Hiatus

Everyone,

Those of you who have been following this blog for some time know that its updates have been sporadic at best, as my time has been severely limited following the births of two children (one in 2018, one in 2020), which brought my sum total of kids to a Fab Four. The blog’s co-admin, Karen, and I have attempted to keep some new content coming, primarily through podcast interviews, both those done with other podcasters, and through our own podcast, All Together Now. Even those podcast interviews required extensive schedule juggling on my part, meaning I had to secure babysitting and/or my spouse’s running interference on our two youngest in order to devote the several hours needed in order to get uninterrupted time. This entire system, which allowed me to produce any Beatles-related material, balanced on a precarious edge which relied heavily on the contributions of not only my spouse but other extended family members to provide child care.

Over the last two months, the landscape has changed. My primary source of child care is no longer available, due to serious health issues. Further, that same close extended family member now requires and deserves my husband’s and my time, care and support as they grapple with their health situation. In addition, my husband undergoes foot surgery later this month, and will be on crutches for 4-6 weeks. All of these factors have essentially extinguished what little time I could scrape together to devote to any Beatles’ related work.

Given everything, I’m stepping back, and closing the door on all Beatles work for the moment. I don’t know how long the door will be closed. I don’t intend for it to be forever. I understand that this hiatus will not help in a “publish or perish” atmosphere, but believe this is the only option available to me, given the extensive demands on my time and the needs of my immediate and extended family. My interest in the Beatles has not waned: I would love nothing more than to sit and binge-watch Peter Jackson’s “Let it Be” and dissect it according to historical methods, and place it in the larger arc of Beatles historiography. I simply don’t have the time. For the duration of this period, I ask for your patience and understanding, especially from those who might have been interested in asking me for podcast or other kinds of interviews, publisher copy reviews, personal correspondence/emails regarding Beatles questions/issues, etc. Please do not take it personally when my response is a polite refusal and reminder of my hiatus, because I will be offering that same polite refusal and reminder to everyone.

Thank you for your understanding,

Erin

Pop Goes the 60’s, Part II

Everyone,

Here is the second part of my interview with Matt:

 [https://youtu.be/vRuh4cnFcp8]. 

This one deals primarily with the John vs. Paul debate in Beatles historiography and Beatles fandom (those of you who have either read my book or are constant readers of this blog will know precisely where I stand on the questionable merits of that particular approach). As always, questions and comments are welcomed.

Update: (But not on what you were expecting).

So, everyone in Beatledom is rightfully obsessing over Peter Jackson’s “Get Back,” the first part of which was released on Thanksgiving. I have added nothing to the discussion for the very simple reason that I haven’t had a chance to watch a minute of “Get Back.” I’m currently swamped in conferences and paper grading, and don’t want to divert my attention too far. (Plus, I get offering it on Thanksgiving, trying to catch the non-football watching couch potatoes. But show me any mom with toddlers (and older kids) hosting, cooking, cleaning, and refereeing a multi-family Thanksgiving holiday, and I will show you a woman who barely has time to take out the trash, let alone sit and watch a new documentary. Although, given the reviews I’ve read, at least, unlike the old “Get Back,” the new one seemingly offers more optimism than the Detroit Lions game that was on in the background).

Having not seen any of it, my only methodological assessment is this: It’s another person’s interpretation of primary source material. That’s neither good, nor bad, it’s just the reality of the source analysis, the same way Michael Lyndsay Hogg’s was an interpretation, and Sulpy and Schweghardt’s Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image offered a differing interpretation. The major issue lies with our inability to directly contrast *any* of the interpretations (Hogg’s, Jackson’s, Sulpy’s) with the actual primary source material — *all* the audio and video tapes they utilized to create their interpretations. What we are getting is essentially their translation. And as a translation, it qualifies as a secondary source.

So, now for the update:

I am excited to post the first part of a video interview I did a few week’s ago with Matt Williamson, from Pop Goes the 60’s. (I had to do it in my 10 year old son’s bedroom, since it’s the only one that has A. a desk and B. a door lock to keep the toddlers out, hence the Travis Kelce pennant on the wall. Yes, I’m a Chief fan, but I don’t have Chiefs posters/pennants on my bedroom wall. I’m *forty*, not fourteen). We did discuss a bit of “Get Back” — much of the same stuff I wrote above — and other Beatles/historiographical issues as well. For those interested in the link, here it is:

Questions and Comments are welcome, but please grant me a grace period on responding: I’m presenting at an international conference tomorrow, at the University of Columbia in Bogota, via zoom, and then fully expect to be buried, once again, under Finals and research papers.

New Podcast Alert: Apple to the Core

Everyone,

Karen and I are happy to post our most recent episode, in which we review Peter McCabe and Robert Schonfeld’s 1972 work, Apple to the Core: The Unmaking of the Beatles. Given the book’s importance and crucial trial material, the decision was made to split the analysis into two separate podcasts, as the latter part of the podcast tends to become quote/evidence heavy regarding trial testimony.

For those of you were hoping and expecting for a podcast review of The Authorized Biography, rest assured; that is in our queue; I am simply awaiting a physical copy via inter-library loan. Like everything else, inter-library loan is taking longer than normal these days.

Notes: the title of the Fred Goodman book I could not recall off the top of my head during the podcast is Allen Klein: The Man who Bailed out the Beatles, Made the Stones, and Transformed Rock and Roll. In addition to being a work with significant evidentiary omissions, and one solicited by Klein’s family following negative press in the aftermath of his death, it is worth noting that, the last time I checked (granted, more than a few months ago) Wikipedia’s article on Allen Klein is almost entirely based off of this one source.

Comments and questions are welcomed.

When They Were Boys

It’s safe to say that all Beatle books contain a few errors.

But not all errors are created equal. In the most recent edition of their “All Together Now” podcast, Karen and Erin used Larry Kane’s “When They Were Boys” to discuss the different ‘tiers’ of errors authors make, from lazy but inconsequential mistakes to the deliberate misrepresentation of evidence. They also discussed how crucial an author’s understanding of the current state of their subject’s historiography is to providing an accurate account, and why secondary works built on memoirs can be problematic. What value does Kane’s work hold? Find out in this episode of All Together Now: A Beatles Podcast.

Conversations With McCartney

 

 The world doesn’t need another Beatles podcast. It simply doesn’t. 

There are already countless podcasts, and many of them are very good; well researched, insightful, and fun. Everyone has their must-not-miss favorites to listen to while they drive or jog or cook. (Once, while listening to a SATB episode — which did not include myself, thank you very much — I was so distracted by the show that I labeled the peaches I was putting in the freezer “Beatles.”  That raised a few eyebrows when we pulled those peaches out months later).   

So, having already determined that the world doesn’t need another Beatles podcast, why am I writing a manifesto justifying the existence of my new podcast? 

 That’s a good question. Now watch as I dodge and choose not to answer it in the next sentence. 

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