About Michael Gerber

is Blogmom of Hey Dullblog. His novels and parodies have sold 1.25 million copies in 25 languages. He lives in Santa Monica, CA, and runs The American Bystander all-star print humor magazine.

Reader Question #1: George Harrison and Beatlemania

By |2021-09-13T14:56:56-07:00September 13, 2021|Uncategorized|

Reader David wrote me to ask: "Some thoughts I've had recently with George Harrison's behavior within the Beatles particularly when the true Beatlemania kicked in. Do you think that kind of insanity going on around him, the crush of the crowds, the screaming, being chased and attacked...could all of that made him feel threatened, vulnerable, perhaps that his life was in danger? Ringo is on record talking about loving the experience. Paul certainly seemed to love it...John eventually I think stopped caring for it though he wasn't a deer in headlights over it. George on the other hand, if you look at what [...]

Beatle Memories from Marijke Kroger of The Fool

By |2021-08-23T12:32:42-07:00August 23, 2021|Psychedelia|

Artist Marijke Kroger of the Dutch art collective The Fool shares some wonderful memories here, including lots about our fellas. I've posted about the psychedelic moment in art and culture before, and what always strikes me is how brief it was. It began in earnest no earlier than 1965, and by 1968 was rapidly being replaced by a harder, more ironic, more intellectual style that is still in vogue today. After 1968, the post-Pop part of Warhol that made him dismiss Yoko Ono as "corny" became the dominant flavor of contemporary art. But the psychedelic moment was so powerful and distinctive that [...]

The Bollywood Beatles—I Want To Hold Your Hand

By |2021-08-19T18:34:03-07:00August 19, 2021|Uncategorized|

Friend of Dullblog Stephen Kroninger sent along this mesmerizing Bollywood version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9JMo9xLfzM The Beatles came along at the precise moment for Western popular culture to have maximum impact all around the globe. Not only were the economically dominant cultures of the U.S., U.K., and Europe producing a monoculture, the process of de-colonization was still in its infancy. So first, the UK went mad for The Beatles in a way that wouldn't be possible ten or even five years later. Then that madness was shared with its ex-colonies (the US foremost among them), where [...]

The Beatles are a threat to our children, especially girls (August 1964)

By |2021-08-12T18:22:49-07:00August 12, 2021|Uncategorized|

It's nearly impossible for a modern person to understand the white-hot, spittle-flecked paranoia that The Beatles generated in certain quarters of American society. But it's really essential to their story—how they perceived themselves, how they interacted with fans (and haters), their transit from performing band to studio magicians, and the peculiar pressures that they were under from February 1964 on. This earnest four minutes of insanity was uttered by Judge Benjamin Schwartz of the Cincinnati Juvenile Court, in the aftermath of the Fabs' concert in August 1964. Chair-kissing took place people. Chair-kissing. As we all know, Western Civilization ended soon after. [...]

Hey Dullblog Loves Harry Nilsson!

By |2021-06-15T18:04:50-07:00June 15, 2021|Uncategorized|

I have always been simply potty for John and Paul's "favorite American group," born 80 years ago today on June 15, 1941. Here are a few of our posts on Harry over the years. 2010: Info on the film "Who Is Harry Nilsson? (And why is everybody talking about him?)" 2011: Nilsson's cover of "Isolation"  2013: Harry Nilsson: The Shadow Beatle (MG discusses the tragic arc of Nilsson and Lennon) 2014: Jimmy Webb on Harry Nilsson 2019: A Touch of Nilsson in the Night (Pussycats era demos) It is my tragic fate to have been born one day before Harry. Guess who [...]

Eddie Cochran Documentary on Arena

By |2021-05-07T16:05:42-07:00May 7, 2021|1960, Documentaries|

The venerable BBC documentary series "Arena" is my television happy place. It's really an unparalleled trove for people interested in a certain era of American and European culture. Last night, as I recovered from Moderna shot #2, I happened upon this documentary about early rock and roller Eddie Cochran. Eddie was one of the early influences on the Fabs, as well as the man behind "Twenty Flight Rock," reputedly the song that convinced John to let Paul into the band. Well worth a watch, if you're into such stuff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNAA6kosegA

Prince Plays While My Guitar Gently Weeps

By |2021-05-01T21:12:39-07:00May 1, 2021|Uncategorized|

One of the things that I love about The Beatles is that all their songs—even all the parts of their songs—sound right to my ear. Other people can cover a Beatles song and their version might be interesting, or even good, but it won't sound as perfect as the original. Eric Clapton's solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is definitely like that—the magic was so strong, it even extended to session men (Billy Preston is another example of this). Then I listened to this 2004 solo by Prince at George Harrison's induction ceremony into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [...]

Beatles and Class Open Thread

By |2021-04-29T14:14:38-07:00April 29, 2021|Uncategorized|

I'd like to try to break out some of the more important issues brought up in comments, and put them in one themed thread, so browsers/new users of this blog can find and follow the discussion more efficiently. Please continue your discussion of the Beatles and the UK class system in the comments here. Thank you.

Albert Brooks on John Lennon

By |2021-04-24T18:11:08-07:00April 24, 2021|Uncategorized|

Brooks, Lennon, et al. [Stalwart @Hologram Sam posted some of this as a comment, but it's just too good not to surface on the main page. Albert Brooks is a comedian's comedian—someone I want to get for Bystander—and his seminal comedy LP "Comedy Minus One" came out in 1973. This is from a 2012 Vanity Fair interview by Judd Apatow.—M.G.] J.A. You said you were friends with Harry Nilsson? A.B. I was. He was one of these comedy-freak guys. He would come and see my shows and he was very sweet and a massive drinker. I didn’t drink and I wound up being [...]

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