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Beatlemania and the Swinging ’60s: A Transatlantic Voyage Aboard QM2

Step back in time to the Swinging Sixties on a special musical Transatlantic adventure aboard the QM2 exploring the lives and art of the world’s most famous rock band: The Beatles.
Program No. 23478RJ
15 days
Starts at
England/United States

Beatlemania and the Swinging ’60s: A Transatlantic Voyage Aboard QM2

Step back in time to the Swinging Sixties on a special musical Transatlantic adventure aboard the QM2 exploring the lives and art of the world’s most famous rock band: The Beatles.
15 days
Starts at
Program No. 23478 RJ
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At a Glance

Journey “Across the Universe” back to the Swinging Sixties, where the United Kingdom was alight with a cultural revolution that delivered one of the greatest musical acts of all time — the Beatles. Walk in the legendary footsteps of the Fab Four on a journey that takes you from their childhood homes to the iconic club where the band debuted and beyond. You’ll embark on expert-led explorations of several key locations in Beatles history, as well as learn about the men behind the music and their ever-evolving artistry. Then, board the luxurious Queen Mary 2 for an educational deep-dive across the Atlantic and into the band’s legacy through a series of Road Scholar-exclusive lectures given by a renowned Beatles authority. Whether you’re a long-time Beatles fan or simply a music enthusiast, it’s “Strawberry Fields Forever” on this special exploration of the most famous rock band of all time.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Visit key sites in Beatles history, from the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney to the gates of Strawberry Field and the iconic Cavern Club.
  • Enjoy a series of lectures by internationally renowned Beatles authority Kenneth Womack, author of The Beatles Encyclopedia aboard the Queen Mary 2.
  • Set off on an expert-led walking exploration where you’ll discover the Beatles’ London.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
From the Bomb to the Beatles
by Judith Gardiner
Published in conjunction with the exhibitio of the same name at the Imperial War Museum. Traces the country's social and cultural history from the end of the 2WW to the Swinging 60s and the impact of the Beatles in an era of youth power and affluent consumerism.
The Complete Beatles Chronicle
by Mark Lewisohn
This reference book about The Beatles, details every day of their professional activities from the first schoolboy gigs in the 1950s, to the recording sessions immediately prior to the group's demise in 1970. It includes much new information and revealing photographs.
Paul McCartney: The LIfe
by Phillip Norman
This biography is a compelling chronicle of the life of an immortal icon (Ed Murphy HOT PRESS) This 800-page opus is crammed with detail ... Read it for the detail and humour of the early years, and marvel at the revelations (i PAPER) Meticulous detail ... you can even smell the sweat, rat shit and basement mold in the Cavern Club ... Even Macca, who, to Norman's surprise, agreed to give him "tacit approval" without directly particpating, apparently had to concede that the guy is a Beatles scholar to reckon with. The Beatles' startlingly brief career is recounted expertly; Norman knows his facts ... vivid storytelling ... Norman gets as close as anyone has yet. (Will Hermes ROLLING STONE) Norman is perhaps the only biographer to provide an exegesis of the one Beatle most everyone gets wrong. This is thrillingly thorough stuff ... richness of detail ... McCartney is a rounded figure here (Brian Boyd THE IRISH TIMES) [Norman] is a good interviewer and the book is charming when he lets his Liverpool sources speak about the days before the Beatles were inevitable ... Paul McCartney is full of things that happened to Paul McCartney and through absurd fame and a few tragedies he appears to be an unusually decent man with few regrets (THE SCOTSMAN) Written with the tacit approval of its subject, Philip Norman's Paul McCartney: The Biography is the most thorough examination to date of the ex-Beatle's life and music, also serving to set the record straight on McCartney's central importance in the group once described as "the 20th century's greatest romance" (CHOICE magazine)
Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America
by Jonathan Gould
Jonathan Gould's Can't Buy Me Love is more than just a book on the Beatles; it's a stunning recreation of the 1960s in England and America through the prism of the world's most iconic band. The Beatles, perhaps more than any act before or since, were a quintessential product of their time, and Gould brilliantly blends cultural history, musical analysis and group biography to show the unique part they played in the shaping of post-war Britain and America. Gould examines the influence of R&B, rockabilly, skiffle and Motown as the Fab Four forged a sound of their own; he illuminates the mercurial relationship the most productive and lucrative in recording music history between John Lennon and Paul McCartney; he critiques the songs they played and the movies they made, and their impact on competing bands and musicians, as well as on fashion, hairstyles, and humour; and he shows how events on both sides of the Atlantic created exactly the right cultural climate for the biggest music phenomenon of 20th century. Beautifully written, insightful, and wonderfully evocative, this is a magisterial biography by a popular historian of the very first rank.
New Critical Perspectives on the Beatles: Things We Said Today
by Kenneth Womack
The Beatles are probably the most photographed band in history and are the subject of numerous biographical studies, but a surprising dearth of academic scholarship addresses the Fab Four. New Critical Perspectives on the Beatles offers a collection of original, previously unpublished essays that explore “new” aspects of the Beatles. The interdisciplinary collection situates the band in its historical moment of the 1960s, but argues for artistic innovation and cultural ingenuity that account for the Beatles’ lasting popularity today. Along with theoretical approaches that bridge the study of music with perspectives from non-music disciplines, the texts under investigation make this collection “new” in terms of Beatles’ scholarship. Contributors frequently address under-examined Beatles texts or present critical perspectives on familiar works to produce new insight about the Beatles and their multi-generational audiences.
Shout!: The True Story of the Beatles
by Phillip Norman
Review 'Nothing less than thrilling... the definitive biography' New York Times 'This stands as the first (and still the best) collision of Beatles history and literary depth... just about everything is rendered with beautiful prose and laser-like insight' Q Book Description Philip Norman's SHOUT! is the original definitive work on the Fab Four - brilliantly written, encapsulating an era, and reflecting close personal working relationships with each of the protagonists.
Dominic Sandbrook
by Never Had it So Good: A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles
In 1956 the Suez Crisis finally shattered the old myths of the British Empire and paved the way for the tumultuous changes of the decades to come. In NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD, Dominic Sandbrook takes a fresh look at the dramatic story of affluence and decline between 1956 and 1963. Arguing that historians have until now been besotted by the supposed cultural revolution of the Sixties, Sandbrook re-examines the myths of this controversial period and paints a more complicated picture of a society caught between conservatism and change. He explores the growth of a modern consumer society, the impact of immigration, the invention of modern pop music and the British retreat from empire. He tells the story of the colourful characters of the period, like Harold Macmillan, Kingsley Amis and Paul McCartney, and brings to life the experience of the first post-imperial generation, from the Notting Hill riots to the first Beatles hits, from the Profumo scandal to the cult of James Bond. In this strikingly impressive debut, he combines academic verve and insight with colourful, dramatic writing to produce a classic, ground-breaking work that will change forever how we think about the Sixties.
The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles
by Kenneth Womack
From Please Please Me to Abbey Road, this collection of essays tells the fascinating story of the Beatles – the creation of the band, their musical influences, and their cultural significance, with emphasis on their genesis and practices as musicians, songwriters, and recording artists. Through detailed biographical and album analyses, the book uncovers the background of each band member and provides expansive readings of the band's music. • Traces the group's creative output from their earliest recordings through their career • Pays particular attention to the social and historical factors which contributed to the creation of the band • Investigates the Beatles' unique enduring musical legacy and cultural power • Clearly organized into three sections, covering Background, Works, and History and Influence, the Companion is ideal for course usage, and is also a must-read for all Beatles fans.
Liddypool: Birthplace of the Beatles
by David Bedford
Liddypool Birthplace of the Beatles is the first major book to concentrate solely on the Beatles and Liverpool, covering their rise from childhood in the 1940s and obscurity to their triumphant civic reception at Liverpool Town Hall on 10th July 1964, when the city said goodbye to the Fab Four, their favorite sons, and shared with the world the most famous quartet in the universe. Bedford uses local knowledge and eyewitness testimony to chart every band member and name-change and lineup, from The Black Jacks to The Beatles: the story of the Fab 27
Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-1990
by Peter Clarke
The Beatles: The Authorised Biography
by Hunter Davies
Utterly classic (and only authorised) biography of the Fab Four.
White Heat: 1964-1970 Vol 2 A History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties
by Dominic Sandbrook
Harold Wilson's famous reference to 'white heat' captured the optimistic spirit of a society in the midst of breathtaking change. From the gaudy pleasures of Swinging London to the tragic bloodshed in Northern Ireland, from the intrigues of Westminster to the drama of the World Cup, British life seemed to have taken on a dramatic new momentum. The memories, images and colourful personalities of those heady times still resonate today: mop-tops and mini-skirts, strikes and demonstrations, Carnaby Street and Kings Road, Harold Wilson and Edward Heath, Mary Quant and Jean Shrimpton, Enoch Powell and Mary Whitehouse, Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger. In this wonderfully rich and readable historical narrative, Dominic Sandbrook looks behind the myths of the Swinging Sixties to unearth the contradictions of a society caught between optimism and decline.
Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties
by Ian Macdonald
As dazzling as the decade they dominated, The Beatles almost single-handedly created pop music as we know it. Today, their songs are cited as seminal influences by stars like Oasis and Blur. Eloquently giving voice to their time, The Beatles quite simply changed the world. Fully updated to include material from The Beatles Live at the BBC and the Anthology series, this acclaimed book goes back to the heart of The Beatles - their records. Drawing on a unique resource of knowledge and experience to 'read' their 241 tracks - chronologically from their first amateur efforts in 1957 to 'Real Love', their final 'reunion' recording in 1995 - Ian MacDonald has created an engrossing classic of popular criticism in which the extraordinary songs of The Beatles remain a central and continually surprising presence.
The Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, And the Fab Four
by Kenneth Womack editor
Despite the enormous amount of writing devoted to the Beatles during the last few decades, the band’s abiding intellectual and cultural significance has received scant attention. Using various modes of literary, musicological, and cultural criticism, the essays in Reading the Beatles firmly establish the Beatles as a locus of serious academic and cultural study. Exploring the group’s resounding impact on how we think about gender, popular culture, and the formal and poetic qualities of music, the contributors trace not only the literary and musicological qualities of selected Beatles songs but also the development of the Beatles’ artistry in their films and the ways in which the band has functioned as a cultural, historical, and economic product. In a poignant afterword, Jane Tompkins offers an autobiographical account of the ways in which the Beatles afforded her with the self-actualizing means to become less alienated from popular culture, gender expectations, and even herself during the early 1960s.
Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry Of The Beatles
by Kenneth Womack
Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles, Kenneth Womack brings the band's story vividly to life-from their salad days as a Liverpool Skiffle group and their apprenticeship in the nightclubs and mean streets of Hamburg through their early triumphs at the legendary Cavern Club and the massive onslaught of Beatlemania itself. By mapping the group's development as an artistic fusion, Womack traces the Beatles' creative arc from their first, primitive recordings through Abbey Road and the twilight of their career.
The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four 2 Vols
by Kenneth Womack
A fascinating look at the history of the Beatles, from their formative years through the present day, as detailed in hundreds of entries chock-full of information never before shared with the public. * Offers unprecedented insights into the Beatles' collective and solo releases, as well as the people and places that impacted their work * Analyzes their complete body of work along with the instrumentation and recording sessions behind the music * Tells the story of this iconic group through compelling entries written with a clear focus on readability
The Longest Cocktail Party: An Insider's Diary of the Beatles, Their Million-dollar Apple Empire and Its Wild Rise and Fall
by Richard DiLello
When American teenager, Richard DiLello, wandered into the Beatles' Apple building in 1968, he was immediately appointed 'house hippie'; he began making tea, rolling joints and listening to dozens of demo tapes. By the time Apple crumbled a few years later he was director of public relations. Along the way he noted many of the stoned conversations he heard and the insane bits of business he witnessed: one-man bands auditioning in the reception, Hell's Angels taking over Savile Row and The Beatles playing on the roof. Full of period detail, The Longest Cocktail Party is fast-paced, witty and immensely poignant about the demise of the Fab Four and the death of the '60s dream. Show More Show Less
The Sixties
by Arthur Marwick

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