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

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

 

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.

McCartney Bonus Track – Free Download

Paul McCartney has today made available an exclusive, extended and remastered version of the song ‘Letting Go’. The song won’t be on the forthcoming re-issue of Venus and Mars (out next week), but is only available as a free download from paulmccartney.com

Letting_Go

Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound are the latest additions to the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. Both albums will be reissued on CD, vinyl and digital, including previously unreleased material, on November 3 (UK), and November 4 (US).

Op Shopping – Two Small Finds

Another trip to the NSW Central Coast, and some time available to check out a couple of the local opportunity shops (or “op shops”) there – like The Salvation Army and the St Vincent de Paul (or “Vinnies” as this chain is more commonly known in Australia – they are similar to Goodwill in the US).

It’s usually a long-shot to look for Beatle items in these places as they tend to be pretty well picked over already. But you never know…..

This time around we did come away with two small finds. First, at the Salvation Army store, was a cassette of A Collection of Beatles Oldies but Goldies:Oldies Front

This one is on Axis, which was EMI’s budget label in Australia. We don’t even have a cassette player anymore – but for just 50c how could we leave this little gem from the past just sitting on the shelf? Oldies cassetteOldies inner

Then, from the same store, a 3-track CD single of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ by Band Aid 20. This was released in 2004 and is the twentieth anniversary fundraising re-make of the 1984 song which kicked off the whole Live Aid charity phenomenon. The CD features Paul McCartney on bass:Band Aid 20 FrontBand Aid 20 CDBand Aid 20 Inner

As you can see in the official video from the timeSir Paul is obviously having a good time providing the bass line for this remake of the famous song.

BTW, Paul McCartney, U2′s Bono, Bob Geldof, Midge Ure, and Sarah Dallin and Keren Woodward (from Bananarama) are the only artists to have appeared on both the 1984 recording and on this one from 2004.

The CD single features the 2004 recording, the original from 1984, and a version taken from the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1985.

How Much is That Beatle Autograph Worth?

We don’t collect Beatle memorabilia like autographs, signed photos, tickets, posters, toys and such – but many people do.

If you have an authentic Beatle photograph which is autographed by one or more of the band you might be wondering what it’s worth. And is it increasing in value as the years go by?Signed Beatles PostcardBeatles_Autograhs

Well, it turns out that signed Beatle photographs appear to be a pretty good investment.

That’s according to the PFC40 Autograph Index, compiled by Paul Fraser Collectibles. Their list tracks the values of 40 of the world’s most sought-after autographs since the year 2000. The prices given are an evaluation of the market value for a fully authenticated, best quality signed photo, based on close monitoring of dealer and auction sales. (A “best quality” example will feature a photograph in superb condition, depicting the subject in their most famous era, with a sharp, clear signature acquired during that period).

On the latest PFC40 Autograph Index Summary the Beatles feature prominently:

The most valuable autograph: £27,500 for a signed photo of The Beatles. (That’s US$44,220, or AU$50,333 at today’s exchange rate!)

In 2013-2014 one of the top performing autographs was Paul McCartney’s, with an increase in value for the year of +25%.

Over the ten year period 2000-2014 the top performing autograph was George Harrison’s with a staggering +1,694.9% increase over that period.

The Beatles as a group appear twice in the Top 40 list for 2000-2014, as do all four individual Beatles – John Lennon (+900% over 15 years), Paul McCartney (+1328.6% over 15 years), George Harrison (see above), and Ringo Starr (+541% over 15 years).

Ringo AutographLennon_Autograph

So, hang on to those autographs – especially if they are on photographs or album covers.

Also check out this article “Baby You’re A Rich Man. Should You Invest in the Beatles?