Ringo Starr: Abbey Road wasn't meant to be The Beatles' last album

Last week, The Beatles' Abbey Road returned to number one, almost 50 years after its original release.

Until recently, it was believed the band had entered the studio knowing they were making their final album - hoping to go out on a high after the fractious sessions for Let It Be.

But Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn recently uncovered a tape of the Fab Four discussing a follow-up in 1969.

Now Ringo Starr has confirmed the band wanted to keep recording into the '70s.

"We did do Abbey Road and we was like, 'Okay that's pretty good,'" he told BBC 6 Music, "but none of us said, 'OK, that's the last time we'll ever play together'. Nobody said that. I never felt that.

"We'd made this record, and then we would go off and do whatever we wanted to do. And then Paul would call us and say, 'Hey, you want to go in the studio lads?' and we'd do another one.

"So it was not the end - because in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make. So I never felt it [the end of the band] was in stone."

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Starr also recalled the creation of the famous medley that made up Abbey Road's finale.

"Everybody was writing at a great level because they always did - but on side two, everybody wasn't finishing the songs. But that medley? It works so great.

"It's like we could do no wrong: You don't have to finish the song! Let's just edit them together and it works like a mini play. I love that section. It was really fun."

(Although Abbey Road was released before Let It Be, it was actually the final album the band worked on. The sessions for Let It Be took place earlier in 1969, with producer Phil Spector finishing off the record in early 1970, adding new mixes and overdubs.)

The star was speaking ahead of the release of his latest book, Another Day In The Life, which is the third in a series of collections of his own photographs - charting his life from childhood up to recent tours with his current group The All-Starr Band.

The band also play alongside Ringo on his new album, his twentieth, entitled What's My Name?

It sees the drummer working with a huge cast of collaborators including The Eagles' Joe Walsh, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' keyboardist Benmont Tench and, on the song Grow Old With Me, his former bandmate Sir Paul McCartney.

"It's the best. I love playing with him," Ringo says of teaming up with his old friend. "We played a lot together in 'that band' and he's still in the most melodic player. He's still incredible, for me, I feel the emotion when plays."

Grow Old With Me was one of the last songs Lennon wrote, and featured on the famous Bermuda Tapes: A collection of demos the star recorded in 1980 with producer Jack Douglas.

Ringo was prompted to record his version after discovering John had given an unexpected introduction on the tape.

"I had no idea about this song," Ringo says, "I bumped into Jack this year and he says, 'Did you ever hear the cassette?'

"I said, 'What cassette?'

"He said, 'Of John doing the songs! Doing the demos in Bermuda!'

"I said, 'No, never heard it,' and so he says, 'Well, I'll get it for you'.

"So anyway, he had the cassettes and he downloaded it onto a CD for me. At the very beginning of this CD, John says, 'Oh, that sounds like a good song for Richard Starkey. This would be great for you, Ringo'. I still well up thinking about.

"I love the song. It's very romantic and so it's probably, I'm guessing, written for John and Yoko. And so I put my piece on it and it's to Barbara [Bach - his wife]

"I think every bride should make their nearly-husband sing it to her. I want it to become like the wedding song of the century!"

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Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney Reunite at Abbey Road to Honor 50th Anniversary of Beatles' Album

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band’s acclaimed Abbey Road album, band members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr stepped out with their wives Thursday for a star-studded party held at Abbey Road Studios in London.

McCartney, 77, stayed casual in a navy denim jacket with a sweater underneath, black jeans and blue sneakers, while his wife, Nancy Shevell, 59, wore a cream satin blouse, jeans, and silver feather earrings.

Iconic drummer Starr, 79, opted for a navy blazer over a graphic tee, a black leather belt, and sneakers, accessorizing with thick-rimmed black glasses and a peace sign necklace. His wife, Barbara Bach, 72, looked stylish in a black jacket and black pants, with a statement necklace and matching earrings.

Both musicians walked in with big smiles, holding their wives close.

Among the other celebrity guests at the anniversary party were Rocketman‘s Taron Egerton, Nile Rogers, Sir Patrick Stewart, Martin Freeman, and late bandmate George Harrison‘s wife, Olivia Harrison.

Early August marked 50 years since the Beatles walked across Abbey Road for the now-iconic photograph that graces their 1969 album of the same name.

The image, taken by photographer Iain Macmillan, shows Harrison, McCartney, Starr and John Lennon posing on a crosswalk in London’s St. John’s Wood neighborhood on a street near the location of EMI Studios, where they recorded Abbey Road and most of their catalog.

a group of people walking down the street: Amazon © Provided by TIME Inc. Amazon The landmark recording space, which is still in use, was later renamed Abbey Road Studios.

Recently, Starr and McCartney teamed up to pay tribute to late bandmate Lennon.

The former Beatles collaborated on Starr’s upcoming album, What’s My Name, for a rendition of Lennon’s “Grow Old with Me.” The track was one of the final songs Lennon wrote before he was fatally shot in 1980. The original version was posthumously released on the album Milk and Honey in 1984.

For the new rendition, Starr sings and plays the drums with McCartney on bass and backing vocals. Eagles guitar legend Joe Walsh, who happens to be Starr’s brother-in-law, handles six-string duties.

The single marks the latest collaboration between the last two surviving members of the Fab Four. (Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001.)

Grow Old With Me (Remastered 2010)

Starr revealed he still gets emotional when thinking about his late friend Lennon.

“The idea that John was talking about me in that time before he died, well, I’m an emotional person. I just loved this song. I sang it the best that I could. I do well up when I think of John this deeply,” he said in a statement.

“I’ve done my best. We’ve done our best,” Starr shared. “The other good thing is that I really wanted Paul to play on it, and he said yes. Paul came over and he played bass and sings a little bit on this with me. So John’s on it in a way. I’m on it and Paul’s on it.”

What’s My Name will be released on Oct. 25.

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Film Screening in Cuba Pays Tribute to The Beatles

Havana, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina) The Cinematheque of Cuba begins on Wednesday a varied program in homage to The Beatles and linked to the tribute that the world offers the legendary English band every year.

With the name The Beatles Week: all its images and sounds, the tribute will take place at 23 y 12 movie theaters, headquarters of the entity, and the Chaplin cinema's Charlot room, and will run until January 20.

According to Antonio Mazon, programmer of the institution, the films will be screened during the week in new and remastered movies

related to the life and career of the successful band formed in Liverpool.

Among the clips chosen are 'Help!' with great audio and image quality and subtitling of songs, 'the Magical Mystery Tour' in a new and subtitled copy, and the documentary 'Let It Be'.

Since 1991, the Cinematheque of Cuba has been offering to audience films and documentaries dedicated to rock music and the Beatles has been an essential part of this initiative due to the validity and transcendence of its musical memory.

This special initiative is part of Global Beatles Day, a date chosen with all intention to recall the performance of the band at La Caverna club, which welcomed them more than 200 times in 1961 and 1963.

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Cuba Is Organizing a The Beatles Week

Havana, Jan 11 (Prensa Latina) The Cinematheque of Cuba is organizing a The Beatles Week as of January 16 with a varied program in homage to the legendary English band.

According to a statement from that entity, the inauguration will be on January 16 at Cine 23 y 12, in downtown Havana, where the institution has its headquarters, and will be extended to the Charlie Chaplin hall until the 20th.

The Week will make available to the public records, images and books related to the life and career of the successful group formed in the city of Liverpool and recognized as the most praised by critics in the history of rock music.

Its influence on popular culture remains remarkable despite its disintegration and the passage of time.

In Cuba, its musical memory is still valid and is noticeable in several cultural sites such as the Yellow Submarine night club, which has an avant-garde design fused with pop art concepts.

Also, there is a bronze sculpture in tribute to Lennon, founder of the band and its most iconic member.

The work is located in a park with that name, located on 17th and 6th streets in the capital city and is the result of the work of Cuban artist Jose Villa Soberon.

Every December 8, in remembrance of his death, concerts and cultural activities are held in his memory.

One of the most recent tributes was the one made in 2017 at the 50th anniversary of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of the best and most sold in history.

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John Lennon's Killer Mark David Chapman Denied Parole For Tenth Time

Los Angeles, Aug 25 (Prensa Latina) John Lennon''s killer has been denied parole for a tenth time.

Mark David Chapman appeared before New York's parole board. A denial decision said he was told his release 'would be incompatible with the welfare and safety of society'.

The 63-year-old is serving 20 years to life in the Wende Correctional Facility in western New York.

He shot and killed the former Beatle outside Lennon's Manhattan apartment on 8 December 1980.

In its decision, the state Board of Parole said releasing Chapman would not only 'tend to mitigate the seriousness of your crime', but also would endanger public safety because someone might try to harm him out of anger or revenge or to gain notoriety.

'You admittedly carefully planned and executed the murder of a world-famous person for no reason other than to gain notoriety,' the parole panel wrote.

'While no one person's life is any more valuable than another's life, the fact that you chose someone who was not only a world renown person and beloved by millions, regardless of the pain and suffering you would cause to his family, friends and so many others, you demonstrated a callous disregard for the sanctity of human life and the pain and suffering of others.'

He will be up for parole again in August 2020.

As he faced the panel, politicians and fans called for his release to be denied during a rally at Strawberry Fields, Lennon's memorial in Central Park across from his former home.

At previous hearings, Chapman has said he still gets letters about the pain he caused and was sorry for choosing the wrong path to fame. He shot the singer because of he was envious of the Beatle, he said.

He became eligible for parole in 2000 and has submitted a total of nine applications, all of which have been denied.

Saying she feared for her life and that of her sons Julian and Sean, Lennon's wife Yoko Ono has previously opposed his release.

The 85-year-old was also said to have concerns Chapman would be at risk from Lennon fans still seeking to exact revenge.

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Cuban Artists to Pay Tribute to The Beatles

Havana, May 26 (Prensa Latina) With a concert next Thursday, Cuban artists will pay tribute to legendary British band The Beatles on the 50th anniversary of the recording of the LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, considered one of the best and mostly sold in history.

The concert will be at 18:00 local time at Havana's John Lennon Park, with the participation of 7 national bands.

The tribute to the young guys from Liverpool is organized by Cuban musician and composer X Alfonso, musicologist Guille Vilar and the Ministry of Culture.

Formed originally by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, The Beatles is one of the most acclaimed bands of all times, with many followers around the world.

Released on 1 June 1967, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is their eighth album, with which they won four Grammy Awards in 1968.

The LP sold 32 million and drew favorable reviews from the critics and the public.

For its quality and innovation, specialized Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number one on its list of the 500 best albums.

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Sir Paul McCartney on Lennon, Kanye and his own musical legacy

Sir Paul McCartney's final album of the '80s, Flowers in the Dirt, is regarded as one of his best of the decade.

He teamed up with new musicians, new producers and a new songwriting partner in the form of Elvis Costello and it inspired his first world tour in 10 years.

Now, as the record is re-released, complete with previously unheard demos, Sir Paul speaks to BBC 6 Music's Matt Everitt about collaborating with Costello, Kanye West and Michael Jackson - but why he'll never work with anyone better than John Lennon.

Sir Paul also reveals he's working on a new album with Adele's producer, and what he thinks his musical legacy will be.

Do you learn something from every person that you collaborate with?

My thing with collaboration, I know I can never have a better collaborator than John. That is just a fact. So I don't try and escape it. I just know there's no way I can find someone now who's going to write better stuff with me than I wrote with John. But having said that, I'm interested in working with other people because they bring their own particular thing to it.

If you're thinking of someone like Stevie (Wonder), he works by just making something up on his keyboards. You invite him to dinner, he shows up 10 hours later because he was fiddling around on his keyboard. He's such a musical monster and such a genius, that's what you learn from him.

Michael Jackson, we just sat upstairs in this office and I tinkled on the piano and we just made up a song there. Now with Kanye, I had no idea what was going to happen because I knew it wasn't going to be two acoustic guitars opposite each other. So I thought, 'Well, here goes nothing'.

The one provision I said to everyone, I said, 'Look, if I feel this doesn't work out, then we just won't tell anyone. Kanye who? I didn't work with him!'.

http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/0530/production/_95282310_maccakanye_getty.jpgKanye West, Rihanna and Sir Paul collaborated on 2015's FourFiveSeconds / Getty Images

I just was myself and I told Kanye various stories that had inspired me musically. One of them was how the song Let It Be arrived, which was through a dream I'd had in which I'd seen my mother, who had died 10 years previously.

But I was so inspired by that that I wrote the song. I told Kanye that, because he'd lost his mother. So then he wrote a song called Only One when I was just noodling around on the electronic piano. So he got the melody, I put the chords in and the style and that's how it happened.

Did you go into Flowers In The Dirt feeling like it was kind of a bit of a reset?

I think so. I'm just bringing up my family, and then a point will arrive where I just think, 'OK, I've got some songs. I should get busy, I should record these. We should go out on tour. It's time'.

And that's what happened round about that time. It was suggested to me that I work with Elvis Costello as a partnership and it seemed like a good idea. I thought, 'Well, he's from Liverpool, he's good' - which helps - and we have a lot of things in common and so I thought, 'Well that could work'.

http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/13C50/production/_95267908_maccaelvis.jpgSir Paul said he worked with Elvis Costello in a similar way to how he had worked with John Lennon

Was it writing nose-to-nose? Two acoustics, strumming at each other?

There's a million ways to write, but the way I always used to write was with John and it would be across from each other, either in a hotel bedroom on the twin beds, with an acoustic guitar and we're just looking at each other. He'd make up something, I'd make up something and we'd just spin off each other. The nice thing for me is seeing John there, him being right-handed, me being left-handed, it felt to me like I was looking in a mirror.

Obviously, it was very successful. So that was a way I had learned to write and it was the way I liked to write and Elvis was very happy to work like that. So it was like a repeat of that process, and so he was John, basically, and I was Paul.

I have to ask you about Chuck Berry. Obviously a massive musical hero of yours. What was he like? Did you work with him much?

I didn't work with Chuck. I met him. He came to one of our concerts when we were playing in St. Louis, his home town, and he came round backstage. It was great to meet him and just be able to tell him what a fan I was.

When I think back to being in Liverpool pre-Beatles, when we were all just kids learning the guitar with the dreams of the future, we suddenly heard this little thing, Sweet Little Sixteen. We never heard anything like that, and then when Johnny B. Goode came along, all of his fantastic songs, Maybellene. All these songs about cars, teenagers, rock 'n roll music, was just so thrilling.

Looking at the wave of tributes that followed Chuck Berry's death, do you ever wonder how are you going to be remembered?

I think you do and you put it out your mind. I don't get into it, really. I remember John once, saying to me, 'I wonder how I'll be remembered. Will they remember me well?'. And I had to reassure him. I said, 'Look at me. You are going to be so remembered, you've done so much great stuff'. But it was funny - you wouldn't think John would even have a remote bit of insecurity about it. But I think people do. Luckily, it won't matter because I won't be here.

On a more positive note, what's next?

I'm making a new album which is great fun. I'm working with a producer I first worked with two years ago on a piece of music I'm doing for an animated film. Since then, he went on to work with Beck and got album of the year with Beck. Then he went on to work with Adele and has just got song of the year, record of the year, with Adele, and just got producer of the year.

So my only worry is, people are going to go, 'Oh, there's Paul going with the flavour of the month'. But he's a great guy called Greg Kurstin and he's great to work with. So yeah, I'm at it. Beavering away, doing what I love to do. As Ringo says, 'It's what we do'.

To hear the whole of Matt Everitt's interview with Paul, listen back to the BBC 6 Music Breakfast Show, broadcast on Thursday morning.

 

 

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John Lennon biopic: Yoko Ono confirms film on couple’s romance - who'll play Beatles icon?

JOHN LENNON will be the subject of a new biopic helmed by Yoko Ono, it has been announced.

The iconic Beatles star will have his relationship with Ono documented in the as-yet-untitled movie, which will also focus on their anti-war cuases.

Anthony McCarten, who penned Theory of Everything, is set to write the script; whilst Michael De Luca and Immersive Pictures’ Josh Bratman will produce with Ono.

There's currently no word on casting, but expect speculation on who'll play Lennon to be at fever pitch as development continues.

“The story will focus on ripe and relevant themes of love, courage and activism in the U.S. — with the intention of inspiring today’s youth to stand up for and have a clear vision for the world they want,” De Luca said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. 

“I am also honoured and privileged to be working with Yoko Ono, Anthony McCarten and Josh Bratman to tell the story of two amazing global icons.”

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