Beatles Rishikesh Ashram Sajish 5 1500 crop

unplugging the white album (beatles ’68 part 3)

WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE MAHARISHI, the wonderful Maharishi of Oz!” On February 16, 1968, John and Cynthia Lennon and George and Pattie Harrison arrived in Delhi, later joined by Ringo and Maureen Starr and Paul McCartney and longtime girlfriend Jane Asher. They were there for a prolonged stay at the Rishikesh ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for special courses in Transcendental Meditation. [Continue reading]

Beatles Rishikesh Ashram Sajish 2 1500 crop

sgt. pepper on blue jay way (beatles ’68 part 1)

THE BEATLES AS A GROUPas a rock & roll-based pop band—are an example of a gestalt, as the abilities and the accomplishments of the group far outstrip what could be expected of the four members knowing their individual skills and talents. This is not belittling their skills, which are many, but as their solo careers made too evident, each on his own wasn’t even close to what he had been as a Beatle. [Continue reading]

Beatles Rishikesh Ashram Sajish 4 1500 crop

in search of the lost mentor (beatles ’68 part 2)

MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI played an important role in the Beatles career, one that has been shoved aside by fans and historians. If you were of age and paying attention in 1968, the Maharishi was the Big Poobah in the Fab Four’s lives, at least for a while. [Continue reading]

RichardHamilton JustWhatIsIt 1500 crop

how richard hamilton jazzed up the white album (beatles ’68 part 5)

ARTIST RICHARD HAMILTON was a fixture in the world of international art before the Beatles cut their first sides. For the 1956 exhibition called This Is Tomorrow, Richard Hamilton submitted a tiny (10 x 9-inch) collage titled “Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes so Different, so Appealing?” [Continue reading]

rutherford chang wants to buy your “white album”

IN NOVEMBER 1968, the Beatles released their long-awaited new album. It had been eighteen long months since their landmark Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an unheard-of period of time between albums in the ’60s. Unlike the over-the-top presentation of Sgt. Pepper, the new album did not have a clever title or a colorful jacket.

[Continue reading]
BerlinWall 1961 construction 1500 crop

runaway with john and lew to the tell it like it was a-go-go

AS NOTED IN A PREVIOUS POST, I have been busy of late. With John Ross and Lew Shiner, I launched Tell It Like It Was, a music publication on Medium. Part of the publication is a list of every record to make it to #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 chart from the beginning of 1960 through the end of 1969. [Continue reading]

JulieLondon 1956 close up 1500 crop

yummy yummy yummy julie london’s got love in her tummy

ANYTHING WITH “BEATLES” on it was hot property in the ’60s. Artists across the gamut of musical genres recorded Lennon-McCartney songs. This included the occasional country and folk artist and even jazz singers delved into the Fab Four’s songbook looking for hits. Few of these non-rock artists enjoyed any notable commercial success with these attempts. [Continue reading]

NancySinatra white mini boots 1500

want to know one of the strangest records to top the charts?

FIFTY-TWO YEARS AGO, something unusual happened on the American popular music charts—which is an unusual statement because in the ’60s unusual things were happening in the world of rock and pop music on an almost daily basis! Back to the unusual something: on January 29, 1966, a record by an unknown artist debuted on the Cash Box Top 100 at #99. [Continue reading]

BeachBoys on stage 1971 1500

was beach boy mike love one of rock & roll’s greatest frontmen?

OPINION QUESTIONS are big on Quora and I try to provide answers that are accurate but somewhat off the beaten path. The question I received this morning was, “Who are the all-time great frontmen in music?” I read the question as who are the great lead singers of rock groups, as both vocal and visual performers. [Continue reading]