Not according to Scott Freiman. The New York-based composer/producer has devoted an entire lecture series to it, and in the process, invented a whole new genre of music criticism. Freiman calls his lectures “multimedia presentations,” but they sound more like the fantasies of a Beatles fanatic realized: discussions that examine the band’s music down to the minutiae, supplemented by the sorts of rare demos and little-known anecdotes that make fans salivate.
Freiman is quick to point out that you don’t need to be Beatles-obsessed to connect with their music.
“Everyone relates to the Beatles in some way, and [people] always get something out of the show, whether it’s appreciation for how the Beatles worked in the studio, or what the technology was like, or the influence of their songs,” he says.
On Monday, June 18—Paul McCartney’s 70th birthday—Freiman will present A Trip Through Strawberry Fields at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. The show focuses on three influential Beatles songs: the 1967 single “Strawberry Fields Forever” and its B-side “Penny Lane,” plus “A Day in the Life” from the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Though released separately, all three songs were recorded later in 1966, all three revolutionized the way pop music was written and produced, and all three possess that ineffable quality that makes certain songs achieve greatness.
“Strawberry Fields Forever” is particularly special, says Freiman, because “it’s the one song in the whole Beatles canon where we have everything from the original demo that John Lennon did, all the way through the various versions that the Beatles worked on until they got to the final version. It’s a really interesting story that many people don’t know, about how Strawberry Fields came together.”
A TRIP THROUGH STRAWBERRY FIELDS: DECONSTRUCTING THE BEATLES
COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE
290 HARVARD ST.