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 [...]

Tumblr Fandom Categories and Beatle Books

By |2016-03-08T09:13:27-08:00March 7, 2016|Beatles Criticism, Beatles on the Web, biography, books, Uncategorized|

By Gibson DelGiudice, guest Dullblogger As a 21st century Beatles fan (born in 1990, and so coming of age during the new millennium), it seems only natural that I probably have a different perspective than most Beatles fans on the literature that documents the group's rise to fame and the careers of its members. I’d like to share a Tumblr-influenced way of looking at Beatles books and sorting them into categories, based on the attitudes they express. Like many young people today, I’m a consummate Tumblr user. At the time of posting, over 277.2 million blogs make up the Tumblr network , [...]

With The Beatles: Alistair Taylor

By |2016-03-04T09:13:24-08:00March 3, 2016|1960s, 1970s, Apple/Inner Circle, books|

  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 on Lennon as his hero

By |2016-03-03T23:54:02-08:00March 1, 2016|books, Interviews, John and Paul|

Over on the "Paul's Essential Elements" thread, in response to an excellent post by Chris Dingman, we've been having a fascinating conversation about what both Lennon and McCartney brought to their artistic partnership. We're also having a conversation about it over on Mike's post, "John Lennon: Man of the Decade," because that's how we roll on Dullblog. In writing a comment on Chris' post, I mentioned that I'd read a magazine article in which McCartney identified Lennon as his hero. It was in the November 2015 issue of Mojo, in a piece titled "The Two of Us," excerpted from Paul du Noyer's [...]

The Meaning of Fun: The Paul is Dead Rumor

By |2016-02-03T09:24:03-08:00February 3, 2016|1969, alternate history, Beatle myth, books, Paul Is Dead (PID)|

In Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream in History, I wrote at length about the Paul is Dead (PID) rumor, attempting to weave it into a larger comprehension of the Beatles’ unprecedented, and exceedingly bizarre, effect on the private and public fantasies of the Sixties (and beyond). The rumor occurred at precisely the same time as the Manson Family murders, and my hunch for many years had been that their proximity beggared coincidence. That both were cults, both expressions—one benign, the other psychotic; one symbolic, the other brutally physical—of desires and fears accumulating at that instant in history; that those desires and [...]

Get Back: The Beatles’ Let it Be Disaster

By |2016-01-27T18:14:17-08:00January 27, 2016|Reviews|

Get Back: The Beatles’ Let It Be Disaster (Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt, 1994) In January, 1969, The Beatles began a project that ostensibly marked their return to concert performances, something they hadn’t done in over three years. The project was the brainchild of Paul McCartney, who hoped that performing before a live audience would restore the group’s fading morale and creative ennui.  Michael Lindsay-Hogg was hired to direct a television documentary which was slated to accompany the concert’s live television broadcast. Alas, the concert never happened, the band broke up, and out of the rubble came the feature film, Let It [...]

Allen Klein biography review by Ruth

By |2015-12-03T13:04:50-08:00December 3, 2015|Reviews|

No, no, he was really a nice guy, says the authorized biography Frequent commenter and house historian Ruth has sent in her review of Allen Klein: The Man Who Bailed Out The Beatles, Made the Rolling Stones, and Transformed Rock & Roll. Written with Ruth's trademark incisiveness and interest in Beatles historiography, it is posted below -- with our deep thanks. By the way: there is much too much Beatle-related content being produced for us to keep up. I am growing mildly alarmed at the many worthy books, reissues, etc, that come and go without our making any comment. Any [...]

Why Those Screaming Beatlemania Girls Matter

By |2015-11-30T12:09:11-08:00November 30, 2015|Beatlemania, Beatles Criticism, books, pre-Beatles, Television|

Those videos of Beatlemania girls screaming have have always made me squirm. All that howling, weeping, and writhing bug me for multiple reasons. As a woman, they make me cringe because rock criticism defined itself against them: screeching gals over there, analytical guys over here. As a Beatles fan they make me wince because they (superficially) reinforce the argument made by many non-fans that the Beatles “were just a boy band.” At a time when Why-Can’t-The-Boomers-Just-Get-Over-The-Beatles-Already is a definite thing (see this Washington Post piece), it's worth asking: Really, why all that screaming? And why should any of us post-Boomers care? Measured [...]

Beatlebone review by Karen

By |2016-02-28T17:05:18-08:00November 17, 2015|Beatles fiction, Reviews|

One of the few perks of Hey Dullblog (in addition to being able to converse with all of you, which is pleasure enough) is receiving the occasional Beatle-related item in the mail. Earlier in the fall, a nice man at Doubleday reached out and asked if we'd review the Irish novelist Kevin Barry's Beatlebone, a fantasy starring a late-Seventies John Lennon. Of course we said yes, first because we love all things Beatle here, and second because I personally know how difficult it is to nudge any novel's sales into the high two figures. The written word? We're all for it, here [...]

The Beatles and Drugs: the best books?

By |2016-03-08T09:58:24-08:00October 12, 2015|biography, books|

Yes, this is a bong. I don't even smoke and I want one. Folks, someone in the Beatle fan community told me recently that he's writing a book about the Beatles and drugs. It's a fascinating, underconsidered topic -- well, underconsidered by all but right-wing nutjobs, more about that later. Any weary perusal of our comments will attest that it's one I have a lot of interest in, and opinions about. (This post and thread is but one of many.) This fellow asked me a question about John's drug use in the 1979-80 period, and I immediately thought of several [...]

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