"How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll"
In any book of this length and breadth--or at least any I am likely to write--there are bound to be errors. I will try to correct as many as possible in future printings and editions, and in the meantime wanted to address them here. If you come across anything in the book that needs to be corrected or explained, please let me know. (My email is elijah at elijahwald.com)
Page 23: Exploring the thought
that without recording we would not be able to trace precisely what
relationship Elvis's version of "Hound Dog" bore to Big Mama
Thornton's, I give an oversimplified and inaccurate description of the
song's evolution. When I wrote that his version differed "either
because he remembered it wrong or because it had already evolved" and
that "as far as anyone knows, it was just a poorly remembered version
of the same song," that reflected my own ignorance at the time of
writing: I knew that Elvis had picked up the song after hearing Freddie
Bell and the Bellboys performing it live in Las Vegas, and assumed that
he had based his version on the memory of that live performance. In
fact, Bell had recorded "Hound Dog," and Elvis's version is a direct
cover of that record (though superior in every way). And the shift in
lyrics between Thornton's and Bell's versions were not a matter of
happenstance, but rather were due to Bernard Lowe's request that Bell
provide cleaned-up lyrics to the Leiber-Stoller original. My broader
point--that we wouldn't know all of this without recording, and that
the song was still considered a version of Leiber and Stoller's piece
rather than Bell's creation--holds, but in future revisions I'll make
sure to get the details right.
Page 55: After mentioning Bill Johnson, the
bass player and leader of the Creole Band, I have a parentheses in
which I inexplicably refer to him as "Robinson." I have no idea how
Page 129: My chronology on Fred Waring is
misleading. I write as if he stopped recording to avoid competition
with radio play of his own records after losing his 1935 suit, but in
fact his recording strike began in 1932 and the suit was a later battle
in the same war.
Page 161: I refer to "a French tango, 'Jalousie'," but the music scholar Tom Bingham writes me that despite the French title it is in fact a Danish tango composed by Jacobus (or Jacob) Gade.