“The Beatles returned to Liverpool on 7 December 1963 for a concert at the Liverpool Empire and to record an episode of ‘Juke Box Jury’ for TV. Using the same audience from The Beatles Northern Area Fan Club performance, the group was filmed between 2.30 p.m. and 3.15 p.m. for broadcasting that evening. About thirty minutes later they taped a concert segment for ‘It’s The Beatles’, followed by an interview for 'Top of the Pops’. They then made a mad dash up London Road to the Odeon Cinema for two more performances that evening.
It was just another crazy day in the life of The Beatles as their fame spread across the United Kingdom. However, for Michael Turner, a six-year-old boy, it was a most memorable day. Michael’s sister Flora remembers it well.
'Michael was nearly seven. He loved all The Beatles, but most of all, he loved George Harrison,’ Flora said. 'So, as the boys were coming to Liverpool to do “Juke Box Jury” at the Empire, we decided to get him tickets for his birthday’.
Flora and her friends stood in line all night waiting for tickets. They purchased for tickets each, including one for Michael. Unfortunately, a few days before the concert, Michael came down with the measles, which put an end to his Beatles dream. 'He was heartbroken’, Flora recalled.
Flora knew where Louise and Harry Harrison lived and hit on a novel idea - send them a telegram explaining Michael’s predicament. The day of the concert Flora was in her room getting ready for the big show, when there was a knock on the door. Moments later Flora’s mother told her that Mrs. Harrison was asking for her.
'So, off I went - rollers in my hair and all,’ Flora said, 'At the door was a woman, wearing a greyish coat and holding something in her hand. “We received your telegram,” she said, “and George wanted you to have this!” I invited her in, but they were on their way to the theatre. “The boys are in the car”, she added.
'The boys are in the car? They certainly were. Smiling and waving at me - in my rollers. You can imagine how I felt. I waved back and thanked George’s mum. She was a nice lady.’
Louise delivered an autographed photo from all four Beatles, dedicated to Michael. They all wished him well.
That selfless act made lifetime fans out of both Michael and Flora. 'It cheered a sick little boy when he felt disappointed - and not matter what is written about them, I will never forget what George’s mum, George and the other Beatles did’, Flora said.” - Liddypool: Birthplace of The Beatles by David Bedford [x]
I just look at all the places and say, ‘there’s where I was born, there’s where I lived, there’s where I went to school, there’s where the Cavern got knocked down.’ My friends were really John, Paul and Ringo and we all moved at the same time. I do miss Liverpool.
George Harrison on secret visits to Liverpool, to CNN’s Mark Davies, 5 April 1992
Polaroids pris par la directrice de casting Bonnie Timmermann: Adrien Brody, Jessica Alba, Patrick Dempsey, Natalie Portman, Viggo Mortensen, Scarlett Johansson, George Clooney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diane Lane, Mickey Rourke, Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, Reese Whiterspoon, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Connelly et Ewan McGregor.
REST IN PEACE, Noel Neill (November 25, 1920 - July 3, 2016) Kind words and fond memories continue to be shared by comic creators, like Gail Simone, and former Lois Lanes, like Dana Delany and Erica Durance, in the wake of the passing of Noel Neill, the first live action Lois Lane. She will be missed.
The Beatles filming the “Strawberry Fields Forever” promotional clip, Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, 31 January 1967; photographed by Jane Bown.
While sorting through one of my scrapbooks, I re-discovered this description from a Christie’s listing (filed under 2005) - for autographs obtained either on 31 January or 7 February 1967:
“These signatures were acquired by the vendor during the shooting of the promotional clips for Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane at Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, on either 31st January or 7th February, 1967.
At the time, the vendor was chief photographer for a local newspaper, the Sevenoaks Chronicle, and recalls receiving a tip-off that the Beatles would be at Knole Park. On arrival he was told by the producer that the press were not welcome, but managed to persuade him to let him take a few photographs on the understanding that he would not reveal what the film was for.
The vendor noticed Brian Epstein and asked him for his autograph and recalls, ‘He was charming and signed my book three times.
I then managed to get Ringo, John and Paul [to sign]. […] George Harrison’s signature was not obtained as he was, apparently, irritated at being asked to pose for photographs, dismissing the vendor and a colleague with the comment, ‘Go take ******* photographs of yourself!’“
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a copy of this particular issue of SUPERMAN FAMILY whose cover wasn’t miscut. I wonder if this wasn’t the result of the switch-over from a squarebound binding to traditional end-staples–if the cover has perhaps been set up for the former, and so without that additional bit of space, shifted the trim on the right side further inward on the printed covers. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that this issue was originally bought for my brother Ken rather than me, though as usual I ended up with it in the end.
SUPERMAN FAMILY represented the final stop on a long road for the solo careers of Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl. Each had been a headliner previous to this, but with sales and interest waning, all three characters had been brought together into a single publication that would feature them all. This did mean that you only got one new story of each character every six months or so, as they rotated in the lead-off “new” spot. But that was better than the grim specter of cancellation.
The new Supergirl story in this issue featured wonderful artwork by the often-underrated Kurt Schaffenberger. He drew in an appealing, open style that conveyed a certain sense of whimsey and charm. In this case, the writing team of Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin gives us an adventure in which Supergirl is stalked by Ranar, an alien who was born at the exact same moment that she was, and who desires her as a mate, as the stars indicate that their union will make him all-powerful.
Ranar’s people have no concept of right and wrong, and their lives are ruled by astrology, a hot topic in 1976. So Ranar journeys to Earth with the intention of subduing Kara and taking her as his bride, imperiling all of Stanhope College where she works as he’s doing so. After a number of unsuccessful attempts to bat away Ranar’s affections, Supergirl creates a massive planetoid and positions it in the cosmos such that it blocks out one of the stars, thus changing Ranar’s star-charts and her own desirability. This seems like an imperfect solution to me, as Ranar is going to figure out the deception when he returns home, and as the galaxy continues to move through space–but no matter. The tale is done.
This is followed up by the first reprint, a Lois Lane story, also illustrated by Schaffenberger several years previously. As so many of the Lois stories from this era do, this one revolves around matrimony. While on an international flight, klutzy Lois accidentally triggers the ejector seats, trapping herself, Clark Kent and rival Lana Lang in a lost valley filled with barbarian tribesmen. By the laws of the valley, all women must be married.
In order to avoid a death sentence, Lois agrees to marry Clark Kent. Then, Clark changes to Superman–but rather than, you know, flying the girls out of the valley to safety, he instead agrees to marry Lana in order to spare her life. This leads to a lot of jealousy and some secret identity snooping, but eventually, the trio is rescued by a search party guided to the spot by Superman, and everything goes back to normal. So there’s a lot of emotional drama, but all of it is pretty false.
The issue pauses at this point for the regular letters page, and as with other recent books, it ran the yearly Statement of Ownership in order to maintain its second class mailing permits. This lets us see that SUPERMAN FAMILY was selling 149,005 copies on a print run of 350,446, for an efficiency of 42.5%. That’s not a great percentage, but ti is better than most of the other recent titles we’ve seen, and the higher cover price on SUPERMAN FAMILY also likely meant that the margin on it was better as well.
Finally, the issue closes with a Jimmy Olsen reprint drawn by the always-reliable Curt Swan, here embellished by one of his best inkers, George Klein. It’s the first entry in what became a series of stories in which on-again/off-again couple Jimmy Olsen and Lucy Lane each adopted disguises, unbeknownst to the other, and became attracted to each other once again as “Sandra” and “Magi”.
It all works out about as you’d expect, with both Jimmy and Lucy proving to be secretly faithless to one another, and the reader in on the gag. Along the way, there’s the capture of a wanted felon by Superman, an emergency landing of the plane that Magi and Sandra are on, and other shenanigans. And at the end, both Magi and Sandra have lost sight of one another, and resume their regular routine–all the while pining for the mysterious stranger they had met on the flight who is even then sitting right across from them. Oh, the irony! What’s interesting in all three of these stories is that the stakes are very small and personal, almost non-existent. It’s hard to imagine stories like these appearing in theoretically super hero comic books today.