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!'. 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'. 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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Beatles Drummer Ringo Starr Praises Brexit

LONDON – Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has praised Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, saying that he hopes the United Kingdom can move forward alone.

Starr, who lives in Los Angeles, said that he was in favor of the European Union when it first started.

“I was a huge fan when (the EU) started. I’ve lived all over Europe so I thought ‘how great’. But it never really got together, I didn’t think. Maybe in a business way it got together but everyone kept their own flags – it didn’t really turn into a love fest,” he said, according to British media outlets.

The musician’s statements come after a total of 51.9 percent of Britons voted on June 23 to leave the EU in a referendum with the participation of 72.1 percent of voters.

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Ringo Starr: At 75, things are coming easy

“It’s peace and love. All we need is more of it,” says the Beatles drummer, on tour now.

Fifty years after the Beatles’ final tour, on which they routinely played only 11 songs, it’s possible to hear more than twice that many of the band’s songs on summer tours by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Starr was best known for his ace drumming, but he also sang on a handful of Beatles recordings, many of which he includes in his tour, including Matchbox,” “Boys, Act Naturally, I Wanna Be Your Man, With a Little Help From My Friends and one he wrote, Don’t Pass Me By.

Along with such solo hits as It Don’t Come Easy, Photograph, You’re Sixteen and I’m the Greatest, Starr leaves time for signature songs from current All-Starr band: Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie, Richard Page and Gregg Bissonette. (Starr has been touring with variations of the All-Starrs since 1989.)

Starr, who turns 76 next month, seemed full of energy as he chatted just before the tour’s start, touching on his decades off the road, his recent burst of songwriting, a couple of his pre-Beatles bands, disdain for drum solos and why he started putting his drum set on a platform.

He reminisced, too, about the Beatles’ first US concert 52 years ago at the old Washington Coliseum, which is being remade into a shop.

Are you ready to get out on the road for another tour?

I’m already on the road. We had our first rehearsal yesterday, a five-hour one, and we’ll play our first show tomorrow. It’s fun. I know all these guys, we’ve been doing this together for four years, so we know all the songs, I’m switching in one — we’re doing What Goes On — but otherwise it’s the show we have been doing. So we’re anxious to get out there and play.

You must really get along with this particular group of All-Starrs.

This is the closest I’ve been with one of these bands. We get on. We have our ups and downs, but we really support each other onstage. That’s really important. And we’ve been playing together so long, I really feel like I’m in the band. I really feel like we can go on together, but that’s not the way we do this band. We switch it up. But I’m not looking to do that yet. We’ll be touring this year in America, then in October, Hong Kong and Japan, and then next year again.

As much as you enjoying touring now, it must have been hard not to be touring for 20 years after the Beatles stopped.

They were different days. I stopped touring in ‘66. I played individual gigs in the ‘70s and the ‘80s, but not a lot. I was never “on tour.” Then in ‘89, I put the first All-Starrs together, and that’s how it is.

You were the most successful ex-Beatle on the charts, with a lot of Top 10 hits. You certainly could have toured in the ‘70s.

It was different then. I was doing the records, and if you look at the records, I had Dr. John and the Beatles on there, but they all had their own things going on. It’s not like we could take this whole thing on the road. Like, we couldn’t take The Last Waltz on tour, with all those people playing with the Band, though that’s what interested me in putting together the All-Starr Band.

You co-wrote all of the songs on your latest album, Postcards From Paradise. Are you writing more than ever now?

I’m in the middle of the next album. The record is a totally different thing. Musicians come to the house, they’re people I know, and we come up with things. I was in LA with Van Dyke Parks. He came over and I had a track, and we wrote a song around it. I just call people up.

Do ideas for songs come more easily for you these days?

I don’t know if it’s ideas. I have more energy to do it. And I’ll have more time this year. We’re only touring June into July. I’ll get my rocks off playing, then I’m taking the summer off, do some more on my record, then start touring again with this band. I love this band.

You sing about one of your early bands, Rory and the Hurricanes, on the latest album.

Oh, yeah, they were great. I was in several bands, but this one was so great. I was working in a factory and playing in bands, but with this one, I was making enough money without the factory. I could quit and just play. That’s when who-knew-what would happen next.

You’re acknowledged as one of the greatest rock drummers. Did you ever have any teachers?

Nobody taught me. That’s what it was like in Liverpool — if you had instruments, you were in the band. The very first band I was in, the Eddie Clayton Skiffle band — Eddie worked in same factory as I did, and we got together and played. We all learned together. That was the beautiful thing.

You’re one of the few prominent drummers who has shied away from soloing.

No, it’s never interested me, drum solos. I understand it, and it gives the drummer the personality to play. Like, John Bonham [of Led Zeppelin] had a great drum solo. But for me, it was never of any interest to do that. I want to play with the band... That’s the drum part to me. I’m in the band.

So there’s been a lot of great drummers out there. I think listening to, I want to say Motown, but, Jerry Lee Lewis was a big influence. His band was as well. I mean, Buddy Holly. I go back a bit, so the drummer was never really featured in any of those eras, and we got together, and all of a sudden it was Ed Sullivan. So I started demanding high risers because I was tired of being on the floor in the back. So I’d be up 10 feet higher than the boys.

Was there a sonic reason for being up on a riser?

I wanted them to see me! I wanted to be part of it. I was in the back. That’s what it was about.

Do you remember the first time you played Washington? It was the first US concert for the Beatles, at the old Coliseum.

It was. Everybody remembers, and I certainly remember the rostrum. I think it was a boxing ring, wasn’t it? And their part of the stage, the centre part, went around and then mine stopped. The rest of the band were going around, and I’m just stationary.

We laugh now because everybody has so many roadies and people looking after them. I jumped off the damn thing and started moving it myself. Now 20 people would run over and do it... It was pretty far out. But it was great: Live in America! I’ve said this a thousand times — no one will ever understand how amazing it was for the Beatles individually to come to America, the home of all the music we loved, and it was America.

You know, if you could do it in America, that was the jackpot of jackpots. So we came to New York... We got on the train from New York to Washington, and we found out on that train, which was really exciting, that the press actually came out to kill us, to put us down, really — “another English band.” And [at the press conference], we’re from Liverpool and they’re from New York, and they shouted at us and we shouted back and they couldn’t believe it, and that’s why they loved us. And I only found it out on that train to Washington. Then we did the gig and we went to Florida. It was just incredible. I don’t know if you can understand it, but for me it was just incredible.

Tell me about your annual peace-and-love event.

On the 7th of July [Starr’s birthday], wherever you are, just stand there, look at your neighbour — you can be at your desk, you can be on the bus, you can be in the office, you can be onstage — and you can just say, “Peace and love.” And that’s your birthday gift to me.

Do you think a peace-and-love message is more needed during a divisive time?

I do. Not more. I think it’s still needed. It’s peace and love. All we need is more of it.

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