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The Beatles: All These Years by Mark Lewisohn. Tune In - What do you think? (Spoilers alert!)
13 October 2013
3.48am
parlance
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Lennonista said

My copy hasn't arrived yet, but I'm worried about that, too. So I borrowed a friend's music stand. Hope that will work!

A missed opportunity that the publisher didn't think to sell accessories for this book. Music stands, tote bags, hand carts, fork lifts...

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.

13 October 2013
11.26am
bikelock28
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Found a copy in Waterstone's the other day...I only had a quick skim through the picture pages, but damn, its good. I'm trying to resist the temptation of buying a copy until I actually have enough time to read it though.

"I don't think we were actually swimming, as it were, with shirts on, 'cos we always wear overcoats when we're swimming,"-

George Harrison, Australia, June 1964

13 October 2013
4.39pm
Linde
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Joe said
"It's not major, "an RC church" instead of "a RC church", but is annoying as it jars the line - "a" before consonants, "an" before vowels. Simple rule. Just slightly clumsy use of language that has slipped through. Trivial certainly, but I really hope there aren't too many others."

Can't quote properly on an iPad/Chrome for some reason. Anyway, this is a matter of house style, and presumably Little, Brown go by verbal cues - ie if you'd say "an RC church", that's how it'd be written too. Similar with acronyms like Uefa, Nasa etc (not UEFA, NASA). Be guided by speech. It's the same rule I've always had wherever I've worked in publishing - I think "an RC church" is fine. I'd find the alternative far more jarring.

 

That's what I thought too. So when people started about the ''an RC church'' thing I went all: ''OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I BEEN TAUGHT IN ENGLISH CLASS?! WHAT WAS IT USEFUL FOR?!''paul-mccartney

20 October 2013
10.51pm
trcanberra
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A VERY minor nitpick: Note 14 to Chapter 7 has a photo taken at Filey as the 'cover art' to a McCartney album from 1999.  Unless a version of the "Run Devil Run" album has a cover I haven't seen he is actually referring to the inlay picture sitting below the CD tray.  I have always taken the term 'cover art' as what is on the front or back of the album, not the inside.  I'm also not sure why he didn't just name the album.

Note, I'm not criticising anything here - just an observation :)

20 October 2013
11.02pm
Ron Nasty
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I agree on not naming the album being silly, but as to whether it's cover art, I think that depends on your point of view. I mean, I've always considered this part of the Sgt. Pepper cover art...

But not this...

http://i1.wp.com/www.feelnumb.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/sgt._pepper_lonely_hearts_club_band_the_beatles_insert_cut_outs.jpg?w=200

...which is an insert.

 

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
22 October 2013
1.31am
trcanberra
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I'm up to about page 200 now, enjoying it a lot - but oddly it has made my view of many events more uncertain.

Most previous books either decided one version of events was the way things were (or made one up).  This one recounts everyone's differing recollection of key moments, and because of imperfect memory or occasionally a subconscious (or overt) attempt to change history some of them have 2 or three differing versions, leaving us with no idea of what really happened.  So at times I feel like I'm reading a 'what may have been' rather than a 'what was'.

It's a bit like one of those 'choose your own adventure' books at times, except in this case it's 'choose your own version of the Beatles history'.  I realise this is pretty much unavoidable given the gap of time and the lack of supporting documentation for much of this and it's not detracting from my enjoyment of the book.

22 October 2013
1.40am
parlance
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As I mentioned in the non-spoilery thread, I accidentally ordered the UK edition. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to start reading it until next week, when we'll have the US one anyway. But for the time being, I've skipped ahead to a few sections, like Paul and John's trip to Paris. Anyway, I appreciate hearing that Lewisohn takes a round-robin approach, and I respect him for acknowledging that - faulty memories aside - there are infinite sides to every story. That makes me eager to get into this book.

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.

23 October 2013
3.15am
Lennonista
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trcanberra said
Most previous books either decided one version of events was the way things were (or made one up).  This one recounts everyone's differing recollection of key moments, and because of imperfect memory or occasionally a subconscious (or overt) attempt to change history some of them have 2 or three differing versions, leaving us with no idea of what really happened.  

Kind of like real life, innit?

23 October 2013
6.31am
trcanberra
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Lennonista said

trcanberra said
Most previous books either decided one version of events was the way things were (or made one up).  This one recounts everyone's differing recollection of key moments, and because of imperfect memory or occasionally a subconscious (or overt) attempt to change history some of them have 2 or three differing versions, leaving us with no idea of what really happened.  

Kind of like real life, innit?

Indeed - but the reason for buying and reading this biography is to find out what happened, not pay to read another lot of speculation.  Luckily this one has enough of an evidence base and a lot more more detail than I have read before, so I am happy enough to make allowances for the times where it is all guess-work (though there was that one page where two of the events had about 3 different versions and nothing decisive ....).

As mentioned - I am really enjoying the book - if there must be more than one version of events it is great to know what they all are.  I'm sure we are all deciding which ones we believe; I must say I tend to discount John's versions of some events as often he recounts events based on his mood at the time - though at others he is brutally honest and you can feel the 'truth' ringing.

 

28 October 2013
2.12pm
parlance
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From International Business Times: Paperback Writer: 15 Tidbits Of Trivia From First Volume Of Massive New Beatles Biography

Regarding this in particular:

*Historical accounts claim that Lennon and McCartney first met at a fete at St. Peter's Church in Woolton, Liverpool, in July 1957. But Lewisohn claims they actually met even earlier, outside a newsagent shop called Abba.

I caught the last question from Lewisohn's Q&A at his signing yesterday (will post about it in the non-spoilery thread), and he mentioned that Paul didn't want this information to get out. I haven't yet gotten to that part of the book, but apparently Paul only spoke privately to people about this "real" first meeting when he was a paperboy. If true, I find it interesting that Paul is so concerned with the mythology surrounding their first meeting that he'd guard that as a secret.

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.

28 October 2013
8.08pm
trcanberra
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^ It's not stated quite so definitely in the book - it was a while back when I was reading that part but I think it was more of a 'there was a possibility they had met earlier on a bus or at the shops' kind of thing.  Just the kind of thing I was talking about with multiple possible versions.

I noticed in the Notes that Paul didn't like a number of things that Lewisohn claims - like everyone he seems to be pushing his own version of history.

28 October 2013
8.45pm
Linde
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I just let my mom hear those fragments. She was very enthousiastic and thought the book will be great. *evil laughter*

28 October 2013
9.04pm
Ahhh Girl
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trcanberra said
^ It's not stated quite so definitely in the book - it was a while back when I was reading that part but I think it was more of a 'there was a possibility they had met earlier on a bus or at the shops' kind of thing.  Just the kind of thing I was talking about with multiple possible versions.

I noticed in the Notes that Paul didn't like a number of things that Lewisohn claims - like everyone he seems to be pushing his own version of history.

Thus "Early Days". Like you mentioned in another thread, trying to sort out the truth and who did what bad thing takes a backseat to listening to the music you like.

@Linde - I thought of the Disney movie Aladdin in the scene where Aladdin tricks the genie into getting them out of the cave without using up one of his wishes. That little tactic of yours just might garner you an extra Christmas present. Excellent thinking.

 

28 October 2013
9.24pm
trcanberra
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^ Hmm - wonder if Early Days was partly a reaction to early drafts of the book?

28 October 2013
9.48pm
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trcanberra said
^ Hmm - wonder if Early Days was partly a reaction to early drafts of the book?

I am caught up in the "figure of eight"  viscious cycle of whether to believe Paul's memories of those early days is crystal clear or if he wants people to believe his version/remembrance of what happened that long ago.

28 October 2013
10.31pm
parlance
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Ahhh Girl said

trcanberra said
^ Hmm - wonder if Early Days was partly a reaction to early drafts of the book?

I am caught up in the "figure of eight"  viscious cycle of whether to believe Paul's memories of those early days is crystal clear or if he wants people to believe his version/remembrance of what happened that long ago.

Me too. I still need to catch up on the Howard Stern interview, but I wonder what exactly it is that Paul objected to with regards to the portrayal of his father disapproving of John.

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.

29 October 2013
1.31am
Lennonista
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parlance said

I caught the last question from Lewisohn's Q&A at his signing yesterday (will post about it in the non-spoilery thread), and he mentioned that Paul didn't want this information to get out. I haven't yet gotten to that part of the book, but apparently Paul only spoke privately to people about this "real" first meeting when he was a paperboy. If true, I find it interesting that Paul is so concerned with the mythology surrounding their first meeting that he'd guard that as a secret.

 

That was me (I) who asked that question! When he signed my book, ML told me he was glad I asked it. And then we chatted about Pete Shotton for a bit. What a cool, down-to-earth fella he was (ML, that is). Anyway, I asked that particular question because I also find it quite curious and was wondering if ML would give us any insight into the seemingly purposeful lack of clarity on Paul's part. He gave us a hint, I think, in his response. Very well played... telling, yet diplomatic.

And such is ML's style. I've only just begun the book (bought it yesterday and waiting for the Extended Version from the UK), but my guess is that those areas that are up for interpretation do sort of point you in the direction of a probable truth... but they're presented so diplomatically that you can't argue that ML has committed to a particular stance.

29 October 2013
1.51am
Lennonista
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parlance said
Me too. I still need to catch up on the Howard Stern interview, but I wonder what exactly it is that Paul objected to with regards to the portrayal of his father disapproving of John.

We can't be sure, of course, but my guess is that he just wants his dad to appear to be as open-minded as possible. Paul was very upset when Norman's Lennon bio came out, claiming (among other things that Paul objected to) that Jim was the only Beatle parent who had made an anti-Semitic remark when the boys first signed with Brian Epstein. Paul was quick to point out that all Jim had said was that Brian was a good choice because Jews are good with money or something along those lines. ahdn_paul_02

As for whether Paul's memory is crystal clear... there's no doubt that it's not. (And yeah, I know that THC only affects your short-term memory...;-) That's because no one's is... as a matter of fact, I just watched this Ted Talk about that issue. Plus, there's been some new research that says that the more often you recall a memory the less correct that memory becomes. (I think it was on Science Friday.) But, basically, all I have to do is discuss memories of growing up with my siblings to realize that we all recall the exact same event quite differently.

29 October 2013
5.24am
parlance
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Lennonista said

That was me (I) who asked that question! When he signed my book, ML told me he was glad I asked it. And then we chatted about Pete Shotton for a bit.

What a small world! What did you talk about regarding Pete Shotton?

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.

29 October 2013
11.55am
Ahhh Girl
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O.K. Someone has to nab Paul so we can hypnotize him to see what his answers are to the history questions when he is in that altered state of consciousness.

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