The Beatles banned segregated audiences

The Beatles showed their support for the US civil rights movement by refusing to play in front of segregated audiences, a contract shows.

The document, which is to be auctioned next week, relates a 1965 concert at the Cow Palace in California. Signed by manager Brian Epstein, it specifies that The Beatles “not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience”.

The agreement also guarantees the band payment of $40,000 (¬£25,338). Other requirements include a special drumming platform for Ringo Starr and the provision of 150 uniformed police officers for protection…

The Beatles had previously taken a public stand on civil rights in 1964, when they refused to perform at a segregated concert at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.

City officials relented, allowing the stadium to be integrated, and the band took to the stage.

“We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now,” said John Lennon. “I’d sooner lose our appearance money.”

I knew there was another great reason why I always loved the Beatles. Actually, among folks active in the civi rights movement – in the Land of the Free – we all knew about the Beatles’ stance against racism. It was only the “official” newspapers and radio and TV stations that wouldn’t admit it.

University awards first degree in Beatles

A Canadian woman has become the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in Beatles studies.

Former Miss Canada finalist, Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy was one of the first 12 students to sign up for the Liverpool Hope University course on the Fab Four when it began in 2009 and was the first to graduate, the university said.

“I am so proud of my achievement,” Zahalan-Kennedy said. “The course was challenging, enjoyable and it provided a great insight into the impact the Beatles had and still have to this day across all aspects of life…”

The course looks at the studio sound and composition of the Beatles and how Liverpool helped to shape their music. The MA examines the significance of their music and how it helped to define identities, culture and society.

Mike Brocken, founder and leader of the Beatles MA at Liverpool Hope University, said the postgraduate degree makes Zahalan-Kennedy a member of a select group of popular music experts.

Mary-Lu now joins an internationally recognized group of scholars of Popular Music Studies who are able to offer fresh and thought-provoking insights into the discipline of musicology.”

Actually makes sense in terms of history and musicology. Guaranteed to freak out the nutballs who still think John Lennon was the anti-Christ.

Photographer Brian Duffy dies


William S. Burroughs, 1960

Brian Duffy, whose photographs helped define the mood of the Swinging Sixties, has died aged 76.

Together with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, Duffy formed part of the trinity of photographers who became as famous as the models, musicians and film stars they worked with…

His work also spanned reportage and advertising, including two award-winning campaigns for Benson & Hedges and Smirnoff in the 1970s. He shot three David Bowie album covers, including Aladdin Sane.

Some of his work is particularly memorable. A little shiny.