Friday, December 13, 2013

Fab Four Friday

The Beatles are all over the news again this week ... for any variety of reasons.

First and foremost is the upcoming release (on Tuesday) of "The Beatles Bootlegs", 59 tracks never before commercially released from their BBC Sessions.  (Two double CD's of legitimate recordings also exist, including a brand new release from just a few weeks ago.)
As mentioned the other day in FH, it's all part of clearing the decks in order to protect expiring copyrights due to a change in the laws that would allow this material (unreleased or not) to fall into public domain.  As such, we're going to get a wave of material that was never considered good enough to release before ... but now suddenly is!  (I will admit that there WAS a time in my life when it was important for me to own ... or at least hear ... ever note The Beatles ever put down in the recording studio ... but I've thankfully passed that stage now ... and quite honestly am I little bit surprised that The Beatles themselves would be supportive of this release as they ALWAYS prided themselves on only putting their best effort forward, locking away everything else that got them there in the vault.  I suppose after the release ... and success ... of the Anthology series ... three double CD sets that did big business several years ago ... followed by the success of their two sets of BBC Sessions ... as well as the complete re-release of their entire music catalog with enhanced sound ... they've come to realize that the public will buy virtually ANYTHING "new" by The Fab Four that they haven't heard or had access to before!)  For MY money, I don't need to hear six takes of "Misery", a best forgotten early track from their first British LP in 1963 ... the only final take is good enough for me.

The Bootleg Series is being released as digital downloads only, much like the Brian Wilson set that David Beard told us about the other day.  I'm curious as to what they're going to charge for these short little snippets.  (A quick check of iTunes this morning doesn't give us an answer to this question ... but we DID find a complete list of all 59 tracks that will make their debut next Tuesday):

Hi Kent,
The Big Beat 1963 Beach Boys/Brian Wilson release sounds like an interesting one.  I definitely look forward to it.  I did some searching and came up with an article with a track listing for The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963.  Of course I cannot guarantee it’s authenticity, but it is very likely the actual track list since the scheduled release date of the songs is only 5 days away.  You can check it out here:
Les Peterson

It was also announced this week that The Beatles will be presented with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at The Grammys next February.  (A long overdue event if you ask me!  In fact, it's kinda disappointing to see the company they've been lumped into ... similar awards will be awarded to The Isley Brothers, Kraftwerk and Kris Kristofferson!)

You've probably already heard about the signed $1.00 bill with all four Beatles' signatures on it that failed to reach its minimum bid reserve on eBay a couple of weeks ago.  Then, it finally found a buyer ... but the sale fell through ... so it reportedly went back up on the auction block again ... and ultimately sold for just over $25,000!!!  It's a very rare piece of Beatles memorabilia in that it was signed BEFORE Beatlemania hit here in The States, just prior to The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
File under:  Now THAT'S Annoying!!!
I guess it's a Good News / Bad News scenario.
The balance of The Beatles' US Album configurations are FINALLY being released in January ... the catch is they'll be coming out as a CD Box Set, meaning the eight that I've already purchased (each packaged in the original US artwork with both the mono and stereo versions on the same disc) will have to be bought AGAIN!!!  (Why do they do this?!?!?)
Ironically, noted Beatles historian Bruce Spizer and I were just talking about these the other day, wondering if, now that Apple had released the definitive upgraded versions of all of their British configuration LPs, the Capitol project had been abandoned.  Well, apparently not.  And this report (see link below) indicates that most of these releases WILL be available for individual purchase, too, for a limited time. (So maybe I'm OK after all!)  
Oddly enough, this will not be a COMPLETE collection ... albums that had the same track line-up will not be re-released in conjunction with this new set (meaning albums like "Sgt. Pepper", "The White Album", "Yellow Submarine", "Magical Mystery Tour", "Abbey Road" and "Let It Be" will NOT be part of this new collection.)  On the plus side, I can FINALLY add "Hey Jude", "Yesterday And Today" and the "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack back into my collection.
This music is very special to me as this is the way I heard it growing up I know Capitol Records took a lot of flack over the years for "butchering" The Beatles' releases here in The States, but this is the way I know this music ... and it has never sounded right in its British configuration.  (Saddest news is that we won't be treated to the mono version of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which is also the way I will always hear THAT album in my head ... I've always found the mono version to sound far superior than the stereo version.) 
Here's more from Vintage Vinyl News:
On February 7, 1964, The Beatles touched down on U.S. soil for the first time. This coming February, New York and the NYC BEATLES 50 Committee will be hosting several celebratory events and gala concerts across the city, with proceeds benefiting Food Bank For New York City.
Special events highlighting NYC BEATLES 50 will include a star-studded concert at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, the gala, ‘America Celebrates the Beatles All-Star Concert’ and more. Additionally, there are all-day lineups of bands planned on Saturday and Sunday, February 8-9 throughout the city.
The 50th Anniversary Celebration highlights the number 50 throughout the series of events, with 50 bands from 50 countries having been invited to perform in New York City, and most tickets will be priced at only $50 each.
This city-wide, globally-inclusive series of events and shows to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles visit to the United States is still adding artists, celebrity presenters and panelists.
For more information or to inquire about participating as a musical artist or sponsor, please contact Kathryn Musilek:
Stay tuned for updates, artist lineup and additions to come. Tickets will go on sale shortly to coincide with the launch of the website
Feb. 6, 2014 - “Twist & Shout: New York Celebrate The Beatles” at the Apollo Theater
Feb. 7, 2013 – “America Celebrates the Beatles, All-Star Concert”
Feb. 8, 2014 - “Across The Universe” Beatles Music Festival
Feb. 9, 2014 - “Across The Universe” Beatles Music Festival
More events to be announced: Stay tuned
Advisory Board Members:
The Family of Sid Bernstein
"Cousin Brucie" Bruce Morrow (Sirius / XM)
Dick Cavett (Legendary Television Personality)
Dennis D'Amico (I Do Music / Reviver Records)
"Little" Anthony Gourdine (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)
Bill Heckle (The Cavern Club, Liverpool)
Tommy James (Singer / Songwriter / Musician / Author)
Spanky McFarlane (Spanky & Our Gang, Mamas & Papas)
Ken Michaels (Every Little Thing Radio Show)
Marvin Scott (WPIX News Senior Correspondent)
Shannon (World-famous Beatles & Rock Artist)
Dave Winfield (former NY Yankees Hall of Fame player)
About Food Bank For New York City
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 30 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs.  As the city’s hub for integrated food poverty assistance, Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education — all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of  community-based member programs citywide, Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank’s hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. Learn how you can help at
For more information, contact
Kathryn Musilek at Shark Party Media:

And, let's face it, you can't talk about The Beatles ... and New York City ... without mentioning John Lennon ... who called New York his home for the last years of his life.  Lennon was recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.  The ceremony coincided with the anniversary of his murder, incredibly 33 years ago.   
John Lennon was remembered in a moving tribute at his star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame Sunday, December 8, 2013, on the 33rd anniversary of his death. Many fans gathered at the celebration, organized by peace activist Jerry Rubin and Breakfast With the Beatles radio show host Chris Carter to commemorate John and pay homage to his music and his life. Pat Tyson has sent us her report of the event and pictures for our readers.
Full Story:

Lennon's name is also attached to this project:
HEART, Yoko Ono, Jackson Browne, Melissa Etheridge, Nils Lofgren, Little Steven and Indigo Girls are just a few of the many artists who have come together to lend a helping hand to Tunes4Food - Redemption Day, a newly released CD on Popadelic Records that will benefit three Feeding America Food Banks: Food Bank of Western New York in Buffalo, Cleveland Food Bank and Long Island Cares/The Harry Chapin Food Bank in Hauppauge, New York.
Available now on iTunes for $9.99 ( and eBay (in packs of 2, 3 or 10 ranging from $25 - $100 that all include free shipping and promo stickers), Tunes4Food - Redemption Day features nineteen tracks in all (see below for track listing).
Trying to answer the question, "What would John Lennon do to help feed the needy?," Bob James and a group of music students in Buffalo, New York came up with the idea for Tunes4Food and quickly organized a continuous 25-hour benefit concert on the steps of City Hall (June 2009).
"Distinct from crisis-driven benefits, this is a proactive campaign to address the growing need for help not only in these particular communities, but across our country," says campaign manager and project producer James. "Unfortunately, hunger is a growing epidemic but, with this drive, I think we can make a measurable difference."
It's been determined that for every Tunes4Food - Redemption Day CD sold, the Feeding America Food Banks can purchase approximately 40 meals.
Links to purchase the CD can be found on the Tunes4Food website at
To further advance the cause, winter events and local musical performances have been scheduled in the three cities of the benefiting food banks, with a spring benefit being planned for Los Angeles.
"It's amazing that a small grassroots community service music club in a Buffalo classroom has drawn together some of the biggest names in music," comments Bob James, who was recognized by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1999 for a music campaign relating to school safety in the Buffalo area. 
"We have deep appreciation for the artists and their staff that helped build this album. We hope that the meals generated to feed those in need will be received in that spirit and we challenge musicians in other communities to adopt this idea."
As stated by Feeding America, "Hunger exists everywhere in America. It does not matter if you live in a urban, suburban or rural setting - hunger has no boundaries."
Help the cause and spread the word.
For more information, please contact Jeff Albright / The Albright Entertainment Group at or Bob James / Tunes4Food at (Tunes4Food is a 501C3 IRS recognized charity)
Follow Tunes4Food on Twitter at
This CD is dedicated to the songs, lives and courage of Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.

"John Lennon was quoted as saying he wanted to be remembered as a famous peacenik, and he worked tirelessly to get the anti-war message out during his lifetime. Our song, 'Dear Old America' speaks through the eyes of a young soldier in 2013 struggling with the reality of modern war and its painful effects on our world and its families. We dedicate this song to all those wounded and in need." 
With Love, Ann Wilson, HEART 

"Given the abundant planet we live on, there should be no hungry people anywhere, including America. Please support this worthy cause however you can. We can all help and solution are our collective responsibility."
Nils Lofgren, Guitarist, Songwriter & E STREET BAND Member

1) Apathy Isn't It - VoxOne (John Lennon spoken word c/o Yoko Ono)
2) World's a Mess - The Verbs
3) Dear Old America - HEART
4) Redemption #9 - Bethany Fonda & Ana Vafai
5) Philosophy of Loss (live) - Indigo Girls
6) The Birds of St. Marks (live) - Jackson Browne
7) Book of 7 Secrets - Ana Vafai, Grace Lougen
8) Hello Birmingham - Ani DiFranco
9) Good People, Dirty Lives - Alison Pipitone
10) Hard Times In America (live) - Willie Nile
11) The Sun Is Gonna Shine Again - Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers
12) Open Up Your Eyes - Pete Mroz
13) When You Are Loved - Nils Lofgren
14) Salvation - Little Steven
15) One Guitar - Stevie Fleck & The Love Parade
16) All We Can Really Do (live) - Melissa Etheridge
17) Redemption Day - Grace Stumberg, Will McFarlane + The Local Saints
18) Red 11 - Bob James, Will McFarlane + The Local Saints
19) Sunny Side / Hard Times (Mash-Up) - The Sunnyside Players with Sara, Bethany, Ana, Taryn, Grace, Emmi, Howard & Bob

Meanwhile the fund-raising CD for The Phillipines (featuring two Beatles tracks) hit #1 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart last week.  (It has since been displaced by the new Garth Brooks box set.)  Great to see that these guys can still earn a buck or two, isn't it?!?!?  (Honestly, it IS kinda funny to see The Beatles charting right along side today's hottest teen sensation, One Direction!  lol  Especially since THEIR material is now 50 years old!)  kk