Tag Archives: Taxman



A new documentary on the Beatles first U.S. concert makes its debut this month in selected theaters across the U.S.A. “The Beatles: The Lost Concert” will premier at New York’s Ziegfeld Theater on May 6, 2012. It will then be shown in over 450 other locations on May 17 & 22. See the documentary’s website to find a theater near you. Check out this website: www.lostbeatlesconcert.com

The documentary shows the group’s February 11, 1964, show at the Washington Coliseum in front of over 8,000 screaming fans. The concert footage appears in pristine video and sound for the very first time and includes the Beatles entire performance. The film also covers the birth of Beatlemania in America with a series of interviews, including Chuck Berry, Tommy Roe, Steven Tyler and Bruce Spizer.

The complete story of the birth of Beatlemania in America is told in “The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America,” which will be on sale through May 22, 2012. The hardback edition is priced at $25 and the paperback edition at $15.




Today’s trivia question pertains to the Beatles historic first U.S. concert at the Washington Coliseum.


What song was performed at the Beatles first U.S. concert at the Washington Coliseum prior to the group recording the song for proper EMI release?


The Beatles closed their historic first U.S. concert on February 11, 1964, with a wild energetic cover of Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” The Beatles, with George Martin on piano, recorded the song at Abbey Road Studios in one incredible take on March 1, 1964. The song first appeared in the U.S. on “The Beatles’ Second Album,” which was released on April 10, 1964, and in the U.K. on the EP “Long Tall Sally,” which was issued on July 19, 1964.

The set list for the Beatles first U.S. concert was written by John on Shoreham Hotel stationary.





Return to Main Trivia Page for more trivia

[stextbox id="info"]Join Bruce’s email list to get his weekly Tuesday Trivia question[/stextbox]



This past week we lost another great man in Dick Clark, who was known as “America’s oldest teenager.” To the youth of America in the late fifties through the eighties, he was best known as the host of American Bandstand, a dance show featuring Clark playing hit singles. In addition, the show often had popular artists lip-sync a song or two. Teenagers would get to see other teens dance to the hottest hits, providing the opportunity to keep up with the latest and greatest dance moves and music, all in one show.

Clark also would play new records on his show in the Rate-A-Record segment. Selected teenagers would be asked what they liked and didn’t like about the song (“It had a beat and you could dance to it”) and would assign a number value. Clark would then compute an average score based on the individual scores.

Although the Beatles never performed on American Bandstand, Clark did, of course, play their records. Although tapes of the show from 1963 are limited, it has been reported that Clark played “Please Please Me” in a Rate-A-Record segment in February or March of 1963, with the single scoring in the mid-seventies.

A bit more is known about the next Beatles single featured in Rate-A-Record. Shortly after the single’s release on September 16, 1963, Dick Clark played “She Loves You.” The song averaged a mediocre 73 score. According to Clark, “When the kids saw a photo of the four long-haired lads, they just laughed.” The band’s appearance and the song’s “yeah, yeah, yeah” refrain were totally foreign to what American teens were used to seeing and hearing in 1963. Clark would not play a Beatles record again until 1964 when Beatlemania exploded in America.

I twice contacted Dick Clark during the research of my books. He took time from his busy schedule to answer my questions in writing. My last contact with him was after his 2004 stroke. I faxed him a picture (shown below) of the Beatles receiving an in-house gold record award at Carnegie Hall and asked him to identify the three people in the photo other than the Beatles. He sent me back a fax identifying two of men, who were former business associates of Clark.


Dick Clark was the co-founder and initial 50% owner of a record label that later released singles by the Beatles. What was the name of the record company, the city it was located in and the two Beatles singles it released? Bonus: What were the names of the other two co-founders of the company?


Dick Clark was the co-founder and initial 50% owner of Swan Records, which was based in his home town of Philadelphia. In mid-September 1963, Swan released the single “She Love You” b/w “I’ll Get You.” Although the record initially flopped, it was re-issued in early 1964 and went on to top the charts and sell over two millions copies. Swan also issued a single featuring the German-language version of “She Loves You” backed by “I’ll Get You.” The record was titled “Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You)” and was credited to “Die Beatles.” After Capitol Records filed suit, Swan pulled “Sie Liebt Dich” from circulation as the label did not have the rights to issue the recording.


Swan Records was founded in 1957 by Dick Clark, Tony Mammarella and Bernie Binnick. By the time the label released its Beatles singles, Clark was no longer an owner.

Although Dick Clark was not implicated in the 1959 Congressional investigations into the music industry practice of payola (disc jockeys accepting money and other favors to play particular records), the payola scandal did affect him. American Bandstand was being broadcast by the ABC television network. In order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, ABC-Paramount president Leonard Goldstein forced Clark to divest himself of his ownership interests in record and publishing companies, including Swan Records.

Swan co-owner Tony Mammarella hands George Martin and the Beatles an in-house gold record award for sales of over one million units of “She Loves You.” Co-owner Bernie Binnick is in the background between Martin and Mammarella. The picture was taken by William “PoPsie” Randolph at Carnegie Hall on February 12, 1964.



The Taxman Commeth

Although April 15 is the date United States income taxes are normally due for individuals, this year (2012) the due date is April 17. Taxes were not due on April 15 because it fell on a Sunday. And taxpayers got an extra day to file and/or pay because April 16 was Emancipation Day, which is holiday obxerved in Washington, D.C.

While you are lamenting about how much tax you must pay this year, just remember it could be worse. The maximum federal tax rate for individuals in the U.S. this year is 35%. This maximum rate has varied throughout the years, starting in 1913 at 7% and hitting its high mark in 1944 during World War II of 94%. From 1946 through 1963, it remained high at 91%. The maximum rate dropped to 77% in 1964 and the following year to 70%, where it remained until 1982, when the first of the Reagan-era tax cuts lowered it to 50%, with 1988 having the lowest post-WW II rate of 28%.

The U.K. first imposed a personal income tax in 1799 under the direction of William Pitts. Although the revenue it generated helped the British defeat Napoleon, many Brits thought the tax devised by Pitts was the pits. The income tax was dropped and reinstated several times over the next hundred years. By the 1948/1949 tax year, the pressures of the post-WW II economy led to the imposition of a top rate of 95%. This was reduced to 91.5% for the 1966/1967 tax year. By 1978/1979, it had dropped to 83%. For 1988/1989, it was down to 32%. The top maximum rate in the U.K. is currently 50%.

As you can see, the tax rate during the sixties was quite high. No wonder George Harrison wrote a song about it, which gets quite a bit of airplay in the United States every April 15.


In the Beatles song Taxman, what is the tax rate, what is taxed if you take a walk and who plays lead guitar?


The tax rate is 95% (“there’s one for you, 19 for me”). This was the maximum tax rate in the U.K. at the time the song was written. If you take a walk, the Taxman taxes your feet. As for the hard-hitting guitar solo, it was not played by George, but rather by Paul McCartney.


Return to Main Trivia Page for more trivia

[stextbox id="info"]Join Bruce’s email list to get his weekly Tuesday Trivia question[/stextbox]