Thursday, September 28, 2006

Some Recent Scans

Give Me Love, Give Me Peace on Earth

It's a great time to be a Beatles' fan. On Tuesday, I received the remastered deluxe edition Living in the Material World, the underrated 1973 release from George Harrison. Olivia and Dhani certainly know what they're doing with George's cataloge, considering this release and the Dark Horse Years project. I'm not sure if they hand-picked the Abbey Road remastering team of Sam Okell and Steve Rooke, but whoever did, they deserve a sincere thank you from all music fans. These guys know how to do it--NO noise reduction! The sound is alive, crisp, and full. I wish Yoko had used these guys on John's remasters...and I also wish they were the ones doing The Beatles' entire catalogue remastering set for release in 2007. But they're not, so who knows what we're going to get.

This deluxe edition is also gorgeous, with previously unseen photos, song lyrics, and recollections. I can't recommend this release enough. Let's hope Okell and Rooke are going to be in charge of the Extra Texture, Dark Horse, 1974 Dark Horse Tour, Wonderwall Music, and Electronic Sounds projects that are in the works.

Also, this Friday the documentary covering John's struggle to stay in the U.S. opens wide; unfortunately, it isn't showing anywhere near where I live. The U.S. vs. John Lennon promises to be a relevatory experience, drawing paralells between the paranoid Nixon administration to the current similar one, and it's getting rave reviews from fans and critics alike. Listening to the soundtrack last night, I couldn't help but cry. I wish John was here to be a voice among us, singing out about love and peace again. I know John would tell us that we have to go out and get it ourselves--it's up to us. He didn't want to be a leader, just an artist who is a reflection of us all. We must be inspired by his words and his music, then learn to swim on our own.

If anyone gets to view the film, please drop by and share a review with us.

Another exciting Beatles happening this week: A signed and numbered copy of The Book that will certainly rank up there with Mark Lewisohn's works in terms of the breadth of scholarly research and new information contained within arrived at my doorstep. Kevin Ryan and Brian Kehew's Recording the Beatles: The Studio Equipment and Techniques Used to Create their Classic Albums, housed in an EMITAPE replica slipcase and accompanied by bonus materials, is a must have book for those interesting in the recording process. Mysteries are solved, clarified and explained thoroughly within its pages. I can't wait to delve into it this weekend.

Coming up--some pictures, because I know that's why you visit! :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Filming: Twickenham and a Train

A magnificent collection of Astrid Kirchherr photos taken during the filming of A Hard Day's Night.

Astrid: "He (John) was really excited about the band doing their first film, but also quite nervous and apprehensive. People always presumed that he was the funny, quickwitted one that had an answer for everything, but really John was a very sweet and thoughtful man."

These scans are from the Uncut Legends Lennon: 25th Anniversary Issue. (Click pictures to enlarge.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Whitaker 1966 Photo Session Outtakes, Continued

More of those great Leslie Bryce photos from the famous Bob Whitaker session, the same session that produced the infamous Butcher photos. All these shots come from various Beatles Monthly issues, including an original May 1966 issue and 1986 issues as well.

The award plaque that John has hanging from the button of his jacket reads: "To the Beatles for achievement as an outstanding Fashion International," presented by the U.S. Harper's magazine.

Meeting Barry Tashian: Fab Four at the Belcourt 2004

Nashville hosted its first Fab Four Fest October 15 - 17, 2004 at the historic Belcourt Theatre. Though a small venue, the fest was intimate, allowing for close contact with the panelists and hosts. Because of this, I was able to procure autographs from Lloyd Green, the master steel guitarist who augmented the Byrds' seminal Sweetheart of the Rodeo LP (he also played with Paul and Ringo), Mark Hudson, Badfinger member Joey Molland, and many others.

One of the highlights of this special fest was the chance for me to meet one of my favorite musicians--someone who is very underrated, but legendary among garage band fanatics. Barry Tashian was the leader of Boston's greatest garage band, The Remains. Though fame eluded them, they appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and even had the amazing opportunity to open for the Beatles on their '66 North American Tour. Barry wrote a book about his Beatles experiences entitled Ticket To Ride: The Extraordinary Diary of The Beatles Last Tour (highly recommened). I was able to chat with Barry and let him know how much I enjoy his Remains recordings, and also the work he did with Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. I also praised the A Session with the Remains release on the Sundazed label, which contains the Remains audition for Capitol Records after leaving Epic. This is one of the best "live in the studio" recordings you'll ever hear--it truly captures the raucous yet melodic live work of a great band. I've included scans of the cds Barry autographed for me, plus a photo of me with Barry (I'm wearing my "I Love John" 1964 Vari-Vue pin--one of my favorite pieces of Beatles memoriabilia).

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Outtake Photos from the Whitaker Session

As promised many posts ago, here are some outtake photos from Robert Whitaker's 1966 photo session with the Fabs that also produced the Butcher photos. These were taken by Leslie Bryce as the photo session was taking place, so they are more "behind the scenes" in nature. I have many more of these to scan, so your patience is requested. In the meantime, enjoy these lovely offerings.

As our look back at 1966 continues, look for a post about Barry Tashian, leader of the great Boston band The Remains, who opened for the Beatles on their N. American '66 tour.