When I was a little boy, way back home in Liverpool

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  More John Lennon photo-animation, from The Gilly, this great Beatles Tumblr I done found.

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  1. Avatar Anonymous wrote:

    Devin: FYI, there’s a story today on the Guardian’s Web site about the best Beatles books and it mentions your book (which I’ve just ordered via Amazon). I can’t post the link but it’s called The Best Books on the Beatles.

    Here’s the relevant passage:

    “Thanks to a tip from the writer Jon Savage, I now own Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History by the self-styled “independent scholar” from Brooklyn Devin McKinney. Stylistically, it takes its lead from the Rolling Stone writer and pop theorist Greil Marcus. McKinney’s book is often maddening and silly, but when he’s good, he’s very good. Of the Beatles’ output in 1966, he writes: “Virtually every piece of music they put their hands to this year comes out in some way twisted, acerbic, jagged.” That year’s Revolver, he says, was “the first Beatle album to find itself in the dark, not the light”.

    Nice plug (even with the bit of criticism). FYI, in case you hadn’t seen this.

    — DRew

  2. Drew, many thanks for the tip. I hadn’t seen this. Any nice words are nice, but especially from the Guardian, whose original reviewer (known in my house as, cover your ears, the limey cunt) gave me the worst, snarkiest, stupidest, most inaccurate and fraudulent review I hope ever to receive. But Savage’s one-word name-check a few years back was a sweet thing.

    One thing I’m proud of is that even those who hated the book, or who, like the current reviewer, found it oftimes “maddening and silly,” at least seem to have read the whole thing. Clearly they wanted to see just how maddening and silly it could get, and that’s one measure of success.

  3. Another compulsory point-out is that I never styled myself an “independent scholar.” I wrote “freelance writer,” which still strikes me as more than honorable, and not the least bit pretentious. Harvard University Press called me the other thing, a phrase now fairly commonplace but at the time brand spanking new, and just begging to be heckled.

  4. Avatar Anonymous wrote:

    Independent Scholar is a fairly common term in American higher education for any researcher who is not connected to any major university. So I’m not surprised that Harvard University Press would go with “independent scholar.” Academe is always trying to give people a title. 🙂

    FYI, I just bought your book based on the Guardian’s recommendation. Looking forward to reading it.

    — Drew

  5. Thanks, Drew, I hope you enjoy it.

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