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The Longest Cocktail Party: An Insider's Diary of the Beatles, Their Million-dollar Apple Empire and Its Wild Rise and Fall [Paperback]

Richard Dilello
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Jun 2005
When American teenager, Richard DiLello, wandered into the Beatles' Apple building in 1968, he was immediately appointed 'house hippie'; he began making tea, rolling joints and listening to dozens of demo tapes. By the time Apple crumbled a few years later he was director of public relations. Along the way he noted many of the stoned conversations he heard and the insane bits of business he witnessed: one-man bands auditioning in the reception, Hell's Angels taking over Savile Row and The Beatles playing on the roof. Full of period detail, The Longest Cocktail Party is fast-paced, witty and immensely poignant about the demise of the Fab Four and the death of the '60s dream.

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books (16 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841956023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841956022
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


* It's a fast-paced, witty read that even Noel Gallagher raved about. Sunday Express * incisive, evocative and hilariously funny. The Beatles are shadowy figures, but this is a fine view of rock's most inspired folly. Mojo * Marvellous. If you want to know what Apple was like, this is the book. -- Alastair Taylor, Former General Manager, Apple

About the Author

As of the year 2000 Richard DiLello is alive and well. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and daughter. Some days he writes, some days he tries to write, some days he does not. He is currently taking guitar lessons. Progress is slow.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles from the inside out. 5 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Richard DiLello provides a valuable insight into the empire that was Apple Corps, free from spin and gloss. Written soon after the demise of the Beatles grand design for Utopia, this book takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the ups, downs, highs, lows and sheer madness of day to day corporate life in the anti-business world of Apple. A useful adjunct to the Anthology book, this book will give you as close a 'being-there' experience as is possible to the maelstrom of Beatledom from 1968 to 1972.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
One of the best Beatle Books around. Richard Di Lello, breezed into the newly formed Apple Corps in 1967, and landed a job in the Beatles press office. This book is his account of the madness that ensued until 1970, when a few careless words to a journalist landed Di Lello out on his ear. Yet he witnessed more funny,sad,poignant and weired moments than most would see in a lifetime. The Beatles pop in and out of the book. Di Lello gives an honest account of his time amongst this chaos, and leaves you with the feeling that you wish you had been there too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, but probably not for everyone 11 Aug 2005
Let me start by saying that I enjoyed this book immensely. It actually made me laugh, and not very many Beatles books can say that.
But it is probably not for everyone. The reason I say that is because of the writing style. It's flows along without punctuation for pages at a time and can be difficult to read. It is also highly personal - seen through an office boys eyes who never really got close to the Beatles. But the insights he gives into day to day running of the Apple office is very illuminating. You really get a sense of the fun and craziness that pervaded the place.
He also tells some stories that simply don't appear anywhere else.
But he gives very little insight into the band themselves. And there is really nothing about their history or their music.
But if you have read all of the other Beatles books and you are looking for something a bit different, then this might be just the book you're looking for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously Brilliant, Bittersweet Memoir 20 Jun 2011
By Chankos
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Longest Cocktail Party" is not a "definitive" biography of The Beatles. It does not abound with exclusive contemporary Fab Four interviews (The Beatles themselves aren't even featured in it much), nor does it seek to offer weighty analysis of their music. It is neither a conventional account of their Apple Empire nor an in-depth examination of the myriad boardroom wheelings and dealings that eventually destroyed them.

So why is "The Longest Cocktail Party" hands-down one of the best Beatles books ever published?

In a nutshell, it puts us slap-bang inside The Beatles' HQ at 3 Savile Row, London, between 1968-1970, and it does so magnificently. During this time The Beatles were going to change the world with their utopian dream of "Western Communism" and every misunderstood (i.e.- talentless) artist, musician, freeloader or downright headcase from all corners of the globe dropped by to take a bite out of the Apple. And what a tale it is. The Apple Manifesto might well have been: Never A Dull Moment.

"House Hippy" Richard DiLello is our eyes and ears throughout this wonderful memoir. Luckily for us, he had a great eye for absorbing all of the madness and an even better ear for the relentlessly funny dialogue which flowed like all those Scotches and Cokes poured in Derek Taylor's Press Office. The vivid snatches of conversation allows the roll-call of wonderful characters to leap from the page. Reading this book is like being a fly on the wall in the coolest record company on earth.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every day was like this? 9 Feb 2001
My treasured original copy of this item, bought when first published, is now somewhat bedraggled so I'm glad to see this new edition. Read how George evicts the Hell's Angels; how the lead is stripped from the roof of the building; how Adolph Hitler called round regularly; how the splendid Derek Taylor sat in a wicker chair at the eye of the storm. The Beatles have been blessed with a number of very good books about them, this is in the top five.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear. Just about readable! 15 April 2005
Five stars? Are we talking about the same book here? I really didn't rate this slim tome at all, I'm afraid. I WANTED to like it, but come on... Must try harder!
Someone with the envious job title of "House Hippy" at the original Apple office should surely have been privy to enough material to fill a book several times the size of this one. You won't get that book here, though. What you get instead is a series of half-formed, stoned-sounding ramblings of a few selected events. There are moments of interest, but nothing to get your teeth into, and the dated hippyesque prose style gets quickly irritating.
Not far out, and not solid. Sigh. Maybe there was something in the water?
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very important for the latest years of the Beatles through his company apple and monetary conflicts were between them.
Another book for my beatle collection
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
I brought this book to add to my already extensive Beatles collection. I found this book dragged for me a bit HOWEVER it is not like all the other Beatles books out there that... Read more
Published on 29 Mar 2011 by Stephanie
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside the madness that was Apple Records..
Great book about a great band..what a mess Apple was in, this really is the insiders story in all its glory...if your a Beatles fan...GET THIS BOOK...amazing read..
Published on 17 Dec 2010 by A. Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, can't wait for the film!
Being a HUGE Oasis and Beatles fan, I ordered this book on the mere fact that it was to be made into a film by Liam Gallagher's new movie production company In 1 Productions and... Read more
Published on 11 Oct 2010 by Vicki
4.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective
The novelty of this book is the perspective being from that of the Apple House Hippy giving it a fly-on-the-wall appeal with The Beatles and ancillary staff floating in and out of... Read more
Published on 24 July 2010 by N. DAVIES
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book
I really enjoyed this book. Not your usual biography, it gives you a sense of what day to day life working at Apple for the Beatles would have been like. Read more
Published on 21 Nov 2008 by Mark Two
5.0 out of 5 stars Groovy
I've read many Beatle books - there aren't many that really stand out but Richard DiLello's book does just that. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2006 by JJ
5.0 out of 5 stars I Me Mine
I read this book when it was first published in the early seventies, and it was a revelation. A journal of the chaotic management of Apple, and the petty disintegration of the... Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2001 by Paul S.
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