Monday, 30 December 2013

Top Of The Pops

Top of the Pops, also known as TOTP, is a British music chart television programme, made by the BBC and originally broadcast weekly between 1 January 1964 and 30 July 2006. It was traditionally shown every Thursday evening on BBC1, before being moved to Fridays in 1996, and then to Sundays on BBC Two in 2005. Each weekly programme consisted of performances from some of that week's best-selling popular music artists, with a rundown of that week's singles chart. Since the programme started when music videos were rare, often when there was no performance or video clip for a certain song, they would illustrate the songs with dance.

Of course, the Beatles themselves made a couple of appearances on Top Of The Pops, but their performances weren't kept by the BBC. The most important one must have been the famous Paperback Writer episode in 1966, from which we have a lot of splendid colour photos.

16th of June, 1966: The Beatles made a surprise appearane on Top Of The Pops, performing Paperback Writer and Rain.

When Paperback Writer was resurrected on the show in 1976 for it's tenth anniversary, the performance footage was already lost, so here's what the audience had to be content with:

Also from 1976, here's the Top Of The Pops Dancers illustrating Wings' "Silly Love Songs", from 1976.

Of course, eventually a real music video for the song was made by Wings.
One video that never was made, was for George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord".  Here's Tony Blackburn from Top Of The Pops in 1971, introducing the dancing troupe "Pan's People" who illustrates that song.

Audiovideo content administered by Universal Music Group. There's a bit of dancing going on in the background of this one as well, John Lennon's "Instant Karma".

To round off the solo Beatles dancing performances, here's one of Ringo's: "Back Off Boogaloo".

The one Beatles performance on Top Of The Pops which still exists, is 25 seconds of "Ticket To Ride". They performed both songs from the single: Ticket To Ride and Yes It Is. For the first time, The Beatles wore the fawn-coloured jackets they would later wear for their Shea Stadium concert on 15 August 1965.
The edition of Top Of The Pops was shown on Thursday 15 April from 7.30-8pm. It was later wiped by the BBC, in common with their archiving rules at the time.

However, a snippet of the performance was included in an episode of Doctor Who entitled The Executioners, part of a mini series known as The Chase. The episode was first screened on 22 May; although the episode of Top Of The Pops did not survive, the episode of Doctor Who did, and as a result part of The Beatles' performance from this day was preserved.

The episode was originally to have included The Beatles appearing as themselves in the future, wearing make-up to look older. However, Brian Epstein objected and the producers used the Top Of The Pops performance instead.

We have heard rumours that several sixties episodes of Top Of The Pops have been recovered, so we'll just have to wait and see if the Beatles' appearances will show up again.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Beatles Animated Christmas Special 2013

BEATLES ANIMATED: The 2013 Christmas Special
A couple days late, but it's HERE!
Keeping up with Beatles tradition, this video, like the later Christmas Beatles records, is a bit long, uninspired, and droning. This is mainly due to not having enough audio footage.
This is THE LAST Christmas video. One regular video left.
*****VIDEO FACTS*****
- This video used, manipulated 1,108 pictures.
- Enough footage was found to make a Christmas video 20 minutes long, but a lot of the video footage was pre-existing, royalty-free stock footage. I wanted to use as much Beatles-related footage as possible.
- The Game Show sequence took 7 hours on one Saturday to do.
- I took a consecutive 3 days off due to mental and creative burn-out.
- There wasn't a grand finale. Animating the Beatles to "All You Need Is Love" began on Christmas Eve and completed December 27.
- I wanted Chief Blue Meanie to make an appearance. I decided not to use him out of sheer laziness from the idea of having to animate another character.
- John the Game Show host's body was animated using a character from GoAnimate.
- A Moment With Ringo was added just because there wasn't enough of him. His spoken lines are the actual spoken words of Ringo Starr, voiced on a 2005 personal video for fans on his website.
- There was no available, unused Christmas message from John, so I used the fan-remix of I'm Only Sleeping and his speech about the War Is Over campaign just to give him scenes of intrigue and mystery.
DISCLAIMER: Title 17 U.S.C. §512(f) provides penalties for the deliberate misrepresentation of copyright infringement.
The owner(s)/author(s) of this video,, Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) exempt organization and believes in good faith that it constitutes EDUCATIONAL FAIR USE as per Title 17 U.S.C. §107.
Persons/agencies/attorneys filing a false or frivolous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint may be subject to civil liability.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Lennon's bootleg

The story of how John Lennon was presented with the early bootleg "Yellow Matter Custard". Believed to be songs from the Beatles' Decca audition tape, the record really contained recordings from the BBC radio shows. For Christmas 1971, John and Yoko sent a tape of the album to Paul and Linda, together with this tape label.

The text of John and Yoko's message on the box of the recording read: "Happy Xmas! (war is over if you want it.....) Dear Paul Linda et al. this is THE DECCA AUDITION!! I found the bootleg not the tape: They were a good group fancy turning THIS down! Love John+Yoko".

This is one of the very first bootlegs of Beatles at the BBC. Released circa 1971, by the legendary "Trademark Of Quality", a company that tried to release the best quality product possible. All the tracks on this LP were later released on the official Beatles 3LP "Live at the BBC", released in 1994, remastered and rereleased in November 2013. After acquiring this album, Lennon kept on collecting bootleg records of the Beatles.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Paul on Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live: Justin Timberlake hosts star filled show.
Madonna, Justin Timberlake ,Jimmy Fallon,Paul McCartney SNL
There were plenty of surprise gifts during this week's 2013 Christmas episode of "Saturday Night Live" and viewers were left with one of the best shows the long-running series has delivered in several seasons.
The show featured unannounced visits by Paul McCartney, Madonna and Barry Gibb in the first 35 minutes, joining musical guest Justin Timberlake and host Jimmy Fallon.
And things were just getting started. The show was so packed with musical brilliance that Timberlake was singing the acoustic tune "Pair Of Wings" at 12:55 a.m.
This was musical comedy on level not seen on network television since the days of Dean Martin crooning and cracking up with his guests, all with a contemporary edge and buzz that was once the hallmark of "Saturday Night Live."
Paul McCartney gave viewers a merry little Christmas present when he showed up with Fallon to turn the monologue into a duet featuring the popular Christmas carol "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," which was first brought to the screen by Judy Garland in the musical "Meet Me In St. Louis."
Fallon will be taking over for Jay Leno on NBC's "Tonight Show" following the Olympics. So he'll be everywhere on the Peacock network between now and then. Or as he put it, "Starting in February I'll be hosting the Tonight Show with Jay Leno." The show reminded us that Fallon has the comedic chops and musical skills to take what Leon and Johnny Carson built, and bring it to another level, especially since he'll bring the show back to New York.
Paul McCartney's drive-by duet would threaten to steal the spotlight from most musical guests, but that didn't seem a problem since Timberlake, a five-time host on his own, found time in his touring schedule to sing this week. His first song, "Only When I Walk Away," featured lasers and turned the SNL venue into an arena stage.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Don't Let Me Down - multiangles

Changing angles was something that came our way in the DVD age. Maybe they will let us do that when they finally release "Let It Be"?

Friday, 20 December 2013

John and Paul: LA session

Not really a video, but a slideshowing with a soundtrack. The uploader created this heavily edited version of the music from the long LA session with the reunited Lennon and McCartney, using "FastEdit"...making "Stand Me" and "Lucille"' into virtually complete songs, and including all of John's talking.
He then made a clip using as many images as he could find on line of John with May Pang, some from May's excellent "Instamatic Karma" book.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Beatles Christmas Records 1963-1969

Recorded and mailed to members of the official Beatles Fan Club in the sixties, these records have never been released to the general public. Still, these will count as genuine releases and are copyright protected.

YouTube user McCartnee has been delighting us with his own Christmas Beatles Specials featuring the animated cartoon Beatles dolls for years, and here's a preview of this year's special:

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963

Dozens of rare Beatles tracks are being released from out-takes of classics to demos the band gave to other artists. The 59 tracks are going on sale in what appears to be an attempt to prevent copyright protection expiring.
EU law protects recordings for 70 years, but only if they are officially released. The copyright of these tracks would have expired at the end of the year.
Beatles experts David Bedford and Phil Coppell spoke to BBC Breakfast about the recordings.
Here's a Canadian report:

Monday, 16 December 2013

Álvaro Ortega's animations

Today, I thought I'd share with you a couple of Álvaro Ortega's animated videos.
First, here is his interpretation of The Beatles' version of Roy Orbison's "Dream Baby". With Paul McCartney as lead singer, this track was performed by The Beatles with Pete Best for the BBC in 1962. It remains unreleased officially by the Beatles, but a recording exists. This performance is by Los Escarabajos, a Beatles cover band from Sevilla. Of course, now that the Beatles' version has entered the public domain, he could substitute the audio.

"Now and Then" was the third song that McCartney, Harrison and Ringo Starr attempted to finish from Lennon's home demo tapes in 1995, together with "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love".  Unhappy with the result, the track was left unfinished and kept off Anthology 3. This audio track is also by "Los Escarabajos".

Official site
YouTube user site

Sunday, 15 December 2013

There and Back Again

This is a compilation of three newsreels from British Pathe, covering the Beatles going to USA, conquering it and returning back home again.

The Beatles - Pathe Newsreels - Off to America/Conquer America/Welcome Home - February, 1964.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

My Old Friend

Carl Perkins, pioneer of the "rockabilly" hybrid of rock'n'roll and country & western was a major influence on the Beatles in the early days. The group used to perform a number of songs from Perkins' "Dance album" from 1957. During their audition for Decca on New Years' Day 1962, they chose to perform "Sure To Fall" from the album.

June 1, 1964, after a tour of Britain, Carl Perkins was invited to attend a recording session by the Beatles. In the session, the group recorded Perkins' song "Matchbox".  Carl Perkins claimed on several occasions that he and the Beatles recorded in the studio together this day. The songs they did varied according to the account, but they might have included "Blue Suede Shoes," "Honey Don't," "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby," "Your True Love," "Sawdust Dance Floor," and others. No tape has surfaced, however, and it seems possible that if such a session took place, it might not have even been taped. For while Perkins remembered staying in the studio until almost three in the morning, no Beatles recording session officially ran past midnight until October 13, 1965.

The Beatles also recorded Perkins' songs "Honey Don't," and "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby," and during the Plastic Ono Band concert at the Toronto rock festival in 1969, John Lennon performed Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" and he also recorded an unreleased version of "Honey Don't" during his recording sessions for the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album in 1970.

Allegedly, Parkins' economic situation benefitted greatly from incoming royalties of the Beatles' recordings of his songs.

Early in 1980, following his release from prison in Japan, Paul McCartney produced a number of songs for Ringo Starr's upcoming album, this included revisiting "Sure To Fall". It was finally released on Ringo's 1981 album, "Stop and Smell the Roses".

In 1981, just after John Lennon died, Paul McCartney flew to Montserrat, where producer George Martin had installed a state-of-the-art studio, to begin work on his solo album, "Tug Of War". Martin suggested to Paul that he shouldn't have to use his regular band Wings for the sessions, instead he should invite guest musicians he admired. One such guest at the sessions was Carl Perkins, who was invited by Paul to perform on a duet, the rockabilly flavoured McCartney composition "Get It".

On the last day of his stay in Montserrat, Perkins played McCartney a song he had just written while he was there, entitled ‘My Old Friend’. "
After I finished," Perkins recalled, "Paul was crying, tears were rolling down his pretty cheeks, and Linda said, ‘Carl, thank you so much.’ I said, ‘Linda, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you cry.’ She said, ‘But he’s crying, and he needed to. He hasn’t been able to really break down since that happened to John.’ And she put her arm around me and said, ‘But how did you know?’ I said, ‘Know what?’ She said, ‘There’s two people in the world that know what John Lennon said to Paul, the last thing he said to him. But now there’s three, and one of them’s you, you know it.’ I said, ‘Girl, you’re freaking me out! I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ She said that the last words that John Lennon said to Paul had been ‘Think about me every now and then, old friend.’"

Beatles fans who heard the story had to wait a long time before they finally got to hear the song. I remember hearing about an imminent release of it over the years, but it didn't happen until Perkins' last album, Go Cat Go!, which was released during 1996.

Meanwhile, in October 1985, George Harrison and Ringo Starr appeared with Carl on stage for a television special that was taped live at the Limehouse Studios in London called Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session. The show was later shown on Channel 4 on the 1st January 1986, and led to a revival of his career.
Harrison and Perkins' shared the stage again at a Hand Made Films 10th anniversary party in October 1988, and teamed up once more in 1992 at the Hard Rock Cafe in London.

In 1993, Paul was on his world tour and before his concert in Memphis, he and Carl Perkins met up to jam and chat backstage at the Liberty Bowl. Their meeting was filmed, and later formed the basis for two VHS cassette releases by Perkins, "Go Cat Go" (1997) and "My Old Friend" (posthumously released in 1998).

These video cassettes have yet to be released on DVD

The 1996 Go Cat Go album by Carl Perkins somehow reunited Carl and the Beatles, because John, Paul, George and Ringo were all on the album. Paul participated on the recording of "My Old Friend", George was on a track called "Distance Makes No Difference With Love", whereas Ringo was on "Honey Don't". John's "Blue Suede Shoes" performance from 1969 was the final track on the album.

While recording an interview for the Go Cat Go video, Carl was telling the story of the "My Old Friend" song and playing it, when his wife came on the intercom to inform him that Paul McCartney had just called. "Well if you're telling me that that boy isn't somehow connected with the spirit world....", Perkins chuckled. The moment was captured on film.

In early 1997, a major volcanic eruption by the Soufrière Hills volcano left the island of Montserrat, including George Martin's recording studio, devastated. Carl Perkins last major concert performance was to be together with McCartney at the Music for Montserrat all-star charity concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on September 15, 1997.
Perkins died on January 19, 1998 at the age of 65 at Jackson-Madison County Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee from throat cancer after suffering several strokes.
George Harrison attended Perkins' funeral, where he performed "Your True Love".
It was to be George's final performance in front of an audience.

The Perkins family still owns his songs, which are now administered by Paul McCartney's company MPL Communications. Paul also recorded another song from Perkins' "Dance Album", "Movie Magg" on his 1999 "Run Devil Run" album. Paul usually performs a number of Carl Perkins' songs at his soundchecks. Paul's BBC performance with the Beatles of "Lend Me Your Comb" was recently released on "On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2".

Friday, 13 December 2013

Munich 1966

From the "Bravo Beatles Blitztournee", here's some pristine Munich footage. Circus-Krone-Bau, Munich (Germany) - 24/6/1966
'The Beatles' 1966 World Tour' started on this day with two concerts at Circus-Krone-Bau in Munich, West Germany.
At 9pm, after their afternoon concert, the band went to the stage for a second performance: the setlist was composed by "Rock And Roll Music", "She's A Woman", "If I Needed Someone", "Day Tripper", "Baby's In Black", "I Feel Fine", "Yesterday", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Nowhere Man", "Paerback Writer" and "I'm Down" (McCartney forgot the introduction).

The show was filmed by German television network Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), and followed a brief afternoon rehearsal set for the cameras. The footage was shown as 'Die Beatles' on channel two on Tuesday 5th July 1966.

The German leg of the tour was known as the 'Bravo Blitztournee', and was sponsored by the entertainment magazine 'Bravo'.

Preparation for Beatles arrival, Airport to Hotel Bayerischer Hof Circus Krone Bau, Munich.

ZDF-TV "DIE BEATLES" 24th June 1966

Rock'n'roll Music
Baby's In Black
I Feel Fine
Nowhere Man
I'm Down

The Police in Munich filmed a bit of the concert, silent snippets only, in colour. Here it has been synched to sound.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The US albums boxed set

The Beatles Celebrate 50 Years of Globe-Sweeping Beatlemania with 'The U.S. Albums' - a New 13CD Beatles Collection
By the end of 1963, before The Beatles' American arrival, "Beatlemania" had already sprung forth across the Atlantic to take root in the U.S. Radio stations across the U.S. began to play The Beatles' latest U.K. singles in almost non-stop rotation, trying to meet an insatiable listener demand.
On February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, greeted by scores of screaming, swooning fans who rushed the gate to catch a glimpse of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they took their first steps on American soil. Two nights later, on Sunday, February 9, 74 million viewers in the U.S. and millions more in Canada tuned in to CBS to watch The Beatles make their American television debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
THE U.S. ALBUMS RELEASE: To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these history-making events, The U.S. Albums, a new 13CD Beatles collection spanning 1964's Meet The Beatles! to 1970's Hey Jude, will be released January 20 (January 21 in North America) by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol. The Beatles' U.S. albums differed from the band's U.K. albums in a variety of ways, including different track lists, song mixes, album titles, and art...
Read more about the release visit

In other news, there are rumours that Paul and Ringo finished off the elusive third "Threetles" song "Now and Then" during the making of Paul's "New" album...

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Beatles - 20th Century Greats

An in-depth analysis of The Beatles' work by the classical composer Howard Goodall

Aired in November 2004

"Howard is an EMMY, BRIT and BAFTA award-winning composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores, and a distinguished broadcaster. In recent years he has been England's first ever National Ambassador for Singing, the Classical Brit Composer of the Year and Classic FM's Composer-in-Residence. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to music education."

More info on the series here.
Not what you wanted? Well here's something for the more-than-casual fan, it's Priscilla Presley and Jerry Schilling discussing the time when the Beatles came to visit Elvis. The fun starts at 4:45.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

George and Ringo

George at Bobfest

Bob Dylan's "30th Anniversary Concert Celebration" was held on October 16, 1992 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the concert featured many artists performing classic Dylan songs, including George Harrison. During the star-studded celebration of the music of Dylan, George performed the songs "If Not For You" and "Absolutely Sweet Marie", and returned later as part of the encore to join in on the numbers "My Back Pages" and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door". The event was screened live on pay-per-view cable TV in America, and broadcast live simultaneously on FM radio in stereo. The concert was released on CD and VHS video in 1993. However, both releases only included one of George's songs, "Absolutely Sweet Marie". But as the full concert had also been shown on TV, people had managed to tape Harrison's other song, "If Not For You". What no one realised at the time, was that this was to become George Harrison's final real concert appearance.

Now the concert is due out on DVD and Blu-ray next year, according to another of the participating artists, Sinead O'Connor. Let's hope they will include both songs this time around. Meanwhile, someone had filmed the rehearsals before the concert, and that tape has leaked.

Ringo - You're Sixteen

Back in 1978, Ringo made a TV movie with a storyline, and George Harrison introduced it. In this update of the "Prince and the Pauper", Ringo Starr is the most famous rock drummer in the world, but has become bored with his life as an iconic pop star, while Ognir Rats is a shy, bullied nobody with a lousy job and an abusive father. When Ringo sees Ognir and notices they share a strong resemblance to each other, they decide to switch places. Once, Ringo gets a taste of Ognir's troubled life and Ognir is caught up in Ringo's busy schedule, can things be straighten out before Ringo's big concert, later that night? Ringo plays both parts, Carrie Fisher (straight from her role as Princess Leia) is Ognir's girlfriend, and other famous people are playing other characters in the film. It has never been out as a home movie, not on video and not on DVD. The movie was full of songs, and one of these was effectively a music video for Ringo's no. 1 hit single, "You're Sixteen".

Directed by Michael Mileham in collaboration with animator Linda Taylor.

Outtakes from the TV special has also leaked.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Missing McCartney music videos

When Paul McCartney released a compilation of his music videos on the 3 disc DVD set "McCartney Years" back in 2007, quite a few of his music videos were absent from the collection. In time, we will try to remedy that.
Missing videos (some of these have popped up or will pop up on DVD discs in McCartney's Archive Series):
3 Legs (Silent footage of Paul and Linda riding horses (played back at alternating fast and slow speeds) across their Scottish property.)
Mary Had a Little Lamb: Filmed in the McCartney barn in Scotland. The band is lip synching while various animals (most notably, baby lambs, and a rather sedate hen) wander around the scene. The first official Wings promo, never aired in the US. Live vocals over the record.
Mary Had a Little Lamb (2): The US promo for this song, premiered on the "Flip Wilson Show." Perhaps the highlight of seventies kitsch from Wings. The band wears orange bib overalls which "change color" courtesy of color screen overlay (CSO), and the band appears to float in a sea of cutesy asterisks.
Mary Had a Little Lamb (3): Aired a grand total of once, on the BBC's "The Basil Brush Show." The band is lip synching, with Denny Laine lying on his back. The backdrop is a painted matte of a farm, and real animals (including a rather sedate rabbit) abound.
Letting Go (Another simple lip-synch promo, filmed at the beginning of the 1975-76 "Wings Over..." tour. The first public look at Joe English on drums. Never shown on US television. Seen in "Rage")
Venus and Mars / Rock Show (Filmed at the same time as the "Letting Go" clip. The clip is filmed to match the edited ("single") version of the medley, rather than the longer ("album" version).)
Maybe I'm Amazed (1977)(With the release of this tune as a single, McCartney had a promo made for the live version of the song. The style is very much in line with the original promo, but the cozy pictures of home and hearth have been replaced by rock shots of the band on the road.)
Getting Closer (Largely footage of Wings pretending to drive to and from a performance in a large bus. Frequent US airings separate from the video package for "Back to the Egg.")
Arrow Through Me (A lip-synched performance by Wings, with McCartney at the keyboards. Some US TV airplay.)
Spin It On (The band lip synchs on a concert-style stage inside of an airplane hanger. Some "time lapse" shots of the band (such that they appear to be moving quickly) acting airplane-ish inside the hanger. McCartney and Laine seem to be on the verge of laughing throughout the clip.)
Winter Rose/Love Awake (Only aired as part of the video album. The first half consists of the McCartneys in and around the snow at a castle. (Lympne castle near London) The second half is connected to the first medley-style, and features Paul and the band (mostly Paul) pretending to play around a fire.)
Old Siam, Sir
Again and Again and Again
Ebony And Ivory (solo version)
No More Lonely Nights (disco)
Only Love Remains
This One (version 2)
Ou Est Le Soleil? (A nice promo, clearly based upon the "Nintendo" theme. Paul has frequently noted that during the mid-eighties he would spend time playing Nintendo with his children. Hence, this video. Other than the video game portions, Paul himself shows up in the "game screen" (notably at the end where he's seen wearing a sombrero), and periodically he and the band (along with more unconnected "dance" footage) are intercut with the animation.)
Party Party
Figure of Eight
We Got Married
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Mostly footage from the "single largest concert" in Rio de Janiero. Includes effecive use of the screen graphics (often overlaid on the concert footage) and the fireworks as well as the several-hundred-thousand crowd.)
Get Back (Promotional clip for Richard Lester's "Get Back" film. Produced in the same style as the film, but more so. However, in the world of music video the quick, disjointed cuts work relatively well. The clip was also made available as a trailer to theatres for the feature.)
Deliverance (A clip only aired on MTV Europe. Much like the song, a disjointed series of hyperspeed cuts, with no appearances from Paul. Possibly intended to be anonymous, were the "Big Mac" single a hit.)
Young Boy
Young Boy (I believe there is a second version of this)
The World Tonight
The World Tonight (I believe there is a second version of this)
Beautiful Night (There are two versions, one contains female nudity, guess which one was on the official DVD?)
Lonely Road
Your Loving Flame ( The video for "Your Loving Flame" is a virtual visual effects showcase, showing Paul winding his way through time and space in various settings. It was directed by Gavin Gordon-Rodgers, a friend of Heather Mills)
From A Lover To A Friend
Jenny Wren
Dance Tonight
Ever Present Past
Nod Your Head

Of course, the videos that were included on the discs were severely cropped because the director wanted to make them conform to the 16:9 modern TV format, when most were made in the old 4:3 TV format. Here's a look at some scenes from the original videos (left) compared with the ones on McCartney Years (right):

Let's just pray they don't make the same blunder when they are releasing the Beatles' video clips in October next year!

So, where are the vids? For starters,  here are the four missing videos from the 2001 Driving Rain album, "Lonely Road", "Your Loving Flame", "Freedom" and "From A Lover To A Friend".

Directed by Jonas Åkerlund. Director of photography: Eric Broms.

Directed by Gavin Gordon-Rogers. Produced by Russell McLean. Cinematography by Olivier Cariou. Visual FX by Duncan Malcolm.

Probably directed by Albert Maysles.

No production information available.

We will return to the subject of "missing" McCartney videos in future posts.

The "1" videos

Please refer to our other Beatles blog for a discussion of the upcoming "1" video collection, here I just want to highlight the animated flash videos that were made to promote "1" upon it's original release in 2000.
Flash animation was very much in vogue at the time, and The Beatles' official website was all about the promotion of "1". So there were flash video games and other enhancements, including two brand new promotional films: one for "I Feel Fine" and one for "Come Together". Clicking these images will take you to a page with the true flash animations, not just a YouTube representation.

I Feel Fine

Download flash file here.

Come Together

Download flash file here.

Here's a medley created for the promotion of "1" in 2000:

And here's the promo film that advertised "1" upon the re-release in 2011:

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Day John Lennon Died

ITV Documentary based on the final hours of the life of Beatle John Lennon. This documentary came on the 30th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. The film traces John's final day from a radio interview, to signing an autograph for his eventual killer, to working in the studio and finally on his way back home to see his son when he was shot and killed.
If you're familiar with Lennon and his life then there's nothing new that you're going to learn here but then again it's hard to learn anything new since so many shows, movies and books have dealt with the murder of this icon.
If you are new to the events then you're going to get quite a bit of information here as the forty-five plus minutes running time is full of interviews with many people who were there that day. Yoko Ono goes through quite a few tears talking about his final day and "Double Fantasy" producer Jack Douglas talks about the work in the studio and how he found out about the events.
Other people in the documentary: Cilla Black, Gerry Marsden, David Frost, Bob Gruen, Andy Peebles, Liam Gallagher, Elliot Mintz, Dave Sholin from RKO radio who interviewed Lennon that day, the fan Paul Goresh who snapped the now famous picture of Lennon and Chapman, Alan Weiss - the ABC producer who was in the emergency room, Thelma Pickles - a teenage girlfriend of Lennon and several others.

Directed by Michael Waldman and narrated by Paul McGann.

Produced by Michael Waldman
Lorraine McKechnie: co-producer
Sue Summers: executive producer
Cinematography by Simon Fanthorpe and Adam Vardy
Film Editing by David G. Hill
Production Management: Carol Davidson

Saturday, 7 December 2013

A Ballad of American Skeletons

In the 2013 documentary "Going Underground: Paul McCartney, The Beatles And The UK Counter-culture", McCartney's relationship with underground poet Allen Ginsberg in the sixties was discussed, but they neglected to mention this latter day encounter between the two.
Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet and one of the leading figures of both the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the counterculture that soon would follow. He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism and sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem "Howl", in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.
Ginsberg first published his poem “The Ballad of the Skeletons” in the pages of the magazine "The Nation" in 1995.
In October of 1995, Ginsberg visited Paul McCartney and his family at their home in England. He recited "The Ballad of the Skeletons" while one of McCartney’s daughters filmed it. Ginsberg mentioned that he had to give a reading with Anne Waldman and other poets at the Royal Albert Hall, and was looking for a guitarist to accompany him. “Why don’t you try me,” McCartney said. “I love the poem.”
Ginsberg continues the story:
"He showed up at 5 p.m. for the sound check, and he bought a box for his family. Got all his kids together, four of them, and his wife, and he sat through the whole evening of poetry, and we didn’t say who my accompanist was going to be. We introduced him at the end of the evening, and then the roar went up on the floor of the Albert Hall, and we knocked out the song."

This video clip documents their performance at the Royal Albert Hall on October 16, 1995 (the text on the video clip erroneously says 1993).

I Was There: When the Beatles Played the Cavern

Originally shown on the UK's ITV channel in February 2011, the release date of I Was There: When the Beatles Played the Cavern (February 9) coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first time The Beatles played there.
The Cavern Club in Mathew Street, Liverpool was the venue where the Beatles' (formerly known as the Quarrymen) UK popularity started. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and their drummer at the time, Pete Best, were first seen by Brian Epstein at the club. Epstein eventually became their manager, going on to secure them a record contract.
Best was replaced by Ringo Starr on 16 August 1962, which upset many Beatles' fans. After taunts of, "Pete forever, Ringo [Starr] never!", one agitated fan headbutted Harrison in the club.
The Cavern Club was the third club managed by Alan Synter, which originally opened as a jazz-only club on 16 January 1957, being styled after the Paris venue, Le Caveau. The Quarrymen made their first appearance at the club on 21 February 1957,[citation needed] but by 9 February 1961, when the group first performed there under their new name of the Beatles, the club was under the ownership of Ray McFall.
The Cavern Club's popularity grew, rapidly becoming the most famous club in Britain. According to the club's resident DJ, Bob Wooler, the Beatles made 292 appearances at the club in 1961, 1962 and 1963, culminating in a final appearance there on 3 August 1963—one month after the group recorded "She Loves You", and six months before their first trip to the United States. The club changed hands several more times before eventually being demolished to allow construction of an underground railway ventilation duct, before being used as a car park.
A replica of the club was built on "75 per cent of the original site" in 1984 built with 15,000 bricks retrieved from the original club site. On 16 January 1997, a sculpture of Lennon was unveiled outside The Cavern Pub across the street from the Cavern Club, and on 14 December 1999, McCartney performed there, playing his last concert of the 20th century.

I Was There: When the Beatles Played the Cavern (2011 UK documentary film)
Director: John Piper
Executive Producer: Mark Robinson
Producer: John Piper

Cast (in alphabetical order)
Pete Best ... Himself
Billy Butler ... Himself
Bernadette Byrne ... Herself
Frankie Connor ... Himself
Elvis Costello ... Himself (archive footage)
Tony Crane ... Himself
Paddy Delaney ... Himself
Ken Dodd ... Himself
Brian Epstein ... Himself (archive footage)
Len Garry ... Himself
Dave Gore ... Himself
Mike Gregory ... Himself
Carol Haigh ... Herself
Colin Hanton ... Himself
George Harrison ... Himself (archive footage)
David Henshaw ... Himself
Freda Kelly ... Herself
Billy Kinsley ... Himself
John Lennon ... Himself (archive footage)
Beryl Marsden ... Herself
Gerry Marsden ... Himself
Brian May ... Himself
Paul McCartney ... Himself (archive footage)
Alex McKechnie ... Himself
Geoff Nugent ... Himself
Mike Pender ... Himself
Pat Peters ... Herself
Margaret Roberts ... Herself
Willy Russell ... Himself
Tony Sheridan ... Himself (archive footage)
Ringo Starr ... Himself (archive footage)
Stuart Sutcliffe ... Himself (archive footage)
Alistair Taylor ... Himself
Gene Vincent ... Himself (archive footage)
Harold Wilson ... Himself (archive footage)
Bob Wooler ... Himself (archive footage)

Paul McCartney - Queenie Eye

Okay, so these are two official videos from Paul McCartney, the music video for "Queenie Eye" and the making of that video. The track was the second radio single from McCarney's album "New" in 2013.

The Beatles Live at Shea Stadium

The Beatles Live At Shea Stadium by My_Beatles_Stuff
Concert only, includes "She's A Woman" but not "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby".

Friday, 6 December 2013

Something New

Paul McCartney's "Something New" was screened on the US high definition music TV channel "Palladia". The program documents the creation of Paul McCartney's latest album 'NEW', widely hailed as possibly the finest solo work of his peerless discography.
The documentary alternates between intimate footage of the actual recording process and vivid memories and incisive reflections of all involved.
The result is an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look into Paul's creative process and his collaboration with the album's star-studded production team.
Something NEW features incredible live and backstage footage shot around the world during his amazing run of shows in 2013 and documents the creation of Paul McCartney's recently released album NEW.

We Can Work It Out 4-ways

Here are four of the videos for "We Can Work It Out". Three of them were "promotional films" (these days they call them "music videos"), produced by Tony Bramwell and directed by Joe McGrath, and were filmed at Twickenham film studios by the Intertel company. The one in the lower right corner is a different story, it's from "The Music of Lennon and McCartney" which Johnnie Hamp produced for Granada TV together with the Beatles' company SubaFilms.
Johnnie Hamp: "I chose 'We can work it out' and 'Day Tripper' from about a dozen tracks which John and Paul played to me in Brian's flat. The other tracks went on to Rubber Soul - all everlasting songs".

Original Photograph Video

A very rare video indeed, the original music video/promotional film for Ringo Starr's hit single, "Photograph" from 1973.

And now....the weather

Dr Winston O'Boogie presents the weather.

George visits the White House

At the invitation of President Gerald Ford's son, Jack, George Harrison visited the White House on December 14, 1974. Accompanying him were Ravi Shankar and Billy Preston. It was the day of big hair. Even the back of Gerald Ford's hair almost touches the top edge of his shirt collar (for shame!). This isn't quite as surreal as when Elvis met Nixon, but it's still odd.

Various McCartney from BBC Archives

Courtesy of the BBC archives and the original uploader, here are a number of news items about Paul McCartney. It starts with a compilation of three drug busts, 1973, 1980 and 1983, then there's quite a bit of footage from Wings in Vienna in 1976 and it ends with the Mick/Bianca wedding, where there's also a small clip of Ringo.

Paul McCartney - On The Graham Norton Show

This video was released by and is a "Behind-the-scenes" look at Paul McCartney's visit to Graham Norton's talk show. McCartney was there to promote his latest album, "New".

On Air - Video promotion

These are the video clips released by The Beatles' Official YouTube channel to promote the release of their current album, "On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2".

A Hard Day's Night and bloopers

"The Music of Lennon & McCartney" was screened by the UK regional broadcaster Granada at 9.40pm, Thursday 16 December 1965. It was shown across the rest of the United Kingdom the following day.
The 50-minute show been conceived by Granada producer Johnny Hamp, and was directed by Philip Casson. Filmed on 1 and 2 November, it was the biggest music spectacular produced to date by Granada Television, and was designed to showcase the songwriting talents of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Appearing on the show were The Beatles, Cilla Black, Peter and Gordon, Lulu, Henry Mancini, Esther Phillips, Fritz Spiegl, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, Alan Haven, Marianne Faithfull, the George Martin Orchestra, Dick Rivers, and Peter Sellers.
These Peter Sellers outtakes were transmitted by Granada Television on May 3, 1981 as part of the special "Remember This (25 Years of Light Entertainment)".