Archive for YouTube

I Want To Hold Your Hand & Going Global

Posted in Beatles in 12 Songs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2013 by fred6368

The Beatles in Twelve Songs (2)

It was 50 years go today that the Beatles taught America to play, with the biggest prime-time TV show audience ever (73 million viewers) on the Ed Sullivan show, February 9th 1964. In the UK I Want To Hold Your Hand had been the cherry on the cake of their annus mirabilis 1963 where it went to Number One in the charts by knocking off their own She Loves You, which had been in the Top 3 ever since it was released, and had just returned to the top after Beatlemania had gone national. In the USA I Want To Hold Your Hand popped a nations cherry and they laid down begging for the first British Invasion since 1812. This is how The Beatles woke them up and how America succumbed

Surprising huh? Quite a flat performance of a song tooled by McCartney to be a hit single written specifically to break the American market whilst he was living in the house of his girlfriend Jane Asher. Asher’s father was a Harley Street doctor, and her musical mum, Margaret Elliott, was a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music where she had taught producer George Martin the oboe. Frustrated by Capitol Records not promoting, or even releasing, early Beatles singles, manager Brian Epstein had asked Lennon and McCartney to write a song specifically to be a hit in the USA, and it was Paul who did. Jane’s brother Peter Asher was the first to hear the song, played on piano, as his room was opposite Paul’s  at 57 Wimpole Street London. This is what a made to order US hit record sounds like

Peter Asher’s bedroom proved to be amazingly strategically placed. He became good friends with McCartney, showing him round London and later became head of Apple Records, signing James Taylor with whom he Continue reading

Living in the Material World

Posted in George Harrison with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2011 by fred6368

Martin does George a Treat

Martin Scorsese’s film about George Harrison, Living in the Material World, is a beautifully crafted confection of refreshingly unused archive footage alongside material that you know so well you’ve forgotten how to look at it. Scorsese grabs the material by the scruff of its visual neck and makes you marvel at it again; retelling afresh that wondrous tale about scouse upstarts from the provinces changing the world. It showed on HBO in the USA on October 5th & 6th, on BBC 2 Arena in the Autumn and has just been released on DVD and you should see it.

Just like No Direction Home(!) featuring Bob Dylan, Scorsese presents an old story using old material with intelligence and movie smarts, fired by his own passion for the music and personal affection for the protagonists. Allied with his long-established ability to create memorable musical documentaries, well he was a cameraman at Woodstock, he choreographs George’s own Last Waltz with skilful edits, unexpected links and new interviews. Scorsese has found unseen outtakes and previously rejected photographic stills, and links them to well-known clips of the Beatles where he often zooms in so tightly on them playing live that he creates a kind of grainy simulation of 3D, adding an unexpected immediacy to old stock. With both Harrison’s and the Beatles music digitally re-mastered he makes sure that the sound is fresh and loud, allowing him to present George Harrison to us anew, both visually and aurally, opening out fresh interpretations of the ‘quiet Beatle; quiet blunt apparently. 

Revealing interviews from Astrid Kirchherr, Klaus Voorman, Patti Boyd and especially Eric Clapton (“of course I wanted Continue reading

Beatle George

Posted in George Harrison with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2011 by fred6368

Here Comes George Harrison

The Group Genius known as TheBeatles means John, Paul, George & Ringo acting together in harmony to create and record great music. They became recording artists of distinction when, with the support of George Martin, they got their group songwriting, arranging and recording right with Please, Please Me; with the help of their friends. George Martin was moved to say, “gentlemen you have just recorded your first number 1.’ Curiously they had most of these elements in place, including three part harmonies, five years earlier when George Harrison passed the audition with Lennon on a bus back in 1957 by playing Raunchy. I first heard him in 1963 when a friend played me the Beatles first album Please Please Me and George sang Do You Want to Know a Secret?  

Back then we knew George as the lead guitarist in the breakthrough MerseyBeat group the Beatles; so we looked to what he was interested in as a guitarist. But George was unusual as a lead guitarist, he didnt play lead guitar lines, like Hank Marvin in the Shadows or, his later best friend, Eric Clapton in Cream. He played lead guitar in songs and helped amplify the quality of Lennon and McCartney compositions. And, just like John and Paul, he spent the fifties in love with Rock and Roll and, like them, helped overturn the classics. There is a playlist of this post on YouTube and this video has great pix of George; based on a live recording at the BBC with an interview by Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman. George can Roll Over Beethoven;   Continue reading

Happy Birthday Ringo

Posted in Ringo Starr with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2010 by fred6368

Peace & Love Tribute to Ringo @ 70

So a drummer who I didn’t really rate at first, because he was part of a song-based band and didn’t show off, went on to become arguably the best rock drummer at supporting the song. Given that he had Lennon and McCartney, then Harrison, to support you have to say that the quality he was given to work with was pretty amazing. But here’s the thing, he improved the songs, rounded them out, supported them, made them work as recorded songs in the studio. Here are 13 Reasons why Ringo is a great drummer, and a good Ringo biography. Lennon called him “the heart of The Beatles” George said that without him it was “like a car with three wheels” and Paul said “he’s just a loveable, interesting intelligent bloke. I say that after a Hard Days Night, Tomorrow Never Knows. Have a great one Ringo (and the burger after the Hard Rock show). Here he is with Paul and George playing something from the fifties; Raunchy;

Rain; What would I put down as I my favourite Ringo track? Several actually and they change from time to time. The first time I noticed Ringo was in the intro to She Loves You; I just love a good drum roll in the intro. And in the great Rain (only a B-side!) he wallops those skins from the off, even louder when remastered. (Warning contains Volume!). Rain; More Ringo Drumming; Continue reading

Beatles Psychedelia 1966-67

Posted in Beatles History, Open Context Model of Learning with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2010 by fred6368

Beatles Creativity (4) All You Need is Heutagogy

Being settled in London The Beatles had fed their creativity in 1964 & 65 with a series of collaborations with their musical peers. They were now rooted in London’s social life with Ringo’s legendary flat at 34 Montagu Square their main hangout outside of Abbey Road studio 2. London in the early sixties was exploding with the energy of new post-war ideas that revolted out of art schools into style, fashion and design. This was exemplified by Mary Quant, miniskirts, Bazaar, photography, magazines, beatniks, Viper skiffle, rock n roll, clubs, Coke, uppers, music and working-class cool. For the very first time, in the country that had invented trade unions, the working class were being celebrated for their cool rather than their militancy. Terence Stamp, Michael Caine, Duffy, Donovan and Bailey along with Twiggy and others were democratising the cultural industries. The Beatles took the next step which was to re-invent their own cultural industry, music, through the love they made with their creative use of their studio craft, collaborations (Martin’s arrangements & Geoff’s engineering), Paul’s music hall melodies, John’s performance art decision-making, Ringo’s rhythmic support, George’s ego-less experiments and new songs; psychedelia. Starting with a “song” so iconic even Dan Draper (Mad Men) listens to it. Tomorrow Never Knows  of course! There is a continuous YouTube Playlist of this post here. Continue reading

Genius meets Genius!

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2010 by fred6368

A Collection of Beatles Jokes and Spoofs

Anthropologists in the year 3126 discover various artefacts which allow them to piece together who The Beatles were, who their members were and what they achieved historically. Gives you a whole new respect for Anthropologists and Ed Sullivan. Enjoy; Continue reading

Love

Posted in Love with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by fred6368

Personally I prefer the mashup originality of Love to the disinterred perfection of the Remasters. The difference is fun! Whilst I am glad to have the Remasters I like the remix irreverence of Love and the story that Cirque du Soleil try to tell in the Las Vegas show. When I heard the album I thought, oh this is reclaiming the Beatles as a shared nostalgic experience. The way I Want to Hold You Hand is screamingly introduced is set up to reproduce their impact on the USA in 1964. Starting with “Get Back” the opening section is explicitly full of nostalgia and, in the show, John’s song about his mother Julia segues into I Am The Walrus which plays out to a Mary Poppins tableaux reflecting the Dickensian London out of which the Beatles thrillingly emerged. Post-modernism; don’t you just love it when music and history are in a mash-up! Continue reading