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Voldar: Vintage Beatle suitcase once owned by George Harrison being exhibited in UK A suitcase that likely belonged to George Harrison and was used to carry belongings to a gig in the early '60s and then was kept under wraps most of 40 years is now on display in the UK, Dean Johnson of The Beatles and Me Facebook page told Beatles Examiner Saturday. The case came with the Beatles when they appeared at the Irby Village Hall on Sept. 7, 1962. (You can see a ticket from the show here.) The show was one of Ringo Starr's first appearances with the band and a month before their first hit Love Me Do. t was found after the show by Jim Irlam (one account identifies him as Dave Irlam), who, according to available information, was tidying the small room they had stored their belongings in and noticed a suitcase marked GH Speke. Speke is the area of Liverpool that George lived in. The case is made of compressed cardboard with plastic trim, and has George Harrison's initials on its sides. A small note on it says: "Mr George Harrison c/o Beatles Party." The suitcase is an American make. http://www.examiner.com/article/vintage-beatle-suitcase-once-owned-by-george-harrison-being-exhibited-uk

Voldar: George Harrison Henley-on-Thames statue campaign halted The man hoping to erect a statue to The Beatles' George Harrison in Oxfordshire has halted his campaign following a response from the star's widow. James Lambert, 42, from Henley-on-Thames, wrote to Olivia Harrison but was informed she would prefer a community project in his name. Mr Lambert admitted: "The statue could create problems of different types of fans turning up, the unwanted fans." Harrison lived in the town until his death in 2001. Mr Lambert added: "Gauging the pulse in terms of Henley residents I think there was a lot of support. "This petition wasn't tapping into the Beatles fanfare worldwide, it was much more to recognise George's contribution to Henley and the affection Henley had for him. "It is slightly disappointing but you have to respect Olivia's wishes, as she still has a house in Henley, Friar Park. "And I think the danger was it wouldn't just become a Henley acknowledgement of George's work but would encourage more people to visit Henley. "I think what she's suggesting in terms of a community project would be great and it'll be very exciting to see exactly how this transpires." Harrison, who wrote the hits Something, Here Comes the Sun, and My Sweet Lord, moved to the town in the 1970s when he bought a large stately home and saved it from demolition. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-20997626

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Voldar: " ..." 55 Years Ago: George Harrison Joins John Lennon and Paul McCartney in the Quarry Men The third part of the equation that would become the Beatles fell into place on Feb. 6, 1958. George Harrison joined the Quarry Men, the John Lennon-led group that Paul McCartney had joined as a second guitarist and singer the previous summer. Harrison, who was a few weeks shy of his 15th birthday, had known McCartney for about a year. The two were students at the Liverpool Institute and frequently took the same bus to and from school. A friendship blossomed, and the two began jamming together, even after McCartney had moved from Speke to Allerton. When the Quarry Men named after the Quarry Bank High School where the band was formed the years earlier were looking to bring in a third guitarist (they had the idea long before Lynyrd Skynyrd), McCartney suggested his friend. The audition took place, strangely enough, on the top of a double-decker bus. At McCartneys prompt, Harrison took out his guitar and played Bill Justis R&B instrumental Raunchy, a No. 2 hit on Sun Records in 1957. Lennon was impressed with the note-perfect rendition. But the 17-year old Lennon, who was already at Liverpool Art College, had reservations about being in a group with such a youngster. As McCartney put it in Anthology, It seemed an awful lot at the time. If we wanted to do anything grown-up we worried about George looking young. We thought, He doesnt shavecant we get him to look like a grown-up? Typically, Lennon, also in Anthology, put it more bluntly. George looked even younger than Paul and Paul looked about 10, with his baby face. But Harrisons skill was too good to overlook for Lennon who, despite leading a band was still very much a novice on his instrument, We asked George to join because he knew more chords, he said. We got a lot from him. Paul had a friend at school who would discover chords, and these would be passed round Liverpool. Every time we learnt a new chord, wed write a song around it. Another advantage to having Harrison in the group was that his mother didnt object to the boys coming over and rehearsing. In fact, she welcomed it and would often give the teenagers small glasses of whiskey. Three of the pieces were now in place. Over the next four years they would try out different names and bandmates, honing their musical and songwriting chops all the while, before the unstoppable force that became known as the Beatles were unleashed upon the world. http://ultimateclassicrock.com/55-years-ago-harrison-joins-quarry-men/

Voldar: . Los Angeles Beatles tour celebrates George Harrison As his birthday on February 25 approaches, the Magical History Tour of Los Angeles celebrates the life of George Harrison with special tours that highlight many of the places in the Los Angeles area that were special to him. No place in the U.S. has as much combined Beatles history as Los Angeles, and Magical History tour guide Gillian Lomax has spent a lot of time researching her tour. Some of the special stops on the tour of interest to George Harrison fans include the house up on Blue Jay Way in the Hollywood Hills, where George lived in the late 60's and wrote the famous song, and another house in Holmby Hills that he rented. Lake Shrine In addition, the tour visits the breathtaking Lake Shrine in Pacific Pallisades. A very emotional part of the tour, this was one of George's favorite places in Los Angeles, and was the site of his memorial service when he passed away in 2001. There are other George surprises on the tour, as well as other interesting places that are part of the fascinating history of the Beatles in Los Angeles. "Most people don't associate Los Angeles with The Beatles, but in fact they've had a personal connection with our city since 1964," said Gillian, who was originally raised in Merseyside across from Liverpool. http://www.beatlesnews.com/blog/the-beatles/201302081437/los-angeles-beatles-tour-celebrates-george-harrison.html

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Voldar: - 70! . George Harrison birthday celebration moved due to conflict with Oscars A public gathering to celebrate the 70th birthday of George Harrison will take place on Monday, February 25 at George's Hollywood Walk of Fame star in front of the Capitol Records tower building in Hollywood. The celebration, originally planned this year for February 24, is being held on Monday, February 25 due to logistical considerations regarding the Academy Awards ceremonies taking place on Sunday. Some claim George was born on February 24, others say it was February 25. George always said it was February 25. The special event is free to the public. Fans of George Harrison and the Beatles are invited to bring candles and flowers to place around Harrison's star. The highlight of the event will be a public cake-cutting ceremony at 6:30 PM led by Chris Carter, radio host of Breakfast With the Beatles. Fans at the event will also be invited to sign a large "George Harrison 70th Birthday Message Card", which will be sent to George's wife Olivia Harrison. Jerry Rubin, one of the organizers of the event, said, "It would be a good thing for fans, wherever they may be, to play George Harrison and Beatles songs and share some birthday cake with friends and family on both days in loving remembrance of 'the quiet Beatle' on his special 70th birthday." The event takes place Monday, February 25, 2013, George Harrison's 70th birthday, at 6:00PM (until 8:00PM), at George Harrison's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in front of the Capitol Records tower building, which is located at 1750 N. Vine Street in Los Angeles. http://www.beatlesnews.com/blog/the-beatles/201302141322/george-harrison-birthday-celebration-moved-due-to-conflict-with-oscars.html

Voldar: , . Unseen Beatles Photographs By Henry Grossman Featured In New Book When Henry Grossman was 27 years old, he was hired to photograph the Beatles' U.S. TV debut on the Ed Sullivant Show. He spent the next four years traveling with the band, spending time with them in their houses and the studio. The surprising part: nearly all of his 6,500 photographs of the Fab Four have never been published. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/16/unseen-beatles-photograph_n_2698084.html#slide=2116138

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Voldar: The Beatles, Taxman Lyrics Uncovered Yes, its that time of year again, when we sort through all of our receipts and forms and pay more than our fair share to Uncle Sam. As weve been trying to figure out just how much we owe, one song in particular has been going through our heads repeatedly, Taxman by the Beatles. Written by George Harrison, Taxman kicked off their 1966 album Revolver. The lyrics are a scathing comment on Britains high rate of taxation. While its opening line Let me tell you how it will be / Heres one for you, 19 for me may seem hyperbolic, it was actually quite true. At the time, the wealthiest in Great Britain were taxed at 83 percent, with a surtax that added an extra 15 percent. The surtax was abolished in 1973. As Harrison, who came from an impoverished background, began to make millions of pounds, he soon found out about the unfairness of these policies and lashed out about them in song. He portrayed the government, in the voice of one of Her Majestys tax collectors, as unrepentantly greedy. The lyric Be thankful I dont take it all echoes the famous remarks by former Prime Minister Harold MacMillan, who, in 1957, said that most of our people have never had it so good. While Britains economy at the time was strong, many considered it to be dismissive and condescending. Harrison was bipartisan in his attack. In the third verse, he (via the backing vocals of John Lennon and Paul McCartney) took aim at Prime Minister Harold Wilson of the Labour Party, and Edward Heath, leader of the Conservative Party. An earlier take, which was released on Anthology 2′ in 1996, found John and Paul singing Anybody got a bit of money? in its place. Its been said that the only two things in life that are guaranteed are death and taxes, and the final verse of Taxman brings both of them together. The couplet, Now my advice for those who die / Declare the pennies on your eyes is a reference to the practice in ancient civilizations of placing coins on the eyes of the deceased as a fare for the mythical ferryman who brought souls across a river into the afterlife. One quick note about the music. Although Taxman was written by Harrison, the lead guitarist, he did not play the guitar solos. They were performed by McCartney, who dashed off the seven-bar solo in the middle, which was then copied and tacked on to the end. http://ultimateclassicrock.com/the-beatles-taxman-lyrics-uncovered/

Voldar: Sister makes plans to honor George Harrison's first U.S. visit 50 years ago Louise Harrison, George Harrison's sister, said Friday in a phone interview she plans to make a DVD to honor the 50th anniversary of George Harrison's visit to the U.S. the year before Beatlemania hit. We're thinking about making a DVD telling the story about 1963, when I first came to the United States and started trying to move heaven and earth trying to get (the Beatles) records played in this country, she said. We'll put some pictures and talking about my mum sending me 'From Me To You' and then George bringing 'She Loves You.' And I can have my band (Liverpool Legends) sing on it. We're hoping to have it ready for the 50th anniversary of George's visit in '63, which is coming up in September. We'll be talking about 1963, what I was up to and what he was up to. She said it'll also be the 50th anniversary of the first Beatle (George) to perform in the United States. George Harrison visited the United States in 1963, the year before the Beatles themselves came to the U.S. The visit was documented in a film, A Beatle in Benton, Illinois and a book by Jim Kirkpatrick, Before He Was Fab. She said she and the Liverpool Legends will also be performing at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater in Branson, Mo., from June 4 to Aug. 2. Tell everybody to come and get a hug. http://www.examiner.com/article/sister-make-plans-to-honor-george-harrison-s-first-u-s-visit-50-years-ago

Voldar: . Before the British Invasion, a Beatle Comes to America Brow Beat is following the Beatles in real time, 50 years later, from their first chart-topper to their final rooftop concert. Fifty years ago this month, George Harrison made an early trip to America. Andrew Jackson, author of Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles Solo Careers, describes the trip, including how Harrison found his future No. 1. When the Beatles were given the rare luxury of time off in September 1963, John Lennon and his wife Cynthia went to Paris, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr went to Greece, and George Harrison traveled to Benton, Ill., a coal-mining town of 9,500, to visit his older sister, Louise Lou Caldwell. The Beatles were still almost completely unknown in the United States, and Lou, who had moved to southern Illinois with her husband, a mining engineer, was keen to promote them to the Top 40 radio stations in the region. Harrison arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 16 accompanied by his older brother Peter. Harrison and Lou hitchhiked to local radio station WFRX, where Harrison gave his first American interview to the station owners teenage daughter. Lou knew a guy from the local dry cleaner named Gabe McCarty who played bass in a band called the Four Vests, and McCarty showed Harrison around for the next two weeks, taking him to guitar stores (Harrison bought a Rickenbacker 425 in one) and the local drive-in restaurant, where Harrison was reportedly transfixed by the waitresses on roller skates. On Sept. 28, Harrison played his first show in the U.S. The Four Vests invited him onstage during their gig at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Eldorado, Ill. They introduced Harrison as the Elvis of England, and he ripped through some of the usual covers from the Beatles live act Johnny B. Goode, Matchbox, and Roll Over Beethovenalong with Hank Williams Your Cheatin Heart. According to Lou, the audience was indifferent to the Vests until Harrison got the crowd clapping and stomping their feet. Harrison and his brother then visited New York for a few days before flying back to England on Oct. 3. Harrison combed the record stores of both Illinois and New York and picked up a lot of R&B, including records by Bobby Bland and Booker T. and the MGs. He also came across the self-titled debut album of James Ray, an R&B singer whose single If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody was a regular part of the Beatles act. The purchase proved fateful: More than two decades later, Harrison returned to that same LP to find the last No. 1 hit by any solo Beatle, Got My Mind Set on You. By that time, Ray, though beloved by the Beatles, was long dead and largely forgotten. James Ray Raymond was born in 1941 in Washington, D.C. He released his first single, the plaintive Make Her Mine, in 1959 under the name Little Jimmy Ray, because he was five feet tall and sounded like Little Willie John (whose Leave My Kitten Alone the Beatles covered in 1964 to incendiary effect). But Make Her Mine did not make a splash, and by 1961 Ray was homeless, sleeping on a rooftop and singing on street corners for money. His luck changed briefly when Rudy Clark, the man who would write Ive Got My Mind Set On You (Parts 1 & 2) for Ray, discovered him singing in a club. Clark, six years older than Ray, was a mailman whose route included the office for the Caprice Record label. Songwriting was Clarks passion, so he performed his material for label owner Gerry Granahan, who said he was interested in the songs if Clark could find someone else to sing them. Clark returned with Ray in tow and Granahan quickly produced Ray performing Clarks If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody. He also bought Ray a new set of clothes and found him a place to live. After the song hit, the team followed it up with the James Ray album, which included the Clark-penned Ive Got My Mind Set On You (Parts 1 & 2). Arranger Hutch Davie (Sleep Walk, My Boyfriends Back) matched Rays strong, clear voice with imposing horns, a trilling gospel choir, country-flavored strings, and even a banjo, all rising to a dynamic crescendo. But neither Set On You nor the albums other single, Itty Bitty Pieces, made much impact for Ray. Ray died of a drug overdose, possibly in 1963 though the exact date is unknown. Clark went on to write such classics as Betty Everetts The Shoop Shoop Song (Its in His Kiss), the Rascals Good Lovin, and the Main Ingredients Everybody Plays the Fool (perhaps a nod to his first Fool hit with Ray). The soulful sound of Set On You resonated with Harrison, and so, perhaps, did its themesthe primacy of the mind (à la The Inner Light), the need for patience and dedication (à la My Sweet Lord), and the necessity of money (à la Taxman). But Harrison never covered the song with the Beatles. In August 1963, Harrison wrote his first song (Dont Bother Me) and would soon stop performing other artists material on Beatles albums. Twenty-four years later, recording a new solo album after a five-year hiatus, he realized he couldnt find a better anthem with which to stage his comeback. He omitted two lines from the original version, in which Ray laments that bad luck always follows him (which certainly turned out to be prophetic), and molded the track into a wholly optimistic statement that anything can be accomplished if one focuses hard enough. Producer Jeff Lynne lifted the drum beat from My Sharona and processed Jim Keltners skins with the ultimate 80s gated big drum sound. Lynne also stacked Jim Horn playing a Savoy Truffle-esque saxophone 12 to 14 times. Warner Brothers shelled out for a slick video with a purple-jacketed Harrison doing backflips in his study while his furniture comes to life. Got My Mind Set On You became the last No. 1 U.S. single by any solo Beatle. Harrisons album Cloud Nine made the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic. The song crossed over from the Baby Boomers to the Gen Xers in high school, the last time the Beatles as solo artists were commercially potent with teenagers. It even generated a Weird Al Yankovic parody, (This Songs Just) Six Words Long. The hit made Harrison the Beatle with the second-most No. 1 solo singles in the U.S., with three. McCartney had nine, and Lennon and Ringo were tied with two. n the mid-90s, Lou Harrisons old house at 113 McCann Street in Benton, Ill., was saved from demolition and turned into the Hard Days Nite Bed and Breakfast and Museum, celebrating Harrisons first trip to the U.S. The B&B has since closed and the site is now a four-unit apartment complex, but this month a marker will be unveiled at Bentons Capitol Park to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Harrisons visit. Lou is scheduled to attend the dedication ceremony on Sept. 21. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/09/19/george_harrison_s_trip_to_benton_illinois_before_the_british_invasion_a.html