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Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments from Stage to Studio - The Ultimate Edition
12 November 2015
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Zig
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I did not see a thread for the original book by Andy Babiuk, so will start this one. As the Topic Title indicates, there is an "Ultimate Edition" being released on 12/1/15. I've added it to my Mrs. Claus' Amazon cart. Since I can't discuss it until I read it, feel free to do so if you've done so (the original, I mean). I understand it's a great book.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.

12 November 2015
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Same here : )

"I Need You by George Harrison"

12 November 2015
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ewe2
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Another book I want but can't afford. I'm putting this sort of thing on hold because I really need musical instruments more than books at the moment, but this would be definitely on my list.

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12 November 2015
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“Send John out first; he’s the one they want.”

~ someone said it, dammit.

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12 November 2015
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Zig said

I did not see a thread for the original book by Andy Babiuk, so will start this one. As the Topic Title indicates, there is an "Ultimate Edition" being released on 12/1/15. I've added it to my Mrs. Claus' Amazon cart. Since I can't discuss it until I read it, feel free to do so if you've done so (the original, I mean). I understand it's a great book.

12/1/16, perhaps? It's a great book (I've bought it twice). I wonder what exactly sets this edition apart, though, in price and kudos - what makes it Ultimate?!

12 November 2015
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I would be more likely to purchase the book if I knew (or could test out) that it notes in meticulous and exhaustive detail all the unorthodox instrumentation the Beatles produced over the years.  For example, will this book discuss the literal matchbox used by Ringo to drum on with his fingers in "I'm Looking Through You" , explain why he and the Beatles decided to do that, and identify which brand of matches he used...?

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13 November 2015
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Joe
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Ooh, I didn't know this had been announced.

Way back in November 2014 I was contacted by someone who was working on the book (not Andy Babiuk), asking for details of a photo I have here somewhere on the site (Lennon playing Harrison's Rickenbacker 425 about a year after it was thought to have been mothballed, and had been modified in the interim).

I tried to put them in contact with the photographer but I think it ultimately proved fruitless. Anyway, I pledged not to mention anything about the new edition of the book until they were ready to announce it, and I guess that time is now. Here's what I was told:

The new version of Beatles Gear is going to be spectacular. I helped Andy back in the 90's on the original version and by the time the finished product was turned in the Backbeat Books, it ran some 500 to 600 pages. They thought it was much too large (as all publishers do) and edited it down to to the 250 pages you are familiar with. However, Andy has a new publishing deal with Hal Leonard Publishing who loves the book. They are going to publish all the pages that were edited out of the original version, plus there are a number of updates on things that have come to light in the last 10 years. The new book will be double the size with lots of new documents and images. That's why this image is so important. It significantly changes the known history of that guitar. Seemingly no one knows that that guitar was used in any way in 1964. We (both Andy and I) were blown away to see that image. AND, as I said earlier, the consensus was that the after market neck pickup was thought to have been added after it left George and the Beatles. This image disproves that.

I have an earlier edition but I'll definitely get hold of the new one. Twice the size with new information, all meticulously researched - what's not to like? Can't wait.

Incidentally, Andy Babiuk has a website selling signed books and rare instruments: http://www.andybabiuksfabgear.com/

Here's the announcement from the website:

This critically acclaimed book is now expanded with over 650 new and previously unpublished photos as well as plenty of new and never before told stories. This book is the first to tell the full story of how the Beatles made their music. It details exactly which guitars, drums, amplifiers and keyboards the Beatles used at the key points of their relatively brief but entirely revolutionary career…from the formation of the Quarry Men skiffle group in the 1950s to the dissolution of the Beatles in 1970.

It provides a fascinating fresh insight into Beatle history from an entirely new viewpoint, and along the way many myths are exploded and dozens of stories told for the first time, and many more since its first release.

John, Paul, George and Ringo’s moves from cheap early instruments to the pick of 1960s technology is carefully and entertainingly documented in an easy to read narrative, fully illustrated with many unseen photographs, a cache of rare memorabilia, and a unique collection of specially photographed actual Beatle instruments.

This landmark book is perfect for the fan absorbed by music rather than hairstyles, for the tribute band member with an eye for detail, and for any reader with an abiding interest in the 1960s.

At last, Beatles Gear The Ultimate Edition gets right inside the music. More than this, the book paints a vivid picture of the times, presenting new interviews with the people who made, sold and looked after the band’s gear. With Beatles albums still selling at the rate of thousands a day throughout the world, and renewed industry interest in the value of the band’s published portfolio, Beatles Gear arrives on the market with perfect timing.

Hundreds of photographs, many never before seen, will be a revelation to even the most informed Beatles enthusiast. Also shown in luscious quality throughout the book are 26 of the group’s original instruments, still owned by ex-members of The Beatles or their heirs …from George’s psychedelic Strat to John’s Bed In Gibson, and Ringo’s roof top Ludwig kit to Paul’s Hofner violin bass.

And while many other items used by the group have been lost, broken or damaged, exhaustive research has allowed the presentation here of 43 virtually exact duplicates of otherwise defunct Beatle instruments and gear. Prime advertising and publicity material provide an extra flavour of the period and complete this unique examination of the sound of the fab four.

The Beatles have had an unparalleled influence on the music of the past 40 years. And still today much rock music lends a retro ear to the group’s distinctive sounds and unique orchestrations not to mention the many tribute bands around the world who keep the flame burning. This fascinating documentary will become required reading for anyone keen to gain an expert’s inside knowledge of The Beatles sound.

Image Enlarger

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13 November 2015
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Incidentally, Amazon UK has the publication date as 12 January 2016. 512 pages.

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13 November 2015
9.43am
Father McCartney
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Joe said

Ooh, I didn't know this had been announced.

Way back in November 2014 I was contacted by someone who was working on the book (not Andy Babiuk), asking for details of a photo I have here somewhere on the site (Lennon playing Harrison's Rickenbacker 425 about a year after it was thought to have been mothballed, and had been modified in the interim).

I tried to put them in contact with the photographer but I think it ultimately proved fruitless. Anyway, I pledged not to mention anything about the new edition of the book until they were ready to announce it, and I guess that time is now. Here's what I was told:

The new version of Beatles Gear is going to be spectacular. I helped Andy back in the 90's on the original version and by the time the finished product was turned in the Backbeat Books, it ran some 500 to 600 pages. They thought it was much too large (as all publishers do) and edited it down to to the 250 pages you are familiar with. However, Andy has a new publishing deal with Hal Leonard Publishing who loves the book. They are going to publish all the pages that were edited out of the original version, plus there are a number of updates on things that have come to light in the last 10 years. The new book will be double the size with lots of new documents and images. That's why this image is so important. It significantly changes the known history of that guitar. Seemingly no one knows that that guitar was used in any way in 1964. We (both Andy and I) were blown away to see that image. AND, as I said earlier, the consensus was that the after market neck pickup was thought to have been added after it left George and the Beatles. This image disproves that.

I have an earlier edition but I'll definitely get hold of the new one. Twice the size with new information, all meticulously researched - what's not to like? Can't wait.

Incidentally, Andy Babiuk has a website selling signed books and rare instruments: http://www.andybabiuksfabgear.com/

Here's the announcement from the website:

This critically acclaimed book is now expanded with over 650 new and previously unpublished photos as well as plenty of new and never before told stories. This book is the first to tell the full story of how the Beatles made their music. It details exactly which guitars, drums, amplifiers and keyboards the Beatles used at the key points of their relatively brief but entirely revolutionary career…from the formation of the Quarry Men skiffle group in the 1950s to the dissolution of the Beatles in 1970.

It provides a fascinating fresh insight into Beatle history from an entirely new viewpoint, and along the way many myths are exploded and dozens of stories told for the first time, and many more since its first release.

John, Paul, George and Ringo’s moves from cheap early instruments to the pick of 1960s technology is carefully and entertainingly documented in an easy to read narrative, fully illustrated with many unseen photographs, a cache of rare memorabilia, and a unique collection of specially photographed actual Beatle instruments.

This landmark book is perfect for the fan absorbed by music rather than hairstyles, for the tribute band member with an eye for detail, and for any reader with an abiding interest in the 1960s.

At last, Beatles Gear The Ultimate Edition gets right inside the music. More than this, the book paints a vivid picture of the times, presenting new interviews with the people who made, sold and looked after the band’s gear. With Beatles albums still selling at the rate of thousands a day throughout the world, and renewed industry interest in the value of the band’s published portfolio, Beatles Gear arrives on the market with perfect timing.

Hundreds of photographs, many never before seen, will be a revelation to even the most informed Beatles enthusiast. Also shown in luscious quality throughout the book are 26 of the group’s original instruments, still owned by ex-members of The Beatles or their heirs …from George’s psychedelic Strat to John’s Bed In Gibson, and Ringo’s roof top Ludwig kit to Paul’s Hofner violin bass.

And while many other items used by the group have been lost, broken or damaged, exhaustive research has allowed the presentation here of 43 virtually exact duplicates of otherwise defunct Beatle instruments and gear. Prime advertising and publicity material provide an extra flavour of the period and complete this unique examination of the sound of the fab four.

The Beatles have had an unparalleled influence on the music of the past 40 years. And still today much rock music lends a retro ear to the group’s distinctive sounds and unique orchestrations not to mention the many tribute bands around the world who keep the flame burning. This fascinating documentary will become required reading for anyone keen to gain an expert’s inside knowledge of The Beatles sound.

Image Enlarger

That does make a considerable difference! Explains the hike in price too. I will leave some pennies alone in the dark in the hope that they multiply....

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24 November 2015
10.13pm
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Babiuk is interviewed about his book on Episode 10 of SATB podcast (website) (can't recommend subscribing to that podcast enough).  The guy is plainly knowledgeable about the Beatles gear, but I also learned he's the bass player in a band called The Empty Hearts, with Clem Burke (Blondie) on drums, Wally Palmer (The Romantics) lead vocals, rhythm guitar and Elliot Easton (The Cars) on lead guitar.  Plus, he's done the same type of book for The Rolling Stones.

He points out the big difference between The Stones and The Beatles was that, with The Stones, instruments were communal; if someone wanted to use a certain guitar, they could, no matter who actually 'owned' it.  He says Mick Taylor learned that the hard way.

After the interview, the hosts were having their own conversation and were discussing the instruments when Robert Rodriguez (the American) mentioned when Eric Clapton gave George a Les Paul.  Richard Buskin (the Englishman) stopped him and asked him how to pronounce 'Les' (in Les Paul).  Rodriguez said 'Less' and Buskin mentioned that, in Britain, it's said 'Lez' (zed).  Rodriguez then went on to talk about an interview Harrison gave where the interviewer asked about a Les ('Less') Paul and George said they could have used Les Paul in The Beatles.

...wait for it...

😀

Stuff from Babiuk's band

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“Send John out first; he’s the one they want.”

~ someone said it, dammit.

Memphis, 1966

25 November 2015
8.29am
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Zig
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Great post, @C.R.A.  - thanks.

On a side note, I've often wondered what Elliot Easton was up to. I really enjoyed his guitar work with The Cars. I may have to check out more of that band.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.

28 November 2015
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This book is awesome.  Sorry If I already made this suggestion, but reading this along with "The Complete Beatles by Mark Lewisohn” at the same time gives you an excellent idea of what instruments they were playing on what songs at what date.  I found the experience just awesome!!!!!Image Enlarger

 

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http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

1 December 2015
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Zig
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I remember you making that suggestion, @Bongo . Both books are mentioned in my letter to Santess. 

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1 December 2015
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Zig said
I remember you making that suggestion, @Bongo . Both books are mentioned in my letter to Santess. 

Can I get his address too please????

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

1 December 2015
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I'm pretty sure Santess is female.

...her address...

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21 December 2015
6.04am
Father McCartney
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This has fallen down by a very nice eight pounds on Amazon UK to £32. Good time to order for anyone who's interested - plus it's covered by the pre-order price guarantee, so you may get it for cheaper yet.

29 December 2015
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I see it right now on that famous auction site that originated here in the colonies -  for a dollar. I am thinking of bidding. I am just curious. I have the "RECORDING THE BEATLES" book/box - which is really cool - almost to a fault (pages upon pages just on microphones alone). I wonder - would anything in this book contradict what is mentioned in Andy B's ultimate book. Things that make you go hhhmmmm. I think I will get Andy's book. Especially if I can find it less than $60.

16 January 2016
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I ordered this from Amazon UK back in December and it's been showing as 'Temporarily Out of Stock' since before 12 Jan. Has anyone else ordered it from the UK site and actually received it? Are there any other UK suppliers? Can you tell I'm seriously jonesing for this book?! paul-mccartney

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16 January 2016
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That sucks.  I would gladly lend you mine....brian-epstein

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21 January 2016
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Zig
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This was under the Xmas tree with my name on it. I haven't read it yet as I am currently reading ...Chronicles. Without ever having the first one, I can't compare the two, but this one looks stunning after leafing through it.

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