On the Occasion of John Lennon’s 75th Birthday

Today, John Lennon would have been seventy-five. That seems almost impossible to credit. In our minds, an image burned in from pictures or movies or television or music, he’s always a young man, never quite reaching middle age. I’m older now than Lennon was when he was killed. We remember him young, because he neverContinue reading “On the Occasion of John Lennon’s 75th Birthday”

Paul McCartney and the Beatles’ Songwriting Credits

In an interview with Esquire, Paul McCartney was asked about the famous “Lennon/McCartney” songwriting credit and why he has suggested in the past that some songs should be credited with the reverse, “McCartney/Lennon.” (Without getting overly technical, it has to do with limitations of metadata on digital music files.) On some of his live albumsContinue reading “Paul McCartney and the Beatles’ Songwriting Credits”

Ethan Hawke’s “The Black Album”

I haven’t seen Richard Linklater’s new film Boyhood yet, and despite the rave reviews I may not anytime soon, but there is an aspect of the film that touches on my interests. At some late point in the film, the character played by Ethan Hawke gives his son a 3-disc mixtape of post-Beatles songs. It’sContinue reading “Ethan Hawke’s “The Black Album””

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!, Michael Tomasky’s New Beatles Book

As I write this, we’re on the cusp of the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in New York City and their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. Published by The Daily Beast and released this week, Michael Tomasky’s Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! looks back at those events in February 1964, how and why theyContinue reading “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!, Michael Tomasky’s New Beatles Book”

The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963

On Tuesday the Beatles issued their second major release of the year, after last month’s On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2 — The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963. This was a surprise release. While we knew about On Air for a few months, Bootleg Recordings 1963 was quietly announced a few days before itContinue reading “The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963”

On Paul McCartney, the Election, and His Band

Excepting Twitter, this is my last word on politics until Wednesday, and that’s a promise. 🙂 Paul McCartney and his band make an endorsement in the 2012 presidential election. I realized something watching that little video. Paul’s band has been together together for a decade. While the Beatles were a band for longer than that,Continue reading “On Paul McCartney, the Election, and His Band”

On the Beatles’ New “Album”

The Beatles released a new “album” today. I put the word “album” in quotes because it’s not an album, not really. It’s just an iTunes compilation, along the lines of the “Essentials” collections many bands have on the service, and it’s called Tomorrow Never Knows. It’s fourteen tracks. It’s supposed to highlight the Beatles asContinue reading “On the Beatles’ New “Album””

On Thinking About a Ringo Starr Concert

Ringo Starr is going out on tour again. No surprise there. Ringo tours every other summer or so, and this summer he has a new album to promote, Ringo 2012. Well, Ringo’s 2012 tour brings him to Baltimore on my birthday. I’ve seen Paul McCartney in concert, back in 2002. George Harrison last toured inContinue reading “On Thinking About a Ringo Starr Concert”

On Paul McCartney’s Album of Standards

A week from today, Paul McCartney’s new album, Kisses on the Bottom, comes out. When it was first announced a few months ago, it was described as an album of standards, the songs that McCartney grew up with in the 1950s that inspired him and John Lennon as they were forming the Quarry Men andContinue reading “On Paul McCartney’s Album of Standards”

On Remembering John Lennon

Thirty-one years ago today, John Lennon was gunned down outside his apartment building in Manhattan. He was two months past his fortieth birthday. I’ve had a tradition, going back more than a decade, of listening to Lennon hardcore on the anniversary of his death. Today, I generally didn’t. I put on a CD at workContinue reading “On Remembering John Lennon”