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Note from the Author

Looking back on the chapters of my life, it seems they all were pointing me in the direction of this book. I grew up feeling sheltered in a religious community and saw how it united—and divided—good people who mostly desired a consistent moral framework with which to examine and plan their lives. I studied literature and comparative religion in college, then spent the rest of my twenties as a touring musician and singer with a rock band.

Throughout my thirties, I worked as a film critic and television host, and I spent my forties as director of a gallery specializing in rock photography, collectables, and original album cover art. All these experiences—playing and singing the music of the classic rock era; dissecting archetypal plot, character, and symbolism in film; and immersing myself in the imagery of rock history—were preparing me for a work that may bring to light a novel, and perhaps important, new approach to the golden years of rock & roll.

Ten years ago, I started to write the book about the Beatles that I’ve always wanted to read. I’ve long intuited that rock & roll inspires an often unspoken, but profound spiritual response in listeners and fans. This aspect of the story has been mostly overlooked in studies of the Beatles and their contemporaries. I sensed there were deeper elements underlying our love for, and resonance with, these artists, and this inspired a personal creative journey of discovery that has been the most illuminating of my life.

On a personal level, I hope this book will entertain you with a unique view of popular music; in a more universal sense I hope it may have a positive and healing effect on our collective ability to examine symbol and response, subjects that have become so polarizing and misunderstood in our current culture. Perhaps, by using love of music as a unifying principle, it can further the spiritual conversation and bring a deeper sense of empathy and understanding to topics that remain sadly unresolved in our greater discourse. Thank you for your interest in All You Need is Myth and the themes it explores. I hope it opens doors of perception for you as it did for me.

—Steve Wagner

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As you ponder the deeper significance of popular music, you may start seeing mythic patterns everywhere. It is not a fantasy. The clues were there all along.

– Jonathan Young, PhD Psychologist
Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives

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