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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 – 16 Nov 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd; New ed edition (16 Nov. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841950890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841950891
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.3 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,055,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

* 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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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
"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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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 the scenes like bit-part players. You could imagine a play being made from this material.

McCartney comes across as the most productive and dedicated to the Apple ideal by producing by far the greatest number of artistes and contributing by far the greatest volume of material for them - when you consider his contribution to the White Album and Abbey Road during this period too it is quite remarkable. Harrison is next, committing time and effort to the development of Apple stable artistes while Ringo is the affable Beatle who goes out of his way to meet the visiting Lauren Bacall but otherwise is artistically inactive. Lennon is the main offender: launching Apple in New York with much talk of helping other artistes but actually doing nothing for anyone except dressing up as Santa Claus one Xmas and otherwise indulging himself in the Plastic Ono Band and his bagism. His only input is in being deliberately spiteful in insisting that White Trash's version of Golden Slumbers must be released when it's composer McCartney had already decided that a cover of his track should not be released by Apple.

The demise of The Beatles is reported via extracts from The Times. It is remarkable looking back now that Lennon, Harrison and Starr wanted the business entity called The Beatles to continue despite it not functioning or communicating in any effective form for so long - a High Court judge being required to give them a reality check.

Not a great book but a surprisingly worthy addition to the huge forests-worth of material already covering every conceivable aspect of the history of The Beatles.
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