The Vintage Rock and Pop Shop: My Interview with David Ghosty Wills

In a recent interview with David Ghosty Wills, of the WFDU “The Vintage Rock and Pop Shop” radio show, he and I had a good, in-depth discussion on Beatles historiography, revisionism, and the toxic, obscuring impact which has resulted from viewing the band’s story through a Lennon vs. McCartney lens. You can find the interview here:

Throughout the discussion, David and/or I also mention some of the key works in Beatles historiography. The evaluation of some of these books is in The Beatles and the Historians: But others can be found on the blog.

Here is an analysis comparing and contrasting aspects of Ray Coleman’s John and Paul biographies, with particular emphasis on Coleman’s rampant and convenient revisionism, and what may or may not have motivated it; Here is a review of Nicholas Schaffner’s 1970s classic, The Beatles Forever which, despite its status as a cornerstone book for many fans, has some issues of its own; and here is my analysis of Philip Norman’s recent McCartney biography, focusing on the work’s importance within the larger context of Beatles historiography and Norman’s place in it.


Comments on these reviews, or on the interview with David Wills, are welcome. Buyer beware: I’ve always maintained that lecturing, rather than interviewing, is my stronger speaking style.

Lewisohn Interview

In a recent two-part interview, Mark Lewisohn offered some interesting thoughts regarding why a premier Beatles history needs to be written, and written correctly; discussion of his own research methods and approaches, and his evaluation of where the Beatles stand in comparison to other titans of art and culture.

You can find the entire interview here.

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Book Excerpts: Applying Sources Analysis to Beatles Interviews

The Credibility of Interviews and The Historical Method:

Beatles historiography is saturated in both primary and secondary sources, mass media sources, and interviews. What Beatles historiography significantly lacks are the most valuable and credible of primary sources: private records that were never intended for public consumption. (Marc Bloch, The Historian’s Craft, 31). Beatles history is awash in primary sources, but because of their very public nature, even the primary sources meet few of the established standards that determine the most credible material.

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