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The Ray Connolly Beatles Archive [Kindle Edition]

Ray Connolly
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Most books about the Beatles are by writers who never met them. Ray Connolly was lucky. He was a journalist and he knew all of them, John Lennon confiding in him that he’d left the Beatles four months before it became public knowledge; and later Paul McCartney asking him for an interview so that he could explain his side of the break-up.

Before that, Connolly went to Beatles’ recording sessions at the Abbey Road studios, knew the Beatles' wives, visited the homes of three of them, and was a frequent visitor to the Beatles' Apple London base. In the front row at George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in Madison Square Gardens, he also followed the Magical Mystery Tour around England’s West Country, and when John Lennon decided to send his MBE back to the Queen it was Ray Connolly he phoned to break the news.

Later, when John Lennon lived in New York, there would be letters from him, while Ringo had the second lead in the movie That’ll Be The Day which Ray Connolly wrote.

This isn’t a biography of the Beatles. Nor is it a dissertation on their music or an analysis of their lyrics. It is Ray Connolly's story of the Beatles, a selection of some of his many interviews with them and others connected with them, as well as articles, reviews, news stories and reflections that he's published over the past forty five years in various British national newspapers – as well as several pieces being published here for the first time.

Home, culture and Lady Madonna - Paul;
Ringo back from meditating - ‘It was just like Butlins’;
The Magical Mystery Tour - ‘Maybe we goofed,’ says Paul;
‘Sometimes I go to John’s house and play with his toys and sometimes he comes and plays with mine’- Ringo;
The Apple boutique…from take-away to give-away;
The enigmatic Yoko;
Paul talking about the White Album;
Great and turbulent times at Apple;
‘If George leaves, he leaves…’ said John, during the unhappy filming of Let It Be;
On the roof - the last gig;
Paul marries Linda and John marries Yoko;
The Ballad of John and Yoko;
There are various ways of doing business…and there’s Allen Klein’s way.
Elvis, Dylan, John Lennon and me;
Paul talks about the Abbey Road album;
‘Paul is dead’ and John’s MBE goes back to the Queen;
‘I’ve left the Beatles…’ said John;
A weekend in Canada with the Lennons;
‘You’re the journalist, not me…’ said John;
Paul on ‘Why the Beatles broke up’;
John and 'the Ignoble Alf';
John talking about his songs;
John…‘performing flea’ or ‘crutch for the world’s social lepers’?;
George and the Concert for Bangladesh;
'Imagine that’s the B-side', said John;
John and Yoko’s early days in New York;
Michael X and John;
'No more four gods on stage’, says John;
Ringo in the movie That’ll Be The Day;
Paul on how he turned down John’s invitation for them to play together again;
John's Lost Weekend;
Paul and his favourite songs;
Paul – the Japanese Jailbird;
Unimaginable - December, 1980;
Mark Chapman and what turns a fan into a killer;
The story of Working Class Hero’- the Beatles movie that never was;
Twenty years after Sergeant Pepper - hit and myth?
Paul talks about the Beatles Anthology;
Linda McCartney 1941-1998;
The story of Paul and Linda;
‘That’s the youngest tramp I’ve ever seen,’ when George first went to the Cavern;
Paul back at the Cavern;
George is stabbed;
John, the FBI and MI5;
Hospitals, gangs, drums and Ringo;
Has Yoko whitewashed John’s image?
George the reluctant Beatle 1943-2001;
Paul in Las Vegas;
Liverpool Dr Winston O'Boogie Airport;
Mal Evans - the gentle giant;
‘That was so cruel, inhuman’ - Cynthia Lennon;
Pete Best…the man with a knife in his back;
My lost Beatle interviews;
A degree in Beatleology;
‘Save Abbey Road’;
Lennon the Unfunny - never;
Produced by George Martin.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Andrew McCann TOP 500 REVIEWER
Verified Purchase
Over a period of many years I have read just about every book I could find on the subject of the Beatles (having witnessed their live performances in the early days of their success and remained a fascinated fan ever since.)

Prior to reading this collection of articles by Ray Connolly, I had just completed reading Mark Lewisohn's The Beatles - All These Years - Extended Special Edition: Part One: Volume One: Tune In and The Beatles - All These Years - Extended Special Edition: Part Two: Volume One: Tune In, which proved to be the most detailed Beatles biography I had ever read.

However as 'All These Years' represented only Volume One (Parts One and Two), with other volumes to be released in the future, Ray Connolly's Beatles Archive covered many of the years beyond the scope of Lewisohn's book and incorporated plenty of new material and interesting perspectives that I, personally, had never encountered before.

Consequently I would highly recommend Ray Connolly's book to anyone wishing to explore Beatles facts from the viewpoint of a writer, in whom the Beatles often confided and whose interviews and perceptions facilitated insights, that incorporated an honest understanding of what the Beatles were really about....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings back memories 19 Jun. 2011
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Just finished Ray Connolly's Beatles anthology and enjoyed it very much. I may have read some of them in the Standard but never in the Mail. I'm astonished that he never saw the Beatles at the Cavern. What on earth was he up to? I saw them there once, at lunchtime (I was only 15 and wasn't allowed to go in the evening) and also at the Empire: I think Craig Douglas was top of the bill! Ray says it cost 1/6 to go to the Cavern at lunchtime; my memory says 1/- but who knows. I can still remember the smell of Dettol, sweat and frankfurters and Ray's articles bring back not just that period but take us right through the ongoing Beatles story - up to the present. He obviously had good access to John and Paul so writes with a rare authority. I thought the "What if" piece (what might have happened to the four of them if The Beatles had flopped) was brilliant and I generally felt rather sorry for Ringo. Strange life. Anyway - perfect kindle book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From me to you. 5 July 2011
I'll tell you something, I think you'll understand: this is indispensable background material for any student of the Beatles, written by a man with unimpeachable Beatle connections. Connolly knows his stuff, he can work it out.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles Archives - New and refreshing Concept 13 Jun. 2011
Never read a book on the Beatles so don't have a benchmark. My guess is that nothing comes close to this amazing archive of events from the 60's to present day. In terms of style and execution it left me breathless and rocked me back in time. A new and different concept; beautifully executed as a personal diary. Full of anecdotes about Connolly's first hand experiences with the most famous people of all time it is emotional, funny and enthralling. The best book I've read in ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles fans, don't miss this one.. 8 Jan. 2012
By OTTMike
There have been so many Beatles books since Michael Braun's 'Love Me Do' in 1963, the story's been rehashed so many times, you'd think it would be hard to find anything new to say. But for Beatles fans occasionally a book comes along that does manage to shed new light on the whole familiar business. This is one of them. Not that it takes a quirky angle or makes a new interpretation of events or anything, it's just a collection of articles from the time by a journalist that knew them really well and had incredible access to them, especially to Lennon and McCartney. Originally published in a variety of newspapers and magazines the pieces cover all the main events and periods, often with really close-up insights into what was going on behind the scenes. As a close friend and confidante of the band Connolly could have written a conventional memoir of The Beatles he knew. Instead he has given us his contemporaneous take on things, hot off the press as it happened, which lends the collection a freshness and vibrancy that many retrospective accounts lack. Serious Beatles fans have read all the best books, from Hunter Davies's authorised biography to Geoff Emerick's 2007 book about being their recording engineer. I've read loads of them myself, starting when I was fifteen (I'm fifty two now). For Beatles fans of a certain age and set in their ways reading-wise, it's time you got an eReader so you can get this book. If you haven't read it you really don't have the whole story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Scenes Beatle Tour 16 Feb. 2015
My expectations were fairly modest as I started reading "Ray Connolly Beatles Archive", a collection of interviews and previously published articles on members of the Fab 4, especially John and Paul. I have read a great many of Beatles books, including Mark Lewisohn's epic work, "The Beatles: All These Years -Tune In". I didn't believe there was much more new material out there. However, I soon came to realize how much exclusive access Connolly had to them. Progressively the stories became very interesting and insightful.

Though not a biography, the book does have biographical elements. More than anything Beatles Archive is a behind the scenes peek at the world of a Beatle, both when the group was together and also as former Beatles.

Each chapter of Ray Connolly's Archive provided something I had not known previously. And I didn't just learn Beatle facts and dates. This book also reveals insights into how each member felt about the group, their post-Beatle careers, their songs, each other, and even themselves.

Any Beatle ardent fan would enjoy the book, as would anyone wanting to gain an understanding of the group that set the world on its collective head in the 60's, leaving it more melodic and lyrical yet today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I'm a real fan and thoroughly enjoyed this.
Published 28 days ago by Santavilla
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read. Nice to read about them from different ...
Good read.Nice to read about them from different authors.
Published 1 month ago by KEVIN
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brings The Beatles down to Earth. Refreshing!
Published 1 month ago by R. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars It took me years to write, won't you take a look
I have read many books about the Fab Four, most of them good with the occasional stinker but this book is a delight. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Steve MacBeath
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read
Published 12 months ago by roysie
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Sir or Madam,
Ray Connolly's Beatles Archive is as verbatim as you'll ever get it. Amongst the plethora of recent so-called 'authoritative' biographies, diaries, movies and theories, this book... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Stuart F Kendall
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatles
This gets a five star all the way its relly informative and funny this from a man who knew the beatles well
There is nothing to dislike about this book
As far as other... Read more
Published on 22 April 2013 by Anthony Catterson
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT BAD
THERE ISNT MUCH LEFT TO BE SAID OF THE FAB FOUR MOST OF THIS HAS BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT BUT THERE WERE STILL SOME NEW REVEALING FACTS FOR THE AVID FAN
Published on 20 April 2013 by R. Reeves
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots to learn
I am a Beatles fan and have been since 1963 I saw them four times in Glasgow and I use saw as the operative word as I certainly didn't hear them. Read more
Published on 12 Jan. 2013 by fabone
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have.
As a Beatles fan since the 60's this is a great addition to other Beatles items. A good buy and reading material.
Published on 7 Jan. 2013 by Stuie
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