Paul McCartney – 1964: Eyes of the Storm

Liverpool, London, Paris, New York, Washington, D.C. and Miami.

Six cities pivotal in the success of The Beatles as their music and their fame burst into the world, changing a generation forever.

The year: 1964.

Captured on film by one of those at the very centre of the storm: Paul McCartney.

In 2020, a treasure trove of nearly a thousand photographs taken by McCartney on a 35mm SLR camera was re-discovered in his archive. It was realised that his photographs form a unique view of the months towards the end of 1963 and beginning of 1964 as Beatlemania erupted in the UK and, after the band’s first visit to the USA, four young men became the most famous people on the planet. These photographs serve as a personal record of this explosive time when The Beatles were inside looking out – right inside the eye of the storm. 

Now comes a new photographic exhibition and a book, 1964: Eyes of the Storm – Photographs and Reflections by Paul McCartney. They present his photographs and memories from six cities, capturing these intense months with many never-before-seen portraits of John, George and Ringo.

In his Foreword to the book, and in the \introductions to each of the city portfolios, McCartney remembers: ‘what else can you call it – pandemonium’, and conveys his impressions of what Britain and America were like for him and his band mates in 1964 – the moment when the culture changed and the Sixties really began. 

‘Anyone who rediscovers a personal relic or family treasure is instantly flooded with memories and emotions, which then trigger associations buried in the haze of time. This was exactly my experience in seeing these photos, all taken over an intense three-month period of travel, culminating in February 1964. It was a wonderful sensation to be plunged right back.

Here was my own record of our first huge trip, a photographic journal of The Beatles in six cities, beginning in Liverpool and London, followed by Paris (where John and I had been ordinary hitchhikers just over two years before), and then what we regarded as the big time, our first visit as a group to America’ – Paul McCartney

1964: Eyes of the Storm Photography Book Includes: 

  • Six city portfolios – Liverpool, London, Paris, New York, Washington, D.C. and Miami – featuring 275 of McCartney’s own photographs – and his candid reflections on them 
  • A Foreword by Paul McCartney
  • Beatleland, an Introduction by Harvard historian and New Yorker essayist Jill Lepore
  • A Preface by Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, and Another Lens, an essay by Senior Curator Rosie Broadley

The book, to be released on 13 June, is accompanied by a major exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery from 28 June – 1 October, 2023.

The Gallery will display, for the first time, a selection of the extraordinary archive of rediscovered and never-before-seen photographs taken by Paul

Like the book, the exhibition provides a uniquely personal perspective on what it was like to be a ‘Beatle’ at the start of ‘Beatlemania’ – from gigs in Liverpool and London, to performing on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York to an unparalleled television audience of 73 million people. At a time when so many camera lenses were on the band, these photographs share a fresh insight into their experiences, their fans, and the early 1960s, all through eyes of Paul McCartneyFind out more and get tickets here.

P.S. If you’re wondering about the cool music used in the YouTube promo video above it’s the McCartney track ‘222’, released as a bonus track on the special edition version of “Memory Almost Full“. The song was written for his youngest child, his daughter Beatrice, when she was aged 2. See The McCartney Project for more detail.

A Happy Crimble! – from The Beatles Monthly Book

We thought this holiday season we’d take a look at some of the Christmas issues of the British Beatle fan magazine, The Beatles Book.

A little while back we were very kindly gifted a big box full of these great little magazines. They were mostly the re-issues of the originals – practically a full set containing the re-issued originals plus some extras – so thank you again Michael!

The publication history of these gems is a bit convoluted, so here’s a potted history:

The original The Beatles Book was first issued in Britain just as Beatlemania was taking off. Issue No. 1 came out in August, 1963. It’s was a small-format magazine (5.9 inches x 8.1 inches or 15 cm x 20.7cm), and it cost one shilling and sixpence:

There were 77 editions in all until publication stopped in December, 1969 (when it then cost a princely two shillings and sixpence!):

The magazine then went into hibernation for a few years until it was revived in May, 1976 as The Beatles Appreciation Society Magazine Book. The same editor and publisher, Johnny Dean (a.k.a. Sean O’Mahoney), resuscitated the brand by faithfully reproducing the original magazine starting with issue No. 1. He included an 8-page outer wrap (later to become 16 pages) containing more current Beatle and solo news, but the core of the magazine was the reproduced originals.

The magazine continued in this form, still released monthly, until September, 1982 when all 77 original editions had been reprinted.

However, such was the renewed interest in The Beatles at the time, the very next month (October, 1982) the magazine continued on from where it left off with issue No.78. This time though it came with all-new content throughout. The price, by the way, had risen to 80 pence:

Publication continued in this form up January, 2003 (which by then was issue No. 321) when it ceased once again – this time for good. Note the price had risen to £3.00!

These magazines stand as a terrific archive, a real treasure trove of information and images, many not seen elsewhere as editor Johnny Dean had a lot of access to the band and inside information about their activities that others never had. Reading them now they give a great sense the context around their output and plans – some of which came to pass, and some (as we’ll see) which didn’t.

So, as it’s Christmas time, let’s take a look inside an early Christmas Issue of The Beatles Book. It is No.17 from December, 1964:

The Editorial page by Johnny Dean contains some interesting comments and observations:

He’s talking about the Beatles For Sale LP being out just in time to “….make a perfect Christmas present for a host of Beatle people everywhere”, and stating that despite all the band’s success things haven’t changed much backstage. Road Manager, Neil Aspinall and Equipment Manager Mal Evans “….organise everything very smoothly so that the boys can relax comfortably between shows.”

And what of plans for the future? “John, Paul, George and Ringo all feel that recording and films are going to be more important because their fans all over the world can share them equally. Personal appearances can’t be continued at the same hectic rate….”

And “….there’s a Christmas Card to you – from “them” and everyone else on your Beatles Book who would like to wish you all the very best for the coming Christmas.”

Let’s jump ahead four years to issue No. 65, which came out in December, 1968:

This one is very interesting, but not so much for its Christmas content. Actually there’s very little Christmas cheer in it at all, apart from then Beatle Fan Club National Secretary, Freda Kelly, telling members to expect their personal copies of the 1968 Christmas Record soon. She says: “Produced by Kenny Everett, this year’s disc is different from any previous one as it was recorded basically in the boys’ own homes.”

No, this issue is fascinating because, as you can see on the front cover, it heralds the return of the band performing live – and even offers a give-away where readers can win tickets go and see them.

This is all about a planned TV special to be recorded in front of a live audience. It’s about the rehearsals for that performance that will take place in early 1969 at Twickenham Film Studios, and later at their own Apple studio. It is about the famous rooftop concert and what we now know as the Let It Be album and film, and the 2021 Peter Jackson Get Back opus on Disney+.

But here, in December, 1968, all that is in the future.

Editor Johnny Dean writes “Isn’t it marvelous to hear that the Beatles are going to appear on stage once again. It seems a very long time ago since they last stood together and performed for a live audience. At long last I will be able to give a positive answer to all those readers of The Beatles Book who have asked me over the past two years: “When are the Beatles going to appear on stage again?””

Then further into the magazine there’s an article headlined FIRST LIVE PERFORMANCES FOR OVER TWO YEARS. It says: “Their intention is to put on a series of shows which will culminate in a final performance which will be filmed for transmission in this country and overseas. Apple Corps managing director, Neil Aspinall, has already been negotiating for the sale of the programme to one of the major companies in the United States.”

“The New Year concerts will also do many things. Firstly, it will give the Beatles an opportunity to perform in front of their fans once again. Not a very large number admittedly, only a few thousand – but, nevertheless, it will have happened. Secondly, the performance, by being shown all over the world, will enable their fans in all those overseas countries to see them probably much better than they would if they were sitting in the back row of a local stadium.”

“But, there’s still a lot of work to do before they get on stage. Firstly, they will have to rehearse the numbers and work them up into an act once again. Performing their songs in the recording studio will not enable them to perform equally well on the stage. The two are not the same and the boys have always accepted this.”

The article goes on the predict the songs in the concert will consist mostly of material from their recently released double LP The White Album, “….with several oldies thrown in for good measure.”

Then, a few pages on, comes a further article headlined BEATLE NEWS – BEATLES TV SHOW. “The Beatles are shortly to finalise details of their own one-hour colour television show. It will NOT take place at the Roundhouse as announced. After rehearsals they will give a set of separate “live” performances before invited audiences. All three shows will be recorded on colour videotape and the final programme will be made up from the best parts of the three.”

There’s talk of an initial plan to sell audience tickets and donate the money to charity, but this had to be dropped (the magazine says) because seats for TV shows cannot be sold – they must be given away for free. It then points readers to The Beatles Book Lucky Dip where 100 seats will be allocated to “regular readers”:

(click on any image to see larger versions)

“At press time it is not possible to tell you the exact dates of the performances….neither the Beatles themselves nor their Apple helpers have sorted that out. But the dates will be some time during January….On January 1st all your applications will go into a drum. The first 50 pulled out will get A PAIR OF TICKETS. The tickets will show the date and time of the performance.”

Well, history proved that big concert never eventuated. We wonder if they ever pulled those 50 entries from the drum? It might be nice to know that at least you were on the shortlist to see The Beatles perform live again for the first time in over two years!

Once again, a big thank you to Michael for gifting us these amazing The Beatles Monthly magazines.

Sadly, publisher and editor Sean O’Mahoney (a.k.a. Johnny Dean) passed away in July, 2020. He leaves behind him a wonderful legacy not only in The Beatles Book but also Record Collector magazine. You should keep an eye out for two books: one by O’Mahoney called The Best of The Beatles Book (2005), and Looking Through You: The Beatles Book Monthly Photo Archive (2016), compiled by Jo Adams and Andy Neill from the immense archives.

We wish all our readers a very happy and safe holiday season and we’ll see you again in 2023.

Four Sides of the Circle – A New Beatle Book

Last year saw the release of the lavish Let It Be box set. It celebrated the final Beatle LP, their swansong after a ten-year run as the biggest band in the world. The box set was accompanied by Peter Jackson’s extended 8-hour documentary Get Back, detailing the creation of the album. Despite the fact that Let It Be had been recorded more than a year earlier, its May 1970 release has forever seen it associated with the news that The Beatles were to continue no longer.

However, with an organisation as tight and complicated as The Beatles (along with their company Apple Records), things weren’t destined to just cleanly end for them overnight.

It would take until the close of 1974 before all four members had signed contracts dissolving their immense, famous and complex partnership.

This, argues author Terry Wilson, makes that period from 1970 to 1974 very much a “second phase” for the band. Despite each member pursuing solo careers technically they were still The Beatles. This continued on across a four year span. As individuals they were still very much tied together legally and financially. And they worked together collaboratively on many solo and other projects.

Wilson’s book is called Four Sides of the Circle. In it he details this often overlooked “second half” in the history of the band. It was an era of huge creativity and output. An era that gave us absolute standout releases like Lennon’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine LPs, McCartney’s RAM and Band on the Run, Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, and Starr’s Ringo, along with a myriad of other great and sometimes lesser-known songs and recordings.

These happened because band member collaborations continued in a variety of forms throughout this distinct “Phase II”. Their paths inevitably crossed both in and out of the studio despite the huge dissolution process looming over them.

Four Sides Of The Circle uses a very accessible song-by-song format, stepping through (in chronological order) all the formal recordings the individual Beatles made between1970-1974. It actually begins slightly earlier with John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace A Chance’ from June 1969, and concludes with Wings ‘Love In Song’, recorded in November, 1974. Every song – released and unreleased – has production details, recording location, who played what and (where applicable) the US and UK release dates. The song is then discussed by Wilson and critiqued with an appreciative eye. Each song is given a context with a clear emphasis on the music being made. This detailed and sequenced approach presents a true chronology of the period for the first time.

This is a book with something for even the most well-informed Beatle fan. Wilson is comprehensive and knowledgeable. There’s great detail here. In many ways he takes quite a scholarly approach – but the research never gets in the way of making Four Sides Of The Circle very readable. It finally completes the fascinating, long and winding story that was the Beatles. A story where – right to the last – they remained at the top of their game.

As Wilson writes on the final page of his book: “The legal conclusion of the Beatles technically occurred on 9 January 1975, when McCartney’s four-year-old case was settled, the completed paperwork having been sent back to London for the court to make its formal declaration. A cursory glance at the current edition of Billboard shows that on this day, Lennon was at 47 on the singles chart with ‘#9 Dream’; Harrison was at 16 with ‘Dark Horse’; Starr was at 7 with ‘Only You’ and McCartney was at 4 with ‘Junior’s Farm’. Appropriately, Lennon and McCartney were at number 1, courtesy of Elton John’s version of ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ on which Lennon sang and played.”

“They ended at the very top.”

Four Sides of the Circle is a great read and a fantastic reference book. Not only does it contain extensive background and historic notes on each song, in the appendices there’s a complete song list, record release details (complete with US and UK chart positions), a bibliography, and what we always like to see in books like this: an Index. It is the sort of book you can dip in and out of endlessly. Here’s the blurb on the rear cover:

At over 420 pages Four Sides of the Circle is very reasonably priced. You can find it on Amazon Australia, Amazon US and on the Amazon UK site as well. The US and UK sites also have a “Look Inside” feature so you can check out sections of the book in more detail. It will give you an idea of the format and content. You won’t be disappointed.

A New Beatle Book – ‘The Beatles’ Liverpool’

Now that international travel is slowly becoming more feasible for many of us again, a visit to Liverpool – the city where it all began for The Beatles – might just be back on your travel “must do” list.

If so, it’d be nice to have a guide to point you in the right direction when you get there.

Liverpool, on the banks of the River Mersey always looms large in any discussion about the formation of the band and their influences. Many of the physical places they lived or frequented have become key parts of the Beatle story. It is of course the city where John, Paul, Ringo and George were born, grew up in, and knew well.

Now a new guide book The Beatles’ Liverpool – just released – takes you there by gathering more than fifty Liverpudlian localities. The fully illustrated guide then explains why those particular places played such a key role in the band’s development and success.

Of course there are the obligatory entries for the childhood homes (Menlove Avenue for John, Arnold Grove for George, Forthlin Road for Paul, and Admiral Grove for Ringo); there’s the background to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields; The Cavern Club; and the well-known St Peter’s Church, Woolton where John first met Paul.

But there are many more obscure listings too. Like Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight; the Neston Institute in Wirral; and 4 Rodney Street, birthplace of Beatle manager Brian Epstein.

There’s also a handy two-page guide map pinpointing the location of all the places mentioned in the guide.

If you’re planning a Liverpool visit, this book would be an essential to take with you – and it won’t cost you any excess luggage fees. At just over 44 pages The Beatles’ Liverpool is compact and light enough to easily slip into a travel bag or backpack to have with you as you walk the streets of the historic city.

Even if you’re still a way off physically getting to Liverpool, you can dive into The Beatles’ Liverpool and pay a visit vicariously. It’s the perfect armchair alternative to actually being there.

Author Mike Haskins was himself born and raised in Merseyside – and he still lives there! He’s worked as a scriptwriter and researcher for TV, radio and the stage, and has published over fifty books.

WIN A COPY OF THE BEATLES’ LIVERPOOL (NOW CLOSED)

Courtesy of Pitkin Publishing and Batsford Books in the UK, we’ve have two copies of The Beatles’ Liverpool to give away to two lucky readers.

All you need to do is provide your name, email address and have a go at answering two easy Beatle Liverpool-related questions. Just click on the link below to enter:

https://beatlesblogger.survey.fm/the-beatles-liverpool-giveaway

Good luck!

UPDATE:
Thank you to everyone who entered. And congratulations to the two readers who were first in with the correct answers!

They are Fred, from Ontario, Canada; and Diane from New York, USA. They will receive a copy of The Beatles’ Liverpool book, courtesy of Pitkin Publishing and Batsford Books.

The correct answers to our questions were:

  1. In their early career band members purchased many of their instruments from which famous Liverpool music store? Hessy’s Music Centre
  2. Ringo’s family hails from Liverpool’s Dingle area. His Mum worked at pub called The Empress there. In what way did Ringo put that building on the map? It’s on the front cover of his Sentimental Journey LP

Beatles Box of Vision – Revisited

There’s no doubt there are some very generous souls in the Beatle collecting community and we’ve recently been the recipient of such generosity. In a tidy-up and down-sizing of his collection one beatlesblog reader found he had two copies of the 2009 release Beatles Box of Vision and, very kindly, decided to pass one of them along to us. And a welcome addition it is as we didn’t have this treasure in the collection.

The Beatles Box of Vision was the brainchild of former Capitol Records Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and Beatle fanatic, Jonathan Polk.

Timed to coincide with the 2009 release of the Beatles stereo CD remasters, Box of Vision was a sumptuous way to store all that officially reissued CD catalogue – and more. Its storage section could contain every release from Please Please Me right up to the then-current Love, including Past Masters 1 & 2; the ‘best of’ albums 1962-1966 and 1967-1970; Live at the BBC; Anthology 1, 2 and 3; the Yellow Submarine Songtrack; the 1 compilation; and even Let It Be…Naked.

Box of Vision is large and impressively constructed. It comes shipped in a protective white cardboard outer (that is really worth keeping):

On the rear of this protective box is printed information about the contents:

When you open this white outer box the first thing you see inside is the large, well-protected, very good quality Box of Vision box. This initially looks like it might be designed to hold LPs instead of CDs because it is of LP-like proportions:

Taking it out reveals this still striking Robert Freeman image on the front cover of of what is a black linen covered storage box:

The box is deep and has the core collection LP spines printed along its edges :

As mentioned, the box is beautifully made. It is hinged on the left, opens like a large clam shell. It is designed to store, organise and display your Beatle CD collection. It contains two high quality books plus a set of plastic sleeves. The first thing you see when you open it up is a slim, soft cover book called The Beatles Catalography.

Then comes a series of 4 plastic storage sleeves – each of which can hold 8 CDs plus their booklets (4 on the front, 4 on the back of each sleeve). These have black and white images at each slot to show which CD goes where:

Then at the back of the box is an impressive cloth-bound hard back book containing all the full-sized artwork for every release. This is embossed on the front in shiny black lettering that simply says The Beatles:

Each box is numbered. This one is #1369:

Even the rear of the box has a nice detail:

Let’s look first at The Beatles Catalography book:

This is a guidebook to the unique history of Beatle releases. It details their UK and US catalogue in a side-by-side presentation so that you can immediately see the differences between the two countries, both in the artwork and the track listings:

Then comes the hefty, cloth-bound book The Beatles with high quality images of all the artwork associated with every official Beatle release in the UK to 2009.

Where that artwork extends to posters, special inserts or booklets these too are reproduced. For example, the story picture book stapled inside the Magical Mystery Tour LP is reproduced in full:

When you get to the 1 album an image of the poster is reproduced:

Likewise the booklet that came with the Let It Be…Naked LP:

The rear covers of each album are also faithfully reproduced:

Where did the name ‘Box of Vision’ come from?

At the time Jonathan Polk told The Houston Chronicle that title is from a song by Tom Russell. “The gist of the song is a father wishing he could give his child a box with all the things he would like her to experience in her life. I thought it was a good fit as I had envisioned this as a way to give a young fan the context to appreciate the history and chronology of the Beatles catalog, and what they were able to accomplish, in a much deeper way than as simply a bunch of hit songs.”

At the time you could order Box of Vision through the official Beatles site, or through a dedicated Box of Vision site – but that sadly is now long gone.

The Beatle/Apple connection – and the incredible quality of the images reproduced in both the books accompanying the storage box – very clearly hints at the close involvement the Beatles camp must have had with this project. They obviously supported the initiative fully, and it shows.

Here’s a YouTube ‘unboxing’ video from the time:

There was also a John Lennon Box of Vision released a year later in 2010, as well as a Bob Dylan Archive in 2011 – both done in a similar style to the The Beatles Box of Vision.

Thank you so much to reader Michael who very generously gifted us the Beatles Box of Vision.

Thanks also to Marc who read our article about The Beatles Box Of Vision and writes: “After it was released the Box Of Vision website had a PDF download containing corrections for three pages in Catalography book: one for the Let It Be/Let It Be…Naked page, and two of the Song/Album Reference pages.” Marc has made that PDF available. He hopes this is useful for others who may have missed it at the time. You can download those pages here:

Russian Fans Celebrated in Major New Book About Beatlemania in the Soviet Union

The people of Russia and the former Soviet Union have long had their access to Western art, culture and information suppressed and curated by the State. Just look at what’s going on in the country right now.

Consequently it’s always been hard to be a Beatle fan, especially when bans on Western popular music were actively policed and the consequences for flouting the laws could be devastating. Just take a look at this post from earlier this year. As we said then: there was a time when you had to be tough and take risks as an individual to be a fan in public. The KGB (a.k.a. the Soviet secret service and other authorities) came down very hard on anyone who dared to say they “….loved Lennon more than Lenin”.

Witness also the lengths that Beatle fans went to in order to listen to their favourite band’s music, right down to covertly cutting tracks onto old x-ray film. This became known as “music on bones” and you can check out our article on that here.

Subsequent to the fall of the Soviet Union things have become a little easier but it’s still been a relatively rocky road for Russian fans compared to those of us in the West.

Now comes a book that tries to sum up what it was like to be a Beatle fan across those years and into the solo Beatle years as well. It’s not about the Beatles themselves, but about how they were loved in the USSR. The English translation of the book’s title says it all really: How We Loved the Beatles: The History of Beatlemania in the USSR.

By the way, the author Dmitry Karasyuk is a totally blind man.

You should know that How We Loved the Beatles: The History of Beatlemania in the USSR is in Russian, and at 760 pages it is quite some undertaking. It contains many memoirs (funny and tragic) of both famous and very ordinary people. There are also many personal memories, and many, many photographs from fan archives. Almost every page has images or memorabilia related to the times. Here are just two random samples:

At the end of the book there is a short description in English. This is worth reading as its an excellent overview of the sort of information this book contains and what it is trying to achieve (click on image to see a larger version):

We mentioned how tough it was being a Beatle fan in the USSR. Here’s just one story from the book to help illustrate that – a story with a real twist in the tail:

In the early 1970s a young man buying Beatle records was detained at a flea market and taken to the local police station. There one of the police officers (police in the USSR were called militsiya) had an “educational conversation” with him (i.e. he gave him a slap on the wrist) saying that it was not good for a young builder of communism to listen to such enemy capitalist music. Later the young man happened to meet that same militsiya on the street. And the policeman asked: “If I give you a tape could you please record some Beatles music on it for me?”

Another very interesting section of How We Loved the Beatles: The History of Beatlemania in the USSR contains chapters about the Melodiya and Antrop companies which eventually released Beatle and solo records in the USSR – both officially, and not so officially.

The author spoke with former employees of Melodiya. They talk about how Beatle tracks finally came to appear on records in the 1970s, how Beatle and solo records were officially released in the 1980s, and where the sources for these releases came from.

The author also found Andrey Tropillo, the founder of Antrop Records, and in a long interview with him Tropillo tells how he created/launched the company, how and where he pressed vinyl, how they made alternative sleeves, and much more. And how, in the end, Antrop turned into Santa.

It’s not known whether the publisher will eventually translate the entire book into English. This, we’re told, is quite a challenge because there’s a lot of original Soviet youth slang which can’t be translated into other languages “in all its beauty”.

This love of all things Beatles endures. This young woman (whose name is Jane Enenko) is in the book. She hails from remote Siberia, and was invited on stage during a 2015 Paul McCartney tour:

We realise How We Loved the Beatles: The History of Beatlemania in the USSR is aimed at a very special market. The fact that it is written in Russian dictates that. But it is such a labour of love, and so comprehensive in it’s scope, we thought it very worthy of a mention here.

Russian-speaking fans of The Beatles living outside of Russia can buy the book from the German online store Esterum: Russian books worldwide, which is located in Frankfurt. It is also available from this online book store in the EU – in Riga, Latvia.

FYI here’s the rear cover. (Click on the link to see a larger version and to read the text – if you understand Russian!)

McCartney’s ‘The Lyrics’ Wins British Book Award

Paul McCartney, no stranger to the odd prestigious award, has just won another.

His book The Lyrics:1956 to the Present has taken out the award for Best Non-Fiction Lifestyle book in the 2022 British Book Awards (otherwise known as The Nibbies):

Strangely Sir Paul’s acceptance speech (pre-recorded and played to the audience at the awards ceremony) could not be included in the YouTube clip.

Here’s some more info on the other books that were on the shortlist.

The judges wrote that The Lyrics was: “A work of art”; “a unique piece of publishing”; and a book that “belongs in a museum, not just our bookshelves.” They praised the two-volume set as a “fantastic visual diary”, singling out the original hand-written lyrics.

The book was supported by a free exhibition at the British Library and McCartney in Conversation at the Southbank Royal Festival Hall.

Publishers Allen Lane coordinated a global launch, simultaneously in 11 languages, attaining extensive broadsheet and radio coverage. Plus the book was released in multiple translations.

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.

Reader Unboxing Video of McCartney ‘The Lyrics’ Limited Edition

We’re guessing that many of you had Paul MCCartney’s The Lyrics book under the Christmas tree this year.

Not so many though would have been unwrapping the Limited Edition.

That’s the one actually signed by Sir Paul, and there have reportedly been just 175 copies made available worldwide. However, that most likely means 175 for the US market, and 175 for the UK.

Either way, it’s the one that comes in a unique and quite distinctive bright orange box with blue lettering. The design inside is different to the standard as well – as one lucky reader in New Zealand has just shared with us when he received his unique boxed set.

His name is Simon and somehow he managed to get a copy of the Limited Edition sent to him from a UK book store. It is number 105/175. Simon’s done this unboxing video for us of him opening his treasure:

See also Paul McCartney The Lyrics – How Many Translations?

The Beatles, Get Back and London: On the Trail of a Timeless Story

In the lead-up to the release next week of the Peter Jackson film The Beatles: Get Back, John Harris, editor of the new book of the same name, takes us on a fascinating journey to the three key locations in the making of the Let It Be album. It is delightful: