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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 Jun 2005
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"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)
From the Back Cover
"Marvellous. If you want to know what Apple was like, this is the book."
Alastair Taylor, former General Manager, Apple
Richard DiLello worked at the London headquarters of Apple, The Beatles' erratic enterprise in business and music, from the summer of 1968 until August 1970, advancing from the undefined position of 'House Hippie' to a brief and final role as Director of Public Relations. The Longest Cocktail Party is his candid account of the dramatic chaos within Apple, from the Hell's Angels who took up residence in the building to The Beatles' final concert on the roof of 3 Savile Row, and the group's slow and painful dissolution.
First published in 1972 and now considered a classic, The Longest Cocktail Party is an immensely poignant portrait of the demise of The Beatles, a social document of pop culture and a narrative of the death of the '60s dream.
"A fine view of rock's most inspired folly." Mojo
"Vivid . . . it views the band's disintegration with the same excluded bafflement with which Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern follow the plots of the Danish court." Guardian
Cover design & typography / mail@EstuaryEnglish.co.uk
Cover photograph / Don McCullin
Reverse photograph of author / Richard DiLello
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Another book for my beatle collection
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.
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.
The Beatles hang over proceedings like benevolent benefactors, flitting in and out of the Apple offices in various states of exasperation at the chaos they've unleashed; meanwhile the staff whisper in hushed, awed tones about the band's next grand scheme or the increasingly frequent news filtering through of furious arguments emanating from the studio.
As the notorious Allen Klein moves in and the cast of characters either jump ship or walk the plank, there's a genuinely poignant sadness which John Lennon, succinct as ever, would sum up in his magnificent solo debut: "The Dream Is Over."
DiLello shows us that it was at least a hell of alot of fun while it lasted. "The Longest Cocktail Party" is essential reading for anyone with a love of wit and a passion for The Beatles. If you're receptive to both, why wait any longer to pick up a copy?
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