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Old Nov 15, 2005, 11:45 AM   #61
HMVNipper
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I'm not saying I entirely agree with all the choices the Newsday reviewer made either, but I have looked extensively at the Spitz book and as far as I'm concerned it's a piece of crap that is chock full of errors. I don't have time or inclination to slog through an 800-odd page behemoth that is rife with errors and uses Albert Goldman as a source!! Not when I have over 300 OTHER Beatles books on my shelves that have far more reliable information than this thing. I've been reading books about the Beatles for over 30 years, I don't need to spend my time (borrowing the book from the library) or money (buying it) on something this slipshod, written by a man who clearly is only in it for the money and doesn't give a gosh-darn about the fans he's supposedly writing for. His comment to Trina Yannicos and Shelley Germeaux about "getting an enema and a life" was enough to QUITE turn me off, both from him and his book, thanks.

The ONLY person these days I would trust with something of this magnitude is Mark Lewisohn -- who not only knows his stuff, but is ONE OF US, a FAN...and who is also one of the nicest people I have ever met, Beatles or otherwise. He, at least, has respect for his fellow human beings, and a lot more class than Mr. Spitz seems to have in his little finger!
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Old Nov 15, 2005, 03:10 PM   #62
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Nipper I agree with you that I am way more excited about a Lewisohn bio rather than this one. But for now I'll give this one a read. It's fine if you don't want to, and I honestly didn't have any immediate plans of reading it until my co-workers bought it for me. Now that I've started, it doesn't look quite so terrible. I just went back and read over the list of errors that the Daytrippin editors posted, and with respect to them, none of the errors look incredibly major to me. Maybe that's because I know when I read something like "George Martin wasn't a trained pianist", my mind immediately is like "oh, that's not true, George is quite an accomplished pianist". I think I am used to sifting through the errors in books; dismissing immediately what I know to be false, taking things that look suspect and maybe doing a little investigating to figure it out, and taking other things with a grain of salt. Of course I don't mean to say "everyone MUST read this"; you all can do what you want, honestly, but for me, most of the errors I've found seem to be in the picture captions. The book is a good read; his style of writing is engaging. I loved reading about the McCartney family, and Bob put more info on that than I've ever read in any book before. So I ate it up.
I simply say to those of you perhaps considering it: if you don't want to support Bob because he seems sketchy, don't. But find a way of checking this book out without directly supporting him. Read it for yourself. You're smart enough to sort out the muck, and once you do that, you just might end up reading a decent book.
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Old Nov 15, 2005, 07:10 PM   #63
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I think I agree with everything Erin said. No, I'm sure I do.
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 01:36 AM   #64
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To each his own.
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"When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow." - Anais Nin
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 04:46 AM   #65
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I have been given yet another review of Spitz's book. Written by Duncan Christy and found in the Sky magazine.

It brings up another intersting aspect for me on Beatles history, the fans and even the Beatles themselves. The aspect of how much the Beatles history as believed by fans is indeed Mythology. I believe the band themselves started, encouraged and had good laughs about some of the stories that circulated about themselves...and have no doubt that some of them could be myths that are just to good to be denied. George's comment about G. Martins tie for example.

I can understand not wanting to support this book...I have certainly 'boycotted' certain products simply for the distastes of those involved. Yet I do believe this book will be on my Christmas wish list :)
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 07:42 AM   #66
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I was reading through a recent Rolling Stone (either the one with Bono or the Green Day dude on the cover) and it had a favourable review of the book. I don't actually have the RS here, but it said something like even hard core Beatles fans would enjoy it because of very little details added in about stories that we already know. Now, I know that magazine reviews should be taken with a grain of salt (cause in the same issue, they reviewed the Live8 dvd and said something about how Kanye West basically proved that British Rock sucks..... riiiiiiiiiight), but take that for what it's worth.
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 09:59 AM   #67
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Its the one with Green Day (just Billie Joe actually) on the cover. The review surprised me because if any book reviewer would know a bit more about the Beatles, it would be someone from RS.

And when they said that thing about British rock, they were only talking about some of the current British bands-i.e= they mention Keane,Snow Patrol. Kaiser Cheifs, I must say I'd have to agree with them on that lol
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 10:07 AM   #68
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Funny, after I made that last post, I stumbled onto another review in todays New York Post, another favorable one, 3 stars taking up most of the page. It does seem they're a little late though!
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Old Nov 22, 2005, 05:30 AM   #69
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The Harry Encyclopedia corrected these errors in the paperback edition plus the seperate George Harrison Encyclopedia.
But this just shows really that you need to check out Amazon's Customer Reviews and many are about this Spitz book.
I put reviews on here myself under the name of <alicecollector>.
I think BOB SPIZZ ought to send a public apology out for the cavalier way he's dealt with the feedback.
When the book is issued as a paperback it may very well have corrected all 155 errors and this was not something HE found out it was because Beatles fans told him.
By rights every one should be acknowledged.

If he's added a page of source material its like passing the buck as some of his errors have NEVER been in print before.Its like blaming somebody else as there's always bound to be errors.Some of the worst were Capitol's first Press releases of info they must have made up as it never came from here in England
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Old Nov 22, 2005, 05:53 AM   #70
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It should be pointed out here that as pop merchandizing was a relatively new thing-and it hardly existed in England-,Brian Epstein could not he held responsible for how it turned out re the moneys generated by the manufacture of tacky souvenirs etc.
He had little if any experience in dealing with the American businessman and many of these fly by night companies never paid a royalty
To Epstein this was just an extra,another possibility offered at the time.He had no idea that millions could be made by others rather than the Beatles.
He took a chance and should be admired for it not continually trashed as a poor businessman.
If Don Arden had agreed to Lennon's request he managed them in 1961 then they would have found themselves in the hands of gangsters like Allen Klein.
Not only that but Arden-like Decca- did the Beatles a favor by turning them down.If he HAD become the manager they would never have happenned.
Epstein was a case of the right people meeting
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Old Nov 27, 2005, 12:00 PM   #71
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Piece of interesting info about Bob Spizz.
It seems he was beaten up in the schoolyard for saying the Beatles were no good!!!
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Old Nov 27, 2005, 07:29 PM   #72
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A number of us here, I believe have reviewed the book.

Poor Bob -- if he'd just done his homework, the book would have been a vastly different story. I found some parts very interesting, such as the background on the Beatle parents and the parts about young George Harrison. As for those glaring errors, it was like having a truck parked right on the book. They were so obvious that when you encountered any, it was a challenge to read around them without having them influence your opinion of the book.

As for using Goldman as a source, that certainly did not help its cause. Goldman, as we all know had plenty of axes to grind and he was certainly not an accurate reporter. I actually own the Goldman book; have read it and was quite displeased with it. The book was a gift from an unsuspecting person who meant well and knew I love the Beatles. Still, the Spitz book is a big bust and a big disappointment. I would have hoped for much better than that.
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Old Nov 29, 2005, 09:51 AM   #73
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The mostly fawning reviews of the Spitz book are a tribute to how easily reviewers are impressed by length and lots of footnotes. When you point out errors you are called a "get-a-lifer" or worse. If you go back to when his Dylan bio came out it was the same thing, although as I recall the reviews were not so generous. He always has enough new information to make you want to read but so many errors that you cannot help but wonder how reliable any of it actually is.
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Old Nov 29, 2005, 02:59 PM   #74
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Yeah, and books like Spitz' impress the easily impressed. He does include a lot of nice pictures and his inclusion of Beatle relatives' backgrounds is interesting. My chief complaint is the scores of errors in that book - it's enough to drive a Beatle expert up a tree! A number of people on the Amazon US boards called Emperor Bob naked and challenged him on his errors. Not everybody was willing to kiss his royal feet.

The Emperor is stark naked!
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Old Dec 04, 2005, 08:50 AM   #75
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the review in today's Asbury park Press said it was interestingly written about the early years, but the last parts about the breakup years was a labor, as if he wasn't interested in those years.
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Old Dec 05, 2005, 09:02 AM   #76
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According to the todays Daily News: " Little, Brown has promised to correct 16 or so errors in the 1000 page book after it came under attack by Beatlemaniacs. Spitz's editor Geoff Shandler tells us: These were innocent mistakes. But we kike the books to be as good as they can be, and we were embarrassed about it and we promptly corrected it. Shandler argues that nitpickers may actually be upset beacuse Spitz dosen't 'always paint a pretty picture of John. It dosen't portray him as the working class hero that some people want him to be'
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Old Dec 05, 2005, 09:27 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mam
The mostly fawning reviews of the Spitz book are a tribute to how easily reviewers are impressed by length and lots of footnotes. When you point out errors you are called a "get-a-lifer" or worse. If you go back to when his Dylan bio came out it was the same thing, although as I recall the reviews were not so generous. He always has enough new information to make you want to read but so many errors that you cannot help but wonder how reliable any of it actually is.
I take slight offense to this, cause I'm not easily impressed by his footnotes or by the length of this book. I was more overwhelmed by the length and I have read some pretty long Beatles books, trust me. I'm enjoying this book because it is very well-written (style) and as BB said, the backgrounds of the family and attention to very small detail is very cool. Of course, it must be read with discernment, and I'm not taking this book as the gospel truth, but it is pretty dern good.
Though you are definitely correct that Mr Spitz's comments back to criticism is ridiculous, and really inexcusable.
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Old Dec 05, 2005, 10:22 AM   #78
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Here's something interesting...from today's Rusy and Molloy column in the NY Daily News....and by the way, the excuse that Beatle people "don't like it because it doesn't paint a pretty picture of John?" Baloney...it's because it's full of stupid, easily corrected errors, thank you very much...we all know quite well that John Lennon wasn't always a nice guy, we've seen plenty of books that portray him that way and that aren't lying...that is a pretty pathetic excuse for shoddy work by the author and editors. But then again, I don't expect more from a guy who blows off people who dare to correct him by telling them to "get an enema and a life." IMO, they are grasping at straws to cover their own asses.

Anyway...for what it's worth...

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/goss...p-316189c.html

Daytrippin' over a bio's mistakes

Bob Spitz's new biography, "The Beatles," has been getting some good reviews, but rabid fans of the Fab Four have been picking the book apart.

Little, Brown has promised to correct 16 or so errors in the 1,000-page book after it came under attack by Beatlemaniacs.

For instance, a caption in Spitz's book reads: "In a rare display of fatherhood, John shows off Julian, age 2, to Uncle Paul and Uncle Ringo." But the fan site daytrippin.com points out that, in fact, "John was holding someone else's daughter. Julian, John's 10-month old son, was in Liverpool at his aunt's house."

Other quibbles would probably fly by even Paul and Ringo. "'Run for Your Life' was not one of the last songs to be recorded for 'Rubber Soul'; actually it was one of the first," says daytrippin.com.

Spitz's editor Geoff Shandler tells us: "These were innocent mistakes. But we like the books to be as good as they can be, and we were embarrassed about it and we promptly corrected it."

Shandler argues that the nitpickers may actually be upset because Spitz doesn't "always paint a pretty picture of John. It doesn't portray him as the working-class hero that some people want him to be."
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Old Dec 05, 2005, 11:43 AM   #79
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That's horse manure...Ray Coleman didn't paint a rosy, phony idealized portrait of John on a pedastal and I love his book. Same applies to Alan Clayson.

The reason I was so highly displeased with Spitz' book is the damn errors that were so easily checked and could have been corrected and prevented. It is damn EMBARRASSING for somebody to call himself a Beatle expert, get a book published that is riddled with errors and then get angry because people catch them. It is just as remiss for any other publication such as this newspaper to jump to the erroneous conclusion that just because John Lennon isn't being afforded Sacred Cow status, then his fans ain't gonna like the book. That kind of thing makes me

Before anybody jumps on me, I just want to make it quite plain that I am so displeased with the nasty response Spitz gave when these obvious, easily checked and correctable mistakes were pointed out. How on earth this book escapted the Red Pen and got past the editor's desk remains a mystery to me.

For someone who advises others to get enemas, he might want to protect his own sorry ass in the future by doing his homework! Good grief!
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Old Dec 05, 2005, 12:32 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatlebangs1964
It is damn EMBARRASSING for somebody to call himself a Beatle expert, get a book published that is riddled with errors and then get angry because people catch them. It is just as remiss for any other publication such as this newspaper to jump to the erroneous conclusion that just because John Lennon isn't being afforded Sacred Cow status, then his fans ain't gonna like the book. That kind of thing makes me
You misunderstand, BB -- it wasn't the NEWSPAPER saying that it was because of his portrayal of John...it was the man's publisher TELLING THAT to the newspaper! Which is why I think it's a crock of bull...what that says to me is that the publisher is trying to cover itself because they cannot say they are ignorant of the mistakes any longer...

What I am hoping will happen is that Trina Yannicos will contact Rush and Molloy (the columnists from the NEWS) and not only thank them for the mention, but tell them about what happened when she wrote to Mr. S**tz (oops, Spitz) and his publisher, and exactly how this "author" responded to her. (Can you tell I'm still incensed about that??? ) I'd love to see what they have to say when they hear about it!
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"When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow." - Anais Nin
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