Monday, February 28, 2011

Get Well, George!

George woke up on the morning of February 8th, 1964 with an elevated temperature and flu symptoms. Bedrest was ordered, so he stayed in the Plaza Hotel while his bandmates took publicity photos in Central Park.

Before they departed, John and Ringo spoke via telephone with Bud Ballou of WOLF-AM in Syracuse. The Maysles brothers followed John, Paul, and Ringo to Central Park and on their limo trip to CBS Studios, filming all the while.

Meanwhile, George manned the phones from bed, chatting with self-proclaimed "fifth Beatle" Ed Rudy and WSPR-AM's Jack Diamond. By late afternoon, he was declared well enough to join the others and Ed Sullivan to pose for photos (Neil Aspinall had stood in for him during camera rehearsals). Back at the Plaza that night, all four called in to Murray's Swingin' Soiree show and schooled him in British teenage lingo.

The votes are in!

Thanks to everyone for participating in my poll. It seems that nearly 3/4 of you like the blog just the way it is. Most of the rest of you would like to see more interviews. So I think I'll follow the course suggested by a commenter and add an extra spoken recording from time to time in the usual rotation. In the immediate future, the interview posts will be jam-packed as I post all the recordings from the first US tour, so everyone wins!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tour Years

Eva Records, 1982

Three sides of this LP are worthless, being incomplete copies of the Liverpool Empire, Houston, and Tokyo concerts copied from earlier bootlegs. But side 2 contained the first vinyl pressing of the Beatles Sing For Shell TV soundtrack, from a June 1964 Melbourne concert.

- From Me To You
- I Saw Her Standing There
- Roll Over Beethoven
- Boys
- Till There Was You
- This Boy
- I Want To Hold Your Hand
- Money (That's What I Want)

- You Can't Do That
- All My Loving
- She Loves You
- Can't Buy Me Love
- Twist And Shout
- Long Tall Sally

- She's A Woman
- Dizzy Miss Lizzy
- Ticket To Ride
- Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
- I Wanna Be Your Man
- A Hard Day's Night
- Help!

- Rock And Roll Music
- Day Tripper
- Baby's In Black
- I Feel Fine
- Yesterday
- Nowhere Man
- I'm Down

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Four Elvis Presleys

Pan Am flight 101 landed at New York's Kennedy Airport just before 1:30 pm on February 7th, 1964. The four Beatles stepped off the plane and squinted into the midday winter glare, scarcely believing what they saw.

Thousands of wailing, sobbing, waving teenagers. AMERICAN teenagers, lined up six deep just to welcome them to the New World! Also present were dozens of media representatives, from newspapers, radio stations, newsreel companies, magazines, and television, capturing the spectacle in words, sounds, and photos, and waiting to hear what the long-haired quartet had to say.

Plenty, as they found out in an exhilarating and chaotic press conference, held in the Pan Am lounge and haphazardly presided over by Beatles press officer Brian Somerville. Outside, it was the fans' turn to speak, to the Mutual Broadcasting System, newsreel stringers, and WINS-AM radio's Paul Parker.

WINS's coverage was at the forefront, thanks to disc jockey Murray the "K" Kaufman, who caused trouble at the press conference by hogging the spotlight, and then interviewed the group in their Plaza Hotel suite while his colleague Jim Gordon covered the scene in the streets below. Naturally, the newsreel teams also followed the crowds to the Plaza.

The stunned but increasingly wearied Beatles, including an ailing George Harrison, then chatted via international phone call with Brian Matthew, back in London taping an insert for the next morning's Saturday Club. The Maysles brothers were also present, filming the phone call and other activity in the hotel rooms for their remarkable documentary, What's Happening! The Beatles in the USA.

No wonder the main impression John, Paul, George, and Ringo had of America was mass media oversaturation. This was only day one!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Twice In A Lifetime

no label, 1987

One side of pirated solo Macca tracks, and one side of mostly Lennon interviews.

- Twice In A Lifetime
- Write Away
- Tough On A Tightrope
- It's Not True
- Wanderlust

- That'll Be The Day
- Love Me Do
- Words Of Love
- Let It Be trailer
- Give Peace A Chance
- The KYA 1969 Peace Talk
- Man Of The Decade

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Calm Before The Storm

The Beatles' Paris visit ended February 5th when they flew to London, enjoying only one full day off in their home country before jetting off again to America.

At London Airport, they filmed an interview for ITV News and spoke with a female reporter, reflecting on their French concerts and looking forward to the potentially career-defining US trip.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dig It!

no label, 1970

One of the rarer early Beatlegs [matrix XCQ-1A/B], basically just a copy of the far more common Kum Back, squashed from stereo into mono. The highlight is the 5-minute "Dig It", sounding clearer than the version more easily found on the Silver Album.

- Get Back
- Teddy Boy
- Two Of Us
- Dig A Pony
- Let It Be

- Don't Let Me Down
- I've Got A Feeling
- For You Blue
- Dig It
- Get Back

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tell Me What You (want to) See

I've set up a poll (left side of the page) for visitors to vote on the future direction of this blog.

I can continue alternating the needledrops of old vinyl Beatlegs with vintage interviews and spoken recordings, or focus on one or the other more (or exclusively). What would you like to see? Vote now, or add your own comments and ideas to this post. The poll will close a week from today.

Hypodermic Clusters

With anticipation reaching a fevered pitch in the USA for The Beatles' visit, particularly after "I Want To Hold Your Hand" topped the Billboard and Cash Box charts, several American reporters made the pilgrimage to Paris towards the end of January, 1964.

Group W radio correspondent Bernard Redmont recorded an interview with the group at the George V hotel for broadcast on Chicago's WIND-AM, in a program entitled Fake or Phenomenon. Portions of the interview were also used in a WINS New York special hosted by Murray the "K" (much more on him soon).

Saturday, February 19, 2011


no label, 1971

Half of an earlier Beatles boot (Last Live Show) and half Rolling Stones outtakes.

- Looking Tired
- Tell Me Baby
- Down In The Bottom
- Stewed And Keefed
- Hi-Heel Sneakers

- Twist And Shout
- I Feel Fine
- Dizzy Miss Lizzy
- Ticket To Ride

Friday, February 18, 2011

French Twist

On January 14th, 1964, 3/4 of The Beatles left London Airport bound for Le Bourget airport, Paris. Upon their arrival, they spoke to a radio reporter and explained Ringo's temporary absence.

They played a warm-up show in Versailles the next night, then began a residence at L'Olympia in Paris, performing alongside Sylvie Vartan and Trini Lopez for 15 days through February 4th. On opening night, January 16th, they were interviewed by Michel Lemaire for a Belgian radio series, Les Moins de 20 ans.

Their most notable Paris interview was conducted in their suite at the Hotel George V on the afternoon of January 24th. American Forces Network radio reporter Harold B. Kelley waited patiently for the late-risers to sit for an interview, George still in his hotel bathrobe, aimed at introducing the lads to an American audience in preparation for their imminent US visit. It was broadcast the following day on Weekend World.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Atlanta Whiskey Flat

TMOQ, 1971

Another iteration of the Philadelphia concert, this one a reissue of TMOQ's version, which itself was copied from the Whiskey Records original.

- Twist And Shout
- You Can't Do That
- All My Loving
- She Loves You
- Things We Said Today
- Roll Over Beethoven

- Can't Buy Me Love
- If I Fell
- I Want To Hold Your Hand
- Boys
- A Hard Day's Night
- Long Tall Sally

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You Wrecked Me Gag, You Fool!

After their Juke Box Jury appearance, The Beatles finished 1963 performing in cities such as Doncaster, recording two BBC Radio specials, and performing a nightly Christmas show at the Astoria Cinema in London.

They rang in 1964 by conducting an open-ended interview for Capitol Records, who had released their single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" in the United States the day after Christmas. Sometime early in the year, they also sat for a lengthy interview for an overseas radio series, Bulletin From Britain.

On January 5th, George and Ringo recorded a special insert for the BBC Radio series The Public Ear, in the show's "Air Mail" segment. It took two takes to get right, as the first had George blowing Ringo's prepared joke. The "wrecked" take was actually used in the January 12th broadcast, while the "correct" take finally saw the light of day in in the 1972 radio special The Beatles Story.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snap Shots

Gnat Records, 1984

A decent compilation of Lennon-centric material, group and solo; mostly copied from earlier bootlegs.

- Some Other Guy
- Keep Your Hands Off My Baby
- Honey Don't
- Twist And Shout
- Lady Marmalade
- Be My Baby
- Angel Baby
- John reads commercials on KHJ-AM

- "All I Want Is You"
- Bad Boy
- Almost Grown
- Child Of Nature
- Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
- Help!/Please Please Me
- Madman

- Mother
- Cold Turkey
- Slippin' And Slidin'
- Stand By Me
- Imagine

- Whatever Gets You Thru The Night
- I'm The Greatest

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hit Hit Hit Hit

After John's successful if controversial appearance on Juke Box Jury, it was natural for BBC TV to request all four Beatles to fill the show's panel. The network got a 2-for-1 deal by staging the show in Liverpool at the Empire Theatre, followed by the taping of a live performance in the same venue.

Both shows aired later that night, December 7th, 1963, first Juke Box Jury and then the concert special, It's The Beatles! The group watched both telecasts backstage at their Liverpool Odeon show, dismayed by the shoddy sound and camerawork on the latter recording.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Beatles [Beacon EP]

Beacon, 1978

One of the many discs to cash in on the Deccagone releases, this time an EP pairing two of the earliest singles in that series.

Side 1:
- Hello Little Girl
- Three Cool Cats

Side 2:
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Love Of The Loved

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kenneth Sodd

On November 25th, 1963, The Beatles taped a mimed performance of their new single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand"/"This Boy" for use on two Granada TV shows, Late Scene Extra and Scene At 6.30. They were also interviewed, along with Liverpool comedian Ken Dodd, by host Gay Byrne. Only a few minutes of the sometimes salty interview were used in the finished broadcasts, but the full 15-minute recording has survived.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Very Best Of The Beatles' Rarest Number Seven

TKRWM, 1976

A repackaging of ZAP's earlier title, Liverpool Flash, containing a mix of live, BBC, and studio material.

- Paperback Writer
- A Hard Day's Night
- From Me To You
- From Us To You
- Have You Heard The Word
- Get Back
- I Want To Hold Your Hand
- Long Tall Sally
- Words Of Love
- Get Back (reprise)

- Honey Hush
- Johnny B. Goode
- Act Naturally
- I'm Down
- Love Me Do
- Money (That's What I Want)
- Dig A Pony
- The Hippy Hippy Shake
- She Loves You

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Much Too Common For Me

The Beatles (Police Protection)

46. Sir C. Taylor asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give instructions that the Beatles should no longer receive police protection in the London area from their admirers.

Mr. Woodhouse : It is the duty of the police to take any necessary steps to prevent disorder or breaches of the peace, whatever the nature of the occasion. The steps to be taken in relation to any particular event in the Metropolitan Police District must be for the Commissioner of Police to decide.


The above point was raised in the House Of Commons on November 21st, 1963 by Sir Charles Taylor, MP for Eastbourne. The Beatles were performing that evening at the Carlisle ABC, and were asked about the matter in an interview filmed prior to the first house.


Here are a couple of recordings from John's personal tape archive, recorded circa autumn of 1963. First is Cynthia conversing with baby Julian, followed by a reading of "The Clinic", presumably an unpublished verse of John's, from the same tape.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Very Best Of The Beatles' Rarest Number Four

TAKRL, 1976

Another in the reissue series, this time a straight repackaging of ZAP's No Obvious Title.

- Nowhere Man
- Get Back
- What's The New Mary Jane
- All My Loving
- The Walk
- Teddy Boy
- Maxwell's Silver Hammer
- Besame Mucho

- You Really Got A Hold On Me
- Do You Want To Know A Secret
- Love Me Do/Please Please Me/From Me To You/She Loves You/I Want To Hold Your Hand
- Can't Buy Me Love
- "Get Off!"
- Those Were The Days
- Cottonfields
- You Can't Do That
- A Hard Day's Night

Monday, February 7, 2011

That's The Way It Was

On November 16th, 1963, with Beatlemania inescapable throughout Great Britain, all three US television networks sent camera crews to cover the Fab Four's concert in Bournemouth. Why this day was chosen for such saturation coverage is unknown, other than a willingness on the part of the Winter Gardens' management to put up with the spectacle.

In any case, ABC News's report has vanished, while the NBC footage was repurposed for The Jack Paar Program on January 3rd, 1964. CBS aired a surprisingly lengthy report on their Evening News on the night of November 21st, 1963. Given the events of the following day, whatever impact the package had was instantly forgotten, and it's the Paar appearance two months later that most people remember. CBS's report included a patronizing introduction by London anchor Alexander Kendrick, and a short interview backstage conducted by Josh Darsa, possibly the band's first with an American reporter. It would not be their last.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Very Best Of The Beatles' Rarest Number One

TKRWM, 1976

The first in a series of seemingly random repackagings of previously-bootlegged material. This one is just sides three and four of the 1975 LP Hahst Az Sön.

- Let It Be
- La Penina
- "Shakin' In The Sixties"
- Move It/Good Rockin' Tonight
- Across The Universe
- Two Of Us
- "Ramblin' Woman"/I Threw It All Away/Mama You Been On My Mind

- Tennessee
- Across The Universe
- House Of The Rising Sun
- Commonwealth
- Get Off!
- Honey Hush
- For You Blue
- Let It Be