Wednesday, December 30, 2015

One million Beatles albums and counting ...

The holiday season has been a joyful one for, which released its holiday sales statistics Dec. 29. The company said that worldwide, its AutoRip feature, which gives its CD buyers free digital copies of physical albums purchased directly from Amazon, provided its customers with over 1 million free digital Beatles albums into their libraries in a single day on Dec. 24. The AutoRip feature has a part of Amazon since 1998.   

New Beatles 'Let It Be' bootleg coming (but not with this cover)

Early in 2016, there will be a new bootleg DVD of "Let It Be," a reliable source has told us. There's been no exact description what the new DVD will have, but one thing that is certain is that this won't have this cover, which has been changed once already and will likely change again, we're told. It's hard to imagine, though, that the new DVD will be more loaded than the Blu-ray version already out there that has four different versions of the film.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Paul and Linda's McCartney's 2015 Christmas messages on Instagram

Posts from Paul McCartney's official Instagram page,  and also Linda McCartney ...

Paul's message:

"Paul has been in touch to wish everyone a Merry Christmas: “I’m very excited that the holiday’s coming up. A little bit conscious of the fact that I’m going to over-eat and over-drink... probably. But that’s ok!

"I’m looking forward to being with the family. Spending a lot of time with the folks. Just putting my feet up, watching a bit of telly, and watching the kids – particularly the younger ones, they’re an entertainment in themselves!

"I send my best wishes to everyone over the holidays. Hope they have a nice happy, peaceful time with lots of lovely pressies!

Love Paul"

Linda McCartney post:

lindamccartneyHorses in Snow, 1986 

#LindaMcCartney #HappyChristmas #Peace #Snow #Horse #1986#MerryChristmas

Magazine alert: New Beatlefan

The new Beatlefan, #217, looks at some of the rare items Ringo Starr parted with during his recent auction while Brad Hundt looks at how Ringo finally has found an All Starr Band worth keeping.  

The issue also features Rick Glover's latest Paul McCartney tour report; a special section on the new "1+" release, the first part of Ken Sharp's Q&A with Beatles video and film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, a 50th anniversary review of The Beatles' "Rubber Soul" album and a look at the McCartney reissues of "Tug of War" and "Pipes of Peace." 

A sample issue costs $8 in the U.S. or $12 abroad. U.S. funds only. You can follow Beatlefan on Twitter at or Facebook by going to more information, email

A Beatles Christmas gallery

Happy holidays from us to you!

(Yeah, the above was for Thanksgiving, but some people eat turkey for Christmas, too.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Twenty years ago, it all started with Abbeyrd's Beatles Page

It was just over 20 years ago that yours truly put up the first four pages of what would become Abbeyrd's Beatles Page. It was started as sort of a protest on my part. I'd applied for jobs as the pop music writer at the paper I worked at and twice got turned down. Both rejections really hurt because this was something I really wanted to do. 

So I decided to jump into the new world of the internet on Dec. 19, 1995 B.F. (before Facebook) where I could do music writing (and on the Beatles) on my own. The site started out with four pages which I coded myself in HTML 3. It was my way of forcing myself to learn it. 

My initial motive for the site was not to just do a Beatles page, but do something a little different. News wasn't part of it initially. But I realized soon after that given my connections with my newspaper, I figured I could get some news from there as well as elsewhere. 

It worked, and a lot better than I expected. It was (and still is) the very first online Beatles news site. I had original news about the Beatles. And this was stuff I wrote or others contributed to me. It wasn't like the link-driven stuff on Facebook and social media today. 

And there were some wonderful highlights and memories for me. One of my favorites was getting a tip in 2002 about a series of Jools Holland shows in November that year at the Royal Albert Hall and that the shows had a mysterious break in the middle of them. A little bit of investigation discovered the answer – it was for something to be called “The Concert for George” which I was the first to report about a week before anyone else. 

I also can't forget my coverage of George Harrison's health problems. We tracked it for quite a while. And I remember the night my friend Joe Caldwell called me about 3:30 a.m. PT to tell me George had passed. I got up and started writing and never went back to bed even though I had to work the next day.

Then there was my tribute to Derek Taylor after his passing in 1997. I rounded up statements from those who knew him, many of them famous. Some of those statements were sent to me directly, such as those from Roger McGuinn of the Byrds and Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders.

At one point, I had an idea to see if the Beatles U.S. albums could be released on CD. It started with a page on which I discussed the arguments for and against putting them out. I got Bruce Spizer and Martin Lewis to discuss the pros and cons of such a move and got people to put their own pros and cons. I guess I can take some of the credit for the release of "The Beatles Capitol Albums Volume 1" and "The Beatles Capitol Albums Volume 2" and maybe some of the blame (ha ha) for "The U.S. Albums" box. (I still get people asking about Capitol Albums Volume 3.) I also had the texts of the original CBS press releases for the Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

I asked Joseph Self, a practicing attorney, to analyze the George Harrison plagiarism lawsuit, the Star Club suit and the "Roots" suit against John Lennon. Over the years, they've been referred to again and again as the most in-depth and authoritative works on the subjects. Thanks, Joey!

I also did exclusive interviews with many people: Yoko OnoMay PangPete BestBob Spitz (author of “The Beatles”), Francie SchwartzLon and Derrek Van Eaton, Hugo Cancio (who'd been involved in a lawsuit regarding the Beatles Hamburg tapes) and authorKeith Badman, among others. And I'm very proud to say I had contributions by a very distinguished group of Beatles friends and experts, such as Louise Harrison, Jody Denberg, Allan Kozinn, Arno Guzek, saki, Joey Self, Dave Persails, Catherine E. Doyle, Allen J. Wiener, Claudio Dirani, Ken Michaels, Bill De Young, Paul Cashmere and others (and I apologize for anyone I didn't mention.) 

It was a very satisfying experience. It was great to get notes from people who appreciated what I was doing. I'll never forget getting one of those from the great Roger McGuinn.

For the last few years, I've been on doing Beatles Examiner (and several other Examiner columns) and, more recently, have been part of the “Things We Said Today” radio show. And having lots of fun. But it all began at Abbeyrd's Beatles Page and I'm damn proud of it. Thanks to everyone who helped add to the site and all of you who have visited it.

The Beatles' music is still with us. And I'm still here doing the write thing. Twenty years. It doesn't seem like it. (Thanks to Dave Persails for the idea for the logo.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Magazine alert: New McCartney fan Maccazine covers "NEW" and more

The latest issue of the Paul McCartney fan magazine Maccazine, Volume 43, Number 2, is huge (120 pages) and has a cover headline saying "Part 3 (Timeline: 2013 to 2014"), and a diary of events for the two years. Included are "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles," Paul's illness and the cancellation of the tour dates in the Far East, the release of "NEW" and "Hope For the Future" and reports of tour show setlists and bootlegs from the tour.  Visit the magazine's website or their Facebook page.

And if you're holiday shopping, please check out our That's What I Want Beatles Store (U.S.), our That's What I Want UK Beatles Store and our That's What I Want Monkees Store for everything you could want for yourself or others.

Free online concert with Laurence Juber tonight (Tuesday)

Photo by Steve Marinucci

A holiday music concert by former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber takes place tonight (12/15/15) at 11 p.m. ET (8 p.m. PT) at Kulak's Woodshed in North Hollywood. The concert will be streamed online.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

These new Beatles bundles have a little mystery to them

This Amazon Limited Edition Bundle includes The Beatles 'Abbey Road' CD plus one Beatles Blind Box "Yellow Submarine" figure from TITAN. Abbey Road is paired with TITAN's Yellow Submarine series of mini-figures. Each figure is blind packaged, so the exact style received is a mystery until it is opened. You could receive any one of the following TITAN figures: John, Paul, George, Ringo, Captain Red, Submarine, Blue Meanie, or Jeremy.

For those of you who have kids, it looks like the Beatles have become Pokemon. You know ... collect them all...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Beatles magazine alert

Now out ...  free at your local independent record store

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Confirmed! Ringo Starr and All-Starr Band to tour in 2016

Barbara Bach

Ringo Starr and the All-Starr Band will be on the road again in 2016, Todd Rundgren has confirmed. "Yes, we are going out again, I believe next summer," he  told Billboard. "We decided to do another American tour, and I hear rumors of possibly going back to the Pacific Rim in October or something like that."

No dates have been released and the magazine says the group will be working around Gregg Rolie's Santana reunion, guitarist Steve Lukather's Toto shows and Rundgren's own concert schedule. 

Rundgren says Ringo just wants to keep the All-Starrs going. "As far as Ringo`s concerned, as long as everyone is able to show up he's probably just going to keep doing this until either he can't do it anymore or one or more of us can't do it anymore." 

On the road to Rishikesh with Paul Saltzman

Paul Saltzman
Paul Saltzman, author of "The Beatles in Rishikesh" and "The Beatles in India," is offering a 17-day trip to India in late September, 2016, that will include a visit to the ashram where the Beatles stayed.

Having been there myself about 55 times, I've designed a well-planned, luxury journey that will give you a joyful and fascinating experience of India. This trip will be exciting. It will touch your heart.
Our adventure will cover many of India's highlights from the inland waterways of Kerala in the south, to the "Beatles' ashram" in the foothills of the Himalayas in the north. 
Our 2016 journey begins on September 22 and runs for 17 days until October 8th. Additionally, we offer an optional 4-day Himalayan trek.
The itinerary and more information is here.

Now out ... the new "1" mixes on vinyl

Yes, it's out now and available here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Remembering John Lennon: His words say it all

Courtesy Lennon Archive

Here are some of the quotes from John Lennon on this sad anniversary. It was his words that made him so special and this is how he should be remembered. 

"I'm a moldy moldy man. I'm moldy thru and thru. I'm a moldy moldy man. You would not think it's true. I'm moldy till my eyeballs. I'm moldy till my toe. I will not dance I shyballs. I'm such a humble Joe." -- "The Moldy Moldy Man," from "John Lennon: In His Own Write."

"If I hadn't been a Beatle I just wouldn't have thought of having ("John Lennon: In His Own Write") published 'cuz I would've been crawling around, broke, and just writing it and throwing it away. I might've been a Beat poet." - 1965 on the BBC.

"I don't and never did imagine God as one thing. But now I can see God as a power source - or as an energy. But you can't see any kind of energy... only track it on radar or things like that. You can be aware of your own energy and all the energy that's around you. All the energy is God. Your own energy and their energy, whether doing god-like things or ungodly things. It's all like one big jelly. We're all in the big jelly." -- Daily Sketch, 1967.

"There are two choices: doing something or not doing something, and that's the choice facing all of us. We decided to do something and when you don't do something you're not doing anything and you're aware of it. And once you do something you set up a kind of a thing in your mind or yourself and there's no turning back, you know…" 1969 to Miles.

I don't write for the Beatles, I write for myself. So I'm influenced by whatever's going on at the time, you know. I'm in love and that's the end of it. So every time I pick up the guitar I sing about Yoko and that's how I'm influenced. I am obviously influenced by her ideas and her coming from that other field, so-called avant garde or underground or wherever she came from. ..she came in through the bathroom window. She encouraged the freak in me.” – Miles, Sept. 1969.

"We used to believe the Beatles myth just as much as the public, and we were in love with them in just the same way. But basically we were four individuals who eventually recovered our own individualities after being submerged in a myth." -- Ray Connolly interview, 1971.

"We went to Disneyland on what must have been the most crowded day of the year. It's funny. I was sitting on the monorail along with everyone else, not being recognized, and I heard someone with his back to me say that George Harrison was there today. The guy was leaning on me at the time, and he'd heard that a Beatle was there somewhere.
He couldn't see the wood for the trees.” – Melody Maker, 1975.

"If I could be a f-----’ fisherman I would. If I had the capabilities of being something other than I am, I would. It’s no fun being an artist. You know what it’s like, writing, it’s torture. I read about Van Gogh, Beethoven, any of the f------. If they had psychiatrists, we wouldn’t have had Gauguin’s great pictures. These bastards are just sucking us to death; that’s about all that we can do, is do it like circus animals." -- Rolling Stone, 1980.

"Nobody controls me. I'm uncontrollable. The only one who controls me is me, and that's just barely possible." - 1980, Playboy.

I'm always proud and pleased when people do my songs. It gives me pleasure that they even attempt them, because a lot of my songs aren't that doable. I go to restaurants and the groups always play "Yesterday." I even signed a guy's violin in Spain after he played us "Yesterday." He couldn't understand that I didn't write the song. But I guess he couldn't have gone from table to table playing "I am the Walrus." – Playboy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Beatles' NEMS/Apple employee's memoir to be expanded

The book “Who's the Redhead on the Roof?: My Life with the Beatles” by NEMS and Apple Records employee Kevin Harrington, who worked his way up from being an office boy for Brian Epstein at NEMS to later become responsible for the Beatles equipment, will be expanded to include an extra chapter, Axel Korinth, one of the authors of the book “a is for Apple,” has told us.

The new chapter will add his experiences during the Concert For Bangla Desh. The book will also be illustrated with photos of Harrington both with and without the Beatles and include pictures of rare documents and other memorabilia.

"In 1968 I was invited to be in a unique and privileged position in the world of popular music. I was to look after the equipment of the biggest band in the world, The Beatles," Harrington writes in the book. "I know it was unique and a privilege because only one other person had done the job before me, his name was Mal Evans and he was the Beatles’ Roadie. Over the past 40 odd years since the Beatles split up there have been countless books published on the band. I can’t add anything new to their story, I can only tell mine."

Only 500 numbered copies will be issued worldwide and the first 250 copies will include a special professional photographic art print of the Beatles during the Apple rooftop concert with Kevin in the picture. The cost is 26.50 Euros ($28.14 USD). You can order it here.