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The Beatles Naked

Author: Richard Buskin & Erik Taros

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The ultimate Beatles podcast: Deep research, unconventional topics, probing interviews and hard-hitting info that doesn't pull any punches. Hosted by Erik Taros and Richard Buskin.
33 Episodes
Lennon the storyteller, the cynic, the victim—of his own insecurities and desires, controlled by the woman of his dreams…and nightmares. The last song recorded for The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album, ‘Girl’ is one of its main composer’s most intriguing, sophisticated, nuanced lyrical efforts—brought to life by a young conversationalist’s charismatic, world-weary voice, wrapped inside tits, sighs and Greek-style guitar. It’s an amazing track. And it’s inspired this episode’s multiple takes on its two protagonists. The Music: recordings of ‘Girl’ by… The Beatles Tiny Tim with Brave Combo DJ Style featuring KSS Medley: Kai Hyttinen (Finnish) / Dalida (Italian) / Johnny Hallyday (French) / Peppino di Capri (Italian) / Ovelha (Portuguese) SaRachel
The Beatles' songs often have such creativity, depth and nuance. Lyrics open to multiple interpretations, married to music that simultaneously captures and conveys the 'feel' of those lyrics. Here, together with sociologist Candy Leonard, author of the book 'Beatleness: How the Beatles and Their Fans Remade the World', we discuss the songwriters' journey: from the days of sexual innuendo in their lyrics to those, just a few years later, of overt references - while transitioning from misogyny to feminism with love thrown into the mix. The Music Girl Getting Better Happiness is a Warm Gun Why Don’t We Do it in the Road Don’t Let Me Down I’ve Got a Feeling I Saw Her Standing There Please Please Me She Loves You I’ll Get You All I’ve Got to Do You Can’t Do That I’ll Cry Instead Run for Your Life She’s a Woman When I Get Home Another Girl You’re Going to Lose That Girl The Night Before Day Tripper Lovely Rita Yer Blues Oh! Darling She’s So Heavy Woman is the Nigger of the World Hi, Hi, Hi Woman
It’s one of the greatest rock voices of all time: alternately melodic, raw, sweet and supercharged while also extremely versatile and infused with different characters. Paul McCartney’s lead, harmony and backing vocals have graced tender ballads, balls-to-the-walls rockers and almost everything else in between. But how did his talents in that regard develop and expand down the years? What has caused the vocal deterioration: insufficient technique, too much weed, old age or undisclosed health issues? And what, if anything, can be done about it? The answers to the last two questions—provided in our interview with legendary voice teacher to the stars Seth Riggs and his wife/vocal technician Margareta—may surprise you. Heart lead guitarist Craig Bartock and acclaimed music critic/musicologist/author Allan Kozinn are our co-hosts. For info on Seth and Margareta Riggs, go to The Music Oh! Darling That’s When Your Heartaches Begin Any Time at All/A Hard Day’s Night I Saw Her Standing There Hippy Hippy Shake/Ooh! My Soul/Long Tall Sally All My Loving Something/Nowhere Man You Won’t See Me Till There Was You I’ve Just Seen a Face/I’m Down/Yesterday She’s Leaving Home Fixing a Hole Helter Skelter/Why Don’t We Do It in the Road? I Will/Lady Madonna Besame Mucho/Golden Slumbers Rocky Raccoon/Honey Pie/Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey Monkberry Moon Delight Too Many People I’ve Had Enough Maybe I’m Amazed New Lonesome Town Sing the Changes Freedom Hey Jude My Valentine Cut Me Some Slack Goodbye
When, on Monday, 15th August, 1960, The Beatles left Liverpool en route to their first stint in Hamburg, West Germany, the five of them—John, Paul, George, Stu and the newly recruited Pete—were joined by five others: their manager/agent Allan Williams, Trinidadian calypsonian Harold Philips (a.k.a. Lord Woodbine), Austrian translator Herr Steiner, Allan’s wife Beryl… and her 19-year-old brother Barry Chang. 60 years later, Barry shares his memories of that fateful trip: in a van, on a boat and inside the Indra Club during The Beatles’ inaugural week there. It was Barry who snapped the now-iconic photo of the travellers, mid-journey, posing at Holland’s Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, in front of a memorial bearing the legend Their Names Liveth For Evermore. Half of them have now passed on; he’s here to recount how his routine vacation became the stuff of legend. The Music I’ll Follow the Sun The One After 909 I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You) Roll Over Beethoven Youngblood Ain’t She Sweet That’s All Right (Mama) Nothin’ Shakin’ (but the Leaves on the Trees) Catswalk
After they transitioned from a performing group to a more experimental, studio-based band, The Beatles also changed how they utilised television. No longer needing to appear on variety shows—and in comedy skits—to charm audiences and promote their records, they largely relied on videos to achieve the same. And they also used the ‘box’ more for messaging—about peace, love and spirituality… as well as about their business ventures. Nevertheless, there was still plenty of humour and some legendary small-screen performances: from ‘All You Need is Love’ on the global ‘Our World’ broadcast to ‘Hey Jude’ on the David Frost show—sandwiching their own critically-lambasted made-for-TV movie. The sequel to BN Episode 21, ‘The Beatles on TV 1962-1966’, this show transports us from the heady ‘Summer of Love’ days of ‘Sgt, Pepper’ to the public announcement of the group’s demise—by which time individual appearances were the norm and the world seemed to be a more serious place.
There have been fakers and imitators, tributes and rip-offs, but no one sounds like The Beatles on record—including the ex-Beatles. Nevertheless, some efforts have come closer than others, the most successful being those that have managed to capture the group’s essence rather than just replicate its sound while matching the standard of song material. In this episode, we dive into the good, the bad and the ugly—including those recordings which, bearing zero resemblance to the Fab Four, were promoted by bootleggers during the 1970s to fill the vacuum created by all of those unfounded Beatles-reunion rumours. The Music ‘Cheese and Onions’ - The Rutles ‘Can’t Get it Out of My Head’ – ELO ‘Because’ – Julian Lennon ‘Have You Heard the Word?’ – The Fut ‘Return to Pepperland’ – Paul McCartney ‘When We Was Fab’ – George Harrison ‘Lies’ – The Knickerbockers ‘The Girl I Love’ – The Five Shits ‘Pay Attention to Me’ – The Tikis ‘Talkin’ About the Good Times’ – Pretty Things ‘The L.S. Bumble Bee’ – Peter Cook and Dudley Moore ‘Black is Black’ – Lord Sitar ‘Carousel of Love’ – Peter Best ‘So Much in Love’ - McGough & McGear ‘We Are The Moles’ – The Moles ‘Peace of Mind’ – unknown ‘Frenzy and Distortion’ – Ravi Shankar ‘Pink Litmus Paper Shirt’ – unknown ‘No Matter What’ – Badfinger ‘Come and Get It’ – Badfinger ‘Sun in Her Hand’ – Blond ‘Coz I Luv You’ – Slade ‘Just a Smile’ – Pilot ‘Neanderthal Man’ – Hotlegs ‘I Must Be in Love’ – The Rutles ‘Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft’ – Klaatu ‘She Still Loves Him’ – Jellyfish ‘Sittin’ Here in Silence (On My Own)’ – Oasis ‘Costafine Town’ – Splinter
The Fab Four’s second film, shot in vivid colour, captured a very different group demeanor to that in A Hard Day’s Night. For that first effort they’d been pumped up on pills; this time around, they were laid back on the “herbal jazz cigarettes”. And director Dick Lester, together with cinematographer David Watkin, conveyed the blissed-out vibe via stunning photography, innovative graphics and offbeat comedy. The result, at the time widely regarded as inferior to its predecessor, is now acclaimed as a pop-art gem that, very much of its time, also helped to define its era while serving as a wide-ranging source of influence and inspiration. Towering above all, of course, were those personalities and their music… ‘Help!’ ‘The Night Before’ ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’ ‘I Need You’ ‘Another Girl’ ‘You’re Going to Lose That Girl’ ‘Ticket to Ride’ Selections from Ken Thorne’s orchestral score
50 years after The Beatles’ demise, Yoko Ono is still portrayed online and by the media as the quintessential witch who broke up a famous relationship and ruined a great thing. But did she really earn this reputation? And, if not, should she shoulder at least some of the blame for the group’s demise? A multi-layered topic, it sparks a lively conversation and clashing opinions, punctuated by The Beatles’ own recollections and a predictably eclectic collection of tracks. The Music ‘No Bed for Beatle John’ ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ (Take 7) ‘Yer Blues’/‘Whole Lotta Yoko’ (The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus) ‘Who Has Seen the Wind?’ Beatles/Yoko Jam (Jan. 10, 1969) ‘What’s the New Mary Jane’ ‘Remember Love’ ‘Don’t Worry Kyoko’ (The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival)
The music, the inspirations, the motivations, the performances, the reservations, the fallout... as well as the cloak-and-dagger story behind how the session tape was bootlegged. Here’s what really happened behind the doors of Decca’s Broadhurst Gardens studio in northwest London—as well as in altogether more covert circumstances on the other side of the Atlantic more than a decade later. The Music ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ – Barrett Strong, The Beatles ‘The Sheik of Araby’ – Joe Brown, The Beatles ‘Memphis, Tennessee’ – Chuck Berry, The Beatles ‘Three Cool Cats’ – The Coasters, The Beatles ‘Sure to Fall (In Love with You)’ – Carl Perkins, The Beatles ‘September in the Rain’ – Dinah Washington, The Beatles ‘Take Good Care of My Baby’ – Bobby Vee, The Beatles ‘Till There Was You’ – Peggy Lee, The Beatles ‘Crying, Waiting, Hoping’ – Buddy Holly, The Beatles ‘To Know Her is to Love Her’ – The Teddy Bears, The Beatles ‘Besame Mucho’ – The Coasters, The Beatles ‘Searchin’’ – The Coasters, The Beatles ‘Like Dreamers Do’ – The Beatles, The Applejacks ‘Hello Little Girl’ – The Beatles, The Fourmost ‘Love of the Loved’ – Cilla Black, The Beatles ‘How Do You Do It?’ – The Beatles
Physically fighting cancer and a crazed attacker while mentally preparing for his transition to the next phase of his spiritual journey, the youngest Beatle navigated the last stage of his earthly existence with characteristic faith, bravery… and humour. At the same time, racing to record an album worthy of closing out a legendary career, he wrote some of his most poetic lyrics to reflect and comment on the past, present and future—complemented by sublime musicianship that resulted in one of the greatest of all posthumous releases. Here’s the dramatic, sometimes harrowing, ultimately inspirational final chapter of a man whose humanity and creativity crossed paths with a mass of contradictions. The Music All Things Must Pass Your True Love Looking for My Life My Sweet Lord (2000) Any Road P2 Vatican Blues (Last Saturday Night) Pisces Fish Rising Sun Marwa Blues Stuck Inside a Cloud Run So Far Never Get Over You Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Rocking Chair in Hawaii Brainwashed Horse to the Water If You Belonged to Me
Charming, funny, provocative, hugely talented and already seasoned stage professionals—The Beatles were perfect for television during an era when sales of television sets were skyrocketing. And TV was also the ideal, all-encompassing promotional tool for the Fab Four. So, it was a symbiotic relationship. At first, they were more than happy to not only perform their songs, but also participate in comedy sketches… until they no longer needed to. This show examines the group’s halcyon TV years—and provides viewer sound recordings of several ultra-rare, ‘long lost’ broadcasts. The TV Appearances: (* = unheard since first broadcast) Morecambe and Wise – 2 Dec. 1963 People and Places – 17 Oct. 1962 * People and Places – 2 Nov. 1962 * People and Places – 17 Dec. 1962 * Pops and Lenny – 16 May 1963 * Juke Box Jury – 29 Jun. 1963 The Mersey Sound ¬– 9 Oct. 1963 Ready Steady Go! – 4 Oct. 1963 Val Parnell’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium – 13 Oct. 1963 Drop In – 3 Nov. 1963 The Royal Variety Performance – 6 Jun. 1963 This Week – 7 Nov. 1963 The Huntley-Brinkley Report – 18 Nov. 1963 Late Scene Extra – 27 Nov. 1963 Juke Box Jury – 7 Dec. 1963 It’s The Beatles – 7 Dec. 1963 JFK Airport press conference – 7 Feb. 1964 CBS Evening News – 7 Feb. 1964 The Ed Sullivan Show – 9 Feb. 1964 What’s Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A. – Feb. 1964 Big Night Out – 23 Feb. 1964 Around The Beatles – 6 May 1964 Beatles in Nederland – 8 Jun. 1964 Not Only… But Also – 20 Nov. 1964 BBC News – 12 Jun. 1965 The Music of Lennon and McCartney – 16 Dec. 1965 Circus Krone-Bau, München – 24 Jun. 1966 Independent Television News – 8 Jul. 1966 Reporting ’66 – 20 Dec. 1966 The Music: This Boy Some Other Guy Love Me Do A Taste of Honey Twist and Shout From Me to You Devil in Disguise I’ll Get You She Loves You I Saw Her Standing There Till There Was You Love Hit Me Money (That’s What I Want) All My Loving You Can’t Do That Nowhere Man Shout
“I exhibited all the classic symptoms of the unemployed, the redundant man,” Paul McCartney recalled in his authorized biography Many Years from Now. “And justifiably so because I was being screwed by my mates. So, I didn’t shave for quite a while. I didn’t get up. Mornings weren’t for getting up. I might get up and stay on the bed a bit and not know where to go, and get back into bed. Then if I did get up, I’d have a drink. Straight out of bed… I felt I’d outlived my usefulness. This was the overall feeling: that it was good while I was in the Beatles, I was useful and I could play bass for their songs, I could write songs for them to sing and for me to sing, and we could make records of them. But the minute I wasn't with the Beatles any more it became really very difficult.” This episode takes a deep dive into a dark period for the man who’d always been most in love with being a Beatle—covering the years 1969 to 1973 when he was battling his former bandmates, his critics, even his fans… as well as himself: an artistic force of nature at an existential crossroads; a master maneuverer, sometimes outmaneuvered. It’s the revealing story of a complex character and helping to peel back the layers are two experts on the subject: Allan Kozinn and Adrian Sinclair, co-authors of the soon-to-be-published ‘McCartney Legacy – Vol. 1: Beyond the Beatles, 1969-1973’. The music: Every Night Junk 3 Legs Dear Boy My Dark Hour Man We Was Lonely Maybe I’m Amazed Dear Friend Another Day Bip Bop Too Many People Give Ireland Back to the Irish Hi, Hi, Hi The Back Seat of My Car
Just over a decade before his ‘Lost Weekend’ in L.A., John had a full dress rehearsal during The Beatles’ third stint in Hamburg. It was April 1962, his friend and former bandmate Stu Sutcliffe had just died from a brain hemorrhage at age 21 and Lennon went off the rails – much as he would after separating from Yoko in ’73. Some episodes have acquired mythical status – and been embellished courtesy of numerous retellings. Yet, the truth still outstrips the legend. Here was Lennon unleashed – Lennon the rocker, Lennon the madman, onstage and off, dealing with grief and loss in his habitually loving, cruel, hilarious, hysterical, sometimes violent way. And helping us to paint that multicoloured, multilayered picture is Mark Lewisohn, reading passages from his unrivalled The Beatles: All These Years – Tune In. The music: Too Much Monkey Business I’m Talking About You I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You) I Just Don’t Understand A Shot of Rhythm and Blues Ain’t She Sweet Lonesome Tears in My Eyes I Got a Woman Soldier of Love Sweet Little Sixteen You should’a been there!
“It's rip-roaring, infectious stuff, with the accent on beat throughout,” wrote Derek Johnson in the New Musical Express. “Beatles For Sale is going to sell, sell, sell. It is easily up to standard and will knock out pop fans, rock fans, R&B and Beatles fans,” predicted Melody Maker’s Chris Welch. Nevertheless, the Fab Four’s fourth album has received mixed reviews down the years, especially when rated within the context of their musical canon. Worked to the bone with film, TV, radio, press and global concert tour assignments, The Beatles were also under pressure to deliver a couple of LPs per year. Unable to sustain the standard set by the all-Lennon-McCartney A Hard Day’s Night, its composers still produced some magnificent work, yet a few mediocre tracks, out-of-tune guitars and uncharacteristically questionable artistic choices gave the finished record an erratic quality that has resulted in divided opinions among listeners—including those discussing it on this show. Under-appraised and underpraised, Beatles For Sale is put under the microscope for a well-earned reevaluation. And what no one can deny is that even the group’s sub-par output—in the eyes and ears of some—outstrips that of most other artists.
What John Lennon described as "the most miserable sessions on earth" were recalled by George Harrison as "the low of all time". Yet, while such statements may have accurately reflected their respective mindsets, they also helped fuel widespread misconceptions about The Beatles’ January ’69 ‘Get Back’ project that evolved into the ‘Let It Be’ film and album. The fragmented, shoddily-edited Michael Lindsay-Hogg-directed ‘documentary’ has also played a significant role in spreading the negativity, as have certain self-acclaimed experts’ uninformed opinions because of their failure to listen to all of the tapes. For, therein lies a very different, far more rewarding story that will likely be revealed in Peter Jackson's new version of the movie. Regardless, that’s what Richard Buskin and Allan Kozinn (pinch-hitting for Erik Taros) focus on here: the many ups as well as the downs that took place at Twickenham Film Studios in the run-up to George temporarily quitting the group—and the project then relocating to The Beatles’ own Apple facility. In so doing, Richard and Allan not only examine the long as well as short-term causes for the disharmony—including the personalities involved and their invariably fascinating, often-enlightening interactions; they also provide a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the thoughts and discussions that helped shape the Fab Four’s still-reverberating artistic decisions.
Such was the growing British interest surrounding The Beatles by mid-1963 that, on 1st July, fans gathered outside the EMI Studios on Abbey Road where the group was recording both sides of its next single: ‘She Loves You’ and ‘I’ll Get You’. Since the late-Sixties, ‘She Loves You’ has been short-changed; dismissed by many as just catchy MOR pop compared to the Fab Four's subsequent, more experimental tracks. In reality, this one was every bit as groundbreaking: a unique, infectious, beautifully-crafted rock belter that saw the Lennon-McCartney songwriting team hit the ball out of the park before, five days later, they and their colleagues accomplished the same inside Studio Two. ‘She Loves You’ was unlike anything that had been heard before—in various ways. So, where did it come from? And what were the ingredients in its creation? Take a deep dive into a true classic.
How, when and where did our passion for the Fab Four first get ignited? What form did it take and how has it evolved, personally and professionally? Our friend Mark Lewisohn, the group’s foremost biographer, joins us for an informal chat recorded at Erik’s home studio that provides perspective and reminiscences from both sides of the Atlantic, reaching back more than 55 years to our initial encounters with John, Paul, George and Ringo on TV, radio, record and in print. It’s been a lifelong love story, focusing on not only the music, but also the personalities… and the humour. As such, this episode speaks to fans everywhere. The Music ‘I’ll Get You’ ‘She Loves You’ ‘Here There and Everywhere’ ‘The Inner Light’ ‘Look at Me’ ‘The Beatles Movie Medley’ ‘All My Loving’
During a taped business meeting attended by three Beatles and Neil Aspinall while Ringo was away - likely in mid-September ‘69, a month before that in which John would say he wanted "a divorce" from the group - JL remarked, "Alright, let's move on. We'll do another album. We'll all do four songs. How's that? That's fair." When the others showed no interest, he then said, "Alright, how about a Christmas single? Y'know, we finish it with a Christmas single. I think it's a great idea — I'm in." That changed after John and Yoko performed in Toronto with Eric and Klaus. But what if the others had approved John's initial suggestion and immediately returned to the studio? Between them they already had enough songs for another LP - songs that would end up being utilized for their own solo projects. Here are the tracks selected by your co-hosts… Erik Let It Down Look at Me Another Day Stormy Weather Gimme Some Truth Hear Me Lord Maybe I’m Amazed Oh My Love Art of Dying Child of Nature All Things Must Pass The Back Seat of My Car Isn’t It a Pity Suicide Richard Gimme Some Truth Maybe I’m Amazed Art of Dying Child of Nature All Things Must Pass Another Day Isn’t It a Pity Oh My Love When Every Song is Sung Every Night Beautiful Girl Look at Me The Back Seat of My Car What is Life Featuring a recording of ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ by Mark & Rosalie Cunningham, produced for this show.
At the suggestion of press officer Tony Barrow, The Beatles ended their first year of national fame by thanking the members of their UK fan club with a flexi-disc single containing a specially recorded Christmas message. So began an annual tradition that not only endured as long as they were together, but also mirrored and encapsulated their career: from the innocent fun of 1963 and 1964 to the biting cynicism of 1965, offbeat creativity of 1966, psychedelic surrealism of 1967, disparate contributions of 1968 and complete fragmentation of 1969. What starts off joyous ends up sad, with much of life in between – and guest appearances by George Martin, Mal Evans, Victor Spinetti, Yoko Ono and Tiny Tim. Featuring: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” 1963: “The Beatles’ Christmas Record” 1964: “Another Beatles Christmas Record” + outtakes 1965: “The Beatles’ Third Christmas Record” + outtakes 1966: “The Beatles’ Fourth Christmas Record: Everywhere It’s Christmas” + outtakes 1967: “Christmas Time Is Here Again!” 1968: “The Beatles’ 1968 Christmas Record” 1969: “The Beatles’ Seventh Christmas Record: Happy Christmas 1969” Dora Bryan – “All I Want for Christmas is a Beatle”
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