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1. How did you become a Beatles fan?

It was back when I was in high school. I saw a special on TV about the Beatles and thought the music was good. I bought some records — that’s back when we had actual records — and realized that the whole album was good. I was listening to other classic rock back then, and with them there would be one or two good songs on an album. I just thought it was neat that there was this group where the whole album was good.

2. I can’t imagine a college class on ABBA or Steppenwolf, so what makes the Beatles worthy of academic study?

A couple of things. First, there is so much diversity in their music. They have rock songs and ballads and everything. And the lyrics are poetry, open to a lot of interpretation. It also fits well with talking about the ‘60s. The changes they went through, the drugs, the Indian religion, it all reflects what was happening then.

3. What do your students come in knowing about the Beatles?

Usually, not much at all. There will sometimes be a few students that like classic rock like the Beatles or Pink Floyd, but most of them listen to rap. A lot of our students listen to country. They also don’t seem to know much about the history of the time.

4. As a scholar on the Beatles, answer the following questions:

4a. Who is the most important Beatle?

I used to think it was John [Lennon], then I thought it was Paul [McCartney], now I say you’ve got to have them together.

4b. Ringo Starr or Pete Best?

Ringo, definitely.

4c. Who is the Walrus?

I think he was just referencing “Alice in Wonderland.”

5. Finally, what is the worst ever assault on a Beatles song?

[William Shatner’s] “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” I actually use that in class. His version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” is even worse. I use that when I talk about Bob Dylan. Of course, if Yoko [Ono] did a Beatles song, I’d say that would be the worst. Luckily, she didn’t.

Tell Me About It: The Beatles bug

Tell Me About It: The Beatles bug

Tell Me About It: The Beatles bug
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