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Showing posts with the label Before they were famous

How did George Martin improve Please, Please Me?

  In his later years, George Martin expressed a robust opinion about the early Lennon and McCartney originals. The songs the Beatles first gave me were crap. This was 1962 and they played a dreadful version of 'Please Please Me' as a Roy Orbison-style ballad. Paul McCartney has a slightly different take, emphasising that Martin rejected the tempo rather than the song itself  Origin PLEASE PLEASE ME was a John Lennon original and a calculated attempt to emulate the Big O, then a rising star I remember the day I wrote it, I heard Roy Orbison doing Only The Lonely, or something. And I was also always intrigued by the words to a Bing Crosby song that went, 'Please lend a little ear to my pleas'. The double use of the word 'please'. So it was a combination of Roy Orbison and Bing Crosby. George Martin was not initially impressed. He gave  PLEASE PLEASE ME a resounding thumbs down: I listened to it and I said: 'Do you know that's too boring for words? It's

Which Beatle came from the poorest background?

The Everton area of Liverpool, 1960 All four Beatles had what Mark Lewisohn calls ‘unvarnished working class roots’ in an industrial city that had seen better days. Two (Paul and George) lived in social housing, but neither believed themselves to be poor. Paul was astonished by what he perceived to the the poshness of John's home - marvelling that John called Mimi rather than the 'Auntie' he was used to. From Aunt Mimi's perspective, George was very much from the wrong side of the tracks and she spoke disapprovingly of his strong accent ('he's very 'dose', John). By more objective measures, the Harrison family had modest means but were reasonably comfortable by local working class standards. One future Beatles did experience a Dickensian childhood combining poverty, ill health and paternal abandonment. The then Richard Starkey would not meet the other Beatles until October, 1960. Ringo Starr was not around to visit Mendips in the late 1950s. Had he done

How did John meet Paul?

On Saturday the 6th July, 1957 St Peter's Church held it a annual summer fete in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton. After the usual stalls and games for children in the afternoon, a new skiffle group played in the church hall in the evening. They were named The Quarrymen, after the school the band-leader attended. His name was John Lennon. John with the Quarrymen a few hours before meeting Paul Paul McCartney was only just fifteen, eighteen months younger than Lennon. He lived a bus ride away and went to a different school. But he and Lennon shared a mutual friend, Ivan Vaughan. Vaughan invited McCartney to the fete, promising that there would be girls there. “You can meet my mate John, too,” he added. “He plays guitar like you…” Read full piece free on on Medium    3 min read with video The Beatles Teaching Pack  free download during pandemic BBC Witness (audio): The Band That Made The Beatles

Who was John Lennon's biological father?

  Julia Stanley first met Alfred (aka Alf/Fred/Freddie) Lennon in 1929, when she was fifteen and he was two years older.   They met in Sefton Park, exchanging come banter from the start. Both worked in junior office jobs and superficially had similar temperaments. Julia was vivacious, fun loving, a natural rebel.  Alf was a popular with his peers, ‘a rascal. An  absolute  character’ said one pal. There was also a shared musicality. Julia loved singing and played banjo. Alf sang, specialising in comedy songs and comically mangling the words of standards. Like his brothers - and later his son - Alf played the harmonica - the 'mouth iron' as it was known in Liverpool. Too Common? The rebel meets rascal combination did not go down well with Julia’s family: the tight-knit Stanley clan. They saw Alf as ‘low’ - and they were not referring to his diminutive stature (he was 5.3”)   The Stanleys always believed they were several notches above the Lennons, claiming better breeding, educat

Who auditioned for The Beatles on the top of a bus?

In 1954 twelve-year old Paul McCartney notices a younger boy with a guitar on his bus journey to school.

How did The Beatles get their name?

Nearly sixty years on and there is still no settled answer to this question. We are now so familiar with the name— and its odd spelling — that it is often forgotten how exotic it seemed in the early 1960s.

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

Why did George Martin sign The Beatles?

The Beatles first recording contract Despite their local success in Liverpool and Hamburg - and Brian Epstein's best efforts -  The Beatles struggled to get their first recording deal.

Why did The Beatles sack Pete Best?

'We were cowards when we sacked him'  John Lennon

Who was Dick Rowe? What was his bad decision?

1962 would be the key year in the history of The Beatles. But it got off to a very bad start. In the early hours of New Year's Day they drove  to London. They were heading for an audition at Decca Records - then the most prestigious record company in the UK. After battling through a snowstorm they finally arrived the studio at the appointed time of 11.00 - only to find that there was nobody there to meet them.  Then they were told that they could not use their own amplifiers.  But the session went ahead? Over the next hour they recorded the following songs, which included three Lennon and McCartney originals: Like Dreamers Do Money (That's What I Want) Till There Was You The Sheik Of Araby To Know Her Is To Love Her Take Good Care Of My Baby Memphis, Tennessee Sure To Fall (In Love With You) Hello Little Girl Three Cool Cats Crying, Waiting, Hoping Love Of The Loved September In The Rain Besame Mucho ? The Beatles did not perform well. They we

Who was Pete Best?

Pete Best's mother Mona ran the Casbah Coffee Bar in Liverpool .... We'd started to go round there and we'd ended up painting the place. 


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