Music journalist Mark Brickley has published dozens, interviews, articles and music columns in the Coastal View News, Ojai Quarterly Magazine, Deep Magazine, Carpinteria Magazine and online at Noozhawk.com. His music writing has featured The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul & Mary), Country legend Merle Haggard, classical conductor Nir Kabaretti and Latin percussionist Luis Conte.
The author’s photographs often accompany his published writing. He uses a Nikon D3100 with multiple lenses. Brickley is also a musician whose videos can be viewed on YouTube.com. His recordings “Berkeley Hills,” “Lincoln’s Lament” and “Love Finds Everyone,” are available on iTunes.com and CD Baby.com. The author lives near Santa Barbara, California.
Q: Why did you decide to write a book about the Beatles?
Mark Brickley: I’m transported by the Beatles harmonies. I wanted to explore how they created their sound, who influenced their songwriting and describe the power of their music. The Beatles were a musical tsunami and their songs still spark and glow, over fifty years after they were written. It’s like they are in the same room– signing directly to you.
Q: What are the most overlooked aspects of the Beatles legacy?
Brickley: Their musicianship and cohesiveness as a band. The Beatles viewed themselves as professionals and worked hard to perfect their craft as musicians and vocalists. Deep vocal emotion and unusual phrasing drove their melodies and harmonies. They were also a focused, close knit group. At their mid-sixties peak the Beatles inner circle consisted of personal manager Brian Epstein, road manager Neil Aspinall, personal assistant Mal Evans, press officer Derek Taylor and publicist Tony Barrow.
Q: When did you begin the book and how long did it take to write?
Brickley: I wrote Postcards over four years while working as a music writer and newspaper columnist. I began researching the new book in 2012 by reading every major Beatles author. My print and video library now has over 125 Beatles titles. Each book I finished inched me closer to answering my questions about the band’s creative process.
Q: What were the most unexpected facets of your 2015 trip to Liverpool?
Brickley: The friendliness of the city…The lush landscape where Lennon and McCartney grew up. It’s so green and leafy…Harrison’s and Starr’s row homes were more modest… finding the Hard Day’s Night Hotel is located around the corner from the Cavern Club on Mathew Street … learning that “Scouse” (the descriptive name of Liverpool’s droll accent) is also a tasty, spicy meat and potato stew…