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The Love You Make by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines
20 July 2013
1.22am
LadyBay
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Am part way through this book and jumped on here to see what the general opinion was because even though it's kinda interesting (not earth-shattering) there's always the niggle about just how much is true? The GM comment is worth considering but he wasn't there for a lot of the events talked about so how can he confirm it's all true? The Brian/John thing in Spain is related rather ambiguously - Brown doesn't state what happened in so many words, just kinda paints a picture and leaves the reader filling in the details. However, he relates the conversation in great detail - how is he supposed to have known all this? He does this throughout the book (as far as I've read) and it jars because NOONE could remember, even in 1983, those conversations word for word.  Geoff Emerick's book was far better in that regard - he didn't pretend to know stuff he wasn't witness to.

Is there any Beatles book where the author actually liked, or deals with evenly and fairly, all the Boys? It just seems as though they all have prejudices towards one or the other, usually John or Paul,  which really makes you question the integrity of the book. Honest mistakes I can forgive, but I can't understand how the author lets their personal preferences affect the way they present the "facts".  Brown has his John thing and Emerick has his Paul favouritism, but at least he confesses to that right from the start.

"Try to realise it's all within yourself - no-one else can make you change"

20 July 2013
1.50am
Ron Nasty
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One thing to be remembered about "insider" books is that they are often criticised by those they involve when they disagree with the mythology.

I think the GM comment is important because, while he may not have been present at a lot of the events mentioned, he would have been present at many conversations.

I discussed this in a thread about another book a few weeks ago, I can't remember which book, but my point would be that GM spent probably more time than anyone witnessing their unguarded conversation except maybe Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall.

As to the detail of conversation, PB may well have had diaries to refer to. Paul slammed the book heavily, but at the same time said he hadn't read it, and had no intention of doing so.

I don't believe all that PB says, but it has to be judged alongside other inside accounts.

Obviously, for books that deal "evenly and fairly" you need to look to the Hunter Davies Authorised. That was his job.

Unfortunately, I would suggest, that "evenly" doesn't always tell the story. Sometimes criticism of one or other of the four is justified. Not that any one of them would ever have agreed to that.

And of course, the new Lewisohn will be a wonder to behold.

And, also, welcome to the site, LadyBay, enjoying your posts. Have you introduced yourself on the "Introduce yourself to the forum" thread in All Together Now yet?

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
20 July 2013
2.31am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

The points above are well-taken: just because someone was there doesn't mean their memory is accurate (and that holds for any of the Beatles). Geoff Emerick had McC recording "Blackbird" outdoors, something that the subsequent engineer (I forget his name) laughed to high heavens.

When there are conflicting versions of events, it can be hard if not impossible to know whom to believe...

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
20 July 2013
2.46am
Ron Nasty
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Into the Sky with Diamonds said
just because someone was there doesn't mean their memory is accurate (and that holds for any of the Beatles).

I have heard Paul talk about how he played John the recording of Here, There and Everywhere saying how much he doubted it, how it thought it sounded wrong, while they were filming Help! in Switzerland. I think it may even be in Anthology (TV series/video/DVD/book), but too late for me to find and check. How was he playing a 1966 recording to John in 1965?

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
20 July 2013
5.35am
LadyBay
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That's all valid - I'm not looking for any one person to know the 'definitive truth' , just some honesty in saying that this is what I remember, or this my belief about what happened.

And definitely, criticism where it's due but hopefully after giving all four equal consideration and approaching it all with an open mind. If the book is clearly the author's personal take on events, then OK, but not so much when they present it as the "real story".

Anyway, it's a big ask - it's probably near impossible for an author not to let his personal views colour his writings to some degree. And with all that being said, I'm quite enjoying the book!

Thanks for the welcome!  I'm a complete newbie at this - I'll do the "Introduce Yourself" bit asap.

"Try to realise it's all within yourself - no-one else can make you change"

21 July 2013
3.33pm
Linde
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I've just finished reading this book and I must say that his preference for John and Brian gave me the feeling I was reading some combined John Lennon/Brian Epstein biography kind of thing instead of a book about the Beatles. It looked as if the rest of them were just passing by or something. Like, he had about 20 pages about John's youth and what, 3 about George for example? I also didn't like the way he talked about Ringo. As if he was some useless guy no one will remember. A man of no importance and who wasn't that good. Like he didn't deserve to be there.

Then there wasn't anything special in it that you can't find in any other random Beatles book. Things you wished he would be more elaborate about are only described in 3 sentences or very vaguely, so you're still not anything wiser on most subjects. I didn't know John's heroin addiction was that bad though.

Also, the ''first being talked about here'' thing he uses so much really annoyed me after a while.

For the rest it's pretty well written. I quite like the way he writes.

21 July 2013
9.29pm
Von Bontee
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Haha yeah, it's been nearly 30 years since I first read this and I remember being irritated by all those breathless "told here for the first time!" interjections also. (Wow, Ringo was allowed to drive around on the Indianapolis Speedway track by himself after hours, stop the presses!)

But as far as the complaint about giving progressively less ink to Paul's, George's etc. pre-Beatles and post-breakup life compared to John's, I don't really have a problem with that. Like it or not, I feel there's a hierarchy of each member's importance to the band, and the varying amounts of material devoted to each reflects it. I'm more concerned that all their varying activities that occurred while they were in the band are covered.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
22 July 2013
7.34am
LadyBay
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You have to admit, John's early life is so full of drama that it takes many more pages to deal with than, say, George's childhood which was more a regular, normal one with stable family etc.

And....."revealed here for the first time" !!... I hadn't realised the extent of John's addiction either. Is it the case that he had many days on the latter albums where he could barely function? Haven't got to that point yet in this book, but Emerick talks about how difficult it was working with him at that stage because he was off his nut most of the time.

"Try to realise it's all within yourself - no-one else can make you change"

22 July 2013
11.55am
Linde
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Oh the youth thing was just an example. I guess everyone has their favourite member though and it must be hard for a writer not to be biased, but damn, he almost wrote more about Brian Epstein than the Beatles.

22 July 2013
12.56pm
Ron Nasty
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But then, you have to remember, it was Brian that he worked for, and had the closest working and personal relationship with. He didn't start working directly for The Beatles until after Brian's death.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
22 July 2013
2.42pm
Linde
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That's true.

I guess I just expected more ''inside stories''. 

It's not as bad as some people say it is though.

22 July 2013
3.01pm
Ron Nasty
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Linde said
I guess I just expected more ''inside stories''.

I remember, thirty years ago (!), when it was published, lots of the stories were new, as he was the first of the "inner circle" to publish. Many of them are more familiar now because it was so long ago, and so many others have published their accounts, with their own versions of those things that were new in this book. When I first read it, it was a glimpse "inside". Maybe that's why I have the affection for it that I do. Peter Brown and Pete Shotton (who published the same year) were the first to give us a view of what was happening from where they sat on the inside, rather than just being commentators looking on from the outside.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
3 February 2014
8.00pm
Billy Rhythm
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meanmistermustard said
Ive always thought that the claims in this book were overall fiction but found an interview where in 1988 George Martin mentions this book. During discussing (and lambasting) The Lives Of John Lennon by Albert Goldman, George says "[Peter] Brown did his own hatchett job, which was very nasty. He didnt actually write any lies, but he presented all the steamy bits as if there was nothing else".

Which suggests whatever is in The Love You Make is true.

I havent read it yet but plan to after finally finishing Jonathan Gould's Cant Buy Me Love.

Any thoughts?

 

'The Love You Make' is still the next best thing to The Beatles' own 'Anthology' book for getting the clearest picture of "what happened", in my opinion, and many of Peter Brown's claims were later confirmed on the 'Anthology' by The Beatles.  For example, Paul telling the story about why John was so keen to go up in the helicopter with the Maharishi was pretty much just as Peter Brown had first described it, or his account of what happened in Manilla was pretty much bang on to what George and the others said in the 'Anthology', and the now famous dentist story that resulted in George & John first taking LSD was told here by Peter Brown accurately as well.  Paul & Linda were quite vocal in attempting to discredit Peter Brown, probably more so than any other book published about The Beatles, I find this surprising for there's certainly many other volumes out there that they dutifully ignored and were much bigger pieces of rubbish which were fashioned by people far removed from their inner circle just looking to make a buck off of their name.  I felt that Paul & Linda actually vindicated Peter Brown's work by reacting to it in the way that they did.  Most of the book is true and well referenced throughout, they just didn't want someone else to tell the story before they did and would've much preferred to omit the parts of the book that didn't look too favourably on them.  The 'Anthology' tells pretty much the same story as 'The Love You Make' did a decade before it, only the 'Anthology' was heavily censored, probably mostly by Paul & Yoko...:-)

4 February 2014
3.18am
Necko
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meanmistermustard said
Ive always thought that the claims in this book were overall fiction but found an interview where in 1988 George Martin mentions this book. During discussing (and lambasting) The Lives Of John Lennon by Albert Goldman, George says "[Peter] Brown did his own hatchett job, which was very nasty. He didnt actually write any lies, but he presented all the steamy bits as if there was nothing else".

I began but never finished this book a couple years ago, and this George Martin quote pretty much coincides to what I remember of it.

I'm Necko.  I'm like Ringo except I wear necklaces.
7 February 2014
12.16am
Billy Rhythm
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Necko said

meanmistermustard said
Ive always thought that the claims in this book were overall fiction but found an interview where in 1988 George Martin mentions this book. During discussing (and lambasting) The Lives Of John Lennon by Albert Goldman, George says "[Peter] Brown did his own hatchett job, which was very nasty. He didnt actually write any lies, but he presented all the steamy bits as if there was nothing else".

I began but never finished this book a couple years ago, and this George Martin quote pretty much coincides to what I remember of it.

 

I couldn't put it down and in fact gave it a second read immediately upon finishing it, but haven't touched it since the 1980's (I don't know what ever happened to my copy, I likely gave it to someone else to read and forgot about it).  I just remember after watching the 'Anthology' for the first time that I frequently remembered things from this book and said to myself, "oh yeah, Peter Brown was right".  That's not to say that there are certainly things that have yet to be confirmed/disproved and likely never will be...:-)

7 February 2014
2.23am
meanmistermustard
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Billy Rhythm said

Necko said

meanmistermustard said
Ive always thought that the claims in this book were overall fiction but found an interview where in 1988 George Martin mentions this book. During discussing (and lambasting) The Lives Of John Lennon by Albert Goldman, George says "[Peter] Brown did his own hatchett job, which was very nasty. He didnt actually write any lies, but he presented all the steamy bits as if there was nothing else".

I began but never finished this book a couple years ago, and this George Martin quote pretty much coincides to what I remember of it.

I couldn't put it down and in fact gave it a second read immediately upon finishing it, but haven't touched it since the 1980's (I don't know what ever happened to my copy, I likely gave it to someone else to read and forgot about it).  I just remember after watching the 'Anthology' for the first time that I frequently remembered things from this book and said to myself, "oh yeah, Peter Brown was right".  That's not to say that there are certainly things that have yet to be confirmed/disproved and likely never will be...:-)

I have two copies. In light, and in honour of the 'All Those Years' spoiler thread i'll sell you one for £3 1/2 grand.  

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
8 February 2014
1.22am
Billy Rhythm
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Hmmm...  That's about 10,000 Canadian, did all four of them sign it?...:-)

8 February 2014
1.43am
meanmistermustard
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Billy Rhythm said
Hmmm...  That's about 10,000 Canadian, did all four of them sign it?...:-)

Erm, they will have done by the time i send it in the post.a-hard-days-night-paul-7a-hard-days-night-paul-4

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
23 February 2014
7.29pm
PeterWeatherby
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I'm about 120 pages into it, and I find it a bit off-putting for its "sensational" tint. It's little things, I guess, like saying that when John's uncle died, John came home to find Mimi "sobbing" at the table. I suppose that might have passed the sniff test in the 80's, before the deluge of other biographical material, but now it just comes across as a bit exaggerated - Mimi, according to pretty much every respectable source, was a stoic who personified the "stiff upper lip" approach to life. Far more believable are the accounts that say her reaction, far from sobbing at the table, was to rigorously deny either herself or John any kind of emotional outpouring. It's probably a big part of why John had so much pent up emotion in his late teens and twenties.

He also relates that Mimi erupted in the courtroom at the trial of the man who killed Julia, screaming and vowing revenge. Again, I don't think that gels with the composite portrait of Mimi painted by other biographers. It doesn't help that Brown has zero documented references in his book either. I get that this is supposed to be a "first hand account," but I'm more inclined to accept anecdotal stories like that from someone like Pete Shotton, who was actually around John and Mimi in those early days.

There are other little annoying inaccuracies as well. He names the song that George debuted for John on the bus as "Ranchee," and says that nobody was particularly impressed with George's performance. Again, other biographies would suggest that this is wrong on both counts - it was "Raunchy" that he played, and John was sufficiently impressed to allow George to join the group.

He relates a detail of the press conference at JFK, and says that in response to the "Are you going to get haircuts?" question, it was John who quipped, "I just had one yesterday." Sorry, but the video footage doesn't lie - it was George who said that.

Overall, the book has the feel of someone who was maybe a second-or-third-level "insider" spinning yarns and maybe overplaying his hand just a bit. If he can't even get some of the basic historical facts right, his other claims sound a bit more suspect.

Also, in Fab, Sounes says that Paul and Linda burned this book primarily because Brown published the tale about one of Paul's alleged illegitimate children, and when the press got hold of this information, they were able to track down the mother and child - and all of this resulted in some major bad press and legal hassles for the McCartney family in the 80's. They were quite understandably miffed that Brown was telling tales out of school, when he was supposed to be one of their friends.

Not a bit like Cagney.
24 February 2014
3.16am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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I think you have to take any insider book for what it is: a series of recollections - and recollections can be faulty.

Having said that, there can be an infinite number of scholars writing books and dissertations, but there will never be any more insiders. Brown, Emerick, Bramwell,...

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