Vale George Martin

 

Rest in peace.

 
So saddened to hear that the great Sir George Martin has passed away. He was such a huge part of what made The Beatles so great – his production on each of their tracks is incredible to listen to, and everything he added to their music enhanced so much of their work, often lifting it from ‘great’ to bonafide masterpiece status. I’ll never forget the first time I heard his mono mix of Revolver; ‘A Day In The Life’s apocalyptic orchestra; ‘In My Life’s beautiful (sped-up) piano; ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’; ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’; ‘Eleanor Rigby’ – all greatly affected by his work. He always seemed a true gentleman, too. 

May he rest in peace.

Standin’ In The Garden, Listening To ‘Watching Rainbows’

The bootleg this post will revolve around. I don't own it (yet...naughty bootleg-buying me!), but I know the song well, and love it dearly.

The bootleg this post will revolve around. I don’t own it (yet…naughty bootleg-buying me!), but I know the song well, and love it dearly.

Well, yay! It’s finally holidays again! Two lovely weeks of freedom! I thought I’d do a short thing today (‘Huh?’ I bet you’re thinking. ‘tangerinetrees99 absolutely does not do short!’ Well tangerinetrees is going to prove she can – and yes, she did just feel a sudden urge to refer to herself in the third person) on something that deserves its own post, so here goes.

Those of you who read my post from two weeks ago, My Twelve Favourite Beatles Lead Guitar Parts (you can read it here), will know I mentioned a song called ‘Watching Rainbows’. I’m pretty sure I said I’d do a post on it, so here it is!

In short, I. Love. This. And I think it should have been released, either in this form or in a different, re-recorded version. But anyway – here’s some background info:

‘Watching Rainbows’ was recorded in midst of the Get Back sessions – Wikipedia has supplied me with the exact date, which is the 14th of January, 1969. This was, in fact, recorded without George, as he had temporarily quit the band during this period. George’s absence explains the lack of bass, as Paul was on lead guitar. As you will hear, it is John’s song, so he is obviously on vocals and on that GORGEOUS electric piano. Ringo (again, just slightly obviously. I hope you are good at seeing sarcasm in print) is on drums.

You may recognise a couple of riffs. The first one of these is at the start, and sounds a bit like the main riff of ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’. (The riff was later used in ‘I Know (I Know)’ off Mind Games, for all you Lennonites like myself out there!)

Did you know that ‘Watching Rainbows’ was in fact the origin of this riff? There are three songs that make up ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ – obviously Paul’s, well, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, Johns’ ‘Everybody Had A Hard Year’ and ‘Watching Rainbows’! A riff that sounds similar to ‘Hey Bulldog’ is also used at the end. Other songs that ‘WR’ is often associated with include ‘I Am The Walrus’ (‘WR’ has the line ‘Standin’ in the garden, waitin’ for the English sun to come and make me brown’ – ‘IATW’ has the lines ‘Sitting in an English Garden waiting for the sun / if the sun don’t come you get your tan from sitting in the English rain’) and ‘Mean Mister Mustard’, which was rehearsed directly before.

‘Watching Rainbows’ has been widely bootlegged, and was in fact the title of a 1978 bootleg album of Get Back outtakes! But I’m not here to promote bootlegging (that would be, erm, illegal). But here’s the song, and here are the lyrics, directly copied (with some spelling/grammar fix-ups from me) from lyricsmode.com (yes, they had the lyrics to an obscure Beatles bootleg!). Make sure you listen to it, as it is an absolutely amazing song, and incredibly good for a random Threetles jam!

Standin’ in the garden, waitin’ for the sun to shine /
Hand my umbrella, with this dirt – I wish she was mine /
Everybody doves, think a thing; it didn’t come /
Instead of watching rainbows, I’m gonna make me some /
Instead of watchin’ rainbows, I’m gonna make me some /
Standin’ in the garden, waitin’ for the English sun to come and make me brown so I can be someone /
Lookin’ at the bench of next door neighbours /
Cryin’ to my mum, I’m tryin’ to set sabres /
Everybody’s got to have something hard to grow /
Well, instead of watching rainbows under the sun /
You gotta get out son, and make you one /
You gotta get out son, and make you run /
Because you’re not gonna make it if you cry, cry, though /
Shoot big!
Shoot big!
Whatever you do, you gotta kill somebody to get what you wanna get /
You gotta shoot big!
You gotta shoot big!
Until you shoot big /
I can’t stand.

So there you go. Enjoy!

And just to finish off, you may or may not know that iTunes have released a free EP called 4: John, Paul, George, Ringo to go along with their brand-new Beatles solo-career masters! The tracks are as follows: ‘Love’ (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, from their 1970 self-titled album), ‘Call Me Back Again’ (Paul McCartney and Wings, from their 1975 album, Venus and Mars), ‘Let It Down’ (George Harrison, from his 1970 triple-album All Things Must Pass) and ‘Walk With You’ (Ringo Starr, from his 2012 album Y Not). John and George have the best tracks by far (well, I have to confess I actually haven’t heard the other two tracks, but as a general rule, John and George’s solo careers are the best out of the four), but it’s free! I downloaded it last night, and be sure to do so too! I believe it’s only free for a limited time…

Oh, and Dhani Harrison recently played a version with his band (NOT thenewno2) of his dad’s ‘Let It Down’ (also featured on that EP!). I really like it – and gosh, he sounds a lot like George! Here it is:

Good day sunshine! 🙂

My Beatles Record Collection Pt. One – ‘With The Beatles’

One of my favourite pictures from the Mad Day Out photoshoot - I must do a post on Mad Day Out, at some point.

One of my favourite pictures from the Mad Day Out photo-shoot – I must do a post on Mad Day Out, at some point.

As I assume is slightly obvious (just a bit), I am a hardcore Beatlemaniac (hmm…you wouldn’t have guessedespecially if you read this blog!). Unlike many teenage Beatlemaniacs – or teenage music fans in general – though, I prefer to listen to The Beatles on vinyl. In fact, I collect Beatles records! I have done so since late last year (I’d been a fan for about ten months), beginning with an eight-record Beatles box set, poignantly released in 1980. But that’ll come later in this series, which will get an update each month (or maybe more – not too sure, yet).

If I say so myself, I have some real gems in my collection, ranging from two British-edition first pressings in mono, to an American edition of the 1970s compilation Love Songs (which I inherited from my grandfather). But today, I’m going to start with one of my British monos – my beautiful copy of With The Beatles!

I got my With The Beatles in February this year from my favourite record shop (in which I am known as Miss Beatle!), using some leftover Christmas money. It plays amazingly well for a record of over fifty years of age, and I swear it is in near mint condition! There is nothing quite like listening to The Beatles on first-edition vinyl – the 2009 remasters are all fine and dandy at first, but to hear The Beatles as they were meant to be heard, you really have to invest in one of these babies. If they play through well, I guarantee you will never have heard The Beatles better.

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Here is (obviously) the cover. Apart from a few discolourations in the white top secion, it is amazingly good condition. Not that it really matters, compared to the record – it is nice to have a good cover to go along with it, though.

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As you can see, the record is in mono (meaning it only plays out of one speaker – unlike stereo, which plays out of two), which makes it rarer than one released in stereo. One thing I should have put in my ‘Six Ways The Beatles Changed The World’ post is how The Beatles pioneered the use of stereo in pop music. In fact, I am fairly sure they were the first band to use it – on Please Please Me. Because of this, though, it means that Beatles records in mono are hard to find, so I struck jackpot with this! As of September 8, you’ll be able to hear most Beatles albums in mono, too, with the new mono remasters. But the original vinyl will always sound better, (pretty much) no matter what.

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The back of the record, complete with the ‘Use EMITEX’ label used on all British pressings of Beatles releases and sleeve notes written by Tony Barrow. Note the flaps of cardboard around the borders – or ‘backflaps’, as they are called. These were only used on first pressings, meaning this was one of the first With The Beatles to ever be made.

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To be exact, though, it was the 206th With The Beatles ever made. Wow – I feel rather special! How fab!

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Here is the side of the record – in absolutely pristine condition! I have two records owned by ‘Clark’ (you may have noted a name on the picture two above), and both are almost perfect. They must have looked after their records very well.

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Here is the British address on the back, plus the EMITEX label – proving it’s a British pressing. Australian versions of this record would have a Sydney-based address, and lack the EMITEX label – and would have a different cover. But that’s a different story, to be explained another day…

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‘Clark’ didn’t just keep her records in perfect condition – she also spiced up the slip-cover, too! Usually, British pressings have a paper sleeve with another EMITEX advertisement plus a warning about replacing your record player needle as needed (and trust me, you should – I may or may not have ruined a record by not. But as with the cover, that story will be saved for the Help! edition of this series). But our ‘Clark’ appears to have cut out all sorts of Beatles scraps and decorated the sleeve (rather like the end-papers of my diary!), making beautifully unique. Now, any guesses of who her favourite Beatle is (clue: it’s probably Ringo)?!?

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Here’s the other side of the slip cover, with a picture of George, a still from A Hard Day’s Night (obviously she scrapped into the next year, too) and a review of the album to pour over!

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And finally, here is Side One of the record – absolutely scratch-less!

(And now for a couple of other things…)

So far, The Beatles: The Night That Changed America – A GRAMMY® Salute (that Grammy special from February) has received an Emmy! It was nominated for six, but only four of the categories it was in were announced today. The rest will be announced on August 25, when The Emmys are broadcasted around the world. So far, it has been awarded for Most Outstanding Musical Direction, but fingers crossed it will get more when the other two categories are announced.

And finally, my good friend kate160801 (you know who you are) has started a blog called ‘The Hunger Readings’, on which she will publish her various pieces of writing. kate160801 hasn’t put much on it yet, but trust me – she is an amazing writer, so make sure you check out her blog here: http://thehungerreading.wordpress.com .

Hope you’re having a groovy day wherever you are, and good day sunshine 🙂

 

Things We Polled Today…

A lovely picture of John and Paul!

A lovely picture of John and Paul! Don’t they look sweet? 🙂

Well – I haven’t done a poll in a while, have I? I also have some other things to write about today (i.e. Ron Howard’s upcoming Beatles doco – for which I cannot wait!), but to start off with – here’s a poll! It’s titled ‘Which Beatles’ period is your favourite’ (as you will see further down), and Option One will be ‘the early years’ – the Hamburg/Cavern Club Era (1960) ’till the A Hard Day’s Night sessions (1964), which includes Pete Best/Stu Sutcliffe, the ‘Love Me Do’/’P.S. I Love You’ sessions, the marathon 12-hour Please Please Me session and the With The Beatles sessions, plus the filming of A Hard Day’s Night and their Australian tour. Option Two will be the ‘middle years’ – the Beatles For Sale (late 1964) sessions ’till the Magical Mystery Tour/Yellow Submarine sessions (1968 – there’s a slight overlap, here, ‘cos both the film and album Yellow Submarine fit in with the psychedelia of Sgt. Pepper/ Magical Mystery Tour, but were recorded around the time of ‘Lady Madonna’, which is considered as a part of their back-to-basics-rock-and-roll late material. I consider Yellow to be middle-period, but that’s only my opinion), which includes ‘Ticket To Ride’/’Yes It Is’, the album/film/single Help! (which includes classics such as the title track, ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ and – of course – ‘Yesterday’), Shea Stadium, Rubber Soul, ‘Paperback Writer’/’Rain’, the groundbreaking Revolver, the Sgt. Pepper sessions, plus (not-so-positive bits) the introduction of pot/LSD, the decision to stop touring (not that was necessarily a bad thing…) and the ‘Jesus remark’ (which was taken completely out of context). And then, the final option will be the ‘late years’, spanning from the ‘Lady Madonna’ sessions ’till the break-up – this involves India, introduction of Yoko and Linda, the White Album sessions, ‘Hey Jude’/’Revolution’, the Get Back/Let It Be sessions and Abbey Road, plus the mounds of arguments and the split ( 😦 ). If I had to choose, I would vote for the ‘middle years’ – my favourite albums (Revolver, Help!, Beatles For Sale and Rubber Soul) were all recorded in that period – plus the songs I favour – and (not that it matters) I think they looked the best around that period (not that they were bad-looking at any period – except for maybe Paul’s Let It Be beard…)! Oh, and one word: PSYCHEDELIA! But this isn’t a place for me to vote, ‘cos I’m putting it to you. So please choose, and I’d love to see which period is the most popular amongst the people who’ve seen past this large block of text and voted!

 

(And now for some more…)

As most Beatlemaniacs will have heard by now, acclaimed director and actor Ron Howard is both directing and producing a documentary on The Beatles’ touring years (1960 – 1966), which is scheduled for release in late-2015! Ron Howard (who – amongst other things – starred as Richie in Happy Days, plus is the creator behind Parenthood) is a self-proclaimed Beatlemaniac himself, and is being joined by Nigel Sinclair (who produced George Harrison: Living In The Material World); the two (according to Rolling Stone) have been granted access to the Apple Corps archives (I can only dream!), and are sourcing footage/photos/material from fans. For more information, here is the link to the article on The Beatles’ official website, which involves information on how to submit your material for the doco (anyone here got any??). You can find Rolling Stone‘s article (the most informative yet) on the upcoming feature here. And Sky News Australia’s two-bobs’-worth is here – whilst short, it contains a cool news-clip about the event! I cannot wait for this to be released, and I’ll be making sure I’m at the pre-viewing if it makes it to cinemas.

As for some other Beatle-y news, The Grammys’ Beatles tribute has been nominated for six Emmy awards! Let’s hope it wins some, ‘cos (in my opinion) watching Paul and Ringo re-unite is much more interesting than binge-watching Game Of Thrones (not that I’ve ever watched it)… And A Hard Day’s Night has been released on Australian iTunes stores (as of the 9th of this month), but it’s rated M. Why M?? I get that John snorts a bottle of coke (the cola kind…) in the train (‘But they hadn’t even done pot at this point, let alone cocaine,’ I protest), there are a few jokes of a sexual nature (Paul’s comment to the effect of, ‘He [Grandfather] could be in an orgy by now!’, John’s ‘Please can I have one to surge with?’ comment, what John and the girl are hinting at in the ‘she looks more like me than I do’ scene, and the stamp collection), and of course, the smoking – but M? Really?? I also read that the Australian BluRay isn’t particularly good, so I’m glad I got my UK export! Talking of my UK export…IT’S BEING SHIPPED ON MONDAY! I absolutely cannot wait for it to come!

Oh, and a big thank you to my good friend (you know who you are) for recommending an interesting book to me, earlier this year – I just finished it yesterday! But what book am I referring to, you ask? When We Wake, a dystopian novel written by New Zealander-come-Australian Karen Healey! The story is about a sixteen-year-old girl living in 2027 Melbourne named Tegan, who’s about to go on a climate-change-action protest with her best friend Alex and her boyfriend-as-of-the-night-before Dalmar. However, a sniper intervenes, and Tegan is shot dead. Tegan had donated her body to science some time before she died, though. She wakes up (as the first successful cryonics – the process of freezing someone who is dead, and then proceeding to try and revive them – patient) in 2128, and soon enough, she finds herself in the middle of the paparazzi, a medicinal-drug-smuggling plot, a secret – and possibly corrupt – government operation and a devout Christian cult, who want her dead. And of course, Tegan is a hardcore Beatlemaniac – her favourite is Ringo, but the majority of Beatles references are somewhat related to John 🙂 ; yay for Johnny! Sadly, though, George isn’t mentioned… However, I really enjoyed this read, and you can buy your own copy here. Again, thank you, my friend, and hope you’re enjoying the holidays!

And one more thing… if you haven’t already noticed, I’ve changed my sidebar widgets slightly! Please check out my profile, and see if you can guess what songs I’m punning on. Good day sunshine 🙂

Thank You Mr. Postman! Pt. 2

 

The latest edition to my Beatle-y merchandise collection!

The latest edition to my Beatle-y merchandise collection!

 

Rubber Soul – John, Paul, George and Ringo’s sixth album, released in Britain on the 3rd of December, 1965; what does it mean to you? To me, it means a few things – a) it was the first Beatles studio album I purchased, b) I remember listening to it on a plane flight from Melbourne to Adelaide (where it snowed, yesterday – not in my part (where it stayed just about 8 degrees all day), but it still snowed!) just under a year ago, and c) to me, it marks when the later years of The Beatles’ career start. But now, it means something more – ‘cos look what came in the mail at about 11 o’clock (AM – obviously…) today! The above book is a Rubber Soul ‘song album’ – a magazine that contains eight ‘already standard songs’ off the album, plus three pages of ‘fabulous photos’! I ordered it off Ebay on Monday (Ringo’s birthday!), and (since it only had to come down from Queensland – the state at the very top of Australia, if you’re not familiar with the geography of my country) it has arrived surprisingly quickly! I had a flip through the pages, and it looks as though most of the songs are in the correct key signature, so I shouldn’t have to do too much transposing to bring them up/down to the way The Fab Four played them! The songs noted in the book are – in case you can’t read the listing on the picture (it would appear quite small on, say, an iPhone) – ‘Michelle’, ‘Norwegian Wood’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘Girl’, ‘Wait’, ‘If I Needed Someone’, ‘Drive My Car’ and ‘Think For Yourself’, and are printed in that order. In the middle of the booklet is a double-page spread of pictures of The Beatles taken at various points in 1965, and just over 3/4ths of the way through, there is a image-page dedicated to the Shea Stadium gig. So as you can see, I’m quite pleased with my latest purchase!

Just one more thing before I show you some pictures of the book – the mystery of when the book was published, as this is not apparent at first view. When I purchased the book, I was under the impression that it was printed in 1965, but as I will show a little further down, the book was being sold at a price of 80 cents. In Australia in 1965, our currency was the Australian pound/penny – it continued to be so until the 14th of February, 1966 (when it was all decimalised, and we ended up with the Australian dollar/cent). Interestingly, until the release of Revolver, Australian Beatles releases were always a couple of months behind the UK. Because of this, Rubber Soul (the last record to have a delayed release date here) was put on shelves on the 17th of February, 1966 – only three days after decimalisation. I’d assume that my book was released around the same time as the album, so my guess is that it was released some time between February (the date of both decimalisation – hence the price of 80 cents – and the Australian release of Rubber Soul) and August (the world release-date of Revolver – involving Australia for the first time…), 1966. I don’t think it could have been any later, ‘cos – as far as I can see – these ‘song albums’ were released with every LP (making the previous one out-of-print), the price would be too little for something even released in 1970s, and the pages look too old to be something much later. But now, I’ll stop writing, and show you my pictures; enjoy!

The '80 cents' thing I was talking about (off the back cover - it was scribbled off the front, as you may have noted from my image at the top of the post).

The ’80 cents’ thing I was talking about (off the back cover – the price was scribbled off the front, as you may have noted from my image at the top of the post).

The publishing information - interesting from the point of view of an Australian Beatlemaniac...

The publishing information – interesting from the point of view of an Australian Beatlemaniac, but worth a look…

A page of music - 'Nowhere Man', to be exact. This image might be illegal (I don't know), so please look at my 'Disclaimers' post if you are thinking of suing me (though I doubt some Apple Corps. official would bother to read such blogs)...

A page of music – ‘Nowhere Man’, to be exact. This image might be illegal (I don’t know), so please look at my ‘Disclaimers’ post if you are thinking of suing me (though I doubt some Apple Corps. official would bother to read this)…

A double-spread of pictures (yay!)! Oh, and just look at that picture of John in the right corner of the left-hand page - oh my, was he attractive :-) !

A double-spread of pictures (yay!)! Oh, and just look at that picture of John in the right corner of the left-hand page – oh my, was he attractive 🙂 !

Another page of music - 'Girl', this time. I love this song - it will definitely make my next 'Favourite Beatles Songs' post, and I can't believe it didn't feature on the first one!

Another page of music – ‘Girl’, this time. I love this song – it will definitely make my next ‘Favourite Beatles Songs’ post, and I can’t believe it didn’t feature on the first one!

The Shea Stadium pictures I was talking about, plus the last page of 'Drive My Car'.

The Shea Stadium pictures I was talking about, plus the last page of ‘Drive My Car’.

The last page - 'Think For Yourself', the song that turned me on to how good a songwriter George was! Note the different title font - it appears to have been used on both the first and last pages of music.

The last pages – ‘Think For Yourself’, the song that turned me on to how good a songwriter George was! Note the different title font – it appears to have been used on both the first and last pages of music.

So there you have it – an insider’s view of my latest Beatle-y thing! And now for a couple of other things…

A Hard Day’s Night might just make its way onto Australian big screens! I was giving The Beatles’ official website one of my weekly looks the other day, and I came across a page titled ‘A Hard Day’s Night Screenings Info’. I clicked on it – for no apparent reason (a glimmer of hope, perhaps?!) – and proceeded to read it. And, guess what? The article said (quote), “In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of its world premiere in London, The Beatles’ epoch-making music movie will have an extended run of screenings across the USA and the UK from 4 July 2014, with more global dates to be announced soon.” So this means that it might – just might – make its way Down Under, and, good gracious, would I be the happiest girl on Earth if it did! If you (like me) have an account on the website, make sure you ‘Favourite’ the page and keep your eyes peeled. If you don’t, however, I’ve posted the link here. But if you’re reading this in the US/UK, I’d assume you’ve already seen it – I’d love to hear what it was like!

(And finally…)

Today is a special day for me, because it marks exactly one year since I purchased my first Beatles album! About six months earlier (after becoming a casual fan three years before – this being revived again in 2012), my then-best-friend turned me on to The Beatles’ music (after a playing of ‘All You Need Is Love’ one school assembly), and we spent our lunch-breaks singing tunes such as ‘Eleanor Rigby’ (her favourite Beatles song) and ‘Hello Goodbye’ (my then-fave – it’s the first Beatles song I have exact memory of listening to, so it’s a little special to me), and talking about our favourite Beatles (hers was Paul, and – as you will have gathered – mine is John). There was only one problem, though – I thought my parents didn’t like The Fab Four (I was very, very wrong), so I was too afraid to tell them about my new-found passion. So – about six months later – I found myself making up elaborate plots that would allow me to purchase a Beatles album without my mother and father cluing on too much. I remember scouring iTunes – which, at the time, was selling 1 and Help! at discounted prices – to try and find an album that I could start out with. I decided up on 1 – at this time, of course, I had no knowledge of their studio albums (would you believe it – I though Abbey Road was a Rolling Stones album!), so I unwittingly ended up with their best-selling, 2000-released compilation (not that I care!). But anyway, I plotted for about two weeks, and finally, my ‘B-day’ had rolled along. I’d purchased an iTunes card a few days earlier (as part of my plot), and bought a few other songs to make myself appear a little less ‘suspicious’ (as I thought myself at the time). But my plan fell apart (thankfully!), when Mum ended up going through a newly-purchased flute music book to try and find some music to recommend (all a part of my plot), she also ended up discovering I was a rookie Beatlemaniac – and I discovered that she also liked their music! Since then, my love has only blossomed, so I reckon the decision I made that day was one of the best (if not the best) decision I have made in my life! It’s funny to think that, a year ago, I didn’t even know what The Beatles really looked like (that was unfortunate for me 🙂 ) or that George sang (I soon discovered he wrote, as ‘Something’ is on 1) some Beatles songs, but now (a year later), I can recite their entire discography off in a matter of seconds, and I could tell you really obscure facts, such as the month and year that John got his drivers’ licence in, and how old he was (he got it in February 1965, and he was 24-turning-25)! I reckon I’ll love The Beatles for the rest of my life – and to think it’s all down to an album I bought exactly one year ago, today! So (to conclude this last paragraph), I’ve posted 1 – that life-changing album, for me – below. If you’re already a Beatlemaniac (like I assume most people reading this are), have a listen – who would pass up an opportunity to listen to a certain band that changed the course of the world?!?! But if you’re a casual fan, or haven’t discovered The Fabs all that much, yet, why don’t you listen to this album, too? Once you have, I guarantee you that your life will never be the same – all down to four talented musicians/singers/songwriters that changed so many other lives, too. I salute you, John, Paul, George and Ringo! So here is that album that changed my life, and I’d like to think that it’ll help change many others, too:

 

So now, on this sunny afternoon (to quote The Kinks) that is also an extremely valid candidate for the coldest day in our long-cold-lonely Winter (to quote The Beatles), good day sunshine! 🙂

 

 

 

My Favourite Scenes In ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

 

It was fifty years ago today, when 'A Hard Day's Night' first came out to play (more lame 'Sgt. Pepper' puns!)

It was fifty years ago today, when ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ first came out to play (more lame ‘Sgt. Pepper’ puns!)

 

Hey Jude/Bulldog/all,

I apologise for not having written in almost a week – I was going to write last night but I didn’t really have much time.

At the moment, I am sitting in our rented apartment in Melbourne, listening to my iPad playlist, and (obviously) making good use of the free WiFi we have been given access to. Outside, I swear it is about ten degrees, so it is nice to be inside a heated building!

(Onto the point…)

Today is the 6th of July, which is – as all Beatlemaniacs know – the 50th anniversary of the Liverpool premiere of A Hard Day’s Night! If you are lucky enough to be reading this in the US (as I’ve been emphasising for the past month), The Beatles’ first film would have opened in 50 cinemas around your country two days ago, and I am really envious! I’d love to see that film on the big screen… Also two days ago (here in Australia, this time), Australian A Hard Day’s Night BluRays made their way onto our shelves, so be sure to go and purchase one! Mine, however, is being shipped from Britain, where the release date is July 21st, so I still have to wait a bit longer. But anyway – to celebrate the 50th birthday of this iconic film starring my (and many others’) favourite band – I thought I would make a list of four of my favourite scenes in A Hard Day’s Night. So (in no particular order), here goes:

 

The Opening Sequence

The opening chord of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ is played, and we see three men being chased by hordes of teenage girls. On closer inspection, these three men are John, George and Ringo, and the audience is witnessing the start of one of the most iconic rock-and-roll musicals of all time. I love this bit of the film – it makes me laugh seeing John, George and Ringo run around, and darting around to all their hiding places. I read somewhere that the stampede of girls weren’t actors, and that the scene was almost genuine – why does that not surprise me (though I probably would have been one of them, if I were there 🙂 )?? Oh, and Paul in that fake moustache…

 

The Beatles At The Club

If you’ve never watched AHDN, you might be wondering what this scene is all about. Before John, Paul, George and Ringo make their way to this club, they have been checking out their hotel room with Paul’s ‘grandfather’ (who has joined the band on their adventures), and have been arguing about whether Ringo snores or not. Their ‘managers’ (Norm and Shake) gave each Beatle a load of fan mail, and told them to have each letter answered by the time the night is through. However, John plays the rebel, and convinces the other three to go to a club with him. Meanwhile, though, Grandfather abuses an invite to a casino that Ringo received, and decides to check it out for himself…

Anyway, what’s not to love about this scene? Ringo and George dancing, for one – I’m cracking up as I write this, with that image playing in my head. Sure, they may not be the best dancers in the world, but I still love their moves! Oh, and John looks like such a cool cat in this scene 🙂 …

 

The ‘Grotty’ Scene (or the ‘George-invents-a-word’ scene – both my names  for it)

Anybody reading this fantasise about writing a dictionary (I assume not, but anyway…)? Above is the piece of pop-culture that you’d have to credit with the origin of the word ‘grotty’! Here in Australia, ‘grotty’ is common slang, so was I pleasantly surprised when I discovered that my second-favourite Beatle is credited with being the first to use such a now-common word! So okay – George didn’t really invent the word (Alun Owen – the script-writer – did), but he was the first to use it!

But regardless of whether this scene invented a word or not, it is really funny (like the rest of the film)! I especially love it when George says that thing about Susan (a pin-up girl) being a ‘well-known drag’ – watch the above clip and you’ll know what I mean…

 

John In The Bath

The above scene is the cutest/funniest thing ever, and it is my favourite scene in any film of all time – END OF STORY!

Okay, maybe I should explain why I love this scene so much… Well, for starters, John in a giant bubble-bath, playing with a toy boat – self-explanatory (or in other words, it is not only so funny that it makes my eyes water with laughter, it’s also really cute). Add George shaving a mirror (shaving cream and all) – again, self-explanatory. And thank God John didn’t go down the drain (not that it’s even remotely possible for such a thing to happen!)! If you watch the right corner of the screen really, really carefully, you can actually see John get out – I’ve only spotted it myself a couple of times, but if you have really good eyesight, it should be easy to see. Oh, and apparently most of this scene is ad-libbed – as with the screaming girls within the opening sequence, why does that not surprise me?!

(Now for a couple of other things…)

Last Wednesday, I finally watched A Grammy Salute To The Beatles, the Grammys-run Beatles tribute/reunion from six months ago! I managed to get the DVD working on the DVD player in our top room, so my mum and I had a lovely afternoon watching it together! I thoroughly enjoyed each Beatles cover – my highlights being Dave Grohl’s ‘Hey Bulldog’ (and the speech he made before it), Imagine Dragons’ ‘Revolution’, Stevie Wonder’s ‘We Can Work It Out’ and The Eurythmics’ ‘The Fool On The Hill’ – and I thought that Eric Idle was very funny. Also, Yoko’s kick-arse dance moves were very cool! The best part by far, however, was when Paul and Ringo performed! They don’t seem over 70 at all, and they were absolutely fab (though what else would I expect??)! I loved absolutely everything that they played – either by themselves or together, as the half-Beatles – but my favourite bits would have to be when they played ‘Sgt. Pepper’/’With A Little Help From My Friends’, when Ringo played ‘Boys’, when Paul played ‘Birthday’ and when they played their beautiful finale of ‘Hey Jude’! A big thank-you to my lovely godparents for recording this and so many other Beatle-y things screened on Foxtel for me!

Oh, and it’s Ringo’s 74th birthday tomorrow – I will be wearing my brand-new Yellow Submarine t-shirt that I bought at the Queen Vic Markets the other day, and will listen to my Beatles albums on my iPad (considering my vinyl LPs/record player are at home in Adelaide). I will also be putting a ‘Happy Birthday’ post up here at some point, so look out for it! Ringo is supposedly performing on Sunrise (an Australian breakfast show) sometime this week, but their website was somewhat elusive as to when that is – I will be sure to post the time that he will be playing up here, as soon as I discover when that is!

So for now, I’ll finish off, and I’ll post again tomorrow. Good day sunshine 🙂

 

 

 

Beatle-y News

 

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A picture of some really-cool rare Beatle collectables that my godparents gave me yesterday (thanks!), sitting on our record player.

 

As most Beatlemaniacs are aware, 2014 is a huge year in the Beatles calendar. Americans have been getting all hyped over their 50-years-since-The-Beatles-invaded-America celebrations, with festivities ranging from a beautiful photo-book called The Beatles: Six Days That Changed The World (I will do a review on it some point) to the now-infamous Grammy special screened on Foxtel back in February (I, ashamedly, have not seen this yet – our household does not have Foxtel, so my lovely godparents recorded it for us, but my stupid BluRay player repeatedly rejects the disc that they put it on). However, those over in the US of A are not the only people celebrating at the moment; here in The Great Southern Land/Terra Australis/Down Under/Australia, we’ve been having a Beatlemania revival, too (yay – for once, the rest of the country is acting like an extremely-understated version of moi!). Since last September, there has been a ‘Beatles In Australia’ exhibition doing the Sydney and Melbourne rounds. I was in Sydney for a weekend back in December, and Mum wanted to see an exhibition at the Powerhouse; to my delight, I discovered that the above exhibition was also being held there, so I’ve already seen it. I am, however, flying up to Melbourne very soon especially to re-view the exhibit, as a three-month-early birthday present – talk about being a Beatlemaniac! If it’s anything like it was in Sydney, there will be everything from original posters that a screaming fan proudly held up at The Fab Four’s Sydney Airport arrival, to John’s original suit from the tour! There was also an extremely large portion of Beatles merchandise for sale in the Powerhouse gift shop at the time – hopefully the Arts Centre have a shop, too! Anyway, if you turn out to be in Melbourne before the 1st of July, check it out – I, for one, really enjoyed it in Sydney (and hope to do so in Victoria, too).

As for things going on back home in South Australia…The two major newspapers here (The Advertiser and The Sunday Mail) have been taking advantage of the 50th anniversary of John, Paul, George and Jimmie Nicol’s (who was the replacement drummer – poor Ringo was stuck in London with tonsillitis) visit to Adelaide – I, in turn, have been fattening my Beatles scrapbook with their twenty-million articles (which I am not complaining about)! Here in Adelaide, we made Beatles history by giving the boys their biggest reception ever – surprising, really, considering how small we are, but (as with before) I’m not complaining; all the former Beatles (except Ringo, of course) have commented on their Adelaide visit, and this makes me very proud to be South Australian. But anyway, check out the Sunday Mail today, and yesterday’s Advertiser (if you still have it) – yesterday, there was a giant four-page spread in the SA Weekend, plus an article on a security guard who got their signatures. Today, in the Mail, there was an article of a woman who met John and Paul in ’64, and got Paul’s signature in 1975 (what a lucky-duck).

As for the TV – about a week ago, there was a half-hour special called Yesterday: The Beatles In Adelaide (thus, I assume, only screened here) on Channel 7, which was based around interviews with DJs/fans who were present, and a lot of archival footage (which was really interesting to look at). Despite the fact the documentary was ten years old, it was really good and I really enjoyed it. However, there’s another television special coming up on Tuesday, 10th of June (a new one!) on ABC1, called When The Beatles Drove Us Wild – apparently, this one is something very special, and unlike the former, it goes for a full  hour, so tune in!

As for other Beatle-y news – most Beatlemaniacs now know that A Hard Day’s Night is finally being re-released! This is good news for us Australians, ’cause it’s been out-of-print here since 2005! I’ve already pre-ordered my BluRay, and you can do the same with the link below (we are the same region as the UK, so the disc is watch-able here):

http://http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hard-Days-Night-Anniversary-Restoration/dp/B00KATQSA2/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1402183042&sr=1-1&keywords=a+hard+day%27s+night+50th+anniversary+restoration

And while you’re at it, take a look at the brand-new trailer made especially for AHDN’s re-release (if you’re lucky enough to be reading this in the US, you’ll get to see it at your local cinema):

 

 

So anyway, have a fab long weekend (I’ve listened to Abbey Road, read my new Beatles books/magazine pictured at the top of the post and posted on here), and enjoy the sunny day that has somehow found itself in the middle of Adelaide’s – to quote George Harrison – “long, cold, lonely Winter” (and trust me  – Adelaide Winters are freezing). Good day sunshine, for now!