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A digitally restored 4K Ultra HD edition of the iconic 1964 Beatles film A Hard Day's Night (Criterion Collection) was released on Blu-ray + DVD on Jan. 18. Showcasing the start of Beatlemania in the States, the Richard Lester-directed A Hard Day's Night takes place one month after the Fab Four's first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The film captures just 36 hours in the lives of the British band that became music idols of a generation. Beatles pop anthems like "Can't Buy Me Love," "If I Fell" and the title track are featured in the film, which is available on Blu-ray ($35) and DVD ($14), and as a three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. The Lester-approved, digital restoration of A Hard Day's Night comes with three audio options: a monaural soundtrack, stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes supervised by Giles Martin, sound producer at the famed Abbey Road Studios. Other bonus features include Things They Said Today, a 2002 documentary about A Hard Day's Night featuring Lester and producer George Martin; the 1994 documentary You Can't Do That: The Making of A Hard Day's Night and In Their Own Voices, a special-edition program consisting of behind-the-scenes footage, photos and interviews with The Beatles during their 1964 American tour. - Billboard...... Speaking of George Martin, the famed late Beatles producer can be seen in a sweet new clip shared by his son Giles Martin on Twitter. In the footage, the producer discusses with Giles's daughter how he initially met The Beatles and what he thought of the quartet when they travelled from Liverpool to London to meet him: "Well, that's a silly name for a start... I met them in London and when I listened and it was ok but it wasn't brilliant. But the magic bit came when I started to get to know them because they were terribly good people. They were funny, they were very clever -- and they were the kind of people that you liked to be with. So I thought, 'if I feel this way about them, other people will feel this way about them'. So therefore, they should be very popular." "I don't normally share anything personal but this my dad from a while back explaining to my daughter he signed the Beatles," Giles Martin posted ."Ordinary people do extraordinary things. Great decisions are made for the simplest reasons. "I figured if I like them this much other people might too," he added. - New Musical Express...... The 2021 Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back is coming to Blu-ray and DVD on Feb. 8, and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.com, Target, Walmart and Best Buy. The triple-disc collection ($27.99) features nearly eight hours fully restored, archival footage with Dolby Atmos sound, while a special collector's edition Blu-ray gift set, which comes complete with collectible cards, will also drop on Feb. 8. The Blu-ray set is available for pre-order at Walmart, Target and Best Buy while supplies last. The BeatlesDirector Peter Jackson's 6-hour documentary premiered on Disney+ in Nov. 2021 over Thanksgiving weekend. The film takes audiences inside the band's recording of the band's 1970 album Let It Be and compiles over 60 hours of unseen footage with more than 150 hours of unheard audio showcasing the creative genius of the Fab Four. The film also shows footage of The Beatles' legendary 1969 rooftop concert at London's Saville Row, which marked the band's last live show as a group. Fans will get a chance to relive that unforgettable concert in IMAX theaters beginning Jan. 30. The release date coincides with the 53rd anniversary of the original performance. The Beatles: Get Back - The Rooftop Performance Concert will screen in IMAX at the Apple Corps headquarters in London and various theaters around the U.S. Jackson will attend the London showing and participate in a Q&A that will be broadcast simultaneously in participating theaters. The 60-minute film will return to IMAX screens for a short theatrical run from Feb. 11-13. - Billboard...... Paul McCartney has paid tribute to his late friend and BBC DJ Janice Long, who died on Christmas Day at her home at age 66 after battling a short illness. "I was very sad to hear that my old Liverpudlian friend Janice Long has passed away," Sir Paul posted on Twitter on Jan. 7. "Janice was a fun-loving lady who always had a twinkle in her eye. She was very knowledgeable about the music scene and whenever we met it was a pleasure and we had a great laugh... My sympathies go out to her family and friends. We have all lost a great Scouse girl, but I will always have very fond memories of her and of the times we spent together. Paul x," he added. In her career, the beloved broadcaster and champion of new music also became the first woman to regularly host Top Of The Pops, fronting the TV show for five years, and later had a long-running show on BBC Radio 2 until 2017. She also worked for the likes of BBC Radio London, BBC 6 Music, BBC WM, BBC Radio Wales, Greatest Hits Radio and Radio X, and set up her own station Crash FM in Liverpool in 1995. - New Musical Express...... The Disney+ streaming service announced on Jan. 5 that The Beatles' full 1969 Apple Corps rooftop concert highlighted in director Peter Jackson's acclaimed three-part documentary The Beatles: Get Back is getting a limited theatrical release in IMAX. The famed 60-minute farewell performance will premiere on Jan. 30, on the 53rd anniversary of the public performance in London. Following the concert film, Jackson will participate in a Q&A session that is set to broadcast to all participating IMAX theaters. "The Rooftop Concert" will then get another limited theatrical release from Feb. 11 through 13. Premiering in November, The Beatles: Get Back showcased the Fab Four's fascinating songwriting process, friendship and struggles during the recording of their Let It Be LP, which was released in 1970. The Beatles: Get Back will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the United States on Feb. 8. - Billboard...... Denis O'DellDenis O'Dell, a British film producer and director who worked with The Beatles on their 1964 movie A Hard Day's Night and other productions, has died at his home in Almera, Spain on Dec. 31, his son announced. He was 98. Mr. O'Dell was an associate producer of A Hard Day's Night, the Fab Four's first film, and How I Won the War, in which John Lennon appeared as a supporting actor. He also produced the 1967 Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour, as well as The Magic Christian, which featured Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr, and later became a director of The Beatles' new organization, Apple Corps, and the head of Apple Films. In 1970, he was immortalized during a spoken passage by Lennon in the obscure Beatles song "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)," the B side of their "Let It Be" single which also later featured on their Rarities album. - Billboard...... Paul McCartney is among a litany of both established and up and coming artists set to offer signed, rare and otherwise unique collectibles that will benefit MusiCares, the charity arm of The Recording Academy. An Hofner B-Bass Hi Series violin bass guitar belonging to Sir Paul will be among the articles on the block in the virtual auction conducted by Julien's Auctions on Jan. 30. The sale comes in tandem with the 2022 Grammy Awards which will be held the following evening. Other artists contributing items include Keith Richards (a signed ebony Gibson ES-333 guitar), the estate of Tom Petty (a signed Gibson ES-335 guitar), Joni Mitchell (an original oil painting of Prince), and KISS's Gene Simmons (two of his own unique artworks), as well as items by such hot rising artists as BTS and Harry Styles. More details on the auction can be found on the Julien's Auctions website. - New Musical Express...... An all-star cast of celebrities from the worlds of music, TV, film and comedy have joined forces to honor George Harrison in the first-ever official music video for his 1970 song, "My Sweet Lord." Over 40 musicians, actors, comedian, directors, artists and other creatives make cameos in the Lance Bangs-directed clip, ranging from Harrison's friends and former Beatles band mate Ringo Starr and Traveling Wilburys bandmate Jeff Lynne to actors Mark Hamill, Darren Criss, Jon Hamm and Rosanna Arquette. Originally released on Nov. 23, 1970, in the US, the track featured on the late Beatle's third studio album, All Things Must Pass. The new video version boasts a fresh 2020 mix by Paul Hicks, released this past August on the 50th anniversary edition of All Things Must Pass. The new official video for "My Sweet Lord" has been shared on YouTube. - New Musical Express...... Yoko OnoYoko Ono's 1971 track "Listen, The Snow Is Falling," which was the B-side to the John Lennon yuletide classic "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," was made available on all streaming platforms for the first time on Dec. 16. Speaking about the track in 1993, Ono said: "The first pop song -- if you can say pop song -- I ever wrote was 'Listen, the Snow Is Falling.' I did that before (Lennon and I) got together. Then, when we got together, I made it into a real pop song." "Listen, The Snow Is Falling" can be streamed on Spotify.com, among other services. - NME...... The 2021 version of British designer Chris Barker's annual Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's cover-inspired tribute to the celebrities who passed away earlier in the year can be viewed on Twitter.com. This year's tribute includes the likes of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, The Monkees' Michael Nesmith, Gerry & the Pacemakers' Gerry Mardsen, Stephen Sondheim, Phil Spector, the New York Dolls' Sylvain Sylvain, the Bay City Rollers' Les McKeown, The Wailers' Bunny Wailer, ZZ Top's Dusty Hill, Don Everly, Kool & the Gang's Dennis Thomas, and Mary Wilson of The Supremes, among many others. Since 2016, Barker has been posting his quirky homage to the music, art, culture, politics and movie/TV stars who passed in the calendar year. While Barker's converted cover usually drops in early November, the artist says he found himself hedging this year, adding Michael Nesmith at the last minute after the TV actor/country rock innovator/musician passed away over the weekend. "Just as I was about to post the image I got news of Mike Nesmith dying. Suddenly the whole image made sense," he says. "A Monkee and a Rolling Stone right in the middle. And Merseybeat star Gerry Marsden just near them. Made the whole thing feel absolutely fine and got rid of any worries I had about the piece." - Billboard...... The deluxe special edition reissue of The Beatles' 1970 No. 1 LP Let It Be has vaulted from No. 10 to No. 1 on Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart following the Nov. 25 premiere of the new Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back, which chronicles the album's recording, on the Disney+ channel. In the chart dated Dec. 2, Let It Be earned 27,000 equivalent album units, up 124%, according to MRC Data. Of that sum, 18,000 units are from album sales (up 115%), and the set also surges 21-6 on the Top Album Sales chart. The Beatles now boast five No. 1's on Top Rock Albums, which began in 2006, as Let It Be follows Love (2007), On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2 (2013), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road, the latter two reigning following anniversary reissues in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Meanwhile, other albums by the Fab Four have also gained amid interest in the band's catalog. Abbey Road jumped from 9-3 (20,000 units, up 59%), the best-of set 1 ranks at No. 26 (9,000, up 8%) and The Beatles ("The White Album") re-enters at No. 45 (7,000, up 32%). - Billboard...... The new Beatles docuseries The Beatles: Get Back has prompted tracks from the film to top the LyricFind US tally, whose Global and LyricFind U.S. charts rank the fastest momentum-gaining tracks in lyric-search queries and usages globally and in the U.S., respectively. According to LyricFind, lyric usages and searches of Get Back saw a 1,965% increase in the U.S. following Get Back's Nov. 26 premiere on the Disney+ streaming channel. In other Beatles news, rare interviews with each member of the band have been made into NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and are now up for auction. The online auction for The Beatles Collection began on Dec. 6 through the Voices Of Classic Rock Archive, which hosts 650 historic interviews and radio shows featuring major rock artists recorded between 1964 and 2008. Four separate snippets from conversations with Paul McCartney (on Chaos And Creation In The Backyard), John Lennon (on "A Day In The Life"), George Harrison (on Abbey Road) and Ringo Starr (on "His Lost Medallion") are available on the site. Meanwhile, the family of longtime Beatles roadie/manager/friend Mal Evans, who features prominently in the Get Back docuseries -- have announced the publication of an authorised biography set to cover his life and career. HarperCollins' Dey Street Books imprint will publish it in 2023, with Evans' estate working closely with author and Beatles scholar Kenneth Womack to tell Evans' story in resounding detail. The biography, as yet untitled, will be followed in 2024 with a sprawling compendium of Evans' personal archives, which will feature diaries, manuscripts and more. Having obtained the Beatles' blessing, Evans planned to published those manuscripts himself before his death at age 40 in Jan. 1976. - Billboard/New Musical Express...... Denis O'BrienDenis O'Brien, who served as George Harrison's manager for much of the former Beatle's solo career and with Harrison co-founded the production company that backed such hits as the classic Monty Python's Life of Brian, died on Dec. 3 in Britain at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon after being admitted for severe abdominal pains. He was 80. Mr. O'Brien was a St. Louis native who moved to Europe after receiving a law degree from Washington University and had a long record of successes, along with setbacks and legal battles. Through the actor Peter Sellers, whose career he had helped revive, he met Harrison in 1973 and quickly formed a personal and professional bond. Harrison hired him as his manager after parting with Allen Klein, who had become The Beatles' manager in 1969 but eventually fell out with the group, which broke up a year after signing with Klein. In 1978, Harrison and O'Brien co-founded HandMade Films, a top independent company over the next decade. Their initial project was Life of Brian, Monty Python's controversial religious parody which they financed after EMI Films dropped out at the last minute. HandMade went out of business in 1991 and the partnership between Harrison and Mr. O'Brien ended in court. Mr. O'Brien was ordered by a California judge in 1996 to pay Harrison damages of $11 million for alleged mismanagement of the company's finances. In August 2001, three months before Harrison's death, a judge rejected the musician's effort to stop Mr. O'Brien from declaring bankruptcy. - Billboard...... Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have shared tribute to their late Beatles bandmate George Harrison on the 20th anniversary of the latter's passing. McCartney took to Twitter to share an old image of himself and "the quiet Beatle" in the studio with a caption reading: "Hard to believe that we lost George 20 years ago. I miss my friend so much. Love Paul." Meanwhile Ringo took to Instagram to share an image of him and Harrison smoking cigars, saying: "Peace and love to you George I miss you man. Peace and love Ringo." Harrison also received a tribute from his widow, Olivia Harrison, who shared a video to her Instagram page that featured a psychedelic photo of Harrison's face set to his song "Within You Without You," and ended with the words, "We love you, George." In other Beatles-related news, Yoko Ono has shared an article on Twitter which says the new Peter Jackson-directed Beatles documentary, Get Back, dispels rumours that she broke up the group. Yoko's Nov. 27 post to her 4.6 million Twitter followers was titled "Beatles Fans Think 'Get Back' Dispels The Idea That Yoko Ono Broke The Band Up." Ono has been blamed for breaking up of the Beatles since the group called it quits in 1969. The Beatles: Get Back is currently available to stream on the Disney+ channel in the US and the UK.- New Musical Express...... Ringo StarrRingo Starr has launched a new MasterClass Course on "Drumming & Creative Collaboration," a 10-part lesson with themes including "Ringo's Early Days," "Drum Kit Essentials," "Navigating Your Kit," "Playing With Feel," "Turning Life Into Lyrics," "Connecting With Your Audience" and much more. "Now the 9-time Grammy Award winner wants to inspire new and seasoned drummers alike," according to a MasterClass description. "Through demonstrations behind the kit and personal stories from his time in The Beatles, Ringo shares his principles for creative collaboration, finding your unique playing style, and embracing your musical journey with joy." Fans can sign up for Ringo's course at MasterClass.com. For those who don't have a MasterClass account, signing up gets you access to the hundreds of courses on MasterClass' site for $15/month (billed annually). - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney is among the famous rockers auctioning off guitars to help musicians impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Macca's Yamaha BB-1200 Electric Bass Guitar that he played on Wings tours in the late '70s is one of several instruments belonging to iconic rockers such as McCartney, Elton John, Joe Walsh, Bruce Springsteen, Ronnie Wood and others to be auctioned on Dec. 11 at an "Guitars Icons: A Musical Instrument Auction to Benefit Music Rising" sale at Van Eaton Galleries in Los Angeles. Bids can also be made online. - NME...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the actors playing The Beatles in the forthcoming biopic of their late manager Brian Epstein called Midas Man have been revealed. Jonah Lees (The Letter For The King) is set to portray John Lennon while musician Blake Richardson (from the band New Hope Club) will appear as Paul McCartney. Leo Harvey-Elledge has been lined up to portray George Harrison, with Campbell Wallace appearing as Ringo Starr. Elsewhere, Peaky Blinders' Adam Lawrence will play original Beatles drummer Pete Best, and former NBC talk show host Jay Leno will portray the late variety show host Ed Sullivan. A release date for the Sara Sugarman-directed Midas Man is yet to be confirmed. Meanwhile, John Lennon's son Julian Lennon says that the new Peter Jackson-directed Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back was a "life-changing" experience that "made me love my father again." On Nov. 18, Julian and his half-brother Sean Lennon attended a special screening of the documentary in Los Angeles ahead of an event held by Paul McCartney's daughter Stella McCartney. "What an Amazing night," Julian reflected in an Instagram post after the event. "Firstly seeing Get Backand then [attending] Stella's event afterwards. The One True thing I can say about it all is that it has made me so proud, inspired & feel more love for my/our family, than ever before. The film has made me love my father again, in a way I can't fully describe," he added. The three-part The Beatles: Get Back premiered on the Disney+ channel on Nov. 25. - NME...... Speaking to London's Sunday Times after watching the premiere of the new Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back, Paul McCartney revealed that the new Peter Jackson-directed film changed his perception of the break up of the Beatles. "I'll tell you what is really fabulous about it, it shows the four of us having a ball," Sir Paul noted. "It was so reaffirming for me. That was one of the important things about the Beatles, we could make each other laugh. John [Lennon] and I are in this footage doing 'Two Of Us' and, for some reason, we've decided to do it like ventriloquists. It's hilarious. It just proves to me that my main memory of the Beatles was the joy and the skill," he added. Asked if it had changed his perception of the band's eventual split, he said: "Really yes. And there is proof in the footage. Because I definitely bought into the dark side of The Beatles breaking up and thought, 'God, I'm to blame.' It's easy, when the climate is going that way, to think that. But at the back of my mind there was this idea that it wasn't like that. I just needed to see proof." The Beatles: Get Back will premiere on Disney+ on Nov. 25, 26 and 27, and its first official clip can be viewed on YouTube. - NME...... The BeatlesIn related news, The Beatles: Get Back director Peter Jackson has revealed he had to convince Disney bosses to break their own rules about swear words in their movies ahead of the new documentary. "We've had to have a discussion with Disney about the swearing," Jackson told Radio Times magazine. "The Beatles are Scouse boys (from Liverpool) and they freely swear but not in an aggressive or sexual way. We got Disney to agree to have swearing, which I think is the first time for a Disney channel (project). That makes them feel modern, too," he added. The Lord of the Rings director spent years creating his six-hour epic from footage captured by Michael Lindsay-Hogg for his 1970 documentary Let It Be. "I kept finding new stuff and new ways to tell the story. It ended up being six hours," Jackson said. "I thought I couldn't do it justice as anything shorter. And you can't help but be aware that this is historical footage. I was very aware of my responsibility to get this into the world and not have it disappear into a vault again," he added. - WENN/Canoe.com...... Legendary Beatles member and climate change activist Paul McCartney is urging leaders at COP26 -- the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference -- to acknowledge the part that animal agriculture is playing on our quickly deteriorating planet. Sir Paul -- with the support of his family -- is calling on COP26 delegates to adopt the Plant Based Treaty to accompany the Paris Agreement, the 2015 international agreement settled on at COP21 that covers climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance. "We believe in justice for animals, the environment and people. That's why we support the Plant Based Treaty and urge individuals and governments to sign it," the McCartney clan said in a joint statement. "Increasingly people are recognizing that meat, dairy and egg consumption are driving carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, the three major greenhouse gases - now we need COP26 delegates and other leaders to acknowledge it," the statement added. In 2009, alongside daughters Mary and Stella McCartney, Paul founded the Meat Free Mondays initiative to "encourage people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one plant-based day each week." Meanwhile, Macca's new boxed-set memoir The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present has debuted at No. 1 on Amazon.com's best-selling rock books list -- just ahead of the Beatles new hardcover photo book, The Beatles: Get Back. The book is the first ever standard, full-fledged memoir by any living or dead Beatles member and is described in a press release as "a treasure trove of material from McCartney's personal archive -- drafts, letters, photographs -- never seen before, which make this also a unique visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time." - Billboard...... George HarrisonIn other Beatles-related news, the childhood home of George Harrison, where as a teen he rehearsed with Paul McCartney and John Lennon, is up for auction. According to a listing from Omega Auctions, the Harrison family moved into the spacious three-bedroom family home at 25 Upton Green in Liverpool in 1949 when the late singer/guitarist was six-years-old and lived there for the next 12 years as George began his rise to superstardom as part of the Fab Four. "During this period the house became a regular rehearsal venue for The Quarrymen and then latterly The Beatles," reads the description. "There are numerous pictures of George inside and outside the property." Though the Harrisons moved out in 1962, the home reportedly still contains some of the original features from the star's time, including the "bath, sink, some original doors, hanging rails in wardrobes and outbuildings complete with original doors and decor." Harrison learned to play guitar in the home, which the family moved out of when the Beatles were just beginning their ascent to global superstardom. The auction house currently has the home listed for $216,000-$270,000; the auction is slated to take place on Nov. 30. A video tour of the property can be viewed on YouTube. Meanwhile in other Beatles news, a previously unheard track from Harrison and Ringo Starr has been played for the first time after being unearthed in a loft. According to BBC News, the song -- titled "Radhe Shaam" -- was written and produced in 1968 by broadcaster Suresh Joshi. It features former Beatles bandmates Starr and Harrison on drums and guitar respectively, as well as Indian classical musician Aashish Khan. The track, which can be streamed on the BBC's website, was rediscovered at Joshi's home during the coronavirus lockdown, and received its first play at the Liverpool Beatles Museum on Nov. 10. It was also aired on BBC Radio Merseyside, with an official release set for Nov. 11. Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, a biopic of Beatles manager Brian Epstein titled Midas Man has been shut down mid-shoot following the exit of its director, Jonas Akerlund. Akerlund announced he is "taking a break" from the shoot and could be "unlikely to return," according to Deadline.com. Midas Man will tell the story of Epstein, the Liverpudlian record shop manager who signed the biggest band of all time. Epstein also discovered other popular acts including Cilla Black, Billy J Kramer and Gerry And The Pacemakers, and helped promote acts including Jimi Hendrix. Akerlund's departure from the project reportedly concerns other work commitments as opposed to health issues, and the filmmaker's team is yet to respond for comment. - Billboard/NME...... Paul McCartney has weighed in about UK chancellor Rishi Sunak's plan invest to £2million in looking at the potential of giving the Beatles' hometown of Liverpool yet another museum dedicated to its hometown heroes -- arguing that he's "happy that they're recognizing that it's a tourist attraction" but he "thinks they could also spend the money on something else." In late October, Sunak announced the proposals on Liverpool's Waterfront in his Budget as part of an £850 million investment to protect museums, galleries, libraries and local culture across the UK -- which included "securing up to £2 million to start work on a new Beatles attraction." Critics branded this plan as "pointless nonsense," given that the £2 million is only going towards allowing the Liverpool City Region to "develop a business case" for the museum and not actually building it, as well as the fact that the city already has two museums dedicated to The Fab Four, plus their legendary old haunt and venue The Cavern, each band member's old house, a "Beatles Week" festival and numerous Beatles city tours. Sir Paul let his thoughts about a potential new Beatles project in Liverpool be known during an event on Nov. 5 to launch his new book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall. McCartney referenced Joni Mitchell's lyrics about "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot" when in the early days of the Beatles fame the city infamously filled in the Beatles' early venue The Cavern. "I'm quite happy that they're recognizing that it's a tourist attraction, but I think they could also spend the money on something else," he said. During the event, Paul also revealed that his parents were the original inspiration for his Beatles and solo music. "My mum was very reassuring and, like so many women often are, she was also the one who kept our family going. She kept our spirits up," he said. - New Musical Express...... Ringo StarrIn other Beatles-related news, the director of the 1970 Beatles film Let It Be has said he "doesn't care" that Ringo Starr isn't a fan of the documentary after Ringo said during a Zoom interview in March that he "didn't feel any joy in the original" Let It Be film. Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg told Rolling Stone that "personally, I don't care." "That's his opinion. And we all have them. I mean, the polite version is everybody's got elbows and everybody's got opinions. I like Ringo. And I don't think he's seen the movie for 50 years," Lindsay-Hogg added. He continued: "And I think, if you haven't seen the movie in a long time, and you may not have the best memory in the world, all that kind of gets mixed up in your brain about what it was like. Because when I saw it last, I'm thinking, 'What is he talking about?' In fact, there's great joy and connection and collaboration, and good times and jokes and affection in Let It Be." Starr also criticized Let It Be for only including "seven to eight minutes" of The Beatles' show on the Apple Corps rooftop in 1969, while Peter Jackson's new The Beatles: Get Back documentary presents a 43-minute version. The new film arrives in the UK on Nov. 25 via Disney+. - NME...... The Beatles have unveiled a new advent calendar for the 2021 holiday season. Beatles fans will find nods to the legendary moptops both in and outside the themed advent calendar, which comes from the UK brand Hero Collector. The whole package -- comprised of an outer box, four inner boxes and 24 gift boxes -- might be hard to throw away thanks to its rainbow pop-art images of all four Beatles. Although Hero Collector is keeping most of the gifts "under wraps," they have confirmed a few: a Yellow Submarine-shaped tea infuser, a set of coasters decorated with the Beatles' 45 sleeve art, and a Beatles Christmas tree ornament. Plus, these gifts boast collectible-level quality (no cheap chocolate to be found). The Beatles advent calendar, priced at $129.95, can be preordered now at EagleMoss.com. - Billboard...... George HarrisonIn other Beatles-related news, country superstar Willie Nelson has shared an emotive cover of George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" on YouTube. The cover was debuted on SirusXM's The Beatles Channel and is the second single taken from Nelson's upcoming new album The Willie Nelson Family, which arrives on Nov. 19. For the album, Nelson revisits songs from his back catalogue and also covers songs written by Harrison, Hank Williams, A.P. Carter and Kris Kristofferson -- among others. - New Musical Express...... The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was once again conducted in person on the evening of Oct. 30 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Oh., after turning its 2020 ceremony into a virtual affair due to Covid that was broadcast on cable channel HBO. The latest star-studded 270-minute show managed to give all concerned their due, while observing reasonable Covid protocols. Inducting his good friend Dave Grohl and his band Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney drew some parallels between his career and FF founder and leader Grohl's, pointing out that both followed the breakups of their respective bands (The Beatles and Nirvana) by recording albums on their own. After recalling how he "heard some music and I fell into rock & roll," McCartney said: "So when that happened, and I fell into rock & roll, I joined a group. My group was the Beatles. Like I say, the world changed. Dave did a similar kind of thing. He joined a group, Nirvana." Later, McCartney added: "We had a great time with our groups, but eventually tragedy happened and my group broke up. Same happened with Dave. His group broke up under tragic circumstances. So the question is, what do you do now? We both were presented with that question. In my case, I said, 'Well, I'll make an album where I play all the instruments myself.' So I did that. Dave's group broke up, what's he do? He makes an album where he plays all the instruments himself. Do you think this guy's stalking me?" The other Foo Fighters were clearly a bit star-struck getting their props from McCartney, with most thanking him during their brief speeches. Later on the ceremony came to an abrupt conclusion when Foo Fighters were joined by Macca for a rendition of The Beatles' "Get Back" (a planned, presumably all-star finale, had been scripted and rehearsed but was cut, ostensibly due to time). Footage of the jam can be viewed on Twitter.com. - Billboard...... The Beatles' former No. 1 album Let It Be has surged back onto the Billboard Hot 200 albums chart for the week ending Oct. 30, re-entering at No. 5 following its deluxe special edition reissue on Oct. 15. Let It Be first spent four weeks atop the same chart, from June 13 through July 4, 1970), and is one of a record 19 Billboard No. 1 albums for the group. For its special edition which arrived on Oct. 15, the album was reintroduced in a variety of expanded formats and editions, including many with previously unreleased tracks. 'Let It Be' - The BeatlesAll versions of the album, old and new, are combined for tracking and charting purposes. Let It Be earned 55,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 21 (up 3,899%), according to MRC Data. Of that sum, album sales comprise 48,000 (up 11,570%; making it the top-selling album of the week), SEA units comprise 6,000 (up 589%; equaling 8.34 million on-demand streams of the set's tracks) and TEA units comprise 1,000 (up 1,180%). The album was last on the Billboard 200 dated Dec. 4, 2010, when it ranked at No. 120. It was in the top 10 on the Aug. 8, 1970 chart, when it placed at No. 4. The deluxe Let It Be reissue precedes the arrival of director Peter Jackson's upcoming documentary series The Beatles: Get Back. The three episodes will premiere, respectively, on Nov. 25, 26 and 27 exclusively on Disney+. - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney's new book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present has been nominated for the 2021 Waterstones Book Of The Year award. The book, which was announced earlier in 2021 and is due for release on Nov. 2, will recount the musician's life through his earliest boyhood compositions, songs by The Beatles, Wings and from his lengthy solo career. The Book Of TheYear winner will be announced on Dec. 21. Meanwhile, Sir Paul has told Reader's Digest that he has stopped signing autographs, calling the process "a bit strange." "It always struck me as a bit strange. Here, can I write your name down on the back of this till receipt please?' Why? We both know who I am," he said. Paul added that he doesn't particularly understand the idea of taking "selfies" with fans, and that he'd much rather have a conversation with them. "What you've usually got is a ropey photo with a poor backdrop and me looking a bit miserable," he said. "Let's chat, let's exchange stories." - NME...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney has been confirmed as the presenter for the Foo Fighters' upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony set for Oct. 30 at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse arena in Cleveland, Oh. Pop sensation Taylor Swift and actress Jennifer Hudson have been tapped to induct legendary singer/songwriter Carole King, with What's Love Got To Do With It? actress Angela Bassett inducting Tina Turner, and '80s hitmaker Lionel Ritchie inducting Clarence Avant. This year's inductees were announced back in May, with Todd Rundgren, The Go-Gos, Jay-Z, Gil Scott-Heron and Kraftwerk also set to be honored in what RRHOF chairman John Sykes has described as "the most diverse class in the history" of the awards. - New Musical Express...... Speaking of Paul McCartney, the Beatles legend's new career-spanning biography, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present will hit stores on Nov. 2. On Oct. 18, Sir Paul shared an excerpt from the book in which he remembers the inspiration for one of his best-known Beatles songs, "Eleanor Rigby." Writing about his childhood in Liverpool, McCartney recalled doing chores for local residents during the Scouts' "Bob-a-job week," during which he met an old lady who would go on to inspire the song. "Eleanor Rigby is based on an old lady that I got on with very well," McCartney wrote in an extract published by The New Yorker. "I found out that she lived on her own, so I would go around there and just chat, which is sort of crazy if you think about me being some young Liverpool guy. Later, I would offer to go and get her shopping. She'd give me a list and I'd bring the stuff back, and we'd sit in her kitchen. I still vividly remember the kitchen, because she had a little crystal-radio set... So I would visit, and just hearing her stories enriched my soul and influenced the songs I would later write." The Lyrics will recount the musician's life through his earliest boyhood compositions, songs by the Beatles and Wings, and from his lengthy solo career. To accompany the release, the British Library has announced it will host a free display entitled "Paul McCartney: The Lyrics" between Nov. 5, 2021 and Mar. 13, 2022, while the musician himself will discuss the book live in conversation at the Royal Festival Hall on the opening day of the display. - NME...... The Beatles officially joined the popular TikTok social platform on Oct. 16 allowing TikTok creators for the first time to soundtrack their videos with 36 of the Fab Four's most popular songs, including 12 from the upcoming The Beatles: Get Back film including "Get Back, "I've Got A Feeling" and "I Me Mine." Other Beatles tunes on the group's TikTok page include "Hey Jude," "Love Me Do," "The Long and Winding Road," "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "Something," "Eleanor Rigby," "Day Tripper" and "Paperback Writer." The BeatlesThe Beatles: Get Back rolls out over three days beginning Nov. 25, exclusively on Disney+, and an official trailer has just been shared on YouTube. The film is made up entirely of never-before-seen and restored footage, and will transport fans back to to the band's pivotal Jan. 1969 recording sessions, documenting the creative process and relationship between the band as they attempted to record 14 new songs in preparation for their first live concert in over two years. - New Musical Express...... In related news, filmmaker Simon Weitzman has set up a crowdfunding page on Indiegogo.com to help get his Beatles film Here, There & Everywhere edited and released. The film, which explores the role fans and music devotees have played in keeping the band's music alive, features in-depth interviews with John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird, artist/musician Klaus Voormann, Liverpool Beatles Waterfront Statues sculptor Andrew Edwards, legendary Beatles "Mad Day Out" photographer Tom Murray, and more. "With hundreds of hours of material to work from, we are raising money to complete the edit, clear music, image and archive rights before creating a downloadable version of the film, limited edition DVDs, BlueRays and a host of very special and unique perks for our backers," Weitzman says. He adds he has already raised £30,423, with a target of £45,000. The fundraiser will be open until Oct. 28. - NME 10/16/21...... London's Abbey Road Studios has announced details of its upcoming 90th anniversary celebrations. From Nov. 11-12, the studios which was made famous by such artists as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Adele, Oasis and Ed Sheeran will once again open their doors to artists, creatives and aspiring music industry professionals for a two-day event featuring Q&As, live performances, masterclasses and more. In August, the world-famous studios hosted an "Abbey Road: Open House" which gave visitors the opportunity to explore all three of the original recording rooms. Fans can enter a ballot to attend the free "Amplify" events and see the full line-up of events at abbeyroad.com/amplify. It was announced at the beginning of 2021 that a new Abbey Road Studios documentary was in development, with Paul McCartney's daughter Mary McCartney set to direct. - NME...... A preview of a new Paul McCartney interview with the BBC Radio 4's This Cultural Life series reveals that Sir Paul has decided to set the record straight on who was behind the decision to split up the Beatles. "I didn't instigate the split. That was our Johnny," Macca said of John Lennon in a preview of his upcoming interview shared on The Guardian's website. "John walked into a room one day and said I am leaving The Beatles. Is that instigating the split, or not?" He also added, "This was my band, this was my job, this was my life, so I wanted it to continue." Paul McCartneyFurther speaking on what he described as "the most difficult period" of his life, McCartney explained that following Lennon's decision, he and remaining members Ringo Starr and George Harrison were "left to pick up the pieces," and confusion surrounding their breakup arose because their manager Allen Klein advised them to keep quiet while business deals were concluded. "So for a few months we had to pretend," McCartney says. "It was weird because we all knew it was the end of the Beatles but we couldn't just walk away." Paul added that he "let the cat out of the bag" after being "fed up of hiding it." "Around about that time we were having little meetings and it was horrible. It was the opposite of what we were. We were musicians, not meeting people," he said. McCartney sued the Beatles in 1970 but he explains he did so as a means to avoid Klein's control. "I had to fight, and the only way I could fight was in suing the other Beatles, because they were going with Klein. And they thanked me for it years later," he said. The interview is scheduled to air in full on BBC Radio 4 on Oct. 23. Meanwhile, in a new interview with The New Yorker, McCartney said he feels the Beatles' main '60s rival The Rolling Stones were mainly "a blues cover band." "I'm not sure I should say it, but they're a blues cover band, that's sort of what the Stones are. I think our net was cast a bit wider than theirs," Paul said. In Apr. 2020, McCartney told Sirius XM host Howard Stern that "When [the Stones] are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. [The Beatles] had a little more influences." "There's a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I'm with you. The Beatles were better," Paul said. Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Ringo Starr has opened up about a bizarre reunion offer made to the Beatles in 1973, which they turned down. Starr is featured an Oct. 11 profile of Paul McCartney talking about the band turning down "a fortune" to reunite for a concert, which proposed an opening act of a man wrestling a shark. "We called each other and said no," Ringo said. "We were taking our own roads now." The McCartney profile had focused on the upcoming three-part Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back from director Peter Jackson which is due in November. - The Hollywood Reporter/New Musical Express...... Ringo Starr is part of a massive, all-star group of the world's greatest drummers who've gathered for a cover of the Beatles' Come Together" for a good cause. The effort, part of WhyHunger's "Drum Together" campaign, brought together 100 of the world's elite drummers including Max Weinberg (Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band), Stewart Copeland (the Police), Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel), Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge), Steve Gadd (Steely Dan) and sessions legend Jim Keltner (who helped organize the campaign) to raise funds to build a "just, hunger-free" world. The funds raised by the recording will support WhyHunger's mission to end global hunger by "tackling its root causes and investing in grassroots solutions to advance the human right to nutritious food for all," according to a statement. The project was conceptualized and produced by Tony Award-winner Brian Resnick (Hadestown) and legendary drummer/educator Dom Famularo, with the latter saying, "When it comes to impactful compositions, 'Come Together' is at the top of the list. It was the perfect song to galvanize this community for such a critical cause." A jazzy, 10-minute video for the effort has been shared on YouTube and opens with Starr playing the song's iconic intro, then quickly being joined by a galaxy of players drumming along on a wide variety of percussion instruments and impressive kits, joined by horns, guitars and vocalists, with plenty of time for a number of them to get in ripping drum solos. - Billboard...... Peter Frampton is among the contributors to the third annual "Dear John Concert For War Child UK" virtual concert set for Oct. 9. Ahead of the event, Frampton and other musicians have released their official "Dear John" anthem in tribute to the legacy of John Lennon. "Dear John" has been released featuring the daughter of former Small Faces rocker Steve Marriott, Mollie Marriott, and Frampton, who has worked with Ringo Starr and David Bowie. Tickets for the live-streamed event on sale now from BlurredVision.Veeps.com, and the new video for "Dear John" can be viewed on YouTube. The non-profit War Child UK organization supports young people in war-torn countries. - Music-News.com...... Eric ClaptonA newly unearthed interview with John Lennon reportedly reveals the Beatles were considering replacing George Harrison with Harrison's close friend and fellow musician Eric Clapton. The revelation comes from more than 120 hours of unheard audio and 50 hours of unseen footage made during director Michael Lindsay-Hogg's "fly-on-the-wall" film of the recording of the band's Let It Be album. The tape hears Lennon threaten to replace Harrison with Clapton after Harrison temporarily quit the band in Jan. 1969 during the recording of Let It Be, which would become the Beatles' final LP release. The sudden departure of Harrison -- who felt that his songs weren't getting as much attention as those of Lennon and Paul McCartney -- worried McCartney and Ringo Starr. Lennon, however, while sympathetic, was also practical about the situation, and suggested that Clapton could be a possible replacement. Lennon said that Harrison's attitude had been "a festering wound and we allowed it to go deeper and we didn't even give him any bandages." "I think if George doesn't come back by (next week) we ask Eric Clapton to play," Lennon said. Harrison, who had been to see his mother in Liverpool, returned to the studio with the band six days later. Peter Jackson's upcoming new Disney+ documentary, The Beatles: Get Back, will focus on the making of Let It Be and will showcase their final concert as a band, on London's Savile Row rooftop, in its entirety. Disney+ has confirmed the documentary will arrive in three separate parts on November 25, 26 and 27. Each episode is approximately two hours in length. Ahead of the documentary's release a The Beatles: Get Back book will arrive on Oct. 12, featuring transcriptions of the band's recorded conversations and hundreds of exclusive, never before published photos from the three weeks of sessions. - New Musical Express...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney's pal and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has revealed that Paul gave his daughter her very first piano lesson in his upcoming memoir, The Storyteller. "We have wine and pizza and we were hanging out, and it was time for Paul to go," Grohl told The Graham Norton Show in an interview which has been shared on YouTube. "Paul and [his wife] Nancy were leaving and there was a piano in the corner of the room, and he just can't help himself. So he sits down at the piano and starts playing 'Lady Madonna'... My daughter Harper, who I think was five at the time, is watching Paul McCartney on the piano and she goes to the kitchen and gets a coffee cup, puts some change in it and puts it on top of the piano like it's a tip jar. She'd never taken a lesson to play any instrument at that point and she sat down and watched his hands. They sat down together, and he was showing her what to play, and they wrote a song together." Grohl's book is due out Oct. 5 via Dey Street Books. Meanwhile, McCartney has been revealed as the person behind a set of "Grandude" ads which have recently appeared in local newspapers across the UK. The advertisements have run in the classified section of papers such as the Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo and Scotland's Daily Record over the last week of September. "Grandude and chillers seek information leading to the whereabouts of Nandude," the ad begins. The "Grandude" in question refers to the main character in McCartney's range of children's books, which began with the picture book Hey Grandude! in Sept. 2019. - NME...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, a recording of John Lennon playing an unreleased song in Denmark in 1970 has sold for £43,000 at auction in Copenhagen. The audio, which was recorded after a press conference as John and wife Yoko Ono were spending time with his wife Yoko Ono's daughter Kyoko who was living with her father in Jutland, includes a conversation between the four teenagers, Lennon and some local journalists. After their chat, Lennon played a number of songs for them, including a track called "Radio Peace," which remains unreleased. The artefact went under the hammer in Copenhagen on Sept. 28, and while it was expected to fetch between 27,000-40,000 (£23,000-£34,000), the final figure it sold for was £43,000 (370,000 Danish kroner). Ringo StarrMeanwhile, Ringo Starr says he's unsure about his touring plans for 2022 because the Covid-19 situation is still "dodgy." Starr, 81, says he had no choice but to call off all his All-Starr Band shows in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, and that he is still wary about risking his health. "I'm not going out this year. They've sent me the itinerary over for next year but it's impossible to say if it's on. I'm saying in my heart it's on, but let's see where we are," said Ringo, who recently released a new EP called Change the World. - NME...... A trailer for the Beatles documentary The Beatles and India has been shared on YouTube. The award-winning film explores the lasting legacy from the Fab Four's ground-breaking 1968 visit to Rishikesh, India. It sheds light on how India shaped the development of the greatest ever rock band and their pioneering role in bringing together two vastly different cultures. The film is set for its U.K. digital release on Oct. 4, courtesy of 101 Films. The documentary won Best Film Audience Choice and Best Music in Tongues On Fire at the 2021 UK Asian Film Festival, where it premiered earlier in 2021. The DVD and Blu-ray release from Cherry Red and an album Songs Inspired By The Film The Beatles And India will drop via Silva Screen Records on Oct. 29. - Music-News.com...... New mixes of classic tracks by the Beatles have been shared on Spotify.com ahead of the forthcoming special edition re-release of the band's 1970 album Let It Be on Oct. 15. "Get Back" (Take 8), "One After 909" (Take 3), "I Me Mine" (1970 Glyn Johns Mix) and "Across The Universe" (2021 Stereo Mix) can be sampled on the music platform for the new Let It Be edition, which has been newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell in stereo, 5.1 surround DTS and Dolby Atmos. The physical and digital "super deluxe" Let It Be collections will feature 27 previously unreleased session recordings, a four-track "Let It Be" EP and the never-before-released 14-track Get Back stereo LP mix, which was compiled by engineer Glyn Johns in May 1969. A new hardcover book, titled The Beatles: Get Back, will also be included with the "super deluxe" editions of Let It Be, with a foreword written by Paul McCartney. Meanwhile in other Beatles-related news, the Beatles and Metallica mash-up band Beatallica has announced their fourth studio album, The Devolver Album, will hit stores on Nov. 12 via Metal Assault Records. Beatallica will release a music video for the album's lead single, "Wherever And Everywhere," via the group's YouTube channel on Oct. 1. - New Musical Express...... John LennonElsewhere on the Fab Four front, a 33-minute recording of John Lennon playing an unreleased song in Denmark in 1970 is going up for auction in Copenhagen later in September. The recording is being sold by four Danish men who met Lennon when they were teenagers as the international superstar was spending the winter of 1969-1970 in a small Danish town on the west coast wife Yoko Ono's daughter Kyoko, who was living with her father in Jutland. The audio, which was recorded after a press conference, includes a conversation between the four teenagers, Lennon and some local journalists. After their chat, Lennon plays a number of songs for them, including a track called "Radio Peace," which remains unreleased. The artefact will go under the hammer in Copenhagen on Sept. 28, and is expected to fetch between 27,000-40,000 (£23,000-£34,000). "The tape is totally unique because it's a conversation. It took place after a press conference with the four schoolboys and some journalists, and John Lennon plays a few songs for them," a spokesperson for the Bruun Rasmussen auction house says. "One of them, 'Radio Peace', has never been published. It's a little piece of Danish history and when we listen to it, we can sense that John Lennon felt cosy in Denmark. He could be left alone and just be," the spokesperson added. Elsewhere, a John Lennon tribute show called "Dear John" is set to be livestreamed in October. The online event will follow on from the release earlier this year of the Dear John tribute album, which featured Lennon covers by a range of artists and raised money for the War Child charity. A livestream tribute concert will now take place on Oct. 9 to mark what would have been Lennon's 81st birthday, with the event benefitting War Child once again. Participants will include Peter Frampton, Martin Freeman, Matt Lucas, Jack Savoretti, Fearne Cotton and Yola, among others. Tickets for the "Dear John" event can be purchased at blurredvision.veeps.com. - NME...... Paul McCartney is set to discuss his new book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present at the Royal Festival Hall at London's Southbank Centre on Nov. 5, three days after the book hits stores. Sir Paul's new book recounts the musician's life through his earliest boyhood compositions, songs by the Beatles and Wings, and from his lengthy solo career. As well as the in-person event, the conversation will also be livestreamed globally. Tickets for the Southbank event and livestream are available at the South Bank Centre site. The Lyrics will be presented with previously unseen drafts, letters and pictures from McCartney's personal archive. In August, McCartney revealed the names of the 154 songs that are featured in his forthcoming career-spanning biography. To accompany the new book, the British Library has announced it will host a free display entitled "Paul McCartney: The Lyrics" between Nov. 5, 2021 and Mar. 13, 2022. - New Musical Express...... 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' - The BeatlesSheila Bromberg, a former harpist with British symphony orchestras who contributed the intro and rhythm to the track "She's Leaving Home" on the Beatles' 1967 masterpiece Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, died on Sept. 12. She was 92. Ms. Bromberg was a busy symphony musician when an agent called on Mar. 17, 1967, to offer her a three-hour stint that night as a session musician at the EMI recording studio on Abbey Road in London. Ms. Bromberg was offered only £9 (about $17) for her work, and with two young children to feed, showed up at 8:30 p.m. to tune her harp and was handed a piece of sheet music. Backed by a full string section, the intro set the poignant tone of "She's Leaving Home" before Beatle Paul McCartney (who recorded separately) began the lyric "Wednesday morning at 5 o'clock as the day begins..." Only later did she learn that the notes she played were to be the intro on "She's Leaving Home" by the Beatles. The song was released months later on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of the most acclaimed albums in pop music history. Referring to her part in Sgt. Pepper in a 2011 interview with the Oxford Mail newspaper, Ms. Bromberg said, "I feel very grateful to have been chosen to be on it. And I feel very proud that that piece of work has given such a tremendous amount of pleasure to everyone. But what amazes me, of all the music I've performed in, I'm noted for four bars of music. I find that a little bizarre." - The Sunday Globe UK  






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