When They Were Boys

It’s safe to say that all Beatle books contain a few errors.

But not all errors are created equal. In the most recent edition of their “All Together Now” podcast, Karen and Erin used Larry Kane’s “When They Were Boys” to discuss the different ‘tiers’ of errors authors make, from lazy but inconsequential mistakes to the deliberate misrepresentation of evidence. They also discussed how crucial an author’s understanding of the current state of their subject’s historiography is to providing an accurate account, and why secondary works built on memoirs can be problematic. What value does Kane’s work hold? Find out in this episode of All Together Now: A Beatles Podcast.


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!

New Podcast: Interview with Glass Onion

As a wise man once said, “It’s Deja vu all over again.”*

Here’s yet another new interview, done with Antony Rotuno’s Glass Onion podcast. It’s a nice companion piece to the One Sweet Dream podcast I did with Diana, in that my discussion with her primarily focused on McCartney, whereas the one with Antony is more Lennon-centric. We discuss the issues surrounding both Coleman’s Lennon and Goldman’s version, along with less polarizing portrayals, such as the one provided by Pete Shotton. I hope you listen and enjoy; feel free to ask comments or questions.

Here’s the link:

Episode 67- John Lennon and the Historian with Erin Torkelson Weber by Glass Onion: On John Lennon | Free Listening on SoundCloud


(For all that Yogi Berra was more recently most well known for his malapropisms, he was also a well-decorated World War II soldier who served bravely in the Pacific Theater. All honor to him).

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.

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).