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Beatles News
1 July 2020
8.10am
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AppleScruffJunior
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Ron Nasty said
Cirque du Soleil, The Beatles' partners in the show Love, have applied for bankruptcy protection in Canada (where they're headquartered) while sacking 3,500 staff to avoid bankruptcy. It's not known what effect this might have on the touring production of Love and the Los Angeles based production, though one has to think that the touring production is dead in the water.

  

Don't think there's a touring version of LOVE, RN. LOVE's main USP is its 'you have to go to Vegas to see it', such exclusivity! 

 

Cirque will come back and I think the fact that they revamped LOVE so recently shows their confidence in its longevity. I just don't think we'll see any shows until spring 2021 at the earliest.

 

Ron Nasty said
Ringo's announced an online concert mixing at-home performances and concert footage for his 80th birthday next Tuesday. Ringo's Big Birthday Show, will be live on his YouTube channel at 8pm EST on 7th July, and will feature, among others -- Paul, Sheryl Crow, Gary Clark, Jr., Sheila E, Ben Harper, Steve Earle, Peter Frampton, and Judy Collins.

The show will also debut a new version of Give More Love featuring Jackson Browne, Jeff Bridges, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, and others.

More here.

  

I also am now having an existential crisis that Ringo is turning 80.

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INTROVERTS UNITE! Separately....in your own homes!

                 ***

Make Love, Not Wardrobes!

                ***

"Stop throwing jelly beans at me"- George Harrison

1 July 2020
2.11pm
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Ron Nasty
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I wasn't sure if they'd added a touring version I'd not heard about, @AppleScruffJunior, as the BBC article I linked to said:

Along with its circuses, its also has musicals that tour the world including Michael Jackson One and The Beatles Love.

Thanks for the correction.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

1 July 2020
4.46pm
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AppleScruffJunior
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BBC is not getting anything right 😉 One is also a resident show in Vegas, the old Michael Jackson show Immortal used to tour the world though.

 

INTROVERTS UNITE! Separately....in your own homes!

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Make Love, Not Wardrobes!

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"Stop throwing jelly beans at me"- George Harrison

2 July 2020
11.28pm
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Is there a Brian biopic on the way? Yes, I know there have been Brian biopics in the pipeline before that no progress ever seems to be made on, especially after the graphic novel.

However, yesterday, Trevor Beattie Films in conjuction with Studio Pow announced that Grammy-award winning director Jonas Åkerlund would be directing "an emotional, witty, heartfelt story of the joy of success and the terrifying pressures of unspeakable risk and unfulfilled desire" about Brian called Midas Man.

Trevor Beattie said:

Epstein's one of the most extraordinary men of the 20th century. His story hasn't been told properly. He's often taken for granted by the wider world, but he was ahead of his time from his vision of music and popular culture through to gender identity. He was gay at a time when homosexuality was illegal. He lived a secret life. He made some risky decisions in handling the business of his stars … Compared with what Brian had to live in his life, [they were] not a risk.

While Åkerlund commented:

Brian Epstein's story has everything I'm looking for in a story…. it's all about Brian's singularity for me. I love that Brian seemed to know every step of the way what no one else knew, he saw things that no one else saw. His vision was astonishing, he created a culture that didn't exist. The film is more like touring Brian's mind and what it was like to be him than how one thing led to another chronologically. I want to bring him back to life.

At the moment the plan is to film it on location in Liverpool, London and the US in 2021.

More here and here.

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3 July 2020
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Maybe this will revive the plan to make a statue of Brian in Liverpool. 

3 July 2020
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Ahhh Girl said
a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Maybe this will revive the plan to make a statue of Brian in Liverpool. 

  

You would think so given he did more for Liverpool than any number of slavers. Plus there might be more room now ahdn_john_08_gif

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

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4 July 2020
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Ron Nasty
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Lego have unveiled a new Beatles tie-in product in their Art range following their Yellow Submarine Lego set, 1968 portraits...

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Build this stunning LEGO® Art The Beatles (31198) canvas art set, featuring a model with 4 build options. You can display your passion for The Beatles on your wall or shelf after creating any 1 of the 4 portraits.

Escape the daily grind with this 2,933-piece LEGO® set for adults, which includes 9 canvas wall decor plates, a 'The Beatles' signature tile, a brick-built LEGO frame, unique new hanging element and piece separator.

This set immerses you in your passion for arts and crafts while you make a creative piece of art. With the included Soundtrack, you can really dive into the set and learn unexpected details as you build.

This 4in1 art piece measures over 15.5" (40cm) square. It displays beautifully on a wall or shelf and its details will ensure it stands out in your collection. This clever LEGO® set offers 4 different building options.

Lego's UK site has it available from 1 August at £114.99, meaning if you wanted to have all four of them for display, it would cost £459.96!!! a-hard-days-night-ringo-6a-hard-days-night-ringo-6a-hard-days-night-ringo-6

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Can just see meanmistermustard champing at the bit to get his hands on this. Since it's official product though, the soundtrack does seem intriguing.

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4 July 2020
6.35am
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The soundtrack is just someone prattling on about Beatles stuff that anyone who bothers with this will already know.

While building, listen to the included Soundtrack and let it immerse you in stories and unexpected details about the band. 

And before anyone thinks a kid who doesn't know much of the Beatles might opt for this; no. No kid is going to be delighted they got a picture of a Beatle over almost everything else Lego offers.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)

14 July 2020
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Ron Nasty
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The Beatles Story will reopen in Liverpool on Monday 20 July, and will feature new items loaned by Ringo to mark his 80th birthday.

General manager Mary Chadwick told ITV News:

We have been carefully planning ahead to ensure the safety of our customers and staff, whilst continuing to meet the high standards we set ourselves. We are delighted to receive Visit Britain’s 'We're Good To Go' certification meaning we can confidently reopen our doors from 20th July.

There will of course be restrictions in place and we must all still do everything we can to limit the spread of the virus. This includes extra handwash facilities, queue management systems, restricted admission numbers and signage clearly displayed throughout our attraction.

As part of our 30th anniversary celebrations we will be launching a number of new exhibits and immersive upgrades one of which is a new Ringo exhibit featuring a personal message to The Beatles Story from Ringo and articles from his personal collection to commemorate his 80th birthday.

The whole team are now raring to go and can't wait to 'Get Back ', reopen the doors and welcome our visitors once again.

Very easy to see how they can reopen safely having been there as pre-virus it was very much a one-way experience -- you go in through an entrance, follow a path through the exhibition, and exit through the store. The main change they'll need to make is limiting numbers as they already the one-way route through.

Roag Best's Liverpool Beatles Museum has also received Visit Britain’s 'We're Good To Go' certification so hopefully we should hear reopening news from them soon.

No news on the Cavern, and difficult to think when John and Paul's childhood homes can be reopened by the National Trust.

It's been suggested that Laura Lian's statue of John may "tour" Liverpool in the autumn to mark his 80th birthday and the 40th anniversary of... a-hard-days-night-paul-10 ...you know.

Laura-Lian-with-her-John-Lennon-statue.jpgImage Enlarger

Not everybody likes it from previous reactions here but still nice to think Liverpool are thinking of ways to remember two big John anniversarys that happen this year, starting in Sefton. Laura Lian said:

I had always intended for the statue to have a permanent home up on Merseyside and at one stage it looked like the Lennon statue was going to be erected in the Strawberry Fields area of Liverpool. That project fell through but when the metropolitan mayor of Merseyside, Steve Rotheram, suggested it should go up in the borough of Sefton, I thought that was a great idea. Every year a borough on Merseyside is nominated as the borough of culture and this year it’s Sefton's turn.

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15 July 2020
7.21am
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The mid-year Nielsen Music/MRC Data report on music consumption in the US has been published, and Forbes point out that of the acts to sell over a million in the first six months of the year (3 January to 2 July) nearly all are solo artists with The Beatles and BTS being the only two groups to pass the million mark.

BTS came second in the Pop genre with the equivalent of 1,417 million albums (based on physical album sales, downloads and streams), beaten by Billie Eilesh.

The Beatles topped the Rock genre with the equivalent of 1,094 million albums.

Abbey Road  is continuing to sell well on vinyl following the 50th anniversary, with sales of 54,000 making it the current 5th best-selling vinyl album of the year.

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30 July 2020
7.44am
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New York Love Story: The Submarine Officer and the Beatles Cover Band

A Columbia grad student, new to the city, lost his lease. So he organized the perfect send-off.

Ben Markham, a lifelong Beatles fan, hit on the idea of the rooftop concert after he realized how close he lived to the Dakota, where John Lennon lived and died.Credit...Sara Naomi Lewkowicz for The New York Times

July 30, 2020 New York Times

On an otherwise quiet pandemic Sunday, the unmistakable songs of the Beatles started blaring from the roof of a building on the Upper West Side. The band was belting out faithful renditions from the 1969 rooftop concert in London — “Get Back ,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “I’ve Got a Feeling” — and people stepped out onto their balconies and fire escapes to listen.

When the band finished, and Upper West Siders shut their windows and headed back into their apartments, a 28-year-old Columbia University physics grad student named Ben Markham stood on the roof savoring the moment with a joint and beer.

“I was worried the cops might come,” he said. “If John was watching, I hope he liked it.”

Mr. Markham moved to New York a year ago, and a week before he was forced to move out of his apartment, he’d found the cover band, the Meetles, on Craigslist, hiring them to play on his building’s rooftop. The show was Mr. Markham’s unusual way of saying goodbye to his first New York neighborhood.

 

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15 August 2020
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The BBC report that the pandemic and the resulting lockdown has thrown doubt over the survival of the Cavern Club, with it losing £30,000 a week since lockdown began and it not reopening till later in August.

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18 August 2020
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8 September 2020
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Apollo Magazine report that the complete archive of photographer Robert Freeman, closely associated with The Beatles during the Mop Top years, and who died at the beginning of November 2019, was stolen from the sheltered accommodation he was living in at the time of his death over the weekend of 14-15 December 2019.

When the photographer Robert Freeman died in November last year, at the age of 82, he left behind a substantial, albeit disorderly, archive. But within weeks, his life's work had gone missing – stolen from the sheltered accommodation in south-west London where he spent his final years. 'Bob kept everything,' recalls Monica Godwin, executor of the Freeman estate. 'He was such an artist that he didn't want to let go of any of his babies.' His fastidiousness did not, however, extend to keeping his records in manageable order. His archive was housed in a haphazard arrangement of boxes that filled an entire room of his home; the closest thing to a catalogue was stored on a CD-ROM, which has disappeared along with the rest of the collection.

The theft of his archive is a great loss as it surely included many images of The Beatles we've never seen, and may never see unless the archive is recovered.

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8 September 2020
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-6

Oh no. I bet whoever stole the archive will try to sell the photos for exorbitant sums of money.

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22 September 2020
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Just to report it, John's killer (you know I don't do his name) - now aged 65, 25 years older than John was when robbed of his future - had his 11th parole hearing in August, with it being turned down.

The parole board has said that, among its reasons, his "selfish actions stole the chance for future fans to experience the words of inspiration that this artist provided for millions of people. Your violent act caused devastation to not only family and former band members, but the world".

He did show some contrition during the hearing, apologising to Yoko, but if you want to read his words you can go to the article. His words don't interest me.

Next up for parole in 2022.

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22 September 2020
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Yoko wrote a beautiful letter for the first parole hearing in 2000 (linked here), and has contested every attempt at parole since. It seems like an odd and cruel thing to put her through every couple of years when the consensus seems to be that he will never be released. 

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23 September 2020
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The BBC have announced a two-part radio special, to be broadcast on Radio 2 on 3 & 4 October, to mark John's 80th birthday, hosted by Sean and featuring him discussing John with Paul, Julian, and Elton John.

Paul also performs early Lennon/McCartney song Just Fun for the programme.

The Radio 2 description of Episode 1:

A celebration of John Lennon on what would have been his 80th birthday on October 9th.

Presented by his youngest son, Sean Ono Lennon, the programme will delve deep into the Lennon family's musical memories of John. In episode one, Sean and his elder brother Julian chat publicly for the first time about their father.

Both recall time spent in the studio at different points in John's solo career - Julian during the making of the 'Walls And Bridges ' album in 1974 and Sean during the recording of 'Double Fantasy ', shortly before John's death in December 1980. They chat warmly about their memories of growing up as 'John Lennon 's son' and how that reflected on their own musical careers.

Elton John also chats to Sean about his close relationship with Lennon, his admiration of the Beatles as a youngster and the effect that meeting and playing music with John in the 1970's had on him. Elton also explains how he played a pivotal part in Sean's very existence (and ended up as Sean's Godfather as a result).

In Part 2, Sean will be in conversation with his father's friend, bandmate and songwriting partner, Paul McCartney . It will be the first time the pair have spoken together about John, for broadcast.

Sean will also share his own memories on his father's remarkable musical life, which created some of the most important musical milestones of the entire 20th Century.

...and Episode 2:

A celebration of John Lennon on what would have been his 80th birthday on October 9th.

Presented by his youngest son, Sean Ono Lennon, this second part of the programme will continue to explore John's musical life, this time with the help of his friend, collaborator and bandmate, Paul McCartney .

For the first time in public, Paul reveals to Sean his own memories of meeting John as a teenager in their hometown of Liverpool, their early musical beginnings, writing together, life as a Beatle and beyond. Paul plays an excerpt of a never-before-heard Lennon/McCartney composition - an example of one of their early tunes that didn't make it to the recording studio!

Also in this programme, Sean's elder brother Julian continues exploring his recollections of his father. In the previous episode, Sean's godfather, Elton John shared his own memories of his friendship and musical relationship with John, including the story of John's last ever live performance at an Elton show in New York in 1974.

Helen Thomas, head of Radio 2, said:

John Lennon is one of the Radio 2 audience's most popular and best-loved musicians, so we're thrilled and honoured that Sean's first ever radio programme in which he talks at length about his father, alongside his brother Julian, Paul McCartney and Elton John, will be broadcast on our network.

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30 September 2020
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I don't think this has been shared yet so...

 

The Teenage Cancer Trust will be streaming unseen Paul McCartney concert footage on Oct 11th free on YouTube (although donations are obviously encouraged.)

A few other artists are included, more information here!

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30 September 2020
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The 2nd annual 'Dear John' concert - this year marking his 80th birthday, and raising money for the UK charity War Child, will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel in London on 9 October and will stream for free live on YouTube from 8pm BST (British Summer Time)/3pm ET (Eastern Time) (I think!).

The evening will include performances of Lennon songs by/or tributes from KT Tunstall, Larkin Poe, Peter Gabriel (part of the Dear John video), Richard Curtis CBE, Maxi Jazz of Faithless, Lindsay Ell, PP Arnold, Andy Fairweather Low, John Ilsley of Dire Straits, Graham Gouldman of 10cc, Gowan ( AKA frontman of Styx), Nick Van Eede of Cutting Crew, Blurred Vision with Lyndon J Connah, Mollie Marriott, Laura Jean Anderson, and more to be announced.

More here and I assume will be streaming here.

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The Morrison Hotel Gallery are launching an online exhibition of 40 John pictures in conjunction with the Lennon Estate, that it's said will feature several rarely seen images:

On October 9th of this year, John Lennon would have turned 80 years old. To commemorate the momentous occasion, Morrison Hotel Gallery reimagines what it means to be a dreamer in the digital age with its latest online exhibition, opening Thursday, October 1st, 2020 with select works on view at both its Los Angeles and New York City outposts by appointment only. Reflecting upon the enduring ideals championed by the late-great visionary through photographic masterworks from Bob Gruen, Astrid Kirchherr, and Allan Tannenbaum among others, In His Life retrospects the artist and activist's colossal rise from pompadoured Liverpudlian to metaphysical legend whose posthumous lens of perception speaks to the sensibilities of a socio-political present.

As the world seeks to come together to commemorate the late-great John Lennon ’s birthday on the cusp of seismic cultural awakening, In His Life lends itself to endless cultural rumination on what was, what might have been and that which remains eight prolific decades later. Harkening to more than a return to in-gallery activations, this exhibition moves beyond familiar holdings of fine art music photography with the unveiling of several rarely-seen images and special offering of four of Lennon's original handwritten lyric sheets ("Yer Blues ", "I'm So Tired ", "Dear Prudence ", "Watching The Wheels ") made available in limited edition fine art prints by the John Lennon Estate on behalf of Yoko Ono.

Link here (scroll down and you'll see it among 'Collections'), though a better link - straight to the photographs - will probably appear tomorrow.

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