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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Octopus' Garden Review of "Music Legends in the Heavens" Book

6:01 PM Posted by Nicole M
Adapted with permission from Octopus' Garden fanzine, Volume 29, Issue #3, March 2020. Review by Tom Aguiar.

Music Legends In The Heavens by Terri Whitney. Rockin’ Rhymer.

From a very early age, Terri Whitney has had two passions: music and poetry. Both were encouraged by her parents and Terri brought both of these passions into her everyday life. Music Legends in the Heavens is one of the ways she has done this. This is the second book that Whitney has published relating to musicians and the music they have given us. Her previous book was Any Rhyme At All: A Beatle Fan’s Journey.

Music Legends In The Heavens is a poetry book that covers 50 musicians who have gone before us, but left us with plenty of music or have been an influence on many of our current musicians. All poems have been written by Terri Whitney and each poem has its own hand-drawn illustration by Marti Edwards.

Each of the poems beautifully captures the personality of the musician that is no longer with us before presenting his or her artistic accomplishments and ending with the impact that the icon had on us culturally before leaving this world behind. Whitney creates a passage that identifies the artist in a way that reminds the reader of the gift that each musician gave to the world.

The style of Whitney’s poetry is narrative within free style structure using both 4 line and 6 line form.
Her work is well-structured and clearly conveys a feeling or attribute about the topic of the poem. Each poem is sprinkled with personal feelings or general feelings about the subject. They made a difference in people’s lives whether individually or collectively, and that message comes through in her writing.

A well-known impression of each artist at a particular moment in time is done in pencil and is strikingly captured by illustrator Marti Edwards. Edwards graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1969 and has won numerous awards for her art and designs. Marti is also a multi-media painter and works in oil, pastel, water-color, and acrylic. 

Whitney’s words, along with Edwards’ illustrations, invoke emotional images that justify the term “legend” in the title. They were not legends in our minds when they were alive because we lived with them. It was only later when they were gone that we realized their true impact in the world of music.

Music Legends In The Heavens will bring a smile to the reader’s face as it bring back memories of these 50 musical icons that helped shape music as we know it today. The book earns a grade of A.

Octopus' Garden Review of "Postcards from Liverpool" Book

5:56 PM Posted by Nicole M
Adapted with permission from Octopus' Garden fanzine, Volume 29, Issue #3, March 2020. Review by Tom Aguiar.

Postcards From Liverpool: Beatles Moments & Memories by Mark Brickley. Britpop Books.

This book explores the Beatles on a number of levels, from their sounds to how their innovations affected those close to them as well as their fans. They were a musical tsunami. From 1962 to 1970, they recorded songs that still spark and glow, and their harmonies move together like parallel lines. It feels like they are in the same room, singing directly to you.

Music journalist Mark Paul Brickley’s new book Postcards From Liverpool: Beatles Moments & Memories recounts rarely-heard tales from the Beatles’ legacy. Brickley has published dozens of interviews, articles, and music columns in a number of music magazines and online. He is also a performing musician. The book was originally published in 2017 and has been revised and re-released in 2019.

Postcards from Liverpool packs a great deal into its 200 pages, beginning with a series of eight backstories that bring to light the phenomena known as the Beatles and how the music they created continues to stand the test of time. Brickley does an excellent job of presenting their musical legacy and explains how they developed their harmonies, chord progressions, and phrasing that resonates throughout their musicianship.

Brickley also touches on the influences on the Beatles, from Motown to Dylan, and how these affected the band by reaching into their histories. He continues to show the Beatles’ progression in music through their interests such as transcendental meditation and their stay in Rishikesh, through the solo careers
to date.

The author traces the Beatles’ footsteps through London into their Liverpool childhood homes with side trips to Paul McCartney’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony, Ringo Starr’s Grammy Museum Press Conference, the Beatles exhibit at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and memories of the Fest For Beatles Fans. Each tour stop, event, and exhibition confirmed the unbreakable bond that music fans still have with the famed Liverpool band.

The 2019 book contains six interviews: James McCartney (Paul’s son), James Ferguson (lead singer
and singer/songwriter of Spirit), Apple recording artist Jackie Lomax in his last interview, Rock Hall Associate Curator Meredith Rutledge-Borger, 1960s British songwriter Mitch Murray (who had three
#1 hits including “How Do You Do It”), and Fab Four tribute band founder Ron McNeil.

Since the 2017 release of the book, Brickley embarked on a number of Beatles events including trips to London and Liverpool, the 2018 White Album Symposium at Monmouth University in New Jersey, Beatles festivals, and more.

Along with the more than 40 photographs from his personal collection, Brickley is able to show the impact of the Beatles not only on their fans, but also on society. Postcards From Liverpool is a nice remembrance that allows Brickley to bring the reader along for the ride, with some new information, in a fun way. I give Postcards from Liverpool: Beatles Moments and Memories a grade of A.