I allow myself one extravagant non-research related purchase per trip. Last April, while driving out to New York then back to Indiana, I purchased this Metal Earth drum set model at a craft store in Pennsylvania. I finally finished putting it together yesterday.
Tomorrow I present "The Beatles & The Rolling Stones" in Zionsville, Indiana:
Tuesday, 28 June 2016, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Library, 250 N 5th St, Zionsville, IN
The Beatles & The Rolling Stones
Ask anybody to name two English rock bands from the 1960s and the response will likely be The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. But despite often being portrayed as rivals in the media, the two groups were actually quite friendly towards each other, both socially and musically. This 60-minute presentation will compare and contrast the two through musical examples and interviews with the band members to illustrate the relationship between The Beatles & The Rolling Stones.
I'm pleased to announce the publication of my next book, Days in the Life: A Father and Son on a Beatles Tour, set for late July 2016.
Here's the front cover:
And here's a PDF of the single-page foreword that establishes the idea behind the book:
In the meantime, tomorrow will
Thursday, 23 June 2016, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Eckhart Public Library, 603 S Jackson St, Auburn, IN
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.
Today, being the 20th day of the month, is the day I send out my newsletter.
Inspired by popular interest, I began this free monthly email newsletter in March 2014, when I sent that initial issue to six people. Little by little it's grown to the point where this morning's newsletter (July 2016) was sent to 736 recipients.
Each newsletter details my schedule for the remainder of the current month through the end of the next month - which programs I'm giving, where, and when.
Anybody with a valid email address may register for the newsletter on my website: http://www.aaronkrerowicz.com/newsletter-sign-up.html. Just be sure to type the “prove you are human” part. (I get a lot of spam, so any submissions that skip that step are deleted.)
Newsletter subscription is the best way to stay in touch. The emails are automatically sent from my personal Gmail account, which allows recipients to respond easily and efficiently. This permits me to maintain a monthly dialog with Beatles fans across the globe.
Plus, they feature adorable puppy pictures. In honor of my new pooch, Abbey (as in Road), I started including a photo of her in each newsletter beginning in 2016. Here's July's:
That's my Abbey (as in Road) on the left, with a friend's dog, Pepper (as in Sgt.) on the right.
Tomorrow I take a break from Beatles to present on another favorite "B": Baseball.
Tuesday, 21 June 2016, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Monticello Union-Township Public Library, 321 West Broadway St, Monticello, IN
Baseball Before the Civil War
Although legend cites Abner Doubleday as "The Father of Baseball", historical evidence clearly indicates otherwise. This 60-minute multimedia presentation will observe and discuss the origins and early development of America's national pastime.
June 17: "Starr Time: A Celebration of Ringo Starr's Contributions to The Beatles" at the Kendallville Library
In preparation for Ringo Starr's performance in Fort Wayne, IN on June 21, the Kendallville Public Library (just north of Fort Wayne) has booked my presentation celebrating Ringo and his contributions to The Beatles.
Friday, 17 June 2016, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Kendallville Public Library, 221 South Park Ave, Kendallville, IN
Starr Time: A Celebration of Ringo Starr's Contributions to The Beatles
Contrary to popular belief, Ringo Starr was an integral component of the Beatles. This 60-minute program will explain how and why Ringo replaced the band's previous percussionist, Pete Best, and analyze and celebrate Ringo's contributions to the Beatles (including his singing, drumming, and personality) through musical examples and excerpts from interviews with the band members.
June 16: "A Four-Headed Monster: The 4 Beatles in 5 Songs" at the Allen County Public Library
It's been almost a year since my last program debut ("Starr Time: A Celebration of Ringo Starr's Contributions to The Beatles" at the Polk County Library in Bolivar, MO on 30 June 2015), but tomorrow will be the next debut.
For some time I've been toying with the notion of a presentation observing and discussing each of the four Beatles through analysis of a single song.
'Yesterday' is perhaps the most obvious choice for Paul McCartney, as is 'Strawberry Fields Forever' for John Lennon. But I couldn't decide which would represent George Harrison best. My personal opinion is that 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' is Harrison's first fully mature song, however many people disagree with that assessment. But I've never heard anybody seriously criticize 'Something' and 'Here Comes The Sun'. The former was Harrison's first A-side single; the latter is the most-streamed Beatles song on Spotify. And given that they represent different aspects of Harrison's songwriting sophistication ('Something' in terms of pitch, 'Sun' in terms of rhythm), I included both. Thus the subtitle "The 4 Beatles in 5 Songs".
But I really should call it "The 5 Beatles in 5 Songs", since their producer George Martin was instrumental (literally and figuratively) in the band's success in general and in these five tracks specifically.
With that in mind, I was going to quote Paul McCartney's comments after Martin's death last March:
But then yesterday I was browsing the shelves at Half Price Books and found the book Paul by Tony Scherman and the Editors of LIFE. Flipping through the pages my eyes stumbled upon a quote from Paul on page 47 regarding their manager, Brian Epstein:
"If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian."
Occasionally people are puzzled (sometimes even offended) when I say Paul McCartney quotes cannot always be trusted. He is, as I've frequently worded it, "notorious for re-writing history", meaning things Paul has said have turned out to be inaccurate.
This isn't necessarily a conscious lie. George Martin, in the foreword of his book With A Little Help From My Friends, describes memory as "that most unreliable of servants". And it's likely that some of Paul's discrepancies are merely the result of faulty recollections.
On the other hand, Paul also seems to take credit for things that are almost undoubtedly not his doing. In an interview with Q magazine published in the periodical's May 2013 issue (p. 80-81), Paul claimed, "One song I wrote a little after Please Please Me was my best attempt at a preamble: 'If I Fell'." But it's highly unlikely that Paul either wrote the song proper or the introduction. In the Playboy interview just before his death, Lennon called the song "my first attempt at a ballad proper." Furthermore, Lennon's home recordings from an unknown date in February 1964 prove that the intro was in tact before entering the studio. Of course that doesn't prove that McCartney didn't write the song (it's possible Paul wrote it and John recorded it) but it seems improbable in the extreme.
Given Paul's questionable memory and the self-contradictory nature of his quotes above, I omitted the "George Martin was the fifth Beatle" quote from my presentation, even though I keep the concept as my conclusion.
This newest presentation (I just completed the slideshow yesterday) will debut tomorrow evening in Fort Wayne, Indiana:
Thursday, 16 June 2016, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN
A Four-Headed Monster: The 4 Beatles in 5 Songs
If you had to pick songs which represent each of the four Beatles, which would you chose? This 60-minute multimedia presentation observes and analyzes each band member through the lens of one or two songs: For Paul McCartney, “Yesterday”; for Ringo Starr, “In My Life”; for John Lennon, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and for George Harrison, “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun”.
June 11: "Before They Were Fab: The Beatles Prior to Beatlemania" at the Frankfort Community Public Library
If 6 July 1957 (the day John Lennon and Paul McCartney met) is the first day of Beatles history, and if 10 April 1970 (the day McCartney announced The Beatles' break-up) is the last day of Beatles history, then that history lasted precisely 4,661 days.
Americans tend to think of their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show on 9 February 1964 as the start of the band, which makes sense because that's the defining moment for Beatlemania in America. But by that date, Beatles history was more than half over:
6 July 1957 to 9 February 1964 = 2,409 days (52%)
9 February 1964 to 10 April 1970 = 2,252 days (48%)
Saturday's presentation at the Frankfort Community Library will examine the origins and development of the band for the first half of their career, leading up to that all-important Ed Sullivan debut:
Saturday, 11 June 2016, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Frankfort Community Public Library, 208 W Clinton St, Frankfort, IN
Before They Were Fab: The Beatles Prior to Beatlemania
Before the number one records and the deafening screams, before Ed Sullivan and “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah”, before the shaggy “mop top” haircuts and collarless suits, there were six future Beatles. This 90-minute multimedia presentation will trace the early history of The Beatles from John Lennon's founding of The Quarrymen in 1957, through their five seminal Hamburg residencies, and right up to the precipice of worldwide fame and fortune.
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.