‘Magical Mystery Tour,’ the Beatles‘ 1967 53- minute made-for-TV film, will be released on DVD and Blu-ray worldwide on what would have been John Lennon’s 72nd Birthday, Oct. 9th. The movie will also be released in theaters for a limited time on Sept. 27th.
It was originally shown in black-and-white on BBC1 on Boxing Day (Dec. 26th) and was panned by the critics, which was a first for the group. Subsequent showings of the movie in color have allowed for a critical re-appraisal.
The film was built around the idea of the group and a cast comprised largely of a handful of their actor friends taking a bus trip outside of London and filming the results. Six new Beatles songs made their premiere in ‘Magical Mystery Tour,’ including the title track, ‘I Am the Walrus’ and ‘The Fool on the Hill.’
The reissue of the movie is complete with a 5.1 remix of the soundtrack by Sam Okell and Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer George Martin. There’s a commentary track by Paul McCartney, bonus footage including interviews with McCartney and Ringo Starr, three deleted scenes and a “making-of” feature.
A deluxe edition will include a 60-page book and a reproduction of the double-EP of the soundtrack that was released in the U.K.
After the influx of rock themed cruises for the past few years, Beatles fans will finally get theirs in March of 2013. Royal Caribbean’s 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas will sail from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, making stops at Nassau, Bahamas (where the Beatles filmed part of ‘Help!’); St. Thomas and St. Maarten before returning to Florida.
The cruise will feature performances and question-and-answer sessions with producer Mark Hudson, Badfinger‘s Joey Molland and Billy J. Kramer, who recorded several Lennon-McCartney songs. There will also be trivia contests and a performance Beatles tribute band Revolution. Joe Johnson, host of the syndicated radio show ‘Beatle Brunch’ will be the master of ceremonies.
Passes range from $1,354 to $3,764. Get more details here: www.musicinmotion.com
Some great news for an elephant in India, thanks to Paul McCartney along with former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and PETA. They have successfully advocated for an elephant named Sunder who was living in deplorable conditions in India.
The Times of India reported that Sunder was being mistreated by his handler, who kept him chained in the dark for seven years at the Jyotiba Temple in Maharashtra, India. After the situation became public, McCartney and Anderson both wrote letters to officials in India asking them to step in.
“I have seen photographs of young Sunder, the elephant kept alone in a shed at a temple and put in chains with spikes,” McCartney wrote. “Years of his life have been ruined by keeping him and abusing him in this way. Enough is enough. Get Sunder out.”
Dr. Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam, who’s India’s Foireign Minister, then intervened in the situation, and on August 23rd it was announced that Sunder would be moved to a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center near Bangalore.
A PETA spokesperson said: “The difference between Sunder’s cruel life in chains at the temple and his new journey to freedom, love and care is like night and day. We are grateful to the Forest Minister for agreeing to liberate Sunder and let him enjoy things that are natural and important to him for the first time in his life.”
McCartney has added a mixing board application to his website, allowing visitors to act as the producer on some of his most popular songs.
In 1971, after the breakup of the Beatles, McCartney and his wife Linda escaped London to their farm in Scotland. They had the barn converted into a music studio they dubbed ‘Rude Studio.’
On the site, you can work on such tracks as ‘Maybe I’m Amazed,’ ‘Let Me Roll It,’ ‘Band on the Run,’ or ‘Monkberry Moon Delight.’ The mixing board allows you to adjust the levels of the keyboards, guitars, vocals, and drums and bass, while using effects such as echo, echo time, flanger, and cutoff frequency. When done, you can save the mix and sending it in for review. The favorites are being posted at the website. Check it all out here: www.paulmccartney.com
John Lennon’s killer, 57 year-old Mark David Chapman has been denied parole once again. The man who shot the Beatle on December 8, 1980 will serve at least two more years in jail. Chapman has been eligible for parole every two years since 2000, and will be up once again in 2014. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second degree murder.
Chapman is in protective custody at the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, N.Y., after being transferred from Attica earlier this year. Chapman is allowed out three hours per day, but is applying for a program that allows inmates to spend time with family.
“Despite your positive efforts while incarcerated, your release at this time would greatly undermine respect for the law and tend to trivialize the tragic loss of life which you caused as a result of this heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime,” Sally Thompson of the New York parole board said.
A painting that all four Beatles had a hand in creating in 1966 while on tour in Japan is going up for sale September 14th. The piece, titled ‘Images of a Woman’ will be part of a memorabilia auction in Oceanside, New York. The Philip Weiss Auctions website says the band members completed the painting over the course of two nights while holed up in a Tokyo hotel room. A lamp had been placed on the canvas to help the Fab Four see while they painted, which left a white circle in center. Each Beatle then added his signature to the blank space. After the piece was finished, the band presented it to the president of an official Japanese Beatles fan club. The painting is expected to bring in between $80,000 and $120,000, but it could go even higher.
“It’s anybody’s guess how much this rare, one-of-a-kind piece will bring,” says auction-house exec Philip Weiss. “It is a Holy Grail of Beatles collectibles. There will be other music-related memorabilia, including a watercolor painting by Frank Zappa; an autographed Beatles promotional photo; guitars signed by the Eagles, John Fogerty, Heart, Lou Reed, George Thorogood and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and a wide variety of rare photos, posters and programs at the upcoming auction. Go here for more info www.weissauctions.com