Archive for October, 2005
Found this nice pic of John and Yoko, it was taken at the Hit Factory studio’s in New York on Dec 6th 1980, they were at the studio mixing ‘Walking on thin ice’ and this pic was taken during a break in those sessions when they were interviewed by Andy Peebles of the BBC, it appears in a new book ‘The Beatles Unseen’, which is a collection of rare photos and is available from www.amazon.co.uk
I cant wait to get a copy, hopefully i’ll be able to pick one up when i’m in New York in a couple of weeks, where i’ll also be visiting the Hit Factory, as well as a few other Beatle related studio’s in that city.
One thing i’ve always loved about following the Beatles saga, is the ‘family’ aspect of the group, they have always been, and i hope always will continue to be one big Fab extended family, just the other day i found some photos of Mary and Dhani out together recently.
I’m an old sooky romantic at heart, i like happy endings, i want the whole world to be friends and i admire how pretty much without exception the Fabs have stayed close to all those who have been with them from day one, this includes ex wives as well.
To illustrate this point i’ve attached three photos of George and Patti taken through the years, including one of them together at Friar Park in the 1990′s which was many years after they parted.
Not sure if i’ve mentioned on here, but during November i’m going to be visiting Los Angeles, Washington and New York for the first time .. in fact this will be my first big oversea’s trip ever!.
Whilst in L.A i’m lucky enough to have tickets to two of Pauls concerts there, so i’m sure this Blog will be filled with Paul pic’s from those shows.
When i’m in New York the one place i want to hunt down and find is the location of where the ‘Hit Factory’ studios were in 1980, 353 West 48th St, this is where John recorded ‘Double fantasy’ .. my favorite album of his, and i think it’s pretty well documented on this blog how much i’m facinated by the 1980 period of John’s career. I thought finding the location of the studio’s was going to be easy .. W R O N G, i scoured the net, books and articles and couldn’t find too much information at all, in fact in some cases it was totally confusing, especially when articles list inacurate information and address’.
What i’ve found out is that the studio’s moved from the 1980 location to West 54th Street in 1991, which is where they stayed until the studio closed down only last year, originally the ‘Hit Factory’ opened up in 1968 .. i ‘think’ at West 42nd Street (Times square) then at some stage (perhaps 1975) the studio’s moved to 353 West 48th Street, but nowhere could i find an exact address or location, this is where being a bit of a Beatle detective has come in handy, i got out all my photo’s of John arriving at the studio and studied them for landmarks or signs in the background, finally as you’ll see in the photo where John is wearing a red shirt you can just make out behind him a sign ‘Hotel Bel……’
.. i wasnt sure what that was, i assumed it was ‘Bellview’ or something like that, then i searched ‘Google earth’ (fantastic program) and this confirmed, as the 1980 pictures showed, that West 48th was a one way street, then as i zoomed a little closer on Google earth a listing for a hotel ‘Belvedere’ on West 48th showed up, so bingo i now have the site and address located of the 1980 ‘Hit Factory’ .. now when i get there i have to try and work out exactly where it was, but i should get pretty close to sorting it out. with the Panorama photo click on that to enlarge it and scroll from left to right.
Update Sept 2010: Upon my vist to New York in 2005 i was able to confirm 100% that the ‘Hit Factory’ in 1980 was located at 353 West 48th St, at the time i was told it was being converted into apartments, but having since found this web site for Sear Sound it seems that at least up to 2008 it was a working studio, so if anyone is visiting NY anytime soon and wants to drop by and see if it is a studio, or been converted to apartments please drop me a line here to let us know.
Pic 1) John wearing the red shirt, you cant make it out in this pic, but behind
him is a sign for the Hotel Belvedere.
Pic 2) This is facing down the other direction of the road
Pic 3) The actual entrance to the studio
Pic 4) Google earth image of West 48th st and the Hotel Belvedere which was only
a few buildings up from the studio
Pic 5) A panorama photo i made up of John outside the studio, this pic starting
from left to right covers almost 360 degree’s
For me the really exciting John news this week is in December a book, ‘Memories of John’ will be issued, what has me so excited about this is in the description it says that for the first time ever EVERY frame from photographer Annie Liebovitz’ last session with John will be printed. Anyone who knows me, knows how much i adore the 1980 period of John’s career, so i cant wait to see if they actually do print all these photo’s which are my all time favorites of John. Below i’ve printed a few frames from this session, that arent as common as some of the more well known photos from December 8th 1980.
I always hoped when they reissued the ‘Let it be’ be album that the Fabs would have used their original idea for the cover, which was to recreate the ‘Please please me’ cover from 1963, alas when ‘Let it be .. naked’ came out a couple of years ago they dropped the ball and issued it with that pretty boring grey/silver cover. Below i’ve printed a rarely seen alternate mock up cover for the ‘Get back’ album, i think this looks MUCH cooler.