This extraordinary project has been made possible because Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have agreed to tell their combined story especially for this book. Together with Yoko Ono Lennon, they have also made available the full transcripts (including all the outtakes) of the television and video series The Beatles Anthology. Through painstaking compilation of sources worldwide, John Lennon's words are equally represented in this remarkable volume. Furthermore, The Beatles have opened their personal and management archives specifically for this project, allowing the unprecedented release of photographs which they took along their ride to fame, as well as fascinating documents and memorabilia from their homes and offices.
What a book The Beatles Anthology is! Each page is brimming with personal stories and rare vintage images. Snapshots from their family collections take us back to the days when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey were just boys growing up in Liverpool. They talk in turn about those early years and how they came to join the band that would make them known around the world as John, Paul, George and Ringo. Then, weaving back and forth, they tell the astonishing story of life as The Beatles: the first rough gigs, the phenomenon of their rise to fame, the musical and social change of their heyday, all the way through to their breakup. From the time Ringo tried to take this drum kit home on the bus to their much anticipated audience with Elvis, from the making of the Sgt. Pepper album to their last photo session together at John's house, The Beatles Anthology is a once-in-a-lifetime collection of The Beatles' own memories.
Interwoven with these are the recollections of such associates as road manager Neil Aspinall, producer George Martin and spokesman Derek Taylor. And included in the vast array of photographs are materials from both Apple and EMI, who also opened their archives for this project. This, indeed, is the inside story, providing a wealth of previously unpublished material in both word and image.
Created with their full cooperation, The Beatles Anthology is, in effect, The Beatles' autobiography. Like their music has been a part of so many of our lives, it's warm, frank, funny, poignant and bold. At last, here is The Beatles' own story.
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John: "The Sixties saw a revolution among youth--not just concentrating in small pockets or classes, but a revolution in a whole way of thinking. The youth got it first and the next generation second. The Beatles were part of the revolution, which is really an evolution, and is continuing. We were all on this ship--a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow's nest."
Paul: "To thine own self be true." I think that was very apt with The Beatles. We always were very true to ourselves--and I think that the brutal honesty The Beatles had was important. So sticking to our own guns and really saying what we thought in some way gave some other people in the world the idea that they too could be truthful and get away with it, and in fact it was a good thing."
George: "The moral of the story is that if you accept the high points you're going to have to go through the lows. For The Beatles, our lives were a very heightened version of that: of how to learn about love and hate, and up and down, and good and bad, and loss and gain. It was a hyper-version of what everybody else was going through. So, basically, it's all good. Whatever happened is good as long as we've learnt something. It's only bad if we didn't learn: "Who am I? Where am I going? Where have I come from?"
Ringo: "They became the closest friends I'd ever had. I was an only and suddenly I felt as though I'd got three brothers. We really looked out for each other and we had many laughs together. In the old days we'd have the hugest hotel suites, the whole floor of a hotel, and the four of us would end up in the bathroom, just to be with each other."From Publishers Weekly:
"Who knows why the Beatles happened?" John Lennon asked in 1980: if anyone did, it would be the Fab Four themselves, who tell their own storyDwith plenty of visual aidsDin this giant compendium. Festooned with more than 1,300 photographs, posters and documents (many in color), the weighty (6.6 lbs.) volume offers the Beatles' "own permanent written record of events up to 1970," some of it previously published, but much of it transcribed from new or unpublished interviews. Paul, George, Ringo and Beatles-related folks (Brian Epstein, George Martin, Derek Taylor) contribute text from interviews conducted for the book and for an accompanying TV program. Words from the late John Lennon have been gathered from print, broadcast and manuscripts (each with an indicated date), then spliced together to create coherent pages and paragraphs. The book opens with the band members' separate accounts of their childhoods, then moves into a year-by-year organization that allows for great detail and many digressions. Here are what the Beatles have said, or say now, about particular sessions and gigs. Here, too, are comments and reminiscences on every topic in their careerD from marijuana to Manila to Murray the K, from Hamburg to "A Hard Day's Night" to "Hey, Jude." Most of the text appears oral-history style, in short paragraphs with rapid switches between one Beatle and another: the format makes it sound as if all the Beatles (including John) were being interviewed simultaneously. The visuals bring in cartoons, signed letters, scrawled drawings and photos. As a whole the volume is beautiful, big and a bit intimidating, somewhere between the Yellow Submarine and the Death Star. (One-day laydown, Oct. 5) Forecast: Do people still care? You bet they do. With massive publicity, innumerable tie-ins and enduring, worldwide passion for the music, this is poised to be one of the biggest nonfiction books of the year. Yeah, yeah, yeah!
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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