Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Breather At Last

April 28, 1963

A couple of weeks off is built in to the Beatles hectic schedule by the management.  Paul, George, and Ringo head off to Tenerife to enjoy some conventional tropical sun in the Canary Islands.  John and Brian (the management) go off together for a holiday in Spain.

This is one of the most interesting episodes in the history of the Beatles.  To this day, there is a lot of mystery and speculation concerning it.  Don't forget, John became a father just three weeks ago.  Shouldn't he be spending his all too rare vacation time with his new family?  I think what is unmistakable is Brian Epstein's infatuation with the complex first Beatle and John Lennon's all consuming need to explore relationships.  Don't you detect a complicated father-son, mentor-protege, desire-object of desire thing?  Given John's chaotic childhood, could we expect anything less?   Also, no doubt John's need to be the first among equals plays a role in his consenting to it.

We are reminded, these characters are very much real human beings, wanting, confused, driven, and searching for their places in this crazy world.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

April 18, 1963

A new informal partnership is well along in development.  Virtually all radio in the UK is provided by the official British Broadcasting Company.  Users are required to pay an annual license fee that is used to produce content, whether for TV or radio.  The Beatles are showing up more and more often on the Light Program, which is where the more popular and less "serious" content is broadcast.

Today, the Beatles appear in the show that is broadcast live from the Albert Hall. It's the first time they play there.  They spend the entire day cooped up in a dressing room, waiting for their chance to go on at 8pm and later at 10.

Now they know how many holes it takes to fill it
An exceptionally pretty young actress is recruited by the Radio Times to produce an interview for their paper, an obligation she fulfills at the Albert Hall gig today.  She has strawberry blond hair, georgeous blue eyes and a lovely peaches and cream complexion.  She is just 17 at the time.  Her name is Jane Asher   (Be still my beating heart!)

Jane Asher


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Checking Out the Competition

April 14, 1963

The Beatles tape an appearance on the"Thank Your Lucky Stars" TV show.  Appearing with them is a new upstart band called The Dave Clark Five and American Del Shannon of "Runaway" fame.  After the show they drive to Richmond-Upon-Thames to see another up-and-coming English band, fellow Chuck Berry fans, The Rolling Stones.  (Obviously, that video was made before Tina Turner gave Mick lessons in how to move onstage.)

A new scene is beginning to get organized, centered in London.  The Beatles want to be a part of this thing, whatever it is.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Blessed Event

April 8, 1963

Happy 50th, Julian!

Julian Lennon is born and named in honor of his paternal Grandmother, Julia.  Full name: John Charles Julian Lennon.

Cynthia's letter to her mother in Canada, published in her book, "John", is worth quoting:

"Well, Mum it's (or should I say he) has arrived at long last.  April 8, 1963, 6:50 a.m. and thank heaven it's all over.

He's beautiful, Mum, only 6 lbs. 11 oz. but just gorgeous.  Well, I suppose you can imagine how I feel now can't you!  I only wish that you could be here to see him  now-he's fast asleep in the cot beside me.  I'm in a room on my own by the way, 24shillings a day but it's well worth it.  John came to see him for the first time yesterday (Thursday) poor fellow he was a nervous wreck.But I've never seen him look so proud or happy.  The baby looks very much like John but he also has the look of me so he should be very handsome."

Thursday, the 11th, is a rare day off for the Beatles.  John makes the journey from Hampshire in the south of England to Liverpool and is back next day for some BBC work and a live appearance a stones throw from Abbey Road in London.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I Talk About Boys, Now

April 4, 1963

The Beatles record for third time this week for the BBC today.  Of special interest is the only studio version by them of "I'll Be On My Way", which they later gave to Billy J Kramer.  And here's a bit of film shot by Dezo Hoffman of the boys larking about on the street in front of the studio.  There's Neil Aspinall, TCB, and the well used van!

Later, the Beatles do a rather unusual show to an audience full of young men at Stowe School, an upper crust British boarding school.  Seems one of the students was a Liverpudlian with an interest in rock music and made the event happen.  It must have been a bit of a relief to actually be able to hear each other play.

The Beatles signing for the future of Britain
And also today Paul McCartney has begun using his state-of-the-art Vox T-60 Bass amplifier  Now all of the Beatles are playing through their iconic Vox amps.  There are some great pictures of their back line at this time here.  Also, note the unfamiliar and somewhat corny "Beatles" logo on the face of Ringo's bass drum, a logo that will soon be changing into perhaps "the" biggest rock icon of all time.