Introversion/Extroversion, and Beatles’ Conflict: A Dialogue

~by Karen and Erin

Introduction

Karen

Some time ago, Erin and I began a discussion about how the perception of conflict between Paul and the other three Beatles, particularly in the days prior to the band’s demise, has essentially been characterized by many  biographers as an outcome of Paul’s perfectionism.  In our opinion, however, the “Paul was too bossy” trope–a view often promulgated by the other three Beatles, as it happens–was simply too convenient and in its gross oversimplification of creative conflict, woefully inaccurate.  It seemed more likely that the conflicts within the group, and between Paul and George in particular, were due–at least in part–to their innately different creative and interpersonal styles.  The Beatles are not unique in assigning false attributions to one another in conflict situations; as a matter of fact,  many people have a tendency to assign pejorative labels to behaviours which they don’t understand, find frustrating, and get in the way of their own creative needs. Continue reading

A Brief Word From Our Sponsors

Hello Everyone;

While Erin is on holiday I thought I might make a shameless plug for offer you some entertainment in the form of a new wordpress blog started by yours truly.  In Their Own Words is a compilation of quotes, etc., by Mssrs. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr and their associates, about all things Beatle.  There are some original photos too. Click on the photo for the link:

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Karen and Erin

And in the End: Book Review: Peter Brown’s “The Love You Make”

First published in 1983, Beatles assistant Peter Brown’s account of his time in the band’s inner circle, The Love You Make, seeks to establish an authority for itself beyond the traditional constraints of an individual memoir. With co-author Steven Gaines, Brown opts to attempt to provide a larger picture than those supplied by only his own memories and knowledge, offering extensive descriptions of numerous events throughout the band member’s lives which Brown didn’t witness or experience. For example, Brown opens the book with Cynthia Lennon’s account of returning from a short vacation only to discover Yoko Ono, wearing her bathrobe, obviously engaged in an affair with her husband, John, in her own house. This is one of numerous events which were not witnessed by Brown, but which he details in his insider’s story.

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Controversial Cornerstones: Book Review: Martin King’s “Men, Masculinity and the Beatles”

Measuring the influence that a secondary work — most commonly a biography or a larger history — wields in a historiography is an effort that requires looking at various factors. Obviously, one of the most telling indications of a book’s influence involves its sales. This is a perfectly valid rubric: after all, even the most well-written, revelatory and well-researched book would have little-to-no impact if no one bothered to read it. Certainly, it’s no coincidence that many of the most influential books in the band’s historiography — The Authorized Biography, Shout!, Revolution in the Head, The Beatles Anthology, Tune In — are also among the works that have moved the most copies, and are available in multiple, revised editions.

But attention to sales is only part of the picture. What’s easier to overlook, but just as crucial to the influence wielded by a secondary source, is the ripple effect involved when certain works become widely regarded cornerstones of a historiography. These works are then granted further validity when other secondary authors, both popular and academic, employ them as research tools, basing significant elements of their own interpretation on those provided by the cornerstone works. In this pattern, these other authors who unquestioningly use it become implicitly invested in affirming the cornerstone work; by using it in their own studies, they incidentally buttress its reputation, perpetuate the original work’s findings and spread its influence.

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Half of What I Say: Book Review: Ray Connolly’s Being John Lennon: A Restless Life

A rule of thumb in Roman history involves diligent analysis of the memoirs from one of its greatest, most famous figures: Julius Caesar. It is widely acknowledged among historians that Caesar’s recollections habitually overestimated the strength of his enemy’s numbers, ensuring that his own military victories appeared that much more impressive. For students and historians of Rome, this requires analyzing Caesar’s memoirs – such as The Conquest of Gaul – with an acknowledgement of that habit of self-serving hyperbole. Indeed, Gilbert Garraghan could very well have had Caesar in mind when describing, in A Guide to Historical Method, a habit of exaggeration as an element that historians must acknowledge in those sources that possess it.

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