Thursday, 13 July 2017

Some 2018 calendars

Calendar from Day Dream, themed to Yellow Submarine
Calendars are upon us! While we are still waiting for the official Danilo Beatles calendar, some other manufacturers have released theirs. Danilo will likely reveal their Apple sanctioned calendar on August 1, but here are a few of their competitors for that precious wall space in our homes and offices. And it's no surprise that some of these calendars focus on the upcoming fiftieth anniversaries of Yellow Submarine and The Beatles' White album. The above depicted calendar from Day Dream is an example.
Sample page and drawings from the Yellow Submarine calendar from Day Dream.
 There is a "deluxe" version Yellow Submarine calendar, as well.
Special Edition calendar from Day Dream

 The same company is also responsible for a calender themed to The Beatles' White album:


Pretty familiar images in this one. Day Dream
Then there are calendars where each month is themed to one of the Beatles years.

Beatles Years calendar from Day Dream

A year a month, including a few repeats
The above calendars are all 12", like an LP record. The Beatles Years calendar is also available in a smaller format, 7" like a single.

Smaller version of the Beatles Years calendar.
The company called Mead also has their own 2018 Beatles calendar available:

Tinted images in the Mead calendar

Sample month and pics from the Mead calendar.
Links:
Beatles 2018 calendars at Amazon.com
Beatles 2018 calendars at Amazon.co.uk

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Argentinas Beatles museum

Beatles figurines from the new museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: AP.
Despite the fact that the Beatles never played in Argentina, an obsessive fan has put his country on the Beatlemania map. A Beatles museum has been open to the public in Buenos Aires since 2011.

The eclectic collection is the work of self-confessed obsessive Rodolfo Vazquez, a 53-year-old accountant who became a fan at the age of 10 when he got their album Rubber Soul.
Since then he has collected everything he possibly can related to the Fab Four and has amassed more than 8,500 items.  In 2001 he was recognised by Guinness World Records as having the planet's largest collection, with a hoard of 5,612 items.

But his haul has kept growing and his museum, located on Avenue Corrientes in a tourist area of Buenos Aires, is only able to hold a quarter of it. The items will change on an annual basis, as Vazques plans to rotate stuff from his collection for display.

Vazquez claims he doesn't know the total value of his private collection, which includes record covers, autographs, toys, original pictures, concert programs, and cups and plates with Beatle images.

His reason for creating a museum? "Otherwise all of it would be closed into boxes and trunks without anyone being able to enjoy them." Something to consider for many of us, I believe.

Read the full story and see more photos from the museum in the Daily Mail.

Beatles museums:
The Beatles' Story in Liverpool
Das Beatles Museum in Halle, Germany
Beatles Museum in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
Museo Beatle, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Egri Road Beatles Museum, Hungary

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

1999 Yellow Submarine comic book resurrected

New Yellow Submarine comic book
For the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles' full length cartoon movie "Yellow Submarine", Apple Corps Ltd is resurrecting an old project which was abandoned earlier - a new comic book adaptation of the film. Dark Horse Comics were scheduled to release this new comic book in 1999, but it was aborted after more than half of the book's artwork had been completed. Now it's Titan Comics who are going ahead with the book.

The 1999 re-release on VHS and DVD
The idea came about when the film was being re-released in 1999, as extensive work was done to restore the images, and remix the music and dialogue in stereo as well as in surround sound. To coincide with the film re-release, Apple wanted a new comic book, one that adhered more to the film than was the case with the previous comic book adaptation.

Early in 1999, Bill Morrison was approached by Dark Horse Comics, and commissioned to produce the new comic book. The DVD was released in September of ’99, and Morrison remembers the comic adaptation was being timed to coincide with the DVD release, according to a 2006 article over at the comics website CBR.com.

The 1968 comic book adaptation.
There had been a Yellow Submarine comic published by Gold Key Comics in 1968, produced in advance of the movie. It included passages not found in the film, and character designs made prior to the final designs were okayed for the film. However, the new Dark Horse project was to be a true adaptation of the film.

The new comic book was to be one of the various merchandise items to be made available to the public alongside the release of the film on DVD and VHS, together with the Yellow Submarine Songtrack on CD and coloured vinyl, as well as new action figures from McFarlane Toys. Morrison was first approached by Michael Martens at Dark Horse and asked to adapt the script and draw it.

The comic book was going to be a full-colour 48 page one-shot (a standalone comic book not part of a series), prestige format. Morrison was contracted to do the entire project and brought in a few of his buddies (from Bongo Comics, where Morrison was employed at the time) to help out. Nathan Kane was colouring the art, and Chris Ungar was handling the lettering. Also, Morrison enlisted his wife, Kayre, to help translate some of the dialogue from VHS copies of the film. Morrison remembers her calling him into her office to listen over and over to bits of dialogue that neither of them could understand because of the poor audio quality and the thick Liverpool accents.

The 1987 VHS video cassette
One thing to consider when Bill Morrison completes his comic book, is that if he still bases his story and drawings on the 1987 VHS cassette edition of the film, there are going to be discrepancies, as there are in fact two versions of the film. Near the end of the film, the original Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are released (thanks to the hole carried in Ringo's pocket from the Sea of Holes) and Ringo rescues Jeremy. The Beatles then have a rematch with the four-headed Meanie dog, singing "Hey Bulldog", with the Beatles victorious once again. That latter scene was shown at the film premiere in England but when the film was released worldwide, the scene was cut out and replaced by a short dynamic battle scene to reach a lower running time. The 1987 video cassette was based on the later print of the film, and had the "Beatles to battle" scene instead of the "Hey Bulldog" scene. The 1999 re-release restored the "Hey Bulldog" scene back into the film. More about those differences here.

As he recalls, Morrison was given little input on the direction to take on the project, back in the day.
"I remember doing a little sample drawing to see if I had the style down, but I believe that was more for my sake than theirs. In fact, I don’t recall if I ever showed them that drawing. I do remember doing the cover first, because they were going to print it as a poster. Remember when Dark Horse had those promotional newspaper comics that were distributed at comic shops? It was going to be printed full-size on the back of one of those."

Sample page in "psychedelic" style, from Morrison's book.
"I don’t remember Dark Horse giving me any direction regarding style. It just seemed to be understood that I would be as faithful to the film as possible. I do recall that Dark Horse Publisher Mike Richardson loaned me his personal copy of the original Gold Key Yellow Submarine comic from 1968 for reference. I was excited about doing the first really faithful adaptation of the film. Not to take anything away from the original Gold Key adaptation, but it was obviously done well before the movie was completed. Aspects of the story are different and it’s apparent that the artist (Paul S. Newman, 1924-1999) had only preliminary designs to work from, and some characters hadn’t even been designed yet."

"I also found a copy of a Yellow Submarine book with pictures from the film. I really wanted badly to capture the look of the film. As a Beatles fan myself, I approached it from a fan point of view and tried to bury my own style (whatever that is!)."

"As for the design, I thought about the film and how psychedelic it is. I wanted to translate that onto the page beyond just what I depicted in each panel. So I found inspiration in the black light posters I used to cover my bedroom walls with. I designed the opening Pepperland pages very much like psychedelic posters."

Regular "basic and dull" panels with Ringo in Liverpool. From Morrison's book.

"Then the Liverpool scene with Ringo is pretty basic and dull. But when he and Fred start to assemble the other Beatles one by one, the page design starts getting weird and psychedelic again. I always felt that some of the pages could have had a second life as a black light poster book."

"I completed 26 pages, pencil and ink, and I believe Nathan had ten or so pages colored. I think Chris had most of the 26 pages lettered, too," Morrison said. "From what I understand, the executive at Apple Records who oversees the Beatles merchandise had a change of heart. I heard that he only wanted to do really high-class merchandise for this roll out and he suddenly decided that comic books didn’t qualify. He pulled out of the deal and left [Dark Horse Publisher] Mike Richardson holding the bag. And Dark Horse paid me for every bit of my work! He’s a real mensch, that Mike. Another story I heard was that George Harrison felt that because his company was also named Dark Horse, people may think that he was the producer of the comic. If it was bad, he’d get blamed for it. But I think that was just a rumor."

Preview from the upcoming comic book, No panels, but circles on this page.
Finally, the time has come for Morrison to complete his comic book. The deal between Apple Corps Ltd. and Titan Comics was negotiated by Bravado International, which handles licensing for the Beatles in North America. In addition to the Yellow Submarine comic adaptation, Titan's collectibles arm Titan Merchandise will also be releasing a line of Titans vinyl collectibles based on the movie. The "All Together Now" collection features two versions of the band, as well as Blue Meanies, the Apple Bonker and the Four-Headed Bulldog, and will hit stores later this month. "We’re thrilled to be publishing The Beatles: Yellow Submarine for the 50th Anniversary of this fantastic movie," Chris Teather, publishing director at Titan Comics said. "We can’t wait for Beatles fans to experience this official adaptation."

This story puts together text from CBR.com and Hollywood Reporter.

An anniversary edition of the film itself is not on the cards, as a 2012 release on Blu-ray as well as DVD still is in the shops.


PRESS RELEASE

Titan Comics is excited to announce a deal with Apple Corps Ltd to publish an official illustrated adaptation of The Beatles’ iconic animated film, Yellow Submarine.  Due to hit stores in 2018 to tie-in with the 50th Anniversary of the release of the movie. The deal was brokered by Bravado International, The Beatles’ North American licensing agent.

The Beatles: Yellow Submarine movie (originally released in 1968) is an animated musical fantasy film inspired by the music of The Beatles. In the film, Paul, John, George and Ringo agree to accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music-hating Blue Meanies.

Directed by animation producer George Dunning, the film received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Since its original release, the movie has become a cornerstone of contemporary popular culture and has inspired generations of award-winning animators.

Titan’s official illustrated adaptation of The Beatles: Yellow Submarine is written and illustrated by Bill Morrison – writer and artist from The Simpsons Comics. As a huge fan of The Beatles, this has been a labor of love for Bill, twenty years in the making.

“We’re thrilled to be publishing The Beatles: Yellow Submarine for the 50th Anniversary of this fantastic movie,” said Chris Teather, Publishing Director at Titan Comics. “We can’t wait for Beatles fans to experience this official adaptation.”

The Beatles: Yellow Submarine Official illustrated adaptation from Titan is due to hit stores in 2018.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Paul's One on One tour continues

From Miami 7/7-17, photo: Al Diaz, Miami Herald
Paul McCartney's "One on One" tour continues after a couple of months off the road. The new part of the tour started in Miami, Florida on Ringo's birthday, which prompted Paul to dedicate "Birthday" to both Ringo and Paul's late dad, James.
In an interview prior to the show, Paul had promised two-three surprises, and these were probably "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Paul had sergeant stripes on his jacket, see photo), "I Wanna Be Your Man" (usually a Ringo song) and possibly "Love Me Do"?

The set list:

1. A Hard Day’s Night
2. Save Us
3. Can’t Buy Me Love
4. Letting Go
5. Temporary Secretary
6. Let Me Roll It
7. I’ve Got a Feeling
8. My Valentine
9. Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
10. Maybe I’m Amazed
11. We Can Work It Out
12. In Spite of All the Danger
13. You Won’t See Me
14. Love Me Do
15. And I Love Her
16. Blackbird
17. Here Today
18. Queenie Eye
19. New
20. The Fool on the Hill
21. Lady Madonna
22. FourFiveSeconds
23. Eleanor Rigby
24. I Wanna Be Your Man
25. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
26. Something
27. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
28. Band on the Run
29. Back in the U.S.S.R.
30. Let It Be
31. Live and Let Die
32. Hey Jude

Encores:
33. Yesterday
34. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
35. Hi, Hi, Hi
36. Birthday
37. Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End

The songs divide up like this: 24 from The Beatles, 1 from The Quarry Men, 3 from the last studio album (New, 2013) and 4 more from the solo albums, 6 from Wings, 1 from Rihanna. No fans were asked up on the stage during this concert. The soundcheck went like this:

1. Jam
2. Matchbox
3. Flaming Pie
4. All My Loving
5. C Moon
6. Let ’em In
7. Alligator
8. Things We Said Today
9. Ram On
10. Midnight Special
11. Lady Madonna
12.  Lady Madonna

Photo: Al Diaz, Miami Herald
A slideshow with more photos from Miami can be found here.

The tour continues tonight in Tampa, Florida. This is how the rest of the tour looks like, as of now:

JULY
7: Miami, Florida – American Airlines Arena
10: Tampa, Florida – Amalie Arena
13: Duluth, Georgia – Infinite Energy Arena
15: Bossier City, Louisiana – CenturyLink Center
17: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Chesapeake Energy Center
19: Wichita, Kansas – INTRUST Bank Arena
21: Des Moines, Iowa – Wells Fargo Arena
23: Omaha, Nebraska – CenturyLink Center
25: Tinley Park, Illinois – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

Followed by a break of a month and a half, perhaps a good time to release the upcoming solo album?

SEPTEMBER
11: Newark, New Jersey – Prudential Center
12: Newark, New Jersey – Prudential Center
15: New York, New York – Madison Square Garden
17: New York, New York – Madison Square Garden
19: Brooklyn, New York – Barclays Center
21: Brooklyn, New York – Barclays Center
23: Syracuse, New York – Carrier Dome
26: Uniondale, New York – Nassau Coliseum
27: Uniondale, New York – Nassau Coliseum

OCTOBER
1: Detroit, Michigan – Little Caesars Arena
2: Detroit, Michigan – Little Caesars Arena

Goodbye North-America - hello South America:

13: Porto Alegre, Brazil - Estádio Beira-Rio
15: São Paulo, Brazil - Allianz Parque
17: Belo Horizonte,Brazil - Mineirão Stadium
20: Salvador, Brazil - Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova
24: Colombia - Atanasio Girardot Stadium
28: Mexico City, Mexico - Estadio Azteca

Time off in November, well so far no dates announced. Finally it's time for a belated visit to New Zealand and Australia - countries not visited by Paul since the "New World Tour" back in 1993. A couple of concerts planned for Melbourne fourteen years ago were cancelled, so it's about time he made up for this. The Australian dates sold well, so a couple of extra dates were added after the first shows sold out very quickly.

DECEMBER
2: Perth, Australia, nib Stadium
5: Melbourne, Australia - AAMI Park
6: Melbourne, Australia - AAMI Park
9: Brisbane, Australia - Suncorp Stadium
11: Sydney, Australia - Qudos Bank Arena
12: Sydney, Australia - Qudos Bank Arena
16: Auckland, New Zealand - Mt Smart Stadium

Friday, 7 July 2017

Ringo's new album announced

Ringo's new album is called "Give More Love", out Sep 15.
Birthday boy Ringo Starr's (77) new album "Give More Love" will be released on September 15, 2017. Recorded at his home studio in Los Angeles, Give More Love has 10 new tracks featuring collaborations with friends including: We’re On The Road Again - featuring Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather; Laughable - co-written and performed with Peter Frampton as well as Benmont Tench, Timothy B Schmidt, Richard Page and Amy Keys; Show Me The Way co-written and performed with Steve Lukather and with Paul McCartney; Speed of Sound co-written with Richard Marx and featuring Steve Lukather, Peter Frampton and Nathan East; Standing Still - co- written with Gary Burr; King of the Kingdom - including performances by Dave Stewart and Edgar Winter; Electricity - co-written with Glen Ballard and featuring Joe Walsh and Don Was; So Wrong For So Long - co written and performed with Dave Stewart; Shake It Up - co written and performed with Gary Nicholson and including Don Was and Edgar Winter. Also, four old songs are included in new versions, including the "White album" song, "Don't Pass Me By". Another re-do is "Back Off Boogaloo", which he already re-did before, on his "Stop and Smell the Roses" album in 1981. This version of "Back Off Boogaloo" is based on the original recording Ringo made when he wrote the song. He recentlty discovered the tape when he moved houses. The other three bonus tracks are collaborations based on performances from Starr’s 2016 Peace & Love Birthday event. Alberta Cross performed "You Can’t Fight Lightning" and Vandaveer performed "Photograph" and "Don’t Pass Me By". Starr loved their renditions and asked them to each record them for his new album, also adding his own vocals.
There will be a physical CD as well as a downloadable album, and a vinyl edition will be available about a week after the CD, according to Music Direct.

Tracklist

1. We're On The Road Again (With Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather)
2. Laughable (with Peter Frampton, Benmont Tench, Timothy B Schmidt, Richard Page & Amy Keys)
3. Show Me The Way (With Steve Lukather & Paul McCartney)
4. Speed Of Sound (With Richard Marx, Steve Lukather, Peter Frampton & Nathan East
5. Standing Still (With Gary Burr)
6. King Of The Kingdom (With Dave Stewart & Edgar Winter )
7. Electricity (Joe Walsh & Don Was)
8. So Wrong For So Long (With Dave Stewart)
9. Shake It Up (With Gary Nicholson, Don Was & Edgar Winter)
10. Give More Love (with Gary Nicholson, Timothy B Schmidt, Richard Page & Gregg Bissonette)
11. Back Off Boogaloo (Re-do)
12. Don't Pass Me By (Re-do)
13. You Can't Fight Lightning (Re-do with Alberta Cross)
14. Photograph (Re-do with Vandaveer)

Pre-order links:

Amazon (UK)

The title track is available for streaming from today at http://amzn.to/2uRylVO

Friday, 30 June 2017

McCartney and Sony/ATV settle

"I travel on this train regularly, twice a week - so I suppose I've some rights!"
McCartney was recently photographed by a fellow passenger en route from London to East Sussex.
A dispute arose between Paul McCartney and Sony/ATV in January, regarding the returning of rights back to McCartney of his co-compositions with John Lennon during the Beatles era has now been settled out of court.
Awaiting the outcome of a similar case with the 1980's group Duran Duran, Sony/ATV was not willing to give McCartney assurance that the rights would be referred back to him, starting Oct 5 2018 with the rights to "Love Me Do". McCartney went to court with this, and in March the parties were reported to await the ruling of the Duran Duran case.
Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that McCartney and Sony/ATV have resolved this issue themselves.

"The parties have resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement and jointly request that the Court enter the enclosed proposed order dismissing the above-referenced action without prejudice," writes McCartney attorney Michael Jacobs in a Thursday letter to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos.

The details of the deal are unclear, but the order specifies that the New York federal court will "enforce the terms of the parties’ Settlement Agreement, should a dispute arise."

Attorneys for both parties declined further comment on the settlement.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

See our earlier blog post from January about the issue.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Rajbun's Story on YouTube

The elusive "The Bunbury Tails" CD from 1992
One of the rarest of George Harrison's songs is "Ride Rajbun" from the 1992 CD (and cassette) "The Bunbury Tails". Harrison co-wrote the song's lyrics with Bunbury Tails creator David English. The eponymous Rajbun was a character in the animated television series, one of a team of cricket-playing rabbits – in this case, from Bangalore in India. Late last year, the series was uploaded on YouTube, something we just discovered. The episode entitled "Rajbun's Story", featuring the song can be found here. The song is only briefly heard in the background a couple of times.
The composition is in the style of a nursery rhyme or children's song, while the all-Indian instrumentation on the recording recalls some of Harrison's compositions for the Beatles during 1966–68.

Cassette edition
Harrison recorded "Ride Rajbun" in March 1988, between the release of his successful comeback album, Cloud Nine, and his formation of the Traveling Wilburys. Harrison's nine-year-old son Dhani and English accompanied him on the recording, as fellow vocalists, and Indian musician and composer Ravi Shankar provided the opening sitar part.

Having previously been averse to most team sports, George Harrison came to appreciate cricket while recording his 1987 comeback album, Cloud Nine, with fellow musicians Jeff Lynne and Elton John, both fans of the game. Author Ian Inglis suggests that Harrison's involvement in The Bunbury Tails – a children's animated TV series about a group of heroic, sports-playing rabbits – partly resulted from his friendship with Eric Clapton, another cricket fan and an occasional player for the Bunbury Cricket Club. The latter was a charity-fundraising team founded in 1986 by writer David English, whose Bunbury Tails cartoon books inspired the TV show. According to English, he suggested to Harrison that he contribute a song to the series while they were playing cricket in the grounds of Friar Park, Harrison's home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. English says he likened the "Bunburys" to Harrison's idea for a semi-fictional band, the Traveling Wilburys, which Harrison would soon form with Lynne, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison.

Financed by the Bee Gees, production on The Bunburys Tails began in early 1988, although it would not air on British television until 1992. The series was directed by Bob Godfrey, who had worked on the Beatles' 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. Harrison's participation followed his work on various film soundtracks, particularly for releases by his company HandMade Films, during the five years preceding his return with Cloud Nine.

Harrison wrote the song "Ride Rajbun" about one of the show's characters, Rajbun, a rabbit who originated from the Indian city of Bangalore. In English's recollection, the night after he had made the request, Harrison called him at home in London and played the tune down the phone. The pair met the next day and co-wrote the song's lyrics.

Composition
Musically, "Ride Rajbun" is in the style of what author Alan Clayson calls "George's Indo-pop productions" for the Beatles, "Love You To" and "The Inner Light", released in 1966 and 1968 respectively. The lyrics take the form of a traditional children's song, author Simon Leng writes, with its refrain sung in rounds, similar to "London's Burning".

In the chorus, Harrison urges Rajbun to ride on his elephant Ellie, away from his home in India and embrace his destiny:

Ride Rajbun, ride Rajbun
Seek your fame and speak your fortune
Go on, Rajbun, ride your Ellie
Cross the mountains, through the valleys.


Recording
Harrison recorded "Ride Rajbun" in late March 1988, at his Friar Park studio, FPSHOT, and at an unnamed studio in London. The song was his first to feature only Indian instrumentation since "The Inner Light", recorded in Bombay in January 1968. The sitar introduction to "Ride Rabjan" – or alap, in the Indian classical tradition – was performed by Ravi Shankar. It has been said that Harrison visited Shankar at the London hotel where the sitarist was staying and taped Shankar's intro in his hotel room. Harrison otherwise played all the sitar parts on the song. As with Harrison's appearance on "Friar Park", a track on Shankar's album Tana Mana (1987), "Ride Rajbun" marked a rare collaboration between the two musicians in the years since their joint North American tour at the end of 1974.

Harrison sang the choruses with his son Dhani, and English (in the role of Katman) provided what Leng calls a "cameo vocal" part. According to author Bill Harry, Ray Cooper played percussion on the track; in English's description, all the other contributors were "top Indian musicians", none of whom are credited by name. Besides sitar, the Indian instruments on the recording include tabla, shehnai and bansuri (flute). From writing the song to the finished recording, work on "Ride Rajbun" lasted for four days. Harrison then left for Los Angeles, a trip that resulted in the formation of the Traveling Wilburys.

After the television show was broadcast in 1992, on Britain's Channel 4 network, Polydor Records included the song on its soundtrack album from the series. The UK-only album was released on 5 October that year, on the same day that Harrison joined guitarist Gary Moore on stage at London's Royal Albert Hall. While Harrison made a number of concert appearances throughout 1992, this period marked the end of his successful return to full-time music-making, after Cloud Nine and two albums with the Traveling Wilburys. Although he would continue to record privately as a solo artist, "Ride Rajbun" was the last new Harrison song to be commercially released until "Horse to the Water" in 2001.

VHS Video cassette
The "Rajbun's Story" episode was included on the home video of the series. With the Bunbury Tails album and video only available in the UK for a short time, "Ride Rajbun" has become one of Harrison's rarest recordings. At the time of writing, a copy of the original 1992 CD is available on ebay, at a "buy-it-now" price of US $279.50.


Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Magic Christian Blu-ray

Blu-ray edition of The Magic Christian
Yesterday, "The Magic Christian" was released for the first time on blu-ray in the U.K. by Fabulous Films. The 1969 film starrs Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. John Cleese also appears in a cameo, as do many other famous people, including John and Yoko. The film has been out many times over the years on video cassettes and DVD, but this is the first time on blu-ray in Europe. In the USA, "The Magic Christian" was released on Blu-ray in 2013 by Olive Films.

Amazon's description: This zany British comedy finds a homeless hobo (Ringo Starr) being adopted by the world s richest man, Sir Guy Grand (Peter Sellers). Setting sail on the luxury liner The Magic Christian, Sir Grand sets out to test the limit of human avarice. Wilfred Hyde White plays the drunken captain, Yul Brynner a chanteuse transvestite along with notable star appearances from John Cleese as the director of Sotheby's, Raquel Welch, Roman Polanski and Richard Attenborough.

Directed by Joseph McGrath from a Terry Southern script, the film clocks in at 88 minutes. This is a PAL release for region B/2 blu-ray players.

While were asleep at the wheel, Ringo's first non-Beatles film, "Candy" was released on Blu-ray in the USA last May, in a brand new 2K HD restoration.
"Candy", filmed in 1967 and released in 1968 - out on Blu-ray in 2016.
Candy Christian (Swedish actress Ewa Aulin) is an innocent yet luscious high school student and when fate sends her on a far-out journey of sexual discovery - Candy on her trippy travels, encounters lust and lunacy at the hands of a drunken poet (Richard Burton), a Mexican gardener (Ringo Starr), a patriotic general (Walter Matthau), a mad surgeon (James Coburn), and a mystic guru (Marlon Brando). Can the world's most stalwart members get their own sweet piece of Candy? Or will a final freaky twist swallow her whole forever? John Astin, Charles Aznavour, John Huston, Elsa Martinelli, Florinda Bolkan, Anita Pallenberg, Enrico Maria Salerno and boxing legend Sugar Ray Robinson co-star in this notoriously sexy '60s satire, featuring music by The Byrds and Steppenwolf and based on the novel by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg. Screenplay by Buck Henry and directed by actor Christian Marquand.

It's funny how film-collecting Beatles fans will still have to collect some films from one country and some from another to keep their collections up-to-date. Not to mention, having to own several blu-ray players or both PAL and NTSC compatible television sets. And no, these aren't films that will be on Netflix or HBO etc anytime soon, we think.

Paul McCartney talks about the White Album tracks

Published June 25, 2017 on Youtube, here is a 1968 interview with Paul McCartney, where he comments on the tracks on the then new, self-titled Beatles double album release. The interview was done by an Australian radio announcer, Tony MacArthur, who had a regular Beatles Show on Radio 4BC in Brisbane during the late sixties and early seventies.
Although mainly covering his own compositions (after mentioning that it was for Lennon to comment on his own songs), Paul did mention Lennon's "Happiness is a warm gun" and "Good night" (sung by Ringo).

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Starr and McCartney reunion on DVD

Finally, a DVD from the Changes Begin Within benefit concert featuring Paul and Ringo.
On September 1, 2017, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release the CHANGES BEGIN WITHIN Concert on DVD in the USA[MSRP $15.98]. Featuring sets from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, with each performing some of their best-known classics from The Beatles to Wings and beyond, and reuniting onstage for the finale, this incredible charity show also featured many other world-famous musicians. Previously released in Japan in May, several copies of this DVD (and Blu-ray) have shifted on channels such as ebay, lately.
The concert was first broadcast on TV by channel Thirteen in 2012, three years after the show, but bootlegs of audience films started circulating right after the concert had taken place. This is what's on the new DVD:

Natural Blues - Moby, Betty LaVette, TM Choir
Rise - Eddie Vedder
Under Pressure - Eddie Vedder & Ben Harper
My Sweet Lord - Sheryl Crow
Hurdy Gurdy - Donovan & Jim James
Isle of Islay - Donovan and Paul Horn
It Don't Come Easy - Ringo Starr
Boys - Ringo Starr
Yellow Submarine - Ringo Starr
Baby You Can Drive My Car - Paul McCartney
Jet - Paul McCartney
Got To Get You Into My Life - Paul McCartney
Let It Be - Paul McCartney
Here Today - Paul McCartney
Band On The Run - Paul McCartney
With A Little Help From My Friends - Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr
Cosmically Conscious - All members
I Saw Her Standing There - All members


This was the first of several concerts reunions of Paul and Ringo for seven years, several more were to follow in the years that has gone by after this show - but none of these available commercially for home cinema users. Before this, Paul and Ringo had briefly participated in a Hey Jude singalong at the Hollywood Bowl on Earth Day in 1993, and then they were both on stage at the Concert For George in 2002.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Ringo 2017

Looks like Ringo's new CD is finished.
Yesterday, Richard Marx tweeted this photo of Ringo Starr holding what seems to be his upcoming new studio album. Looking, closer, it appears to bear the title "Ringo 2017". We recall that one of Ringo's earlier albums was "Ringo 2012". What happened to all those catchy titles and snappy remarks from old Richy? "Goodnight Vienna" and "Ringo's Rotogravure" were far more intriguing album titles. Anyway, as usual, Ringo gets by with a little help from his friends, and one of his friends, Paul McCartney, has contributed on this record. No release date announced as of yet.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Geoff Emerick and Richard Lush: Recording Sgt Pepper


Geoff Emerick talks to the ABC’s 7.30 program about working with The Beatles and the 50th anniversary of the landmark Sgt Pepper’s album.


Richard Lush talks to reporter Andrew Probyn about working with The Beatles and the 50th anniversary of the landmark Sgt Pepper’s album. Read more here.

Sgt Pepper's release date

June 1 or May 26?
On 1 June 2017, most people around the UK will be celebrating the 50th anniversary since the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’s a little-known fact however, that the release date was actually brought forward by EMI to the 26 May, 1967.

The iconic album was originally scheduled for release on 1 June in the UK, but on the 26 May 1967, Sgt. Pepper was given a rushed release. The US release followed on 2 June.

Leading Beatles authority Mark Lewisohn confirms: "The UK release of Sgt Pepper was brought forward from June 1 to May 26 1967, and I know that copies were in some shops in London the day before this, May 25".

Confirming the rush-release is this news item from NME on June 3, 1967.

Of course, this gives the Jimi Hendrix Experience plenty of time to rehearse the title track for their June 4 performance.
Published in NME June 3,1967 but compiled from data with a Tuesday May 30 deadline.
In 2017, according to a mid week update from The British Chart Company, Sgt Pepper (24,385 sales as of yesterday) is currently at No.1 in the albums chart, ahead of Ed Sheeran’s ÷, which is at No.2 on 16,952 sales. Rag’N’Bone Man’s Human is at No.3 on 11,702 sales, with The Charlatans Different Days a new entry at No.4 on 10,190 sales. Harry Styles’ self-titled debut is at No.5 having sold 6,977 copies so far this week. These figures were all published yesterday.

Still haunting the Fabs: Engelbert Humperdinck
Over at Amazon.com, the four constellations of the Sgt Pepper album are all in the top 10 best selling CD and vinyl albums list, with the super deluxe at #1.

Sgt. Pepper's Musical Revolution - clip

Howard Goodall has written and presents the programme.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the release of "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles on 1 June 1967, the BBC will celebrate with programmes across radio and TV. The centrepiece is BBC Two’s, Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution, a new documentary from Huge Films, directed by Francis Hanly, which will present the album as you have never heard it before.
Considered by critics and music lovers to be one of the greatest records ever made and a major cultural moment not only for this country but globally, the album features classic songs including, A Day In The Life, With A Little Help From My Friends, She’s Leaving Home and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Whatever your music tastes, if it was written after 1 June 1967 then more likely than not it will have been influenced, one way or another, by Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The record’s sheer ambition in its conception, composition, arrangements and ground-breaking recording techniques sets it apart from others of the time, making it a landmark in 20th century music.


The programme-makers have been given unprecedented access to The Beatles’ own archive, photographs and multi-track studio tapes. It will include extracts from material never before accessible outside of Abbey Road, studio chats between the band, out-takes, isolated instrumental and vocal tracks as well as passages from alternative takes of these world-famous songs.


The programme is written and presented by one of Britain’s leading composers and most admired music broadcasters, Howard Goodall. He will be getting to grips with the album’s musical nuts and bolts and will be able to give an insider’s view into the making of this landmark album and reveal his own insights into why it was so revolutionary. Using visually-striking set dressing, projections and props the film will be conjuring up the multi-coloured, phantasmagorical world of Sgt. Pepper. Following on chronologically from the 2016 documentary Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years, Sgt Pepper’s Musical Revolution will show what happened when the studio took over from the stage and the screams.

"Sgt. Pepper's Musical Revolution" was produced by Apple Corps Ltd.
To help assess the phenomenon of Sgt. Pepper the programme will find out why the album came to be made. It will rediscover The Beatles at a pivotal moment in their career - both as a band and as four individuals, each with his own musical tastes, and ambitions. Having given up touring, they poured their energies into the studio: Sgt. Pepper, as Paul McCartney remarked, would be the performance.Sgt. Pepper's Musical Revolution features material previously unaccessible outside of Abbey Road Studios, including recordings of studio chatter and isolated instrumental and vocal tracks. The documentary also traces the evolution of other key tracks on the LP, along with the band members' personal stories and biographical connections to the music.

UK: BBC 2 on 3 June at 9pm to 10pm
USA: PBS June 3, 2017 at 8/7c. (Check local listings)