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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

GENE WALKER DIES, JAZZ LEGEND TOURED WITH THE BEATLES

Jazz legend Gene Walker passed away on Monday at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center at the age of 76.
 

Walker was an internationally renowned tenor sax player and toured with the greats, including Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Shep and the Limelights, Jimmy Reed, The Isley Brothers, Brenda Lee, and Neil Diamond.





Walker also toured with the Beatles - including their first ever American tour - and even played in front of a packed crowd at Shea Stadium in NYC.

Around Columbus, Gene led his own jazz group, Gene Walkers Generations, which played traditional and contemporary jazz, according to the Columbus Jazz Arts group. 
He was entered into the Columbus Musicians Hall of Fame in 1998.

PAUL WORKING ON "EXPERIMENTAL" NEW MUSIC

The ever-busy Paul resumed his “Out There” world tour in early July, following a bout of illness that forced him to cancel shows in Japan and North America. And while most would see such a health scare as a bad thing, it turns out Paul was thankful for the rest.
"People say to me, 'Aw, that must have been terrible for you.' Well, no, actually," McCartney admitted. "No one ever tells me to rest! It was like summer holidays in school or something. I thought, 'Yeah, I can get into that.'"
But Paul didn’t just sit in bed watchingTV and reading magazines. In typical Paul fashion, he took some of his down time to work on some new music, which he calls “experimental stuff.”
“Over a week, I did a couple of tracks, and that reawakened my musical taste buds,” Paul said. “I was really happy with those. They were just funky little experimental things, instrumentals. The first one I did was kind of African, so I gave it the working title ‘Mombasa.’ The next one was faster, and that one I called ‘Botswana.’ It was a good week.”
Paul will get a couple weeks off before his next “Out There” date on August 2nd in Minneapolis. His August trek will wrap up on August 14th at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, where The Beatles played their final concert in 1966. Which, yes, was nearly fifty years ago. And McCartney is somehow still trucking.
“I keep thinking the laws of logic ought to apply and I ought to be really tired--but I'm invigorated,” McCartney said of his stamina. “There's something about it that just gives me energy.”

“Out There” Tour Dates:
  • 08/02 Minneapolis, MN - Target Field
  • 08/05 Missoula, MT - Washington-Grizzly Stadium
  • 08/07 Salt Lake City, UT - EnergySolutions Arena
  • 08/10 Los Angeles, CA - Dodger Stadium
  • 08/12 Phoenix, AZ - US Airways Center
  • 08/14 San Francisco, CA - Candlestick Park
  • 10/2 Lubbock, TX - United Spirit Arena (originally 6/14)
  • 10/11 New Orleans, LA - Smoothie King Center (originally 6/19)
  • 10/13 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center (originally 6/16)
  • 10/15 Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena (originally 6/21)
  • 10/16 Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena (originally 6/25)
  • 10/25 Jacksonville, FL - Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (originally 6/22)
  • 10/28 Louisville, KY - Yum! Center (originally 6/26)

TWO WOMEN PICTURED WITH THE BEATLES TRACKED DOWN THANKS TO THE ECHO


Pete Best, George, John, Paul and the six mystery girls pictured at St John's Hall in Tuebrook.
Two of the mystery Beatles fans in an early picture of the band have been tracked down thanks to the ECHO.
We published the snap, which was handed to Stephen Bailey manager of the Beatles Shop in Mathew Street, showing a gig at St John’s Hall, in 1961 where the band seem relaxed as they pose with six fans.
The concert was the first after the Fab Four returned from playing The Star Club in Hamburg and shows the original line up including Pete Best.
Sandra Swift, from Kirkby, said her sister-in-law spotted the photo in the paper first and identified her as the girl in the middle below John Lennon.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, it brought lots of memories back.
“I was only 15 in the photo and I’m 68 now.
Sandra, who grew up in Seaforth and had the maiden name Thomson, added: “I bought a picture of George Harrison when they were at Litherland and got him to sign it.
“I bought it for sixpence and I sold it a few years ago for £600!”
Wendy Riley contacted the ECHO identifying the woman on the left of the photograph as her late mum Yvonne Leigh.
Stephen Bailey said: “It was nice speaking to them, people had a few memories. It’s always nice to talk to people about the time.”
The photo was handed to Stephen by a man who brought negatives into the store.
He wants to invite the women to be VIP guests at the 23rd Annual Liverpool Beatles Auction.

GEORGE MEMORIAL TREE KILLED BY BEETLES

A pine tree planted in 2004 in memory of George in a Los Angeles park has died after being infested by beetles.


The sapling was planted in the city's Griffith Park near the observatory.

George, who died in 2001, spent his final days in LA and was a keen gardener.


Council officer Tom LaBonge told the LA Times the memorial had grown to more than 10 feet tall in 2013, but the tree beetle attack had overwhelmed it.


A new tree will be planted at a date yet to be decided.

A small plaque at the base of the tree read: "In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener."






It also quotes the guitarist and singer-songwriter himself: "For the forests to be green, each tree must be green."

Last year, a blue plaque was unveiled in London for George and fellow John Lennon.

The commemoration was at 94 Baker Street, which was the site of the now dissolved Apple Boutique clothing store.

It was owned in the 1960s by Apple Corps Ltd, a company formed by the band.

RICHARD LESTER AND "A HARD DAY´S NIGHT"

A Hard Day's Night director Richard Lester has admitted he was surprised that the film became such a success.

The filmmaker directed The Beatles in the black-and-white comedy in 1964, and it did well both critically and financially.
Asked if he ever dreamed he would still be talking about it 50 years later, he admitted: "I didn't expect to be asked to talk about it in 1965 because it wasn't that sort of film.
"When it came out, someone said it was the Citizen Kane of rock musicals, but we didn't plan it to be. We tried to do the best we could with four people and the way we put it together seemed the only way to make it work."
A Hard Day's Night 50th Anniversary Restoration is being released on DVD and Blu-ray, but although half a century has passed, Richard can recall making the movie "like it was yesterday".
"I can't remember anything else - I can vaguely remember my wife's name, but that's about it!" he joked.
"I think it's amazing that 50 years on, a film with an ephemeral subject has the audacity to turn up again."
Richard retired from making films more than 20 years ago and insisted there isn't a project that might have tempted him back.
He said: "I think that the way films are made, the change to digital was such that where I thought I had an edge, because I knew technically what I was doing, disappeared. There are a lot of things with digital filmmaking that I don't like very much, so I thought it was as good a time as any to stop.
"And physically I'm probably a lot better off having done so."
:: A Hard Day's Night 50th Anniversary Restoration is available on DVD and Blu-ray from July 21, courtesy of Second Sight Films (secondsightfilms.co.uk).

Monday, 21 July 2014

HELP MEAT FREE MONDAY MAKE A NEW VIDEO



To celebrate five years of Meat Free Monday the campaign is looking for your help to make a new fan video.
If you'd like to get involved, pick a line or two from Paul's song ‘Meat Free Monday’ (or pick every line if you want!) and take a photo of yourself with it. You could write the words on a piece of paper; draw them in the sand; make them out of fruit and veg; make something with the words on; do something on your computer – remember, the more creative your photo, the more chance you have of it being included. Feel free to involve friends, family and colleagues too! We will pick our favourites and turn them into a video for the song.

To download the song click HERE!
 
The lyrics are provided below (plus a few extra lines for when Paul isn't singing).
The video will be posted soon here on PaulMcCartney.com and at meatfreemondays.com...
WHAT TO DO:
1. Pick as many lines as you wish from the lyrics below – including (Intro), (Instrumental) and (Fade) – and take a photo of yourself with it (one line per photo, please!)
2. Post your photo on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #MeatFreeMonday or email the photo to mfm5years@gmail.com
3. Post your photo by midnight (BST) Friday 22 August
YOUR PHOTOS:
The selected photos will be used in a new promotional video for Meat Free Monday. Your photos should be either be landscape or square. No portrait photos, please!
Landscape is good!

(Thanks to Camps Bourne School for their photo!)

THE BAYONETS: ALBUM RELEASE PARTY JULY 24th

3 Day to go Album Release Party great dear

 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

RINGO AND ALL STARR BAND: NEXT SHOW: OCTOBER 2 HARD ROCK, TULSA

Ringo And His All Starr Band/NEXT SHOW:
HARD ROCK, TULSA
Thursday, October 2 • 8PM
Doors open at 7 PM. Tickets on sale, Price: $80,$90,$125






RINGO AND HIS ALL STARR BAND AT GREEK THEATRE, L.A,US

Ringo continued his summer/autumn 2014 tour of North America with a concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, California. 

 
Soundcheck, Greek Theatre, LA

























The 13th All-Starr Band featured Starr (vocals, drums, percussion, keyboards); Steve Lukather (vocals, guitar); Gregg Rolie (vocals, organ, keyboards); Todd Rundgren (vocals, guitar, harmonica, bass, percussion, keyboards); Richard Page (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar); Warren Ham (vocals, saxophone, keyboards); Gregg Bissonette (vocals, drums, percussion).
Soundcheck, Greek Theatre, LA
 
All Starr Band members including: Edgar Winter, Ben Harper, Danny Devito, Dave Stewart, Joe Walsh, Jeff Lynne, Keith Allison,Cj Vanston, Steve Porcaro, David Paich and Joseph Williams.



The setlist:
  • Matchbox
  • It Don’t Come Easy
  • Wings
  • I Saw The Light (Todd Rundgren)
  • Evil Ways (Gregg Rolie)
  • Rosanna (Steve Lukather, Warren Ham)
  • Kyrie (Richard Page)
  • Bang The Drum All Day (Todd Rundgren)
  • Boys
  • Don’t Pass Me By
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (Gregg Rolie)
  • Honey Don’t
  • Anthem
  • You Are Mine (Richard Page)
  • Africa (Steve Lukather, Richard Page)
  • Oye Como Va (Gregg Rolie)
  • Love Is The Answer (Todd Rundgren)
  • I Wanna Be Your Man
  • Broken Wings (Richard Page)
  • Hold The Line (Steve Lukather, Warren Ham)
  • Photograph
  • Act Naturally
  • With A Little Help From My Friends
  • Give Peace A Chance
2014 All Starr-Band tour dates:
  • 2 October: The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, Catoosa, OK, USA
  • 3 October: Fabulous Fox Theatre, St Louis, MO, USA
  • 4 October: Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO, USA
  • 5 October: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, NE, USA
  • 7 October: Tobin Center For Performing Arts, San Antonio, TX, USA
  • 8 October: Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, Austin, TX, USA
  • 10 October: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands, TX
  • 15 October: North Charleston Performing Arts Center, North Charleston, SC, USA
  • 17 October: Hard Rock Live, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Biloxi, MS, USA
  • 18 October: Moran Theater, Jacksonville, FL, USA
  • 19 October: Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers, FL, USA
  • 21 October: Broward Center For The Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
  • 22 October: King Center For Performing Arts, Melbourne, FL, USA
  • 23 October: Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL, USA

PAUL TO PLAY BENEFIT SHOW IN TEXAS


Paul is slated to perform an intimate benefit show for fans in San Antonio, Texas. The gig goes down at the 1,750 seat Tobin Center for the Performing Arts on October 1, and serves as a fundraiser for the new venue.
"Our board was very supportive of getting the biggest rock star in the world," said a Tobin Center rep, speaking to San Antonio radio station KSAT. 

"It's absolutely unheard of and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for folks in San Antonio to not only see one of the remaining Beatles, but also to support the Tobin Center."

The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opens September 4.
Paul's next concert is scheduled for August 2 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF THE BEATLES

  • 1968: Jane Asher announces her split from Paul McCartney.In an appearance on the BBC Television show Dee Time, Jane Asher told host Simon Dee that her engagement to Paul McCartney had been called off. She said: "I haven’t broken it off, but it is broken off, finished.I know it sounds corny, but we still see each other and love each other, but it hasn’t worked out. Perhaps we’ll be childhood sweethearts and meet again and get married when we’re about 70." (Jane Asher,Dee Time).
    Tellingly, Asher had failed to attend the world premiere of Yellow Submarine three days earlier; all the other Beatles’ partners were there.

    "I always feel very wary including Jane in The Beatles; history. She’s never gone into print about our relationship, whilst everyone on earth has sold their story. So I’d feel weird being the one to kiss and tell.We had a good relationship. Even with touring there were enough occasions to keep a reasonable relationship going. To tell the truth, the women at that time got sidelined. Now it would be seen as very chauvinist of us. Then it was like: ‘We are four miners who go down the pit. You don’t need women down the pit, do you? We won’t have women down the pit.’ A lot of what we, The Beatles, did was very much in an enclosed scene. Other people found it difficult – even John‘s wife, Cynthia, found it very difficult – to penetrate the screen that we had around us. As a kind of safety barrier we had a lot of ‘in’ jokes, little signs, references to music; we had a common bond in that and it was very difficult for any ‘outsider’ to penetrate. That possibly wasn’t good for relationships back then.(Paul,Anthology). Paul and Jane had been together for five years, since meeting at the Royal Albert Hall in 1963. However, McCartney had a string of other girls, mainly while The Beatles were touring – and in 1968 began an affair with an American woman, Francie Schwartz. Asher arrived unexpectedly at McCartney’s home in Cavendish Avenue, London, where she found him in bed with Schwartz. She walked out and sent her mother to collect her belongings, signalling an end to the relationship.
    "I think inevitably when I moved to Cavendish Avenue, I realised that she and I weren’t really going to be the thing we’d always thought we might be. Once or twice we talked about getting married, and plans were afoot but I don’t know, something really made me nervous about the whole thing. It just never settled with me, and as that’s very important for me, things must feel comfortable for me, I think it’s a pretty good gauge if you’re lucky enough. You’re not always lucky enough, but if they can feel comfortable then there’s something very special about that feeling. I hadn’t quite managed to be able to get it with Jane".(Paul McCartney)
  • 1967: The Chris Barber Band records Catcal.
    Chappell Recording Studios, London
    Producers: Chris Barber, Giorgio Gomelsky, Reggie Kind


    During the Quarry Men days Paul had written a jazz-style instrumental titled Catswalk, which was never properly recorded by The Beatles.A rehearsal from late 1962 at the Cavern Club had been recorded, however.Paul knew band leader Chris Barber, who played trombone with his trad jazz group,The Chris Barber Band, and decided to offer him the song.The band recorded a version at London’s Marquee Club in July 1967, but Paul felt it could be done better.The session took place on this day at Chappell Recording Studios at 52 Maddox Street,London. The retitled track was recorded as Catcall.The tune was given an over-the-top arrangement complete with a chorus of catcalls:Paul and Jane Asher were among the people taking part in what was evidently a fun session.Paul can also be heard calling “Please play it slower” before the half-speed coda, and singing the chorus of “For he’s a jolly good fellow”. He is likely to have also played organ on the recording.Catcall was released as a single in the UK on 20 October 1967,with Paul given a composer credit. Despite its impeccable pedigree, it failed to chart.
  • 1967: George Harrison and Ringo Starr travel to Greece.
    On the previous day, 19 July 1967,The Beatles had discussed their plans to purchase an island hideaway in Greece.It was John‘s idea that the group and their family and friends should all live on the same island,in four separate villas with a recording studio and entertainment complex. Alexis Mardas,a Greek friend of Lennon’s known as Magic Alex, had found a suitable island with around 80 acres, a small fishing village,beaches and 16 acres of olive groves, which was priced at £90,000.On this day George and Pattie Harrison, Ringo and Neil Aspinall flew to Athens where they met Mardas and his father, who was a member of the Greek military police.The party stayed at the Mardas family house in Athens until the rest of The Beatles arrived on 25 July.


  • 1964: US singles: And I Love Her, I’ll Cry Instead
  •  
  •  
  • 1964: US album release: Something New
  •  
  • 1963: Live: Ritz Ballroom, Rhyl
  • 1962: Live: Bell Hall, Warrington
  • 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
  • 1961: Live: St John’s Hall, Liverpool

Saturday, 19 July 2014

BEATLES EXHIBIT AT MADAME TUSSAUDS SYDNEY




























There's the chance to see waxworks of The Beatles in Sydney at the moment.
The city's branch of Madame Tussauds is currently home to a late 1960s themed wax version of the well-known group.
The sculptures have come to Sydney from Tokyo as part of a tour and are set to head to San Francisco come September, meaning their time in Oz is limited.
Visitors can stand with George, Paul, Ringo and John and create a personalised LP cover at the museum.

Madame Tussauds has a long history with The Beatles. They were the first rock group to become waxworks for the museum brand and first had sittings with it as far back as 1964.
The Beatles are perhaps the world's most famous band, behind hits like Please Please Me and Get Back.
Madame Tussauds is far from the only museum in Sydney, of course. As you would expect from such a famous location, there are a wide range of places to see exhibits there, such as the Museum of Sydney on the corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets and The Australian Museum.ADNFCR-408-ID-801736350-ADNFCR

PAUL SAYS HE APPRECIATED TIME OFF DURING RECENT ILLNESS,IS AMASSING SONGS FOR NEW ALBUM

Fans were worried about Paul McCartney‘s health when a recent bout with a virus forced him to postpone a series of tour dates in May and June, but the 72-year-old rock legend admits in a new Rolling Stone Q&A that he actually appreciated getting the unplanned break.
“People say to me, ‘Aw, that must have been terrible for you.’  Well, no, actually,” says Sir Paul.  “No one ever tells me to rest!  It was like summer holidays in school or something.  I thought, ‘Yeah, I can get into that.’”
McCartney tells the magazine that he made good use of his time off, revealing that he “took it really easy at home in England,” read a film script his son-in-law wrote and worked on some new experimental music at his recording studio.
He reveals to Rolling Stone that he came up with some danceable tracks while working with a program called Cubase, as well as with a sequencer he originally used while recording his 1980 solo album McCartney II.
“They were just funky little experimental things, instrumentals,” he says. “The first one I did was kind of African, so I gave it the working title ‘Mombasa.’  The next one was faster, and that one I called ‘Botswana.’”
The former Beatle reports that he’s now amassing material for his next album, some of which are completed and “some that I need to finish.”  McCartney likely won’t have time to focus on the project until he winds down his 2014 tour, which currently is scheduled through an October 30 show in Greensboro, North Carolina.  He says, “[A]t the back of my mind, I’ll be wanting to clear a few months for me to write up the most likely of the songs that I’ve got on the boil and figure out how I want to record them…But I haven’t booked any studio time.  It’s all there as fun for the future.”
Speaking about touring, Sir Paul tells Rolling Stone that, while he realizes he’s not getting any younger, he has no plans to retire from the road yet.
“A lot of people get fed up with life on the road, particularly when you’ve got a really nice home life. But for me, I want it all,” he maintains. “I’ve got a great home life, and I’ve got a great life on the road…and the audiences are just so warm, and the feedback is so good.”
He adds, “People say to me, ‘Don’t you get tired?’  It’s a three-hour show, and I’m on stage every second.  I keep thinking the laws of logic ought to apply and I ought to be really tired — but I’m invigorated.”

STELLA MCCARTNEY SPRING 2015 PRESENTATION AND PARTY IN TOKYO / STELLA TO EXPAND IN CHINA/VISIT HONG KONG




  • Stella in Japan

Stella McCartney poses in her Spring 2015 collection at the Stella McCartney Spring 2015 Presentation and Party at Roppongi Hills on July 17, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan






















Foto: View of Tokyo (and tower) from my dinner tonight! Thank you VOGUE JAPAN! x Stella



  • Stella McCartney to expand in China

Stella McCartney is expanding its retail presence in China with two more stores in China, reports WWD, adding to the existing stores (one in Beijing and two in Shanghai). Its first store in Chengdu at Daci Temple will open in November. A second Beijing store at the Shin Kong Place is slated for October.
Adidas by Stella McCartney opened its first store in Asia this month in Beijing at the World Trade Center. The British fashion designer is visiting three Asian cities this week – Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo.

  • Stella in Hong Kong
Foto: A rare sapling from the original Bodhi tree that Buddha sat under more than 2000 years ago... Seriously spiritual stuff!! X Stella #StellasWorld
A rare sapling from the original Bodhi tree that Buddha sat under more than 2000 years agoa







Visiting the amazing TszShan Monastery in Hong Kong

PAUL MCCARTNEY: THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD Q & A

An in-depth conversation about Sir Paul's latest dance-music experiments, why he has no plans to retire from touring, and what it was really like to be a Beatle

In late May, when Paul McCartney canceled or postponed 12 dates on his Out There world tour – citing doctor's orders to rest up after being briefly hospitalized for a mystery virus in Tokyo – many fans were concerned. McCartney wasn't. "People say to me, 'Aw, that must have been terrible for you.' Well, no, actually," the former Beatle, 72, tells Rolling Stone. "No one ever tells me to rest! It was like summer holidays in school or something. I thought, 'Yeah, I can get into that.'"
McCartney says the time off from the road let him catch up on all kinds of pursuits that his heavy touring schedule might have otherwise made difficult. "I just took it really easy at home in England," he says. "My son-in-law had a film script – plenty of time to read that. I started jogging a bit. The weather was great, so that was cool. And then I went into my recording studio and did some music that I didn't have to do, some experimental stuff. That was a really nice musical awakening, and it made me feel better."
The day after his triumphant return to the stage in Albany, New York, McCartney called RS for a wide-ranging, hour-long conversation. He talked about how he spent his time off from the road – including those studio experiments and a trip to Ibiza with wife Nancy Shevell – and shared memories of going to rock shows as a boy in 1950s Liverpool, what people get wrong about John Lennon, and much more. 
Tell us more about the music you were working on.I have a studio about 20 minutes away from where I live, and sometimes I'll go in and work on my computer. Even though I'm not really a computer guy, I have a music program that I've worked on for years, called Cubase. It's incredibly addictive – I'll just sit there for six hours, until someone has to nudge me and say, "Go home now." Normally I work on my orchestral side on that, but someone said to me, "You know what? That's not technically an orchestral program. It's more of a pop program." So when I had some time to do nothing, I went in and said, "Great. I'll start on a dance track or something."
I also got a sequencer, which I was revisiting from years ago. I did an album called McCartney II [in 1980],where I had experimented with sequencers and synths in their early days. I wanted to get back into that, but I really hadn't had much time before. So I hooked that up with Cubase. It was really cool. I'd get the BPM on the sequencer, match it on the computer, put some drums in from the computer, put that all down onto Pro Tools, and screw it all up – because it was for nothing.
Over a week, I did a couple of tracks, and that reawakened my musical taste buds. I was really happy with those. They were just funky little experimental things, instrumentals. The first one I did was kind of African, so I gave it the working title "Mombasa." The next one was faster, and that one I called "Botswana." It was a good week. It was funny, I was talking to Joe Walsh about this. He said, "Yeah, man, that's the best – when it's for nothing and it's not important and it's just experimental, you have the most fun. It's really good for your soul, that stuff.' And I agree. It was very freeing.
Do you listen to much dance music these days?You know, I listen to it on the radio. I have a friend who, for years now, has done a compilation for me of dance tracks and new releases. I play them while I'm cooking or in the car, and just see what interests me, see who's doing what. I'll have tracks like Pharrell's "Happy" way before it's broken onto the scene, and say, "Oh, that's a pretty catchy one. That's going to be a hit." I hear a lot of dance music that way.
Funnily enough, one part of this rest program was, I said to Nancy, "Hey, we can take a holiday! A real holiday, where we go away." So we went away to Ibiza. Obviously, there's a lot of dance music there. We didn't exactly go clubbing, but there's plenty of it about. It's in the air in that place. The house we rented didn't have a good sound system, so I said, "Excuse me, we're in Ibiza. I've really got to be able to hire a sound system." So I found the right guys, and they showed up and got me a really great little system. We were saying, "We could rent this house out one evening for 600 people, and we could have a rave." [Laughs] We didn't do it, but I was playing that music that I'd done in the studio, and it sounded pretty good.

Do you have any plans to go back to the studio and record more?Yeah, I've got a lot of songs that I've written, and some that I need to finish. There's no fixed date, but at the back of my mind, I'll be wanting to clear a few months for me to write up the most likely of the songs that I've got on the boil and figure out how I want to record them and what I want to do with them. But I haven't booked any studio time. It's all there as fun for the future.
Now you're back on the road, on a tour that's been rolling for more than a year. What keeps you going?Well, I'm always reminded of when I was a kid and I used to go to shows. This was pre-pre-pre-Beatles. I was just a little kid in Liverpool with no money, and I'd be saving up forever. It'd be really good if the show satisfied me – and it really pissed me off if it didn't. So I have this thing, which is that these people have paid money. They're not necessarily all going be that flush, so let's give them a good night out. Let's have a party. Let's make it a fiesta kind of thing, so everyone goes home and thinks, "Yeah, I didn't mind spending that money." That's the philosophy behind a lot of what I do.
One of the first concerts I ever went to was a Bill Haley concert. I was so young, I was still in short trousers. I was about 13 or something. It was rock & roll coming to Liverpool, and I was so excited. I saved up, got this ticket, went to the Liverpool Odeon – and the whole first half wasn't Bill Haley! It was this other guy who, years later, I learned was a promoter who had his own band. Mind you, the second half, when Bill opened from behind the curtains with, "One, two, three o' clock, four o'clock rock," and did "Rock Around the Clock," which is almost the birth of rock & roll – okay, that was exciting. The curtains opened and they're all there in these crazy tartan jackets. That was worth it. But I was always pissed off about the opening act, thinking I got cheated. And I once bought a Little Richard record where he was only one track on the album. It was this other thing, the Buck Ram Orchestra.
So we were always very conscious about that [in the Beatles]. I remember talking to Phil Spector in the early days. Phil used to say to us, "You guys, you put too much value on. You put an A side, and you put a good song on the B side!" There had been a song called "Sally Go Round the Roses," an early thing, and on the other side they'd put "Sing Along With Sally Go Round the Roses" – just the backing track. And we'd say, "Aw, Phil, you can't do that, man. They paid good money for this. We would feel cheated by that." And he said, "Nah, you can do that. It's cool." That became actually the big Beatle policy. It was always to put a really serious B side on there – so you got "Strawberry Fields" with "Penny Lane," and people now talk about that. That was a factor of the Beatles' success, I think. It was always a killer B side, which people often thought was as good or better than the A side. That was really from the same thing of giving value for money, which George Martin used to call "VFM."
Last night, you switched up your usual set a little – you played "On My Way to Work," from your most recent album, without even warning your band. Do you ever feel like doing more of that, just tearing up the set list and playing whatever you like?Yeah, we occasionally do that, just for the fun of it. But it's not like I'm Phish, you know. Certainly, there's a load of people in the audience that would want us to do that, but I have to be a bit conscious that there's a load of people that wouldn't. Last night at the show, I said, "I know what you think of new numbers." Because when we do the old numbers – something like "And I Love Her" – I see all the phones come out. You see all the little lights, ding-ding-ding-ding-ding, like Disneyland. And why did you just get your phone out? "Because it's my old favorite." That's reality. And like me and the Bill Haley concert, I don't want to cheat those people. So we mix it up occasionally, but mainly we hope we're pleasing the various facets in the audience.
People say, "But why do you care, man?" Someone like Bob Dylan doesn't necessarily care – he'll just do what he wants, and that's cool. I say, "Yeah, but I have these memories that haunt me of these concerts that I went to and these records that I bought." I don't want those people in my audience thinking, "Hey, we came for big hits, and you played a bunch of shit."
Your friend Eric Clapton recently said he's thinking about retiring from touring. Does that idea have any appeal to you?Obviously, when you get to a certain age, it's going to be on the cards. I had a manager once who advised me to retire when I was 50. He said, "You know, I'm not sure it's seemly for a 50-year-old guy to keep on trying." I thought about it for a second and thought, "Nah." When will you give up? When will it give out? Who knows? But the margin has been stretched these days. The Stones go out now, and I go to their show and I think, "It doesn't matter that they're old gits. They can play great." And I talk to young kids who say exactly the same thing: "They play good."
I think that's the deciding factor. It would be a pity if Eric retires, because, shit, he really plays good! But he's that kind of guy, Eric. I can see him saying, "I'm going to retire." He's kind of a homebody in essence. We've talked about this before. I remember him joking about how I stand up for the whole show. He said, "I sit down." That's a blues player thing. But he's just too good a player. I would say to him, "Yeah, by all means, sit down, Eric. But don't retire."
A lot of people get fed up with life on the road, particularly when you've got a really nice home life. But for me, I want it all. I've got a great home life, and I've got a great life on the road – it's not like we're on a Greyhound bus anymore – and the audiences are just so warm, and the feedback is so good. People say to me, "Don't you get tired?" It's a three-hour show, and I'm on stage every second. I keep thinking the laws of logic ought to apply and I ought to be really tired – but I'm invigorated. There's something about it that just gives me energy. And there's always a day off after it, which is more than we used to have.
Mind you, you look at the Beatles' set lists, really early days, it's half an hour – 35 minutes if we were feeling good, 25 if we were annoyed. [Laughs] It is, man. I used to do half lead vocal, John would do half, so that's, like, 15 minutes each; then George would do something, Ringo would do something, so that's even less than 15 minutes. And you were way younger, so, physically, it was nowhere near the strain on you. But things have just grown like this, and I'm happy with it. I like being with the band. I love playing. I play a lot more lead guitar than I used to. I'm still learning, and that feels good. I was saying to someone the other day that one of the very first gigs we did – I don't even think we were the Beatles, it was the Quarrymen – one the very first times I ever played with John, we did a very early gig at a thing called a Co-Op Hall, and I had a lead solo in one of the songs and I totally froze when my moment came. I really played the crappiest solo ever. I said, "That's it. I'm never going to play lead guitar again." It was just too nerve-wracking onstage. So for years, I just became rhythm guitar and bass player and played a bit of piano, do a bit of this, that and the other. But nowadays, I play lead guitar, and that's the thing that draws me forward. I enjoy it. So, yeah, that means the answer to "Are you going to retire?" is "When I feel like it." But that's not today.
You just released a music video for your song "Early Days," where the chorus goes, "They can't take it from me if they tried/I lived through those early days." What are you singing about there?Revisionism. It's about revisionism, really. I know my memory has got chips in it that still can go exactly back to two guys sitting in a room trying to write "I Saw Her Standing There" or "One After 909." I can see that very clearly still, and I can see every minute of John and I writing together, playing together, recording together. I still have very vivid memories of all of that. It's not like it fades. Since John died so tragically, there's been a lot of revisionism, and it's very difficult to go against it, because you can't say, "Well, no, wait a minute, man. I did that." Because then people go, "Oh, yeah, well, that's really nice. That's walking on a dead man's grave." You get a bit sensitive to that, and you just think, "You know what? Forget it. I know what I did. A lot of people know what I did. John knows what I did. Maybe I should just leave it, not worry about it." It took a little while to get to that.
I know that I have every memory still intact, and they don't, as I say in the last verse, 'cause they weren't there. I think you'll find this in most bands, but in the Beatles' case, it's got to be worse than any case. For instance, I was on holiday once, and there was this little girl on the beach, little American kid. She says, "Hi, there. I've just been doing a Beatles appreciation class in school." I said, "Wow, that's great." I think, "I know, I'll be really cool here. I'll tell her a little inside story." So I go on about how something happened, and it was a fun story – and she looks at me, she says, "No, that's not true. We covered that in the Beatles appreciation class." I'm going, "Oh, fuck." There's no way out, man! They're teaching this stuff now.
When Sam Taylor did her film [Nowhere Boy], she brought the script round and we chatted about it. She's a very good friend. And I said, "Well, Sam, that's not really true. John didn't really ride on the top of the double-decker bus." She said, "No, but it's a great scene." I mean, the character of Mimi, John's aunt, I said to her, "She really wasn't how she's written in the script. She's written as a very vitriolic, mean old bitch, and she wasn't at all." She was just some woman who was given charge of the responsibility of bringing up John Lennon, and it was not an easy job, you know? She was trying her best. She was kind of strict, but it was with a twinkle in her eye. I said, "I used to go around there and write with John, and she was okay. You've got to change that." Some of the things she did change, but in the end we agreed that this is not a documentary, this is a film, and so she made inferences that weren't there. Like, this whole idea of the first song we recorded, "In Spite of All the Danger," being John's ode to his mother. That's not true, but in a film, it works better. I remember the session, and I remember all the circumstances around that – and we wrote it together. It did not appear to be an angst-ridden ode. We were copying American stuff that we were listening to. American songs were about danger, that's why we put it in. But, for Sam, it worked much better in the film as an angst-ridden ballad.
To get back to my original point, that's the kind of thing that happens in films, but these books that are written about the meaning of songs, like Revolution in the Head – I read through that. It's a kind of toilet book, a good book to just dip into. And I'll come across, "McCartney wrote that in answer to Lennon's acerbic this," and I go, "Well, that's not true." But it's going down as history. That is already known as a very highly respected tome, and I say, "Yeah, well, okay." This is a fact of my life. These facts are going down as some sort of musical history about the Beatles. There are millions of them, and I know for a fact that a lot of them are incorrect.
I can see how that would be frustrating.Well, it used to be frustrating. I've got over it. It's okay. "Early Days" has a smattering of that, but the main thing is it's a memory song. It's me remembering walking down the street, dressed in black, with the guitars across our back. I can picture the exact street. It was a place called Menlove Avenue. [Pauses] Someone's going to read significance into that: Paul and John on Menlove Avenue. Come onnnnnnn. That's what it's like with the Beatles. Everything was fucking significant, you know? Which is okay, but when you were a part of the reality, it just wasn't like that. It was much more normal.
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