‘Eight Days A Week’ Embraces The Beatles As A Sensation

LAS VEGAS — To hear Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr let it The Beatles wrote the most beloved songs in history to avoid being upstaged by rival  cover bands.

“The band before you can do your entire action,” McCartney claims of the Fab Four’s earliest days as live performers. “It was not like that great muse came down — it was the only way from the circumstance. We’d better write a few because then they can’t do them until we proceed.”

Both surviving Beatles are seated chummily, side by side, on an white crossover in a villa in The Mirage to talk about two Days a Week: The Touring Years. The documentary (in theatres Sept. 16, on Hulu Sept. 17), directed by Ron Howard,  tracks the band in concert — in the beginnings of Beatlemania during their last trek in 1966 — with  fan-sourced clips and new and archival interviews.

The project follows a story arc which asks, “How on earth did they remain sane and remain together through this tidal wave of fame, fortune, glitz and people yelling at them, without having their spirits expropriated?”   Producer Nigel Sinclair states.

Howard’s thought was to look at “this minute of this sort of burst through the point at which it was not really sustainable and  make an adventure narrative outside of it” states the manager, who saw John Lennon, George Harrison, McCartney and Starr burst into American consciousness in 1964 on The Ed Sullivan Show.   Three weeks later, when he turned 10, “I wanted a Beatle wig. And that’s exactly what I wore around for the birthday.”

In the film, The Beatles are seen performing sets that play like not able to hear themselves shrieks and nearly being crushed by fans that were surging.

“It is about us dealing with the life we had to direct in those days,” says Starr, 76. However, “we’re not full of fear. Some kid grabbed me and would not let go. I was somewhat sore for a while. But this was the most that ever occurred.”

The beginning of the stone age, the chaotic 1965 Shea Stadium series, proved momentous and manic.

“We could be very angry and upset in front of 56,000 people or get hysterics, and that’s exactly what kicked in,” says McCartney, 74. “And so there’s John performing his solo on I’m Down,” he says, running his elbow up and down an imaginary keyboard: ” ‘Rrrr, rrrr, rrrr.’ We are just ‘Ha, ha, ha.’ It just went to hysterics, which was often the safety valve”

Fans Get ‘One On One’ With McCartney

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Paul McCartney, arguably the largest pop star on the planet, gave one of his most intimate concerts for a largely locals-only crowd Thursday, supplying the type of energy which was probably reminiscent of his old days of playing the Cavern in Liverpool using the Beatles.

McCartney, that has been playing odd dates since launching his one-on-one tour in Fresno in April, might have played his strangest date for 300 people at Pappy & Harriet’s saloon, a small Western-themed bar off a dark desert highway in Pioneertown. It turned out to be a secret, providing him with a concert between his two Desert Trip appearances at the famed Empire Polo Club in Indio.

“Welcome to Pappy & Harriet’s,” said McCartney, wearing a white long-sleeve shirt and suspenders with no jacket. “This really is the biggest gig we ever played.

“We believed it’d be a fantastic idea to come to a little roadhouse similar to this.”

McCartney opened with a solo number, “Save Us,” then went into a choice of Beatles and Wings tunes, such as “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Junior’s Farm” and “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Fans sang together, especially to his Beatles songs and screamed. When he tried to end his place with “Hey Jude” after a hour and 15 minutes, he got shrieks before most everybody started singing along. “I can’t stop this thing,” McCartney said. He came back for an encore of three tunes.

Singer Victoria Williams said with a big grin on her face, “I think it’s great. Fantastic.”

She had been one of a couple of desert musicians invited to the show.

The bar was so packed folks were able to capture glimpses of McCartney’s head. Many viewed on a screen. However, the sensation of hearing him speak close up and personal and sing and being within 20 yards of a Beatle generated a feeling of history, and of course joy.

McCartney appeared to be getting as much fun as the audience, stating, “This is excellent here in Pioneertown.”

In fact, the gig was a very long time in the building.

The co-owner Robyn Celia of Pappy said was telling the Beatle. The place has been the site of many legendary performances by McCartney contemporaries such as Eric Burdon of the Animals and Leon Russell. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin has dropped in to sing some tunes.

When McCartney agreed to play   Desert Trip, he said he wished to play a “genuine desert” gig.

Celia said she got an email from someone about a month ago she did not know who had been making inquiries about her performance venue. People started coming to scout Pappy’s. She discovered it was McCartney’s individuals about two weeks ago.

Celia quickly agreed McCartney desired.

“I am a massive fan of the Beatles,” she explained. “I’m a huge fan of Wings. I was really pleased. He has brought so much pleasure to everybody’s life.”

Over 1,000 individuals were turned away following co-presenter KCRW public radio announced the concert at 9 a.m. Thursday.

McCartney asked the audience how many people got a large cheer and were actually from Pioneertown.

McCartney played with with a set than he played Saturday at Desert Trip. He included the Wings songs “Band on the Run” and “Feel Like Letting Go,” and Beatles songs such as “Yer Birthday” and “I Saw Her Standing There,” which was the final encore of this 90-minute series. He didn’t do his tributes to his late Beatles colleagues John Lennon and George Harrison or big production numbers including “Live and Let Die,” “A Day in the Life” and the “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” medley that ended his Saturday Desert Trip set.

This gig did not include a guest appearance as his show in Desert Trip did. But his wife, Nancy, in the audience with all the fantastic actor, David Hockney at Pappy’s, added to the family sense of the day.

Dad Rock: Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ Album Turns 50

Even though Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band understands the most acclaim, the Beatles recorded a masterwork a year before  with Revolver. This pivotal album showcased a  mixture of musical styles, with songs filled with studio effects (the beginnings of the psychedelic era) and musicians beyond   just John, Paul, George and Ringo (a string octet, anybody?) .

Dad Rockmania! Stream These Beatles Deep Cuts

It’s been almost   a month since the Beatles combined the world of Internet streaming. That   means you’ve had a while to move beyond all of the No. 1 hits and radio staples and dip  into the “deep cuts”

How many times will you listen to Eight Days a Week, Let Yesterday and it Be?   Well, a great deal, but still, there are numerous gems on their records which never got as much attention.

On this week’s episode of USA TODAY’s Dad Rock podcast, hosts Patrick Foster and Jim Lenahan highlight Fab Four tunes that many listeners might have missed. They are joined on this mission by Brett Motiff, a friend and fellow Beatles fanatic. Motiff recalls being introduced to the group by his older brother, that brought home Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

“I remember putting that on and listening to it, like   ‘What is that? What am I listening to?’ … and actually getting hooked from there.”

All episodes of Dad Rock  are available on:

iTunes

(Subscribe on iTunes to acquire new episodes automatically weekly.)

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TuneIn

Stream or Get the Beatles cuts Incident  here:

Music featured in this episode:

‘Appetite For Destruction’ In 30: Axl Rose Shows He Has Still Got It Series

NEW YORK — Three years in, rock fans have an insatiable appetite for Guns N’ Roses.  

This has been amplified at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater, in which the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers reunited to play with an Sirius XM radio show to celebrate their landmark 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction, which marks its 30th anniversary.

Fueled by top-10 hits Sweet Child O’ Mine,  Paradise City and Welcome to the Jungle, the album spent four nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, going on to sell an estimated 30 million copies worldwide and position No. 62  on Rolling Stone’s “greatest records of all time” list.  

Axl Rose — who reunited with Guns N’ Roses last year following over a decade of strife with lead guitarist Slash — thrived in the 1,500-seat venue, which will be a welcome downsizing in the 60,000-capacity stadiums the group was playing their Not in This Lifetime tour this past year. The romantic setting was an perfect place to see the bandana-clad frontman’s spark-plug antics, which included multiple costume changes when he was not snugging his bandmates or jumping in place, often bounding on a raised platform centre stage where he towered over the head-banging, beer-swilling  crowd.  

After a late start, the rollicking set ran with the occasional lull from the audience, for at least two and a half hours during power ballads Estranged and Better. Electrifying covers of Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die and AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie earned loud whoops of recognition, as did Slash’s noodling of The Godfather theme Speak Softly, Love during an extended guitar break resulting in audience favorite Sweet Child O’ Mine. Rose’s vocals — a gravelly grumble that often erupted into a primal scream — shined about the slowed-down That I Love,  whilst Slash and bassist Duff McKagan  each got their moments in the spotlight with piercing solos and an epic “duel” at the middle of Welcome to the Jungle.  

Spotty acoustics aside, Guns N’ Roses put on an animated series that catered to their longtime lovers, with a special nod justified for opening action The Kills, whose loose, fuzz-funk jams put the tone for the evening.  

The set list:  

1. It’s So Easy

2. Mr. Brownstone

3. Chinese Democracy

4. Welcome to the Jungle

5. Double Talkin’ Jive

6. Better

7. Estranged

8. Live and Let Die (Wings pay)

9. Rocket Queen

10. You Could Be Mine

11. New Rose (The Damned pay)

12. This I Love

13. Civil War (Voodoo Child end)

14. Yesterdays

15. Coma

16. Sweet Child O’ Mine

19. My Michelle

20. Whole Lotta Rosie (AC/DC cover)

21. Wish

22. November Rain 

23. Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden cover)

24. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover)

25. Nightrain

26. Sorry

27. Patience

28. The Seeker (The Who cover)

29. Paradise City

    B.B. King: A Straight-talking Blues Man

    “I am dumb when it comes to the guitar,” B.B. King stated.

    I waited for the punch line.

    Instead, he explained: “I do not know nothin’ about no alternate tunings and all that. I guess I’m like a great deal of musicians. Sometimes when I play, the guitar feels such as a portion of me, like a nerve in my nervous system. Then other times I will play and I finally set the thing from the corner and declare at it.

    “I don’t play nothin’ like I’d like to play. A sound is I’ve been searching for all these years. I will know when I listen to it, although I don’t understand what it is. I guess what I am saying is, when I really learn how to play I will inform you.”

    This has been B.B. King: A modest, straight-talking, one time blues singer/musician who grew up in Kilmichael, Miss., and spent part of his teen years in Indianola, Miss..

    As does the rest of the world his home nation mourns. King died in Las Vegas at the age of 89.

    At last count, he had played in 90 nations, including the Soviet Union. He won 15 Grammy awards and has been given the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. Two of his tunes were selected.

    He was a pioneer on the guitar. Upon hearing T-Bone Walker play, King knew the sound that he chased would not come through instruments. His initial licks on Three O’Clock Blues in 1951 shook the blues world.

    Buddy Guy, a bluesman 11 years younger than King, told Rolling Stone magazine: “Before B.B., everybody played with the (electric) guitar like an acoustic.”

    Meaning: King was one of the first to discover how to make an electric moan and shout and shout. It would become his signature style, one which intrigued a number of the artists who had been a part of the British Invasion such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, in the early 1960s.

    “Those guys from England opened the doors for a lot of (blues players),” King said. “When the British circles spoke, white America listened. I’ll praise those boys. I congratulate them on being actual men and women.”

    At a September 2003 interview, King told me genres were crossed by his love of music. He climbed up on gospel music but became obsessed with the blues as a teen.

    King also discovered beauty in country music.

    “Ain’t nothin’ on earth more economical than that,” he explained.

    I’d called King in 2003 to ask him about being listed the third-greatest guitarist ever by Rolling Stone — supporting just Jimi Hendrix, that was No. 1, and Duane Allman.

    He had been stunned.

    “I believe they made a mistake,” King stated. “I mean, I’d think perhaps I belong in the top 50. But in the top? I am grateful to them, but I would not have put me there.”

    Rolling Stone senior author David Fricke explained the decision “that a no-brainer.”

    The magazine printed another poll in 2011. Hendrix stayed at No. 1. King slipped into No. 6, Allman into No. 9.

    But the article appeared high praise on King. It read: “There was a turning point, around the time of (his 1965) Live at the Regal, when his sound took on a personality that’s untampered with today — that roundish tone, in which front (guitar) pickup is out of phase with the rear pickup. And B.B. still plays with a Gibson amplifier that is long out of production. His sound comes from that mix. It’s just B.B.”

    ***

    He quarterbacked an entire genre of songs for nearly seven decades, playing his custom-made Gibson affectionately nicknamed “Lucille.” Icons lined up to make music. U2, one of them: Eric Clapton George Harrison, Janis Joplin.

    He and resident Gerald Ford received degrees from Yale University on precisely the same day.

    Yet I never watched him and the fans or all the media play the star card.

    I think of this guy who held a white handkerchief to wipe away tears and perspiration in September 2008 as we sat across from one another in the brand new $15 million B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola.

    He talked about earning 75 cents per day chopping cotton and 35 cents per hundred pounds picking cotton for a teenager.

    “I picked 480 pounds one day,” he said, an insane figure considering 200 pounds could make somebody superstar standing in the areas that were steamy. “However, I had a cousin, Birkett Davis, who could pick a bale of cotton a day. That was 900 pounds back. And, man, we had been proud of that. I am.

    “I did not view our pay as slave wages or anything like this. That was a lot of money in those days. I loved my job, and that I loved my life.”

    King talked about purchasing his first guitar at age 12, a Stella, for $15. He purchased a book that revealed chord diagrams. He began playing at the corner of Church and Second Street at Indianola every Saturday afternoon.

    “When I played with, people would pat me on the head,” he said. “But when somebody asked me to perform with a blues tune, they’d also provide me a tip.”

    I asked King — that at the time was twice divorced with 15 children, 34 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren — when there was anything that he wanted he didn’t have.

    Then he grew silent and wiped his eyes. He mentioned his mom, Nora Ella King, who died when he was 9.

    “I would pay $100,000 — or anything it would take — for a picture of her,” he said. “I don’t have a good picture of her in my head. A lot of people back then believed should you let someone take a picture of you, you were giving them your spirit. Plus, taking pictures was complicated and pricey. We were country people who did not have a lot of money.”

    However, there he sat, in an innovative museum bearing his name, at town where folks first heard him play music.

    King stated that he was honored and hoped it would strike a note.

    “I want it to help those who are hungry for knowledge,” King explained, then leaned forward so that I was sure to catch every word. “I hope you’ll point out I didn’t even get an education, and I have been attempting to keep my nose above water ever since.

    “And to the young people who do not think education is important, tell them: My brain is like a sponge today. I’m interested in anything out there. I want to learn. Because, to tell the truth, I feel kind of second-best when I’m around people who went to college, who obtained an education.

    “Please allow the young people know this. Because I often wonder what would have come of me if I had not chosen my specific profession.”

    ***

    He came home in 2012 into Kilmichael — a town of about 680 residents in Montgomery County, Miss. — to the unveiling of King’s Mark on the Mississippi Blues Course.

    Hundreds turned out. Some simply wanted to have a look at him and listen to him talk. Others squeezed forward as soon as the ceremony was over to shake his hands, have a film made with him. He honored every request on a miserably hot day.

    Following the ceremony, King was hungry and tired. He sent his grandson to bring him some pigs feet.

    He was visibly emotional.

    “The house folks are always so great to me, however far I travel. I am not even sure what I have done to deserve this. I imagine they think I’ve done something.”

    A man who appeared to be in his 70s sat on the opposite end of a couch from King.

    “B.B. told me he’d take me on the street with him if I promised to never take another drink,” he explained. “I’m still out here on the street with him”

    The man said he owed his lifetime to King.

    “You do not owe me anything,” King said to his buddy.

    As Barbara Gauntt, a photographer, and I prepared to leave after our interview, King asked us to stay stuck for a second.

    “Listen to me,” he said. “Y’all be careful driving straight back to Jackson. I go to places and inquire about so-and-so and they tell me ‘Oh, he has killed on the street.’ I need y’all to drive carefully so that I will not hear that about y’all.”

    We looked at each other after departing the bus.

    “Does he recognize he is B.B. King?” I inquired Gauntt.

    She shook her head. “Apparently not. What a sweetheart.”

    As word came that King’s health was rapidly declining, I began going through posts I’d written about him.

    I ran across this quote, which seemed the you on this day to discuss. It was something that he said that afternoon in 2008 when he watched his name for the first time around the B.B. King Museum: “I didn’t go to school long enough to be able to tell you how I feel. However, I have heard that paradise is amazing. If heaven is much more beautiful than how I feel now, I’m ready to go tomorrow.”

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    • The Beatles: 20 things you did not know about the Fab Four …

      Sep 7, 2009 … So you think you are the biggest fan of the Beatles. But how many of the following … The Beatles (or at least half of it) sang for the Rolling Stones: Lennon and Paul McCartney provided backing vocals to the 1967 single We Love You. 3. Besides writing … Wyman: play instruments not games. 08 Sep 2009.

    Sex, Drugs And Rock Solid Roll Fuel Blossom On Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner

    Jann Wenner hates the new biography about him, well, it’s easy to see why.  

    Joe Hagan’s volatile, exhaustively reported Sticky Fingers (Knopf, 511 pp., ★★★½ from four) is an admiring, often affectionate but finally unflattering portrait of this brash Rolling Stone co-founder with the chutzpah to appropriate the Bob Dylan song along with the Rolling Stones’ name, then bypass them equally for the stone ‘n’ roster magazine’s original pay in 1967.

    The publication’s dishy back story is media legend: Wenner, 71 a former Rolling Stone  contributor, to write his own life story. Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, Bono and more sat down to interviews in rsquo Wenner &; s behest — and with his encouragement.

    From all evidence, Hagan got an earful: Both are no longer on speaking terms, and the completed product has been dismissed by Wenner as ldquo something &;profoundly flawed and tawdry. ” It’s a surprising parting of ways that’s performed again and again throughout rsquo & Wenner;s 50-year career.  

    Dad Rock: Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ Record Turns 50

    Even though Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band gets the most acclaim, the Beatles recorded a masterwork a year before  with Revolver. This critical album showcased a  mixture of musical styles, with songs filled with studio effects (the beginnings of the psychedelic age) and musicians past  only John, Paul, George and Ringo (a string octet, anybody?) .

    Playlist: What’s SOJA Listening To?

    Over the course of their near-20-year career, SOJA has amassed a loyal following due to their societal justice-minded brand of roots reggae. Seven members of this team — Jacob Hemphill, Kenny Bongos, Patrick O’Shea, Bobby Lee, Byrd, Hellman Escorcia, and Rafa Rodriguez — teamed up to make a playlist for USA TODAY in celebration of the new   album Poetry in Motion (out today).

    Thursday in the Danger Room, Run the Jewels

    Songs about reduction are always my favorites.   When I hear a sad story, I understand that we all hurt.   Life isn’t easy. — J.H.

    Big Mountain, Vision

    These men were like heroes to people. Killer music, killer lyrics, killer arrangement. You listen to his voice, you know it’s him. — J.H.

    Allen Stone, enjoy

    My alarm clock, a pure piece of thoughtful songwriting and an inspiring way to begin the day. — K.B.

    Boriken, Culura Profertica

    Revolution

    For a song over 40 years old, the concept could not be any more accurate today, especially considering all the recent environmental and political disasters. ” — B.L.

    Imagine, John Lennon

    A timeless song that suggests a positive approach to consider even when the future is uncertain. — P.O.

    R.O.A.R., Damian Marley

    I was waiting for something fresh in the genre, plus I was waiting on a Gong album. Win-win. — B.L.

    Bambi, Jidenna

    It’s nowadays a sound that really appeals to me. — B.L.

    Better Must Come

    Bugle is one of my favourite artists. This is a song about overcoming challenges and fighting injustice. — B.

    Crooked Smile

    In my opinion, Cole has got the best lyrics and stream at the moment. Individuals, especially girls encourage, to have a positive self-image and not to obsess over imperfections. — B.

    Viento De Agua, Ciudadano del Mundo

    This tune shows the power of the Caribbean and how strong the people are when they are together on special days. It is time to be combined, together and thankful. — H.E.

    Autumn Leaves, Miles Davis & Cannonball Adderley

    One of the best jazz songs ever achieved.   — R.R.

      Five Times When It Was Fun Being A Beatle

      Being a Beatle was the best — except for if it wasn’t.

      Ron Howard’s new documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years (now   on Hulu; grows  to additional theaters   Friday;  outside Nov. 18 on Blu-ray/DVD)  captures the exhilarating highs of Beatlemania, while being fairly frank about the mortifying lows.

      “There were always people like this as we went into the gate,” says Ringo Starr, crooking his fingers through a pretend chain-link fence. In Wales, “I remember it well,” one determined enthusiast resolutely grabbed hold of the drummer’s shaggy locks.

      The crowds in Washington were bolder. Into a lock of Starr’s hair, a woman wielding a set of scissors famously helped herself at a reception at the ambassador’s house in 1964. “And we thought, ‘No, no, NO,’ ” states Paul McCartney.

      “We believed it would be quite a cool crowd,” he adds. “But they weren’t cool in any way.”

      Two: Sonically, Shea Stadium was one of the very frustrating venues of the career. They played there again.

      Not that they recall their encore performance. When asked about the second Shea series during interviews for The Beatles Anthology documentary, Starr says he blanked: “We played with it twice??!!”

      “Then (the filmmakers) went to George (Harrison) and Stated, ‘And the second time you Played with Shea …’ And George said, ‘We Played with twice??!!’ “

      3. Close to the end of their touring years, fans screamed to them not at them.

      By declining her invitation to the Presidential Palace the band unwittingly snubbed lady Imelda Marcos. A mob of spitting and kicking demonstrators responded in kind.

      “It was a scary moment,” Starr says. “I had been sharing (a hotel room) with John (Lennon), and we called down for breakfast and papers.” Neither showed up. “We called again: ‘Can we have the breakfast?’ And we set the TV on and there’s this sad shot of all of these disappointed kids at this (reception) we did not turn around. And that is why it went mad.”

      4: The Beatles had free run of the place when they were recording at Abbey Road.

      “They weren’t allowed to get into the kitchen at night,” says Eight Days a Week  manufacturer Nigel Sinclair. “Eventually, they got fed up” the group’s road manager Mal Evans “went down there with a hammer and also hacked the padlock away” through sessions for 1968’s White Album.

      “And when he got, the fridge was padlocked because people drank others’s milk. He hacked off that (as well),” Sinclair says. “On Monday, when folks arrived, they believed there had been burglars.

      “The only folks who said to them were the men and women who ran the kitchen at Abbey Road.”

      5. Their children used them to meet celebrities that were cooler.

      “John came to the Happy Days set” at the mid-’70s, Howard says.   Because, um, Lennon’s son Julian “desired to fulfill the Fonz” (Henry Winkler).