Friday, December 30, 2016

Another piece of the puzzle gone---goodbye Allan Williams

When I posted the list of influential Beatle people that passed away in the early hours of this morning, I had no idea that another person would make the list.     The Beatles first manager, Allan Williams passed away today.

Allan will be remembered for a variety of things.   Most of all for being quite an eccentric character who was very good at telling a story.    Sometimes you weren't sure how much of his story was to be believed, but it was a good story  nonetheless.    Allen was the guy who ran the Blue Angel Club and the Jacaranda Clubs in Liverpool and who got the Beatles the audition and tour on the Johnny Gentle tour of 1960.  

Allan at the Jac

But Allan Williams's most notable part of the Beatles' history is that he is the guy that got them to Hamburg.    Allen was at the 2 i's coffee club in London where he met up with Bruno Koschmider who was looking for British arts to play at his clubs in Hamburg.     Williams was familiar with the  music scene in Hamburg because the steel drum group from the Jacaranda had left to perform there.  Williams suggested the Beatles and drove them himself in a van from Liverpool to Germany to make history.

This is the only photo I could find that has Williams and the Beatles in it

Allan Williams wrote a book that is worth reading called "The Man who gave away the Beatles."  I just might need to re-read it again soon.  

Liverpool is losing some of it's first hand Beatles connections and that is really sad.    However, through those of us that love the lads, the stories and the music of the Beatles will never die.

Those we have lost---saying farewell to 2016

First and foremost I want to wish each and every visitor of Meet the Beatles...for Real a happy New Year.   I wish you only the best in health and happiness as we enter into 2017.

I am aware that most of you out there had a terrible 2016.    I want to extend my sympathies to you. I hope that this blog was able to bring a little of happiness into the gloom of the year for some of you.  

I had a wonderful 2016 and I feel  a bit guilty saying that.  But it is true.   I was able to see Paul McCartney in concert twice as well as two Beatle sons.    My book, "Happiness is Seeing the Beatles:  Beatlemania in St. Louis" was published and I was on television and radio talking about my book.   It was such an exciting year for me.       A big thank you to each of you who sent me messages and emails and supported me in any way with my book.   I appreciate it.

I hope that all of us have a great 2017.   It will be the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper and the Summer of Love, which should be a lot of fun.     I hope that Paul tours Australia this year because i think our friends Down Under deserve to see him again.  

As we say goodbye to 2016, I wanted to take a moment and remember those in the Beatle world that passed away this year.

1.   George Martin

George Martin passed away on March 8, 2016.    No one can say that George Martin didn't live a long and full life.    However, the death of the Beatles' producer left all of us feeling empty and sad.    His influence on the Beatles' music was huge and I know that we all are thankful for his contribution to their music and especially for taking a chance on them in 1962.     George Martin will never be forgotten.

2.  Tony Barrow

Tony left us on May 14th.    Tony was the Beatles' PR guy for a long time and traveled with them on the 1965-1966 tours.    He was remembered in death as the guy that named the Beatles the "Fab Four."   But I think he did so much more for the Beatles than just that.     I always enjoyed the stories he shared on Beatles documentaries and specials.   He had a unique relationship with the guys.

3.  Sam Leach

As you know, Sam passed December 20th.   Sam was a key figure in booking the Beatles concerts outside of the Cavern Club in the early days.  He was also a fixture on the Liverpool music scene in the early 1960's.    

4.  Henry McCullough

Henry is the only person on this list that wasn't connected to the Beatles, but to one of the guys during the solo days.  But since this blog is about all aspects of the Beatles from birth until today, he needs to be on the list.   Wings guitarist, Henry McCullough passed away June 14, 2016.   He was an amazing guitarist and helped shape Wings.   He will always be remembered for his guitar solo on the song "My Love."  

5.   Al Brodax

Al passed away on Thanksgiving day, November 24th.   I know that his direct connection with the Beatles is a bit far-fetched, but he is a part of the Beatles story.    He was the creator of the Beatles cartoons and the Yellow Submarine.     While he wasn't friends with the Beatles, his Yellow Submarine is an image that is going to live on forever and will always be connected with the Fab 4.

Others we have lost this year that had a Beatles connection:  Leon Russell, Carla Lane, David Bowie, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher.     Prince might not have had a Beatles connection, but we felt the impact of his death in the Beatles community.  

May all of these individuals rest in peace and let their friends and family find comfort in knowing that a community of fans mourn with them.

My best wishes again to each of you for 2017.

Peace and Love,

Sara S.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The top 5 fan stories on MTBFR

Last Wednesday I posted number 6-10 of the top fan stories on this blog since 2009.    Today I will share the top five and they are some good ones!

5.   The Day we met John Lennon
3724 hits
Posted 11-17-09

I personally love this story because the idea of being welcomed into John Lennon's home in 1967 and getting to spend time with him, is just great.   Since I will never have that experience myself, it is fun to live through these stories and this one is a great one!

4.  My Groovy Visit with George Harrison
3807 hits
Posted 1-31-11

This is a story about when George Harrison visited Los Angeles during the "summer of love" told Rodney Bingenheimer.   It was originally published in Teen Set magazine and is a good story if you have never read it before. 

3.  "No You're not" said Little Nicola
4387 hits
posted  12-1-10

One of the highlights of the Beatles, "Magical Mystery Tour" film is the scene with Little Nicola sitting on John Lennon's lap.    Here is a story from the Strawberry Fields Forever fanzine in the early 1990's about Little Nicola herself. 

2.  Invited Inside Friar Park
5465 hits
Posted 4-24-12

Fans can't seem to get enough of Friar Park!   Stories about fans meeting George at Friar Park, especially those who were lucky enough to get inside the gates.   This story is a strange one because it isn't the full story.   I never could find the first part, but even with the beginning missing, George's kind nature towards his fans shine through.

1.  Paul Goresh
13,185 hits
Posted 5-24-10

And here is the number one fan story by a huge landslide (over 10,000 clicks on it!)---the story of how Paul Goresh became friends with John Lennon!    

In 2010 when I originally posted the photos and story from the Summer of 1980 book, I had no idea what happened to Paul Goresh.   Since then, I  have been lucky enough to be friends through Facebook with Paul and see firsthand how much love and respect he has for John and Yoko.   


The painted bungalow

Double Beatles


Sunday, December 25, 2016

War is over (if you want it) Happy Christmas from Sara 2016

As this Christmas comes to an end, I hope that all of you visitors of Meet the Beatles...for Real had a wonderful time and if you celebrate this holiday, I hope you were able to spend time with family and friends.  I also hope that Santa was able to sneak a little Beatle goody into your stocking this year.

Every year at Christmas, I think about War is Over (if you want it).   I have expressed on this blog that my feelings are that for there to be peace on earth, we need to start with ourselves and end the wars that are going on in our lives.

I started to think about what wars I have going on and I began to think about my online life.   Having a somewhat popular blog has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people both in real life and through emails and messages.   But I also have met some not so nice people.  

I want to publicly apologize to Dirk Bock for being so rude to him for the past 10 years.   He has said some things that have deeply hurt my feelings and just plain annoyed me, but my response to him online and what I have said to others about him  has not been kind.    I hope that Dirk can accept my apology and that we can go into 2017 with a new outlook.    I hope that he will being to post nicer comments and I my responses to him will nice as well.    We are both Beatles fan and we have a lot to share.   Neither one of us knows more than the other---we just know different things.    

How about you?   Have you been kind to everyone in your life both off and on line?    Something to think about as we begin this new year.

I wish each and every one of you a very happy Christmas.  

Peace and Love,

Sara S.

Rockin' Around the Christmas tree

They've practiced all year long....

Heading for the Starrs

Jason and Zak Starkey were astronauts on this Christmas.   So cute!

Goodbye to George Michael

I am a 1980's kid.   I was born in the late 1970's and was a kid in the 1980's and a teenager in the 1990's.    I don't think I had a whole lot of amazing music growing up, at not like the music of the 1960's.   But I had Wham! and George Michael.     I loved George Michael!  I thought he was gorgeous.   I thought his voice was awesome.   Faith was the first album I ever had on CD (and the only one I had on CD for a very long time because CDs were very expensive back then) and I had the entire Wham! collection on cassette tape.  

I was shocked and so sad to hear that George Michael had passed away today.   Of all of the deaths this past year, George Michael is the one that has touched me the most (well---next to George Martin) because I truly listened to his music all the time growing up.   It was always playing in the background.  

George Michael was a Beatles fan.   In 2000 he famously bought John Lennon's "Imagine" piano and then had it go on tour.    The piano is the upright piano that John used to write the song "Imagine" and it has a cigarette burn on one of the keys from John.    I thought the piano tour was something right out of John and Yoko's peace campaign handbook.    The piano was sent to places were there had been violence such as school shootings, murders, etc.   And the piano brought a little bit of peace to everywhere it went.  People came together and sang "Imagine" or other John Lennon songs around the piano.   Photos were taken.   Friends laughed.    What an amazing way to spread John's message of peace!

It was said that George Michael also bought the famous white Imagine piano and has it on loan to the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool.    And it is also suspect that he owns various other Beatles items  and could  have been one of the mysterious British bidders at the high end auctions.

The first time I was aware of George Michael meeting a Beatle was in 1985, when George was on the same stage as Paul McCartney during Live Aid.

In October 1988, George Harrison attending a party in George Michael's honor for the success of his album, "Faith."

In 2005, George Michael and Paul got together again for Live Aid and they performed a great version of "Drive my Car"

They also recorded a amazing duet of Michael's song "Heal the Pain" a year later.  If you haven't ever heard this song, I HIGHLY recommend looking it up on youtube.  

I am sorry that such a talent man died at such a young age.   He will be remembered for his great musi

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Outside the gates

Photographer currently unknown
Scanned from the collection of Sara Schmidt 

The hottest ticket in town

Traditionally the McCartney family spends the week of Christmas in New York City.  While they are in the Big Apple. they will catch a Broadway show.    Last night, Paul McCartney was seen at the hottest ticket on Broadway, the hit musical, Hamilton.    Word is that it is next to impossible to obtain tickets to this sold-out show, especially this time of year.    But I would guess that two people could snag tickets without any issues:  Paul McCartney and Santa Claus.

We have seen that when Paul has gone to a Broadway show in the past, he will pose for a photo or maybe two with members of the cast.    This time around, he went all out and let everyone get a photo with him!

It looks like someone in the audience snapped a photo of Paul in his Christmas red sweater during the curtain call. 

The striped shirt

A Christmas card from George and Pattie

George thought this photograph of him was so funny that he decided to turn it into a Christmas card!  Here is the card that was sent out to Robert and Sonny Freeman from George and Pattie.