David Myhr - Soundshine

Attending the world premiere for The Sessions at Royal Albert Hall

Posted: April 3rd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: post | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

When I first saw something on-line about a thing called The Sessions – a live restaging of The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios I thought: “this is geeky beyond normal!”. And If I don’t go there…  who will go?

As you know from earlier posts about my (lifelong and obsessed) Beatles interest – not least The Day I met Paul McCartney and recording at Abbey Road myself – this seemed like an opportunity not to miss. And where better to see something Beatles related than at (“now they know how many holes it takes to fill the”) Albert Hall?

I soon found some incredibly expensive VIP tickets for the (already sold out) world premiere and somehow managed to convince my wife Paula  to celebrate her birthday there. (She does love the Beatles, but still…).

 

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And so, the day before yesterday, on April Fool’s Day (a day I once sang about here), it happened!

My expectations were realistic, not to mention even somewhat pessimistic. I certainly knew it wasn’t going to be like watching the Beatles themselves (or even a solo Beatle) in real life. And having been involved in many Beatles tributes myself, I’m fully aware of many of the challenges in making the illusion (even remotely) believable. But I was pretty soon relieved to see that they had captured the ambience of the inside of the Abbey Road studio really well. The John impersonation on “All You Need is Love” which kicked off the show wasn’t entirely believable though. It had something to do with the pronunciation, and also with the fact that John’s very distinctive voice has always been a tricky one to find sound-alikes for. But when they went back to the beginnings and kicked of a rockin’ “I Saw Her Standing There” it became clear that this was going to be a high-quality performance. Above all the Paul sound-alike offered quite a few “wow” moments. He sometimes sounded more like a twenty-something years old Paul McCartney than Paul McCartney himself does nowadays. So, songs like “Yesterday”, “Blackbird”, “She’s leaving home”, “Magical Mystery Tour”, and “Helter Skelter” became some of the evening’s finest. But in the end, all performers did a really great job. “George”, for instance, did a beautiful acoustic version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. That was one of the many moments when I just leaned back, “enjoying the show”,  thinking about how much The Beatles mean to me and how big part they’ve played in my life. Which of course is nothing new. I’ve even come across on Swedish radio talking about how The Beatles are my religion.

So, to sum it up, the show was highly entertaining and if you’re a Beatles geek, make sure NOT to miss any of the upcoming shows on their tour. It was extremely well-done and accurate in detail. The George Martin character was spot-on (almost as good as this one). It was so good that I have no problem in disregarding the fact that they had gotten the order wrong in the solos of The End, which (as we all know, right?) should be Paul, George, John and not George, Paul, John.

 

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Anyway, just to be anonymous (although fake “VIP” through paying a ridiculous amount of money) and be a “regular” guest doesn’t really suit me. Having met the great Sir George Martin, and performed for Cynthia Lennon, taken selfies with James McCartney, Olivia Harrison (after a McCartney show in London in 2009), and with engineer Ken Scott in Abbey Road Studios (in conjunction with a lecture by the writers behind the incredible Recording the Beatles), it only felt natural and almost strangely “logical” that I would bump into the show’s supervisor Geoff Emerick himself in the corridors of Albert Hall. The sound engineer on Revolver (the best record ever made!) among many many others. A very important person in developing the sound of the Beatles. As concert producer and promoter Stig Edgren says: “Geoff is instrumental to the aspect of authenticity because nothing that you see or hear in the show is fabricated. We’re not fictionalising what it was like in the studio. For every song we have a schematic drawing on where the members of the Beatles were, where the vocal booths were, where the instruments were.”. So, as you can understand, Geoff Emerick is THE GUY. I can certainly recommend his book Here There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. It’s an amazingly entertaing book who brings you inside the studio with the Beatles in a way that no other book that I can remember does. It doesn’t deal with family histories, groupies, business, tours, drugs, and all that other (also interesting) stuff. It focuses on the recording of the music in a unique way. And I don’t think you have to be a musician to enjoy it.

When I spotted Geoff, of course I asked (kindly, I hope) for the possibility of a selfie together with him. He was very nice, and willingly accepted to pose in a picture. I presented myself as a “musician from Sweden” (which is true, right?) and I handed him my flyer for my debut album Soundshine. He looked at it and jokingly said “–I will frame this!”. So I’m hoping that beside his multi-platinum discs for Revolver, Sgt Pepper, and Abbey Road he will now have on his living room wall, framed, the flyer of the Paul McCartney of Piteå, David Myhr.

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All in all, a Friday evening in my taste!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Beatles on Spotify!

Posted: December 28th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: post | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

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I guess it’s no news to anyone that my musical life (if not life?) revolves a lot around the Beatles. And it never stops. One climax was of course last year when I finally shook hands with Sir Paul McCartney!  (Read the 4000 word long blog post about that defining moment and more about my Beatles background in general here).

Looking back on 2015 in a Beatles perspective, a fond memory is when McCartney came to Stockholm again. As usual, I felt I had to make something “extra”. So I put together a nice little “super group” (he said humbly), called Myhr, Kvint & Morén. In a “pre-McCartney-concert”-show at Clarion Hotel, Stockholm, we played a bunch of songs that McCartney wasn’t going to play himself and it was of course good fun. I mean, how often do you get to play (or hear!) songs like “Cafe On The Left Bank” live?

 

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Before that day,  I was interviewed by the Swedish news agency TT, in the role of “Beatles expert”, about the upcoming McCartney concert and my expectations, as almost a “spokesman” for the Swedish (hard core) fans. The interview was published in many leading Swedish newspapers (and included my list of favorite Macca songs and albums). See articles for instance in Dagens NyheterGöteborgs-Posten,

Within my own musical career during 2015, there has been a couple of Beatle-related releases, like when I together with Linus of Hollywood (under the Melody & Madness umbrella) covered Badfingers “Come and Get it”, written by Paul McCartney. Or when I released my version of Elvis Costello’s “Veronica”, co-written by… yes, him again…

And just recently, as tradition prescribes just before Christmas, I made my annual “living Beatles jukebox” Christmas special show.

But the BIG Christmas gift this year was of course the news that The Beatles music now is available streaming. So, while digesting the Christmas food I thought it’d be fun to make a few playlists of Beatles songs on various themes.

First of all a top 100 list, or as I call it:

 

The Beatles – 100 essential tracks (according to Myhr).

 

It features all their greatest hits but also a carefully made selection of the greatest album tracks. All in chronological order. Basically it’s a top 100 list full of evergreens, and masterpieces. It might very well be the “ultimate” 4 hour and 42 minute introduction to their catalogue.

Then there’s three playlists where I have put focus on Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison individually where I have picked out 25 “cool” tracks. Which means they are not necessary their most famous songs (except in the case of Harrison where I had to include basically everything he ever sang and/or wrote within the Beatles).

The Beatles – 25 cool Lennon tracks (according to Myhr)

The Beatles – 25 cool McCartney tracks (according to Myhr)

The Beatles – 25 cool Harrrison tracks (according to Myhr)

There are of course many different themes that one could think of. One, close to my heart, is the “rock’n’roll”-theme. It’s sometimes forgotten what a marvelous little rock’n’roll combo they were. I mean the Rolling Stones were OK, but really…!? Just play The Beatles version of “Long Tall Sally” loud on your stereo, and you’ll get my point. 😉

The Beatles – 25 cool rockers (according to Myhr)

A completely different theme is the one of “beautiful melodies”. What a beautiful melody is, is very difficult to define of course. And the Beatles very rarely recorded songs without beautiful, strong or memorable melodies. Anyway, I tried to use my gut-feeling to pick out twenty-five of my all-time favorites in this category.

The Beatles – 25 beautiful melodies (according to Myhr)

The Beatles of course doesn’t need me to reach out to a new audience. But it’s that it’s hard to stop. It’s like I’ve been on a mission since I was ten. The Beatles is my religion and I thought this was a fun new way to “evangelize”. So, feel free to turn of your mind and float down streaming on Spotify with me…

 

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“Never Mine (Abbey Road Version)” – Video premiere!

Posted: January 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Never Mine (Abbey Road Version)” – Video premiere!

What “a day in the life”! Recording at ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS!!!

I have always loved the Beatles. And I will surely do ’til the day I die. One of the biggest highlights in my “Beatles career” (update: THIS was bigger!!!!) was to be able to spend a day in legendary Studio 2 at Abbey Road to record an alternate version of my song “Never Mine” which is the opening track of my debut album Soundshine. Check out the video and continue reading below for full background story.

Since my first visit to London back in 1990 I have never missed the opportunity while in town to visit the famous crossing at Abbey Road. But until 2011 I had never been able to actually enter the building. It was in May when I did it for the first time since I (in a strike of megalomania) had chosen this legendary place for the mastering of Soundshine. Read more about this occasion in this blog post.

Little did I know then that the doors would open for me again only six months later, and this time to RECORD in frickin’ Studio 2!!! Yes, THAT studio…!

How that came about  – from out of the blue – is something you are more than welcome to read about in this blog post from Nov 2011.

I wrote then; “today we’re not here to try to change music history but more to study the process of how music history was made from within the actual room were a big part of it was created. I hope to be able to share the result with you sometime in a not too distant future”. That distant future is NOW! Almost fourteen months later…! The reasons for the delay are many. One being that Thomas Juth who took the initiative (which I will be forever grateful for!) is a highly demanded sound engineer in London and therefore hasn’t been able to find the time to work on the mix from this little “hobby project” (although very close to his heart). Thomas is a really sweet (and also cool) guy who has worked with many great names and I mean GREAT(!). Read more about his impressive track record on his own home page.

Also I have been quite busy myself with the activities surrounding the release of Soundshine as well as the post production of my live show at PDOL And like so many others, I also happen to have a “real job” to take care of. (What I do for a living is something I talk about in this interview from Hooks and Harmony).

However, when I was asked to be part of a free download sampler (yes that’s where you’ll find the song I’m talking about here!) released by the music blog Real Gone  (who by the way made a really nice review of Soundshine here) I decided it was time to have a proper mix made. The mix is a combination of Thomas Juths ground work and Soundshine engineer Marcus Black’s fine adjustments.

I really wanted to be able to offer a video clip as well but there was no time and no money (as always…). But then Christmas came I and went to Spain with my wife to spend time with her family. And in between tapas, dinners, family life, and a gig at Festival Alta Fidelidad in Madrid, I finally found some time to take my first, stumbling steps as a video editor using Final Cut Pro X. And with the very little rough material I had from my iPhone standing on a tripod (and a couple of other cell phones in the room) I’ve tried to make a little video documenting this very special moment.

It was really a day in paradise for us Beatle geeks and we spent more than half of the precious ten hours staring at Beatles microphones and Beatles compressor and that kind of stuff. The recording became kind of secondary and something we really did “just for fun”. Considering all this I’m really happy with the final result. It’s obvious that we do not hide our love for the Beatles in the way it’s produced and played. And that’s also my reason for not releasing it on Spotify or iTunes or on CD. As much as I love the Beatles, and to play their songs, I don’t want my own stuff to be TOO Beatlesque and end up being categorized next to The Rutles.

To put even more weight into this occasion I decided to write a little piece of lyrics for this world premiere:

It was fourteen months ago today

Thomas Juth invited me to play

To try to recreate the Beatles style

was guaranteed to raise a smile

So may I introduce to you

The song you’ve known for just a year

David Myhr’s “Never Mine” in Abbey Roooooooooooaddd….

Hope you enjoy the video and the free download of the song! I look very much forward to your comments both here on the blog, on my YouTube Channel, and on my Facebook Page.

A splendid time is guaranteed for all!

Abbey Road photo

Special thanks to Thomas Juth and his brother Fredrik Juth (who played bass and drums) for inviting me to this very special occasion. Thanks also to Michael Bianco, Dyre Gormensen who were part of the recording process. And to Andrew Campbell at Lojinx who co-ordinated the Real Gone release. To Amy Campbell for shooting some nice photos (including the one above) at Abbey Road. And to Henrik Irgens and my wife Paula who also made the day even more pleasant through their sheer presence.


David Myhr welcomes Tom Petty to Europe by singing “Wildflowers”!

Posted: January 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The first time I took notice of Tom Petty was when I was watching the Live Aid concert on TV in 1985. I remember thinking as a 15-year old; “what an boring old fart with silly glasses…”. Instead I was fascinated by Bowie & Jagger, U2 and Queen etc, and hoping for a rumoured Beatles reunion with Julian Lennon instead of John. (In the end the final turned out to be Paul McCartney singing “Let it be” without a functioning microphone…)

Little did I know that only three years later Tom Petty would team up with ex-Beatle George Harrison who had just made a comeback with the brilliant Cloud Nine album, and that album’s producer ex-E.L.O. genius Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison in the supergroup Traveling Wilburys. And soon after came one of my all time favorite albums – Petty’s masterpiece Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and realized he’s the coolest artist on earth, writing nothing but brilliant songs and with a taste for Beatles, Byrds, Dylan, American roots rock, British new wave á la Costello, Rickenbacker guitars, well… I could make the list longer. (No wonder another pop fanatic like Sweden’s Per Gessle of Roxette always was a big fan!) Another few years later came the album “Wildflowers” and I realized Petty is like vintage vine. Just gets better with age. (At least up ’til that point.)

I saw him live in Stockholm in ’93, and I saw him at Hollywood Bowl, L.A. (where I amazingly have played myself two times), in 2006 (with my hero Jeff Lynne as a guest!), and now it’s time again to welcome him to Europe after twenty years!

So while waiting for my solo album Soundshine due for release in Europe on Lojinx this spring I thought this was enough reason to have a go at one of my favorite Petty songs – “Wildflowers”.  Just like I did with ABBA’s “Happy New Year” a couple of weeks ago I decided to keep it simple; one voice – one guitar. As I said then I’m often tempted to add layers of vocals and lots of overdubs. It’s like Jeff Lynne said in this interview “I used to think that more is more, I just loved to overdub.”.

I didn’t intend to make the song “my own” by changing it around too much which is normally recommended when making cover versions but I just think it’s perfect as it is. Sorry for that!

 

Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to share the YouTube clip or download a free mp3 (“arrow pointing down”) or share from the Soundcloud player above.

 


Rehearsal report from Tokyo

Posted: January 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: post | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments »

I remember Paul McCartney once said  “I love being in a band. It’s a luxury. I’d rather have a band than a Rolls Royce.” And it’s true that being in a band is a true luxury. Especially a “real” band. It’s hard to beat the feeling of being in a tight group working creatively together towards the same goal with an “us against the world” mentality. I have very fond memories of the periods when the Merrymakers were a tight songwriting team and we inspired and bounced ideas off each other.

But it’s also true that being a solo artist now gives me a freedom that’s hard to beat. Now I am free to ask whoever I feel like at any given moment for a collaboration. I may not get a positive response all the time but sometimes I might get lucky. For instance on my coming album I’ve been fortunate enough to write with pop heroes like Andreas Mattsson (Popsicle) and Peter Morén (Peter Bjorn & John) and on one of the Japanese bonus tracks which was originally written for Puffy I’ve worked together with another Swedish master of pop; Peter Kvint.

When performing live I am now also able to experiment on a case-to-case basis. Many times I will have to accept that there’s only budget for one guy in the band – myself! Just like in Madrid in December and at Club Wonder in Osaka on this promotional tour of Japan. Other times I can try the “Chuck Berry method” – touring on your own and have local bands backing up in order to save travel costs.

I tried this in London last year and now on this promotional tour of Japan it was time again to try a “local” band put together specially for me for the gig at or the Powerpop Academy Party in Tokyo on Jan 10. They are Ryuji Gotoh from ONEPERCENTRES on drums, Osam Watanabe on bass, and Yasu Hashiguchi from hello! on guitar.  It was only a week before the rehersal that I got their e-mail address and was able to start to share some sound files on Dropbox containing their respective parts for each song – so of course I was a little worried… Suddenly last weekend I was standing in a rehearsal room in Tokyo and there they were – nailing every drumfill, every lick, and they play with power, confidence, and they… rocked! Have a glimpse yourself into the rehearsals if you want by watching this video (sorry for the distorted sound):

What a relief and what a great feeling! I’m truly impressed with the dedication and professionalism with which these guys have approached my songs. I was (and still am) very humble and grateful. After all I’m not Chuck Berry who invented Rock’n’Roll. I’m just David Myhr with a bunch of new songs. So thanks Ryuji, Osam, and Yasu for a great job with the rehearsals!

Photo and video by Kiku Fukuzumi