So I decided to jump into the new world of the internet on Dec. 19, 1995 B.F. (before Facebook) where I could do music writing (and on the Beatles) on my own. The site started out with four pages which I coded myself in HTML 3. It was my way of forcing myself to learn it.
My initial motive for the site was not to just do a Beatles page, but do something a little different. News wasn't part of it initially. But I realized soon after that given my connections with my newspaper, I figured I could get some news from there as well as elsewhere.
I also can't forget my coverage of George Harrison's health problems. We tracked it for quite a while. And I remember the night my friend Joe Caldwell called me about 3:30 a.m. PT to tell me George had passed. I got up and started writing and never went back to bed even though I had to work the next day.
Then there was my tribute to Derek Taylor after his passing in 1997. I rounded up statements from those who knew him, many of them famous. Some of those statements were sent to me directly, such as those from Roger McGuinn of the Byrds and Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders.
At one point, I had an idea to see if the Beatles U.S. albums could be released on CD. It started with a page on which I discussed the arguments for and against putting them out. I got Bruce Spizer and Martin Lewis to discuss the pros and cons of such a move and got people to put their own pros and cons. I guess I can take some of the credit for the release of "The Beatles Capitol Albums Volume 1" and "The Beatles Capitol Albums Volume 2" and maybe some of the blame (ha ha) for "The U.S. Albums" box. (I still get people asking about Capitol Albums Volume 3.) I also had the texts of the original CBS press releases for the Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
I asked Joseph Self, a practicing attorney, to analyze the George Harrison plagiarism lawsuit, the Star Club suit and the "Roots" suit against John Lennon. Over the years, they've been referred to again and again as the most in-depth and authoritative works on the subjects. Thanks, Joey!
It was a very satisfying experience. It was great to get notes from people who appreciated what I was doing. I'll never forget getting one of those from the great Roger McGuinn.
For the last few years, I've been on Examiner.com doing Beatles Examiner (and several other Examiner columns) and, more recently, have been part of the “Things We Said Today” radio show. And having lots of fun. But it all began at Abbeyrd's Beatles Page and I'm damn proud of it. Thanks to everyone who helped add to the site and all of you who have visited it.