I'm an inveterate haunter of used bookstores. I love the physicality of books, and seeing how publishers chose to present subjects at particular places and times. Today I give you two 1970s finds, both British paperbacks, that feature melting or crying Beatles. This edition of The Beatles Lyrics was published by Omega in 1975 and features an introduction by (cringe) Jimmy Saville. Though the book includes no cover illustration credit, commenter Dan pointed out that it appears in Alan Aldridge's The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics (it's in volume 2, published in 1971), and commenter meaigs further noted that the illustration is by John Holmes. This is [...]
Michael G's post "Let It Be, Get Back, and History as Art" and the comments on the site have raised so many interesting points about Lindsay-Hogg's 1969 film and Peter Jackson's forthcoming one that I wanted to say a bit more about why I'm looking forward to Jackson's film, but also not expecting it to be the whole truth. A lot of that expectation derives from considering historical context, so let's get into the wayback machine for a minute. In 1975, Barclay James Harvest released the song "Titles," taken from their album "Time Honoured Ghosts." The vast majority of the song does consist [...]
Peter Jackson's "Get Back," which was expected to be released in theaters this September, is now going to be a six-hour documentary on Disney Plus, premiering during Thanksgiving weekend. Variety reports that "each episode is approximately two hours in length, rolling out over three days, November 25, 26 and 27, 2021, exclusively on Disney Plus." So, more footage, but to watch it you'll need a Disney Plus subscription. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out.
This piece by Rob Sheffield (whose most recent book is Dreaming The Beatles) just came out in Rolling Stone. Sheffield uses the lens of the new Peter Jackson documentary due out next August and put together from the same sessions that yielded Let It Be to consider, again, just why the Beatles came apart as and when they did. There's nothing especially new in Sheffield's analysis, but he deserves credit for making some good points trenchantly. Peter Jackson, of "Lord of the Rings" fame. Sheffield summarizes the situation thus: "In the end, it’s really a story about four friends trying to hold [...]
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 [...]
Finally, someone outside of Dullblog (in fact, George Martin’s biographer, in Salon) says what I’ve been thinking for years: heroin broke up the Beatles. Kenneth Womack does a good job of digging into quotes from McCartney, Barry Miles, and John and Yoko about the Lennons’ heroin habit to show how the Beatles’ delicate balance didn’t just tip, but fracture, in 1969. This quote, to me, is particularly telling: Indeed, by this juncture, Lennon’s mood swings and absenteeism—the ups and downs of his erratic, unpredictable behavior—were likely the result of their protracted heroin use. As music historian Barry Miles later wrote, “The other [...]
Posted at the excellent aggregator and original writing site Longreads is David Gambacorta's exploration of the 1974 California jam session John Lennon and Paul McCartney engaged in -- the last time they would play together. Most Beatles fans will be familiar with the history Gambacorta recounts, but it's nice to see it laid out succinctly. Gambacorta does turn up a few facts that were, at least, new to me: for example, it's not clear what happened to the master tapes made that night. And the piece is well worth reading for the recent comments Gambacorta got from several people, including Elliot Mintz, [...]
"Scuse us, folks. It's the 70s." Ladies and gents, I have a treat. It seems the proprietor/tress of the wonderful Beatles tumblr Amoralto was reading our comment thread, and shot me a link to the entire scan of the Allen Klein Playboy interview. This link will take you to a site where you can download it. (A natural word of caution: Of course download at your own risk, etc etc. I have not had a chance to download it myself.) Thanks Amoralto! Million h/ts in your general direction.
Commenter @ChelseaQW sent in this interesting tidbit this morning, which I just had to share. It's from Allen Klein's November 1971 interview in Playboy magazine: VETTER: You make it sound as if they [John and Paul] were never really close. KLEIN: I can only tell you what John said when I asked him who he would call among the Beatles if he was in trouble—you know, if he had a real problem. He said he’d call George. That surprised me. Then I asked him if he’d ever been really close with Paul and he said no. Not that he didn’t love him; [...]
This started as a comment on Mike's "Were John and Paul Lovers?" post. Though I wrote it before commenter Marcua's thoughts came in, we're expressing some similar ideas about the probable roots of John's post-India hostility toward Paul. I very much doubt that Lennon and McCartney were ever lovers. There's enough credible evidence that Lennon talked about and expressed interest in bisexuality for me to think he, at some point, recognized a degree of attraction to Paul. And there's enough from Paul ("he had beautiful hands," etc.) for me to think it might have gone both ways, if not as strongly. Could [...]