Even before the Beatles hit the big time, a myth was created. This version of the Beatles legend smoothed the rough edges and filled in the fault lines, and for more than forty years this manicured version of the Beatles story has sustained as truth - until now.
The product of almost a decade of research, hundreds of unprecedented interviews, and the discovery of scores of never-before-revealed documents, Bob Spitz's The Beatles is the biography fans have been waiting for -- a vast, complete account as brilliant and joyous and revelatory as a Beatles record itself. Spitz begins in Liverpool, a hard city knocked on its heels. In the housing projects and school playgrounds, four boys would discover themselves -- and via late-night radio broadcasts, a new form of music called rock 'n roll.
Never before has a biography of musicians been so immersive and textured. Spitz takes us down Penny Lane and to Strawberry Field (John later added the s), to Hamburg, Germany, where -- amid the squalor and the violence and the pep pills -- the Beatles truly became the Beatles. We are there in the McCartney living room when Paul and John learn to write songs together; in the heat of Liverpool's Cavern Club, where jazz has been the norm before the Beatles show up; backstage the night Ringo takes over on drums; in seedy German strip clubs where George lies about his age so the band can perform; on the lonely tours through frigid Scottish towns before the breakthrough; at Abbey Road Studios, where a young producer named George Martin takes them under his wing; at the Ed Sullivan Show as America discovers the joy and the madness; and onward and upward: up the charts, from Shea to San Francisco, through the London night, on to India, through marmalade skies, across the universe...all the way to a rooftop concert and one last moment of laughter and music.
It is all here, raw and right: the highs and the lows, the love and the rivalry, the awe and the jealousy, the drugs, the tears, the thrill, the magic never again to be repeated. Open this book and begin to read -- Bob Spitz's masterpiece is, at long last, the biography the Beatles deserve.
Like Martin Scorsese' recent documentary about the young, meteoric Bob Dylan, this book powerfully evokes both the excitement and the price of such a sudden rise. This book is with the Beatles as they hit upon a winning, hair-shaking performance style and as they watch the world go berserk over it. When the exhilaration begins to sour, it captures the frightening fishbowl sensation of their being imprisoned by fans' hysteria and critical acclaim.