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Anonymous asked:

Your episode about Klein and the relationship between John and Brian… I’ve never agreed with someone so much. A lot of things Brian did because he was biased towards John were very unprofessional (and Paul was right to be irritated at some of them) and yet they’re always either forgotten (by the Jean Jackets) or romanticised (by the fans, especially the youngest).

Our Tumblr Asks
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Thanks very much for this feedback!  

There are so many problematic assumptions baked into the Beatles story, it’s amazing.  One of the worst, in our view, is the idea that Lennon was entitled to act however he wanted with total impunity and that everyone in the Beatles universe was obligated to serve and capitulate to Lennon’s needs only.  To even challenge this assumption is radical in some circles.  We think it’s time for this to change!

One of our baseline assumptions about the Lennon-McCartney partnership is that they considered each other equals, and that there absolutely was no “junior and senior partner.“ Operating under this assumption, it’s reasonable to argue  that Paul’s needs were every bit as important, and should have been equally represented by management.  And the idea that he should have capitulated to a manager that was aggressively hostile and abusive to him (Klein) is absurd. We can’t believe that some writers are even floating this idea and we think it only reflects how skewed the thinking is.

For more on Klein and Epstein, check out Episode 4 of our ongoing Break-up Series

Listener Mailbag – Sept. 30, 2019

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Listener feedback is valuable to us, and we love it when
someone takes the time to reach out and engage us in conversation!  

This listener offers several compelling and interesting counter-points to the previous listener-letter’s assertion that the imbalances regarding McCartney’s critical reputation (and fandom toxicity regarding McCartney in general) have been redressed.  We don’t agree that they have, and this listener has made many similar observations.

Please feel free to email us at akompodcast at gmail dot
com, send us an ask, or a Tumblr message.


We love hearing from you!

Listener’s letter:
 

Thank you guys so much for all of your hard work on this podcast! I’ve had an absolute blast listening to all the episodes, and I’m sure there are many who look
forward to it just as much as I do. My letter is partially in response to
another listener’s letter (the one who stressed that the jean-jacket narrative
is no longer as prevalent as it once was).

I really loved your response, and I simply wanted to express that, whatever their
experience with the Beatles’ narrative might’ve been, mine has been the exact
opposite. I’m pretty young and my parents never really listened to the Beatles.
I knew about the Beatles and Paul McCartney, but I was so naive to their story
that it never really clicked that Paul was even in the Beatles until I became
immersed in their lore (I had never even heard of George Harrison. Whoops,
sorry Georgie). So, I was as blank a slate as they come.

I’ve been absolutely devouring Beatles media for the past three months. And being a Paul fan in 2019? Still really difficult due to the toxicity of the fandom. Obscure books about John Lennon or the group as a whole are far easier to track down than Paul books.

It took an embarrassingly long time to discover that Paul even had an authorized
semi-autobiography. (The cringeworthy lack of attention toward Ringo and George hasn’t escaped my notice, either. Their legacy has been seriously neglected) And a lot of the books I’ve managed to get my hands on tend to take unprovoked jabs at Paul’s legacy: two of the “Paul books” I’ve bought recently were prefaced, essentially, with “I’ve never liked Paul because I resented the way
the women in my life so obviously enjoyed him.” Both the Norman and Clayson
biographies began this way, and it just seemed so unnecessary.

Now I have to do extensive research before purchase to avoid wasting money on books that disdain Paul for qualities outside of his control. It was baffling that these men thought, despite their personal jealousies, that they were qualified to not only write biographies but to include their personal issues in the preface
without having their legitimacy questioned. I’d never seen anything like it.

When books or media praise him, the majority of it seems to be for his appearance. Even Cynthia Lennon, bless her old lady heart (loved her book John, by the way, read it ‘cause you guys recommended it), when it came to describing each Beatle in an interview, described a man who had been a true friend to her for decades as ‘Pretty… so, so pretty.’ The other three Beatles consistently get remarks as to their wit and talent, but few people, even some of his close friends, seem to get past Paul’s looks.

To the untrained, twenty-something eye, Paul comes across as something of an adorable, grandad figure, kind of oddly amorphous in his legacy, rather than the musical genius and powerhouse he actually is. When I started to seek out his music, I was shocked at all the familiar melodies that I’d heard hundreds of times
before without ever knowing the artist. His music feels really fresh and
relevant to me, not at all dated, a huge contrast to the affable, aging persona
I’ve been fed by the media.

Paul is my favorite Beatle, but I’m not looking for media that overtly glorifies Paul in relation to his former bandmates. I just want to have historically factual,
fair media that pays respect to the people who have shaped my life and
occasionally comforted me with their art. And I don’t want to feel like I
should have to be ashamed of my enjoyment just because a group of men found my appreciation vapid and aggravating, for one reason or another.

That’s why I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed the AKOM podcast: it feels like, in a room full of toxic men screaming at the top of their lungs about nothing at all and
demanding it become truth, that women (and other varying genders) can still
bravely sit down amidst it all, have tea, and breathe some sanity into the
stupidity. Thanks again!

Our Response:

Thank you for your wonderful letter. We appreciate the feedback. We love long letters and certainly understand having a lot to say on the subject!

We have had very similar experiences to yours and agree: 

“Paul comes across as something of an
adorable, grandad figure, kind of oddly amorphous in his legacy, rather than
the musical genius and powerhouse he actually is.” 

This bothers us as well. Paul does not get the artistic credit he deserves. 

Paul himself has shown frustration with the label “the cute
Beatle” —can you imagine having written some of the world’s most famous songs and being labeled “cute” while you partner is labeled “smart” or “intellectual”
or “genius”? It must be hugely frustrating. Perhaps so much so that he has
taken to giving HIMSELF the label of genius recently! We’re all for it!

Unfortunately, it a label and bias that exists. Problem is, Paul is cute and
charming! But he is also deep and complex and brilliant and sexy, yet so many
writers and observers aren’t able to see beyond the surface-level read of him.
This hasn’t always been the case though, when we examine contemporaneous
reviews of the Beatles, we find that in the 60s Paul’s genius was taken more
seriously by some (yes, he had the label “the cute Beatle” but his talents were
also taken seriously, especially in the UK); the break-up seems to have altered
his critical evaluation.

You said: “When I started to seek out his music, I was shocked at all the familiar melodies that I’d heard hundreds of times before without ever knowing the artist.”

We are thrilled that you have discovered them. I felt this
way about Paul’s solo work as well—I  had been led to believe, by
critics, that Paul’s solo music wasn’t up to par with his Beatles work, so
approached it with trepidation. What a pleasure it was finding out they were so
very wrong. Paul’s post-Beatles work is a joy to explore. It is a treasure
chest of incredible music. 

“His music feels
really fresh and relevant to me, not at all dated, a huge contrast to the
affable, aging persona I’ve been fed by the media.”

Exactly, and Paul’s post-Beatles story is very romantic and
relevant as well. Paul’s post-Beatles period hasn’t been significantly
romanticized or mythologized….yet. 

The McCartneys themselves do a good job of it, but it hasn’t
taken hold in the popular imagination. Based on Paul’s “persona” as
it is portrayed in popular culture, one would think Paul spent his entire
post-break-up career pining for the Beatles and writing sub-standard but
commercially popular music rather than having inspired a whole other music
genre and created a goldmine of incredible music.

“Paul is my favorite
Beatle, but I’m not looking for media that overtly glorify Paul in relation to
his former bandmates. I just want to have historically factual, fair media that
pays respect to the people who have shaped my life and occasionally comforted
me with their art.”

Wouldn’t that be lovely! But it’s tough to find. It seems some of these biases
are so deeply ingrained and embedded in the Beatles story that it colors the
view of everything Paul-related. For example, what is this so-called “granny
music”? This isn’t even a thing! It’s not a genre, yet Paul’s music is
continually given this label. It’s time to stop letting John’s labels, which
were given in a fit of anger and defensiveness, define Paul and Paul’s music.
Again, there are some deep underlying assumptions in this fandom that need to
be challenged. 

“And I don’t want to
feel like I should have to be ashamed of my enjoyment just because a group of
men found my appreciation vapid and aggravating, for one reason or another.  That’s why I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed the
AKOM podcast: it feels like, in a room full of toxic men screaming at the top
of their lungs about nothing at all and demanding it become truth, that women
(and other varying genders) can still bravely sit down amidst it all, have tea,
and breathe some sanity into the stupidity. “

Ha! Well, we are thrilled to have inspired enjoyment and
relaxation with a good cup of tea! We understand the pleasure of not wanting to
constantly throw your cup at the speaker!

“Can’t wait for the next episode!!”

We hope you have enjoyed our latest episodes on the Break-up and LIB. We think we managed to challenge some deeply held believes and assumptions with our analysis. 

Thanks again for the letter, we really enjoyed it! Please
continue to share your thoughts if you are inspired!

Best, 

Diana and the AKOM Crew 

Listener Mail Bag

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Listener feedback is valuable to us, and we love it when someone takes the time to reach out and engage us in conversation!  We will occasionally feature letters we receive which spark some interesting discussion or debate (with name redacted for privacy).  Here is one of them, which was particularly interesting because it challenged us to clarify our position Mark Lewisohn, as well as how we view the state of McCartney’s critical reputation. 

Please do feel free to email us at akompodcast at gmail dot com, send us an ask, or a Tumblr message.  We love hearing from you! 

Listener’s letter:

I’m glad I discovered your podcast, you ladies are doing a great job. You’re discourse on 1968, India etc. was new and really made me think.  A couple of minor critiques: As a McCartney fan, even I have to say your advocacy of his “position” (if we can call it that) is a bit over the top and defensive. Surprisingly for Beatle fans of your age, your characterization of the critical and Beatle world consensus on Paul seems quite dated. This is 2019, not 1985. Nowadays McCartney’s standing, critically and among fans, is sky high. The Jean Jackets are not as influential as you think.  Finally, Mark Lewisohn does not deserve the derision you subject him too. He is a very serious and responsible guy, a true historian who cares about getting things right. Don’t lump him in with the hacks. Anyway, keep up the good work. I’ll be listening 

Our response, written by Phoebe:

Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to us!  We LOVE to hear from listeners and are so glad you’re enjoying the podcast.

It’s refreshing to hear that you don’t believe the Jean Jacket narratives are as influential as they once were!  We hope this is the case.  The more popular podcasts (by older “experts”) and websites all appear to be steeped in the traditional narrative, but I agree that younger fans often have a more nuanced view of things.

As far as Paul goes, this is something we’ve heard strains of before; that Paul doesn’t need you to defend him, he’s rich, he’s happy, etc.  Many people think the record has already been corrected, so what are we even reacting to?
I’d argue that it’s not about “Paul bashing” (although that still exists too) it’s about a sort of perceived artistic hierarchy  – with John at the top and Paul underneath- that many in the Beatles fandom still buy into. Lewisohn is actually one of the worst offenders in this regard because he relentlessly perpetuates this hierarchy in Tune In, and fervently continues to push it.  Lewisohn admits John is his hero and so we find that John is always the hero of The Beatles story from Mark’s POV.  That’s a perfectly fine position to have as a fan, but when you write this into a biography that claims to be unbiased, it’s problematic.  It may not wholly invalidate his work (for example, he may be a good researcher) but we believe in holding Lewisohn to at least the same standards to which we hold ourselves. 

Our goal with this podcast is to critically examine what we’re being told by those crafting the narratives and that often involves what some may consider “nitpicking.”  But in tearing down the wall we feel we should examine each brick.  
Our efforts to position Paul as an equal to John are by definition disruptive to the status quo and therefore may sometimes require an “over the top” vigilance.  However, our podcast is but a drop in the Sea of Conventional Wisdom so sometimes we decide a “squeaky wheel” approach is required to drive our point home.  It takes an extraordinary effort to challenge views that have resided in the public consciousness for fifty years!  Hopefully the occasional zeal on our part is tolerable 🙂 and we ultimately take the listener to a thought-provoking place.

Once again, thank you so much for contacting us and sharing your perspective!  We learn a lot by hearing from listeners like you, and hope you stick with us.

Sincerely,
Phoebe and the AKOM Crew

“If I Ran Away from You: Ep. 2 Pt. 2″ Love, War, and the Games that Ended the Beatles

Part 2 is here!

In the second installment of our Break-up series, Diana and Phoebe take a DEEP look into January 1969, when the Beatles record and film Let it Be.

Part 1 reflects on the sub-textual conversation revealed in their behaviors and their music.  Part 2 (this one) looks at some of the underlying issues of the break-up as they play out in this period.

This multi-part series explores the emotional roots of the Beatles break-up with a focus on Lennon/McCartney.

Where to listen

Anonymous asked:

Thank you so much for this podcast. Someone had to do it (!!!) but I’m glad you’re doing such an excellent job of it. I might be your biggest fan, I was so hungry for this specific content that I’ve listened to some of the episodes 3-4 times already. But I’m probably not the only one and I’m sure you’re making something that will last and be important to a lot of people. Thanks again – I hope it’s fun to make – I look forward to every next episode!

Our Tumblr asks

Wow, thank you so much for this kind feedback! It always feels good to know that people are enjoying what we make!

It does indeed take a lot of time and effort to make this podcast, but we have a great time doing it!

Thanks for listening to us, and we hope you keep enjoying us for a long time to come!

Do you like us?

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Hello Dear Listeners!  

If you enjoy our podcast, we have a favor to ask of you!  

If you listen in iTunes/Apple Music, and you haven’t already, could you do us a kind favor and leave us a 5 star rating or review so other Beatles fans can find us?  

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Reviews and ratings in iTunes/Apple Podcasts can raise the show’s visibility for more listeners – and since we work hard on our episodes and love what we’re doing, we like that. 🙂

Additionally, if you haven’t followed us on our other social media, please feel free to follow and share to your heart’s content. 😀

And as always, thank you so much for listening, everyone! ❤ 

Our first review!

Lindsay at 25YL left us this beautiful review in 25YL’s feature “What’s the Buzz!”  This was really encouraging and uplifting to read.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for this! 🙂

“There is no shortage of sources for information about The Beatles. The most popular music group in history has had thousands of books, articles, documentaries—thousands upon thousands of words written or spoken—etc, all produced about them. And now nearly 60 years since they first came together onstage as The Beatles, especially in the post-Beatles Anthology years, it would seem as though nothing more needs to be said. But as younger fans take up the mantle of musicological scholarship about the Fab Four from the hands of the Baby Boomers who first knew and revered and wrote hagiographies about them, an interesting thing has begun to happen.

This is where Another Kind of Mind: A Fresh Look at The Beatles, a new Beatles podcast, steps in. Fronted by a group of passionate young women (somewhere around the Gen-X/Millennial age boundary) AKOM enters the ring determined to wade through the bullshit of Beatles discourse to try to get to the heart of some of the issues surrounding the fandom.

They’re only a month old, but so far they’ve tackled Ringo Starr’s musical style and contributions to the band, George Harrison’s involvement in “How Do You Sleep?”, John Lennon’s song-attack on Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono’s artistic output (both as a competent and interesting solo artist and as John‘s final creative partner), and the intense Lennon/McCartney relationship. Not bad for a brand-new podcast!”

May I Introduce to You: The Minds Behind Another Kind of Mind

Welcome to our introductory episode, where we will walk you through who we are, why we wanted to do a podcast, and how we will approach the topics we plan to tackle in the future. Thanks for joining us! “We hope you will enjoy the show!”

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We are on: Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Player.FM, and more!

Click here to listen

Please like, follow, subscribe, rate, review, and reblog to your heart’s content to help more Beatles fans find us! 🙂