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Category Archives: Interviews by Happy Nat

Interviews of other interesting Beatle-people by Happy Nat or, in some cases, recorded live by Happy Nat.

Anthony Robustelli publishes Definitive Guide To The Music Of The Beatles, I Want To Tell You, Volume 1: 1962/1963

 

Anthony Robustelli, musician and author of I Want To Tell You Vol. 1: 1962/63.

Anthony Robustelli, musician and author of I Want To Tell You Vol. 1: 1962/63.

 

Back in February (2014) while I was making my way around and saying hi to a few of the vendors at The Fest for Beatles Fans in New York, I was lucky enough to meet Anthony Robustelli, who was there with his first book, I Want To Tell You, Volume 1: 1962/1963. Naturally, Anthony is a big Beatles fan but, even better, he was familiar with TheBeatlesRarity.com, and also a professional musician, so, of course, I was very pleased to hear this and strike up a conversation with him. He gave me a copy of his book and after returning home, I went through it and was quite impressed.

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Jonathan Meine discusses OxTango Music’s Star Club Remasters

Intro…

OxTango Music is releasing a newly-remastered 2-CD set of The Beatles recordings made at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany in December, 1962. The sound of what was originally low-fidelity recordings made while testing the PA system at the venue is improved to a point that I personally never thought possible. I spoke on the phone with Jonathan Meine of OxTango for about 20 minutes about the details of the project and the releases of the Star Club recordings in general over the years. I decided some background info may be helpful before hearing our talk but if you’re already familiar with the Hamburg recordings, feel free to skip this and scroll down the page to play our discussion right away.

Back to Hamburg

The recordings of The Beatles made at Hamburg Germany’s Star Club in December 1962 have a long and convoluted history. Having made four previous trips to Hamburg’s club circuit over the previous two years, The Beatles now had a recording contract with EMI, a top twenty hit single back in the U.K. called “Love Me Do,” and had even recorded a follow-up single that they were very excited about called “Please Please Me.” They had good reason to be excited because their producer George Martin had predicted it would top the charts. It was scheduled for release in only a couple of weeks so, needless to say, The Beatles were more focused on getting back to London and beginning a professional recording career than having to “mach shau” in German clubs. Nevertheless, the recordings made in Hamburg at this time are a highly significant piece of their history since this was the last time to catch the Beatles before they reached the status of national stars and the only account of any of their pre-fame stints from the Reeperbahn’s “red light” district.

 

2014 OxTango 2-CD collection of 34 newly remastered Star Club recordings by The Beatles including complete version of Red Hot

2014 OxTango 2-CD collection of 34 newly remastered Star Club recordings by The Beatles including complete version of Red Hot

 

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Producer Kathy McCabe reflects on the success of Good Ol’ Freda – a new and different kind of Beatles documentary

Good Ol' Freda DVD

Today is the release date of the fascinating new Beatles documentary Good Ol’ Freda on DVD and when last I talked with Producer Kathy McCabe and Director Ryan White (August 2012 interview here) the project was still very much a work in progress. I caught up with Kathy again this week and over the phone, she shared with me some interesting and humorous details about the ups and downs of making the film and her lifelong friendship with Freda Kelly, former Beatles Fan Club Secretary, and the endearing subject of this wonderful film.

To recap: Good Ol’ Freda is about the incredible experiences of Freda Kelly during the 11 years she served as the National Fan Club Secretary for The Beatles. Freda was, however, more than just a secretary. Along with Beatles manager Brian Epstein and The Beatles themselves, she was part of their inner circle and would visit with the family members of each of The Beatles to help them in various ways to cope with their sudden rise to fame.

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Shelley Germeaux of Examiner.com discusses personal experiences as a lifelong Beatles fan and her spiritual connection to John Lennon

John Lennon Examiner Shelley Germeaux, 2010

John Lennon Examiner Shelley Germeaux, 2010

I am very excited to share with you a telephone chat I had this week with Shelley Germeaux. Shelley is a very well-known and respected writer of Beatles news with a focus on John Lennon and if you’re like me and spend time reading Beatles-related topics over the Internet, you have probably seen her name pop up on several occasions. Shelley grew up in the sixties and like many young Americans who were around at the time, became a Beatles fan at the end of 1963 when “I Want To Hold Your Hand” started playing on the radio. She was only seven years old.

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Judith Kristen discusses her latest book “Once Upon A Time In Liverpool”

Judith Kristen - author of A Date With A Beatle and Once Upon A Time In Liverpool

Judith Kristen – author of A Date With A Beatle and Once Upon A Time In Liverpool

Okay I admit it…I’ve been holding back. Last December (2012) I had a great telephone chat with Judith Kristen about her newest book Once Upon A Time In Liverpool that she has teamed up on with Beatles artist Eric Cash to illustrate and I have not shared it with you yet. I did interview Eric about the book and more about his fascinating artwork (catch that here) and with everything that goes on during December on The Beatles Rarity, this never got out. But I have it for you now…

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Beatles-Artist Eric Cash discusses his paintings and new book

Eric Cash, Beatles artist

Eric Cash, Beatles artist

I’ve recently had the pleasure of speaking with one of my favorite Beatles-artist, if not most favorite – Eric Cash of Dallas, TX. Eric, a life-long Beatles fan who grew up in the sixties has been making quite a splash over the last few years with his beautiful oil paintings depicting various key moments in Beatles history. Having recently teamed up with author Judith Kristen to illustrate her just published children’s Beatle-book Once Upon A Time In Liverpool, I thought it would be an excellent time to speak with Eric about the book, his artwork and his passion for The Beatles. Get the whole story »

14 people think this is FAB!