Thursday, 12 November 2015

Where is the Magical Mystery Tour Bus now?

The Beatles directed The Magical Mystery Tour TV special in 1967. Following a (largely improvised) script that took them to the south of England, we see The Beatles board a bus.

If you ever wondered where the bus is now, I have good news: it has not been scraped, but was bought by Hard Rock Café. Until recently it could be seen at the largest HRC at the Universal Studios in Orlando.

The current location is back at The Warehouse at the Memorabilia HQ of the Hard Rock Café.

The Hard Rock Cafe acquired the actual Magical Mystery Tour bus in 1988 and it is the single biggest piece of rock n’ roll memorabilia they own. It took four months, 2,000 man-hours and a cost of $100,000 for HRC to completely refurbish the bus using vintage parts to replicate the original designs and details. The bus is stored in the Hard Rock Cafe warehouse and is put on display for special occasions.


The bus is a Plaxton bodied 1959 Bedford Val Panorama Elite bus with the license plate URO 913E. This bus was new to coach company Fox of Hayes when leased by The Beatles for the film in 1967

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Cilla Black dies, aged 72

Sad news reaches us from Spain, where Priscilla White, better known under her stage name Cilla Black, died aged 72.

Cilla Black's biography reads like a huge Beatles-related novel, and her story cannot be seen without that of the Fab Four from Liverpool.

Just like the Beatles, she came from Liverpool. Her first run-into with the Beatles probably dates back from the Cavern Club days, when she was a part-time cloakroom attendant at that famous music venue.

Cilla Black soon became a guest-singer for groups like Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes, and The Big Three.

She was soon signed on by Brian Epstein (the only female singer in his portfolio) and her first record was the Lennon-McCartney composition Love of the Loved. later in life she would go on recording many other Beatles songs, including Yesterday, The Long and Winding road, For No One and Across the Universe. Paul McCartney wrote "Step Inside Love" and George Harrison I'll Still Love You and The Light that has Lighted the World.

Other notorious occassions when she joined The Beatles was during the Cannes festival with Ringo Starr and George Harrison, and holidaying on a yacht. Picture: Cilla Black in Amsterdam, CC BY-SA 3.0, Nationaal Archief

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Beatles wanted to record "Revolver" in Memphis, Tennessee

Impressive news reached us today. At an auction (organized by Recordmecca) a letter written by George Harrison was sold for 18.000 euro.

The interesting part is the end of the letter (written in 1966 by George at Kinfauns): there he reveals that The Beatles had been seriously considering recording "Revolver" at Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee with Jim Stewart.

Imagine how that would have sounded!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The story behind I'm So Tired

On Flemish Radio 1, during the Monschau programme they were looking for songs that criticise smoking. Surprisingly, they only managed to find one.

But looking closer at "I'm So Tired" by The Beatles, I noticed the following sentence:

" I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired, I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid git"

Now Sir Walter Raleigh is the guy who is credited with introducing tobacco to Britain from America in the 16th century, and thus for indirectly getting John Lennon hooked on cigarettes.

And a "git" is an insult, so clearly Lennon seems angry :)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Hey Jude is number 5 in a Flemish radio poll

Radio 2, a Flemish radio station that caters to a mainstream audience, published a reader's poll with the "best songs from the 1960's".

The Beatles feature twice, once with Hey Jude at nr. 5 and a second time with "Yesterday" at number 34. Joe Cocker also scores with his version of "With a little help...".

Top 10

1. "Eloise" - Barry Ryan
2. "Eenzaam zonder jou" - Will Tura
3. "(I can't get no) satisfaction" - The Rolling Stones
4. "Suspicious minds" - Elvis Presley
5. "Hey Jude" - The Beatles
6. "Seven horses in the sky" - The Pebbles
7. "Suzanne" - Leonard Cohen
8. "With a little help from my friends" - Joe Cocker
9. "Daydream" - The Wallace Collection
10. "Bad moon rising" - Creedence Clearwater Revival

34. "Yesterday" - The Beatles

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Ben E. King dies, aged 76

Sad news from America. Benjamin Earl King, better known as Ben E. King died today.

He will always be remembered by Beatle fans as the author (together with Leiber and Stoller) of Stand By Me, the soul classic that was covered by John Lennon on his Rock 'n Roll cover album.

The single released by John Lennon reached No. 20 on Billboard and remained 9 weeks in the charts

picture: Ben E. King performing at the 2006 Summerfest, Manhattan, New York. June 2006 - CC BY-SA 2.0 - by Flickr user J&R Music World

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Ticket to Ride released in the USA

Exactly 50 years ago today, The Beatles released their 9th Capitol single on the US market. On the A-side was Ticket to Ride (one of my favourites with a great guitar riff) and on the B-side Yes it is, a complex song with great three-part harmonies and some wonderful guitar playing by George Harrison).

A fine anecdote is that on the label it says "From the upcoming United Artists movie Eight Arms to Hold You", which was the working title for their movie "HELP!". Surely a collector's Item