It’s a 148-page Beatles special edition, published by the UK’s highly respected Uncut magazine. The magazine traces the rise of the band, its massive success, and then the eventual demise. It features interviews from the archives of Uncut, NME and Melody Maker. Looking back, the levels of access and revelation contained in the archives of these three journals is quite impressive. Their journalists sat in on meetings with Elvis Presley, travel round the United States with the Beatle touring party during the first tour, and are there as the band starts to fall apart. Alongside all these features Uncut’s current team of writers contribute in-depth new analyses of every Beatles album.
Here are some page scans from the mag, which includes unusual photos and great information on the band and their releases:
And this great photo of Beatle manager Brian Epstein – which should qualify for our Beatles With Records series of posts as well:
I have found an interesting second-hand record store not far from my local area which I didn’t even know existed.
It is called Audiomania. It’s a bit oddly located in a semi-industrial area and, unusually, is only open two day’s a week for four hours at a time! On one side of the shop there’s an extensive selection of good quality vinyl (pop, rock, blues, lots of jazz and a bit of a specialty of the store – reggae). On the other side of the space they have vintage hi-fi (amps, turntables, CD players, etc.) and – wait for it – restored motor cycles….
It is the most eclectic record shop I’ve come across in some time.
My son and I descended on Audiomania on the weekend a couple of weeks ago. He was on the hunt for jazz vinyl, and me in search of the Beatles (or anything else Beatle-related).
I ended up with three items. An Australian copy of Paul McCartney’sRed Rose Speedway; a copy of his Give My Regards to Broad Street; and Ringo Starr’s Ringo the 4th.
I wanted the McCartney LP’s because the Red Rose Speedway (Australian pressing) had a cover which didn’t have the Braille writing on the back, and the Broad Street was a US copy on the Columbia label (in Australia this LP came out on Parlophone).
Like I said in the previous post, I seem to moving from not having much of Ringo solo on vinyl to now having quite a few of his releases all of a sudden. I didn’t have this LP at all in my collection. Despite the ringwear on the cover (which you cane see below), this one being both a US pressing and a promo copy, it seemed worth the A$5.00 asking price:
As you can see it has a big black and white Atlantic Records “Promotional Copy” sticker on the front containing a track-listing with composers, song publishers and running times (for use by radio stations I guess), plus a gold-embossed stamp on the upper left-hand side saying “Promotional Copy NOT FOR SALE”.
You can see the rear cover above (pardon the pun). I don’t know who that is sitting on his shoulders or why they are there….if you know please drop us a line. There is also a paper inner sleeve with a photo of Ringo and his co-writer of many tunes on the album Vini Poncia:
The album came out in 1977 on the Atlantic label and has a cast of top session players and guest artists of the day including David Spinozza (guitar), the great Steve Gadd on drums, Chuck Rainey (bass), Michael and Randy Brecker (horns), and Bette Midler, Melissa Manchester, Jim Gilstrap and Luther Vandross (background vocals).
So, one more Ringo Starr for the collection – and a promo copy at that.
For starters I managed to pick up copies of the Wings 12″ 45 of “Maybe I’m Amazed“, and I also scored the Ringo Starr three x 7″ box set. I got the Wings at one of Sydney’s longest-running, best-known and best-stocked independent record stores – Red Eye Records. We had to queue up in pouring rain outside the shop from opening time (9.00am Saturday) to get in. There were so many people hunting for RSD product it was a bit nerve-wracking wondering if they’d sell out of the Wings title. But, no problems. They still had some left when I finally got to the sales counter.
The Ringo box-set was another matter though. Red Eye hadn’t been able to secure any copies at all, and a quick phone around to just about every other likely outlet in town was the same story. I don’t think any copies of this actually made it into the country. So then it was a matter of just waiting for RSD to roll around in the USA and some copies to begin appearing on eBay. Which, due to the time difference between here and there, they eventually did late on Saturday night.
The Ringo StarrSingles Collection isthree 7” vinyl singles in a lift-top box. You get “Photograph” b/w “Down And Out” / “It Don’t Come Easy” b/w “Early 1970” / “(It’s All Down To) Goodnight Vienna” b/w “Oo-Wee”, presented with replicated original picture sleeve artwork, a poster, and a bonus custom record spindle adapter.
Meanwhile….the rest of Saturday was taken up largely by attending the Glebe Record Fair. This is one of the big second-hand record fairs on the Sydney calendar and this year it did not disappoint. The heavy rain on Saturday did not deter people coming out in their droves:Crate digging at the Glebe Fair I actually found quite a lot of things. First was a Beatles eight-LP box set I’ve been seeking out for some time – The Beatles Box – From Liverpool:
It’s the Australian edition from 1981 on the Parlophone label, and it came with the original poster too! I already had the Readers Digest Australian edition of this set (with different labels) – but having a mint copy on the orange Parlophone label has been an aim for a very long time:
From the same dealer I also got what I think is a quite rare Ringo Starr LP from 1983 called Old Wave. You can read the story of why there aren’t a lot of copies of this one around on Wikipedia. Because I’d purchased TheBeatles Box – From Liverpool set he sold this one to me for A$10 – which I think was a bargain:
This copy is on the Australian gold RCA label:
I seem to be going from having hardly any Ringo Starr solo to now having quite a few. At the Glebe Fair I also spied a reasonable copy of the budget Music For Pleasure edition of his Blast From Your Past:
This “best of” compilation originally came out on Apple in 1975. In fact it was the last record to be released on Apple (before the label re-emerged in the 1990′s). This MFP re-issue comes from 1981. See the post Budget Beatles for more info on this and other budget labels which feature the Beatles as a group and as solo artists.
On the topic of budget Beatles,my final purchase for the day was a copy of The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl on the Australian EMI budget label Axis:
This LP came out in 1987 in a single sleeve (as opposed to the original EMI/Capitol issue from 1977 which had a gatefold cover). This is nice copy in very good condition.
So, a really productive (if somewhat expensive) Record Store Day.
A late addition to Record Store Day for 2013 will be a Ringo StarrSingles Box, three 45″ singles accurately reproduced in their original picture sleeves in an Apple Records lift-top box. It will come with a Record Store Day spindle adapter.
The singles will be Photograph b/w Down And Out; It Don’t Come Easy b/w Early 1970 and (It’s All Down to) Goodnight Vienna b/w Oo-Wee. There will be just 5000 copies released.
The 3×7″ lift-top lid box sounds very similar to the Beatles singles box from Black Friday 2011 (an alternate Record Store Day limited edition release).
Also this year on Record Store Day Paul McCartney will release a Maybe I’m Amazed 12-inch single with mono and stereo versions of the song in varying durations. This is a pre-cursor to the next instalment in his McCartney Archives release series which will be Wings Over America, due later in the year (probably June by all accounts) featuring a multi-disc CD/DVD box set, “deluxe” and “standard” edition CD’s, plus vinyl.
This live version of Maybe I’m Amazed was originally serviced as a radio-only promotional 12-inch vinyl single back in 1976, also to herald the release of Wings Over America.
We got that Paul was carrying a copy of Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um: The Best of Major Lance, but not the record that we can see Ringo holding while getting off the plane in London after their famous first US tour.
Thanks to Andrey in Russia we now have this one solved too. He put out the word amongst his collector friends asking what this record could be:
And they quickly came up with the correct identification:
Andrey’s mates are fantastic. They also provided the answer to this unusual and obscure LP John Lennon had on the end of his bed:
Andrey also sent these next couple of photos. This Beatles photo, clipped from a newspaper, looks like it comes from the same photo shoot as the photograph used in Beatles with Records Part Three, but it’s a different pose and this time in black and white:
Next, from the height of the Apple days, Paul and Apple PR man Derek Taylor in the band’s offices at number 3 Savile Row, London. Paul is holding an unidentified acetate recording:
Here’s another of Paul (much later), this time proudly holding a copy of his 2006 classical release, Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart):
And here’s one with Ringo holding his solo CD Ringo Rama (2003):
And signing a copy as well:
Finally, a couple of interesting photos of Beatles with records from the website Kenwood. Kenwood revels in discovering and detailing places that the Beatles (especially John Lennon) have lived. It tries to give “then” and “now” comparisons of how rooms and buildings have changed, often involving great detective work. This recent post looks at 57 Green Street, London – where all four of the lads lived for a short period in 1963. There are two photos of them there with records. This one of Ringo sorting through 45′s:
And this one of John, seated in front of the same record player that Ringo is using above:
(click images to see a larger version)
Behind him on the left-hand side, upside-down, is a yellow LP cover. Could it be The Fabulous Miracles (Tamla 238, 1963)?
This LP contains the Motown group’s second Top Ten single, “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me”, which became such a smash that the album was soon reissued and renamed. However, this is the original cover art. “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” was of course covered by the Beatles on their second UK album With the Beatles (1963).
Thanks once more to everyone who has sent in further photos and information. You can see the other parts in “The Beatles with Records” series here: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 , 6, 7 , 8, 9 , 10 , 11, 12, 13 and 14, 15 and 16
Masses of photos sent in recently – especially from Andrey in Russia. This series is about finding photographs of the Beatles actually holding the product they sold so prolifically – either their own records or those of other artists. We also accept photographs of those close to the Beatles in the proximity of records or CDs.
Back in Part 8 and in Part 10 we identified a very early photo of the band playing on a stage that had a backdrop consisting of a black curtain with LP covers pinned to it. Turns out these were taken in 1961 at a hall with the very grand title of The Palais Ballroom in place called Aldershot in the south of England. Pete Best is still their drummer and this was the band’s first foray to the south of the country. A mere 18 people turned up for the gig! Despite that, the Beatles look to be giving the performance their all. These were the photos we had so far:
From these we were able to identify the following records:
Well, Andrey has sent a couple more photos from that same 1961 Aldershot show:
(Click on some images to see larger versions)
From these its possible to identify at least three more LPs pinned to the backdrop. From the first photo, just above Paul’s microphone you can see this one:
And in the final photo, hanging upside down at an angle just behind Pete Best and above the guitar amp:
Just below the Bobby Darin, also on an angle, is one called Sing It Again No.2. I can’t find an image of that exact disc, but did find Sing It Again No.4 which has very similar artwork:
Also in Part 8 we had a small photo which was taken in 1963 at EMI headquarters for the launch of the Please Please Me LP. The band is on a stage with lots of album covers behind them:
Here are a couple more from that same day – and much larger, too:
This one below is also a fairly early photograph. Adoring fans seeking autographs on their Beatles singles. Maybe they are copies of “From Me To You”, the first 7″ single released in the plain green Parlophone paper sleeve?
These next two show the Beatles arriving back in the UK in 1964 after their tour to America – with Ringo, George and Paul each having records under their arms. To identify just what they are though will need your help:
If you can help identify Paul and Ringo’s records (its hard with George because his are in a paper bag!) please post a comment below or email me here
Once the band started to sell some records and earn some money they purchased the latest gadgets to play records – including in their cars:
Dick James formed the music publishing company Northern Songs (with Brian Epstein, John Lennon and Paul McCartney) and became the publisher of all the Beatles songs. As the photo caption says – he kept a close eye on the fortunes of his key partners:
(That’s some letter opener he has there!)
Finally, a photo of Klaus Voormann, the man who designed the BeatlesRevolver cover art in 1966. Here he is more recently signing a copy of the CD for a fan:
As usual thanks to all those who have sent in content and further information. You can see the other parts in “The Beatles with Records” series here: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 , 6, 7 , 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 17.
COMING SOON – The Beatles with Gold Records – and believe me there are LOTS of those.
(Click on many of the images above to see larger versions)
Since the last instalment we’ve been swamped with some great content – enough for at least two or three more posts featuring the Beatles (or people close to them) photographed or filmed with records or CDs – either their own or those of other artists.
This first one comes from beatlesblogger.com reader Ariel, who sent in this great YouTube clip of John Lennon and Yoko Ono strolling past a crowd of reporters and photographers:
The footage was clearly taken in 1970 when John and Yoko were publicising this Plastic Ono Band album:
The footage comes from a 1977 film by French film-maker Gérard Courant, whose website says of the film: ”The year punk music exploded, Courant gave his most avant-garde outburst by relating for the first time the shattering experiences that took place in the second half of the 20th century…with the rock culture that clamored that same idea of rupture…”. Lennon and Ono can also be seen publicising the same LP in Part Five and also in Part Two.
Staying with John Lennon for a moment here’s an image sent in by Andrey in Russia of the Lennon’s in New York – holding court with assembled media and hangers-on in their apartment in February, 1972 in Greenwich Village:
There’s obviously a record you can see sitting there at the foot of the bed:
But what and who is it? I was having real trouble identifying this one. Well, thanks to Andrey’s Russian-speaking friends we’ve been able to find that LP. He asked one of the Beatles.ru forums for some help. Which artist could it be? Andrey says he got the answer in about ten minutes:
The Power Pop website says that the group Soup was from Wisconsin in the USA and the members were Doug Yankus, Rob Griffith and David Faas . The band released a self-titled album in 1970, however what we can see here is the bands second LP, The Album Soup, from 1971. How it came to the attention of John Lennon, and what he thought of it we’ll probably never know.
Continuing on the Lennon theme – this time with Yoko and a gentleman named Kristofer Englehardt, author of the book “The Beatles Undercover“, holding a copy of her solo LP from 1971 called Fly:
In Part Six there’s a terrific photo of George Harrison in the back of a limo holding up a copy of his All Things Must Pass LP. Here’s another good one from around the same time:
Could it be that this photo below was taken on the same day and location? It looks very much like the same shirt George is wearing above. Perhaps he’s playing one of the sides from All Things Must Pass on his record player at home?
One final shot of George taken in 1972 according to the caption, this time with his triple LP from 1971 The Concert for Bangladesh:
When you are Paul McCartney, just getting into a building you are visiting can have it’s challenges. The photo below shows the type of crush which can eventuate when everyone wants a photograph or an album signed – including one fan bravely holding up a copy of the 1988 Russian release Снова в СССР:
Here he is again – this time with fans thrusting forward copies of (amongst other things) Help! and Tug of War (you can see the cover of Tug of War at the very bottom right-hand side of the photo):
One other final shot of Paul holding a 45 single, this time with Ringo and John. It is what is reported as a test acetate recording (printed in limited quantities and used by the band and engineers for checking the quality and the mix) – it is supposedly of a song from Sgt Pepper:
There’s another photo from the studio on the same day below – from a different angle with George also in attendance and more acetates lined up on the piano:
One final photo for this instalment – again of the Beatles as a group and possibly arriving in Rome. I say that because the gentleman in the light coloured jacket, moustache and glasses (who is a fellow named Alf Bicknell – the Beatles chauffeur between 1964-1966) is holding a copy of the Italian version of A Hard Day’s Night. You can tell it’s the Italian cover of the LP because the large type across the top saying “The BEATLES” is distinctively different to the standard UK release:
Thanks to all those who have sent in content and further information. You can see the other parts in “The Beatles with Records” series here: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 , 6, 7 , 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17.
Firstly, it was prompted when last week Neville, a beatlesblog.com reader, sent in a scan of an original ticket stub from one of the concerts given by the Beatles in 1964 in Sydney, Australia at a venue called The Stadium….
Neville wrote: ”This is not a particularly fancy ticket and is definitely used. They tore off the end of it at the door as you went in. This is 1964. Sending you this is giving away my age, I was 19 at the time….I can recall the concert fairly well although some details are a little bit sketchy now. Suffice to say that the Beatles performance was much shorter than today’s concerts, only about 45 mins max perhaps and about 15 songs only I think. And despite the claims about the deafening screams, you could still actually hear the songs (just). However that might have been because we knew them all at the time. It was mostly from “Please Please Me” and a few of the singles. It really was a very exciting performance and you got carried away by the crowd reaction!”
“There were a couple of support acts as well. The one I remember the most was Johnny Devlin who was then a fairly wild rocker and wore skin-tight black leather pants which the girls seemed to like…”
“The remarkable thing about the Stadium was that is was built as a boxing venue and the audience surrounded the stage (ring) which was in the middle of the building. For concerts they had a revolving platform on the stage so that no matter where you sat, at some stage the performers would be facing you. This must have been a bit disconcerting for the acts. The acoustics weren’t that great, neither were the seats, just being wooden benches. Anyway, concerts there just seemed to have an atmosphere all their own.”
Thanks for the scan. Neville got talking to a friend recently who’d also been at a Sydney Stadium Beatles concert (at a different performance though – the band played three shows there on 18, 19 and 20 June), and he confirmed that the performance of the Beatles was short – only about 30 to 45 minutes. He also reminded Neville that another act was Sounds Incorporated, who performed instrumental material only. Also on the bill were Alan Field, Johnny Chester, and a band called The Phantoms.
This was part of the Beatles’ very first world tour, June 1964. RingoStarr missed the first leg of the Australian concerts due to severe tonsilitis (the band went first to Adelaide in South Australia, then to Melbourne in Victoria before the Sydney shows, then to New Zealand, and back to Australia for two shows in Brisbane in Queensland before jetting back to England). Ringo re-joined the group in Melbourne and Neville says he was definitely on stage for the Sydney concerts. Until then his place was taken by the then little-known drummer Johnny Nicol.
2014 of course will be the 50th anniversary of the tour and two museums here are teaming up for a large exhibition. The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and the Melbourne Arts Centre will next year launch a “Beatles Down Under” exhibit featuring collectables, documents, memorabilia, photographs and sounds from the time. It centres around the personal archives of the Australian tour promotor at the time, Ken Brodziak, and will be on show at the Powerhouse in 2013, and then move to the Arts Centre Melbourne in 2014.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC Radio) broadcast a lengthy interview with Peter Cox (curator at the Powerhouse) and rock historian Glenn A. Baker (author of the book “The Beatles Down Under”). Here’s a short extract. The interviewer is Rod Quinn:
You can click here to listen to the entire interview.
The final reason for this post is the book simply called “The Beatles in Australia”. It was originally released in 2005, but seems to be still available as it remains on the New Holland book publishers website.
As you can see from the cover image above this book features many unique images, mostly taken during the Adelaide leg of the Beatles Australian tour where drummer Jimmy Nicol was standing in for an ill Ringo Starr. Most of the images in the book had never been published previously. They were taken by Brian Cooter and Rosemary Blackwell and were purchased by the author, Mark Hayward through Christie’s and Sothebys.
Below is part of a transcript, included in the book, from the Beatles first press conference in Australia held on Thursday, 11 June 1964 in Kings Cross, Sydney:
Interviewer: Have you written any songs with Australian themes?
John: We never write any themes about anything. We just write the same rubbish all the time.
Interviewer: Do you play the kind of music you want to play or music people want to hear?
John: No, we’ve been playing the same music for five or six years, just rock n roll, we just happen to write it
Interviewer: Well what do you think made the difference that suddenly pushed you above all the other groups?
George: We got a record contract.
It is evidence of typical Beatle banter – clever, unassuming, disarming. There are some really great photos in this book, including the arrival of the band in Adelaide where they were greeted by a crowd estimated to be 350,000 people. If you know Adelaide (even today) that is a huge turnout of fans:
George with the local press and media:
And at the concerts:
I’m still trying to track down the exact exhibition dates for the Sydney Powerhouse and Melbourne Arts Centre. More soon.
I’ve really been enjoying watching the newly-released BBC-Arena documentary “Produced by George Martin“. And it has been getting some very good reviews too. You might recall a little while ago we gave away a copy of the DVD to a lucky Beatlesblog reader, Eric Leon in France.
The DVD and BluRay contain the extensive documentary, plus over 50 minutes of extended interviews with Martin, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and many others. But it is not just Sir George’s work with the Beatles which is featured. “Produced by George Martin” is a history of Parlophone Records, which is a division of the huge recording conglomerate known as EMI. George Martin was the boss of Parlophone and so alongside the Beatles (by far his most famous signing) he was responsible for recording some of the top hit-makers in Britain (and the world) including Cilla Black, Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Rolf Harris, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer, Matt Monro, Shirley Bassey, and of course Wings. Many who see the doco will be wondering if there’s a way to get hold of some of the great music and comedy featured which Martin produced. There is – it’s a six CD box set of his work that came out way back in 2001. Interestingly, although it was released more than ten years before this latest documentary, it carries a very similar title to this year’s DVD and BluRay: “Produced by George Martin – 50 Years in Recording”:
Each CD set is individually numbered (mine is 08750) and comes in a fold-out, long-box length holdings which holds the six CD’s and a book. Here’s the rear cover and some of the inside fold-out panels:
The CD’s themselves contain tracks that date back to Sir George’s earliest work, beginning in 1955 and then traversing his entire career up to his post-Parlophone days recording acts like America, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Webb and John McLaughlin. Whoever designed the set decided to give each CD an authentic and historic Parlophone label. It’s a design idea that the Beatles themselves decided to copy in the their latest series of remastered re-issues of their own work, both for the 2009 CD remasters (mono and stereo), and for the LP box set which has only just been released:
Glued inside the fold-out package is a 35 page book, with liner notes by Mark Lewisohn (who will be well-known to Beatles fans as the band’s most knowledgable and respected biographer). In it Lewisohn details the background to Sir George’s life and the multitude of artists and styles he produced over a 45-year span in the business:
For those who were not able to fork out the considerable outlay for the full 6 CD box set, EMI/Parlophone also produced a “Highlights” single CD version containing 24 tracks:
And there was also a promo CD produced. It came in a simple cardboard slipcase with a further reduced selection of material (14 tracks). This would have been sent to radio stations, and reviewers at magazines and newspapers to promote the box set:
This 2001 box set from 2001 forms a great companion to the filmed “Produced by George Martin” DVD and BluRay documentary released in 2012.