Saturday, 31 January 2015

Beatles hotel painting

Just thought I would add this post after uploading some new Beatles art images on the Beatles Art 2 page. This is an interesting and certainly a rare Beatle event, although personally to me it's not a particularly attractive piece of work; especially in the light of later Lennon and McCartney artistic pieces. However, the quality of the art is irrespective where the Beatles are involved as just the name association is enough to give it acceptance in the art world.

In 1966 the Beatles travelled to Japan to perform some live shows. They arrived in Tokyo on June 29th, and their concerts were to be performed at the Budokan Hall. The Budokan Hall was used for sumo wrestling, which of course was very popular in Japan, and there were protests outside the stadium by people who felt the Beatles should not be allowed into the home of sumo wrestling. The Nippon Budokan was also considered a national shrine to Japan's war dead, and many saw it as sacrilegious that a rock 'n' roll group were allowed to perform there.

" Everywhere we were going, there was a demonstration about one thing or another. In America the race riots were going on when Beatlemania had come to town. In Japan there were student riots, plus people were demonstrating because the Budokan, where we were playing, was supposed to be a special spiritual hall reserved for martial arts. So in the Budokan only violence and spirituality were approved of, not pop music.

We went on to Tokyo. When we came off the plane, we were put in little 1940s-type cars along with policeman dressed in metal helmets, like Second World War American soldiers' helmets. We were driven in convoy into town and taken to the Tokyo Hilton where we were put in our upstairs suite - and that was it. We were only allowed out of the room when it was time for the concert. We just wanted to go shopping. "

     George Harrison

Because of some death threats that the Beatles had received before the show they were advised to stay in their VIP suite at the Tokyo Hilton. To keep busy and out of sheer boredom whilst locked up in their hotel room, the Beatles were given some paper and paints and over the course of two nights, they collaborated on this painting. The paper they were given was approx. 30" x 40" (paper and paints were provided by the Japanese promoter, Tats Nagashima, who suggested that the completed painting be auctioned for charity) and was placed on a table with a lamp in the center.

Working with the light of the lamp, each member of the Beatles decorated their own corner of the paper with oil paint and watercolor. Paul's corner has a symmetrical, psychedelic feel, John's has a dark center surrounded by thick oils, George's part is large and colorful, and Ringo's has a cartoon like image. When the lamp was removed from the table, it left a white circle in the middle of the painting, which was signed by all four of the Beatles. Once complete, the painting titled 'Images of a Woman' was bought by Mr. Tetsusaburo Shimoyama who was a curator of Shochiku-Kaikan and chairman of the Beatles Fan Club Japan.

John's section:

Ringo's section:
Beatle photographer Robert Whitaker, who was present at the hotel had this to say:
I never saw them calmer, more contented than at this time. They were working on something that let their personalities come out. I think it’s the only work they ever did all together that had nothing to do with music. They were very harmonious and happy, calling their wives and girlfriends, all the time doing this painting."

George's section:

Paul's section:
'Images Of A Woman' is believed to be the only instance of a painting by all four Beatles. It was sold again in Osaka for ¥15 million, and in 2002 appeared on the eBay auction website. In September 2012 it was put up for sale again through Philip Weiss Auctions and sold for $155,250 including the buyer's premium. There are some light cracks and a few tiny areas of paint flakes and crackling. Incredible one of a kind painting by The Beatles.

I wonder who has the lamp that was used for painting the picture by? probably see it on eBay one day and sold for another £100,000!

Beatles Course!

Hi everyone.
Received this email from a chap about a Beatles 2 day course. See the information below. I promised to put the info on the webpage, although it is at quite short notice. I would love to attend but I have unfortunately a little thing called 'work' to do, I am not at the position in life where I can retire unfortunately, well not just yet.. maybe 10 years time.. or if tonight's lottery comes a knocking!

Anyone wanting more info contact the chap direct on his email address which is also below.

I want to arrange another get together for those who want to meet face to face, probably sometime in mid to late march. It has been quite a while since anyone spoke to each other so would be great to meet up. I will post the date in late feb so watch this space.

PS Also added a new set of art works to the Beatles Art 2 page... check them  out!

Dear Chris,
Wondered if any members of your society might be interested in this 2 night residential course, 50 YEARS OF RUBBER SOUL, we are running here at Higham Hall soon in the Lake District:

6:30pm Mon 2 Mar to 1:30pm Wed 4 Mar 2015
M0315DA ) – The 1965 Beatles album Rubber Soul was and continues to be a source of inspiration for both listeners and musicians. Drawing from country & western, cabaret, folk rock and soul, it is both landmark and milestone. 

Join David for a deeper appreciation.
David Ashworth (music educator)
Residential: £212   Non-residential: £148
Request a place on this Course
Course information:

Many thanks
George Cooke, 
Principal's Blog:
+44 (0)17687 76276

Higham Hall College
Bassenthwaite Lake