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Paul McCartney announced on June 21 that he'll bring his One On One world tour to Australia and New Zealand in late 2017, his first tour Down Under in 24 years. The Beatle legend unveiled the five-date trek in a Facebook Live event hosted by musical comedy master Tim Minchin. With his touring band members Paul "Wix" Wickens (keyboards), Brian Ray (bass/guitar), Rusty Anderson (guitar) and Abe Laboriel Jr (drums), the tour will first stop in Perth on Dec. 2, followed by Melbourne (12/5), Brisbane (12/9), Sydney (12/11) and Auckland (12/16). Paul McCartneyMacca last toured the region on his 1993 New World Tour, and in 1964 the Beatles honored a commitment and made the long haul Down Under at the very peak of their fame. Meanwhile, Sir Paul has been promoted in Britain's hierarchy. On June 16, it was announced that Paul is being upgraded with a Companion of Honor award for services to music, after first being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II twenty years ago. "I'm very happy about this huge honor and with the news coming on my birthday weekend and Father's Day it makes it colossal!" McCartney said. Other luminaries promoted in the Queen's Birthday Honors list include Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling for her services to literature and philanthropy, and 100-year-old Gone With the Wind actress Olivia de Havilland, who will become a dame. In all, 1,109 people were on the queen's Birthday Honors list. - Billboard/AP...... In other Beatles news, a lost song written by George Harrison has been found inside an old piano bench in the couples Oxforshire home by Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison. "There was a folder in George's piano bench and inside I found a typed lyric for [a song called] 'Hey, Ringo.' It think it dates from around 1970," Olivia Harrison said. She also said she believed he had recorded music for the track on a home cassette. Olivia says she gave a copy of the lyrics to Starr at a party in Los Angeles commemorating her husband's 74th birthday in February. She said: "He'd never seen this song before. He said 'What is this?' He was so surprised." The lyrics will be reproduced in an updated illustrated biography about Harrison, entitled I Me Mine. - New Musical Express...... Interviewed on Sirius XM radio's new Beatles channel on June 12, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam revealed that Paul McCartney once accidentally punched him in the face at a Seattle hotel bar while getting excited telling a story. "He kind of was illustrating how he hit this guy, and when he did that, he shot out his left arm as if he was hitting this guy, and I was standing right there, and I got hit," Vedder said. "It was a great, incredible personal story and I caught the end of it, but as I was listening I was just thinking, Paul McCartney just hit me in the face. And it hurt!," said Vedder, who added that his face hurt for days after the incident. "A great time in my life to be hit by Paul McCartney," Vedder said. Adding that after the pain and swelling subsided, he "kind of missed it." Meanwhile, in a recent appearance on Conan O'Brien's TBS talk show, director Judd Apatow said Sir Paul rebuffed him once when Apatow asked McCartney for his phone number. Apatow said that McCartney used to attend his stand-up routines, and he thought he might ask McCartney out to lunch after the two met a few times after the performances. "He was very nice but he instinctively said no. He found a nice way to do it," Apatow said. - New York Post/Billboard...... In other Beatles news, Yoko Ono is to be credited as co-writer of her late husband John Lennon's "Imagine" more than 45 years after the song was released, in accordance with John's wishes. "Imagine" was recently named the recipient of the 2017 Centennial Song Award by the US National Music Publishers Association, and while collecting the award on Lennon's behalf in New York on June 14, Ono was informed that she will soon receive a songwriting credit on the pop classic. A clip of a 1980 interview with John as shown, in which the late Beatle said Ono deserved a co-writing credit because of her "influence and inspiration" on the song. Since the song debuted in 1971, the writing of "Imagine" has been credited solely to Lennon, though Ono and Phil Spector are listed as co-producers. - New Musical Express...... Dhani HarrisonElsewhere on the Fab Four front, George Harrison's son Dhani Harrison has announced he is prepping his first solo album and has booked his debut solo gigs for July. Harrison, 38, has signed a solo deal with BMG Records and is working on an album slated for release later this fall. Dhani has previously released three full-length albums and two EPs with his group Thenewno2, and has collaborated with such artists as Eric Clapton, Wu-Tang Clan, Prince, Pearl Jam, Jakob Dylan and Ben Harper He has also composed music for films, including 2014's Learning to Drive, and the TV series The Divide, Good Girls Revolt and Outsiders. - Billboard...... The remastered 50th anniversary edition of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band re-entered the Billboard Hot 200 album chart for the week ending June 1, coming in at No. 3 with 75,000 equivalent album units sold. The No. 3 ranking is Sgt. Pepper's' highest since the Dec. 30, 1967-dated chart, when it also placed at No. 3, and is also the highest rank for a Beatles album in more than 16 years. The album also helped the legendary quartet re-enter the Billboard Artist 100 chart at a new peak of No. 5. The Artist 100 chart blends album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction. The band previously peaked at No. 14 on that chart on Oct. 1, 2016. - Billboard...... Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club BandThe remastered 50th anniversary edition of the Beatles' landmark 1967 LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is on track to top the U.K. album charts once again, a half century after it first conquered the sales chart in the band's native country. The Fab Four's celebrated eighth album logged 27 weeks at No. 1 in 1967 and 1968 and in the U.S., it racked up 15 consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard 200. Sgt. Pepper's was released in several configurations May 26, highlighted by a six-disc set with four CDs, a DVD and Blu-ray with the remix, outtakes, mono album mix, video content, posters and a book. Peter Frampton, who starred in the infamous 1978 Sgt. Pepper's-based movie with the Bee Gees, says that Sgt. Pepper's is "still my favorite album," and that he was able to sample the album before everybody else after he scored an early bootlegged copy at a flea market on Petticoat Lane. Frampton says he quickly took the album back to his girlfriend's house and put Sgt. Pepper's on repeat play "until my girlfriend's mother came in and said, 'I think it's time for you to go...'" - Billboard...... On May 23 Paul McCartney shared a Twitter tribute to late 007 actor Roger Moore, who starred in the 1973 James Bond installment Live and Let Die and for which Sir Paul famously composed and performed the opening theme song. "Roger was a great man and of course a great James Bond who I was lucky to work with during the time of 'Live and Let Die.' He had a heart of gold, a great sense of humour and will be missed by the many people who loved him," McCartney wrote. Earlier, the former Beatle also expressed sympathy for the families of victims at the May 22 bombing in Manchester, U.K., following an Ariana Grande concert. "Like everyone else, my family and I were shocked to hear about the terrible news from Manchester. All that's left to do is send heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims and Ariana Grande," McCartney wrote. "Praying that something like this never happens again. Love to everyone." - Billboard...... In a May 18 interview with a BBC Radio 6 music show, late Beatles producer George Martin's son Giles Martin confirmed that the iconic quartet's 1968 double-LP the "White Album" is next in line to be given the deluxe re-mix treatment. Giles, who recently worked engineer Sam Okell to re-mix the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album in stereo, said "the 'White Album', which will be the next release -- that was when they started becoming properly indulgent." The Beatles"There are so many takes of 'Sexy Sadie', for instance. The efficiency went slightly out the window," he said. Martin further explained his motivation to re-mix early Beatles material -- both giving collectors something to get excited about and modernising the band's appeal. "My motivation -- when I tell my kids or grandkids about this album that changed the face of pop music, you want them to put it on a go, 'Yeah, I get it!' rather than, 'This sounds a bit old'" he said. - New Musical Express...... In other Beatles news, Apple Corps has announced plans on Twitter to open a Beatles "pop-up shop" in Liverpool on May 25. The shop, which will be open through June 11, will celebrate the 50th anniversary re-release of the band's seminal Sgt. Pepper's album and will be located at 1 Mathew Street in the group's hometown. The address is notable because it is just a few doors down from 10 Mathew Street, location of the legendary Cavern Club, the venue where the Beatles honed their craft in their early days. A second tweet promised "lots of exclusive products," encouraging Beatles fans to arrive at midnight on the first evening to be the first to buy the anniversary edition of the album. Several special reissue packages of CD and vinyl versions of Sgt. Pepper's will be released on May 26 featuring new audio mixes of the legendary album and a special super deluxe six-disc set full of unreleased outtakes. - Billboard...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Paul McCartney has shared a photo on Twitter of himself in costume for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. News of Macca's cameo appearance in the film first came in March, and while details of his role are under wraps, the IMDb lists his role as "Jail Guard 2." His appearance, which was filmed after the main shoot had been completed, has been described as "an extra big set-piece scene," which is reportedly "built around" McCartney. Dead Men Tell No Tales, in which Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow with Javier Bardem joining the franchise as the film's main villain, hits theaters on May 26. - NME...... Paul McCartney has topped the London Sunday Times' survey of the U.K.'s richest musicians for 2017. Sir Paul took the top spot with £780 million ($1 billion) with his wife Nancy Shevell, while impresario Andrew Lloyd-Webber, U2, Elton John, Mick Jagger and his Rolling Stones bandmate Keith Richards completed the top 5. Other '70s musicians making the list include Ringo Starr, Sting, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and Brian May. - Billboard...... SiriusXM satellite radio announced on May 2 that it will launch an entire channel devoted exclusively to the Beatles on May 18 at 9:09 a.m. -- a nod to the Let It Be track "One After 909." The Beatles Channel, on SiriusXM channel 18, will feature exclusive programming including a daily morning show, weekly call-in roundtables and more exploring the legendary band's unrivaled influence on modern music. "We've worked with The Beatles and Apple Corps Ltd. to create a channel that is as vital today as when the band's music was first recorded," says SiriusXM exec Scott Greenstein. "The channel will be all-things-Beatles, 24/7. The soundtrack of our world, made by John, Paul, George and Ringo." The channel, which has the blessing of surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, will play a new stereo mix of the band's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album on June 1, to mark the landmark album's 50th anniversary. The event -- dubbed "Pepper Day" -- will include commentary from the late George Martin and his son, Giles Martin, who helmed the fresh mixes for upcoming Sgt. Pepper special editions. - Billboard...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, a new graphic novel based on John Lennon's time in New York, Lennon: The New York Years, is set to be released on May 30. Based on on the 2010 novel Lennon by David Foeniknos, the graphic novel is described as "true biographical fiction" and imagines the Beatles founder recounting his life to an unnamed therapist living in his building. A timeline of John's life is presented including his upbringing in Liverpool, his time with the Beatles, his relationship with Yoko Ono and his solo career. - New Musical Express...... In other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr's drummer son Zak Starkey is readying an album for his SSHH side project alongside partner Sshh Liguz. Starkey has premiered a video for a song from the album, "Get Up, Stand Up," a reggae classic penned by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Starkey recently performed a series of gigs with SSHH at the South by Southwest festival, and is gearing up to go on tour with the Who this summer. - Billboard...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney announced on Apr. 25 that he'll be bringing his One on One Tour back to North America this summer with a schedule of 14 concerts set to kick off in Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena on July 5. Other cities on the tour, many of which Sir Paul will be playing in for the first time ever, include Tampa (7/10), Duluth, Minn. (7/13), Bossier City, La. (7/15), Wichita, Kan. (7/19), Des Moines, Ia. (7/21), Omaha, Neb. (7/23), Tinley Park, Ill. (7/25), Newark, N.J. (7/11), New York's Madison Square Garden (7/15), Brooklyn's Barclays Center (7/19), Syracuse, N.Y. (7/23) and Uniondale, N.Y. (7/26) before wrapping on Oct. 1 at Detroit's Little Ceasars Arena. McCartney recently announced that his next studio album, his followup to 2013's New, will be co-produced with Adele producer Greg Kurstin. - Stereogum.com...... In other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr is offering two lucky fans the chance to have brunch with him as part of his charity campaign with Omaze, which benefits the David Lynch Foundation, a non-profit organization that reduces trauma and toxic stress among at-risk populations. Starr will play host to one charitable fan (and a friend of their choice) at his 77th birthday brunch on the July 7 in LA. All you have to do is donate a minimum of $10 to Ringo's Omaze campaign. Starr made the announcement in a video, in which he also encouraged everyone to take a little time out on his July 7 birthday to spread a little "peace and love." Winners will be flown to the event, where they'll become part of Starr's inner-circle to dine in style with other VIP guests in front of the world-renowned Capitol Records building. - New Musical Express...... David PeelDavid Peel, the anti-establishment New York street singer and political activist known for his songs about marijuana and John Lennon, died on Apr. 6 after suffering a massive heart attack on Mar. 31. He was 73. Peel, real name David Rosario, released his first two albums, The American Revolution and Have a Marijuana, on Elektra Records in 1968 and 1970, respectively. Peel met up with Lennon and Yoko Ono when they were being shown around Greenwich Village in 1972. He was signed to the Beatles' Apple Records label and recorded an album produced by Lennon and Ono called The Pope Smokes Dope that was released in 1972 and immediately caused controversy because of its title. Peel also made a guest appearance on the Lennon-produced, self-titled Elephant's Memory album for the band that backed Lennon. Two of his eclectic albums made the Billboard 200 albums chart: Have a Marijuana peaked at No. 186 in 1969, while The Pope Smokes Dope peaked at No 191 in 1972. His later solo albums included tributes to Lennon: John Lennon for President and John Lennon Forever, plus Bring Back The Beatles and Long Live The Grateful Dead. - Billboard...... The Beatles' Apple Corps. officially announced on Apr. 5 that the band's classic 1967 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band will be getting a special anniversary reissue on May 26 in several CD and vinyl packages to feature new audio mixes of the album and a special super deluxe six-disc set full of unreleased outtakes. Fans will be able to choose from four separate offerings, including a newly remixed single disc of the original album, a two-LP vinyl set with the album and a second disc of collected outtakes in the same order as the album and a two-disc CD version with a second disc of complete early takes from the album in the same sequence plus outtakes of "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever," the two-sided single released before the album. The six-CD deluxe set will be housed in a box and include the original remixed album, two discs of outtakes in chronological order of their first recording date and a CD of the original mono mixes of the album. "It's crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art," says Paul McCartney in the introduction to the book in the deluxe set. The album won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and was selected in 2003 by the Library of Congress for its National Recording Registry as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." Additionally, for Record Store Day on Apr. 22, the Beatles said today they will release a limited edition vinyl single of "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." - Billboard/NME...... George HarrisonIn other Beatles news, George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison and their son Dhani Harrison recently hosted a 74th birthday tribute to George at Los Angeles' Subliminal Gallery. The event also marked the launch of a new "extended edition" of Harrison's 1980 classic memoir I Me Mine with new lyrics, writings and photos, which was published on Feb. 21, as well as a new 13-album Harrison vinyl box set, The Vinyl Collection. "The book is as complete as we could make it," Olivia says. "I've been trying to do it for three or four years." Olivia added that she recently discovered a lost George song called "Hey Ringo" in a piano bench in an envelope. "They think it was from around 1970 or 1971. "I'm going to get it framed and give it to him because it's really sweet... Ringo was totally surprised and really happy. What a gift to have all these years later." - Billboard...... Paul McCartney has responded to Sony/ATV's suggestion that he brought an "unripe" lawsuit seeking confirmation he'll reclaim rights to Beatles songs in 2018. In a letter to the judge on Mar. 29, McCartney's lawyer Michael Jacobs writes, "Delay would not simplify the parties' dispute, but it would prejudice McCartney. As long as Sony/ATV refuses to disavow any right to sue for breach of contract, McCartney has a cloud over the title to his works, which devalues his rights." McCartney sued Sony/ATV in January and looked for assurance that under 304(c) of the U.S. Copyright Act, he has the ability to grab back rights to works by serving a notice of termination. The legendary former Beatle expects to do so in 2018, but he's worried, due to a case involving a Sony affiliate over in the U.K. There, an English court ruled that Duran Duran's contractual promise to not transfer its interest in copyrights foreclosed the band's ability to terminate a grant of rights. The British justice believes it isn't necessary to heed an aspect of American copyright law that states that termination of a grant "may be effected notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary." - The Hollywood Reporter...... In an interview with BBC Radio 6 on Mar. 25, Paul McCartney revealed he's working on a new album with producer Greg Kurstin, who McCartney previously worked with for a song for an animated film. "I'm making a new album, which is great fun. I'm in the middle of that," Sir Paul said. "I'm working with a producer who I first worked with two years ago on a thing, a piece of music I'm doing for an animated film. And since then he went on to work with Beck and got best album of the year," he continued. "Then he went on to work with Adele. He just got song of the year, record of the year with Adele. And just got producer of the year. So my only worry is people are going to go, 'Uhhhhh, there's Paul going with the flavor of the month.' You know, I suppose you always think the worst of it. But he's a great guy. Greg is musical and he's great to work with." Paul McCartneyMcCartney, who has not scheduled a release date for the upcoming album, released a deluxe version of his 1989 solo album Flowers in the Dirt with previously unheard demos from the recording sessions with Elvis Costello on Mar. 24, and has announced plans to tour Japan in 2017. Macca also paid tribute to the late Chuck Berry, who was a major influence on the Beatles. "He came to one of our concerts when we were playing in St. Louis, which is his home town. And he came round backstage. It was great to meet him and just be able to tell him what a fan I was," he said. - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news, Pete Shotton, a childhood friend and early bandmate of John Lennon, died of a heart attack in Liverpool, England, on Mar. 24 at age 75. "My memories of the two of us go back so far that I barely remember a time when there was no John Lennon in my life," Shotton wrote in his 1983 autobiography In My Life. Shotton, who lived around the corner from John, says he approached Paul McCartney soon after he'd met Lennon about an idea to join the pre-Beatles group The Quarrymen, which then included both him and Lennon. "By the way, I've been talking to John about it and we thought maybe you'd like to join the group." He wrote that McCartney thought for a minute, then said, "Oh, all right," and took off on his bicycle to go home. Shotton also played a role in the creation of two Beatles songs: "Eleanor Rigby" and "I Am the Walrus." Shotton said he suggested the name "Father McKenzie" when McCartney was trying to come up with the name of a cleric for the song. It was also his idea, he says, to have Rigby die at the end of the song, a suggestion he writes was originally rejected by Lennon. Lennon later gave Shotton a job managing the Apple Botique, which lasted just over six months before closing in 1968, and the pair remained friends until Lennon's death in 1980. - Billboard...... The Beatles' hometown of Liverpool, England announced on Mar. 22 that it is preparing to celebrate the half-centenary of the band's seminal 1967 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Liverpool authorities have commissioned 13 artists to create works based on the album's 13 tracks, including choreographer Mark Morris' dance tribute to the title song, cabaret artist Meow Meow's "outlandish procession" based on "Lovely Rita" and a mural by U.S. artist Judy Chicago inspired by "Fixing a Hole." There will also be a singalong by 64 choirs of the jaunty "When I'm Sixty-Four." The works will have their world premieres at venues across Liverpool between May 25 and June 16. On June 1 -- the anniversary of the album's release -- the city will host a fireworks extravaganza by French pyrotechnic artist Christophe Berthonneau. - AP...... Paul McCartney's brother Michael McCartney says he believes a vintage Liverpool police recruitment film dating from 1958 may very likely contain a glimpse of himself, Paul and John Lennon standing on the rooftop of the McCartneys' home at 20 Forthlin Road watching the annual Police Horse and dog display. The footage was discovered by Liverpudlian Peter Hodgson, who posted on Facebook, "I love watching old films about Liverpool on You Tube and I made the connection with Forthlin Road when I saw the Mather Avenue police show footage... I found the information on a Merseyside Police website which confirmed it was 1958." Michael McCartney then told the Liverpool Echo that he believes it "could definitely be us... It was a really big occasion in Liverpool and that's what we used to do every summer" -- take deck chairs and climb onto the concrete shed and watch a free show. And I think there is every chance John would have been there that year -- absolutely. His friend, Pete Shotton, was a police cadet. And George [Harrison] could easily have been there, too. It's bloody mad -- absolutely fascinating and unbelievable!" Although the images of the people in question are to tiny for a positive identification, if it is indeed Paul McCartney and John Lennon it would be the earliest known film appearance of any of the group members. - Billboard...... In related news, Sony/ATV Music Publishing is telling a UK judge that Sir Paul's lawsuit to reclaim rights to songs he authored as a member of the Beatles is "unripe" and "clearly forum-shopping." McCartney filed suit against Sony January, suing to confirm that under the termination provisions of U.S. copyright law, he gets to recapture his share of the copyright in the UK. If McCartney is successful, he will have terminated a copyright grant 18 months hence. Sony is asking the UK court to dismiss this case, and allow the UK court to determine relevant issues of UK contract law. Meanwhile, McCartney has unveiled the previously unheard demo for "Distractions" from his 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt, which will drop as a deluxe reissue on Mar. 24. Recorded and mixed by McCartney at Rude Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland, in 1987, "Distractions" was a key track on side one of Flowers in the Dirt. - Billboard/New Musical Express...... The BeatlesThe UK paper The London Sunday Times is reporting that a 50th anniversary deluxe re-release of the Beatles' landmark Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album is being planned for later in 2017. This special edition will reportedly include the songs "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane," which were originally planned to be included in the album, but were released as a double A-side single instead under pressure from record company EMI. Because the Beatles used to not include singles on albums, the two songs didn't end on up Sgt. Pepper, a decision that Beatles producer George Martin once called "a truly terrible mistake." More details about the re-release are being kept secret, but all parties involved have co-operated fully, including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon and George Harrison's respective widows, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison. The re-release is set for June 1, exactly fifty years after the original. - The London Sunday TImes...... In other Beatles-related news, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's son Sean Lennon has shared a recording of a song called "Bird Song" that he co-wrote with recently deceased actress/writer Carrie Fisher. Lennon and Fisher were good friends, with the musician calling her "one of the best and closest friends I've ever had in my life" in an Instagram post after her death. On Mar. 6, Sean shared the song on Instagram, explaining it was about "staying up too late and hearing the birds sing." "Carrie and I wrote this song years ago," Lennon wrote. "When she died I just felt I had to record it. This is only a demo unmixed, we only had a few hours to record it. But the lyrics she wrote with me I think are marvelous." - New Musical Express...... U.K. designer Alan Aldridge, who contributed to and compiled the classic Beatles-themed book The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, has died at age 73. Aldridge is possibly best known for the picture book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper Feast (1973), a series of illustrations of anthropomorphic insects and other creatures, which he created in collaboration with William Plomer, who wrote the accompanying verses. Aldridge's other works include The Penguin Book of Comics (1967), Bernie Taupin: The One Who Writes the Words for Elton John (1976), and The Adventures and Brave Deeds of the Ship's Cat on the Spanish Maine (1977), and The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes: The Art of Alan Aldridge (2009). - Goodreads.com...... 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  







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