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BEATLES TROVE? The suitcase, found in an Australian flea market, cost $36. The value of its contents - Beatles memorabilia, including photographs, concert programs and unreleased recordings - is beyond calculation. Although the materials remain unauthenticated, some experts believe that the find is the long-lost archive of the Beatles' roadie and sound recordist Mal Evans, The Associated Press reported, citing an article in The Times of London. According to the newspaper, Mr. Evans was killed by the police in Los Angeles in 1976 after brandishing what turned out to be a fake gun. During the ensuing investigation, the contents of the suitcase were lost. The Times reported that Fraser Claughton, 41, of Tinkerton, England, found the suitcase in a small town outside Melbourne and bought it because he realized it was not empty. "It's like finding the end of the rainbow in Australia,'' he said. The contents included a four-and-a-half-hour reel-to-reel tape on which John Lennon and Paul McCartney experiment with alternative versions of previously unrecorded tracks, as well as previously unknown versions of "We Can Work It Out'' and "Cry Baby Cry.'' Labeled "Abbey Road not for release,'' the tapes are to be evaluated by Apple, the Beatles' label, and by experts. In 1998 an Evans notebook containing draft lyrics for "Hey Jude'' and "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'' sold for $185,000 at an auction in London.

 

WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

- Jeff

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You did notice that the guy paid $36 for the whole package? Depending on the authenticity of the contents, it could easily be worth multiple millions.

 

Nice find. That even beats seeing a '59 Les Paul collecting dust in the corner of a garage. :thu:

 

- Jeff

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Hmmm...but isn't the tape technically the property of the Beatles/Apple?

 

Like, isn't all that music on the tape protected by Copyright law?

 

It's not like the guy just found a vintage album in the case...those are session tapes.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Considering that all their material was well documented & tracked (even when recorded away from EMI), it seems unlikely that there will be any new versions of any songs.

Except for very early sessions Martin maintained almost all versions of songs in development (where do ya think the outakes on Anthology series came from?).

There were some edited versions of things that vary from release to release in differnt formats or countries but these usually amount to little more than editing/mixing differences & are insignificant really.

These are probably nothing more than acetate or cassette versions of songs in development.

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There are some songs that was only released as flexi discs to UK fan club members. A few of them was later released (Across The Universe, alternative version) but I think at least one christmas song is still not available.

 

Even if the discovered material is Apple Corps property, a finders fee would make sense.

 

And he could always make a documentary and/or a book about the "mystic lost case".

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Originally posted by Michael Jackson's real nose:

Considering that all their material was well documented & tracked (even when recorded away from EMI), it seems unlikely that there will be any new versions of any songs.

Except for very early sessions Martin maintained almost all versions of songs in development (where do ya think the outakes on Anthology series came from?).

There were some edited versions of things that vary from release to release in differnt formats or countries but these usually amount to little more than editing/mixing differences & are insignificant really.

These are probably nothing more than acetate or cassette versions of songs in development.

Where are you getting this information??

 

According to The Beatles Recording Sessions book, the Beatles' sessions at Abbey Road were anything but well documented! The book itself is based on research done by a terminally ill balance engineer at Abbey Road. He wanted an interesting task to keep his mind active. Someone suggested he listen to all the Beatles' session tapes and make notes of everything he heard. The book goes on to say that many master tapes had little information that was often poorly written. It was only through his notes that we know (from things he heard on the tapes) what each tape was. If a tape was missing because Mal Evans spirited it away, then there may have been absolutely no documentation about it.

 

As for the variety of edited versions available in various markets around the world, I saw notes from dup-masters for several Beatles' albums. (copies of both the tapes and documentation were given to my friend's step-mom by another industry exec.) They include a log of every country and date they were used for manufacturing. This is certainly not just some dup-master someone found. Besides, the dup-masters did not have "Property of Abbey Road" on them, as they were never property of Abbey Road. Dup-masters are the property of EMI or Capitol Records.

 

As for Abbey Road's claim of ownership, it is probable they could say these were stolen, but it would be difficult to make the case without police reports stating that the tapes were, in fact, missing from Abbey Road. Mal Evans may very well have had permission to remove them from the studio, and now that he's passed away, we have no way of knowing the truth.

 

Besides, Abbey Road will be authenticating them. I'm quite sure the current owner wouldn't hand them back to Abbey Road personnel if ownership was an issue. But... you never know. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by miroslav:

Hmmm...but isn't the tape technically the property of the Beatles/Apple?

 

Like, isn't all that music on the tape protected by Copyright law?

 

It's not like the guy just found a vintage album in the case...those are session tapes.

Regardless of who owns the intellectual property, if they are the only physical copies, the tapes are still worth a fotune. If Apple tries to strong arm the guy, all he has to do is hide them away or destroy them. Then, Apple owns 100% of nothing. If they want to cash in on this find, the will have no choice but to work with the guy.
I really don't know what to put here.
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Originally posted by Sylver:

If Apple tries to strong arm the guy, all he has to do is hide them away or destroy them. Then, Apple owns 100% of nothing. If they want to cash in on this find, the will have no choice but to work with the guy.

I don't see the need to "strong-arm" anyone.

 

You own something.

You lose it.

Someone finds it.

You can prove that it belongs to you.

They have to give it back.

 

How much more complicated would it need to be?

 

Of course...Apple would be smart to give the guy a finder fee....but if it is theirs...why would they even need to resort to "strong-arm" tactics...???

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by miroslav:

Originally posted by Sylver:

If Apple tries to strong arm the guy, all he has to do is hide them away or destroy them. Then, Apple owns 100% of nothing. If they want to cash in on this find, the will have no choice but to work with the guy.

I don't see the need to "strong-arm" anyone.

 

You own something.

You lose it.

Someone finds it.

You can prove that it belongs to you.

They have to give it back.

 

How much more complicated would it need to be?

 

Of course...Apple would be smart to give the guy a finder fee....but if it is theirs...why would they even need to resort to "strong-arm" tactics...???

Because the law regarding property owned by a company is not the same as that for property owned by an individual or family. I don't even know what the laws in England or Australia (where the suitcase was bought) say, but in the U.S., a lot depends on a complaint having been made. If Abbey Road was unaware these tapes existed, then they wouldn't have made a complaint. Without an official complaint their are many defensible possibilities how these tapes arrived at that rummage sale. Many of them are entirely legal, but proving whether they arrived there via legal or unlawful means is probably impossible to determine. The long and short is this would be a long, drawn out court case that could go either way. Add the international angle (even if, technically, Australia is still linked to the British Empire) and you have a recipe for a real clusterf*(k.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Let's play with the idea that it indeed is Apple/Abbey Road/EMI property:

 

-----------------------

 

The finder will offer Apple/Abbey Road/EMI a high resoluton copy of the tapes for a very modest one time payment to recoup expenses + a finders fee.

 

The finder will produce photographs of all material. The copyright of the photos will belong to the finder. He will make a fortune on these photos alone.

 

The old tapes will be sold at an auction and the finder get to keep the full amount (minus auction commision).

 

Apple/Abbey Road/EMI issues a cd with the "lost tapes" that sells platinum and then some.

 

Everybody will live happily ever after.

 

-----------------------

 

Is this a likely scenario?

 

What is the estate of Mal Evans saying?

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What do we want? Procrastination!

When do we want it? Later!

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PS

I was trying to find some info about their christmas recordings when this popped up, enjoy!

 

Ever wondered who thought up of the idea for the Beatles Xmas Fan Club messages? Well, it wasn't the Beatles themselves, that's for sure. Nor was it Brian Epstein. In fact the person who came up with the idea was Tony Barrow - their press officer. The great moment of inspiration came about in 1963:

The Beatles Fan Club in 1963 had a deluge of fan mail where on average they were three weeks behind in answering back to the fans. This created problems in terms of efficiently responding back" to those fans as well their own 30,000 Official Fan Club Members. Tony Barrow became acutely aware of the problem, so what to do? Well, Tony recalled how the Queen Mother always delivered her Christmas Message to her subjects every year on the December 25th. Presto! Why not have the Beatles do the same for their fans but send it out on a record just before Christmas?

Tony Barrow decided to approach Brian Epstein on the idea. Brian more or less shunned it because he felt it was going to cost the Beatles more in the long run to finance the singles as a gift to their fan club members. However, Tony was not disheartened by Epstein's opinion on the matter. Tony then decided to talk to the Beatles about the proposal to which all four musicians thought it a great idea! The Beatles then talked to Brian Esptein about the merits concerning Tony's idea. Needless to say, Brian had no choice but to now agree since it was being sanctioned by John, Paul, George and Ringo.

 

And so the Beatle Fan Club Members got their first Beatle Xmas message in 1963. Bet you all thought that the Beatles wrote the the message themselves for their fans? Wrong! In fact the first three Xmas messages were more or less scripted by Tony Barrow with the idea that the Beatles ad-lib humor might prevail along the way as they're reading it (ie: one of the boys goosing another one or whistling the queens anthem are a couple of examples Tony refers to).

 

Interestingly enough, the first three Beatle Xmas records -- that is, 1963, 1964 and 1965 were all recorded at EMI studios at the end of their recording sessions. By 1966, the Beatles took a totally different approach to their next Xmas message. Mainly Paul McCartney's idea, the recording of this message had quite a few firsts for itself: First of all, it was to be Pantomime - an idea Paul came up with as opposed to the usual happy greetings and Xmas goodwill found on the previous three Xmas messages. Secondly, the record became the first Xmas record to be double-sided. Thirdly, the sleeve cover was done in color for the first time! Fourthly (and a bit of surprise here for this fan), the Beatles recorded this message at their publishers studios...that's right, in Dick James' studios in 1966! A departure here for the Beatles since they previously recorded their Fan Club messages after a recording session. The Xmas recording was approached from a production point of view - the first time the Beatles decided to record their Xmas message that way.

 

The Beatles Xmas message for 1967 brought in a satirical humor based on radio and television and created a Xmas record that was amost like a radio play. However, in the final mixdown stage, they just sang Christmas time is here again for 6 minutes and the rest was never used.

 

In 1968, the Beatles were not working well together and they recorded "separate Xmas messages to be "edited together. The lucky person who got to do this envious task of producing and editing was none other than Kenny Everett - a London disc jockey. Basically, Ken took the recordings back to the BBC radio and did some special mixing which still gave the impression of Beatles doing another great fan club message. But in the 1969 Xmas message, Kenny Everett's efforts were more constrained by the lack of input from George Harrison - who only spoke a mere 6 seconds on the record and Ringo, only a mere16 seconds - made the Beatles last Xmas message appear far less of a group effort at all. Once again, this record was mixed by Kenny Everett using some musical files from the BBC library to help pad out what was to be the Beatles last Official Christmas Fan Club Record.

 

If you were fortunate enough to have been a member of the official Beatles fan club between 1963 and 1969, then you likely have heard one or more of these records. The Beatles recorded them and sent them out to their adoring fans every year, finally collecting them all on one album for the 1970 edition. Now rare and quite pricey to obtain, these seldom heard recordings offer a rare glimpse of the fabs at their funniest.

 

1963 British only. Features the Beatles' amusing mockery of a prepared script and Ringo's decidedly upbeat interpretation of Good King Wenceslaus.

 

1964 A showcase for the ever-caustic Lennon one-liner.

 

1965 A bizarre Abbey Road sing-along. Highlights include Lennon's melancholy rendering of The Four Tops' It's The Same Old Song (which elicits a warning from Harrison about Copyright, Johnny!) and an irreverent Auld Lang Syne. Starr and Lennon's impromptu parody of British foreign correspondents is also hilarious.

 

1966 A random series of nonsensical vignettes united around a single musical theme (Everywhere It's Christmas). The highlight is McCartney's highly amusing throwaway Please Don't Bring Your Banjo Back.

 

1967 Opens with a Badfinger-esque original--Christmas Time Is Here Again--and continues with another series of skits. Highlights include Plenty of Jam Jars by the Ravelers, an intermittent, Who Sell Out-style jingle, and a game show parody with Lennon as host.

 

1968 Surrealism finally overwhelms humor in these separately recorded greetings. Lennon takes a thinly veiled shot at his bandmates with his story about two balloons who are in love and must overcome overwhelming oddities, including their beast friends. Highlight is Harrison's parody of Tiny Tim singing Nowhere Man.

 

1969 Yoko makes an appearance as John's interviewer, and the two sing a duet reminiscent of the All in the Family theme before finally predicting the 70s will be peaceful, and full of people flying around. McCartney sings a pleasant ditty.

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What do we want? Procrastination!

When do we want it? Later!

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FanatsicNeil, my earlier remarks about the preservation of the Beatles's work were in comparison to the work of others.

Most recordings at that time (& even later) were routinely erased/discarded except for final tape masters; the Beatles working versions of the tunes were, by & large, kept (again, hence the sources for various bootlegs & the recent official releases that include outakes & unfinished versions of songs.

Compare this to the libraries of companies like Motown or the attempts I've seen to document the sessions of bands like the Rolling Stones & I do think the Beatles's work could be called "well documented" or at least preserved.

EMI was one of the most organized recording businesses in the world & I'd say their efforts in this regard were as complete as any, similar perhaps to Columbia's in the USA.

 

As far as different mixes/"dups", I was refering to those prepared by Martin himself, which do vary sometimes from those issued in the UK & USA (with occasional differences between even those).

I don't think these will turn out to be those but perhaps the cassettes (or acetates, if any of those were included in this find) that the bandmembers regularly made to listen to at home & test on their friends.

If this stuff came from Mal Evans's collection, that's a very good possibility, I'd say.

 

Another possibility is that both McCartney & Lennon (& later Harrison) had home studios where they (especially McCartney) worked on material. For example, it's well known that most of the songs for the 1968 "White Album" were first done at Harrison's home.

 

As to legal ownership, that could be a "sticky wicket" involving as it does multiple countries, but let's recall that several years back when a tape of the very early Beatles was available for auction in the UK, McCartney was able to get a UK court to force the tape to be sold to him rather than to any other high bidder.

The music business doesn't always (even often? :D ) work the way we might expect.

Lost material in the USA (as from airline flights) is routinely sold at outlets around the country, for whatever relevance that has.

 

Re: the Christmas fan club recordings.

IIRC, the final send-out was a collection of the earler discs.

In any event, these, too, have been regularly bootlegged---although as an expensive item; the one I saw in the late 1980s was an LP version, with all the tracks, going for over $100.

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Originally posted by Michael Jackson's real nose:

FanatsicNeil, my earlier remarks about the preservation of the Beatles's work were in comparison to the work of others...

 

...Compare this to the libraries of companies like Motown or the attempts I've seen to document the sessions of bands like the Rolling Stones & I do think the Beatles's work could be called "well documented" or at least preserved...

I believe, "well preserved" is the correct phrase. When the balance engineer in question (his name escapes me and my book is at home :freak: ) began his mission, it was noted that there were often missing or unreadable track sheets, little or no information on who played what (hence the longstanding rumors of who played each solo on The End off Abbey Road, for example) on which song or version of a song.

 

No doubt EMI and Abbey Road were places that took care of masters and alternate version tapes, but it would seem the engineers were anything but meticulous when it came to track sheets and production notes. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

When the balance engineer in question (his name escapes me and my book is at home :freak: )...

 

Mark Lewisohn

 

...little or no information on who played what (hence the longstanding rumors of who played each solo on The End off Abbey Road

 

Paul, followed by George, followed by John. Tones and stylistic approaches in the solos tend to support that IMO.

 

As far as the tape preservation goes, EMI tape seems to have held up quite well over the years, and of course, it was all well stored. It's a good thing they were not using 80's era Ampex 456. :freak:

 

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Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

Originally posted by fantasticsound:

When the balance engineer in question (his name escapes me and my book is at home :freak: )...

 

Mark Lewisohn

 

...little or no information on who played what (hence the longstanding rumors of who played each solo on The End off Abbey Road

 

Paul, followed by George, followed by John. Tones and stylistic approaches in the solos tend to support that IMO.

 

As far as the tape preservation goes, EMI tape seems to have held up quite well over the years, and of course, it was all well stored. It's a good thing they were not using 80's era Ampex 456. :freak:

 

AAANNNNGGGHHHH!!!

 

(And far be it from me to AAAANNNGGGHHHHH!!! the venerable Phil O'Keefe, U.S. Marine (ret.) and seasoned studio owner. But you're wrong, my friend. ;):D )

 

Lewisohn wrote the book. He did not compile the original reference material that inspired and is responsible for most of the facts contained therein. (Besides, he's still alive, to my knowledge. ;) ) The liner notes in the first few pages have the story of this largely unknown balance engineer. After he compiled the information, several of the Abbey Road engineers that recorded the Beatles would take him along to ask the ridiculously specific questions about various takes, etc., because his notes were from the tapes whereas their memories... well, were less than perfect after 20 odd years. ;) I'll look it up tonight and post the pertinent info.

 

As for the end solos, The Beatles Recordings book also makes suggestions as to who played, although I think even they, after re-listening to the tapes, still can't say for sure who played what. (And several sources who were there tell differing stories. :freak: ) Again, I'll post what the book says later. But I believe they support the notion that one of the solo parts is Clapton, as has been widely rumored ever since the album came out.

 

(Sorry about the AAAANNNNNGGGGHHHH!!!, Phil. Please don't rip my head off and sh*t down my neck. :D )

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Aha! The gentleman who researched every Beatle tape was John Barrett, and Lewisohn had the remarkable experience of meeting Mr. Barrett prior to his (Barrett's) untimely death.

 

Ken Townsend and Brian Southall (author of the book, Abbey Road) were the gentlemen who invited Barrett to accompany them on a speaking engagement at a Liverpool Beatle convention, to answer the tricky questions. ;) It was audience members who first requested a book be published from John's research.

 

The book does not list John Barrett's illness, however, they mention chemotherapy, which leads me to believe his death in 1984 was due to cancer.

 

A tragic story, but one that lives on forever through the Beatles' Recordings book. :thu:

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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This thread is by intent speculative (& getting further afield daily by slight mis-readings ;) )but let me try to set some of my comments aright.

When I spoke of preservation it wasn't in terms of tape storage quality but the very fact that Beatles recordings of work material & alternate versions were kept at all. This was done for some jazz artists on labels like Blue Note, etc., but for a pop group it was out of the ordinary, at that time.

As to whether they were "well documented"... all relevant (to the engineers) info was there, they didn't know or care about song titles, etc., but the dates, machine settings, etc., were noted.

Even if the material on the tapes wasn't well documented originally, after the project that led to Lewisohn's book, it is.

 

Finally, the question as to who played which solo on "the End" is a non-starter, it's well known that Phillip O'K.'s answer is correct. This is supported by statemants from both at least Lennon & McCartney, if not Harrison.

McCartney's style, with it's mix of blues & country elements is easy to spot, as are Harrison's fluidity & Lennon's latter-day tendency toward repeating a motif.

Personally I've never even heard the Clapton rumor. (Maybe I should ask you where you are getting this information ;) )

Anyhow rumors abound about the Beatles even at this late date & even about such things as this find. What a statement about their effect on people!

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