Welcome to 2017
|Wiping the slate clean for 2017. Illustration: Jeff S. Levy|
2016 was a tough year for Beatle people. During the final weeks, we mourned the likes of Sam Leach, Carrie Fisher, George Michael and Allan Williams. These were just the last ones in a line of deaths of prominent people from The Beatles history, which included The Beatles’ press agent Tony Barrow and producer Sir George Martin in the past year.
|On their way to Hamburg: Allan Williams, his wife Beryl, Lord Woodbine, Stuart Sutcliffe, Paul, George and Pete Best.
John Lennon couldn’t be bothered to step out of the car. Photo: Barry Chang.
I met Allan Williams in 1985, at the first Beatles convention here in Norway. He brought some very interesting things, like original photos and contracts from the early days. He also brought along a film about Mersey Beat, which he screened from a movie projector. He kept coming to Norway on an annual basis for a while, always fond of a wee drink and becoming more and more red faced as the evening went on – and the language got juicier. In 1989 and 1992 he brought Pete Best with him. On one of his trips to Norway he was supposed to bring Bob Wooler, but Wooler fell ill before they were going. I met Williams in Liverpool too, on a couple of occasions. He kept going on about some leather trousers of Paul’s which he insisted that he had paid for, and Paul still owed him money for them. The last time he came to Norway was in 2003, and he was still a very colourful fella with great stories. Rest in peace. Allan Kozinn wrote a good obituary of Williams in the New York Times.
Let’s hope this trend doesn’t continue in 2017, and that we are allowed to keep our Beatle people for a while longer. On the final day of the year, the website paulmccartney.com announced the first concerts for 2017 in the ongoing One on One tour. These will take place in Japan at the end of April. Before that, Sir Paul will have released the archive edition of his 1989-LP, “Flowers In The Dirt”. So a new studio album from Paul is perhaps too much to ask for in between?
Paul himself celebrated the new year by appearing unannounced at a concert in St Barts, where he is having a holiday. Along with The Killers, Paul sang Paul on a version of the old Beatles song, “Helter Skelter”. A bit weird to see him perform with just a microphone and no instrument!
Ringo celebrated the new year by making public his support for American football team Alabama after their 24-7 victory over Washington in the Peach Bowl. The old Arsenal supporter seems to have gone all-American.
|Ringo celebrating Alabama|
Later, Ringo and his wife Barbara Bach tweeted this photo, wishing their followers a happy New Year. We’re not sure about why he is holding up an egg, but don’t we recognise the shirt from the 1992 All Starr Band tour?
|Back to the egg?|