I've got to be honest, in these Covid times I've been watching a few gigs online but I've never really considered joining a virtual tour, that was until I saw the Beatles in Hamburg advertised by David Bedford & Richard Porter.
I've been to Hamburg twice, in 1989 to see Paul McCartney at the Sportshalle, Hamburg and in 2006 for the Hamburg Sound - Beatles, Beat & Grosse Freiheit.
We should have been there for a third time in March 2020 for the first Hamburg Beatles Festival but understandably it was cancelled due to Covid 19.
I was intrigued what the virtual tour would take in, so, me and the Mrs sat down to watch the two hour tour on Sunday night.
The presentation started with a history of Hamburg and its comparisons to Liverpool and New York.
My favourite Beatles year is 1961, it must have been awesome to see the Beatles in Hamburg where they played up to 8 hours a day.
It wasn't long before we were in the thick of the Grosse Freiheit and the clubs the Beatles played after being driven to 'West Germany' by Allan Williams in his van.
The Beatles in Hamburg was presented by David and Richard through a number of pictures and some nice colour film of the Grosse Freiheit featuring the clubs and places associated with the Beatles in Hamburg including the Bambi Kino, the Indra, the Kaiserkeller, the Top Ten Club, the famous Star Club, the Reeperbahn, the Redlight district and the local Polize Station.
It also highlighted the people who entered the Beatles lives during their stays in Hamburg with tributes to Tony Sheridan, Astrid Kercherr, Roy Young and of course Stuart Sutcliffe died there aged 21 years old.
Thanks to the presentation of David & Richard the 2hrs was totally entertaining and it actually over ran by 30 minutes that included a live chat to end this virtual tour that was definitely one to join.
by Eddie M
Most of the larger auctions containing the 'fantasy' Beatles items out of our reach, are normally held in London, New York & Tokyo but here in the North West of England we have Omega Auctions based in Newton-Le-Willows.
It's one of the top auction houses worldwide for music memorabilia and vinyl records.
I'd love to be able to go to a Beatles auction with a big lottery win in my bank account or an unlimited Credit Card you never have to pay back but alas as you read this article that isn't the case.
Omega have held some thrilling auctions including a three part sale on behalf of Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince. The highlight of the collection was the first played copy of the Beatles 'Love Me Do' single.yours for the 'princely' sum of £17,000.
Omega hold fairly frequent auctions of Beatles Collections, items sold include:
On the 28th October 2020 there's an ONLINE only Beatles Collection auction with 256 Lots of Beatles & solo vinyl LP's, books, including a signed 'Grapefruit' book by John & Yoko, posters, tickets, signed Genesis books and Paul McCartney & Wings autographs.
The highlight though has to be several items from Joe Flannery's estate including nine early Beatles contracts & letters signed by Brian Epstein. The lot numbers are 156 / 236 - 240 / 242 / 244 - 245.
Now where's that Credit card...
by Billy J Shears
After the excitement of the premiere of the Beatles new film 'Eight Days A Week, the Touring Years' the latter part of September, at least locally, seemed to bring a lull in Beatles activities.
This brief hiatus ended on the 8th October with a suprise viewing of the 'The Lennon Report', a fascinating film, if ultimately, grim account of the moments after John Lennon was shot as seen through the eyes of those who lived it and tried desperately to save his life.
News producer Alan Weiss played by Walter Vinter is involved in a motorcycle accident on the same night as John Lennon is shot and taken to the same emergency unit at Roosevelt Hospital.
The staff at the hospital attempt to conceal the identity of John Lennon as Alan Weiss convinced that the shooting victim is John attempts to relay the news to his office.
Directed by Jeremy Profe 'The Lennon Report' is a true story starring Evan Jonigkeit as Dr. David Halleran & Richard Kind as Dr. Stephan G. Lynn.
The John Lennon 76th Birthday Celebration was held in the Live Lounge at the Cavern Club, Liverpool. Jimmy Coburn backed by his fellow Cavern Club Beatles performed his John Lennon show.
The first half featured songs recorded by John during his time with the Beatles, while the second set concentrated on his solo career.
The opening Revolution set the night alight from the very beginning as the band performed an impressive set including hit singles and album tracks from Love Me Do to Come Together.
If anything the Lennon solo set was even more impressive, beginning with Nobody Told Me, what a great song that is, Jimmy & the band were on top form.
Whether it was the rock of Cold Turkey, Gimme Some Truth & How Do You Sleep? or the classic Lennon of Watching the Wheels, Working Class Hero, Mind Games, How, Imagine or the newly performed Number 9 Dream there was no denying this was a fitting tribute to John on the night of his 76th birthday....
We've held local Beatles nights in Manchester (UK) for over 25 years.
You'll find us the second Tuesday of every month at the Millstone Pub in Manchester from 6pm showing Beatles footage on the big screen, music & a Beatles quiz.
On the 13th October we were pleased to screen the new Beatles film, Eight Days A Week complete with London premiere footage & the Shea Stadium concert.
If you know of anyone who would be interested in attending our Beatles nights please let them know about us. You can contact us here. Hope to see you there....
So, what's coming up?
Well, besides the usual shenanigans in Liverpool:-) our favourite Beatles Celebration band the Threetles are playing on Oldham Town Hall steps as part of the celebrations to mark the re-opening of the town hall complex. Start 2.30pm.
Our good mate Paul Wilde, Manchester News columnist & Beatles Historian is leading his Beatles in Manchester walkabout tour to show you why the city was so important to the fab four.
The tour is approximately 90 minutes. £10 Adults, £5 Kids (Under 16)
Starts at the DRY BAR 12 noon, 28 Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JN
Hope to see you at both events.
by Eddie M
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We've been involved in Beatles fanzines and websites since the mid-eighties but I can't honestly recall a more exciting year than 2018 for Beatles fans.
It's rather spooky but here are my Top 10 highlights from 2018 in chronological order.
24th/25th February 2018
GEORGE HARRISON 75th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
Jackie Spencer, has been a qualified Beatles tour guide since 1995 in the Beatles hometown of Liverpool.
Her Beatles tours and 'special days' are exceptional and George Harrison's 75th birthday celebrations was no different.
Jackie's Hari Day was a full in-depth eight hour tour of Liverpool visiting many places relevant to George Harrison and the Beatles. including as Jackie put it music, laughter, Indian things, trees, cups of tea, jelly babies, ukuleles, python-esque comedy, pirates....and more.
The following day it was off to Portmeirion, home of the Prisoner TV series and also some suprisingly George Harrison related stories.
While I knew that George had spent his 50th birthday at Portmeirion, he also taped interviews in a chair by a window for the Beatles Anthology.
After a tour of Beatles related sites in Portmeirion, a viewing of Good Old Freda was followed by a 30 minute interview and Q&A with Freda Kelly.
The evening was completed with two sets of George Harrison classics and rarities by Paul Jones of the Cavern Club Beatles, ably supported by fellow Cavern Club Beatle Tony Coburn and Charlie Skeggs.
9th June 2018
PAUL McCARTNEY, LIVE AT THE PHILHARMONIC PUB, LIVERPOOL
It's not often, well once, that you go to Liverpool to visit the John & Yoko, Double Fantasy exhibition and have a ride out to Port Sunlight but instead end up seeing Paul McCartney live in the Philharmonic Pub, but yes, it did happen to us...
Paul and the band played 12 songs, 10 by the Beatles, Jet and an unreleased song off his new album.
Set List: in no particular order!
A Hard Days Night, Ob-La-De, Ob La Da, Jet, Drive My Car, Love Me Do, If You Come On to Me, I've Just Seen a Face, I'll Come On to You (?) (New Song) I've Got a Feeling, Lady Madonna, Hey Jude (with James Corden), Back in the USSR & Birthday
2nd June 2018/11th July 2018
RINGO STARR & HIS ALL STARR BAND EUROPEAN TOUR
Okay, we didn't get to go to any of Ringo's European tour dates but it was a highlight of 2018 that he announced his first European tour since 2011 although he chose to ignore the UK!
26th July 2018
PAUL McCARTNEY, LIVE AT THE CAVERN CLUB, LIVERPOOL
If someone had said to me, in 2018, you'll see Paul McCartney live in Liverpool at the Philharmonic Pub, the Cavern Club and the Echo Arena, I'd have laughed in their face but that's what happened.
22nd - 28th August 2018
INTERNATIONAL BEATLEWEEK FESTIVAL
At the 2017 Beatleweek Festival, Bill Heckle & Jon Keats took to the stage in the Adelphi Hotel Ballroom and spelled out the problems for Beatleweek. In a nutshell it was going to be scaled down in 2018, it was the only way the festival would survive.
To say that Beatleweek 2018 was one of the best ever was an understatement and I've been going since 1984! Cavern City Tours need to be applauded for putting together a brilliant programme of Beatleweek favourites and new bands appearing for the first time that soon became fan favourites!
7th September 2018
EGYPT STATION - NO.1 ALBUM
By the time Egypt Station was released on the 7th September 2018 the promotion for the album was unprecedented by Paul. Carpool Karaoke, secret gigs at the Philharmonic Pub and Cavern Club. Gigs at Abbey Road. LIPA and finally on the day of release an historic set streamed live from Grand Central Station, New York City celebrating the release of his album, Egypt Station.
All this and the fact that he had released another great album in the form of Egypt Station gave Paul is first number one album on the Billboard chart for 36 years.
5th October 2018
JOHN LENNON'S IMAGINE BOX SET
On the 5th October Universal Music celebrated John Lennon’s solo career with a six-disc, 140 track box set, Imagine – The Ultimate Collection.
Spread over four CD's/2 Blu Ray discs the remixed & remastered set offered new ultimate mixes, raw studio mixes, 5.1 surround sound mixes, and a Quadrasonic album mix. The set features unheard demos, rare outtakes, isolated tracks and The Evolution Documentary, a unique track-by-track audio montage.
Imagine is available in the following formats including a 2CD Deluxe Edition, CD remaster, 2LP 180 gram black vinyl edition and 6 disc Ultimate box set.
Don't forget there are three versions of the Imagine book as well!
9th November 2018
THE BEATLES WHITE ALBUM 50th ANNIVERSARY RELEASES
What was turning into an expensive year for Beatles fans went into overdrive in November/December.
The 9th November 2018 saw the 50th anniversary release of the Beatles legendary White album, an inspiration for so many artists in it's 50 year existence from the 60's to the present day.
The only disappointing aspect of the 50th anniversary White album celebrations was the fact that no video footage of the Beatles in India or during the recording sessions was made available in the releases when we know it exists!
But, that said it was business as usual with a series of quality releases from the Beatles.
The 6CD/Blu ray Deluxe box set contained the following:
The album was also available in a 3CD set, 4LP vinyl set & yes, the original 2LP set.
7th December 2018
WILD LIFE, RED ROSE SPEEDWAY & WINGS 1971-73 ARCHIVE COLLECTION RELEASES
A turning point in Paul McCartney Archive Collection releases.
The regular Paul McCartney Archive Collection editions of Wild Life & Red Rose Speedway while containing more treasures from the Paul McCartney vaults were a mite expensive but the temptation of Wings 1971-73 deluxe release was there for all to decide on at the pricey sum of £319!
It contained the Wild Life & Red Rose Speedway Archive Collections plus a 20 track CD of Wings 1972 European tour from 5 concerts and other memorabilia including a reproduction of the 1972 European Tour programme.
Will this set the trend for further Archive releases? Well the fact that it was a limited edition and sold out before release would suggest yes.
Add to the fact that the next two releases London Town (1978) and Back to the Egg (1979) could be prime for a deluxe 1978-79 edition.
12th-16th December 2018
PAUL McCARTNEY UK 'FRESHEN UP' TOUR - LIVERPOOL, GLASGOW & LONDON
Three years after his last visit to our shores Paul McCartney announced three tour dates in the UK for December 2018.
We ended up queuing for 24 hours at the Echo Arena in Liverpool but boy was it worth it.
Great seats and a fantastic gig from Paul McCartney.
At nearly three hours you could see his delight at being back in Liverpool, although this was the third time we'd seen him live in his hometown during 2018 he still ensured we finished 2018 on the highest note.
by Billy J. Shears
The film Backbeat was directed by Ian Softley and released in 1994.
It starred Stephen Dorff (Stuart Sutcliffe) Sheryl Lee (Astrid Kercherr) while Ian Hart (John Lennon), Gary Bakewell (Paul McCartney), Chris O’Neill (George Harrison) & Scott Williams (Pete Best) portrayed the Beatles in Hamburg.
It also featured a soundtrack recorded by a supergroup made up of;
The film received impressive reviews and has recently been revived as a West End stage play also to great reviews.
Tonight 17 years on we’re at Fact in Liverpool for a charity screening of Backbeat on behalf of Clapperboard complete with an aftershow Q&A by conducted by local journalist/author Peter Grant and Scot Williams who portrayed Pete Best.
Backbeat has aged well and besides a few duff lines 'it's been a hard days night' 'it feels like we're working eight days a week' you know the stuff, its an excellent film played out by an excellent cast.
Scot 'I'm only here because Ian & Chris are abroad and nobody knows where Gary Bakewell is' Williams was then interviewed by Peter Grant and it provided a behind the scenes look at working on Backbeat and being an actor.
He told a couple of Stephen Dorff stories, explaining how to make a cup of coffee to the American actor and the tale of Dorff's request for a silver plectrum so the light would shine of it while onstage and how Dorff wasn't happy when they brought back four for each guitarist in the band!
Afterwards there was a complimentary after show drink sponsored by Matthew Clark at 3345 Parr Street with a local band hand picked by Scot.