THE BEATLES CHRISTMAS BOOK
Fan pens festive guide to Fab Four
Monday, December 15, 2008
Book info: http://abbeyrd.best.vwh.net/news/701...stmasbook.html
BEATLES fans from around the world have been snapping up their perfect present, thanks to a teacher from Newcastle.
Garry Marsh has come up with the ideal gift for Beatles fans – the world's first guide to the Fab Four at Christmas.
The 55-year-old – the self-proclaimed Amazing Beatleman – has amassed a huge collection of memorabilia about the group over the past four decades.
On Saturday, Garry, who teaches at Coppice School, in Newcastle, attracted readers at a book-signing held at Newcastle Library.
Garry used his collection to compile the paperback with fellow enthusiast Scott 'Belmo' Belmer, who is based in the U.S.
The Beatles Christmas Book: Everywhere It's Christmas, is packed with photographs, images of concert posters and tickets, key dates, anecdotes, transcripts, newspaper cuttings, and even copies of Christmas cards sent by members of the pop group.
Garry, who lives in Wolstanton, said: "People can flick through the book and just have a bit of fun.
"Rather than go through 250 different books, we have brought all the things together."
It features a section about records The Beatles produced each year for members of their official fan club.
Among the singles which went on general release were four Christmas number ones, including I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
The book also touches on the impact of John Lennon's anti-Vietnam War classic, Happy Xmas (War Is Over), along with Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmas Time.
Readers can also enjoy rarities such as photos taken backstage at their various Christmas shows.
Garry reveals that The Beatles earned the princely sum of £10 at one of their earliest festive gigs on Christmas Eve, 1960.
Just three years later, thousands of fans went to see the group's very own Christmas panto.
And in 1967, The Beatles' film Magical Mystery Tour was screened on TV on Boxing Day.
Garry still remembers that broadcast, saying: "Me, my dad, and my gran sat and watched it in black and white."
He became hooked on The Beatles at the age of nine and would go to Lewis's department store, in Hanley, to buy Beatles photos for a shilling and sixpence.
Garry has since gone on to write several books, including a biography of The Beatles' chauffeur, Alf Bicknell.
His fascination with the pop group cuts much deeper than being a mere collector.
"Being a Beatles historian is about popular culture. The Beatles had a great effect on lifestyles, fashion, and adolescence."
Aside from the Christmas Beatles memorabilia, Garry has 350 books about the band, owns all their official recordings and virtually all their unofficial ones, and even drives his own Yellow Submarine car.
Of course, it includes a detailed history of the Beatles' fan club recordings, including the recording history, background stories, memorabilia illustrations and liner notes. The Beatles' solo Christmas recordings are also included, with history, illustrations and chart information.
There's also the history of the Beatles' Christmas shows and a discography of Beatle-related Christmas records and radio specials and Beatles fan club recording bootlegs.
Among the more fascinating things in the book is the story of a secret 1965 meeting between Brian Epstein and Walt Disney. The purpose of the meeting was to have the Beatles sing in the upcoming Disney animated film "The Jungle Book." Belmo and Marsh say the idea was angrily rejected by John Lennon.