This massive new biography of the Beatles will undoubtedly become the definitive book on the band. Not only has the author conducted literally hundreds of interviews, sometimes with people who have never spoken before about their links with the Beatles, or have never spoken so candidly before; he has also told the story of their entire career, tour by tour, gig by gig, with an enthralling narrative drive. His re-creation, for example, of the Beatles' exhausting early years playing in Hamburg in Germany - performing set ...
This massive new biography of the Beatles will undoubtedly become the definitive book on the band. Not only has the author conducted literally hundreds of interviews, sometimes with people who have never spoken before about their links with the Beatles, or have never spoken so candidly before; he has also told the story of their entire career, tour by tour, gig by gig, with an enthralling narrative drive. His re-creation, for example, of the Beatles' exhausting early years playing in Hamburg in Germany - performing set after set all night, every night, to often violent audiences, and living in squalid conditions at the mercy of rapacious promoters, is a tour de force. The book also casts new light on many aspects of a story, which, most people might assume has been done to death - especially by talking to the band members friends and family as well as all those musicians whose paths crossed with the Beatles over the years. Here is Ringo's boyhood best friend, George's first girlfriend, Paul's first serious love (never before interviewed), and every one of John's art school mates. Here is Terry Doran, the Apple executive and George's confidante, who has never before spoken about that era, and a whole host of archival material never before consulted. It will be an essential purchase for every Beatles lover.
At 850 pages, you'd think this book would reveal every nook and cranny about the Beatles' development from Liverpool's worst garage band to the band that took pop culture to the top floor. It starts that way, delving into the lives of the Beatles' grandparents-- all fascinating stuff. But about 3/4 through, it starts skipping large segments of time or gives brief overviews, like "John spent all his time getting high and watching the telly."
I've only read 3-4 Beatles bios, and there are more than a dozen, if not dozens. And they probably deserve that level of scrutiny, and probably greater analysis than Spitz's recitation of dates, places, and names. The book has a vast amount of information, and at the very least, will have me reading several more Beatle bios, trying to fill in the blanks. It's a fascinating, historic story that really did change the world in ways no one intended or expected in their wildest dreams.
Apr 3, 2014
This book was cheaper than our local Half Price Books store, and it arrived in good condition and very quickly. Thank s Alibris!!
Aug 25, 2011
I've read a couple of other biographies of the Beatles and was disappointed with their depth and discussion. I was not disappointed with this biography. Lots of rich detail into the lives of each of the Beatles and their career - with lots of discussion of their early days - and the important people who worked with them (Brian Epstein and George Martin, in particular). You get a great sense of who they were and why things turned out the way they did.
While no book can cover everything, I'm still mystified by "Beatlemania". What confluence of factors led to the explosion around this particular group based on, essentially, two successful singles? Spitz tries to explain it, in some part, but he didn't really do the job.
Bottom line, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in the Beatles. My hat is off to Bob Spitz - bravo!
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