The Loss of a Comforting Presence

BEATLENESS EXCERPT: With the best of intentions, Paul had been trying to keep the band together and busy since Brian Epstein died, but the Beatle box could no longer contain these four individuals who had grown up and apart. Creative differences morphed into interpersonal conflicts, and despite all the underlying affection it was getting increasingly… Read more

Beatles April ’64 Chart Toppers Mesmerized Boomers

In the spring of 1964, young America’s love for the Beatles and the steady flow of Beatle music converged, such that by the week of April 4, the top five songs in the country were Beatle songs. This feat, never accomplished by any band before or since, is often cited as evidence of the Beatles’… Read more

EXCERPT: Let It Be…On The Roof

The most uplifting scene in Let It Be was of course the unannounced rooftop concert. Performing live, which all four loved, had become unpleasant and unwieldy on the road. The plan was for the Get Back project to culminate in a live show, but they couldn’t identify a venue all could agree to. The rooftop was… Read more

John and Yoko’s Peace Campaign: The Fan Reaction

First-generation fans recall the Beatle years as a “journey” or “odyssey,” with a nonstop flow of challenging sounds, images, and ideas all along the way. When Yoko entered the scene, John and Yoko became a compelling spin-off spectacle, parallel to the Beatles and no less challenging. The dynamic duo­—using mass media and conceptual art to… Read more

How & Why “Paul Is Dead” Went Viral 45 Years Ago

EXCERPT From Chapter Seven • The Last Leg • Turn Me On, Dead Man • Days after Abbey Road’s release, during Moratorium week, there was unexpected Beatle news: I was in History class and one of the jocks said he heard Paul was dead. The teacher discussed it with us for a while. Some people knew about it and knew some of the… Read more

45 Years Ago: Give Peace A Chance & The Vietnam Moratorium

As fans were exploring Abbey Road,  “Give Peace A Chance,” was sung by over a half-million demonstrators in Washington DC and millions more around the country and the world—including future US President Bill Clinton at Oxford, England—on October 15, Vietnam Moratorium Day. Pete Seeger led the crowd at the DC protest, adding “Are you listening,… Read more

When The Beatles Came To Anytown, USA

Beatlemania is once again rampant as towns that welcomed the Beatles in the late summer of ’64—some rather reluctantly at the time—look back at the moment with pride. Many cities are holding Beatle festivities to mark the event. Fifty years ago, bewildered city fathers nervously anticipated the Beatles arrival. Many were fearful that their nice,… Read more

Exit, Brian; Enter, Maharishi

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 5 (I’d Love To Turn You On) An Exit and an Entrance     In late July ’67 a full-page petition appeared in The Times of London calling for major reform of Britain’s marijuana laws. The petition was signed by over sixty prominent British citizens, including all four Beatles and Brian Epstein.  The… Read more

Beatleness Chicago Fest Preview

Although the official Beatleness publication date is not until August 26, the publisher wanted it to be available for the Fest for Fans in Chicago next week. I’m thrilled to be going – to be part of the festivities and to share Beatleness with fans. I’ll be selling and signing books all weekend at the MoonglowPR table… Read more