Posts Tagged ‘Ringo Starr’

The new film features extensive, never-before-seen footage of the legendary band’s “Let It Be” recording sessions along with the entire iconic rooftop concert, fully restored

The Walt Disney Studios has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson’s previously announced Beatles documentary. The film will showcase the warmth, camaraderie and humor of the making of the legendary band’s studio album, “Let It Be,” and their final live concert as a group, the iconic rooftop performance on London’s Savile Row. “The Beatles: Get Back” will be released by The Walt Disney Studios in the United States and Canada on September 4th, 2020, with additional details and dates for the film’s global release to follow. The announcement was made earlier today by Robert A. Iger, Executive Chairman, The Walt Disney Company, at Disney’s annual meeting of shareholders.

“No band has had the kind of impact on the world that The Beatles have had, and ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ is a front-row seat to the inner workings of these genius creators at a seminal moment in music history, with spectacularly restored footage that looks like it was shot yesterday,” says Iger of the announcement. “I’m a huge fan myself, so I could not be happier that Disney is able to share Peter Jackson’s stunning documentary with global audiences in September.”

“The Beatles: Get Back,” presented by The Walt Disney Studios in association with Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Productions Ltd., is an exciting new collaboration between The Beatles, the most influential band of all time, and three-time Oscar®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy). Compiled from over 55 hours of unseen footage, filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969, and 140 hours of mostly unheard audio recordings from the “Let It Be” album sessions, “The Beatles: Get Back” is directed by Jackson and produced by Jackson, Clare Olssen (“They Shall Not Grow Old”) and Jonathan Clyde, with Ken Kamins and Apple Corps’ Jeff Jones serving as executive producers. The music in the film will be mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios in London. With this pristine restoration behind it, “The Beatles: Get Back” will create a vivid, joyful and immersive experience for audiences.

Peter Jackson says, “Working on this project has been a joyous discovery. 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.”

Paul McCartney says, “I am really happy that Peter has delved into our archives to make a film that shows the truth about The Beatles recording together. The friendship and love between us comes over and reminds me of what a crazily beautiful time we had.”

Ringo Starr says, “I’m really looking forward to this film. Peter is great and it was so cool looking at all this footage. There was hours and hours of us just laughing and playing music, not at all like the version that came out. There was a lot of joy and I think Peter will show that. I think this version will be a lot more peace and loving, like we really were.”

“The Beatles: Get Back” is also being made with the enthusiastic support of Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison.

Although the original “Let It Be” film, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, and the accompanying album were filmed and recorded in January 1969, they were not released until May 1970, three weeks after The Beatles had officially broken up. The response to the film at the time by audiences and critics alike was strongly associated with that announcement. During the 15-month gap between the filming of “Let It Be” and its launch, The Beatles recorded and released their final studio album, “Abbey Road,” which came out in September 1969.

Shot on 16mm and blown up to 35mm, the 80-minute “Let It Be” movie was built around the three weeks of filming, including an edited version of the rooftop concert. The GRAMMY®-winning “Let It Be” album topped the charts in the U.S. and the U.K.

The new documentary brings to light much more of the band’s intimate recording sessions for “Let It Be” and their entire 42-minute performance on the rooftop of Apple’s Savile Row London office. While there is no shortage of material of The Beatles’ extensive touring earlier in their careers, “The Beatles: Get Back” features the only notable footage of the band at work in the studio, capturing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they create their now-classic songs from scratch, laughing, bantering and playing to the camera.

Shot on January 30th, 1969, The Beatles’ surprise rooftop concert marked the band’s first live performance in over two years and their final live set together. The footage captures interactions between the band members, reactions from fans and employees from nearby businesses, and comical attempts to stop the concert by two young London policemen responding to noise complaints.

The fully restored version of the original “Let It Be” film will be made available at a later date.

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“What key is it in, Robbie?” Ringo Starr, sitting behind a drum set, asks Robbie Robertson over the phone. Ringo nods. “F-demented!” What happens next is a a joyous cover of “The Weight,” with Robertson reprising the recording’s soulful intro lick. A series of musicians from all over the world – Marcus King, Lucas Nelson, the Japanese guitar virtuoso Char, Congo soul singer Mermens Mosengo and more – all add their own flavor to the classic from different locations. “The Weight” was done on an epic scale, a year and a half of production over five continents. “We made it brick by brick, starting with Robbie,” says co-founder Mark Johnson, a Grammy-winning producer-engineer who’s worked with Paul Simon, Keith Richards and more. “That’s what makes this special. We could never have never assembled this group in the studio. You need to go there, and then when you go there, you’re where they feel comfortable. You hear that in the music.” 

The project comes from Playing For Change, a group that dedicated to “break down the boundaries and overcome distances between people.”  That includes schools 15 music schools across 11 countries, documentaries and viral videos bringing artists from different cultures together; the group have released videos for “Redemption Song,” “What’s Going On” and more. 

Take a load off and turn it up!! Dedicated To “The Band”: Rick Danko Levon Helm Garth Hudson Richard Manuel Robbie Robertson

Great songs can travel everywhere bridging what divides us and inspiring us to see how easily we all get along when the music plays.

The iconic rock band expand their ‘White Album‘ with 50th anniversary sets featuring new mixes and outtakes.  The album, which was the first to be released on the Beatles’ Apple label, was issued in stereo and mono in the U.K., but only stereo in the U.S.

The Beatles announced that they are releasing new versions of The Beatles (White Album) on November. 9th adding new 2018 mixes and a wealth of unreleased demos from the vaults to celebrate the original two-disc album’s 50th anniversary of release in November, 1968.

The mixes for the new packages were done by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell. Their announcement of their release follows the success of their 50th anniversary sets for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 2017 .

The White Albumhad long been seen as the first glimpses of the Beatles as solo artists. Looking back on that time, Paul McCartney writes in the new set, “We had left Sgt. Pepper’s band to play in his sunny Elysian Fields and were now striding out in new directions without a map.” Adds producer Giles Martin, “In remixing The White Album, we’ve tried to bring you as close as possible to The Beatles in the studio. We’ve peeled back the layers of the ‘Glass Onion’ with the hope of immersing old and new listeners into one of the most diverse and inspiring albums ever made.”

The Beatles photographed in 1968.

The largest of the new releases, the seven-disc Super Deluxe set, will have unreleased songs, including three discs of “Sessions” outtake tracks with alternates of album tracks like “Revolution,” “Blackbird,” “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except for Me and My Monkey,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Helter Skelter” (the longest, a spokesman said, is 12:49 and not the legendary 27-minute version) and some Beatles jams such as on the Elvis Presley hit “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care.” The Super Deluxe set will be housed in 164-page hardbound book with detailed track information, rare photos and copies of handwritten lyrics, recording sheets and print ads. It will also be numbered, as was the original LP.

In advance of the album, the Beatles also recorded a group of 27 acoustic-based demos at George Harrison’s house in Esher, Surrey, during the last week of May in 1968. Some of the demos were included on Anthology 3, but a complete set of these Esher Demos, including alternate versions of “Back in the U.S.S.R,” “Piggies,” “Rocky Raccoon,” and “Revolution” along with some songs that didn’t make the album, such as Lennon’s “What’s the New Mary Jane” and “Child of Nature,” and George Harrison’s “Circles” and “Not Guilty,” will be released for the first time in some configurations, answering a longtime wish from Beatles fans. The demos had been bootlegged in lesser quality for years.

There will be several versions of the new releases: Two 180-gram LPs with the 2018 stereo mix; three CDs or four LPs and digital audio with the 2018 stereo mix and the Esher demos; and a Super Deluxe set of seven discs with 6 CDs with two CDs of the new stereo mixes, three CDs of “Sessions” outtakes, a CD of the Esher Demos, and an audio Blu-ray with four mixes — hi-res PCM stereo, DTS-HD Master audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1 and a direct transfer of the album’s original mono mix. That mix included several differences from the stereo version, among them a faster “Don’t Pass Me By,” different animal and bird sounds on “Piggies” and “Blackbird” respectively and an altered ending for “Helter Skelter.”

       

Here are 15 of the most revelatory moments:

1. “Revolution 1”
The legendary Take 18, a nearly 11-minute jam from the first day of the White Album sessions. The other Beatles were surprised to see someone new at John’s side: Yoko Ono, who became a constant presence in the studio. It begins as the version you know from the record: John’s flubbed guitar intro, engineer Geoff Emerick’s “take two,” John’s “okaaay.” But where the original fades out, this one is just getting started. The groove builds as John keeps chanting “all right, all right,” from a low moan to a high scream. Yoko joins the band to add distorted synth feedback, while Paul clangs on piano. She recites prose poetry, fragments of which that ended up in “Revolution 9”: “It’s like being naked…if you become naked.”

The story of this jam has been told many times, usually presented as a grim scene where Yoko barges in, sowing the seeds of discord—the beginning of the end. So it’s a surprise to hear how much fun they’re all having. It ends in a fit of laughter—she nervously asks, “That’s too much?” John tells her it sounds great and Paul agrees: “Yeah, it’s wild!”

2. “Sexy Sadie”
As the band warms up, George playfully sings a hook from Sgt. Pepper: “It’s getting better all the tiiiime!” John snorts. “Is it, right?” Take 3 is an acerbic version of “Sexy Sadie,” with Paul doodling on the organ. Yet despite the nasty wit, the band sounds totally in sync. When George asks, “How fast, John?,” he responds, “However you feel it.”

3. “Long, Long, Long”
George’s hushed hymn has always been underrated—partly because it’s mastered way too quiet. In the fantastic Take 44, “Long, Long, Long” comes alive as a duet between George and Ringo, with the drums crashing in dialogue with the whispery vocals. Giles Martin explains, “I suppose, as is documented here, George was Ringo’s best friend, as he says. That song is kind of the two of them.” George starts freestyling at the end: “Gathering, gesturing, glimmering, glittering, happening, hovering, humoring, hammering, laquering, lecturing, laboring, lumbering, mirroring…” It closes with the spooky death-rattle chord, originally the sound of a wine bottle vibrating on Paul’s amp. “It still gives you the fear when it comes.”

4. “Good Night”
Of all the alternate takes, “Good Night” is the one that will leave most listeners baffled why this wasn’t the version that made the album. Instead of lush strings, it has John’s finger-picking guitar and the whole group harmonizing on the “good night, sleep tight” chorus. It’s rare to hear all four singing together at this stage, and it’s breathtaking in its warmth. “I do prefer this version to the record,” Martin admits. (He won’t be the last to say this.)

John plays the same guitar pattern as “Dear Prudence” and “Julia.” That’s one of the distinctive sonic features of the White Album—the Beatles had their acoustic chops in peak condition, since there had been nothing else to do for kicks in Rishikesh. In India, their fellow pilgrim Donovan taught them the finger-picking style of London folkies like Davey Graham. “Donovan taught him this guitar part. John was like ‘great!,’ and then in classic Beatle style, went and wrote three songs using the same guitar part.”

The other “Good Night” takes are closer to the original’s cornball lullaby spirit. In one, Ringo croons over George Martin’s spare piano; in another, he does a spoken-word introduction. “Come on now, put all those toys away—it’s time to jump into bed. Go off into dreamland. Yes, Daddy will sing a song for you.” By the end, he quips, “Ringo’s gone a bit crazy.”

5. “Helter Skelter”
This Paul song inspired endless studio jams, lurching into proto-headbang noise—they started it the day after the Yellow Submarine premiere, so maybe they just craved the opposite extreme. This take is 13 minutes of primal thud—remarkably close to Black Sabbath, around the time Sabbath were still in Birmingham inventing their sound.

6. “Blackbird”
Paul plays around with the song—“Dark black, dark black, dark black night”—trying to nail the vibe. It isn’t there yet. He tells George Martin, “See, if we’re ever to reach it, I’ll be able to tell you when I’ve just done it. It just needs forgetting about it. It’s a decision which voice to use.” He thinks his way through the song, his then-girlfriend Francie audible in the background. “It’s all in his timing,” Martin says. “There’s two separate things, a great guitarist and a great singer—he’s managed to disconnect and put them back together. He’s trying to work out where they meet.”

7. “Dear Prudence”
Of all the Esher demos, “Dear Prudence” might be the one that best shows off their rowdy humor. John ends his childlike reverie by cracking up his bandmates, narrating the tale of Prudence Farrow that inspired the song. “A meditation course in Rishikesh, India,” he declares. “She was to go completely berserk under the care of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Everybody around was very worried about the girl, because she was going insaaaane. So we sang to her.”

8. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
There’s an early acoustic demo, but Take 27, recorded over a month later, rocks harder than the album version—John on organ, Paul on piano, lead guitar from special guest Eric Clapton. (George invited his friend to come play, partly because he knew the others would behave themselves around Clapton.) The groove only falls part when George tries to hit a Smokey Robinson-style high note and totally flubs it. “It’s okay,” George says. “I tried to do a Smokey, and I just aren’t Smokey.”

9. “Hey Jude”
Recorded in the midst of the sessions, but planned for a one-off single, Paul’s ballad is still in raw shape, but even in this first take, it’s already designed as a 7-minute epic, with Paul singing the na-na-na outro himself. Another gem on this box: an early attempt at “Let It Be,” with Paul’s original lyric showing his explicit link to American R&B: “When I find myself in times of trouble / Brother Malcolm comes to me.”

10. “Child of Nature”
Another treasure from Esher. “Child of Nature” is a gentle ballad John wrote about the retreat to India: “On the road to Rishikesh / I was dreaming more or less.” He scrapped it for the album, but dug it back out a few years later, wrote new words, and turned it into one of his most famous solo tunes: “Jealous Guy.”

11. “JULIA”
One of John’s most intimate confessions—the only Beatle track where he’s performing all by himself. You can hear his nerves as he sits with his guitar and asks George Martin, in a jokey Scouse accent, “Is it better standing up, do you think? It’s very hard to sing this, you know.” The producer reassures him. “It’s a very hard song, John.” “‘Julia’ was one of my dad’s favorites,” Giles says. “When I began playing guitar in my teens, he told me to learn that one.”

12. “Can You Take Me Back?”
The snippet on Side Four that serves as an eerie transition into the abstract sound-collage chaos of “Revolution 9.” Paul toys with it for a couple of minutes, trying to flesh it out into a bit of country blues—“I ain’t happy here, my honey, are you happy here?”

13. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
Paul spent a week driving the band through this ditty, until John finally stormed out of the studio. He returned a few hours later, stoned out of his mind, then banged on the piano in a rage, coming up with the jingle-jangle intro that gets the riff going. This early version is pleasant but overly smooth—it shows why the song really did need that nasty edge. A perfect example of the Beatle collaborative spirit: John might loathe the song, Paul might resent John’s sabotage, but both care too deeply about the music not to get it right.

14. “Sour Milk Sea”
A great George highlight from the Esher tapes—“Sour Milk Sea” didn’t make the cut for the album, but he gave it to Liverpool pal Jackie Lomax who scored a one-shot hit with it. (It definitely deserved to rank ahead of “Piggies,” which remains the weakest track on any version of this album.) “Not Guilty” and “Circles” are other George demos that fell into limbo—“Not Guilty” sounds ready to go at Esher, yet in the studio, it was doomed to over a hundred fruitless takes.

15. “Happiness Is a Warm Gun”
A tricky experiment they learned together in the studio, with John toying with the structure and his mock doo-wop falsetto. “Is anybody finding it easier?” he asks. “It seems a little easier—it’s just no fun, but it’s easier.” George pipes in. “Easier and fun.” John replies, “Oh, all right, if you insist.” It’s a moment that sums up all the surprising discoveries on this White Album edition: a moment where the Beatles find themselves at the edge of the unknown, with no one to count on except each other. But that’s when they inspire each other to charge ahead and greet the brand new day.

The Beatles released their 12th and final LP “Let It Be” on May 8th, 1970. It was released almost a month after the group had broke-up.

The album started out being named “Get Back” where the band was hoping to return to their earlier, less complicated approach to music. It was recorded and projected for release before their album “Abbey Road,” which came out in 1969. Paul McCartney said a new edit of the Beatles movie Let It Be could enter production in the near future.

The original 1970 documentary hasn’t been available in home formats since 1982 as a result of scenes that showed the band in a negative light as the members moved toward their split.

McCartney had been asked about the movie during a recent radio interview. “We keep talking about that,” he said. “We have meetings. … People have been looking at the footage.” He added that he’d been told that a great deal of the unused material showed “a bunch of guys making music and enjoying it.” “Who knows, that may be happening in a year or two,” he noted.

The report also quoted Let It Be cinematographer Tony Richmond, who’d previously said a proposed DVD remaster had been blocked “by George’s Harrison’s estate and his wife and Yoko Ono, because they don’t want the acrimony shown.” In 2007, Apple Corps boss Neil Aspinall said “the film was so controversial when it first came out. When we got halfway through restoring it, we looked at the outtakes and realized: this stuff is still controversial. It raised a lot of old issues.”

Discussing a potential re-release in 2018, McCartney said that he’d had no objection to the idea, though he added that the “objection should be me. I don’t come off well.” He went on to explain that he was “one of the votes” on the board of Apple Corps, and that Ringo Starr, Ono and Olivia Harrison counted as much as he did.

“That’s the secret of the Beatles – can’t do three to one,” he said. “During the breakup was when it got screwed up – we did three against one. But now it has to be unanimous. The two girls are Beatles.”

Because “Let It Be” was supposed to be released before “Abbey Road”, there are those who say that some Abbey Road should be considered the group’s final album.

Happy 46th Birthday to The Beatles’ LP “Let It Be”!!!

Plastic Ono Band - Cold Turkey single artwork

Recorded on This Day – In 1969, John Lennon recorded the track ‘Cold Turkey’, with Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman and Yoko. Lennon presented the song to Paul McCartney as a potential single by The Beatles, as they were finishing recording for their Abbey Road album but was refused and released it as a Plastic Ono Band single with sole writing credits to him. There are other versions besides the single, several of which are acoustic, It was the second solo single issued by Lennon , The single was released with a standard green Apple label, with the words “Play Loud” printed on the spindle plug of the UK pressing. This song is about drug withdrawal. Quitting “Cold Turkey” means abruptly stopping drug use and the effect it has on your body and mind. John Lennon quit cold turkey because he wanted to get off drugs and start a family with Yoko. Eric Clapton and John played guitar on this, Ringo drummed, and Klaus Voormann played the bass, It was released as a single in 1969 as The Plastic Ono Band.

The song’s first appearance on an album was Live Peace in Toronto 1969 where the song had been performed live on 13th September 1969 with Lennon reading the lyrics off a clip-board  Here is a super live performance of Cold Turkey by Lennon with the Plastic Ono Band in New York City. More bluesy, more jazzy and more rock than the single version.

Enjoy Lennon performing the track live in New York City.

This was Lennon’s second single away from The Beatles. “Give Peace A Chance” was released a few months earlier. This was also the first song John Lennon took complete credit for as he dropped the McCartney from Lennon and McCartney. Its first public performance on September 13, 1969, was recorded and released on the Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album by the Plastic Ono Band.

John Lennon: Cold Turkey was banned. They thought it was a pro-drugs song. But I’ve always expressed what I’ve been feeling or thinking at the time. So I was just writing the experience I’d had of withdrawing from heroin. To some it was a rock ‘n’ roll version of The Man With The Golden Arm because it showed Frank Sinatra suffering from drug withdrawal.”

Original John Lennon “Cold Turkey” Complete Promo

Lennon performed this on September 13th, 1969 at The Toronto Rock and Revival Show, where he introduced his Plastic Ono Band (at least the configuration of it for this show). Eric Clapton was on guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass, and Alan White on drums. Yoko Ono was also part of the act, and she made an impact during “Cold Turkey.” As the song played, she emerged from a bag on stage, stepped up to a microphone, and made turkey-sounding noises (not out of character). The set was released as a live album called Live Peace In Toronto 1969.

Eric Clapton played some of the guitar on this. Lennon asked Clapton to join The Plastic Ono Band, but Eric declined. Lennon wrote and recorded this song before attending Arthur Janov’s Primal Scream therapy workshop, which played a part in his song “Mother.” The screams he used in “Cold Turkey,” he was actually emulating Yoko singing.

When John Lennon decided to return his MBE (Member of the British Empire) award on November 25, 1969, he sent it to Queen Elizabeth II with a note explaining, “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.”

47 Years Ago: The Beatles End An Era With Final Rooftop Concert | Society Of Rock Videos

January 30th 1969 Marks The Event’s 47th Anniversary

The Beatles Rooftop Concert took place on January 30th, 1969, at infamous Abbey Road Studios, George Harrison was several weeks shy of his 26th birthday on February 25th. The rooftop concert was performed at the end of January 1969 at Apple Studios, Saville Row, London. Abbey Road Studios, located in the fashionable London district of St. John’s Wood is where the Beatles recorded most of their albums, as well as the final one, “Abbey Road”. It is here where the iconic album cover pictures the Beatles crossing the street outside o the studio.

It’s hard to believe that it’s 47 years since The Beatles said goodbye with their final – albeit explosive – public appearance, perched on top of the Apple headquarters in London.

On this day in 30th January 1969 The Beatles delivered what was to be their final public performance; they’d planned on doing a live show during their Get Back sessions but it wasn’t until days before the actual event took place that the idea of performing on the roof of Apple headquarters really came together.

Written by John Lennon as an expression of his love for Yoko Ono, the song is heartfelt and passionate. As John told Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, “When it gets down to it, when you’re drowning, you don’t say, ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,’ you just scream.”

During filming on the roof of Apple, two days after the recording of the track, the band played ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ right after doing two versions of ‘Get Back’ and it led straight into ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’. Michael Lindsay-Hogg was once again directing a Beatles’ shoot. He and Paul met regularly at the tail end of 1968, while Hogg was directing The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, to discuss the filming of The Beatles’ session in January. By the time that fateful Thursday came around, the penultimate day of January would be the last time The Beatles ever played together in front of any kind of audience.

This is not the version of ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ heard on the single but the version from the Let It Be… Naked album – a composite of both versions that were performed on the roof of Apple in Savile Row

Late Beatle George Harrison explained in the liner notes for The Beatles’ Anthology,

“We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study.

With a 5-song set list that included “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” The Beatles did a total of 9 takes live from the rooftop before London’s Metropolitan Police Service was dispatched to break up the concert, citing “noise complaints” from tenants on the same block.

The concert effectively signaled the end of an era for both the band and their fans; despite Abbey Road’s release in September of that year the band had unofficially disbanded, never to reunite as a 4-piece again. While there’s a slight note of sadness to The Beatles’ final public appearance, there’s a note of something electric, too. In a way, they left us the same way they found us; in absolute chaos and unable to make heads or tails of our emotions and somehow, we wouldn’t have it any other way.