We discuss "Dreaming the Beatles," a new collection of essays by Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield, for no other reason than podcast host Will Hines recently read the book and liked it.
BUT we quickly realize that the two men on the panel liked the book, whereas the two women very much did not. Coincidence? Or is there something in this book that annoys female Beatles fans?
We get into a topic we're all interested in: is there a difference in how male fans relate to the Beatles vs women? Isn't it annoying when you just want to say "I like the Beatles" and you're greeted with what amounts to a trivia competition? Why is it that the Beatles were launched to fame by an almost completely female fan base, yet every book about them seems to be written by a man?
It's not ALL gender issues. We also talk about Rob's unique approach to writing about the band. Instead of doing anything like a complete history, he presents a deliberately opinionated discussion of Beatles events. Will likes how emotional this feels, and thinks it captures a feeling of loving the Beatles better than a dry history. But Jen and Katie are annoyed that the author doesn't do a better job defending his assumptions.
A different subtitle might have gone long way. Instead of "The Love Story of One Band and The Whole World" it's more "The Love Story of One Band and This Author."
Alex loves the revelations this book has of some little talked about parts of Beatles history: George slept with Ringo's WIFE? The month before he died, John was talking about a reunion? WHAT?
And there are very interesting takes: that the Beatles were more influenced by girl groups than we have realized; that the 90s did as much for The Beatles as the 60s.
This is an extra long episode because 1) we like it and 2) we're not releasing a new episode for two more weeks as the host temporarily has a life/vacation/travels.
Panelists: Will Hines, Jen Krueger, Katie Plattner, Alex Scordelis
This episode is possibly a bad idea: we got four bass players gathered around our recording setup, and then our panelists spent an hour raving about Paul's bass playing. Slides, counter melodies, variety, liveliness, off-tempo, playing in the pocket -- and half the time he was singing the lead vocal, too. Spoiler: We think Paul McCartney is good.
Panelists: Thomas Halloran, Will Hines, Adam McCabe, Brett Morris, Joel Spence.
And yes there is a jam of our first takes of Beatles songs -- as always in the easy-to-skip post-closing theme position! Though you risk missing Brett's pretty damn great first take of Hey Bulldog and my backwards talking on Rain. No hard feelings.
Friend, comedian and Beatlemaniac Wayland McQueen asks the panel fun "which song" questions:
Panelists: Will Hines, Ariana Lenarsky, Adam McCabe, Wayland McQueen
Part 2 of the JOHN VS PAUL discussion!
What songs are examples of true collaborations of the JOHN and PAUL sensibility? We each pick an OBVIOUS one and an NON-OBVIOUS one! Will forbids choosing A Day In The Life, but then immediately caves and just plays it anyway! Post-closing one-take jams include bits of: I've Got A Feeling and I Shoulda Known Better.
Panelists: Will Hines, Ariana Lenarsky, Brett Morris, Joel Spence.
EMERGENCY EPISODE (er, kind of): We review the new remix of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band! We get deep into audiophile things, talking about where the instruments are panned in terms of "left" vs "right" and the what the previous versions of this album were like (mono vs stereo), and what the difference is between "remastered" and "remixed."
We check out the extra tracks a bit, including the first take of "Lucy in the Sky."
It is nerdy and specific and fawning and fun. Stick around after the theme to hear Brett Morris noodling on his guitar and talking a bit about John's songwriting.
Panelists: Will Hines, Ariana Lenarsky, Brett Morris, Joel Spence