Paul´s biography

April 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm (Uncategorized)

The most commercially successful rock star to date, McCartney was born James Paul McCartney in Liverpool, England, on June 18, 1942. His father, Jim, was a bandleader, and his mother, Mary, was a nurse. McCartney was an above-average student, attending school at The Liverpool Institute.

Teen Years Foundation for Future

When McCartney was 14, his mother died of breast cancer. He also wrote his first song that year and learned guitar before age 15. A mutual friend introduced McCartney to John Lennon at a church picnic during the summer of 1957. Lennon was in a skiffle band called the Quarrymen, which McCartney joined soon after they met. Lennon and McCartney began songwriting together at that point, agreeing to share all songwriting credits.

In 1960, the Quarrymen became The Beatles, and McCartney began playing bass guitar. The initial lineup featured John Lennon on guitar and vocals, George Harrison on guitar, and Stuart Sutcliffe on drums. Ringo Starr later replaced Sutcliffe.

The Beatles

The Beatles were signed by EMI in 1962, and Brian Epstein signed on as their manager. George Martin produced their first album. “Love Me Do,” their debut single, reached the top 20 in the UK. Their second single, “Please, Please Me” went to number two. When their third single, “From Me to You,” went number one in 1963, the Beatlemania craze had hit.

In 1964 “Beatlemania” hit the U.S. “Yesterday,” released by The Beatles in 1965, became the most popular song in history, according to Rolling Stone, and was played more than six million times on the radio in the U.S. alone. Only a year later, in 1966, the Beatles gave up touring.

A Long-Lasting Romance

Paul met Linda Eastman, an American photographer, in 1967 while engaged to British girlfriend Jane Asher. The engagement was broken off, and McCartney saw Eastman on and off for a couple of years. The two married on March 12, 1969. The marriage was to become one of the most famously stable marriages in the entertainment industry.

Bob Spitz wrote in the New York Times, “Of all his accomplishments, McCartney points to his family as his proudest. His 28-year marriage remains one of the sturdiest in a profession littered by broken relationships.” The McCartneys raised four children: Heather (born 1963), from Linda’s first marriage, is a potter and jeweler; Mary (born 1969), a photographer and animal rights campaigner; Stella (born 1971), a fashion designer; and James (born 1977), a guitarist. The family, for a long time, lived in a two-bedroom home in Scotland.

Beatles Ended, Solo Career Began

In 1968, disagreements began an irreparable rift among The Beatles. When a new business manager was needed for the group, McCartney suggested his wife’s father, Lee Eastman, an attorney. His bandmates, however, chose American businessman Allen Klein, creating further tensions within the group. McCartney later pointed to this incident as the principal reason for the group splitting up.

McCartney and the other Beatles began work on solo albums. McCartney was released in April 1970, a month before the last Beatles album, Let It Be, was released. McCartney played all the instruments; Linda performed backup vocals. The album featured the US number one hit “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” and “Another Day” which went to number two on the UK charts.

On April 10, 1970, McCartney told a magazine he was no longer with The Beatles, but it was not until December 31, 1970, that McCartney sued Klein and the other three Beatles, effectively ending their partnership.

The McCartneys Formed Wings

In 1971, McCartney released the single “Another Day” just prior to the release of his second album, Ram. Later that same year, he formed the group Wings with wife Linda on vocals, Denny Laine (formerly of the Moody Blues) on guitar, and Denny Seiwell on drums. The group’s first album, Wildlife, was released in December 1971.

In 1972, Wings added Henry McCullough, a studio guitarist, and Geoff Britton, drummer, to their lineup. The group toured the UK and then released three singles: “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” (banned by the BBC), “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” and “Hi, Hi, Hi”/”C Moon.” They followed these in 1973 with the album, Red Rose Speedway, featuring the hit single, “My Love.” McCullough and Seiwell left the band before the fourth album.

In 1973, Band on the Run, recorded by the McCartneys, was considered a great comeback and topped the charts in the United States, eventually selling three million copies. Singles “Band on the Run” and “Jet” were US and UK top 10 hits.

Jimmy McCullough (no relation to Henry) and Joe English on guitar and drums respectively were added to the lineup. The new Wings released 1975’s Venus and Mars, and 1976’s At the Speed of Sound, both hit albums. In 1976, the Wings Over the World Tour spawned the live album, Wings Over America. In 1978, Wings released London Town with the U.K. single, “Mull of Kintyre,” which sold a record-setting two million plus copies in Britain. McCullough left the group later in the year, but Wings continued with 1979’s hit album, Back to the Egg.

On the 1980 leg of the tour supporting Back to the Egg in Japan, McCartney was arrested at Narita on January 16 when customs officials found 7.7 ounces of marijuana in his luggage. McCartney spent 10 days in jail, but in the end, the prosecutor did not file charges. At Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport on his return trip, McCartney told reporters (as quoted in The Globe and Mail) that marijuana “should be decriminalized. Reliable medical tests should be carried out and these would show it’s not harmful.”

Another Era Ends

Later that same year, on December 8, 1980, Lennon was murdered outside his New York City apartment. A distraught McCartney cancelled the Wings tour. Laine, the only permanent member of Wings other than the McCartneys, quit the band, effectively breaking it up.

During 1980, a solo album, McCartney II, was released, featuring the hits “Coming Up” and “Waterfalls.” A third solo album, Tug of War, produced by George Martin, was released in 1982.

Back to the Top

The early 1980s began a renaissance of sorts for McCartney’s flagging career. In 1982, McCartney had a number one hit, “Ebony and Ivory,” with Stevie Wonder, featured on his Tug of War album, produced by George Martin. He also appeared on Michael Jackson’s 1983 single, “The Girl is Mine,” on Jackson’s Thriller album. Jackson contributed vocals to the number one hit single “Say Say Say” on McCartney’s 1983 Pipes of Peace album.

Two years later, in August 1985, Jackson paid ATV Music $40 million for the publishing rights to the 1964 – 1970 Beatles catalog, outbidding and angering McCartney. The two never recorded together again. (McCartney owns many other lucrative rights, however. In the 1970s, MPL Communications, Inc., McCartney’s publishing company, purchased the entire catalog of Buddy Holly, as well as the Edwin H. Morris publishing company, thus gaining control of North American rights to musicals like Hello Dolly, Mame, A Star is Born, and others. MPL also controls two Beatles songs, “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You.”)

In 1984 McCartney branched out with a directorial film debut, Give My Regards to Broad Street. Critics panned the film and its accompanying album. The album did spawn a hit single, however: “No More Lonely Nights.” And McCartney, not altogether dissuaded, followed up by writing the film score for the 1985 comedy Spies Like Us.

In 1986, McCartney worked with guitarist Eric Stewart on Press to Play. Three years later, in 1989, he teamed with Elvis Costello on some tracks for Flowers in the Dirt and cowrote a few songs with Costello on the latter’s Spike.

That same year, McCartney went out on his first world tour in 10 years and broke attendance records in many countries. Music from the tour can be heard on the 1990 live release Tripping the Live Fantastic.

A Classical Spin

In 1991 McCartney changed the pace with the Liverpool Oratorio, composed in collaboration with Carl Davis. Written on commission from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, the piece has been performed over 100 times in 20 countries since its premiere. The premiere was recorded live by EMI Classics and released as a double-CD album.

McCartney continued to explore other styles in 1994 when he joined forces with former Killing Joke member Youth to create ambient music. The two called themselves “Fireman” and released an album titled strawberries oceans ships forest.

In 1995, EMI released The Leaf. The Prelude composed for solo piano was inspired by McCartney’s interest in classical music during the three years he was writing the Liverpool Oratorio. A young Russian pianist and gold medal winner at the Royal College of Music, Anya Alexeyev, performed it at St. James’ Palace and recorded it for EMI. That same year, the Prince of Wales appointed McCartney Fellow of The Royal College of Music.

Beatles Revisited

While working with BBC producers on a Beatles documentary, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr met and began working with EMI/Capitol to produce never-before-released songs, “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” from two John Lennon demo tapes. These songs and other unreleased Beatles demos and outtakes were released on the double-album Anthology in 1996.

In 1997 McCartney’s solo release, Flaming Pie, entered the charts at No. 2 in the U.S. and U.K. and was nominated for Album of the Year Grammy in the U.S. The album, produced by Jeff Lynne, featured Steve Miller on three tracks, and McCartney’s son James contributed lead guitar to songs like “Heaven on a Sunday.”

Knighthood

On March 11, 1997, Queen Elizabeth II knighted McCartney. Bob Spitz of the New York Times wrote, “The promise of knighthood to the former pesky Beatle … is a delicious paradox. It was the Beatles, after all, who were anointed gurus of upheaval at a time when the collapse of the Empire was lashed to the decline of a generation’s morals.”

On a commission from EMI to mark its 100th anniversary, McCartney wrote the classical tone poem Standing Stone and recorded it in the Abbey Road studios with the London Symphony Orchestra. The piece premiered at Royal Albert Hall in October 1997. McCartney won the National Public Radio New Horizon Award for Standing Stone “in recognition of his work in broadening the appeal of classical music.”

On April 17, 1998, Linda McCartney died from breast cancer at the family ranch in Arizona. The following year, McCartney produced an album of songs, Wild Prairie, which Linda had written and recorded. Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of the Pretenders and a close friend of the McCartney family, said (according to Business Wire), “The legacy of Paul’s music and the Beatles is one thing, but I think his real legacy is the love story he had with Linda.”

On March 15, 1999, McCartney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. The event also marked his first public performance since the death of his wife. McCartney continued to record new material, as well. Later that year, the album Run Devil Run collected McCartney covers of vintage rock songs by Carl Perkins, Larry Williams, and Little Richard. In October of 1999, Working Classical featured three new short orchestral pieces. A Garland for Linda, an album to commemorate the life of his late wife and raise funds for cancer research, was released in January of 2000. The album featured McCartney’s original music as well as that of other contemporary composers. For 2001’s Driving Rain, McCartney’s son James wrote two songs and played guitar. Wingspan (Hits and History) was released the same year, encapsulating Wings’ contributions to popular music.

McCartney’s former Beatles bandmate, Harrison, died of throat cancer in Los Angeles, California, on November 29, 2001. On the first anniversary of his death, McCartney and Starr reunited for a musical tribute, “Concert for George,” at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

A New Love

In 2000, McCartney began dating Heather Mills, a former model and anti-land mine advocate. A year later, they were engaged and in June 2002, the couple wed at an Irish castle. On October 30, 2003, Mills gave birth to their daughter, Beatrice Milly. McCartney toured Europe in the spring of 2004. He also produced a DVD titled Paul McCartney: The Music and Animation Collection.

Permalink Leave a Comment

George´s biogrphy

April 20, 2010 at 11:31 pm (Uncategorized)

Former Beatle lead guitarist George Harrison was born in the Wavertree area of Liverpool, England. He was born to Harold and Louise Harrison. His father was a bus driver while his mother was a housewife. He grew up in a public housing project. He had two brothers, Harold and Peter, and a sister, Louise. Harrison attended Dovedale Primary School and was accepted into the Liverpool Institute, which was considered the city’s best high school for boys. However, he soon lost interest in his lessons and failed his exams. At the time, he displayed a rebellious streak, too, wearing his hair as long as allowable and donning the tightest trousers.

As a child, Harrison developed an early appreciation for music by listening to his father’s record collection, which included works by American country music artists. When Harrison was 13 years old, his mother bought him his first guitar, an acoustic model. Harrison was drawn to the instrument after hearing a recording by British skiffle artist Lonnie Donegan called “Rock Island Line.” His early efforts, however, gave no indication whatsoever of the versatility he would later demonstrate, as he could not grasp something as simple as chording patterns. When the guitar broke apart, he tossed it into a closet and tried to learn the trumpet, without success. When one of his brothers fixed the guitar, Harrison took up the instrument again and managed to learn a few chords. Now inspired by his success, he practiced everyday and listened to records by famous guitarists Chet Atkins and Duane Eddy and early rock and roll stars such as Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, and Eddie Cochran. These early recordings would later influence his own guitar – playing style.

Eventually, he formed a short – lived band called The Rebels. Around this time, Harrison became friends with future Beatle band – mate Paul McCartney, who also attended the Liverpool Institute. They rode the same bus to school and, in conversation, found that they shared a passion for music and guitars. When Harrison was 14, McCartney asked Harrison to sit in with his band, the Quarrymen, which had been started by John Lennon. At first, Harrison was considered too young to join the band. However, by the time Harrison was 16, Lennon asked him to become a member, since he was always “hanging around” so much anyway. By the mid – to late – 1950s, Harrison had begun playing electric guitar.

Succeeded in Hamburg

In 1960, after going through several name changes, the Quarrymen finally became The Beatles. The band lineup included Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best. They obtained regular performing engagements in Hamburg, West Germany, first at the Indra Club and then at the Kaiserkeller. Both clubs were located in the “red – light” district. The Beatles enjoyed a large and loyal following who were excited by the band’s raw and intense performances. When the Beatles appeared at a rival club, the owner of the Indra Club became angry and revealed to authorities that George was only 17 years old, which made him too young to have a work permit. George was deported home to England. Soon after, the rest of the band followed. Back in Liverpool, in early 1961 they began playing at a jazz club, the Cavern, where they soon generated the same kind of following they enjoyed in Hamburg.

“Beatlemania” Began

In the spring of that year, The Beatles returned to Hamburg to record as the backup band for singer Tony Sheridan. Sheridan’s version of “My Bonnie,” driven by the Beatle’s raucous instrumental support, became a hit in England and garnered the attention of British record store owner Brian Epstein. Epstein was compelled to visit the Cavern, to see the Beatles perform live. He was mesmerized by what he saw. He offered to become their manager and secured a recording contract for them with Parlaphone Records.

As their manager, Epstein initiated some substantial changes. He encouraged “the lads” to tone down the rawness of their appearance and performances, and he fired drummer Pete Best, replacing him with Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr. Sutcliffe died of a brain hemorrhage in 1962, leaving the band with the now famous foursome of Lennon on rhythm guitar, Harrison on lead guitar, McCartney on bass, and Starr on drums. “Beatlemania” was poised to strike the masses, first in England and then, more importantly, in America.

Early Singles Made the Charts

In the fall of 1962, the Beatles released their first single, the two – sided hit “Love Me Do” backed with “P.S. I Love You.” The group’s second single, “Please Please Me,” released in 1963, was an even bigger hit. But success was restricted to England. United States chart success was delayed until 1964, with the release of “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” That record, released in January, was a smash. It was soon followed by their legendary February 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. By the end of their first set on their first appearance, the Beatles had completely conquered America, and – with their high quality musical output, their infectious humor, and revolutionary fashion sense – they would become the major driving social force in the world for the next four years.

In 1964, single followed single and album followed album in rapid succession, and each one seemed better than the last. Ironically, while Beatlemania provided fans with a sense of liberation, the four individuals felt imprisoned by their newfound fame. They were so famous that even a simple activity such as going to the corner grocery store to buy a carton of milk became an impossible, unthinkable proposition.

The Beatles were also feeling trapped within the context of the band, particularly Harrison, who was feeling greatly overshadowed by Lennon and McCartney. As the principle singers and songwriters, Lennon and McCartney were the undeniable focus of the band. But as a fellow songwriter, Harrison felt frustrated. On the early Beatles albums, he was allowed to contribute one or maybe two songs. That was understandable, as Lennon and McCartney were arguably the greatest songwriting team in the history of popular music. Still, Harrison demonstrated enormous growth as a songwriter during the peak Beatlemania years from 1963 to 1966. It is remarkable to consider that only three years separated Harrison’s “Don’t Bother Me” from the Beatle’s second album With the Beatles (1962) to the much more ambitious and complex “Love to You” from Revolver (1966). Also, as the group later moved into a more progressive direction, Harrison’s lead guitar work became more complex and played a major part in shaping the band’s overall sound.

Movies and Marriage

The Beatles’ popularity dictated that, like other pop stars before them, they make a movie. Their debut cinematic venture, A Hard Day’s Night, released in 1964, was both a popular and critical success. Directed by creative filmmaker Richard Lester, the film was much more ambitious than any previous pop – star movie vehicle. The movie was especially significant to Harrison, in a personal way. During the filming, he met model Pattie Boyd (she appears in one of the train scenes, when the Beatles serenade a couple of young girls with the song “If I Fell”). They started dating and, on January 21, 1966, they were married.

The Beatles’ second film, Help, released the following summer, was another enormous success, even though critics complained that it was too gimmicky and cartoonish, and lacked the overall charm of A Hard Day’s Night. Harrison’s contribution to the soundtrack was “I Need You,” a pleasant pop song that received a good deal of radio play even though it had not been released as a single. (In the age before FM rock radio, the Beatles were the only band whose album cuts were receiving airplay).

Harrison’s contributions to the next Beatles’ album, Rubber Soul (1965), demonstrated a quantum leap in development over “I Need You.” On this progressive, groundbreaking record, he was given three songs: the hard – driving “Wait” and “Think for Yourself” and the influential “If I Needed Someone.” The album also included a Lennon – McCartney song, “Norwegian Wood,” that featured a sitar. It was the first time that the Indian instrument appeared in a pop song, and its use was due to Harrison’s developing interest in Indian music and culture.

Continued Development as an Artist

The year 1966 would be pivotal in the history of the Beatles. The group decided to stop touring and concentrate on making music in the recording studio. The “four lads from Liverpool” would soon be regarded as serious artists. The decision to stop touring was prompted by a summer tour that included an itinerary in United States. The band was not keen on doing the tour in the first place; they just had a bad feeling about it. Their fears proved to be justified. First, there was the incident in the Philippines involving a perceived slight to first lady Imelda Marcos. Through a misunderstanding, the Beatles missed a scheduled meeting with Marcos. This resulted in full – scale riots that had the Beatles and their entourage truly believing they would never leave the country alive. Second, when the Beatles arrived in the United States, they found the country had greatly changed. Beatlemania fandom had approached a level of unhealthy obsession. In addition, there was controversy generated by some quotes taken out of context from an interview that Lennon had given to a British magazine. The Beatle record burnings that took place across the country, coupled with the fanatical religious fervency, was disquieting.

Meanwhile, throughout the year, the group had been producing its most ambitious work yet. The result was the legendary Revolver album, which many regard today as the Beatles greatest record, even above the more ambitious Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). Harrison again contributed three songs, and again his efforts demonstrated a maturing artistry. The songs included “I Want to Tell You,” the hard – edged “Taxman,” and the Indian – influenced “Love to You.” At the end of 1966 he spent a month in India with his wife, Patti. He studied the sitar with Indian master musician Ravi Shankar, and he immersed himself in Yoga and Indian philosophy with mystics and students.

Deeper into Indian Culture

Harrison’s Indian – influenced music continued with “Within You, Without You” on the Beatles’ next album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which is still viewed by many as the greatest rock album ever made. After the album’s completion, Harrison delved deeper into the music, religion, and philosophy of India. On August 25, 1967, Harrison convinced the other Beatles to attend a course on transcendental meditation. The group found meditation stimulating and, for three months in early 1968, they traveled to India to study under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The trip turned out badly, and the other Beatles never addressed meditation again. However, George’s interest in everything Indian only increased and, until the day he died, he held Eastern spiritual beliefs. The diverging interests underscored how the Beatles were starting to grow apart. Also, during the visit to India, Harrison wrote, recorded and produced the soundtrack for the film Wonderwall with Indian musicians.

The “White Album”

When the Beatles returned from India, the group began working on the so – called “White Album” (The Beatles), released in late 1968. The album was a two – record set, so Harrison was allowed more contributions than ever before. The Beatles (The White Album), included what many people consider to be Harrison’s greatest song, “While my Guitar Gently Weeps.” The Beatles next project was a filmed recording session that was eventually released, on film and record, as Let it Be after the group had broken up. In all, it was a grim enterprise that revealed all the strains and frustrations in the group.

The last time the group worked together was on the Abbey Road album sessions. Harrison contributed two of his most popular songs: “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something.” The latter was a huge hit as a single, and it became the second most – recorded Beatles song (after “Yesterday”). Frank Sinatra, who did one of the many cover versions, said it was the greatest love song ever written.

In the meantime, tensions were increasing within the Beatles, and each member was becoming increasingly involved in his own pursuits. Harrison toured with the American band Delaney and Bonnie and Friends (as an anonymous member of the backup band), and he produced records on the Beatle’s Apple label for Billy Preston, Jackie Lomax, and the Radha Krishna Temple. Then, the inevitable occurred in the spring of 1970: The Beatles broke up. For the world, the news was devastating. For the Beatles, it was a huge sigh of relief.

Life After the Beatles

After The Beatles broke up, Harrison began his solo career. The breakup gave him a chance to record all of the songs he had recently written but never had a chance to record with the Beatles. This backlog filled the two – record set, All Things Must Pass. Released in late 1970, the album was a work of majestic beauty. Fans and critics hailed it as his personal masterpiece. Many still consider it the best Beatles “solo” album. The album included the hit single “My Sweet Lord.”

Harrison’s next major post – breakup project was the charity event, “The Concert for Bangla Desh,” held in Madison Square Garden in 1971. Harrison organized the event at the request of his friend and mentor Ravi Shankar, who sought financial aid for his famine – ravaged nation. The concert featured an all – star lineup that included Harrison, Shankar, Starr, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Badfinger, and others. The event was released as a movie and a live album, both of which were enormous hits. At this point in time, Harrison appeared to be the ex – Beatle with the brightest future.

Mixed Success in the Seventies

However the remainder of the decade was not as kind to Harrison. His eagerly awaited second solo album, Living in the Material World, failed to live up to expectations, despite yielding a number – one hit single, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth).” His next album, Dark Horse, released in 1974, got even worse reviews. The accompanying tour was disastrous. Harrison was criticized for presenting experimental and Indian music to audiences who wanted to hear Beatle songs and Harrison hits.

The tour and its reaction drained him and he fell into depression. Even worse, his marriage to wife Pattie fell apart. Reportedly, she had been having an affair with Clapton, Harrison’s best friend. The couple eventually divorced in 1977; they had no children. However, Harrison was not the innocent cuckold in a classic love triangle. Harrison had cheated on his wife on several occasions, and he later said the marriage broke apart for a number of reasons. In fact, Harrison never felt that Clapton stole his wife. The two musicians remained close friends until Harrison’s death. (Clapton organized the “Concert for George,” an all – star Harrison tribute in 2002).

In 1976, Harrison was hit with a plagiarism suit. The publishers of the early rock and roll hit, “He’s So Fine,” claimed that Harrison stole the song’s melody for his own hit, “My Sweet Lord.” Harrison was forced to pay $587,000. Harrison albums released during the rest of the decade, even though they produced an occasional hit single, were largely unremarkable and had very little critical or commercial impact.

The same year that Harrison divorced Pattie, he met Olivia Arrias, who worked as a secretary in Harrison’s Dark Horse record company. They fell in love and lived together. They had a son, Dhani, who was born on August 1, 1978, and Harrison and Arrias married in September.

Towards the end of the decade, Harrison embarked on a second career as a movie producer. He founded Handmade Films, and when he met with a measure of success, his music took a backseat to movies for a while. One of his films included the popular Monty Python comedy The Life of Brian (1979). Later successes included The Long Good Friday (1980) and the Python – esque Time Bandits (1981). In 1980, he published a memoir, I, Me, Mine, which he dedicated to “gardeners everywhere,” which indicated Harrison’s new passion, gardening, a hobby that occupied him until he died. Harrison also became an avid race car driver later in life.

Music Rejuvenated in the Eighties

Harrison met with musical chart success once again in 1981 with the album Somewhere in England, which included the hit single, “All Those Years Ago,” a touching tribute to Lennon, who was murdered in New York City on December 10, 1980. In 1987, he released Cloud Nine, a critically and commercially successful album that included the hit single “Got My Mind Set on You.” Critics called it his best work in years.

Close on the heels of that acclaim, he became involved in one of his most successful post – Beatle projects when, in 1988, he became a member of “The Traveling Wilburys,” a fictional band that included Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and Roy Orbison. The Wilburys produced two albums. The first, The Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 was a smash. After Orbison passed away in 1989, the group would produce no more albums.

Returned to the Stage

In 1992, Harrison returned to live performing for the first time since his disastrous 1974 tour. Backed up by Clapton, Harrison toured Japan. Later he appeared in England at a benefit concert and performed at an all – star Dylan tribute in New York City.

In the mid – 1990s Harrison reunited with McCartney and Starr for the large – scale “Beatles Anthology” project, which included a series of recordings, video documentaries, television broadcasts, and publications devoted to the Beatles. The project also yielded two “new” Beatles songs, “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.” Also in the 1990s Harrison worked as editor of Raga Mala: The Autobiography of Ravi Shankar, which was published in 1999.

That same year, a frightening incident occurred. On December 30, in his own home, Harrison was savagely attacked by a knife – wielding, deranged male fan. Harrison survived the attack, and the man was charged with attempted murder, but he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The incident deeply affected Harrison who, by this time, was in poor health.

Diagnosed with Cancer

In 1997 Harrison was diagnosed with throat cancer and had surgery. At first, radiation and chemotherapy seemed to have caught the disease. However, the cancer was malignant and eventually spread. In 2000, while working on a reissue of All Things Must Pass, Harrison underwent treatment for lung cancer. Later, he was found to have an inoperable brain tumor. At the time, Harrison also was working on a new album and had already released a single, “Horse to Water,” that he co – wrote with his son Dhani, who had also become a musician by this time.

Harrison underwent a new type of cancer treatment therapy in a Swiss clinic, but he finally succumbed to his disease on November 29, 2001. He was staying at a friend’s home in Los Angeles, California, when he died. He was 58 years old. He was survived by his wife Olivia and son Dhani. News of Harrison’s death sparked global reaction, and newspapers and radio and television stations put together extensive tributes for the beloved Harrison. Harrison’s final album, Brainwashed, was posthumously released in 2002 to strong reviews. On March 15, 2004, he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. He had already been inducted as a member of the Beatles. His work continues to inspire and influence musicians around the globe.

Permalink Leave a Comment

John´s biography

April 20, 2010 at 11:21 pm (Uncategorized)

Childhood with Aunt Mimi

John Winston Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, during a German air-raid over Liverpool. His father, Alf Lennon, was a seaman, who deserted his wife Julia and their infant child. Over twenty years later when Alf Lennon tried to reenter his famous son’s life, Lennon did not welcome him. Unable to raise Lennon alone, Julia asked her sister and brother-in-law, Mimi and George Smith, to care for her son. Tragically, an off-duty police officer knocked down and killed Lennon’s mother in 1958.

Formative Years

Lennon attended Dovedale Primary in Woolton, and then Quarry Bank High School. He continued his education at Liverpool’s College of Art, where he met his future wife Cynthia Powell. Lennon told Rolling Stone reporter Jann Wenner that his school teachers did not recognize his precocious artistic talent: “People like me are aware of their so-called genius at ten, eight, nine … I always wondered, “Why has nobody discovered me?” … I got … lost in being at high school.”

Inspired by Rock ‘n’ Roll Greats

Inspired by the rock ‘n’ roll of Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry in the mid 1950s, Lennon started learning the guitar. His mother had introduced the banjo to him, and he initially played the guitar like a banjo with the sixth string slack. Lennon never considered himself a technically gifted guitarist, but told Wenner that he could make it “howl and move.” His early passion for rock ‘n’ roll never left him and he would continue to prefer it above all other forms of music.

Lennon formed his first group, the Quarrymen, in 1956. That year he met Paul McCartney, with whom he eventually collaborated in writing more than 150 songs. In its range and quality, this production far surpassed the achievement of other writers in the rock idiom. Lennon explained his complimentary song writing experience to a Playboy interviewer, “[McCartney] provided a lightness, an optimism, while I would always go for the sadness, the discords, the bluesy notes.” Although many of their famous hits were written individually, they always credited them jointly. Lennon and McCartney made some early appearances as The Nurk Twins.

Genesis of The Beatles

By 1959 George Harrison had joined the new group, which by then had been renamed Johnny and the Moondogs. The group unsuccessfully auditioned for Carrol Levis at the Manchester Hippodrome. Still waiting for their first beak, they became the Silver Beatles in 1960. For the next two years they played local engagements in Liverpool, most frequently at the Cavern Club, where numerous English groups gained their initial success. The Beatles first appeared in Germany in 1960 and made their debut professional recording with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes in Hamburg. While playing at the Cavern, they came to the attention of Brian Epstein who heard them and asked if they needed a manager. In 1962 Ringo Starr joined the group. They signed with Parlophone Records and released their first record, “Love Me Do.” Lennon married Cynthia Powell in August of 1962, and they had a son, John Charles Julian, the following year.

Number One

During 1963 the Beatles’ popularity spread throughout England, and they reached #1 in the Melody Maker chart with “Please Please Me.” In 1964 their records, including “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and “Do You Want to Know a Secret,” were released in the United States. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” reached #1 in the United States. Their revolutionary artistic and commercial leadership in the world of rock music thereafter was unchallenged.

The Poet

James Rorondi and Jas Obrecht in Guitar Player asserted that “John was unquestionably the band’s preeminent word-smith.” He extended his writing skill beyond The Beatles. In 1964 he published a book of poems and fictitious anecdotes, In His Own Write; a second volume, called A Spaniard in the Works, followed a year later. Both works are remarkable in terms of their wit, inventive use of language, and prankish, sometimes diabolical sense of humor. The same verbal sensitivity also informs the Lennon-McCartney songs, which as a group marked new levels of sophistication, maturity, and intelligence in the development of rock lyrics. In 1967 Lennon appeared in How I Won the War, a film by Richard Lester, who had directed the Beatles’ first two films, A Hard Day’s Night and Help!

The Beatles’ Continued Success

The success of The Beatles was unsurpassed. However, in March of 1966, Lennon infamously declared that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ, resulting in their temporary ban on American airwaves. The Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in May of 1967, which Lennon believed to be their most creative album. Although he had been taking LSD and other narcotics, Lennon claimed that “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was not inspired by drugs, but by a painting by his son, Julian. The girl with “kaleidoscope eyes” was the woman of his dreams, whom he found to be Yoko Ono.

Disillusionment and the End of The Beatles

Lennon, like the other Beatles, was interested in the teachings of the Maharishi, and he attended a two month instructor’s course in transcendental meditation in early 1968. The band wholeheartedly embraced the Maharishi’s teachings, but soon became disillusioned with him and transcendental meditation. However, this experience did not dull Lennon’s interest in the counterculture. In October of 1968, Lennon was arrested with Ono, for the possession of hashish, and Lennon pled guilty and received a fine. Divorced from his first wife in November of 1968 on the grounds of adultery with Ono, Lennon married Ono, a Japanese environmental artist with whom he collaborated in both music and the visual arts. Ono and Lennon released “Unfinished Music Number One: Two Virgins” in November of 1968, featuring the couple naked on the cover. The couple spent their honeymoon protesting against the war in Vietnam. In the same year, and as a form of protest, Lennon returned to the British government the Member of the Order of the British Empire Medal, which Queen Elizabeth had awarded the Beatles in 1965. Meanwhile, the Beatles recorded their final album, “Abbey Road” in 1969 as the group began to disintegrate. Many fans blamed Ono for breakup, only strengthening Lennon’s commitment to her. The Beatles made their last live public performance, an impromptu show on the rooftop of Apple Studios in January of 1969. In 1970 the group officially disbanded.

Lennon and Ono

Lennon and Ono moved to the United States in September of 1971. However, Lennon continued to be a high profile figure after the immigration service declared him ineligible for residency and served him with a deportation notice because of his 1968 drug conviction. The New York Supreme Court eventually reversed the order in 1975. In New York, Lennon recorded “Imagine.” Lennon and Ono split for a year and a half, during which time Lennon moved to Los Angeles and lived with another woman. The couple reconciled in January of 1975 and Sean Ono Taro Lennon was born later that year on father John’s birthday. In 1976 Lennon announced that he was going to be a househusband, and he did not record anything until 1980. After the hiatus, Lennon worked with Ono to produce “Double Fantasy,” which many critics considered among Lennon’s best work. Other songs recorded during the sessions for “Double Fantasy” were posthumously collected into an album called “Milk and Honey.”

Lennon’s Death

On December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman, a deranged fan, murdered Lennon outside the Dakota in Manhattan. Lennon’s death returned his music to worldwide prominence and propelled the song “Starting Over” to #1 in the United States and other countries. For a man who had lived an extraordinary life, his hopes for the future were modest. He told Wenner, “I hope we’re a nice old couple living off the coast of Ireland or something like that – looking at our scrapbook of madness.”

Further Reading

The most thorough biography of Lennon and the other Beatles is Hunter Davies, The Beatles: The Authorized Biography (1968). For the evolution of the Beatles’ music and its relation to the history of rock ‘n’ roll see Carl Belz, The Story of Rock (1969). Other biographical sources include: Les Ledbetter, New York Times (December 9, 1980); Julia Baird with Geoffrey Giuliano, John Lennon, My Brother, Henry Holt and Company (1988); Jann S. Wenner, Rolling Stone, no. 641 (October 15, 1992); James Rotondi and Jas Obrecht, Guitar Player 28, no. 9 (September 1994); People Weekly 45, no. 6 (February 12, 1996).

Permalink Leave a Comment

Ringo´s biography

April 20, 2010 at 11:13 pm (Uncategorized)

Richard Starkey, MBE (born 7 July 1940), better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the rock group The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr belonged to another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles’ drummer in 1962, taking over from Pete Best. In addition to his contribution as drummer, Starr featured as lead singer on a number of successful Beatles songs (in particular, “With a Little Help from My Friends“, “Yellow Submarine“, and the Beatles version of “Act Naturally“) and as songwriter with the songs “Don’t Pass Me By“, “What Goes On“, and “Octopus’s Garden“.

As drummer for The Beatles, Starr was musically creative, and his contribution to the band’s music has received high praise from notable drummers in more recent times. Starr described himself as “your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills”, technically limited by being a left-handed person playing a right-handed kit.[1] Drummer Steve Smith said that Starr’s popularity “brought forth a new paradigm” where “we started to see the drummer as an equal participant in the compositional aspect” and that Starr “composed unique, stylistic drum parts for The Beatles songs”.[2]

Starr is the most documented and critically acclaimed actor-Beatle, playing a central role in several Beatles films, and appearing in numerous other movies, both during and after his career with The Beatles. After The Beatles’ break-up in 1970, Starr achieved solo musical success with several singles and albums, and recorded with each of his fellow ex-Beatles as they too developed their post-Beatle musical careers. He has also been featured in a number of TV documentaries, hosted TV shows, and narrated the children’s television series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends. He currently tours with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Hello world!

November 28, 2009 at 11:42 pm (Uncategorized)

1957

This is the year when everything started. 15-year-old Paul McCartney, persuaded by Ivan Vaughan, attended a summer fete at St.Peter’s Church (July 6th). After the fete, Ivan introduced Paul to 16-year-old John Lennon who had been playing there with his band, the Quarry Men. Paul impressed the band by playing Twenty Flight Rock and was asked to join about a week later.

1958

Paul introduces John to his school friend George Harrison. George was considered too young to join the band at first, but he was persistent in following the group and so he finally became a member.

1960

The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe, Pete Best) play in pubs in Hamburg.

1961

Stu Sutcliffe leaves. Paul McCartney replaces him as bass player. Beatles start playing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. Single My Bonnie with Tony Sheridan (recorded in Hamburg). Beatles appear on the record as a backing group and (in the German release of the record) under the name “Beat Brothers”. Brian Epstein comes to see them at the Cavern Club and eventually decides to become their manager.

1962

Audition for Decca records on New Year’s Day (Beatles fail). Decca Records A & R man:”We don’t like their style. Groups of guitars are on the way out.” Audition for EMI(Beatles pass). Ringo Starr replaces Pete Best as Beatles’ drummer. John marries Cynthia Powell. Beatles sign contract with Brian Epstein. Single Love Me Do reaches no.17. Stu Sutcliffe dies of a brain haemmorrhage.

1963

Single Please Please Me reaches no.1. Julian Lennon born (April 8th). Concerts in Britain and Sweden. LP Please Please Me. The start of Beatlemania. Last appearance at Cavern Club in Liverpool (August 3rd), where they have done almost 300 appearances. LP With the Beatles. Concerts in Sweden. Paul McCartney meets actress Jane Asher. In autumn the Beatles appear in the Royal Variety Show, where they perform in front of the Queen.

1964

LP and film A Hard Day’s Night. During filming George meets model Patti Boyd. Beatles appear live on The Ed Sullivan Show in America. John’s first book In His Own Write published. It contains funny stories and poems. Concerts in America, Skandinavia, Holland, Hong Kong, Australia. On the morning before the tour to Skandinavia, Holland and Far East Ringo is taken ill with tonsillitis. Jimmy Nicol substitutes for him during the first part of the tour and Ringo re-joins the group in Australia. Beatlemania rises to incredible levels and conquers the world. At concerts the Beatles can hardly hear themselves playing for all the screaming. LP Beatles for Sale.

1965

Ringo marries Maureen Cox. LP and film Help!. Beatles receive MBE award from the Queen. Concerts in America(including famous concert at Shea Stadium). John’s second book A Spaniard In The Works published. Beatles get tired of touring and Beatlemania(hardly any time left to focus on their music and experiment with new sounds, audience won’t listen to them anyway). LP Rubber Soul. Zak Starkey born (September 13th). Last tour in Britain.

1966

George marries Patti Boyd. Concerts in West Germany, Japan, the Phillipines,America. Beatles held virtual hostages in hotels due to hordes of screaming fans outside. LP Revolver contains new sounds, loops and backward melodies. Beatles very advanced since 1963. John says the Beatles are more popular than Jesus. Outrage breaks out in America(banning and even burning of Beatles’ records, threats on Beatles’ lives!). Beatles stop touring (last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco). Many believe Beatles are “at the crossroads”, probably even finished(êïýíéá ðïõ ôïõò êïýíáãå). In November John meets Japanese avant-garde artist Yoko Ono at a private preview of her exhibition in an art gallery.

1967

Single Strawberry Fields For Ever/Penny Lane. Paul meets American photographer Linda Eastman(NO relation to Eastman-Kodak family) at London club “Bag O’ Nails”. “Psychedelic” LP Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is very innovative,full of different, distorted sounds, tapes cut to pieces and stuck together at random and the wrong way round; headphones are used as microphones, vocals are send through Leslie speakers etc. They are filmed singing All You Need Is Love (later released as single). The performance is transmitted live via satellite to many countries all over the world. Jason Starkey born (August 19th). Beatles go to Bangor (Wales) to attend lecture on meditation by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Manager Brian Epstein dies from sleeping pill overdose. TV film and EP(LP in America)Magical Mystery Tour shown on Boxing Day (December 26th). Paul announces engagement to Jane Asher.

1968

Beatles fly to India to study meditation under the Maharishi, but come back disillusioned. Start their own company, Apple Corps. Paul and Jane Asher split up. Beatles start recording new album, but the sessions are full of tension. Ringo quits the group, but comes back two weeks later(event kept secret). Animated film Yellow Submarine. LP Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono (cover features them nude). LP The Beatles(more like four solo albums merged together). John and Cynthia Lennon get a divorce. John and Yoko get arrested for cannabis possesion. LP Yellow Submarine.

1969

The Beatles give their last live appearance on the rooftop of the Apple building at Savile Row. Paul marries Linda Eastman. George and Patti get arrested at their house for cannabis possesion (during Paul’s wedding). John marries Yoko Ono. The two protest the war in Vietnam by a week-long bed-in. John changes his name to John Ono Lennon. Tense atmosphere inside the group (George leaves temporarily in January). On the verge of breakup.In spite of that LP Abbey Road is like a group LP(unlike The White album). Mary McCartney born. John Lennon returns MBE to the Queen as a protest to England’s participation in the war of Vietnam. Allen Klein begins to manage the Beatles(against Paul McCartney’s wish). John says he will leave the band (event hushed).

1970

Beatles breakup becomes official-on April 10th Paul McCartney announces he’s leaving the band. He releases solo LP McCartney. Beatles last LP and film Let It Be released in May. It is the end of an era…

Permalink 1 Comment