Beatles in the 1970s: Melting and Crying

By |2022-04-18T14:03:34-07:00April 13, 2022|1970s, books, Breakup, Let It Be|

I'm an inveterate haunter of used bookstores. I love the physicality of books, and seeing how publishers chose to present subjects at particular places and times. Today I give you two 1970s finds, both British paperbacks, that feature melting or crying Beatles. This edition of The Beatles Lyrics was published by Omega in 1975 and features an introduction by (cringe) Jimmy Saville. Though the book includes no cover illustration credit, commenter Dan pointed out that it appears in Alan Aldridge's The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics (it's in volume 2, published in 1971), and commenter meaigs further noted that the illustration is by John Holmes. This is [...]

Shenk’s “Powers Of Two”: 3 Takes

By |2020-03-24T07:41:53-07:00March 24, 2020|Uncategorized|

When Joshua Wolf Shenk's book Powers Of Two: Finding The Essence Of Innovation In Creative Pairs was published in 2014, Michael Gerber, Devin McKinney and I each wrote a post about it. Since Shenk's book has come up in recent comments, I thought I'd bring those posts back to the forefront. You can read take 1 here, take 2 here, and take 3 here. Add your own take in the comments!

Why Those Screaming Beatlemania Girls Matter

By |2015-11-30T12:09:11-08:00November 30, 2015|Beatlemania, Beatles Criticism, books, pre-Beatles, Television|

Those videos of Beatlemania girls screaming have have always made me squirm. All that howling, weeping, and writhing bug me for multiple reasons. As a woman, they make me cringe because rock criticism defined itself against them: screeching gals over there, analytical guys over here. As a Beatles fan they make me wince because they (superficially) reinforce the argument made by many non-fans that the Beatles “were just a boy band.” At a time when Why-Can’t-The-Boomers-Just-Get-Over-The-Beatles-Already is a definite thing (see this Washington Post piece), it's worth asking: Really, why all that screaming? And why should any of us post-Boomers care? Measured [...]

Fool’s Goldman: Reliving “The Lives of John Lennon”

By |2013-08-13T22:41:29-07:00March 19, 2013|biography, books, John Lennon, Lennon|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Warning—there’s a lot of rant here, most of it to do with Albert Goldman but some of it just my articulated flailings about the nature of biography and criticism, writers and readers. But Michael asked, I answered, this is our blog, and we make the rules. So strap on your poncho and feel free to skip around. Reading the “Drugs and Differences” comments, I took special note when the ghost of Albert Goldman reared its shiny dome. He’s so easy to despise and so difficult to defend on any level, but I’m always curious about the case to be [...]

Essential Beatles Reference Books

By |2015-01-01T15:24:44-08:00November 6, 2012|books|

The stacks. I'm thinking about which Beatles books are essential because I moved last week and was confronted by the sheer volume of tomes I possess about the band (not to mention the ridiculous number of books about other subjects . . . .) So here's my list of the ten Beatles reference books I pull off the shelf most often—the ones I'd put in the box if I could take only one box of Beatles books with me on my next move. Hey Dullblog readers, I'd love to see your lists as well. [Note: These are listed in no [...]

Book Review: “The Beatles & Bournemouth”

By |2014-07-23T16:21:34-07:00March 3, 2012|1963, books|

Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth by Nick Churchill 176 pp. Natula Publications, 2011 Reviewed by Devin McKinney The swelling and significant subgenre of Beatles literature dealing with Beatles and place includes tourist guides like The Beatles’ London and The Beatles’ Liverpool that tell you where they walked and drank and sang, what alley, pub, or park backdropped a famous photo. There are books devoted to tours, like Larry Kane’s Ticket to Ride (North America, 1964), Barry Tashian’s Ticket to Ride (ditto, 1966), and Robert Whitaker’s mostly-photographic Eight Days a Week (Germany, Tokyo, Philippines, 1966)—in each of which, the cultural and [...]

Mikal Gilmore: “They had thrown away something special”

By |2015-01-03T15:09:40-08:00June 4, 2011|1969, Apple, books|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  "I've never come across a story that fascinated or moved me more than this particular one. The end of the Beatles was convoluted and acrimonious, but it was also transcendent." Read this if you haven't. It resonates nicely with discussions that have gone on here, mainly between Michael and various of our correspondents, about why the Beatles broke up. It's by Mikal Gilmore, journalist, critic, and author of Shot in the Heart, one of the best books I've ever read. It is an excerption from Gilmore's 2009 Rolling Stone article, as well as prologema to his planned 2013 release, [...]

“Paperback” Trail; or, The Hunt for Mark Shipper

By |2014-07-23T16:52:15-07:00September 14, 2009|books, comedy, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Rutles|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Note from the future (2013): Refreshing this post four years after assembling it, I find that a couple of the hyperlinks are no longer functional—one doesn't exist, while the other exists but doesn't yield the indicated information. But this is the story of a few hours' Internet idling, a mesh of the long-gone afternoon, and rather than rewrite it to excise the dud links, I let it stand. The links once worked, and they said what I said they said. Honest. As I commented on "The Best Dancer" below, thinking about Chuck Klosterman's piece got me thinking about Mark [...]

You Say it’s Your Birthday (Or Was Yesterday)?; or, How the Beatles May or May Not Have Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll

By |2014-07-05T11:24:19-07:00June 19, 2009|books, Paul McCartney|

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Again showing our contrarian streak, we thought we'd differentiate ourselves from everyone who wished "Sir" "James" Paul McCartney (jus' Paul to us) a happy birthday yesterday—which, true enough, was his actual date of birth, but isn't it always nice to get something the day after too? (Or is that Christmas?) Sorry for the miss, Paul. But you and we are like an old married couple, and one of us is bound to blank on an anniversary once in a while. Beatleheads may celebrate Paul's lifespan and selfishly luxuriate in his giftings over at 30 Days Out, which has agglomerated [...]

Book Review: “The Beatles’ Second Album”

By |2015-01-16T18:12:27-08:00February 16, 2008|books, Reviews|

The Beatles’ Second Album by Dave Marsh 186 pp. Rodale Books, 2007 DEVIN McKINNEY • I’ve been reading Dave Marsh for many years, starting with his dozens of thumbnail critiques in the first two editions of The Rolling Stone Record Guide and his artist essays in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll; on through the reviews and journalism collected in Fortunate Son; uncollected pieces in old issues of Rolling Stone; and the massive compendium The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles of All Time (one of my favorite music books, mainly because it anthologizes so many [...]

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