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Old Feb 12, 2007, 09:54 PM   #1
Very Clean Ole’ Man
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Question The Best Beatles Biography???



Need some assistance here.

Already got Ray Coleman's bios of Lennon and Brian Epstein.

But I still need to find a good bio of the Fab Four in general.

Peter Brown's The Love You Make is supposedly rather trashy and tabloidish.

Hunter Davies' The Beatles was the first bio, written while the Fabs were still a group. But, I've heard it plays loose with some of the facts.

Philip Norman's Shout! is supposedly the best bio out there. Is it?

Bob Spitz's(that's his name, right?)book is the most recent. Is it any good?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 12, 2007, 10:46 PM   #2
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Personally, my favorites as far as The Beatles' story are Anthology (of course) and also a book by Keith Badman (I forget the name; I'm not at home). It's made up of articles about and quotations made by The Beatles and others around them. It's an interesting read.

Phil Norman's bio is good. I haven't read Spitz' yet.
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 03:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesgear View Post
Personally, my favorites as far as The Beatles' story are Anthology (of course) and also a book by Keith Badman (I forget the name; I'm not at home). It's made up of articles about and quotations made by The Beatles and others around them. It's an interesting read.
Perhaps you mean Keith Badman's The Beatles: Off The Record, volumes 1 & 2? In that case I agree, those are very interesting books, based on interviews with the guys themselves and others. I have volume 2 myself (The Beatles: Off The Record 2; The Dream is Over) and it's very interesting. I haven't been able to get my hands on volume 1, it seems to be out of print or something.

Personally I also like the Beatles Anthology (probably my favorite) and Hunter Davies' book. I own the Philip Norman book, but the truth is I was 13 when I read it (which was 22 years ago!) and I don't really remember what I thought of it. I have heard people say that Norman is rather negative towards Paul and that the book might not be totally objective. I seem to recall that Norman didn't talk to any of the Beatles for the book... But like I said, I haven't read the book for a very long time, I should probably read it again and form an opinion.

I can also recommend Barry Miles' book about Paul McCartney; Many Years From Now. It is a good book, very interesting!

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Old Feb 13, 2007, 03:25 AM   #4
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Bob Spitz's The Beatles:

- Some people don't like it because it had some annoying trivial mistakes but the general story it tells is great. What Spitz does is contextualization of the whole Beatles era, it is really interesting reading as a whole.
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 03:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Peter Brown's The Love You Make is supposedly rather trashy and tabloidish.
Yeah it is but I still love it! haha!
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Old Feb 13, 2007, 07:57 PM   #6
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Alan Clayson's biographies of each Beatle.

Hunter Davies' sanitized Beatle biography.

Pat Kinzer Mancuso wrote "Do You Want to Know a Secret? The Story of the Official George Harrison Fan Club," which is wonderful and so is "Before He Was Fab," a book about George's first visit to America in 1963.

There are many. Check Amazon.
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Old Feb 14, 2007, 07:14 AM   #7
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Hi! What do you make of "Shout!" by Philip Norman?
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Old Feb 14, 2007, 12:39 PM   #8
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bob spitz's bio is VERY good, i highly recommend it. for one thing, it's huge, so you can read about the beatles for a very long time! also, he does a good job of describing the places where the beatles' story takes place, esp. liverpool, and as i'm a u.s. of a. citizen, i thought that was good.

and of course, as has been mentioned, i think the anthology is the best, simply b/c the beatles themselves tell it, and it has gazillions (i counted! ) of pictures.
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Old Feb 14, 2007, 08:37 PM   #9
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Bob Spitz' book is racked with factual errors that even a novice fan can pick apart. Even so, it is a well written book and very interesting.

You will also want to read Joshua Greene's "Here Comes the Sun;" Simon Leng's comprehensive Harrison biography; "Harrison" by the Editors of Rolling Stone; "The Beatles Literary Anthology" and Cynthia Lennon's book "John" for starters. You will also enjoy Nicholas Schaffner's books as well.
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Old Feb 15, 2007, 06:13 PM   #10
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I.think.Alan.Clayson.books.on.George.and.Ringo.are .great.but.I.feel.he.pretty.much.phoned.in.the.one s.on.John.and.Paul.so.they.could.be.packaged.and.s old.as.a.set.True.there.are.more.J&P.books.then.G& R.So.you.have.more.options.but.I.wouldnt.really.re ccommend.the.other.2...but.if.you.can.get.the.box. set.cheap.you.might.as.well.go.for.it.
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Old Feb 15, 2007, 07:42 PM   #11
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well the anthology's probably the most accurate. the love you make is entertaining, and many years from now is rather interesting. dispite a few errors, cynthia's 'john' is pretty good.

the people that have gotton up close and personal with the beatles probably writes the best stuff. i haven't read the bob spitz book, but i bet it just repeats the same stuff everyone else has already said.
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Old Feb 16, 2007, 04:47 PM   #12
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I agree that Bob Spitz's book is an excellant biography, it's so rich in details. If you're opened minded, The Gospel According to the Beatles by Steve Turner is a refreshing read with an entirely new spin on the boys. It sounds silly, but is rather intelligent. Has anyone else read this book?
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 02:54 AM   #13
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I have heard only good about that Gospel book, and since it's written by Steve Turner it tells a lot too.

I'm currently reading Cynthia's book and I love it, I don't care if she makes some mistakes because I don't expect her to tell about anything else than what she remembers. She's anyway the only one who could tell us about John's honest opinions on the first recording sessions when the band did about twenty takes of "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You". John said that he does not ever want to hear those songs anymore.
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 04:25 AM   #14
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I'd go for Norman.But in a few years we should be getting the definitive story from Lewisohn.
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 09:35 AM   #15
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Lewisohn. Say no more.
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 11:47 AM   #16
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Turner's Gospel is pretty good. He was interesting to meet at Beatlefest last year.

I still don't have Cynthia's book (maybe I'll pick it up today) or Spitz'; I'm in no hurry to get Spitz' book.

Can't wait for Lewisohn's book (or, books, right? Supposed to be a three-book set, if I remember correctly)
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 11:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Can't wait for Lewisohn's book (or, books, right? Supposed to be a three-book set, if I remember correctly)
Yeah, don't hold your breath.It's gonna take several years to write and will be fully available by 2012 or so!
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 12:00 PM   #18
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I'll be a really old man then, but I'll need something to read, so it'll be worth the wait
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 03:42 PM   #19
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I think the Beatles tell it the best. My favorite biography is the Anthology.
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 04:41 PM   #20
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in addition to "anthology" and "shout," i'd suggest "love me do, the beatles' progress" by michael braun for beatlemania-era history minus the fluff (unusual for 1964, when it was published). for apple-era history, "the longest cocktail party" by richard di lello is entertaining.
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