Fifty Years Ago: Abracadabra!

This brief excerpt (from Ch 4: The Embodiment of Cool) is followed by an extended, song-by-song discussion of fans’ reactions to Revolver:  Fans were wearing out the grooves on Yesterday and Today and Rubber Soul when Revolver entered their lives in August ’66. A new Beatle album was always eagerly anticipated, but now that fans… Read more

Rubber Soul Elevated Beatles’ Cultural Authority

This is is a brief excerpt from a longer section on Rubber Soul, in Chapter Four of Beatleness.  Thinking back to when we first heard John sing “The Word” is especially poignant this week, as we recall December 8, 1980.      Say The Word and Be Like Me Fans were used to hearing the Beatles sing about love, but “The… Read more

Thanksgiving ’68: Fans Were Thankful for the White Album

Forty-seven years ago, Beatle fans spent Thanksgiving weekend listening to The Beatles, the new Beatles album which fans quickly renamed The White Album, making it easier to talk about and refer to. They were “thrilled that it was a double album,” but of course that meant it was more expensive. Several mentioned not being able… Read more

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

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