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All rights reserved. I also wore a black satin Beatles jacket with The Beatles logo embroidered on the back, not just on that day but most days.
My teenage son resurrected it just a couple of years ago to wear at high school. Now he's performing with his own band at Beatlefest in the Battle of the Beatles Bands So heartwarming and nostalgic to relive the memory of reading this excellent book on The Beatles and all the little tangents it took me through. Decades later I read in various places that Paul McCartney was unhappy with how Norman portrayed him in this book, in kind of a cynical and snarky way.
I don't remember noticing that I when I read the book. However, Norman sort of apologized years later telling McCartney that if he did depict him in a bad light, it was out of envy; Paul envy! Norman wanted to be Paul McCartney! Anyway, Paul forgave him and allowed an authorized biography of him which I do have on kindle but have not yet read. Norman also reissued "Shout! I also have that on kindle So many books, so little time!
View all 39 comments. With diminishing returns for Paul, then George and the aforementioned, poor Ringo, who bought a new car somewhere in this book. Also, Norman never talked to the Beatles, so no interviews with them, which is like writing a book about the New Testament without the Jesus spoken words highlighted in red or italicized. Yoko wept. Any scholarly or in-depth study of the music sadly takes a back seat.
Pepper was the Beatles best album? Sure it was. First, they were screwed out of money made from the licensing of their images, especially in the U. Second, when they formed the Apple Corporation with dreams of funding the Age of Aquarius, it was Hippie idealism running smack into the brick wall that is basic Economics. Was this book a Magical Misery Tour? Not quite. View all 11 comments. Shelves: biographies.
Let me put it this way: If you're a John person, read and enjoy. If you're a George person, be prepared to feel a bit depressed. If you're a Ringo person I raise my hand here , the little you'll see of him should not distress you overmuch, as he gets the last word and it's rather nice.
If, however, you are a Paul person View 1 comment. Feb 24, Jim rated it it was ok. While it's an entertaining read, the veracity of the book is questionable. The book starts off well, from the early lives of the band members through their time in Hamburg and the Cavern Club, but starts a steady decline once Brian Epstein begins to manage the b "Now everybody seems to have their own opinion Who did this and who did that But as for me I don't see how they can remember When they weren't where it was at The book starts off well, from the early lives of the band members through their time in Hamburg and the Cavern Club, but starts a steady decline once Brian Epstein begins to manage the band.
There are a number of issues which keep this from being an excellent look at the Fab Four: Omniscient narrator - Norman frequently takes poetic license and spells out the private thoughts of people to further his narrative. Fine in a novel, but misleading and unethical in non-fiction. Exactly how does he know what the deceased Brian Epstein was thinking at any moment in time?
If he's willing to include this as a 'fact', how reliable are the juiciest bits of the book? Lennon, Lennon, Lennon - in the foreword, Norman says that he prefers Lennon Paul is a vain social climber; George is always the kid brother struggling to keep up; Ringo is largely a non-entity. This even continues into the newly added material, where he focuses on the decline of George and Ringo's careers, and ignores Macca's success in favor of criticizing his solo albums.
There are good bits - the details about the band's finances, their licensing agreements, and the structures of record companies were educational. Overall, the book is ambitious, but ultimately unsatisfying. I'll just say this. I've been a fan of the Beatles for almost five full decades. Their first single, Love Me Do came out less than 24 hours before I was born. I heard the Beatles from birth. My older brother and sister kept me current with each new song.
I was struck dumb by the deaths of John and George. I've seen countless Beatles tribute bands, seen Beatlemania! And, to top it off, I've read over 60 books on the Beatles, both as a band, and the four individuals. Through all of that, this is the singular best book I've ever read on the Beatles.
Nov 03, W rated it liked it Shelves: music. I never liked the Beatles' music,but I enjoyed this book which details their rise from humble beginnings to the heights of Beatlemania worldwide. Eventually they split,and tragedy followed as John Lennon was assassinated. Interesting,and very readable. This is the first book I read about The Beatles, and I appreciate Norman for his massive amount of research and interesting account of them.
I learned a lot and I became ever more fascinated with The Beatles and their power and enigma in their generation. Because of this, I feel generous enough to give this book 3 stars.
Here is why giving 3 stars to this book is generous: There are a lot of information offered, but recently, I've learned that a massive portion of it is either deliberately wrong This is the first book I read about The Beatles, and I appreciate Norman for his massive amount of research and interesting account of them. Here is why giving 3 stars to this book is generous: There are a lot of information offered, but recently, I've learned that a massive portion of it is either deliberately wrong or it's outdated.
It's heavily and ridiculously opinionated. Sometimes, having a voice and tone is necessary to keep the reader interested, but too much of it can be off-putting. Norman excessively favors John, and it oozes from his tone and language. This I found the most annoying, and at times even irritating, especially given that he's very harshly condescending towards the other three Beatles' misdemeanors while he describes John's much worse doings with a sense of glory and awe.
Of course there are preferences, and it's not wrong to have them, but when Norman himself admits to this bias in the book!
So, with all that said, I'm only giving 3 stars to this book because it made me aware of The Beatles on a deeper level, and made me want to know more about them. However, in regards to recommendation, I wouldn't recommend this one; go with Mark Lewisohn's Tune In if you want to truly know The Beatles without any myths or favoritism!
Oct 19, maricar rated it really liked it Shelves: contemporary , nonfiction , the-beatles. An engrossing read especially if one was listening simultaneously to the music , showing the band in all their naked glory and un -glory, with touches of humor and sorrow someone would readily expect from these guys. Also, I wished he paid as much attention to Harrison An engrossing read especially if one was listening simultaneously to the music , showing the band in all their naked glory and un -glory, with touches of humor and sorrow someone would readily expect from these guys.
Also, I wished he paid as much attention to Harrison and Starkey as he did on Lennon and McCartney—even on this book, it seems that Ringo is taken for granted and basically shoved to the background. Oct 22, Tim rated it it was amazing. I'm getting a bit nostalgic about my music. I've always been a big music fan but the music of the 60s and 70s and the social situations of that time fascinate more and more the older I get.
Reading about the major acts like The Beatles inherently requires an understanding of what was going on around them - as they both were affected and affected the life of the times in equal measure.
Norman tells the story at the perfect pace. I waited nearly four years to read this book after receiving it as a Christmas gift from my wife and kids, almost afraid to peek behind the curtain surrounding my favorite band of all time.
Once I started, it took me nearly a month to get through it, not so much reading as absolutely consuming its contents. I was a huge Beatles fan before, but I knew very little about them, and this book only deepened my appreciation for them—even if it severely spoiled my perception of them. Who knew they were I waited nearly four years to read this book after receiving it as a Christmas gift from my wife and kids, almost afraid to peek behind the curtain surrounding my favorite band of all time.
Who knew they were such flawed individuals, much like the rest of us? Silly me. I grew up with idealized visions of them and what they represented. That this was to be no glowing fan review prompted me in its early pages to slow down and literally study the book, much like a college text, soaking up and squeezing out every detail that I could.
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