There’s something about the Beatles that makes everyone come together. Explore the “Octopus’s Garden” and discover “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and more with the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) and Beatles expert and author Dr. Ken Womack, on October 22 from 7-8:30 p.m., at the North Plainfield branch.
Womack, the author of over a dozen Beatles-based books, recently released “Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles,” which examines the Beatles’ final album and demise.
“With this latest book, I have been able to refine a number of details, mostly subtle, about the making of the landmark album,” said Womack. “But the most interesting aspect of taking such a deep dive, for me, involves taking the artistic journey with the band from the beginning of the creative process through the LP’s completion. They worked staggeringly hard at crafting their music and bringing their visions to fruition. Experiencing it as it unfolds during the writing process is a wonder to behold.”
During this multimedia presentation, Womack will share the story of George Martin’s production of “Abbey Road,” the album that brought the Beatles’ career to a close. Library customers will connect with the Beatles’ history through clips and videos that demonstrate the methods Martin and the band used to assemble the essential elements of the album.
“While other (Beatles’) albums, especially ‘The White Album’ and ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ are chockfull of classic moments and artistic heights, ‘Abbey Road’ holds a vaunted place in the Beatles’ story – it’s the album that allowed them to go out at the top of their game, with a slew of unforgettable tunes and a medley that, in the end, dared us to embrace a universalizing love,” said Womack. “It is a powerful, heartbreaking, musical statement.”
“Abbey Road,” which was released in 1969, is commonly classified as one of the greatest albums of all time – having reached the number one spot on album charts in the U.S. for 11 weeks. The album continued to chart for 83 weeks during its initial release and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, a number that continues to grow.
“In Western culture, only Shakespeare matches the band in terms of holding such broad appeal across so many generations,” said Womack. “It is difficult, indeed, to compare their level of staying power with any other artist or cultural phenomenon.”
SCLSNJ’s collection features a large selection of Beatles related books, DVDs, and music CDs, which includes the band’s entire discography from their first album “Please Please Me” (1963) to their final album, “Let It Be” (1970).
“I am endlessly fascinated with understanding the Beatles’ sound and achievement,” continued Womack. “That journey keeps me coming back, again and again, to attempt to map their remarkable accomplishments. Libraries are indispensable to my work. The Beatles’ story is large and accounting for all of the voluminous detail is a challenge. Almost daily, I found myself using library resources from around the world to track down yet another detail and to verify a strand of history in terms of its accuracy.”
Explore Abbey Road and the Beatles at your Library: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/1851614.