Best Post-Anthology Tracks?

By |2020-01-18T19:52:54-08:00January 18, 2020|bootlegs|

I was just prowling around on the internet -- as one does on a Saturday night -- and discovered a Lennon demo from December 1968 called "A Case of the Blues." It's a neat little scrap of a song. See what you think. Maybe all of you know it already? What are your favorite demos, outtakes, and alternate versions of Beatles songs not on the Anthology? (Way to make John Lennon's handwriting boring-looking, anonymous designer.) I remember about two years ago I got obsessed with the McCartney tune "Suicide" as performed in 1969, and was shocked that 1) I was still [...]

Beatleg Stories

By |2022-03-07T15:02:10-08:00October 8, 2019|bootlegs|

Whatever time you're reading this, chances are I'm doing the same thing: furiously pedaling my bike en route to my local repertory movie theater, fifteen minutes late for some old movie, with no lights (I know I know) and some truly awful Beatles outtake blaring in my ears. Probably 25% of all the room on my iPhone is taken up by Artifacts I and II, the Beatle bootleg set that basically forced the release of The Beatles Anthology. 25% more are a bunch of digipaks, from Kinfauns to Chaos to Pepper in mono. And because it's on shuffle, I can go from [...]

Lennon and McCartney’s “lost reunion,” by David Gambacorta

By |2019-06-25T11:11:23-07:00June 25, 2019|1974, Beatles in LA, bootlegs, Breakup, Chris Carter/Breakfast With the Beatles, Harry NIlsson, John and Paul, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Uncategorized, Unreleased/Outtakes|

Posted at the excellent aggregator and original writing site Longreads is David Gambacorta's exploration of the 1974 California jam session John Lennon and Paul McCartney engaged in -- the last time they would play together. Most Beatles fans will be familiar with the history Gambacorta recounts, but it's nice to see it laid out succinctly. Gambacorta does turn up a few facts that were, at least, new to me: for example, it's not clear what happened to the master tapes made that night. And the piece is well worth reading for the recent comments Gambacorta got from several people, including Elliot Mintz, [...]

Most pirated group? The Beatles, of course

By |2015-02-09T13:25:58-08:00February 9, 2015|bootlegs|

"Hey guys! We were able to buy a car!" In the process of refurbishing this old post on the Beatles and piracy, I stumbled across this NME article from 2013: according to an industry group, The Beatles are the most pirated musical act. MUSO, who released the data to Music Week, revealed 186,876 files featuring The Beatles music have been removed from the internet with an average of 1,000 downloads per file. This equates to nearly 190 million illegal downloads per year. The article goes on to say that this tally doesn't even include sites like The Pirate Bay which [...]

George Harrison: Early Takes: Volume 1

By |2016-11-30T07:29:45-08:00January 1, 2014|1970, All Things Must Pass, Bob Dylan, bootlegs, Eric Clapton, George, George Harrison, Living in the Material World|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Note: These are not new impressions, but ones jotted down in May 2012, the day Early Takes: Volume 1 came in the mail, and embellished more recently. George, in a photo taken in a Bahamian pool during the filming of Help!, holds his head above the water’s crystal surface, his face the perfect expression of the solemn young seeker braving the eddies and tidepools of the material world: a Siddhartha for the ‘60s. The image is rich, quiet, suggestive, like George at his best. It’s beautiful wrapping on a gift that isn’t quite there. Olivia Harrison, Giles Martin, and [...]

The Beatles (at the BBC) Again

By |2013-09-12T15:00:14-07:00September 12, 2013|1962, 1963, 1964, BBC, bootlegs, Reissues|

The Beatles, with Pete Best on drums, rehearse for their first BBC appearance, Playhouse Theatre, Manchester, June 11, 1962. Photo by Mike McCartney. DEVIN McKINNEY  •  What a bounty this autumn brings us. In addition to the long (as in loooong) awaited first volume of the Lewisohn biography (the multiple iterations of which will blanket like sweet snow our Fall and Winter); Kevin Howlett's The Beatles: BBC Archives 1962 to 1970, which looks indispensable for the cover alone; and The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, a new graphic novel by Vivek J. Tiwary (which I can only hope comes [...]

Mike’s Dream Bootleg: Beatles Complete Anthology Recording Sessions Box Set

By |2013-08-03T18:08:08-07:00August 3, 2013|bootlegs, Revolver|

A beautiful sight for Beatles fans. One of my dreams for this site has been setting up a page for each UK album, then collecting all the available session recordings on YouTube, plus outtakes and remixes, and putting it in that one place. Organized chronologically, so that scholars could reconstruct the process by which the songs came to be—all the minute creative decisions that The Beatles did so well. Seems like I'm not the only one with these kind of ambitions. In Dullblog's vast refurb, I stumbled across something called "The Beatles Complete Anthology Recording Sessions Box Set," a 62 [...]

Wings Over an Alternate Universe

By |2014-07-23T11:56:58-07:00June 13, 2013|bootlegs, Paul McCartney, Wings|

The first sign that this bootleg is a bit weirder than usual is the cover—not the straightforward band photo used on many bootlegs of this show, which features Paul in a remarkably hideous pink shirt. That whoever put together this cover thought it would be cool to paste a square-shaped snapshot of Linda's head over that of a painted angel who is facing a different direction is a signal, friends, of more weirdness ahead. The back cover may lull you into a false sense of security. Here, at least, is the standard tracklist for bootlegs of this show. And the bus photo [...]

The less-than-best cover

By |2014-07-23T11:57:26-07:00February 18, 2013|bootlegs|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Mike said he'd be curious to see this (see comments to "The best cover" below). It was purchased in a bodega on a dusty side street in Ariquipa, Peru, late 1990s. Far from the strangest item in my Beatles closet, but far from the least interesting. (I should specify: This is not properly speaking a bootleg, but a pirate edition—an illegitimate recycling of previously released material.)

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"Ultimate Beatles Record Collection"

By |2021-11-23T14:18:31-08:00February 7, 2013|Beatles merch, bootlegs, Unreleased/Outtakes|

You'd need a temporary secretary, just to catalogue it This collection, up for sale on eBay through Saturday, lives up to its title. It’s definitely the most comprehensive Beatles and Beatles-related one I’ve ever seen. There are records I’ve seen only in Bruce Spizer’s books, like McCartney’s “Walking in the Park with Eloise,” what looks like a full run of the "Lost Lennon Tapes" LPs, and the Beatles bootleg “War and Peace.” So many bootlegs, so many picture sleeves, so many rarities! Looking at it all, I’m amazed, moved, and disquieted. Amazed because it must have taken an enormous amount [...]

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