Devil's Radio

We're back with more Beatlejuice . . .

London Beatles tour guide supreme Richard Porter reports work has begun on renovation of 3 Savile Row, the former location of the Apple Corps headquarters where The Beatles did their famed rooftop concert. The building has been empty for about four years and the new tenant is expected to move in next year. ... Yoko Ono knows just what Japan needs: a hug. Visiting her disaster-stricken homeland, Ono said she was deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. "I have so many incredible feelings about this whole situation," Ono said in an interview with the Associated Press before accepting an award for her philanthropic work in Asia and Africa. "I really wanted to hold them, hug them and tell them, 'Listen, we are all together.'" ... Normally at Paul McCartney's concerts these days no one objects to fans taking photos during the show as long as it's with point-and-click cameras rather than professional equipment with extra lenses. But somehow the word of that policy didn't trickle down to the security folks at Yankee Stadium, who hassled some concertgoers (including our own Fan on the Run, Rick Glover), saying no cameras were allowed and threatening to have the offending fans escorted out of the venue. Fortunately, longtime MPL security man Brian Riddle saw Rick being hassled and, as Rick tells it, "jumped over the rail, as those Yankee security clowns had me by the arm." Riddle checked out and approved Rick's camera and told him he could return to his seat. When the Yankee Stadium guard objected, Riddle said he was the boss and told Rick, "take all the photos you want." A cheer went up all around. And, Rick notes, "at the end of the show both the locals that had been trying to dump me came over to me and gave a heartfelt apology and thanked me for not getting obnoxious about their mistake, and said they were only doing what they were told. Actually cool and classy." ... There also seems to have been some confusion among the Yankee Stadium folks over whether the audience could stand or must sit, Bob Gannon reports. "Prior to Paul coming onstage, the security on the floor began to order people not only to get to their seat but sit down in it as well. Now I know that part of this was to clear the aisle as people started to clog up the aisles celebrity watching. Just to my right was Chevy Chase, Alex Baldwin, Nancy Shevell and James McCartney as well as Mayor Bloomberg. But they went well beyond that, actively telling people at their seats to sit down. Both sides were told the same thing causing a great deal of confusion amongst the audience whether to stand or sit. ... Lemmy of Motorhead in Billboard: "The Beatles were my boys. Everybody in England was either the [Rolling] Stones or the Beatles. I was the Beatles.... I was always very impressed by 'You Can't Do That.' When I heard it, I thought it was a soul group. It didn't sound like white boys."


One of the quirkiest aspects of the Apple vs. Apple settlement four years ago was that The Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd., which had the Apple name and trademark first, ceded ownership of it to computer giant Apple Inc., which in turn licensed Apple Corps to keep using the name. In exchange, Apple Inc. wrote a fat settlement check to Apple Corps. What wasn't made clear at the time, though, was that the transfer included all trademarks, including the famed Granny Smith logo unveiled by the Fabs' company in 1968 and still used by Apple Corps. News media covering the computer industry reported in March that Apple Inc. has filed paperwork with the European Trademarks Office reserving the Granny Smith logo in 14 international trademark classifications in common areas like advertising, games, online social networking services, mobile phones, musical instruments, clothing/headgear, education, broadcasting and, of course, computer hardware. Plus more obscure categories like precious metals and building construction. Following the 2007 settlement, Apple Inc. had previously filed trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that showed the company had been transfered the rights to use the Apple Corps Granny Smith logo, as well as the "B-side" logo of a sliced cross-section of the fruit. The Mac Observer reports the new trademark applications are a continuation of that process to ensure that Apple Inc. is in control of the trademarks. . . .

Michele Elyzabeth Blanchard, former publicist to Paul McCartney's former wife, Heather Mills, is suing Mills for ?114,000 in unpaid PR bills and has revealed that Mills lied about Macca being abusive. Blanchard also says Mills told her to inform a New York paper that heart complications for which McCartney required medical attention were the result of excessive drink and drug use, lied about giving all her fee from "Dancing With the Stars" to charity, and refused to appear on "Celebrity Apprentice" unless she was guaranteed a place in the final. What??!! Next she'll be telling us that Heather made up that story about being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. . . .

Even the famous can act like fans. Dave Grohl won?t let his daughter wear the baby clothes Macca bought for her. . . .

Leon Wildes, the lawyer who kept John Lennon being deported by the Nixon administration in the 1970s, is writing a book on the case that will have a foreward by Yoko Ono. In a recent issue of the Jewish Standard, Wildes recalled he didn't even know who John and Yoko were before then-Apple Corps chief Allen Klein introduced them. After five years, Wildes finally won the case and Lennon told him, "Leon, you are the only lawyer I can understand, the only lawyer that Yoko loves, and the best immigration lawyer in the world. But do you know why we stuck with you all these years? Because Yoko's Tarot card reader said stick with Leon. He will win the case for you." . . .

Stevie Wonder told V Magazine about the night in 1974 when estranged bandmates Lennon and McCartney jammed together at a studio in Los Angeles. Wonder, who participated in the jam, said, "I was in Studio B and they were in Studio A, at Record Plant, and they were jamming, putting stuff down, laying different tracks, trying to come up with something, really just having fun. And I think we did 'Stand by Me' together, just being crazy. It was funny. I think Phil Spector was there, too. I can't remember where we were, but I was in the restroom or something like that and I was singing and he said, 'Shut the f**k up!' and I was like, 'F**k you!'" Ah yes, hangin' with Phil Spector. Fun times. . . .

Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer Sir George and the man at the mixing desk for The Beatles' "LOVE" and "Rock Band" projects, told Absolute Radio in the U.K., "I've done a lot of hours work on Beatles and there's no better band to work on for a lot of hours." He's also doing the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese's upcoming George Harrison documentary. "I'm currently working on that, which we're just finishing up, which is really good, really interesting," Martin said. "Music's always been a big part of [Scorsese] films and he's incredibly precise about what he wants. At the same time, I have to be precise how the Beatles' music should be in 5.1 [surroundsound]. It's been really good fun."

Sean Lennon and girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, collectively known as Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, did a live performance Feb. 11 as part of the New York Fashion Week 2011 show by designer Rebecca Minkoff. "They asked us to do instrumentals while the girls walked," Muhl told Billboard. "It's interesting playing music for a fashion show. ... It's different every time depending on how fast the girls walk, so we have to be watching the girls and time it right, improve the transitions and keep it flexible. You really had to stay on your toes " I liked that. You're not boxed into a rigid plan." Despite planning to only play instrumentals during the show, Muhl and Lennon provided vocals while covering French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg's infamous "J'Taime Mon Non Plus." "We couldn't help singing a little bit because we love that song so much," Lennon said. . . .

Whatever happened to interior designer Sam Havadtoy, Yoko's companion for the first 20 years after John's death? He surfaced recently in the Croatia times in a report that he put a rare sketch by Lennon showing a two-headed Elvis Presley up for auction to raise money for cancer-stricken children. The undated drawing, titled "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll," was a 1987 gift from Ono to Havadtoy, who now lives in Prague, Czech Republic.


We're back with more Beatles news and views ...
We're not sure what to make of the version of Ringo's "Stop and Smell the Roses" album that's currently for sale on Amazon.com. To quote the Amazon description, "This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media." You might first think it's some sort of "graymarket" unauthorized item, though it is available through Amazon itself (eligible for super-saver shipping, etc.) and not one of its third-party dealers. But the release, listed as having been issued on June 23, 2010, is on a label called "Max Cat Records." So we decided to invest the $7.04 selling price to find out what we'd get in return. The package has the album title and Ringo's name on it and lists the tracks on the back. But the music plays in mono and the only copyright listed on the disc is for Margate Entertainment LLC. There's also a teaser for "more music" at www.shortlineshop.com and videos on www.tv4u.com. We dug a little deeper and found on the company Website that "TV4U.Com, Wibbage.Net, and Boardwalk Records are all owned by Margate Entertainment LLC, an independent, stand alone audio, video, and text content provider. Margate Entertainment is located in Henderson, Nevada." Boardwalk Records, you might recall, was the label that originally released the album back in 1981. So it would appear that this release comes from the current owner of the Boardwalk name. But when "Stop and Smell the Roses" was first released on CD in 1994, it was through Capitol/EMI. Would Boardwalk still retain the rights? In other words, is this a legitimate release? We put the question to Ringo's spokeswoman, who passed us along to his lawyer, who to date hasn't answered. . . .

Here's the background story on George Harrison's old Gretsch Duo Jet, which Gretsch Guitars is reproducing as a limited-run tribute model, with the 60 guitars selling for $20,000 each: Merchant sailor Ivan Hayward originally paid $210 for the original at Manny's Music during a late 1950s stopover in New York City. Hayward, 74, told USA Today he kept the guitar three years before selling it to young Harrison. Hayward said he wanted 90 pounds (about $255 at the time) for the guitar, but Harrison had just 70 pounds, "all crumpled, smelling, what you get paid when you go on gig, a handful of beer money." Hayward said. Harrison eventually took the guitar and left the 70 pounds and an IOU (a copy of which is included with the tribute guitar). Hayward later went to see Harrison's band play a local church dance, but they never talked again. (The debt was subsequently settled.) . . .

Comedian-actor Peter Serafinowicz is returning home to Liverpool talk about his life and work in an April 1, 2011, show at the city's Club Geek Chic. Serafinowicz, 38, was the voice of Darth Maul in "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace." Why should you care unless you're a Lucasfilm fanatic? Well, he will be providing the voice of Paul McCartney in the upcoming 3-D motion-capture remake of "Yellow Submarine." . . .

From the Boston Globe comes this postscript to the apparent end of a long battle over video footage of John Lennon: In 2000, two New England men, John Fallon and Bobby Grenier, paid Tony Cox, Yoko Ono's ex-husband, $180,000 for 10 hours of videotape, mostly depicting Lennon, shot over three days in 1969. The two men wanted to share the footage with the world (and perhaps make a buck or two in the process). But then a business associate stole the tapes. Fallon and Grenier eventually bought back their own property, only to learn that copies of the tapes, and most importantly the copyright, had been sold to the Widow Lennon. The sale involved faked signatures and it all wound up in court for years until Boston District Court Judge Rya Zobel awarded the tapes' copyright to Ono in 2009. And here's the postscript: Recently one of the lawyers who helped broker the 2002 sale of the tapes to Ono was sanctioned in Supreme Judicial Court, having his law license suspended for participating in a fradulent sale. Said the Globe: "Payback may be sweet, but that'?s the only recompense Fallon and Grenier are likely to see from their 11-year-old investment." The Globe said Fallon and Grenier still have a copy of the tapes, which have never been shown in public. What they don?'t have is the legal right to use them or show them without Ono's permission. They could sell the tapes to a wealthy aficionado, for his or her private viewing. "But, Grenier told the paper, "We don't want to sell them as collectibles. "We want to get our property back."




Sir Paul McCartney's ex-wife Heather Mills has announced that she was responsible for The Beatles' recording catalog finally becoming available online. Mills, who was divorced by McCartney in 2008, insisted the deal only happened because of her help setting it up with Apple Computer boss Steve Jobs. She told Britain's Daily Mail, "iTunes? I organized it all with Steve Jobs. But there's no way I'm going back to court for more money. It was all settled at the time and that's it." We wouldn't be surprised to hear her claim next that she also started the Everly Brothers. (That's a Blind Lemon Pye reference for you Rutles fans.)

Speaking of crazy folks, apparently neither geography nor pop culture are the strong suit at Fox News, which teased a report on the Beatles-iTunes deal by referring to the Fab Four as "Manchester's favorite mopheads." Coming next from Fox is a feature on how you really should visit Graceland the next time you're in Nashville.

In his book "Late, Late at Night," actor-singer Rick Springfield says that he became a major fan of The Beatles when he was a teen and Macca "was the one I most wanted to be like. ... I had such a boy crush on him." It was a lifelong dream of his to meet McCartney, Springfield says, and he got his chance early in 2010 at a pre-party for the Globes. Actually, he says, meeting Paul was the only reason he attended. "A mutual friend has arranged an introduction," he writes. "In my mind, it's just Paulie and me. Mano a mano. I step up to the meeting and I'm shaking like a little girl. Paul eyes me warily, perhaps trying to decide if I'm a stalker or just another avid fan. (I'm the latter, but I probably come across as the former.)" After the meeting, Springfield e-mailed a photo of himself with Macca to all his friends. And, he adds, "in some bizarre way, my life now seems oddly complete. I love being a fan. It puts life in perspective and there is always more to aspire to when you're looking up. And everyone is a fan of SOMEONE."

Speaking of Macca having celebrity fans, on ABC's "The View" TV news grande dame Barbara Walters showed photos taken of herself with Macca and girlfriend Nancy Shevell at the Kenney Center Honors affair. Walters, who is related to Shevell, also showed a shot of her and James McCartney, Sir Paul's son. Walters joked that she played the cougar that night and James was her "date" for the evening. Eeeew.




Quite a few interesting Fab Four books are are their way or in the works.

Just out from Harper is "You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup" by Peter Doggett. Look for a review in an upcoming issue of Beatlefan. ... A new revised edition of Andy Babiuk's best-seller "Beatles Gear" is out from Hal Leonard Books, examining every musical instrument the Fabs ever used. Babiuk's work was actually used as a reference in the creating of "The Beatles: Rock Band" computer game. ... Our book maven, Brad Hundt, reports W.W. Norton & Co. plans December publication of "John Ono Lennon" by Tim Riley (he did "Tell Me Why," the musical analysis of the Fabs, in ?88) and another new edition of the Hunter Davies authorized biography, "The Beatles." The latter is listed for September. ... Longtime Beatlefan contributing editor Ken Sharp tells us "Starting Over," his book on the making of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Double Fantasy" album, will be out from Simon & Schuster in October. Beatlefan's Bill King is quoted in the book. ... And Dave Schwensen, author of "The Beatles In Cleveland: Memories, Facts & Photos About The Notorious 1964 & 1966 Concerts," tells us he's in the early stages of compiling a book on The Beatles' 1965 concert at Shea Stadium, featuring photos from the show taken by Marc Weinstein. A Web site for the book has been set up at www.beatlessheastadium.com, and you can e-mail your memories of the Shea show to Schwensen at dave@beatlessheastadium.com.

In her blog, Jane Fonda gave a rave review to Macca at the Hollywood Bowl. Fonda, who attended with her boyfriend Richard Perry (producer of the "Ringo" album), said the show "was everything I hoped for. I have never seen Paul perform live. His band is extraordinary. The production as well, with enormous pictures, and graphics filling the entire stage behind him and changing with each song ? sometimes old footage from the Beatles? films, sometimes still photos of them. He dedicated ?Something? to George (who wrote it) and played the first part of it on a ukulele because George loved to play that instrument. Behind him, there were wonderful pictures of George over the years. Paul also sang a song about missing John and while he sang, an enormous globe of the moon descended behind him, lit in an ethereal light. Then a globe of the earth descended. It was very moving. I wasn?t the only one to be crying. I was impressed with the quality of Paul?s voice. Richard, who knows about these things, said most singers have to lower their songs by an octave or more as they age, but not Paul!! I was also impressed by the diversity in the sold out audience ? children singing every word, and oldsters doing the same. Much racial diversity as well. ... I was also impressed with how gracious Paul was at the small after party ?gracious and funny and real and kind. What a night! I feel so lucky ? but forgot my camera. Can you believe that!!!"

"Give Till It's Gone" is the title of the next album by Ben Harper & The Relentless 7. Ringo guests on "Sounds Like the Song," a marathon track. Says Harper: "It's nine and a half minutes, and certain people are like, 'Cut it down, you might want to cut it down, it might become a single if you cut it down and blah blah blah.' I just wanted to let you know, I'm keeping the whole thing. There will be a nine and a half minute song on the record because I think it's the shit and I'm proud of it." The album is expected before the end of 2010.

The song "Please Please Me" will never sound quite the same to us after reading that it apparently was inspired by the fact that Cynthia Lennon wasn't very forthcoming in the oral sex department. As in "you never even try girl." And "please please me, oh yeah, like I please you."

The recent death of Art Linkletter reminded us of a couple of sort-of Beatles connections. Back in December 1964, Beatles manager Brian Epstein was scheduled to appear on Linkletter's daytime "House Party" talk show but decided to leave L.A. for New York City instead, standing up Linkletter, who berated Epstein on the air. A few years later, after Linkletter's daughter died in what he was convinced was an LSD flashback, he became an ardent anti-drugs campaigner and put some of the blame for the problem on the Fabs. Testifying before the House Select Committee on Crime, popular Linkletter referred to The Beatles as the ?leading missionaries of the acid society.?

The deluxe digital version of the new Gary Wright album "Connected," available from iTunes or www.thedreamweaver.com, includes two tracks linked to George Harrison, a longtime friend of the current All Starr Band member. "To Discover Yourself" was co-written by Wright and Harrison in 1971 and recorded by Wright on the day of Harrison's death in 2001. And a second bonus track, "Never Give Up," from 1989, features Harrison on guitar. We hear, however, that Harrison's music publisher is being a real hard ass about press/radio getting MP3's of the tracks, instead sending out widgets with streaming audio. Speculates one industry observer: "Could it be that the Harrison estate isn't especially proud of these performances and rather than telling Wright NOT to release them, they're deliberately making him bury them ? (iTunes bonus tracks/no press hard copies) rather than making them the calling card they obviously are for a vintage artist who could DESPERATELY used the publicity and street cred?" They are, at least, available separately from the album as single downloadable tracks via iTunes.

The new expanded version of Meat Loaf's "Hang Cool Teddy Bear" LP has a version of "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" recorded live in Norway. ... Macca is included in an upcoming documentary about Ozzy Osbourne being put together by Ozzy's son Jack. Says Ozzy: "Now that is the cherry on my cake. Paul is my hero." At least, that's how the translation reads. Who really knows what Ozzy says? ... If the recent British press reports about Macca directing a film made up of Linda McCartney's photos of The Beatles sounds familiar, that's probably because he first announced plans to do that back in 2001. Sir Paul is also said to be working on a book of Linda?s pictures with the couple?s daughters Stella and Mary, which will reportedly be published later this year. ... In honor of the Big Mac's Meat Free Monday campaign, the original Hard Rock Cafe in London is featuring a meatless meal every Monday throughout the year. The three-course vegetarian meal includes the Linda McCartney Vegetarian Burger. ... In a recent live Web chat, Macca said of the upcoming newly remastered "Band on the Run" reissue: "When you actually listen to them, like I did the other day at Abbey Road, the clarity is so good!"



Our buddy Weed says to file the following under: Another Sign the Apocalypse Is Upon Us.

Number of Apple Records sides available on iTunes: Chris Hodge ? 4 The Beatles ? 0

If you're keeping score at home, yes, that represents Hodge's entire Apple catalog. We don't know whether the downloads of Hodge's 1972 Apple tracks "We're on Our Way," "Supersoul," "Goodbye Sweet Lorraine" and "Contact Love" are officially sanctioned by Apple, or if they still belong to Apple (maybe he had a contract where they reverted to him after a few years), or if they even remember Chris Hodge. But the tracks are up there on iTunes (along with some of his tracks from other labels and a bunch of previously unreleased stuff). And, of course, we still have no sanctioned Beatles downloads on iTunes or anywhere else. Anyway, you can check it out at Hodge's Web site (http://www.chris-hodge.co.uk), which is prominently adorned with the Apple Records logo. And we're willing to bet THAT'S not sanctioned.

Rolling Stone magazine so corporate these days that it rarely bucks the record industry, which is why we were amused when our pal Howie pointed out that the Stone (as it was known back in the hippie heyday) named the bootleg Purple Chick remasters of Beatles albums "Best DIY Reissues" in its Best of Rock 2008 list. Although no Web site was listed to download them, in a rare ballsy move RS told readers interested in the releases to do a Google search for "purple chick and megaupload."

Remember rock singer/model wannabe Ruth McCartney, Sir Paul's estranged stepsister? (She was HUGE in Russia. Or so she said.) She's now CEO and co-founder of McCartney Multimedia and iFanz.com, an L.A.-based company that helps clients track who and where their fans are, and what those fans want and need. Self-pronounced "Digital Diva" McCartney recently hosted a symposium at the Center for Advancing Business Through Information Technology. She said that her childhood experience helping her mom (Jim Mac's second wife, Angie) sort her stepbrother's fan mail led her to realize not only how close fans felt to musicians they'd never met, but how the stars themselves never knew who bought their music. Ruth and her husband, Martin Nethercutt, formed iFanz.com 13 years ago to help artists manage their fan base directly online. Among her clients are John Cleese of Monty Python, Billy Bragg and David Cassidy. When Cassidy was assembling a greatest hits album, McCartney suggested he poll his fans on her site. Turned out only 40 percent of his proposed compilation jibed with what his fans wanted. (Too bad she can't make the same suggestion to her brother!) The company also sells T-shirts and sends out fan e-mail blasts.

We're not sure how many fans of Ringo and his late, lamented band the Roundheads, led by producer Mark Hudson, are actually Hudson Brothers fans, but there's probably a few. So this is for them: A 3-disc DVD set of the Saturday morning comedy show that Hudson and his brothers had back in the 1970s, "The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show: The Complete Series," is out June 17 from Video Service Corp. It sells for $29.98.

Last year, you'll recall, Cheap Trick performed Beatles songs, including the "Sgt. Pepper's" album, at the Hollywood Bowl and New York City's Waldorf Astoria, with former Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick at the soundboard. Recently, Emerick and Trick's Robin Zander have been working on a DVD of the New York performance that they hope to release sometime in 2008. Meanwhile, the band is doing some more Sgt. Pepper Revisited shows this summer.

The woman who as a 17-year-old inspired Paul McCartney to write "She's Leaving Home" recently hit the news again when authorities in Spain, where she lives, forced her to demolish her home because it had been built illegally. Melanie Coe, now 58, was the subject of U.K. newspaper headlines back in 1967 for sneaking out of her parents' North London home because she was pregnant, and the story caught McCartney's eye. Although in his fictionalized version she left home to meet a man in "the motor trade," she actually ran away with a croupier. They spent a week together and then she went home and had an abortion. Not quite as romantic as the "fun" Macca envisioned in his tune. She later moved to L.A., where she dated Burt Ward, who played Robin on the old "Batman" TV series. She says that "She's Leaving Home" actually wasn't her first connection with McCartney. "I first met Paul when I was 13 and on the pop show 'Ready Steady Go!'," she told London's Mail on Sunday. "He presented me with first prize for miming to Brenda Lee's 'Let's Jump the Broomstick,' which meant I danced on the show for a year."

Planet Stella continues to expand. In addition to her high fashion line, sportswear and perfume lines, Stella McCartney has signed a deal with Italy's Luxottica for a line of designer sunglasses. The first collection of shades under the six-year deal will be launched in summer 2009. ...

Ringo Starr's stepdaughter Francesca Gregorini, formerly known chiefly as the ex of Portia DeRossi, is now making her name in production circles. She and Tatiana von Furstenberg are co-directing "Tanner Hall," a never-made UPN TV series pilot that is finding new life as an indie feature film. Chris Kattan, Amy Sedaris and Tom Everett Scott have been cast in the picture, written by von Furstenberg and Gregorini. It's a coming-of-age story about four teenage girls at a boarding school and their parents and teachers. Von Furstenberg is the daughter of fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg and Gregorini is Barbara Bach's daughter. The two met while attending Brown University (also the alma mater of Dhani Harrison). UPN had picked up the project as a potential series but it fell victim to the UPN-WB merger into the CW.  The pair took the project back, reworked the script, broadened its scope and made it into a feature film. They're also producing the movie, which is being shot in Rhode Island. Gregorini was the partner of Australian actress DeRossi from 2000 to 2004. DeRossi is now with Ellen DeGeneres. Gregorini also works as a singer-songwriter, having contributed two songs to the 2001 film "See Jane Run".

Julian Lennon has shown up in the news a couple of times recently, but unfortunately neither was in connection with a new album. MyStore.com confirmed that Lennon is among the group of private investors behind Yourstore, LLC, which owns and operates wwww.mystore.com, an online marketplace. "In addition to his monetary investment, Julian has contributed some great ideas to the options MyStore.com offers to musicians and artists who want to resell or self-distribute their music and art online," said Todd Meagher, the company's CEO. Lennon was an early user of the site, setting up his own MyStore and linking it to his MySpace page. Julian also has purchased a residence at the Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences in Miami Beach's South Beach, it was announced. He plans on splitting his time between Miami and Europe. "Miami Beach is one of my favorite places, and I am excited to own a residence there," he said. Lennon reportedly is still working on his sixth album, which will be called "Conscious". His official Web site is currently undergoing reconstruction, but his MySpace site has early mixes of three new songs and a remixed version of "Saltwater". He also is the producer of the documentary "WhaleDreamers," about an aboriginal tribe and its special relationship to the whales. The film was shown at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

Both the Observer and the Guardian papers in Britain have reported that The Beatles' Apple Corps is about to start the slow process of restoring their TV film "Magical Mystery Tour" for future DVD re-release.

Paul McCartney's onetime fianc?e, British actress Jane Asher, seen recently in the film "Death at a Funeral," talked to the London Daily Mirror about having her sons, ages 23 and 25, still living at home. "I hope they stay as long as they want, I hate to think of them leaving," she said. "I wouldn't mind at all if they're all here in their 40s." Asher also has had a recurring role on the BBC1 TV hospital drama "Holby City" and she's filming a new drama for ITV called "The Palace" in Lithuania. She plays the Queen in a fictional royal family. Asher has been married to cartoonist Gerald Scarfe for 36 years. She continues to refuse to discuss her time in the 1960s with McCartney and The Beatles. "I never talk about that," she says. "Private life is private life."

Our pal Weed recently returned from Las Vegas and reports that Cirque du Soleil continues to tinker with "LOVE" show featuring Beatles music. The long-winded "Blackbird" sketch has been removed. In its place is a much more thematically consistent performance of the song, with appropriate staging replacing the previous "blowhard" poetry reading. Other than that, only a couple of minor tweaks in the "linkages" between songs (most noticeably, inserting a bit of "It's All Too Much").

 

 

A name from The Beatles' past, John Alexis Mardas (aka "Magic Alex"), resurfaced recently when the London daily The Independent ran the following correction notice: "On 14 June we inaccurately referred to Mr. Mardas' involvement with The Beatles' company, Apple Electronics Ltd. Mr. Mardas was not an employee of this company but a director and shareholder. He was not sacked by Apple Electronics but resigned his directorship in May 1971, retaining the shareholding until he gave it to Apple Corps some years later. We accept that he did not claim to have invented electric paint, a flying saucer or a recording studio with a 'sonic force field,' or cause his employers to waste money on such ideas. We apologise to Mr. Mardas for these errors." Darn, and those were some of our favorite Apple myths! ... From the Wisconsin State Journal comes this heartwarming nugget: Tom Zimbrick and his wife took their three kids, ages 10 to 17, to London's Abbey Road, to do as thousands had done before them: re-create the "Abbey Road" cover shot of the band walking in the zebra-striped crosswalk. Zimbrick says his wife Marykay took the photo while he watched traffic which was brisk (trying to run down Beatles fans in the crosswalk is apparently a favorite sport among North London drivers). As his kids were putting their shoes back on (everyone wants to be barefoot Paul!) he looked up and saw a man coming toward them, talking on a cellphone. The man leaned over to Zimbrick's daughter and said, "It's a pretty cool picture, isn't it?" Then Zimbrick's wife looked over and blurted out, "Holy smoke, Sir Paul McCartney!" Macca chatted with the family and even posed for a photo, though he said, "I usually don't do this." A very memorable moment for the Zimbrick family. ... During an August appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, official Beatles biographer Hunter Davies (who has a new autobiography out in Britain), showed a 3-minute Super 8 movie he recently unearthed while researching his memoirs. It was shot in 1968, not long after Macca had started his relationship with Linda Eastman, and was shot when Paul and Linda came for a visit to Davies' home in Portugal. Macca is shown walking on the beach with Linda, sitting playing with various children, drinking tea (aha!) and talking with members of the local press. ... According to a post on U2's official Web site, when the Irish band recently was recording at Abbey Road, Sir Paul and Sir George Martin dropped by. Said the post: "Bit of a moment to see Macca sliding down the banister of the stairway from the control room to the studio floor. This place is like his second home."

 

For a veteran spotlight hound, Heather Mills McCartney's post-breakup publicity offensive at times has seemed in disarray. Like when Heather's U.S. publicist Michele Elyzabeth announced that Heather had gained full custody of daughter Beatrice in an agreement with Sir Paul. Almost immediately, Macca's spokesman and lawyers shot that down as "total rubbish" and Heather's own U.K. spokeswoman, Anya Noakes, told People magazine that the report was not true and added: "Michele is Heather's U.S.-based publicist and a friend of hers, but I have absolutely no idea why she would have said this, as no decisions have been made about custody of Beatrice." . . .   C.B. Wallop caught up with Elvis Costello after a recent show in Atlanta and asked if he'd ever considered being in Ringo's All Starr Band. "I don't think I am All Starr material," Costello said. He also said that the had spoken recently with Macca and he thought the split with Heather was "the right thing for him." Touring with Costello was Allen Toussaint, who worked with Wings on the "Venus and Mars" album in New Orleans. Asked to sign the LP cover, Toussaint said, "Woooo, now that takes me back . . . We was a partyin' in them days!" Looking over the center spread, he pointed to Linda Mac and said, "Now there was a lady." He said he had last spoken with McCartney at the Grammys but added, "I'm sure he's a gonna be alright. He should come back South and relax with us again. We had a grand time!" He added that Linda was a great photographer and he still has a bunch of pictures she gave him. . . . Known in his heyday in Liverpool for his "atomic" beat, former Beatles drummer Pete Best doesn't seem to have lost any decibels. During a July 30 outdoor show by Best and his band in Athens, GA, a college town that's spawned R.E.M., the B-52's and Widespread Panic, police showed up and cited the club's owner for violating the county's noise ordinance because someone living several blocks away had complained about the volume of the sound. Police did not shut down the concert, which was over shortly before 10 p.m. . . . Here's the text of a letter Yoko Ono sent to a recent tribute to onetime Apple manager Allen Klein:

"Time flies. I am surprised that Allen and I have known each other for such a long time. 37 years; that's a long time. The first time I met Allen was at the Dorchester Hotel in London with John. John and I had a fixed cartoon image of Allen as the 'meanest business man in town.' That made us a bit nervous, but in person we immediately noticed that Allen was clearly very human.

"First off, he knew which Beatles songs were John's -- well, that was important enough as you can imagine -- but Allen knew every lyric to every song John wrote, and kept reciting them, fluently weaving them into his conversation. Allen not only knew John's lyrics, but seemed to know every Rock and Roll lyric that was ever written. So the guy was a 'lyric' man; neither John nor I expected that from him. We were both totally impressed, that was it.

"At Allen's suggestion, John decided to sign a letter of intent for Allen. There was no typewriter in the room, but as if by magic, Iris' hands slowly stretched out from behind the door with a typewriter. Since neither Allen nor John could type, I played the secretary and typed the letter for John to sign. John signed and the rest was history.

"By the way; Allen went too far that day -- he had a macrobiotic dinner waiting for us, not knowing that we were off macrobiotic at the time [crowd laughter]. We laughed, but his caring showed and we liked that.

"Allen was thought of as the 'tough guy,' but in his private life he was and is a good daddy and grandpa to all his children and grandchildren. He is also a warm friend to all of us who know him. So contrary to what people might think; he, his family and I have remained good friends throughout all these years.

"I am happy that he is finally being honored for his dedication to the music business. I am sorry that he cannot be here tonight, but he is well represented by his son Jody, his daughters Robin and Beth -- and of course Iris the 'superwoman.?

"Good work Allen, we all love you.
Yoko Ono
June 15, 2006"

 

Sir Paulie famously dreamed the tune to "Yesterday" (as he tells ad nauseum). In that grand tradition, the New York dance act the Scissor Sisters has a tune called "Paul McCartney" on its upcoming album. According to Ana Matronic of the Scissors, partner Jake Shears "had a dream and wrote the song when he woke up. It's definitely an homage. But it doesn't sound anything like any Paul McCartney song that I've ever heard. It's pure hands-in-the-air, ridiculous disco fun." Sounds like something right up Macca's alley. . . . A couple of interesting tidbits from an interview with former Wingsman Denny Laine coming up in Beatlefan: 1) He was with The Beatles at John Lennon's house in 1965 when they first watched the Shea Stadium footage. 2) When he moved to Las Vegas a year or so ago, he proposed to Macca a Wings musical along the lines of ABBA's "Mama Mia!" McCartney e-mailed him back a few months later saying he thought it was a great idea, but unfortunately it was still too close to the release of "Wingspan". (God knows we wouldn't want Paul OVERDOING the Wings stuff!) . . . Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee on his upcoming animated DVD project with Ringo: "We're going to make a sort of superhero out of him. Not necessarily the kind you'd expect him to be." . . . Our roving reporter, C.B. Wallop, recently crossed paths with singer-songwriter Toni Wine ("Groovy Kind of Love") who said she had tried to pitch that song to The Beatles but by then (late 1965) they didn't need outside songwriters [duh]. She gave Brian Epstein a demo of the tune and Eppy told her that "the boys wouldn't use the word 'groovy' in a song." Wine says she was a background vocalist on Jackie Lomax's "3" album in 1972 and that Lomax had nothing but good things to say about his Apple Records days. One more bit of Wine trivia: She provided the female voices on most of the Archies' hits. . . . The Reporter in Vaccaville, CA, recently caught up with Peter Asher, who will do another Peter & Gordon reunion concert with Gordon Waller at the August Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago. Asher, who nowadays manages Courtney Love and Morrissey, said that he had to relearn the lyrics to Peter & Gordon's hits. "It represented a bit of hard work to get it all back," he said.

What a charming guy this Bob Spitz is. You know, the one who wrote that error-filled biography of The Beatles and who suggested that a fanzine editor who pointed out some of those errors needed an enema? The guy who told NPR that George Harrison played the lead guitar solo on "Taxman". (It was rather famously Paul McCartney.) In interviews, Spitz at first claimed there were no errors in his book. He told U.S. News that a "Beatle blogger" (the Daytripin' Web site, actually) "was incensed that I had corrrected some of the dates in the Beatle lore." Later, Spitz finally admitted to errors in the photo captions (including identifying a little girl as Julian Lennon), which he said resulted from him being exhausted when he dashed them off hurriedly. His publisher announced that 16 caption errors were being corrected for the second printing of the book. Meanwhile,  in an interview with the Abbeyrd Web site, which has been an ardent supporter of Spitz for some reason, Spitz continued to win friends in the Beatles fan community, which he dismissed as "no different from religious fanatics determined to hurt people in order to protect their extremist views." He went on to slag off other Beatles biographers and dismiss the pre-eminent Beatles researcher, Britain's Mark Lewisohn -- who is working on a three-volume Beatles biography that is expected to be the definitive work on the group -- as "an accountant who has put together a few good chronologies."  Oh yes, what a charming guy this Bob Spitz is.
Rick Suchow, a longtime Beatlefan reader who had one of his songs, "What Goes Around", recorded by Ringo on the "Time Takes Time" album, has done his own remix of The Beatles' "Because" that you can listen to at www.ricksuchow.com/music.html . . . Just how complete is the John Lennon Museum at the Saitama Super Arena in a suburb of Tokyo? Well, Yoko Ono, who has loaned a number of items to the museum, including a Rickenbacker John bought in Hamburg in 1960, is heavily represented in the museum's exhibits. But you have to look hard to find the one and only picture of Lennon's first wife, Cynthia, downstairs. And May Pang, Lennon's mistress during his separation from Yoko, isn't mentioned at all. . . . Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen on working with producer George Martin: "George was the most brilliant producer, musician and artist that I ever have worked with." And, you'll recall, Cheap Trick worked with John Lennon . . . Finally, a Wings sound-alike act! Wonder what took so long? It's called Wings Band and consists of Ardy Sarraf as Macca, Christine Rosander as Linda, plus Ron McNeil, Michael Amador, Rolo Sandoval and a horn section. Check 'em out at wingsband.com . . . Someone posting to the Yahoo Beatlegs group recently pointed out that in Macca's recent performance at Abbey Road (already aired on BBC radio and TV and airing Feb. 27 on PBS), Macca improvised a mock lounge number around a cheesy mellotron riff. It turns out that 38 years earlier, George Harrison used the same mellotron loop when he put together the incidental music for his film "Wonderwall" . . . The Badfinger curse continues. In a recent issue of Britain's respected Mojo magazine, a small obituary for Badfinger's Mike Gibbins was accompanied by a photo of Pete Ham. Oh, well, at least Mike's last name was spelled correctly (for a change!).

The initial announcement of Paul McCartney's tour itinerary sent out by e-mail by paulmccartney.com had the New York City dates listed for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, but Macca's tour publicist later sent out a corrected itinerary with Oct. 4 and 5 in their place. Of course, the earlier dates were booked as well, but they weren't supposed to be announced at that point. How to explain such a major screw-up in the unveiling of a tour? We asked our pal Weed, a noted Macologist, who explained: "Look, McCartney albums and tours are like elephants mating. 1. Everything is done at a high level. 2. There's usually a lot of yelling and screaming going on. 3. It takes a minimum of two years to get the results!" . . . In addition to her April 9 "Concert for George" book signing at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York City, Beatle widow Olivia Harrison attended a little-noticed reception March 15 at Taschen Books in Beverly Hills. Our man on the scene, Martin Klein, reports that also in attendance were son Dhani, Olivia's sister, Ringo Starr and wife Barbara, Barbara's sister, Mike Campbell of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and his wife, the wife of guitarist Albert Lee (who was on tour in Europe), Jeff Lynne and Danny Ferrington, who made ukes and guitars for George. The last guitar that George played, in the hospital, was a beautiful acoustic that Danny made for him. Klein asked Dhani about the instrument and he said he has it and had "just played it last night." . . . A week later, Klein saw Olivia and her sister and Ringo, Barb and her sister at the March 26th Bob Dylan concert at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Cheers went up from the crowd when Ringo was spotted walking in. Dhani and some friends also were seen at the March 25th Dylan show. . . .
The most recent sales numbers from SoundScan we've seen (as of late March) show the "Capitol Albums Vol. 1" box with 180,505 sold, Lennon's "Acoustic" album with 152,570 sold, and his "Rock 'n' Roll" reissue with 29,147 units sold . . . This spring, Ringo joined Jerry Lee Lewis in the studio for work on Lewis' forthcoming "The Pilgrim" album. Ringo sang "Sweet Little Sixteen" with Jerry Lee, then Jim Keltner and Ringo double-drummed on "Roll Over Beethoven" . . . Here's something that should surprise absolutely no one: Dubya ain't a Beatles fan. He told Joe Gross of Cox News Service that "The Beatles went through that kind of a weird, psychedelic period, which I particularly didn't care for." . . . Some rare footage of The Beatles' visit to the Southwest of England when filming their "Magical Mystery Tour" in 1967 has been unearthed by the BBC library in Plymouth. The film of them at Plymouth Hoe was found during a transfer of old film reels into the digital format . . . Joanne Peterson, a former aide to Brian Epstein, reportedly is working on a book that contends that one of The Beatles (she's not saying yet which one) engaged in "intimate" relations with Epstein. Uh, Joanne, hate to spoil your "scoop" but that's a very, very old story that's even been the subject of a movie! . . . Yoko Ono may not get along with the Big Mac, but she was praising his designer daughter Stella at a recent party. "She's part of the Beatles family and I'm very pround of her," said Ono, who was wearing a Stella Mac jacket. "She has incredibly high taste and originality. I've been buying her clothes for years." You gotta wonder, though, whether reports (denied by Macca) of Stella's estrangement from her Dad and his second wife have anything to do with Yoko's praise of her . . . You might just think Lexus is a line of high-end cars owned by Toyota. Oh, but they're so much more. Macca, who has signed up Lexus to sponsor his upcoming U.S. tour, told Lexus that he's pleased to hook up with them because "the kind of thing I like to do with my music is to make people happy and at the same time try to help the world. I think that's what you do." And there we thought they just made vehicles featuring air-polluting internal combustion engines! . . . Sooner or later, everyone who ever met a Beatle will have a book out. Rosaura Lopez Lorenzo, 72, of the Spanish port of Pontevedra, who used to clean for John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Dakota in New York, reportedly has one out in Spain that reveals the Lennons "slept on a bedstead supported on two church pews" and consulted an astrologer before traveling. Lennon, she says, "was a very good father and husband, and friendly to everybody. He always treated me kindly." But Ono, she says, "wore the trousers" in the relationship. Once, when Lopez had a cold, Ono decided she needed a warmer coat and gave her a credit card and told her to go buy one "but said it should not be fur, because I was married and husbands don't like fur." She says she only heard Lennon refer once to former partner McCartney, when Paul was busted for pot in Japan. "John was furious. 'What an idiot! Why didn't he get someone to carry it for him? You're a Beatle for Chrissake!'" . . . The Beatles sound-alike band Strawberry Fields will perform at B.B. King's in New York City for after-show parties following Macca's Oct. 4-5 Madison Square Garden dates. Are they any good, we asked our pal Weed. "Oh yeah," he said. "They're very good. They were the 'house band' at Charles Rosenay's wedding." Make that very good!!!

A highly placed source who wishes to remain anonymous (this sounds just like journalism inside the Beltway, doesn't it?) says that Apple has been working hard on the "Let It Be" DVD for two years. "There is a lot to do, but people will be happy with the results," the source says. The target release date, at this point anway (this is Apple, after all!), is fall 2005.
Bill Monnell from the Great White North was in Liverpool in July when James Taylor (onetime Apple act) was doing a concert at the Albert Docks there. On the day Monnell was touring John Lennon's boyhood home, Mendips, he noticed Taylor's signature in the Guest Book. He asked the curator whether this was THE James Taylor, and the curator said yes. The house had been closed to tours the day before and the curator had spent the whole afternoon giving Taylor a private tour of Mendips and Paul McCartney's Forthlin Road boyhood home (plus other Beatles sites in Liverpool, including Strawberry Field and Penny Lane). He said Taylor was very enthusiastic about anything related to the Fabs.
Now that we've heard from Sir Paul that his new album is being produced by Nigel Godrich, what about those "power trio" sessions earlier this year in L.A. with producer Bryce Goggin? We hear that Macca and Goggin didn't hit it off very well, and those sessions may wind up in the "lost" category.
One of the musicians reportedly taking part in those sessions was Jason Falkner, formerly of the Beatles-influenced group Jellyfish, who on his Web site responded to a question about his experience working with Macca: "Paul? You mean the guy who calls me 'Jase'? Hahaha, well I did 2 weeks on his record in April and might be doing a bit more but I'm not sure. It was incredible as one would imagine. He sent me the sweetest letter saying how he's still listening to 'Bedtime With The Beatles' [a children's lullaby album released in 2001 by Falkner] in between naps! I'm still in shock when I think about it."
Meanwhile, Jorie Gracen's Macca Report hears that a rumored song recorded for the new McCartney album, "I've Got My Magic Back", is said to sound like "'Day Tripper' Meets 'Paperback Writer'." The song reportedly opens with Sir Paul singing a capella, "I've got my magic back . . . " Uh, let's hope so.
Also from the Macca Report comes word that Pete Best has put together a video documentary about his days with The Beatles and that Macca supposedly agreed to be interviewed for the documentary.
Speaking of unconfirmed (and improbable) but thoroughly entertaining stories, here's one involving one of the Monkees from John Lennon's "Lost Weekend" that supposedly was posted in a Beatles collectors' e-mail group by a Robert Zack: "I went to Peter Tork's house in 1998 after seeing him with Shoe Suede Blues in a Santa Monica blues club. he was one of the nicest rock stars I ever met. he regaled me with tales of his meeting The Beatles and he played me a reel to reel of the most amazing tape. It was made, he claimed, during Lennon's Lost Weekend. It was a tape of him, Lennon, McCartney, Starr, Nillson and Keith Moon doing "Last Train to Clarksville" (Lennon on vocals), "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" (Lennon on vocals) and one other song I can't remember now. He claims it had never been played before I heard it. I was so flabbergasted I wrote of the episode in my business diary, I'll have to retrieve it as I know there were a few takes of each song. As we all were pretty stoned that night, I wanted to write it down so I could remember it all, but Peter was a very nice man."  
British singer Robbie Williams claims that he saw ghosts while living in Ringo Starr's former home in L.A. "When I moved out, the removal men wouldn't go in because of the old lady sitting in the chair," Robbie told BBC Radio One. "Ringo's son, Zak Starkey, told me: 'I hear you're in my old place,' because his dad used to own it. And he asked me if I'd seen the children in the garden and the old lady. Well, I never saw the kids, but the old lady certainly kept cropping up."
Apple Computer reportedly fired the law firm Linklaters that was representing it in the lawsuit filed by The Beatles' Apple Corps after Linklaters recommended that Apple Computer settle with the Fabs for nearly $37 million. Observers believe the dismissal of Linklaters is a sign the case will continue to drag on.
Here's a dispatch from the "Right Place, Right Time" department from Mike McAteer, who says a buddy of his drove down with a couple of friends to Laguna Beach in California with a bottle of wine and they lit a beach fire, sitting around it late into the evening. Around 10:30 p.m., a certain celebrity walks up and introduces himself as "Paul" and "my wife Heather" and asks "Could we join you?" And they all sat around the fire talking.
Yoko Ono, who seems to have the hottest Beatles-related recording career of late, has enlisted the Flaming Lips to remix her old track "Cambridge 1969", according to MTV.com.
Here's a Ringo quote one of our agents ran across from a bit he did on a Conan O'Brien segment called "Celebrity Secrets": "Yeah, it was incredible, the drugs, the sex, the all-night parties. I really miss that 'Shine Time Station'."
When Madonna was inducted recently into the first class of the U.K. Music Hall of Fame (don't ask, we suppose because she lives there!), a video tribute put together by pals Stella McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow was shown, with the famous pair wearing take-offs on some of the Material Girl's past outfits -- Stella in the pink "Material Girl" dress and Gwyneth donning a conical bra and basque. Stella said Madonna "doesn't compromise -- that's why she's had such staying power." The designer added about the get-ups: "And you look a lot better in this than we do."
Meanwhile, London's Mirror reports Stella gave pal Gwyneth a $108,000 diamond and platinum ring from her own collection for the actress' 32nd birthday.
Stella's smartass dad told The Guardian's Pendennis columnist at the recent opening of the "Each One Believing" photo exhibition in London that he's decided "all young people should be done away with. Anyone under the age of 28. I've had enough of them." Wonder how his son James, 27, felt about that . . .
Speaking of Beatle offspring, as if being John Lennon's son wasn't silver spoon enough, Sean Lennon reportedly is set to inherit some of Elton John's wealth as well. It seems Elton, who is childless, has named his 10 godchildren (of which Sean is one) as his heirs, London's Sun reports.