Posts Tagged ‘BEATLES’


Four Color Beatles

May 5, 2013

When the Beatles hit it big in the early 1960’s they were mega-stars who appeared in nearly every form of media that existed. Since comic books were still a big seller during that decade it was only natural that someone license their rights for comic books. In addition to ‘official’ comic books the Beatles also appeared in numerous other comic books, sometimes just appearing on the cover. Below is a gallery of a few random samples of comic books and ocmic book panels from back in the day.














Now Serving Tea & Crumpets

February 10, 2013









rolling stonesTEA



You Gotta Start Somewhere!

January 30, 2013












Hanging Out

January 28, 2013


John Lennon & Paul McCartney in what is purported to be the last known photograph taken of them together. 1974.


Random Beatles Nostalgia

January 28, 2013












April 18, 2012

If you were a young person in the 1960’s and early 1970’s who loved rock ‘n roll and lived in northeast Ohio and if you were anywhere near a television on Saturday’s at 5:00 PM from 1964 – 1971 you were more than likely tuned into the Upbeat TV Show that aired weekly over Cleveland’s WEWS Channel 5. Upbeat was a weekly music program that featured the top national, international and regional bands of the day.

“It was the first show of its kind that really wasn’t a dance party,” said David Spero to WEWS not long ago. David Spero is the son of Herman Spero, producer of the WEWS program The Old Dutch Polka Review, which would later be known as Polka Varieties. “Instead of having, like American Bandstand, where they’d have Frankie Avalon come on and sing two songs, all the rest was kids dancing to the records, he said ‘Let’s have 10 acts.'”

 Upbeat was a trendsetter having appeared long before Hullabaloo, Shindig, Where The Action Is and later, In Concert, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and the Midnight Special. It debuted on August 29, 1964 as The Big 5 Show, named so because it aired on Channel 5 at 5:00 PM on Saturdays. It was hosted by a variety of Cleveland area disc jockeys until Spero decided a permanent host was needed. Spero saw a young Don Webster hosting a Canadian dance party show and hired him to take over the soon-to-be-renamed Upbeat show.
After being hired by WEWS one of Webster’s first duties was to interview The Beatles during their Cleveland appearance.

                                       Don Webster & The Beatles – 1964
Soon after Upbeat’s popularity grew so large that Spero and WEWS began syndicating the show around the country, eventually appearing in 105 television markets.
Bands/performers would be brought in on a Friday and Spero, Webster and their staff would try to get them a booking at a local High School or club so they’d get some extra pay out of it.

The McCoys (Rick Derringer – left) w/ Don Webster

“We would tape it on Saturday afternoon, rehearsal started at nine, took a break at noon, came back at 1:30 and shot the show and hopefully it was done by five o’clock when you had to see it,” Spero explained. The videotape of one-hour “Upbeat” episode would be copied nine times and then sent to a station in each of the top ten markets (such as New York, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas) broadcast and then that station would sent to a station in the next lower market size, shipped or “bicycled” from market to market.

It didn’t take long for acts who appeared on Upbeat to eventually be seen nationally after a month or so of the tapes making the rounds.

Eric Burden & The Animals appeared

Over the years a virtual who’s who of national, international and regional bands performed numerous times on Upbeat, a few examples included Marvin Gaye & Tammie Terrel, Music Explosion, Velvet Underground, McCoys, Yardbirds, Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, John Kay, Steppenwolf, Jerry Lee Lewis, Monkees, Sonny Geraci and The Outsiders, Canned Heat, Paul Revere & The Riders, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tommy James, Sly and The Family Stone, Terry Knight and the Pack,  Johnny Nash, Billy Joe Royal, Stevie Wonder, Gene Krupa, Steam, Box Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Eric Burdon, Lou Christie, The 5th Dimension, Gene Pitney, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Otis Redding, Bar-Kays, the Strawberry Alarm Clock, Fanny, Scott MacKenzie, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Circus, The Toys, American Breed, Steve Colt, The Chylds, The Fifth Estate, The Sonics, Doughboys, Pleasure Seekers, Tiffany Shade, London & The Bridges, The Debutantes, Cyrus Erie, Kickin’ Mustangs, John Sebastian and The Lovin’ Spoonful, Bob Seger, GTO’s, The Shangra-La’s, Spanky and Our Gang, Peter and Gordon, Simon and Garfunkel, Chubby Checker, Grasshoppers, Gary Puckett and Union Gap, Pete Best, Left Banke, Raven, James Gang, Eric Carmen, Choir, Damnation of Adam Blessing.

The legendary BB King

One memorable guest who appeared performed for the last time. On December 9, 1967, after appearing on the Upbeat show and doing a gig in Canton, OH, Otis Redding subsequently died in an airplane crash on the way to his next gig in Madison, WI. “The end of the show was him (Redding), with the Bar-Kays and Mitch Ryder singing ‘Knock On Wood’,” Spero said.
Over the years Upbeat featured several ‘house bands’ to back up solo performers. Upbeat house bands were Dave C and the Sharptones, The Grasshoppers (of which the late Ben Orr of the Cars was a member), Rapid Transit and the People’s Choice (Puzzle People).

The Cowsills

Another selling and focal point to the Upbeat show were the ‘Upbeat Dancers’ who performed during various guests’ performances. Maurice “Hank” Nystrom, who went on to national acclaim, was Upbeat’s choreographer (1968 – 1971) when the show was televised to 105 cities nationwide.

Over the years Upbeat Dancers included Jean Hagedorn. Linda Mulcahey, Arline Burks, Jacquelyn Carson, John Magill, Mary Lynn Curnayn, Arlee Gibson, Constance Gibson, Michael Ray, Linda Mulcahy, Kim Havrilla, Arline Burks, Mary Lynn Curnayn, Jacquelyn “Jackie” Carson, Peggy Miller, and Diane Rini, among others.

 After Upbeat ended in 1971 Webster remained at WEWS until his retirement in 1999. He did weather, hosted the Ohio Lottery show, Academic Challenge, The Gene Carroll Show, Bowling for Dollars and anchored Live On Five. Webster is now enjoying his retirement in South Carolina.

Mitch Ryder, Webster, Otis Redding

Ironically, Upbeat founder Herman Spero, who died in 1979 at the age young of 55, proposed to cable networks the idea of a music TV channel just before his death. HBO turned him down. Within a couple years MTV was born.

UPBEAT honored by Hall of Fame

Alex Chilton & The Boxtops appeared several times



A Date That Will Live In Infamy

February 15, 2012

I should save this for my birthday, but that’s not until October and who knows what will happen between now & then? Anyway, and I may have mentioned this a few years ago here, but the rock n’ roll fever has been burning deep within me as far back as I can remember. Just love the stuff, you know? And I can’t play a note!

Anyway, confirmation I was born under the ‘R & R Sign’ is the fact that the very day I was born (as well as my good pal, Jeannie!) Elvis Presley had the #1 hit in the USA with ‘Jailhouse Rock’. Pretty appropriate. For me, not Jeannie! (I’m a sinner, she’s a saint!)

(Aside: Jeannie is a sweet, sweet person who I went all through high school with. We were born on the same day, in the same hospital and delivered by the same doctor! I just had dinner with her & her husband, Kevin, earlier this evening!)

More proof I was destined to be a rock ‘n roll fanatic is the fact that besides Elvis having the number one hit the day I was born, I also share the same birthday as Chuck Berry (October 18, different year of course) and according to one of my Beatle books the day I was born John Lennon & Paul McCartney perfomed in public together for the very first time as McCartney made his debut as a guitar player in Lennon’s Quarreymen, the forerunner of the Silver Beatles and then of course, The Beatles.

Promoter Charlie ‘Mac’ McBain held regular skiffle and rock events at his venues and on Friday October 18 he ran one such event at the New Clubmoor Hall in Norris Green, Liverpool where McCartney made his live debut with Lennon.

Of that event, McCartney commented on the Anthology DVD:

“For my first gig, I was given a guitar solo on Guitar Boogie. I could play it easily in rehearsal so they elected that I should do it as my solo. Things were going fine, but when the moment came in the performance I got sticky fingers; I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ I was just too frightened; it was too big a moment with everyone looking at the guitar player. I couldn’t do it. That’s why George was brought in.”

                     Lennon & McCartney’s stage debut – October 18, 1957

And on that very same day, unknown to me until today (thanks M. L.!), was a, what I would presume, huge concert in Sacramento, CA with nearly every superstar and big star of the day performing at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium in an event promoted by the Sacramento J. C. Student Association. I now know where Chuck Berry celebrated his birthday on the day I was born!

Nope, I never had a chance as the stars were aligned in perfect harmony that autumn Friday to birth me into a rock ‘n roll world. The cruel irony is there was no talent to go with the passion!


Rock Star Literature Pt. 1

December 9, 2011

After all the grief my Old Man gave me way back then, glad to know I wasn’t the only one into comic books ‘back in the day’! Apparently I was in good company. (Click on image to enlarge!)


‘Vintage’ Ads For Axes, Skins, Gear & More! Pt. 1

November 29, 2011

Back in the 60’s and 70’s I used to read all the advertisements from the guitar, drum, keyboard, hell, even the microphone companies. I’d even order their catalogues, brochures and other propaganda. (Loved it when they stuck in a free poster!). Below are a few random samples of various advertisements from the glory days of rock ‘n roll huckstering musicial gear using rock ‘n roll celebrities. More coming soon.

Click on images to enlarge!


The Beatles Get Animated

October 20, 2008

In the mid-1960’s Beatlemania was huge. Not even Batmania could come close in terms of longevity and worldwide impact. As businesspeople far and wide came up with every possible concept to merchandise and make money off the Fab Four, it seemed only natural to have the four moptops star in their own TV show. And while a ‘live action’ show never materialized in 1965 a new Saturday morning cartoon appeared with amazing ratings starring The Beatles.


The ABC network came up with the idea, King Features produced the show and toy manufacturer A.C. Gilmer put the money up in hopes of reaping a vast reward through merchandising.


The Beatles virtually had nothing to do with the show in any capacity except for the songs that were used. Even the voices were those of hired actors affecting a Liverpool accent (Lance Percival, who voiced the parts of Paul and Ringo and the legendary Paul Frees who voiced John and George).


Be that as it may, I tuned in for the first and all subsequent episodes.


The Beatles premiered on Saturday morning September 25, 1965 and aired at 10:30 AM each week. From the first episode the show was a monster hit in terms of ratings with the first show snagging an impressive 52 share that was record setting. Each cartoon ran about 10 minutes and featured two cartoons per episode in addition to two ‘sing-a-longs’ that consisted of Beatles songs with a cartoon to go along with it.


The show aired on ABC for four years with the last two being restricted to reruns. Strangely enough, people in The Beatles’ England never had a chance to see the show until 1980 when it finally aired on British TV.
I haven’t seen the show since the 1960’s but would love to see it again, at least for nostalgia’s sake.


My Wife’s Hobby

October 19, 2008


My wife actually has two hobbies with the first and most important being spending as much time as possible with her four (soon to be five!) grandsons. Her other hobby is collecting lunchboxes, both vintage and newer ones.  Her requirements are they must be metal lunch boxes and they must feature something from the world of popular culture. How many women do you know that has a couple dozen lunchboxes featuring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Hornet, Spiderman and other superheroes?


Among her collection (which now numbers just under 120) are lunch boxes devoted to I Dream Of Jeannie, The Archies, Bewitched, Beatles, Man From UNCLE, Lone Ranger, Barbie, Mickey Mouse, Petticoat Junction, I Love Lucy, Elvis, Bettie Boop, Star Trek, Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, KISS, the list goes on and on and on!


I never had a lunchbox as a kid. My Dad always laid out lunch money for the school cafeteria (two dimes for each of us as I recall) but I vividly recall going into stores as a kid with Mom & Dad to do school shopping and seeing rows and rows of the newly released lunchboxes just in time for the new school year. Seeing all those rows of colorful lunchboxes with superheroes and whatever was popular on TV was a sight to behold. I recall the local Mr. Wiggs department store in Wooster, OH having what seemed like thousands of the darn things back then.


About ten years ago my wife picked up a lunchbox (I forget which was her first, she isn’t here right now to ask) and it was on! She is still buying them on occasion. Someday they will all go to our grandkids (you don’t think we’ll leave anything to our kids, do you?)


Four Color Beatles

October 8, 2008

Here is a random sampling of some Beatles related comic books that I had in my comic book collection back in the 1960’s. Marvel Comics did a Beatles bio comic book sometime in the 1970’s that I missed. Marvel also did the infamous KISS comic book where they mixed some band members blood with the ink prior to printing the KISS comic book. During the height of Beatlemania you could hardly pick up any comic books (especially the teen comics) or magazines without a Beatle tie-in somewhere.


Albums My Mom Bought For Me

October 7, 2008

In less than 10 days it will be one year ago that I lost my Mom, so naturally she’s been on my mind a lot here lately. One memory that came back recently was when, after I became a teenager and she saw my growing record collection (and my sister’s and my brother’s), she would ask each Christmas for a list of three or four album titles, in case they were sold out of one or two selections. She would always make it a point to tell me to only expect o-n-e album, if any at all, yet invariably each year there would be two or three albums under the tree (it was that or another bottle of Hai Karate cologne!). Shown here is just a small random sampling of some of the albums my Mom bought me over the years.  Looking back she was younger than I am now when she bought these for me (she was in her early 40’s). God bless you Mom. You were always hip!


What Is Your ‘Dream Concert’?

September 18, 2008

Recently an email exchange with an old pal brought up an age old question that has been bandied about for years by some of us old time rockers: What one concert would you like to attend that you missed out on? I can remember being asked that back in the 70’s too. For years my standard answer was Woodstock, of course. But after seeing The Beatles’ Anthology when it originally aired on ABC and buying the DVD set, I have decided to change my dream choice to seeing The Beatles at Shea Stadium in New York back on August 15, 1965. After seeing footage repeatedly, I dunno, I’d love to have been at that gig. Sure seemed like fun!


It Was 40 Years Ago Today

August 30, 2008


The picture sleeve of the British release of the historic 45 single released on August 30, 1968

The picture sleeve of the British release of the historic 45 single released on August 30, 1968

It was (40!) years ago today that the Beatles issued their first release on their own Apple record label in Britain, a 45 single, Hey Jude with Revolution on the B Side (or were they both A sides?). (Yes, the USA version was issued on August 26 but it didn’t have a cool picture sleeve that is seen here, the USA 45 single releases, for a period, had no picture sleeves, just the new Apple logo.)
It was a huge, huge hit for the Beatles that eventually became the biggest-selling debut release for any record company. It has been estimated that the single sold over eight million copies worldwide. It was the number one song in 11 countries.


Here in the USA Hey Jude remained in the number one position on the Billboard charts for nine consecutive weeks (September 28 – November 23). Another unusual element about the record was it shattered the standard 3-minute limit radio stations almost demanded in a song, clocking in at seven minutes and 11 seconds. It was recorded on July 30, 1968 during the Beatles’ White Album recording sessions at EMI Studio 2 although the band chose not to put it on the double disc set.


The USA version of the historic 45 record.
Something else that was unusual was the flipside, Revolution, was being flipped over and played by radio DJs and it was charted at number two in the Record World charts.
So what’s the big deal about this particular single? It was the song played (several times) at a school dance (in Apple Creek, Ohio) I attended that year where I slow danced with a girl (actually two) for the first time. At that dance I recall ‘slow’ dancing with Denise and Brenda (I was still in grade school and nervous) although as the song played on I got more ‘comfortable’ to the point that a teacher walked up to Denise and I and decreed we stand apart a bit more (we were getting a bit….too close….).

Wonderful memories set to song.And it’s the only vinyl 45 single record I still have in my possession after all these years. You can catch the Beatles during the recording sessions of the White Album on a YouTube clip.


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