============================================================================= "The Beatles Anthology" The History and current Status of The Beatles' version of their story. (c) Copyright 1996 by Ed Chen (email@example.com) and saki (firstname.lastname@example.org) Editorial comments courtesy Allan Kozinn (email@example.com) The authors retain all copyright rights to this file -- It may be freely distributed in its entirety provided that this copyright notice is not removed. Selling of this text, including incorporation into any commercial documents without the express written consent of either of the authors is strictly forbidden by law. =============================================================================
Last Update: October 1, 1996.
The project began at some unspecified time in the early 1970's as "The Long and Winding Road," a film chronicling the story of the Beatles. Despite a reasonably finished rough cut of the film by Neil Aspinall (which supposedly heavily influenced the parody version "The Rutles"), personal and professional problems kept the project unreleased.
In the interim, some of the same footage from "L&WR" was located and used by other producers in projects such as "The Compleat Beatles (1981)," one of the most complete versions of the Fabs' history on film or video.
However, much additional footage remained, and Neil Aspinall (through Allan Kozinn reports that there was "much rarer footage" which had yet to see the light of day.
After the final settlement of the lawsuits between the remaining band members in 1989, the general concept of a filmography was one of the first projects to be revived.
To accompany the film; Paul, George and Ringo went into the studio together. The original intent was to record some incidental music for the project. When they decided to go beyond that limited scope, they agreed that they needed some Lennon "input" to truly make this a Beatles project. Yoko Ono agreed, and the day after Lennon's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she provided the band with a tape containing Lennon demos in various stages of completion. Using these demos as inspiration, the Beatles built upon Lennon's preexisting melodies and lyrics, adding harmonies, full instrumentation, and in at least one case ("Free as a Bird") additional verses.
After discussion, they eventually chose to complete three: "Free As A Bird" "Real Love" and one other Those songs were scheduled for completion by the three in February '94, February '95, and Fall '95 (respectively) with Jeff Lynne producing. George Martin was not invited to participate in the production of the new tracks because of questions concerning his hearing. Martin is still involved, adding his historical input and production knowledge to the archival material for the audio "Anthology."
Although the third track was widely reported to be "Grow Old With Me," in an interview with NYT columist Allan Kozinn, Paul McCartney claimed the third song was a previously unheard Lennon demo (of which McCartney sang a verse to Kozinn), and that there was still a strong possibility that the tune would not be finished.
To preserve the "vintage" sound of the tapes, George Martin insisted on a late-1960's / early-1970's analogue mixing board rather than modern digital equipment. This and other "Anthology" facts are revealed in an interview with Martin in the October issue of the British industry magazine "Studio Sound," and extended upon in the November 1995 issue of "EQ."
On the video front, hundreds-to-thousands of hours of footage have been viewed in preparation of the project. After one of the first screenings of the (edited) material for the Beatles, George Harrison commented to a radio reporter on the first two hours with the statement that "At the end of it, Pete Best hadn't even joined the band yet."
The final project will consist of six hours of commercial airtime (five hours of program content) to be aired around the world (in the States on ABC-TV) beginning in November 1995, according to a network affiliate.
Additional footage will be incorporated into ten hours of video. The release date for the collective video histories is September 5 in the US in both VHS and Laserdisc format. Unlike what was previously reported, the tapes will *only* be available collectively. The producers of the project have been adamant to state that the videos will not simply be "an expanded version of the television series," according to Apple Spokesman Derek Taylor.
As promotion for the video releases, ABC will be re-airing the television Anthololgy in September.
In addition to archival material, the Beatles, George Martin, Neil Aspinall, and Derek Taylor have all steadily been filming interviews, which will be liberally sprinkled throughout the project. As perhaps a subtle commentary, one of the locations where interviews were performed was Portmeiron, a small, architecturally interesting community perhaps best known as the site of the television series "The Prisoner."
The series was aired in the US on ABC as three two-hour specials, November 19,22, and 23. It is airing in Britain on ITV, also beginning November 19, but the rate of an hour a week from then until Christmas Eve.
As compensation for the extra wait, ITV's version of Anthology runs 25-30 minutes longer than the one screened on US television, with most of that time spent on more complete song sequences.
Capitol arranged for a satellite broadcast of "Free As a Bird" to be done the night of November 19. This allowed radio airplay to begin almost immediately, and may have been partially responsible for the illustrious sales start "Anthology I" had it's first week out.
In 1996, separate and collective videos will be available in an expanded format, and will be on sale at video stores in the U.S. and the UK.
Capitol records and ABC are clearly planning for Anthology to be the major event of this Christmas. Beyond the $20 million the network paid to Apple for rights to "Anthology," they have earmarked an additional $30 million for promotion and advertising. As part of the agreement, ABC was given exclusive rights to the first airing of "Free As A Bird" on November 19,1995. It will be available for sale as part of the first double CD set to accompany the "Anthology" project, on November 21.
ABC is charging advertisers roughly $300,000 per 30-second commercial, and the current rumor (from Forbes magazine) is that all spots for all three nights have been sold.
Meanwhile, Capitol has hired Steve Chamberlain away from Turner Entertainment to handle the musical end of "Anthology" promotion. Apple plans are for this project to have new releases over a 15-month period of time, and sell product through this and next Christmas. According to "Beatlefan" magazine, Chamberlain has promised a "massive reintroduction of the Beatles." This "reintroduction" will include heavy promotion on MTV and VH1 to attract "that younger demographic." This campaign has begun with ads featuring selected "Anthology" images on MTV with the tagline urging kids to "See What messed up your parents."
MTV and its sister station VH-1 have slotted "Free As A Bird" to air beginning the week of November 27. Expect the video to show up more frequently on the latter, as they (VH-1) showed more interest in the revival, devoting time to an "Anthology" preview, as well as turning over regular programming (eg: "4 on the Floor") to Beatles-related topics.
The other slogan widely seen in all advertising for "Anthology" is "You haven't heard everything yet."
The first round of promotional material, included posters, banners, flyers, buttons and other such ephemera, send to stores in large enough quantities for every fan to get at least something. Lithographs and limited edition merchandise (eg: afghans) was also supplied to stores to push "midnight madness" sales at midnight on the twentieth.
The third "Anthology" (A3) is scheduled to be released on October 8, coinciding with the week of the fifty-sixth anniversary of John Lennon's birth.
Long-time Beatle friend Klaus Voorman is the artist chosen to do the cover for the first "Anthology" CD's.
The cover for the "Anthology" CD-set has been released, and published in places such as the LA Times and USA Today. The cover consists of a collage of photos and follows the previously announced plan that the three covers placed side by side will create a single "meta" cover. The complete image is seen briefly in the "Free As A Bird" video.
"Beatlefan/Extra" reports that the CD artwork will be replicated on the front covers of the videos, but divided into eight parts. The spines of the videos will join to create yet another illustration, this time of the band on the Ed Sullivan show.
The video cover(s) and box can be seen in the Beatlefest '96 program booklet. The release date for the 10-hour, 10-tape box is currently set at September 5.
The Molyneaux home recording from the afternoon Lennon met McCartney has reportedly been nixed from the first set as impossible to bring up to anywhere near acceptable sound quality, according to New York Times music writer Allan Kozinn.
This tape, made on July 6, 1957, captures Lennon and the Quarry Men singing Elvis Presley and Lonnie Donegan covers. When asked, Apple spokesman Derek Taylor did not even know what had become of the tape. However, it is known the tape is still in the archives, and some restoration work has been done to it. Allan Kozinn heard a cleaned up version of the tape, and found the sound quality appalling.
"The Beatles Monthly" quote McCartney describing Harrison's heretofore unreleased "You'll Know What to Do" with "It's not the greatest thing George ever wrote, but it's an undiscovered nugget. If you find a little Egyptian pot, it doesn't have to be the greatest Egyptian pot. The fact that it is Egyptian is enough."
Musically, "Anthology I" has met all expectations. Nearly one million sales the first week, and a total of three weeks at the top of the charts. The sales place the album second in total first-week sales, and well ahead for sales of a double CD.
These numbers are not including the sales at "non-Soundscan" sites selling the discs (eg: grocery and convenience stores). If Capitol estimates are to be believed, sales may be as much as 20% higher than the numbers reported in "Billboard."
The second volume of "Anthology" CD's was released March 19, 1996, with the third volume following in the fall. This represents a several-week delay from the planned release date, this due to a change of running order requested by Paul McCartney.
The single (not being under an ABC "ban") arrived in stores on March 5, and contains "Real Love," "Yellow Submarine" (extended, with spoken word intro), "Baby's In Black" (Hollywood Bowl), and "Here There and Everywhere" (early take, including McCartney guide vocal.)
The third volume of "Anthology" CD's is set to be released October 29. The official track listing is: (the full press release is available from Dave Fell:
All 27 tracks previously unreleased (Track notes by Mark Lewisohn)
1.A BEGINNING -- A short orchestral piece composed by George Martin as the original intro to Don't Pass Me By.
2.HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN -- John's blues, the first of seven tracks from demo sessions for The White Album recorded at George Harrison's home.
3.HELTER SKELTER -- R & B version of Paul's legendary heavy metal rocker.
4.MEAN MR. MUSTARD -- First soundings of John's Abbey Road classic taped at George's home.
5.POLYTHENE PAM -- Acoustic demo, from the "home tapes", of John's witty Abbey Road number.
6.GLASS ONION -- An acoustic "home taping" of John's White Album belter.
7.JUNK -- Paul's early working of the ballad demoed at George's but issued on McCartney.
8.PIGGIES -- George's "home taped" demo of his incisive comment for The White Album.
9.HONEY PIE -- The final track from the "home tapes", Paul's acoustic demo of The White Album song.
10.DON'T PASS ME BY -- An out-take of Ringo's first solo song composition.
11.OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA -- A fully completed alternative version of Paul's calypso swinger.
12.GOOD NIGHT -- An eavesdrop into a Beatles session, with ideas pitched from all as Ringo sings.
13.CRY BABY CRY -- Take One of John's White Album song.
14.BLACKBIRD -- A pure acoustic/vocal performance of Paul's ballad. 15.SEXY SADIE -- John's slower version of the master.
16.WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS -- A laid-back, acoustic demo of George's classic.
17.HEY JUDE -- An alternative version, with ad-libs, of Paul's all-time great.
18.NOT GUILTY -- A completely unreleased track written by George for The White Album.
19.MOTHER NATURE'S SON -- A strictly solo rendition by Paul.
20.GLASS ONION -- A then-unreleased experiment in music and sound-effects by John.
21.ROCKY RACCOON -- A fun out-take of Paul's White Album comedy.
22.WHAT'S THE NEW MARY JANE -- Another completely unreleased track, conceived by John in best experimental style.
23.STEP INSIDE LOVE/LOS PARANOIAS -- Light-hearted jams from the White Album sessions. Paul wrote Step Inside Love as the theme for Cilla Black's TV series. Los Paranoias was made up on the spot.
24.I'M SO TIRED -- A fine alternative of John's masterpiece.
25.I WILL -- The master was take 67. This is Paul's take one.
26.WHY DON'T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD -- Paul's acoustic guitar early take.
27.JULIA -- A gentle studio work-out of John's ballad.
1.I'VE GOT A FEELING -- The first of 12 selections from the Let It Be sessions at the Apple studio in January 1969, with Billy Preston on keyboards for Paul and John's doubleheader.
2.SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW -- A Let It Be rehearsal for Paul's song from Abbey Road.
3.DIG A PONY -- Fine vocal performances highlight John's Let It Be out-take.
4.TWO OF US -- Paul and John emulate The Everly Brothers in this duet.
5.FOR YOU BLUE -- A good unreleased version of George's 12-bar blues.
6.TEDDY BOY -- An unreleased Beatles track, written by Paul and issued on his 1970 solo debut album.
7.MEDLEY: RIP IT UP/ SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL/BLUE SUEDE SHOES -- A jam from the Let It Be sessions.
8.THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD -- The Let It Be version of this was dressed up with orchestra and choir -- this is the undressed version as Paul intended it to sound.
9.OH! DARLING -- Another Let It Be rehearsal for Paul's song that would be taped anew for Abbey Road, the Beatles' final recorded album.
10.ALL THINGS MUST PASS -- The first of three demos by George recorded solo at Abbey Road in February 1969, never released by The Beatles, but the title track of his first post-Beatles album.
11.MAILMAN, BRING ME NO MORE BLUES -- The Beatles sing Buddy Holly.
12.GET BACK -- Paul's rocker recorded live during The Beatles last live performance, on the roof at Apple.
13.OLD BROWN SHOE -- The second of George's solo demos.
14.OCTOPUS' GARDEN -- An early out-take of Ringo's song for Abbey Road.
15.MAXWELL'S SILVER HAMMER -- Written by Paul during the White Album sessions, rehearsed during Let It Be, and recorded during Abbey Road.
16.SOMETHING -- The last of George's solo demos from February 1969, an early beginning of a classic.
17.COME TOGETHER -- First take of John's Abbey Road opener.
18.COME AND GET IT -- Paul's demo, completed in under an hour, of the hit he gave to Badfinger.
19.AIN'T SHE SWEET -- 1969 recording of the standard that The Beatles first taped in Hamburg in 1961.
20.BECAUSE -- A stunning new remix of John's Abbey Road track.
21.LET IT BE -- A live-in-the-studio out-take of Paul's anthem 22.I ME MINE -- The last new song recorded by The Beatles for 24 years, taped in January 1970. This is the original version of George's Let It Be number.
23.THE END -- A guitar-based version of Paul's aptly-titled last track on The Beatles' last recorded album. And still saying it all.
Of the ancillary side, the following items have also been announced to go along with the video and CD's, according to Capitol Records:
Finally, in the "the-more-things-change, the-more-they-stay-the-same" department, expect the three former Beatles not to appear together in any publicity. Harrison has expressed a desire to do no publicity at all for the project, and indeed has agreed to interviews with reporters only via fax.
Indeed, Harrison stuck to his guns, with his only major interview (with friend Timothy White) appearing in "Billboard" and "Musician" at times less than optimal for "Anthology 2" publicity.
Neil Aspinall is quoted as saying "There is no need for appearances by myself or the former Beatles. Publicity (for the project) will 'just happen.'"
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Beatles rocked and rolled the competition Sunday in the first installment of ``The Beatles Anthology.'' Airing on the network that renamed itself A-Beatles-C for the event, ``Anthology'' averaged an 18.6 rating, 28 share for the two-hour period, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research figures released by ABC Monday. The network estimated more than 47 million viewers tuned in for the broadcast. In these overnight figures, which measure slightly more than half the nation's TV homes, NBC scored a 12.3 rating, 18 share for part one of its miniseries ``Dead By Sunset,'' going head-to-head with the Beatles. CBS averaged a 10.5 rating and 15 share for its TV film, ``Remember Me.'' ABC won the night overall with a 15.7 rating, 23 share. Overnight ratings measure 33 major markets, representing 53 million TV homes. That means each overnight ratings point represents 530,000 TV homes. Share is the percentage of TV sets in use at any one time that are tuned to a particular broadcast. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= NEW YORK (AP) -- Yeah, yeah, yeah -- the Fab Four still know how to sell records. The Beatles' ``Anthology I'' sold 450,000 copies in its first day of release Tuesday, the most single-day sales ever for an album, Capitol Records spokesman Paul Freundlich said. It includes the first new Beatles song in 25 years, ``Free As A Bird,'' creating by adding new tracks to a tape John Lennon made before his death. The double CD could break the one-week sales mark set by Pearl Jam in 1993, when the Seattle rockers sold 950,000 copies of ``Vs.'' in its first week of release. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= LONDON (AP) -- Multiple time signatures, modulating keys, a melancholy lyric, over three minutes play-time and a ukulele? Who do these guys think they are -- the Beatles? Well, yes. The Fab Four are back with a song that they might have dismissed as uneven in their heyday, but is inventive enough to remind you why they are still missed. ``Free as a Bird'' was composed at the piano by John Lennon at his New York apartment and recorded on a portable cassette machine sometime between 1975 and 1980. ``It's not as great as `Strawberry Fields,''' said longtime Beatles producer George Martin. ``But it's much better than some other Number Ones they had.'' In early 1994, Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, gave the tape to Paul McCartney, who joined with the other surviving Beatles, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, to lay down a complex overlay of tracks. The song opens the new double-disk ``The Beatles Anthology I,'' which otherwise is confined to seldom-heard outtakes from the Beatles archives. A lot of the material has long been available. Other tracks have strictly historical relevance: A cut of the group's first single, ``Love Me Do,'' with original drummer Pete Best, amply demonstrates that his inability to keep the beat, not his refusal to comb his hair forward, is why Starr replaced him. Critics charged the survivors with greed for reviving material they once rejected. But the Beatles' old publicist, Derek Taylor said money was not an issue and the material's value lay in its historical importance, ``like Winston Churchill's papers.'' The new song is less than a revelation: In 1977, when Ono believes the tape was recorded, Lennon was in an acknowledged dry period. It shows in the uninventive, almost whiny melody. Jeff Lynne, founder of Electric Light Orchestra and the man who used digitalization to enhance the crude original recording, commended the song's ``depth.'' Certainly, ``Free as a Bird'' recalls the group's later, more thoughtful years. The phrase subversively matches a cliche of optimism to an eerie, half-tone melody, establishing an unsettling tenor similar to the 1967 classic, ``Strawberry Fields Forever.'' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= NEW YORK (AP) -- After waiting 25 years for some new Beatles music, rabid fans weren't about to miss the first opportunity to buy it. They rushed to music stores around the country Tuesday to buy ``Beatles Anthology I,'' which contains ``Free As a Bird,'' the Fab Four's first new song since they split up in 1970. ``The world is going to come to a stop,'' said Tim Devin, general manager of a Tower Records store in New York City. ``For nostalgia they'll come out for it, for curiosity, just for the love of the music.'' At a Chicago Tower Records, 250 people were in the store when the Beatles record went on sale at midnight. Stores in some cities started selling the album Monday afternoon. ``There's a new Bruce Springsteen record, too, but 99 percent of the people are here because of the Beatles,'' Tower Record sales manager Joe Kvidera said in Chicago. In New Orleans' French Quarter, Tower Records stayed open an hour past its usual midnight closing to meet demand. ``We had people waiting 30 minutes before it went on sale and it picked up dramatically just before midnight, when there were maybe 30 or 40 people waiting,'' clerk Monica Romero said. Radio stations, even all-news stations, played ``Free As a Bird'' incessantly Monday after its debut on ABC-TV the night before. On the basis of overnight ratings, ABC estimated 47 million people watched Sunday night's documentary. The Beatles' first appearance on the ``Ed Sullivan Show'' in 1964 drew 73 million viewers. ``Free As a Bird'' is a midtempo ballad that was originally recorded on a home cassette player in 1977 by the late John Lennon. Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr added their voices, instruments and new lyrics. With Harrison's slide guitar and production by Jeff Lynne, its sound owes as much to the Traveling Wilburys as the Beatles. The composition is reminiscent of Lennon's 1970 solo song ``Love,'' and Harrison's Beatles elegy, ``All Those Years Ago.'' ``A lot of Beatles fans have called to say how emotional it is to listen to it,'' said Andre Gardner, program director at New York City's WXRK-FM. ``Even if they're not Beatles fans, they're calling to say it's a great song.'' Others disagreed. Charles Rosenay, publisher of the Beatles fan magazine Good Day Sunshine, said he had hoped for something infectious and bouncy. ``It wasn't a mop-tops song and it was probably naive to think that's what it would be,'' said Rosenay, of New Haven, Conn. Geoffrey Giuliano, author of several Beatles books, said the song was only a fragment of an idea that Lennon probably would never have wanted released. ``I feel betrayed by the Beatles. I think it was a horrible idea,'' he said. The song opens the new double album, which otherwise is confined to seldom-heard outtakes from the Beatles archives. Some 31,000 boxes of the album were distributed across the country Monday from the United Parcel Service center at Louisville, Ky., under tight security. A convoy of trucks carrying the compact discs from the Capitol Records factory in Jacksonville, Ill., had been tracked by satellite and radio as it crossed Indiana on Sunday. The record company had an exclusive deal with ABC-TV to air the song first and went to great lengths to prevent leaks. A Beatles spokesman said he knew of no security breaches. But security apparently broke down Monday, at least in Albuquerque, N.M., and Atlanta. ``Our corporate office in Minneapolis told us we could release a day early,'' said Kathy Salavar, a store manager at the Target department store in Albuquerque. With the cash registers at Target ringing well before midnight, the Media Play record store next door followed suit. Media Play in suburban Atlanta also started selling the anthology in the afternoon. Shoppers called the Music Disc store in Denver steadily on Monday to reserve their copies, clerk Karen Aamodt said. ``Nobody is asking how much it costs,'' she said. ``The record business needs this. We haven't had a strong, super-duper hit for a long while.'' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= LONDON (Reuter) - Beatlemania returned to British record stores Tuesday as fans eagerly snatched up the first album by the world's most famous pop group in 25 years. Music critics gave a mixed reception to the album, which is headed by a new song from their murdered founder John Lennon, his voice echoing from beyond the grave on ``Free As A Bird.'' But nostalgia brought out hundreds of fans who queued in London and Liverpool, the Beatles' home town, for stores to open at midnight when the album was released. ``The world is ready for another bout of Beatlemania,'' said a spokesman for London's giant HMV music store. In the first few hours HMV sold almost 1,000 copies of the anthology album that includes studio music, live recordings, television sessions and two Lennon originals. ``Up till now (the British band) Oasis was the fastest-selling of the Nineties. The Beatles might match that. Not bad going for a 30-year-old band,'' said HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo. The Virgin megastore in London sold 350 copies in the first 30 minutes of trading. ``This is amazing for a band as old as the Beatles,'' said a spokeswoman. ``Free as a Bird,'' an unfinished home demo recorded by Lennon in New York before he was gunned down in 1980, was given to the three surviving Beatles by his widow, Yoko Ono. Coming together in the studio for the first time since their acrimonious breakup in 1970, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr added backing track and support vocals. Pop impresario Jonathan King was scathing, telling The Times: ``It is total rubbish. It sounds like a very bad demo tape made by elderly session musicians struggling to earn a crust.'' The Independent newspaper, mocking the worldwide hype, ran a cartoon showing the surviving ``Threetles'' singing ``All You Need is Greed'' as Lennon, dressed as an angel, cringed behind a speaker. Paul Lester of the influential pop magazine Melody Maker said: ``It is a little macabre, this voice from the grave.'' ``But the fact is that the Beatles still have a sinister hold on the British public,'' he said. Bookmakers made the Lennon song odds-on favorite to be number one at Christmas and give the Beatles their 18th chart-topper after a gap of a quarter of a century. Pop stations gave the song saturation cover and disc jockey Paul Gambaccini was unstinting in his praise: ``Any new Beatles song is better than No Beatles song. I am delighted.'' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= BUCHAREST, Romania (Reuter) - Some royalities from the Beatles new song ``Free as a Bird'' will be donated to fund a Romanian AIDS charity set up by their wives and pop star Elton John, the wife of Beatle George Harrison said Tuesday. ``They (Beatles) have donated a percentage, a very large amount of money, of their royalties for the project,'' Olivia Harrison told Reuters. She declined to say what percentage of the royalties surviving Beatles Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would give from the single, included on the new album ``Anthology,'' their first recording since the band broke up in 1970. Harrison was in Bucharest as part of her work with ``Romanian Angel Appeal,'' a charity set up in 1990 by her, Ringo's wife Barbara Bach Starkey, Linda McCartney and Yoko Ono. wife of lyricist John Lennon who was murdered in New York in 1980. Elton John is the only non-Beatle founder of the appeal. ``We spent some $4 million over the past five years in many projects,'' Olivia Harrison said. Like many foreigners, the Beatles's wives were moved by harrowing scenes of Romanian orphanages after the 1989 revolution which toppled communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) had been a taboo subject in Romania and revolution lifted the lid on a sorry tale of thousands of children infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which causes the disease, mostly from contaminated blood, poor hygeine and bad medical practice. Ninety-percent of Romania's AIDS cases are children. The first case was reported in 1985 and Romania now tops the list in Europe with the highest rate of juvenile AIDS with 3,279 cases reported of a total of 3,601 cases of full-blown AIDS. The Romanian Angel Appeal has concentrated on renovating the squalid buildings housing AIDS children and disabled children. ``We have done a lot of renovation and paid salaries for many of the nursing staff in two clinics -- in Bucharest's Colentina hospital and in the Constanta hospital,'' Olivia said. Constanta has the worst child AIDs rate in Europe. As many as 1,262 children and 104 adults registered with AIDS have died so far in Romania. Up to 90 percent of the juvenile AIDS cases have been among institutionalised children, the thousands of children abandoned in so-called orphanages most of whom have parents who leave them there to be cared for by the state. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= (Thanks to Steve Marinucci firstname.lastname@example.org for the following wire story) John, Paul, George ... and Andy By MATT ZOLLER SEITZ c.1995 Newhouse News Service KEARNY, N.J. _ It's 8 p.m. on a cold Wednesday and expatriate Scotsman Sonny McTeown, the plump barkeep of the Scots-American Club in this North Jersey town, is talking about one of his favorite customers, Andy White. ``He's a quiet one, Andy,'' McTeown says through a powerfully thick Glasgow burr. ``You'd think a guy that played with the Beatles _ that played with the damned Beatles _ would be all like this, here ... '' McTeown mimes a drunk slamming back a beer, then jabbing a self-satisfied thumb at himself, grinning proudly. ``That's how you and I would be, but not Andy,'' McTeown says. Fact is, if you don't ask, White won't tell you about his main claim to fame _ that on Sept. 4, 1962, for three fleeting hours, he played with the Beatles on what would later become their first No. 1 single, ``Please Please Me.'' Shortly after 8 p.m. White enters the Scots' Club _ a 65-year-old man with a neatly trimmed gray mustache, a wool cap and layers of winter clothes bundled around a lean frame. He's carrying a drum kit. McTeown introduces him to a reporter who wants him to talk about playing with the Beatles. After 10 minutes of polite conversation, White says, yes, he'd be delighted to talk about it. But another day would be better. Right now, he has to go upstairs to the drafty second-floor dance hall, where, for the next couple of hours, he'll teach high school band students the fine art of Scottish-style pipe band drumming. ``You know, it's not really that big a deal,'' he says of playing with the Beatles. ``It's just something that happened.'' He's not exaggerating. Andy White, Glasgow-born son of working-class bakers, took up drumming in a bagpipe band at age 12, got his first professional quality drum kit at age 17 and spent the next decade and a half gigging across the British Isles with various swing, jazz and pop ensembles. Then, at age 32, history touched him _ and passed him by. A representative from EMI, the prominent British record label, phoned to ask if he could come to a London studio that afternoon and play drums for a pop group. White didn't ask any questions. He was a young, married, session musician, playing for union scale with groups that usually did not go on to become famous. ``It doesn't sound such a great job by today's standards,'' says White during an interview back at his home in Caldwell, N.J., where he lives with his second wife, Thea, a librarian. ``But back then, you could make a pretty good living off session work. Everything was cheaper, too.'' White was pleasantly surprised when he arrived in the studio and found John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, already well-known in London as the Beatles. Ringo Starr, who had recently been hired to replace drummer Pete Best, was there, too. But though the session's recording manager, EMI studio wizard George Martin, liked Ringo, he didn't think he was experienced enough to keep time at the group's first professional recording session. So Martin had him play tambourine instead. ``He didn't want to take a chance on Ringo,'' says White. ``I guess he felt there was too much at stake.'' White has specific memories of the four lads _ and their distinct personalities, which would soon captivate the world. ``Ringo was very pleasant, a good guy,'' he says. ``George was pretty quiet and retiring. And of course, John and Paul were the leading lights. Each one had his own ideas as to what would make the music work best, and they'd play off each other, throwing jokes back and forth.''[EP] On that September day, John, Paul, George and Andy recorded three songs: ``Please Please Me,'' ``Love Me Do'' and ``P.S., I Love You.'' White was impressed with the Beatles' musicianship and even more taken by the fact that EMI was allowing them to record original material. At that time, the British pop scene was so cowed by the defiantly American sound of rock 'n' roll that most new bands were expected to record only cover versions of proven Stateside hits. Not that White was intimidated. As a teen-ager, he had pounded his way to a distinctive and versatile rhythmic style, influenced both by traditional Scottish drumming and by the complex demands of swing and bebop music. Throughout the late '50s and early '60s, he had worked with plenty of mainstream pop musicians, including Herman's Hermits and Anthony Newley. And he recently had returned to London after a lengthy tour of the American Northeast, drumming with an all-star lineup of rock acts that included Chuck Berry, the Platters and Bill Haley and the Comets. Playing with the Beatles required few adjustments.[EP] The songs were pleasant, he says, especially ``P.S., I Love You'' (``a very pretty single''). He thought the group was personable enough and talented enough to make it big. But he had no idea how big. Within three months, ``Love Me Do'' climbed to No. 17 on the British charts. Two months after that, in February 1963, ``Please Please Me,'' featuring Andy White on drums, zoomed all the way to No. 1. It was only the beginning for the Beatles. By early 1964, a re-recorded version of ``Please Please Me,'' featuring a more confident Ringo on drums, had soared to No. 1 on the American charts, followed in short order by ``The Ed Sullivan Show,'' the magazine covers, the armies of screaming female fans. ``I never really spoke to them after that day,'' White says. ``And then, of course, they became this phenomenon.'' Over the next several years, White split his time between Britain and Scotland, playing with everyone from the Glasgow Symphony Orchestra to lounge crooner Tom Jones. (Those are White's sticks keeping time on Jones' most enduring hit single, ``It's Not Unusual.'') He earned a living, made friends, got divorced, traveled. For a little more than a decade beginning in 1964, he spent three months of each year touring the United States with film star and legendary German cabaret icon Marlene Dietrich (her musical director was a then-unknown composer named Burt Bacharach). The Beatles, who touched his life so briefly, remain omnipresent. Scattered around the Whites' duplex are bits of memorabilia he unpacked to show a visiting reporter _ including a reissued 1982-vintage Beatles record containing both versions of ``Please Please Me.'' Nearly every magazine and newspaper in the apartment prominently features an article about the Beatles _ hardly surprising considering the heavy promotion ABC is giving its ``Beatles Anthology'' airing this week. While White is, by his own admission, ``the answer to a trivia question,'' his aura of gentleness and serenity during this latest Fab Four resurgence is almost unnerving. He carries himself like a man who likes who he is and where he is and does not regret what might have been. But still, it's impossible not to ask the obvious questions. Does he ever obsess over his performance on those three songs? Does he ever wonder what might have happened if Ringo had gotten the ax and the Beatles had gone looking for a replacement? ``Oh, no,'' he says. ``Like I said, it was just something that happened. To think of it as anything more is a bit silly.'' If he met a perfect stranger and sensed he might make a good friend, how long would he wait before revealing that he once played with the Beatles? A month? An hour? Five minutes? He thinks about it for a moment. Then he grins. ``I think it depends on how much I wanted to impress you.'' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= BIG DECISION TO ALLOW BEATLES REUNION -- YOKO ONO Copyright 1995 by Reuters Mon, 13 Nov 1995 7:30:14 PST LONDON (Reuter) - Yoko Ono said Monday it was a ``very, very big decision'' to release a homemade tape of John Lennon singing for the first Beatles record in 26 years, but she felt it would be wrong to stand in the way of a Beatles reunion. Speaking 15 years after her partner Lennon was shot in New York, Ono said the decade after his death had been incredibly frightening and she had forgotten what pleasure was. ``I don't regard pleasure as part of my existence any more,'' Ono told the Daily Mail newspaper. The Japanese artist met Lennon in 1966 and has been widely portrayed, and reviled in the British media, as the woman who caused the breakup of the Beatles in 1969. The couple lived in New York with their son Sean until Lennon's murder by crazed fan Mark Chapman in December 1980. Later this month the three surviving Beatles - Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr - will release an anthology of 60 Beatles songs and star in a documentary series. Two of the songs, ``Free As A Bird'' and ``Real Love,'' were recorded by Lennon before his death. The three other Beatles have added instrumental backing. ``I remember how John always said there could be no reunion of the Beatles because, if they got together again, the world would be so disappointed to see four rusty old men, as he put it,'' Ono told the Daily Mail. ``I also felt that those two tracks were private songs recorded at home. It was like a kind of physical hurt to me to think of someone taking them and messing with them. ``But I decided it was important that people should remember John as John, not just as a part of John and Yoko. And the Beatles have become a very important power to many people. ``I felt that for me to stand in the way of that reunion would be wrong. So I decided to go with the flow.'' Ono says she is reconciled with McCartney but she still has little doubt about who was the driving force of the Beatles. ``After all, the Beatles were John's group. He was the band leader and the one who coined the Beatles name,'' she said. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= NEW YORK (Reuter) - Time to sell that Beatles record stashed away in the attic? Or the poster from their last live show in England? The release of ``Free as a Bird,'' the John Lennon song that ''reunited'' the group for its first recording in 25 years, has reignited Beatlemania on both sides of the Atlantic. The recording, part of a new collection selling briskly at record stores in the United States and Britain, coincides with a new televised documentary. So now may be the time to cash in Fab Four momentos for top dollar. But don't bet the children's college education on that old Beatles lunch box. ``They're probably the most collectible'' of rock 'n roll bands, said Jim Henke, the chief curator at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. ``It was the impact they had not just on music but on popular culture. Somehow people want to go back and relive those years,'' Henke said. Many fans who grew up listening to the Beatles now earn enough to collect everything from their scribblings to their instruments to their bathroom sinks. ``A lot of this stuff stayed in the closet for a long time,'' said Lisa Sharken at Christie's auction house in New York. ``Now people are saying, 'Wow, this might be worth something'.'' The market for Beatles memorabilia is certainly well established. There are dozens of serious collectors and hundreds, if not thousands, with smaller collections. Public auctions have been held for several years in London, New York and other cities. The prices commanded can boggle the mind. The group's Rolls-Royce, painted in psychedelic colors, sold for nearly $2.3 million in 1985, almost 20 times the price it was expected to fetch, making it the most expensive single bit of Beatles history ever sold. At a Sotheby's auction in London in September, Paul McCartney's hand-written lyrics for the song ``Getting Better'' sold for about $249,000, a record for a Beatles song. But just because an item is Beatles-related does not guarantee a gold mine, or even that it's worth much money at all. At a New York auction in January, Ringo Starr's customized 1957 Chevrolet, listed for $40,000 to $50,000, was taken off the block when the bidding stopped at $16,000. The bathroom sink that Brooklyn plumber Louis Iacobelli had removed from John Lennon's New York home at the Dakota apartment building sold for $450. Bids were to open at $6,000. At Sotheby's September auction where the McCartney lyrics set a record, Lennon's sketchbook with portraits of teachers, pupils and a self-portrait failed to reach its presale estimated price of $120,000. It was not sold. ``It's unpredictable,'' said Rob Levine at Sotheby's. ''There are limits to what's high end and what's authentic.'' For example, many people have Beatles records with great sentimental but little monetary value, he and other experts said. But if the record jacket has one authentic signature -- or better yet the signatures of John, Paul, George and Ringo -- the item has a chance to command a high price. ``Anything where there's the personal touch, such as letters or lyrics,'' said Henke, the museum curator. Areas just coming into their own include Beatles posters, some mass-produced merchandise, and of course, instruments. Guitars, the emblem of rock 'n roll, usually command higher prices than keyboards or other instruments. Christie's and Sotheby's are each offering dozens of Beatles items at auctions scheduled for Nov. 29 and Dec. 16, respectively. Among Sotheby's offerings: McCartney's handwritten notes for the song ``Hey Jude,'' estimated to sell for $40,000 to $45,000; a poster from a 1966 concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park and an unused ticket from the show ($400 to $600), and Beatles dolls with bobbing heads ($800 to $1,000). At a separate sale in London on Dec. 11, Sotheby's will offer a 20-foot long Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limousine once owned by Ringo Starr. The presale estimate is about $62,000. Christie's items include a Lennon draft of lyrics to ``She Said'' with a note on the back ($7,000 to $9,000); one of Lennon's bathrobes from the mid-1960s ($1,800 to $2,500), and an anniversary card from Paul to Linda with McCartney's ``Press to Play'' album ($700 to $1,000). Less expensive items include a Beatles toy ukulele ($300 to $500) and a Beatles gum machine ($600 to $800). While the market for pop memorabilia can be notoriously fickle, Beatles collectibles have been more stable than most others, the experts said. ``With a lot of this (Beatles) stuff, the value only increases,'' said Christie's Sharken. Especially compared to some other pop stars ``it's a fairly safe investment.'' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= LOS ANGELES (Reuter) - The latest collection of rare Beatles songs went on sale across the United States Tuesday, free of the publicity blitz that accompanied the release of the first installment last November. Retailers cited strong initial sales for ``The Beatles Anthology Volume 2'' but said fans' reaction was more low-key than for ``Anthology 1'', which generated a multi-part television special and widespread advertising campaigns. The latest double set features 45 unreleased tracks and rough takes spanning the ``Help!'' to ``Magical Mystery Tour'' era from February 1965 to February 1968. The first single is ''Real Love'', a ``new'' song based on a John Lennon demo tape. ``Anthology 1'' has sold about 3.2 million copies in the United States, according to SoundScan, which monitors retail sales. It spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 charts, selling a massive 855,000 copies in its first week. Capitol Records, the Beatles' U.S. record label, has indicated the new release may have to work harder to reach such levels. ``The first volume was surrounded by all the hype and hysteria, and (with) the second volume we really want to bring it back down to the music,'' said Bruce Kirkland, an executive vice president at Capitol. ``We think it will take a little longer to get that across but we have the time to do that.'' Sales research on ``Anthology 1'' showed many of the buyers were teen-aged or slightly older rather than the baby boomers traditionally perceived as the Beatles' primary fan base, Kirkland said. Sales of the band's catalog also soared in the wake of the album's release, he added. Other tracks include live versions of ``I Feel Fine'', ''Yesterday'' and ``Help!'' as well as early versions of ''Norwegian Wood'', ``Taxman'' and ``Strawberry Fields Forever''. ``Anthology 3'', the third and final installment, is expected to be released later this year. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= LONDON, Oct 16 (Reuter) - The three surviving Beatles have ruled out a reunion and decided not to release any more singles. The decision was announced after the release of ``Anthology III,'' the third album of rare archive material covering the career of the world's most famous pop group. To mark the first two anthologies, Paul McCartney, George Harison and Ringo Starr released two new songs remixed with the voice and backing of John Lennon, who was murdered outside his New York apartment in 1980. The first two anthology albums have sold 12 million copies. The three surviving Beatles vetoed moves to release a soulful version of their song ``Helter Skelter'' as a single. Former Beatles press officer Derek Taylor told reporters at the album launch on Tuesday: ``There is no more. The Beatles needed what the Americans call closure, and this is it. ``There will certainly never be a Beatles reunion on stage, that is for sure.'' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<ESC>
Click here to return to the rmb home page.