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The Cutting Edge: The Story of the Beatles’ Hairdresser Who Defined an Era by Leslie Cavendish
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15 July 2017
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Joe
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This is published on 24 August 2017. There are (or were, depending on when you read this) 200 signed copies available from this site: http://almabooks.com/product/c.....Alma+Books

The Beatles’ hair changed the world. As their increasingly wild, untamed manes grew, to the horror of parents everywhere, they set off a cultural Revolution as the most tangible symbol of the Sixties’ psychedelic dream of peace, love and playful rebellion. At the centre of this epochal change was Leslie Cavendish, hairdresser to the Beatles and designer of the four iconic men’s hairstyles, a brand image as immediately recognizable as the Nike swoosh or the Coca-Cola bottle.

But just how did a fifteen-year-old Jewish school dropout from an undistinguished North London suburb, with no particular artistic talent or showbusiness connections, end up literally at the cutting edge of Sixties’ fashion in just four years? His story – honest, always entertaining and inspiring – parallels the meteoric rise of the Beatles themselves, and is no less astounding.

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26 September 2017
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Ahhh Girl
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An interview with the author http://www.express.co.uk/life-.....-McCartney

Here's some of the article:

It was an ordinary Saturday in October 1966 and Leslie had just finished styling actress Jane Asher’s hair at the Vidal Sassoon salon in London where he worked.

As he removed the gown from her shoulders she asked whether Leslie was free later that day to do a house visit “as my boyfriend needs a haircut”.

Her boyfriend was of course McCartney.

Fast forward six hours and Leslie found himself snipping his idol’s hair in the vast master bathroom of his house on Cavendish Avenue, St John’s Wood.

He recalls: “I was expecting the housekeeper who’d spoken to me when I buzzed the gate to let me in but when the front door finally opened there was the man himself.

‘Hello, Leslie, thanks for coming,’ he told me.

“I felt totally light-headed and my entire Beatles-tinted youth flashed before me – the first hearing of Love Me Do , my mum’s attempts to turn down the volume of Twist And Shout on our Decca player, all the times I sang along to Drive My Car as it blasted out of my Mini’s radio on my way to work.

“Then Paul led me into the living room and the first things I noticed were a piano and two guitars, one acoustic, one bass. Oh, I thought, so this is where it happens.

Although Leslie, who was only 19 at the time, already counted other showbiz names such as Suzanna Leigh – the first English actress to appear in a film with Elvis Presley – among his clients, they paled in comparison to the hair he was about to chop.

“I remember one of the first things I told him was that he had wonderfully thick hair and that he’d never go bald, which he was delighted to hear,” reveals Leslie.

“I asked him how he’d like it cutting, to which he replied, ‘Just do it as you see it.’

“It took me by surprise as I’d expected Paul McCartney to exercise some sort of control over a head of hair that had become an icon of youthful rebellion around the world.

“It was the most exciting haircutting gig I could possibly have been offered and my life would never be the same again.”

He was right.

Far from being a one-haircutwonder, Leslie was McCartney’s hairdresser for nearly a decade, even opening his own salon in Chelsea in 1967 backed by The Beatles and their company Apple.

He also tended to the locks of John Lennon , Ringo Starr and George Harrison on and off, creating some of the most iconic hairstyles in popular history.

Leslie’s discretion also secured him an unexpected place in The Beatles’ inner circle.

Now aged 70 he has recorded his recollections in new book The Cutting Edge: The Story Of The Beatles’ Hairdresser Who Defi ned An Era.

And the level of detail in it is thanks in part to Apple providing him with access to all the press cuttings about the Fab Four.

“I needed them to work out whether I’d dreamed up certain memories,” he adds.

“There’s one headline that reads ‘Barber who made Paul a skinhead’ and I had to trace it back in my head to late 1966 when he was going on safari with Jane.

"He’d got his Beatles mop cut and was worried he’d be recognised everywhere on holiday so I told him that we’d have to disguise him by cutting it all off.

“When I’d finished we looked at each other and I said, ‘There you go, where’s Paul McCartney ?’

He laughed and said, ‘Wow!’ There was a million pounds worth of hair on the fl oor but I didn’t tell anyone about the haircut.

“They had their holiday in Kenya without anyone noticing until they came back through the airport a month later. I got a lot of press coverage from that.”

He adds: “I wasn’t on The Beatles’ payroll, I just charged them two guineas [about £2.10] each for a haircut, the same as all my other clients.

"I’d have done it for nothing because it was such a privilege, especially being invited to Trident and Abbey Road studios on numerous occasions.

“Watching Lennon and Mc Cartney was something else. I described it to someone the other day as like watching two great friends building a song, putting together what they’d each done.

“On my first night at Abbey Road I heard them recording the string section for She’s Leaving Home, one of the most stirring songs they ever recorded and one of the few on which none of the Fab Four played an instrument.”

In September 1967 Leslie was also one of about 40 of the group’s inner circle to be invited aboard the Magical Mystery Tour bus.

He says: “My musical memories of the MMT are of raucous singing on the bus to old music hall classics such as Toot, Toot, Tootsie! or When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, and of a lock-in at a pub where Paul played Knees Up Mother Brown on the piano before Ringo joined in on an old mandolin.”

Sadly Leslie also witnessed the disintegration of the group.

“It was one of their rules that girlfriends or wives weren’t allowed at the studio but Yoko started hanging out there with Lennon, which changed the atmosphere a bit.

"Things were moving on.

“Paul and Jane had split up, Lennon had Yoko, Ringo was feeling excluded having had a lesser role on Sergeant Pepper and George was doing God knows what floating off somewhere.

“The Beatles family unit wasn’t there any more so Paul found a new family life.”

Leslie is referring to Paul meeting Linda Eastman, whom he married in 1969.

“You could see they were madly in love,” he recalls.

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27 September 2017
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Leppo
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Joe said

At the centre of this epochal change was Leslie Cavendish, hairdresser to the Beatles and designer of the four iconic men’s hairstyles, a brand image as immediately recognizable as the Nike swoosh or the Coca-Cola bottle.

Not sure how he can take credit for the mop top which was Astrid's influence wasn't it?

Pivotal Moments in Beatles History No.118:  Yoko helps herself to one of George's digestives. 

27 September 2017
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Leppo said

Joe said

At the centre of this epochal change was Leslie Cavendish, hairdresser to the Beatles and designer of the four iconic men’s hairstyles, a brand image as immediately recognizable as the Nike swoosh or the Coca-Cola bottle.

Not sure how he can take credit for the mop top which was Astrid's influence wasn't it?  

He stood behind Astrid and whispered in her ear where to cut and where each hair strand should go.

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18 December 2017
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Joe
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Just a quick heads-up that the signed copies of The Cutting Edge are now half price on Alma Books' website, down from £25. There were 200 available; not sure how many are left. Presumably they didn't sell very well.

For those in the UK they're £12.50 each, plus £3 delivery. I ordered two and postage was free. I hope it's a good book.

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