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Why is Anthology sometimes disparaged as Mythology?
6 September 2018
8.37am
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stuartgardner
Savannah, Ga.
The Kaiserkeller
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What misinformaction plagues the video series and / or book?  I’ve seen the series several times and read the book once, and assumed the project was as trustworthy as one could hope for, but then I learned that people more knowledgable than myself sometimes refer to the project as Mythology.

I have 7.004 billion brothers and sisters.

25 August 2021
2.03pm
Toxic34
West Palm Beach, FL
Decca
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Some people refer to the project as “Mythology” simply because they assume that it was a repeat of the Hunter Davies book, in that The Beatles must’ve had rights to look things over, say “remove this, don’t put that in here” and that it’s a whitewash. They especially say so regarding how the breakup is dealt with, mainly in the documentary, with saying “by Abbey Road , the game was up and we all accepted that,” as if it seems to erase the acrimony regarding the end. However, Paul put it this way: “we didn’t want to get surgical and really discuss things blow by and blow and look at ‘who’s to blame?’ We wanted to basically leave the band with its dignity. Besides, the memories I really have of The Beatles are the happy ones.”

They also think that there were compromises on what was put in so as not to start arguments between Paul, George and Ringo, and people were walking on eggshells. They also take some offense on the fact that they got to tell their story as mature, middle-aged figures who had time to reflect, compared to how John’s archival interviews were used, taken from him as a youthful man that didn’t get to truly live. But diplomacy is not automatically the same as “capitulation”, “whitewash” or “selling a shiny, happy lie.” They, if anything, were incredibly frank and honest to a fault, especially in the book, which is very warts and all and has the outtakes as well as interviews specifically for the book, with a lot of freedom to speak up, and they did naturally have diverging memories and perspectives because that’s inevitable.

Others think that limiting the focus only to the individual Beatles, George Martin, Neil Aspinall and Derek Taylor as the only interview subjects speaking was to the project’s detriment, in that their spouses, friends and musical peers like The Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson should’ve have been included. Even though the project was specifically meant to be “from the inside out”, and broadening the scope would’ve defeated that purpose.

I firmly believe the Anthology is the definitive telling of the story, especially the book, that it is essentially their autobiography, and that it definitely expels a lot of the myths and misinformation that have sprung up about them since the beginning, and it especially shows that no matter how tense things got or how heated and angry the exchanges between any of the members were at any point, especially after the official breakup, the fact remains that they loved each other and never stopped. And the fact that a lot people like to portray the myriad of legal tangles and heated barbs as so heated and nasty to reach the same level of bitterness as Roger Waters and David Gilmour (a battle that is still raging even now, and is especially venomous because both men can say these hateful barbs with complete and utter calm in their voices) is not only intellectually dishonest, but makes the people peddling these stories little better than Albert Goldman.

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