Monday, November 28, 2005


Like many, my first big music obsession was The Beatles. Over the years I've gone in and out of listening to them. Too many of their songs have been played to death on the radio, but on the other hand it's pretty annoying for people that are into much more derivative groups condescend to them. Like Shakespeare, it seems like it's sometimes hip to dis The Beatles. They're too popular for their own good.

In the last month or two there's been a flood of Beatles related books hitting the bookshops. There's Bob Spitz's massive new 900+ page bio, called simply The Beatles, Here, There, and Everywhere, an upcoming studio memoir by their engineer Geoff Emerick, and Memories of John Lennon, which is interesting mainly for its inclusion of unlikely folks like Jello Biafra and Iggy Pop. One of the most surprising and well written of the bunch is Harper's editor Lewis Lapham's book With The Beatles, which chronicles his trip to India with the Beatles in 1968, originally written as a piece for the Saturday Evening Post (the Post was also publishing stories by the likes of Thomas Pynchon back then, so I guess that's not too surprising). It's great to see Lapham's dry wit and good natured skepticism collide with the Beatles' insular bubble world, and it's a knowing snapshot that really sets the scene for the peak and decline of the high 60s.

Bookslut has a good interview with Lapham about the book here.