Two Beatle-Related Holiday Finds

Apart from the lovely selection of brand new gifts received for Christmas, we also checked out a couple of second-hand outlets while on holiday at Port Stephens on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

The first was a community-run recycling centre that turns people’s trash into income for the local community. In a couple of huge sheds they have a wide range of donated used goods for sale, including records, CDs and books. Just near the shelves full of LPs we found a box containing a large collection of old theatre and music performance programs and souvenir booklets – all in really good condition. Hunting through these we discovered this:

McCartney World Tour1

This is quite a thick tour magazine that was given away free at concert venues for the Paul McCartney New World Tour, which ran pretty much through the whole of 1993. It took in places like Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, the USA, UK, Japan, parts of South America, and Australia – hence this magazine/program being re-discovered in a shed in a little place called Soldiers Point! You can see one of the Sydney New World Tour set lists hereMcCartney World Tour2

The tour was in support of the Off The Ground album: McCartney World Tour 4

Inside the tour magazine there are some great articles and photos, including this shot below of the band at work in their rehearsal room – one which I’d not seen before. It also lists the range of instruments each person plays:

McCartney World Tour3

(click images to see larger versions)

There are also short bios for each band member, articles on key members of the backstage crew, plus the content goes much wider with sections dedicated to raising awareness about causes close to the McCartneys’ hearts, including saving a local hospital, the environment, and animal cruelty:McCartney World Tour6In between are some interesting articles on previous projects, like this one on the Unplugged (The Official Bootleg) album from 1991:
McCartney World Tour5All the content in the The New World Tour magazine is edited by Paul Du Noyer, who also featured in our Christmas list of books – and, coincidently, in another nice holiday find.

Every month the local church at Anna Bay just near Port Stephens holds a market where different traders can offer their goods for sale. One of them was a guy specialising in secondhand music books and CDs, where we found this book, also by Paul Du Noyer:

Lennon1

It’s a great reference book to have in the collection with the details and stories behind every song John Lennon released as a solo artist: Lennon5Lennon4Lennon3

First published in 1997, this revised and updated edition was released in 2010. Each song entry is accompanied by some interesting photos, and it is a really handy book to have when researching the work of John Lennon. I believe there’s an even more recent update called We All Shine On.

Some Christmas Treasure for the Collection

We here at beatlesblogger received some nice gifts over the holiday season.

First up is Ringo Starr’s new book Photograph. It is a beautiful hardback book, in a larger format, coffee-table style:Ringo1Initially released by Genesis Books in a lavish, strictly limited edition, the book has now been released as a more attainable “open edition” for us mere mortals.

That photo you can see of a young Ringo on the cover image above is actually him looking out of a neat cut-out hole around the camera lens on the book’s dust cover. It is a nice little extra production touch:Ringo3

Inside are some fantastic photos taken by Ringo himself over many years:

Ringo4

When you see images of the early Beatles you sometimes see them carrying their own cameras – and there are lots of pictures out there of the band taking photographs of each other and documenting for themselves what was happening around them. Each Beatle therefore would have hundreds of their own great informal shots tucked away – just like we all do – in albums, in storage boxes, or in closets.

Ringo’s personal photos were thought to be lost forever – until one day he re-discovered them. “We finally found them in a basement in storage” he told Rolling Stone magazine. “I was shocked…..we even found two books of negatives.” So now he’s compiled them in this book, along with over 15,000 words of commentary on where and why each photo was taken. Many of the images have never before been published:Ringo5Ringo6Ringo7Ringo8

Ringo2It is fantastic to flip through. Each page has a new surprise.

We also got a copy of the Barry Miles book The Zapple Diaries – The Rise and Fall of the Last Beatles Label:Zapple1

Miles is a frequent Beatle biographer and author, and he’s something of an insider – having been the manager of Zapple Records when it was first (and only very briefly) established back in 1969. Zapple was one of the many subsidiaries of the original Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. It was a label responsible for releasing the more avant-garde and experimental bands, poets and performers that the Beatles hoped to champion. As label manager, Miles had a ringside seat observing the ructions of the company, and the Beatles themselves in the process of self-destructing. We read of the big plans he had for the label, and how they were bitterly thwarted.

The book is richly illustrated. It tells the story from the perspective of someone very close to the action:Zapple4Zapple5Zapple3

This is probably more one for aficionados of the Apple Records label, its establishment, aims and objectives, and some of the more obscure of its releases, but I’m looking forward to reading this book, cover-to-cover:  Zapple2

Lastly, a great new book of interviews with Paul McCartney by journalist, author and long-time Beatle expert, Paul Du Noyer:Paul 1

As the title suggests, this is a new collection of Conversations with McCartney, over the period 1979 to the present. Du Noyer has spoken with him numerous times over that period – mostly for independently commissioned pieces for some of the best UK music magazines. It should be said however that Du Noyer has also been employed by McCartney’s MPL Communications company to produce content for them (tour magazines, album sleevenotes, etc.), and the book was done with the company’s assistance. Nevertheless, this looks to be a unique insight into what it means to be Paul McCartney and a very interesting work. Paul 2

“Remembering George Harrison” – Life Books

More on George Harrison…..

Stumbled across a mint copy of this in our local discount bookstore the other day:George 1

At just A$7.95, who could resist?

This book was originally released in 2011. The text about George is written by Marilyn Fu, who breaks her subject into five main chapter headings: “Remembering George“; “Joining John’s Band“; “Beatlemania“; “And In The End“; and “Liberated“. The book is filled with a selection of great photographs: George 3George 4

And there’s an early shot of George with “The Ole Black Gretsch” guitar:George 5

Here is the rear cover image:George 2

Ringo’s “Octopus’s Garden” Children’s Book

Seems to be a steadily rising number of Beatle children’s books about. If you have young ones or you just appreciate the child-like qualities of kids books, they’re nice to have.

The latest is a picture book illustrating Ringo Starr’s song ‘Octopus’s Garden’:

Octopus's Garden Book

Octopus’s Garden is published by Simon and Schuster and beautifully illustrated by British children’s book illustrator Ben Cort. It’s a large-format, hardback book with really nice pictures to accompany the printed lyrics to the song:octopus-garden-interior-1024x593

There’s also a CD included with four tracks. Track 1 is a short spoken endorsement from Ringo; Track 2 is a new recording of ‘Octopus’s Garden’ (with Ringo providing the vocal); Track 3 has Ringo reading the story (without music); and finally an instrumental version for you or your child to sing along with:octopus's garden 2Here’s a little promo video with more of a taste of what you get:

See also Real Love: The Drawings for Sean from 1999.

A Big Pile of Beatle Sheet Music Rediscovered

We were digging around in a cupboard the other day and came across a long-forgotten stash of Beatle sheet music collected from a variety of places over the years. Thought you might like to see the front covers. Most are printed and published for the Australia/New Zealand market. Some are books with numerous songs, others are single titles. As you’ll see, they’re in far from pristine condition, but interesting none-the-less.

Here they are in (roughly) chronological order:  Hard Days NightMMTApple Song BookBallad of J&YCome TogetherMy Sweet LordIsn't It A PityIt Don't Come EasyAnother DayImagineMull of KintyreColourful Beatles20 Greatest1967-19701962-1966 (1)1967-1970 (1)Past Masters

Beatle Books, Books and More Books….

Quite a few new Beatle or Beatle-related books have just been announced or recently released, and so we thought we’d mention a few worthies. Here’s a round-up:

The Beatles Lyrics by Hunter Davies was released as a hardback book last year. It’s now slated for a paperback release this October:Beatles Lyrics

The book features analysis of the Beatles song catalog and images of the Beatles’ hand-written song lyrics. If that is actually the new cover (above) we reckon it looks cool. For any record collector or Beatle fan it definitely says”Pick me up and look inside”. If you, do we can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. We got the hardback edition last Christmas and have been dipping in and out of it all year.

Here’s one we stumbled across on the web. We haven’t read it yet but there’s a great review on The Daily Beast about a new book called Allen Klein – The Man Who Bailed Out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll. Yes, it’s a very long title, but also a fascinating re-think by author Fred Goodman of the impact and influence of one of the music industry’s bad boys of management – the late Allen Klein. Klein was brought in to run the Beatles’ Apple company and very soon became the lightening rod that split the band, with Paul McCartney on one side and John, George and Ringo siding with Klein on the other. This is very much a business book with lots of financial details, but Goodman makes the nuts and bolts really interesting, linking them to the seismic shift in music-industry economics that Klein instigated. This book is out now and there’s a “Look Inside” on Amazon if you are interested to read more:Alan_Klein

Klein and Harrison Klein Lennon and OnoHere’s another that we don’t own and haven’t read yet. We were just walking through a large bookshop the other day and accidentally spotted this one on the shelf:

See Hear Yoko

The inside cover says See Hear Yoko was conceived expressly for Yoko Ono as a gift between friends on the occasion of her eightieth birthday. It’s a visual portrait of her as an artist, activist, wife and mother, from her days with John Lennon through to the present. Legendary rock and roll photographer Bob Gruen was welcomed into the lives of John and Yoko during their years in New York City, when Gruen served as their personal photographer. He continues to document Yoko today. Approached by his friend Jody Denberg, who had logged twenty-five years of interviews with Yoko, Gruen collaborated with him to create an extraordinary birthday gift. Gruen selected more than three hundred classic color and black-and-white photographs—accompanied by text by Denberg—to illuminate the story of Yoko Ono. Again, Amazon has a “Look Inside“. There are some truly great images here.

The Zapple Diaries: The Rise and Fall of the Last Beatles Label. This one should be very interesting. Due for release on September 28 in the UK (but not until March 1, 2016 in the US) this book is written by Beatle insider Barry Miles and, as the publishing blurb says, it’s the first full-length illustrated examination of the Zapple label—an Apple Records off-shoot and Beatle experimental label:Zapple DiariesOn Zapple the Beatles hoped to release a range of spoken word and avant garde recordings – all part of their “…ambition to be leading members of the counterculture movement”. As it turned out Zapple was short-lived, surviving for just six months or so in 1969, and only had two official releases (Lennon and Ono’s Unfinished Music No.2: Life With the Lions, and George Harrison’s Electronic Sound). Author Barry Miles ran Zapple, so this should be an interesting insight – especially on the closing down of the label by one Allen Klein (see above). The Amazon UK and Amazon US sites both have a bit more info, and you can pre-order the book there too.

Finally, a new children’s picture book from Macmillan that introduces the next generation of fans to the story of John, Paul, George and Ringo. Focusing on the early years, Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles shows how four boys from Liverpool became the bestselling band in history:Fab Four Friends

Written by award-winning children’s author Susanna Reich with fantastic illustrations by Adam Gustavson, this book traces the Beatles’ roots through each boy’s childhood and teen years. Evocative language and richly-detailed paintings tell the story of the band from its earliest days as a skiffle group to its explosion onto the world stage. Amazon has a “Look Inside” for more. This is out now. We think you (and your kids!) will love it.Fab Four Friends Rear

Looking Through You – A New and Very Special Beatle Book

An exciting new Beatles book Looking Through You (just out through Omnibus Press in the UK, and soon to be published in the US) has hit our desk – and it is a treat:LOOKING THROUGH YOU BOOK COVER

Looking Through You – Rare & Unseen Photographs From The Beatles Monthly Archive presents a selection of over 300 images taken from the pages of the precious The Beatles Book Monthly magazine photo archive. The Beatles Book Monthly was, as it’s name suggests, a monthly instalment detailing what the Beatles were up to. It started in August, 1663 and continued for six years:johnbbm66 paul.bb.Nov1966a George Harrison 001 ringo.bb.Dec1966a

The magazine, through the lens of photographer, Leslie Bryce, had unrivalled access to the group throughout the 1960s. Bryce captured the band at work and at play in public but also behind the scenes in un-rehearsed situations resulting in what are unique and candid images.

With a selection of photos from the magazine (all taken between 1963 and 1968), many of the photos gathered for the book are previously unpublished or unseen, often un-cropped and in their original form. The quality of the images is great too because they all are printed from the original negatives:

Beatles in the Mirror

One thing which strikes you as you flip through each of the carefully chosen and captioned images is that this new book will be a treasure trove for those interested in the band’s instruments and equipment. Take this photograph below of George Harrison for example. How many shots have we seen of the group using their customary Vox amplifiers – but here, in this rear view (taken at the Hammersmith Odeon Theatre in December, 1964), you can pick up some great additional details. You can almost read the amps actual model and serial numbers:

George and his Vox Amps

There are numerous shots like this – close-ups of the band’s instruments while on stage as well as a huge number of them at work in the studio, like this one taken at Abbey Road in November, 1965:

Beatles at Abbey Road

Looking Through You has only just come out in the UK and will see a US release soon. The UK edition comes as a cased and numbered 208-page limited edition of 3,000, designed by Lora Findlay with text by Andy Neill. Also in the package is a replica of a rare Beatles artefact associated with the magazine: the 1964 Beatles Book calendar, containing a further 12 photographs from the Beatles Monthly archive.

John and his Gretch Guitar

The book’s Facebook site is here.

FYI there is also a Beatles Book Photo Library available online with low-res, watermarked photographs available to view. There is a process for approaching the Archive about accessing high quality images.