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The original and the best,
This review is from: The Beatles: The Authorised Biography (Paperback)
I'm sure Hunter Davies couldn't really have envisaged how long this book would be in print. There are better written books about the Beatles available but none have the unprecedented access to the fab four that this one has. Here you will see into the (often mundane) lives of global megastars at the peak of their success. Just after Sgt Pepper,just before the trip to India.
In a way I didn't want to read all the afterwords, it was nice to leave them all at this point. Here they are speculating about the future that you know they won't really have. It is pretty clear that post touring the Beatles are grinding to a slow and agonising halt. Without McCartney's pushing and cajolling the band would have quickly dissolved. Ringo was bored by touring and even more bored at being in the studio with often nothing to do. George had already mentally moved on. John was in an almost catatonic state. Only Paul had any ambitions left to fulfill. In effect the Beatles limped on for 3 more albums until they all accepted the inevitable.
Even the four Beatle relationships seemed doomed with the benefit of hindsight, Paul and Jane, John and Cyn, George and Pattie, Ringo and Mo seem stuck in a rut. Yoko essentially HAD to happen in John's life such was his torpor. More than anything the tone of the writing and the opinions expressed regarding relationships made it clear to me that the Beatles belong to my parents generation and not my own. Everything from womens roles in the home to foreign food seem staid reactionary and very unPC.
Hunter Davies has a quaint writing style locked in it's timewarp and seemingly written for a teenage audience, the language reminds me of the news bulletins on Radio 1, essentially dumbed down. There are annoyances in his lack of understanding of instrumentation, melody and the recording art that sometimes irritate but often raise a smile for their naivety. There is also the oft criticized lack of research about the hamburg days. However, what you have with this book is a unique, contemporary, fly on the wall view of the biggest band in the world when they were still together. No other book will ever be able to do that.