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 was in Armidale, NSW (Australia) last week and managed (in between work meetings) to duck out to the recycled book and record store in town. I picked up a nice, used copy of book which looks to be a companion to the Rolling Stone magazine book I found earlier this year in Sydney about George Harrison. It’s similar in style and scope, only this time the editors of Rolling Stone have John Lennon and Yoko Ono as their focus:
This is the paperback edition and it came out in 1982. The book details (from the pages of Rolling Stone over the period 1967 to 1980) the love, the life and the activities of John and Yoko. It looks to be a fantastic compendium of some of the best writing about the pair as individuals, as a couple, and of course John as a member of the Beatles.
There are some great colour and black and white photos throughout, some of which I’d not seen before – like this one of Yoko.
The photograph above is an interesting composition. As you look at it you realise those are John’s hands.
Articles by the likes of Jonathan Cott, Jann S. Wenner, and Chet Flippo; photos by Annie Leibovitz; and a section just called “Remembering John” – with contributions from Gerry Marsden, Ray Charles, Joan Baez, Jim Keltner, David Geffen, Bobby Keyes, Carly Simon Norman Mailer, Chuck Berry, Mick Jagger and Harry Nilsson – to name just a few. It is going to be a very interesting read.
Sometimes you don’t go looking for Beatle records. Sometimes, Beatle records come looking for you. That was my experience about three weeks ago when an old friend asked me if I was still interested in collecting the Beatles because she had a couple of records and would I like them?
Well, yes of course I would! Always open to donations. She dropped them in a couple of days later, and you’d have to say it’s a mixed bag of goodies….
The first one wasn’t even the Beatles. It was Wings. Well, not even Wings really, just an obscure band called P.K. and the Sound Explosion doing covers of Wings:
I think there are only two saving graces about this one. One is the daggy cover design featuring a (poorly) stylised version of the official Wings logo of the time. This is what the real thing looks like:
The other saving grace is that this copy is still sealed in protective plastic and is in mint condition. This is a US copy that came out on the Pickwick Records budget label back in 1977. It is so bad, it’s good! (P.K. and his group have also done a Disco Christmas LP, the Beach Boys Songbook, a Paul Williams Songbook, and the Bee Gees Songbook).
Next came three of the real thing, some it has to be said in better shape than others. For instance this very well-used example of the Australian-only cover of Beatles For Sale:
You’d have to say this is a copy that has had a good life. I’m not sure about you, but it has so much patina of age that I’m tempted to keep it just because it looks so pre-loved and lived-in. There was one other intriguing thing. When I took out the vinyl it’s the mono pressing, but not the Australian version. Here’s what I got:
This is what it should look like:
Clearly the original Aussie pressing has been played to death and someone, over the course of the long history of this particular copy of the album, has sought out another to replace it – that being the UK mono we see above….
There was another Australia-only cover in the four records my friend donated. It’s the 1972 release The Essential Beatles on the Apple label. This is a “best of” compilation and as its catalogue number suggests (TVSS 8), it was associated with a TV advertising campaign by EMI in Australia:
This copy of The Essential Beatles has a well-used cover but the vinyl inside is actually in pretty good shape.
Finally a double LP of the soundtrack to the documentary movie Imagine John Lennon:
This is a gatefold album of twenty-one Beatles and Lennon songs. It is in what I would describe as good (G) to very good (VG) condition. The Internet Movie Database says of the film: This “biography” evolves around the nearly 240 hours of film and videotape fortuitously taken by Lennon of his life. The archive footage is transformed into a fascinating life story of one of the most complex and fascinating men of the modern music era….Includes some very personal and insightful footage, never before made available to the public.
The gatefold has some nice photos:
This is the Australian pressing, on the black and silver Parlophone label:
So, some varied, interesting and unusual donations from a friend. Sometimes you don’t have to go looking too far. Beatle records just come to you.
The car is actually owned the Royal British Columbia Museum, which for a long time has been looking for a replacement portable Sony TV to install into the space where the original used to be – one just like a Sony model TV9-306 UB – the one on the “Sgt Pepper” cover.
Well, Jim writes:
“I just thought I’d update the search for a Sony TV 9-306 UB. I finally found one on eBay in the UK last year and now have it here on display in my shop (Bristol Motors). The Royal BC Museum’s curators have not yet decided whether they will put it in the car as it is not the actual TV that was in it, although it is the identical model. Also John Lennon’s Phantom V 5VD73 is on display in the Pointe-a-Calliere Museum in Montreal, Canada until April 2014. They have an exhibit called “The Beatles in Montreal” in which the car is prominently displayed.”
Thanks so much Jim for the update – and anyone living in or travelling to Montreal in the next year should drop in to see “The Beatles in Montreal” exhibition. You can find more details on that here. The exhibition opens on March 29 and runs for a year.
Our friend Lammert Mulder, who has contributed in the past to solving some other Beatles with Records mysteries, has come up with a wide range of new photos and information. First up is a photograph of George Harrison at home with three records. I can only identify two – the first (on his knees) is The Fabulous Miracles:
(This the same Miracles LP we saw in a photo of John Lennon in the Beatles with Records Part 17). George also has what looks like a copy of the 1963 pressing of Little Richard Sings Gospel (it is lying beside him on the bed):
If anyone can identify the third LP that he is holding, let us know.
In the Beatles with Records Part 15 we showed this photo of George from 1964, loading singles into the then very groovy in-dash record player in his E-Type Jaguar:
Here’s another shot from a different angle – and we can now identify the 45 as “Can’t You Tell by the Look in His Eyes” by the Reflections:
(click on images to see larger versions)
This is the portable player – a Philips Automignon AG2101D 45 In-Car Record Player:
Paul had one fitted to his Aston Martin, and John had one in his psychedelic Rolls Royce too (thanks to Piers Hemmingsen at Capitol 6000 for this info).
Yet another shot of George - this time with Ben E. King’s 1962 release Don’t Play That Song:
This LP also shows up in a pile of records that John and Paul have in this photo (from the Beatles with Records Part 1). You can see it just under the copy of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan that Paul is holding:
Yet another photo of the lads (below) leaving the USA after their first tour. They purchased a lot of records for their personal collections on that trip – and we’ve seen some of these in previous posts. This is a new one of Paul holding up a copy of Martha and the Vandellas 1963 Heatwave LP:
(click on images to see larger versions)
Any ideas about this photo of Ringo below? It’s been suggested that this is the rear cover of the LP Mary Wells Live on Stage:
And this additional photo of Ringo at the Beatles Green Street flat in 1963 confirms that the record he has underneath The Shirelles (see BWR Part 2 and BWR Part Three) is in fact The Marvelettes – Live on Stage (1963):
This next one is a photograph of John’s record players at his Kenwood home – and lined up on the shelf you can clearly see a 1966 copy of Buffalo Springfield’s first self-titled album Buffalo Springfield:
And I reckon you can also see a copy of Sgt Pepper peeking through behind the experimental Electronic Music (click on the photo to enlarge it). It’s odd though because you can see the Shirley Temple doll with the “Welcome the Rolling Stones” sweater, and also what looks like the Mae West cut-out, but they are on the wrong side or reversed to what is the published and very famous original…. Anyone got any thoughts? And can anyone else identify any other titles on the shelf?
Both John and George were obviously fans of Save as Milk (1967) by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. How can we tell? They both had the free bumper sticker that came with the album displayed in their houses. In fact, John had two stickers in his home:
George at Kinfauns (above), John at Weybridge. The original release of Safe As Milk came with a free sticker, as pictured (thanks to Michael Stanowski).
Meanwhile, back in the studio in the studio with B.B.King’s Live at the Regal (1965) on the electric piano:
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, 15, 16 and 17.
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)
Yesterday I went in for the first time in weeks and saw about five copies of this sitting on a shelf:
I’ve seen this book around the traps but never purchased a copy, but at just A$14.99 how could I refuse?
John Lennon’s son Julian has turned his Beatles memorabilia, previously sitting in storage, into a travelling exhibition and a book – all to raise funds for his charity The White Feather Foundation.
There are lots of gold record awards – all of them from the US and all of them genuine (that is, the actual records that were presented by the RIAA – the Recording Industry of America – to the Beatles). In fact Julian says that his is the only full collection of the American gold discs. How can you tell they are all original? Well the book explains that official presentations are identifiable by the “…white-matte style, so named because of the white linen background used in the construction of the award. These types of awards were produced from 1963 to 1974 and were strictly limited to the artists only.”
Interestingly, Julian says in the text that despite being the only person to own a complete set of Beatles US gold records, he doesn’t own any of the Beatles vinyl albums at all. Extraordinary.
There are a couple of great guitars pictured in the book – some of which were given to him by his father and others acquired later (like this one):
Julian says that nearly everything he now owns he had to buy at auction. When his father passed away in 1980 he didn’t inherit any mementoes or keepsakes. Which is incredibly sad for himself and for his family.
If you want to have a peek inside just click here, and here’s a video of Julian Lennon talking about the book and exhibition.
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.