Tag Archives: John Lennon

The Last Beatles Concert ► Monday Musical Appreciation

It was 48 years ago today when The Beatles gave their last live performance, although no one knew that at the time. It’s come down through history known as The Rooftop Concert.

John, Paul, George, and Ringo — at that point the most famous musicians in the world — had been filming the recording of their ‘back to basics’ LP, that was supposed to do away with overdubs and studio trickery. The idea of a movie started out as a tee vee documentary ending with a live concert, before it morphed into a major motion picture.

Originally the album was to have been called “Get Back,” but was eventually released as “Let It Be,” the same name as the eventual movie and the biggest hit on the soundtrack.

The recording sessions were fraught with tension, with the Beatles bickering with each other.  Even the level-headed and Transcendental Meditationizer Harrison had enough. He also quit the band for a period. When he returned he did so with Billy Preston to play keyboards, correctly guessing that the presence of a musician they all respected would cut down on the fighting.

According to the WikiWackyWoo:

Harrison recalled that when Preston joined them, “straight away there was 100% improvement in the vibe in the room. Having this fifth person was just enough to cut the ice that we’d created among ourselves.”[14]

While most of the bickering was left on the cutting room floor, this clip was left in the final cut of the movie:

They were stumped for a location for the ending of the movie. The documentary was always going to end with a live show, but they were stumped where to hold it. Suggestions ranged from an ocean liner, to the pyramids, to Pompeii. However, logistically those shows would have been difficult. At almost the last minute, as time was ticking away before Ringo had to start filming The Magic Christian, the decision was made to perform on the rooftop of Apple Corps, the Beatles’ own building on tony Savile Row.

The 42 minute concert was the last time The Beatles played for an audience. However, they would go on to record one more LP, Abbey Road, actually released before the movie and Let It Be album. By the time the movie was release, The Beatles were history.

The songs performed on the roof that day were Get Back (five versions), I Want You (She’s So Heavy), Don’t Let Me Down (two versions), I’ve Got A Feeling, One After 909, Danny Boy, Dig A Pony (two versions), and God Save The Queen.

Also cut out of the movie was all of the genesis for the song that eventually became Get Back. It started off much differently than the song you hear now and could NEVER have been released in this form:

The Beatles have been criticized for these 2 songs once bootlegs started to appear, but it’s clearly a protest song of sorts, condemning the racism that they had been seeing at home. It’s just not a very subtle character study, like Elanor Rigby, f’rinstance.

Ironically, the session tapes of Let It Be were eventually given to Phil Spector, who laid all kinds of overdubs on the songs. This appalled Paul McCartney, who had been outvoted. Eventually, in 2003, Let It Be… Naked was released, without all the sweetening in a form that McCartney could live with.

The movie Let It Be was briefly available to purchase on VHS, Betamax, or LaserDisc, however the 1981 release was the first and last time it was available legally. There are reports that the entire movie was remastered by Apple in 1992. Apparently there was another remastering in 2003, including outtakes and bonus material, that was to have been released with the Naked CD, but that never happened either.

“Some people say” it’s Paul who has held off release of the movie because he comes off looking like a dick. The Wiki has something to say about that, too:

In February 2007, Apple CorpsNeil Aspinall said, “The film was so controversial when it first came out. When we got halfway through restoring it, we looked at the outtakes and realised: this stuff is still controversial. It raised a lot of old issues.”[43]

An anonymous industry source told the Daily Express in July 2008 that, according to Apple insiders, McCartney and Starr blocked the release of the film on DVD. The two were concerned about the effect on the band’s “global brand … if the public sees the darker side of the story. Neither Paul nor Ringo would feel comfortable publicising a film showing the Beatles getting on each other’s nerves … There’s all sorts of extra footage showing more squabbles but it’s questionable if the film will ever see a reissue during Paul and Ringo’s lifetime.”[44] However, in 2016, McCartney stated he doesn’t oppose an official release, stating, “I keep bringing it up, and everyone goes, ‘Yeah, we should do that.’ The objection should be me. I don’t come off well.”[45]

Maybe one day we’ll finally get to see this movie again. Until then, enjoy some bootleg recordings of the Rooftop Concert while they’re still on the YouTubery.


Memorial Day ► Monday Musical Appreciation

On this Memorial Day, let’s remember what’s really important: PEACE!!!

“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”
― George S. McGovern

“Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe. ”
― Arundhati Roy, Public Power in the Age of Empire

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
― Mother Teresa
“Well, I know,” she said. “You’ll pretend you were men instead of babies, and you’ll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we’ll have a lot more of them. And they’ll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs.”
So then I understood. It was war that made her so angry. She didn’t want her babies or anybody else’s babies killed in wars. And she thought wars were partly encouraged by books and movies.

So I held up my right hand and I made her a promise: “Mary,” I said, “I don’t think this book of mine will ever be finished. I must have written five thousand pages by now, and thrown them all away. If I ever do finish it, though, I give you my word of honor: there won’t be a part for Frank Sinatra or John Wayne.

“I tell you what,” I said, “I’ll call it ‘The Children’s Crusade.'”

She was my friend after that.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

“Anyone who thinks must think of the next war as they would of suicide.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor and Franklin
“The wars we haven’t had saved many lives.”
― William Stafford
“Melt all the tanks in the world and make them rubbish bins. They will be much more useful for the humanity!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

The Beatles Conquer The U.S. Charts ► Monday Musical Appreciation

Further reading at Not Now Silly:

The Beatles’ Last Concert

On this day in 1964 The Beatles had the top 5 tunes on the ‘Merkin Billboard charts, an amazing feat for a band that was barely known on this continent just a few months earlier. Those songs are:

5). Please Please Me
4). I Want To Hold Your Hand
3). She Loves You
2). Twist And Shout
1). Can’t Buy Me Love

Let’s take a quick look at all of these songs:

Please Please Me

“Please Please Me” was not only a song title, but also the name of The Beatles’ first LP in the UK. It was recorded and released in January of 1963 to capitalize on the success of this song, which had burned up the British charts. There were 14 tunes on the “Please Please Me” album, and eight of them were written by The Beatles, including this one. It was also the second single ever released by The Beatles following “Love Me Do.” According to the WikiWackyWoo:

“Please Please Me” has a diverse history. George Martin has stated
that the original version of this song was “rather dreary”, was too slow
and consequently had little prospect of being the big hit the band were
looking for. Martin said, “I was still thinking that we should release
their [earlier] recording of “How Do You Do It?“”, a previously taped Mitch Murray
composition that Martin insisted the Beatles record which he had
seriously considered as an alternative debut single instead of “Love Me
Do”. The group replied that they were only interested in recording their
own material.[7]
McCartney said: “It was symptomatic of our group that we turned down
“How Do You Do It?”. Ringo Starr commented: “I remember us all being
ready to stand up for the principle of, ‘We have written these songs and
we want to do them'”. George Martin was ultimately sympathetic to their
appeals, but said later: “[I] would still have issued “How Do You Do
It?” had they not persuaded me to listen to another version of “Please
Please Me”.[11]

Lennon first conceived “Please Please Me” as a bluesy, slow tempo
song. Lennon recalled: “I remember the day I wrote it, I heard Roy Orbison doing “Only the Lonely“, or something. And I was also always intrigued by the words to a Bing Crosby
song that went, ‘Please lend a little ear to my pleas’. The double use
of the word ‘please’. So it was a combination of Roy Orbison and Bing
Crosby”.[7] Originally it was vocally sparse, did not contain any harmonies or responses, nor did it have the scaled harmonica intro.

On the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, published by Rolling Stone, “Please Please Me” clocks in as #184.

I Want To Hold Your Hand

This tune was released at the end of November of 1963 and — had it not been for “She Loves You” — would have gone right to #1 on the British charts. It had to settle for the #2 spot on its release date. According to the Wiki:

It was also the group’s first American number one, entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 13 January 1964 at number forty-five and starting the British invasion
of the American music industry. By 1 February it held the number-one
spot, and stayed there for seven weeks before being replaced by “She
Loves You”, a reverse scenario of what had occurred in Britain. It
remained on the US charts for a total of fifteen weeks.[6] “I Want to Hold Your Hand” became the Beatles’ best-selling single worldwide.[7] In 2013, Billboard magazine named it the 44th biggest hit of “all-time” on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.[8]

This was The Beatles’ first tune to be recorded on 4-track and it took 17 takes to get a version they were happy with.
She Loves You
“She Loves You” was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney while they were touring England with Roy Orbison and Gerry and the Pacemakers. They started writing the song on the tour bus, as the Wiki tells us:

In 2000, McCartney said the initial idea for the song began with Bobby Rydell‘s hit “Forget Him” with its call and response pattern,
and that “as often happens, you think of one song when you write
another … I’d planned an ‘answering song’ where a couple of us would
sing ‘she loves you’ and the other ones would answer ‘yeah yeah’. We
decided that was a crummy idea but at least we then had the idea of a
song called ‘She Loves You’. So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few
hours and wrote it—John and I, sitting on twin beds with guitars.” It
was completed the following day at McCartney’s family home in Forthlin
Road, Liverpool.[4]

On that same Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, “She Loves You” is ranked at #64 and is the best selling Beatles’ single in history.
Twist And Shout

This is the only song on this list not written by Lennon-McCartney. The Wiki fills in the rest of the story:
“Twist and Shout” is a 1961 song written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns
(later credited as “Bert Russell”). The song was originally recorded by
the Top Notes. It first became a chart hit as a cover single by the Isley Brothers in 1962. The song has since been covered by several artists, including the Beatles on their first album Please Please Me (1963), as well as The Tremeloes in 1962 and The Who in 1970 and 1984.
This rollicking rocker was recorded at the famous recording session of February 11, 1963, during which The Beatles recorded 10 complete tunes in 13 hours. They left it as the last song to be recorded as they knew it would tear up John’s throat. They were right. The take we hear is the first one. They tried for a second, but John had no voice left.
Can’t Buy Me Love

This tune was recorded partially in Paris and then finished at the famed Abbey Road studios. Once again, we go to the WikiWackyWoo:

“Can’t Buy Me Love” was recorded on 29 January 1964 at EMI‘s Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, France,[10] where the Beatles were performing 18 days of concerts at the Olympia Theatre. At this time, EMI’s West Germany branch, Odeon, insisted that the Beatles would not sell records in any significant numbers in Germany unless they were actually sung in the German language[11] and the Beatles reluctantly agreed to re-record the vocals to “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand
prior to them being released in Germany. George Martin travelled to
Paris with a newly mastered rhythm track for what was to be “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand” (“Come, Give Me your Hand”/”I Want to Hold your Hand”). “Sie Liebt Dich” (“She Loves You”) required the Beatles to record a new rhythm track as the original two-track recording had been scrapped.[10]
EMI sent a translator to be present for this recording session which
had been hurriedly arranged to tie in with the Beatles’ Paris
commitments. This was accomplished well within the allotted studio time
allowing the Beatles an opportunity to record the backing track, with a
guide vocal, to the recently composed “Can’t Buy Me Love”.[11][10]
At this stage the song included background vocal harmonies. But after
listening to the first take, the band concluded that the song did not
need them. Therefore, “Can’t Buy Me Love” became the first single the
Beatles released without their characteristic background harmonies.
McCartney’s final vocal was overdubbed at EMI Studios, Abbey Road,
London, on 25 February.[6] Also re-recorded on this day at EMI Studios was George Harrison‘s
modified guitar solo, although his original solo can still just be
heard in the background. Harrison said: “What happened was, we recorded
first in Paris and re-recorded in England. Obviously they’d tried to
overdub it, but in those days they only had two tracks, so you can hear
the version we put on in London, and in the background you can hear a
quieter one.”[12] Helen Shapiro, a friend of the Beatles and present at this overdub session, says that Ringo Starr also added extra cymbals “over the top” and that “apparently this was something he did quite often on their records”[13] (Geoff Emerick, tape operator and later the Beatles’ recording engineer, credits Norman Smith, the Beatles’ then-current engineer, with this overdub).[14]
“Can’t Buy Me Love” is also the only English-language Beatles track
that the Beatles themselves recorded in a studio outside the UK,
although the instrumental portion of the Beatles’ B-side “The Inner Light” was recorded in India by Indian session musicians.

This song was written in Paris just prior to the sessions and made #295 on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Hits of All Time list.

When it hit #1 in the United States it set several records, no pun intended:

• Until Billboard began using SoundScan for their charts in 1991, it had the biggest jump to number one: (number twenty-seven to number one; no other single had ever done this).

• It gave the Beatles three consecutive number-one songs (“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was replaced at number one by “She Loves You” which was in turn replaced by “Can’t Buy Me Love”). The three songs spent a combined total of 14 consecutive weeks at No. 1. This is the only time an artist had three number ones in a row. The best prior was Elvis, who had two consecutive number ones with Don’t Be Cruel and Love Me Tender.[16]

• When “Can’t Buy Me Love” went to number one (4 April 1964), the entire top five of the Hot 100 was by the Beatles, the next positions being filled by “Twist and Shout“, “She Loves You“, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me,” respectively. No other act has held the top five spots simultaneously.

• During its second week at number one (11 April 1964), the Beatles had fourteen songs on the Hot 100 at the same time.

    This is just one of the reasons why The Beatles were the greatest band of the Rock era.

    Was Elvis’ Manager A Murderer? ► Monday Musical Appreciation

    It’s always been a curious thing. During the entirety of Elvis’ career, he only played overseas once and only performed in Canada only 3 times. Despite the proximity Colonel Tom Parker, his manager, didn’t accompany his star client.

    I’ve long heard rumblings that The Colonel was a wanted man, which is why he never traveled outside the country, but had never bothered to research the back story. A random Facebook post this morning took me to a page about The Colonel at the Smithsonian Institute published 4 years ago. What I learned was stunning. Colonel Tom Parker may have been a murderer hiding in plain sight. This article gets right down to the Colonel’s skulduggery:

    So far as the wider world knew, the
    Colonel was Thomas Andrew Parker, born in Huntingdon, West Virginia,
    some time shortly after 1900. He had toured with carnivals, worked with
    elephants and managed a palm-reading booth before finding his feet in
    the early 1950s as a music promoter. Had anyone taken the trouble to
    inquire, however, they would have discovered that there was no record of
    the birth of any Thomas Parker in Huntingdon. They might also have
    discovered that Tom Parker had never held a U.S. passport—and that while
    he had served in the U.S. Army, he had done so as a private. Indeed,
    Parker’s brief military career had ended in ignominy. In 1932, he had
    gone absent without leave and served several months in military prison
    for desertion. He was released only after he had suffered what his
    biographer Alanna Nash terms a “psychotic breakdown.” Diagnosed as a
    psychopath, he was discharged from the Army. A few years later, when the
    draft was introduced during the World War II, Parker ate until he
    weighed more than 300 pounds in a successful bid to have himself
    declared unfit for further service.

    WHOA! But it doesn’t stop there. I continued my research, jumping onto the WikiWackyWoo:

    Presley fans have speculated that the reason Presley only once
    performed abroad, which would probably have been a highly lucrative
    proposition, may have been that Parker was worried that he would not
    have been able to acquire a U.S. passport and might even have been
    deported upon filing his application. In addition, applying for the
    citizenship required for a US passport would probably have exposed his
    carefully concealed foreign birth. Although Parker was a US Army veteran
    and spouse of an American citizen, one of the basic tenets of U.S.
    immigration law is that absent some sort of amnesty program, there is no
    path to citizenship or even legal residency for those who entered the
    country illegally.[50]
    As Parker had not availed himself of the 1940 Alien Registration Act,
    and there was no amnesty program available to him afterwards, he was not
    eligible for US citizenship through any means.

    Foreign birth? Undocumented immigrant? What else was The Colonel hiding? According to The Inside Story of Elvis and the Colonel, a chapter from the (self-serving) book Leaves of Elvis’ Garden:

    Colonel Tom Parker was a master deal-maker who made
    Elvis the highest-paid actor in Hollywood.   While other actors may
    have commanded per-picture fees in excess of the $1 million Elvis got,
    he often made double that again because he received an unprecedented 50
    percent of all profits. It didn’t matter to the Colonel that the films
    were, for the most part, artistically vapid. Colonel Parker proved his
    worth, moneywise.
    The Colonel, as he liked people to refer to him,
    displayed a ruthless devotion to Elvis’ interests, and he took far more
    than the traditional 10 percent of his earnings (reaching up to 50
    percent by the end of Presley’s life).  Under his brilliant, skillful
    and cunning guidance his one and only client, Elvis, reached
    unimaginable heights.  Elvis considered him a genius.
    But Elvis grew restless, feeling the Colonel had
    limited his Hollywood career, even while acknowledging they had been
    successful financially.  He felt trapped. 

    John Lennon, famously, had several things to say about Elvis. Here are two:
    “Before Elvis there was nothing.”

    “Up until Elvis joined the army, I thought it was beautiful music and Elvis was for me and my generation what the Beatles were to the ’60s. But after he went into the army, I think they cut “les bollocks” off. They not only shaved his hair off but I think they shaved between his legs, too. He played some good stuff after the army, but it was never quite the same, It was like something happened to him psychologically. Elvis really died the day he joined the army. That’s when they killed him, and the rest was a living death.”

    But I digress.
    As Smithsonian Magazine continues the story: Back in 1960, soon after Elvis was discharged from the army, Parker’s family back in the Netherlands recognized him in a photo as Andreas van Kuijk, a long-lost brother who had disappeared into thin air. Sure he was older, and fatter, but there was no mistaking it. A brother was sent to the States. He met with Dries — as the family called him — who revealed very little about his personal life.
    Even stranger is when he went back to Breda, the brother kept Parker’s secret which didn’t leak for another few years, but only in a small Dutch fan magazine called It’s Elvis Time. Then it was picked up in the ’70s by Albert Goldman in his Elvis biography. However, there were deeper secrets to unveil.
    Journalist Dirk Vellenga, who also lived in Breda, got a tip that the Colonel was originally from there, which led to a 30-year investigation:
    Vellenga had been filing occasional
    updates on the Parker story—the Colonel was by far the most famous son
    of Breda—and found that he was building a detailed picture of what was
    by any standard a hasty departure. Parker, he learned, had vanished in
    May 1929 without telling any of his family or friends where he was
    heading, without taking his identity papers, and without money or even
    the expensive clothing he had spent most of his wages on. “This means,” notes Nash,
    that “he set out in a foreign country literally penniless.” In the
    late 1970s, Vellenga ended one of his newspaper features by posing what
    seemed to him a reasonable question: “Did something serious happen
    before Parker left that summer in 1929, or maybe in the 1930s when he
    broke all contact with his family?”

    At least one of his readers thought
    that question deserved an answer, and a short while later an anonymous
    letter was delivered to Vellenga’s paper. “Gentlemen,” it began.

    At last, I want to say what was told to me 19
    years ago about this Colonel Parker. My mother-in-law said to me, if
    anything comes to light about this Parker, tell them that his name is
    Van Kuijk and that he murdered the wife of a greengrocer on the

    This murder has never been solved. But look it up and you will
    discover that he, on that very night, left for America and adopted a
    different name. And that is why it is so mysterious. That’s why he does
    not want to be known.

    Turning hastily to his newspaper’s files, Vellenga found to his
    amazement that there had indeed been an unsolved killing in Breda in May
    1929. Anna van den Enden, a 23-year-old newlywed, had been battered to
    death in the living quarters behind her store—a greengrocer’s on the
    Bochstraat. The premises had then been ransacked, apparently
    fruitlessly, in a search for money. After that, the killer had scattered
    a thin layer of pepper around the body before fleeing, apparently in
    the hope of preventing police dogs from picking up his scent.

    The discovery left Vellenga perplexed. The 19 years of silence
    that his mysterious correspondent mentioned took the story as far back
    as 1961—exactly the year that the Van Kuijk family had made contract
    with Parker, and Ad van Kuijk had returned from his visit to the Colonel
    so remarkably tight-lipped. And the spot where the murder had occurred
    was only a few yards away from what had been, in 1929, Parker’s family
    home. Members of the Colonel’s family even recalled that he had been
    paid to make deliveries for a greengrocer in the area, though they could
    no longer remember which one.

    Of course, all the evidence is circumstantial. There is no proof, even in the original police files, that Parker, or van Kuijk, was ever a suspect in the murder. This will always remain an unsolved mystery, but several of Elvis’ biographers truly believe that the biggest secret the Colonel was hiding was the fact that he was a murderer who had fled to ‘Merka to avoid suspicion.

    It’s Only A Northern Song ► Monday Musical Appreciation

    On this day in 1963 The Beatles formed the music publishing company Northern Songs —  with Dick James owning 51% — which is how Michael Jackson eventually came to own their back catalog of songs. Follow the bouncing ball:

    Brian Epstein made a number of bad deals for The Beatles. For example, there’s Seltaeb — “Beatles” spelled backwards — a company created to merchandise Beatles’ products. Epstein didn’t have the time, or inclination, to decide on all the merchandise requests that were rolling in, from Beatles wigs to drum sticks to plastic guitars. He decided to outsource this job and signed a contract which gave The Beatles a mere 10% of the royalties. Normally up to 75% would go to the artists on such a deal. It’s estimated that The Beatles lost at least $100,000,000 on that deal, which could have been more lucrative than the worldwide royalties on their music.

    However, of all the deals that Brian Epstein got the Beatles involved in, Northern Songs is the one that had the most-lasting effect, biting them in the ass to this very day.

    George Harrison was so irritated, he wrote a song about it:

    Dick James had been kicking around the music industry since his teens in the ’40s, as a musician and singer. In fact, it’s James’ voice heard on the theme song to the tee vee show The Adventures of Robin Hood. As the WikiWackyWoo explains:

    James entered the music publishing
    business as his singing career tapered off. In 1958 he joined Sidney
    Bron Music as a song-plugger but decided to leave and open Dick James
    Music in 1961. In early 1963, he was contacted by Brian Epstein who was looking for a publisher for the second Beatles single, “Please Please Me“. James called Philip Jones, producer of the TV show Thank Your Lucky Stars, played the record down the phone to him and secured the band’s first nationwide television appearance.[3] The pair subsequently established Northern Songs Ltd., with Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney, to publish Lennon and McCartney’s original songs.[4] (Fellow Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr were also signed to Northern Songs as songwriters, but did not renew their contracts in 1968). James’s company, Dick James Music, administered Northern Songs.[5]

    What initially began as an amicable working relationship between the
    Beatles and James disintegrated by the late 1960s: the Beatles
    considered that James had betrayed and taken advantage of them when he
    sold Northern Songs in 1969 without offering the band an opportunity to
    buy control of the publishing company. James profited handsomely from
    the sale of Northern Songs, but the Beatles never again had the rights
    to their own songs.[6]

    In later years, The Beatles groused about this deal, but was it really that bad? According to Did the Beatles Get Screwed, at Slate:

    Decades later, McCartney would refer to the agreement that created their publishing company, Northern Songs, as a “slave contract.” Harrison would mock its terms in an outtake from Sgt. Pepper’s,
    singing “it doesn’t really matter what chords I play… as it’s only a
    Northern Song.” Lennon would say with some bitterness that the bald and
    bespectacled man who proposed the deal, Dick James, had “carved Brian [Epstein] up.”

    In fact, by the standards of the day, Dick James made the Beatles—a
    band with one hit record and zero leverage in the industry—a pretty good

    Keep in mind that when Chuck Berry recorded his first 45 for Chess Records
    in the mid-’50s, the Chess brothers made him share songwriting
    credit—right on the label—with a prominent disk jockey, as well as with
    the company’s landlord. The publishing rights to Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti
    were purchased by his label bosses for all of 50 dollars. This kind of
    wholesale theft was commonplace; in the early rock era, the ethics of
    the average music publisher could make a mob capo blanch.

    After Epstein died The Beatles unsuccessfully tried to renegotiate the deal with Dick James, but in 1969 he sold the publishing catalog (which by then included many other songwriters) to Lew Grade‘s ATV without even telling The Beatles. Then they tried to buy back Northern Songs. Unfortunately, it came as The Beatles were in the process of (secretly) breaking up and John Lennon and Paul McCartney couldn’t come to terms. Each had their own advisers by then — Allan Klein for Lennon and Lee Epstein (no relation) for McCartney — and no one could agree on terms. Eventually, the negotiations fell apart and the songs stayed with ATV, with Lennon and McCartney receiving a healthy buy-out for their shares in the company.

    After Lennon’s death McCartney again tried to buy the tunes back. According to the Wiki:

    In 1981, with Yoko Ono, McCartney attempted to make a joint purchase of the ATV music catalogue.[33] At a 1990 press conference, McCartney stated, “I was offered the songs to buy for 20 million pounds”,[34] but did not want to be perceived as being “grabby” for “owning John Lennon’s bit of the songs”.[35][36] So he asked Ono if she would make a joint purchase with him, sharing the cost equally.[35][36]
    According to McCartney, Ono thought they could buy it for half the
    price being offered and he agreed to see what could be done about that.[35] McCartney then let the deal fall through when they were not able to make a joint acquisition.[33][35][36]

    A few years later, McCartney recorded with Michael Jackson. As always, the Wiki knows all:

    During their collaboration on the song, “Say, Say, Say“, McCartney informed Jackson about the financial value of music publishing.[37] According to McCartney, this was his response to Jackson asking him for business advice.[1] McCartney showed Jackson a thick booklet displaying all the song and publishing rights he owned,[37] from which he was then reportedly earning £24.4 million from songs by other artists.[36] Jackson became quite interested and enquired about the process of acquiring songs and how the songs were used.[37]
    According to McCartney, Jackson said, “I’m going to get yours [Beatles’
    songs]”, which McCartney thought was a joke, replying, “Ho ho, you,
    you’re good”.[1]

    And, that’s how the songs ended up at Sony Music.

    McCartney and Yoko Ono were given first right of refusal, but both passed when they couldn’t strike a deal. Michael Jackson stepped in and bought the catalog, including Northern Songs. Once he owned the songs, he started licensing them out for
    tee vee commercials, something The Beatles had always resisted. This outraged
    Beatles’ fans around the world.

    When Jackson started to experience some cash flow problems, he eventually sold the rights to half of his publishing company to Sony, where they have stayed ever since.

    Headlines Du Jour ► Saturday, December 21, 2013

    There’s been some trouble in News Land. Lately the Not Now Silly interns have been agitating for a livable salary. At the very least they want the minimum wage. But, why should I start paying them anything now? After I sent back into the innertubes to collect today’s Headlines Du Jour, I changed all the locks and moved offices. That’ll teach them. In the meantime there are now several openings for interns at Not Now Silly. Apply within. And now the news:


    Federal judge strikes down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban



    Significant Victory for Ecuadorians in Oil Pollution Case Against Chevron


    7 Reasons Why Jesus Would Hate Christmas

    O’Reilly Becomes Unhinged Debating Mikey Weinstein In
    The War On Christmas: “I Covered Four Wars With A Pen!”

    Bill O’Reilly Repeats His Christmas Lie


    O’Reilly Cooks Up A ‘War On Babies’ To Launch A War On Planned Parenthood



    The Detroit Adventures of A French
    Cyber-Pop Artist Named Anne Horel


    George Zimmerman Joins Twitter, Shares
    Thoughts on the ‘Pseudo Media,’ Phil Robertson

    George Zimmerman vents on Twitter after
    freelancer shoots video of him picking up guns


    Lawrence O’Donnell Condemns Phil Robertson…
    But Not for His Comments About Homosexuality


    Man Arrested After News Anchor Takes Joke Tweet Seriously


    Crater on planet Mercury newly named for a Beatle


    Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of National Trufax, a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Not Now Silly,
    home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use
    our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today’s open

    Headlines Du Jour ► Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    During the night, while the world slept peacefully, the Not Now Silly interns were set loose on the internet and told not to return until they had collected 22 pounds of headlines, each. Just when they think they are done, they learn they won’t be fed until they’ve culled the night’s catch until only the best remain. Which is why you can now read today’s Headlines Du Jour.


    Woman Goes for Jog, Gets Hit by Flying Deer


    Sandy Rios On The War On Christmas: ‘This Is Exactly What Hitler Did In Nazi Germany’


    We are deluding ourselves: The apocalypse is coming — and technology can’t save us


    Zeoform: A New Plastic That Turns Hemp Into Almost Anything


    Kentucky Man Sets Gun On Toilet Paper Dispenser
    While Using Restroom, Gun Goes Off


    Fox News Reportedly Paid Fired
    Exec Millions In “Hush Money”

    Forthcoming Gabriel Sherman Book Reportedly
    Drove A Wedge In Fox’s Public Relations Team

    Book Club: How Fox News Built Its
    Scream Machine In The Obama Era

    Fox News guest tells female host to quit,
    get married, have babies and ‘thank men’


    Sarah Palin to Host Show
    on Sportsman Channel

    OH! OH!! CANADA!!!

    Gold-embossed business cards created for Clement, Hawn against rules: documents


    “Superman’s” forgotten Jewish roots


    ‘Shockingly racist’ sign about Chiefs,
    Redskins brings restaurant apology

    Passing for white and straight:
    How my looks hide my identity


    Catholic high school teacher fired after applying for same-sex wedding license

    GOP Congressman Wants NRCC to
    Cut Off Funding for Gay Candidates

    Anti-Gay Think Tank: ‘Its Not Bigorty Its Biology’


    A Museum Grows On Kercheval; Its Founders
    Are Out-Of-Town Artists Who Dig Detroit

    After Millions Spent On Repairs, I-94 Is
    Dark Again Thanks To Copper Thieves


    Why Are Upworthy Headlines
    Suddenly Everywhere?

    My Facebook angst
    The social network site kicks up so much anxiety and embarrassment for me. But that doesn’t mean I want to quit it


    ◄◄ D-List Celebrity Death Match ►►
    Paris Hilton’s brother blames
    Lohan for assault at Miami party

    Barron Hilton, 24, says man struck him after
    receiving orders to do so from Lindsay Lohan


    Mirrors in Giant Magellan Telescope ready to capture light from dawn of universe

    In a “Rainbow” Universe Time
    May Have No Beginning


    In Havana, 95-year-Old Minds Lennon Statue’s Specs


    Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of National Trufax, a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Not Now Silly,
    home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use
    our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today’s open

    Music Brings Our World Together For The First Time

    Dateline June 25, 1967 – Our World is broadcast to the entire world, via the very first live, global, satellite hookup. Taking part in the broadcast were creative artists from 19 countries around the globe, including Maria Callas, Pablo Picasso, Marshall McLuhan and The Beatles. More than 350 million people tuned in.

    According to the WikiWackyWoo, it took more than 10,000 technicians, producers and translators to pull off the two and a half hour broadcast. The project took 10 months to plan. The countries that participated promised that their segments would be 100% live and no politicians or heads of state could appear. A last minute problem came close to scuttling the project, when the entire Eastern Bloc, directed by the Soviet Union, pulled out in protest over response to the Six Day War.

    More from the WikiWackyWoo:

    The opening credits were accompanied by the Our World theme sung in 22 different languages by the Vienna Boys Choir.

    Canada’s CBC Television had Marshall McLuhan being interviewed in a Toronto television control room. At 7:17 pm GMT, the show switched to the United States’ segment about the Glassboro, New Jersey, conference between American president Lyndon Johnson and Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin; since Our World insisted that no politicians be shown, only the house where the conference was being held was televised. National Educational Television’s (NET) Dick McCutcheon ended up talking about the impact of the new television technology on a global scale.

    The show switched back to Canada at 7:18 pm GMT. Segments that were beamed worldwide were from a Ghost Lake, Alberta ranch, showing a rancher, and his cutting horse, cutting out a herd of cattle. The last Canadian segment was from Kitsilano Beach, located in Vancouver, British Columbia’s Point Grey district at 7:19 pm GMT.

    At 7:20 pm GMT, the program shifted continents to Asia, with Tokyo, Japan being the next segment. It was 4:20 a.m. local time and NHK showed the construction of the Tokyo Subway system.

    The equator was crossed for the first time in the program when it switched to the Australian contribution, which was at 5:22 a.m. Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). This was the most technically complicated point in the broadcast, as both the Japanese and Australian satellite ground stations had to reverse their actions: Tokyo had to go from transmit mode to receive mode, while Melbourne had to switch from receive to transmit mode. The segment dealt with Trams leaving the Hanna Street Depot in Melbourne with Australian Broadcasting Commission’s Brian King explaining that sunrise was many hours away as it was winter there. A scientific segment, later on in the broadcast, was also included that dealt with the Parkes Observatory tracking a deep space object.

    For the Beatles segment John Lennon wrote All You Need Is Love specifically for the broadcast (though like all their Beatles’ songs it’s credited to Lennon-McCartney). The song premiered that night to the entire world at the very same time. Watch:

    The Beatles – All You Need is Love from gledson_adriel on Vimeo.

    All recordings of All You Need Is Love were in black and white. This colourized version is from The Beatles Anthology series. Watch it while you can because EMI & The Beatles seem to remove any copies found on the innertubes.

    The Beatles released All You Need Is Love as their next single, on July 7, 1967. However, it wasn’t the exact performance from the satellite broadcast. John had been unhappy with his vocals, so he re-recorded them and Ringo fixed a few of the drum tracks, including substituting a drum roll for a tambourine shake during the La Marseillaise section of the tune. The single went straight to the top of the charts, where it stayed for 3 weeks.

    John and Yoko and Frank and Flo and Eddie

    John Lennon and Yoko One perform with Frank Zappa and The Mothers

    Dateline June 6, 1971 – Frank Zappa and his newly formed Mothers play a notorious gig at the Fillmore East. This was the second night of a two night stand. As he had done previously, Zappa had a surprise for the audience: an encore set backing up John Lennon and Yoko Ono, just beginning their sojourn in NYC that ended so tragically.

    The inner-sleeve from Lennon’s release
    The minimalist cover as released by Zappa

    Zappa had arranged for the night to be recorded, as he increasingly did for all live performances. He came to release the night’s performance by The Mothers as “Fillmore East – June 1971.” It was the latest chapter in the band’s “Touring can make you crazy” phase, which culminated in the movie 200 Motels. During the evening’s entertainment Flo and Eddie, alternatively playing both groupies and Pop Stars, document Vanilla Fudge having sex with a mudshark at the Edgewater Motel, meet Bwana Dik, reprise a few classic Zappa tunes, and eventually agree to sing their big hit song — WITH A  BULLET!!! — “Happy Together.”

    Then Zappa sprung John and Yoko on the audience instead of the encore:

    ~~ Rare footage of Frank Zappa, Flo and Eddie and John and Yoko ~~

    Frank Zappa turned the portion of John and Yoko’s performance over to him after the show. As was his wont, Lennon turned the tapes over to Phil Spector, who remixed the tapes and released it in 1972 as Side 4 of the “Some Time In New York City” double-record set. Frank Zappa was extremely unhappy with the results and lawsuits were threatened before it all got settled to everyone’s satisfaction. Frank Zappa tells that story:

    Howard Kaylan tells the story from his point of view in his recently released autobiography Shell Shocked [reviewed here]:

    If our first Fillmore show […] was wonderful, our second was transcendent. When the concert ended and the audience stood, waiting for their encore, it felt as if a herd of elephants had entered the auditorium as the world’s most famous couple walked onstage. The resulting jam was recorded by both Frank and the Fillmore and was released on two different albums. John released it as the 4th LP [sic] in his Some Times In New Your City compilation on Apple, although he took writing credit on every song, including Frank’s iconic “King Kong,” which h renamed and tried to publish. Frank’s lawyers had to sue John’s lawyers to straighten the entire thing out, and it really wasn’t all that great anyway, but at least I can say that I am among a handful of people, right alongside Paul McCartney, to ever share a writing credit with the immortal John Lennon. So there.

    Zappa got the last laugh. He eventually released his own, remixed, versions of those recordings on the Playground Psychotics CD. He gave the songwriters the proper credits, but renamed one of the tunes “A Small Eternity with Yoko Ono.”



    Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be ► Happy Birthday, John Lennon

    Dateline October 9, 1940 – John Winston Lennon is born in war time Liverpool. December 8, 1980 John Ono Lennon is assassinated in New York City. There’s nothing left to say; his music still speaks for him, as it will do here: 

    This John Lennon Tribute Jukebox for Spotify
    has 112 tracks. Hit Random Shuffle and it will
    move the air in your space for more than 6 hours.