The year 1976 presented a lot of changes to the former Beatles. For Ringo Starr, that meant a new record label (Atlantic in the US, Polydor otherwise), a new home (Los Angeles and Monte Carlo), a new producer (Arif Mardin), a new girlfriend (Nancy Lee Andrews) and a record that bid a fond farewell to the past (both in terms of the Apple door, and the "little help from my friends" collection of material). The charts reveal the commercial success (or lack thereof), but the artistic value is...
Actor and musician Darin P. Murphy (Skyrocket!, Bottlerocket, Cotton Mather, My Ranger) is back for the second part of our look at John Lennon's rhythm guitar playing, particularly his use of the acoustic Jumbo Gibson J-160e. John would use a number of different acoustics throughout his career (notably the Martin D-28 and the Ovation) but Lennon had a preference for the Gibson, and he frequently returned to it.
When one does a search on John Lennon and his J-160e Gibson guitar, the first several pages of results are all about the "discovery" and subsequent sale of the instrument in 2016. However, the instrument was worth over $2 million dollars because of the songs John wrote using that guitar, and the records it can be heard on. Darin P. Murphy concludes his current run with a two part show demonstrating the style, power and grace of Lennon's rhythm playing, and the reason that instrument (and its...
Part two of our look at the Fab Four as actors after the Beatles years. Ringo's career took him to many places in the 70's. By the end of that decade his acting career was still somewhat on the rise, although his recording career was stagnating. Ringo took that route to feature films, network television specials, commercials (both domestic and foreign) and a gig as an 18-inch magical train conductor. Paul has typically kept his acting roles smaller (e.g. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men...
This week we dive into the television and movie acting work of The Beatles during the sixties. Two features, a cameo in "Yellow Submarine", "Magical Mystery Tour" and a handful of TV appearances. ("Let It Be" and "How I Won the War" are also covered). Next week, the acting of John, Paul, George and Ringo after 1970! Actor/musician Darin Murphy ("My Ranger", the forthcoming "Empty Nester's Handbook", "Skyrocket") joins the discussion.
Following response to our previous Harry Nilsson discussion, we do a deeper dive on the relationship between the individual Beatles and Nilsson, centering on the sessions from spring and summer 1974 that eventually became the "Pussy Cats" album. Austin-based musician Darin Murphy (Skyrocket, Cotton Mather) joins in on the fun.
Part two of the WTWF review of "Above Us Only Sky". This week, John and Yoko finish the Imagine album and film, make friends with Tariq Ali and the Red Dwarf crowd, protest and then move to New York City. Tittenhurst and Ascot are left behind (and sold to a mate), and Julian ponders on his past. A cameo from Lonnie and Susan Cooke Pena, in anticipation of his return to the show next week.
The WTWF review of "Above Us Only Sky" begins this week. LennoNYC director and writer Michael Epstein was given the keys to the "Imagine" footage, and he managed to stitch together both a worthwhile documentary, and something new and interesting.
Professional artist, Realtor, and former wife of Lonnie - Susan Cooke Pena joins us this week. We manage to find time among the Beatles related familial gossip to discuss her portraiture of the Beatles, the fab family (and others)! This is followed by her thoughts on how art school training colors her views on the artwork of John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe.
The Beatles were never an overly self-referential band. However, there are a few instances: All You Need is Love, I Am The Walrus, Glass Onion, perhaps What Goes On. However, once they were no longer band-mates. each of the four would reference the group, the individual members, and songs from the Fabs (even releasing a sequel or two) on any number of occasions. This week we look into some of the references, and build a playlist for those of you looking for a deeper dive.
Fifty years ago, the winter of discontent had subsided a bit and spring was around the corner. Both George and Ringo expressed positive vibes to interviewers concerning the future of the band while work on the "Get Back" acetate proceeded. Meanwhile, greenery was sprouting (and getting some arrested), while the fancy of two young men in particular turned to love.
Grab Bag show! What has been in the Beatles bag beyond the new releases? A fair bit, actually! This week we give a possible explanation for the George Harrison "birthday controversy" (hint: British "double summer time"), summarize the contents of the "Egypt Station Traveller's Edition Luxury Box Set" (sorry kids, it is now sold out), and run through some film releases both new and on disc ("Backbeat" [blu-ray], "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" [Criterion], and "Yesterday" [Danny Boyle]).
Week 8. We finish up the Big Barn Box with our look at Wings Wild Life, Disc 3. We also cover the Wings over Europe book, and the Red Rose Speedway printed material. Along the way, a stop in Unplugged-land, Paul and Michael Parkinson chat about chips (or as we call them in the States, french fries), and even a look up at the Vanilla Sky.
Red Rose Speedway disc three and the paper goods from Wings Wild Life. Singles, demos, rough mixes, "Jazz Street" and three separate versions of "1882." On the Wings Wild Life front, books, an invitation to "the Ball," and reproductions of both Linda's photos and handwriting. Coming soon: Show 8, and the conclusion of the "Big Barn Box" saga!
More on the Big Barn Box. This week: A look at Disc 2 from both the Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway discs. For the former, we get alternate mixes of each of the eight tracks. For the latter, we get one of the proposed two-disc versions of "Red Rose Speedway" (also available on vinyl as "RRS Reconstructed"). All-in-all a quite different listening experience when compared to the single disc we have been listening to for all these years.
Continuing with the "Big Barn Box", this week we travel through "Red Rose Speedway", and discuss the album in both its previous and remastered incarnations. Along the way we get some vintage audio from Casey and AT40. Will "My Love" top the charts for a second week in 1973? Which George Harrison song was nipping at the Wings? Tune in and find out, and also hear some vintage comments from Denny and Denny talking about Glyn Johns and the making of the album.
More from the Big Barn Box. This time, Wings Wild Life. Paul McCartney and his unnamed band started recording in the summer of 1971. Paul wanted to follow in the footsteps of Bob Dylan and quickly record the first record from his new band. After the birth of Stella, the band was christened Wings, and the album released in December 1971.
Mary Had a Little Lamb, whose fleece was white as snow and every time we played this disc, the lamb was sure to show! Paul McCartney and Wings did four separate videos for this song, and all of them are presented on the "Red Rose Speedway" DVD. We close out our look at the "Big Barn Box" videos with more real-time discussion of this collection, including our thoughts on the Countryside, Desert, Barn and Psychedelic versions. Back to a more normal routine next week as we discuss the remaster...
More real-time discussion covering the video DVD in the "Wings Wild Life Archive Collection" box. Video from the dawn of Wings. ICA footage, ABC news clips of "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" and Scottish farmhouse footage of Mr. and Mrs. McCartney singing and playing, while Heather, Mary and Martha play nearby. Fun, laid back and a good companion to the album.
Paul McCartney has long held dreams of classic Disney-style animation. Years before he managed to lead the Frog Chorus to a number three hit with Rupert the Bear, he imagined the world singing along with Wings and a gang of cartoon mice. Whatever happened to Bruce, Yvonne, Soily, Swooney and Swat? We finally find out with the release of "The Bruce McMouse show" in the "Red Rose Speedway Archive Collection", and this week the WTWF guys give it a spin and provide some real-time thoughts and...