The Lennon Audio Diaries

By |2016-02-12T11:16:51-08:00February 9, 2016|1979, John Lennon|

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|1974, George Harrison|

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."

A slight present, on John Lennon’s 75th birthday: Interview self-interview, 1974

By |2015-10-09T13:12:32-07:00October 9, 2015|1974|

Sun's out, guns out, eh John? There's something interesting making the rounds during this, John Lennon's 75th Birthday Week -- and by "making the rounds," I mean that commenter Karen and Kim from JohnHeartPaul contacted me about it within 48 hours of each other. Who am I to resist the Collective Unconscious? So here's a self-interview typed out by the late great Johnny Ace, conducted in 1974 for Andy Warhol's Interview. (Getting celebrities to interview themselves, and even type it up for you? Now that's capitalist thinking.) It's a prime cut of Walls and Bridges-era Lennon -- which, if I [...]

Plastic Ono Band — Threat or Menace?

By |2015-02-10T12:04:19-08:00February 10, 2015|1970, John Lennon, solo|

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, [...]

Whatever Gets You thru the Night…

By |2014-12-07T23:00:07-08:00December 7, 2014|1974, John Lennon|

Recently we've been discussing the gargantuan "Time Lapse Photography" comment thread, which discusses Beatle sexuality, and specifically the erotic tension between John and Paul. It's clear that some existed; whether or not it was acted upon is a matter of endless fan speculation (hello Johnheartpaul! Thanks for the traffic!) but ultimately between those two men alone. This morning, while listening to Chris Carter's wonderful radio show "Breakfast With the Beatles," I had an interesting thought: perhaps the 1974 hit "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" is Lennon talking to himself about his (possible) bisexuality? Now obviously: this is total speculation, and shouldn't [...]

Interview with Man on the Run author Tom Doyle

By |2014-09-24T11:02:26-07:00September 23, 2014|1970s, books, Interviews, Paul McCartney|

At this late date, it's a rare book that fundamentally redefines what I think of a Beatle and his work. But after reading Tom Doyle's Man on the Run, I'm hearing Paul McCartney's Seventies music in a whole new way -- not as tuneful, inoffensive AOR, or bargain-bin Beatles, but as a legitimate second act -- a bit like Dylan after the motorcycle crash. Doyle is just the right man for this job; a longtime contributor to the Beatles-crazy UK music mags MOJO and Q, the spine of Man on the Run was formed by a series of interviews he did with [...]

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 [...]

George Harrison: Early Takes: Volume 1

By |2016-11-30T07:29:45-08:00January 1, 2014|1970, All Things Must Pass, Bob Dylan, bootlegs, Eric Clapton, George, George Harrison, Living in the Material World|

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 [...]

Bad alternate Beatles history

By |2014-07-22T22:05:55-07:00October 4, 2013|1970, alternate history|

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 [...]

Lennon and Christianity

By |2013-08-19T00:46:24-07:00August 18, 2013|1972, 1973, 1977, John Lennon|

Oral Roberts: John Lennon's secret penpal? MIKE GERBER • Commenter Karen brought something to my attention recently that I certainly had a strong reaction to, and thought Dullblog readers would, too. In January, 1973, American televangelist Oral Roberts claimed in a speech that he'd received a letter from "ex-Beatle John Lennon." The letter, which he said was handwritten, detailed John's misery at his life as a Beatle, and his desire to be saved by Jesus Christ. You can read about it all here. I've been wrong before, but I would be willing to wager $100 right now that this letter is [...]

Go to Top