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The Beatles: The True Beginnings Paperback – 16 Sep 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 199 pages
  • Publisher: ScreenPress Books; 1st Edition edition (16 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901680657
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901680652
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 1.7 x 28.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,494,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Fully authenticated by Sir Paul McCartney, this extensively illustrated book examines the significance of Pete Best's mother, Mona, and the Casbah Coffee Club - the club she and The Beatles built in the basement of her home. It was a truly significant and influential place - perhaps the main catalyst for the Merseybeat scene - where John Lennon, Pete Best, Paul McCartney and George Harrison signed their first contract with Brian Epstein as The Silver Beetles.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hockinson on 8 Feb 2003
Format: Paperback
There is no other group in rock and roll whose history has been explored (and continues to be dissected) as throughly as that of the Beatles. Niche titles continue to be published that spotlight a particular period or topic, as here, where the focus is played in equal parts on the history of the Casbah Coffee Club and on its founder, Mona Best, the mother of Pete, Rory and Roag, who, as the authors, clearly wish the reader to be left with the impression that Mona was (rightly) "the Mother of Mersey Beat." Roag's text starts out well, and the Fab scholar will glean many new insights into the early history of the Best family and of the Casbah Club's creation, for it was here that John, Paul and George reformed as the Quarry Men in August 1959 to open the venue, enjoying a seven-week Saturday night residency that was the launching pad to everything that would follow. Once the Beatles acquire Pete as their drummer and move on to Hamburg, the narrative quickly wanes into a familiar procession of facts that the studied fan knows forwards and back from other books, notably the two previously co-written by Pete. "Some of the best stories (X-rated) we couldn't put in print," notes the Best Brothers on their Acknowledgments page, "but they were still great to hear." Doubtless they were. I would've liked to have heard them - they certainly would've added much needed character and period flavour to the text. This was a missed opportunity to chronicle not just the Beatles' appearances (which amounted to just over forty), but of the other groups who played there as well.Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mazzy on 5 Oct 2002
Format: Paperback
Great wonderful photos and archival material from the Casbah Club, the coffee bar & music club in Mona Best's basement in the early 1960s with a reali italian espresso machine). Pete Best's mother opened this club where the Beatles got started. Pete later joined up as their drummer and was sacked prior to recording their first album. The book was written by Roeg Best, Pete's half brother who it turns out is the son of Mona and Neil Aspinall, the longtime Beatles' roadie and wonderful manager of Apple Corps. to this day. Now that's gossip. A great book and finally something different in Beatles' publishing.
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By Marsden R LORDGE on 15 Mar 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book because of it history with the BEST family and the Beatles. I highly recommend this book.
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By jan on 2 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is as it says the true beginnings of the beatles with some great pictures in there too
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
CAVEAT EMPTOR! 12 April 2011
By Patrick King - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who's followed the illustrious careers of the Beatles for the past 48 years has encountered any number of Beatle rip-offs. Most of these consist of long narcissistic analysis from some completely unqualified writer. In The True Beginnings, we have a completely NEW Beatle rip-off. These authors definitely have a product here that any Beatlemaniac would want to own. There are some spectacular photos of the Beatles and their contemporaries from when they were first learning to play music. Very exciting, right? That's why I plunked down my $16.

The problem is ALL of these photos are reproduced here on BROWN MANILLA-STYLE PAPER that completely absorbs the ink and leaves the viewer, in many cases, unable to distinguish who the person is in the photo. Unfortunately, all the significant text is on these pages as well, in about an 8 point type so it is very hard to read, especially if you happen to be about 62-years-old.

Disappointed? Let me tell you about it! But it gets better: About 25% of this book is on beautiful, glossy paper just loaded with photos... of a 45 rpm record, of microphone wire, of a pair of broken glasses, of a Marine Band harmonica. A TWO-PAGE GLOSSY SPREAD OF A MARINE BAND HARMONICA! Could I make this up?

Why didn't they put the old photos on the glossy pages so their readers can see them? That's all I'm asking.

Do NOT, as I did, buy this book sight unseen. Go to a books store or a library and see it yourself, first. I would NEVER have bought True Beginnings had I perused it.

One of my fellow reviewer says this books makes her want to fly to Liverpool. It makes me want to fly to Liverpool too... so I can strangle the art director of this project.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Dream Book 23 Feb 2004
By Heidi Crabtree - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! Makes me want to fly to Liverpool now and visit. Pete Best, who was drummer for the Beatles before they kicked him out with no explanation, gives us a fabulous treat. His mother ran the Casbah Club in Liverpool in the family home's basement. After Pete was booted out, the club sort of died down and was closed. It remained sealed up for many, many years, until it was opened. Original murals done by the Beatles still on the walls, microphones, and other items were found, and the club reopened to people who wish to come and see the only remaining original club, with even the original walls! Let the Cavern try to claim that! Color photos, inside stories, more make this a sensational book. Beatle fans, Merseybeat fans, music historians, Scousers, etc...BUY IT!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Cradle of Anglo-Rock History 10 Aug 2005
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A fascinating book about the inception of the Beatles, or "pre-Beatle" era, if you will. The beautiful archival photographs will certainly delight all readers as well as the memorabilia. Readers will certainly get a feel for early-1960s Liverpool (1960-62) and the environment in which the Beatles flourished.

Thanks to this book, fans can actually see the club where the Beatles' fame was soon launched. The world's number one band cut their musical teeth in the Casbah, owned and run by drummer Pete Best's mother, Mona Best. The club opened in 1959 when the Quarrymen-Silver Beatles were coming into their own. This underground rock club was the precursor to its American counterparts such as the Hard Rock Cafe and the Fillmore East and Fillmore West, to name three.

This fresh perspective of Beatle history includes Mona Best's story as well as other members of the Best family. Pete Best, the Beatles' first drummer was unceremoniously ousted from the band in August of 1962. Ringo Starr replaced him and the rest is, well, history. Fans will undoubtedly feel as if they are watching the Beatles evolve from relative local obscurity into the musical juggernaut they became and remain to this day.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great combo of art and history 16 May 2003
By A O Cazola - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Beatles: True Beginnings is the latest installment in the ever-growing genre of Beatles histories and essential collectibles for diehard fans. Where some of these, though, seem like quick cash grabs, this book is truly an incedible document of the Beatles early years at the Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool.
Filled with hundreds of beautiful archival photos of the lads and brand new, full-colour arts shots of memorabilia and the club's interior, The Beatles: True Beginnings is the authoritative work on the club that launched the Mersey Beat.
For the first time in forty years, Beatles fans can finally get an inside look at the club where the Beatles became the world's greatest rock band. Originally started in 1959 by Mona Best (mother of former Beatles drummer Pete Best), the Casbah Coffee Club was an underground rock club in the heart of Liverpool where everyone who was anyone went to see the city's greatest bands.
Written by the Best family, this new book is both the story of a remarkable woman and a celebration of forty years of Beatles history, from their earliest days as The Quarrymen up to their crowning as the kings of rock. Alternating between illustrated narrative and beautifully shot, full-colour art photographs, The Beatles: True Beginnings is an essential part of any Beatles fan's library.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
An Unfocused Book with Two Slender Ideas 26 July 2003
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Will any true Beatles fan ever admit that there is no need for any further information regarding the Fab Four? Absolutely not --- the strong popularity of THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY is evidence enough that a voracious audience still exists for Beatles lore in all shapes and sizes.
THE BEATLES: THE TRUE BEGINNINGS really encompasses two book ideas: the Merseybeat music scene in Liverpool from which the Beatles developed, and Pete Best's experiences as an early Beatle. Either of these ideas, developed fully, would make interesting reading. As they are, however, two slender ideas are crammed into one unfocused book with big pictures and sparse text. Even so, I get the impression that this book was a stretch --- does any fan, no matter how obsessive, really require a picture of the case in which Pete Best carried his drums? How about a shot of the spare guitar strings he found inside?
A prominent outpost of the Merseybeat scene was Mrs. Best's Casbah Coffee Club, owned and operated by Pete Best's mother, Mona Best. This book is in large part a tribute to the remarkable Mona Best from her sons --- Roag, Pete, and Rory. Mrs. Best pawned her jewelry, placed a bet on a horse, and won the money to buy Number Eight Haymans Green, a giant house whose cellars were transformed into the Casbah when the Best boys discovered rock-and-roll and needed a place to perform and listen to music. The Beatles first performed at the Casbah as the Quarrymen. They played to a crowd of 1,500 and received three pounds as payment.
You probably know how the story goes. The Beatles were a huge success and got a gig playing in Hamburg, Germany where they endured a horrible, grueling performance schedule and living conditions like something from a Dickens novel (assuming Dickens might ever have written about a German red-light district). In short, the Hamburg experience was destined to make or break the Beatles. It made the Beatles, but Pete Best was not invited to continue their success.
Is the Best family bitter? Maybe a little; it is their theory that Pete Best was simply so much better looking that he was a liability to the other band members. Also, the title THE TRUE BEGINNINGS seems to imply that they are setting the record straight, but there isn't very much new information here and it's unlikely to change anyone's mind about the Beatles as individuals or as a cultural phenomenon.
--- Reviewed by Colleen Quinn
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