Category Archives: music

Song Review: “No. 6” by The Quarrymen

I just found this new song by The Quarrymen (thank you Beatles Examiner) called No. 6.  It’s the first song off their new album and features none other than May Pang!

For 99 cents, I figured it was worth it to download it from Amazon and give it a listen and all I can say is….WOW!

This song is a whole lot more than I ever expected.  Just when I thought that this was a band that was still trying to ride the tails of their predecessors, I’ve been proven wrong.  This song, though still with its nostalgic samples, is easily just as hip, chic, awesome, groovy, swag, word or whatever the kids are saying these days.

I’m anxiously awaiting the album!

Absolutely, don’t miss the opportunity to listen and own this new song.  You can download it on Amazon.com. (Don’t let the preview on Amazon fool you…it doesn’t do the song justice!)

I rate this song: 4 out of 4 Beetles

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Filed under Beatles influence, Beatles-freak, May Pang, music, reviews, The Quarrymen

Upcoming Beatles Documentary

I’m not going to sugarcoat this…this post is going to be a plea for help! This project has just 26 days left to be financed or the entire deal will fall through…and as Beatles Freaks, I just can’t IMAGINE any of us letting that happen.

This is about Freda Kelly, The Beatles’ secretary from the early Cavern Club days when they were playing to audiences of 30 people at lunchtime, all the way through their years of international popularity and stardom, and until they eventually broke up in 1970.  Freda was only one of a handful of employees for The Beatles who lasted for the entire “Beatles Era.”

Freda has kept quiet all these years and is only now starting to come forward and tell her stories about all those years ago with the Fab Four.  She wants her grandchildren to know what their grandmother did in her youth…and what a great story she must have to tell.  I know I want to hear about it.

In order to make her documentary, the filmmakers must raise $50,000 by November 12, 2011 at 2:59 am.  Currently, the total donated is $13,390 from 117 donors.

So, let me break this down for you:  If the next 7,324 fans gave just $5 to this cause, they could make this film!  And you can’t tell me that they aren’t 7,324 Beatles Freaks out there that are dying to hear the inside stories from Freda!  You can give more if you’d like…you can give less…that’s up to you.  But I believe that we are capable of raising this money in the next 26 days.  And there are bonuses…such as, if you give $25, you will get a copy of the DVD when it’s made (there are more gifts for different donation levels, but I thought this was the most enticing for those with limited income).

All together now….come together, right now…

Donate here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1215635909/good-ol-freda

Please share this post on Twitter, Facebook and other social media to help this cause.

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Filed under Beatles-freak, Documentary, George Harrison, John Lennon, movies, music, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Uncategorized

Song Review: “Look to the One” by The Vals

Look to the One - The Vals

I love this band.

Wait…that wasn’t strong enough…

I LOVE THE VALS!

Okay…that was much better.

Phew…now on with the review.

The Vals are from Belfast, Ireland and appeared in my inbox about 2 years ago when they told me what huge Beatles fans they were and how influenced their music has been by the Fab Four.  At first, I thought they were just another band looking for attention, but I went to their site and gave their single “Yesterday Today” a listen.  The song will give you chills!   They soon released their first album “Sticks and Stones” in October 2009 which I had fully intended on reviewing but for some reason, I never found the time.  The album is amazing for a debut album…there is no doubt it is on my list of favorite albums along with my Beatles collection.  There is no mistaking that these guys too are Beatles freaks!

Now this band has released a new single, “Look to the One” and I’m not going to miss this opportunity to let the world know exactly how talented this group of musicians is.  An upbeat song, with a sound reminiscent of John Lennon.  I’ve embedded the video to this new song into this review, but I highly recommend taking a listen without the visual imagery if you want to truly get into this song.  These are the types of songs you pop into your car stereo and all your friends ask, “Who’s this?!”

Did I say I love this band?  I LOVE THE VALS!  I just wish I could give them more support and bring them to the U.S..  The people at SXSW Festival in Austin, TX, actually turned The Vals down last year to appear at the festival.  I think this was a huge mistake on their part and a big loss for the fans that attend the festival.  Hey…SXSW!  Get on the ball and bring The Vals to the U.S.A.!

You can become a fan of The Vals on Facebook.

I rate this song, this band and all their music: 4 out of 4 Beetles

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Music Review: ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ by Shannon her B.A.M.F.s

Shannon MacDonald
Shannon MacDonald

There aren’t too many people in this world that would have the nerve to cover a song by John Lennon.  I’ve watched as contestants on various singing competition shows try it…and it can easily end any attempt at fame.

And so that brings me to the latest attempt – Shannon MacDonald’s Tomorrow Never Knows.  Most people know Shannon as ‘The World’s Greatest Beatles Artist’, a title given to her by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.  So one has to wonder, why would her first attempt to make her mark in the music industry be covering a Beatles’ song?

The first thing I noticed when I set out to hear this song for the first time is that it’s 7 mins 38 sec in length.  The original version of the song was just 2 mins 57 sec.   But that initial feeling of ‘I’m going to fall asleep before I hear the end…” quickly went away as I found that the song has the magical ability of wrapping around you like a comfortable blanket and taking you to your happy place.  There is an absolutely peace about this cover that gives you that inner reconciliation like meditating on a high mountain top in the warmth of the sun and a gentle breeze gliding across your cheek.

Absolutely, everyone should take a chance and give this song a listen…and come back here to let me know the feeling that it inspired in you.  I think it will truly be a grand experience for anyone.

Shannon‘s cover of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ is currently doing a rapid climb up the charts on ReverbNation and is being noticed by many Beatles’ experts and DJ’s across the U.S..

For those inquiring minds – BAMFs = Bad A** Mother F***ers.

The song is available for download on iTunes and Amazon.

The Lennon Examiner – Shelley Germeaux recently interviewed Shannon about her music and this song.  The article is here.

The history behind the writing of the original Beatles version, can be found here.

I rate this song: 4 out of 4 Beetles

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CD Review: In This One Cold Blink of Time by Such As Us

In This One Cold Blink of Time
In This One Cold Blink of Time by Such As Us

Just as a refresher on who Such As Us is:  I reviewed this band’s Priming The Pride EP  this past June.  They’re managed by Maureen Shames, who is also the publicist for Sid Bernstein – the man that brought the Beatles to America.

I really like this band and I would love to see them perform live!  I’m hoping they start doing summer music festivals.  This album inspires images of spreading out a blanket at a folk festival and just chilling to the music.  Filled with songs with real meaning, it gives you something to think about…or you can just tap your toes and bob your head.

The four songs that were on their EP seem to have been fined tuned and join eleven other songs with beautiful harmonies (“Tall Town”) and some wonderful violin and flute solos.

Two new members have been added to the line-up, both of them percussionist and one providing back-up vocals.  Michael and Joni seem to have provided more depth to Such As Us.

For more information on how to get this album and Such As Us’ upcoming shows, go to their Facebook page or find them on ReverbNation.

Such As Us will be having a CD Release Party this week and I truly wish I could be there to have the LIVE experience.  If you’re in the NJ/NY area, here’s the info on the party:

 Thursday, August 18, 2011
7:30 pm
Patsy’s Pizzeria
2287-91 First Ave. (near 118th St.)
New York, NY
 

I rate this album: 3.5 out of 4 Beetles

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Book Review: A Date With A Beatle by Judith Kristen

A Date with a Beatle

A Date With A Beatle by Judith Kristen

This was my second attempt at reading A Date With A Beatle.  I had bought the book at the Fest for Beatles Fans in NJ in 2010.  The first time through, I managed to get to page 61 of this 171 page book about a young girl’s attempt to meet George Harrison.  I’ll give my first impression report and in the end…I’ll give my overall impression after actually finishing this book.

I picked up this book after meetin Judith Kristen and her husband at The Fest.  Knowing that the first editions of Jude Southerland Kessler‘s self-published novel on John Lennon now sell for up to $1000, I figured I’d pick up a 1st edition copy of ‘A Date With A Beatle‘ as an investment.  After reading the first 19 very short chapters of this book, I just cringed.  Something just didn’t sit right with me about how a woman could remember such detail after 45 years.  It was then I saw in the front of the book, “This book is partially fictionalized”.  Then it made sense to me that I wasn’t quite sure how much was made up and I felt duped!  I put the book down for over a year.

Last week, I decided to pick this book up again and finally review it, knowing full well that this could turn out really bad for any future dealings with Ms. Kristen or her husband since we’ve been known to be seen in the came circles.

Once again…I struggled.  After only 1o chapters, I felt like this was work, but I championed on…determined to finish and review it.  I tried to anaylize why I was struggling with the way the story was being presented and then it hit me that Judith Kristen is also a children’s book author and I believe that in her own way…she dumbed down this book a bit much.  Or maybe it’s the attempt to write it in her voice as it was when she was 16.  Or maybe it was the over-the-top conversations between her and her friends and police officers.   Finally, I can say I finished it.

I can honestly say that by the her last attempt to meet George Harrison in the story in this book, she had me hooked.  The ending is whitty and will make you smile.  I am glad I read it…and the latest edition has a beautiful new cover from Beatles artist Eric Cash.  I’ve also read that Ms. Kristen has been invited to Beatles Week in Liverpool later this month and then will start a book tour of German where her book has now been published in German.  Best of luck to her!

You can buy her book on Amazon.

I can believe I’m about to say this….but…

I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles

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Filed under Beatles books, Beatles-freak, George Harrison, music, reviews

Book Review: Paul McCartney’s Solo Music Career by John Cherry

Unfortunately, I can’t remember when I was offered the opportunity to review this book…it was either late last year or early this year.  Anyway, my apologies to the author and publisher for the delay.

Getting straight to the point, I believe the author of this book set the tone for me of the entire book in the book’s Foreword when he proceeds to spend too much time criticising the critics of his first book and then refers to McCartney’s movie “Give My Regards to Broad Street” as shallow and self-centered.  I personally loved the movie.

John Cherry (the author) seems incredibly shallow and self-centered in his presentation of the facts of McCartney’s solo career.  I’m not sure exactly what I was reading.  This book is not a guide…since there is no indexing of songs.  I guess it could be a biography, but there is so much missing…including song titles!

Several times throughout the book, the author spends entire paragraphs detailing a song…but fails to mention the song title.  “Mull of Kintyre” was a standout example.

The reader is also introduced to much of Mr. Cherry’s private life as he continually mentions his personal life events and how they related to McCartney’s music.  Sorry…but I considered this TMI!

I could go on, but what’s the point?  Exactly!  What’s the point to this book?  Either too much info or not enough info…and the straw that broke the camels back and made me lose faith is this writing was the typo “Paula”.  Seriously?  Someone didn’t catch that?!

For more information or to order this book, go to Amazon.com.

I rate this book:  1 out of 4 Beetles

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Filed under Beatles books, music, Paul McCartney, reviews