Monmouth University symposium to offer deep dive into Beatles’ ‘White Album’

Beatles white album symposium

These photos of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were included in the original packaging of “The Beatles,” also known as “The White Album.”

An expanded, 50th anniversary version of The Beatles’ The White Album (originally released as The Beatles), featuring an abundance of previously unreleased demos and alternate takes, will be released on Nov. 9. And this happens to be the second day of the Nov. 8-11 “The Beatles’ The White Album: An International Symposium” at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. And so the symposium will include a listening party at midnight Nov. 8, with special guests such as Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn and White Album co-producer and keyboardist Chris Thomas, who will make other appearances at the symposium as well.

The symposium has been spearheaded by Kenneth Womack — Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University, and the author of seven Beatles-related books, including a two-volume series about Beatles producer George Martin — and guests throughout the four days will include former Apple Records manager Ken Mansfield, journalist Rob Sheffield and musicologist Walter Everett. Also, the symposium will feature a performance by the Beatles-inspired band The Weeklings, who will focus on White Album songs; the premiere of a documentary, “The Beatles in India”; and a walking tour of music-related sites in Asbury Park, led by Jean Mikle and Stan Goldstein.

Academic presentations will include “The White Album: The Beatles at Their Peak — or Past It?,” “War, Race, and Music: The Beatles, The White Album, and American Popular Culture in the Revolutionary Sixties,” “Lady Madonna: From First Take to Final Remix,” “A Jazz Perspective on the Songwriting Techniques of The White Album,” “I Hate to See You Go: The Beatles as Literature of Loss” and scores of others.

The expanded White Album 6-CD + Blu-Ray boxed set will be available for purchase throughout the symposium, with a portion of the proceeds supporting student scholarships at Monmouth University.

For information and a complete listing of events, visit monmouth.edu/the-white-album.

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