More Beatle Podcasts for Your Listening Enjoyment

More than two years ago the ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) began hosting an ongoing series celebrating the 50th anniversary of each British Beatle LP.

As each album marks its anniversary ABC Radio presenter Rod Quinn speaks to US John Lennon biographer and amazing Beatle expert Jude Southerland Kessler. Jude is the author of the extraordinary (and ambitious!) nine-volume John Lennon narrative biography. The last instalment in Jude’s series was Volume 3: She Loves You, but Volume 4: Should Have Known Better is due out soon – in March, 2018 we believe.

It’s been quite a while since we gave you an update on the ABC Radio podcast series. There have been quite a few, so here goes.  

The Rubber Soul LP is discussed in two parts. Part One (examining Side One of the LP) is here.

And you can find Part Two (examining Side Two of the LP) is here.

Revolver is also in two parts. Part One (examining Side One of the LP) is here.

And Revolver Part Two (examining Side Two of the LP) is here.Rod Quinn and Jude Sutherland Kessler discussed both Side One and Side Two of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in one long podcast here.These are all great podcasts. Very insightful and well worth a listen. Previous broadcasts have covered Please Please MeWith the BeatlesA Hard Day’s NightBeatles For Sale and of course, Help! – in two parts: Side One here, and Side Two here.

And you can also listen to Yellow Submarine; The White Album and The Esher Demos, and Abbey Road here.

New Klaus Voormann Book – Revolver 50

Klaus Voormann has a new book due for release in the first week of August called Birth of an Icon – Revolver 50.

It celebrates the background story to his now classic front cover design for the Beatles Revolver LP, released on the 5th of August, 1966.

His book, done in a graphic novel style, tells the story from his perspective as a musician and artist who was called by upon by the Beatles, then nearing the height of their fame, to come up with something special, something new, different and lasting.To say he was put under pressure is something of an understatement.Rev 50 Cover Resize

It looks like it’d be a really interesting read.

Pre-orders for The Birth of an Icon – Revolver 50, which will be hand-signed by Klaus Voormann, 
have a pre-sale price 46 Euro (+ shipping & handling costs).

“…it is good for me to see the other side of a story I know so well and to realize aspects like the sheer panic that Klaus must have felt at being asked to do our album cover. In the end, the Revolver cover was a classic and this book is another.”  Sir Paul McCartney

“…your Revolver book – it brought back such great memories – even farther back than Revolver…I hope it sells a million copies!…the Revolver cover was incredible and perfect for that album.” – Ringo StarrRev 50 Page 2 ResizeRev 50 Page 5 ResizeRevolver

A Warning About Garage Sales….

This is a sad story that I think all Beatles collectors can relate to….

When you go to a garage sale (or you might call them yard sales) the thrill of the chase for that elusive LP or CD can sometimes see you just not taking enough care.

It recently happened to me. Went out as I sometimes do on a Saturday morning to a local garage sale. These can be rich pickings (or not – but you never know). Did the quick scout around upon arrival – but there was no vinyl in sight. There were a couple of compact discs – but nothing remotely Beatles-related. So before leaving I posed the usual question to the owner of the house, just on the off-chance: “Do you have any records? LPs or 45s. You know, vinyl?”  It never hurts to ask.

“Oh – yes. Actually we do, but I hadn’t thought to put them out. Are people still interested in them?” And off she goes, into the house to hunt out said vinyl records….

About 5 minutes later (it seems like ten) out they come, boxes of them – frustratingly one box at a time. Most are pretty bashed up – but quite an eclectic selection and some interesting things – and by this stage another record collector has arrived and is also interested….

The first thing I see is a picture disc copy of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”. Hmmm. Could probably get that. Might as well for A$1.00. (Its actually the same as this one – selling online for US$75.00).

There’s also, for some strange reason, lots of Jethro Tull. All original pressings and all in reasonably good condition. Probably collectors items for the right person – but not me. Then some Hendrix. Tempting, but the other collector seems really interested and so I let him have free reign.

Then finally a box with some Beatles. Both me and the other guy fall upon it and kind of unofficially, by mutual agreement, agree to split the contents amicably. No need for aggro on a Saturday morning over $1.00 records.

He finds “Abbey Road” and I think: “OK. You can have it. I’ve got lots of pressings of that.” It’s the Australian pressing on Apple by the looks of it. He is happy.

I find a copy of “Revolver”. Its also an Australian pressing, this time on the orange Parlophone/EMI label and I can’t remember if I have this or not and so decide to get it anyway. Its actually in pretty good shape and for a dollar, what the heck?. When I get home later turns out I don’t have this particular pressing. Good one!

Then there’s a copy of the Beatles “Oldies…but Goldies!”. It too is an Australian pressing and I know I have this and so let the other guy take it. More good karma points for me. Then there’s a copy of “The Beatles”, or the “White Album“. Its an older, original Australian pressing on Apple – the one with the top-loading cover, and its got the poster. No Beatle pictures included though, and the cover is a little battered, but still, its kind of rare and interesting because of it’s age. The old-style top-loader cover is mildly collectable. I flipped out Disc 1 for a quick look to see if it was scratched and useless. It was in pretty good shape and so I decide to get it.

Move forward in time now about three hours. I’m back home cleaning up the LP’s I got and I pull out Disc 2 of the “White Album” from it’s sleeve and guess what? Its not the “White Album” in there but “Abbey Road”!!

The seller, probably years ago, had mixed up the LPs when putting them away. So, the other collector guy who bought “Abbey Road” has probably got my Disc 2 of the “White Album”, and I have his “Abbey Road”. I don’t know who he is and have no way of contacting him. There is really nothing quite as frustrating to a collector than an incomplete set I can tell you…

So, a lesson for all garage or yard sale hunters: always check the contents of the CDs or LPs you’re interested in before you leave the premises….

105 Days with the Beatles

This isn’t new – it comes from back in December last year but I’ve only just discovered it and thought its worth passing on because it’s kind of interesting.

Its an interview on the Australian EMI site with Richard Lush – who worked at EMI during the 60’s as second engineer to Geoff Emerick recording the Beatles. As he says in a great quote from the article:”….I did 105 sessions; 105 days I walked across Abbey Road and went to work for the Beatles….”.  Not many people can make that claim.

“I was 18 years old and I had been there for 6 months. Before I started on “Revolver”, when we did “A Day in the Life”… Geoff and I, Geoff was 2 years older then me… Geoff would have been 20 and I was 18. I remember us in the control room joking to one another… isn’t amazing…they are actually trusting us… (We laughed)”

“People often ask me: “What’s the worst thing about working for the Beatles?” And I always said… The fact that they would always start late. Most bands in those days started in the morning (10am) but they would start around 2pm. So you would show up just before 2… There would be no fans, no screaming girls, so you knew they had not arrived yet. Then George Martin would show up about 4 o’clock, we would set up, still be waiting, and then the Beatles would roll in about 7 or 8pm and go to about 8 in the morning……I worked on “Pepper”, did a track on “Revolver”, about half   “The White Album”, some of “Magical Mystery Tour”.”

Anyway, check out the interview in full – its worth a read.

If you want to see Richard Lush in the studio here’s a short clip of him examining the piano and drum parts for the John Lennon track “God”, from his solo album Plastic Ono Band. This was part of the great “Classic Albums” video series:

Klaus Voormann – A Sidesman’s Journey

One of the great artists and session men and part of the inner-circle of the Beatles for many years is Klaus Voormann.

He’s been a long-time friend and sometime collaborator and he has an album out looking back and celebrating that association with the group. I stumbled across this video which pretty much tells the back story to the making of the record, which is called “A Sidesman’s Journey”:

As you can see “A Sideman’s Journey” features guest appearances by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Beatle-related songs like George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” – here sung by Yusef Islam (Cat Stevens).

Voormann has known the Beatles since the Hamburg days and is an artist and bass player. For example, he drew the legendary cover for “Revolver”:

The Beatles - Revolver (1966)

Later Voormann also played bass on numerous Beatles solo projects including, amongst many others,  Lennon’s “Walls and Bridges” and “Imagine”, Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” and “Concert for Bangladesh”, and on the Ringo solo outings “Ringo” and “Goodnight Vienna”.  He was a founding member of the Plastic Ono Band.  See his biog entry in Wikipedia here.

Voormann’s new CD is made up of newly-recorded covers of some of the songs he helped make famous with the former Beatles plus many other artists over the years.

Well worth a listen.

New Beatles “Christmas Pack” of 4 Remasters

Its either a cynical marketing exercise in the lead up to Christmas, or a really helpful move for those who can’t afford the steep asking price of the full Remastered boxed sets…

EMI in Europe has announced it is issuing (on 7 December) a limited edition boxed set of four of the new stereo remasters called The Beatles Christmas Pack.

The Beatles "Christmas Pack: Limited Edition"

The set will contain “Rubber Soul”,  “Revolver”, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Abbey Road”.

Each album will include the bonus “Making Of” video that uses exclusive original footage from the Beatles’ own archive plus other rare footage and voice-overs by the Beatles and George Martin.