All You Need Is Love–And To VOTE!

By |2020-11-03T07:57:41-08:00November 3, 2020|Beatle History, Beatle-inspired, Politics, Uncategorized|

Please, if you're legally able to do so in the United States, get out and vote today. If you have an absentee or mail ballot, drop it off at an authorized collection place (preferably one that is attended by an actual person), and track the status of your ballot online. I believe that most of us who contribute to or read this blog are drawn to the Beatles at least in part because their music offers us a measure of hope and encouragement. They wrote plenty of songs about sadness, and even despair. They  didn't shy away from the complexity of reality, [...]

Soviet Hippies

By |2019-10-23T01:40:12-07:00October 23, 2019|Politics|

In our recent conversation regarding Revolver and Pepper the historical setting of The Beatles in general and those albums in particular have come up a lot. How much should historical context matter when judging an artistic work? Should it matter at all? Does something as squishy as historical importance trump more concrete metrics like sales or popularity, or even more nuanced ones like influence within important groups like fellow musicians? Back in the USSR, Beatles bootlegs were incised on x-rays, creating a secret Soviet flexi-disc. With that stuff swirling about, this evening I ran across a documentary called Soviet Hippies, about the [...]

The Beatles, Sean Spicer, and the Chicago Women’s March

By |2017-01-23T17:29:00-08:00January 23, 2017|Beatle-inspired, concert, Covers, Politics|

Saturday was a tale of two crowds: the kerfuffle over the inauguration audience and the turnout for the women's marches around the country and around the world. Given that the facts / "alternative facts" in question concerned crowd size, it's fitting that the ever-popular Beatles featured in a couple of the memes generated in the wake of Sean Spicer's statements to the press about the audience for the inauguration.   The Women's March in Chicago this past Saturday, which I participated in, did have one actual link to the Beatles: members of the local cast of "Hamilton" performed "Let It Be" at the rally. I didn't [...]

Election reflections, Beatle-inflected

By |2016-11-14T09:46:56-08:00November 14, 2016|Beatle-inspired, Eastern religions, Politics|

Like many Americans, I’ve found this week emotionally exhausting. In the aftermath of this election, blogging about the Beatles seems ridiculous, so I offer these reflections with the hope that they may be helpful. However angry we may be, may we return no one evil for evil. May these times make us stronger and more determined to oppose injustice with love, and not hate, in our hearts. ___ Because my mind remains an ill-disciplined jukebox apparently no matter what is happening in the world, I had lots of bits of songs in my head all this week. Music, like literature, is one [...]

Trump and the Beatles

By |2016-02-11T14:52:59-08:00February 10, 2016|21st century references, Politics, The White Album|

This is just to say how disheartening I found it to hear the Beatles' "Revolution" played twice at Donald Trump's victory rally in New Hampshire last night. I realize that his use of the song is perfectly legal, and that it probably won't make a dime's worth of difference to the way anyone votes. And we seem long past the point where candidates even think about, let alone care, what the artists whose work they employ for political purposes would be likely to say about the platform their songs are being used to endorse. But at their best, the Beatles projected hope for a world that [...]

Give Greece a Chance

By |2015-02-12T11:55:39-08:00February 12, 2015|Politics|

Thousands of Greek citizens have gathered in Athens' Syntagma Square in front of the Greek Parliament, where they hope to prevent a continuation of austerity policies. The protest signs have a bit of a Beatle flavor. One, two, three, four, can I have a little more? Everybody's talkin' about ministers and sinisters Somewhere, John Lennon is smiling. You can read more about the situation here -- suffice to say that the government just passed a budget that pisses off both citizens who are tired of cuts to pensions and services, and lenders who wanted a quicker paydown. But [...]

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