In 1988, a young Sean Ono Lennon – John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s only son – took to the podium as the Beatles accepted their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors. Obviously nervous and encouraged by Ringo Starr to say a few words, Sean explained: “I’m pretty young to know about this still, but I still love the Beatles, and I’m pretty proud to be up here today for doing nothing.” Twenty-six years later, Sean Ono Lennon, a talented musician and composer, was again paying tribute to the legacy of the music his father and the Beatles created. This time, prompted by the 50th anniversary of the Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan.
In honor of the Beatles anniverary, artists from all genres have been performing together on The Late Show With David Letterman. Last night, the Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon covered the Beatles' psychedelic rock classic “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Lead singer, Wayne Coyne, stood tall on a road case with shimmering ribbons dangling from his arms and a tangled tentacle arrangement of LED lights adorning his mic stand. Lennon donned the same hat his dad wore in the cover art of the 1970s compilation ...
The members of the Beatles fell under the spell of rock and roll early on. When the new sound first broke in 1955 and 1956, it caught the attention of Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. The lads bought rock and roll records and went to movies where they could see rock and roll stars perform.
As a band, the Beatles are often regarded as being second-generation rock and rollers, but as kids and as players, they were very much inspired by rock's first generation. They fell in love with rock's “big bang” moment; artists like Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and other artists that would be key to their sound and genesis as a band. As the formative Beatles coalesced, they covered songs by the artists they liked, adding early rock and roll cuts to the set lists as they honed their group dynamic.
Sometimes the Beatles are said to have saved rock and roll. However, at the time the group landed stateside in 1964, Motown had already been cranking out hits ...
"This is how we saw most of the world when it got big for the Beatles," says Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Ringo Starr of his PHOTOGRAPH tome from Genesis Publications. "You'll find several of the shots in this book are from my point of view, looking out of a car window. That's just how it was. You had to get to the gig, and then get away from the gig to wherever you were going next."
PHOTOGRAPH gives rock fans a first-hand look into Starr's life behind – and away from – the drum kit. With more than 250 rare and unseen photographs from Starr's personal collection, PHOTOGRAPH compiles mementos and memories from his childhood, the Beatles and beyond. "I love pictures put together, showing different times of your life," says Starr. "At the time, I never thought that there would be a whole book of my photographs."
By December 1963, England had enjoyed nearly a year of Beatlemania. The Fab Four – George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – had sold millions of records for EMI's Parlophone imprint. The group’s first single, “Love Me Do”/”P.S. I Love You,” briefly dented the U.K. Top 20 in October 1962, but their next 45, “Please Please Me,” formally ignited Beatlemania in their homeland, reaching the Number Two spot. It was followed in 1963 by three consecutive chart-topping British singles: “From Me to You” “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They conquered the U.K., even inducing a classical music critic from the Sunday Times to declare them “the greatest composers since Beethoven.” Moreover, they were the greatest rockers since the composer of “Roll Over Beethoven” – Chuck Berry. Still, success in America remained elusive for manager Brian Epstein and his young charges, as Capitol – EMI's American label – refused to release the Beatles' first four British singles, one label executive noting, "We don't think the Beatles will do anything in this market." Everything would change with "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
The Beatles first arrived in America on February 7, 1964, at New York's Kennedy Airport. Two days later, on February 9, the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show broadcast from New York City, reaching an audience of more than 70 million people. The Fab Four would perform again on Ed Sullivan on February 16, in Miami. Those landmark performances are well documented, but one performance on February 12, 1964 has an element of great mystery: missing Beatles concert footage that would be of interest to any Beatles fan!
The Beatles made their Carnegie Hall debut on February 12, 1964. The show was typical of the nascent days of Beatlemania – screaming fans, confused adults, rock and roll. But behind the Beatles, sitting on the Carnegie Hall stage sat a group of individuals, including a woman with a film camera. Who is that woman and what did she capture from that momentous performance? And where is that footage?
With the help from our friends at the Carnegie Hall Archives, we are enlisting Beatles fans from all over the world to assist Carnegie Hall’s ...
It was star-studded night at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. With artists – new and old – coming together, and a handful of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees taking to the stage. The night included rememberances of Hall of Fame Inductees Lou Reed and Phil Everly, as well as 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Dave Grohl taking honors for best rock song for “Cut Me Some Slack,” a collaboration from his Sound City soundtrack that features Paul McCartney, former Nirvana bandmate and fellow 2014 Inductee Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear. From Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to Madonna to Stevie Wonder, there were numerous Inductees getting into the live act at the Grammy Awards.
Dozens of couples, representing all demographics: gay, straight, interracial, young and old said “I do” during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of “Same Love” featuring Mary Lambert and Rock Hall Inductee and seven-time Grammy Award–winner Madonna. Lewis, the group’s producer, told The New York Times, the wedding “will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing.”
At the end of the 1960s, traditional R&B was moving in different directions: toward Motown and its pop-ready "Sound of Young America," and the grittier Southern soul of Stax/Volt and Fame Recording Studio. Etta James sided with the latter. Born January 25, 1938, as Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, California, she had moved from a gospel choir to a girl trio to the Johnny Otis Revue by the time she had her first R&B hit at 17. “I might have been a little church girl singing gospel, but I loved all the music – soaked it up like a sponge," said James. "I remember Charles Brown, who killed me with 'Drifting Blues.' I’d hear that good time music floating out onto the street, whether it was some smooth blues like T-Bone Walker or sophisticated jazz….[I’d] poke my head into a joint, amazed by the men in their stingy-brim hats and them gators on their feet, chicks poured into skintight dresses, laughing and flirting and carrying on.”
In the spring of 1961, “At Last” became a Number Two R&B hit and remains ...
In a decade marred by tumult, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr had emerged as the charismatic voice of the civil rights movement, advancing the cause with a resonant message of nonviolence and peaceful civil disobedience. He was the loudspeaker for thousands crying out, the channel through which the civil rights movement found unity. With King's assassination on April 4, 1968, the world lost among its most fearless leaders.
News of King's assassination sent shockwaves across the country and people took to the streets in frustration. As day broke in Boston on Friday, April 5, government officials nervously anticipated another night of unrest, yet an unlikely keeper of the peace came forward and helped unite a community: James Brown.
Variously dubbed "the Godfather of Soul," "the Hardest Working Man in Show Business" and "Mr. Dynamite" among other monikers, Brown had been scheduled to perform in the city's center, at the Boston Garden. Amid great civil strife, Mayor Kevin White faced a quandary: aggravate a tense situation by canceling the event for overtly racial fears or dismiss concerns expressed by law enforcement. His decision came ...