Something About the Beatles
Something About the Beatles
About Something About the Beatles
The first half hour+ was taped live at The Fest in August 2023, as you can doubtless tell. The rest was done in the usual way, and you'll note we didn't necessarily cover everything we listed in great detail, but that's showbiz. Here's Erin's list: 1. A Hard Day's Night film 2 and 3. The Internet. Two slots because I see it impacting the historiography in two major ways: First, it has vastly increased accessibility to primary sources and research materials that in previous decades were extremely difficult to find. Second, its fundamentally changed the fandom experience thru podcasts, discussion boards, etc. 4. Hunter Davies: The Beatles - An Authorized Biography 5. Lennon Remembers/Rolling Stone 6. Mark Lewisohn: The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions 7. Philip Norman: Shout! 8. The Beatles Anthology (mainly the documentary, but the book, too). 9. Barry Miles: Many Years From Now 10. Christine Feldman Barrett's A Women's History of the Beatles Here's mine: Influential Red and Blue albums The Beatles: An Illustrated Record by Roy Carr and Tony Tyler Shout! Lennon Remembers Here, There and Everywhere by Geoff Emerick Important The Beatles and The Historians by Erin Torkelson Weber Lewisohn Chronicles/Tune In Love Me Do by Michael Braun The Beatles: An Authorized Biography A Women's History of The Beatles What's your list look like?
Between 1970 and 1979, George issued six studio albums (plus one triple-live one), followed by a second draft of his 1980 album the following year. Rock scribe Eoghan Lyng and I re-examine these works with fresh ears - we hope you will too. Eoghan's book: https://www.amazon.com/George-Harrison-70s-Eoghan-Lyng/dp/1789521742
The Beatles were the end result of an array of confluences, circumstances and influences. On the short list near the very top (if not THE top) was American rocker Buddy Holly. In his short career, he wielded his influence on the budding Liverpool rockers in an array of ways, which returning guest Luther Russell and I discuss here. Though his time on earth was brief, the impact he made casts a long shadow, as he provided an unwitting blueprint on what a successful rock artist looked like, sounded like and could aspire to.
Conversations about a familiar subject with guys who know what's what are invaluable, because the depth of knowledge shared will always shed new light and get you to listen with fresh ears. My guests are the returning trio of pro musicians and musicologists: Cameron Greider (Sean Lennon), Jack Petruzzelli (Fab Faux) and Walter Everett (The Beatles as Musicians Vol 1 and 2). You've heard their insights on previous shows, and this time they counter some myths that have grown about The Beatles' most acclaimed album, focusing on the guitars. Their Sgt. Pepper online class at RPM-School begins October 2 - you can see about registration and other details here.
The author of Nowhere Man (2000) returns for a conversation prompted by the book's recent re-publication, augmented with an array of new material and appendices. Robert will also be making a rare personal appearance in St Louis on October 4th in St. Louis - details here. Among the subjects we talked about this time round were: May Pang Fred Seaman Early 1970s US politics and its coverage in Observation Post His upcoming book, tentatively titled No Future John's opinion of Double Fantasy Jack Douglas John's murder The Manchurian Candidate Theory Robert's purported role in John Lennon's murder Robert's website and blog can be found here.
Returning guest and renowned producer John Leckie is back on SATB and this time he brought his friends; colleagues from EMI with impressive credentials of their own, who also worked with The Beatles: Nick Webb and Roger Ferris. It was a real delight to be a fly-on-the-wall as three guys who've known each other for decades spun stories about working at the most famous recording facility on earth, and the clients they supported. Among the topics that came up: What well-known event coincided with the day John Leckie interviewed for a position at EMI Quick takes on George Martin - Norman Smith - Geoff Emerick - Ken Scott - Ken Townsend - Alan Parsons - Peter Bown and other EMI staffers Stealing from Mick Jagger Their takes on Get Back The 1971 Wings Launch Party Phil Spector Sessions for "All You Need is Love" and "You Know My Name" Seventeen Watts by the late Mo Foster In the studio with Paul and Wings IRA bomb scares of the 70s John and Yoko's curry plus loads more...
As a follow-on to my last conversation with author Glenn Greenberg, we sat down to explore the Harrison-Lennon dynamic. A couple of things referenced in the show can be found below: Here's John's 1974 note to George. Here's John's 1976 Q&A. Glenn Greenberg's Making of the White Album bookazine can be found here. "I Know It's True" (end song) by Iamaphoney can be found here.
Journalist Steve Matteo has a new book out - Act Naturally: The Beatles on Film. It's an all-encompassing volume detailing and contextualizing the making of every one of their cinematic projects, including a few that didn't actually get filmed. For this first discussion, we focused on their first two, both directed for United Artists by Richard Lester and produced by Walter Shenson.
My guest today has recently completed the first volume of an exhaustive study of Paul's body of work in Paul McCartney: Music is Ideas 1970 - 1989. Luca Perasi is a Beatles historian who specializes in the group's bassist, post-split. He was a consultant hired by MPL for the recent 7" single box set, as well as the Italian translator for Paul's The Lyrics book. For our first discussion, we focused on the broad parameters of Paul's art, pre-Beatles through the first Wings album. Luca's book discusses every McCartney session and the music it yielded, whether released at the time or not, for a greater context into Paul's musical development. You can find out more at Luca's site, and I encourage you to follow him on Twitter (@LucaPerasi ) for daily postings featuring amazing rare photos of Paul at work.
Hired as a tape op by EMI in February 1970, Leckie quickly found himself among rock royalty when his career began with work on Ringo's Sentimental Journey, followed quickly after with McCartney. But his major immersion with the cream of rock's musicians soon came with the All Things Must Pass project, placing him at the service of George Harrison and Phil Spector and with a team that included Ringo, Klaus Voormann, Eric Clapton, The Dominoes, Gary Brooker, Peter Frampton, Phil Collins, Gary Wright, Billy Preston and Badfinger, among others. This conversation focuses on that landmark album. Joining as co-host is author/producer Jerry Hammack (The Beatles Recording Reference Manual series), with a cameo from Luther Russell. Jerry's latest book has just been published: Home Studio Recording - The Complete Guide. John was a previous guest discussing the making of John and Yoko's respective Plastic Ono Band albums, as well as alongside his previous collaborators Derek Forbes (Simple Minds) and Ian McNabb (Icicle Works) for a conversation on Peter Jackson's Get Back film. His excellent recall of events he witnessed as well as insights as someone with some amazing career achievements (Roy Harper, Be Bop Deluxe, Pink Floyd, Wings, Radiohead, XTC, Stone Roses, and so on) to his credit make this conversation something special.
Tony King was general manager of Apple US in the early 70s, but thereafter worked directly with John and Ringo, promoting their work from 1973 through 1975. Beyond that, he was a true British rock Zelig figure, partying with The Beatles the night before they flew to America for their 1964 Ed Sullivan Show debut; working with Andrew Oldham and the Stones during their "Satisfaction" heyday; thereafter for George Martin and AIR Studio, and then Apple. He also befriended Elton John (before he was) as well as tons of others. His story has just been published in "The Tastemaker: My Life with the Legends and Geniuses of Rock Music." (He's also in the May Pang doc, The Lost Weekend: A Love Story.) You can get his backstory here: https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/music/article/tony-king-interview and see him as "the Queen" in this 1973 Mind Games TV ad: https://youtu.be/lx-DNpoKfVg We covered a ton of topics, including all the aforementioned plus the AIDS tragedy and his favorite music.
The series with professor/lecturer Gary Wenstrup continues as we rate tracks on each Beatles album in Olympic style: Gold - Silver - Bronze. This episode introduces a modification, adding in for consideration the singles that bookended the 1967 release: "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane" and "All You Need Is Love"/"Baby You're A Rich Man." Check out Gary's upcoming lectures at garywenstrup.com
"The Lost Weekend" was the handle John implemented (picked up by subsequent narrators) to describe the period of his separation from Yoko, during which time a romantic relationship began with his 22 year-old personal assistant, May Pang. Once the couple reconciled, May's impact on his life was swept under the rug in all sanctioned tellings, in the service of a narrative propping up the John and Yoko love story as the ultimate double fantasy: literally describing themselves as Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning incarnate. Others beg to differ and among them is May herself. Her story was told twice in book form (Loving John and Instamatic Karma) but now a new documentary film chronicles their time together on the big screen, supported by other witnesses and loads of photos, footage and writings. The Lost Weekend: A Love Story is coming to theaters, while an exhibit of May's photos has already hit the road across the US. Here's where to track the latest on May's photo exhibit and the film: https://www.maypang.com/
I asked for your questions last summer and you responded, so here you go! Aided by Gary Wenstrup (SATB regular of Olympiad series fame), we tackle the following subjects: The "aaahs" on "A Day in the Life" The end of touring Beatles '76 Live Aid A psychological exam of John and Paul's relationship Mimi Smith's parenting The "Come Together" lawsuit George on Sgt. Pepper Where were you December 8, 1980? Myths that won't die Check out Gary Wenstrup's lectures here: http://www.garywenstrup.com Gary's December 1980 review of Double Fantasy here. Send further questions to: email@example.com
Fifty years on, Ringo's third solo album (or first, as he counted it in 1977) remains a stunning achievement, not just for the near-Beatles reunion but also on its own musical merits. With Richard Perry in the producer's chair, an array of talent was rallied in support of the beloved ex-Beatle, resulting in something greater than the sum of its parts. At Perry's side was engineer Bill Schnee, who'd worked with him on hits by artists like Streisand, Nilsson, Carly, Leo Sayer and many others. Schnee has penned a memoir, Chairman at the Board, detailing a career that began with Three Dog Night and encompassed artists ranging from Steely Dan and Neil Diamond to Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Schnee has been a mixer/remixer, engineer and producer in support of the rich soundtrack of life for anyone enjoying music during the 70s and 80s and beyond. Bill was there at the right place and the right time to take full advantage of his gifts and creativity. His book is rich with stories, and in this conversation, we discuss his work with all four ex-Beatles, mostly but not entirely in support of Ringo. Check out his website - https://www.billschnee.com/ This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Go to betterhelp.com/satb for 10% off your first month of treatment.
No one on the planet knows more about the contents of The Beatles' Nagra reels than Beatle scholars Doug Sulpy (Drugs, Divorce and A Slipping Image) and Dan Rivkin (They May Be Parted blog). We convened to review the Get Back film and discuss how well it depicted the events revealed by the extant audio. Doug's works can be found at www.dougsulpy.com Dan's blog is here: https://theymaybeparted.com/
Returning guest Glenn Greenberg (216 Dear Friend; 223 The Beatles 1971 - 1973; 235 Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson at 80) is back for another discussion, this one examining the complex relations between George and Paul - the longest running friendship in the band. This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Go to betterhelp.com/satb for 10% off your first month of treatment.
This show was taped a month ago, in conversation with Yardbirds/Renaissance/Illusion founding member Jim McCarty, in an effort to widen the lens exploring the world of 60s British rock that The Beatles operated in. Sadly we find ourselves now memorializing his friend and bandmate, Jeff Beck - a giant of guitar whose boundless brilliance we were privileged to witness. So it is in the spirit of celebrating the legacy of Jeff and The Yardbirds as well as McCarty's creativity that this show is presented. If you are already a fan, I know you will enjoy it; if you are new to this band, I hope the music and story presented will set you off on your own discoveries. Jim McCarty was far more than The Yardbirds' drummer - he sang and co-wrote, as well as collaborated with singer Keith Relf beyond the band's lifetime. They recorded together and formed Renaissance, as well as Illusion. McCarty also was part of the latter-day Yardbirds iteration, Box of Frogs, featuring contributions from Beck and Page. Jim has also recorded prodigiously, as a soloist as well as a collaborator on numerous projects. He has also written a pair of books: 2018's Nobody Told Me (featuring a foreword by Jimmy Page) about his life in music, as well as the more esoteric She Walks In Beauty (2021), presenting his exploration into the world beyond this world and the answers he found when seeking communication with his late wife, Lizzie. Jim is a canny, insightful storyteller, and both books include much on what he's learned in and out of music. You can find all his info at http://www.jamesmccarty.com/ This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Go to betterhelp.com/satb for 10% off your first month of treatment.
Author Susan Shumsky first appeared on SATB in 2019, upon the publication of her memoir, The Maharishi and Me, which detailed her twenty years living at his ashram (including six years working directly for his organization). We discussed her knowledge of The Beatles' Rishikesh sabbatical then, but with her new book, The Inner Light, she goes deep with an exploration of how their interactions with Indian culture and the TM movement impacted their lives and their art. In the course of over 500 pages, she gives chapter and verse on the manifestations of these interactions, sometimes hiding in plain sight, that appeared in their music.
Musicologist Walter Everett joins professional musicians Cameron Greider and Jack Petruzzelli in a return visit to discuss the latest Beatles reissue set. Revolver is analyzed through the prism of its poetry as well as its musical maturity and what the new set reveals in terms of The Beatles' major artistic advance. Check out the upcoming Revolver class here: http://www.rpm-school.com This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Visit http://www.betterhelp.com/satb for 10% off of your first month of treatment.