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BLACKBIRD SINGING – A BEAUTIFUL BOOK WITH A SAD STORY

The following photos of this limited edition signed Paul McCartney “Blackbird Singing” represent a sad story in my life in regards to collecting. These are saved old archived photos of the book title that I took once the book had arrived and they represent a very sad reawakening of the character of someone that I had called a friend and trusted. As it turns out my faith and trust were unfortunately misplaced.

When my mom passed away, the friend assisted in the cleanup of her home to get the 2 family house in proper shape for our family to sell the home. Well, a few items disappeared from my collection as a result and this was one of those items. When a sacred trust is broken, it cuts to the bone. Unfortunately, my collection was so massive, that I did not notice the item was missing until much later when I also discovered my former friend had passed away.

I hate to bring people down with sad tidings but one of the things we need to deal with in life is to learn how to deal with big disappointments and to find a way to cope with our losses both with people and things! You also learn that there are some people that you can trust and others you can not. Above you heard an example of mistrust of one individual but here is a better part of the story and it involves a “true” friend:

This item held a special memory for me as the person who was my best man at my wedding, who also happened to be my boss was also a big Beatles fan. I was the type of fan who always kept us up-to-date with the latest Beatles news. I had learned that Mark Lapidos of the Fest for Beatles Fans had arranged to sell copies of a signed and numbered edition of Paul’s poetry book “Blackbird Singing” and he gave the time they would go on sale in his regular newsletter, and unfortunately we would both be at work at that time of the sale. My friend said, don’t worry John, and when the time arrived for the book sale, he got through on his cell phone and ordered us two copies. I quickly compensated him for his trouble and the cost of my copy of the book. My dear friend who was kind enough to order the 2 books has since passed away from a respiratory problem.

The lesson I learned from all of this, without trying to be too preachy, is to be grateful for what you have as things are fleeting but true good friends are with you always. Hopefully, this story did not depress anyone! I hope you enjoy the photos that remain of the book…

Blackbird Singing by Paul McCartney
Blackbird Singing by Paul McCartney
Signed copy of Blackbird Singing
Signed copy of Blackbird Singing
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“TOO MUCH MONKEES BUSINESS”?

The Monkees

OR “EVERYBODY’S GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE EXCEPT FOR ME AND MY MONKEY” (MONKEES)

The connections that the Beatles had with the Monkees – there were many! (much too numerous to discuss all of them here) However, the night that Beatles took to the stage of the Ed Sullivan Show on Feb 9, 1964, there was also a future Monkee on stage. Davy Jones was starring in the Broadway production of Oliver and also performed on Sullivan’s show that legendary night. Little could Davy Jones have imagined that a short time later, the band he was to become a part of, the Monkees, would be compared to the headliners of that very evening!

Who’s the adorable mop-top who starred on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1964? Davy Jones! (palmbeachpost.com)

The Monkees

The Monkees, a band that the California television network executives intended to create/ manufacture and use the success and the formula of the film A Hard Day’s Night as the model for engineering an American band aspiring to fame and fortune. The networks recruited many prominent songwriters like Harry Nilsson, Neil Diamond, Boyce and Hart, among many others to write hit material for the Monkees and for a time the Monkees actually surpassed the Beatles in both popularity and record sales. It must be noted that this occurred when the Beatles were making their stylistic transition away from the standard pop “I love you songs” to what could be termed as more sophisticated and adventuresome material!

The Beatles and The Monkees

Wanted to use this post to highlight some of the close associations that members of the Beatles and the Monkees were to develop over the years. The Beatles had helped to set the stage for the Monkees’ success in America and they probably realized that the Monkees record sales were rivaling their own so they needed to keep their record sales rivals close to the vest. Conversely, the Monkees were well aware of the enormous songwriting talents of the band across the pond and their worldwide appeal and they may have had some insecurities about depending on outside sources to write their own hit material! This was also to change as the Monkees began to insist at having more input into the creation of their own musical output as time went on.

I would like to alert you to this fantastic article written by Beatles and Monkees historian, Steve Bradley!!! I love this site and you will too!

the Four Kings of EMI – the Beatles and the Monkees (arrivewithouttravelling.com)

Randy Scouse Git

The Dolenz tribute to the Beatles in the song Randy Scouse Git where he refers to them as “the Four Kings of EMI”:

The MONKEES rare raw version RANDY SCOUSE GIT – YouTube

Mike Nesmith

The first book item I would like to highlight is this Mike Nesmith book: The late Mike Nesmith wrote this excellent book and one of the stories he tells within is his account of staying at John Lennon’s Kenwood estate in 1967. He was also present at some of the Sgt. Pepper sessions.

Loved the book but it was also very sad as it served as a reminder of all the people from that era who are no longer with us!

Mike Nesmith Book
Mike Nesmith Book

Mike Nesmith signed and personalized this copy of the book for me:

Signed Copy of the Mike Nesmith Book
Signed Copy of the Mike Nesmith Book

Mike was actually present when Tony Bramwell filmed the “A Day in the Life” video and you can see him in the Apple owned film on YouTube!

Found another link on the internet that shows Ringo and Mike sitting together at the Pepper sessions:

Cynthia, Phillis Nesmith, Mike Nesmith (The Monkees) and Ringo Starr filming the music video for A Day In The Life (1967) : r/beatles (reddit.com)

From Paul McCartney’s website, a photo of Micky Dolenz with Paul:

Paul McCartney meets Micky Dolenz, from the Monkees • The Paul McCartney Project (the-paulmccartney-project.com)

Years later after both bands had disbanded, 3 of the Monkees made a pizza commercial with Ringo Starr:

Pizza Hut Ringo and The Monkees – YouTube

In 1968, Monkee Peter Tork contributed a banjo solo to George Harrison’s Wonderwall LP:

Peter Tork – Banjo Solo (Rare – Wonderwall Soundtrack Recording) – YouTube

Peter Noone and Mickey Dolenz

A few years ago I picked up this wonderful 2 cd set featuring Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits and Micky Dolenz of the Monkees discussing their past success and memories. There were many Beatle-related tales including Micky talking about hearing one of the first playbacks of “Good Morning, Good Morning” from Sgt. Pepper at Abbey Road and a story Micky told about jamming with John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys at Dolenz’s home studio. Micky says he still has the tapes and they are nothing to write home about, but the story he tells about John Lennon and Brian Wilson at his studio is priceless!

The famous 1973 photo by Richard Creamer which appeared in a multitude of newspapers and pop magazines helped to boost the fame and national exposure of singer Anne Murray as she was photographed with the legendary Hollywood Vampires featuring John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper and Micky Dolenz. This was the beginning of the so-called Lost Weekend of John Lennon!

Micky Dolenz’s signature on a Fest for Beatles Fans program. This page also features the signatures of Peter Asher from Peter and Gordon, Henry McCullough, the late lead guitarist of Wings, Denny Seiwell, a former drummer for Paul McCartney and Wings, Mark Hudson, formerly of the Hudson brothers and a former Ringo Starr producer!

In conclusion, despite being rivals, the Beatles and the Monkees mutually respected one another and their respective achievements and they both came to realize there were many pitfalls in rising to the top and trying to stay there!

Buzz

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The Beatles Magazine

The Beatles Magazine

Recently I received a notice from a great Beatles friend of mine from Virginia informing me of an exciting new quarterly Beatles magazine entitled “The Beatles Magazine.”

The novel approach this magazine was taking was that the issue dates were going to correspond with the time that the actual events occurred back in the sixties. Based on the description offered for the magazine, I decided to subscribe and when I received the first issue, I was amazed at the content I was reading because the stories were written as if we were in the year when the actual events occurred.

John Lennon and Bob Wooler

For example, A few sample stories are an account of Paul’s 21st birthday party with John’s confrontation with Bob Wooler which almost put a stop to the Beatles before they climbed to the pinnacle of fame. Another superb article is an account of Paul’s writing an early Beatles song entitled “Pinwheel Twist”. Another fascinating article from the first issue is Pete Best’s assessment of why he was let go by the Beatles.

It is a quarterly magazine that takes a unique perspective to the articles written about our favorite group. If you notice the cover of the first issue shown below, you will notice that the date provided in the magazine for the first issue is 1963. It is a unique perspective for the mag because it highlights information that occurred back in 1963 as if it were being written today with additional information provided.  After receiving the first issue, I was heartbroken to hear that not enough people subscribed to the magazine to be able to provide the funds in order to finance future issues of the magazine.

Single Issue

To me this was a disheartening revelation as this magazine was clearly aimed at a very serious and knowledgeable Beatles fan base. Because of economic realities, the one-issue magazine became an instant collector’s item. Ironically, it is the fan base that suffers as this magazine was both innovative, informative and clearly original and unique in its approach to Beatles information. I thank the publisher for the opportunity to have received and read this excellent magazine. It is my sincere wish that this idea be revisited at a future date as the premise of the magazine was simply too good of an idea to disappear.

The Beatles Magazine
The Beatles Magazine
The Beatles Magazine Inside Feature
The Beatles Magazine Inside Feature

Such a shame that the magazine only had a single issue, but what a collector’s item!

What is your favorite Beatles magazine? Do you subscribe to one at the moment?

Buzz

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D-Day Liverpool and Country Music!

The Country of Liverpool

In my book, The Country of Liverpool, I was told about an amazing club that was in Liverpool during the 1980s, which had a link to D-day, 6th June 1944. Mick Kinney, bass player with Phil Brady and the Ranchers, told me about the strangest club ever!

“One of our greatest and strangest experiences was playing on this boat at the docks in Liverpool. It was called the Club Ship Landfall, but we called it the Bad Ship Landfall. It was a large landing craft.

“This guy, Joe McGlory,” recalled Mick, “who owned a number of pubs in Liverpool, came up to us one night when we were playing for him. He says; ‘Hey Phil, you’re not going to believe this, but I’ve bought a boat and turned it into a club! It is down at the dock. I want you to play there, but it’s a late finish, so you can do your early gig and then come down and do the spot there about 12:30-2:30am. We did it for about three years. It was a bizarre place.

“The first time we saw it we went down after a gig and there was this huge boat in the dock with a gang plank that you walked over on. It’s an old army boat, one of those landing craft where the front comes down to unload whatever it was carrying. It had port holes down the side too. It was huge.”

D-Day Landing Craft

The Landfall was the LCT 7074 Landing Craft Tank and was used at D-Day in June 1944 at the Normandy Invasion. It landed tanks and troops on Gold beach on D-Day and continued to carry supplies across the English Channel over the next few months. She arrived in Liverpool in 1945 with a view to her being converted into an emergency repair ship for the Far East, but the Japanese surrender meant it wasn’t needed. It remained in Liverpool and was turned into a club, permanently based in Bramley-Moore Dock. 

The LCT 7074 Landing Craft
The LCT 7074 Landing Craft

“It had all been converted inside, so that when you went in around the middle, if you turned left, there was a disco, or to the right it was a club, and neither sound bled into the other club. It had a proper stage in each club and because it had double doors for each club, it was perfect. So it became the place to go for the lads after they’d finished playing. We played the Friday night and Saturday nights, so everyone knew Phil would be on, so they’d come down for a couple of pints. It was a bit rough and you’d get a couple of sconeheads, but it was good. That was around 1980.

The Guy Got Bottled

“There was one nasty incident when a guy got bottled. The other lad smashed a bottle and then cut the guy’s throat, so the blood was spurting out everywhere. He was losing a lot of blood and by the time the ambulance got there he was about to pass out. There was just this pool of blood by his foot where it had run down his body. Unreal. He lived though. We were playing when it happened and it was right in front of us. You had to be careful because there were some strange people who turned up there!

“By the time we finished playing, especially in the summer, the sun was already up and we were going home while the birds were singing, about 5 o’clock in the morning.”

Ford Cortina

“I remember coming out of the club one night with Phil, who had a Mark 3 Ford Cortina, bright yellow, vinyl roof and sports wheels. He said; ‘there’s a guy in my car and he’s trying to rob it’ but he didn’t see us. So I went over and opened the door. He was shocked, so I punched him and dragged him out of the car. Phil came over and started battering him with a mic stand! It was hilarious! The kid jumped up and started running away so Phil threw the mic stand at him and it hit him on the back!  So, he fell on the floor and rolled over, before jumping up and saying; ‘I’ll be back with my brothers’ etc. A strange experience!”

The Landing Craft Now

Who knew that the only surviving Landing Craft from D-Day on 6th June 1944 would end up in Liverpool? The craft was taken to Portsmouth and restored to its original state and is on display at the “D-Day Story” museum.

The LCT 7074 at Portsmouth
The LCT 7074 at Portsmouth

Get your copy of The Country of Liverpool: Nashville of The North now.

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A SONG FOR LINDA EASTMAN (BEFORE SHE WAS LINDA McCARTNEY!!!)

This is my copy of the sheet music for the song “Linda”, dedicated to Miss Linda Eastman, written by Jack Lawrence back in 1946. Jack wrote the song to deal with a debt that he owed Linda Eastman’s father, Lee Eastman. The song was a hit and turned out to be a great investment for Lee Eastman. The song was recorded by many well-known artists including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and Jan and Dean. Paul’s knowledge and attraction for music publishing was certainly encouraged by the Eastman family when Paul joined the family by marrying Linda in 1969.

Linda
Linda

Bing Crosby

Linda (1947) – Bing Crosby – YouTube

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra – Linda – YouTube

Jan and Dean

Linda – YouTube

Perry Como

Perry Como – Linda – YouTube

Had you heard of this song before?

Buzz

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PETE HAM AND HIS FABERGE EGGS

The tragic story of Pete Ham and Badfinger is certainly one for the musical history books. The subject of today’s post will be the magnificent job that the late Dan Matovina did and the person he handed the mantle to prior to passing away, Badfinger super-fan Tom Brennan, in order to help preserve the wonderful legacy of a great songwriter, Pete Ham!

Both Matovina and Brennan in ensuring that the voluminous songwriting output of Peter Ham is shared and enjoyed with the public at large, deserve our accolades! It is truly amazing at the amount of unreleased material that Ham left his family in his personal archive. Both Matovina and Brennan have performed an extraordinary job in assisting the families in both cataloging and preserving the magnificent legacy of the Iveys and Badfinger. Today we will highlight some of the Pete Ham releases that have been issued since Matovina began his project to share the precious unreleased material with the rest of the world…

The photos of the material presented in this post are items from my collection that I have purchased from eBay, Discogs, or directly from the links provided by Dan Matovina or Tom Brennan

The Badfinger Library

First of all, here is an excellent site where you can locate some of the disks you will see mentioned here. Tom Brennan is an excellent authority on all Badfinger/ Iveys releases over the years!!!

badfingerlibrary.com

Pete Ham and Ivey Demos

I want to show you some of the releases concerning Pete Ham or Ivey demos in recent years that I have purchased for my collection. This list does not claim to be all-encompassing or totally comprehensive of everything that is out there on the marketplace but these are some of the ones that I individually have purchased. The links to acquire many of these releases can be found by clicking the above link to Tom Brennan’s website! (badfingerlibrary.com)

My latest acquisition was a very limited edition vinyl 45 of Pete Ham put together by Dan Matovina in an issue of 500 copies. The limited edition 45 is very difficult to find and can be very expensive to obtain! Please note that these entries are not being presented in the chronologic order of original release. Some of you will love these tunes but may object to the overdubs being added to some of them to enhance the sound of the recording. That is a matter of personal opinion and individual subjective assessment. I personally enjoy all of the recordings because now we have them all to listen to and to enjoy and to remember!!!

The 500 limited edition vinyl of “No, Don’t Let It Go” and “You’re Such a Good Woman”

The back cover of this rare 45:

The A and B sides of the 45:

Another recent acquisition: Pete Ham Demos Variety Pack

The track listing for the cd above:

The brand new release of GWENT GARDENS: I personally love this new release

The track listing for Gwent Gardens:

Pete Ham -7 Park Avenue release

The back cover with the track listing:

Keyhole Street-the 2 cd Ivey’s era demo set:

TRACK LISTING:

  1. Testing
  2. I Want You
  3. Come A Bit Closer
  4. Horse With A Green Tail
  5. Come and Join Us
  6. You Don’t Know Each Other Very Well
  7. Never Felt Like This
  8. 1988- Bass Ron Griffiths
  9. I’ll See You Tonight
  10. Think Twice
  11. Happened Again
  12. I’ve Cried Bass – Ron Griffiths
  13. Blackjacks (Instrumental)
  14. I’m Only Crying
  15. Dressed Myself in Black
  16. Heartburn
  17. Girl Next Door In A Miniskirt – Ron Griffiths
  18. Grand Prix
  19. Can’t Stop Bass – Ron Griffiths
  20. Graham Hill
  21. Cavalier Club Rock (Instrumental)
  22. Memories Bass – Ron Griffiths
  23. Free Sample
  24. Loved By You
  25. Punch With Judy
  26. I’m In Love
  27. For My Sympathy
  28. Black And White Rainbows
  29. Keyhole Street
  30. I’ll Kiss You Tonight
  31. Mrs. jones Bass Ron Griffiths
  32. Little Sue
  33. Knocking Down Our Home

DISK 2

  1. Testing (Grampian)
  2. Church
  3. How Much Is The Sky
  4. Do What You Like
  5. Open Your Mind
  6. Down Down Down
  7. Never Been Alone
  8. Tender Embrace Bass – Ron Griffiths
  9. I’ve Been There Once Before
  10. Genie
  11. Stink
  12. Beautiful Dream
  13. Another Day
  14. When I’m Asleep
  15. Hurt Too Many Times
  16. Has Someone Really Got Into My Heart
  17. Get Up
  18. Joker
  19. Hempstead Heath (Instrumental)
  20. I Need You
  21. I’m Alone
  22. Weep Baby

THE RAVEN (Horror Soundtrack)

  1. He’s A Raven
  2. Meeek
  3. Frank Gravity
  4. Nightwing
  5. Drifting
  6. Taking Flight
  7. Raven Reprise

Companies, etc.

  • Phonographic Copyright ℗ – The Heirs & Estate of William Peter Ham
  • Copyright © – The Heirs & Estate of William Peter Ham

Credits

  • Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar, Vocals – Pete Ham
  • Composed By – Pete Ham
  • Executive-Producer – Allan Wodtke, Bill Koumarelos, Darren English, John Schwartz, Stefano Zuppet
  • Liner Notes –Dan Matovina
  • Producer [Project] –  Dan Matovina

Notes

Funded for release on disc via pledges.
These are Pete’s earliest demos, recorded with a sound-on-sound tape machine in a small soundproofed room in a house located at 7 Park Avenue, Golder’s Green, London, when Pete was in The Iveys.
Rear cover has the artist as ‘Pete Ham of The Iveys’

Pete’s “Golders Green” cd:

The back cover with the track listing:

A wonderful 1968 recording of the Iveys that has survived:

A 1968 live recording of the Iveys:

It is amazing that these early Ivey recordings still exist: Here is the cover of the Iveys South Wales live recording:

The contents of this wonderful early live recording of the Iveys:

On Amazon and another link provided at Tom Brennan’s site link above there is a “digital only” streaming release of Pete Ham recordings entitled “Misunderstood” I just purchased this streaming only recording and I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Without You Music
Released: 2023 May 19

Track listing:

01. Ringside [original demo] (Pete Ham) (1:11)
Previously issued on Without You-The Tragic Story of Badfinger 2nd edition book CD (2000).
02. No, Don’t Let It Go [dubbed version remixed 2023] (Pete Ham) (3:51)
Previously issued on Demos Variety Pack (2022).
03. Keep Your Country Tidy [Remastered 2023] (Pete Ham) (2:20)
Acoustic guitar demo previously released in 2000 on Head First CD2.
04. It Doesn’t rally Matter [dubbed version remixed 2023] (Pete Ham) (2:46)
Previously issued on Demos Variety Pack (2022) and 7 Park Avenue (1997).
05. Helping Hand [dubbed version remixed 2023] (Pete Ham) (3:46)
Previously issued on Golders Green (1999).
06. Are You Satisfied (Pete Ham) (1:53)
Previously unissued acoustic guitar demo.
07. Nothing To Show [remastered 2023] (Pete Ham) (0:59)
Acoustic guitar demo previously released in 2000 on Head First CD2.
08. Smokin’ Gun [remastered 2023] (Pete Ham) (1:20)
Acoustic guitar demo previously released in 2000 on Head First CD2.
09. Time Is Mine (instrumental) [remastered 2023] (Pete Ham) (1:40)
Acoustic guitar demo previously released in 2000 on Head First CD2.
10. It Doesn’t Really Matter (acoustic demo) [remastered 2023] (Pete Ham) (2:52)
Previously issued on Without You-The Tragic Story of Badfinger 1st edition book CD (1997).
11. Pete’s Escape (instrumental) (2;03)
Previously unissued acoustic guitar instrumental.
12. Just How Lucky We Are [dubbed version remixed 2023] (Pete Ham) (3:38)
Previously issued on 7 Park Avenue (1997).
13. I Can’t Believe In [remastered 2023] (Pete Ham) (2:05)
Acoustic guitar demo previously released in 2000 on Head First CD2.
14. No More [remixed 2023] (Pete Ham) (3:56)
Previously unissued unedited version.
15. Ringside (acoustic demo) [remastered 2023] (Pete Ham) (4:06)
Previously issued on Without You-The Tragic Story of Badfinger 1st edition book CD (1997).

Pete Ham – vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion, harmonica

Additional post overdubbing by other musicians / technical people (listed alphabetically):
Derrick Anderson, Richard Anton, Scott Bledsoe, Donnie Bott, Bennett Bowman, Nelson Bragg, Tom Brennan, Rick Cammon, Tom Evans, Damon Fox, Pete Fox, Anthony Gliozzo, Kent Gray, Probyn Gregory, Ron Griffiths, Bob Jackson, Andy Jones, Bruce Kaphan, Jonathan Lea, Adam Marsland, Dan Matovina, Kevin McElligott, Terry Messal, Jim Mills, Eric Nielsen, Fernando Perdomo, Tony Perkins, Steve Refling, Derek Ritchie, Michael Romanowski, Guy Slater, Tom Sullivan, and Chris Von Sneidern.

Production, engineering, editing and mastering – Dan Matovina

Special thanks to Tom Brennan, Anne Herriot, Tony Herriot, Petera Ham.

℗ All songs admin by Kobalt Music Pub America Inc. o/b/o Estate of Peter William Ham
Product © Estate of Peter William Ham
Photo © Estate of Tony Beresford-Cooke (cover)

In conclusion I have also seen on the internet, on eBay specifically, BBC recordings of the Iveys and Badfinger. However I am not sure that those recordings have been authorized or licensed by the estates of the band members or if they even own those recordings in order to officially release them one day or if they are soley controlled by the BBC. One can only hope that one day we shall be able to purchase it all. Hope you have enjoyed the exposure to many of these rare recordings obtained thanks to the great efforts and hard work of the late Dan Matovina and the Badfinger/Iveys specialist and very knowledgeable, Tom Brennan! Don’t forget to check out Tom Brennan’s wonderful site!

badfingerlibrary.com

Buzz

Great Book on Badfinger