In last weekend's New York Times Book Review, a featured book is "The Beatles: The Biography" by Bob Spitz. At nearly 1,000 pages and the umpteenth biography of the Fab Four, you have to wonder what could Spitz possibly tell us about the Beatles that we don't already know.
But as reviewers Jane and Michael Stern enthusiastically point out, the book is loaded with compelling story after compelling story of how the Beatles came together, evolved as musicians and people, and became the cultural heroes we know and love.
And the review reminded me, once again, of the importance of bands having histories, stories, and faces. That's what attracts fans and builds loyalties that transcend iTunes and whatever else is the technological flavor of the month. If you're wondering when Rock will bounce back in a big way, let me suggest that it's going to require the record labels telling stories and building fan bases, rather than relying on the same old antiquated methods of promotion, favors, and hype.