Sunday, June 30, 2013

George Harrison – The Self-Effacing, Extremely Talented And Underrated Beatle

George Harrison is possibly the most underrated musician there is. Now that’s quite a huge statement, but during his career with the Beatles he was known as the quiet Beatle, and generally did not have a lot to say. He was the quiet achiever who flew underneath the radar while Paul McCartney and John Lennon largely took centre-stage.

There is absolutely no doubt about Harrison’s overwhelming talent given what he achieved as lead guitarist with the Beatles and his subsequent career after the Beatles split up. He kept to himself and did not make lots of headlines in the newspapers. Throughout the Beatles career it was often mentioned in the press how quiet George actually was.

As a lead guitarist, some Beatles fans and music critics regard him as one of the best lead guitarists the world has ever seen. Lead guitar is one of the most difficult instruments to play in a band, and despite his singing and writing talent, he was lucky to have two tracks on each Beatle’s album that was released. Even “The White Album” and “Let it Be” had more material from McCartney and Lennon, than Harrison and the “White Album” was supposed to be contributions from all four Beatles.

George Harrison wrote and performed two of the best Beatles songs ever released; "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." He is also responsible for "Taxman," "Here Comes the Sun" and many other fabulous tracks. His contribution to the Beatles catalogue resulted in some really great music.

He was also the first Beatle to release a solo album. “All Things Must Pass” was a three disc album set which was released shortly before the Beatles parted ways. Critics doubted that this album would do well for Harrison; however they so wrong. This album; now a double CD package sold a huge amount of copies. “All Things Must Pass” went platinum six times and is the most successful album released by a Beatle.

George Harrison later teamed up with Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and best friend Eric Clapton when the Travelling Wilburies was formed in the last 1980’s. These five great musicians went on to produce some really great music. As a musician his talent knew no bounds. His solo albums did well on the charts. He also had a career in film-making where he formed “Handmade” which went on to produce the Monty Python movies.

Given the overwhelming talent of McCartney and Lennon and the fact that Harrison was not the type of person to blow his own trumpet, George Harrison’s talent was not as obvious to everyone. His quietness and preference to operate under the radar is largely the reason this was so. While George Harrison may have never gotten the recognition that his talent so deserved; his closest friends, Paul, John and Ringo and his family would have been well aware that he was one special man. His life cut so tragically short in 2001, with the illness that Harrison attributed to cigarette smoking. George Harrison came to be known (at least by me) as one of the most underrated rock and roll artists of all-time.

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All Photos are credited to Deviant Art and Wikimedia Commons

Copyright © 2013 Janelle Coulton

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paul McCartney Says "No to Drugs"

Paul McCartney revealed in an interview recently that he has given up pot for the sake of his daughter.

The Beatle’s legend has told Rolling Stone Magazine that he feels he has a “responsibility” to 9 year old Beatrice, who is his fifth child from his marriage to second wife, now his ex-wife Heather Mills.

Paul has Smoked his Share of Pot

Sir Paul went on to say that he has smoked his share of pot; however Paul believes that when you are bringing up a youngster, your sense of responsibility does kick in. You get to a point where you have to say enough is enough, and this is not necessary anymore. McCartney's latest album, Kisses on the Bottom, has reached number 3 in the UK album charts.

The Ex-Beatle Takes a Stand Against Drugs

Legend Rocker and ex-Beatle has taken a personal stand against drugs, he claims that he want to set an example for his daughter. Sir Paul claims in the early days of the "Fab Four" 60s rock band, he and his band mates, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr did their fair share of drugs. He admits to using heavy drugs, such as Heroin and Cocaine during the “Beatlemania” era in the 60’s and 70’s.
Paul McCartney is currently married to business woman Nancy Shevell from New York, having tied the knot late last year in London at the same registry office where he wed Linda, his first wife.
Paul Admits to Doing Cocaine and Heroin

During the interview with Rolling Stone, McCartney admitted to using cocaine and trying heroin once during the hype of The Beatles “Sgt Peppers," album. McCartney admits: "I did cocaine for about a year. I tried heroin just once. Even then, I didn't realize I'd taken it. I was just handed something, smoked it and then found out what it was."

Sir Paul also spoke about Linda, his first wife, (the love of his life), who passed away from liver cancer, secondary to breast cancer in 1998. Paul said that he and Linda used to smoke pot. Paul also confessed that whilst on tour in Japan he was arrested for trying to bring cannabis into the country. He was extremely lucky to be released after nine days and to not have to face further charges. It was the only time he and Linda spent apart during their almost thirty year marriage.
McCartney Once Advocated The Legalisation of Marijuana

McCartney has been an advocate for the legalization of marijuana. He has spoken publicly about this issue before, saying that he believes it is no worse than alcohol and alcohol is a drug. However, he recently backtracked; saying that perhaps legalizing another drug is not such a good idea.
Paul and his current wife Nancy Shevell were recently reported to have taken time out of their busy schedules to pay respect to the late Whitney Houston who died last Sunday, Feb 12, 2012. Paul and Nancy reportedly left a bouquet of beautiful yellow roses outside the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, on Valentine’s Day, where the singer passed away.
What Are Your Thoughts?

What do you think of Sir Paul’s revealing interview? Make sure you get your copy of the magazine when it hits the stands. In the meantime, have your say below; or connect with me via Twitter or Facebook.

The Showbis Spy Online
The Rolling Stone Magazine Official Website
Paul McCartney articles website
Heather Mills articles website
The Examiner Article Online
The official UK album charts website

Copyright 2012 Janelle Coulton

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Beatles Break-Up - Was Paul McCartney to Blame

After months of speculation by fans; on the 10 April 1970, Paul McCartney went public with the news that he was quitting the Beatles

Paul McCartney made it official by announcing to the world what many fans had suspected over the past six months - that the Beatles had broken up. Paul McCartney went to court in December 1970 and sued his band mates; Lennon, Harrison and Starr in order to officially dissolve their partnership.

Paul McCartney was ultimately blamed for the Beatle’s demise; however it was John Lennon who announced that he wanted to leave the group back in September 1969 and many rumors were leaking that Yoko Ono was pushing John to leave the group as well. There was even talk of George Harrison walking out on a recording session after an argument with the band saying that he was quitting.


Lennon Announced He Was Leaving Four Months Earlier

Lennon announced to McCartney and Starr in the middle of a business meeting that he wanted a divorce from the group. George Harrison was not present at the meeting.

Tensions were building within the group dating back to 1968 and about a year later Lennon, Harrison and Starr out-voted McCartney on a decision to hire new manager Alan Klein. This decision could have been the straw that broke the camel`s back. Paul McCartney was in discussions with his wife Linda’s father and brother about managing the Apple Corps company.

Lennon also failed to show up for the Beatles final recording session on the 3 January 1970; four months after telling his band-mates privately that he wanted out. During this session, George Harrison’s song “Ï Me Mine” was recorded for the Let It Be album. Months after John made his private announcement, the Beatles gave interviews, however they never mentioned the split.

Lennon Said; Beatles Might Still Work Together

Lennon inferred that the Beatles might still record together, however it is widely known that all four Beatles were working on their own solo recordings, and that Lennon, along with Yoko Ono was extremely addicted to heroin. Lennon was also very busy with his peace campaign. Harrison was quoted by Britain’s New Musical Express as saying “We all had to find ourselves individually; one day.”

Lennon complained that he, Harrison and Starr were unaware of what McCartney was going to do. When Paul McCartney took legal action to dissolve the partnership, it was a shock to the other three lads. Lennon claims the public court action by McCartney was to focus attention on the release of his first solo album. Lennon was quite miffed that he did not think of it himself.

McCartney Depressed Over Beatles Falling Out

Paul McCartney was extremely depressed by the demise of the group. He tried to hold things together for months. McCartney is normally quite a positive person, however for many months after the split he did very little but mope around the house feeling extremely low. He said, in his book McCartney; Yesterday and Today; that he felt like he had lost his best friends.

Although the December 1970 court proceedings officially dissolved their partnership, the Beatles monies were put into escrow for the next five years, so the formal partnership between Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr was legal until early 1975. It took over twenty years to sort out their business issue.

Beatles Were Ready to Split

Today, the group's company, Apple Corps, is jointly owned by McCartney, Starr and the estates of Lennon and Harrison, and Apple Corps still handles all past and future Beatles business. Some fans went as far as to blame the wives’ of the Beatles, particularly Linda and Yoko. However in 1999 during the recording of the Wingspan DVD, Paul McCartney claimed it did not matter who broke the Beatles up – The Beatles were ready to go their separate ways.


McCartney, P. Yesterday and Today accessed 01 June 2011

Read more articles by Janelle Coulton at Suite101: 

Copyright 2012 - Janelle Coulton

Monday, June 04, 2012

Beatlemania Decline Produced Beatle’s Masterpieces

On the 29 August 1966 the Beatles performed what would be their last official live concert.

The venue was Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The decision that this concert was to be their final live performance was made because of live concert ticket sales being down. However, it was also around the same time that John made some very controversial comments regarding Jesus, and about the “Beatles being bigger than Jesus.” These comments, whilst ignored in Britain, created controversy and many protests in the United States and when the Beatles arrived in the country they were confronted by an uproar, people burning their records, and protesting loudly mostly across the southern American states.

Beatlefan Magazine’s executive editor; Al Susman was quoted as saying that: “In the summer of 1966, it was clear that ‘Beatlemania’ was declining.” He was also said that there were rumors that the tour might be cancelled as a number of the shows were not sellouts. The Beatles were back in London by 31 August 1966 and went their separate ways for time, eventually returning to the studio to begin recording Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. On the 24 November 1966 they began recording “Strawberry Fields Forever,” which was one of the tracks slated to go on Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was later removed from the project, and released as a single.

The Beatles  - Google Royalty Free Images

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released on 1 July 1967 and it was a masterpiece, outselling their previous albums and was just the beginning of a string of genius creations by the “Fab Four.” Just four months later the Magical Mystery Tour was released; along with their third movie of the same title in November 1967. In November 1968, the White Album was released which was a double album. Many fans felt that the White Album was a compilation of all four Beatles’ individual creations, and this album signaled the beginning of the end for the Beatles.

After the 'White Album' came the soundtrack for their animated movie of the same name, 'Yellow Submarine.' In September 1969, 'Abbey Road' was meant to be the Beatle’s final album was released. 'Let It Be' was released in 1970, which was also made into a movie and featured the Beatles final public performance on the rooftop of 'Abbey Road' studios. Next to 'Sergeant Pepper’s,' Abbey Road is the Beatle’s highest selling album and arguably their best. Side two of Abbey Road has been described by many as some of the greatest music ever written and performed by any artist.

Officially, many fans believe that Abbey Road was the Beatle’s last album given the tracks recorded, however it was released before Let It Be; which had some great tracks, nevertheless Let It Be was not the masterpiece Abbey Road was. The concert at Candlestick Park may have been their last official tour date, but it was not their final public appearance and it’s also quite possible that the above, masterpiece albums would not exist today if the Beatles had persevered with touring.

Sadly; during this time the Beatles began to fall apart. John was looking to go his own way and was recording music on his own as were George, Paul and Ringo. In 1970 the Beatles officially broke up, and the whole world waited with bated breath for a re-union, which did not come until the 'Anthology' series in 1995, where sadly John was not present, given his death in 1980.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Paul McCartney is Getting Married Again

Will He Make the Same Mistake This Time?

Sir Paul McCartney admitted that his marriage to Heather Mills was the biggest mistake of his life in December 2009. After the bitter divorce between the two in 2008 netted Heather Mills a substantial sum of money.

Recently Paul McCartney announced his engagement to business woman Nancy Shevell. (The happy couple pictured below) Paul was quoted as saying that: "I like being in love." It was reported later on however, that Paul was misquoted by the Liverpool Echo (in other words his words were twisted). He did admit that in terms of big mistakes; the marriage to Heather was up there with the big contenders.

Photo courtesy of

Recently on it has been reported that McCartney is considering going ahead with the marriage without a prenuptial agreement. One family insider has said that his business advisers and friends think he is crazy after what happened in his marriage to Heather Mills. But Paul is insisting that Nancy is nothing like Heather and marriage should not be a business arrangement. It has also been reported that Nancy Shevell has her own money; from her own success in business, however that does not guarantee that the McCartney fortune would not be jeopardy, should things not work out in the marriage.

Paul and Nancy have been dating for the last four years and from all reports; their relationship seems to be a happy one; however time will tell.


Read more about Paul McCartney and the Beatles below at JanelleCoultonSuite101

Sir Paul McCartney Marries Again
Paul McCartney has recently married again for the third time to Nancy Shevell, 51 year old, New York business woman.
Dec 22, 2011 - Janelle Coulton

Paul McCartney; 69 Years Old, Says No To Drugs!
Sir Paul McCartney has revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine that he has given up smoking cannabis for the sake of his daughter.
Feb 18, 2012 - Janelle Coulton

Jel's Official Website

Copyright © 2011 Janelle Coulton


One of the Greatest Role Models of our Time.

24 September 1941 - 17 April 1998

It is now thirteen years since Linda McCartney passed away from cancer and yet it seems like yesterday. Linda was an accomplished photographer who captured the heart of the last remaining single Beatle; Paul McCartney. In 1967, Linda was invited by Brian Epstein (the Beatle’s manager) to photograph the Beatles.  

The Beatles had just released the album; “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and a photo shoot and celebration was scheduled at Brian Epstien’s house and that is where the connection between Paul McCartney and Linda Eastman was made. A marriage that would span almost thirty years soon followed; see photo below.


Photo courtesy of

However, Linda was not just the wife of a Beatle or Paul McCartney’s wife. That was only one part of who she was.  Linda was a dedicated, loving, caring homemaker to McCartney and their four children, Heather (from her first marriage), Mary, Stella and James. Family and love meant everything to Linda and she was totally dedicated to loving, nurturing and caring for her family. 

Aside from her strong family values, she had a great passion for photography. Linda never saw photography as a career; nonetheless she became a success at it. Linda saw her photography as fulfilling her ultimate fantasy. When Linda took photographs of musicians in the early sixties, she had no idea she was photographing future icons, for example: The Doors, Stevie Winwood and his band Traffic, Janis Joplin and many more. Linda would go on to photograph the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin and the Beatles, which led to her meeting Paul McCartney. Linda’s love of photography was not just about photographing musicians, she would be just as excited to photograph the waitress in a cafe.  Linda saw photography as capturing the life and soul of the moment. Making the picture tell a story and to make the person stop and look and think. Amongst her photographs are many landscapes, animals, and of course her family and friends. Paul and their children feature in many of her pictures.


Some of Linda's Favourite family pictures - Courtesy of

Linda was a vegetarian and published two best selling vegetarian cookbooks. A lover of nature and animals, Linda also became deeply involved in animal rights and the protection of cruelty to animals.  The McCartneys owned a property in Sussex, England and a farm in Scotland, they had dozens of animals, including horses which was another of Linda’s loves. Linda and Paul would ride their horses every morning, it was how they kick started each day and horse riding can be for the horse enthusiast, a very effective release and an incredible high. The film clip that was made for McCartney’s song “Maybe I’m Amazed” just says it all.  It was a love song, written for Linda and the film clip clearly portrays the love and devotion within their family. Linda and Paul out horse-riding, playing with the children, the numerous family photographs mostly taken by Linda and the whole family dancing and singing, while Paul plays guitar. This three minute film illustrates the total love and commitment within their marriage and family.

Linda had it tough in the early days. Marrying a Beatle was something you just did not do, according to legions of Beatle’s fans. Paul McCartney was the only Beatle who had not married and many say the most handsome of the fabulous four. When the Beatles split up, the finger was pointed at Linda, as well as in many other directions. Many fans maintain that Lennon and McCartney’s wives; Yoko and Linda were responsible for the split.

In reality no-one knows why the Beatles split up, that’s another story. McCartney went on the form the band “Wings” and insisted Linda be up on stage with him. That move inspired a barrage of criticism, mostly from jealous fans who wanted to be in her shoes. Critics would insist she couldn’t sing or her musical skills were amateur. However, Linda certainly could sing and she dug in her heels and kept on performing with her husband, because she said “We like being together.”  When the McCartney’s were on tour they took the children with them, they would hire tutors so their children could keep up with their school work. The McCartneys believed in keeping their family together as much as possible. Linda never cared what the critics had to say about her, her commitment was to her family.

Wings” disbanded about ten years later and McCartney went back into the studio to record. Linda went to work on her vegetarian projects and her photography book. She also became involved in the protection of animal rights. Linda’s books were best-sellers and she found she had many admirers and of course the critics were never too far away. The people that admired Linda were probably a little envious of her life, the critics on the other hand were plain jealous. There was not a mean bone in Linda’s body; Linda had a kind and caring soul, always taking care of everyone. Linda was a wonderful role model to her family and has raised four remarkable children, whom have all have become a success in their chosen careers. Probably the most famous McCartney child would be Stella McCartney, a well-known fashion designer in Paris. Heather became an accomplished artist, Mary is a photographer and James is a musician.

Linda’s examples of a loving family built on love, trust, honesty and commitment certainly endeared her too the public and many of Linda’s critic have longs since eaten humble pie. She was one of the most remarkable women of our time.  Her basic, down to earth values of family, morality and stability are strong examples to all families. The McCartney marriage was one the strongest ever seen in the show business world. A happy marriage lasting almost thirty years in show business today is almost unheard of.

Paul and Linda in happier times - Photo courtesy of 

In 1995, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer. After consultation with many specialists, they commenced chemotherapy and radiation treatment. It seemed that in 1997 that Linda had beaten the cancer.  In-fact when many saw Linda at her daughter Stella’s fashion show in early March 1998, it was assumed that she was getting better. Sadly that was not the case, the cancer had moved to Linda’s liver and Paul and Linda knew of no cure. The only thing left to do was to make Linda as happy as possible during the time she had left. Paul and Linda reportedly went to their ranch in Arizona, where the couple had a getaway house. They rode and sat in the sun, talked and laughed. They also finished Linda’s album Wide Prairie. This album proves once and for all, that Linda can indeed, sing.

Fifty-six year old Linda McCartney died in her husband Paul’s arms on the morning of 17 April 1998.  Her children were also by her side when she passed over. Her body was cremated shortly there after and the McCartney’s returned home to Sussex, England to scatter her ashes. Such a beautiful life cut so tragically short. A wonderful, loving mother and wife; taken from her family way too soon. Paul McCartney has been quoted as saying that, “Linda will be most remembered for the message of love that she instilled in everyone.”

Linda with her beloved Appaloosa Stallion, not long before she 
passed away - Photo courtesy of

This warm, tender and affectionate person who touched so many peoples’ hearts will live on in her families’ and our memories forever.

Read more Articles on the Beatles and Paul McCartney below:

The Beatles Break-Up – Is Paul McCartney to Blame?
After months of speculation by fans; on the 10 April 1970, Paul McCartney went public with the news that he was quitting the Beatles.
Jun 4, 2011 - Janelle Coulton

Beatlemania Decline Produced Beatle's Masterpieces
The Beatles' final concert appearance could have spelled the end for the "Fab Four." Instead it was the beginning of a series of outstanding albums.
May 28, 2011 - Janelle Coulton

Endnote: This tribute has been written and re-written several times. Linda McCartney was an inspiration to many. It is important that her message of love and compassion live on and are never forgotten.

Copyright © 2011 Janelle Coulton