Friday, 28 November 2014


The story goes that Decca turned down The Beatles and signed Brian Poole and The Tremeloes instead.
And it’s a good story, but Brian is happy to point out that the truth was actually a little more complicated than that.

“We were doing backing vocals for Decca, for EMI and for lots of other companies,” recalls Brian, who is currently on the road with the ’60s Gold Tour 2014.
“We were a vocal group, and when Decca realised that, they asked us to come in. We played our own music, but we had also learnt three-part vocal. We did backing for people that were in the charts just before us, people like Tommy Steele. We also did backing for some of the Americans that were coming over and were in the charts just before us.
“So when it came to our time to go and audition for Decca, they already knew us. When The Beatles came in and auditioned, unfortunately they did lots of weird songs. They did cover versions of things like ‘My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean’, old, old ’40s songs. I just don’t think that it worked. We went in and did our usual thing, which was just playing rock ‘n’ roll. That’s what we were.”
And so it was The Tremeloes that were signed.
Brian Poole“I didn’t know why at the time they didn’t pass. They were doing all the dance halls, the same as we were. But on radio I later spoke to George Martin (The Beatles’ producer), and he said to me ‘Brian, you have got to realise that they had just come back from Germany, and nobody realised at the time what a massive deal they were.’ Even he didn’t know how fantastic they were. They just didn’t do the right songs that day. They were the best song-writers in the world, and they still are, but I am proud that we beat them just that one day!”
Another little victory came later when Brian and his band became the first British band to knock The Beatles off the number-one spot when The Tremeloes’ ‘Do You Love Me’ edged out ‘She Loves You’. Another little victory came when The Tremeloes and The Beatles, both having discovered the song ‘Twist and Shout’, raced up the charts with it on an EP. Again, the Tremeloes won – just!
But the pleasure was purely that The Beatles, as far as Brian was concerned, were and are the absolute best, the very finest from a terrific decade.
“All the fashion places started then, and most of them were in London, and lots of the TV shows like Ready Steady Go were in London. You had the connection between the fashions and the music, and you have got to remember that the American air force had only just left Great Britain by then. There were 30 or 40 of them. They were young men. They were 18 or 20, not much older than we were, and they took the music back with them.
“But there were just so many places to play in this country. There were dance halls everywhere. There were lots of places around London, just lots and lots, and they were lovely places to play. There was so much happening.
“That era represents the first time that lots of things that were being done had actually been done. We started very early. We started in 1957. Two of us were doing A levels. We were determined to complete them and get a university place, but then suddenly this came along and we decided we were going to be in a band. It was so great for us. What you have to understand was that everything was connected, the fashion, the music, everything.
The ’60s Gold Tour 2014 brings together Gerry & The Pacemakers, P J Proby, The Fortunes and Brian Poole and Chip Hawkes. They play The Hawth, Crawley, on Saturday, November 29.


'You Gave Me The Answer' - Lily Cole Asks…Fans will have seen that on Wednesday 19th November Paul sat down with Lily Cole and a small group of musicians from her Impossible website to discuss his forthcoming new single 'Hope For The Future' and share his thoughts about songwriting. Paul chatted with Lily and the invite-only audience for 45 minutes, taking several questions from the musicians in attendance. (Pssst – we'll be posting the full transcript from the Q&A soon!)
As you might imagine, a room made up of musicians had a great number of things they wanted to ask Paul! So after the talk finished we spoke with them and took note of a few more questions. Later that day, Paul kindly sat down with us to answer them.
Today we publish the first of these questions for November's 'You Gave Me The Answer'. To make it even more exciting, we asked Lily Cole to read out three of the questions sent in via Twitter. Watch the video of Lily asking the questions below:
Would you like to find out where the characters 'Eleanor Rigby' and 'Polythene Pam' came from? Or which lyrics Paul is currently enjoying singing on tour? Read on…
Question: Did Paul and John ever talk about the characters inside their songs and try to get them as real as possible?
Paul: "Some of them you would talk about, some of them didn’t have a provenance; we just made them up. They didn’t come from anywhere.
"But there would be all sorts of examples - like ‘Polythene Pam’ - who was someone John had known. There was a wild night somewhere and this girl was dressed in a lot of polythene [laughs], so she was known as ‘Polythene Pam’. So she was real, baby! And, you know, I'd like to have been a fly on that wall! So she came from somewhere.
''Eleanor Rigby' came from a combination of old ladies I’d known when I was a kid. It was sort of a cross between wanting to do good work, but at the same time a fascination by these older people who had gone through stuff, that I hadn’t. For some reason or another I was drawn to those people.
"There was a woman who lived near me in 20 Forthlin Road, where I used to go and get her shopping for her, just because I was on my way to the shops. I’d just drop in, I knew her. So we became pretty good friends and she was a sort of lonely old lady. But I found out things like she had a little crystal radio set, which fascinated me, because people in the war made their own little radios, "What! You can make a radio?! Brilliant!" So she would be part of the 'Eleanor Rigby' thing. I would occasionally meet other lonely old ladies, so they kind of became 'Eleanor Rigby' too.
"Some of the people – mostly they were made up - but some of them did actually come from somewhere.
'''Father McKenzie' in 'Eleanor Rigby' was going to be Father McCartney. I had [sings to the tune of 'Eleanor Rigby'] ‘Father McCartney, do do do do do’. And I said, ‘I’ve got to change that.’ And John said, ‘No, it’ll be great! Father McCartney!’ I said, ‘No, it’s like my Dad! I can’t relate to it’. So we got the phonebook out, we just went: ‘McCartney, McCartney, McCartney, McCartney, McKenzie!’"
PaulMcCartney.com: "There are many stories about where the name Eleanor Rigby came from, is that someone’s name?"  
Paul: "It’s a strange thing because there is actually a gravestone up in the churchyard of the church, St Peter’s in Woolton - where John and I met on the fateful day of the fete - which apparently says ‘Eleanor Rigby’. So the idea is, subliminally, I might have seen it because I would have walked through that graveyard, just as kids getting from A to B.
"But my theory - of what I can remember of it - was that I liked the name Eleanor, because we’d worked with Eleanor Bron, the actress in the film ‘Help’. But I wanted to have a second name. Names are very important because, you know, like school kids, all the names are authentic. If you think back to any of your school mates - Grace Pendleton was one of my school mates – it works! All those real names; and you can make up ‘Charlie Farnsbarn’ and it just, it doesn’t work as well. It’s an interesting little thing, names.
"So I was really searching around for Eleanor’s second name. And I was in Bristol, visiting my then girlfriend - Jane Asher, who was working at Bristol Old Vic - and I was wondering around waiting for her to finish and I saw this shop: ‘Rigby’. And I thought [clicks fingers] ‘Perfect! Eleanor Rigby’. A real, nice name. It’s sort of original, and yet not too far out. It just sort of fitted.
"So that’s my story. But as I say later, a guy - Geoff Wonfor doing The Beatles Anthology – said, ‘We’ve found this gravestone, what do you think about that?’"
PaulMcCartney.com: "So the name might have already been buried somewhere in your mind, and then you made that connection?"
Paul: "I wonder. I don’t know. My story, I definitely know is true. The other story’s a little bit spooky. A ‘subconscious theory’!"
Question: Do you still like all the lyrics you wrote in the past, and are there any that you don't like anymore? And, of course, I want to know why if the answer is no!
Paul: "There are lyrics I’m embarrassed by. Like in 'Rockshow' - references to ‘axe’ and Jimmy Page – they seem a little bit dated. But they are. That’s exactly what they are.
"What made me less embarrassed was when I said this to a couple of the guys in the band, Rusty and Brian particularly. I said, 'Oh my god, I can’t stand that - An axe! Jimmy Page!’. I’m going, 'Oh God, it just doesn’t seem right now, it seems embarrassing'. They said, 'No, I love that!'
"So it was great. I got their perspective on it, and it sort of made it alright that they didn’t think it was remotely embarrassing."
PaulMcCartney.com: "We know people who still call their guitars ‘axes’!"
Paul: "It’s a period thing. You don’t really call them that now. But you did then. So that was the embarrassing thing."
Question: What are your personal favourite lyrics you've ever written?
Paul: "There’s some nice things about doing the live show now. I kind of run through the lyrics - in my mind - to sing them. So ‘Eleanor Rigby’ is nice, 'Wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door'. I sort of think, 'Pretty good work for a 23 year old boy!' Something like that I think, 'Yeah, that’s really nice’. So I like that.
"Currently I’m liking ‘Another Day’. It’s just very sort of regular life of this girl. [Sings verse 'Everyday she takes her morning bath'.] It’s just all what a girl might do: 'Wraps a towel around her as she’s heading for the bedroom chair'. And then she goes to the office, has a coffee, finds it hard to stay awake, and it all just seems to ring true to me. But it’s just another day.
"So yeah, I’d single those two out as ones that I like."
PaulMcCartney.com will be publishing more Q&As from Paul's Impossible songwriting talk soon, so remember to keep checking back…!

Thursday, 27 November 2014


The Beatles on Tyne Tees TV 
Incredibly, it’s now over half a century since the phenomenon called Beatlemania erupted across Britain and the United States.
Back in 1963 as the Fab Four began blazing their spectacular trail, they were no strangers to the North East, appearing in the region several times as they toured the UK seemingly endlessly.
Now the noted music writer Dafydd Rees is appealing to Chronicle readers who saw the Beatles in 1963 to re-live and share their memories for a new book he is writing.
He said: “Beatlemania - A Year In The Life 1963 is a day by day account of what The Beatles did throughout that year, complemented by stories from those who saw them, worked with them or encountered them.
“The nature of the beast is that little of the early part of that year is documented, while the end of the year is exactly the opposite.
“To avoid bringing out an unbalanced book, those first few months require some diligent research and finding people who saw them.”
Dafydd, who has contributed to books on Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, has pin-pointed several key Newcastle dates in 1963 he’d like to learn more about.
Long lines of Beatles fans queue around the corner from the City Hall in the attempt to get tickets
These are:
January 28: The Beatles played the Majestic in the midst of that year’s notoriously harsh winter.
March 23: They were back in Newcastle at the City Hall on the Tommy Roe/Chris Montez bill.
June 26: Did the band stay at the Royal Turks Hotel or the Jesmond Imperial Hotel? This has long been a bone of contention.
October 27: The box office for the Beatles’ November 23 City Hall show opened. There are a series of well-known pictures of fans queuing.
November 23: The Beatles played the City Hall.




Wednesday, 26 November 2014





Cavern Club is to open its doors for rising musicians with new Rock School programme

Liverpool’s Cavern Club is opening its doors to budding musicians with their new Rock School programme.
The cellar club’s tuition programme will focus on helping musicians to learn their craft in the place where The Beatles learned theirs in the early 1960s.
Rock School Director and Principal tutor Richard Punzi, who graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in New York, is heading-up the Rock School tuition project that offers expert lessons on guitar, bass guitar, piano and drums to students of all ages and levels in multiple styles.
Richard says: “Learning your instrument is so much more than simply being taught chords. It is about having the confidence to put your own personality into every performance and what better place to find inspiration to do that than the place where the biggest music phenomenon learned theirs?! Our programme not only focuses on the individual learning music and theory but also puts students into a band situation playing songs, to help them understand how to work together as a unit. We aim to showcase that talent annually on The Cavern Club stage."

The Cavern Club, which recently sponsored Best Live Act at The Q Awards, has been providing live music since it opened as a Jazz Club in 1957 and continues to promote original bands and artists.
BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Dave Monks regularly holds successful BBC Introducing shows at the venue and Amsterdam and Pele singer/songwriter Ian Prowse runs a hugely popular open mic night in the Cavern Pub every Monday. The Cavern also teams up with Sound City and Generator to present the Arts Council funded Mapped Out project which supports new bands on a national tour and gives music fans a chance to see the acts of tomorrow for as little as £5.
Events director Jon Keats says: “The Cavern has a rich musical history. Our venue is synonymous with The Beatles but our motto is ‘A foot in the past and a hand in the future’. The Rock School is yet another example of how we are looking to the future whilst at the same time protecting the legacy of the Beatles and incredible artists who have made the Club the legendary venue it is today.”
The Rock School tuition programme is set to take off this week and has already attracted a number of students eager to take to the iconic stage, which has played home to Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks and more recently Arctic Monkeys, Elbow, Jessie J, Adele and Jake Bugg.
Jon adds: “We’re proud to be able to offer something unique to our students who don’t just want to be stuck learning chords in their bedroom.”


(CNN) -- She's the daughter of a Beatle, fashion designer of everyone from Madonna to the British Olympic team, recipient of a medal from Queen Elizabeth, and counts Kate Moss among her friends.
From all appearances, Stella McCartney's life has been a charmed one -- not that she necessarily sees it that way.
Fame has followed the second child of Paul and Linda from the moment she was born.
And it's been both a blessing and a hindrance. As McCartney was awarded this year's prestigious Women's Leadership Award from the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, CNN spoke to the mother-of-four about sustainability in a notoriously "unaccountable" fashion industry.

CNN: You had very famous role models -- do you think that helped you, or do you think that was actually a hurdle?
McCartney: It certainly opened a lot of doors and certainly closed some minds. So I think there was a balance.

CNN: What do you think was the biggest inspiration you got from your mother, Linda McCartney?
M: I learned a lot from her ethics. Both my mum and dad [former Beatle, Paul McCartney] are known to be vegetarians, world rights activists and environmentalists, and that definitely came into my place of work.
Once you have children it adds another layer of responsibility to what you're doing. You have to be a role model to them so it makes you question your actions -- in a good way.

CNN: What is the biggest challenge you've encountered getting where you are now?
M: Early on, when I wanted to go back to London and start my own fashion house, a very well thought-of executive in the industry said to me: "Name one female designer that's come from Great Britain that has had any kind of global success."
I wanted to prove him wrong. Obviously there have been great women from Britain in design, but actually there are fewer than I thought. So that was a bit of a hurdle for me.
From day one I've never worked with leather or fur. I don't work with PVC, and I'm very conscious in the sourcing and manufacturing of fashion. That's a hurdle, that's a challenge, but it's a worthwhile one.
CNN: Do you feel a lot of pressure from the industry because you chose to go down the "sustainable fashion" road?
M: It's been difficult, it continues to be difficult, but I'm OK with difficult, it's what keeps me on my toes. I've had people say to me: "You'll never sell handbags, you don't work with leather and leather is luxury."
To me it's the complete opposite, leather is everywhere, it's so cheap a material, it's so mass produced. Over 50 million animals a year are killed just for fashion. For me it doesn't have a luxury element to it.
CNN: So you're comfortable flipping that notion on its head, that leather is luxury?
M: Lots of things have been around for a long time, that doesn't mean they have to stick around forever. When you're in design it's your job is to change, to push, to modernize.
The fashion industry, is not really as accountable for some reason. We're not expected to have to answer to the fact that it's not sustainable to kill that many animals for shoes and bags. And it's not necessary! Ninety percent of the people who come to my stores have no idea I don't work with leather.

CNN: You get very steely when you talk about people telling you you can't do something.

M: Doesn't everyone, who likes being told they can't do something? Anyone can do anything they want, if they really want it.
I'm not going to pretend I didn't come from a privileged starting point. I'll always admit that it was easier for me to question people telling me I couldn't do something because I had a pretty nice place to fall back on. So maybe that afforded me a little more spark and fight.
I'm learning as I get older, that you don't have to try to fight everything from a man's place. I guess I got here for a reason, it wasn't because I was a woman.


Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall with Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell on Nov. 20, 2014.

Late last week, their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception at their official London residence, Clarence House, to celebrate 100 years of U.K. collection society PRS for Music
Paul McCartney, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ray Davies, Brian May, Lily Allen, Laura Mvula and Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp were among the attendees, alongside a small selection of PRS' senior management team and key licensees. Billboard was also there to witness a jovial Prince Charles acknowledge some of the U.K.'s best known songwriters and composers.

"All of you play such an incredibly important part in this country's artistic, cultural and economic life, that the least I could do would be to hold a small party to celebrate the PRS centenary and also celebrate what all of you contribute to this country, and all around the world," Prince Charles told guests at the Nov. 20 event. 
Prince Charles, Paul McCartney and Lily Allen Toast PRS For Music’s Centenary Nov. 2014.
"My wife and I salute you and thank you for the extraordinary talent and creativity you give to our country," he went on to say, adding: "I want to thank you for what you do economically, culturally and artistically, and also thank the PRS, who tries to make sure all of you get what you deserve at the end of the day. So happy centenary."  
 "I always feel inspired by events like this because it reminds me that there's somebody who cares about music, artists and songwriters in this country," Mvula, a singer-songwriter, told Billboard at the reception. "I feel looked after, which is necessary when you're on this kind of lonely artistic journey, because sometimes you can feel a bit isolated."
The Sony-signed singer also explained that because she arrived a few minutes late to the reception, her meeting with Prince Charles was not quite the composed, dignified affair that she had envisaged. "I was aware that because it's cold outside, I had snot flying out my nose. My hair was kind of jagged and my shirt was half tucked in. But he was really cool," said the singer. 
Ray Davies was equally effusive, with the Kinks singer telling Billboard that "songwriting is a very solitary existence, so it's wonderful to meet people who are as lonely and isolated as I am."


The Staten Island cancer doctor who treated George has agreed to fork over $2.5 million to pay for bogus Medicare billings related to his oncology practice, prosecutors said Monday.
Gil Lederman — who became infamous for pushing late icon George Harrison to sign a guitar as he lay dying of cancer — must pay the penalty for miscoding claims between 1996 and 2003 to cash in on millions of dollars in reimbursements.
The former head of the Staten Island University Hospital Oncology Radiation Unit placed “self-interest” above serving his patients, US Attorney Loretta Lynch said after the deal.
Richard Reich, an attorney for a whistleblower in the case, said, “Dr. Lederman . . . obtained millions of dollars in payments to which he was not entitled at the expense of cancer patients, as well as the public.” Lederman denied any wrongdoing.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


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