Author lets us meet the Beatles all over again
August 31, 2007
BY CELESTE BUSK email@example.com
Beatles music is alive, well and thriving, 37 years after the Fab Four stopped recording together.
Helping to keep the legendary group in the forefront is Chicago-based author June Skinner Sawyers, who released a new book late last year, Read the Beatles: Classic and New Writings on the Beatles, Their Legacy, and Why They Still Matter
(Penguin, paperback, $16).
Skinner will be on hand Wednesday at the Newberry Library on the Near North Side to talk about the book and what the Beatles have to say three generations down the line.
The program, which begins at 5:30 p.m., also will feature eight interpretations of Beatles songs by singer-songwriter Bucky Halker. Tickets are $9, including light refreshments and drinks. The library is at 60 W. Walton. Call (312) 943-9090; www.newberry.org
Q. Why write a book about the Beatles?
I was asked to write the book by Penguin Books. I said, "Are you kidding?" The book made sense. The Beatles always sell and the book has been doing well.
Q. Why would someone want to read the book?
To find out more about the Beatles and their history and to learn something they may not already know about. The book offers classic information but also essays about the Beatles by different writers, critics and musicians like Steve Earle. They all offer their own take on why the Beatles still matter and what they mean today.
Q. Why do the Beatles "still matter"?
There is no other band like them in the history of popular music. I think what makes them still relevant is that they appeal to so many different generations. Each generation finds things in their songs that mean something special to them. Each generation reacts in a different, personal way. What I find interesting is that the music is still so popular because parents continue to hand down the Beatles music to their children. At a Beatles festival or conference, I often marvel how the young kids know more Beatles trivia than their parents do.
Q. What's your favorite Beatles song?
"In My Life." I think it's so emotional -- John Lennon singing about his childhood is one of the most honest Beatles songs. It gives me goosebumps.
Q. We're nearly three generations removed from the Beatles' heyday now. How are younger people discovering this music? How are they becoming fans?
A lot of kids become fans because their parents pass on their love of Beatles music. Another reason is that their music is used so much on television commercials. A good example of the music appealing to a younger audience will come from the new movie "Across the Universe" to be released in the coming months. It uses a lot of Beatles music as jumping-off points and the cast is primarily young.
Q. What does Beatles music have to say to a new generation? A.
It says the same thing it originally said to the older generation of fans. What is heard today is still as valid as it was 37 years ago. The message is the same, although it's filtered through a modern perspective. Beatles music is timeless, and because their interests were so broad, it continues to appeal to many types of people.