Both of the surviving Beatles have been nominated for Grammy Awards this year. To call this a pleasant surprise would be an understatement. This must be the most unpredictable turn of events in Beatles history since Ferdinand Marcos said, "Let the plane take off."
Ringo Starr, who has had a disastrous few months welcomed the news about his nomination for Best Surround Sound Album with a press statement. According to the Abbey Road Beatles News Site, Starr said, "I am thrilled to be nominated." "Ringo 5.1 The Surround Sound Collection" contains some of the best tracks from the Mark Hudson era. Despite some glaring omissions (e.g. "Write One For Me") the album is a strong collection of tracks and the sound really is phenomenal. The sound is spacious and has none that overproduced or over-compressed feel.
[Note: Regarding the Apple Starr thread at Nothing Is Real...Yes, I checked...When Ringo makes a peace sign, his index finger is at a 12 degree angle.]
Hopefully this nomination will turn things around for Ringo who has suffered some severe setbacks recently. His announcement on his website promising to trash all fan mail after October 20, 2008 caused him to be savaged by the press. Shortly after that blunder, another incident occurred at an awards show in Monaco that was tacked on to the public relations downfall. Paul McCartney finally came to Ringo's defense last week. What took him so long?
Paul McCartney received not one but two nominations for two different songs on one of the most obscure things he ever released. "Amoeba's Secret" was recorded at his Amoeba Record Store concert in Hollywood, California on June 27, 2007. The vinyl only E.P. has only four songs, two of which have been nominated for Grammys. That's pretty good for a limited edition with a blurry cover that was designed to look like a bootleg. Copies of the E.P. are surprisingly available and affordable on Ebay and through various independent retailers linked to Amazon. The initial run available exclusively through Amoeba Records sold out quickly, so I suspect that either there was a quiet re-release or there are counterfeit copies floating around. That would explain why some copies are selling for around $100 and other sealed copies can be found under $20.
The cover art of the E.P. included a completed Wordsearch puzzle presumably done by Paul. The puzzle "answers" include the name of the artist, title of the E.P., and all of the song titles.
It is the rest of the puzzle grid that has raised some eyebrows. The top right area of the puzzle has three consecutive letters that spell "ABE." Abe Laboriel, Jr. of course, just happens to be Paul's drummer. The chances of three random letters spelling a name that happens to be one of the five musicians on the album are rather good. Coincidence right? Immediately under the three letters that spell "ABE" are the three letters "PID." Again three letters in a grid have a decent chance of spelling something relevant, so we shouldn't jump to the conclusion that "PID" stands for "Paul Is Dead." That would be silly. I realize that the odds against "ABE" and "PID" both lining up in the same corner of the same puzzle are considerably higher, but it's still just a coincidence right? The only objection to this discussion of meaningful randomness can be found in the bottom row of the puzzle where we find the consecutive letters "SURREAL." I can say no more.
According to AbbeyRd, "That Was Me" was nominated for for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance (For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only), and "I Saw Her Standing There was nominated for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance (For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only).
It's hard to explain how two products that sold in the dozens could be nominated for three grammy awards, but Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr deserve every bit of recognition they have gotten.
Another piece of good news is that the bigs have picked up on the "Carnival of Light" story. I don't think there is anything new here, but the buzz may put some pressure on the powers that be to actually release the thing.
MSNBC New mania for a long-buried Beatles track features comments from Bruce Spizer.
CNN 'Lost' Beatles track could finally be heard
The Wall Street Journal Paul McCartney's Latest Collaboration surprisingly begins with the "Carnival of Light" story.
There was good news also for the Fireman. "Electric Arguments" is the first Fireman album to chart, hitting the Billboard Top 200 at #67. [I don't think that was rounded up from 66.6] The fact that this was the first Fireman release on an indie label made it eligible for the Top Independent Albums chart, where it debuted at #1.
All this talk of Good News reminds me of that album by Attitudes. Ringo played drums on the title track. It was released on George's Dark Horse Label. And on the back cover, Danny Kootch proved that Paul McCartney is not the only guy to ever have a hand above his head.