The Beatles and their World

Curious Minds Speaker Series


Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Thu, May 16 1:00 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Thu, May 23 1:00 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Thu, May 30 1:00 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Thu, Jun 6 1:00 PM


Thursdays, May 16 - June 20, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

In this series from Curious Minds favourite, Dr. Mike Daley, we track the musical development of the Beatles, starting from the earliest days in Liverpool, moving through the excitement of Beatlemania, the rush of psychedelia, and the maturity of their studio years.

While the focus is on the music, we also consider how recording techniques, the music business, the music of other artists, and the larger culture of the 1960s affected John, Paul, George and Ringo as they created their classic works.

This course is led by Dr. Mike Daley, a music historian and professional musician who has taught at Guelph, McMaster, Waterloo and York Universities. His past courses at Hot Docs have included Leonard Cohen: Words and Music; The Music of Yonge St. and Yorkville; and Satisfaction: The Story of the Rolling Stones.

Promotional Partners: Kops Records and The Royal Conservatory of Music

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May 16: The Quarry Men

We'll examine the early lives of the members of the Beatles against the larger backdrop of postwar Liverpool. Their formative cultural influences, from Elvis and Lonnie Donegan to the Goon Show, will also be covered. From the formation of John Lennon's teenage band The Quarry Men through early club dates in Liverpool, we'll look at the roots of the Beatles.

May 23: The Early Beatles

The embryonic Beatles honed their craft at tough Liverpool suburban dances, in Hamburg, Germany, and at the Cavern Club. When Brian Epstein signed on as their manager in early 1962, the wheels were set in motion for their signing with EMI Records and their first hit singles.

May 30: Beatlemania through 1964

The Beatles conquered England in 1963 and the rest of much of the world in 1964. In this class we'll track the halcyon days of Beatlemania, including their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show and first film, A Hard Day's Night.

June 6: Transitional years - 1965-66

In 1965-66 the Beatles rewrote the rules of rock and roll music, particularly in the recording studio. We'll discuss their rapid artistic evolution in this period, leading up to the end of their touring days and the release of their world-beating album Revolver.

June 13: Peak of creativity - 1967-68

With their innovative 1967 recordings including ‘Strawberry Fields Forever,’ the Beatles sealed their position at the top of pop music. The sudden death of their manager, Brian Epstein, in August 1967 threw the band into organizational turmoil. 1968 saw them creating a sprawling double album and starting their own company, Apple.

June 20: The Breakup - 1969-70

The ill-fated Get Back film project was an attempt to return to form, but inter-band relations were in decline, aided by drug abuse and simmering personal resentments. The final breakup was acrimonious and played out over years in the courts. Meanwhile the individual Beatles began their solo careers. We'll discuss these later years and the Beatles' legacy today.