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Today in Beatles History: Beatles named to the MBE
[Posted by Dave Haber on Thursday, 06/12/08 11:51 am] [Permalink] [Full Blog] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Today in Beatles History, on June 12, 1965, a spokesman for the British government announced that the Beatles have been named to the MBE (Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). The Daily Mirror publishes with the headline "Beatles, MBE!"

At a lunchhtime press conference at Twickenham Film Studios, Paul said that "MBE must stand for 'Mister Brian Epstein'".

The Beatles' names were put forward for this honor by Harold Wilson, Prime Minister at the time. Wilson would later remember, "I saw the Beatles as having a transforming effect on the minds of youth, mostly for the good. It kept a lot of kids off the streets. They introduced many many young people to music, which in itself was a good thing. A lot of old stagers might have regarded it as idiosyncratic music, but the Mersey sound was a new important thing. That's why they deserved such recognition."

Later, on October 16, 1965, the Beatles received the MBE awards from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. Several previous recipients of the award felt the award was demeaned, and returned theirs.

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Today In Beatles History: Two men change the world
[Posted by Dave Haber on Friday, 05/09/08 11:07 am] [Permalink] [Full Blog] [Tweet] [Facebook]

Today, 46 years ago, two men who changed the world, met for the first time.

On the morning of May 9, 1962, Beatles manager Brian Epstein first met Parlophone Records producer George Martin at his office in EMI Studios at Abbey Road in London. It was during this meeting that George Martin agreed to give the Beatles an audition recording session.

As George Martin worked with them in the studio, and Brian was seen mostly with them out on tour, you very seldom see them in pictures together. This is a rare photo of Brian Epstein and George Martin together in the studio, along with George Harrison, from the original edition of Epstein's autobiography, A Cellarful Of Noise. (The 1998 reprinting of the book included different pictures.)

Would the Beatles have happened with either of these men? George Martin, who heard something in them when nobody else in the business did, and brought his classical musical training to their arrangements and recordings. And Brian Epstein, who got them into bigger performance venues and onto TV, into suits and eventually a recording contract with EMI. It's impossible to know if the Beatles wouldn't have become Beatlemania, but it's impossible to imagine the Beatles without them.

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Today in Beatles History: Beatles butcher a photo shoot
[Posted by Dave Haber on Tuesday, 03/25/08 4:26 pm] [Permalink] [Full Blog] [Tweet] [Facebook]

On this day in Beatles history, March 25, 1966, the Beatles were photographed by Robert Whitaker at Oluf Nissen Photographic Studio in London. This session produced the historic and infamous Beatles butcher photos.

An alternate shot from the Butcher photo session

In one of the most bizarre little side-stories of the history of the Beatles, one of the images from that session became the original cover of the American Beatles album, Yesterday and Today, until it was quickly withdrawn due to negative public opinion.

It is an urban legend that the Beatles wanted the butcher picture to be used as the cover of their next American Beatles album, in protest to the way Capitol Records was "butchering" their albums by changing the songs around. John said that wasn't true.

Here's more info on the 'net about the Butcher cover, from All About the Beatles Butcher Cover and The Butcher Cover Photo Album.

For more everyday in Today in Beatles History, go here.

Today in Beatles History: Cassius Clay knocks out the Beatles
[Posted by Dave Haber on Monday, 02/18/08 7:18 am] [Permalink] [Full Blog] [Tweet] [Facebook]

On this day in Beatles History, on February 18, 1964, the Beatles took this famous picture with Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay.

Click here to see a larger image

While the Beatles were staying in Miami at the Deauville Hotel to make their second appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, they were asked to visit the training camp of Cassius Clay, who was preparing for his title bout with Sonny Liston. Their manager, Brian Epstein, initially rejected the request, but John Lennon later overruled him.

On this day, Ali said the Beatles were the greatest, but he was the prettiest. He also said, "They were regular, friendly, everyday fellows. Success hasn't gone to their heads."

A few days later, he beat Sonny Liston to capture the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.

For more everyday in Today in Beatles History, go here.

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