Read The Beatles by Hunter Davies Online


The classic that defines the band that defined an era now with 135 photographs and illustrations. In this behind-the-scenes look at the most famous musical group in history, Hunter Davies gives the complete story of the Beatles. As the only authorized biographer, Davies had full access to the group, as well as their help and encouragement. This updated edition addresses thThe classic that defines the band that defined an era now with 135 photographs and illustrations. In this behind-the-scenes look at the most famous musical group in history, Hunter Davies gives the complete story of the Beatles. As the only authorized biographer, Davies had full access to the group, as well as their help and encouragement. This updated edition addresses the changes in the lives of the Beatles: Paul's marriage, George's death, and their new books and records....

Title : The Beatles
Author :
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ISBN : 9781844031047
Format Type : Unknown Binding
Number of Pages : 187 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Beatles Reviews

  • Kristen
    2019-04-15 01:21

    Note: This review is an excerpt from a longer review/personal reflection published on my blog, Sounds Delightful.The Beatles, originally published in 1968, is the only ever authorized biography of the band. My edition was published in 1996, and there appear to have been one or two newer editions since then. The book itself is a bit like a ramshackle old house that someone has built too many additions onto. There’s the core text; an introduction and postscript, both from 1985; and a second 1996 introduction. I’d also argue that the personal experiences of any serious fan have a way of sneaking in as well. Reading from cover to cover, you’re jumping around the timeline in an almost postmodern way.The Beatles is still a great read, despite being frozen in 1968. Davies wrote the book after spending over a year observing and interviewing the band, as well as talking with their families and friends. He has a easy, unpretentious style, and it’s clear that his respect for the Beatles, as musicians and people, is genuine. And despite the obvious whitewashing of potentially scandalous material, there are moments of candor that do seem to cut nearer to the truth.On the whole, Davies doesn’t really try to draw a lot of conclusions about the Beatles. He observes and plainly writes down what he sees. What comes into focus is a a group of four people who, together, were able to create art that was full of beauty and humor. On their own, they are more like normal humans — four talented, lucky humans who nonetheless have their problems and hangups. Davies leaves us at a point in 1968 where the band’s future is an unknown. He resists the temptation to predict their future, and surely no one could have anyway. What The Beatles really does is capture the band at a pivotal moment, poised between past glories and a few more charmed years.

  • GoldGato
    2019-04-25 01:10

    I have no idea how I managed to own a first edition of this first majour bio of The Beatles (yes, the "t" should be capped). Published in 1968, when the group was still together and still producing hits, it was one of the first books to focus on rock stars. There are more than 30 pages of photos, many of which were taken just for the book itself, as this is the only authorized biography which was approved by all group members.Too young to be familiar with the Fab Four, I nevertheless learned about them when a music teacher told me Paul McCartney had been in a previous group named like insects. Shook my world.Book Season = Summer (eazy breezy)

  • Anna
    2019-03-28 02:36

    Ridiculously enjoyable read. Major kudos for Ringo stories!! From childhood! Most Beatles books like to gloss over Starr as if he wasn't there... but according to Davies: Ritchie existed! *excitement*John's chapter also makes me wanna reach thru time and kick him in the balls!

  • Trish
    2019-04-25 06:18

    I've read A LOT of Beatles books and this has by far been my favorite. There are stories in this book that are not in any other Beatle book I've read.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-16 23:28

    I've read dozens of Beatles-related books and this was by far the best one. It wasn't a Lennon based book, (as most Beatles biographies seem to be) and it covered all of the lads equally.

  • Chris
    2019-04-16 05:24

    The classic first biography of the Beatles. I read the updated, updated (again) version. The original book ended with the band still together. That's where this version ends too, but it contains an afterward with reflections on how quickly the band went from tight friendship to nasty bickering, but not many other details. Davies points out that this period of the band's life has been well-documented other places. It would have been great, though, if Davies had originally followed the band through to the bitter end. Since he was on the inside with the band, recording the events as they happened, this book is like getting a window right into their world. I can see why it's been so popular for so long. Personally, I really enjoyed reading it. It was fascinating seeing the context in which the Beatles became a band, how they went from a group of kids playing music to great performers, and of course the rise of Beatlemania and its effects on the band, their families, and the rest of the world.This was truly a fun read and sent me off on a bit of a Beatles kick. Next steps if I get the time (not likely):- Listen to their albums in chronological order. Just have to get my hands on them, they're definitely not on Spotify.- Watch the various Beatles movies--well, maybe not all of them. - Check out 1 or 2 of the best documentaries.And yes, I am posting this review 4 months after I read the book. Better late than never.

  • Zorka Zamfirova
    2019-03-27 00:15

    Lako se čita, malo našminkana.

  • Adam Crossley
    2019-03-26 04:35

    If you dig The Beatles this book is definitely worth reading.The great thing is it captures them at the height of their powers. The author spent a lot of time hanging out with them and gives insights into their creative process and lots of space for The Beatles themselves to share their own opinions. In particular I enjoyed reading Lennon's opinions on the phoniness of high brow art. The book is written pre Yoko Ono, so I wonder if he would change some of these opinions, but it is interesting to read that from someone who is currently lionized for works like Day in The Life (which I love.) His overall point seems to be just do something, and let other people worry about adding their own underlying meanings and depth. To voice this opinion while at a similar time writing pieces like Tomorrow Never Knows or Strawberry Fields is intriguing. I enjoy the contrast coming from the artist himself.Off on a tangent there. Back to the point, this book is a great read and I recommend it to anyone curious about the Beatles in their early and middle years. Their personalities shine through and the working chemistry between Lennon and McCartney is vividly portrayed and enjoyable reading.

  • Arnold
    2019-04-06 04:13

    the masterpiece on The Beatles. Deeply researched and essentially accurate. Not spilling over with the usual gossip and rumours which are still regretfully being printed.

  • Dustybooks
    2019-04-02 05:26

    Reading this as an adult was a very different experience from when I first encountered it as a preteen Beatles fan. Mine is the original 1968 edition so still "authorized" and therefore whitewashed, which is especially (egregiously) noticeable in the passages that discuss Brian Epstein's sexuality. Davies is a skilled writer, though, and while he rushes madly through the Beatlemania years and is a little too fixated on the band members' fortunes and lifestyles, where he shines uniquely is in being able to speak directly to the Beatles' parents and to use present tense when talking about them as well as the band's own existence. (He also is one of the few people to properly interview all of the "first wives" plus Jane Asher.) While the sections focusing on the early years are strong if not terribly in-depth, it's interesting to see the legend printed, so to speak... and the really good stuff is in the final chapters, which capture the band's outlook on their status and future as they envisioned it just before Apple became a functioning fiasco (Epstein died while the book was being prepared, so they are just feeling things out as their own management) and just prior to the India sojourn, even before Yoko Ono was publicly in the picture. There are two big benefits to this: first, you get a telling if class-conscious portrait of life as they lived it during the height of their fame in the post-touring years without a hint of retroactive dilution. The individual interviews are remarkable; Paul (still with Jane Asher) pragmatic and polite despite his obvious arrogance, John clearly terrified, depressed and aimless, and morally conflicted about his fame; George displaying a near-cultlike fervor over his new religious beliefs; and Ringo, a young domestic saying lots of things he probably regrets like mad these days (especially about women's subservience to men, oh dear). There's seriously no primary source quite like this that I'm aware of. Secondly, these profiles speak strongly like no other writing about the band to just how freaking impossibly young they were when all this happened to them. When Davies was writing, John and Ringo were about 27, Paul 25, George 24 (and already snobbily grousing about how "over" the Beatle thing he was!); it's all but impossible to fathom. Davies also got to watch while "With a Little Help from My Friends" was being written, and while "Getting Better" and "Magical Mystery Tour" were recorded (though he significantly skirts past talking about John Lennon's notorious LSD-induced breakdown during the sessions for the former). While this book has clearly been superseded in later years by stronger, less biased sources (Lewisohn chiefly), this is still one of the crucial Beatles volumes because it's right in the midst of the fire, before the fire even began to wane.

  • Ilya Puchkovsky
    2019-04-12 01:28

    В книге Дэвис, взявший на себя обязанность биографа, описывает период примерно до 1968 года, когда внутри ансамбля начались появляться проблемы. Группа тогда уже находилась на грани распада. Собственно основой произведения являются четыре биографии музыкантов от юношеских лет и до всемирного успеха. Достаточно подробно рассказано о многих событиях и людях: Гамбургских гастролях, Стю Сатклифе и его смерти, знакомстве с Брайаном Эпстайном, участии Пита Беста и его «отставке», первых записях под руководством Джорджа Мартина, выходе первых пластинок, гастролях, Америке, Битломании, окружении Биттлз и его значении, смерть Эпстайна, прекращение концертной деятельности и многие другие подробности из жизни участников.В большинстве биографий я читал о том, как песня за песней создавался тот или иной альбом, но здесь, в начале книги, этому уделено гораздо меньше внимания. Далее, в описании «без гастрольного» периода, есть попытка более подробно рассказать о схеме работы двух основных композиторов Джона и Пола, их «рабочий день», структуры написания песен. Но гораздо больше, на мой взгляд, здесь рассказано о межличностных отношениях, о взрослении, о ссорах, женитьбах, о стиле жизни, судебных дрязгах и т.д. самих музыкантов.Надо учитывать то, что Дэвис согласовывал написание книги с самими Битлами. Давал им на читку главы и корректировал то, на что указывали музыканты или их родственники. С некоторой досадой он говорит о том, что произведение могло бы быть куда более интересным, если бы не было этих правок. Но получилось то, что есть. Книга, в общем, понравилась, немного суховат язык изложения, возможно причина тому переводчики. Не мне судить, а то их винят все кому не лень. Дэвис попытался показать четверку не как поп-идолов десятилетий, а как обычных молодых парней, на которых свалилась мировая слава, богатство и успех. Он рассказывает о тех трудностях, которые сопровождали это признание, и то, как каждый из музыкантов переживал случившиеся.Дополнения от автора подводят некоторые итоги, и служат эпилогом к переизданию книги в конце 70-х и в середине 80-х.Что-то мне подсказывает, что именно главы из этого труда я читал ребенком в советском журнале «Ровесник» в середине 80-х. Но, кажется, тогда её до конца не напечатали.

  • Craig Rowland
    2019-04-01 01:13

    The Beatles: The Authorized Biography by Hunter Davies was published in 1968. The author had full access to all four Beatles and this remains their only authorized biography--all the more poignant since the Beatles were still a working group at the time. I read the American printing, hence The Authorized Biography. I made frequent referrals to my British paperback edition from 1969, thus The Authorised Biography. I found enough errors in the original 1968 hardcover to wonder if they had been fixed in the UK paperback (for the most part, they were). I recall buying the hardcover at the Chicago Beatlefest in August 1984. After so many consecutive bad reads I was delighted to spend my time with The Beatles. This biography was packed tight with tiny print and narrow spacing between the lines. Biographies printed these days are pamphlets disguised as books. The read was substantial in its detail as Davies spoke to each Beatle as well as to close relatives like their parents, siblings, wives and girlfriends. This might be the only source where Paul's former fiancée, Jane Asher, talks about her life within the Beatles' inner circle. Each Beatle was covered in equal measure, so no short-shrifting George or Ringo. Davies provided generous quotations and incorporated them into the text so that the story flowed rapidly. The fast-paced life of being swept up by Beatlemania was not encumbered by a sloppy cut-and-paste job of inserted quotations. I consider myself a knowledgeable Beatles fan, and recognized this book as the source for so much Beatles knowledge. Revelations about their lives were initially found in this biography. The book was a can't-put-down read. I read it whenever I had free time and made myself time to read more of it. Davies did not write scandalously and rock star dirt didn't drive me to turn the pages. However, what might be common Beatles knowledge now--that they took LSD and smoked pot--could have been considered racy news fifty years ago. Davies had the propensity to state how much the Beatles paid for their own and their parents' houses, yet the prices now fifty years on seem laughable. Did the Beatles move into shoeboxes? Although I read the American edition which had the smarts to change the spelling of one word in the subtitle to Authorized, the house prices were all quoted in pounds which didn't help me understand how expensive they were (if they were at all). I don't know how much the pound sterling was worth fifty years ago. I do not care to précis the book since I know all about the Fabs during their formative years, their times in Hamburg and the Beatlemania years up till 1968. I would rather lavish praise on how well Davies wrote their individual and group histories, where single-member biographies easily fit into the collective group story. One didn't jump around in a chronological mixup of Scouse personalities. At times I laughed out loud, as during this account of the Beatles' first formal meeting with their future manager, Brian Epstein:"John and Bob Wooller arrived at the appointed time at four thirty. So did George and Pete Best. But there was no sign of Paul. After half an hour, during which Brian was becoming very irritated, he asked George to ring Paul. George returned from the phone to say that Paul was in the bath. 'This is disgraceful,' said Brian. 'He's going to be very late.' 'Late,' said George. 'But very clean.'"I can picture George's look, his intonation and pacing as he said this. I know George's voice as all the Beatles' voices, and I read their quotations imagining their own voices speaking. Davies visited the Beatles at their homes and experienced down time when they were not in the studio. I was taken aback by how advanced we have evolved technologically. In 1968, a new invention must have been the object of envy at the home of Ringo and his wife Maureen:"They both tend just to potter around when Ringo's not working. Like John, they have pop records and the TV going all the time, even in rooms they're not in. They watch TV a lot. They have six sets. From the main couch in the drawing room Ringo can change channels without getting up, just by operating a knob on the couch."The Beatles may have been too busy to exercise as we have come to know it in the twenty-first century. I chuckled at this description of their state of health:"But the Beatles are somehow all fit, though rather pale-looking."This biography has been completely updated at least twice, and even the 1969 paperback had an updated discography. The 1968 edition did not mention Yoko Ono, although she and Linda Eastman are mentioned in a revised "End Bit" in the 1969 paperback. I would recommend it as essential reading for Beatles' history up to 1968. The Beatles is an authorized biography yet it still had a number of errors. Beatles fans however may not necessarily have known this at the time since fifty years have elapsed and so much more has been written about them. Yet still, some of the facts in the 1968 edition were just plain wrong, and would have been obvious to any fan. I am listing some of the errors out of comic relief, because I have to ask myself, "What was Davies thinking?"At the beginning of the chapter about Paul McCartney, Davies wrote:"Paul was born John Paul McCartney on June 18, 1942..."This was corrected to:"Paul was born James Paul McCartney on June 18, 1942..."in the 1969 paperback.In Hamburg the Beatles befriended two artsy types who would become lifelong friends: "But Klaus Voorman and Astrid Kichener did."Pity Davies got both of their names wrong. Fortunately it was corrected in the paperback:"But Klaus Voormann and Astrid Kirchherr did."When Brian Epstein first saw the Beatles in concert at the Cavern, the 1968 edition says:"His first visit was the lunchtime session of November 9, 1962."That didn't seem right, especially since Davies refers to the drummer Pete Best on the next page. I know that the Beatles turfed Pete for Ringo in August 1962. The paperback had been corrected to say:"His first visit was the lunch-time session of 9th November, 1961."In the 1968 edition, the Beatles are flying 3000 feet over the Atlantic on their first visit to America. By the time the paperback came out, they upped their elevation to a standard (and safer) 30,000 feet.Other spelling errors of important people in the Beatles' lives: Rory Storme (instead of Rory Storm, corrected in the paperback); Jimmy Nichols instead of Jimmie Nicol; and Alex Mordes in the hardcover edition while Alex Mordas in the paperback when it is neither. It's Alex Mardas.

  • Aaron
    2019-03-29 02:20

    A lot of this book felt very basic, and I was pretty disappointed, until pretty late in it, when the author spent time with the band while they were writing songs at home and in the studio. That was exactly what I was most interested in, the creative process. "Watching" John and Paul work on the lyrics to With A Little Help From My Friends, or recording Getting Better was fascinating. As equally impressive, or maybe disconcerting, was hearing what the Beatles thought of their music during this time. I'd stop short of calling a quarter of each album filler material, but there's a lot of talk about "just needing 4 more songs", and the band doing whatever it took to get them done. You'd like to think they agonized over every note in every song, working on writing them for years, since they are all classics. But apparently not. Though, if you asked Paul about it now, he might have a totally different take than the mid 60's, when they were in the midst of putting out 2 albums a year.

  • Ron
    2019-04-07 01:33

    The original authorized Beatles biography is still a great source. This edition includes a recent postscript. Written in 1968, the seismic changes coming are barely hinted at. For instance the happy family (as portrayed) of John, Cynthia and Julian is in for a change very soon. The divisions of the White Album and Get Back/Let It Be are still in the future. This book is at its sharpest writing about the early days of the band, and is still a must read in that regard. So much more research and umpteen biographies have been written, but Davies should get credit for getting as much in here as he could.

  • Eric
    2019-04-20 05:21

    This is the only "official" biography. It has a great deal of interesting source material, but doesn't do a great job of pulling a compelling narrative out of it. Lots about their lives and personalities, not much insight into the music. It also left me feeling less interested in the Beatles then when I started - although maybe that was the narrative...

  • Rishav Mukherji
    2019-04-14 06:28

    The foreword is too long. It's as if you're reading a book about the book about the Beatles. Once you get past that, what follows is a very interesting history of the Beatles! Any music lover, and definitely any Beatle fan, will like this biography. :)

  • Moira
    2019-04-12 01:35

    Mostly dated now, and better told elsewhere, but I found Chpt 30 "The Beatles and Their Music" detailing their creative process - how songs got written and tracks laid down - to be of great importance.

  • John
    2019-03-29 03:17

    Not a patch on Philip Normans more extensive (and likely more accurate) account. Authorised biographies should always be taken with a pich of salt but the notion that in 1968 each one of the Beatles did not drink or take drugs made it a bit ridiculous and wrecked it a bit for me.

  • Gillian
    2019-04-23 01:10

    A great overall history of The Fab Four. Coming from a Beatle fanatic I would recommend this book at anyone who wants to read a legitament biography. Covers all aspects of their successes.

  • Daniel
    2019-03-31 04:22

    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 4.0 of 5Over the last couple of years I've read a few Beatles-related books. Recently, while anticipating a couple of long drives, I borrowed an audio book from my local library - The Authorized Biography, The Beatles, by Hunter Davies.Davies was one of the few people allowed on the inside of The Beatles' group, accompanying them to the recording studio, or on vacation, or simply visiting them at home. He also had unprecedented access to the families (parents, siblings, wives, etc), including some parents who have been estranged from the family.I've read a lot of material on this group, but it has mostly been piecemeal and speculation. Davies' book really does get to the heart of the group. I've been a fan for forty years or so (though not a 'fanatic') and have read a number of books about them, but this one really does provide insight and give information that I'd not read anywhere else.This audio book is a relatively new edition and there are two "Introductions" to previous editions. In audio terms, these introductions run for over an hour. One of them actually provides some really critical information about the book, including why certain aspects are relatively tame or not mentioned at all (having to do with who had to approve the copy before going to print). This introduction is possibly as interesting, if not more so, than much of the material in the book itself.I am by no means an authority on the Beatles, but I've read a lot of material about them and about their influence and an awful lot of information about these four lads is readily available, but this book really is the definitive chronicle of them, both as a group and as individuals. Davies had access not only to the members of the group and their most intimate associates, but also the families of these influential musicians - access that can't be recreated today. And as he notes even back in the late 1960's, the Beatles themselves often didn't remember dates or locations particularly well or accurately back then - so the information only gets more and more confused or lost with the passage of time.It is fortuitous that Hunter Davies took the steps he did to connect with the band and sell the idea of writing a biography of the group, and great that he pushed for it even when others said that the band was just a passing fad and no one would really be interested. This book is a MUST read for anyone interested in knowing more about The Beatles and their influences.As for the audio book...Our narrator, Edward Lewis, comes across as a bland, male version of Siri. His narration is so monotone and computer-like that when he does offer some inflection it really stands out. On my longer - four and five hour - commutes, I grew used to the narration and could tolerate it. But on my shorter commutes (half an hour) I couldn't get in to this terrible voice.I highly recommend the book, but I do NOT recommend listening to the Audible/book on CD.Looking for a good book? The Beatles by Hunter Davies is a thorough, remarkable account of the Beatles as must be read by any true fan of the popular group, but the Audible/CD version has some of the worst narration for a book I've ever come across.

  • Robin
    2019-04-02 06:18

    Jasných 5*! Jako celoživotní fanoušek, a nebojím se toho příměru použít, UMĚNÍ liverpoolské čtveřice a bezesporu jednoho z fenoménů 20. století, kterému se oddává další a další generace, velmi kvituji vydání této zásadní knihy v českém jazyce. V čem je zásadní? Jedná se asi o jeden z "nejzdrojovanějších" pramenů o Beatles nejen v dalších knihách o nich, ale vůbec literatuře věnující se popkultuře 60. let 20. století, stejně tak v historických publikacích, které mapují společenský vývoj poválečné západní Evropy. Zásadní je také v tom, že jde o jedinou AUTORIZOVANOU biografii přímo členy skupiny ještě v době její činnosti. Dnes najdeme několik málo knih, hlavně těch o siru Paulovi, které jsou taktéž autorizovány či přímo vycházejí ze spolupráce s Beatlem, ale už dávno po rozpadu a smrti dvou jejích členů. Další aspekt knihy je přístup autora. Sám o trochu starší než členové je jen běžným rozhlasovým posluchačem, nikoliv ovlivnitelným fanouškem. Davies jako spisovatel, novinář, redaktor kulturní rubriky Sunday Times i coby fotbalový fanda (napsal řadu knih o fotbalu a jeho hvězdách) se po úspěchu svého scénáře rozhodne zaznamenat tento fenomén a to ještě v době jeho trvání. Odloží svou sociologickou práci na téma současného života britských univerzitních studentů a svůj záměr vyloží přímo McCartneymu, který mu nadšen pomáhá s oficiálním dopisem jejich tehdejšímu manažerovi Brianovi Epsteinovi. Píše se rok 1966, Beatles ukončili svá živá vystoupení, a knihy, které o nich vyšly by se daly spočítat na prstech jedné ruky...O co je kniha odbornější - dva roky na cestách, rozhovory s rodinnými příslušníky, přáteli, lidmi z branže na obou stranách Atlantiku, fanoušky a neposlední řadě hlavně se samostnými členy (po jejich souhlasu!) při práci ve studiu i doma v osobním životě - je její četba uvolněnější díky stále dechberoucí skoropohádce o jejich úspěchu i nespornému charismatu a smyslu pro humor. Stejně tak napínává, melancholická a až dechberoucí právě při osobních výpovědích samotných členů Fab Four.Kniha vyšla v květnu 1968 tj. po Seržantovi a před vydání tzv. Bílého alba, necelé dva roky před smutným finišem. Je obohacená o předmluvu ze současnosti a dodatkem k dalšímu vydání z roku 1985, tedy 5 let po zavraždění Johna Lennona v NYC. Nejsem pamětník, lásku k jejich hudbě jsem podědil, ale velké díky Johne, Paule, Georgi, Ringo a Huntere...

  • Michael
    2019-04-08 07:11

    I searched for a bit before landing on Davies biography of The Beatles. While the information is plentiful, it seems a bit misplaced. I understand that because this was released before The Beatles had split as a group, it was going to be somewhat incomplete. I was disappointed, however, that so little time seems to have been given to their touring years. We have one chapter dedicated to 'Beatlemania' while multiple chapters are dedicated to family histories and the Quarrymen phase... who cares? This book would've been much better had it focused on The Beatles instead of the individual lives of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

  • Stasha
    2019-04-04 04:12

    An excellent portrait of The Beatles while they were at their peak, as well as some comments on what happened afterwards. Their rise to fame is also explained in detail and I enjoyed seeing what kind of people they were, especially in the chapters that portrayed each of them individually. A great book for every fan.

  • Neil
    2019-04-11 07:25

    The original and still for me the best. Other Beatles biographies may be more detailed, some painfully so (I still haven't managed to finish Mark Lewisohn's exhausting first volume) but this one, written in 1968 with the full participation of all the key players, still feels the most authentic and honest. Peace and love, peace and love...

  • Ryan Williams
    2019-04-22 00:36

    This was the first authorised biography of The Beatles. It must have seemed vital when it first published in 1968. Now it reads like the work of a fanzine editor. Philip Norman's Shout! is far better - more material, more objectivity, more writing talent.

  • Gary Pointon
    2019-03-29 01:29

    An amazing achievement to capture this in while it was all happening. Fantastic insight into their lives and to have it all pieced together in a structured timeline. Well down Hunter Davies

  • Julie_ian_curtis
    2019-04-24 01:23

    If yr interested in pete best or Beatles parents this is the book for you. The 'official' that john said was shit.

  • Alondra Maldonado
    2019-04-10 01:15

    When you hear the two words: “the Beatles”, what image immediately pops into your head? Abbey Road? Yellow Submarine? Waving ‘hello’ at the JFK airport? Screaming fans? Who? Of course not! You’d have to be completely closed minded to have never heard of them. Whether or not you consider yourself a fan, it is hard to argue that the Beatles rank among one of the most popular and influential rock acts of all time. Although the Beatles sold millions of records, their significance cannot be measured in terms of record sales alone. They are a universal band: you would be troubled to find many people who haven’t yet heard of the Beatles at the least. During 1967 and 1968 Hunter Davies spent eighteen months with the Beatles at the peak of their powers as they defined a generation and rewrote popular music. As their only authorized biographer, he had access not just to John, Paul, George, and Ringo but also to friends, family, and colleagues. Davies collected material that still makes this the classic-Beatles-multiple-edition- biography the one all other Beatle biographers look to. He remained close with the band and had access to more information over the years. This edition brings the story up-to-date with new material on the Beatles solo careers and lives, as well as the stories of many other people who are mentioned in the book.Being a Beatles fan (or Beatlemaniac) , I am glad that I chose to begin with this biography of them- being the only authorized biography of the Beatles. The newest edition was well written and very organized. Davies dug way back from their grandparents, parents, childhood, how John met Paul, how Paul met George, and how Ringo became their official drummer, their solo careers, John and George’s deaths… EVERYTHING! Best most captivating, most well organized, most accurate informational biography I have ever read. If you’re a fan, it’s a must read.

  • Becky Cresswell
    2019-04-21 03:26

    read back in 2010...

  • Adam Steinberg
    2019-04-01 06:16

    The Book I read was a biography on the band that created a world wide frenzy near the "British Invasion", The Beatles. The book was written by Hunter Davies, a journalist and author who convinced Paul McCartney to collaborate and make an official Beatles biography. The book is filled with a lot of background information on the famous four, as well as other important people along the way. Having been published for the first time in 1968, before the Beatles were broken up, the book, or the earliest version anyway, provided a perspective on The Beatles as they were still an ongoing band, and long before John Lennon was shot or George Harrison died. There are several updated versions that came out in years to come, but the version I had was the original. Something that's the same for each version however is the backgrounds of each band member. It was interesting to hear about the childhoods of the group, like John Lennon for example had a very rebellious attitude toward school, and spent a lot of time in it messing around with his school friends. Paul McCartney apparently was a bit chubby as a kid and his brother made fun of him for it. (I wonder who's laughing now?) The many small details in the band member introduction chapters shows how normal the Beatles really are, including stories and facts from their childhoods. The whole book was enjoyable to read, but mostly because I was already a Beatles fan, and could appreciate the knowledge given. Even if you're not a Beatles fan, the story, the legacy as it seems, is an interesting tale.