Friday, 30 November 2012

The Dream is Over - Book Signing in London



With a foreword by Yoko Ono, The Dream is Over covers a ten-year span from
1963 to 1973.

Author Dan Richter took a year's leave of absence as lead performer at the
American Mime Theatre and teacher at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts
to study mimetic forms around the world, and was swept up in the exploding
counter culture.

London in the sixties is the main backdrop of the memoir. Richter starred in
and choreographed the opening of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
With his friends Allen Ginsburg, Gregory Corso and William Burroughs,
Richter helped produce and read his poetry at the legendary Albert Hall
poetry reading, as well as publishing their poetry.

A close friend of Yoko Ono's, the main focus of the memoir is the four years
Richter lived and worked with John Lennon and Yoko Ono from 1969 to 1973.
The Beatles, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan and
many other figures from Rock 'n' Roll and the arts fill the pages of the
memoir.

The book reveals an intimate insider's look, chronicling everything from
battles with heroin addiction, John and Yoko's concerts, their political
activities, films, the breakup of The Beatles, to the making of the album
Imagine.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Hunter Davies: The Lennon Letters, V&A Dec 3


V&A Evening Talk: 
19.00 – 20.00 (talk); 
20.00 – 20.45 (refreshments) 
£15 (including wine reception) 


Hunter Davies, the only authorised biographer of The Beatles, knew John Lennon well, and has edited the first-ever collection of John’s letters, introducing each one and setting it in the context of its author’s life.

John wrote letters and postcards all of his life; to his friends, family, strangers, newspapers, lawyers and the laundry – most of which were funny, informative, campaigning, wise, mad, poetic, anguished and sometimes heartbreaking. Hunter will discuss his latest publication and show a short film that was made when he was producing The Beatles book back in the 1960s.

When:
Mon 3 December 2012 19:00

Where:
The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre

For more information, visit the V&A website here

Celebrate Christmas with the Mersey Beatles and Support a Great Cause!



Celebrate Christmas with Liverpool's favourite tribute band, The Mersey Beatles, and support a great cause at the same time!

The Peace Centre was built as a living memorial to 12 year old Tim Parry and 3 year old Johnathan Ball who were tragically killed in the 1993 IRA bombing of Warrington.

The vision of Tim's parents Wendy and Colin Parry, was to provide a safe space for people of all ages, regardless of their faith, race, politics, nationality, or any other excuse for injustice and violence, to learn how to live together in peace.

The Foundation for Peace and NSPCC joined forces to raise funds for the £3million Centre which was officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Kent on 20th March 2000...the 7th anniversary of the IRA bomb.

For more information, or to book tickets, visit http://www.foundation4peace.org/events/christmas-party-night/ 
or telephone Wendy on 01925 581231

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

LIVERPOOL TO MARK ANNIVERSARY OF LENNON’S DEATH WITH VIGIL AT EUROPEAN PEACE MONUMENT




Beatles and Lennon fans from all over the world will make their way to Liverpool on 9th December to mark the anniversary of John Lennon’s death with a candlelit vigil taking place at the city’s European Peace Monument dedicated to John.


WHERE

EUROPEAN PEACE MONUMENT DEDICATED TO JOHN LENNON,
ECHO ARENA LIVERPOOL,
KINGS DOCK,
LIVERPOOL WATERFRONT L3 4BX

WHEN –

SUNDAY 9TH DECEMBER 2012
7PM GMT


This will be the third year that the city has marked the occasion at the Peace Monument and organisers hope that the event will be the largest yet.

Since its unveiling by Julian and Cynthia Lennon on October 9th 2010 the monument - entitled ‘Peace & Harmony’ - has become a popular focal point for visitors to the Beatles’ home city looking to celebrate Lennon’s life and message of peace through music.

Julian and Cynthia Lennon
at the unveiling in 2010

Now located at its permanent home outside Arena & Convention Centre Liverpool (ACC), the European Peace Monument is the first physical focal point for fans to congregate and remember the artistic and creative legacy of a world icon.

The annual peace vigil is being organised by Liverpool’s award-winning Beatles Story, the attraction responsible for bringing the European Peace Monument to Liverpool and the recent successful Guinness World Record attempt that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ debut single.

Jerry Goldman, MD of The Beatles Story comments:
“The eyes of the world will be on Liverpool once again as we celebrate the life of John Lennon with our annual peace vigil. Last year’s event was a wonderful success and was covered by newspapers, TV and radio all over the world.
“With the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the first Beatles single being celebrated this year we expect another wonderful turnout of friends and admirers to celebrate the life of the great man.”

For more information click here

The 2010 Peace Vigil: 




Exhibition: HENRY GROSSMAN: In My Life: The Unseen Beatles



Rock Paper Photo is pleased to present an exhibition entitled:
In My Life: The Unseen Beatles by Henry Grossman 

 46/48 Beak Street London W1 

in association with Mach Schau and Mojo Magazine
From November 20 2012



Best known for his classic contributions to publications such as Time and LIFE, Henry Grossman maintained a fruitful relationship with the Beatles during the 1960s. For over four decades, the vast majority of his Beatles archive (which tops a staggering 6,000 photographs) has been hidden away, avoiding rediscovery. The collection is unprecedented in its scope and intimacy. 



Now, for the first time, these images – most of which have never been published – are finally being made available to fans and collectors for purchased as limited edition prints exclusively through Rock Paper Photo.
“The Beatles allowed just a few select photographers greater access than most,” renowned Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn said, “and no one was ever closer than Henry Grossman.”



About Henry’s newly-released archive, he added, “It’s a thrill to see and a feast to learn from – pure unmistakable layers of how it was.”
Henry’s relationship with The Beatles began in early 1964 when he photographed them during their iconic first performance in the US on The Ed Sullivan Show. By 1965, he had become a trusted friend and companion, traveling with the group to The Bahamas and Austrian during the production of “Help!”



Over the next three years, he would photograph them time and time again behind closed doors, capturing a rare insider’s view of The Beatles’ world. Many of those rare photographs are featured in this Rock Paper Photo collection. 


“They were accustomed to seeing me with a camera, documenting everything that went on around me,” Henry explained. “It was simply part of me, part of who I was. More than that, I had become a friend. So when I pulled a camera out, no one thought twice about it. No one cared. It wasn’t seen as invasive.



The existence of such a massive cache of never-before seen images is one of the most unexpected and significant Beatles discoveries of recent years. From private moments at home with their loved ones, to candid moments off set and at recording sessions. Henry took more photos of The Beatles over a longer period of time than any other photographer. Amazingly, only a small fraction of the more than 6,000 images he took of the group have ever been available for purchase


For more information on the exhibition, or on the limited edition prints for sale, visit the website at www.rockpaperphoto.com/henry_grossman



NB: All images are used here with permission.  Do not download or reproduce without the express permission of the copyright holder

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Review: Epstein - The Man Who Made the Beatles


Review by Donna Jackson


There are times, when you sit down to write a review, when you know, even before you start, that your words can never do justice to the quality of the performance that you've just seen.

This is one of those times.

"Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles", starring Andew Lancel and Will Finlason is being performed at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool until Saturday December 1.

Finlason plays "this boy" - an anonymous character who spends the evening getting to know Brian Epstein.  He begins by warning the audience what to expect - or, rather, what not to expect.  This is not a play that sets out to tell the 'truth', whatever that may be, about the Beatles or about Brian; instead, it offers an insight into Brian the man, and in that aim it succeeds brilliantly.

Brian was a genius, but he was also human and it is the human side of Brian that Andrew Lancel brings to life.  By the end I felt as if I knew and understood Brian for the first time and, again for the first time, I realised how sad I was that he had died so young.  It's not that I wasn't sad about his death before, it's more that, by the end of the play, Brian was a real person to me and I felt his loss at a much deeper and much more personal level.

For two hours last night, Andrew Lancel did not play the part of Brian Epstein; Andrew Lancel WAS Brian Epstein.  When he first appeared, there was a collective gasp from around the auditorium; it was as if Brian had been reincarnated.  Every gesture, every stance, every intonation, every raised eyebrow or half-smile, was absolutely spot on.  Even when not the focal point (for example, when video projections took the audience's attention), Lancel remained totally in character.  Indeed, on a couple of the video clips I had to look twice to realise that it was not Brian on the screen, but Andrew Lancel recreating the interview.  During some of the flashback scenes -- recreating moments from Brian's childhood and youth -- Lancel's portrayal remained convincingly accurate.  Suddenly there was Brian as a child playing with a model coach with Joe Flannery; or a teenage Brian at school off to play rugger.  No make-up required, no scenery or other props to create the illusion, just totally brilliant acting.

To put it quite simply, Andrew Lancel as Brian Epstein was perfect.

Equally praiseworthy was his co-star, Will Finlason, who played the young Scouser who wanted to get to know Brian better.  Trained in Manchester, but with Liverpool roots, Finlason is supremely talented.  His portrayal of This Boy was so natural that it was easy to forget that he was acting.  His awe of Brian, his concern for Brian's health, his respect for Brian's ability, and his affection for Brian-the-man, were so 'real' that the audience shared the roller-coaster of emotions as the play progressed.  His musical talent was just as apparent and his performance of "Baby It's You" (one of my all-time favourite songs performed by The Beatles) was hauntingly beautiful. Again, it was perfect casting.

The quality of the acting was such that it was easy to forget that this wasn't a real conversation and that there was a script.  However, perhaps it was also easy to forget that there was a script because of the sheer quality of it too.  Finlason didn't just sound like a Scouse lad because of his accent; the words and phrases he used were right too.  It wasn't just the lines that made the script so perfect though, it was also the way that Scriptwriter Andrew Sherlock handled sensitive issues such as Brian's drug use and sexual preference.  Both were featured so naturally that, instead of becoming the story themselves, they served to contribute to our understanding of Brian the man.



Equally impressive, and important to the focus of the play, was the handling of the many myths surrounding the Beatles' story.  For example, who was Raymond Jones?  When did Brian first hear of the Beatles?  As far as "This Boy" and the script were concerned, the answers didn't matter because it was Brian who was important.  And I agree.  While it might be fun to debate these things back and forth in the pub over a pint, ultimately the Beatles story, and Brian's story, is much bigger than that and much more important than that.  It is instead, as Brian reminded This Boy, about moments such as the little thrill of excitement that you get when you hear the opening notes of  "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."  Brian understood that, and that was his genius; thanks to this play, we have been reminded of that.

Although I understand that the producers want to take this play on tour -- and I hope they do; everyone should have a chance to see it! -- there can be no more perfect setting or venue than the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool.  This Boy opens and closes the play by claiming that Brian "was, is and always will be one of us" and by that he means part of Liverpool.  This year, the city recognised Brian's importance by renaming the Neptune Theatre in his honour, and, as such, Epstein the Play had to have its world premiere at The Epstein Theatre.


Above the stage at the Epstein Theatre is a large, beautifully embossed letter "N", a nod to the theatre's past.  However, for anyone who knew Brian, loved Brian, or, having seen this play, feels that little bit closer to Brian, the "N" above the stage can only ever stand for one word -- "Nemperor".

Thank you Brian; without you and the Beatles, my world would be a sadder, lonelier and colder place.

Thank you Andrew, Will and everyone associated with "Epstein" for bringing Brian alive again and for giving him his rightful place in the Beatles' story and in my love for The Beatles.  I never knew how much I missed Brian's presence until last night.  Now, I'll never forget.

Epstein the Play is on at The Epstein Theatre Liverpool until December 1 and tickets are still available.  For more information, visit the theatre website: http://www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk/theatre/epstein-the-play/


NB: All images used with permission. Do not download or reproduce without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Monday, 26 November 2012

RARE BEATLES AUTOGRAPHS GIVEN DURING A LATE NIGHT CARD GAME TO BE SOLD AT CAMPBELLS, WORTHING IN DECEMBER




A RARE set of Beatles autographs, signed on one of the first Gold Label pressings of Please, Please Me, which was being used a large coaster, during a card game with Freddie and the Dreamers will be sold by Worthing-based auctioneers Campbells at their saleroom at 44-46 High Street on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. The sale will commence at 10am.

The Beatles were staying, along with the Freddie and the Dreamers at the Normandie House Hotel (96 Sussex Gardens, Paddington, London) in roughly July 1963 and the album was given to Arthur Collins, the owner of the hotel, who was playing cards too. They are being sold by his Son and Daughter, Chris Collins and Liz Chambers, who now live in Worthing and are expected to fetch in the region of £15,000.

As Liz Chambers explains: “late one evening while my Father was drinking and playing cards with Freddie and the Dreamers. The Beatles returned to the Hotel in the early hours after attending some promotional events. In their possession was the record - one of the first Gold Label pressings of Please, Please Me, which had been given to them. All of the Beatles joined the card game and the record was placed in the middle of the table where it was used as a coaster for Whisky glasses. As the card game reached a drunken conclusion in the early hours, all of the Beatles signed their signatures and added short messages as a thank you for the hospitality they had been shown whilst staying at the Hotel.”



At the time the number of Hotels in London willing to accommodate Pop Stars and their entourage was fairly limited due to some high profile incidents whereby damage and/or issues had arisen with fans trying to force entry. The Normandie House Hotel had an agreement with Music industry executives to safely accommodate Pop Stars in a 'low profile' manner. Consequently, The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Freddy and the Dreamers and bands of the time were guests at the Hotel.

On the Album, which came out in March 1963, John Lennon signs “Blast for Hide” (ie: God Damn You, or something along those lines), while George Harrison, puts in brackets G.P.O and Paul McCartney jokes that he was the lead in Freddie and the Dreamers!

An article appeared in Beat Monthly in September 1963 about Freddie and the Dreamers, which was written and photographs were taken at this time of the card game. Mr Collins can be seen in the background of the main photograph!



Auctioneer Paul Campbell, commented: “We are delighted to have been asked to sell these autographs dating from almost 50 years ago. Not only do they have a great provenance and a wonderful story to accompany them, they are signed on a mono pressing of Please, Please Me, which has the rare gold label – so has a value in it’s own right!” 

Viewing:
Saturday, December 8 – 9am-1pm
Monday, December 10 – 9am–4pm


For further information on the sale, please call 01903 238989 or visit www.campbellsauctions.co.uk



DVD: Harry Nilsson's The Point

Harry Nilsson's The Point: The Definitive Collector's Edition
out now via MVD Entertainment Group
The animated classic returns to DVD with over
25 minutes of bonus features!





Directed by Academy Award-winner Fred Wolf, "The Point" tells the story of Oblio, a round-headed boy living in the land of "Point," where everything and everybody has one. Oblio, along with his trusty dog, Arrow, is banished to the Pointless Forest. The tale is narrated by Ringo Starr and includes songs written and sung by Grammy Award-winner Harry Nilsson. The definitive collector's edition.
Track Listing
Me And My Arrow
Everything's Got 'Em
Poli High
Think About Your Troubles
Life Line
P.O.V. Waltz
Are You Sleeping?

Bonus Materials
Includes Four Never-Before-Seen Bonus Featurettes:
Who Is Harry Nilsson?
Pitching The Point
Making The Point
Legacy Of The Point

Press
"Finally, a new generation of kids can float away on the entrancing cartoon creation of Harry Nilsson (1941-94), the American singer-songwriter who counted the Beatles among his admirers. The Point is a prime example of mass-culture outreach by a countercultural artist (dig the psychedelic number ''P.O.V. Waltz''). B+"
- Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

"Never has nonconformity been celebrated with such charm."
-Jeff Miers, Buffalo News

"If there's a fan of Harry Nilsson on your shopping list then rejoice, because in front of you now you see the proverbial no-brainer."
-NeedCoffee.com


  • Format: DVD
  • SKU: MVD5367D
  • UPC: 760137536796
  • Street Date: 11/20/12
  • PreBook Date: 10/16/12
  • Label: MVD VISUAL »
  • Genre: Animation (not Anime/Manga)
  • Run Time: 74 mins
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Audio: STEREO
  • Year of Production: 1971
  • Director: Fred Wolf
  • Producers: Fred Wolf, Jerry Good, Larry Gordon, Harry Nilsson
  • Box Lot: 30
  • Territory: WORLD

Saturday, 24 November 2012

New Film: Last Shop Standing


Last Shop Standing:
The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the independent record shop


  "The independent record shops are true gems of our culture. Who would want them thrown away?" 
Johnny Marr Musician

“There were record shops when I started my career, they were everywhere…”
Paul Weller Musician

Paul Weller

“ Record shops kept me going when I was desperately trying to work out how to be an international rock star”
Billy Bragg International Rock Star

Billy Bragg

Main Details:
A  documentary film
A collaboration between award winning film company Blue Hippo Media Ltd and Proper Music Publishing Ltd
Director: Pip Piper
Producer: Rob Taylor

Director, Pip Piper
              
Synopsis:
Last Shop Standing inspired by the book of the same name by Graham Jones takes you behind the counter to discover why nearly 2000 record shops have already disappeared across the UK. The film charts the rapid rise of record shops in the 60,70 and 80's, the influence of the chart, the underhand deals, the demise of vinyl and rise of the CD as well as new technologies. Where did it all go wrong? Why were 3 shops a week closing? Will we be left with no record shops with the continuing rise of downloading? Hear from over 20 record shop owners and music industry leaders as well as musicians including Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, Norman Cook, Billy Bragg, Nerina Pallot, Richard Hawley and Clint Boon as they all tell us how the shops became and still are a part of their own musical education, a place to discover and cherish new bands, new music and why they might just have a brighter future. The film also contains rare footage of The Beatles and Elvis Presley


Background:
Last shop standing the film is inspired by Graham Jones’ book of the same name: Graham has worked in music retail for over 30 years and his claim to fame is he has probably visited more record shops in the UK than any other person alive!
The film was shot between December 2011 and June 2012 and visited 28 independent record shops the length and breadth of the UK. The film features the record shop owners and their shops as well as many musicians and music industry legends capturing the stories and insights into the history and journey of so many of these culturally hallowed music spaces.



Last Shop Standing – Contributing Shops

The Diskery, Birmingham; Bridport Music, Bridport; Borderline Records, Brighton; Resident, Brighton; Rounder Records, Brighton; Rise, Bristol; Spillers Records, Cardiff; C E Hudson, Chesterfield; Monorail, Glasgow; Jumbo Records, Leeds; The Musical Box, Liverpool; Soul Brother Records, London; Honest Jon’s, London; Intoxica, London; Record Collector, London; Sister Ray, London; Rough Trade East, London; Kingbee Records, Manchester; Beatin’ Rhythm, Manchester; Truck Store, Oxford; Apollo Records, Paisley; Record Collector, Sheffield; Derricks Music, Swansea; Kanes, Stroud; Dales Music, Tenby; Square Records, Wimborne; Acorn Music, Yeovil,

Other contributors:
Tony Wadsworth: Chairman of BPI
Paul Quirk: Chairman ERA
Jason Draper:  Reviews Editor Record Collector Magazine
  
For more information, visit the website at: www.lastshopstanding.com

Jameson & Hills Perform Songs of the Beatles - Leeds, Dec 3




Dave & Will have been friends and collaborators since teenagers in the Seventies, when the Rock music influences of the decade added to their devotion to the sound and songs of the Beatles’ sixties decade.

Performing Beatles’ and other classic songs of the style and era wherever they could since then, has taken in Pubs and Clubs and Bars and Restaurants up and down the UK.

Their enduring loyalty to the music and songs of the Beatles bring them naturally to maintain dedicated repertoire performances delivering their acclaimed vocal renditions of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison compositions, quite outside the current tribute Genre of imitation and mimicry (no wigs or gimmicks) and appealing to all discerning live music fans and Beatles’ music fans in particular.

The duo has assembled a website www.beatlesduo.co.uk showcasing just some of their repertoire with a link to www.jamesonhills.co.uk where demo recordings of some of their many own compositions can be heard, including the commemorative “Man from the lonely hearts club band” written and recorded early 1981.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

WORLD PREMIERE EPSTEIN PRODUCTION OPENS IN LIVERPOOL TO GREAT ACCLAIM




Created by Jen Heyes & Andrew Sherlock | Written by Andrew Sherlock | Directed by Jen Heyes 

Starring Andrew Lancel as Epstein and introducing Will Finlason as ‘This Boy’ 


Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles, the long-awaited world premiere about one of the world’s most successful music entrepreneurs, Brian Epstein, is now open at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre. The production is already receiving rave reviews and acclaim from friends and associates of Brian himself.

Actor and TV star Andrew Lancel (Coronation Street, The Bill, Queer as Folk) plays the lead role of Brian Epstein and newcomer Will Finlason takes on the fictional role of ‘This Boy’ – a character that embodies the soul of 60s Liverpool. This two-hander play charts Brian Epstein’s adult life and illustrious career from his drama school days to managing the world’s biggest pop group.

Joe Flannery, former Beatles booking manager and a friend of Brian’s since childhood said: “I’ve said all along that Andrew needed to shine in this role like Brian used to, and he certainly does. The show brought tears to my eyes – Brian would be so proud.”

Mike McCartney, brother of Paul McCartney and who also knew Brian said: "I thought playing Brian was an impossible task but Andrew nailed it. I can see this play as a success in New York."

The multi-media play with live music forms part of the official programme of Liverpool’s 50th Anniversary of The Beatles, is a highlight of Liverpool’s annual Homotopia International Arts Festival and the first major production at the newly refurbished Epstein Theatre named after Brian.

Dave Pichilingi, CEO of the Epstein Theatre said: “What a tremendous milestone in the history of this building and the new Epstein Theatre, the play is an amazing piece of theatre wonderfully scripted, wonderfully acted and wonderfully directed. We are so proud of the production and it totally deserves to go out nationally and internationally.”

Running until 1 December 2012, Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles is brought to you by Bill Elms & Jen Heyes Productions Ltd (Tales from Haunted Liverpool, Tales From Charles Dickens), written by Andrew Sherlock (Wall Talks and The Shankly Show) and created and directed by Jen Heyes (Treasured, Blood Wedding, Wall Talks).

Born in Liverpool in 1934 to Jewish descent, the cool, modern, gay and urbane Brian Epstein spent his early adult life working for the family business NEMS (North End Music Stores), he was drafted into the Royal Army Service Corps and moved to London to join RADA. He returned to Liverpool to manage the brand new NEMS city centre music store and not long after was the historic lunchtime visit to the famous Cavern Club to hear four Liverpool lads perform and the rest is history. Brian died in 1967 of an accidental overdose at the age of 32.

Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles is set during this famous but enigmatic man’s last days. This is a must see opportunity to discover a previously unexplored story and celebrate a true icon of 1960’s popular culture – a man who shaped music and style across the world.

Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles is sponsored by Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP Solicitors (Matthew Street and Penny Lane).

Writing co-commissioned by Homotopia and supported by Liverpool Vision.

Production partners: The Cavern, The Beatles Story, Hard Days Night Hotel, Magical Mystery Tour, Fab Cabs Beatles Tours, Annexe Inc, Gieves & Hawkes, Dawsons Music, Scenic Workshop, Coltas.Co, and Liverpool Echo.

The official charity of production is C.A.L.M.

More information on Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles can be found at www.epsteintheplay.com.

LISTING INFORMATION 
Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles
Starring Andrew Lancel and Will Finlason
The Epstein Theatre
Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DY
Until Sat 1 December 2012

Thu and Sat Matinees: 2.30pm | Mon – Sat Evenings: 7.30pm

Ticket Prices: £10-£24 (Concessions Available)

How to Book: 

Box Office: 0844 888 4411. Online at www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk* or in person at the Epstein Theatre, Hanover Street, Liverpool*

*Subject to booking fee. No Booking Fees for cash sales in person.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Review: The Mersey Beatles at the Epstein Theatre




Earlier this year, the Neptune Theatre in Liverpool was re-opened, having been beautifully renovated and refurbished and renamed in honour of Brian Epstein.

On Saturday November 10, Liverpool's favourite tribute band, The Mersey Beatles, became the first Beatles tribute band to grace the stage at the Epstein Theatre, and they did Brian, The Beatles and Liverpool proud.



From the very first moment, when 'Paul' counted in the introduction to "I Saw Her Standing There" it was clear that we were in for a very special night.  The atmosphere was magical as the boys took the audience on a journey through the Beatles musical career -- from "Love Me Do" to "Let It Be".



With four different costumes -- collarless grey suits, Shea stadium outfits, Sgt Pepper suits, and Abbey Road era costumes -- as well as the appropriate guitars for each era and song, the Mersey Beatles delivered on their promise to perform "the concert The Beatles never gave."



The quality of the music was superb with each song performed live and reproduced in the original key, with spot-on harmonies and perfect guitar solos that had the audience marveling at the sheer quality of the talent on display.

Mark Bloor as 'John'
 


As with any fully live performance, there was bound to be the occasional glitch but these only served to add to the night's entertainment.  During "Love Me Do" the theatre lights failed and we were all plunged into darkness.  Rather than spoiling the evening, though, this merely gave the boys the opportunity to show their personalities.  Without skipping a beat, jokes and banter from the stage had the audience laughing and enjoying the moment ... and also acknowledging that The Beatles would probably have reacted in exactly the same way.


Steven Howard as 'Paul'


This, and other interactions between the boys on stage, only served to enhance the quality of the Mersey Beatles as a tribute act.  They don't claim to 'be' The Beatles, they don't use scripts or reproduce the lines made famous by the original Fab Four, and they don't try to impersonate the men they acknowledge as their heroes.  They are simply themselves -- lads who are all Liverpool born and bred, but who have the same charm, wit and intelligence as The Beatles.  Thus, they bring The Beatles 'alive' in a way that allows those who were around in the 60s to relive happy memories, and to give to those who are too young to have 'been there' a taste of something they can otherwise only dream about.


David Howard as 'George'


Thus, for two and a half hours on Saturday night we were transported back in time.  We, in the audience, experienced the music, the energy, the passion and the excitement of four lads from Liverpool who went on to conquer the world.  For those two and a half hours, reality was suspended and, although there may not be much mystery when such classic songs are being performed, the tour through The Beatles musical catalogue was certainly magical.


Brian Ambrose as 'Ringo'

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Beatles tribute bands around the world, but only a handful that can rightly claim to have that little something special that sets them apart.  The Mersey Beatles are one of the select few.  It's not just their musical talent -- many bands can legitimately make that claim -- although musical talent is clearly a key element in their success.  It's not just their abundant charm and charisma.  It's not just the chemistry that exists between all the boys.  It's not just their passion and enthusiasm for the music of The Beatles that is so evident as they play.  It's not just the respect that they have for the music, for the audience and for The Beatles.  It's not even just a combination of all these elements.  It is that combination plus that added spark that defies description but which everyone in the Epstein Theatre on Saturday night witnessed first hand, and which had us all on our feet begging for more.

Tony C, the 5th Mersey Beatle,
 on keyboards as 'Sgt Pepper'

The Epstein Theatre has been beautifully refurbished and is a fitting monument to Brian; on November 10, in a performance that all those privileged to witness will not forget, the Mersey Beatles complimented that tribute to Brian perfectly.



A cake, honouring Brian, celebrating this very special performance
by The Mersey Beatles from Lisa, The Cake Rooms


To find out when and where the Mersey Beatles are performing next, visit their website www.themerseybeatles.com



Monday, 19 November 2012

Competiton: Win a Copy of Abbey Road!

Win a copy of "ABBEY ROAD
The Best Studio in the World"
With a foreword by Sir George Martin




This is your chance to win a copy of this fabulous book, published this summer, which tells the story of Abbey Road, the best, and arguably the most famous, studio in the world!


"This book documents the history of the most famous studio in the world...and what a history!!!  From its 1931 opening, by none other than Edward Elgar, to its present day, the book is packed full of information on the huge array of world famous artists to pass through its famous doors, from the aforementioned Elgar, alongside other legendary figures,and groups from Morecambe & Wise to Pink Floyd amongst them. There are far too many to name here,but I think you might get the idea!

There is of course also the one and only Beatles, but this book is so much more than another Beatles book.  It's a tome of incredible insights into the workings of the legendary studio.


A must have for Beatles fans, but a must must must have for anyone out there who calls themselves a music fan, for in here there is something for everyone."



Mark Bloor, 'John Lennon' in the top 
Liverpool Beatles Tribute Band, The Mersey Beatles 



To win this fabulous book, simply answer this question:

On what date did the Beatles perform All You Need is Love live from Abbey Road as part of the Our World television broadcast?

Send your answer, along with your name and address to
website@britishbeatlesfanclub.co.uk
by 12 noon on Thursday November 29 2012


Please Note: This book can only be sent to UK addresses so please do not enter if you are based outside the UK.  For all other terms and conditions, click here

For more information on this beautiful book click here; read the BBFC review of "Abbey Road" here, or view the preview!


The Beatles, Popular Music and Sixties Britain

The Department of Continuing Education at the University of Oxford is offering a course on the Beatles next summer!


The Beatles, Popular Music and Sixties Britain
Sunday, 30 June to Saturday, 6 July 2013
The Oxford Experience Summer School
Christ Church, Oxford
Tutor Dr Rikky Rooksby


"Revered and reviled in equal measure, the Sixties continue to fascinate. We will explore how the Beatles made their music, and trace its development from the relatively simple recordings of their first albums to the layered recording techniques of Abbey Road. We will place their songs in context by discussing examples by other notable British groups of the period. The course also includes some British poetry and articles from the decade, as well as archive film of Swinging London and other clips, and mention of some of the key events in British art and politics. However familiar you think the Beatles’ music is, prepare to hear more in it than before."

"Rikky Rooksby has a Ph.D in English Literature and is a tutor for the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education. He is a guitar teacher and composer, and the author of many articles, reviews and books on English literature and popular music, including the best-selling How To Write Songs On Guitar (2000) and Inside Classic Rock Tracks (2002)."

For more information on this course, and to book, visit the Website: http://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/details.php?id=V210-36&pos=134&wk=1

Monday, 12 November 2012

THE BEATLES’ ACCLAIMED STUDIO ALBUM REMASTERS RELEASED WORLDWIDE ON 180-GRAM VINYL


                       
The Beatles’ acclaimed original studio album remasters, released on CD in 2009 and in 2010 for digital download exclusively on iTunes, have made their long-awaited stereo vinyl debut.

Manufactured on 180-gram, audiophile quality vinyl with replicated artwork,  the 14 albums return to their original glory with details including the poster in The Beatles (The White Album), the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band’s cutouts, and special inner bags for some of the titles.  Each album will be available individually, and accompanied by a stunning, elegantly designed 252-page hardbound book in a lavish, limited boxed edition. 

The book, exclusive to the boxed edition, is authored by award-winning radio producer Kevin Howlett and features a dedicated chapter for each of the albums, as well as insight into the creation of the remasters and how the vinyl albums were prepared.  The 12”x12” book showcases a wealth of photographs spanning The Beatles’ recording career, including many images which were not included in the 2009 CD booklets.




The titles include The Beatles’ 12 original UK albums, first released between 1963 and 1970, the US-originated Magical Mystery Tour, now part of the group’s core catalogue, and Past Masters, Volumes One & Two, featuring non-album A-sides and B-sides, EP tracks and rarities.  With this release, The Beatles’ first four albums make their North American stereo vinyl debuts.  In 2013, the remastered albums will make their mono vinyl debuts. 

Since it was recorded, The Beatles’ music has been heard on a variety of formats – from chunky reel-to-reel tapes and eight-track cartridges to invisible computer files. But there has never been a more romantic or thrilling medium for music than a long-playing twelve-inch disc. We ‘play’ records. The process of carefully slipping the disc out of the sleeve, cleaning it and lowering the stylus provides a personal involvement in the reproduction of the music.

When The Beatles’ albums were first released, the listener enjoyed a tangible relationship with the music in the grooves of a record. There was an emotional connection to the artifact carrying the sound, and this bond was strengthened by the LP sleeve. Rather than a merely functional object to protect the disc, it was elevated to a stylish accessory. Certainly, the cover of a Beatles album conveyed a message about the music it was wrapped around. For example, the dominant orange and brown hues and elongated faces on the front of Rubber Soul seem to embody the sound of the record. With the advent of the cassette tape in the seventies and the compact disc in the 1980s, album artwork was reduced in size and importance, losing much of its charm. That is partly why vinyl LPs have not, as predicted, been discarded.

None of that would really matter, were it not for the enduring power of The Beatles’ music. In September, 2009, The Beatles’ remastered albums on CD graced charts around the world. Seventeen million album sales within seven months was resounding evidence of the timeless relevance of their legacy. Through five decades, the music of The Beatles has captivated generation upon generation.

For producer Rick Rubin, surveying The Beatles’ recorded achievements is akin to witnessing a miracle.  “If we look at it by today’s standards, whoever the most popular bands in the world are, they will typically put out an album every four years,” Rubin said in a 2009 radio series interview. “So, let’s say two albums as an eight year cycle.  And think of the growth or change between those two albums.  The idea that The Beatles made thirteen albums in seven years and went through that arc of change... it can’t be done.  Truthfully, I think of it as proof of God, because it’s beyond man’s ability.”





The Stereo Albums
Available individually and collected in a boxed collection, accompanied by a beautiful 252-page hardbound book.

Please Please Me
“Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” are presented in mono
(North American LP debut in stereo)

With The Beatles
(North American LP debut in stereo)

A Hard Day's Night
(North American LP debut in stereo)

Beatles For Sale
(North American LP debut in stereo)

Help!
Features George Martin’s 1986 stereo remix

Rubber Soul
Features George Martin’s 1986 stereo remix

Revolver
Original album

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Packaging includes replica psychedelic inner sleeve, cardboard cutout sheet and additional insert

Magical Mystery Tour
Packaging includes 24-page colour book

The Beatles (double album)
Packaging includes double-sided photo montage/lyric sheet and 4 solo colour photos

Yellow Submarine
“Only A Northern Song” is presented in mono. Additional insert includes original American liner notes.

Abbey Road
Original album

Let It Be
Original album

Past Masters, Volumes One & Two (double album)
“Love Me Do” (original single version), “She Loves You,” “I’ll Get You,” and “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)” are presented in mono. Packaging, notes and photographic content is based on the 2009 CD release.



Official website: http://www.thebeatles.com/