Monday, 8 March 2021

A BANK THAT HELPED INSPIRE THE BEATLES´CLASSIC PENNY LANE IS CLOSING DOWN

A bank, the Liverpool landmark is mentioned in the second verse of the 1967 Beatles' song - but is one of scores of branches being closed in the UK

The branch is one of scores across the UK being axed by the TSB with the loss of hundreds of jobs.



The landmark sits on a corner yards from Liverpool’s iconic Penny Lane.

In the second verse of the 1967 song,  Paul McCartney sings: “On the corner is a banker with a motorcar, and little children laugh at him behind his back, and the banker never wears a Mac in the pouring rain, very strange.”
Nearby spots also mentioned are a tram stop, barber’s and fire station, all popular sites with tourists.

The song was recorded during the Abbey Road sessions that spawned album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
In the 1997 biography Many Years from Now, by Barry Miles, Paul said of the lyrics: “It was childhood reminiscences... there was a bank on the corner so I imagined the banker.”

 

The branch, due to close in June, was one of three nearby in the 1960s.
Music historian Spencer Leigh said: “As soon as people see the name Penny Lane they think of the song. "It is a perfect pop record.”

TSB axed 93 branches last year alongside plans to shut another 164, with more than 800 jobs at risk.


Sunday, 7 March 2021

A STREET SIGN FROM LONDON´S ABBEY ROAD HAS SOLD FOR MORE THAN £37,000 AT AUCTION


 
 
The plaque from the street that is home to the famous recording studios, and featured on a Beatles album cover, smashed expectations at the sale.

The classic white, black and red sign was created in 1967 by Sir Misha Black and was one of 275 signs being sold on behalf of Westminster City Council.

Predicted to fetch between £1,000 and £2,000, the Abbey Road NW8 sign saw fierce competition and sold for £37,200, including buyer’s premium and VAT.

Overall, the lots sold for a total of £143,517 and saw frantic last-minute bidding from all over the world, from Australia to Canada to Europe.
The various signs were put up for sale in a two-week timed auction by Catherine Southon Auctioneers & Valuers, in Chislehurst, south-east London, which came to a close on Wednesday evening.

Auctioneer Catherine Southon said: “As a south Londoner myself, the project of selling the London street signs has been enormous fun from start to finish, and an honour to be involved in.
“I have been absolutely flabbergasted by the interest in the auction and the competitive bidding from all over the world.
“Many people have been bidding on the signs because they have a personal link to the street -either they worked there, lived there, or, in some instances, the signs just link to their name.
“Whatever the reason, the signs are a wonderful way to connect to one of the most famous cities in the world.”

Originally a nine-bedroom house built in 1829, it was purchased in 1928 by the Gramophone Company, which went on to convert it into the world’s first purpose-built recording studio.
While initially a venue for classical recordings, the studios’ repertoire soon embraced jazz and big bands as well as Sir Cliff Richard and, most famously, The Beatles.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

PBHASKAR MENON, LEGENDARY EMI & CAPITOL RECORDS HEAD, DIES AT 86

Over his 34-year tenure at EMI, Menon worked with a slew of boldfaced artists including the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, David Bowie and Tina Turner.




Bhaskar Menon, the founding chairman and CEO at EMI Music Worldwide who is widely credited for breaking Pink Floyd in the U.S. and presiding over one of Capitol Records' most successful eras, died Thursday at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 86.

"Determined to achieve excellence, Bhaskar Menon built EMI into a music powerhouse and one of our most iconic, global institutions," said Universal Music Group chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge in a statement. "Music and the world have lost a special one. Our hearts go out to his loved ones."

During the course of a 34-year tenure at EMI, Menon would work with a slew of boldfaced artists — the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, David Bowie and Tina Turner among them — but it would be his time as president and CEO of Capitol Records that would bring him his greatest renown. Asked in 1971 to lead the Los Angeles-based label, in which EMI held a majority interest, Menon would go on to orchestrate a massive, company-wide campaign around the release of Pink Floyd’s 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon despite the band’s failure to break through to U.S. audiences over the preceding years. The gambit paid off: The Dark Side of the Moon soon rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, minted the band as major stars in America and has since been certified 15-times multi-platinum by the RIAA. In the process, he reversed the fortunes of the label — which had experienced a major hit to its bottom line after the breakup of its top act the Beatles in 1970 — virtually overnight.

Menon is survived by Sumitra, his wife of 49 years, sons Siddhartha and Vishnu and sister Vasantha Menon.

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