A Hard Day’s Night – On the Big Screen Across Australia

An image of The Beatles forms the centrepiece for all this year’s advertising for the 2014 British Film Festival. The festival will be held in Australia between November 5 – 26.

That’s because the film A Hard Day’s Night is to be shown at big screen cinemas right across the country as part of the festival activities:

The long rich history of British cinema is represented in the festival’s ‘Six From The 60s’ retrospective, with six standout films from the era including a digitally restored, 50th anniversary print of Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night - a day in the life of The Beatles at the height of Beatlemania.

Check out the location and time listings for when AHDN is coming to a big screen near you.

McCartney Bonus Track – Free Download

Paul McCartney has today made available an exclusive, extended and remastered version of the song ‘Letting Go’. The song won’t be on the forthcoming re-issue of Venus and Mars (out next week), but is only available as a free download from paulmccartney.com

Letting_Go

Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound are the latest additions to the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. Both albums will be reissued on CD, vinyl and digital, including previously unreleased material, on November 3 (UK), and November 4 (US).

Op Shopping – Two Small Finds

Another trip to the NSW Central Coast, and some time available to check out a couple of the local opportunity shops (or “op shops”) there – like The Salvation Army and the St Vincent de Paul (or “Vinnies” as this chain is more commonly known in Australia – they are similar to Goodwill in the US).

It’s usually a long-shot to look for Beatle items in these places as they tend to be pretty well picked over already. But you never know…..

This time around we did come away with two small finds. First, at the Salvation Army store, was a cassette of A Collection of Beatles Oldies but Goldies:Oldies Front

This one is on Axis, which was EMI’s budget label in Australia. We don’t even have a cassette player anymore – but for just 50c how could we leave this little gem from the past just sitting on the shelf? Oldies cassetteOldies inner

Then, from the same store, a 3-track CD single of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ by Band Aid 20. This was released in 2004 and is the twentieth anniversary fundraising re-make of the 1984 song which kicked off the whole Live Aid charity phenomenon. The CD features Paul McCartney on bass:Band Aid 20 FrontBand Aid 20 CDBand Aid 20 Inner

As you can see in the official video from the timeSir Paul is obviously having a good time providing the bass line for this remake of the famous song.

BTW, Paul McCartney, U2’s Bono, Bob Geldof, Midge Ure, and Sarah Dallin and Keren Woodward (from Bananarama) are the only artists to have appeared on both the 1984 recording and on this one from 2004.

The CD single features the 2004 recording, the original from 1984, and a version taken from the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1985.

Three New Beatle/Beatle-related Vinyl Singles

For collectors and completists there are not one, but three new Beatle and Beatle-related 7″ vinyl singles on the way.

The first two are from Paul McCartney and Wings.

In association with the Best Buy supermarket chain in the USA, two 7″ vinyl singles – one taken from Venus and Mars, and one from Wings at the Speed of Sound – will be released on November 4 as limited bonus items with the purchase of the forthcoming re-issues of these two titles: Venus and Mars - Best BuyAt the Speed of Sound - Best Buy

From the description on the stickers (i.e. “DETAILS INSIDE”), it looks like there will be a coupon included to redeem these special vinyl singles after initial purchase, though we’re not sure about this.

Also, based on a tiny image on the Best Buy site, it looks like the singles will come in picture sleeves which re-create the original artwork:Best_BuyLet_'Em_In_(Wings_single_-_cover_art)The third 7″ vinyl item will be released on November 28 as part of the Record Store Day “Black Friday” celebrations at independent record stores. It’s a limited pressing of the Beatles EP Long Tall Sally (originally released in the UK and Australia in 1964):

Beatles Long Tall Sally

Songs on the EP are: “Long Tall Sally”; “I Call Your Name”; “Matchbox” and “Slow Down”.

Like the recent reissues of the Beatles original albums, this EP is being released in glorious mono. The Long Tall Sally 7” vinyl EP is being specially reissued for Record Store Day’s Black Friday in very limited quantities. Click here for the full list of special Record Store Day releases.

“Lennon: Through a Glass Onion” Hits New York

We here at beatlesblogger have just discovered that a fantastic Australian theatrical production about the life and times of John Lennon has just hit New York.Lennon-Glass Onion

John Waters is one of Australia’s most respected and talented actors. He and his musical director Stewart D’Arrietta have been performing and perfecting their stage presentation about John Lennon since the early 1990’s. Over that time it has been rested, revived and revised many times – and at each new outing the show has always been met with great critical and audience acclaim here. Waters and D’Arrietta have been on the road throughout 2014, playing Lennon in cities and towns across Australia – so it’s great to see that the pair have now made it to the Big Apple after all these years. Tickets are reportedly selling well, and the show is getting some good media coverage in the city.

In Australia the show is known as Looking Through a Glass Onion – John Lennon in Word and Music, so it’s interesting to note the slight name change for the US premiere and also that John Waters is billed as John R. Waters for American audiences. We guess that’s so he’s not confused with the well-known US writer and film director of the same name.

Lennon: Through a Glass Onion is playing now at the Union Square Theatre in New York. It has a good run with performances booked through to February next year.  

For a taste of how Glass Onion works on stage have a look at this YouTube video from 2010:

There’s a dedicated website for the New York Union Square Theatre shows with more details on the production, and there’s also a Facebook presence.

And in news just in: In celebration of John Lennon’s 74th birthday, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion hosted an audience sing along after the show with “Give Peace A Chance”:

Performances take place now through February 28 at Union Square Theatre, 100 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003. 

For a special limited time discount code offer to Beatles Blog readers click here.

John Lennon – Solo in 20 Songs

To mark John Lennon’s birthday, Yoko Ono and Universal Music have launched a special microsite called John Lennon Solo in 20 Songs:Instant-Karma-single

Universal has also re-issued the Lennon solo catalogue on a variety of streaming platforms:Spotifyrdio logoDeezer_LogoBeats music

Universal is also making every album available for download as high definition audio for the first time. These are available for purchase from hi-res digital audio providers like these:7 DigitalHD tracks logHighRes Audioqobuz

(P.S.  Universal also created a George Harrison Hail a Dark Horse microsite to coincide with the release of The Apple Years 1968-1975. It’s to let fans know there’s a limited re-pressing of the previously sold out 2004 companion box set The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992. However, a quick search on the Amazon US site failed to find it…..The Amazon UK site has this – stating the set is due for a limited release on October 20. If anyone can confirm it is actually being re-issued please let us know.)

Beatles With Records – Part Twenty Five

It’s not often we get video of the Beatles with records. We have had only a couple over this course of this series (see: Part 6,  Part 14,  and possibly Part 23….although the jury is still out as to whether John Lennon is actually carrying a record up the steps on his way into the Abbey Road studios). Now comes film from way back in 1964. It was shot at Brian Epstein’s NEMS offices on May 30 that year, with the Beatles just beginning to enjoy their first taste of really big success. The first part of the YouTube clip below is fairly mundane – colour film of the band sitting in the office with various members of the press, fans and hangers-on milling about. Then at about the 2 mins 50 seconds mark a record executive (who looks to be an American) brings over some 45s and LPs for Paul McCartney to peruse. These appear to be US test pressings, and maybe even a gold record that’s yet to be framed…    At approximately 4 minutes into the video we see a copy of this US album flash by – which Paul looks quite pleased with: Meet the Beatles Just after that John Lennon joins Paul and they continue to examine the stack of discs. Quite apart from the records, it’s an interesting series of clips showing the natural, easy charm the band possessed – particularly John, and also Paul. In this photo below, taken during the band’s first “world” tour (which took in Denmark and saw drummer Jimmy Nicol briefly fill in for an ill Ringo Starr), we can see Paul McCartney holding the Danish pressing of the single “Long Tall Sally/I Call Your Name”, released on the Odeon label:long tall sally 1 long tall sally 2Here’s another photograph, this time from the first US tour in 1964. We know from other photographs taken on this tour that the band took the opportunity to pick up some US albums by their favourites. This one is George Harrison with an LP by one of his guitar idols – the great Chet Atkins:Pop Group The Beatles February 1964 George Harrison Beatle George Harrison 21st birthday sorting through the 52 sacks full of gr 2181295 The Beatles were always very generous with the time they gave to their fans, frequently stopping in the street or in their cars to sign autographs. Here’s George again, signing what could be a record – but it could also be some sort of a concert program or booklet: George Beatles with RecordsStaying with George, here he is much later during the Apple Records days with members of one of his signings to the label – the Radha Krsna Temple. They’re holding a copy of their 1971 Apple single called “Govinda”:George with Hare Krsnaradha-krishna-temple-govinda--apple_25-singleHere’s another amazing photograph of George – showing off his impressive guitar collection. It contains a number of mysteries which you might be able to help solve (click on the image below to see a larger version):clapton, badfinger, roger Probably taken at his home at Friar Park, we can see up on the mantle piece (up high and to George’s left) artwork for the cover of The Apple E.P. This was released in 1991 and was a 45 containing four songs, one song each from the first four non-Beatle artists ever to be released on the label. They are Mary Hopkin, Badfinger, Jackie Lomax and Billy Preston. It was a promotional release to mark the first round of Apple re-issues (on vinyl and CD) back in 1991:The Apple E.P. Also high up, and to the right in the photograph of George above is an image of Eric Clapton from around the time of the release of his album 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974). It looks like an album – but it is difficult to identify because it’s partially hidden by a box also on the shelf. There’s lettering across the top left of the photo which says “Eric Clapton”. The image of Clapton is very similar to the on the inside of the gatefold of 461 Ocean Boulevard: eric-clapton-461-ocean-boulevard-insideLower down from the sideboard, still on the right-hand side of the photo, there’s a pile of two or three LPs. On top is what looks like an older style cover. It seems to be by a singer from the 1930’s or 40’s, maybe a famous tenor or baritone? It is hard to make out the name – but it looks like the writing says “Robert….(something)”, with his picture in an oval shape below. Anyone with any information or ideas on what this album might be please let us know!Unknown Then to the far left of the photograph (i.e. to George’s right), on the floor and leaning up against the wall is a large image of his Dark Horse Records logo. It is lying on its side – so all we can see is the horse’s tail:darkhorsesticker1 There is an LP or a box obscuring the full logo, but it is impossible to know what this might be. To finish off this post, a topical one with the soon-to-be-released Archive Series re-issue of Paul McCartney’s Venus and Mars (1975). It’s Wings – sitting with what looks to be a proof sheet for the front cover artwork for the album:vamVenus and Mars frontThe 2014 re-master of Venus and Mars will be released on November 3 (November 4 in the USA).

You can see more in the Beatles With Records series here (just go to the links at the bottom of the page).