Monday, October 31, 2011
Here is a worn-out vintage photo of two "Beatles" for Halloween.
Can you believe that this costume (who I think is either George or Paul) is a rare collector's item these days?
And yes...you could even dress as a Blue Meanie in '68! This is a very frightening costume!!
Well Halloween night is coming to an end here in my part of the United States. Such a strange tradition it is to dress up and knock on strangers door and beg for candy. But it is a fun time. I enjoyed handing out candy to the kids that came to my door, most of which were current or former students of mine. I did not see any Beatle related costumes. But in the 1960's some Beatle fans were actually dressing up in Beatles gear. Check out these costumes!
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Here is another shot of Ringo and Nancy with John and Yoko in the 1970's spending a night out in New York City. I have posted a similar shot to this one, but this is a different frame.
I recently obtained a book called "as "I Write This Letter" by Marc Catone. It was published in 1982. It is one of those books where Beatle fans around America contacted Mr. Catone and wrote letters expressing how the Beatles changed their lives. What makes this one interesting in comparison to the ones that are similar written more recently is that these letters were written in the late 1970's and 1980. It is interesting hearing from 1st generation fans while they were in their 20's and early 30's. It is a book worth picking up if you can find it.
In the book is a story written by M.W. of Edgewater Park, New Jersey (the author chose to only print people's initials for privacy's sake. I wish he had chosen to print their full names, but oh well). It is the only letter in the book that I could find that talks about meeting a Beatle in person. And like many other fans, M.W. was lucky enough to meet John during the Helping Hands marathon in Philadelphia in 1975. It really was amazing how many fans John met during this short event.
As for the photos, I found them online in what appears to be an abandoned myspace page (I have one of those myself...forgot the password to delete it). Someone named "Bill" had posted a handful of photos that he had taken of the Beatles! (I will post more of them at a later date) including two great ones of John in '75! The guy with John is Bill himself. You don't always see a fan posing with John, so this is great stuff!
I am a fairly good artist. To me, one of the biggest ego boosters was when I saw John Lennon in Philadelphia in 1975, when I was 18 years old. I gave him some hand-painted T-shirts and my hero said he liked them. I had handed them to him in a box and he said, "Is it illegal?" I (very paranoid) cut him off and yes, "Yes, but did you like them?" and he said, "Of course I liked them... of course I liked the T-shirts."
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I have said for years that the reason why I love Beatles photos taken by fans is that they capture something special that the posed photos could never capture. In my personal opinion, no fan captured that special something as well as Lizzie Bravo. All of her photographs of the boys pull you into the photo as if you are there. It is amazing especially when you think of the lack of technology she had to work with compared to today.
So here is another John photo. It has been posted before, but much smaller. What is John wearing here? A green jacket? Another badge (sword swallower maybe?) and polka-dotted shirt? So fab!
Monday, October 24, 2011
I having been watching that show, Sister Wives, about the guy who has four wives. And I was going to make some sort of lame joke about how this girl wants the Beatles to be "Brother husbands" and marry them all. But I don't know....the joke just didn't seem to really work. I do want to say that even if this is a staged photograph (which most likely it is), she is a pretty lucky girl to be surrounded by all of the Fab 4!!
What is up with the girl in the background? She is paying more attention to the guy next to her than to Paul McCartney! Paul looks a little bored with it all. Yet another photo that needs more explanation for me to understand it.
Someone must have told this kid that he should always look directly at the camera when he is getting a photograph taken. Paul must be saying something that is amusing to the other people around the boy. Sometimes I wish I just had more information than a photo alone.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
It isn't every day that I find myself jealous of kids who look to be in the age-bracket of the darlings I teach every day. But look at these four cuties along side of Ringo! As I say at work, what a bunch of lucky duckies!! These kiddos ever got to interview Ringo. Man oh man...what luck!
Kristen's Grandmother and George in 1976 (in Vancouver)
Kristen and her sister with Dhani in 1980 at Friar Park
Kristen, her father and sister in a boat at Friar Park in 1979
The adorable Harrison family 1978
George in a boat at Friar park with Kristen and her sister in 1980
Here is an interesting story, not written by a casual fan, but by Kristen O'Brein, who was the daughter of George's business manager and she spent several times with George and the Harrison family at Friar Park.
I can’t say I ever really knew George Harrison, but he was definitely an integral part of my life for 20 years. He was much more present in my youth, when we still lived in London, with Henley on Thames and the magical world of Friar Park only an hour away down the M4 motorway. When I was 10, we moved to the U.S. with our mother and her new husband, leaving behind our weekend visits with our father’s enigmatic but kindly client: George Harrison.
My father, Denis O'Brien, met Harrison through another client, Peter Sellers. In 1973 he became Harrison’s business manager, initially tasked with sorting out Harrison’s tax issues, post-Beatles break-up. Later, he ran their joint production company, Handmade Films. Handmade created some interesting British cinema during the '80s, including Life of Brian, The Long Good Friday, Time Bandits, Mona Lisa and Withnail and I.
Working with Harrison so closely meant being a part of his interesting life. This included going to India with Harrison to visit with Ravi Shankar, going on world tours to promote his solo albums and supporting his philanthropic interests. It meant vacation time at his Maui home, and watching Formula One racing (another passion of Harrison’s).
My father also represented Harrison at Apple Records board meetings, occasionally making enemies (such as Yoko Ono, who once irritably sent Dad a postcard with a hand on the front giving him the finger).
As a small child, I loved going to Friar Park, Harrison’s 120-room neo-gothic mansion, a former Catholic school he affectionately called "Crackerbox Palace." And what was so enchanting to me was the time spent playing and exploring the amazing gardens. I never got tired of running blindly through the maze in front of the house; I loved crossing over the stepping stones on the pond and under the waterfall. Galloping over bridges, then taking a boat on the lake and going into secret caverns.
Everything from the sandstone Matterhorn replica to the friendly gnomes residing in the gardens made his Crackerbox feel like my own Wonderland.
Most people know that Harrison’s favorite pastime was working in the garden. His son, Dhani, recently told Rolling Stone that when he was growing up, he thought that his dad earned his living as a gardener.
Every time we’d go to Henley with Dad for all day, all night meetings, I could create new adventures for myself in those gardens. But the house, with its turrets and gargoyles, also inspired my creativity and never ceased to entertain.
There was the ever-present scent of incense floating in the air, the enchanting jukebox in the living room, the walk-in, wood-carved open fireplace and the kitchen with the large silver fridge with curious magnets. Dhani’s playroom, with the most incredible collection of toys I had ever seen, included a fully functioning car that was child-size. I did not want to hang out with Dhani when we visited, because he was seven years younger, and my sister and I didn’t like to have to eat scrambled eggs with a toddler when we could eat with the grownups at the big wooden dining room table.
Harrison’s wife, Olivia, always took good care of us and, like her husband, had a gentle, calming disposition. I loved going up the great gothic staircase in the living room to the recording studio on the first floor. I was fascinated by the recording console and the selection of instruments. Sometimes, Harrison would play new music for us and ask for our feedback.
Adjacent to the recording studio was a room with gold records and awards and an Oscar statuette. I remember the exhilarating sensation I got picking up the Oscar earned for "Let It Be" and feeling it weigh down my hand.
When it got late, and Dad was still in meetings, we would go to bed in one of the guest rooms down the hall from the studio with sounds of Harrison’s sitar lulling us to sleep.
Once we moved away from London, I saw Harrison less. Maybe at a concert here or there, but I did not go back to Friar Park again until I was thirteen.
On this last visit to Friar Park we met first to view footage from the film Shanghai Surprise. I joined Dad to watch the dailies with Harrison and the principal actors in the film, Madonna and Sean Penn. After the screening, we went back to Friar Park for dinner. However, before dinner was served, we gathered in the TV room so that Madonna could get Harrison’s feedback on her latest as-yet-unreleased video. It was "Live to Tell," and she shyly played it for all of us, looking earnestly to George for his approval.
After the video we watched The Muppet Show, and I remember thinking it was funny, but yet perfectly natural, to be sitting here with Madonna laughing over Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.
My last memory of Harrison is from several years later, when I was in college in New York. Dad arranged tickets for me, my sister and our friends to go to a Bob Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden. After the show, we went backstage with Dad and his guests, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. We were all waiting to meet with Harrison, who had performed one of the tributes in honor of his close friend. But Harrison never emerged from his dressing room area, and eventually we left and headed back to school.
This seemed to mark the beginning of the end between my father and Harrison. They soon parted ways over financial disagreements, and we went from having Harrison as an extended family member, receiving visits and birthday presents from him, to reading in various magazines and newspapers around the world that the parties were involved in a bitter dispute.
And then, nearly 10 years ago on November 29, 2001, George Harrison died, and there were no more opportunities to get to know the mysterious man with the kind eyes and distinct Liverpudlian accent.
Although I may have had exposure to this former Beatle and "knew" him in a privileged way, I still didn't really know who he was. To me, he will always remain an extension of the magical fairy worlds I explored as a child.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I really like this shirt. Obviously Paul must have liked it a lot too. He had it in both light blue and peach and wore both shirts a whole heck of a lot during late 1967-early 1968. They need to come back with this style.
Yeah...Paul looks really happy to be sitting between two pretty young ladies here. Anyone know who they are or what the occasion might be? They appear to be swimming (one girl might be wearing a swim cap and all three are bare foot). So these girls seem to be more than just casual fans meeting the Beatles....hmmm....this is a mystery to me.
This girl shows us how to properly open up a Beatles trading card pack.
A Ringo and a Paul fan from 1965.
That is a lot of fan mail! Is your letter in there?
What is the deal with the little boy in the front? Is the screaming too much for him? Is he the one person there to see the Elvis Presley movie that is also showing?
Just look at that Paul girl! I bet this right here is still the highlight of this lady's life. I bet she was crying when Paul married Nancy. I also am laughing at the fact that the Beatles are posing for a photo right outside the sign for the ladies and gents retiring rooms.
This is hilarious! Before the "photoshop days" of now, fans could take a school photo and cut out their faces and glue it down to fool everyone into thinking that they had met the Beatles! I actually feel bad for the girl who was really in this photo. Does anyone have a copy without her face removed? Can't you just image the conversation?
"I met the Beatles!"
"Yeah...the photo is going to be in the next issue of Beatles Forever and Ever magazine."
"Hey...I thought you said you met the Beatles. You liar!"
"I did. They cut out my face. That is me! Look! That is my purse,see? And my skirt and jacket. That is me, really!"
"Sure it is....why don't you just cut out your picture and glue it down there...haha!"
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
It seems from a lot of what I have read, that many newspaper ran contests during the Beatles 1963 UK tour for fans to win a chance to meet the Beatles backstage. One such fan met the Beatles in Kickcaldy on Oct 6, 1963. Her story was in "The Daily Record" in 1963. Here is what the article (written by Spencer) says.
A TAGGART star has solved a mystery from an old Daily Record photo of the Beatles with two young fans.
But actor Colin McCredie didn't need the detective skills of his DS Stuart Fraser character to ID one of the fans - it's his mother-in-law.
Val Mortimer was just 18 when she won a Daily Record competition to meet the band backstage.
Last week, the Record told how a Beatles collector had discovered a picture of the band from a tour of Scotland in 1963.
When Taggart star Colin read the story, he recognised mother-in-law Val.
Colin then phoned Val to tell her about the good news.
He said: "My dad told me about the picture in the Record first. So I looked at the picture and recognised her straight away.
"It's quite a joke that a TV detective has solved the Daily Record's mystery.
"I've seen the picture before because she has it on the wall at her house.
"I'm a big Beatles fan so it was just amazing to talk to someone who met them at that point so early in their career. It's definitely a great story to be able to tell people."
Val, now 63, and living in Kirkcaldy, was Val Hunter from Rosyth the night she met the Fab Four backstage.
Gran Val said: "When Colin phoned me up to tell me that my photo was in the paper, I thought he was kidding me on.
"I thought it must be some kind of early April Fools' joke.
"I can remember winning the Daily Record competition. I think that's the last thing I've ever won.
"I got my brother to drive me through to the Carlton cinema in Kirkcaldy. After the gig, I got the bus home and it felt like I was walking on air all the way to the bus stop.
"It was just brilliant. We were supposed to go for tea with The Beatles at the Station Hotel but that was cancelled. Instead, we went to see the gig and we were then allowed backstage. We were there for quite a while. It was easily 20 minutes.
"I remember they were really funny and kept cracking jokes all the time. Both me and the other girl who won loved their accents.
"John was just hilarious and Ithought he was really cute.
"Ringo was quiet and I didn't really like Paul that much for some reason.
"In the picture, George is looking down and I used to joke that he was looking down at me because he liked me but I don't think he was really."
The Record last week told how the band had been drinking cartons of an orange juice made by Barr's - that readers identified as "Jubilee".
And Val, a social worker, said she remembered enjoying a soft drink with the Fab Four.
She added: "At that point, The Beatles were really just taking off properly.
"I remember that the Carlton was totally full for the concert."
Monday, October 17, 2011
I am sure that in the comments section you will read information on who exactly this guy with Paul and Linda happens to be. And most likely it is someone that I should recognize. And someone will think "you call yourself a Beatles fan....and you don't even recognize a photo of this guy?" And I will say yes, I am a Beatles fan. However, I am not much of a Wings fan. Like most of their music, but never followed the Wings history. And every time I look at this photo, I just think that guy looks like my aunt's x-husband. And I think I would have known if he met Paul McCartney during the Wings era.
You'd think that being in the middle of 3/4 of the Beatles would warm this little girl up on a cold February in New York City. But she looks cold. I am sure she was still a very happy girl!
You would have thought that by 1974, George would have stopped holding press conferences. However, he held on right before the start of the Dark Horse North American tour.
There is a pretty neat autograph book up on ebay. It has autographs of a variety of people that a fan met coming and going at EMI studios during the 1960's. Georgie Fame, Donovan, Mal Evans, Cynthia Lennon, Jane Asher along with Paul and George are all included. Most of them seemed to have been obtained in 1965-1966. This fan also wrote down all of the information about what cars the Beatles drove and their license numbers. I wonder who this fan was. Sounds like she (or I guess it could be a he) had a fun time at EMI! Here is a nice sampling of names.
People are still all a-talk about Paul and Nancy's wedding last weekend at the Marylebone Registry in London. Reporters seem to be quick to point out that is where Paul and Linda also were married. However, I haven't read one single thing that mentions that a 2nd Beatle had a wedding ceremony at that location as well, Ringo Starr and Barbra Bach! And so I am going to post a fan story, written by Tracy Harris, which was published in the Aug/Sept 1981 issue of The Write Thing.
And just a side note for those who don't know and are reading this. Marylebone is not (much to my mother's surprise) pronounced Mary-La-bone. It is pronounced more like Mar-le-bun. Although my mom still calls it Mary-La-Bone.
It just so happened that on Monday 27, April, a friend and I were planning one of our regular visits around London when we saw on the front of the Daily Mirror: "Ringo to Wed". We knew it had to be at the Marylebone Registry Office so we headed there. By 9:30 we were set waiting along with 4 photographers. A policeman came up and told us the wedding wasn't until 3:20 and hinted we should leave but we wouldn't. The hours passed and by 1:00 there were about 20 photographers and 3 camera crews, 10 fans (true fans) and 20 onlookers. Pressmen were asking us about Ringo's children, then Paul's and then interviewed us about how a bunch of 15-year-old girls could call themselves dedicated fans as were weren't even born when the Beatles were in their heyday! Won't tell you what we said. We were sort of lining the steps up the registry office but selfish pressmen just edged their way in without a care for us (then turned to us and asked if we'd all scream to get a picture of '81 Beatlemania) but we didn't.
By 3:00 we were getting very nervous as we'd hoped to get just a tiny glimpse of Ringo (it would have been a big glimpse but the pressmen pushed us out). A taxi pulled up and Barbara's sister got out. We were quick on our toes and while the pressmen got their cameras ready, I pushed in between two and stayed there! Zak and Jason pulled up in another taxi and we were flabbergasted! Zak is absolutely gorgeous! He seemed very shy as we shouted out, "Hi Zak..." Ringo's mum and dad followed. Then opposite us there was cheering but we couldn't see Ringo- instead came Paul in all his glory. We all just screamed like mad - many in shock. Linda, as usual, was hooked to his left arm while baby Jamie was quietly sitting on his right arm. He seemed very pleased and happy and waved at us (all 10 of us!) Then shortly after, Ringo, Barbara, Lee and Barbara's daughter all got out of a taxi. We screamed but Ringo seemed a bit angry. Barbara is really beautiful -- and she seemed pleased with the crowd. Then there as a 20 minute break. In the meantime, I had shot up to Smith's and bought confetti as no one else had any. I got settled in my place again but this time I had a BBC camera over my right shoulder. I asked the man would we be on the 9:00 news. He pointed at the confetti and said, "not if you throw that bloody stuff!" Charming!
Anyhow, with no time to spare, a man came out with a dark-haired lady and ran down the stairs. By mistake I threw confetti over them as I thought the first people out would be Ringo and Barbara. The man and woman got into a taxi. The man who was commentating behind me mentioned George Harrison. I turned around and asked, "where?" He pointed at the taxi and said, "there." Of course we all went berserk -- 3 Beatles in 20 minutes! Paul came out again and I reached out and touched him; threw confetti and took pictures. Then Ringo came out. A big cheer rang out and this time he looked happy and waved at us. While waiting down the steps he tripped on Barb's dress! Soon it was all over and we were feeling stunned. After hoping to just get a glimpse of one Beatle, we saw three!
I don't mean to be nasty, but I couldn't help but notice how Paul has seemed to age since John's murder. His hair at the front is grey. George looked pale, extra thin and tired. Ringo's eyes have all wrinkles around them. I know that's expected, but there have been more since December. But still a very memorable day!