The Worst Beatle Waxworks Ever

By |2020-09-25T22:49:41-07:00September 25, 2020|Uncategorized|

Being immortalized in wax is a particularly harsh price of fame, don't you think? Even the dummies reproduced on the cover of Sgt. Pepper (surely the best of a bad lot) seem to have at best a distant relationship to their human counterparts. But this one, provided by friend and fellow Beatlefan Stephen Kroninger, takes the cake. If you have better (or worse), put 'em in the comments. This dubious quartet resided in Louis Tussaud's House of Wax in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, famed throughout Britain as the world's worst wax museum. It was closed in 2013; Jean, Paol, Jorge, and Ringoo—along with [...]

Johnandyoko Open Thread

By |2020-09-15T15:46:37-07:00September 15, 2020|Uncategorized|

My Dear Dullblogisti, Yesterday I wrote a post about Yoko Ono's relationship to The Beatles, and how strange it seems to me—not only her needless antipathy, but also John Lennon's—and how their marriage seemed to be founded on a mutual dismissal of/antagonism towards the idea of The Beatles. I mentioned how this puts any Beatles fan in a weird, yet seldom examined position of mentally defending the group against its founder and arguable leader. And because that's the way it happened, no one comments on how bizarre it is. I pulled the post down for two reasons—first, it felt like something I'd [...]

Mob Psycho 100 and the Beatles’ Mop Tops

By |2020-09-12T08:41:14-07:00September 12, 2020|Uncategorized|

A few days ago Eric Trump inadvertently sent the anime series Mob Psycho 100 to the toppermost of the Twitterverse when he Googled "mob." He signally failed to grasp why the popularity/relevance algorithm Google uses put images of the show early in the search results. Fans of the show reacted with predictable glee, and the Mob Psycho 100 Twitter account posted this, featuring an image of Shigeo Kageyama, the character familiarly known as "Mob": Doesn't that image remind you of someone? Or four someones? Doesn't it seem as though that look might be a merchandising opportunity for, I don't know, maybe a [...]

Craig Brown’s “One Two Three Four”

By |2020-08-13T09:21:58-07:00August 13, 2020|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 [...]

The Beatles and Jeffrey Epstein

By |2020-07-24T18:58:27-07:00July 24, 2020|Uncategorized|

Knowing the internet, SEO alone will probably make this the most popular post in the history of Dullblog (hello Were John and Paul Lovers). But my thoughts are philosophical, not evidentiary. Spare your revulsion for a moment while I share some thoughts which may explain a lot of what I've written on this blog since 2010. Fact: there is a level of fame, wealth, and power that dehumanizes you, and makes you dehumanize others. This, in our current cultural moment, is epitomized by Jeffrey Epstein and his little black book. I think the Beatles experienced this level of fame/wealth/power, as did the [...]

Emitt Rhodes, 1950-2020

By |2020-08-13T09:28:59-07:00July 21, 2020|Uncategorized|

Singer-songwriter Emitt Rhodes, the ill-starred talent once called "The One-Man Beatles" (also the title of a 2009 documentary, pasted below), has died. The New York Times obituary is here. I wrote about him previously on Dullblog, and those thoughts revisited me today. Nothing more to say but: good luck to you, Emitt, and thanks for the music. https://vimeo.com/266426996

F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Lennon

By |2020-07-21T10:36:34-07:00July 1, 2020|Uncategorized|

I’ve been on something of a Jazz Age kick recently, and you can’t be on one of those without running into my second-favorite American author of all time, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Somehow the thought occurred to me: F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Lennon have a lot in common. The original John and Yoko? Fitzgerald said that all his works were imprinted with what he called his “stamp”; he said this stamp was “taking things hard.” Specifically, Fitzgerald was referring to Ginerva King, a Chicago heiress and socialite whom Fitzgerald courted in his late teens and who rejected him for someone wealthier and [...]

Suggestions for a newbie?

By |2020-05-21T15:32:18-07:00May 21, 2020|Uncategorized|

Read this in a comment this morning: "I am 59 years old, and a brand new Beatles fan as of two months ago, so basically a blank slate with no preconceived thoughts on the band." Which got me to thinking, what sources would I recommend to a person who was new to The Beatles? Of course I'd start with the music. I'd probably recommend the mono box set, but I actually think which version is a bit less important than going chronologically, spending a little time with each album in order. As you enjoy yourself and get to know the song canon, [...]

Astrid Kirchherr, 1938-2020

By |2020-08-13T09:31:25-07:00May 15, 2020|Uncategorized|

And so we say goodbye to one of my favorite parts of the Beatle story, the complex and talented Astrid Kirchherr. Though their influence is impossible to quantify, Astrid, Klaus and the "Exis" are foundational to what John, Paul, George and Ringo became. It was in Hamburg that the Fabs transformed from a group of English teenagers playing sloppy covers of American R&B tunes into a artistic unit with a coherent aesthetic that would take over the world. The Beatles are so BIG a cultural phenomenon that it can be difficult to see the artistic outlines of other people in their orbit. [...]

A bolt of insight!

By |2020-05-03T13:00:38-07:00May 3, 2020|Uncategorized|

This morning while listening to "Fame," the David Bowie song guest-starring our pal John Lennon, I realized something. At a certain point, John ad-libs "What's your name?" Why does he do that? Because, when you're famous and someone comes up to you for an autograph, you ask… "What's your name?"

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