Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Beatles Now Appearing on Your iPhone

Metatron Inc. today announced that its i-Mobilize subsidiary has released five new Video Apps from The Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison on the iPad, iPhone and iTouch platforms, under a license from Orbital Media Group. The titles are:

1. "The Journey," a look at the remarkable formation and ultimate rise of the world's first supergroup. Utilizing rare, archival footage, news reels and interviews, this program charts the Beatles' success and follows their careers through to the untimely deaths of John Lennon and George Harrison. The Beatles Journey features various conversations and filmed events that follow the group's relentless sweep through the musical boundaries of the world.

2. "Big Beat Box," a documentary about the rise of Beatlemania. The music includes an "imagined" performance of a lost John Lennon song.

3. "The Long and Winding Road," a five-part documentary on the history of the "Fab Four."

4. "John Lennon -- The Messenger" features audio tracks "In Spite of all the Dangers" and "In His Own Words," and rare footage to spotlight Lennon with his life prior to and beyond The Beatles.

5. "George Harrison -- The Quiet One," which looks at the life of the youngest member of the Beatles. The video explores his complex nature and his life journey with interviews with those that were close to him. Using rare film footage, it examines his time with the Beatles, his undoubted musical talent, and his long held spiritual beliefs that were a comfort to him until his untimely death at age 58. The title provides rare insight into the man of music in his own words.

Joe Riehl, CEO of Metatron Inc., said, "Beatles titles are some of the most popular media available and we are thrilled to be able to release these titles in conjunction with our friends at Orbital Media Group. We continue to work with them to broaden our relationship and hope to bring more incredible content like this to iTunes in the coming weeks."

Sir Paul McCartney Backs IFAW in Action Campaign to Safeguard Hunting Ban and Urges 'No Return to Cruelty'

Sir Paul McCartney pledged "no return to cruelty" as he backed an IFAW in Action campaign to protect the ban on the cruel sport of hunting with dogs. Five years today since the Hunting Act came into force in England and Wales, Sir Paul speaks out in the new report 'No Return to Cruelty' by IFAW in Action, a part of the global International Fund for Animal Welfare movement.

He said: "When the cruel and unnecessary 'sport' of hunting with dogs was banned, I, along with the majority of the British public, backed this historic victory for wildlife. The scenes described in this report of how animals were hunted down and savaged with dogs for fun before the Hunting Act 2004 was passed are simply barbaric and shocking and should remain a part of Britain's past, not its future."

Conservative Party leader David Cameron has pledged to allow MPs a free vote on whether to repeal the Act if he becomes Prime Minister. This is despite the fact that a return to hunting would be completely out of step with the views of the majority of the British public, including his own party. Polling by Ipsos MORI* in September 2009 found strong cross-party support for maintaining the ban, including almost twice as many intending Conservative supporters backing the Act as those that want it repealed (62% vs 33%). Overall, 75% of the British public do not want fox hunting to be made legal again.

IFAW in Action's new report has been sent to prospective parliamentary candidates, urging them to remember the horrific cruelty inflicted on foxes, deer, hares and mink before the introduction of the Hunting Act and to protect the ban. IFAW in Action has also released a three-minute compilation of video footage showing examples of hunting cruelty before the ban. Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW in Action, said: "The vast majority of the British public have long opposed animal cruelty and do not want the archaic practice of chasing and killing animals for fun to return to our countryside. We urge prospective parliamentary candidates to read our report and view the footage and remember why this vital ban was introduced."

IFAW in Action is also urging members of the public to read the report and view the footage at and to ask their local parliamentary candidates where they stand on the issue. When hunting with dogs was banned in 2004 there was already overwhelming evidence to show that hunting with dogs is cruel. Today that evidence is even stronger with the release of a new report this month by Professor Donald Broom of Cambridge University.

Professor Broom describes the evidence of cruelty in hunting with dogs as "compelling", with foxes, deer, hares and mink experiencing considerable fear and distress when being pursued by hounds or when being dug out. Sir Paul McCartney added: "Don't let politicians bring back cruelty. Help IFAW keep cruelty out of the countryside and back the ban on hunting with dogs."

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

The Beatles' infamous butcher cover inspires a wine collectible

Beatles artist Shannon has taken the Beatles butcher cover and given it some vintage through the design of a new set of wine bottles. She says that when Liverpool's Hard Day's Night Hotel was created, over 100 rooms were designed to fit a line-up of historical Beatles facts. She was given the task of creating original paintings to fit each room.

One such room was "The Butcher Room". Shannon created her own version of the controversial 1966 album cover there, which is now featured on a pair of bottles of red and white wine that can be purchased as a set. Only 50 sets are available. Cost for most of the sets is $59.99 for the set, plus shipping and handling. The bottles numbered #1 and #9 are $199.99 a set and are specially packaged with a “Signed by Shannon” print of the set on each bottle. Bottles numbered #2 through #10 are $99.99 a set and similarly packaged with a “Signed by Shannon” print of the set on each bottle. More information and to order: 310-739-4930.

Beatles' Abbey Road Studios 'could be saved by National Trust'

The Trust said members of the public had been in touch to urge the organisation to take on the property after the issue was discussed on Chris Evans' show on BBC Radio 2 and on BBC Radio Five Live. People have also been discussing whether the National Trust could save the world-famous studios on Facebook and Twitter. EMI's private equity parent Terra Firma is said to be hoping the north London site - made famous by the Beatles album and zebra crossing cover shot - could raise tens of millions of pounds.

A spokesman for the National Trust said: ''It's not often that the public spontaneously suggests that we should acquire a famous building. ''However, Abbey Road recording studios appear to be very dear to the nation's heart - to the extent that we will take soundings as to whether a campaign is desirable or even feasible.'' The building in St John's Wood could have a price tag of £10 million to £30 million, and the National Trust is asking the public whether they think the studios should be saved.

If there is enough momentum, a campaign could be launched to buy the studios on behalf of the nation. Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, who recorded most of the band's songs at Abbey Road, has told the BBC's Newsnight that he hoped the studios could be saved. He said: ''There are a few people who have been associated with the studio for a long time who were talking about mounting some bid to save it. ''I sympathise with them. I hope they can do something, it'd be great.'' He added: ''I have got so many memories there with the Beatles. ''It still is a great studio. So it would be lovely if somebody could get a thing together to save it.'' The National Trust already owns Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road, the childhood homes of John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney in Liverpool.

Paul McCartney for Isle of Wight Festival?

The Beatles sang about the Isle of Wight on 'When I'm Sixty Four' and now rumours suggest that Paul McCartney is lined up to headline the festival. The trip may be three years too late (the singer is 67) but according to Daily Star, the showman is set to book a Ticket To Ryde this June to join Jay-Z and The Strokes at the top of the bill.

Kings Of Leon have also been touted for the same slot, but they are more likely to appear at V Festival. Vampire Weekend, Orbital, Daisy Dares You and Shakespears Sister are also confirmed for the Isle of Wight event this year. Click here for the latest Isle of Wight Festival line-up. Tickets for Isle of Wight 2010 are priced at £150 for a weekend adult camping pass, while a child (7-12) camping ticket costs £75. Isle Of Wight Festival 2010 will take place at Seaclose Park, Newport, from 11-13 June 2010. Ferries tickets from Red Funnel are on sale now with festival tickets. Book now to avoid the rush and the disappointment of not being able to get onto the Island.

New book on Beatles’ early Liverpool life

A LIVERPOOL man who had to give up work because of a painful muscular illness grew so tired of reading inaccurate Beatles books he decided to write “the definitive article” himself. David Bedford spent nearly 10 years compiling “Liddypool – Birthplace of the Beatles”, focusing on the Fab Four’s time in the city before fame and fortune beckoned. And Mr Beresford, 44, who suffers from the painful condition fibromyalgia, said his research has proven definitively that the nickname The Fab Four is a misnomer – all in all, 27 Liverpool musicians came and went from the band in its early days as its name changed multiple times before settling on The Beatles.

Beatles historian Hunter Davies declared the book “the best illustrated book on the Beatles I’ve ever seen.” Yesterday at Liverpool’s town hall, former insurance worker Mr Beresford met Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Mike Storey to look at one of the first prints, which has been donated to the city. Mr Beresford – who moved to Dingle from Guildford with his family aged four and attended Ringo’s old primary school St Silas – said the book had been a labour of love over the years, “less a hard day’s night than a hard day’s decade”.

He added: “When I had to give up work I started reading Beatles books and saw other writers – mostly from over the Atlantic – writing things about Liverpool and getting it wrong. “To understand the Beatles, you have to understand Liverpool, so that’s why I wrote it.” Beatles fan Cllr Storey added: “‘Liddypool’ – as John Lennon renamed the city – is a great new work. “Everyone who thought they knew the definitive history of the early Beatles should think again as this new book really sets the record straight – and accurately re-tells a tremendous part of the city’s history.”

Clapton, Paul Simon Honor Yoko At NYC Gig

Some of rock and roll's biggest names turned up at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music to pay tribute to Yoko Ono earlier this week. The show, which was billed under the name of Ono's 1970s supergroup, Plastic Ono Band, featured performances by Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Bette Midler, the Scissor Sisters, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Ono's son, Sean Lennon. The group revived several John Lennon classics - including "Give Peace a Chance" and "Yer Blues" - and also performed a number of Ono's solo works.

The recent performance of the late Beatle's work is not the only attention currently finding John Lennon. In an upcoming biopic, Nowhere Boy, filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood shines a light on the legendary songwriter's early life. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after the film's recent debut at the Sundance Film Festival, Taylor-Wood explained that it was not easy finding an actor to play one of the biggest celebrities of all time.

"I started afresh, with a new casting director," she explained. "For Lennon, we saw over 300 people, but I spotted Aaron [Johnson] around seven or eight. So in the back of my mind, I knew he was right for the role, but I was just double-checking." "Same for McCartney," she added. "We left no stone unturned. It was a challenge, because we saw a hell of a lot of lookalikes, and people who could sing or play guitar like them, but I had to bat that away and find someone who embodied their spirit."

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Heather Mills reveals she's spent her £24million divorce settlement in 22 months

Heather Mills claims she has spent the bulk of her £24.3million divorce settlement… just 22 months after she collected the bumper pay-out from ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney. In an hour-long TV special she tells psychologist Dr Pamela Connolly – wife of comic Billy – that she gave a large chunk of the cash away. “Most of it’s been given to charity, gone into ethical businesses or paid for a couple of ­- properties for my daughter’s future security,” says Heather, who had six-year-old Beatrice with Macca.

And in a thinly-veiled swipe at Macca, worth an estimated £400million, she adds: “I could never sit with millions of pounds in the bank that could make matters change.” Dancing On Ice star ­Heather, 42, also compares Macca, 25 years her senior, to her dad saying: “In some of my ­relationships I have attracted a similar type of person to my ­father.” Pamela then asks: “Controlling?” Heather says: “Yeah”. “Powerful?” “Yeah”. “A little scary?” “Yeah”.

Talking of her ­relationship with Sir Paul she adds: “It was one of the best 10 years of my life and one of the worst. I didn’t have any ­control. It took me years to realise that. In the end I had to walk away.” Heather also talks about coming to terms with the loss of her leg in 1993. She says: “This counsellor came in and said, ‘How are you ­feeling?’ I went into survival mode and said, ‘I’m fine’. But she said, ‘You realise you won’t be as attractive to men’. I said, ‘Listen my dear. Even if both my arms and my legs were missing. I’d still be more attractive than you’."