Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth

Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth
Click on the cover for information about the book. Available to order now.

30 January 2014

A Hard Day's Night talkin' Beatles

Word is building about this year's inaugural Purbeck Literary Festival and tickets are already selling well for the screening of A Hard Day's Night at Swanage Legion on 22 February.
I've been asked to introduce the screening with an hour or so of talk about The Beatles and their Dorset links, followed by a Q&A for anyone who wants to know more. I'll also be showing some of the 200+ images from my book Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth, but I'm afraid if anyone wants  the famous shot of John, Julian and Mimi coming off the Sandbanks ferry they'll have to buy the book.
The wonderfully discerning online multi-mood machine/magazine Eyeplug has recently run an interview with me all about writing the book and getting it out there. You can read it here.

19 January 2014

Beatles talk in Hardy country

What would Thomas Hardy have made of The Beatles? Or Enid Blyton for that matter? Both literary giants have a strong association with the Isle of Purbeck and both will be well represented in the programme of events that make up the inaugual Purbeck Literary Festival, from 17 February to 2 March.
Blyton's Famous Five were, of course, described as 'The Beatles of children's literature' by one breathless commentator in 1970, around the time the Fab Four split. The reasons are convoluted, the reasoning decidedly tenuous, but the association is put up for discussion at the Enid Blyton: Greatest Publishing Phenomenon blog.
All of which brings us to Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth author Nick Churchill (right) who has been invited by the Festival to introduced a screening of A Hard Day's Night at Swanage Legion on 22 February. 
Nick will present an hour-long talk with images (hopefully) on The Beatles' Dorset Story and answer questions about the book and the various links The Beatles had with the area, including John Lennon's trips up the River Frome to Wareham and, of course, the photo of him with young Julian and Aunt Mimi coming off Sandbanks Ferry in April 1967.

5 January 2014

With The Beatles: Freeman's prototype cover shot

Happy New Year one and all ... as the man said, let's hope it's a good one!
The story of how Robert Freeman came to take the iconic cover shot for The Beatles' second album, With The Beatles, in the Palace Court Hotel in Bournemouth has been occupying life-long Beatles fan Ken Orth, from Savannah, Georgia, USA, for some time.
Ken's excellent article on the subject graced the pages of Beatlefan magazine late last year in which he offered a some new insights into the session that produced one of the most evocative images of the 1960s.
Chief among them was the background story of Freeman's first attempt at using natural light to produce a half-shadow effect in a group portrait.
According to Ken: 'Freeman decided to reprise a pose he had used a year earlier in photographing the principals of the prominent London-based graphic design firm Fletcher Forbes Gill (later the Pentagram design studio) for Vogue magazine. During that session he arranged his subjects in an overlapping tightly staggered pose and framed them in head shots from about shoulder height upwards. He also positioned a light source on their left, leaving the right sides of their faces inshadow. Freeman later called the resulting black and white photo his "prototype composition for With The Beatles." Looking back at this photo it's easy to see and understand his thinking.'
This is the photo:

There's more on how Robert Freeman came to photograph The Beatles in Bournemouth in Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth, which is available to order here.