Tag Archives: The Beatles

Beatles, Elvis, Dylan & Johnny Cash ► A Mega Monday Musical Appreciation.

When it’s Monday Musical Appreciation time, I consult several Day in Musical History sites, choose a topic, and write the post — all before most of my readers are awake.

I take pride in choosing a topic that morning, researching it, choosing tunes and pics that best illustrate that research, and then writing it up. It makes me feel like I’m back in the Citytv Newsroom and given an assignment to write. I like the pressure of it.

All of that is preface to say: I couldn’t choose a single event, person, or band today. Any one of the following could sustain its own stand-alone post. Additionally, the more I researched the date, the more I began to see points of synchronicity. That’s when I decided to wrap it all up in one big bow.

The following all occurred on May 1st:

Johnny Cash

On this day in 1956 Johnny Cash released “I Walk The Line”, his most recognizable tune. Thirteen years later — when he was a big star with his own tee vee show — he hosted Bob Dylan who sang 2 tunes and then a duet with Johnny Cash on “Girl From the North Country”, a song originally on the LP The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. The duet became the lead off track of Dylan’s Nashville Skyline LP.

On a personal note: This televised performance happened on my birthday and was my entry into Country music. If Dylan could cozy up to Johnny Cash, maybe there is something I was missing. I went out and bought the relatively recent Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison, which I fell in love with. I’ve been a Johnny Cash fan ever since.


Elvis Presley

Elvis was already an up-and-comer when, on this date in 1957, he appeared on the cover of the first issue of 16 Magazine. Many magazine covers would follow.

Ten years later, to the day, he wed 21-year old Priscilla Beaulieu — who he had met while in the Army almost 8 years earlier — in his suite at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. He was 11 years her senior.

The next year, on the same day, Elvis would release “Speedway”, the soundtrack album his latest boring movie of the same name, despite the appearance of Nancy Sinatra. The LP never went any higher than #82 on the Billboard LP charts.

Elvis would only make 4 more movies, none any better.

The Beatles

On this date in 1962, The Beatles began a month long stand at The Star Club, Hamburg, Germany. The Beatles have always pointed to the pressure of having to MAK SHOW under the relentless pressure of playing set after set, night after night, as when they solidified as a band. Listen to how tight they were before Beatlemania struck.

After they hit it big, The Beatles were offered money for licensing rights to everything from Beatles’ Wigs to lunchboxes. On this day in 1964, manager Brian Epstein accepted $140,000 from a bubble gum company to have their pictures inserted into the packages sold in ‘Merka.

Two years later, on this date in 1966, The Beatles gave their last last British at Empire Pool in Wembley, appearing as New Musical Express poll winners. Their performance consisted of  “I Feel Fine”, “Nowhere Man”, “Day Tripper”, “If I Needed Someone”, and “I’m Down”.

Who else appeared on this bill? If you were lucky enough to have gotten a ticket, you would have seen The Spencer Davis Group, The Fortunes, Herman’s Hermits, Roy Orbison, The Rolling Stones, The Seekers, The Small Faces, Dusty Springfield, The Walker Brothers, The Who and The Yardbirds.

1968 Paul McCartney and John Lennon watch Bill Haley play Royal Albert Hall in London.

Other items I would have included had I wanted to turn this post into an epic:

In 1930: Little Walter was born.

In 1955 Chuck Berry was signed to Chess Records.

In 1965 Spike Jones dies.

In 1967, Carl Wilson, of The Beach Boys’ is arrested by the F.B.I. for draft evasion.

In 1969, Jimi Hendrix was arrested at Toronto International Airport for drugs and was released on $10,000 bail.

May 1st was an epic day in music.

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.


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.

    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.

    The 45 Is Introduced ► Monday Musical Appreciation

    Hey Jude clocked in at 7:11, one of the longest singles to reach #1

    It was 67 years ago today — in 1949 — that RCA Records introduced the 45, also known as The Single.  It was designed to replace the 78, which was made of shellac, as opposed to vinyl, and far less durable.

    The 45 measured 7 inches and revolved at 45 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), hence the name. The 45 also improved upon the sound quality of the 78. It became important to the spread of Rock and Roll, mostly because it was within the budget of most teenagers during the ’50 and ’60s. Adults tended to buy albums instead.

    According to History’s Dumpster, the first 45 introduced to the public for sale was Eddy Arnold’s “Texarcana Baby.”

    The History of The 45 RPM Record goes on to say:

    The RCA 7″ inch 45 RPM record was cute, VERY small, and RCA’s very
    colourful vinyl (each genre of music had it’s own colour of vinyl!) made
    it an instant hit with younger people. Popular releases were on
    standard black vinyl. Country releases were on green vinyl, Children’s
    records were on yellow vinyl, Classical releases were on red vinyl,
    “Race” (or R&B and Gospel) records were on orange vinyl, Blue
    vinyl/blue label was used for semi-classical instrumental music and blue
    vinyl/black label for international recordings 

    In the beginning the 45 could only hold just over 3 minutes of music. As the WikiWackyWoo tells us:

    The 3-minute single remained the standard into the 1960s, when the
    availability of microgroove recording and improved mastering techniques
    enabled recording artists to increase the duration of their recorded
    songs. The breakthrough came with Bob Dylan‘s “Like a Rolling Stone“. Although CBS
    tried to make the record more “radio friendly” by cutting the
    performance in half and spreading it over both sides of the vinyl, both
    Dylan and his fans demanded that the full six-minute take be placed on
    one side and that radio stations play the song in its entirety.[2]
    The subsequent success of “Like a Rolling Stone” played a big part in
    changing the music business convention that single-song recordings had
    to be under three minutes in length.

    While we called the 45 a single, it would be a misnomer to believe that they were the only singles. Again, the Wiki knows all:

    Singles have been issued in various formats, including 7-inch (18 cm), 10-inch (25 cm), and 12-inch (30 cm) vinyl discs (usually playing at 45 rpm); 10-inch (25-cm) shellac discs (playing at 78 rpm); cassette, 8 and 12 cm (3- and 5-inch) CD singles and 7-inch (18 cm) plastic flexi discs. Other, less common, formats include singles on digital compact cassette, DVD, and LD, as well as many non-standard sizes of vinyl disc (5-inch/12 cm, 8-inch/20 cm, etc.).

    The first single I ever bought with my own money was The Beach Boys’ “I Get Around.” It cost 49 cents at Kresge’s, which was all the money I had left over after buying The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Greatest Hits.

    The domination of the 45 continued until the album started to take over:

    Perhaps the golden age of the single was on 45s in the 1950s to early 1960s in the early years of rock music.[3]
    Starting in the mid-sixties, albums became a greater focus and more
    important as artists created albums of uniformly high quality and
    coherent themes, a trend which reached its apex in the development of
    the concept album.
    Over the 1990s and early 2000s, the single generally received less and
    less attention in the United States as albums, which on compact disc
    had virtually identical production and distribution costs but could be
    sold at a higher price, became most retailers’ primary method of selling
    music. Singles continued to be produced in the UK and Australia,
    surviving the transition from compact disc to digital download.

    Now that vinyl is making a comeback, so are 45s. All hail the single!!!

    Paul McCartney Deported From Japan ► Monday Musical Appreciation

    It was 36 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to — OOPS! On this day in 1980, Paul McCartney was kicked out of Japan for trying to smuggle almost half a pound of marijuana into the country.

    Sir Paul, his wife Linda, and his band Wings were about to embark on what would have been a lucrative tour of Japan. McCartney had not been to Japan since The Beatles tour of 1966, where they were greeted by enthusiastic audiences.

    However, this Wings tour would end before it began when Japanese customs officials at Narita airport discovered close to eight ounces of marijuana right on the very top of his suitcase. The cute Beatle was promptly marched off to jail, where he spent the next 9 days behind bars.

    This was not McCartney’s first bust for dope. In fact, he had been nabbed more than once, receiving little more than a slap on the wrist. According to the Performing Songwriter web site:

    Prior to his arrest in Tokyo, Macca had been busted three times. In 1972, he paid a $2,000 fine for smuggling hashish into Sweden. The same year, he was fined for pot possession in Scotland, and in 1973, he was fined again for growing cannabis on his Scottish highlands farm. The story goes that before the Japanese tour, Paul was made to sign an affidavit stating that he no longer smoked dope, as a condition for receiving his visa. When the pot was found, Japanese authorities felt that they’d “lost face” and had no choice but to arrest him.

    While 8 ounces of pot is not an extreme amount, it would have been enough to garner a smuggling charge, which could have kept McCartney locked up for the next 7 years.

    As McCartney explained in the Wingspan documentary:

    According to the History web site:

    The question that troubled the minds of observers at the time was, “What was Paul thinking?” Half a pound of marijuana was a prodigious amount for one man to carry around for personal use—particularly a man who had had reason to expect especially close examination of his person and his baggage by Japanese customs officials. After all, Paul had been denied a Japanese entry visa just five years earlier due to his numerous earlier drug arrests in Europe.

    Twenty years after his 1980 arrest, Paul would opine that his psychological motivation may have been to find an excuse to disband Wings, which he in fact did immediately following his return to England. In another interview, however, Sir Paul offered an explanation that may be the more compelling for its simplicity: “We were about to fly to Japan and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anything to smoke over there,” McCartney said in 2004. “This stuff was too good to flush down the toilet, so I thought I’d take it with me.”

    His former writing partner, John Lennon, is said to have opined:

    “If he really needs weed, surely there’s enough people who can carry it
    for him. You’re a Beatle, boy, a Beatle. Your face is in every damn
    corner of the planet. How could you have been so stupid?”

    Smartening up, McCartney decided to toe the line while in jail. Ultimate Classic Rock picks up the story:

    As Inmate No. 22, he decided to become a model prisoner. As he said
    in the ‘Wingspan’ documentary, “I started to realize, “Right, I’m going
    to get up when the light goes on, I’m going to be the first up, I’m
    going to be the first with his room cleaned, I’m going to roll up my
    bed, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that.’”

    After nine days in the pokey, Japan kicked McCartney out of the country.
    He returned to Japan in 1990 and subsequently toured there several

    Also on this day in McCartney history: In 1991 Paul appeared on MTV’s Unplugged, a performance and CD which revitalized his career.

    The Beatles Meet Brian Epstein ► Throwback Thursday

    On this day in 1961 The Beatles meet with Brian Epstein to discuss whether he would manage them. And, nothing was ever the same again.

    According to This Day In Music:

    Brian Epstein invited The Beatles into his office to discuss the possibility of becoming their manager. John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best arrived late for the 4pm meeting, (they had been drinking at the Grapes pub in Matthew Street), but Paul McCartney was not with them, because, as Harrison explained, he had just got up and was “taking a bath”.

    McCartney, bathed and dressed, eventually showed up and The Beatles decided to let Epstein become their manager. Over the next few years he helped take them to the “toppermost of the poppermost” as the most successful boy band of all time.

    As the WikiWackyWoo tells us:

    Epstein first discovered the Beatles in November 1961 during a lunchtime Cavern Club performance. He was instantly impressed and saw great potential in the group.[1] Epstein was rejected by nearly all major recording companies in London, then he secured a meeting with George Martin, head of EMI‘s Parlophone
    label. In May 1962, Martin agreed to sign the Beatles, partly because
    of Epstein’s conviction that the group would become internationally

    The Beatles’ early success has been attributed to Epstein’s
    management style, and the band trusted him without hesitation. In
    addition to handling the Beatles’ business affairs, Epstein often
    stepped in to mediate personal disputes within the group. The Beatles’
    unquestioning loyalty to Epstein later proved detrimental, as the band
    rarely read contracts before signing them.[3] Shortly after the song “Please Please Me” rose to the top of the charts in 1963, Epstein advised the creation of Northern Songs, a publishing company that would control the copyrights of all Lennon–McCartney compositions recorded between 1963 and 1973. Music publisher Dick James and his partner Charles Silver owned 51-percent of the company, Lennon and McCartney each owned 20%, and Epstein owned 9%.[4] By 1969, Lennon and McCartney had lost control of all publishing rights to ATV Music Publishing.
    Still, Epstein’s death in 1967 marked the beginning of the group’s
    dissolution and had a profound effect on each individual Beatle. In
    1997, Paul McCartney said, “If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian.”[5]

    That’s not all that happened to The Beatles on this day. Today in Beatles History gives us the full lowdown:

    1938: Marriage of Alfred Lennon and Julia Stanley. After the ceremony, they go to the movies and then to their respective houses.

    1963: Concert at the Guild Hall, Portsmouth (‘The Beatles Autumn Tour’) (postponed 12 November).

    1964: Brian flies from Los Angeles to London.
    1964: Appearance on BBC-TV’s ‘Top Of the Pops’.

    1965: Start of UK tour, with the Moody Blues and The Kobbas & Beryl Mardsen. Concert at the Odeon Cinema, Glasgow.
    1965: UK single release: ‘We Can Work It Out’/’Day Tripper’. First single officially released as double A side.
    1965: UK LP release: ‘Rubber Soul’.

    1966: ‘Yesterday’… And Today’, 24th week in the Top 200 (Billboard).

    1971: UK LP release: ‘Fly’.

    1977: Start of ‘London Town’ LP sessions at AIR London Studios.

    1980: John and Yoko’s apartment, Dakota Building. Photographic session of John and Yoko, with Annie Leibovitz.

    1988: 10th episode of a BBC series, essentially based on ‘The Beatles At The Beeb’ collection.

    1993: Paul’s concert at the Pacaembu Stadium, Sao Paulo, Brazil (‘The New World Tour’).

    Headlines Du Jour ► Saturday, February 15, 2014

    As we celebrate the 450th birthday of Galileo Galilei (1564), let’s take a look at some of the headlines from yesteryear:

    1879Women’s rights: American President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.
    1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing 274. This event leads the United States to declare war on Spain.
    19251925 serum run to Nome: the serum arrives in Nome, Alaska, with Balto being the lead dog of the last team.
    1933 – In Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara attempts to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, but instead shoots Chicago mayor Anton J. Cermak, who dies of his wounds on March 6, 1933.
    1946ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
    1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner.

    Now, let’s dive into today’s Headlines Du Jour:


    Irrefutable Proof that Darrell
    Issa Completely and Totally
    Lied About the IRS Scandal


    Study finds genes on X chromosome linked to
    male homosexuality

    Fox News Isn’t Comfortable
    With These New Facebook
    Gender Options



    How Belief In Hell
    Directly Benefits The Elite

    WATCH: Tenn. pastor of Happy
    Valley Church of Jesus Christ
    rails against biracial babies


    New Study: Internet Trolls Are
    Often Machiavellian Sadists

    ◄ ◄ My own Machiavellian sadistic internet trolls ►►

    The Mark Koldys-Johnny Dollar Cyber-Bully Comments of the Day


    Republican Says Rich
    People Should Get More
    Votes Than Everyone Else


    Tea Party Senators Introduce ‘You’re Not Married Anymore’ Bill To Nullify Same-Sex Marriages

    Ted Cruz’s ‘Heart Weeps’ Over Gay Marriage Progress

    Missouri lawmaker introduces bill allowing
    familes [sic] to ‘opt out’ of learning evolution


    GOP Congressman Gets Fact Checked By His
    Own Constituents On Obamacare: ‘Stop Lying!’


    Black record label brought the
    Beatles to America, not Ed Sullivan


    Why the U.S. is going to pot,
    and other liberal adventures


    Fox Host Todd Starnes Blasts Hospital for Banning Fox News in Waiting Rooms


    Radio, cable guys not as popular as they claim


    ◄ ◄ This is always always good for a laugh ► ►

    Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity 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 thread.

    Headlines Du Jour ► Sunday, January 12, 2014

    When Headlines Du Jour is outlawed, only outlaws will read Headlines Du Jour. Let’s get right to it, shall we?


    Pimp Suing Nike for $100 Million After He Stomped Man Nearly
    to Death with Jordans


    U.S. Government Issues LGBT Travel Alert For Olympics


    Biography Of Fox’s Roger Ailes Alleges Sexism, Anti-Semitism

    Roger and me: How I got berated by Fox News
    Channel’s boss


    Neiman Marcus is latest victim of security breach
    Customers’ card information stolen and unauthorized charges made


    Los Angeles woman who fell from moving police car says she was sexually assaulted by cop


    The racism at the heart of
    the Reagan presidency

    White professors still dominate Bay Area
    colleges as student bodies grow more diverse

    Franklin McCain — of ‘Greensboro Four,’
    who defied whites-only barrier — dies


    Faces of Pot: The Vapour Lounge

    Marijuana case filings plummet in
    Colorado following legalization


    NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio lambasted for eating pizza with a fork


    Renoir found at flea market returned to museum by Virginia court


    Planetology comes of age
    Those who study planets orbiting other
    stars now have plenty of data to play with

    Rare, Eclipsing Binary Asteroids Discovered by Undergraduate Astronomy Class

    Scientists spot hypervelocity stars escaping clutches of galaxy


    Paul McCartney And Ringo Starr May Stage Beatles
    Reunion On ‘Late Show With David Letterman’


    Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity 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 thread.

    Headlines Du Jour ► Tuesday, January 7, 2014

    Since I began suspecting the headline-collecting robot drones of conspiring, they’ve been surprisingly silent. I know they’re just wait for me to slip up, so I won’t look directly at them. You shouldn’t either. Meanwhile, here’s today’s Headlines Du Jour.


    Tennessee man runs for governor in GOP primary for right to shower with his raccoon


    Cop shoots dead a tased, restrained, 100lb
    teen: “we don’t have time for this”


    Supreme Court halts Utah gay marriage

    2014’s Gayest Cities in America


    Climate Change Might Just Be
    Driving the Historic Cold Snap


    Disagree with Nancy Grace’s Anti-Pot Crusade?
    Well, You’re Just ‘Fat and Lazy’ Stoners


    Swaziland Bans Witches From Flying Above 150 Meters


    White House To GOP: If You Want
    Troops In Iraq, You ‘Should Say So’

    Family Values Republican Congressman Hid
    His Out-of-Wedlock Child and First Family


    Koch-backed political coalition, designed to shield donors, raised $400 million in 2012


    GOP Pollster Frank Luntz Became ‘Depressed’ After 2012 Election

    Frank Luntz Can’t Figure Out Why Nobody In Hollywood Is Returning His Calls


    Three Ways to Fight
    Racism in 2014


    TWERK: Booty-dancing, gender
    politics & white privilege


    Sting, Puff Daddy, Andy Summers, and the case of the misplaced bajillion dollars

    OH! OH!! CANADA?!?!?!

    Canada’s former defense minister says space aliens live among us, but hate our nukes


    They fought for your right to hear the F word
    Local ‘Toilet Rockers’ MacLean & MacLean at centre of landmark Supreme Court decision

    Couple feel ‘robbed’ by 25% interest TD car loan
    Dealership promised relief after a year but didn’t deliver, customers say
    [FULL DISCLOSURE: TD is my bank. It advertises as ‘Merka’s most convenient bank.]


    Alabama preacher arrested for his wife’s murder as he boarded overseas flight

    Satanic Temple unveils 7-foot goat-headed Baphomet statue for Oklahoma Capitol


    Miami Named 4th Worst-Run
    City in America, Hialeah 9th


    Armed Minnesota man burns down his own house, then blames Obama


    Male Fans Made Bettie Page
    a Star, but Female Fans
    Made Her an Icon

    Her risqué pinup photos made
    her famous in the 1950s, but as a
    new documentary reminds us,
    Page’s liberated sexuality and
    unflinching body positivity
    are what still resonate today.


    Eurythmics reunite for Grammys tribute to the Beatles that will also include John Mayer and Keith Urban



    Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity 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 thread.