Critics at Large reviews “The Fifth Beatle”

By |2014-03-08T11:09:37-08:00March 8, 2014|alternate history, biography, books, Brian Epstein, Reviews|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  While the world waits for the sunrise, and Hey Dullblog for the opinion of honorary Brian Epstein Fan Club president Mike Gerber, take a look at David Kidney’s review of the fantastic-seeming graphic novel The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by writer Vivek Tiwary and artists Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker. Posted over at my “other” blog outlet, Critics at Large, Kidney’s review gives enough flavor of the visual and textual of the book to get you wondering how much you’d be willing to spend on one of its numerous permutations:  Standard; Deluxe; Super Deluxe Limited Edition, signed; [...]

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, [...]

George and Ringo, the forgotten Beatles: A preamble and provocation for 2014

By |2014-01-02T07:27:21-08:00December 31, 2013|alternate history, George, George Harrison, Living in the Material World, Ringo, Ringo Starr|

Imagine there's no ... DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Offered in spirits of love and objectivity: One notices that the talk at Hey Dullblog tends, in a broad sense, to revolve around, or devolve toward, precisely two subjects: John and Paul. (Or John or Paul; or John versus Paul. Or John. Or Paul.) Start at virtually any discussion point, and reader heat will amass itself around their two heads—as if they were not just the most interesting of the four, which they are, but as if they were the four in total, which they are not. It’s only natural, in a sense, [...]

The Beatles US Album Box Set: “Yay” vs. “Wait a minute”

By |2013-12-17T10:26:24-08:00December 13, 2013|alternate history, Reissues|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Capitol Records announces today that on January 21, it will reissue the Beatles' America-only LPs in a box set. Surely, thoughts of the 50th anniversary of the band's touchdown at JFK inspired this felicitous notion. First thought: Yay, another Beatles toy! Second thought: Wait, they've done this already, haven't they, more or less? The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 was released in 2004 (40th anniversary time), Vol. 2 two years later. Both boxes covered the US-specific releases up through Rubber Soul, excepting the Hard Day's Night soundtrack (released on United Artists) and The Beatles' Story, a 2-record Capitol-cooked documentary that's a [...]

When I’m Seventy-Three: What John Lennon would look like today

By |2013-11-20T07:52:42-08:00November 20, 2013|alternate history, Beatles on the Web, cartoon, Graphic Art, John Lennon|

    DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Huffington Post today features John Lennon headlining a festival of dead pop stars as they might look today, in computer-aided speculations created by the Sachs Media Group in partnership with “photo restoration and manipulation company” Phoejoe.   I study John’s digitally aged image, looking for the flaw in the algorithm, the misjudgment of hairline or jowel nomenclature, and can’t find it. The others are pretty interesting as well.       And here’s the classic analog representation of all four Beatles “when I’m sixty-four,” commissioned for the multi-artist anthology The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics (1969), often used for [...]

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 [...]

The best dancer

By |2014-07-06T23:37:38-07:00September 10, 2009|alternate history, comedy|

  And again ED PARK • This sort of I've-been-living-under-a-rock thing shouldn't work...but I think Klosterman pulls it off! It is not easy to categorize the Beatles’ music; more than any other group, their sound can be described as “Beatlesque.” It’s akin to a combination of Badfinger, Oasis, Corner Shop, and every other rock band that’s ever existed. The clandestine power derived from the autonomy of the group’s composition—each Beatle has his own distinct persona, even though their given names are almost impossible to remember. There was John Lennon (the mean one), Paul McCartney (the hummus eater), George Harrison (the best [...]

Everybody’s trying to be my baby

By |2014-07-06T23:36:10-07:00September 9, 2009|alternate history, comedy|

Oh, I get it. He's kidding MOLLIE WILSON REILLY • Everyone and their brother is writing about the Beatles today -- and last night VH1 was showing Help!, for heaven's sake! It's weird, and oddly it's making me a little bit cranky. (Like, Hey, I liked them first.) This happened back in 1995, though, a couple of years after my own personal conversion to Beatlemania, when Anthology landed and suddenly everyone was a big-time fan. So I guess it will blow over. In the meantime, if you find yourself growing fatigued with reading box-set reviews by Johnny-Come-Latelys, I recommend Chuck [...]

Quadruple fantasy

By |2014-07-05T11:40:25-07:00July 9, 2009|1970s, alternate history|

Let's play along with David L. Ulin's "The Beatles, 1970–1975," in the Believer's 2009 music issue (just out—get yours here or at your favorite forewarned, these sell out!): If The Beatles Hadn't Broken Up The Beatles are the fascination that lingers. I’ve been listening to them since August 1968, when my parents gave me Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for my seventh birthday, the original Capitol Records pressing with the souvenir cutouts, the paper mustache, the epaulettes. It takes a certain type of fan to obsess about such things, and once upon a time that’s who I was. Obsessive enough [...]

Beatles singles that never were?

By |2013-12-14T12:22:02-08:00February 17, 2008|1980, alternate history, solo|

45 sleeve for "Coming Up"--very New Wave graphic design This morning, while listening to LA's version of "Breakfast with the Beatles"--I grew up with Terri Hemmert on XRT in Chicago, but I think Chris Carter's show might be even better--I was reminded how John Lennon had been roused to record again by Paul's single "Coming Up." Carter said that the first song Lennon wrote in this ego-pricked, ambitious state was "I Don't Wanna Face It," which later appeared on Milk and Honey. That got me thinking: both songs are good, but I think John and Paul working together would've made [...]

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