Great Beatles Tumblr: Amoralto

Michael Gerber
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The Beatles wave from a balcony

“Look John! Nuns!”

MIKE GERBER • Commenter Annie McNeil just turned me on to a great Beatles Tumblr: Amoralto. It’s quite Dullblog-like, and I am very grateful to Annie (and the anonymous, dare I say mysterious proprietor of Amoralto) for the good word on this treasure trove.

A small aside: Are there any other types of troves? If so, you never hear about them. A subject in need of a Tumblr!

Anyway, thanks Annie—my career may never recover, but Dullblog will be so much the better for what Amoralto saves from the Beatle memory hole.

Though Annie brought it up in re: the Nativity story referenced in our earlier post on John’s eyesight (Amoralto has an excerpt from “The Lost Lennon Tapes” where Paul tells the story to an interviewer), what caught my eye was this item, an excerpt from a four-page handwritten letter from Paul to Brian Epstein, written in 1966 or ’67, in which the Caretaking Beatle gave the older man some advice and support during a time of unspecified troubles. (Perhaps the Diz Gillespie thefts?) Epstein willed the letter to his chauffeur/bodyguard Bryan Barrett, who auctioned it along with other Epstein diaries and ephemera in 2000. Amoralto—who apparently has a Highbeam account—copied out some.

So go check it out! We’ll wait here until you get back.

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  1. Avatar stew72 wrote:

    Her work on the Get Back session audio is also quite fascinating.

  2. Avatar Annie McNeil wrote:

    My pleasure, Mike! I’m so glad you dig the goldmine that is Amoralto. And I echo your praise and gratitude to its mysterious proprietor; I find her eccentric pedantry totally charming. Like a Boho-Victorian Oxbridge academic beamed into the future and set loose on the internet. With Beatles stuff. 🙂

    Yeah, how ’bout that letter, huh? I sure hope we get the whole thing someday, somehow. It was auctioned, right, so it’s somebody’s private possession now? Grrr. Maybe Lewisohn got a look at it? I’d really like to know what event Paul was responding to — the Gillespie incident crossed my mind, too, or maybe it was Brian’s suicide attempt?

  3. Avatar Drew wrote:

    That chunk of letter that Paul wrote to Brian Epstein is fascinating on many levels. People always portray Paul as so cold and calculating in the Beatles period. Yet here he is trying to take care of the manager who should be taking care of Paul! I would love to read the whole letter. I wonder if Paul himself bought the letter?

    I’ve been enjoying the Amoralto blog, too. For the most part, he/she seems pretty fair to all of the Beatles (though I sense a John bias now and again). It was reading some of Amoralto’s posts on the Get Back sessions that I realized — for the first time — that Don’t Let Me Down wasn’t just a John song, and that Paul had not only had a major hand in the song’s arrangement but in the lyrics as well. Such a surprise.

    • Nancy Carr Nancy Carr wrote:

      Oh my God, I can tell I’m going to spend way too much time digging around on Amoralto! So much fascinating stuff here. On the letter from Paul to Brian, I had a couple of thoughts. Annie, I absolutely think that Paul’s signing the letter “Rev. James Paul McKenzie” is another indication of how much he identifies with the characters in his story songs. Also an indication of his knowingly playing different roles. And Drew, I agree that it shows Paul caring for Brian. It’s interesting that there’s a kind of role reversal here, with Paul playing the parental/advisory role (hence his joking reference to acting like “Rev. McKenzie”). And that also reveals that along with the caring there’s an attempt to shape and control events, especially to keep the group going.

  4. Avatar Annie McNeil wrote:

    Mike, I don’t know if there was more than one attempt. I only know the one where John sent the “You know I love you” note afterwards. But then I haven’t read Brown’s book, or the one by the other guy who was superbuds with Brian — oh geez, Alistair Taylor, I think (bad fan!).

    Question: George Martin is quite adamant in his ’78 book that the Beatles were definitely going to cut Brian loose. What do we think about that?

    What I find perhaps most fascinating about the letter is that Paul signs it “Rev. James Paul McKenzie.” More fodder for the theory that Paul identifies with his characters and stories and reveals himself through them.

  5. […] MIKE GERBER • Commenter Annie said this in a recent comment: […]

  6. Avatar Linda S. wrote:

    Michael, do you know anything about the “semi-hiatus” status? Whenever I’ve tried to enter Amoralto, that has been posted.

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