Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Unreleased Beatles

My girlfriend Terry gave me a wonderful new Beatles' book for my birthday this year. It's called "The Unreleased Beatles", by Richie Unterberger. A smart gal, Terry. She knew to get me a book that had just been published. Getting me any Beatle gift is a gamble (i.e., I already have it or don't want it).

At almost 400 pages of dense text, it's packed with fascinating info about the music AND film that have never been officially released on record, tape, CD, video or DVD.

Even though I'm not a big bootleg guy, I have read most of the Beatle books out there and have always felt I knew pretty much everything. WRONG.

For example, I was surprised and thrilled to read the fact that a recording of the Quarry's Men's gig on the day John met Paul exists. Apparently, it contains four songs and the recording is "rough". EMI bought it from the owner about ten years ago and it has yet to be released. How did I not know that!? Was I in a comma back in 1994 when it was auctioned by Sotheby's?

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Studio outtakes, home recordings and radio shows are all described in fabulous detail. Stories you've heard a million times are retold with new tidbits and smart insights. You can open to any page and find something of interest.

And the film/television section is super, too. The trivia and details are riveting. There are also a lot of photos of bootleg covers which is also pretty damn cool.

It's a large soft cover, and seems like a real bargain at $35.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Bittersweet Event

I let the anniversary of Lennon's murder, December 8th, pass without a mention. I don't feel it's a day worth remembering, and I'd rather celebrate his life.

However, I have to note that Paul's daughter Stella gave birth to a baby girl on the same date just a few days ago. In another odd twist, Stella's other child was born two years ago on George's "birthday", Feb. 25th (I use quotes because late in his life, George learned that he was actually born a few minutes after midnight on Feb. 26th, thus changing his official birth date).

Check out news of Stella and other interesting stuff on the link on the right called "Beatle News". It's a great site.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Time is Here Again

The Beatles and Christmas.

I still remember during the 60's finding Beatles '65, Rubber Soul, Magical Mystery Tour and The White Album under the tree as a kid. And after the break-up, there was always a solo album or two (or three) released for the Christmas season.

And for the last ten years or more, Apple has sporadically continued the tradition with Live at the BBC, Anthology 1, Beatles 1, Let it be...Naked, The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 and Love.

And of course there's the Fan Club records which I never heard as a kid (I never joined the fan club), but I dig listening to them now. There are numerous bootlegs out there and websites dedicated to them. An interesting bit of Beatles history, those Fan Club records. They start off in 1963 as very sweet and the group sounding like very happy and friendly. They end in 1969 with each Beatle recording his own bit separately. I highly recommend finding yourself a copy.

More on the Love album later. I just got it and so far, I'm liking it very much.

Happy Cringle, everybody.