- Gebundene Ausgabe: 946 Seiten
- Verlag: Little, Brown Book Group; Auflage: First U. S. Edition First Printing (10. Oktober 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0316729604
- ISBN-13: 978-0316729604
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16 x 6,2 x 24 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 136.399 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Beatles - All These Years: Tune In. Volume 1 (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 10. Oktober 2013
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Mehr über den Autor
This is the story told in Proustian detail ... The first edited-down volume, is largely a delight, and the story is told so definitively that, after this, that really should be it. Secondary sources are comprehensively mined; letters, public records and business documents have been found in places no one else ever thought to look ... Lewisohn is a Beatles oracle -- John Harris Guardian Never previously have the Beatles' formative years been recounted in such detail. It is unlikely to be surpassed -- Michael Watts Daily Telegraph I can think of no greater praise for Tune IN than to say that it gives The Beatles the beginnings of the biography they deserve. It is hard to imagine the subsequent volumes, covering more familiar ground, matching the gripping quality of this constantly surprising work. But Lewisohn's clear head and good humour augur well. The main feature may not have even started yet, but this is the classiest of prequels -- Peter Aspden Financial Times A major event in music publishing this month as Tune In by Mark Lewisohn lands..the definitive account of The Beatles GQ Lewisohn has done an astonishing job. I can't wait for volume two Independent An epic on an unprecedented scale ... Lewisohn has no serious rival Irish Times A brilliant narrative, propelled by character, action and chance encounters as thrilling as any great novel. It is a fantastic social history, illuminating life in post-war Britain in compelling detail -- Steve Hilton Telegraph
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Mark Lewisohn is universally acknowledged as the world's expert on The Beatles. He is the author of six previous Beatles books and has been described by the Independent as the band's 'Emeritus Professor'.
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This first volume looks at their family history and childhood, then splits into five chapters; taking detailed looks at the years 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962. From the first, two things become abundantly clear - that the author understands the relationship between John and Paul and that he is keen to debunk myths that have become almost accepted - especially ones built around John's childhood. Yes, his childhood was difficult, but films such as "Nowhere Boy" have created a totally fictional account of what happened and even recent books, such as "When They Were Boys" by Larry Kane, simply repeats them. Stories of Mimi dodging bombs to visit the baby John in hospital or John's mother and father forcing him to choose between them in an emotional `tug of love' are just that - stories. Mimi also gets a much more sympathetic portrayal and we learn how, rather than trying to keep John's father away from him, she even allowed him to write to his son from prison. They may have lost touch, but it was certainly not Mimi's fault that they did.
Having established that he wants to tell the story as the truth, Mark Lewisohn is certainly not portraying the band in a better light, or concealing their flaws. They were young boys at this time, each with their own character traits and faults, as everyone has. He also ties in what was happening to other people who enter the story at a later date - Brian Epstein, George Martin and other musicians are there, sometimes almost within touching distance, but their paths not quite intersecting. Most interestingly for fans, he has tracked down people that have simply not been heard from before - school friends, those who worked with them in early jobs, fans, people who were there but have not been considered perhaps important enough to be interviewed before - as well as the more obvious characters in the Beatles story.
This, then, is the complete timeline of those early years - the founding of the Quarrymen, John and Paul meeting at the St Peter's Fete, George joining the band, Ringo becoming part of Rory and the Hurricanes, early auditions, success and failure, and of that first trip to Hamburg, which honed their sound and changed them into a band - even if they were always, "John, Paul, George and a drummer" at this stage. Lewisohn is not afraid to state what most fans have always known - that Pete Best was asked to go to Hamburg simply because they needed a drummer in order to fulfil the contract and that, almost from the point the poor man packed his kit into Allan Williams van, he was on borrowed time as a member and certainly never a Beatle.
Returning to Liverpool, there is the show at Litherland Town Hall which showcased how good they had become, as the Liverpool scene took off and the Beatles - sneered at before leaving - were undoubtedly now the top band in the city. They were the Kings of Liverpool but, as always, wanted more. Enter Brian Epstein, who Bob Wooler remarks, came to the Cavern to watch them - "he came, he saw and he was conquered." There follows the long road towards a recording contract, a changing image with the arrival of suits, the death of Stuart Sutcliffe and the beginning of George, in particular, conspiring to get Ringo in the band. It was also the beginning of girls hanging around their houses, which would never stop from that point on.
With the Beatles finally achieving that recording contract, it was essential to change drummers. They were then no longer "John, Paul, George and a drummer" , but changed to "John, Paul, George and Ringo"- four equal members. "Love Me Do" peaked at number 17, but considering the lack of exposure and the resistance to the Beatles it was amazing the record ever took off. "So, what's from Liverpool?" sneered Dick James, when George Martin told him about `the boys'. That North-South divide was about to be smashed down, as Merseybeat would explode on a jaded British pop market. If London was uninterested at first, then the US certainly resisted anything from England. However, even they would succumb to the charm, charisma, enthusiasm, energy and talent of the Beatles. For the Beatles itself, it was no surprise. As John Lennon said, they always knew they were "the best" and "it was just a matter of time before everybody else caught on."
Sadly, Mark Lewisohn has not yet written the second and third parts of this trilogy, but if they are anything as complete, well written (his dry humour can almost rival the Beatles themselves) and his desire to tell the story as it should be told, then they will be worth waiting for. In the meantime, there is an extended, two volume edition of this book due out soon. I cannot imagine what Lewisohn may have left out, but I am quite sure that I will enjoy reading it to find out. This book has been needed for a long while, it is a triumph and I am sure it will become the definitive biography of the Beatles.
The book was ten years in the writing, and it shows. He must have read every book, magazine, interview, article, contract, invoice, and scribbled beer mat. However, the author hasn't just accepted everything en mass; he's rejected anything that was embellished or exaggerated, in order to present the most complete history of the era.
Some of the things that struck me include:
*** The role of luck in the story. The government abolished National Service just before John Lennon was due to be conscripted. Without this lucky timing, instead of being in Hamburg, John would have been in the army [or, more likely, living in exile in Ireland.
A similar dose of luck allowed John to obtain a passport in record time, literally at the last minute, which enabled him to take part in that all-important first visit to the Hamburg clubs.
It was really good luck which gave them two key management figures in Brian Epstein and George Martin; a couple of decent chaps in an industry full of sharks.
*** The book not only gives us the story of the individual Beatles, but is also a snapshot of Liverpool life in the period. In particular, for a writer from outside the area Mark Lewisohn displays a complete grasp of 1960s Liverpool idiom and slang.
*** Following their return from Hamburg the Beatles appeared on the bill at the Litherland Town Hall on 27th December 1960, and event widely praised as being the real launch pad of their Liverpool fame. Mark Lewisohn estimates that, at the time, they were the most experienced Rock group in the world. He captures well the excitement of these early live appearances, where audience members became lifelong fans after seeing them just once.
This period, from the Litherland gig until the end of the book, was the pinnacle of the Beatles live act, performing for fans in smoky, sweaty cellars, before they were drowned out by the screams of Beatlemania.
*** I found the relationship between the group and their fans really touching. While the Beatles where over in Hamburg they regularly kept in touch with a band of loyal fans, mainly young girls, with letters, postcards and photos.
*** The author puts a whole new light on the infamous Decca audition, and explains why rejecting the group was a stupid idea, not with hindsight, but at the time. Truly fascinating reading.
*** For the first time I really understand why Pete Best was sacked, and why his position with the group was always tenuous.
***The significance of "Love Me Do" has been largely downplayed in previous Beatles books. To have a first record, by an unknown group, make it into the top twenty, and stay there longer than most others, despite absolutely no promotion by the recording company, was huge. It was during this period that the Beatles battled the London-centric show business establishment, who were not merely indifferent, but actually hostile. They detested the name Beatles, their clothes, hair, and accent. The basic structure seemed to baffle them. Up to now there were vocal groups or instrumental groups, but here were these lads from up North who did both. It was new, it was different and it upset the status quo.
To sum up, I can't recommend this book too highly. The word awesome is overused, but Mark Lewisohn has truly done an awesome job with this first volume. I eagerly await the next.
Who did this and who did that
But as for me I don't see how they can remember
When they weren't where it was at
-- Paul McCartney, "Early Days" 2013
Paul McCartney is one of the only two individuals left in the world who knows what it's like to be a Beatle, but even he doesn't know the whole story. Mark Lewisohn has a long standing reputation as one of the most thorough researchers of the Beatles. After authoring an excellent book detailing the Beatles live performances, EMI hired Lewisohn in the 1980s for an enviable task: to listen to every Beatles recording session tape that existed and catalog them. That led to 1988's book "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions," a long out-of-print (but recently reissued) detailed analysis of all the recordings, that has been an invaluable resource for Beatle scholars ever since. He's written several other great books on the Beatles, and has worked for Apple and for Paul McCartney's company, MPL. This author has the experience and chops to handle the work, and when he announced that he was working on a 3-volume definitive history of the band, Beatle fans and scholars were overjoyed.
Now the first volume has been released, and the level of detail is astounding. It's a thousand pages, give or take a few (944 really), but this takes us only to the first glimmer of the part of the Beatles career that everyone knows about, their amazing recording career. We start with the history on how the families of the Beatles first arrived in Liverpool, and go all the way to the end of 1962, the cusp of fame. Just one single to their name, and world wide everlasting fame the farthest thing from anyone's imagination.
Lewisohn has spoken to practically everyone who knew and worked with the Beatles, friends, family, associates. He has followed every paper trail he could get his hands on. In addition to the amazing detail he's brilliantly put to paper, are a small but choice number of photographs. A few will be familiar to Beatle fans, but many have never been published before.
And if that's not enough for you for this first volume, head on over to amazon.co.uk. There's a 2-volume special edition with thousands of additional words, many more photographs, and 1,728 pages. My copy of that is now in the hands of the Royal Mail, so until that edition arrives in the post, this edition will serve as a satisfying taste. And I can't wait for Lewisohn to finish the next two volumes.
'Tune In' tells the story of the years before Beatlemania, weaving together the biographies of four boys from Liverpool who grew up with a shared passion, to play music. They each found ways of working towards realizing their dream; in fact, it's about the only thing they did work at, since nothing else seemed to be interesting to them. Their paths gradually came together, first John, then John and Paul, then John, Paul and George and finally, a few months before this part of the story ends, John, Paul, George and Ringo. Lewisohn cleverly constructs the book chronologically, bringing the stories together rather than dealing with each person separately. This gives the book a 'real time' feeling, in which events are recounted as they occur. This sense of immediacy is one of the book's biggest strengths; no other biography (and I've read many) gives the reader such a sense of being there, almost as if watching the story unfold in front of you.
Lewisohn's greatest attribute is his willingness to take the trouble to get it right. He makes sure that he not only finds the best sources, he sets them out in extensive footnotes. Where there is not a definitive source, he says so; there is no reciting of rumor, gossip and biased opinion as fact. His objectivity is admirable, for although he is a fan of The Beatles' work, he does not gloss over their human weaknesses and foibles. This is a warts and all account, but never loses sight of the fact that every experience and every character trait is part of what made them so iconic as a band.
There are surprises. One of the most intriguing questions for me has always been why The Beatles first contract with EMI (George Martin's organization) was dated 2 days before Martin ever saw them; Lewisohn solves the mystery and it isn't at all what I was expecting. He answers the questions about why Pete Best was replaced and whether 'Love Me Do' was pushed into the charts by Brian Epstein. However, the revelations are not the reason for reading the book. The quality of writing is the main attraction here. This book is always hugely entertaining, even fascinating. It's witty without being pretentious, sad without being maudlin and affectionate without being sentimental. As this part of the story ends, you find yourself feeling uplifted and eager to read about what happens next.
Ah, there's the rub. The book ends just as The Beatles are about to make history- not just pop music history, but history-book history, as one of the most important cultural influences of the second half of the 20th century. Mark Lewisohn is working on it. I'm already waiting for it.
Lewisohn treats The Beatles like Robert Caro treats Lyndon Johnson, and the result is very satisfying indeed. His history is not just of John, Paul, George and Ringo (and Pete Best, Brian Epstein and George Martin), but also of Liverpool, rock and roll and the class consciousness that permeated (and still permeates) British society.
The Beatles appeared to us in the US as a fully formed rock combo of 4 young men of incredible musicianship and creative power. As a 13 year old in 1964 I noted they were on average only 8 years older than me, and I wondered how they became who they were. I looked ahead 8 years at my own life and wondered what it would take for me to become like any one of them. I was just learning guitar chords, for example, and wondered if they had the same kind of guitar instruction books I was using. They didn't. Thanks to this book I now know exactly how John Lennon got from strumming banjo chords (taught him by his mother) on only the first 4 strings of a 6-string guitar to becoming one of the finest rock rhythm guitarists in history. I know how they taught themselves the different chord progressions. As detailed as this story is, I would like to have known more of how their musicianship evolved. But, as good a historian as Lewisohn is, what I still want to know is almost certainly unknowable at this point.
The book contains an almost week by week accounting of the lives of these boys from ages 15 on. There is an earlier accounting, but not quite as deep. I can't say how the casual Beatle fan will react to the minutia of this accounting, but for me it was essential to gaining a genuine appreciation of how each of the four became himself as a person, a musician and a personality.
One insight I particularly appreciated was that I was not the only person whose primary response to hearing and seeing The Beatles was happiness. Alistair Taylor is quoted as saying he felt happy. So is George Martin. And, of course, all those 14 and 15 year old girl fans in the Cavern. I think that reaction is essential to understanding Beatlemania. It wasn't just the strong back beat, the originality of the songs and their arrangements, and their very loud performances, although all of those things are essential to it. The Beatles made me feel happy. Lewisohn's book chronicles all of this, and in doing so, ratified my own experiences from 50 years ago to the present day.
A Beatle fan must read this book. A pop culture fan must read this book. A sociologist will find a goldmine of raw data in it. It is so much more than just the story of a rock combo from Liverpool. It is also a deep insight into post war Liverpool, the evolution of rock and roll, and the baby boom generation in Britain, and by extension, the United States.
I wish Mark Lewisohn good health and healthy royalties so that he is able to live large and long. He must complete the series.