When They Was Fab: Electric Arguments About the Beatles

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Best Episodes of When They Was Fab

Mark All
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Welcome to "When They Was Fab" (WTWF), the podcast formerly known as "Beatling About."    This week, the first part of our interview with Dean Ken Womack of Monmouth University about the commercial rerelease of his "Beatles Encyclopedia", and his forthcoming two-volume George Martin biography "Maximum Volume".      Along the way, we touch on George Martin's 1962 visit to the Cavern, whether "Please Please Me" could have been a live album, that other sixties icon, the Houston Astrodome and whether Sonny and Cher blocked a Beatles appearance in 1964.      From there to here, Happy New Year!  
Part One of the long-promised review of the Flowers In The Dirt Deluxe Edition.      Did the McCartney camp deliver with this in-depth look at what is widely regarded as one of McCartney's better albums?     How badly is the package hurt by the decision to include B-sides and rarities as download-only instead of a physical disc?     WTWF looks at the remaster, the acoustic "Paul and Elvis" demos, the band demos and touches on the download-only material this week.     Just how many copies of "Ou Est Le Soleil" is too many?
Happy Birthday John and Sean, Happy Anniversary Paul and Nancy!    We celebrate with the happy couple, looking back at some of the venues, both large and small that Paul has played in the New York City area.       He has hit all of the arenas and stadiums, but also ballrooms, theaters and some venues you might have forgotten.
Special guest for this week and next: Dr. Kit O'Toole (http://kitotoole.com/).     Check out her Beatles book ("Songs We Were Singing"), Michael Jackson book ("Michael Jackson FAQ"), and her "Deep Soul" column on "Blinded By Sound".   Our topic is the Beatles, George Martin, Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson.    There is more uniting the two acts than Michael's eventual purchase of the Northern Songs catalog.      This week, we cover the era up through 1980.      "It's My Party", Motown, The Oscars and "Let It Be", "Girlriend", "Countdown", "The Wiz", "George Harrison" and more.     
A split show.    We finish up our look at the "Flowers in the Dirt" Deluxe Edition, and slide into its spiritual cousin (in terms of contents, if not sound or production), the Fiftieth Anniversary six-disc Deluxe Edition of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band.     Stay tuned through June as we ceebrate "the month of Seargent Pepper" with a special guest, plenty of music and chat, our own review of the package, its contents, and some of the special celebrations both local and global!
1986 was a year of transition for the former Beatles.         The Lennon estate gave the world two legitimate discs from the archive as an appetizer for years to come.       Julian released his secod disc "The Secret Value of Daydreaming", and  conined his own world tour.      George Harrison took some steps toward a return to the madness that is the music business.      Some musical work was done for the "Shanghai Surprise" film soundtrack, but for the most part, the big story was tales of fights among Madonna and Sean Penn.  
Fifty years ago, the winter of discontent had subsided a bit and spring was around the corner.       Both George and Ringo expressed positive vibes to interviewers concerning the future of the band while work on the "Get Back" acetate proceeded.   Meanwhile, greenery was sprouting (and getting some arrested), while  the fancy of two young men in particular turned to love.
Part two of the WTWF interview with author and television producer Bryce Zabel.     This week we take a deeper dive into "Once There was a Way: What if the Beatles Stayed Together -- Breakpoint Book 2", but remain careful to keep spoilers to a minimum.      Could George Harrison have possibly brought Steve Jobs into the Beatles Apple in the early seventies, and turned him into a "Real Magic Alex?"       What would classic solo songs such as "Imagine", "My Sweet Lord", "Band on the Run" and "Photograph" be like had the Beatles still been around to record them?     Might there possibly be a life for this alternate history beyond the page?     Tune in and find one man's answers to those questions and many more...     More details on Bryce and the book at http://whatifbeatles.com
This week, WTWF takes a look at the members of the Jimmy/Joe version of Wings, which lasted from the recording of Paul's brother's "McGear" album through the recording of "London Town".         Where did the individual players come from?  Did Geoff Britton's references to karate facilitate his exit from the band after only five months?       What about those guys in the horn section?     All this and more in Part One of our look at the longest-lasting iteration of Wings.     
"The Concert For George" found its way back to theatres, home video, vinyl and CD to celebrate the birthday of a certain famous Pisces.     This week we do the same, with famed Beatles (and more) author Kit O'Toole (who will also be back next week).         We dig a little deeper into the show, and consider the musicians on stage that are not superstars.     Many of them worked with George in the tour of Japan, Dark Horse and NLP shows, but others are on George's records starting with "All Things Must Pass" and running through "Brainwashed".    
Kit O'Toole, aka the Queen of all Beatles Media (thanks Howard Stern!) joins us this week and next as we discuss Beatlemania (not the Broadway play), its predecessors and antecedents.   In other words, what do Franz Liszt, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Bay City Rollers and BTS have in common?    They have all been involved in the music industry, but each also spent a period of time surrounded by the adulation and hysteria of their fans.  
The year 1979 featured both good and bad for the former Beatles.      John was enjoying his time away from the music industry, a world traveler busking around, writing and playing music on his own schedule.     George was promoting a new record, while also traveling the world with an eye on Formula One.     Ringo, on the other hand suffered through major surgery and a house fire in Los Angeles.     Next week, WTWF presents Paul's '79, and the year for other Beatles-related figures.
Chuck Gunderson (Some Fun Tonight) joins the show over two weeks for a look at the Beatles tours of North America.     This week: 1964.       We briefly revisit Ron Howard's "Eight Days a Week", and the first US visit before the main attraction:  August-September 1964.      Unlike a modern tour, Brian scheduled 32 shows in 26 venues in 24 cities over just 33 days, with long plane rides the norm rather than the exception.
Paul Salley (author of the forthcoming book on Jimmy McCulloch) joins the show this week and next as we go through the 1974 McCartney and Wings film "One Hand Clapping".      The film has been legitimately available for over a decade, but is still less well-known than the Bruce McMouse project! 
Part two of the WTWF look at the deluxe edition of Flowers in the Dirt.     Remember the mini-controversy over Visa's exclusive sponsorship (and commercial) covering the 1989-1990 Paul McCartney?    That is touched upon as we consider the DVD included in this package.     Ten videos, three jam-packed featurettes and the full-length "Put It There" documentary can be found on this disc, and we tell you what's old, new, borrowed and turquoise!
A special episode!     This week Lonnie and I are joined by David Gargalino and Tom Hunyady for a commentary track covering the first hour of "Rockshow".     We spend a fair bit of time considering Paul's choices on tracks he has used to open concerts (from 1972 through the present day), and more thoughts on the Wings/McCartney concert experience, but manage to keep our comments relevant to what is on screen!        Tune in to "2 Legs:A Paul McCartney podcast" (also on podbean -  https://2legspodcast.podbean.com/) in a few weeks for more from the four of us (wearing raincoats) as we discuss the back hour of Rockshow.
This week - home audio reproduction and The Beatles.       Over the years, The Beatles have given us their music in many different styles.    Without going into the multitudes of physical media we can count: mono, stereo, PCM Stereo, DTS, surround, 5.1, 7.1 and now Dolby Atmos.    What does all this mean?     I take the time out to explain (to the best of my knowledge!) and highlight some of the goodies to be found in "the other speakers" from the ATMOS and Surround mixes of Abbey Road.      The show closes with Ringo's new cover of "Grow Old With Me" and a bit of audio technology from the days of yore.   The Beatles and "Out of Phase Stereo" (OOPS) through the years, and a brand new, tremendous fan-made "Real Love" mix!
2019 was a busy year for the former Beatles.      "Above Us Only Sky" premiered on Netflix in the United States (following a late 2018 UK premiere).   Ringo Starr toured across Japan and North America celebrating thirty years of the All-Starr Band.   He then followed that up with a new studio album, possibly his final full length album.       Paul McCartney released several additional songs from "Egypt Station", put out a children's book (and a book of Linda's polaroids), and also toured the world.      We discuss these milestones, look back on shows from the past year and look forward to what might be coming next.
The Thanksgiving Weekend has just passed in the United States, but we are extending it just a little bit longer.   The "Queen of all Beatles Media" Dr. Kit O'Toole (Talk More Talk, Songs We Were Singing, Michael Jackson: FAQ) drops in to extend her reign.     We celebrate the holiday by reviewing both sides of Paul McCartney's new "Record Store Day" single, and then travel through the mists of time as we each discuss some of the things about "The Cute Beatle" that we are thankful for!
Apple (and Apple) have released a higher resolution version of the Beatles Washington Coliseum show on iTunes at a very nice price!    Lonnie and I talk about that concert and the rest of February 1964 for the band.    A Fab time for sure, but a very busy one as the band traveled from Paris to London to New York City, Washington DC, Miami and finally back home for TV, radio recording and mixing so they could complete an album in time to start their first feature film!
Ringo Starr's new release is his twentieth studio album.     He is joined by Joe Walsh, Paul McCartney, Dave Edmunds, Steve Lukather and many friends, family and collaborators both old and new.     Recorded at Roccabella West (aka: Ringo's home studio),, this collection of ten songs includes new material and covers from the past ("Money" and "Grow Old With Me").     Guitars, synths, backing vocalists and a whole lot of peace and love!
Actor and musician Darin P. Murphy (Skyrocket!, Bottlerocket, Cotton Mather, My Ranger) is back for the second part of our look at John Lennon's rhythm guitar playing, particularly his use of the acoustic Jumbo Gibson J-160e.     John would use a number of different acoustics throughout his career (notably the Martin D-28 and the Ovation) but Lennon had a preference for the Gibson, and he frequently returned to it.
We stretch the party in the USA out for an extra week!    Today, part one of our look at Beatle visits to the USA during the Sixties.     George is perhaps the only one who was able to visit as an average person when he visited his sister in Illinois, and went through New York City six months or so before their Ed Sullivan show appearance.    Beyond the expected runs to New York and Los Angeles, Paul went to Denver, and they even considered recording in Memphis after Rubber Soul was completed.    Tune in for more "Beatles in the USA" next week as the story moves to the solo years.
The summary of the various recent Imagine products concludes this week with a bit more of us looking at the book, and a drill down into the blu-ray and DVD release that contains both "Imagine" (the film), "Gimme Some Truth", and bonus tracks.   No current laserdisc, but we do reminisce about the previous US release in that format.
Darin Murphy joins us again as we continue our look at the remixes of sides 3+4 of the White album.    There can be no doubt the new mixes are both cleaner and shinier, but how often do they equal or better the originals?     Perhaps it does not matter, since the new mixes will supplement, not replace the original mono and stereo.
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Podcast Details

Started
Mar 7th, 2016
Latest Episode
Aug 3rd, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
259
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No

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