Wednesday, February 21, 2018

With the Beatles: A Book Review

Wednesday Review tonight is right in time for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles in India.   The book I am reviewing is With the Beatles by Lewis Lapham.    The author was hired to write about transcendental meditation and the Beatles involvement with the Maharishi for the Saturday Evening Post.   First, he went to New York and then to California to study and understand TM and have the background information needed to travel to Rishikesh and meet the Maharishi.

This is an extremely small and short book.    Since it just focuses on the experiences of the author during two months of his life, there isn't a lot of unneeded background information.   However, about half of the book is dedicated to explaining what the author learned about TM and then explaining what it was like at the Ashram.

Lapham was one of the few journalists allowed inside the camp and he got to talk to Maharishi.   He really made the guru look like a money-hungry, fame-hungry man that took advantage of the Beatles and other celebrities involved in what he had to offer.       The Beatles were put on a pedestal and he gushed over everything they had to say or do.   He offered them private meditation sessions and didn't allow the press to talk to them.

 However, Lapham did converse some with the Beatles because the guys would occasionally go out into the commons area.    He didn't have any deep talks with them or hear any music being made, but he did get to chat with them a little about things.    His observations were really good -- especially about how Cynthia looked really sad the entire time.      He was even present during George's birthday party and explained some of the confusion in the photos from that day.

Lapham left with Ringo and Maureen after 10 days and traveled the 8-hour drive into the city with Ringo and has some good memories of that trip.

This was far from being the best Beatles book out there, but it was a quick read and was especially interesting to read right now -  50 years after the fact.   I think it is a must-have for anyone that wants to learn more about the Maharishi and the Beatles time in India.

Sharing the guitar


The ketchup botton photos

Mist in the glen

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

John and Yoko with Tommy

This blog has been amazing in reconnecting Beatle friends over the years.   Let's see if we can do it again!    This photo of John and Yoko (and it looks like John has a cake in his hand -- he and Yoko used to walk to a bakery and John would get chocolate cake from time to time) and a fan was taken in August of 1980.     The fan's name is Tommy Enright from Liverpool, England.      Tommy spent some time with a penpal in Connecticut in August of 1980 and they were able to meet John and Yoko a few times during his visit.    His old penpal is looking for Tommy.     Surely Tommy is out there somewhere -- maybe you know him and can help reconnect him with the woman that helped him get this photograph taken.      Here is her message:

I know the guy on this photo with John. He was a pen-pal of mine from Liverpool in the late 70’s/ early 80’s. His name is Tommy Enright. He was here in the States when this was taken. He came to stay at my house shortly after and we went back to NYC and saw John together with some other friends. I have been trying to relocate him since around 1981. We lost touch after John’s death. He was from Garston in Liverpool. Does anyone know him ? I would love to reconnect with him. I have a copy of this photo as well as photos of the day we met John together. It was in August 1980 at the Hit Factory. Would appreciate everyone’s help in relocating him. Someone out there must know him.

To add a little more mystery to this --   this photograph was seen in an obscure newspaper in Australia   How did they get a copy?    Did Tommy move to Australia?   Does he have family or friends in Australia?   

Leave a comment below if you know Tommy.   And if you don't----well then be like me and just enjoy the photograph.   

Backstage photo ops

Pretty as a picture

Is the little girl in this photo Heather?   The photo is faded and I just can't tell.  But if it isn't Heather, then who else could it be?

Arriving in India in 1968

John, Cynthia, George, Pattie, and Jenny all arrived in India before Paul and Jane. 

Beep Beep mmm Beep Beep Yeah

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Please stand by....

The desktop computer that I use to work on this blog is having problems and I had to take it into a computer shop to get fixed.   It is going to take a little longer than I expected.   I am trying to update the blog using a laptop, but it isn't easy because I am so used to doing things on a different computer.  I do not have any access to my scanner, which really slows me down.

I think it will be easiest to just put the blog on hold a few days until I get my regular computer back.  Although if I just find something that I just HAVE to share, I can try. 

I know a lot of you look forward to this blog every day and so I hate to disappoint anyone, but I am sure you all have had computer issues at some point and can understand my frustration.

Peace and Love!

Sara S.

What can't this man do?

WABC art contest winner

In 1964 the New York radio station WABC held a Beatles art contest and here is a photo one of the big winners.   It looks like she did a cute drawing of Charlie Brown and the Beatles as if they were Peanuts characters.   I wish the photo was a bit clearer so we could see it.    I have always liked Charlie Brown. 

Paul in 1962

Ringo the snow bunny

Yoko turns 85 today!

With Julian at the Rock n Roll Circus in late 1968

with her friend Andy Warhol in 1972

With Fred Astair in 1971
Performing in London in 1969

Yoko Ono is a woman that needs no introduction in the Beatles community.   People have strong feelings about her one way or another.   But no matter how you personally feel, she was John Lennon's wife and he loved her very much.   It is pretty amazing that she is now 85 years old and is still seen out protesting and demonstrating for causes that she believes in.   Happy birthday Yoko!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Brian Epstein- Inside the Fifth Beatle: a film review

I watched another Beatles program on Amazon Prime recently.   It is called Brian Epstein:  Inside the Fifth Beatle.     It is a an hour long program all about one of the most overlooked people in the Beatles story-- their manager, Brian Epstein. 

Because this documentary is from 2004 there are interviews with people that knew Brian Epstein that are no longer alive.   And while back in the day, these folks were common place at Beatle conventions and other documentaries, it was nice to see and hear their stories once again.  Alistair Taylor, Alan Williams, Sid Bernstein and many others were featured. 

It was a nice overview of Brian's life and I appreciated that while the documentary did mention that Brian was homosexual, it didn't overly focus on that fact.   Yes, being gay was part of who Brian was, but there is so much more to him and his life than just that one thing.    I think it was handled well.

There were several photos and video footage that was new to me in this documentary.   One particular piece of footage that I really liked was an interview with Brian in the backseat of a car.   I would love to find the full footage after seeing the brief clips.

The film really wasn't long enough and didn't go into enough detail about Brian's life.   The movie that needs to be made about Brian Epstein has not been made yet.   However this is a good overview of his life and is especially good for those who aren't familiar with Brian or are new fans. 

Love on the bus

The 2nd wive's club

Beatles OG

John and Cyn in love

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd post some Beatles couples photos. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Beatles in a car

This is a great photo because when you notice George's reflection in the window,  it makes all four Beatles in the photograph.   

Sitar demonstration

Peace backstage at the Fox

This woman had a wish to meet Ringo at it came true in October 2014 backstage at the Fox Theater in St. Louis, Missouri.     She had a terminal illness and it was her last wish because she sadly passed away not too long after meeting Ringo.    I think this is a lovely photo and what a great photo for her family to remember her by.

Almost doesn't look like him

This is a photo of Paul taking off his make up during the filming of Help!.   

Almost doesn't look like him

This is a photo of Paul taking off his make up during the filming of Help!.   

Detroit now in color

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Plaza

This has been a discussion going on between some of the great minds in Beatleology-- alright just a group of us on Facebook talking about it.    I said that I would post it out on this blog and see what everyone else thinks. 

This is the John Lennon photo in question.  We are trying to figure out when and where it was taken.  John wore this jacket and shirt a lot during November of 1980.        In lightening the photo, we can make out some of the things in the background.    We spot a clock that is at 4:00, a pillar, some luggage and what seems to be a luggage cart.     

So it would seem that John and Yoko were outside of a hotel in New York City.     We know that Ringo and John (along with Barbara and Yoko) met at the Plaza Hotel on November 15 (or was it the 26th?  Ringo says on the Barbara Walters special that it was on November 15.   Other sources say it was November 26.    I personally am going to go with Ringo's date on this one, even though Ringo is typically the worst person to trust on dates simply because you don't forget the last day you saw your best friend.).   

Ringo and Barbara on the day in question 

So the mystery question is:   Could the John photo have been taken on the same day that he last saw Ringo?   

It appears to me that John IS at the Plaza in the photo.    When I look at a modern photo of the Plaza, I see the round clock on a pillar.  The clocks don't seem to match, but I don't know of any other hotel in NYC with clocks like that in the front.    Also, the marble on the building appears to match one another on both photos.

modern photo of the Plaza Hotel in NYC 

Was the John photo taken the same day as the Ringo photo?    As Miss Tammy points out, the clock is at 4:00.   Was that 4pm?    John and Ringo supposedly spent the evening together so 4pm would have been early to call it a night.    Was it 4am?   That would have been way more than just spending the evening together and why would paparazzi be outside a hotel at 4am? 

Is there another time when John and Yoko were at the Plaza in November of 1980?   

What do you think my fellow Beatle fans?