Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Not only did I read this week that Apple Computer is still battling The Beatles over over twice litigated naming rights issues... but that The Beatles retro image is now caught up in the modern politically correct anti-smoking fervor.

Capitol/EMI has scheduled the reissue of some early Beatles recordings, and in a bit of historical revisionism, on the cover, they've yanked the cigarettes out of the bands hands... and it's not the first time.

The Capitol Albums Vol 2 ( marking the first appearance on CD of the U.S. versions of Rubber Soul, soundtrack of Help!, The Early Beatles and Beatles VI )- will see the Fab Four's former nasty tobacco habit and two of Ringo Starr's fingers magically eradicated.

82 of the 92 songs on the new boxset are versions that have never been on CD including many of George Martin's original & stereo mixes, with the set due out in stores on April 11th.

A previous 1980's reissue of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" had Paul McCartney's cigarette removed from the frame, and a recent poster of Abbey Road omitted Paul's cancer stick as well. Ironically, a quick web search reveals several sites that sell old Beatles cigarette cases and recently licensed from Apple Corp Beatles brand Zippo lighters...

As you may know, the late George Harrison and Paul's wife Linda McCartney suffered horrendous battles with Cancer which may or may not have been linked to cigarette smoking...

George's first recorded vocal song ...

Beatles - Don't Bother Me

another early tune:
Beatles - Baby's In Black

Of course the most notorious Beatles cover censorship was the the infamous "butcher cover" that featured the band adorned with meat & dismembered babydolls...


Here's a 'cool' animated video of TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS

Do ya wanna know a secret?

Beatles - Do You Want To Know A Secret

A new book recently released by an Abbey Road sound engineer says that the original title of the Abbey Road record was to be Everest...

Everest being the brand smoked by the engineer of the album, Geoff Emerick. Paul was particularly keen on visiting the world's tallest peak, yet Ringo hated the idea.

With the release date drawing near, and the logistics of getting the band together for a photo on Mt. Everest seeming as insurmountable as the peak itself, a compromise was reached.

"'Well, if we're not going to name it Everest and pose for the cover in Tibet, where are we going to go?' a frustrated Paul asked one afternoon.

"John and George Harrison looked flummoxed. Finally, Ringo chirped in.

"'F**k it; let's just step outside and name it Abbey Road,' he joked.

"And that, believe it or not, is how the album got its name. It had nothing to do with how much they loved the studio, despite what the Abbey Road executives have claimed for decades. In point of fact, they hated the place. It was simply because they were unwilling to travel any further than they had to."

- from Geoff Emerick's new book : Here There & Everywhere:My Life Recording the music of the Beatles

here's an interview Emerick recently did on WMGK w/"Breakfast With The Beatles" radio host Andre Gardener


Meanwhile in the UK high court, the wigs are powdered and the stage is set for the ongoing litigation drama of Apple Corps Limited v Apple Computer Inc...

It appears the Beatles were always gentlemen about Steve Jobs blatant infringement on their corporate namesake. Upon George Harrison spotting the Apple computers advertised in a 1980 British mag, Apple Corp contacted the California computer makers. In what appears to be a noble gesture, The Beatles granted limited use of "Apple", in return for $80,000 in legal costs, and obligingly drew up an agreement to share their use of their trademark, in November 1981.

The terms basically allowed Apple Computer to operate under it's chosen namesake exclusively in the "computer" business, where as Apple retained rights in the field of "Entertainment". Apple Computer basically agreed not to place its name or logo on any products used for the "recording or reproduction of music" or "intended for synthesizing music."

Things went along well enough until 1989, when Apple Corps began court proceedings, claiming the computer company had breached their 1981 agreement by creating sound capabilities, music production software and computers utilizing the popular midi interface. In 1991, Apple Computer paid an undisclosed multimillion dollar out of court settlement believed to be in the neighborhood of around $30 milllion to continue operations under their now well established moniker. The final terms were somewhat circumspect though in regards to where the legal jurisdiction lay for the parties in any future disagreements.

Fast Forward to 2003, and the launch of the I-Tunes Music store, as the Beatles' Apple Corps states in a complaint that Apple Computer has definitely entered the entertainment business and breached their trademark agreement. Steve Jobs and Co. see the suit as a pain in the ass and figure if the The Beatles want to litigate, then send lawyers to San Jose for a prolonged American style tussle.

The Beatles have so far won the right to continue the matter in the U.K, and Apple Computer must pay for the hearings and an additional $181,940 for "final assessment of trial costs". Although the British judge did delight Apple Computer's chief counsel when he asked if he need be recused since he owned an I-Pod.

It appears that the case is a perfect example of how not to draw up contracts, with ambiguities everywhere, including most egregiously a failure to even commit to a legal jurisdiction for future imbroglios. Said Justice Mann, the presiding UK High Court judge who is hearing the reinvigorated case in 2006, "If their intention . . .was to create obscurity and difficulty for lawyers to debate in future years, they have succeeded handsomely."

The Beatles' attorney claimed in court in Wednesday's opening salvo that the computer company was eager to use the Apple brand on its iTunes Music Store, and had offered $1 million to Apple Corps for the rights in an earlier offer rejected outright by Neil Aspinall, Apple Corps' managing director.

Here we go again...

Beatles - Something

Beatles - Don't Let Me Down

Beatles - Here Comes The Sun

Beatles - Within You Without You

Beatles - Yellow Submarine

Hank Handy - Beatles Mash Up Medley

in more recent and rockin' happenings:

Next Sunday night I'm partcipating in a panel hosted by http://artsandmedia.netto help upcoming musician types foment the clout they'll need with booking agents...

You Can't Stop the Music
Ways to get your music moving - Music Booking Panel
Hosted by Independent Arts & Media and Lilycat.com

Sunday April 9th
7PM till 9PMish roughly
Edinburgh Castle
950 Geary (between Polk and Larkin)
San Francisco
$3 -5 (No one turned away due to lack of funds)

You have that band put together, have some songs that you think rocks, and
even have the merchandise; but you don't know how to get your music any
place where people will hear it?

Don't go at it alone, don't let some supposed experts lecture you on the
subject; "come and ask questions of our panel from the music industry
trenches, who are out there learning what works and what doesn't.

**Hear tales
and share a few of your own.

Our panel of real people from record label, radio stations, venues, bands,
and more
will be talking about such things as:
- Press kits
- Demos
- Best way to approach festivals, radio stations, labels...
- Booking venues
- Publicity
- Touring
- Do's and don'ts

***The panel will be largely casual Q&A from the audience.
DJ Puss Puss
Some of the people that you will be able to gain knowledge from will be:

Jesse Townley of Alternative Tentacles,
Killian MacGeraghty - of Gun And Doll Show ,
DJ Puss Puss - club DJ, music reviewer and Sister of Perpetual Indulgence
Jocelyn Kane, SF entertainment commisioner / Motogirl Productions
Charlotte Summer - local performer/recording artist

oh, and San Francisco's
underground music & art's scene jerk of all trades, yers truly, Lil Mike Martzke...

This educational and alcohol infused opportunity will be at a kick back 21+ locale with the best ales, single malt scotches and the finest fish and chips in town; so come upstairs into the Castle's dark performance enclave for a meet and great that will be running through the whole event.


other stuff:

I see that PA based Relapse records has released some early & previously fairly rare Mastodon demo recordings... here's a couple samples from "Call Of The Mastodon"...

Mastodon - Hail To Fire

Mastodon - Slickleg

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