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Geoff Wonfor, a Grammy-winning British filmmaker who directed the Beatles' acclaimed Anthology documentary series and worked on the 1980s music program "The Tube" as well as several projects with Paul McCartney, died on Nov. 22 in his home city of Newcastle. He was 73. Prominent in British entertainment since the 1980s, when he directed a handful of episodes of The Tube, Wonfor also made a documentary about Shanghai Surprise, a feature film produced by George Harrison and starring Madonna and Sean Penn. His work with Harrison would unexpectedly lead to the biggest undertaking of his career. Released in the mid-1990s, The Beatles Anthology was an authorized, multimedia project that included an eight-part documentary, three double albums and a coffee table book. Wonfor spent 4 1/2 years on the film, which combined archival footage with new interviews with the then-three surviving Beatles (McCartney, Harrison and Ringo Starr). Wonfor's challenges included weaving in commentary from John Lennon, who had been murdered in 1980. Wonfor also directed the McCartney videos "In the World Tonight" and "Young Boy" and a McCartney concert video from the Cavern Club, the Liverpool venue where the Beatles played many of their early shows. He was on hand, too, for a Beatles "reunion" from the 1990s -- a video of "Real Love," a song left unfinished by Lennon that the remaining Beatles completed and recorded. His other credits included Band Aid 20, a documentary about the anniversary re-recording of the British charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "Sunday for Sammy," a tribute to the late British actor Sammy Johnson. - Billboard...... The first trailer for Paul McCartney's daughter Mary McCartney's upcoming Abbey Road Studios documentary If These Walls Could Sing has been shared on YouTube. The film is packed with fond remembrances from rock all-stars, including her dad, Sir Paul McCartney, as his former bandmate, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Noel Gallagher, Nile Rodgers and Star Wars creator George Lucas, among others. In the preview, Mary McCartney says Abbey Road has been part of her life "for as long as I can remember," as attested to by snaps of a baby Mary -- now 53 -- laying on the studio floor on a blanket. There is also, of course, ample footage of Sir Paul attesting to the special alchemy of those rooms in St. John's Wood, including him popping up to play a beloved piano just over his shoulder as Mary ticks off the many genres of music that have been laid down in those four walls, from classical to pop, Afrobeat, blues and more. The Disney+ doc will drop on Dec. 16, in time to commemorate the studio's 90th anniversary. - Billboard...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney announced on Nov. 10 he will release The 73 Singles, a career-spanning box set that will feature 80 singles personally chosen by the singer from throughout his solo career, on Dec. 2. With a total of 163 tracks totaling more than 10 hours of music, the set -- which will also be released digitally -- is limited to 3,000 copies and will feature such beloved singles as "My Love," "Live and Let Die," "Band on the Run," "Silly Love Songs," "Coming Up," "Ebony and Ivory," "Say Say Say" and "No More Lonely Lights," among many others, and come in a wooden art crate. "I hope the songs in this box set bring back fun memories for you too. They do for me, and there will be more to come," Sir Paul said in a statement announcing the set. The box spans the time from 1971's "Another Day" to a 73 version of McCartney's 2022 Record Store Day song of the year, "Women and Wives" from 2020's McCartney III. The collection brings together 65 singles with their original B-sides -- using restored artwork from 11 different countries -- in addition to 15 singles never before released on 73 -- collected from previously released 123 , picture discs, CD singles and promos, digital downloads, music videos and two previously unheard demos and a previously unheard 73 single edit. In addition to the singles, the wooden box will also include a 148-page book with a personal foreword by McCartney, an essay from Rolling Stone music writer Rob Sheffield and chart information, liner notes and single artwork. Each box will also include a randomly selected, exclusive test pressing of one of the singles. Macca celebrated the announcement by sharing a rare 1971 mono recording from the set of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey [Mono]" and "Too Many People [Mono]" on Spotify.com. - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news, the reissue of the band's 1966 Revolver LP has soared to No. 1 on multiple Billboard charts following its Oct. 28 release. The set re-enters at No. 1 on Top Rock & Alternative Albums, Top Rock Albums and Catalog Albums (all dated Nov. 12) - its first week at No. 1 on all three lists. Revolver also re-enters Top Album Sales, Vinyl Albums and Tastemaker Albums at No. 2. For Revolver's Super Deluxe Edition reissue, the album was reintroduced and remixed in a variety of expanded formats and editions, including many with previously unreleased tracks. The range included a standard digital album priced at $9.99 in the iTunes Store up through a boxed set boasting four vinyl LPs and two seven-inch singles that sold for $200 or more, depending on the retailer. Of Revolver's 46,000 in album sales for the week, physical sales comprise 42,000 (18,000 on vinyl and 24,000 on CD) and digital album download sales comprise 4,000. The rerelease of Revolver is part of the ongoing series of expanded reissues of select studio albums by the Beatles. It follows reissues of Let It Be in 2021 (first released in 1970), Abbey Road in 2019 (first released in 1969), The Beatles in 2018 (often referred to as the White Album, first released in 1968) and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 2017 (first released in 1967). - Billboard...... John LennonElsewhere on the Fab Four front, comments made by John Lennon's assassin Mark David Chapman's latest parole hearing were released on Nov. 7 under a freedom of information request and reported by the Associated Press. Chapman told the parole board his decision to shoot and kill the legendary songwriter was "my big answer to everything... I wasn't going to be a nobody, anymore." He added: "I am not going to blame anything else or anybody else for bringing me there. I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was evil, I knew it was wrong, but I wanted the fame so much that I was willing to give everything and take a human life." Chapman, who was denied parole in August for the 12th time, is serving a 20-years-to-life sentence at Green Haven Correctional Facility, north of New York City, according to state corrections records published online. He is expected to appear before the parole board again in Feb. 2024. - Billboard/AP...... The Beatles are challenging pop queen Taylor Swift's latest juggernaut Midnights for top of the pops in the UK as a special deluxe rerelease of the Fab Four's 1966 album has blasted to No. 2 on the midweek chart, behind Midnights. In late October Swift last week landed her ninth U.K. chart crown -- and snapped several records --- as Midnights surged to No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart with more than 200,000 chart sales, easily a career-best week for the American pop superstar. Whether the Beatles can surpass Swift will be revealed on Nov. 4 when the U.K. singles and albums charts are published. The Beatles lead in the all-time most No. 1 U.K. albums category, with 15. Meanwhile, a new official video for the Beatles' Revolver track "I'm Only Sleeping" has been shared on YouTube. The video was directed by Em Cooper and made using 1,300 oil paintings. Cooper says she wanted to explore the space between dreaming and wakefulness, working on an animation rostrum on sheets of celluloid. She painted every frame individually in oil-paint, over many months. - Billboard...... John Lennon's eldest son Julian Lennon premiered the video for his new single, "Lucky Ones," on YouTube on Oct. 19. Julian says the song is about depicting a love for music that brings humans from different cultures together as they take steps to nurse our environment back to health. In 2007, Lennon founded The White Feather Foundation to address environmental and humanitarian issues. It was created with the intent to work with partners worldwide to raise funds for the betterment of all life and to honor those who have made a difference. Over the years, he has dedicated his time to working on creative projects across mediums such as music, photography, documentaries, children's books and more, while donating the majority of his profits to the foundation. Lucky Ones" is the single currently at radio on Julian Lennon's most recent full-length, Jude. The album was released after the 59-year-old musician's 11-year hiatus from releasing new music. - Billboard, 10/24/22...... 'Revolver' - The BeatlesAn acoustic demo of John Lennon singing "Yellow Submarine" from The Beatles' Revolver has been shared on Spotify.com ahead of the Super Deluxe Edition reissue of the band's 1966 album. Lennon's melancholic demo has never been bootlegged nor even rumoured, making the Oct. 28 album reissue's all the more enticing to Beatles fans. The new release contains 31 outtakes and three home demos from the Fab Four's recording archive as well as a four-track EP with "Paperback Writer" and "Rain." Also shared on Spotify ahead of the reissue is an early, sprightly outtake of "Got To Get You Into My Life." In September, the first take of the Revolver track "Tomorrow Never Knows" was shared. 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. - New Musial Express...... On Oct. 13 Ringo Starr revealed that he has tested positive for Covid-19 once again and he's canceling the remainder of his 2022 All Starr Band tour. "I'm sure you'll be as surprised as I was I tested positive again for Covid the rest of the tour is off I send you peace and love Ringo," the 82-year-old former Beatles member wrote in an Instagram post alongside a selfie. The scrapped shows include dates in San Jose, Calif. (10/14); Paso Robles, Calif. (10/15); Los Angeles (10/16); and Mexico City, Mexico (10/19-20). Ringo initially tested positive earlier in October, and announced on Oct. 3 that he was canceling five shows in Canada. That announcement came after he had canceled a pair of concerts "due to illness." A week later, on Oct. 10, he shared on Instagram that had tested negative for the coronavirus and was ready to get back to work. "On the road again I will see you in Seattle on Tuesday the 11th Portland Wednesday I am negative peace and love everybody thanks for waiting," he wrote at the time. The second leg of the All Starr Band tour kicked off September in Bridgeport, Conn. The tour dates were initially planned for 2020, but when the global coronavirus pandemic hit, the former Beatle's tour -- like many musicians' around the world -- was postponed. - Billboard...... "Love Me Do," the Beatles' debut single, was released on Oct. 5, 1962, a week that "changed the world forever." Now, sixty years later, the song is being celebrated at the house where it was written, 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton, Liverpool. The childhood home of brothers Paul and Mike McCartney, is now cared for by National Trust. The charity is marking the anniversary by asking two up-and-coming Liverpool acts selected by Mike McCartney, Pete Paphides and National Trust representatives, to perform their cover versions of the song, sixty years after its first release. The acts, Ni Maxine and TRAITS, both say their music has been inspired by the music that came from "the birthplace of the Beatles." Ni Maxine is a neo-jazz singer-songwriter. In a lovely coincidence, she lives in the same area of Liverpool as Paul and Mike McCartney did as infants, which is also just across the park from where her mum was raised. TRAITS is an indie pop quintet from Liverpool. Their singer Kieran and lead guitarist Matty met at school in Woolton, near St Peter's Church, again showing how places are weaved into and inspire multiple stories and lives. Ni Maxine and TRAITS' performances premiered on the National Trust YouTube channel on Oct. 5. They will also be given the opportunity to record some of their original music at the house. - Music-News.com...... John LennonIn other Beatles-related news, a letter that John Lennon signed on day of his murder in 1980 is is being auctions. The late Beatle's signature is displayed on a legal document that is up for auction through GottaHaveRockandRoll.com on Oct. 4. The typed letter lists three people to whom Lennon gave his proxy to vote at an annual meeting for the Beatles corporations that was happening nine days later in London. It was signed by Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980, hours before he was shot and killed by Mark Chapman outside his New York City apartment block. The document is expected to fetch between $30,000 (£26,366) and $50,000 (£43,943). Meanwhile, in related news, Ringo Starr has cancelled several shows he had planned in Canada for the second week of October, with the Beatles icon putting his tour on hold to recuperate after contracting Covid. After shows in New Buffalo, Michigan and Prior Lake, Minnesota were cancelled over the weekend "due to illness," an official statement from Starr's team confirmed the musician had tested positive for Covid. As a result, five shows that were scheduled for this week in Canada -- in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Lethbridge, Abbotsford and Penticton -- have been axed. Starr had announced the second leg of his All Starr Band tour in April. It kicked off Sept. 23 in Bridgeport, Conn., and is scheduled to end Oct. 20 in Mexico City. The dates had been initially planned for 2020, but as with many other tours, it was sidelined by the global coronavirus pandemic. - New Musical Express...... The first, unreleased take of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" from their 1966 album Revolver is being featured on the new special deluxe edition of Revolver and has been shared on YouTube ahead of the deluxe edition's Oct. 28 release. "John [Lennon's] ethereal vocals (fed from his mic through a rotating Leslie speaker), and innovative tape loops -- including Paul [McCartney] saying "ah, ah, ah, ah', which when sped up produced a sound similar to a seagull's screech -- converge with Ringo [Starr's] thunderous drum pattern, George [Harrison's] tamboura drone, and a backwards guitar solo," a press release explains of the recording. Revolver is the latest Beatles album to be re-released as a remixed and expanded deluxe box set following Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' in 2017, "The White Album" (2018), Abbey Road (2019) and Let It Be (2021). - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartneyAfter 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. "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  






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