Friday, July 13, 2018

Amazon Prime snags streaming rights to "The Yellow Submarine" - watch NOW!

Amazon is now streaming The Beatles' "The Yellow Submarine" film, which is also currently screening in many theaters in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

According to Variety:

Amazon negotiated an exclusive streaming window on the movie for those territories under a deal with Apple Corps Ltd. The companies declined to disclose the length of the Amazon’s exclusive rights.

In addition, Prime members can now stream the “Yellow Submarine” soundtrack on Prime Music for the first time ever in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain. (It’s also currently available on Spotify and Apple Music.)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Signed menu from Beatles' "stoned" flight to Bahamas up for auction

An airline menu autographed by all four Beatles and a few of their "Help!" co-stars is up for bid this month.

The item was signed on the group's charter flight to Nassau in the Bahamas on Feb. 22, 1965, to shoot scenes for the film. On the way down, they killed time by smoking a stash of marijuana provided by child star Brandon De Wilde (the kid in "Shane), who was along for the ride.

Autographs from co-stars in the Beatles' film, Eleanor Bron, Roy Kinnear appear on the menu, too, along with one from Billy Wyatt - not sure who that is. Anyone know?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How John Lennon named The Cyrkle

The Cyrkle, best-known for their 1966 hits "Red Rubber Ball" and "Turn Down Day," were Pennsylvania group managed by Nat Weiss, an attorney who assisted Beatles manager Brian Epstein with business dealing in the U.S.

Originally called the Rhondells (What's a Rhondell? Some sort of bastard mix of a Ronette and a Shondell?), they were renamed at the suggestion of Epstein and John Lennon.

As original member Don Dannemann recently recounted:

“During one of the sessions, Brian, who was in town, came up and says, ‘Oh Don, by the way, here,’ and he hands me his business card. I’m looking at the card, and I see it says Brain Epstein on one side, and he turns it over and on the other side, scribbled, I see writing.”

Dannemann couldn’t quite make out the writing until Epstein said that it read, “The Cyrkle.” 

Dannemann explained that when The Beatles heard the band’s name was The Rhondells and that they were looking to change the name, John came up with “The Cyrkle,” with the unique spelling, and wrote it on the card for Epstein to present to them.

Thus, The Cyrkle was named by John Lennon, himself.

The band also toured with the Beatles (and the Ronettes!) in 1966.

Photos: George and Ringo pose with Blue Meanies for "The Yellow Submarine"

Exhibition on tap at Beatles' "first recording studio"

The Percy Phillips studio, where the fledgling Beatles cut two tracks, will be the focus of an exhibition Aug. 26 as part of Liverpool's annual Beatles Week, Independent.IE reports.

The pre-Beatles Quarrymen, featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison with pianist John Lowe and drummer Colin Hanton, recorded a cover of Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" and the McCartney-Harrison composition, "In Spite of All the Danger" in the studio on July 12, 1958.

Both recordings are included on the Beatles' Anthology 1 compilation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Taylor Swift interviews Pattie (Harrison) Boyd

Via Harper's Bazaar:

TS:  For me, one of the most heartbreaking moments in the book is when, years later, you and Eric get married, and George and his new wife, Olivia, come to the wedding party, Paul comes, Ringo comes, but John couldn’t go. He said later that he would have loved to come. That night there was a huge jam session, and had he been there it would have been the last time the Beatles played together.
PB: Can you imagine? I was heartbroken.

Monday, July 9, 2018

New "With a Little Help from My Friends" cover celebrates Britain's National Health Service

Via the Express and Star:

Other stars who helped with the recording were Blue, The Saturdays’ Una Healy and Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh. 

Joining them were Myleene Klass, Tony Hadley, Coleen Nolan, Elbow’s Guy Garvey, Marina and the Diamonds and JLS’s Aston Merrygold. 

Members of South London’s Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir then assisted in recording the song, after Sir Paul McCartney gave permission for the track to be re-released.

Its aim is to soar straight to number one, with any proceeds to go to NHS Charities Together - an organisation which raises funds for ­medical equipment and research the health ­service cannot afford. 

How "The Yellow Submarine" influenced religion

Fascinating. Via Capital Public Radio:

Not long after the British-made film landed in the United States, "submarine churches" attracted urban, young people. They adopted the outline of a yellow submarine with a small cross on its periscope as their symbol and displayed it alongside peace signs, flowers and other popular emblems of the 1960s.

There were enough of the churches a year after the film's release that they operated The Submarine Church Press, which published a national directory of 40 such churches, most with mainline Protestant or Catholic roots, and held a three-day "rap session," or conference, in Kansas City, Mo. Attendees came from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis and Akron, Ohio.

"In the Beatles' movie, the submarine was the place where they loved each other in a groovy way and got strength to do battle with the Blue Meanies," Rev. Tony Nugent, a former co-pastor of a submarine church in Berkeley, Calif., told The New York Times in 1970. "It also shows that a church has to have flexibility and maneuverability."

... "The Beatles viewed love and peace as the highest values in living a good life," said Hector Avalos, a professor of religious studies at Iowa State University who has written about the Beatles and religion. "Living a good life was not about salvation or following the Bible. That emphasis on love erased all the 'isms' that Lennon specifically hated." 

Vintage "Meet the Beatles" moving heads display

Friday, July 6, 2018

Listen: "Yellow Sub Sandwich" - official podcast for 50th anniversary of the film

UPDATE: The Beatles YouTube channel just uploaded this:

Now streaming on the Beatles' SoundCloud account is "Yellow Sub Sandwich," an 50th celebration of the animated film, which is showing this month in special screenings in the U.S. and Britain.


Presented by music and movies expert Edith Bowman and movie critic Robbie Collin, this is a podcast with a difference; it comes in two parts: “before” and “after” - a bit to listen to before you see the movie and a bit for after.

With great stories about the making of the movie and fresh insight into what makes it so iconic and influential, The Yellow Sub Sandwich features all you need to know about the movie and why you should go and see it, where it was intended to be experienced, back on the big screen.
Edith and Robbie are joined in the studio by one of the original animators of the movie Malcolm 

Draper and Beatles music expert Ed Potton, and the podcast also features new interviews with:

- Chris Shepherd - award-winning Liverpudlian animator.
- Edgar Wright – movie director (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, Baby Driver).
- Josh Weinstein – Show Runner of the Simpsons and Futurama.
- Peter Lord – co founder of Aardman Animation (Chicken Run, Flushed Away, Arthur Christmas, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!)
- Sam Carter – the frontman of leading metal band, Architects.

The podcast also features archive audio of:

David Livesey – animator on Yellow Submarine.
Paul Angelis – actor and the voice of Ringo and the Chief Blue Meanie.

George Harrison.
Paul McCartney.
Ringo Starr.

Listen here.