About once a month or so I have a long chat on RNZ about a particular music or a theme – for their regular Tuesday music features. Over the last two years, I’ve been slowly building up a chat on each of The Beatles.
It started late November in 2018. Jesse Mulligan asked me if I’d like to talk about George Harrison. Of course I would! He wanted some thoughts on George’s solo career. I had a big ole deep dive and we went for it. It was such fun that I was invited back. To talk about other things to do with music – but I wanted to maybe talk some more about The Beatles…
I didn’t, at first, plan to talk about all four Beatles individually – but I have always been a fan of Ringo Starr’s drumming and felt it was underrated. Maybe there a couple of shining moments in his solo career too? So I built a feature around mostly his drumming – and particularly his signature grooves and fills for the Fab Four but with some mention of his first solo releases too.
And then it occurred to me that it would be nice to do something different around Paul McCartney. He’s still alive and making music and touring and he’s the most successful songwriter of the modern pop age – so how do we talk about him a new way? Well I wanted to focus on his experimental side. It’s there hiding in plain sight all through his post-Beatles career.
Finally, I could not leave out John Lennon. Traditionally he’s been my least favourite of The Beatles. But that’s a bit like picking least favourite fingers. Or friends. He still means a lot and I love the very best of his work so much.
With the 40th Anniversary of his death just been it was the right time to look at the redemption of John the solo artist; a songwriter borne of pain, a boy born to trauma; a man taken from this life too early. So I looked at his solo decade where he went from fighting about being an ex-Beatle to enjoying being completely removed from the spotlight and then to his fateful return to making albums.
I thought if you were interested I’d place all five of my RNZ Beatles features in one handy place.
Simply click on the names below to be taken to the radio features and notes and song playlists: