The Unknown Paul McCartney (book/April 2013): This out of print study of Paul's experimental work outside of pop returns as a Kindle book. "Throughout his career, McCartney has initiated and participated in projects that have taken him very far away from the kind of music associated with his career in The Beatles, in Wings, and as a solo artist. From as far back as the 1960s there have been experimental solo projects, both under his own name and incognito. These include the legendary 'Carnival of Light' sixties freak-out, the Percy Thrillington diversion in the 70s, techno, ambient and chill-out releases as The Fireman, pure noise performance art as well as less-publicised activity, much of which Ian Peel now reveals in depth in print for the first time."
The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour and Beyond! (magazine special/Oct 10): "Celebrating the re-release of the band's mythical 1967 film on DVD/Blu-ray (out on October 8), this one-off issue combines archival features on Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper... with brand new material including Jon Savage's reassessment of the Magical Mystery Tour film, a rundown of The Beatles' 67 Greatest Psychedelic Moments and a treasure trove of iconic and unseen photographs. Special Limited Edition 'Walrus' cover is officially the rarest issue of MOJO ever (only 1000 copies are available, all exclusively via Mojo)."
Produced by George Martin (movie/Sept 11): "Produced By George Martin is a feature length profile of Sir George Martin, Britain's most celebrated record producer. The film talks about his childhood, his war experience and his early days as a music student. In the early fifties he joined EMI/Parlophone and started working on orchestral music, comedy records and music for children. Then in 1962 he signed The Beatles. Together George Martin and The Beatles revolutionized pop music and recording techniques forging probably the greatest producer / artist collaboration there will ever be. The film is in an intimate portrait of George Martin at home and at work. It features numerous classic clips of the artists he has produced and new interviews with many of them including Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Michael Palin, Jeff Beck, Rolf Harris, Cilla Black, Millicent Martin and Bernard Cribbins."
Love Me Do by Bill Harry (book/Sept 7): "Love Me Do" was the Beatles's first single. Longtime Beatles friend and fan Bill Harry takes us behind the scenes in honor of the 50th anniversary. He tells about how Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr after the first recording session, how John stole his harmonica, why the vocal was switched from John to Paul, how George got a black eye, and the real story behind the legend that Brian Epstein bought thousands of records to get the song on the charts." Free for Kindle until Oct 9.
Beatles Collected (book/Nov 13): "2013 is the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles' major arrival in America. This book is the first serious book about Beatles collectibles. Beautifully photographed and designed, it includes a range of Beatles merchandise from guitars, plastic models, clothes, wigs, bubblegum cards, and even Beatles mothballs."
The Beatles: The Playboy Interview (book/Sept 17): "In mid-1962, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was given a partial transcript of an interview with Miles Davis. It covered jazz, of course, but it also included Davis’s ruminations on race, politics and culture. Fascinated, Hef sent the writer—future Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Alex Haley, an unknown at the time—back to glean even more opinion and insight from Davis. The resulting exchange, published in the September 1962 issue, became the first official Playboy Interview and kicked off a remarkable run of public inquisition that continues today—and that has featured just about every cultural titan of the last half century."
Time: Paul McCartney (magazine special/Sept 18): "When Paul McCartney played Yankee Stadium in July 2011 for two sold-out concerts, the 69 year old "looked as if he was having a boyish romp," said the New York Times, marvelling at his 35-song performance. Age hasn't slowed down this former Beatle, nor dampened his ambition. As the most successful musician in pop-music history turns 70 this June, the editors of TIME will publish a celebration of Paul McCartney's unparalleled career. Written by James Kaplan, author of the acclaimed Sinatra biographyFrank: the Voice, TIME's richly illustrated book will give readers a backstage tour of the many chapters of Mc-Cartney's life: as the precocious son of a Liverpool trumpet player, the "cute Beatle" of the Fab Four years, the prolific song writing partner of John Lennon, the psychedelic seeker, the devoted husband of Linda Eastman, the reborn frontman of the band Wings, the shrewd businessman with a net worth of hundreds of millions, and the social activist with concerns ranging from animal rights to land mines. For McCartney, the adventures never cease."
Reaching Out With No Hands: Reconsidering Yoko Ono (book/Oct 23): "John "From her earliest work with the Fluxus group and especially her relationship with John Cage, through her enigmatic pop happenings (where she met John Lennon), her experimental films, cryptic books, conceptual art, and her long recording career that has vacillated between avant-garde noise and proto-new wave, earning the admiration of other artists while generally confusing the public at large who often sees her only in the role of the widow Lennon, Reaching Out with No Hands is the first serious, critical, wide-ranging look at Yoko Ono the artist and musician."
YokoKimThurston (music/Sept 25): "This is NYC avant garde convergence at its finest. The idea of a meeting between Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon & Thurston Moore is so perfect, so obvious, the only shock is that it didn't happen earlier. Recorded in 2011 at Manhattan's Sear Sound, the album features lead vocals by Yoko, with backing vocals & guitars by Kim & Thurston. It's a wild collision of song-form, poetics, free-rock & classic glossolalic ecstasy. Yoko has not allowed herself to sound this raw since the earliest recordings of the Plastic Ono Band. There's a remarkably empathic & comfortable quality to the sound. The 3 communicate as though they'd been playing together forever."
Other releases that should be on your radar:
Walrus & the ElephantS; John Lennon's Year of Revolution (book): just announced for Sept 2013.
Abbey Road: The Best Studio in the World (book): Foreword by George Martin.
Paul McCartney in His Own Words (CD): BBC archives of Paul interviews.
Mechanical Mammoth (music): Free MP3 song by Sean Lennon & Greg Saunier.
Strange Fruit (movie): New doc film about The Beatles and Apple.
Early in the Morning (music): limited-ed vinyl by Yoko Ono and Sonic Youth
Music of James Bond (book): Study of 007 music, includes McCartney.
thefearofmissingout (music): New album by Dhani Harrison's band, thenewno2.
In the Beginning (music): New vinyl of the Tony Sheridan/Beatles album.
The Beatles in Comic Strips (book): Collection of Beatles cartoon strips.
She Loves You (book): Kindle sample of Vol 3 in Jude Kessler's John biography.
Grey Album (music): Quarrymen do rockers and a sound-collage, No. 6.
Magical Mystery Tour website
Check out our recent posts, including Neil Armstrong: One Last Step, Celebrating 450,000 visitors, Interview with Playboy Bunny Deana, and our series, For Your Shelf Only, where guests share stories about collecting and show us some of their treasures. Series links: Jon Gilbert, Raymond Benson, Jeremy Duns, Peter Lorenz, David Foster, Rob Mallows, Roger Langley, Craig Arthur, Fleming Short, Matt Sherman. Check out my books Counting Sheep and Mort Walker Conversations.