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Beatles Book Reviews on my Blog
28 January 2014
12.06am
meanmistermustard
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DrBeatle said
And here it is, my review of The Beatle Who Vanished: http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com…..ed_27.html

 

I *really* enjoyed this book! I highly recommend it. Anyone else here read it? What did you think?

I've heard/seen very good reviews of it but haven't read it myself. Got about 5 books to get thru before i can even consider others to start reading.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
28 January 2014
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DrBeatle
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If you get a chance, I highly recommend. It's excellent!

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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28 January 2014
3.16pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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DrBeatle, you mentioned somewhere in this thread that you consider Steven Gaines and Peter Brown's book 'The Love You Make' to be awful. (I thought it was good but perhaps was biased, having been interviewed by Steve G in the past.) 

This post might interest you.

https://www.facebook.com/gaines.steven/posts/10201349222074841

Let us know what you think.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
28 January 2014
4.58pm
DrBeatle
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Hmm, I can't seem to open the link? I'll try again in a bit. The reason I didn't like the book is that so much of it is hearsay. They describe in great detail events at which neither one of them were there and if you read other firsthand accounts of said events, none of them go into as much detail. He also seemed to have a major agenda in pushing the "John was gay" narrative and painting Paul in as poorly a light as possible. I just found the book to be seedy and focusing too much on the bad or salacious stuff. Just my personal opinion.

 

I'll try to view that link later. Curious to see what it is!

 

EDIT: seems I can't view the link you shared, Ron, unless I'm friends with him on Facebook. Any chance of cutting and pasting it here?

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @blackbookblur

 

28 January 2014
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DrBeatle, here it is (this story would make you think he was very pro-Paul; as for the gay issue, I wasn't struck by it, but S Gaines is gay after all, so some focus on the topic wouldn't be surprising [note how he calls Paul 'adorable']):

In fall of 1980 I was sitting in the living room of Waterfall, Paul McCartney’s simple, two-bedroom country cottage in Sussex, England, when he asked me if I wanted to smoke a joint with him. 

I met Paul McCartney a few weeks before, in his office in London, when I interviewed him for a book I had been asked to write with Peter Brown, the former COO of Apple Corp, the Beatles’ financial empire, and a trusted Liverpool associate of “the boys,” as he would call them. Peter Brown introduced Paul to Linda Eastman, he was best man at John and Yoko’s wedding, and the least, but perhaps the most charming of his credentials, is that he’s the only real person ever mentioned in a Beatles song, “Peter Brown called to say, you can make it okay, you can marry in Gibraltar near Spain,” from the “Ballad of John and Yoko.” 

Peter Brown introduced me to the Beatles inner circle—family, friends, wives and ex-wives, business associates, and finally the Beatles themselves. I was thrilled most of all to meet John Lennon, who was living in New York. Unfortunately he was uncommunicative, prickly, and justifiably bored of answering the questions of venerating journalists. No matter what I said he sneered at me, and I left the interview feeling a fool. 

Likeable Ringo, whom I interviewed in Los Angeles, seemed to remember little about his life with the Beatles, only the caboose in some sort of smoky, inebriated dream. George Harrison made us a pot of tea in the drafty, vast kitchen of his 120 room estate, Friar Park, in Henley-on-Thames, but he was disappointingly pompous. When I told him I had grown my moustache when I was 19 years old because he had grown a moustache, he shrugged, unimpressed. He spent two hours lecturing me about transcendental meditation and the details of publishing a limited edition of his autobiography, “I, Me Mine,” which is how he certainly must have felt getting out of the shadows cast by McCartney and Lennon. 

Lastly I met Paul at his business office in London’s Soho. He was open, kind, occasionally adorable, and wily. He gave me a candid interview that we both enjoyed, and when it was over he invited Peter Brown and me to Waterfall the following week to spend the day.

Paul and Linda’s house was a lived-in mess, warm and dumpy, with no trappings of money or fame or gold records in sight. There were toys and books and stacks of stuff everywhere, and I was in the cluttered house for a couple of hours before I realized there was a grand piano in the living room. The house was circular, the walls didn’t go all the way to the ceiling in places, and you could hear the toilet flush. When I had the cheek to ask Paul if the lack of privacy was inhibiting to him and Linda, he said that if it was they wouldn’t have made so many babies. They had two children at home, Stella, who was then 9 years old, and her brother James, who was 3, and whom Paul clearly adored. 

Paul told me that he and Linda didn’t smoke grass in the house because of the children. He had already been arrested for marijuana possession in Scotland (for growing plants), in Los Angeles (for which Linda took the rap), and Sweden (for possession), and had just months before spent nine hellish days in prison in Narita, Japan where they caught him trying to bring a half-a-pound of marijuana into the country on tour with his group Wings. 

That day at Waterfall, Peter Brown stayed behind in the house to catch up with Linda while I took a ride with Paul in his brand new Mini. We smoked while he showed me around Peasmarsh, the local village, and his 160 acre farm, on which he raised horses, sheep, and chickens. It was a glorious early autumn day, the English countryside was lush, and I suddenly had this overwhelming epiphany that I was with Paul McCartney sharing a joint. 

So I told him, “It’s really unbelievable to me that I’m being driven around the English countryside by Paul McCartney.”

He thought for a second and said, “Some days it’s really unbelievable to me that I’m Paul McCartney.”

I’ve told the rest of this story in print before, with Peter Brown as the narrator. When Paul and I returned from our car ride all toasty, Paul had to deal with the matter of his daughter Heather, 18, and her new boyfriend. Heather was living in rooming house a nearby town while she finished school, and her landlady had forbid her to have young men in her room unless her bedroom door was open a few feet. Paul asked to meet the young man Heather was dating, and they were waiting for us when we returned. 

Heather’s wide-eyed boyfriend, maybe 20 years old, shuffled his feet and looked at the floor, working hard to remain cool and composed. Imagine how hard it is to meet your girlfriend’s dad for the first time, let alone that he’s Paul McCartney.

Paul, sensing this, dove right in. “What’s your name, son?”

The young man told him his name.

“And what do you do, mate?” Paul asked.

The young man said hesitantly, “I’m in a band, sir.”

“I am too!” Paul said excitedly. “Mine’s called Wings. What instrument do you play?”
After that, the two were off in their own world talking about music. I could see how relieved and happy Heather was. Paul was quite a smoothie and loving dad.

Fifty years later, Paul McCartney and I live in the same town, East Hampton, and once in a blue moon I run into him at a local pub, where he’ll go for a pint and dinner with his wife. I sometimes think about going over and introducing myself to him, and see if he remembers that cruise around his property that I so treasure, but the guy deserves to be left alone and enjoy himself.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
28 January 2014
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DrBeatle
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Interesting…thanks for posting! It seems as if he was more the writer and Brown just gave him the material to write? I still don't like the book…I feel like it focuses too much on all the sensational/seedy/non-musical stuff and makes it seem as if Brown has an axe to grind. I do know that in 1984 when they had their big interview with Playboy, Paul and Linda felt betrayed that they'd let Brown and Gaines into their homes on the grounds that they were vaguely writing a book about "60s music" and it ended up being this book.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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31 January 2014
11.51am
Joe
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That's a nice recollection. I enjoyed reading it. However, "he’s the only real person ever mentioned in a Beatles song, “Peter Brown called to say, you can make it okay, you can marry in Gibraltar near Spain,” from the “Ballad of John and Yoko.”"

Dylan springs to mind (Yer Blues), and Paul was mentioned in Glass Onion. Assuming he's not dead, he's definitely a real person. Are there any others?

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1 February 2014
12.27am
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Wilson (Labour) and Heath (Tory) in "Taxman"!

Sir Walter Raleigh

But I think he meant that Peter Brown is the only one from the Beatle entourage to be in a Beatle song. 

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
3 February 2014
4.01pm
Joe
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Yes, I thought that was what he meant too, it just struck me as funny. Thanks for the additional names.

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Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

3 February 2014
9.09pm
DrBeatle
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I know Joe has reviewed this book here, but I also just read and reviewed Fab Gear: The Beatles and Fashion: http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com…..shion.html

 

I thought it was good…not an essential purchase but an enjoyable look at the the clothes, styles, and hair of the times. Some great pictures in there, too. Quite a few big, bad goofs, though!

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

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6 February 2014
1.58pm
DrBeatle
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The John Lennon Letters: http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com…..tters.html

 

I LOVED this book! Absolutely adored it…anyone else here read it? Thoughts?

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

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6 February 2014
2.27pm
Ron Nasty
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Overall, it's not a bad book, but was let down by the mistakes in it (though these may have been corrected in your edition).

There was a discussion about the book here when it was first published.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
6 February 2014
2.34pm
DrBeatle
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I didn't find many mistakes at all, only a few, which were mainly words that Davies said he couldn't decipher but which I could without trouble. Many of them were Americanisms John had picked up from living here so it makes sense Davies wouldn't be as familiar with them as I was. Overall I adored the book, though.

I reviewed the paperback edition which is newer than the hardcover which, as you said, I've read about having a lot of errors.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @blackbookblur

 

4 March 2014
12.02am
DrBeatle
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It's been a while since I've reviewed a Beatles book! (Been reading and reviewing a lot of non-Beatles books). 

I just reviewed the new book The Beatles at Shea Stadium…I highly recommend it! A great book that's informative and also a lot of fun. 

http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com/2014/03/ … m.html?m=1

 

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

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4 March 2014
11.39am
fabfouremily
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Great review, DrBeatle. The book sounds good, I think I'll add it to my wishlist :)

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

5 March 2014
1.57pm
DrBeatle
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Thanks! And I highly recommend. Even though it's a self-published book, it's really well done and a LOT of fun to read. Very informative, too. It's like traveling back in time to 1965.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @blackbookblur

 

11 March 2014
2.28pm
DrBeatle
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I just reviewed Julian's book about his Beatles memorabilia collection: http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com…..ulian.html

I really enjoyed the book a lot…my only complaint is I wish there was more of Julian talking in the book and less of his co-author, Brian Southall

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

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3 April 2014
3.08am
Ahhh Girl
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Joe said
That's a nice recollection. I enjoyed reading it. However, "he’s the only real person ever mentioned in a Beatles song, “Peter Brown called to say, you can make it okay, you can marry in Gibraltar near Spain,” from the “Ballad of John and Yoko.”"
Dylan springs to mind (Yer Blues), and Paul was mentioned in Glass Onion. Assuming he's not dead, he's definitely a real person. Are there any others?

Into the Sky with Diamonds said
Wilson (Labour) and Heath (Tory) in "Taxman"!

Sir Walter Raleigh

But I think he meant that Peter Brown is the only one from the Beatle entourage to be in a Beatle song. 

Joe said
Yes, I thought that was what he meant too, it just struck me as funny. Thanks for the additional names.

 

 

@Joe and @Into the Sky with Diamonds 

I'm late to this party, but I just realized that Edgar Allan Poe should be added to this list.

Can buy Joe love! Here's the link that explains how. http://www.beatlesbible.com/forum/getting-better/forum-changes/page-9/#p110183

 

3 April 2014
4.02am
Ron Nasty
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Ahhh Girl said

Joe said
That's a nice recollection. I enjoyed reading it. However, "he’s the only real person ever mentioned in a Beatles song, “Peter Brown called to say, you can make it okay, you can marry in Gibraltar near Spain,” from the “Ballad of John and Yoko.”"
Dylan springs to mind (Yer Blues), and Paul was mentioned in Glass Onion. Assuming he's not dead, he's definitely a real person. Are there any others?

Into the Sky with Diamonds said
Wilson (Labour) and Heath (Tory) in "Taxman"!

Sir Walter Raleigh

But I think he meant that Peter Brown is the only one from the Beatle entourage to be in a Beatle song. 

Joe said
Yes, I thought that was what he meant too, it just struck me as funny. Thanks for the additional names.

 

 

@Joe and @Into the Sky with Diamonds 

I'm late to this party, but I just realized that Edgar Allan Poe should be added to this list.

Chairman Mao jumps to mind. And, of course, if we're talking songs that name real people, the late Lucy Vodden (née O'Donnell), deserves a mention for being the girl in Julian's painting of a classmate in the sky with diamonds.

The following people thank Ron Nasty for this post:

Ahhh Girl
"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
3 April 2014
12.51pm
DrBeatle
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Elmore James in "For You Blue…"

Ringo mentions himself in "Matchbox:" "If you don't want Ringo's peaches, honey, please don't mess around my tree…"

and of course any of the early songs when Ringo asks George to "rock on" for him right before a solo

The following people thank DrBeatle for this post:

Ahhh Girl

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @blackbookblur

 

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