Dominic Sandbrook on the Early Seventies

By |2020-01-20T14:41:24-08:00January 20, 2020|Uncategorized|

Not-so-Great Britain. Today I happened across something I think Dullblog readers might like: "The Weird World of Seventies Britain," a lecture by the Oxford historian Dominic Sandbrook. (You'll also dig it if, like me, you're a fan of "The Crown.") The details Sandbrook relates—cue Paul's "Power Cut”—are interesting and enjoyable. Spurred by our conversations about the British nightclub scene, I've gotten Sandbrook's histories of Britain from 1956-63, and 1964-70. I will read them and report back with Interesting Beatle Facts. Britain in the Seventies is usually considered to be dystopic in the extreme, and it was certainly a rude comedown from a [...]

How “Lost” Was My Weekend?

By |2019-08-07T00:42:48-07:00July 30, 2019|Uncategorized|

Lennon and friends, up to no good. Especially that woman up front there, she seems like TROUBLE. :-) Frequent commenter @Hologram Sam provided this comment in one of our earlier threads. I commented, but as is usual these days had enough to say that I'm making a post out of it. Pop over and read it. I'll wait. I feel obliged to point out that May Pang's alleged statement tracks neatly with The Lives of John Lennon: John and Yoko as more a business entity than a couple, fulfilling their sexual/emotional needs elsewhere; May and Julian written out of the history; and [...]

Lennon and McCartney’s “lost reunion,” by David Gambacorta

By |2019-06-25T11:11:23-07:00June 25, 2019|Uncategorized|

Posted at the excellent aggregator and original writing site Longreads is David Gambacorta's exploration of the 1974 California jam session John Lennon and Paul McCartney engaged in -- the last time they would play together. Most Beatles fans will be familiar with the history Gambacorta recounts, but it's nice to see it laid out succinctly. Gambacorta does turn up a few facts that were, at least, new to me: for example, it's not clear what happened to the master tapes made that night. And the piece is well worth reading for the recent comments Gambacorta got from several people, including Elliot Mintz, [...]

“Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out” acoustic demo

By |2019-05-10T11:20:06-07:00May 10, 2019|Uncategorized|

With a few exceptions, demos are genial curiosities, adding context but little else to the standard version. You don't hear the song any different after. This one is an exception. Like a lot of folks, I've always found this song from Walls and Bridges particularly haunting, given where John Lennon was in his life (and vis a vis the music business); but this version really got me—the break at 3:36 is just amazing. Go listen. (h/t to Stephen Kroninger) (Stray thought: it might be fun to compile a list of truly essential demos, ones like “I'm Looking Through You." Put 'em in [...]

Thoughts on Red and Blue?

By |2019-05-06T21:03:44-07:00April 1, 2018|Uncategorized|

Songs from Beatlemania! Photo from 1968! AIEEEE Robert Rodriguez, author of Fab Four FAQ 2.0, popped up on my Facebook feed this evening touting an interesting anniversary: Thirty-five years ago tomorrow, on April 2, 1973, Apple/EMI released the Beatles compilations, 1962-66 and 1967-70. Or, as they were universally called, the Beatles Red and Blue Albums, respectively. Not surprisingly, these two LPs hit like a bomb (they'd sold 1.3 million of both sets by the end of that first year), and for lots of people, they became their introduction to the group. 1962-66 and 1967-1970 were a seminal expression of second phase [...]

With The Beatles: Alistair Taylor

By |2016-03-04T09:13:24-08:00March 3, 2016|Uncategorized|

  Alistair Taylor, 1967 In 1960, Alistair Taylor was a newly married 25-year-old office clerk when he applied for a sales job at NEMS. He had never met Brian Epstein before, but the two men hit it off immediately.  The sales job morphed into an offer to be Epstein’s personal assistant, and Taylor jumped at the chance. If you’re looking for a Lewisohnian-type account of Beatle history, this isn’t the book to read. Taylor is charmingly unsophisticated and his recollections are quirky and hyperbolical (and sometimes a little suspect). But hey-- that’s part of the book’s (and the author’s) charm. [...]

McCartney and Critics

By |2016-02-22T06:59:09-08:00February 19, 2016|Uncategorized|

  Mike and Nancy’s great posts about Starostin's critique of Abbey Road led to a lively discussion about how Paul McCartney is viewed and treated by music critics, particularly with respect to his early solo efforts. This is a great topic and one that I think deserves its own post. Why is it that Macca seems to run afoul of critics?  Is there a particular set of reasons or circumstances we can pinpoint which would explain it? In their interview with author Tim Doyle, author of Man on the Run, Paul McCartney in the 70’s,  Mike and Nancy asked a similar question: Why [...]

John and Yoko at the Fillmore

By |2016-02-11T16:54:10-08:00February 9, 2016|Uncategorized|

  Frank Zappa tells an interesting story about John and Yoko and their guest appearance at Zappa’s 1971 live album concert at the Fillmore East. After briefly meeting them through a reporter, Zappa invited John and Yoko to come to the Fillmore that evening to jam with the band.  Nervous but buoyed by cocaine, The Lennons played with the Mothers for nearly an hour and performed four songs, including a 5-minute jam.  According to Zappa, “we played for about 40 minutes I guess, and it just so happens that we had made arrangements to record that night...and the whole thing got laid down on tape. [...]

The Lennon Audio Diaries

By |2016-02-12T11:16:51-08:00February 9, 2016|Uncategorized|

In the fall of 1979, John sat down with a tape recorder and began to tell his life story.  But these Lennon audio diaries were a non-starter: in true Lennon fashion, he got bored after 1.25 minutes and let his thoughts drift to his usual preoccupations—Paul McCartney, his mother Julia, and his fear of professional redundancy. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the 13 minutes or so of audio tapes were found in a fan’s garage (?!) and were sent to a voice analysis expert by News of the World for authentication.  (They needn’t have bothered; the voice on the tapes is so clearly [...]

Dark Horse demo

By |2016-01-31T11:44:53-08:00January 31, 2016|Uncategorized|

Dig those boots. Commenter @Linda S. sent me this lovely video of George Harrison singing a Dark Horse demo. Just the thing on this rainy SoCal Sunday. (BTW, I was interested to learn -- via Wikipedia (so...y'know) -- that "[a] number of music critics rate Dark Horse as one of Harrison's finest post-Beatles compositions and believe that the single would have achieved greater success with a cleaner vocal performance." https://youtu.be/mLR8_e7Gc_M

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