Kenneth Womack

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Kenneth Womack

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August 2007


Kenneth Womack is a world-renowned authority on the Beatles and their enduring cultural influence. His latest book project involves a two-volume, full-length biography devoted to famed Beatles producer Sir George Martin.

Womack's Beatles-related books include Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles (2007), The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles (2009), and The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four (2014).

Womack is also the author of four novels, including John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel (2010), The Restaurant at the End of the World (2012), Playing the Angel (2013), and I Am Lemonade Lucy! (2019). He is Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University, where he
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Everything Fab Four: The Beatles at Tittenhurst Park

On Friday, August 22nd, 1969, scarcely more than 30 hours since they’d departed EMI Studios after having finally put theAbbey Roadalbum to bed, the Beatles reconvened at Tittenhurst Park, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s estate in rural Sunningdale near Ascot in Berkshire County. They had gathered together that day for a photo session. And while […]
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Published on August 22, 2019 08:57
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John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel (Select)
1 chapters   —   updated Sep 24, 2010 05:34PM
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" This would be a fascinating Don Delillo-esque book! "
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I Am Lemonade Lucy by Kenneth Womack
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I Am Lemonade Lucy by Kenneth Womack
Great question. The book is not told from the female character's point of view, but rather, from the point of view of a male high-school student who befriends her.
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“In the end—as in the beginning—it is the authentic performance of the Beatles’ peculiar, elaborate, unfettered art that matters. It is the performance that makes the text possible in the first place, that imbues it with the heartbreaking reality of our transitory existence. It is the impermanence of the moment—rendered seemingly permanent by magnetic tape and celluloid—that is so vexing in its realness that it somehow seems immutable. Take the rooftop concert, with London’s blustery, wintry winds swirling up from the streetscape as John, Paul, George, and Ringo make one last play for greatness after a month of soul-destroying misery. They climbed the stairs above 3 Savile Row and willed a final, breathtaking performance for the ages. It is the primal image of the Beatles having become lost in the pure joy of their sound, just as they had done so many years before in the Cavern and not so very long ago in Studio Two. Everything else—the gossip, the intrigue, the emotional collapse—suddenly becomes moot, irrelevant even, as Ringo keeps the backbeat strong and true on his Ludwigs, while George furrows his brow as he drives his Rosewood Telecaster home. And John and Paul, smiling at each other across the staves of memory, play their hearts out one more time. The rest is silence.”
Kenneth Womack, Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles

“Close your eyes.
Be with me.
Imagine that I am stepping off of the front stoop of my old apartment building. That I am strolling along the Upper West Side, like always. Just like any other morning.
It is a splendid, sunlit day, and I am wearing my brand-new Gucci pumps. Walking across 110th Street, I take the rustic, parkside staircase into the tiled recesses of the Cathedral Parkway station. It may have originally opened in 1904, but for my money it doesn’t look a day over 60.
I wonder, sometimes, what it must have been like to be alive back then, when all of this was different. Before the city had made, erased, and remade itself fifty times over. In my fantasy world, everything must have been slower—easier, even. I like to think that if we could somehow slow down the passage of time, if we could eke just a little bit more out of each minute, then we could get more depth out of life. That things might taste a bit richer, more diffuse. That we could experience the fullness of sound. That we could feel things more deeply—and longer.”
Kenneth Womack, The Restaurant at the End of the World

“Down here, in our Cajun Magic Kingdom, I’m the Statue of Liberty. La Liberté éclairant le monde. But uptown, where the mold and the mildew still reign supreme, I go by Tiffany Proulx, which sounds like Peru, only without the pesky e inside. Most people call me Tiff, as in a fight, albeit a very small one. More like a squabble. A misunderstanding that’s bound to sort itself out. Just give it a little time is all.”
Kenneth Womack, Playing the Angel

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“Down here, in our Cajun Magic Kingdom, I’m the Statue of Liberty. La Liberté éclairant le monde. But uptown, where the mold and the mildew still reign supreme, I go by Tiffany Proulx, which sounds like Peru, only without the pesky e inside. Most people call me Tiff, as in a fight, albeit a very small one. More like a squabble. A misunderstanding that’s bound to sort itself out. Just give it a little time is all.”
Kenneth Womack, Playing the Angel

“As the streets begin to overflow with police cruisers and satellite vehicles, with fire trucks and ambulances on high alert, you continue walking ever northward, back towards the interstate that delivered you into Oklahoma City. And as the news helicopters begin circling overhead, you hitch a ride out of town with a trio of suburban carpoolers eager to flee their city in ruins. Settling into the backseat of a Range Rover next to a dazed, bespectacled CPA—'Who would do such a thing?' she mutters, over and over, in disbelief—you brush your fingers across your forehead, feeling, for the first time, the lumpy, coagulated texture of the dried blood that coats your naked skin like a shell.”
Kenneth Womack, John Doe No. 2 and the Dreamland Motel

“Close your eyes.
Be with me.
Imagine that I am stepping off of the front stoop of my old apartment building. That I am strolling along the Upper West Side, like always. Just like any other morning.
It is a splendid, sunlit day, and I am wearing my brand-new Gucci pumps. Walking across 110th Street, I take the rustic, parkside staircase into the tiled recesses of the Cathedral Parkway station. It may have originally opened in 1904, but for my money it doesn’t look a day over 60.
I wonder, sometimes, what it must have been like to be alive back then, when all of this was different. Before the city had made, erased, and remade itself fifty times over. In my fantasy world, everything must have been slower—easier, even. I like to think that if we could somehow slow down the passage of time, if we could eke just a little bit more out of each minute, then we could get more depth out of life. That things might taste a bit richer, more diffuse. That we could experience the fullness of sound. That we could feel things more deeply—and longer.”
Kenneth Womack, The Restaurant at the End of the World

“In the end—as in the beginning—it is the authentic performance of the Beatles’ peculiar, elaborate, unfettered art that matters. It is the performance that makes the text possible in the first place, that imbues it with the heartbreaking reality of our transitory existence. It is the impermanence of the moment—rendered seemingly permanent by magnetic tape and celluloid—that is so vexing in its realness that it somehow seems immutable. Take the rooftop concert, with London’s blustery, wintry winds swirling up from the streetscape as John, Paul, George, and Ringo make one last play for greatness after a month of soul-destroying misery. They climbed the stairs above 3 Savile Row and willed a final, breathtaking performance for the ages. It is the primal image of the Beatles having become lost in the pure joy of their sound, just as they had done so many years before in the Cavern and not so very long ago in Studio Two. Everything else—the gossip, the intrigue, the emotional collapse—suddenly becomes moot, irrelevant even, as Ringo keeps the backbeat strong and true on his Ludwigs, while George furrows his brow as he drives his Rosewood Telecaster home. And John and Paul, smiling at each other across the staves of memory, play their hearts out one more time. The rest is silence.”
Kenneth Womack, Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles




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