Monday, 4 December 2017

EX-BEATLE TO MAKE ACTING DEBUT!

______________________________________________
 
Former Beatles drummer, Pete Best, is to play himself in a brand new comedy stage production called, Lennon's BanjoWritten by Rob Fennah, the show is about a quest to find the holy grail of pop memorabilia - the first instrument John Lennon learned to play which has been missing for 60 years and now worth millions to whoever finds it.
 
Set in present day Liverpool, the stage play is based on the novel 'Julia's Banjo' by Rob Fennah and Helen A Jones.
 
Pete said: "I read the novel 'Julia's Banjo' some years ago and thought it was a great mix of fact and fiction with regards to the Beatles and the elusive banjo. It made me smile; a really enjoyable read. So, when speaking to Rob Fennah about the book becoming a stage play, I said in passing, 'I should play me!' And low and behold, here I am doing a few of the performances.  I would have loved to have done all of them but prior commitments made that impossible. Anyway, either with me, or the actor playing me, this show is going to be great fun!"
 
Rob Fennah, added: “As a huge Beatles’ fan, I was gobsmacked when Pete said he wanted to do it. Having a real life Beatle up there on stage is going to be a fantastic buzz, not just for those fortunate enough to get tickets for the shows Pete is performing in, but for the whole cast and crew. As for the play itself, I have matched the story to historical reality including dates, places and events. I want everyone to enjoy their romp through Beatledom and come out of the theatre believing, as I do, that the banjo is still out there somewhere just waiting to be found. It's The Beatles meets The Da Vinci Code!”
 
Pete Best's confirmed performance dates will be Wednesday 25th April 2.30pm and 7.30pm and Saturday 5th May at 7.30pm.
 
Lennon’s Banjo – one of the most hotly-anticipated new plays of 2018 - will premiere at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre next spring.
 
Produced by Pulse Records Ltd in association with Bill Elms, Lennon’s Banjo will open at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre on Tuesday 24 April 2018 for a two-week run, continuing through until Saturday 5 May.
 
Directed by Mark Heller, Lennon’s Banjo stars Eric Potts, Jake Abraham, Mark Moraghan, Stephanie Dooley, Lynn Francis and Roy Carruthers, with more cast to be announced soon.
 
On 9 October 1957, a young John Lennon turned 17. It was the last birthday he would spend with his mother, Julia, who was killed the following summer in a road traffic accident. 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of Julia's death and the banjo's disappearance.
 
It is well documented that Lennon was estranged from his parents and brought up by his Aunt Mimi. He said in many of his interviews: “I lost my mother twice. Once when I was five-years-old when she left me with my Aunt Mimi, and again at 17 when she was run over by a drunken off-duty police officer.”
 
It was Julia Lennon who introduced John to the world of pop music, teaching him to play rock and roll on a banjo, given to her by John's grandfather. Lennon often recounted how he would sneak off to visit his mum who lived only a few miles away. There, he would learn to play songs like ‘That’ll Be The Day’. He has been quoted as saying: “Mum would sit there with endless patience until I managed to work out all the chords.”
 
Mysteriously, the banjo went missing shortly after Julia Lennon’s death and no-one has set eyes on it since. One thing is certain though, if it did resurface it is estimated to be worth in the region of five million pounds.
 
“The intrigue and mystery surrounding Lennon’s missing banjo, and the logic that it could be sitting in somebody’s attic right now, has the potential to make headlines around the world. The story crosses over beautifully from fiction to fact and back again to tease and tantalise you into believing every word is true.” Trinity Mirror
 
So where do the facts end and the fiction begin? Everything will be revealed in this intriguing, colourful and fast-paced comic caper starring a talented cast of actors.
 
Watch the Promo Video here  https://youtu.be/ddpVnRStAmo   
 
For more info visit www.lennonsbanjo.com
 
Twitter @LennonsBanjo #FindTheBanjo
Facebook/LennonsBanjo
 
LISTING INFORMATION

LENNON’S BANJO
Epstein Theatre
Tue 24 April – Sat 5 May 2018
Tickets from £16
Group Rates Available
 
HOW TO BOOK

Tickets are on sale now. 
 
EPSTEIN THEATRE
CALL: 0844 888 4411
IN PERSON: Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ |Mon-Thu 2pm-6pm, Fri & Sat 12pm-6pm

TICKETQUARTER
ONLINE:
www.ticketquarter.co.uk
CALL: 0844 8000 410
IN PERSON: Echo Arena Box Office, Kings Dock, Liverpool, L3 4FP | 12noon on Echo Arena event days, and from 9am - 6pm on Fridays.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

New Book Review: ASTRID KIRCHHERR WITH THE BEATLES

ASTRID KIRCHHERR WITH THE BEATLES
Damiani Books ISBN 978-88-6208-574-8
Price: £22.50

The photographs of Astrid Kirchherr are legendary.

Capturing pictures of an unknown band called The Beatles during their stint in Hamburg between 1960 and 1962, these pictures proved to be the best set of images of The Beatles during this period and have been published many times in various books and magazines.

This book, however, goes further than these images. The story of how Astrid came to take the Hamburg photographs has been documented many times. What is less known, and written about, is her time with The Beatles after they made it to stardom.

Some of the most interesting pictures are from a 1963 holiday in Tenerife which Astrid attended with the boys.

Another lesser known fact is that Astrid was invited to the filming of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ in 1964, and the book has some excellent photographs from the set of the film. Astrid handed these negatives to Max Scheler for a magazine feature, and many of her photographs were incorrectly attributed to him. Ulf Kruger, Astrid’s manager, later rectified this error.

After working on the film, Astrid and Max took a tour of Liverpool, and there are some brilliant photographs capturing life in the city in 1964.

The book is a wonderful collection of Astrid’s work, and whilst there have been more extensive books on Astrid’s work, particularly by Genesis Publications, this book is an excellent collection and more affordable for most Beatles fans.

~Ernie Sutton

Thursday, 23 November 2017

New Black Friday discount available for members

Sonic Editions, a company created to make limited edition high quality fine art photographic prints affordable for the first time, who works with some of the world’s best photographers and picture archives are offering limited edition gallery quality music photography of the greatest musicians, film stars, cult heroes and cultural icons from only £79 framed (€119/$129). 

They've just added previous unseen Beatles pictures, and have arranged with the BBFC to offer a 10% discount from Friday November 24 through Monday November 27th.

The photos on sale are shots are from the recording of "The Music of Lennon and McCartney" Tv Show in 1965.You can have a look at the gallery here: http://bit.ly/2hHtdPs
 
To take advantage of the discount use the code “blackfridaybeatles" at the checkout stage of your purchase.
 
 

Win tickets to Macca The Concert!

Enter today to win two tickets to the hot new show ‘Macca the Concert- Celebrating the Music of Paul McCartney'. Learn more about this fab show on the show's website and Facebook page.

The Prize
The British Beatles Fan Club, in conjunction with Joe Richardson Marketing, have two tickets to give away for this show at the tour locations and dates below:
  • 13/01/2018 – New Theatre Oxford
  • 17/01/2018 – New Victoria Theatre Woking
  • 18/01/2018 – Sunderland Empire
  • 01/03/2018 –Southport Theatre
  • 23/03/2018 – Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone
  • 28/03/2018 – Victoria Hall Stoke
  • 29/03/2018 – New Wimbledon Theatre
  • 08/04/2018 – Theatre Royal Glasgow
  • 26/07/2018 – Princess Theatre Torquay
How to Enter
Entries must be received by midnight December 31, 2017.

Entries must include:
  • Your name
  • Your BBFC membership number
  • Your contact details (email, phone number and postal address) 
  • Answer to the following question: Which song on the list below is the first song Paul McCartney wrote?
    • In Spite of All the Danger
    • I lost My Little Girl
    • Love Me Do
Send your entry by:
Remember! Entries must reach us by 31stDecember 2017.

How to Win
Winner will be picked at random and notified. The judge’s decision is final.
PLEASE NOTE THIS COMPETITION IS OPEN TO BBFC MAGAZINE SUBSCRIBERS ONLY.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Maximum Volume (George Martin Biography) On Sale now

Just in time for Christmas this excellent book (reviewed in our December Magazine next month) is now out and available for purchase.  It is a must read for Beatles fans who are looking for something new.

Buy Here

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Help Support the transformation of Strawberry Field!


2nd November, 2017
  • Inspirational choir records Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever at Abbey Road to launch campaign to tackle unemployment and isolation among young people with special needs
  • Of one million people with learning difficulties in the UK, 93% are unemployed and 31% have no contact with family or friends
  • The Salvation Army tackles issues within the learning-disabled community by re-opening former children’s home in Lennon’s Strawberry Field as a new training hub
LIVERPOOL, Thursday 2nd November – The Salvation Army today launches a public fundraising campaign to transform Strawberry Field – the former children’s home which inspired John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields Forever – into a training and work placement hub to support young people with learning disabilities.

The Church and Charity needs £2m funding to make this happen.

Over a million people in the UK have a learning disability* and only 7% of that number have a job. 31% have no contact with family or friends, according to research uncovered by the Church and Charity.

To mark the launch of the new campaign, 50 years since the original release of the 1967 classic Beatles song, a choir formed of young people with learning disabilities – all of whom could potentially benefit from the Army’s inspiring plans – gathered at the world-famous Abbey Road studios to create a special version of the iconic song, released online today. The choir was made up from a mix of students from The City of Liverpool College and young people who The Salvation Army work with.

Major Drew McCombe, Divisional Leader for The Salvation Army, North West, said: “Lennon grew up close to Strawberry Field, and gave generously to the home as soon as he got his first pay cheque. He also had a vision for it, expressed in the song, as a place where anybody, whatever their personal background and difficulties, could realise their dreams

“Strawberry Field has the potential to bring that vision to life; changing the lives of young people with learning disabilities, who find it difficult to find gainful employment, as well as encourage more projects similar across the UK. I hope our choir will not only raise awareness of these issues, but inspire people to take action to help create a better future for those affected.”

As a child, Lennon famously used to jump over the wall into the Strawberry Field grounds, where he would play with the children who lived there and listen to The Salvation Army band. He grew up just a stone’s throw away from the site in Woolton, Liverpool, which has lain unused for 12 years.

He remained a supporter of The Salvation Army, with a particular interest in Strawberry Field throughout his life, donating several thousands of pounds to the charity after the song’s release.
Paul O’Grady, supporter of The Salvation Army, said: “It is truly shocking to know the disadvantage that young people with learning disabilities face.

“I’m sure John Lennon would be smiling down on this project. As the song lyrics say, ‘Living is easy with eyes closed’ – hopefully this campaign will open people’s eyes so they see the many individuals living alongside us that aren’t being given the support they need to thrive and flourish.”

The Salvation Army is now calling on anyone interested in making a difference to the lives of these young people to help revive the iconic location through a £2m public fundraising campaign, which will allow Strawberry Field to open its doors to the public for the first time ever.

The inspirational choir was joined at Abbey Road by special guest photographer Mike McCartney, former front man of pop band The Scaffold and younger brother of Beatle Paul. He has been involved in the Strawberry Field project from its early days.

Mike said, “I wanted to capture the choir coming off the bus and walking across the famous zebra crossing, but they were on a mission – I almost missed them! They couldn’t wait to get to the studio and get in there. There was some apprehension in their faces, but it was special watching them grow in confidence throughout the day. In the end, they delivered the goods. It was a joyous day.”
Funds raised will create a training and work placement hub for young people with learning disabilities; a new, visitor experience on the place, the song and Lennon’s early life around Strawberry Field; and the development of a haven for spiritual exploration.

Please find below links to video content to support the campaign:

  • · Make it Matter (1:08 mins) -Hear from our choir as to why Strawberry Field matters to them
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT96cp5NvOQ&index=2&list=PL7L42bBlNtlOPQ...

  • The Story Behind the Song (3:49 mins) -Follow our choir as they journey to London to rehearse and record Strawberry Fields Forever at Abbey Road Studios
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t3genXp2RY&index=1&list=PL7L42bBlNtlOPQ...

  • The Song (2:16 mins) - Listen to the song in its entirety
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1tHR3ovteM&index=3&list=PL7L42bBlNtlOPQ...

  • Jordan’s Story (2:36 mins) -Due to his dyspraxia, Jordan left school a shy and isolated teenager with a very unclear future. Since then, not only has he gone on to gain qualifications, he now has two jobs with big ambitions for the future. Beyond that, he’s become a treasured, conscientious member of his community and relishes in the fact that he’s able to give back. Jordan is true inspiration and testament to what young people with learning disabilities can achieve – a real success story of this project
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugcmXSTuXCg&index=4&list=PL7L42bBlNtlOPQ...

Further campaign information including hi-res images of the choir at Abbey Road Studios can be found here with the full press release.  You can also DONATE on this link.

Friday, 27 October 2017

TREMBLING WILBURYS AT THE CAVERN - SUNDAY OCT 29th

The Trembling Wilburys  are playing the Cavern in Liverpool this Sunday 29th October as special guests of Steve Rodgers (son of Paul, Free/Bad Company) who's currently on tour with his band promoting his debut album.


The Trembling Wilburys pay perfect homage to the Traveling Wilburys, the amazing supergroup formed by George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan and the recently departed Tom Petty (R.I.P.), with hits including ‘Handle With Care’ and ‘End Of The Line’ as well as numbers from their incredible solo catalogues plus Beatles & ELO songs. 


The original Wilburys never played live as Roy Orbison passed away shortly after the release of their debut album in 1988, but luckily the “Tremblers” can bring you their version of the show that never was. The band also features two of the closest look & sound-alikes of any tribute act, with Glen Knowler being the virtual living double of George Harrison, while Dave Collison perfectly captures Roy Orbison’s unique vocal range and style. Absolutely NO WIGS in this band, folks, just great musicianship and an incredible live show that will have you rocking in the aisles! Timings as follows:


8pm - Rosenblume (local act)
8.45 - Steve Rodgers band
9.45 - Trembling Wilburys


More info & tickets:
www.cavernclub.org/events/event/steve-rodgers/?date=2017-10-29