9 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)
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
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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966
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.
21 November 2012
4 February 2014
It’s likely true that there isn’t a truly unbiased author. If you’re already inclined to write a book on a subject, you probably have a developed bias. However, after reading Tune In, I really can’t say which one of them Lewisohn has a bias for. It seems he made sure to give equal measure to each of them, given that there’s much more to cover with Lennon and McCartney, because of their partnership in both the formation of the band and the songwriting that followed. But there is certainly a terrific amount of detail and I probably learned more about Ringo’s early history from this book than any other I’ve read. The same for Brian Epstein, George Martin, Neil Aspinal, Mal Evans, Pete Best, et. al. I’m sure others can find a bias. I wasn’t looking for one.
21 November 2012
I agree with C.R.A., and can now say that I was right with my last reply, nearly a year ago. Having read the majority of it, I can say that Lewisohn has tried to be as neutral as possible, and has tried to balance the information. Indeed, there is more to cover on Lennon/McCartney, and so the information on them is more too. But does that mean he is biased? Or does that simply mean there is more information on them? I mean, you can say so much more interesting stuff about them than about Ringo for instance but he has tried to balance it. But still, there is more information. I’m glad he did it like this and didn’t decide to try fill up the Ringo bits (just taking Ringo as an example here) with useless and uninteresting information.
The following people thank Linde for this post:C.R.A.
14 April 2010
Yeah, I’ve read Tune In twice and did not notice any bias whatsoever. He just reported facts (albeit as his interviews remembered them). Even when he blew up misconceptions, he tempered his thought with phrases like “possible, but not likely”. It’s the only book I’ve read of his and was quite impressed.
The following people thank Zig for this post:C.R.A.
To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.
31 October 2013