Fall 2019 – The Beatles and Their World


The Beatles and Their World
Presented by Dr. Mike Daley
Thursdays, 10 October to 28 November 2019

October 10 Background
We will examine the family backgrounds and childhoods of the Beatles, as well as the larger backdrop of postwar Liverpool. Their formative cultural influences, from Elvis and Lonnie Donegan to the Goon Show, will also be covered.

October 17 The Early Beatles
From the formation of John Lennon’s teenage band, The Quarrymen, through early club dates in Liverpool and Hamburg, we’ll look at the evolution of the Beatles before fame. Germany sparked something in the young Beatles, and their rise was rapid from this point. We’ll take the story up to their signing with EMI and first few singles.

October 24 Beatlemania
The Beatles conquered England in 1963 after “Please Please Me” went to #1 on the charts. The phenomenon dubbed “Beatlemania” followed. We will track the halcyon days of worldwide Beatlemania, including their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and their first film, A Hard Day’s Night.

October 31 The Beatles in Canada – Guest Lecturer Piers Hemmingsen
The Beatles’ Canadian connections, including family members who lived in Canada, a couple of Canadian interviews – probably John and George – and an overview of their nine Canadian concerts.

November 7 Recasting Popular Music
In 1965 the Beatles rewrote the rules of rock and roll music, particularly in the recording studio. In 1966 the Beatles continued experimenting in the recording studio and stopped touring. We will look at their rapid artistic evolution in this period and their epochal album, Revolver.

November 14 Peak of Creativity
With their innovative 1967 recordings, including “Strawberry Fields Forever” and the Sgt. Pepper album, the Beatles sealed their position at the top of pop music. But the sudden death of their manager, Brian Epstein, in August 1967 threw the band into organizational turmoil.

November 21 Dark Clouds
1968 saw the Beatles creating a sprawling double album and starting their own company, Apple. While their success continued with hits like “Hey Jude,” relations within the group were becoming strained and the band was looking for a new direction.

November 26 The Breakup and Aftermath
The ill-fated Get Back film project was an attempt to return to form, but inter-band relations were in decline, aided by drug abuse and simmering personal resentments. The final breakup was acrimonious and played out over years in the courts. In the wake of their breakup, the individual Beatles began their solo careers. We’ll discuss these later years and the Beatles’ legacy today.