A few months ago I presented "The Beatles: Band of the Sixties" at the Port Orange, FL library. While waiting for the program to start, I conversed with a woman who commented on the feminine quality of the Beatles' boots, as displayed in the title slide for that program.
Indeed, out of context this shoe certainly looks more like a woman's than a man's.
But in context it clearly belongs to John Lennon's right foot.
The Beatles (and Ringo especially) were frequently criticized for their mop-top hair styles, which made them look like girls. I recall finding a 1965 article in the New York Times while researching for From the Shadow of JFK: The Rise of Beatlemania in America complaining about the androgynous appearance of many young people, though I'm afraid my memory cannot cite a specific date for that article. But I had never before thought of the band's shoes as accentuating their feminine qualities.
Then, a few nights ago in Carlisle, PA I presented "Band of the Sixties" again. This time somebody asked where that photo was taken. I had to admit I didn't know off the top of my head, so I emailed Mark Lewisohn with the question. Here is his erudite answer:
"It’s best known as the cover of the extraordinarily successful EP Twist And Shout. (Also the Canadian LP.) Taken at a demolition site in Euston Road, London, April 25 1963, by Fiona Adams for the weekly paper Boyfriend. Personally selected for the EP cover by JL."
There is a reason why Lewisohn is the world's authority on the Beatles!
That picture will be on display tomorrow afternoon at the Kennett Public Library, when I deliver another "Band of the Sixties" at the Kennett Public Library:
Saturday, 9 April 2016, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Kennett Public Library, 216 East State Street, Kennett Square, PA
The Beatles: Band of the Sixties
Explore the music of The Beatles in this 60-minute multimedia presentation (part history and part musical analysis) spanning the full 1960's: beginning with the band's seminal visits to Hamburg, continuing through Beatlemania, and concluding with Abbey Road. The program will be supplemented with audio clips of music and excerpts from interviews with the band members.
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.