Letter from George Harrison reveals new details about the Beatles considering a Stax session

A letter from Beatles guitarist George Harrison has surfaced with previously unknown details about the Fab Four’s long-rumored brief consideration of recording at Stax in Memphis.

Via Rolling Stone:

Harrison was writing to Atlanta DJ Paul Drew in May, 1966. About recording at Stax with producer Jim Stewart (note – not the Beatles longtime producer George Martin, which would have added yet another uncommon detail to the whole affair), Harrison said: “We would all like it a lot, but too many people get insane with money ideas at the mention of the word ‘Beatles,’ and so it fell through!”

From the Rolling Stone piece: “Word of the proposed Stax sessions has circulated before, but it was always said they pulled out due to security issues. It was also never known they contemplated working with Jim Stewart as opposed to George Martin, the only producer they’d ever worked with until the end of their career three years later. The letter was recently put on sale by Los Angeles-based rock collectibles dealer Jeff Gold, who acquired it from Drew’s widow shortly after he passed away in 2013.”

2015 Teams chosen for ZeroTo510

The ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator has its new crop of startups for 2015.

Going through the 12-week program at the Memphis Bioworks Business Incubator starting this week are:

  • Sweet Bio, which makes membranes for tissue regeneration used in oral surgeries using medical-grade honey as an ingredient
  • SiteSaver, which provides hospitals with a simple device to protect and preserve patient IV sites and central lines
  • GlucosAlarm, which created a technology to measure glucose in diabetic patients’ urine
  • And Inspire Living, which offers a portable health monitor to enable anyone, anywhere, to conduct an automated respiratory and rapid vitals exam on a child.

The four companies have received $50,000 in initial seed capital from co-investors Innova and MB Venture Partners. At the end of the 12-week program, the teams will pitch to a group of investors at Demo Day on August 13. The investors will choose finalists who could get as much as $100,000 in additional capital and the opportunity to further develop their businesses.

Indie rockers follow their ‘Last Song to Memphis’

The Bluff City’s musical je ne sais quoi is center stage in “Last Song to Memphis,” a 9-minute video postcard featuring indie rock band The Black Cadillacs.

The video, posted on TNVacation’s YouTube last week, documents the five-piece rock band’s road trip to Memphis – a trip home for several of the members – as they looked for inspiration to finish their new EP at Ardent Studios.

At Ardent, the band speaks with Flaming Lips guitarist Jake Ingalls, who sums up his experience this way:

“… People start to ask you why you started playing music, and growing up in Memphis you kind of think, ‘How could you not?’”

Watch it for yourself …

P.S. You can buy the new EP on iTunes.

FedEx Committing Support to Nepal earthquake relief efforts

FedEx has announced it’s committing about $1 million to support relief efforts in the wake of the Nepal earthquake.

The company’s contribution will be in the form of a mix of cash, transportation support and a chartered flight to deliver medical aid and supplies. FedEx says it’s mobilizing its disaster relief program through the company’s existing relationships with Direct Relief, Heart to Heart International, Water Missions International, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.

FedEx’s specific contributions will include:

  • Providing a $250,00 cash donation to the American Red Cross and a $50,000 donation to The Salvation Army
  • Sponsoring Heart to Heart International’s mobile medical clinic, “which contains tents, vital medicines, medical supplies, portable medical equipment, communication equipment, non-perishable food and water purification systems.”
  • Transporting on behalf of Direct Relief large volumes of IV solutions, medicines, surgical supplies, and other medical essentials requested and approved by Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population.
  • And transporting 12 large Living Water Treatment Systems, 31 potable water chlorinators and 12 large water tanks on behalf of Water Missions International. “Combined,” says FedEx, “these systems will provide fresh water for up to 370,000 people per day.”

Mike Conley assists Memphis with 500 free tickets for fans

Mike Conley may be hurt, but he’s still helping how he can.

To thank fans for the support they showed after his latest injury – he underwent surgery Monday for facial fractures suffered in Game 3 in Portland – Conley wanted to buy 500 tickets for Game 5 of the Grizzlies’ first-round playoff series vs. Portland.

The tickets were given away Wednesday, April 29, in the Grand Lobby at FedExForum on a first-come, first-served basis; a line to receive the tickets had wrapped around the block by 10 a.m.

“My spirits were immediately lifted after all of the support I received from fans around the world, but especially those right here in Memphis,” Conley said in a team statement. “As a way to say thank you, I’d like them to be cheering us on at Game 5 because there’s no greater experience than the NBA Playoffs in Memphis.”

– Don Wade