Monthly Archives: June 2017

Beatles Ed's Really Big Beatles Blast blu

Beatles Ed's Really Big Beatles Blast blu b



Beatles Ed's Really Big Beatles Blast

Beatles Ed's Really Big Beatles Blast b


The blue version seems to be less common than the black one. On a good day, this title can achieve $75 at auction but it has achieved significantly less as well.

USA: 1978

This release marked the change from a small time “boutique” bootleg label selling out of one record store to a nationally and finally internationally known label with matching production volumes.

Matrix (Run-out Side A, etched): MM-05-1
Matrix (Run-out Side B, etched): MM05-2

The 1964 Ed Sullivan Shows had first appeared on the first volume of the Renaissance Minstrels series in 1970  and in 1973 was copied on one side of Contraband’s Abbey Road Revisited in worse quality (CBM 3907). The whole series, which turned into pure pirate releases presenting only officially released 45’s on vols. 3 & 4, was copied and repressed so many times by other labels including major players TMOQ and Wizardo, it’s almost impossible to keep track.

Beatles Ren Minst 725

Beatles Ren Minst 725 b

Bearing the number ‘#725’ on the insert, it appears to be a WCF product, except that the number clashes with their later release LEON RUSSELL – Live At Anaheim Calif

Russell Anaheim

The big difference between RENAISSANCE MINSTRELS volume I and the Melvin title is that the earlier album not only mixed up both performances from the 9th and 16th of February, they also artificially extended almost every song by repeating verses in order to make them longer (I assume the bootlegger(s) felt cheap offering an album with only a little over 11 minutes on side one and under 10 for side two).

So in a way, Melvin presents this material for the first time. In addition, the three songs from February 23rd make their debut here.

Ed Sullivan Show, Feb 9 1964:
A1 Ed’s Intro
A2 All My Loving
A3 Till There Was You
A4 She Loves You
A5 Ed’s Intro
A6 I Saw Her Standing There
A7 I Want To Hold Your Hand
A8 Ed’s Outro

Ed Sullivan Show, Feb 16 1964:
A9 She Loves You
A10 This Boy
A11 All My Loving
Side 2 – continued: Ed Sullivan Show, Feb 16 1964:
B1 Ed’s Intro
B2 I Saw Her Standing There
B3 From Me To You
B4 I Want To Hold Your Hand
B5 Ed’s Outro

Ed Sullivan Show, Feb 23 1964:
B6 Ed’s Intro
B7 Twist & Shout
B8 Please Please Me
B9 I Want To Hold Your Hand



In 1980, as it was simply the only way to obtain the Ed Sullivan material at this time, MM06 was copied as ZAP 0514 under a slightly different title. I used to believe this peculiar looking release with the wrap around insert and one-sided rainbow label was made in Japan but now I’m not so sure anymore.





Beatles EDSSCBSTVST lbl 2




As previously posted on this blog, this Beatles LP with the inconveniently long title is the world’s most expensive/valuable bootleg of all time selling for over $4,950.00 last year.

USA: 1978 – it appears that Melvin / Overby took a long break lasting throughout 1977 and into 1978

What is actually on this record is a bit hard to piece together, as the cover provides only song titles and does not even appear to be complete.

Side 1:

  • KFWB (station ID with John & George) – J&G on a stop over in Los Angeles from their Tahitian vacation agreed to record this short message on 25 May 1964 for local radio station KFWB/98. Extended with bits of a George interview from 10 December ’63 and book-ended by jingles it was named “Music City / KFWBEATLES”, coupled with “You can’t do that” and pressed as a promotional single to be given away at the opening of Wallichs Music City in Canoga Park, CA. It was pirated in the late 1970’s for all those who absolutely needed to own every second ever uttered by any of the Fab Four and pressed onto PVC. Eddie or Fred must have gotten hold either of an original or the counterfeit.


KFWB logo

  • Memphis – I’m guessing this would be the Decca Audition version, as released in 1977 on bootleg 45


  • Spiritual Regeneration – Happy Birthday, Mike Love – Paul, George, Donovan and others jamming on a Beach Boys-influenced composition in Rishikesh, India on 15 March 1968. First aired on the radio in the Beach Boys special The Best Summers Of Our Lives, narrated by Dick van Dyke and Wolfman Jack in the summer of 1976 and bootlegged a year later on the infamous Indian Rope Trick bootleg.


  • Second Album Open end Interview – Capitol promo for radio station released in April of 1964,. Each DJ could create their own make-believe interview by taping themselves reading out the scripted questions and then combining it with their answers from this compact EP.

Second Open-end I

Beatles 2nd o-e i-1

  • Three Cool Cats – same source as “Memphis” above?

Three CC

  • All You Need Is Love – likely take 59 from the Our World worldwide television broadcast, 25 June 1967, making this the track’s bootleg vinyl debut.
  • It’s All Too Much – ?
  • Too Bad About Sorrows – early Lennon-McCartney composition. short attempts taped twice during the Get Back sessions: 8.21 (0:14) + 21.46 (0:56)
    weather report – ?
  • Her Majesty – with final chord, also released in 1977 on Audifön’s “bootleg of the year” worthy release NO. 3 ABBEY ROAD N.W. 8


Side 2:

  • September In The Rain – another Decca Audition track

September ITRain

  • All Things Must Pass – ?
  • thank you – ?
  • Guitar Blues – best known for its appearance on Melvin’s own Beatles VS Don Ho (MM08) and its reissue SILVER LINING, taken from the documentary What’s Happening! The Beatles In The USA
  • Kenny Everett interview – likely more from the White Album era interview that had “Cottonfields” bootlegged on Melvin 01 and 02
  • I’m So Tired – ?
  • My Girl Is Red Hot – 28/31 December 1962 from the Star Club Hamburg tapes. Correct title is “Red Hot”, it was first recorded by Billy Riley for Sun Records in 1957. Earth Radio News produced a radio series called History Of The Beatles in 52 short episodes (about three minutes each) that ran from August 7 through September 1st 1978 and used 32 seconds of this then unreleased song overdubbed with comments by George. This was the first release of this material on a bootleg but it is known to most from the later Melvin title Beatles VS Don Ho/SILVER LINING

  • Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby – possibly from BBC radio
  • Short Short Short – ?
  • Haaalp! – possibly the HELP! radio ad later also included on Beatles VS Don Ho/SILVER LINING


Summary: Melvin was not just a copy label, it also frequently ‘cannibalized’ its own releases by reissuing them again on later titles.

If you can help identify any of the tracks and the supposedly missing ones on side 2, please leave a comment.

Quality comment: “…most of this sounded as if it had been taped from various screenings at fan conventions on a really cheap cassette”.


Beatles w. masks

Wings ATLShown here with a Melvin Records flyer featuring their first two releases.


Matrix: MM 03 A / B 340  (hand written)

USA: 1976, “500 pressed” as stated in HOTWACKS

Source: The Atlanta Omni, 19 May 1976

Side One: Venus & Mars / Rock Show / Jet / Let Me Roll It / The Long And Winding Road / Live And Let Die
Side Two: Yesterday / Silly Love Songs / Beware My Love / Soily

Sound quality was rated “acceptable” in Madinger & Easter’s book. Definitely an item for those that had to have it all only.





Melvin Records/Overby Productions second release 21 – not to be confused with their 1979 title The New 21 (MMO6), as HOTWACKS did for years – followed soon after their first and was offered in no less than four variations:

In green:

In red / pink:

Tan with a yellow label:

And finally with a smaller copied insert and a blank label, perhaps a copy job by someone else:

In terms of value, the green and red copies have sold for the highest amounts in the $400+ to $700+ regions, with prices all over the place. The tan cover version has recently achieved $55 to $120.


USA: Late 1975, distributed via ‘The Odyssee’ record store in Charleston, SC

Looking at the track list, there are 6.5 repeated tracks compared with their first release (.5 due to “Besame Mucho – Cottonfields” being part of yet another medley here on side 2). If you have any corrections in regards to my guesses which versions are present here, please leave a comment. We can’t rule out that perhaps Overby Productions used their own source tapes and upgrades for these cuts but really: what are the odds?


  • Hippy Hippy Shake – recorded five times for the BBC in ’63 and ’64, however only the off-speed version that appeared on TMOQ’s Outtakes 1 circulated by 1975
  • To Know Her Is To Love Her – most likely their only BBC airing from 1971 Yellow Matter Custard
  • I‘m Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You) – another track only recorded once for the BBC and also made available via Yellow Matter Custard
  • Some Other Guy – Track 1, side 1 likely taken from CBM’s Some Other Guy album (which I’m unclear about to this day)? Or something else (the original by Ritchie Barrett; the cover by The Big Three)? 
  • Love Of The Loved – see my comment in Their Greatest Unreleased MM01
  • Lucille – ditto
  • Crying, Waiting, Hoping – see Yellow Matter Custard
  • A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues – prior to the release of Audifön’s Youngblood, the two choices were a poor quality version of the 17 July ’63 version on CBM’s Stockholm or a better quality one on Yellow Matter Custard
  • Sure To Fall (In Love With You) – recorded four times for the BBC, it appeared first in decent quality on Yellow Matter Custard from the 3 September ’63 recording.The three remaining versions were only bootlegged years later.
  • Shout! – from their Around The Beatles TV special, first made available on CBM’s Cinelogue Six double album 

Side 2:

  • Have You Heard The Word – see my comment in Their Greatest Unreleased MM01
  • Honey Hush – from Nagra rolls recorded on 9 January ’69 that were first bootlegged on CBM’s Sweet Apple Trax Volume 1 (listed there as “Yackety Yack”, aka “Hi Ho Silver”)
  • Commonwealth Song – ditto
  • White Power (Get Off) – ditto
  • Suzy Parker – ditto
  • Besame Mucho; Cottonfields; Everybody’s Rockin’ Tonight; Whole Lotta Shakin’, The Walk – “Besame Mucho” was included in the Let It Be movie soundtrack, “Cottonfields” comes from the Kenny Everett interview pressed in Italy as a promo 7″. The 3rd title may refer to “Good Rockin’ Tonight”, again from 9 January. Jerry lee Lewis song was only performed once during the Get Back sessions on 3 January by Ringo and Paul on piano and not bootlegged until the CD age, so I’m wondering if this is not a different number. “The Walk”, captured on multi-track on 27 January, goes back to its inclusion on the very first Beatles bootleg Kum Back in January of 1970. 
  • What’s The new Mary Jane – see my comment in Their Greatest Unreleased MM01


Melvin Records/Overby Productions was started by Beatles fan Eddie Fennell with more than just a little help from Fred Arnold. Thanks to a well written and researched article about Fred’s life, a lot is known about him and selected parts will be used to introduce the label.


“Our family got its first Sears TV set in the middle ’50s. I was about 8 or 9 years old. I enjoyed “Oh, Susannah”, “Leave It to Beaver” and “I Love Lucy”.

The first music I was exposed to was church. Nothing happened. Second was seeing a variety show in the late ’50s and hearing “One Eyed, One Horn Flying Purple People Eater”. Still nothing. Chubby Checker on “American Bandstand” doing the “Twist”. I went out and bought a hula hoop. My first movie was “My Friend Flicka”. I would go over to my best friend’s house and his big brother would play Beach Boys records. I didn’t care about them, nor those Motown songs.

High school started. I got my first transistor radio just in time to hear that President Kennedy had been killed. Most friends and neighbors didn’t seem to mind, but I was very depressed.

At school, during lunch on Feb. 7, 1964, I heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on my radio. I was so excited. Some friends and I were talking about how good the song was during the broadcast, and we almost missed the name of the artists, The Beatles. The DJ also said that they would be on the “Ed Sullivan Show” that very Sunday.

Sunday night, I was glued to the TV, watching the show. The adults in the house couldn’t figure out what was going on. I didn’t know either, but after the show, I went to my room, missing “Bonanza” probably for the first time since it came on the air.

The next morning, I took my entire earthly savings, went to the Piggly Wiggly supermarket next to my high school and bought “She Loves You”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Twist and Shout” at 77 cents each. I saved my lunch money and bought Beatles bubble gum after school. And my Beatles collection hasn’t stopped since.”
–Fred Arnold
(The writer later bought and sold Beatles records at The Prism, a store he owned in Charleston, S.C.)

This piece of Beatles nostalgia solicited from “heavy hitters” in the world of Beatles collecting in the USA, appeared in Beatlefan #2, February 1979. Although, seeing the Beatles on live television for the first time had a similar ‘love at first sight’ effect on many teenagers, the effect was more pronounced in some than in others.  “He acted like they were a gift from heaven,” his sister Linda remembered of that night, in Arnold’s words , “They are all gods really, at least to me.”

“The next morning, Arnold sold all of his belongings and began a Beatles collection that would grow to become one of the largest of its kind in the world.”

To some of us, the Beatles are more than just a group whose music you like, they can be an anchor to lives thrown into turmoil and trauma. Fred was born in 1948 to a mother who worked as a circus sideshow attraction, appearing as an albino couple together with her brother. Baby Fred also carried the albino gene and was severely vision impaired on top of this. He and his younger sister had to live with their grandparents after their mother started to manifest violent symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and began harming the children.

Fast forward to 1970 and Fred was the owner of a record store in Charleston, SC called The Odyssey. “For a time, he kept a “Beatles Museum” in a room in the back of the store, but worried the ceiling would leak and destroy his prized collection, so he moved much of his rare material into an adjoining warehouse. Rather than live in apartments, for much of his career Arnold preferred to live in his stores — typically in a back room, where he’d stash his money in the microwave.” One day, Beatles fan and journalist Eddie Fennell walked by and saw two Beatles LP’s in the window he had never seen before. He decided to investigate and enter the store and found in the owner one of the most eccentric figures he’d ever meet. “Just one-of-a-kind,” Fennell laughed. “A real unique guy.”

Fred with Yoko in the 1980’s

“In 1975, Fennell profiled Arnold for the Post & Courier, as an embodiment of the continued existence of “Beatlemania” in the wake of the group’s demise. Arnold’s pride (and obsessive compulsion) leapt off the page. “I have 234 different Beatles albums from 17 countries,” Arnold told him. “Along with several hundred 45s, two Beatles lunch boxes, a Beatles game, a can of Beatles Talc, two Beatles pillows, a Beatles bank and many Beatles films, posters, books, coins, bracelets, shirts, mobiles, ticket stubs, tapes of recordings not on albums, photos, slides, magazines, dolls, cards, buttons and promotion material.”

“Fennell himself had become drawn to the outer limits of collecting, inspired by afternoons at The Odyssey. With Arnold’s store as his exclusive distributor, he launched a Beatles-centric bootleg record label, Melvin Records, that would go on to gain an enduring cult reputation for its bizarre design aesthetic (many of its records featuring Arnold’s catchphrases in tribute) and consistently impressive archeological discoveries (live sets, phone interviews, demos and other rarities).”

For more insights into the life of the only bootlegger to have met the Fab Four, please visit:


And so, in 1975 their first release numbered MM-01 was proudly offered in the store. The pressing run for their first effort was obviously very limited as copies are extremely hard to locate and command a high price. Supposedly, the copy shown here was sold for the minimum bid of $1,999.75 in April of 2017.

USA: Fall of 1975, distributed via the Odyssey record store in Charleston, South Carolina

Unfortunately, Melvin’s first offering to the world of Beatles’ bootlegs was a complete rehash of previously available material. Side 1 contained mostly BBC recordings and one Decca Audition track.

The only part of the record I was able to listen to was “Lucille”, as the seller had uploaded it as part of the auction. Which versions make up the other tracks (and if there any upgrades here) on the Melvin LP can only be guessed.

  • Lucille – the complete 3 September ’63 recording included here first appeared on TMOQ’s Outtakes 1 in July of 1972
  • I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You) – first released on TMOQ’s Yellow Matter Custard in January of 1972
  • I Just Don’t Understand – see previous entry
  • Love Of The Loved – the lone Decca audition track available prior to the 1977 “Deccagone” 45’s via CBM’s L.S. Bumblebee, where it appeared as an extended edit. A bootleg single released in 1974 (Love Of The Loved / Reunion) provided an unedited upgrade
  • Crying, Waiting, Hoping – see Yellow Matter Custard
  • Hippy Hippy Shake – see Outtakes 1
  • Soldier Of Love – first released on Wizardo’s Rare Beatles/Happy Birthday/Soldier Of Love album (WRMB 345) around mid-1975, which helps date the Melvin album
  • Don’t Ever Change – see Yellow Matter Custard
  • The Honeymoon Song – ditto

Side 2:

  • What’s The New Mary Jane – an incomplete version of RS2 first appeared on CBM’s Mary Jane in 1972, a complete dub followed in July of 1973 on TMOQ’s Spicy Beatles Songs and finally a true stereo version in 1974 on Benbecula’s Live at Shea Stadium 1964
  • Step Inside Love (home demo) – this poor quality off-line recording was taken from DJ Kenny Everett likely playing an acetate on one of his shows and first appeared on CBM’s Abbey Road Revisited in 1973
  • A medley of: Besame Mucho; Cottonfields; When You Walk; Whole Lotta Shakin Goin’ On, Suzy Parker and Those Were The Days – a hodgepodge of mostly Get Back session snippets with John ‘butchering’ “Cottonfields” on the Kenny Everett Show and his short rendition of the Mary Hopkins hit – that replaced “Hey Jude” at number one – taped at the Amsterdam bed-in, thrown in. All previously released as well.
  • Bye Bye Bye- not the Beatles at all but Kenny Everett’s Nice Time TV show, also first released in atrocious off-line quality on CBM’s Abbey Road Revisited as US bootleggers missed the original Deram Records UK single
  • All Together On The Wireless Machine – Paul’s jingle for Kenny Everett, from Where It’s At a radio special about the Magical Mystery Tour double EP, broadcast 25 November 1967, see Abbey Road Revisited as well
  • Have You Heard The Word – by the Fut, first appeared on CBM’s album of the same title and was upgraded in length on Abbey Road Revisited