The Beatles Are Here!: 50 Years after the Band Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians & Other Fans Remember

The Beatles Are Here!: 50 Years after the Band Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians & Other Fans Remember

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by Penelope Rowlands
     
 

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The arrival of the Beatles was one of those unforgettable cultural touchstones. Through the voices of those who witnessed it or were swept up in it indirectly, The Beatles Are Here! explores the emotional impact—some might call it hysteria—of the Fab Four’s February 1964 dramatic landing on our shores. Contributors, including Lisa See, Gay

Overview

The arrival of the Beatles was one of those unforgettable cultural touchstones. Through the voices of those who witnessed it or were swept up in it indirectly, The Beatles Are Here! explores the emotional impact—some might call it hysteria—of the Fab Four’s February 1964 dramatic landing on our shores. Contributors, including Lisa See, Gay Talese, Renée Fleming, Roy Blount, Jr., and many others, describe in essays and interviews how they were inspired by the Beatles.

This intimate and entertaining collection arose from writer Penelope Rowlands’s own Beatlemaniac phase: she was one of the screaming girls captured in an iconic photograph that has since been published around the world—and is displayed on the cover of this book. The stories of these girls, who found each other again almost 50 years later, are part of this volume as well. The Beatles Are Here! gets to the heart of why, half a century later, the Beatles still matter to us so deeply.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/09/2013
As a teenager, journalist Rowlands greeted the Beatles 50 years ago by holding a sign begging “Beatles Please Stay Here” with five fellow screaming Beatles fans outside the CBS studios where the group was performing on the Ed Sullivan Show. In this compulsively readable personal history, Rowlands gathers the recollections of fans, writers, musicians, and artists about the deep ways that the Beatles and their music affected them. For Joe Queenan, “She Loves You” is “the greatest song ever written… it is and always will be the song that changed the world.” “Cousin Brucie” Morrow reflects on the power of the Beatles’ music to bring change to the American music industry. Writer Verlyn Klinkenborg recalls upon listening to “Ticket to Ride” and “Help” that the songs “contain… a feeling I can’t name or describe, the language of regret, the urgency of despair. But above all they contain the love of music.” Finally, fan Linda Belfi Bartel (one of the women in the book’s cover photo) concludes that, “The era of the Beatles is so special…their music talked to you.” (Feb.)
Review quotes

“A goody bag of tributes and recollections.” —Vanity Fair

“One of the more fascinating new books on the Fab Four’s impact.” —The Boston Globe

“A great crop of recollections of the first wave of Beatlemania. There are reminiscences by fans from big cities and tiny towns, some sweet, some hilarious.” —Tampa Bay Times

“This winsome book is overwhelmingly infused with affection both for the Beatles and for the opportunity to revisit childhood and adolescent memories . . . Readers seeking a nostalgia-tinged picture of the Beatles are in for a treat.” —Library Journal

“In this compulsively readable personal history, Rowlands gathers the recollections of fans, writers, musicians, and artists about the deep ways that the Beatles and their music affected them.” —Publishers Weekly

From the Publisher
“A goody bag of tributes and recollections.” —Vanity Fair

“One of the more fascinating new books on the Fab Four’s impact.” —The Boston Globe

“A great crop of recollections of the first wave of Beatlemania. There are reminiscences by fans from big cities and tiny towns, some sweet, some hilarious.” —Tampa Bay Times

“This winsome book is overwhelmingly infused with affection both for the Beatles and for the opportunity to revisit childhood and adolescent memories . . . Readers seeking a nostalgia-tinged picture of the Beatles are in for a treat.” —Library Journal

“In this compulsively readable personal history, Rowlands gathers the recollections of fans, writers, musicians, and artists about the deep ways that the Beatles and their music affected them.” —Publishers Weekly

Library Journal
12/01/2013
Rowlands (Paris Was Ours: 32 Writers Reflect On the City of Light) gained fame as one of a group of teenage girls photographed outside New York's Delmonico Hotel in 1964, holding up a handmade sign entreating the Beatles to "please stay here 4-ever." Fifty years later, she has compiled essays from authors, journalists, critics, and musicians (Billy Joel and Janis Ian are among the more well-known contributors), as well as several other women depicted in the iconic image, reflecting on the group. Clearly a labor of love, this work is an examination of the strong emotions the band engendered, and a streak of uninhibited girlish glee runs through many of the pieces. From these endearing personal accounts, a portrait also emerges of the often staid world of 1960s suburbia, providing a richer sense of just why young people were so receptive to Beatlemania. Some writers bring a more sophisticated perspective (for instance, playwright Judy Juanita discusses the group within the context of race), but generally this winsome book is overwhelmingly infused with affection both for the Beatles and for the opportunity to revisit childhood and adolescent memories. VERDICT While this title isn't for those looking for serious sociocultural or music criticism, readers seeking a nostalgia-tinged picture of the Beatles are in for a treat.—Mahnaz Dar, Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-26
Journalist and critic Rowlands (Paris Was Ours, 2011, etc.) delivers a collection of light-as-a-feather remembrances of the Beatles' British invasion. This latest round of idol worship is mostly harmless to the rose-colored memories of Beatles fans. The author cribs an out-of-context quote by John Lennon about a "scrapbook of madness" to describe it. However, this collection is vexing in its seesawing arc among screaming tweens who remain steadfast Paul-worshipping Beatlemaniacs at 64 and beyond, all-too-clever New York intelligentsia defending careers built on iconoclasm, and the occasional superfluous blurb from the likes of Cyndi Lauper or Billy Joel (these latter bits are so bland they would be completely at home in any tribute issue of Rolling Stone). The book takes its roots from a 1964 Gay Talese article in the New York Times, "Beatles and Fans Meet Social Set." The accompanying photograph finds a screaming Rowlands at the center of the madness, flanked by identical fans, clutching a sign that reads "BEATLES PLEASE STAY HERE 4-EVER." In other entries, the author tracks down the photographer and even the other girls in the photo, but it's hard to say why these are important developments. Others are beyond superfluous. An email from the novelist Phillip Lopate simply reads, "Thanks for the offer, I'm flattered, but honestly, the Beatles had no impact on me at the time." It's telling when a book that is meant to be a nostalgic look back at a different time in America is punctuated by an acidic anecdote from the novelist Fran Lebowitz during which she recalls being at a party where Sir Paul was playing the piano. Her reaction? "Hey, I'm trying to talk here." Other contributors include Joe Queenan, Greil Marcus, Peter Ames Carlin, Pico Iyer and Barbara Ehrenreich. A bonbon for fans but a legacy better served by more substantive journalism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616203610
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
02/04/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

PENELOPE ROWLANDS has written about culture and the arts for Architectural Digest, the Daily Beast, Vogue, WSJ. Magazine, and other publications. Her books include the anthology Paris Was Ours and A Dash of Daring: Carmel Snow and Her Life in Fashion, Art, and Letters, a biography of the legendary editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar. Find her at www.peneloperowlands.com.

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The Beatles Are Here!: 50 Years after the Band Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians & Other Fans Remember 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Gina04 More than 1 year ago
Good book telling the story of the Beatles. I really liked the pictures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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