Thursday, 17 December 2009

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Paul McCartney says goodbye with tour

Sir Paul McCartney plans to embark on an ''unusual'' farewell world tour next year before retiring from the music industry. Sir Paul McCartney wants to retire with a huge farewell world tour next year. The 67-year-old Beatles legend is planning to play at a host of "unusual" locations before walking away from performing large scale shows.

A source said: "Paul wants to go out with a bang. He's played countless stadiums over his 50-year career and is on the hunt for the most unusual locations he can find. "He realises the older he gets, the less his body will be able to cope with the demands of extended periods on the road. He might play the odd benefit concert - but other than that he'll be putting his feet up and enjoying retirement."

Discussions about which cities Paul will play at are already underway and a host of landmark locations have already been earmarked. The 'Hello Goodbye' hitmaker is keen to perform at China's Tiananmen Square and Checkpoint Charlie - the name given to the best known crossing point at the Berlin Wall, which was torn down in 1989 - while several dates in Brazil have been pencilled in for next April.

The source added to Britain's The Sun newspaper: "The tour in 2010 is likely to last well over a year, by which time Paul will be getting close to 70. He's making enquiries about a number of special locations and he's keen to play in China and Checkpoint Charlie."

Live and Let Live: Sir Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney likes to get out of the Beatle bubble he's lived in since he was 21 and just be a regular bloke. So he does. No disguises, no bodyguards. Just Paul.

Sometimes he goes bowling. Or does the grocery shopping. Or goes to movies with his girlfriend and gets shushed by strangers for talking too much. A couple of years ago, he recalls, he found himself on a New York City bus ("Luckily, I had the right change"). Or rather, New Yorkers found him on the bus.

Everyone stared as the famous passenger took his seat, but no one said a word. Finally, someone -- "it was the African American lady" -- spoke up. " 'Hey!' " McCartney imitates, his voice rising, his delight at the memory evident. " 'Is you Paul McCartney?' "

" 'Yeah, I am!' " Sir Paul answered. "I'm in their face. I don't shrink away. No point. I'm from Liverpool, you've just got to get with it.

"So I said, 'Look, honey. Don't shout across the bus. Come and sit here!' "

The woman accepted the offer and the unlikely couple had a merry chat for several more blocks. And then the world's most celebrated songwriter reached his stop and melted into midtown Manhattan.

McCartney will play in front of 60,000-plus people at FedEx Field on Saturday, the third stop on his summer mini-tour and a milestone of sorts (the concert comes 45 years after The Beatles made their American concert debut in Washington, at the long-gone Coliseum). He'll be surrounded by the usual rock-god trappings and airtight security. But he says he savors encounters like the one on the bus because they remind him of who he was and where he came from before he and a few of his friends got together and revolutionized popular music.

"It grounds you, you know," McCartney says. "It's a balance thing. I'm just one of the people on the bus. I'm the famous one, but I'm behaving normally. . . . Really, it's important."

McCartney is telling this story a few hours before taking the stage for a sold-out show at Citi Field, the gleaming new home of the New York Mets. He's in his sound-check casual duds this afternoon -- basic white shirt with tiny dots tucked beltless into dad jeans, set off by some comfy black sneakers. He's ensconced in the ballpark's visitor's clubhouse, which has been retrofitted for its royal guest. McCartney's inner sanctum is all drapey curtains and plush couches, with low lighting and some kind of incense burning on the coffee table. "All right if I chomp?" asks McCartney, a vegetarian since the 1970s, as he stuffs a snack of grapes and almonds in his mouth.

For an official senior citizen -- impossibly, he's now 67 -- McCartney looks remarkably youthful. He's slim, almost slight, and truth be told, could even stand a few more pounds. The famously cherubic face is fleshier and lined just enough to remind you that McCartney isn't 21 anymore. The tousled hair is a flat brown. This is reassuring; who wants a Beatle, particularly the doe-eyed, ever-boyish Paul, to seem old or even to age at all?

The even better news is that McCartney's voice remains as strong and supple as it was in his youth, even in this, his 50th year of performing. Critics generally applauded the vocals and writing on his last album, "Electric Arguments," released last year under his Fireman alter ego. But McCartney is a revelation in concert. He plays straight through for about 2 1/2 hours each night, offering more than 30 tunes from his vast catalog. The set list ranges from such sweetly sung classics as "Blackbird" and the inevitable "Yesterday" to the frantic, voice-shredding chestnut "I'm Down." (On this day, even his sound check is a mini-concert, featuring a dozen or more songs, including a lovely version of "Midnight Special.")

McCartney's show also has several nods to souls departed; "My Love" is dedicated to his late wife Linda, "Give Peace a Chance" goes out to John Lennon, and "Something" is sung in honor of its creator, George Harrison. A nice touch: McCartney plays the latter song on a ukulele that Harrison gave him.

McCartney says the emphasis on vintage McCartney (and McCartney-Lennon) is calculated to please. "It's always difficult to do new songs," he says. "You know, I look at myself and think, 'Okay, I'm coming to see this show, I'm just an ordinary audience member, what do I want to hear him do?' And you know, a lot of it is hits. If I went to see Prince, I know the songs I want. I want 'Purple Rain,' please. You know if he doesn't do it, someone says how was it and you have to answer, 'Well, he didn't do 'Purple Rain.' . . . I don't want [fans] to go home thinking 'Oh, I would have liked to have heard 'Hey Jude.' "

He doesn't mind the nostalgia; McCartney sees it as something akin to giving back to people the things that made them love him in the first place. "Oh, I want to do them," he says. "We made hits so people would like them. And so it's gratifying that people do. You can't be annoyed that people got to like these songs."

As genial as McCartney is, interviewing him can be a slightly disconcerting experience. He's answered all the important questions dozens, even hundreds of times, but his career has been so varied and rich and storied that the potential questions are endless. What's more, each time you look up, you're conscious of a little out-of-body voice reminding you of just whom you're sitting next to (every media encounter with McCartney is, of course, stalked by Chris Farley's hilarious mock interview with him on "Saturday Night Live" in 1993; Farley to McCartney: "You . . . you . . . remember when you were in the Beatles and you did that album 'Abbey Road' . . . ?")

McCartney himself doesn't seem all that impressed by his own legend. "The whole point about it, the Beatles, Wings and me now, is that I'm too busy living it to think about it or reminisce." His friends like to look back -- "They'll say, 'What was your favorite Beatles show?' " -- but McCartney isn't quite as keen.

Well, perhaps he can clear up at least one tiny mystery of several decades standing: What exactly is McCartney's maddening lyric in "Live and Let Die"? Is it, "In this ever-changing world in which we live in"? Or "in which we're living"?

McCartney considers and seems genuinely puzzled. "Yeah, good question," he says. "It's kind of ambivalent, isn't it? . . . Um . . . I think it's 'in which we're living.'"

He starts to sing to himself: "In this ever changing world. . . . ' It's funny. There's too many 'ins.' I'm not sure. I'd have to have actually look. I don't think about the lyric when I sing it. I think it's 'in which we're living.' 'In which we're living.' Or it could be 'in which we live in.' And that's kind of, sort of, wronger but cuter. That's kind of interesting. 'In which we live in.' In which we live in! I think it's 'In which we're living.' "

Ah, thanks, mate. Clears things right up.

The larger mystery about McCartney may be this: Why, after all these years, is he still showing up at all? What could he possibly want after so much -- the frenzied adulation of the Beatles years, the Olympian collaboration and bitter split with Lennon, the money and fame and personal tragedies, the tabloid divorce -- and why is he still after it?

McCartney brightens at this line of discussion. "I like what I do," he answers instantly. "It's pretty simple really. Also, I'm very darn lucky to get this job. I've had others that weren't as good as this. Second man on a lorry -- it was not the greatest job.

"And then you get the relationship with your audience, which sort of grows as you do shows. There's great warmth there [and] it's sort of healing . . . .I find it's just a great pleasure just being able to plug an electric guitar in. It's what I wanted to do since I was a kid. Only now the amps are bigger."

McCartney notes that the hours are pretty good, too. His current tour is almost ad hoc, with a date added here, another there. Including a well-received performance at the Coachella Music Festival in April and a memorable appearance atop the Ed Sullivan Theater's marquee on the David Letterman show earlier this month, McCartney and his band will play in only eight cities; the current tour winds up in three weeks.

The former Fab Four moptop says he's "energized" by the performances, but the limited touring is a lifestyle choice. "My personal situation at the moment with my little 5-year-old daughter [Beatrice, with ex-wife Heather Mills] gives me certain periods of time when I can do what I want. Which is the strange thing about divorce. On the one hand, you become a single parent suddenly. But the upside of that is that it's changed the way I tour now. So this, we call it Summer Live, is a little series of dates that are fitted in the gaps when I'm not being a dad. I love the balance. It's really nice. The other few days, I go home and I'm dad, and when that period is over, I come back."

He acknowledges that he has thought about retirement, but not seriously and certainly not soon. "It's what everyone else does, and that thought has to occur to you," he says. "Even 15-year-olds will be looking at the year 65 and think that's probably when I'll retire," he says. "But strange things happen in music. You look at people like Tony Bennett, B.B. King -- people who are as good if not better than they were. And you sort of think, oh! And you look at that as your beacon kind of thing. Plus, the thing is, I always said when people don't want to come and I'm struggling, then I have to look at it more seriously . . . I certainly couldn't just give it up like that. I like it too much."

Which suggests that the once unimaginable is now not just possible but highly likely: a Beatle, rocking out at 70, even 75 years old. Paul McCartney is almost there, and it doesn't seem odd at all. In this ever-changing world in which we live in, it even seems kind of normal, like riding the bus.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Gordon Waller: a word from Peter

We are deeply saddened to report that some time after 8:00 p.m. last night east coast time, Gordon Waller went into cardiac arrest and was taken to the emergency room. Despite intensive efforts on his behalf by hospital personnel, Gordon passed away early this morning. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

His partner of nearly five decades, Peter Asher, will be issuing a statement shortly. We hope you will join us sending love and condolences to his family.

A WORD FROM PETER:

Gordon played such a significant role in my life that losing him is hard to comprehend – let alone to tolerate. He was my best friend at school almost half a century ago. He was not only my musical partner but played a key role in my conversion from only a snooty jazz fan to a true rock and roll believer as well.
Without Gordon I would never have begun my career in the music business in the first place. Our professional years together in the sixties constitute a major part of my life and I have always treasured them.

We remained good friends (unusual for a duo!) even while we were pursuing entirely separate professional paths and I was so delighted that after a hiatus of almost forty years we ended up singing and performing together again more recently for the sheer exhilarating fun of it. We had a terrific time doing so. Gordon remains one of my very favourite singers of all time and I am still so proud of the work that we did together. I am just a harmony guy and Gordon was the heart and soul of our duo.

I shall miss him in so many different ways. The idea that I shall never get to sing those songs with him again, that I shall never again be able to get annoyed when he interrupts me on stage or to laugh at his unpredictable sense of humour or even to admire his newest model train or his latest gardening effort is an unthinkable change in my life with which I have not even begun to come to terms.

Friday, 24 April 2009

DVD Alert: John Lennon Live in Toronto '69

The only known recorded performance of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band is finally coming to DVD. The historic concert was filmed on Sept. 13, 1969, at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival. The new DVD, titled John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band Live in Toronto '69, will be released by Shout! Factory on June 23, 2009.

Paul McCartney urges European Parliament to adopt ban on trade of seal products

Paul McCartney has renewed his call for an end to the seal hunt by urging the European Parliament to adopt a full trade ban on seal products. In a news release today, Humane Society International says McCartney has added his name to a petition aimed at the politicians. The pop music superstar says in the release the European politicians should stop the "cruel trade" in seal products.

The parliament is expected to vote on proposed legislation to ban the import of seal products in the next several weeks. The music legend says in today's release "the fate of millions of seal pups is in the hands of elected members of the European Parliament."

Paul McCartney rocks Las Vegas

The occasion: Two nights after his acclaimed headline gig at Coachella, Paul McCartney rocked The Joint Sunday night, capping the opening weekend of the Hard Rock Hotel's super-sonic $60 million venue that doubles the capacity of the same-named hall that closed in February. Sir Paul set a world record by selling out the house in seven seconds on Valentine's Day. General admission tickets cost $195 to $700 (for suite seats) but fetched thousands from scalpers. It's only love.

Macca the knife: McCartney, 66, remains a sharp and agile performer, his voice as supple, warm and elastic as ever. Trim in a black suit, white shirt and suspenders, he maintained a boyish energy and upbeat tone through the show's briskly paced 212-hour parade of 33 songs. While ably backed by longtime band mates Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums, Paul "Wix" Wickens on keyboards and Brian Ray and Rusty Anderson on guitars, McCartney was an eager heavy lifter.

Fabbest forays: Beatles hits proved most popular, and McCartney generously cherry-picked the catalog, opening with the joyride Drive My Car and delivering equally sleek versions of Eleanor Rigby, Back in the USSR and Paperback Writer. A chilling revival of A Day in the Life segued into the chanted Give Peace a Chance. Macca signatures Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road, embedded in boomer DNA, still have the power to raise gooseflesh.

Winging it: McCartney's solo selections didn't pale against Fab Four fare. And it wasn't just Wings high-fliers like Jet, Band on the Run and Let Me RollIt that stirred excitement. The tough Only Mama Knows, boogie-rocking Flaming Pie and accordion-sweetened Calico Skies stood up to McCartney's finest compositions. Mrs. Vanderbilt perhaps was a tad twee, but he pointed out, "I'll have you know that song is very popular in the Ukraine."

Where's the fire, man? It's in The Fireman, McCartney's nom de techno with collaborator Youth. The raucous Highway and dramatic U2-esque Sing the Changes, both from the pair's Electric Arguments album, gave the show edge and currency. Smoking The Joint: The building theatrics of Live and Let Die culminated in noisy pyrotechnics that filled The Joint with smoke, the perfect setting for the hazy nostalgia that accompanied a sing-along that followed.

Paul's game face: He's still The Cute Beatle, even digitally. During Got to Get You Into My Life, the huge screen behind the band flashed previews from fall's The Beatles: Rock Band videogame. Expect fireworks and psychedelic flourishes with the foursome's instrumental prowess.

Gentle shout-outs: McCartney, strumming a ukulele George Harrison gave him, paid homage to the late Beatle in a playful and poignant acoustic version of Something. Wife Linda, who died 11 years ago, was remembered in a wobbly performance of My Love, which he dedicated to "all the lovers in the room." And his nod to John Lennon in a heart-melting Here Today contained "stuff I might have said to him but didn't get a chance." Listen to what the man said: Introducing Blackbird, McCartney reminded the audience that the song pertained to the '60s civil rights struggles. "It's really great to come all this way and find you have President Obama," he said. "Yeah, change has come."

You say goodbye and I say hello: McCartney's protracted encores brought fans to the brink of hysteria, first with Can't Buy Me Love (augmented by Help! footage), Lady Madonna and a feverish I Saw Her Standing There. He returned for the always-moving Yesterday, a fierce Helter Skelter and Get Back. "This is the point where we have got to go home," McCartney said before launching into a cheery Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, illustrated by a pulsating backdrop of a sunrise. A fitting symbol for an artist still rising to the occasion.

Paul McCartney rocks Coachella


MACCA COACHELLA SETLIST (incomplete)

First 45 minutes shown online:
1) Jet
2) Drive My Car
3) Only Mama Knows
4) Flaming Pie
5) Got To Get You Into My Life
6) Let Me Roll It/Foxy Lady
7) Honey Hush
8) Highway
9) The Long And Winding Road
10) My Love
(Paul mentioned that it was the 11th anniversary of Linda's death and he wrote the song for her. He was very emotional as he sang it)
11) Blackbird
12 )Here Today (for John Lennon)

Other songs performed:

Something (dedicated to Olivia Harrison who Paul said was in the audience)
Calico Skies
A Day In The Life/Give Peace A Chance
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Birthday
Band on the Run
Live and Let Die
Eleanor Rigby
Helter Skelter
Sing The Changes
Let It Be
Can't Buy Me Love
Get Back
Helter Skelter
Yesterday
Hey Jude
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/The End

Paul actually jumped off the stage into the audience to give someone a pick who had been asking for it all night. He also introduced the entire band at the end of the show.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Ex-Beatle's arrival in Peru is yet to be confirmed

"Artes Eventos", the company that reportedly would bring Paul McCartney to Peru, has issued an statement remarking that the former beatle's arrival is yet to be confirmed.

"Our manager, Alberto Menacho, has not confirmed anything to the media. Once we have the actual information, he's going to announce it in an official press conference" they state in one of the forums of Artes Eventos' webpage.

However, they are in negotiations with Paul McCartney's managers, and they expect to arrive to an agreement during the next few weeks.

Artes Eventos is the company that brought Kiss and Iron Maiden to Lima, and is currently preparing the upcoming Oasis' concert in our city.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Beatles Rock Band Limited Edition

We've speculated about what could be in the Beatles limited edition Rock Band bundle, but now GameStop has detailed exactly what will come in the package. There are no images yet, but if you're on the company's e-mail list you should have already received the information. It may be $250, but it's sure sounding pretty swank so far.

I'll let GameStop tell the story itself: "We've just learned that the Limited Edition Premium Bundle will include The Beatles: Rock Band software; a Höfner Bass controller; The Beatles-inspired and Ludwig-branded Rock Band drums with classic pearl finish, a metal kick pedal and a vintage replica drumhead; plus a microphone with stand, as well as additional special content."

The microphone stand is great news; playing Rock Band with a mic stand so you can sing and play guitar is great fun. The bass controller is also a great addition, although we were hoping for a guitar and bass controller to be included for that price.

We're looking forward to seeing what all this will look like, but in the meantime, does this get you any closer to buying the bundle? I'm interested in your thoughts.

New George Harrison album to be released

A new collection of some of George Harrison's best-loved songs is to be released this June. 'Let It Roll: Songs By George Harrison' will feature music from throughout Harrison's solo recording career, with tracks including 'My Sweet Lord', 'Isn't It A Pity', 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)' and 'Got My Mind Set On You'.

Three Harrison-penned Beatle tracks, recorded live at his 1971 Concert For Bangladesh, will also appear on the album, which is released on June 16. The Beatles' tracks featured are 'Something', 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Here Comes The Sun'. The album's complete tracklisting is yet to be announced in full.

Friends, fans and colleagues share their recollections of the late George Harrison

George Harrison is being recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. Located in front of the Capitol Records building, his star will be near John Lennon's. In anticipation of the ceremony, associates, friends and a few famous fans share their thoughts about the man known as the quiet Beatle.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Macca Coachella webcast alert tonight at 10PM

Watch Paul McCartney LIVE on select AT&T handsets Friday at 10PM PT (1AM ET). Rock legend Paul McCartney will be the headlining act on Friday, April 17. AT&T will exclusively stream 45 minutes of his performance live here at AT&T Music and on select wireless handsets of AT&T customers via MobiTV and MobiVJ.

AT&T wireless customers with a compatible handset can get a link to download MobiTV on their mobile phones by texting TV to 386. Standard text and data messaging charges apply. Unlimited data plan required. Or, customers can visit AT&T MEdia Mall from their handsets or online at www.att.com/mediamall to download MobiTV or MobiVJ. (Not available in all areas. Programs subject to change.)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Beatle George Harrison gets Hollywood star

LOS ANGELES (AP)- Hundreds of George Harrison's biggest fans and best friends, including Paul McCartney and Tom Petty, turned out Tuesday to see a posthumous star for the quiet Beatle unveiled during a raucous celebration on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Fellow former Beatle McCartney stood next to Harrison's widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, as the star was unveiled in front of the landmark Capitol Records building.
"Thank you very much!" he yelled to hundreds of screaming fans wearing Beatles T-shirts and holding signs, albums and flowers to honor Harrison.

The only other surviving member of the band, Ringo Starr, did not attend. But one of Harrison's friends, Monty Python's Eric Idle, said he had recently spoken to Starr.
"He said, 'What about mine?'" Idle said. "I said, 'They don't give drummers stars.'"
Harrison already shared a Walk of Fame star with all of the Beatles, but only he and John Lennon, who was shot to death by a deranged fan in 1980, have their own stars. Harrison, the youngest of the Beatles, died of lung cancer in 2001 at age 58.

"He was a beautiful, mystical man living in a material world," Olivia Harrison said of her late husband. Standing next to her, Dhani Harrison uttered the mantra "Hare Krishna." Incense smoke snaked into the air during the dedication as Petty, sporting dark sunglasses, mingled with such celebrity guests as Jeff Lynne, T-Bone Burnett and Tom Hanks. "He had the most remarkable sense of humor," said Idle, who talked about having a hard time knowing what to say about his friend and fellow Englishman.

After the ceremony, Idle, Olivia and Dhani Harrison, McCartney and his girlfriend, Nancy Shevell, and others attended a luncheon at Capitol Records' spacious Studio A. They, Lynne, Petty, Ed Begley Jr., Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, and others hugged and chatted while sipping champagne and dining on vegan food. Born in Liverpool, England, in 1943, Harrison was 15 when he and fellow schoolmate McCartney joined Lennon in the group that would become the Beatles. The Beatles' lead guitarist, Harrison also wrote several of the group's best songs, from "Taxman," "Here Comes the Sun" and "Within You, Without You" to "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." His love of Eastern music and culture also influenced such classic Beatles recordings as "The White Album" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Harrison launched a successful solo career after the Beatles broke up in 1970, releasing the acclaimed "All Things Must Pass" album that same year and the "The Concert For Bangladesh" in 1971. He went on to record nearly a dozen solo albums and recorded with Petty, Lynne, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison as part of the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys in the 1980s and early 1990s.

He also produced numerous films, including "The Life of Brian" and "Time Bandits."
Capitol/EMI, which sponsored the star, announced Tuesday that a career-spanning collection of Harrison's solo hits, titled "Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison," will be released in June. Martin Scorsese is directing a documentary on Harrison that includes interviews and extensive archival materials.

L.A TIMES
Apr 14 2009
Paul McCartney topped the star-studded turnout Tuesday in Hollywood for the unveiling of a Walk of Fame star for his former Fab Four band mate George Harrison at a ceremony that also drew such celebrity friends and admirers as Tom Hanks, Tom Petty, Eric Idle, Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh, T-Bone Burnett and Harrison’s widow, Olivia, and their son, Dhani.

“Hare Krishna” was all Dhani Harrison had to say after alternately touching and humorous tributes from his mother, Idle and Hanks as well as Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge.
“I asked myself, ‘What would George think about a star on Hollywood Boulevard?' ” his close friend and Monty Python alum Idle said. “I thought I heard his voice, and it said, ‘It’s a bunch of old bollocks.’ ”

McCartney wasn’t among the scheduled speakers, and when he hopped up to the microphone after taking part in a round of photo snaps with the assembled guests in front of the freshly minted star, it had been shut off. He simply shouted, “Thank you!” to the hundreds of fans who spilled out into Vine Street in front of the Capitol Records Tower, where Harrison’s star now sits near those of the Beatles and John Lennon. Hanks, prefacing his remarks with the explanation that “I’m representing the Americans,” told the crowd that Harrison’s first guitar had cost the equivalent of 75 cents. “But he desired to make it sing, and to make that guitar weep.”

In conjunction with the star ceremony, Capitol-EMI Records announced that a new compilation of Harrison’s post-Beatles recordings will be released June 16, spanning the different labels he recorded for before his death in 2001. “Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison” will also touch on his Beatles legacy with three of his Fab Four songs, “Something,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Here Comes the Sun,” represented in live recordings from the 1971 all-star Concert for Bangladesh charity event he spearheaded. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Leron Gubler, who emceed the ceremony, also noted that Martin Scorsese is working on a documentary about Harrison’s life.

At a private reception following the ceremony in Capitol's historic recording Studio A, many of the guests debated how the spiritually minded musician would have responded to the event. Idle noted that this was the second posthumous salute to Harrison in Hollywood he had been invited to speak at, following his 2002 induction into the Hollywood Bowl's Walk of Fame.

Hanks recalled the impact of seeing the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and his feeling that more than with any other band, each album the group released "was an event." He also spoke of his fondness for the Dave Clark Five, whom he inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, and that he's exploring the possibility of working with Clark on a documentary about the group, whose string of Top 10 hits in 1964 and '65 created a strong rival to the Beatles.

The enthusiasm toward Harrison displayed by the fans and the collected musicians, actors and others made an impression on Burnett. "It's nice to see people are still excited about something," the producer, singer and songwriter said.

Macca's Website hacked - McCartney's Magical Mystery Malware Tour

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr got together for a rare live performance, and according to reports it would seem the bad guys thought that a spot of media friendly Beatle-mania presented the ideal time to target McCartney's website.

Security specialists ScanSafe told me that its 24/7 Web security scanners first detected and began blocking the attack on Saturday 5th April at precisely 12:36pm GMT. The attack using that most advanced and sophisticated of crimeware toolkits, known as LuckySploit. This was hidden behind an invisible iframe on the site which obfuscated malicious JavaScript code using key encryption amongst other things. This code then launches exploits which download executable programs such as a rootkit onto the victims PC.

"Once your computer is infected with a rootkit, none of your personal information is safe" Spencer Parker, director of product management at ScanSafe says, adding "This site will have been an extremely attractive target for cyber criminals given the level of attention it will be receiving at the moment. Users should be aware that the majority of malware distribution is now occurring through mass compromise of legitimate and reputable websites."

Paul and Ringo get back for new album

Just days after surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited on stage, they are planning to head for the recording studio. Insiders say the legendary pair, who performed at the weekend in New York in support of the David Lynch Foundation, will play on Sir Paul's new album.

"It has been a long time since Ringo played drums on any of Paul's songs but they've decided they can work together again," we're told. "They had a fantastic time in New York, and realise they still work well together. They're now getting together later in the year to work on some of Paul's new songs."

Ringo has recorded with all the former Beatles over the years but has not worked with Macca for more than a decade. Relations were known to have cooled somewhat when Sir Paul failed to invite Starr to perform with him at Live 8 in 2005. Our mole adds: "As well as having this remarkable shared history, they still connect so well together musically."

The Beatles entire catalogue of albums have been digitally remastered and will be reissued on September 9, 2009

Each of the CDs will feature replicated UK album artwork, new liner notes and rare photographs. Initially, the CDs will also contain a short film about the album, containing archive footage, and exclusive behind-the-scenes studio chat from the band.

Two box sets; one stereo and one mono, will also be released. The stero set features the original 12 Beatles studio albums plus 'Magical Mystery Tour.' The albums 'Past Masters Vol. I and II' will also be included, amalgamated into one title, so the box set will feature 14 albums on 16 discs. 'The Beatles in Mono' box set contains The Beatles' ten albums which were originally intended to be released in mono, as well as two extra discs of mono masters.

Bonuses include the original 1965 stereo mixes of “Help!” and “Rubber Soul”, both of which have not appeared on CD before. The Apple Corps press statement, regarding the question as to whether the Beatles catalgue will eventually be available to download simply states: "Discussions regarding the digital distribution of the catalogue will continue. There is no further information available at this time".

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr perform together in support of transcendental meditation

The short list of times that two ex-Beatles have performed together in public since the band's breakup got a little longer on Saturday night, as Ringo Starr joined Paul McCartney for three songs at the "Paul McCartney and Friends: Change Begins Within" benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Billy Shears ... " said McCartney, introducing Starr for the song "With a Little Help From My Friends," where Starr sings as a character of that name. The two men shared a microphone for this song, which closed McCartney's show-ending set. McCartney then sang lead and Starr played drums on the show's two encores: "Cosmically Conscious" and "I Saw Her Standing There" (also featuring backing vocals and percussion by other show participants like Eddie Vedder, Donovan, Moby, Sheryl Crow and Bettye LaVette).

The show was a benefit for transcendental meditation education, and McCartney said that he wrote "Cosmically Conscious" in 1968, when Beatles members and other musicians and celebrities were studying transcendental meditation in India. McCartney released the song on his 1993 album, "Off the Ground."

This wasn't the first time that two ex-Beatles have taken a stage together. Starr and George Harrison performed at the 1971 "Concert for Bangladesh" at Madison Square Garden, for instance, and McCartney and Starr paid tribute to Harrison, who died in 2001, at the 2002 "Concert For George" at London's Royal Albert Hall. But such appearances are exceedingly rare, and especially precious now that Starr and McCartney are the only surviving members of the Fab Four.

Both men sang and played with a lot of energy, and they even clowned around a little, pretending to jostle to get in front of each other as they took their final bows. Everyone seemed aware of the significance of the occasion. McCartney also included, in his set, "Here Today," a song he wrote about John Lennon following Lennon's 1980 death. And Crow sang Harrison's "My Sweet Lord." McCartney also showed old photographs and film footage of the Beatles during songs like "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Band on the Run."

Other songs McCartney performed included "Let It Be," "Drive My Car," "Jet," "Got To Get You Into My Life," "Lady Madonna" and "Blackbird." McCartney said this last song was inspired by the Civil Rights movement of the '60s, but that it takes on new meaning in light of the election of Barack Obama. Starr, in his own set, which took place immediately before McCartney's, sang "It Don't Come Easy," "Boys" and "Yellow Submarine," with Vedder and Crow pitching in on backing vocals.

There were many surprises throughout the course of the four-hour concert. An unbilled Jerry Seinfeld did about eight minutes of standup comedy, musing on subjects like public bathrooms, taxis and marriage. Howard Stern spoke about how meditation cured his mother's depression, and changed his own life. Vedder and Ben Harper dueted on "Under Pressure," the 1981 Queen/David Bowie hit. Three musicians who studied meditation in India with the Beatles in 1968 -- Donovan, Paul Horn and Mike Love -- made appearances.

Singer-songwriter Donovan and flutist Horn performed both separately and together. Donovan also dueted, during his set, with Jim James of My Morning Jacket (on "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "Wear Your Love Like Heaven") and Crow (on "Season of the Witch"). Beach Boys member Love made a brief speech, getting choked up as he spoke about meditation and world peace. He also sang backing vocals on the two encores. An estimated $3 million was raised at this show, and will go to the David Lynch Foundation, formed by the film director to teach children to meditate.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in New York - The setlist

The surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, performed together on Saturday to raise money to help kids learn a meditation technique the 1960s icons practiced at the height of their fame. McCartney was joined onstage by Starr for a rousing rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends" at Radio City Music Hall at the Change Begins Within concert for the David Lynch Foundation, which promotes Transcendental Meditation.

The Beatles helped popularize Transcendental Meditation -- described as a simple mental technique to combat stress -- in 1967 when they sought spiritual guidance from an Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. "It started for us when we met the Maharishi in India and it's going to get bigger and bigger and rule the world," McCartney said after playing his post-Beatles hit "Jet."

McCartney's set topped an evening that included performances by Starr, Sheryl Crow, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper and others. McCartney's choice of songs included Beatles classics such as "Let it Be," "Lady Madonna" and "Blackbird" and the concert was rife with nostalgia for the two dead Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison.

McCartney and Starr last played together in November 2002 at the Concert for George in London's Royal Albert Hall after Harrison's death from cancer at the age of 58. "I love New York and John loved New York. Let's hear it for John," McCartney said before playing the plaintive "Here Today," a song he wrote after Lennon's murder in 1980 and which appeared on his 1982 "Tug of War" album.

Earlier, after playing his hit "It Don't Come Easy," Starr said, "I wrote that song with George Harrison and you know he would have been here tonight." Starr also played Beatles favorites "Yellow Submarine" and "Boys." Folk singer Donovan, who was also in India with the Beatles said, "George is here in spirit." The highlight of the evening was McCartney introducing Starr, invoking the name of the imaginary singer from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Billy Shears," McCartney said as his former drummer walked onstage to join him at the microphone. Starr remained on stage for an encore, playing drums on a song written by McCartney while in India, " Cosmically Conscious," and "I Saw Her Standing There."

Complete track-listing of both Paul McCartney and Ringo sets :
*Drive My Car
*Jet
*Got to Get You Into My Life
*Let It Be
*Lady Madonna
*Blackbird
*Here Today
*Band on the Run
*Can't Buy Me Love

Paul's introduction :
" Ladies And Gentlemen... Billy Shears " lead to...
*With a Little Help From My Friends.

Encore :
*Cosmically Conscious (Ringo on drums)
*I Saw Her Standing There ( idem )
(backing vocals : Eddie Vedder, Donovan, Moby, Sheryl Crow and Bettye LaVette)

Before Paul'set, Ringo Starr sang three songs on his own:
*It Don't Come Easy
*Boys
*Yellow Submarine with Vedder and Crow on vocals.

Earlier in the night Sheryl Crow and made a tribute to George by singing My Sweet Lord.

BONUS:
*CAN'T BUY ME LOVE.

*A few seconds of WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS - Featuring Paul's intro.

Paul McCartney Pledges Support to OneVoice Movement

SIR PAUL JOINS HONORARY BOARD OF GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION WORKING TO END PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI CONFLICT

The OneVoice Movement today announced that Sir Paul McCartney has officially joined its International Board of Advisors, which includes other celebrities such as Danny DeVito and Jason Alexander, as well as international dignitaries and political figures like Dennis Ross.

McCartney first spoke with Israeli and Palestinian representatives of the group, which seeks to empower the moderate majorities of Israel, Palestine, and citizens internationally to work toward a two state solution to the conflict, during his visit to Israel at the end of September 2008. He met with OneVoice Israel Chairwoman, Irit Admoni Perlman, in addition to staff members and youth activists from the movement. At the meeting, he expressed his support for OneVoice's activities on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Speaking to Nisreen Shahin, OneVoice Palestine's Executive Director, Sir Paul reaffirmed his commitment to OneVoice's moderate, grassroots approach to ending the conflict.

He also travelled to Palestine, to bring his message of peace to the West Bank as well. Later that evening at his concert at Tel Aviv's Park HaYarkon, he and members of his band wore OneVoice pins in a show of support for the movement and the ideas it promotes.

Said McCartney, "Having met representatives of the association OneVoice, I was impressed, first of all, by the fact that half of the organization is Palestinian and half is Israeli. Almost 650,000 people have signed on to their manifesto, supporting their steadfast work to bring about a negotiated solution, and peace in the region." He went on to say of OneVoice: "They told me that the vast majority of people in both societies are moderates and simply want a better life for their families and themselves. This gave me great hope that, one day, people like them will help to bring about a peaceful resolution to the troubles in the area. I am, therefore, happy to lend my support in this way to the cause of peace."

Friday, 3 April 2009

McCartney says meditation helped stabilize Beatles

The surviving members of the Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, will perform at a concert on Saturday to raise funds to help children learn a meditation technique McCartney said helped stabilize the band at the height of its fame.
McCartney and Starr will perform separate sets at the "Change Begins Within" concert for the David Lynch Foundation, which helps people learn Transcendental Meditation.

The Beatles helped popularize Transcendental Meditation -- described as a simple mental technique that combats stress -- in 1967 when they sought spiritual guidance from an Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. "It was a great gift that Maharishi gave us," McCartney told a news conference on Friday to promote the concert. "For me, it came at a time when we were looking for something to kind of stabilize us toward the end of the crazy '60s. It's a lifelong gift. It's something you can call on at any time," he said. "I think it's a great thing it's actually coming into the mainstream."

Starr also described Transcendental Meditation as a gift and that since learning it more than 40 years ago "sometimes a lot and sometimes a little I have meditated." The lineup for the concert at famed Radio City Music Hall also includes Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, blues-folk musician Ben Harper and techno star Moby.

Filmmaker David Lynch's foundation says that since 2005 it has provided scholarships for more than 100,000 at-risk young people, teachers and parents in 30 countries to learn Transcendental Meditation. The concert is intended to raise funds toward the foundation's goal of helping a million children learn to meditate.

"I feel like I'm at a meeting of meditators anonymous," Moby joked. "I just learned T.M. recently because I was raised by hippies, and to be honest with you anything associated with T.M. and hippies scared ... me." "When I was growing up, I thought T.M. involved ritual animal sacrifice and moving to some country and renouncing wealth and materialism and eating bugs. But one of the things that impressed me about T.M. ... was its simplicity," he said. "It's a simple practice that calms the mind."

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Paul McCartney knocked back by Guinness

Sir Paul McCartney has set a new record for flogging concert tickets after selling out his upcoming Las Vegas gig in seven seconds. But the super-fast feat has been knocked back by the Guinness Book of World Records who say there is no such category.

Sales for the gig on April 19, opened on Valentine's day this year but within seconds hundreds of thousands were told the gig had sold out. The one off performance at the Hardrock Hotel and Casino will be in front of 4,000 lucky fans who snapped up tickets at a rate of 600 a second.

Reformed British boyband Take That hold the record for the fastest tour sell out having flogged more than 600,000 tickets for their Circus tour in four and a half hours. But a spokeswoman for Guinness said there is currently no category for the rate of ticket sales for a single gig and the effort will not appear in this years book.

Survey says Americans still love British (and Beatles) music

According to a recent survey by Harris Interactive for VisitBritain, the national tourist office for England, Scotland and Wales, one in three U.S. adults listens to British music regularly over any other non-U.S. musical artists. And which British musical artists do they listen to? Forty-eight percent said the Beatles, 49 percent said Elton John, and 41 percent said the Rolling Stones. Hard to believe that Elton John ranked ahead of the Beatles.

Getty Images to showcase Beatles photo exhibition in London

The Getty Images Gallery today announced that it will be opening a permanent new photographic exhibition space at the Movieum of London in County Hall. The exclusive Beatles exhibition will feature rare and unseen images of the "Fab Four", from famous photographers including Robert Whitaker.

http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=29565

http://www.gettyimagesgallery.com/

John Lennon movie filmed in Blackpool

A Blackpool tea shop on Trafalgar Road was transformed yesterday into a 1940s "caff" to act as the perfect seaside backdrop in Nowhere Boy the new biopic of the early life of John Lennon. In a true-to-life scene a schoolboy Lennon has to choose between his estranged parents Alfred and Julia, played by Shameless star Duff.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Paul Texts Radio 1 For Comic Relief

Paul texted the Chris Moyles Radio 1 Breakfast Show Friday with the following message...

"Hi - It's Paul McCartney here. I'm just driving home from the school run. I've just been flagged down by a lady in a Comic Relief t-shirt which I promptly signed for her! I'm also wearing one of the Red Nose Day t-shirts designed by my daughter Stella, with a photo taken by her mum Linda of me and my Beatle buddies featured on the front. By the way Chris, congratulations on Kylie Manjaro! Keep up the good work. Well done our team. All the best and cheers, Paul"

Monday, 9 March 2009

PLANET ECHO: News in brief

Sir Paul McCartney has given the thumbs up to The Vegetarian Society's new cookery course inspired by recipes from his late wife Linda McCartney's recipes. Sir Paul said: "It's fabulous to see a course inspired by Linda and her recipes, which will in turn, hopefully, inspire cooks of the future. "Those of us in her family are very proud that the Vegetarian Society has chosen to honour Linda in this way." For info see www.cordonvert.co.uk.

McCartney phones one in -- literally

The first Paul McCartney "fireside chat" Friday wasn't earthshaking, but it was interesting on a couple of levels. It wasn't done in a studio -- McCartney, who was in London at the site of the old Trident Studios (where James Taylor recorded), talked to his old buddy Taylor from his car. Taylor was on the road, too. He was in Scotland. McCartney and Taylor reminisced how Taylor got the attention of Apple Records. Taylor sounded a bit nervous or, at the least, not used to having such a huge audience for his phone conversations. And Paul actually mentions Jane Asher in the course of the conversation when he refers to Peter Asher's role in the discovery of Taylor. It's a casual conversation and the talk uncovered some interesting facts about the Apple heyday.

Fireman Radio seems to have some programming problems, at least Friday night going into Saturday. We were listening at about 12:50 a.m. Saturday ET and heard Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman to Me" that skipped, then there was a lengthy pause, then the song came back. The same thing happened with a Steve Winwood song before a McCartney song finally showed up.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr To Perform Together

Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will share a stage for the first time since 2002 when they perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York on April 4. The show is the 'Charity Begins Within; benefit to raise funds to teach one million children how to mediate. Starr and McCartney learned mediation under the guidance of Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India in the 60s.

"In moments of madness, Transcendental Meditation has helped me find moments of serenity," Paul said in a statement. He added that he supports the work of the David Lynch Foundation to bring Transcendental Meditation to one million children for the same reason. "I would like to think that it would help provide them a quiet haven in a not-so-quiet world."

Ringo Starr expressed his personal satisfaction to be performing at the concert: "It gives me great pleasure to be part of this evening. I feel the aims of this charity are wonderful!" The show will also feature Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow, Donovan, Ben Harper, Moby and Bettye LaVette. Undercover hears that Bettye may be called upon to sing Let It Be with the Beatle legends. Tickets for the show will go on sale on Monday (March 9)

Friday, 6 March 2009

"The Beatles: Rock Band" Set to Hit Stores September 9, 2009

The music of The Beatles will arrive as a playable video game for the first time on September 9, 2009 when The Beatles: Rock Band hits stores in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The game, which will be available for Xbox, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii on the same day, "takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band's legendary career," according to a press release issued by the title's makers, Apple Corps, Harmonix and MTV Games. While there's no playlist or word about venues and avatars, there will be a limited number of instruments issued that are modeled after guitars, basses and drums John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr used (regular Rock Band peripherals will be compatible, too).

Three offerings will be released on September 9th: The Beatles: Rock Band software; standalone guitars; and a limited edition premium bundle that will presumably include the game and some configuration of instruments. And there's an incentive to pre-order now: the game's makers say exclusive content will be accessible to those who reserve the game in advance through major retailers over the next few months. The game's official Website is active and promises updates.

McCartney, Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison are all backing the game, which is being overseen by Love co-producer Giles Martin. Rumors that Beatles music would finally come to Rock Band or Guitar Hero fired up in June 2008 after insiders speculated that the appearance of the Fab Four's music in American Idol, the film Across the Universe and the Cirque du Soleil Love production indicated Apple Corps might be willing to loosen their famously tight grip on the band's catalog. In October 2008 the game's makers made it official, announcing, "This game will take you on a journey from the Beatles first album Please Please Me until the last album at Abbey Road," as Apple Corps CEO Jeff Jones put it. "It will span samples of the whole catalog all the way through." At the time, McCartney added, "I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out."

The game will be the first Rock Band title specifically branded to a band, though the game does offer full albums; the Guitar Hero series includes special versions for Aerosmith and Metallica.

Apple Corps Ltd. annouce "The Beatles: Rock Band"

The music-based video game, an unprecedented, experiential progression through and celebration of the music and artistry of The Beatles, will be available simultaneously worldwide in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other territories for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION 3 computer entertainment system and Wii home videogame console from Nintendo.

The Beatles: Rock Band will allow fans to pick up the guitar, bass, mic or drums and experience The Beatles extraordinary catalogue of music through gameplay that takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band's legendary career. In addition, The Beatles: Rock Band will offer a limited number of new hardware offerings modeled after instruments used by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr throughout their career.

The Beatles: Rock Band will be offered as standalone software and hardware as well as a limited edition bundle. The game will be compatible with all Rock Band instrument controllers and other current music-based video game peripherals.

The Beatles: Rock Band marks the first time that Apple Corps, along with EMI Music, Harrisongs Ltd, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, has agreed to present The Beatles music in an interactive video game format. The Beatles: Rock Band will be published by MTV Games and developed by Harmonix, the world's premier music video game company and creators of the best-selling Rock Band. Electronic Arts will serve as distribution partner for the game. In addition, Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles innovative LOVE album project, is providing his expertise and serving as Music Producer for this groundbreaking Beatles project.

Exclusive content created by Apple Corps, MTV Games and Harmonix will be made available to fans over the next few months who participate in a pre-order campaign through major retailers. More details on The Beatles: Rock Band game and pre-order will be revealed in the coming months.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono's suite to open doors

Amsterdam, March 5 (DPA) Until now only well-off Beatles fans could afford to spend a night in the hotel suite used by John Lennon and Yoko Ono during their honeymoon. But management at the Amsterdam Hilton are to allow members of the public to catch a glimpse of the famous suite where the newly-wed couple spent a week 40 years ago.


Beatles fans can visit the suite from March 21 to 29 when a number of events will be taking place including a photo exhibition about the 'Bed-In for Peace'. 'During the opening, we have decided to waiver any income from the suite,' says the hotel's director, Roberto Payer. 'We believe we owe that to the memory of John and Yoko's peace action.'


Together with The Netherlands Beatles Fan Club, the hotel is supporting a number of events associated with the bed-in. Lennon and Ono began the so-called 'bed-in' in Amsterdam March 25, 1969 shortly after their wedding. The suite bore the number 902 at the time, but after renovation, it became 702 and the hotel markets it as the 'John and Yoko Honeymoon Suite'.


Couples can also wed there in a civil ceremony. The suite has been decorated by designers in the style typical of the 1960s. The room has its own logo which is based on a drawing by Lennon showing him embracing Ono. The walls and windows are decorated with slogans the pair used during the bed-in as well as black and white photos taken by the press at the time. The suite's sound system is packed full of Lennon's songs from 'Imagine' to 'Give Peace a Chance'.


However, the bed is not the original. It has been replaced with a replica that conforms to 'modern comfort demands', as the hotel's director puts it. The John and Yoko Honeymoon Suite has been occupied over 4,000 times since the bed-in and costs $1,600 a night.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

John Lennon's sons to perform together

Julian Lennon and Sean Lennon are finally going to perform together in public. Sources say the Lennon boys have agreed to appear at a United Nations event here in New York on February 26th called the UN-Millenium Goal Awards. Other artists tentatively scheduled to appear include Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.

Mike McCartney exhibition launch party

The brother of Sir Paul McCartney has joked that in fact he is the talented one in the family, and the Beatle knows it. At his new exhibition at the Scottish Parliament, McCartney (Mike that is), couldn't help but jibe that he is the talented one. "He (Paul) just knows that I'm a genius and he can't compete," said Mike.

Ringo breaks 'no signing' rule for day centre auction

A rare autograph by Ringo Starr will be the main attraction at a Valentine's night charity auction in Milford, England. He has donated a signed 'Beatles Anthology 2' jigsaw to be auctioned at a fund-raising 'All You Need Is Love' Valentine's party on February 14. Last year, Ringo said he wouldn't sign anymore after October 20.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Official source confirms McCartney wedding denials

A rep for Paul McCartney denies newspaper stories that he is looking to get hitched with Nancy Shevell now that her divorce has become official. "[There's] no truth to it," says publicist Paul Freundlich. Newspapers reported that McCartney sought and received the all-clear from his four adult children for the wedding.

Council saftey fears put the boot to rooftop Beatles anniversary gig

A 40th anniversary celebration of the Beatles legendary rooftop gig was cancelled after saftey concerns. A Westminster Council spokesman said, "We would have gladly helped to make this event happen had it not been for the serious concerns raised by the emergency services and our own experts about the state of the building."

McCartney set for 'Colbert Report' visit

The Comedy Central TV channel says Paul McCartney is going to drop in on Stephen Colbert. McCartney will be a guest on Wednesday's "The Colbert Report," talking up his latest album, "Electric Arguments." The work represents a collaboration between the former Beatle and producer-musician Youth, and was released under the band name the Fireman. "The Colbert Report" airs at 11:30 p.m. EST weeknights.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Paul McCartney to appear on 'The Colbert Report' Jan. 28

First Stern, then "The View" and now ... : Paul McCartney will appear as a guest on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT Wednesday (Jan. 28). The announcement of the appearance says it wil be his first and only scheduled U.S. late-night appearance in support of the new album, "Electric Arguments" released under The Fireman alias.

The McCartney appearance will put him in the company of such well-known musical names as Neil Young, Tony Bennett, Willie Nelson, John Legend, Barry Manilow, John Mellencamp, Crosby Stills and Nash, Rush, Peter Frampton, Carole King and Elvis Costello, all of whom have appeared on the show.

"The Colbert Report" airs regularly Monday-Thursday at 11:30 p.m. following "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Repeat episodes air Monday-Thursday at 1:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Friday at 8:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (all times ET/PT).

Cat Stevens e Klaus Voorman on a GH tribute

Yusuf Islam, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens, has collaborated with Beatles associate Klaus Voormann on a cover of George Harrison's 1973 song 'The Day The World Gets 'Round'. Islam revealed that the collaboration came about after Voormann, who played in John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band and designed the sleeve for The Beatles' 'Revolver', asked him to contribute to an album he was making to raise money for the American Indians.

"He asked me to contribute and choose one of the songs he had played on over the years. I immediately headed towards George Harrison's galaxy of material," Islam said. "I'd met George with John Lennon in the early '70s at David Bailey's studio. He was such a great spirit. His eastern outreach inspired me and many others to embark on a great spiritual adventure.

"George was also more responsible than any other artist for initiating pop music's movement to aid people and countries stricken by war and calamities; his 'Concert For Bangladesh' was the first of its kind. I hope this song will help remind people of the immense legacy of love, peace and happiness we can share when we get round to looking at mankind's futile wars and prejudices and start to change our foolish ways." The song is released this Monday (January 26), with proceeds going to various children's charities (Small Kindness, UNRWA and Save The Children).

Islam also announced that he is returning to Island Records ­ the label he released his 'Teaser & The Firecat' and 'Tea For The Tillerman' albums on in the '70s. 'The Day The World Gets 'Round' will also appear on Klaus Voormann¹s 'A Sideman's Journey' album, which is raising money for an environment and health project in aid of the Oglala Sioux of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
in South Dakota.

Paul McCartney to perform in New York City in April

The David Lynch Foundation presents the World Harmony Concert

Paul McCartney, Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow, Paul Horn, Moby and more will perform a global benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Saturday, April 4, 2009, in support of the David Lynch Foundation's international initiative to teach one million children the Transcendental Meditation technique - and change the world overnight.

A limited number of excellent seats have been reserved for friends of the David Lynch Foundation. Details on how to order tickets before they go on sale to the public can be found at the David Lynch Foundation website.

Special packages are also available, which include premium concert seating, back-stage passes, "green room" access with photo opportunities with Paul McCartney and friends, and a gala post-concert celebration in the historic Rockefeller Center Rainbow Room. Ticket and special event package prices to be announced soon.

James McCartney goes solo at last

Paul McCartney's son James has opted to go back to his father's roots in Liverpool to find them, and is working with former members of Merseyside band The Dead 60s. He has written around 20 songs which he wants to record. "James is a very talented singer and an exceptional guitarist," says one musician who has heard his work.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Ringo Starr backtracks on autograph ban

RINGO STARR has handed out his autograph to one lucky fan - just three months after vowing he would never give away his signature again. The former Beatle declared his plans to throw away requests for his signature in a video message on his website last year (08), because he didn't have time to deal with the piles of letters he receives.

Since introducing the ban, Starr has also apparently stopped posting on the website.
But now the drummer has come out of his internet retirement, announcing that a fan known only as Ricardo has won a competition to receive the rocker's autograph on a drum head.

And he is in a better mood after ringing in the New Year, writing: "I don't feel blue any more. It's 2009 and I feel fine." He adds: "Couldn't get any better, could it? Peace and love to Ricardo, hope you have a great life. Peace and love everybody."

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Paul playing London this summer?

Rumors are circulating that Paul McCartney might be headlining Hard Rock Calling, which is a two-day concert event with multiple artists in Hyde Park this June.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Paul McCartney in NY

Paul McCartney walks in the 57rd, New York, 16/01/2008.




Paul McCartney: a Fireman Interviewed

The former Beatle talks about karma, wealth, nostalgia, fame and his new LP, Electric Arguments

By Kristine Mckenna

I imagine you know who Paul McCartney is, but here are some recent data: He’s 66 years old, single and financially secure. He recently released Electric Arguments, the third album by Fireman, an ongoing McCartney side project that represents the former Beatle's foray into trance and dance music. Composed of McCartney and British producer/deejay Youth, Fireman opens its third full-length release with “Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight,” a tune that features the most bone-rattling vocal McCartney’s delivered since “Helter Skelter.” The first time I heard it on the radio, I thought it was Jack White. Not bad for a 66-year-old. On the occasion of the album’s release, McCartney agreed to a short chat.

Ruth Ward
These are pretty clean hands for a muralist.L.A.

WEEKLY: At what point did you become an adult?
PAUL McCARTNEY: When my first baby was born.

How old do you feel emotionally?
Twenty-five.

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your life?
Linda’s death.

What was it about Linda Eastman that made her such a stabilizing force in your life?
She was just such a supercool girl. She just was. She was supercool.

Do you believe in destiny?
Yes.

Do you believe in karma, or do some people get away with murder?
I believe in karma (laughing), and I believe people get away with murder, too. For a while. Somewhere down the line everyone must pay for their misdeeds.

The Beatles’ music was always wonderful, but at a certain point it became something more than entertainment; at what point did you know that the work you were doing was important?
It’s difficult to discuss this without sounding immodest, but I think I started to feel it around the time of “Eleanor Rigby.” Prior to that, I thought the music was very good, and I realized we were in a different league when we wrote “From Me To You,” because it had a middle eight in it and went somewhere we hadn’t been before, but you used the word “important.” For me, “Eleanor Rigby” was the start of that.

Does music have the power to bring about social change?
Yeah, that’s a proven fact. “We Shall Overcome” and “Give Peace a Chance” are two examples, and there are thousands of less obvious examples. “We Shall Overcome” is inextricably bound up with the civil rights movement, and “Give Peace a Chance” equals Vietnam. Those are two huge events, and that music was hugely important to them.

Is it important that your music be commercially successful?
It’s not important, but it’s preferable. I like the idea that people hear my stuff, and if it’s commercially successful, that’s a good sign that it’s being heard.

What’s the most significant difference between work you do as Fireman and the rest of your music?
Fireman is improvisational theater. When I sit down to write a song, it’s a kind of improvisation, but I formalize it a bit to get it into the studio, and when I step up to a microphone, I have a vague idea of what I’m about to do. I usually have a song, and I know the melody and lyrics, and my performance is the only unknown. In this case, I had neither lyrics nor melody to go on — and it felt great. The previous Fireman record didn’t have vocals, so when we began adding them for this record, the music moved into the area of improvisational theater, as the lyrics were improvised in the studio as well. I’d arrive at the studio in the morning and the first thing I’d do would be to apologize to the engineers. I’d say “Okay, guys, this could really be the most serious error of my career.”

Working that way, how do you know when a piece of music is finished?
Instinct. I paint, and that’s the trick with painting, too, particularly if you paint in the abstract form. You’ve just got to know when it’s time to stop.

To what degree was the music sculpted in the editing?
Very much, and that’s where Youth comes in. I trust him implicitly. He’s a deejay, and I went to one of his gigs to watch him work and he’s good. He mixes stuff there and then, and it’s the same process with Fireman. He takes everything I throw at him and selects what he thinks is the best, and 99 percent of the time I agree with him.

What’s the most useful thing about money?
Helping people who are ill. I have a very large family and if anybody gets ill, I can help them.

What’s the biggest problem money creates?
Wow, you’re getting deep girl! I’ve never even met you! Okay, the biggest problem are the kinds of people who have license plates like one I saw in East Hampton: It read ‘rich 1.’ The kind of people who actually believe they’re cool because they’ve got money — I can‘t begin to describe the symptoms of that, but you know what I’m talking about.

What’s the most significant historical event you’ve witnessed?
The death of John Kennedy. He was our hope and he got wiped out, and we hadn’t realized that hope could get wiped out quite so easily. But now Obama’s brought it back. I love it.

These are pretty clean hands for a muralist.Is memory more apt to be a source of pain or pleasure?
Pleasure.

Do you feel nostalgic for the past?
Nostalgia’s not the right word because it implies something sort of wrong. I love the past. There are parts of the past I hate, of course. My mum died, Linda died, John died, and George died, so I can’t say I love everything about it, but I have a great affection for the past. And why shouldn’t I? I was just some kid from Liverpool, who walked around the streets with John Lennon, and wrote songs with him, and met this beautiful girl from New York, then married her and had kids with her — why shouldn’t I love the past? Mine has been good.

What aspect of the future, as you envision it, do you find most disturbing?
It’s not a good idea to look at, or for, disturbances. They come anyway, so I don’t invite them. Rather than just moan “We’re all fucked,” it’s better to work on avoiding them. A big subject of mine is a report recently completed by the U.N., called Livestock’s Long Shadow, which makes the point that the most important thing people could do for the future of the planet would be to eat vegetarian. Cattle rearing is one of the most destructive human activities on Earth, and at this point, it’s taking a bigger toll on the planet than airplanes and cars.

Are most people willing to change?
People are willing to change when they have to. I suppose people would all go to Disneyland and have milkshakes at McDonald’s and wear Bermuda shorts if you didn’t tell them it wasn’t a good idea, and sometimes we have no choice but to speak in their ears very loudly.

Would you agree that most artists do their best work when they’re hungry?
I think that’s probably true.

When people approach you on the street what do they want?
More often than not they just want to communicate, and it’s normally quite cool. Everybody these days has a camera on their phone, so now they ask, “Can I have a photograph with you?” I say, “I’d rather not, because if I have a photograph with you, then somebody else will see us and say, ‘I’ve got a phone and I’d like a photograph, too.’” It’s funny, I was talking to a celebrity friend, and he made the point that people who don’t even like your work line up for autographs and photographs, saying, “I can get one for my grandma!” Often, when I’m approached for a photograph or autograph, I try to persuade the person that what we really want is communication. That takes longer than signing a quick autograph, but it’s an important point to make.

Are you able to move about the world with freedom?
With impunity — I go into shops, to movies, and I walk around. I’m now in a car heading into London with my longtime assistant, and if we need to stop at a shop or a petrol station, we will. I’ve always held on to that, and it’s a very important part of who I am.

What an amazing thing, to be able to walk into a shop and make people happy simply by walking in. Tell me about it! I’m very aware of that, and it’s incredible.

Friday, 16 January 2009

BBC Culture Show: Liverpool '08 special

Just when you thought it was all over.

BBC Culture Show will be broadcasting a one-hour special, reviewing Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture 2008 on BBC 2 at 7pm on Monday, January 19.

The programme features highlights from the year including Sir Simon Rattle on his return to his home city with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Paul McCartney's homecoming concert at Anfield, actor Pete Postlethwaite and director Rupert Goold on their controversial King Lear at the Everyman Theatre.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Paul McCartney on 'The Howard Stern Show' -- the dirty details!

Communications Ltd.On Wednesday's "The Howard Stern Show," Paul McCartney gave Howard Stern a signed Hofner bass as a present for Stern's 55th birthday, which was Monday. Here's a very rough account of the show (since I didn't hear it) on what happened on the show compiled from notes by HwyCDRev. My transitions here aren't really smooth and some of the information is sketchy, but you get a basic idea of what went on.

Paul McCartney gave Stern a signed Hofner bass guitar for a birthday gift. Stern said, "Is it yours?" McCartney replied, "No, it's yours."

Stern reminded Paul that he told him to get a pre-nuptial agreement. Paul says he doesn't remember. Denies everything and winks. Stern said it was good McCartney took the high road.

Paul mentioned the East Hamptons concerts and says he didn't date the women he was photographed with. He just said hello and gave them a kiss as the pictures were taken. The names Christie Brinkley, Renée Zelleweger and Rosanne Arquette were mentioned.

Stern said, "Are you happy with this 'broad'? Paul asked, "Who?" Artie Lang said, "The rich one ... everyone knew her as Nancy."

Stern asked Paul about the rumor of John Lennon having sex with Brian Epstein that's discussed in Philip Norman's biography, "John Lennon: The Life." Paul says it's an old rumor. "One hint and they write a book."

About the Fireman album, Stern said he liked it, saying, "And when you do a good job, I'll tell you."

Robin Quivers said, "i'm throwing my hat into the ring. I'm a vegan, too. Take me to the inauguration. Kids love me." (Paul is apparently in the U.S. to attend the inauguration.) Stern tells Robin, "Show Paul your breasts."

Stern asked if it was OK to ask about the Beatles. Paul McCartney: "I like the Beatles. They were a good band." Paul then tells the story that the "Abbey Road" album was originally called 'Everest.' He says, "It was a cheap approach." He explained that walking outside (for the "Abbey Road" cover) was cheaper than going to Mount Everest and shooting an album cover.

The subject came around to the Ringo "no autographs by mail" video. Paul said, "Ringo would always say 'p--- off'" in the old days because he had kids." Stern replied he's not that busy. (p.s. Howard, he's working on an album.) On Ringo's "no autographs" video, Paul said, "Ringo can do what he wants" and called Ringo "brave" for doing that video.

Paul replied, "I just signed something outside." Stern said, "Pete Best will sign anything." Robin Quivers said, "I've also been rejected by Paul."


About the unreleased song "Carnival of Light," Paul confirmed it was George Harrison, not Yoko Ono, who didn't like it and that he (Paul) wanted it to go on the "Anthology."

Stern: "Did you ever write Pete Best a check?" Paul said, "He got pride!" Paul said Pete was kicked out not he was good looking, but because Ringo sat in and sounded amazing. Stern said, "Don't miss a day of work!"

Paul said after George Harrison died, "You just remember the good stuff. "Like losing anyone, I don't think of him every day, but you tell a Beatles story and it's tinged with sadness."

And about Dhani Harrison, George's son, McCartney said, "He's really good." He also said he's doing an album with his son James.

Paul McCartney: "I'm an optimist. I've seen Vietnam, Nixon, 9/11. I'm excited about Obama. I'm reading his book."

It's noted that Christie Brinkley got dolled up for Paul McCartney. Paul: "Who can blame her?" Stern said he heard Brinkley was after Paul.

Paul said he loves having a young child. He makes breakfast, drives her to school and talks to mothers of other students. "Very hands on. It's a thrill."

Paul plays the promo single (probably "Sing the Changes"). Paul says, "I like it already." Stern: "You're excited?" Paul: "Why not?" and starts to dance a bit.

On the Fireman album, Paul made up the lyrics as he went along, like "improv." Stern says "Highway" is one of his favorite tracks and says he should have had sex with Renee to that song.

Stern asked if Paul played Guitar Hero. Paul said he didn't, but then added the Beatles were going to have a Guitar Hero game. Stern: "I may learn how to be a Beatle." Stern also mentions his daughter took a Beatles college course.

The subject turned to drugs. Stern says to Paul, "Cocaine .. everyone knows you were addicted." Paul replied he was not addicted, it was a peer group thing. He says he never took heroin and says he got fed up with cocaine and got out before it was hip. He says he no longer does pot, either.

Paul says he's still a vegan, but he doesn't like cruelty to animals. Paul said that some eggs are abandoned by the hens, so it's OK. Stern asked, "Isn't an egg a chicken abortion?" Paul replied it wasn't. "We don't like to think of it like that."

Stern asked why called the album the Fireman? Paul said it's like Sgt. Pepper. Then, referring to the Rutles, he said, "You are Dirk, you are Barry. "I make trails in the woods with a chainsaw for wood (to get wood for a fire)." And says his dad was a fireman.

Stern played another of his favorite songs from the album "Light From Your Lighthouse." (The other is "Highway.") He says this is like the Frost/Nixon interview. "We need 18 hours."

The interview lasted approximately 40 minutes. Paul was having a great time. He was dancing to his CD when it was played.

After the commercial, Stern said there was lots of pressure over the visit. Paul came in with his entourage and there was a lot of things to do. But Stern said it was fun. Paul was relaxed and had his feet up on the couch.

At the end, Fred Norris added, "Before anyone has a heart attack," the guitar came from Guitar Center.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Paul McCartney to guest on 'The View' Wednesday

There's been no official announcement in a press release as of yet or from an ABC spokesman, but from several messages we've received, it was announced today on the show that Paul McCartney will be a guest on "The View" this Wednesday. ABC.com puts videos of segments of the show on their site, so it's possible this will be there if you aren't able to see it.

Update: We just received a confirmation on Paul's appearance from an ABC spokesman. It's definite.

Beatrice McCartney Shoos The Pigeons

Beatrice McCartney, the 5-year-old daughter of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, goes for a stroll in New York City Monday morning with her nanny.


Sunday, 4 January 2009

Michael Jackson wants to leave Paul McCartney Beatles back catalogue

MICHAEL Jackson hopes to bury his 24-year feud with Sir Paul McCartney – by leaving his share of the Beatles back catalogue to him in his will. Macca was furious when Jacko outbid him in 1985 to win ownership of the £350million publishing rights to the whole Lennon-McCartney songbook. The stars, once good pals who collaborated on early 80s hits The Girl is Mine and Say, Say, Say have not spoken since.

But the debt-ridden King of Pop, now said to be battling a serious genetic lung disease, is determined to make peace with McCartney. Jackson, 50, who according to some reports is convinced he is dying and has been using a wheelchair, has drawn up a new will where Sir Paul, 66, will inherit control of his share of the Beatles songbook if the troubled star dies before him.

Sources close to Jacko say he has always regretted falling out with Macca. One insider said: “Michael is worried about his health so decided it was time to look at his finances. “Most of his estate has been divided up between his three children. But Michael told his lawyers he was sad he no longer talks to Sir Paul and said he wanted to make things right.” The source added: “Michael is suffering serious back and leg pain and has for a few years. He gets spasms in his back which means he spends a lot of time in bed and a wheelchair. “He weighs just over seven stone and is very frail. He’s also had a nasty bout of emphysema and there have been reports he has another lung disease.”

Jacko sold half of his Beatles back catalogue rights to Sony in 1995, but still makes about £40million a year from them. Macca said recently: “The annoying thing is I have to pay to play some of my own songs. Each time I want to sing Hey Jude I have to pay.” Last night a source close to Sir Paul said: “If Michael Jackson was to give back the song rights in his will then Macca would be delighted.” Michael Jackson’s spokesman has officially denied the star believes he is dying.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Paul and Nancy in Cancun, Mexico

According to a Mexican newspaper Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell celebrated New Year's Eve in the Mexican Riviera. Paul was reportedly wearing dark pants, a blue long-sleeved shirt with tie, and carried a coat. He and Nancy got into an SUV at the airport to take them to their hotel. Paul was in good spirits but did not talk to bystanders.