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Is there a bias-free Beatle book?
20 July 2013
Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1176
Member Since:
10 August 2011

So just for the sake of stirring things up a bit, what makes anyone think that the upcoming Lewisohn book will be less biased than any other book?

Don't get me wrong: I'm sure Lewisohn has made every effort to be even-handed. But what author decides that he/she is going to sit down and write a biased book (unless he/she is paid by an interested party or is writing an "authorized" book)?

Surely many of us in school have had to write an essay on the topic "Is there such a thing as an unbiased history book?"

The items you choose to include/exclude are subject to bias, and the amount of ink you devote to each topic is completely biased in the strict sense of the word.

Bias isn't necessarily bad. For example, nearly every astronaut involved in the race to the moon has written a book. Each book essentially tells the same story: the Americans started way behind but eventually won. Yet you can read each book without being bored because each astronaut focuses on his involvement. So an event that's given one line in one book gets three pages in another. But that's good. You WANT to hear different perspectives.

With Beatle books, it's a bit the same thing. Those who were there don't remember things exactly the same way. The (apparent) bias only comes through when you feel that someone you like has been dissed or someone you dislike has been sugar-coated.

Lewisohn is probably closest to McCartney (or am I wrong about that?). Does anyone think that won't ever so slightly color his book?

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
20 July 2013
Ron Nasty
Floating downstream in the suburbs...
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2518
Member Since:
17 December 2012

I think the last thing Lewisohn will want is to have his book(s) tarred in the same way as Shout! I also believe you are wrong about him being closest to McCartney. It is true he has had more contact with Paul, then probably Ringo, then probably George, and none with John. How could that be otherwise given events?

I see no sign in either Live, Recording Sessions or Chronicle of a leaning toward Paul. I'd go the opposite way if asked to choose, and say he lent towards John. However, I do believe, with All These Years (still HATE the title), he is aiming to shoot as straight an arrow as he can.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
21 July 2013
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1315
Member Since:
29 November 2012

Lewisohn's books (including his upcoming ones) are the closest, I think. Hunter Davies' authorized bio and Peter Doggett's books I would say are fair and unbiased, too. They are honest and don't sugarcoat the guys, for the most part.

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


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26 July 2013
The Netherlands
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1475
Member Since:
21 November 2012

I don't think there's such thing as a completely unbiased book, but I think he will try to stay as neutral as he can. As long as the truth isn't twisted and all relevant facts are being described, it's all fine by me.

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