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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles Story Reloaded, 10 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Beatles - All These Years: Volume One: Tune In (Kindle Edition)
To Beatles addicts like myself ("OK then, just one more biography and I'm done") this is one to savour. There have been plenty of readable accounts of the pre-fame Beatles before. I would always recommend Philip Norman's Shout and Alan Williams's heavily biased but entertaining the Man Who Gave The Beatles Away. But in the absence of a hard nosed academic albeit enthusiastic historian's job on the story there were some big and unexplained gaps. So do you want to know what happened during the year long 'dead period' where The Quarrymen were without any gigs or a drummer? It's all filled in over hundreds of pages. Want the low-down on John and Paul's two weeks in Paris as The Nerk Twins? A whole chapter. And want a witness's account of what really happened when John's mum and dad decided on his upbringing? Prepare to read this and several other received stories shot down in flames.

In this mammoth tome Lewisohn brings new life to a great story (and the history of The Beatles really is a great story) and, as importantly, as a backdrop he gives a good account of a remarkable cultural renaissance in a remarkable city. Simply as a social history it rightly kicks back at the lazy Dominic Sandbrook school of postwar revisionism which seeks to belittle the postwar political consensus. More specifically, without the NHS Ringo wouldn't have lived past the age of 7 and without decent affordable council housing the McCartneys might have been destitute after the death of Paul's mother and the consequent loss of income. In other words, No Atlee or Bevan, no Beatles.

This took over a decade to write and the detail makes it worth the wait. I only hope we don't have to wait so long for volumes 2 and 3.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 May 2014 09:17:28 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 May 2014 09:22:53 BDT
fanofthefab4 says:
I haven't read this book yet, but I have read all of the over 200 mostly great reviews for it on Amazon.com US and now the reviews on amazon.UK And quite a few people have said that Mark dispels the ''myth'' that when John was only 5 years old his parents forced him to choose which parent he was going to live with.Johh even dealt with this trauma in his primal scream therapy with psychologist Arthur Janov.

And in Ray Coleman's excellent up dated John Lennon biography,Lennon(Ray was an award wining music journalist and former editor of The Melody Maker Magazine and a good friend of John's from 1962-1980) in his 1992 introduction on page 40 he quotes John's father's then much younger wife Pauline Lennon from her book,Daddy Come Home:The True Story of John Lennon and His Father who came to see John with his father on John's 30th birthday.She says that John confronted his father in a rage and this is part of what he said,''Look at me! I'm bloody insane.I'm due for an early death like Hendrix or Joplin and it's all your fault.John then said,''Do you know what it does to a child to be asked to choose between his parents? Do you know how it tears him apart,blows his bloody mind?''

Ray says that her book is unnervingly and surprisingly strong with verbatim reports of electricfying conversations and he says there is even the precise exchange when John called his father from New York called his father on his death bed in a hospital in Brighton in 1976 and that John said to him,''I'm sorry to have treated you the way I did Dad. I should never have gone to the head shrink.It was a big mistake.And his father Freddy said to him,forget it John it's just bloody marvellous to talk to you again.
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