A is for Apple – New Book On The Way

Our interest was sparked by a recent post on Wogblog about a new series of books (still in preparation – Part 1 is being readied for publication in 2015) called A is for Apple.

This looks to become the first comprehensive study of Apple Corps, the company which the Beatles set up to handle not only their own recorded releases, films, publishing and the like, but also to build a stable of new and established artists, a fashion label and retail outlet, an electronics division, a music publishing company, and a film production company.

A is for Apple is the brainchild of two authors: German Axel Korinth, and Dutchman Ed Dieckmann who have issued a general call-out for more information about all aspects of Apple and its operations, especially photographs, documents, memorabilia, etc.

If you have any items of interest you can contact them at: research@aisforapplebook.com, or via their website, where you can also pre-order the book, view some early sample pages, etc.

Specifically, Axel and Ed need help with good quality images for a couple of records. A is for Apple won’t be a straight discography but rather a cross between a discography and a narrative. Ed Dieckmann has already compiled a fascinating Apple Records discography on the excellent www.applerecords.nl, but a book like this goes well beyond releases just on the Apple label. This is because Apple Music and Apple Publishing were the rights holders to a wide range of songs, published by all sorts of artists on all sorts of labels. Here’s a typical example – it’s a song from 1968 called “Dear Delilah” by a London-based band called Grapefruit. They were on the RCA-Victor label, but as you can see (on the left side of the label below) their song was administered by Apple Publishing Ltd – a company owned by the Beatles. This is the British pressing (click the image to enlarge):$_57Below is a list of records that the authors of A is for Apple are urgently seeking out to include in their first volume. Of every record mentioned the authors have at least one image, but it’s their aim to show all aspects of a certain record release. In other words they need scans of both sides of labels, the back and front cover and – if available – of any inserts (like those found in Japanese records, for example). If you can help in any way, please do!

Argentina:
Grapefruit: Dear Delilah b/w The Dead Boot (RCA Victor 31A-1251)
Grapefruit: Elevator b/w Yes (RCA Victor 31A-1298)
Soundtrack: Candy (ABC Records ABCS-OC-9)

Australia:
Jigsaw: Mr Job b/w A Great Idea (MGM 33)
Paul McCartney: The Family Way (Decca SKLA-4847) – the original 1967 release, not the reissue!
Zoot: You Better Get Going Now b/w Three Jolly Little Dwarfs (Columbia DO-8438)

Brazil:
Black Dyke Mills Band: Thingumybob b/w Yellow Submarine (Apple 4)

Chile:
Grapefruit: Elevator b/w Yes (RCA Victor 94-0586)

France:
Grapefruit: C’Mon Marianna b/w Ain’t It Good (RCA Victor 49.914)
Grapefruit: Someday Soon b/w Theme For Twiggy (Stateside 2C 006-90029)
New Inspiration: I See No Reason Why b/w Grey Hair Wrinkled Skin (Disc’Az AZ SG 53)
New Inspiration: All My Life b/w Happy Charly Madman (Disc’Az AZ 10 428)
The Web: Hatton Mill Morning b/w Conscience (Deram 17.020)

Germany:
Denis Couldry: James In The Basement b/w I Am Nearly There (Decca DL 25328) white label demo

Greece:
Jackie Lomax: Sour Milk Sea b/w The Eagle Laughs At You (Apple 3)

Italy:
Byrds: Child Of The Universe b/w I Wasn’t Born To Follow (CBS 4834)

Japan:
Black Dyke Mills Band: Thingumybob b/w Yellow Submarine (Apple AR-2169)
Byrds: Child Of The Universe (CBS A-82077)
Grapefruit: Elevator EP (Victor SCP-1361)
Grapefruit: Round Going Round b/w This Little Man (Stateside Dunhill HR-2276)
Grapefruit: C’Mon Marianne b/w Theme For Twiggy (Toshiba Dunhill HR-2193)
Dave Grusin: Candy (ABC Hit 1812S)
Jackie Lomax: Sour Milk Sea b/w The Eagle Laughs At You (Apple AR-2168)
Steppenwolf: Rock Me b/w Magic Carpet Ride (Stateside HR-2635)

Portugal:
Grapefruit: Round Going Round b/w This Little Man (Stateside PSS 101)

Spain:
Grapefruit: Someday Soon b/w Theme For Twiggy (Stateside EMI SSL 414)
New Inspiration: All My Life b/w Happy Charly Madman (Decca MO 682)

Turkey:
The Web: Harold Dubbleyew b/w Monday To Friday (Deram 6903)

UK:
New Inspiration: All My Life b/w The Memory (Parlophone R 5772) regular and A-label demo
Paul Revere & The Raiders: Goin’ To Memphis (CBS S 63265) Stereo pressing only!

Uruguay:
Grapefruit: Round Going Round b/w This Little Man (Odeon 20020)

USA:
Soundtrack: Candy (Capitol Record Club ST-91712)
Soundtrack: Candy 8 track (release number as yet unknown)

Ultimately A is for Apple will consist of four volumes in all. It is a huge undertaking. The first instalment (covering the years 1966-1968) is due for publication in the first half of 2015. Each volume of the fully illustrated book will be limited to 500 copies.

Here, There and Everywhere – Geoff Emerick

We recently purchased a nice, used hardback copy of Geoff Emerick’s fantastic Beatle book Here, There and Everywhere – My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles.

Not having read it before it’s currently our favourite, especially given the release in the last week of the The Beatles In Mono vinyl LPs as a boxed set (and also as individual albums).Here, There 1 Here, There 2Geoff Emerick was George Martin’s right-hand man in the control room at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in London. At the age of 15 (on just his second day at EMI) he was present – as an assistant recording engineer – when a scruffy-looking quartet from Liverpool came in for their very first studio session. Emerick progressed from that recording (“Love Me Do” in 1962), to being directly involved with the majority of the band’s classic albums. He confirms on a number of occasions in his book that a lot more time was spent getting the mono mixes correct as compared to the time taken over stereo.

With his ability to interpret the sounds that John, Paul, George and Ringo had in their heads as they worked at getting their songs down on tape, Emerick made a huge contribution to their records. He wanted as much as they did to experiment – to take the recording process into new and un-charted waters. Here, There and Everywhere takes us into the famous Studio’s One and Two at Abbey Road as history was literally being made.

Amongst other things we read about the antiquated attitudes, policies and equipment at EMI Records during the 1960s. Given their strict and old-fashioned rules it’s incredible that the greatness of the Beatles was ever captured at all. EMI management back in the day seemed stuck in the 1940s and 50s. As an organisation it frequently stood in the way of creativity rather than fostering it. It was Geoff Emerick who was willing to go out on a limb and flaunt the studio rules at Abbey Road to capture the sounds we have today.

One of the other big surprises in the book is Emerick’s low opinion of George Harrison. There are frequent mentions of how stand-offish and surly Emerick found him to be, not to mention that he regarded George as a pretty lacklustre lead guitarist….

Here, There and Everywhere was published way back in 2006, but it is highly recommended if you are at all interested in the Beatles and their music. The copy we have is a signed copy. It’s not dedicated to us because this one is second-hand – but that doesn’t matter. There is the signature of Geoff Emerick (and his co-author Howard Massey), a man who had a significant impact on the Beatles legacy.

We wouldn’t have the Beatle canon without him.Here, There 3

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean

Stumbled across a John Lennon book that we were not aware of until today. It’s called Real Love: The Drawings for Sean.

Real Love- The Drawings for Sean

As the cover suggests, this is a children’s book based on drawings that Lennon made for his young son Sean. The cover blurb sums up this book best:

“John Lennon was many things to many people: singer, songwriter, poet, political activist, and, not the least, the most outspoken member of the greatest rock-and-roll band of all time. But to Sean Lennon, he was Daddy.”

“Fatherhood was a role he took on with as much humor, intensity, and enthusiasm as any he had tackled. John made the drawings in this book with and for Sean. Drawing pictures and making up funny captions was one of the ways they played together. It was how John taught Sean about the simple joys of creativity, and it was one of the many ways John was able to express his affection for his son.”

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean collects some of the funniest, cleverest, and most heartwarming images from those collaborations and provides a glimpse into the real love they shared.”Lennon-A Cat Napping Lennon-A Small Pig Lennon-An Elephant Forgetting Lennon-Collie Flower

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean was initially published in 1999. This edition is a reprint from 2011 under the Insight Editions imprint. It is a large format hard-back, in full colour, and very nicely produced. You can see more examples from the book at The Artwork of John Lennon – a special site (we also just discovered today) dedicated not only to Lennon’s children’s drawings, but to his entire catalogue of art.

With The Beatles: Inside Beatlemania

We were in the city of Sydney last week and dropped by our fave discount bookshop to see if there was any Beatle treasure lurking there. And there was. Stacked on one table where multiple copies of this very beautifully produced large-format hardback:01_Beatles

The book’s full title is LIFE With The Beatles: Inside Beatlemania, and it features hundreds of never-before-seen and rare photographs by Robert Whitaker, who was hired by the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein to document what was happening to the band for two crazy years between 1964 and 1966.

Typical of LIFE magazine, the book has a wealth of great and unusual images:09_Beatles04_Beatles

A Google search revealed a website for a company called Li’l Robin, the people who actually worked on the design and layout of the book. Their site has more images from inside. It’s very much worth a look. Li’l Robin has also produced a digital version of this book:03_Beatles_iPad-566x379Nice. Amazon has a “Look Inside” if you would like a further peek at the contents.

Four Second-hand Beatle Books

There’s nothing like poking around second-hand book and record fairs for an hour or two looking for Beatle treasure – especially if the monies raised are for a good cause.

Every year the Lifeline organisation holds a huge used book sale at Knox Grammar, a posh private school on Sydney’s upper north shore. It is BIG. A very large hall in the school grounds is filled to bursting with books – and usually a wide selection of CD’s too.

This year we were lucky enough to get there late on Day One of the sale before everything had been picked over too much. Here’s what we found:Winding Road frontWinding Road rearNeville Stannard’s The Long and Winding Road – A History of the Beatles on Record was first published in 1982. Back then (and you have to remember this was pre-Internet!) it gathered together for the first time knowledge about every Beatle record and song – for both the UK and US markets: who wrote each song, why, how and when; how, when and where each was recorded; how many copies sold; chart positions; cover images and other artwork. That sort of info was available – but never gathered together in the one place. In this sense Stannard’s book was a trail-blazer and remains a valuable reference work. The book we have here is the second edition (published a year later in 1983) and as such has many corrections and revisions to the original. Really good to have in the collection.

Next find was A Day in the Life – The Music and Artistry of the Beatles by Mark Hertsgaard.Day in the Life frontDay in the Life rear

Got to admit we don’t know much about this hardback. Mark Hertsgaard is a journalist and author better known for his writing on climate change and so this work on the Beatles looks to be born from a personal love and knowledge of the band and its music. It was published in 1995 and reviews posted online look good. Looking forward to reading it and learning more!

Mark Hayward, the author of The Beatles – On Camera, Off Guard (2009) is also responsible for this earlier Beatles work:Beatles Unseen

Hayward is an avid collector of Beatle images and over thirty years has built up one of the largest collections of Beatle photographs in private hands. The Beatles Unseen (2005) is a large, hardback book where the best and most interesting private photographs are curated and presented. Mostly informal, un-posed images, they shine an insiders light on the band – a “behind-the-scenes” look at their home and work life. It is a book you can flip through and dip into at random – sort of like a family album. Typical is this sequence. It shows the 1968 wedding of Paul McCartney’s brother Michael McCartney (a.k.a. Mike McGear) to Angela Fishwick in the village of Carrog in North Wales. Paul is with then girlfriend Jane Asher:Beatles Unseen1Beatles Unseen2Beatles Unseen3Beatles Unseen4“Unseen” family photographs are also the theme of the final book we walked out of the Lifeline second-hand book fair with:Lennon Family Album fronyLennon Family Album rear

Nishi Saimaru began working with the Lennon family in 1976 and served as their personal assistant and photographer until 1979. As a companion to the Lennons during their travels both in the US and in Asia he was able to capture family members in private moments while on the move – on holiday and at play. This sequence, taken in 1978, shows John, Yoko and son Sean with friends and neighbours at a birthday party held in Central Park, New York for both John and Sean (they share the same birth date). John was thirty-eight and Sean was three:Lennon Family Album1Lennon Family Album2Lennon Family Album3Lennon Family Album4Lennon Family Album5The John Lennon Family Album is a soft back book published in Australia in 1990. It was originally published in 1982 in Japan, and again in Japan in 1990. We believe there were also US and UK editions of this book.

 

Great New Beatles Book – “Beatles 101″

Beatles 101 – The Need-to-Know Guide by Richard Buskin is an impressive new Beatles book for anyone just starting out on the Beatle knowledege journey, or for die-hard fans who want to know more. It is a genuine one-stop-shop containing all the vital facts about the band:Beatles 101 frontBeatles 101 rear

There is so much information and research in here. There are individual chapters which could have been whole books, for example the eight-page chapter on The Beatles Anthology. It’s a great example of Buskin succinctly summarising every aspect of this significant Beatle project. Everything in the rest of the book is similarly very nicely distilled and concise. It is also very easy to read.

Beatles 101 is not presented as a purely chronological walk-through of the career. Topics are tackled more by categories of interest. That means you can easily dip in at various points and read very well-written and well-informed articles across a wide range of different aspects detailing the life and works of the Beatles. At the back of the book, for example, are a series of great, original interviews with some of the key people who worked with the band in the studio. There’s George Martin of course, but also the likes of Norman “Hurricane” Smith, Ken Scott, Glyn Johns, Alan Parsons and Eddie Kramer. We guarantee that even the most knowledgable fan will find something they didn’t know here.

This book also has some great photos – many not previously seen (especially of people and places) which all help to illustrate the wealth of information the book contains. This includes one very early shot of author Buskin standing beside another mad Beatle fan – who just happens to be a young Mark Lewisohn. The two didn’t know each other at the time – it is just a co-incidental snap of two fans, taken outside the gates of Strawberry Fields in Liverpool….

But perhaps the greatest and most unique visual element to Beatles 101 is the many colour plates depicting original artworks by Eric Cash:Beatles_TheIntroductionBeatles_HeyJude

These are terrific. We should also say that the company which produced the book is marketing a range of iPad, iPad Mini and iPhone covers featuring some of the best Beatle images painted by Cash and used in this book. They look great and you can order them online at Eric’s site, or through Amazon:Eric Cash2Eric Cash1

As well as being an author, Richard Buskin co-hosts (with Robert Rodriguez) a great new Beatles podcast called Something About the Beatles. This, in our humble opinion, is one of the best podcasts going around.

Beatles 101 – The Need-to-Know Guide is published by Parading Press.

If you’d like to hear an informative and fun interview with Richard Buskin about Beatles 101, have a listen to the podcast Fab4Free4All. Download Episode 94 in which the guys spend a good hour with Buskin discussing the book. It’s well worth a listen.

All the Songs – The Story Behind Every Beatles Release

Another Beatles book has come into the collection. It is an impressive one which we are surprised we missed when it was released just last year. Maybe it became overshadowed by Lewisohns’ massive Tune In, and Howlett’s Beatles BBC Archive books – also released last year and both with great publicity and much fanfare.

All The Songs – The Story of Every Beatles Release is up there with them as a reference work and a piece of research. Principally the work of two Frenchmen, Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon (assisted by American Scott Freiman, and with a Preface by the legendary Patti Smith), this book huge and is pretty much as it states in the title – each album and each song on that album dissected and explained in great detail.All the Songs Front

Here’s the rear cover:All the Songs Rear

It is a big, heavy book – 671 pages in all – and with a great layout, lots of photos, memorabilia, and artistic flair in the design and layout:All the Songs ContentsAll the Songs Please 1All the Songs Please 2

There is a good amount of detail too, plus lots of snippets of information if you just want to casually browse:

All the Songs Detail 1All the Songs Detail 2Some background on All the Songs from the official press release:

Drawing on decades of research, the authors recount the circumstances that led to the composition of every song, the recording process, and the instruments used. Organized chronologically by album release and illustrated with 600 black & white and color photographs, this information-packed book provides readers a comprehensive look at how The Beatles changed music forever.

Throughout the song-by-song recording history are informative details such as John Lennon’s purchase of a 1958 Rickenbacker 325 Capri for £100 in Hamburg, in 1960. Diving into The Beatles’ song and album recording process, readers discover that The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me, was recorded in one epic 12-hour session in 1963 for £400. In contrast, they spent month after month in 1967 layering sounds on a four-track recorder to create their masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Praise for All the Songs:

“Enough technical tables to please everyone’s inner nerd” — The Wall Street Journal

“[This] doorstop collects a galaxy of Beatles song data into impressively simple and digestible form. Beautifully illustrated.” — SPIN

“If you’re looking for yet another attractive book to place with a Beatles coffee-table tableaux, there’s Jean-Michel Guesdon and Philippe Margotin’s ‘All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release’ ”— Chicago Tribune

“[All the Songs] should delight casual listeners and make even hard-core Beatlemaniacs smile.” — The Dallas Morning News

There are more reviews here, and here, and there’s an interesting Q&A with the authors here.

You can see the first 21 pages in high quality on the publishers (Black Dog & Leventhal) website, and Amazon has a “Look Inside” if you would like to see more.