Monday, October 19, 2009

Beatle Books

There's a million Beatle books out there. But if someone asked me 'which ones should I read?', it would be pretty easy to select a handful.

First, I'd suggest the two 'official' ones that came out before they broke up: 'A Cellarful of Noise' by Brian Epstein and 'The Beatles' by Hunter Davies. And while these books don't give a lot of the real 'dirt', they are the only authorized bios from the actual time so they are a must-read.

Among the insider books (by wives, friends and colleagues), the best one is 'The Love You Make' by Peter Brown, who was Epstein's assistant and Beatle gofer. Lots of good gossip and behind the scenes info.

Ringo and John never wrote bios, and George's 'I Me Mine' is void of anything interesting. But Paul's 'Many Years From Now' is terrific. His detailed description of how the 'White Album' poster was created alone is worth the price of admission. I have to admit that I haven't read Pete Best's book 'Beatle' (written about 10 years ago), but have ordered it and will let y'all know my thoughts. But after hearing Pete interviewed numerous times, and from what I can gather about him, I doubt that it's all that good.

The 'Anthology' companion book to the documentary is also great. It's basically the Beatles and a few insiders just talking about their experiences. Very insightful.

But the best, without a doubt, is 'Shout!' by Philip Norman. It is detailed, accurate and epic-like. Be sure to get the updated version (up to George's death). His follow-up, 'John Lennon: The Life' is not nearly as good, but also interesting. The only 'great' Lennon bio.

And speaking of Lennon bios, DON'T bother with the over-bloated fantasy 'The Lives of John Lennon' by Albert Goldman. May Mr. Goldman rot in hell for writing such garbage.


Blogger therealshell said...

Do you have Revolution in the Head ? I love that one.

7:34 PM  
Blogger John Goins said...

I've heard of it, but haven't read it. I'll check it out! Thanks for the recommendation!

10:13 PM  

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