Something About the Beatles – Do Yourself a Favour and Have a Listen

We raved about a new podcast called Something About the Beatles back when it first came out. SATB is hosted by two Beatle experts and authors Robert Rodriguez and Richard Buskin.

If you need any convincing to make this a regular download, have a listen to Episode 11.

It’s a great example of how interesting this podcast is. The two look into the instruments that the Beatles used on stage and in the studio – and how these directly impacted the sound and their creative push to always try new ways of making music. Buskin interviews Andy Babiuk, author of Beatles Gear (and the newly-published Rolling Stones Gear), but also talks with his co-host Rodriguez, delving into their own extensive knowledge and understanding of the music. Great stuff.

It is episodes like this that make it well worth subscribing to this podcast – which comes out roughly once a month:Something About the Beatles-tiffSee also our post on Beatles 101, Richard Buskin’s latest book.

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.

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.

Here, There and Everywhere – Geoff Emerick

We recently purchased a nice, used hardback copy of Geoff Emerick’s fantastic Beatle book Here, There and Everywhere – My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles.

Not having read it before it’s currently our favourite, especially given the release in the last week of the The Beatles In Mono vinyl LPs as a boxed set (and also as individual albums).Here, There 1 Here, There 2Geoff Emerick was George Martin’s right-hand man in the control room at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in London. At the age of 15 (on just his second day at EMI) he was present – as an assistant recording engineer – when a scruffy-looking quartet from Liverpool came in for their very first studio session. Emerick progressed from that recording (“Love Me Do” in 1962), to being directly involved with the majority of the band’s classic albums. He confirms on a number of occasions in his book that a lot more time was spent getting the mono mixes correct as compared to the time taken over stereo.

With his ability to interpret the sounds that John, Paul, George and Ringo had in their heads as they worked at getting their songs down on tape, Emerick made a huge contribution to their records. He wanted as much as they did to experiment – to take the recording process into new and un-charted waters. Here, There and Everywhere takes us into the famous Studio’s One and Two at Abbey Road as history was literally being made.

Amongst other things we read about the antiquated attitudes, policies and equipment at EMI Records during the 1960s. Given their strict and old-fashioned rules it’s incredible that the greatness of the Beatles was ever captured at all. EMI management back in the day seemed stuck in the 1940s and 50s. As an organisation it frequently stood in the way of creativity rather than fostering it. It was Geoff Emerick who was willing to go out on a limb and flaunt the studio rules at Abbey Road to capture the sounds we have today.

One of the other big surprises in the book is Emerick’s low opinion of George Harrison. There are frequent mentions of how stand-offish and surly Emerick found him to be, not to mention that he regarded George as a pretty lacklustre lead guitarist….

Here, There and Everywhere was published way back in 2006, but it is highly recommended if you are at all interested in the Beatles and their music. The copy we have is a signed copy. It’s not dedicated to us because this one is second-hand – but that doesn’t matter. There is the signature of Geoff Emerick (and his co-author Howard Massey), a man who had a significant impact on the Beatles legacy.

We wouldn’t have the Beatle canon without him.Here, There 3

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean

Stumbled across a John Lennon book that we were not aware of until today. It’s called Real Love: The Drawings for Sean.

Real Love- The Drawings for Sean

As the cover suggests, this is a children’s book based on drawings that Lennon made for his young son Sean. The cover blurb sums up this book best:

“John Lennon was many things to many people: singer, songwriter, poet, political activist, and, not the least, the most outspoken member of the greatest rock-and-roll band of all time. But to Sean Lennon, he was Daddy.”

“Fatherhood was a role he took on with as much humor, intensity, and enthusiasm as any he had tackled. John made the drawings in this book with and for Sean. Drawing pictures and making up funny captions was one of the ways they played together. It was how John taught Sean about the simple joys of creativity, and it was one of the many ways John was able to express his affection for his son.”

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean collects some of the funniest, cleverest, and most heartwarming images from those collaborations and provides a glimpse into the real love they shared.”Lennon-A Cat Napping Lennon-A Small Pig Lennon-An Elephant Forgetting Lennon-Collie Flower

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean was initially published in 1999. This edition is a reprint from 2011 under the Insight Editions imprint. It is a large format hard-back, in full colour, and very nicely produced. You can see more examples from the book at The Artwork of John Lennon – a special site (we also just discovered today) dedicated not only to Lennon’s children’s drawings, but to his entire catalogue of art.

With The Beatles: Inside Beatlemania

We were in the city of Sydney last week and dropped by our fave discount bookshop to see if there was any Beatle treasure lurking there. And there was. Stacked on one table where multiple copies of this very beautifully produced large-format hardback:01_Beatles

The book’s full title is LIFE With The Beatles: Inside Beatlemania, and it features hundreds of never-before-seen and rare photographs by Robert Whitaker, who was hired by the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein to document what was happening to the band for two crazy years between 1964 and 1966.

Typical of LIFE magazine, the book has a wealth of great and unusual images:09_Beatles04_Beatles

A Google search revealed a website for a company called Li’l Robin, the people who actually worked on the design and layout of the book. Their site has more images from inside. It’s very much worth a look. Li’l Robin has also produced a digital version of this book:03_Beatles_iPad-566x379Nice. Amazon has a “Look Inside” if you would like a further peek at the contents.