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Best Beatles Book?
30 January 2013
6.42pm
fabfouremily
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Someone mentioned May Pang´s book, Loving John. That´s a book I´ve been meaning to get for quite some time now, has anyone read it and can give feedback? :)

''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.''

30 January 2013
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parlance
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I don't know if I can add much more than what I posted above about it. But she's a good writer and it's obviously a very personal account. But again, it's gets pretty grim when referencing the abuse.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

30 January 2013
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DrBeatle
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The interview Joe has on here with her is great, too. She's very honest and candid about it all, especially her feelings toward Yoko (as an avowed Yoko-hater, I enjoyed it 8) )

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

 

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30 January 2013
11.41pm
parlance
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DrBeatle said  
I'd love to hear your thoughts on those after you read them. I'm going to re-read for the zillionth time the Anthology book and all of Lewisohn's books next, those are real treasure troves of info

They just arrived at the library so I'll be inhaling them soon. ;->

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

31 January 2013
4.23am
Ron Nasty
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fabfouremily said
Someone mentioned May Pang´s book, Loving John. That´s a book I´ve been meaning to get for quite some time now, has anyone read it and can give feedback? :)

Been a while since I've read it, she writes well and very evocatively, it also appears a more honest view of life with Lennon than I think either Cynthia or Yoko have given over the years. I'd recommend it if you're prepared for John's feet of clay.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
31 January 2013
5.26pm
fabfouremily
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mja6758 said

fabfouremily said
Someone mentioned May Pang´s book, Loving John. That´s a book I´ve been meaning to get for quite some time now, has anyone read it and can give feedback? :)

Been a while since I've read it, she writes well and very evocatively, it also appears a more honest view of life with Lennon than I think either Cynthia or Yoko have given over the years. I'd recommend it if you're prepared for John's feet of clay.

Okay, thanks. I´m going to get it within the next few weeks :)

 

''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.''

31 January 2013
8.03pm
vonbontee
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Yeah, there's a copy of Loving John on the shelf at the library I frequent, I've been planning to get to that one for awhile myself. I'm reading other things now but I'll get to it soon enough, don't worry.

I'm fully prepared for whatever sordidness. (In fact, I relish it)

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
1 February 2013
5.02am
Ron Nasty
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fabfouremily said

mja6758 said

fabfouremily said
Someone mentioned May Pang´s book, Loving John. That´s a book I´ve been meaning to get for quite some time now, has anyone read it and can give feedback? :)

Been a while since I've read it, she writes well and very evocatively, it also appears a more honest view of life with Lennon than I think either Cynthia or Yoko have given over the years. I'd recommend it if you're prepared for John's feet of clay.

Okay, thanks. I´m going to get it within the next few weeks :)

 

vonbontee said
Yeah, there's a copy of Loving John on the shelf at the library I frequent, I've been planning to get to that one for awhile myself. I'm reading other things now but I'll get to it soon enough, don't worry.

I'm fully prepared for whatever sordidness. (In fact, I relish it)

I think it's a great book and well worth the read. The only caveat I would add regarding its accuracy is the one she added during her interview with Joe in 2011:

     Your book Loving John has been long out of print. I heard you're working on a revised edition. Can you say any more about that?

     I had a lot of issues with that book. My intention was to write a balanced and accurate account of our time together. The publisher edited the book almost in half, keeping the more controversial stories while disregarding the good, productive side. They didn't think it would sell. Obviously, I wasn't going to whitewash the story and I didn't. But I'd like to restore some of the context. There was plenty of good.

Joe's interview with her is great, and I highly recommend for an idea of how she remembers John.

http://www.beatlesbible.com/fe…..view-2011/

There's also this great pictures of John and Paul. Maybe one of the last:

 

                                                     John Lennon and Paul McCartney, 1974

 

 

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
17 February 2013
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parlance
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DrBeatle said
I bought MacDonald's book when it first came out in '94 and it's one I read probably once a year ever since…I disagree with some of his criticisms, and he's pretty acerbic, but it's a great book.

Doggett's is one of the best I've read in a LONG time and I learned a TON of stuff I didn't know before. And it's been extensively researched and he had access to many people who had gone to ground for years (Magic Alex! Yoko! and others) so it's a fantastic book.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on those after you read them. I'm going to re-read for the zillionth time the Anthology book and all of Lewisohn's books next, those are real treasure troves of info

Dr. Beatle, I haven't yet read MacDonald's book (that's next), but I just finished Doggett's book, and I agree. It's one of the best books on the Beatles I've read so far. His commentary is so sharp, and I'm amazed how well he was able to synthesize all that information in a coherent form, and give us a perspective on where the Beatles' heads were when they made their business decisions. I like that he strove to be as objective as possible, citing the ways all the Beatles were responsible for their dissolution, making Klein less villainous and Magic Alex less inept (whether or not others agree with his assessments, I just don't find the one-dimensional portrayals insightful). I definitely learned a few things; that Paul initially approved Spector's production of "The Long And Winding Road," then later changed his mind when it was too late. Also, I was surprised to learn how bitter George was on the issue of Paul asking him to collaborate post-Beatles – at least until the Anthology. My gosh, he was relentlessly cranky.

I have a couple of tiny criticisms – namely that he seems to give a little too much credence to Francie Schwartz's account of events, as she's generally not regarded as a reliable source. And I wish he'd spent less time on Paul's divorce – I had a hard time seeing how it was relevant to the rest of the story, and a cynical part of me suspects that part was included to make the book more marketable. But again, tiny criticisms. It's a great book, and I'll be looking to get a permanent copy.

BTW, if you haven't read Tony Barrow's book, I think it makes a nice companion piece to Doggett's (I read it just before and I found that each book filled in some of the other's gaps).

I thought you might be interested in this extensive interview with Doggett if you haven't seen it (came across it via his blog):

Oomska talks to: Peter Doggett

Doggett talks at the end about his latest book on David Bowie. I didn't know that MacDonald took his own life, and it turns out that the book Doggett put out on Bowie was originally to be written by MacDonald.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

17 February 2013
9.38pm
LongHairedLady
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mja6758 said

 

There's also this great pictures of John and Paul. Maybe one of the last:

 

                                                     John Lennon and Paul McCartney, 1974

 

 

Yes, I do believe that is the last picture taken of them together.

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

18 February 2013
12.55am
vonbontee
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Nice photo

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
18 February 2013
1.11am
Ron Nasty
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I love the way John almost looks like Beatle John, circa '64-65 – back when he loved his Dylan cap. It's good to see the two looking so relaxed together. My comment about "maybe one of the last" was just was this the final photograph of the two taken by May Pang that day. You can bet this is one of a series of shots she took of them together. I would love to see more, maybe when her revised edition of Loving John is published, giving more of the balance she wanted in the original, she might include more shots.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
18 February 2013
8.32am
meanmistermustard
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To that they had a good time meeting up without Yoko around, that they both could relax and enjoy themselves, is some comfort. Maybe for John it was like having two wives around considering how close he and Paul were and what they had been thru, something no matter what Yoko could never understand or experience.

Maybe someone took a photo of when John, Paul, Yoko and Linda met in '76 at the Dakota, someone else was there but i cant remember who. You never know what will turn up.

"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)
10 March 2013
2.17am
parlance
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I'm halfway through Ian MacDonald's book, and came across this amusing snippet about For the Benefit of Mr. Kite:

Taking it to Abbey Road, [John] asked George Martin for a "fairground" production wherein one could smell the sawdust – which, while not in the narrowest sense a musical specification, was, by Lennon's standards, a clear and reasonable request. (He once asked Martin to make one of his songs sound like an orange.)

LOL. George Martin had the patience of a saint. You think when he got those kinds of requests, he was ever tempted to ask John if he was just messing with him? george-martin

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

10 March 2013
3.42pm
DrBeatle
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parlance said

DrBeatle said
I bought MacDonald's book when it first came out in '94 and it's one I read probably once a year ever since…I disagree with some of his criticisms, and he's pretty acerbic, but it's a great book.

Doggett's is one of the best I've read in a LONG time and I learned a TON of stuff I didn't know before. And it's been extensively researched and he had access to many people who had gone to ground for years (Magic Alex! Yoko! and others) so it's a fantastic book.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on those after you read them. I'm going to re-read for the zillionth time the Anthology book and all of Lewisohn's books next, those are real treasure troves of info

Dr. Beatle, I haven't yet read MacDonald's book (that's next), but I just finished Doggett's book, and I agree. It's one of the best books on the Beatles I've read so far. His commentary is so sharp, and I'm amazed how well he was able to synthesize all that information in a coherent form, and give us a perspective on where the Beatles' heads were when they made their business decisions. I like that he strove to be as objective as possible, citing the ways all the Beatles were responsible for their dissolution, making Klein less villainous and Magic Alex less inept (whether or not others agree with his assessments, I just don't find the one-dimensional portrayals insightful). I definitely learned a few things; that Paul initially approved Spector's production of "The Long And Winding Road," then later changed his mind when it was too late. Also, I was surprised to learn how bitter George was on the issue of Paul asking him to collaborate post-Beatles – at least until the Anthology. My gosh, he was relentlessly cranky.

I have a couple of tiny criticisms – namely that he seems to give a little too much credence to Francie Schwartz's account of events, as she's generally not regarded as a reliable source. And I wish he'd spent less time on Paul's divorce – I had a hard time seeing how it was relevant to the rest of the story, and a cynical part of me suspects that part was included to make the book more marketable. But again, tiny criticisms. It's a great book, and I'll be looking to get a permanent copy.

BTW, if you haven't read Tony Barrow's book, I think it makes a nice companion piece to Doggett's (I read it just before and I found that each book filled in some of the other's gaps).

I thought you might be interested in this extensive interview with Doggett if you haven't seen it (came across it via his blog):

Oomska talks to: Peter Doggett

Doggett talks at the end about his latest book on David Bowie. I didn't know that MacDonald took his own life, and it turns out that the book Doggett put out on Bowie was originally to be written by MacDonald.

parlance

I agree with you, Doggett managed to take something as dry as their business and interpersonal dealings and turned it into a gripping narrative. Thanks for the link for that interview, I have seen it but it's worth another read; he's an interesting guy with a unique perspective on things, a huge fan who also maneges to be almost right-down-the-middle objective, which is no easy feat! I did see on his blog he also discusses why he wanted to interview Magic Alex and what his impressions were. As usual, the truth most likely lies in between the caricature he's been made out to be by history, and Doggett's portrait, although my gut tells me it's still probably weighted more toward the caricature :lol:

 

I haven't read Barrow's book yet…that and Alistair Taylor's are next up on my list. I did read Tony Bramwell's book…it was *ok* but I don't know how much to take seriously…for such a minor figure in Beatles history, he was (supposedly) like Forrest Gump…in the right place at the right time for so many pivotal moments…so much so though that, frankly, it beggars belief!

"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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19 March 2013
9.53pm
AppleScruffJunior
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Linde said
GAH!

Just checked the website of my local library and they don't have You Never Give Me Your Money (and not in other locations either. My library can just order books from other locations)

I was quite surprised to learn my local one only owns a few Beatles books. They don't have the one I just mentioned, nor any of Lewisohn's books. They do have all these crappy half arsed biographies and novels which were named after songs such as Yesterday and some book called Walrusblood and stuff like that. DAFUQ. They also had a book on Rory Storm and a book called ''Mommy who are the Beatles?'', with which you can teach your kids everything about them. Their selection kinda surprises me.

I was also surprised to see they had a bio on Ringo, which you don't often see. I'd like to read one, as he is the one I know the least about I think, but I checked some reviews and they told me it was poorly written. Such a shame! He deserves a proper biography.

They did have ''John'' by Cynthia though, which is good because I wanted to read it and there was some book about the recordingsessions of the White Album, which I don't know much about.

Has anyone read Shout! by Philip Norman? I'm reading reviews right now, but they're very mixed, which I haven't really seen before on Beatles books. They were either great or crap. And I remember reading something about Revolution in the head in this thread, was it good?

So what else are good books about them? I'd like books which also talk about them individually for a bit. 

 

Be lucky your library has Beatles books. The good, old, reliable library in my town has a book on Elvis, a book on Shayne Ward and a Britney Spears book in the music section paul-mccartney Oh I forgot about the 1960s quiz book which said that John was the oldest Beatle *bangs head repeatedly on keyboard*

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11 April 2013
2.46am
Gerell
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AppleScruffJunior said

Linde said
GAH!

Just checked the website of my local library and they don't have You Never Give Me Your Money (and not in other locations either. My library can just order books from other locations)

I was quite surprised to learn my local one only owns a few Beatles books. They don't have the one I just mentioned, nor any of Lewisohn's books. They do have all these crappy half arsed biographies and novels which were named after songs such as Yesterday and some book called Walrusblood and stuff like that. DAFUQ. They also had a book on Rory Storm and a book called ''Mommy who are the Beatles?'', with which you can teach your kids everything about them. Their selection kinda surprises me.

I was also surprised to see they had a bio on Ringo, which you don't often see. I'd like to read one, as he is the one I know the least about I think, but I checked some reviews and they told me it was poorly written. Such a shame! He deserves a proper biography.

They did have ''John'' by Cynthia though, which is good because I wanted to read it and there was some book about the recordingsessions of the White Album, which I don't know much about.

Has anyone read Shout! by Philip Norman? I'm reading reviews right now, but they're very mixed, which I haven't really seen before on Beatles books. They were either great or crap. And I remember reading something about Revolution in the head in this thread, was it good?

So what else are good books about them? I'd like books which also talk about them individually for a bit. 

 

Be lucky your library has Beatles books. The good, old, reliable library in my town has a book on Elvis, a book on Shayne Ward and a Britney Spears book in the music section paul-mccartney Oh I forgot about the 1960s quiz book which said that John was the oldest Beatle *bangs head repeatedly on keyboard*

Well by age he isn't but John Lennon was the oldest Beatle, he was one of the Quarrymen

"And in the End the Love you take is equal to the Love you make"
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11 April 2013
11.19pm
Linde
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^

That's true, you could actually see it that way.

And LOL @AppleScruffJunior in what kind of town do you live? I thought I lived in a shithole (which is actually true. It's very small and the library is small too compared to libraries in other cities)

 

1 May 2013
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Joe
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I recently read John Lennon's Tooth: How I Met The Beatles, Thanks To Dorothy. It was 77p on Kindle (just over a US dollar on amazon.com). I didn't know anything about it beyond the description, wasn't sure if it was a spoof or a joke or something. But it doesn't seem to be.

The author (Mr Bonzai is a pen name of David Patrick Goggin) visited Kenwood when he was a student visiting the UK from America. Dorothy Jarlett, his housekeeper, let him in and he met Lennon. But get this: he got taken by limo to London where John and George were appearing on the David Frost chat show; he then went to Abbey Road to sit in on a recording session for I Am The Walrus. He got invited back in 1968 and saw Lennon make Revolution 9. And he interviewed Dot about her memories of working for the Lennons – AFAIK she hasn't gone on record much elsewhere.

It's a really interesting book, and I think it's genuine (he reproduces autographs of the band from the Abbey Road session, and photos from that time). Worth the money for Dot's recollections alone. It came out late last year but I've never heard it being discussed – has anyone here read it?

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1 May 2013
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The Beatles Authorized biography by Hunter Davies. (But my copy got ruined today, I AM SO MAD!!!!!)

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