I have been busy with other stuff and just saw Nancy's wonderful Beatle Cars post. As a fan of 60s sports cars and the Fabs, I have just too much to say for a comment. John's 1965 Phantom V—For example, did Nancy mention that Lennon's famous psychedelic Rolls had a backseat that converted into a double bed? (I foresee no problems at all with that, Cyn.) And also the first blackened privacy windows seen in the UK (ditto) but a totally recognizable paint job? If that doesn't epitomize John Lennon's relationship to fame, I don't know what does. One of Lennon's customizations [...]
Just when I think, "I fully and completely grok the sublime weirdness of the 1960s and 70s," I discover something more. Another level (of which there are, as we all know, seven). In the future, historians will conclude, "Everybody was absurdly high. All the time." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJBDcb7kq_g As a palate-cleanser, here is a relatively non-insane modern remix from the people (person?) at Disco Purrfection. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T553QuLWHwg
James Angleton, head of CIA Counterintelligence from 1954-1975. His opinion about The Beatles remains a mystery. Just a quick post, but a thought that I believe is important enough to surface up top. Recently some commenters have been using the Krays thread to explore conspiracy theories surrounding John Lennon's murder. This topic is, to me, more than fair game—it has been bubbling under the surface of Hey Dullblog for at least a decade, and I am perfectly happy to have commenters surmise, as long as it's done in an appropriately forensic manner. Adults speaking facts to other adults. What do [...]
According to commenter @HologramSam and Rolling Stone: Continuing the unbroken string of 58 straight Christmases with more Beatle-crap to buy, it's just been announced that Paul's dropping a new book this November. Called, Paul McCartney: The Lyrics, it's meant to stand in for an autobiography (which I think we already got with Many Years From Now). Sez Paul, “More often than I can count, I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right. The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs,” McCartney said [...]
Who's Who (not shown: The Who) Longtime readers of this blog know that I maintain it simply as an excuse to avoid grown-up work. And also, that I love Sgt. Pepper. It is my single desert island disc, as pedestrian as that choice is, because to me, Pepper contains so much more time than any other Beatles record. What do I mean? (When you have to type that sentence in an piece of prose, you know you're fucking the writing up.—Ed.) Well, one of the things that I love most about Pepper—almost as much as the music—is how it intentionally [...]
Reggie (left) and Ronnie Kray, photographed by David Bailey For those (mostly American?) readers who haven't run across Ronnie and Reggie Kray, they were a pair of murderous twin brother gangsters who ruled the London underworld in the 1960s. Probably the most notorious British criminals since Jack the Ripper (sorry, Crippen). Before settling down to serious lawbreaking, the Krays were amateur boxers run out of the Army for being too wild; Ronnie was gay (sorry: "I'm bisexual, not gay. Bisexual") and Reggie was straight. Ronnie was also paranoid schizophrenic, while Reggie was apparently neurotypical which is…kinda worse? So what do [...]
Frequent commenter LeighAnn pointed me to this great photo which Ringo put up on his Instagram (@ringostarrmusic) in remembrance of the late, great Gerry Marsden. "3..2..1..JUMP!"
After Senator Bernie Sanders showed up at yesterday's inauguration looking a bit, shall we say, casual, the photo spawned a thousand memes, with the Progressive octogenarian popping up in every famous shot imaginable. Of course the Beatles were part of this, so Michael Bleicher and I assembled some of the best examples. Add more in the comments.
I want to say right at the start that I've never really gotten the cult of Phil Spector. With all apologies to our beloved @Hologram Sam, rock and roll before The Beatles leaves me cold—and trust me, I've tried. All that Ronettes stuff sounds like a pompous, immature version of something Motown did so much better. I've also tried to like, or at least understand the appeal of, Phil Spector. I've read Tom Wolfe's 1964 essay "The First Tycoon of Teen" (not available online but worth a read). I've pondered Spector's close friendship with Lenny Bruce—as described by Albert Goldman, among others. [...]
Given the political impacts we're seeing here in the U.S. from internet-driven conspiracy theories, and the prevalence of a (I mean this in the nicest way) Beatles-related conspiracy theory on this blog for the past several years, I wanted to speak a bit about this topic. I paddled for many years in the shallows of conspiracy theories, most notably ones around the assassinations of the 60s. The big boys, the OG's. The ones that inspired everything from QAnon to Paul is Dead. You cannot read about QAnon and not think of The Gemstone File. (BTW, I would argue that PID is a [...]