Beatles News: Olympic Opening ceremony sing-along, NBC ‘Abbey Road’ Olympic Ads, McCartney Hofner bass guitar brings $63,000 in charity auction, George Martin documentary
It has already been announced that Paul McCartney will be the final performer at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London in just over three weeks (July 27), and now we know his set will end with a worldwide sing-along on the Beatles classic ‘Hey Jude.’
Britain’s The Sunday Times reported over the weekend the McCartney and the 60,000 people in the stadium will also ask the expected one billion television viewers to join in. The three-hour opening ceremony will reportedly cost more than 40 million dollars.
NBC, which is airing the games in the U.S., has also paid tribute to the Beatles with a series of ads featuring U.S. athletes walking across London’s Abbey Road, in homage to the cover of the Fab Four’s classic 1969 album.
The ad campaign, titled “The Road to London,” features swimmer Michael Phelps, basketball player Maya Moore, volleyball player Logan Tom and members of the U.S.’s wrestling, water polo, gymnastics and soccer teams.
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Paul McCartney helped the U.K.’s Nordoff Robbins charity raise some big money last Friday, as he donated an autographed Hofner bass guitar to an auction that at the 2012 O2 Silver Clef Awards in London. The violin-shaped instrument sold for 40,000 pounds (about $63,000) at the ceremony. The auction raised about $390,000 in total for the Nordoff Robbins organization, which provides music-therapy programs to people suffering from a variety of illnesses.
Eagle Rock Entertainment will release a documentary on the life of legendary Beatles producer George Martin titled ‘Produced By George Martin’ this September 11th on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Video.
The documentary is a feature-length profile of Britain’s most celebrated record producer. In this very personal film, Sir George talks about his childhood, his war experience and his early days as a music student. Originally broadcast to great acclaim in 2011 as part of the BBC’s Arena series, this version contains over 50 minutes of additional interviews not included in the TV broadcast version. These extras include contributions from Rick Rubin, T-Bone Burnett, Howard Goodall, Jimmy Webb and Ken Scott.
Truly, George Martin has had a career like no other. In the early ‘50s, he joined EMI/Parlophone and started working on orchestral music, music for children and single handedly pioneered a range of hugely successful comedy records with PETER SELLERS, SPIKE MILLIGAN, PETER USTINOV and others. Then, in 1962, he signed THE BEATLES and everything changed. Together, George Martin and The Beatles revolutionized pop music and recording techniques, forging probably the greatest producer/artist collaboration there will ever be. His skill as an arranger and willingness to experiment contributed heavily to songs like ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘I Am the Walrus.’ Martin walked away from the group during the tense ‘Let it Be’ sessions, but was coaxed back for ‘Abbey Road,’ which was the last album the group recorded.
After the breakup of the Beatles, he went on to produce albums by Jeff Beck, America and Cheap Trick.
Produced By George Martin 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. A fascinating man, and a compelling film.