Magical Mystery Tours: My Life with the Beatles

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Overview

A Top Ten Music Book Bestseller in The Independent (UK)

"Brings the era to vivid life. The mythic moments are all here.Magical Mystery Tours is a tour de force." —-Entertainment Weekly

Growing up in a postwar Liverpool suburb, Tony Bramwell was boyhood friends with three of the Beatles long before they were famous. And by the time he caught up with George Harrison on the top of a bus to check out "The Beatles,...

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Overview

A Top Ten Music Book Bestseller in The Independent (UK)

"Brings the era to vivid life. The mythic moments are all here.Magical Mystery Tours is a tour de force." —-Entertainment Weekly

Growing up in a postwar Liverpool suburb, Tony Bramwell was boyhood friends with three of the Beatles long before they were famous. And by the time he caught up with George Harrison on the top of a bus to check out "The Beatles, direct from Hamburg"—-one of which George turned out to be—-Tony was well into a life story absolutely unlike any other.

Tony carried George's guitar that night, and he stayed with the band from the first Number 1 to the last. From overseeing the tours of Brian Epstein's Merseybeat stars to producing shows for Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Cream, and Pink Floyd at Epstein's Savile Theatre; and from producing and directing Beatles videos to heading Apple Films, Tony's life really did encompass a who's who of rock.

With an insider's shrewd eye, Tony describes the rise and fall of the Apple empire, Brian Epstein's frolics, Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, Phil Spector's eccentric behavior, and stories never before told about Yoko Ono. He uncovers new information about the Shea Stadium concert footage, John Lennon's late-night "escapes," and more. From the Cavern Club to the rooftop concert, and from scraps of song lyrics to the discovery of the famous Mr. Kite circus poster, Tony Bramwell really did see it all.

It's a story in which every character is one of the musical 1960s most colorful. Conversational, direct, and honest, the ultimate Beatles insider finally shares his own version of the frantic and glorious ascent of four boys from Liverpool lads to rock and roll kings.

Praise for Magical Mystery Tours

"A must-read for anyone interested in the history of the Fab Four. Bramwell doesn't hold back with his tales of the grand insanity that tailed The Beatles."—The New York Post

"Energetically written…a vivid and intensely personal look at not only the Beatles but at a storybook trip from the docks of Liverpool to swinging London and the very epicenter of the British invasion."—Publishers Weekly

"A sprawling, amiable account of life near the world's most famous and most gifted pop group. A welcome addition to Beatles lore."—The Globe and Mail (Canada)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bramwell, a longtime Beatles business associate and childhood friend, offers a fond, intimate portrait of the Fab Four. His often gossipy recollections illuminate the players from their days as young "scousers" in working-class Liverpool to their formation as a group, and from their exhausting early stints in Hamburg to their astonishing stardom. Readers will be surprised to learn how much money the Beatles left on the table owing to the bad deals that Brian Epstein, the Beatles' respected but conflicted manager, made. Still, the group remained fiercely loyal to Epstein, who made them-and many others-rich beyond their dreams, cutting deals in what was then uncharted business territory. Throughout, Paul comes off as down to earth, Ringo as sophisticated and "Hollywood," and George, charming and gentle, if a bit unusual. Not surprisingly, it is John who piques the most interest. Bramwell blisters Yoko Ono, "the Princess of Darkness," and suggests that either she brainwashed John or that he was suffering from mental illness. Although music historians and Beatles collectors may feel they know the story, Bramwell's memoir is much more than Beatles history. Energetically written, this is a vivid and intensely personal look at not only the Beatles but at a storybook trip from the docks of Liverpool to swinging London and the very epicenter of the British invasion. Photos not seen by PW. Agent, Jeff Kleinman. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Who but the childhood pal of John, Paul, and George, eventually the Beatles' behind-the-scenes guardian, could give us such a scoop? Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A close confederate of the Beatles chronicles the band's rise and fall in an easygoing memoir-about everything except Yoko Ono. Bramwell grew up with John, Paul, and George in Liverpool, and later became an important fixture at Apple Records. He was the all-purpose guy who filmed their recording sessions, promoted their material, and, perhaps most importantly, was someone they could relax with at a pub. Told in real time, Bramwell's account captures the taste and feel of the moment yet also evolves along with the band's intellectual, artistic, and personal changes. Though Bramwell can't climb into the Beatles' heads, he does re-create the serendipitous atmosphere that surrounded their songwriting. And his steel-trap memory carries the big picture along with a mob of details, many of them personal. Rather than focusing entirely on the Beatles, the narrative encompasses the whole scene: the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and numerous others come and go throughout. Bramwell appears to be such a sweet character that his portrait of Yoko Ono comes across like a bite on the kneecap. He loathes this "she-wolf garbed in black," the "fraud" who talked macrobiotic while shooting heroin, who destroyed all that was once so good in the process of feeding her insecurities. Bramwell doesn't paint a pretty picture of the last few years of the band's partnership. He's more than happy to blame the breakup on Ono and on Allen Klein, who would "cook the books and milk the company dry." He also has some pointed things to say about the Merry Pranksters and Hare Krishnas. Even the most Beatle-weary reader will be charmed and engaged by this intimate account. (Three 8-page b&w photoinserts, not seen)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312330446
  • Publisher: Griffin
  • Publication date: 4/4/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 706,380
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Bramwell has known George, Paul, and John ever since they grew up together in Liverpool. After the Beatles split, he became an independent record promoter, representing artists including Bruce Springsteen and coordinating and promoting the music for films including Harry Saltzmann's James Bonds (including Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die"), Chariots of Fire, Dirty Dancing, and Ghost.

Rosemary Kingsland is the author of The Secret Life of a Schoolgirl, her memoir, and Savage Seas, from which a PBS special was drawn. She also wrote the highly praised series Pirates and Treasure Islands for the Discovery Channel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    A must read for any Beatles fan

    Just terrific -- from beginning to end. Bramwell is an interesting character in his own right, but tells a fascinating story from his proximity as friend and employee that is a must read for any Beatles fan.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2006

    My Life With The Beatles

    I liked this book alot. It showed the side of the The Beatles that most people didnt see. This man, Tony is a lucky guy. He is one heck of a storyteller and I'm very glad he decided to write this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2005

    Fabulous..a must for any Beatle Fan

    Tony Bramwell blew me away with this wonderfully written book. I loved that he showed that he, in fact, was there through the pics he included in the book. It is the best book on the Beatles I've read since The Beatles by Norman Davies or Shout by Philip Norman....Tony wrote a great book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2011

    Best book on The Beatles

    As a childhood friend, employee and member of the Apple Corps, Tony Bramwell has a unique perspective into the life of Brian Epstein and The Beatles. Mr. Bramwell, to his credit, doesn't hold back. His life also touched many other well-known music producers, managers and stars. I have read many books about The Beatles and this is the best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Magical Mystery Tours "My Life With The Beatles" by Tony Bramwell

    This is a great read. Unlike many others written about "The Beatles". I thouroughly enjoyed Mr. Bramwell's book from the early years to present day. Susan Kraner, Ohio

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2014

    This book was excellent and very well written. Tony gets into ve

    This book was excellent and very well written. Tony gets into very good detail describing each Beatles personality and gives detailed descriptions of situations/scenarios of hanging out with the Beatles for so many years. It was roughly 430 pages long. Sometimes he uses "London slang" (dont know what else to call it). There are a lot of "English" terms in there that I don't understand.. but its nothing that Google couldn't handle. Over-all, great book.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Must Beatle Read!

    It takes you inside the Beatles from beginning to end. Tony's stories are a real gems! Very easy reading...yet full of great Beatle information fed to the reader in a conversation format.... Don't miss this one if you are a fan of the Fab Four....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2011

    Great!

    This was the first Beatles book I've read and I loved it! It was very funny and entertaining. A must read for anyone who's interested in the Beatles!

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

    Posted February 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Magical History Tour!

    From riding the 81 Bus through Liverpool with George Harrison as a kid, to being there when The Beatles met Elvis and Beyond, Tony's life, surrounded by The Fab Four and their families and fellow mates is one interesting read.
    If you're a Beatles fan and this book isn't on your bookshelf, you're really missing something.

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    Posted January 25, 2011

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    Posted April 17, 2011

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    Posted October 20, 2009

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    Posted June 3, 2011

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