Many of you know my history (and passion) as a Beatleologist. There’s someone out there who runs rings around me in that respect however, Scott Freiman, who over the past several years has created and delivered a highly informative and entertaining set of lectures called “Deconstructing the Beatles”.
Historically Scott has toured the country delivering these lectures initially ‘live’ at universities, then remotely through alliances with art house movie theaters, and most recently online directly to ticket buyers given the pandemic.
As an archivist, Scott shares all manner of photos, video clips, and other rare and unique memorabilia to illustrate his points in his very entertaining multimedia presentations — typically dissecting and analyzing each album and each song that the Beatles did in painstaking detail (as well as performances and recording sessions).
These presentations are really enjoyable; Scott’s delivery is enthusiastic and highly engaging as his breadth of knowledge seems to know no bounds. He literally transports his audiences into an immersive experience of sound and video. He educates the viewer on what influenced their music, what was going on when the songs were recorded, the instrumentation and arrangements, who played on what, where they were recorded and so much more; all manner of trivia and technical details.
Scott also dives into music theory as he analyzes each song, and even demonstrates chords by playing elements of the song on a keyboard himself for a deep dive effect. For anyone who loves the Beatles, these presentations are really insightful. I always learn interesting trivia that I didn’t know previously (for example — he shares producer notes on instruments, vocals and experimentation they played with in the studio on “Paperback Writer” for the album Revolver, and then he plays those clips). And why Paul was wearing glasses in the video for the same song; he’d been in an accident and hadn’t been ‘fixed up’ yet. For someone like me who really gets into these specifics, we can geek out on things we otherwise never would have been exposed to.
It’s great fun to sit through one of these lectures “live” in real time; I’ve done it many times — then you get audience participation and interaction in the chat as well. But Scott has also made this series available for sale (each album on its own or as a collection) both on DVD and streaming. So there’s no excuse for Beatleologists not to dive in and devour this terrific info; I highly recommend it!