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Including Mitch & Tony's 2011 interview with Micky Dolenz
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The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word ‘myth’ as "an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true". Considering that definition carefully, dear friends, one realizes that the Beatle world is FULL of them! And in this unique episode of Fab 4 Free 4 All, the crew speculates about, ruminates upon, and downright debunks some of the most popular myths that have been abounding in Beatles circles since … well …. 1963. Paul, Pete, Ringo, John, Stuart, Yoko, Brian and a U.S. presidential candidate have all been among the victims of Beatles-related folklore. Can the guys successfully set all of the records “straight”?
John Lennon’s voice was, undeniably, one of the greatest in the history of rock and roll. And some of his vocal performances as a member of the Beatles were among the best ever captured on record. But as with all artists, there were certain performances that stood out above the others. At the same time, there were elements in some of John’s performances that don't necessarily hold up to sharp critical analysis. That’s particularly true since each Beatles fan – and each co-host of Fab 4 Free 4 All – has his or her own opinions with regards to just which qualities of John's voice were the most unique, and which performances were arguably his most and least amazing. In this episode the guys offer up their thoughts on just when the voice of John Lennon was at its greatest peaks … and possible lows … during the Beatles years.
By mid-1971 Paul McCartney was ready to begin working with a band again. Auditions in New York led to him finding drummer extraordinaire Denny Seiwell. And old friend Denny Laine from the Moody Blues was called upon to handle the guitar work. The new group would be called 'Wings'. Though the expectations were high for the band's first LP, the sales, audience response, and critical reviews for the album 'Wild Life' simply did not meet them. Looking back nearly 44 years later, did the world miss an overlooked classic? Or was 'Wild Life' really just the sound of Paul McCartney starting his engine again ... preparing to reach the heights that would await him a few years later. in this episode, the guys from Fab 4 Free 4 All offer their take on Paul McCartney and Wings' 'Wild Life'.
In March of 2015, Ringo Starr released his eighteenth studio album, 'Postcards From Paradise', just weeks before his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The diverse album reinforces the fact that Ringo Starr still knows a good song when he hears one ... or co-writes one. And these days, he knows how to produce them, too. The voice that we have all come to know and love may have aged a bit, but Ringo still puts his heart and soul into every song. But just how well do these songs, all composed with a little help from long-time friends, measure up in Ringo's continually growing solo catalog? The guys in Fab 4 Free 4 All give their opinions in this 'analysis and review' episode.
The album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was a milestone for the Beatles and for popular music as well. But while much attention is paid to such attributes as the arrangement of ‘A Day in the Life’, the philosophy behind ‘Within You Without You’, the psychedelia of ‘Lucy in the Sky’, and the unique tape tricks that created the end of ‘Bring for the Benefit of Mr. Kite’, there are a few tracks on the album that are rarely ‘put under the microscope’. In this episode, Fab 4 Free 4 All digs deep into ‘Sgt. Pepper’ to examine and interpret ‘She’s Leaving Home’. This unique musical performance featured no Beatle instrumental participation. But the arrangement beautifully enhanced Paul McCartney’s restrained, story-telling vocal track, as he relays a story based on a news article about the “A-level girl” who vanished, to the confusion and dismay of her well-to-do parents.
On this very special episode, uploaded on April 1st, 2015, the guys review the band's highly regarded fourth album. Now under their own "supervision", the band began taking the music in new directions. While they would never again be the self-contained band that created the defiant, but excellent quality, third album, the decision to expand to include their own hand-picked, core 'band' for their next outing resulted in a great late 60s-era LP.
Beatles fans all around the world were devastated on November 29, 2001 when the news was announced that George Harrison had left this plane of existence. But the other, far more positive, news that had been making its way around the world was that George had been hard at work making new music almost right up until the time that he left us. And in November of 2002, George’s many fans were given the gift of a new album of Harrison material titled ‘Brainwashed’. The album had been completed by George’s long-time collaborator Jeff Lynne and his son, Dhani Harrison, based on copious notes that Harrison had left behind. In this episode of Fab 4 Free 4 All the guys review and analyze ‘Brainwashed’, the posthumous offering that they unanimously agree is … to paraphrase George himself … “Pure Hari”.
Fab 4 Free 4 All are joined by their special guest, Russ Titelman, who began his illustrious career in the 1960s. In roles that have varied from musician to co-composer to record producer, he has worked with musicians such as Steve Winwood, George Benson, Miriam Makeba, The Monkees, Dion Dimucci, Bee Gees, Little Feat, Christine McVie, Meat Loaf, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Rickie Lee Jones, Chaka Khan, Ry Cooder, Randy Newman, Gordon Lightfoot, Milton Nascimento, Eric Clapton and Gerry Goffin. After having worked for Warner Bros. Records for 25 years, Titelman has been an independent producer since 1997.. Along the way, he also served as co-producer the exquisite self-titled 1979 LP release ‘George Harrison’. Mr. Titelman takes Fab 4 Free 4 All along the path that led him to his work with George Harrison, and the producer offers his thoughts on the album they created together.
The recording and filming sessions that took up the first month of 1969 had been a debacle for the Beatles. Everyone’s patience had been tested … and everyone had pretty much failed the test. But just weeks later, in mid-February, the idea was put forward by Paul McCartney to their one-and-only ‘real’ producer George Martin that the band begin work on an album project that would be recorded ‘like they did it in the old days’. With the understanding that everyone was now on board and in favor of the idea, work on the album that was to become ‘Abbey Road’ began in earnest a few weeks later. The album contained some of the most adventurous music that the Beatles would record, along with the first ever Ringo ‘drum solo’, and a fitting harmonious coda that would cap off the greatest career in popular music. In this two-part episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All right an early wrong by finally giving ‘Abbey Road’ the time it deserves.
Paul McCartney is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest songwriters of the last century. And he’s certainly been damned impressive in this one, too. So, when a producer has the idea to ask some of the greatest contemporary musicians to perform a few dozen of those songs for a tribute album, it’s bound to be an incredible must-have CD release, right? Well, the project up for discussion in this two-part episode of Fab 4 Free 4 All is the 2014 release ‘The Art of McCartney’, a herculean effort that saw forty-two of Paul’s songs re-recorded. But are they ‘reinterpreted’? Are they good choices? And, above all, is the album any good? For this spirited episode, where the guys offer their answers to these questions (and more!), you may find the desire to play a drinking game based on a few choice words featured in some great rants and “cluster-talk” segments.
A successful single can do wonders for an artist. Of course, it can earn them a ton of money. It can also either reinforce, or help them to change, their reputation in the eyes of their fans. A great ‘advance single’ will make fans clamor for an upcoming album, and a killer second or third single pulled from an album that’s dropping down the charts can catapult it back up again. The solo Beatles released some great singles. But, in the eyes (or ears) of Fab 4 Free 4 All, the solo Beatles also missed a few that, in our humble opinions, might have been hits that could have ‘helped’. In this episode, the guys discuss their choices of the ‘singles that should have been’.
With a highly successful tour of Australia under their collective belts, Paul McCartney and the current incarnation of his band Wings (finally solidified in early 1975) began work on the follow-up to ‘Venus and Mars’. In an effort to quiet critics, and to present Wings as unified and ‘democratic’, Paul gave his fellow band members opportunities to shine by sharing lead vocal duties and songwriting credits. The experiment could have easily backfired (resulting in a travesty similar to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Mardi Gras'!), but ‘Wings at the Speed of Sound’ turned out to be a gratifying and enjoyable musical statement. The 1976 release yielded two hit singles and a ton of much-needed FM radio exposure, and it added a number of songs that would translate beautifully to the stage as McCartney began his incredible trip with ‘Wings Over America’. In this episode the guys analyze and review this ‘new phase’ Wings album
Even though ‘Band on the Run’ was credited to Paul McCartney and Wings, the version of the band that recorded the album in Lagos, Nigeria was missing a full time drummer and a lead guitarist. In 1974 Paul McCartney would rebuild Wings, make a film, and record tracks with two different drummers. The most ambitious resulting project would be the album ‘Venus and Mars’, which continued Wings' string of success. The songs on the album would also provide the foundation for the set list of Wings’ future world tour. In this episode the guys analyze and review the 2014 expanded archive release of ‘Venus and Mars’.
A close, supportive family can be the biggest influence in a young person’s life. George Harrison grew up in a house full of love, surrounded by progressive, thoughtful parents and siblings with a unique take on spirituality. By the time he was a teen, his older sister Louise had married and moved to the States. Louise became a huge supporter of her kid brother’s musical endeavors, and was the first ‘Beatle booster’ in the U.S. George’s trip to his sister’s Benton, Illinois home in 1963 marked the first visit to the U.S. by any of the Beatles. In this delightful ‘live’ episode, Louise Harrison shares warm memories of her brother and their family with the Fab 4 Free 4 All, and talks about her new book, ‘My Kid Brother’s Band a.k.a. The Beatles.’
‘Beatleness’!? If you listen to this podcast on a regular basis, or even if you are visiting this web page, you have probably experienced this phenomenon in one way or another. And in case you’re not convinced, this week’s Fab 4 Free 4 All guest, author Candy Leonard, offers up a few definitions of the term that is part of the title of her recently released book ‘Beatleness: How the Beatles and Their Fans Remade the World’. Candy’s book focuses on the sociological change that the Beatles brought to the lives of their first generation fans and, consequently, to the world. It also puts the first generation Beatles experience into perspective for younger fans. And it makes for a good read … and a good episode!
Capitol Records' goal was to put out as many Beatles albums in 1965 as they had in 1964. And why not? When you've got a cash cow, you milk it for all it's worth! Well, by the Summer of 1965 there were quite a few Beatles tracks that had not yet been released on Capitol. And there were probably going to be fourteen songs on their upcoming soundtrack in the UK, leaving at least three as surplus. So, with a bit of extra effort there must surely be a way to assemble enough tracks for a Summer release to hold those hungry U.S. fans at bay, right? A Beatles album was, indeed, released in the U.S. in the Summer of 1965, and it was called 'Beatles VI'. It was something of a hodge-podge, but there is still quite a bit to be said about it, and in this episode the Fab 4 Free 4 All review and analyse this unique LP.
When the Beatles went their separate ways it was the end of an era. It was also the beginning of what must have been a somewhat frightening challenge for four men who had relied on the input and cooperation of three highly talented peers to guide and help them for nearly a decade. Each Beatle released singles between 1969 … the year when it appeared to be winding down … and the end of 1970 when, surely, the Beatles seemed to officially be over. In this spirited episode, the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew offer up their thoughts on the four Beatles’ first solo singles. Did they indicate the direction that each of them would go? Did they live up to, fall short of, or far exceed expectations?
He’s baaaaaaack! Author Robert Rodriguez joins the Fab 4 Free 4 All crew once again to discuss his most recent book, ‘Solo in the 70s: John, Paul, George, Ringo: 1970-1980’. The guys explore the book’s non-linear presentation style, and look at some of the sections that best reflect Rodriguez’ deep knowledge base, as well as his delightfully irreverent style. The range of years in the book’s title is noted by the author as being the time period when the potential for ‘The Beatles’ become a living, breathing entity once again – in some form or another - actually still existed. It was also a time when SO many things happened, both good and bad, and in this episode the guys take a deep look at some of the era’s most important events that occurred both ‘within’ and ‘without’ the Beatles.
It’s been fifty years since the Beatles made their screen debut in ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. Noted film director (and Goon Show pal) Richard Lester eschewed the popular ‘rock and roll’ musical format that intended to merely highlight the songs of the ‘star-of-the-day’ in favor of a comedy that truly reflected the personalities of the four Beatles. The film was an instant classic, and cemented the reputation of the Beatles with both critics and the public. To celebrate the golden anniversary of this groundbreaking film, Criterion / Janus has released a Blu-ray edition of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ that includes a plethora of extra programs and documentary mini-features. But these days the hardcore fan must ask: Is it worth getting? Well, in this episode The Fab 4 Free 4 All Crew give you the lowdown in a detailed review of this recent release.
For the Fab 4 Free 4 All, it’s a fact and fun-filled episode, with a delightful dose of pop culture on the side! The guys are joined by legendary TV host, radio personality, and author Bob Eubanks. Mr. Eubanks was also the only producer/promoter to handle the Beatles on all three of their U.S. tours; the Hollywood Bowl in 1964 and 1965 and Dodger Stadium in 1966 (as co-producer). In fact, it's Bob's voice that you hear opening up the 'Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl' LP. He joins the Fab 4 Free 4 All to share some great first-hand, behind-the-scenes stories, and to talk about the lovely package he put together commemorating the 1965 shows. Of course, the guys can’t help but pull some stories out of Bob about the other artists he has produced shows for. And they also can’t resist asking that burning question about that “infamous moment” on The Newlywed Game!
Purchase the package at: http://www.bebeatles.com/
The Beatles' domination of the U.S. began with their appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, but it was cemented by their incredible record releases and, of course, by their sold out 1964 U.S. tour. They would come back in 1965 to play a ground-breaking live show at Shea Stadium in August. But dramatic changes in 1966 led to the Beatles' decision to make it the year of their final live tour. With his new book 'Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours of 1964-1966 ' author Chuck Gunderson has taken on the monumental task of putting together a definitive two-volume set of books that document the Beatles' three U.S. tours. Chuck joins Fab 4 Free 4 All for a detailed look at these amazing musical adventures.
Purchase the book at somefuntonight.com!