PENELOPE ROWLANDS

AUTHOR, JOURNALIST, CRITIC...

MY LATEST BOOK:

The Beatles Are Here!: 50 Years After The Band Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians, and Other Fans Remember


I attained a somewhat hysterical form of immortality at the age of 13 when I was photographed -- screaming, of course -- at the center of a pack of girls who were loudly greeting a new band called the Beatles in New York City in September, 1964.

In a sense, The Beatles Are Here!: 50 Years After the Band Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians, and Other Fans Remember arose from that photograph, which ran the next day in The New York Times (accompanying an article by a callow young reporter named Gay Talese) and has been reprinted, in that newspaper and other publications, many times in the years since.

The Beatles! documents the impact of the band's arrival in the U.S., how those of us who were there when they burst onto the scene were changed -- radically and overnight, in some cases -- by the experience.

In this collection, writers, Beatlemaniacs, musicians, and others -- in both texts and interviews -- chart the dramatic course of what was, in effect, a cultural revolution. The book's diverse contributors include Joe Queenan, Cyndi Lauper, Renée Fleming, Roy Blount, Jr., Pico Iyer, "Cousin Brucie" Morrow, Gay Talese, and numerous others.

We girls from the Times photo are also part of the story. I didn't even know the names of my fellow screamers when we stood on that sidewalk all those years ago. Decades after the photo was published, after I wrote about my Beatlemaniac years for Vogue, one of the girls in the photo (Vickie, who's on my right) contacted me, eventually leading me to two of the others -- Joann, who's on the left in the photo and Linda, who's on the far right.

Our story is just one of the threads that weaves through The Beatles Are Here! There are many others...

Click on the 'Books' tab above to learn more about this volume (as well as some of my other books).