Posts

Which song had the working title 'Badfinger Boogie'?

Image
Photo by  Fleur  on  Unsplash In March 1967 John and Paul were under pressure to produce the final tracks for Sergeant Pepper. They decided to have what would now be called a brainstorming session at John's house. According to Hunter Davies, this was a bewilderingly casual event in which they spent much of the time flicking through magazines. From time to time they would sing out phrases or pick out bits of tunes at the piano. Ian Macdonald speculates that there was some method at work in that 'both writers 'found inspiration in moments where their conscious minds had fallen into abeyance.' Whatever the strategy, it worked.  By the end of the day McCartney had a new song, 'The Fool on the Hill'. Lennon, meanwhile, plugged away at the chords to a tune with the working title Badfinger Boogie.  This reflection on on a minor injury would eventually became better known as 'With a Little Help From My Friends'

When did The Beatles last play at the Cavern?

Image
The Beatles played 292 times at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in just two years. Their last performance was on Saturday, August 3rd, 1963. 

How did David Bowie and John Lennon become friends?

Image
We were first introduced in about 1974 by Elizabeth Taylor.  We were in LA, and one night she had a party to which both John and I had been invited.   David Bowie, 1999 In 1974 David Bowie went to New York to record his  'white soul' album  Young Americans .  In interviews, he gave the impression that his first meeting with Lennon was a chance encounter. Other accounts suggest that he in fact made several attempts to establish contact. What is clear that Bowie had always been an admirer of The Beatles. He had even tried to change label, from Decca to Apple, in 1968. According to May Pang, who was living with Lennon during his estrangement from Yoko, the two immediately men got on well. Other witnesses have reported that they drew caricatures of each other and drank cognac (hopefully in that order). Encouraged by this meeting,  and keen to get a Beatle on his new album - Bowie phoned Lennon to tell him that  he was recording a version of Across the Universe .  Lennon agreed

Was John Lennon born during an air-raid?

Image
Contrary to Aunt Mimi’s later recollection, John Lennon was not born during an air-raid. On October 9, 1940, Liverpool was experiencing a brief respite from the intense bombing that had begun in August and would continue until January. The city would suffer 4,000 deaths, the highest number of casualties outside London . John Winston Lennon was delivered without incident at Liverpool Maternity Hospital. The shadow of the war was, of course, present at the birth. It was even there in that middle name. Winston was his mother’s patriotic tribute to Winston Churchill, Britain’s new Prime Minister. Taken from   Why was John Lennon brought up by his Aunt Mimi? (5 minute read) Download: The Beatles Teaching Pack   Only £3.99

Which instrument did John Lennon learn first?

Image
  "I played a lot of harmonica & mouth organ when I was a child. We used to take in students and one of them had a mouth organ and said he’d buy me one if I could learn a tune by the next morning. So I learnt two." John Lennon John Lennon Remembers In 1947 Aunt Mimi began an arrangement with Liverpool University to take in students as lodger. One of these young men was Harold Phillips, who was resuming his studies after serving in the Royal Navy. The seven-year-old John was fascinated by a harmonica that Phillips possessed. Phillips was amused and offered the boy the chance to keep the 'mouth iron' - as it was known locally.  Harold Phillips kept his word - but Aunt Mimi made John wait until Christmas before taking possession of his first musical instrument. ‘I felt the stocking and there was a mouth organ in it. A harmonica.’ That was one of the great moments of my life, when I got my first harmonica’. Interestingly, the harmonica had been played by his father an

The Fifth Beatle: Jimmy Nichol?

Image
In June 1964, The Beatles were preparing for their first world tour. During the pre-tour photoshoot, Ringo Starr was suddenly taken ill and began vomiting violently.  The stricken drummer rushed to University College Hospital where there was good and bad news. The diagnosis was severe tonsillitis - unpleasant but not serious. The bad news was that  recovery would take an estimated ten days. This meant that Ringo would miss the first stage of the tour. Brian Epstein reacted with characteristic resourcefulness. 'We've got a temporary replacement,' he announced. 'Jimmy Nichol'. Jimmy who?  'The ex-Shubdubs drummer. Now with the Blue Flames.' The name still wasn't ringing any bells. But within a day Jimmy Nichol was getting his Beatle haircut and being measured for his Beatle suit. Read more The Beatles Teaching Pack '

How did George Harrison learn to play the guitar?

Image
George Harrison bought what he later called a 'terrible..cheapoo guitar when he was thirteen. His mother, Louise Harrison has confirmed that learning to play it didn't come easily George tried to teach himself [the guitar]. But he wasn’t making much headway. ‘I’ll never learn this,’ he used to say. I said, ‘You will, son, you will. Just keep at it.’ Progression With characteristic determination, George stuck to the task, literally making his fingers bleed.  Once he had the core chords memorised he move onto a Spanish guitar manual  'Modern Guitar Chord Progressions'.  Around this time he noticed an older boy carrying a trumped on his bus journey from school. The budding musicians fell into conversation   Read more