McCartney on Writing Songs with Lennon

Don’t know if there’s anything particularly new here – but Paul McCartney is in good form, open and relaxed in a video uploaded this week to YouTube.

He was appearing at a small gathering in London, answering questions and being interviewed by British model, actor and activist Lily Cole for a global campaign called impossible:

The video appears to have been uploaded as a teaser for further sections of the conversation event which will show Cole asking Sir Paul specifically about his song ‘Hope For the Future’, part of the soundtrack to the new video game Destiny.

paulmaccartney.com called for musicians to submit their wishes to Cole’s impossible website in order to win seats to the strictly limited-entry event – held earlier this week. There are more photos and info here.

McCartney’s website also says: “Paul’s new single ‘Hope For The Future’ will be released in the coming weeks. Please keep checking back to paulmccartney.com for full details….”

What is impossible? It’s described as a global community who help each other out. People share their time, skills and objects. Everything is always given or loaned for free.

For more on Cole see Lily Cole: From Vogue to the impossible

Cole is one of the many celebrity cameo’s in Paul’s ‘Queenie Eye’ video (you can see here and Johnny Depp pictured below):Lily Cole Queenie Eye

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.

Some Beatles Car Boot Sale Booty

There was a big car boot sale just around the corner from us this last weekend, and we were able to find quite a few nice additions to the collection. One vendor just had boxes and boxes of CD’s, 7″ vinyl 45′s and 12″ LP’s on their stall – and so quite a bit of our Saturday morning was spent trawling….

It was time well spent though as it turned up a few gems.

First up was a Australian vinyl single taken from the John Lennon and Yoko Ono album Double Fantasy. ‘Watching the Wheels’ was the third single from this LP (the first two were ‘(Just Like) Starting Over’ and ‘Woman’). We didn’t have a copy of ‘Watching the Wheels” so this was a good find.Beatles books_0010

Next was another 7″ single we didn’t have - Badfinger’s ‘Come and Get It’ on the Apple label. It dates from 1969 and is a Paul McCartney composition written for the band, and it makes an appearance on the soundtrack for the film The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. This is an Australian pressing. There’s a lot of writing on the label – but still…..Beatles books_0014

Further hunting through the boxes revealed another Apple single – this time from George Harrison. It’s an Australian copy of ‘My Sweet Lord’ b/w ‘Isn’t It A Pity’. In Australia this was a double A side as both titles have green Apple labels:Beatles books_0016Beatles books_0015

Our good luck continued in the multiple boxes at this car boot sale. Next out were two singles – a US copy of McCartney’s ‘Coming Up’, and ‘Say Say Say’ with Michael Jackson – both on the Columbia label, then a division of CBS. In the late 70′s/early 80′s McCartney was briefly (six years) on the Columbia label for his releases in America. He’d temporarily turned his back on Capitol Records, enticed by one of the most lucrative recording contracts around at the time, a deal which included as a sweetener the ownership of Frank Music, a CBS owned publishing company consisting (amongst other things) of Frank Loesser’s songs (think of the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, etc.). Frank Music is now of course folded into McCartney’s highly successful MPL Music Publishing business.

The two singles we found came out on the Parlophone label in Australia, so it’s good to have these US versions:Beatles books_0012Beatles books_0011

The final 45 we discovered was Billy J. Kramer’s ‘From a Window’ – which sadly is kind of beat up, but worth having because it is a song from 1964 written specifically for Kramer (and his band the Dakotas) by John Lennon and Paul McCartneyBeatles books_0013

The last purchase of the day was a bit of a find. It’s Jools Holland’s 2001 CD Small World Big Band, which is an important one to have in the collection because it contains George Harrison singing and playing on his last ever recordingGeorge passed away just two months after this recording. He does a song called ‘Horse to the Water’, co-composed with his son Dhani.

Holland’s CD is sub-titled “….his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and friends”, that’s because for each track he invites various stars to join him for a track each. These include the likes of Sting; Paul Weller; Dr John; Mark Knopfler; Van Morrison; Steve Winwood; and Eric Clapton, amongst many others.Beatles books_0017Beatles books_0020 To quote two of the poignant reviewers on Amazon:

“For me, the big reason to buy this CD was the George Harrison contribution, ‘Horse to the Water’. It is a GREAT song, and a brilliant Harrison song at that. George sounds weak, and I am not sure if Clapton has stepped in on some of the guitar parts, but what a brilliant and fun piece of music, worthy to be held in the highest esteem among its author’s ouvre. IT is reason enough to buy the CD.”

And this one:

“I purchased this CD for one reason. I had seen the DVD Concert for George and loved it. Among the best offerings on the DVD was the Sam Brown/Jools Holland rendition of ‘Horse to the Water’ by George. Except for the words, I would never have guessed that it was a Harrison song. It was too R&B. So I was curious to see how he handled it. Well, he does not have the powerhouse voice of Sam Brown, but I was in fact really surprised at how well he did, helped greatly by the superb backup band. I would not have recognised his voice. I am sure his throat cancer was behind that.”

There’s a small picture of George in the booklet:

Beatles books_0019Beatles books_0021

 

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.

One More Wings Bonus Track – Free Download

At paulmccartney.com there’s a further free, previously unreleased track which has been made available for download. That makes three so far….we’re heading towards the makings of an EP.

In November 1974 Paul and Wings were in the process of recording the album that came to be known as Venus and Mars. As with all recording sessions there are songs and different versions of tracks that don’t make the final release.RockShowAbsolute_MainNews

The exclusive Venus and Mars outtake track now available is a previously unreleased and unheard version of the song ‘Rock Show’. Listen to it below:

I think you can hear why this version was passed over in favour of the one that eventually made it to the LP, but it’s still great to hear how the song went through the process of being more finely crafted.

See also the exclusive versions of ‘Letting Go’ and ‘Love My Baby’ – both still available for download at paulmccartney.com

Another McCartney Bonus Track – Free Download

As part of the continuing publicity push for the Archive Series re-issues this week of Venus and Mars and Wings At The Speed of SoundPaul McCartney has made available another exclusive bonus track.

It’s a Wings track called ‘Love My Baby’ and is taken from the One Hand Clapping film:LoveMyBaby

Like the extended and remastered version of the song ‘Letting Go’ (released last week), ‘Love My Baby’ is not on the forthcoming re-issues of Venus and Mars or At the Speed of Sound, but is only being made available as a free download from paulmccartney.com

It’s short and cute. Sounds like Paul is playing a toy piano – long before that became fashionable!

One Hand Clapping was filmed in Studio 2 at Abbey Road in late summer of 1974. The documentary captures Paul playing numbers from Band on the Run with Wings.

He’s said of the film: “It’s nice to see that one re-surfacing. It was made by a friend of mine, David Litchfield; he produced a little magazine that was funky (Ritz, co-edited with David Bailey). We decided that he would shoot a very simple piece, on video. We would just go into Abbey Road and play basically what we had rehearsed. So we went in there and it was very simply filmed, absolute basic stuff, and I think its charm now is that there’s no pretence. It is what it is. We just called it One Hand Clapping, for absolutely no reason.”

Read more about the song on Buzzfeed.