I really meant to do quite a bit of writing this weekend, but I just could not stop reading John Higgs' Love and Let Die, his book about the Beatles and James Bond. I've read many books about the Beatles over the years, but John's is the best.
I don't have time to write a full review, but a couple of notes for the sort of people who likely read this blog:
Robert Anton Wilson is mentioned once, late in the book, in a section where Higgs discusses Wilson's notions of neophilia and neophobic. "The Beatles were a classic example of a group of neophiliacs," Higgs writes. The book has an index, but strangely, RAW's name is omitted from it.
Most serious Beatles fans will know that the lyrics of two Beatles songs written by John Lennon were related to Timothy Leary: "Tomorrow Never Knows" has a lyric derived from The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead by Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner, and "Come Together" originally began as an intended campaign song for Timothy Leary's run for governor of California.
But I was surprised to find out about Leary's influence on "All Things Must Pass," the title song of George Harrison's acclaimed solo album, and a song that, like many of the songs on the album, were written while Harrison was still a Beatle. Higgs says the lyrics for "All Things Must Pass" are largely taken from Leary's translation of the Tao Te Ching. Sad to say, but Harrison really was kind of a plagiarist for some of his songs. The details about "He's So Fine/My Sweet Lord" are kind of shocking; I had just assumed Harrison vaguely remembered the song from when he was young, but Harrison's plagiarism actually apparently was intentional.