On October 5th 1962 the first single by The Beatles, ‘Love Me Do’ c/w ‘P.S. I Love You’, was released in the UK on the Parlophone label. Principally written by Paul McCartney a few years earlier, when he was 16 (John Lennon added the middle-eight), and based around 3 chords, it was the first of a run of 3 singles that featured John Lennon on harmonica – the others being ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘From Me To You’, both released the following year (the instrument, a signature of the early Beatles sound, was retired by Lennon 1965). The harmonica used had been pinched from a music shop 2 years previously in Arnhem, Holland, whilst The Beatles were on their way to their first stint in Hamburg, Germany (Aug – Dec ’60). A photograph was also taken of them that day by Barry Chang, the brother-in-law of then manager Allan Williams, as they passed through Arnhem, which would later prove to be somewhat prophetic – the then unknown band, minus Lennon, with their pre-Ringo drummer Pete Best and original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, Williams and his wife Beryl, along with Williams’ one-time partner Lord Woodbine (aka Harold Phillips), who drove the minibus they were travelling in over from Liverpool. The snapshot was taken in front of the War Memorial, on which the legend ‘Their Name Liveth For Evermore’ was carved. Lennon had stayed in the van, opting out of the photo opportunity, whilst apparently declaring himself, in another portent of the future, a pacifist.
Tag Archives | John Lennon
John Robb, my old friend and musical ally (I produced a couple of tracks for his band of the time, Sensuround, back in the early ’90s), blogged his views at Louder Than War a few days ago regarding Paul McCartney’s stuttering appearance at the Olympic opening ceremony last week. Like myself, John holds The Beatles in the highest regard, so I was interested to hear his take on things. He’d formulated his article as ‘An Open Letter To Paul McCartney And The Elder Statesmen Of Pop’:
Stayed in a mad hotel last Friday, the Karim Rashid designed Nhow in Berlin. If you like pink, then this is the place for you – it’s literally everywhere. Not really my cup of tea, all a bit garish and, as someone put it ‘Barbie girl in a Barbie world’, but certainly somewhere you’re not going to forget in a hurry. Described as a ‘music and lifestyle hotel’, you can have guitars and keyboards delivered to your room, and the upper section of the building houses two recording studios, which are run by the company that manage Berlin’s legendary Hansa studio (best known for David Bowie and Iggy Pop’s patronage in 1977 – ‘Heroes’ and ‘Lust For Life’, both recorded there, and ‘Low’ and ‘The Idiot’ partly recorded).
Looking deeper into Folk and Country music has been a case of overcoming the final prejudice in many respects. These were always genres I shied away from, even though I’ve happily cherry picked tracks that I’ve liked along the way. I suppose I dismissed Folk as antiquated, and Country as over-sentimental, and although I’ve had a basic understanding of their roles in shaping popular music, I’ve never had the inclination to look beneath the surface. Until more recently that is.
Just over five months after John Lennon had been shot dead in New York, another 20th century great was taken away from us. Bob Marley was just 36 when he died, thirty years ago today, in Miami on May 11th 1981.
One of my favourite things about Christmas is that it provides the opportunity for me to give an annual listen or two to what some would regard as Pop’s first concept album – the seasonal masterpiece, ‘A Christmas Gift For You’ (aka ‘Phil Spector’s Christmas Album’) issued on Spector’s Philles label, which was originally released at the height of the seminal producer’s powers (although, inauspiciously, on the very day JFK was assassinated – November 22nd 1963).
John Lennon Wikiquote:
I hadn’t planned it that way, but it turned out to be a nice touch that the ‘Abbey Road’ listening session fell in the same week as John Lennon’s 70th birthday anniversary.
John Lennon would have been 70 years old today.
I was in Dublin airport at 9.00am last Saturday morning and had bought a cup of coffee and a scone before boarding my flight to Manchester. I was just picking up a knife to butter the scone when who should I see sat down at the next table but John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten). It turns out that he’d been performing with Public Image Limited at the same festival as I’d been at, Electric Picnic. He was with someone else who looked really familiar, although I couldn’t place him. They had a load of pints of Guinness stacked up in front of them and at one point this Irish lad walked up to their table and, without saying anything, put down a couple more pints for them, gave them the finger, and started to walk back to where he was sat. They didn’t take too kindly to this and started shouting after him, saying it wasn’t good form to tell them to fuck off, Lydon stating that he was in his ’50s and didn’t ‘need that shit’. For a moment it looked like it might kick off, but after they gave the guy a bit of a lecture it seemed to calm down.