Seems like this blog has become more paulmccartneyblogger.com than beatlesblogger.com lately…
Only natural I guess as Paul McCartneyis in Australia at the moment, and that’s where we are too. There has been a lot more media as a result.
Just wanted to let you know that a lengthy radio interview has just been broadcast nationally on the country’s leading youth music station, triple j.
Presenter Zan Rowe each week sits down with a musician and talks about their craft. It’s called ‘Take 5’ and is based around five back-catalogue tracks chosen by the artist. This week they scored a big one – an extensive conversation with Paul McCartney.
Australian television presenter and journalist Leigh Sales is highly respected. She’s the host of a nightly national current affairs TV program called 7.30 and well-known for her political interviews. Sales is often feared by those sitting across the desk from her because a) she does her homework, b) is not afraid to ask the difficult questions, and c) is fearless in calling decision-makers to task.
But Sales is equally at home speaking to writers and musicians. She clearly has a love of the arts, and what drives creative people to produce the work they do.
That’s why it was fascinating to watch her last night getting ready to meet and interview one Paul McCartney.
You’d think that would be pressure enough, but the fact that Leigh Sales is also a huge long-time fan allowed us to see the usually composed interrogator in a very different light.
She has written a great article about the experience – you can read that here, and you can also view the piece that went to air on the same page. There’s also rehearsal footage of the band running through ‘Day Tripper’ before the Perth concert.
Turns out Paul McCartney was generous and charming, plus we get to go backstage and learn that the guitar he used in 1964 on The Ed Sullivan Show to play ‘Yesterday’ is still in active service in 2017. And that Sales gets to play one of his Magical Mystery Tour stage pianos!
As she says: “It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
In the lead-up to the Perth concert, Paul invited 20 fans to an intimate Q&A session, the best part of which was a question from nine-year-old Harrison Haines. You can view and read about that here, courtesy of ABC TV News. The session ended with a live, three-song set which included ‘Drive My Car’, ‘Junior’s Farm’ and ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’. Meanwhile…..the tour rocked on through to Sydney. Here is a review of that concert by one of Australia’s best music writers, Bernard Zuel.
The latest instalment in the Australian Beatles celebrations this month is the creation of a week-long “pop-up” digital radio station called The Beatles in Australia on ABC Extra.
Run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the special Beatles station goes to air from 8.00am (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Tuesday, June 17. It will run 24/7 until midnight on Tuesday, June 24.
Here’s a radio promo for the station:
You can listen in three ways. If you live in an Australian capital city and have a digital radio go the the ABC Extra channel. If you don’t have a digital radio, don’t worry – the station will be streamed live online (from next Tuesday) on the ABC Extra site. And the special programs can be accessed on your mobile device using the ABC Radio app. You can get that app here.
And here’s the official press release:
The Beatles arrive at Sydney airport in torrential rain on June 11, 1964. With them is stand-in drummer Jimmie Nicol. (Image: ABC)
THE BEATLES IN AUSTRALIA on ABC EXTRA
13 June 2014
ABC Radio is set to launch a pop-up radio station celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles concert tour of Australia in June 1964. The Beatles in Australia on ABC Extra will run from 8:00AM on Tuesday 17 June for one week. It will be available via mobile on the ABC Radio App, online and on digital radio.
The station will feature a series of specially made programs, programs from the ABC Radio archive and the music from 1964, including:
Hindsight from RN: This program charts the story of the Beatles down-under, with contributions from some of the people who helped to orchestrate the visit, as well as social historians, fans and detractors of the Beatlemania phenomenon which swept Australia. The version of the Beatles that Australia saw in 1964, with their mop top haircuts, and neat black suits, marked the arrival of the manufactured boy band. But did they also spark the beginning of an overdue generational and social shift in this country?
The Beatles In Australia Exhibition: Rod Quinn from ABC Local Radio visits the exhibition curated by Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum (currently on display at the Melbourne Arts Centre).
The Importance of The Ed Sullivan Show: Rod Quinn from ABC Local Radio interviews Beatles historian, Ken Womack about why the appearance by The Beatles on the popular American variety show helped feed into the high expectations surrounding the arrival of the Beatles in Australia in June 1964.
The Story of Jimmie Nicol: Ringo Starr became ill just prior to the Australian tour of 1964 and was replaced by Jimmie Nicol. What effect did those 13 days and ten live shows (four of them in Australia) have on him? And what happened to Jimmie Nicol as a result? That’s the subject of a new book by author and Beatle historian Jim Berkenstadt.
The music: Their one and only concert tour of Australia was characterised by thirty-minute concerts comprising only 10 songs: I Saw Her Standing There, I Want To Hold Your Hand, All My Loving, She Loves You, Till There Was You, Roll Over Beethoven, Can’t Buy me Love, This Boy, Twist and Shout and Long Tall Sally. Hear all these, plus many more.
8:00AM, Tuesday 17 June to 8:00PM, Tuesday 24 June
Beatles fans are today able to hear, for the first time ever, the unedited version of an interview that John, George and Ringo gave to Melbourne radio personality Binny Lum ahead of their Australian tour in April, 1964.
The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has just published the 16-minute conversation to mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Australian tour on 11 June. Edited versions have been broadcast and included on special discs over the years, but the interview in full has never previously been released.
NFSA Radio curator Maryanne Doyle said: ‘The Beatles were at the height of their popularity and it was a real coup that an Australian radio personality, unknown in the UK, had managed to secure an interview with the English rock band, the hottest property in show business. The fact that this occurred says as much for Lum’s tenacity as her well connected network of contacts.’
This is interesting and well worth a listen. During the the Beatles 1964 tour, radio journalist Ian Nicholls interviewed John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Jimmie Nicol when they visited Melbourne:
Two more significant documentaries are due to go to air here in Australia as part of the celebrations to mark the first and only tour of the Beatles to this country 50 years ago. They arrived in Australia on June 11, 1964.
Here in Australia the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles one-and-only tour Down Under are beginning to get exciting.
The Beatles arrived in Sydney on June 11, 1964 and EMI Australia has today posted a great Australian tour highlights video on its official YouTube site:
The site publicises Australia’s contribution to the 50th anniversary – a 2 CD set called Then & Now – Australia Salutes The Beatles. It’s a compilation of some of Australia’s finest artists covering classic Beatle songs:
It has to be said it is a bit underwhelming with the news that this was actually EMI Australia’s second choice as a way to mark the historic visit. Initially the company was working on a unique two-disc set which was to have included a DVD of the complete Melbourne concert (which was filmed live and broadcast nationally at the time), with extra songs and partial songs included. This was to be partnered with a CD containing the studio recordings of those particular songs from the concert. It could have been a nice double-disc package, complete with a booklet – a real collectors item, unique to Australia. By comparison the double CD’s of Aussie cover versions is a real let-down.
EMI Australia was apparently told by Apple head office that as they are working on a live project of their own the local project could not possibly proceed…..
There’ll be more news on other Australian celebrations to mark the anniversary across June – including a major television documentary produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and a “pop-up” digital radio station which will run for a week and play ’64 Beatles tour music as well as rare audio from the archives. This will also be streamed live around the world – so more on these broadcasts soon in future posts.