Yesterday I gave what has to be both the best and worst interview of my career. Best because the interviewer, Richard Courtney, asked very detailed questions; worst because I was entirely unprepared for the quality and quantity of those inquiries.
I've done many interviews for radio stations, podcasts, newspapers, and blogs, most of which are brief (average of 5-10 minutes) and ask the standard questions: "How did you get into the Beatles?", "Have you ever met any of them, or seen them live?", "Who is your favorite Beatle?", "What does it mean to be a professional Beatles scholar?", "Which album do you like the best?", et cetera. While those aren't bad questions, they're not very detailed, and I have stock responses which I can rattle off without having to think too very long or hard. Richard, by contrast, asked really great technical questions (like "How did Carl Perkins influence the Beatles?" or "What is an aeolian cadence?"), and asked lots of them. Frankly, those are the kind of questions I wished I was asked every time I'm interviewed!
So I went in expecting to answer three or four basic questions over about 7 minutes, and was taken completely by surprise to hear his plans to do an hour-long show! Had I known the depth and quantity of his questions, I would have prepared precise answers. Instead, I stumbled over several, not being able to remember exactly all the details. (On "All My Loving", was it George or John who sang melody on the third verse? Was "Not a Second Time" in G major or D major?) Almost all of my answers, therefore, were spontaneous, somewhat defensive, and nowhere near as authoritative as I usually am. I hope Richard edits the show to cover up some of my less erudite moments!
Richard told me the interview would air via radio on Sunday, but would also be available as a podcast as soon as he finishes editing it. I'll be sure to post a link once I get it.
I hope to do more interviews with Richard in the future - and next time I'll be sure to ask for his questions in advance!
The tour continues today with the fourth and final presentation in Tampa, and tomorrow in Deltona:
Thursday, 25 February 2016, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Deltona Regional Library, 2150 Eustace Ave, Deltona FL
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.