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A picture of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recording together at Ringo's home studio was posted on Twitter by Starr on Feb. 19, and Starr's publicist has confirmed McCartney was there to contribute to Ringo's forthcoming album. "Thanks for coming over man and playing Great bass. I love you man peace and love," posted Ringo, who also posted a separate picture of himself, Paul and Joe Walsh with the comment, "And look out Joe W came out to play. What a day I'm having. Peace and love." The two surviving Beatles last recorded together for Ringo's Y Not album, released in 2010. Four days earlier on Feb. 15, Starr, McCartney, Walsh, Tom Hanks and Dave Grohl were spotted at at the Giorgio Baldi restaurant in Santa Monica, Calif. - Billboard/New Musical Express...... In related news, a new song featuring Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Dirty Projectors and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend with Dave Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors producing. McCartney previously teamed up with Kanye West for the collaborative song "FourFiveSeconds" which also featured Rihanna. The bridge of that song was written by Longstreth. - NME...... The BeatlesElsewhere on the Fab Four front, the movie rights for The Beatle Who Vanished, a book by author Jim Berkenstadt about drummer Jimmie Nichol who once filled in for Ringo Starr on tour for 13 days in 1964 when Ringo became ill, have been secured by Alex Orbison and Ashley Hamilton's 449 Productions. Alex Orbison is the son of rock and roll legend Roy Orbison, for whom the Beatles once opened for on tour before they shot to fame. Berkenstadt's book, first published in 2013, included accounts of Nichol's time with the Beatles, his pre- and post-Beatles career and included many archival photos. After his short tenure in the Beatles, Jimmie Nicol stayed in the music business playing with many groups, including Peter & Gordon, but mostly obscure bands. He has since avoided the spotlight. Alex Orbison says he is also planning a film on his father's life. - Billboard...... High profile movie producer Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips, Moneyball, The Social Network) is working on a new, currently-untitled movie about the relationship between John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as well as their antiwar efforts. "The story will focus on ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the U.S. -- with the intention of inspiring today's youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want," De Luca said in a statement on Feb. 1. John LennonYoko Ono"I am also honored and privileged to be working with Yoko Ono, [writer] Anthony McCarten and [Immersive Pictures chief] Josh Bratman to tell the story of two amazing global icons." McCarten is the author behind The Theory of Everything and an upcoming Winston Churchill biopic starring Gary Oldman. During their 11-year marriage, John and Yoko collaborated on multiple creative projects, including what would become Lennon's final solo effort, 1980's Double Fantasy. In 2016, Yoko Ono reissued three of her albums from the 1970s, the start of a full reissue campaign of her music. - The Hollywood Reporter...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney has unveiled a rare demo on the web featuring Elvis Costello called "Twenty Fine Fingers" as part of his ongoing Archive Collection. "Twenty Fine Fingers" is the first of nine demo tracks from the sessions for Macca's 1989 solo album, Flowers In the Dirt, that are set to be released in 2017. McCartney and Costello collaborated on four of Flowers In the Dirt's 12 tracks, with Costello credited as a featured artist on the song "You Want Her Too." While "Twenty Fine Fingers" has already featured on McCartney bootlegs since Flowers In the Dirt was released (incorrectly titled as "Twenty-Five Fingers"), this is the first time that the demo has been officially released by its creator. A deluxe reissue of Flowers In the Dirt is set to drop on Mar. 24, which will contain eight other McCartney/Costello demos in addition to "Twenty Fine Fingers." A super deluxe version will contain a bonus DVD, 64-page photo book, and many other extras. - New Musical Express...... Ringo Starr"Now the Time Has Come," a song featuring Ringo Starr that debuted in September 2016 for the annual International Day of Peace, is being made available as a free download for the first time. The song was created by Starr and producer Bruce Sugar and two versions are available to stream online: one by Ringo and friends Richard Page, Colin Hay and Billy Valentine, and another with Ringo and friends and Latin artist Fonseca. The song's lyrics include the line: "Now the time has come/Time has come for everyone/To lay down all your guns/And let the light of love shine on and on." Ringo has celebrated "peace and love" annually since 2008 on his July 7 birthday, and International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21. It was established in 1981 by United Nations resolution 36/37 as a day devoted to "commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples." - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney filed suit in New York on Jan. 18 against Sony/ATV with the aim of getting a declaratory judgment that states he will soon regain his copyright ownership share of songs he created as a member of the Beatles. In what could become one of the most important legal battles in the music industry this decade, Sir Paul is looking to leverage the termination provisions of the Copyright Act, which was passed by Congress in 1976 and increased the period that works are under copyright protection, and in recognition of authors who had signed over their rights to publishers and studios without much bargaining power. The bill allowed such authors 35 years hence to reclaim rights in the latter stages of a copyright term, and artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Prince have used the mere threat of termination to negotiate new deals and better compensation arrangements. The lawsuit notes that McCartney has been serving and recording termination notices for nearly a decade. Represented by attorneys at Morrison & Foerster, he now expects to recover copyright interests as soon as Oct. 5, 2018. Sony/ATV issued a statement saying they "are disappointed that they have filed this lawsuit which we believe is both unnecessary and premature" and that they have "collaborated closely with both Sir Paul and the late John Lennon's Estate for decades to protect, preserve and promote the catalog's long-term value." - Billboard...... George HarrisonThe estate of George Harrison announced on Jan. 17 that a box set of Harrison's vinyl albums will be released in Feb. 2017. George Harrison - The Vinyl Collection will feature the vinyl albums reproduced as they were originally released and in their original cover sleeves, and the albums were remastered from the original analog master tapes at Capitol Studios. The set will also include the two-LP set Live In Japan along with set exclusives of two 12" single picture discs of '80s hit singles "When We Was Fab" and "Got My Mind Set On You." The albums will also be available separately, though Harrison's 1970 triple-LP masterwork All Things Must Pass will be a limited-edition release, the estate said. - Billboard...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the drum kit used by the Beatles on "Love Me Do," their first No. 1 US single in 1964, will be auctioned by Nate D. Auctions on Jan. 26, with bidding beginning at $75,000 (£60,598). Ringo Starr did not play on that recording however, session musician Andy White filled in for Ringo in what was only Starr's second session with the band. The drum skin of the bass drum has White's name, the song title and The Beatles' logo on it, as well as drum maker Ludwig's name. - New Musical Express, 1/21/17...... Two offspring of the Beatles -- Sean Lennon and Stella McCartney, got together on Jan. 10 at the Cotton Club in New York's Harlem. Stella, the daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, was in New York for her pre-fall fashion show. On his Facebook page, Sean, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, made a comment on a picture from the show, "At @stellamccartney Cotton Club bash the other night. Was nice to see the familams." Stella has made a name for herself as one of the world's top fashion designers, and her famous dad has often attended her fashion shows. - Billboard...... Alex "Magic Alex" Mardas, who was once dubbed The Beatles' technological guru, has died at age 74 in Greece. Mardas was reportedly found dead in his apartment of natural causes on Jan. 12, and reportedly had been dead for several days before his body was found. While most of Magic Alex's inventions for the Fab Four were failures or didn't deliver what he promised, some of his ideas were way before their time. Some of his ideas had foresight, like the phone that dialed by voice recognition and displayed the numbers of callers. But then there were others, like the electronic brooches that made noise and flashed in no particular order, an artificial sun that used laser beams, and the invisible curtain that used ultrasonic vibrations to "screen" the Beatles from their fans. "I invented a large number of electronic devices, none of which had anything to do with music of the business of the Beatles," Mardas told the New York Times in 2010. "It must be remembered that none of these had even been thought about by others at the time, although most of them are now in common use," citing an electronic camera and a "memory phone" among them." When The Beatles began Apple Corps in 1968, Mardas was hired to head Apple Electronics, and was also chosen to design lighting for the band's newly opened Apple Boutique and reportedly tried to help them buy a Greek island. A year later, he was pushed out by the band's new business manager Allen Klein after failing to properly put together a planned 78-track recording studio for them at Apple. - Billboard...... A bevy of A-list musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Eddie Vedder and Jay Z are set to perform at Pres. Barack Obama's final White House party on Jan. 6 in Washington before the 44th president ends his term on Jan. 20. The final "grown up" party as the Obamas describe it will also include close friends and major donors, including Chance the Rapper, Bradley Cooper, JJ Abrams, David Letterman and George Lucas, with Usher and Samuel L. Jackson also rumoured. The news comes as Pres. Elect Donald Trump is reportedly struggling to book artists to perform at his upcoming inaugural ball, whose only name artist so far is 2010 America's Got Talent finalist Jackie Evancho, who is set to perform the US national anthem. - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney made a suprise New Year's Eve appearance with the Las Vegas band The Killers as they were performing in St. Barts for Russian billionaire and Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich McCartney played one of his old band's songs, "Helter Skelter," with The Killers, and on New Year's Day he posted a holiday message on his website, writing "Happy New Year's Day. May this year be a happy and peaceful one for you and your family and everyone around the world. Love Paul." On Dec. 31, Sir Paul has confirmed his first live dates in 2017 will be in Japan in April. - NME...... Allan Williams, the first manager of the Beatles who became known as "The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away" from the title of his gritty autobiography, died in Liverpool on Dec. 30. He was 86. In the early 1960s, Mr. Williams opened a coffee bar in Liverpool called The Jacaranda where he first met Beatles John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe, and personally drove the van to take the young band to Hamburg in 1960, where they gained the vital showbusiness experience that led to their emergence on the world stage. Mr. Williams helped the band get other gigs as well, including a short tour of Scotland with Johnny Gentle, but he and the Beatles got into a dispute after the group took on an extended engagement at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg and refused to pay Mr. Williams the commission he believed he was owed. The dispute was the beginning of the end of their association, and when the group returned to Liverpool, now with Pete Best as drummer, they came to the attention of Brian Epstein, who was running a local record shop. Epstein told Williams he was thinking of managing the Beatles. Mr. Williams told him about the commission dispute and how unpredictable they were. "Yes, yes, Allan you're right," Epstein told him, "but I feel here (tapping his chest) that together the Beatles and I could make something really big. So big that ..." Years later, Mr. Williams worked to get tapes of the Beatles recorded while they were playing at the Star-Club in Hamburg released. The Beatles later won a court case to have the tapes taken off the market. In more recent years, he met with groups of Beatles fans traveling through Liverpool. Beatles historians note that although Mr. Williams wasn't the person who could mold the band into the phenomenon they became, his decision to send them to Hamburg allowed them to transform themselves from a mediocre dance band into the tight, hard-rocking group that mesmerized the world. Williams' death marks the second passing in recent weeks of someone closely associated with the early days of the Beatles. Sam Leach, who booked many early Beatles shows, died Dec. 21 after a long illness. - Billboard...... Yoko OnoA new video for a song called "We Are Not Afraid" that raises fund for victims of religious and political violence around the world has attracted the participation of the likes of Yoko Ono, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Sting and Patti Smith, among others. Ono became the first to agree to participate after her photographer friend Bob Gruen, who snapped many iconic photos of her and John Lennon before Lennon's 1980 death, brought the project to Yoko's attention. "(Yoko) immediately offered to put together the long form 'We Are Not Afraid' video when told of our plan. And for that we are deeply grateful," said creator-organizer Steve Weitzman in a statement. Weitzman says the eight-minute video was expanded from its original planned four-minute length because so many celebrities, which also include Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, Chuck D, Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, Debbie Harry, Dion and Elvis Costello, signed on. The video, which premiered in November, shows the stars holding signs with the song title and the music was written by Nigerian singer-songwriter Majek Fashek. It is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon and other major outlets, with proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW). "It's a positive statement in a negative world," said Bob Gruen in a statement. "I hope it becomes something that inspires people around the world to do their own versions. You shouldn't go through life being afraid." Yoko Ono adds, "We're all together now!" More info can be found at the wearenotafraid.net website. - Billboard.... An a cappella version of Paul McCartney's yuletide ditty "Wonderful Christmastime" featuring the former Beatle himself was aired on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Dec. 20. With host Jimmy Fallon's house band The Roots providing backup vocals, lyrics from "Wonderful Christmastime" were delivered by Fallon, then animated versions of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and singer Tori Kelly before Macca appeared to finish the song, which was first released in 1979. McConaughey, Witherspoon, Johansson, MacFarlane and Kelly are all starring in the new animated film Sing. - New Musical Express...... In other Beatles-related news, Yoko Ono will appear in the cast of director Wes Anderson's next film, an animated movie called Isle of Dogs about a group of dogs living on an island. Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johannson, Bryan Cranston and Edward Norton will also be providing vocal tracks for the film. Meanwhile, classic videos by Yoko's deceased husband John Lennon have been added to YouTube, just in time for Christmas. Solo songs by John including "Imagine," "Jealous Guy" and "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" are among the over 20 clips now streaming on the popular online video service for free. "Happy Holidays! love, yoko," wrote Ono as she shared the news on Twitter on Dec. 18. - Billboard/NME...... In still more Beatles news, a French fan of the Fab Four has announced he will sell 15,000 items of Beatles memorabilia in hopes that it will pay for his retirement. Jacques Volcouve will put his collection of records, signed books, posters, autographs and figurines up for auction at the prestigious Drouot auction house in Paris on March 18, 2017. "The Beatlemania bug bit me and I was never cured of it," Volcouve told the paper The Observer. Volcouve says he has met Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in person and claims to have met Yoko Ono. "I hope the sale will give me enough money to live on decently until I die, and my collection will have a new life with someone else," he said. - NME...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney revealed on Dec. 15 that his 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt will be reissued in the US on Mar. 24, 2017. The release will be the first under his new deal with Capitol Records, which was announced in August, and Capitol says the reissue was personally supervised by McCartney. It will include a wealth of previously unheard demos and be available in a 2-CD special edition, on vinyl over 2 LPs and a deluxe edition with 3 CDs and a DVD plus books. Digital downloads will be made available of all tracks. The deluxe edition will include the 13-track album remastered at Abbey Road Studios and two added discs with 18 bonus tracks of previously unreleased demos, both the original and 1988 demo versions done by McCartney and his co-writer of several songs on the album, Elvis Costello. "I hadn't listened to [the demos] in ages but when I did I knew we had to put them out," McCartney said in a statement. "We made a little tape of them and sent them to Elvis, who loved them too. We said we should put out an EP or something and now the moment's finally arrived," he added. - Billboard...... Yoko Ono marked the anniversary of death of her husband John Lennon on Dec. 8 by posting a powerful plea for gun control on her website. "Dear Friends," she wrote. Yoko Ono"Every day, 91 Americans are killed with guns. We are turning this beautiful country into a War Zone. Together, let's bring back America, the green land of Peace. The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 36 years, our son Sean and I still miss him." Yoko also posted a photo of John's blood-stained glasses to drive the point home. The couple's son, Sean Lennon, also posted a tribute in memory of his dad, as did the surviving Beatles and other figures from the music and arts world. - New Musical Express...... In other Beatles-related news, a Twitter user named Chris Barker has refashioned the Fab Four's iconic Sgt. Pepper's album cover to honor the many music icons that have passed in 2016. Among the faces on "christhebarker"'s cover are: David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Sir George Martin, Leon Russell, Keith Emerson, Maurice White, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Robert Vaughn and Gene Wilder. - Billboard...... The 59th Annual Grammy Awards nominees were announced on Dec. 6, and the Ron Howard-directed Beatles tour documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week received a Best Music Film nomination. Paul McCartney's deluxe Tug of War reissue also got a nod for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. - Billbaord...... A new picture book inspired by John Lennon's 1971 world peace anthem "Imagine" is set for release on Sept. 21, 2017, the United Nations' International Day of Peace. Authorized by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, the book will be released in partnership with Amnesty International, which will receive some of the proceeds. ith illustrations by Jean Jullien, the book will feature Lennon's lyrics as it tells of a young pigeon's mission to advocate for peace. - AP...... In other Beatles-related news, a rare copy of the Fab Four's "White Album" originally owned by Ringo Starr has topped a list of the world's most valuable vinyl records. The LP sold at auction in 2015 for £730,876. The list, compiled by LoveAntiques.com, also includes recordings by the formative Beatles band The Quarrymen ("That'll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger" - £100,000) at No. 2 and the Beatles' "Love Me Do" (£80,500) at No. 3. - NME...... Al BrodaxAl Brodax, the producer and co-writer of the Beatles' iconic animated 1968 film Yellow Submarine, died on Nov. 24 in Danbury, Conn. He was 90. In 1960, Mr. Brodax created and headed the television/motion picture division of King Features Syndicate, writing and producing more than 500 episodes of Popeye, Krazy Kat, Barney Google and The Beatles' cartoon series. In 1968, he was producer and co-writer of Yellow Submarine, winning more than 30 awards including the New York Film Critics Circle Award in 1969. Mr. Brodax went on to become the animation supervisor for ABC, producing the shows Make a Wish and Animals, Animals, Animals. In later years, he was a consultant for Marvel Comics. - The New York Times...... A terse letter written by John Lennon to Paul and Linda McCartney shortly after the breakup of the Beatles sold at auction for nearly $30,000 during a sale on Nov. 17 conducted by Boston-based RR Auction. RR says the letter is believed to have been written in 1971 in response to criticism Lennon received from Linda McCartney about his decision to not publicly announce his departure from the band. Filled with profanity and sometimes rambling, the letter reads "Do you really think most of today's art came about because of the Beatles? I don't believe you're that insane -- Paul -- do you believe that? When you stop believing it you might wake up!" - AP...... A letter from John Lennon and Yoko Ono to Paul McCartney and wife Linda McCartney has been put up for auction to the highest bidder, with bidding expected to reach $20,000 (£16,000). The undated letter sees Lennon responding to prior correspondence from Linda which he says left him "wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it." Lennon writes in his letter: "I hope you realise what shit you and the rest of my 'kind and unselfish' friends laid on Yoko and me, since we've been together." Later in the letter, John goes on to say that doesn't "resent" his former Beatles bandmate but that he feels "sorry for him." He also wrongly predicts that the McCartneys' marriage would be over within two years. "It was likely written shortly before Lennon and Ono's departure for America," says RR Auction representative Robert Livingston. "The draft captures the intense rivalry between the two men in the months, and even years, surrounding the breakup of the Beatles." - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney has taken part in the Mannequin Challenge craze, the latest viral sensation that follows the Ice Bucket Challenge and the Harlem Shake. In it, people film themselves holding poses and staying completely motionless -- like mannequins. There's usually music playing in the background and a lot of the videos so far have been soundtracked by hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles." Now McCartney has joined in with his own version, also soundtracked by Sremmurd's track. "Love those Black Beatles," read a caption accompanying Macca's Mannequin Challenge video on Nov. 10. In the clip, Sir Paul stands by his grand piano, one hand tickling the ivories and the other reached out, seemingly in mid-song rapture. As the camera pans around him, you can probably guess which line from Sremmurd's current Top 10 hit blares out: "Black Beatle, bitch/ Me and Paul McCartney related!" - Billboard...... Yoko Ono is among the many celebrities reacting to the largely unexpected election victory of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on Nov. 8. On Nov. 11, Yoko tweeted an audio clip after Trump's win -- a response that was utterly Ono, singing an emotive shriek of agony with anxious grunting and utter distress. "Dear Friends, I would like to share this message with you as my response to @realDonaldTrump." "That's an awesome quote," you can hear someone saying on the recording afterwards. - New Musical Express...... A man who bought a 45 rpm single of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band's single "Cold Turkey" for $10 as part of a sale of used items found in an attic has made quite a discovery -- a draft of a letter Lennon wrote to Queen Elizabeth II in 1969 protesting the UK's involvement in foreign wars. In the letter, Lennon states that he is returning his honorary MBE (Member of the British Empire) medal that all the Beatles received in 1965 "in protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts." John Lennon"Cold Turkey," released in December 1969, peaked at No. 14 on the U.K. charts, and No. 30 on the U.S. charts. Lennon signed the note, "John Lennon of Bag," playing on the term "bagism" he and Ono coined during their late-'60s peace campaign as a way to satirize prejudice and stereotyping. The letter is not, however, the actual letter that Lennon sent to the Queen. A memorabilia expert says the draft was never sent probably due to smudged ink. The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, has yet to announce if he plans to sell the letter, which has an estimated value of £60,000 ($72,000). - Billboard/CNN...... In other Beatles-related news, a new Lego toy set based on the Fab Four's iconic Yellow Submarine movie went on sale on Nov. 1. In October, Lego fans and Beatles fans alike were sent into a frenzy when the new 550-piece Lego pack, which comes complete with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, along with the submarine itself and a miniature of Jeremy Hillary Boob from the animated 1968 movie, was announced. "The creation of the Yellow Submarine model was really my way of showing my affection for The Beatles, as well as trying to pay a small tribute to The Beatles phenomenon," said its sponsor, singer-songwriter Kevin Szeto. - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartney debuted a new song called "In the Blink of an Eye" across iTunes' international stores on Oct. 28, in advance pre-order listing of the soundtrack for the forthcoming animated film Ethel & Ernest. From the song's 60-second preview, its sound is reminiscent of McCartney's "(I Want To) Come Home," which he wrote for the 2009 Robert De Niro film Everybody's Fine. The album's advance track listings features a number of songs by Carl Davis, who collaborated with McCartney on "Liverpool Oratorio." The Ethel & Ernest film is adapted from a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs (The Snowman) about the lives of two Londoners and starring Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethlyn. - Billboard...... Yoko OnoIn other Beatles-related news, Yoko Ono has honored a reference to her in an old The Simpsons episode. A new piece created by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson for an exhibition curated by Ono at the Reykjavik Art Museum has the exact title and content of "a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man's hat," which was depicted in season five of The Simpsons when a Japanese conceptual artist who is clearly modelled on Ono pops into Mo's bar for a drink. Titled "YOKO ONO: ONE MORE STORY," the exhibition runs until Feb. 5. Meanwhile, three classic albums by Ono and featuring her late husband John Lennon are due to be reissued on Nov. 11. - New Musical Express...... Attorneys representing the Beatles' Apple Corps filed a motion on Oct. 19 to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the company assigned to represent the intellectual property of 1965 Beatles Shea Stadium concert promoter Sid Bernstein after footage from the concert was included in the recent Ron Howard-directed film Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years. Bernstein's lawyers claim that Bernstein proposed the idea for the concert to Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, that the contract provided that Epstein's company had the right to film and record the performances, but that Bernstein "planned, managed and paid for virtually every aspect of the production." Apple Corps contends that its predecessor, Nems Enterprises (controlled at the time by Epstein), had the "sole and exclusive right" to film the concert, and that Bernstein just "observed the filming and recording," and that the lawsuit is "frivolous." - The Hollywood Reporter...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney is backing a campaign to protect the dwindling number of grassroots music venues throughout the U.K. "I've been lucky enough to play in venues of all different shapes and sizes, from tiny clubs to massive stadiums all over the world," McCartney said in a statement on Oct. 19. "Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different," said the rock legend, who has pledged his support to the Music Venue Trust's #FIGHTBACK campaign. On Oct. 18, around 500 delegates attended the third annual Venues Day conference at London's Roundhouse venue, which saw executives from across the industry address some of the threats to Britain's once-thriving live scene. In London the problem is particularly acute, with such venues as the Marquee, Astoria, 12 Bar Club and Madame Jojos having closed since 2007. The 100 Club, which played host to early gigs by the Rolling Stones and Sex Pistols and saw McCartney play an intimate lunchtime gig in 2010, was only saved from extinction after signing a sponsorship deal with Converse in 2011. - Billboard...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney played a rare small club show on Oct. 13 at Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace in Pioneertown, located near Joshua Tree in Yucca Valley in Southern California. A vegetarian buffet, befitting the vegetarian McCartney, was served, but there were no dinner reservations and no one was allowed to leave once inside. McCartney was in the area as one of the headliners of the Desert Trip festival earlier in the month, which took place at the site of the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news, the Lego toy company announced on Oct. 12 that it is teaming up with the Fab Four for a new "Yellow Submarine" toy set. Hitting stores on Nov. 1, the set will include four mini-figures of John, Paul, George and Ringo costumed in their Yellow Submarine outfits that can ride inside the model (the top of which comes off), plus over 550 Lego bricks. Adding to the play is a mini-figure of the Yellow Submarine movie character Jeremy Hillary Boob. The U.S. list price is $59.99. "The Yellow Submarine is bright, fun, and colorful, which also made it a good subject to translate into Lego form," says creator Kevin Szeto. - Billboard...... The Desert Trip Festival, a classic rock summit held at the site of the Coachella festival in Indio, Calif. and headlined by the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, The Who and Roger Waters over three nights, got underway on Oct. 7 with the Stones and Dylan playing the first night. "I'm not going to make any age jokes," Mick Jagger quipped as the Stones took the stage, adding "Welcome to the Palm Springs Retirement Home for Genteel Musicians." After referring to Dylan as the "opening act," which drew gasps from some in the pit, the Stones played a 19-song set that opened with "Start Me Up" and encored with "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." On Oct. 8, Day 2 of the fest welcomed Paul McCartney and Neil Young, with the former Beatle bringing out opening act Young for a three-song collab that had eyes wide and phones in the air. The two music legends traded vocals on "A Day in the Life," and instead of finishing the song with the usual orchestral climax, they transitioned into John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance," inviting the audience to chant along as peace signs flashed on the screen behind them. Grunge pioneer Young then jammed with McCartney on the Beatles' own scorcher, "Why Don't We Do It In the Road." On Oct. 9, the Who headlined Day 3 with Roger Waters. The Who's two-hour, 22-song set kicked off with "I Can't Explain" and encored with "Won't Get Fooled Again." "We were 1967's version of Adele or Lady Gaga or Rihanna or Bieber," Townshend joked as he introduced "I Can See For Miles," the Who's first US hit. "Roger and I are so glad to be out here at our age," Townshend also said. "And I couldn't do it without Roger." - Billboard, 10/8/16...... John Lennon will be getting his own comic book biography, as IDW Publishing unveiled a new graphic novel focusing on the former Beatle on the final day of 2016's New York Comic Con. The new book will adapt the 2010 novel by French author and screenwriter David Foenkinos, which retold Lennon's story through the framework of transcriptions of sessions between Lennon and an imaginary therapist. The story travels through Lennon's entire life, from childhood, worldwide fame and his solo career and marriage to artist Yoko Ono. - Billboard...... Ron HowardThe new Ron Howard-directed Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years has sold enough tickets in its first two weeks to warrant keeping it in cinemas for a third week. Eight Days a Week became available by streaming for home viewers on Hulu after its world premiere on Sept. 15. The film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on Nov. 18. Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for the film industry site comScore, says the movie's popularity is "a testament to the inexhaustibly profound interest that exists by today's audiences in the Fab Four." The cumulative take for the film since its opening was $2,088,918, which Dergarabedian calls a success. "In the indie documentary world, $2 million is a lot of bucks at the box office," Dergarabedian says. Eight Days a Week was also the most profitable film in 48 of the top 50 theaters in its first week of release, according to its distributor, Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama. - Billboard...... Ringo Starr has premiered a new version of his peace anthem "Now the Time Has Come" featuring Colombian superstar Fonseca, who sings a Spanish verse on the powerful track. The release follows a peace treaty signed in late September by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and the rebel group FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). "Now the Time Has Come," written by the ex-Beatle and producer Bruce Sugar, was initially premiered in partnership with United Nations in celebration of the International Day of Peace. - Billboard...... The Beatles have earned their 32nd Top 10 LP on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart with their latest release, Live at the Hollywood Bowl. Nielsen Music reports the album moved 36,000 equivalent album units for the week ending Sept. 15. Of that sum, 35,000 were in traditional album sales. Like its 1977 predecessor, The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, the release features songs from the Fab Four's three Hollywood Bowl performances in 1964 and 1965. The 1977 album peaked at No. 2 and eventually fell out of print. Only three other acts -- the Rolling Stones (a record 36), Barbra Streisand (34) and Frank Sinatra (32) -- have scored at least 30 Top 10 albums. Meanwhile, the Beatles' Apple Corps. has just announced DVD release details of the new Ron Howard-directed Beatles touring documentary, Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years. The film will be available on Nov. 18 on DVD and Blu-ray on a single disc, as well as in a two-disc set with extra features and a 64-page booklet. Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years premiered in theaters and on Hulu on Sept. 16. - Billboard...... Ringo StarrIn other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr released a video and a new song called "Now the Time Has Come" on Sept. 2 in celebration of the U.N.'s International Day of Peace. "I worked on this record with peace and love," Starr said. "It was a joy to be part of this project." The song is part of the social media #HugForPeace campaign to promote a day of non-violence through the peaceful act of hugging, and was co-written by Starr and producer Bruce Sugar, with vocals including Starr's All-Starr Band member Richard Page. - Billboard...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, a custom-made suit of John Lennon's made by the band's tailor, Douglas Millings, is expected to bring as much as $65,000 (£50,000) when it's put up for auction by rrauction.com on Sept. 26 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. The suit, one of many made by Millings for the band between 1962 and 1966, was later donated by Lennon to Madame Tussauds, with the permission for the waxwork museum to use it on a future exhibit. Also auctioned on the same day will be a signed Beatles postcard -- which includes the rare signature of fill-in Beatles drummer Jimmie Nicol -- and signed receipts by George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Pete Best from the Star Club days. - NME  







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