John Lennon “Rip It Up – 15 Rock’n’Roll Greats”

Earlier this week we reported finally receiving a replacement copy of John Lennon’s Rock’n’Roll LP.

Well, the very next day we happened to be on the New South Wales central coast and popped in to one of the best second-hand vinyl stores around – The Sound Exchange Record Bar – at a place called Long Jetty.

And what should we find there but an almost mint copy of the hard-to-find, Australia-only, ultra-budget version of the very same record:Rip It Up

In 1988 EMI licensed the rights to Lennon’s Rock’nRoll album to the Australian specialty budget label, J&B Records:J&B Logo

J&B had a large catalogue back in the day, and sold most of their records through supermarkets and department stores. Everything from Glen Campbell to Connie Francis compilations. From Roy Orbison to the Village People. They had lots of well-known Australian artists in the catalogue as well: John Farnham, Glenn Shorrock (ex Little River Band), Dragon and Billy Field. So it was a surprise to see an artist like John Lennon in there too.

J&B called their record Rip It Up – 15 Rock’n’Roll Greats. This is exactly the same songs and running order of the original 1975 Apple Records release. Just the cover was changed. Here’s the rear cover:Rip It Up Rear

And the J&B label:Rip It Up Label

As you can see, no expense was spared on the artwork! Even so, this is a really good copy for its age – still glossy front cover, no ring wear, and the record itself looks almost unplayed.

John Lennon “Rock’n’Roll” Replacement LP Arrives

While sitting at home this morning there was a knock on the door. It was a courier with a registered parcel that looked suspiciously like an LP mailer:Lennon parcel

Could this finally be the replacement John Lennon Rock’n’Roll album from the John Lennon 8-LP box set? The postmarks were from Great Britain, and the sender address was Universal Music in London.

As you know, Universal are now the manufacturers and distributors of all Beatle releases, including the back-catalogues of John Lennon and George Harrison. They had a big problem with the Rock’n’Roll album shipped with the Lennon box. The set was temporarily withdrawn from sale while they sorted out a production error where the song “Sweet Little Sixteen” appeared twice, and the song “You Can’t Catch Me” was missing altogether.

The company set up a special website. Providing you had proof of purchase you could request a replacement copy of the faulty album. We did this at the start of August, but had nothing but stoney silence from Universal since, despite a couple of follow-up emails to them seeking an update on progress.

Now, over two months later, out of the blue our corrected replacement copy has arrived:

Lennon FrontLennon rearThanks Universal!

The Hollywood Vampires – McCartney Guest Appearance

The Hollywood Vampires album, which contains a guest appearance from Paul McCartney, has been officially released:Hollywood VampiresHere’s the press release:

In 1972, on the Sunset Strip at a club called the Rainbow Bar & Grill, the Hollywood Vampires were born in the upstairs bar. It was a gathering place for the rock stars living in or passing through L.A. “To join the club, one simply had to out drink all of the members,” says Alice Cooper, a founding member of the Vampires. “I would walk in on a typical night” Alice says, “and John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon—who would usually be in a costume like a maid or a chauffeur—Bernie Taupin, Jim Morrison and Mickey Dolenz would be there. The next week might be Bernie Taupin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Mickey Dolenz.”

Three years ago, Alice and good friend Johnny Depp got together and decided the spirit of the Hollywood Vampires should live again (minus the drinking). An environment for great artists to hang, laugh and play together. The Hollywood Vampires live again with the release of the Hollywood Vampires new album. Alice and Johnny were joined by Joe Perry, who is an old friend of both of them, and the recording began: a tribute to the original Hollywood Vampires.

For the next two years, Alice, Joe and Johnny, joined by producer Bob Ezrin and an amazing group of modern day vampires, including Perry Farrell, Dave Grohl, Sir Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Slash, Robbie Krieger, Zak Starkey, Brian Johnson and Kip Winger, recorded tracks by their dead friends and heroes. Also included are two original songs that tell the story of the Vampires, one of which, “Raise The Dead,” has an intro by Sir Christopher Lee, recorded just prior to his death.

The album package, an antique book, was created by noted men’s fashion designer (and rock fan) John Varvatos in his signature vintage style. Alice and Varvatos, both Detroit natives, have been partners in fashion for several years with Alice lending his classic rock style as a brand ambassador.

A sneak peek at the liner notes, penned by original Hollywood Vampire Bernie Taupin, “I’m not here to defend their vices. Over-indulgence of any sort does not ultimately constitute for a healthy mind and body. And while on the periphery of those involved, wives may have come and gone, career choices may have been deemed dubious, and heartbreak in some cases stalked a dark corridor, but in the lair of the Hollywood Vampires only joy and laughter reigned.”

“I’m not completely sure what constituted bad behavior back then, but in this lair it existed in a bubble, a hermetically sealed dome of fun. It may not have been the round table at the Algonquin, but these were witty, intelligent guys who often got raucous and loud, but rest assured there were no bystanders or animals hurt in the making of the Hollywood Vampires.”

All artist proceeds will be donated to MusiCares.  

And here’s the track listing:

1. The Last Vampire (Hollywood Vampires)
2. Raise The Dead (Hollywood Vampires)
3. My Generation (The Who)
4. Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)
5. I Got A Line (Spirit)
6. Five to One/Break On Through (The Doors)
7. One/Jump Into The Fire (Harry Nilsson)
8. Come And Get It (Badfinger)
9. Jeepster (T.Rex)
10. Cold Turkey (John Lennon)
11. Manic Depression (Jimi Hendrix)
12. Itchycoo Park (Small Faces)
13. School’s Out / Another Brick In The Wall pt.2 (Alice Cooper / Pink Floyd)
14. Dead Drunk Friends (Hollywood Vampires)

As you can see, the band tackle a version of John Lennon’s ‘Cold Turkey’. The main McCartney performance is Badfinger’sCome And Get It‘, which of course he wrote and produced for that Apple band – way back in 1969!

Beatles’ First Recording Contract Sells for US$93,750

The Beatles’ first recording contract, part of a just-concluded New York auction of items from the Uwe Blaschke Collection, has sold for an impressive US$93,750. It went to an unknown internet bidder, but fell short of the predicted US$150,000 target.

The 1961 contract, signed by all four members of the group at that time (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best), was for a recording session with the Polydor company in Germany and produced the single ‘My Bonnie’. It was credited on the label to “Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers” because there was a stipulation in the contract allowing Polydor to use a different group name. They felt the name “Beatles” wouldn’t be readily accepted in the German market. Never-the-less, the group was making it’s very first professional recording for commercial release by an actual record label.

While ‘My Bonnie’ achieved only modest success in Germany, back home in Liverpool Beatle fans who knew about the recording began asking for it in record shops, including the store owned and managed by Brian Epstein. When he learned that the requests were for a local group, he paid a visit to the Cavern club to see what the fuss was about, and the rest is history….

Also in this auction was the 45 single ‘P.S. I Love You’ (the B-side to ‘Love Me Do’) – signed by all four Beatles and which we wrote about last month. This was the next most expensive item to go under the hammer yesterday. It fetched a substantial US$25,000 from a bidder in the room at the New York auction. This was well above the expected US$10,000: PS I Love You Signed

The third most expensive item on the day was a framed, signed Beatle fan card photo from 1962. On the back is printed “With Best Wishes from Paul, Pete, John, and George. The Beatles. April 5th 1962”. Around that text are a number of signatures: “für Christa von George Harrison”, “für Christa von Paul McCartney”, “Roy Young” (a British Rock singer and pianist), “für Christa von John Lennon”, “Best Wishes from Pete Best”, and “Best Wishes from Bernard Boyle” (the founder of the Beatles Fan Club). These fan cards were given out at a Cavern Club concert on April 5 honoring the Official Fan Club. This sold for US$12,500: Beatle Fancard Photo 2


A Big Pile of Beatle Sheet Music Rediscovered

We were digging around in a cupboard the other day and came across a long-forgotten stash of Beatle sheet music collected from a variety of places over the years. Thought you might like to see the front covers. Most are printed and published for the Australia/New Zealand market. Some are books with numerous songs, others are single titles. As you’ll see, they’re in far from pristine condition, but interesting none-the-less.

Here they are in (roughly) chronological order:  Hard Days NightMMTApple Song BookBallad of J&YCome TogetherMy Sweet LordIsn't It A PityIt Don't Come EasyAnother DayImagineMull of KintyreColourful Beatles20 Greatest1967-19701962-1966 (1)1967-1970 (1)Past Masters