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Famous rock album cover designer passes away
[Posted by Dave Haber on Monday, 07/20/09 6:23 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Unfortunately, we missed covering this because the news was dominated at the time by the death of Michael Jackson. Tom Wilkes, a Grammy Award-winning art director and album cover designer whose work included albums for George Harrison, Ringo Starr and the Beatles, died last month on June 28. He was 69.

Wilkes was the art director for the 1967 Monterey International Pop Music Festival for which he created all of the graphics and print materials. After Monterey, he became the art director at A&M Records.

Wilkes designed album covers including George Harrison's All Things Must Pass in 1970, The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, the Beatles Red and Blue albums in 1973 and Starr Struck, Best of Ringo Starr Vol. 2 for Rhino Records in 1989.

He also created or provided the art direction or graphic design for scores of other covers, for artists like the Who, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Joe Cocker.

You can see a gallery of the album covers and posters of Tom Wilkes here, and you can read more about the life of Tom Wilkes here.

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Walter Cronkite remembers his part in the Beatles story
[Posted by Dave Haber on Saturday, 07/18/09 8:55 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

The Beatles arrived in America at Kennedy Airport on February 7, 1964, and performed for the first time on American TV on Sunday, Feb. 9. The show was viewed by over 73 million Americans. But it was not their first appearance on TV in America. And that appearance on Ed Sullivan might not have happened the way it did, without the help of another man, Walter Cronkite.

In November of 1963, Alexander Kendrick at CBS News alerted Walter Cronkite to a story about a group of young men called the Beatles. Josh Darsa and a London film crew had spent an evening filming at a live performance by the long-haired musicians and their screaming girl fans. But it was a busy news week, and the story didn't immediately go on the air. Then, a few days later, President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, and it wasn't until the second week in December until Walter Cronkite decided it was appropriate to start doing feature news again.

In his foreword to the book "The Beatles Are Coming" by Bruce Spizer, Walter Cronkite remembers what happened next.

"We decided to broadcast Kendrick's Beatles piece on our Evening News program. Shortly after we were off the air, I got a call from Ed Sullivan, who was a friend of mine. He was excited about the story we had run on the long-haired British group. He said, 'Tell me more about those, what do they call them? Those bugs or whatever they call themselves.' I didn't remember the group's name and had to look down on my copy sheet for the Evening News broadcast to tell him, 'They are called the Beatles.' Ed wanted to know what I knew about the group, which was next to nothing. I told Ed I would query my guy in London. I sent my query to Alexander Kendrick and requested he contact Ed. I don't know what happened after that, but soon Ed was announcing that he would have the Beatles on his show."

Walter Cronkite, the "most trusted man in America," passed away Friday evening with his family by his side at his home in New York after a long illness. He was 92.

Peter Asher says Gordon was the duo's heart and soul
[Posted Friday, 07/17/09 2:47 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Peter Asher released this official statement today, on the passing of his partner, Gordon Waller:

Gordon played such a significant role in my life that losing him is hard to comprehend ? let alone to tolerate.

He was my best friend at school almost half a century ago. He was not only my musical partner but played a key role in my conversion from only a snooty jazz fan to a true rock and roll believer as well. Without Gordon I would never have begun my career in the music business in the first place. Our professional years together in the sixties constitute a major part of my life and I have always treasured them.

Peter Asher

We remained good friends (unusual for a duo!) even while we were pursuing entirely separate professional paths and I was so delighted that after a hiatus of almost forty years we ended up singing and performing together again more recently for the sheer exhilarating fun of it. We had a terrific time doing so.

Gordon remains one of my very favourite singers of all time and I am still so proud of the work that we did together. I am just a harmony guy and Gordon was the heart and soul of our duo.

I shall miss him in so many different ways. The idea that I shall never get to sing those songs with him again, that I shall never again be able to get annoyed when he interrupts me on stage or to laugh at his unpredictable sense of humour or even to admire his newest model train or his latest gardening effort is an unthinkable change in my life with which I have not even begun to come to terms.

-Peter Asher, July 17, 2009

Gordon Waller of Peter and Gordon, dead at 64
[Posted by Dave Haber on Friday, 07/17/09 12:32 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Sad news for Beatles fans. Gordon Waller, one half of 1960s singing duo Peter & Gordon, passed away early today at age 64, in a hospital near his home in Connecticut. He suffered a cardiac arrest.

Peter & Gordon had nine Top Forty hits in the USA, UK and most major countries in the world between 1964-1968. Four of their hits were specially written for them by Paul McCartney, "A World Without Love," which was the first Lennon-McCartney composition not recorded by The Beatles to reach number one on the charts, "Nobody I Know", "I Don't Want To See You Again" and "Woman".

In recent years Waller had reunited professionally with his singing partner Peter Asher and the duo performed well-attended reunion concerts throughout the world. In December, 2005, Peter & Gordon performed at the 10,000 capacity Araneta Coliseum in Manilla and at the Hard Rock Cafe, Makati, Philippines.

Peter and Gordon at the Las Vegas Beatles Fest in 2007

At their first full concert in 38 years in North America, held at the Beatles fan convention in New York in March 2006, event host Martin Lewis surprised the duo by reading them a special message he'd secured from their old friend Paul McCartney:

"What the world needs now is Peter & Gordon to sing their songs and remind us all of the fab years they are from. I'm very glad to hear that they have got together after these many moons and are going to help to make a World Without Love into a love-filled planet."

Waller's last major appearance with Peter Asher was in Los Angeles last August, 2008, on the 40th anniversary of their last performance in the 1960s. They performed to an audience of over 17,000, including many Hollywood stars, at The Santa Monica Pier and were joined on stage by longtime friend and admirer Joan Baez. They also appeared at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on February 3, for the 50th tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper who performed their last show there in 1959.

Waller is survived by his wife Jen, whom he married in March 2008, by his first wife Gay, with whom he had stayed on excellent terms, by their two daughters Phillipa and Natalie, by his granddaughter Tyler, and by his two younger sisters Diana and Annie.

Beatles author talks about A Hard Days Night on BBC5
[Posted by Dave Haber on Friday, 07/17/09 7:04 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Jude Southerland Kessler, author of the acclaimed John Lennon historical novel "Shoulda Been There," will be appearing live BBC Radio 5 this Sunday night at 7:30 PM (PST). She will be discussing the history of the Beatles' film, A Hard Day's Night.

The show is called "From the Vault" and features fascinating material from the archives of Pacfica Radio that the show's two hosts, one in London and one in New York City, discuss with a panel of authors, of which Jude will be one this week. This week's show is about A Hard Days Night, as it is approaching its 45th anniversary on August 11.

Jude Southerland Kessler

Jude's book "Shoulda Been There" is the first book ever to tell the story of John Lennon with carefully researched footnotes and detailed, informational endnotes, written in the style of a fiction story, making the book like no other biography, compelling, fun, exciting, and simply hard for any Beatles fan to put down once they've picked it up.

If you're in the UK, you can hear the show live on BBC 5 at 3:30 am on Monday morning, July 20. If you're not in the UK, you can go to the BBC Radio 5 website at 7:30 pm (PST) on Sunday Night, July 19, and click on the "Listen Live" button on the upper-right hand corner of the page.

Tickets for final two McCartney concerts on pre-sale next week
[Posted by Dave Haber on Friday, 07/10/09 11:50 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Details of ticket pre-sale offers for the two latest Paul McCartney concerts have been announced on Paul's official website.

Paul's show in Dallas at the Cowboys Stadium on August 19, 2009:

The pre-sale starts on Monday 13th July at 10am (CST) through to Sunday 19th July 10pm (CST). General Sale starts on Monday 20th July at 10am (CST).

Click here to more information on these tickets.

Paul's show in Tulsa at BOK Center on Monday, August 17, 2009:

Pre Sale offer runs Monday, July 13, 2009 10:00 AM (CT) through to Saturday, July 18, 2009 10:00 PM (CT). Public Onsale begins Monday, July 20, 2009 at 10:00 AM (CT)

Click here to more information on these tickets.

(Info thanks to

Paul McCartney says that's it for the US tour
[Posted by Dave Haber on Wednesday, 07/08/09 9:21 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Last time he announced additional concert dates on his official website last week, Paul McCartney said there would be more dates to come. With the official announcements of two more concerts today, his official website now says these are the final two US concerts.

The two concerts that were announced today were Tulsa on Monday, August 17, and in Dallas on Wednesday, August 19.

So, now, the full, final US tour schedule is:

July 17 - New York, Citi Field
July 18 - New York, Citi Field
July 21 - New York, Citi Field
August 1 - Washington, FedExField
August 5 - Boston, Fenway Park
August 6 - Boston, Fenway Park
August 15 - Atlanta, Piedmont Park
August 17 - Tulsa, BOK Center
August 19 - Dallas, Cowboys Stadium

Tickets for both concerts announced today will go on sale Monday, July 20 at 10:00AM.

Paul's Halifax concert to be filmed
[Posted by Dave Haber on Tuesday, 07/07/09 12:19 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

It was announced today that Paul McCartney's only Canadian performance this year in Halifax on Saturday, July 11th will be filmed for later use, including a broadcast at a future date.

A crew of approximately 75 will join the existing production staff usually on-hand for each of Paul McCartney's performances.

Harold MacKay, President of Power Promotional Events, said, "This will add significantly to the magnitude of the event since a truly historical record of Sir Paul's performance will now exist after the show. He will certainly put on a great performance anyway, but the addition of filming the event will put this concert over the top. This is a chance to be a part of history. It will be truly exciting to see this performance down the road and say 'I was there'."

Details about how the video will be available will be announced at a later date.

(Info thanks to Q104.)

Paul McCartney sets the record straight in an official statement
[Posted by Dave Haber on Tuesday, 07/07/09 11:57 am] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Posted today to Paul McCartney's official web site:

Some time ago, the media came up with the idea that Michael Jackson was going to leave his share in the Beatles songs to me in his will which was completely made up and something I didn't believe for a second.

Now the report is that I am devastated to find that he didn't leave the songs to me. This is completely untrue. I had not thought for one minute that the original report was true and therefore, the report that I'm devastated is also totally false, so don't believe everything you read folks!

In fact, though Michael and I drifted apart over the years, we never really fell out, and I have fond memories of our time together.

At times like this, the press do tend to make things up, so occasionally, I feel the need to put the record straight.


Special tour to celebrate George Harrison's birthday in India
[Posted by Dave Haber on Friday, 07/03/09 6:10 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Would you like to see India as The Beatles saw it?? There might be no better way to do this than through the eyes of Paul Saltzman, the man who was actually there with The Beatles in Rishikesh.? Paul's photos of that time are by far the? most impressive and intimate photos ever seen.

Photo by Paul Saltzman of George in Rishikesh

Paul is taking a group of fans with him to India for 18 days, February 11 through 18, next year, and has secured an invitation for the touring group to be part of George Harrison's birthday celebrations with Ravi Shankar.? This will be a unique opportunity to be guided through India by Paul Saltzman, to share his memories and to make memories of your own.

Mr. Saltzman said, "Long ago, I realized that if I could only visit one country during the rest of my lifetime, but as many times as I wished, it would be India. It is many cultures, even many, many countries, all in one. Although I've been there more than fifty times, each time I go is a new exploration."

For more information on this unique opportunity, please visit Liverpool Beatles Scene.

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