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Friday, 4 September 2015

DEAR PRUDENCE: THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG


In January of 1968, a then-20-year-old Prudence Farrow finally fulfilled a dream of hers that had been in the making for two years: to study meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India. Accompanied by her sister, actress Mia, Farrow was later joined at the Maharishi's retreat by none other than the members of the Beatles and their significant others. The Fab Four's stay in India has been well-documented — aside from seeking spiritual enlightenment through the Maharishi, they wrote songs that later ended up on their self-titled two-record set, better known as the White Album, released later that year.


But Farrow didn't get caught up in the buzz surrounding the Beatles' presence at the retreat. Rather, she was more preoccupied with meditating for long hours in her room. Her single-minded devotion to meditation inspired John Lennon to compose "Dear Prudence" (number 63 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Beatles Songs), which later appeared on the White Album. Discussing the song in an interview with Playboy, published posthumously in 1981, Lennon remarked that Farrow "wouldn't come out of the little hut we were living in... We got her out of the house — she'd been locked in for three weeks and wouldn't come out. She was trying to find God quicker than anyone else. That was the competition in Maharishi's camp: who was going to get cosmic first."
The daughter of director-screenwriter John Farrow and actress Maureen O'Sullivan, Prudence Farrow led a tumultuous life during her teen years; her desire to seek spiritual meaning eventually led her to meditation and the Maharishi. Now married with children and a teacher of transcendental meditation in Florida, Prudence Farrow Bruns recently published her memoir, Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song, which covers her Hollywood childhood through the visit to India. She talked to Rolling Stone about her memories of the Beatles at the retreat, the first time she heard "Dear Prudence" and what the song has meant to her over the past half-century.
What made you decide to write the book?My grandson invited me to his high school to meet his friends. I forgot about "Dear Prudence," and I thought, "Why does he want me in his high school?" So I went. The kids wanted my autographs; they wanted stories. And I was amazed how well versed they were in the Beatles music and history. As a result of that, I went on to the middle school and lower school where there was also an interest to meet me.
I think besides being great musicians, [the Beatles] really resonated on the level that they were going through and saying what we were all feeling, so they were kind of a voice [for] a lot of us. So the fact that all these young kids now were interested in the Beatles meant that to me that voice was still resonating and still being heard.
Your life has been guided by this sense of searching for meaning and spirituality going back to your Catholic-school education. Then, during your teen years, you went through a rebellious phase that included drinking and getting high.That's what the nuns would tell me: "You were trying to get attention." It really reached the critical point when we came back to the United States [from Europe], especially in high school when Mia blossomed into a real beauty, and I was still comparing myself to her. But the comparison was rather I felt on the meager and pathetic side. I was getting more outrageous, but at the same time, disliking myself even more because of what I was doing.
It was after a scary LSD trip that you vowed to stop taking drugs, and you later gravitated towards meditation.At that point, I was looking inward... I was reading all about meditations. But it was when I went to visit my brother [Patrick] in Malibu, his friend had come back from India. It was at that meeting with him that I felt it was more than just someone telling me about something that I had been looking for — it was actually what I was looking for.
Why did you feel it was imperative to meet the Maharishi?I had to meet him because he was the one who brought this meditation out. He was the source and the only one who really could explain it. When I met him, I did not expect my reaction because it had been almost two years after wanting to study with him. When I felt that tremendous peace and silence — which I had felt in my own experience when I meditated, but not to that degree — it was phenomenal. I just fell on the ground and wept.
Did you have any inkling the Beatles were also going to India? They arrived at the retreat in Rishikesh shortly after you and Mia traveled there.I did. I had been trying to go to India, and Mia called me and she said she wanted to go, but she had heard the Beatles were going. The Beatles at that point had started meditation in the summer of '67. The publicity they got was huge... and this whole concept of gurus, India and mantras just hit the airwaves — it was news. I was so preoccupied with my own self — it was part of what was happening around me but not my focus.
What was your interaction with the Beatles during that time at the retreat, especially with John and George who stayed longer there?I liked them because they were on the same wavelength in many ways. They went through a lot of what we all were going through, and they were saying the same stuff. They were very real, all four of them. I think I said in the book that Maharishi wanted to put them in their own dining room because he didn't want them to be disturbed. And they said, "No, we want to be with everybody else and be treated the same."

You were very dedicated to meditation. You were doing it for eight hours a day in your room.
It was more than that. I had been doing five days straight. I hadn't gone to the bathroom, I hadn't slept, and I hadn't eaten. After that, Maharishi realized what he was dealing with. The older people on the course, they were sleeping; they were sunbathing on top of the roof; they would go for walks. I was one of many [who were] just maybe a little more extreme because I had no parental controls on me, so I could go all the way.
It was your strong devotion to meditation that led John to write the song "Dear Prudence."That is true. In the beginning, he probably did write the song after that event or right before it. Right from the start, all I cared about was getting the job done, clearing out whatever darkness I had inside me, and becoming healthy and being able to live a real life. I knew meditation could do it for me — I didn't understand how.

Prudence Farrow(right)Mia and Maharishi
Were you privy to the music that the Beatles were writing and performing during their stay?Yes, I heard John practicing and tinkering with different notes and melodies on his guitar every afternoon for a couple of hours or so. I think it was just John and George (and not Paul) that came into my room one evening and played "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" for me.
You wrote that you had wanted to move to another room. Was it because their presence was distracting?Yes, all the other course participants were in puris (cottages) that were very quiet and conducive for meditation. Our puri was considered the "celebrity block," which meant that not only the Beatles but all other celebrities and celebrity-related people would stay in this block. In the evenings, John and George (and Paul while he was there) would jam with others in the patio outside our front doors.
Why weren't you starstruck by meeting the Beatles?I had been around famous people, but it had not been so interesting. The Beatles being there — I can honestly say — did not mean anything to me. But those two people that I met, John and George, I really liked them, and they were very much up my alley. They were musicians; they had other interests — whereas I really only had one interest, which was to be [at the retreat] and get the maximum I could from that time. I was so much more extreme.
"The Beatles being there — I can honestly say — did not mean anything to me. But those two people that I met, John and George, I really liked them, and they were very much up my alley."
John and George left the retreat without the finishing the course. It's been widely reported that there was a schism between them and the Maharishi. What is your take on what happened?I was sad that they left because it was very, very sudden. They had been doing eight hours a day of meditation for two months. It was sad and disturbing to see. I can't speak on what went on — I sort of know, but I don't want to speculate on things that I don't really know. I was there when John was saying to Maharishi that he had to leave.

Later, when you were in the States, you heard the song "Dear Prudence" through your mother, who had a copy of the White Album at her New York City apartment, where the family gathered to play a game called "killer."It's kind of like a psychological game. The person winks at you, and then you wait, and you have to sort of gauge who it is. But you never want to catch everybody's eyes because they could wink at you and you're dead. It was the perfect opportunity for [my mother] to go and "kill" everybody. So she went around to everybody saying this song is coming up next. She put it on, and she went around preparing everybody, but she was "killing" them. She came to me while the song was playing. She said, "Isn't it beautiful?" I looked up, and she gave me a wink.
You were initially concerned on how John would depict you in the song.He was very brilliant and extremely funny. He was very astute in terms of sizing people up. So how do I know what he would write? I didn't know. He could have written anything. What was nice was my privacy — he respected it to a great extent.
What do you think of the song today?It epitomized what the Sixties were about in many ways. What it's saying is very beautiful; it's very positive. I think it's an important song. I thought it was one their least popular and more obscure songs. I feel that it does capture that essence of the course, that slightly exotic part of being in India where we went through that silence and meditation.

BEATLES CARTOONIST RON CAMPBELL COMES TO TOWN THIS MONTH HOP ON RON´S YELLOW SUBMARINE

If you’ve ever watched cartoons, you’ve probably seen work by Ron Campbell. Ron spent the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s working on some of America’s most popular cartoons including Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, The Smurfs, Rugrats, The Jetsons, Rocket Power, and Ed, Edd, ‘n’ Eddy to name only a few. By the time he retired in the early 2000s, Ron had worked a huge range of positions from storyboard artist to illustrator to director.

Now the famous cartoonist is coming to the Holy City. He will be appearing at the Art Mecca of Charleston from September 25-27 where you can chat with him while he live paints. Campbell will be selling his works, but the event is free to attend.

Campbell is often noted for directing The Beatles cartoon and animating around twelve minutes of the Beatles feature length animated motion picture, Yellow Submarine with his fellow artist Duane Crowther. After 50 years of working for companies like Hanna-Barbera, Disney, Nickelodeon, and his own animation studio, Ron Campbell Films, Inc., he retired in 2008.

Retirement though didn't keep Mr. Campbell in one place. He moved from his original animation style into painting original pop-art based on the various films and shows he was involved in. Campbell travels the country with Scott Segelbaum’s Rock Art Show selling his work.

Campbell told us that shows like these are the only places to get your hands on an original painting. “I only sell at shows,” he said, “I don’t sell online, I don’t sell to people I haven’t met.” Fans anxious to meet Campbell will get the opportunity while he’s in town, though he did admit that his events tend to be crowded. “People have a tendency to collect my paintings,” he told us.

When asked why, he attributed the success of his sales to the global fascination with American cartoons. “American popular culture is everywhere, all over the world. You can go to Uganda and see popular culture,” he says.

If anyone should know the reach of American pop culture, it’s Campbell. He has lived and worked in many different geographical locations including Australia, London, and Hollywood. We see Campbell’s art as a bridge between past and present, a way of keeping those classic cartoons alive today. Even though technology has allowed for more colors and more intricate plots, there’s something about the originals that we don’t think will ever be replaced.


47 YEARS AGO: FILMING "HEY JUDE" AND "REVOLUTION" PROMOTIONAL CLIPS


Filming for promotional clips of "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" took place on 4 September 1968 under the direction of Michael Lindsay-Hogg.


The Beatles hired Michael Lindsay-Hogg to shoot a promotional film for "Hey Jude", after he had previously directed a clip for "Paperback Writer" in 1966. They settled on the idea of filming with a live, albeit controlled audience. Only lead and backing vocals were recorded live, although instruments and amplifiers were set up. The Musicians' Union had placed a ban on miming, and the live vocals were attempt to hide this. Hey Jude was the first to be made.A 36-piece orchestra was also assembled, the members wearing white tuxedos, and 300 extras were brought in for the finale. The latter had been recruited after 20 students handed out leaflets in the area, and The Beatles' assistant Mal Evans invited a number of fans from outside EMI Studios.

In the film, the Beatles are first seen by themselves, performing the initial chorus and verses, and then are joined by the audience who appear as the last chorus concludes and coda begins; the audience sings and claps along with the Beatles through the song's conclusion. Hogg shot the film at Twickenham Film Studios on 4 September 1968, with Paul himself designing the set. 
 
Tony Bramwell, a friend of the Beatles, later described the set as "the piano, there; drums, there; and orchestra in two tiers at the back." The event marked Starr's return to the group, after McCartney's criticism of his drumming had led to him walking out during a session for the White Album track "Back in the U.S.S.R." During his two-week absence, Starr announced that he had left the band.


The final film was a combination of several different takes and included filmed "introductions" to the song by David Frost (who introduced the Beatles as "the greatest tea-room orchestra in the world"). As filming wore on, Lennon repeatedly asked Lindsay-Hogg if he had the footage he needed. After twelve takes, McCartney said, "I think that's enough", and filming concluded. It was first aired in the UK on Frost on Sunday on 8 September 1968, and the film was later broadcast for the United States on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on 6 October.According to Riley, the showing on Frost on Sunday "kicked 'Hey Jude' into the stratosphere" in terms of popularity.Hertsgaard pairs it with the release of the animated film Yellow Submarine as two events that created "a state of nirvana" for Beatles fans, in contrast with the problems besetting the band regarding Ono's influence and Apple.







Two finished clips of "Revolution" were produced, with only lighting differences and other minor variations. The Beatles sang the vocals live over the pre-recorded instrumental track from the single version. Their vocals included elements from "Revolution 1": McCartney and Harrison sang the "shoo-bee-doo-wah" backing vocals, and Lennon sang "count me out, in". Lennon also substituted "we'd all love" for "we all want" in the opening verse. Later it was correctly pointed out that a track of Lennon's voice is in fact playing in the background during the performance and can be heard quite noticeably at the end of the song when he fails to shout out his last and most explosive "All right". Instead, the shout is heard from the soundtrack after he has already stopped singing and backed away from the microphone.























Thursday, 3 September 2015

ARTIST UNITE TO RECORD A "LOVE SONG TO THE EARTH" WITH PAUL AND MANY MORE

Artists unite to record a 'Love Song to the Earth" featured on a new single due out September 4th on iTunes UK (tomorrow), and  release for September 11th worldwide.
The new single, recorded to inspire action on climate change, features performances by Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat and many more.


Paul and Jon Bon Jovi at Apollo/Aug 11,2012 East Hampton,NY
The piece, called "Love Song to the Earth," is collaborative effort from Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Fergie, Colbie Caillat, Natasha Bedingfield, Leona Lewis, Sean Paul, Johnny Rzeznik, Krewella, Angelique Kidjo (a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador), Kelsea Ballerini, Nicole Scherzinger, Christina Grimmie, Victoria Justice and Q’Orianka Kilcher.
Check out a preview at the 2014 Social Good Summit, singer and songwriter Natasha Bedingfield previewed the song with piano backing.

  


PAUL PREMIERES NEW TUG OF WAR REMIX

Paul McCartney is set to reissue his 1982 album Tug Of War – and he’s given an exclusive preview Q you can listen to above. 

 














Paul third solo album will be re-released on 2 October, along side Pipes Of Peace, and we have a brand new remix of the title track you can hear now.

Tug Of War will be issued as a 2-CD Special Edition featuring a new remix of the entire album, plus a second disc of bonus audio featuring eight unreleased demos, while Pipes Of Peace comes with a 9 song bonus disc.





 
 

If you'd like to pre-order you copy of TUG OF WAR or PIPES OF PEACE (or both!),here are the links you'll need:
 
 
Paul will reissue the classic solo album ‘Tug of War' on 2nd October 2015 as part of his Archive Collection.

Along with the song premiere, we also have a series of exclusive archive shots taken by Linda McCartney in 1981, on the post. 


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

RINGO IN CONVERSATION: SEPTEMBER 25


“RINGO STARR: IN CONVERSATION” 


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2015
AT THE EL REY THEATER, LOS ANGELES

To celebrate the publication of Ringo Starr’s PHOTOGRAPH memoir, on September 25, 2015 at 8 p.m., Ringo will appear on stage at LA’s historic El Rey Theater. During the course of a moderated conversation, the audience will be invited to join Ringo Starr looking through rare and unseen photographs drawn from his personal archives. Ringo Starr will be revisiting memories of his life in music – from his early childhood days in Liverpool through to The Beatles and beyond.


 
In the words of Ringo:
‘These are shots that no one else could have. I just had the camera with me a lot of the time. There’s a lot of shots of "the boys" that only I could have taken. Together they chart the story of four lads from Liverpool trying to live normal lives amidst the frenzy that surrounded them.’ – RINGO STARR


Resultado de imagen para ringo starr in conversationDOORS 7 p.m., SHOW START at 8 p.m.
Onsale: Thu, Sep 3, 2015 - 10:00AM PDT 

El Rey Theatre
5515 Wilshire Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90036

(323) 936-6400

BEATLES ARTWORKS HIGHLIGHT UK FAIR


Fabulous works of art by or inspired by the Beatles and their followers will be a major attraction at The Cheshire Decorative Antiques & Art Fair at Tatton Park, Knutsford, from 18th - 20th September 2015.
Going on sale will be original prints by John Lennon, featuring characters from his books, the prints signed by Yoko Ono, original drawings by Klaus Voorman, who played guitar with the group during their Hamburg period, and an inspired watercolour composed around the song ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ for a Beatles project by the contemporary artist Angel Dominguez.

 
The Lennon prints and the original drawings by Klaus Voorman (b.1938), will be shown by Keith Denny of Balmain Fine Art from Cleveland. Voorman was trained as a graphic artist in Berlin and worked as a commercial artist, graphic designer and illustrator. He designed the cover art for the Beatles’ LP ‘Revolver’, for which he won a Grammy award, and went on to design cover works for Wet Wet Wet and the Bee Gees. As a musician, he worked with John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, Manfred Mann, Lous Reed, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Harry Nilsson and many others. The Voorman drawings will be priced at £200 each.
The John Lennon prints come from a series signed and authenticated by Yoko One. Yoko Ono decided to share John’s artistic genius with the public by publishing his work, which is whimsical yet poetic and shows another side. Balmain Fine Art will have approximately twenty Lennon works on show, priced from £300 each.
Also on sale will be the pen and watercolour work by Angel Dominquez. This colourful work is inspired by the song ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ and was done for a Beatles project that was never completed. It will be on sale from Art of the Imagination, priced at £3,000.


DHANI HARRISON CREATES ORIGINAL MUSIC FOR NEW FILM


Learning to Drive, with Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley as a Sikh Indian driving instructor, is now in limited release. At last year's Toronto International Film Festival, it was runner-up for the audience award. Sharing credit with Paul Hicks on the film's original music is Dhani Harrison, son of the late George Harrison. In "Learning to Drive" -- a film about lessons big and small -- New York literary critic Wendy Shields (Patricia Clarkson) decides after her husband leaves her that she must finally learn to operate a car. The driving instructor she enlists, Darwan Singh Tur (Ben Kingsley), is himself in the midst of a major life change, as he prepares for his impending arranged marriage. During their time together both in and out of the car, each becomes less set in his and her ways, as Wendy and Darwan come to accept that life is a two-way street. Based on an essay by Katha Pollitt published in a 2002 issue of the New Yorker and based on Pollitt's own experience, the film took about nine years to make it to the screen, shepherded by Clarkson and producer Dana Friedman.. Also notable about the film is that it was co-edited by Oscar-winner Thelma Schoonmaker, who in recent years has worked less frequently outside her longtime collaboration with Martin Scorsese.

A FAMILY GETAWAY TO THE EAST HAMPTONS


He's enjoying a break from his epic Out There world tour, which he recently added new US dates to. And Paul had the perfect summer retreat, heading off the the Hamptons with his wife Nancy Shevell and family. Paul stripped off to enjoy the East coast sunshine during a sailing trip, while Nancy, kept busy at the gym.

Family time: The 73-year-old went on a ride with his son James, 37, with both musicians dressed for the sunny temperatures in shorts and t-shirts

Nancy meanwhile was spotted in her workout gear during the break, looking svelte in leggings and a bright green vest and coordinating Nike trainers.The businesswoman met up with her husband after her gym session, with the pair heading to Serafina in East Hampton for a spot of lunch with Nancy's son Arlen Blakeman.The Hamptons holiday was a real family affair for Nancy and Paul. As well as sailing, Paul was also spotted getting a workout in as he went cycling with his son James, 37.

Paul and Nancy will celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary this October, after tying the knot at London's Marylebone register office in 2011, the same location as Paul's first marriage to James' mother Linda in 1969.
Paul has been keeping busy with his latest tour this year, playing dates across Europe and Asia before heading back to the US in October for another string of dates which will wrap up the 88-gig tour. 
In July, Paul revealed he doesn't think any modern day band will be able to recreate the same success as The Beatles.
Paul claims the British rock band - made up of Paul, John,Ringo and George-found worldwide fame thanks to writing their own material and their own individual skillset.
'Let's not forget, those four boys were f***ing good,’ he confessed.‘You name me another group who had what The Beatles had.'We all played, which is pretty hard. You don't get a lot of that these days.‘We came at the right time. We wrote some pretty good stuff, our own material. We didn't have writers. Could that happen again? I don't know. I wish people well but I have a feeling it couldn't.' 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

MORE THAN 300 LOTS WERE UP FOR SALE AT THE ANNUAL BEATLES SHOP-ORGANISED AUCTION

Four sketches of Beatles-esque faces drawn by Paul sold for a combined £15,000 at an auction in Liverpool on Saturday.

The drawings were among more than 300 lots up for sale at the Annual Beatles Memorabilia Auction at LIPA, organised by the Beatles Shop for the 24th year and overseen by auctioneer John Crane of Cato Crane.
A custom-built radiogram which belonged to Ringo sold for £1900 and a ticket stub from the last scheduled Beatles concert on August 29, 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco fetched £560.
There was fierce competition among bidders for a Christmas card illustrated with a drawing of Brian Epstein’s London home, which sold for £750.


Less popular were two Linda McCartney calendars for 1979 and 1980, which sold for £25 despite an estimate of £80, and a set of limited edition Beatles bears from the USA, which failed to sell.


Stephen Bailey, manager of the Beatles Shop, said: “We’re always going to be surprised by the things people come in with. There is always something we have never seen before or something we didn’t know existed.
“All the auctions are great in their own way, and it’s lovely to show these items. It makes the customers who buy them very happy and the people who sell them are happy with the money they’re getting for them.”

HEAR RINGO PERFORM ‘TOMMY´S HOLIDAY CAMP’ FROM ‘TOMMY’ REISSUE : Exclusive Preview

Ringo Starr will feature on the upcoming reissue of the Who's rock opera Tommy. The 1972 performance, featuring the 104-piece London Symphony Orchestra, sees the former Beatle in the role of Uncle Ernie adding vocals on "Tommy's Holiday Camp."

The rock opera's cast also features Pete Townshend as the narrator, Roger Daltrey as Tommy and John Entwistle as Cousin Kevin, along with, Rod Stewart as a local lad, and Steve Winwood as the father, among others.









Listen an exclusive preview from the upcoming reissue of the Who‘s early ’70s update of Tommy with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chambre Choir. And it features an intersection of two of rock’s greatest bands. The Who’s Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle and Pete Townshend appeared on the original orchestral remake of the album, which was produced by Lou Reizner in 1972 but has been out of print for three decades. 

The LP’s special guests included Ringo, the featured vocalist on the exclusive preview of “Tommy’s Holiday Camp.” Elsewhere, this Grammy award-winning project includes guest turns by Rod Stewart (his take on “Pinball Wizard” remains a highlight), Steve Winwood, Richie Havens and others. You can listen to “Tommy’s Holiday Camp” below. 

  • Tommy with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chambre Choir. 



BEATLESMAGAZINE

 Or LISTEN HERE


"I always saw the Who's version of Tommy as more of a sketch and felt there was more that could be done with it. The London Symphony project, I think, paved the way for more to come," Townshend says of the full orchestra version of the record.
Tommy, the remastered version, out of print since 1972, lands on CD, vinyl and digital download September 11.

PAUL IS COMING TO BUFFALO



If you’re wondering why tickets for Paul ’s Oct. 22 show at First Niagara Center sold out so quickly Monday or how they were being offered for sale even before the official American Express pre-sale last week, you’re not alone.
On the other hand, if you are satisfied with the way this process plays out, you might be alone.

 Many fans eager to secure a golden ticket for this highly anticipated event – the Beatle’s first-ever appearance in Buffalo – felt something was amiss when tickets that were supposed to go on sale to American Express Card holders Thursday morning appeared via secondary ticketing sites the night before. That feeling re-emerged Monday when many fans found it impossible to buy a ticket, online, in person or by phone. Social media was rife with complaints that the system is rigged.


Paul  fans wait in line outside the First Niagara Center on Monday.



 So what gives? Is the general public being duped?
In a word, yes. But not in the way they might think.
The rush to buy concert tickets only to be locked out is not something occasional Western New York concert-goers routinely see, but it does happen. The difference here is that this show is being called the hottest ticket in years, maybe decades. As such, it was the first time some fans were exposed to this system.
The culprit, as is often the case in the 21st century, is technology
What happened last Wednesday was an example of a practice called speculative ticketing, which is essentially a fancy way of describing an attempt to sell something that isn’t actually there. Secondary ticket agencies project the tickets they are hoping to have available, offer them via the internet as if they are already in hand, and then rush to fill their projected orders once the tickets actually go on sale.

How are these secondary sellers able to secure tickets when the average Joe and Jane can’t? It’s relatively simple: They flood the system with auto-dial “bots,” which hammer away at official sites like Tickets.com until they’ve snagged as many tickets as possible. In the meantime, “regular folks” are shut out of the process.Though many took to social media to express their ire over the way First Niagara Center handled the McCartney ticket situation, that ire is misdirected. First Niagara Center employed the same ticketing policies, including random handbills and ticket limits per customer, that it has been enforcing for at least a decade.“Absolutely no tickets were released for the McCartney show prior to Thursday’s official American Express pre-sale,” Jennifer Van Rysdam, vice president of arena events at First Niagara Center, told The News. “All of those tickets being offered on Wednesday were not actually there – they were all speculative. Some of them even had imaginary seats in sections that don’t even exist.”

 On Thursday, when the American Express pre-sale kicked off, the limited number of tickets made available to card holders was snapped up in a matter of hours, though it was supposed to run through Sunday, if the tickets remained available that long. On Monday, when the general sale took place, the balance of the estimated 16,000 tickets for the October show were gone within minutes.





 


It’s more than likely that some of the satisfied customers who walked away with tickets weren’t actually people at all, but were “bots.”
“This is completely commonplace these days,” said Dave Taylor, president of local independent promoter Empire State Concerts. “When we brought the Smashing Pumpkins to the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda in June, all of the tickets were gone in 11 minutes. It was almost all auto-dialing bots, too. Many people waiting in line at the box office were turned away. The same thing happened with a Disturbed show I’m bringing to the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls next April. Those tickets were gone in 17 minutes. It’s not a level playing field for the average customer, because the bots are completely jamming up the system. Even if there are ticket limits, it doesn’t matter – they just keep hammering away.”
That said, according to Van Rysdam, the rapid sell-out of McCartney tickets was “totally a case of incredible demand exceeding supply.”
 
Once these ticketing services have gobbled up the majority of the available tickets, they then re-sell them at often grossly inflated prices, via sites such as StubHub. So the now-ticketless folks who either showed up at the box office Monday, or sat at their computers waiting to hit “send” when the clock struck 10 a.m., have a choice: Pay the inflated price to the secondary ticketing agency, or stay home and wonder what happened to the good old days of “first-come, first-served.”
This is not a new development. In fact, it’s been going on for years.
In a 2012 piece, Billboard magazine interviewed a professional ticket scalper and asked him what he thought of speculative ticketing and secondary ticket services.“It’s out of control,” the scalper said, narrowing the issue to “the bots.”“I met a guy who told me he had 600 modems in his … strip mall store that generated so much heat the neighbor couldn’t get their temperature right,” he continued.
“… These guys [today] that sell to StubHub and these other sites are able to lock up the entire inventory on these screens, decide what they want and dump back the rest. Sometimes they hire some computer genius to do their dirty work: ‘Get me the tickets, I’ll make the money, I’ll take the risk and put them up on all these [secondary-market] boards.’ There’s another type of guy that says, ‘I’m going to find me a guy in India to write this program.’“… It’s definitely gotten out of hand. It hurts the guy who actually owns the inventory, but it’s just like shorting on the stock market -- as long as they cover, who really cares?”
Who cares? An awful lot of unhappy McCartney fans in Western New York care an awful lot.
The ticketing system is broken. It’s time for some meaningful change. Until the primary ticket agencies are able to find a way to block auto-dialing bots, which is reportedly starting to happen, the playing field will remain uneven. And it’s the little guy who’s getting hurt, once again.

ABBEY ROAD INSTITUTE ACQUIRES STUDIOS 301 TO OPEN SCHOOL IN SYDNEY

It’s official. The legendary recording house that inspired an iconic Beatles album, Abbey Road, is about to set up shop in Sydney after acquiring beloved Sydney studio, Studios 301.

The famed London studio is continuing its foray into music education, and will open its second Australian Abbey Road Institute at the Alexandria studio. The news follows the launch of the studio’s first Aussie school at a site in Melbourne’s Southbank over the weekend.

Abbey Road Australia Partner Gianni Michelini and CEO Paul Ledingham are behind the acquisition. Interestingly, Both Abbey Road Studios UK and Studios 301 Australia were both founded by British record label EMI.
News first broke of Abbey Road’s intent to launch a pair of music schools in Australia back in March, but official plans for the Sydney site have only just come to light.
Studios 301 was established in 1926 and is the longest running professional recording studio in the country. Thanks to its new partnership with Abbey Road, Sydney students with a passion for audio, production and the music bizz will now get the chance to study under the world’s most recognised and prestigious recording studio banner.
The site at 18 Mitchell Road will continue to cater to Aussie recording artists, but will also run a full-­time Music Production and Sound Engineering programme over 46 weeks.
It will be taught by recognised music industry experts, producers and label execs, alongside qualified lecturers, including guest lectures from renowned Aussie and international engineers and producers.
“We are thrilled to be involved in the next chapter of the Studios 301 journey,” said Abbey Road CEO Paul Ledingham. “Our team continues to be 100% committed to seeing 301 evolve to
meet the needs of the 21st century music industry. We’ll continue to service our existing clients and pay homage to the incredible legacy that is Studios 301.”
A statement on the Australian Abbey Road Institute’s official website reads: “Our programme was designed by the industry for the industry. We maintain the highest educational standards, support ‘hands-on’ practical learning, provide the best professional lecturers and give students access to state of the art equipment.”
“Above all else we want to share our passion for what we do.”
Spanning over 80 years, the globally recognised Abbey Road Studios have churned out more landmark recordings than we can count, from artists as iconic as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Kanye West, Elton John, Frank Ocean, Elbow, Lady Gaga, Adele and more recently M.I.A, Ed Sheeran and Iggy Azalea.
Its new Sydney hub is expected to launch in July of 2016.
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