George Harrison’s Historic House “Friar Park” – New Book

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had an interest in the homes of the Beatles. Not a snooping, voyeuristic interest – but more of an architectural one because they (especially John and George) have lived in some very interesting buildings over the years.

That’s why our interest was sparked when we got a press release this week from a company called The Campfire Network advertising a new book. In coordination with “Ye Friends of Friar Park,” Campfire has just announced the publication of the second book in a series which celebrates the history and architecture of residences which at some point were homes of one or more of the Beatles. (Their first book in the series was The Dakota Scrapbook, published last year).

Now comes Friar Park: A Pictorial History, a collection of vintage, rare, and original photographs and illustrations telling the story of George Harrison’s spectacular and unusual home – Friar Park – from the time Sir Frank Crisp began purchasing land in the medieval town of Henley-on-Thames in the late 1800s, all the way to the time it was purchased by Harrison.Friar_Park

Carefully selected images offer a rare and unique glimpse of the property’s extraordinary gardens, mansion home, lodges, and assorted structures, lakes, and secret underground caves, as well as other architectural and horticultural treasures and wonders on the grounds of Friar Park. Here are some of the pages and images from the book:Friar Park. A Pictorial History Pages_3Friar Park. A Pictorial History Pages_4Friar Park. A Pictorial History Pages_6Friar Park. A Pictorial History Pages_7

Campfire’s Marketing Director Kelly Cardinal says: “Beatles fans, architects, historians, and anyone interested in grand homes and beautiful gardens have long-admired Friar Park from afar, with little more than the occasional description or photos that have appeared here and there. Now, for the first time, is a publication that includes the largest collection of photos and information about Friar Park that has ever been gathered together in one place before. It has generated quite a bit of excitement.”

The pictures and information in the book were found during the development of a forthcoming film documentary about the home.

Friar Park: A Pictorial History is now available from Amazon, as is a companion volume called Friar Park: 1919 Estate Auction Cataloguea recreation of the official auction catalogue for the house when it was sold following the passing of original owner Sir Frank Crisp. Upon his death his family instructed auctioneers to sell the entire estate, including all the grounds, the boathouse on Henley-on-Thames, and three grand residential sites. The sale took place on Saturday, August 9th, 1919 and this book is a scholastic and educational study of an architecturally and historically significant English country house.

If you are interested in this sort of thing, “The Story of Tittenhurst Park” – the English stately home owned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, will be released in 2015.

And the same company has also published The Dakota Apartments: Vintage Articles.

(Each of the links above are to Amazon pages with a “Look Inside” function so that you can have a bit more of a sticky beak at these very interesting books).

Comprehensive New Russian Beatles Books Released

We have a lot of Russian readers and so it’s appropriate to mention what looks like a very comprehensive, two-volume Beatles book published recently in Russia.

Earlier this year Vladimir Bokarev and Yury Mitrofanov released the two-volume book called ИСТОРИЯ “БИТЛЗ” В СССР (1964-1970 гг). That translates as The History of the Beatles in the USSR (1964-1970). Here’s the cover of Volume One:Том1

And here’s Volume Two:

Том2

These publications form a forensic, historical research of the Beatles as a phenomenon in Soviet society. Through examining numerous historical sources the authors show the evolution and rise of the popularity of the Beatles in the Soviet press, Beatle art in the Soviet Union (for example through their records, printed music, lyrics and translations, concert performances by other artists, films, etc.), and the influence of the Beatles on Soviet youth.

Record images and other items shown in the books come from the collections of Andrey Lukanin (Russia), and Vadim Legkokonets (Ukraine). As well there’s a wealth of information provided from these two great websites:
http://www.beatlesvinyl.com.ua/
http://beatlespress.com.ua/

To order this set of two books (published only in Russian) write to beatera@yandex.ru

The authors plan to continue the work and publish a further book on the same theme – but about the years 1971-1980.

A is For Apple Book – More Info

Since we reported back in September on a new series of books detailing the history of the Beatles Apple company, there’s been a flurry of activity and a lot of further information coming through.

The authors of A is For Apple now have a cover for Volume 1, which is due for publication in April next year:A is For Apple Cover

And they’ve produced a YouTube video, too:

There are a couple of further very interesting draft sample pages now available here and here. (These come with a “big file” warning and may take some time to download).

For Apple fans these both contain great info and photos.

And there are now details about some special offers and bonus material which will come with Volume 1 of A is For Apple.

One Apple artist has given the publishers permission to release two rare recordings with the project. Jackie Lomax, just a couple of days before his tragic death in 2013, signed an agreement to include an exclusive 7“ vinyl of his previously unreleased track ‘Land Of People’, and the demo version of ‘Is This What You Want?’. Both songs will be included with Vol. 1 of A is For Apple.A is For Apple Bonus1A is For Apple Bonus2

Additionally, if you pre-order Volume 1 before December 3, you not only save €5 Euro on the purchase price but also receive a strictly limited edition bonus flexi disc of The Iveys‘ unreleased 1968 Christmas Record:A is For Apple Bonus3

In late 1968 The Iveys (later to become Badfinger) taped a Christmas message for their fans just like the Beatles had done since 1963. But contrary to the Beatles‘ annual Crimble messages this one has never been released. Only very recently the A is For Apple people got permission to include this Christmas flexi disc that never was.

For the whole story of the project so far see the A is For Apple website.

Three New Beatle Books for the Collection

We love it when you’re browsing a bookshop and discover some Beatle titles you weren’t previously aware of – and that they are at hugely discounted prices….

That’s what happened this week when we found two new Beatle books. We also took delivery (via The Book Depository online store) of a brand new Beatle book – but more on that one later.

The first book we found at the bargain basement store was The Unreleased Beatles by Richie Unterberger. This book dates back to 2009, and it contains a wealth of material about the band and the many sought-after rarities and non-official gems which remain in the Beatle vaults. Unterberger has documented the incredible breadth of music the band recorded but didn’t release, as well as film footage of the group that hasn’t been made commercially available. He examines a huge array of material, including unreleased studio outtakes, BBC radio recordings from 1962-1965, live concert performances, home demo recordings, fan club Christmas recordings, and other informal demos done outside of EMI’s studios. The unreleased gems encompass the Beatles entire career, from a recording the Quarrymen made on July 6, 1957, right up to outtakes from the final sessions of Let It Be in 1970:Beatles booksBeatles books_0001

The Unreleased Beatles includes a general overview of Beatle bootlegs, their songs recorded by other artists in the 1960s, never-recorded material, and contains more than 100 photos.

Beatles Examiner conducted a Q&A session with Richie Unterberger about the book when it was first released, and Amazon has a “Look Inside” feature if you’d like to see more.

Also – Glass Onion reports that an updated and fully revised Kindle version of this book has just been released. Worth checking out if you like electronic books.

The second bargain book find was Give Peace A Chance, a hardback book dedicated to the eight-day long bed-in for peace mounted by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Montreal, Canada in May/June of 1969:Beatles books_0002Beatles books_0003

Compiled by journalist Joan Athey, and based around a fantastic series of photographs taken by Gerry Deiter during the course of the bed-in, Give Peace a Chance presents as a wonderful chronicle of just what happened in their suite on the 17th floor of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Photographer Deiter was on assignment for Life magazine and had extraordinary access because Lennon and Ono asked him to stay by their bedside for the  duration of the event. As it turned out his photographs were never actually published in Life. He tucked away the negatives soon after John and Yoko vacated the famous Room 1742 – the place where the song ‘Give Peace a Chance’ was recorded – and so they are being seen in all their glory, many for the first time here.

There really are some amazing photos and recollections from all sorts of people in this book. It is well worth the A$4.99 we paid for it!Beatles books_0004One page amongst many which caught our attention was the one below – taken at the very end of the eight days with hotel employees cleaning up the suite after the John and Yoko entourage had moved on:Beatles books_0005I really like this book. It captures an historic moment in time in a remarkable way.

For a couple of further unique insights into the Montreal John and Yoko peace bed-ins see also I Met the Walrus by Jerry Levitan, and Give Me A Chance by Gail Renard.

The final book added to the collection this week is a 2014 publication called Meet the Beatles from Souvenir Press in the UK.Beatles books_0006

And here’s the rear cover:Beatles books_0007

The Wogblog first alerted us to this one. In this the 50th anniversary year of the the Beatles, Meet the Beatles is a hardback publication which faithfully reproduces a magazine originally issued in the hey-day of the Beatles first flush of success in 1963. No need for us to go into too much detail here as Wogblog has covered it pretty well in his post.

Yoko Ono – Infinite Universe at Dawn

Genesis Publications have just released Yoko Ono – Infinite Universe at Dawn, a book celebrating “….Yoko Ono’s seminal art and activism across eight decades”.collector-bookslipcase-1280px

As the title suggests, it’s a boxed, leather-bound, richly-illustrated retrospective, and in typical Genesis style is an expensive but absolutely beautifully produced work of art in itself.

There are only 1500 signed copies available at £325.00 each (US$521.00 or AU$594.00). Mere mortals like us will have to wait to see if it is ever released in non-limited edition form!

It does look good though. Ono has written about and posted some great photos of what is inside on her Imagine Peace website. p176-177-1280pxacorn-event-1968-614px-v3p184-185-1280px

See the Genesis Publications video about Yoko Ono Infinite Universe at Dawn.

Genesis have had a long association with limited edition books by or about the Beatles and artists and projects associated with them, including Concert for George; I Me Mine by George Harrison; Ringo Starr’s Postcards From the Boys and Photograph ;  and Summer of Love by George Martin, amongst many others.

Two More Apple Vinyl Re-Issues for the Collection

In our last post we featured a new series of books being prepared called A is for Apple, a history of the Beatles’ Apple Corps company. Volume 1 in the series will be released in the first half of next year.

Apple Corps was established not only to release the Beatles own records but also to promote new talent – to build a stable of newer and undiscovered artists. In the late 1960s and early 1970s they signed and released a series of albums and singles by a wide range of performers.

In 2010 Apple re-issued a selection of those artists on CD.

But well before that (between 1991 and 1996) they had a similar re-issue program under way – releasing on CD and vinyl a selection of the artists signed to Apple. There were 23 titles in all, re-issued in five main phases over the course of five years.

We’ve slowly been collecting examples of these re-issues on vinyl – the reason being that most of them (but not all) came with unique, additional discs on the Apple label containing bonus material, previously unreleased tracks, etc.

You can see some examples of these here (e.g. Jackie Lomax’s Is This What You Want?; The Ivey’s Maybe Tomorrow; Badfinger’s No Dice and Straight Up; and Billy Preston’s Encouraging Words), and also here (Badfinger’s Magic Christian Music). 

We’ve just added two more to the collection. They are John Tavener’s The Whale, and Billy Preston’s That’s the Way God Planned It.

The Whale frontThe Whale rear

The Whale was re-issued on vinyl in June, 1992. Like the original 1970 release it comes in a beautiful gatefold cover which opens to reveal a fantastic painting (click image to see a larger version):The Whale gatefoldThe Whale does not come with any bonus material and so it is a single LP disc. The labels look like this:

The Whale Label AThe Whale label B

Unlike the original release though this 1992 re-issue comes with an inner sleeve containing an article about the recording and how a modern classical composer like Tavener came to be signed to Apple. It is by Andy Davis (from Record Collector magazine). On the other side is some detail about the re-issue:

The Whale inner aThe Whale inner b

Our other recent find was a copy of Billy Preston’s That’s The Way God Planned It, which was reissued on vinyl in 1991: Preston God coverPreston God rear

Unlike the original 1969 release this one comes in a gatefold cover. That’s so that the cover can hold a second vinyl record with the three bonus tracks (click image to see a larger version of the gatefold image below). As you can see, That’s The Way God Planned It was produced by George HarrisonPreston God gatefoldPreston God Side 1

Preston God Side 2Preston God Bonus APreston God Bonus B

Note that while the bonus tracks come on a 12″ disc, it plays at 45 rpm.

The hunt for other vinyl examples in this 1990s Apple re-issue series continues!

A is for Apple – New Book On The Way

Our interest was sparked by a recent post on Wogblog about a new series of books (still in preparation – Part 1 is being readied for publication in 2015) called A is for Apple.

This looks to become the first comprehensive study of Apple Corps, the company which the Beatles set up to handle not only their own recorded releases, films, publishing and the like, but also to build a stable of new and established artists, a fashion label and retail outlet, an electronics division, a music publishing company, and a film production company.

A is for Apple is the brainchild of two authors: German Axel Korinth, and Dutchman Ed Dieckmann who have issued a general call-out for more information about all aspects of Apple and its operations, especially photographs, documents, memorabilia, etc.

If you have any items of interest you can contact them at: research@aisforapplebook.com, or via their website, where you can also pre-order the book, view some early sample pages, etc.

Specifically, Axel and Ed need help with good quality images for a couple of records. A is for Apple won’t be a straight discography but rather a cross between a discography and a narrative. Ed Dieckmann has already compiled a fascinating Apple Records discography on the excellent www.applerecords.nl, but a book like this goes well beyond releases just on the Apple label. This is because Apple Music and Apple Publishing were the rights holders to a wide range of songs, published by all sorts of artists on all sorts of labels. Here’s a typical example – it’s a song from 1968 called “Dear Delilah” by a London-based band called Grapefruit. They were on the RCA-Victor label, but as you can see (on the left side of the label below) their song was administered by Apple Publishing Ltd – a company owned by the Beatles. This is the British pressing (click the image to enlarge):$_57Below is a list of records that the authors of A is for Apple are urgently seeking out to include in their first volume. Of every record mentioned the authors have at least one image, but it’s their aim to show all aspects of a certain record release. In other words they need scans of both sides of labels, the back and front cover and – if available – of any inserts (like those found in Japanese records, for example). If you can help in any way, please do!

Argentina:
Grapefruit: Dear Delilah b/w The Dead Boot (RCA Victor 31A-1251)
Grapefruit: Elevator b/w Yes (RCA Victor 31A-1298)
Soundtrack: Candy (ABC Records ABCS-OC-9)

Australia:
Jigsaw: Mr Job b/w A Great Idea (MGM 33)
Paul McCartney: The Family Way (Decca SKLA-4847) – the original 1967 release, not the reissue!
Zoot: You Better Get Going Now b/w Three Jolly Little Dwarfs (Columbia DO-8438)

Brazil:
Black Dyke Mills Band: Thingumybob b/w Yellow Submarine (Apple 4)

Chile:
Grapefruit: Elevator b/w Yes (RCA Victor 94-0586)

France:
Grapefruit: C’Mon Marianna b/w Ain’t It Good (RCA Victor 49.914)
Grapefruit: Someday Soon b/w Theme For Twiggy (Stateside 2C 006-90029)
New Inspiration: I See No Reason Why b/w Grey Hair Wrinkled Skin (Disc’Az AZ SG 53)
New Inspiration: All My Life b/w Happy Charly Madman (Disc’Az AZ 10 428)
The Web: Hatton Mill Morning b/w Conscience (Deram 17.020)

Germany:
Denis Couldry: James In The Basement b/w I Am Nearly There (Decca DL 25328) white label demo

Greece:
Jackie Lomax: Sour Milk Sea b/w The Eagle Laughs At You (Apple 3)

Italy:
Byrds: Child Of The Universe b/w I Wasn’t Born To Follow (CBS 4834)

Japan:
Black Dyke Mills Band: Thingumybob b/w Yellow Submarine (Apple AR-2169)
Byrds: Child Of The Universe (CBS A-82077)
Grapefruit: Elevator EP (Victor SCP-1361)
Grapefruit: Round Going Round b/w This Little Man (Stateside Dunhill HR-2276)
Grapefruit: C’Mon Marianne b/w Theme For Twiggy (Toshiba Dunhill HR-2193)
Dave Grusin: Candy (ABC Hit 1812S)
Jackie Lomax: Sour Milk Sea b/w The Eagle Laughs At You (Apple AR-2168)
Steppenwolf: Rock Me b/w Magic Carpet Ride (Stateside HR-2635)

Portugal:
Grapefruit: Round Going Round b/w This Little Man (Stateside PSS 101)

Spain:
Grapefruit: Someday Soon b/w Theme For Twiggy (Stateside EMI SSL 414)
New Inspiration: All My Life b/w Happy Charly Madman (Decca MO 682)

Turkey:
The Web: Harold Dubbleyew b/w Monday To Friday (Deram 6903)

UK:
New Inspiration: All My Life b/w The Memory (Parlophone R 5772) regular and A-label demo
Paul Revere & The Raiders: Goin’ To Memphis (CBS S 63265) Stereo pressing only!

Uruguay:
Grapefruit: Round Going Round b/w This Little Man (Odeon 20020)

USA:
Soundtrack: Candy (Capitol Record Club ST-91712)
Soundtrack: Candy 8 track (release number as yet unknown)

Ultimately A is for Apple will consist of four volumes in all. It is a huge undertaking. The first instalment (covering the years 1966-1968) is due for publication in the first half of 2015. Each volume of the fully illustrated book will be limited to 500 copies.