domingo, 31 de julio de 2016

Restoration Of The Beatles' Shea Stadium Gig To Be Released
4K Restoration Of The Beatles' Shea Stadium Gig To Be Released In Cinemas
By Ed Biggs
29 July 2016

Not broadcast in its entirety since 1967, a full restoration will be played in select cinemas to support Ron Howard's 'Eight Days a Week' touring documentary about the band in September.

With Ron Howard’s documentary movie Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years hitting cinemas in a couple of months’ time, it has been announced that a specially restored film The Beatles’ iconic concert performance at Shea Stadium in 1965 will receive a limited theatrical run at the same time.

On Thursday (July 28th), it was revealed that a fully-restored 4K version of the show that the Fab Four played at New York’s Shea Stadium on August 15th 1965 will be released in certain cinemas to support the roll-out of Howard’s documentary, which will premiere on September 16th.

The Beatles

It was broadcast in black and white in Britain in 1966, and in colour in America the following year, but other than bits and pieces seen in 1995’s Anthology DVD collection, it has never been available for Beatles fans until now.

The Shea Stadium gig is one of the most sought-after artefacts for Beatles nuts, along with their live recordings from the Hollywood Bowl that are also seeing a first-time official release imminently, on September 9th.

“From a fan's point of view, it's great, it's exciting. For all these years, we've had unofficial footage. I'd be very interested with today's technology how this stuff is going to look,” said Dave Schwenson, the author of a book, ‘The Beatles at Shea Stadium’, told Billboard.

Leslie Healy, one of 55,000 fans who attended the gig in Queens that evening, also told the publication: “The screams were deafening [and] I'm sure I added to them. You couldn't hear the songs. It was one roar of hysterical young ladies from the time they opened their mouths until their final chord. And the whole concert was over in about 33 minutes. Just a flash.”

Meanwhile, Howard’s documentary Eight Days a Week has been made in co-operation with the group’s two surviving members, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, plus John Lennon and George Harrison’s widows.

"Live at the Hollywood Bowl" Preview
Hollywood Bowl preview
Posted by Roger Stormo
Saturday, July 30, 2016

A pre-release review from a listening session.

Yosi Noz is a well known writing Beatles fan who knows the original "The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl" very well. He was recently invited to attend a listening session for the new "The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl" at the Universal Music's Japanese office at Akasaka, Tokyo. Here's his account of the sonic experience, referencing the original 1977 release for comparison.

"Live at the Hollywood Bowl" - My first impression
by Yosi Noz

Yesterday, I attended a listening session for this album Luckily we could hear the entire CD through the big speakers with loud volume, incredible experience! It felt like the band was actually there, playing.
Edit-wise, they replicate the '77 album faithfully. I didn't notice differences with the spoken intros and edits of the songs between the 1977 and 2016 versions. It sounded like a remaster of the '77 album (which it actually was not, for the record). The "show" ends temporarily with "Long Tall Sally".
Then after some silence, "You Can't Do That" starts.

On this song, Giles didn't fix the backing vocals problem (they are off for a while), to my surprise.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" is supplemented with the spoken intro by Paul (such like "Thank you very much") probably lifted from "All My Loving".

George's vocal on "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" sounded most processed with reverb, eq and maybe compression, to my ears.

Unlike on the "Real Love" single, the spoken intro for "Baby's in Black" is the actual one from the August 30 performance.

By the way, the spoken intros are added with more reverb than on the singing voices.

The flow of the original lineup to the added 4 songs did not sound very good. It may be better if they were placed somewhere in the original lineup rather than together at the end, but Giles may not like altering the order of the original album, which his loving and respected late father created back in 1977.
Sound-wise, it's more natural and powerful than the original, to my ears. Reverb is far more subtle and the audience screaming is more moderate than on the 1977 version. The bass and drums sounds really energetic and lively.

The basic stereo picture is - left: bass and drums / center: vocals / right: two guitars. But the drums also sounded from (left-) center on the 1964 recordings. Overall, an excellent live album.
The Beatles were never quite there?
Listen to this, Keith!

(This of course, refers to recently published statements by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones that The Beatles weren't such a great live band. WogBlog)

And here's a summary of each track that Yosi originally posted in the Steve Hoffman forum:

Note that there could be errors and I may miss some obvious points.

1 Twist and Shout
MCs' introduction: Same (Now, here they are! The Beatles!)
Performance: Same (Aug 30, 65)

2 She's A Woman
(No spoken intro = same)
Performance: Same (Aug 30, 65)

3 Dizzy Miss Lizzy
Introduction by John: Same
Performance: Sounded as the same edited version of the Aug 30 and 29 in the same order

4 Ticket To Ride
Introduction by Paul: Same
Performance: Same (Aug 29, 65)

5 Can't Buy Me Love
(No spoken intro = same)
Performance: Same (Aug 30, 65)

6 Things We Said Today
Introduction by George: Same
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)

7 Roll Over Beethoven
(No spoken intro = same)
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)

8 Boys
Introduction by Paul: Same (singing a song called "Boys", Ringo! )
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)

9 A Hard Day’s Night
Introduction by John: Same (the black and white one. etc.)
Performance: Same (Aug 30, 65)

10 Help!
Introduction by John: Same
Performance: Same "edit" of two performances
(Though it is credited as from Aug 29, I believe this is the edit of two performances.
At least the opening verse is from 30th.)

11 All My Loving
Introduction by Paul: Same (from the first Capitol album. etc.)
Performance: Same performance (Aug 23, 64)

12 She Loves You
Introduction by John: Same (some old people might remember. etc.)
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)

13 Long Tall Sally
Introduction by Paul: Same
Performance: Same (Aug 23, 64)
(Fades out after this)

14 You Can’t Do That
(No spoken intro)
Performance: New (Aug 23, 64)

15 I Want To Hold Your Hand
Introduction by Paul: New (Just "Thank you very much, everybody." - probably the one before "All My Loving")
Performance: New (Aug 23, 64)

16 Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
Introduction by Paul: New (Thank you. etc. Probably the words after "I Want To Hold Your Hand")
Performance: New (Aug 30, 65)

17 Baby's In Black
Introduction by John: New (Aug 30, 65)
Performance: Same as the "Real Love" single (Aug 30, 65)

Approx. running time 44:30

The actual cover of the CD was never available at the listening party, just a facsimile of the cover photo.

"The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl" will be released on CD September 9, 2016, followed by an LP release on November 18, 2016. You may pre-order it from Amazon here (New price). CD 180g Vinyl LP

sábado, 30 de julio de 2016

New 'Pure McCartney VR' Documentary: 'My Valentine'


New 'Pure McCartney VR' Documentary: 'My Valentine'

New 'Pure McCartney VR' Documentary: 'My Valentine'
In this fifth and final instalment of  the 'Pure McCartney VR' documentary series - created in partnership with Jaunt VR - Paul takes us behind-the-scenes of ‘My Valentine’, which features on his 2012 album Kisses On The Bottom.
Throughout the years Paul has been fascinated in multimedia, having spent a significant part of his life dabbling and dreaming up ideas for films, paintings, album covers and of course, music.
Paul tells us how the opportunity arose for him to direct Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp in the music video for 'My Valentine', which features both actors signing the lyrics to the love song. Paul also tells us how he wrote the song during a rainy holiday in Morroco with his then wife-to-be, Nancy, using the piano in the hotel lobby...on Valentine's Day! 
Watch Paul accompanying himself on his Wurlitzer electric piano as his discusses the song in the 360° video below…. 
The 'My Valentine' VR experience was filmed for Paul's latest release, Pure McCartney.
Fans can purchase their copy at their local record store, or online via the below links:
The album is also available to stream through the following sites:

jueves, 28 de julio de 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Ron Howard Describes 'The Beatles: Eight Days a Week' Documentary as 'a Survival Story'
EXCLUSIVE: Ron Howard Describes 'The Beatles: Eight Days a Week' Documentary as 'a Survival Story'
by Raphael Chestang
July 27, 2016

Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about the Beatles, Ron Howard has uncovered new things about the Fab Four for the upcoming documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week -- The Touring Years.

"This a survival story of these young guys," Howard told ET. "They're boys in the beginning and men at the end, and they've been through an amazing journey."

The film traces John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr from 1962-1966 during the years that they became a phenomenon. Howard was a kid at the time, playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show, and he (like everyone else) found himself swept up in Beatlemania.

"For my 10th birthday what I wanted was Beatle boots and a Beatle wig," Howard said. "My parents couldn't find Beatle boots, but down at the dime store, Woolworths or someplace, they found a Beatle wig!"

The band took the U.S. by storm when they debuted on American television on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York City on Feb. 9, 1964 -- a performance Howard remembers well.

"I watched that," Howard told ET. "It was so important everybody tuned in. It was amazing."

Despite his illustrious resume, which includes two Oscar wins, Howard has only made one other documentary, Jay Z: Made in America, and was initially daunted with the project because he wasn't sure the Beatles story was one he could tell. He walked away with some gems about the iconic band.

"The police and local governments told them that if they continued to play 10,000-person arenas that they would always have 30 or 40 thousand kids outside clamoring and they couldn't control it," Howard said, explaining that they virtually invented the stadium tour out of necessity. "They had to put them in stadiums."

Howard also learned that they looked out for all of their fans no matter what.

"I didn't know that their first political stand -- their first big controversial issue -- involved what was to be a segregated concert in Jacksonville, Florida," Howard said. "They said, 'Are you kidding me? That's ridiculous.' They couldn't see the logic in it, of course, but they had no idea how controversial it was but they stuck to their guns."

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week will premiere in theaters on Sept. 16 and debut on Hulu Sept. 17.

Glimpses of Eight Days A Week
Posted by Roger Stormo
Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Washington DC concert, 1964.

As we are drawing closer to the premiere of the film, we are being treated to more clips. In an exclusive filmed interview with ET, we are treated to quite a few samples from Ron Howard's upcoming documentary on The Beatles, "Eight Days A Week". As is evident from these two sample screenshots, more than one Beatles concert has been colourised. What do you think about colourisation? We are fine with it over at the WogBlog HQ. It's not as if these televised concerts are fine art.

Blackpool, 1965.

George Harrison's widow announces she's keen to release unfinished Beatles tracks
'I think there's a project there': George Harrison's widow announces she's keen to release unfinished Beatles tracks with her son Dhani
PUBLISHED: 27 July 2016

George Harrison's widow has raised the possibility she will will finish some of the Beatles unreleased songs with her son Dhani.
Olivia Harrison said she talked to her 37-year-old son about working on the tracks: 'There are a lot of songs that are unfinished,' she explained. 'I think there's a project there. I just need time to get to it,' Billboard reported.
She was speaking at the the tenth anniversary of The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, attended by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono.

Close: George Harrison's widow has raised the possibility she will will finish some of the Beatles unreleased songs with her son Dhani (pictured)
Close: George Harrison's widow has raised the possibility she will will finish some of the Beatles unreleased songs with her son Dhani (pictured)

Harrison, 68, revealed she is working on around 10 songs that will make up a new album of previously unreleased work.
She had hoped it would have been released by now, but fell ill with the flu and was hospitalised in February, which she said had 'derailed the whole situation.'

'Everything in my body is OK now, except I have a problem walking,' the Mexican author and producer explained.
Olivia met the Beatles lead guitarist in 1974 as a secretary at A&M Records and she gave birth to their son in August 1978.
The following month the couple married in a private ceremony in a register office in Henley-on-Thames.

Unfinished work: Olivia Harrison said she talked to her 37-year-old son about working on the tracks: 'There are a lot of songs that are unfinished,' she explained. 'I think there's a project there. I just need time to get to it'
Unfinished work: Olivia Harrison said she talked to her 37-year-old son about working on the tracks: 'There are a lot of songs that are unfinished,' she explained. 'I think there's a project there. I just need time to get to it'

Olivia moved into George's Oxfordshire mansion, Friar Park, close to the rowing hotspot, where she still lives today, following her husband's death from cancer in 2001.
In December 1999, an intruder broke into the house and attacked George and his wife, leaving him with a punctured lung, more than 40 stab wounds and head injuries.
Olivia has kept busy since George's death and promoted the The Beatles: Rock Band video game with Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in 2009.
While in 2011 she co-produced the film George Harrison: Living in the Material World with Martin Scorsese and co-authored the accompanying book.

Strong relationship: Olivia met the Beatles lead guitarist in 1974 as a secretary at A&M Records and she gave birth to their son in August 1978 (pictured together on holiday in Italy)
Strong relationship: Olivia met the Beatles lead guitarist in 1974 as a secretary at A&M Records and she gave birth to their son in August 1978 (pictured together on holiday in Italy)
George Harrison's Widow Says Their Son Dhani May Finish The Beatle's Unreleased Songs Plus More Inside Scoop
by Selma Fonseca

George Harrison and son Dhani photographed at a guitar auction at Christies in London in 1999.

New George Harrison Music? His Widow Says ‘Maybe’
On July 14, along with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison attended the 10th anniversary of The Beatles Love by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas -- with an updated, remixed soundtrack by Giles Martin, son of the Fab Four’s late, legendary producer George Martin -- and spoke to Overheard about percolating music projects of their own.

Harrison said she and Dhani Harrison, her 37-year-old musician son with George Harrison, have talked about him finishing some unreleased tracks that her late husband left behind. “There are a lot of songs that are unfinished,” she said. “I think there’s a project there. I just need time to get to it.”

Ono told Billboard that she’s working on an album of approximately 10 songs that she had intended to have out by now, but she was blindsided by the flu (and briefly hospitalized in February). “That derailed the whole situation,” she said. Ono explained that “everything in my body is OK now, except I have a problem walking,” adding, “I want to be a little more normal” before turning her attention back to the record.

miércoles, 27 de julio de 2016

Beatles Photographer Harry Benson honored to be exhibited in Scotland

Cassius Clay and the Beatles
Cassius Clay and The Beatles were among dozens of celebrities photographed by Benson
Glasgow photographer Harry Benson 'honoured' by Holyrood exhibition 
26 JUL 2016

Benson is famous for his pictures of the Beatles in the US as well as having photographed every American president since Dwight D Eisenhower.

Honoured: Harry Benson
Phil Dye/Media Scotland

Glasgow-born photographer Harry Benson has spoken of his delight after it was revealed his work is to go on display in the Scottish Parliament.

Benson is famous for his pictures of the Beatles in the US as well as having photographed every American president since Dwight D Eisenhower.

His work has not been on public display in Scotland since 2008 but Holyrood is to host a new exhibition showcasing images from some of the most significant moments in the history of the US over the last 50 years.

They include the picture Benson took of former US president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy dancing that was used on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine alongside images from the US civil rights movement of the 1960s, pictures of Watergate journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward and Richard Nixon's resignation speech.

Ronald Reagan dancing with Nancy
This picture of President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, appeared on the front cover of Vanity Fair magazine

Photographs of famous faces from outside politics - including Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Jack Nicholson, Dolly Parton and Kevin Spacey - will also be in the display, which runs from August 12 to December 3.

Harry's pic: Nixon meets the Apollo 13 astronauts after their safe return to Earth in 1970
Harry Benson/Daily Express/Getty Images

Benson will also be speaking about his work as part of the parliament's Festival of Politics, when he will speak to deputy presiding officer Linda Fabiani about his work, his inspiration and his childhood in Glasgow.

The photographer said: "It is a distinct honour to have my photographs on display at the Scottish Parliament.

"Photojournalism is history. Photographs bring total recall of events and the surrounding times to those who lived through them and hopefully will bring an understanding to those too young to have been there".

Photographer Harry Benson holds a photograph of The Beatles pillow fighting

ART IN A CORNER : Inspired by 'Images of a Woman', the only known painting ever made by The Beatles.

"I never saw them calmer, more contented than at this time. They were working on something that let their personalities come out. I think it’s the only work they ever did all together that had nothing to do with music. They were very harmonious and happy, calling their wives and girlfriends, all the time doing this painting."
Photographer Robert Whitaker
Eazl partners with PledgeMusic for Art In A Corner
by Coral Williamson
July 25th 2016

Eazl partners with PledgeMusic for Art In A Corner

Social enterprise Eazl Arts has partnered with PledgeMusic for its Art In A Corner charity fundraising project.

The project features new paintings from musical acts, commemorating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles only collaborative painting, Images Of A Woman.

With the project endorsed by Sir Paul McCartney, the likes of Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, Imagine Dragons, Years & Years, The Libertines, Florence & The Machine have created their own original Images Of… artworks to be auctioned later in the year to support Youth Music and Children & the Arts.

Other participating artists include John Illsley (Dire Straits), Wolf Alice, Jerry Dammers (The Specials), Boy George, Circa Waves, The Wombats, Level 42, The Right Hand Lovers, The Bootleg Beatles, The Pretty Things, and Jann Haworth, co-creator of the revered Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover.

Superfans can get advance access to limited edition prints of the artworks via PledgeMusic -  also up for grabs is special project experiences and other band-related material.

In addition to the activity on PledgeMusic, the project artwork will go on display in series of exhibitions across the UK, throughout September and October, to be held in special exhibition spaces operated by Cass Art and Pretty Green. Exhibited work will include backstage photos of The Beatles on tour in Japan in 1996 by renowned British photographer Robert Whitaker. The original paintings will then be sold via an online auction in October, with the proceeds going to the two charities.

Richard Unwin, creative director, Eazl Arts, who’s been co-ordinating the project, said: “It’s been a huge amount of fun putting the project together, but also a lot of work. Challenges have involved liaising with so many different partners and participants and keeping everyone on the same page, not to mention fitting things in with the schedules of bands and performers who are literally flying around the world at any given moment. We’re really proud of what has been achieved and can’t wait to see it all come together for the exhibitions.”

Paul Aspell, founder, Eazl, added: “This past year we’ve been blown away by the amount of support that’s been afforded to the project. From the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr supporting, to the beautiful and rare artwork created by some of today’s most important artists. Enabling Youth Music and Children & the Arts to carry on the great work they’re doing, we hope that fans dig deep, making a difference to the children and young people who depend on these wonderful charities, and getting their hands on a remarkable piece of music history.”

Youth Music CEO Matt Griffiths said: “We’re thrilled to hear that so many revered musicians and bands have been putting time and effort into creating paintings that will support our work using music to transform the lives of young people in challenging circumstances. We’re hugely grateful to all those taking part and, of course, to Eazl for creating such an original fundraising project.“

Sir Paul McCartney, commented: “We painted Images Of A Woman because we had nowhere to go, locked down in our room amid a national controversy and with 35,000 police officers assigned to protect us. Fifty years later, the painting has become a piece of art and music history. I’ve been looking forward to seeing how the Art in a Corner bands express themselves in paint. It’s a great opportunity to record something that can live on alongside the music.”

Cass Art has also donated art materials closely matching those used by The Beatles in 1966, while Arqadia has agreed to frame and mount the finished artworks. International parcel delivery company ParcelHero will ship the painting kits and the finished artworks around the world while Fencor provided the necessary materials for transporting them safely.

When The Beatles completed their painting Images Of A Woman in 1966, a circular lamp was in place in the middle of the canvas and the blank circle created by it was where George, Ringo, John and Paul signed the painting. To recreate the same element, Eazl brought together lighting specialists Shine Lighting and Heathfield to provide lamps to the artists taking part.
Inspired by 'Images of a Woman', the only known painting ever made by The Beatles.

Endorsed by Paul McCartney and in support of two of the UK’s leading arts and music charities, ART IN A CORNER is inspired by ‘Images of a Woman’, the only known painting ever made by The Beatles, painted in Japan in 1966.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the painting, some of the world’s biggest bands and performers have followed in The Beatles’ footsteps to create their own ‘Images of…’ paintings.

The paintings will be shown in a series of exhibitions across the UK – held throughout September and October, 2016 – before being sold in support of the charities Children & the Arts and Youth Music.

Through Pledge, you can become part of the is amazing project by taking the opportunity to pre-order prints of the bands’ artwork, as well as a range of other fantastic items, or simply by offering your support – whether by signing up for regular updates, or by becoming an exclusive Cornerstone Sponsor.

Keep watching for more artwork and project experiences that will be added over the coming weeks!

‘Images of a Woman’
The only known painting The Beatles ever made, ‘Images of a Woman’ was painted on tour in Japan, in 1966. It’s amazing to think that this incredible, abstract composition was painted by the ‘Fab Four’ simply to pass the time. The Beatles arrived in Tokyo ready to play three concerts at Budokan, Japan’s premier martial arts arena. Because of security fears for the band’s safety and protests against their intrusion into such an iconic Japanese institution, all four were kept on lockdown inside the Tokyo Hilton between shows. To keep them entertained, manager Brian Epstein brought in a set of art supplies, laid a large paper canvas on a table and placed a lamp in the centre. He then left four of the most famous men in the world to get creative.

The Project
Inspired by ‘Images of a Woman, ART IN A CORNER has invited some truly amazing artists, bands and performers to follow The Beatles and create their own “Images of….” paintings.

Each participating group received a special ART IN A CORNER art kit – supplied by art specialists Cass Art – containing materials matching those used by The Beatles in 1966.

The completed paintings will be brought together for a series of special exhibitions around the UK. Featured artwork will include backstage photos from The Beatles 1966 tour of Japan by renowned British photographer Robert Whitaker.

Completed artwork is available to pre-order now by:

2. LEVEL 42
5. THE RIGHT HAND LOVERS - aka Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Brian Pern (aka Simon Day) David Arnold & Dave Cummings

Stay-tuned as we reveal the amazing creations of more world famous names….

Visit  for more info and updates on when and where you can see the exhibitions.

This project has been personally endorsed by Paul McCartney and is supported by Ringo Starr.


Banner image photo by Terry O’Neill, courtesy of Iconic Images. Design by Paul Skellett.

Video: Photos by Robert Whitaker, courtesy of Getty Images.

Music: ‘Man in a Corner’, music and lyrics written by Steve Somerset, performed by The San Ferry Anne.

Limited Edition ART IN A CORNER Exhibition Poster. Designed by artist Paul Skellett.
Poster Size: 20×30″
Edition Size: 1000
postage & packaging included in price

martes, 26 de julio de 2016

Brian Wilson & Paul McCartney: 2 legends, 1 summer

Brian Wilson attended The Beatles LOVE party in Las Vegas NV (Jun 2006)
Brian Wilson & Paul McCartney: 2 legends, 1 summer
Christopher Dexter
July 26, 2016

The word "legend" all too often gets tossed around to the point where it can become cliché, but when you talk about Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, the word is about as apropos as it can get.

It’s no secret that 2016 has not been kind to the music world. We’ve lost Prince, David Bowie and countless others — silenced way too early — so when the opportunity to see both McCartney and Wilson arose, I jumped at the chance.

Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney
(Photo: Argus Leader)

When mentioning both men, you ultimately get into a conversation of the bands that made them famous: The Beach Boys and The Beatles. Both bands dominated the 1960s with hit after hit, seemingly and unknowingly pushing each other to greater heights. Then The Beatles dropped Rubber Soul and the gauntlet had been thrown down. Wilson set out to create an album that would not only top Rubber Soul, but would be the greatest album of all time. That album would become Pet Sounds.

Back in the early part of the year, Wilson announced that he would be touring for the 50th Anniversary of the album, playing it in its entirety. It was an opportunity I could not pass up. He wouldn’t be passing through Sioux Falls, but close enough for a small weekend getaway. Wilson would be playing at the Stir Cove at Harrah's Casino in Council Bluffs. Tickets were purchased the day they went on sale, and just like that I was going to see a legend. My girlfriend was excited about the concert and stopping at the zoo, so we had our summer vacation planned.

About a month later, there were rumblings that a major concert was coming to Sioux Falls. Our resident Beatle guru, Michael Klinski, pretty much had it figured out that Paul McCartney would be playing a set in the city. True to form, the concert was announced and the event sold out pretty much instantly. My girlfriend had mentioned that she wanted to go to the concert, however I was too slow in getting tickets. Fortunately, my boss, Patrick Lalley, had two tickets up for grabs after his wife told him she would be out of town, so Paul McCartney in May followed by Brian Wilson in July.

Two legends, one summer.

Comparing the two can be tricky since it really depends on your tastes.

In terms of name recognition alone, McCartney wins hands down. He’s never really faded from the collective consciousness with endless projects, public appearances and Super Bowl halftime shows, one I will always remember as pretty epic. Wilson, on the other hand, pretty much disappeared after his album and the response to Sgt. Pepper, Smile was shelved due to band infighting, drug abuse and mental health issues, including being misdiagnosed and being under the control of a corrupt doctor. Smile would later be reassembled in 2004, earning Wilson a Grammy for the album. However, many wonder what would have happened, had Smile dropped back in 1967 and the friendly feud between the Beach Boys and the Beatles continued.

My girlfriend, Tammy and I before the concert. The
My girlfriend, Tammy and I before the concert. The temperature was 87 degrees but felt like 97 according to my phone. (Photo: Tammy Langholz)

While, he’s a legend in the industry, Wilson’s popularity is limited. This hit home when I would tell people that I would be going to see Brian Wilson perform. Either I would get a blank stare or a “That’s cool,” response knowing full well they had no idea who I was talking about, even though he’s had a critically acclaimed movie made about his life. But in Wilson’s defense, he prefers to remain in the background. After a panic attack aboard an airplane in 1965, he stopped touring with the band and focused on creating music. More specifically, Pet Sounds. He’s not fond of interviews nor is performing in public his favorite thing. I don’t think it’s a stretch to call him a musician rather than an entertainer.

Tammy and I before the Paul McCartney concert in Sioux
Tammy and I before the Paul McCartney concert in Sioux Falls on May 2. (Photo: Christopher Dexter / Argus Leader)


Performance wise, McCartney takes this category. He was constantly active, talking with the audience, telling stories and cracking jokes. You would never guess that this was a man of 73 (now 74) with how much of a show he put on. You had the pyrotechnics and fireworks, coupled with the lights and unique stage setups, which made for a more visual experience. His voice has pretty much held up through the years, having no trouble belting out memorable lyrics.

View from our seats at the Premier Center for Paul McCartney. (Photo: Christopher Dexter / Argus Leader)

For Pet Sounds, Wilson was a much more stationary character, but not nearly as uninterested as some reviews would lead you to believe. He would greet the crowd and introduce the songs, while mostly behind his grand piano. His voice, sadly, isn't what it used to be. A perfect example of what range he had is best displayed during his studio rehearsal for the track Surf's Up in 1967, but that was mostly handled perfectly by Matt Jardin, founding Beach Boy Al Jardin's son. There were no stories or wild light displays, just the music and watching the band itself, which leads us to…

Our seats for Brian Wilson, were first come, first
Our seats for Brian Wilson, were first come, first serve. The tents came down just before the concert started. (Photo: Christopher Dexter / Argus Leader)


This is probably the most debatable depending on your mood at the time and your taste. For me, Wilson’s performance was a musical feast for the ears.

McCartney had the usual four to five guys playing guitar, bass, drums and keyboard. Throughout the concert he moved to organ, then to grand piano. With the stage set up, it made for an enjoyable experience; however, I was not fond of who was running the sound as it was distorted at times.

To execute Pet Sounds in a live setting and get it remotely close to sounding like they were in a studio, takes musicians, and Wilson had them. Eleven — 12 if you count former Beach Boy guitarist Blondie Chaplin, who performed on a limited basis — were on the stage with at least one instrument they were responsible for, including Al Jardin. You had a piano, flute, french horn, baritone harmonica, saxophone and countless other sounds. Each band member also had a mic in front of them, contributing to the lush harmonies of the album and performance. There were times, however, where Wilson did fumble over some lyrics and was off-key in some spots, but when it mattered the most, he delivered, especially when he sang God Only Knows and the final song of the evening, Love & Mercy which brought me to tears. Maybe it was because it was such a great ending. Maybe it was because, this man, who has endured so much, is still here with us and sharing this album.


Both concerts are something I will always remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Both men changed the music world so much that not mentioning them at the top is a crime.

If you have the chance to see either of them perform, I wouldn’t pass it up. Time goes by so fast and who knows how long these two giants will grace us on Earth.

Wouldn't it be nice if they finally toured together? God only knows...

Photo of Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney... autographed by Paul to Brian.

NEW BOOK : The Ray Connolly Beatles Archive

The Ray Connolly Beatles Archive
Posted by Roger Stormo
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 

Ray Connolly was a journalist friend of the Beatles, who has recently published a paperback book of various writings from over the years. Connolly went to Beatles recording sessions and followed their Magical Mystery Tour around England.
During a visit to Canada in 1969, John Lennon told Connolly that he had left the Beatles. This was months before it was official. Paul McCartney asked Connolly to interview him to explain his side of the break-up. Lennon phoned Connolly to tell him that he was returning his MBE to the Queen, and asked him to break the news. Connolly wrote the manuscript to the "That'll Be The Day" film where Ringo played a character. He was about to fly to New York in December 1980 to interview Lennon, when he got a phone call about the senseless murder of the Beatle. In February 1981, Connolly was one of the first authors to chronicle Lennon's life, in the book John Lennon, 1940-80.

The Ray Connolly Beatles Archive is Connolly's account of the Beatles’ story, a selection of some of his many interviews with them and others connected with them, as well a collection of news stories and reflections that he has published over the past half century in various British national newspapers.
You can get the book from Amazon UK through  this link. has this book as a paperback, as well as on Kindle.

Book facts:
The Ray Connolly Beatles Archive
Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: Plumray Books (July 17, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0956591531
ISBN-13: 978-0956591531
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
The Ray Connolly Beatles Archive

Category: Beatles File

Ray Connolly
Ray Connolly

Much of my Beatles journalism has now been collected in "THE Ray Connolly BEATLES ARCHIVE" which is now available on Amazon.


Most books about the Beatles are by writers who never met them. I was lucky. I was a journalist and I was there. I knew all of them, John Lennon confiding in me during a visit to Canada that he’d left the Beatles four months before it became public knowledge, and later Paul McCartney asking me to interview him so that he could explain his side of the break-up.

Before that I went to Beatles’ recording sessions at the Abbey Road studios, knew their wives, visited the homes of three of them, and perhaps over-regularly hung around their London base at Apple playing their demos. In the front row at George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in Madison Square Gardens, I also followed the Magical Mystery Tour around England’s West Country, and when John decided to send his MBE back to the Queen it was me he phoned to break the news. Later, when he lived in New York, there would be letters from him, while Ringo had the second lead in a movie I wrote called That’ll Be The Day. Then in December 1980 I was about to take a plane to New York to interview John when I got the phone call to me he’d been murdered.

This isn’t a biography of the Beatles. There are enough of those already. Nor is it a dissertation on their music or an analysis of their lyrics. There are even more of those.

It is 100,000 words of my story of the Beatles, a selection of some of my many interviews with them and others connected with them, as well as articles, reviews, news stories and reflections that I’ve published over the past forty four years in various British national newspapers. There are also several pieces that are being published here for the first time.

Not all the articles are exactly as they were when first written. Hindsight is wonderful, and nearly every piece needed a paragraph or two of scene setting and then another for consequences. I suppose if this were an album it might be described as a remix, as some articles have been cut back when I thought they were too long, while others have been extended when, for one reason for another, I’d originally had to leave things out.

Among the previously unpublished interviews are one with John when he reflects on his songs, another with Cynthia Lennon talking about their marriage, and a very recent one with record producer Sir George Martin. Inevitably in a compendium of articles there is some repetition of information and quotations, but as it isn’t envisaged that the chapters of this book will necessarily be read in chronological order, I hope readers will bear with that.

Chronicling the music, lives and careers of the Beatles as events were unfolding around them, and seeing the effects the Beatles had upon my generation and those that followed has never been a less than fascinating part of my own career. And believe me, I do realise how lucky I was to find myself with such extraordinary access to some of the most talented and famous people in the world.

Ray Connolly,
May 2011

List Of Contents

1962-1966: A Fan’s Story
1967: Joining the Beatles’ circus
1967: The Magical Mystery Tour: ‘Maybe we goofed,’ says Paul
1968: Paul on home, culture and Lady Madonna
1968: Ringo home from meditating: ‘It was just like Butlins’
1968: Ringo: ‘Sometimes I go to John’s house and play with his toys and sometimes he comes and plays with mine’
1968: Apple boutique…from take-away to give-away?
1968: The enigmatic Yoko
1968: The White Album
1969-1971: Great and turbulent times at Apple
1968: ‘If George leaves, he leaves,’ John during the unhappy filming of Let It Be
1969: On the roof - the last gig
1969: Paul marries Linda and John marries Yoko
1969: The Ballad of John and Yoko
1969: There are various ways of doing business and there’s Allen Klein’s way
1969: Elvis, Dylan, John and me
1969: Paul talks about Abbey Road…the album
1969: ‘Paul is dead’ and John’s MBE goes back to the Queen
1969: The day the Beatles died
1969: ‘I’ve left the Beatles…’ said John
1969: A weekend in Canada with the Lennons
1970: ‘You’re the journalist, not me…’ said John
1970: Paul on ‘Why the Beatles broke up’
1970: A note about George
1970: John and the Ignoble Alf
1970: John talking about his songs
1970: John… ‘performing flea’ or ‘crutch for the world’s social lepers’
1971: Beatles in court
1971: George and the Concert for Bangladesh
1971: Imagine that’s the B-side
1971: John and Yoko’s early days in New York
1970-72: Michael X and John
1972: No more ‘Four gods on stage’
1972: Ringo in the movie That’ll Be The Day
1972: Paul on how he turned down John’s invitation for them to play together again
1973-74: The Lost Weekend
1979: Paul and his favourite songs
1980: Japanese Jailbird
1980: December 7
1980: Unimaginable
1980: Mark Chapman and what turns a fan into a killer
1985: The story of ‘Working Class Hero’…my movie that never was
1987: Twenty years after Sergeant Pepper…hit and myth?
1995: Paul talks about the Beatles Anthology
1998: Linda McCartney 1941-1998
1998: The story of Paul and Linda
1999: The Cavern… ‘That’s the youngest tramp I’ve ever seen’
1999: Paul back at the Cavern
1999: George is stabbed
2000: John, the FBI and MI5
2000: Hospitals, gangs, drums and Ringo
2000: Has Yoko whitewashed John’s image?
2001: George the reluctant Beatle 1943-2001
2002: Paul in Las Vegas
2002: Liverpool Dr Winston O'Boogie Airport
2005: Mal Evans - the gentle giant
2006: ‘That was so cruel, inhuman…’ Cynthia Lennon
2006: Whatever happened to Ringo?
2007: Pete Best…the man with a knife in his back
2009: My lost Beatle interviews
2009: A degree in Beatleology
2010: ‘Save Abbey Road’
2010: Lennon the Unfunny!
2011: Produced by George Martin
Afterword: ‘What if…?’