Tag Archives: 60’s Music

This is a very odd day, week, couple of weeks – It’s been filled with The Beatles

Tune InSomehow I ended up with 2 books about The Beatles that were being published on the same day. Since I always try to put my review up on the day that a book is published, that meant that both books had to be read and reviewed at the same time. Tune In  (A Review of Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years Vol. 1 by Mark Lewisohn) was a very long, very detailed account of the lives of all the major players in the leading up to and the forming of the band that would become The Beatles.

Beatles vs. StonesThe other book, Beatles vs. Stones, (A Review of Beatles vs. Stones by John McMillian) is a much shorter book that compares the two main combatants in the “British Invasion” of the early 1960s. It made for a crazy couple of weeks, even though it was fun.

 

rubber-soul-cover-final-hartterI also have had the privilege of reading a fictional account of The Beatles, Rubber Soul (A Review of Rubber Soul by Greg Kihn)

and a short look at the events surrounding the recording and release of The Beatles’ first single,

Love Me Do by Bill Harry
Love Me Do by Bill Harry

Love Me Do (Review of Love Me Do by Bill Harry). So I guess that even though I never considered myself a Beatles Nut, my reviews might look like it. I enjoy many different kinds of music, and have an open mind, so you may see more music orientated reviews here in the future.

A Review of Beatles vs. Stones by John McMillian

Beatles vs. StonesBeatles vs. Stones

by John McMillian

Mr. McMillian states that everyone has an opinion. Who do you like, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Most people can answer that question. Mr. McMillian lets you know that the differences may be less than they appear. He gives you a look at the state of the music business in the early 60s and what both groups were doing at the time. He looks at how much news was media created and gives you some looks behind the PR. He goes on to trace The Stones as they continue to tour and record music long after The Beatles had broken up.

This is a well written and documented look at a debate that has really faded by now. It is interesting, but not terribly relevant to music fans of today. If you are drawn to this book, you will enjoy it, since it has some new information and a slightly different take on the British Invasion of the 1960s.

I give this book 4 Stars out of 5. If this sounds like a book that you would like to read, you probably will enjoy it.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.

Book Description

Release date: October 29, 2013

With the sophistication of a historian, the storytelling skills of a journalist, and the passion of a fan, John McMillian explores the multifaceted relationship between the two greatest bands of our time.

In the 1960s an epic battle was waged between the two biggest bands in the world—the clean-cut, mop-topped Beatles and the badboy Rolling Stones. Both groups liked to maintain that they weren’t really “rivals”—that was just a media myth, they politely said—and yet they plainly competed for commercial success and aesthetic credibility. On both sides of the Atlantic, fans often aligned themselves with one group or the other. In Beatles vs. Stones, John McMillian gets to the truth behind the ultimate rock and roll debate.

Painting an eye-opening portrait of a generation dragged into an ideological battle between Flower Power and New Left militance, McMillian reveals how the Beatles-Stones rivalry was created by music managers intent on engineering a moneymaking empire. He describes how the Beatles were marketed as cute and amiable, when in fact they came from hardscrabble backgrounds in Liverpool. By contrast, the Stones were cast as an edgy, dangerous group, even though they mostly hailed from the chic London suburbs. For many years, writers and historians have associated the Beatles with the gauzy idealism of the “good” sixties, placing the Stones as representatives of the dangerous and nihilistic “bad” sixties. Beatles vs. Stones explodes that split, ultimately revealing unseen realities about America’s most turbulent decade through its most potent personalities and its most unforgettable music.

Product Details

Hardcover: 320 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 29, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1439159696

ISBN-13: 978-1439159699

Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

About the Author

Hello! I was born and raised in Michigan, and I spent my teenage years in a tiny town called Essexville. Then, like everyone else in my immediate family, I did my undergraduate work at Michigan State University. It was the right choice for me. When I first started, I could not have imagined that I’d eventually want to go into academia, but I had some truly great professors at MSU, and they helped kindle some of my current interests. Later, I got a Ph.D. in American history from Columbia University, and from 2001-2009 I taught in the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature at Harvard.

Back when I was a grad student, I co-edited a couple of books on American radicalism. I still think that’s an important and oft-overlooked topic, but truth be told, I’m not much of a radical myself. (I don’t like being ideologically pigeonholed.) My first full book, “Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media In America,” (Oxford, 2011) is a scholarly monograph, based on my Ph.D. dissertation. My latest, “Beatles Vs. Stones,” (Simon & Schuster, 2013) is a popular history. I examine the friendship and “rivalry” between the two groups, and assess how it was constructed — by fans, the media, and the groups themselves. It’s a short book, but I worked hard on it, and it was a lot of fun to write. Currently I’m an assistant professor of history at Georgia State University, in Atlanta. I love my job, and I’m excited to be getting started on a new project, on Garry Trudeau and his great comic strip, “Doonesbury.”

Thanks so much for your interest. My email address is easy to find, so please feel free to be in touch if you like. Happy reading

The book description is from Amazon. Beatles vs. Stones

A Review of Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years Vol. 1 by Mark Lewisohn

Tune InTune In: The Beatles: All These Years Vol. 1

by Mark Lewisohn

This book is part 1 of a trilogy, so it ends December 31, 1962. On this date, The Beatles have one single on the charts, but are working on an LP and the next single. Nothing has been released yet in the United States. Most of the stories in this book were new to me since I was never a huge Beatles fan. I liked their music, and bought their later albums, but never read the fanzines or joined their fan club. This is a thoroughly researched and very well written biography of The Beatles.

Mr. Lewisohn has combed though all the sources that he could find and is still asking for more. He lets you walk in each of The Beatles’ shoes. I know more about John Lennon’s childhood than I do about my own. He gives Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr the same level of detail. He also lets you really know the backstories of Stuart Sutcliffe, Pete Best, Brian Epstein, and George Martin. He shows how all these people came together at the right time, with something different, something new, something that nobody expected, and burst on the music scene in 1962, after spending long, hard hours playing music in the “Red Light District” in Hamburg, sleeping in the back of a movie theater near the stinking public toilets, and playing in the overcrowded, underground Cavern Club in Liverpool. The Beatles were a hard-working band that would search though the new music from the US, looking for something new to play in their next show. They were a cover band, but with originality. This book lets you feel like you really know where they came from.

Tune In is a huge book, full of interesting stories, told by an informed author, in an authentic voice. You will have to live in this book for a while, since it is so long, but if you grew up in the 60s and have fond memories of that time, then you will enjoy spending time back there.

I give this 5 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! It is quite a commitment, but worth it.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.

Book Description

Release date: October 29, 2013 | Series: The Beatles: All These Years

Tune In is the first volume of All These Years—a highly-anticipated, groundbreaking biographical trilogy by the world’s leading Beatles historian. Mark Lewisohn uses his unprecedented archival access and hundreds of new interviews to construct the full story of the lives and work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

Ten years in the making, Tune In takes the Beatles from before their childhoods through the final hour of 1962—when, with breakthrough success just days away, they stand on the cusp of a whole new kind of fame and celebrity. They’ve one hit record (“Love Me Do”) behind them and the next (“Please Please Me”) primed for release, their first album session is booked, and America is clear on the horizon.  This is the lesser-known Beatles story—the pre-Fab years of Liverpool and Hamburg—and in many respects the most absorbing and incredible period of them all. Here is the complete and true account of their family lives, childhoods, teenage years and their infatuation with American music, here is the riveting narrative of their unforgettable days and nights in the Cavern Club, their laughs, larks and adventures when they could move about freely, before fame closed in.

For those who’ve never read a Beatles book before, this is the place to discover the young men behind the icons. For those who think they know John, Paul, George, and Ringo, it’s time to press the Reset button and tune into the real story, the lasting word.

Product Details

Hardcover: 944 pages

Publisher: Crown Archetype (October 29, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1400083052

ISBN-13: 978-1400083053

Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 2.1 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds

About the Author

Mark Lewisohn is the acknowledged world authority on the Beatles. His books include the bestselling and influential Beatles Recording Sessions and Complete Beatles Chronicle. He has been a consultant and researcher on all aspects—TV, DVDs, CDs and book—of the Beatles’ own Anthology and has been involved in numerous additional projects for them as well as independent works like this one. Married with two children, he lives in England.

The book description is from Amazon. Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years Vol. 1

A Review of Rubber Soul by Greg Kihn

rubber-soul-cover-final-hartterRubber Soul

by Greg Kihn

I loved this book! I had the biggest smile on my face as I was reading Rubber Soul. It was just so much fun. It may have been that it hit a chord with me because I lived through the rise of The Beatles in America. I remember my brother telling me that he had just heard a new song by an English group called The Beatles. He said the DJ on CKLW in Windsor had said that they were already huge in Britain. He predicted that they were going to be “The Next Big Thing”. And of course they were. But reading this book just brought it all back to me. I would smile and nod my head when Mr. Kihn would mention a song by an artist that I remembered from that time. I didn’t know every tune or group that he talked about, but there was enough real music from the late 50s through the early 60s to make the whole story feel authentic. He would talk about a place or event that I remembered and I would just have to stop reading and shake my head in amazement. It was just such ball!

Was this a great novel? Does it have an intricate plot line? Are you surprised by the plot twists? WHO CARES! This is just a fun narrative about an amazing time in the early 60s and the guys who changed the face of popular music. Read it if you ever had a touch of Beatlemania. I hope that you have as much fun with this as I did.

This book nearly feels like one of The Beatles movies. It’s a funny, somewhat unbelievable, quick-moving story. Everything is good. All the villains come and go quickly and don’t interfere with the good times. Just keep moving and it will all work out.

I give this book 5 Stars out of 5 and 2 Big Thumbs Up! If you are ready for a fun read, and like The Beatles, then grab this book and be ready for a good time. This book is even more fun if you can put some early Beatles songs on while you are reading! Really helps you get into it. Groovy, Far Out!

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from NetGalley.com.

Book Description

Release date: September 3, 2013

Greg Kihn continues to pioneer the Rock Thriller Genre with RUBBER SOUL, a murder mystery and an action packed ride through Beatlemania, featuring THE BEATLES themselves.

Dust Bin Bob runs a second-hand shop at the Flea Market on Penny Lane. He has an extensive collection of American R&B singles that he gets from Merchant Marines returning from Baltimore and New York. The action starts when he befriends some blokes by the name of John, Paul, George and Ringo and becomes their lifelong friend sharing the vinyl that will start a revolution.

From then on, it’s a rocket ride from the Beatles earliest days in Liverpool to six shows a night in Hamburg to the Cavern Club and to full-fledged Beatlemania.

Along the way, Dust Bin Bob thwarts a plot by Marcos loyalists to assassinate the Beatles in Manila after they snub Imelda Marcos, blowing off a reception at the palace and narrowly avoiding an international incident. It could have happened!

Product Details

Hardcover: 306 pages

Publisher: Premier Digital Publishing (September 3, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1624670946

ISBN-13: 978-1624670947

About the Author

NBC called Greg Kihn “Rock’s True Renaissance Man.” His career stretches from the dawn of punk and indie rock to the discos of the 80’s to the glory days of MTV. As a pioneer with the legendary Beserkley Records, he helped write the book on revolutionary west coast rock and roll.

He’s toured the world, had hit records, appeared on Saturday Night Live and American Bandstand, opened for the Rolling Stones, jammed with Bruce Springsteen, won the ASCAP and Midem Awards for his worldwide #1 hit JEOPARDY and THE BREAKUP SONG, was parodied by Weird Al Yankovic, lived the rock star lifestyle to the hilt, won and lost several fortunes, and lived to tell about it. But music is only part of the story.

In the 90’s Greg turned his attention to writing fiction. He published four novels, a handful of short stories in various anthologies, and edited a compilation of original fiction by famous musicians. HORROR SHOW was nominated for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel.

It was also in the 90’s that he began his radio career. After a year of seven-midnight, Greg spent sixteen years hosting the top-rated morning show for KFOX radio in San Jose/San Francisco. He also hosted and performed at the annual KIHNCERT at the Shoreline Amphitheater featuring some of the most important bands of our generation.

Greg was inducted into the San Jose Rock Hall Of Fame in 2008 and the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2012.

Greg recently retained the rights to all his old recordings and is currently re-releasing his entire catalogue with the original artwork. The New Yorker recently described Greg’s music as having “a high degree of intelligence and subtlety.” The recent review of the Greg Kihn Band’s Greatest Hits by Apple iTunes called the group “a rock band of genuine consequence.” The band continues to tour with Greg’s son Ry Kihn replacing Joe Satriani on lead guitar.

Greg maintains a strong Internet presence with professional website design and social media managed by Michael Brandvold Marketing. Thousands of fans engage him daily on Facebook and Twitter. Greg also retains a cutting-edge publicist, Christopher Buttner at PrthatRocks.com, the lauded San Francisco based PR agency voted Best Publicist Of The Year by the National Association of Record Industry Professionals.

RUBBER SOUL is Greg’s most recent novel. This completely unique murder mystery features the Beatles as characters in the story. The idea came while interviewing original Beatles drummer Pete Best. Greg asked where the Beatles got those rare American R&B 45’s that constituted their early repertoire. Pete revealed that it was from Merchant Marines who carried the records back to Liverpool from America. That gave him the inspiration for the character “Dust Bin Bob” who befriends the Beatles from their penniless early days to the height of Beatlemania. The story climaxes with an assassination attempt in Manila during their world tour in 1966.

Through interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Pete Best, Geoff Emerick (engineer), Alf Bicknell (driver), Yoko Ono and Patti Harrison, Greg got invaluable insights into the inner world of the Beatles. Even though RUBBER SOUL is a work of fiction, it is 100% historically accurate.

After a lifetime of rock & roll, and decades on the road and behind the microphone, no one else but Greg Kihn could have written this story.

The book description is from Amazon. Rubber Soul

Review of Love Me Do by Bill Harry

Love Me Do by Bill Harry
Love Me Do by Bill Harry

Love Me Do

Behind the Scenes at the Recording of the Beatles’ First Recording

by Bill Harry

Miniver Press

This is a short book about the beginnings of the recording career of The Beatles written by a close acquaintance. Bill Harry knew The Beatles before they had a recording contract and wrote about them in a local Liverpool publication “Mersey Beat”. This is a behind the scenes look at the process of getting a demo recorded and record made in 1962. An interesting read for anyone who liked the early Beatles.

This e-book is 99 cents on Amazon or free for Amazon Prime members.

I was sent a free review e-book by Net Galley.

Description

“Love Me Do” was the Beatles’s first single. Longtime Beatles friend and fan Bill Harry takes us behind the scenes in honor of the 50th anniversary. He tells about how Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr after the first recording session, how John stole his harmonica, why the vocal was switched from John to Paul, how George got a black eye, and the real story behind the legend that Brian Epstein bought thousands of records to get the song on the charts.

Product Details

File Size: 414 KB

Print Length: 46 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Publisher: Miniver Press (September 7, 2012)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Language: English

ASIN: B00993ER0I

Pub Date: Oct 1 2012

ISBN: 9780985738907

About the author

Bill Harry (born 17 September 1938), is the creator of Mersey Beat; a newspaper of the early 1960s which focused on the Liverpool music scene. Harry had previously started various magazines and newspapers, such as Biped and Premier, while at Liverpool’s Junior School of Art. He later attended the Liverpool College of Art, where his fellow students included John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe, who both later performed with The Beatles. He published a magazine, Jazz, in 1958, and worked as an assistant editor on the University of Liverpool’s charity magazine, Pantosphinx. Harry met his wife-to-be, Virginia Sowry, at the Jacaranda club—managed by Allan Williams, the first manager of The Beatles—and she later agreed to help him start a music newspaper. After borrowing £50, Harry released the first issue of Mersey Beat on 6 July 1961, with the first 5,000 copies selling out within a short time.