Top Five Beatles Podcasts

One of the joys of my lockdown/house-husband-father period, early 2020-late 2021 was the discovery of, and freedom to listen to, Beatles Podcasts. For what it’s worth, and for those who are interested, here is my personal top five.

The Beatles arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport, 7 February 1964
  1. Something About the Beatles

Presented by Richard Rodriguez, but it’s well worth going back to listen to the earlier episodes when British podcaster Richard Buskin was his co presenter. The two had an almost Lennon and McCartney like creative tension between them, and the show has never quite scaled the same heights since the seemingly irrecoverable breakdown of the relationship between the two of them a couple of years or so back.  Still, for sheer depth of knowledge and intelligent discussion, it’s hard to beat. Buskins’ solo podcast Beatles Naked doesn’t make my top five, but is certainly deserving of an honourable mention.

Something About The Beatles

  • Glass Onion on John Lennon

OK, ‘Lennon’ rather than strictly ‘Beatles’, but you can’t really have one without the other, and in any case the strength of this podcast lies in the sheer breadth of subject matter covered by presenter Antony Rotundo and his wide-ranging variety of guests. Frequently, discussions will, sometimes planned and more often not, veer off into the realms of psychology, conspiracy/alternative media, philosophy and much else beside. Its centre piece is perhaps what Antony has termed the ‘Coleman-Goldman’ debate, in other words, the question of whether or not the essence of John Lennon’s life and career is more accurately reflected in Ray Coleman’s somewhat hagiographic 1985 biography, or in Albert Goldman’s much more controversial Lives of Lennon three years later? Antony also presents Film Gold, an excellent film review podcast, and the more general, and also excellent, Life and Life Only.

Glass Onion: On John Lennon – YouTube

  • I Am the Eggpod

The most mainstream podcast on the list, in that it’s presented by Chris Shaw who has a background in more ‘old-style’ traditional media, and that many of the guests tend to be BBC/Guardian journalist types, with a smattering of musicians. Still, the usual format of taking a single album, Beatles or solo Beatles, and discussing it between track clips, almost always makes for an entertaining hour.

I am the EggPod | A jaunty stroll through Pepperland discussing The Beatles & solo Beatle albums with a pot pourri of delicious guests.

  • Things We Said Today

The first one I got into listening to and, I think, the oldest on the list. It is also the only one of my choices that doesn’t feature any audio clips at all. The three presenters are the scholarly Allan Kozinn, the former classical music critic for the New York Times, and long running American radio presenters Ken Michaels and Darren de Vivo. The opening ‘news’ section related by Michaels, which can feature items so tangential to the Beatles story as to be ridiculous, can be a bit waring, but once we get past that the main discussion is usually stimulating enough.

Things We Said Today – A Beatles radio show – YouTube

  • One Sweet Dream

Presented by Diana Erickson. The Beatles story, in particular the break up and the relationship between John and Paul told, and at very great length, from a radical feminist perspective. It can be infuriating, especially the tendency to denounce all male Beatles podcasters and Beatles authors, even the preeminent Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, as ‘jean-jackets’, and to spend far too long correcting a ‘Lennon-centric’ narrative that was in reality demolished more than two decades ago. Nevertheless, it’s different, and It’s good. Its sister podcast is Another Kind of Mind, with Diana’s former co presenter Phoebe, which covers similar ground.

One Sweet Dream (onesweetdreampodcast.com)

A review of Peter Jackson’s Get Back to follow shortly.

Anthony C Green, January 2022

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