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.

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

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.