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Fans come together for new John Lennon film
[Posted by Dave Haber on Monday, 04/26/10 6:50 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

There is exciting news for American fans about "Nowhere Boy," the new movie about John's teenage years and the formation and early days of the Beatles.

Beatles News can now confirm, it is official, the film is to be released in the USA on Friday October 8th, to coincide with the big celebrations that weekend of the 70th anniversary of John's birth, October 9th.

Aaron Johnson as John Lennon in Nowhere Boy

Nowhere Boy includes music that required the permission of both Paul and Yoko which the director Sam Taylor-Wood was thrilled to receive after Paul and Yoko saw special private screenings of the film and each gave the film their blessing. The film stars Aaron Johnson, the lead actor in the new hit movie "Kick-Ass", as John Lennon.

A special website about the film has been set up for fans and admirers of John and the Beatles. On the site, fans are signing up to receive exclusive early information about the movie, and are sharing the website address with friends and family via email, Facebook and Twitter and, in John's own words, helping to "spread the word."

What a great message it will send to the world on John's 70th birthday for the number one movie in the USA to be a celebration of John! You can help make that happen by visiting www.NowhereBoy.com.

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Beatles pal teams up John Lennon bio author
[Posted by Dave Haber on Monday, 04/26/10 5:12 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Beatles author Jude Kessler is excited to announce that she sealed a deal last night with Bill Harry to join her website. Bill has written the foreword to Jude's upcoming book about John Lennon, called Shivering Inside, and also contributed photos for the book, and they decided that they work so well together that they would join forces on the website as well.

Bill Harry with John Lennon

Bill Harry, who was with John Lennon and the Beatles in Liverpool from the very beginning, is going to be posting a book review on Jude's site once a month. He may do some other features for the site in the future. His page is going to be called "Bill Harry's Bookshelf," and the first review is going to be on The Beatles Encyclopedia.

Jude told Beatles News, "It's such a joy to be working hand-in-hand with Bill Harry. Not only is he such a close friend of John's, Stu's, Cynthia's and The Beatles as a whole, but he's a distinguished writer and respected Beatles expert. He and I have enjoyed such an easy, compatible work relationship with Shoulda Been There and now with Shivering Inside that we decided to extend that to the website as well. I'm thrilled to have him on board at OnTheRockbooks.com."

» More Info: Jude Kessler

10 tickets available for Conversation with George Martin
[Posted by Dave Haber on Thursday, 04/22/10 10:18 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

10 last chance tickets are now available for Sir George Martin in conversation with Andrew Marr, which will take place at 7.30pm next Wednesday, April 28th, at Kings Place, London.

Sir George Martin, legendary producer of the Beatles, will be in conversation with Andrew Marr, leading political journalist. This special event promises many fascinating insights into the Beatles' recording sessions with George Martin at the famous Abbey Road studios. There will be an opportunity to bid for auction items donated by both Sir George and Andrew Marr, including one stunning piece of Beatles memorabilia.


Tickets were 75 each, however, 10 last chance tickets are now available. For tickets at this special price, call 0207 679 8905, or email tickets@deafnessresearch.org.uk.

Special auction prizes include a Ringo Starr signed drumhead and a limited edition lithograph of Sir George Martin's original 1965 score for the Beatles song "Yesterday" signed by both Sir George and Sir Paul McCartney!

Sir George's outstanding career continues to inspire millions around the world. He has worked with a huge variety of musicians and stars, great classical conductors, comedians and on iconic film scores.

All proceeds to Deafness Research UK, the medical research and education charity for deaf and hard of hearing people.

Artists needed for Lennon 70th birthday celebration in October
[Posted by Dave Haber on Friday, 04/09/10 6:42 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

The John Lennon 70th Birthday Sidewalk Chalk Art Celebration will be held on Saturday, October 9, 2010, John Lennon's 70th birthday, in front of the Capitol Records Tower Building at the John Lennon Hollywood Walk of Fame star, at 1750 North Vine Street, just north of Hollywood Boulevard.

Since this year will be John's 70th birthday, this event is going to be extra special, so organizers are starting now with outreach and planning. They are now seeking sidewalk chalk artists who are also fans of John Lennon and the Beatles, and they hope to hear from lots of creative artists in and around the Los Angeles area.

John Lennon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Artists will arrive at 9:00 AM on October 9, sidewalk chalk artists are invited to draw their John Lennon and Beatles themed art work as a loving birthday gift for John. (Artists should bring their own supply of washable chalk.)

The John Lennon 70th birthday celebration program begins at 12:00 Noon. John Lennon and Beatles songs will be played, there will be guest speakers and a special "Cake-Cutting Ceremony". The Children's Art Sidewalk Area for kids (and any young at heart John Lennon fan) will be available to draw hearts, flowers, peace symbols and "Happy Birthday John" messages.

This special birthday gathering is family-oriented and free-to-the-public, and is sponsored by the Alliance for Survival peace and environmental group.

If you're an artist and would like to particpate, please let them know as soon as possible. Contact Jerry Rubin at 310-399-1000, or email JerryPeaceActivistRubin@earthlink.net.

And don't forget, mark October 9 on your calendar now for this very special John Lennon 70th birthday celebration.

Beatles fan searching for 1966 interview footage
[Posted by Dave Haber on Monday, 04/05/10 5:40 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Back in 1966, WMCA DJ Gary Stevens announced they would pick 75 winners from submitted post cards to attend a Junior Beatles Press Conference at the Warwick Hotel in New York City on August 22. The Station announced that 48,000 cards where mailed in to WMCA in just 48 hours, and 1 of the 75 winners that were picked to attend was then Felice LaMastra, age 15, from Hoboken, New Jersey.

Now, 44 years later, she is looking for full footage of the event on video, and to connect up with other teenagers who were also there on that day.

The Beatles at the NYC Warwick Hotel on 8/22/66

Felice told Beatles News, "I was a shy, and obviously extremely nervous 15 year old kid, so being young, I could not come up with an appropriate question to ask. I remember seeing a recent article in the Jersey Journal Newspaper where it had printed that John ordered that a guitar be made for him from a Hoboken, New Jersey guitar maker. I remember thinking that was amazing, cause Hoboken was my hometown. So I decided to ask John if that newspaper article was correct."

"When I asked him the question at the Conference, there was so much screaming from the other girls, he actually asked that I repeat it a few times. He looked confused, and Neil Aspinal leaned over to him, telling him that Hoboken is a town in New Jersey. Then John told me 'No, that's not true, and I shouldn't believe practically all that they write about the Beatles in the media, because there's so much non-truths to it.' I was sitting no further than 10 feet away from the Beatles for the entire Conference. That day was, without a doubt, the best day of my life."

Felice's family never owned a camera she could have taken with her on that day, and she says she's never seen or heard a tape of herself asking John the question and hearing his answer, nor has she ever been to locate more than 1 person who attended that day, which is strange, because there were 150 kids at the event. There are two very short clips of the press conference, but Felice is looking for video, or even audio, of her asking John the question, and John answering her.

Drop us a line here at Beatles News if you can help Felice.

Lennon and McCartney included on Greatest Frontmen list
[Posted by Dave Haber on Wednesday, 03/31/10 11:46 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Q Magazine's The 100 Greatest Frontmen issue hits the shelves today, with 36 pages of exclusive new interviews, pictures, and essays from the 100 greatest singers, showmen, and performers that have defined the world of music.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney, "Rock's ultimate double act," have been chosen by Q readers as two of the 100 greatest frontmen. Though Lennon and McCartney are not your traditional egotistical rock stars, their masterful partnership "ushered in an era where musicians controlled their own destinies."


Housed in a special slipcase cover, swaggering Mancunian Liam Gallagher tops the countdown, voted for by readers of Q Magazine and users of QtheMusic.com. In the issue Kasabian's Tom Meighan talks about his experiences with the ultimate rock and roll star, "He doesn't come offstage and have a fucking back rub while he's cuddling his pet poodle. The attitude stays."

Elsewhere in the list Bono offers up his advice on being a frontman, Damon Albarn reminisces on the finest moments from his multiband resume, and Matt Bellamy shares his experiences at the helm of the Muse ship. Expect to see pioneers such as Morrissey, Ian Dury, and Kurt Cobain too.

For more information and to see the entire list, click here.

Beatles authors Come Together in Philadelphia
[Posted by Dave Haber on Wednesday, 03/31/10 10:09 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

On Sunday, March 29, 2010, Philly native and Beatles author Larry Kane met up with fellow Beatles author and expert Jude Southerland Kessler of Dothan, Alabama, to discuss both of their upcoming book releases.

Larry Kane and Jude Kessler

Mr. Kane is the author of "Ticket to Ride" and "Lennon Revealed". Kane is an American journalist, and is best known as the only American reporter whom The Beatles let travel with them on their 1964 and 1965 North American tours.

Ms. Kessler is the author the Lennon biography "Shoulda Been There" and her soon to be released "Shivering Inside," the 2nd installment in her nine book series on the life of John Lennon. She's spent 20 years researching the novels, traveling seven times to Liverpool and interviewing most of John's friends, early band members, and college mates.

You can read more about Jude at her website.

» More Info: Larry Kane

The Fest for Beatles Fans 2010: Day 2
[Posted by Jude Kessler on Sunday, 03/28/10 11:51 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

The Concert

How much would you pay for a reeeeeally, reeeeally great concert featuring 10 plus superstars of rock 'n' roll? I know that three summers ago, I tried to purchase tickets to a Tina Turner concert in Atlanta, GA, and even marginally decent seat ran a cool $120.

But last night at the Fest for Beatles Fans in the Meadowlands, New Jersey, I got to see a history-making concert included in the daily admission price of only $48!

The rockin' evening began with Liverpool groovin' in their usual Beatlish excellence. Then...on a wave of applause, Chris Montez (who toured with The Beatles in March 1963) was swept onstage to perform his biggest hits including (of course), "The More I See You." Still smooth, still handsome, Montez had us singing along and swaying to the music.

Billy J. Kramer

But not to be outdone, Liverpudlian superstar (also from the Brian Epstein stable), Billy J. Kramer, took the stage for four numbers - culminating, naturally, in his Number One Lennon/McCartney tune, "Bad To Me." Urging the audience to clap and sing along, Kramer brought back a lot of good memories for Baby Boomers in the audience.

When Spencer Davis sprung into action, the tempo changed. He immediately launched into "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" with his guitar obviously set on "full speed ahead." A few years may have passed since Davis first sung the song, but if anything, he's only become more accomplished. His guitar solo was amazing, and the performer swept the audience to its collective feet. When he quickly followed with a smashing rendition of "I'm a Man," he and Liverpool (who backed him excellently) offered up a much harder, more energetic song than the original. It rocked.

The crowd had barely caught its breath from Davis's duo when both Denny Laine and Denny Seiwell from Wings bounded on stage to offer up a diverse collection of Wings numbers. Starting gently with a sing-along to "Mull of Kintyre" and building into "Band on the Run" and Seiwell's powerful drumming on "Maybe I'm Amazed," the two had everyone dancing in the aisles. There were hands in the air making the traditional Wings symbol, and the Macca spirit reigned supreme.

Mark Hudson and Denny Laine

But as Emcee Martin Lewis so aptly put warned the audience, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!" And he was right. Because the last rocker of the evening was the Venerable Mark Hudson accompanied by "the only man he's ever loved," his brother, Brett and his "brother from another mother," Spencer Davis. The party suddenly kicked into ecstatic action! Hudson led the group (including Laine and Seiwell) into a mad version of "Long Tall Sally/I'm Down/O Darlin'" which left not only the performers but the audience as well breath-less-a! And without a second to spare, they continued on with a tribute to Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney with "Say, Say, Say!" and "The Girl is Mine."

As the clock ticked dangerously close to midnight, Hudson (in a brilliant red velvet jacket and beret) wound the crowd up tighter and tighter with a totally wonderfully frantic version of "Slow Down" before he waved the entire Fest staff onto the stage to end with "Hey Jude" and John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance."

Can you imagine? Chris Montez, Billy J. Kramer, Spencer Davis, Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell, Brett Hudson, Mark Hudson, and Liverpool. C'mon! Really? That's included in the day's admission??? Maybe I'm amazed.

When the concert ended, the Fest revelers weren't ready to call it a night, though. They headed straight for the lobby and the second floor gathering room to start sing-alongs of their own. Many had brought their own guitars, bongos, harmonicas, tambourines, and electric drums...and they all "came together" for hours of Beatles tunes, Beatles songs, and Beatles numbers that lasted well past 3 a.m.

I love everything about the Fest for Beatles Fans. But the concert that Mark and Carol Lapidos throw for their followers each year is remarkable. This year, it was one for the RECORD books.

jude

Beatles News guest-blogger Jude Southerland Kessler is author of the acclaimed John Lennon docu-novel Shoulda Been There

The Fest for Beatles Fans 2010: Day 1
[Posted by Jude Kessler on Saturday, 03/27/10 12:58 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

The best part about The Fest for Beatles Fans is its unwavering tradition and its unpredictable variety. Yes, I know those two characteristics clash! But let me explain. Despite the fact that, year after year, many things remain exactly the same at the 36-year-old-fest (going on this weekend in the Meadowlands Crowne Plaza, just outside New York City), an equal number of events are new and fresh and exciting!

This year, for example, there are many first-time Beatle authors at the Fest whose faces, stories, and incredible books give Fab Four devotees something to get excited about!

Foremost among these is former children's book writer, Judith Kristen. A long-time and most accomplished writer of stories about rescue dogs and cats, Kristen has this go-round created a book for Baby Boomers and really, for anyone who loves John, Paul, Ringo, and especially George! A Date With A Beatle is Kristen's first book for those over age 11, and it rocks. It chronicles her very devoted attempt to somehow, someway win a date with George Harrison.

"I wanted more than just a glance from those chocolate brown eyes of his," Kristen told a ballroom full of listeners at the Friday Night Author's Panel. "I wanted a special moment with George...all on my own!" And she set out to accomplish just that.

Click here to see a larger image
Author Judith Kristen and Andrew

Attending nine (Number 9, Number 9) Beatles concerts - including the Shea Stadium classic in '65! - Judy jumped through an inordinate amount of hoops to get Harrison to notice her. At the Washington, D.C. concert, for example, she lunged for his Beatle boots, ripping her dress and smashing her face into the floor! And that is just one episode in her mad story of a fan's singled-minded pursuit.

Kristen's ability to spin a good yarn (albeit a true one) comes easily to her after "ghost writing" two books for her Old English Sheepdog, Henley Harrison West. (Ahem!) Henley, who was abused and neglected before being adopted by Judy, tells children - ages 7-11 - about the path he followed to a good home and a fulfilling life. "Just because your life begins unfortunately," Henley (Judy) writes, "it doesn't have to remain a tragedy. You can choose to have a happy ending."

Judith Kristen is no stranger to a fairy-tale ending herself. After years of taking on "pay work" as a writer - technical journals, astrological predictions, and menu texts - Judith was blessed with the chance to "write the books inside of her" when she met, fell in love with, and married Andrew West. "Mr. Wonderful," she says, cutting her eyes at Andrew coyly, "worked at 'a job' twelve hours a day to free me up so that I could really create the things I yearned to create."

A Date With A Beatle is certainly proof of her ability to write creatively and to do it well. With rave reviews from Bill Harry, Dennis Mitchell, and Tony Bramwell, the quick-read is selling quite briskly at the fest. Every person who has ever cooked up a scheme to meet a Beatle (or any famous celebrity) can identify with the teenage enthusiasm, antics, and reckless abandon that sent Judy and her best friends, Patty and Shelly, on a collision course with destiny and George Harrison.

You can meet Judy Kristen and get an autographed copy of her book at this weekend's Fest for Beatles Fans, or go to www.judithkristen.com to order one.

jude

Beatles News guest-blogger Jude Southerland Kessler is author of the acclaimed John Lennon docu-novel Shoulda Been There

John Lennon statue vandalized in Spanish park
[Posted by Dave Haber on Friday, 03/26/10 9:27 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Last week, the statue of John Lennon in the gardens of M?dez N?ez in Coru?, Spain, was vandalized. The neck of John's guitar on the statue was broken and the top piece of the guitar stolen.

Photo courtesy of La Voz de Galicia

According to La Voz de Galicia, local police are investigating, but have not yet located those who have caused the destruction. Municipal sources promise those who are responsible will be found and that the statue will be restored.

The statue of John, created by sculpter Jose Luis Rivas, was originally installed in the park on May 5, 2005.


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