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Updated July 2010
   
 


February 16, 2009 Ringo to join Paul at Radio City Music Hall in April

Ringo Starr will be joining Paul McCartney as one of the featured performers at the historic benefit concert to be held at Radio City Music Hall on April 4, 2009.

It is now also being rumored that Mike Love of the Beach Boys might also be appearing.

This concert will be a once in a lifetime event whose purpose is to provide financial support to the David Lynch Foundation's international initiative to teach one million children the Transcendental Meditation technique, and create perpetual peace and prosperity for all. Paul and Ringo will appear with a host of other famous musicians and friends including Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow and Paul Horn.

January 12, 2008 Jackson wants to end feud with McCartney

London (IANS): Pop star Michael Jackson wants to end an almost 24-year-long feud with legend Sir Paul McCartney by leaving his share of the Beatles back catalogue to him in his will.

According to mirror.co.uk, McCartney was upset with Jackson when he outbid him in 1985 to win the ownership of the 350 million-pound publishing rights for the whole Lennon-McCartney songbook.

But Jackson who is reportedly struggling with a serious genetic lung disease wants to make peace. He has drawn up a new will where McCartney will get control of the Beatles songbook when Jackson dies.

Sources close to Jackson said he always regretted having a falling out with McCartney. A source added: "Michael is worried about his health so he decided it was time to look at his finances. Most of his estate has been divided up between his three children. But Michael told his lawyers that he was sad as he no longer talks to Sir Paul and said he wanted to make things right."

The source added: "Michael is suffering serious back and leg pain. He spends a lot of time in bed and a wheelchair. He weighs just over seven stone and is very frail. He's also had a nasty bout of emphysema and there have been reports he has another lung disease."


December 25, 2008 MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 4, 2008 Paul McCartney Christmas....

PAUL McCARTNEY has the ideal veggie substitute for Christmas turkey - he eats macaroni cheese with his roast dinner.

The former Beatle, who became a vegetarian in the 1970s, has revealed how he and late wife Linda stumbled upon the recipe during their first attempt at making a meat-free festive feast.

He tells British newspaper the Daily Express, "We had all the trimmings but we needed something to simulate the turkey. So Linda made macaroni cheese. It was good, then she let it stand so it went solid and I was able to slice it. It kind of worked so we called it the macaroni turkey."

October 27th 2008 Phil Spector rants about his relationship with The Beatles ahead of his murder retrial

Hands trembling and eyes watering like a broken main, bonkers record producer Phil Spector lashes out left, right and centre in a bizarre interview.

He is a man with much to say – and a hell of a lot on his mind.

Spector – a legend in the music industry for creating the so-called “wall of sound” – is awaiting retrial in America for the killing of nightclub hostess Lana Clarkson.

Last year a jury failed to reach a decision and a new one has just been selected in LA.

Spector is on a million dollar-bail and could be banged up for life – but that doesn’t seem to be troubling him too much today.

Instead, he seems more concerned with settling old musical scores. Sir Paul McCartney, for one, is unlikely to be high up on his Christmas card list.

Spector was brought to London in 1970 by the Beatles’ manager Allen Klein and was given the task of turning abandoned Get Back sessions into the Let It Be album.

But while he had the backing of John Lennon and George Harrison, McCartney was in two minds – and Spector is scathing about one of Macca’s most famous ballads.

“The Long and Winding Road was a terrible recording when I first heard it,” he says.

“John was playing bass on it with all the wrong notes. There was no snare drum on it – I had to get Ringo in to play.

“It was really awful.”

Tell us what you really feel Phil.

He went on: “Paul was singing like he didn’t believe it, he was kinda mocking it. And John didn’t like the song. That’s why he played bass on it, and he didn’t know the chord changes so he was guessing.

“It was a farce and I had to do everything I could to cover up the mistakes.”

Warming up, Spector says producing the album was the recording job from hell.

“I worked with strangers in a hostile environment, hostile press, hostile people, all Beatle lovers who thought I was taking their Beatles away,” he says. “It was not an enviable task.”

“But I wanted Let It Be to be a great farewell album. I knew they were breaking up, I knew there wouldn’t be a reunion – the public didn’t.

“I was there to make a commercial album because I wanted to sell 12 million albums.

“And the public ended up buying it because I was Mr Commerciality. I wondered how I was going to put it together but I knew I could and I knew there was an album there.

“I don’t think McCartney is very secure that I went there in a few months and did what they couldn’t do in two years with those tapes.

“John was thrilled with what I did and George was thrilled with what I did, and Paul said he loved The Long and Winding Road when it was done.”

But in 2003, Macca brought out Let It Be... Naked which stripped the songs of Spector’s input – and this seems to have stung the producer big time.

He says: “I don’t know, what else could it be, except that it is a bug up his a**e? He waited 35 years to do it, I don’t know why, I don’t care why.

“Whatever the grievance, he has got me mixed up with somebody that gives a s**t.”

His hands shaking, Spector clearly does care – and the man who gave the world classic tunes like Be My Baby and You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ believes he is given far less respect than he deserves.

“I don’t get depressed cos I don’t let myself get depressed,” he says.

“It is a wasted emotion. But I’m concerned with the fact that I haven’t been made a doctorate at a college and Bill Cosby has, even Bob Dylan has.

“I think I have offered more to American culture and music than they have, or as much. George Martin, Paul McCartney are made sirs, Buddy Holly had a stamp, I love him, but he only lived three years in rock’n’roll.”

In the documentary, made by Oscar-winning director Vikram Jayanti, Spector reckons his influence extends way beyond music, and makes the bizarre claim that

 Hollywood legends Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro owe him their careers.

He says that Scorsese used Be My Baby without his permission in one of his earliest films, Mean Streets.

“I had never heard of this Scorsese guy and I called my attorney to get it pulled and he said it was a school project and an unknown director and to just let it go,” says Spector.

“So they told me not to get an injunction because everyone’s career is at stake – so I said they could work it out later. Fast forward to later and Scorsese is giving me the rights to other films and I am in Godfather and Taxi Driver.

“But the bottom line is that day I held Scorsese and De Niro’s career in my hand.”

As for the upcoming retrial for the death of Lana Clarkson, Spector insists people are out to get him.

He describes the judge of the first trial as a “mean son of a bitch” and admits: “I have been ostracised from the industry with this indictment hanging over me. Innocent until proven guilty is no longer a factor.”

The weird Afro-style hairdo which he sported during the trial may have done him few favours – but Spector insists it was (almost) deliberate.

He says: “It took me four-and-a-half hours to get it like that, I woke up at four o’clock in the morning and had to perm it and do everything to it. It was a tribute to Einstein and Beethoven.

“Jay Leno said it looked like I had already been electrocuted. But I didn’t mean to be that comical. We went beyond the extreme and no one pointed it out to me.”

When he is asked how he will cope if he does get sent down for murder, he mumbles: “I’ll be in a jail with Bubba, 6ft 8 Bubba and he’ll be my husband.”

Whatever you say Phil.


October 2, 2008 The Fireman Finds His Voice With Brand New Album Electric Arguments
Album Release Date: 17th November 2008

The Fireman AKA Paul McCartney and Youth

The Fireman - Electric Arguments

Paul McCartney performs in Israel for first time

After a 43-year wait, Paul McCartney performed his first concert in Israel on Thursday, kicking it off with the familiar Beatles' song "Hello, Goodbye" to the joy of tens of thousands of cheering fans.
     
McCartney billed the concert "Friendship First," saying he is on a mission of peace for Israel and the Palestinians.
     
Singing "Give Peace a Chance," he stopped and let the audience sing the chorus alone. He told his fans, "Here tonight you sang it, you want it."
     
After it was officially announced last month, the concert set off a wave of excitement throughout the country, where visits by A-list celebrities are still a novelty. Almost all of Tel Aviv's nightclubs cancelled live entertainment Thursday evening in deference to the rock legend.
     
A crowd made up of Israelis of all ages, estimated at 40,000, cheered McCartney as he performed outdoors in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park on a warm late summer night. Some wore T-shirts with the slogan, "I love Paul."
     
Beatles songs, including an odd Hebrew version of "Yesterday," have been playing virtually non-stop on radio stations for the past week, and newspapers have published numerous articles sharing McCartney's "Words of Wisdom" and describing the "Long and Winding Road" that led to the concert.
     
McCartney was first scheduled to appear with the Beatles in 1965. But in one of the country's most widely repeated tales, an Israeli official supposedly called off the concert for fear it would corrupt the nation's youth. Only in recent weeks, it turns out the story may not have been true.
     
So pervasive is this story that Israel's ambassador in London, Ron Prosor, sent a letter to the surviving members of the band to express regret over the matter.
     
"Israel missed a chance to learn from the most influential musicians of the decade, and the Beatles missed an opportunity to reach out to one of the most passionate audiences in the world," he wrote. He told them the country would like to make it up to them by inviting them to play during this year's celebrations marking Israel's 60th anniversary. Only two of the four Beatles, McCartney and drummer Ringo Starr, are still alive.
     
When McCartney announced plans for Thursday's concert, he acknowledged the ancient brouhaha, saying he was finally coming "43 years after being banned by the Israeli government." He promised to give Israelis "the night they have been waiting decades for."
     
Ahead of the McCartney concert, newspaper columnist Yossi Sarid, son of the Israeli official who allegedly banned the Beatles, went on a campaign to clear his father's name. Sarid claimed his father had nothing to do with the decision, and that it involved a more mundane feud between two Israeli concert promoters.
     
Sarid, reached ahead of the concert, said had not heard from McCartney's people and had no plans to attend the concert. "The tickets are too expensive," he said.
     
The steep price of the tickets, at least by Israeli standards, seemed to be a key reason the show wasn't sold out. Michael Gould, a local trumpeter who says he played with the Beatles as a studio musician on several albums, including Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, said he would have loved to have gone to the show, but simply didn't have the money. Tickets ranged from about $150 to $1500.
     
"I really can't afford it," said Gould, 70. He said he was holding out hope that McCartney might invite him, but said it was unlikely since they only briefly crossed paths four decades ago. "He wouldn't know me even if he fell over me," he said. You know how many people he met?" McCartney's spokesman, Stuart Bell, declined comment.
     
For others, it was worth the price. "He's one of the people I most admire," said Arik Benari, a 25-year-old student who works at Tower Records in Jerusalem. "The event is more important than the money I spend."
    
A small group of Palestinians urged McCartney to call off the show, saying it was supporting the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. A radical Muslim preacher in Lebanon also called on McCartney to cancel the show.
     
During a visit to the biblical town of Bethlehem on Wednesday, McCartney brushed off the criticism.
     
"I get criticized everywhere I go, but I don't listen to them," McCartney said. "I'm bringing a message of peace, and I think that's what the region needs."
     
Hundreds of police and private security guards were deployed at the concert. But police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said there were no concrete threats against the singer, and no extraordinary security precautions were being taken.     

Septemebr 29th 2008 Major Beatles Store Update-Tons of new Beatle Stuff

August 18th 2008 The Beatles 1969

Paul is dead

A NEW take on The Beatles appeared at the city’s Hard Days Night Hotel.

The North John Street hotel’s gallery has bought American artist David O’Keefe’s interpretation of the Fab Four in 1969.

His distinctive vision of the four lads who shook the world is a 48” x 32” giclee - a process of making fine art prints from a digital source using inkjet printing - on canvas.

O’Keeffe, based in Tampa, Florida, has been satirising pop culture for 25 years. His work has appeared in cult magazine Mad, Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated.

August 11th 2008 Sir Paul McCartney takes new love Nancy Shevell on a magical mystery tour of the US

Paul McCartney and his new girlfriend have been on a road trip across America in a 1989 Ford Bronco driving the famous Route 66. Look for the Lost Beatle you might find him.

July 30th 2008 Free "Let it Be"!


A decent home-video version of the Beatles’ “Let It Be.”Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s 1970 documentary, which shows the band squabbling before triumphantly performing atop their company’s London rooftop, hasn’t been in video circulation since low-quality VHS and Laserdisc versions were available in the mid 1980s. It has never been released on DVD.

Every few years there’s talk of a “Let It Be” disc with bonus material culled from the hours and hours of rehearsals and recording sessions filmed by Lindsay-Hogg’s crew. Then…nothing.

It should have come out upon the 2003 release of “Let It Be…Naked,” the Paul McCartney-approved, stripped-down version of the “Let It Be” album. Nope.

In February 2007, Neil Aspinall, who was running the Beatles’ company Apple Corps and has since died of cancer, told Fox News columnist Roger Friedman:“When we got halfway through restoring it, we looked at the outtakes and realized: This stuff is still controversial. It raised a lot of old issues.”

Those issues probably were 1) The movie captures the band lethargically making what generally is regarded as their worst album (though any other band wishes its worst album included such standards as “Let It Be,” “Get Back” and “The Long and Winding Road”), and 2) McCartney comes across as a domineering showboat; he irritates George Harrison with instructions on how to play the guitar solo on “I’ve Got a Feeling” and often flashes his puppy-dog eyes into the camera.

Being enough of a Beatles geek to have read Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt’s “Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ Disaster,” I’m sympathetic to Paul. As the authors show through their detailing of recordings for the film, he was the one trying to keep the band together while John Lennon was indifferent, strung out and almost surgically attached to Yoko Ono, George was so frustrated that he temporarily quit, and Ringo Starr was withdrawn. The movie barely nicks the tip of that iceberg.

But revising history is what DVD bonus footage and directors’ cuts are all about. I tried unsuccessfully to track down Lindsay-Hogg for comment, but I did reach an Apple spokesman who said, "There are no immediate plans for any sort of release of that film." Representatives for McCartney and Starr confirmed this.


Arrgh. The Beatles’ and McCartney’s legacies can survive the exposed warts of “Let It Be.” They survived “Magical Mystery Tour,” after all.

And “Let It Be” features some great moments and that surprise rooftop concert that thrilled and annoyed Londoners while prompting police to go ambling up those stairs. This is rock ‘n’ roll history.

Let it be out.


July 21st 2008 Paul McCartney rocks huge crowd for Quebec City's birthday party!

QUEBEC — Music icon Paul McCartney exploded onto an old battleground Sunday, churning out a song list laden with Beatles tunes to a pumped up crowd on the historic Plains of Abraham.

The knighted ex-Beatle was in town to help Quebec City celebrate its 400th birthday - and he was an enthusiastic invitee.

"Bonsoir les Quebecois, bonsoir toute le gang," McCartney shouted to his faithful after he opened the show by belting out the Wings song "Jet."

The crowd erupted and the band turned it up a notch by ripping into Beatles' 1965 classic "Drive My Car," "Only Mama Knows," and "All My Loving."

"I only speak a little bit of French," he said in French before switching languages. "So, I will be speaking in English."

But McCartney, whose appearance raised the ire of some Quebec nationalists who said a Brit shouldn't be part of the city's festivities, alternated between the languages when addressing the crowd throughout the concert.

At one point, a huge image of Quebec's flag covered the stage backdrop during "Mrs. Vanderbilt." Later, he strutted around the stage waving the fleur-de-lis banner.

During "Yesterday," he came out wearing a souvenir-shop sweatshirt with "QUEBEC" written across the chest.

Organizers expected some 200,000 people at the free outdoor concert on the Plains of Abraham.

A massive tangle of swaying arms and bodies covered the rolling fields in front of the stage. It was McCartney's first appearance in Canada since 2005.

"C'est ma premiere visite a Quebec, and it's a great place," McCartney said, earning a roar from fans.

On several occasions, McCartney's English comments were translated into French and the words scrolled across the giant screens.

An energetic McCartney played 36 tunes through the two-and-a-half-hour show.

During the first half of the concert, he performed a mixed bag of Beatles, Wings and solo tunes.

The rest of the way was heavy on Fab Four hits, including "Hey Jude," "Get Back" and "Let It Be."

He started off "Something" on a ukulele that he said was a gift from George Harrison.

"That one was for George," he said.

He also paid homage to another deceased ex-bandmate, John Lennon.

"This song is dedicated to my friend John," he said in French, before starting into "A Day In The Life" and then "Give Peace A Chance."

McCartney later launched into an anniversary tribute with "Birthday."

"This song is for a woman who is 400 years old," he said in French. "Happy Birthday, Quebec."

Montreal band The Stills and up-and-coming Quebec City singer Pascale Picard opened the concert to set the stage for the legendary rock star.

Tens of thousands of music fans streamed onto the Plains of Abraham and spilled into the surrounding streets of Quebec City on Sunday in hopes of securing a good vantage point to watch the music icon.

Dozens of people started lining up as early as Saturday afternoon for a shot at nabbing coveted ground at the front of the stage.

When the gates finally opened a couple of hours before the show, a mass of fans flooded down a slope, as hundreds sprinted for the front row.

Seven jumbo screens were set up on the historic battlefield and along downtown streets, several of which were closed to traffic.

Hoping to guarantee themselves a spot in front of a screen, thousands of people camped early Sunday in the middle of the Grande-Allee, one of the provincial capital's main boulevards, while others were stretched out on the lawn of the provincial legislature.

The party in honour of Sir Paul also got underway early.

Beer vendors on the Plains made swift business throughout the day, which contributed to long lineups of swaying patrons waiting impatiently for portable toilets.

Meanwhile, whiffs of marijuana wafted through the crowd.

Restaurants and bars along the main drag blasted Beatles tunes and souvenir tents offered up the latest Paul McCartney gear.

Carol Cleeland travelled from New Jersey to see the show.

"We've been fans of the Beatles and Paul McCartney since the beginning," said Cleeland, who headed to the Plains of Abraham with her sister, Elizabeth, more than 12 hours before McCartney's concert.

"We love Paul McCartney's music and everything about him. He's just a really great guy."

Fan Leo Rodrigue sported a red Montreal Canadiens sweater with the name "McCartney" emblazoned across the back above the number one.

"I saw him the first time at the Montreal Forum, Dec. 9, 1989," Rodrigue said.

"It's the greatest. (He's) the greatest artist. All songs of McCartney is beautiful."

McCartney arrived in Quebec City on Saturday evening and was greeted by hundreds of adoring fans, many of whom had waited several hours outside the Chateau-Frontenac Hotel to catch a glimpse of the British knight.

Fans approached his car as it drove through the hotel parking lot and McCartney, who had his window partly down, waved to the crowd.

Journalists yelled questions at him from a distance as he got out of the car in the hotel's underground garage and he waved and replied, "Bonjour."

When one yelled: "Are you happy to be in Quebec City?", he gave a thumbs-up and shouted, "Oui."

The much-anticipated show, McCartney's only scheduled performance in North America this year, was part of Quebec City's 400th birthday bash.

But there are some in the province who would have preferred McCartney stayed home.

Several Quebec sovereigntists have been questioning McCartney's participation in Quebec City's 400th anniversary celebrations because of his British roots.

They claim his presence evokes painful memories of Britain's conquest of New France in 1760.

The Plains of Abraham was the site of the pivotal 1759 battle between British Gen. James Wolfe and France's Marquis Louis-Joseph de Montcalm.

In an interview with Radio-Canada on Thursday, the 66-year-old bassist brushed off the nationalists' claims.

"I think it's time to smoke the pipes of peace and to just, you know, put away your hatchet because I think it's a show of friendship," McCartney said.

McCartney played to 350,000 people in Kyiv, Ukraine in June.

Celine Dion is set to perform on the Plains of Abraham for Quebec City's birthday on Aug. 22.

July 14th 2008 Beatles' widows honour producer George Martin

George Martin and Yoko Ono

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The widows of former Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison led an all-star tribute on Saturday to Sir George Martin, the producer who moulded the Fab Four into the world's most important pop music force.

Martin, 82, received the Grammy Foundation Leadership Award, in recognition of his humanitarian and charitable efforts, during a dinner and concert featuring the likes of singer Tom Jones and rock guitarist Jeff Beck.

"Awards don't come much better than this," said Martin. "I've been so lucky to work with so many wonderful people, and great talent all my life...I miss so many people who have died on me."

He was referring to Lennon, who was murdered in 1980 and Harrison, who died of cancer in 2001. Their respective widows, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, chaired the event at the University of Southern California. Surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were also listed as event chairs -- a ceremonial title -- but were not present.

The performers have all worked with Martin, who remained busy producing artists after the Beatles broke up. Others on the bill included the band America, composer Burt Bacharach, pianist Dave Grusin, and singer Michael McDonald.

Martin produced jazz, comedy and classical albums before signing the Beatles in 1962. Although the youngsters were rough around the edges, he thought they might have commercial promise. As both mentor and collaborator, he produced nearly all the Beatles' recordings.

Martin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1996 and named by the Guinness World Records as the most successful producer ever, with more than 50 No. 1 hit records over five decades in the United States and Great Britain alone.

In 2006, he worked with his son Giles, to develop the Beatles-inspired Cirque du Soleil show "Love" in Las Vegas. The accompanying soundtrack album won two Grammys this year

July 7th 2008 HAPPY BIRTHDAY RINGO  68

July 6th 2008 Lennon's Indian talisman may fetch up to $500,000

NEW YORK: It was the only thing that John Lennon wore when he scandalised the world by posing in the nude with partner Yoko Ono for the cover of his album Two Virgins.

The funky leather-and-bead choker, the lucky charm which the ‘Beatle’ acquired on a journey to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India in the 1960s, is expected to fetch up to Rs2 crore ($500,000) at an upcoming online auction.

The Beatles wrote 48 songs during their seven-week stay at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, where they were introduced to austerity - living in simple rooms with bunk beds.

July 2nd 2008 Lost Beatles interview unearthed

For 44 years a canister of film had been stored in a damp garage in South London; unopened, unloved and almost thrown away.

But, finally, somebody took a look inside - and realised they had unearthed a piece of pop history.

This is the story of a lost Beatles interview - which is to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday for the first time since it was originally recorded.

The nine-minute interview took place in the studios of Scottish Television on Thursday, 30 April, 1964.

It was thought to have been recorded on a tele-cine machine in London, and stored in a can, now rusted with the passing of decades.


Which makes it all the more remarkable that the fragile film has survived at all.

June 26th 2008 The Bealtes coming to Guitar Hero

London, June 24 : Apple Corps have given the go-ahead to computer game based on the legendary group 'The Beatles". 

The company owns the master recordings of the Beatles' work.

However, it has yet to be decided as to which firm will produce the new game.

The two firms that are trying to bag the project are Activision, makers of Guitar Hero, and MTV Games, responsible for Rockband.

Talks with the two companies could not only pave the way for a multi-million dollar Video game deadl,but also broader licensing of the Fab Four's unrivalled back catalogue, reports the Sun.

The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music.

The Beatles are the best-selling musical group in history.

June 20th 2008 Ringo Finds Questions Are His Beatles Burden

by Paul Cashmere - June 20 2008

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was always the one who knew how to handle the press. When asked at a press conference in Niagara Falls yesterday if it was a burden or a responsibility to be one of the last remaining Beatles and a standard bearer of their legacy, Ringo quipped "only with questions like that".

The former Beatle last night launched another tour with this All-Starr Band starting at the Fallsview Casino at Niagara Falls.

For Ringo's 10th All-Star tour once again he is heading on the road with Men At Work's Colin Hay, Billy Squier, Edgar Winter and Gary Wright.

31 shows have been booked with the tour wrapping up at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on August 2nd.

The setlist features Ringo's Beatles classics like 'Yellow Submarine' and 'With A Little Help From My Friends' as well as the hits of the All-Stars including 'Who Can It Be Now' from Colin Hay, 'Frankenstein' by Edgar Winter and 'The Stroke' by Billy Squier.

June 18th HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL MCCARTNEY 66 IF He was alive!

June 16th 2008 Paul McCartney learns Ukrainian for his first-ever show in Kiev

Sir Paul McCartney hopes to learn a little of Ukrainian during one hour to be able to talk to the audience during the show. “Paul likes talking to the audience in its native language. He introduces a song and then gives a short monologue in the language of a country where he performs. This makes the atmosphere friendlier, warmer and more personal for every person in the audience. Paul is a musician he has good ear for music, which helps him study foreign languages on the phonetic level rather quickly,” the press service of the organizers of the concert said.

Independence Concert will become the biggest show that has ever been held in Kiev. The stage, where the show will be held, will be one of the largest stages Paul McCartney has ever performed on.

Organizers of the concert say that the show that will last for 150 minutes will be made of the songs by The Beatles, Wings, and Paul McCartney himself. The former Beatle will reportedly perform 30 songs during the show.

In May of 2003 Sir Paul McCartney played his first concert in Russia. The show was held in the heart of Moscow and All Russia, on Red Square. Thousands of Russians packed the square to see the rock legend for the first time live.

McCartney received a hearty welcome in Moscow. Then President Vladimir Putin gave the legendary musician a personally-guided tour of the Kremlin.

One may say that McCartney’s performance on Red Square became the biggest music event in 2003. Many fans traveled hundreds of kilometers from their native towns to Moscow to see their idol performing live. Putin himself admitted that The Beatles music used to be considered propaganda of an alien ideology in the USSR. However, he added that The Beatles had been “a breath of fresh air” for millions of Russians during the Soviet era.

June 12th 2008 All to Paul McCartney’s show

Ever since the news came in, the Beatles fans in Ukraine have been in a frenzy over Paul McCartney’s concert in Kyiv. The Beatles legend will perform to hundreds of thousands of fans at a free concert at Maidan Nezalezhnosti for what is billed as an “Independence Concert” on June 14. The show will be broadcasted on Noviy Kanal TV channel for those who prefer to stay home and avoid the anticipated swarm of people.

McCartney was invited by Ukrainian tycoon Victor Pinchuk, and the event is being organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. Pinchuk said he had been planning to invite McCartney since the 2004 presidential election in Ukraine and since then they have been in negotiations with the star. Finally, last autumn a letter of confirmation was received from McCartney. Victor Pinchuk calls himself a fan of The Beatles. “For the first time we have the opportunity to hear the songs that changed the world and created a new culture,” he said. Sir Paul hasn’t performed lately so this is a special treat for Kyivans. McCartney said: “I’m very excited because on the 14th of June I’ve been invited to play a concert in Independence Square, Kyiv. Me and the band are going to be there and we’re going to have a great evening and we hope to see you there. So come along, it’s going to be a great evening hopefully for Ukraine. Pull together, groove, rock and roll – all together.” 

It is important to note that McCartney has made mention of Ukraine in a songs with the Beatles. In the well-known hit “Back in the USSR” the Beatles sing: “The Ukraine girls really knock me out.” Also, several years ago during the concert in St Petersburg in Russia Sir Paul in response to a greeting of Ukrainian fans suddenly took the microphone and said: “I send all my love to you, Ukraine.”

Furthermore, Sir Paul McCartney will open a personal exhibition of his artistic works, which will include 40 of his works at the PincukArtCentre. This will be Paul’s first exhibition in this part of the world. His first art exhibition was in Siegen, Germany in 1999. Paul will personally open the exhibition.

If you thought last year’s Elton John concert was a big one wait until you see the crowd for this one. Last June, Sir Elton John performed in front of 200,000 people on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, and has since set up AIDS projects in the country with Pinchuk and his wife Olena Franchuk.

Certain parts of the city will be closed off in time for the show: Maidan Nezalezhnosti – from Instytutska to Horodetskoho streets, from 3 p.m. on June 13 to 4 p.m. on June 15, and also Khreschatyk from Yevropeyska Square to the Besarabska Square and Sadova street from 4 p.m. till noon on June 14. Furthermore, Maidan Nezalezhnosti metro station will be closed from 5.30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 14. The historic concert will be broadcast live on screens in cities across Ukraine for those who can’t make it to the capital.

Before Paul McCartney’ concert in Kyiv fans can check out the website: www.beatlesinmylife.org.ua, where they can vote for 10 Beatles songs to be played out of a list of 44. Leading songs include “Mrs. Vanderbilt,” “London Town,” and “Pipes Of Peace.”

Besides, Ukrainian Beatles Mania Museum devoted to McCartney’s visit in Kyiv will operate until June 29 at the Globus shopping center. It will include exhibits of memorabilia from fans’ private collections’ from all over Ukraine.

June 9th 2008 Paul McCartney Planning "LAst Big Tour"

Showbizspy.com

Music legend Sir Paul McCartney is planning a massive farewell tour, it was claimed today.According to Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper, the former Beatle, 65, is set to announce a hundred-date stretch over two years. He will then retire from large-scale international touring to spend more time with his 4-year-old daughter with ex-wife Heather Mills, Beatrice.

A source reveals, "Paul explained that this tour will be the last big one. He wants to settle down and enjoy Beatrice's childhood.

"The tour will be the last time he performs in many parts of the world. Beatrice and his family life are going to come first. He does not want to be away for months at a time."

Paul last week played a gig to 36,000 fans in his native, Liverpool.

June 4th 2008  Paul McCartney headlines Liverpool concert

LIVERPOOL, England (AFP) — Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney headlined a concert on Sunday in front of 36,000 fans in his home city of Liverpool -- this year's European Capital of Culture.

The 65-year-old topped a star-studded bill, and opened his set by playing "Hippy Hippy Shake", "Jet" and "Drive My Car" at Anfield Stadium, home of Premiership side Liverpool football club.

"Thank you for coming tonight -- in the city of culture -- at the centre of the universe," McCartney, dressed in a black suit reminiscent of The Beatles' heyday, told the crowd as his performance began.

By the end of the set, he had played 26 songs, including classics such as "Penny Lane", "Back in the USSR", "Live and Let Die" -- which was played with an accompanying fireworks display -- "Let It Be", "Hey Jude", and "Yesterday".

After finishing his 1 hour 45 minute performance by playing "I Saw Her Standing There", he told the audience: "You've been brilliant tonight. I knew you would be."

"We are here for Macca," 62-year-old Brenda Baily, who was attending the concert with Maureen McCarthy, 66, told AFP.

"He is a legend. We saw Ringo in January, but Macca is even bigger."

Like their idol, many of the fans in the audience were teenagers in the 1960s, but the youth of several concert-goers proved that the Fab Four conquered younger generations as well.

"We didn't experience the Beatles, but we thought we had to take this opportunity while he is still alive," said Virginie Brazet, 28, who travelled from Perpignan, southern France, with her 32-year-old sister Sabine for the concert.

"We want to hear classics by the Beatles and by McCartney," she added.

Also performing on Sunday were the Kaiser Chiefs, who entertained the crowd for nearly an hour and a half with their hits, including "Ruby" and "The Angry Mob", and Liverpool band The Zutons.

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, whose appearance had been kept under wraps in the run-up to the concert, played three songs as well.

Manchester United and England football star Wayne Rooney was in attendance at the concert with his fiancee Coleen McLoughlin, while Yoko Ono, the widow of ex-Beatle John Lennon said on Friday that she would be present.

"Being European Capital of Culture is a good thing," McCartney told the BBC earlier. "About 12 years ago, Liverpool was a bit on its knees -- it was not in good shape at all. But now there's quite a resurgence."

Sunday's four-hour gig -- five years to the day since McCartney's last concert in the port city in northwest England -- was the highlight of the "Liverpool 08" calendar.

Before the concert, McCartney dashed hopes that Ringo Starr, the only other surviving member of the Beatles, would join him on stage, telling the Liverpool Echo newspaper: "That was never going to be on the cards."

Part of the proceeds will go to the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, which McCartney set up in his old school.

Earlier in the day, he attended a special fashion show with Ono where Stella McCartney unveiled her latest autumn and winter fashion collection.

June 3rd 2008 Kaisers hail "influential" McCartney

Kaiser Chiefs have argued that Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most 'influential people alive'.

The Leeds rockers performed with McCartney at the Liverpool Sound Concert at Anfield yesterday.

Speaking about their admiration for the former Beatle, bassist Simon Rix said: "I've said this before that I think Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are up there, if not the most influential people who are still alive.

"I don't know who is more influential than those two really, because I think that the influence of The Beatles, the impact that they had on everything at the time, not just music, you know your shoes and clothes and your hair and moustaches, everything, furniture - if The Beatles had never happened then we'd be living in a parallel universe."

McCartney was joined by Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl during Sunday's gig for renditions of 'Band On The Run' and 'Back In The USSR'.

May 28th 2008 Recording The Beatles

by CS Monitor

My husband, the hoplessly besotted Beatlemaniac came home from work the other day to discover a gigantic UPS package on our front porch. “That must be my new Beatles book” he gleefully exclaimed. (I was
guessing loveseat or small picnic table.) “I ordered this like a year ago and completely forgot about it,” he said.

He then dragged it in the house and began to unwrap Recording the Beatles: The Studio Equipment and
Techniques Used to Record Their Classic Albums
as if it were the Holy Grail, which, apparently, it is … at least this year’s version. A few days later his head emerged from its 500 pages for a brief moment to simply say “wow”.

Perhaps I’ll let him elaborate:

Every piece of recording equipment, every kind of sound effect, every sound engineer, producer and tape operator ever involved with the Fabs at Abbey Road Studios is profiled in this book. Every request or
demand the Beatles ever made for something new, something fresh, something totally crazy ­– is followed up with the meticulous and ingenious methodology that not only met but often surpassed their vision, many of these solutions becoming mainstays of recording studios today. Paul wanted more bass? Why not reverse the action of a giant studio speaker so it acted as a microphone to pick up the sound instead of pushing it out? John wanted to sound like his voice was floating under water – no sweat. Create the sound of a swirling, cacophonous carnival for The Benefit of Mr. Kite? - right.

The lavishly illustrated coffee table (literally) book contains rare vintage photos of the boys and recording staff at work( in geeky white lab coats, no less!), recording studio and equipment schematics and photos, detailed recording logs and fascinating commentary from all the sung and unsung players on the both sides of the studio glass. More than a Beatles book for the obsessive fan, it really chronicles the birth of modern multitrack recording, on the fly by the ingenious “mothers of invention” at Abbey Road Studios.

The book comes in a handsome slip-case and can be special ordered from curvebender publishing at recordingthebeatles.com. It ain’t cheap –100 bucks. But if you order now it might just make it to your front porch in time for Christmas.

Did I mention “wow”?

May 27th 2008 McCartney receives honorary degree for 'musical genius'

Thomas Kaplan

Yale Daily News

It was a veritable British invasion.

In addition to the 3,117 students who graduated on Monday, the University feted a Beatle, a Cantab and a Nobel laureate as among the recipients of eight honorary degrees, adding a pronounced dose of celebrity to the University's 307th Commencement.

The identities of the recipients of Yale's honorary degrees — the highest honor granted by the University — are tightly held secrets each year, and graduates and their families were treated to a surprise when they opened their programs Monday morning at Commencement.

Or, at least, mostly a surprise.

It turned out that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who delivered the Class Day address on Sunday, was not the only Englishman to descend upon the Elm City this weekend. On Sunday night, when Blair visited the Yale Center for British Art for a dinner, he brought another Briton along with him.

That special someone: Sir Paul McCartney, of Beatles fame.

At Commencement on Monday, McCartney was awarded a doctorate of music for nothing short of his "musical genius," as his award citation explained it.

"Your songs awakened a generation, giving a fresh sound to rock, roll, rhythm and blues," University President Richard Levin told McCartney. "Here, there and everywhere, you have pushed the boundaries of the familiar to create new classics."

McCartney — who received his degree to a rendition of "Hey Jude" — was treated to a standing ovation when he shook Levin's hand. Also earning loud applause was Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust, a civil war historian named Harvard's first woman president.

Faust on Monday received a doctorate of humanities from Yale — adding to her list of degrees not from Harvard. (She is the first Harvard president who is not a Cantab graduate.)

"You are, simultaneously, a historian's historian and a leader of institutions," Levin said. "We welcome you," Levin added, "to the Yale family."

Among the other degree recipients were Cesar Pelli, world-renowned architect and former dean of the Yale School of Architecture, and R. K. Pachauri, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his role at the helm of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Honorary degrees are awarded by the Yale Corporation, the University's highest governing body, based on the recommendations of a committee comprised of Corporation members, faculty and alumni. Also receiving degrees were poet John Ashbery, former U.S. Trade Representative Carla A. Hills LAW '58, theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye and astrophysicist Martin Rees.

But it was McCartney who stole the show. He attracted a crowd of onlookers when he appeared outside the Yale Center for British Art on Sunday night and was the talk of the Old Campus on Monday.

Traditionally, the identities of honorary degree recipients are not revealed in advance of when the degrees are actually conferred. But as if the McCartney sighting on Chapel Street was not enough of a hint, the News reported late Sunday night — citing sources involved in Commencement planning — that the rock icon would receive an honorary degree on Monday.

Before Commencement, officials remained mum on the possibility, although Levin offered his own interpretation of the McCartney sighting.

""Here's one comment: Yesterday ... all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it seems as though they're here to stay. Oh, I believe in yesterday," the president wrote. "Or perhaps another, relative to the Sir Paul sightings: Here, There and Everywhere."

Sure enough, McCartney processed onto the dais around 10:30 a.m. Monday and the secret was out. Just as visitors to Commencement eagerly gabbed about the pop star's visit to campus, Levin, too, confessed his own case of Beatlemania.

The year was 1966, and the Beatles were about to play at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in what would go down in history as their final live concert.

Levin, then an undergraduate at Stanford, won two tickets to the concert by phoning a radio station and being the first caller to correctly identify a certain Beatles tune.

The tickets were in the top row of the stadium's upper deck. But the girlfriend of Levin's brother had two prime seats, Levin recalled.

Levin's brother was out of town at the time, so his girlfriend was planning to bring her sister along to the concert. But Levin — in a scheme that showed the shrewdness no doubt necessary to be president of an Ivy League university — had a different idea.

The future Yale president called his brother's girlfriend — "with my brother's permission," he noted for the record — with an offer to make. "Wouldn't your sister like two tickets to the Beatles so that she could take a friend?" he recalled.

She agreed.

"I parlayed the two tickets in the nosebleed section into a seat for myself in the third row of field boxes," Levin recalled proudly, "long before the eBay era!"

Levin won that contest back in 1966 by identifying the song "In My Life," "from their brilliant 'Rubber Soul' album," the president recalled.

At Commencement on Monday, four decades and 3,000 miles removed from scoring those tickets as a college student himself, Levin began McCartney's award citation with a line from that very song he once named.

"There is no one compares with you," Levin said.

The crowd roared. Levin smiled. And McCartney, standing even closer than at that Candlestick concert, smiled back.

 

May 22nd 2008 I read the Web today, Oh boy...

Source: Amherst Bulletin 

The only difficult part of having a son in love with the Beatles is figuring out whether Paul is dead.

The rumors go back to my high school days. Oh, the fun we had checking out all the clues! That 28IF license plate on the cover of Abbey Road? Of course, it was because Paul would have been 28 IF he had lived! The walrus cover of "Magical Mystery Tour"? Wasn't the Walrus an ancient symbol of death in Liverpool? And then there were all those records to play backwards and those John lyrics that didn't make any sense unless you -

WAIT! Paul is not dead! He's on tour! He's in the news! He's paying alimony! How could anyone -

Herein lies the beauty of the Internet. Sure, the rest of the world may have dismissed the story as a 40-year-old hoax, something that was sort of fun in high school. Sure, all of us oldies thought John was the one who was dead. And later George.

But on the Internet, no one knows you're an adult. And no rumor, no matter how old, ever dies. So if a young boy and his Beatle fanatic friend get wind of the ancient rumor and want to know how it played out... before you can say "Eleanor Rigby," they can find a dozen sites still claiming that Paul is still dead.

At paulisdead.co.uk, more than 350 clues have been amassed. Beyond records spun backwards and that bass guitar in flowers on the Sgt. Pepper cover, a young boy can find clues at every turn. Seems EVERY album cover since 1966, when Paul was killed in a tragic auto accident and a lookalike contest winner took over, has been telling us the same thing.

" That white cover on the White Album? How somber! How mournful!

" And then there are the lyrics "here come ol' flattop," proof that Paul was decapitated in the car crash.

" And the Let It Be cover? Black. How somber! How mournful! But that's not all - Paul is shown against a blood-red background!

All this would be amusing if it were not a little freaky to my son and his friend. And I'll admit that these creative clues had me wondering when I added them to the best clue that Paul died - "Silly Love Songs."

Say what you will about 28IF and the walrus being Paul. It simply is not possible that the musical genius responsible for "Eleanor Rigby" and Sgt. Pepper could be the same guy responsible for the pablum "Paul" pumped out with "Wings." The old Paul had to be dead, didn't he? I decided to look for clues of my own. Here's what I discovered:

" On the cover of "Abbey Road," Paul is not only barefoot - an ancient symbol of death in Pittsburgh - but he's smoking. If a car crash didn't get him, cancer did.

" "Silly Love Songs." Just try listening to it again. Gimme a break.

" I can't remember all the lyrics to "Lovely Rita." Or "When I'm 64." I'm sure I could if Paul were still alive.

" I once saw Paul on "Live with Larry King." And boy, did he look dead. But then, so did Larry King.

" I just discovered that in 1967 the other three Beatles were seen in India carrying an urn of ashes to the Ganges River and throwing it in. I just discovered this because, in true Internet fashion, I just made it up.

" In 1995, "Paul" went to a Beach Boys reunion concert. On the way out, several people overheard him say, "That's what we'd be doin', yuh know, if John and I hadn't kicked."

" Play "Silly Love Songs" backwards. It sound better. It really does.

" If you take all your old vinyl Beatles albums and shove them into your CD player, they smash into pieces. JUST LIKE PAUL DID IN THAT CAR!

So laugh if you will but keep in mind that when it comes to answers, love is no longer all you need. You also need a Web site.

May 21st 2008 Queen admires garden for ex-Beatle

by The Press Association:

The Queen met George Harrison's widow Olivia as she explored the Chelsea Flower Show.

She stopped to admire a garden designed in memory of the former Beatle which tells a story of his life.

She spent several minutes chatting with Mrs Harrison and designer Yvonne Innes who created the garden - called From Life To Life, A Garden for George.

Mrs Harrison, who was meeting the Queen for the first time, said: "I think she thought the idea of a narrative garden was interesting. Each level for me is a huge story.

"It was nice of her to visit. I really feel honoured, truly honoured."

Mrs Innes said she had explained that the garden was split into different levels depicting Harrison's childhood, the Sixties era and his later years, as well as the afterlife.

The Queen carried a bouquet of pink and white Princess Elizabeth sweet peas and lily of the valley as she toured the garden.

A host of royals explored the site ahead of the official opening on Tuesday.

The Duke of Edinburgh went on a separate tour, while the Earl of Wessex was joined by the Countess of Wessex, who was making a rare public appearance since the birth of the couple's son James in December.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall did not attend as they both had prior private engagements.

May 12th 2008 Chelsea Flower Show to feature garden for Beatle George Harrison

The Chelsea flower show is to feature a garden dedicated to George Harrison, the late Beatle.

It is co-designed by his widow Olivia and depicts Harrison’s life in four stages – childhood, shown by a vegetable plot and a bike in rough grass; a Beatles and 1960s area; and representations of his older self and spiritual life.

The 1960s section of the garden will contain the names of his songs and a 6ft-wide glass sun, reminding visitors of Here Comes the Sun, which Harrison wrote for the Beatles album Abbey Road in 1969. The flowers – palmatum, anchusa and achillea – represent the psychedelic colours of the era.

The garden was co-designed with Yvonne Innes, who worked closely with Harrison before his death in 2001. She said: “I knew what an amazing landscape gardener George was. I also realised few people knew this side of him and decided to design a narrative garden of his life and passing over to the next life.”

May 9th 2008 Today, 46 years ago, two men who changed the world, met for the first time.
Posted by Dave Haber on Friday, 05/09/08

On the morning of May 9, 1962, Beatles manager Brian Epstein first met Parlophone Records producer George Martin at his office in EMI Studios at Abbey Road in London. It was during this meeting that George Martin agreed to give the Beatles an audition recording session.

On the morning of May 9, 1962, Beatles manager Brian Epstein first met Parlophone Records producer George Martin at his office in EMI Studios at Abbey Road in London. It was during this meeting that George Martin agreed to give the Beatles an audition recording session.

 Would the Beatles have happened with either of these men? George Martin, who heard something in them when nobody else in the business did, and brought his classical musical training to their arrangements and recordings. And Brian Epstein, who got them into bigger performance venues and onto TV, into suits and eventually a recording contract with EMI. It's impossible to know if the Beatles wouldn't have become Beatlemania, but it's impossible to imagine the Beatles without them.

May 8th, 2008 Paul McCartney picks up Lewis's bargain

by Vicki Kellaway, Liverpool Echo

HE has a £500m fortune and a world-famous fashion designer daughter.

But when Sir Paul McCartney needed a new tie for his classical concert he shunned the family connection and the luxury silks.

Instead he plumped for three £11.99 numbers from Lewis’s department store.

He popped to the shop on his own last Thursday – just hours before the northern premiere of his Ecce Cor Meum at Liverpool Cathedral.

Macca emerged with three sixties-style Double Two silk ties, in blue, brown and silvery grey.

And it seemed he liked the blue one so much he put it on for the choral show, dedicated to the memory of his first wife Linda.

Tarja Ord, 56, who served him, said: “He was really down to earth and he seemed really pleased with our selection of ties.

“He was only going to buy the one he needed, but then he said he might as well take three because they would be handy with his other suits.

“Apart from him, there was only a young couple and their child nearby in the shop.

“The couple asked him for an autograph and he said yes straight away. Sir Paul was playing with their baby. They were really chuffed. He’s really down to earth. I’m from Finland and he asked where I was from before telling me he was on his way to the cathedral.”

Store spokesman Angela Murray said: “Sir Paul was happy and relaxed and walked around like any other customer. He was really pleasant and everyone was buzzing about his visit.”

The nine-storey Lewis’s was saved at the 11th hour last year when owners Owen Owen called in the receivers over cashflow problems.

Vertigo Retail bought the business and safeguarded the 208 jobs in the Grade II listed building in Ranelagh Street.

But they warned shoppers they must use the store or lose it.

Ms Murray said: “We were delighted Sir Paul chose Lewis’s. He obviously remembers the store from his years in Liverpool. We love keeping it local and Sir Paul obviously does too.”

news@liverpoolecho.co.uk

May 8th 2008 Geoff Emerick, Cheap Trick engineer Beatles tribute DVD

ST. PETERSBURG -- Last year, when singer Robin Zander and his power-pop pals in Cheap Trick decided to re-create a veritable Picasso of popular music, they knew they'd need a little help from a certain friend.

A lot of help, actually.

After all, covering one Beatles song in a live setting is daunting; staging the entirety of 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was deliberately, stubbornly, brilliantly made to NOT be performed live, is insane.

"It's all difficult to sing," says Zander, 55, a Safety Harbor resident and Tampa Bay's most visible rock star. "First of all, you have three of the greatest singers of rock in one band."

Last summer, at L.A.'s Hollywood Bowl and New York's Waldorf-Astoria, Cheap Trick staged critically lauded live tributes to Sgt. Pepper's, which was celebrating its 40th anniversary. They also covered other epic chunks of the Fab Four songbook.

And to make it all sound right, they called on the one man — the only man — who'd know how to handle such an undertaking: Geoff Emerick, the original engineer for Sgt. Pepper's, a man whose ability to match the imaginations of John Lennon and Paul McCartney helped start a musical revolution.

About the Hollywood Bowl show, the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Having the album's engineer, Geoff Emerick, behind the soundboard may have been the most authentic stroke of the night, but band interplay kept it real." They added, "Cheap Trick conjured the Beatles sound without getting buried by it."

Emerick was also the engineer on Cheap Trick's 1980 album All Shook Up, so he knew that the band from Rockford, Ill., could handle the one from Liverpool.

"It was great to get back together again," says Emerick, now in his 60s and still in demand. "It's not a pretentious project. It's not supposed to be better than the original. It's just fun . . .
The energy on this is just enormous."

Cheap Trick has never been shy about its main influence. Hits such as Surrender, I Want You to Want Me and If You Want My Love drip with the high harmonies and crashing crescendos of John, Paul, George and Ringo. So when they tackle the Beatles, the outcome is sublime.

"We figured Cheap Trick would poke its ugly head in there, but we were
true to the album," says Zander about the live performances. "It's a tribute to Sgt. Pepper's, not to Cheap Trick."

This spring, Emerick and Zander have been meeting at the posh Big 3 Studios on Central Avenue to work on a DVD of the New York performance. It's scheduled for release this summer, hopefully around June 28, when Cheap Trick will again play Sgt. Pepper's in L.A.

Then on Nov. 14, Cheap Trick brings Sgt. Pepper's home to us, at Ruth
Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Tickets will go on sale in August.

And to think John Lennon said it couldn't be done.

"John said when we were going to make the album that it could never be performed live," Emerick says. "It was just impossible with all the instruments."

Emerick is extremely humble about his achievements. "It's just part of my life," he says about his place in the pop canon. But he also acknowledges Sgt. Pepper's place in history. "We knew it was special when we made it," he says.

Emerick was there for both of Cheap Trick's Sgt. Pepper's performances, which included orchestras, full audio-video crews and special guests ranging from Aimee Mann to Joan Osborne to Ian Ball from Brit-pop band Gomez. But working the soundboard during the live show might have been the easy part — now comes the polish.

On a flat-screen TV in a Big 3 editing room, Zander is singing the Abbey Road cut Golden Slumbers. With his head cocked, Emerick is leaning on a sprawling soundboard, thousands of blinking lights and knobs before him. He's listening for something. "The picture," he calls it.

Next to him is Big 3's chief engineer, Jim "Pinky" Beeman, who follows Emerick's orders to fix reverb or erase foreign noises. At one point, Emerick hears a clicking noise — a few seconds later, everyone else does, too. Like a sonic detective, scouring every second of the show, he tracks down the culprit.

"It's the horns," he says, a smirk of disdain on his hang-dog face.

At one point, he isolates Zander's vocal. "Wow," says Zander, a man who has performed in front of millions of fans. "That's like standing there naked!" But Emerick finds nothing wrong with Robin's pipes. "His voice gets better with age," the engineer marvels. "It really does."

Big 3 executive Lou Mann is also in the room. He calls Emerick "Babe Ruth." "Geoff is like an artist," Mann hushes in reverent tones. "He's painting a picture. He's unbelievably meticulous."

That's for sure. Emerick was supposed to be done mixing and polishing the DVD a few weeks ago. Now there's talk he will return to Big 3 this month to finish the project. Emerick says he'll also be at June's return engagement at the Hollywood Bowl.

And he hasn't ruled out working at Big 3 for other projects. He looks around at the wood floors, the cool lighting, the state-of-the-art equipment, the baby of owner Bill Edwards. It's one of St. Petersburg's secret jewels.

"I didn't expect anything like this," Emerick says. "If I were stuck without a studio I'd come back here for sure."

Perhaps Emerick will also be working the soundboard at Ruth Eckerd? Zander leans in. "I don't know," he whispers. "He's expensive."

Cheap Trick — doing their classic hits — plays the Ford Amphitheatre July 30 with Journey and Heart. Tickets, $25-$125, go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday;
ticketmaster.com.

Sean Daly can be reached at sdaly@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8467. His Pop Life blog is at blogs.tampabay.com/
popmusic.

May 7th 2008 All Together Now
Directed by Adrian Wills
By Allan Tong

All Together Now is a behind-the-scenes look at the staging of the ambitious Cirque du Soleil tribute to the Beatles, Love. Shot in hi-def video, the film is visually dazzling but uneven in its coverage of the folks who launched this acclaimed Las Vegas spectacle.

Director Adrian Wills, who shoots many of the Cirque’s productions, begins filming the troupe in frozen Montreal a full year before its opening. Too briefly we witness Cirque director Dominic Champagne shape his huge, multinational ensemble through several numbers before moving to Vegas.

Wills moves on to Beatles record producer George Martin and his son Gilles, who are mashing-up Beatles tracks for the soundtrack. The Martins spent 18 months remixing but the film doesn’t detail much of their working process. Only one recording session (adding strings to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”) is particularly memorable, due to George’s emotional reaction.

Much of the film takes place in Vegas. Widows Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison drop by to offer their frank opinions on the rehearsals. Yoko is unhappy that “Come Together” looks “sleazy” and doesn’t resemble the aborted political anthem that her husband had composed in 1969. The performers stiffen when Sir Paul pays a visit to bestow his blessing to the troupe. Overall, the two remaining Beatles and the two Beatle widows are out of the picture to let Cirque du Soleil finish their production.

The backers of this film were Cirque and Apple (the Beatles company), which raises the question about access and artistic independence. Wills has stated that the Beatles asked for only 90 seconds of footage to be removed and insists, “it was nothing controversial, just to balance the coverage among the four Beatles.” A greater obstacle, he adds, was simply waiting for approval from the Fab Four.

That said, All Together Now is the closest you’ll get to seeing Love without flying to Sin City. (Apple/Cirque du Soleil)

May 6th 2008  Mail on Sunday in Paul McCartney Coup

Source: musicweek.com

By Ben Cardew

The Mail On Sunday agrees deal to give away Paul McCartney’s Memory Almost Full and promises more to come

The Mail On Sunday has concluded an attention-grabbing deal with Paul McCartney to give away the former Beatle’s most recent studio album Memory Almost Full. The album, originally released in June 2007 by Starbucks’ Hear Music label, will come free with the May 18 edition of the paper.

The move represents a spectacular coup for The Mail On Sunday, which has previously given away entire studio albums from artists including Prince, Simply Red and, most recently, UB40, whose new studio set Twentyfourseven was included with yesterday’s (Sunday) edition. Memory Almost Full has sold almost 100,000 copies in the UK to date, according to Official Charts Company figures, peaking at number five in the albums chart.

However, The Mail On Sunday managing director Stephen Miron says that this deal will prove a shot in the arm for the album’s fortunes.

For the full story see this week's Music Week magazine, out today.

May 5th 2008 Paul McCartney's Jagger advice

Sir Paul McCartney has asked former chart rival Sir Mick Jagger for advice.

The Beatles legend - who is set to embark on a world tour later this year - has reportedly approached the Rolling Stones frontman for tips on surviving life on the road, now he is in his sixties.

A source revealed: "Paul is really good friends with Mick. Despite rumours of rivalry, they've been mates since they started out in the sixties.

"Mick has advised him to take a relaxing break before he embarks on the tour and then to try and factor one or two days more than usual between shows if possible. He said that it is the travelling that is the really tiring thing."

The Rolling Stones completed a two-year world tour in August last year, when Mick was 64.

Paul - who recently finalised his divorce from Heather Mills - turns 66 next month.

(C) BANG Media International

May 5th 2008 McCartney and Starr to reunite?

Beatles fans have been sent into a frenzy over rumours Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are set to reunite on stage in an historic performance.

To celebrate the city being named 2008's Capital of Culture, the Fab Four's hometown of Liverpool, England is hosting the Sound City music festival, where McCartney is set to take to the stage.

And after Liverpool City Council granted McCartney's production company $3.4m (€2.1m) to stage the event, fans are now speculating the singer is secretly planning a special gig - with his former bandmate Starr.

 A source tells British newspaper the Daily Star: "There's been a lot of chat in Beatles fan chatrooms on the internet and the feeling is that it could happen."

The four-day festival takes place from May 27-30 at the Hard Days Night Hotel and various other city venues.

© Thomas Crosbie Media, 2008.

May 4th 2008 Ringo Starr flat intruder dies after custody collapse

By Justin Penrose Crime Correspondent 

An investigation has been launched after a burglar died days after breaking into Beatles legend Ringo Starr's apartment block.

The intruder, 32, was caught by security guards after he got into the luxury block in Chelsea, London.

They held him until police arrived, but he collapsed in custody and was taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where he died four days later.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating his death. Detectives are trying to establish whether the burglar was trying to get to Ringo, 67, or steal from wealthy residents.

A source said: "There has been a history of members of the Beatles being attacked by madmen."

John Lennon was shot dead by Mark Chapman in New York in 1980, and George Harrison was stabbed in the chest at his mansion by schizophrenic Michael Abram in 1999.

May 1st 2008 Security guard from Lennon's Montreal 'bed-in' shares memories

By: Victoria Ahearn, THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO - George Urquhart remembers it "like it was yesterday."

The retired security guard says he was the one on duty when John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their "bed-in for peace" at Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel from May 26 to June 1, 1969.

Urquhart says he was asked to sit outside suite 1742, where the "bed-in" and the recording of Lennon's hit "Give Peace a Chance" took place, because he was the only fluently bilingual security guard at the hotel.

"I figured, 'My God, 12 hours, what a boring day that's going to be, for a full week,' but it was anything but, anything but," he recalled in a telephone interview from Calgary, where he now lives.

Urquhart grew nostalgic for the occasion after hearing earlier this week that a Montreal-raised TV writer is putting up Lennon's handwritten lyrics for "Give Peace a Chance" on the auction block in July.

Gail Renard obtained the piece of cardboard with the lyrics when she and a friend, CJAD Montreal radio talk show host Tommy Schnurmacher, crashed the "bed-in" as teens.

The two had to sneak into the hotel through back entrances and a fire escape. Once on the floor of the suite, they waited until Urquhart went to the bathroom before knocking on the door of the suite - but the security guard came back.

"I remember it clearly," recalled Urquhart, 73.

"(Schnurmacher) walked by and I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and asked him where he thought he was going. It was a funny deal, I'll tell ya."

Ono told Urquhart to allow the teens into the suite and they were able to stay for the full week-long festivities that were meant to draw attention to the war in Vietnam.

An eclectic blend of people visited the suite that week, including comedian Tommy Smothers, drug guru Timothy Leary, American cartoonist Al Capp and a group of Hare Krishnas, all of whom can be heard chanting on "Give Peace a Chance."

"Al Capp ... he just about started his own war in that room," said Urquhart.

"He had told John, 'If you really want to do something to end the Vietnam War, pick up a gun and go fight over there,' and boy, I'll tell ya, that rocked a few things."

Urquhart took some photos of the "bed-in," provided clapping for the song recording and had Lennon autograph his Beatles record, which he still has to this day.

"It says 'To George, Thank You, Peace - John Lennon, Yoko Ono,"' said Urquhart.

Christie's in London says Renard could get up to $600,000 when she auctions off the Lennon lyrics on July 10, but Urquhart says he has no plans to put his autographed record under the hammer.

"A lot people say, 'Why don't you sell it?' but I don't know what it is about the attachment of that thing, it's hard to explain," he said.

Urquhart worked at the hotel for 32 years, becoming the director of security and meeting numerous stars and dignitaries.

The "bed-in" is among his fondest memories, he said.

"I've walked with kings, queens, heads of state," he said.

"But this was the week that remains the epic of the whole 32 years that I was there and he was a good man. ... He was terrific. Yoko was more an introvert. John was, my God, he was dancing around that room like you wouldn't believe."