From Victoria: Oracle’s spoken: John Green’s Dakota Days (1983)

By |2022-10-18T11:53:39-07:00October 18, 2022|1980, books, john and yoko, Reviews, Uncategorized|

When Victoria, a regular commenter here on Dullblog, asked if she could write up a review of John Green's out-of-print book Dakota Days, I immediately said "yes!" I remember reading it as deep background for my comic novel Life After Death for Beginners, and finding its glimpses into soothsaying and John and Yoko fascinating and maddening in equal measure. Here are her thoughts. Enjoy.—MG The Dakota, a Renaissance Revival building constructed in the 1880s, is well-known as a glamorous and sought after residence, and as the site of supernatural happenings in Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. Beatles fans know it, however, as John [...]

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 [...]

“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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Joshua Wolf Shenk on Lennon and McCartney (Take 3)

By |2014-08-15T10:35:18-07:00August 15, 2014|John and Paul, Joshua Wolf Shenk, Reviews|

Nancy & Mike, I feel like Peggy Lee: Is that all there is? If The Atlantic put this on the cover, it must have been a slow cycle, without much happening in the world. Or maybe they just needed a shot of Beatles magic in the rump. “The Power of Two” isn’t a waste of time, because it gives us all a chance to engage in more Beatle chatter, and is further evidence, or suggestion, that the Beatles will not dematerialize into nostalgic ether when the Baby Boomers pass from our midst. But taking the piece on its intrinsic, not incidental merits, [...]

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Joshua Wolf Shenk on Lennon and McCartney (Take 2)

By |2015-04-11T11:43:35-07:00August 14, 2014|Breakup, John and Paul, Joshua Wolf Shenk, Reviews|

Hello there Nancy (and everybody)— Mike here. Nice post, Nancy; thanks. Here are some more thoughts spurred by The Atlantic's Joshua Wolf Shenk on Lennon and McCartney, perhaps too many. "I read The Atlantic, mmkay?" First of all, Shenk’s piece struck me as typical magazine journalism in the post-Gladwell age — well-written and not factually wrong, but persistently unambitious, only revelatory to somebody who hasn’t really thought about anything but TPS reports since the late 1990s. You know the drill: writer declares something to be conventional wisdom — Shenk even goes to Wikipedia for it — then demolishes it via a catchphrased [...]

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; [...]

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