It’s been 50 years since The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album widely considered to be among the best rock albums of all time, and aside from a very cool documentary about the making of Sgt Pepper (which was released on Septembers 8th) some cool collectible memorabilia is also making its way to the market. In honor of this exciting anniversary, 3D design company Lovepop have released The Beatles Sgt. Pepper 3D Card! This gorgeous design was created in partnership with The Beatles and is one of three officially licensed designs that include a fabulous 3D rendering of the Yellow Submarine, and the iconic scene of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road.
I suspect you may feel the need to own these. The Beatles‘ cards sell for $15 each or $40 for a pack of all three designs, and can be purchased at This Link!
It was 1967 and photographer David Magnus stepped into the ultimate temple of musical genius and creativity known as Abbey Road Studios in London. There, he joined The Beatles and their invited guests, who would all participate in the first world-wide global satellite broadcast performance of a song John Lennon had written called “All You Need Is Love.” Little did David know at the time that he would be the only photographer there.
The Beatles sang “All You Need Is Love” for a global audience, and Magnus’s beautiful never-before-seen images, now on exhibit (and for sale) at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in SoHo, NYC take you on a journey inside what went on in front of the television cameras and behind the scenes on the day of that their global satellite broadcast, which happened fifty years ago. We attended the show’s opening reception at MHG back in June and had a groovy time. Please enjoy our photos from the show!
John Lennon at the Mic
Here’s are a few more details of that day 50 years ago:
On June 25, 1967, performers representing 19 countries from around the world appeared on Our World, the first international television production broadcast by satellite.
Mick Jagger and John Lennon
An estimated 400 million viewers watched the two-and-a-half hour program, which featured talent including Pablo Picasso and Maria Callas and was closed out by a performance of “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles.
Paul McCartney Triptych
Photographer David Magnus was a friend of and regular collaborator with the band, was on hand to take pictures of the historic gig. The majority of these photos have never been seen before by the public.
George Harrison and Wife Pattie Boyd with Brian Epstein
George Harrison at the Mic
All You Need is Love Installation View
Paul and John with Ringo in Foreground
John and Paul with Brian
From the Same Series as Above, But Now Including George on the Far Left
The Beatles Dining in the Studio Commissary
When I look at this photo of Ringo at his drumkit, I just see Barry Wom from The Rutles. Anyone else?
George and John Getting Some Tea
High res images from the All You Need is Love collection can be found at the Morrison Hotel Gallery Website (Click This Link), where you will also find information on how to purchase these fine art prints. The gallery is located at 116 Prince Street, 2nd Floor in SoHo, New York City.
For Beatles fans who crave an authentic performance experience of the group’s expansive catalog of music, there is certainly no shortage of grand scale productions, which range from Rain and Let it Be on Broadway to 1964 The Tribute – an act that regularly sells out Carnegie Hall. But for fans who maintain a keen interest in the life and post-Beatles career of John Lennon specifically, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion offers something completely different.
Now in evening and matinee performances at the Union Square Theater, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, is an intimate, two-man show featuring esteemed actor and singer John R. Waters and accompanist Stewart D’Arrietta, which originally saw sell-out tours in the duo’s native Australia. While there are no dazzling lights, clever sets, informative backdrops or special effects to bolster this very stripped down production, what you get is a heartfelt acoustic performance (guitar and piano – and D’Arrietta’s piano playing is quite excellent) of a selection of over thirty of John Lennon’s best and most autobiographical songs – both written with Paul McCartney while in The Beatles, and written and recorded by Lennon as a solo artist.
Tying the musical numbers together is Water’s biographical narrative of John Lennon’s often traumatic youth and tumultuous adulthood, the ups and down of which are punctuated and fleshed out by songs he wrote at that time. Although Water’s speaking voice is appealingly similar to Lennon’s, his (often quite gravelly) singing voice is not, so don’t expect the “close your eyes and imagine it is really him” effect that you can get with so many tributes. Through a Glass Onion is really more like watching two hardcore John Lennon fans perform his songs and talk about his life in a pub setting. This may or may not be your thing, so just know what you are walking into ahead of time.
In order to fit thirty songs into a 90-minute run time, many of the songs are performed as excerpts of various lengths, but you get the idea. Likewise, some liberty is taken with traditional arrangements, which finds “Help!” – one of The Beatles‘ most exhilarating anthems – performed almost as a dirge. Sometimes the alternative arrangements work and other times not so much.
It’s also unclear how much of the biographical information is simply improvised or creatively extrapolated based on various facts but, again, it is easy to imagine that Waters is speaking as Lennon and the story all comes together. As an aside, fans seeking more information about John Lennon’s life as a child and teenager, including the not-very-happy story about his relationship with his mother Julia – which had such a profound influence on so many of his songs — might be better served by the 2009 film, Nowhere Boy. You can find it on Netflix.
An added note about the venue, for those who’ve not yet been to the Union Square Theater, is that you are in for treat in this pristinely maintained, old school theater where every very comfy seat offers optimal viewing, so you don’t have to stretch your ticket buying budget to get the best seat in the house. The theater is also conveniently located three blocks uptown from the Union Square subway hub and is within blocks of dozens of excellent restaurants — so you can plan a night of it!
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion will run through February 22nd, 2015 at the Union Square Theater, located at 100 East 17th Street (Between Park Ave South and Irving Place), New York, NY 10003. Visit Lennon Onstage Dot Com for more information about the show, to get show times and to purchase tickets!
On this day, September 27th in 1979, Scottish guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (sometimes spelled McCullough) died from a heroin overdose in his flat in Maida Vale, London. He was 26 years old.
McCulloch, perhaps best known as the lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings (1974 to 1977) had also been a member of Stone The Crows and Thunderclap Newman. When “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman went to No.1 in 1969, it made McCulloch the youngest guitarist to ever play on a UK No.1 single, as he was was just sixteen years old at the time.
In a tragic case of artistic irony, the Wings‘ hit, “Medicine Jar,” sung by Jimmy, was the first song recorded by the group to feature another band member on all lead vocals. “Medicine Jar” is an anti-drug song with music written by McCulloch. Colin Allen, who was a drummer in the band Stone The Crows (with McCulloch), wrote the lyrics. RIP.
A Copy of Deflated Sculpture No 1 By Jonathan Monk (All Photos By Gail)
When it comes to my taste in Contemporary art, two things that always draw me in are clever appropriation and subversive absurdity. I just love that shit. And that is part of the reason I had such a good time at this exhibit called I Went to School with Someone Called Jonathon Monk, which is over at the Casey Kaplan Gallery. You should check it out.
For this extremely fun and cerebrally stimulating exhibit, artist Jonathan Monk (whose first name is intentionally misspelled in the exhibit’s title) interprets significant biographical events in his own life by filtering his art projects through the works of artists that have influenced him. Or something like that. According to the Press Release, Monk’s work “is a continuing engagement with notions of authorship and identity, as he recasts iconic works of art with a consistent and incisive humor.” Take a look at the above photo, for example.
In the gallery’s front room, you’ll see the above pictured work entitled A Copy Of Deflated Sculpture No. 1, which any art fan can tell immediately is a knock off of an iconic, Jeff Koons Inflatable. What you might not know is that the sculpture is “a facsimile of Monk’s subtly deflated copy of Jeff Koon’s iconic inflatable bunny, exhibited in his 2009 exhibition with the gallery, The Inflated Deflated.” Does your brain hurt yet? Mine does.
Here are additional works we enjoyed!
Together Again But Always Alone (2014) is a miniature statue of Paul McCartney dressed in a paint-smeared Santa suit, which references artist Paul McCarthy’s 1999 performance piece, Tokyo Santa. So genius.
Figurative Sandwich (2014) features two Black and White prints (Vintage foundation garment ads) on either side of a sheet of Radiant Plexiglas, which possibly references the works of Dan Graham.
You’ll Never See My Face In Kansas City (2007) Enamel Paint on Volkswagen Type I Beetle Hood.
From One State To Another (Sewn Together To Make A Whole) (2014), Souvenir scarves from every American state sewn together in the shape of the country, a reference to the embroidered maps of the late Alighiero Boetti.
Mistakes Have Been Made (2014), Marble Sculpture of Child’s Skull-Shaped Eraser.
From the Year I was Born Until the Year I Left America (2014), 31 C-prints mounted on Medium Density Fiberboard.
Three Part Piece (Untitled Wood Destroyed). Taking a lost, early wooden sculpture by American minimalist Carl Andre as its starting point, Monk displays the work in three variations – a charred replica, a photograph of its original condition, as well as video documentation of the work burning (seen in the photo above).
Worleygig.com Highly Recommends This Exhibit!
I Went to School With Someone Called Jonathon Monk will be on Exhibit Through October 18th, 2014 at Casey Kaplan Gallery, located at 525 West 21st Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
All Photos of the Exhibit By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge)
On Thursday, February 6th, one of our favorite venues, the Morrison Hotel Gallery on Prince Street launched a truly exceptional photography show celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first arrival in the States in 1964.
The Beatles at Abbey Road Studio, England 1963 By Terry O’Neill
This exhibit was curated by Julian Lennon, who personally selected 50 photographs of his late father, John Lennon, and his band mates Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison to honor the 50th Anniversary celebration, which has been marked by a variety of events this week including the Fest for Beatles Fans going on it NYC this weekend. Twenty-five photos are on exhibit at MHG’s New York space with an additional twenty-five on display at its sister gallery in Los Angeles.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the Opening Reception (Keep in mind that the quality of these original photographs is vastly superior to my representations).
Ringo at His Kit
Paul and George on the Beach By Curt Gunther (1964)
Brian Epstein and The Beatles By Curt Gunther (1964)
The Beatles with Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) in the Ring By Charles Trainor (1964)
The Beatles in Scotland By Robert Whitaker (1964)
The Beatles and Ed Sullivan Back Stage By Charles Trainor (1964)
The Beatles Arrive in NYC By Ken Regan (1964)
Pattie Boyd, former wife of George Harrison and muse who inspired songs like “Something” and “For You Blue” was at the reception and graciously signed my copy of her book.
Needless to say, but you can see I am about to, This exhibit is not to be missed for any Beatles Fan.
The Morrison Hotel Gallery is now Located in its New Space at 116 Prince Street, Second Floor NYC.
Have you seen American Hustle yet? It is the best movie, about a story that happened during my favorite decade: the 1970s. The Seventies were a time of amazing visual stye in everything from furniture design to fashion, but it was also the decade of the best music ever. Just think about it: the worldwide phenomena that was Disco book-ended by The Beatles and Punk Rock. Wow. Mind blowing. It all happened in The Seventies!
It stands to reason then that American Hustle’s Original Motion Picture Soundtrack would be liberally studded with some serious seventies musical gems. There is something for every musical taste on this disc, from big band action courtesy of Duke Ellington’s “Jeep’s Blues” to timeless classic rock (Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”), to an original instrumental track by veteran soundtrack composer, Danny Elfman. There may not be any Beatles’ songs on here, but Paul McCartney (the world’s first Billionaire Rock Star) makes an appearance with his post-Beatle’s band, Wings, delivering the epic spy film theme song, “Live and Let Die.”
Not unexpectedly, revisiting songs that I first heard when I was a pre-teen music snob has inspired me to have a bit of an epiphany. America’s mega-hit from 1972, “A Horse With No Name” was dismissed by me at the time of its release as a Neil Young rip off full of lyrical nonsense. But in a modern day context, the part where the narrator is “looking at a riverbed” and reflecting that, “The story it told / of a river that flowed/ made me sad to think it was dead” is positively sobering. Because remember: he’s in the desert. This song is genius.
Of course, it would not be a full-on 70s experience without some crotch grabbing disco fun, and Music Supervisor Susan Jacobs hits it out of the park by including Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” — a song that says more about the pervasive hedonism of Disco culture with just three words and a wildly hypnotic, insistent electronic beat than any other song ever has. And while I was originally bummed that the included performance of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes rather that the classic Thelma Houston version, I got over it pretty quickly.
Speaking of covers, I very much enjoy the faithful-to-the-original arrangement of Jefferson Airplane’s classic “White Rabbit” sung in Arabic by vocalist Mayssa Karaa.
But the song which has unarguably received the biggest shot in the arm for its inclusion in the film is Electric Light Orchestra’s prophetic and compelling “10538 Overture,” which has probably been downloaded a hundred times since you started reading this review. I can’t believe I have survived for forty years without having this song at my finger tipis to replay over and over and over again. Seriously, this song is just insane. ELO appear again with “Long Black Road” and vocalist Jeff Lynne also contributes “Stream Of Stars,” a previously unreleased instrumental track that just takes its own little journey to the center of your heart in under three minutes.
Tom Jones, Jack Jones and Chris Stills (son of Stephen Stills, providing the only song not actually written and previously recorded in the seventies) round out this A+ collection of songs that rank as a must own album for any music fan.
American Hustle – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Track Listing:
1. Jeep’s Blues | Duke Ellington
2. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road | Elton John
3. White Rabbit | Mayssa Karaa
4. 10538 Overture | Electric Light Orchestra
5. Live And Let Die | Wings
6. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart | Bee Gees
7. I Feel Love | Donna Summer
8. Don’t Leave Me This Way | Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes