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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

November 2016... Canada, Beatles, Beach Boys, Ealing, Liverpool and... The Scotch!

(28) Canada – Wow!! Marilyn (hardback edition) suddenly raced back to the #1 position in the “Most Wanted in Monroe, Marilyn” section on Amazon Canada.

- Another very busy day on the Beatles documentary. While Keith continued with the research, director, Alan G. began the task of putting the whole thing together, over at the (world famous, highly renowned) Ealing Film Studios, in Ealing. (Archive research / licensing / negotiating work on the new film continued for Mr. Badman for the remainder of the month.)

(27) USA/ World – A big thank you to “Kady” for giving Marilyn a big five-star rating on the renowned Goodreads website.

(25) Leafy Berkshire - Phew another day of Beatles archive work. Hot moments today included the arrival, from Screen Visuals, of the 1967 Pepper-era image which will adorn the front cover of the DVD / Blu-rays and appear in advance promotional material for the documentary.

- Keith also (rather excitedly) received today a short sample of a totally unseen / un-broadcasted Beach Boys documentary from March 1970. “And incredibly wonderful it was too,” he screamed after viewing it. The 16mm colour clip was then sent onto the group themselves by way of the band’s official archivist, Alan. “All go here!”

(23/24) Leafy Berkshire – Another mad/ busy day of archive research and form filling on the new Beatles movie.

- Following a lengthy discussion with producer, Simon Lupton, the working day concluded on a rather exciting bit of news regarding the film/ TV dramatization of Keith’s Marilyn book.

(22) – Leafy Berkshire – An archive licensing progress report chat with Chris B at ITN Source, followed by another buy day of negotiating fees and Rights (with three different companies) for the use of a certain image to be used for promotional purposes and on the cover of the DVD / Blu-ray release of the Beatles documentary. Other pieces of extensive archive research on the show also took place today.

(21) - Thanks to Robert E. Goldon for his splendid four-star review of Marilyn (hardback edition) on Amazon.com. “An interesting work on Monroe,” he typed, “with much new information for this reader.”

(16/17/18) Leafy Berkshire – Further extensive archive (film / video / stills) research on the new Beatles movie. The WeTransfer website certainly did overtime during these three days.

(15) North West London – 4pm slot. More interviewing for the documentary took place when Keith travelled again to the London home of Hunter Davies, The Beatles’ only official biographer. A most splendid 3-hour session was had by all. “Thank you, Hunter, a delight as always.”

(14) The Scotch of St. James, London – More Beatles-related interviews were filmed in London for the new movie. Among the luminaries present this day, at this most famous, legendary 60s venue, was noted Beatles author, Philip Norman, and two men famously close to the band in their 60s hey-day, Bill Harry and Tony Bramwell.

Keith took great interest when the latter pointed out to him where pop legends such as The Beatles, The Stones and The Animals etc. used to sit when they visited the club. Another high spot for him came when Tony identified the stage (just inches off the floor) where (in September 1966) Jimi Hendrix (I kid you not) gave his very first British performance. “Phew! Unbelievable!” Interviews (and incredible stories) over, Bramwell and Badman shared a lengthy walk back to Paddington Station.

(7) UK – Many thanks to “S. Williamson” for his five-star review of Marilyn (paperback version) on Amazon.co.uk. The review was succinct, “Brill,” he said simply. “Thanks, kind sir.”

(6 – 9) Liverpool, England – Production on the new Beatles movie documentary finally got underway when three of the team on the project, Alan G., Robin and Keith travelled up to Liverpool. With First Class tickets in hand, the fab trio boarded a train at London Euston this morning en route to Beatle-Land. Once there, they all checked-in to their respective rooms at the (most luxurious) Hard Days Night Hotel. Keith (once more) found himself in a “Paul McCartney” themed room. Three nights were booked, one of which was spent watching through-the-night live coverage of the American Presidential Election.

Filming in Liverpool went as follows: On the 7th, exterior / location shots were taken at Mathew Street, Penny Lane, St. Peter’s Church, Admiral Grove, Menlove Avenue, Strawberry Field, Forthlin Road, the Ya Cracke pub in Rice Street and (at 5pm precisely) The Beatles Story on the Albert Dock. Interviews with Billy Kinsley & Tony Crane (of The Merseybeats), Debbie & Nigel Greenberg (Cavern club regulars in the 60s), and Freda Kelly (original Beatles Fan Club secretary) all took place on the 8th, the latter being in the “John Lennon Imagine Suite” at the Hard Days Night Hotel.

A piece with original Beatle, Pete Best, set to take place on the morning of November 9, failed to materialise due to unforeseen circumstances. (It was swiftly rearranged for two weeks later.) In-between times, Keith paid a visit to (the wonderful, charming and delightful) Anne-Marie who was hard at work in The Beatles Shop on Mathew Street. (A selfie was even taken of the event.) The Beatles’ doc filming team all headed back to London on the 9th, Alan, Robin and Keith once more in First Class, the others in cars.

(1-4) Leafy Berkshire - With shooting set to begin in just five days time, Keith continued his pre-production archive research work on the new Beatles film documentary.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

October 2016...Beatles, Pepper, Slough Town FC, the Cavern, the Circus and the extremely sad passing of Dave Cash...

(26 – till end of month) Leafy Berkshire – Yet more blogging, typing of proposals and additional pre-production work on the new Fab Four ’67 movie.

(25) Leafy Berkshire – Even more blogging, emails, discussions and work on the new Beatles movie. The day concluded with some rather news from director, Alan G… a chap, who loomed very large in The Beatles’ inner circle in the 60s has agreed to participate in the movie.

(24) Leafy Berkshire – Keith received news from designer, Paul Skellart that our Circus ’68 book was now being printed and should reach the UK in the third week of December.

(22) Leafy Berkshire – A great honour indeed when Keith received his… wait for it… “Cavern Club VIP Membership Card”! I kid you not. “Thank you all at CCT for thinking of me.”

(21) Kent – The entertainment world was in mourning at the sad loss of the famous 1960s/70s DJ, and extremely nice gent, Dave Cash. The news came at the end of a very busy day, with Keith contacting and booking star names, such as Hunter Davies and Tony Bramwell for the new Beatles documentary. Dave himself had even been approached to appear in it. “I really loved Dave,” Keith solemnly said, “and his passing was a tremendous loss to me, and everyone who knew him. I grew very close to him and classed him as a friend. Like so many, many others, I shall truly miss him.”

(20) Leafy Berkshire – Meeting with the famous television producer, Simon Lupton. A number of projects were discussed, but the major one was Marilyn, with news that it had progressed by leaps-and-bounds with the announcement that an actress to play the great actress had even been even been approached.

(19) Leafy Berkshire – A “Seinfeld” catch-up with two of his old, long-time mates, “Big” Dave and Brian.

(18) Berkshire / London – With pre-production work on the new Beatles project now underway, the production team involved on the project received a big surprise today when it was announced that the world famous London venue, The Scotch of St. James, used by the group, and so many other famous music stars and celebrities of the 60s, would be available to us to film some interviews.

- Also today The Beatles Book (hardback edition) returned to the No.1 position on Amazon.co.uk and was the “Beatles Best Seller” on the site.

- Also today, news reached Keith that the official Cavern club book will be now be released in April 2017.

(17) Charring Cross, Central London – A trip into the Capital to see again director, Alan G. Parker and the rest of the team for the first serious production meeting on the new Beatles movie documentary. “Loads were discussed… we now had a plan.” And highly fruitful it was too. After which, Keith headed-off down Oxford Street and ended-up standing shoulder-to-shoulder, at the traffic lights, with the English television and radio presenter, comedy writer and former barrister, Clive Anderson. “You just can’t stop yourself thinking of the Bee Gees when you see him….”

(12 - 16) Leafy Berkshire – More blogging, planning and progressing with future projects…

(11) Leafy Berkshire – Conversations were held with Bob Young (about the imminent Cavern book), Paul Skellert (about the Circus ’68 project), as well as with friend, Big Dave. Various blog works was also undertaken today. Plans for the following week, involving a meeting with the highly-respected, comedy and Queen Producer, Simon Lupton were also finalised today.

(10) Wandsworth, South West London – Fruitful Beatles movie discussions were held with noted movie director, Alan G. and producer, Alexa Morris. The first proper meeting about the proposed film, with everyone in the team present, was arranged to take place in seven days’ time, October 17.

- In America, “50 years ago today,” The Monkees released their first album… the cover of which, remains one of Keith’s all-time favourite LP designs… by far!

(8) Slough – Accompanied by his dear Mum, Keith paid his first visit to the new home of Slough Town FC. The team pleasantly won 3-1. “A most enjoyable afternoon was had by one and all,” Mr Badman happily declared afterwards.

(7) Leafy Berkshire – First view of the new, highly-recommended, Debbie Greenberg book, The True Story of the Cavern book.

(5) Bermondsey – Another trip into London to see Keith’s old mate, Tel. Safe to say wine flowed freely during their 3-hour catch-up.

(3) Canada – A surprise return to the #2 position for the ebook version of Marilyn in the Amazon , “Best Sellers in Monroe, Marilyn,” list on Amazon Canada. AND… on the same day…

- This time on Amazon in the UK… Hunter’s The Beatles Book returned to the TOP SPOT in the “Beat Sellers in Beatles” listings on the site. “Two top-5 books in one day… how good is that??”

(2) UK – Event magazine - The first proper, serious review of The Beatles Book appeared in the national press. In the four-out-of-five review by Stuart Maconie, he wonderfully described Keith’s trivia-laden section as “the most fun,” saying, “This is the stuff us Beatle nuts adore; quirky details reeking of period.”

(1) Leafy Township of Berks – Another trip to the fine local dinery, Barratts’ Bistro.

September 2016... Still at No.1, Arsenal, Marilyn, Beatles, Pepper, Carlin and the Circus!

(28) North London – Lunch with long-time mate, Laurence (to discuss a new book idea) and then another trip to the Emirates to see his beloved Arsenal play Basle on Match Day 2 of the Champions League. 7:45pm kick-off. (Final result, 2-0 to the fabulous Gunners!)

(26) Leafy Berkshire – After a flurry of last-minute changes, the Circus ’68 book was FINALLY sent to the printers. At last… but it was certainly worth the wait… as you’ll soon see.

(24) UK - September 2016 – Many thanks to “davidandrewson” for his five-star review of Marilyn, Kindle Edition on Amazon in the UK. His words were succinct, “Great reading.”

(21) UK – Hey, hey, still there. Hunter and ours The Beatles Book was still in the number one position and the “Beatles #1 Seller” in books on Amazon.co.uk.

- On the same day, Keith received an offer from Potato Productions / ITV Studios to appear in a new documentary about the final hours of Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson, but logistic and time restraints meant no firm plans about it could be put into place.

- UK / South / USA – Another day of more exciting news. The new Beatles/ Pepper-inspired movie documentary edged ever nearer to an official start date and, at the same time, it was announced that Momentum Pictures in the States will be releasing the new George Carlin film in December.

(20) Leafy Berkshire / UK – Even more fine-tuning on the new, highly-anticipated Circus’68 book… “It’s looking good.”

- Still there! One-week on, the hardback edition of Hunter’s The Beatles Book still sat at #1 in the “Music, Stage & Screen > Music > Styles > Rock & Pop > Singers & Groups > Beatles” section on Amazon.co.uk.

(15) Leafy Berkshire – With the release of the Circus ’68 now regrettably held-up, Keith typed a “Sorry for the delay” note for the Pledge Music site.

(13/14) UK – “It’s a best seller!” The hardback version of The Beatles Book, co-written by Keith, Hunter Davies, Spencer Leigh and David Bedford was still in the #1 spot in the “Music, Stage & Screen > Music > Styles > Rock & Pop > Singers & Groups > Beatles” section on Amazon.co.uk. “Wonderful. Well done all,” Keith screamed.

(12/13) Leafy Berkshire – More fine tuning on the new Circus ’68 book. “It’s almost finished,” the team screamed.

(8) Windsor, Berkshire – With work on the Circus ’68 project coming to an end, it was time for another, most pleasant afternoon catch-up with Keith’s partners on the project, Michael Randolph and Paul Skellert.

(7) Canada – Hey, hey, Marilyn (hardback) returned to the #1 position in the “Best Sellers in Monroe, Marilyn” section on Amazon Canada. Excessive sales of this version meant it was also seen at the #3 position in the chart.

- Leafy Berkshire – Well, it’s here. Text on the Cavern book was finally completed and sent to the designer. “It’s been a long, hard slog… but well worth it.” (Spoke to soon… further work on it was soon required.)

August 2016... Liverpool, Canada, Hunter, more No.1s and a Monkee!

(31) Leafy Berkshire / USA – Normality returned to Keith’s life when the last of his American guests flew back to the States.

- Leafy Berkshire – Back to work, and another Record Collector Rockin’ article to prepare. This month, another look back at ITV’s long forgotten music series, The Geordie Scene from 1974.

(27- 30) Liverpool, England – Another, most enjoyable trip to Liverpool, for the annual Beatles Convention, hosted and run by Cavern City Tours. It was also the first time in 30 years that Keith did not present the video show. Meeting friends such as Steve, Bob, Neville, Steve, Gloria and (of course) Anne-Marie, amongst many, many others, it was a most enjoyable 3-days.

Quite possibly, the highlight of which came on the final day, August 30, when (at approximately 3:40pm) Keith had the privilege of meeting one of his ultimate, all-time heroes, The Monkees’ drummer/ singer, Micky Dolenz in the dressing room of the Cavern Live Lounge. “What an absolute delight to meet him again,” the first being in Reading, Berkshire back in 1989. Keith was also in the audience to watch Micky’s superb performance at the club shortly afterwards. After which, and with his head still spinning, he climbed aboard his train, with friend Mr. Boyer in tow, and headed back to Sunny Slough… to see his dear Mum.

(25) Leafy Berkshire – The build-up to the annual Beatles Convention in Liverpool begins when the first of Keith’s three American guests arrive at Chez Badman.

(20) Canada – The story continued. Quite possibly the greatest day in Keith’s Marilyn sales history when, on Amazon Canada, in the “Best Sellers in Monroe, Marilyn” chart the hardback was at #1, paperback at #3, (another) hardback version at #4 and the kindle version at #5. Quite simply… INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- And on the same day, this time in the “Most Wishes For” in Marilyn section, the paperback version was seen in the #2 position… wow!!

(19) Canada – Incredible! Amazon Canada, in the Marilyn Best Sellers list, Keith’s The Final Years was spotted in 3 different charts; the hardcover at #1, kindle at #2 and in the “most Wished For” section of the site, the softback edition was seen at #2. All 3 versions in the chart, on the same day. Amazing!!

- The finish of the Cavern book text? Was it completed today, we wonder?

(17) Canada – It gets better! Marilyn raced back to #1, but this time in the Kindle “Biographies & Memoirs > People, A-Z > ( M ) > Monroe, Marilyn” section of Amazon Canada. Wow! Also today, the ebook version of Keith’s book was spotted at #4 in the “Humour & Entertainment > Movies > Biographies” and at #24 in the “Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Entertainers” sections of the site. Also, The Kindle and hardback versions respectively were seen at Nos 1 and 4, in the “Best Sellers in Monroe, Marilyn” chart, on the very SAME day!!

- And it did not end there! On Amazon in the UK, Keith’s book with Hunter Davies, The Beatles Book, became the “#1 Best Seller in Beatles” on the site!! “Can you believe that??!!” (Incredible, considering the official release date of the book, 1 September 1 2016, was still two weeks away.)

(15) Leafy Berkshire / UK – Hunter Davies’ The Beatles Book, co-written with Keith, due to impressive advance orders, it was spotted at #3 in the “Music, Stage & Screen > Music > Reference” #3 in the “Music, Stage & Screen > Music > Styles > Rock & Pop > Singers & Groups > Beatles,” and at #23 in the “Music, Stage & Screen > Music > Styles > Rock & Pop > Songbooks & Lyrics” listings in the Bestseller Ranks on Amazon.co.uk.

- Meanwhile in Canada, the hardcover Marilyn raced back to the No.1 position in the “Biographies & Memoirs > People, A-Z > ( M ) > Monroe, Marilyn” and “Humour & Entertainment > Movies > Biographies” listings and the #2 spot in the “Humour & Entertainment > Movies > History & Criticism” sections on Amazon Canada. “Thank you!”

(9) Canada – A return to the TOP SPOT, yes NUMBER ONE of the hardback edition of Marilyn in the “Best Sellers in Monroe, Marilyn” section on Amazon Canada. Also #6 in the “Humour & Entertainment > Movies > Biographies” and #7 in the “Humour & Entertainment > Movies > History & Criticism sections on the site.
- Interesting, lengthy Cavern club-related phone discussion with the venue’s current co-owner, Dave Jones.

(8) Leafy Berkshire – Further research / typing of the Cavern text. “Much of the information presented here has never been in print before,” Keith declared.
- UK – A mighty big thank you to “Mr M. Kostyrkaon” for his 5-out-of-5 review of Marilyn (Kindle Edition) on Amazon.co. uk. “I think this is the book that throws light on what really was the cause of Marilyn's death,” he said, “and throws considerable doubt on the various conspiracy theories going about… this book convincingly explains the situation and surrounding problems she had to cope with at the end.” He ends by saying, “Best book I've read on Marilyn.” Thank you, Mr M. Kostyrkaon very much indeed.

(5) Windsor – Another trip out to Eton to meet and discuss things with photographer extraordinaire, Mike Randolph. (1:30pm start.)

(1/2)Leafy Berkshire - Record Collector deadline day comes round again. This month, the start of a 4-part look back at the largely forgotten 1970s ITV / Tyne Tees TV series, The Geordie Scene.

Also (on the 2) – Keith wrapped another version of the Cavern club book text. It was sent for approval immediately afterwards. A June 2017 release still looks on the cards, as they say.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt Pepper & Beyond


After a short delay the forthcoming and highly anticipated Alan G Parker film about Sgt Pepper's is back on track for it's scheduled release and we can all get excited about it. Keith is responsible for the archive work on this labour of love.
Stayed tuned, there's more new to come!

Interview with Alan G Parker about the film.
Screen Daily Article about the film.
Beatles In London Website with the first review of the film.