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BEACH BOYS vs BEATLEMANIA: Rediscovering Sixties Music by G. A. De Forest

BEACH BOYS vs BEATLEMANIA: Rediscovering Sixties Music

by G. A. De Forest

448 pages
The Beach Boys and the Beatles -- rivals in Sixties Music.

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About the Book
February 2, 2008: #82 bestseller on Amazon.com's hot 100 list in the Music History & Criticism category.

Published immediately after the 'Beach Boys’ tour of Australia and New Zealand in November 2007 is the first major nonfiction publication from New Zealand-based writer G. A. De Forest. Beach Boys vs Beatlemania: Rediscovering Sixties Music sets forth a polemic that serious Beach Boys observers have reiterated over the decades: that this Sixties group has not only been shortchanged measured up against longtime (it’s been 43 years) media favorites the Beatles but is superior to them.

Those longhaired lovers from Liverpool shrewdly moved with every trend, reformed from leather-jacketed toughs by manager Brian Epstein into innocuous but very charming ‘moptops’, morphing on Bob Dylan’s influence into darlings of mid-Sixties counterculture ruled in a triumvirate by Dylan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, each taking turns at being ‘counter’ to whatever irked them. This culminated in Beatle John Lennon’s 1966 claim that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. While reviled through the Bible Belt (much narrower then), the group carried on as popular as ever, except in their homeland, until their vituperative breakup announced in April 1970, when it was seen that—contrary to the fab, all-you-need-is-love exterior—there was something rotten in Apple.

Regardless, all four carried on highly popular as solo performers and Lennon and later George Harrison were martyred in turn by fans of the mystique the group and those around them had created. The pristine image remains largely intact by consensus of the mass media, one can only surmise for business reasons. And the fallacy that they improved rock by giving a second-hand standardized version of it, and reintroducing Music Hall, children's singalongs and lullabies, Easy Listening, show tunes, Europop, C&W, Classical and psychedelia as the market warranted, goes on under its own mythology with all the strength of more British blarney in 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harrypottermania'.

Tracing the Beach Boys’ Sixties career, focus is on the period of competition from 1962 when both groups were rising—the Beach Boys breaking internationally in fall that year, the Beatles growing through the British Commonwealth and breaking out a year later, followed rapidly by their conquest of the USA early 1964. By this time, harrassed by British parent company EMI and Parlophone’s creative head George Martin—the Beatles’ record producer and indispensable collaborator—American sister Capitol caved in and adopted the Beatles as its supremely favored act over the Beach Boys: Destiny was maneuvered over Capitol’s management and A&R men, who to a man had rejected the Beatles’ recordings one after the other through 1963.

In its 448 pages the book strives to explain how this happened and its consequences not only for the Beach Boys but American rivals the Four Seasons, an array of popular girl groups, and a score of major African American Soul acts—all striving to maintain artistic integrity in the face of an unbeatable, hydra-headed industry called the Beatles.

 

Reviews
This book is a fierce and proud witness... with excellent remarks, detailed descriptions and perfect comments. Gary De Forest wonderfully knows how to tell the life and the great achievements of these two fantastic pop bands who have changed forever our lives and history definitively.
- ALDO PEDRON, 'Jam' magazine -- Italy
G. A. De Forest... has written a book that is both fascinating and frustrating... using his impressive grasp of musical trends and various genres' tidal forces to knit together an enlightening overview of the era\'s rapidly changing soundscape... worth picking [also] for his often arresting glimpses into pop music's most volatile era.
- Bert Wheadon, BeachBoys: The Complete Guide

 

 

About the Author
G. A. De Forest was born in the United States (Honolulu) and raised and educated in Auckland, New Zealand. A serious writer since age 22, thirty years of self-teaching to research, write and rewrite have led through nonpublishing to self-publishing, now to his first serious publishing project.

 

 

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