After Senator Bernie Sanders showed up at yesterday's inauguration looking a bit, shall we say, casual, the photo spawned a thousand memes, with the Progressive octogenarian popping up in every famous shot imaginable. Of course the Beatles were part of this, so Michael Bleicher and I assembled some of the best examples. Add more in the comments.
I want to say right at the start that I've never really gotten the cult of Phil Spector. With all apologies to our beloved @Hologram Sam, rock and roll before The Beatles leaves me cold—and trust me, I've tried. All that Ronettes stuff sounds like a pompous, immature version of something Motown did so much better. I've also tried to like, or at least understand the appeal of, Phil Spector. I've read Tom Wolfe's 1964 essay "The First Tycoon of Teen" (not available online but worth a read). I've pondered Spector's close friendship with Lenny Bruce—as described by Albert Goldman, among others. [...]
Given the political impacts we're seeing here in the U.S. from internet-driven conspiracy theories, and the prevalence of a (I mean this in the nicest way) Beatles-related conspiracy theory on this blog for the past several years, I wanted to speak a bit about this topic. I paddled for many years in the shallows of conspiracy theories, most notably ones around the assassinations of the 60s. The big boys, the OG's. The ones that inspired everything from QAnon to Paul is Dead. You cannot read about QAnon and not think of The Gemstone File. (BTW, I would argue that PID is a [...]
This morning the following video was dropped on Twitter, and it's been lighting up our comments, so here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UocEGvQ10OE So, basically, "A Hard Day's Night," circa 1969—which is what lots of Beatles fans wanted in 1970, and maybe even more want in 2020. It's really striking to see them doing the same kinds of cuts and capers they did in 1964, but with High Hippiedom swirling about them, and Yoko playing the role of Patti Boyd. Anybody who's ever cut together a film knows that the narrative is created by the editing; and Jackson's narrative is plainly meant to counterbalance [...]
Everybody's favorite Liverpudlians (except perhaps for Mrs. Marsden) perform "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey", "I'm a Loser," and "Boys" for a remarkably restrained London studio audience, on October 7, 1964. According to the internet, the audience were members of the Beatles Fan Club. I think this footage might have been colorized after the fact? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFi1VcsuJ_g
Those of you on the rightly maligned hellsite Twitter can, and really must, follow us. We're at @HeyDullblog. (And I’m personally at @mgerber937.) I say this for two reasons: The first is, lots of Beatle and Beatle-adjacent news breaks on Twitter, and so we'll be able to comment on John's love letters to Paul the VERY MOMENT they are released. "Dear Paul: What I propose is to COMMUNICATE SECRETLY through all our songs for the rest of our lives. Just in case all the meaningful glances and times we (seemingly inadvertently) (hah! as if) touched each other's arm are not sufficient enough [...]
I'm making one. What should be on it? Nominate songs in the comments. By the way, anybody read this book by Miles? I may have to. I read Shawn Levy's book Ready Steady Go! and liked it a lot.
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, [...]
Four years later, Led Zeppelin would make this hotel famous. The title is referring to a notorious groupie-related event in Led Zeppelin history, detailed here. Long dismissed as legend, it seems to have really happened in July 1969, and (could this possibly be?) everybody left the hotel room happy. Except, of course, for the poor shark. My last few posts have discussed the relationship of the Beatles' (and Lennon's) image versus the likely reality, and my desire for Beatle fandom to become more nuanced, sophisticated and—forgive the loaded word—adult in its relationship with these things. For us to stop giving [...]
"This Halloween, go as one of the biggest bastards on Earth!" Folks, just a quick post here but one I think is worth making. In the comments to my 80th birthday post for John Lennon, we're talking about John's bad behavior (specifically his abuse of women--and men, too, though that is mentioned less). It's come up several times, and indeed the original post mentions that younger fans don't connect with John because they think he was a hypocritical asshole. Can't argue with that; "All You Need Is Love" does sound different coming out of the mouth of a "hitter." But [...]