More POB than you can shake a stick at, if that's your thing (The title's a shout-out to the dear departed National Lampoon -- where John and Yoko hung around a bit in their Bank Street days, and which ran an entire Beatles-themed issue in October 1977.) In a discussion with commenter @Rob this morning, I realized that I had stronger feelings about John Lennon's first solo album than I realized. I admire it as a piece of work, but can't remember the last time I listened to it; and always find it a bit unpleasant when I do. Rob, [...]
DEVIN McKINNEY • Note: These are not new impressions, but ones jotted down in May 2012, the day Early Takes: Volume 1 came in the mail, and embellished more recently. George, in a photo taken in a Bahamian pool during the filming of Help!, holds his head above the water’s crystal surface, his face the perfect expression of the solemn young seeker braving the eddies and tidepools of the material world: a Siddhartha for the ‘60s. The image is rich, quiet, suggestive, like George at his best. It’s beautiful wrapping on a gift that isn’t quite there. Olivia Harrison, Giles Martin, and [...]
Ringo, ready to spring into instant diplomatic action NANCY CARR * Usually I can take or leave alternative history experiments, but Geoffrey Himes' "What If The Beatles Hadn't Broken Up?" in Paste is so loony I had to bring it back to the Dullblog community for commentary. [For great alternate Beatles history, see Mark Shipper's Paperback Writer or HD's own Michael Gerber's Life After Death for Beginners.] Part—but only part—of the problem is that Himes' writing is serviceable at best, so the piece comes off as mediocre fan fiction. The much larger problems are with the motivation and plausibility of the [...]
Bare feet, ouch! Paul suffers for his art. Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone: So let's argue: Which album truly counts as the grand finale? The case for Let It Be: It came out in 1970, which was after 1969. The case for Abbey Road: (1) virtually all of Let It Be was in the can before the Abbey Road sessions even began; (2) Abbey Road feels more like a classic Beatles record; (3) "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" was the last time all four played in the studio together; (4) the last song on Abbey Road is called "The End"; (5) except for "Her Majesty"; (6) rebounding from the Let [...]
"They were getting to be like Paul's band, which they didn't like," quoth the Yoko, via The Huffington Post. The interview's from 1987, and it's from Rolling Stone, so we can expect it to be simple-minded and St. Lennon-ish; but this canard deserves a bit of scorn. Can I? Thanks.Oh what a shame it was for Paul to run roughshod over those other three grown men, forcing stuff like "Hey Jude" and Abbey Road on the world. Why, instead of wasting all that time, John and Yoko could've given 500 more interviews, and filmed countless more asses. Or John could've continued to explore [...]
Greil Marcus "When I became record reviews editor, I made it clear to him after a few months — nobody had done the job before me — that the record review section was an independent republic within the country of Rolling Stone. That meant that nobody else could tell me what to review or what a writer could say. They could argue with me, but ultimately it was my decision. And that worked well. There was one incident where Paul McCartney makes his first solo record and people thought it was wonderful: this rough, homemade one-man-band album. It was accompanied by [...]
“Happy New Year…” Friend Jon just forwarded me this news article detailing a letter that John Lennon wrote a young songwriter in early 1970. The letter never reached the songwriter--it was intercepted and sold. Which I think is quite a neat metaphor for both Lennon's fundamental decency, and how the circumstances of his life conspired to make it difficult for him to express that.
The happy newlywed? Shirley Tilloch over at Beatles Til I Die has written a very interesting post originally inspired by one over here at Dullblog. This post of mine began as a lengthy comment to her post...until I got to the point where it was too long and went off in too many directions. So apologies in advance if what I'm about to say is a bit (or a lot) scattered. I think it's sufficiently original to be worth saying anyway. Briefly—and Shirley, please correct me in the comments if I mischaracterize you—Shirley writes that the presence of a 1969 [...]