The Beatles Are Bigger in Britain than the US

Looking at a copy of the UK version of Kevin Howlett’s The Beatles: the BBC Archives: 1962-1970 at our favourite Sydney discount bookstore we noticed something odd.

We already have a copy of the US edition (published by Harper Design) in the collection, but this UK one (published by BBC Books) looked and felt different….

Turns out it’s BIGGER (US on the left, UK on the right):IMG_0451IMG_0447

And what is printed on the rear of the box which holds the book is different, too: IMG_0454

 

Three New Beatle Books

A couple of new Beatles book titles have come into the collection. Two were from a visit to the very well-known Berkelouw Book Barn in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales (in Australia). Berkelouw’s offer a huge selection and sell both new, second-hand and rare books. The two titles we found there recently are both “pre-loved”. First up was John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me – The Real Beatles Story by Tony Barrow:Tony Barrow front

This book is the paperback version and was released in 2006 by Andre Deutsch publishers. Barrow of course was a Beatle insider who served as their Press Officer throughout the height of their fame. As such he brings a unique view of the band, from the birth of Bealtemania through to the establishment of the Apple Records company. As with many others, Apple meant that Barrow and the Beatles parted ways. Google has one of those look inside pages if you would like to see more on this book.Tony Barrow rear

If the name Tony Barrow sounds familiar it’s probably because you know it from the back covers of many of the Beatles British releases. He wrote the sleeve notes (popular in the day) for the LP’s Please Please Me; With the Beatles; and A Hard Day’s Night, as well as for the EP’s The Beatles’ Hits; Twist and Shout; The Beatles (No.1); All My Loving; A Hard Day’s Night (Extracts from the Film); (Extracts from the Album) A Hard Day’s Night; and Beatles For Sale: The+Beatles+-+A+Hard+Day's+Night+No.+1+EP+-+1st+-+7%22+RECORD-500878500878b  Next book up was a biography of Paul McCartney which we hadn’t seen before:

McCartney frontLike the Barrow book this hard back also came out in 2006. It is published by Century Press (a division of Random House) and this is the Australian edition. Christopher Sandford is a prolific music writer and biographer, having also penned books on The Rolling Stones, Bowie, Clapton, Jagger, Sting, Springsteen and Kurt Cobain. I haven’t delved into the book yet, but some initial research using the web on this book doesn’t auger well. It is clearly not that well-liked by the fans….

FYI here’s another of those Google links so you can have a look inside Sandford’s McCartney if you wish to check it out more for yourself.

We also recently ordered online a copy of Jude Southerland Kessler’s latest instalment in her ongoing John Lennon project and it arrived safely in the post a couple of weeks back. She Loves You is Volume 3 in Jude’s ambitious nine-volume series on the life of John Lennon. It has only just been released and the timing is perfect because this book takes us right up to the Beatles US invasion – now being celebrated across this 50th anniversary year:She Loves You frontShe Loves You rear

Southerland researches exhaustively and writes biography in the style of a novel, telling Lennon’s life story like an unfolding drama. She tries to get beyond merely what happened when and into the complexity of his character, relationships and career. Like the previous two volumes, She Loves You is a very thick and weighty paperback. It is published by On The Rock Books. When you put the three volumes produced so far side-by-side they are impressive:She Loves You group

Each book has taken two to three years to complete. By the time we get to Volume 9 in the series we’ll need a very sturdy bookshelf to display them! Jude’s Facebook page is here.

Beatles ’64 – A Hard Day’s Night in America

We were recently able to do a big Beatles crate dig while visiting the city of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. It yielded a few treasures.

Ah, Newcastle. A former steel city now more focussed on tourism, education, health services and coal exports, it must also be second-hand central when it comes to the large number of shops it has selling vintage books, records and CDs. We got around to some (but not all) the outlets due to time constraints. But those we did get to were worth it.

Found this great book in a second-hand bookshop called Indigo Books on Hunter Street:Beatles '64 frontWith this year being the 50th anniversary of the Beatles invasion of the USA, who could resist a book with the title Beatles ’64 – A Hard Day’s Night in America….

Yes, it has a small rip in the dust jacket, but this book is a fantastic memento and really worth having.

First released in 1989 to mark the 25th anniversary, Beatles ’64 has extensive text by journalist A.J.S. Rayl. But perhaps its most striking feature is one hundred and fifty (then) never-before-seen photographs of the band taken by freelance photographer Curt Gunther who accompanied them on that first historic US tour: Beatles '64 rear

Gunther’s photographic career spanned over four decades. He met the Beatles in 1964 and a friendship was formed. Asked to pay his own way on the tour he offset his expenses with winnings from nightly poker sessions with the band! Find out more about Curt Gunther here, and see more of his Beatle images.

As the Amazon Books review says of his work: “….[as you flip through the book] every so often a picture jumps out by capturing the essence of both the premiere British pop invaders and the tenor of the time.” Here are couple of those images from Beatles ’64 – A Hard Day’s Night in America:Beatles '64 insideBeatles '64 band

I liked this one of their guitars backstage:Beatles '64 guitars

And this one of Paul driving (and smoking) in the US:Beatles '64 Paul

Finally – the look on the face of the young lady who pulled up alongside the Beatles in their limo says it all:Beatles '64 fan

It’s a book really worth having in the collection – especially in this the 50th anniversary year. Here’s an interesting review which also contains a couple more of the Curt Gunther images.

We’ll definitely be heading back to Newcastle again soon as there is certainly more Beatles treasure to discover there. In coming posts we’ll feature a couple of other nice things we found.

Michael McCartney Book – “Remember”

Got the chance to go to a CD and book fair recently and picked up what is really a very nice second-hand book of photographs and memories by Michael McCartney (or Mike McGear as he is sometimes known).

Beatles books are dime a dozen – but this one is special because it’s an historic and unique window into the behind-the-scenes life not only of Paul McCartney and the Beatles, but the whole Liverpool scene which spawned the band.

The book is called Remember: Recollections and Photographs of the Beatles, and it was released in 1992 by Friedman Books:Remember - Recollections and Photograhs

Michael McCartney is the younger brother of Paul, and with camera in hand he had a backstage pass to record the evolution of the Beatles. His book is filled with amazing photographs from the very earliest days of his and Paul’s lives – from intimate family photos, right through to the onset of Beatlemania and the contrast of crowds everywhere.

McCartney’s photographs have been frequently used by his older brother, notably scattered throughout this film clip for the Wings song “Let ‘Em In” from 1976 (which also name-checks “brother Michael”):

Many of those images in the promo film clip appear in this book. Paul McCartney also used a Michael McCartney image for the CD single “No Other Baby”, a song taken from his 1999 album Run Devil Run:

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Michael McCartney writes that the photograph (above) is of their cousin Bett Robbins (right), her son Ted (left)- with Paul sitting in the middle sitting in Ted’s pushchair. “By this time Paul was so obsessed with the guitar that he took it everywhere – the bogs, the bus, and even the beach….”. The photo was taken on the same day as this one below. It is the same group, but this time with Paul and Michael’s dad Jim McCartney included:Paul at the Beach

Michael’s work was used for the front cover of Paul’s 2005 solo release Chaos and Creation in the Backyard:Chaos and Creation

That photo appears on page 26 of Remember: Recollections and Photographs of the Beatles. On the opposite page is this image – a striking one – again of Paul with his guitar: Paul McCartney in the Backyard

There are of course many photographs of Paul, but also some wonderfully unique images of the other Beatles as young men:

George Harrison and Ford carRingo and George

In this year of looking back on 50 years of the Beatles, Remember: Recollections and Photographs of the Beatles is well worth looking out for to add to your collection. It came out in 1992 so you will have to hunt around for it, but it’s a unique insight into the early days of the band. You can find out more about Michael McCartney in these two interesting articles: Part One and Part TwoPaul McCartney

All These Years – Tune In – Extended Special Edition Unboxing

We’ve finally secured a copy of Mark Lewisohn’s Extended Special Edition of The Beatles: All These Years Vol.1: Tune In. The box-set book has been out of stock in Australia for a few weeks, but new supplies have arrived.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is an unboxing of this treasure of packaging and the fine art of book-binding. The set comes in shrink-wrap. Here’s the front and side of the main outer box:Tune In Extended side1

And the rear:Tune In Extended front

The base of the box (still in its shrink-wrap) carries some interesting information:Tune In baseTune In Base detail

Sean Garrehy designed the box set. He’s Art Director at LBBG (Little Brown Book Group) – the UK publishers. Mike Wykes is the owner of Handmade Press, an art and design studio based in Leicester in the UK. As you’ll see later the hand-written design elements of the box set are in Lewisohn’s own writing.

Using a razor blade to carefully remove the shrink-wrap from the base of the box you can slide it up and off:Tune In Extended opening

This reveals the two hardback volumes (together totalling 1728 pages) making up the extended text of All These Years Vol.1: Tune In. These sit inside an inner, three-sided cardboard holder:

Tune In Inner1

So far, so good. This is an impressively packaged and presented item. Here are the three sides of the inner holder. First the right-hand side:Tune In Inner 3

The left side:Tune In Inner 2

And the rear panel:Tune In Rear

When you remove the two books there’s more detail on the inside of the holder. On the right-hand side is a map of Liverpool:Tune In Inner 4

On the rear panel just the word “Why?”:Tune In Inner 5

And on the left a pic and short bio of Mark Lewisohn:Tune In Inner 6

The books themselves are great. Very understated, but oozing quality and all the hallmarks of the bookmakers art. Lewisohn’s website says that they’re printed on New Langely Antique Wove woodfree paper, with red-and-white head and tail bands and red ribbon marker. The covers are very textured, deeply embossed and look good. One comes in dark grey, the other in red:Tune In Book 1Tune In Book 2

Inside there are more photo sections than in the standard editions (and hence more photos) – and many of the photos are laid out in a different way. Here are a couple of examples:Tune In Pics 4 Tune In Pics 3 Tune In Pics 2 Tune In Pics 1

For a comparison between this special edition and the standard UK release here they are standing side-by-side:Tune In Books Comparison

Now that we have it we can’t wait for the holiday season to begin so that we can start ploughing through this baby! All the reviews so far agree: this is the definitive Beatles biography, bar none. And it’s beautiful to boot.

See also the UK and US standard editions compared.

A New Paul McCartney Recording Sessions Book

In something of a first in the publishing world comes a new book detailing the background to every Paul McCartney song, from McCartney (1969), to New (2013).

“Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013). A Journey Through Paul
McCartney’s Songs After The Beatles” is written by Italian author, researcher and collector  Luca Perasi. It details the stories behind each of McCartney’s 383 compositions in their chronological order of recording. There are recording dates, studios and who played what on each song.

The book includes 70 exclusive interviews with the musicians, arrangers, producers and collaborators who worked with McCartney through the years, including Denny Seiwell, Laurence Juber, Carl Davis, Neil Dorfsman, Jerry Marotta, and Steve Holly…to name just a few. The foreword is by long-time Abbey Road Studios recording engineer Tony Clark.Cover_singola_ENGRetro_singola_ENG

All These Years – Tune In – Deluxe (Frustration….)

We want to get a copy of the Mark Lewisohn extended special deluxe edition of The Beatles: All These Years Vol.1: Tune In.

Only thing is there seem to be none available anywhere in Australia at the moment. The local importers site says they are available, but no bookshops have them in stock. It looks like they only brought in limited numbers and they have sold out straight away.

In frustration we went searching the web to find out what we were missing out on. Here’s a special edition visual hit:All These Years 4All These Years Deluxe 3All These Years Deluxe 7All These Years Deluxe 6All These Years Deluxe 1

Gotta say, it looks nice.

P.S. Check out Lewisohn’s Twitter feed as well. And this.

Beatles Across the World – Book and Prints

Stumbled across a cheap but only just-released book this week. Penned by a writer named John Stanley, it’s called The Beatles Across the World. Here are the front and rear covers:Beatles Across the World5Beatles Across the World4

The Beatles Across the World just 64 pages (it’s no Lewisohn Tune In, which runs to 946 pages!), and has clearly been released to capitalise on the 50th anniversary of the group’s appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show in the US – and the Beatle-mania which subsequently erupted across that country.

This publication is interesting though. It comes in a carboard folder which opens to reveal two pouches inside, one to hold the book on one side:Beatles Across the World

Plus on the other side another pouch which hold six 8×10 black and white Beatle prints:Beatles Across the World1

Here’s the front cover of the folder:Beatles Across the World3Go to the publishers website (Park Lane Books) to find out more, or click here for the Australian distributor, Herron Books.

The Beatles in America – New Limited Edition Book

We’re a bit slow in discovering this. There’s a new book released in conjunction with the Smithsonian and Grammy Museums to celebrate the 50th anniversary next year of the Beatles conquering America.Beatles in America-jpg

It features articles by Ringo Starr, Smokey Robinson, Brian Wilson, Lester Bangs and Mikal Gilmore amongst others, plus previously unpublished photos.

With the price of just US$9.99 (plus postage) it seems like a bargain and worth getting.

The book being described as a “Limited Edition”. You can order The Beatles in America online direct for the Smithsonian storeBeatles in America2

Mark Lewisohn “Tune In” Book Competition – We Have a Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered our Mark Lewisohn The Beatles: All These Years Volume One: Tune In competition.

We asked the question: “How old was Paul McCartney when John Lennon invited him to join his group The Quarry Men?” The correct answer was that Paul was fifteen years old.

Our winner is John from Roebling, New Jersey in the United States.

Congratulations John. The US publishers Crown Archetype will be sending a copy of the book your way very soon. Enjoy!

The next date to watch out for is November 14 and the release of the extended special edition of the book.

More soon…..

Tune In Expanded.jpg-large