Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rock And Roll Detective Uncovers Lost Beatles Concert Tape! Goes Unsold at Auction!

Fans line up to buy tickets to see The Beatles at Forest Hills May, 1964

After 52 years, it is incredibly rare to discover a complete, previously unbootlegged or unreleased 1964 concert by The Beatles. It is extremely exciting when a new live recording of The Beatles is not only unearthed, but is one that was recorded through a soundboard rather than in the middle of a screaming audience. This means that you can actually hear the vocals and the guitars. Ringo's drums do not sound like they were mic'd, but his drums do appear to be picked up by the three vocal mics.

And here are the details dug up by the Rock And Roll Detective:

The Beatles at the 1964 Forest Hill Music Festival
Fifty Two years ago this month, The Beatles played a live concert at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. They performed for free and donated the proceeds in aid of the United Cerebral Palsy of New York City and the Retarded Infants Services. The show has never been released officially or on bootleg (although one Seventies bootlegger erroneously tried pass off a vinyl boot as this show.) Previous interview with The Beatles and short film clips of the show have surfaced in the past. However, this is the first time a Soundboard recording of the complete show has surfaced.  It was apparently recorded by the WMCA DJs. 

Last week the original reel-to-reel tape came up for auction at Cordier Auctions, but failed to meet the minimum bid of $2000. As a result, the Lot was passed over. The Rock And Roll Detective was told that Codier plans to put the tape into a future auction. Of course, whoever is the winning bidder will own the tape, but the not the copyright or publishing rights to the recordings. 

The Rock And Roll Detective has listened to the recording which contains the complete show. Given the primitive state of live recording in the mid Sixties, this is a decent soundboard.  There is a significant drop in volume and quality that persists during and after George singing "Roll Over Beethoven". It comes back a little better when John introduces a new song "If I Fell" from their "new movie" "A Hard Day's Night". However, this tape is nowhere near the quality of the forthcoming Apple release of The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl. But it is still an exciting artifact nevertheless.  

The Beatles live at Forest Hills as a fan tries to hug George Harrison.

Here is the description of the recording by Cordier Auctions.

Lot #234 Estimate 2,000.00 - 4,000.00 USD

The Beatles August 29, 1964 Concert Recording
DESCRIPTION: A reel to reel recording of The Beatles in concert at
Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens, New York on August 29, 1964
(they had also played there the night before). The recording, with loud
screaming throughout, includes twelve tracks:
1) Twist and Shout
2) You Can't Do That
3) All My Loving
4) She Loves You
5) Things We Said Today
6) Roll Over Beethoven
7) Can't Buy Me Love
8) If I Fell
9) I Want to Hold Your Hand
10) Boys
11) A Hard Day's Night
12) Long Tall Sally

Of note is the band's reaction to a young lady sprinting towards the stage
while dodging police barricades during the last song.
Also included is John introducing the song "Hard Day's Night" from "our
new movie", George singing "Roll Over Beethoven", and. Ringo being
introduced and singing "Boys".
PROVENANCE: Per the consignor, the tape was won by the consignor
from a New York radio station sometime after the concert,
probably from the WMCA Good Guys as research shows they were
the hosts of this concert.
MEASUREMENTS: 7" diameter.
CONDITION: The beginning of the tape has some crinkling/creasing
with the opening being somewhat fuzzy and flat. Otherwise audio is clear.
Some buzzing begins after Roll Over Beethoven and before George
changes out his guitar after Can't Buy Me Love.
A digital recording of the tape was provided by the consignor.

2016 (c) The Rock And Roll Detective(r). All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Klaus Voormann Reveals Mysteries of Beatles Revolver LP Cover

Klaus Voormann has just completed an epic graphic novel entitled: Birth of an Icon REVOLVER 50 . It is the story behind the making of the world's most incredible album cover. The new book is available at a special pre-sale price at Voormann's website: . He is signing copies of the book.

Klaus Voormann with his Revolver cover

The book contains great stories of Voormann's work with The Beatles, and contains comments from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as an essay by the Rock And Roll Detective on the mysterious disappearance and alleged appearance of the original album artwork. 

Get this book before it sells out. 

(c) Rock And Roll Detective(r) LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

New McCartney Career Compilation Album due In June


McCartney curated career-spanning compilation out June 10

Release of career-spanning collection, from 1970 debut solo album all the way through 2012’s "My Valentine", 2014's "Hope For The Future" and 2015’s "Say Say Say" remix.

Available on June 10 in three different formats; 2CD, 4CD and 4LP, all featuring versions of Paul's greatest solo, Wings and Fireman compositions.

4CD version features 67 tracks, more than 40 of which were Top 40 hits including "Maybe I'm Amazed", "Live and Let Die", "Mull Of Kintyre", "Ebony and Ivory", "Dance Tonight" and "New".

Paul McCartney and his music need no introduction. Together with three of his friends, he changed the cultural landscape forever.  

And Paul’s accomplishments since then as a member of Wings and a solo artist make for a staggering body of work that stands proudly alongside those eight sensational years with The Beatles.  

Pure McCartney, a new compilation of his solo, Wings and Fireman work, celebrates that fact, showcasing 67 highlights from one of the most-revered catalogues in music - from McCartney in 1970, his debut solo album, right through to "Hope For The Future", his 2014 track taken from Destiny, the most-anticipated video game of the last decade. Not only is Pure McCartney a monumental mixtape of some of popular music's most memorable moments from 1970 to the present day, it also features curios for the superfans and some of Paul's personal favorites—all handpicked by the man himself..  

"Me and my team came up with the idea of putting together a collection of my recordings with nothing else in mind other than having something fun to listen to," Paul says of this project.    

"Maybe it's to be enjoyed on a long car journey or an evening at home or at a party with friends? So we got our heads together and came up with these diverse playlists from various periods of my long and winding career.” 

As a songwriter Paul has never stood still, dipping his toe in countless genres and styles. Pure McCartney is testament to that fact. From the songwriting masterclass of "Maybe I'm Amazed" and adventurous, three-songs-in-one of "Band On The Run" to the irresistible groove of "Say Say Say" and ahead-of-its-time electronica of "Temporary Secretary", described by NME when compiling a list of the greatest ever songs as “not so much ahead of its time, but out of it altogether”, Pure McCartney charts the unstoppable adventures of McCartney's unique and eclectic songwriting talents and shines a light on his post-Beatles artistic achievements.

"The word 'career' is a bit misleading because to me it has been more like a musical adventure than a proper job," says Paul, reflecting on the Pure McCartney tracklisting. "It pleases me, and often amazes me, that I've been involved in the writing and recording of so many songs, each of them so different from the others." 

Paul's unparalleled career has seen his music break global chart records, win countless awards, fill stadiums around the world and become the soundtrack to millions of people's lives across generations.  


DISC 1       

01.  Maybe I’m Amazed
02.  Heart Of The Country
03.  Jet
04.  Warm And Beautiful
05.  Listen To What The Man Said
06.  Dear Boy
07.  Silly Love Songs
08.  The Song We Were Singing
09.  Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
10.  Another Day
11.  Sing The Changes
12.  Jenny Wren
13.  Save Us
14.  Mrs Vandebilt
15.  Mull of Kintyre
16.  Let ‘Em In
17.  Let Me Roll It
18.  Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
19.  Ebony and Ivory       


01.  Band on the Run
02.  Arrow Through Me
03.  My Love
04.  Live and Let Die
05.  Too Much Rain
06.  Goodnight Tonight
07.  Say Say Say [2015 Remix]
08.  My Valentine
09.  The World Tonight
10.  Pipes of Peace
11.  Dance Tonight
12.  Here Today
13.  Wanderlust
14.  Great Day
15.  Coming Up
16.  No More Lonely Nights
17.  Only Mama Knows
18.  With a Little Luck
19.  Hope For The Future
20.  Junk     

PURE McCARTNEY 4CD – 67 tracks   

DISC 1       

01.  Maybe I’m Amazed
02.  Heart Of The Country
03.  Jet
04.  Warm And Beautiful
05.  Listen To What The Man Said
06.  Dear Boy
07.  Silly Love Songs
08.  The Song We Were Singing
09.  Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
10.  Early Days
11.  Big Barn Bed
12.  Another Day
13.  Flaming Pie
14.  Jenny Wren
15.  Too Many People
16.  Let Me Roll It
17.  New  

DISC 2    
01.  Live and Let Die
02.  English Tea
03.  Mull of Kintyre
04.  Save Us
05.  My Love
06.  Bip Bop
07.  Let ‘Em In
08.  Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
09.  Calico Skies
10.  Hi, Hi, Hi
11.  Waterfalls
12.  Band on the Run
13.  Appreciate
14.  Sing The Changes
15.  Arrow Through Me
16.  Every Night
17.  Junior’s Farm
18.  Mrs Vandebilt  

DISC 3       

01.  Say Say Say [2015 Remix]
02.  My Valentine
03.  Pipes of Peace
04.  The World Tonight
05.  Souvenir
06.  Dance Tonight
07.  Ebony and Ivory
08.  Fine Line
09.  Here Today
10.  Press
11.  Wanderlust
12.  Winedark Open Sea
13.  Beautiful Night
14.  Girlfriend
15.  Queenie Eye
16.  We All Stand Together  

DISC 4       

01.  Coming Up
02.  Too Much Rain
03.  Good Times Coming/Feel the Sun
04.  Goodnight Tonight
05.  Baby’s Request
06.  With a Little Luck
07.  Little Willow
08.  Only Mama Knows
09.  Don’t Let it Bring You Down
10.  The Back Seat Of My Car
11.  No More Lonely Nights
12.  Great Day
13.  Venus and Mars/Rock Show
14.  Temporary Secretary
15.  Hope For The Future
16.  Junk        



01.  Maybe I’m Amazed
02.  Heart Of The Country
03.  Jet
04.  Warm And Beautiful
05.  Listen To What The Man Said
06.  Dear Boy


01.  Silly Love Songs
02.  The Song We Were Singing
03.  Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
04.  Another Day
05.  New  


01.  Mull of Kintyre
02.  Sing The Changes
03.  Jenny Wren
04.  Mrs Vandebilt
05.  Save Us  


01.  Let ‘Em In
02.  Let Me Roll It
03.  Ebony and Ivory
04.  Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five  


01.  Band on the Run
02.  Arrow Through Me
03.  My Love
04.  Live and Let Die
05.  Too Much Rain  


01.  Say Say Say [2015 Remix]
02.  My Valentine
03.  Goodnight Tonight
04.  The World Tonight
05.  Pipes of Peace  


01.  Dance Tonight
02.  Here Today
03.  Wanderlust
04.  Great Day
05.  Coming Up
06.  No More Lonely Night      


01.  Too Many People
02.  Only Mama Knows
03.  With a Little Luck
04.  Hope For The Future
05.  Junk

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jimmie Nicol, The Beatle Who Vanished, Reviewed by Ugly Things Magazine

Ugly Things magazine is a really cool music periodical that covers the "wild sounds from past dimensions." The current summer 2015 issue #39 features a review of my book, The Beatle Who Vanished. The Beatle Who Vanished is the story of an unknown drummer, Jimmie Nicol, whose journey from humble beginnings to saving The Beatles' first world tour from disaster, was only one part of his legend. Though his 13 days of fame made headlines, the true mystery of Nicol's story is riddled with blacklisting, betrayal, drugs, divorce, bankruptcy and an eventual disappearance that led many to question whether he is dead or alive.

Jimmie Nicol in front seat with The Beatles on tour in June, 1964

British Beatles historian, Alan Clayson, has written an enlightening review of the book for the current issue of Ugly Things magazine. Clayson is well known for his books on each of the four Beatles: John, Paul, George & Ringo, as well as books on Roy Orbison and Brian Jones.

(C) 2015 Mike Stax / Ugly Things.

Ugly Things is a really cool magazine. I encourage you to subscribe and to visit their website: 

For a Free Excerpt of The Beatle Who Vanished follow the link. And to purchase either the paperback or eBook of The Beatle Who Vanished, check out: Amazon at this link.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Birth of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins And Garbage at Smart Studios in Madison

How did Nirvana end up in Madison, WI? How did they find Butch Vig? Could the noise-rock band Killdozer be the Midwest's link to the biggest genre shift in rock music history?

Smart Studios was started by Butch Vig and Steve Marker.

Steve, Duke, Shirley & Butch = Garbage

The Smart Studios Story covers the Midwest's post-hardcore scene, the early relationships of now-legendary indie labels (Touch and Go, Caroline, Frontier, Sub Pop, Slash, SST, Alternative Tentacles), and the circulation and broadcast of local music. Butch and Steve helped promote the bands and the shows with community radio airtime and cassette compilations that paralleled those of other regional, indie music disseminators like the Seattle-based Sub Pop Singles Club.

Smart weathered - literally - fires, floods and the foibles of a generation of rockers. The film captures what the space meant to the people who worked there and celebrates the recordings and experiences that, in the words of an interviewee who grew up in Indonesia, made Smart “hallowed ground.”

Check out the new documentary film about Smart Studios, directed by Wendy Schneider and learn how Smart became the "Abbey Road" of the Midwest for Nineties Rock and Roll.

The Madison sound
A selection of albums recorded, or mixed, or both at Smart Studios
Tar Babies: Honey Bubble (1989)
Killdozer: Twelve Point Buck (1989)
Nirvana: Nevermind (1990)
King Snake Roost: Ground Into the Dirt (1990)
Laughing Hyenas: Life of Crime (1990)
Smashing Pumpkins: Gish (1991)
The Young Fresh Fellows: Electric Bird Digest (1991)
L7: Bricks Are Heavy (1992)
Freedy Johnston: This Perfect World (1994)
Everclear: Sparkle and Fade (1994)
Soul Asylum: Let Your Dim Light Shine (1995)
Garbage: Garbage (1995)
The Promise Ring: 30° Everywhere (1996)
Fall Out Boy: Take This to Your Grave (2003)
Death Cab for Cutie: Plans (2005)
Sparklehorse: Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (2006)
Jimmy Eat World: Chase This Light (2007)
Hotel Lights: Firecracker People (2007)


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Beatles 50th Anniversary: How Did Jimmie Nicol Know Ringo Starr's Drum Parts ?

It was 50 years ago this month, that a little known record label named Top Six put out an album of sound-alike Beatles hits to take advantage of England's Beatlemania. The songs were recorded quickly and cheaply at Pye Studios in London. The vocals did not sound much like The Beatles' singing, but that didn't stop the producer from siphoning off a few dollars from unsuspecting teenagers, who thought the album was the real Beatles.

What made this album special was the presence of an excellent drummer named Jimmie Nicol, who had to learn Ringo Starr's drum parts in order to record these songs. At the time, it was just another studio gig that paid well.  However, Nicol grew to respect Starr's drumming technique after learning his parts. He recalls, "I though he was good, innovative, and Ringo was making the drums an interesting instrument for inspiring musicians.  He was probably the first drummer known by name, and to have girls cry their eyes out, to get a touch of!"

Little did Jimmie Nicol know that he would get the chance to step into Ringo Starr's shoes in a few months. He would experience the moments of girls crying and screaming over him and would actually get to put his knowledge of Ringo's drum parts to good use, as he took over in The Beatles at the start of their first world tour in June, 1964.

Read more in: The Beatle Who Vanished, by Jim Berkenstadt (Free Excerpt/ Signed First Editions)
Amazon (Paperback and eBook)
2014 (c) Rock And Roll Detective(r).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Jimmie Nicol and the day Kennedy Died

         Jimmie Nicol was a fast rising drummer in late 1963 London. He would soon be recruited by his trumpet-playing friend Johnny Harris into the elite "club" of recording session work. However, on November 22, 1963, Nicol and Harris were taking a cigarette break from a Big Band show in London when their world was turned upside down...

         This is an excerpt from the Amazon Best Seller The Beatle Who Vanished, now available at Amazon in Paperback and as a digital eBook download to any Tablet, Smartphone or PC.

Harris was intrigued by a Rock and Roll drummer who could also play Jazz and Big Band as well as read music. At the time, this was quite uncommon, for players usually picked a field of expertise and stayed within the genre they had chosen. “He was so good,” says Harris of Nicol’s drumming. “And he was as good at Rock and Roll as he was with the jazz music.”[i]  “The songs we played were live with Cyril’s band. They were songs the band had recorded earlier in the 1950s. We just toured around England.”[ii]
By 1963, Nicol had played so many gigs on his old Trixon drum set that it was time to upgrade to a new one. With the steady earnings he was pulling in, Jimmie was comfortable springing for a new, flashier Trixon Luxus set in blue “croco”.  It featured a shiny blue set of drums with a crocodile skin-type design that was an instant eye-catcher.  
Jimmie not only wanted his playing to be the center of attention, but he also wanted the eyes of the audience on his kit![iii]

An event, not easily forgotten, happened one night between Nicol and his trumpet playing pal Johnny Harris. Harris relates the story:
"I’ll never forget one night we were playing at the Lyceum Ballroom
near Covent Garden. It was November 22, 1963. The room was a converted movie theatre they had turned into a ballroom in those big band days. And it still had a back stage door. Jimmie and I walked out during a break in the show to have a cigarette and this stage door man said, ‘Hey, have you heard the news?’ And we said, ‘No, what?’ And he said, ‘President Kennedy has been shot dead.’ We just stood there in silence. We were dumbfounded. It was a terrible shock. So we just wandered around the street hardly talking to each other. We’d just look at each other and shrug our shoulders. It was awful. But you know, that night we just went back and did the job and continued on. But I will never forget how we shared that moment together."[iv]

The moment of sadness and regret shared by these two Big Band musicians created an even greater mutual bond that night. The tragedy in America had deeply impacted these two young British players.  Many Brits and Americans at the time had high hopes that the Kennedy presidency would usher in a new era of peace and prosperity. The friendship between Harris and Nicol was solidified as they shared this trauma together, and wondered about the future. Their professional collaborations would soon become even more intertwined, for both musicians were hurtling ahead at light speed toward new career opportunities looming in 1964; a year that would prove to be Jimmie Nicol’s watershed moment as a drummer.

Excerpt from The Beatle Who Vanished (c) 2013 Rock And Roll Detective(r) LLC. All rights of reproduction reserved.

[i] Ibid
[ii] Ibid
[iii] Ingo Winterberg, The Trixon Collection of Ingo Winterberg,  ( publishing 2010), 64
[iv] Harris Interview