john lennon

john lennon Content tagged as john lennon.

Sean Lennon: Friendly Fire (Capitol)

Sean Lennon: Friendly Fire (Capitol)

You have to sympathise with the Lennon kids: Julian was skewered for sounding too much like his Dad (and people like Karl Wallinger of World Party weren't taken to task on the same charge?), and Sean for not carrying the flag in quite the way some thought he should. That first Sean album had hints of bossa nova and was peppered with...

Various: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Tipitina's/Shock)

Various: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Tipitina's/Shock)

In the days after Hurricane Katrina it was believed that this great New Orleans r'n'b singer had been washed away. Fortunately he had been rescued although his home, like much of that wonderful city, had suffered extreme damage. The interesting thing about the rumours of his death was the sudden recognition of his talent in the wider...

Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True, Deluxe Edition (Universal)

Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True, Deluxe Edition (Universal)

Elvis had a fair run here on Elsewhere when the recent reissue of his first 11 albums prompted a consideration of his quite remarkable career (see tag). But this Deluxe double disc edition of his debut album adds extra texture to that exceptional album with its touchstones in Phil Spector, country-rock, beat pop, Chuck Berry-meets-Dylan and...

The Eels: Meet the Eels and Useless Trinkets (Geffen/Universal)

The Eels: Meet the Eels and Useless Trinkets (Geffen/Universal)

Wherein cult band the Eels get the kind of re-issue/repackage usually reserved for Major Big Name Acts: Meet the Eels is a 24 track compilation of 10 years from 1996 with a 12 clip DVD collection (with commentary option) and an informative booklet; and Useless Trinkets is a 50-track double disc collection of B-sides, soundtrack pieces, rarities...

The Nothing: A Warm Gun (Amaj001/Rhythmethod)

The Nothing: A Warm Gun (Amaj001/Rhythmethod)

Lately on my Kiwi FM programme I have been playing quite a lot from Chris Knox's albums and thoroughly enjoying rediscovering them. (Like Mike Leigh movies and city buses you often didn't feel the need to catch them because another would be along soon enough). Knox has been prolific and always offers good value -- his last one Chris Knox and...

Elvis Costello and the Imposters: Momofuku (Lost Highway)

Elvis Costello and the Imposters: Momofuku (Lost Highway)

Elvis Costello has been at it so long now -- his debut was more than three decades ago (see Absolute Elsewhere) -- he's reached that McCartney/Clapton platform where he could do his best work in years, and few would be listening. Costello's most recent albums have been loosely in the classical and jazz genres, and an album of New...

COMPOSER JOHN TAVENER INTERVIEWED (1993): Lifting the Veil

COMPOSER JOHN TAVENER INTERVIEWED (1993): Lifting the Veil

Late in 1992 in one of his increasingly rare interviews, British classical composer John Tavener uncharacteristically hit back at the critics who had been sniping at his most recent work, The Protecting Veil. After noting that critics want their intellects tickled but had forgotten about the intellect of the heart, he skewered them for their...

JOHN LENNON, THE LIFE by PHILIP NORMAN (2008): Just gimme some truth

JOHN LENNON, THE LIFE by PHILIP NORMAN (2008): Just gimme some truth

John Lennon -- who would have been 68, had he lived, at the time of this pubication -- did not have an unexamined life. In countless hours of drugs, meditation and therapy he analysed himself. Through many thousands of interviews -- some brutally honest, others self-mythologising -- he gave others material to scrutinise his life in intimate...

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED (2008): Art for art'$ $ake

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED (2008): Art for art'$ $ake

“If there’s such as things as [a genius], I am one”                                                                             --...

The Beatles: Rubber Soul (1965)

The Beatles: Rubber Soul (1965)

While there are any number of Beatle albums which are essential, there is a case to be made that Rubber Soul -- which marked their transition from an increasingly banal and almost irrelevant pop band into a group which became adult, confident and inventive -- is currently the most ignored in their catalogue. But before making the case for...

THE BEATLES' ABBEY ROAD IN 2009: A classic from the cover on in

THE BEATLES' ABBEY ROAD IN 2009: A classic from the cover on in

Four decades ago the Beatles released Abbey Road, the album that marked the end of their career even though the inferior Let It Be would appear later, a sad coda to decade which they defined. Producer George Martin loved Abbey Road and considered it “Sgt Pepper, Mark II . . . it was innovatory but in a controlled way, unlike The...

THE BEATLES REMASTERED, 2009 (EMI): Here, there and everywhere

THE BEATLES REMASTERED, 2009 (EMI): Here, there and everywhere

The story behind the extensive and long overdue remastering of the most important music catalogue in pop has been well canvassed. Indeed, I have written this, a Listener article, Getting Better based on my experience of listening through to a large sampling of tracks while in Abbey Road in June. What that article doesn't address is the...

McCartney, Michael Jackson and me: Oh, get a room!

McCartney, Michael Jackson and me: Oh, get a room!

Mostly when I travel I don’t much care about the room I stay in other than hoping for a decent bed and a functioning shower. If you are doing your travel right, you never spend any time in the room anyway. But in Liverpool I set some kind of world record for transience. I’d barely been in the room a minute when the phone...

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER; PART 1, 1970-80: Success in the Seventies

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER; PART 1, 1970-80: Success in the Seventies

Paul McCartney once commented that his solo career since the Beatles -- now stretching to four decades -- was largely undiscovered territory. That’s true. Can anyone name anything from his ‘79 album Back to the Egg? And more to the point, why would they want to? But this is also the man once known as Mr Thumbs Aloft who...

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 2, 1980-90: Adrift in the Eighties

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 2, 1980-90: Adrift in the Eighties

Paul McCartney closed the Seventies much as he had started it: with the low-key self-titled album McCartney II which deliberately tried to downplay expectation and evoke the charm of his debut solo album McCartney in 1970. Quite where he might have gone after that was an open book, but the decade had been one of diminishing musical returns...

THE BEATLES AFTER THE REMASTERS (2009): And in the end . . .

THE BEATLES AFTER THE REMASTERS (2009): And in the end . . .

So are the remastered Beatle albums released on 09/09/09 ("number nine, number nine, number") the full-stop on a career which ended almost four decades ago? Maybe not. While at Abbey Road in June listening to the playback of some of these tracks (about which I wrote this article in the New Zealand Listener), it seemed natural...

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 3, 1990-2000: Classical, pop and what else ya got?

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 3, 1990-2000: Classical, pop and what else ya got?

If McCartney closed his Eighties on a real high -- a massively successful world tour which won critical accolades and pulled in huge gate-takings -- it would seem he was back in top, rocking form. Not bad for someone who was perilously close to 50. By 1990 he had been two decades out of the Beatles and had behind him more than a dozen solo...

THE BEATLES ROCK BAND 2009: One, two, a-one-two-three-faaa

THE BEATLES ROCK BAND 2009: One, two, a-one-two-three-faaa

It is one of the many ironies of the Beatles Remastered project (which I have noted in this Listener article) is that these albums might not have even come out at this time were it not for the Beatles Rock Band interactive game. The remasters were finished some years ago and have been sitting around waiting for . . .? Some kind of...

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 4,  2000 - 2010: Here, there and everywhere

PAUL McCARTNEY SOLO CAREER PART 4, 2000 - 2010: Here, there and everywhere

For a man pronounced dead by radio DJs back in the late Sixties, Paul McCartney (or his doppelganger) has has a long and productive life. And musically diverse, as the Nineties proved: classical, pop-rock, balls-out rock'n'roll, acoustic sets, experimental electronica . . . Not a bad track record late in a long career. And in the new...

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs: Under the Covers Vol 2 (Shock)

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs: Under the Covers Vol 2 (Shock)

The previous album by this hugely underrated power pop/rock singer songwriter and the former Bangle was a snapshot of their favourite Sixties songs (by the Beatles, Dylan, Neil Young, Stone Ponies, Who and so on) under the banner of Sid'n'Susie. Here they undertake the diversity of the Seventies which means power pop (a rather mundane...

Yim Yames: Tribute to (Rough Trade)

Yim Yames: Tribute to (Rough Trade)

Yim Yames is actually Jim James from My Morning Jacket (no, don't ask me why) and these six songs were actually recorded in 2001, a few days after George Harrison's death as a tribute to a man whose life he said was "a prime example of the healing powers of music". There have been bigger and more self-conscious tributes to Harrison,...

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band: Between My Head and the Sky (Chimera/Rhythmethod)

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band: Between My Head and the Sky (Chimera/Rhythmethod)

When Yoko Ono released her artistically packaged Onobox in 1992 -- a six CD retrospective of a solo career which had ceased in the mid Eighties -- that would seemed to have been it from the most famous widow in the world. She was almost 60; had stopped recording because as she wryly noted "there seemed no great call" from the public...

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

For a record company it was the cross-marketing opportunity of a lifetime. Well, maybe a lunchtime. But it seemed an uncanny coincidence that Neil Innes -- aka Ron Nasty of the Beatles-parody band the Rutles -- was in Auckland last week just days before the Beatles' remastered, digitally enhanced, but-wait-there's-more Anthology series...

Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Deluxe Edition (Universal CD/DVD)

Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Deluxe Edition (Universal CD/DVD)

Elton is like a kindly old uncle these days, giving big ups to Ryan Adams, throwing post-Oscar parties, behaving himself, turning up on Disney soundtracks, or rewriting one of his prettiest tunes for the funeral of a slightly wacky royal. And he got married (again, to a man this time though).  It's hard to remember that he was,...

LENNON AND McCARTNEY 1967-72; COMPOSING OUTSIDE THE BEATLES (Triton DVD)

LENNON AND McCARTNEY 1967-72; COMPOSING OUTSIDE THE BEATLES (Triton DVD)

While you might think there is little left to be said about the Beatles after the break-up and their subsequent solo careers, the narrow and deep focus of this two hour doco is surprisingly interesting. By just taking that period when Lennon and McCartney were starting to go their own ways, and pulling on the handbrake before Wings really...

PAUL McCARTNEY; GOOD EVENING NEW YORK CITY (Universal CD/DVD)

PAUL McCARTNEY; GOOD EVENING NEW YORK CITY (Universal CD/DVD)

After a decade of exceptional diversity on disc -- it started with the left-field Liverpool Sound Collage, there was the remix album Twin Freaks, another album as The Fireman as well as a classical thing and some straight-up Macca-rock albums -- it seems a shame that McCartney should end it in such a predictable manner: a double live. This...

MIKE McGEAR'S VANISHED MASTERPIECE: Brother can you spare me the time?

MIKE McGEAR'S VANISHED MASTERPIECE: Brother can you spare me the time?

Perhaps "masterpiece" is too strong a word, but the singer-songwriter Mike McGear -- a member of Liverpool's poetry/music group the Scaffold who scored the '68 hit single Lily the Pink -- did crack quite a remarkable album in 1974, which seems to have disappeared entirely. Simply entitled McGear, it was originally released on...

Various Artists: The Lennon and McCartney Songbook (EMI)

Various Artists: The Lennon and McCartney Songbook (EMI)

While there have been quite a number of such compilations in the past interest alights on this one in particular because it has been pulled together by EMI New Zealands in-house memoryman Bruce Ward who does a fine job on such collections -- and here writes the intelligent liner essay. The Lennon and McCartney team were giving away hits in...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009  The Beatles Remasters (EMI)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 The Beatles Remasters (EMI)

Much as it is possible to love every crackle and piece of surface noise on the original vinyl albums which some still have or have inherited, the remastering brought out an energy and vitality in the Beatles catalogue which was undeniable. The music (and the Beatles Rock Band game) was much essayed at Elsewhere on release (I heard the...

TICKET TO RIDE by LARRY KANE: Along for the ride

TICKET TO RIDE by LARRY KANE: Along for the ride

In 1980 presidential candidate Jimmy Carter leaned over to journalist Larry Kane and said, "So I heard you toured with the Beatles. What were they like?" Even the 39th President of the United States wanted to know about those young men who changed the social and musical landscape of the 20th century. And Kane should know - he was...

Elton John: The Captain and the Kid (Mercury)

Elton John: The Captain and the Kid (Mercury)

By an odd coincidence I recently bought a battered vinyl copy of Elton John’s autobiographical 75 album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. For some reason it had gone right past me and when I looked at the track listing it was hardly full of hit singles or even FM radio fodder. The only title I recognised was Someone Saved My...

Tommy Quickly: Tip of my Tongue (1963)

Tommy Quickly: Tip of my Tongue (1963)

At the end of '63 the fresh and freckle-faced 18-year old Tommy Quickly was standing at the door of his dreams: he'd been signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein (who had changed his name from Quigley in the manner of manager Larry Parnes' school of stage names like Vince Eager, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury) and was tipped for massive success....

The Beatles; You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) (1970)

The Beatles; You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) (1970)

The 2009 remastering of the Beatles' catalogue allowed listeners not only the chance to reassess their sound, but also the breadth of their musical reach. Here was a band which created great pop, beautiful ballads, economic psychedalia (Strawberry Fields, Walrus, Lucy in the Sky and others barely broke the 4.00 mark), raga pop and had a sense of...

THE BARGAIN BUY - David Bowie: Heroes/Lodger

THE BARGAIN BUY - David Bowie: Heroes/Lodger

David Bowie: Heroes/Lodger (EMI) While there's an easy case to make for Bowie's Low and Heroes albums to be in any Essential Elsewhere collection, Lodger from '79 -- his more difficult third album in "the Berlin trilogy" which he made with Brian Eno -- has always been overlooked or dismissed. Certainly it lacks that sudden...

Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom (1982)

Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom (1982)

By the time Elvis Costello got to this remarkable, emotionally dense and astonishingly concise album (so many moods, styles and emotions in 50 minutes) he had become well separated from his post-punk peers. By '82 -- and he had appeared just five years previous -- he had skirted off from punk-fuelled rock through country music and had...

Various artists: Nowhere Boy soundtrack (Sony)

Various artists: Nowhere Boy soundtrack (Sony)

This is the music from the film which traces the life of John Lennon from a child to . . . Well, to where the film Backbeat picks up actually. And as with the soundtrack to Backbeat which featured The Backbeat Band (Greg Dulli, Dave Grohl, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and others playing rock'n'roll of the era) so too this album has material...

Liverpool 2010: Forty years after the divorce

Liverpool 2010: Forty years after the divorce

The divorce was as messy as most when, 40 years ago in April 1970, the Beatles broke up. As John Lennon put it later that year on his Plastic Ono Band album, “the dream is over”. But it was Paul McCartney who first made it public and official. In April 1970 McCartney released his first solo album -- Lennon and George...

The Searchers: Love's Melody (1980)

The Searchers: Love's Melody (1980)

Despite the durability of Gerry and the Pacemakers' Ferry Cross the Mersey, there is little question that the most successful group out of Liverpool in the Sixties -- aside from that other one -- was the Searchers. In the wake of the Beatles there were a dozen or so bands who rode into the charts -- Gerry, The Big Three, Billy J Kramer and...

Larry Williams: Slow Down (1959)

Larry Williams: Slow Down (1959)

R'n'b/rock'n'roll singer-songwriter Williams didn't have a particularly long time in the spotlight -- he appeared in '57 and was effectively gone from the charts within three years -- but his small catalogue influenced a generation of British singers, among them John Lennon who was a huge fan. In fact the Beatles covered three Williams'...

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR MEMORIES, a doco by DAVID LAMBERT (DV1/Southbound DVD)

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR MEMORIES, a doco by DAVID LAMBERT (DV1/Southbound DVD)

Introduced by Victor Spinetti -- the only man other than the Beatles to appear in three of their films, A Hard Day's Night, Help! and Magical Mystery Tour? -- this rather stilted but nonetheless mildy amusing doco is knobbled by the obvious: it doesn't include any of the original Beatles film; none of their music (aside from covers of relevant...

Norman "Hurricane" Smith: Oh Babe, What Would You Say (1972)

Norman "Hurricane" Smith: Oh Babe, What Would You Say (1972)

Norman Smith was an unlikely chart-topper when he knocked Elton John off the top of the US charts with this, his second single: he was 49 at the time and prior to that his career had been firmly on the other side of the microphone as an engineer and a producer. But what a career he had enjoyed. In his late 30s he'd been taken on as a...

LENNON AND HARRISON; GUITARS GENTLY WEEP (DV1/Southbound DVD)

LENNON AND HARRISON; GUITARS GENTLY WEEP (DV1/Southbound DVD)

Although this DVD and CD set is beautifully packaged -- classic cover photos by Astrid Kirchherr, thick and lavishly presented biography book -- it fails to live up to its claim of exploring the (often tetchy) relationship between these two men. The 55 minute DVD notes that the relationship between Lennon and McCartney has been much...

Bill Elliot and the Elastic Oz Band: God Save Us (1971)

Bill Elliot and the Elastic Oz Band: God Save Us (1971)

The problem with political songs is that so often they are merely sloganeering and headlines. Fine print and nuance can't make it into a three minute song. Still, there's nothing quite like a chant such as "power to the people" -- even if we are never quite sure which people should have the power. For a few years from the late...

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOURS by TONY BRAMWELL: Not only a northern song

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOURS by TONY BRAMWELL: Not only a northern song

Tony Bramwell -- who sounds like great man to have a martini with -- has had an extrordinary life, and not just because he was a childhood friend of the Beatles, became their manager Brian Epstein's off-sider, and -- as their road manager and CEO of Apple Records and Films -- was one of a small inner sanctum around the band until they went their...

The Flame: See the Light (1970)

The Flame: See the Light (1970)

Even during their lifespan there were always records which were attributed to the Beatles. The suggestion was that they might put out a single anonymously just to see if it would chart -- or there were the famous bootlegs of "the Beatles with Bob Dylan". After they broke up in 1970 there were any number of rumours that they had...

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Monkees; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Monkees; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

By the merest twist of fate, the history of popular American music in '66-'68 could well have been very different if just one man had got a different job. Stephen Stills -- a wonderful songwriter but even better guitarist who had his friend Jimi Hendrix on his first solo album -- was a mainspring of Buffalo Springfield and co-founder of...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest (4AD)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest (4AD)

After their last album Microcastle (one of Elsewhere's best of '08) this beguiling outfit seemed to go off the map, perhaps in part because of mainman Bradford Cox's side project as the equally fascinating (but different) Atlas Sound. If that last Deerhunter sounded like an astute distillation of diverse influences this slightly more low-key...

John Lennon: I'm Losing You (1980)

John Lennon: I'm Losing You (1980)

The remastered Lennon catalogue (released on the anniversary of what would have been his 70th birthday) naturally allows a reconsideration of some of his material. (See essay here.) This song -- when it appeared on Double Fantasy, see clip -- had a brooding quality and the anger seemed self-directed. But this version, taken from the Lennon...

JOHN LENNON, REMASTERED AND RECONSIDERED (2010):

JOHN LENNON, REMASTERED AND RECONSIDERED (2010):

In what would be one of his final interviews around the release of Double Fantasy in late 1980, John Lennon said – as a married, settled man at 40 with a young child – he was interested in seeing if it was possible to have a life centred around a family and a child and still be an artist. “Could the family be the...

Marc Cohn: Listening Booth; 1970 (Sony)

Marc Cohn: Listening Booth; 1970 (Sony)

The way singer-songwriter Cohn remembers it, 1970 was when the Beatles, and Simon and Garfunkel, broke up. It was classic singles, the dawn of the singer-songwriter era (James Taylor, Neil Young and others), great albums by various solo Beatles, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, Creedence . . . So he goes back to that year for this collection...

MATTHEW SWEET INTERVIEWED (1993): It should be a more Sweet world

MATTHEW SWEET INTERVIEWED (1993): It should be a more Sweet world

Matthew Sweet comes with a double handicap: the unthreatening “Matthew” and then . . . “Sweet” Hmm, very soft, very sweet. It isn’t a promising start and he made life doubly difficult by calling his last album Girlfriend and putting a lovely furwrapped, teenage Tuesday Weld on the cover. Wow, Matthew...

Ringo Starr: Early 1970 (1970)

Ringo Starr: Early 1970 (1970)

It was one of the great ironies that after the Beatles broke up the solo careers of the songwriters Lennon and McCartney languished for a while, and that George Harrison unleashed the phenomenally successful All Things Must Pass triple album (with the chart-topper My Sweet Lord) But the most succesful solo Beatle was -- and here's the real...

samRB: Seems I Might Be Human (SRB)

samRB: Seems I Might Be Human (SRB)

samRB is a New Zealand singer-songwriter who has faced mental health issues and this album comes with assistance from NZ Mental Health Media Grant (and some top gun musicians in support of her). I've been on record as looking askance at "the album as therapy" (most recently here) and have run into trouble when denying people their...

THE BEATLES; LIVE IN 95: All back to the Beeb

THE BEATLES; LIVE IN 95: All back to the Beeb

It was a curious thing, but in '95 the Beatles released a new single, Baby It’s You, which came on seven-inch vinyl with extra tracks (an EP no less!) and there was an accompanying video. The Beatles in ’95'? What could they teach us 30 years after the event? Quite a lot, actually. While it was easy to be cynical...

Paul McCartney and Wings; Band on the Run Remastered. (Universal)

Paul McCartney and Wings; Band on the Run Remastered. (Universal)

It's sad in a way, but great albums often are a result of bad situations: death, divorce, betrayal, litigation and debilitating substance abuse seem to make for better and more interesting music than cheery times with the family on holiday. Think about it: Neil Young's Tonight's the Night (death, drugs); John Martyn's Grace and Danger...

BADFINGER (1968-73): The shop-soiled Apple band

BADFINGER (1968-73): The shop-soiled Apple band

There are two stories every young musician should read, the first is obvious. The Beatles story is full of magic and coincidence; McCartney's meeting with a drunk Lennon, Harrison getting in by playing Raunchy to them while on a bus, the Hamburg days and the death of Stu Sutcliffe, the firing of Pete Best and Ringo entering just before...

HARRY NILSSON PROFILED. The fire this time

HARRY NILSSON PROFILED. The fire this time

The too-short life of the greatly under-appreciated singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson (1941-94) was full of bitter ironies: not the least was that this gifted songwriter's biggest hits were written by others. His memorable Without You was penned by Pete Ham and Tom Evans from the Beatles-blessed power poppers, Badfinger; and although...

Ivor Cutler: Life in a Scotch Sitting Room and Go And Sit Upon the Grass (1975)

Ivor Cutler: Life in a Scotch Sitting Room and Go And Sit Upon the Grass (1975)

The Scottish poet and comedian Ivor Cutler (1923 - 2006) barely scraped the surface of wide public acclaim outside of the UK, and even there he was a minority figure. But he did appear in the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour in '67 after Paul McCartney spotted the eccentric, quietly spoken Cutler on a late night television show. In that Beatles...

David Peel and the Lower East Side: Up Against The Wall (1968)

David Peel and the Lower East Side: Up Against The Wall (1968)

New York's David Peel was living proof of the adage, "it isn't what you know, it's who you know". And how you could milk that association -- however brief - for all it's worth. He was also one of those "only in New York" guys. In the late Sixties when this insightful if reductive piece of political rhetoric was...

THE RUTLES. RON NASTY and NEIL INNES INTERVIEWED: I have always thought in the back of my mind . . .

THE RUTLES. RON NASTY and NEIL INNES INTERVIEWED: I have always thought in the back of my mind . . .

In the Sixties they changed the world -- in 1970 they changed their mind and broke up. They were the Rutles, lovable legends from Liverpool who launched their career with innocent hits such as Hold My Hand. Within two years the cynical Ron Nasty and cheery Dirk McQuickly had penned dozens of enduring classics. As they matured through...

The Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble: Daytripper (1983)

The Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble: Daytripper (1983)

And you thought YouTube threw up fly-by-night stars and oddities? This one puts the surfing cat and dancing pig into perspective. In the early Eighties a couple of Australians -- over a few wines -- fiddled with computer technology to simulate the sound of dogs barking and used it to have the "dogs" "sing" a Beatles song....

Beady Eye: The Roller (Liberator)

Beady Eye: The Roller (Liberator)

Elsewhere doesn't usually trouble itself with singles -- but this one may be of some interest for longtime Oasis fans, or those just curious to know what's up with the Gallagher brothers since Noel quit. Beady Eye are Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and Andy Bell (from Oasis) with Chris Sharrock. This is the first single from the forthcoming...

THE BEATLES Vs THE ROLLING STONES by JIM DeROGATIS and GREG KOT

THE BEATLES Vs THE ROLLING STONES by JIM DeROGATIS and GREG KOT

At a first glance this lavishly illustrated and beautifully presented book -- with dozens of relevant, interesting and never before seen photos of the bands, and of period-piece memorabilia, movie posters and the like -- looks fairly lightweight. But fun. A quick read and you've got it: the two authors posit a rivalry between these two...

PAUL McCARTNEY 1970 AND 1980 (2011): Lowkey at each end of his first post-Beatles decade

PAUL McCARTNEY 1970 AND 1980 (2011): Lowkey at each end of his first post-Beatles decade

In a few months Sir James Paul McCartney, age 68, will premier his new work, a major orchestral piece for the New York City Ballet entitled Oceans Kingdom, written in conjunction with American composer John Wilson. This ambitious career move in the classical world follows his Liverpool Oratorio, Standing Stone and Working Classical with...

PHIL SPECTOR'S RISE AND FALL . . . AND FALL AGAIN (2003): The high and low life

PHIL SPECTOR'S RISE AND FALL . . . AND FALL AGAIN (2003): The high and low life

So Phil Spector has been charged with murder, huh? Well, no surprises there then - because Spector has been one of the more disturbed individuals in rock, right up there with the eccentric and once reclusive Beach Boy Brian Wilson, the Pink Floyd founder Floyd Syd Barrett, and the just plain weird Michael Jackson. When it came to crazy...

John Lennon: Strawberry Fields Forever (1966, demo)

John Lennon: Strawberry Fields Forever (1966, demo)

The working drawings of famous songs can often be as interesting as the finished product, although in this instance the final version of Lennon's psychedelic classic Strawberry Fields Forever of '67 takes some beating. But here, at home in Surrey after he had returned from Spain where he had been filming How I Won The War and had sketched...

THE BEATLES AND APPLE RECORDS: Western communism and rotten at the core

THE BEATLES AND APPLE RECORDS: Western communism and rotten at the core

The Beatles faced a screaming audience for the last time at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in August 1966. After that they retired as a live band. It was inevitable. As Ringo Starr said of their touring years: "It was the worst time and the best time of my life. The best time because we played a lot of good music. The worst time ......

THE BEATLES' YELLOW SUBMARINE RECONSIDERED (2012): Fantasia for the pot generation

THE BEATLES' YELLOW SUBMARINE RECONSIDERED (2012): Fantasia for the pot generation

Movie producer Al Brodax said it began with a 3am phone call from John Lennon: Wouldn't it be great if Ringo was followed down the street by a yellow submarine?" That -- allegedly/mythically -- was the start and (aside from them knocking off a few songs for the soundtrack and a short appearance before the credits) the end of the...

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (2001): The Beatles first film on DVD

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (2001): The Beatles first film on DVD

There's a brief scene in A Hard Day's Night that went right past most people at the time. Watch carefully in the first few minutes and you'll catch it. John Lennon is sitting in a railway carriage and holding a bottle of Coke. With a knowing look he sniffs, or more correctly, snorts it. It's the little things in life really, isn't it?...

BOB GRUEN INTERVIEWED (1998): The man who shot John Lennon, many times

BOB GRUEN INTERVIEWED (1998): The man who shot John Lennon, many times

Photographer Bob Gruen is affable and chatty but clearly on autopilot. His stories, good though they are, are worn smooth by repetition. But to his credit he repeats them with enthusiasm and they are received by the various media representatives with equal pleasure. And despite this having the feel of the “I danced with a man who...

BEATLES FOR SALE, AGAIN: The release of Anthology 1 (London, 1995)

BEATLES FOR SALE, AGAIN: The release of Anthology 1 (London, 1995)

The release of any Beatles album was always an occasion, so 25 years after the band broke up, the plush ambience of the Lancaster Room in the Savoy Hotel doesn’t seem inappropriate for the launch of The Beatles' Anthology 1, a collection of out-takes and unreleased material, the first of a series of three double CDs that effectively mops...

THE BEATLES IN PRINT: HAMBURG DAYS; Before the whirlwind (2002)

THE BEATLES IN PRINT: HAMBURG DAYS; Before the whirlwind (2002)

The oldest wasn't yet 20, but they were drunk, pilled to the eyeballs and doing what they loved best: playing rock'n'roll. In black leather, hair greased back Elvis-style, they pumped out primal versions of Little Richard hits to the drunken sailors, pimps and prostitutes who jostled in the beer-stale club, the sweat dripping down on them as...

BEATLEMANIA IN '64: Good times and bad politics

BEATLEMANIA IN '64: Good times and bad politics

Some photographs are deafening. Consider the images of American kids screaming at the Beatles in late 1964. Even now, more than four decades later, those who remember the times or have seen the footage will hear an inexplicable noise as if it were alive and ear-shattering right now. Beatlemania from this historical distance -- a world of...

THE BEATLES IN NEW ZEALAND 1964: Screaming and cynicism

THE BEATLES IN NEW ZEALAND 1964: Screaming and cynicism

As the saying goes, the past is another country - -often a pretty innocent one, and certainly cheaper. That's why many people prefer to live there. Roll the clock back to over 40 years ago, and look around: a National Government led by Keith Holyoake; the All Blacks back home from a successful tour of France and Britain; Brass Band Parade on...

THE BEATLES IN AMERICA 1964: Songs of innocence -- and experience  (DVD reviewed, 2004)

THE BEATLES IN AMERICA 1964: Songs of innocence -- and experience (DVD reviewed, 2004)

In the beginning there were just the four of them. Then we learned of the fifth Beatle. Depending on who you talked to it was producer George Martin, New York DJ Murray the K, or the dumped drummer Pete Best. Then we heard about their Hamburg days and the dead Beatle Stu Sutcliffe, their manager Brian Epstein (below) and the rest of the...

PAUL McCARTNEY GOES CLASSICAL (1993): An oratorio for everyman

PAUL McCARTNEY GOES CLASSICAL (1993): An oratorio for everyman

Around the time of his 50th birthday in June last year, Paul McCartney could have -- if he so chose -- picked up a couple of mainstream British newspapers and read editorials and think pieces suggesting that this former Beatle be made a knight of the realm. And why not? James Paul McCartney is undeniably Britain’s most popular...

THE LENNON LEGEND BOOK, REVIEWED (2003): More or less Lennon

THE LENNON LEGEND BOOK, REVIEWED (2003): More or less Lennon

Had John Lennon lived, he would have turned 63 last month. It's interesting to speculate what kind of music he might be making today. Interesting, but pointless: Lennon never saw the trickle-down of punk and new wave; the big-hair 80s; the rise of rap, Madonna and Springsteen; Guns N' Roses, Nirvana and grunge; trends like nu-metal, nu-jazz and...

YOKO ONO: Back with the blueprint (2001) and re-disc-covered (2007)

YOKO ONO: Back with the blueprint (2001) and re-disc-covered (2007)

Some years ago at another posthumous John Lennon album launch, a journalist asked Yoko Ono why she hadn't released an album of her own in quite some while. "There seemed no great call for it," she laughed. True enough. Whether it be her extraordinary primal screaming and emotional venting, her un-nuanced feminist polemics or naive...

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY IN PRINT (2000): Hardback Writers?

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY IN PRINT (2000): Hardback Writers?

The Beatles' story has been recounted by those who knew them intimately and those who not only never met them but would seem, after enduring a few pages of their authors recycling press clippings, to have had little real interest in them. But it has rarely been told by the only ones who know the true story -- the Beatles themselves....

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

Some people just don't get it, do they? Wouldn't you love to meet those gearing up to pay an expected $4.5 million at on-line auction for the piano on which John Lennon wrote Imagine? Imagine no possessions, huh? Of course, the Famous White Piano will command top dollar because Imagine was recently voted the best song ever written or...

ABBEY ROAD REVISITED: Crossing the crossing (2006)

ABBEY ROAD REVISITED: Crossing the crossing (2006)

Long before you reach the most famous recording studio in the world you can hear the sound. But it is not music coming from inside the walls. It is the squeal of tyres as another car or truck slams on its brakes because a tourist - and often a whole group - has stepped on to the nearby pedestrian crossing to have a photo taken in imitation of an...

BEATLES PHOTOGRAPHER JURGEN VOLLMER PROFILED (1994): The man who clicked with the Beatles

BEATLES PHOTOGRAPHER JURGEN VOLLMER PROFILED (1994): The man who clicked with the Beatles

If the name Jurgen Vollmer isn’t familiar at all, it’s because it only ever appears somewhere around the first chapter of even the most brainless Beatles biography -- then drops out forever. Vollmer was one of a group of self-styled existentialist art students in Hamburg -- photographer Astrid Kirschner the most well known -- who,...

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . YOKO ONO (2013): The noises from within

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . YOKO ONO (2013): The noises from within

Yoko is a concept by which we measure our pain -- New York graffiti, 1970. A voice that comes once in a lifetime; unfortunately it came in ours -- Critic Jim Mullen, 1992 Yoko Ono was always an easy target. Conceptual artists who mount exhibitions of chess sets where all the pieces are white, or write books...

SIR GEORGE MARTIN INTERVIEWED (1998): The retiring knight of the round vinyl

SIR GEORGE MARTIN INTERVIEWED (1998): The retiring knight of the round vinyl

Of all the knights of pop -- Sir Cliff, Sir Paul, Sir Elton -- it is Sir George Martin, famously known a the Beatles’ producer, who seems the most deserving of the accolade. It was November '95 when I met him in London at the launch of the Beatles’ Anthology albums. He was self-effacing, courteous and well-spoken. (At age 16...

PAUL McCARTNEY'S OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY REVIEWED (1997): Still can't buy the love?

PAUL McCARTNEY'S OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY REVIEWED (1997): Still can't buy the love?

Paul McCartney is the Beatle old fans love to hate: his sins are manifest in Silly Love Songs, a Linda and not a Yoko, the permanent Mr Thumbs Aloft attitude, the knighthood which his old colleague John Lennon would doubtless have declined …. But there is worse. This past decade, by quiet incremental steps, we have witnessed the...

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE LENNON ANTHOLOGY BOX SET (2003): And Lennon's on sale again. . .

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE LENNON ANTHOLOGY BOX SET (2003): And Lennon's on sale again. . .

For reasons which withstand no scrutiny at all, there’s an expectation Yoko Ono will be miserable in interviews. After all, here is the Famous Rock Widow whose husband was gunned down before her eyes leaving her with a much beloved five-year old son, the legacy of the Lennon name and fortune, and the still prevalent perception of her as...

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE TOURING LENNON ART EXHIBITION (1997) In his own draw

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE TOURING LENNON ART EXHIBITION (1997) In his own draw

For anyone who has only experienced her singing -- which slews wildly between a visceral scream of anguish and an orgasmic howl -- Yoko Ono’s remarkably quiet speaking voice, barely above a whisper, comes as a surprise. And this week as she talks about art and music from her home in New York it is aggravated by a cold and initially reduced...

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED 1992: The yin and yang of Yoko

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED 1992: The yin and yang of Yoko

Few people could claim to have been as publicly reviled, ridiculed, misunderstood and misrepresented as Yoko Ono. As her husband of 12 years John Lennon once remarked, she was “the most famous unknown artist in the world. Everyone knows who she is, but nobody knows what she does.“ And the little that people did know during her...

PAUL McCARTNEY LIVE IN SYDNEY (1993): Younger Than Yesterday

PAUL McCARTNEY LIVE IN SYDNEY (1993): Younger Than Yesterday

Among the tickets touts barking at the crowd outside the Sydney Entertainment Centre before the Paul McCartney concert, the scalper with the XXOS beer gut wrapped in a small-men’s T-shirt stood out. While others on this raw edge of the market economy were offering $130-a-ticket, the swollen T-shirt was nasally hawking “tickets...

ASTRID KIRCHHERR, BEATLES PHOTOGRAPHER, INTERVIEWED (1994): Young, free and wild.

ASTRID KIRCHHERR, BEATLES PHOTOGRAPHER, INTERVIEWED (1994): Young, free and wild.

At 55, Astrid Kirchherr still loves rock music and listens to it every day: The Beatles, the Doors, Bowie . . . “and Prince, he’s such a genius -- if he just wouldn’t wear those stupid clothes! I always wanted him to look serious, young and sexy. But he dressed like an old prostitute in drag.”  Kirchherr laughs...

BACKBEAT, ASTRID KIRCHHERR AND THE YOUNG BEATLES ON FILM (1994): The Birth of the Beat

BACKBEAT, ASTRID KIRCHHERR AND THE YOUNG BEATLES ON FILM (1994): The Birth of the Beat

His letters back home don’t tell the whole story. But such letters seldom do. He says there are plenty of girls “but none of us can be bothered” and that he is “not the happiest man alive. It’s now my seventh week here. I came here for a reason I do not know. I have no money, no resources, no hope . . .”...

The Beatles: On Air - Live at the BBC Vol 2 (Universal)

The Beatles: On Air - Live at the BBC Vol 2 (Universal)

Just as the Beatles enjoyed that long and rare association with producer George Martin and EMI's Abbey Road studios, so too they had a mutually beneficial relationship with the BBC. The "Beeb" as it is affectionately knows may have been the conservative face of British broadcasting, but it was also aware of its mandate to represent...

Bob Geldof: Which one do you want?

Bob Geldof: Which one do you want?

It is sometimes easy to forget -- and you suspect at times he does too -- but Bob Geldof is actually a musician. He was in musician mode when he came to town in April 91 because he'd released an album called The Vegetarians of Love which had enjoyed favourable reviews --- but suffered from abysmal sales. And so Bob was out on the road...

Paul and Linda McCartney, Ram (1971)

Paul and Linda McCartney, Ram (1971)

Sir James Paul McCartney has released around 40 albums under his own name  -- or that of Wings, with his late wife Linda, or under some other nom de disque -- since the break-up of the Beatles in 1970. That's about an album a year, and even if we take out live releases or compilations, his strike rate is astonishingly...

Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)

Harry Nilsson, Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)

The too-short life of the greatly under-appreciated singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson (1941-94) was full of bitter ironies: not the least was that this gifted songwriter's biggest hits were written by others. His memorable Without You was penned by Pete Ham and Tom Evans from the Beatles-blessed power poppers, Badfinger; and although...

THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST DVD REVIEWED (2007)

THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST DVD REVIEWED (2007)

If you want to capture the essence of the 70s in a word it's "hair". At the start of the decade there were Afros and cascades of curls halfway down backs (that's the men) and the long straight stuff with fringes (the women -- and Noddy Holder from Slade). By mid-decade there were dreadlocks, moustaches and big sideburns...

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