 15th JUNE - http://exchangetwickenham.co.uk/event/buddy-holly-story/
SATURDAY 16th JUNE - http://exchangetwickenham.co.uk/event/buddy-holly-story-2/