Tag Archives: James Bond

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50 Years Ago: Another full week of concert appearances for the Beatles

The third full week of November 1962 was another full week of concert appearances for the Beatles. After playing a night show at the Cavern on Sunday, November 18, the Beatles returned to the Matthew Street club for a lunchtime engagement the following day. That evening they played two shows in Staffordshire (85 miles from Liverpool), first at the Smethwick Baths Ballroom and then at the Adelphi Ballroom. On Tuesday, they played two gigs at Floral Hall in Southport. Wednesday it was back at the Cavern for lunchtime and evening shows. On Thursday, the Beatles played the Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead.

The weekend began with a mid-day London audition for BBC TV held at the St. James’ Church Hall on November 23. The Beatles played for ten minutes. The BBC was not overly impressed, failing to book the group for a TV appearance until several months later after the “Please Please Me” single topped the charts. That evening, the Beatles shared the bill with several other acts at a concert held at the Tower Ballroom. Saturday evening was spent in Wales at the Royal Lido Ballroom in Prestatyn, Flintshire. The weekend ended the same way the previous week did, with an evening show at the Cavern Club on Sunday, November 25.

With the new James Bond film tracking the success of the first movie, Dr. No, from 50 years ago, this week’s trivia questions return to the topic of Bond, James Bond.

1. In addition to such memorable names as Pussy Galore and Holly Goodhead, what character in a James Bond film has a name that is taken from the title of a Beatles song? Bonus: Name the film and the actress who played the character.

2. What song from a James Bond film title sequence nearly has the same title as a Beatles song? Bonus: Name the film and the artist who recorded the song.

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The name of MI6 Agent Strawberry Fields comes from the Beatles song Strawberry Fields Forever. She was played by actress Gemma Arterton in the 2008 film Quantum of Solace. Unfortunately, Strawberry Fields does not last forever in Bond lore. After sleeping with Bond, she meets an untimely death in the film, being covered in crude oil and left naked on a bed in a visual tribute to the third James Bond film, Goldfinger, in which Jill Masterson was found dead on a bed naked and covered in gold paint.

The title sequence song from the 2006 James Bond reboot film was You Know My Name, which is a great title for a theme song re-introducing James Bond. The song’s title is nearly the same as that of the Beatles song You Know My Name (Look Up The Number). The song is from the film Casino Royale and performed by Chris Cornell.

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Beatles and Beach Boys 50th Anniversaries

While the Beatles were at Hamburg’s Star-Club,
the Beach Boys were on a Surfin’ Safari

 

The Beatles wrapped up their two-week engagement at the Star-Club in Hamburg on November 14, 1962, and were about to start another round of club dates in Liverpool and other towns in the north of England. And while America was more than a year away from its first blast of Beatlemania, the country was beginning to catch a wave with the Beach Boys from sunny California.

The Beach Boys had signed with the Beatles future U.S. record company, Capitol Records, in the spring of 1962. Their first single, Surfin’ Safari b/w 409, was released on June 4, 1962. Surfin’ Safari got to number 14 on the charts, with the B-side, 409, stalling at 76. Based on the success of the single, Capitol recorded an album, which was released on October 1, 1962, four days ahead of the Beatles debut single in the U.K., Love Me Do. The Beach Boys album was named Surfin’ Safari to cash in on the popularity of the hit single of the same name. The album reached a respectable 32 on the charts.

During 1963, while the Beatles first three single releases flopped in America, the Beach Boys had three top ten singles, Surfin’ USA (#3), Surfer Girl (#7) and Be True To Your School (#6). Even the B-sides to these singles were hits. The first two singles, as was the case with their debut Capitol disc, had car songs on the B-side, Shut Down (#23) and Little Deuce Coup (#15). The third 1963 disc had the introspective In My Room (#23) on its flip side.

Capitol released three top ten Beach Boys albums in 1963, Surfin’ USA (#2), Surfer Girl (#7) and Little Deuce Coup (#4). This pattern of issuing multiple albums in a single year prepared the label for its 1964 release schedule for the Beatles, which included four studio albums and a documentary 2-LP set.

Although the Beach Boys and the Beatles both enjoyed huge success in 1964 – 1966, the Beatles were the more popular of the two groups, replacing the Four Seasons as the Beach Boys biggest rivals. It was a friendly rivalry, with Beatles and the Beach Boys pushing each other to greater musical heights.

Today’s trivia questions pertain to connections between the Beatles and the Beach Boys, who are both celebrating their 50th anniversaries of their first record releases this year.

Q: What Beatles song has Beach Boys style vocals and an assist in the writing of the lyrics from a Beach Boy?

Q: Which Beach Boy was with the Beatles in India when they studied with the Maharishi?

Q: What Beatles album inspired Beach Boy Brian Wilson to write and produce Pet Sounds?

Q: What Beach Boys album influenced Sgt. Pepper?

Q:  What Beach Boys song did Paul McCartney once call the greatest love song ever written?

Q: What five songs have been recorded and released by both the Beatles and the Beach Boys?

Q: What Chuck Berry song appears on the Beatles Live At The BBC album and on The Beach Boys Concert LP?

Q: What Beatles song did the Beach Boys record, but not release?

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Back In The USSR was written by Paul while the Beatles were in Rishikesh, India, studying with the Maharishi. The song has Beach Boys style vocals and a lyrical assist from Beach Boy Mike Love, who suggested that Paul add the bit about the Ukraine and Moscow girls, giving the lyrics a touch of the Beach Boys’ hit single California Girls.

  

The Beatles album Rubber Soul inspired Beach Boy Brian Wilson to write and produce Pet Sounds, which influenced the Beatles LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Paul has called the Beach Boys song God Only Knows one of the greatest love songs ever written.

The Beach Boys recorded and released five songs previously issued on Beatles albums. I Should Have Known Better, Tell Me Why and You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away were on The Beach Boys Party! LP. The Chuck Berry song Rock ’N’ Roll Music is on 15 Big Ones. With A Little Help From My Friends was issued in 1983 on the Beach Boys Rarities LP.

The Chuck Berry song Johnny B. Goode appears on both the Beatles Live At The BBC album and on The Beach Boys Concert LP.

The Beach Boys recorded the Beatles song Ticket To Ride during the sessions for The Beach Boys Party! LP. It was not included on the album.

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50 years ago: The Beatles and James Bond

The Beatles were in Hamburg and James Bond was in the clutches of Dr. No on Crab Tree Island

As detailed in last week’s edition, the Beatles were playing nightly at the Star-Club in Hamburg from November 1 – 14, 1962. During this time, people back in Merry Old England were enjoying the first James Bond film, “Dr. No.” In fact, the first James Bond film made its world-wide premier in London on October 5, 1962, the same day that the first Beatles single, “Love Me Do,” was released!

This week’s trivia questions pertain to other connections between the Beatles and James Bond.

1. Which Beatles movie contains gimmicks and music mimicking the James Bond craze?

2. Name the three James Bond theme songs produced by Beatles producer George Martin, along with the artist who sang each song.

3. In the film “Goldfinger,” what remark does James Bond make about the Beatles when discussing the proper temperature for drinking Dom Perignon champagne?

4. The James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me” has two connections to Ringo and one connection to Paul. Can you describe them? Hint: Two of the connections are linked to the theme song for the film, “Nobody Does It Better.”

5. Actor Richard Vernon appears in both a James Bond movie and a Beatles film. Name the two movies and the roles he played.

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1. The Beatles second film, “Help!,” was influenced by the James Bond craze. After confronting the Beatles as they leave their apartment, Klang and Bhuta prepare to follow the Fab Four’s car in a Harrods truck that drops tacks into the street. This “chase scene” parodies the classic scene in “Goldfinger” when the back of James Bond’s Aston Martin car releases smoke and oil slicks in front of the cars in pursuit. The music for this scene in “Help!” is a variation of the “James Bond Theme.” A portion of this music was used to open the Capitol Records soundtrack album for “Help!”

2. George Martin produced the following James Bond theme songs: “From Russia With Love” by Matt Monro, “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey and “Live And Let Die” by Wings. Martin also produced the score for the film soundtrack for “Live And let Die.” The book “The Beatles Solo on Apple Records” tells the fascinating and humorous story about how Paul was asked to write the theme song for “Live And Let Die” and the meeting between George Martin and film producer Harry Saltzman during which Saltzman asked Martin who they should get to sing the title song! Saltzman, who had used singers such as Matt Monro, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones and Nancy Sinatra for prior Bond films, had female vocalists like Thelma Houston and Aretha Franklin in mind. When Martin explained that they would not get the song unless they used Paul’s recording, Saltzman consented after realizing that having an ex-Beatle sing the theme song could be a plus.

3. After noticing that a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne had lost its chill, James Bond climbs out of bed to get a fresh bottle from the hotel suite refrigerator. He explains to his beautiful female companion, Jill Masterson, “My dear girl, there are some things that just aren’t done, such as drinking Dom Perignon ’53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs!” Shortly after insulting the Beatles, Bond was knocked unconscious by Goldfinger’s Korean henchman, Odd-Job. Although he recovered, the girl was painted gold from head to toe, causing her to suffocate from lack of oxygen passing through her skin.

4. The lead Bond Girl in “The Spy Who Loved Me” was Barbara Bach, who later married Ringo. The theme song for the film, “Nobody Does It Better” (performed by Carly Simon), was produced by Richard Perry, who produced the albums “Ringo” and “Goodnight Vienna” for Ringo. Finally, the guitar solo in the song was played by Laurence Juber, who later was a member of Wings with Paul McCartney.

5. Actor Richard Vernon appears in the James Bond film “Goldfinger” as Colonel Smithers and as the Man on the Train in “A Hard Day’s Night.” He is the stuffy businessman who is annoyed by the Beatles playing the radio and opening the train compartment window for fresh air. He’s the one who says “I fought the war for your sort.”

Thanks to Beatle Tom Frangione for Help! with this week’s trivia

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