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After seeing two videos of an elephant in India named Jeymalyatha being beaten by handlers, Paul McCartney has teamed up with the animal rights organization PETA India to send a letter to the Indian government requesting help for the animal. Paul McCartney"I have considered India a spiritual place ever since I travelled there in the 1960s. I was impressed by India's cultural love for animals," Sir Paul wrote in the letter. "I know India reveres elephants, its national heritage animal, but cruelty to animals happens everywhere, even in India. What reflects on a country's values is how that cruelty is addressed. I trust you agree that Jeymalyatha has suffered more than enough, and that she deserves to spend the rest of her time on this Earth away from her abusive trainers, rehabilitating, and with others of her kind," the letter added. McCartney, who has a long history of promoting a vegan lifestyle and advocating for animal safety, and PETA are urging officials to move the elephant to a reputable rescue center immediately. PETA India also submitted a veterinary inspection report to Indian officials, pointing out that Jeymalyatha's current handler used pliers on her skin right in front of inspectors. - Billboard...... A generous number of Seventies artists have reacted to the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at age 96. Paul McCartney, saying memories had come "flooding back" following the Queen's passing, told social media followers that he was "privileged to have been alive during the whole of Queen Elizabeth II's reign." Sir Paul, 80, went on to recall the memories he has of the Queen, including winning an essay competition with a piece about the monarchy at 10 years old and watching Elizabeth's coronation on a black-and-white television in 1953. Looking back I am honoured and amazed to see that I met Her Majesty eight or nine times and each time she impressed me with her great sense of humour combined with great dignity," he wrote. "The Beatles got the MBE on 26th October 1965. I remember us being taken aside and shown what the correct protocol was. We were told how to approach Her Majesty and not to talk to her unless she talks to us. For four Liverpool lads, it was, 'Wow, hey man.'" After recounting his other experiences with the Queen, Macca concluded his post: "God bless you. You will be missed." Yoko Ono, posting on Twitter on behalf of herself and son Sean Ono Lennon, wrote: "We would like to send out deepest sympathy to the Royal family following the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II; a strong and powerful woman whose seventy year reign was served with integrity, dignity, grace and compassion. With love, Yoko and Sean Ono Lennon." - New Musical Express...... John LennonNew York corrections officials announced on Sept. 12 that the assassin of John Lennon will be denied parole for the 12th time. Mark David Chapman, 67, appeared before a parole board at the end of August, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Chapman was convicted of shooting and killing the former Beatle on the night of Dec. 8, 1980, as Lennon and Yoko Ono were returning to their Upper West Side apartment. Lennon had signed an autograph for Chapman on a copy of his recently released album, Double Fantasy, earlier that day. State officials have yet to make transcripts of Chapman's latest board interview available, but he has repeatedly expressed remorse in previous parole hearings. He called his actions "despicable" during his hearing in 2020, and said he would have "no complaint whatsoever" if they chose to leave him in prison for the rest of his life. "I assassinated him ... because he was very, very, very famous and that's the only reason and I was very, very, very, very much seeking self-glory. Very selfish," said Chapman, who is serving a 20-years-to-life sentence at Green Haven Correctional Facility. Chapman's next chance at parole will be in Feb. 2024. - Billboard...... Among the nuggets on the newly mixed and extended version of the Beatles' seminal 1966 album Revolver is an acoustic rendition of "Yellow Submarine" by John Lennon. The special "super deluxe" Revolver boxset has been freshly mixed by producer Giles Martin -- the son of the legendary Liverpool group's late studio wizard George Martin -- and engineer Sam Okell in stereo and Dolby Atmos, utilising the latest technology. And it boasts never-before-released studio recordings and demos, including the downbeat rendition of "Yellow Submarine." Giles said at a listening event for the boxset: "I didn't realise it was very much a John Lennon song, that Paul [McCartney] commercialised in a way [until that clip]." The Beatles classic was penned as a children's song by McCartney and Lennon, but it was drummer Ringo Starr who was given lead vocal duties. - Music-News.com...... Though it may have taken him longer than expected, John Lennon's son Julian Lennon, 59, says he's content with where he is in life, having learned to forgive his dad (who he was on the brink of mending a long-damaged relationship when John was gunned down in 1980) and accept the hurdles he's faced. "I'm good all the way down the line these days," he says. "I'd always hoped I would get here. How long was the journey going to be? That was the question." Julian puts that journey under a microscope on his seventh studio album, Jude (out Sept. 9). It's a nod to the Beatles classic "Hey Jude," written by Paul McCartney in 1968 to console young Julian as his parents, John and first wife Cynthia, split. Jude is a collection of new songs and a pair of tracks he wrote more than 30 years ago but recently rediscovered while combing through old demos. "Working on the album was about getting in touch with myself and who I am," he says. - People...... The BeatlesThe Beatles picked up five awards at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Sept. 3. The Peter Jackson-directed documentary The Beatles: Get Back was honored in the categories of Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera), and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program (Single or Multi-Camera). Meanwhile, the Beatles have confirmed in a YouTube clip that a special edition of their classic 1966 album Revolver is set to be released on Oct. 28. First confirmed by Giles Martin -- the son of the late Beatles producer George Martin -- in August, Revolver is the latest Fab Four album to be re-released as a remixed and expanded deluxe box set following Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 2017, "White Album" (2018), Abbey Road (2019) and Let It Be (2021). All 14 tracks on the original album have been newly mixed by Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell in stereo and Dolby Atmos, while the album's original mono mix has been sourced from its 1966 mono master tape. The physical and digital "super deluxe" Revolver collections also feature the album's original mono mix, 28 early takes from the sessions and three home demos. There is also a four-track EP with new stereo mixes and remastered original mono mixes for "Paperback Writer" and "Rain." The Revolver special edition will be available in three formats -- "Super Deluxe," "Deluxe" and "Standard" -- and will be released on vinyl, CD and digitally. Revolver was originally released in Aug. 1966. New Musical Express...... In other Beatles-related news, a Paul McCartney and Chrissie Hynde duet of the Beatles' 1969 Abbey Road track "Oh! Darling" was among the many special moments at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert on Sept. 3 at London's Wembley Stadium. Sir Paul joked to the crowd that "Oh! Darling" "hadn't been done since we recorded it 100 years ago" after he stepped onstage with the Pretenders frontlady amid the Foo Fighters' headlining set at the nearly six-hour event of music celebrating the life of the late Taylor Hawkins. "I've never done is as a duet," McCartney said. "But we're gonna do it tonight for the first time, for you." With Omar Hakim on the drums behind the pair, and McCartney on guitar, the two singers traded off vocals on "Oh! Darling." "God bless Taylor," said McCartney -- who went on to perform the hard-rocking 1968 Beatles track "Helter Skelter" before the Foo Fighters continued on with their own hits. Other memorable performances that night included a Rush set of songs with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, Joe Walsh leading a James Gang reunion after more than 15 years, and Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor joining the Foo Fighters to perform a five-song set of Queen hits. - Billboard...... It was announced on Sept. 1 that Universal Music Group-owned Bravado has scored North American merchandise rights for the Beatles, an arrangement that unites the legendary band's records and merch under the one roof of UMG. Through the new partnership, Bravado will develop new merchandise opportunities for the Fab Four across retail, licensing and e-commerce in the US and Canada. As part of that agreement with Apple Corp., Bravado will expand the Beatles' presence across those markets by leveraging its retail and licensing partnerships and its ecommerce network to "supercharge direct-to-consumer efforts," according to a statement. It's a coup for UMG, which has represented the Beatles' recorded music catalog since 2012, and, three years later, facilitated the arrival of the band's works on streaming platforms. Bravado will also handle T shirts, hats and all the essential pieces of Beatles-branded kit which continues to prove popular with fans. The joint statement from UMG and Apple Corp., founded by the Beatles in 1968 to oversee the band's own creative and business interests, says the foursome of John, Paul, George and Ringo "remain one of the world's most popular bands in the history of music." - Billboard...... 'Yellow Submarine' - The BeatlesGerald Potterton, the British-Canadian filmmaker who worked on a sequence for the Beatles' 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine and later directed the adult animated cult classic Heavy Metal in 1981 died on Aug. 23 at the Brome-Missisquoi-Perkins Hospital in Cowansville, Quebec. He was 91. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Mr. Potterton was selected by the World Animation Celebration in 1998 as one of "Ten Men Who Have Rocked the Animation World." - The Hollywood Reporter...... Entertainment lawyer John Eastman, who represented his brother-in-law Paul McCartney through Beatles power struggles and for decades afterward, died on Aug. 10 in East Hampton, N.Y., of pancreatic cancer. He was 93. - People...... At the start of his North American tour and again at Glastonbury, Paul McCartney performed a virtual duet with his former Beatles bandmate John Lennon courtesy of technology created by The Lord Of The Rings and The Beatles: Get Back director Peter Jackson. At the shows, McCartney and Lennon traded verses on the Let It Be track "I've Got A Feeling," with Jackson having isolated Lennon's vocal for the team-up. "I've got a special little thing here," McCartney said when introducing that track. "One day, Peter Jackson rings me up and says he can take John's vocals and isolate them so that you can play live with John on tour. He said, 'Do you fancy that?' That's so special for me man. I know it's virtual, but come on -- it's John. We're back together." In a new interview with Mojo, John's son Julian Lennon has now admitted that he was "shocked" when he first saw the duet, but by the time of the Glastonbury performance he "actually enjoyed it." "I watched it on YouTube -- and I kind of went: 'Errrr... I don't know if I'm comfortable with that," he said, adding: "It shocked me." Julian went on to add that it was tough seeing his father "brought to life" through the performance, but grew to appreciate the spectacle at Glastonbury. Peter Jackson's three-part film, which premiered on the Disney+ streaming platform in Nov. 2021, focuses on the making of the band's penultimate studio album Let It Be and showcases their final concert as a band, on London's Savile Row rooftop, in its entirety. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr went viral over the second weekend of August after posting a picture of his feet along with a Blu-ray copy of the film on Twitter. The Beatles: Get Back won for Best Streaming Docuseries Non-fiction at the Hollywood Critic's Association's HCA TV Awards on Aug. 14.- New Musical Express/Billboard...... 'Abbey Road' - The BeatlesA state-of-the-art BTR2 (British Tape Recorder 2) recording console in London's Abbey Road Studios used by such legendary bands as The Beatles and Pink Floyd is going up for sale at music and pop culture auction house Gotta Have Rock & Roll. From 1957 until the mid 1970's, countless iconic albums were made on this same recording console including Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, "the White Album," and Abbey Road from just The Beatles alone. Other albums recorded using it include John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, George Harrison's All Things Must Pass and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Upgraded in 1970 for the best recording quality money could buy, the console was bought in 1980 from the Abbey Road Studios itself during their "Sale of the Century," before it was sold again at Sotheby's in 1988 to the world renowned Hard Rock Café. The current owner bought it from Hard Rock and is the one selling it today. Its auction listing, which can be viewed on www.gottahaverockandroll.com, also includes two images from Abbey Road Studios: one with a pensive John Lennon in front of the BTR2 and another with George Harrison and Ringo Starr celebrating with cake and champagne right in front of the BTR2. Equipment from Abbey Road Studios is very rarely brought up for public sale, and only a few pieces have made it into the hands of collectors. - Music-News.com...... The scathing 1971 letter written by John Lennon to his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney is being put up for auction. The 1971 typewritten letter with additional hand-written remarks was penned by Lennon in response to an interview McCartney did with Melody Maker, where the latter shared his thoughts on John and wife Yoko Ono, the dissolution of the Beatles' business partnership and more. Lennon addresses the letter with a sarcastic, "Dear Paul, Linda et al the wee McCartney's," before delving into his furious response. "We give you money for your bits of Apple," he wrote of their business relationship. "We give you more money in the form of royalties, which legally belong to Apple. (I know we're Apple, but on the other hand, we're not.)" John also defends his beloved hit "Imagine," writing, 'so you think 'Imagine' ain't political, it's 'working class here' with sugar on it for conservatives like yourself!! You obviously didn't dig the words. Imagine!" The letter also includes digs at McCartney's expense in addition to defense of Lennon's relationship with Ono. "Wanna put your photo on the label like uncool John and Yoko, do ya? (Ain't ya got no shame). If we're not cool, WHAT DOES THAT MAKE YOU," he wrote, adding later about his love for Yoko, "I thought you'd have understood BY NOW, that I'm JOHNANDYOKO." Gotta Have Rock and Roll, the auction house offering the letter which can be viewed on its website, is accepting bids through Aug. 19. The highest bid is currently set at $22,000. - Billboard...... Ringo StarrOn July 30, Ringo Starr announced he'll be releasing a "cleverly-named" new mini-album titled EP3. "[The] cleverly-named EP3, featuring four brand-new tracks with longtime collaborators Steve Lukather, Linda Perry, Dave Koz, Jos Antonio Rodriguez, and Bruce Sugar" is due out on Sept. 16 on CD and download, with cassette and vinyl due out in the fall, according to a statement announcing the project that promises some of Ringo's "instantly-recognizable vocals, feel-good lyrics, and easy-breezy melodies." "I am in my studio writing and recording every chance I get," Starr explained in a press release. "It's what I have always done and will continue to do, and releasing EPs more frequently allows me to continue to be creative and give each song a little more love," he added. As a sneak peek, the former Beatles drummer dropped the bouncy single "World Go Round," a mid-tempo rocker in which the peace and love-loving octopus gardener talks about how we are all in this together, on YouTube. The new songs, which also include "Everyone and Everything," "Let's Be Friends" and "Free Your Soul," were recorded at Starr's Roccabella West home studio. - Billboard...... In a new interview with Deadline.com, director Peter Jackson revealed that he's working on a "very different" Beatles project with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Jackson last worked with the pair on the Emmy-nominated documentary series The Beatles: Get Back, which was released in November of 2021. "I'm talking to The Beatles about another project, something very, very different than Get Back," Jackson said. "We're seeing what the possibilities are, but it's another project with them. It's not really a documentary... and that's all I can really say... We are never in a position where we have to do anything, but we've got a few things percolating." While Jackson wasn't able to share too many details, he did suggest that his vision for the project will require technology to improve. "It's so technically complicated I'm trying to work how exactly I'll do it," he said. "It's a live-action movie, but it needs technology that doesn't quite exist at the moment, so we're in the middle of developing the technology to allow it to happen." - New Musical Express......Julian LennonJohn Lennon's son Julian Lennon has revealed the important reason why he changed -- or at least rearranged -- his legal name from "John Charles Julian Lennon" to "Julian Charles John Lennon." "It was in 2020, just before we all got locked in a cage that I finally actually decided to legally change my name... the crap that I had to deal with when traveling and security companies and this and that and the other," the 59-year-old singer-songwriter explained in an appearance on the Word in Your Ear podcast. "It became really uncomfortable over the years because I've always been known as Julian and so it [being called John] never felt like it was me," he said. Lennon added that the name change has opened up "a whole other world for him." "Not that I'm ashamed or have disrespect. I needed to be me. I needed to finally be heard as Julian. This is what Julian does, not 'John's son', so that has been a part of the path and... it just made sense for me," he mused. In addition to simply rearranging his name to " respect the legacy and the wishes of his parents," Lennon has become a successful singer and songwriter in his own right. Over the course of his career thus far, he has released six studio albums, four of which charted on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart including 1984's Valotte (No. 17). On the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, he's notched several hits including the top 10 hits "Valotte" (No. 9) and "Too Late for Goodbyes" (No. 5). - Billboard...... Paul McCartney may be way past 64, but we still need him. To celebrate Sir Paul's 80th birthday in June, photographer Harry Benson has pulled together Paul, a trove of charming, intimate shots of the former Beatle and his family that hits stores on July 26. The shutterbug's relationship with Paul and the other Beatles dates back to 1964, when the band took America by storm, toured the world, and made their movie debut in A Hard Day's Night. - People...... Paul McCartney pulled out all the stops for his headlining slot at the UK's Glastonbury Festival on June 25, while becoming the event's oldest-ever solo headlier (at age 80). Sir Paul brought out several fellow big-name rock stars including Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who came on to play "Saw Her Standing There" and "Band on the Run." Then Bruce Springsteen was invited out to jam on The Boss' "Glory Days" and the early Lennon-McCartney song "I Wanna Be Your Man." Macca also paid tribute to his late Beatles bandmate George Harrison, who died in 2001, by performing the Harrison-penned "Something." Then thanks to modern technology, he sang with footage of John Lennon, assassinated in 1980, on the Let It Be track "I've Got a Feeling," with fan shot footage of the performance shared on YouTube. Meanwhile Paul is facing controversy for showing a clip of actor Johnny Depp behind him as he sang "My Valentine" during his set, with many fans flooding social media to share mixed reactions to the playing of the clip. Some say they were disappointed he appeared to be backing the actor, while others sided with his ex-wife Amber Heard in her court fight against Depp. Some 200,000 people attended the four-day festival at Worthy Farm in southwest England, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. McCartney was due to play Glastonbury in 2020, however that year's festival and the 2021 edition were both scuttled by the coronavirus pandemic. - Billboard/Bang Showbiz...... Paul McCartney played a warm-up gig at Frome's Cheese & Grain in Somerset, UK on the evening of June 24, ahead of his Glastonbury headline set the next night. The 800 capacity venue took to Twitter on June 23 to announce that it would be hosting the legendary Beatle for a surprise gig, writing: "@PaulMcCartney Live in Frome? Tomorrow night at 5pm? Ok then!" Tickets could only be purchased at the venue and were available on a strictly first come first served basis. McCartney arrived on stage just after 6:00 pm, playing to an audience that included Olivia Harrison, Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, AC/DC's Brian Johnson and Olivia Rodrigo. His set included "I Wanna Be Your Man," "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Hey Jude" and "Let It Be." Before "Out Of College" he told the crowd: "Here's a song that we've never done live in England until tonight, so it's a first for Frome." As he left the stage, he thanked fans saying: "Thank you Frome-anians, we had a good time in here tonight. This was a good idea." - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartneyAs Paul McCartney turned 80 years old on June 18, the famous former Beatle was messaged with numerous tributes on social media from his legion of fellow famous musicians, other celebrities, and fans. "They say it's your birthday Saturday happy birthday Paul love you man have a great day peace and love Ringo and Barbara love love peace and love," Ringo Starr tweeted alongside a photo of himself flashing the peace sign. John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono also tweeted a photo of herself and Paul captioned with the message: "Dear Paul, Happy 80th Birthday and many, many more! From a partner in Peace& love, yoko." Meanwhile, Sean Ono Lennon marked the special occasion by sharing a video of himself on Instagram delivering a touching acoustic rendition of the Beatles' classic 1966 song "Here, There and Everywhere." "A little birdy told me this was one of your your fav Beatles tunes," Sean captioned the clip. "So Happy Birthday! Thank you for all the beautiful music. You have mine and the whole world's undying love and respect. (This version is a bit rough because it's such a pretty song I kept getting choked up and staring again!)." Other tributes includes posts from Elvis Costello (who also dedicated a YouTube performance of "Here, There and Everywhere" to Paul), Ronnie Wood, Billy Joel, Carole King, Julian Lennon, Aerosmith and Brian Wilson. McCartney thanked all his well wishers with his own tweet: "Thanks for all the lovely greetings and warm wishes for my birthday." Meanwhile, Macca has just announced he's releasing his three eponymous solo albums -- McCartney (1970), McCartney II (1980) and McCartney III (2020) -- together for the first time in a special box set. The McCartney I II III box set is due on Aug. 5 and will be available in three different formats: limited edition color vinyl, black vinyl edition, and CD. The sets will include three special photo prints and notes from Macca about each album. McCartney wrapped his "Got Back Tour" on June 16 at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey with special guest appearances by local heroes Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. Late in the set at Met Life Stadium, Springsteen strolled to the middle to thunderous applause, and took the mic for a performance of his "80s hit "Glory Days" and the Beatles' "I Wanna Be Your Man." The pair have collaborated several times over the years, including a performance for Hard Rock Calling 2012 at London's Hyde Park. Fan-shot foootage of the superstar jam has been shared on YouTube. During the encore, Bon Jovi appeared on stage for sing "Happy Birthday" to his friend McCartney. Paul is scheduled to headline the U.K.'s Glastonbury Festival on June 25, where he's planning a "virtual reunion" with John Lennon. A source close to Paul said: "He is tinkering around with the setlist but it looks like he will do a virtual duet with John Lennon. There is some footage of Lennon singing 'I've Got a Feeling', from 'Let It Be', which Paul puts up on the big screen, and then he turns around and sings to him. John's vocal has been isolated in the footage and it is stunning." - Billboard/Music-News.com...... Ringo Starr posted on his RingoStarr.com website on June 11 that the remaining dates of his 2022 summer tour have been postponed after two of his All-Starr Band members tested positive for Covid-19. Starr says the 12 concerts left on his North American trek will be pushed to Sept. 2022 after it was discovered that keyboardist Edgar Winter and guitarist Steve Lukather were diagnosed with Covid-19. "We are so sorry to let the fans down," Starr said in the statement. "It's been wonderful to be back out on the road and we have been having such a great time playing for you all. But as we all know, Covid is still here and despite being careful these things happen. I want to thank the fans for their patience, I send you all peace and love, and we can't wait to be back in the fall," he added. Ringo, 81, and his band which includes Colin Hay of Men at Work and Hamish Stuart of Average White Band, were nearly halfway through the 22-date tour prior to its halt. The trek, Starr's first outing since 2019, kicked off in Ontario, Canada, on May 27. Ringo and the band previously announced a fall tour that is scheduled to begin on Sept. 23 at the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater in Bridgeport, Conn., and wrap Oct. 20 at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City. The postponed summer dates will be added to the band's fall schedule, which can be viewed on Ringo's site. - Billboard...... Ringo StarrJust call him "Dr. Ringo." Beatles legend Ringo Starr finally made it to Boston on June 2 to receive his honorary degree from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Berklee originally announced that Starr would receive a doctorate in music at commencement ceremonies in May, but Ringo was unable to attend then and instead addressed the graduating class in a recorded statement. In the video, Starr banged around on a drum kit before sending his customary "peace and love" greeting while congratulating the class of '22. "I'm a doctor at last! I never went to college, but I certainly have had a lot of experience making music, so I supposed I earned this in my own way," he said. But with Ringo and his All Starr Band in town for a show, the school held a special ceremony earlier in the day to honor his lifelong contributions to the music scene that featured performances of Starr's hit songs, arranged and performed by Berklee students. Starr, 81, told the story of how he picked up drumming when he was 13 and very ill and someone brought some percussion instruments to the hospital to keep him busy. He was hooked. Starr, 81, told the story of how he picked up drumming when he was 13 and very ill and someone brought some percussion instruments to the hospital to keep him busy. He was hooked. "I just wanted to be a drummer from that moment on," he said. "It was my big dream and it's still unfolding. I get to play with great guys, like the band here. It's just a great life I lead." Gregg Bissonette, the drummer in the All Starr Band, and Berklee President Erica Muhl provided opening remarks. Starr recently kicked off his first tour since 2019 with the ASB by announcing an NFT collection comprised of digital artworks accompanied by signed canvas prints created by himself. - AP...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, John Lennon's son Julian Lennon has released an official cover of his late dad's peace anthem "Imagine," and shared it on Spotify.com. In April, Julian performed the track for the first as part of the "Stand Up For Ukraine" campaign, a global fund-raising effort broadcast from Warsaw, Poland, and shared it on YouTube. At the time, he wrote "Today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad's song, 'Imagine'" adding: "The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for." A portion of the proceeds from the new release will be donated to Ukraine refugee relief through Lennon's nonprofit, The White Feather Foundation to Global Citizen. - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney appeared to show his support for actor/musician Johnny Depp during his Orlando gig on May 28, as the Hollywood actor awaits the verdict of his defamation trial against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard. Although it could be entirely coincidental, the Beatles legend -- who turns 80 in June -- showed a clip of his music video for "My Valentine," which features Depp, on giant screens behind him while playing the Camping World Stadium in Florida, in what is being reported as a show of solidarity for the Pirates of the Caribbean star. Depp claims a 2018 op-ed written by Heard falsely implies that he is a domestic abuser -- which he has vehemently denied -- and that it has left him struggling to land roles in Hollywood. Depp is suing for $50 million, while Heard is countersuing for $100 million -- accusing Depp of orchestrating a "smear campaign" against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of "abuse and harassment." Meanwhile, after several weeks appearing in court in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp travelled across the pond to give a surprise performance alongside his musician friend, Jeff Beck, during his show at Sheffield City Hall in England on May 29. The pals performed their 2020 cover of John Lennon's 1970 hit "Isolation," as well renditions of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" and Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," according to videos of the concert shared on social media, in which the Sweeney Todd star appeared on good form. - Bang Showbiz...... Ringo Starr will make his debut on the blockchain in June, announcing a collection of non-fungible token (NFT) artworks dubbed "The Creative Mind Of A Beatle." The collection features five of Starr's original art pieces -- two paintings, one Bansky-esque self-portrait, and two hybrid works -- each being minted as editions of four. Each piece will come with a physical print of the corresponding artwork, signed by Ringo, as well as an audio recording of Starr performing an original composition inspired by the piece, written for and released exclusively through the collection, on the drums. "I am excited to join this digital art community," Ringo said in a video announcing the collection he posted on Twitter on May 24, "and look forward to continuing to learn and build in Web3... I've been doing art for many, many years, with paint, stencils, digitally, spin art and I'm honoured to be part of this community." As for why Starr chose to jump onboard the NFT train, he explained: "It's really important to have a platform to display your art and to be in control of how it is shared and appreciated." "The Creative Mind Of A Beatle" will be opened as an online auction, accessible via Julien's Auctions, on June 13. Each of the 20 NFTs will launch with a starting bid of $1,000 (£800), with an unspecified portion of the final proceeds being donated to Starr's own charity, The Lotus Foundation. However the collection's existence has been widely derided by Beatles fans, with almost all of the 70-plus replies to its announcement on Twitter being negative. "I love Ringo and I find his art very tasteful, but the majority of us Beatles fans are not in favour of the concept of NFTs," one fan wrote, while another pleaded with the artist: "In the name of peace and love please stop." Meanwhile, Ringo is set to kick off an ambitious tour of North America with his All-Starr Band this summer, beginning with back-to-back shows in Ontario on May 27 and 28. The tour will roll into June with a further 20 shows, before picking back up in September for another 19 dates. - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartney wowed fans on the opener of his "Got Back" tour in Spokane, Wash., on Apr. 28 by performing the Beatles' classic "I've Got a Feeling" with footage of John Lennon from director Peter Jackson's recent The Beatles: Get Back documentary in the background. McCartney began the song strumming a guitar with a swirl of pastel colors on the screen behind him and then elicited gasps of elation when mid-way through when Lennon's voice came in for his verse as Macca turned toward the screen to watch the footage from the Beatles' legendary Jan. 1969 rooftop gig atop the band's Apple Corps HQ in London. Paul McCartney"Everybody had a hard year/ Everybody had a good time/ Everybody had a wet dream/ Everybody saw the sunshine," Lennon sang in the footage as McCartney sang counter-melodies. After the performance, McCartney explained how it came together, telling the audience, "So, Peter Jackson, the director of the Get Back film, he texts me one day. And he says, 'we can extract John's voice. And he can sing with you live.'" The crowd roared at the idea and McCartney, 79, shrugged and added, "I thought, 'Oh, yeah!" The gig marked McCartney's return to the stage following the pandemic and he was overjoyed to be performing once again as he treated the crowd to hits from the Beatles, Wings and his solo career. He said: "They said 'get back', and we got back. And it feels cool. "You'll have to give me a moment to myself, just to let me take this in." - Billboard/Music-News.com...... In other Beatles-related news, John Lennon's son Julian Lennon says he's had a "love-hate relationship" with the Beatles classic "Hey Jude." Julian, the son of John and his first wife Cynthia Lennon said the song serves as a "dark reminder" about his parents' divorce after it was written for him by Sir Paul McCartney. Speaking on the SiriusXM radio show Debatable,Julian explained: "I wasn't really aware of what was going on except when I started seeing Yoko (Ono) around, obviously that made a bit of an impact and apparently I struggled with the separation a great deal at five. "I would have raging moments of being a screaming child but those moments haven't stuck with me. For me it has always been about moving forward, protecting mum the best that I could and making her proud, keeping an eye on her, arms around her, protecting her all the way up until the end, she was my priority." Julian also explained how the track inspired the name of his latest album, titled Jude: "The album allowed me to explain what 'Hey Jude' meant to me because the fact of the matter is it was a love-hate relationship, I thought I had heard it enough. I am thankful to Paul for writing it and putting some hope behind what was to come, but the downside of it was it was a dark reminder of what actually went down at that time, the separation." Lennon revealed how he was filled with pride after watching the recent Fab Four documentary The Beatles: Get Back. He said: "After watching the documentary there was such pride seeing dad the way I used to know him as a kid, remembering him and seeing him being a goofy b------ but also being such a great writer, performer and singer." - Music-News.com...... Ringo StarrOn Apr. 17 Ringo Starr added further dates to his upcoming 2022 North American All-Starr Band tour in a post to his Instagram account. The legendary Beatles sticksman and his band -- Toto's Steve Lukather, Men At Work's Colin Hay, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette, Average White Band's Hamish Stuart and Edgar Winter -- are set to kick-off their tour on May 27 in Ontario, Canada. Following the tour's initial announcement which had it wrapping up in Clearwater, Fla., on June 26, Ringo and the band have confirmed 19 new dates extending the run to Oct. 20 with a two-night stand in Mexico City, Mexico, with new Sept. and Oct. shows in Michigan, Washington, New Jersey, California and more. Starr -- who turns 82 this summer -- last released a solo album, What's My Name, in 2019. Since its release, he has shared two EPs in 2021: "Zoom In" and "Change the World." - New Musical Express...... A British Beatles fan named Ken Lambert has turned George Harrison's suburban Liverpool childhood home at 25 Upton Green into an Airbnb and "living museum" of Harrison memorabilia. Lambert says he bouth the home in Nov. 2021 for around £171,000. According to the listing, Harrison lived at the three-bedroom house between 1949 and 1962, and the house was also used as a practice space for the pre-Beatles incarnation, The Quarrymen. Lambert says the house will be "a living museum by letting people stay overnight" and that a weekly tour group will also be able to stop by and spend about half an hour in the home drinking tea and playing music. "I'm not a wealthy individual. It's not like I go around buying up properties. I'm a Beatles fan, yes, but I am a big George Harrison fan specifically," Lambert told the New York Post. "I think it was a shame that George's house had no relevance to millions of Beatles fans, but they're waiting in line to walk into John Lennon's house. George is my favourite Beatle. I want to respect his legacy," he added. The property sleeps five guests, and a stay will set you back around £200 a night (there is a two-night minimum). Meanwhile, Paul McCartney announced earlier in April that he's opening up his childhood home for unsigned artists to use as a base to write, perform and gain inspiration from. The Forthlin Sessions initiative, backed by the former Beatle's brother Mike McCartney, will see artists chosen by Mike and local partners to write music at the same place where Paul and John Lennon forged their distinguished songwriting partnership. - New Musical Express...... John LennonJulian LennonJohn Lennon's eldest son Julian Lennon has broken a musical vow to himself to help the people of Ukraine by singing his dad's peace anthem "Imagine" "only if it was the end of the world." Julian sang "Imagine" publicly for the first time ever on Apr. 8 to help raise money for Ukrainian refugees during Global Citizen's Stand Up For Ukraine fundraising campaign, and shared his performance across socials with a lengthy caption addressing his decision to finally perform his late father's iconic peace anthem. "The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy ... As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could," Julian wrote on Instagram. "So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad's song, IMAGINE." The 59-year-old singer-songwrier explained what led him to decide to perform the song for the first time in his decades-long career. "I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing 'IMAGINE' would be if it was the 'End of the World,'" he wrote. "The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for ... As a result of the ongoing murderous violence, millions of innocent families, have been forced to leave the comfort of their homes, to seek asylum elsewhere," he added. Julian performed the song, which has also been shared on YouTube, in a somber setting, surrounded by dozens of candles. He was accompanied by Extreme frontman Nuno Bettencourt on acoustic guitar. John Lennon released the title track to his album Imagine in 1971, and it peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. - Billboard...... The childhood Liverpool home of Paul McCartney at 20 Forthlin Road, where Paul and his songwriting partner John Lennon wrote such iconic Beatles hits as "I Saw Her Standing There" and "When I'm 64," has been opened up to unsigned artists as a spot to write and perform songs. Britain's National Trust announced on Apr. 5 that the initiative, dubbed the "Forthlin Sessions," will allow budding acts to "visit, write, and perform at 20 Forthlin Road, sitting in the very same spots where around 30 of the world's most famous songs, including "Love Me Do," "I Saw Her Standing There," "Hold Me Tight," "I'll Follow The Sun" and "When I'm 64" were written and rehearsed. It is also where Paul wrote his first-ever song, "I Lost My Little Girl." National Trust Director General Hilary McGrady said in a statement that the Beatles "inspired a generation to feel free to be creative, regardless of who or where they were" and that "it's a pleasure to care for the Beatles' childhood homes and to use the story of what happened there to continue this legacy." The artists who get this rare opportunity will work with Paul's younger brother, Mike McCartney, and British journalist Pete Paphides in consultation with the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts; acts must be over 18 and UK-based in order to participate. The sessions will be recorded and publicized, allowing the act to reach new, potentially global audiences. A video announcing the initiative has been shared on Twitter. - Billboard...... Julian LennonThe eldest son of John Lennon has announced his seventh studio album, JUDE. Julian Lennon, 58, says the title is a nod to the Fab Four classic "Hey Jude," which as legend has it Paul penned for 5-year-old Julian following his parents' separation in 1968. Julian has hailed the collection -- which he co-produced with Justin Clayton -- as a "coming-of-age" tale of his life. "Many of these songs have been in the works for several years, so it almost feels like a coming-of-age album. With great respect for the overwhelming significance of the song written for me, the title JUDE conveys the very real journey of my life that these tracks represent," says Julian. Ahead of the LP's release later this year, the Grammy-nominated artist will release the singles "Every Little Moment" and "Freedom" on Apr. 8. - Music-News.com...... Paul McCartney has shared a letter he recently wrote to the CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, urging him to end the surcharge on plant-based milks before he's set to retire on Apr. 4. "My friends at PETA are campaigning for this," McCartney wrote in the letter. "I sincerely hope that for the future of the planet and animal welfare you are able to implement this policy." According to PETA, producing cow's milk generates around three times more greenhouse-gas emissions, and uses nine times more land than vegan options do. It takes 628 liters of water to make 1 liter of cow's milk, while oat or soy milk requires 90% less water. Starbucks currently charges 70 cents for oat, almond, soy and coconut milk added to its drinks, and McCartney and PETA believe that is unfair. McCartney previously teamed up with PETA for his 78th birthday in 2020, when a video for the organization titled "Glass Walls" showed how horrific animal slaughterhouse conditions are, and most recently urged leaders at COP26 -- the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference -- to address that animal agriculture has a detrimental effect on the environment. Meanwhile, McCartney has called recently deceased Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins a "true rock and roll hero. Posting on Twitter on Mar. 30, Sir Paul said that "Taylor's sudden death came as a shock to me and the people who knew and loved him. Not only was he a GREAT drummer but his personality was big and shiny and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to live and work alongside him." McCartney, who sat in on drums with the Foo Fighters on the band's 2017 Concrete & Gold LP song "Sunday Rain" (which featured a rare vocal from Hawkins), included a picture of himself with Hawkins in his lengthy post, which referenced the sessions for "Sunday Rain." - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news,Paul McCartney was among the numerous celebrities paying homage to St. Patrick's Day on Mar. 17, reminiscing on a long-ago trip to Ireland in a Twitter post. "Here's to Ireland and St. Paddy - Paul," the former Beatle wrote, with a pic taken by his late first wife Linda McCartney. Other '70s personalities celebrating the Irish holiday included "Wonder Woman" Lynda Carter and the proudly green guy himself, Kermit the Frog. - Billboard...... Yoko OnoA benefit show held in support of war-torn Ukraine took place in New York on Mar. 10, with Patti Smith, Gogol Bordello, The Hold Steady's Craig Finn, Suzanne Vega and more in attendance. Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz, who was born in Ukraine, co-hosted the benefit at NYC's City Winery, to raise funds for financial and humanitarian relief in the country. In total, $130,000 was raised, with proceeds going to Come Back Alive, a foundation that provides support to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and Care.org. Among the funds raised, there was a $50,000 donation by Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon to Doctors Without Borders. Yoko and Sean were invited but couldn't attend on the night. Videos from the benefit can be seen on Smith's Instagram account. - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar have been confirmed as the Pyramid Stage headliners at this year's legendary U.K. event The Glastonbury Festival. McCartney will return to Glastonbury in 2022 to headline on the Saturday (6/25), and Lamar, who will go last on the Sunday, organizers announced on Mar. 4. Also announced for this year's event are Diana Ross, Billie Eilish, Angelique Kidjo, Arlo Parks, Australian acts Amyl And the Sniffers and The Avalanches. Organizers have shared poster line-up of acts confirmed so far on Instagram. Established in 1970 by Michael Eavis, a dairy farmer, Glastonbury is the granddaddy of U.K. music festivals and attracts upwards of 150,000 attendees each year. The event is returning in 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news, the band's 2000 Beatles 1 compilation has been remastered for spatial audio by Giles Martin, the son of the band's late producer George Martin. Giles said in a 2021 interview that he was a fan of the immersive 360-degree sound technology launched in 2021 by Apple Music, as well as the Dolby Atmos that it is built on, but said that it doesn't always "sound quite right." Martin revealed that he intended to remaster the Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band but has since worked on the band's mega-selling greatest Number Ones compilation album 1. "Records don't get old, we get old," Martin explained. "We get older, records stay the same age as it was on the day of recording. Spatial audio works to make music more engaging and accessible on the latest tech platforms. You could be with the band with Dolby Atmos," he added. - New Musical Express  






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