Episode #28 — ‘Along for the Ride – Barry Chang’s Memories of The Beatles’ First Trip to Hamburg’

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

Episode #27 – ‘Post-Fab Frolics – The Beatles on TV 1967-1970’

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.

Episode #26 – ‘Some Other Guys – The Beatlesque Recordings’

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

Episode #25 – ‘Help! – The Beatles’ Seminal Pop/Pot Movie’

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

Episode #24 – ‘Walking on Thin Ice – Did Yoko Really Help to Break Up The Beatles?’

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)

Episode #23 – ‘Crying, Waiting, Hoping – The Beatles’ Decca Audition’

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

Episode #22 – ‘Leaving the Material World – The Last Years of George Harrison’

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

Episode #21 – ‘When They Was Fab – The Beatles on TV 1962-1966’

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

Episode #20 – ‘Out of My Head – McCartney’s Maneuvers Through His Post-Beatles Depression’

“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

Episode #19 – ‘Hamburg Spring ’62 – Lennon’s Original Lost Weekend’

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!