How much of a threat are popular musicians to the established political order? To far right, anti-communist Christians in the 1960s, the Beatles, and especially John Lennon, were extremely dangerous. They were whipping the youth of America into a frenzy, turning them into a horde of hip-shaking, love-making, drug-taking hooligans. Even before John Lennon told British interviewer Maureen Cleave in March 1966 that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,” they were considered to be a menace to society. Leading the charge was author, professor, minister, and founder of Summit Ministries David Noebel, who claimed in several publications that communists were using the Beatles and mass hypnotism to bring about a communist revolution in America. To Noebel, “Beatlemania” was a real affliction, a mental illness in need of diagnosis and cure. In Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles and Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, he wrote, “… communists have a master music plan for all age brackets of American youth. … the enemies of our Republic could actually use television and the Beatles … to place thousands upon thousands of our teenagers into a frenzied, hypnotic state and send them forth into the streets to riot and revolt. Let’s make sure four mop-headed anti-Christ beatniks don’t destroy our children’s emotional and mental stability and ultimately destroy our nation as Plato warned in his Republic.”
While most people did not think of any of the Beatles as cogs in the communist machine, the Federal Bureau of Investigation did. In the early 1970s, John Lennon was considered a threat to national security by the FBI because of his association with radical left-wing organizations and his ability to foment anti-war sentiments among the youth. Lennon came close to being deported by the United States Immigration Office several times in the early 1970s. Watch the excellent documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon to learn more. Were the Beatles and Lennon really that dangerous to America? Could they actually “destroy our nation?”
Noebel made a point to never refer to the Beatles as Communists or Reds. Nevertheless, he wrote voluminously about the communist threat he saw in their lyrics, their music, their album covers, their ability to cause hysteria among teens, their influence on Vietnam War protesters, their drug use, their agnosticism, and Lennon’s association with the radical Left. What did the Beatles themselves make of Noebel’s claim? During a press conference in 1966, a reporter asked them, “What do you think about the pamphlet calling you four communists?” Paul McCartney responded, “Us, communists? Why, we can’t be communists. We’re the world’s number one capitalists. Imagine us communists!”
Noebel replicated in his later books much of the research in his first work, the 1965 pamphlet Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles. His argument in the pamphlet can be summarized in this manner: Plato and Aristotle warned of the dangers of certain types of music and the power it can have over human emotions and reason. Russian scientists such as Ivan Pavlov, Alexander Luria, and Konstantin Ivanovich Platonov proved that human behavior can be controlled through music, brainwashing, nerve-jamming, and hypnotism. The American record labels Young People’s Records and Children’s Record Guild are nothing more than communist fronts that use music to propagate communist messages subliminally into children’s minds. These record labels are associated with left-wing folk musicians such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, who have communist ties. Just as these records can be used to hypnotize children into being communists, the Beatles’ music and folk music can be used to do the same to teenagers and young adults. Noebel ends the pamphlet by urging readers to throw all their Beatles’ records into the city dump since America is a capitalist, Christian nation and has no place for such an atheistic, communist, and immoral rock group.
David Noebel, now in his mid-80s, is a meticulous and fastidious scholar and writer, an apologist for Christianity against secular humanism. He is also King of the Footnote. His 1965 pamphlet, Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, is just 15 pages long, yet it has no less than 168 footnotes! As a librarian, I am equally delighted and appalled at this. Marvel at the cover, the text, and the avalanche of footnotes by clicking on the link below:
Communism, Hypnotism, and the Beatles
While perusing this pamphlet, it may be easy to write off Noebel as a far right, anti-communist crackpot, and regard his books as nothing more than Cold War kitsch, but his writings are valuable because they capture the viewpoint of many fundamentalist Christians in the 1960s as they watched the counterculture gurgle from the underground, bubble up, and spill out onto Main Street America. While writers such as Berndt Ostendorf, Mark Sullivan, and the creators of the CONELRAD website have scrutinized Noebel’s writings well, we’d like to explore more deeply what he and others believed about rock music, particularly its rhythms, and how it could be used to brainwash young Americans and turn them into communists.
To understand how Noebel formulated his precise critique of the ills of the counterculture, we have to consider his close relationship with Billy James Hargis, a dynamic Christian fundamentalist, segregationist, anti-communist preacher and evangelist. Most of Noebel’s early books were published by Christian Crusade Publications and the American Christian College Press, two organizations that Hargis established. Hargis founded the Christian Crusade in the early 1950s to spread his beliefs and principles through radio, television, book publishing, magazines, audio recordings, lecture tours, conventions, leadership training, and youth organizations. At the height of his popularity in the late 1950s and 1960s, his sermons and lectures were broadcasted on over 500 radio stations and 250 television stations. One of his chief concerns was the influence of left-wing politics on American youth, especially the beatniks and hippies of the 1960s counterculture. He saw them as the target audience that communists would manipulate in order to infiltrate American society.
Hargis believed that the Kremlin had an official government department whose purpose was to spur on student protestors against the Vietnam War and foment a revolution. Hargis himself said of the Beatles, “the beatnik crowd, represented by the Beatles, is the communist crowd.” Thus in the minds of Noebel and Hargis, young Americans were under the spell of the Beatles, who were under the spell of communism. Lennon was leading them to Lenin.
Within the conservative Christian spectrum in the 1950s and 1960s, Hargis and Noebel were part of the “radical right” or “far right.” While most conservative Christian leaders at that time, such as author and intellectual William F. Buckley, Jr., evangelist Billy Graham, Senator Barry Goldwater, and California Governor Ronald Reagan, regarded anti-communism as one among many conservative principles, Hargis and Noebel made it central. In addition, they merged anti-communism with their Christian fundamentalism and dispensationalism, giving it spiritual dimensions and apocalyptic significance. To them, communism was not only the catalyst for the decline they saw in the core conservative values of limited government, free market capitalism, family values, the rule of law, and American exceptionalism, it was a manifestation of ultimate evil. Like the anti-communist country songwriters we discuss in chapter three of Atomic Tunes, Hargis and Noebel believed that Satan was using communism to bring about not only the downfall of the United States, but the final tribulation and the end of the world.
Racism appears quite plainly in the writings of Noebel and Hargis. They believed that the Civil Rights Movement was being spurred on by communists, and that the influence of African American musicians on rock groups such as the Beatles was fueling a communist revolution. Thus, in his books, Noebel discredits the Beatles by discrediting African American music and the Civil Rights Movement in general. In Rhythm, Riots and Revolution and The Marxist Minstrels, Noebel quotes FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover in saying that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is “the most notorious liar in the country.” Noebel then describes the Selma to Montgomery marches in March 1965 as incidences of Black debauchery, charges that King’s non-violent protests were just communist tactics to spur violence from White Americans, and warns that Lyndon Johnson’s Voting Rights Act of 1965 (which prohibited racial discrimination in voting) may result in a “Negro-Soviet America.” He concludes by saying “Thus Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. … could well be the key to Communist revolution in the United States.”
A vital element in the connection that Noebel and Hargis made between the Beatles and communism was the influence of African American music on early rock and roll. The massive popularity of Black musicians, especially those associated with the Motown record label, and of Black-influenced White musicians (Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones) showed that millions of young Americans were enamored by Black music in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the songs they covered, the Beatles openly expressed that they were huge fans of Black American blues, R&B, rock, gospel, and soul. Paul McCartney said at a Beatles’ press conference in Tokyo in 1966, “We like mainly colored American groups. Those are the groups that we like best.” They were given a tour of Harlem by Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes (“Be My Baby”) on the day before their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The popular African American magazine Jet put the Beatles on the cover of the July 1, 1965 issue with Motown star Mary Wells (“My Guy”). The tagline was “What the Beatles Learned from Negroes.” In addition, the Beatles refused to play to a segregated audience. In the early 1960s, young music fans made mainstream what was once called “race music” a decade earlier, and this was disturbing to many older White Americans who suspected it was a communist plot to ensnare young Americans.
Noebel saw the Beatles’ use of rhythm (“the big beat”), heavily influenced by African and African American music, as the key to the mental warfare that the communists were waging. Having no background in musical analysis, Noebel rests his argument on the opinions of Howard Hanson, well-known American composer and long-time director of the Eastman School of Music, and Alice English Monsarrat, of whom little is known. Hanson and Monsarrat found fault with the pervasive presence of the “big beat” in popular music, its synchronicity with the human heartbeat, and its “broken meter.” In his article from 1944, Hanson characterizes “rhythmic chants of primitive peoples,” “rag-time,” “violent boogie-woogie,” and modern “jam session[s]” as potentially dangerous because their “rhythmic irregularity,” “off-balance” accents, and “concentrated doses of rhythm” may produce mass hysteria. In contrast, Hanson praises rhythms in which the “subdivisions of the metric units are regular” and contain accents that “remain strictly in conformity with the basic pattern.” In her article from 1961, Alice English Monsarrat praises music with a “normal easy meter.” In contrast, rock music has a “broken meter” which, she concludes, is “helping to fill our mental hospitals with broken wrecks of humanity.” Thus according to Hanson, Monsarrat, and Noebel, the rhythms in the music of the great classical composers and Tin Pan Alley songwriters are “regular,” “in conformity,” “normal,” and “easy,” while the rhythms in Black music are “irregular,” “off-balance,” and “broken.”
The “broken meter” that Monsarrat criticizes, and which Noebel includes in three of his books, is rendered not in staff notation but with numbers. Monsarrat shows two horizontal rows of the numbers one to four twice, representing the beats of two measures of 4/4 meter. On the bottom row of numbers, she underlines the beats one and three. On the top row of numbers, she adds the “&” sign after beats one and two and underlines them to emphasize the upbeats of one and two, as demonstrated below.
1 & 2 & 3 4 1 & 2 & 3 4
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
As indicated by the underlines, the rhythm consists of notes on the downbeat of one, the upbeats of one and two, and the downbeat of three. Monsarrat does not seem to be depicting a specific riff or song here, but is trying to convey the general idea of syncopation, the placement of a beat where one is not expected or the lack of a beat where one is expected. Considered more broadly, syncopation is a symbol of disruption and upheaval, a representation in music of the rejection of the established order. For Monsarrat, a degree of syncopation is acceptable in music, but to base entire songs on these rhythms, or to gradually increase their tempo, or to play them loudly can produce an “almost hysterical effect.” She warns that “… just as a single highball [a mixed drink] may be relatively harmless, but too many will intoxicate, so should broken rhythm and meters be used, as the masters did, with discretion.” Monsarrat’s illustration bears a resemblance to the syncopated rhythms in Bo Diddley songs such as “Bo Diddley” (1955), “I’m a Man” (1955), and “Who Do You Love?” (1957). Perhaps these are the types of songs Monsarrat was objecting to, since they have syncopated rhythms throughout and were very influential on White American and British rock groups. The Beatles themselves indulged in the “big beat” and “broken meter” quite often. An obvious example would be “She’s a Woman,” which starts off with strident guitar chords that appear to be on the downbeat (1 and 3). But once the rest of the band kicks in, the chords are actually on the upbeat (2 and 4), turning the rhythm on its head. For more on this subject, Walter Everett has written of the influence of African American music on the early Beatles.
In their articles, Hanson and Monsarrat do not explicitly associate communism and the threat of revolution with these types of rhythms found in Black music. Noebel does. He takes this line of thought to the extreme, writing that rock music is based on the “big beat” which has its roots in “…the heart of Africa, where it was used to incite warriors to such a frenzy that by nightfall neighbors were cooked in carnage pots! The music is a designed reversion to savagery!” He writes, “…today’s African beat ‘music’ [is] churning destruction throughout the length and breadth of England and America.” While Noebel does not make such appallingly racist comments in his later books, his earlier ones from the 1960s and early 1970s show the common stereotypes that White supremacists had about music. Classical music and Tin Pan Alley songs are virtuous and edifying, but blues, jazz, ragtime, R&B, and rock music, all based on syncopated jungle rhythms, are dangerous and destructive. Linda Martin and Kerry Segrave note that African American music was often called “jungle music” by White supremacists, writing “the real purpose of using that term [“jungle music”] was to connect rock with the jungle, or black Africa, and to imply that rock and roll had to be scorned because it was the music of blacks, who were ‘savages.’” According to Noebel, just as syncopation upsets the calm of rhythmic order, so the Civil Rights Movement, the communists, and the Beatles are upsetting the calm of White American social order.
Even without Noebel’s racism, his analysis of the Beatles’ lyrics and music is quite off the mark. When specific lyrics are mentioned in his books, the supposed communist content is merely suggested, rather than shown. A portion of the lyrics to the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “Piggies,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine” and “Working Class Hero” appear in The Marxist Minstrels, but Noebel does not prove that these songs have communistic messages or that they are being used by communists to brainwash Americans. For every Beatles’ song that Noebel pegs as pro-communist and anti-capitalist, another can be pegged as pro-capitalist and anti-communist. For example, he criticizes George Harrison's “Piggies” because of its anti-capitalist stance, yet ignores Harrison’s “Taxman” which inveighs against high taxes, a common anti-communist sentiment. Noebel portrays John Lennon as a dangerous revolutionary in songs like “Working Class Hero,” but does not consider “Revolution 1” and “Revolution” which question the objectives of political revolutionaries in general and criticize Mao Zedong in particular.
Regarding his musical analysis, Noebel writes in such suggestive, imprecise terms about the Beatles’ music that an unsuspecting reader would think that all of their songs have the same “savage” jungle beat, the same hypnotic tempo, the same immoral lyrics about drugs, sex, and revolution, and the same frenzy-inducing effect. He writes, “The music isn’t ‘art-form’ at all, but a very destructive process.” While their songs may all sound alike to someone predisposed to dislike them, the overwhelming majority of people around the world, Christian and non-Christian alike, place them among the most innovative and creative songwriters and musicians in the 20th century. Their songs show an astonishing variety of lyrical subject matter, musical forms, instrumentation, vocal harmonies, rhythms, tempos, moods, and approaches to studio recording.
So what are we to make of David Noebel’s writings? Was he justified in raising concerns about how the American youth of the 1960s could be manipulated into communism by popular entertainers? Indeed, he was justified. Music can be used to manipulate the mind. At many early Beatles’ concerts, police had trouble controlling the mayhem and hundreds of teenagers were injured. Drug abuse was a major problem in the counterculture. The Soviets did have spies in the U.S. government and in the entertainment industry. Mao Zedong and Stalin were tyrants on par with Hitler. The communist systems in China, the Soviet Union, and the other Eastern Bloc countries made life unbearably miserable for their citizens. Yet Noebel ventures so far into the realm of ridiculousness with his assertions that his books have become among the most well-known examples of Cold War kitsch. The creators of the CONELRAD website write,
“The CONELRAD archives contain hundreds of civil defense and anti-Communist books, pamphlets and assorted Cold War ephemera. Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles is by far the strangest title we own or have even seen. In fact, it is so outlandish that we hold little hope of ever finding anything weirder…which is kind of a drag.”
If Noebel would have devoted a fraction of his attention to the Beatles’ actual songs as he did to Russian psychiatric methods, wide-ranging communist conspiracies, and White supremacist racial theories, he would have found no justification to view their music as a tool for communistic brainwashing. Noebel devotes an inordinate amount of space in his books to quotations from psychologists, newspaper and magazine articles, and right-wing Christian writers creating a welter of applause for his position aimed to drown out any rational consideration of another point of view. Americanism, Christianity, anti-communism, Whiteness, and “good music” are grouped together and contrasted against foreignness, atheism, communism, Blackness, and “bad music.” Noebel writes with such disdain of the Beatles and John Lennon that one gets the impression that he sees no value whatsoever in their music. It is all evil. While Lennon had plenty of negative qualities (alcohol and heroin abuse, terrible treatment of his first wife Cynthia, neglect of his first son Julian, abandonment of Yoko during his two year “lost weekend”), to ignore his noble and admirable qualities and paint such a grossly unbalanced portrait of him is simply dishonest and deceptive, turning Noebel’s scholarship into vacuous propaganda. Noebel is certainly entitled to his opinion, and is courageous in taking on one of the most respected rock bands in the world, but his lack of objectivity makes his writing a rant rather than a rational argument.
What impact did Noebel’s books have? While he certainly sold tens of thousands of copies of his books to fundamentalist Christians in the South, he did not convince the majority of Christians or the public at large that the Beatles were a communist threat. What about the uproar over John Lennon’s “more popular than Jesus” comment in 1966? Did Noebel’s first two books, which came out in 1965 and 1966, play any role in that incident?
The March 4, 1966 issue of the London newspaper Evening Standard featured an interview with John Lennon by British journalist Maureen Cleave. It was reprinted almost five months later in the July 29, 1966 issue of the American teen magazine Datebook. Lennon told Cleave, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now.” Lennon was commenting on the decline of Christianity and the ascent of secularism in England at the time. It didn’t cause any furor in England because it was, for the most part, a true statement. But many Beatle fans in the American South, and some in the North, were outraged. Lennon’s comment was taken to mean that the Beatles were better or greater than Jesus, even after Lennon apologized and explained his meaning to reporters. As a result of the comment, over two dozen radio stations banned Beatles songs, thousands of people gathered their Beatles records and burned them in huge bonfires, the band received death threats, and Robert E. Scoggin, Grand Dragon of the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan, burned a large wooden cross with a Beatles record nailed to it.
Did Noebel’s books play any part in inciting this fierce negative reaction toward Lennon? Noebel’s books clearly state that since the Beatles have communist leanings, they have atheistic leanings, and vice versa. Communism and atheism go hand in hand. This type of labeling was made explicit during a small rally outside Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis when the Beatles played two concerts there on August 19, 1966. England's ITV News sent reporter Richard Lindley to cover the Beatles 1966 tour. At the Memphis concerts, Lindley’s camera shows one young male protestor marching and holding a sign saying “HELP KEEP Communist [i.e. Communists] Out of THE U.S.A.” The Ku Klux Klan was present and demonstrated outside the stadium. When a firecracker was thrown onto the stage during the second concert, the Beatles looked at one another for fear that one of them had been shot. Ten days after the Memphis concerts, the Beatles gave up on touring, playing their final show at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. While Noebel’s books may have helped to incite these events, even without his books many Southerners would still have regarded popular entertainers comparing themselves to Jesus as being atheists, and therefore communists, and therefore offensive and unwelcome.
Like many rock album covers of the 1960s and 1970s, the front covers of Noebel’s books are as entertaining as their contents. On the cover of Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, the four lads from Liverpool are placed below a hammer and sickle symbol. A single human eye casts a menacing red beam. The Beatles, inside the lower beam, are drawn with no irises in their eyes as if they are hypnotized, or are hypnotizing the viewer. See here:
Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles
On the cover of The Marxist Minstrels, the hammer and sickle symbol is cleverly superimposed onto the treble clef on a musical staff. See here:
The Marxist Minstrels: A Handbook on Communist Subversion of Music
The best cover of all is of Fred Schwarz and Noebel’s You Can Still Trust the Communists … to be Communists. See here:
You Can Still Trust the Communists
Fred Schwarz, discussed in chapter two of Atomic Tunes in the section on Janet Greene, published his seminal anti-communist work You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists) in 1960. Noebel revised and added five chapters to it in 2010. The book cover parodies the album cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, featuring the faces of 43 people with connections to communism. All the usual suspects are there (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Castro) along with a few folk and rock musicians (Woodie Guthrie, Pete Seeger, John Lennon, and Mick Jagger). On the large bass drum in the center (which on the Beatles’ album has “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”) is the hammer and sickle symbol surrounded by the words “Progressives, Socialists, Marxists, Fabianists, Collectivists, Statists.” The not-so-subtle message of the cover is that left-leaning popular entertainers and artists are in the same band as the communist dictators.
To wrap up this section on the Beatles and communism, we would like to briefly consider John Lennon’s place in Cold War politics and popular music. In the early years of their career, the Beatles were advised by their manager Brian Epstein not to express strong political opinions about the Vietnam War in songs or in interviews. After he died in August 1967, the group felt less restricted in their candor with reporters or choice of lyrical subject matter. The Beatles’ first explicit political statement in a song is “Revolution 1”/“Revolution” written by Lennon. The slow and bluesy “Revolution 1” on The Beatles (1968) was recorded first in late May and early June 1968. The loud, distortion-driven “Revolution,” recorded a week or so later, was the version that was released first, as the B-side of the “Hey Jude” single in late August. The song voices a desire for revolution and societal change but questions whether it should be brought about by violent means, i.e. “destruction.” In “Revolution 1,” Lennon sings “count me out/in” showing his uncertainty about violent revolution. In “Revolution,” he sings “count me out,” taking a stance against violence. Ironically, “Revolution 1” sounds calm and peaceful, but the lyric “count me out/in” makes violent revolution a matter worthy of consideration. On the other hand, “Revolution” sounds revolutionary and violent because of its faster tempo, distorted guitars, Lennon’s initial scream, and frantic screaming of “alright!” at the end. Yet its lyrics, with “count me out,” denounce violent revolution. When asked by an interviewer what he meant by “count me out/in,” Lennon said, “It means I’m not sure. I really think that if it gets to destruction, you can count me out. But I’m not sure. I’m human and liable to change depending on the situation. I prefer non-violence.” Thus, the two versions of this song encapsulated Lennon’s opinions on war: he preferred non-violence and was against the Vietnam War whole-heartedly, but admitted there are times when war and violent revolution may be justifiable.
Lennon was by far the most politically active Beatle. After the band broke up, he and Yoko Ono poured all their energies into promoting peace and expressing their opinions on Cold War matters in more ways than any other popular musician. They wrote songs, voiced their viewpoints on posters and giant billboards, did numerous interviews with journalists, rock critics, and talk show hosts, created “happenings” such as the Amsterdam Hilton Bed-in for Peace, participated in protest marches, played in benefit concerts for various organizations, and commiserated with left-wing activists such as Rennie Davis, Angela Davis, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, and John Sinclair. The attention Lennon gave to the anti-war movement brought him to the attention of the FBI, who followed him and documented his actions. President Nixon and FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover were afraid that Lennon might jeopardize Nixon’s bid for reelection in 1972. Lennon was even considered a threat to national security and was in danger of being deported several times in the early 1970s. Nixon did win the reelection but was forced to resign on August 9, 1974 after the Watergate scandal became public. On October 7, 1975, Judge Irving Kaufman overturned Lennon’s deportation order, allowing him to apply for permanent citizenship. History professor Jon Wiener writes, “The Lennon FBI files document an era when rock music seemed to have real political force, when youth culture, for perhaps the first time in American history, was mounting a serious challenge to the status quo in Washington, when President Nixon responded by mobilizing the FBI and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to silence the man from England who was singing ‘Give Peace a Chance.’”
Lennon’s anti-war songs and activities in the early 1970s are far too extensive to be recounted here. The biographies of Jon Wiener and Philip Norman, and the documentaries The U.S. vs. John Lennon and LennoNYC have detailed their significance in depth. In short, Lennon was courted by the radical Left, and briefly stood with them, but ultimately chose to protest non-violently in his own way with Yoko. To some like David Noebel, the FBI, and Richard Nixon, he was a serious threat in need of deportation. To some he was great musician, songwriter, humanitarian, and promoter of peace. To some he was just crazy Beatle John.
 Noebel’s books about this subject are Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles (Tulsa, Okla.: Christian Crusade Publications, 1965); Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution: An Analysis of the Communist Use of Music, the Communist Master Music Plan (Tulsa, Okla.: Christian Crusade Publications, 1966); The Beatles: A Study in Drugs, Sex and Revolution (Tulsa, Okla.: Christian Crusade Publications, 1969); The Marxist Minstrels: A Handbook on Communist Subversion of Music (Tulsa, Okla.: American Christian College Press, 1974); The Legacy of John Lennon: Charming or Harming a Generation? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982). Noebel also released a spoken word album in 1968 titled David Noebel Speaks on “The Marxist Minstrels”: The Communist Subversion of American Folk Music which is basically an advertisement for his 1966 book Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution. While the album focuses on the communist elements that Noebel finds in folk music, the back cover shows a “hypnotized” girl clutching the Beatles 1963 V-Jay album Introducing…The Beatles.
 Noebel, Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, 14.
 Noebel, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, 91.
 Noebel, Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, 15.
 The U.S. vs. John Lennon, written and directed by David Leaf & John Scheinfeld. Lionsgate 20911, 2006, DVD.
 In response to an article about himself and his beliefs in the February 15, 1965 issue of Newsweek titled “Beware, The Red Beatles,” Noebel wrote a letter to the editor published in the March 8 issue saying, “I have yet to call the Beatles ‘Red’.” See “Beware, the Red Beatles,” Newsweek (February 15, 1965): 89A and “Noebel and the Beatles,” Newsweek (March 8, 1965): 6.
 The Beatles: Words without Music, compiled by Rick Friedman (New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1968), ; Beatles in their Own Words, compiled by Miles, edited by Pearce Marchbank (London: Omnibus, 1978), 62; “Beatles Photos & Quotes Database: 1966” webpage on the The Beatles Ultimate Experience website. http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/db66.html
 Berndt Ostendorf, “Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution: Political Paranoia, Cultural Fundamentalism, and African-American Music,” in Enemy Images in American History, ed. Ragnhild Fiebig-von Hase and Ursula Lehmkuhl (Providence: Berghahn Books, 1997), 159-179; Mark Sullivan, “‘More Popular than Jesus’: The Beatles and the Religious Far Right,” Popular Music 6, no. 3, Beatles Issue (October 1987): 313-326; “Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles,” CONELRAD website created by Ken Sitz, Bill Geerhart, and Curtis Samson. http://conelrad.com/books/spine.php?id=354_0_1_0_C.
 John Harold Redekop, The American Far Right: A Case Study of Billy James Hargis and Christian Crusade (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 1968), 21.
 Billy James Hargis, “Evangelist Billy James Hargis on Tom Snyder show.” Tom Snyder’s “Tomorrow” show, 1978, 24:00-25:46. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5n7nm4lWXE.
 Billy James Hargis, from a radio broadcast on September 25, 1964, quoted in David Noebel’s Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles (Tulsa, Okla.: Christian Crusade Publications, 1965), 12.
 Billy James Hargis, “Evangelist Billy James Hargis on Tom Snyder show.” Tom Snyder’s “Tomorrow” show, 1978, 10:36-11:35. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5n7nm4lWXE.
 Noebel, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, 181; The Marxist Minstrels, 176. See also “People of the Week,” U.S. News & World Report 58, no. 15 (April 12, 1965): 20 and “The FBI and Civil Rights – J. Edgar Hoover Speaks Out,” U.S. News & World Report 57, no. 22 (November 30, 1964): 56.
 Noebel, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, 182-184, The Marxist Minstrels, 176-178.
 Noebel, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, 183-184.
 Some of the many songs by African American songwriters the Beatles covered are “Roll over Beethoven” and “Rock and Roll Music” by Chuck Berry, “Anna (Go to Him)” by Arthur Alexander, “Long Tall Sally” by Enotris Johnson, Robert Blackwell, Richard Penniman (Little Richard), and “You Really Got a Hold on Me” by Smokey Robinson.
 Paul McCartney, from “Beatles Press Conference: Tokyo, Japan 6/30/1966” webpage on the The Beatles Ultimate Experience website. http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/db1966.0630.beatles.html.
 Ronnie Spector, from The Beatles: Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years. Directed by Ron Howard. Capitol B0025751-09, 2016, 2 DVD set (DVD 2: A Deeper Dive: Ronnie Spector and the Beatles, 2:20-3:00).
 “What the Beatles Learned From Negroes,” Jet (July 1, 1965): 60-62.
 Berndt Ostendorf refers to her as “a distinguished British music teacher” in his article “Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution,” 170.
 Howard Hanson, “Some Objective Studies of Rhythm in Music,” The American Journal of Psychiatry 101, no. 3 (November 1944): 364-369. Hanson’s opinions about African American music are puzzling since he premiered and promoted William Grant Still’s “Afro-American Symphony” (1931) which incorporates blues and jazz elements.
 Hanson, “Some Objective Studies of Rhythm in Music”: 365. Quoted in Noebel, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, 117, The Marxist Minstrels, 63.
 Alice English Monsarrat, “Music: Soothing, Sedative or Savage?” American Mercury 93, no.
451 (September 1961): 47. Quoted in Noebel, Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, 23 FN 97, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, 117, The Marxist Minstrels, 63.
 Monsarrat, “Music: Soothing, Sedative or Savage?”: 47.
 Monsarrat, “Music: Soothing, Sedative or Savage?”: 48.
 Walter Everett, “Detroit and Memphis: The Soul of Revolver,” in ‘Every Sound There Is’: The Beatles’ Revolver and the Transformation of Rock and Roll, ed. Russell Reising (Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2002), 25-57.
 Noebel, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, 78, The Marxist Minstrels, 45.
 Noebel, Rhythm, Riots, and Revolution, 77-78.
 For more on White distain for, and fear of, African American music see Sieglinde Lemke’s Primitivist Modernism: Black Culture and the Origins of Transatlantic Modernism (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), Michael T. Bertrand’s Race, Rock, and Elvis (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000), and Roberta Freund Schwartz’s How Britain got the Blues: The Transmission and Reception of American Blues Style in the United Kingdom (Aldershot, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007). See also Episode 2: “Good Rockin’ Tonight” of the 10 part documentary The History of Rock n’ Roll. Created and produced by Jeffrey Peisch. Time-Life Video & Television, Warner Home Video 34991, c1995, 2004, 5 DVD set.
 Linda Martin and Kerry Segrave, Anti-Rock: The Opposition to Rock ’n’ Roll (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1988), 42. Duke Ellington’s music during his Cotton Club days in the late 1920s was often referred to as “jungle music,” but this was not necessarily a derogatory term, as he used it himself and in composition titles such as “Jungle Blues” and “Jungle Nights in Harlem.”
 Noebel, The Marxist Minstrels, 66-67, 106-107, 99-100, 113.
 Noebel, Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, 14.
 “Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles,” CONELRAD website created by Ken Sitz, Bill Geerhart, and Curtis Samson.
 John Lennon interviewed by Maureen Cleave in “How Does a Beatle Live? John Lennon Lives like This,” Evening Standard (March 4, 1966): 10.
 “Jesus - John Lennon Controversy (Part 4 of 4)” from Robert Lindley’s documentary on the Beatles 1966 tour for program “Reporting ‘66” on ITV News, 2:24-2:30. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCsb3pR6tbw
 The Beatles Anthology documentary shows an interview with a KKK member outside the stadium discussing how they will “demonstrate with different ways and tactics to stop [the] performance.” The Beatles Anthology, series director and writer, Bob Smeaton, producer, Chips Chipperfield, director, Geoff Wonfor, [London]: Apple; [Los Angeles]: Capitol Records,
C9 7243 4 92975 9 3, 2003, 5 DVD set, episode 6: 14:09-14:57.
 The Beatles played one final live concert on the rooftop of the Apple building in London on January 30, 1969.
 Fred Schwarz, You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists) (Long Beach, Calif.: Christian Anti-Communist Crusade, 1960).
 Fred Schwarz and David A. Noebel, You Can Still Trust the Communists… to be Communists (Socialists and Progressives Too) 2nd rev. ed. (Manitou Springs, CO: Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, 2010).
 Ian Inglis, “Revolution,” in The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles, edited by Kenneth Womack (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 117.
 Mark Lewisohn, The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years, 1962-1970 (London: Hamlyn: EMI, 1988), 135-136.
 Lewisohn, The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, 141-142, 152.
 John Lennon, from interview on January 14, 1969, included in Imagine: John Lennon. Deluxe Edition. Produced by David L. Wolper and Andrew Solt. Directed by Andrew Solt. Warner Bros. 72655, c1988, 2005, DVD, 45:15-45:43.
 Jon Wiener, Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1999), 1.
 Jon Wiener, Come Together: John Lennon in his Time (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991); Philip Norman, John Lennon: The Life (New York: Ecco, 2008); The U.S. vs. John Lennon, written and directed by David Leaf & John Scheinfeld. Lionsgate 20911, 2006, DVD; LennoNYC, written and directed by Michael Epstein. A&E AAAE234950, 2010, DVD.
Joanna & Tim
Welcome to our blog!