December 28, 2011

Let It Be and Magical Mystery Tour films being reissued on DVD

More than 40 years after their release, The Beatles' "Let It Be" and the "Magical Mystery Tour" films may finally be coming to Blu-ray and DVD.
"Let It Be" director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who has making the rounds to promote his autobiography "Luck and Circumstance," spoke about The Beatles in an interview with radio station WNYC-FM.
"We have been been working on it pretty much every year for the last couple of years. And the plan is, at the moment, to have it come out, I think, in 2013," Lindsay-Hogg said.
Lindsay-Hogg also directed the Fab Four's promotional videos for "Paperback Writer," "Hey Jude" and "Revolution," as well as music videos for The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney and Wings.
A home video release of "Let It Be," featuring outtakes and additional footage highlighting the making of the 1970 documentary, would follow a planned DVD release of the band's self-directed 1967 TV special "Magical Mystery Tour" in 2012, according to Beatles Examiner

Both films were briefly available on VHS in the early 1980s. 
Pirated copies have become popular staples at record collector shows for decades.

Alternate scenes from "Let It Be" and "Magical Mystery Tour" were featured in "The Beatles Anthology," a documentary created by the surviving band members in 1995.

The original trailer for the film "Let it Be"

Related topics: beatles


Beatles 'Let It Be' director drops hints about DVD's release date

Steve Marinucci, Beatles Examiner, October 17, 2011 
In an appearance Monday on the radio program "Soundcheck" heard on WNYC-FM, "Let It Be" director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, promoting his book "Luck and Circumstance: A Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York, and Points Beyond," gave something real to those wishing and hoping for the film to be released on DVD. 

In answer to a caller's question, Lindsay-Hogg recalled a past meeting talking about the film with Beatle Paul McCartney and, more importantly, gave a timetable for its release on DVD.  
"We bumped into each other on an airplane. It was just before George Harrison died. George was very ill. And George had not had a happy time during the making of 'Let It Be.' For personal reasons. He was about to go out on his own and a lot of other things like that. And we knew it probably would not be re-released in George's lifetime. But, we have been been working on it pretty much every year for the last couple of years. And the plan is, at the moment, to have it come out, I think, in 2013.

"This is after they release 'Magical Mystery Tour' as a special DVD release. And it'll be the film itself, the original film -- the color's great, the soundtrack is perfect -- with a No. 2 DVD which will be a documentary about the making of the documentary ('Let It Be')."
He says that second disc will be filled with the film's outtakes. 

"When we first put 'Let It Be' out, I had to cut out a lot of stuff that I really like and wanted to stay in there. The stuff in the new DVD has a lot of the stuff that had to be cut out. So for me, it's like the egg is now complete."

Besides "Let It Be," in the interview, Lindsay-Hogg talks about his work on the landmark British music show "Ready, Steady Go!" and on the Rolling Stones film, "Rock and Roll Circus." About the latter film, he said film cannisters for it languished in a bathroom, then in pianist Ian Stewart's barn before the film finally was released. 

You can (and should) hear or download the entire interview at, where you can also see a video clip from "Ready Steady Go" with the Rolling Stones doing "Paint It Black" that's discussed in the interview.

(Thanks to Mike Rapsis.)


December 18, 2011

Paul McCartney Announces New Album ‘My Valentine’

Ahh, romance. It will certainly be in the air when Sir Paul McCartney releases his brand new album titled ‘My Valentine’ on Feb. 7 via the Concord/Hear Music label.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the album will feature romantic ballads — originals and covers — rooted in the sounds of days gone by. McCartney described the album to Direct Current as such: “This will sound like the years between 1920-1940,” he said, ”these are songs I heard. My family, my uncles, everybody sang.”
Last spring, McCartney talked to Rolling Stone about wanting to do a ‘pop standards’ type album saying, “I’ve wanted to do that kind of thing forever, since the Beatle days.”
Hoping to avoid what he called “doing a Rod” (referring to Rod Stewart‘s saccharine string of standards albums), Paul has written several new songs, in that vintage style, for inclusion on the album. Summing up his new work, Paul said “This is very tender, very intimate. This is an album you listen to at home after work, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea.”
‘My Valentine’ was produced by Tommy LiPuma and features jazz vocalist and pianist Diana Krall (also known as Mrs. Elvis Costello.)
And if that ain’t enough sharing the love, on Feb. 10, Paul will be honored as MusiCares Person Of The Year as part of the annual fundraiser hosted by The Recording Academy prior to the 2012 Grammys.


1. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter (Alhert/Young) 2:36
2. Home (When Shadows Fall) (Van Steeden/Clarkson/Clarkson) 4:04
3. It's Only a Paper Moon (Arlen/Harburg/Rose) 2:35
4. More I Cannot Wish You (Loesser) 3:03
5. The Glory of Love (Hill) 3:45
6. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me) (Dorsey/Robertson/Mysels) 3:22
7. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (Arlen/Mercer) 2:31
8. My Valentine (McCartney) 3:14
9. Always (Berlin) 3:49
10. My Very Good Friend the Milkman (Burke/Spina) 3:04
11. Bye Bye Blackbird (Henderson/Dixon) 4:26
12. Get Yourself Another Fool (Forrest/Heywood) 4:42
13. The Inch Worm (Loesser) 3:42
14. Only Our Hearts (McCartney?) 4:21

My Valentine will be the fifteenth solo studio album by Paul McCartney, and is set to be released on 7 February 2012 from Concord/Hear Music.


October 08, 2011

Beatles With Tony Sheridan: First Recordings: 50th Anniversary Edition

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first professional recording sessions in Hamburg, here comes a reiissue of said recordings in a deluxe package from Time Life. THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS: 50th Anniversary Edition, is released to stores November 8th. The 2-CD set comes with a specially-designed book that is a historical trove of concert and intimate photos taken by Astrid Kirchherr and others who were with The Beatles during the early days of their career. The book also includes handwritten biographies by each member of the group, signed contracts, original artwork taken from posters and records, and text by Hans Olof Gottfridsson, who has spent years researching this period of the Beatles’ career. As Gottfridsson notes in the book for THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS, Polydor executive and big band leader Bert Kaempfert discovered the group in a German nightclub, signing them to his own company and then releasing the songs through Polydor. The night they signed the contract at Kaempfert’s kitchen table, the four Beatles wrote brief autobiographies, reproduced here in their original handwriting. Through a combination of music, photos, documents, artwork and history, THE BEATLES WITH TONY SHERIDAN: FIRST RECORDINGS beautifully captures John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison just before they rocketed to international stardom. 

Also in time for the anniversary comes a new book from Spencer Leigh. The Beatles in Hamburg: The Stories, the Scene and How It All Began will be released by Chicago Review Press on October 1, 2011. The Beatles in Hamburg features interviews with the Beatles’ friends and contemporaries, including photographers Astrid Kirchherr and Jürgen Vollmer, bass player Klaus Voormann, Liverpool artists Gerry Marsden and Kingsize Taylor, singers Tony Sheridan and Roy Young, club managers Horst and Uwe Fascher, and many more. It is packed with close to 150 photographs of the Beatles and the Hamburg scene, some in full color and several never before seen.

Below is the tracking listing for both discs

Track Listings

Disc: 1

1. Ain’t She Sweet (U.S. version) – The Beatles
2. My Bonnie - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
3. The Saints (When the Saints Go Marching In) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
4. Cry for a Shadow - The Beatles
5. Why - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
6. If You Love Me, Baby (Take Out Some Insurance on Me, Baby) (U.S. version) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
7. Nobody’s Child (U.S. version) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
8. Sweet Georgia Brown (New lyrics) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
9. Ain’t She Sweet - The Beatles
10. My Bonnie (English intro) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
11. If You Love Me, Baby (Take Out Some Insurance on Me, Baby) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
12. Nobody’s Child - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
13. Sweet Georgia Brown (U.S. version) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
14. My Bonnie (German intro) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
15. The Saints (Medley version) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
16. Cry for a Shadow (Medley version 1) - The Beatles
17. Sweet Georgia Brown - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
18. My Bonnie (Medley version) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
19. Cry for a Shadow (Medley version 2) - The Beatles

Disc: 2

1. Ain’t She Sweet - The Beatles
2. My Bonnie - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
3. When the Saints Go Marching In - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
4. Cry for a Shadow - The Beatles
5. Why - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
6. Sweet Georgia Brown (New lyrics) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
7. My Bonnie (English intro) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
8. If You Love Me, Baby (Take Out Some Insurance on Me, Baby) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
9. Nobody’s Child - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
10. My Bonnie (German intro) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
11. The Saints (Medley version) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
12. Cry for a Shadow (Medley version 1) - The Beatles
13. Sweet Georgia Brown - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
14. My Bonnie (Medley version) - Tony Sheridan And The Beatles
15. Cry for a Shadow (Medley version 2) - The Beatles

You get this album on at:


October 04, 2011

George Harrison Film: Living In The Material World Review

George Harrison: Living In The Material World - Review

Martin Scorsese's doc a sumptuous, satisfying feast

That Martin Scorsese, director of landmark blood thrillers such as Mean Streets and Goodfellas as well as roiling character studies like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, would be drawn to the life of "the quiet Beatle," George Harrison, is, on the surface, a little surprising.

Not that Scorsese hasn't been one of our most musically driven directors: From the opening drumbeat of The Ronettes' Be My Baby in Mean Streets to his poetic use of the piano outro of Layla in Goodfellas to his hypnotic bending of Gimme Shelter in The Departed – to say nothing of tackling the movie musical form in New York New York, as well as training his lens on subjects like The Band (concert film) and Bob Dylan (documentary) – his works have always flowed like brilliantly realized concept albums.

But the director has, until now, focused on central figures motivated by outer rage and torment – their conflicts were practically etched on their faces. George Harrison was not such a person, and thus presented a new kind of challenge. John Lennon said it best when he observed that "George himself is no mystery. But the mystery inside George is immense." That's tricky territory to base a film on; it means going inside the soul.
Masterfully, that's just what Scorsese does during the course of George Harrison: Living In The Material World, an elegant and tenacious three-and-a-half hour examination that goes far beyond mere rock-doc hagiography and becomes a rich and absorbing personal odyssey, ultimately revealing itself as an epic, multi-layered love story – that of a man and his music, his famous bandmates, his many and varied friends, his women and, most significantly, his yearning to answer life's big questions.
The scale of the narrative is massive – the tale of The Beatles alone has been told in The Beatles Anthology, a 600-minute Ken Burns-like series, along with libraries of books – but Scorsese neatly divides the film into two parts. Part I covers Harrison's life up till the dissolution of The Beatles in 1970.

Part II, which is, in many ways, the livelier and more revelatory section, traces Harrison's emergence as a solo artist and bookmarks the key historical moments: his rousing success with All Things Must Pass, the Bangladesh concert, his wobbly 1974 tour, financing The Life Of Brian and forming Handmade Films, the Traveling Wilburys. Fittingly, it goes inward, exploring Harrison's fascination with gardening and his desire to make his estate, Friar Park, a world unto itself, a serene retreat. But the bulk of Part II – and Scorsese weaves this thread in minute, almost subliminal ways – concerns Harrison's need to understand his faith and gradually prepare himself to leave his human body.
None of this, it should be stressed, is a downer – there are moments of laugh-out loud hilarity throughout – and even at 208 minutes, the film breezes by. Scorsese makes astute use of new interviews with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (watch out for Ringo here – his stories are among the best), along with comments from those who knew Harrison and worked with him, a disparate lot that includes, among others, Eric Clapton, Phil Spector (looking quite unhinged - yikes!), Klaus Voorman, Ray Cooper, Terry Gilliam, Jackie Stewart, George Martin and Tom Petty.

Photo credit: Dezo Hoffman (c) Apple Corps Ltd Courtesy of HBO

The picture that emerges of Harrison – and it starts early in Part I, in something of a warp-speed retelling of The Beatles' story – is that he felt trapped by fame and money from the moment he hit it big. Throughout the years, we've seen endless clips of screaming, crying masses at Beatles concerts and appearances; even hysterical, the throngs always seemed joyous and celebratory, innocents pouring their hearts and lungs out in total devotion and adoration.

Scorsese gets what Harrison no doubt really experienced: the shock and horror of hands tugging at him and ripping his clothes, the pushing and shoving, the claustrophobic feeling that can occur even when on stage on a baseball diamond, and the maddening, disorienting ring of non-stop shrieks. No wonder The Beatles, and Harrison in particular, sought escape.
For a time, Harrison tried to find it in the new music he discovered coming from Ravi Shankar – the guitarist befriended the master sitar player and studied the instrument assiduously. Then he became enamored of the Maharishi, Eastern religion and chanting (the latter two would stick). By the end of the '60s, a decade The Beatles defined, Harrison was becoming his own man, an equal to Lennon and McCartney, and the only way to achieve a true balance in his life was to run past those he used to follow.

During an interview segment taped when he was in his 40s, Harrison says, "People say I'm the Beatle who changed the most, but to me, that's what life's about." This statement, a black-and-white, direct summation to a gargantuan topic, is what plays out during the second and final chapter of the film – and in true Scorsese-ian fashion, it replays and comes together in one's head long after the movie is over.

Photo credit Robert Whitaker (c) Apple Corps Ltd Courtesy of HBO

Despite the involvement of George's widow, Olivia Harrison (she co-produced and is interviewed), Harrison's foibles and inconsistencies are addressed. Without elaborating, McCartney talks about Harrison's fondness for the female form: "I don't want to say much, because he was a pal, but he liked the things that men like. He was red-blooded."

Perhaps more tellingly, Olivia talks of "hiccups" in her marriage to Harrison: "He did like women and women did like him," she says. "If he just said a couple of words to you it would have a profound effect. So it was hard to deal with someone who was so well loved." When asked to name the secret to a long marriage, she laughs and says, "You don't get divorced."
Before Harrison met Olivia, he was first married to fashion model Pattie Boyd, and the subject of the love triangle between Harrison, Pattie and Eric Clapton is dealt with cautiously. During an interview, Clapton weaves artfully around the topic, and Harrison's reaction to the fact that he was losing his wife to his best friend is depicted somewhat inconsistently. "Take her, she's yours," Clapton says Harrison told him at one point, but when Harrison found the two together at a party he was overcome with anger.

The idea of having everything and nothing at the same time drives Harrison throughout the final reels, and little by little he appears to find fulfillment in the smallest of ways – planting a tree, playing a ukulele or singing an old song. The 1980 murder of John Lennon shook him to the core, and it was this event coupled with his bout with cancer and his 1999 stabbing that accelerated his greatest journey: mastering the art of dying.

From all accounts, he got where he wanted to go. In two of the most moving interview segments, Ringo Starr recalls his last time seeing his old friend. Harrison was bedridden, riddled with cancer, and Starr told George that he had to go to Boston where his daughter was receiving treatment for cancer as well. "Do you want me to come with you?" Harrison asked weakly. Retelling this line, the drummer's eyes well with tears. "God, it's like fucking Barbara Walters here, isn't it?" Starr says, drying his eyes.
Olivia describes Harrison's last breaths, and says that the room took on a glow when her husband died, that a truly magical moment took place. The awestruck look on her face, the astonishment and profound relief in her voice, makes a convincing case that this is not revisionism or embellishment.

Photo credit (c) Apple Corps Ltd Courtesy of HBO

Of special interest to Beatles and George Harrison fans are the music and the visuals, and they're all presented in the sumptuous manner endemic of a completist like Scorsese. Many of the photos and film clips have never been seen before, and the dozens of Fab Four and Harrison songs have received a vibrant 5.1 audio remixed by George Martin's son, Giles.
Guitarist, follower, leader, student, teacher, songwriter, sitar player, multi-millionaire, mystic, gardener, race car enthusiast, film producer – George Harrison was all of these things and more, a true original in a band of true originals. He would refine his role as an individualist throughout his rich and varied life.

George Harrison: Living In The Material World will receive theatrical showings in the UK on Tuesday, 4 October. It will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on 10 October. In the US, the film will be presented on HBO in two parts, on Wednesday, 5 October and Thursday, 6 October.


September 18, 2011

Let It Be Movie Released on Blue Ray

Beatles bootleg specialists "Fab Productions" have released the first ever Blu-ray version of "Let It Be". They are claiming this to be a 1080p transfer from the 35MM print direct to Blu-Ray in 16:9 aspect ratio, augmented by a remasted stereo soundtrack.
Although this fills a void in any Beatles video collection, everyone is anticipating a definitive, official release of this Beatles movie. It has been suggested that since 2012 will be a big anniversary year for the group (50 years since "Love Me Do"), we may see an official "Let It Be" after all these years.

Another Blu-ray title from the Fab Productions company is a 2-disc release from Paul McCartney's recent "On The Run" tour. The film contains every song performed on the tour, taken from 7 of the 8 concert performances. Since many of the people who upload songs from the concerts on YouTube are filming in 1080p resolution with an aspect ratio of 16:9, it certainly makes sense to make the switch from DVD-R to recordable Blu-ray discs for releases like this.
Posted by Wogew at Thursday, September 01, 2011

September 17, 2011

McCartney Archives Collection Schedule

The reissue schedule runs from 2010 to 2016. Here is the deluxe schedule with hopes, including DVD archives.

1 Band On The Run 3 cds 1 dvd
2 McCartney 2 cds 1 dvd
3 McCartney II 3 cds 1 dvd
4 Ram 3 cds 1 dvd
5 Venus & Mars 2 cds 1 dvd
6 Speed Of Sound 2 cds 1 dvd
7 Wings Over America 2 cds 2 dvds
8 Linda McCartney Wide Prairie 2 cds 2 dvds
9 Wild Life 2 cds 2 dvds
10 Red Rose Speedway 2 cds 2 dvds
11 London Town 2 cds 1 dvd
12 Back to the egg 2 cds 1 dvd (probably the Back To The Egg TV Special)
13 Wings Live 1979 (NEW TITLE) 2 cds 1 dvd  (Probably Glasgow audio and Hammersmith DVD)
14 Tug Of War 2 cds 1 dvd
15 Pipes Of Peace 2 cds 1 dvd
16 Give my regards to Broad Street 3 cds 2 dvd
17 Press To Play 4 cds 1 dvd
18 Choba B CCCP + Prince's Trust Birthday Party 2 cds 1 dvd
19 McGear / Holly Days / Whippets / Country Hams and Surprises 4 cds
20 Flowers In The Dirt 3 cds 1 dvd
21 Tripping The Live Fantastic 3 cds 2 dvds
22 Unplugged 2 cds 1 dvd
23 Off The Ground 3 cds 2 dvds
24 Paul Is Live 2 cds 2 dvds
25 The Fireman Vol 1 & 2 ( Strawberry + Rusches ) 3 cds 1 dvd
26 Oobu Joobu , liverpool collage, Daumier's Law and crazy stuff 3 cds 1 dvd
27 Flaming Pie 2 cds 2 dvds
28 Run Devil Run 2 cds 1 dvd
29 Driving Rain 2 cds 1 dvd
30 Back In The US / World 3 cds 1 dvd
31 Chaos & Creation in The Back Yard 2 cds 2 dvds
32 Memory Almost Full 2 cds 1 dvd
33 Electric Arguments 3 cds 1 dvd ( reissue )
34 Liverpool Oratorio 3 cds 2 dvds
35 Standing Stone 3 cds 2 dvds
36 Working Classical / A Leaf 2 cds 1 dvd
37 Ecce Cor Meum 2 cds 1 dvd

38 The Studio Outtakes (NEW TITLE) 1970 / 1989 4 cds
39 The Studio Outtakes (NEW TITLE) 1990 / 2014 4 cds

40 The Rude Studio Recordings (NEW TITLE) 1970 / 1997 4 cds

41 The Demos (NEW TITLE) 1960 1979 4 cds
42 The Demos (NEW TITLE) 1980 2016 4 cds

Ram and Venus and Mars are both expected around Christmas 2011. All this from an unknown source, so take it as gospel at your own will...
Posted by Wogew at Friday, June 03, 2011


September 16, 2011

Paul McCartney to Marry Nancy Shevell

McCartney's fiancée Nancy Shevell offered a pre-nup but he refused

(She has got daddy's money after all)

By Paul Scott

Last updated at 10:07 AM on 16th September 2011

Making small talk at a recent party in Las Vegas to celebrate a new Beatles musical, Paul McCartney found himself separated from his wife-to-be, Nancy Shevell, for the first time that evening.
He was, according to those present, suddenly distracted — his eyes darting around the large room until he spotted New York-born Nancy, stunning in a thigh-skimming gold-silk dress.
As soon as there was a suitable lull in the conversation, Sir Paul nipped back to the side of his 51-year-old fiancee.
No more lonely nights: Sir Paul appears truly in love as Nancy Shevell snuggles up to him during a ceremony in California in 2009
No more lonely nights: Sir Paul appears truly in love as Nancy Shevell snuggles up to him during a ceremony in California in 2009
When he returned to the group, he had Miss Shevell with him, clasped firmly by the hand. Sir Paul noted the amused glances of fellow partygoers and sheepishly conceded: ‘What can I say? She’s my comfort blanket.’
Few who know the couple well are in any doubt that, after the catastrophe of his second marriage to ex-model Heather Mills, Paul, 69, has finally found a woman who can fill the void left by his beloved first wife Linda, who died from breast cancer 13 years ago.
‘Most of his friends saw Heather as a mental aberration on Paul’s part,’ one of his circle told me yesterday. ‘But in Nancy he has found what Linda gave him: someone who nurtures him, but who quietly cajoles him when needs be.’
Certainly, Nancy, who has kept out of the limelight during their four-year relationship, is seen by many in Macca’s circle as a formidable figure.

Friends say there was ‘some good-natured negotiation’ before haulage heiress Miss Shevell finally relented to her fiance’s wishes and agreed to make their marital base in Britain, instead of at her home in New York’s exclusive Upper East Side district.
Finally, they say, a compromise was reached,  which means the couple will spend most of their time at McCartney’s London townhouse in St John’s Wood and his 933-acre estate in East Sussex.
Inseparable: Paul McCartney and first wife Linda kiss on their wedding day in 1969 with Linda's daughter, Heather
Inseparable: Paul McCartney and first wife Linda kiss on their wedding day in 1969 with Linda's daughter, Heather
Close: Sir Paul embraces his former bride Heather Mills in 2002 castle Leslie, in Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland
Close: Sir Paul embraces his former bride Heather Mills in 2002 castle Leslie, in Glaslough, County Monaghan, Ireland
But once a month, the new Lady McCartney will travel to America — where she is vice-president of her family firm, New England Motor Freight and the patron of her drugs charity.
‘Paul’s got his way on that one,’ says a member of his entourage. ‘But Nancy is no pushover. Paul’s never been interested in women he can dominate.’
Indeed, visitors to McCartney’s homes here say his new wife-to-be has already been subtly stamping her mark on the cluttered farm in Peasmarsh — the McCartney family home where Linda’s ashes are scattered.
Nancy has persuaded him to do away with the more dreary furniture, invested in scented candles, new expensive linens and soft furnishings.
But if her tastes are more Park Avenue princess than Linda’s bohemian style, the success of Paul’s relationship with Miss Shevell is precisely because she is, in so many ways, similar to Linda.
After all, both came from rich Jewish-American East Coast families. Photographer Linda Eastman, who McCartney married in 1969, was the daughter of wealthy New York showbusiness lawyer Lee Eastman — who later managed Paul’s career.
In love: Paul and Linda McCartney on holiday in the virgin islands in 1972
In love: Paul and Linda McCartney on holiday in the virgin islands in 1972

Still smiling: Paul and Linda at a fashion event in 1998 shortly before she died from breast cancer
Still smiling: Paul and Linda at a fashion event in 1998 shortly before she died from breast cancer
Divorcee Miss Shevell, who is 18 years younger than her new fiancé, is the heiress to a £250 million haulage firm built up by her trucking magnate father Myron ‘Mike’ Shevell, in nearby New Jersey. And like Linda, Nancy has battled breast cancer, after surviving a brush with the disease in the Nineties.
Both women are a world away from working-class, pushy Heather who Paul married in haste nine years ago while still struggling to come to terms with Linda’s death.
Crucially, Nancy’s background and aversion to the limelight has endeared her to the rocker’s children: Mary, 42, Stella, 40, James, 34, and 48-year-old Heather, the daughter from Linda’s first marriage, who Paul adopted.
That they have so readily taken to her is in striking contrast with the McCartney offspring’s loathing of Miss Mills, who was awarded a £24 million pay-off when the couple divorced amid acrimony in 2008.
Even so, family friends say it took time before fashion designer Stella, who more than any of the children has her father’s ear, completely warmed to the idea of her father walking down the aisle again.
When Sir Paul first floated the possibility of marrying Nancy, who has a son, Arlen, 19, from her  20-year marriage to New York lawyer Bruce Blakeman, Stella is said to have asked: ‘Do you have to marry every woman you meet?’
But the charming Nancy worked her magic on her future step-daughter, and made a point of wearing Stella’s fashion creations while on the arm of Sir Paul.
Last Christmas, Miss Shevell even hosted a vegetarian Christmas for all the McCartney clan at the family estate (although not a vegetarian herself, she never eats meat in Macca’s presence).
By way of illustrating the warm nature of the relationship, Nancy and McCartney were the guests of honour earlier this week at Stella’s 40th birthday celebrations in London.
In fact, the children have known Miss Shevell on and off for the best part of 20 years, since Paul and Linda became friends with Nancy and her first husband during family holidays in the U.S. at their respective summer homes in New York.
And an added bonus is that, while detractors of Miss Mills accused her of being a gold digger, the latest Mrs McCartney is clearly not after Sir Paul’s money.
Indeed, Nancy is said by his friends to have offered to sign a  pre-nup agreeing to take nothing from his £495 million fortune should the marriage end in divorce.
As with Miss Mills, however, the musician rejected the offer. Even so, Nancy is believed to have signed a short one-page legal statement giving up the right to make any claim on the trust funds of McCartney’s children and grandchildren.
Those close to the couple insist Paul did not instigate asking his new wife to sign the papers, but say it was a legal requirement because his divorce from Miss Mills stipulates he must protect the trust of Beatrice, their seven-year-old daughter from the marriage.
And yet despite her moneyed upbringing, Miss Shevell’s life  has not been without its share  of controversy.
Her 74-year-old father, a tough-talking self-made man, was charged with fraud, along with his brother Daniel, in 1975 when it emerged one of their haulage companies had a convicted mobster on its payroll.
The case never went to trial, but the brothers were forced to relinquish control of their businesses. The firm later went bust leading Daniel, Miss Shevell’s uncle, to commit suicide.
Undeterred, Nancy’s father was soon building up another trucking business, which now turns over £250 million a year.
But claims of links to the underworld remained. In the late Eighties, he was accused of cultivating a ‘corrupt relationship’ with Tony Provenzano, an infamous mobster hitman who was later jailed for murder and extortion.
In 2009, Mr Shevell was put under investigation by the U.S. Government’s Organised Crime Strike Force over his alleged links to Vincent ‘the chin’ Gigante — head of the Genovese family, one of New York’s principal crime dynasties.
A lawsuit claimed Mr Shevell paid off Gigante’s mobsters in return for ‘sweetheart deals’, which gave his company carte blanche to operate outside of union rules, although Mr Shevell later maintained the suit was settled without any charges against him.
None of which has damaged Miss Shevell’s position as one of the leading lights of Manhattan society or put off her fiance.
After their London wedding, the newlyweds are said to be planning a party in New York for her family and friends next week.
Sir Paul is also due to premiere the debut ballet he has written, Ocean’s Kingdom, in the city at the same time.
It promises to be a triumphant homecoming for the newest Lady McCartney.

August 24, 2011

George Harrison Film to debut on HBO 10-2011

George Harrison Hits the Screen in Scorsese Doc

Epic new film illuminates the inner life of the most enigmatic Beatle

George Harrison and his wife, Olivia, in London, circa 1983.

Tom Wargacki/WireImage

As Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison dug through their archives to assemble the Beatles Anthology documentary in the mid-Nineties, Harrison made a private vow to his wife, Olivia: "One day, I'll do my own anthology." The ex-Beatle, who died in 2001, never got the chance, but his wife made sure his wish came true in grand fashion. In October, HBO will debut Martin Scorsese's two-part documentary, George Harrison: Living in a Material World – and

Olivia has compiled a lavish companion book packed with unseen photos and diary entries. "I'm fairly awed by what Marty has put together," says Olivia. "It's a story that truly captures the essence of George."

The project had its start in 2005, when Olivia attended the London premiere of Scorsese's Bob Dylan documentary, No Direction Home. She shared her hope for a similar movie about her husband with the film's producer, Nigel Sinclair. After discussing possible directors for months, the pair "delicately approached" Scorsese. "To our surprise and delight, he said he was very intrigued by George's story," Sinclair recalls.

The center of the film is Harrison's spiritual quest, a search for meaning in life that began with a Beatlemania-era reve­lation that material success wasn't necessarily accompanied by fulfillment. "He was trying to find a way to simplicity, a way to live truthfully and compassionately," Scorsese says. "It was never a straight line, but that's not the point. I think he found an understanding: that there's no such thing as 'success' – there's just the path."

The documentary includes new interviews with McCartney, Starr, Yoko Ono, George Martin, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton (who recalls watching Harrison write "Here Comes the Sun") and many more. But Scorsese and his team relied heavily on archives kept by Harrison himself: footage of the Beatles on vacation; a recording of Harrison's first sitar lesson with Ravi Shankar; home movies of Harrison fooling around in his recording studio with his son Dhani. "We set up a little production office in our house," says Olivia. "George lived in the house for 30 years, and he would just throw things in this drawer and that drawer. So every cupboard had something in it."

The production team set up research offices in New York and London, working for years to find footage and photographs, including every filmed Harrison interview they could track down.

From their sleepless Hamburg days to their Let It Be-era squabbles, the Beatles' story has been told again and again, so Scorsese took great pains to use rare or unseen footage for the first part of the film. "The scenes of them running from hotel rooms and airports and such are just a little bit different than the ones you've seen," says Sinclair. "He approached the Beatles story from George's perspective, so it becomes a more inside, more first-person experience."

The film doesn't shy from Harrison's darker side, showing footage of a ravaged performance from his 1974 solo tour, and hinting at challenges in his marriage. "He never said he was a saint, but he always said he was a sinner," says Olivia. "He wanted to do everything in life. He really did."

The surviving Beatles provide some of the film's most powerful moments: McCartney makes an impassioned argument that anyone who thinks only he and Lennon were important in the group is wildly wrong; Starr begins to weep when he recalls visiting Harrison as the guitarist battled terminal lung cancer.

The post-Beatles section of the film has the most surprises, from intimate footage of Traveling Wilburys jamming to Olivia's harrowing account of a 1999 home invasion by a violent, deranged fan. It also gives equal weight to Harrison's nonmusical ventures: his work as a movie producer; his motor-racing fandom; his loving efforts to restore his country estate. "George thought hard about how to live his life after being a Beatle," says Sinclair, "and what I take away from this film is that he figured it out."

Related The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time: George Harrison
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George Harrison Gets Back: Rolling Stone's 1987 Cover Story
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: George Harrison's 'All Things Must Pass'


June 10, 2011

For Sir George and Giles Martin, The Beatles’ legacy is all about ‘Love’

Giles Martin and his father, Sir George Martin, in the listening room at The Love Theater at the Mirage on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. They are in town to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” at the Mirage on June 8.

By John Katsilometes
Published Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | 8:13 p.m.

Giles Martin and his father, Sir George Martin, in the listening room at The Love Theater at the Mirage on Tuesday, June 7, 2011.

The Beatles: LOVE

The spirited discussion is all about The Beatles, and you feel this conversion could wind on as long as the long and winding road itself.

Giles Martin is talking of resurrecting ample, yet-unreleased footage of The Beatles’ concert performances. He’s reviewing the material for a Martin Scorsese-directed documentary about George Harrison. As always in these sorts of Beatles projects, it is a labor of love.

“A lot of the live footage that you see -- and he knows a lot better than I do, because he was there -- is of an incredibly good, tight rock band. A lot of people don’t think of The Beatles as live players, but they could really play.”

That swift aside, the moment Giles Martin talks of the “he” sitting next to him, is directed to his father, Sir George Martin. Martin was the unlikely figure with a background in classical music and comedy recordings (British favorites Peter Sellers and The Goons, primarily) who produced nearly every note The Beatles recorded, all the music being celebrated Wednesday as the Cirque du Soleil/Beatles stage show “Love” celebrates its fifth anniversary at the Mirage.

With no prompting necessary, Sir George interjects as his son speaks.

“They were a great band, a great band,” the rock ’n’ roll legend says in his familiar, guttural English accent. “I mean, they started off very poorly, really, because when I first met them, they didn’t really excite me very much musically. Their songs, I thought, were pretty crappy. But they learned so quickly, they shot up like hothouse plants.”

A little later, at the end of the confab, Martin recalls attending The Beatles’ first U.S. concert, a riotous show at the 8,000-seat Coliseum in Washington, D.C.

“They were in the round, and they had to play a set of songs to each quadrant of the arena,” Martin recalled, chuckling. “They had to move their equipment themselves, and Ringo’s drums got stuck in the process. The audience was almost entirely kids, and a young boy, about 12 or 13 years old, was sitting near me. He came over and said, ‘Mister, are you a Beatles fan?’

“I said, ‘You might say that, yes.” And he said, ‘Wow!’ He was quite impressed that this old guy was such a Beatles fan.”

This old guy still is, at age 85. Sir George is something of a producer emeritus for The Beatles now, as is Giles (born in 1969, the year “Abbey Road” was released). Both are in Las Vegas to celebrate the show’s anniversary.

For the anniversary performance, the Martins will be joined by Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono and George Harrison’s widow Olivia and son Dhani. Ringo Starr will not be able to attend, as he is touring in Europe with his All-Starr Band, but is sending a video message to be shown at the top of the show.

Sir George and Giles touched on several topics during our interview in the monitor room, or nerve center, at the core of The Love Theater. Some highlights:

On the band’s fabled unanimity: From Sir George, “That’s the great thing about them, they were very much unified. After their initial success, which was a hell of a shock to these kids who were pretty much from nowhere, within a year they were the talk on everyone’s lips from Britain to America and eventually the world. That’s a pretty heady wine to drink.

“Because of that, they were like a fort, really, each corner made up four pieces. They were four guys, bonded, and I think that made them such a tight band.”

On the memories offered by the surviving Beatles during the production of “Love”: From Giles, “Ringo remembers, he remembers. So does Paul. Of all the stuff that was done, all the chopping and the changing, my biggest memory of the whole show was sitting with both Paul and Ringo, separately, on different days, just listening to ‘Come Together,’ and they both went, ‘We were really good on this day. We could really play.’ ”

“And Ringo even went, ‘Calfskin drum heads! That’s what I used to get that sound! He remembered the drum heads he used on his drums. It is amazing, but I guess it is that attention to detail -- people think that things just happen from happenstance, but it’s really because people care and they dig in and work really hard.”

On the communal process that led to a song’s final version: From Sir George, “They were all intent on getting the best possible sound out of a piece of music, whether Paul wrote it or John wrote it, they would listen to it and see what they could do. If it didn’t go properly, if there was any doubt at all, they would discuss it. One time, John wasn’t sure about a song and said, ‘What do you think about that, Ringo?’ and Ringo said, ‘I think that’s crap, John.’ And John listened to him very rigidly and said, ‘Right. Let’s move on.’

“One of the best things about Ringo was how he flowed, he listened to his pals and picked up the tempo. His playing, when you hear him working with Paul on bass and the other guys on guitars, has soul. It was just remarkable.”

On the continuing evolution of the stage show at the Mirage: From Giles: “The show’s in really good shape. I just check on the show because the cast changes, and we tighten the show every year. So, really, it’s a much better show now than when it opened five years ago, a way better show. A lot of things have changed (he is asked for an example). 'Blackbird.' 'Blackbird' was a sort of a stand-up comedy routine in a broad, sweeping stage of comedy. (At this, Sir George adds, “It was awful.”) Now it’s been reworked and has more music in it.”

“It’s a very interactive thing. The people who look after the show, who actually work on the show day-to-day, we’re really lucky at ‘Love’ to have people who really care about what goes on.”

On the difference between the stage show’s music and what is offered on the "Love" soundscape CD: From Giles, “The CD and the show have to be different. The show is 90 minutes, and there are things we found when we did the CD that had to be altered. The show has songs that are truncated. ‘Eleanor Rigby’ is missing a verse. ‘Revolution’ is in half. ‘Back in the USSR’ is in half. ‘Come Together’ is missing verses. When you have a CD, you have to put those right, or fans get annoyed.”

On the suggestion that a CD from the show was released to head off unauthorized recording of the performances inside the theater: From Giles, “No, purely the idea was purely to make a CD, it made sense to do that.” From Sir George, “The sound of the show in the auditorium is different than on CD. It has to be. You can’t have a 2,000-seat auditorium, which is in the round with speakers going in all different directions, becomes very diffused. On CD -- well, it’s not even CDs, they’re mp3s -- are heard over earphones, which is quite a different thing. We had to make the sounds work in both circumstances, and I think we did.”

On Sir George’s involvement in the production: From Sir George, “When we came here to do the show, Giles did most of the work, basically because work had to be done very late at night, starting at 11 through until about 4 or 5 in the morning. I wasn’t going to do that, so I said, “Giles, you’ve got yourself a nice job (slaps Giles’ leg)!” … But I don’t listen to much music nowadays, because I am very deaf. In the years since we opened (in 2006), I was just about to hang it up … and in the past three, four years, my hearing has taken a nosedive. I couldn’t take on that show now. Fortunately, Giles can.”

On the quality of The Beatles’ musicianship in their original recordings: From Giles, “There was a perception of The Beatles being four likable lads from Liverpool with funny suits and funny haircuts and waving, but what they really were was just a really good band.”

From Sir George, “They became, each one of them, a master at his own job. Paul and John, of course, wrote the bulk of their hits. George was left to struggle by himself, but he came through, too, from, ‘Here Comes the Sun’ onward, started really writing great songs. … Ringo has established himself with a sound that was quite unique and is the best rock drummer in the world. He would spend ages getting his drums the right sound. He would tune them like mad. He was dedicated to it.”

On the arrival of Ringo in the band, which coincided with the recording of "Love Me Do" and Martin’s decision to use session player Andy White in place of Starr on that recording: From Sir George, chuckling, “There is this story that I turned (Ringo) down in the beginning. Wasn’t really the way it was at all. I wasn’t told, in the early days, that he was coming, so we used another drummer.”

On the likelihood of another band following a path to stardom similar to The Beatles’: From Giles, “It’s hard to imagine it happening now, that’s the sad thing. The amount of stuff you have to go through, you have to do so much marketing and spiel. I remember meeting a guy in the ’90s who was the A&I guy for Hootie & The Blowfish. They’d just had a huge album (“Cracked Rear View”) that sold 15 million copies, and they released their next album (“Fairweather Johnson”) a year and a half later, and he goes, ‘We released that album too soon after.’ Well, The Beatles were releasing three albums a year, and that just doesn’t happen now.”

On the band’s seemingly boundless appeal over generations: From Giles, “There were a lot of bands around at the time that had interesting stories. Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Hollies, even The Kinks -- who were an amazing band -- didn’t have that same level of being able to push the boundaries all the time, or of having the capability of having three lead singers and three great songwriters in the same band. It’s so rare, you can’t think of anyone matching it.”

From Sir George: “I think they’re so damn good they’ll be with us for generations, into the middle of the next century. They’re just great musicians and great writers, like Gershwin or Rodgers and Hammerstein. They are there in history, and The Beatles are there in history, too. They’ll be there in 100 years, too. But I won’t be.”

At that, Sir George Martin grins once more. He won’t be around for the end. None of us will be, because there is no end.

Not for The Beatles.


May 08, 2011

Paul McCartney to marry girlfriend Nancy Shevell

Former Beatle, 68, to wed New Yorker Shevell, 51, but no details yet of when and how he proposed

    Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell. 'I just like being in love', the former Beatle reportedly said. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA
    His place in the rock'n'roll hall of fame is secure, as is his only slightly dented fortune, and yet still it seems that all Paul McCartney needs is love. Three years after his second marriage ended in an acrimonious divorce, the former Beatle, 68, is to take plunge – announcing his engagement to his girlfriend, Nancy Shevell, a 51-year-old New Yorker. McCartney's spokesman, Stuart Bell, confirmed that recent media speculation about an impending engagement to his girlfriend Nancy Shevell was true, but declined to give further details on when and how the musician proposed, saying only: "We're all thrilled for him." McCartney's first wife, Linda Eastman, a photographer, died of cancer in 1998. They married in 1969 and she was credited with introducing him to vegetarianism and animal rights activism, and was also in his band Wings. McCartney married his second wife, Heather Mills, a former model, in 2002 and they divorced in 2008. After seeking a £125m settlement, she was awarded £24.3m. Shevell is said to get on well with McCartney's five children, having appeared at Stella McCartney fashion shows, awards ceremonies and at Sir Paul's concerts. She is a wealthy woman in her own right, is on the board of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and is vice president of a family-owned business conglomerate. She was married for more than 20 years to the lawyer Bruce Blakeman, a close friend of the former New York governor George Pataki, who appointed her to the MTA board. Although his second marriage ended in an courtroom battle with Mills, a former model, McCartney remains optimistic about affairs of the heart, reportedly commenting on his romance with Shevell: "I just like being in love."

April 03, 2011

How the Beatles Remasters were done

Remastering The Beatles Pro Audio Features by Audio Pro Cedar

Remastering The Beatles Pro Audio Features by Audio Pro - cedar audio retouch, beatles remastered, cedar audio retouch system
Remastering The BeatlesAndrew LowSep 8Audio Pro talks to the team of Abbey Road engineers who spent the past four years remastering the entire Beatles catalogue…

Roughly four years ago, Allan Rouse got the call from EMI that the entire Beatles catalogue needed to be remastered. Like Hannibal on the A-Team, Rouse needed only to make the call and his men sprang into action. The years between then and now have comprised long hours spent by a meticulous team that worked from the original masters and laboured over every detail at each step of the process.
The team consisted of Rouse as project co-ordinator, recording engineers Guy Massey, Paul Hicks and Sam Okell, mastering engineers Steve Rooke and Sean Magee, and Simon Gibson, Cedar Audio restoration engineer.

With the men assembled and plans in place, Guy Massey began the process for the stereo versions while Paul Hicks tackled the monos. Hicks explains: “We wanted to make the recordings sound the best they could, very respectfully. Our first process was spending a lot of time going through quarter-inch machines and a range of EMI test tapes from over the years.”

Loading the tapes

After trying out several machines, the team chose a Studer A80 tape machine with a 1972 test tape. Each song was then loaded from the original analog tapes through Prism Sound’s ADA-8XR multi-channel modular ADA converters into Pro Tools. Massey states: “Pro Tools was treated as a master machine and we didn’t use any plugins. The songs were formatted to 24 bit/192kHz and video referenced. The speed of the tape machine was always watched to make sure it was running at the right speed.

“The tapes are still in great condition – nevertheless we loaded everything track-by-track, cleaning the tape machine heads and rollers between each song.
“The original transfers were done in 1986 when digital was in its infancy. I am not knocking the original transfers, but I think from the point where we re-transferred and archived the master tapes, we were already a step ahead because the technology has come on in leaps and bounds. What some people may perceive as an added eq is actually the result of better transfers, especially in the low end and the high top. Upwards of twenty tracks were not eq’d at all because we didn’t think we could improve them in any way.”

The team at Abbey Road was very conscious of not affecting the spirit of the songs from their original versions. As such, they performed A/B listening tests with the existing CDs and vinyl at every step of the process. Hicks comments: “It’s not a project where we could forget the past. We had cutting notes from the originals so that we could see what they were actually doing.”

“Once we archived the masters we would get a print out of the lyrics and timings and listen to each track on a separate basis three or four times, make detailed notes of technical noises that we felt we would like to remove or reduce,” Massey explains. “We only addressed things that we considered to be extraneous to the performance, such as clicks from mics and faders, tape drop outs, bad edits, mic pops and sibilance.

“We then took the master 24-bit/192kHz file to Simon Gibson in the restoration suite and he used Cedar Retouch to fix anything we wanted to change. We then chopped those fixed bits back into the master file so that we had a new, edited master file. The whole team deliberated every change and we were determined to keep the audio as pure as possible.”

Massey states that de-noising was a bit of a contentious issue, thus it was used for less than one per cent of the entire catalogue – five minutes of the 535 total minutes. “De-noising was used for things like intros or if hiss was enough that it was excessive, but we have only taken it down very subtly.”


Once all the edits were made the files were taken to the mastering suites at Abbey Road where Steve Rooke and Sean Magee handled the stereo and mono recordings respectively.

“It was an analog process from that point on,” Rooke comments. “The tracks came out of Pro Tools through the Prism AD8s into the analog domain and were then injected into the studio’s 1972 EMI TG mastering console. We then eq’d and transferred them to a Sadie Series 5 PCM 8 DAW at 24-bit/441kHz. The main carrier was going to be CD so we kept it at 44:1 to avoid the extra process of sample rate conversion, therefore keeping the signal as pure as possible. Once each album was compiled we did a digital capture through a Jünger DO1 digital limiter, the limiting was done afterwards to give us more flexibility. We didn’t want to limit as we eq’d because it would have been difficult to change at a later date. The team listened to them post limiter.

“When we were capturing the final mastered version, we played the songs out of Sadie in the digital domain through the DO 1 limiter into a Prism AD-124 AD converter for noise shaping. All the songs were noise shaped and dithered back into 16-bit and then captured back into the Sadie at 16-bit/441kHz, which is what we made the masters from.

“During the mastering process we listened to each track and decided where we wanted to go with it, if we wanted to add or remove eq to help instruments or vocals. We went through each track, made the adjustments and then recorded into Sadie.

“The next day we listened to the tracks in Studio 3, talked about it and made notes for changes. The changes were made and we started the entire process over again until we were all happy with the tracks.

“We mostly used the eq on the TG desk, but it is in dB steps so any additional eq’ing was done on a Prism ME2 to hone into something with finer steps or target certain frequencies. Different parts of certain songs were treated in different ways. If a chorus was a bit bright or brittle we would adjust that accordingly. This was especially apparent on a song like Yellow Submarine because the sound effects were so bright. I am the Walrus was another tricky one because it was so different from the rest of the catalogue.”


“All modern day CDs are limited very heavily because everyone wants to be the loudest,” Massey states. “We spoke about this at the very beginning and it was unanimously established that the stereos would be limited slightly because they are aimed at the modern market. The monos are more for the collectors so they were not. The stereos are probably three to four dBs louder than the original, so a lot of the time the limiters are not working.”

Rooke adds: “It is just the very fast transients that would normally show over level on the digital metres that it took down. There are still waveforms to be seen. We really wanted to keep the dynamics.”

“We liked a bit of limiting because we felt it made the recordings a little more exciting, but not to the point where we would be upsetting the original dynamics,” says Massey. “Some modern recordings really shout at you and we didn’t want to do that to these songs. This is a back catalogue that has never been remastered before and everybody knows The Beatles. We knew that fans were going to be inspecting the catalogue through a microscope and we wanted to get it right.
“The purist might ask why we didn’t just transfer the songs straight from the quarter-inch machine straight into Sadie, but we felt that we wanted to address anything that they would have wanted to remove. When I do a recording I don’t want to hear pops all over the vocal – it annoys me. If The Beatles were recorded today I’m sure they would have addressed those same issues.

“With all the changes that we made, if we felt it interfered musically we wouldn’t do it. For instance, the chair sound at the end of A Day in the Life or Ringo’s squeaky drum peddle – they are part of the history and vibe of the song so we didn’t want to remove those things.”

“It takes a lot of time to get the confidence to get your head down and go for it on a project like this,” Hicks states. “I have to be happy and then the team has to be happy and then Rouse and then Apple and The Beatles and then that is where it stops. It is just too big.

“If you went into the project thinking about all the people who are going to analyse the waveforms you would never get anything done. We did what we thought was right and hope that everyone likes it.”

March 06, 2011

Let It Be DVD to be released in Widescreen in 2011

Below are details on the new Let It Be DVD Remaster and details from the Wiki on Let It Be as background and good reading on the subject...

You can expect to see a new version of the Let It Be film on DVD, distributed on the internet in about 2 weeks time. Specs are:

- NTSC format
- 1.66:1 anamorphic picture
- Completely new hifi audio track assembled from the film crew's Nagra reels and stereo mixes
- Original mono audio option

This new transfer has been made from an original, undamaged VHS recording of the BBC2 repeat from Christmas 1979. Unusually, the Beeb screened the widescreen 35mm theatrical print with black bars at the top and bottom. When officially released on VHS and laserdisc some years later, this widescreen version was cropped severely at the sides to produce a full-frame image. Here it is presented unaltered.

Although the film was shot at 24 frames per second, BBC2 aired it in PAL format at 25 fps. For this disc it has been slowed down to 23.976 fps and presented in a compatible NTSC format, thus preserving the correct speed and pitch of the original. The actual picture area has been scaled up to 480 pixels and encoded in anamorphic format so as not to lose any resolution.

This should prove to be an upgrade for everyone's collection, until Apple and The Beatles get their official version out. It will be shared for free on the net, and is a fan-made project. You can read more about "Let It Be" here.


The Let It Be movie
is probably the most accessible Beatles DVD in the world, even though it has only been released for the home video market for a short while, and only in the USA.
Here's the timeline of events regarding the release of Let It Be for the home video market:

  • In 1981, the movie Let It Be was released to the home video market through 20th Century Fox and Magnetic Video Corporation. It was first issued on VHS and Betamax, next on laserdisc, and finally, RCA secured the rights to release it for their CED* (Capacitance Electronic Disc System) "Videodisc" format. The latter format failed miserably due to poor quality discs, which always skipped, and the players which had a very high failure rate. All of the issues of Let It Be went out of print within a couple of years.

  • On a personal note, I remember coming across a VHS cassette of Let It Be here in Oslo, Norway around 1981. It was in a video rental shop, but it always seemed to be out whenever I asked for it. One day it disappeared, and the owner of the store told me that one customer had paid a ridiculous sum of money for their copy.

  • The VHS video cassette

    As the 80's went on, I managed to secure a video cassette taped from the final televised version in the UK of the film. The 80's went over into the nineties without anything happening.

  • In 1997 a UK company, "VCI", announced plans to issue the movie for the home video market for the first time in the UK. They claimed to have a version that was remastered in 1992 and that they would release it in 1997. It never happened. The century and the millennium passed, as the nineties became the 2000's.

  • In an interview with USA Today in March 2002, Paul McCartney told writer Edna Gunderson that a reissue of "Let It Be" seems to be finally moving forward. "We're cleaning up the film and going back to the original tape, before (producer) Phil Spector got hold of it," he said.

  • In April 2002, This Is London reported that Apple is on the verge of re-releasing "Let It Be" on video, though the article mistakenly says "for the first time." (which is true only outside the USA). Author Keith Badman told This Is London, "Apple has done an amazing job of cleaning up the picture quality. John and George hated the film, which is why it's been hidden away all these years. Lennon used to describe it as 'a project set up by Paul, for Paul'." There have been rumors through the years that it was George's dislike of the film that kept the film from being re-released. An Apple spokesman, asked about a possible re-release, said, "There has been no release date arranged. It is all up in the air and I can't say anything more at this stage".

  • Later on that month, McCartney talked to the Newark Star-Ledger about the film: "I happened to be on a plane about a year ago, and I met the director of the film, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, and he said, "Every time I go into a video store in L.A., all the guys say, 'When are you going to release "Let It Be" (on video)?'" I said, "Isn't it out?" 'Cause you know, I don't know all that stuff. He said no. So I mentioned it to (a business associate), and I said, "You know what would be really cool? If we put the naked version of the record out as well." So that is actually getting worked on at the moment. It's not (officially) announced or anything yet, but that's what's in the pipeline."

  • After the release of the new "Let It Be...Naked" album, and no sight of the DVD, the film's director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg had this to say:
    Q: So why wasn't a Let It Be DVD released alongside "Naked"?
    Michael Lindsay-Hogg: The idea, as far as I know, is to put out two DVDs sometime in 2004, one of which will be the movie Let It Be with the print restored and the sound mixed to current standards. And then a companion DVD with interviews and extra material from anyone who had anything pertinent to say, one of them being myself.

  • Again, this didn't happen. In June 2004, details of a 3 disc 5.1 special edition of Let It Be was leaked to the internet, in the shape of this anonymous review, originally posted in the google group:

    I was lucky enough last week to accompany my brother to a special editing session for a new Let It Be promo DVD he was assembling in a Los Angeles editing suite last week (he didn't actually work on the forthcoming DVD release).
    Anyway, I was lucky enough to be able to spend several hours watching the nearly final product and combing through a bunch of production notes.
    The film and features I watched were on a hard drive so I have no idea what the actual discs or the DVD packaging will look like, sorry. Some of the footage was still silent and not all of the options I clicked on worked, but here's a very rough preview. It's apparently not due until March 2005 so it may still change.

    A THREE disc 5.1 special edition" with extra features to be followed by a single "plain vanilla" disc 6 months later.

    The special edition features all the original film footage that was used in the original 1970 theatrical release of Let It Be spread over the first 2 discs (Disc 1 is entitled Twickenham and Disc 2 Apple). Over 79 minutes in total of previously unseen footage has been added into both discs. An optional on-screen apple logo is available that pops up in the screen corner whenever "new" material appears, but there is no branching option that allows you to either select the new footage or the original footage.

    The Octopus's Garden sequence has been almost doubled. Entirely new rehearsal sequences have been added for Something, I Lost My Little Girl, All Things Must Pass, She Came In Thru The Bathroom Window, Plain Yoko Jam, Fancy My Chances With You, Rock'n'Roll Music, Blues Aren't For Ringo, Isn't It A Pity and more. More footage of George Harrison.

    Both discs apparently feature an audio commentary by The Beatles with Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Yoko Ono and Linda Eastman (all culled from audio recordings made during the sessions). This didn't work yet on the demo.

    The third disc features even more bonus material including:

    AS NATURE INTENDED34 minute documentary on the Let It Be sessions, includes new interviews with George Martin, Billy Preston and Michael Lindsay Hogg, as well as archive interviews with John Lennon and George, Paul and Ringo interviews from the Anthology series (including a few snippets not seen before).

    A collection of rare footage of The Beatles recording in the studio (none of this is "Let It Be" era material). The footage listed includes And I Love Her, Paperback Writer, Rain, All You Need Is Love, Hey Bulldog, Lady Madonna, Helter Skelter, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Blackbird, Tutti Frutti, Hey Jude (this track alone went for 20 minutes), St Louis Blues.
    ACROSS TO ABBEY ROADThe Abbey Road album tracks of Oh Darling, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Something and Maxwell's Silver Hammer all matched up to footage from the Let It Be rehearsals to create brand new "video clips".
    CHIMNEY SWEEPOption didn't work - no details on notes.
    BEHIND THE SHUTTERSOption didn't work - no details on notes.
    THE NAKED TRUTHA featurette on the production of the Let it Be..Naked album including footage of Paul McCartney at a playback session. Ends with a new clip created for Across The Universe using Let It Be footage.
    TRAILERSLet It Be, The Beatles Anthology, Yellow Submarine, The First US Visit.
    THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKOOption didn't work - no details on notes

    Unconfirmed rumours say that the above "review" was a hoax - someone's wet dream about what the release could have been.

  • The Toronto Sun reported in 2005 that the "Let It Be" film was on its way to DVD that year. According to an interview with Bob Smeaton, who directed the "Beatles Anthology", the DVD was to be in 5.1 sound along with tons of lost and bonus features.

  • The following year, Smeaton told Archer of 99.5 The Mountain radio station in Denver, Colorado that the DVD release had been delayed due to the sheer volume of film stock shot, and colour restoration issues. He gave three possible release dates inSeptember 2006. Nothing came of it.

  • In a February 2007 interview with Neil Aspinall regarding the remastering of the film for DVD release, he stated, "The film was so controversial when it first came out. When we got halfway through restoring it, we looked at the outtakes and realized: this stuff is still controversial. It raised a lot of old issues."

  • A year later, Yoko Ono told Bill DeYoung this, when he asked about a DVD release of the movie: "You know, life is a long time. And I hope you have a very long one, Bill."

  • In June 2008, plans for a DVD version of Let It Be were cancelled at the request of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, according to The Daily Express UK newspaper. An unnamed source told the newspaper that while Paul and Ringo were planning to release it, both had second thoughts. The source goes on to say "The Beatles are still a massive global brand and it's felt it won't be helped if the public sees the darker side of the story. Neither Paul nor Ringo would feel comfortable publicizing a film showing The Beatles getting on each other's nerves."

  • Upon further investigation, it turned out that the two surviving Beatles members weren't as dismissive as the article implicated. So there's still hope...

  • Posted on a discussion board in 2009 by someone claiming to have connections with people at Abbey Road: "It's been done and ready to go for at least five or six years now. LOTS of extras; research was impeccable; Bob Smeaton (who worked on the Anthology DVDs) says they went through EVERY surviving reel of film shot by EVERY camera while doing the restoration (a fair bit can be seen in 'Anthology'). It was basically reassembled from scratch using each camera negative. Disc one would be the original film, while disc 2 would have a S******D of unseen stuff, both video and audio including outtakes from the rooftop concert. The plan was for it to be issued along with/shortly after 'Let It Be......Naked'. Unfortunately, it only takes one member of the Apple board to veto a Beatles release and that's what happened. Who was it?. Wild horses wouldn't drag his/her name from my lips. Oh no."

  • "Secret Cinema" - a Philadelphia movie club showed an excellent print of the film on Friday, October 23 2009. Reports tells about a mediocre sound, though - due to the original monophonic soundtrack. Latter day DVD bootlegs have substituted the original movie soundtrack with treated tapes from the Nagra reels, as well as stereo versions from Get Back bootlegs, the Let It Be album and the Let It Be ... Naked album to enhance the sound experience.

  • BBC Radio 2 broadcast a radio documentary on the 24th of May 2010, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Let It Be movie and album. At the very end of the hourlong broadcast, announcer Guy Garvey says "The word is from Apple is that work has begun on the restoration of the film with a future re-release at a future date still to be determined."

  • Meanwhile, Apple Corps keeps teasing the fans by including remastered footage from the Let It Be film whenever they are promoting their new releases. The most recent is a version of "One After 909" from the rooftop concert, sent to TV stations to promote the remastered catalogue, and also some hitherto unseen footage on the mini-documentary for the Let It Be album.

    From Wikipedia:

    Let It Be - About the Movie

    Let It Be is a 1970 documentary film about The Beatles rehearsing and recording songs for the album Let It Be in January 1969. The film features an unannounced rooftop concert by the group, their last performance in public. Released just after the album, it was the final original Beatles release.
    The film was originally planned as a television documentary which would accompany a concert broadcast. When plans for a broadcast were dropped, the project became a feature film. Although the film does not dwell on the dissension within the group at the time, it provides some glimpses into the dynamics that would lead to The Beatles' break-up.
    The film has not been officially available since the 1980s, although original and bootleg copies of home video releases still circulate. A planned DVD release of the remastered film is currently on hold, as the film and its outtakes "raised a lot of old issues."[1]


    The film observes The Beatles (John LennonPaul McCartneyGeorge Harrison and Ringo Starr) from a "fly on the wall" perspective, without narration, scene titles, or interviews with the main subjects. The first portion of the film shows the band rehearsing on a sound stageat Twickenham Film Studios. The songs are works in progress, with discussions among themselves about ways to improve them. At one point, McCartney and Harrison have an uncomfortable exchange, with McCartney suggesting that "Two of Us" might sound better without Harrison's guitar riffs, and Harrison responding: "I'll play whatever you want me to play, or I won't play at all if you don't want to me to play. Whatever it is that will please you, I'll do it." Also appearing are Mal Evans, providing the hammer blows on "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", andYoko Ono, dancing with Lennon.
    The Beatles are then shown individually arriving at Apple headquarters, where they begin the studio recording process with Harrison singing "For You Blue" while Lennon plays slide guitar. Starr and Harrison are shown working on the structure for "Octopus's Garden" and then demonstrating it for George MartinBilly Preston accompanies the band on impromptu renditions of several rock and roll covers, as well as Lennon's improvised jam "Dig It", while Linda Eastman's daughter Heather plays around the studio. Lennon is shown listening disinterestedly as McCartney expresses his concern about the band's inclination to stay confined to the recording studio. The Beatles conclude their studio work with complete performances of "Two of Us", "The Long and Winding Road" and "Let It Be".
    For the final portion of the film, The Beatles and Preston are shown giving an unannounced concert from the studio rooftop. They perform "Get Back", "Don't Let Me Down", "I've Got a Feeling", "One After 909" and "Dig a Pony", intercut with reactions and comments from surprised Londoners gathering on the streets below. The police eventually make their way to the roof and try to bring the show to a close, as the show was disrupting businesses' workers nearby. This prompts some ad-libbed lyrical asides from McCartney; during the second performance of 'Get Back,' he sings: "Get back Loretta... you've been out too long Loretta... you've been playing on the roofs again... and your momma doesn't like that... it makes her angry.. she's gonna have you arrested! Get back Loretta!". In response to the applause from the people on the rooftop after the final song, McCartney says "Thanks Mo!" (to Ringo's wife Maureen) and Lennon quips "I'd like to say 'thank you' on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition!"[2]



    After the stressful sessions for The Beatles (the "White Album") wrapped up in October 1968, McCartney concluded that the group needed to return to their roots for their next project. The plan was to give a live performance featuring new songs, broadcast as a television special and recorded for release as an album. (At one point the McCartney considered launching a tour however the idea was quickly shot down by the other members.) Unlike their recent albums, their new material would be designed to work well in concert, without the benefit of overdubs or other recording tricks.[3]
    Many ideas were floated concerning the location of the concert. Conventional venues such as The Roundhouse in London were discussed, but they also considered more unusual locations such as a disused flour mill and an ocean liner. The location that received the most consideration was a Roman amphitheatre in North Africa. None of the ideas garnered unanimous enthusiasm and with time limited by Starr's upcoming commitment to the film The Magic Christian, it was agreed to start rehearsals without a firm decision on the concert location.[4]
    Denis O'Dell, head of Apple's film division, suggested filming the rehearsals in 16 mm for use as a separate "Beatles at Work" television documentary which would supplement the concert broadcast.[4] To facilitate filming, rehearsals would take place at Twickenham Film Studios in London. Michael Lindsay-Hogg was hired as the director, having previously worked with The Beatles on promotional films for "Paperback Writer", "Rain", "Hey Jude" and "Revolution".


    The Beatles assembled at Twickenham Film Studios on 2 January 1969, accompanied by the film crew, and began rehearsing. Cameraman Les Parrott recalled: "My brief on the first day was to 'shoot the Beatles.' The sound crew instructions were to roll/record from the moment the first Beatle appeared and to record sound all day until the last one left. We had two cameras and just about did the same thing."[5] The cold and austere conditions at Twickenham, along with nearly constant filming and sessions starting much earlier than the Beatles' preferred schedule, constrained creativity and exacerbated tensions within the group. The sessions were later described by Harrison as "the low of all-time" and by Lennon as "hell ... the most miserable sessions on earth."[6]
    The infamous exchange between McCartney and Harrison occurred on Monday, 6 January.[7] Around lunchtime on Friday, 10 January, tensions came to a head and Harrison told the others that he was leaving the band.[8] This entire episode is omitted from the film.[9] He later recalled: "I thought, 'I'm quite capable of being happy on my own and I'm not able to be happy in this situation. I'm getting out of here.' So I got my guitar and went home and that afternoon wrote 'Wah-Wah'."[10] Rehearsals and filming continued for a few more sessions; the finished film only used a small amount of footage from this period, namely a boogie-woogie piano duet by McCartney and Starr,[11] although it was included in a way such that Harrison's absence was not apparent.

    Former Apple Building, 3 Savile Row, 2007
    At a meeting on 15 January, Harrison agreed to return with the conditions that elaborate concert plans be dropped and that work would resume at Apple's new recording studio. At this point, with the concert broadcast idea abandoned, it was decided that the footage being shot would be used to make a feature film.[4] Filming resumed on 21 January at the basement studio inside Apple headquarters on Savile Row in London.[12]Harrison invited keyboardist Preston to the studio to play electric piano and organ.[4] Harrison recalled that when Preston joined them, "straight away there was 100% improvement in the vibe in the room. Having this fifth person was just enough to cut the ice that we'd created among ourselves."[13] Filming continued each day for the rest of January.
    During the sessions, the Beatles played many songs that were not featured in the film. Some would end up on Abbey Road ("I Want You (She's So Heavy)", "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"); others were destined for future albums by McCartney ("The Back Seat of My Car", "Teddy Boy", "Every Night"), Lennon ("Gimme Some Truth", "Child of Nature" - later reworked as "Jealous Guy") and Harrison ("All Things Must Pass", "Isn't It a Pity"). The group also experimented with some of their previous songs ("Love Me Do", "Help!", "Lady Madonna", "You Can't Do That") and played "I Lost My Little Girl" - which was the first song written by McCartney, when he was 14.[14]
    Trying to come up with a conclusion for the film, it was suggested that the band play an unannounced lunchtime concert on the roof of the Apple building. On 30 January, The Beatles with Preston played on the rooftop in the cold wind for 42 minutes, about half of which ended up in the film. The Beatles started with a rehearsal of "Get Back", then played the five songs which are shown in the film. After repeating "I've Got a Feeling" and "Don't Let Me Down", takes which were left out of the film, the Beatles are shown in the film closing with another pass at "Get Back" as the police arrive to shut down the show. On the 31st, the last day of filming and recording, the Beatles reconvened in the Apple building's basement studio. They played complete performances of "Two of Us", "The Long and Winding Road" and "Let It Be", which were included in the film as the end of the Apple studio segment, before the closing rooftop segment.[15]


    A rough cut of the movie was screened for The Beatles on 20 July 1969. Lindsay-Hogg recalled that the rough cut was about an hour longer than the released version: "There was much more stuff of John and Yoko, and the other three didn't really think that was appropriate because they wanted to make it a 'nicer' movie. They didn't want to have a lot of the dirty laundry, so a lot of it was cut down."[16] After viewing the released version, Lennon said he felt that "the camera work was set up to show Paul and not to show anybody else" and that "the people that cut it, cut it as 'Paul is God' and we're just lyin' around ..."[16]
    Lindsay-Hogg omitted any reference to Harrison leaving the sessions and temporarily quitting the group, but managed to keep some of the interpersonal strains in the final cut, including the McCartney/Harrison exchange which he had captured by deliberately placing the cameras where they would not be noticed. He also retained the scene that he described as "the back of Paul's head as he's yammering on and John looks like he's about to die from boredom."[17]
    In early 1970 it was decided to change the planned name of the film and the associated album from Get Back to Let It Be, matching the group's March 1970 single release. The final version of the film was blown-up from full-frame 16 mm to 35 mm film for theatrical release, which increased the film's graininess. To create the wider theatrical aspect ratio, the top and bottom of the frame was cropped, necessitating the repositioning of every single shot for optimum picture composition.


    While the album Let It Be contains many of the song titles featured in the film, in most cases they are different performances. The film has additional songs not included on the album.
    The following songs are listed in the order of their first appearance, with songwriting credited to Lennon/McCartney except where noted.

    [edit]Release and reception

    The world premiere of the film was in New York City on 13 May 1970. One week later, UK premieres were held at the Liverpool Gaumont Cinema and the London Pavilion. None of The Beatles attended any of the premieres.[35] The Beatles won an Oscar for Let It Be in the category "Original Song Score", which Quincy Jones accepted on their behalf. The soundtrack also won a Grammy for "Best Original Score".[36]
    Initial reviews were generally unfavorable; the British press were especially critical,[3] with The Sunday Telegraph commenting that "it is only incidentally that we glimpse anything about their real characters—the way in which music now seems to be the only unifying force holding them together, and the way Paul McCartney chatters incessantly even when, it seems, none of the others are listening."[35] Time said that "rock scholars and Beatles fans will be enthralled" while others may consider it only a "mildly enjoyable documentary newsreel."[37]
    Later reviews were more favourable, although rarely glowing, as the historical significance of the film's content factored into critics' assessments. Leonard Maltin rated the film as 3 out of 4 stars, calling it "uneven" and "draggy", but "rescued" by The Beatles' music.[38] The TLA Video & DVD Guide, also rating it as 3 out of 4 stars, described the film as a "fascinating look at the final days of the world's most famous rock group, punctuated by The Beatles' great songs and the legendary 'rooftop' concert sequence. [... It] is important viewing for all music fans."[39] Rotten Tomatoes reported that 75% of twelve critics' reviews were positive; user reviews were 86% positive.[40]
    Lindsay-Hogg told Entertainment Weekly in 2003 that reception to Let It Be within the Beatles camp was "mixed";[17] he believes McCartney and Lennon both liked the film, while Harrison disliked it due to the fact that "it represented a time in his life when he was unhappy… It was a time when he very much was trying to get out from under the thumb of Lennon/McCartney."[17]

    [edit]Home media

    The film was released on VHS video, RCA SelectaVision videodisc and laserdisc in the early 1980s, but became out of print within a few years. The transfer to video was not considered high quality; in particular, the already-cropped theatrical version was again cropped to a 4:3 aspect ratio for television. The lack of availability has prompted considerable bootlegging of the film, first on VHS and later on DVD, derived from copies of the early 1980s releases.
    The movie was remastered from the original 16 mm film negative by Apple in 1992, with a few of those scenes used in The Beatles Anthology documentary. After additional remastering, a DVD release was planned to accompany the 2003 release of Let It Be... Naked, including a second DVD of bonus material,[17] but it never materialised. In February 2007, Apple Corps'Neil Aspinall said, "The film was so controversial when it first came out. When we got halfway through restoring it, we looked at the outtakes and realised: this stuff is still controversial. It raised a lot of old issues."[1]
    An anonymous industry source told the Daily Express in July 2008 that, according to Apple insiders, McCartney and Starr blocked the release of the film on DVD. The two were concerned about the effect on the band's "global brand ... if the public sees the darker side of the story. Neither Paul nor Ringo would feel comfortable publicising a film showing The Beatles getting on each other's nerves ... There’s all sorts of extra footage showing more squabbles but it’s unlikely it will ever see the light of day in Paul and Ringo’s lifetime.”[41]