Reader David wrote me to ask: "Some thoughts I've had recently with George Harrison's behavior within the Beatles particularly when the true Beatlemania kicked in. Do you think that kind of insanity going on around him, the crush of the crowds, the screaming, being chased and attacked...could all of that made him feel threatened, vulnerable, perhaps that his life was in danger? Ringo is on record talking about loving the experience. Paul certainly seemed to love it...John eventually I think stopped caring for it though he wasn't a deer in headlights over it. George on the other hand, if you look at what [...]
Friend of Dullblog Stephen Kroninger sent along this mesmerizing Bollywood version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9JMo9xLfzM The Beatles came along at the precise moment for Western popular culture to have maximum impact all around the globe. Not only were the economically dominant cultures of the U.S., U.K., and Europe producing a monoculture, the process of de-colonization was still in its infancy. So first, the UK went mad for The Beatles in a way that wouldn't be possible ten or even five years later. Then that madness was shared with its ex-colonies (the US foremost among them), where [...]
It's nearly impossible for a modern person to understand the white-hot, spittle-flecked paranoia that The Beatles generated in certain quarters of American society. But it's really essential to their story—how they perceived themselves, how they interacted with fans (and haters), their transit from performing band to studio magicians, and the peculiar pressures that they were under from February 1964 on. This earnest four minutes of insanity was uttered by Judge Benjamin Schwartz of the Cincinnati Juvenile Court, in the aftermath of the Fabs' concert in August 1964. Chair-kissing took place people. Chair-kissing. As we all know, Western Civilization ended soon after. [...]
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.
I have always been simply potty for John and Paul's "favorite American group," born 80 years ago today on June 15, 1941. Here are a few of our posts on Harry over the years. 2010: Info on the film "Who Is Harry Nilsson? (And why is everybody talking about him?)" 2011: Nilsson's cover of "Isolation" 2013: Harry Nilsson: The Shadow Beatle (MG discusses the tragic arc of Nilsson and Lennon) 2014: Jimmy Webb on Harry Nilsson 2019: A Touch of Nilsson in the Night (Pussycats era demos) It is my tragic fate to have been born one day before Harry. Guess who [...]
It was 50 years ago today that Paul and Linda McCartney released Ram, an album that's become more popular over the decades. I've talked at length about my love for the album here, and have often recommended this Jayson Greene Pitchfork review of the album's 2012 reissue. Perhaps because Ram was created at a time in Paul McCartney's life when he had to figure out how to pick up and keep going when everything was falling apart, my affection for the album has increased over the past year and a half. In this second decade of the 21st century, we're all trying to "ram [...]
One of the things that I love about The Beatles is that all their songs—even all the parts of their songs—sound right to my ear. Other people can cover a Beatles song and their version might be interesting, or even good, but it won't sound as perfect as the original. Eric Clapton's solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is definitely like that—the magic was so strong, it even extended to session men (Billy Preston is another example of this). Then I listened to this 2004 solo by Prince at George Harrison's induction ceremony into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [...]
I'd like to try to break out some of the more important issues brought up in comments, and put them in one themed thread, so browsers/new users of this blog can find and follow the discussion more efficiently. Please continue your discussion of the Beatles and the UK class system in the comments here. Thank you.
This trip back to 1978 is posted without comment, for the hardy of mind, body and spirit. Ognir Rrats syas, "Eniacoc si a avulleh gurd." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ueuop3bRZHE
Brooks, Lennon, et al. [Stalwart @Hologram Sam posted some of this as a comment, but it's just too good not to surface on the main page. Albert Brooks is a comedian's comedian—someone I want to get for Bystander—and his seminal comedy LP "Comedy Minus One" came out in 1973. This is from a 2012 Vanity Fair interview by Judd Apatow.—M.G.] J.A. You said you were friends with Harry Nilsson? A.B. I was. He was one of these comedy-freak guys. He would come and see my shows and he was very sweet and a massive drinker. I didn’t drink and I wound up being [...]