Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Beatle Who Vanished Movie News!

Amazon Bestseller, The Beatle Who Vanished, is currently in development with Ecosse Films in England. The film option rights to the book, were purchased by Alex Orbison (son of Roy Orbison aka “Lefty Wilbury”) and Ashley Hamilton (son of George Hamilton and the ex-step-son of Rod Stewart). Many Beatles fans may remember that Ecosse Films produced a John Lennon bio picture called, Nowhere Boy. Ecosse specializes in UK historical bio pictures.

The Rock And Roll Detective®, Jim Berkenstadt, is serving as a Co-Executive Producer and Script Consultant. Paul Viragh (known for the film, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll -2010) has been hired to write the script. Currently, the story is being outlined and a script is being written. When completed, the film will be released worldwide and will also appear on one of the streaming services.
We will keep you up to date as the film progresses. Stay Tuned.

Friday, February 17, 2017

"5th Beatle" Jimmie Nicol "The Beatle Who Vanished" in Development For Feature Film / TV Series



Ashley Hamilton’s 449 Productions and Alex Orbison, on behalf of Roy’s Boys Films, have optioned the rights to The Beatle Who Vanished from author Jim Berkenstadt who is known in music circles as the “Rock and Roll Detective®.” The two will serve as Executive Producers along with Berkenstadt on the project that delves into a heretofore-unknown chapter in Beatles’ history that was chronicled in Berkenstadt’s book The Beatle Who Vanished, first published in 2013.  It is expected that the property will take the form either of a feature film or TV streaming series.

Jimmie Nicol at his tryout with The Beatles June 3, 1964. (c) Mirrorpix

Jimmie Nicol’s life changed on June 3, 1964 when he received a call from a desperate George Martin who asked if the drummer could stop everything and go out on the Beatles’ first world tour, conditional on his passing an audition. He would replace Ringo Star who has been stricken with tonsillitis and pharyngitis and had been admitted to Middlesex University Hospital.  The very next day, the tour departed for Denmark, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand with Nicol spending two weeks as a Beatle, both onstage and off.  After Ringo recovered and rejoined the group, Nicol, for all intents and purposes, vanished.

Grammy Winning Producer and Drummer Butch Vig, who has worked with Paul McCartney, Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Garbage called The Beatle Who Vanished “a fascinating and mysterious read for anyone who wants to understand the meteoric rise to pop stardom and subsequent crash landing.”

Hamilton commented, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Jim Berkenstadt to expand his vision to another medium and expose a whole new audience to his riveting and previous untold Beatles’ story.”

Orbison added, “It’s a truly compelling story of the man who rescued The Beatles’ first world tour from disaster. He spent his 15 minutes of fame by the age of 25 then seemingly vanished.  This is a story that is both intimate and epic.” Orbison and Hamilton are hoping to foster the creation of an unprecedented soundtrack that will re-create the music from The Beatles’ tour with Nicol and from his entire musical career.

"5th Beatle" Jimmie Nicol & The Bealtes in Adelaide Parade Car(c) Hayward Photo Archive

Paul McCartney summarized the enigma that was Jimmie Nicol “It wasn't an easy thing for Jimmie to stand in for Ringo, and have all that fame thrust upon him. And the minute his tenure was over, he wasn't famous anymore.”

During the tour, McCartney was aware of the pressure that Nicol was under and would inquire as to how he was getting on.  Putting on a brave face, Nicol’s stock response was “It’s getting better,” the recurring comment providing the inspiration for the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band track “Getting Better.” Unfortunately, the opposite would hold true with Nicol.  After his 13 days of fame were over, the true mystery of Nicol’s story was riddled with blacklisting, betrayal, substance abuse, bankruptcy and an eventual disappearance that has led many to question whether he is dead or alive. He had become a mysterious footnote in Beatles history until Berkenstadt began his research. 


Jimmie Nicol with The Beatles, rocking out in Adelaide, Australia - (c)Newspix Photo File

Berkenstadt is the author of Classic Rock Albums: Nirvana – Nevermind (with Charles Cross) as well as Black Market Beatles: The Story Behind the Lost Recordings (with Scott Belmo Belmer). He is founder of Rock and Roll Detective® LLC, a company dedicated to providing production, publishing, writing, research, social media and content creation for the entertainment industry. He has consulted to the late George Harrison, The Beatles and Martin Scorsese.

Ashley Hamilton is an actor/singer/comedian and long time friend of Alex Orbison and his family; he is the son of actors George Hamilton and Alana Stewart. Orbison is one of the principals of Roy’s Boys LLC, the Nashville-based family company owned by the sons of Roy Orbison to administer their father’s catalog and safeguard his legacy.  Alex Orbison served as both Executive Producer and writer of the recent Mystery Girl – Unraveled documentary. It should be noted that the Beatles, with Ringo on board, were Roy Orbison’s opening act on a 21 date UK tour in 1963.  Years later Orbison would collaborate with the Beatles’ George Harrison as well as Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne in The Traveling Wilburys.

Jim Berkenstadt will be speaking and signing his Best Seller, The Beatle Who Vanished, at the FEST FOR BEATLES FANS 2017 – NEW YORK METRO on FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY, MARCH 3-5, 2017 at the HYATT REGENCY JERSEY CITY ON THE HUDSON (2 Exchange Place, Jersey City, NJ).

The Last Known Photo of Jimmie Nicol, The Beatle Who Vanished.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

New Beatles Film For Fans !


Production starts later this month on ‘Here There & Everywhere’ [HTAE], a landmark documentary film project, supported by The Cavern Club, The Beatles Story Museum, The Hard Days Night Hotel, The Fest For Fans, Abbey Road on the River and The British Beatles Fan Club, and many others.

The film, shooting throughout this year and released in the summer of 2018, is an 80-minute ‘love letter’ spanning the band’s history as seen through the eyes, felt through the hearts and as told through the memories of the fans . . . from those who organise the fan
festivals and tribute concerts . . the Club and event runners who keep the fans together, the memorabilia collectors who amaze and delight with their rare and unseen photographs and films. . . to the authors who continue to breathe fresh life into the never-ending magical mystery tour.

HTAE pays homage to the global family, showcasing their
contributions towards fuelling The Beatles eternal flame. HTAE is The Beatles story as told by the fans and an important part of The Beatles future archive legacy!

As part of the ongoing production the producers will also encourage artists and animators around the world to include their Beatles-inspired interludes in the film. But perhaps most importantly, if fans have a story to tell, then they can get in touch and the producers will look to include contributors and their stories in the film.

Many artists and bands will pack HTAE with performances. And special licensed recordings will also be produced, featuring
musicians and vocalists from around the world, creating a global Beatles soundtrack. The film will also feature a “surprise” finale, to be announced over the months ahead.

The film will be launched at a number of iconic venues after
release, with a TV broadcast release at the conclusion of the project.

The team behind the film

Simon Weitzman is the film’s director and the publisher, producer and author on three recent Beatles books. Simon also has 18 years experience as a network TV director, working for BBC, ITV,
Channels 4 & 5, Sky, HBO and Disney International Television

David L Simon is one of the two executive producers. He launched and managed Disney International Television Productions, was head of DreamWorks Television Animation under Steven Spielberg, and was vice president of programming for Fox Television Stations. David is also a lifelong Beatles fan

The second executive producer The British Beatles Fan Clubs very own Pete Nash, Chairman and magazine Editor of the legendary Club magazine.

Contributors to the PledgeMusic campaign will receive a signed DVD of the movie before the launch. Those who pledge for the DVD offerings will also see their name on the film’s credits, if they pledge during the campaign.There is also a more extensive Deluxe collector package available, plus preview, edit suite and launch cinema tickets.

To reserve your DVD copy and see your name in the credits go to http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/the-beatles-herethereandeverywhere to be part of the family making this film. The campaign starts February 9!

*Please note this film is completely independent of Apple Corp and The Beatles. It is not an official product of Apple Corp, or passing itself off as such. 

POSTSCRIPT: The Rock And Roll Detective has been asked to participate in the film. Looking forward to helping out.

2017 Rock And Roll Detective(r)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Newly discovered John Lennon Live Song Uncovered !

We all have the heard the story by now. How Elton John turned up at a John Lennon recording session in 1974 and they worked on a new Lennon solo song called "Whatever Gets You Through The Night". Later, Elton John recorded a cover version of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds". Both became big hits, and Elton asked John to come and play live with him if "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" went to No. 1. The song did hit No. 1 and the rest is history. Or is there something new to be learned from this event??

History records that John Lennon made good on his promise to Elton on Thanksgiving night 1974 at Madison Square Garden. It wasn't a sure thing, because Lennon was reported to being nervous, throwing up, and second guessing himself that night.

The soundboard engineer's original Concert Set List even demonstrates the last minute nature of Lennon's eventual appearance. They had to quickly squeeze in the songs Lennon would be playing on... See the tiny black print below.

The entire roof almost came down with thundering applause as Lennon was introduced as a surprise guest of Elton John's. Dave Morrell in his great book, "1974 The Promotion Man New York City (The Morrell Archives Volume 2)" , recalls: "Finally, Elton John had the great pleasure to introduce John to all of us. The place erupted. Besides the Beatles at Shea in '65 and Led Zeppelin here at the Garden a few years earlier, this was the loudest noise from a crowd I ever heard. The ground literally shook. John looked great. With Elton John on Piano and John on guitar they swept through three wonderful songs."

The superstar duo performed "Whatever Gets You Through The Night", "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "I Saw Her Standing There". The performances were perfectly recorded.

Eventually, a bootleg vinyl LP of the leaked recording came out for hardcore fans to hear what they had missed in person. And it was significantly John Lennon's last live concert performance. And to most, "I Saw Her Standing There" a Beatles tune,  was fittingly his last live song ever performed. Or was it?

Later, Elton John himself officially released the entire show on a CD called Here And There (Live) by Elton John. On the official release, John Lennon is duly credited on the three songs above. And three songs only. 

But thanks to Dave Morrell and photographic evidence to back it up, we now know that the last live song John Lennon ever performed, played and sang on is from this same concert! According to Morrell, an eyewitness, "John Lennon even came back out for "The Bitch is Back" encore."  On the song, John sings back-up vocals ("Bitch, Bitch, Bitch is back...") and plays tambourine. There is no notation of Lennon on the album credits or at the Wiki page for this album release (though there may be after this article comes out). However, here is the photo showing Lennon with a microphone and tambourine as witnessed and reported by Dave Morrell. The last ever live performance of John Lennon (Elton's "The Bitch Is Back") is not only at last uncovered, but recorded and released for posterity!

If you enjoy reading true mysteries in Rock And Roll, check out: The Beatle Who Vanished , the true story of Jimmie Nicol who subbed for Ringo Starr in 1964 only to Vanish one year later....
Article is 2016 (c) Rock And Roll Detective (r), LLC.   
For a Free Excerpt of The Beatle Who Vanished click this link

Monday, November 14, 2016

Rock And Roll Detective Uncovers Lost Beatles Concert Tape. It's Back On The Auction Block!

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 to pass off a vinyl boot as this show.) Previous interviews with The Beatles at this time, 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. 

The original reel-to-reel tape is up for auction again on November 27, 2016, at Cordier Auctions, after failing to meet the minimum bid of $2000 last August. 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 Harrison is heard 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 newly issued true multi-track soundboard 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 from the August sale.

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: www.voormann.com . 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