The Beatles

I had wanted to write about this back when it happened in the fall of 2023, but I kept getting distracted, and never got around to it. But I still talk to people who consider themselves to be Beatles fans, but who have no idea that this happened. So, maybe it's not too late to write about this: for those of you who don't know (or those of you who do know), there is a new Beatles single that was released in 2023!

I know what you're thinking, and no, this isn't a computer-generated, A.I. deep fake. It is actual music, performed and recorded by all 4 Beatles.

The song is called "Now And Then". Basically, it is a demo tape that John Lennon recorded in 1977, before his murder in 1980. In 1994, after Lennon was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (as a solo artist), his widow, Yoko Ono, sent the tape to Paul McCartney. The 3 surviving Beatles, Paul, George, and Ringo, attempted to finish the song, but at the time, it proved too difficult. The quality of the recording wasn't very good, and it was too difficult to isolate John's performance from background sounds. At the time, the Beatles abandoned "Now And Then", but went ahead with production of 2 other songs on the tape, "Real Love" and "Free As A Bird", which were both released in 1996.

"Now And Then" sat dormant for decades, until the production of The Beatles: Get Back, a 2021 documentary film for Disney that was directed by Peter Jackson. Jackson employed new A.I. technologies to clean up background noise from the Beatles' practice and recording sessions for the Get Back album. During production, Jackson, Paul, and Ringo realized that this same technology could be employed to clean up the audio for "Now And Then" and isolate John's vocal and piano performances. This finally allowed Paul and Ringo to finish the song. They recorded new vocal and instrumental portions, along with an orchestra, and mixed them together with John's vocals, John's piano, and recordings of George's guitar parts from the failed 1995 recording sessions.

This finally allowed "Now And Then" to be finished and released as a new Beatles single in 2023.

"Now And Then" was released as the Beatles final single in November of 2023.
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Monday, July 24, 2017 07:30 PM

Singing along with another Beatle!

in Music | Travel | Family by MegaBearsFan
Paul McCartney concert
We got to see Paul McCartney perform live in the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

This past weekend, I got to cross something off my bucket list. My girlfriend and I traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to see Paul McCartney in concert. I had already seen Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band perform in Vegas, so seeing Paul means that I've completed my collection of surviving Beatles.

Sir McCartney is currently touring the United States as part of his "One on One" tour. Unfortunately, his only California tour date conflicted with some travel plans that my girlfriend already had, so the next closest city was Des Moines, Iowa. So we flew out to Des Moines for the weekend, and took the opportunity to visit with my sister, who lives a couple hours away.

I became enamored with the Beatles when I was in college, so being able to have seen both Paul and Ringo in the flesh is very gratifying. Now if only they'd tour together...

Paul McCartney concert
Paul performed a ukelele tribute
to George Harrison.

I think it goes without saying that the concert was fantastic. It may not be John, George, and Ringo, but Paul's current band is pretty good in their own right. The concert opened with "A Hard Day's Night", and the setlist was made up of half Beatles tunes, and the other half being solo material and songs from Wings. One song was even from back before the Beatles were "the Beatles", as Paul performed "In Spite of All the Danger", which was written while Paul was part of The Quarrymen. In addition to playing with the band, Paul also performed a handful of solo pieces, such as "Blackbird" and "Yesterday" (as part of the lengthy encore).

I wasn't expecting to hear anything written by George Harrison or John Lennon, but Paul did play a ukele rendition of Harrison's "Something" as a tribute to his departed friend. It was very sweet...

[More]

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band

Last weekend, I added an item to my bucket list:

Sing back-up vocals with an actual Beatle, in the flesh.

I then promptly crossed that item off of the list.

Sing back-up vocals with an actual Beatle, in the flesh.

My girlfriend and I had the pleasure of seeing a live concert performance of Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band at the Pearl Concert Theater in the Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. I've seen several Beatles tribute bands perform, but this was my first time seeing an actual Beatle in the flesh.

Ringo's band is made up of former members of other bands such as Toto, Santana, and others, and so in addition to hearing a handful of songs from "that other band that Ringo was in", they also performed songs from the other members' former bands, ranging from Black Magic Woman to Africa and Bang on the Drums All Day. They also performed a few original solo songs from Ringo, such as Anthem. The Beatles songs that were performed were Boys, Don't Pass Me By, I Wanna Be Your Man, Yellow Submarine, and With a Little Help From My Friends - all songs originally written-by or sung-by Ringo. Not exactly A-List Beatles stuff, but - hey - a Beatle is still a Beatle!

With a Little Help From My Friends is actually one of my favorite Beatles songs, so that was nice to hear. In fact, one of my auxiliary Rock Band avatars has always been a custom Billy Shears character, based on Ringo's appearance on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. I'd show you a screenshot, but all my old Rock Band saves were lost when my PS3 died on me.

I've sung along to the Beatles a lot: in the shower, in the car, while practicing my guitar, while playing Beatles: Rock Band... But now I got to sing backup vocals with a Beatle: Ringo, himself! I did it from my seat in the audience, along with everybody else in the theater, but he was there, and I was singing with him. So that was special. And from now on, I can say that I sang a song with Ringo Starr!

Now I just have to keep an eye out for Paul McCartney visiting Vegas so that I can sing back-up vocals for Hey Jude...

[More]

Today, guitars all over the world are gently weeping to mark the passing of George Harrison 10 years ago today from cancer.

George (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) is certainly the most underrated Beatle, and was unique in the group in that his musical talents and abilities were at their height and still improving at the time when the Beatles broke up, whereas the other members had peaked well before then (although I'm sure I'll trigger a lot of debate and possibly some hate for that). [More]

George, we miss you.

"If I had some more time to spend,
then I guess I'd be with you my friend...
"
   - "If I Needed Someone" (George Harrison, 1965)
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