About beatlesblogger

Adventures in collecting Beatles music.....Beatles Blog is a page dedicated to the avid Beatles music collector, with regular updates about new Beatles releases and collectable vinyl, CDs and DVDs – either by the Beatles as a group, or as solo artists. It's also about those artists associated with the band. There'll be information about books and magazines too. As new items come into our collection we update the blog with details, cover photos, catalogue information and stuff like that. Please feel free to contribute information – especially if it'll assist other collectors in their knowledge of things Beatle.

Dad Grass – A George Harrison Branded ‘Jazz Cigarette’

We checked the date and it isn’t April 1st. So this must be true, right?

Looks like the Harrison Estate has entered into a licensing agreement with a company that legally sells cannabis called Dad Grass.

The George Harrison connection centres around an advertising campaign and product line featuring the All Things Must Pass album, including spliff-toking gnomes and of course the track, ‘Let It Roll’:

There is a range of products, including (for US$42.00) a Dad Grass x George Harrison All Things Must Grass Dad Stash which can hold five cigarettes and looks just like a double music cassette outer box:

As the copy on the website explains, this allows you to “…hide your grass in plain sight”:

It does a pretty good job, right down to the song titles on the back cover, and is produced by Dad Grass and George Harrison. Rolled in the USA:

Other products include the Special Blend George Harrison Dad Grass Five Pack (crafted from a special blend of Organic CBD and CBG hemp flower), Harrison signature rolling papers, rollings trays and ashtrays.

Dad Grass the company describes itself as “….reviving the mellow sensibility of the casual smoke. Our 100% Organic hemp flower and pre-rolled joints serve up a clean buzz without the fuss. Our special collections of merch and apparel pay tribute to the timeless staples of dad style. Past, present and future. Like your dad’s stash, we keep things easy and dependable, never fancy or complicated.”

And…..

“Classic toke meets classic bloke with our special edition George Harrison Dad Grass pre-rolled joints, smoking paraphernalia and merch.”

We’d be interested in your thoughts on this form of commercialisation of the Harrison legacy and the classic All Things Must Pass LP.

Beatle and solo songs and images have been used in numerous advertising campaigns and associated with many products in the past. Paul McCartney has been doing it for years.

But is this particular product line a step too far? Too tacky? Potentially alienating for some fans?

Or is that just being prudish? Do you think it’s a fair thing?

Let us know in the Leave a Reply section below.

Harrison Estate and Dark Horse Sign Further Publishing and Album Release Deals with BMG

You might recall that back in 2020 the mega music distributor and publisher BMG announced that it had formed a multi-faceted, worldwide distribution partnership with Dark Horse Records, the George Harrison-founded record label now led by his son, Dhani Harrison.

Well, there have been some developments.

Last week there was a rather intriguing press release from BMG announcing that they’ve now secured the publishing rights to the entire George Harrison song catalogue, including his Beatle, solo, and Traveling Wilbury compositions.

Plus the company has secured the rights to distribute some existing – and additional – interesting legacy artists on the the Dark Horse record label.

Here’s the official 2-page press release. We’ve highlighted those bits that grabbed our attention:

So, while there’ll be new publishing deals being done by BMG/Dark Horse for George Harrison’s compositions, it also looks like we can expect a range of interesting physical releases on the Dark Horse label.

These will include another EP from Billy Idol, and the new studio album from former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench. There’s also likely to be a slew of back-catalogue re-issues from the great Leon Russell.

Interesting times indeed.

See also our articles on the six BMG/Dark Horse Records already released so far: Joe Strummer’s Assembly LP, Billy Idol’s The Roadside EP, the Billy Idol Happy Holidays Christmas album, Ravi Shankar’s Chants of India LP, and Joe Strummer’s two Record Store Day 12″ singles: ‘Junco Partner’ and ‘Johnny Appleseed’.

‘All Things Must Pass: 50th Anniversary Edition’ Wins Grammy

They’ve just been announced – the 64th annual Grammy Awards.

On the Beatle front there wasn’t too much on offer this year.

Paul McCartney was nominated for ‘Find My Way’ in the Best Rock Song category (he lost out to the Foo Fighters and ‘Waiting On A War’). He was also nominated for his album McCartney III in the Best Rock Album category (and once again, pipped at the post by the Foo Fighters with their LP Medicine at Midnight).

However, in the category for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package the winners were Darren Evans, Dhani Harrison and Olivia Harrison for their art direction of last year’s George Harrison All Things Must Pass: 50th Anniversary Edition. This was for the now famous “Uber Box”:

All Things Must Pass won ahead of Soccer Mommy – Color Theory, Steven Wilson – The Future Bites (Limited Edition Box Set), Gang of Four – 77-81 and Mac Miller – Swimming in Circles.

Olivia Harrison has posted this shot of her holding the actual Grammy:

She also gave this post-Grammy ceremony interview about the win:

Well done, and congratulations to the Harrison Estate!

Ringo’s New Book – ‘Lifted’

Ringo Starr has a new book out. It is called Lifted – Fab Images and Memories From My Life and Across the Universe.

Speaking about the book Ringo said: “I am not writing this book as a Beatle historian. I’m writing this book as a Beatle — and there’s only a couple of us who can do that.”

Asked about it’s origins, Starr explains: “I didn’t keep all these photos. These fantastic images came back to me in recent years from here, there and everywhere — online and off — and have somehow helped me get back to seeing my life with The Fab Four through fresh eyes. A lot of the photos in this book I spotted on my phone and on my computer and “lifted” them because they brought back so many fabulous memories.”

“So this a book full of Beatle images that many people haven’t seen and stories that I’m sharing with a little help from my longtime writer friend David Wild. We’ve all been through a pretty tough time for a lot of people who’ve been locked down, and this book has really lifted my spirits and took me back to where I once belonged in a whole new way. And in the end, that’s why this new book is called Lifted. The Beatles changed my life forever. So it’s about getting back and giving back.”

Lifted is only available online from the Julien’s Auction House site, and there are two editions to choose from.

The standard ‘Collectors Edition’ costs US$59.00. It is a handsome-looking coffee table style hardback. It seems to have a been popular seller as it’s already in a 2nd Edition print run on the Julien’s site.

There is also a ‘Signature Edition’ that costs US$495.00 and is limited to 1000 copies. The same ‘Collectors Edition’ book comes presented in a velvet outer bag and the book – each one signed and numbered by Ringo – is contained in a custom box.

Proceeds from the sale of Lifted will go to the charity The Lotus Foundation, which does good work across a range of worthy causes.

Ringo has been out and about promoting the book, especially on social media. Here’s a photo we lifted from Instagram:

If the name Julien’s Auctions sounds familiar, it is the company that managed the 2015 once-in-a-lifetime auction, curated by Ringo and his wife Barbara Bach, featuring thousands of items from their London estate, and their Beverly Hills and Monaco residences.

There were artworks, clothing and jewelry, furniture, memorabilia, musical instruments (including seven drum kits owned and played by Ringo), gold records, cars, and much, much more. There was even Ringo’s personal UK 1st mono pressing of The Beatles White Album, No: 0000001. It sold for US$790,000!

You can get an overview of what was on offer here. And the full list of all lots is here. They are fun to look through. Interestingly, a portion of the proceeds from this auction also went to The Lotus Foundation.

George Harrison’s ‘Let It Be’ Rosewood Fender Available Again

Fender guitars has once again produced a limited edition re-creation of the unique guitar we see George Harrison playing during the sessions for Let It Be – both in the studio and during the famous roof-top concert in 1969.

It is a lovely rosewood Fender Telecaster electric:

It’s not the first time the Fender Custom Shop has done this. Back in 2016 they also released a copy of what originally was a one-off prototype model, gifted to George in 1968 so he could try it out and give the brand some publicity:

Now, hot on the heels of the epic Peter Jackson Get Back documentary on Disney, the company has done it again – with a few additional customised touches:

The principle difference for 2022 is a custom George Harrison ‘Om’ logo neck plate on the rear of the guitar:

The story behind what happened to the original Telecaster is interesting. As we know, Harrison played it during the Let It Be sessions, but he didn’t keep it for long. Later in 1969 he gave it away to Delaney Bramlett, leader of the group Delaney & Bonnie. It was a gift to say ‘thank you’ for letting Harrison join in on a tour with the band – all part of George easing his way out of the Beatles and finding his feet as a solo musician. Bramlett kept the priceless instrument for quite some time and amazingly he modified the guitar quite a bit. The rosewood originally featured a satin finish, but Bramlett had it resprayed with gloss. He also swapped out the original Fender tuning keys for Schaller brand keys, and he even modified the electronics inside.

Thankfully, the guitar has since been returned to the Harrison Estate and the Rosewood Tele has been restored. Here’s a photo of Dhani Harrison in 2012 with the original Fender second guitar from left:

And here he is playing it:

Here’s an example of the reverence in which this guitar is now held – Josh Homme is invited to play the one-off, 1968 original:

Check out the Rosewood replica at Fender.

See also:

The Ole Black Gretsch

The Ole Black Gretsch – An Update

Harrison’s “Rocky” Fender Stratocaster

Buy John Lennon’s Martin Acoustic replica

Record Store Day 2022 – Some Titles for Collectors

Record Store Day is returning to ‘normal’ this year. Well, as much as is possible in these strange times.

It will be on Saturday April 23, but the organisers are proactively trying to avoid disappointment by also designating an ‘RSD Drops’ date on June 18. That date will serve as a safety net for titles that for any number of reasons don’t make it into stores on April 23.

The US Record Store 2022 Day List includes titles that are coming to record stores on Record Store Day in April and those that will be coming in June. As they become aware of issues for any specific title, that title will move to the RSD Drops date – and you’ll see that on the List on the website.

Two titles of most interest to us here are a lovely translucent ice blue vinyl 12″ single from the Dark Horse Records label:

‘I Am Missing You’/’Lust’ by was the first ever single released on Dark Horse in 1974. It is taken from the George Harrison-produced album Shankar Family ૐ Friends, which itself is due for an audiophile vinyl re-press some time later this year. The 12″ single will be limited to 2700 copies.

There are also reports of a Paul McCartney release. This is mentioned on the UK Record Store Day site only so far and is apparently a 12″ single of the song ‘Women and Wives’ from his McCartney III album backed with the same song performed by St Vincent found on the McCartney III Imagined version of the album.

UPDATE (3 March, 2022): It seems this McCartney 12″ is to be crowned Record Store Day’s inaugural Song of the Year. For its 15th birthday, RSD is instituting a new tradition: the Song of the Year Single. ‘Women and Wives’ will get a one-time worldwide run of 3000 numbered copies on June 18:

The other title on the RSD 2022 list is a translucent orange and a translucent blue re-issue of Ringo Starr’s Ringo the 4th LP.

Ringo the 4th will come in a gatefold cover, and both colours will be limited to 1000 copies. (Thanks to The Daily Beatle for the images). This Ringo album has been re-issued previously in the US on red vinyl, and also on gold vinyl, in 2020.

Lennon Connection: The NFT Collection

NFT’s, or digital artworks, have become all the rage. And it looks like John Lennon’s son Julian is using them to sell one-off digital representations of some of the Beatle treasures from his personal collection: five gifts he received from his father, and one from Paul McCartney.

NFT stands for Non-fungible token. “Non-fungible” means that it is something unique and can’t be replaced with something else. NFT’s can be anything digital (such as drawings or music), but a lot of the current excitement is around using the tech to sell digital art. Oh, and you pay for them in Ethereum – a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or dogecoin.

The Lennon NFTs are being sold through YellowHeart, an online site specialising in the NFT space, and also through Julien’s Auctions – a more traditional auction house. As you can see on the Julien’s site all current bids have already either met or exceeded the estimated selling prices. The auction closes on February 7.

The pieces for sale are three of John Lennon’s Gibson Les Paul guitars, his Afghan jacket from Magical Mystery Tour, the hooded cape worn for the movie Help!, and Paul McCartney’s hand written notes for an arrangement of the song he wrote for Julian called ‘Hey Jude’ (it was originally called ‘Hey Jules’). Each NFT is animated and includes brief audio of Julian discussing the item with that voice-over being incorporated as a part of the NFT.

It should be noted that a portion of the proceeds from this auction will go to Julian’s White Feather Foundation which is active globally on issues relating to education, good health, the preservation of indigenous cultures, the environment and clean water.  

If, like us, you don’t have very deep pockets it might be cheaper to seek out a copy of the lovely book Beatles Memorabilia – The Julian Lennon Collection. Each of these items is detailed there, along with a host of other rare collectables.

If you’d like to hear Julian talking about his collection and why he’s gone down the NFT route, check out this video from the True AF Podcast with Eric Fuller:

Tough Times Being a Beatle Fan in Soviet-era Russia

The topic of Beatles collecting and fandom in Soviet-era Russia has been explored on the web of late.

Andrey, a long-time friend of our page, alerted us to this comprehensive article recently posted (in Russian) on the beatlespress.com.ua site.

If you don’t read Cyrillic writing (and we don’t!), then Andrey has provided a link to a video in English on the very same topic:

Bottom line is that you had to be tough to be a Beatle fan in public in the late 1960’s/early 1970s. The Soviet secret service, the KGB, came down very hard on any young people who dared to say they “….loved Lennon more than Lenin”.

Their lives could – and were – turned upside down. Indeed, in the example cited where a group in the Ukraine turned out on the street to celebrate something as innocuous as Paul McCartney’s birthday, seven people were arrested and sentenced to 15 days jail for “disturbing public order”.

In addition, six were expelled from their university studies and from the Young Communist League – the latter almost certainly guaranteeing their failure in any future career. Younger high school students were forced to repeat whole years of study. There were ramifications also for their parents who were publicly humiliated in the Soviet media.

While we were pondering all this and how much we in the West take our freedoms for granted, we also stumbled upon this great video on a closely related subject. Its just been uploaded on the Parlogram Auctions YouTube Channel and is a study on how Beatle fans in the Soviet Union and behind the Iron Curtain listened to The Beatles – including the spooky “music on bones” records we’ve written about before.

Meet the British Bobby Who Ended The Beatles Last Show

This is timely, and a lovely recollection 52 years on.

Daniele Hamamdjian from Canada’s CTV News speaks to Ray Dagg.

He was one of the police officers sent into the Apple building – on Savile Row in London – to shut down The Beatles’ famous rooftop concert in 1969.