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Legendary music producer Phil Spector, whose eccentric and revolutionary "Wall of Sound" production technique transformed rock music and who was later convicted of murdering aspiring actress Lana Clarkson inside his Los Angeles mansion, died on Jan. 16 at the California state prison where he was serving a 19-year to life sentence for murder. He was 81. Spector reportedly contracted Covid-19 in December, had been hospitalized but returned to prison in mid-January. Phil SpectorAfter producing and writing international hits for such acts as Ben E. King ("Spanish Harlem"), The Crystals ("He's a Rebel"), The Ronettes ("Be My Baby"), and The Righteous Brothers ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"), Spector retired from the music scene in the mid-1960s, finally resurfacing in the company of the Beatles, longtime aficionados of his work, first brought in by John Lennon to produce "Instant Karma," and later to doctor the Beatles' controversial Let It Be album, much to the chagrin of Paul McCartney. However, he stayed to work with other solo Beatles, producing George Harrison's epic All Things Must Pass LP and The Concert for Bangla Desh album, and successive albums for Lennon and his Plastic Ono Band. Spector's ex-wife Ronnie Spector shared a statement on Instagram upon learning of his death: "He was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband. Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio. Darkness set in, many lives were damaged." - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock/New Musical Express...... Paul McCartney's photographer/filmmaker daughter Mary McCartney has been tapped to direct If These Walls Could Sing, the first feature-length documentary about London's iconic Abbey Road Studios. Mary speaks of her "personal perspective" in a press release describing the film, set to be produced by John Battsek (Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars). "Some of my earliest memories as a young child come from time spent at Abbey Road," she said. "I've long wanted to tell the story of this historic place and I couldn't be collaborating with a better team than John and Mercury Studios to make this creative ambition a reality." If These Walls Could Sing is set to be part of the 90th anniversary celebrations of Abbey Road Studios, beginning in November 2021. - New Musical Express...... Speaking to The Irish News, Ringo Starr says whenever he performs with his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney "it lifts everything, in a joyous way." "I love that, getting up with him," said Ringo, who has shared the stage with Paul twice in the past few years. "We did it at the O2 in England [in 2018]. And then he called me and he said, 'I'm doing Dodger Stadium, if you want to do a few numbers'." Ringo continued: "The audience is like, 'Oh, there's two of them! Wow'. It lifts everything, in a joyous way. So, yeah, I had a great time." Speaking of the pair's current friendship, Starr added: "We're still pals. We don't hang out with each other a lot. But if we're in the same country, and if we're in the same town we always have a dinner, and we say hi or he comes over here or I go over to his house." McCartney is among the contributors to Starr's upcoming EP, "Zoom In", which is set for release in March. Meanwhile in another interview with the UK's Daily Mirror, Ringo said he "has a little guest house here and it's now my studio... It's been my studio for the last 10 years, actually" as he spends his time during the Covid-19 lockdown recording music, painting and keeping fit at the Los Angeles home he shares with his wife, former Bond girl Barbara Bach, 73. "This time it was a little awkward because people were getting tested to come and play. Or, if they had a studio, they could play in their own place. So that took the pressure off the lockdown a little because I was drumming and singing and hanging out with musicians. I do go to the gym quite a lot. And also I took half of the gym, now that's where my paint studio is. So I can make a mess without Barbara getting crazy," Ringo adds. Ringo and his All-Starr Band are due to hit the road in June, though it's uncertain if those gigs will go ahead amid the global coronavirus pandemic. - NME/Music-News.com...... Gerry MarsdenEnglish pop singer/composer Gerry Marsden, the frontman of the British '60s Invasion band Gerry and the Pacemakers, died on Jan. 3 after a short illness related to a heart infection. He was 78. Marsden's friend Pete Price announced the news on Instagram after speaking to Marsden's family. "I'm sending all the love in the world to (his wife) Pauline and his family," Price said. "You'll Never Walk Alone," referring to how Marsden turned a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel" into one of the great anthems of soccer. Marsden was the lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers, who found fame in the Merseybeat scene in the 1960s. Though another Liverpool band -- the Beatles -- reached superstardom, Gerry and the Pacemakers will always have a place in the city's consciousness because of "You'll Never Walk Alone". "I thought what a beautiful song. I'm going to tell my band we're going to play that song," Marsden told the Associated Press in 2018 when recalling the first time he heard the song at the cinema. "So I went back and told my buddies we're doing a ballad called 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'" The Pacemakers' cover version was released in Oct. 1963 and became the band's third No. 1 hit on the British singles chart. It was adopted by fans of the soccer club Liverpool and is sung with spine-tingling passion before each home game of the 19-time English champion -- before coronavirus restrictions have meant that many matches have been played in empty stadiums. In 1962, Beatles manager Brian Epstein signed up the band and their first three releases reached No. 1 in 1963 -- "How Do You Do It?" and "I Like It" as well as "You'll Never Walk Alone." Later hits included "Ferry Cross the Mersey," and "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying." The group split in 1967 and Marsden pursued a solo career before reforming the bank a few years later. Frankie Goes To Hollywood singer Holly Johnson, who is from Liverpool and covered "Ferry Across The Mersey" tweeted that Marsden was a "Liverpool legend." The Cavern Club in Liverpool, the music venue which was the venue for many of the Beatles' early gigs, described Marsden as a "legend" and a "very good friend." Beatles legend Paul McCartney tweeted that Gerry was "a mate from our early days in Liverpool." "He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of You'll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey remain in many people's hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music. My sympathies go to his wife Pauline and family. See ya, Gerry. I'll always remember you with a smile," McCartney added. Marsden is survived by his wife Pauline, whom he married in 1965, and two daughters. - AP...... With his new release McCartney III debuting at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Album Sales Chart dated Jan. 2, Paul McCartney has scored his third chart-topping LP as a solo artist, and the vinyl edition of McCartney III has scored the third-largest sales week for a vinyl album since Nielsen Music/MRC Data began tracking music sales in 1991. McCartney III arrived with 107,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Dec. 24 following its Dec. 18 release, according to Nielsen Music. It follows his previous No. 1 albums Memory Almost Full (June 2007) and Egypt Station (Sept. 2018). Billboard's Top Album Sales chart, which was started in 1991, ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. - Billboard...... In an interview with Apple Music's Zane Lowe to promote his new album McCartney III, Paul McCartney said one of his favorite Beatles track was the obscure B-side to "Let It Be," "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)." "[It's] a zany, zany little B-side that nobody knows, but we had so much fun making it," McCartney said. "But there's a lot of songs that I love of the Beatles. I think 'Strawberry Fields' is a great song, I think, 'Hey Jude' worked out great. I've got a lot of favorite songs. 'Blackbird' I love. 'Eleanor Rigby' I love," he added. Sir Paul says that "Let It Be" is probably the Beatles track he's listened to most throughout his life. "It's the most ubiquitous. It sort of got everywhere. Ubiquitous from the Latin, ubi quo, meaning 'everywhere.' Come on, give it up," he said in the interview, which can be viewed in full on YouTube. Meanwhile, a Cort-made acoustic guitar played by Macca and actor Idris Elba during a recent BBC special to mark the release of McCartney III has gone up for auction to benefit the S.T.O.R.M charity, which provides support and shelter to those suffering from domestic abuse especially during the tumultuous coronavirus-enforced lockdown. S.T.O.R.M will receive 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the guitar, which already has bids that well exceed its initial £500 - £1,000 estimate. - Billboard/New Musical Express...... Ringo StarrAs Ringo Starr prepares for the release of a new EP called "Zoom In" on Mar. 19 featuring contributions from Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Ben Harper, Dave Grohl and Sheryl Crow among others, a French Ringo and Beatles fan has compiled a database of Starr's many decades of work with his All-Starr Band. Webmaster Victor Baissait's Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band website features info on each All-Starr Band concert from 1989 to present, the personnel on each tour and song, setlists, tour maps, and even bootlegs info. Baissait, who also runs the popular French Paul McCartney site Maccaclub.com, is asking Ringo fans to contribute any concert video, audio, setlist, review, etc. they might have to help complete his already impressive All-Starr Band database. - (12/23/20)...... As he embarks on a promotional campaign for his new album McCartney III, Paul McCartney appeared on the CBS show Sunday Morning on Dec. 20 and reminisced about the lasting legacy of the Beatles and whether the Fab Four might've eventually set aside their differences and reunited. "[John Lennon] was showing no signs of slowing up. You know, he was still making great music," McCartney said of Lennon's newly re-energized solo career. "The question is: Would we have ever got back together again? I don't know. We don't know." McCartney also discussed how he recorded McCartney III in isolation at his Sussex studio earlier in 2020. "It's not like working with the band, because I know what I want to hear, and I don't even have to tell anyone," he said. "I just said, 'Let's do some drums.' I'll sit on the drums and I'll think, 'OK, I wanted doo doo doo ... doo doo dah.' So, it's all in my head," he added. The full interview can be viewed on YouTube. Meanwhile, Macca has just shared a video for "Find My Way," a track from McCartney III, on YouTube. Directed by Roman Coppola, the video shows Paul playing every instrument on the song -- including guitar, drums and piano -- in a collage of footage taken by a staggering 46 cameras. Much like 1970's McCartney and 1980's McCartney II, the former Beatle is at the helm of every instrument on every one of McCartney III's songs. - Billboard/New Musical Express...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, director Peter Jackson has shared a preview clip of his upcoming documentary The Beatles: Get Back on YouTube. Announced on the Beatles' official Twitter account, the film aims to "take audiences back in time to The Beatles' intimate recording sessions during a pivotal moment in music history" and has already had its release date moved from 2020 to August 27, 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Jackson says that he and the producers "wanted to give the fans of The Beatles all over the world a holiday treat, so we put together this five-minute sneak peek at our upcoming theatrical film The Beatles: Get Back... We hope it will bring a smile to everyone's faces and some much-needed joy at this difficult time." - NME...... Paul McCartneyWith his new album McCartney III set for release on Dec. 18, Paul McCartney has confirmed he will dissect the latest addition to his trilogy of self-titled efforts with a Twitter "Listening Party" series appearance on Dec. 21. "Hey @PaulMcCartney," Tim Burgess tweeted in November. "Just wondering if you fancy doing a [listening party] for 'McCartney III'. Give us a shout if you do." On Dec. 17, Sir Paul McCartney gave Burgess said shout, tweeting him back with a simple thumbs up, indicating that the listening party is on its way. After the run-through of McCartney III, Macca will then host a special encore, talking through his Christmas classic "Wonderful Christmas Time." Launched back in March as the UK went into coronavirus-enforced lockdown, Burgess's "Listening Parties" are listen-and-tweet-along online events that see bands and artists tweeting through a playback of one of their classic albums and interacting with fans. Meanwhile, McCartney has revealed that Taylor Swift moved the release date of her new album Evermore so as not to clash with the Beatle's upcoming album. Talking on Howard Stern's syndicated radio show, McCartney said that he and Swift had a conversation about release dates, and that Swift decided out of courtesy to "keep out of each other's way" and would agree to release her album on Dec. 10 instead of Dec. 18, which happens to be her birthday. Paul's full interview with Stern can be heard on YouTube. In still more McCartney news, the former Beatle has shared a teaser for for his new documentary with producer Rick Rubin on YouTube. On Dec. 16 he posted a 96-second black-and-white preview of the film to his official YouTube channel with a description that reads "Paul McCartney x Rick Rubin. A forthcoming documentary event. Coming Soon." In the video, we see Macca and the acclaimed producer behind a studio desk as they listen to the Beatles classic track 'Come Together'. "You can actually control the band with the bass," McCartney explains. A release date for the six-part documentary has not yet been confirmed. - NME...... In other Beatles-related news, Ringo Starr has announced a new EP called "Zoom In" featuring contributions from McCartney, Dave Grohl and Finneas. Starr recorded the five-song collection at his home studio between April and October of 2020. Ringo shared a taste of the forthcoming EP, "Here's to Nights," on YouTube on Dec. 15. Ringo collaborates with LA songwriter Diane Warren on the track. "When Diane presented this song to me I loved the sentiment of it," Starr explained. "This is the kind of song we all want to sing along to, and it was so great how many wonderful musicians joined in. I wanted it out in time for New Years because it feels like a good song to end a tough year on. So here's to the nights we won't remember and the friends we won't forget -- and I am wishing everyone peace and love for 2021," he added. - NME...... John Lennon's former bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with his widow Yoko Ono and sons Sean and Julian Lennon, were among those honoring the late rock legend on the 40th anniversary of his death on Dec. 8. "A sad sad day but remembering my friend John with the great joy he brought to the world. I will always be proud and happy to have known and worked with this incredible Scouser! X love Paul," McCartney posted on Twitter on Dec. 8, along with a touching picture of the duo snapped by McCartney's late wife, Linda McCartney. Ringo Starr, meanwhile, took to Twitter to urge radio stations across the globe to play "Strawberry Fields Forever" in honour of his former bandmate: "Tuesday, 8 December 1980 we all had to say goodbye to John peace and love John. I'm asking Every music radio station in the world sometime today to play Strawberry Fields Forever. Peace and love." Yoko Ono, meanwhile, used used the opportunity to campaign against gun violence in the U.S. with her Twitter post. "The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 40 years, Sean, Julian and I still miss him," she wrote. Sharing the lyrics to John's peace anthem "Imagine," she added: 'Imagine all the people living life in peace," and accompanied the post with a graphic that highlighted the seriousness of gun violence in the U.S. Lennon's eldest son, Julian, shared a picture of his father and wrote, "As time goes by." Lennon, 40, was fatally shot in front of his New York City apartment on the evening of Dec. 8, 1980, by Mark David Chapman. - Billboard/New Musical Express...... In related news, James Taylor has shared a chilling story about meeting Mark Chapman the day before he fatally shot John Lennon. In an interview with the U.K. paper The Telegraph, Taylor said he encountered Chapman approximately a 25-minute walk away from where Chapman shot John in front of his Dakota apartment building on Dec. 7. According to Taylor, Chapman was "glistening with sweat" and "his eyes were dating all over the place... dilated like crazy," and "seemed either drugged or in a manic break of some sort." He also remembered that Chapman mentioned Lennon in conversation and said he was "going to show him" something. "He was just talking a mile a minute about something he was going to show John Lennon," said Taylor, who was once signed to the Beatles' Apple Records early in his career. "He was just someone who knew me who I didn't know; someone who had an agenda that I knew I couldn't deal with. I just knew that I needed to get away from him," Taylor added. - NME...... John LennonOne of the most tragic anniversaries in rock history will occur on Dec. 8, which will be the 40th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon as he was walking into his residence at the Dakota apartment building with his wife Yoko Ono on the evening of Dec. 8, 1980. Unbelievably, Lennon, who was 40 when he was killed, has now been gone for as long as he lived. "It was a dark day," says British-born, Toronto-based author Piers Hemmingsen, 65, who penned 2016's The Beatles in Canada: The Origins of Beatlemania. "And I just remember the winter of 1980-81 was kind of all about feeling sad about that." Almost everyone remembers where they were when they heard the shocking news that Liverpool-born Lennon had been murdered by Mark David Chapman who waited for police to arrive and arrest him while reading a copy of The Catcher in the Rye. "I didn't find out about it until I turned my little Panasonic TV on at 6:30 in the morning (the day after) and I was shocked," said Hemmingsen, who was a computer programmer working overnight at the time. "A vigil was held at Nathan Phillips Square on the evening of Dec. 10. So I felt compelled to go. I felt something. Everybody felt something. We all felt a loss. It had to be 10-15 Celsius below zero. There were 35,000 people. It was jammed." Among those in attendance were musicians Ronnie Hawkins and Long John Baldry, the latter in a fur coat. "They all said things, great things, about John Lennon. But the power of it was that everybody just felt connected," said Hemmingsen. "We needed to be somewhere and we needed to share the emotion." On Dec. 12, 1980, Lennon's ashes were given to Ono, who requested 10 minutes of silence around the world instead of holding a funeral, and two days later over 225,000 converged on Central Park, close to the scene of the shooting. Five years later, New York City dedicated an area of the park, directly across from the Dakota, as Strawberry Fields. - WENN/Canoe.com...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney has hailed director Peter Jackson's upcoming Fab Four documentary Get Back for providing confirmation in his own mind that he wasn't responsible for splitting up the band. McCartney has previously been accused of orchestrating their split, after he announced his departure from the band in Ap. 1970 and later that year filed a law suit which called for the group's formal dissolution. While he previously said that he undertook the move to protect their music, McCartney explained that seeing footage from Jackson's film confirms that he isn't to blame for their split. "It was so reaffirming for me," McCartney told The Sunday Times on Dec. 6. "Because it proves that my main memory of the Beatles was the joy and the skill." He went on: "The proof is the footage. I bought into the dark side of the Beatles breaking up and thought, 'Oh God, I'm to blame.' I knew I wasn't, but it's easy when the climate is that way to start thinking so. But at the back of my mind there was always this idea that it wasn't like that, but I needed to see proof. There's a great photo [late wife] Linda [McCartney] took, which is my favourite, of me and John working on a song, glowing with joy. This footage is the same. All four of us having a ball." Paul has previously hailed the documentary for providing an authentic portrait of the Beatles' final years together. "I love it, I must say because it's how it was. It just reminds me of -- even though we had arguments, like any family -- we loved each other, you know, and it shows in the film," he said. The Beatles: Get Back covers the making of the band's 1970 album Let It Be and features recut material originally captured in director Michael Lindsay-Hogg's 1970 documentary of the album recording process. - NME...... George HarrisonThe estate of George Harrison has marked the 50th anniversary of his seminal album All Things Must Pass by sharing a new stereo mix of the stunning title track on YouTube. The new mix of the 1970 track was led by Grammy-winning producer Paul Hicks, who previously worked on recent reissues of the Rolling Stones' Goat's Head Soup and John Lennon's Gimme Some Truth. "The new stereo mix of the album's title track is just a taste of more things to come in 2021 as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of my father's legendary All Things Must Pass album," said George's son, Dhani Harrison. "We've been digging through mountains of tapes, and they just kept coming -- boxes and boxes of them. Making this album sound clearer was always one of my dad's greatest wishes and it was something we were working on together right up until he passed. But with the help of new technology and the work of Paul Hicks on this project, we are now able to make that happen. We can't wait for you all to hear everything we've been working on and your patience will be rewarded next year," Dhani added. Originally released on Nov. 27, 1970, the triple LP was produced by Phil Spector and went on to become one of the most influential rock albums of all time. As well as the new stereo mix of "All Things Must Pass," the Harrisons are also set to release George's "My Sweet Lord" on a 7" Milky Clear Single, individually numbered, exclusive to Record Store Day. - NME...... In other Beatles-related news, Paul McCartney has revealed that he has his own yoga group with movie actor Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels. Sir Paul also says he's adopted Baldwin's "polite but firm" response whenever someone approaches him for a photo in public, because the rocker's always hated posing for pictures when he's not working. "I don't like to take pictures," he shared on the Smartless podcast with actors Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes. "When people say, 'Can I have a picture?' 'cause everyone's got a camera (on their phone)..., I say, 'I'm sorry, I don't do pictures.' It's a line I got from watching Alec Baldwin once." - WENN/Canoe.com...... Actor Idris Elba will sit down with Paul McCartney for a new one-off BBC One special, it was announced on McCartney's Twitter account on Nov. 27. "This December, @BBCOne and @BBCRadio2 will air a world exclusive special featuring Paul in conversation with @IdrisElba. Find out more: https://t.co/vpoxSccqfl #IdrisMeetsPaul," the post states. Paul McCartneyThe special will see the Beatles legend discussing his writing process, while Idris will seek to understand what continues to inspire the singer some 50 years into his career. "I am a massive fan of Paul s! His work has inspired and driven me as a musician, and once I get through the shock of sharing the stage with him, I m excited to talk about his music and craft. What an honour! Looking forward to sitting with you Paul," Elba posted, with Sir Paul responding "I'm looking forward to sitting down to a chat with the mighty Idris!" Also in the works is a release of Paul's "secret" 2018 show at Liverpool's Cavern Club, where Macca performed a 28-song set to 250 lucky gig-goers. The release date is to be confirmed. Meanwhile, McCartney has revealed he uses a teleprompter at his live shows in case he forgets the lyrics to the Beatles' songs. In an interview on a recent edition of the SmartLess podcast, the 78-year-old said: "Sometimes I'll be doing a song, like 'Eleanor Rigby' [released in 1966] or something, and I'm on autopilot. And I'm starting to think, 'Oh, what am I gonna have for dinner? Maybe you won't have the soup but maybe you'll just go for the main course'. Then I go, 'Stop!' because I'm singing 'Eleanor Rigby'! I've separated myself not only from Paul and fame, but a couple of bits in my head are going in different places. Sometimes that breaks down and I forget the song. I have a teleprompter." McCartney has also reflected on the 80th anniversary of the birth of his former bandmate John Lennon on Oct. 9 in an interview with Uncut magazine. McCartney explained how Lennon's birthday had sparked a mixture of emotions from him. "That was happy sad. It reminds me he was murdered -- but it also reminds me of the fantastic times we had. I tend to think back to early times," he said. He added that he still mentally consults Lennon while writing. "We collaborated for so long, I think, 'OK, what would he think of this? What would be say now?' We'd both agree that this new song I'm taking about is going nowhere," he explained. "So instead of sitting around, we'd destroy it and remake it. I started that process yesterday in the studio. I took the vocal off it and decided to write a new vocal. I think it's heading in a better direction now." - New Musical Express...... John LennonWhat is probably the most infamous souvenir of the tragic assassination of John Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980 in front of his New York City apartment building is being put up for auction. The copy of John and Yoko Ono's then new LP Double Fantasy signed by John at the request of Mark Chapman five hours before he was slain by Chapman is being put up for sale by Goldin Auctions, with bidding opening on Nov. 23 at 2:00 am EST (5:00 am GMT). Police markings from the investigation appear on both the front and back of the record sleeve. The album will have an opening bid of $400,000 (£301k). Earlier this year, Chapman apologized to Yoko "for the pain that I caused to her." "I think about it all of the time," he said at a hearing in New York, where the 65-year-old inmate was denied parole for the 11th time. - New Musical Express...... In other Beatles-related news, the release of Paul McCartney's forthcoming album McCartney III has been delayed one week to Dec. 18 due to what Sir Paul describes as "unforeseeable production delays." A post on Macca's Facebook on Nov. 19 says that "Unforeseeable production delays have forced the release date of Paul's all-new all-Paul album 'McCartney III' to be moved back one week to December 18, 2020. Thank you to everyone for your patience, support and excitement for the album. We can't wait for you to hear it!" McCartney III is the long-awaited final part of his McCartney solo album trilogy, following 1970's McCartney and 1980's McCartney II. - NME...... Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, the 19-year-old grandson of Ringo Starr and Gene Gallagher, the 19-year-old son of Oasis member Liam Gallagher, have pleaded guilty after being charged with attacking an Indian security guard in a convenience store in May 2019. The pair, along with model Noah Ponte, 20, pleaded not guilty on Nov. 20 to an assortment of charges stemming from a fight at a Tesco Express shop in north London. Gallagher allegedly stole a can of beer at around midnight after the shop had stopped selling alcohol. Officials at Wood Green Magistrates Court heard he then told a South Asian worker: "You bloody Indians. Go back to where you came from. You're not wanted here." The trio is then claimed to have attacked members of staff before leaving the store. Gallagher and Ponte are also accused of racially aggravated assault, while Sonny is facing two charges of assault by beating two Tesco workers. All three only spoke to plead not guilty to the charges. - WENN/Canoe.com...... A joint interview with Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine reveals that the former Beatle had planned to jam with the pop sensation on her massive hit "Shake It Off" at the ill-fated 2020 Glastonbury Festival in the UK. The two were set to headline the Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage, before the festival was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. "Wow, it would've been so fun to play Glastonbury for the 50th anniversary together," Swift said, to which McCartney replied: "It would've been great, wouldn't it? And I was going to be asking you to play with me." "Were you going to invite me?" Swift said. "I was hoping that you would. I was going to ask you." "I would've done 'Shake It Off'," McCartney revealed, which Swift then said "would have been amazing." The interview took place in McCartney's London office in October, and opens with Swift describing the 78-year-old music legend dancing around and singing to Motown hits during the shoot and indulging her request that he hand-write her favorite lyric of his and sign it, which she promises to "cherish forever." The pair then fall into easy conversation about recording their recent albums, their shared love of numerology, performing under pseudonyms, and their reluctance to jump up and perform at celeb-packed parties. McCartney and Swift may get the chance to perform together at Glastobury 2021, which is currently set to go ahead. "The plan would be to rebook the 2020 bill, it will move everything, including our 50th-anniversary celebration to 2021," according to the festival's lawyer Ben Challis. - Billboard/New Musical Expess...... Ringo StarrRingo Starr inducted his late friend and fellow musician Marc Bolan of T. Rex into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a virtual ceremony on Nov. 7. "People knew him as a great musician, a songwriter, a guitarist, but he was also a poet," Starr said of his glam rock friend, who died in a car crash in 1977. "And he was really proud of that. He was always telling me that he was the Number One selling poet in Britain. In fact, his poetry was as important to him as his music. He had great style and was really unlike anyone else I have ever met." Ringo added: "He was a great performer, just incredible. And that's why I called the film we did together Born to Boogie, because he really was. I told Marc, I'll bring the camera and everything else, you just bring yourself. We had a lot of fun together. I remember lots of laughter. We lost him way too young, but in his short life, he made over 12 albums that are as far out and ahead of their time as he was. With the help of [producer] Tony Visconti and his band T. Rex, Marc's style started a lot of trends. They called it glam rock with singles such as 'Get It On', 'Children of the Revolution', and, of course, 'Born to Boogie'." Starr's speech concluded: "But it was always just great music to me. And that's why people are still listening to T. Rex today. There's no doubt they believe in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- finally. And I'm very proud to welcome them in right now. Peace and love to [T. Rex members] Marc, Mickey, Steve, and Bill, and peace and love to all the fans from me and T. Rex. Peace and Love." Alongside Bolan, Nine Inch Nails were also inducted, with Iggy Pop giving a speech to welcome Trent Reznor and co., while Depeche Mode also joined the revered list. The Doobie Brothers and Whitney Houston were also among the 2020 inductees. - New Musical Express...... In a new interview with the UK music mag Uncut, Paul McCartney shared his admiration for fellow legendary rock veteran Bob Dylan, and says that he "wishes he could be a bit more like him." When asked about his reaction to Dylan's latest acclaimed LP Rough and Rowdy Ways, Sir Paul said: "I always like what he does. Sometimes I wish I was a bit more like Bob. He's legendary... and doesn't give a shit! But I'm not like that. His new album? I thought it was really good. He writes really well. I love his singing -- he came through the standards albums like a total crooner. But, yeah, I like his new stuff. People ask me who I'm a fan of and Bob Dylan and Neil Young always make the list." McCartney is currently giving interviews promoting his upcoming album McCartney III, which drops on Dec. 11. - New Musical Express...... In other Beatles-related news, crowds of New Yorkers came together to sing John Lennon's "Imagine" to celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden being formally called the winner of the 2020 US Presidential election on Nov. 7. In videos posted to social media, crowds at the city's Washington Square Park are seen singing "Imagine" in the park to toast Biden's victory. The footage was then retweeted by Lennon's official Twitter account, along with the hashtag: "#IMAGINE". The song also became an unofficial anthem in the global struggle against the coronavirus earlier in 2020. - New Musical Express...... London's Daily Mirror newspaper is reporting that the Beatles' company Apple Corps Limited earned over $50 million in 2019, the equivalent of $137,657 a day, despite the group having gone their separate ways more than 50 years ago. Of the total, surviving members Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr, along with John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison, received $6.1 million each. A large chunk of the money comes from Las Vegas stage show "Love," a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil. The figures are a huge growth on the previous year, when turnover was $36.5 million with a pre-tax profit of $5.5 million -- about $3 million less than 2019 -- and shares to Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia were $3,685,000. - Music-News.com...... George HarrisonActors Ethan and Maya Hawke will both star in a film entitled Revolver in which Maya will portray a teen who's determined to lose her virginity to Beatles legend George Harrison. Revolver, which is being helmed by Finding Nemo co-director Andrew Stanton, will see Ethan and Maya portray father and daughter in the '60s-set romantic comedy. Maya will play Jane, a teenager resident of Anchorage, Alaska. The film is set in 1966 when a flight to Japan carrying the Beatles is forced to make an unexpected stop at the city. Jane then dreams up a plan to lose her virginity to the Fab Four guitarist. Revolver will make its world premiere in November at the American Film Market festival - NME...... Paul McCartney recently told the BBC that his new album McCartney III is "just me having fun during lockdown." The rock icon explained that most of the LP is "new stuff" that he worked on during lockdown, but some of the tracks had been set aside because they "just didn't cut it" in their original form. "I thought 'OK, wait a minute, what about that one?'," he pondered. "So I'd get it out and think, 'Ugh, oh dear.' And you'd try to figure out what was wrong with it, or why you didn't like it," he went on. Sir Paul said his creative process sometimes involved rebuilding a track entirely. "In some cases the vocal or the words just didn't cut it, so you'd strip it all down and go 'OK, let's just make it completely different'," he recalled. McCartney III, slated for release on Dec. 11, comes 50 years after the debut of his self-titled first solo venture, and 40 years after the follow-up. Meanwhile, Macca says that director Peter Jackson's upcoming Beatles documentary Get Back is an authentic portrait of the band's final years together. "I love it," he said of the new film from the Lord of the Rings director which captures the making of the band's final album, 1970's Let It Be. Get Back is set to challenge the popular narrative that the group constantly clashed during their later years. "Even though we had arguments, like any family -- we loved each other, you know, and it shows in the film," McCartney said. "It's a very warm feeling, And it's amazing just being backstage with these people, making this music that turned out to be good." - Music-News.com/NME...... Paul McCartneyPaul McCartney announced on Oct. 21 that he will release the third album in his 50-year-spanning "McCartney" series, McCartney III, on Dec. 11. In a statement, Sir Paul said he hadn't intended to release a new album in 2020, but during the "isolation of 'Rockdown', he soon found himself fleshing out some existing musical sketches and creating even more new ones." The COVID-19 quarantine resulted in what Macca described as a "stripped back, self-produced and, quite literally, solo work marking the opening of a new decade." Paul says he recorded McCartney III earlier in 2020 at his home in Sussex, England, and like it's predecessors McCartney (1970) and McCartney II (1980), it's built from mostly live takes of himself on vocals, guitar and piano, with overdubbed bass and drumming. The session found him revisiting an unreleased track from the 1990s, "When Winter Comes," which was transformed into album opener "Long Tailed Winter Bird." In addition to CD and digital releases, McCartney III will be issued on vinyl, limited edition (3,000) hand-numbered red vinyl manufactured by Third Man Pressing, as well as standard 180g and a "333" Edition available only at the Third Man Records online store in a limited run of 333 copies on yellow-with-black-dots vinyl created using 33 recycled vinyl copies of McCartney and McCartney II; a 4,000-run, hand-numbered white vinyl version will be available at U.S. indie record stores. Paul has shared a preview video of the new album on Instagram. - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news, a letter written by the Fab Four's manager Brian Epstein following the sacking of the band's drummer Pete Best is going up for sale at auction. A letter written by Epstein to the "secret Beatle" Joe Flannery, who served as the Beatles' booking manager between 1962 and 1963, has been put up for sale by the latter's family following his death in 2019. Written and sent on Sept. 8, 1962, Epstein wrote to Flannery: "I read from the Mersey Beat Pete Best has now joined THE ALL STARS and I though [sic] I'd let you know that I have sent today, to him a certificate of release from his obligations under contract to myself. I would like to add, incidentally, our sincere wishes for Pete's and the group's continued success." The letter had been kept by Flannery's family in the years since but is now being sold via Omega Auctions. The sale will be conducted on Oct. 27, and it is estimated that the lot will reach between £650 and £1000. Pete Best was originally signed with the three long-standing members of The Fab Four -- John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison -- but he was let go by Epstein and replaced by Ringo Starr in Aug. 1962. - NME...... Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Mixes, a new John Lennon hits collection produced in collaboration with Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and John and Yoko's son Sean Lennon, could surpass Scottish group Travis's new LP 10 Songs to become the top selling album in the UK, according to the Official U.K. Singles and Albums Charts survey. On Oct. 12, Gimme Some Truth had risen to No. 3 on the midweek chart, just 364 combined sales behind the Travis album. Lennon has three No. 1's as a solo artist on the chart, and a whopping 16 with the Beatles, more than any act in Official Chart history. Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Mixes was executive produced by Yoko and produced by Sean, and contains 36 of Lennon's best-loved songs from his solo career. Sean LennonSean Lennon recently told interviewer George Stroumboulopoulos on his Apple Music Hits show "STROMBO" that his dad returning his MBE to Queen Elizabeth II in 1966 was "maybe more punk than anything the punks did." "It was a big deal to return the Member of the British Empire thingamajig that he was given. To the Queen, that was very irreverent," Sean said. All four Beatles were given the honour in 1965, but Lennon returned his award a year later in protest against the Vietnam War and Britain's involvement in the conflict in Biafra. - Billboard/NME...... Meanwhile, country-pop music icon Willie Nelson and the band Promise of the Real lead by his sons Lukas and Micah Nelson, have paid tribute Lennon on what would have been his 80th birthday on Oct. 9 with a cover of Lennon's 1981 posthumous hit "Watching the Wheels." In the video tribute, which has been shared on YouTube, Lukas and Micah can be seen trading off lines in the first verse, while Willie takes the second: "Well they shake their heads and they look at me/ As if I've lost my mind/ I tell them there's no hurry/ I'm just sitting here doing time." - NME...... In other Lennon news, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life author Kenneth Womack says that if Lennon was still alive "he'd be giving Pres. Donald Trump hell." "I think in a lot of ways he would have been like David Bowie, very moved by the internet," Womack told the U.K. paper The Mirror. "He would be an influencer in that way... he'd be right there on Twitter giving Trump hell." Elsewhere on the Fab Four front, Liverpool's Cavern Club where the Beatles famously gigged before rising to international fame in the early 1960s, is among the venues which have received a lifeline from the U.K. government to survive the financial impact of coronavirus. The Cavern has been given £525,000 to fund the recording of performances from local musicians. They will be streamed online to provide employment opportunities for technical staff and artists from across Merseyside. - NME...... Beatles legend Paul McCartney and actor Alec Baldwin have announced they'll be taking over SiriusXM radio's The Beatles Channel on Oct. 9 to celebrate the life of John Lennon, who would've turned 80 that day. Macca and Balwin's exclusive programming will begin airing at 11:00 a.m. EDT and run throughout the weekend and next week, featuring Sir Paul reflecting on his bandmate and friend in conversation with Baldwin and John's son Sean Ono Lennon guest deejaying with his favorite songs by his dad (both from his solo discography and with the Beatles) while remembering his favorite childhood memories. Snippets of McCartney and Baldwin's conversation have been shared on YouTube. John LennonOther musical guests include Peter Asher, host of The Beatles Channel's show Peter Asher: From Me to You who will explore the connection between Lennon and iconic author Lewis Carroll, and Laura Cantrell, the host of the George Harrison-dedicated show Dark Horse Radio, who will explore the relationship between Harrison and Lennon. Lennon's 80th birthday special will air Friday at 11 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET on channel 18 on SiriusXM radio and on the SiriusXM app. The program will re-run multiple times throughout the weekend and next week and be available On Demand from the SiriusXM app. Meanwhile, a new pop-up TV channel is being launched in the U.K. to mark what would have been Lennon's 80th birthday. Sky, Virgin and Freeview will broadcast LENNON80 on Oct. 9 in honour of John, which will include a mix of old footage and new content. Among the programmes airing on the channel will be the famous documentary Bed Peace, which follows Lennon and Yoko Ono's famous "Bed-In for Peace" protest in 1969, as well as appearances on Parkinson in 1971 and The Dick Cavett Show in 1971 and 1972. LENNON80 will be available until Oct. 15. - Billboard/New Musical Express...... In other Lennon-related news, the estate of late 1980s pop superstar George Michael have loaned John's "Imagine" piano to the Strawberry Field exhibition in Liverpool so it can go on public display. John's Steinway piano, which he wrote and recorded his 1971 song "Imagine" on, was bought by Michael at auction for £1.45 million back Oct. 2000. Michael later toured the piano around the world "as a symbol of peace" and used it during the recording of his song "Patience." Speaking to reporters at the time of the auction purchase, Michael said that "it's not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people." In a statement, the Michael estate said, "We know that the piano will be a source of hope and inspiration to all who come to see it... not only during these difficult times but for many years to come, in the same way that it inspired George [after] he bought it some 20 years ago." All funds raised by paying visitors to the exhibition will be used to help The Salvation Army change the lives of young people with learning difficulties. Meanwhile, leading Beatles scholar Kenneth Womack who has just released his new book John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life says he believes he has discovered the baseball film that inspired John's beautiful song "Grow Old With Me." The song was released a month before the legendary artist was shot dead in December 1980, and it was known to have been influenced by a film about baseball that Lennon saw during a visit to Bermuda earlier that year. In an interview with The Observer, Womack said he had watched dozens of films before realising that the key inspiration was A Love Affair: The Eleanor And Lou Gehrig Story, a 1978 movie about a baseball player who died after battling a rare nervous system disorder. "I wanted to know what film had inspired him to compose such a beautiful song," Womack explained. "For John, the use of such 'found objects' in life and art was essential to his composition practices." After watching dozens in search of the mysterious film in question, I began to study TV guides from that period. John was a regular subscriber." Upon realising A Love Affair had been screened at the time Lennon was staying in Bermuda, Womack made the connection, concluding: "The mystery, quite suddenly, was solved." - NME...... Yoko OnoYoko Ono filed a copyright infringement suit against her late husband John Lennon's former aide Fred Seaman on Oct. 1, alleging Seaman violated a court order by sitting down for a 23-minute interview on Sept. 10 to discuss topics which are legally prohibited, like his work with John and Yoko, the Beatles star's assassination, and Seaman's 1991 book, The Last Days of John Lennon. Yoko says that during the interview Seaman discussed his intention to revise the book and reissue an extended version of it, which she says would "willfully and intentionally violate" the injunction she got against him in 2002. Ono, 87, also took issue with the fact that Seaman was "flanked by Lennon memorabilia" for the interview. In 2002, a court ordered Seaman to stop using John and Yoko's family photos to profit from his legacy and he even apologized to her in open court. Yoko is asking for at least $150,000 (£116,000) and other damages, as well as an order stopping Seaman from talking about her and her family. - Music-News.com...... In other Lennon-related news, Elton John revealed to John and Yoko's son Sean Ono Lennon during Sean's new BBC Radio 2 series that his dad was "physically sick from nerves" before performing with him at a 1974 show in New York s Madison Square Garden after the Beatle lost a bet with John. "He was terrified," Elton told Sean. "I can tell you that he was physically sick before the show, absolutely physically sick." Elton, who provided backing vocals and piano on John's No. 1 1974 hit "Whatever Gets You Through The Night," convinced Lennon, who was not particularly fond of the song, to release the track and wagered that they would have to perform the number together if it topped the Billboard Hot 100. When the song did become a chart-topper in the US, the pair performed it during an Elton's Thanksgiving 1974 Madison Square Garden concert. But Elton noted that Lennon "wasn't nervous during the show [and] he just played the same brilliantly once he arrived on stage." In another episode of Sean's new radio show, Paul McCartney reflected on reconciling with his former bandmate Lennon shortly before John was shot dead in 1980. "I always say to people, one of the great things for me was that after all The Beatles rubbish and all the arguing and the business, you know, business differences really... that even after all of that, I'm so happy that I got it back together with your dad," McCartney told Sean. "It really, really would have been a heartache to me if we hadn't have reunited. It was so lovely too that we did, and it really gives me sort of strength to know that," he added. - NME...... 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' - The BeatlesMarvin Gaye's landmark 1971 album What's Going On has dethroned the Beatles' 1967 LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Albums of All-Time" list. The Beatles classic, which led the countdown when it was last published in 2003, was moved from number one to 26. Announcing their pick, the RS editors called What's Going On, which was a respectable No. 6 on the 2003 countdown, "one of the most important and influential LPs ever made." "After What's Going On, black musicians... felt a new freedom to push the musical and political boundaries of their art," they added. The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds comes in at two on the new list, ahead of Joni Mitchell's Blue, Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life and the Beatles' Abbey Road. Nirvana's Nevermind, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Prince's Purple Rain, Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, and Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill complete the new "500 Greatest Albums" top 10. - WENN/Canoe.com...... According to newly released transcripts of John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman's August parole hearing, Chapman said in the interview that he was seeking glory and deserved the death penalty for a "despicable" act. In the transcripts, which were made available after an open records request, the now 65-year-old inmate expressed remorse for gunning down the former Beatle outside the musician's Dakota apartment building in Manhattan in December 1980. "I assassinated him... because he was very, very, very famous and that's the only reason and I was very, very, very, very much seeking self-glory. Very selfish," Chapman is quoted as saying. Chapman said that in retrospect his actions were "creepy" and "despicable," and that he thinks all the time about the pain he inflicted on Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono. "I just want her to know that she knows her husband like no one else and knows the kind of man he was. I didn't," he said. In denying him parole for an 11th time, the board said Chapman committed an "evil act" and said they found his statement that "infamy brings you glory" disturbing. Chapman, serving a 20-years-to-life sentence at Wende Correctional Facility, east of Buffalo, will be up for parole again in Aug. 2022. He told the board he would have "no complaint whatsoever" if they chose to leave him in prison for the rest of his life. - AP...... John LennonIn other Lennon-related news, a pair of John's famous round Windsor glasses that he gifted to his housekeeper in the 1960s and are thought to predate his first public outing of the eyewear are expected to fetch anywhere between £30,000 -- £40,000 during a new auction of Beatles memorabilia conducted by Sotheby's beginning Sept. 23. Also up for sale during the auction, which marks 50 years since the iconic band broke up, will be a detention sheet from John's Quarry Bank Grammar School teachers in the 1950s (they criticize his "complete idleness" and "continuous silly behaviour in class"), and one of his report cards, which is estimated to be worth between £3,000 -- £5,000. A copy of the Beatles's debut single, "Love Me Do," signed by all four members the day after it was released, is expected to fetch between £15,000 -- £20,000. The auction runs from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1 on the Sotheby's website. Meanwhile, John's son Sean Lennon is set to interview Paul McCartney for a new special two-part radio show for the BBC to mark what would have been his late father's 80th birthday. McCartney reflects on his earliest days of making music with Lennon -- admitting that "there were a few songs that weren't very good." He said: "Eventually, we started to write slightly better songs and then enjoyed the process of learning together so much that it really took off. When asked on their final meeting, he revealed: "I look back on it now like a fan, how lucky was I to meet this strange Teddy Boy off the bus, who played music like I did and we get together and boy, we complemented each other!" Other interviewees for the new show include Lennon's oldest son, Julian Lennon, and Elton John -- who was a close friend of John's. And speaking of Julian Lennon, the musician was named a UNESCO Center for Peace 2020 Cross-Cultural and Peace Crafter Award Laureate on Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace, to recognize Julian's "efforts towards the promotion of culture and peace everywhere." His contribution to peace includes his continued work through The White Feather Foundation, which aims to raise funds for "the betterment of all life." In a statement posted to the foundation's website, whitefeatherfoundation.com, Lennon expressed his "deepest gratitude upon receiving the award." "To be recognised for charity efforts on the International Day of Peace means the world to me," he said. - New Musical Express...... The BeatlesThe Beatles' Apple Corps. announced on Instagram on Sept. 16 that an expansive coffee table book, The Beatles: Get Back, will be released on Aug. 31, 2021, as a companion to director Peter Jackson's upcoming 2021 Beatles documentary The Beatles: Get Back. The 240-page hardcover book with "hundreds of previously unpublished images" from the 1969 studio sessions for the Let It Be album will hit stores just days after the rescheduled release of the film, which was postponed earlier in 2020 until Aug. 27, 2021, due to the coronavirus. In a press release, the book is described as the "definitive volume" of the Let It Be sessions and will "present an exclusive, in-their-own-words account" of the recordings, "illustrated with hundreds of previously unpublished images, including photos by Ethan A. Russell and Linda McCartney." The book, according to the statement, "will feature transcribed conversations between the four Beatles culled from more than 120 recorded hours of the studio sessions over three weeks... (an) intimate, riveting book invites us to travel back in time to January 1969, the beginning of the Beatles' last year as a band." Meanwhile, Jackson's anticipated film will look back at the sessions for Let It Be using more than 55 hours of unreleased original 16-mm footage filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969. A video announcement for the book, which retails for $60, can be viewed on YouTube. - Billboard...... In other Beatles-related news, a new John Lennon documentary, Lennon's Last Weekend, is coming to BritBox in December. Directed by Brian Grant ("Video Killed the Radio Star"), the film will focus on the musician's final interview with the BBC Radio's Andy Peebles before his death in Dec. 1980. John discusses the break-up of the Beatles, his new Double Fantasy LP with wife Yoko Ono, his relationship with Paul McCartney, and his own solo albums. Lennon's Last Weekend will premiere in December to honour the 40th anniversary of John's death, and will include a number of new interviews about the iconic musician. - New Musical Express...... Publisher Omnibus Books has announced a new John Lennon biography, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days In The Life, will be released on Sept. 15 and delve into what it describes as the "powerful, life affirming story" of the Beatles legend's comeback in 1980 after five years of self-imposed retirement. The book is authored by music historian Kenneth Womack, who says the book is "the result of my effort to tell the story of John's final year as a recording artist in the context of his life and not, pointedly, in terms of how he died." "The former Beatle's last episode of greatness is an inspirational story unto itself -- and I am proud to give it the treatment and fullness it deserves," Womack added. - Music-News.com  







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