John Kruth speaks with OnMilwaukee

John Kruth, author of the book This Bird Has Flown: The Enduring Beauty of Rubber Soul, Fifty Years On, was interviewed by digital magazine On Milwaukee.  He spoke of his book and the album that inspired it. Read below to learn more!


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While the world glorifies “Sgt. Pepper,” many die-hard Beatles fans credit 1965’s “Rubber Soul” for kicking off the Beatles’ experimental phase. Musician and author John Kruth explores why in his new book.

As we edge closer to the 50th anniversary of this transitional and important Beatles record, we caught up with Kruth – who is recording and gigging hard with his band TriBeCaStan (which just released a new CD, “Goddess Polka Dottess”) – to ask him about his new book and the record that inspired it.

OnMilwaukee: You’ve written a number of musical bios but they’ve focused on artists that I suspect you came to as an adult. But you write that the Beatles were your 4th grade passion. Was it different, in terms of inspiration and passion, to write about such a formative and early influence?

John Kruth: Rahsaan Roland Kirk was an influence on me to play flute as a 13-, 14-year-old teen. My sister’s cool boyfriend had those records, along with Herbie Mann, too.

But no one blew me away like the Beatles, having seen them on Ed Sullivan and growing up with them. Dylan and the Stones, too, of course, and I also loved Motown and Stax. Writing this book was different in some ways, in that it evoked nostalgia either for what was or how I might have liked life to have been!

OnMilwaukee:“Rubber Soul” is one of my two favorite Beatles records, in part because I’m a big fan of transitional records more than the “landmarks.” What drew you to it as a writer and a musician?

Kruth: Well you nailed it. It was the transition album! I also adore “Revolver” and a lot of people asked how did I decide to write about “Rubber Soul.” First of all this December 2015, will be the album’s 50th year anniversary – a frightening thought to many of us – so it’s a “timely” topic.

But “Rubber Soul” is so rich – the first time George uses the sitar – on “Norwegian Wood,” Paul employs jazz chords on “Michelle,” John evokes Weill and Brecht on “Girl,” Ringo sings country on “What Goes On” on the Brit pressing. Paul’s “I’ve Just Seen a Face” seemed to spell out I was everything I was searching for in a love relationship, overtly as romantic as it was. It’s such a great tune. I still play the song on guitar at home or for friends at parties from time to time.

Read the rest of the interview at OnMilwaukee.com!

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About HLPAPG

Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on November 30, 2015, in Music Fans, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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