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14+ Little Known Beatles Facts


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Here's an interesting article written by my friend Bart Mendoza, who heads up his own excellent mod/pop band The Shambles. Lots of stuff in here I didn't know...

01) A Beatles reunion of sorts was definitely in the cards at the time of Lennon's death. While Lennon was known to change his opinion on lots of things with whim and time, this was discussed in legal (binding) documents dealing with a trial against the Beatlemania show. On Nov. 28 1980, John stated in a deposition for Apple Corps

against the shows producers. "I, and the three other former Beatles have plans to stage a reunion concert." The show was to have been filmed as the finale for the proposed Long and Winding Road documentary, which became Anthology. It's really depressing to think of what could've been.

02) Yes, these song versions really exist, if only on bootleg:

a) Wings - Video Killed the Radio Star (Buggles)

B) Wings - Billy Don't Be A Hero (Bo Donaldson)

c) Beatles w/Rolf Harris - Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport (Rolf Harris)

d) John Lennon - Lady Marmalade (Labelle - just a bit of this one, but still: -)

e) Ringo Starr - I Can Help (Billy Swan/Elvis)

03) An alternate version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was recorded for the Yellow Submarine film but was discarded. This version began with the character Jeremy Boob singing the first verse before Lennon takes over- and with different lyrics to boot!

04) The last piece of music the Beatles ever played before a paying audience was an impromptu bit of "In My Life" (never done live by the group otherwise) strummed by John Lennon just prior to leaving the stage at Candlestick Park.

05) Duets: Paul McCartney has been performing a duet with an artist at each years Anti Landmine Benefit concerts, one of the guests and one of his own. To date he's teamed with James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Paul Simon and Neil Young. Other recent live charity team-ups include tunes with Tony Bennett and Cat Stevens. Honorable mention

to George Harrison and Paul Simon's great appearance together on SNL.

06) John Lennon and Paul McCartney knew each other informally before their famous 'first' meeting at Woolton Fete in 1957.

07) Contrary to rumours Wings Over America the album was not subjected to massive overdubs. There were some songs where a mic failed or so on, but where the stories of a studio recreation of the Wings live set come from is for the film Rockshow, for which the band did stage some shots with members of McCartney's Fun Club as the

audience, for insert shots in the film. And yes, the sound was sweetened wherever they could.

08) Although the Anthology series was meant to sweep the vault clean there are still dozens of unreleased tracks. There are alternates of most of the studio tracks and many home demos, with a few completely unheard cuts such as "Carnival of Light" and "Etcetera" (a demo for Marianne Faithful) confirmed, plus there are the tunes given away or worked on, "Summertime" with Lu Walters, "Goodbye" for Mary Hopkin, and lots of others. Outside the studio the band left a ton of stuff as well - here are just a few examples:

The Hamburg Sessions 1962 - this needs to be done up right - lo fi, but essential, a couple of dozen tracks with the guys in a sweaty German nightclub.

The Decca Sessions 1962- Studio recorded oldies and a couple of exclusive Lennon/McCartney originals

The White Album Demos 1968 - almost two dozen acoustic demos (there might be more), featuring the bulk of the White Album, and a brace of otherwise unreleased by the Beatles tunes such as Harrison's "Sour Milk Sea," and "Circles" as well as Lennon's "Child of Nature" and McCartney's "Sing-a-long Junk," to name a few.

The Hollywood Bowl - Officially released mix of a couple of different nights at the Bowl in 1964 and 1965

BBC Sessions - there are over 100 tracks still unreleased. Mostly alternates, but hey, it's the Beatles.

09) John Lennon was planning a comeback tour for Spring 1981 at the time of his death.

10) While it's true that there are many bootlegs out there claiming to have the soundtrack to the Beatles Shea Stadium concert, as seen in the famous film, they don't. That soundtrack and therefore the bootlegs, consist of re-recordings of the songs done well after the fact, synched by the band playing to the footage of the

film. There has not been a release of the true concert recordings.

11) It's also true that the only surviving footage of the Beatles on Top of the Pops

is a bit that was used on a TV in a background scene of a contemporary Dr. Who Episode.

12) There are a lot of concerts circulating on bootleg, both CD and DVD. Here are three (with set lists) of the most interesting unbootlegged, but confirmed to be in the hands of collectors, tapes:

July 1962 The Beatles At The Cavern with Pete Best:

Hey Baby

If You Gotta Make a Fool Of Somebody

Hippy Hippy Shake

Please Mr. Postman

Roll Over Beethoven

Ask Me Why

Sharing You

Your Feets Too Big

Words Of Love

Till There Was You

Dizzy Miss Lizzie

I Forgot To Remember To Forget

Matchbox (vocal: Pete Best)

Shimmy Shake

Young Blood

Dream Baby

08/21/63 The Beatles at the Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth:

Roll Over Beethoven

Thank You Girl


From Me To You

A Taste Of Honey

I Saw Her Standing There

Baby It's You


She Loves You

Twist And Shout

June 9 1964 Hong Kong

1. I Saw Her Standing There

2. I Want To Hold Your Hand

3. All My Loving

4. She Loves You

5. Till There Was You

6. Roll Over Beethoven

7. Can't Buy Me Love

8. This Boy

9. Twist And Shout

10.Long Tall Sally

13) Ten post Beatlemania hits by other artists with Beatles involvement (not including Cilla, Billy J, Peter & Gordon, Mary Hopkin, Jackie Lomax, Tommy Quickly, The Remo Four, The Fourmost, Chris Barber, Cliff Bennett etc:)

a) David Bowie - Fame (John)

B) Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down (George)

c) Elvis Costello - Veronica (Paul)

d) Cream - Badge (George)

e) The Rolling Stones - We Love You (John & Paul)

f) James Taylor - Carolina on My Mind (George & Paul)

g) Badfinger - Day After Day (George)

h) Monty Python - Always Look On The Bright Side of Life (George)

i) Donovan - Mellow Yellow (Paul)

j) Steve Miller Band - My Dark Hour (Paul)

14) Sticking on the subject of unreleased music, in addition to the studio tracks, radio performance, concert tapes and home demos you can add impromptu recordings. Early examples include what are known as the Alf Bicknell recordings, after the former Beatles chauffer who auctioned them off. On it the Beatles and friends can be heard driving around circa 1963 singing songs and hymns and so on. To date most of these types of recording tend to be from Lennon. Members of Moby Grape report recording numerous spur of the moment songs with dirty lyrics, with him in the mid sixties. One tape said to exist in a vault somewhere consists of Lennon and Carole King post party, but one tape that definitely has surfaced is a sing-a-long in a Syracuse hotel room at his birthday party in 1971, with Ringo and Phil Spector heard

amongst the revelers. During his 'Lost Weekend' John hung out with Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, David Cassidy, Nilsson, Jim Keltner, Alice Cooper, Keith Moon and numerous recordings are said to exist held by the rock star who happened to run tape at the time (Cassidy for one has also said he taped get togethers.). Only two of those tapes has surfaced so far - part of a session bootlegged as "A Toot and A Snore" featuring Wonder, McCartney, Lennon and Nilsson amongst others in a studio jam, and the true gem, which is unbootlegged. A home/ party recording was made by author Terry Southern ("The Magic Christian"), with Lennon on guitar and a bunch of friends helping out in the fun. First, Donovan sang "Rivers of Babylon" and "The

Royal Canal". Then Lennon performed "Rock Island Line", "It's All Over Now Baby Blue", "Railroad Bill", "Liverpool Lou", and "Don't Fence Me In." He talked about Dylans penchant for "borrowing" from old folk tunes, and did a Howard Cosell

impression. It gets even better. At this point Mick Jagger can be heard joining Lennon on guitar, and they proceed to blast through a jam including "It's Only Make Believe", "Under My Thumb", "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window", "You're So Square (Baby I Don't Care)", "Stand by Me", "There Goes My Baby", "Dream Lover." They attempt, but fail to work out "How High The Moon," and can be heard discussing Les Paul. Southern can be heard on the tape saying "I've got an idea for an album.

'A Stroll Down Memory Lane With John Lennon and Mick Jagger." This clearly sets the pair thinking . Mick simply says "Peggy Sue got married," and the two start playing the Buddy Holly catalog. They forget words, chords and sometimes rhythm, but it's magic to listen to the famous pair from allegedly rival groups collaborating on "Peggy Sue Got Married", "Listen to Me", "Words of Love", "Everyday", "Rave On", "Tell Me How", and "Maybe Baby."

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Thanks Popdude, for the info.

And another little-known fact was that Lennon's last concert appearence was doing "I Saw Her Standing There", as a special guest on an Elton John concert in 1975.

I had never heard anything about any fab four reunion, but I did hear about Lennon gearing up for a 1981 tour.

And I am trying to figure out which of the three guitar parts in "Fame" was Lennon's.....I presume the "strum" one, but I could be wrong. That was Lennon, Bowie, and Carlos Alomar, I think.

Wasn't Donovan's appearence on "Blackbird" sort of a payback for Paul's appearence on "Mellow Yellow"?

And did Paul sing backups on Donovan's "Atlantis"?

About Howard Cosell, it's a bit ironic that it was he who first announced Lennon's death on TV.

Was that Paul on drums on "Back in the USSR" or was it Ringo? And supposedly Lennon played a six-string bass on that song....is that correct?

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Holy crap...you know your stuff.

I have personally heard two of the bootlegs he mentions, and knew OF about 50-60% more. The rest is news to me. Shucks, just when I thought I had learned EVERYTHING about The Beatles!

Being from Syracuse, I met a person who was there at the informal birthday sing-along...at the time, he was an employee at the museum that hosted Yoko's art exhibit. (His name escapes me.)

He was specifically instructed to put together a full backline of drums and amps for a private 'birthday reunion jam' with all four Beatles, in the museum's small performance amphitheater.

Ringo ended up coming to the museum, but George only made it to the hotel. Paul...alas, was the lone hold out. Reason: unknown.

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Cool stuff John. re item #10: I do indeed have the actual audio from Shea Stadium. Taken directly off of the sound board complete with all of the warm up acts. Quite interesting I might say. On the TV broadcast and the various bootlegs going around, we all heard Ringo lip synch to Act Naturally. Ain't so on the actual audio .... oh boy, talk about an off night insane

Again, great post!

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Cool stuff John. re item #10: I do indeed have the actual audio from Shea Stadium. Taken directly off of the sound board complete with all of the warm up acts. Quite interesting I might say. On the TV broadcast and the various bootlegs going around, we all heard Ringo lip synch to Act Naturally. Ain't so on the actual audio .... oh boy, talk about an off night insane

Again, great post!

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I've not watched the Anthology in a while, but it's about time I do. I'll compare the audio tracks when I do & let you know. My guess (though I've been known to be wrong oh so many times before) is that the Anthology audio for the Shea portion is probably the same as what was broadcast on tv. Hmmm, might be kinda cool to throw the Shea video & the board audio into my video editing program & see if I can sync it up. laugh

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  • 7 years later...

Some post Beatle's tidbits.

A recent 50 year anniversary of the film,  "Help" was approved of by Apple Corp. for a free showing outside. There was a tribute band that played, also.It was shown in blueray format, in pasadena, ca., a few weeks back.

Paul once lended his Yamaha bass, after a surprise Abbey Roads studio visit. The surprised musician was having probems with his own bass during recordings. Paul walked in and said use this one. ( Not an exact quote). This was recalled by a band on a radio program.



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Ringo's commercial looked like it was partly filmed in his backyard. It looked llike he was by a pool.

Ringo celebrated his recent 75 year birthday at Capitol Records, with fans being invited. Some of his musician friends sent well wishes. (Also see Billboard Magazine for photos, etc).

He asked that everyone type in the words Love and Peace on Facebook at 12:00 pm, in their own time zone.

And Paul has read some of our posts. Even mine, I found out, later.

Paul does an upsidedown head stand for health. (Palms of hands and top of his head). Something he has been doing since he was about 25 years old.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Just announced. on T.V., at Best Buy

1+  [ One Plus]. A 27 song Numbet One CD or two..  It is separately sold from Deluxe set. I saw it on back-to-back T. V. commercials.  On two different channels.

Ane maybe someone in The Beatles family read this thread. Notice again the plus mark on cover.  The brand new Deluxe Set includes a CD and 2 DVD"s. With 27 Number One Songs. It includes a  stunning remix of songs in 5.1 Stereo.  And 50 High Quality [HQ] videos of  never before seen alternative versions of songs and recording sessions. Including one that shows Paul or someone sliding on the floor. [In his socks°,  I  guess], and reversing and walking the other way. before he gets to the Microphone.Joking around , for the camera.

It also looks like there is a booklet inside with photos and stories. About 20 to 30 pages. This  is an exceptional buy, before the holiday season begins.

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John Lennon's guitar sold for 2.4 million dollars, in Beverly Hills. It was played on historic recordings, surprising even the auctioneer, with the price it was bought for.

A drum head broke another auction  record. From one of  Ringo's drumsets, I presume. Over one million for that!

I got the Deluxe Set, too

The booklet talks about each song.  It's very detailed- When it was recorded, location, Producer,  UK release, First Charted, US release, and when first charted.  Then broadcast, 2015 edit, Filmed,  location, and date of broadcast.

I tried to play it on my  center console in my car, with a touch screen. It looks like a tablet. The radio works. But the DVD and CD player don't. It should, but it might need a code, first.  I wanted to listen,  on my way to visit friends, saturday. 


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Pauls favorite female singing voice is Karen Carpenter, of The Carpenters. Remarkable tone, timbre and resonance in her baritone voice, he said. (Paraphrasing).

Paul appears in a video conmentary. It's part of a video that Rickey Nelson's sons have used for their tribute concerts. On the video is also Kris Jristofferson talking about Rickey's music. 

Wanting to do a tribute, the sons found a song set listi n their father's belongings. And realized it was the order they also wanted to do in concert.

Some video used was courtesy of film studios, when he acted.

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