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Thursday, September 3, 2020

McCartney's "Waterfalls" by Lindsay & Isaac wsg Laurence Juber

12:42 PM Posted by Nicole M

South American Duo Lindsay & Isaac performs an historic collaboration with the extraordinary guitarist Laurence Juber (Wings) in McCartney's song "Waterfalls"

PRESS RELEASE - To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the seminal album McCartney II, the Brazilian Duo Lindsay & Isaac presents their "reimagined" version of the song "Waterfalls", in partnership with renowned guitarist Laurence Juber (Wings).

The partnership came about when the Duo invited Laurence for a collaboration to participate in the virtual edition of International Beatleweek, the greatest Beatles related festival, which takes place annually in Liverpool (UK). Both Duo and Laurence would be on this year’s lineup, which was canceled due to the pandemic.

"Possibly some of the most beautiful arrangements you will hear of Paul's music. We are delighted to welcome this duo back, featuring the amazing guitar playing of ex Wings member, Laurence Juber."  Cavern Club - International Beatleweek 2020



L&I: "Waterfalls" is one of our favorite songs, from a fascinating period in the history of Paul and Wings. The idea of inviting Laurence had to do with his connection with this historic moment (when the original recording was produced) and with the concept we were working on, inspired by a question that has always intrigued us: how "Waterfalls" would sound if it had been recorded by Wings, in a hypothetical follow-up to Back to the Egg (1979).

LJ: “I first heard 'Waterfalls' in 1979, although it was never on the agenda as a Wing’s track.
Had it been, I likely would have taken an approach to this similar to the 1978 “Rupert Demos”* demos, where I played a hollow body electric guitar (then a Gibson Super 400,
here an ES 275).”

About the new arrangement: “Isaac’s guitar filled the acoustic space nicely, and didn’t need to be sonically crowded. The electric provided a different musical voice, adding counterpoint to Lindsay’s fine vocal.”

* In early July 1978, Wings recorded demos of twelve pieces intended for the Rupert the Bear film soundtrack (unreleased to this day) at the Spirit of Ranachan Studios, Scotland.

About L&I and LJ:

Throughout its 20-year history, Lindsay & Isaac has developed a solid reputation in the international music scene. Besides songwriting and producing, the Duo has an extensive curriculum of projects related to the work of the Fab Four. Among the most acclaimed is a tribute to the Album Revolver with the collaboration of Klaus Voormann in 2016, which yielded a tour in the United Kingdom the following year. On this tour, as a trio lineup, Lindsay & Isaac were able to perform on stages such as the Cavern Club / Live Lounge and as the headliner at the launch of Pretty Green x The Beatles: SGT Peppers State of Mind Collection, in London.

Laurence Juber needs no introduction: considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, as member of the last lineup of Paul McCartney's Wings, winner of two Grammy's, prolific solo artist and renowned studio musician (George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Al Stewart, Alan Parsons Project, Harry Styles), besides his work as producer and composer of soundtracks for musicals and games.

Release and video shared with permission.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

"Beatles Re-Imagined" Article by Mark Brickley

11:17 AM Posted by Nicole M
Adapted with permission from Octopus' Garden fanzine, Volume 30, Issue #1, September 2020. 




Beatles Re-Imagined by Mark Brickley
Picture yourself in a box seat at LA’s historic Hollywood Bowl. An excited deejay comes to the mic and shouts, “And now, Here They Are: The Beatles!” John, Paul, George, and Ringo run on stage to the delight of 18,700 screaming fans. The crowd is as loud as a jet engine at full throttle. The Beatles burn through “Twist and Shout,” with frenzied, layered vocals that build and explode. This is not
a dream at all. It was the first of three breathtaking concerts recorded by the world’s most famous band.

The Beatles’ 1964/65 Hollywood Bowl shows were the only performances memorialized by their EMI/Capitol Records label. The initial 1977 album was overseen by Beatles producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick. Thirty-nine years later, Martin’s son Giles, with Abbey Road Studio technicians, released the Apple/Capitol Records 2016 digital remix Live at The Hollywood Bowl. Here’s a deep look at how those live recordings were re-imagined.

Backtracking

Capitol Records had hoped to capture the Beatles’ 1964 concert at New York City’s Carnegie Hall but was blocked by the city’s musician’s union. Back on their home turf, Capitol was invited to record the Beatles’ three Hollywood Bowl shows (August 23, 1964 and August 29 and 30, 1965). There was one caveat: union rules required that all on-stage recording would be mixed by the Bowl’s sound engineers. All Capitol Records could do was plug into the Bowl’s mix feed and turn on their ½ inch, three-track
tape deck.
    
Because the Bowl’s engineers were most familiar with recording classical crowds, the audience mics were immediately overwhelmed on the mix channels. It was sonic cacophony. The waves of screams overwhelmed the recordings. You’d think that when the Beatles returned in 1965, the Bowl’s engineers would remember their previous mistakes but there were new audio techs, and similar errors occurred. During the first show, Paul McCartney’s vocal mic was disabled during four songs in the set.

Martin’s Doubt

Producer George Martin wasn’t enamored with the idea of a live concert album. His trepidation was affirmed after hearing the Beatles’ Bowl recordings. Martin had witnessed Beatlemania in Britain and the tumult surrounding the band’s live performances. He surmised that a live album would never match the band’s studio recordings. The Hollywood Bowl tapes languished in Capitol Records’ archives for six Years. In 1971, Producer Phil Spector was asked to review them but his work did not result in an album release.

Then in 1976, word spread that amateur recordings of the Beatles’ 1962 performances at Hamburg’s
Star-Club would be released on Lingasong Records. The Beatles attempted to block the Star-Club record but lost their initial legal challenge. Apple and EMI/Capitol Records were now motivated to issue their long-sidetracked album. George Martin agreed to produce it and despite his reservations, The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl became a smash hit. It reached No.1 on the UK’s Melody Maker chart and No. 2 in the USA on Billboard’s Top 200 albums listing. In 1977, Martin said the record captured the “electric atmosphere” and “raw energy” of the Beatles’ concerts.

De-Mixing Magic

In 2009, software engineer James Clark had been working at Abbey Road Studios for 10 years when he was asked to separate the instrumentation and vocals on early Beatles mono singles including “Love Me Do” and “She Loves You.” After his initial de-mixing success, Clark was approached to work on the Hollywood Bowl project. In 2011, he transferred the original tapes to a digital format and then used MatLab’s programing language to write algorithms, which recovered the track’s isolated sound sources. Clark was also able to lower the Bowl crowd noise by 50 percent. He modeled his computer simulations on the band’s recordings, after discovering the Bowl performances varied only one or two seconds from the song’s studio version.

Producer Giles Martin’s remix features the same 13 songs that his dad chose for the 1977 album, with four bonus tracks. In 2012, they were submitted to McCartney, Starr, Olivia Harrison, and Yoko Ono for review and were unanimously approved. What happened next? Nothing. For four years, the new re-mixes were put on hold until the perfect time was selected to release them. That moment coincided with Director Ron Howard’s 2016 film, “Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years.” His documentary had taken 13 years of development and production to reach the big screen. Giles Martin’s Live at the Hollywood Bowl CD/album was released September 6, 2016 and six days later, Howard’s movie debuted in select theaters, before streaming on Hulu TV.

What’s Inside

The 2016 Live CD comes with a 24-page booklet filled with eight photos of the Beatles’ concerts and press conference, along with two reproduced LA Times articles from 1964/65. The first remembers the day that Beatles Hollywood Bowl tickets went on sale, recalling the elation of those clutching tickets and the utter dejection from hundreds of diehards who waited in line all night, only    to be turned away empty-handed. Another reviews the Beatles’ August 30, 1965 show with the band bounding on stage at 9:22 PM, powering through their 33-minute  set and then dashing off to a waiting armored car. The compact booklet also includes Rolling Stone writer David Fricke’s smart prose and Producer George Martin’s original liner notes. The booklet is an expansive and satisfying read.

Listening

The Live At The Hollywood Bowl tracks have surprising clarity and enriched dynamic range. Layers of sonic tarnish have been stripped away. Lennon and McCartney’s vocals are brighter and more powerful. You hear each crisp syllable and appreciate the rawness and force of their vocals. The band’s instruments sparkle and Ringo’s drumming has more snap. Listening through headphones, it sounds like you’re standing right next to him. The power of his playing is startling while he keeps perfect time. It’s also
a treat to hear Ringo sing, slurring/dropping off words, Scouse style. Giles Martin’s remark in the CD booklet rings true: “The Beatles launch into every song like it’s the last time they’re going to play it!”

Giles remembered that fans want re-mixed tracks to be as close to the band’s organic sound as possible: “You can’t fool around with technology to the extent it would defeat that goal.” He added, “You want the energy and great sound quality to be true to the Beatles’ analog roots and what they originally intended.”

Martin and Abbey Road mix engineer Sam Okell didn’t include tracks with noticeable performance flaws. Giles revealed that the vocal disparities in “If I Fell” could not be remedied and that during “I’m Down,” the band temporarily fell out of rhythm before quickly coming back together. He pointed to “She Loves You” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” as the record’s premier songs. There are many other gems, like the
way Ringo’s drumming falls out in “Roll Over Beethoven,” only to powerfully return four beats later.
The 2016 album holds a trove of treasures and gives fans a front row seat to experience the world’s greatest group.

Q: When and where was the 2016 CD remix album’s cover photo taken?

A:  The cover shot was taken in Seattle by US tour manager Bob Bonis. The Beatles were boarding a chartered flight to their August 22, 1964 concert in Vancouver, Canada.

Q: Is there any footage in Ron Howard’s 2016 film of the Beatles’ shows at the Hollywood Bowl?

A: Yes! At the film’s 42-minute mark, Paul introduces Ringo to sing “Boys.” The short film clip is perfectly synced to Ringo’s headshaking vocal. When the 1964/65 recordings were made, Capitol Records also filmed the Bowl performances.

Q: Did the Beatles hear their Hollywood Bowl recordings before the 1977 album was released?

A: Capitol Records President Voyle Gilmore made copies of four tracks from the Bowl shows and sent them to the Beatles. George Harrison agreed they were an important part of the band’s history but fell short on the qualities of a Beatles release.

Q: What happened to the 1977 album Live! At the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany?

A: The Star-Club record was available until 1998, when the Beatles finally prevailed in London’s High Court. George Harrison testified in the two-day hearing and Lingasong Records was ordered to turn over the Star-Club master recordings to the Beatles and cease record production. Ironically, the Star-Club tapes had been offered for sale by saxophonist Ted “Kingsize” Taylor (who recorded the Beatles with a single mic) and later by the Beatles’ first manager, Allan Williams, who had acquired the recordings. Both Beatles road manager Neil Aspinall and Brian Epstein were approached to buy the 1962 Hamburg tapes, but neither expressed serious interest.

The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, 1964

Showtime: August 23, 1964 at 8 PM. The single show’s 18,700 tickets had sold out four months before the performance date. Ticket prices ranged from $3 at the top of the Bowl to $7 for box seats. Opening Acts: The Righteous Brothers and Jackie DeShannon.

The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, 1965

Showtimes: August 29 and 30, 1965, 8 PM shows. Both concerts were sellouts. Tickets ranged from $3 far back to $7 for box seats. Nine of the 12 songs performed in their 1965 concerts weren’t in the band’s 1964 set. Opening acts in 1965: The King Curtis Band, Brenda Holloway, Sounds Incorporated with the Discotheque Dancers, and Cannibal and the Headhunters.

Mark Brickley is the author of 2019’s expanded biography Postcards From Liverpool: Beatles Moments & Memories.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Octopus' Garden Review of "Music Legends in the Heavens" Book

6:01 PM Posted by Nicole M
Adapted with permission from Octopus' Garden fanzine, Volume 29, Issue #3, March 2020. Review by Tom Aguiar.


Music Legends In The Heavens by Terri Whitney. Rockin’ Rhymer.

From a very early age, Terri Whitney has had two passions: music and poetry. Both were encouraged by her parents and Terri brought both of these passions into her everyday life. Music Legends in the Heavens is one of the ways she has done this. This is the second book that Whitney has published relating to musicians and the music they have given us. Her previous book was Any Rhyme At All: A Beatle Fan’s Journey.

Music Legends In The Heavens is a poetry book that covers 50 musicians who have gone before us, but left us with plenty of music or have been an influence on many of our current musicians. All poems have been written by Terri Whitney and each poem has its own hand-drawn illustration by Marti Edwards.

Each of the poems beautifully captures the personality of the musician that is no longer with us before presenting his or her artistic accomplishments and ending with the impact that the icon had on us culturally before leaving this world behind. Whitney creates a passage that identifies the artist in a way that reminds the reader of the gift that each musician gave to the world.

The style of Whitney’s poetry is narrative within free style structure using both 4 line and 6 line form.
Her work is well-structured and clearly conveys a feeling or attribute about the topic of the poem. Each poem is sprinkled with personal feelings or general feelings about the subject. They made a difference in people’s lives whether individually or collectively, and that message comes through in her writing.

A well-known impression of each artist at a particular moment in time is done in pencil and is strikingly captured by illustrator Marti Edwards. Edwards graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1969 and has won numerous awards for her art and designs. Marti is also a multi-media painter and works in oil, pastel, water-color, and acrylic. 

Whitney’s words, along with Edwards’ illustrations, invoke emotional images that justify the term “legend” in the title. They were not legends in our minds when they were alive because we lived with them. It was only later when they were gone that we realized their true impact in the world of music.

Music Legends In The Heavens will bring a smile to the reader’s face as it bring back memories of these 50 musical icons that helped shape music as we know it today. The book earns a grade of A.

Octopus' Garden Review of "Postcards from Liverpool" Book

5:56 PM Posted by Nicole M
Adapted with permission from Octopus' Garden fanzine, Volume 29, Issue #3, March 2020. Review by Tom Aguiar.



Postcards From Liverpool: Beatles Moments & Memories by Mark Brickley. Britpop Books.

This book explores the Beatles on a number of levels, from their sounds to how their innovations affected those close to them as well as their fans. They were a musical tsunami. From 1962 to 1970, they recorded songs that still spark and glow, and their harmonies move together like parallel lines. It feels like they are in the same room, singing directly to you.

Music journalist Mark Paul Brickley’s new book Postcards From Liverpool: Beatles Moments & Memories recounts rarely-heard tales from the Beatles’ legacy. Brickley has published dozens of interviews, articles, and music columns in a number of music magazines and online. He is also a performing musician. The book was originally published in 2017 and has been revised and re-released in 2019.

Postcards from Liverpool packs a great deal into its 200 pages, beginning with a series of eight backstories that bring to light the phenomena known as the Beatles and how the music they created continues to stand the test of time. Brickley does an excellent job of presenting their musical legacy and explains how they developed their harmonies, chord progressions, and phrasing that resonates throughout their musicianship.

Brickley also touches on the influences on the Beatles, from Motown to Dylan, and how these affected the band by reaching into their histories. He continues to show the Beatles’ progression in music through their interests such as transcendental meditation and their stay in Rishikesh, through the solo careers
to date.

The author traces the Beatles’ footsteps through London into their Liverpool childhood homes with side trips to Paul McCartney’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony, Ringo Starr’s Grammy Museum Press Conference, the Beatles exhibit at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and memories of the Fest For Beatles Fans. Each tour stop, event, and exhibition confirmed the unbreakable bond that music fans still have with the famed Liverpool band.

The 2019 book contains six interviews: James McCartney (Paul’s son), James Ferguson (lead singer
and singer/songwriter of Spirit), Apple recording artist Jackie Lomax in his last interview, Rock Hall Associate Curator Meredith Rutledge-Borger, 1960s British songwriter Mitch Murray (who had three
#1 hits including “How Do You Do It”), and Fab Four tribute band founder Ron McNeil.

Since the 2017 release of the book, Brickley embarked on a number of Beatles events including trips to London and Liverpool, the 2018 White Album Symposium at Monmouth University in New Jersey, Beatles festivals, and more.

Along with the more than 40 photographs from his personal collection, Brickley is able to show the impact of the Beatles not only on their fans, but also on society. Postcards From Liverpool is a nice remembrance that allows Brickley to bring the reader along for the ride, with some new information, in a fun way. I give Postcards from Liverpool: Beatles Moments and Memories a grade of A.