"Paul McCartney: 'Yoko Ono WASN'T to blame for splitting up the Beatles. It was the fault of our new manager'
Sir Paul McCartney has defended Yoko Ono by insisting she was not responsible for the split of the Beatles.
In a television interview five decades after the iconic rock and roll band released their first single, Love Me Do, the musician said: 'She certainly didn't break the group up, the group was breaking up.'
McCartney, 70, who also said that Lennon could not have written songs such as Imagine without Yoko's avant garde influence, may help to dispel decades of hostility displayed towards the late singer's widow who has long been made a scapegoat for the band's 1970 split.
Sir Paul said: 'I don't think he could have done that without Yoko, so I don't think you can blame her for anything. When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant garde side, her view of things, so she showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him.
'So it was time for John to leave, he was definitely going to leave [one way or another].'
He did concede that having Yoko sit in on band studio sessions made him uncomfortable.
Sir Paul also admitted residual bitterness for the late Allen Klein, believing the businessman who tried to take over following manager Brian Epstein's death in 1967 had created a rift between the group.
'I was fighting amongst the other three guys who'd been my lifelong soul buddies. I said I wanted to fight Klein.'
Sir Paul tells Frost that looking back he was happy with the timing of The Beatles split. The interviews are already being described as a return to the 'Nixon-style' interviews carried out by Sir David Frost, pictured, in the 1970s
According to The Observer, the interview with Sir David Frost for television channel Al Jazeera English, will see Sir Paul muse on losing his mother at the age of 14 and his first wife Linda in 1998.
Both Sir Paul and Lennon went on to forge successful solo music careers after the Beatles disbanded in 1970.
Sir Paul is apparently known for only giving 15-minute interviews but the latest meeting with Sir David will be composed of 60-minute episodes starting on November 9.
Sir David first interviewed a fresh-faced McCartney nearly 50 years ago when The Beatles first broke onto the music scene.
Then he told Frost that he would 'like to retire soon'.
The series is already being billed as Sir David's return to the famous 'Nixon-style' interviews from 1977.
As well as talking about the band's split, Yoko Ono and Allen Klein, Sir Paul opens up about his marriage to first wife Linda, mother to four of his five children, Mary, Heather, Stella and James, and her death from cancer in 1998.
Although his latest marriage to American Nancy Shevell is discussed in the interview, McCartney and Frost do not discuss his relationship with second wife Heather Mills with whom he acrimoniously split in April 2006.
Frost, 73, has worked for Al-Jazeera English since the channel's launch back in 2006."
Last Edit: Oct 28, 2012 16:01:02 GMT -5 by artemis
"The Beatles original audition tape - is it a fake?
The tape that got The Beatles rejected by Decca Records in 1962 has unexpectedly been rediscovered. But is it just a (money-making) fake?
According to an article in the Daily Mail and elsewhere, The Beatles' original audition tape for Decca Records, made in 1962, has been rediscovered after having lain dormant among a collection of memorabilia.
Clearly this recording of ten songs will be of significant interest to Beatles fans, and to whoever is willing to pay possibly £30,000 or more at auction.
But I have to ask the question whether this tape is genuine. It may be a complete fake, or it may be a copy of the original tape.
The reason I wonder is that the spool and box pictured are most definitely not of 1962 vintage. I am absolutely certain that this style of spool was not introduced by Ampex until at least the mid 1970s. A more dedicated enthusiast of recording history may be able to date it more precisely. I further wonder whether Decca would have used a US brand of tape when UK-manufactured tape was available and import duties were high.
I even question the writing in what seems to be felt-tip pen, the modern version of which was only introduced in 1962 and was not in common use until later in the 1960s.
Then there is the discrepancy between the outside of the box that states 'stereo 1/2 tk' and the label inside that states '2 track mono'. Decca engineers would not have allowed any confusion to arise over whether the recording was mono or stereo. If the recording was made in stereo (which it could have been in 1962) then it would indeed be stereo half-track. '2 track mono' could make sense as it might refer to a mono recording made on a stereo machine with identical signals going to both tracks. Playback would be a little less noisy on a similar machine rather than on a full-track mono machine that would also pick up noise from the guard band between the tracks.
Of course, it may be that the tape itself is the original, wound onto a different spool and placed in a different box. And even if it is a copy of decent quality then it will certainly make interesting listening.
P.S. One more point - The Dolby noise reduction system was not available until 1965, and the Dolby tone (as mentioned on the inside label) introduced even later!"
Denny Laine has fond memories of working and hanging out at Abbey Road Studios, the venerable London recording studio where The Beatles, Pink Floyd and many other British bands used innovative recording techniques to make musical history.
Laine, a founding member of both The Moody Blues and Wings, will relive and share memories of those times Thursday at the Salt Gastropub in Byram when he and his band perform The Beatles' 1969 "Abbey Road" album.
"The show isn't just the album -- that's only 46 minutes. It's Abbey Road memories ... and the music that was made there, not just by The Beatles, but by other bands from the British invasion. It should be a good show," said Laine, in a telephone interview from his home in Las Vegas.
"Abbey Road Memories" is a show that features a complete performance of the Beatles' legendary album, as well as other Beatles classics and songs recorded at Abbey Road Studios by the likes of The Zombies, Manfred Mann, Pink Floyd, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Stealer's Wheel and The Hollies. Of course, Laine will play his own songs, including The Moody Blues' No. 1 hit "Go Now," and Wings smashes such as "Time to Hide," "Live and Let Die" and "Band on the Run."
Backing Laine will be a group of musicians known in music circles as "the Peter and Gordon Band" because in the '60s they played with British pop duo of Peter Asher and Gordon Waller. (Asher, of course, became head of Apple Records and a world-renown record producer.) The band consists of: Jeff Alan Ross (keyboards, guitar), who was in Gerry and the Pacemakers in the '60s and Badfinger in the '80s; Bill Cinque (bass), also a Pacemaker; Steve Aho (drums), and Brian Pothier (guitar), both of whom have toured and recorded with many acts of the '60s and beyond.
A sampling of Laine's Abbey Road memories includes Wings' "Live and Let Die" session with a 40-piece orchestra conducted by famed Beatles producer George Martin; and being present for The Beatles' "Fool on the Hill" session in 1967.
Laine's connection to Beatles music can be attributed to his long friendship with Paul McCartney. Considering his decade with McCartney and Wings from 1971 to 1981, he's practically a fifth Beatle.
"I met The Beatles back in Birmingham, before any of us moved down to London. We were very friendly via the party scene," he said. "We (The Moody Blues) got invited to do their second British tour. It all led to me getting together with Paul in Wings."
Laine's time with The Moody Blues was short-lived, but in 1965 his voice was among the most recognizable on the scene thanks to the smash hit "Go Now" off their first album, "The Magnificent Moodies."
"The album didn't do that well and I wanted to do other things," Laine said, of his 1966 departure from The Moody Blues, who would go on to become one of the pre-eminent progressive rock bands of all time. "The Moodies I was in was more of a blues, R&B band. That first album is a cult album now. I keep getting asked to do the album live. Someday I may do it."
Laine plans to do several shows on this mini-tour in the East and the timing couldn't be better since McCartney is about to re-issue Wings' 1977 live album "Wings Over America," which documented the band's only tour of America.
Laine was a founding member of Wings, along with Paul and Linda McCartney, and stayed with the band through its entire 10-year run. He played guitar, bass and sang on such albums as "Wild Life," "Red Rose Speedway," "Band on the Run," "Wings at the Speed of Sound," "Wings Over America," "London Town" and "Back to the Egg."
While Laine was influenced by early rock and roll acts such as Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, his first guitar hero was actually jazz/ragtime legend Django Reinhardt. Laine's first band, prior to The Moody Blues, was Denny and the Diplomats. After his stint in the Moodies, he formed The Electric String Band, another short-lived project despite the fact that its sound spawned the more popular and successful Electric Light Orchestra three years later. Next Laine became lead guitarist and vocalist for Ginger Baker's Air Force.
But as noteworthy as these early gigs were, it was all preparation for Laine's time with Wings and his development as an honorary Beatle, while eventually forging his own musical identity as well. Among his best solo efforts along the way were "Holly Days" (1976), "Wings on My Feet" (1986), "Blue Nights" (1994), "Danger Zone" (1995) and "Reborn" (1996).
Laine, who wrote and recorded an "environmental" album called "Arctic Song" in 2000, had direct dealings with nature in October when Superstorm Sandy dismantled the Jersey Shore. Laine docks a boat in Mayville and has a part-time residence there. "The boat was OK because it was out of the water, being restored. But the cabin I stay in was under water," Laine said.
At 68, Laine certainly is not resting on his laurels. He has a new album, "Valley of Dreams," set to be released early this year. He will be taking part in a stage show called "Vinyl," in Las Vegas and London, that's all about the music of the '60s and '70s. And he will be staging "Arctic Song," probably in Las Vegas. "It's all about the climate change situation," he said.
And he never says never about possible future dates with McCartney. "We're still in touch over various things. I can't predict anymore what Paul's gonna do," Laine said."
"Beatles' secretary breaks silence in new film "Good Ol' Freda"
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - For Freda Kelly, secretary to the Beatles and chief of the band's fan club, work sometimes involved trailing the Fab Four to the barber shop, sweeping their locks from the floor and mailing strands of hair to adoring female fans.
Kelly, one of the Beatles' longest-serving employees, worked for the band for more than a decade - longer than the British band was together - but has never shared her stories publicly until now.
She breaks her silence in a new documentary, "Good Ol' Freda," to have its world premiere on Saturday on the second day of the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
"It's such a classic Cinderella story: Girl picks the job of a lifetime," director Ryan White told Reuters.
The tale is sure to delight Beatles fans, but White seeks to tell a story that transcends that audience, a story about an amazing decade in an otherwise ordinary life.
The film features four Beatles songs, which required the permission of many people, including the living Beatles. It also includes never-before-seen photos of the Beatles.
A mutual friend and a family connection to the 1960s Liverpool music scene brought Kelly to the attention of White, who took the opportunity to tell Kelly's story.
The Los Angeles filmmaker, 31, who directed and produced the 2010 soccer documentary "Pelada," grew up knowing Kelly as a family friend who was a secretary. In fact, she is still a secretary, for a Liverpool law firm.
"I didn't know that she had a crazy back story," White said, adding that he only discovered it when a mutual friend put them in touch two years ago.
Kelly, now in her late 60s, told White that now that she has a 2-year-old grandson, she wanted to record her stories for the boy - stories that in many cases she never got around to telling her family.
Shy and humble, Kelly insisted that no one would be interested in hearing her story, White said.
The loyal secretary, who was 17 when she started working for the band, has no intent of dishing dirt about her former famous employers, so White focused instead on her compelling personal narrative and her own interactions with the Beatles.
Kelly arranged bookings, cut wage checks and figured out how to run a fan club at the height of Beatles mania. Girls would send her four sticks of gum which she would hand out to the band members, then she would wrap the chewed gum in paper and mail it back to the fans.
The Beatles - Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison - became the most famous pop band in history.
They entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 2001 as the world's best-selling group, with more than 1 billion records sold.
"The amount of personal attention and true affection that she served the Beatles' fans with - teenage girls, mostly - will probably go unmatched throughout music history," White said.
The film's title comes from the Beatles' 1963 Christmas recording, in which Harrison thanks their secretary in Liverpool, and they all yell in unison, "Good Ol' Freda!"
Kelly was briefly fired by Lennon after she arrived late before a show because she had been having drinks with an opening band. The secretary convinced Lennon to get down on his knees and beg her to stay.
It was Kelly who closed down the Beatles fan club offices after the band broke up in 1970, taking with her boxes of autographs, photos and memorabilia. She did not sell it, instead giving it away to fans over the years, White said."
Seriously, I'm waiting for the tell all Beatle book to end all tell all Beatle books....written by the women who actually cleaned the Beatles' toilets....perhaps details on the TP use and other such bathroom adventures.
Not that I'm really waiting for that....but there is an audience that would delight in the bathroom adventures.