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A Starr is Reborn: Ringo Starr, Thespian

Posted by Charles Reece, September 6, 2009 08:30pm | Post a Comment
Not content with merely playing himself in Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965), Ringo Starr began to develop his acting chops over the next decade and a half, culminating in his masterpiece, Caveman. As a drummer, he was used to being in the background supporting others, and his acting style was such that he always made everyone else seem a little better. He was a chameleon, the rock and roll Peter Sellers. So here's a look back at some of his finest moments during those cinematic years.

Candy (1968)


As the Mexican gardener Emmanuel, Ringo goes toe-to-toe with Richard Burton in Terry Southern and Buck Henry's free love revision of Voltaire's Candide (based on Mason Hoffenberg's novel)

Magic Christian (1969)


Ringo's second Southern collaboration, an adaptation of the latter's novel of the same name. In this scene, Ringo can be seen with Sellers and a young John Cleese.

200 Motels (1971)

Sampling The Beatles In Hip-Hop Music

Posted by Billyjam, September 3, 2009 10:25am | Post a Comment

"The Grey Video" (Danger Mouse "Encore" Beatles meets Jay-Z)
 
Everyone loves The Beatles, including rappers and their producers, so it makes perfect sense that hooks, drum beats, high hats, stabs, guitar riffs, vocal soundbites, etc. etc. from the Fab Four's vast and varied Wu-Tang Clancatalog would provide an ample sampling source for hip-hop producers and remixers. RIght? Yes, but only if done legally-- provided that the owners of the copyrighted Beatles material were to give permission to the interested producer(s). And this is not something that happens easily. In fact, The Beatles' catalog is often referred to in hip-hop production circles as "the holy grail of samples," since it is so hard to get permission to sample the Liverpool lads' music for hip-hop songs. 

That's why it was such in 2007 when Wu-Tang Clan announced that they had secured the first fully legit sample of the Beatles' music. They reportedly got granted permission to sample the White Album's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for the Wu-Tang album 8 Diagrams. As it turned out, it Dhani Harrisonwasn't technically a Beatles sample clearance, but rather the go-ahead to replay the George Harrison penned Beatles tune with none other than George's own son Dhani Harrison (reportedly a major Wu-Tang Clan fan) playing the guitar bit on the track that also featured guest vocalist Erykah Badu.

Of course, The Beatles' music has been sampled many times in hip-hop (without permission) over the years, most famously on Danger Mouse's career-launching, incredibly popular (albeit totally illegal) 2004 release The Grey Album, where he liberally sampled the entire Beatles' White Album in a masterpiece mash-up that is beautifully blended with Jay-Z's The Black Album. The fact that it was an illegal recording didn't stop people from hearing it either. The album, which was sold as a bootleg, was traded and given Danger Mouse the grey albumaway in CD format and downloaded for free, thus making its way to countless iPods and music collections.

"Rain"/"Paperback Writer" Mystery Solved!

Posted by Miss Ess, September 2, 2009 11:29am | Post a Comment
compleat beatlesUnlike some bloggers, I don't welcome or dream of dental surgery and/or visits to the dentist...

When I was a child, I was also particularly sensitive to teeth and their appearance. Chipping my teeth was up there as one of my worst fears for myself, and I'd often (for no real reason) vividly imagine the feeling of the moment of impact as my tooth hit something and broke (crazy, I know). It's still up there as far as things I'd like to avoid, to tell the truth...

Anyway, back then I was also an avid, constant viewer of the documentary The Compleat Beatles, in which clips of the videos for "Rain" and "Paperback Writer" are shown.




Seem like great videos, right? Cutting edge for 1966 too! But did you notice a little something amiss??
beatles rain
Imagine my trauma when watching these videos as a kid: My hero, Paul McCartney showed up missing a sizeable chunk of his front left tooth! It was awful. I had seen footage of him beyond the year 1966 and knew it had been fixed somewhere down the line, but I was gripped by curiosity and the need to know what had caused this most famous man to lose a good bit of his tooth in the heightened midst of his fame! It kept me up nights in my young life! I was about 8 years old (and the internet was a long ways off).

Continue reading...

THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND FURTHER BROADENS FAB FOUR'S FANBASE

Posted by Billyjam, September 2, 2009 11:00am | Post a Comment
Trailer for The Beatles: Rock Band (2009)

Everyone loves The Beatles and if there is still someone unmoved by the Fab Four, he or she soon will be once they get their hands on The Beatles: Rock Band video game, which is being released exactly a week from today on the easy to remember date of 9/9/09. That date also happens to be the same day that the much anticipated remastered Beatles catalog on CD The Beatles Rock Bandarrives in Amoeba Music. Not only will gamers of all ages take to this game, especially those who are already fans of Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but most likely people who have never played a video game in their lives will start now with The Beatles: Rock Band.

The game comes complete with 45 instantly recognizable Beatles songs, including "Get Back," "Day Tripper," "I Want To Hold Your Hand," and "Back in the USSR." The game's scenes and settings include playing in the Cavern Club and at Shea Stadium! This game will convert young kids to the music of the Beatles and older Beatles fans to the world of gaming; overall, even further broadening the fanbase of the Fab Four. 

The Beatles Part 4

Posted by Amoebite, September 2, 2009 10:41am | Post a Comment
We are kicking off the celebration in honor of the digitally remastered Beatles reissues set to hit Amoeba September 9! We present to you today the final segment of The Beatles' biography. Also, this week will be marked here on the blog with a number of Beatles related posts with a huge variety of topics! You can begin with Part One of the fabled band's history if you missed it by clicking right here; then check out Part Two right here; and finally, Part Three. Now, without further ado, Part Four:

beatles maharishi mahesh yogi

DISORDER, FINAL TRIUMPHS, AND DISSOLUTION
magical mystery tour
In the late summer of 1967, at the behest of George Harrison, The Beatles traveled to Bangor, Wales, for a retreat sponsored by the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, an organization founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an India-born self-styled guru and teacher of the spiritual discipline of transcendental meditation. It was there, on Aug. 27, that the musicians received a phone call from London: Brian Epstein – who had grown increasingly uncertain about The Beatles’ future and unhappy in his closeted gay lifestyle -- had died, at the age of 32, from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills mixed with alcohol.

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