Posts tagged "John Lennon"

Stevie Wonder Covers John Lennon’s “Imagine” At Global Citizen Festival: Watch

Imagine That
Stevie Wonder covered John Lennon‘s “Imagine” at this year’s Global Citizen Festival, in efforts to advocate stricter gun control laws. “Can you believe that they let blind people carry guns? Come on,” he said. The crowd laughed as the blind singer mimed a misfire.

The one-day festival, on September 28 at New York’s Central Park, is held in efforts to end extreme poverty worldwide — so it’s a slightly different cause than what Wonder championed during his headlining set. Still, as the enduring musician explained why he performs “Imagine,” he showed why his protest cover song was relevant. More »

Behind The Candelabra: 15 Great Piano-Driven Pop Songs

From Bowie To Britney, These Songs Hit All The Right Notes
HBO’s Behind the Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh’s highly anticipated biopic on Liberace, debuted this past weekend to much critical fanfare, with many critics praising Soderbergh for approaching his subject with a modicum of humanity (as opposed to mean-spirited camp). Although Liberace never openly pined to be taken seriously, we think he’d appreciate the film’s attempt to go behind the caricature and laud him for his ivory-tickling talents. Not to mention his other talents, demonstrated mostly on lover Scott Thorson, played by Matt Damon.

In the spirit of reviving all things Lee, we’ve compiled this playlist of piano-packing pop stars, all of whom — whether they want to admit it in their cool little hearts or not — owe a debt of gratitude to the first man to make pianos hip since Tchaikovsky. Well, may “hip” isn’t the right word for the rhinestone encrusted, old-lady-arousing Lee…. perhaps we should say, Leee-gorgeous! More »

Father’s Day Playlist: 11 Songs About Dad

Will Smith Jada Pinkett-Smith Just The Two Of Us
Will Smith Is A Proud Papa
Father knows best. When he’s not tinkering in the garage or mowing the lawn after a long day of work, he’s coaching your little league team and he’s running after you when you’ve finally learned to ride that bike. He’s there to teach you how to wear your first tie, and he’s there to chase off your first prom date. And because you can always count on his quiet but steadfast support, we’ve got a playlist for daddy’s girls and papa’s boys alike to celebrate the man of the house this Father’s Day.

We had to kick things off with Will Smith‘s 1998 single, “Just The Two Of Us”. Sampling Grover Washington Jr.‘s 1981 song for lovers, the Fresh Prince shifted the track’s message to one about a father and his son. The video stars Will’s son Trey, and features a glimpse of Jada Pinkett-Smith very pregnant with future action star, Jaden. Mike Meyers went on to parody the song in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, but even Mini Me doesn’t distract from the underlying sentimentality in celebrating the father-son bond. More »

Michael Jackson Is Top-Earning Dead Celebrity, Says ‘Forbes’

As the trial of Michael Jackson’s former doctor Conrad Murray wears on, Forbes reports that the onetime King Of Pop is #1 on the publication’s annual list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. It’s the second year in a row the music legend has topped the list, though Forbes points out that the $170 million his estate raked in over the past 12 months, via sales of his music and his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog, is a steep drop from the $275 million that landed Jackson at #1 on last year’s tally.
More »

‘American Idol’: The Top 9 Bring The Beatles To Life With Bizarre Instruments

American Idol’s theme last night was songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, but it turned into What Random Instrument Can We Bring Up On Stage? Instead of having a mentor, the Idols were on their own this week, and it appears a few of the Top 9 contestants took free range to come up with some kooky additions to their performances. Plus, the extra screen time usually reserved for the mentor to dole out advice was instead dedicated to the Idols talking about one another—a change of pace that pleasantly resulted in one of the most quote-worthy episodes of the season thus far.

After the jump, find out who did John and Paul proud, who made us hang our heads in shame, and which Scottish and Australian instruments made their TV debut on American Idol. More »

The Beatles’ New Revolution

ARTIST: The Beatles
TITLE: “Revolution 1 (Take 20)”
WEB DEBUT: February 2009

ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: As a Beatles mouthbreather, I’ve heard about the lost bridge between the bluesy single “Revolution” and the experimental “Revolution #9″ for years. “Revolution 1 (Take 20)” is probably more casually experimental than most of the so-called “experimental” pop bands out there now. (I like Spoon and Wilco as much as the next guy but removing a rhythm guitar track or ending a song in a noise jam does not make you an experimental band, and yet still I see those terms bandied about in relationship to them and others.)

“Revolution #9″ might have been mind-blowing back in the day, but it might have been pretty grating, too. This eases you into its experiments, as the song, complete with awesome doo-wop backing vocals, slower tempo, and a sloppy sitting-around-the-mic vibe, gradually devolves into something more akin to “#9″, although it pulls up the reins right before it loses all sense of its original self. There’s this great buzz of a guitar (?) that leads out of the verse that keeps going and building, and, eventually, a woman (Yoko?) starts talking about…. something under the coaching of Lennon. In the end, it trades more in congeniality than cacophony, and, for that I prefer it (for the time being) to its more famous cousins, perhaps those two songs now seem more like canon than music to me.

Full 10 Minute take of The Beatles’ “Revolution 1″ Leaks [Twelve Major Chords via The Day Jobs]

Yoko Ono Orders The World Back To Bed

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Ono and John Lennon‘s Bed-Ins For Peace, where they holed up in hotel rooms for a week at a time (once in Amsterdam, once in Montreal) as a way to protest war and portend the press’ tendencies toward covering any stunt celebrities engaged in while badmouthing stars and their antics at the same time. To celebrate the anniversary, Ono is asking people to stage bed-ins of their own. Sure, the press won’t spread out and cover every single one, but that’s what Flickr is for, right? [Imagine Peace]

Good news: the Pope (Benedict, that is) has forgiven John Lennon for saying he was bigger than Jesus! It seems like a strange thing to do, given that Lennon wasn’t Catholic and it didn’t seem like Yoko was exactly begging for forgiveness, but I guess when you’re God’s representative on Earth, everything is your responsibility, huh? Anyway, if it took Lennon 42 years to be forgiven, I guess Andres Serrano should look for a letter on Vatican stationery around about 2031. [NME]

Maybe Someone Should Have Proofed The Press Release’s Headline More Closely Dept.

images.jpg“ONO’s ‘GIVE PEACE A CHANCE’ (THE REMIXES) Hits #1 With A Bullet On Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play Chart This Week!!” [Blurt]

They’re Only In It For The Money: “Sgt. Pepper” Drum Head Fetches $1.067M

lonelyhearts.jpgWell, someone out there still has discretionary income: The drum head that appeared on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band went up for auction yesterday at Christie’s London outpost, and it realized a price of £541,250, or $1,067,346. Imagine if that money had been used to, you know, buy actual Beatles albums–I’m sure the halls of EMI are filled with people fantasizing that exact scenario. The price of the drum almost makes the £421,250 ($830,706) that John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for “Give Peace A Chance” went for seem quaint, no? Details on the drum skin’s measurements and materials after the jump.

The legendary hand-painted bass drumskin used on the front cover of the Beatles’ ground-breaking 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the drumskin painted in gold, red, blue, green, pink and magenta and mounted on hardboard — 30.5in. (77.5cm.) diam, the skin mounted on a matched rope tension wooden bass drum painted in regulation military blue and red, with laminated hardwood shell with Boosey & Hawkes Ltd., 295 Regent Street, London. label [drum not original]; accompanied by a corresponding copy of the album; and a hand-written letter from Sir Peter Blake, signed, stating This is to confirm that…I have examined the painted drumskin that appears on the L.P. record ‘Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club’ by The Beatles, and that is the same drumskin, and is the genuine, original one painted by Joe Ephgrave…, 1p. (3)

Imagine how much more money would have been spent had the drum been real!

The Beatles []