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Beatles books you own
29 January 2010
11.13am
Joe
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I thought this might be a nice way to list what people have – it might spark a discussion elsewhere if people haven't heard of something. So here goes. Luckily I moved house recently and all my Beatles books are all in one place; in the old house they were here, there and everywhere.

The Beatles: Anthology
Ringo Starr: Postcards From The Boys
John Lennon: In His Own Write
John Lennon: A Spaniard In The Works
John Lennon: Skywriting By Word Of Mouth
The Beatles: A Hard Day's Night (1964 novelisation)
The Beatles: Help! (1965 novelisation)

Memoirs and others:

Pattie Boyd: Wonderful Today (I think this is called Wonderful Tonight in the US; I'm not sure why the difference)
Tony Barrow: John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me
Yoko Ono: Grapefruit
Al Brodax: Up Periscope Yellow
Tony Bramwell: Magical Mystery Tours
Cynthia Lennon: John
Richard DiLello: The Longest Cocktail Party
Julia Baird: Imagine This 

Interviews and authorised biographies:

Michael Braun: Love Me Do – The Beatles' Progress
Hunter Davies: The Beatles
Barry Miles: Many Years From Now
Jann S Wenner: Lennon Remembers
David Sheff: All We Are Saying
Barry Miles: The Beatles In Their Own Words 

Other biographies:

Philip Norman: Shout!
Philip Norman: John Lennon
Deborah Geller: The Brian Epstein Story
Albert Goldman: The Lives Of John Lennon
Jonathan Gould: Can't Buy Me Love 

Reference books:

Mark Lewisohn: The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions
Mark Lewisohn: The Complete Beatles Chronicle
Ian Macdonald: Revolution In The Head
Piet Schreuders, Mark Lewisohn, Adam Smith: The Beatles' London
Walter Everett: The Beatles As Musicians (parts 1 and 2)
Barry Miles: The Beatles Diary Vol 1
Keith Badman: The Beatles Diary Vol 2
Richie Unterberger: The Unreleased Beatles
Andy Babiuk: Beatles Gear
Christoph Maus: Beatles Worldwide 

Picture books etc:

Alan Aldridge et al: The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics
Terry Burrows: Treasures Of The Beatles
James Henke: Lennon Legend
Mark Hayward: The Beatles Unseen
Tim Hill: Then There Was Music
Tim Hill and Marie Clayton: The Beatles Unseen Archives
Marie Clayton and Gareth Thomas: John Lennon Unseen Archives
Andy Neill: Across The Universe

Others:

Jonathan Polk: Box Of Vision
Spencer Leigh: The Cavern – The Most Famous Club In The World
Ron Jones: The Beatles' Liverpool
Ulf Kruger: Beatles In Hamburg
David Jones: The Beatles And Wales
Mark Lewisohn and Kevin Howlett: In My Life – John Lennon Remembered
Keith Badman: The Beatles Off The Record
Peter Doggett: The Art & Music Of John Lennon
Steve Turner: A Hard Day's Write
John Blaney: Lennon & McCartney, Together Alone
John Blaney: Beatles For Sale
Joseph Niezgoda: The Lennon Prophesy
R Gary Patterson: The Great Beatle Death Clues
Sean Egan: The Mammoth Book of The Beatles
David Quantick: Revolution
Beatles Complete (guitar/piano scores)

Phew – I think that's everything, though I'm sure I've missed some. Not all of these I recommend, though some are truly fantastic. In time I'd like to write articles for most of them for the /books section. As it is, this is pretty much a bibliography for this site, though not all of them have been used (and others have been fairly useless). A lot of the picture books and biogs, for instance, I bought very cheaply when record chains were going out of business.

For the future, I'd like to get Recording The Beatles and Peter Doggett's You Never Give Me Your Money. I'm also interested in the Bruce Spizer books, which are said to be very good though AFAIK aren't available in the UK other than by mail order.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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29 January 2010
5.19pm
skye
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That's quite a collection you have. Cool There are novelizations of Help! and AHDN? I don't know why that surprises me, but it does.

My collection is still in it's infancy:

John Lennon: In His Own Write

Mark Lewisohn: The Complete Beatles Chronicle

David Bedford: Liddypool Birthplace of The Beatles

Jude Southerland Kessler: Shoulda Been There

Linda McCartney: Linda McCartney's Home Cooking

I hope to get Anthology next. Are there any books in your collection I should avoid?

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
29 January 2010
6.28pm
Joe
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Sure. I wouldn't bother with Grapefruit, Up Periscope Yellow or The Lennon Prophesy. Fortunately I didn't pay for any of those.

I don't rate A Hard Day's Write particularly highly, nor Tony Bramwell's Magical Mystery Tours (I'm reading it at the moment and it's infuriating). I also dislike Philip Norman's books. He's a poor writer, but pretty thorough with his research. The picture books are worth flicking through, but mostly nothing worth seeking out.

About half of the Albert Goldman book is made-up junk, but parts of it are fascinating. It's a hatchet job, but worth a look if you can find a copy.

The novelisations of AHDN and Help! were UK paperbacks, published by Pan/Mayflower-Dell respectively, written by John Burke/Al Hine. I've only ever seen the copies I have – I got them secondhand somewhere years ago.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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

29 January 2010
9.34pm
skye
AZ
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Thank you for that. I think it's going to be easier to tell people what not to buy me.

I have so many questions about these books, but I'll wait until you do a review of them or someone starts a thread. That Goldman book certainly seems controversial. I'll probably wait on that until I know more in general. Right now, I wouldn't be able to separate the wheat from the shaft.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
30 January 2010
3.48am
Alissa
Find me in my field of grass
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Ah, Skye, we share the same dilemma- premature collections!
I'm still working on mine, my mother's quite wary about getting too into buying Beatles merchandise as well as book, "Alissa, it's just a phase!"

Despite her constant nagging, here are the books I've acquired:

John Lennon: The Life
by Philip Norman

Paul McCartney: A Life
by Peter Ames Carlin

A Hard Day's Write: the Stories Behind Every Beatles Song
by Steve Turner

Get Back Sessions (I suppose it's a novelization of the documentary; it's full of pictures as well as bits of dialogue and witty observations. Credited to all the Beatles, no specific author.)

I Met the Walrus
by Jerry Levitan 

Beatleology
by Adam and Roger Jaquette

Lennon and McCartney: Solos for Cello
(Lennon/McCartney credited as authors.) 

I'm still waiting for my bank account to catch up to my materialistic needs already- I want In His Own Write and Grapefruit something fierce!

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
30 January 2010
4.06am
skye
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Yay! You're back. I think you'll like In His Own Write. It's weird, and some of it I had to read out loud to understand, but it is fun! Wink How's the McCartney bio?

(Heh. Preemie book collections.)

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
30 January 2010
8.02am
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
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Wow, can't believe I own (or used to own) a few that Joe didn't list! (Even though at least one of 'em is tangential at best, not to mention useless…)

They are:

Yellow Submarine (illustrated book of the film)

Henry Edwards, "Sgt. Pepper's…" etc. (novelization of the '78 film - stupendously inane, even compared to the movie itself!)

Peter Brown, "The Love You Make"

Nicholas Schaffner, "Beatles Forever"

Derek Taylor, "It Was 20 Years Ago Today"

Bob Spitz, "The Beatles: The Biography"

Also, dunno if this counts, but I've got a "Special Beatles Issue" of GUITAR LEGENDS magazine which i bought last month.

Others:

Norman, John Lennon

Lewisohn, Complete Chronicle

DeLillo, Longest Cocktail Party

Wenner, Lennon Remembers

Goldman, "The Lives…" (Received as a xmas gift in '89 – I certainly wouldn't have bought it for myself!)

I think that's all, can't remember if I ever owned any others…

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
30 January 2010
7.07pm
Alissa
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I wasn't aware I had gone anywhere, but happy to be back all the same, Skye! I suppose I feel I don't have much to add to the conversations you lead so eloquently with other people; I think I just usually agree with you!

My, am I a fan of the weird and bizarre! That's why I'm so looking forward to both In His Own Write and the Spaniard, plus, any addition to my humble book collection would be great. And the Paul biography was so-so, I was expecting some sort of revelation, like I experienced in Phil Norman's book about John. I thought that in the Paul bio there was some intimate details missing, and those are the best parts! There were though, some conversations that were remembered by spectators or friends of the Beatles that they had shared, and it told of the dynamics in the group, namely the need John had to stay on top of everything. And quite frankly, the book had so much about John. I think it's a slippery slope for any Beatle's author to completely stay away from John's life, and Peter Carlin sort of fell into the hole. He also completely skimmed over Paul's solo music, which I thought should have been analyzed more in depth.

WHEW. Enough of a review for ya? ;)

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
30 January 2010
9.17pm
Joe
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Alissa said:

Get Back Sessions (I suppose it's a novelization of the documentary; it's full of pictures as well as bits of dialogue and witty observations. Credited to all the Beatles, no specific author.)


Is it this one?

Because if it is, it's very rare indeed. It was part of the original Let It Be box in the UK, which sold poorly as it cost a pound more than a conventional album. The book was bound badly too, and the pages fall out quite easily.

I've got a copy – I was browsing in a second-hand record stall in my local market and saw a Let It Be box set. I gulped, asked how much it was, and the man shrugged and said £25. It's worth about £150 in mint condition, though mine's not. The book is fine but the box is pretty knackered. Still, well worth the money, and another book that I forgot I had!

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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

30 January 2010
10.55pm
skye
AZ
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Alissa said:

WHEW. Enough of a review for ya? ;)


Yes, actually. :P So basically, we'll have to wait until Paul and Ringo pass on to get a full biography of them? I know Ringo's quoted as saying that he won't do an autobiography because readers would only be interested in what John was like. I think he should do one anyway, because there were four members to this band and his perspective on it's inner workings is invaluable. *steps off soapbox* So, yeah, I'll add that to the maybe pile.  (FYI – I figured winter break was over and school started again.)

vonbontee – Wow. That Sgt. Pepper book/movie. Is that the Star Wars Christmas Special of the Beatles' world, or what? I'd be torn between burning it or keeping it as a warning to future generations.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
30 January 2010
11.27pm
Joe
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Paul, as far as I know, is unlikely to do an autobiography. Many Years From Now by Barry Miles was an authorised biog, with extensive contributions and quotations from McCartney. I'd imagine he doesn't have much more to add to what's in there.

If you haven't got Many Years From Now, I thoroughly recommend it. It's one of the best Beatles books available, though inevitably one-sided. Skye – you should get it along with Anthology as soon as you're able.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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

30 January 2010
11.55pm
skye
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Thanks for the recommendation. It looks like I can get a copy for pretty cheap. Now I just need to make time to read all of these books.

This book sections seems to be working out pretty well. :)

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
31 January 2010
2.50am
Alissa
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Joe said:

Is it this one?


Ooh, yes, that is the one! Now I feel important, knowing it's rarity! :D Alas, the condition is verging on unreadable. My mum picked it up for me for 3$ at a garage sale, though something spilled all over it, the pages were stuck together and I took a precious hour and a half to pry them apart. I somewhat succeeded, though some bits of dialoque have been ripped. Nevertheless, I now thank my lucky stars and my thrifty mum who decided to buy a cheap book for me!

And Skye-
I'm not back to school just yet, a few more precious  days until the inevitable return.

I myself am actually searching for a worthwhile George biography- I read I Me Mine and was disappointed. There were, what, 30 pages about his most known facts of his life? His childhood, decision to delve in Hinduism, and numerous mentions of Olivia, not one of Patty! Joe, have you read any well done ones of George, accounting your large collection and expertise? :P

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
31 January 2010
8.01am
mjb
Candlestick Park
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Alissa said:

Joe said:

Is it this one?


Ooh, yes, that is the one! Now I feel important, knowing it's rarity! :D Alas, the condition is verging on unreadable. My mum picked it up for me for 3$ at a garage sale, though something spilled all over it, the pages were stuck together and I took a precious hour and a half to pry them apart. I somewhat succeeded, though some bits of dialoque have been ripped. Nevertheless, I now thank my lucky stars and my thrifty mum who decided to buy a cheap book for me!


I've got this (in the loft somewhere – I really must find it). I paid about £30 for it back in the early nineties. It was in pretty good nick BUT the only problem (and it's a known one) is that the glue that sticks the pages together is crap! As you turn pages they literally come out of the book.

I'm going to go mad now until I find it.  Thank Joe Frown

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
31 January 2010
11.49am
Joe
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MJB – sorry for the reminder Smile

Alissa – glad I could help! I think the Get Back book probably isn't a massive rarity, though it's unusual to see one. After all, the Let It Be album sold quite a bit in its first six months. It's really the condition that makes it rare – mint ones are very sought after.

As for George biogs, I don't really know. I read I Me Mine years ago and found it disappointing – it was quite badly written and could have done with a decent editor. The best thing about it IIRC was the reproductions of the handwritten lyrics of the Beatles songs. I know Lennon hated it as he barely got a mention.

I'm sure there are better George books out there but I haven't got round to investigating them… yet.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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

31 January 2010
12.09pm
mjb
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Joe said:

As for George biogs, I don't really know. I read I Me Mine years ago and found it disappointing – it was quite badly written and could have done with a decent editor. The best thing about it IIRC was the reproductions of the handwritten lyrics of the Beatles songs. I know Lennon hated it as he barely got a mention.

I'm sure there are better George books out there but I haven't got round to investigating them… yet.


Well don't get these - 'Behind Sad Eyes: The Life of George Harrison' by Marc Shapiro – or this – 'George Harrison, Second Edition' by Adam Clayson - as there are slated on Amazon!

I think that as George's life has been so well documented as a Beatle, to find one written particularly about him (and to include his solo years) might be hard to find. Unless something is authorised by either Olivia or Dhani we'll probably only get inaccurate gossip.  Olivia did write the foreward to the Rolling Stone tribute (Harrison – Editors of Rolling Stone) but that was more a tribute than a biography.

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
3 February 2010
5.06am
KaabiStar
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Being only a recent Beatles fan, I don't own any books (:P), but I have borrowed Meet the Beatles by Steven D. Stark from the local library.

3 February 2010
10.32am
Joe
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A recent Beatles fan – oh lucky you! You've so much to explore. Hopefully you'll find the song/album guides useful in finding out more.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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

3 February 2010
11.25am
mjb
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KaabiStar said:Being only a recent Beatles fan, I don't own any books (:P), but I have borrowed Meet the Beatles by Steven D. Stark from the local library.


I find that great KaabiStar! To think there was someone out there who never took much notice and then BANG, they got on the bandwagon. You don't need to become addicted BUT I'm sure you have many hours of fun ahead as you discover all about their music and lives. It is one hell of a journey – enjoy.

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
5 February 2010
1.33am
BeatleMark
Pensacola, Florida
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Being that I gave up me bachelor pad and moved in with my fiance', I only have the most important books with me….others are in storage.

1.  The Beatles Anthology

2.  The Beatles Recording Sessions/The Beatles Chronicles-Mark Lewisohn

3.  The Unreleased Beatles-Richie Unterberger

4.  Beatles Gear-Andy Babiuk

5.  The Authorized Biography-Hunter Davies

6.  The Beatles Live!-Mark Lewisohn (Goes along with "The Beatles Chronicles" has other info on certain live performances/dates)

7.  The Unseen Beatles-Bob Whitaker

8.  The Last Days of John Lennon-Fred Seaman 

9.  Apple to The Core (paperback)-Peter McCabe & Robert Schonfeld

9.  Magical Mystery Tours…My Life With The Beatles-Tony Bramwell

10.  A Hard Day's Write-Steve Turner

11.  Fab Four FAQ- Stuart Shea & Robert Rodriguez  (Lots of fun, this one!)

12.  Price Guide for the Beatles American Records -Frank Daniels & Perry Cox (great info for the vinyl collector)

13.  Here, There & Everywhere-Geoff Emmerick (revised edition)

14.  All You Need Is Ears-George Martin

15.  Ticket To Ride….Inside the Beatles 1964 & 1965 Tours That Changed the World-Larry Kane

For Gossip & Rumours…Surprised

The Lives Of John Lennon-Albert Goldman

Sunday's on the phone to Monday, Tuesday's on the phone to me.
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