Almost a year ago to the day I posted on a big book and CD fair where I found a couple of Beatle-related items of interest. This fair is held by a local classical music/jazz radio station (2MBS-FM) as a much-needed fundraiser. It has now become a well-established annual event.
This week saw the opening of the 2013 fair and again I got in on the very first day. Once more there was a huge selection of CDs and books on offer, especially good quality music books. This time around I tackled the CD tables first and after just a minute or two of browsing the first Beatle item I found was this:
The Best of George Harrison was released in 1976 and is a CD I don’t have. It’s one I’ve been on the lookout for for some time though so the evening was definitely off to a very good start. It was released in a number of countries, and has a unique cover. This one is the Australian pressing:
Next came George Martin’s In My Life, from 1998. I’ve been aware of this CD since it was first released but, until now, I didn’t have a copy in the collection:
In My Life is very much Beatle-related. Their producer invited into the studio a wide range of what he describes as his “heroes and friends” to record versions of Beatle songs. It has to be said the results are patchy at best, but at just $5.00 it seemed like a good time to finally get it.
The final two CDs I found I already have four versions of….
The Beatles 1 gathers together 27 of their number one singles. It was originally released in 2000, and I have a UK CD copy, a Taiwanese CD version, a copy on vinyl, and it was remastered and re-issued again in 2011 in a gatefold cardboard cover. However, at the fair I found two Australian pressing CD’s of the disc (the jewel case version) from 2000. One had a black sticker on the front, the other had a white variation:
Of course I had to have both. I know. Do I really need another two copies? Call me crazy. Enough CDs already!
From there it was over to the book section of the fair and as 2MBS-FM is a classical and jazz music station their book stall always seems to have a wide selection of music books on offer. This year did not disappoint. They had stacks of sheet music too, and in one of the piles I found some practically mint copies of two Beatles songbooks – one large thick one for the Beatles “blue” album, The Beatles 1967-1970:
No, I didn’t pay $41.99 for this!
The other find was a much slimmer songbook, one which I’d never seen before. It was published only in Australia and New Zealand by Northern Songs. The Colourful Beatles – Souvenir Song Album contains the sheet music for twelve of their songs and, despite its age, was in near-new condition:
Next it was across the room to the books proper, and this one caught my eye immediately. It’s a really thick paperback called Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles, Britain and America by US author Jonathan Gould. It was published in 2007.
Again, I didn’t pay $45.00, or anywhere near it. The New York Times book review of Can’t Buy Me Love says in part: “Gould aims to meld the three primary, often distinct strands of Beatle bibliography — biography, music appreciation and pop sociology — into a single volume, a mother ship of Beatles books, with, as the subtitle implies, a special emphasis on the divide between the country that gave them birth and the country that arguably loved them best….Happily, the effort paid off: Gould has written a scrupulous, witty and, at times, appropriately skeptical study, which drew me back into a subject I thought I was sick of. The book lacks the intimacy of a full-fledged biography — if you want to know who John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr really were, you’ll do better elsewhere — but it compensates with an imaginative intelligence and a lively breadth of knowledge.” You can do one of those Amazon “Look Inside” reads to get a taste of Gould’s style and insights if you want.
Well, that was just about it. I was headed to the counter to pay, already thinking I’d probably gone overboard a bit on the purchases, when I saw this 1993 large-format book.
Inside are lots of great photos of George Harrison, including many unusual ones:
I tossed up whether to get this book as I know author Geoffrey Giuliano has a mixed reputation amongst Beatle and other fans (see his entry in Wikipedia for more). In the end it was the broad and eclectic photo selection which did it for me.
So, a successful Thursday evening trawling for Beatle treasure. Even by my standards I probably went a bit overboard this time – but how could you leave this sort of quality behind? And they were all at fantastically low prices (well, thats what I keep telling myself…..)
Love that “Colourful Beatles” book. I wonder why “I’m A Loser” or “Julia” were deemed to be “colourful”, while other songs were not? Given the title, I would have thought it was going to contain stuff from their psychedelic era – and it does in a way – nothing from their very early or very late albums. But if psychedeia is the theme, where’s “Lucy in the Sky”, “Tomorrow Never Knows”, “I Am The Walrus”, etc?