About Devin McKinney

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So far Devin McKinney has created 95 blog entries.

Robert Christgau on “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band”

By |2015-04-15T11:17:49-07:00March 10, 2015|Beatles Criticism, books, JL/POB, John Lennon, Robert Christgau|

John and Yoko with (l-r) unidentified, Neil Aspinall, Ringo, and Maureen at John's 31st birthday party in Syracuse, NY, where Robert Christgau met them. DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Robert Christgau’s new memoir, Going Into the City: Portrait of a Critic as a Young Man, contains a passage on the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album that struck me as resonant, and more than relevant to recent discussions on this board. As I sought at length to explain in my review of the book, posted at Critics at Large, Christgau is often a wise man and often merely a wise guy, and a [...]

Fab Foto Fakes: Photoshopping Beatles History

By |2015-04-15T16:01:30-07:00January 20, 2015|alternate history, Beatles on the Web, John and Paul, Photos|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  There used to be a fun little shadow business going in fake Beatles records—songs with a Beatlesque sound, or just a Beatle-sounding name on the label, that got taken, however briefly and inexplicably, for the real thing. The Knickerbockers’ highly convincing knockoff “Lies” lay at one end of the scale, with something like “The Girl I Love” by “the Beatles”—in reality, a New Jersey doo wop group known elsewise as The Five Shits—at the other. (Castleman and Podrazik’s All Together Now [1975] gave the first comprehensive listing of these purposeful or inadvertent fakeries, under the succinct and irrefutable chapter [...]

Joshua Wolf Shenk on Lennon and McCartney (Take 3)

By |2014-08-15T10:35:18-07:00August 15, 2014|John and Paul, Joshua Wolf Shenk, Reviews|

Nancy & Mike, I feel like Peggy Lee: Is that all there is? If The Atlantic put this on the cover, it must have been a slow cycle, without much happening in the world. Or maybe they just needed a shot of Beatles magic in the rump. “The Power of Two” isn’t a waste of time, because it gives us all a chance to engage in more Beatle chatter, and is further evidence, or suggestion, that the Beatles will not dematerialize into nostalgic ether when the Baby Boomers pass from our midst. But taking the piece on its intrinsic, not incidental merits, [...]

Putting HuffPo’s Beatles Test to the Test

By |2014-08-07T16:54:23-07:00August 5, 2014|anniversaries, Beatles on the Web, Revolver|

#12. This is not a sandwich. DEVIN McKINNEY  •  I’m the first Beatle Superfan to admit there’s a world of things I yet have to learn about them. That’s one reason Mark Lewisohn (look just to your right) is worth reading. So it’s with an ‘umble spirit that I report being both slightly let down and vaguely comforted, in a smug Superfannish way, by an annotated listing that appeared today at The Huffington Post, bearing the challenging though just slightly qualified head, “11 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Beatles, Even if You’re a Superfan.” I won’t, of course, [...]

Mark Lewisohn Interviewed at Critics at Large

By |2014-08-01T11:51:23-07:00August 1, 2014|biography, books, Mark Lewisohn, Tune In|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  One of my colleagues at Critics at Large, Toronto-based arts critic Deirdre Kelly, has scored a dynamite interview with Mark Lewisohn, recently in T-Town for a screening of the Hard Day’s Night re-release and a book-signing. The interview is both substantial and delightful, especially for we who so eagerly consumed Tune In last December, who still see its vivid pictures in our minds, still hear the hum of the history it reanimated. Lewisohn is just as engaged a subject as he is a writer, and Deirdre elicits much fascinating info about the research process he’s been following as “the [...]

Beatles Doc to Be Directed by Ron Howard

By |2014-07-16T20:38:25-07:00July 16, 2014|1960s, Documentaries, Movies, Ron Howard|

" ... and with a love like that, you know you shouuuuullllld ... " DEVIN McKINNEY  •  News comes through this morning, via Rolling Stone, that Ron Howard will direct a documentary about the Beatles' lifespan as a touring band, covering the years (approximately) 1960 to 1966. The film will be assembled, Anthology style, from existing footage from all manner of sources—television, film, even silent Super 8 footage shot by fans (to which bootleg recordings will be synced)—combined with sit-down interviews with Paul, Ringo, Yoko, Olivia, and a variety of fans who attended the original shows, along, perhaps, with their [...]

Happy birthday, Ringo!

By |2014-07-07T15:50:39-07:00July 7, 2014|1967, 1968, A Day in the Life, birthdays, Levon Helm, Ringo, Ringo Starr, Sgt. Pepper|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Hey! Let’s all wish Ringo the best on his 74th birthday. He’s still on tour, still looking great, still showing those peace fingers and giving a plug for love wherever he goes. I wrote a little birthday tribute to Ringo over at HiLobrow, a pop-culture site where I often contribute (edited by the great Josh Glenn, a guest contributor of ours). I hope you’ll pop over and check it out. Here’s something else I’ve wanted to say for a long time about Ringo, and it’s exclusive to Hey Dullblog. Once, not more than a year or two ago, a vision [...]

Happy birthday, Paul! (with a few notes on style)

By |2014-07-01T10:18:27-07:00June 18, 2014|1966, 1970s, birthdays, books, Linda McCartney, McCartney family, Paul McCartney, Photos|

Where can I find that jacket? DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Today is Paul McCartney’s 72nd birthday. He shows no signs of slowing, save for the current illness which his spokespeople will identify only as “a virus” and which has forced him to cancel several dates on his world tour—a contingency unprecedented, as far as I know, in his career. (Surely it’s ironic in some way that he’s taking his rest in Tokyo, cite of his traumatic 1980 pot bust.) What can you say on Paul’s birthday but “Happy birthday”? What can you ask but the same question you’ve asked on every [...]

“I Hope We Passed the Audition”: How The Beatles’ Encounter With Abbey Road Studios Changed the World

By |2015-04-26T06:04:30-07:00April 17, 2014|1960s, Abbey Road, books, Guest blogger|

By Grant Maxwell, Guest Dullblogger Grant Maxwell has served as a professor of English at Baruch College in New York. He holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, and he’s an editor at Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology. He’s also a musician, having played on stages with members of The Rolling Thunder Revue, The Black Keys, and The Strokes. He lives in East Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and son. The following is a modified excerpt from How Does It Feel?: Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Philosophy of Rock and Roll, issued March [...]

The Fab Files, Pt. 2: Beatle Traces in the Mid-Atlantic Conference

By |2014-04-05T06:25:09-07:00April 5, 2014|1969, alternate history, Beatle-inspired, Beatles fiction, comedy, Fab Files, Paul Is Dead (PID), Paul McCartney|

“We’ve never seen the body.But we know he’s there.” DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Having written about the McCartney death rumor in Magic Circles, I knew that campus papers in the Middle West and Near East were the seedbed of the whole thing. For several weeks in the autumn of 1969, student editors, reviewers, lit majors, and budding gag-writers scrambled to co-opt, rip off, outdo, or otherwise find their place on the bandwagon begun by University of Michigan student Fred LaBour’s seminal satire-dissertation, “McCartney Dead? New Evidence Brought to Light,” printed in the Michigan Daily of October 14. Lately I’ve been researching [...]

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