It was back to the 1960s at Charing Cross Library last Friday when we recalled the days of Beatlemania with Aaron Krerowicz, America’s only full-time professional Beatles scholar.
Using a mixture of slide show, music clips and audio interview extracts from the band, he described the Beatles career from start to break-up. He showed how they developed, both musically and lyrically, and demonstrated the influence of other musicians, notably Carl Perkins and Bob Dylan. Paul McCartney claimed:
“If there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles”.
Aaron also described the innovations that the Beatles themselves pioneered, some of which could only be achieved on a studio recording..
It was considered a matter of personal preference which was the best of the Beatles albums, although it was generally agreed that Abbey Road had the best contributions from the pen of George Harrison.
The enduring appeal of the Beatles is undoubted – only next door the Garrick Theatre has been staging Let it Be, a tribute to the Beatles, while earlier this week the Metro had a feature about a Soho restaurant that was displaying a collection of previously unseen photos of the band on tour in the USA.
The audience, some 40-50 strong, were predominantly (like myself) people who had lived through the Beatles era. Many were quite knowledgeable about the group themselves and Aaron gained some new facts himself during the Q & A session. The discussion could probably have gone on for several hours, but sadly we had to draw matters to a close and prepare the library for opening the following day, with a reminder to the audience that, if they wanted more, Aaron would be giving another different talk at St. John’s Wood Library the next day, before returning to the States.
A ‘fab’ time was had by all:
‘Great informed presentation, fantastic’
‘Lively and well documented presentation’
‘Wonderful music lesson!’
St John’s Wood Library also enjoyed welcoming Aaron Krerowicz on Saturday 18 July for his presentation ‘The Beatles’ Alter Ego, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’.
As St John’s Wood Library is a stone’s throw away from Abbey Road, it was a delight to have such an expert here to tell us about the production, collaboration and inspiration behind the iconic album.
Aaron Krerowicz’s books will shortly be available to borrow from St John’s Wood Library.