The Beatles: The Biography

( 38 )

Overview

As soon as The Beatles became famous, the spin machine began to construct a myth—one that has continued to this day. But the truth is much more interesting, much more exciting, and much more moving. In this bestselling book, Bob Spitz has written the biography for which Beatles fans have long waited. 32 pages of b/w photos.

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Overview

As soon as The Beatles became famous, the spin machine began to construct a myth—one that has continued to this day. But the truth is much more interesting, much more exciting, and much more moving. In this bestselling book, Bob Spitz has written the biography for which Beatles fans have long waited. 32 pages of b/w photos.

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  • The Beatles: The Biography
    The Beatles: The Biography  

Editorial Reviews

Janet Maslin
Like Martin Scorsese' recent documentary about the young, meteoric Bob Dylan, this book powerfully evokes both the excitement and the price of such a sudden rise. This book is with the Beatles as they hit upon a winning, hair-shaking performance style and as they watch the world go berserk over it. When the exhilaration begins to sour, it captures the frightening fishbowl sensation of their being imprisoned by fans' hysteria and critical acclaim.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
With this massive opus, veteran music journalist Spitz (Dylan: A Biography) tells the definitive story of the band that sparked a cultural revolution. Calling on books, articles, radio programs and primary interviews, Spitz follows the band from each member's family origins in working-class Liverpool to the band's agonizing final days. Spitz's unflinching biography reveals that not only did the Beatles pioneer a new era of rock but they also were on the cutting edge of rock star excess, from their 1961 amphetamine-fueled sets in the clubs of Hamburg to their eventual appetites for stronger drugs, including marijuana, LSD, cocaine and, eventually for John Lennon, heroin. Sex was also part of the equation; in 1962, when the band cut its first audition for Sir George Martin, all four members had a venereal disease, and both John's and Paul McCartney's girlfriends were pregnant. Spitz details the tangled web of bad business deals that flowed from novice manager Brian Epstein (though the heavily conflicted Epstein can be forgiven since he was in uncharted territory). Although this is a hefty volume steeped in research, Spitz writes economically, and with flair, letting the facts and characters speak for themselves. In doing so, he captures an ironic sadness that accompanied the Beatles' runaway success-how their dreams of stardom, once realized, became a prison, forcing the band to spend large parts of their youth in hotel rooms to avoid mobs and to stage elaborate escapes from literally life-threatening situations after appearances. As with all great history writing, Spitz both captures a moment in time and humanizes his subjects. While some will blanch at the unsettling dark sides of the Beatles, most will come to appreciate the band even more for knowing the incredible personal odysseys they endured. 32 pages of b&w photos. Agent, Sloan Harris. 196,500 first printing; major ad/promo. (Nov. 7) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Surprisingly, relatively few of the hundreds of Beatles books over the years comprehensively document the band's story. Spitz (Dylan: A Biography) claims to have written the definitive work, and it is certainly far more detailed than Philip Norman's Shout!, the last serious attempt by an outsider to tell the Beatles' tale. Spitz spent several years cobbling together the story from new interviews with old Beatle friends and hundreds of existing sources (including discredited John Lennon biographer Albert Goldman's archives, which may raise eyebrows). The band's family histories and early years are told with flair and fairness in unprecedented depth-this is the book's biggest contribution to Beatles scholarship. But once Beatlemania hits, Spitz loses steam: the group doesn't even invade America until well over halfway through the narrative. As familiar stories of the Beatles' prime years take over, sloppy, head-scratching errors start to creep in; certain stories ingrained in Beatles legend, such as how they arrived at the finished recording for "Strawberry Fields Forever," are ignored. With the band sinking into dysfunction, Spitz relies more heavily on sources that take a negative tone, and the book sputters to an abrupt end, ignoring the lawsuit that Paul McCartney filed against the others to dissolve their partnership formally. Despite these flaws, The Beatles emerges as the most complete chronicle of the Fab Four to date, at least until Mark Lewisohn finishes his massive three-volume Beatles biography in 2016. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/05; see also Larry Kane's Lennon Revealed, p. 66.]-Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316013314
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 10/10/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 992
  • Sales rank: 129,907
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Meet the Author


Bob Spitz has represented the careers of Bruce Springsteen and Elton John. He is the author of The Making of Superstars, Barefoot in Babylon, Dylan and Shoot Out the Lights. His articles appear regularly in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Conde Nast Traveler, Men's Journal, In Style, Esquire, Sky, and the Washington Post. He lives in Connecticut and can be reached at: thebeatles@bobspitz.com

Alfred Molina's films include Spiderman II, Frida, Magnolia, Chocolat, Boogie Nights, The Perez Family, Maverick, Enchanted April, Not Without My Daughter, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Prick Up Your Ears. He has appeared extensively on British and American television, including the TV series Bram & Alice and Ladies' Man. Mr. Molina received a Tony Award nomination, a Drama Desk Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance in Art on Broadway. He also performed on Broadway in Molly Sweeney and in Speed the Plow for the National Theatre in London.

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Read an Excerpt

The Beatles

The Biography
By Bob Spitz

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2005 Bob Spitz
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-80352-9


Chapter One

A Proper Upbringing

[I]

Water. Those who were drawn to it-the seafarers to whom the infinitesimal lap against a bow and the white blown spray prefigured a window on the world, the merchants and craftsmen who plied goods from the North and Midlands into commercial dynasties, and the dockhands and laborers bred to keep the machinery moving-allowed the mystery of the Mersey to lay hold of their imagination. The river, with its dark, brooding magnetism, drove the city as if throughout its existence it had been waiting for a subject as pliant and as pure as these shores, those spiny timber docks, that rim of sea. This wasn't a typical Lancashire shoreline, fashioned for pleasure boats and sunbathers, but a remarkable seven-and-a-half-mile natural harbor studded with chocolate-dark rock that clung to Liverpool's lofty townscape like a dressmaker's hem. The nucleus of the dock system, with its imposing mass of antique structures-warehouses, embankments, swing bridges, overhead railways, and gates-fed a humped dense center of red brick and church spires, itself a sort of iron splash that provided a nicely supporting symmetry all around.

The people living within these confines saw the seaport as a threshold on the horizon. Beyond it, an invisible world beckoned. Not a day passed when detachments of tall-masted ships weren't diligently on the move, bound for one of the globe's imagined corners.

Liverpool considered itself "the Gateway to the British Empire" for its mastery of imperial trade. And yet to the rest of the country, especially those living in tweedy London, Liverpool was an anglicized Siberia: desolate, insular, meaningless-out of sight, out of mind. Hardworking, dressed darkly, and forgotten. The prejudice was no secret, and it made those men and women of the North fierce and intimate. People from Liverpool called themselves "Scousers," giving their common kinship an exalted magic, in much the way that Ozark Mountain dwellers are called hillbillies. The term was derived from the nautical lobscouse, a sailor's dish consisting of meat stewed with vegetables and a ship biscuit but revised over the years by the Irish custom of keeping a pan of scouse stew simmering on the stove all week, to which table scraps and leftovers were added as they became available. "Scousers have a fierce local patriotism," says Mersey Beat founder Bill Harry, who grew up in the center of town at the same time as the Beatles. "It's like belonging to your own country. A real Scouser believes he is fighting everybody else in the world, and that everyone is against him, especially Londoners. He defends this position eloquently-with his fists."

Like many seaside boys, the four young men who would form the Beatles were absurdly modest, considering the outlet water provided: "to be the best band in Liverpool" was all they ever wanted. The Mersey was their only river.

Two hundred years before the Beatles crossed the water to "take America by storm," the ships of Liverpool rode the seas in service to the upstart colonies, whose landowners coveted burly African slaves. Merseyside magnates, loathing the practice of slavery but drunk on its profits, sent "stout little ships" laden with blue and green Manchester cottons and striped loincloths called "anabasses" down the Atlantic to West Africa, where, on the swampy, malaria-ridden island of Goree, they bartered textiles with Arab and African flesh peddlers for human cargo. This, according to ships' logs and harbor records, was the first leg of a triangular route for the so-called African trade, a twelve-month journey that required an arduous "middle passage," docking next in either Virginia or the West Indies, where cotton or sugar, respectively, was then dispatched to Liverpool.

Liverpool thrived on the backs of slaves-thrived and thickened. Historian J. A. Picton points out how new structures expressed an elaborate Grecian influence, with ornamental columns and peaked roofs, so that "everything was modeled on the Parthenon." The city's growth mushroomed dramatically, and sailors and dockworkers, trusting in the promise of wealth, came to claim it. By 1800, Liverpool had become the richest city in Britain and second only to Lyon in all of Europe. A determined new race of longshoremen scuttled along the Kings Dock's great tobacco bonded warehouse and into the mazy Duke's Warehouse terminal, where barges were unloaded as they floated through its unorthodox arched brick caverns. The sunstruck warehouses thronging Jamaica Street bulged embarrassingly with lavish cargo. New construction abounded like milkweed.

Normally, where money and success flowed, civic pride followed, but not in this case. The slave trade, made grotesque and untenable by public indignation, was finally abolished in 1807. The merchant princes conveniently converted their ships to carry produce, and for a few years prosperity endured. Eventually, however, fruit proved no match.

Their conscience was rescued by American cronies, whose unlapsing resilience defied all reason. Cultivated on plantations scattered throughout the West Indies, odd lots of silky, long staple cotton had always been mixed in with larger cargoes containing sugar, rum, tobacco, ginger, and coffee that came in exchange for slaves. Most of it was unprocessed and used for hosiery and candlewicks, but in nearby Manchester, home to an influx of textile workers who, centuries earlier, had been driven out of Flanders by the Duke of Alva, the manufacture of cloth developed at an enormous rate. By 1800, 60.3 million pounds of cotton were being imported by Great Britain, every last bit of it bound for Manchester and rerouted by dealers there to mills in southeastern Lancashire, which were working at full capacity. As England's industrial revolution exploded, so, too, did the market for textiles. And Liverpool, waiting for just such an opportunity, was ideally situated, financially and geographically, to handle the business. Cotton poured into Liverpool to such an extent that boats bottlenecked in the Narrows, an exposed channel between the city and Birkenhead, and were forced to queue, awaiting their turn to unload. Practically overnight, the stubby line of docks grew to five, pushing north along the river, while port facilities ate into the streets surrounding the harbor like sets of teeth. Banks, customhouses, mercantile exchanges, and insurance and solicitors' offices were knit into the jungled fabric of new warehouses, whose vastness, Picton writes, "surpasses the pyramid of Cheops." Three magnificent churches, constructed entirely of prefabricated iron, were built between 1812 and 1814, allowing the fortunate to give thanks for this affluence. Civic buildings, skillfully mimicking the palazzi of the Medici, provided the grandeur and versatility due a thriving commercial hub.

Cotton brought respectability to Liverpool. But the water was dominant, and while its infinite resource steered opportunity toward the seaport, it also engulfed her. From 1845 to 1849, nearly fifty thousand Irish refugees thronged into Liverpool, causing near-civic collapse. The potato famine forced entire villages from their homes and deposited wave after wave of its victims onto the Merseyside docks, dumping them there like some whaler's squalid catch waiting to be claimed. Among them were the families of John O'Leannain (their name was changed to skirt the sectarian divide) and James McCartney II. A total of 1.5 million Irish crossed, some merely stopping long enough to get a ship to America, while others, made vulnerable by sickness and sudden poverty, sought permanent residence in what was already an overpopulated boom town. In a disparaging reference that nonetheless has some truth to it, historian Quentin Hughes says that "Liverpool wound up with the dross." Entire families, whose assets were often limited to the clothes on their back, crammed into living quarters unfit for human occupancy. "Many places that had one family in residence now had ... five families," Hughes points out, "with some living in the basement, where the floor was soil and [there was] no cross ventilation." In a hasty attempt to remedy the situation, developers relocated people in tracts of back-to-back terrace houses-dwellings backed onto each other and connected on either side, so that the only windows and ventilation were in the front. For both the townspeople and newcomers alike, Liverpool became a grim, confrontational city. The Irish were blamed for creating a raft of social problems, not the least of which were fire, mob violence, and an outbreak of cholera that ravaged the whole of downtown. Conversely, it was the public's cold insensitivity, the new arrivals argued, that fed these conditions and fears.

The McCartneys, who were handymen by trade, found temporary housing near the docks, where Joseph, Paul's grandfather, was born in 1866. The Lennons gravitated to nearby Vauxhall, a neighborhood of mostly Irish immigrants, just north of the city, on the waterfront. To John's maternal grandfather, George Earnest Stanley, the power of water was more alluring and secure than anything sheltered land could provide. Described as "a real old sea sailor" in the mold of Ishmael, he spent three-fourths of his life aboard merchant ships in service to the Crown.

There was nothing unusual about young men from the area being gone for months, sometimes years, on end. Indeed, it was often a reasonable alternative to the nimbus of misery on the streets back home. Stanley had no intention of scratching out a living in the poxy factories and slaughterhouses along the wharf. Life at sea meant fewer hardships and a chance to pursue his spiritual quest for "seeing the civilized world." Although he never rose up the chain of command, George became an accomplished sailmaker assigned to one of the first three-masted ships to sail around the world. That left little opportunity for proper courtship, but by 1885, George Stanley had met and married a twenty-two-year-old Welsh girl named Annie Jane Millward, one of three daughters from a severely strict Methodist clan whose matriarch, Mary, refused to utter a word of the devil's English. A devout churchgoer herself, with little tolerance for worldliness, Annie risked her piety by working for a common lawyer in Chester, and it was there, in the bustling old Roman seaport, that she eventually encountered George Stanley. George was "a tough character": relentless without leniency, demanding without compromise. But he was responsible and well disposed to supporting a family. After watching four of her uncles die of tuberculosis contracted from milk produced on the family's dairy farm, Annie was determined, almost obsessively so, to reseed the family tree, and once married, she devoted herself almost exclusively to childbearing.

In quick succession-at least, in the timetable allowed by George's stints at sea-Annie gave birth to five children, all girls: Mary Elizabeth, called Mimi; Elizabeth, known affectionately as Betty and, later, Mater; Anne; Harriet; and the youngest, Julia, nicknamed Judy, John Lennon's mother, born in 1914.

Conscientious husband that he was, George Stanley eventually surrendered to domestic reality, retiring grudgingly from sailing, and took a shoreside job with the Liverpool and Glasgow Tug Salvage Company, recovering the scattered wreckage of submarines from treacherous ocean beds. Rather than live in Liverpool center, which was still astonishingly dangerous, the Stanleys settled in Woolton, a grassy suburb outlined by dirt roads and farms.

All five sisters grew strong and inflexibly tight in a modest row house at 9 Newcastle Road, in the district known as Penny Lane. Years later, John would say: "Those women were fantastic ... five strong, intelligent, beautiful women, five sisters," as if they were a stage act: the Stanley Girls. He relished their collective spirit, and from what history has shown, they were indeed a remarkable bunch. Mimi, the eldest, assumed a matriarchal role, taking charge of her siblings in a way that eluded their abstracted mother. Mimi was grounded: a practical nurse, a lover of culture, a sharp-tongued, high-principled, duty-bound young woman who wore the kind of sensible dresses that looked as if they had been picked out for the weekly garden club meeting. "She was born with a keen sense of propriety," recalled one of her nephews. Her method was very simple: everything operated on the axis of decorum and honesty. It was all black-and-white: either you measured up or you didn't. "She had a great sense of what was right and wrong," recalls John Lennon's boyhood friend Pete Shotton. There was nothing, no situation or dilemma, that Mimi was unequipped to handle. And where the younger girls dreamed of starting families, Mimi dreamed of challenges and adventure-the kind that demanded an unusually stubborn independence. "I had no intention of getting married," she told a curious admirer, dreading the prospect of "being tied to a kitchen or a sink."

As she approached her twentieth birthday, Mimi Stanley's aspirations appeared to be right on track. Her pursuit of a respectable vocation met with early success, first as a resident nurse at a Woolton convalescent hospital and later as the private secretary to Ernest Vickers, an industrial magnate with posh residences in Manchester and Wales. Out of personal necessity, Mimi devoted herself entirely to her employer, certain that as soon as the opportunity availed itself, she would invest her savings "in a modest estate from which she could entertain scholars and dignitaries from a cross section of Liverpool society."

A confluence of events, however, placed Mimi's dream just out of reach. In the spring of 1932, when she was twenty-six years old, a short but powerfully built dairy farmer named George Smith, who lived just opposite the hospital and delivered raw milk there each morning, began courting Mimi with a vengeance. His efforts were made difficult by Mimi's frustrating indifference and her eagle-eyed father, who treated all of his daughters' suitors as adversaries. "Grandfather made it impossible for Mimi and George," according to Stanley Parkes, Mimi's nephew, who remembered watching his aunt with keen, admiring eyes. Night after night, he observed the young couple sitting in the back room at Newcastle Road, "under constant chaperone: my grandfather and grandmother always in the next room." At a ridiculously early hour, old George Stanley would barge into the parlor, shouting, "That's long enough! Away you go-home!" making it impossible for the relationship to develop. The courtship dragged on this way for almost seven years until, finally, George Smith delivered an ultimatum along with the milk. "Look here! I've had enough of you! Either marry me, or nothing at all!"

The marriage of such a headstrong young career woman to a relatively commonplace and unassuming man might have had more of a disruptive effect on the Stanley family were it not for another, more upheaving union among the close-knit sisters. Six months earlier, on December 3, 1938, Julia, George Stanley's favorite and most high-spirited daughter, stunned her father when she arrived home after a date with a longtime boyfriend and announced, "There! I've married him," waving a license as proof. It was only reluctantly, after her father threatened Julia with expulsion if she cohabited with a lover, that she proposed to-and married-the dapper young man with a "perfect profile" and nimble spirit named Freddie Lennon.

[II]

If John Lennon romanticized the memory of his mother, he took an altogether opposite view of his father. Freddie Lennon remained a vague shadow figure, an outcast, throughout John's life and, except for two brief appearances, had no direct influence on his son's upbringing. Aside from the resentment that lingered as a result of this circumstance, John's knowledge of his father grew fainter with every year. "I soon forgot my father," he told Hunter Davies in 1968. "It was like he was dead."

The Stanleys did a good job helping to put Freddie Lennon to rest. "They wanted nothing to do with him from the start," said his niece Leila Harvey. Julia's father considered him below their station, "certainly not middle class," and Mimi later said that "we knew he would be no use to anyone, certainly not our Julia."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Beatles by Bob Spitz Copyright © 2005 by Bob Spitz. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2008

    Historical inaccuracies abound

    Regardless of how readable and enjoyable the narrative, it is impossible to overlook major editorial/factual errors. How can the reader trust anything written when basic, elementary facts are incorrect. For example, one needs to look no further than the picture layouts contained in the book. Errors in the captions include: Brian Epstein sitting on the stage of the Cavern Club in 1964 (the Beatles did not play the Cavern after 1963) George and Pattie on the set of Help! where, according to Spitz, they first met (they met on the site of A Hard Day's Night March/April 1964) the 'gang'-including Pattie Boyd- at Paul's twenty-first birthday party (June 18, 1963), George met Pattie ten months later. The aforementioned examples are far from isolated. I counted at least 75 inconsistencies in the text, totally unforgivable for a biography.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2009

    Gobsmacked and Dead Chuffed

    Perhaps that which I find particularly compeling about this "version" of the Beatles saga is the in depth family histories and relationships of early friends. I was also pleasantly surprised to find the author's presentation insightful, though I suspect liberties were taken at times (remembering minute details of specific events, conversations, weather, attitudes, etc. 30 and 40 years hence is tenuous, at best). The story is, nevertheless, the stuff of fairy tales. But to have lived it - almost inconceivable. The breakup - it is amazing to me that they stayed together as long as they did. Still, the foibles and warts of each of "the lads" is humanizing, at least for those of otherwise incomparable talent, fame and fortune. But then Spitz, with a clever style and knack for the telling of the tale, weaves reality and pathos into all that sparkled and smiled; that even the Beatles put one pant leg on at a time and acted like normal twenty somethings with their own traveling fraternity house. There is a personal insight here that captivates the reader. The author does get one indelible point across - although The Beatles seemingly went from zero to sixty in a millisecond during 1963 and early 1964, their "luck" was a result of years of extremely hard work, obssesive behavior, sacrifice, perserverance, opportunism - and innate genius. The story lives on and never seems to diminish in its ability to enthrall simply because it is so incredulous. This book left me wondering just how many talents such as these four Liverpudlians somehow, and for whatever reasons, missed (or are missing today) that "big break" and end up electricians, textile factory workers, lounge lizards or just plain knockabouts? The Beatles really had about as much chance of being the Toppermost of the Poppermost as a snowball in Hell. I get the sense, however, that despite some relatively minor inacuracies and inconsistencies, "The Beatles" by Bob Spitz is as comprehensive as one can ever expect, and pretty darn close to the real deal.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    There's always a story to tell

    They were "The Beatles" for barely a decade and only toured America for 3 summers: 1964, 1965, and 1966, but there is always room for more tales of the Fab Four.
    This one is written better than most.
    You'll like it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2007

    It's all been written before.

    Here we are with yet another unnecessary Beatles¿ biography. Although it is well written, it sheds no new light on the a Beatles whatsoever. That is because the definitive biography on the band has already been written. This book is merely a poor man¿s version of THE BEATLES by Hunter Davies. Everything this book says, Hunter Davies already said way back in 1968! Skip Bob Spitz¿s book and read either THE BEATLES by Hunter Davies (1968) or SHOUT! THE TRUE STORY OF THE BEATLES by Philip Norman (1981). No need to read Bob Spitz¿s retread.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2006

    Couldn't Put it Down...Even Though I Know the Story

    I became completely engrossed in this great book. Right of the bat however, there are some major errors, (such as the picture credit that describes the meeting of George and Patti Boyd on the set of Help, not Hard Day's Night), but other than the little odds and ends, it's an engrossing, cautionary tale. I found the detailed background of the Beatles fascinating in their simple ordinary upbringing. Who knew such greatness would burst forth? I found John Lennon to be the most fascinating, and obviously troubled. His descent into drug abuse is horrifying, but at the same time without it we would not have ¿Tomorrow Never Knows¿, ¿A Day in the Life¿, etc. He was quite frankly a nasty guy. Selfish and self centered to the extreme, with no boundaries to curb his cruelty, but the music he produced was sublime. McCartney comes off as incredibly human, flaws and all. Not ¿Sir Paul¿, but someone who put the Beatles first and foremost. He and Lennon's relationship is the true love story here. The musical interludes they engage in produced some might heavy classics. George Harrison is portrayed as cynical, jaded and bitterly funny, yet always searching for something to fill the void of living in the long shadows of the musical genius of his band mates. Not at all the quiet nice guy, he was much more than that. Ringo's life in his early years just make success ever so sweet to someone who was truly good natured. I also found the story of Brian Epstein compelling. Another tortured soul. If you¿re a Beatle fan you'll love the detail. If your just an average fan, the intricacies might be off putting. I looked at the book as a sort of novel, telling this incredible fairy-tale, that you wish would never end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2006

    Not authentic.

    This book made me suspicious from the second I saw the mislabeled photograph of John holding a child in Central Park. After reading other reviewers -- people who have already read their copy of the book -- I see that my suspicions were correct. The book is full of errors. At the price being charged for this highly touted book -- and after all this time -- there is no excuse for passing on errors and getting information wrong. The Beatles have long time fans that know when they hear or read misinformation to a degree, but that's not the point -- look at the disservice done to younger, newer fans who are looking for a true history of The Beatles. I no longer have any interest in reading this book. What's the point?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2005

    Disappointing.

    Love biographies but this reads more like a long magazine article. Intro was ok, but the language swung between chokingly bad (talk about mixed metaphors!) to dismayingly boring. Think the Lewisohn biography of the Beatles coming out next year is worth waiting for.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    Sample

    The sample is something like 147 pages i think

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2014

    BEST ROCK'N ROO BEST ROCK'N ROLL BAND EVER!

    I LOVE THE BEATLES!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Guess what?

    No one cares how old you are. We only care about if you're a fan or not. Stop posting your age. WE DON'T CARE!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Love the beatles

    Im ten ,and i have loved the beatles since they came to the life of bandplay and always will!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    I Love The Beatles!

    The Beatles are my favorite band ever. You should reallly get this book if you like them. But I mean if you REALLY like them. Otherwise you probaly wont have that much interest

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2012

    Its all been writin before

    Oh shut up mister its all been writin before. Anything about the amazing beatles is awesome. Oh ya nd one direction not as good as the beatles. The beatles are all over my binder for skool.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    All My Loving for this book!

    This book is completely amazing! Bob Spitz did an excellent job of capturing the essence of The Beatles. His attention to the lives of each and every beatle is phenomenal. From each beatle to the next is non-stop detail. Though this book is lengthy, it is worth the read. I would recommend this book to anybody who lived through the era of The Beatles or to people who just enjoy The Beatles, like me. Next time you see it pick up a copy. You will be happy you bought this book, trust me!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    Great fun to read!!

    Great book!

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    Very informational

    I liked the book as a whole...the beginning was a little slow going, and almost too informational (down to the color of houses), but once you get the whole background, you get into the good stuff. I think it also clears up a lot of myths about certain songs and certain situations.

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  • Posted January 20, 2009

    Beatles do this. Beatles do that.

    Quote from Yoko.

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  • Posted October 13, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Cold Hard Facts

    I read this book being a long-time fan of the group, but had never read a biography about any of them before this. So much of what I knew was legend and thanks to this book I have a realistic understanding of who these people were. There were some concerns about the accuracy of this book compared to the bio written by Hunter Davis. One of the appendixes describes the tedious processes Bob Spitz used to research and why other biographers may have been biased or inaccurate in their accounts. Since I am not an authority on the Beatles, I can't comment any further into the accuracy, but I will take his word for it. Though Paul McCartney said of Hunter Davies' bio that it was about 75% accurate. What I got from this book is that the Beatles were very lucky. They didn't have very much to give to the world when they landed their first record deal. No one wanted them, except a few clubs in the area. They worked very hard. They were lucky. John and Paul were selfish, unfaithful and mean to their wives, jealous of others, jealous of each other, and cruel. One of the most interesting things I learned is that enormous writing talent arose from them *after* they got that first record deal. The focus of this book is mostly John and Paul, maybe because there was so much more to say about them, but I would liked to have learned more about George and Ringo. The book paints a very ugly picture of John and I tend to believe that maybe he wasn't quite as bad as reported. I don't know if John's "love in" with Yoko was only a marketing move to push one of her products, but the book makes it seem that way. But there are too many accounts to deny: John beat up a guy so badly that he put him in the hospital with more than a few broken bones, he goose-stepped, raised right, finger under his lip emulating a mustache, arm across a balcony in front of thousands of fans, and that he made fun of a crippled boy. Reading this bio took away the mystery of the later Beatles, but added more of it to the early Beatles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2008

    A reviewer

    I bielieve that regardless of the facts being totally off as some people may put it it is an excellant book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2007

    'Like experiencing it with them'

    My point of view and reaction to this book is influenced by that I was one of those infected with Beatlemania in Feb., 1964. It is impossible to understand the causes of phenomena unless you are privy to it. Spitz lets us inside the Beatles world during crucial moments leading to their success in addition to some interesting touring experiences they had. The early period explained is capturing. Turning the corner of 1963 to 1964 when we in America finally got them is revealing here. Precisely at this time they had achieved success prior to our receiving them yet they could not have known it would be multitudes greater in the following years. Through Spitz I actually felt I knew the young teenager, Paul, and John as well, however less. This book is absolutely fascinating reading for Beatle fans. At the bargain price it sells for now, it's a steal.

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