Erin and I are happy to announce that we’re taking our blog to the airwaves!

In this podcast, Erin and I will delve into the band’s historiography— the study of how their story has been told over time — by reviewing beatle biography in the context of its data sources, the objectives and biases of the individuals who have constructed its narratives, and the varying versions of Beatle history contained within its pages. It’s a podcast for Beatles lovers, readers, and history lovers alike. 

Stay tuned!

Podcast alert: Interview with One Sweet Dream


I’m very pleased to report that today Diana Erickson of One Sweet Dream has posted the single longest podcast interview, to date, I’ve ever done (although I suppose if you combine all my SATB interviews, it would rank a distant second). We cover a lot of ground, with particular emphasis on the Maureen Cleave interviews and the sculpting of the Beatles image. For those who are interested, here’s the link:

Player FM – Internet Radio Done Right

Questions and comments are welcomed.


Completely non-Beatles related note: For anyone who is even remotely interested in Abraham Lincoln, The American Civil War and historiography, I cannot recommend Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image, by Joshua Zeist, strongly enough. Zeist delves into the lives of Lincoln’s two secretaries, John Hay and John Nicolay, their roles as witnesses to history and, more importantly, their crucial and massive impact on Lincoln and Civil War historiography.

Lincoln’s only authorized biographers, they published a ten volume biography of Lincoln in the late 19th century that benefited, immensely, not only from their own personal memories and documentation, but from the privilege and power of being the only researchers allowed, until 1947, full access to the Lincoln papers. (As we have recently noted on this blog, regarding the cancellation of Doggett’s Prisoner of Love, control over rare documents ensures a measure of control over a historiography). Zeist discusses issues familiar to readers of Beatles historiography: influential secondary sources far too dependent on retrospective interviews, rather than documentation; authorial disputes regarding crucial and legacy defining writings; how elevating the reputation of one individual in history seemingly can require demeaning another; and the role audience plays in demanding a preferable interpretation from its historians. If given a chance, I hope to write a post further exploring the parallels.

Fab4Con Jam, or: Shameless Self-Promotion, Take Two.


I’ve been looking forward to posting about this and participating in this for months, ever since I discussed the possibility with Robert. (For more on why I didn’t get this news out sooner, see the note at the bottom). Not only do I get the chance to delve into an in-depth discussion of Christine Feldman Barrett’s new book, A Women’s History of the Beatles, with Robert and Christine herself on the 20th, I will also be available to do a live Q&A on Sunday the 21st. And that’s just some of the awesome stuff planned for this conference. But I teach history, not advertising, so lets have the pros tell you about it:

Here’s the link to the official page: Home » Fab4Con Jam Feb. 20th & 21st >> Tickets On Sale Now

And here’s a promo blurb, to give you an idea:

Two years of development later and we’re ready NOW! I’m about to burst with excitement over here…We created an event to celebrate the inspiration that The Beatles have on us, and we’re doing it in a way that’s never been done before.

We’ve teamed up with artists, speakers, and other legends to Come Together and celebrate The Beatles. It’s a virtual event on another level for it’s interactive element. We teamed up with our livestream partner, In.Live, to take you on a ride of entertainment, fun, and discovery. All on a cutting edge video platform technology with HD streaming and interactive capabilities to even interview the guest speakers! 

Come Together and join us for this special event February 20th and 21st

This is going to be an amazing experience, and everything is going to be top-of-the-line. I had a tutorial on the technology and staging for the video part of the conference (for those who are interested, I’m gong to have to flee my own house and spend the weekend participating in exile at my sister-in-law’s, because there is no way on earth I would be able to get through this otherwise without constant interruption) and I can’t wait for this weekend to get started. For any readers who are interested, please let me know, and leave comments or questions!



I fully intended to post this days ago. Then my 11 month old came down with a fever, conveniently timed for the middle of the night. (Cue parental sleep deprivation). After a few days, when he started getting healthy again, my two and a half year old came down with it. I won’t gross you out with the details of caring 24/7 for two sick toddlers, but I admit the juxtaposition of the announcement of this conference (which I am very excited about participating in) and the reality of my situation wiping noses and distributing children’s Tylenol amused me, even in my exhaustion.

At one point I had to chuckle at myself, imagining one of those narrator voices: “Here we see Erin Weber, historian and well-respected Beatles author, operating on three hours sleep, scrubbing regurgitated cheerios off of her be-slimed couch. Erin, what can you tell us about the lack of authorial diversity in Beatles historiography, and why you find that to be a detriment?”

Cheers! (Both little ones are doing better, btw, but neither is back to 100%). And, apropos of nothing, because I have been a Kansas City fan since I was 12: Super Bowl Prediction (Do you know Lamar Hunt coined the term Super Bowl?) Chiefs 34, Bucs 27.

Employing Historical Distance

In both The Beatles and the Historians, as well as various podcast interviews, I’ve mentioned the concept of historical distance: the passage of time which allows for more objective analysis of an event of individual. One of the elements of historical distance which, incidentally, can but does not automatically ensure revising or reevaluating history, is the willingness of authors to re-evaluate their own work. As I’ve mentioned in previous interviews, this was an understood element among the first historians of the First World War: intelligent enough and politically savvy enough to understand that there were documents and sources unavailable to them, the first wave of French historians of the Great War made a conscious effort to accept new evidence as it became available, and adjust their interpretations accordingly.

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New Podcast Interview: SATB and the Two Great Debates


Thanks to everyone who has continued to read, comment and follow this blog, even during its baby-influenced hiatus. For those who have only recently discovered the blog and wish to comment on old threads, please feel free to do so: Karen or I will see your comments and do our best to respond to them. While I am still taking a break, for the time being, from writing book reviews, I have managed to do several podcast interviews over the last few months.

For those of you who are interested, here is my most recent interview, with SATB’s Robert Rodriguez, discussing the two major debates in Beatles historiography:

If you’d like to offer thoughts and discussion on the podcast and/or the subjects discussed, feel free. We look forward to hearing from you.

(And, to give credit where credit is due, thanks to my parents, who babysat for approximately 3 hours so I could manage to do this interview with Robert).