Friday, September 19, 2008

The story of an Israeli musician who played on several Beatles albums

from Haaretz:Ex-Beatles musician from Bat Yam can't afford McCartney ticket

Michael Gould knew the Beatles before they became the biggest pop group on earth. A few years later, he met the four Liverpudlians again, this time as a studio musician, playing the trumpet on some of their most acclaimed recordings. But next Thursday, when Sir Paul McCartney will play a historic concert in Tel Aviv, Gould will likely have to stay out in the cold. The freelance musician, who today lives in Bat Yam, simply can't afford it.

The native Londoner told Haaretz he would have "absolutely loved" to see the show of his former friend and colleague, but hasn't "got the money to actually pay for a ticket," the cheapest of which cost NIS 490. However, about a week before the show, Gould is still counting on his old connections to get him in the door. "With everybody who's coming over, hopefully I will know somebody and will at least be able to get in backstage," he said.

After finishing his studies at the London Royal Academy of Music in the early 1960s, Gould came to Liverpool to work at the local philharmonic orchestra. "In the evenings, we used to go down to The Cavern," he said of his days frequenting the legendary rock and roll club where the Beatles' career took off. "This is where it all started. My friends and I went there to dance and to listen to [the Beatles], and this is where I got to know them." According to Gould, McCartney and John Lennon were always very interested in all kinds of music and sometimes went to concerts at the philharmonic. The two soon befriended Gould, who was about their age, asking him all kinds of questions about his instrument, what range of notes he could play, and so on. "That's how we became friends in the beginning," he explained.

A little later, the Beatles made history by revolutionizing modern music, and Gould, who had become quite well known in his own right, returned to London. "I got a phone call one day, to come and do some recordings down at Abbey Road," he said. "And it was for the Beatles." Laughingly, he added, "I was pretty good in those days." As one of several session musicians, Gould played on A Hard Day's Night, Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road, the album named after the famous recording studio. Gould said visits to Israel made him fall in love with the country, leading to his immigration in 1968, but he did return to Britain sometimes for professional gigs. Today, he gives private trumpet and piano lessons
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