A world-renowned Beatles expert will shed light on one of the band’s most popular songs at 2 p.m. today in the School of Music Recital Hall.
In the lecture, University of Michigan professor Walter Everett will speak about one of the more popular Beatles songs, “A Day in the Life,” going into descriptive detail of the composition.
“We’ll talk about what inspired the lyrics, look at how John Lennon and Paul McCartney combined song fragments that they had written separately, listen to a lot of recordings of work in progress to see how different piano, guitar, bass, drums, percussion and vocal parts were created and improved upon, and see how the orchestra parts were recorded to give the track its great weight,” Everett said.
During the lecture, Everett said he will describe the recording process from the group’s earliest attempts and talk about listening to the guitar lines and drum parts that were discarded.
Everett will examine the recording-session photographs of John, Paul, George, Ringo and full orchestra and look closely at the harmonies, rhythms and underlying messages.
As a music professor music at the University of Michigan since 1989, Everett has lectured and presented his work on both classical and popular music worldwide.
“I’ve done research in a number of different areas —Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, and lots of other rock musicians from Paul Simon and Steely Dan to Radiohead and Death Cab for Cutie, but I started with the Beatles and will stay with them as long as I exist,” Everett said.
Galante Professor of Music Theory and Director of Graduate Studies David Smyth described Everett as “engaged and engaging.”
“He is a remarkably productive and talented scholar in the field of music theory,” Smyth said. “He’s made a sub-specialty out of the music he grew up with.”
Everett has served and been a fellow at the Mannes Institute for Advanced Studies in Music Theory, given a keynote lecture for the Society for Music Theory, and has been the recipient of the Kjell Meling Award for Distinction in the Arts and Humanities.
“As a 9-year-old, I saw the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show and I knew right then and there that music would be my life,” Everett said. “I still have the first Beatles records I bought, almost 50 years later.”
His two-volume study “The Beatles as Musicians” has been called “the most important book on the Beatles yet to appear,” according to a press release. In 2009, Oxford published his even more far-reaching study, “Foundations of Rock: From ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ to ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.’”
“We’re getting to hear from an expert about a very relevant band, even today,” said music performance senior Luke Scallan. “He can enlighten us about things we know or maybe we don’t know about The Beatles.”
This event, which is free and open to the public, will mark the 50th anniversary of production of the Beatles’ first album.