Splinter – The Place I Love

One of our favourite places in Sydney to crate dig is Revolve Records and Relics, and it has come up with another Beatle-related treasure for the collection.

Splinter was one of the first bands signed to George Harrison’s Dark Horse record label in 1974, and The Place I Love was their debut album:Splinter coverSplinter rear coverThey were a two-man band hailing from the town of South Shields in England. Bill Elliott and Bob Purvis wrote all their own material, were produced by George Harrison, and were joined on this album by Harrison (on guitar, mandolin, bass, harmonium and percussion and using the pseudonyms Hari Georgeson, P. Roducer and Jai Raj Harisein), as well as the likes of Klaus Voormann (bass), Billy Preston (organ), Jim Keltner (drums) and Gary Wright (piano).

The album was recorded at Harrison’s Friar Park home studio.

This is an Australian pressing. The cover is a gatefold, graced with a sepia-toned historic street scene of The London Hotel, taken in the late 1800’s in Splinter’s home town of South Shields.  Splinter gatefold

Here’s the LP’s ever-stylish Dark Horse label:Splinter label

There’s also a single sheet insert with the song lyrics printed on each side:

Splinter insert

And an inner bag made of heavy paper and stamped with the Dark Horse logo to hold the record:Splinter inner

Splinter’s Bill Elliot has another strong Beatle connection. John Lennon had earlier invited him to perform the song ‘God Save Us‘ with The Elastic Oz Band. Released as a 7″ single on Apple Records in the US in 1971. This was a protest song in support of the underground publication Oz magazine, then embroiled in the famous Oz obscenity court case.God Save Us

 

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Cool Beatle Art Prints

We’ve just come across a young British artist who does a cool range of Beatle art.

His name is Jay Kelly and he’s recently put out three new Beatles/music collections: Beatles pop art, a Lennon collection, and a sketch collection.

The series we love most are these four Pop Art images:

Lennon Print McCartney Print Harrison Print Starr Print

Good, huh?

Based in Dorset, England, Kelly is a home-schooled and self-taught artist. He’s a graduate of the London Art College with a Diploma of Distinction completed in under seven months at the age of only 15. He is a fan of the 1960s, especially The Beatles.

“I always liked to draw, but got into art more seriously at the age of 13,” says Kelly. “I discovered The Beatles about a year before that when I saw a tribute band play while on holiday. You could say they changed my life, particularly John Lennon.”

“I used to draw only cartoons and caricatures, but The Beatles inspired me to do more than that,” he continues. “I love drawing and painting musicians, and I’m constantly trying to perfect my craft.”

Jay’s works across a range of media including acrylics on canvas, hand-drawn illustrations, caricature, portraiture, graphic design, and acrylic paintings on guitars. His latest works are a collection of pop art canvases featuring various 1960-70s music icons including John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Elton John, as well as a line art collection featuring Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie.

Jay Kelly’s art is for sale online, and he also takes specific requests. You can connect with him on:

Twitter: @jaykelly_ART

Facebook: Jay Kelly Art

Ravi Shankar – ‘In Celebration’ 4CD Set

In 1995 George Harrison was producer of an impressive 4 CD compilation box set honouring the musical life and genius of his friend and mentor, the Indian master musician Ravi Shankar. It was called In Celebration and it formed a key part of the celebrations that year marking Shankar’s 75th birthday.

The four CDs trace four distinct aspects of Shankar’s output: Classical Sitar; Orchestral and Ensembles; East-West Collaboration; and Vocal and Experimental.

The set was released on the Angel label (an EMI subsidiary specialising in classical music), and George’s own Dark Horse Records label.

Because it was expensive the following year (1996) there was also an In Celebration – Highlights single-disc version for those wanting a taste from each of the four CDs:Ravi Highlights1Ravi Highlights2Ravi Highlights3

We’ve had a copy of the single disc Highlights for years and have often enjoyed escaping into the world of Indian music. As a result we’ve been on the lookout for a long time for a reasonably priced second-hand copy of the full box set – now long out of print. At last we’ve got our hands on a copy (via eBay and from a seller based in France of all places).

The larger set is a much more detailed and elaborate affair, with silver embossed printing details and individual artwork for each CD. When we say “box set” this is actually presented as a tall, deluxe hard-back book, with the four CDs stored in holders inside the front and rear covers.Ravi 1Ravi 2

In between them is a beautiful 60 page book with a foreword by George Harrison and a lengthy essay, richly illustrated with photographs, on the life and work of Ravi Shankar by Timothy White, a former Editor In Chief of Billboard magazine: Ravi 4Ravi 3

There’s a handy glossary of terms included at the back – a big help in understanding and appreciating Indian classical music, its instruments and main themes and influences.

This is all really nicely done as a package and a great selection of, and tribute to, Shankar’s life and work.Ravi 5Ravi 6Ravi 7Ravi 8_0003

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

Martin Scorsese Exhibition – George Harrison Documentary

Scorsese Sign2The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia is currently hosting a massive exhibit featuring the work of legendary film director Martin Scorsese.

Scorsese of course was responsible for George Harrison: Living in the Material World, the 2011 landmark documentary on the life and work of George Harrison.george-harrison

In the exhibition, which we visited last week, there’s a section on Scorsese’s love of music and the numerous documentaries he’s made over time including The Last Waltz (from 1978 detailing The Band’s last ever concert); No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (his 2005 documentary on Dylan’s early years); and Shine A Light (a 2008 concert film featuring the Rolling Stones live at the Beacon Theatre in New York).

Playing on a large screen within the exhibition are extracts from George Harrison: Living in the Material WorldScorsese Screen Shot2 Scorsese Scree Shot1

The Scorsese exhibition runs at ACMI until September 18. It’s well worth a look.Scorsese Sign (1)

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: