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