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Which four Beatles songs mention Queen Elizabeth II?

The Beatles with Princess Margaret. Paul McCartney has often expressed his admiration for Queen Elizabeth, who came to power five years before he joined The Quarrymen.  We all kind of liked the Queen. It’s an age thing. We were kids when she was crowned, so to us she was like a glamorous film star. We identified with her. She’s ours. She’s the Queen.   Interview with the Radio Times, September 2019 There are  four Beatles tracks which mention Queen Elizabeth II:  Penny Lane, For You Blue, Mean Mr Mustard   and Her Majesty . Read more  (free) Free Beatles Teaching Materials

What is Maxwell's Silver Hammer about?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash   This ghastly miscalculation ... represents by far {McCartney's} worst lapse of taste under the auspices of The Beatles.    Ian MacDonald The Revolution in the Head Maxwell’s Silver Hammer belongs to a very niche musical tradition: the cheerful murder sing-along. There is also speculation that the lyric was influenced by the murder of Joe Orton, who spent an evening with McCartney some months before his death.  Read More

Which was the 'worst ever' Beatles recording session?

Photo by  Daniel Cheung  on  Unsplash ‘I hate it!’ John Lennon. ‘The worst session ever’ Ringo Starr “If any single recording shows why The Beatles broke up, it’s ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’.” Ian MacDonald The Revolution in the Head  “They got annoyed because Maxwell’s Silver Hammer took three days to record. Big deal.” Paul McCartney.   Read More What inspired Maxwell's Silver Hammer? 

Which Beatles almost came to blows over a biscuit?

Until 1968 it was an unwritten rule of The Beatles that wives and girlfriends did not attend recording sessions. This was unilaterally abandoned by John who insisted on Yoko being with him at all times. The others clearly resented this, especially when Yoko offered unsolicited advice on the music they were producing. Mostly this resentment was unspoken. But according to Geoff Emerick, it exploded into the open during one particularly fraught recording session for Abbey Road. On this occasion a bed had been introduced into the studio to allow a flu-stricken, Yoko to participate. "...I noticed that something down in the studio had caught George Harrison’s attention. After a moment or two he began staring bug-eyed out the control room window… Yoko had gotten out of bed and was slowly padding across the studio floor, finally coming to a stop at Harrison’s Leslie cabinet, which had a packet of McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits on top. Idly, she began opening the packet and delicately

Which Beatles song was inspired by a Sardinian sea captain?

Photo by  Serena Repice Lentini  on  Unsplash I'd like to be under the sea In an octopus's garden in the shade Abbey Road was not a happy working environment during the recording sessions for The White Album. Ringo, the least involved in the squabbling and backbiting, suffered the most from the emotional fall out: I couldn't take it any more. There was no magic and the relationships were terrible. I'd come to a bad spot in life. It could have been paranoia, but I just didn't feel good – I felt like an outsider. Ringo, Anthology Things came to a head during  a recording session for  Back in the USSR on the 22nd of August, 1968. The precise trigger point is unknown but at some point Ringo snapped. After telling John and Paul he was leaving the group, he walked out of the studio. At first, Ringo's departure seemed to confirm the underlying reason for it. The others assumed that their drummer's 'resignation' was not seriously intended. The

The shortest Beatles song?

There is no published photo of the Queen with The Beatles, only with her mother and sister (seen here) T he shortest Beatles song   is only 23 seconds long and was unlisted on its original vinyl release. 

What were the 'clues' on the Abbey Road cover?

So here’s another clue for you all/The Walrus was Paul The Beatles  Glass Onion  (The White Album) There were conspiracy theories long before the internet. The Beatles, with their unprecedented fame and influence on popular culture, were particularly prone to them. Perhaps the most notorious began on   the night of January 7, 1967, when  ‘a rumour swept London that Paul McCartney had been killed in a car crash on the M1’. - read the full story here. On 12 October, 1969 a bizarre on-air phone call to Detroit radio station gave new life (!) to the controversy. A caller, identified only as ‘Tom’, had some startling new information. He revealed that The Beatles had been sending secret messages through their recorded songs. ‘Play ‘Revolution 9’ backwards,’ he said mysteriously. ‘And you’ll hear what I mean!’ The DJ duly spun the disk (backwards). After somehow deciphering discordant wailing, he pronounced judgement. ‘Wow! John is saying “dead man!” He’s trying to tell us that

Did George Martin have a 'secret history'?

The George Martin who the Beatles first met in 1962 presented as Professor Higgins to their Eliza Doolittle. With his smart suit, upper class (southern) accent and courtly manners he appeared to be what Brian Epstein described as “a stern but fair-minded schoolmaster”.  “We were rednecks” as Ringo later put it. George Martin was the archetypal ‘square’: solid and suburban. They automatically assumed that he was backed by family wealth and a private education. The Beatles, with the arguable exception of Ringo, did not grow up in poverty. George Martin unquestionably did  Early history According to a recent biography, Maximum Volume (2017), George Martin came from a seriously impoverished background. Author Kenneth Womack was …very surprised about the degree of George’s childhood poverty — he describes a family that had no electricity or running water and had one gas jet. Nor was Martin the product of a privileged education. Several changes of school marked his early

Why did George Martin almost not sign The Beatles?

George Marti n made us what we were in the studio. He helped us develop a language to talk to other musicians . John Lennon, 1971 Despite their local success in Liverpool and Hamburg — and Brian Epstein’s best efforts — The Beatles struggled to get their first recording deal. Columbia, HMV, Pye, Philips, and Oriole all turned them down. Dick Rowe at Decca signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes in preference, famously added insult to injury ‘Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr Epstein’. After the failure of the Decca audition, Brian Epstein was running out of options. Early in 1962 he managed to get a meeting with George Martin, the manager of Parlophone Records, an eclectic label owned by EMI. Martin was more charmed by the Beatles manager than their music. “I wasn’t too impressed with the tape Brian Epstein had played me,” Martin  told Desert Island Discs in 1996 . “There was something there but I couldn’t find out whether it was worthwhile or not.” As a favour to E

When do we first hear an Indian influence on a Beatles record?

In June 1966 the great Indian musician Ravi Shankar visited George Harrison at his Surrey home - and played for the assembled Beatles. Two months later they recorded George's composition I WANT TO TELL YOU.  Harrison later explained that the song expressed 'an avalanche of thoughts that are so hard to write down or say' and Ian Macdonald spots the 'underlying Hindi outlook in the lyric - a karmic reference to time in the final lines ... confirmed by a descending melisma in the fade out'.  Neil Innes - who later collaborated with George Harrison on the celebrated Beatles spoof mockumentary  The Rutles   - happened to be in Abbey Road Studio as they were recording. He tells the story here:

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