I Saw The Beatles – Episode 8 with Don Dannemann Part 3 

Welcome back to episode 8 of I Saw The Beatles. This week is Part 3 (finale) of our conversation with Don Dannemann, the lead singer of The Cyrkle. The Cyrkle, an east coast band, was managed by Brian Epstein and opened for The Beatles during their 1966 U.S. tour. Their song Red Rubber Ball hit #2 on the Billboard charts the same week in July 1966 that The Beatles’ Paperback Writer was #1. For more information on Don Dannemann and The Cyrkle (including upcoming tour dates)

The Cyrkle website: http://www.TheCyrkle.com

The Cyrkle Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCyrkle

Source: I Saw The Beatles – Episode 8 with Don Dannemann Part 3 08/09 by I Saw The Beatles | Entertainment

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Book Review: “Dear Prudence: The Story Behind The Song” by Prudence Farrow Bruns

Dear Prudence: The Story Behind the Song: Bruns, Prudence Farrow ...I’m a person who loves numbers and statistics. Every morning I check various stats on several of my websites. I like to know that my efforts aren’t going unnoticed and that I’m not wasting my time doing all this reading and writing. One of my stat pages likes to tell me keywords that I should be using to attract more readers. One of them was “prudence bury”. Not sure where the “bury” came from, but I decided to look on Amazon to see if Prudence Farrow Bruns had written a book. Sure enough, I found Dear Prudence: The Story Behind The Song, a self-published book by Prudence Farrow Bruns put out in July 2015.

Anyone that reads this blog on a regular basis knows by now that I’m not a fan of spending a lot of money on some of the books I read. Unless they are a signed first edition, I usually find a cheap used copy somewhere. In this case, there were no inexpensive used copies of this book, so I had to devise another plan. Turns out, Amazon is offering free trials of their Kindle Unlimited plan. I believe I get the first two weeks (or months) free before I have to cancel to avoid being charged, but I decided this was the best way to read a book that I wasn’t sure I was going to like.

For those that don’t know, The Beatles wrote the song Dear Prudence about Prudence Farrow after meeting her in India in 1968…

Turns out, the dramatic stories that I had heard about why the Beatles wrote this song for Prudence aren’t quite true…at least not according to Prudence herself. Or was she holding back in this book? Well, she kind of leaves it all up to the reader to interpret.

This book is basically a memoir of her life from start to finish. And there were moments while reading it that the words, “spoiled brat”, “poor little rich girl” and “first world problems” all went through my mind as she proceeded to destroy her life throughout her teenage years. But upon closer examination, where were her parents? Both  actors/directors, her parents spent vast amounts of time away on location while Prudence and her FIVE siblings were left with governesses and maids. Finally deciding she needed to pull her life together after a bad acid trip, she discovered meditation and yoga and heard of a guru in India that she desperately wanted to meet.

Prudence finally sets foot at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi with her famous sister Mia on page 199 of this 224 page book. That leaves just 1/5 of the book for her to meet the Beatles and have a song written about her (John and George arrive on page 204). And as predicted, the whole actual story behind the song is uneventful and there isn’t really a whole lot to tell about John, Paul, George and Ringo except small talk or to say they told her they wrote a song about her and that she didn’t actually hear it until the White Album came out.

I guess I came out of this book thinking, “If she wanted to write her memoir, why didn’t she just do that?!” Why hide it behind a song? Because…then she couldn’t cash in on the Beatles link and sell more books! And for that reason…

I rate this book, 3 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

 

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I Saw The Beatles – Episode 7 with Don Dannemann Part 2 

Welcome back to episode 6 of I Saw The Beatles. Our very special guest today is Don Dannemann, the lead singer of The Cyrkle. The Cyrkle, an east coast band, was managed by Brian Epstein and opened for The Beatles during their 1966 U.S. tour. Their song Red Rubber Ball hit #2 on the Billboard charts the same week in July 1966 that The Beatles’ Paperback Writer was #1. For more information on Don Dannemann and The Cyrkle (including upcoming tour dates) The Cyrkle website: http://www.TheCyrkle.com The Cyrkle Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheCyrkle

Source: I Saw The Beatles – Episode 7 with Don Dannemann Part 2 08/02 by I Saw The Beatles | Entertainment

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I Saw The Beatles – Episode 6 with Don Dannemann Part 1 | Pop Culture

Do you remember this song…

Welcome back to episode 6 of I Saw The Beatles. Our very special guest today is Don Dannemann, the lead singer of The Cyrkle. The Cyrkle, an east coast band, was managed by Brian Epstein and opened for The Beatles during their 1966 U.S. tour. Their song Red Rubber Ball hit #2 on the Billboard charts the same week in July 1966 that The Beatles’ Paperback Writer was #1. For more information on Don Dannemann and The Cyrkle (including upcoming tour dates) The Cyrkle website: http://www.TheCyrkle.com The Cyrkle Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheCyrkle

Source: I Saw The Beatles – Episode 6 with Don Dannemann Part 1 07/08 by I Saw The Beatles | Pop Culture

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I Saw The Beatles – Episode 5 with Sharyn Herrmann  | Pop Culture

Welcome back for episode 5 of I Saw The Beatles. This week, we’re talking with Sharyn Herrmann of Mount Dora, Florida. She saw the Beatles perform when she was a teenager in two cities – Jacksonville in ’64 and Atlanta in ’65.

Listen at: I Saw The Beatles – Episode 5 with Sharyn Herrmann  | Pop Culture

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(OT) Book Review: “Too Much and Never Enough” by Mary L. Trump, PhD

(Warning: I’m a Liberal. Read at your own risk.)

As soon as I heard about this book, I immediately went to Amazon and pre-ordered my copy. Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump sold close to 1 million copies on the day of it’s release, so I know I’m not alone in my need to get the dirt on on the current president of the United States.

And Mary dishes it from the get go. Halfway through the prologue and I was already saying, “Wow!” under my breath. She takes us deep into this dysfunctional (I wish there was a stronger word!) family’s history, conversations and interactions. Weddings, funerals and holidays are all put on display for us.

This mess of a family and their greed actually started with Mary’s great-grandmother. One could say it was out of necessity and the death of his father that Fred Trump became an angry miser, but not one of his five children could break away from his monetary hold on them to become their own person. The one child that tried, his oldest son and namesake, Freddy Jr., was driven to alcoholism trying to be the object of his father’s love, respect and attention. Only Donald caught his dad’s attention and respect. Not for his intelligence or business savvy, but because he was like his father and knew how to use charisma, lies and money to get his way. This all lead to five bankruptcies due to his lack of business skills, and yet, there was his father to throw more money at him to do whatever he’s please with.

Fred Trump was nothing short of cruel and ruthless with his children and Mary tells the stories to back it up. No weakness, no crying, no emotion…that’s what Fred demanded. A man worth hundreds of millions of dollars who expected everyone, including his children to praise him, never question him, and do as they were told. Sound familiar?

Now here’s the downside (and I wish someone had realized it before it went to print)…before I reached the halfway point of this book, I knew exactly how “The Donald” and his sycophants will spin this to his favor… He was the victim. You heard it here first…

And for that reason…

I rate this book, 3 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: “Love Me Do! The Beatles Progress” by Michael Braun

After a friend sent me a link to the April 2020 list of Rolling Stone magazine’s 10 Best Beatles Books of all time, I immediately ordered a copy of the #1 pick –Love Me Do! The Beatles’ Progress by Michael Braun.

(Note: While doing research on this book and it’s author to try to provide a nice background story, I noticed that the author of the Rolling Stone list is a writer who I had exchanged private messages with a year or so ago on Facebook…Colin Fleming. Let’s just say that after about a week, he screamed at me and blocked me for “insulting him”. After reading his very opinionated personal blog, I realized…it wasn’t me! How this will play out in this review, we’ll see.)

According to Rolling Stone (or Colin Fleming), this book beat out all the books you would expect to see on a Beatles top ten books list, including books by Hunter Davies, Pete Shotton, Allan Williams, Geoff Emerick, etc. (most of these have been reviewed in the past on this blog). I was curious as to why a book published in 1964 would be considered the best of all time since it obviously didn’t cover the Fab Four’s entire career?

Well, because this book doesn’t hold back. Reporter Michael Braun had a first hand account of what went on in the private (or not so private) moments in the Beatles world as they toured Europe and the U.S. in 1963 and early 1964. It provides conversations that either no other reporter would dared to print or they weren’t paying attention to what was going on around the mop tops. Braun listened and observed what was going on and being said about the Beatles and by the Beatles. A whole lot of snarky remarks were flying everywhere our boys went. Unfortunately, this didn’t presented John, Paul, George and Ringo in the best light at times and some reviewers of Love Me Do in 1964 grabbed onto those moments to pan the Beatles. (See 3 reviews of Love Me Do from 1964 at the bottom of this review)

Still, this is a more than worthwhile book for any true Beatles fan to add to their collection. Is it the best book? Is it better than say Mark Lewisohn’s works? I personally don’t think so, but it is a great book for those who want to know. And for that reason…

I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

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I Saw The Beatles – Episode 4 with Sandi Borowsky 

Welcome to episode 4 of I Saw The Beatles! This week’s special guest is Sandi Anne Borowsky who saw The Beatles play live at Shea Stadium in 1966 when she was just 12 years old….alone! You can get a copy of Sandi’s book, Exploring Fab Four Landmarks, at Amazon.com
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Source: I Saw The Beatles – Episode 4 with Sandi Borowsky 06/29 by I Saw The Beatles | Pop Culture

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Book and Movie Review: “The Magic Christian” by Terry Southern

A couple weeks ago, I finally decided I needed to see the movie The Magic Christian that is mentioned so often in Beatles books when discussing Ringo or the year 1969 when it was filmed and released. After watching the film, I decided to buy a copy of the book to see…well, read the reviews and you’ll understand…

I tried to find this movie on-demand from several outlets, but eventually I ended up renting this movie from Amazon Prime for about $3.99. The opening credits of The Magic Christian could draw anyone in to wanting to see this movie. Besides the author of the book, Terry Southern, the other writers of the screenplay and script include: Joseph McGrath, Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Peter Sellers – who also stars in the movie with Ringo Starr. There are guest appearances from Richard Attenborough, Spike Milligan, Roman Polanski, Rachel Welch, John Cleese, Gram Chapman and Yul Brenner. Denis O’Dell, who was the Associate Producer of this film, was also the AP of A Hard Day’s Night, Magical Mystery Tour and How I Won the War. Sounds like a winning line-up, huh? There is even a scene where it appears John and Yoko make a cameo, but when looking at the credits on IMDb, it was just two un-credited actors.

I fell asleep after the first 45 minutes and had to watch the second half the following day! The whole thing seems to want to tell a story, but without explanation as to why. Ringo was heralded for his acting in this film, but he really does nothing more than follow around Peter Sellers, his adopted billionaire dad, Guy Grand, in the movie. Ringo’s lines are limited to mostly just one sentence. The plot – they go around spending millions of dollars making rich and poor people look like asses for being so greedy. But why?

I decided that I needed to read the book for more clarity on the who, what and whys to what was happening on the screen….

So I ordered a used copy of The Magic Christian book which took way too long to arrive (damn media mail!). The book, published in 1959, is just 134 pages and can be easily read in a day. Again…it took me two.

The first difference I noticed between the book and film is that Peter Sellers didn’t match the physical description of his character Guy Grand who was “rather stout”. The various scenarios/scenes portrayed in the movie are in the book, but not necessarily in the same order, sometimes with a little more detail or a little less. And Guy Grand does pull off several more antics in the book.

But the major difference…there is no adopted son (aka Ringo’s character Youngman Grand) in the book! I spent the entirety of my reading waiting for him to pop-up, but he never did. Why? Why did Terry Southern and the other writers decide it was necessary to add this character? Was it just to add a Beatle to the film’s line-up and pull in his fan base? Sure seemed that way to me, but I’ll have to do a little research to be sure. Either way, it didn’t work…the critics hated the movie, but loved the book.

So, did I find my answer to the who, what and why of the film in the pages of the book. No. I’ve read it’s an observance of greed in America, but the film was set in England. Does that mean that the author/screenwriters thinks Brits are as greedy as Americans? I have no clue what he thinks. My advice is, don’t feel obligated to watch or read this story because you’re a Beatles or Ringo Starr fan! And for that reason…

I rate the movie: 1 out of 3 Beetles!

 

 

 

I rate the book: 2 out of 3 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

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I Saw The Beatles – Episode 3 06/26 by I Saw The Beatles | Pop Culture

Welcome back to I Saw The Beatles! Today, we’ll be speaking with Harold Montgomery of Hopland, California who saw The Beatles perform in Boston when he was 17.

Source: I Saw The Beatles – Episode 3 06/26 by I Saw The Beatles | Pop Culture

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