Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Beatles lyrics - a Book review

After reading George Harrison's I me Mine,  I became interested in learning more about the Beatles hand-written lyrics.   I recalled a book that came out a few years ago, that I never got around to reading, Beatles Lyrics:  The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More than 100 Classic Beatles songs by Hunter Davies.

The handwritten lyrics of "A Hard Day's Night" by John Lennon was written on a birthday card for Julian's 1st birthday

Hunter Davies was the official Beatles biographer and as part of his research for his book, he was able to get ahold of many of the hand-written lyrics of the Beatles songs.    He kept these over the years and has them displayed at the British Museum in London.     He wrote a book on the Beatles lyrics, not just to show his collection, but also to highlight the collections of others to have a comprehensive book of Beatles handwritten lyrics. 

Having all of the Beatles' song lyrics that were handwritten in one book is great.   It is so neat to see the words of the songs written out by one of the guys and to see what they had laying around to  scribbled the new thought out words.   It is fascinating to see what they scratched out and decided not to use in the song. 

Davies goes through each song in the Beatles' cannon chronologically.   He breaks down the reasons why the song was written and whatever stories go along with each song.   For serious Beatles fans, this will be old hat and I found myself skimming through it.    I don't need to read yet again that Yesterday was originally "Scrambled Eggs."     But there are also some gems hidden in the book.    Since Davies was the Beatles biographer, he spent quite a bit of time in the studio with them in 1967.   There is a section in the "Sgt. Pepper" part of the book where he prints his notes from some of the sessions.   I really enjoyed reading about John and Paul working on writing "with a little help from my friends."    Davies also includes quite a bit of humor in this book, but you have to catch the subtlety of it.  

This is a book fans really need to have on their bookshelf, however it isn't one that I see anyone picking up and reading over and over again.   It is great to flip through and look at the Beatles' handwriting and read some of the stories, especially on your favorite songs.  I am glad that Davies took the initiative and time to track down all of this information and put it in book form.

Why is Ringo out in front?

A happy fan in 2014

Backstage with those Beatle boys

John's back

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fake news of 1970

Some news items I found in a scrapbook that never came to surface. 

Newspaper article from 1970

John Lennon surprised the entertainment watchers again by signing with the BBC to play the role of Christ in a 13 week series set to film in the Holy Lands entitled "That Jesus Saga."  One wouldn't think Lennon's still trying to rectify that boner of four years ago when he said of the Beatles:  "We're bigger than Jesus,"  But maybe so...

Not only is it most unlikely that the Beatles will ever get back together again for a movie, the differences among them are growing tremendously.  It's nothing calculated or intentional.  It's just simply that Ringo Starr's not sitting around wasting time or letting personal problems get the best of him.  While John Lennon gets all the publicity, Ringo (the least likely) decides to do another motion picture.  Hs next movie may cast him opposite Carol White in "The Impotent."

Crowding around

July 8, 1969

Talking to the press again

Rock on John!

Meet and greet at the Peppermint club

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Louise reports about George's wedding

This is the report Louise Harrison (sister) wrote for the Louise Harrison fan club newsletter in 1966:

George's wedding:  My piece of George's wedding cake is on its way; I should have it by the time you receive this letter.  I still can't make up my mind whether to eat it, frame it, or maybe just auction it off crumb by crumb!  I think you might enjoy reading Mum's description of the wedding:    George & Pattie were married in Epsom (which is a town outside of London) by a Justice of the Peace.  The ceremony took place at 10:45am. on the Friday morning.   There were no sightseers when the party arrived.  the weather was very, very cold and foggy.     
Pattie wore a reddish striped dress and red fox fur coat with a beige band around her hair and beige shoes.   Pattie carried a bouquet of white Gardenias, white carnations, cream roses, and lily of the valley.   The ring is broad and in a design of white, pink and ordinary gold. 
George wore a black Victorian suit with wide lapels and black overcoat with a fur collar.  Mum wore a winter-white suit with black fur collar and a small black velvet hat with black shoes, handbag and gloves.  Dad wore a charcoal gray suit and tie and gray shoes.
Mum & Dad only knew three days before the wedding what the exact day and time would be.  Unfortunately, at such short notice, my other brothers Peter and Harry and their wive were unable to make arrangements to attend.
The only other Beatle present was Paul - and as Jane was working, she was unable to accompany him.  As you probably heard, John and Ringo were on vacation in Tobago with Cynthia and Maureen.  Although they would like to be together for weddings, etc., they have found from experience that a secret is better kept if all four of them do not appear in one place at one time.

George particularly wanted his wedding to take place in a quiet and serious atmosphere rather than a frantic, hurried atmosphere as would be the case if too many people had known about it.  They decided against going away for their honeymoon at this time.  their ideas about a family are that they would like about three children, but George is a little reluctant to start his family whilst there is so much publicity.   I guess when he does have children, he wants t have the time to spend with them.