Wednesday, May 31, 2006

McCartney falls for Martin's tricks

Sir Paul McCartney was horrified when producer Sir George Martin played him a new version of Hey Jude for their stage collaboration with Cirque du Soleil - because he had jokingly spiced it up with a reggae beat. The former Beatle had been discussing music with Martin for the upcoming show Love, which opens next month (JUN06) in Las Vegas. But after urging the 80-year-old to "take it further out" and get more adventurous, he was shocked by the result - before realising it was just a joke. Martin says, "For a moment he was horrified."

McCartney’s soon-to-be ex looks for a little help from her friends

Lady Heather Mills McCartney reportedly believes that her failed marriage to rock ’n’ roll royalty Sir Paul McCartney makes her heartache comparable to the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ deep-sixed marriage.Pish posh, we say! The former lingerie model-turned-activist is said to be negotiating a Princess Di-style sit-down with England’s ITV’s Sir Trevor McDonald, reports Anglophiles may remember the gobs of sympathy the Princess of Wales elicited when she spilled the intimate details of her ruined royal relationship with telly presenter Martin Bashir.Lady McCartney, dubbed a “gold-digger” in the London tabloids and now fighting her famous hubby for custody of their daughter, Beatrice, 2, feels the need to spin her side of the story.But insiders expect the booted Beatle bride might not garner the same spin success as England’s Queen of Hearts considering that Diana was more popular than her husband was - or ever will be. Heather contends she and her good deeds for landmine victims and baby seals were overshadowed by her husband’s celebrity. Ya’ think?Friends of the 63 year-old singer hold strong to their suspicion that Mills’ fiery temper - and not McCartney’s fame or the meddling media - caused the couple’s demise.“He tried everything to make their marriage work,” a source told the National Enquirer. “He took insults and swallowed his pride just to smooth over their violent rows. This guy is idolized by millions of women, but he lost his heart to one who humiliated him.”It could be Heather’s growing reputation for rage that is pushing her to appear on television as a vulnerable victim. An ITV source said: “Heather wants to give her side of the story and knows Sir Trevor and is a fan of his. She thinks he would give her a relatively smooth ride compared to other interviewers.”She may get an easy interview with Sir Trevor, but considering Paul McCartney’s super-powerful divorce lawyer, Nicholas Mostyn, she’ll need to save her energy for court.Mostyn is renown for his specialty in representing wives seeking massive settlements from wealthy husbands.“He’s the best in Britain,” an insider told the Enquirer. “Paul got him before Heather could.”

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Will Heather do a 'Diana' interview?

Heather Mills is said to be considering a Princess Diana-style television appearance which could reveal intimate details of her marriage rift with Sir Paul McCartney. The former model is thinking of telling 'her side of the story' in an interview with ITV's Sir Trevor McDonald, it is believed. Such an appearance, with a presenter known for his deferential style, would draw comparisons with Diana's explosiveinterview with Martin Bashir, in which she talked openly about her failed marriage to Prince Charles. Miss Mills, 38, has already been accused of modelling herself on Diana, as the wronged partner whose marriage was overshadowed by her husband's public profile. Like Diana, she has thrown herself into charitable work, travelling round the world to highlight the plight of slaughtered seal pups. This has also led to comparisons with Sir Paul's first wife Linda, who died of breast cancer eight years ago. Miss Mills also became patron of the Adopt-a-Minefield charity, saying she had an affinity with those who have lost a limb. Diana had previously visited a minefield and amputees in Angola. She called for an international ban weeks before her death. An interview with Miss Mills would give a unique insight into life with 63-year-old Sir Paul. Although he has been a household name for 40 years, he has kept his private life largely under wraps. But the former Beatle's lawyers will be keen to make sure he is not blamed for the impending divorce, nor depicted as stingy as the couple discuss how his £ 800million fortune may be divided. An interview with Miss Mills would be a coup for Sir Trevor, who has gained a reputation as a smooth operator who rarely gives his subjects too tough a time. An ITV source was yesterday quoted as saying: "Heather wants to give her side of the story and knows Sir Trevor and is a fan of his. She thinks he would give her a relatively smooth ride compared to other interviewers." Miss Mills has vowed to return to the catwalk and resume her career as a model when her marriage ends, even though her settlement will be enough to ensure she never has to work again. She worked as a catalogue model before losing her leg when hit by a police motorcyclist 13 years ago. She has since reinvented herself as an animal rights activist and political campaigner. Miss Mills has now signed up to the little-known model agency Zone. Yesterday, it was reported she has instructed her agent she wants to return to the catwalk later this summer. Her actions have been described by some as further evidence she is a self promoter, who grew upset at living in Sir Paul's shadow. As their marriage collapsed after four years, some of her friends hoped she might adopt a lower profile. The latest development may reinforce Sir Paul's conviction that he made the right decision in seeking a divorce. He was understood to have become increasingly fed up with his wife's determination to pursue a high-profile lifestyle despite his desire for a private, domestic existence at his Sussex estate. The couple, who have a daughter Beatrice, two, announced their separation this month after it emerged they were living in separate houses 50 miles apart. In a statement, they blamed the media, saying they found it "increasingly difficult" to maintain a normal relationship in the public eye. Despite speculation that Miss Mills could get up to £200million of Sir Paul's fortune, recent reports suggest her settlement is likely to be closer to £25million.

Heather Mills goes back to the catwalk

Heather Mills McCartney is returning to catwalk - to get over her marriage break-up.The animal rights activist - who split from former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, who she married in 2002, earlier this month - is believed to be planning to make her modelling comeback this summer (06).The 38-year-old, who enjoyed a successful modelling career before losing her leg in a road accident, has reportedly been in touch with prestigious model agency Zone.Friends of Heather have claimed she plans to focus on her career now her marriage has ended despite rumours she could earn anything between £20 million and £200 million from her divorce settlement.A source told Britain's Daily Star newspaper: "It's not Heather's style to do nothing. She has a very strong work ethic. Heather might not be everyone's cup of tea but there's no doubting she's a hard worker and has plenty of pluck and energy."There's bound to be a big demand for Heather as she's guaranteed to attract huge media interest."

Monday, May 29, 2006

Heather Mills considers TV interview

Heather Mills, the soon to be ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney, is apparently "mulling over" the possibility of giving a TV interview.The former model has had an offer from ITV to do an interview with Sir Trevor McDonald about her break-up with the Beatles star.A source at ITV told The Sun "Heather wants to give her side of the story and knows Sir Trevor, and is a fan of his."She thinks that he would give her a relatively smooth ride compared with other interviewers."

Beatles Legend Named Top Vegetarian

After days of headlines about his doomed marriage Sir Paul McCartney said today he was "thrilled" to be named as the UK's favourite celebrity vegetarian.National charity the Vegetarian Society polled people across the nation during National Vegetarian Week 2006 and receiving the highest number of votes for the most popular male celebrity vegetarian was Sir Paul McCartney, followed closely by singer Morrissey.Keeping it in the family, the most popular female vegetarian celebrity was Sir Paul's daughter, fashion designer Stella McCartney.After adding the total votes, Sir Paul was named the outright winner across both sexes.On hearing the result Sir Paul said: "I am really thrilled. People are becoming more aware of what they eat and where it comes from but many still don't make the connection between their own actions and the suffering and death of a real living creature."Once you truly understand the consequences of buying and eating meat, you can't claim to care without going vegetarian."Voters were asked to select their favourite vegetarian through an online poll at the Vegetarian Society's website.The list of 25 nominees included GMTV's Fiona Phillips, Big Brother's Chantelle Houghton, Lady Heather Mills-McCartney, actor Martin Shaw, singer Moby, actress Joanna Lumley, Big Brother's Russell Brand and US hunk Tobey McGuire.Collette Walsh, press spokesperson at the Vegetarian Society, said: "It was level-pegging for Morrissey and Sir Paul McCartney at one point. Both are hugely influential individuals and great ambassadors for vegetarianism."Stella, however, was the outright winner in the female category. The vast majority of votes for her came from women. She's clearly the savvy, successful type of vegetarian that they like to look up to."For more information about the work of the Vegetarian Society visit the charity's website at

Sunday, May 28, 2006

'Sixty-Four' was never meant to be more than silly song

As Beatles songs go, "When I'm Sixty-Four" is a goof and a trifle, intentionally so. At a time when the quartet was in peak form as studio experimenters and social commentators, the song appears as comic relief, an exhale in between plunges into the musical deep end of the late '60s. Unfortunately, the laughs fade long before the song does, all 2 minutes and 37 seconds of it.It was never meant to be taken seriously, even by its primary author, Paul McCartney. It was a deliberately anti-art statement that appeared on an album often cited as a touchstone of art-rock, the 1967 release "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."If "Pepper" is essentially a series of elaborate disguises and jokes, an opportunity for the Beatles to try on different clothes and be anybody but themselves, then "When I'm Sixty-Four" is the band playing at being their parents. McCartney slips into an English music-hall guise, the British equivalent of a vaudeville crooner specializing in rooty-tooty rhythms and catch-phrase lyrics. The song isn't so much propelled as cast adrift by a trio of snoozy clarinets and plodding bass. McCartney's vocal is jauntily tongue-in-cheek, both honoring and skewering lifelong monogamy ("Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm 64")Here was a blatantly nostalgic song from a band in the midst of paving rock's future. The kindest assessment is that "When I'm Sixty-Four" is actually a subversive commentary: the Beatles warning their peers that someday they, too, will be consumed not with changing the world, but only with who will bother to spoon them oatmeal when they are older and enfeebled.Now that's darkly funny, in a way that reflects the Beatles' love of the 1950s BBC comedy "The Goon Show," starring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan. But it's a joke worth hearing only once. With each subsequent listen, "When I'm Sixty-Four" becomes as stale as the era it parodies.

Now he's 64

He's not losing his hair, though color seems to be an issue.He does have grandchildren, though no Vera, Chuck or Dave.He has been known to do a little gardening work, "digging the weed," so to speak. In fact, one of his multiple marijuana busts was for growing the stuff on his Scotland farm back in the early '70s.Given the recent upheaval in his personal life, it's unclear who'll feed him, though there's no doubt he'll be taken care of.Yes, the cultural alarm clock that Paul McCartney set 39 years ago is ringing. The man who sang "When I'm Sixty-Four" in 1967 turns 64 June 18."I do remember that on the [song's recording] session, we all figured out it would be 2006 when Paul was 64," Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick recalled on the phone from Los Angeles, "and we had a good laugh about that and wondered what we'd be doing."That McCartney is reaching the age that he whimsically imagined so long ago is an unavoidable milestone, a ready-made occasion for comparing snapshots, then and now, of the singer and his contemporaries. "You'll be older too," after all. It's also the inevitable moment when the words of the young man are shoved into the face of the old -- or let's just say older -- man.At least McCartney's tongue-in-cheek portrait of his dotage was affectionate enough that it shouldn't be too tough for him to swallow. Fellow '60s icons Pete Townshend and Mick Jagger have had to choke on the strident, aging-averse declarations of their younger selves. Townshend has become a walking ironic counterpoint to the classic line he wrote for the Who's "My Generation": "I hope I die before I get old." As for the wiry Stones frontman, he once was famously quoted as sneering, "I'd rather be dead than singing 'Satisfaction' when I'm 45." Jagger was 62 when he sang it at this year's Super Bowl.McCartney didn't equate old age with death in "When I'm Sixty-Four," but his song is nonetheless revealing in the way it views the autumn years from a spring chicken's perspective. The ex-Beatle has told interviewers he wrote the song when he was "about 16," placing it in the late-'50s, eight or so years before the Beatles finally recorded it for their landmark album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."The Beatles actually used to perform it in their earliest years when they were playing clubs in England and Hamburg, Germany. "When the power would go out and they didn't have anything to amplify their stuff, that's the song they would play on their acoustic guitars," said Gregory Alexander, a.k.a. "Professor Moptop" on WXRT-FM 93.1 Sunday morning "Breakfast With the Beatles" show. (Disclosure: My wife works for 'XRT.) There's no known recording of the Beatles performing the song back then, perhaps because they were always playing it with the power out."When I'm Sixty-Four" is a vaudeville-style toe-tapper in which the singer wonders whether his sweetheart will still be around to dote on him and to share a mundane life when he's "older, losing my hair, many years from now."He'll mend fuses; she'll knit. "Doing the garden, digging the weeds/Who could ask for more?" he asks with a straight face, as if that prospect really excited young people back then. "Will you still need me/Will you still feed me/When I'm sixty-four."You're singing along right now, aren't you?In "Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now," Barry Miles' 1997 biography that takes its title from the song, McCartney says he made a point of putting "the tongue very firmly in cheek" so the song wouldn't come across as "too vaudevillian."`Love song'"`Will you still need me?' is still a love song," he said. "`Will you still look after me?'-- OK -- but `Will you still feed me?' goes into `Goon Show' humor." (That last part is a reference to the 1950s madcap British radio series featuring Peter Sellers.)When the Beatles finally recorded this "rooty-tooty" song (as McCartney called it), it was an anomaly both on the "Sgt. Pepper" album, where it's easily the least psychedelic track, and in the larger rock world. You didn't hear other rock bands recording songs driven by multiple clarinets, though McCartney's fascination with the baroque arrangements on the Beach Boys' 1966 classic "Pet Sounds" is felt here.Emerick, who details his experiences recording the Beatles in his new book "Here, There and Everywhere" (Gotham Books), recalled speeding up McCartney's voice to make it sound more youthful. The engineer said he thinks McCartney finally decided to record "When I'm Sixty-Four" for "Sgt. Pepper" after pulling off the glorious string arrangement of "Eleanor Rigby" on the Beatles' previous album, "Revolver." Another frequently cited theory is that McCartney was paying tribute to his father, Jim McCartney, who turned 64 in 1966."When I'm Sixty-Four" almost didn't wind up on "Sgt. Pepper." It was the second song recorded for the album, after "Strawberry Fields Forever," and when Capitol Records insisted on taking two songs to release as a single (single and album tracks often didn't overlap back then), "When I'm Sixty-Four" was targeted as the flip side to "Strawberry Fields." But "Penny Lane," which drew on McCartney's youth in a different way, became the choice instead.Parents loved it So while "Sgt. Pepper" was blowing the minds of young fans in the Summer of Love, the nostalgia-seeped, undeniably catchy "When I'm Sixty-Four" was wooing their parents, just as the McCartney-sung version of Meredith Willson's "Till There Was You" (from "The Music Man") had done when the Beatles played "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964."It's this instant acceptability," Tim Riley, author of the 1988 Beatles song-by-song analysis book "Tell Me Why," said of the impact of such songs. "It makes them OK for parents. The other three Beatles are laughing behind his back. They give him constant guff about that. But it delivers them a huge mainstream audience because it's irresistible."At the same time, there was something audacious about the Beatles recording such a song at the height of their popularity. "`When I'm Sixty-Four' stood out when it came out as a blatantly non-rock 'n' roll tune by the most famous rock 'n' roll band in the world," Boston-based rock critic Milo Miles said. "Also, the whole youth culture was so potent at that time that the idea of the Beatles singing about being 64 was part of the mind-blowing aspect of it.""When I'm Sixty-Four" may actually be more popular among non-Beatles fans than Beatles die-hards. Looking back, some critics have derided the song for being a harbinger of the cloying, wink-wink quality that would infect some of McCartney's subsequent Beatles contributions and his solo career. Emerick said he didn't think John Lennon liked it at the time, a sentiment the late Beatle confirmed in his 1980 interview with Playboy: "I would never even dream of writing a song like that."Even superfan Terri Hemmert, who hosts "Breakfast With the Beatles," called it "a novelty song. ... It's not one of their great songs, but it's a fun song.""It's an English dance-hall song, music hall," Riley said. "It's the guy with the hat and the mustache and the cane doing a little dance. It's unbearable."But, he added: "My kids love that song. It's a really delicate arrangement. The arrangement is just absolutely bull's-eye. There's not an instrument out of place. ... He understands how this stuff works, and you're forced to say even in spite of all that cuteness, he really does have all of that charm."Since its release, "When I'm Sixty-Four" has become a standard, a song you routinely encounter and probably hum along to. A few years ago Julian Lennon, John's first son, even sang it on an insurance commercial.Now the song has become a touchstone for Baby Boomers realizing they're catching up with an age that used to seem so distant. "When I was a kid, 64 was old," said Mark Lapidos, 58, founder of the Fest for Beatles Fans. "[Now] the Baby Boomers are in their late 50s or turning 60; we don't consider that old. Sixty-four was goodbye. Now it's just getting started."Yes, 64 is the new 44. Since 1967 the average life expectancy in the U.S. has risen from 70.5 to 77.9 years. (The figures tend to be slightly higher in the U.K.) In the 1960s, rock was a young field populated by young people. Now sixtysomething performers such as McCartney, Bob Dylan and the Stones remain active, touring rock 'n' rollers.Yet turning 64 still feels significant, particularly in the case of the Beatles given that Lennon and George Harrison are no longer around. "It's kind of poignant," Hemmert said, "because only two of the four got that far, and 64 isn't that old."This may be a bittersweet birthday for McCartney for other reasons as well. "When I'm Sixty-Four" envisions growing old alongside your longtime sweetheart, a scenario that evaporated for McCartney when his first wife, Linda, died of breast cancer in 1998 after almost 30 years of marriage. He remarried a young activist named Heather Mills, but their separation was announced earlier this month.McCartney's publicist said he has no plans for any public marking of this birthday. But his mind-set is no doubt in line with those never-say-old Boomers.In fact, he has taken to repeating a story that's about, believe it or not, Hemmert's mom. When Betty Hemmert played "When I'm Sixty-Four" at a recital at her Cincinnati retirement community, she changed the lyric to "When I'm Eighty-Four" because 64 just didn't seem old to anyone there. Terri Hemmert related this anecdote to McCartney when he was in town in 2002, and, she said, "he just broke up. He was in hysterics."McCartney subsequently told this story in a wire-service interview last year, adding: "I might be taking a hint from her next year.",1,1491113.story?page=2&track=rss

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Paul: Always the 'cute one'

Call it a case of life imitating song.Paul McCartney is 63 and and suddenly single - he and wife Heather Mills announced their separation May 17 - which got us to wondering:Will you still need him, will you still feed him, when he's 64? Turns out, Sir Paul doesn't have to worry, even though his 64th is approaching June 18.We talked to fans at Hair of the Dog English Pub - where else? - who are still swooning over this aging crooner.

“When he’s 64, I bet he’ll be drinking beer like me. Probably in a pub. Maybe an English pub!”— Charles Roberts, Hemet

“For his birthday he’ll probably play a show, likely in a small venue. And then I think he’ll continue to age gracefully like he has been.”— Joe Robitaille, Hemet

“Midlife crisis — here it comes! Besides that, I think he’ll continue to tour. And I’d really like to see him release another album.”— Gigi Agredano, Cathedral City

“He’s probably going to slow down his life and concentrate more on family. After his divorce, I think he’ll still be able to get the chicks, but he’s going to go after a different sort of woman, more of a homespun type.”— Patrick Gorman, Palm Springs

“Paul McCartney put on the best concert I’ve ever seen in my life. So this year I’d like to see him more visual in our area, like Tucson or Phoenix. [In his personal life] I wish both he and his ex the best of luck. I just hope this doesn’t become one of those awful celebrity divorces.”— Dawn Anderson, Phoenix

“He should marry me. I would run off with him in a heartbeat. He looks the same now as he did 40 years ago.”— Beth Collins, Desert Hot Springs

How much do you know about Paul?

1. Paul McCartney does not own the rights to which of the following songs?
(a) "I Love Lucy" theme, (b) "Love Me Do," (c) "The Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire") or (d) "Get Back"?

2. What is McCartney's nickname (a) El Guapo, (b) Big P, (c) Macca or (d) The Walrus?

3. The original title of "Yesterday" was (a) "Scrambled Eggs," (b) "Far Away," (c) "Come and Gone" or (d) "Something Dumb"?

4. McCartney's first musical instrument was (a) guitar, (b) violin, (c) piano or (d) trumpet?

5. Which of his songs does McCartney most frequently list as his favorite (a) "Hey Jude," (b) "Here, There and Everywhere," (c) "Yesterday" or (d) "Let It Be"?


1. (d) "Love Me Do"
2. (c) "Macca," a short version of his last name, since his youth.
3. (a) McCartney originally wrote the tune to dummy lyrics. Original first line: "Scrambled eggs, oh, my baby, how I love your legs."
4. (d) He took up guitar because 1950s rock bands didn't include the trumpet, and bass because the Beatles had too many guitarists and no bass player.
5. (b) "Here, There and Everywhere" has been a McCartney favorite since "Revolver" (1966).

McCartney On The Streets Album?

The Streets rapper Mike Skinner has hinted his new album includes a secret collaboration with SIR Paul McCartney.Speaking out on Scottish radio station XFM, the 27-year-old British artist explained why the track never went to Church might sound familiar to fans of The Beatles.Skinner says, "There's a revelation about my song Never Went To Church sounding like a Beatles song."Let's just say it involves a man going through a very costly divorce right now." McCartney announced he was splitting from wife Heather Mills last week (17MAY06). Newspapers have speculated the former model could win between $72 million (£40 million) and $360 million (£200 million) in a divorce settlement.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Heather Mills bored by McCartney?

Heather Mills allegedly split from husband Sir Paul McCartney because she got bored of him.Philip Goodhand - a friend of the former model - has spoke out saying that he believes boredom played a part in the couple's break-up.He is quoted in Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper as saying: "I don't think that it's too laughable to suggest that she was bored."Goodhand - who has known Heather for 22 years - said that he felt there were also a number of other factors that contributed to the collapse of their union.He added: "You've got two people who have both got tremendous interests that are going to take them in opposite directions. I knew the marriage was in trouble when I spoke to Heather four months ago to wish her a happy birthday." Since the couple announced their split, Heather has been lambasted by showbiz commentators and the British public many of whom have branded her a "gold digger" after it was reported that Heather could walk away with as much as £200 million of Sir Paul's fortune.Goodhand feels that Heather is strong enough to cope with all of the negative publicity. He said: "I warned her that there was going to be a very anti-Heather Mills attitude but she's not the sort of person who is going to feel sorry for herself."Sir Paul and Heather are currently living apart.

'Love' takes audience on journey through The Beatles' history

If you've ever wanted to dive into the Octopus's Garden or meet a psychedelic Sgt. Pepper, the creators of Love, a new Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil performance, are offering a little help from their friends. The theatrical interpretation of some 130 songs and song fragments that debuts at The Mirage hotel-casino next month takes audiences through a dreamlike journey that tracks the Fab Four's career. In a sneak preview Wednesday, producers showed a glimpse of the journey, with aerial acrobats and dancers in extravagant costumes moving to such songs as Octopus's Garden,Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and Lady Madonna.Show concept creator Dominic Champagne called the show "a rock 'n' roll poem" that doesn't feature images of the Beatles but attempts through dance and imagery to interpret the lyrics of their songs. "We dreamed how would we treat Eleanor Rigby? How would we treat Sgt. Pepper? How would we go into Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?" Champagne asked. "How would we please The Beatles' fans by doing a show with The Beatles, without The Beatles? And we decided to proceed by evocation." In Lucy, a female acrobat dangles from a looped trapeze while tiny firefly-like lights flash in mid-air. Lady Madonna features a group tap dancing and shuffling in yellow rain boots, while Octopus's Garden figuratively submerges the audience under water with human-sized jellyfish and squid dangling above the stage. The preview was not without glitches. Twice fire alarms sounded, interrupting the performance and bringing up the house lights. Despite the helter skelter, organizers said the show would come together by next week when preview performances begin. Concept creator Guy Laliberte, who began the project through a personal friendship with George Harrison, said many of the show visuals, just like The Beatles' lyrics, are open to interpretation. "We're just there to propose many doors of a journey to people and it's up to the public to decide what they want to live as an experience," he said. The show is the first major theatrical partnership for The Beatles' record label, Apple Corps Ltd., and Cirque du Soleil, a surrealist international circus troupe based in Montreal, Quebec, which performs four other shows on the Las Vegas Strip. The collaboration began in 2002 and resulted in the $130 million reconstruction of The Mirage's Siegfried & Roy showroom into a 2,013-seat theater in the round with more than 6,000 stereo speakers. In the early days of forming the show, original Beatles producer Sir George Martin and his son, Giles Martin, pored through hours of original and unheard tracks that had been archived at Abbey Road Studios. Many of the show's song treatments are subtle musical remixes that only a dedicated Beatles fan might discern. "It is a puzzle and people can try and figure it out. They won't," George Martin said. In one sequence, George Harrison's voice in Within You Without You plays seamlessly over the drums and bass of Tomorrow Never Knows. The opening of Good Night serves to introduce Octopus's Garden after a digital upshift from the key of D to E. "The whole idea behind what we did with the music was to try and make people listen again as opposed to taking the songs for granted," Giles Martin said. "We wanted it to be like a performance again for The Beatles, and not just playing CDs."

Let It Be... a Vegas Mashup

Are you ready for legitimate, authorized-by-Apple Beatles mashups and remixes? Incredibly, surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and widows Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison have agreed to let outsiders mess with the quartet's music in a significant way for public consumption. One catch, though: This ''new'' Beatles music isn't coming to an iPod or even a record store near you. You'll have to go to Las Vegas to hear it. And you may have to get ''wanded'' beforehand.
Journalists were invited to the Mirage this week for a media event previewing Love, a show that brings together two highly prized brand names, the Beatles and Cirque du Soleil. Before entering the new in-the-round theater that was designed specifically for the extravaganza, reporters had to turn in their cell phones and tape recorders, pass through metal detectors, and even submit to individual searches, the kind of procedures usually reserved for meetings with heads of state. But it soon became evident what all the paranoia was about: The Beatles' music in the show has been tampered with to a far greater degree than anyone on the outside has realized, and producers aren't about to let these altered versions of some of the world's most beloved recordings get leaked to file-sharing services for early consumption and debate among Beatlemaniacs.Only about 15 minutes of the 90-minute production were previewed. Critics will have to wait till the June 30 gala premiere, though previews begin shortly at the Mirage, on June 2. But, based on what we saw (and heard), it's safe to say that the Fab Faithful, as well as Cirque-aholics, will soon be flocking to the desert by the tens of thousands for the first authorized ''live'' ticketed Beatles event since the band gave up touring in 1966.The modus operandi is evident in the opening number, which has the Anthology demo recording of ''Strawberry Fields Forever'' eventually morphing into the official release version; riffs culled from at least a dozen other Beatles songs are then mixed into the tune's last section, as the full cast takes over the stage. The production design is partly, though far from entirely, inspired by the Sgt. Pepper cover imagery, which meshes well with Cirque's original circus-style origins. Rusted horn instruments have been cleverly incorporated into just about every costume and prop; one stilt-walker appears to be traversing the stage on a pair of trumpets.Another previewed number had George Harrison's ''Within You Without You'' set to the backing track of John Lennon's ''Tomorrow Never Knows.'' Sir George Martin, who produced the original tracks and worked on this show, was on hand for the event and explained that the Harrison tune ''wasn't [fans'] favorite song on Sgt. Pepper... but in this form, it would have been one of the good ones.'' Martin added that the surviving Beatles were wary of what was being done with the music till they heard this ''Within You Without You''/''Tomorrow Never Knows'' mashup — and ''then the problem was, they wanted them all like that.'' Martin and his son, Giles, who did the lion's share of the remixing, weren't able to blend many songs so completely. ''The problem was, there aren't many Beatles songs that stay on one chord,'' the elder Martin noted.Yet they managed a similar effect with a number that begins with the familiar orchestration for ''Good Night,'' the closing number of the White Album, sung by Ringo. Only, when the vocal comes in, it's Ringo singing... ''Octopus's Garden.'' Martin said they wanted to ''create a fantastic world under the sea... but if you use the track as it was, it's a bit too rock & roll'' — hence, making the transition a bit more phantasmagorical with the orchestrated intro. Visually, expect to see lots of floating jellyfish, rays, and eels as a group of children passes through the undersea kingdom in a wagon, marveling at the sights. (But sorry, kids, no SpongeBob.)''Lady Madonna'' has a pregnant black woman and her mate at the center of the action, while all around them white flower children in old-school boots and headbands do an exuberant soft-shoe routine, slapping their thighs. (Listen for the guitar riff from ''Hey Bulldog'' mixed in here.) ''Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds'' focuses on — no surprise here — a female trapeze act. Maybe the oddest visual effect previewed involved a giant white sheet that comes up from the center of the stage and is handed to the audience members, who dutifully pass it from the front to back rows; the entire crowd is under this sheet — Christo style! — until the massive wrap is sucked into the ceiling.As for the aural wrap, ''The brief was, I could use any sound at all that I recorded with the Beatles,'' said George Martin — which means that, while there are only about 25 songs in the show, there are bits from about 130 of the group's 1960s recordings. ''I'll probably get a few brickbats from people for what we've done,'' Martin said, ''but the people behind us — Paul, Ringo, Yoko, Olivia — love everything they've heard... Ringo was 100 percent in saying, 'It's fantastic.' Paul said, 'It's great, but I think you should go farther out.' We'd gone pretty far out already.'' As a gag, then, Martin put together a bizarre mix of ''Hey Jude'' that was set to a reggae beat. ''He was horrified. I said, 'You did ask me to go farther out.' Then he realized it was a joke.''Giles Martin ended up doing more of the aural work than his father, who had said years ago that he was retiring from producing because of being nearly deaf. ''For me, it's been an experience of going through my dad's closet,'' he said. But Martin senior was heavily involved and determined to create a seamless, nonstop blend of songs, ''rather like what we did at the end of Abbey Road.''No one pretended that getting the approval of all the notoriously protective parties involved over the last four years hasn't been a nightmare — or at least a ''long and winding road'' — but, said Cirque founder Guy Laliberte, ''It was difficult in the paperwork of making it happen, but worth the pain.'' It may not have been just artistry that got the principles or estates involved to agree on the show: A Beatles boutique located right next to the Mirage's theater provides a reminder of how powerful a motivator merch can be.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bruce Spizer impressed at Love sneak peek

A press conference was held today in the custom-built theatre at The Mirage in Las Vegas, and What Goes On and Beatles Today contributor and acclaimed Beatles author Bruce Spizer was on hand for the first sneak preview of the latest Cirque du Soleil show, LOVE, which was co-produced by Apple Corps. What Bruce is most excited to let fans know about what he heard today is that what could have musically been a disaster, the recombining of bits of Beatles tracks in new ways, is in his opinion, striking, beautiful and very exciting. George Martin and his son Giles combined to work on the project, going back to the actual master tapes at Abbey Road Studios, using more than a hundred different Beatles song elements. For example, here is a very short clip from the material made available today to the press. How many different songs can you hear? Excerpt from The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil (:29 924k) Bruce says if you think this sounds exciting in stereo, wait until you hear it in 5.1 surround sound as it is presented in the theater. More clips and pictures from the show, including a full report on the press conference from Bruce coming soon to What Goes On Beatles News, and a full article about the making of the music for the show and the future CD and possible DVD releases, including comments from George Martin, will be featured in the upcoming June issue of the Beatles Today News Magazine.

Cirque du Soleil's Love takes audience on journey through The Beatles' history

If you've ever wanted to dive into the Octopus's Garden or meet a psychedelic Sgt. Pepper, the creators of Love, a new Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil performance, are offering a little help from their friends. The theatrical interpretation of some 130 songs and song fragments that debuts at The Mirage hotel-casino next month takes audiences through a dreamlike journey that tracks the Fab Four's career. In a sneak preview Wednesday, producers showed a glimpse of the journey, with aerial acrobats and dancers in extravagant costumes moving to such songs as Octopus's Garden, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and Lady Madonna. Show concept creator Dominic Champagne called the show "a rock 'n' roll poem" that doesn't feature images of the Beatles but attempts through dance and imagery to interpret the lyrics of their songs. "We dreamed how would we treat Eleanor Rigby? How would we treat Sgt. Pepper? How would we go into Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?" Champagne asked. "How would we please The Beatles' fans by doing a show with The Beatles, without The Beatles? And we decided to proceed by evocation." In Lucy, a female acrobat dangles from a looped trapeze while tiny firefly-like lights flash in mid-air. Lady Madonna features a group tap dancing and shuffling in yellow rain boots, while Octopus's Garden figuratively submerges the audience under water with human-sized jellyfish and squid dangling above the stage. The preview was not without glitches. Twice fire alarms sounded, interrupting the performance and bringing up the house lights. Despite the helter skelter, organizers said the show would come together by next week when preview performances begin. Concept creator Guy Laliberte, who began the project through a personal friendship with George Harrison, said many of the show visuals, just like The Beatles' lyrics, are open to interpretation. "We're just there to propose many doors of a journey to people and it's up to the public to decide what they want to live as an experience," he said. The show is the first major theatrical partnership for The Beatles' record label, Apple Corps Ltd., and Cirque du Soleil, a surrealist international circus troupe based in Montreal, Quebec, which performs four other shows on the Las Vegas Strip. The collaboration began in 2002 and resulted in the $130 million US reconstruction of The Mirage's Siegfried & Roy showroom into a 2,013-seat theatre in the round with more than 6,000 stereo speakers. In the early days of forming the show, original Beatles producer Sir George Martin and his son, Giles Martin, pored through hours of original and unheard tracks that had been archived at Abbey Road Studios. Many of the show's song treatments are subtle musical remixes that only a dedicated Beatles fan might discern. "It is a puzzle and people can try and figure it out. They won't," George Martin said. In one sequence, George Harrison's voice in Within You Without You plays seamlessly over the drums and bass of Tomorrow Never Knows. The opening of Good Night serves to introduce Octopus's Garden after a digital upshift from the key of D to E. "The whole idea behind what we did with the music was to try and make people listen again as opposed to taking the songs for granted," Giles Martin said. "We wanted it to be like a performance again for The Beatles, and not just playing CDs."

Cirque and Beatles Make Love

“Love,” the new Cirque du Soleil show built upon the Beatles’ music previewed a few select scenes yesterday (no pun intended) for the press. What I saw seemed very preliminary.While talking to Cirque founder Guy Laliberté afterward, it was clear that he considers this show a real break from Cirque’s circus tradition into uncharted waters. In truth, nothing I saw would surprise Cirque fans. This is going to be a Cirque show to a Beatles soundtrack instead of the mix of New Age and world music the troupe favors. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the aesthetics of Cirque and the Beatles are closer than most would imagine. Particularly, the band’s more psychedelic music seems a natural fit for the acrobats landing in Cirque’s surrealistic pillow. Also, Cirque and the Beatles both celebrate creativity and humanity in equal measure.The show begins public previews at the beginning of June, and officially premieres at the end of the month. The group is famous for making drastic revisions during the preview process, so nothing I saw should be regarded as definitive. And much seems still to be worked out.Take a simple question like is the song “Yesterday” going to be in “Love”? Beatles producer George Martin told me, “We agonized for ages over whether we should put ‘Yesterday’ in or not. On the one hand, people would get offended if it weren’t in there. On the other hand, it has been heard so much we shouldn’t put it in. There was that argument. I am not going to tell you if it is in or not. But in the end we arrived at a very good consensus of opinion about what it should be.”Laliberté was slightly more specific. Asked if “Yesterday” will be in “Love,” he said, “At this point there is a little moment of it. We use some songs for transition. This is not ‘the Best of the Beatles.’ This is where we are going to surprise people: We tried to go with songs that were supporting the storyline.”Nothing in the preview fragment suggested a storyline and so I wondered, what is the story of “Love”? According to Laliberté, “This is trying to create a visual environment that is a direct link with the lyrics of the songs. When we create there is a narrative story, but it is not a play in the sense of ‘Phantom.’ We create a storyline with each of the songs of the Beatles. So we look at all the lyrics and put them in a certain order where it carries on through a story.”The fragment I saw, which included “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” offered a sense of the look and choreography of “Love” but no real feeling of the finished show. That said, I loved the in-the-round theater and the amazing stage, which like the one in “Ka” can collapse and alter its geometry to create a variety of stages. The sound system is going to be the best on the Strip. It features a speaker in every seat and is as sterling as any Beatles fan could hope for.One complaint was too much ’60s imagery. Psychedelic clothes, colors and dancing have dated far more swiftly than the music. It is time to move them apart. At the post-presentation press conference, everyone paid lip service to the timeless quality of the Beatles’ songs. But I wish Cirque had fully resisted period costumes and anything that recalls the look of the musical “Hair.” Sadly, that is not the case. Still, Boomers are so caught up in their generation’s relationship to the Beatles that this taste of the ’60s may be inevitable.But in the end, I am not at all sure yet what “Love” is going to wind up being when it is ready to open. If the goal was to intrigue with this fragment then Cirque has done its duty.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Heather Mills Pulls Out Of Public Appearance

Troubled Heather Mills has cancelled a public appearance tomorrow because of 'press coverage' of the break up of her marriage to Sir Paul McCartney.The high profile couple officially confirmed they had split after four years of marriage last week following days of rumours and speculation about bitter rows.Campaigner Heather was due to speak at a press conference in London tomorrow as patron of the charity the Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation, which is launching a report claiming milk and dairy produce are bad for health.However she has pulled out of the event citing continued speculation about her love life.An official spokesman said today that she "fears there is a great danger that the conference and public talk will be about her and her private life" rather than the report.Instead a letter of support from her will be read out at the conference.The spokesman said on Heather's behalf: "In view of recent press coverage, Heather knows that any public appearance at the moment will almost certainly be misconstrued and presented negatively."Heather fears that there is a great danger that the conference and public talk will be about her and her private life and obscure entirely the important message that the White Lies report needs to communicate."The Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation and the White Lies campaign has Heather's full and continuing support and she will be issuing a statement to be read at the conference." Juliet Gellatley, founder and director of the VVF, said: "I understand it fully and wish Heather well at this difficult time. There are other disturbing aspects of dairy which are not covered in this report and as the campaign progresses we will be exposing them. I know that Heather will want to be a part of this important work." The VVF is calling on the Government to stop giving free milk to schoolkids

McCartney Offers Mills 'Quickee' Divorce

SIR Paul McCartney has reportedly offered estranged wife Heather Mills a $45 million (£25 million) quickie divorce settlement, if she gives permission for their daughter to live with him.The deal would grant the pair joint custody of two-year-old Beatrice, but she would have residency with McCartney - reports British newspaper the Daily Mail.A source tells the paper, "Paul has offered Heather these terms and he has told friends he believes a deal is close to being made. It might seem very quick as they only announced their separation last week but they have actually been discussing this for several months."Beatrice will live mainly with Paul but Heather will have access whenever she wants."They want to protect her form their break-up as much as possible and are determined not to argue over custody or money." Mills' publicist revealed earlier this week (22MAY06) that any money she receives from McCartney would be donated to the landmine charity she is a patron of. She said, "The way she sees it is that there is no point the money sitting in a bank account. It has to be working. The more acres of minefield she can clear, the happier she will be."

Lennon letter sells for £12,000

letter written by John Lennon to a journalist who accused The Beatles of ripping off black music has sold at auction for £12,000 ($22,000). Lennon's angry, handwritten message reads: "Many kids were turned on to black music by us. It wasn't a rip off, it was a love-in". The letter was one of 12 items of Lennon memorabilia under the hammer at the Bonhams auction house in London. A copy of the Sergeant Pepper album signed by The Beatles sold for £14,000. However, a black felt hat which Lennon wore in the last official Beatles photoshoot failed to sell. There have been several auctions of Lennon-related items in recent months. A schoolbook featuring the singer's drawing of Lewis Carroll's poem The Walrus and the Carpenter sold for £126,000 in April.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Mr. McCartney

In terms of life imitating popular art, there may be no more poignant example of the passage of time to a baby boomer like myself than the 64th birthday of Sir Paul McCartney next month. It was Paul, after all, who as a Beatle wrote and sang "When I'm 64," his witty and eerily sad snapshot of things to come - originally on side two of 1967's "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album."When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now," the then 25-year-old Brit sang. "Will you still be sending me a valentine; birthday greetings, bottle of wine?" Send me a postcard, drop me a line, stating point of view;Indicate precisely what you mean to say; yours sincerely, wasting away.Give me your answer, fill in a form, mine for evermore;Will you still need me, will you still feed me,When I'm sixty-four?" Unfortunately - or fortunately, as the case may be - Paul will be serving himself breakfast when he reaches that personal landmark in June. Seems he and his second wife Heather lost that lovin' feeling and have opted for divorce. Some of us in our 50s can remember being electrified watching the Beatles on their first Ed Sullivan Show TV appearance in February of 1964. That scratchy black-and-white, audio/video experience transformed a goodly number of us into lifetime fans.As a slightly gawky, wavy-haired, suburban nine-year-old I wanted nothing more than to look like my new Liverpool heroes. Especially the left-handed bass man with the wide vocal range, jet black, straight hair and confident twinkle - a potent combination guaranteed to make the girls go wild.And how cool was that name, McCartney? Living in Fall River I was used to less exotic monikers like Horvitz and Pacheco.But the funny thing about us serious Beatles fans was that we were able to separate the physical good looks of the four guys from their music. And in the end it was the music that won out, hands down.My younger sister was nice (and smart) enough to give me the group's first U.S. album "Meet The Beatles" as a gift for my 10th birthday. It was also the first LP (long playing) record of any kind I had ever owned, and I would listen to it daily when I was home for lunch from the local elementary school.Besides the easy hits like "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "I Saw Her Standing There" and "All My Loving," there were rough but tuneful rockers like "It Won't Be Long" and "Don't Bother Me."The second U.S. (Britain had a different set of releases for the first few years) LP was tougher and better. Not only did the boys continue to write strong originals but their covers of American hits, in particular, set them apart from any other rock/rock & roll band of the time.Because not only did they do justice to black groups like Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, but in my opinion they actually cut better versions of "Money" (That's What I Want) and the even more challenging "You Really Got A Hold On Me."The magic and fun of being a so-called serious Fab Four fan was trying to keep pace with them as they progressed and matured. Lennon's "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" was an instantly addictive acoustic sketch, while McCartney's bracing "I've Just Seen A Face" let us know just how versatile they really were.However it was the more experimental songs that set me straight for good. "Strawberry Fields Forever" became synonymous with mind expansion (It was, after all, 1968), and the melting string sounds and absurdist lyrics of "I Am The Walrus" still hold up to this day.And forget hits. To me the mark of greatness of the Beatles has always been that for every Top 10 hit they had at least three other album cuts were just as impressive."Getting Better," Fixing A Hole," "Old Brown Shoe" and the ominous "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" can easily be filed in that category.An important aside: Thank the heavens above the classically-trained George Martin was on hand as producer for the entire nine-year studio run.But my biggest thank you for the Beatles is for opening me up to the musical world at large. It wasn't long before I was buying records by Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, MC5, Igor Stravinsky, Eddie Palmieri and many others.So a very Happy B. Day in advance, Sir Paul. Without you and your chums my ears would have lived a much less interesting existence.

Starr Appearance - No Headaches For Ringo At 4Head Garden

Beatle Ringo Starr braved the rain yesterday (MON) to visit the Chelsea Flower Show and joked "The problem we've got is that we're sinking up to our necks." Ringo, together with wife Barbara Bach, was officially opening the 4head garden - one of the main exhibits at the show which featured the sculpture of a giant naked woman covered in grass reclining by a pool.Ringo said: "I wonder if the green lady has got a good soaking?" He added: "Gardens are part of our heritage. We love the smells and the colours - I have a garden myself and I love the garden but I don't actually do the gardening. We're vegetarians and we grow a lot of fruit and veg ourselves. We actually get about 80 per cent of our food from the garden."I've got many acres. I'm not telling you how much, but it's more than Chelsea. We've got a head gardener and several under gardeners." When asked whether he was saving water in light of the hosepipe bans in place in parts of the country he joked: "I've all my hosepipes going."Ringo was also asked about what he thought of Paul McCartney's split with Heather, but he remained tight lipped, only saying with a smile: "She's a lovely girl." The 4head garden, which includes woodland and more than 7,000 plants and healing herbs, is sponsored by 4head, the natural treatment for headaches - in recent clinical trials the treatment was shown to start working within two minutes. Ringo was supporting the POD charity which organises children's entertainers for youngsters in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK.Carefully walking around the garden so as not to slip, Ringo said: "This garden is great. It's a full of herbs. I love the woman and I love the flowers and the grass. We're here to promote POD. It does a great job in entertaining kids in hospital." This is the third year Ringo has supported the 4head garden at the show - and he often takes back a memento of his visit from the garden. This year it's thought he might choose the huge 10ft high driftwood sculpture in the garden, which took two weeks to create.Ringo said: "We always say we're not going to get another bench but we always do - we bought back a bench last year, so who knows this year?"

Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas

Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas is featuring two new wax figure arrivals tied to the upcoming Vegas shows "Phantom of the Opera" and Cirque du Soleil's Love. Michael Crawford is the latest inductee into the facility's Vegas legends section, wearing a tux and holding the "Phantom" mask he made famous during the show's Broadway run. No, Crawford won't be in the Vegas version of the show, but you may remember that Crawford made a splash in Sin City as the lead of EFX for several years. Since the Cirque show features music from The Beatles, what better way to mark the occasion than to bring in wax versions of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr? The Fab Four (circa 1964), on loan from the London original, arrive at the Vegas location on May 31 and will remain on display until July 4. Fans can pose for photographs with the figures and also activate recordings of Beatles music. The General Manager of the facility, Adrian Jones, also noted a certain symmetry with the Beatles show running and the figures on display on June 18, which happens to be Sir Paul McCartney's 64th birthday. "Madame Tussauds wax figures were used on the iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Band album cover in 1967, which features the song 'When I am 64' and the lyric, 'Will you still need me when I'm 64?' On June 18, we can finally answer the question with a very big yes," Jones said.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Heather Mills-McCartney To Give Divorce Settlement To Charity

Heather Mills-McCartney has revealed that a large majority of any money she receives from her divorce from Sir Paul McCartney will be donated to charity.Mills is patron of the Adopt-A-Minefield charity that works all over the world and hopes that any money she has will help neutralise dangerous places all over the world.A representative for Mills said to ContactMusic: "Most of the money Heather has ever received goes towards supporting her various charities, the main being Adopt-A-Minefield. "I cannot comment on what the settlement might be, except that I am certain she wants the vast majority of it to be spent on clearing landmines. "The way she sees it is that there is no point the money sitting in a bank account gathering dust, the money has to be working. "The more acres of minefield she can clear, the happier she will be."It is though that Mills could receive anything from £50million to £200million should she and Macca divorce.

Heather McCartney's Alimony May Not Be As Big As You Think

Press reports around the globe have been predicting Paul McCartney may have to shell out as much as a quarter of his estimated $1.5 billion fortune to estranged wife Heather, if the couple goes ahead and divorces. The speculation has mostly focused on the fact the couple do not have a pre-nuptial agreement.But while Sir Paul will clearly take care of Heather -- keeping her in fine style for the foreseeable future, veteran Chicago divorce attorney Herb Glieberman tells me the settlement will likely be far less than has been mentioned by the media. Glieberman, how has authored much of Illinois' family law over the years, is also well-versed in foreign divorce laws. He points out that under British law -- all of Sir Paul's assets acquired BEFORE the couple married four years ago -- are not subject to be shared with Heather. Only his income and whatever assets acquired since 2002 are fair game.Naturally, "having a child is a huge factor -- and something that is very important here," Glieberman points out. "That child will be maintained the same way she has been since her birth," and that obviously will involve major cash layouts by McCartney.Meanwhile, Heather has reportedly fled the prying eyes of the press in Britain -- and flown to Slovenia in an attempt to seek some privacy while she and Sir Paul work out details of their separation agreement.

Did Paul McCartney Song Hint At Heather Mills Split?

Paul McCartney fans are speculating that a song on his latest album hinted at a split with Heather Mills. The track ‘Friends to Go’ from ‘Chaos and Creation in the Backyard’ seemingly contains an ominous message about the end of a relationship. The lyrics read: “You never need to worry about me/ I'll be fine on my own/ Someone else can worry about me/ I've spent a lot of time on my own... “I don't know how long this storm is going to last/ Whether we're going to carry on.”

Lennon under the hammer

Two letters, in which the late John Lennon talked about the breakdown of his first marriage, could fetch up to £30,000 at auction on Thursday.
They were penned to first wife Cynthia and his cousin Leila in 1975 and 1976.The typed letter to Cynthia, mother of his son Julian, is signed ‘your famous ex-husband’ and features sketches of a face and trees.
Also going under the hammer at an auction of Beatles memorabilia at Christie’s in London on Thursday is a shirt worn by Lennon during the recording of She Loves You in 1963, which could go for £12,000. Other lots include a rare copy of the singe A Hard Day’s Night signed by every Beatle that could sell for £15,000.

The White Album

Hey it's me moose, I'm going to post what the White Album should have looked like if it was reduced from 30 songs to 14 songs. Many critics believed that this would have been the greatest album ever made if it was reduced, so I'm going to take a try at this. I made this fair with one Ringo song and one George Harrison song. Here it is:

Back In the USSR
Dear Prudence
Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
Don't Pass Me By
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness Is a Warm Gun
Why Don't We Do It in the Road?
Yer Blues
Helter Skelter
Sexy Sadie
I Will

I didn't include "Revolution1" because the White Album version isn't as good as the B side version that went with Hey Jude. Does everyone like this?

Sunday, May 21, 2006


The other three Beatles all had shorter first marriages before finding lasting love - the opposite to Paul:
John Lennon married Liverpool art student Cynthia Powell 1962 - when she was pregnant with his child - but kept it secret from fans. She divorced him in 1968 after he began his famous affair affair with Yoko Ono. They were still married when he was murdered in 1980.
George Harrison married model Pattie Boyd, the inspiration for his hit song Something, after they met on the set of A Hard Day's Night. They divorced in 1977. In 1978 he married Mexican beauty Olivia Trinidad Arias, who he stayed with until his death in 2001.
Ringo Starr was wed to Maureen Cox for 10 years from 1965. She had been a Beatles fan - kissing Paul before falling for the Beatles' drummer. They divorced after Ringo had an affair with a US model. He wed Bond girl Barbara Bach in 1981 - and they are still married.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills Media Frenzy

Heather Mills will be getting a hefty sum from ex-Beatle Paul McCartney in their divorce. In a self-help book written by Mills that will be published next week, "Life Balance," Mills complains about the media: "They made me out to be a gold digger and I decided to keep my mouth shut and say nothing. Looking back, I think that was a mistake."The once model had her lower left leg amputated subsequent to being hit by a motorcycle, calls insinuations she was merely after Sir Paul's riches "worse even than losing my leg.""I have learnt that peace of mind has very little to do with luxury or leisure," she says.McCartney, 63, and Mills, 38, revealed Wednesday that they were calling it quits after only four years of marriage.In spite of speculation that Mills may receive as much as a $400 million in her share of McCartney's estimated $1.6 billion fortune, divorce lawyers stated yesterday it was more likely her settlement would be in the range of $20 million to as much as $95 million, because of the relatively short amount of time they were married and because McCartney accumulated most of his wealth prior to meeting Mills.Even though Mills had offered to sign a prenuptial agreement, there was never one made.Such agreement are not binding in British courts, however judges will consider them in making a decision on divorce awards. Divorce lawyer Michael Drake said the $400 million figure was "excessive" and suggested Mills' "needs could comfortably be met" with a sum in the $20 million to $40million range. He said a trust fund and home for their daughter Beatrice, 2, would likely be part of the package.McCartney's children from his marriage to the deceased Linda Eastman: James, Mary, Stella and Linda's daughter Heather are said to of never liked Mills. It is unsure what part they may play in any divorce deal.In "Life Balance," Mills describes herself as a "working mother" and says: "I have to admit I haven't always been the best communicator. I really had to work at it."McCartney's friends describe Mills as hot tempered and constantly nagging. "Heather would often complain that he lacked style - he hated her criticisms," the Mirror quoted a source as saying.

Friend attacks 'outpourings of spite' since McCartney split

A campaigning friend of Heather Mills McCartney today defended her against accusations that she was a “self publicist”.Juliet Gellatley said the ex-model had been subjected to “outpourings of spite” since the announcement of her split from husband Paul McCartney.Mrs Gellatley, director of Vegetarian International Voice For Animals (Viva) and the Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation (VVF), paid tribute to her campaigning work.Such was Heather Mills McCartney’s “professionalism and dedication” that she is to attend a VVF campaign press launch on Wednesday despite the “media feeding frenzy”.“One of the most laughable accusations made against Heather is that she is a self publicist,” Mrs Gellatley said.“As far as I can see, she has no time for self publicity as her days are almost fully occupied with championing the causes of others – both human and non-human.”In the last few weeks she had focused attention on the slaughter of seals in Canada and the “barbarically cruel” fur trade while she has also campaigned for the disabled and victims of land mines.She is to attend the launch of the VVF’s anti-dairy product campaign because she felt the message that “dairy is damaging the nation’s health might not be given the prominence it deserved if she failed to attend”.Both Heather Mills McCartney, a patron of Viva and the VVF, and Paul McCartney were “loyal friends” of both organisations.Mrs Gellatley, who has known her for several years, said she read with “anger and disbelief” the “outpourings of spite” against her in newspapers.“I have known Heather for some time and instinctively liked her on first meeting,” she said.“I immediately recognised in her the unmistakable attributes of an experienced campaigner – passionate, dedicated, unbelievably energetic and caring – endlessly caring.”She added: “It seems that if you use your celebrity to posture and pout in front of the cameras, to fill your life with trivia and ephemera and flaunt your wealth to obscure your lack of talent, that is fine as far as some of the media is concerned.“If, on the other hand, you use your position to try and eradicate disadvantage and focus attention on the appalling cruelty handed out to animals - cruelty that most people like to pretend doesn’t exist – then that is suspect and makes you fair game for attempted character assassination.”Heather Mills McCartney had “never missed an opportunity” to gain publicity for the VVF and Viva and to “give her time generously”.Mrs Gellatley added: “Heather Mills McCartney cares and I wish to God there were more like her.”She also paid tribute to McCartney for his “warmth, friendship and encouragement” for Viva over 12 years but said she wanted to “set the record straight” about Heather who had been “cast as the villain”.

Friday, May 19, 2006

McCartney: She's not a gold digger

Paul McCartney has lashed out against speculation about how much money his estranged wife, Heather Mills McCartney, stands to gain in their divorce.In a posting on his Web site Wednesday, McCartney wrote, "It's been suggested that [Heather] married me for the money, and there is not an ounce of truth to this. She is a very generous person who spends most of her time trying to help others in greater need than herself."Then on Thursday, Sir Paul had this to say on his site: "Seeing that so many inaccurate stories have been written at the moment about Heather and myself, all I can ask people to do is not believe them and understand that most what is coming out is made up and entirely false. Thanks for your support."McCartney and Mills, a former model and anti-land mine advocate, are separating after four years of marriage. NBC News reported that Mills, who has said McCartney turned down her offer to sign a prenuptial agreement, could claim as much as a quarter of his estimated $1.5 billion fortune.The couple married in June 2002 in a $3.2 million wedding in Ireland. Their daughter, Beatrice Milly, was born in October 2003. McCartney has three children from his 29-year marriage to the former Linda Eastman, who died in 1998. He also has a stepdaughter from Eastman's first marriage.

McCartney, Mills Custody Battle Looms

They insist their separation is amicable. But if Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills fail to reach a custody agreement over daughter Beatrice, friends are worried things could turn nasty. Sources close to the Beatle say he is "determined" to be the one who raises their two-year-old daughter. But Ms Mills, 38, now caring for her, is just as keen to bring up Beatrice her own way. This means that custody, rather than any financial arrangement, could be the biggest sticking point in any divorce proceedings. The couple announced their separation on Wednesday after four years of marriage. Friends of Ms Mills are now concerned for her health as she tries to deal with the separation. She is said to be so heartbroken over the break-up that, after a revision amputation, she has suffered a relapse that has put her back in a wheelchair. She is said to be under such stress that she has not stopped crying since the announcement, and is not eating. "We're very worried about her," a friend told Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper. "She's at a very low ebb, both emotionally and physically. She is unable to walk and is in a wheelchair. "She is in so much pain." While McCartney took time out after a recent row, Ms Mills expected him to return and resume the relationship. Since telling Ms Mills he wants a divorce, the pair have remained cordial for Beatrice's sake. "She and Paul are determined to keep things amicable for Bea," her friend said. "When they married they had every reason to think they would be together forever." On the custody issue, the singer's friends are adamant. "Paul is the best father in the world," a source close to the 63-year-old rock legend said yesterday."He's determined to raise Beatrice. He did a wonderful job with his other children, none of whom are spoilt brats. "Beatrice really is his main priority and he will do anything and everything to make sure she is properly raised." Divorce lawyer Katharine Lowthian said: "There is a potential for friction if they both have clear views about how they think the child should be brought up. "The law is a lot better for fathers than it used to be, but the younger the child the more inclined judges are to give custody to the mother." Both McCartney and Ms Mills spend a lot of time flying between England and the US, which could cause problems.There are reports that, while McCartney wants Beatrice to attend a comprehensive school as his other children did, her mother wants her educated privately. Friends in Los Angeles said they often saw the singer out with his daughter. One friend said: "Paul is the one we always see with Beatrice. He's a hands-on dad. "He doesn't have the nanny along to take care of her like other rich and famous people. He's the one who does it all." McCartney has three grown-up children: Mary, 36, Stella, 33, and James, 28, and a stepdaughter, Heather, 42. He and Ms Mills met at a charity event a year after the death of McCartney's first wife, Linda.

Mills McCartney Health Fears

Heather Mills McCartney is so devastated by her separation from husband SIR Paul McCartney, she has suffered a major health relapse.The former model, 38, had an operation last month (APR06) after a metal plate in her pelvis, used to help secure her false leg, slipped out of place. And the break-up of her marriage to the former BEATLE has taken a serious toll on her recovery - she is spending most of her time in a wheelchair and in "floods of tears".A pal tells British newspaper the Daily Mirror, "We're very worried about her. She's at a very low ebb both emotionally and physically."She is unable to walk and is in a wheelchair. She is in so much pain. She's in a very low place."When you're an amputee, and in particular when you've had a revision amputation, you can be on crutches for a few days and then have to go back to a wheelchair depending on how the day goes."She's now spending most of her time in a wheelchair so draw your own conclusions."She's been in floods of tears and is also having problems sleeping but her friends are rallying round." The couple confirmed their split on Wednesday (17MAY06), citing "media intrusion" as the cause of their marital troubles.They met in 1999 - a year after McCartney's first wife LINDA died from breast cancer (17APR98) - at a charity function organised by Mills, who has been an avid campaigner for anti-landmine charities after losing her leg in a motorbike accident in 1993.

McCartney: 'Heather Never Made Me Dye My Hair'

SIR Paul McCartney has laughed off claims his estranged wife Heather Mills made him dye his hair - insisting he has done it of his own accord for years. In a message posted on the former model's website before the couple split this week McCartney attacks myths about his relationship with Mills. He writes: "Heather makes me dye my hair... not true. It is true that I colour my hair. Wow, Shock Horror! "I've actually been doing this for many years now with varying degrees of success, but it's my hair, and if you don't like the result I'm afraid it's just too bad, but it's certainly nothing Heather suggested."I was engaged in this devilish practice years before I met her. I remember a strange blue dye dripping down my forehead on an Australian tour over ten years ago, but let's face it, if I want to dye my hair pink, that's up to me and no one else."The suggestion that it was Heather's doing simply isn't true."

Paul McCartney counts cost of split

Paul McCartney's divorce could cost him a quarter of his multimillion pound fortune.The former Beatle announced on Wednesday (17.05.06) that he was separating from his wife of four year, Heather Mills - blaming media intrusion.In a statement on his website - the 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' singer vehemently denied the former model was only after his cash, writing: "It's been suggested that she married me for the money. There is not an ounce of truth in this."She is a very generous person who spends most of her time trying to help others in greater need than herself. He fumed: "All the work she does is unpaid so these stories are ridiculous and completely unfounded. I'm very sad to see that some insensitive people would choose a moment like this to spread these vicious rumours."Stephen Foster from high profile divorce lawyers Stewarts Solicitors is quoted as saying: "He famously didn't sign a pre-nup as he said it was unromantic. If they don't resolve things amicably, that could be a very expensive decision."McCartney and Mills - who have a two-year-old daughter, Beatrice - met in 1999 at a charity event, a year after the death of his first wife, Linda.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Angry John Lennon letter set for £15,000 auction sale

A handwritten letter sent to an American journalist by a furious John Lennon is set to fetch up to £15,000 at a rock'n'roll sale.The Liverpool legend penned the letter to a New York Times reporter after reading an article which accused The Beatles, along with other white artists, of ripping off black American music in their early cover records.The letter was written in 1971. Lennon was so upset that he fired off a handwritten letter on American Airlines notepaper.He wrote: "Money, Twist'n'Shout, You Really Got A Hold On Me, etc, were all numbers we used to sin"It was only natural that we tried to do it as near to the record as we could."I always wished we could have done them even closer to the original."We didn't sing our own songs in the early days - they weren't good enough - the one thing we always did was to make it known that there were black originals, we loved the music and wanted to spread it in any way we could." g in the dance halls around Britain, mainly Liverpool.He ended: "It wasn't a rip-off. It was a love-in."The letter is one of two Lennon-related lots at the auction which will take place at Bonhams, in Knightsbridge, West London, on May 24.The other is a black felt hat which Lennon wore in the last official Beatles photo-shoot.It is expected to fetch £20,000. Lennon is seen in the hat in pictures taken at his home, Tittenhurst Park, on August 22, 1969.Among the other celebrity memorabilia going under the hammer is a pink and white bustier worn by Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, expected to fetch up to £10,000.The cotton bodice trimmed with lace carries a label bearing the star's name and her size: "Sm 37". It formed part of the outfit worn by Monroe in the bus stop scene of the 1959 movie classic.A pair of faux diamond and pearl earrings which the Hollywood star wore in How To Marry A Millionaire (1953) are also up for sale with an estimate of £6,000.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Paul McCartney faces expensive divorce

With Wednesday's announcement that the former Beatle and his second wife, Heather Mills McCartney, have separated, speculation immediately turned to the financial settlements surrounding the end of their four-year marriage. "She could get a huge chunk of his wealth," said Patricia Hollings, a divorce specialist with the London legal firm Finers Stephens Innocent. Hollings said that Mills McCartney's relatively young age -- she is 38 -- and the fact that they have a child, combined with McCartney's "staggering" wealth and celebrity status, have the potential to push the settlement into the stratosphere. On Wednesday, McCartney, who turns 64 next month, posted a message on his personal Web site saying that he was upset over suggestions that Mills McCartney had simply married him for his fortune, estimated to be $1.5 billion. (Full story) The couple did not have a prenuptial agreement, Mills McCartney said in a Vanity Fair interview in 2002. "It's been suggested that she married me for the money and there is not an ounce of truth in this," McCartney said in the posting. "She is a very generous person who spends most of her time trying to help others in greater need than herself. All the work she does is unpaid so these stories are ridiculous and completely unfounded." Earlier in the day, the couple issued a joint statement insisting their split was friendly -- but said that intrusions by the media made it difficult to sustain their relationship. "Having tried exceptionally hard to make our relationship work given the daily pressures surrounding us, it is with sadness that we have decided to go our separate ways," the couple said. "Our parting is amicable and both of us still care about each other very much." McCartney and Mills McCartney married in June 2002, four years after his wife Linda McCartney died of breast cancer. Linda and Paul McCartney married in 1969, and had three children -- Mary, Stella and James. That marriage was one of showbiz's most enduring unions; after Linda McCartney's death, a family spokesman said they "never spent a night apart in the 30 years that they have loved one another." McCartney and Mills McCartney met at a charity event in 1999, and their relationship immediately made tabloid headlines, not simply because of the difference in their ages but also because of the supposed disapproval of McCartney's children. There were also stories about rowdy arguments between the pair. Mills McCartney has also been accused of meddling in her husband's career -- such as the dismissal of his longtime publicist Geoff Baker -- and even of influencing him on issues as diverse as dying his hair and plastic surgery. At one point, McCartney felt forced to defend his wife publicly. In a statement on Mills McCartney's personal Web site, McCartney posted a note blasting the media and denying the rumors, including suggestions that his children disliked their stepmother. Mills McCartney is a former model and a vociferous animal-rights campaigner who recently traveled with McCartney to eastern Canada to fight that country's seal hunt. On that trip, they appeared happy and professional, an Associated Press reporter who accompanied them said. In 1993, Mills' left leg was amputated below the knee after a motorcycle accident, and she became active in campaigning against land mines.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Snow Patrol Sign up for John Lennon Cover

Snow Patrol have recorded a cover of John Lennon's isolation for a new Amnesty online video campaign for justice in Sudan.The chart-topping band signed up for the project, which aims to bring war criminals to justice for the mass rape of thousands of women in the Darfur region, after being introduced to the campaign by U2 singer Bono, reports Gary Lightbody said: "I support Amnesty because we have lived our whole lives in freedom - music is a good way of bringing awareness to people without ramming it down their throats because it is something everyone can relate to."Amnesty is not regarded as political or religious or anything like that. It's basically helping people whose basic human rights are being denied. It's like helping people who can't help themselves."In the online video, images and interviews from Darfur and a short message from Hollywood star Don Cheadle are played out over the song. After watching the video online, people can click to send an e-card to Sudan's Minister for Justice.

How Apple beat the Beatles

Unless you’ve avoided the Internets for the past week or two, you’ve doubtless heard that Apple Computer prevailed over Apple Corps in the trademark dispute between the two companies. The decision, by High Court judge Edward Mann, says that the 1991 agreement between “Corps” and “Computer” (as Mann refers to the two companies to avoid confusion) anticipated uses like the way Apple Computer displays the “apple” logo in the iTunes Music Store, and grants permission to Apple Computer to use it that way. You may see the historical irony here: Apple Computer lost its long legal battle against Microsoft for copying the Mac’s look-and-feel in Windows because Apple had unwisely signed an agreement granting Microsoft much broader human interface rights than Apple Computer’s executives realized. Now it appears that Apple Computer is on the winning side of a similar dispute: when licensing the “apple” logo and name in 1991, Computer gained rights beyond those that Corps now wants to grant—at least, without further payments. Judge Mann rejected many arguments from both companies. In the end, he found that the key to resolving the dispute was section 4.3 of the agreement signed on 1991.10.09. That section says, in its entirety (ignore the inaccurate plural “Apple Computers”):
4.3 The parties acknowledge that certain goods and services within the Apple Computer Field of Use are capable of delivering content within the Apple Corps Field of Use. In such case, even though Apple Corps shall have the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use the Apple Corps Marks on or in connection with content within subsection 1.3(i) or (ii), Apple Computers shall have the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use the Apple Computer Marks on or in connection with goods or services within subsection 1.2 (such as software, hardware or broadcasting services) used to reproduce, run, play or otherwise deliver such content provided it shall not use or authorize others to use the Apple Computer Marks on or in connection with physical media delivering pre-recorded content within subsection 1.3(i) or (ii) (such as a compact disc of the Rolling Stones music).
Apple Corps argued that the plain English meaning of “on or in connection with” means that iTunes Music Store content falls within Apple Corps’ delineated use of apple-logo trademarks, overcoming the problem of “physical media” by referring back to subsection 1.3’s language that said the medium for music could be “tangible” or “intangible,”and yet still be covered by this agreement. Apple Computer argued that the agreement is about trademarks, and that the wording must be interpreted narrowly as the application of a trademark would be. Judge Mann rejected both arguments, but wound up closer to Computer’s position than Corps’.
Looking at English trademark rulings for guidance, Judge Mann quoted a 2003 decision that says, “The essence of a trade mark has always been that it is a badge of origin,” and “The basic purpose of a trade mark is the same in any national economic system. The purpose is as a guarantee of commercial origin.” In essence, after thinking carefully about the language and its application, Judge Mann decided that Apple Computer is not acting like a record label—it does not own the tracks it sells (not even the iTunes Originals), it does not sell them on physical media, and the iTunes Music Store always prominently displays the trademarks and copyright notices of the entities that actually own the music. While Apple Corps maintains its trademark rights to musical recordings, including those transmitted in intangible form (like via radio broadcast), Apple Computer “does have the right… to use its mark in connection with the service which sells content without automatically being in breach of the TMA [trademark agreement], and to be able to avoid being in breach providing that it is acting fairly and reasonably.”
Apple Corps argued that the apple logo in iTunes’ faux-LCD display was a prohibited use of an Apple-shaped trademark “associated” with musical works, but Judge Mann disagreed. He also said that items like the iTunes Originals were no more than the digital equivalent of in-store exclusive promotional discs, and their existence didn’t make Apple a “record label” any more than Best Buy would be a record label if it sold exclusive discs with some albums. In all cases, Judge Mann found that the uses of apple-shaped logos were associated with the iTunes Music Store, not with individual musical works, and that the 1991 agreement gave Apple the right to use apple-themed logos and names with data transmission services like the iTunes Music Store, even if they were transmitting music. He concluded, “In the circumstances I find that no breach of the TMA has been demonstrated. The action therefore fails.”
Both sides quickly spun the decision: Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs invited the Beatles (the owners of Apple Corps) to put their music on the iTunes Music Store, and Apple Corps confirmed it would appeal the ruling, just as Apple Computer would have done had it come out the other way. The story was too juicy for the international press to even consider passing up, and it quickly moved on Reuters, AP, Bloomberg, and MarketWatch, not to mention the Mac press and the business and technology magazines.
It’s one of the few victories for Apple Computer in a story that’s now lasted 25 years. Apple Corps has always had an extremely capable and persistent legal department. In 1981, when people started to think that this garage-based fruit computer thing might stick around for a while (Apple Computer went public on 1980.12.12), Apple Corps came knocking in Cupertino with a simple legal formulation: “Hey, we own the trademark to ‘Apple’ for music, and you make products that make sound. You owe us money.” Apple Computer was flush with cash and did not want a protracted transatlantic legal battle, so co-founder Steve Jobs paid the Corps a nominal fee, and signed an agreement promising that Apple Computer wouldn’t make music products. (Remember this when awestruck fangeeks assert that Jobs always saw the iPod coming.)
We’ve mentioned the rest many times before: when Apple started adding true music and recording capabilities to its computers in the late 1980s, Apple Corps reportedly demanded $3 million in licensing fees for a new agreement that would allow Apple Computer to keep the name “apple.” Apple’s legal department, feeling its wild oats, decided instead to refuse and to sue in Europe to have Apple Corps’ trademarks invalidated. It’s not nice to mess with the Beatles—Apple Corps sued Apple Computer in London for $300 million. Apple Computer eventually settled for $26 million, after having spent another $11 million in legal fees.
The result, however, was the 1991 agreement that was recently at bar. Apple Computer clearly screwed up: the very first iTunes Music Store advertisements used the URL “,” and there’s no way Apple Corps could ignore that. Companies are required by law to defend their trademarks or lose them. If Apple doesn’t care that non-affiliated Web sites use the trademark “iPod” in their names, then someday, a company making a competing digital music player can call it their iPod, like “FredMusic’s iPod” as opposed to the “Apple iPod.” When Apple goes to court, FredMusic could say, “Apple didn’t care if other companies used ‘iPod’ on Web sites and in other material, so they have no right to go after us now.”
Despite however many stories you read about big bad corporate Apple going after “little guys” like iPod Garage, a Web site that changed its name to iProng this week, this is why Apple has to demand that third parties not use its trademarks without permission. That’s why Apple Corps couldn’t ignore the “” URL, either. But as the history shows, except for that one URL, this is not about trademark confusion. No one looks at the Apple logos in iTunes or on the iPod and wonders if the Beatles are behind it.
No, this was about Apple Corps getting a lot of money out of Apple Computer. That’s why Apple Corps’ legal team kept leaking one-sided claptrap to Fox News gossip columnist Roger Friedman (MDJ 2004.08.17). Friedman got a lot of ink by reporting in 2003 not only that Apple Corps would sue Apple Computer if the latter purchased Universal Music Group (remember that rumor - floated by Universal Music Group people to raise their profile?), but that the Beatles would win and “be the biggest profit takers.”
Friedman also reported in September 2003 that Apple Corps had filed suit against Apple, quoting a “Beatles legal insider” who portrayed the idea of Apple Computer even defending itself as ridiculous: “It’s OK with us if they want to go this route. It’s just more money for us.” Eleven months later, when Apple Computer had unthinkably not caved and given Apple Corps all the money it wanted, the Corps’ legal team was again spoon-feeding Friedman information, including details of the 1991 agreement that had remained a closely-guarded secret until the trial started in 2005. Once again, Friedman spun the worst possible picture for Apple Computer: “Paul McCartney could wind up owning the Apple iTunes store along with Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, and Olivia Harrison.” That was never true, but Friedman quoted section 4.3 of the agreement and the Apple Corps interpretation of it—the one that Judge Mann just ruled was incorrect.There was only one point to all of this: to create a public and Wall Street perception that Apple Computer could not possibly win against the Apple Corps juggernaut, so that the press and analysts would pressure Apple Computer to settle immediately, at any cost, to avoid the risk of losing the iPod business. The Corps knew full well that it didn’t have a slam-dunk case, so it tried to convince the world that it did in the hopes that Computer would turn tail and run. It didn’t work this time—the Corps signed away more rights in 1991 for their $26 million than they wish they had.There are still appeals and negotiations to be worked out, and another settlement is still possible, although no one with half a brain should speculate on how likely that might be. But for the first time in a quarter-century, Apple Corps took Apple Computer to court demanding millions of dollars and walked away with nothing. (In fact, should the ruling withstand appeal, Apple Computer will recover several million dollars worth of legal fees from Apple Corps.) Apple Computer blew its response in 1991, but walked away with the agreement that led to last week’s victory in the High Court of London—a victory that, according to Corps’ puppet Roger Friedman, was unprecedented and quite literally impossible even to imagine.

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