Wednesday, April 30, 2014

George's name in a book

Made it by a nose!

This would be in the "crap photo of the month" group, know that I even love those types of photos.  John photos are hard to come by, so when I locate any, I treasure them.  Plus that nose!  You gotta love that nose1

Walk on by

photo from The Write Thing 1977

Help snaps

These are currently for sale on ebay.  Pretty awesome behind the scenes snapshots, don't you think?

Bad Boy

I love the little girl in the background of this photo.   But really....awesome shot of John!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Paul McCartney in Hollywood

I am not quite sure where this story came from.   I got it in a bunch of newspaper clippings and it is a photocopy.  So it could be from anywhere, but most likely a teen magazine.  We have seen Robyn Flans before.  She worked for Modern Drummer magazine and met Ringo in the 1980's and 1990's.  Well here she is a total teenage fan girl over Paul McCartney in Los Angeles in 1968.   I feel like there must be more to this story.  How did these girls just happen to get to talk to Paul on the phone and get invited over to his Bungalow in the first place?   

Paul McCartney in Hollywood!
By Robyn Flans and Gerri Friedman

As he approached, it truly seemed like a dream – a flight from reality.  It had been a rough day.  At 7:30 we had boarded a bus.  Finally, at 9:00, once at the magic Beverly Hills Hotel, we reached Paul on the phone.  He spent a half hour talking to us, telling us his bungalow number and then that we’d be expected about 6:00 in the evening, which meant a day of nervous waiting!  We began our waiting by sleeping in the bathroom, which only wasted an hour.  That left us with five hours on our hands.  By 5:00 it became evident that the lobby was not the place for us to wait, becoming formal, so we, in our jeans, silently trotted out to the lawn to wait patiently for him.  When 6:00 rolled around and still Paul did not return, we began to doubt his word.

But, alas, at 7:12 our fate arrived, and luckily we were still alive to be rewarded by his presence.   As we walked up those bungalow steps, the echoes of knocking knees could be heard plainly.  Courageously we approached Paul’s roommate Tony, who was nice enough to bring us to Paul’s attention.  Once  we had that over with, the rest was easy.  As Paul emerged from his bungalow, our knocking knees were put at ease as he told us to relax and have a seat.  We sat down close to him, checking to make sure Paul would not slip from our grasp.  Hoping not to impose, we politely asked Paul if we could snap some pictures.  Obviously being used to them, he accepted with graciousness. 
Between sips of water, we asked Paul questions.  He told us why “Magical Mystery Tour” got a bad write up in England.  Seems that they’re very conservative over there.  And we’re not?!?!  But we always thought….Oh well, it doesn’t matter what we think.  It is what he thinks that counts.  We spoke of how some people are mean by giving the fans fake information to make themselves look big.  The thing that amazed us, was that he was so real (maybe because he is!?), and so unaffected.  Whenever there was a lull in the conversation,  Paul sang for us putting us at ease immediately.  Paul was also asked to explain, “How I won the War.”  He told us that people play more into it then there really is, and then he went on  to explain some of the confusing parts to us.  One of the other girls with us, Vicki, gave Paul a pair of beads as a small token of her love for him.   Being original in every way, he put them on his shoes – trying to start another fad, huh Paul?

The pictures were still being snapped and after every flash in our eyes, we were truly scared to open them in fear of waking up and finding our dream gone.

The climax of our visit occurred when Lesley went to give Paul her gift to him.  It was a common, ordinary everyday gift – an elephant bean.  You’re asking me what it is?  You’ve got to be kidding!  Actually, we soon found out, when the minute bean fell from Lesley’s nervous hands, coming apart as it touched bottom.  Lesley commenced to picking up the elephants – ivory elephants that is – to be exact twelve tiny ones.  While all this was going on, Paul felt he had to get into the act (the ham) so he began shouting verse of “Go Lesely!! Hurry Les! “ etc.   What a scene!  Lesley frantically began to retrieve them as Paul eagerly extended his hand for the elephants.  Paul was in the process of calculating nine from twelve, trying to see how many elephants he had lost in the accident, when all of a sudden, a lady popped out of the bushes.   Would you believe a maid walked around the corner?  We all laughed for a while about that.

Time was running short, so we all decided it best to record his face in our minds.  We could never forget the moment we had waited for for five long years.  Our reward sat there as we examined him from top to bottom.  He’s much more beautiful in person than in pictures, but the pictures we took captured much of his beauty.  His eyes, his most outstanding feature, are of hazel color.  They’re big and droopy and just by looking at them, one can tell Paul’s feelings.  His nose and mouth are perfectly shaped, but there is still a small scar form his motorbike accident.  Being nobodies, Paul didn’t really dress up for the occasion.   He wore brown and white herringbone pants and no top however, so we might not get the wrong idea, he put on a velvet maroon jacket. 

We felt we had taken up enough of Paul’s precious time, and we told him so.  Then the best moment of the forty he had spent with us happened.   All four of us received kisses, but for some wonderful reason, we two, received special ones – on the lips.  We were only ecstatic with happiness.  We thanked him for spending so much time with us and then we all stood up.

Dirty weekend fans

These photos were taken by Lucille Azzarito and Patti O'Neil.   I have been doing a bit of reading about Paul's L.A. trip in 1968.     He was extremely open and welcoming to the fans while he was there. 

She's so heavy

Not quite such what is going on here....most likely a staged photo for the newspapers.   I am pretty sure I have posted this one before, but with a creased down the middle of Paul.  

What if it rains? We didn't care!

These fans got pretty wet waiting to see the Beatles at the airport.   Yet they seem to be fairly pleased.  One fan is even still hanging onto her soggy "I love George" sign.   I wonder if this was from Australia (where the Beatles also got soaking wet).   I know there have been many instances where Beatle fans got sopping wet and it didn't matter one bit.   I was soaked through the skin at the Paul McCartney concert in St. Louis in 2012, but it didn't matter one bit.   I think these fans were feeling the same way.  

"When you find the girl of your dreams in the arms of some Scotsmen from Hull"

Here is a different frame of the photo of the boys with two young people backstage in Hull in 1964.

One free raffle ticket for the "Good Ol Freda" raffle to the first person who emails me and knows what the title of this entry is from.

Welcome back Beatles

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hare Krishna

My boyfriend's 15 year old son has decided that he is now a Hare Krishna, so I am getting a whole new education on this subject.   Here we have George in August of 1969 participating with some others at a Hare Krishna temple.   I am not sure how I could have focused on the worship if George Harrison was kneeling right near me.   

Stu hanging out on the church

Here is a photo of Stuart Sutcliffe during the time that he was in art college with John.   He is hanging on the front of a church in Liverpool.   I thought this was such an interesting photo and it was time to give Stu a little bit of attention around here.

40 years ago today: Mark Lapidos met John Lennon

I know for many of you, it will be hard to believe that this year is the 40th anniversary Beatlefest, which is the longest running consecutive Beatles fan convention.      This year marks my 20th anniversary of going to the Fest, so I have been there for half of the time (not bad for a 37 year old!).    I know that quit a few of you have been to Beatlefests over the past 40 years and have great memories of speakers, music, videos and friends.   While I have a lot of complaints about Beatlefest, overall I have to say that it is my favorite thing that I do every summer.   I look forward to the Fest in Chicago all year round because it simply is fun.   It is the one time of the year that I can be around other people who love the Fab 4 as much as I do (or maybe even more if that is possible).   I can listen to geeky speakers and talk to friends in person and sing all the Beatles songs until my hearts content.     I will be going to the Chicago Beatlefest again this year, although I will have to leave early on Sunday before it is over because I have my first day of the school year that Monday.   So I hope to see many of you there again!

Carol and Mark Lapidos at the 2014 New York Fest

All of this Beatles fun is due to one person.   Mark Lapidos not only created Beatlefest, but he has ran it with very little bumps for the past 40 years.   I can't say enough how much I appreciate Mark Lapidos and all of the work he has done to not only start a Beatles convention but to keep it going.   Many, many other Beatle fan conventions have came and gone over the years and yet Beatlefest is the only one that remains for the longest amount of time.  Mark has to be doing something right.    Do I agree with everything he does?  Heck no!  Do I complain about it every single year when I return?   Heck yeah!   I still think that the Fest needs a make-over of sorts if it is going to continue on after Paul and Ringo are gone, but that is a discussion for another day.     One of the reasons why I believe that the Fest has lasted so long is because Mark Lapidos as always been a true Beatle fan.   I know that some people might not believe this because they have the impression that Mark is just into it to make money off the Beatles name.    But I have seen Mark bid on things with excitement during the auction, I heard him speak about seeing George Harrison at the Bangladesh concert, about going to England in 1969 and hanging around EMI and seeing the Beatles, about seeing Wings over America, etc etc.    He still has passion and love for the Beatles and that is what I think is the most important thing if you are running a fan convention.

Mark with Paul and Linda

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Beatlefest, Mark Lapidos gave a talk about how he came up with the idea for the Fest and how he asked John Lennon "permission" before he went ahead with his plans.   It was exactly 40 years ago today that Mark went to John Lennon's hotel room and talked to him about his idea of having a Beatle fan convention.      And during that talk this past February, I sat right in the front on the floor and recorded the entire time (18 minutes long).   It is really interesting.  I think my favorite part is how John donated a guitar to be raffled off for a charity and how he almost came to Beatlefest to pick the raffle ticket.    You just have to hear the story.   It is pretty amazing.

George in France

This photo comes from a book about the Beatles 1965 tour to France.   It was scanned and posted on the Beatles Library tumblr blog .     I asked person that runs this great blog if she would mind if I shared this photo on here and she did not mind.   I highly recommend this tumblr blog, because she posts many rare Beatle photos from books and magazines as well as from photographs that she has purchased off ebay (I have a sneaky suspicion that she is one of my big competitors on Beatles photos on there...haha!)

I would like to know more about this photo.  It looks like it was taken in a hotel or a house and not backstage.  Who are all of these people with George.   George does not look thrilled.   I just love this one!! 

It was all HER fault!

I know that I recognize some of the fans in this photos from Paul and Linda's wedding day.   But this particular photo looks pretty funny.   The fan on the end there (who I think I know her name, but I am not going to say just in case I am wrong) seems to be mad and everyone else in the photo is looking at her, including little Heather who is pointing at her.   I wonder what this was all about!   

About Paul and Linda wedding:  I do not think that girls were actually crying in the streets over it.   I think just two girls were crying and the press took tons of photos of those two girls.     I think those two girls would have been crying if they just saw Paul on any occasion.   I know that fans were upset and angry that Paul was marrying Linda.  I think it was more the fact that he was marrying Linda and the assumptions some of them had about her.  I do not think they were truly devastated because Paul was no longer single.   But then I wasn't there.....  It just seems like the it was one of those things that the media twisted  to make Beatle fans look like foolish girls.  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Finding the Beatles

When I was a young Beatles fan, one of my favorite albums was the blue album.   I really loved the inside photo that showed the Beatles blending into a group of people by a fence.  I thought I was pretty awesome because I could locate them quickly (you didn't fool me Ringo....I see you down there trying to be one of the kids).   Now I know that the photo was just one of a million photos taken as part of the Mad Day Out shoot.   And I wonder who are all these people?   Where they just out and about one day and were asked if they wanted to pose with the Beatles?  How can they keep their composure?   The girl next to Paul appears to want to look at him.   And most importantly where are they now?   All of the kids in the photo....they are grown up and they have a story to tell.  I would really love to hear it.

Fans wrote a lot

I wanna hold your Helping Hand

Catching up on some good reading.

Love me Do-the Beatles Progress-- a book review

How the 1964 book, “Love me Do:  The Bealtes’ Progress” by Michael Braun slipped off my radar for all of these years is beyond me.    John Lennon even spoke of this book in in the Rolling Stone Working Class Hero interview in 1970 saying, “A true book.  He wrote how we were, which was bastard.”  John was saying how it was the true Beatles and not the watered-down version that the Hunter Davies biography gave us.    I read the 1995 reprint of the book, which has a really great forward by Mark Lewisohn.   In the forward, Mark explains that it showed the Beatles in their true light as human beings and not just as four mops of hair.   He says how the Beatle Book Monthly, which worked hard to preserve the Beatles good image, did not even mention that they book existed and the NME considered “Love me Do” to be an “image killer” for the Beatles. 

Reading the book 50 years later, the truths about the Beatles, such as the fact that they smoked and drank and liked women do not seem too bad.   In the past 50 years we have read worse things about the Fab 4 and still have kept our devotion intact.   However, I can see that it would have been uncertain how the teenage girls who adored the boys would have reacted.  However, this book was published and fans did not protest the band.   Really, the things that are revealed do not make the Beatles look but, just human. 

The book was written by Michael Braun, who spent about 3 months with the Beatles from November 1963 through February 1964.   He was there for the end of the 1963 Autumn tour, into the fan club conventions, the Christmas show, the tour of Paris and the first trip to America.    He witnessed and wrote about the Beatles at one of their most pivotal times.   Really Braun just lucked that way, because how we he to know that the Beatles were going to take the world by storm during that time period? 

There are plenty of great stories about the Beatles meeting fans backstage before a concert, or reading fan letters or just talking about the fans.   I especially liked the reproduction of some of the fan letters and the story about two fans who went backstage to record an interview with the boys because they had a “friend” who was sick and had to miss the concert.     At the end of it all (after they got autographs), they realized that the tape recorder wasn’t working.  Oh well….

But there are a lot of little tid-bits that I think have been forgotten over the years.   One thing that I did not know was that backstage at Cambridge in 1963, the Beatles pre-recorded their lines for the Christmas shows they were to do that December.   Because there is so much screaming at the concerts, the director decided it would be best for the Beatles to record the 20 minutes worth of lines for the pantomime (where George played the heroine who was thrown in front of a train, John played the bad guy, Sir Jasper, Paul played the signal man who rescued the girl, and Ringo remained silent the whole time but sprinkled snow on everyone to help the mood).  Here I thought they said the lines “live” each night.  

Something else that I learned from this book was who the opening acts for the Washington D.C. Coliseum concert were.   This is something that Beatle historians have debated for years, and here is the information written right after the show by an author who was there.   He says that three American group played before the Beatles:  Tommy Roe, the Chiffons, and uh oh….he does not say who the third group was.  Maybe that is what causes debate.   

I was fortunate that I received this book unexpectedly in a lot of magazines that I won in an auction.   If you happen to own this book, and haven’t read it in 50 years, I think it is a great book to re-read.    If you have never read it, it is well worth adding to your Beatles library.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wings over Holland

We read so much about fans in the UK and the US that followed the Beatles or waited for them, that it is nice to see a story from a different country.   In March of 1976, Wings toured Europe for a small sets of  concert dates.   This is a story about how Erik Bakker, one of the editors of the fanzine, The Beatles Unlimited spent 43 hours waiting and seeing Paul and the rest of Wings.

It was from the April 1976 (issue #14) issue of "With a little help from my friend," but there is a note that says 'this article is a very short abstract from Beatles Unlimited 6, a special 32 page issue on Wings in Holland'   So if anyone has that magazine, there is a much longer story in there (hopefully  I will locate it one of these days).

Paul and Erik (March 26)

Paul and Linda with Henk as they leave the hotel on March 25

Wings Over Holland
By Erik M. Bakker

When on March 24 (1976) and company finally came through the customs at Schiphol Airport there were some 20 people waiting in the hall.  A group of security-men, a few excited air hostesses and some ten taxi-drivers, and of courses the editors of Beatles Unlimited (Henk Hager and myself).  As we were the only fans, we were able to take the first of our over 800 photographs made in those 43 hours. 

I drove my car at high speed through the Amsterdam peak-hour to stay close to the black eight-seater limousine Paul, Linda and Children, Jimmy and Joe were in.  We managed to stay behind them, thus being able to shoot some pictures of the arrival at the Amstel Hotel where some 50 fans were present to welcome Paul and Wings.   Not one of those fans was as “loyal” as I was, for I am the only one who followed Wings the whole 43 hours of their visit.  Henk “dropped out” after the concert and didn’t join in the last day of their stay.

In the evening we saw Paul, Linda and Heather again giving some autographs as they were leaving for the Neil Young concert at the Ahoy Sports Palace at Rotterdam.  Jimmy and Joe already left earlier and Denny and his wife came out at about ten to have dinner.  In the meantime we had bought some bottles of Bols Old Genever (Dutch gin) which we gave to the members of the band.  The first was Denny who arrived at 1:15am signing a BU issue, then Paul and Linda who arrived just after Denny.  Jimmy and Joe didn’t return until a quarter to three. 

The next day we saw some people of the company coming in and going out, a.o Joe, who wanted to do some shopping.  Joe talked to us and posed for a whole series of pictures. 

In the afternoon we followed the black limousine again and in a hectic pursue to Rotterdam we nearly collided in the confusion of the arrival.  The concert was due at eight, but at 7:30 we were in the hall, talking to the security men we had gotten to know in those two days and decided to say in the middle aisle near the stage when at last the concert started at 20.10 hours.

It was a great concert.  The show started with the Venus and Mars/Rockshow/Jet medley followed by the programme as we knew it from the British and Australian tour.  Only alteration were three new songs from “Speed of Sound”, Let ‘em in/Silly Love Songs/Beware my love.  Highlights were “Live and let die,” “Yesterday” and “Lady Madonna.”

The next day I was back again early at the hotel and they came out at about 12 o’clock.  Again I followed Paul’s limousine through the busy traffic and again managed to keep in tough and overtook them on the highway to the airport.  When Paul stepped into the hall of Schiphol Airport, I gave him two sets of Beatles Unlimited and told him issue 6 would be a special on Wings.  Linda also joined in and asked about the special.  Waving at us, the group went to the customs and disappeared from our sight.  

An unforgettable experience, 43 hours of Wings in Holland.