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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...... Paul McCartneyOn Feb. 24 Paul McCartney shared a new Wordle-style teaser on his Twitter feed, prompting renewed speculation that he may soon be announcing his headline slot at England's Glastonbury 2022 festival. The Beatle had been set to headline the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2020 with Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar, but that edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that the Glastonbury fest is back on in '22, speculation about who will join Billie Eilish at the top of the bill reignited on Feb. 24 after McCartney shared a "Wordle-style" teaser on Twitter. The tweet appears to hint that McCartney will be headlining Glastonbury 2022 via the inclusion of the numbers "25/6," which could mean June 25 (Saturday of this year's event). The Wordle teaser also features six green tiles which could spell out "GLASTO." McCartney has previous form when it comes to this type of hint, having previously shared a composite image of Philip Glass, Emma Stone and Chuck Berry ahead of the announcement that he'd been booked to headline Glastonbury in 2020. So far, only Eilish, Diana Ross (who is playing the "Legends' slot) and Little Simz have been officially announced for this year's festival, with the complete line-up to be announced in April. - New Musical Express...... A notebook containing Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for the Beatles' classic "Hey Jude" has been donated to Beatles museum in Liverpool by British actress Davinia Taylor, best known as a former member of the cast of the British soap opera Hollyoaks. Taylor was given the special pad for her 21st birthday by her millionaire dad Alan Murphy, who Taylor says purchased the notebook in a Sotheby's auction for "something crazy like £100,000." "Sotheby's had an auction, dad was at home, a few bottles of wine in and started bidding against an American. He won. He said, 'It's not going to America, it's staying in Liverpool," Taylor says. In addition to the "Hey Jude" lyrics, the notebook also contains doodles and poetry by all four band memebers, including John Lennon, George Harrison and Sir Ringo Starr, along with snippets of lyrics from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and other tracks. The pad -- which was compiled from 1967 to 1968 -- is now on display at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool. Taylor admitted she was "over the moon" to have donated the item, and the museum has insured it for £1 million. - Music-News.com...... Paul McCartney announced on Feb. 18 that he'll be hitting the road in 2022 for his first live shows in three years. Macca's "Got Back" arena/stadium tour is slated to kick off on April 28 at Spokane Arena in Spokane, Wash., his first-ever show in that city. The 13-city, 14-date outing will also find the Beatles legend playing East Rutherford, N.J.'s MetLife Stadium for the first time since 2016 on the tour's wrap date June 16. "I said at the end of the last tour that I'd see you next time. I said I was going to get back to you. Well, I got back!," McCartney, 79, said in a statement. Other stops on the 13-city, 14 date tour include Seattle (5/2, 3), Oakland, Calif. (5/6), Los Angeles (5/13), Fort Worth, Tex. (5/17), Winston Salem, N.C. (5/21), Hollywood, Fla. (5/25), Orlando, Fla. (5/28), Knoxville, Tenn. (5/31), Syracuse, N.Y. (6/4), Boston (6/7) and Baltimore (6/12). Tickets for the tour will go on sale to the general public beginning Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. local time. McCartney concluded his 39-date, 12-country "Freshen Up" tour in July 2019. - Billboard...... Brian EpsteinIn other Beatles-related news, a statue of the band's early manager, Brian Epstein, has been given planning permission by Liverpool council, according to a Twitter post by a local newspaper on Feb. 17. The statue of Epstein, who also worked with such "60's British invasion" acts as Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers, will be erected near his family's former record shop in the Whitechapel neighborhood. Jane Robbins, one of the statue's sculptors and Paul McCartney's cousin, says she showed Paul McCartney the photograph of the final clay model of the statue and that he "spent several minutes looking at it and he was delighted." "I don't know if there was an actual a tear in his eye but he was very moved to see the clay and that, I think, speaks volumes," she added. A date for the statue's installation is expected to be announced in the coming months. In related news, director Sara Sugarman (Vinyl, Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen) was hired to helm an upcoming biopic of Epstein in 2021. Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, (Wolf Hall, The Queen's Gambit), will play Epstein in the biopic, which will chart the entrepreneur's huge influence on pop music within the 1960s. - New Musical Express...... On Feb. 11 Paul McCartney issued a statement through PETA to both show his support for the nonprofit animal rights organization's new "Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics European Citizen's Initiative" to uphold the ban of animal testing for cosmetic items, and vehemently oppose the European Chemical Agency's current practices. "We all thought the battle was over and that cosmetics tests on animals in Europe were a thing of the past, but sadly, that's not the case," Sir Paul's statement reads. "The European Chemicals Agency continues to demand the use of thousands of rabbits, rats, fish, and other animals in cosmetics ingredients tests. But you can help put a stop to it. No animal should suffer for beauty, so if you re an EU citizen, please go to SaveCrueltyFree.eu and sign the European Citizens Initiative to protect the ban. Signing the petition takes only a minute and it will help save lives," he added. The Beatles legend also 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. Most recently he urged leaders at COP26 -- the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference -- to address that animal agriculture has a detrimental effect on the environment. - Billboard ...... The BeatlesIn other Beatles-related news, the Fab Four's legendary final concert on the rooftop of Apple Corps' Savile Row headquarters on Jan. 30, 1969 is getting an extended theatrical run in the UK market in 2D beginning on Feb. 18. The concert will be optimized for IMAX screens, digitally remastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Remastering) technology. Director Peter Jackson said in a statement that he is "excited to partner with Disney to bring Get Back to an entirely new stage and give Beatles fans everywhere a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch and hear their heroes in the unrivalled sight and sound of IMAX." The 65-minute concert is included in the new Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back, which was released on Blu-ray and DVD on Feb. 8 in the U.S. - Music-News.com...... On online auction conducted on the Julien's auctioneers website on Feb. 7 saw a non-fungible token (NFT) of Paul McCartney's handwritten notes for "Hey Jude" selling for $76,000 (£56,136). The six available NFTs sold for a combined $158,720 (£117,236) with McCartney's personal "Hey Jude" notes coming in as the biggest-seller at $76,800 (£56,727). It was estimated that this individual NFT would fetch between $50,000 to $70,000 (£36,932 and £51,704). Elsewhere, an NFT of John Lennon's Help! cape brought in $12,800 (£9,455) while the NFT of the Afghan coat he wore in the Magical Mystery Tour film sold for $22,400 (£16,545). An NFT of a 1959 Gibson guitar that John gave to his son Julian Lennon as a gift was also snapped up for $22,400. In January, Julian launched a special range of NFTs containing digitized pieces of Lennon and Beatles memorabilia from his personal collection. Each item in the auction was presented as an audio-visual collectible, with Julian also providing narration as well as accompanying imagery of the item in question. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the Beatles and Lennon NFT collection will go towards Julian's White Feather Foundation. - New Musical Express...... Ringo StarrIn other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr has announced he'll kick off an 18-city spring/summer tour of North America with a two-night stand in Rama, Canada's Casino Rama on May 27 and 28. The famous drummer's first tour of the continent in nearly three years, the trek will also see Ringo and his All Starr Band visiting such markets as Boston (6/2), New York's Beacon Theater (6/6,7,8), Red Bank, N.J. (6/10), Providence, R.I. (6/12), Baltimore (6/14, 15), Pittsburgh (6/18), Philadelphia (6/19), Atlanta (6/22), and Hollywood, Fla. (6/25) before wrapping in Clearwater, Fla. on June 26. Ringo's current All-Starr Band lineup is comprised of Starr, Steve Lukather (Toto), Colin Hay (Men at Work), Edgar Winter, Hamish Stuart and Warren Ham. Ringo, who celebrated his 81st birthday in 2021, released his latest solo LP, What's My Name, in 2019, and shared two EP's -- Zoom In and Change the World -- in 2021. He also contributes to Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder's upcoming solo album, Earthling. - NME...... On Jan. 30 a special theatrical version of The Beatles' final live performance on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters in London's Savile Row on Jan. 30, 1969, played to near-sellout crowds in nearly 70 Imax theaters across North America and at the BFI Imax theater in London. The debut of the 60-minute The Beatles: Get Back -- which features the roughly 45-minute concert in its entirety -- was accompanied by a live Q&A with director Peter Jackson and BBC broadcaster, author and musician Matt Everitt. Jackson used footage from his 8-hour docu-series to create the larger-than-life presentation of the rooftop concert. The acclaimed series itself debuted on Disney+ over Thanksgiving 2021. According to Imax, a majority of the Jan. 30 locations were sold out in cities including New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Charlotte, St. Paul, Pittsburgh, San Antonio and Cleveland, with the special event generating roughly $500,000 in grosses. The Beatles: Get Back -- The Rooftop Performance will play exclusively in select Imax locations across the globe over the Feb. 11-13 weekend. The concert footage was digitally remastered with proprietary Imax technology. The film can also be streamed in its entirety on Spotify.com. Meanwhile, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Oh. has announced that The Beatles: Get Back to Let It Be, an immersive compliment to Jackson's docuseries, will open on Mar. 18 and run through the remainder of the month. SiriusXM radio's Beatles Channel also debuted a Beatles The Rooftop Concert Special on Jan. 30. - The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard...... Paul McCartneyIn other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney has posted an emotional tribute to his late friend and former bandmate John Lennon. To celebrate the 50th anniversary reissue of their debut album Wild Life, a Q&A about the record from 2018 has been shared on PaulMcCartney.com, and can also be viewed on YouTube. Speaking about the Wild Life track "Dear Friend," Sir Paul says that he finds it "very emotional when I listen to it now... I have to sort of choke it back." He went on to explain how the track is "me talking to John after we'd had all the disputes about The Beatles break up." "That lyric: 'Really truly, young and newly wed'. Listening to that was like, 'Oh my God, it's true!' I'm trying to say to John, 'Look, you know, it's all cool. Have a glass of wine. Let's be cool.' And luckily we did get it back together, which was like a great source of joy because it would have been terrible if he'd been killed as things were at that point and I'd never got to straighten it out with him." He goes on to say that "Dear Friend" was "me reaching out... So, I think it's very powerful in some very simple way. But it was certainly heartfelt." - New Musical Express......Julian Lennon, the eldest son of John Lennon, has announced on Instagram that he'll sell a range of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) featuring digitized pieces of Lennon and Beatles memorabilia from his personal collection in an online Julien's Auction on Feb. 7. While Julian will keep the physical items from his collection, bidders will have the chance to buy NFT versions of the memorabilia in the auction. Each item, which will be presented as an audio-visual collectible, will include narration by Julian and imagery of the item in question. The NFT collection includes handwritten notes by Paul McCartney from the writing of "Hey Jude," which as legend goes was originally written for Julian to comfort him during the time of John and Cynthia Lennon's divorce. The bidding for this NFT starts at $30,000 (£22,258). Other items include the Afghan coat worn by John Lennon in the Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour, a Gibson Les Paul guitar gifted by the late artist to his son, and the black cape worn by John in the film Help!. A portion of the proceeds from sales of this NFT collection will benefit Julian Lennon's White Feather Foundation. Julian told Variety that "I have a lot of projects happening this year, including a new album, and these [items] tie in to a few of them. I can't really say much more -- you'll understand why when it happens. The first release will be April 8 and that will inform you of the campaign going forward." - New Musical Express...... 'Let It Be' - The BeatlesA 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  






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