Craig Brown’s “One Two Three Four”

By |2020-08-13T09:21:58-07:00August 13, 2020|Allen Klein, books, Brian Epstein, Mark Lewisohn, Reviews, Uncategorized|

Is it possible to write anything fresh and interesting about the Beatles in 2020? Improbably, Craig Brown has managed to pull off this feat in One Two Three Four: The Beatles In Time. It helps enormously that Brown departs from the marching-in-strict-chronological order structure used, understandably enough, in many accounts of the band. Brown is the author of 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, as well as multiple parodies, and he brings a light (but not lightweight) touch to the proceedings. He's willing to go down rabbit holes after interesting tidbits, to summarize long-drawn-out situations simply, and to share his own investment in [...]

The Beatles and the Historians

By |2017-09-08T13:35:43-07:00September 8, 2017|books|

Available on Amazon or wherever good Beatles books are sold. After commenter Rob raved over it in this comment, I was reminded that I've been meaning to hip you all to something for a while. Longtime Dullblog commenter Erin Weber has written a book called The Beatles and the Historians, which anybody who loves this site will eat up with a spoon. In Erin's words, the book is "an overview of how Beatles' history has been written over time, the biases, errors, and mistakes within them, and also some of the very valuable works that have been written on the [...]

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 [...]

Interview with Chip Madinger, coauthor of Lennonology: Strange Days Indeed

By |2019-04-23T16:58:20-07:00June 6, 2016|books, Interviews, john and yoko, John Lennon, Lennon family, Yoko Ono|

In this conversation with Hey Dullblog, Chip Madinger talks about the genesis, process, and future of the ambitious Lennonology project he has undertaken with coauthor Scott Raile. Thanks to Chip for answering our questions, and to Mary Klein, who recently reviewed Lennonology: Strange Days Indeed for HD and helped write the questions. You can learn more about the book, and purchase it, at HD: How did you determine what information to include about the other Beatles' activities? CM: As time is such a rigid constant, a day-by-day format seemed the ideal way to present the Lennons' history. The narrative in Strange [...]

“Lennonology: Strange Days Indeed” a Lennon/Ono data feast

By |2016-05-10T07:46:38-07:00May 9, 2016|books, John Lennon, Reviews, Yoko Ono|

By Mary Klein, Guest Dullblogger A Lennon/Ono banquet Chip Madinger's and Scott Raile's  Strange Days Indeed–A Scrapbook of Madness presents John Lennon and Yoko Ono aficionados with a dizzying spread of information – and it's only the first volume in a projected three- to four-volume work that aspires to chronicle all the doings of JohnandYoko. Madinger (coauthor of Eight Arms to Hold You, 2000) and Scott Raile (academic advisor at the University of Colorado, Boulder) draw from an enormous range of materials to create a day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour, chronicle of the couple's activities, beginning in 1966. Even those familiar with the Lennon/Ono story will learn [...]

Philip Norman’s McCartney “poem”; and an afterthought

By |2016-05-13T13:28:14-07:00May 4, 2016|books, McCartney, Paul McCartney, Reviews|

In the same vein as Norman's 2005 Daily Mail "letter" to Paul, there's the doggerel he wrote and published in the Sunday Times back in the early 1970s. I've seen references to its being longer than the four lines I can find online, but those four lines are more than enough: "O deified Scouse, with unmusical spouse For the cliches and cloy you unload To an anodyne tune may they bury you soon In the middlemost midst of the road." So, nothing like now having a biography from a writer who once publicly wished for the subject's speedy death. I'm sure Norman [...]

Philip Norman’s “letter” to Paul

By |2016-05-03T16:18:48-07:00May 2, 2016|books|

Apparently written around the time Paul McCartney’s marriage to Heather Mills collapsed, an alleged (and uncharacteristic) altercation between McCartney and his public prompted Philip Norman to editorialize in an article he wrote for the Daily Mail entitled What’s eating you, Macca? After reading it I’d like to ask “What’s eating you, Norman?  His animosity toward McCartney is almost palpable. Dear Macca, The millions of people who regard you as pop music's patron saint will have been shocked and disillusioned by your recent behaviour - though, as The Beatles' biographer and a long-time observer of your remarkable solo career, it comes as somewhat [...]

Dr. Jenny Boyd On Creativity

By |2016-04-01T19:10:26-07:00March 31, 2016|Apple/Inner Circle, books, Uncategorized, Wives and girlfriends|

Jenny Boyd with George Harrison I was surfing the internet yesterday and came across an interesting story about Patti Boyd’s sister and ex-wife of Mick Fleetwood, Jenny Boyd. After leaving her modelling career, Boyd attended UCLA and obtained her Ph.D in psychology in the late `80’s. Her Ph.D dissertation about the origins of creativity was published in 1992 as Musicians in Tune and again in 2014 as an expanded version entitled It’s Not Only Rock ’N’ Roll: Iconic Musicians Reveal The Source of Their Creativity. Here’s the description from Amazon. Psychologist Jenny Boyd has probed the minds and souls of these artists [...]

First 1000 Words: 16 in 64

By |2016-03-16T22:15:54-07:00March 17, 2016|First 1000 Words|

Marti presents the plaque, 1964. From 16 in 64. Folks, print publishing may be dying (says the publisher of a magazine) but one subgenre is going quite strong — books about The Beatles. It's a rare month that I don't receive an email from a publisher, publicist or author telling me about a book they're sure Dullblog readers will enjoy. We try to cover as many of them as possible, but so many slip through the cracks. Ivor Davis' book, for example, has been glaring at me for years (in a way that Ivor himself would never). So I've decided to open [...]

Biography vs History: Expectations and Assumptions about Beatle Narratives

By |2016-03-11T15:29:15-08:00March 11, 2016|Beatle History, biography, books|

Over at the Tumblr fandom categories post, an interesting and lively discussion is taking place about Beatle biographies, and our expectations of and assumptions about authorial intent and accuracy.  I thought the topic warranted a closer look. Are journalists and biographers simply writers "who are paid to tell a story that sells", as Mike Gerber contends, or should they be held to a higher standard because their work, as Ruth contends, is presented and consumed as history?  Should biographers be held to the same journalistic standards of factual reporting which govern the Fourth Estate? Here are some basic elements: Reporters are expected [...]

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