Sunday, 23 April 2017

PAUL IN JAPAN - PART II














Mj Kim
Stuart Bell y Charlie Lightening at Haneda Airport International Terminal.



PAUL IN JAPAN






See the arrive on Periscope: HERE   and   HERE.

 
Fans waiting Paul at Haneda Airport in Japan:




























 




Friday, 21 April 2017

50 YEARS AGO: THE BEATLES COMPLETE ‘SGT. PEPPER’ BY RECORDING ITS FAMOUS RUNOFF GROOVE

The Beatles wrapped recording of their classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP on April 21, 1967 — but during that final session for the album, they weren’t exactly working on a song.

During part of the day, the studio was dedicated to completing mixes, but once those were out of the way, the band got down to the real business at hand: recording assorted gibberish for the LP’s concentric runout groove, which would end the album with a burst of noise that repeated into infinity — or whenever the listener picked the needle up off the turntable, whichever came first.


 




The album’s cheeky closing chapter, reportedly assembled at Paul McCartney‘s suggestion, dovetailed with the ambitious cacophony that closed out the album’s final track, “A Day in the Life” — including the song’s 41-piece orchestra, three pianos being pounded at the same time and a 15-kilocycle dog whistle. The chatter they recorded for the run-out wasn’t anywhere near as involved, but it still took a fair bit of work to assemble.

The group and its crew were in the studio until the wee hours of the morning recording sounds for that brief snippet, with band associate Barry Miles later recalling, “It was a triple session — three three-hour sessions — which ended around 4AM. The Beatles stood around two microphones muttering, singing snatches of songs and yelling for what seemed like hours, with the rest of us standing round them, joining in.”

The end result added a perfectly surreal final touch to an album already piled high with ornate arrangements that strained the limits of modern recording technology and stuffed with outré experimentation that ultimately prompted a bit of critical backlash. For the amount of work it took to get that little bit of noise assembled, it proved somewhat surprisingly disposable; outside the U.K., it wasn’t even included on pressings of the LP, and by the time it made its worldwide debut in the track listing during the CD era, the effect wasn’t really the same.

Still, it remains a fascinating footnote in the history of a band filled with them,  you can treat yourself to an extended remix of sorts with the video above, which plays the loop forward and backward for more than a minute and a half:

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BOARD THE LENNON BUS

Students from Woodstock High School who share a passion for music spent two days aboard a mobile recording studio when the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus came to Woodstock April 11 and 12. 
Seven WHS students, most coming from the AP music theory class, came together to create an original music video. The group spent time on board the bus recording vocal and instrument pieces, then filmed video footage — some on campus and some around the Square. They wrapped up the two days by putting the music and video together with help of the onboard crew. 



“They’re collaborating to create an original composition. Their sound is some electronic, some acoustic… it’s a mash-up of different styles,” said teacher Rich Stiles. 
The bus is equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video recording equipment, musical instruments and high-end computers that integrate the various formats. Three onboard engineers assist students with writing, recording and producing original songs and video content. The hope is to give students who are passionate about music a better idea of how it is produced. 
“I hope they take away the sense of professionalism that goes into this type of project. There’s no shortcuts. Everything we do has to be planned out and executed thoroughly,” said Steven Meloney, one of the onboard engineers.
The bus visited last year, and students got a small taste of what it was capable of, but this year was intended for the selected students to spend time creating the music video. 
Junior Josey Brown, 17, is considering a career as a band teacher. She said the time spent on the bus was a great experience. 


“This is a glimpse of how we could use our skills in real life, in the real world. It’s cool seeing how all of the parts come together. Watching them mash the recordings together of the pieces we’ve each done is so cool. I’ve never really put much thought into how much work goes into this. It’s unbelievable to see,” Brown said. 


The 45-foot educational tour bus is celebrating its 20th year offering students from elementary school to college a hands-on audio and video educational experience throughout the country. After a few stops in Illinois, the bus was headed to Idaho. 
The event was sponsored by Woodstock-based Other World Computing.  
“The experience that kids get on the John Lennon Bus is empowering,” said Jen Soule, president of OWC. “It shows kids how to go from ideas to a finished product and gives them a real hands-on experience. Many kids use the project as a sample of their work for internships or college applications, so it can be life-changing. These are very impressive works by kids that would likely not have had a similar opportunity. That is the magic of the bus and why we sponsor it.”

JULIAN AND DHANI TOGETHER

  • julespicturepalaceMr Harrison & I sharing a minute...
    🙏🏻😘  (from Julian´s Instagram acount)

    thenewno2

    Just ran into my Big bro Jules..
    What a simply supa day. (from Dhani´s Facebook account)

     



  • PAUL LANDS NEW PRODUCTION DEAL FOR HIGH IN THE CLOUDS MOVIE

    Paul first started working on the project in 2009, but progress has been slow and officials at RGH Entertainment, a Jordanian company which picked up the film, have since shuttered its offices in Los Angeles.

    Paul is one step closer to getting his long-gestating animated movie High In The Clouds onto the big screen after securing a new production deal.

    Paul has taken the idea to bosses at famed French firm Gaumont, which will produce High In The Clouds as its first animated feature in the U.S.
    The movie is based on the children's adventure book of the same name Paul had published back in 2005, and follows the story of a young squirrel left to find his way after losing his mother when their home was attacked.
    The project had previously been set to feature a string of original tunes by Paul, while a sizzle reel in 2015 also included a secret track by Lady Gaga.
    It's not known if the songs will all make the final cut, but Paul will remain a producer of the film.

    THE SHOW THAT ALMOST DIDN¨T HAPPEN: THE BEATLES PERFORM AT JACKSONVILLE¨S GATOR BOWL

    "Ladies and gentlemen ... the Beatles."
    How many people have been able to say this at a concert, facing a roaring crowd?
    In Birmingham, only one man who's had the honor: Dan Brennan, a former radio host, station manager, concert promoter and prime mover at WVOK-AM.
    Brennan, now 86, introduced the Beatles at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., when the Fab Four played there on Sept. 11, 1964. The 8:30 p.m. show -- which happened in the windy aftermath of Hurricane Dora -- came courtesy of WAPE-AM, a radio station owned by the Brennan family.


    Dan Brennan of WVOK-AM introduced the Beatles at the Gator Bowl on Sept. 11, 1964. The 8:30 p.m. show -- which happened in the windy aftermath of Hurricane Dora -- came courtesy of WAPE-AM, a radio station owned by the Brennan family. 

    To be honest, Brennan doesn't precisely recall what he said to the audience that evening, just before the mop-topped John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr took the stage. But he's sure the introduction was brief, wasting no time as Beatlemania raged.
    "I didn't stay up there too long," Brennan says, laughing. "It was quite a thing."
    But the moment was indelible for one of his daughters, Debbie Brennan Bartoletti. She remembers her father's words with startling clarity, along with the thrill she experienced while sitting in the front row.
    "The level of excitement was unbelievable," Bartoletti says. "There was a police line for the Beatles to run through, and the stage was built up so people couldn't get to them."
    Despite her young age -- she was 7 that year -- Bartoletti felt another emotion at the Gator Bowl: extreme pride. Her very own father was on stage, standing close to four of the most famous musicians in the world. Thousands of Beatles fans were ready to twist and shout in the Southeast, and the Brennan clan had made it happen.
    "People were going crazy, and you couldn't hear anything because the girls were screaming so loud," Bartoletti says. "It didn't matter. It was just the coolest thing."

    The Beatles were paid a fee of $50,000 -- a hefty sum in those days, Brennan says -- and in the thick of the civil rights movement, the band's contract specified that they wouldn't perform for a segregated audience. Brennan also remembers that Starr requested reinforcements to the stage area near his drum kit, because strong gusts lingered after the hurricane.
    "Ringo had a riser above the stage, and of course this is all outdoors, and the winds were blowing up to 70 miles an hour," Brennan says. "Ringo said, 'I'm not getting up there unless you build me a bannister around this thing.' So we had to delay the start of the show about 15 minutes or so while the carpenters came out and put these rails together. I think we had at least 15,000-16,000 people there."
    Looking back on it, Brennan realizes that bringing the Beatles to the Gator Bowl was a milestone event -- one firmly enshrined in Beatles lore and noted by Ron Howard in his 2016 documentary, "Eight Days a Week -- The Touring Years." (The Beatles' popularity in the U.S. exploded in 1964, and that year's tour was a watershed moment for the band.)


    At the time, though, Brennan was simply doing his job, helping the family's radio stations to connect with listeners in a vivid, concrete way. Yes, the Beatles' performance was "a really big show," as Ed Sullivan would have said. But it was one of many concerts organized by the Brennans, as they sought to cement listeners' loyalty to WVOK in Birmingham, WBAM-AM in Montgomery and WAPE in Jacksonville.
    According to Dan, the only surviving brother, it was Bill's decision to offer $50,000 to the Beatles for their appearance at the Gator Bowl. The band's management initially asked for 85 percent of the ticket proceeds or $25,000, whichever was greater, Brennan says.
    "My brother, he was always a little bit of a gambler," Brennan says. "Bill said, 'Well, if anybody makes any money out of it, it's going to be me.' And so he gave them -- the only show in the whole country that did this -- we gave them a flat $50,000, which was pretty good in those days. That was a lot of money. And they accepted it, but we did get the total amount of the gate that came in. And if we hadn't had (Hurricane Dora), we would have made a lot of money." 


    Thursday, 20 April 2017

    MOJO MAG WITH PAUL MCCARTNEY ON 50 YEARS OF SGT.PEPPER


    Paul celebrate 50 years of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with an exclusive interview in the magazine that hits UK shops on Tuesday, April 25. He recalls the circumstances surrounding the group’s most groundbreaking album and gives his verdict on the new stereo mix designed to add legs to one of popular music’s key benchmarks.

    But as McCartney reminds Mojo, before Sgt. Pepper became an icon, there was a period of critical bemusement. How dare Beatles band go all weird?
    “We were always being told, ‘You’re gonna lose all your fans with this one.’” McCartney tells. “And we’d say, ‘Well, we’ll lose some but we’ll gain some.’ We’ve gotta advance.”
     

    In 1967 The Beatles ran the gauntlet of a media gripped in a moral panic over the younger generation’s embrace of drugs, and others who regarded Pepper’s stylistic smorgasbord and hints of thematic coherence as evincing ideas above the group’s station. The Lovable Moptops stereotype died hard.

    “Sgt. Pepper did actually get a terrible review in the New York Times,” recalls Paul. “The critic [Richard Goldstein] said he hated it, thought it was a terrible mess, and then he was on the streets all week and heard the talk, heard what people were saying, and he took it back [in a subsequent Village Voice piece], recanted after a week: ‘Er… maybe it’s not so bad.’ But we were used to that. She Loves You was ‘banal’. But if we liked it and thought it was cool, we would go for it.

    “…I mean, George doing Within You Without You,” continues McCartney, “a completely Indian record – it was nothing anyone had heard before, at least in this context. It was a risk, and we were aware of that.”

    But even given Sgt. Pepper’s subsequent rise to peerless status, there’s one aspect of the record that has consistently drawn flak, even (perhaps especially) from fans.
    “The original stereo mix is a bit of a period piece,” McCartney concedes. “You’ve got the drums in one corner. You’ve got the vocals in another corner. We would be at listening parties, have some mates around and I’d go, ‘Listen to the drums on this, man!’ …and you couldn’t hear ’em. Oh! They’re over there in the other corner of the room.”
    That’s been addressed in the reissue of Sgt. Pepper that’s due on the streets on May 26. A muscular new Giles Martin stereo mix returns the Beatles’ drums and vocals to central positions reminiscent of the original mono mix, and gets Paul’s seal of approval.
    “‘Muscular’ is a good word,” he agrees. “It sounds more like us playing in the room and more like we intended it.”
    Also in MOJO’s from-all-angles Pepper coverage: the Beatles’ peers recall when (and where!) their minds were first blown by the album that kicked off The Album Era; Nigel Hartnup remembers pressing the shutter on that cover photo; Jon Savage on Pepper’s treasures, song-by-song; Giles Martin justifies his new mix; and more!

    DELETED SCENES FROM "A HARD DAY´S NIGHT"

    Two scenes were filmed but never used...

    A sequence where the Beatles are stuck in a traffic jam along with their chauffeur (Frank Thornton). The film crew took over an entire street in Twickenham, near the studios, for scenes with traffic, including a double-decker, and a solo scene where Paul meets a Shakespearean actress (Isla Blair) rehearsing in her dressing room, it was shot on 20th April 1964 at Jack Billing's TV School Of Dancing, Shepherds Bush, London.






























    Traffic scene (deleted from film). In the scene, The Beatles were stuck in a traffic jam and were shouted at by a passenger in another car,later decided that the sequence should be omitted from the final cut.


    Another deleted scene: Paul was looking for Ringo,who had gone missing temporarily. Paul discovered a rehearsal room where he had a conversation with an actress, played by 18-year-old Isla Blair.
    The scene remained unused because director Richard Lester thought it lacked pace, and that it was inappropriate for one of The Beatles to have a scene with a girl. As a result, Paul was the only member of the group without a solo scene in the film.

    The scene was filmed at the Jack Billings TV School of Dancing at 18 Goldhawk Road in London, above what was then The Bush pub. 





    The script: Paul comes down the street looking about him for Ringo. In the street is an old building, the sort of place that is highly favoured for TV rehearsals. There is a sign on the door, 'TV Rehearsal Room'. As Paul draws near, a load of actors and extras, etc. are leaving, they are in costume, they are the ones who earlier had been going to a word rehearsal. When Paul gets near the entrance he decides to go inside.

    Paul enters and wanders about. He reaches a door, pushes it open and looks in. He sees a girl clad in period costume. She is moving around the room and obviously acting. Paul watches her for a moment and then decides to go in.

    Paul goes into the room. The girl is in mid-flight. She is very young and lovely and completely engrossed in what she is doing. The room is absolutely empty except for Paul and herself. She is acting in the manner of an eighteenth century coquette, or, to be precise, the voice English actresses use when they think they are being true to the costume period... her youth however makes it all very charming.

    Isla Blair: If I believed you, sir, I might do those things and walk those ways only to find myself on Problems Path. If I believed you, sir, I might like you or even love you, but I cannot believe you and all those urgings, pleadings and the like serve only as a proof that you will lie and lie again to gain your purpose with me.
    (She dances lightly away from an imaginary lover and as she turns she sees Paul who is as engrossed in the scene as she was).
    Isla Blair: (surprised) Oh!
    PAUL: (enthusiastically) Well... go 'head, do the next bit.
    Isla Blair: Go away! You've spoilt it.
    PAUL: Who, me?
    Isla Blair:Yes, you.
    PAUL: Oh, sorry I spoke.
    He makes no effort to go. He simply continues to look steadily at the girl; then he smiles at her. She is undecided what to do next.

    At the end of this first day, Paul offered Isla Blair a lift home in his chauffeur-driven car. When they went outside, however, they found dozens of girls waiting.Although they managed to drive away safely, the following day Blair declined Paul's repeat offer of a lift.

    Isla Blair said: "I was completely unprepared for how frightening it was. It must have been awful for him. They were grabbing at him and they were very vicious with me. They pulled my hair, they scratched me, they pulled me, they punched me, they pinched me and it was horrible."

    According to an interview with Richard Lester in June 1970, went to the library at Twickenham Film Studios to look at the out-takes from A Hard Day's Night, but discovered that all the unreleased footage had been destroyed. The studio had a policy of retaining such footage only for five years after the completion of a film, the unused footage was destroyed because of space considerations.

     

    JULIAN SHARES WHY HE WANTS YOUNG READERS TO LEARN ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

    Julian stopped by Aol's Build Series to promote his debut picture book 'Touch the Earth'. With Earth Day around the corner, this book appropriately serves to educate kids (and adults) about some of the issues we face on this planet such as water pollution.
    He's previously written songs about the environment and he's done documentaries about the environment.


    Julian dished about why he wanted to write this book at this point of his career.
    "The only thing that I hadn't really touched upon was approaching the kids. 
    I was actually getting together with the co-writer of this, Bart [Davis], whose a dear friend to talk about a biography because I figured time is marching on [and] I might pop my clogs sooner than later with the way the world is going. 
    A lot of my friends are sadly passing and I thought well 'Better sooner than later' in that regard. He hadn't really heard about my background. He knew parts of it but as we've talked about White Feather and everything else I was doing he asked 'Have you ever thought about writing for kids?', and I was like 'I actually hadn't', I've done other projects, I've done voice-overs, and CD's for kids but never actually written for them as such. So we embarked on a little journey and came up with this little beauty I hope you'll agree."

    This endeavor connected to many aspects with Lennon. It deals with his passions in life, his personal beliefs, and the White Feather Foundation. Adding on top of that is the educational component to which Lennon continued to explain:
    "I think 3 year olds and around that age is very much as they say "The Why Age". You know, 'Why this?', 'Why that?'. So it was about having a nice story but also about striking up conversation about today's world."

    Julian also wanted this interactive book out there for parents to bond with their kid(s). The parent-child bonding moment has waned in the age of digital technology.
    "This is a bonding nurturing moment between child and parent. I wanted to heartened back to that. I hope we've achieved that with this book."
    'Touch the Earth' is the first of three books planned by Lennon. In it, it deals with the importance of clean water and it teaches kids to be aware of the consequences about water pollution and to empower them to think about the future.
    "Just look at the political state of the world and the environmental and humanitarian state of the world right now. It's pretty ugly. I think if we could hold onto any glimmer of hope and teach the next generation about the good things and how not to destroy our future and their future and their children's future then every little thing helps every step of the way."





    YOU CAN GET YOUR COPY of "TOUCH THE EARTH" by Julian Lennon HERE  . Proceeds from the book will go to Lennon's White Feather Foundation.



    BEATLES ANIMATOR RON CAMPBELL BRINGS ARTWORK TO

    After delighting cartoon fans of the world for five decades, animator Ron Cambpell has decided to take retirement easy.
    By which he means traveling around the country, meeting fans and selling prints. Next week, those travels will bring him to Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery in Bellevue.


    Campbell, an Australian by birth and a naturalized American for decades, earned a living directing and animating some of the Western world’s most beloved cartoons. Including the wildly popular “The Beatles” and a sequence of the movie “Yellow Submarine.” Legendary producer Al Brodax sold Campbell on the latter projects.
    “Al called me in the middle of the night. I was asleep in Sydney,” Campbell said. “He said I was going to do a show on The Beatles. I told him that insects don’t really make great cartoon characters. “Are you living under a rock?” He asked me. “Not beetles, Beatles! The biggest rock band in the world!” I thought that made more sense.”

    That was 1964, just months after the Liverpudlian rock group took America by storm on The Ed Sullivan Show. “The Beatles” would run for four seasons and 39 episodes after its premier in 1965, never dropping out of the top of the ratings.
    Campbell would move to America in 1966, and work on many of the sequences in the “Yellow Submarine” movie, including animation for the Chief Blue Meanie. As he was working on becoming an American citizen, he didn’t want to leave Los Angeles. So the studio in London would send work via mail and he would send it back. This inefficient method of work took a while, but resulted in the musical, psychedelic work which remains popular today.
    “The Beatles didn’t really do anything,” Campbell said. “Well they actually did the most important thing. They allowed us to use their music and then went away.”
    By the time Brodax and Campbell worked on ‘Yellow Submarine,” the band was spending time in India looking for gurus. His friend and colleague Duane Crowther helped on many of the projects around this time period.
    Born in 1939 in the small Australian town of Seymore, Campbell attended the Swinburne Art Institute in Melbourne and began his career in the late 1950s with cartoons and comics such as Beetle Bailey, Krazy Kat and Cool McCool.
    After the success of “The Beatles,” Campbell created his own studio, Ron Campbell Films, Inc. He would use the studio to produce and direct a Peabody and Emmy-award winning show called the “Big Blue Marble.”
    “I’m very proud of my work on that,” he said. “Along with work on Sesame Street, which is just a wonderful show for kids.”
    Campbell said he’s never quite understood why some of his works stand the test of time, but he’s not complaining.
    “I’m always amazed by the response my work gets. It’s always been a great mystery to me,” he said. “You could shove a cartoon into an Uzbekistani tent to a 5-year-old and he’ll break into a big smile. It’s not Picasso, it’s just cartoons.”
    He worked for Hanna-Barbera, and describes Bill Hanna as a gentle, sweet man who could be a terror when deadlines rolled around. Campbell credits Hanna with getting him on the map in the United States, and he would go on direct, animate, produce and storyboard cartoons such as Scooby Doo, the Smurfs (for which he won another Emmy), Captain Caveman, Yogi Bear, the Flintstones and the Jetsons.
    He moved to Disney and Nickelodeon animation studios in the 1990s, working in Darkwing Duck, Winnie the Pooh, Goof Troop, Duck Tales, Rocket power, Rugrats and Ed, Edd n Eddy.
    He said it was hard to pick a favorite of all the shows he had worked on.
    “How do you differentiate between Smurfette and Angelica from Rugrats?” Campbell asked. “I loved Angelica, she was such a little bitch but I loved her.”
    He said it wasn’t hard to pick a least-favorite show, but decided not to share that information other than saying he refuses to even put it on his resume.
    But now, in retirement, he has taken a similar path as one of his mentors, the legendary Chuck Jones (animator and director of golden-age cartoons Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies).
    “He retired and then went around and did painting,” Campbell said. “He was my inspiration for a second career. Now I get to travel around the country and meet the audience in person.”
    Campbell will be showing his art from Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30 at the Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery, 800 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 111. Art will include original Beatles cartoon paintings created for the show as well as other art from his 50-year career. The exhibit is free and all works are available for purchase.

    Wednesday, 19 April 2017

    GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 SOUNDTRACK INCLUDE GEORGE´S "MY SEEWT LORD"

    2014's smash Guardians of the Galaxy movie was laced with eight-track-era gems, including Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love" and Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling." The music in the upcoming sequel Vol. 2, out on May 5, will include George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord".

    After a chart-topping, platinum soundtrack album, the awesomeness of that mix is no longer in doubt – and since the movie ended with Pratt's character, Peter Quill, discovering "Awesome Mix Vol. 2," music will be just as essential to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, due May 5th, with its soundtrack album out April 21st. This time, Gunn had a bigger budget, which allowed him to include familiar songs from superstar acts: George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" (every band member watched the scene that features the song before giving approval) and ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" – which scores what Gunn calls "the most hugely insane shot I've ever done," early in the film. "It's the perfect song to start the movie," says Gunn, "because it's really joyous, but there's a really dark underpinning to it."

    LANA DEL REY COLLABORATED WITH SEAN LENNON FOR THE SONG "TOMORROW NEVER CAME"

    Lana Del Rey revealed she collaborated with Sean Lennon for one song,”Tomorrow Never Came,” on her upcoming album.
    When she was writing the song, she explained she thought he would be a good fit for him, but didn’t want him to think she chose him because the single has a line about his parents, John Lennon and Yoko Ono (and of the course the title resembles that of the Beatles classic, “Tomorrow Never Knows”).
    “Actually, I had listened to his records over the years and I did think it was his vibe, so I played it for him and he liked it. He rewrote his verse and had extensive notes, down to the mix. And that was the last thing I did, decision-wise,” Del Rey said. “I haven’t mixed the record, but the fact that ‘Love’ just came out and Sean kind of finished up the record, it felt very meant-to-be. Because that whole concept of peace and love really is in his veins and in his family.”

















    Sean: "So yeah, so honored and psyched to have made a track w the illustrious @lanadelrey and very proud of the song. However I don't believe our heads are as disproportionate as represented here."

    BEATLES BIOGRAPHER HUNTER DAVIES REVEALS...


    Scots author Davies, 81, reflects fondly on his first experimentation with “drugs” in his new book The Co-Op’s Got Bananas! — his memoir of growing up in the 50s and 60s.
     

    Davies, who was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, was given permission to pen his biography of The Beatles as they recorded the iconic Sgt Pepper’s album.
    Davies says: “I lived with them for 18 months and I was in Abbey Road during the whole making of Sgt Pepper’s.
    “You know the famous photograph on Sgt Pepper? I was there in the studio at the time when it was being shot and they were going to have Hitler and they were going to have Jesus — but at the last minute people said it might be bad taste.”
    He says: “This one day Ringo gave me a ‘reefer’ to try in the 60s. I don’t smoke and I’d never taken any drugs my whole life, but I took it home to my wife.
    “Well, we closed the curtains, took the phone off the hook and puffed away for half-an-hour, but felt no different and worked for the whole evening.
    “The next time I saw Ringo I said, ‘I didn’t think much of your reefer’. That’s when he told me it was just cabbage leaves.”
     
    Davies is still close pals with Paul and invited the pop legend to his 80th birthday last year.
    Davies says: “I did invite him but he wrote to me to say he would be travelling from the US that day and couldn’t come.
    “He wrote ‘Eighty? Incredible. Well done. Good job it is a sit-down do’.”
    In one chapter of his latest book, Davies reveals that Sir Paul turned up unexpectedly with his new American girlfriend Linda Eastman, who he later wed, and her daughter Heather during a family holiday in Portugal in 1969.
    He says: “Linda stayed with us for two weeks on that holiday. And while we were there, Mary, his oldest child, was conceived. She was born exactly nine months later.
    “I saw her two years ago when I went to his party and it was the first time I’d met Mary since she was grown up. She gave me a cuddle and said, ‘Oh, you must be my step, step god-father,’ because she was conceived in our house in Portugal.”

    Scotland features heavily in Davies’ new book as he spent the first 11 years of his life here until the family moved to Cumbria.
    In the opening chapter he discusses revisiting his birthplace, Thornhill Maternity Hospital in Johnstone, as part of research into his childhood.
    It also tells the story of how he met his novelist wife Margaret Forster, who died aged 77 last year after a battle with spine cancer. 

    Davies, who now lives alone in London, says: “The best bit of luck was meeting Margaret and then marrying her in 1960. The couple met properly when Davies was 17. When I was 19 and she was 17 I asked to walk her home. Amazingly she agreed.“I walked home with her, talking all night — and we never stopped talking for 60 years.”
    Speaking of the past year without her, Davies adds: “It happens to be my busiest year ever.I’ve got three books out and I’ve got three columns in magazines and newspapers which I do regularly. I haven’t the time to mourn, or pause, or mope around.
    “I haven’t touched a thing in her office since she died.“I know she left 60 pages of a novel and I look through the door now and again and I see the pages lying there.“I wonder if she’s left a letter for me. I’m going to cry now.This is the sort of soppy, sentimental thing that, if I’d been dying, I would have left for her.”
     
    Hunter also reveals that Paul once wrote a song about him that was never released.The singer came up with the tune after discovering that his pal Hunter’s real first name was Edward during a break in Portugal in 1969.
    Davies says: “He went off to the lavatory and when he came back he played us a charming little song on his guitar, which went, ‘There you go, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie; there you go, Eddie, Eddie you’ve gone’.”
    Years later Davies heard it on a bootleg tape, recorded during one of the Let It Be sessions.
    Sir Paul then sings and plays it to John Lennon, who seems quite impressed. But it never appeared on any album.
    Davies says: “I would love to have been the inspiration and subject of a Beatles song. What a shame.”

    Tuesday, 18 April 2017

    JIMMY WEBB ON JOHN's LOST WEEKEND

    During the late Sixties and early Seventies, Jimmy Webb was arguably the most successful mainstream songwriter alive, churning out sweeping, richly orchestrated hits for Glen Campbell, Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra, among others. Yet while that success made him famous, it also saddled him with a "middle road" reputation that was totally out of step with his actual lifestyle. Veteran songwriter recalls his hard-partying early days, brushes with the Beatles and other career highs and lows chronicled in new memoir, The Cake and the Rain...








    -Paul McCartney was also a big fan of your work and you visited the Beatles in the studio while they were working on the White Album. There was a lot tension and acrimony going on within the band at the time. Could you sense that?
    Well, the room was set up [so] that the characters were sort of presented in this tableau, with John on the right with Yoko and Paul on the left with Linda and George sort of standing uneasily in the middle. It was pretty clear to me that it was Paul's album, it was his song, and John didn't come in to listen. Even though he was sort of diffidently strumming an acoustic guitar. There were candles on that side of the room. It was very much like a shrine over on the Lennon side. And over on the McCartney side, it was just hijinks. It was Linda and Paul clowning around and she's sort of hanging onto him from behind and sitting around him on a piano bench, which, from a piano player's perspective is, like ... almost impossible [laughs]. It's almost impossible to be in that position, but you know ... And then there's the disembodied voice of Ringo Starr. Literally almost from somewhere else because the drum booth was down below the control room, so he wasn't visible, and we rarely heard from him. He'd be like, "Hello." And he would knock on the microphone. "Is this working?"

    -In that scene, McCartney keeps referring to you as Tom Dowd, who was a famous engineer for Atlantic Records. It's pretty weird, since he'd called you the previous year and asked you to write a song for a project he was involved with. They obviously knew who you were. What was going on there?
    Well, I know for certain that George Martin and George Harrison knew exactly who I was. John didn't come into the booth, nor did Ringo. There was a schism going on in there, so it was a sensitive moment, and to be honest, I didn't know how much they hated to have people around during their sessions. I mean, you don't really know something about that when you're just a kid and you're reading fan magazines, but they really hated the people – and I don't know why I was invited, first of all, but once I was there, it was pretty clear to me that I was being sent up, and when I talked to the people about it years later they said, "Oh, they would always do that." You know, they loved to take the piss out on someone. Preferably someone who thought they were important. Or might be important, and when they came to America, in a way Americans fell in love with that kind of deadpan ... you know, "You're taking this very seriously but we're not." That sort of thing. I don't know. I don't know what it was with them.


    -You were a witness to John Lennon and Harry Nilsson's infamous "lost weekend" in the early Seventies. There's a scene in the book where they call you up at 3 a.m. to bring them hundred dollar bills and cocaine (or as they call it "hee haw"). What was it like growing up looking up to the Beatles and then to see John Lennon at the worst state of his life? That's a very dark passage in the book.
    I was as taken aback as you probably are by reading it. And I guess that's what I'm trying to communicate. I really want to hasten to add that when John was struck down the way he was, I was absolutely shattered, and I ended up writing a lot of music about it and really going through some bad emotional stuff. It may be perceived as some sort of a get-back or something, but he never did anything to me. He basically was an impassive person. I never got a reading off him, ever. If you ran a magnetometer over him, it wouldn't indicate anything. He was, like, so placid.

    But I think that he revealed probably a lot more to people who were closer. Harry Nilsson was very close, but I was sort of called in as the bag man when they had gotten themselves into some sort of a jam. It was done out of love. It was done out of dedication. I mean, why would you be out in the middle of the night doing a drug run unless you ... I wasn't getting paid for it. I had a lot of money. So there was a loyalty there, and there was a code. There was an unwritten code that if the Beatles ask you to do something, you did it. And I'm not kidding about that.
    -What was it like to watch Harry Nilsson's disintegration?
    Some people had a sense of abandonment that was awesome to behold, like someone sitting a Lotus race car and holding the accelerator wide open and trusting to fate. And most of those people died. I can't explain the attitude. I might go out and spend three or four days but at some point I'd look up and say, "I think I need to get back to my house." My drummer used to call it "a lifeboat."
    I didn't wanna die. I came close a couple of times. The impulse to just run the machine wide open until it broke. It's easy to write someone off as a druggie or a drug addict. There was in the case of Harry a magnificent brilliance. I would've killed to sing like him and I loved his voice and I loved his records. I really wanted to record something Harry would like. He came in one night spitting blood into my kitchen sink and he said, "I left it on the mic," and I said, "That's not funny. What are you doing?" The combination of John Lennon and Harry Nilsson created a nuclear self-destructive device – they found some negative energy that was overpowering.

    source:Rolling Stone

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