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Ringo Starr has big plans to celebrate his milestone 80th birthday on July 7 with an "all-Starr" broadcast benefit called "Ringo's Big Birthday Show." This year Starr, who traditionally spreads peace and love outside of Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, Calif. for his birthday, has recruited his fellow surviving Beatles member Paul McCartney along with his All-Starr Band guitarist Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, Sheila E. and Ben Harper for at-home livestream performances, as well as never-before-seen concert footage. Ringo StarrProceeds raised during "Ringo's Big Birthday Show" will benefit the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid. "As everyone knows I love gathering with fans for peace and love on my birthday," Ringo said in a press release. "But this year, I want everyone to be safe at home -- so I called up a few friends and we put this Big Birthday Show together so we could still celebrate my birthday with you all, with some great music for some great charities. I hope you will all join me! Peace and Love, Ringo." The bash will also premiere a guest star version of Starr's "Give More Love" featuring Willie Nelson, Jeff Bridges, Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Peter Frampton, Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. "Ringo's Big Birthday Show" will air on his YouTube channel at 8:00 p.m. EDT on July 7. An update on the event has been shared on YouTube. - Billboard...... Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and Arcade Fire will perform as part of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band live-stream on June 20 beginning at 8 pm EST (1am BST), taking their "Midnight Preserves" festival jam sessions online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The group will host a live-stream from their respective homes and are set to be joined by a number of special guests. McCartney, Grohl and Arcade Fire appeared alongside Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews, Beck, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Nathaniel Rateliff and more. Fans can tune in on YouTube, Twitch, or Facebook. Some performances will be pre-recorded. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was founded in 1961 as a way to promote New Orleans jazz. They often hold their own 'Midnight Preserves' sessions at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which sees them joined by a host of special guests. - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartney announced on June 12 a special re-release of his 1997 solo album Flaming Pie as the 13th installment of his Archive Collection series, which he began back in 2010 with the purpose of remastering and reissuing all his solo records. Flaming Pie, co-produced by McCartney, Beatles producer George Martin, and ELO mastermind Jeff Lynne, was McCartney's 10th solo LP. It will be available in "Deluxe", "Collectors", and various regular CD and vinyl editions beginning July 31. A promo video for the reissue has been shared on YouTube. In addition two EP's, The World Tonight and Beautiful Night,, will arrive on June 26 and July 17, respectively. Meanwhile, Sir Paul is criticizing the Italian government for their "outrageous" decision to implement a policy that prevents music fans from receiving a full refund for concerts that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Macca's "Freshen Up" tour had been scheduled to stop at a number of European cities this summer, including Naples on June 10 and Lucca on June 13 before they were scrubbed due to the virus. McCartney, in a post written in Italian (via The Guardian), said that "the Italian organiser of our shows and the Italian legislators must do the right thing in this case... We are extremely sorry that the shows cannot take place, but this is a real insult to fans." The concert promoters say they are working to reschedule almost all the cancelled shows for 2021. - New Musical Express...... The BeatlesIn other Beatles-related news, Penny Lane in Liverpool is in danger of being renamed if links to slavery are discovered, the city's regional mayor says. Road signs at Penny Lane were vandalized earlier in June after it was claimed the location was named after the notorious 18th century slave trader James Penny. The mayor says the naming "needs to be investigated" and "I would say that sign and that road may well be in danger of being renamed," although he added there is no hard evidence that is the fact. The mayor said the road could instead have been associated with a toll that was once paid in pennies to cross the road. Meanwhile, the release of the Peter Jackson-directed documentary The Beatles: Get Back has been delayed for one year by its distributor Disney. On June 12, Disney announced Get Back will now arrive on Aug. 27, 2021 instead of its original scheduled date of Sept. 4. In still more Beatles news, a recording of a 1962 jam session by the Beatles at London's Abbey Road studios is at the center of a $6.3 million court battle that is set to begin on June 16. Songs recorded on the demo at the Beatles' very first Abbey Road session are believed to include their early hit "Love Me Do," and the tape was discovered in late Beatles sound engineer Geoff Emerick's home in a safe, after Emerick was ordered to destroy the tapes by EMI who deemed the recording to not be of good enough quality to be released. Emerick's estate is arguing that they are entitled to the recording under a "Finders Law," but Universal Music, which bought EMI in 2012, counter that law does not count in this case since Emerick was told he should destroy the recording by EMI. - Variety/WENN/Canoe.com...... Paul McCartney took to social media on June 5 to share an encouraging message on the fight for social justice as protests over the death of George Floyd continue around the United States and other countries. "I know many of us want to know just what we can be doing to help. None of us have all the answers and there is no quick fix but we need change," Sir Paul posted on his official Twitter account. "We all need to work together to overcome racism in any form. We need to learn more, listen more, talk more, educate ourselves and, above all, take action." McCartney, 77, then recalled a 1964 incident with the Beatles refused to play a concert with a segregated audience in Jacksonville, Fla. "It felt wrong. We said 'We're not doing that!' and the concert we did do was to their first non-segregated audience," Macca wrote. "We then made sure this was in our contract. To us it seemed like common sense." Paul added that he is "sick and angry" that racial tension still exists after so many years. "I feel sick and angry that here we are almost 60 years later and the world is in shock at the horrific scenes of the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of police racism, along with the countless others that came before," he tweeted. McCartney also shared links to several organizations seeking to fight racism, including Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, the NAACP, Stand Up to Racism, and Campaign Zero. - Billboard...... John LennonMeanwhile, the post-Beatles 1971 peace anthem by McCartney's late bandmate John Lennon, "Imagine," was referenced in a speech by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on June 3. Comparing calls to defund the New York Police Dept. to the lyrics of "Imagine," de Blasio said, "I think everyone who hears that song in its fullness thinks about, 'What about a world where people got along differently? What about a world where we didn't live with a lot of the restrictions that we live with now?' But we're not there yet." A cultural fixture in the almost 50 years since its 1971 release, "Imagine" was once described by Lennon as "the concept of positive prayer... without this my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing." "Imagine" has been covered by an endless list of notable musicians including Joan Baez, Diana Ross and Neil Young and become a kind of "go-to anthem for the detached," and some have criticized how it is too often "re-molded" by politicians and other public figures to fit certain political and social goals. - Billboard...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Ringo Starr has also shared his views on the current Black Lives Matter protests, saying he is sending "peace, love and continuous support" to them. In a June 5 tweet, Ringo referenced his bandmate Paul McCartney's own message: "As my brother Paul said The Beatles always stood for equal rights&justice and I've never stopped working for peace&love ever since," he wrote on his official Twitter account. "I send my peace love&continuous support to everyone marching & speaking up for justice & a better world." Starr also called for justice for George Floyd's family and "for all those who have died and suffered." "Saying nothing is not an option," he added. - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartney posted a series of Twitter posts on May 21 paying tribute to Beatles photographer Astrid Kirchherr, who died earlier in May at age 81 of as yet undisclosed causes. "Very sad news this week about Astrid Kirchherr," McCartney began. "Astrid was a dear friend from my Hamburg days with The Beatles. Another friend, Klaus Voormann, told me she had passed away and this brought back memories of our days in the clubs in Hamburg. She had a great sense of humour and later went on to marry Stuart (Sutcliffe) our bass player. I have so many fond memories of our time together in the club or her home or a trip to the nearby seaside resort, Lubeck. So sad for all of us who were her friends to lose such a lovely lady from our lives. I will miss her but will always remember her and her cheeky grin with great fondness. God bless you Astrid, see ya love!," McCartney added in his posts. Kirchherr, who was known for taking the first ever photo of the then-quintet in her native Hamburg, Germany in the early 1960s and helping to shape their trend-setting style before they shot to international superstardom, passed away on May 13, days before turning 82. - Music-News.com...... An unreleased demo tape of "Angel in Disguise," Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr's only jointly written duet, sold for $9,900 at auction in the U.K. on May 19. The track was recorded for Starr's 1992 solo album Time Takes Time but did not make the cut -- with a cassette containing two versions of the song selling to an unnamed bidder after a sale at Omega Auctions in Cheshire, England. The tape is currently owned by former Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince, and sold at less than half its top price estimate of $20,000. It features McCartney on vocals on one track and another with Starr singing. "Angel in Disguise" is thought to be the only song "co-written exclusively" by the duo without any other musician's involvement. - WENN/Canoe.com...... Astrid_Kirchherr.gifAstrid Kirchher, the legendary German Beatles photographer and collaborator who is renowned for taking the first ever photograph of the Beatles in her hometown of Hamburg, when they were an unknown five-piece combo, has died at age 81 of as yet undisclosed causes. Enjoying a lengthy collaborative relationship with the Beatles, Ms. Kirchherr is also known as the person who first suggested that the band cut their hair into what would become iconic "mop tops." She was also engaged to one-time Beatles guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe before his death in 1962. "Astrid was intelligent, inspirational, innovative, daring, artistic, awake, aware, beautiful, smart, loving and uplifting," Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn posted in tribute on Twitter. "Her gift to the Beatles was immeasurable." Also among the many fans paying tribute to Ms. Kirchherr on social media, where she was referred to as "the sixth Beatle," was George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison. "Astrid is and was the sweetest woman, so thoughtful and kind and talented, with an eye to capture a soul. Our family loved her and none more than George. I am truly saddened but honoured to have known her," Olivia said. Ms. Kirchherr's photography of several iconic photos of the band was collated into a 2018 book, Astrid Kirchherr with the Beatles. - New Musical Express...... An unheard demo by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr written for Ringo's 1992 album Time Takes Time is set to be auctioned on May 19, with the track expected to fetch as much as £20,000. A quarter of the profits from the song, owned by former Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince, will go to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19. The demo tape features two versions of the track that did not make it onto the Time Takes Time album -- a demo with McCartney on vocals and a fuller take featuring Starr's vocals, alongside additional instruments and backing vocals. A demo of another Ringo track, called "Everyone Wins," also features on the cassette, which is being sold by Omega Auctions on May 19, alongside other memorabilia, including autographs by Paul and his late wife Linda McCartney. - New Musical Express...... Paul McCartney is among 100 celebrity contributors to a new charity book titled Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, a book paying tribute to the UK's National Health Service. Dear NHS will be published on July 9, and includes personal stories from the likes of McCartney and Ricky Gervais which aim to highlight the outstanding work done by the NHS over the years. Meanwhile, Sir Paul reminded citizens of the world to celebrate Earth Day on Apr. 22 with a post on Twitter. "Take care of this beautiful place," McCartney urged. - NME...... Ringo StarrIn other Beatles related news, a sing-a-long version of the Fab Four's animated film Yellow Submarine was hosted by the band on its official YouTube channel on Apr. 25. A remastered version of the 1968 film was released in cinemas in 2018 to celebrate its 50th anniversary, but the new premiere marked the first time it has been available online. Ringo Starr released an invitation for fans to join in the sing-a-long on YouTube on Apr. 22. "Share your photos and videos with us of you singing along at home and tag them #YellowSubLive. Following the film, we'll be sharing your images and videos on Instagram Stories," Ringo said. - NME...... Paul McCartney performed a solo rendition of the Beatles' classic "Lady Madonna" during the The Global Citizen-sponsored One World: Together At Home charity telecast on Apr. 18. McCartney prefaced it with an impassioned shout out to his mother Mary, a midwife and nurse after the second world war. "My mother, Mary, was a nurse and midwife before and during World War II. I have a lot of time for healthcare workers. We love you, thank you," he explained. Sir Paul's quarantined version of the song was virtually unrecognizable as the jaunty 1968 original, stripped down to just Macca and his electric piano, and performed at a slower, more tender pace. A live album featuring all 79 performances from the eight-hour, at-home TV concert, which raised almost $128 million, has also been released. Proceeds from its streaming will go directly to support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organisation. - Billboard...... After Paul McCartney appeared on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show earlier in April and agreed with Stern that the Beatles were "better" than the Rolling Stones, Stones frontman Mick Jagger has responded in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music and shared on YouTube. "That's so funny. [Paul's] a sweetheart. There's obviously no competition," Jagger said, laughing when asked for his response. "The big difference, though, is and sort of slightly seriously, is that the Rolling Stones is a big concert band in other decades and other areas when the Beatles never even did an arena tour, Madison Square Garden with a decent sound system. They broke up before that business started, the touring business for real... we started doing stadium gigs in the '70s and [are] still doing them now. That's the real big difference between these two bands. One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums and then the other band doesn't exist." In McCartney's comments, he noted that the Stones "are rooted in the blues." "When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. We had a little more influences. There's a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I'm with you. The Beatles were better," he said. Jagger was speaking to Lowe to promote the Stones' new single "Living In A Ghost Town," a four-minute bluesy and harmonica-driven song released by the band on Apr. 23. "I'm a ghost/ Living in a ghost town/ You can look for me/ But I can't be found," sings Jagger, who wrote it with guitarist Keith Richards. The band has shared the surprise track, its first proper studio single since 2016 and their cover album Blue and Lonesome, on Spotify.com. - New Musical Express/AP...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney has called for Chinese "wet markets," which got their name due to their frequently hosed-down floors, to be banned due to the current coronavirus pandemic. In an interview on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio channel, McCartney said: "I really hope that this will mean the Chinese government says, "OK guys, we have really got to get super hygienic around here. Let's face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats." The Beatles icon went on to suggest that the unsanitary nature of the markets was responsible for more than just the coronavirus. "It seems like Sars, avian flu, all sorts of other stuff that has afflicted us -- and what's it for?" Macca said. "For these quite medieval practices. They need to clean up their act. This may lead to [change]. If this doesn't, I don't know what will." Sir Paul, who has been a vegetarian and animal rights activist for many years, added that the markets "might as well be letting off atomic bombs" in terms of the impact they were having on world safety. "I understand that part of it is going to be: people have done it for ever, this is the way we do things," he noted. "But they did slavery forever, too. You've got to change things at some point." McCartney also expressed sadness about the cancellation of the Glastonbury 2020 festival in England, which he was set to headline, due to the pandemic: "What's disappointing for me is the people who bought tickets, who were looking forward to this and thinking here's something groovy to do in the summer, and suddenly the plug is pulled, and we can't come around and play for them. It's sad for us, too...we were looking forward to that." - New Musical Express...... In other Beatles-related news, a medley of the Fab Four's songs provided the soundtrack for a light show at New York's Empire State Building on Apr. 11. The display coincided with the 50th-anniversary of the band's split on Apr. 11, 1970, and is part of the famous tourist destination's continued run of special events while New York is under a stay-at-home order. The show, produced by iHeartMedia and Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT), featured songs including "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" and "A Day In The Life." The medley was broadcast on New York radio station Q104.3 and synced to the light show at the Empire State Building by lighting artist Marc Brickman. - New Musical Express...... During a virtual auction of Beatles memorabilia on Apr. 10 conducted by Julien's Auctions, Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for the Beatles classic "Hey Jude" sold for a whopping $910,000, well over its $160,000 estimate. The lyrics were used in studio for the recording of the No. 1 hit at London's Trident Studios in July 1968. In addition, the Beatles' Cow Palace concert drumhead sold for $200,000, a "BAGISM" drawing by John Lennon and Yoko Ono sold for $93,750, a "Hello Goodbye" music video shoot script page sold for $83,200, Ringo Starr's Abbey Road ashtray sold for $32,500, and the stage of the group's first performance sold for $25,600. Julien's staff accepted digital real-time bids via phone and online from remote locations. Meanwhile, Paul McCartney will be among the performers at an "One World: Together at Home" coronavirus benefit concert curated by Lady Gaga and hosted by US talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert on Apr. 18. The concert will be broadcast live across US television networks ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as being streamed online. Also performing will be Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Eddie Vedder, Billy Joe Armstrong, Keith Urban, John Legend, Lizzo and Alanis Morissette, among others. An adapted version of the concert will be broadcast on BBC One the following day featuring exclusive performances from UK artists and interviews with workers on the frontline. - Billboard/New Musical Express...... The Material World Foundation, the charity set up by late Beatles guitarist/singer/songwriter George Harrison in 1973, has donated $500,000 to a series of charities providing much needed aid and care during this coronavirus pandemic. On Mar. 26, the foundation announced that it donated the funds to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, Save the Children, and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). The Beatles official YouTube page shared the following lyrics from the band's 1968 non-album single "The Inner Light": "Without going out of my door, I can know all things of earth/ Without looking out of my window, I could know the ways of heaven." George's widow, Olivia Harrison, noted that the lyrics "are a positive reminder to all of us who are isolating, quarantined or respecting the request to stay in our homes." George Harrison"Let's get and stay connected at this difficult time. There are things we can do to help and we invite you to share your Inner Light," Olivia added. She then issued an "Inner Light Challenge," saying the Material World Foundation will donate a further $1 (up to $100,000) for every person who shares their own "Inner Light" moment on social media using the hashtag #innerlight2020. "This can be a verse, a chorus, or a line from the song, sing it, play it, hum it, strum it, paint it, knit it, chant it, plant it, pray or meditate and post it to social media," the statement revealed. George and Olivia's son, Dhani Harrison, also shared his own "Inner Light" moment on YouTube. - New Musical Express...... Meanwhile in other Beatles-related news, a London municipal crew has repainted the Abbey Road crossing made famous by the cover of the Beatles' 1969 album of the same name, while the city is under lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus. The pedestrian crossing was designated a site of national importance by the British government in 2010. This means it can only be altered with the approval of the local authorities which would make a decision based on the site s historic significance, function and condition, according to Reuters. - New Musical Express...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, John Lennon's son Julian Lennon has told Observer magazine that he felt "cast aside" when his dad embarked on a relationship with Yoko Ono in the late Sixties. "He and Yoko Ono were deeply and publicly in love. And I felt as if my mum and I had been cast aside," said Julian, now 56. But Julian felt grateful that his dad's bandmate, Paul McCartney, didn't "forget" about him. "Not everyone forgot about us, though. Paul wrote 'Hey Jules' after dropping in to check how my mum and I were doing. (Obviously, the title of the song changed to Hey Jude)." Lennon said that "maybe 10 years passed during which my dad and I barely spoke. I was very angry about how he left the family" but that his mother, Cynthia Lennon helped him to have conversations with his dad. "She was such a gentle soul, never vindictive in any way, shape or form. She always wanted me to have a relationship with him." Julian said he still strives for "forgiveness and understanding" towards his late father and holds his memory "dear," though he can't "forget" John's behavior towards Cynthia. He said: "I try to remember my dad as fondly as possible. I strive for forgiveness and understanding in that area of my life, for the difficult times he put my mum and me through. I loved her more than anything and can't forget how poorly he treated her.... Even now, almost 40 years after he died, I hold my father's memory dear." - Music-News.com...... The writers of The Simpsons say that Paul McCartney always checks that Lisa Simpson is still a vegetarian every time they run into him, after it became a key condition of his guest appearance on the show in 1995. Sir Paul, with then wife and staunch vegetarian Linda McCartney, guested on The Simpsons in the episode "The Vegetarian," In a new interview with the UK's Radio Times, show consultant David Mirkin -- who is also a vegetarian -- said he was "happy to comply with McCartney's request," but admitted that every time he bumps into the former Beatle, Macca always checks. "And he's always surrounded by nine or ten lawyers so it's quite frightening," Mirkin says. This comes as The Simpsons arrives on Disney+ this week, as the streaming service launches in the UK. The Walt Disney Company is also set to release a new Beatles documentary from Lord of Rings director Peter Jackson, The Beatles: Get Back. - New Musical Express...... John EntwistleIn a newly published John Entwistle biography from rock journalists Paul Rees and Thomas Judd, the late The Who bassist recalls how the Beatles used to sing explicit lyrics live as their fans' deafening screams drowned them out during the heyday of Beatlemania. "It became apparent that The Beatles had figured that since the screaming couldn't be stopped and no one out front in the audience could possibly hear a thing, then they might as well have some fun," Entwistle is quoted in The Ox: The Last of the Great Rock Stars. "Soon, the four of us were crying with laughter at words they were singing and which only we were able to pick up on, 'It's been a hard day's c**k...' 'I wanna hold your c***...'," he added. The Who once opened for the Beatles in Blackpool in 1964. Meanwhile, surviving Who members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend have announced that their UK and Ireland tour will now take place in March 2021, after it was delayed by coronavirus. The Who were due to begin their latest arena tour on Mar. 16 at the Manchester Arena, including a special gig at London's Royal Albert Hall on Mar. 28 as part of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust shows. The shows will now take place in March 2021, and original tickets will still be valid. - Music-News.com/NME...... A builder in the U.K. could be about to secure a £2,000 payday after finding the sketches Paul McCartney commissioned for his "psychedelic" piano in a dumpster. Oldham resident Andy Clyne, 54, says he was leading a team at a mill near Manchester in 1999 when he noticed the papers had been thrown out with other waste. After taking them out of the skip, Andy stored the papers in his loft for 20 years before recently deciding to get them valued. The sketches of the Sir Paul's "psychedelic" piano, which was designed in 1967 and he still plays in concert to this day, will now go under the hammer at Omega Auctions on Mar. 24, where they are expected to reach £2,000. "I've had them for 20-odd years. You put things away and forget about them and then something triggers your mind," Clyne said. "I haven't planned what I'll do with the money yet but I was surprised about the value... I Googled 'Paul McCartney's piano' and when I looked at the drawing it was very similar." Meanwhile, a sidewalk performer in London says McCartney tipped her guitar case while she was performing in the city on Mar. 11. Charlotte Campbell says she was performing outside Charing Cross station in the center of the capital when the Beatles legend approached her and tossed some coins her way. "I was absolutely speechless," Campbell told the Evening Standard, when Sir Paul approached her, but she nevertheless managed to thank Macca as he walked away. "When he looked up it was Paul McCartney, like actually Paul McCartney and I was so shocked because I am such a huge fan of the Beatles," Campbell says. "They are such an inspiration I think to any musician ever -- the Beatles are the ultimate -- and to see Paul McCartney and for him to be putting money in my guitar case I was so speechless." - New Musical Express...... 'Let It Be' - The BeatlesDisney executive chairman Bob Iger announced on Mar. 11 that Disney has acquired the worldwide rights to director Peter Jackson's upcoming Beatles documentary, The Beatles: Get Back. The film, which takes a look back at the recording of the band's penultimate album Let It Be, "is a front-row seat to the inner workings of the genius of those creators," according to Iger, who announced the news during Disney's annual shareholder meeting in Raleigh, N.C. Jackson, who says he worked on the film with cooperation from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, pulled from 55 hours of unreleased footage of the band filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969 and 140 hours of largely unheard audio recordings from the Let It Be album sessions. The Beatles: Get Back also will feature footage of the band's final live concert as a group, their rooftop performance on London's Savile Row. "Working on this project has been a joyous discovery," Jackson said in a statement. "I've been privileged to be a fly on the wall while the greatest band of all time works, plays and creates masterpieces. I'm thrilled that Disney have stepped up as our distributor. There's no one better to have our movie seen by the greatest number of people," he added. Lindsay-Hogg directed the original Let It Be film, which was shot in 1969 but not released until 1970, after the Beatles had officially broken up. Disney says a fully restored version of the original Let It Be film will be released at a later date. The Beatles: Get Back will be released in the US and Canada on Sept. 4. - The Hollywood Reporter...... A guitar once co-owned by Beatles legends George Harrison and John Lennon has been valued at £400,000 on the British version of Antiques Roadshow. On the Mar. 2 episode, the guitar's current owner, a former session musician, said he was given the guitar because he could play it better than Harrison. Bartell's of California manufactured the prototype fretless instrument for the band in the 1960s, and it was brought to Battle Abbey in Sussex for this week's show. Valuing the guitar at between £300,000 and £400,000, expert Jon Baddeley said of the guitar: "I think in 25 years it's by far the most expensive thing I've ever seen. You know, to a guitar collector it's initially a very rare guitar. Then to somebody who's a Beatles fan, to own a guitar that was once owned by both John Lennon and George Harrison, can you get a better history? Two of the most important rock stars of the 20th century." Blown away by the value of the guitar, the owner admitted that he still plays it regularly. "I never really thought about value, as George being a mate and all that," he said. "I don't know what to say actually, I'm really taken aback by it.... I didn't realise it was worth that much money. It's lucky I don't keep it in the house," he added. The owner also showed the audience a photograph with George and the guitar, adding proof that it had once been a part of his Harrison's impressive collection. - New Musical Express...... George HarrisonThe Liverpool City Council and the estate of George Harrison have announced a new woodland memorial dedicated to the late Beatle will be created in the city in 2021 to mark what would have been the legendary musician's 77th birthday. The George Harrison Woodland Walk will be located in the Liverpool suburb of Allerton, close to where Harrison was born and spent his formative years. Upon its completion, it will feature a selection of artistic installations directly inspired by Harrison's seminal lyrics and his life, as well as a "nature classroom" to help school children learn about the natural world. Local artists are already being solicited to submit ideas for their own artwork at CultureLiverpool.co.uk. Olivia Harrison, George's widow, noted that her late husband "was an avid gardener who found solace and joy in being in the outdoors." "I don't think there is any better way to commemorate him in Liverpool than with a garden which can become a place of tranquility and reflection for everyone. I am really looking forward to watching it change and grow over the coming years," she added. Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson called Harrison "one of our most-loved sons" and that "the site is beautiful and the plans for the area in the coming months are really exciting." - New Musical Express...... The Beatles's Apple Corps and Subafilms, which owns the Yellow Submarine trademark, have been granted a $77 million default judgement over fake band merchandise. A Florida judge fined the 77 defendants in the case each $1 million in damages for trademark violations. London-based Apple Corps and Subafilms, which are owned by the former Beatles members, brought the federal lawsuit against the individuals in Nov. 2019 asking a judge to not only prohibit them from selling the counterfeit merchandise, but to also hold them accountable for any commercial sales made that infringed on the trademark. Apple Corps was also granted a permanent injunction against the defendants prohibiting them from "manufacturing, importing, advertising, or promoting, distributing, selling or offering to sell counterfeit and infringing goods using" the bands' trademarks. Defendants in the lawsuit were listed only through their domain names, seller IDs, URLs and email addresses. An attorney familiar with the case says the lawsuit was likely filed by Apple Corps "to send a message; protect its legitimate licensees; build its case against future infringers and hopefully, just hopefully, catch a few bad actors in the act, seize their assets and put them out of business." - Billboard...... James TaylorAs he grants new interviews to help publicize his latest album American Standard, James Taylor told the UK paper The Guardian that he fears he may have played a role in the demise of the Beatles by giving John Lennon hard drugs. Lennon's issues with heroin have long been rumoured to have contributed to the band deciding to break-up in 1969, a year after they met Taylor, who was at the time battling his own opioid addiction, and signed to their Apple Records label. Describing his drug use, he said: "You used to be able to buy something called Collis Browne's Chlorodyne, which was an old-fashioned medication. Essentially, it was a tincture of opium, so you'd drink a couple of bottles and you could take the edge off." But Taylor added he isn't absolutely sure it was he who introduced Lennon to hard drugs. "They were leaving as I was coming in. I often came in early and would sit in the control room and listen to them recording -- and hear playbacks of what they had just cut." Asked whether the band was "unravelling" at that stage, he adds: "Well, it was a slow unravelling, but it was also an extremely creative unravelling." Taylor subsequently left Apple Records, beat his addictions in rehab and moved to Los Angeles, where he recorded his breakthrough record Sweet Baby James featuring vocals from Carole King. - New Musical Express/WENN...... Paul McCartney was among the celebs tweeting happy Valentine's Day wishes on Feb. 14. "Let's all have a loving #ValentinesDay! Love Paul," the former Beatle posted on his Twitter page alongside a cheeky picture of himself posing with a heart-shaped bouquet of red roses. - Billboard...... John Lennon's eldest son Julian Lennon was recently rushed to hospital for an emergency cancer operation after a suspicious-looking mole was discovered during a routine appointment with is dermatologist. Julian, 56, told the U.K. paper The Sun that the mole was discovered during a routine appointment with skin expert Dr. Tess Mauricio. "The trouble is... you think you have time...," Julian noted. "A few days ago, I went to visit my dermatologist, here in LA, when she noticed a little bump on my head that was actually a mole that had been there, along with a birthmark, for the last 57 years. But this time, it looked & felt a little different," he explained. After a biopsy he had several days ago revealed that it was "malignant/cancerous" and needed to be removed immediately, Julian underwent the operation. "Hopefully we managed to remove all that was cancerous, but the mole is being sent off again, for a further/deeper analysis, and I'll have those results next week," he said. "I cannot tell you how I felt, from one moment of joy, to the fear of feeling that I may be gone, at any given moment. I'm still shaking inside... but my faith is strong." In a post on his Facebook page on Feb. 2, Julian urged his fans to also get checked out and "do every health check possible." "Life is too short & Don't make it shorter by being ignorant about your own health," he posted. Julian's latest album, Everything Changes, was released in 2011. Since then, he has released a handful of standalone singles, including 2016's "Saltwater 25." - Music-News.com...... The BeatlesFootage from an upcoming Beatles documentary from director Peter Jackson about the fractious Let It Be recording sessions was previewed at a Universal Music showcase on Jan. 28, and indications are it could change the way the Fab Four are viewed forever. Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) has been has been working on the film for a year, remastering hours of unused footage from Michael Lindsay-Hogg's 1970 documentary film Let It Be and editing previously unreleased footage into a film that appears to bust the myth that the sessions were fraught with tension between band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. One clip reportedly showed the quartet in Let It Be recording sessions "joking around, making fun of each other, singing in silly accents and generally indulging in vintage Moptop hijinks," according to Variety. The footage was presented by Apple Records president Jeff Jones, who said: "We have created a brand-new film that will attempt to bust the myth that the Let It Be sessions were the final nail in the Beatles' coffin." With rehearsals of songs that would appear on the 1970 Let It Be album and early demos for songs that would crop up on solo records, Variety says that Beatles fans "will lose their minds over this film." Both the original Let It Be film and LP of the same name were released in May 1970, a month after the band officially announced their split. However, they had released Abbey Road, recorded during the band's final ever studio sessions together as a four-piece unit, in 1969. It was recorded after the notorious Let It Be sessions. The new Let It Be film is being prepped to coincide with its 50th anniversary this May, and will reportedly be followed by a remastered rerelease of the original film. - Yahoo Movies UK,...... Nielsen Music is reporting that vinyl album sales in the US grew to a new yearly high in 2019 for the 14th consecutive year, led by the Beatles who sold 471,000 copies sold across their entire catalog, more than any other artist. Vinyl sales climbed to 18.84 million units sold in 2019 (up 14.5%), and represented 16.7% of all album sales for the year. In 2018, the format accounted for 11.9% of all album sales. The Beatles also had the top-selling vinyl album of 2019, with Abbey Road. The set, first released in 1969, sold 246,000 copies on wax in 2019, thanks in part to its deluxe 50th anniversary reissue. The set topped the weekly Billboard Hot 200 album chart for 11 weeks in late 1969 and early 1970. Other '70s related acts in the top 10 vinyl sales for 2019 include Queen (No. 2; 345,000), Pink Floyd (No. 4; 217,000), Fleetwood Mac (No. 5; 149,000), Prince (No. 7; 140,000), Led Zeppelin (No. 8; 134,000) and Michael Jackson (No. 9; 127,000). - Billboard...... Paul McCartneyJust in time for Christmas, Paul McCartney has co-designed a collection of limited-edition cashmere sweaters embroidered with titles of two tracks on his 2018 album Egypt Station, "People Want Peace" and "Do It Now," and made them available for $400 apiece at his official merchandise shop on PaulMcCartney.com. The former Beatles reached out earlier in 2019 to sweater label Lingua Franca to create a collection of limited-edition sweaters. Lingua Franca sweaters -- stitched with punchy, culturally relevant slogans -- caught the attention of several celebrities amid the rise of the #Time'sUp movement, with phrases like "Fight Like A Mother" and "Nevertheless, She Voted." Lingua Franca's founder and longtime Beatles fan Rachelle Hruska MacPherson says Sir Paul was "really involved in the process, which was so beyond cool." "Paul's team asked if it would be possible to get a selection of designs mocked up. They had some potential slogans from Paul's recent album," MacPherson says. "We showed them fifteen mockups, and Paul picked six. We really trusted Paul's judgement on color combinations. The fact that Paul was picking all the colors was exciting," she added. - Billboard...... Late The Cars principle Ric Ocasek, late The Monkees member Peter Tork, and late counterculture icon Peter Fonda, all who passed away in 2019, are among the personalities featured in British artist Christ Barker's annual Christmas Sgt. Pepper's cover tribute. Barker began his tribute based on the famous cover of the 1967 Beatles LP in 2016, in which he re-imagines the cover with recently deceased celebrities and pop culture icons, in 2016. He says his first Sgt. Pepper's cover was "partly to cope with the shock" of losing so many celebrities that year, including David Bowie, Prince, Carrie Fisher and George Martin, along with the jarring outcomes of the Brexit referendum and the 2016 election of US Pres. Donald Trump. Barker said he decided to continue the tribute after 007 actor Roger Moore, rock & roll icon Chuck Berry, and Batman actor Adam West passed that year. In 2019, Barker says he's also focusing on his worries about pollution and climate change by featuring a Sumatran rhino to highlight the plight of many endangered species around the world. Also making this year's cover are Cream drummer Ginger Baker, actors Albert Finney, Doris Day, Luke Perry, Rip Torn, Valerie Harper and Jan-Michael Vincent, and Grumpy Cat. - Billboard...... Ringo StarrIn other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr gave a thumbs up to the 2019 Beatles-themed movie Yesterday from the red carpet of the recent Global Citizen Awards at London's Royal Albert Hall. Ringo appeared to not remember about the film, but gave his seal of approval after being reminded by his actress/model wife Barbara Bach. "Oh yeah - I loved it," Ringo explained. "I mean, what a great concept. You know?" he added. The movie, which hit cinemas this summer, follows the story of a fledgling musician whose life takes a dramatic turn when he realizes he's one of only a handful of people left in the world that remembers Beatles songs. - NME...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, a pair of sunglasses once worn by John Lennon have been sold at a Sotheby's auction in London for £137,500. Lennon, who was assassinated outside his New York apartment on Dec. 8, 1980, mistakenly left a pair of glasses designed by Oliver Goldsmith in the back of Ringo Starr's car in the summer of 1968. In a letter by John's former chauffeur Alan Herring, Herring recalled: "I had picked John up with Ringo and George [Harrison] in Ringo's Mercedes and driven the boys into the office. When John got out of his car I noticed that he'd left these sunglasses on the back seat and one lens and one arm had become disconnected. I asked John if he'd like me to get them fixed for him. He told me not to worry they were just for the look. He said he'd send out for some that fit. I never did get them mended -- I just kept them as they were as John had left them." Herring was originally employed by Harrison as a landscape contractor at his home in Surrey, England, and was later employed by fellow Beatles star Ringo. - NME...... Paul McCartney has revealed he once recorded a secret Christmas album of demos "just for the family" which gets played once a year at festive gatherings. Interviewed on BBC Radio 4's World at One radio show, Paul said, "Years ago I thought, there's not very good Christmas records, so I actually went into my studio over a couple of years and I made one." But McCartney added he would never release the demo of Christmas carol instrumentals, despite it becoming a firm favourite among his children and grandchildren. "The kids like it," he said. "It's something they've heard through the years, you know, and now it's the grandkids getting indoctrinated with my carols record." McCartney, who will be headlining the UK's legendary Glastonbury festival in 2020, also said he plans on getting ready for his high profile gig by playing 10 concerts "to get up to speed." "You don't get an athlete just coming into the Olympics not having done a few races beforehand," he said. "The idea is by the time I get to Glastonbury it'll just be just like another gig. But of course it won't be, because it's very special." In other Macca news, the Netflix streaming sevice announced on Dec. 11 that they're set to adapt McCartney's 2005 children's novel High In The Clouds into an animated feature film. Directed by Oscar-nominee Timothy Reckart and produced by French movie studio Gaumont, the film will feature original songs and music by McCartney. "I've always loved animated films and this is a hugely important passion project for me. I can't wait for the world to see it," he said in a statement. - New Musical Express/Billboard...... John LennonYoko OnoDecember 8 marked the 39th year since John Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York apartment at age 40, and his widow Yoko Ono posted an emotional tribute to her late husband on Twitter that day. "Dear Friends. Every day, 100 Americans are shot and killed with guns. We are turning this beautiful country into a War Zone. Together, let's bring back America, the green land of peace," she wrote. Ono also shared a statistic that revealed over 1,400,000 people have been killed by guns in America since Lennon's death. "The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 39 years, Sean, Julian and I still miss him. Imagine all the people living life in peace," she added. Yoko's outdoor art installation, the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjav'k, Iceland, is lit up each year in memory of John from the date of his birthday until the anniversary of his death. Live footage of the tower can be viewed on Twitter. - New Musical Express...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney has weighed in on the ongoing climate crisis in a new interview during an event to promote a product from his late wife Linda McCartney's vegetarian food product line. Sir Paul, his family, climate activist Anna Taylor, and zero-waste restaurant founder Doug McMaster were in attendance at the Dec. 8 event sponsored by the UK's Vice. Speaking about the crisis, McCartney said: "It changes really slowly, so all you can do is what the kids are doing, and protest and do everything you can." Speaking about recent environmental protests, McCartney said: "I was thinking the other day, 'Oh, it's going to turn everyone off' and sure enough it is: 'Oh they're naughty, they're making noise, it woke me up.' But it's like, what about the suffragettes? They were dying for it and now women have rights. Well, some women -- not everyone." Macca also went on to note the government's lack of action on climate change. "The weird thing is that the only people who aren't responding are the government. Everyone else is going, 'Yeah!' and [U.S. Pres. Donald] Trump is going, 'Climate change is a hoax.'" - NME...... The BeatlesBeatles fans are being invited to listen to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at a new immersive event that aims to give the impression that the Fab Four are performing live. The pioneering experience, which is set to take place at Liverpool's Dr. Martin Luther King Building between Dec. 19 - Jan. 9, will present fans with a remixed version of the legendary 1967 album by George Martin's son, Giles Martin. The record will be played in Dolby Atmos with speakers being placed around the fans in a bid to transport them to Abbey Road Studios, where the album was recorded. "People will become fully immersed in a soundscape, which is unlike any other," Martin told the Liverpool Echo. "For me, it's like imagining falling through the vinyl of a record and and into this world where you're surrounded by the Beatles. It's like sitting in Abbey Road's Studio 2 and having the Beatles play for you," he added. In other Beatles-related news, singer Rihanna has shared a funny clip of her chance reunion with Paul McCartney during a flight from New York after Thanksgiving. The pair, who collaborated on Kanye West's song "FourFiveSeconds" in 2015, bumped into one another in the first class section of the plane, which was heading to London. A video that Rihanna shared on her Instagram stories reel (since reposted by the Metro paper) shows the former Beatles musician stood in front of her plane seat. "I'm about to put you on blast, Mr McCartney. How are you on this flight?" she asks him off-camera. McCartney then laughs, saying: "What's going on here? Who is this filming me?" before Rihanna answers: "Who is this peasant filming this legend?" - New Musical Express......Newly discovered letters written by Paul McCartney's late first wife Linda McCartney about Paul will be auctioned through Chiswick Auctions in London on Jan. 29, 2020. Discovered by Linda's friend and former male housemate Miki Antony, the letters were written before Linda married the Beatle in 1969. Linda McCartneyThey reveal her excitement about dating the star and how she was commissioned to photograph "groovy" bands of the day. In June 1967, weeks after she had begun dating McCartney, Linda (then Linda Eastman) photocopied an American gossip column that featured a sentence about her. She sent it to Antony with a passage underlined that read: "They say Beatle Paul McCartney's latest favourite femme is Linda Eastman, a Yankee Doodle fan-mag [photographer]." Linda wrote on the back: "Thought you'd get a big laugh over the enclosed clipping. Have no idea where they picked up that lie, but it just shows how truthful newspapers are." Linda and Paul met at the Bag O' Nails nightclub in London's Soho in May 1967. They married in March 1969 and McCartney "cried for a year" after his wife's death from cancer in 1998, aged just 56. aul and Linda McCartney. Antony says she met Linda while she was studying at the University of Arizona. He said: "She was a good friend for a year and a half. But then, of course, she went off into the Beatles world and that was it. She was lovely." - New Musical Express  







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