Beatles Author Mark Lewisohn At The Paley Center
By Fred Velez
Mark Lewisohn and Fred Velez
On Friday October 25, the Paley Center (formerly the Museum of TV & Radio) in New York City held a special panel discussion on ‘The Beatles Meet America’, featuring Beatles author Mark Lewisohn and filmmaker Al Maysles, hosted by NY Times writer Allan Kozinn. Lewisohn was also promoting his new definitive Beatles biography ‘Tune In’.
Kozinn and Lewisohn talked about the early American Rock music scene that helped to influence and shape the Beatles as a group before they actually stepped foot on American soil in February of 1964. Film clips were shown of the American artists who inspired them like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Fats Domino, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran.
The famous Granada TV footage of the Beatles at the Cavern Club and scenes from the Maysles Brothers documentary of the Beatles first American visit were also screened. Al Maysles joined in the discussion and the panel took questions from members of the audience.
Al Maysles, Mark Lewisohn and Allan Kozinn
The members of the Fab 4 Free 4 All podcast were there and Mitch Axelrod of the group asked the question about Mark’s thoughts on the song ‘Early Years’ from Paul McCartney’s album ‘NEW’ which appeared to take Beatle authors to task about writing the groups’ history when they weren’t around when those events place. Lewisohn answered the question honestly, that he felt a meticulously researched and neutral biography needed to be written, and he purposely did not conduct any new interviews with Paul and Ringo for the book, as he already had hours of previously recorded interviews and felt a more “authorized” book would be too controlled, which makes more sense in regard to a neutral look at the group’s story.
With the Fab 4 Free 4 All: Mitch Axelrod, Rob Leonard and Tony Traguardo.
Mark Lewisohn and May Pang
Among others in the audience were Beatles convention promoter Mark Lapidos, Beatlefan writer Al Sussman and John Lennon’s former assistant and girlfriend May Pang. Advance copies of Lewisohn’s book ‘Tune In’ were available for sale at the Paley Center and were signed by Lewisohn. Meeting Mark again was great as he’s a very interesting and humorous person and very gracious with his time, a real gentleman.
It was a fun and informative evening and we appreciated that the Paley Center held this wonderful Beatles event.
Fred Velez, 2013