The Beatles Anthology Podcast

Last week the Beatles released a new 3-part podcast that takes a look at Beatles Anthology project from twenty years ago — “British music journalists and Beatles experts Kevin Holwett and Mark Ellen discuss the classic Anthology releases, shining a light on the fascinating stories behind these albums which tell the story of the development … Continue reading The Beatles Anthology Podcast

Alternate Beatles

Recently I’ve seen the traffic spike on some of my Beatles writings, specifically on alt-history Beatles, so I’m going to assemble a guide to things I written on the subject over the years. Post-Abbey Road Albums It’s an interesting game to imagine what the Beatles might’ve done had they soldiered on into 1970. There’s interesting … Continue reading Alternate Beatles

Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition

What if the Beatles didn’t get a record contract with Parlophone in 1962? That’s the subject of BBC Radio 4’s radio play, Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition, adapted by Ray Connolly from his novella of the same name. Originally broadcast by the BBC in 2013, it was rebroadcast again this week, and I streamed … Continue reading Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition

Party of Eight

This year I’ll be spending Thanksgiving by myself. I don’t have family nearby, and publishing doesn’t stop just because there’s a holiday; Friday I’ll be hip deep in getting January’s catalog out the door, long-distance travel to see family (only to have to turn around) simply doesn’t make sense. Don’t worry about me. I have … Continue reading Party of Eight

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’s … Continue reading Ethan Hawke’s “The Black Album”

A Single-Disc White Album

Let’s talk about the Beatles’ White Album. Recording in 1968, after the Beatles went to India to study transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the White Album, thirty tracks long, is famously bloated. The band came back from India with a wealth of material and the intention to record it all. Then the recording … Continue reading A Single-Disc White Album

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 it … Continue reading The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963

On The Beatles’ The Lord of the Rings

In 1963, when the Beatles agreed to make A Hard Day’s Night, the film, they signed a three-picture deal with United Artists. In 1964, they made A Hard Day’s Night. In 1965, Help! By and large, though, they didn’t like making films. Too much work. And so, when the idea was floated of an animated … Continue reading On The Beatles’ The Lord of the Rings

On You Never Give Me Your Money

Over the past twenty-odd years I’ve read a lot of Beatles books. My studies have ranged from Mark Lewisohn’s books on their recordings to biographies of the band like Philip Norman’s Shout! and Bob Spitz’s The Beatles to analysis of the music in Mark Hertzgaard’s A Day in the Life and Ian MacDonald’s Revolution in … Continue reading On You Never Give Me Your Money

On Paperback Writer

It sometimes surprises me, given the cultural signifance of the Beatles, that there’s not more fiction devoted to the Beatles than there is. There’s a few novels — Liverpool Fantasy stands out — and some short stories, like Ian MacLeod’s “Snodgrass” and Stephen Baxter’s “The Twelfth Album.” Curiously, all of these novels are alternate histories … Continue reading On Paperback Writer