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The Beatles are coming to USA Today
[Posted by Dave Haber on Tuesday, 09/01/09 11:35 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

To celebrate the long-awaited arrival of the Beatles' digitally remastered catalog and the release of Beatles-themed Rock Band game, seven USA Today artists have created original artwork inspired by the Fab Four.

One of those seven images, four of which are shown above, will become a commemorative pullout in USA Today's Sept. 4 issue.

To help them decide which one, USA Today is calling on Beatles fans to weigh in and vote for their favorite, today through Thursday (Sept. 1-3). Downloadable desktop wallpapers will also be available for all the artwork.

Check out what USA Today's artists have created, pick your favorite and download them for your desktop at beatlesart.usatoday.com.

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16 MerseyBeat bands in one concert
[Posted by Katie Hickox on Monday, 08/31/09 8:57 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet] [Facebook]

This was no dream but a fantastic one of a kind concert that spanned over 10 hours, and brought back together once popular MerseyBeat bands such as the Bumblies, Searchin, and many others in the name of helping to raise money for the MerseyCats, a charitable organization that raises money for children's charities. The sold out concert took place Sunday at the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool.

Jackie Lomax with the Undertakers

Liverpool rocker Jackie Lomax was reunited with his original bandmates of The Undertakers to steal the show. Bands such as The Shakers played Beatles classics that rocked the audience. Jackie traveled from Southern California to play at the Liverpool Beatles Festival and performed as a solo act Friday night at the O2 Academy and also with the Undertakers at both the Mathew Street Festival and the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Casbah Club.

Long-time Beatles pal and business associate Tony Bramwell was on hand to sign books and made a special presentation about his work as road manager for the Beatles and his work with other MerseyBeat groups such as Gerry and the Pacemakers who were also managed by former Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Tony joked that "it took longer for him to travel by train (8 hours) from Devon to Liverpool than it does to travel by plane (6 hours) to New York City."

To find out more about the MerseyCats, visit www.merseycats.com.

Beatles tribute bands to perform at 09/09/09 launch party in Elgin
[Posted by Dave Haber on Monday, 08/31/09 3:30 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Blockbuster in Elgin, IL, celebrates the midnight release of The Beatles: Rock Band on Tuesday, Sept. 8 from 8 pm - 12:30 am with a party featuring live performances by Beatles cover bands, WXRT-FM on site and giveaways of Rock Band software, game bundles and guitars. The event is free and open to the public.

The newest game in the best-selling Rock Band interactive series, The Beatles: Rock Band, will be released on 9/9/09 and will be available for rent at participating Chicago area Blockbuster stores.

Live bands will play from 8 pm to 10 pm and include The Bugs, winners of the Battle of the Bands at this year's Fest for Beatles Fans; and The Harrison Street Ukulele Players, a popular Oak Park-based group. The street team from WXRT-FM will be on site from 8 pm - 10 pm.

Catalyst DJs will play Beatles tunes from 10 pm to 12:30 am and free beverages and snacks will be served while supplies last.

Beatles bands rock Liverpool Mathew Street Festival
[Posted by Katie Hickox on Sunday, 08/30/09 10:01 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet] [Facebook]

What sheer joy it is to be listening to great Beatles classics with thousands of people in the streets of Liverpool where the audience participates in the closing verses of Hey Jude by everyone clapping with arms raised overhead. The audience was a mixed crowd of young people, children, parents and older fans.

The Beatles tribute band "The Greets" based in Argentina, that I told you about in my previous Beatles News Blog post, played classic Beatles songs to an enthusiastic crowd at the sound stage located in Derby Square which features a Liverpool landmark of a statue of Queen Victoria in the background. This sound stage, one of six scattered in Liverpool's city center, featured bands playing mostly Beatles music at Sunday's Mathew Street Festival.

Not every band did just Beatles classics, an American band from Seattle in the state of Washington, AppleJam, played a mix of Wings music but also tried playing a few rarities of songs written by Lennon-McCartney but never recorded or were recorded by other bands.

Only in Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles. Check out what's happening on the last day of the Mathew Street Festival.

Latin American bands rock Liverpool Beatles Festival
[Posted by Katie Hickox on Sunday, 08/30/09 9:49 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Many bands traveled over 7,000 miles from South America to attend the Liverpool Beatles Festival this weekend brought with them their incredible energy and a rocking beat that drove audiences wild last night.

The Greets, a band from Cordoba, Argentina, went wild on stage jumping, clapping, and getting the audience to sing along when they performed at the back stage in the Cavern Club. They played a wide range of songs from All My Loving to A Day in the Life with improvised and exciting sound effects and Eleanor Rigby to Revolution.

Paul and John of The Brothers

Across the alley at the Cavern pub, The Brothers, also from Argentina, were rocking to packed audiences who squeezed in to be a part and enjoy. The Brothers band has a lead singer who looks very much like Paul and the other singer wearing a cap looks very much like John and they also sounded very much like Paul and John as well.

Up the street at the Adelphi hotel which is the center of the Beatles festival, another band, Clube Big Beatles from Brazil, was rocking audiences with a powerful backbeat as they belted out classics such as You Can't Do That. They were inducted into the Beatle Week Hall of Fame last year, and this year is their 18th anniversary of playing at the Liverpool Festival.

The Liverpool Beatles Festival is truly international, with bands from all over the world travelling many thousands of miles away to celebrate Beatles music and to have a good time. Last night, the bands from Latin America really brought the house wherever they played with their energy, their music, their passion for Beatles music and being here in Liverpool to share this with their fans.

Apple gives sneak preview of Beatles Remastered in Liverpool
[Posted by Katie Hickox on Sunday, 08/30/09 9:22 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Apple staff, on behalf of EMI, gave a sneak preview to show how the new remastered versions of Beatles' classic songs changes the listening experience for the better to small audiences in the Adephi Hotel at the Liverpool Beatles Festival today. Apple presenter Debbie Pearson described the early feedback to the remastered versions as extremely positive and that listeners have said it was like removing layers of dust from the tracks so you can now hear everything and much more clearly.

Starting with the Beatles' early songs, they played 15 seconds of the old mono mix of Beatles' song then followed by 15 seconds of the remastered version. The remastered versions of the oldest Beatles songs were dramatically improved by the remastering process such as Twist and Shout, Till There Was You and Can't Buy Me Love. In Eight Days a Week you can hear the clapping louder which was barely audible before and the sound is fuller, richer, less tinny and more precise.

Debbie Pearson playing remastered tracks for the fans

With later songs, you can hear a greater range of sounds previously faded or fuzzy but now vibrant and fuller. In particular the remastered version of Taxman has transformed the song into a real rocker and the drumming, bass is stronger than it was before. In the Beatles classic Come Together the remaster brings John's vocals closer to the listener like he's right there in the room singing just for you, over 40 years ago in 1969.

Debbie also showed a brief one minute trailer that American television audiences will be seeing in the months ahead, a delightful collage of photo and song bits of the very best of the Beatles has to offer. She also said that a new overhaul of the www.thebeatles.com website will be unveiled later this week.

When I asked Debbie why the Beatles catalog wasn't remastered many years ago, she explained that the remastering project took EMI/Apple 4 years to complete and that the music for the Las Vegas Cirque Du Soleil show "LOVE" is just a remix.

Update: Beatles Stereo Box back in Canada and UK
[Posted by Dave Haber on Friday, 08/28/09 6:13 am] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Right now, less than a day since it was discovered that they were out of stock, with only 12 days until it is released on 09/09/09, the Beatles Stereo Box is now back to showing as available for pre-order at Amazon Canada and Amazon UK.

At this time, the Beatles Stereo Box is still showing as out of stock at Amazon US.

So here's the current status of the box sets in the Amazon English-speaking countries, as of Friday Morning, 8/28:

Amazon US  Amazon Canada  Amazon UK
Stereo Box Set  Sold OutAvailableAvailable
Mono Box SetSold OutSold OutAvailable

Stay tuned to Beatles News for updates on this very confusing situation!

Beatles Stereo Box now out of stock at Amazon
[Posted by Dave Haber on Thursday, 08/27/09 7:30 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet] [Facebook]

As of this writing, The Beatles Remasters Stereo Box Set is sold-out and no longer available for pre-order at all the English-speaking Amazon web sites, Amazon in the US, Amazon in Canada and Amazon in the UK. Fortunately, unlike the Mono Box Set, there will be more Stereo Box Sets, but perhaps not at Amazon in time for them to make the promised 09-09-09 pre-order delivery date.

The special message on Amazon US's page for the Stereo Box Set says:

"We have sold out of our initial allocation of Beatles stereo box sets, but we will be receiving more inventory after release date. Sign up to be notified as soon as more stereo box sets are available. If you have already pre-ordered your stereo box set, you will receive your order."

Another page on the Amazon US site says, "We are currently sold out of the mono and stereo box sets, but we are always working to get more inventory. Collectible box sets take time to manufacture, and initial quantities must be determined well in advance of the product release date. In this case, demand has far outstripped initial supply."

"While we predicted that the box sets would be highly popular items, we had to work with the inventory allocated to us by the manufacturer. We've been carefully tracking pre-orders, and we updated the product availability information on our site as soon as our initial allocations were depleted. We did this in order to ensure that we could fill all pre-orders without exceeding our allocation limits."

Amazon's US site confirms they will receive more box sets, and you can sign up on the site to be notified as soon as they are available. We'll also be keeping a close eye on the status of the Stereo Box here at Beatles News.

Beatles Mono Box update: Now sold-out at Amazon Canada
[Posted by Dave Haber on Thursday, 08/27/09 12:23 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet] [Facebook]

With now less than two weeks left before the Beatles Remasters become available, and after reporting that the Mono Box is no longer available at Amazon US, we can now confirm that it is also now sold out at Amazon Canada.

However, the good news, at least for the time being, is that the Mono Box is still available for pre-ordering at Amazon in the UK.

There has still been no formal statement from EMI as to the status of the sales of the Mono Box set, and what will happen to those fans who missed out on pre-ordering it early enough. Stay tuned!

Liverpool St Barnabas Church Beatles celebration this weekend
[Posted by Dave Haber on Wednesday, 08/26/09 7:41 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

St Barnabas Church on Penny Lane in Liverpool is hosting its annual Beatles weekend event this weekend.

St Barnabas Church is on the corner of Allerton Road and Penny Lane in South Liverpool and not only can they see most of the sights mentioned in the Beatles' song "Penny Lane" from their doorways, but Paul McCartney also sang in their choir when he was a youngster. Not only that, but Paul's brother Mike McCartney married Rowena in the church and Paul was there as Mike's best man along with his much-loved wife Linda.

The people of Liverpool love their church and they love the Beatles so they're celebrating this August Bank Holiday Weekend with a special Beatles Event throughout the whole 3 days.

Festivities include an exhibition of rare Beatles photographs over the 3 days, kindly provided by the Liverpool Echo, a sing song followed by a Beatles themed quiz on Saturday night, and a local history archive photographic exhibition all weekend. There will also be a Beatles themed service at 3pm on Sunday.

Entrance to all of these events is Free!

Opening times are Saturday the 29th August from 11am until 10pm, Sunday the 30th August from 2pm until 5pm, and Monday the 31st August from 11am until 4pm. For more information, visit pennylaneliverpool.merseyside.org.

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