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Beatles FAQ

Post: 7967 of 7970
Xref: theporch
From: (Preston Landers)
Subject: FAQ
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1993 19:02:29 GMT Nntp-Posting-Host:
Organization: University of Nevada, Reno
Lines: 252

The Most Frequently Asked Questions in Written 
and researched by saki (  with contributors as 
noted. Copyright 1993---no unauthorized use permitted
Last Update: 28 October 1993

1. Are the Beatles really getting back together?  The remaining 
three ex-Beatles---Paul, George and Ringo---will be contributing to 
a multi-part television documentary being assembled in England, 
which is due for release sometime in the next year or two. This 
documentary draws upon many sources, so it's only sensible to 
suggest that these fellows participate. But this does not 
constitute a Beatles reunion. Although Paul has hinted that the 
three "may" play music in the course of the taping, the others have 
not publically commented, and it remains to be seen. The 
documentary, to be released by Apple, promises to be a thorough and 
well researched piece of work, and should be worth the wait. 
Tentative release has been set for Fall 1994. 

2. I heard that rare "lost" Beatles songs were found in EMI/Abbey 
Road Studios and will soon be released. The project remains a 
"potential" one, according to David Hughes, President of 
Communications for EMI, and will be up to the Beatles, who are in 
charge of the project. These songs are not, however, actually 
"lost", having been carefully documented both by EMI tape 
librarians and by Mark Lewisohn, whose book "The Beatles Recording 
History" talks in detail about them. EMI hopes to release a CD of 
songs to accompany the Apple video documentary (see #1 above), but 
the Beatles will decide whether the audio package will include 
unreleased vault treasures never before officially released, or 
instead selections from BBC recordings (live radio performances 
which the Beatles also control). Or perhaps none of the above. :-) 
Many of these songs have been unofficially distributed since 1983 
through underground channels on bootleg recordings, but these have 
been produced without permission of the Beatles or their estates, 
and certainly without EMI's knowledge. 

3. Where can I buy the Red and Blue Albums?  Any local record 
store. :-) These LPs were out of print for years and have just been 
reissued in CD format. 

4. How about the video of "Let It Be"? Where can I get it?  Another 
one of those legal tangles, alas---"Let It Be" has not been 
licensed for video distribution for some time and although rumors 
suggest it will be out soon, there are no apparent plans for its 
rerelease by any certain date. "Yellow Submarine" is also 
temporarily unavailable. 

5. Is Paul really dead? (Alternate: Did the Beatles have anything 
to do with the "Paul is dead" scheme?)  Paul is alive and well, and 
has been since 18 June 1942. He did not die in a car crash and was 
not replaced by a surrogate called William Campbell. The "Paul is 
dead" controversy began in mid-1969, and can be traced to origins 
in the American midwest, possibly a college prank. The Beatles have 
always denied having anything to do with it. The "clues" are either 
coincidence or not supportable under intense investigation.

6. Is it true that Ringo didn't play the drums on most Beatles 
records?  Ringo did indeed play the drums; EMI studio documentation 
proves he was present and was paid for sessions in the group. The 
only exceptions: he played tambourine to Andy White's drums on one 
take of "Love Me Do" in 1962 (producer George Martin wasn't sure 
Ringo was good enough---he'd just joined the Beatles at that time), 
and for a week in August 1968 Ringo took off during the White Album 
sessions, distressed at the group's animosity. Paul and John filled 
in for him till he returned.

7. How did the Beatles get their name and what does it mean?  John 
Lennon and his friend Stuart Sutcliffe came up with the name 
"Beatles", a pun on Buddy Holly's "Crickets", in 1960.

8. What's the chord that begins the song "A Hard Day's Night"?  
D7sus4/A is the suggestion most frequently cited. See Question 19 
in the Nems II Note for further discussion.

9. What was the last Beatles song?  The last Beatles *release* of 
new material was the LP, Let It Be, Friday, May 8, 1970. The last 
*mixing* was I Me Mine, Thursday, April 2, 1970. The last 
*recording* was with Ringo: Across The Universe, The Long & Winding 
Road, and I Me Mine, Wednesday, April 1, 1970. The other Beatles 
were not present on this date. The last *single release* was Let 
It Be b/w You Know My Name, Friday, March 6, 1970. The last time 
*George or Paul were in the studio recording* was Jan. 4, 1970. 
Everyone but John was there for this. Paul and George did vocals, 
George did the guitar solo heard on the LP version, Ringo played 
drums, and Paul shook maracas. The last time *John was in the 
studio* coincided with two other events. The four Beatles were 
together in the studio recording for the last time, *and* the cover 
for Abbey Road was shot, on Friday, August 8, 1969. The songs 
recorded were:  Ending (working title for The End) [ironically 
appropriate], I Want You, and Oh! Darling. John wasn't recording 
anything with the others for nearly 8 months before the last 
recordings were made.

10. What is the most-covered Beatles song?  "Yesterday".

11. Where can I buy bootleg records?  Bootleg recordings of Beatles 
material, which have proliferated recently, are illegal material. 
Buying them seems to be illegal, and selling them certainly is. 
Thus your local record store is unlikely to carry them, but you can 
always ask for them by title, or take your chances at swap meets or 
via mailorder. Don't ask publicly on r.m.b. where specifically you 
can buy such material--it's considered impolite, not to mention 
dangerous, to require people to reveal sources.

12. What does "J'ai guru deva om" mean?  Various interpretations. 
Depends upon how well you read Sanskrit. The traditional 
translations are "Glory to the teacher", "The heavenly teacher is 
divine", or "Lift up your spiritual master", followed by the 
meditative one-word chant "ommmm", refering to the sound of the 
universe. It was a mantra of John's that he decided to incorporate 
into "Across The Universe."

13. What does John Lennon really say at the end of "Strawberry 
Fields Forever"---"cranberry sauce", "I'm very bored", "I buried 
Paul"...or something else?  John Lennon himself claimed he said 
"cranberry sauce." On outtakes of SFF, you can quite clearly hear 
the words. But if that's not enough, listen to his writing partner, 
the inimitable Macca:  (From "The Beatles In Their Own Words"):  
Paul:  That wasn't "I buried Paul" at all, that was John saying 
"cranberry sauce". It was the end of 'Strawberry Fields'. That's 
John's humour. John would say something totally out of synch, like 
'cranberry sauce'. If you don't realise that John's apt to say 
'cranberry sauce' when he feels like it, then you start to hear a 
funny little word there, and you think "Aha!"

14. Why do people refer to Paul McCartney as "Macca"?  It was 
apparently a habit among the Quarrymen, the first appellation of 
the Beatles, to call each other by a nickname. Paul was Macca, 
George was Hazza, and John was Lennie. Since Ringo wasn't with the 
group at this time, he missed out (though of course he was self-
named "Ringo", feeling that it sounded more western and cowboyesque 
than Richard, his given name.)

15. I have an old Beatles record. How much is it worth?  Check "The 
Beatles Price Guide for American Records", by Cox & Lindsay. If you 
don't have access to this, you can post your request, but keep in 
mind the fact that most original Beatles albums and singles are 
judged very strictly in terms of quality. If your LP has had the 
normal amount of use, it's probably worth more to you as a 
sentimental token than it is to collectors.

16. Is it true that the first letters in the title "Lucy In The Sky 
With Diamonds" refer to LSD?  John Lennon maintained that this was 
an accidental reference, and swore that he was inspired to name 
this song from a painting his then-5 year old son Julian brought 
home from school, which upon questioning Julian described as "Lucy 
in the sky with diamonds." Lucy was Julian's preschool-mate, Lucy 
O'Donnell, daughter of a London physician. This story was 
corroborated by John's close friend Pete Shotton, who claimed to 
have witnessed the incident.

17. Which came first, the Byrds' 12-string Rickenbacker or the 
Beatles' (George Harrison's)?  George received his 12-string from 
the makers of Rickenbacker guitars in early 1964 and began playing 
it in sessions from 25 February 1964 onward, most notably on the 
album "A Hard Day's Night". The Byrds didn't release their first 
record till 1965. Undeniably, however, once both groups were using 
12-string guitars, they influenced each other, as Harrison and 
Byrds guitarist Roger McGuinn have attested.

18. Who yells "I've got blisters on my fingers" at the end of 
"Helter Skelter"?  It's Ringo, according to Mark Lewisohn's "The 
Beatles Recording History". Many think it sounds like John, but 
it's not; it's Ringo compaining about his drumsticks.

19. I've heard that Paul owns the rights to "Happy Birthday" and 
requires royalties from anyone who sings it in public!  Not true at 
all; strictly an urban legend. Paul has never owned "Happy 
Birthday", and has no plans to buy it, according to his New York 
offices at MPL. Currently a firm called Birch Tree owns the song. 

20. Does Paul require all his tour roadies to become vegetarian?  
He does not. He provides food for roadies and crew in keeping with 
his own current philosophical predilection for vegetarianism (i.e. 
no meat products served), and will gently proselytize to crew 
members who insist they need to eat meat; but he has no objection 
to his crew spending their own money to supplement official road-
crew fare.

21. Is Linda Eastman McCartney related to Eastman Kodak?  No 
relationship at all. Her family name was originally Epstein and was 
changed when her grandfather emigrated from Russia in the early 
20th century. The Eastmans were involved in law and entertainment 
representation in and around Scarsdale, NY, where Linda grew up; 
Linda's mother's family had an interest in a clothing store chain 
in Queens for some years, and in that sense one might say that 
Linda is partial heir to a department store concern. Linda's 
professional dabblings have been in photography, but this is as 
close as she gets to Eastman-Kodak.

Don't see your question here? There's a "graduate level" FAQ list 
called "Nems II"...ask for that if you're still confused or 
intrigued. Otherwise, do post your query and one of the many r.m.b 
regulars is certain to help out.
saki (

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