John, Paul, And Maternal Loss: An Exploration

–by Karen Hooper

Over the past 30 years, there has been a growing body of research demonstrating how maternal loss psychologically impacts children and can shape their relationship patterns later in life. Historians agree that the deaths of Julia Lennon and Mary McCartney were among the most tragic and significant events in their sons’ lives, and that the loss of their mothers changed both John Lennon and Paul McCartney in fundamental ways. The purpose of this discussion is to review the anecdotal evidence about John and Paul’s experience of maternal loss within the context of this research. Continue reading

The Beatles And Their Cultural Impact On Gender

~by Karen Hooper

Although the 1960’s was a time of tremendous social change, the social mores of previous decades remained largely entrenched.  Up until the 1970’s, gender- and race-based discrimination was largely accepted, while outdated, draconian laws still governed sexual behaviour, particularly among gay persons.   In ways still not fully understood, The Beatles heralded a sea change in our social and cultural attitudes, while their specific impact upon our understanding of gender–what it means to be a man or a woman– cannot be overstated.

Continue reading

Lennon Audio Diaries

(The following is part of a piece I wrote a few years ago for Hey Dullblog. I thought our readers here would like to have a kick at the can during the post-Christmas lull. Looking forward to your comments. ~Karen) 

In the fall of 1979, John sat down with a tape recorder and began to tell his life story.  But these Lennon audio diaries were a non-starter: in true Lennon fashion, he got bored after 1.25 minutes and let his thoughts drift to his usual preoccupations—Paul McCartney, his mother Julia, and his fear of professional redundancy.

Continue reading

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:

cropped-iu-201-1

Karen and Erin

Get Back: The Beatles’ Let It Be Disaster

[Ok, beatle history peeps: while Erin is recuperating from childbirth I thought I would post this book review I wrote for Hey Dullblog awhile back.  Looking forward to your comments. KH]

Get Back: The Beatles’ Let It Be Disaster (Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt, 1994)

In January, 1969, The Beatles began a project that ostensibly marked their return to concert performances, something they hadn’t done in over three years. The project was the brainchild of Paul McCartney, who hoped that performing before a live audience would restore the group’s fading morale and creative ennui.  Michael Lindsay-Hogg was hired to direct a television documentary which was slated to accompany the concert’s live television broadcast.

Continue reading