Jennifer Vanderslice, owner and editor of Beatles Freak Review blog, will be packing her bags again this month for a weekend in Louisville, KY, to find all things Beatle-y.
Tag Archives: music
What to say…what to say…what to say about My Kid Brother’s Band… a.k.a. The Beatles by Louise Harrison?! I guess my best bet would be to just dive right in and let the chips fall as they may…
Did I enjoy the book? YES! Louise let’s you into her life to tell you HER story. Along the way, it obviously criss crosses and runs parallel to her brother George Harrison’s life as they grew up together and later when he became a member of the greatest band the world has ever known. The part that most people will not like about this book is that one of Louise’s strongest personality quirks is that her mouth (and fingertips) have no filter on them.
Let me take a moment here and provide my readers with a little background information on the making of this book. A couple years ago, I was introduced to Louise via phone and email (I still have not had the good fortune to meet her face to face, yet). She told me she was writing a book, but that it was more her memoirs than it was a tell all about George. As the year went by, I found out that she had changed her mind and had decided to not publish her memoirs, but to instead, just print a couple copies for her children and grandchildren. I could respect that. Another year passed, and lo and behold, I read that she had decided to publish after all. I immediately pre-ordered my copy.
Since this is Louise’s book, she uses this opportunity it to give many of her personal opinions on politics, religion and her philosophical beliefs. She does include a heads-up that not everyone is going to agree with what she has said, so read it at your own risk of being offended. Was I offended? No. It would seem I have a lot more in common with Louise than I ever thought.
Some of her stories are repeated several times over the course of the book and the readers will become aware that she probably could have used a good editor, but her story is well written and easy to read (if you’re not slamming the book down after reading her opinion of Obama, abortion or the environment!).
The book is probably not the story most Beatles fans want to read since she makes it clear that she will respect George’s privacy even in death and not tell all. I still feel this book is worth picking up and reading for the tidbits about John, Paul, George and Ringo, that Louise Harrison does provide along with her perspective of accompanying the Beatles to many of their shows during their 1964-65 tours of America.
You can order your copy of My Kid Brother’s Band (aka The Beatles) at Amazon.com.
I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles!
“Inspired by the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool, this Beatles-themed treatment takes away any tension. Gentle passive stretches and comfy pajamas send your busy brain into a golden slumber.” – Lush Spa
I admit that I’m not fond of massages. They always have left me disappointed in the end because I am just too high strung to actually relax for them. Put that together with several masseuses who talk, talk, talk through the entire massages and I usually walk out feeling like I’ve just wasted a whole lot of money! But when I received a gift certificate from my dear friend Lisa for this treatment, I couldn’t help but get excited.
Lo and behold…this Hard Day’s Night Treatment at Lush Spa, my friends, is what a massage was meant to be! With a soundtrack of Beatles song interpretations playing in the background, there is no talking done except for a few request such as to turn over, scoot down and then to meditate at the end. This experience was a true pleasure. If you’re modest…not to worry! The entire time you’re dressed in a pair of over-sized flannel pajamas. With a combination of passive stretching and pressure point massage, this treatment fills the complete 75 minutes that it advertises.
But it doesn’t end there. After your treatment is done, you return to the sitting area where tea and shortbread cookies await you. You are also presented with a gift bag that contains a Golden Slumbers Bath Bomb so that you can continue your relaxing experience when you get home.
My massage therapist was a lovely young woman named Stanette and she had just returned in May from four months of required training at Lush headquarters in Poole, UK. She loves her job, she loves the company she works for and she gives you an amazing experience. The store itself, was packed full of customers when I arrived.
There are over 900 Lush stores throughout the world (including a spa in Liverpool, UK!), but there are only two Lush Spas in the United States where you can experience the Hard Day’s Night Treatment. They are:
LUSH Spa Lexington, 783 Lexington Avenue, NYC
LUSH Spa Philadelphia, 1525 Walnut Street, Philadelphia
My advice to all you Beatles Freaks out there is to find the closest Lush Spa to you and schedule an appointment so you too can float away. It is a bit pricey, but well worth it. If you’re one of the thousands of Beatles fans that attends the Fest for Beatles Fans every year in metro New York City, you may want to make this little luxury a part of your Beatles weekend. I’m actually looking forward to going back someday and letting my worries melt away again.
This is a sample of all the songs that are played during this treatment. Imagine having a your hands massaged during “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and a scalp massage during “Golden Slumbers”.
I rate this Fab Four experience: 4 out of 4 Beetles!
Beatles At The Ridge is a two day festival in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas created by Charles Snapp in 2011. It is now in its third year running. Last year, the crowd size was estimated at over 10,000, but I have a feeling that this fest is going to put the best of all Beatles festivals on guard! This fest has the potential to become a new mecca for the most diehard fans.
So what connection does Walnut Ridge have to the Beatles? I’m glad you asked…because Walnut Ridge can boast about their Beatles encounter. From their website: “A quiet night in 1964 was interrupted by the unusual sound of an airliner approaching Walnut Ridge Airport. Its arrival sparked enough interest that three local teens went to investigate, only to discover John, Paul, Ringo, and George walking from the plane. The Beatles, the biggest rock band in the world, had arrived at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.” You can read the rest of the story and see pictures here.
This year’s fest will have over 100 vendors (the number is still growing as word gets out about BATR). Admission is free, parking is free and all entertainment is free. I don’t think I’ve heard of another Beatles festival that can say that (but I could be wrong).
The entertainment for this two day, three stage event is also growing by the day. Scheduled to appear this year are: Stan Perkins (son of Carl Perkins), Beatles tribute band – BritBeat, Ringo Starr tribute artist – Ringer Star, Beatles expert & author – Jude Southerland Kessler, Danny Donuts Yellow Submarine Parade and many more! There will also be a Beatles costume contest with prizes! A full list of events can be found here.
In 2012, Beatles at the Ridge won the “Top new Festival” award from the Arkansas Festival and Events Association.
This band still remains one of my favorite current bands and I’m just waiting for them to come to the United States. You can hear the Beatles influence. For more music, news and tour dates please visit http://www.thevals.co.uk
The first is ‘Honey Badger Christmas’ by Cliff Hillis. Cliff is a huge Beatles fan and is known to cover a song or two in his shows.
The second song is VERY Beatlesque! It’s ‘Imagine Christmas’ by Alan Bernhoft, the man behind all the Beatlesque CDs.
Enjoy! And have a safe and happy holiday season!
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
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 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
I’m almost embarrassed to make this my first review, but this CD has been sitting on my to-do pile since I ordered it last month and with it snowing outside, I decided to pop it into my computer and give it a listen while I surf and work.
My first thought is – the instrumental part is very true to the Beatles music. My second thought is – Why?! Why would they put these voices over the music? This album is a mix of what sounds like children’s and women’s voices singing: Can’t buy me love, Here comes the sun, All you need is love, etc. I’ve heard cover bands do better versions of these songs. And when you look at the play list, you realize that there are no songs with questionable lyrics that might be too much young ears and vocabularies.
So all in all…I give this album 1 out of 4 beetles. Go out and buy your children the real thing. Please don’t poison their impression of the Beatles with this worthless collection of covers.
And now…I can get it off my desk!
Score: 1 out of 4 Beetles
Come back on February 1st to read my first review. In the meantime, feel free to sign-up for an email subscription to Beatles-Freak’s Reviews so you don’t miss a thing! Just enter your email in the box to the right.