Monday, January 27, 2014

56 Grammys Award Ceremony- Paul and Ringo

Last night, 26 January, 2014, the 56th annual Grammy award ceremony was held at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California; The show broadcasted on CBS at 8 pm EST being filmed live at 5 pm PST.  LL Cool J made his way back to the front, hosting the ceremony for his third time (previously hosting the 54th and 55th awards). Amongst the many talented artist and collaborators at the Grammys sat seven very important people, Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison, Barbara Starkey (Bach), Nancy McCartney (Shevell), Ringo Starr, and Sir Paul McCartney!

As the night went on with many awards and preformances from numerous artist, mixing from older generations to new the fourteenth award, "Best Rock Song" was award to Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear for their song "Cut Me Some Slack" from Sound City- Real to Reel, a music documentary produced by Dave Grohl. See The boys receiving the award below;
Picture taken By Sean Lennon which he captioned "Homies"
 The previous day the award for "Life Time Achievement" was given to the Fab Four (finally!). Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison were there to accept the award, Paul was busy with the band rehearsing.
"It's a Lifetime Achievement Award, but I feel like we've all got a lot more life left in us," Starr says on receiving this award"It's a great afternoon; it's all about music. . . . The Beatles' music is still out there and that's what I'm most proud of."
Yoko Ono said ,
"I'm here today because I think John would have wanted me to be here"
And Ronald Isley even spoke about the award,
 "Me and Paul talk about that all the time," he continues,"And we talked about that all night, and he said, you know, if it wasn't for our group, they would probably still be in Liverpool."

After the award for "Best Rock Song" was presented and a few others Ringo Starr took the stage to sing an obvious crowds favorite, 'Photograph', and ended it with his signature "Peace and Love" saying. 
Not only did Ringo preform but Paul's rainbow piano was rolled on stage to play one of his new songs from his NEW album, 'Queenie Eye'. It was everything a Beatlemaniac could ask for when Ringo Starr was shown playing  with Paul McCartney. The two remaining Beatles reunited on stage, one of the best performances in Grammy history! Video below;

Besides the "Best Rock Song" Paul had received three more awards last night,

• 'Best Rock Song' for 'Cut Me Some Slack' along with Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear
'Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package' for 'Wings Over America'
'Best Surround Sound Album' and 'Best Music Film' for 'Live Kisses'
"This coming February to honor The Beatles 50th year anniversary of being on The Ed Sullivan Show The Grammys are presenting  "The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles."  It will be a 2- hour showing and brodcasted on the CBS Television Network on Sunday February 9, 2014 ( the exact date The Beatles first played Ed Sullivan, read more about their performances here) from 9-10 p.m ET/PT.

Read more about the Ed Sullivan Grammy event on their website, here " -Taken from an old post about All Things Must Pass being iducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, check it out here.


Monday, January 13, 2014


"It was in April 1966 that we started recording Revolver."-George Harrison

After releasing Rubber Soul in 1965 and releasing Yesterday and Today in the US The Beatles started recording their seventh LP, Revolver. It was 6 April, 1966 when the recording for the album started and lasted till 21 June, 1966. The full album, including fourteen original tracks lasted around 34 minutes and 40 seconds.

Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Geoff Emerick and Peter Vince
Released: 5 August 1966 (UK)
                8 August 1966 (US)
John Lennon: Vocals, harmonium, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, tape loops, tambourine, handclaps, finger clicks
Paul McCartney: Vocals, bass, piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, clavichord, tape loops, handclaps, finger clicks
George Harrison: Vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, sitar, tape loops, tambourine, maracas, tambura, handclaps, finger clicks
Ringo Starr: Vocals, drums, tambourine, maracas, tape loops, cowbell, shaker, handclaps, finger clicks
George Martin: piano, organ, backing vocals

The album was the last album the group would release while still touring, after 29 August 1966 (when The Beatles played Candlestick Park- their last concert until the Rooftop).  This album was an opening to new experimental songwriting and defiantly different from what the mop-topped, suited boys have previously done. As John Lennon said,
"One thing's for sure - the next LP is going to be very different."
Revolver is often referred to as 'the acid album'. In the previous year (1965) John and George had accidentally taken acid that was slipped into their drinks while attending a party with their dentist. This trip is often known as "The Dental Experience". LSD was given to John and Cynthia Lennon, George Harrison, and Pattie Boyd, none of them had ever had experience with this wondrous drug and didn't take their dentist's advice when he told them to stay until the drug wore off. The four left in George's mini cooper and headed to a night club.

"We'd just sat down and ordered our drinks when suddenly I felt the most incredible feeling come over me. It was something like a very concentrated version of the best feeling I'd ever had in my whole life. It was Fantastic. I felt in love, not with anything or anybody in particular, but with everything."- George Harrison
"It was terrifying but it was fantastic."- John Lennon
 Ringo took it shortly after John and George, it took Paul two years to come around and try it. The drug become an influence to some of The Beatles songs during these sessions, for instance "She Said, She Said" was written off of a John Lennon acid experience with actor Peter Fonda.

Another break through happened during the recording of Revolver. EMI engineer Ken Townsend in April of 1966 invented ADT (Artificial Double Tracking), when you link two tape machines and creates a doubled vocal track. This technique was used profoundly with The Beatles and later became big in pop productions. The group were ecstatic when this was created, George even telling Ken that he should of received a medal for inventing it. George Martin tried explaining how the process works to John saying the following,
"I knew he'd never understand it, so I said 'Now listen, it's very simple. We take the original image and we split it through a double vibrocated sploshing flange with double negative feedback...' He said 'You're pulling my leg. Aren't you?' I replied 'Well, let's flange it again and see'. From that moment on, whenever he wanted ADT he would ask for his voice to be flanged, or call out for 'Ken's flanger.'"
Rubber Soul was when The Beatles really started experimenting with new things, for example George Harrison with the sitar. Soon they were using ADT in Revolver and also playing songs backwards.
"Revolver very rapidly became the album where the Beatles would say 'OK, that sounds great, now let's play it backwards or speeded up or slowed down'. They tried everything backwards, just to see what things sounded like. "- Geoff Emerick
The group first started with backward songs on off- Revolver song, "Rain" which were recorded on 14 April 1966. This resulted in two songs from the LP to be feuatre backwards recordings; "I'm Only Sleeping" and "Tomorrow Never Knows"

  1.  Taxman (Harrison)
  2. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon-McCartney)
  3. I'm Only Sleeping (Lennon-McCartney)
  4. Love You To (Harrison)
  5. Here, There and Everywhere (Lennon-McCartney)
  6. Yellow Submarine (Lennon-McCartney)
  7. She Said She Said (Lennon-McCartney)
  8. Good Day Sunshine (Lennon-McCartney)
  9.  And Your Bird Can Sing (Lennon-McCartney)
  10. For No One (Lennon-McCartney)
  11. Doctor Robert (Lennon-McCartney)
  12. I Want To Tell You (Harrison)
  13. Got To Get You Into My Life (Lennon-McCartney)
  14. Tomorrow Never Knows (Lennon-McCartney)
 The album starts off with the countdown one-two-three-four and leads into "Taxman", a song written by George Harrison about how much money they were loosing to the 'taxman' and were all fed up about it.
"I discovered I was paying a huge amount of money to the taxman. You are so happy that you've finally started earning money - and then you find out about tax."- George Harrison
Paul McCartney even says the song is "Very George". When the group had business meetings and the accountants would explain to them about tax George would be the one to speak up and question why their money was being taken.  Ringo says that they were all pissed off at the taxation and that they even went in with a plan having a guy go to the Bahamas and hold their money so it would be tax-free but didn't work out in the end.
"'Taxman' was an anti-Establishment tax song, where we said, 'If you walk the streets, they'll tax your feet.' George wrote it and I helped him with it. At the time we weren't aware of the whole tax scene. I'm still not really aware of what goes on with taxes. We believe that if you earn it, you may as well keep it, unless there's a communal or Communist or real Christian society. But while we're living in this, I protest against paying the government what I have to pay them."- John Lennon
Eleanor Rigby
" I wrote 'Eleanor Rigby' when i was living in London and had a piano in the basement.  I used to disappear there and have a fiddle around, and while I was fiddling on a chord some words came out; 'Dazzie-de-da-zu picks up the rice after a wedding took it in the poignant direction, into a 'lonely people' direction.'"- Paul McCartney
There's many different stories about how the name "Eleanor Rigby" came to be. Paul says he got Eleanor from Eleanor Bron, the actress in there second movie "Help!" and "Rigby" was from a store in Bristol. It turns out that at St. Peter's Church in Woolton- Paul and John met across the street from the church in the church hall read about it here. In St Peter's cemetery there is a grave stone a few rows back and about three or so heads in lies the Rigby family. Eleanor Rigby (married to Thomas Woods) is burried a few rows behind the Mackenzie family where the name 'Father Mackenzie' came.
"'Eleanor Rigby' was Paul's baby, and I helped with the education of the child."- John Lennon
I'm Only Sleeping
  "He can sleep almost indefinitely, is probably the laziest person in England."-Maureen Cleave.
One of the two songs on Revolver that features the backwards guitar which gives it a 'yawning' effect.

Love You To
One of the songs written and influenced by George's new interest in Indian music.
"I wrote 'Love You To' on sitar, because the sitar sounded so nice and my interest was getting deeper all the time. I wanted to write a tune that was specifically for the sitar. Also it had a tabla part, and that was the first time we used a tabla player."- George Harrison
The Beatles were first introduced to the sitar in the film "Help!" and George's interest kept growing, that's when The Beatles met Ravi Shankar who as Paul said George was 'knocked out by him'.
"The Indian sounds are definitely mainly George."- Paul McCartney

Here, There And Everywhere
"'Here, There and Everywhere' was Paul's song completely, I believe - and one of my favourite songs of The Beatles."- John Lennon
Yellow Submarine
 A song written by both Lennon and McCartney (with help from Donovan), a children's song in which Ringo sings vocals.
"I remember lying in bed one night, in that moment before you're falling asleep - that little twilight moment when a silly idea comes into your head - and thinking of  'Yellow Submarine \' ; 'We all live in a yellow submarine...'" -Paul McCartney
 "I don't actually know where they got the idea for it, I just felt it was a really interesting track for me to do. I'd been doing a lot of covers. At The time I did either covers or something they wrote specifically for me."- Ringo Starr
Ringo also says that during this time it was hard to come out with an original song and when he did come up with an original song they'd find out it was just a re-written, lyric changed Jerry Lee Lewis or an older standard which become a little joke amongst the group.

She Said She Said
"She Said She Said" was mine. It's an interesting track. The guitars are great on it. that was written after an acid trip in LA during a break in The Beatles' tour where we were having fun with The Byrds and lots of girls. "- John Lennon
 The song was written while talking with Peter Fonda where he said "I know what it's like to be dead." It stuck in John's mind but he thought it didn't sound right, so it become "She Said".

Good Day Sunshine
"'Good Day Sunshine' is Paul's. Maybe I threw a line in or something - I don't know."- John Lennon
It was Paul's effort to write a "the same traditional, almost trad-jazz feel".

 And Your Bird Can Sing

A song that John said could of been a 'throwaway'.

For No One 
Another one of John's favorites written by Paul.
"On 'For No One', the track was laid down on my own clavichord. I brought it in from my home, because I thought it had a nice sound, it was a very strange instrument to record, and Paul played it. But we wanted a very special sound, and French horn was what we chose.
Paul didn't realise how brilliantly Alan Civil was doing. we got the definitive performance, and Paul said, 'Well, OK, I think you can do it better than that, can't you, Alan?' Alan nearly exploded. Of course, he didn't do it better than that, and the way we'd already heard it was the way you hear it now."- George Martin
 The song was written while in Switzerland skiing, Paul remembers writing bass-line trick and the character it was written about, a girl putting on makeup.

Doctor Robert
"'Doctor Robert' is like a joke. There's some fellow in New York, and in the States we'd hear people say, 'You can get everything you want off him - any pills you want.' it was a big racket, but a joke too about this fellow who cured everyone of everything with all these pills and tranquillizers, injections for this and that. He just kept New York high. That's what 'Doctor Robert' is all about, just a pill doctor who sees you all right. It was a joke between ourselves, but they go in in-jokes and come out out-jokes, because everyone listens and puts their own things on it, which is great. I mean when I was young I never knew what 'gilly gilly osten feffer catsa nell a bogen' was all about, but I still enjoyed signing it."- Paul McCartney
I Want To Tell You
"'I Want To Tell You' is about the avalanche of thoughts that are so hard to write down or say or transmit."- George Harrison
George once said that if he could rewrite the bridge he would of wrote "Although I seem to act unkind/It isn't me - it's just my mind. That is confusing things." instead of "But if I seem to act unkind It's only me, it's not my mind That is confusing things"

Got To Get You Into My Life
A song most people think is a love song about telling someone that you need them every single day of you life but the song is actually written about marijuana.
"'Got To Get You Into My Life' was Paul's again. I think that was one of his best song, too, because the lyrics are good - and I didn't write them. When I say that he could write lyrics if he took the effort, here's an example."- John Lennon
Tomorrow Never Knows
 The last track of the album shows how much The Beatles has changed throughout the years from "She Loves You" a pop song to a psychedelic song like "Tomorrow Never Knows". A song that can easily be identified as an acid song.
"The expression 'tomorrow never knows' was another of Ringo's. I gave it a throwaway title because I was a bit self-conscious about the lyrics. So I took one of Ringo's malapropisms, which was like 'a hard days night', to take the edge off the heavy philosophical lyrics."-John Lennon
Not only is the song psychedelic with the range of instruments and deep, unexplainable lyrics but by this time got hold of Timothy Leary's adaptation of The Tibetan Book of The Dead and was singing lines from the book in the song. Lines like "Lay down all thought, surrender to the void,' where taken from the book.
"You can hear (and I am sure most Beatles fans have) 'Tomorrow Never Knows' a lot and not know really what it is about. Basically it is saying waht meditation is all about. the goal of meditation is to go beyond ( that is, transcend) walking, sleeping, and dreaming. So the song starts out by saying, 'Turn off you mind, relax and float downstream, it is not dying'.
Timothy Leary
Then it says,' Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void - it is shining. That you may see the meaning of within - it is being.' From birth to death all we ever do is think: we have one thought, we have another thought, another thought, another thought. Even when you are asleep you are having dreams, so there is never a time from birth to death when the mind isn't always active with thoughts. But you can turn off you mind, and go to the part which Maharishi described as: 'Where was your last thought before you thought it?'"- George Harrison
George later goes on to say that the song is them, that we are the song and it's about us being, living, breathing, thinking, to be aware from the state of being. It about transcending.

"Tomorrow Never Knows" is a definite John song who probably didn't even know half of what he was saying but knew he was writing something and going in the right direction. It's an under rated song and is usually portrayed as one of the 'weird' Beatles songs, but it's truly a song that has deeper meaning that just goes over a lot of people minds and some people aren't willing to understand the song.

The song was written in various places, John had the lyrics and each Beatle (including John) had tape recorders at home and when they were home were suppose to record their own loop.

"'Tomorrow Never Knows' was a great innovation John wanted a very spooky kind of track, a very ethereal sound. When we constructed the original version of the tape, we started off with just the tamboura drone and Ringo's very characteristic drumming."- George Martin
 Then another unique feature in this song was created by Paul McCartney messing around with his tape recorder at home. He took the erase-head off and putting on the loop it created a weird sound that saturated the tape which was later shown to the others and were used throughout the track.

Klaus Voorman with Revolver
For most of their previous albums The Beatles had Robert Freeman to photograph them but for this album the artwork was done by Hamburg friend,musician, and artist,  Klaus Voorman
"We liked the way there were little things coming out of people's ears, and how he'd collaged things on a small scale while the drawings were on a big scale. He also knew us well enough to capture us rather beautifully in the drawings. We were flattered."- Paul McCartney

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Beatles Decca Audtion

 "I hope he kicks himself to death!" -John Lennon

New Years Eve 1961 The Beatles; featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best, and their road manager and friend Neil Aspinall were driving from Liverpool to London (getting lost in the midlands) in hopes to pass an audition with Decca records on the following day (1 January, 1962).

"Brian put in a lot of time getting us off the ground. He believed in us from the start."- George Harrison

The idea of the audition came across when Beatles manager, Brian Epstein met with Mike Smith, from Decca, who had seen The Beatles preform at The Cavern Club on 13 December, 1961.

"...We were all excited: it was Decca. He'd met this Mike Smith guy and we were to go down there. So we went down and we did all these numbers; terrified and nervous, you can heart it...we virtually recorded our Cavern stage show, with a few omissions- around twenty songs."- John Lennon
The Beatles arrived for their first time in London on New Years Day and headed to Decca studios where they set up their amps and started recording their demo. The group preformed fifteen songs at this audition (three of their originals, which are in bold)  and what is the believed set list is as followed;
(L-R) George Harrison, Pete Best, Paul McCartney, John Lennon
  •  Like Dreamers Do
  • Money (That's What I Want)
  • Till There Was You
  • The Sheik of Araby
  • To Know Her Is to Love Her
  • Take Good Care of My Baby
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Sure To Fall (In Love With You)
  • Hello Little Girl
  • Three Cool Cats
  • Crying, Waiting, Hoping
  • Love Of  The Loved
  • September in The Rain
  • Besame Mucho
  • Searchin'
 They each picked numbers that they wanted to preform, George for example was a fan of Joe Brown and sang Brown's rock 'n' roll version of "The Sheik of Araby". Paul choose to sing "September Rain".

The audition lasted a few hours and the group found themselves broke and looking for a place to go. Neil Aspinall remembers it as,

"... We went to Shaftesbury Avenue and around there; amazing things to buy. The bootshop Anello and Davide was on one corner, then Cecil Gee, the clothes store. We went into a club up by St. Giles Circus. We didn't stay long because it was boring. Some of the women had an after-eight shadow. We were starving and went into a restaurant. All that we could afford was the soup so they threw us out and we went into Soho and got something there. London was all very exciting and new."
 While waiting to hear from Decca the band found themselves in Anello and Davide's bootshop which created what later became known as 'Beatles Boots'.
 "We went back and we waited and waited, and then found out that they hadn't accepted it; we really thought that was it then, that was the end."- John Lennon
Brian Epstein
 Decca decided to pick another group, Brian Poole and the Tremeoloes. Paul McCartney does now admit that he can see why they didn't get in. Saying that when he listens to the tape now they weren't good but they did play interesting and original things. John Lennon on the other hand says that he wouldn't of turned The Beatles down. Saying that many people weren't playing like they were playing and that the record was OK, it was just a demo and they weren't trying to be all polished. He wanted Decca to recognize their potential and that they should of been accepted.
"As for Deccas response, we didn't hear anything for ages, though Brian kept bugging them to find out; and in the end they turned us down, the funny thing is that it was by someone from one of those 'Dum de dum' bands, Tony Meehan, a drummer who had become big-time as the A&R man for Decca. there's a famous story that Brian Epstein was trying to get him to say whether he liked us, whether we'd got the job or not. He replied, ' I'm a busy many, Mr. Epstein,' and he was just a kid."- George Harrison
Dick Rowe, head of Decca recalls the experience as,
"I told Mike he'd have to decide between them. It was up to him - The Beatles or Brian Poole and the Tremeoloes. He said, 'They're both good, but one's a local group, the other comes from Liverpool.' We decided it was better to take the local group. We could work with them more easily and stay closer in touch as they came from Dagenham."
It's even said that Brian didn't take the rejection easy, he kept trying and making trips to talk to Decca, even saying he'd by 3,000 copies if they produced a Beatles record. David Rowe says he never heard that offer and if he did he would of considered the offer and maybe The Beatles would of recorded with Decca. Decca did however sign The Rolling Stones in George Harrison's recommendation.

"'It's too bluesy,' or 'It's too much like rock 'n' roll and that's all over now', they used to keep telling us. Even in Hamburg when we audition for these German companies they would tell us. Even in Hamburg when we auditioned for these stuff, because they all thought rock was dead; but they were wrong." -John Lennon