A Couple of Beatle DVD Finds

We went “op shopping” recently and discovered a little bit of Beatle treasure.

First up a copy of Paul McCartney’s 2005 concert film In Red Square:

McCartney Red 1

It comes in an outer slip-case. Here’s the rear cover:McCartney Red 2

There’s also an inner booklet included with a range of images from the historic concert:McCartney Red 3

McCartney Red 4

The other DVD we found is a 2008 documentary called Magical Mystery Tour Memories:MMTM1

This is a documentary, a behind-the-scenes/memories of making the actual1967 Beatle film Magical Mystery Tour. Narrated by actor and Beatle friend Victor Spinetti (who not only appeared in MMT but also the films Help! and A Hard Day’s Night), there are lots of stories about what happened during the filming. They range from those who were officially there as part of the cast and crew, through to the many innocent bystanders who just happened to bump into the Beatle entourage as they travelled by bus around England making their largely improvised film. There are appearances and reminiscences from the likes of Paul’s brother Mike McCartney; Beatle Fan Club secretary Freda Kelly; former Beatle insider Tony Bramwell; their press officer Tony Barrow; and Neil Innes from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (and later The Rutles).     MMTM2MMTM3

It has to be said this is a fairly low-budget affair that received only mixed reviews when it was first released, but it’s an interesting documentary to have in the collection and contains some very nice stories and memories of what it was like making Magical Mystery Tour.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery – Part Five

Another instalment  in our occasional series on Beatle (or Beatle-related) album covers that have possibly been, well, borrowed as inspiration by others…..(see here, here, here and here).

Check out this 1976 Olivia Newton John cover art:Olivia+Newton+John+Come+On+Over+-+Original+Issue+60731

The cover photo for ONJ’s Come On Over was taken 11 years after this photo:george_harrison_living_in_the_material_world_pool_photo_the_beatles_help

Read about the origins of this striking George Harrison image here.

And thanks to Darienzo for letting us know that the rear cover image on Paul Anka’s 1974 album Anka also has a very similar photo:Anka 1

Thanks also go to Tom for sending through this image of Jackson Browne’s LP I’m Alive from 1993:Jackson Browne

Beatles Memorabilia and Records Auction

There’s an interesting auction of some cool Beatle items coming up at Heritage Auctions in the USA on June 24 and 25.

The auction is part of a much larger entertainment consignment. The Beatles section starts here.

Amongst the autographs, photographs, ticket stubs and records on offer are two items that caught our eye.

First was this unique poster prepared for Apple/Capitol Records in 1970. It was for distribution to record stores owners as a Christmas greeting:

Joy Poster

Second was this very rare example of a working prototype device that Apple employee (and so-called “electronics wizard”) Magic Alex actually produced:Magic Alex 1Magic Alex 2As the auction site says: Yanni Alexis “Magic Alex” Mardas was associated with the Beatles during the 1965-1969 period, part of that time as head of Apple Electronics, which was a money-losing failure. He impressed the Beatles, especially John Lennon who coined his nickname, with his gadgets and big ideas to revolutionize the consumer electronics business. Mardas claimed he could build them a 72-track recording studio which never materialized. Other of his ideas that never quite worked out include: a flying saucer, loudspeaker wallpaper, a personal pocket force field, invisible paint, and color-changing paint…. 

The Simpsons – McCartney Episode

Always wanted to get a copy of this for the collection, and now we have. It is part of a “Best Of” series of videos that has the episode starring Linda and Paul McCartney:Simpsons 1

The Simpsons episode of interest is called ‘Lisa the Vegetarian’, which was the fifth episode in season seven originally. It first aired in the US in October, 1995.

From Wikipedia: In the episode, Lisa decides to stop eating meat after bonding with a lamb at a petting zoo. Her schoolmates and family members ridicule her for her beliefs, but with the help of Apu, Paul, and Linda McCartney, she commits to vegetarianism. The pair’s condition for appearing was that Lisa would remain a vegetarian for the rest of the series. The episode makes several references to McCartney’s musical career, and his song ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ plays during the closing credits.

Simpsons 2Simpsons 3

During ‘Lisa the Vegetarian’, Paul says, “If you play ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ backwards, you’ll hear a recipe for a really ripping lentil soup.” The song is played during the closing credits, and Paul’s reading of the recipe can be heard if the sound is played backwards.

The recited recipe can be heard (played forwards) in the extra features on The Complete Seventh Season DVD boxset.

New Jazz Interpretations of the Band You’ve Known For All These Years

This is an interesting project that’s been released just this week.

It’s way out there, but cool at the same time. How do new interpretations of the Beatles for a jazz big band sound? Well, we very much like what we’ve heard so far.

Kaleidoscope Eyes: The Music of the Beatles is a new CD from US trumpeter, arranger and band leader, John Daversa:

Daversa Eyes

“A while ago, a good friend of mine asked me to write a “Daversafied” arrangement of a classic Beatles tune. I thought to myself, “wow, what a monumental challenge!” How do you take such classic material, remain reverent to the original intention and spirit of The Beatles, create a fresh vision with new twists and turns–and make it identifiably your own? The challenge intrigued me so much that I decided to create a full-length album for the big band. Let’s go!”

“I’ve since delved deep into the immensely rich Beatles catalog and fallen in love–as so many music lovers have. I’ve “reimagined” the music for the JD Big Band personalities and expanded the instrumentation to include tuba, bassoon, oboe, alto flute, piano, string section, a chorus of singers, and more—truly an expanded Large Jazz Ensemble! Vocalist Renee Olstead and spoken word artist, Katisse Buckingham will also join us on the album.”

As one YouTuber put it, “This is not your typical Beatles tribute!”:

Kaleidoscope Eyes cover.jpg

Rare Beatle Footage Discovered in Australia

On the 1st of November, 1965 The Beatles were in the Granada Television make-up room in Manchester in the UK.

They were there for a television show being taped in their honour called The Music of Lennon & McCartney. One of the make-up ladies, Australian dancer and make-up artist Dawn Swane, happened to have with her a small Super 8 movie camera. She took it out to shoot a personal memento of the band backstage. Of course The Beatles got into it, taking charge of the camera themselves to shoot their own scenes. In short, mucking around and vamping it up for the camera.

That short piece of footage has sat in moldering in a drawer – until now. It has just been donated to the Australian National Film and Sound Archive. You can view the footage on their site.

As 702 ABC Sydney breakfast radio presenter Robbie Buck said when introducing an interview with Dawn Swane’s daughter, Melinda Doring, it’s so rare these days to find previously unseen footage of such an iconic band:

You can see the opening credits and beginning of The Music of Lennon & McCartney TV program the Beatles were preparing for here:

 

The Detail Behind the Mysterious McCartney 12-inch

This article courtesy of the very informative Super Deluxe Edition page:

The full story behind how the mysterious white label, 12-inch 45 release featuring two remixes of Paul McCartney’s Band on the Run album track ‘Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five’ came about in the lead-up to Record Store Day, and who was responsible for it, has been revealed…wl_phonicaMcCartney 1985 12in

As reported in a detailed interview with Billboard magazine, it turns out that German DJ/remixer Timo Maas and Canadian producer James Teej were responsible for the release, with Maas having done some work on the McCartney multi-tracks as far back as 2009. The German wasn’t really satisfied with his work at that time: “we never fully succeeded in working the parts to a point where I really felt the end result was worth passing along,” he told Billboard, and so the music lay dormant on his computer until last year, when James Teej came to visit and heard it.

Enthused, the pair then set back to work on creating the two remixes. They were sent to Paul McCartney who gave them his seal of approval.

“We secretly sneaked it [only 300 copies were made apparently] into two vinyl stores in the UK and Germany in order to test the waters and understand how people would react to the music on face value. The response was a little hard to believe,” says Maas, adding, “Phonica’s London store’s phone was ringing off the hook like crazy for copies, and it went to No. 1 on their charts overnight. All of that got picked up first by i-D magazine, and made it all the way to the UK tabloids who speculated that Kanye West might be behind it.”

It’s interesting to learn how this release came about; especially to note the fact that it wasn’t McCartney’s MPL company which put out the white label, rather Maas and his management.

And that now copies are selling on eBay for around the US$200-300 mark….

There was also a limited edition 7″ (a radio edit version) issue on Record Store Day in a run of 100 copies, also through the Phonica store.mccartney 1985 single 1