Book Review: “As Time Goes By” by Derek Taylor

By the time this review is scheduled to post,  I’ll be on a 4 day silent retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, KY.  I considered taking another Beatles book with me to review, but decided to leave work at home while I contemplate world peace.  Enjoy the review.

Derek…Derek…Derek!  Every book I’ve read about the Beatles mentions Derek Taylor.  One author even went so far as to say Derek is the real fifth Beatle!  Derek was Brian Epstein’s personal assistant before becoming the press agent for the Beatles.  Then he quit…then he came back again.  In that time, he wrote two books.  This is a review of his first book, As Time Goes By.

As Time Goes By by Derek Taylor is a 181 page memoir of Derek’s life in the music business from 1968-1971, with a lot of stories before and after those years.  This was Derek’s first memoir, his second was titled – Fifty Years Adrift and a third book, It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, about the anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s album was published in 1987.  He also helped George Harrison write his autobiography, I, Me, Mine.

I don’t know that As Time Goes By is the right title for this book.  After several chapters, I started to think it should be called ‘Everybody Must Get Stoned’ or ‘I Get High With A Little Help From My Friends’ or ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.’  It would seem from what I read in these pages, that Mr. Taylor spent most of his working years in an altered state of consciousness.  He even goes so far as to refer to himself on several occasions as an acid-head or pot-head.  His stories are great, but they come in no real chronological order.  The book seems to just be random memories and anecdotes of him and famous people.

Is it a good book?  Meh.  Is it a fun book?  Yes.  Is it weird as hell?  Oh, hell yeah!  Will I read his other books?  Only time will tell since I’m still trying to figure out what I just read.  What a long strange trip it’s been…

You can find a used copy of As Time Goes By on Amazon for less than $3 if you choose to go down that rabbit hole.

I rate this book: 2 out of 4 Beetles!

You can read more about Derek Taylor on Wikipedia.

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Tea for Tuesday: Review of Mrs. McCartney’s Blueberry Meanie

Mrs. Angie McCartney’s Organic Teas

Blueberry Meanie




Tea(s) From: Sri Lanka
Region(s): Nuwara Eliya + Dimbula + Uva
Antioxidant Level: High
Caffeine Content: Medium


Since this week’s book review was for a book about Wings by John Taylor, who used to play in a Beatles tribute band called The Blue Meanies, it only seemed appropriate that this week’s tea review be for Blueberry Meanie tea!  I paired this tea with Biscoff cookies.

According to the Mrs. McCartney’s Tea website, Blueberry Meanie is made from: Black tea, Elderberry + Raisin pieces, Hibiscus petals and Natural flavors.  The black tea makes this a stronger tea like last week’s Good Morning! tea (just the way I like it), but it doesn’t have the berry flavor you would expect or find in the Liverpool Red tea.  I caught a better taste (or should I say aroma) of the blueberries in the after taste and when I exhaled through my nose from the linger tea on my palate after taking a sip.  And though this tea contains hibiscus petals, I didn’t get catch any floral flavors.  But your mileage may vary.

This was a very enjoyable tea and I look forward to having another cup in the future.


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Book Review: “Wings Over New Orleans” by John Taylor

It was a hot time down in New Orleans last weekend…and I mean that literally and figuratively!  My husband, blogger CigarCraig, and I were in New Orleans for the Cigar and Pipe Retailers convention, but that didn’t stop me from finding a way to fit a little Beatles into our trip!

On Sunday morning, Craig and I had the pleasure of meeting up with John and Janet Taylor of Slidell, LA at the Market Café in the French Market.  We had a great time chatting over coffee, bread pudding and grits with a great jazz band playing in the background.  It felt like we were meeting up with old friends as we looked at photos from when John met Paul and Linda McCartney in 1975.  (John is also a part time actor and has had uncredited roles in movies like Dallas Buyers Club and Django Unchained!)

Now, back to my review…

John Taylor is the author of the new book Wings Over New Orleans: Unseen Photos of Paul and Linda McCartney, 1975.  This book is his account and photos of when Paul and Linda McCartney, along with their band Wings, came to New Orleans in the winter of 1975 to record their album Venus and Mars.  Though only 88 pages long, this book was published by Pelican Publishing (ISBN 9781455620340) of New Orleans and contains countless photos and stories by John and several of the other groupies and fans that hung out outside of Sea-Saint Studios for 3 months talking and talking pictures of the McCartneys during their three month stay in the Big Easy.

After 35 years in storage, John finally brought his photos out of their box in hopes that other fans might like to read and see his story of meeting his idol (John used to play bass in a Beatles tribute band called the Blue Meanies!).

This book is definitely a must have for all McCartney and Wings fans for their collection.

I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles!

You can order Wings Over New Orleans at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.  You can also find Wings Over New Orleans in bookstores.

You can find John Taylor on Facebook

Jennifer w/ author John Taylor in New Orleans (July 2015)

Jennifer w/ author John Taylor in New Orleans (July 2015)

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Beatles Freak Review goes to Louisville, KY in search of John, Paul, George and Ringo! | PRLog

Jennifer Vanderslice, owner and editor of Beatles Freak Review blog, will be packing her bags again this month for a weekend in Louisville, KY, to find all things Beatle-y.

Beatles Freak Review goes to Louisville, KY in search of John, Paul, George and Ringo! | PRLog.

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Tea for Tuesday: Review of Mrs. McCartney’s Good Morning! British Breakfast Tea

Mrs. Angie McCartney’s Organic Teas

Good Morning! British Breakfast Tea



Tea(s) From: Kenya / India
Region(s): Nandi Highlands / Assam
Antioxidant Level: High
Caffeine Content: Medium



Good morning from steamy and hot New Orleans!  My original plan was to enjoy this tea with a couple of warm beignets at the famous Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter.  Unfortunately, it was much too hot outside to sit at their outdoor cafe with anything hot.  Instead, I enjoyed this tea with a simple,yet healthy, granola and yogurt parfait at the lovely restaurant at our hotel.

Good Morning! British Breakfast Tea is a beautiful and fuller tea than all the previous ones I’ve reviewed so far.  Since I didn’t have my own tea pot, I was forced to make individual cups from the carafe of hot water I was brought, but I was able to enjoy two full cups from one tea bag.  My first impression was that this was a very floral blend, but when I offered a taste to my husband, his first impression was the taste of lemon.  This tea is named very appropriately as a breakfast tea. It’s a beautiful way to give you just the right kind of pick-me-up to start any day.








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Book Review: “Nights Inside The Vault” by Sharon Richards

Good morning, Beatles Freaks!  This morning’s review is coming to you live from hot and steamy New Orleans.  This is not the review I had intended to post, but thankfully, I had this e-book loaded into my iPad’s Kindle app before I left home.  I had intended to rent a movie from iTunes to watch on the plane ride here, but due to technical difficulties beyond my control (the movie is no longer available on iTunes!), I decided to read this book  during my down time here in the Big Easy.

Nights Inside The Vault by Sharon L. Richards is the story of her short, but important time working the Hard Rock’s Vault in Orlando, FL from 2002-2004.  Sharon worked as a tour guide for the museum that housed many important and rare pieces of music history within it’s walls, including a section dedicated to the Beatles….a band Sharon was very familiar with and has spoken about at Beatles festivals across the country.

I have to applaud Ms. Richards’ work ethic and integrity as she demonstrates throughout this book her unwavering dedication to not only the Beatles, but to all the other bands represented at The Vault.  What started out as her dream job slowly became an illusion as she and the other guides took on the task of providing provenance to the various pieces of memorabilia.  Needless to say, the reader of this book will also loose faith in the machine that is the Hard Rock after reading Sharon’s accounts that came straight from her daily journals.

Though this self-published e-book could have used a good editor for the typos and flow, I think it is a necessary read for those that dabble in collecting music memorabilia.  It was quite the eye opener for me.

You can download a copy of Nights Inside The Vault at

I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles!


Bonus!  Here’s a video of Sharon’s former Beatles tribute band – Luv Me Do. I once referred to them as the only female Beatles tribute band that I could listen to.


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Tea for Tuesday: Review of Mrs. McCartney’s Rockstar Rescue

Mrs. Angie McCartney’s Organic Teas

Rockstar Rescue



Tea(s) From: Egypt / South Africa / Bulgaria / Germany / Vietnam
Region(s): Nile River Delta / Cederberg / Ludogorie / Black Forest / Mekong Delta
Antioxidant Level: Low
Caffeine Content: None – Caffeine Free Herb



It’s been a tough week in the Beatles Freak Review office and on the home front.  I’ve been busy cleaning out my late parent’s home to get it ready for settlement next week.  It’s been emotional and tiring.  I’ve also been trying to get ready to take Beatles Freak Reviews to New Orleans this coming weekend.  Fear not, my loyal readers, I will be posting from the Big Easy!

With everything going on, today was a great time for a cuppa Rockstar Rescue from Mrs. McCartney’s Tea selection.  Here’s my review:

This having been a hard week, I truly looked forward to the decaffeinated tea for one of my afternoon breaks.  This tea is made from rooibos, chamomile, linden + passion flower petals, lemon balm + lemon verbena leaves, anise, cinnamon, orange pieces and oat.  I really thought it would be the cinnamon and anise that would stand out flavor wise, but it was the citrus-y lemon and orange that came through.  It went very well with the pear tart with almonds, but didn’t mesh well with the chocolate.  Definitely a tea to enjoy with any type of fruity tart or possibly apple pie.

This is definitely a tea that I will be enjoying in the evenings when the colder months move in here.

This week’s tea was paired with a pear tart, dark chocolate ganache and Meringue from the Strawberry Bakery in Malvern, PA.



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