Monday, July 31, 2006

The Revolver Sessions

How does one commemorate the 40th anniversary of (arguably) the greatest Beatles album, nay, the greatest album of the rock era? What more can be written or said about the revolution that was Revolver? Suffice it to say, the far reaching influence of Revolver reverberated throughout popular music to this day. The experimentation of sound, lyric, message--it continues to inspire awe and complete admiration, often toping those meaningless "Greatest Albums of All Time" lists magazines are so fond of creating (but in this case, I certainly must agree). It's still hard to believe that such a collection of songs was created with only four tracks to work with--the ingenuity of the Beatles and George Martin is astounding. Genius can be an over-used term, but when it comes to that Team, it's quite an understatement.

I'll never forget the first time I heard the entire album, especially "Tomorrow Never Knows". I had never heard such sounds emanating from my stereo--something so foreign, yet still familiar and spine-tingling. The message grabbed me, those words from a chanting Lennon. Every song on Revolver is a winner to me--from McCartney's thought-provoking and touching ballads; to Lennon's philosophical musings on mind and soul expansion; to Harrison's Indian musical masterpieces and the Starr-sung children's song for the ages--there has never been an album quite like Revolver, nor will there ever be again.

So, on August 5th, take some time to really listen to Revolver, both mono and stereo if you have them. Let the music soak in and touch you. That's what it's all about.

Enjoy the Revolver session photos!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Not Your Average Ordinary Photo Session...

March 25, 1966: The date of the infamous "Butcher" photo sessions--photos intended to be part of a larger artistic vision by surrealist photographer Robert Whitaker, which will be examined at a later date. The portraits presented here were taken the same day as the Butcher photos, but are naturally less controversial! More to follow soon...

Upcoming posts: 1966 studio session photos; a Revolver retrospective; the 1966 North American Tour...stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Home Movies Pt. 2: Ty-Phoo Tea Ad

"These pictures were taken as an advertisement for Ty-Phoo Tea. Each Beatle had to shape a different letter for Ty-Phoo. We had to do it over and over until they got it right." - Dezo Hoffman

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dezo Hoffman's Home Movies: July 22-27, 1963

When Dezo Hoffman visited The Beatles while they were performing concerts in Weston-Super-Mare (along with Gerry and the Pacemakers) he brought along an 8mm movie camera to document the occasion. The screen captures seen here are taken from the footage of The Beatles and others enjoying the sunshine in their hotel courtyard as delighted teenage girls take pictures. Paul actually goes over to the girls to chat and sign autographs.

More screen captures of their adventures are soon to follow, including footage of their striped bathing suits photo sessions at Brean Down beach, the Fabs riding go-karts, and the Ty-Phoo tea advertisements.

A bit of these home movies were seen in the Anthology documentary, set to the song "It Won't Be Long". (Information about this footage obtained from John C. Winn's Way Beyond Compare, p. 67-68.)

One can see how lively, exuberant, and just plain "fun" The Beatles were from watching this footage. I can imagine how entertaining and delightful it would be to have spent a day like this with them, just hanging out and enjoying their new-found fame--the days before it became overwhelming.