HISTORY OF LET IT BE BEATLES

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BEFORE LIBB

I certainly had no intention of having my own radio program when in 1989 I accepted an invitation from a friend to do a regular history of music segment on his show on Stereo 974, then known as 3WRB fm. but after doing the segment for a few weeks an opportunity came to do a program at 10:00 on a Monday night. I took the job and started a Punk and New Wave program with my friend Dave McHardy. The program was called The Mad Parade a line from the Sex Pistols song God Save The Queen (God save your Mad Parade) We played artists like Patti Smith, Television, The Buzzcocks, Wire, The Jam, The Clash and of course The Sex Pistols. The program lasted from late 1989 to mid 1992 when Dave and I decided to retire from Radio. GWD & DM         FIRST ARTICLE                              Above: hosts of the Mad Parade, Dicko and Dave McHardy & the start of LIBB notice

THE SHORTON YEARS

In september of 1992 I received a call from John Shorton. John did a Local Football orientated sports program on Friday nights at 3WRB and as the finals were drawing to a close he was looking for something to add to his show in the off season in order to retain the time slot for the commencement of the 1993 football season. John had spoken to a friend of mine when he was searching for someone who may have a bit of unusual Beatles stuff he could use to create a program around. I was recommended and John paid me a visit and after chatting and checking out my collection he decided we should do the show together. My suggestion was that we chronologically follow the Mark Lewisohn book The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions as it would allow us to play a lot of the out-takes that Lewisohn talked about. In the previous year I had acquired a great collection of these out-takes and they had just began hitting the streets. John loved the idea so we decided to go ahead with the show. The first program went to air on Friday September 25 1992 at 5:30 pm.

JOHN SHORTON / GRAEME DICKENSON PROMO SHOTMAKING WAVES ARTICLE

We had originally named the program ALL TOGETHER NOW. This was my idea and I thought it was a good name in that we had gathered a lot of material and we were placing it all together in chronological order, and after all it was the name of a Beatle song. John pointed out to me that the title was the same as a terrible Jon English comedy that was screening on Melbourne television at the time. Wanting to have nothing to do with that program we knew we had to change the name. I seem to recall this happening minutes before we went to air on program one, (John may have a better memory though). Just as we were going on John said what about Let It Be Beatles. Our name was born.

                                                  BOOKLET PROGRAM 1                            

The first programs contained material that was not contained in Lewisohn's book so I compiled a fanzine of information about the Hamburg period and the Decca sessions and on October 9 we started churning our way through the Beatles EMI sessions. We were going to air during drive time so we quickly picked up an audience who kept listening once they had arrived home. I have always said and continue to say it's the subject matter that attracted our audience not the personalities. During the Hamburg years we played an interview with Pete Best. One of our listeners rang in to say he had never heard an interview with Best before. The caller was Serge Calvaressi, Serge continued to call along with a few other and eventually we invited him in to appear on the show. Serge became a regular panel member eventually coming in every second week. Alternating with Dave McHardy who had returned and another listener Mark Hayes who was a local West Footscray resident and another character I had met through John by the name of Ross McLean.

serge in sunshine studio #1      bayesy       SNAPPER AT THE PANEL

ABOVE: SERGE CALVARESSI, MARK HAYES AND ROSS MCLEAN

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THE NEW TIME SLOT

By the time preseason football had began John needed to return to covering local football and so if we wanted to continue we needed a new time slot. We were up to Let it be and still had Abbey Road to go. There were times during the year that John was unable to be on the show and when this had happened we had recruited Angelo Saxon (Roger Menichelli) to do the Panel for us. Roger had his own program called The Quick and the Dead on a Tuesday Night at 10:30. In our time of need Roger kindly offered us his slot to complete the recording sessions period of the Beatles History. During those last shows Dave expressed interest in doing the first Beatles solo albums. This was a problem as we really didn't have a time-slot then like magic we were offered Wednesday night at 10pm. We jumped at it and Let it Be Beatles became a program in itself.

When the sessions section of the program ended we did  a concept program which selected tracks and made what we believed may have been the next Beatles Album if they had stayed together using tracks from their first solo albums. That program went to air on April 28 1993 The following week we did what we believed would have been the next album using tracks from the second solo album of each Beatle, then we did the solo albums the songs they gave away, the songs they covered.

It was July 14 the week after we had finished virtually everything that Dave called in sick. I was a bit under the weather and decided I needed someone else with me on the show so I called a friend and Beatles fan Ross Becroft. Ross came on and we did an overview of the Beatles career. While on the show Ross told me about two of his class mates at University who were huge Beatles fans and had expressed interest in appearing on the show. They were Simon Smith and Dan Walters. Simon and Dan came onto the program for the first time on August 4. We now had seven on and off panel members mostly running on alternate weeks with myself and Dave as the regulars. In January 1994 another friend of Ross, Simon and Dan, Andrew Probyn joined the team. Andrew was working for the Herald Sun and would set up many exclusives for the show.

 

Finally Steve Kernohan joined in September 1994. Steve arrived one evening to pay his subscription and meet the panel. I asked him to come on to that nights show while he was there and he became a regular. This team would be the essence of the show for the next six years. No new regular panel members joined the team until Gary Lally joined officially on February 26th 1999.

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