Charles Manson Is Dead

By |2020-09-10T11:21:32-07:00November 20, 2017|1968, Obituaries, Paul Is Dead (PID), The White Album|

Manson, wannabe musician. Charles Manson, who used a paranoid reading of the Beatles' "White Album" to spur his followers to murder, is dead at 83. Alas, the kind of fear-mongering false narrative that he helped pioneer is very much alive. Like the mixers of the toxic social media soup we're all swimming in today, Manson specialized in us-vs-them stories, especially racist ones. He didn't really care if they were true; he cared that they were effective. He was one of the origin points of the "alternative facts" conspiracy theory. Manson was also relentlessly narcissistic, convinced that the Beatles were sending [...]

Beatles mystery: “She’s Leaving Home”

By |2016-09-22T07:33:20-07:00September 20, 2016|1968, Beatle-inspired, Beatles fiction, books, fans, Uncategorized|

William Shaw's She's Leaving Home is a Beatles-linked police procedural mystery. It's also a deep dive into the turmoil of late-60's London. And an examination of two detectives struggling with their identities and social roles. If that makes the book sound overstuffed, it's because it is. But overall it's an enjoyable read for Beatles or mystery fans who are prepared to skim a bit. Beatles novels are as various as the songs on the White Album, ranging from the simply parodic (Alan Goldsher's Paul is Undead) to the thriller (Phil Rickman's December) to the realistic slice-of-life (Philip Gillam's Here Comes the Sun). But alternative history leads the field, with [...]

Starostin on the White Album

By |2016-06-20T07:18:13-07:00June 20, 2016|1968, Beatles Criticism, George Starostin, The White Album|

The tireless George Starostin, still working his way through Rate Your Music's list of "Top Albums of All Time," has just published a new review of the White Album (currently #25 on the list). As usual, there's plenty of substance in Starostin's review, and I highly recommend it. These lines particularly stood out to me (ellipses mine): "A typical 'complaint' against The Beatles is that this is the first album where the band, much too often, reads like the sum of its parts rather than a collective whole: The Lennon songs are Lennon, the McCartney songs are McCartney, the Harrison songs mark [...]

Lennon and McCartney On The Tonight Show, 1968

By |2016-04-21T06:57:16-07:00April 20, 2016|1968, Apple, Lennon, McCartney|

Speaking of his appearance with Paul McCartney on the Tonight Show to announce Apple Corp., John Lennon said it “was the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever been on.”  And if you listen to the audio portion (the video portion is no longer available), it IS truly cringe-worthy. Sitting with a slightly inebriated Tallulah Bankhead and a polite but clueless Joe Garagiola (who was subbing for Johnny Carson), John and Paul endured 22 minutes of embarrassingly vacuous questions (“Will you ever be able to top Sgt. Pepper?”, asked Garagiola) which made ME want to put a fork in my ear. An interesting backstory [...]

Beatles Ashram is Now Open!

By |2015-12-09T11:11:43-08:00December 9, 2015|1968, India|

By law, this photo must accompany any article regarding the Beatles in India. It's always sorta been open to the public -- if you wanted to give a local five rupees and sneak over the wall -- but now the Indian government has made the Maharishi's old compound in Rishikesh a tourist attraction. In 1968, the Fab Four wrote most of the White Album while staying at the ashram located in the Rajaji national park, besides the river Ganges. Since the Maharishi left in the 1970s it has been overtaken by forest, but on Tuesday, 35 years to the day [...]

Mick Jagger as Alex? The Beatles said yes

By |2015-10-22T09:57:35-07:00October 21, 2015|1968, Movies, Rolling Stone, The Rolling Stones|

"Go for it, Mick" Mere days after revealing that John Lennon was (theoretically) into dudes, Auntie NME has revealed that all four Beatles signed a petition trying to get Mick Jagger the lead in "A Clockwork Orange." Picture this: it's February 1968. You're probably high. Mick as Alex; The Stones as his droogs; music by The Beatles; screenplay by Terry Southern... this movie would've been either the greatest thing ever, or totally unwatchable. Without a firm hand to guide him (Stanley Kubrick) Terry Southern tended to write stuff like The Magic Christian, films much less fun than the parties surrounding [...]

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 [...]

Liv Warfield got “Blackbird” wrong: Ten covers that get it right

By |2014-12-30T21:34:48-08:00April 7, 2014|1968, 21st century references, Beatle-inspired, Covers|

Liv Warfield NANCY CARR * Last Friday Liv Warfield, best known for her stint in Prince's New Power Generation, performed her new song "Blackbird" on The Late Show With David Letterman, declaring "Paul McCartney got it wrong / I ain't never want no song / I ain't special, I ain't strong / Black . . . bird." It's not clear to me why Warfield, who was born in 1979, is so angry about a pro- Civil Rights song released in 1968 -- especially when the song is pitched in such a universal key that it can apply to any person or [...]

Starrtime: Defining Moments from Ringo’s non-Beatle movies (1)

By |2015-10-21T20:19:44-07:00January 7, 2014|1960s, 1968, alternate history, comedy, Film merde, Psychedelia, Ringo, Ringo movies, Ringo Starr|

The two dozen or so films Ringo Starr has made outside of the Beatles may constitute, more than any other legacy, a hefty bequest to the genre known unofficially as film merde. In spite or perhaps because of this, a surprising number of the all-star extravaganzas that make use of our favorite drummer’s amenable presence and recognizable nose have generated cults of some size (at least, if you believe Internet commentators who themselves, rather than stating existing facts, may merely be hoping to originate such cults). If nothing else, some of them offer a window on that passage in cultural history when, [...]

Cries and Whispers, Crashes and Flutters: 10 Favorite Beatles Musical Micro-Moments

By |2016-12-03T07:44:13-08:00November 27, 2013|1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, John Lennon, Lennon, McCartney, Paul McCartney, Ringo, Ringo Starr|

Recording "Real Love," 1994:Gut genius at work. DEVIN McKINNEY  •  We all know you can take the Beatles to the outer limit and upper extremity of significance—Best thing in universal history—and then narrow that unit to its subordinate but still-impressive absolutes:  Best miracle of the 20th century; best socio-cultural force of the 1960s; Best group of the “rock era.” Having accepted all of that, you can, and we all have, then go superlative in descending levels of specificity: Best album; best song; best vocal performance—John; best vocal performance—Paul; best bass playing; best guitar solo; best everything else. But have we [...]

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