Someone saying that they don't like the Beatles is like saying they don't like babies or sunshine. Anyway, it's not true: everybody
knows and loves the Beatles (or else they hide their indifference away). With such familiarity, is there really any need for a collection of old and recent journalism celebrating the four fabulous ones? Don't we know these guys already? Well, sure, but this assortment of more than 50 articles reminds us of Beatle things forgotten and lends insight into Beatle things remembered. Gloria Steinem's sardonic 1964 article for Cosmopolitan
reiterates how absurdly intense was countless teenage girls' devotion to the lads. Geoffrey O'Brien's essay, "Seven Fat Years," describes how many people thought the music was speaking directly to them--which explains not only the swooning teenagers but also Charles Manson. Writings by Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass show the extent of the Beatles' influence on other artists, and interviews with individual Beatles themselves reveal their own bewilderment. But Chicago Tribune
pop music critic Greg Kot provides the ultimate synopsis when he writes, "The Beatles had it all, the bastards." Jerry EberleCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
June Skinner Sawyers is an editor and journalist who writes frequently about music and the arts. She is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, for which she wrote a nightlife column for two years, and is the editor of several literary anthologies.
Astrid Kirchherr is a photographer and artist who was a close acquaintance of the Beatles during their early career in Hamburg, Germany.