The Historian and The Beatles blog is a year old! Erin and I want to thank everyone for their interest and contributions. Please keep it up–your opinions and perspectives are important.
As we move forward, we would really like some feedback from everyone. For example, what do you like about the blog? What do you see as its strengths and weaknesses? Are there any works you’d like Erin to cover/review which she hasn’t thus far? Is there any post or thread which you’d like to see developed more fully in a separate post? We’re eager for your feedback so please, let us know.
We also think it would be interesting to solicit YOUR book reviews of books which Erin hasn’t covered, or those which she has, but perhaps you have a different perspective. If you would like to write a book review for us, let us know here in the comment section.
So now we turn it over to you; let us know what you think!
9 thoughts on “Anniversary”
This probably won’t be very helpful but I enjoy every type of post. I guess the book reviews and discussions are my favorite. It would be fun to read book reviews from others. I just love discussing various Beatles books. It’s probably my favorite type of Beatles discussion at this point.
I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I save every post!
Thanks, Linda and Gael. It’s great to hear from both of you.
I enjoy the book reviews too, and I’d be excited to hear from readers and other posters about what books they’d like to review. There are certain influential Beatles books that I avoid reviewing here, primarily because I already did so in my book, and I don’t want to run the risk of stepping on my own copyrighted material. (I can’t copy-paste big sections out of TBATH and put them here on the blog, for example: my publisher owns that, not me). So I’d love to see another reader do a review of, say, Goldman, or Shotton and Schaffner, or Bramwell.
In that vein, I’d like to do an informal poll: I’m teaching my first Beatles class this fall, and was wondering what you, if you were a student in it, would like to discuss. What materials would you want to use? Would you want to spend a lot of time discussing how the music was made, or more time on the cultural impact of the band? Would you want me, as an instructor, to introduce some of the more controversial topics into the class discussion — issues like Yoko, or drugs, or the John v. Paul debate — or leave those out? I’m obviously going to spend a significant amount of the class dealing with their historiography, looking at the literature, etc. — but I wanted to hear from others what they would want from a Beatles class.
“was wondering what you, if you were a student in it, would like to discuss”
I think how the music was made and the cultural impact would make for a well rounded class. As for the materials, would you be allowed to require more than one book? I hope so because Revolution in the Head would be perfect for both the music and cultural impact but also, Can’t Buy Me Love, by Jonathan Gould. Another great book is Beatleness, by Candy Leonard. As for the controversial issues, it’s harder to pick a book because now you’re getting into that shady territory where the books are too biased in one or another direction. Having said that however, I really think Barry Miles made an effort to be as unbiased as possible given that his book was told from only one point of view. I really don’t see anything wrong with using Many Years From Now. For the Historiography side, of course your book should be required.
I know that if I were a student in your class I’d want to cover the controversial topics. I also would be interested in a discussion about how the music was made, but from a sociological perspective: looking at group dynamics and how that possibly shaped the music over time.
“I also would be interested in a discussion about how the music was made, but from a sociological perspective: looking at group dynamics and how that possibly shaped the music over time.”
That’s probably the approach I’d take, Karen. So many works focus on the technological aspects, or the nuts and bolts of recording. Obviously, some people find that aspect fascinating, and I think it has merit, but it doesn’t appeal to me as much as the sociological view.
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Happy Anniversary! Looking forward to more. This is going to be great and exciting. I’m going to have to re-read (or skim) some some books. I’ve read so many lately they are beginning to blur together.
And yes introduce some controversial topics into the class discussion-like Yoko getting name co-credit on John’s most iconic post Beatles song ‘Imagine’…(oh boy do I have an opinion on that!)
So many books to read (or re-read) so little time. Anyway, Happy Anniversary!
“So many books to read (or re-read) so little time. Anyway, Happy Anniversary!”
Thanks! It seems like we’re getting votes for the inclusion of the controversial subjects. It will be interesting to see how those debates go in class. I’ve certain discussed more controversial subjects in class before: Columbus, the use of atomic weapons to end WWII, etc. For the most part, few students are interested or willing to really engage in debates on some of those very weighty subjects; it will be interesting to see if they’re more willing/personally invested in the debates in Beatles historiography. (I’m also going to do a bit of an informal poll: give the students a Beatles questionnaire at the beginning of the first class, and then giving them a similar questionnaire at the end of the last class, to see if they changed any of their views or opinions.
Thanks Linda, Gael, and Charlotte. (And, for those of you who follow us but have not yet commented, we would love to hear from you.)