Four Recent Ebay Purchases

We got an email from PayPal the other day saying we’d earned a $10.00 credit that could be used on any Ebay purchase, and so we delved into the collection to uncover some items that were missing.

Turns out we’re drastically under-represented when it comes to early Ringo Starr Apple singles. For some reason or other these were a blind spot in the collection and so these three items have now been added:

Ringo Beaucoups of BluesRingo It Don't Come EasyRingo Back Off Boogaloo

These 7″ 45 rpm singles are all Australian Apple Records releases.

“Beaucoups of Blues” is taken from the 1970 album of the same name.

“It Don’t Come Easy” is a 1971 non-album single produced by George Harrison, and “Back Off Boogalooo” (also produced by Harrison) came out in March, 1972.

The same seller also had a Wings single we didn’t have and hadn’t previously been aware of:Wings Arrow Through Me 2

“Arrow Through Me” is b/w “Old Siam, Sir”, and both songs come from the 1979 album Back to the Egg.

The Rutles – LP

As their website says:

The Rutles are a legend. A living legend. A legend that will live long after other living legends have died. This is the semi-legendary story of the Prefab Four who made the sixties what they are today!

For such a huge cultural phenomenon the Beatles have attracted surprisingly few parodies and send-ups over the years. That is until The Rutles came along…..

We’ve just scored a nice vinyl copy of their 1978 LP The Rutles:IMG_9939IMG_9940IMG_9946

Created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes for British television, The Rutles first appeared in 1975 as a sketch on the BBC TV comedy series called Rutland Weekend Television. The sketch presented a mini-documentary about the 1960s band “The Rutles”, and featured Innes singing “I Must Be In Love”, a pastiche of a 1964 Lennon-McCartney tune.

The Rutles gained more fame after their 1978 mockumentary television film, All You Need Is Cash (in which George Harrison actually appears). The Rutles LP is the soundtrack album from that film and it contains 14 of the film’s 20 songs.

The Rutles comes with a gatefold cover and pasted inside is a lavish 16-page, full colour book containing text and images detailing the history and (imaginary) releases of the band. Here’s a selection:IMG_9941IMG_9943IMG_9944IMG_9945

And there’s an inner sleeve containing more band parodies, too:

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What we have here is the US pressing. Released on the Warner Brothers label in 1978.

If you’d like a taste of what The Rutles are about:

Fab Gear – The Beatles and Fashion

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Earlier this week we scored a pristine copy of this Beatle book from one of our favourite discount bookstores – Basement Books in central Sydney. In fact it was still sealed in heat-shrink and so it is absolutely a mint copy.

The title of this large, coffee-table style book says exactly what its content is all about: Fab Gear – The Beatles and Fashion, and author Paolo Hewitt (his blog is here) focusses on that topic exclusively. DSC03487

This book contains a wealth of photographs, like the one above, which are included because they show the variety of fashion over the years, the fine cut, or the design details of what the group were wearing at particular times. Look at those jackets John and Paul are wearing. This photo was taken at the London Palladium in February, 1965. John’s is a particularly stylish, four-button cut, while with Paul it’s the detail of the doubled-up buttons and cuffs, and the buttoned down shirt with no tie which are interesting.

As you browse through Fab Gear Hewitt gives information about where the Beatles purchased their clothing (or where they had it made), and who they knew and followed in the industry. It becomes clear that the Beatles indeed were style gurus very interested in clothing, fashion, and the design of what they wore – both as a group and as individuals. In the photos below Ringo is dressed very much in a Mod style, with his three button suit and button-down polka-dot shirt. John sports a look that Van Morrison would appropriate years later. The pair’s stylish but casual look is in contrast to the smaller, earlier picture where the band is dressed far more formally:DSC03486From the earliest stages of being a band the Beatles had a keen sense of themselves as being more than just musicians. They were a force for change and what they wore was another way of pushing the boundaries. Hewitt’s book is divided up into five main themes to examine this thesis: the early years and influences from the late1950s in Liverpool and Hamburg; the early 1960s in London and Brian Epstein’s influence on their look and style; the mid-to-late1960s and Swinging London; the Beatles and their affect on hairstyles; and a chapter dedicated to the Beatles’ venture into creating and selling their own fashion designs at the Apple clothing boutique:

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In fact this book has one of the best chapters we’ve seen on the ill-fated Apple shop set up to sell Apple clothing and which the Beatles opened on December 7, 1967 at 94 Baker Street in London. It closed its doors just seven months later. Not only do we get the back-story to it’s inception and speedy downfall, we get images of hand-drawn designs, fabric samples and prices:DSC03483

This clip, from the movie Hot Millions, provides one of the few filmed glimpses inside the Apple shop:

There was also a separate Apple Tailoring shop (at 161 King’s Road) which included an Apple Hair salon in the basement! It is at Apple Tailoring we discover an Australian connection in the form one John Crittle. Crittle was a fashion innovator whose designs the Beatles had been taken with since the Sgt Pepper days. When they wanted to start their own tailoring company they turned to him. He’s pictured below – and if you don’t think you know his work, think again. Crittle designed the suits worn by three of the band (John, Ringo and Paul) as they walked across that famous pedestrian crossing outside the EMI studios on Abbey Road:DSC03481We are very much enjoying dipping into Fab Gear. There are so many interesting stories and you’ll never look at a Beatle album cover, publicity shot, promotional film, or magazine/newspaper image the same way again. For a quick spin through the history and influence the band had on fashion (and that fashion had on them) it’s an indispensable book. We guarantee you’ll learn something you didn’t know about the Beatles:DSC03485DSC03490DSC03488DSC03491DSC03480

Two Beatle-related Second-hand Finds

A couple of weeks back we got the chance to re-visit the harbour city of Newcastle in New South Wales. We’ve previously scored some Beatle goodness there (click here, and here) and this time was no different.

The first item came from Rices Bookshop on Hunter Street:DSC03469DSC03470

The Long and Winding Road – An Intimate Guide to the Beatles is a soft cover book (124 pages) by Ted Greenwald*. Published in 1995 in the USA, it details the history of the band from different perspectives. There are biographies, discographies, details of major stage appearances, films, significant books, as well as details about Beatle family and friends. As you can see, the layout inside is rudimentary, but there is a lot of information here:DSC03471

The book is mostly chronological and there are lots of Beatle photographs, record cover images, and examples of memorabilia inside: DSC03472 DSC03473 DSC03474

Just up the road from Rices is the Indigo Bookshop. They usually only sell second-hand books, but this visit they also had some boxes of used LP’s on display which we’d not seen before. In one box we found this little Beatle-related rarity:DSC03475DSC03476

As you can see this example has some water damage to the cover (which looks worse in the photo than in reality), but the vinyl itself is in mint condition. Denny Laine of course was a long-time McCartney collaborator and member of Wings. It’s no surprise then that Paul and Linda McCartney feature on a number of tracks of this 1984 solo album by Laine. Also represented are fellow ex-Wings members Steve Holly, Denny Seiwell, Lawrence Juber and Henry McCullough.

The song ‘Send Me the Heart’ was co-written by Laine and McCartney in 1974 and has Paul on bass. It was recorded during the same Nashville Wings sessions for ‘Junior’s Farm’.

‘I Would Only Smile’ was made at the same time as the sessions for the McCartney/Wings release Red Rose Speedway (1972). Similarly ‘Weep for Love’ was an out-take from the recording sessions for the Wings 1979 LP Back to the Egg. It features backing vocals by Paul and LindaDSC03478DSC03477

So, once again the second-hand stores of Newcastle come up trumps!

* Ted Greenwald is also the author of The Beatles Companion – The Fab Four in Film, Performance, Recording and Print, published in 1992:Beatles Companion 2

Double Fantasy – Lennon & Ono in Vanity Fair Magazine

For those of us not well-heeled enough to shell out A$870 (for the standard edition), or A$1933 (for the deluxe art edition), perhaps this Vanity Fair magazine slideshow of images from a new book by photographer Kishin Shinoyama will just have to do….Double_Fantasy_1Double_Fantasy_2

Double Fantasy: John Lennon and Yoko Ono is published by Taschen Books:Double Fantasy 3

The Taschen site has some additional images in a slideshow, too.

Shinoyama’s 800 images were captured in just two days in 1980 – during the period John Lennon and Yoko Ono were in recording sessions for their album Double Fantasy. It was Shinoyama’s images that were used for the record and CD cover, front and rear:Double Fantasy 4Double Fantasy 5

And also for 1884’s Milk and Honey:Milk and Honey 1Milk and Honey 2

McCartney at Rollins College – Full Video

In case you missed this…..

In October last year Paul McCartney and two-term U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins sat down for a conversation with an audience of Rollins College students in the Knowles Memorial Chapel on the College’s Florida campus.

McCartney was on stage for an hour-long conversation about his influences, his education, and the art of songwriting. There’ve been a variety of press and other text reports of the event, but now Rollins has uploaded the conversation in full to YouTube.

It’s a wide-ranging, illuminating and interesting conversation – especially when Paul picks up his guitar at about 16 minutes in: