John D. Luerssen has written U2 FAQ (Backbeat) Rivers' Edge: The Weezer Story (ECW Press) and has compiled and edited a series of interview books on bands like The Beach Boys, Nirvana and Led Zeppelin for Rock Reader Books.
The Beatles: Ultimate Quotebookby John Luerssen
Music journalist, pop music expert and
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The Beatles: Ultimate Quotebook tells the story of the Fab Four in its very own words. Unlike any Beatles volume on the market today, The Beatles: Ultimate Quotebook stands alone as the first-ever book to collect the musings of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr. This is the group’s definitive oral history.
Music journalist, pop music expert and editor John D. Luerssen (The Beach Boys: Essential Interviews and U2 FAQ) – has sifted through all of the Beatles’ essential and, in many cases, extremely rare media interactions to collect the finest anecdotes of John, Paul, George and Ringo. In doing so, he weaves the Beatles’ magical, memorable ascent, artistic evolution, musical revolution and ultimate dissolution, month by month and year by year.
Starting with musings from the band’s first-ever radio interview in 1962 and ending with John’s reflections on the group just prior to his untimely murder in 1980, The Beatles Ultimate Quotebook offers direct perspective from the Beatles themselves and is a captivating, uplifting, heartwrenching and ultimately indispensible read.
Q: "You composed 'P.S. I Love You' and 'Love Me Do' yourself, didn't you? Who does the composing between you?"
PAUL: "Well, it's John and I. We write the songs between us. It's, you know... We've sort of signed contracts and things to say, that now if we..."
JOHN: "It's equal shares."
PAUL: "Yeah, equal shares and royalties and things, so that really we just both write most of the stuff. George did write this instrumental, as we say. But mainly it's John and I. We've written over about a hundred songs but we don't use half of them, you know. We just happened to sort of rearrange 'Love Me Do' and played it to the recording people, and 'P.S. I Love You,' and uhh, they seemed to quite like it. So that's what we recorded."
Q: "How were you selected for Ed Sullivan? Was he in England and caught your act or something?"
GEORGE: "We were arriving from Stockholm into London airport and at the same time the Prime Minister and the Queen Mother were also flying out, but the airport was overrun with teenagers. Thousands of them waiting for us to get back. Ed Sullivan arrived at that time and wondered what was going on."
JOHN: "I thought I might need a gorilla suit. I've only worn it twice. I thought I might pop it on in the summer and drive round in the Ferrari. We were all going to get them and drive round in them but I was the only one who did. I've been thinking about it and if I didn't wear the head it would make an amazing fur coat-with legs, you see. I would like a fur coat but I've never run into any."
PAUL: "This rumor we were splitting up was rubbish, too. One would think it is the first time any of us had done anything on his own. John wrote books on his own all along, and we all have side-lines we get on with as individuals. Besides, we're all great friends and we don't want to split up. There's never been any talk or sign of it... except in the minds of others."
PAUL: "Some fella said to me, 'Have you had LSD, Paul?' And I said 'Yes.' And it was only 'cuz I was going to just be honest with him. There's no other reason. I didn't want to spread it or anything, you know. I'm not trying to do anything except answer his question. But he happened to be a reporter, and I happened to be a Beatle. So it went into that, you know."
JOHN: "And it was his responsibility, or his paper's responsibility and his TV station."
PAUL: "That's the thing - He immediately said 'Oh, it's this man's responsibility. He's just saying all the kids should take LSD.' And I didn't, you know. I just said, 'Yes I've taken it. Okay I own up,' you know."
Q: "You seem to be the more industrious Beatle."
RINGO: "No, I'm the laziest Beatle, actually. I'm quite happy to finish an LP and go and sit back. I can enjoy myself just sitting back, you know, and playing at home with all the toys, and the kids, and the wife. I enjoy playing with the wife."
PAUL: "So I felt the split coming. And John kept saying we were musically standing still. One night -- this was the autumn of '69 -- Linda and I were lying there, talking about it, and I thought, 'That's what I miss, and what they miss too -- Playing.' Because we hadn't actually played for anyone for a long time. And being an actual good musician requires this contact with people all the time. The human thing. So I came into the idea of going to village halls which hold a couple of hundred people. Have someone book the hall and put up posters saying, maybe, 'Ricky and Redstreaks, Saturday Night.' And we'd just turn up there in a van and people would arrive and we'd be there. I thought that was great. John sa
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