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What a book The Beatles Anthology is! Each page is brimming with personal stories and rare vintage images. Snapshots from their family collections take us back to the days when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey were just boys growing up in Liverpool. They talk in turn about those early years and how they came to join the band that would make them known around the world as John, Paul, George and Ringo. Then, weaving back and forth, they tell the astonishing story of life as The Beatles: the first rough gigs, the phenomenon of their rise to fame, the musical and social change of their heyday, all the way through to their breakup. From the time Ringo tried to take this drum kit home on the bus to their much anticipated audience with Elvis, from the making of the Sgt. Pepper album to their last photo session together at John's house, The Beatles Anthology is a once-in-a-lifetime collection of The Beatles' own memories.
Interwoven with these are the recollections of such associates as road manager Neil Aspinall, producer George Martin and spokesman Derek Taylor. And included in the vast array of photographs are materials from both Apple and EMI, who also opened their archives for this project. This, indeed, is the inside story, providing a wealth of previously unpublished material in both word and image. Created with their full cooperation, The Beatles Anthology is, in effect, The Beatles' autobiography. Like their music has been a part of so many of our lives, it's warm, frank, funny, poignant and bold. At last, here is The Beatles' own story.
340,000 words and over 1300 images including unseen photographs and personal memorabilia.
What makes this oral history of the band gripping is not only the documentation of their spectacular rise and rancorous fall but the ample evidence that each Beatle was smart and self-aware (yes, Ringo too).
—Washington Post Book Review
Text and images copyright Apple Corps Ltd 2000. Reproduction or reuse of any of the images or text is strictly prohibited. "Apple," the Apple logo, "Beatles" and "The Beatles" (in both cases with and without the stylized letter "T") are all trademarks of Apple Corps Limited. All rights reserved.
John: "The Sixties saw a revolution among youth--not just concentrating in small pockets or classes, but a revolution in a whole way of thinking. The youth got it first and the next generation second. The Beatles were part of the revolution, which is really an evolution, and is continuing. We were all on this ship--a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow's nest."
Paul: "To thine own self be true." I think that was very apt with The Beatles. We always were very true to ourselves--and I think that the brutal honesty The Beatles had was important. So sticking to our own guns and really saying what we thought in some way gave some other people in the world the idea that they too could be truthful and get away with it, and in fact it was a good thing."
George: "The moral of the story is that if you accept the high points you're going to have to go through the lows. For The Beatles, our lives were a very heightened version of that: of how to learn about love and hate, and up and down, and good and bad, and loss and gain. It was a hyper-version of what everybody else was going through. So, basically, it's all good. Whatever happened is good as long as we've learnt something. It's only bad if we didn't learn: "Who am I? Where am I going? Where have I come from?"
Ringo: "They became the closest friends I'd ever had. I was an only and suddenly I felt as though I'd got three brothers. We really looked out for each other and we had many laughs together. In the old days we'd have the hugest hotel suites, the whole floor of a hotel, and the four of us would end up in the bathroom, just to be with each other."
Posted February 16, 2009
Next to Cynthia Lennon's biography, "John" based on Beatle, and ex-husband, John Lennon, Beatles Anthology is by far, one of the best books I have ever came across. It is probably the only autobiography written by the Beatles themselves - in their own words. I have had my share of good biographies, based on the band out there, though most of those books are usually written by either their fans, or historians who look into their personal lives and careers, though I'd say it's better that John, Paul, George and Ringo speak for themselves. The book is quite large and isn't necessarily a novel, but filled with rare, unseen photos of the Beatles, and their personal feelings and opinions on their childhood, careers, and even marriages. Personally, I have not finished the book, due to the fact that it does take a good amount of time to actually sit down and read the book, but it's absolutely worth buying the book, if you are a true Beatles fan who loves them for more than the music.
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