Author: Rob Sheffield
Title: Dreaming the Beatles
Narrator: Rob Sheffield
Publication Info: HarperCollins Publishers, 2017
Previously Read by This Author: Love is a Mix Tape, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran
Even the author wonders what anyone could possibly say about the Beatles. Sheffield’s approach is to look at the Beatles story through the lens of how they’ve remained beloved icons to this day appealing to people who discover them long after they broke up (the author and myself included). Sheffield has a funny way of retelling famous Beatles stories as well as poking holes in a lot of accepted wisdom. One essay on the song “Dear Prudence” contains a lot of the factors in Sheffield’s approach. First he notes that Paul plays the drums because it was recorded at a time when Ringo quit the band and ponders what they may have been thinking or feeling not knowing if Ringo would ever return. Second, he talks about a common theme he sees in many Beatles song lyrics, that while they are putatively written addressing a girl, that they were often a means in which the Beatles could talk to one another. Finally, the actual subject of the song, Prudence Farrow, is famous for needing to be “rescued” from meditating too long in her tent, but Sheffield points out that she was just fine and didn’t need rescuing by a bunch of bored rock stars. Sheffield writes with a lot of humor and joy as he attempts to unravel the continuing appeal of the Beatles.
Recommended books: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll by Elijah Wald