It was an eventful year for the Beatles, both solo and individually, with tours, releases and various events. It’s also been a busy year for us, Beatle peoples, looking at all the stories we covered this year. Here’s the second part of our two-part look back at the best moments of the year (and not in any order), several of which we covered on Beatles Examiner (and our other music columns). If you missed it, be sure to read part 1. And please join us in 2013 for more Beatles coverage. (If you don’t subscribe, please do and pass the word.)
More Beatles highlights from 2012:
- McCartney Grammy nominations: McCartney was awarded two solo career Grammy nominations in early December, one each for the “Ram” reissue and one for “Kisses on the Bottom.” A recent disc featuring the Beatles’ tracks with Tony Sheridan was also nominated.
- McCartney concerts: Paul McCartney took his “On the Run” tour back in Europe and South America early in the year and to North America late in the year for a few concerts, two in the U.S. and two in Canada. For some fans, like Chynna Laird and her children, it was the fulfillment of a dream.
- The Joe Smith interviews: Joe Smith’s interviews with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Yoko Ono and George Martin which were donated to the Library of Congress were a cut above the usual interviews of each because all were in a relaxed atmosphere. More interviews are to be released in February. They’ll be worth hearing, even if there are no Beatles involved.
- The Beatles vinyl box: The Beatles followed up on the remastered CDs three years later with the remastered stereo vinyl box set. The box included the same albums in the stereo remastered CD set and a huge book on the albums that is exclusive to the box. A mono box will come next year.
- Beatles on the world stage: In events telecast around the world, Paul McCartney played the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics opening ceremony. And John Lennon helped close the Olympics.
- Maccavanaz: Paul McCartney’s collaboration with members of Nirvana was only surprising and just another indication of how he’s willing to push the boundaries. Though it won’t actually be released until next year, it’s already out there.
- New Year’s Honours: Stella McCartney, Lady Judy Gordon Martin and Jeremy Lloyd make the list. More details here.
- Books and more books: One book we forgot to add in part 1 was “The Beatles Bibliography,” a massive research volume with entries back to the ’60s. Our two-part interview with the authors is here and here.
Beatles friends who died in 2012:
- Ravi Shankar: George Harrison’s mentor taught Harrison and the world about Indian music. We had the pleasure of meeting him in the late ’60s. He was a gentle man. He didn’t even mind all the questions about George Harrison. See some exclusive pictures from his memorial here.
- Victor Spinetti: A very nice man we had the pleasure to interview and who appeared in “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help!” and “Magical Mystery Tour.” (You can hear some of our interview here.) Paul McCartney issued a statement and attended his memorial. Ringo Starr also issued a statement in his honor.
- Levon Helm: The former member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band died from cancer. Ringo Starr issued a statement to his friend.
- Geoffrey Hughes: We lost two of the Beatles’ voices from “Yellow Submarine” this year. The voice of Paul McCartney in “Yellow Submarine” died in July from prostate cancer.
- John Clive: The voice of John Lennon died in October.
- Mary Campbell: Veteran Associated Press music writer who wrote about the Beatles.
- Pete Bennett: Bennett, known in the music industry as a super promo man, worked for the Beatles to promote Apple Records. He helped push the releases by James Taylor, Mary Hopkin and Billy Preston, to name a few.
- David Shriver: Veteran musician who played with Eddie Cochran and Trini Lopez and became friends of the Beatles.
- Ken Regan: He took photos not only of the Beatles, but Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Springsteen and Jimi Hendrix. Here’s his obituary from Rolling Stone.
- Davy Jones: The only British member of the Monkees was on “The Ed Sullivan Show” the night the Beatles debuted as a youthful star of the musical “Oliver!” (He talks about that night in an interview we did with him here.) In a later interview, he told us he was open to a Monkees reunion, which finally happened with him last year. Davy also starred with Ringo in a well-known pizza commercial that featured the other Monkees.
- Robin Gibb: Died in May after an extended battle with cancer. The Bee Gees were fans of the Beatles. An Australian TV show in their younger days featured the Brothers Gibb doing “Please Please Me.”
- Dick Clark: Clark’s “American Bandstand” never featured the Beatles live, but he did play the “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” videos.
- LeRoy Nieman: Not a friend of the Beatles per se, but the man best known for sports sketches did do portraits of the Beatles and John Lennon.
- (And we know we probably forgot a couple.)
Have a happy, healthy (and safe) New Year. Let’s do it again in 2013!
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