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‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’: A Look At Robert Zemeckis’ 1978 Beatlemania Romp
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Robert Zemeckis I Wanna Hold Your Hand

With all the recent hoopla and hullabaloo surrounding the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, it’s easy to forget that the cinematic creative genius dynamic team of Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, and Steven Spielberg made some pretty adventurous films prior to it, films that in a way set the stage for this timeless classic.

There was Used Cars, the 1980 comedic quilt of craziness which starred Kurt Russell, and 1979’s notoriously panned 1941. But, before that was debut of the team and their glorious work with 1978’s I Wanna Hold Your Hand. The film — executive produced by Spielberg, and directed by Zemekis, who co-wrote the screenplay with Gale — was a love letter to not only The Beatles, but the American milieu and craziness that surrounded Beatlemania circa 1964, when the British foursome first landed on New York soil and played The Ed Sullivan Show.

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Geek Gear: The Nightmare Before Christmas ‘Halloween Road’
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The Nightmare Before Christmas Beatles mash-up Halloween Road

Part of the deal of the day over at RIPT Apparel today is a Nightmare Before Christmas-inspired mash-up with The Beatles Abbey Road album cover called “Halloween Road” by TonyCenteno.

The shirt went on sale at RIPT today, Monday, May 26, 2014, at midnight CST, and will continue for 24 hours from then, and once it’s over, it will not be sold on the site anymore.

The t-shirt is available in men’s (through 3XL), women’s, and youth sizes for $10 each. Kids sizes are $10 (Girls, Toddlers, and Onesies); Hoodies for $38 (in Men/Unisex sizes). See images on product page for shirt colors. You can also get the design on coasters for $25; prints 18″x24″ for $20, 24″x24″ for $30, and 24″x32″ for $40; headphones and bluetooth speakers for $40 each; and laptop sleeves for $30-$40.

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The Beatles On ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ Celebrates 50 Years
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The Beatles

Another historic plateau gets reached today as 50 years ago, The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, a television program which wound up exposing the Fab Four to millions of Americans right in the comfort of their living rooms and ultimately became one of the most-watched programs in television history.

Like many things The Beatles did during their hugely successful and illustrious career, the Ed Sullivan appearance stands as a high water achievement on the foursome’s resume. The band — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr — had just touched down on American soil two days prior at JFK Airport to a huge brassy noise, as reporters and cameramen came in droves, almost seemingly climbing on top of one another to get the scant amount of intimate time they could with music’s new darling boys. The ensuing press conference was a massive success and that oft used, yet perfect adjective called Beatlemania was perfect to describe all the festivity as these native-born Liverpudlians enveloped the entire city of New York and the entire nation with their effortless grace and attitudinal charm. Millions upon millions of people either shrieked in delight or moaned and groaned in confusion; it simply depended on one’s age bracket. But that Sunday night’s performance at CBS Television Studio 50 in Manhattan would not only be the sonic bridge to make the entire country stand up and realize that The Beatles were a solid, here-to-stay entity, but a sonic bridge that eventually almost the entire world would cross again and again.

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It Was 50 Years Ago Today: The Beatles Arrive In America
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The Beatles

Today, February 7, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the The Beatles touching down at New York’s JFK Airport, arriving in America for the first time and signaling the entire beginning of what was to be coined “The British Invasion” and also unbeknownst at the time, the beginning of what was to become one of the most creative, vivid, influential, and turbulent decades – the 1960s. To commemorate the anniversary, a historical marker will be dedicated at JFK Airport this morning*.

Already upping the ante for themselves by having hit records before they left their native England to come to the States, The Beatles exploded in The United States upon their arrival, but not just because of the music. The four men — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr — nary a 25-year-old in the bunch, also handled themselves with the press, which was on a volume level on par with a King or Queen or President coming off that JFK airport tarmac. Decked in similar suits and the famous bowl haircut — which was shaggy enough to move around in the cold February air that day — The Fab Four dazzled the press and the country as Beatlemania was in full force.

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$5 MP3 Album Deal: Ringo Starr ‘The Very Best Of Ringo’
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the very best of ringo starr

The Very Best of Ringo, which compiles the solo hits and more from Ringo Starr, who was best known as the backbeat of The Beatles, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00. (The CD is currently $13.89 and is an AutoRip, which means with the CD purchase you’ll also get a FREE MP3 download of the entire album.)

One of the most surprising things during the wake of The Beatles’ break up as a recording and band unit in 1970 was how fast Starr achieved solo success. Between 1971 and 1975, he had amassed 7 singles in the top ten, two of them number one hits, all of which are included on this 20-song release (the irresistibly maudlin “Photograph,” the tailor made for his mid-range nasally staccato vocals “You’re Sixteen,” the got to pay your dues “It Don’t Come Easy,” and the surprisingly effective cover of The Platters ballad to end all ballads, “Only You” to name a few). The record is rounded out with songs that aren’t necessarily filler and aren’t necessarily chart hits, they lie somewhere in between, in every aspect (the standouts being the John Lennon-penned in anyone else’s hands it’s an ego fest, in Ringo’s it’s charming ad nauseum “I’m the Greatest,” and “Early 1970,” Ringo’s ode to the Beatles breakup, done again, in that polished perfect aw shucks kind of Ringo style that’s associative with him). That said, the collection still is essential and a perfect open door to entry to the solo career of The Beatle who still relishes his Beatle stereotype and all that it gave him and ultimately, the fans.

Browse hundred of albums on sale this month for only $5 each!

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Graphic Novel ‘The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story’ To Be Adapted Into A Movie
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The Fifth Beatle Cover

The runaway hit best-selling graphic novel The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, which is the absorbing and gripping true story of the life of Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who lived cloaked and shrouded in an existence that was at one point of the spectrum supernova successful and at the other utter tragedy, is being adapted for the silver screen.

A major advantage that this Beatles biopic has that other adaptations didn’t have (films like Backbeat, About A Boy, the TV film Birth of the Beatles and others) is that the producers were able to secure the music rights to the production, which means the original and wonderfully dulcet and otherwise sonic glory of The Beatles’ songs will be able to be used in its intrinsic format. Normally, most Beatles productions of this stripe employ sound-a-like versions of the Fab Four classics, and the films suffer because of their inferiority. Not the case with The Fifth Beatle.

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Comic Review: The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story
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The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story cover by Andrew C. Robinson
The Fifth Beatle
The Brian Epstein Story
Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Vivek J. Tiwary
Pencils by Andrew C. Robinson, Kyle Baker
Inks by Andrew C. Robinson, Kyle Baker
Letters by Steve Dutro
Colors by Andrew C. Robinson, Kyle Baker
Cover by Andrew C. Robinson
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Cover Price: $19.99

The life of Brian Epstein, who discovered and managed The Beatles and who almost singlehandedly supplied the runway in which the band could propel itself to the greatest heights, is the subject of a dazzling, can’t put it down graphic novel from Dark Horse Comics, entitled what many thought Brian to be during his short and troubled, yet fascinating life, The Fifth Beatle.

The legend of who the Fifth Beatle actually was has been sussed out to be many other figures in the band’s folklore along with Epstein, figures like radio DJ Murray the K, who anointed himself as such in the most novelty and charming way, or long-time friends Mal Evans or Neil Aspinall, both of whom were with the band in their earliest makeups and wound up becoming key integral parts of the rich, sprawling history the group found themselves entailed in as the years went on. But to people like Paul McCartney, Brian Epstein always held the mantle and title of the Fifth Beatle. And the creators of this biographic tale feel the same way, in essence, that nobody could claim that title but Brian.

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Contest: The Beatles ‘On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2’ Vinyl
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The Beatles: On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2 © Apple Corps Ltd.

This week saw the release of The Beatles: On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2, a 63-track collection that includes 10 never-recorded Beatles songs, on CD and vinyl.

Now, Geeks Of Doom is giving you a chance to win the 3-LP Vinyl of The Beatles: On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2!

One (1) winner will receive:

TO ENTER: There’s just two simple steps:

(1) Subscribe to the Geeks of Doom email digest. Click here to sign up.

(2) Fill out the entry form here below and submit. (Form is here after the jump.)

Good luck!

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$5 Album Deal: Badfinger ‘Straight Up’
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Badfinger

Straight Up, by the rocking, rolling, and troubled English group Badfinger, is now available in MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00.

Badfinger remains a nice musical anomaly that existed from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s, was born somewhat out of the Beatles inference, both as songwriters for the band and friends (most releases by the band were on the Beatles’ Apple Record label), and had a few hits which still rotate on the radio to this day (“No Matter What,” “Day After Day,” and the super soppy soaker “Without You”). Plagued with inner circle dramas from management which led to fund embezzlement, which no doubt contributed to the suicides of two of its key members (Pete Ham and Tom Evans), Badfinger nonetheless still contributed their sonic talents to some wide-ranging albums, filled with a sort of puckish adventurous skein with rock, ballads, slight progressive arrangements, and a cool feel overall aurally. Straight Up is no exception. With songs like “Take It All,” the aforementioned “Day After Day,” “Sometimes,” “Perfection,” and the now immortalized as musically accompanying the final scene in the television program Breaking Bad, “Baby Blue,” Straight Up, like the rest of Badfinger’s work, remains essential listening for the curious, the diehard, and the casual fan of the band.

Browse over 100 albums on sale this month for only $5 each!

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The Beatles’ Debut Album ‘Please Please Me’ Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary Today
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The Beatles Please Please Me

Today marks an absolute milestone in the history of recorded music as Please Please Me, the debut album by The Beatles, celebrates its 50th anniversary.

It would now be incalculable and unthinkable to try and imagine what life would be like if these four men from Liverpool hadn’t come along and made an absolutely indelible stamp on the culture, makeup, and landscape in the musical world. And while of course the band was still in sort of a growing pains mode and possibly even experiencing a slight identity crisis when Please Please Me was released, the out-of-the-gate charm and superstar success the “early Beatles” were to have rather quickly afterwards was firmly right on the launching pad.

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