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Beatle news briefs: 'Fifth Beatle' No. 1; 'U.S. Albums' bargain; more to come

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All the news that's fit to Beatle ...“The Fifth Beatle” graphic novel hit the #1 spot on the hardcover graphic novel bestseller list of the New York Times in its third week on the list, the book's author, Vivek Tiwary announced Dec. 13. The book hit #5 on the list in late November. On Facebook, Tiwary thanked “friends and fans” for the book's success.

The project recently announced Peyton Reed (“Bring It On,” “The Break-Up”) as the director of the film adaptation and that it had begun the search for the actor to play Brian Epstein.

U.S. album box cheap?: Looking for a bargain on the just announced “U.S. Albums” box? Try Amazon.ca in Canada, where the price right now is $127.12 Canadian, which comes out to about $119 U.S. We're told the postage comes to around $10, even at about $130, you're saving over the U.S. price. And for those who looked at the U.S. prices Thursday and saw the individual albums listed at $84 each, they've been corrected to $14.99.

iTunes bootlegs: There has still been no official announcement of what we reported about the iTunes bootlegs compilation, but Allan Kozinn of the New York Times and other media have confirmed the story. Now, we're just waiting for the announcement.

Break-Thru broken: Remember what we reported about that Break-Thru site that popped up mysteriously with the long list of announced and unannounced items for the Beatles 50th that some sources suggested had questionable information? Well, the Beatles 50th stuff has since been removed – just after the announcement of the “U.S. Albums” box that turned out to be right on the money. There was no reason to believe that the information was accurate when it was originally posted (after all, anyone can post almost anything on the internet), but now maybe that info about the “1” DVD isn't so much a fantasy. The 50th anniversary info may be gone, but there are still pictures of many recent Bravado Beatles clothing items (scroll down), including an “On Air” and “Meet the Beatles!” t-shirts. This is shaping up to be a very expensive time for Beatles fans. And more is coming. Giles Martin recently mentioned on Twitter he's working on a re-release of "A Hard Day's Night" that will hopefully bring a new Blu-ray. (Thanks to Steve Shorten.)

Julian's new DVD and app: Julian Lennon announced a new DVD and computer app this week to complement his “Everything Changes” album. Called “Through the Picture Window,” the DVD and app includes the full documentary of the same name, videos of every song on “Everything Changes,” acoustic versions of the album songs and an interview with U2's Bono talking about Julian's music. It's available as an app for iPhone and for iPad on Apple devices, as an Android app, on a multi-region DVD and as a download.

First generation fans wanted: This blog site is looking for fans who watched “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964.

Win a signed copy of “Good Ol' Freda”: My “Things We Said Today” partner Ken Michaels said Dec. 12 he is giving away a copy of a DVD of “Good Ol' Freda” signed by Freda Kelly herself. The contest will run from Dec. 16 through Dec. 24. The winner will be announced Christmas Day. For information, http://www.kenmichaelsradio.com.

We love you, yeah, yeah, yeah: A flash mob was to be filmed singing “She Loves You” to pay tribute to the Beatles at the original site of the Fabs' '64 Washington concert today for the upcoming “Yesterday & Today” tribute at the site in February. The video will be included in the tribute, their webpage said. (Thanks to Peggy Barry for the heads up.)

Music for the season: And if you're looking for music for holiday events, you couldn't do much better than the Fab Four's “Hark!” (also Amazon.co,uk), which we swear makes us smile every time we play it. If you haven't heard it, take a preview at the link.

Dylan tribute with Beatles friends: Jeff Slate's Birds of Paradox, which features musicians who have played with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, will pay tribute to Bob Dylan on Jan. 9 at Joe's Pub in New York. The all-star band includes Earl Slick and will include a song by Dylan that was recorded by George Harrison but not by the man himself. More information is here.

A milestone: This month marks five years of writing Beatles Examiner. In that time, we've had some fun times, been mentioned in such places as Billboard, guested on local and national radio shows (and now co-host “Things We Said Today” with Ken Michaels), interviewed people we'd always dreamed about like Julian Lennon, Mary Hopkin and Billy J. Kramer, got to shake hands of people we've listened to for decades and got to do something we'd always dreamed of doing of in our daily newspaper days – write about the Beatles. Thanks to all who made this possible, to our family for the support, and those of you who read us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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We love to write about the Beatles and have been doing it since our time at a major metropolitan newspaper. Subscribe and get addicted to our exclusive original stories and interviews about the Beatles in all our Beatles column pages at Beatles Examiner, Paul McCartney Examiner, George Harrison Examiner and Ringo Starr Examiner. You can subscribe through the button on this page and spread the word about us. And be sure to check out our Amazon.com “That's What I Want” Beatles store.

Copyright Steve Marinucci. Please do not reprint in full on other sites without permission. Connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. And don't miss our weekly Beatles news podcast “Things We Said Today” available first on Fab4Radio.com on the weekends, then on iTunes and Podbean.com.

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