Monday, January 15, 2018

John is the Rave

The Whitby Ward Trio's lucky day

Unlikely couple

It isn't every day that you see Harry Nilsson and Pattie Boyd together at the movie premiere of the Godfather.

A fly on the wall ....

Remembering Paul Goresh

It is with much sadness that I share that Beatles fan and John Lennon photographer, Paul Goresh passed away after a long illness on January 9, 2018.   

The post I did about Paul in the early years of this blog remains the most popular post on the entire blog and currently is getting even more hits.    There is something about this man that interests us so much.   Who was he?   Why did he take photographs of John Lennon?   Why was he outside of the Dakota on the night John was killed?

Since first posting about him in 2010, I became friends with him on Facebook and found Paul to be a very nice, humble man.   He was happy to share some of the photos of John that he had taken to be on this blog, but told me that he had over 200 photographs of John that no one has ever seen, including the very last photo of John ever taken.   Paul snapped one more shot of John in the car as he and Yoko were leaving in the studio.    I still hope that we will see a least some of those photos.

So how did this regular fan get to meet John Lennon?   It is a pretty wild story -- but no wilder than any of the stories that included crazy things fans did to meet the Beatles.     On February 12, 1979 Paul and his friend Mario dared each other to meet John Lennon.     He worked for an electronics shop at the time and decided to act like they were VCR repairmen  and try to get into the Dakota to meet John.    Paul had on a clipboard that he was supposed to fix a VCR for a "J. Lennon."    The doorman waved them through.     The crazy part of this story was that John really WAS having problems with his VCR, but hadn't gotten around to telling anyone on the staff to call a repair man. 

So Paul and Mario knock on the door of John's apartment and were extremely shocked that John answered the door.    John was mad because he figured his secretary had scheduled the appointment and didn't bother to tell him, so he asked the guys to leave.    The secretary told them to come back a few days later.

Not toally sure if this note from John has anything to do with Paul but look at #6

And so they came back but John had bought himself a new VCR.    Paul asked him to sign his copy of "In his own write"  and John agreed just as long as Paul wouldn't take any pictures.     Goresh even showed me a photo of the book he had autographed.   

Photo by Paul Goresh 
And the story could have ended there and it would have been a great "meet the Beatles...for real" story.   However,  Paul Goresh wasn't going to be satisfied until he got photos of John Lennon.   So he started snapping some pictures of John coming and going from the Dakota with a telephoto lens.  John sees him and gets angry about it.     The next time, Paul apologizes to John and the two of sort of developed a bit of a friendship.   They would occasionally go for walks together for five minutes here and there.      So when it was time for John to go public again, he told Paul that he could take photos.   And that is how Paul got to take that famous photo that ended up on the cover of "Watching the Wheels."

Paul was at the Dakota on December 8, 1980, and we all know that he took that terrible photograph of John with his killer.    At the time of taking the photo, it would have just been a snapshot of John signing an autograph for someone.    There was no way that Paul or any other person there knew what was going to happen.   I personally do not know why Paul chose to go public with the photograph -- but I never did ask him about that. 

My condolences go out to Paul Goresh's family and friends and for all of us in the Beatles community that had the opportunity to get to know him. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Lennon look

Stop by the Harrison household

Several years adrift in an open neck shirt.

Paul's visit to Cuba in 2000

On January 14, 2000 Paul McCartney and some members of his family traveled from a winter holiday in the Caribbean to visit Cuba.   While there he did a variety of sight seeing, but a guy gets hungry and so he stopped at the El Morro resturnant which is located near Santigo. 

He did the usual -- ate his meal outdoors at a table that had a nice very of the water.   Finished his meal and posed for a photo for the staff at the resturnant, signed a few autographs and went on his way for more fun on holiday.    I would guess that Paul McCartney didn't think anything else about this meal ever again.

However --  the El Morro resturnant will never forget their famous visitor.   The scooped up  his place setting and saved it, saved the chair he sat in and along with an autograph  put these things on display for all to see.   Now they  have taken it a step farther!    The place where Paul once sat now has a Paul McCartney statue in the seat.   There is also a chair with a replica of Paul's autograph on it. 

All of this is obviously to help with tourism.   Who wouldn't want to get their photo snapped with a Paul McCartney statue?    And to see these things, you have to go inside the El Morro and if you are going inside, then you might as well have something to eat.    I wonder if whatever Paul orderd is now called "The Macca" dish. 

In memory of Harry

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Scream and Shout: 31 Days that Changed America Forever -- a Review

Over my holiday break I decided to end my Netflix subscription and try Amazon Prime instead.  And as one does when a new streaming services is available, one of the first things I did was put "Beatles" in the search box and see what they had to watch.   There were several listings that I wasn't familiar with, but the one that I thought sounded the most interesting was "Scream and Shout:  31 Days that Changed America Forever."    It is all about the 1964 North American tour and it promised to show newsreel footage and interviews.

Honestly, I did have high hopes from this film.    I bought some of those cheaply made VHS tapes in the 1980's/1990's that promised the same thing.   They always ended up being a mismatch of familiar footage with no rhyme or reason behind it and always ended with Pete Best on the game show "To Tell the Truth." 

Boy was I surprised by this film!   While the majority of the footage was familiar, there were quite a few clips that were brand new to me and I really enjoyed seeing.    The ones that were familiar weren't news footage that I had seen a million times either -- they were ones that haven't been shown too often.     And I loved that the film was in chronological order -- so it started in San Francisco (well actually LAX) and ended in New York.   Whoever put this film together really did a nice job organizing the material so that it went in the right order.

When I first started watching, I was pleasantly shocked to see that one of the guys that comments on this blog and I have communicated with one many occasions over the years, Mark Naboshek was one of the main people interviewed for the film.    Mark has an amazing collection of Beatles memorabilia and he knows his Beatles tour stuff, so I knew the documentary had to better than most with Mark featured in it.   However -- some of the other interviews I could have done without.   There was a lot of non-Beatles music featured that I guess was supposed to be "Beatle-esque."   They interviewed some of the musicians of this new music and I thought it took away from the story.   Sure hearing an 11 year old boy talk about his love for the Beatles is nice, but what did that have to do with the 1964 tour?

There's a lot of fan footage in this film, which I enjoy because I love seeing the fans from the Beatles touring years, but if you find that to be boring -- you might want to skip this one, or watch it with a remote to fast forward handy.      I think it adds to the charm of the tour and reminds us how insane Beatlemania really was.

This is a film that most fans will want to see at least once and I know I plan on watching it again.  So if you already have Amazon Prime, check it out!    If you don't -- a DVD is available.

That time when Wings was between drumemrs....

A different type of Lennon fan

I dont' often post photos of Julian Lennon fans on this blog -- but here are some happy ladies from 1984!

MBE announcement

Hello America!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Chinese-American boy views the Beatles

This is a news story taken from the Jersey Journal on September 2, 1964.   Written by Fred Chu

How does a Chinese-American boy feel about the Beatles?  Here is the answer from Fred Chu, a 19 year old Princeton University student:

That I am of Chinese decent might make one imagine that I could never enjoy a performance of the Beatles if my parents objected.

Of course this thought assumes that Chinese children always adhere to the commands of their parents.  I don't want to appear disrespectful, but I must admit that when it comes to music, my range of appreciation differs from my father's.

Actually, my father while suggesting that rock n roll is pretty awful, will also express annoyance with "long hair music" in the next breath.   (This may confuse those people who associate long pigtails with the older generation Chinese).

Hence, my father's musical taste is hard to classify.   I don't see any difference in music as long as it satisfies me. True, rock n roll cannot equal Chinese music in delicate tonal combinations, but what music equals the hypnotic beat of rock n roll -- especially that produced by Ringo Starr?

Really I cannot be accused of being a rock n roll fanatic.  I only enjoy it when my mood calls for excitement and movement. What better way to be awaken from the humdrum of life's slow pace than with a quicken rock n roll beat.

My belief that Beatle music is  not bad was confirmed when I met the Beatles in person at a backstage press conference and saw their show in Atlantic City.

To reassure parent, these fellows put on a fine. wholesome show for teenagers. And for the interview they were nattily dressed in black, velvet trimmed no collar suits.

After bouncing in front of the room and waving and calling "Hi everybody!" in their familiar "A Hard Day's night" fashion, they settled down for pictures and questions. 

Here are some of the questions they were asked:

"What do you intend to do for the next few years?"  Said George with a slight grin, "We never plan -- it all happens." 

"What do each of you miss from your former way of living?"  Paul answered, "Going on buses." Said George "Having nothing to do."  John missed school and Ringo missed going to the movies.

"When will you make your next movie?" they were asked. They told us it was planned for February of next year (I guess these fellows do plan).

"How many rings do you have Ringo?" He answered "about 100" and he said he hardly has enough fingers for all of them.

A quick interview with Ringo

Looking to buy an island

Sailing away

Photo from Elliot Minz Facebook

Bombay 1968

George traveled to India in January 1968 to work with some musicians on the Wonderwall album.