The Beatles: The Biography

Published By: Little, Brown and Company

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Biography & Autobiography

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Reviewed by Connie Anderson

When the mode of the music changes
the walls of the city shake. -- Plato

How fortuitous ancient Plato's remarks were. He describes the Beatle's entry onto the American music scene. Walls shook. Rock 'n Roll shook.

Okay, I have to admit it. I joined the millions of people who watched the Beatles infamous inaugural appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

But I didn't scream--or cry.

Many reviews about The Beatles: The Biography by Bob Spitz is written by people who are fans who really, really know the Beatles. Some reviewers are like me. We admire their talent, marketing gift and their music.

That's how I read the book--like any biography: to learn about the boys/men who became the Beatles; about how they changed music forever; how they started using drugs of all kinds (that initially enhanced their writing ability,),and how they jumped in front of American rock 'n rollers.

In a thousand pages, Spitz tells us more about the guys and those who surrounded them; where they came from, how they got together, who guided them, who misguided them.

I was interested to learn how surprised John Lennon was in 1956 when Paul McCartney mentioned he had written a song. Apparently young British lads didn't do that then.

This songwriting episode is the beginning of a beautiful story, as John and Paul could bang out a song anywhere ... "I can write in a bus or a van, even backstage I can; I'm the man." (Sorry, I got a little Dr. Suess-like there).

So if you just want to read about the rise and fall of John Lennon, Ringo Star, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, you'll learn all about them. If some of the dates or events are listed incorrectly (as other reviewers have mentioned), so be it. I'd never know the difference. I just love to listen to their songs, even today and admire what they accomplished.

Armchair Interviews says: Drugs, sex and rock 'roll--and some "hard day's nights" have brought us lasting music performed by the boys from England. An interesting read that reminds us that talent, hard work, timing and good luck brought us the Beatles--and their music will stay around long after the fab four are all gone.

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