Odyssey spring semester: The Beatles

In the spring of 1968, the Beatles, the most popular group in history, returned from Rishikesh, India, after studying meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They brought with them dozens of new songs.

Unknown to their fans, the Beatles were falling apart as a group. John Lennon was reinventing himself with Yoko Ono; George Harrison was no longer satisfied with third place to Lennon and McCartney; Paul McCartney was the nice guy with the big ego; and even Ringo Starr was tired of the other Beatles demeaning his drumming.

Over the summer of 1968 and into the fall, the Beatles created the most ambitious album in history, second only to Brian Wilson's Smile album: 30 songs, over 90 minutes long, and the greatest variety of musical styles on any album to this day.

In many ways, it is three solo albums with one song by Ringo. Many of the tracks were laid down by the individual Beatles alone in the studio. It would be the best-selling Beatles album in history. And the most controversial.

The album was called simply The Beatles, but because of its plain white cover front, back, and inside, the album was quickly nicknamed "The White Album." Even group members, Paul, Ringo, Sir George Martin, and even Yoko Ono, refer to it as "The White Album" in interviews. So do we. Join us for a study of this great masterpiece by the group that was truly the soul of the zeitgeist.

912.589.01 via Zoom
Wednesday, April 14 to May 5, 6:30 to 8 p.m. (four sessions)
Cost: $105

JHU full-time faculty/staff are eligible for 80% tuition remission; spouse for 50%. You will be unable to register online and receive the discount. For registration information, please email odyssey@jhu.edu.